Friday, September 30, 2016

Bye, September

It's passed like a speeding light.  I thought we'd only just begun, but today I realized the month is ending. 

Where did September go?

I'm wondering if it's age that makes time go faster or our busy pace. 

In any case, both categories fit for me. 

I also wish the fall months would just slow down a bit.  After all, they're the best. 

If a poll were taken, I would bet that the majority of residents around here would vote fall over any other season, and they would not need debates or scandals to make up their minds. 

Fall has all the good qualities----color, crisp air, fewer "turists," all the stuff that makes living in this area fun, at least in my mind. 

Well, we're halfway through the season, and I don't even remember what all I've done during its first half, 'cept it's been good and it's been busy. 

I do remember, however, that the end of this month signifies a birthday for one of my longtime friends.  We call her "Mow."  She does have a name, and that's Jean. 

Mow turned 70 today, so, of course, I had to needle her a bit.  Part of that harassment included yet another dramatic realization.  

Where have those 50-plus years of our friendship gone???

We first met at Camp Neewahlu on Lake Coeur d'Alene in the summer of 1965.  She had come from Kansas to serve as the Campfire Girls camp water safety instructor, hence, "Slap my thigh, I'm a WSI."  

I had a more low grade job----dishwasher.  

Most of us knew each other by nicknames, and these days I would be most sensitive about my nickname, which was the other half of Span.  My partner Span aka Terrie Chronic is sadly no longer with us. 

That summer we did not have a lot of time off, but once when they gave us a 24-hour break, we made the most of it with my dad's cow truck, loading up sleeping bags and about five of us and heading for the blister rust camp up in the Priest Lake country.

That's where my brother Kevin and a bunch of his friends worked for the Forest Service. After a night of driving around the Priest Lake country, which included a stop at a dump to see and probably provoke the bears, the guys went back to camp and the girls bedded down in the back of the truck.

Well, that was short-lived.  About 1 a.m. the rains came, so Mow drove the truck, which was reading Empty to a nearby laundromat at Lamb Creek.  We bedded down again between the washers and dryers.  It cut quite a scene to say the least, and our bodies suffered from trying to sleep on that cement floor. 

That experience launched off this half-century friendship, and, believe me, when we've gotten together over the years, each experience definitely rivals the cow truck story. 

I hope we both live to be a hundred and that my mind is still working so I can write that book.  For now, Jean aka Mow, we Love's all wish you the happiest of days. 

I promise not to put a damper on your special day by saying anything about how you and Donald Trump are now contemporaries----not a word! :) 

Happy Birthday, Mow.  Happy Friday to all. 

One of our stories involved Mow's visit to Sandpoint to pick up her beloved Webster, brother of our grandpuppies.That was a wild and woolly weekend, thanks to an early winter storm.

In the midst of it, though, our friend Boots Reynolds had his book launch at Community Hall, and we all attended and enjoyed, especially my mother to whom Boots jokingly referred as his "other wife."

Bootsie, as many of us called him, had lots of "other wives," but we never mentioned that to Mother. 

When ya live in Palm Springs, this can be a shock to the system!  I think Mow worried that she'd never get out of Sandpoint as the snow fell and fell. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thursday Hodge Podge

Brother Willie and sister Annie Love at the Sounders Soccer Match last night. 

They attended the match as VIP's, thanks to a contest that Annie won several weeks ago. She could bring a guest, so Willie got the nod.  

The Sounders defeated Chicago, 1-0 to stay in contention for MLS play-offs.  

Willie will be back in Sandpoint today in time to meet with his second-period class, and Annie will be boarding yet another flight tomorrow to come to Sandpoint for the weekend. 

Of course, Mom had to drag out the Thursday Throwbacks.  

Ya just kinda wonder what Annie's got on her mind in this photo from yesteryear. Could it be the sleeves???

Luke Mayville

 Author, post doctoral fellow at Columbia University and Sandpoint High graduate                                  ---Photo from Luke's page.

Over the past several weeks, I've been following the progress of Luke's book on Facebook and wishing that time would allow for some more intense study and to write something about the project with an informed outlook. 

Well, time has not been that generous, but this time seems like the best to mention the new release in hopes of helping spread the word. 

Yesterday I learned that the book (published by Princeton Press) is now available at and that it is doing well sales-wise----ranked in the 30,000s overall and No. 31 in books on politics and social sciences.  

I believe Luke graduated from Sandpoint High School in 2003 because my memory tells me he was in one of the last honors classes I taught at the school.  

I know that several of his other teachers from SHS are equally proud of his very notable achievements, as we are of SO many of our students who are making a meaningful difference in this world. 

I've included a link from a piece published this week on a Harvard University blog, which summarizes Luke's general thesis.

Good luck, Luke.  We from Sandpoint are proud of you!

