Thursday, April 24, 2014

No Raining on This Geocaching Parade . . . .

First moments of "hands on" geocaching for my cousin Rita and her husband Jerry.  They came up from the Tri-Cities to learn about geocaching from Bill.  While they learned preliminaries at our house, the sun was shining brightly.

As we headed east, dark ominous clouds were getting ready to greet us.  A cold pounding rain had started by the time we drove through Hope, but nobody let the weather conditions get in the way of Rita and Jerry having a great time on their first geocaching adventure.

During the outing, which ended with the sun's return, they found five caches.

Today it's raining even harder, but we're hoping that by the time we get started geocaching at Farragut, things will dry out and Rita and Jerry will feel totally confident with their new sport. 


While we stood along the side of the highway where Jerry found his first cache, cars were whipping by on one side and a big freight was headed east along the Montana Rail Link tracks. 


While Rita was closely watching her GPS, I was admiring the scenery with my camera.  That's what makes geocaching so much fun, even on rainy, cold days. 




My cousin Rita happily signals her first find, a Loblolly Love cache at Henderson Ranch. 




Actually, the thumbs up was orchestrated for the geocaching/thumbs-up queen Annie Love who works for the compnay in Seattle which manages the geocaching.com website, etc. 




Cold and wet in them there hills southeast of Clark Fork.


Just another pretty view  at Henderson Ranch while caching.  We had rain; the mountains had snow. 


The clue for this cache said something about "thorny."


Bill and Jerry talk over the day's geoacaching experience. 

We later met Willie and Debbie for a nice dinner at Hope's Sweet Lou's, which opened for the season Tuesday. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Farmers Don't Like Mud, et. al.


North Idaho's Mother Nature (Iz her name really 'Wicked'?) has won out again. I just received word that the weather forecast, which can be believed when it includes rain, calls for rain every day through Saturday.  

With that in mind, the Panhandle Antique Tractor Club and the Bonner County Historical Society have decided to postpone "Plow Day" indefinitely.  

If that oozing mud which I ran into the other night with my new lawnmower is any indication of what the tractor drivers would incur Saturday, they could end up with a field of mud soup, dotted with colorful but dirty-and-stuck antiques. 

And, it could get even dirtier, trying to pull those machines and their plows out of the mud.  

I speak with authority, based on the time I thought I saw a wolf and drove my van into a hub deep mudhole to make sure it was a wolf and not just some mean-looking neighbor dog.

The Larry Book family, who brought every motorized vehicle they owned to pull me out, can tell you how much fun it is take the rigs home in mud splattered clothes after finally urging Marianne's van onto dry ground. 

So, it's probably a good decision for the tractor owners to put off plowing for a while----maybe next fall. 

Speaking of fields, my sisters are pretty mad cuz last week some idiot (like Marianne) drove a rig through their north hay field----all the way across their hay field----obviously having to slow down at the south end when the rig sank hub deep into the mud. 

It would have been interesting watching them escape----better yet, catching them, muddy-handed. 

Anyway, it's that time of year when planning anything outside around our area requires at least a dozen contingency plans.  

Bill and I have decided NOT to cancel our plans for the next two days.  My cousin and her husband are coming up from the Tri-Cities to learn and practice geocaching. 

She called me last week concerned about the weather forecast for this week and wondering if we ought to postpone our geocaching adventures until June.  

Knowing June in North Idaho the way I do, I balked, thinking it doesn't matter if it's April, May, June or half of July, if you plan to do something outside in advance, you can severely influence the weather.  

It WILL rain OR snow.  

And, with geocaching, one usually doesn't have to pull out a stuck rig.  Usually. 

We have to be downright sneaky around here and plan our outdoor events on the spot before Mother Nature (aka Wicked) has time to round up some dark, black clouds filled with rain and run them over our heads.  After all, Seattle needs its rain too!

So, I told my cousin to bring her rain gear.  Bill and I will take them places that don't involve long walks in the rain.  If we have rain breaks, we'll take long walks to some of the geocaches. 

