Saturday, August 23, 2014

Saturday Slight . . . .

Sneek Peek:  on this lovely Saturday morning at the Lovestead, the marigolds are coming on strong and adding a splash of brightness to the overall scene.

Whether it's winter, spring, summer or fall or raining, snowing or sunny, Kea is at work.  This morning she was engaged in her usual perimeter vigilance, at this point, keeping a close eye on Lefty in the first pasture.  

Foster does his share of watching too.  His favorite perch is apparent by the smudges on the window.  From this vantage point, he can see all crows, squirrels and even humans wandering through the front yard.  

Yesterday, I engaged in an activity that could well have caused my mother to turn over in her grave.  Thanks to Bonnie Shields aka the Tennessee Mule Artist, I was summoned to the fairgrounds to paint a portrait. 

Of course, I needed to don the wig for inspiration!

 Never mind that my poor mother, the art major, tried for most of my childhood years, to teach me the basics of drawing only to fail miserably, I found no mercy from Bonnie or any of the other artists, involved in the 30-30-30 program at the fair: 30 artists, 30 pieces each, $30 each.

"Paint on!" Bonnie said as she put materials and a canvas on a table in the food booth.  My subject:  the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz.  This particular "witch" is also known as Becky Reynolds.  She's in second photo down from this one.

Bonnie said it was okay to take artistic license as I painted the image before me.  And, when it was ALL over, Becky said she was still my friend.  

Never mind that her witch persona has a nosebleed and toenail fungus.  Becky gave me a hug and promised to talk to me on future occasions.

If ya want to buy this "masterpiece," you can go to the fair today, walk inside the 30-30-30 booth and put a bid on the wonderful piece of art, which includes extras:  a framed photograph of a delightful little lamb in its Irish setting and a set of my first two books.  I'll be happy to autograph.

Thanks---I think---to Bonnie for gettin' me into this activity and a million thanks to Becky for her gracious understanding of my underdeveloped artistic talent.


After finishing my artistic assignment, I had the pleasure of visiting with these three lovely ladies, two of which are former students AND fine journalists.  

They're the two on the right:  Courtney and Erica.  Both served as co-editors of the Sandpoint High Cedar Post while seniors in 1992-93.

Twas great to see them and Courtney's friend and former University of Puget Sound roommate, now  from San Francisco.

Erica had the honor of wearing the colorful wig because yesterday was also her birthday. 

Becky did not have to hold this pose for two hours.  I just wanted a picture of her without another picture on the wall growing out of her head.  

Again, thank you, Becky, a very understanding friend!
Finally, Miss Annie is enjoying the last two days of her European adventure in Prague, Czech Republic.  She's been there before, but this time she's traveling with friends, and I'm hoping she rubbed off some good luck.

She'll be back in Seattle on Monday.


My day should be relatively quieter than those of the past week with yard work, garden picking and maybe even some painting, fences, that is!  

This evening I'll stop by the 1974 class reunion and say hi to former students who played such a part in Bill and my first year of marriage.  Several even attended our wedding, and that makes them very special. 

Happy Saturday. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Help Our Local Youth Horse Teams

I'll never forget seeing tall, lanky Dan Lund standing at the doorstep of our North Boyer house one summer evening, asking me if I wanted to go along with him and his fellow teammates on a trip to Dallas, Texas. 

Dan, his cousin Jane and fellow 4-H'ers, Cathy Russell and Linda Woolsey, had just competed in one of Idaho's early 4-H horse judging contests and had won second place.

Their placing meant that they could go on to a national contest.  In this case, it was the National Youth Horse Congress at the Texas State Fairgrounds in Dallas. 

To this day, I still don't know why they asked me, but I do know that I was thrilled to join them and that the experience during that summer of 1973 changed my life in so many ways.  

I'd never flown before.  I'd never been to Texas. The trip also coincided with my future husband Bill's return to Louisiana after a couple of weeks at the National Boy Scout Jamboree at Farragut.

