Monday, April 22, 2019

Earthly Matters: Easter/Education/Environment

I am a Baptized Roman Catholic but not a very good one.

Still, I believe in many of the principles my church taught me as a youngster.  Others, I may beg to differ, and I'm assuming God and Jesus might respect that. 

Over the course of my life, I have gradually learned to follow the principles taught by one of my favorite American authors Henry David Thoreau. 

Simplify! Simplify! Simplify!

The first part of the quote:  our life is frittered away by detail.

If I were to go to the confessional of Henry David Thoreau, I would most likely always confess to falling short in that first part of his quote. 

Like so many others in this world, I admit to getting exhausted by details. 

Hard not to, though, if we want to accomplish anything good and to do it right.

Sometimes, however, we do allow too much complication in our lives and in our beliefs.  

That's when we realize the importance of simplifying, simplifying.

Though I'm not so good at purging all the tangible details, I have, over the course of my personal journey, arrived at a simple, basic philosophy which works for me.

On this Earth Day, 2019, after a  busy weekend, ushered in with a visit to a school and then with Annie coming home and with all the Easter doings, I can't help thinking that the simple belief system that I have adopted continues to work pretty well. 

I've seen numerous facets of it in action over the past few days. 

Treat others the way you wish to be treated.

Take care of the animals.

Take care of the Earth. 

And, for today's posting, I'll add just one more.

Continue to learn, always. 


During my two-hour visit to the Waldorf School on Friday, I saw those principles being reinforced many times over through a calculated approach to education. 

Following the Waldorf approach, students in eight classrooms were learning about basic earthly principles and skills and beliefs and cultures and behavior, all under the umbrella of education. 

I saw various forms of often amazing artwork, depicting lessons learned in history, math, literature, etc. 

I also witnessed both partially and finished products employing wood craft, sewing skills, stage craft, basic educational tools, etc. 

Heck, in one classroom, the third graders were even taking care of the animals---baby chicks, to be exact. 

I heard about the constant reinforcement of mutual respect, manners, kindness, validation and appreciation of others' talents. 

It was a wonderful visit, providing a glimpse of a wonderful approach to education. As an educator, I am always interested in the approaches used to teach the children, and, as public school teacher, I believe each approach has its merits and the potential to reap great results. 

I've seen that year after year during my career as a public high school teacher and during my retirement at my sister's grade school, with our neighborhood Selle Valley Carden School and most recently at the Waldorf School. 

I have enjoyed each opportunity and respect each approach. 

And, so Friday's school visit led to Friday's marathon adventure, thanks to a late plane,  to pick up our Annie.

And, with Annie's visit came the sharing of three different cultures she had experienced this month:  South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand. 

Annie came bearing gifts, and our Easter Day fun reflected that in Emma's strikingly beautiful skirt from Thailand, in bracelets we wore and the Easter "Island" decorations. 

Part of our Easter celebration allowed us to bring out the "kid" stuff still alive and well within our hearts.  

Eight chocolate bunnies to find around the Lovestead, which like so many areas yesterday offered a state of springtime bliss and peaceful beauty and excitement of the day. 

The 4-wheeler got a work out.  Dogs raced around to keep in tune with the excitement.  People visited.  People ate. 

And, yes, all bunnies were found as we strolled around the yard and the woods. 

Sadly, the Easter-Day sun melted a couple of bunnies into distorted states.  

Twas a simple fun-filled day with family and friends and animals, all taking part in and appreciating the tangible and intangibles of this thing called Earth.  

On this Monday morning, with spring sunshine outside and a relatively quiet house, my mind is filled with many images, far beyond what is posted here. 

And, along with those reminders of meaningful, inspiring and wonderful moments, I am thinking a simple thought. 

We are so lucky to be inhabitants of this Earth, and, yes, we appreciate it and must take care of it so that more moments like the weekend which just passed can continue into eternity. 

Simple principles learned, remembered and followed could do just that.

Happy Monday.  And, thanks to all who created such lovely moments.       

Waldorf Visit on Friday

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Saturday Slight

It's been a short night, sleepwise, that is.

Nightwise, it's been unusual for this early-to-bedder. 

As my friend Helen said to me during a "text-storm" last night while I sat at the airport and Bill sat in the car at the cell phone parking lot, the "best-laid plans" don't always turn out. 

What was thought of as a routine trip to the airport to pick up Annie turned out to be a long wait. 

She finally arrived around 10:15 nearly three hours later than expected. 

Seems a plane made an emergency landing at Sea-Tac, grounding all other planes for at least two hours. 

Add to that the fact that Annie and her fellow passengers finally climbed aboard their plane, only to be told the crew had forgotten to do the security check.

Everyone had to deplane while they performed that function.  Annie's question:  how could they "forget" to do that?

That meant short nights of sleep for all of us and no Second Avenue pizza for Annie. 

When we did arrive home after midnight, all three dogs were racing around the house, OUTSIDE.  

The dogs were not supposed to be outside.  I had left them inside the garage.  

Either someone came calling and let them out, or the stinkers figured out how to open the door to the garage.  

That has happened before. 

So, the good news: I didn't have to take dogs out for their midnight duty.

The bad news:   Liam, who had already had his bathing needed another bath, so he slept in the garage last night. 

Another best laid plan went awry. 

The good news:  we made it home safely, and all is well on this Saturday morning, albeit a bit of grogginess. 

Long story short, this is gonna be short. 

