Telling Tales

I was posting some stuff over at Wolfmoon’s Q-Tree & wanted to keep some of these items for future reference.  Most of what I shared is about my family’s experiences in Michigan over the generations.  These tales are told to the best of my recall & were brought to mind starting with the tweet posted of a farmer trying to create a firebreak to save his crops…

Here is the link for where you can find this material originally:

Valerie Curren

This one reminds me of a family story I like to call “And the Wind Turned”…

My grandfather was a young child in the early 1900’s visiting his grandparents on their old homestead farm in mid Michigan. They were awakened in the middle of the night by the roar of flames in the forest adjacent to the property. My GGGrandparents woke up my grandpa & they loaded up the wagon with most of their possessions & wet down a rug to lay over the top, hitched the horses, & waited to see what would happen. I think my grandpa, who was quite young had to stay in the wagon & his grandparents were pouring buckets of water on the roof of the house & perhaps of the barn too. The flames started licking along the wood fence on the perimeter of the property & these 2 retirement age MidWesterners prepared to drive away & restart w/ no insurance, the possessions in their wagon, & their lives…& then the wind turned & blew the fire back on itself & it eventually went out. I think my family’s journey would have been a tad different had they been burned out as elderly but hardy farm folk that day.

This farmer is a hero. I hope he succeeded in saving his crops & moar!

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Looks to me like that crop had already been harvested.

That Farmer was probably doing that to try and head off the fire from reaching his home and barns.

He was running his discer to turn up the dirt and make a fire-break.
I hope it worked!

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Valerie Curren

I hope so too! That was way to close to that line of fire for comfort!!!

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awesome, inspiring story Valerie!
fight for what yours but be ready to leave to protect what’s most important!

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Valerie Curren

Yes! When my grandpa died he had very little left to his name financially, I think I got $100 as an inheritance as one of his 5 grandkids. He did leave us The Cottage owned jointly by my dad & his sister which we lived at in our early marriage. Apparently he almost signed the deed over to the Masons to guarantee himself a place in a retirement home but thankfully that never happened. He also left my dad & aunt part ownership in a one-room tar paper hunting shack in Michigan’s North Woods. My husband got put on the deed of that place early in our marriage (I’m not on it) & Hunting Season (bow opened Today!) is a big deal to our family & thankfully 3 of our 4 kids love it–we’re still tentatively working on Josiah in that arena. He loves being Up at the Shack for hunting but isn’t (yet) ready to become a hunter, if ever. His special needs complicate that whole adventure!

My grandpa, his cousin, & a couple friends were the original owners of The Shack. They used to hunt on the land where the Shack now sits & would camp there during hunting season for years, begging the then owner farmer to sell them a small plot so they could put up buildings instead of tents & for years he refused. One year they invited the farmer into camp to share a meal. They had a large canvas tent w/ a wood burning stove that was the cook tent. Well a spark fell on the canvas & the whole tent went up in flames quicker than they could drop it to the ground.

The farmer decided that was no way to live so he sold them one acre on the edge of his land. It was a long skinny rectangle w/ a 2 track running through it. The deer camp was large enough to actually build 2 shacks, though the guys across the street got the larger portion of the land & put up better facilities, though most of them live near by that Northern Michigan woodland while most of Our Shack hail from Metro Detroit.

Back in the day, before the buildings, they dubbed the location “Piscopalian Valley” & there was a nice wooden plaque w/ that moniker burned into it that hung over the porch across the street. Unfortunately that sign was stolen a few years ago which is crazy because no one but our groups would even know of that name as is was Extremely Local. It was for Piss Go in the Pail! not a slam on Episcopalians.

My grandpa’s cousin’s father who came to hunting camp until his death was known as “the Mayor of Piscopalian Valley” since he would make the rounds of the various hunting camps & the horse camp (there is “the blue horse trail” camp nearby & that trail crosses MI’s lower peninsula for horseback riding) & learn all the news & gossip of the area so he was Always up to speed on the hunt & beyond!