So, I went on to Louisiana (first-ever time) after the Horse Congress, met Bill's folks and 40-plus years later, still hang out with my "summer romance," as my mother called it.  

The overall experience of seeing dozens of phenomenal horses, learning the ropes of competitive judging at a national level and just plain embracing cultural and historical enrichment planted a fertile seed that, happily, continues to flourish in this community.

One summer night, shortly after returning to Sandpoint from what was back then "the trip of my life," I went horseback riding with my little sisters who were adolescents at the time. 

"We're going to go to another national competition," I confidently announced, "all three of us."

The seed sprouted, along with my sisters' continuing knowledge of horses.  

In 1977, Barbara, Laurie, Janice Wood, Kim Lewis and I, along with Janice's mom Virginia and I flew to Albuquerque, New Mex., where the team of four teens competed in the Arabian National Youth Horse Judging Contest after winning first place team at State.

Again, in 1978, my sisters, along with Mari Chambers and Tracey Peterson, took first place at the Idaho State 4-H Horse Judging Contest and traveled to Chicago to compete. 

The phenomenon of local 4-H'ers and youth in other horse groups winning state competitions and moving on to the national arenas all over the country, including New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Ohio, has continued to thrive over the past 40 years.

My sisters eventually went on to become 4-H leaders themselves and the youth horse-judging bug inspired them to work with kids, teaching them how to distinguish levels of quality in among horses, various performance disciplines and, more importantly, to express themselves orally before a judge or panel.

The discipline needed to succeed in these competitions transcends other aspects of life, especially in school and work situations where functioning a cut above in speaking skills and decision-making can make all the difference in one's performance. 

Over the years, two horse judges from Sandpoint, Samantha Bell and Merisa Turnbaugh, won first place individually at national competitions, bringing home saddles and lots of additional loot, along with the pride of a lifetime achievement.   

These days horse youth also compete in Horse Bowls as well as judging.  And, this year, Bonner County has three groups of judges/horse bowlers who have earned the privilege and who aspire to compete nationally. 

Of course, it all costs money, but I can tell you from my experience and observations over the past four decades that any donations sent their direction result in a great bang for the buck over a period of time.

These kids, so inspired by their own experiences, often return the favor by guiding the next batch of youngsters to reach for the stars. 

Today I'm including a letter, drafted by one of this year's team members who also happens to be the Bonner County Fair Queen.  And, I hope my story and hers are compelling enough for readers out there to help these three teams as they raise the funds to compete this year at Nationals. 

Thanks for taking the time to read the letter below, and thanks for doing whatever you can to keep the light shining on these youth who will, no doubt, some day pay it forward as adults. 

by Abigail Nelson . . . . 

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Abigail Nelson, and I am writing on behalf of your 2014 Bonner County 4-H Horse members who recently competed and placed at the State competition this July. 

Currently, we are raising funds to help us go to nationals. 

We have three different teams that will be representing the State of Idaho at the national level: Our Horse Judging Team 1 consisting of Jenay Turnbaugh, Taylor Hill, Montana Rayburn, and Courtney Parnell took 4th overall, with Jenay Receiving 3rd Overall Senior Judge, and Montana taking 5th Overall Senior Judge, individually. 

Then we have our Horse Judging Team 2 compiled of Abigail Nelson (myself), Rebekah Nelson, Miranda Yetter, and Ali Sutton, with Rebekah placing Top Overall Intermediate Judge, and myself placing Top overall Senior Judge individually. 

Finally, we are also sending our Senior Horse Bowl Team to Nationals; the team consists of Jenay Turnbaugh, Kellee Knopp, and Courtney Parnell and myself with Kellee taking 5th overall Senior, Jenay taking 4th overall Senior, and my placing 3rd overall Senior.

As you may have noticed, a few of us are competing in both Horse Judging and Horse Bowl, but this holds no significance to you unless you know what each event is. 