I'm simply posting a couple of photos taken during yesterday's visit to the Waldorf School where kids learn OOOOOOdles of skills, including a lot of art, as seen in the photos. 

Will save that story for Monday after a decent night's sleep.
 When everyone else around here gets up, we're gonna get on with our Easter weekend visit. 

Tomorrow I'll simply post an Easter greeting and call it good. 

For now, it's Happy Saturday.


One more thing:  I came across this article (in link) this morning and beamed. Cory Myers, Argus Leader news director, is a Sandpoint High Cedar Post (newspaper) alum.


In this April 9, 2019, photo, Argus Leader investigative reporter Jonathan Ellis and news director Cory Myers (right) in the newsroom in Sioux Falls, S.D. 

 In 2010, reporters at South Dakota’s Argus Leader newspaper came up with the idea of requesting data about the government’s food assistance program. 

They thought the information about the $65-billion dollar-a year program, previously known as food stamps, could lead to a series of stories and help them identify possible fraud. But the government didn’t provide everything the paper wanted. 

Trying to get the data has taken the paper more than eight years and landed the case at the Supreme Court. (Briana Sanchez/The Argus Leader via AP)

As always, so proud of what our Sandpoint High School grads are accomplishing out there in the big wide world. 

Good Job! GO Get'em, Cory!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Comings and Goings

CB went away yesterday. 

He'll be back. 

He's over at my sisters' barn for a while, learning stuff like standing tied for more than 30 seconds and a host of general ground rules.

We don't have a very good facility for several aspects of basic training for a young horse, so CB will stay at their barn for a while where that can happen.

Lily was broken-hearted yesterday afternoon and this morning because her young friend (usually nuisance) did not return in the horse trailer with Lefty.

Lefty, who just went along as a calming factor for CB, doesn't seem to care. 

In other news, Annie will come home today for the Easter weekend.  

We're looking forward to picking her up at the airport tonight and having a solid few hours to hear her stories about her recent trip to Southeast Asia. 

Even though she embraced all sorts of Asian dishes during her travels, I'm bettin' Annie's looking forward to Second Avenue Pizza.

Meanwhile, on the going list, I'll be going away from this computer fairly soon to get to school. 

Debbie and I have been invited to tour the Waldorf School this morning.  

It's definitely an early start for this ol' retired gal, but knowing some of the Waldorf students and observing some of their school projects, I'm looking forward to seeing the school teaching philosophy in action.

Should be a fun and educational morning. 

On the "coming" side, I think our wizard at small engine repair will be here today.  

Tony will change oil in a lawnmower and our 4-wheeler UTV, along with giving us some estimates on fix-it jobs for the old Ford tractor.

I actually put one of the lawnmowers in to action last night, cleaning up all the dead oak leaves and other riffraff in the west lawn.  

It felt good to be atop a mower and even better when I could appreciate the clean-up job it did for the lawn. 

Lawns are still greening up and most of our yard is still a bit soggy (probably more so after today), but sooner than later, I'll be putting in my hours putzing around the yard.

Lots more goings and comings, but I'd better get going to the school house and then come back home to get ready to be gone again after that Annie who certainly lives the definition of going and coming. 

Happy Friday.    

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Golden Hour in the 'hood; TBT

So nice to be back to Golden Hour days!

Instead of nodding off on the couch during the hour after the news, I've been nodding off during the news.   

Have a feeling that today will present excellent reasons for extended nod-offs. 

That's okay because we have re-entered the part of the year where there's no need to rely on the TV in the evening. 

We can go outside, and the Golden Hour outside has returned.  

As I've mentioned in past posts when the sun is shining and the grass turns green and daylight starts lasting until 8 p.m., we who love photography can happily indulge on the great outdoors.  

And, the great part for me is living in Selle.  I don't have to go very far at all to find exquisite beauty brought on by evening sunlight, flourishing plant and animal life. 

It's like Christmas for photographers, and in some cases, like the first photo in today's post, it's truly a golden and magical time of the day. 

During this time of the year, we can point our cameras virtually any direction and find isolated scenes---weeks ago covered up with snow or downright dull---which now dazzle the eyes with their simple but vibrant beauty. 

Within these scenes, we may even be lucky enough to see a pair of wood ducks or some wildlife or birds or neighborhood horses or even new faces of humans we've never seen before. 

I left the house for about 45 minutes last night, driving and stopping during my five-mile round trip in the neighborhood.  

Upon returning home, I could tell Bill about some lovely new friends I met, Denise and Hayden and their dog Lily. 

The trio was out enjoying their own golden hour.

One never knows what treasures will come during the magical "golden hour," and that possibility alone is what makes it such a beautiful gift on each sunny day of spring and summer. 

Throwback Thursday:  A Special Easter, 2013

With Easter coming up this weekend, I went back to an album from 2013, which began with a very special excursion with our mother.  

We took her to the Colburn farm to see the horses.  Scout was chosen as the equine ambassador that Sunday.  He represented the herd well. 

Mother was pleased. 

Later that day, my sisters, five dogs, Bill and I made the trip to the Fish and Game property along Boundary Creek across from Porthill (U.S.-Canada border crossing). 

We enjoyed a lovely day all by ourselves and with plenty of room for dogs to play. 

Our beloved Kea is no longer with us, nor is our beloved mother.  

So, TBT's like today are more special than ever as we remember the good times.

It was a wonderful way to spend an Easter day.