Friday, October 20, 2017

Tulsa Bound

Starting today, you can expect posting times on this blog to be a little erratic for a while. 

By tonight, I'll be two time zones away, and tomorrow morning, the usual blog posting time will be filled with collective expectation, a few nerves and a whole lot of pride as my sisters compete on the national level with Barbara's Half Arabian gelding Dusty aka Ravenwood Dunin Style. 

Debbie and I are flying to Tulsa today to join my sisters and brother Kevin at the U.S. Arabian Nationals.  

We'll be staying the weekend to watch Barbara and Laurie perform with Dusty in at least three classes. Those classes start early in the morning each day.

Our job: to enjoy the moments and to cheer them on. 

Competition for them actually starts today with Barbara riding in a Western Trail class sometime around noon Tulsa time.  

So, we'll miss that class because we'll be in the air but certainly will be keeping our fingers crossed. 

As mentioned before, years of work, learning, training, competing and a constant vision toward "touching the stars" have led toward this experience.  

Plus, there's an extended cheering section around the country and "from above" of admiring friends and family who have watched my sisters on their remarkable horse journeys over the years. 

Those fans will be hoping for the best as Barbara and Laurie compete at the highest level with Dusty. 

And, good news:  the show will be live-streamed.  

Last night, Barbara posted the following information on Facebook:  Here is the link to the live stream of the Nationals show. Remember, Tulsa is 2 hours ahead of us.…/li…/pavilion-arena/livestream

When you scroll down the page you can find the arena for the class, the day, and the class. Choose the camera. If you miss it you can come back (sometimes the next day) and click the camera to watch the recording.

With the uncertainty of wi-fi availability and of available time, I'll post my blog entries whenever it's possible over the next three days. 

Thanks for your patience, and, if all goes well, I can post some neat photos of Barbara, Laurie, Dusty with pretty ribbons and trophies. 

Many, many thanks to Bill and Willie for helping out with chores and making this trip possible. 

Off to Tulsa!  Happy Friday, and best of luck to the Tibbs sisters from Sandpoint, Idaho.  

Thursday, October 19, 2017

TBT and Happy Birthday, Precious

It's Annie aka Precious aka Mia Wallace's special day.  

Both Mom and Dad wish our precious daughter a very Happy Birthday.  

For those who know her better as Mia Wallace, I do not believe she was wearing flipflops in this picture.  

That trend came later.  Flipflops or not, she sure was cute.  Still is, as a matter of fact, as you can see from this recent photo, which I love.  

I'm also betting she's wearing flipflops in this one. 

Hope you have a wonderful day, Flipflop Annie!

The other day when I took a ZAGS poster to our friend Jeannie, memories of this day came up in the conversation.  Jeannie, in the shorts, works in fire control for the Idaho Department of Lands.  Her husband Rik was one of my colleagues for at least a couple of decades at Sandpoint High School. 

One of their three sons, Chase in the photo, was an English student in my classes when I taught out in the portables.  At the time, he was a sophomore.

Later, when Chase was about to graduate, Jeannie sent Bill and me an invitation to come to Chase's "giveaway" party.  I figured it was just a graduation party but soon found out, after Jeannie kept quizzing me if I was coming, that it was much more than a graduation party.

In keeping with a Gros Ventre Indian tribal tradition, Chase invited mentors who, he felt, had made a difference along his educational path.  When we arrived at the party, which included a steak dinner with all the accessories, other special mentors were there too.  They included two other teachers, a soccer coach and a neighbor. 

Each of us received gifts of appreciation from Chase, including individualized star quilts, sweet grass, and, in my case, beaded earrings. 

Each of us was also blown away by the tradition and the spirit of the party. Twas an event I'll never forget and will always appreciate.  

I told Jeannie the other day I'd run across this photo and would post it today on Throwback Thursday.  So, once more, Jeannie, Rik and Chase, thank you for a very meaningful memory. 

And, of course, GO, ZAGS!