When it's all over, Rita and Jerry will either love geocaching or they won't.  And, they'll either come back to visit us in Sandpoint or they won't.  We'll do our best to influence the "will's" rather than the "won't's." 

This morning Bill, Debbie and I are invited to an indoor event so it can rain from 11-12 while we're enjoying a volunteer appreciation luncheon at Farmin-Stidwell Elementary School.  

Should be fun and dry.  Our luck it will be dry while we eat,  and raindrops will commence falling on our heads the minute we leave the school and set off on the geocaching adventure. 

If you're reading this, please don't share my thoughts with Mother Nature aka Wicked.  She might get really mad and send us some extra penance. 

Happy Wednesday. 


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday Twitterdeedripdrip




All the photos above were taken within five minutes of each other this morning.  That vast dark cloud in the last has now wiped away the sun which cast a stunning light on the budding birch tree and wiped away any ideas of using the mower in the top photo. 

We're experiencing another of the many weather changes that occur during the "longing season" of North Idaho springs.  Everyone longs for those nice days promised the week before which haven't exactly delivered. 

Oops, I need to correct myself.  When rain is promised in the spring, it usually delivers, and we're getting a good supply right now. 

Grass will get greener and higher before the new "zero turn" mower gets another chance to survive its new owner.

Actually, Tony, my repairman, survived yesterday shortly after he showed me the basics of how to sit on the mower, push the "smart switch" and push the arms to get the thing going. 

Sounded simple enough when Tony said, "Push forward to go forward, pull back to go backward or slow down, pull the left arm to go left and the right arm to go right."

That all made sense. 

Tony also advised pulling the arms toward me and pushing them off to the side should I sense any trouble brewing.

So, I climbed on, tapped the smart button and pushed off across the yard.  

Within seconds, I had wiped out three large decorative bricks around the kennel garden. Fortunately, Tony was on the other side of the bricks, a safe distance away to begin giggling like a baby. 

He was nice enough to come over and put the bricks back in their place.

"Glad Bill isn't here to watch," I said.

"You can take it slow while you're practicing," Tony reminded me, "and do let those arms go if you anticipate trouble."

Well, I didn't wipe out any more bricks, and Tony, who's limping cuz he fell off a roof and broke his leg New Year's Day, managed to stay far enough away to avoid any further injury to his healing body. 

Plus, the mower with its $3,000 pricetag is still in one piece.

Slowly, I got the idea, and before Tony left, I was getting the hang of the new mower and smiling. 

Tony was also smiling.  He had his check and was safely inside his van as he pulled away with our lame Troy-Bilt rototiller and the broken red lawnmower, which were basically taking up space, to be used by the new Husqvarna. 

Later, after dinner, I decided to do some more practicing on the lawn west of the barn. All was going well until I reached a somewhat deceiving section of lawn near the manure pile.

It did NOT look that wet, but when the new mower's wheels dug in and started spinning wet muck all over the place, I almost cried.

Fortunately, again, Bill was inside the house and could not see my dilemma out behind the barn.  Well, Tony had also installed a new battery in the 4-wheeler, which hadn't been working lately.

I figured that now was the time for the 4-wheeler to have its first job since taking a dead battery vacation.  I gathered up some chains, hooked them to the front of the new mower, put the 4-wheeler in 4-wheel, pulled and prayed.  

God was good to me.  The 4-wheeler pulled the new mower out of the mud, and nothing broke.  The best part was that Bill still hadn't come out of the house.

He won't know about that dilemma until he reads the blog today. 

A rainy day with the new mower is probably a good thing.  That means it should stay all in one piece for at least two more days-----well, maybe five----cuz all this rain means mowers might get stuck in the mud again.

Anyway, that expenditure is taken care of, and Tony guarantees that lawn mowing will go much faster with the zero-turn machine----as long as I don't run into any bricks or buildings, that is!

On another note, the annual spring ITCH has returned.  I woke up scratching my neck about 10 p.m. last night and got up several times in the night to dab the area with a cold wash cloth. That seems to calm it down long enough for me to fall asleep until the itch gets going again.