Also, in the something new category, this week Bill and I and a whole lot of others with a view have been noticing the progress of the new ridge-top lodge at Schweitzer. 

It's pretty amazing because suddenly there it was.  I'm going to have to enjoy my kitchen-window view because I'll never have the guts to ride a chairlift up there to see it firsthand. 

Finally, in the midst of all the cleaning and preparing for the big weekend ahead, Bill and I decided to take a break for a couple of hours yesterday and check out the aspen on the Rapid Lightning Creek Road.

My regular camera is in the shop, so I used my little point and shoot.  Unfortunately, the color setting somehow got screwed up after just a few photos. 

Still, the pictures give the story.  It's downright amazingly beautiful up there, and it's gonna get better over the next several days. 

This is a special place because of the arrangement of the aspen, the spectacular panoramic views and the open country for great hiking. 

As we started our walk yesterday and stopped dozens of times for photos, I said to Bill that this place is so beautiful it hardly seems real.

Our short hike turned adventurous when we scared up a bull, cow and a calf moose. When they ran on, we walked on, seeing them fairly close a second time.  

We thought they were still fairly close and waited for them to come out in an opening, only to see that they had hoofed it up the hillside and were standing up there looking back at us------without a camera!  

Darn, think of the photos they could have gotten.  

Well, mine are fairly mediocre because of the setting, but I will tell you they were all impressive---looks like they did well in grazing department. 

The moose were on a hillside just below where we had parked the pickup, so we walked cautiously on our way back.  Fortunately, they had headed elsewhere. 

So glad we took the time out to enjoy some autumn splendor.  It's truly magnificent, much more beautiful than the photos show.

Big lawnmowing project ahead.  Happy Thursday. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Purging before Party

Two dogs and I took a few minutes yesterday afternoon for a neighborhood photo run.  It had been yet another busy day preparing for the upcoming weekend when 30 family members come to the Lovestead for dinner.  

Bill and I haven't exactly fulfilled the ten-year purge that he suggested last year, but we have made several trips to the transfer station, and more will come before Friday. 

His thoughts at the time were that we should throw away everything we haven't touched for ten years.  Good idea but easier said than done.

For example, in those boxes underneath the counter in the shop off from the house are lots of papers, some of them still valuable, like my college diploma and some written material upon which I would like to expand----some day.  That may never happen, but it's nice to have the basic foundation still on hand.

I don't even want to talk about the hundreds of Willie's socks, packed away along with all his college stuff in one attic store room upstairs.  

One never knows when old what athletic socks will come in handy.  So, that stuff will stay, especially because removing all those items involves too much bending over under the low ceiling for this old body.   

How about what's left of my teaching materials?  Let's see---it's been nearly 15 years since I stepped into a classroom to teach English or journalism.  But still, one never knows . . . .

Instead of purging, yesterday generally included table-cleaning and table-cloth sorting and decorating-strategy and removing-more-cobwebs time.  

We're also developing more contingency plans for both dogs and people in case of possible rain Saturday night.   

The comparatively squeaky clean shop ((at least compared to what it was two weeks ago)  will get the nod if we have rain, but I would much prefer to have our dining time spent on and around the deck. 

If only we could trade weather days when events like this come up.  

I would have exchanged yesterday for Saturday, for sure.  Perfect weather, beautiful sunshine, pleasant temperature, heightened fall colors, even though we're still a ways off from the absolute glory of autumn. 

Today looks like another beauty, and I might even have time to enjoy it before the final assault which comes tomorrow with lawn mowing and vacuuming and other last-minute items.  

Reunion revelers start showing up Friday.  And, happily, all thoughts of purging, cleaning, rearranging stuff, etc. can be put to bed for another ten years.  I hope anyway!

Happy Wednesday. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Gee, That Was a Doozy!

As I admire at this photo of the serene slough running through Dover Bay, recurrent images of a 400-pound hacker sitting on a bed go floating on down the waterway. . . . at least temporarily.  

Then I go back to scratching my head.  

I always thought it was "elephants in the room" or great big gorillas, but never until last night had I envisioned a 400-pound hacker sitting on a bed in some clandestine room somewhere on Earth.

Is this entity a newly discovered addition to the animal kingdom or a new species of gorillas? What the heck is it anyway?

Maybe I'll learn more by watching "Saturday Night Live" this weekend when the creative geniuses---who still remember truth---provide us with a tangible image of a 400-pound something or other rolling around on that bed (with a plateful of spaghetti on the night stand) gleefully hacking away at unsuspecting websites in places yet unknown.

'Til then, I'll just have to imagine the scene and hope this hacker is caught before it establishes a direct connection or even a job in the White House. 

Besides seeing the need for a good, strong handkerchief to curb some obvious nasal distress, the hacker phenom tops my takeaway list from last night's "Great Debate" of suppositions (nice term for 'I just made that up')  on one side and generally researched and credible facts on the other. 

