Thursday, July 19, 2018

This and That and TBT's

Some mornings I'm never quite sure of what's gonna show up on the blog. This morning was one of those, even though I had a few ideas. 

Well, as life unfolds each day, so do distinct themes that go along with whatever seems to be happening at the time. 

Now that I know what's gonna be on the blog, I can maybe use the word "vintage."  

Love that word because in my mind it connotes one of my favorite aspects of living:  remembering the past. 

Nostalgia is a key ingredient in my bag of reasons to get up every morning.  The bag is pretty full with lots of other things, but I can guarantee that the assortment of past memories takes its share of room.

So, today's post has brought my mind alive with smiles and fragrances and good memories of a few folks very appreciated within my circle.

Let me start out with the link below.  If I were dedicating the contents of this post to someone else who dearly loves nostalgia AND creates it with her talent every day, I would name the lady featured in the Daily Bee story. 

Congratulations once again for one of our community's finest artists for the much-deserved recognition she is receiving with this year's Festival at Sandpoint. 

My friend Judy Pederson brings back the past exquisitely through her paintings of barns and rural scenes.  You can read more about her latest achievement in the story.  

Judy, I hope you enjoy today's blog as much as so many of us enjoy your artwork!

Reading Judy's story in the morning paper launched the nostalgia theme. 

I also loved reading this morning's Bonner County History "50 Years Ago" column, especially the part about Karen Evans, the "bridal-elect" who was honored with a wedding shower. 

Karen has been a faithful reader of this blog, so, of course, this history note is essential for today's focus. 

Later, coming upstairs and seeing a photo posted to my Facebook page further enhanced the vintage idea.

This posting also inspired another theme among the photos:  first horses/first horse experiences.  

My friend, family member and former student Monty Collison was on a nostalgia kick when he posted the picture of him, his ribbon and his mount Sassy on my wall. 

Monty has moved on as a highly respected horseman who competes and wins at the national level. 

Sassy, a cute little Appaloosa mare, provided other young people some of their first horse experiences, including my sister Laurie (Sassy was her first horse) and daughter Annie. 

There's a lot to be said for those reliable, beloved equine pals which stand prominent in the memories of horse lovers.  Sassy certainly earned her medals in the kids and horses hall of fame. 

And, then there was Tonka.  She was a big Appaloosa mare our family purchased from the Hawkins family.  Both my son Willie and my brother Jim had some memorable riding experiences on Tonka. 

Because I've witnessed another youngster having the time of her life with her first horse experiences, I've included Lefty among the circle of beloveds.  Every day of watching Terra and Lefty learn together has only magnified the wonderful bond I see between the two. 

Interestingly enough, a few years ago, another young lady spent many hours riding Lefty while he was stabled for a month in Spokane where Monty trains and teaches riding. 

That young lady named Madison has moved on from her early horse experiences with some wonderful achievements.  

There's a photo of her on Facebook all decked out with a collection of championship awards won at a regional horse show last weekend.  Congratulations to Madison.

And, to all of the above, as well as a couple of my sisters who can tell their own share of first horse stories (was it Queenie, the pony, Barbara?)-----I hope these photographic memories bring back some fun thoughts for each of you. 

That's precisely what I love about nostalgia.  

It's such a rich and satisfying ingredient for us to savor as we continue to move through the phases of our lives.  

Mighty fun to look back and see where and how we began our individual journeys. 

Happy Thursday. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

HuckleBEARy Heaven, Et. Al.

I'm gonna stick my neck out this morning and declare it a good year for huckleberries. 

Along with that, it's important to keep in mind that the bears know it's a good year for huckleberries too.

I do think there are enough of Idaho's state fruit to go around for both the peeps and the bears. 

In fact, yesterday our visitor showed the utmost of grace and consideration when it came upon us picking away at what was probably gonna be its afternoon dessert down by the river. 

Rather than cause a fuss, the bear just climbed a tree and sat there watching us pick.  

Talk about grace---it didn't even seem to mind that I was taking its picture.  

Just had my cell phone, though, but I can tell you that, for the very first time in this ursophobiac's life, I stood my ground, did not run away and snapped a few photos. 

After that, Bill and I walked on down the trail a ways and finished our picking.  When we walked back, the bear was still perched in the tree.  

Once it knew we were finished with our picking, it slid to the ground, looked around and ambled off.  I knew where it was headed. 

The biggest and best berries were right next to the river shoreline. Our trail was far enough away that the berries were about half that size. 

We picked for about an hour and brought home about half a gallon of berries----all very clean.

Twas a great way to escape the heat, strolling around in the shade next to a river plucking from bushes loaded with berries. 

When we returned to the pickup, I walked around the area, and pretty much wherever I stood, huckleberry brush was filled with berries.

