Saturday, September 22, 2018

Saturday Slight

It's a mess on First Avenue in Sandpoint, but that's not stopping the throngs of peeps. 

I've heard recently about the piles of gravel and all the heavy equipment but saw it for the first time last night. 

We parked over on North Second and walked to MickDuffs, like we always do.  

The pub was not completely packed when we arrived, and our friend Nancy had already secured a table. 

As we visited and ate, however, the groups kept coming through the door, many after a substantial wait outside. 

Later, we walked down the street for ice cream at Panhandle Cone and Coffee.

The place was buzzing with activity as folks continued coming through the door while we sat, enjoyed our ice cream and visited with Emma and her friends.

The downtown construction is an inconvenience, but the downtown businesses have established themselves well enough that patrons are dealing with the inconvenience of walking a little more than usual.

Besides, Sandpoint is a walking town, right?

My main impression, however, after our downtown socializing last night is that our little town is on the cusp of no longer being "our little town" anymore. 

Throughout the spring and summer months, I've been amazed with the numbers of people on the sidewalks, even at times when no big event is happening. 

We've been discovered, for sure.  That's been very evident this past year.  

I hope the powers-that-be will continue to do everything possible to maintain the aspects of our community that make it so alluring for both its locals and its visitors. 

It's obvious from this summer that the massive amount of downtown road construction (Cedar Street was dug up for several week and is now paved) has not deterred the popularity of one of America's Most Beautiful Small Towns.

While at MickDuffs, I had a chance to visit briefly with three individuals I met eight years ago.  At that time Ali, Vivi and Vince were lined up in infant chairs on the floor at their parents' home. 

Well, now they are proud students and from the looks of their apparel, they're sports fans. 

I wrote a column about the Gunter triplets back then and always enjoy seeing them with Mom and Dad.  

Their dad Clint tells me he wishes now that they're a bit more independent that time would start slowing down as they continue to grow into delightful and very charming youngsters.  

Great to see them and their parents last night. 

Shortly after I post this morning, my sister Laurie will be riding in her last class at the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals, and she'll be trying for a clean sweep of five Top Ten ribbons and plaques in five classes.  

Yesterday she took sixth in a class of more than 30 entrants, noting "we fought hard for this one."  

So, good luck, Laurie and Pache.  

And, that's it for this Saturday morning. Hope everyone has a nice day. 

Ali, Vince and Vivi:  cool and sweet triplets!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Gift of Friendship, Et. Al.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Thursday This and That

A definite freeze today. 

For some reason, garden timing has been right on for me this year.  

I've gathered the last of my cukes, tomatoes and taters and have actually started cleaning up the garden.  

No bed sheets draping the garden at night this year, and I don't mind that at all cuz it's not fun removing them from the plants on frosty mornings---usually wet and smelly. 

The cold-weather veggies like the chard and lettuce ought to be just fine and maybe even thrive a little longer, so I'm pleased. 

Secondly, I must apologize for all the mix-ups regarding "live streaming" of the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals yesterday. 

We've been accustomed in some past years to just tune in and watch.  Since yesterday, however, I've learned that probably not all classes are included in live streaming, and there's a nice fee to pay to watch. 

So, sorry about any inconveniences.  

Laurie has herself two Top Ten placings after her first day of competition----fifth place in English dressage and ninth place in Western.  

I think she's probably most pleased about that ninth place because she and Pache competed against 30-plus horses from across the nation. 

And, if you can't win first place, it's really nice that a gal with a Sandpoint connection took first place in that class. Kari McClain is the daughter of Deena McFarland McClain who grew up loving horses in Sandpoint, especially down our road at the Racicot farm. 

Kari's mom Deena is second from the left. 

So, congratulations, Kari.  We are proud of you.  

And, of course, congratulations to Laurie and Pache for their great start to the week of competition. 

Today she competes in Training Level Open at 10:28 MDT. Good luck to Pache and Laurie.

In other news, I enjoyed seeing and almost feeling the excitement passed through Facebook and Twitter when our Cindy Wooden, Vatican Bureau chief for Catholic News Service, had the opportunity to meet Bono of the Irish band U2 fame. 

Bono met with Pope Francis yesterday and later with the media.  

Way to go, Cindy.

Also, in Europe, Annie has traveled from Germany to Luxembourg to Belgium and back to France today where she'll be staying for the next couple of days in Paris where she'll work remotely.

Of course, she has her Sounders scarf and has added to her collection of Sounders scarf selfies at the Rhine River. 

Looks like her trip continues to be quite successful.   

In other people news, I met and visited with a nice young lady last night while driving over to my sisters' home to feed dogs. 

Turns out I taught both of her parents when they went through Sandpoint High.  

I occasionally see Ali, riding up and down the road, but last night presented a perfect opportunity to actually meet her while snapping a few photos. 

