Monday, November 30, 2015


Our newest family member, Liam, had a comparatively quieter day yesterday from the others he's experienced since coming to Sandpoint. 

Still, he did meet a few new faces. 

I thought my brother Kevin was coming into the driveway when a wine-colored double-cab truck stopped, backed up and turned in.

When I went to the door to greet the visitors, I noticed a beard on the driver.  Kevin had no beard the day before, so I soon realized this was not my brother. 

Turns out our next-door neighbor Geneva, her daughter Becky and their friend Shaun had pulled in after Geneva announced, "Marianne has a new puppy."

So, the trio came in to greet both Liam and Foster.  Geneva has fond memories of Foster who used to go next door to visit with her husband Stan during his final days. 

Foster did a lot of that kind of visiting, delighting the elderly, especially when Mother was at Life Care. 

I also have to give Foster another verbal pat on the back, cuz the little guy is the best big brother Little Liam could ever have.  

Foster watches after Liam and is front and center EVERY time we go outside for No. 1 and No. 2.  

Both Kiwi and Foster have been so much better than I ever expected.  I think they're thrilled to have another buddy for romping, playing and doing important farm work. 

Another introduction for Liam occurred earlier in the day when Festus, the resident cat, came in for a visit.  

That's the first time we heard Liam bark and growl.  He can do both very well, along with keeping his distance.  He didn't quite know what to think of Festus, who is twice his size.

Festus could have cared less about the growling and barking from the newbie in the house; he just kept on purring.

So, it's been a great beginning for out big change in the family.  Plus, I'm getting lots of exercise.  Little puppy bladders are just like those of old women.  

They can be emptied frequently!

Lots to do today in between trips to the outdoors so that's all, folks. 

Happy Monday. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Puppy Love and Family Fun

It was totally unplanned, and it all revolved around a little puppy named Liam.  Our day with family members yesterday was truly something special in many ways. 

We followed no schedule, and we brought out nibbling treats as needed.  Virtually every coffee cup came from the cupboard to fill the needs of a gradual influx of visitors.

Little Liam received all the loving a little pup could want.  Levi, from Montana, listened to a few snarls from Foster, but Levi didn't mind.
Foster likes to let the big guys who come into his abode know he's the king of the Love house. 

They usually blow his snarls off and go on about their business.
Pretty much everyone who showed up spent time cuddling with Liam as the conversation went from one story to another.
Good memories of times spent at Lincoln School and the high school kept the listening pretty lively.

After all, the Brown/Tibbs siblings shared many of the same teachers and maybe a little impishness on the side during their formative years in Sandpoint.
Debbie Love, organizer extraordinaire, accomplished a mission which hasn't happened often during the adult years of Batch One (Mike, Kevin and Marianne) and Batch Two (Barbara Laurie and Jim)----a group photo.
As one friend wrote:  Harold and Virginia had to be smiling from above. 
Even the outdoor photo shoot was fun as Willie snapped lots of shots, and we behaved generally in unison for a couple of images.
Twas a great gathering----one which I'll long remember and cherish.
Happy Sunday.  Enjoy the photos. 

Late, Late

Running a little late this morning.  If the blog is not up by 8, it's coming.  Too much Puppy Love around here. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Day for William's . . . .

The bottom photo was taken just before I walked upstairs to post on the blog. The Australian has his Love seat and the little Irishman is stretched out on the couch.  

Of course, if humans appear, there's snuggling to be had.  

So, in a nutshell, less than 24 hours into the transfer of Liam from his family in Hunters, Wash., to his new family at the Lovestead all has gone very well. 

It has not been without incident, but through no fault of Liam's.  We were told to expect him to vomit in the car because he had had his breakfast.

That did happen twice, but we were equipped to handle the situations without too much trouble or shock.

The Young Love's, parents of our Border Collie grandpuppies, came along with us on the beautiful but dicey icy drive to Hunteres yesterday, so Liam had all the attention he needed.

After his initial nervousness, which ranked pretty low on a scale of 1-10, he settled in to watching Debbie and me and snoozing on our respective laps.  

And, when we stopped at the Kountry Korner in Springdale to get some of those "Best Maple Bars in town," Liam seemed perfectly comfortable and content in his crate.  

Sadly, the "Best Maple Bars" in Springdale did not materialize yesterday because of the Thanksgiving holiday.  Nor did the giant cake-pan-sized cinnamon rolls.

So, we settled for a Kountry Korners-style lunch.  Big juicy hamburgers and "tots."  Willie had a good-looking breakfast plate.  

When you go to the Kountry Korner, you get more than food.  I swear the clientele are the friendliest people to be found.  

One lady, who had been sitting in the corner of the Kountry Korner visiting with friends, told us all about her Falcrony and hawk experiences.  Seems Stella, the Falcon, lives in the house with her.  Stella doesn't like sweets.

And, the gentleman at the table behind us struck up an immediate conversation.  He moved to Springdale from Portland years ago because his health problems diminished.  

He has heavy equipment and trucks and knows most of the logging jobs in the area, as well as the Balisons and Bloods of Sandpoint. 

Before leaving, we received an enthusiastic invitation to bring Liam in to meet everyone in the restaurant.  As Debbie says, he needs to socialize with a hundred people.  

Considering he comes from a family of 11 and after meeting all those folks in the restaurant, he's well on his way.

When we arrived home, the big question about how Kiwi and Foster were going to react to Liam was answered fairly quickly.  On the scale of "big deals," we've observed very little resistance.  

The two were very helpful last night, showing Liam that coming along with that leash is no big deal.  He now trots around with me as if he's done it all his life. 

Best news:  NO ACCIDENTS.  Several successful deposits when taken outside.  I'm sure that record will not be perfect, but it's a great start. 

