Saturday, April 29, 2017

Saturday Short and Sweet

One hundred days down, 1,360 to go.  

We're still alive.  

So, I guess we should celebrate.  

Somehow, though, pondering the fact that we have survived all of 6 percent of the era of BIG SIGNATURE aka BS, is far from comforting. 

But the weather outside is cheery, after a morning rain shower complete with western rainbow, that is. 

Big day ahead for everyone who's been waiting and waiting and waiting for their outside time to amount to more than 6 percent of their day. 

We may even get a 94 percent chance of enjoying the great outdoors today.

So, this post is gonna be short and sweet.  

Many sweet aspects to the day lie ahead, including planting the beautiful raspberry starts that Maryann and Shiraz brought to the Lovestead yesterday afternoon.  


That project is first on my list today.  Plus, my sisters and I might take off for a short afternoon outing with our cameras. 

Lots of possibilities, so I'm not gonna waste time as we race through the day before the next rainstorm comes.  That's due this evening. 

Happy Saturday.  

Friday, April 28, 2017

Hot 'n Flashies on a Rainy Day

Blah, blah, blah #^$**&@?? rain, blah, blah, blah more ^#@>??!%* rain. 

Okay, I have that discussion out of the way.  I know that some readers have heard enough, so let me attempt to stick with the bright spots in yesterday's $#@@#$?><&& rainy day.  

Good news from yesterday.  

* Last year's oregano stems have all been pruned back.  Lots of oregano stems here at the Lovestead, so that's an accomplishment.  Such a project can be done in the drizzle. 

* Horse trailer----from the last time I used it in July----cleaned out.  It sat in the same spot with a pile of horse apples and a bag of hay from last July 27 when my sisters, my brother and some family friends rode the trails at the Wyman property at Naples. 

Seems I didn't get a lot of horseback riding done after that, and I'm sure I forgot about that pile at the time, figuring I'd be using the horse trailer again soon.  Have I ever mentioned that during the month when I do the most riding--October---it rained every day??

More than likely I've brought that up at time or two.

Okay back to the good stuff. 

I bought a new weed eater at South Fork Hardware, formerly Merwins.  I bought the weed eater from the same person who sold me my last weed eater at formerly Merwins.  That would be Ray Yaw, Jr.  

Most folks who've lived in Sandpoint for 70-plus years probably haven't known a time when a Yaw wasn't working at formerly Merwins, now South Fork Hardware.  I taught Ray as a sophomore English student way back when.  

I also taught his son Doug and his daughter Tammi way back a little sooner. Ray's wife Terri is gonna have to remind me if I taught her.  It's possible. She's a Bergstrom, for all who know local genealogy.

Ray told me yesterday that even when he retires, he'll probably still work part-time at the hardware store. 

Back to the weed eater.  He sold me a Poulin a few years back, and it's been the best and most cooperative weed eater I can ever remember.  And, I've owned a LOT of weed eaters. It's time for a new model.  

Ray assures me that my newest weed eater does not involve wrapping a bunch of string around a spool only to have it get loose and fly all over the place.  With this newer model, I'll just use short strands of string, and when they get down to the bud, simply pull 'em out and thread in a new one.

As I walked out of the store and was crossing the street with weed eater in hand, I stopped for a pickup coming my way.  The driver motioned me on across the street and then parked.  Turned out it was Grant Merwin of the "formerly Merwin's."  

Like Ray, Grant is also a former student.  He's now working in yard maintenance.  Did Grant have some grousing and moaning to do?  Yup, he did, and as he reviewed all the days he'd gotten up, ready for spring yard work only to look out the window at more rain, he has said a word or two that may have been frowned upon in Mrs. Love's senior English class.

Yesterday, however, Grant and I were on the same plain (that one in Spain, ya know) where cuss words referring to continual rain, rain, rain were deemed acceptable by both parties. 

Think of the farmers, I said to Grant, even through my empathy.  

Well, Grant knew of a few fields out south of town with downward slopes where the rain could flow to one spot instead of standing (water) all over the field.  He thought some of those farmers might have gotten some work done.

Anyway, we talked weed eaters and then went our separate ways. 

As I drove home, another collection of dark rain clouds was coming over and shielding off part of the mountains.  I remembered that Bill had said he was going to try to hike up part of the Mickinnick Trail, and I wondered how successful he had been. 

Seeing those clouds, I figured Starbucks looked as good as any place while they moved over and dropped their contents.  So, I bought a cup of coffee and one of their toffee doodle cookies (very good) and sat back checking out my favorite Internet stops. 

Later, when I arrived home, Bill was in the living room.  No, he hadn't even tried Mickinnick cuz of that black cloud hovering directly over Greenhorn Mountain. 

So, I told him the tales of wet woe for the day and then went outside to the shop to cut up pieces of weed eater string----all in hopes, that is, that some day I might use that new weed eater. 

Later, I went for a walk and caught a nice rainbow adding a neat touch to my favorite tree scene in Taylor's field.  The Meserve Preserve, including their historic barn,  provided me a few more cool shots. 

