Kidding around...

Here are my buddies in the back yard...
Top: Nannette--goat with an attitude!

Middle: Cisco Kid--going to great lengths to get the last of the yummy grain.
Bottom: Buckwheat--hamming it up for the camera.

What cuties!
These are some of the Chinese kiddos who I've been teaching on Friday evenings at Provo Bible Church.


The Adventures of a Station-Sitter

Here I am in the control room at KEYY!

Living at a radio station means rarely is there a dull moment. Case in point... I was staying here alone for several days while the Barsuhns took a vacation. It was a fairly uneventful week until this morning when I woke up at 6:12 to a frightening BEEP-beep-BEEP-beep. Too loud to be my alarm clock. It took me a moment to comprehend what was going on. This place has more alarms rigged up than a penitentiary: one for "dead air," another for the Emergency Alert System and Amber Alert; and then there's the motion sensors, and of course the fire alarm and the carbon monoxide alarm--even one signaling mail has been deposited in the box outside--although it hasn't been working lately. But the beeping I heard was none of these; it was the dreaded Intruder Alarm, set off when someone enters the building without disarming the security system. An unknown person was in the radio station and I alone was there to defend it. Of course I could've investigated, or at least called out to ask who was there. But those very logical options seemed like very illogical death-wishes at the moment. So...I did the less-than-heroic thing and stayed in my room with the door locked and tremulously dialed Chris on my cell phone. I woke him up. "The intruder alarm went off... I don't know who's here..." I tried to sound very ho-hum about it all but really I meant: "HELP! Save me from the axe murder standing outside my door!" and I think Chris read my mind. He hurried over from his home a few blocks away. I was more than ready to let him be the hero. As I waited, I contemplated how best to respond if the intruder were to break into my bedroom: stand and fight with my curling iron? Or fall at his feet and plead for mercy? Thankfully, I didn't have to decide. Turns out, the "intruder" was just the local pastor who comes once a week to record his messages that are later played on the air. He didn't know that the switch to disarm the security system had been moved and thus he was unable to prevent the hair-raising ordeal for me. What possessed him in the first place to record his sermon at the unearthly hour of 6:00 on a Saturday morning is beyond me. I am simply grateful for the following: locks on doors, cell phones, curling irons, and Reader's Digest-type everyday heroes (you're the best, Chris!).


Death in Black & White

What a great time to start a blog! There's nothing like a near-death experience to get one feeling like he's got a story to tell. I had a close brush with Death this very afternoon, or at least his first cousins Bodily Injury and Intense Pain. They came in the form of a Holstein steer named Torro. Now, in Torro's defense, he is NOT mean; he IS waaaaay overly friendly--but the difference between these adjectives becomes very slight when you weigh 800 solid pounds and possess two sharp horns. I bottle-fed him and his brother, Outback, last summer when they were cute little calves with knobby legs and soft brown eyes. Outback--may he rest in peace--bit the dust a few months ago, presumably from swallowing a foreign object that had blown into the field. Which is why today, when I saw Torro with his head stuck in a trash can full of styrofoam packing peanuts at the other side of the field surrounding the radio tower, I raced to his rescue. First I made necessary precautions: I put hay in the rack to keep the beast occupied; I armed myself with a 3-foot metal pipe; I said a fervent prayer. Then I spent probably ten minutes picking up small pieces of the lethal white stuff (who dumps two Rubbermaids of styrofoam over an 8-foot fence into a pasture with animals in it?). I was just headed back across the field with the trash in tow, when the steer came lumbering over to meet me. He had lost interest in the hay and wanted to "play," i.e. shove me around with his horned head. I walked backwards, tripping over cowpies and the three pygmy goats, keeping the trash cans between the steer and me with my left hand and warding him off with the pipe in my right. Several times I thought he was going to bust the cans when he took a running start at me, but blessed be Rubbermaid for their sturdy products. Once I poked him in the eyeball with the pipe. He bellowed, turned away, blinked a few times... and ran right back for more. I stumbled backwards across that field for what seemed like a very long time, praying the whole way. At last I made it to the safety of the chest-high electric fence which keeps him out of certain portions of the field. After a few moments of deep breathing and taking inventory of my appendages, I promptly got the hose and sprayed him right in the face. Ha! Take that, you animal, you beef with legs to be butchered in a 6 weeks! He bellowed again and ran off. I win. Expense: shoes and pants smeared with manure, and dignity all but lost. Those nice city-folk in their condos lining two sides of the field had something to talk about over supper.