The simplest way to explain these events is this: Horse Bowl is a lot like Jeopardy. We can be asked any type of question that might be related to the horse world, ranging from insurance, to general care, and sometimes even historical significances. This requires us to study a very vast realm of knowledge in order to prepare for competition. 

Horse judging is similar to what judges do at fairs and shows. They compare animals to one another and decide which individual is better-built, based on the combination of appearance, conformation, and movement. Each breed has a certain set of specific characteristics that should be apparent in each animal of the respective breed. 

Each of these events require countless hours of study and practice, and every team member is absolutely essential, dedicated, and skilled.

Why should this matter to you? 

It matters because we are representing the collective community and businesses in Idaho, at the national level in two different states, competing in two different competitions altogether. 

Ultimately, we need your support to help get us there, as bake sales and car washes can only go so far. This support can come in the form of raffle items, monetary donations, sponsorships, or any other fundraising possibilities.

In return for your support, we would like to send you a plaque acknowledging your support and community involvement through helping send us to nationals.

This is a huge undertaking for us, as we have nine members and two coaches who will be making the trip to represent Idaho. This leaves us with a hefty fine of approximately $15,000 to cover travel, food, and boarding expenses---all of which, needs to be finalized by this coming October. 

Our first competition takes place in Columbus, Ohio, in early October (13-15), while our second competition takes place in Tulsa, Okla.,  from the (23-25),later the same month.

In conclusion, we sincerely hope and ask that will help us reach our goal so that we can represent Idaho to the very best of our abilities. In doing so, you will not only make nine extremely talented and dedicated girls and their coaches, exceedingly grateful and proud to be a part of such a community.

In order to contact us, please feel free to email Angela Turnbaugh  (horse bowl coach):

Or call at: (208) 263-8370

You can also contact Adrienne Nelson (horse judging coach),, PO Box 782 Sagle, ID 83860, 255-2370

In advance, thank you for your support!

Your 2014 Bonner County Idaho Horse Teams

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Between the Showers . . . .

The Selle countryside is fully cleansed this morning after several heavy showers yesterday, and I’m loving it.  

No watering today, comfortable temperature, sun shining and good memories from a showery Wednesday.

I was not surprised yesterday that Laura from Switzerland did not make it over to the Lovestead the shoeing session, which began at 8 a.m.  

After all, when you’ve been up and traveling for more than 20 hours, you could use a few extra winks once you’ve settled in to your destination.  So, while Laura caught up on her sleep, Lily and Lefty stood for much-needed trimming and shoeing.  Lily had lost three of her four shoes, so it was definitely time. 

My farrier, John Fuller agreed that it was a good idea to put off the shoeing from the regular time because this date means the horses will not have to be shod again this year. 

As usual, while John worked at his craft of nearly 40 years, along with a little help from his friend, we talked world situations.  Nothing got solved, but we enjoyed discussion, as always. 

And now, Lily won't have to flinch with every rock as she walks down the lane. The cooler weather also means more chances to ride. 

After finishing my morning projects, I drove over to my sisters' horse farm where they were showing Laura around the place.  Foster came along too, and I do believe he and Laura became instant friends when she met him in the hay loft.

We visited in the loft for a minute or two---until something went "plop" on the brim of my cap.  I was glad to be wearing the cap because the last time a pigeon decided to dump its goods on me inside a hay loft, I was leaning down to pick up a bale and something went "plop" on the back of my newly washed hair.

Ever tried to pick pigeon dung out of your hair?  Not easy.  So, at least yesterday, this pigeon was nice enough to leave a mini dump and I easily wiped it off with a rag as we quickly departed the hay loft. 

After we had visited the arena and walked around the woods, some busy Border Collies needed a drink, so Brooke lapped up some water while Mani watched. 

