Monday, September 26, 2022

September Ritual


It's Joanne's corn patch to harvest. 

Tom cuts and organizes the empty stalks. 

Then, a text message arrives in my iphone.

This year's edition, sent to me on Saturday night,  read:

Joanne's corn patch has been harvested as of 2:30 p.m. today.

Farmhand Tom has the stalks bundled and placed at the entrance of our driveway.

Ready for pickup.

That means I need to reserve the white pickup for the next morning when I'll drive about three miles to Tom and Joanne's driveway where I see the neatly organized stacks of stalks waiting for me just off the road. 

I load 'em up, walk over to Tom and Joanne's front deck and drop off some of this year's jelly.   

When evening comes, three horses will enjoy their first helping of Kootenai-grown corn stalks. 

The next morning, Tom will open a jar of refrigerated, home-prepared Lovestead jelly and smother it over his toast or load it into his peanut butter sandwich.

Mission accomplished.

The annual corn stalk-jelly jar exchange has once again been completed with precision, and respective equine and human palates have enjoyed their first helping of homegrown delights.  

Joanne tells me that if a jar of jelly happens to be a little runny, it goes on top of meat dishes they've prepared. 

BTW:  they enjoy keep-fill service any time they wish for more jelly. 

I love the ritual which has developed over the years since the first time Joanne wrote and said she had corn stalks for the horses. 

It makes for happy tummies and a good friendship. 

The exchange was all part of a lovely Sunday, which for me, included another jelly preparation session, lunch with Bill and Annie and just pure enjoyment of the day. 

Overall, it was a beautiful and fun weekend.

Days like yesterday remind us  of wonderful  and cherished connections that happen in our lives because of simple gestures.

  They also remind us why we love fall so much.

 Happily, we can look forward to a week's worth of opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities and the blessings of life. 

This week, the horses will have their farrier session, and I'm hoping that tomorrow's trailer loading and riding experiences with CB go better than last week's edition. 

It's a great and wonderful time to embrace whatever comes our way and to enjoy. 

And, that's precisely what I have set as my priority this week.

Happy Monday.  

Sunday, September 25, 2022

The Cat's Meow Hmmm!


I sent this photo to Debbie the other day while taking Kenny for his walk, noting that Pepper, the cat, was certainly an independent soul. 

She's also extremely self assured, having no problem striking up friendships with dogs and maybe even waving a paw filled with claws at humans who dare to reach her way to give her a pat or two. 

Pepper pretty much runs her life exactly the way she wants, 'cept for one situation:  climbing a tree and not knowing how to get down. 

I experienced such a situation yesterday while taking out some time from the kitchen, baking quiches and preparing dinner for the rest of the Love gang who'd gone fishing on the Coeur d'Alene River.

That diversion was meant to be Kenny time, but it turned to be Pepper time.  After parking, I opened the car door and thought I heard a faint and desperate "meow." 

So, I stood and listened, soon hearing a series of "meows" sounding more desperate by the second. Figuring it was Pepper, I walked toward the sound.  I could not see her but could hear the "meow" more distinctly with every step. 

Suddenly, the memory of Pepper's rescue last Saturday from 20 feet up in a tree popped into my head.  I looked up, and Pepper, on a limb about 15 feet up in a cedar tree, looked back at me and continue to "meow." 

Twas an OMG moment, knowing that nobody else at the Colburn farm was home and that last week's tree rescue of Pepper had taken a team of humans and two hours. 

At that moment, two living beings were experiencing flashes of desperation:  Pepper wanted down from the tree, and if I were to be her Good Samaritan, it was going to take some serious planning and luck. 

First things first.  

I figured Pepper had been in the tree for a while, and my mission for coming to the Colburn farm had been to take Kenny for his potty break. Knowing that would give me time to think, I left Pepper, went into the house and put on Kenny's collar for his walk outside. 

No magic scenarios for rescuing Pepper were flowing through my mind, except to get a ladder and figure out what to do from there. 