Ali uses her Quarter Horse mare for gaming competitions and keeps her at the stable just down the road.  

We had a pleasant visit.  

It continues to be pretty, and I can still hear calves bawling for their moms as I wrap this up.  

Looks like another pretty day ahead. 

Happy Thursday. 

Laurie, waiting for her Western Dressage class yesterday.

They went on to take ninth in a field of more than 30 entrants.  

Laurie and Pache placed fifth nationally in this class at yesterday's Arabian Sport Horse Nationals in Nampa, Idaho. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Go Get'em, Laurie and Oh, What a Fall!

Good luck, you two!

It's noisy in the neighborhood this morning. 

Actually, the noise started yesterday and continues.  Taylor's across the road have apparently weaned some calves.  

Mommies and babies are sad, and they're letting everyone know. 

This will go on for a couple of days until everyone gets laryngitis or decides there's no use mooing anymore. 

Throughout the neighborhoods more signs of fall are appearing each day.  It's a while before full-blown color takes over, but great weather helps enhance the general scene along our country roads. 

Here at the Lovestead, Bill finished the dog shelter yesterday.  While he was cutting a section of tin which extended past the roof, I filled the inside with cushions and old pillows. 

Then, came the straw, lots of it.  Those doggies are gonna have cushy quarters whenever they need to get out of the weather. 

I also figured out a solution to some of area where Liam likes to dig:  rubber mats, eight of them, along the front where their food dishes will go and a walkway toward the gate.  

We still need to fill in some of Liam's handi aka paw work, but once that's done, at least the humans entering the run will have some safe walking toward the shelter.

I led off with a photo of my sister Laurie and her horse Pache.  Today they begin their quest for ribbons and more at the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals in Nampa. 

She'll ride both English and Western this morning, so it's looking like some quick changing between her two tests. 

Pache's really pretty English, but add an extra superlative to the Western combination with Laurie's black and white ensemble. 

So, if you have the time, check out those times (remember they're Mountain, so for us locals, it's 8:46 a.m.).   

You can see her two rides by going to, (fee involved)  and then there's the wait.  

Dressage is an individual sport, so results are usually posted within an hour or so after the last rider has completed their test in each class. 

According to the schedule, Laurie has four riders following her in the first class and about 30 in the second.  

So, it looks a long day of waiting for the results in that huge Western Dressage class. 

You can surf around the following website later in the day to find results. 

Anyway, good luck, Laurie and Pache.  

Happy Wednesday.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tuesday This and That

Another gorgeous fall day lies ahead. Bill and I will probably be tending to "this and that's" in preparation for our trip to Ireland.  

He's almost finished with the dog shelter in the run.  It's a lovely piece of construction, so the dogs will have a nice pad while staying in the run-----if it's not filled with mine fields. 

Liam, the digger, associates the run with the need to dig furiously into the ground for no particular reason, 'cept to dig.  

He's opened up some substantial holes out there while working as Bill's assistant.  I think Bill needs to give him some real work to do during those times, rather than just being a dog that digs. 

We may try the old chicken-wire tactic beneath the gravel ploy and see if that discourages him. 

In other news, my sisters Laurie and Barbara and brother Kevin are at the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals in Nampa this week. 

Laurie will be showing Ravenwood Hot Stuff aka Pache in classes every day through Saturday.  To keep themselves organized, they've created a white board of events, times and what needs to be done. 

So, I've posted it below for anyone who's interested in Arabian dressage at the national level.  Laurie will be riding Pache in both English and Western dressage this time.

If you want to watch her online, just go to the following website at the times indicated.  Dressage classes occur ON TIME.  In this case, the times are Mountain Daylight Time.

I'll post daily reminders of times and the website throughout the week.  

Good luck, Laurie and Pache. 


Meanwhile, along family lines, Annie has moved from France to Germany for meetings with geocoin vendors.  Yesterday, she visited Neustadt, while today she goes to Oeringun.  

I think the creator did a masterful job of designing a "Love" geocoin.  For some reason, those folks know that Annie kinda likes the Seattle Sounders. 

After one more day in Germany, she'll return to Paris and work "from home" for a couple of days.

I liked the fountain in Neustadt---definitely a sculptural conversation piece.  

Just scenes, pretty and crazy, around the Lovestadt . . . .

My friend Pam has returned to Sandpoint for this week after spending time in Kansas City at the "National GAS Rodeo."  -- if ya need to know more. 

No toots, no nose plugging----just a lot of "buff," as Pam says, with gas company workers from across the nation competing at what they do best on their respective jobs.

Pam and her friend Larry came by for a visit last night AND of course, for another crazy selfie with this lovely apple from our friend Betsy's tree. 

Twas a lovely and fun time, as usual.