When the Tibbs Arabians tour had ended, Laurie was ready to take a break and relax in her chair.  We eventually moved on after some more visiting. 
We arrived at the Lovestead with plans to grab an afternoon treat at the Pack River General Store.  A former student Ivan pulled into the driveway with his adorable daughter Natalie.  Ivan was anxious for Natalie to meet the horses, which she did.

And, Lily and Lefty were happy to have the visitors cuz that meant hand-outs of corn stalks.  Everyone gathered around, even a whole lot of flies.  

Natalie had some thinking to do before handing over any corn stalks to Lily, but . . . .

. . . .Lily couldn't wait!

We learned that Natalie was gonna get her cast cut off today and that she and Dad were planning lots of activities where she could toughen up her arm. 

Of course, a nice dad and daughter photo was in order. 

Last stop on our tour and second eating place for Laura from Switzerland:  the Pack River General Store where Laura enjoyed the staff and customers and especially the burrito and cheesecake.  We then hurried her home where Willie was waiting to take Laura and Debbie to the new-student barbecue at Sandpoint High.

It was definitely a full day for all of us and good that Laura could get her extra winks.

Happy Thursday. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Worlds Apart . . . . Oh, So Much Fun.

Let me see if I can get all the worldly connections straight.  While some family members  from Sandpoint were headed to Spokane to pick up Swiss Miss aka Laura from Switzerland, off in Vienna, Miss Annie Love aka Mia Wallace was visiting the Spanish Riding School.

Common denominator:  Laura from Switzerland loves horses and would soon be meeting Annie's aunts who TRULY love horses, and Annie, originally from Sandpont now Seattle,  was probably thinking that her aunts Barbara and Laurie would be delighted to see that she was visiting the Spanish Riding School.

Meanwhile, back in Spokane, we met Laura at the airport (that's where I learned that a red jumper in Swiss terms is a red hoodie (Miami Heat).  

I learned that distinction after Laura passed right by me while I  was aiming my camera and looking for a young lady in a dress). 

Soon after we were on the road, headed back to Sandpoint, Laura tried to call her parents to let them know she had arrived safely with her exchange family, Willie and Debbie and all the extended members,  who live in Sandpoint.

Well, it turns out Laura's mom and dad were still in the air on their way back to Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, where her dad is involved with soccer.

So, talking with Mom and Dad would have to come later.

A Sandpoint family meeting was set at the best possible place to bring a newbie to Sandpoint, Bonner County and the United States:  Second Avenue Pizza.

As we dined, Laura met at least one student from Sandpoint High School where she'll be attending school soon. We laughed.  Bill told he she needed to try root beer, which she'd never had before.

"Chewing gum," she said.  That was her immediate first impression of root beer.  

I never did see if she drank the whole bottle, but it did give her cause for concern when the root beer began to fizz and rise out of the bottle like a volcano.  Only an inch or so, though, and it settled down.

Laura enjoyed her first taste of heavenly Second Avenue pizza and even got to meet the owner, Carolyn, who was quite pleased that the Loves had brought the Laura to the restaurant for her first meal.

Though she was tired from the long plane trip, Laura held up well and kept us quite thrilled that this young lady who'll be spending the next four months in Sandpoint seems to be a perfect fit for our family.

I have a feeling that she may have met a horse or two by now, and that on this beautiful morning after yet another weird but quick storm (this time the wind tore that dangling piece of metal completely off our shop roof).

We're all thrilled, and we have made contact with Laura's parents, Caroline and Fritz. And, I've set up the possibility that Caroline might get to meet Mike Flaim of Sandpoint fame:  Mike teaches in Kuala Lampur, where he and his wife Monica moved after several years at The Hague after several years in Sandpoint. 

 Since all that worldwide activity yesterday, I can now report that Miss Annie Love crossed the border into Hungary at about 6:17 Pacific Daylight Time.  

She sent us a note just a while ago to let us know she's now in another new country to add to her bucket list and headed to Budapest.

We're kinda enjoying our cosmopolitan influences this morning, and soon Laura may be over to watch John Fuller trim some hooves and tack some shoes on Lily and Lefty. 