 My friend Trish is pretty busy these days as editor of the upcoming issue of Sandpoint Magazine, so I figured I'd give her a quick break back into the past when we all gathered at the Bonner Mall for the Chick-o-Stick eating contest. 

Proceeds benefitted the troops overseas, and we had a few veterans show up to support the event.  

A truly fun and delicious time was had by all. 

Good luck, Trish, as you finish up all that eyeball work on the magazine.  Heck, I'll have to bring you a Chick-o-Stick, and we can celebrate the grand finale of your hard work!

The Train Wreck in old '97.  That's what I call this scene, depicting one of the sights when a train derailed across from our place on Great Northern Road.  

When they needed a place to move all that lumber, the railroad officials asked if they could use our pasture.  So, they tore down the fence, moved the lumber to a large pile and eventually burned it. 

In return, we received a new, well-built fence and our pick of some of the salvageable boards.  We still have a pile of those boards and used some for construction of a new box stall in the barn last summer. 

There were some interesting happenings dealing with covetous souls in the aftermath of that derailment.  Some folks were mighty surprised at times when we'd surprise them from behind the lumber pile as they stood in our field figuring out what they were going to take.  

We experienced a definite weather transition yesterday after the wind storm of the day before.  Rain started to fall in the early afternoon, and it has fallen pretty steadily ever since.  

So along with the falling rain come thousands of falling leaves and soon to be gone are the striking colors of autumn like the one below.  This is my sister's horse off HWY 95, taken yesterday afternoon with the first raindrops. 

At least the rain is warm for now, but we're told it will cool down considerably by the weekend------for some of us, anyway.  More on that tomorrow. 

Happy Thursday. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wild Afternoon in the Neighborhood

                                                                                                    ---Kerry Berg Photo

Did I suggest in yesterday's post that it's never dull in our neighborhood?  

I don't know if that comment was a precursor for what was yet to come, but the most dramatic action of the day occurred yesterday afternoon and early evening. 

I received a text from my sisters, announcing "We're in Oklahoma!" while driving over to put their dogs in the house, just in case the predicted gusty winds turned out to be as advertised.  

It was definitely the calm before the storm, but those turkeys in the photo below seemed to have an inkling that something unsettling was about to happen. They had a strategy going:   best, travel in a large group and stay close together. 

Later, I saw the same behavior among a herd of deer in my front yard.  Animals sense these things. 

I had stopped along the roadside to take their photo when I received the text.  To which I wrote back:  Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain.

Laurie agreed to that, and then I told them the wind was just starting to sweep down the plain along Center Valley Road. 

I put the dogs in, and by the time I arrived home, that wind was whooping it up.  So, I told my dogs to come to the house and spent the rest of the afternoon peeling apples for applesauce. 

Later, while munching on some pizza, I was watching the news where talking heads were going at it.  Hearing a siren, I figured it must have been on the TV until suddenly I saw flashing lights and a fire truck racing past. 

Of course, out here in the neighborhood, folks could possibly be accused of ambulance chasing cuz wherever those emergency vehicles are headed, we probably know the people. 

So, I dashed out to the road and saw the engine stop up by Jack Filipowski's barn.  Worried that something might have happened to Jack, I jumped in the car and, by the time I reached his place, the engine had gone up the road and had turned into our neighbor Anne Coward's driveway.  

I saw a white pickup just up the road with lights flashing.  It was Jack, and he was keeping an eye on things.  He told me a fire had started at the place behind Anne's. 

This morning I know much more about what happened.  Anne told me that Kerry Berg, a neighbor, supplied the aerial photo and that she and a friend bought the land behind her 40 acres, which has returned her place back to its original 80 acres.

She also told me that the fire started after a tree fell on a power line and spread quickly.  Fortunately, someone was hunting in the area and called authorities soon after the fire started.

Those winds, however, (with some gusts reportedly clocked at 70 mph over on Lake Pend Oreille) caused damage all around the area.

This morning, Bill urged me to drive past Murray's place on my way to feed my sisters' dogs. Murrays live less than a quarter mile from our house, and Bill wanted me to see the downed trees which he had passed last night on his way home from a meeting. 

