Wow. Wow wow wow. I'm not easily "wow'd." But tonight, tonight I was wow'd. In fact, I was beyond wow'd. As I sat in my seat at the Panida, I was humbled. Humbled beyond my grasp, humbled beyond any influence I could hope to have in this dear town of mine.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
For the most part, a pretty rosy day, and that thought gave me a hook for featuring my beautiful garden rosebush this morning.
I've never had a rosebush quite like this one, where glorious red roses have formed a choir of color, so to speak. It's my favorite sight inside the garden fence, and that even tops all those healthy and abundant cucumber plants, which hide their bounty below their leaves.
Roses, however, want the world to know about their beauty, and this particular bush sings out to me every time I open the garden gate.
Another beautiful sight for anyone who has farm animals here in the country is harvested, dry and green hay ready to go into the barn or to be lined up in a row and covered with plastic.
West Shingle Mill Road is alive with big round bales which have experienced nary a drop of rain. And, on South Center Valley Road, Amanda from West Shingle Mill Road brought in our Lovestead bales last night with the bale loader.
It's not a lot of bales by most farmer's standards, but for us, those 99 bales will feed one-plus horses this winter and with much more nutrition than last year's which took forever to harvest and took in a few too many raindrops.
So, yes, the hay in the fields and standing next to the barn is a beautious sight this morning. Adding to our joy is our realization last night that we have a new box stall for storing our hay, meaning it can ALL go into the barn and that I won't have to transport any from the shed down the lane.
I haven't liked storing my hay in that spot the past two or three years because the stall is alive with mice who do a real number on bales of hay over the winter, turning many of them into chaff and gnawing through the twine that holds the flakes together.
So, this year, all things hay-related are looking especially good.
Speaking of green hay, I must touch briefly this morning on another thing of beautious green. That would be the Medicaid Mobile, a 1976 RV (just like our former new-old motor home).
This RV belongs to Garrett Strizich, co founder of Reclaim Idaho (www.reclaimidaho.org). Garrett and his co-founder Luke Mayville have spent the past week painting the RV and turning it into the official Medicaid Mobile for Idaho.
After a send-off at 6 p.m. tonight at Farmin Park in downtown Sandpoint, the two will embark on a trip around Idaho, making numerous stops where they'll speak about the need to protect and enhance Medicaid in our state.
Their focus on this trip is one of three important issues driving the Reclaim Idaho movement, also including support for public education and protection of public lands.
As noted several times by Luke, a Columbia University professor and Sandpoint High grad, in his speeches and comments thus far, their efforts are much more issue-related than party-related.
The movement invites and will support candidates in the 2018 Idaho Legislative races who support the three statewide issues identified by Reclaim Idaho as key to enhancing the middle class in our state.
Once more, I'll say how proud I am of these young men and their team. In my adult lifetime, their somewhat Herculean/Quixotic efforts this past year to make a positive difference in the lives of others stand out as exemplary, unselfish, bold and inspiring.
Good luck to Luke and Garrett as they travel the state. I think we're going to be hearing about them, and I do predict that soon Reclaim Idaho could be a household term.
In contrast, I can't say the same for what I continue to see at the National Level. Yesterday I mentioned that my husband is an Eagle Scout; in fact, scouting and journalism (both noble entities) brought us together.
I cited an example of how Bill, the Boy Scout, took time out on Sunday to help a driver in need. Bill's gesture was in keeping with the lifelong mission which is inspired by the Scout Oath.
I've never memorized the scout oath, but I'm sure that their training involves a healthy dose of teaching respect.
So sad to see the despicable show of disrespect used in front of a captive audience yesterday by an egotistical, psychologically needy opportunist.
I hope that "Scouts Honor" will rise above yet another unfortunate moment in the cheapening and disregard continually cbipping away at our valued and cherished American institutions all so one person can feel better about HIMSELF.
Scouting is better than what we saw yesterday as is every other principled entity which has been thrown under the bus in the past several months.
Yet another sad commentary, tarnishing the tradition of our nation.
Thank God we have people like Luke Mayville and Garrett Strizich to remind us of the goodness that can come from true leadership.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Twas a full and satisfying Sunday, indeed, as Terra and Lefty finished off their 4-H horse show and first-ever performance (for both) with a blue ribbon.
We (Barbara, Laurie, Terra's mom and I) all enjoyed how Terra proudly held on to her second blue ribbon in two classes, even while just moseying around the fairgrounds on Lefty.