And, I just read this morning that the nasal passage-impaired candidate says it's gonna get tougher next time we get to watch a "great debate."   

Looks like the fall season for TV viewers has scored big with its 2016 debate series.  

I can't wait to see how said fat hacker evolves into a regular caricature with each new episode.  

What's even more interesting is to learn that what we saw last night was really not what we saw.  

In many cases---according to the news as we make it up----what many thought was the winning player among the two verbal pugilists in last night's season opener lost miserably. 

I guess we have just got to get used to the fact that facts really aren't facts.  Instead, all this time they've really just been a figment of imagination, depending on whose imagination is at work at the time. 

Never mind that a lot of imaginations have been putzing along on basically the same page for as long as I've been alive, but we have also learned over the years that change is inevitable and when that change comes from a vivid imagination, GET READY!  

That fact will soon be history.  

OOPS!  No, it won't be history cuz history is what we use to draw conclusions and history is to be forgotten.  

No, that fact will be just become another new figment.  

Stay tuned.

That 400-pound hacker on the bed is gonna take time out from slurping down the spaghetti, sneak into a computer near you and steal any morsal of truth that is floating around in your computer or your brain.

Soon you'll be acting just like Hazel in Kurt Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron" every time the sound of a ball peen hammer hitting a milk bottle goes off in her head while she's watching TV debates with her husband George. 

"Gee, that was a doozy," you'll say, and when the hammer goes off again ten seconds later " . . . GEE, that was really a doozy." 

Where's that handkerchief????  Take me back to that serene slough in Dover. 

Happy Tuesday. 


Monday, September 26, 2016

Yay! Yay! Ruff! Ruff! and Moo! Moo!

What a weekend of activity---all good! 

Yesterday my sister Laurie won another Top Ten Ribbon in dressage at the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals in Nampa.  She, Roxzene and Pache will, no doubt, be "floating" as they come home today from a week of competition.  

Congratulations to all on a fine week competing among the nation's finest. 

While Laurie was horsing around in Nampa, Annie was visiting with cows and Border Collies in Germany and Austria----the Alps, to be exact.  

It was a "working" trip, but by most other folks' standards, it's mighty fine work, doing all that hiking and sight seeing in all that beauty. 

I think Annie's supposed to be back in Seattle Tuesday.  Willie will be joining her Wednesday night at the Sounders match, where Annie won a bunch of enviable perks, like walking the sidelines and hobnobbing with the team, with a guest, no less.

So, Willie's making a quick trip over to serve as her guest at the soccer match.

Willie and Debbie and I went to the dogs yesterday at Dover and had a fine time.  They served as guides for the fun run which benefits the Panhandle Animal Shelter, and I took photos.  

I'll post a few samples below.

With all the stuff going on with just this family and with another family member in the cousins' contingent spending several days in Ireland while another is hunting for a big horn sheep, I have a feeling that this weekend's reunion will involve a lot of lively conversation.  

It's a fun life.  Someone's gotta live it. And, these folks are making the most of it, along with their animals. 

Yappy Monday!



Sunday, September 25, 2016

Gone to the Dogs at Dover

Actually, I will be out the door when my friend Helen and Cherry tune in to read and edit this morning.  So, Helen and Cherry, go easy on me.

Big event at Dover this morning starting at 9, and its purpose is to support the Panhandle Animal Shelter.  It's a walk/run, and, in many cases, will include the walkers'/runners' best friends. 

I'd like to take Liam BUT I'm taking pictures.  

Liam and I haven't exactly practiced teamwork with photography, especially in settings with a whole lot of people and other dogs to meet. So, he'll stay home.  Maybe next year.

I think it's gonna be a lot of fun, especially out there at beautiful Dover Bay. 

In the meantime, I was quite delighted this morning to discover that all those jars of plum jelly prepared yesterday afternoon set up overnight.  

Seems the last couple of years I've had some problems in that department and have had to recook my jelly.  

This time, though, it's a one-shot deal with 24 little jars of that pretty and zesty red stuff. 

I'm also pleased that my tomatoes are turning red now that they're in the house and sitting in the garden window.  Last night I cut up a couple and smothered them with zesty Italian dressing.  

Talk about a delight!  I guess they're definitely well worth the long wait. 

It was a very busy day yesterday, racing around trying to get things done both inside and out for next weekend's cousins' gathering, but while heading over to the Colburn farm to pick up some tables, I stopped several times to shoot some fall splendor. 

It's just coming on, and every day, every minute of fall is worth beholding.  Looks like we might get quite a color show this year. 

Anywho, I'll close and wish everyone a wonderful day.  And, soon I'll head to Dover and yell, "Go, Dogs and Masters!" and I'll just type, "Go, Laurie and Pache!!  Good luck in your last class at Nationals." 

Happy Sunday.