I think this photo with Debbie and Laura says it all about the jubilation we've all enjoyed while welcoming Laura to our area and to our family. 

Laura meets Carolyn from Second Avenue Pizza.  I have a feeling they'll see each other again. 

Erin, who represents the exchange program, came to meet Laura and the Loves at Spokane International Airport. 

Willie was quite proud of the sign he put together to welcome Laura.  He had a little help from SHS administrative assistant Beth Dean.  Ironically, we saw Beth's husband at the carwash in Coeur d'Alene.  

Laura with the Sandpoint family.  A good time was had by all:  Willie, Debbie, Laura, Bill, Laurie and Barbara.  Both Barbara and Willie will probably be Laura's teachers at Sandpoint High School. 
Not good lighting for the photo, but official enough as Laura set foot on Sandpoint, Idaho. 

Had to add this photo taken as we passed by McDonalds on the way home last night.  What's with these brutal storms anywho????

Happy Wednesday to all as we come back to earth and tend to the stuff around the farms. It's a good life, for sure! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Just Goosin' Around . . . .

Yesterday was supposed to be a fairly normal day where family members would get caught up on what got neglected over the weekend.

When Goosie showed up at the Tibbs farm and started following my sister Laurie everywhere she went, even the usual chores got backed up a bit more. 

Turned out to be "Goose for a Day" for Laurie and anyone else who happened to be around. 

Goosie's gone now, but we're figuring on some upcoming sightings because folks on Facebook say that at least a pair of friendly Canadian honkers have been showing up, and, in one case, even inviting themselves into the house.

We didn't mind the goosie interlude because he/she has quite the outgoing personality: not afraid of horses, dogs or people and quite happy to take up one's time.  

Goosie liked the water trough and the kiddie pool.  We got to watch Goosie take a bath and quench its thirst. 

We worried that Goosie might be injured, but when we rounded the corner out of the barnyard and started running to see what Goosie would do, that set the scene for a smooth take-off. 

Ahh, Goosie could fly.  And, fly he/she did over across the highway and back before landing again smack dab in the middle of the pen where the horses were eating hay. 

Laurie was beginning to wonder if she was gonna get anything done, but when she went inside the arena to drag it, Goosie took off, not to be seen again, at least for yesterday. 

Maybe Goosie will come again, so our new "family" member from Switzerland will get to meet a Canadian---a honker, that is. 

Swiss Miss aka Laura should be in the air somewhere between Zurich and Seattle, then on to Spokane where she'll be greeted with open arms and much excitement. 

So, on this Tuesday, there'll be no goosin' around, just a lot of hubbub getting ready for another addition to the family fold. 

Willie says she'll be going to new-student orientation tomorrow night, so with the blink of an eye, she'll be fully immersed into her new American culture.

Fun times. 

Happy Tuesday. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Turkey Talents, Summer Tastes and Travelers

Not quite Radio City Music Hall, but I guess this spruce limb will do for my performance.  Pretty scary looking down there. 

Howz about I show off my better side to the audience.  

Pride in a performance well done do cometh before flying off to find my mom. 

Okay, we've seen enough, get yourself out of that tree, and you . . .  yeah . . . you down on the ground, wandering around like a turkey with its head cut off---where have you been?

You missed the whole performance. 

The rest of us thoroughly enjoyed it all. 

Now, let's get movin' 

Meanwhile at the Lovestead manure pile, four cukes shivered in fear this morning as a big hand twisted away and separated them from their respective umbilical cords.

They now sit in the kitchen, wondering about their fate.

Will they shine in individual solo appearances, alongside a bottle of ranch dressing, or will they be diced up and thrown in with tomatoes, carrots, onions and lettuce for a summer salad?

Whatever the case, they feel pride, knowing  that they earned an A-plus for exceeding usual Lovestead cucumber standards.   

Off in the beautiful German countryside, Miss Annie and her friends found their last geocache before crossing the border into Austria, and . . . 