And, Liam is a HUNGRY DOG.  I haven't seen a pup gobble food like he does EVER.  He ate a full bowl of Purina Puppy Chow last night and has a good start on his breakfast bowl. 

Now, in the barn, he lets us know that he has vocal cords.  I have him attached to a cable, well away from horse hoofs, and he kinda does whimper a bit.  

All in all, a great transition, and we have definitely fallen in love.  I think Bill especially likes the new man around the house. 

I also included a photo of another William.  I think he's the grandson of my penpal from New Zealand, who sadly passed away a few years ago.  Still, I keep in touch with her daughters, Giselle and Sarah.  

This morning's photo of William on Socks just seemed like a keeper, so I stole it from Giselle's page.  I think Socks must be a pretty reliable horse.  

And, that moon dipping over Schweitzer the other morning was beyond breath-taking, so the camera came out.

Downstairs, I hear whimpering.  Liam hasn't figured out how to jump down from the couch.  So, I'd better go see that he finds the way.  

Life is good with our new pup.  A beautiful day lies ahead.  The ZAGS rebounded from their one-point loss Thursday with a victory over UConn yesterday AND we've got company coming today.  

Great holiday weekend.  Happy Saturday.      

Friday, November 27, 2015

Dog Day

 It may be Black Friday for the shoppers of the world, but Bill and I are calling this day "Black and White" Friday. 

We don't have to fight the crowds in hopes of grabbing marked-down items.  We don't have to wait in the cold for doors to open. 

We do have to drive a ways through some pretty country to pick up our special new family member, but that's okay.  

He's waiting for us, and we're excited to see him.  

This morning we have already held a birthday celebration of sorts for Foster, as this is his special day.  He loves his new toy.

When people see him, they often ask how old our puppy is-----well, from today on, we can tell folks that he's 4.  

For a brief time, Foster may even be a little bigger than Liam, but that won't last long.  

Still, it's probably a good thing that Liam is a little guy because Foster will be able to identify with him, and maybe they become fast friends.  

By the time Liam catches up and surpasses Foster in size---if all goes well----they'll develop a very special relationship.  

And, Kiwi----I'm sure she'll happily show Liam the ropes and provide him expert guidance on precisely when to race the fence line should Lily or Lefty misbehave. 

Big changes coming to the Lovestead today.  

In fact, I hardly slept last night thinking about Liam and Foster and Kiwi and how the Border Collie Nation, plus one, will once again be three.

I also thought about No. 1 and No. 2, hoping Liam learns quickly the proper places to do his business. 

Little Liam will never replace our beloved Kea, but I'm sure he'll have no problem bringing back some of the joy.  

Happy Friday.  And, Happy Birthday, Foster.  

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Comings and Goings

This herd of turkeys was on some sort of mission yesterday afternoon when I drove this route to town.  They live near Betty Berger Pass on North Kootenai Road.  

With prominent "No Hunting" signs along the fencelines, turkeys and deer live the good life on the Berger farm.  

So, these birds were not in too much of a hurry to get out of sight cuz they knew the likelihood of their ending up on someone's holiday platter is pretty slim. 

I didn't have time to ask them any questions while taking their photos because I was on a mission of my own----to pick up a bag of Purina Puppy Chow.  

With all the comings and goings today, I figured I'd better have everything ready for Puppy Pick-Up Day, which starts bright and early Friday morning.  

Each day of relative quiet here at the Lovestead makes me all the more aware of how much it's gonna change for a while as Little Liam makes his adjustment and as Kiwi and Foster make their adjustment to Little Liam.  

The nice part about puppies is that plenty of good comes with the deposits and the active teeth. 

Today is a definitely a day of comings and goings. 

Annie is traveling to Kauai for her Thanksgiving break.  She just texted that she's been upgraded to First Class on her flight this morning, so the trip is starting out well.  

Should be fun for all of us to enjoy the island life vicariously as Annie does her exploring of yet another new traveling frontier on her very active docket.  

The locals among the family are staying home for Thanksgiving and two brothers are coming from Montana and Oregon, respectively.  A third brother will come up this weekend after spending turkey day with his daughter in Plummer.  

Bill just had to go to work, and that was painful for him to leave the house this morning because the ZAGS have gone to the Bahamas and their first game of the Atlantis Tournament is coming up soon-----at 9 a.m. PST on ESPN2.

Guess I'll have to yell and scream to make up for all those who have to go to work.   

The ZAGS will be playing the University of Washington Huskies-----a first meeting after many years of not playing each other.  

Both teams are strong (they each scored more than 100 points in their last game), so it should be a nip-and-tuck nail biter. 

When we go to Hunters on Friday to pick up Little Liam, many folks will be headed to the mountain.  Yup, Schweitzer is looking really pretty this morning with its deep pink hue, thanks to a lovely sun and a clear day. 

Skiing will commence Friday and through the weekend.  I've read there's not a LOT of snow up there, but with the snow making machines, the runs are reportedly navigable. 

It's definitely looking like some good days ahead as the snow we received yesterday has ceased and the landscape is mostly white and beautiful.  Cool, crisp weather will keep it that way, and nobody's complaining.

Happy Wednesday.  GO ZAGS!  Safe travels and much holiday cheer to all! 

In the "This Just In" department, Sandpoint's Cindy Wooden won't be home for Thanksgiving.  She has headed off to Africa to cover Pope Francis' latest trip.

And, a few minutes ago, she posted this selfie aboard the Vatican jet while the Pope was visiting with the Vatican Press Corps.

You can read about Cindy's life as the Vatican Bureau Chief for Catholic News Service in the latest Sandpoint Magazine, available around town or you can view the flip version online at