Bill quite often fishes in our berry patch area and says, from his experience, it appears to be a bear corridor.  I doubt, however, they are all as laid back as our fury friend. 

So, it's a good idea if you find a good patch to keep a lookout.  And, when you're next to a river, they could sneak up on you pretty easily.

We have our first installment of huckleberries for 2018 and will most likely try to find some time to pick a whole lot more.

While picking those berries and not really too worried about the bear, I thought a lot about contractions.

Not the labor kind, mind you. Haven't thought about those for almost 40 years. 

No, I was thinking about how once again we English teachers could revel in the fact that another hair-splitting application of our vocation had come to the forefront on the world stage. 

This does not happen very often.  Oh, occasionally, someone brings up a misplaced comma which makes an important document have a double or confusing meaning. 

Then, there was the era when the intransitive verb "is" received notable attention in the spotlight, thanks to Bill Clinton who seemed to know the difference between present and past tense and use it to what he thought was/is his advantage. 

If you need a memory refresher, just click on this link.

I don't know if verb tense played a positive role in President Clinton's effort to convince the folks in legal court, but I do know that there may have been a lotta head scratching among those who sit in the court of public opinion.

I also know that at the time, English teachers were in their glory, maybe even some using the President's predicament as a teaching moment when their students couldn't figure out the difference between present and past tense. 

Once again yesterday, we English teachers (well, at least one) rejoiced, knowing that our passion for the language and lifelong desire that it be used correctly aroused wide public attention. 

In this case, 'twas those contractions: specifically falling into the subjunctive woulda, coulda, shoulda variety. 

When Donald Trump shoulda said to the world, "Yes, the Russians did meddle in the elections, and I hold you, Vladimer Putin responsible," he "couldN'T" remember just what he was supposed to say outside the safety of his Tweet Kingdom. 

And, according to the President, it came out wrong.  If he had been thinking straight, he woulda said the right thing, but when you're 72, sometimes you forget what to say and, by golly, the wrong thing comes out. 

That's what happened on Monday, according to Donald Trump.  

I'm glad he clarified it all yesterday and told us that he really meant wouldn't when he said would.

I'm really glad because as an English teacher, I love it when people point out to us the importance of specificity and the old "say what you mean," and "mean what you say."  

Now, I kinda thought he really meant was he said on Monday when he said, "I don't know why it WOULD be the Russians," cuz I thought I saw forcefullness in his comment----especially when he emphasized "WOULD." 

Then, yesterday we learned that he had totally forgotten to say what he really meant, and, darnit all, the wrong word slipped out.  

Whether or not Donald Trump spoke truth on Monday or if he spoke truth on Tuesday when he told us that his truth on Monday was a bit flawed, I don't really care. 

I'm just glad that our language and its proper usage is once again getting some attention outside the English classrooms of America.  

For one brief moment or two in the grand scheme of time, kids may once again sit up and listen, and if one kid in our school system has learned the difference between "would" and "wouldn't," we English teachers shall rejoice. 

It's important, however, to note that the "woulda," "coulda's" and "shoulda's" discussed in today's post come from the subjunctive mood in verb classification. 

And, what is the subjunctive mood in verb speak?  

Those are the verbs that deal with "wishes, commands, suggestions or conditions contrary to fact."

They fit well in today's Trump world. 

Enjoy the photos, and watch out for the bears.  

Happy Wednesday. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Tuesday This and That

I'll be seeing a lot of my neighbor Terra this week, and so will Lefty. It's 4-H horse show week, and there's plenty to do to get ready. 

For Terra, mornings mean time devoted to horse show preparation, and afternoons for basketball camp.  

She's an all-around young lady----horse, archery, music, basketball and Jitterbug, to name a few.  Jitterbug is her pal and 4-H dog project. 

Knowing she was on a tight daily schedule, we broke up her time yesterday with cleaning tack, sanding hooves and lunging Lefty.  

Today we'll haul Lefty to my sisters' arena where she'll get to practice and learn more about her equitation skills. 

Terra happily takes on each new challenge and it's not long before she catches on too. 

One thing that's always consistent with these 4-H get togethers dates way back to at least when I was a 10-year-old 4-H'er-----refreshments!

Each session ends with something tasty or refreshing, and with this hot week, the new Schwan's supply of ice cream goodies is providing a nice finale to top off the experience. 

In other news, besides watching "Make Russia Great Again" and picking my jaw off the floor in utter astonishment, I robbed the earth!

It turned out to be "Yum, Yum." 

First, in the heat of the day (93 here yesterday), I picked blueberries and raspberries.  

While strolling through the garden where the raspberries were transplanted a couple of years ago, I picked the first cucumber and then noticed that more than just those two early string beans on the bean bushes.

For days those two beans have hung from the front bush, and for days, I've been tempted to pick, always relenting with the thought, "What can you do with two beans?"

