Monday, March 30, 2020

Wet, Wild and Wonderful













Bill and I broke up our Sunday into segments yesterday. 

Some time spent in the house.  

Other time spent outside in the barn or the wood pile. 

For most of the afternoon, we drove around the Sagle/Garfield Bay area.  

At one place owned by the Kalispell Tribe, we were able to take about a ten-minute walk and BIF break before the pitter patter of rain sent us back to the pickup. 

In this new world we are experiencing, I'm going to have to make some adjustments:  don't drink coffee while out on a drive. 

No honey buckets or convenience store facilities available.

It'll be all BIF's or no coffee from now on. 

At one point, we stopped along Gamblin Lake where the cattails and the rippling water made some pretty combos. 

I also left the pickup for another ten-minute walk along the beach at the Garfield Bay campground.  

People were keeping their distance at the closed picnic spot but still enjoying fresh air and beauty of Lake Pend Oreille.

 I'm sure the guy out fishing in his boat had to be in a state of bliss as he kept his distance, 'cept for maybe a fish or two. 

After arriving home, I dodged the first of a series of drenching rains to put the horses in the barn. 

Then, we leisurely nibbled on our respective dinners (Bill, the rest of the gumbo he mixed up on Saturday and I, fried egg on toast and sausage links). 

The biggest, wildest squall of all, complete with rain, thunder, lightning and hail not only made for some interesting scenes outside but also made Liam really nervous. 

Usually, he doesn't react to such things, but I'm sure his canine sense for all that worries the world along with the fireworks intensified his level of doggie stress. 

As we face another month of this lifestyle, I'm noticing more and more creative ways folks are using to beat the doldrums.  


My friend Chris Pietsch posted this one on Twitter.  

My quarantine name:  Cowboy Cookie Bulldog.

And, yours?

I'm not sure mine has a great ring to it, so I might pull a Groundhog Day move and eat something really interesting for my last bite tonight and try it all over again tomorrow. 

Maybe "Beans Bulldogs" or "Chili Cheese Chip Bulldogs. . . . 

Stay tuned.  

Enjoy the photos, make the most of your Monday and sing along about rainbows. 












For a coming 15-year-old Border Collie beauty, Miss Kiwi has been enjoying a change I made around here last week when Liam and Foster were relegated to the dog run to save my lawn around the barnyard. 

Normally, when all three dogs are out and about, Kiwi prefers to take several naps a day. 

Now, however, with Bill spending a lot of time working at his wood pile and in his woods, Kiwi can't move fast enough to accompany him. 

She's feeling like Top Dog again.  She has a whole new get up to her go, and that's kinda neat for a golden girl. 




Shortly after one of the deluges we had last night, I walked down the driveway and had to stop at the phenomenon occurring at the culvert which feeds our French drain.

Looked like quite a flushing out from mud build-up, and it was neat to see the muddy waters sharing space with crystal clear water. 

















Sunday, March 29, 2020

A Message in the Storm








Below is the full text of Pope Francis’ address during the extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing he delivered while praying for an end of the coronavirus.




“When evening had come” (Mk 4:35). The Gospel passage we have just heard begins like this.


 For weeks now it has been evening. Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void, that stops everything as it passes by; we feel it in the air, we notice in people’s gestures, their glances give them away.


We find ourselves afraid and lost. 


Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. 


We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat… are all of us. 


Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying “We are perishing” (v. 38), so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this.


It is easy to recognize ourselves in this story. What is harder to understand is Jesus’ attitude. While his disciples are quite naturally alarmed and desperate, he stands in the stern, in the part of the boat that sinks first. 

And what does he do? 


In spite of the tempest, he sleeps on soundly, trusting in the Father; this is the only time in the Gospels we see Jesus sleeping. 


When he wakes up, after calming the wind and the waters, he turns to the disciples in a reproaching voice: “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” (v. 40).


Let us try to understand. In what does the lack of the disciples’ faith consist, as contrasted with Jesus’ trust? They had not stopped believing in him; in fact, they called on him. But we see how they call on him: “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” (v. 38). Do you not care: they think that Jesus is not interested in them, does not care about them. 


One of the things that hurts us and our families most when we hear it said is: “Do you not care about me?” It is a phrase that wounds and unleashes storms in our hearts. It would have shaken Jesus too. Because he, more than anyone, cares about us. Indeed, once they have called on him, he saves his disciples from their discouragement.


The storm exposes our vulnerability and uncovers those false and superfluous certainties around which we have constructed our daily schedules, our projects, our habits and priorities. It shows us how we have allowed to become dull and feeble the very things that nourish, sustain and strengthen our lives and our communities. 


The tempest lays bare all our prepackaged ideas and forgetfulness of what nourishes our people’s souls; all those attempts that anesthetize us with ways of thinking and acting that supposedly “save” us, but instead prove incapable of putting us in touch with our roots and keeping alive the memory of those who have gone before us. We deprive ourselves of the antibodies we need to confront adversity.




In this storm, the fa├žade of those stereotypes with which we camouflaged our egos, always worrying about our image, has fallen away, uncovering once more that (blessed) common belonging, of which we cannot be deprived: our belonging as brothers and sisters.