We often forget, as adults, how profoundly meaningful those moments are to young people. Terra told me she would fill out the "date, place, class" informaton on the back of her ribbons for posterity.
It was truly a wonderful experience for my sisters and I to work with this aspiring young horsewoman, and we're all looking forward to seeing how far she takes her equine pursuits. Whatever she chooses to do, we already know she'll always strive to do her best and with grace.
After the show, my sisters, Bill and I took off for the annual visit to beautiful Boulder Meadows off Twenty Mile Road east of Naples.
The start did not go so well as an accident on HWY 95 near Elmira sent traffic to what has to be the dustiest stretch of road in North Idaho. At times, all we could see were headlights from the endless string of oncoming traffic, including huge travel trailers.
At one point, we came upon a motorcycle and a parked car. Turns out the cyclist had gone far enough through heavy dust to realize that he could hardly breathe, so he had to turn around. Traffic stopped briefly as he made his escape.
Finally we made it back to the highway and had gone up the road for a few miles before meeting what appeared to be our second obstacle. A pickup and stock trailer were parked almost in the middle of the road. As we approached, Bill noted that it looked like the driver was trying to fix a flat tire.
We could get by him, but my Eagle Scout husband was not moving on until he helped the Forest Service packer change his tire. It was an intricate job, but the two guys working together managed to do it.
In the meantime, my sisters, their dogs and I simply enjoyed walking around and basking in the nice mountain breeze.
We eventually arrived at the meadows where after handing over some bear spray and a walkie talkie, Bill left with his fly rod. We headed off down the board walk with a couple of buckets in hopes of picking a few berries but eventually becoming more content in stopping a lot and taking photos.
Boulder Meadows is rich with beauty pretty much any time but especially so right now with the continuous carpets of colorful wildflowers. The trails are nice, and we stuck on them as far as the main creek before turning around.
When we met up with Bill back at the rigs, we learned he had taken photos also of the two nice trout he caught while we were off on our adventure.
Twas great to get out into the back country with no real agenda except to enjoy. And, that we all did.
We returned to the discovery that the hay had all been baled. No rain. Nice and green. And more bales than last year. All that remains is for Harvey's crew to store the bales and for me to write a check.
This year's hay season was definitely no muss, no fuss for me, and that's the way I love it.
Bill just left with Annie. She'll fly back to Seattle this morning and head to work after a busy weekend in her own "private Idaho."
Looks like a great day for picking more blueberries and beans.
|Lisa Nolan Ailport Photo|
Sunday, July 23, 2017
|The big test for showmanship: here Terra and another 4-H'er from the neighborhood do their best to show their horses for the judge. |
Showmanship is judged on overall appearance of horse and handler and how the handler works through specific tests.
|At just about any horse show, there's a lot of "hurry up and wait" time, so Terra spent a lot of time yesterday morning keeping herself and Lefty from being too bored by walking and lunging.|
It was a nice start for Terra at yesterday's first day of the annual 4-H horse show. She earned a top blue ribbon and competed in the championship for intermediate showmen.
Today she'll ride Lefty in walk-trot, and we're all once again hoping for the best.
Congratulations, Terra and Lefty.
And, Happy Sunday to all.
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Busy day ahead. It's 4-H horse show weekend, so I'm working on my blog earlier than usual. By 7:30, I'll be heading down the road, pulling a horse trailer, and Lefty will be screaming through the neighborhood on his way to the fairgrounds.
Lefty is a screamer . . . has been since he was a baby and we brought him and his buddy Dusty home from Ronan, Montana. Lefty's not unhappy; he just wants people and horses to know he's passing through.
Lefty's new friend Terra will be at the fairgrounds with the other 4-H horse members, listening to general instructions for the day. When that's done, she'll come and find the trailer and then get to work grooming Lefty and preparing to show him in Intermediate first-year fitting and showing.
We feel confident Terra will do well; it's more up to Lefty and the flies how the team does. There are lots of flies at the fairgrounds, and Lefty, with his highly sensitive skin does not behave well when flies are bugging him. We'll hope that the fly spray does its magic while Terra is showing.
And, we'll hope for the best, knowing that she has come so far in such a short time, learning basic horsemanship. Good luck, Terra. If Lefty behaves and you both do well today, it will be fine if he screams about it all the way home.
Moving on to the "Thank you, Nerd" department, I found the italicized comment below on yesterday's blog post. Bill and I did some mutual speculation on who "Nerd" may be.
Based on our observation of, knowledge of and proximity of a certain person in the audience, we think we know the identity of the mystery nerd.