I'm now figuring my new-found allergy has a lot to do with lawn mowing and spring dirt work. 

It ain't fun, but with this being the third year that the itch has started right around Earth Day, I'm starting to see a connection.  Plus, I've learned how to keep it somewhat in check with benadryl and Allegra until it dies down long about June.

Fun and games at the Lovestead; they never end.  

Happy Tuesday. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Antique Tractor Plow Day: A Benefit


It's a "two for one" this Saturday, April 26 at the former University of Idaho Extension grounds.

The Panhandle Antique Tractor Club (PATC) is teaming up with the Bonner County Historical Society to enhance a field via an historical touch and to enhance the Historical Society fund targeted for construction of an exhibit hall in Kootenai.

PATC members with their classic tractors and accessories will be working up a field at the old "experiment station" while museum members will be cooking up hamburgers and hotdogs at the concession stand.  Admission is free, at this event which begins at 9 a.m., or even earlier for all tractor lovers.  

And, yes, donation containers will be available all day, if you'd like to help with funding for the Kootenai-based exhibit hall on property which will allow the museum to store and display more and larger items, including some antique farm equipment.  

Around a dozen antique tractors will be on display, and PATC members are always happy to talk about their tractors.

As museum members say, "Bring the whole family and enjoy the spring sunshine (they've guaranteed sun for Saturday) while you watch a selection of antique tractors, like those pictured, working up the soil and preparing it for planting. 

Antique tractor action will be going throughout the day at the grounds, located at 4205 North Boyer Avenue in Sandpoint.  Off street parking is available.

Also, if you're a supporter of all things historical who can't make it to Saturday's event but would like to donate toward this cause, you can always contact the Bonner County Heritage Museum at 208-263-2344 or email bchs@frontier.com.   

You can send donations to Bonner County Historical Society & Museum, 611 South Ella Avenue, Sandpoint, Idaho 83864

You can learn more about the museum and its activities by visiting http://www.bonnercountyhistory.org/

Pass the word about plow day.  It's always a lot of fun, as are the folks who operate those tractors!




Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday Slightly Lovely

Bill and I spent the afternoon driving to and from Spokane yesterday to bring Lefty and Lily home.  Monty rode Lily while we were there.  She performs beautifully and willingly.

He has also worked with her almost daily, trying to get her over her fear of electric clippers.  He has managed to clip her ears for the first time since she left Oklahoma seven years ago, and her face looks quite elegant up close and personal.

It's a slow process convincing an animal that the clipping job is not going to hurt them.  We suspect that something happened when she was younger and being shown all the time.  For some reason, just the sight of clippers sets Lily off.

Yesterday, however, she was reluctant but somewhat cooperative.  So, I'll keep the gradual process going.  Maybe some day Lily will follow me around the barnyard, begging for a clip job, much like my Rambo and Casey used to do.

It's kinda sad because they loved their clip jobs; couldn't get enough of them, in fact.

Lefty's pal Madison was there when we picked up the horses.  She seemed a bit sad to see Lefty go as she rode him almost every day and, "I like his lope," she told us.

I thanked Madison for doing exactly what I wanted with from Lefty:  kid proof.

Both horses loaded quietly and willingly into the trailer and walked out quietly and willingly to their barnyard where that young grass appeared growing around the barnyard appeared to be "Yum, Yum."

Nice to have them home. 




A little frost on the petals, but that's not deterring these perennial blossoms from brightening up the front yard. 


The Lovestead animal kingdom is copacetic on this fine Saturday morning.  Horses are home.  Dogs have jobs.  Festus, the kitty, can escape dogs looking for a job.  And, robins’ red breasts are expanding.
 
It’s the ultimate of spring days with crystalline and delicately beautiful reminders of winter’s last frosty grip.

This day before Easter will see outdoor busyness here in Selle, as dogs will run the barnyard fence, making sure those horses behave themselves, and humans work away at spring tasks.

My list today includes a trip to a greenhouse to pick up some potted and blossoming pansies. Except for the perennial shrubs and daffodils bloomin’ those bright yellow petals and a few purple crocuses, the pansies will serve as the first blast of full color for the deck area.