“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Lord, your word this evening strikes us and regards us, all of us. In this world, that you love more than we do, we have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything. 


Greedy for profit, we let ourselves get caught up in things, and lured away by haste. 


We did not stop at your reproach to us, we were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world, nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet. We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick. Now that we are in a stormy sea, we implore you: “Wake up, Lord!”


“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Lord, you are calling to us, calling us to faith. Which is not so much believing that you exist, but coming to you and trusting in you. This Lent your call reverberates urgently: “Be converted!”, “Return to me with all your heart” (Joel 2:12). 


You are calling on us to seize this time of trial as a time of choosing. It is not the time of your judgement, but of our judgement: a time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not. 


It is a time to get our lives back on track with regard to you, Lord, and to others. We can look to so many exemplary companions for the journey, who, even though fearful, have reacted by giving their lives. This is the force of the Spirit poured out and fashioned in courageous and generous self-denial.


It is the life in the Spirit that can redeem, value and demonstrate how our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people – often forgotten people – who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines nor on the grand catwalks of the latest show, but who without any doubt are in these very days writing the decisive events of our time: doctors, nurses, supermarket employees, cleaners, caregivers, providers of transport, law and order forces, volunteers, priests, religious men and women and so very many others who have understood that no one reaches salvation by themselves.



In the face of so much suffering, where the authentic development of our peoples is assessed, we experience the priestly prayer of Jesus: “That they may all be one” (Jn 17:21). How many people every day are exercising patience and offering hope, taking care to sow not panic but a shared responsibility. 


How many fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday gestures, how to face up to and navigate a crisis by adjusting their routines, lifting their gaze and fostering prayer. How many are praying, offering and interceding for the good of all. 


Prayer and quiet service: these are our victorious weapons.






“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith”? Faith begins when we realise we are in need of salvation. We are not self-sufficient; by ourselves we founder: we need the Lord, like ancient navigators needed the stars. Let us invite Jesus into the boats of our lives. 

Let us hand over our fears to him so that he can conquer them. Like the disciples, we will experience that with him on board there will be no shipwreck. 


Because this is God’s strength: turning to the good everything that happens to us, even the bad things. He brings serenity into our storms, because with God life never dies.

The Lord asks us and, in the midst of our tempest, invites us to reawaken and put into practice that solidarity and hope capable of giving strength, support and meaning to these hours when everything seems to be floundering. The Lord awakens so as to reawaken and revive our Easter faith. 


We have an anchor: by his cross we have been saved. We have a rudder: by his cross we have been redeemed. We have a hope: by his cross we have been healed and embraced so that nothing and no one can separate us from his redeeming love. 


In the midst of isolation when we are suffering from a lack of tenderness and chances to meet up, and we experience the loss of so many things, let us once again listen to the proclamation that saves us: he is risen and is living by our side. 


The Lord asks us from his cross to rediscover the life that awaits us, to look towards those who look to us, to strengthen, recognize and foster the grace that lives within us. 


Let us not quench the wavering flame (cf. Is 42:3) that never falters, and let us allow hope to be rekindled.


The Lord awakens so as to reawaken and revive our Easter faith.

Embracing his cross means finding the courage to embrace all the hardships of the present time, abandoning for a moment our eagerness for power and possessions in order to make room for the creativity that only the Spirit is capable of inspiring.

It means finding the courage to create spaces where everyone can recognize that they are called, and to allow new forms of hospitality, fraternity and solidarity. 


By his cross we have been saved in order to embrace hope and let it strengthen and sustain all measures and all possible avenues for helping us protect ourselves and others. 

Embracing the Lord in order to embrace hope: that is the strength of faith, which frees us from fear and gives us hope.


“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith”? 


Dear brothers and sisters, from this place that tells of Peter’s rock-solid faith, I would like this evening to entrust all of you to the Lord, through the intercession of Mary, Health of the People and Star of the stormy Sea. 


From this colonnade that embraces Rome and the whole world, may God’s blessing come down upon you as a consoling embrace. 


Lord, may you bless the world, give health to our bodies and comfort our hearts. You ask us not to be afraid. Yet our faith is weak and we are fearful. But you, Lord, will not leave us at the mercy of the storm. 


Tell us again: “Do not be afraid” (Mt 28:5). And we, together with Peter, “cast all our anxieties onto you, for you care about us” (cf. 1 Pet 5:7).







Saturday, March 28, 2020

At Home 3; Saturday Slight





Bigfoot is real.

Bigfoot is not real. 

Well, from what I read in the piece below, even scientific studies cannot adequately dispute that Bigfoot is simply a figment of a lot of imaginations. 

You decide. 



And, when you're finished, think of times you've argued a point and how you can go about proving that you're NOT wrong. 

