Monday, November 29, 2021

Simple Times

Our life is frittered away by detail. 

An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. 

Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!

 I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail . . . 

Simplify, simplify.

                                        --Henry David Thoreau

In our current world, it is not easy to follow or to practice Thoreau's words, but when the opportunity comes, it's truly treat to spend some quality time living those thoughts. 

That's precisely what happened around here yesterday. 

Balmy temperatures and rain overnight on Saturday melted the majority of our snow cover.  

In fact, we learned later in the day that Schweitzer Ski Area had to shut down because of the warmth. 

Seems they need freezing temperatures to "make" snow with their machines. 

Here at the Lovestead, trips outside were lingering rather than the quick dashes here and there to get things done in an effort to return to the comfort of the house. 

The yard was green and basically dry, and, oh, what fun that was for the three doggies and me! 

So comfortable and so pleasant and seemingly a not a care in the world, thanks to the Thoreau opportunity mentioned above. 

Details of a holiday weekend were complete, so Sunday marked a day of relaxing transition with little to do other than enjoying life with no real schedule.

On one trip outside, I heard the melodic chatter of eagles and watched at two landed in the big cottonwoods over in the Meserve Preserve.

The two big birds were nice enough to stay in their respective perches while I went back to the house to get the camera.  

After what they probably considered an ample photo shoot from the old lady down on the ground, both launched from the limbs and flew off.

Soon I heard that pretty eagle talk again as they found another tree a few hundred feet away with no photographers pointing cameras from the ground below.  

Outdoor play time happened often yesterday.  Each time slot was filled with pure, raw, calm and delightful enjoyment. 

In one case, Bill and I accompanied the dogs to the hay field where space for running is abundant and where there are no worries of little ones straying into danger. 

How often do we stand out in the hay field, calmly strolling around on bare ground, enjoying the pleasant air and watching dogs in their own doggie Heaven??

Not often. 

And, so we appreciated the moments and the sights of fun and frolic with our four-legged beloveds bounding across the open field or stopping briefly to sniff out the ground or chew on pieces of wood. 

All creatures here on the place seemed quite content with their lot in life yesterday. 

If only we could say that every day, especially during the long winter months. 

Happily, the next few days will provide more such opportunities for outdoor enjoyment, but with the holiday times over and another soon to come, there are things to do, things to do. 

Hopefully, when more of our lives are frittered away and all the Christmas holiday "to do's" are completed we'll have more time to "Simplify, Simplify."   

Happy Monday.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Emma, Brandon Visit, Etc.

Two years. 

That seems to be a frequent revelations in many visits of late. 

"It's been two years since we last saw each other," I've observed several times in the past few weeks. 

It had been two years since we last saw Emma from Berlin who spent a year living with Willie and Debbie as an exchange student. 

She came back in the fall after that school year and spent some time at our home during that visit. 

When Emma started hearing that borders were opening, she started making plans and traveling. 

She and her senior prom date/friend Brandon came out yesterday and spent a couple of hours. 

After coffee, puppy play and catch-up on both of their lives since we last talked, (Brandon plays football for the University of Montana), we headed outside to see the horses. 

Emma is one of three exchange students who has ridden and gotten to know Lily.  In fact, we were remembering her first-ever day as an exchange student when she, Debbie and I went to the hay field pasture to bring up the horses.  Emma led Lily and later rode her a time or two. 

Brandon has been to the place in the summer time, working as a member of our 2019 hay crew.  

After visiting with horses, the couple took a spin around the woods on the 4-wheeler.  Then, more puppy play.  

It was great to see them, and we're looking forward to more visits around Christmas time.  The schedule all depends on how long Montana's Grizzlies stay alive in their play-offs.  

Next week in Missoula, they'll take on Eastern Washington, which won its game yesterday. 

The rest of our day was spent hanging loose, watching TV and relaxing.  Maybe a little dozing off too as it rained and rained and rained outside. 

Happily, this morning the rain has stopped and the air is balmy.  No complaints.  

I'm joining my friend and neighbor Anne down the road in the countdown to the date when we start getting more daylight. 

We've seen a lot of gloom lately. 

Twenty-three days. 

Also, you can count on seeing a squirrel or two in the posts.  Mom and her three kids came to the feeder yesterday.  

So cute and such a bright spot on gloomy days. 

In other news, I ran across this link posted on Kristy Osmunson's Facebook page.  

The Sandpoint singer and her partner in the duet American Young  have compiled a new album.  

The article in the link even offers a couple of videos from the album. 

Good luck, Kristy.  Some nice sounds.

I enjoyed reading Ben Olson's chronology of Sandpoint and how its various historical stages have changed and/or defined the community.  

He notes that we are currently undergoing a transitional phase, due in part to the Pandemic and the influx of transplants. 

As a golden oldie, I would add Farragut Naval Base and Coldwater Creek Catalog Co. as influencers of our Sandpoint personality.

After reading the piece and thinking of my own experiences through a lifetime in Sandpoint, I couldn't help but think of a beautiful ballad I heard in Ireland twice in one day on our recent trip.  

First, we listened to its entirety while strolling through a gift shop in Donegal.