Just as I arrived at the driveway, the 15-minute rain break had ended, so I hot-footed it to the house where Bill met me in the kitchen and asked, "Would you like to go out to Ice House Pizza just for something different?"

So, off we went, and as we arrived at Hope, leaves were budded out, the countryside was relatively dry and a huge black cloud was hovering over all of Sandpoint. 

WE HAD ESCAPED, at least temporarily, and what a lovely escape it was with great pizza, a good beer, a nice view of Lake Pend Oreille out the window and a wonderful group of ladies who had gathered at the table next to us. 

We eventually figured out that they were a book club, and what a book club they are. All tennis players who also like books.  They mentioned their friend Mary Jo, as in Lambert, who also plays tennis and who used to be our neighbor. 

They proudly call themselves the Hot 'n Flashies. I know another book club serving the west side of the county with an equally catchy name:   Refined Ladies Book Club and Terrorist Society. 

I don't know which group is more dangerous or who has more fun, but I do know that there's more than books that gets discussed with both groups. 

As we had all become "new best friends," which meant a group shot taken by Bill, one of the ladies asked, "Did your daughter walk the Camino?"

Well, of course, that question gave us both a shot of adrenalin, wondering how the heck this lady knew about Annie.  Turns out one of her friends who knew that she and her hubby were planning to walk the Camino last September, recommended Annie's blog  

She told us that she followed the blog religiously.  Note:  I just now discovered, after looking up her link, that Annie has added a reflection of her experience almost a year later. 

Anywho, the news of this lady following Annie's blog thrilled both Bill and me to no end, and eventually even more when the same lady told Bill he had been out to their place to advise them on their trees.

Love, love, love small worlds, and yesterday's rainy day directed us to a particularly fun "small world" experience.  Great way to end what could otherwise been just another rainy day in North Idaho. 

If we can't really enjoy the beauty of the land, we can always enjoy the beauty and the common bonds of the people who inhabit it. 

Happy Friday.  

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Odds and Ends at the Lovestead, TBT

This photo was taken a year and one day ago.  Green grass in the hay field.  Dry enough to walk on in street shoes, shirt-sleeve weather and no worries of having to give two dogs yet another bath that evening.

This morning:  a year and a day later:  wet, green grass in hay field, lakes in low spots, doggies don't go to hay field but their field is still mostly covered with ankle-deep water.  This morning's outdoor ensemble: barn boots, five layers of tops, gloves and still it was cold.

If dogs go out today, they'll need some bathing.

This morning, rather than getting my feet stuck in the mud several times while dragging the cart of hay to the barnyard for the horses' breakfast, I chose the ankle deep water route behind the barn.  There's also high ground in that corner of the barnyard for the horses to eat their hay without getting stuck in the muck.

And, then, while I was cleaning stalls, I commented out loud that the announcer on KPND could have gone all day without suggesting some movies to watch because it's "gonna be a soggy weekend."

Anyway, what a difference a year makes!  This year we can only hope to say, "What a difference a couple of dry days would make in our lives!"

So, here we are at almost the end of April, and it's not all "rain on our parades."  We have made some progress around here, and, in spite of yucky weather, we know that delicious days await us as asparagus spears are rising out of their winter beds.  I counted 16 early peepers yesterday, and more will be appearing soon. 

I also loved seeing rhubarb unfolding its leaves near the blackberry bushes. 

My outdoor lettuce is holding its own, and soon should be putting on some more growth. As always, the many clumps of oregano around the place are defying any weather patterns and adding some lovely visual interest wherever they happen to be growing. 

I planted about 30 cucumber seeds yesterday (in the greenhouse) and am hoping they'll produce some wonderful salad delights come July.  

Some radish seed went into one of the raised planters.  I figured on success since we're supposed to be in the 60s next week.  Note "supposed to be."  We'll see about that.

Inside the house, my computer monitor has quit going to sleep and refusing to wake up. That problem started a few weeks ago, occurring intermittently.  Finally when it was occurring much to often, I contacted my wizard Joel who gave me an easy fix, which included a simple setting change. 

Yesterday afternoon, another wizard aka The Appliance Doctor aka Mike came and fixed both our dryer and our refrigerator.  

The dryer wasn't heating, thanks to a timer that went bad, while the refrigerator was producing lakes which would appear out of nowhere. That turned out to be a plugged hose. 

Mike said, "If the refrigerator goes down again, don't call me.  Get a new refrigerator."  

It's probably been here since the house was built in 1981.  Of course, we always think about the used Frigidaire my mother bought from Northside School back in the '50s which ran like a charm forever.  

So, comparatively speaking, we kinda expect our refrigerators to earn their keep, but we will heed Mike's words when the time comes.

All in all, except for mud, rain, cold temps and hint of more of the same, life isn't too bad here at the Lovestead.  Just ask Mr. Squirrel.  

Happy Thursday. 

Springin' to the daffodil choir

Gonna be a good asparagus year.

Rhubarb's a coming. 


Oregano, lots of it. 

So many squirrel shots but, oh so cute!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"Seens" along Back Roads

During a walk down our south end of South Center Valley Road yesterday, I looked toward the sky and was blown away by the heavenly clouds.  