Grass is growing.  The horses like that, and I see work.  

I’ll probably mow some sections of lawn this weekend with our big riding Craftsman, which is due for replacement the first of the week with one of those Husqvarna Zero Turn machines WITH A BAG.

I’ve decided that my well-used raking arms need a break, so if the bag will pick up the mulch and the leaves in the fall, many hours of repetition can be saved.

Anyway, it’s a gorgeous Saturday with birds singing, grass growing greener and flowers blooming AND a copacetic animal kingdom.


Doesn’t get any better than that!  Happy Saturday. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Rainy Day Assorteds

A good and necessary bath:  yup, the earth around here got it yesterday with a full day of rain.  This morning's scenes look as if an artist has been busy with the landscape, or is it the other way around----a lovely landscape for the artist.

With the rain comes a coming-out party.  Worms.  Thousands of them.  I'm hoping I didn't squash any while walking down South Center Valley Road.

Many stretched their bodies to the max to get wherever it is that worms go after a rain.  I'm wondering if legislation could be enacted to preserve the worm population after rainstorms cuz I'm betting a whole lot of them never make it to their destination via dirt road.

Anyway, all is beautious on this Good Friday morning.  I'm excited because after my hair clip with Sally, Bill and I will head for Spokane to pick up the horses.

I haven't missed the past month of choreless mornings or listening to the morning K102.5 breakfast crowd, but I have missed Lily and Lefty.  


Once again, starting tomorrow morning, they'll be greeting me each day and impatiently imploring me to feed 'em their breakfasts.

After their month away at boot camp, I'm anxious to see how their instruction affects a good saddle up and ride down the road.  I'm sure that will come tomorrow.

In the meantime, we'll get them home and enjoy watching them race around their barnyard when they come out of the trailer and realize that they're back at the Lovestead. 






Part of yesterday's rainy day was spent enjoying lunch and catching up with good friends/former students Jeralyn and Kari.

We try to do lunch at least once a year, and I'm thinking that's not quite often enough because yesterday we barely scratched the surface on covering all the great things going on in our respective lives.

Still, it was a fun lunch at Mick Duff's, and I do treasure my friendship with these wonderful ladies who often work as a team, doing so much for our community and its youth. 








Yesterday morning I avoided the rain by attending the student concert featuring the Canadian quartet known as "Maria in the Shower."

This POAC-sponsored event filled the house at the Panida Theater and charmed the heck out of grade school students from around the area with their lively playlist.

And, of course, before boarding their buses to go back to school, a few students tracked down band members for autographs.

Maria in the Shower also performed last night at the Panida.  This group of multi-talented musicians came to Sandpoint from Vancouver, B.C.

I'm betting that some kids went home and told their parents about the band member above who played the trumpet and the accordian AT THE SAME TIME.

Twas a great concert, and I'm sure a lot of young people were greatly inspired by the program.

That's all for today.  Gotta go see a man about bringing my horses home!

Happy Friday. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring Loveliness Doesn't Come Easily

Soft rains and warm temps this morning.  That is good. 

Cold-weather veggie seeding outdoors has begun, along with some seeding around the lawn where bare patches stand out as dirty blemishes against ever greening and growing grass.

I'm feeling very satisfied this morning, as evidence of the past week's clean-up is providing a nice change from dead grass, leaves, chewed-up sticks and the usual residue from winter's hold. 

I'm especially pleased about my garden with its tidy post-rototilling appearance. The annual garden rodeo took place Tuesday, starting out hopeful, deteriorating quickly but ending on an upbeat note. 

Rototilling day in the garden here at the Lovestead usually involves a certain amount of praying, a good memory for the exact details of what worked with the stubborn Troy-Bilt last year and awakening of some muscles in arms and back which have so far avoided springtime draconian duty.

I've often thought of rototilling as a perfect simulation to rodeo sports, specifically some calf roping along with a heavy dose bulldogging/steer wrestling. 

After all, rototilling requires much of the same body and arm movement those ropers use when they throw that calf to its side to tie up its feet. 