Rather than picking, cooking and placing one on Bill's plate and one on mine, I just let them hang there until more beans appeared. 

Well, yesterday, those two beans and several others went into a bowl.  And, since there were fresh green beans, those few potato plants in the planter boxes got robbed, as did several out behind the barn in the manure-pile garden.

It simply takes some gentle fumbling around in the dirt to find a spud, and without disrupting the plant, it's generally very easy to pluck one from its root system beneath the dirt. 

With fresh beans and young potatoes and a few tiny carrots, I immediately had dinner figured out:  boiled veggies with Wood's German sausages. 

It's one of my most favorite dishes ever, and when each veggie is as fresh as fresh can get, the flavor is divine.  I boil the sausages and veggies, then drain them and add seasoning along with margarine and medium cheddar cheese. 

I personally like to dribble some mustard over my veggies, which may not look good but it adds a bit of zip to the overall effect. 

Last night, we enjoyed our first summer dinner consisting of ingredients from the neighborhood---most from my garden, the sausages from Wood's, which is about a mile away. 

It was divine. 

I told Bill last night while taking my last bite of the veggie mixture that I wish it didn't have so many calories cuz a second helping would be good.   

Somebody (whoever gets to the refrigerator first) will most likely heat up the leftovers today are usually even tastier than the first cooking.  

The best part:  lots more of these garden goodies to come as the summer heat continues on.

Finally, speaking of garden produce, I ran across a Facebook video featuring an introduction of the new Bonner County Fair Director Darcey Smith who assumed her new duties in May. 

I first met Darcey back in the days when my daughter-in-law Debbie was still working with Girl Scouts.  Darcey was a volunteer at the time. 

Best wishes to her as she takes on this monumental job.  I don't know if I'll take any spuds to the fair this year, but I'm sure I'll find some way to participate in some fair activities. 

You can put a face to a name by going to the following link:

Happy Tuesday

Monday, July 16, 2018

Summer Daze

The heat is on.

It's gonna stay that way this week as summer moves on with its blooming beauty, its horse shows, its pickin' and grinnin', its ever-moving and present deer and even some lazy moments of relaxing in the evening shade.

That lady you see riding (picture below) on the pretty Appaloosa at this past weekend's Spots of Fun Show is going places----not only in the show ring (which she's done for years) but also with her career.

Since April, Elaine Pierson has been working as the marketing director for the Appaloosa Horse Club in Moscow.

I've watched Elaine grow up through our mutual association with the annual Spots of Fun show and have always enjoyed the yearly visits with this talented, gracious young lady and her lovely family members from Connell. 

Elaine has won a couple of belt buckles engraved with our dad's name and his famous foundation Appaloosa stallion Toby 1.

So, it's pretty neat to see that she has landed exactly where she will love being, riding and promoting Appaloosa horses. 

Congratulations, Elaine.  Sure am proud of you!

This happens to be 4-H horse show week with meetings and preparations and the actual classes this Saturday and Sunday.

So, Terra will be coming this morning to sand Lefty's hooves and to clean tack.  One day at a time, we're hoping all comes together for her success at this year's show. 

In between the horse stuff, there's lots of picking to do.  Maters are turning ripe, cukes are stretching out beneath their leaves and the berries will be keeping me going probably every day as the heat speeds along their ripening. 

A hot, fun and busy week ahead. 

Happy Monday. 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

A Lovely Local Touch

Three Sandpoint natives:  Frankie Roberson, Willie Love and Willie Chapman

Oh, the stories of our local area and its people these two sisters can tell.  

And, they probably do!

We had the pleasure of seeing Willie and Frankie, longtime Sagle area residents, yesterday at the Senior Citizens Center.

Virtually, every time I see Frankie's sister Willie, there's talk of another Willie. Yesterday that other Willie just happened to be at the center also. 

You see Willie, who's about to turn 90 this year, remembers Willie Love when he was a mere toddler. 

That's cuz she was his nurse at the time. 

And, Frankie, on the left, probably saw Willie quite often during his formative years when Dr. Marienau, our family doctor, was still practicing.  

Frankie worked in Dr. Marienau's office and saw a lot of Sandpoint sitting in the waiting room of the clinic on HWY 2, thumbing through old magazines, nervously anticipating their upcoming moments with the doctor known by many youngsters for his "big bushy eye brows." 

Yesterday Bill, our son Willie and I attended the ice cream social at the Senior Center, which Debbie had helped coordinate as a fundraiser for the Bonner County Food Bank and the Senior Center. 

When we walked inside the Center, where a dance had just ended and folks were gathered around visiting at several tables, we spotted Willie and Frankie across the room and spent some time catching up.

Though I don't have a photo, I also enjoyed visiting with dear, sweet Pat Brown, who used to work at Sayers Jewelers.  She knows a little local history, just like Willie and Frankie. 