A number of years ago my dad & his close friend & hunting buddy (who only got put on the deed of the Shack after 30+ years in camp) bought a nearby shack on the hill behind our Shack. That place was called “the Luzerne Hilton” by the prior owners, so it’s now “the Hilton” to our guys. My family mostly likes to stay in the Hilton & the old timers & my brother’s gang stay in the Shack. However, for the first time this year my 2 older sons will be bringing companions to deer camp so we’ll have Currens in the Shack & the Hilton. Next weekend will be a big deal hunt!

I can’t wait for all the stories once they get back from deer camp!!! It’s a huge tradition to download many of their tales after the hunt, sometimes before they even catch a shower! Getting out into the woods, wood duty, camaraderie, & tales mostly of getting skunked on the hunt are just awesome. Most of my family Hate coming back down into the city after a couple days “living like rats” at the Shack!!!OK, I’m just hitting post w/out checking because it’s so long….sorry for any typos!

As a final note I’m super thankful that both my daughter & daughter-in-law have embraced hunting!!! My generation Never had women in deer camp. My aunt claims to have been hunting but I don’t think it was in our hunting camps…She did host a bunch of girl descendants of the Shack guys a few years back when the Hilton was owned by our group over a Youth Hunt weekend. Unfortunately Only my daughter Clarissa of that group of cousins & friends has continued on as a hunter…& she loves to hunt!!! Good Times, even vicariously…

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thanks for sharing so many good stories!!
my granddaughter went hunting last year for the first time and shot an 8 point buck…she is hooked on it now. I am not much for hunting, but they hunt as a family on my son-in-law’s family farm.
this year they may come up here for bear season tho–granddaughter and daughter will NOT participate in that particular hunt tho–bears are too daunting (thank goodness!)

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Valerie Curren

I don’t know if anyone has ever Seen, let alone Shot, an 8 point in our camp. You can find such big bucks downstate on farmland but not in the dicier Northwoods, at least not outside of the places where they feed the deer for those fancy private hunting camps.

Our guys have never done bear hunting though they occasionally run across bear sign & cat sign (hopefully lynx or bobcat & Not mountain lion). There is some talk of bounty predator hunting for coyotes, my husband heard all about it from the shack across the street, but that hasn’t happened yet for our group. My daughter wants to go for coyotes but my middle son doesn’t think he can stomach shooting anything that looks like a dog…

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my son-in-law never travels after dark around the farm without a gun…he hears the coyotes all the time…
we’ve seen a twelve pointer up here during the rut so they’re around…and we do see bears some times.

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Valerie Curren

That all sounds amazing!

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Cuppa Covfefe

Reminds me of the woman who saw off her hubby and his buddies going hunting, and was amazed when they were back only a half hour later.

“Honey, what happened? Are y’all OK???”…

“Well, we’z a goin’ along quite fine, but then there was a sign in the road”…


“Sign said, BEAR LEFT”, so we turned around and came home…

(Must’ve been Democrats. Then again, those dogs don’t hunt.)…..

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thanks for the laugh!!!!

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Valerie Curren


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Valerie Curren

OK, just a bit more…A couple years back I hit the resale store in the town near my parents’ Cottage for the first time ever & discovered this gem on CD, which I gave to my girls!

my husband sent the link to his hunting buddy who commented on the “hillbilly rocker” who appears around 2 minutes in. He’s like a seeming cousin of Ted Nugent (not literally) who used to hunt those beautiful Michigan Northwoods, where I believe that video was filmed…

If you do watch the video All the way through there’s a little treat at the end! So this song gets busted out every deer season, at least by me, for fun. Neither of our shacks look Anything as nice as that deer camp–those chicks have the posh pad!

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so cool!

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Valerie, thanks for that little anecdote.
and a very welcome outcome.