But where was the ladder?

I tried calling the Coeur d'Alene River fishing bunch but, of course, their phones were out of cell service.  So, I called my sister Laurie who was at a horse show in Moses Lake.  

"Where's there a ladder?"  I asked, telling her Pepper was once again stuck in a tree.

"The ladder's in the shed with the 4-wheeler, but go into the house and there's a laser on a counter," she instructed, adding that Debbie had used the laser last week to lure Pepper. 

After putting Kenny back into his crate, I found the ladder, and I found the laser.  Finding a level spot for the ladder was a bit of a challenge, but I managed. Only problem was that this spot was nowhere near where Pepper was situated. 

I tried luring her with the laser, but Pepper was too distraught to want to play with bouncing light. For an hour or so, I called "Here, Kitty Kitty,"  felt some fleeting triumphs when Pepper would come my way only to turn around and go the opposite direction. 

I also held limbs and pulled them as far down as possible encouraging her to come to said limb.  

Nothing worked.  Finally, I decided Pepper was safe as long as she could cling to a stable limb.  I texted the parties at the CDA River and Moses Lake and told 'em I was going home and coming back later. 

At home, I googled "luring a cat out of a tree."  I found lots of suggestions, including using the laser or putting food at the base of the tree.  Well, heck, that place has half a dozen cats.  No guarantee it would be there long enough to attract Pepper downward. 

I also read that in general cats will eventually come down and that if they do fall, it takes a significant amount of free fall for them to hurt themselves---but Pepper didn't know that!

I also talked to my friend Helen, who told me of an incident when their cat had gotten stuck at the top of a power pole.  They called the fire department, which refused to come.  They put food at the bottom of the pole, and the next day that cat had come to the ground. 

So, this information lessened my stress, but not my desire to get that cat out of the tree on my watch and without having summon someone from the neighborhood to help. 

I returned to Colburn about three hours later, to find Pepper on the limb nearest the ladder.  I climbed the ladder and could actually get my hand on her to pull her toward me.  Two problems:  I'm an old lady several steps up on a ladder, and Pepper's claws were pretty dug into that limb. 

One attempt yielded a claw puncture from one of her back feet. Plus, she rolled over the limb and briefly hung upside down.  

No, this isn't gonna work, I quickly concluded, knowing that if she resisted one bit or got me with more claws, I was likely to react and possibly crash down with the ladder. 

So, I went in the house, found one of Debbie's heavy sweatshirts and some gloves.  I also grabbed my raincoat from the car, knowing the sleeves were longer than those on the sweatshirt. Such a sight on a warm September afternoon. 

But then again, no need for embarrassment cuz nobody else besides Joe, the dog would see me. 

I climbed the ladder once again, and soon determined that Pepper's claws were so dug into that limb, I would probably not be able to get her to release from her temporary comfort zone. 

So back down I came, realizing that I could reach up for the end of the limb and pull it downward.  By golly, that plan worked.  Pepper had been in the tree long enough, and we had bonded enough that she had begun to trust my judgment. 

"Come down, Pepper," I said, "it's okay."  

Well, she must have believed me cuz within seconds, she got up and started making her way down the limb as I pulled it to the ground with all my might.  About four feet from the end of the limb, Pepper's courage came back, and she jumped to the ground. 

She, who loves to playfully evade humans, also let me pick her up and stroke her and carry her to the house where, of course, I was gonna immediately shut that door behind me so Pepper could not get back outside. 

And, so, the cat's meow eventually turned from a pathetic situation to the best feeling ever for cat and the old lady. 

I loved writing those texts to those Pepper fans on the river and at the horse show.  Most of them remembered the fun of the cat rescue from week before and probably fully appreciated my solo super hero feat.  

And, so my great expectations of a Saturday in September went a bit awry but eventually had a happy ending. 

What we do for LOVE!