Pat's one of the Litehouse, Inc. Hawkins family.  Her brother--another Will--took many a scenic photo for the postcards of the area, which we see on display racks around town. 

I had both of Pat's daughters in school, and, these days, whenever we meet, she's always serves as a warm and friendly reminder of what I can now credibly call good "old-time" Sandpoint. 

After all, I'm now one of those "old timers" myself. 

The three of us Love's sat for about an hour at an outside picnic table enjoying our ice cream, a few cherries and several nice visits with friends, both old and new. 

Probably one of the most enjoyable moments occurred as Frankie and Willie, who were about to leave, officially met young Willie's lovely wife Debbie. 

Debbie also took a photo of the two Willie's and Frankie.

Then, I heard a brief interchange between the two Willie's, which reminded me of a time years and years ago when I met Mrs. Peter Johnson.

Had never seen the lady, who lived in a fine house down on South First, before that moment.  That didn't matter.  She knew me---in fact, seemed to know all about me. 

That day, and on a few other occasions, I learned that the golden girls of our community tend to keep track of the extended flock, so to speak.  

They truly care about their own kids and all the other young'uns, wishing the best for them.

Such enlightening moments serve as reminders that we'd better watch our "p's and q's," ALL the time cuz the older, wiser folks are keeping track.  

I guess that's a trait acquired through years and years of living in a community, knowing the families who make up the fabric and taking the time to follow their individual journeys from afar. 

In yesterday's case, it was the clippings. 

Nurse Willie told teacher Willie that she clips out newspaper articles she sees about him, as she does for so many youngsters and families she knows in our community. 

"I clip them out and then lay them out on a table at church [or other similar venues]," she said, noting that later she'll come by the table and the clippings are gone, picked up by those for whom she intended. 

I don't know how many clippings Willie has of our Willie, but I truly loved watching the interaction of this beloved retired nurse and our beloved son, the teacher and coach,  who is gradually acquiring a flock of his own local kids to keep track of as his life moves on.  

Twas a special moment, indeed, enjoying some refreshing ice cream, a few ripe cherries and spending a few precious moments with very special ladies who, as local treasures, can tell their share of stories about old-time Sandpoint.

Happy Sunday.   

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saturday Slight

Nancy Wright, Marianne, Becky Reynolds and Debbie Love. 

Our mutual friend Becky (third from left) was back in town, so we invited her to join us for Friday night dinner last night. 

Before leaving the restaurant, we asked Corey, who had waited on us to snap a photo, so he did. 

Becky moved to Montana a couple of years ago, so it was good to do some catching up.  As usual, none of us were at a loss for words, so it was a fun reunion. 

The dinner topped off a fun, productive and even relaxing day where Mr. Lefty received lots of attention in preparation for next week's 4-H horse show. 

Terra gave him a bath, and in between bathing stages, my farrier John Fuller showed up to nail on a new set of shoes. 

Lefty also has a new fly sheet, which hopefully will keep him somewhat protected during these hot, dry July days from irritating skeeters, bugs and bees. 

We also hope he chooses to hold off on rubbing out any more of his hide---a lifelong problem.  When he doesn't rub, Lefty has a beautiful, shiny coat.  

Anyway, he seemed to enjoy every bit of attention, which also included a start on his clipping. 

It will be a busy week ahead as the 4-H'ers continue with the last-minute touches of preparing for their show.  

This year Terra will be participating in showmanship, Western equitation and trail class, so she has a lot to pack into her brain before next weekend.

Bill and Willie spent yesterday on the St. Joe River on another fishing outing.  As usual, twas late, the midnight hour, when they returned.  

And, my sisters and Maryann are participating in a horse show this week, so our Friday night numbers were lower than usual.   

We did learn from Debbie last night that she's very involved in a fundraiser today at the Sandpoint Senior Center.  It's an ice cream social, with profits being divided between the Senior Center and the Food Bank.  

So, if you're reading, and you're in town, and you like ice cream, they'll be dishing up from 3-5 this afternoon at the Center.  Both entities can always use more financial support, so, drop in if you can. 

It's another pretty Saturday morning here in the neighborhood and feeling like we'll have another scorcher today----all the more reason that ice cream during the late afternoon is a good idea. 

Happy Saturday to all. 

Yesterday, while driving back from my sisters' house, I ran across these cousins (McNall connections) visiting alongside the road.  So, I stopped and chatted.

During that short time, this small herd of white cattle appeared from the woods.  Turns out they are Shawn's (on the left), and they are known as Charolais.  

Quite a contrast from the usual black cows and calves I see when driving past that place.  Plus, they're pretty cute!

It was obvious that Shawn, who's going into the eighth grade, is quite proud of his herd.