Did that chicken really cross the road to get to the other side, or was it actually just coming back home?


~~~~~

A message from a fellow educator and amazing man of music.  Plus, his wife is pretty nice too. 

She was a Ponderette at Sandpoint High School. 

SMILE, Nancy.  Your Kelly did well on this appeal. 

Friends, I have one thing to say, and another thing to ask.
The work of being an online teacher last year brought me to my knees, more times than I can count. I was teaching graduate level courses, all online. 

I loved being part of the university and my students were amazing, but I struggled the whole time with the online aspect. It is an entirely different pursuit than face-to-face instruction in the classroom.

The pedagogy demands so much ingenuity, humility, and patience—especially with yourself. It is hard, hard work.

 And the technical aspects are completely unforgiving: one small setting error and suddenly your students can’t see the material you set out for them. That, all by itself, is a tremendous challenge. 

Any success I had last year is due, in no small part, to the gracious students who stuck in there with me.

My “ask” is this: that we ALL partner together to support and protect the thousands of teachers who are stepping up, and accepting the task of changing EVERYTHING about their practice during this pandemic.

 Switching to distance learning will be hard. For everyone.

We need to walk alongside teachers into this new arena and encourage them. We must applaud this heroic step they are taking. They are putting it all on the line to keep kids learning, no matter what it takes.

 This is hero stuff.

This will be one of the greatest moments in history, where so many teachers will literally change their whole practice overnight. 

In so doing, they will model that the path to success takes risk, struggle, grit, grace. I hope we can all see and support that.

Please don’t let anybody talk smack about teachers in this tender time. Period. Let’s all be their champions.

Thanks.

~~~~~~

Thanks, Kathy for reminding us of the constant needs at Bonner Community Food Bank. 



21 hrs ·  · GOOD MORNING!! I just spoke to Tammy at the Food Bank. 

She said they are in need of non-perishable foods such as peanut butter, canned chicken and tuna, soups, beakfast cerea. Also, farm fresh eggs if anyone has extra! 

Also, monetary donations are always welcome. Let's share our blessings. You've heard it before......WE ARE ALL IN THIS…


Send checks to 

Bonner Community Food Center


1707 Culvers Dr.

Sandpoint, ID 83864

~~~~~~


From our neighborhood veterinary hospital. . . .


To all our community members ~ in light of the current quarantine orders, CVVH will be making a few adjustments. We are still open, and will continue to see patients, dispense medications, and sell food during our new limited clinic hours of M-F, 9:30 am to 2:30 pm.

Please call ahead with your request so we can have food and medications ready for pick up. Credit card payments can also be completed over the phone, and are preferred in order to limit contact as much as possible. 

 Please also stay in your car when you arrive at the clinic; we will be checking the parking lot frequently, or you may call the front desk when you arrive. 

If you are coming to pick up medications or food, we will bring it out to your car. If you have an appointment or need to be seen, please wait until the lobby is clear, or call the front desk when you arrive. We are doing our best to maintain active veterinary services to our community while also exercising safety practices and caution to protect our clients. 

Thank you for your patience and willingness to work with us through these difficult times; we wish everyone and their families good health and safety!


~~~~~

Disclaimer:  an "earthy" word in the following.  

So, considered yourself warned.

Just like with Bigfoot, this COULD be true. 

Made me chuckle!

Thanks, dear friend Ernie. 

I want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes. 

You all know that I don't usually put things on here but there is something I wanted to share. 

I had a doctor's appointment in Sandpoint last week. He helped to clear up an issue that I thought might satisfy any questions you might have on what the virus has to do with the toilet paper shortage. 

He said that every time someone coughs or sneezes ten people shit. 

I hope this helps. 






Officially, yesterday could count for No. 3 on the governor's  "stay at home" order. 

I stayed home all morning and into early afternoon. 

After all, John Fuller was coming to trim horses' feet. 

If grades were handed out for young horses' behavior while having their hooves trimmed, CB would have earned an A-plus.  

I'm so proud of this young guy's behavior and am hoping that with the rest of his training he can keep up with his high standards. 

When John left, I did a little house cleaning and then headed to town for groceries and painting supplies and shavings. 

My stops included Yoke's, which was certainly calm and pleasant compared to the store's usual Friday afternoon crowd. 

I found everything I needed but did not look for toilet paper. 

Then, it was off to North 40 where blue lines on the floor during check-out help customers keep the desired distance. 

I purchased spray paint for adding a little dress-up to numerous flower pots.  

And, another bucket of white paint will be used to start the fence painting project which is one of the major projects of the year. 

That will have to wait until our predicted rainy days ahead have passed. 

At Wood's Hay and Grain, I purchased what are probably the last of needed shavings for this year.  In the next few weeks, the doors on the side of the barn will go open, and horses can come and go as they please. 

Bill and I also left home last night for a different kind of Friday night dinner.  We drove to Serva-Burger and then to the pier north of the Edgewater and City Beach. 

Twas eerie, to say the least:  a Friday night in Sandpoint with empty streets and parking lots. 

We had the pier all to ourselves until my sisters came along and parked beside us with their take-out dinner.  

Even from pickup to pickup, it was nice to visit in person.

We all adjust.  

Strange, silent times.  

It's gonna take some getting used to, for sure. 

Happy Saturday. 

Enjoy the photos.