Plus, the quiche and the homemade tacos and the Love family time last night turned out pretty good too. 

I do wonder, however, if Pepper has learned her lesson about climbing trees, but I think she appreciates me a whole lot more than she did before yesterday.  

And, that truly is the cat's meow!

Happy Sunday. 

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Saturday Slight


Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees, M.L.B.: Aaron Judge is on the cusp of history. He has 60 home runs so far this season, tying the mark Babe Ruth set in 1927 and just one shy of Roger Maris’s 61. 

Some refer to the record he’s chasing as the Yankees record, or the American League record. But Judge is also chasing the non-steroid record, since every player with more than 61 home runs in a season has been linked to performance-enhancing drugs. 

Regardless of whether you consider those numbers legitimate, Judge’s year has been remarkable: On top of the home runs, he might also win the triple crown. Sunday at 7 p.m. Eastern, ESPN.

                                                                                                             ----New York Times

For the rest of the season, Judge will be pitched special baseballs that the M.L.B. can verify are the real deal. 


Back in the good ol' days of the late '50s-'60s, while attending junior high and high school, we were allowed to take time out from our classes to listen to the World Series baseball games.

The school administration would broadcast the radio games over the intercom.  Those were the days of Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Roger Maris. 

Those years were, in my mind, the golden era of baseball when kids played recess ball and collected baseball cards and fervantly followed their favorite teams and players.  

Willie Mays was always my favorite.

It was also a time when football had not yet taken over as the major American TV sport. Baseball still reigned as king of professional and everyday sports.  

As one who seldom follows Major League baseball anymore, I feel a bit like an outsider who dares to include the information above.

Still, it's really exciting to think about the possibilities of this young man surpassing a record that has stood for so long---the Roger Maris record that virtually every kid of my era followed and applauded when it was set way back when.

I hope Aaron Judge, without steroids, breaks Maris' homerun record and earns his own special place in baseball history and in the hearts all baseball fans. 

It will be a refreshing sports story for all of us---even those of us who long ago left the baseball fixation behind---to applaud.


In other news, it's a beautiful Saturday in the neighborhood where Bill, Annie, Willie and Debbie will head to the Coeur d'Alene River for fishing. 

I'll be staying home to prepare a dinner of homemade tacos for when they return.  I'll also process some more jelly and maybe even make some quiches, using the garden chard, if time allows. 

We have been promised a week of the glorious fall days that so many of us live for.  

Besides the pleasant weather, there's also a sense of calmness to fall as gardening and yardwork has died down, along with many of the annual events and family visits and such.

Urgency is replaced by a more relaxed approach to each day.  

I felt that sense of calmness and enjoyment yesterday.  First of all, my gut problems of the previous day had settled down but more importantly two separate visitors from the neighborhood dropped by. 

At the time, the only item on my agenda with any urgency whatsover was the pot of plums cooking on the stove. 

And, so when Becky and Shawn from next door rolled in the driveway with Stan Meserve's old truck, I happily settled in for a wonderful visit around the front of that old truck.  

They've been here the past week working on some projects at the Meserve Preserve, and they'd just made a dump run. 

So, we chatted and just plain enjoyed catching up and reminiscing and maybe telling a few good zingers. 

About an hour after they left and after the plums had been taken off the burner, my dear friend Ruthann and her two pups in her side by side 4-wheeler came in the driveway.  

Twas another nice interlude of catch-up with a friend. 

  We topped the day off with the Love bunch enjoying dinner at the Farmhouse Restaurant where again we saw our neighbors, Tricia and Trent and other longtime friends, Dale and JoAnn VanStone from Hope. 

I loved the day, and I have a feeling I'll feel the same about the days ahead. 

It's a great time of year, and we are blessed with some lovely weather ahead. 

Happy Saturday. 

Friday, September 23, 2022

Day of Rest, Sorta


Twas a gut-wrenching first day of fall for me yesterday----literally. 

