Saturday, January 19, 2019

Saturday Very Slight

It's Copenhagen!

A couple of photos from this morning featuring the latest "Where in the world is Annie Love?" lifetime events. 

Yup, she says she already likes Denmark after seeing the pizza and steak restaurant somewhere in Copenhagen.

She should have a good time there, touring and geocaching over the weekend cuz it's touted as the "happiest place on Earth."

Last I saw, the United States was ranked 18th, and that was last March. 

Twould be interesting to see how it ranks this week. 

Anyway, Annie flew to Copenhagen overnight from Seattle, with a stop in Iceland. 

She's there for the weekend, so the rest of us can live vicariously through her adventures on this wet weekend in January. 

I noticed that the temperature there today is almost exactly what we have here in Sandpoint---33. 


Anyway, here in Sandpoint we'll just deal with what looks like a typical day in January---fog, a slight drizzle and ice turning to water. 

The latter is good, cuz it's actually kind of fun to get the feel for walking normally again. 

Yesterday I took a spin all through the woods on my snow shoes, and, later, upon returning to the house, I could feel a slight hint of spring in the air, which has warmed up considerably since earlier this week.

Happily, today is GAME DAY for the ZAGS. 

They'll be tipping off in Portland at 7 p.m. PST, and, Esther, if you're reading, you can watch the game on Fox 28. 

Seems like today fits a favorite response my daughter-in-law likes to make when I ask her "What's new?"

"Not much," she'll say. 

There IS much to talk about in regard to things I do see in the news at all levels, but on this quiet Saturday, it's probably best to leave it at that:  not much.

Happy Saturday!  GO, ZAGS!! 

Friday, January 18, 2019

Simple, Down-Home Times

I had just finished reading the morning paper. 

Bill had left earlier for Spokane where he's taking a continuing-education course to maintain his "Certified Forester" status.

The paper was filled with the usual sad, disturbing, good, and bad news. 

On the back page two obituaries told of a 2-year-old life taken far to soon due to tragedy and a 72-year-old life sadly cut short by cancer. 

Active playing and hanging with his canine buddy highlighted the life of the little boy who died in a fire last week.

Meanwhile, widespread community service and inspiration described the life of the highly-respected and beloved 72-year-old CPA. 

Life is  so precious. 

Along with continuing almost hourly OMG blurbs dealing with the sad state of our nation, the news can get downright discouraging and maddening.

Then, come moments like the one I happily embraced after putting the paper aside,  simply sitting there and gazing at the comforting scene in my living room. 

As I gazed, Liam gazed back with his head resting on the arm of the love seat. 

It was a scene that reminded me, as so many do, to appreciate these quiet, peaceful moments and to cherish the life I have the good fortune to live.

Oh, I do ruminate!  

I read an article about ruminating this morning.  It's for cows when they eat their food and then regurgitate it. 

People do the same thing, thankfully not often with food, but with what's weighing heavily on their minds. Some call it "over thinking."  

I tend to be a ruminator, thanks to my ultra-sensitivities. 

Thankfully, I've learned over time, like the article suggests, to recognize myself in the act of rumination.  

Find a distraction, they say.  If it's in the middle of the night, keep a pen and pad next to the bed and write about it. 

I tend to do the former cuz if I actually got up and started writing, I'd never sleep. 

Anyway, I could easily have fallen into rumination at 6:45 a.m. this morning after reading all the heavy news, but Liam and the warm comfort of that scene before me set me off on another track.  

It was a delightful, wonderful moment of solitude, and I did distract from it just a bit by snapping a photo.  

Liam cooperated and continued to gaze back at me.

Which brings me to another subject:  Liam does not always cooperate, especially when we call him to come inside the garage when he would much rather stay outside.

He makes us come directly TO him before cooperating and trotting to the house. 

I caught him with the camera as Bill was summoning him to the house.  The expression you see is the "insulted" expression we always get upon finding him wherever he happens to be hiding and listening to our beckoning calls.

On that snowy day, we had decided to take a chance and follow our plan to drive to Bonners Ferry for "the chili." 

I've mentioned "the chili" before.  It's to die for, and I learned yesterday from "Mason with the mullet," that the potato soup served at the Bread Basket Bakery ain't bad either. 

BTW:  Mason is a former student who has a bunch of siblings and who loves to "act the part" for specific occasions.  The mullet, he told me, was grown for his class reunion. 

Anyway, after Liam went to the garage, we did make it to Bonners Ferry and Super 1 and the Bread Basket AND the Antique Mall at Three Mile. 

Twas a lovely outing on a snowy day.  We came home with groceries, full stomachs from lunch, a jug of "the chili," and a new/old fishing rod for Bill, purchased at the mall. 