The trees are pictured below.  They too came in contact with a power line.  Ironically, we never lost power here, but folks east of us did. 

All afternoon, I also kept an eye on the slash burns along a mountainside west of HWY 95 and just north of my sisters' place.  

As winds continued, that scene evolved from a series of about three streams of smoke to a very noticeable and billowy plume. Bill said fire crews were sent up there also. 

So, it was a crazy and active day in the neighborhood from start to finish.  This morning, we'll walk around and assess how many trees might have fallen in our forest and begin the task of cleaning up all the debris which as been strewn about. 

Again, never a dull moment and, as always, alert folks in the neighborhood and professional crews did their part in seeing that a bad situation did not get worse.  

For that, we are all thankful. 

Happy Wednesday. 


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Slideon Inn; The Price Is Right

It was a joyful "reaching of their destination" last night when Dusty and the Gang rolled on into Edson, Kansas, just inside the state border, for a night's stop-over at the SlideonInn.

My sisters Barbara, Laurie and my brother Kevin had been sitting most of the day after leaving Cody, Wyo., while Dusty stood inside the horse trailer throughout long drive through Wyoming, Nebraska and Colorado.

So, a comfortable, convenient and classy place to stay, where peeps could sleep not far away from their tired horse friend, turned out to be a very grand finale to a long day of driving. 

The lady who runs the place even owns a zebra, so travelers get a cosmopolitan experience as well as a pretty fancy place to stay.

Barbara told me this morning that Dusty did not want to load into the trailer.  

Can you blame him?  He probably figured that his night in the SlideonInn was about as good as it was gonna get, so why leave.

Anyway, they're driving down the road bound for Tulsa today.  My sisters said today's trip should last no more than seven hours.  Then, they'll pull in to Tulsa Expo Square where the show will start later this week. 

Their arrival today gives them two days to get grounded and acquainted with the facility.  Plus, Dusty will get to loosen up from his four days of travel. 

In the meantime, while Dusty and his gang of three peeps were putzing on down the road toward their destination in Western Kansas, over in Los Angeles, Annie Love was hoping to to hear, "Annie Love, Come on Down." 

She planned well for her lifelong dream of visiting the set of the game show and hoping to win a spot as a contestant.  The latter was not to be, but she did receive a shout-out from host Drew Carey who saw his photo (with Annie) on the front of her T-shirt.

Timing couldn't have been better as Drew Carey's Seattle Sounders MLS soccer squad had just sealed the deal for this year's play-offs. And, to have a diehard fan in the audience---that should have sealed Annie's deal, but . . . maybe next time. 

Anyway, she was pretty thrilled to show of her Sounders scarf in one more venue.  I'm guessing that there is not a human in the whole wide world who has promoted the Sounders to the degree Annie has----too many countries to mention and now a game show added. 

While all that was going on, Bill was headed for the Moyie and I took off for a lovely afternoon of chasing down more fall photos.  There has been so much beauty in the air that I am a day behind on posting the many gorgeous scenes this season has provided. 

This morning's collection varies from the Pack River area, to Upper Samuels, to North Kootenai Road, McArthur Lake and finally the Lovestead. 

Once more, I'll repeat:  we are blessed.  

Adding to that, I'd say we live in a fascinating neighborhood.  While heading over to my sisters' this morning to feed their doggies, I pulled on to Center Valley Road to meet our neighbor Jim who was walking his three pups.

While stopping to talk with him, I noticed rigs coming out of the farm on the corner (the old Burt place). Folks from the "Radio Flash" movie set were taking off, as their filming at the farm has been completed.  

While talking to Jim, I saw that he was talking to his girlfriend in England.  

So, he held the phone inside the car window and I got to hear firsthand about one person's experience when yesterday's Hurricane Ophelia blew through the British Isles. 

All this neighborhood activity happened before 6:30 a.m. We may live in the country, but it's rarely dull out here. 

Enjoy the photos below, and Happy Tuesday. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Twas the Best of Days

Judging from what I've read on Facebook this morning, it was a very good day yesterday, at least for most folks in this area who were taking fall train rides, enjoying lake cruises, riding the trails and just plain enjoying the outdoors. .  