As for steer wrestling,  operating a rototiller involves extreme use of upper arm muscles to wrap one's hands firmly around those steer horns while maneuvering a large obstinate mass of beef attached to those horns down to the ground. 

The grips/handles on a rototiller: steer horns.  The lower part with the engine, carburetor, gas tank, tines, etc. :  the critter's heavy, resistant body. 

I've been there, done that many a year while trying to guide a rototiller around my various gardens.  Some have been huge machines.  The Troy-Bilt which I currently own was meant to be more of a ladies' model.

When it works, the machine works like a dream, but most of the time it does not work. I've been lucky enough the past few years to get my Troy Bilt up and running long enough for the 20-minute garden job.  

The rototiller is smart, always knowing precisely when the job is done and, like clockwork, dying and refusing to be revived for yet another year.  And, I refuse to pay the big price needed to purchase a new model.

This week, I said my usual "Hail Mary's," remembered that it's important to take the air filter off the machine, pour a little gas into the carburetor, push the choke button in ten times, disengage the tines, and hurry as fast as possible to pull that starter rope.

For a brief time on Tuesday, I reveled in the fact that I must have done all the right stuff cuz the machine started up on the first pull of the rope. I engaged the tines and smiled as the tiller moved southward in my garden spot.  

Then, I remembered past years when the tiller tended to die on corners. We came to the corner, the tiller dug into the ground, I began the steer wrestling routine and tried to maneuver it away from the garden fence.  It refused to turn.

That's when the calf-throwing session began. And, when that happened, the damn thing died with its tines deep in the soil.  I tugged and turned and wrestled and managed to get it aimed away from the fence. 

Then, I started it up again. It went five feet and died. This process continued. I started cussing as the starter rope quit recoiling back into its compartment.  That meant recoiling it by hand, a process that takes too much time away from part where I dribble gas on the carburetor and hurry to pull the rope. 

Needless to say, I've been this route enough times in my life, that I chose to call it a day and probably a lifetime with that rototiller.  Wrestling the machine from the dirt, I kicked it forward and drove it back to the shop.  Maybe Tony will take it for parts.

Depression set in, then desperation.  

"Do it the old-fashioned way," I said to myself.  So, I got a shovel and started spading my garden dirt.  With each dig of the shovel though, I thought about my lower back and how being laid up with a sore back for the next several days was not gonna get further yard work completed.

I went inside, called Co-Op and learned for the first time about Mantis tillers. The rest of the world knew about them long ago, I learned later. 

"You can pick them up and carry them, but they work really well," Gina told me. 

Music to my ears, I'll tell you.  Then, I asked about the price.

"They start at $300," she said.

These days I'm thinking a lot more about life expectancy (mine) and wondering if the $300 investment is something I'll live to enjoy.  Then, Gina suggested renting a rototiller at A to Z Rentals.

My pea brain at the time was envisioning those rental men loading a big, honking rototiller into the back of my pickup and then my trying to figure out how to get it out without killing it or myself at home. 

You see I wanted my garden done that day.

Later, my pea brain came alive, and I thought, "Hmmm.  Maybe they rent those Mantis tillers." 

Sure enough they did. One hour later, after signing away my life for the $25 rental, I was in my garden, firing up the Mantis.

Having had no experience or instructions on Mantis strategy, except to watch out for my toes, I experienced a brief learning curve as the Mantis took off hopping across my garden like a jack rabbit.  I went with it. 

Soon I learned how to grip those long ears/handles, control the speed and steer (no pun) the thing deeper into the dirt.  Within an hour, my garden and another spot were tilled to perfection.  I was loading up the Mantis and happily driving it back to A to Z.

And, now I smile about all future rototilling, knowing that I can fork over $25, carry the tiller and avoid those rodeo sports for the rest of my life. 

This morning, three different kinds of lettuce seed rest beneath the dirt, getting wet for now and warmer later.  

And, that's one more example that all this spring loveliness does not come easily, but once it does, life is most blissful and so satisfying. 

Happy Thursday, and check out those Mantis tillers.  Good machines, especially for old ladies!




Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Writer's Block






I have writer's block this morning.  It's on the bed next to my computer desk. And, I treasure it.

Visitors from next door came bearing gifts yesterday, and when they left, I still felt incapable of properly thanking them. 

A while back, Bev told me that she had often envisioned me sitting at my computer, writing away and that when she came across a new quilting feature which symbolized that image, she just had to try it. 

So, while Ron worked on his classic car over the winter, Bev sat at her sewing machine enjoying her talents, which included assembling a special quilt with the "writer's block" theme.

Both of my neighbors to the south were beaming as they stepped into the living room with Bev holding a big bag of goodies.  First, she pulled out a coffee cup mat and a napkin for me to use while I work here at the computer.

Then, she slowly pulled out the most beautiful quilt and held it up. 

My friends were almost giddy while telling me how much fun it was for both of them as the project unfolded and eventually came to completion.

Speechless.  That was my awkward reaction.  What a lovely, thoughtful gesture!

After we looked over the quilt, I summoned them upstairs to see where I spend a lot of my day, sometimes with "writer's block" here at the computer.  

"It will go on the bed here," I told them, and that is where it remains. 

Throughout the day, I stopped at the bed with each return to the computer, admiring Bev's talents and running my hand across the surface of a pattern that quilters say forms "port holes" for images. 

The craftsmanship is exquisite.  When Bev wanted me to tell me of small mistakes, I simply reminded her of the Navajo tradition of leaving a flaw in every blanket for true authenticity. 

So, my untrained eye can see no mistakes.  Instead, it sees a beautiful treasure, reminding me of the neighborly way. 

Thank you, Bev and Ron, for being such wonderful neighbors and thank you so much for this permanent and welcome sample of "writer's block." 

Happy Wednesday. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday Twitterdeedum


I love this scene of Taylor's field and Gary Finney's woods any time of the year. And when the sun appears above the Cabinet Mountains on an April morning, it's a nice wake-up for the day.

The photo was taken yesterday.  This morning, with grandpuppies back home with their parents, I took a walk through our woods. 

Keeping track of five doggies rather than three weaving in and out of trees and bushes can be challenging, especially when one, in particular, loves to sneak off and visit the neighbors on the other side of our woods fence. 

So, the three home dogs and I enjoyed the outing.  Sniffers were busy in the pine needle carpet checking out what invaders had come through the woods since their last visit.  

I simply enjoyed walking on the soft needles and observing Bill's forester projects of limbing, cutting down small trees into wood and arranging neat piles of firewood in several places. 

Life is getting back to normal, even in the early mornings when I drink my first cup of coffee, crank up the new assortment of Irish music and scroll through my favorite Internet stops.

One, in particular, turned out more interesting than usual today.  For about a year I've been reading The Daily Prep blog with New Englander Muffie Aldrich.  She shares all things preppy, New England culture and history and often uses large format photos shot by her father decades ago.

It's obvious they're a connected family as famous politicians often appear in the photos she posts. 

This morning Muffie focused on a museum exhibit in Westport, Connecticut,  featuring The New Yorker's Geraghty Era.  According to the exhibit images,  The New Yorker's art editor, James Geraghty,  chose illustrations for the magazine's cover from 1939-1973. 

His choices enhanced the careers of artists in that area as well as the area itself. 

Most interesting to me, though, was learning that Mr. Geraghty was born in Spokane, Washington, and graduated from then Gonzaga College. 

For more on this interesting story, you can visit http://www.muffyaldrich.com/.  

Always nice to learn of local or area connections, and again, a nice reflection on Gonzaga.

Sounds like Debbie has arrived with the grandpups, so this will have to be brief.  The day ahead will include firing up the rototiller and working up garden dirt along with more seed sowing, so I need to get out of here anyway.

Happy Tuesday. 



Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Miscellany


Sun peeking through old barn wood:  twas a nice sight along my morning walk as I passed by the old Lockwood place with camera in hand. 

On my way back, a school bus and two cars passed me.  The second screeched to a halt; the driver rolled the window down and asked if I'd seen the elk.  