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Valerie Curren

Amen! I’m so thankful that they didn’t get burned out. I hope that farmer & his property are OK too…

My grandpa was born & lived in Detroit his whole life until retirement following the race riots & moving permanently Up North to the then finally winterized Cottage. His own dad was raised on that farm but went to work in Michigan’s North Woods in the lumber industry as a young adolescent, like age 12 or 13. He found favor w/ the boss when he stood up for & defended the bosses “city boy” son who was in camp w/ the lumber jacks to learn the business. Eventually my Ggrandfather became the foreman & when the woods work was done the boss asked him to manage his lumberyard in Detroit, which is how my grandpa was born there. Grandpa’s oldest sibling was born in some community (that I’m not sure still exists) called Sawyerville.

It must have been a pretty intense “adventure” for a city kid to experience that fire nearly burning out his grandparents on their farm.

As a side note my grandpa ran his own gas station at Junction & Toledo in Detroit but never owned the building. He tried to convince his landlord to sell him the building numerous times but he wouldn’t budge. When the race riots destroyed segments of Detroit & my grandpa decided to retire (they were driving w/ my aunt & her family on a cross country adventure to Alaska) he had an offer to buy his gas station business but since the building was a rental the deal fell through. I think Grandpa just liquidated his assets & A Lot of his tools are still in the garage at The Cottage along with his sign “Stoddard’s Superior Service”.

Tragically I believe that gas station has remained empty ever since the late 60’s as testament to the demise of much of what was good in Detroit back in the day.

My dad once said of a “vulcanizing” machine that grandpa had at his gas station that it should have been put in a museum for it practically kept Detroit on wheels during WWII when regular people couldn’t get tires so grandpa’s ability to patch worn tires kept a lot of people in functioning transportation!

Here are some more tales shared more recently:

Valerie Curren

Valerie CurrenOnlineCoyote Reply to  Linda November 7, 2021 02:15

One of the best & most powerful church services I ever attended was while on a missions trip to Liberia. There was a small congregation of locals who met at an old tree stump in a field. They had no chairs, sound system, hymnals, AND only a handful of Bibles brought by attendees. We stood in a circle & worshipped God & prayed. God was greatly glorified AND I believe well pleased!!!  ❤ 

Believe me, these “poor” Africans were Way Richer than virtually any American! It was beautiful, moving, AND humbling. & a privilege to be a witness to that joy!

Later while ministering on the streets with a local evangelist I was amazed to see how many people raised their hands to accept Christ after maybe a half hour of music & a message. Many of these Monrovians had very little materially but their hearts responded to the Lord AND more were saved on that day than any one church service I’ve ever attended in 50+ years as a Christian! & that’s including being in numerous services of 5000+ in attendance  👼 Here is where to find that comment AND the surrounding conversation:

Valerie Curren

Valerie CurrenOnlineCoyote Reply to  Sadie Slays November 7, 2021 02:51

Very Interesting…

One of my sons is named Brandon. He’s one of my twins & they are almost 26 now. Back when they were born we decided on that name AND Josiah for our pair. We’d almost named our oldest son Brandon 2 years earlier, they’d even written it on the bassinet label in the hospital where he was born, ironically, so that name had been percolating for my husband & I for a few years then.

When our twins were born they were pre-mature, at 33 1/2 weeks (normal gestation is 40 weeks). We’d only recently been referred to a high-risk OB & had thought he’d follow us until the normal time for birth but he did some studies including ultrasound w/ Doppler & told me “we have to get the little guy out before he dies” & scheduled my delivery for Monday (our appointment was on a Friday).