While Bill was doing his looking, I took pictures of .00001 percent of the stuff available for purchase.

Some of it is truly just "stuff," but a lot of it conjures up stories or suggests that maybe "that funky chair with the oars and the door" would look good sitting out by the barn. 

A tag taped to the door portion says it can be easily disassembled for transport!

And, of course, that cream separator immediately made me think of my mother when she dreamed one night about flying through space in our separator bowl.  I can't remember if it was filled with potato chips or popcorn.

I also remember that my dad figured out a way to motorize our cream separator so he wouldn't have to crank the handle. 

After strolling through the various rooms on the west side of the mall, I headed back and wondered when that lady had shown up cuz she sure was quiet.

Twas only when I walked past that I learned she was a mannequinn. 

And, I also wondered when the bacon and tomato sandwiches became BLT's.

Lots of distractions to avoid "rumination," and a lot of simple, ordinary fun on a snowy day. 

I know I'll ruminate a bit today.  

Trump guarantees that 24-7. 

Nevertheless, I'm glad that the simple life we are so lucky to lead is always available any ol' time to serve as an antidote to bad or sad news. 

Happy Friday.

P.S.  Do ya think that chair would look good in front of my barn?  

Bill did ask me if I wanted it.

Maybe I will have to ruminate about the chair.  Should she or should she not?

Thursday, January 17, 2019

At Home Stuff, Friends, TBT

Ice is nice for cold drinks or owies or figure skating.

I feel confident, however, in saying we've had enough of the stuff as ground cover for 2019. 

It can go away any day. 

As the huge slabs pretty much everywhere we want to walk hang around, they get shinier and shinier. 

And, slicker and slicker!

We're supposed to have some snow today and some warmer temperatures over the weekend, so maybe we'll get a break.  

And, if we don't get a break, we may get a break.

Nobody wants that. 

After three days of outings, we decided to spend our leisure afternoon time at home yesterday. 

So, the doggies and horses and I enjoyed some time together while I did some snow shoeing in the fields, the woods and around the yard. 

Later, Bill took his chainsaw out to the woods (where the dogs are allowed) so they enjoyed some bonding time too. 

I never tire of watching the dogs and horses do what they do while passing the time through their winter days. 

An intruder with big feet came through the place down along Love Canal, so Foster and Liam gave its tracks a thorough sniff down. 

Meanwhile, over in the barnyard, CB went down for a good roll in the snow. 

I included a photo of his four toes (hooves).  Horses used to have 20 toes, but evolution and the way they develop while in the fetal stages has changed that. 

Last night, part one of a fascinating PBS documentary on horses provided some fun explanation of what has happened to those extra toes over the years.

Anyway, CB's four toes are kinda cute, I think. 

On another subject, I read an interesting article about "friends" this morning and have included a link below. 

The piece differentiates the layers of our friendships, extending from our acquaintances and narrowing to what the writer considers "friends" in the true sense of the word. 

I'm thinking Facebook may have done a little skewing on what we commonly perceive as friends, but I also think we have enough one-on-one experiences to know who the true blue friends are in our lives.

It's definitely worth a read and some reflection on just who in our lives fit the qualifications to land in our "inner circles," especially those who still like and respect us in spite of our flaws. 

Finally, a few TBT's, which I'll explain below, and you'll see one reflects why today is important.


Happy Thursday. 

Ten years ago in January, we had a lot more snow.  

On this day, Bill and I took a snow shoeing trip up Grouse Creek, which was definitely a lovely winter wonderland. 

In today's paper, the history column mentioned the county employees who were assuming their offices.

One of them was Norma Strecker (mother of my classmate Steve).  I took this photo a long time ago and can't really remember the occasion.

But I can remember that nice lady with the gray hair on the right who's listening to Norma speak.

That's Leora Bandy, a beloved local leader with rural and ranch roots.

If anyone recognized the two ladies in the middle, please let us know.

Five years ago I must have made some applesauce in the winter.

And, Lily had to be mighty happy to eat the peelings in the snow. 

Twas a few years ago, that I flew off to California and Palm Springs  to get a break from the winter.

Annie met me there, and we had a wonderful brunch with my classmate Janis and my longtime friend Jean "Mow" Tobin.

Good memories. 

Two members of the Selle Club, my neighbor Geneva (right) of the Meserve Preserve and Nita Schoonover, who seldom misses a girls basketball game at Sandpoint High.

Nita gave Willie a big hug Saturday night before the game and wished him well.

The girls won, and we're betting Nita's influence played a hand in the victory.  

Ten years ago, we loved the ZAGS. 