She said they were about a mile down the road in the field near the road---about 30 of them. She offered to pick me up, but I told her I was walking on purpose.

I thought about hopping in the car once I arrived home and driving down to take some photos but then figured they'd be gone with all the Monday morning traffic. I've heard the elk have been showing up in fields along our road lately.  

My friend Janice posted a photo of them taken from her home, which is located just across the road from the photo above.  

One of these days maybe they'll make it down our way. 

In the meantime, even without elk herds the mornings have been cold and glorious as spring continues to unfold in our neighborhood. 

We seem to be getting a jump on the usual routine, and I wouldn't be surprised if leaves start popping out on trees and bushes soon. 

The weather has been great for getting the yard and garden cleaned up. I haven't enough fingers to count all the cart loads of dead grass, needles and other assorteds that have been raked up and taken to the garden for burning. 

That project will be completed today, and it won't be long before the lawn-mowing program begins.  I'm probably going to have a new mower this year. Tony, our repairman who also runs PAC West Parts, has talked me into buying one of those "zero turn" riding mowers.

He says they're much more efficient than my Craftsman, and I'll have to take his word because the Craftsman is running on borrowed time after eight years of intense Marianne mowing.  

Should be a fun new era in the yard-work department.

Today is the day we deal with the news I received via a telephone call while standing on one of the Cliffs of Moher a couple of weeks ago:  paying that big tax bill. It stings but we have no choice; will just have to write the checks and forget about it. 

As I type, Bill is talking on the phone to someone about resolving the three charges that appeared on our gas credit card while we were in Ireland. Only problem was we did NOT use our credit card in Ireland.  

Someone in Kansas and Oklahoma used it, or there's a big glitch.

Can't figure out how they could do that since we both have our cards and the company sent us new versions in the mail. 

Fun and games of this new world of credit card compromising, especially with the amount of time spent resolving the issue on the phone.

Guess that's enough babble on this beautiful Monday. Have a great day. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

SUNday Stuff


I'm back to spending several portions of my day with the Border Collie Nation Plus One. 

Little Mr. Plus One was off doing something else in the field when I caught this shot of the Queen of Folgers Cans Miss Kiwi and the three siblings:  Kea, Todd and Brooke.

Happy to say that, except for his hairdo, Todd is back to normal. We're all thrilled with his recovery from that traumatic cougar-followed-by-dog attack. 

His coat hasn't grown in completely, and that may take a couple more months, but he's active, happy and glad to share a few Todd thoughts when the group gathers for a doggie summit in the field. 

We have what looks like a perfect weather day in store:  not a cloud in the blue sky. 

Today in San Diego, Willie, Debbie, Barbara and their newspaper/yearbook students await and hope for the best in this morning's JEA National Convention Awards program. 

The Cedar Post kids are already feeling pretty good, though, as the Best of Show Awards for newspapers were announced late yesterday afternoon.  The SHS Cedar Post took third place in their category, and their web paper took ninth.

Except for one year when the Cedar Post took a second, that's the highest finish ever for the paper in national competition.  So, Willie and staff, Mama Love sends a huge congratulations. 

I've heard great reports about the group and their behavior and the fun everyone seems to be having.  They all went to the Padres game last night.

Meanwhile, yesterday Laurie and I took a basket of flowers to our parents' grave in honor of Harold's birthday.  It wasn't an easy moment as the sting of Mother's passing nine months ago today is still very tangible. We miss them both. 

Later, we went to the home and garden show at the fairgrounds and learned from Moose Valley that they'll be sponsoring a farmers' market this gardening season on Friday afternoons and Saturdays.  

In addition to produce, they'll have all crafts imaginable.  Should be a fun new addition to this spring, summer and fall's "places to go, things to do." 

We also visited with a friend and teaching colleague who's been ill for the past couple of weeks.  While we were visiting, Bill was fishing at his favorite stream south of town. 

It's been a nice somewhat relaxing weekend, and I'm looking forward to more of the same today with a little yard and garden work. 

Life is good on this Palm Sunday.  Have a great day.