This time, I won't cringe about an anonymous comment on my blog because this person's notes certainly do provide a few of the informed and valuable nuggets from Dr. Marilynne Robinson's presentation at the Panida Theater Thursday night. A few segments also deal with the Q and A after her speech.
So, I hope you enjoy this addendum to my blog posting yesterday, that you take some time to think about Dr. Robinson's general observations and, by all means, do share them with others.
After all, it really does not hurt to agree that public education has, does and will continue to serve us well here in the United States.
Comment . . . .
I nerdily took notes.
They are unedited, so please hold your nose at the spelling and grammar errors.
The quality of the light, where so much of it is refracted by the lake.
How do we make the Idaho legislature respond to its constitutional obligation.
The quality of education is very good in the United States.
Many European countries have what they call "Social Security" where they receive a stipend for tuition and living expenses. Students change majors over and over again, avoiding the finish. They fear, they came dangerously near having enough credits to graduate.
Unpromising students are eliminated at a very early age, as young as 11.
Our education system allows students to create and recreate.
By 6th grade the European countries the struggling students have been skimmed off. At 15,16 they separate to math/sciences only or humanities only.
Avoid the argument that schools are failing, they are not. But this argument weakens the defense of education.
Public school students are not invited into step into an identity they have done nothing to earn.
They can encounter and interact with all people. This is their advantage over the elite.
"I went to CDA high school, then to Brown. Frankly I never felt I shouldn't be there".
If you go to any college in America, and read what they assign, and striver to meet their standards - you will do fine, anywhere, at any institution."
Educate people broadly and as well as we possibly can, we do not know what their future will hold, but the will need breadth and scope to adapt to the needs of the future.
You have a brain, the very singular privilege of existing as a human in the universe is that you are the owner of the most complex computer that has existed.
The pursuit of happiness, probably has something to do with happiness.
To love where you live, to have control over your time, to
The infinite value of what you see around you, to learn from and to enjoy.
Words get tangentially used.
Being involved actively in a democratic society involves respect for each other and self restraint.
Do you think public education can promote tolerance rather than fear of alternative viewpoints.
The movements that isolate us from one another, away from public education, away from public service.
Can writing be taught? "We are running an art school, interest is far more important than polish". We look for someone who has a privileged relationship with language. Reinforce the strongest impulses a writer has and push them away from patching lazy writing between quality pieces. Steer them away from cliches.
Consciously attentive readers, treating it like an art, getting them to the point where they can become serious writers.
"I think I am no more threatening than the average elderly lady".
Do you find there has been a change in commitment to publicly funded education. There is a political movement that does not value education at near historic levels.
In other news, Annie is here for a weekend visit. She has her fly pole so I'm guessing she will do a little fishing while here.
Also, Harvey Lippert's crew cut our hay yesterday. Summer time, and the living is busy as usual.
Happy Saturday. Have a great day. Off to the horse show.
Friday, July 21, 2017
This is exciting.
This is humbling.
Seeing close to 300 people gather tonight to "Reclaim Idaho." To reclaim it for the middle class by supporting education, funding healthcare and giving access to public lands.
To RECLAIM IDAHO. I'm humbled. I'm excited. I am THANKFUL. I am thankful to Luke and Garrett. You had a hope. And a mission, and you did it. You DID IT. And you're DOING IT.
Thank you. THANK YOU. ❤️
---Megan Johnson, a Reclaim Idaho volunteer
|Janende Grende and her granddaughter attended, and Luke's mom Linda took tickets.|
|Bonner's Books provided signed copies of Marilynne Robinson's novels at the event.|
|Students from Sandpoint High School served as ushers.|
|Garrett Stizich and a Reclaim Idaho volunteer worked some technical strategies to live stream the event around the state.|
|A packed house for the kick off of Reclaim Idaho.|
|Sally Moon, who has already participated in neighborhood groups associated with Reclaim Idaho, gave a brief speech on her experiences with the movement thus far.|
For more information about Reclaim Idaho, visit www.reclaimidaho.org.
|Lots of fun visiting after the event along with a spirit of great enthusiasm for what had happened on the Panida stage.|
Thursday, July 20, 2017
|Marianne Love, Luke Mayville, Christine Holbert, Marilynne Robinson and Nancy Gerth.|
"Housekeeping," of the literal sense, almost kept me from meeting Pulitzer Prize-Winning author and Sandpoint native Marilynne Robinson who has come back to her hometown to speak tonight (7 p.m.) at the Panida Theater about the importance of public education.
