Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Cold Treat


And it's a great day to be aliveI know the sun's still shiningWhen I close my eyesThere's some hard times in the neighborhoodBut why can't every day be just this goodAh, yeah

                               --Travis Tritt

Every day, to be alive, is a great one.

Still, some rise to the top.

Yesterday was such a day for me. 

Again, all jubilation is relative to our individual circumstances.  

In one case, I have done more than my share of time in front of my upstairs desktop computer, waiting. 

I have waited, seemingly forever, on some days for a picture or and Internet site to load. Other days, these incidentals in the grand scheme of computer life have performed normally. 

I have defragged my computer and dumped bookmarked sites and deleted dozens of duplicate pictures. 

In each of these cases, the machine will work like a dream and then, for no unknown reason SLOOOOOWWWW down to the point that I do want to throw a hammer at it. 

Just when I'd get to that point, the computer would start behaving again.  So, I've dealt with this intermittent frustration for a long time. 

Yesterday, after downloading a new version of my web navigator, thinking I could speed things up a bit, I received a message which seemed to my tech-ignorant mind as so much gobbledy gook. 

The main problem to go along with the message was that I couldn't open my web browser. 

In a semi panic, I wrote a note to Joel, the computer wizard.  Including a picture of the message, I asked, "What does this mean, and how do I fix it?"

While waiting for Joel, I tried a couple of other shenanigans, which really screwed things up, including total disappearance of the web navigator icon. 

What to do?  What to do?  Besides the hammer?

Long story short, I went to another web navigator which had me go to the Microsoft store (instead of online like I'd always done in the past) and download Mozilla Firefox. 

I got a squeaky clean new version with just one potential problem---finding all my bookmarks and addressing/remembering the abundant password variations which I'd used over the years, to get into some of those sites.

Frustration was again setting in until I discovered that these navigators are much better than I at keeping track of things.  Happily most of my sites were found and transferred along WITH the passwords. 

In computer land, this morning, life is very good.  My new version of Firefox runs like a dream and I can easily access all of my favorite sites. 

So, that was one good thing that made yesterday turn out pretty neat. 

Another came in the afternoon when I was out in the hay field playing with the dogs who were happily cavorting atop the snow. Along came Bill, and he played with us for a while. 

"We should go over to Meserve's and see the pond some day," he said. 

"We should go today," I responded, adding,  "We aren't going to be able to walk on top of the snow very long as it warms up."  

So, Bill took the dogs to the house, came back and we walked over a portion of top fence wire buried in the snow. 

The sunshine was brilliant; the air cold but bearable. 

We found dozens of sets of elk tracks near the swale leading into the pond.  

More than likely, those were from the 31 elk our neighbor Terry had photographed last week, walking almost single file across their field.

We marveled, like we always do, at the old stumps along the swale and in and around the frozen pond.  Again, as I've said in other posts, those stumps could share some rich history. 

With all these elements bringing my senses alive, my emotions soared also. 

At one point, I told Bill, "This is probably the furthest I've walked in almost a year and a half, 'cept maybe in an airport." 

My gratitude this morning is soaring just like all the other elements did yesterday.  To be out walking and not hurting is the ultimate thrill for this ol' gal. 

We are both so grateful for the generosity of our neighbors to allow us to enjoy those massive fields surrounded by spectacular scenery and where critters cross, take a drink from the pond or swale and then move on. 

The short afternoon experience was, indeed a cold and wonderful treat, enhanced by a feeling of exhilaration, awe and deep-felt gratitude. 

Truly a great day to be alive . . . and to have a computer that will live to see another day!

Happy Tuesday.  May your day be great. 

Monday, January 30, 2023

Simple Stuff


Foster is my barn buddy.

The little guy amazes me, especially considering that he has gone blind.  

He knows his way to the barn and to all the important places in his life. 

Every morning he accompanies me to the dog run. He doesn't stay there, just partakes in "biscuit time" and then heads on his way while Bridie and Liam stay.

Foster always takes a biscuit, carries it a ways, puts it down and often comes back several hours later to eat it. 

He knows where to find fresh horse apples.  He knows the best places in the pasture along the lane to leave his little Foster logs.

While I finish my barn chores in mid-morning, Foster spends some time looking for the cats to stare at.  Yeah, how does a blind dog stare at cats, you may ask. 

I've wondered that too, but Foster does a good job, even when the cat isn't there. 

Often, he'll just give up staring to open the door to the tack room and clean up some of the cat food. 

When cat work and cat food doesn't occupy his time, my little friend simply finds a spot, usually near the doorway to supervise me. 

In the evenings, while I'm preparing dinner, Foster keeps close track of its progress. 

The instant I tell Bill he can come and dish up, Foster's favorite time of the day comes. 