Once the twins were born it was pretty insane. Brandon was 1st, at 5# 4oz AND Josiah came a minute later at 2# 6oz, & technically he was more dead than alive, having an Apgar of 4 out of 10 at One Minute, though it was 8 or 9 at 5 mins. B was A’s 8/1 & 9/5. I was supposed to be in a delivery room w/ 15 staff people, 5 for each of us. Instead it was me, my husband, my mother, & a nurse who got one glove on to catch Brandon’s head as he emerged. My husband almost passed out & he’d seen Josiah & thought he might have been born dead based on how lifeless he looked. The doctor, who’d been paged STAT, had arrived just as J was coming forth into this cruel AND crazy world…

Anyway the twins were both in the NICU & the docs let me spend a couple nights in the hospital to be near to feed them and get adjusted. My husband & I made our naming decisions over the hospital phone (he was staying w/ my parents w/ our 2 year old, 250 miles from home so we’d get high-risk care). Anyway Michael said he thought we should call “the little guy Josiah” so that’s what we did AND I believe God guided that decision.

Months later when I finally got back home with our boys (Josiah was in the hospital for 2 1/2 months AND had open heart surgery as a 2 month old 4# baby) and things settled down I revisited their names in the baby naming book we had. Josiah meant “God Will Heal AND Protect”–which still gives me shivers because he’s had such an incredibly medically complex life w/ almost 20 surgeries now (including 2 open heart before age 5, brain tumor, AND Liver Transplant those last ones while a teen).

Brandon meant Beacon on a Hill or possibly a sword. I thought it had some type of British Isles origin. When we see that scene in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings of lighting the signal fires it makes me think of one of the possible meanings of B’s name.

Our Brandon is a warrior for both the culture AND the Kingdom of God. He’s a crucibly crushed wounded healer who dispenses compassion, wisdom, and zaniness in a very unique combo of playful godliness. His flame almost never goes out, burning the candle at both ends & around the middle. His latest adventure has him taking fire-fighting courses in addition to his full time job.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my recollection of some alternate meanings for the name Brandon, not to take away in Any Way from what you said, which is quite insightful.

Brandon has done some blogging, though not much lately. Here’s his last post:

He’s on Facebook & regularly engages in the culture war in that arena too 🙂

I’ve written quite a bit over the years about our special needs journey on my main blog. If for some reason our story might be an encouragement to others here’s a couple jumping in points.

Comment AND surrounding conversation here:

Valerie Curren

Valerie CurrenOnlineCoyote Reply to  cthulhu November 7, 2021 13:41

Gotcha. I’ve only been to California twice, while in college, w/ one of my roommates from Riverside. She was “best friends” with Steve Crumbacher, a Christian techno-pop musician who had a bit of a following back in the ’80’s & beyond. We went to one of his concerts in a Christian music dance venue that was quite eye-opening to my Motor City raised peepers 🙂 It was surprising but we actually found some Crumbacher tapes in the local Christian bookstore where we lived in Northern Michigan when newlyweds!

I’m pretty sure there’s a brief cameo of my old roomie near the end of that music video. It’s from right around the time I saw them too :). The comments indicate that there was definitely a Christian techno-pop community in California & perhaps some of the other western states back in the day!

There’s still a dwindling Christian music sub-culture in the Detroit area that I’ve been privileged to orbit with many of my husband’s musical adventures 🙂

My husband’s 1st Christian Rock Band, Binding Faith, only put out one CD while he was a member. We went to the CD coming out party at a local street ministry facility after a grueling hospital day. My oldest son’s closest friend joined us for that event AND it was so enjoyable to see it through his eyes a bit. My kids didn’t really realize how fun & cool it was to have a Christian music “rock star” dad! They got to be roadies a lot too–fun times!2 Reply

Valerie Curren

Valerie CurrenOnlineCoyote Reply to  Valerie Curren November 7, 2021 20:28

Strange, I thought I’d included the link to Binding Faith’s page at Reverb Nation here, where you can hear their entire CD…


I played that whole album while reading along at the Q-Tree & hubby & I were getting just a bit nostalgic. I’d love to see BF have a “reunion tour” but we’re not sure if Tim’s able to handle the vocals anymore. He’s had major liver issues from very bad lifestyle choices from his BC days…Last edited 7 hours ago by Valerie Curren0 Reply