Robinson, who published Housekeeping ( Pulitzer-Prize finalist) in 1980, won the Pen/Hemingway Award for best first novel. Since then, the novel has received acclaim as one of the 100 greatest novels of all time.
The author later won the Pulitzer Prize for her best-selling novel Gilead. Other notable titles include bestsellers Lila and Home.
In 2016, Dr. Robinson was named by Time Magazine as one of 100 of America's Most Influential People.
To get more insight into Dr. Robinson and why she has earned the status above, check out https://www.imagejournal.org/article/conversation-marilynne-robinson/
And, there is much much more as evidenced by a simple google search.
Tonight's Dr. Robinson's appearance serves as a formal launch for the grass roots movement called Reclaim Idaho, initiated by two other Sandpoint products: Dr. Luke Mayville and Garrett Strizich.
Their initial goal: to raise awareness statewide about the importance of public education, health care for working families and protection of public lands.
Their ultimate goal: to campaign legislative candidates statewide in the 2018 election who support each of the three issues mentioned above.
As one who has been working with these students on their ambitious and creative movement, I offered to take Dr. Robinson, Luke and some other organizers to dinner last night.
So, in late afternoon, with a little spare time before changing and heading to town to meet the group, I decided to make quick run through the house with my Dyson vacuum cleaner.
Our Border Collie Liam, carrying his usual ball, saw me pick up the vacuum as he was headed outside. Probably not a good idea, I thought ever so briefly.
Fifteen minutes later, after returning the vacuum to its usual spot in the garage, I began rounding up dogs.
When I couldn't find him in his usual spots, panic set in as did the reminder of that moment when he saw the vacuum cleaner. Liam had run off one other time last year after seeing me with the vacuum cleaner. That day he headed over to Meserve's and eventually began herding Bert Wood's cows.
Yesterday afternoon, however, he was not at Meserve's herding cows. He was not in the woods. He was not at any neighbors' homes.
No matter how often I called his name for nearly an hour, even wishfully coaxing him to "bring the ball," Liam was nowhere to befound----until FINALLY, I saw the most beautiful black-and-white figure standing on the other side of the gate leading to the hay field. Liam was waiting for someone to come and open that gate.
I also think Liam was just as relieved to see me as I was to see him. He was covered with hay seeds, and I'm guessing while avoiding getting sucked up by that scary vacuum cleaner and racing to the hay field, he may have gotten disoriented in the tall grass.
Liam's eventual discovery meant dinner with a famous author after all. And, what a night it was!
Good food at the Floater along with an abundance of food for thought flowed for three hours as discussion of politics, education, religion history, the plight of America was sprinkled with a fair amount of personal anecdotes and an ample serving of good humor.
Marilynne Robinson is a literary heroine to many, especially to Luke Mayville who boldly took on the notion a few months back that if he wrote her an email and explained his vision for Reclaim Idaho, maybe Marilynne Robinson would come on board.
She wrote back the next morning, telling Luke that "yes" she would come to Sandpoint from her home in New York and speak at the Panida about her passion for public education----and she'd do it on her nickel.
So, last night it was fun to watch Luke leading much of the discussion in an effort to glean as much knowledge and insight as possible during this unique but quiet gathering. We have learned in our research that Dr. Robinson prefers small groups because she loves conversation.
From the moment I met her and observed that she was taller than I had imagined, I found myself feeling very comfortable with this lady who has accomplished so much at such a high level during her life while never forgetting the importance of humanity.
She's brilliant (pretty much every word she spoke was profound and worldly) yet down-to-earth and very approachable.
It was truly an honor and an exciting few hours of my life to be in the company of an educator, thinker, researcher and writer of such renown.
And, to compare notes about being born at the same hospital overlooking Sand Creek and hearing our mother's tales about how long they had to stay at the hospital after giving birth in those days---definitely a connector.
I will treasure my experience from last night and am looking forward to this evening when Dr. Robinson speaks at the Panida. She'll do a few questions and answers afterward. Then, Luke will wrap up the program with a call to action for attendees to consider volunteering either time or money to the Reclaim Idaho cause.
It should be an inspirational evening. Tickets for the event are $5. They can be purchased on line at https://www.panida.org/event/marilynne-robinson or at Baxter's, Eicharts, Eve's Leaves or at the door.
Also, for more information about tonight's event, tune into KRFY-FM 88.5 at 8 a.m. PDT. You'll hear from Dr. Robinson and from Luke.
See you at the Panida tonight.