Twenty years ago we loved the ZAGS.  And, even longer ago than that, we loved the ZAGS.

Do we still love the ZAGS! 

Yes, we do, and eventually our house will be completely wall-papered with ZAGS posters.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Outdoor Trifecta

Yup, three days in a row, we've been out there, happily enjoying places of North Idaho magnificence, which we seldom visit in the winter time. 

These lovely January days usually unfold with the usual morning chores, maybe a trip to town, and for me, time spent working at my puzzle. 

There's been progress, but I still have a long way to go.  I'm figuring that if it takes as long to finish my puzzle as it does for the U.S. government to get back to work, we've all got problems. 

I'm also targeting the first seed planting sessions as a time when that puzzle had better be finished, cuz its table next to the light of the sliding-glass door will be needed for the pots. 

One can spend only so long at a jigsaw puzzle, although I have to admit a semi addiction, once I sit down. It's difficult for me to stop looking for just one more piece to fit one more spot. 

Thankfully, though, my neck starts aching, and I get up.

Jigsaw puzzling had run its gamut by about 1:30 yesterday so Bill and I had agreed to do another afternoon outing. 

This time I suggested Sam Owen Campground near Hope on the lake's northern shore with thoughts of an early dinner at Ice House Pizza. 

Liking clockwork, Bill pointed out that we had once again begun our outing at precisely 2:15 p.m.---three days straight.

So, we strolled around the water's edge (winter level) and up on the beach where each year thousands of recreationalist enjoy summer days of swimming, sunbathing, camping and picnicking.

Yesterday, we saw three people.  A worker was completing some tasks near the dock of Beyond Hope Resort (just east of Sam Owen) and a couple had brought their puppy out to play. 

Later, when we met the couple, John and Barbara, a gabfest began. Both were Forest Service retirees.  

So, of course, names began to fly, and, of course, most of those names were familiar to most of us in some way.  That's how it is with the Forest Service. 

We learned that John and Barbara spend a lot of their time doing pretty much what Bill and Marianne do:  outings to enjoy our beautiful surroundings.

I also learned that Barbara's grandfather fought in the 1910 fire and that she has folks named "Westmond" aka small community south of Sandpoint in her family tree. 

As usual, we all enjoyed our visit.  Later, as usual, we enjoyed our pizza at the Old Ice House. 

This morning I was thinking about Sam Owen and its history, so I went to a folder filled with several documents of research about Lake Pend Oreille.  Some of those notes ended up in the Lake Pend Oreille book, published a few years back by Keokee. 

While looking specifically for Sam Owen, I ran across a document called "The Pend Oreille Zone." 

I guess during the months I was doing research, I must have felt an urge to get a bit creative (some may think more in terms of "corny"). 

Still, the piece pretty much reflects my perspective as a lifelong lover of "there because of the grace of God" I have had the good fortune to enjoy any ol' day of any ol' year.

So, I'll leave you with yesterday's photos and my crazy thoughts, written about 15 years ago.  

The Pend Oreille Zone

Don’t run for your map. There’s no geographical setting called the Pend Oreille Zone.  A person can be anywhere on the lake to find it.  Plus, it can occur at any time, even at night.

The Pend Oreille Zone is actually a state of mind.

The only requirement for this phenomenon to take hold is for you to be situated somewhere on or near Lake Pend Oreille

I’ve experienced the Pend Oreille Zone hundreds of times in my lifetime. 

How do I know that I’ve arrived at The Zone?

I fall silent. My eyes willingly and immediately submit to an overwhelming phenomenon.  

I feel like I’m at one with a controlling natural entity. My heart fills with exhilaration.  Surely these eyes of mine have never seen anything quite so beautiful. 

 I remain speechless because I know no words can describe my emotions during these moments in the zone.

Some of my more memorable Pend Oreille Zones have occurred at Farragut, Talache, Lakeview and Sam Owen.

  I’ve also slipped into this state of mind while driving along the lake at Sunnyside.

Waves slap against rocky shorelines. The deep, blue lake seems continuously busy as if furiously trying to finish a project.  It is then that my workaholic being slips into total relaxation in the midst an almost magical scene.

This can’t be for real, I sometimes think.   Better pinch myself and wake up because surely I don’t really live in an environment so artfully sculpted.

I’ve seen others fall into the Pend Oreille Zone.  Many years ago, one of my friends from Kansas sat on a Farragut picnic table and quickly succumbed to the magnetic lure of the sight before her.   

As if hypnotized, she hardly moved for many minutes, simply taking in all aspects of the scene before her, then finally spoke, “This is so magnificent.”

Yup, she had fallen for the Pend Oreille Zone.

Its powers almost always succeed in seizing one more willing captive.