Later in the day, a live band was playing Irish classics at a 50th birthday party where we were staying.

The singer honored my request, and, as he sang it again, many of the partygoers happily joined in. 

The song is about Derry, Northern Ireland, not far from where we were staying. Derry's history includes its share of nostalgia and turbulence. 

Like Ben's story above, every town endures, embraces or even laments its outside influences as history unfolds.  

Regardless of the nature of new developments, those who grow up in any community and spend their lives there, always cling to the wonderful memories of youth. 

Hope you enjoy it, and if you're a Sandpoint native, enjoy your own nostalgic trip back to the good ol' days of the "town you love so well."    

Happy Sunday. 

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Saturday Slight


This little lady did some jail time last night. 

Pepper thinks she rules the Young Love house. Nonetheless, there's a limit when a kitty keeps returning to the kitchen to check out all the items on the leftover buffet table. 

After several trips to the kitchen by humans to retrieve Pepper, she got zipped into the klink, which is basically her little kitty carrier. 

Pepper was not a happy prisoner, but the rest of the ZAG-watching party didn't mind watching her kitty clawing-at-the-door protest from inside the carrier. 

Try as she might, her jail was zipped tight.  

Occasionally, after what seemed like ample "time-out's," she soon resumed her trips to the kitchen, only to go directly back to jail. 

Yup, the pet party at leftover night with big dogs, little dog and smarty-pants Pepper helped alleviate some of the stress being endured by all humans watching an intense Gonzaga-Duke basketball game. 

While Pepper spent time in jail, doggies wandered around the house, some finding toys for tugging and toys to chew upon.  

Most of the evening, wise old Todd preferred to stay outside he's not into puppy play. 

Little Miss Bridie attended her first social gathering last night at the Young Love's house and passed the behavior test.  

At first, she spent a lot of time watching all these new friends do their thing in their home environment, always making sure of the presence of an adult pair of legs nearby.  Those human legs seem to offer a sense of security for pups Bridie's age.

The resident beloveds in Colburn spent their fair of time sizing up Bridie, sniffing and staring and strolling behind her every step as she conducted her own survey of the living room and kitchen and occasionally the bedroom.

Eventually, deciding that everything was okay, each four-legged resumed their usual in-home behavior.  As for Bridie, she feigned playing with the older dogs and loved the chew toys, which were either offered and discovered in this new environment.

While all this was happening, humans ate leftover, and humans sat mostly rigid, as it was obvious the ZAGS were in for the game of their lives. 

Twas a tough match, but both teams displayed their array of talents in the contest where both teams led at times. Inthe end, Duke won the game by three points. 

By buzzer time, Bridie had fallen into a deep puppy slumber, the first one all day for her. 

Happily, she responded to the leash, pulling herself from the floor, walking a few steps, then plopping with a distinctive, "puppy hits the floor" rumble. 

This scene was repeated two or three times before we reached the door and walked out into the night toward the car. 

I do think Bridie slept well last night, and today she's ready for more visiting.  Later this morning, she'll get to meet former exchange student Emma from Germany who's in Sandpoint with her friend Brandon for Thanksgiving. 

Should be a fun visit. 

Has it still been less than a week since we first met Bridie at that Starbuck's in Ellensburg?  How can that be?

  That introduction seems so long ago because she continues to adjust to her new life so quickly that it seems like she's been here forever. 

Meanwhile, when dogs and cats aren't entertaining us, the squirrel family takes over. 

Happy Saturday. 

Life is good with animals that make us smile and make us love. 

Friday, November 26, 2021

Leftovers, Pups, Loaves and ZAGS, Et. Al.

". . . a fan of a post-Thanksgiving quasi hibernation in slippers and sweats, orbiting the kitchen, where leftovers beckon."

                                                                                       ---Melissa Kirch, NYT

Like most everyone who gathered for Thanksgiving, we (Barbara, Laurie, Bill and I) felt really thankful to be able to get together at Willie and Debbie's home last night. 

We enjoyed a lovely dinner, some fun with an active little kitty named Pepper, great visiting and even some exercise for Bill on their Nordic track bike. He rode for a while at Venice Beach. 

So great to be able to do this again. 

I saw the story below in today's Daily Bee and wanted to share it for local bread bakers who might want to participate in this wonderful project benefitting the local food bank.

I took this photo yesterday morning from our upstairs bathroom window when a little blue sky, illuminating a portion of Schweitzer Ski Area, appeared from behind the clouds.

Good luck to the Schweitzer staff and visitors, as another year at the ski resort begins. 


So many things on plates on this day.  We'll be getting together back at Willie and Debbie's house for leftovers and to cheer on the No. 1 ZAGS as they take on No. 5 Duke in a big, big game. 

7:30 p.m. PST on ESPN

I also enthusiastically encourage you to read the heart-warming, poignant piece about ZAG Julian Strawther in the link below. 

Beautifully told, and if you didn't already love Julian, you will after reading his story.

And, finally the first of many Bridie albums to come. Her big brothers, Liam and Foster, are bonding with her more each day. 

Hope you enjoy. 

She's a keeper!