Kaleb, A Young Eagle

Michael Gunn saw himself galloping in on a white horse to shower his son with gifts. Then, having his admiration, Michael would again be out of there. He miscalculated a lot of things, including Kaleb’s heart.

Presenting the last of the Gunn characters—Kaleb, the young eagle:

The-Covered-BetWas he supposed to help Grandma and Grandpa with the ropes? Shoot, he couldn’t remember what they said. He’d have to find another way home. Was it his imagination, or was life after seventeen getting complicated?


“Bet your mom reminded you to get decent food.”
“I—live with my grandparents. But yeah, that’s what Gram would say.” Kaleb smiled a little bit.

“Your name is the same as a young guy’s in Bible times. One of two allowed to go for the gold. Kaleb, it’s good to know you.”

“Yeah,” said Kaleb, “I’ve never heard anybody say stuff like that before.”


Kaleb swung around, his green eyes leveled at his dad’s. “You don’t know —” His voice cracked. “How many times I heard Mom cry at night. You just don’t know.”


All he remembered was someone telling him to yell, “Jesus, help!” when he was in trouble.  This was the time to give it a try. He took a big breath, and yelled, “Jesus! Help!” And then he couldn’t keep back the tears.


Obediently, Hawk and Kaleb each took a stump and picked, the silence broken only by the sound of the wind as it brushed the ridge, moaning a minor key in the firs.

Kaleb straightened up, gazing out to sea.  “Gram, do you believe in premonitions?”


He loved Gram, but she was Gram.  She wasn’t a mom with sparkly eyes and long hair, of whom he’d be secretly proud when she came to school.


“Kaleb, for our assignment, which seventeenth-century playwright did you choose?”
“I see you are preoccupied but apparently not with playwrights. Amber, do you have a presentation?”
Amber glanced at Kaleb, her mouth curving downward in an “I’m sorry” smile.


The guy next to him, yelled in Kaleb’s ear, “Your stop, gas-brain. Out!”  He pushed, sending Kaleb sprawling. Everyone laughed.

Lurching down the aisle and out the doors, Kaleb turned at the edge of the blacktop for a split second to look at the yellow dinosaur grinding down the road. Man, when he got his Mustang he would give that bus and everyone on it the bird. Just thinking about it made him feel better.


Kaleb Gunn, a teen who shares the problems of too many of today’s young people. Within The Covered Bet’s pages you’ll see decisions he makes and see the outcome of each. Have you met a Kaleb?  Please comment on your view of him. How important do you think he might be to the story?

Whether you are a Kaleb—whether you know or love one—may you have a week of discernment and wise decisions.

What Day Is It?

A winter morning. A cozy bed. Sometimes we need an incentive. Fresh brewed coffee helps. As does knowing this is a special day. To that end, here’s motivation to get moving. Plus help in to celebrating the next few days. You’re welcome. Happy to bear interesting information. :)

February 21:  Mother Language Day

My mother’s mother’s language. (Make sense?) I’m part Finnish and have yet to learn the language. Got myself in situations because I didn’t remember what my grandmother taught me. Don’t you have that problem. Today, surprise people. Speak her language. How about: “Haluaisitko tanssia kanssani?”


February  22:  Banana Bread Day

I couldn’t find a picture of banana bread. Our family doesn’t care for it so no recipe. If you enjoy it (which is normal,) I’m sure you don’t need an explanation or photo to inspire you. Bake up a few loaves and take to your office or have your children distribute in school. You’ll be popular!

February 23:  Melba Toast Day

Melba-ToastMelba toast is dry, crisp and thin. Best if topped with melted cheese or dipped in yummy sauce. Did you know it was named after an opera singer—Dame Nellie Melba? Her chef created it. Must be why Hollywood actresses used to claim Melba toast and cottage cheese made them look svelte. For awhile in my teens I fell for that.


Like everything, it’s better fresh. Here’s a basic, easy recipe for your lunch:

  • a long thin French bread baguette
  • butter, softened
  • fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Slice loaf into 1/4-inch slices. Spread slices with butter then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place on a cake rack or other rack over a baking sheet, so drips will be caught and air will move around the slices. Bake at 325° for about 20 minutes, or until dry and very crispy. Now, bring on more melted cheese.

February 24:  Tortilla Chip Day

TortillaThere would never be another Super Bowl or New Year’s Eve party if there were no tortilla chips.  Give me a bowl of mild guacamole and I’m set for whatever comes my way. What is your favorite?

As with Melba toast, fresh is better. Here’s an easy way to make great corn tortilla chips:


Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Stack small or medium tortillas one on top of the other. With your kitchen scissors, cut in 4 slices like a pizza.
Spread in single layer on cookie sheet at least ¼ “ apart. (Otherwise they’ll be chewy.)
Shake salt and your choice of paprika, chili powder, cumin, etc. (If you want a special treat, try cinnamon & sugar! My kids love that !)
Bake 8-12 minutes. Check to see if chips are getting crispy and golden on edges.
Remove and let cool 5-10 minute to fully crisp. OLE!

February 25:  Clam Chowder Day

ClamGrowing up on the Pacific NW coast, many Saturday mornings were spent on the beach, in high rubber boots, on my hands and knees, playing tug-of-war with a razor clam doing its best to dig to China. Then there was no limit to how many we could tote home, so dozens of tugs-of war later, we spent the afternoon cleaning the long, narrow strips of meat, promptly breading and frying them for dinner.

Other clam parts went in a chowder made with bacon and potatoes. I didn’t know there was any other kind of until my husband said he liked Manhattan style. After that shock  I met Ivar, from Seattle, who opened restaurants and made money with great chowder from Puget Sound type clams.

All good, but to celebrate this day, here is a recipe for, in my estimation, still the best clam chowder in the world.  If you don’t have hard-to-get razor clams, use what you can get—even canned. Am also including instructions for making it into Manhattan or Coney Island.

 Northwest Clam Chowder

(Local native Americans used camas roots and bear fat for this chowder. Whatever your preference.)


  • 2 ½ cups diced potatoes
  • 1 ½ cups chopped sweet onion
  • ¼ cup finely chopped carrots
  • 2-3 cups half-and-half
  • 3 slices cut-up, cooked bacon
  • 3 cans or 1 pint fresh chopped clams
  • 2-4 Tbls butter, divided
  • arrowroot powder to thicken
  • (Optional-2 bottles clam juice.)

In a large pan either sauté potatoes and carrots in part of the butter til browned, or pre- boil them and move to that pan to brown. Add onions and bacon. Heat till onions are soft. Melt in the rest of the butter. Stir in flour until everything is coated. Then pour in juice from the clams plus extra bottles juice if desired. Add the clams. Heat through, stirring constantly. Into this stir 2 cups half-and-half. Mix 2-3 Tbs arrowroot with the last cup of milk until smooth. Stir into the pan until thickened. Should serve 6 but don’t count on it!

Other Color Clam Chowder
Use strained tomatoes in place of the half-in-half. (I don’t mind it if it’s mixed with the milk—smoother taste.)


My friends, you have joy for the next four days and you’re in the groove. Have fun with it.  I’d love to hear your comments on your mother’s language.  Would love to hear your comments on what kind of clam chowder you like—even if you hate it! Would just love to hear from you.

People enjoyed Jesus because he was not only compassionate and helpful. He was fun to be around.

This week, may we make fun where there isn’t any.