I figured that since the sun was actually shining and the sky was blue, the many beloved occupants of these clouds and beyond had come for a visit. 

Twas comforting, to say the least. 

Ditches during springtime, especially during wet times like this, offer some lovely blends of color.  As grass spurts upward from all that moisture and whenever the sky turns blue, some spots along the road are downright stunning.  

Come summer we'll never pay much attention to those dry, dusty ditches. For now, they alive with lovely images. 

Gary Finney's impressive gateway offers some nice framing of images for his field and those beyond it. 

I don't know this gentleman's name, but I'm thinking he may have the happiest dog around.  They're often out on our road or over on Center Valley Road putzing along and enjoying the great outdoors.

Pure contentment for both. 

Green grass, white vinyl fence, the Tucker dairy barn converted to stable and a nice horse trailer----this was the view at my sisters' Arabian farm yesterday.

The barn is a magnificent structure with years of history, especially for the Tucker family and now more than three decades for the Tibbs family.

Instead of dairy cows, pretty horses live there now.  It's always easy to tell folks where my sisters live----just past the driveway with Wood's two halves of ceramic beef on HWY 95 North. 

I encountered these two love birds yesterday, enjoying the roof top view from their home at Del Bader's place along South Center Valley Road.

Del has a series of bird houses along his fencelines, and apparently, it's time for occupancy.  This couple was quite happy to stay put as I snapped a few pictures. 

This single box car has been parked for years on the tracks near the intersection of Baldy Road and our old road GREAT NORTHERN.  Maybe it's been left there as a unique street sign.

We'd love to know its personal history and why it remains in this spot. I'm sure railroad buffs could look at the identifying information and provide some clues.

For now and for as long as it sits there, it can remind us all of one of the great railroad systems responsible for the settlement of Sandpoint.

Any additional information will be greatly appreciated and shared. 

Let's go Priest River way, I said as Bill and I prepared to get in the pickup and go for a short afternoon drive.  

Well, we went to Priest River and on to Newport, staying on HWY 2 until we reached Scotia Road where we turned left.

Twas all new for me but not for Bill.  Often when we'd cross through intersections, he'd announce that he had a "client down the road" (for Inland Forest Management).

We ended up in the little village of Elk before taking a loop back toward Newport.  I had never been to Elk, so that was a treat in itself.

By then,the rain had started, but along those back roads, we did stop a couple of times so I could snap some photos.

The trip home was pretty darned wet.  The night was wet, and, surprisingly, as I type, there's no pelting of raindrops on the metal roof.  According to the forecast, that won't last long.

When Bill and I arrived home, it was time to fix dinner and take in the afternoon news.  One of the first stories on KREM last night featured Taylor Vydo reporting from the Cedar Post room at Sandpoint High School, where principal Tom Albertson was reporting to students that Sandpoint High has received a rank of second in the whole State of Idaho for its overall student climate and successes.

Thousands of Sandpoint High School graduates through generations have been extremely proud of our school.  So, this public acknowledgement simply reinforced that pride in a very nice way.

Congratulations to the students and staff at Sandpoint High School for continuing the tradition of a "job well done."

With that, Happy WETnesday.  Enjoy the photos. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Spring before the Flurries

Yesterday afternoon, I posted a link on Facebook from the Seattle Times, noting the shattering of 122-year record for rainfall in that area. The record dates back to 1895, the year someone started keeping official weather records. 

The amount of rainfall for this record-breaking effort had been tallied since Oct. 1, 2016, a date which I remember very distinctly. 

The Love's were hosting a portion of our cousins' reunion that weekend, and as cousins from Washington, Idaho and Montana began to gather, so did the rain clouds.  

We had torrents that day, but, in fairness, I will say that the clouds gave us a break for our cruise that afternoon on Lake Pend Oreille. 

I was really looking forward to the whole month of October last fall because it's usually the month when gardening and lawn work is pretty much over, and there's more time to ride horses. 


That never happened.  It rained the whole month of October.  

Anyway, after feeling vindicated for my share of the rather universal griping about the weather we've endured since Oct. 1, 2016, I decided to check out the ten-day forecast.  

Surely, I thought, now that we've broken that "long-awaited" record, this wet spring is gonna dry up, the horses won't have slog around their mucky barnyard and maybe I can mow the lawn with my riding mower before having to call Harvey to use a swather instead. 

Well, it's looking like about May 4 we may see another set of those back-to-back dry days, and before that----1-3 inches of snow, scheduled for tomorrow/Thursday. 

So, the good news is maybe we're setting some new records with each new day.  The bad news is several more days of innovative thoughts on what to do, what to do when we can't do much of anything that we really need to do. 

I guess I'm looking forward to the snowfall because then I can take pictures of snow on my daffodils and snow on the green hay fields and snow on my lettuce in the garden boxes and maybe even foot prints in the snow.

Yesterday afternoon, after a rather miserable cold and wet morning, the sun did come out, and I was still able to take pictures of spring doing its best to be spring. 

So, enjoy. If I'm not back on the blog tomorrow, that means I went into hibernation until May 4.  

Happy Tuesday.