Valerie Curren

Valerie CurrenOnlineCoyote Reply to  cthulhu November 7, 2021 13:47

My husband, on bass, & the drummer, whose son did the video, are back gigging together again after quite a few years on separate projects. I still remember that concert on the lawn of a local church during their city’s street fair. Good times!


rayzorbackOfflineWolverine Reply to  Valerie Curren November 7, 2021 22:17

My kind of Music!!!!
Thanks for sharing 🙂0 Reply

Valerie Curren

Valerie CurrenOnlineCoyote Reply to  rayzorback November 8, 2021 01:56

Oh thanks for letting me know!!! Now I’ll have to look up his other bands 😉

Sorry I also included stuff on my main blog that has his music info in it to some degree. Probably went overboard because I need to sleep. Blessings!

My husband is in the lower right picture on that site. On that Dose of the Ghost song & others he helped write the lyrics (he also did some on Binding Faith), including “chaoticness” about 1:25. I use that word in the tagline of my main blog–our family life encapsulated. That Ghost song was chosen as an honorable mention for some Christian Internet radio station–fun! I think all the songs are featuring my bass babe still!

It’s not actually my husband’s bass in the Pelts recordings, though he bassically 😉 played the same bass lines. That was a very fun band too 🙂

This is his current band, he’s second from the right in the pic at top w/ the intense bad-A look in the eyes!

They aren’t keeping up the concert listings for they’ve had more gigs recently than noted. The band leader, Aaron Lucas, used to have several ReverbNation listings for other bands in Metro Detroit & my husband was briefly associated with one that was a country cross rock blues one but they never actually gigged out w/ that one yet.

Aaron, like Marty Weiblehouse of the Lively Pelts, is a very creative guitarist. They both write most of their own music & lyrics. Actually so is Mark Lenartowicz from Harken AND Greg Walker, the lead guitarist from Binding Faith, in that video I shared that your are replying too.

Michael’s Always been blessed in all these Christian Rock Band endeavors to play with some really good musicians who for the most part are about glorifying the Lord & having fun playing music!

He filled in as bassist with this band over the summer, though they were mostly playing cover tunes then. They are working on some original material AND have asked him to record with them so that project is still pending 🙂

Valerie Curren

Valerie CurrenOnlineCoyote Reply to  rayzorback November 8, 2021 02:22

I found one of Aaron’s other bands & that Pour It On Me is one of the songs my hubby does now too…


rayzorbackOfflineWolverine Reply to  Valerie Curren November 7, 2021 22:19

Vocals remind me of Stryper.0 Reply

Valerie Curren

Valerie CurrenOnlineCoyote Reply to  rayzorback November 8, 2021 01:57

Yes could be. 🙂 someone else said they thought Tim sounded like Judas Priest, iirc, but I don’t know their music so couldn’t say.

All of that above conversation started here:

Valerie Curren

Valerie CurrenOnlineCoyote Reply to  Gail Combs November 7, 2021 17:01

It’s like my dad, who joined the church choir (my mom’s lifelong passion), to join Mom & the trip to England for the Bi-Centennial choir tour, well a year early. Their large church was quite selective w/ musicians & he barely squeaked by to make the cut (they really needed guys apparently). That 3 week trip was special to them AND to us kids as we spent half w/ one set of grandparents & half with the other.

It was the last healthy summer for my dad’s mom who died of cancer 2 years later. Nearly 2 decades later I gave birth to our first son in the same hospital where my grandparents & great-aunt & uncle had all died. Talk about life from lifelessness. We still refer to him as “the Jackpine Savage” due to his Northern Michigan beginnings!

I’m thankful my brothers & I got those weeks w/ our grandparents, an unprecedented & unrepeated blessing.

From this conversation:

Valerie Curren

Valerie CurrenOnlineCoyote November 7, 2021 20:10

Random weirdness report. TrumpIsMine & I have been blog corresponding about fly fishing & trying to involve my husband. Yesterday I grabbed hubby’s phone to find the blog post where part of the conversation existed so he & TIM might interface somewhere between hunting trips & music gigs. 😉

Hubby has an Android Motorola phone on Metro PCS service. He opened the internet & it was automatically a Google search engine. I input the above blog post by name & it didn’t come up AND barely returned Any hits to my SC blog, which I’d definitely spelled out in the search: “” plus keywords.