. . . the Seattle Sounders scarf was once again lifted with pride in the city of Salzburg.

Off in Switzerland, a family is preparing for good byes to their 17-year-old daughter who, within hours, will be taking off for the adventure of her life . . . well, maybe at least one of her lifetime adventures.  

After all, she just last week returned to Switzerland from Malaysia 

Today, after a wonderful Sunday evening summer deck dinner with fresh and tasty corn straight from the garden, our respective family members will be preparing for the arrival of our new "family" member.  

Should be a fun week as we welcome our Swiss Miss Laura to the clan.  We're all pretty excited to meet her. 

So, I guess that's it from the Lovestead where the turkey interludes provide great entertainment, the cucumbers and corn taste divine and stories of adventurous world travelers abound. 

Happy Monday. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Next . . . .

A touch of Mother as we wore her hats while clerking yesterday's yard sale!

Today is a new day, and I know that's a cliche.  

Nice rhyme though.

The statement seems apt, however, considering the fact that we seem to be virtually turning pages of late, constantly regrouping for the next "thing." 

With the sheer exhaustion of several days of yard/arena sale planning and execution, we've no time to rest, 'cept for when we drop into bed at night.

Our sale netted some extra cash, more giggling than I've done in months, some education from "pickers" who came looking for big-time treasures (in vain), and more work.

I must say that some of the delight came yesterday when my sisters brought the hats and we all wore them for the day.  They were Mother's hats, given to her late in life, and now the property of her daughters.  

Debbie also wore one of Mother's hats, the engineering cap which she purchased while taking the train trip from Sandpoint to Plains a few years ago. To say Mother was with us in spirit yesterday would be an understatement, and I have a feeling she was giggling too. 

I also giggled quietly with Debbie after watching some shoppers, carrying a calculator study virtually every item on every table and rack in the arena.  They must have stayed at least 25 minutes, and then they came to the table.

He handed me ten cents for an item. 

Most work for a ten-cent product I've ever seen. 

Barbara and Laurie sold some more of their handleless implements for one dollar apiece. One lady from Canada wanted to give us a loonie for a one dollar item AND asked us to knock the price down to a quarter. 

No budging on either request.  She was holding on to a twenty, and Debbie more than happy to make change.  So, the "welcome" sign went out the door and one dollar got added to the "profits."   

Anyway, once the sale was done, leftovers had to go back to their original home or to a new home at Goodwill.  

At that point, Laurie announced a feeling of being "overwhelmed" and tired, trying to figure out how and where the leftovers would get to their final destination.  I think it all worked out.  

I know I was thrilled with the ease of dropping off my leftovers to Goodwill.  So much so, I may plan for some weekly trips down that way. 

No rest today.  Entries for Bonner County Fair exhibits must be turned in by 5 p.m. this afternoon.  

My sisters and I all have photography to enter in three different categories.  There IS an advantage to being old cuz I don't have to compete with either one of them. 

This morning I'll finish mounting them for show and will decide which seven of the eleven enlargements will be entered.  Not an easy task because I love them all.

Fortunately, the contest offers different lots with specific themes, so that will help.

I think the only other item I'll take to the fair is the one pumpkin I've been monitoring.  It's not very big, but after comparing notes with Garry Bristow a couple of times this summer, I need to have something to offer. 

The place has plenty of other items that could go, but there's also a myriad of other chores that need attention on the Lovestead after two days of neglect. 

Plus, some plum jelly juice is waiting on the kitchen island to be processed,  corn is ready to eat, and several cukes are beautiful and in prime condition for a summer dinner on the deck.  

By the time we've enjoyed the delights of fresh garden produce and some barbecue, it will be time to start thinking about what's gonna get done tomorrow. 

Swiss Miss aka Laura is coming Tuesday, so I think we all want to make sure our abode are looking good for her arrival.  

Lots to do.  So, happy Sunday to all.