Knowing Bill will always share bites from his dinner, Foster sits steadfastly staring and refraining from any obnoxious begging behavior.  A perfect gentleman begger, he is, and the rewards come. 

I'm happy that Foster has been able to adapt to his blindness and that he can still enjoy the relatively carefree life of a busy little dog. 

BTW:  he is my barn buddy but takes breaks as my best friend whenever Annie is home. During those times, she is his person, and he takes that job very seriously. 

Good little Foster. 


Twas a simple and lovely Sunday around here yesterday.  I never left the place and felt more than content to soak up some sunshine on a cold and glorious January day. 

The dogs followed me as I set off walking across the fields on top of snow, easily stepping over fences and enjoying the peace and beauty of it all. 

I even did an outdoor project other than chores. Having used the last of a stack of hay, stored in the shop lean to, I cleaned up the area, raking all the loose hay that had dribbled from the stack over the last three months. 

The horses were happy to munch on an extra afternoon treat. 

We alo watched some football off and on throughout the day.  Both of us were glad to see the Kansas City Chiefs win their game and advance to the Super Bowl. 

I love watching quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and since my friend Mow is a big Kansas City fan, it was great to see them win. 

Mama Kelce

Mama Kelce must love this.

They're calling it the Brothers Bowl.

Will these siblings take a break from "brotherly love"?

And, Coach Reid may have mixed emotions since he also coached for Philadelphia. 

Great and refreshing stories for the Super Bowl.   


As I type this morning, my computer says it's 2 degrees outside.  That one degree cooler than when I went out to do the early chores. 

I felt a definite difference in the cold from yesterday's 7-degree morning.  Today, however, the temps will begin to climb again. 

So, we've had just a few days of bitter cold but some amazing beauty and freedom of movement to go along with it. 

It's been a nice and welcome way to end January. And, by golly, this least favorite month of mine has not been that bad in 2023. 

Happy Monday.  

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Seeing White

It may not seem like a big deal for most, but it was for me. 

Last night I was able to take my sled full of hay and leave it in the barnyard, ready for morning feeding. 

That opportunity meant one major step (or several) out of the way for throwing flakes around for the horses' breakfast. 

Actually, the symbolism of the moment meant more to me than saving a few steps of dragging a loaded sled from the hay pile.

That minor change in routine and the hint of orange dawn which I could see on the east horizon when I started chores signaled better times ahead in the winter workload. 

Granted, as we move ahead, the nights may not be dry like last night and we may get more snow, but seeing early morning light is something that will change for the better each day as the sun arrives earlier and the light lasts longer.

Having a little more light on the subject for feeding makes all the difference, not only with safety but with one's mood. 

It is very cold this morning.  My computer says 7 degrees, but it's dry and that offers another perk, which I enjoyed yesterday. 

I could walk on top of the snow, which meant expanding my horizons here at the Lovestead. 

When I realized that the hard snow came high enough next to the gate to the hay field, I climbed over into a seemingly whole new world. 


So nice to just take off, without obstructions, across a field filled with tracks from some sorts of creatures that had wandered through when the snow was softer. 

Hard to tell what species left those tracks because they tend to expand with time.  

The patterns offered some interesting wonderment as I left lighter tracks walking across crisp, glistening snow. 

Not long after I had entered the field, I had a friend racing around me, sniffing, turning this way and that. 

I think Bridie felt just as liberated as I did. No longer are we limited to the lane or shoveled pathways. 

 Poor little Foster, though, remained on the other side of the gate, unable to figure out, due to his blindness, how to get into the field. Meanwhile down the lane, Liam continued licking his ice. 

Bridie and I had a nice time taking off different directions in a somewhat celebratory mood. 

For me, it was so gorgeous every direction and the slight change in location offered different perspectives from what I've been able to see all winter. 

Plus, it was fun to follow Bridie with my camera, snapping dozens of photos. 

Later, I climbed back over the gate where Foster was waiting and pointed Bridie back to the wire fence which she had gone over to get to the hayfield. 

I don't know how long this phenomenon of walking on TOP of snow will last, but the combination of beauty and freedom of movement more than makes up for the cold temps. 

While I was enjoying the fields, Bill was watching the Lady ZAGS in Spokane, win yet another game; they're now 21-2. 

Down in New Mexico, Annie was also spending some time walking across white landscapes. 

She was wearing her flipflops. 

This weekend Annie is in Southern New Mexico visiting White Sands National Park and getting acquainted with aliens in Roswell. 

And, so the white landscapes have dominated our respective family weekends.  

I wouldn't mind being able to wear flipflops to get around, but I do have to admit that for the eyes and the feet in North Idaho, this crisp, cold winter weather of late January ain't that bad. 

Life is looking brighter every day.

Happy Sunday.