Yup, there must have been a monkey wrench inside my gut twisting and turning and piercing AND reminding me that we can suddenly become captives of unknown forces. 

Well, I wasn't sure early in the day, but as the gut continued on with its out-of-sorts behavior, I just succumbed to the situation, dealt with it and resolved hopefully that this too shall pass. 

For years, I have lived with an unruly gut, which actually has behaved much better in my retirement years. 

The stress of teaching definitely played a factor, but there are also some foods that do not fare well on the journey through my internal plumbing. 

My theory is that too many of these combinations recently led to my intestines saying "enough is enough!" 

And, so, let's just say yesterday was not the best of days.  

Fortunately, this morning I feel much better with just some occasional hints of colon distress. 

Hopefully, the siege has ended, and, for sure, I'll be more careful with what goes into my body. 

It takes times like this to humble us and to help us fully appreciate all the good days of life.

I did manage to finish some outdoor projects, including my daily visit with Little Kenny. That's always good for whatever ails ya. 

I also mowed/cleaned up the lawn before and after the rain. 

Yesterday's rainfall was much needed, as heavy coatings of dust had once more returned. 

The world outside is once again beautiful this morning, and we are due for more nice fall weather over the next few days. 

This morning Annie is home for a few days, and Mr. Foster is a one happy pup.  

We do have some unfortunate news about the little guy.  

He has become blind.  This was pretty much confirmed with a couple of visits to the vet this week. 

The good news is that Foster has adjusted quite well to his situation, occasionally bumping into stuff when his sniffer and ears fall a tad short in directing him. 

He spends most of the day outside, trotting from place to place, barking at the lawnmower whenever I start it  and, for many hours, occupying that spot in the barn where Sunny can torment him from the top of the hay stack. 

This week, Bill and I were recalling the years when my big beautiful horse Rambo went blind, one eye at a time. 

Bill reminded me of what Dr. McCormick had told us at the time.

"He has adjusted; you have not."

The best news about Foster, turning 11 this November, is that his health is great.  

And, he seems very happy, especially when Annie is home. 

And, so, another Friday has come, and all is basically well. 

As my friend Rose reminds us in her blog, we are grateful.  We never take the happy blessings of life, no matter how seemingly insignificant, for granted. 

Happy Friday. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Critters and Flowers and Fall


Yes, Kenny and Pepper are now well-acquainted, enough to torment each other. 

Kenny's current size is perfect for Pepper, but size doesn't matter with this kitty. Her self confidence around other pets larger than she is very apparent.  

She just doesn't like tall trees. 

When I think about these two over at Willie and Debbie's home, I'm reminded of the small earthquake that Debbie reported on Facebook last night. 

Seems she was in her car in Ponderay visiting with a friend in another car, and suddenly both vehicles started shaking. 

Back at Colburn, my sister reported that their hutch shook.  

In between Colburn and Ponderay, we felt nothing. 

Well, it's fall today, and though I love the season, I feel a bit sad every time I walk by my flowers and see fewer and fewer blooms. 

Soon, I'll just quit watering them.  The flowers have been beautiful this year. 

Yesterday I started dismantling the planter boxes in the garden.  Their time is up, as it's getting more and more difficult to fix them when boards come loose. 

The boxes cost me $25 apiece, and they have done their job for about eight years, so no complaints. 

I've decided that next year the space now occupied by the boxes will be devoted exclusively to corn. We really enjoyed this year's corn, all ten cobs.  So, it's time to expand. 

We do have a good supply of plums, even though a lot of their fruit didn't mature. I started picking my red plums yesterday and now have the items needed to make some more jelly. 

In other news, my sisters are heading off for a horse show today, and Annie is heading this way from Seattle. 

Hoping it rains a bit today to clean things up around here for her visit. 

And, that's about it on this first day of fall.  

Happy Thursday.  Enjoy the photos and the TBT's. 

Throwback Thursday:  Mixed bag from yesteryear