Perfect weather with pleasantly comfortable temperatures and just plain magnificent and stunning views in every direction.

My day included baking an applesauce cake (easy with spice cake mix and applesauce instead of water), picking some more apples, washing windows, picking up more leaves, playing with dogs and taking pictures in and around the neighborhood. 

Bill spent the afternoon cutting wood over Priest River way. 

No complaints, whatsoever, and total enjoyment from dawn 'til dusk.  Not often we can experience a day like that. 

This morning I started a new temporary morning chore.  After giving Festus his breakfast and his shot, handing Kiwi her arthritis pills and taking the horses to pasture, I'll be driving each day to my sisters' house to feed their beloved doggies and turning them out into their run with brand new dog houses for the day. 

In the evenings, Debbie will be providing Meggie and Jessie their tender loving care. 

This morning, while driving past the barn, I met Nancy of the "Nancy and Angela show."  They're trading off on taking care of horses and stalls while my sisters are gone.   

Nancy had arrived about 5:30 a.m. and was headed off to her day job, so we enjoyed a brief visit. 

Just for Barbara and Laurie's knowledge, I'll say that all is going well with the troops at Tibbs Arabians and that those doggies eat their breakfast really fast.

My sisters, brother Kevin and Dusty, the gelding,  stayed in Cody, Wyoming, last night, and they'll be headed for a "horse hotel" just inside Kansas  where they can bunk down above Dusty's stall tonight.   

We're all looking forward to hearing a few tales of their travels and, of course, seeing some photos.  If all goes well, they'll be pulling in to Tulsa sometime tomorrow and getting the lay of the land at the national show venue. 

Bill's heading off for a Sandpoint Tree Committee meeting in a few minutes, and I'm noticing, with the daylight, that we have another beautiful day ahead. 

Loving every minute of this glorious weather. 

Happy Monday. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Cold to the Bone, and STOP THAT HURDLING!

It's way too early for this much snow and such cold days.  

The annual leaf pickup and haul off began yesterday-----once the lawnmower decided to start.  As usual, this project will continue for the next few weeks, weather permitting. 

As I told Bill, the more I pick up now, the fewer there'll be later and the less likelihood of their freezing to the ground.   

With maple, poplar, oak and cottonwood trees around our buildings, we have more than our share of leaves to gather up each year. 

The job has been much easier the past few years when the lawnmower bags and scoop are working and when the lawmower starts.

It has been SO cold the past few days that starting the mower takes some tender loving care cuz the battery thinks it's winter hibernation time. 

Eventually, the mower fired up, and while doggies watched from the run and Bill gathered up some more wood down in the woods, I took off across the lawn.  

Twas a cold, cold job and after a while, my fingers---even inside of gloves----threatened to quit functioning.

About ten trips to and from the lawn later, most of yesterday's accumulation of leaves had been chopped up and thrown into piles at various dump spots around the place. 

And, if that job wasn't cold enough, I followed through on a promise later by attending my first Bulldog football game where the brand new grandstand opened earlier this year. 

The place is impressive, to say the least, but I learned right away that I'm either old or the climb from one row to the next is a little more challenging than what we experienced for a lifetime at the old grandstand.  

Please tell me there IS more distance involved in lifting one's leg up into the next row.  Whatever the case, it took me two tries, and, luckily, I succeeded on the second.  

Later, I noticed that the designers included pathways with rails to grab at the ends of each row AND even later, chose that route rather than stepping down and falling forward and going splat onto the new cement base.

Last night's game pitted the middle school Bulldog red-and-white team against the green team.  

Nobody around me seemed to know who the Bulldogs were playing, so I suggested we call them the Martians, to which one fan gently chided me by saying, "Usually, they (the mascots) are animals."  

I thought about that for a minute and decided not to challenge her comment with query of "How do we know Martians aren't animals?"  

I went to the first Bulldog football game in years on a cold, cold night because my neighbors told me that Boston would be playing. 