Anyway I got into the SC blog on his phone & navigated to the Wanderings post AND it showed with only 6 comments, or technically 5 pingbacks & 1 comment…hmmm…

This made me think that I’d misremembered which post the TIM conversation had occurred on. So I went on the computer & went to the Wanderings post AND saw that it actually had 16 comments on it, including some by TIM!

So apparently Google’s censorship algorithms are so deep as to suppress a blog w/ barely any traffic AND to hide the actual comments under a given blog post!

Back to getting the post up on Michael’s phone we went to DuckDuckGo as a search engine & navigated to the post AND All of the comments I was seeing on the computer were now visible on his phone (but only One pingback, Not Five???)…

I’ve been seeing a very strange pattern of action on my blog when I check the stats periodically (something I do about as often as I have to sign into the Q-tree). I think my blog is under some type of “surveillance” since about May, iirc.

What happens is 1 or 2 entities in the “US” per the WP map, come & visit the archives 4-8 times AND a number of blog posts 2 times on some days. There is a pattern to this “intrusion” so certain posts appear with some regularity…for example:

On 11-3-21 there were 8 archive hits, & 2 each for:
Telling Tales (copied comments from the Q-Tree mostly)
Valerie’s Test Post (w/ a link to the alternate Q-Tree site)
Father’s Day Wanderings
Faith vs the Prosperity Gospel (I’d put a link to that in my Slaughter post here)

On 11-1-21 There were 6 archive hits AND 2 each for ALL of the above except:
& there were also 2 hits each on
(each of the above & Feelings are static pages linked on my home page not just blog posts)

On 10-19-21 there were some patterned intrusions but it was more difficult to split out because a few more other people also came to SC on that day

On 10-17-21 there were typical patterns plus one person from Q-Tree to Special Forces presumably in addition to 6 archive hits AND 2 each for:
About Valerie Curren & Family (another top level page accessible from home page)
Special Forces (technically 3 hits)
Telling Tales (copied Q-Tree comments)
Wolfmoon’s Q-Tree Under Attack, Here’s a Q-Tree Refugee Post for Back-up Comms

The next previous similar “intrusions” happened on 10/5, 9/23, 9/19, 9/8, 9/1, 8/26, 8/18, 8/13, 8/6 NOTE ALL of the previous dates included the Q-Tree Under Attack post which was published on 8/3…Other dates of intrusion were: 7/29, 7/28, 7/26, 7/7, 7/6, 6/25 (this date had only One visitor so All activity is likely of a probing nature) Oh AND it appears that 6/25 was the first time that this activity began, at least this year. Note many of the hits also were of a post from a while back that pointed to CTH, iirc, Damning Deep State Dives Into Darkness…hmmm…

If for some reason further info, including the exact dates & hits & URL’s involved would be helpful to Wolf, CT, Steve, or any other techie or code cracker I’d be happy to supply the requested info.

It’s a very strange & recurring pattern of “attack” that shows up more readily on my much lesser trafficked blog than what might be harder to discern here in the Wolf Den!

I’ve only done SpecialConnections blog posts Three times in 2021 AND All Three posts are directly connected to the Q-Tree. The 2 most recent posts from 2020 also point to the Q-Tree directly or indirectly.


This is partially what makes me think this strange “intrusion” pattern is connected to The Q-Tree. So???2 Reply

Valerie Curren

Valerie CurrenOnlineCoyote Reply to  Valerie Curren November 7, 2021 20:14

FWIW, I checked my posting stats on All of Wolf’s blogs where I’m an author & don’t directly see any connection to my infrequent Q-Tree Posts. I have no idea if Any Comments/Replies to other people’s posts &/or comments generated any unwelcome “spy” activity….

This conversation starts here:

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