Not the Red Sox, mind you, but Boston, who was wearing No. 23 in a red and white uniform.  Boston, who's 13, plays guard for the Bulldogs. 

SHE lives down Selle Road from us. A while back, she, her sister Terra (of Lefty fame) and mom Tricia stood in my driveway one evening where a majority of conversation centered on Boston's first year as a gridiron player and her aspirations to one day play in the NFL. 

Boston is one of two girls playing for the Bulldog squad, which I'm told, have generally played together since they were iddy biddy Bullpups----with the exception of Boston, of course. 

Upon leaving, they promised me they'd let me know when Boston was playing at home. So, last night, I met up with Terra and Tricia and later dad Trent and watched the Bulldogs take the field against the visiting Martians.

It was soon evident that the years of experience of playing together were gonna pay off for the Bulldogs.  They led every time I looked at the scoreboard.  

That doesn't mean they weren't behind at any time, but when you're participating in or listening to conversations in an immediate 360 degrees and deep, scary shout-outs from "informed" male voices at the top of the grandstand, it's easy to get distracted from scoreboard happenings.

When suddenly the Bulldogs led 24-to a whole lot fewer points, I announced that I must have missed something.  To which Tricia, who was mentoring Steve and his family, who'd never ever attended a football game until last night, informed me that the quarterback ran it all the way to the end zone. 

Must've missed that one, I thought. 

Well, I did bundle up for the game, wearing four layers under my coat and a Sounders scarf and some gloves, but those jeans just weren't packing it as the teams continued to go back and forth down the field, and Boston ran back and forth into the game for brief periods. 

At one time while realizing I was freezing to the numb stage, I looked at the scoreboard with relief, thinking that the second quarter had sure zipped by fast.  

Oops, I had been looking at the wrong number.  No, by golly, we were still in the first quarter, and we'd already been sitting there for nearly 45 minutes. 

I'm guessing that when those players are that young, they probably make more mistakes than their high school counterparts whenever they scrimmage, so the refs are pretty busy and the clock stops a lot!

It kept stopping over and over again, and when a ref yelled that "hurtling" was a foul worth 15 yards, everyone in the crowd first asked, "What's hurdling?" 

Then, the uninformed chorus, without exactly pinpoint timing, commented, "I didn't know you couldn't leap over another player."

Well, no, you can't!  

According to the Internet armchair quarterbacks:  Hurdling IS illegal in the NFL and it is similar to the NCAA rule. 

Hurdling is defined as jumping over an opponent that has no other body part besides at least one foot on the ground. Basically, you cannot jump over another player who is standing. 

After several such comments within my 360-degree area, I finally announced:  No, you're just supposed to step on them; then you won't get a penalty. 

So what if I had no idea what I was talking about: people laughed, and when you laugh, that keeps you warm. 

Finally, in the second quarter other people besides me started looking at the scoreboard for information other than the ever-growing team scores.  

They, too, were wondering how much time was left in this game, and I'm betting their legs were getting cold too. 

Well, the last two minutes of the second quarter lasted for about 20, and I think we even heard of a second case of hurdling.  

I figured that since it was pushing 8 p.m. in a game that started at 6:45 sharp, I could politely excuse myself and head on my way. So, I did with the Bulldogs ahead at the half by 20 points. 

By the time I arrived home, my legs and feet had not yet thawed out, so I jumped in a hot tub, and that did the trick. 

It was actually a fun experience seeing the new grandstand and visiting with a much younger football crowd, or maybe I should say more unfamiliar crowd than I've been accustomed to in past Bulldog games-----probably at least 15 years ago. 

Still, I'm happy to say that there is definitely generational lineage coming up through the ranks, with names like Vandenberg and Bopp and Benefield spotted on the backs of those red-and-white jerseys, so the hometown appeal is still alive and well in Sandpoint. 

Plus, it looks like a bright future for the Bulldogs. 

I just don't know if it's the same in Martianville. 

Today is a warmer day, and that is good and leaf collecting may be a bit more comfortable. 

Happy Sunday.