Sunday, July 22, 2018

One Full Day

Twas a day filled with a whole of "hurry up and wait." 

Still, those moments were pleasantly peppered with just as many precious memories. 

With any horse show, there's always the urge to get to the venue with plenty of time, lest some unknown situation, not listed on "the plan" suddenly occurs.

Well, yesterday no unknowns, no urgencies---just a laid-back morning where thoughts of being called to a class around 9:30 came and went.  

Twas noon hour when Terra finally entered her showmanship class.  So, we all enjoyed plenty of time for little visits with friends and for helping our respective exhibitors hone their skills prior to competing. 

Then, it was nearly 2 p.m. when we finally picked up the assortment of chairs, brushes, buckets, etc. and loaded Lefty up for the ride home.  Terra and Lefty did their very best at showmanship and trail class.  

The latter is a totally new adventure for Terra and Lefty, and the latter takes a lot of intricate skills and practice. Terra was willing to give trail class a try, probably cuz she enjoys working through a challenge.

And, that it definitely was.   

We don't know the results, but she and Lefty did their best, and I have a feeling she may want to keep working at mastering those obstacles. 

In the morning before going to the horse show, I had heard that my friend and classmate Maurine was in town for their family reunion.  As the horse show stretched on much longer than expected, I doubted that I could touch base with her. 

Well, it turned out that our short visit did work out.  I also saw many Marks family members that I knew and met several for the first time.  

It was downright gorgelious out there at Trestle Creek with Lake Pend Oreille waves pounding the shoreline and all sorts of folks enjoying their summer fun. 

Later, Bill and I met at the Ice House pizza for pizza and those tasty ice cream cones.  He went his way to do some fishing at Lightning Creek, and I headed home to do evening chores and watering. 

Today, the horse show starts all over again.  We have just one class to worry about, and, of course, everyone's wondering if there'll be more hurry up and wait.  

One can't assume, so I'll finish this up, get out there, load up Lefty.  I'll be perfectly happy to have another smooth day at the horse show, even if it does take longer than usual.  

Happy Sunday.    

A proud mom helping her daughter with last-minute prepping. 

A portion of Terra and Lefty's "village" of mentors:  my sister Laurie and 4-H leader Krissy Peck. 

Yes, Bill actually came to a horse show without being asked and without Willie and Annie showing.  I guess he kinda enjoys Terra, and, of course, he's gotta watch Lefty.  Bill is visiting with sister Laurie and our neighbor Steve Wood. 

Terra practicing showmanship skills for the judge. 

Linda Marks, my classmate and friend Maurine and her hubby Carl. 

She's a proud mom any day, but yesterday Michelle Dorman was especially proud when her daughter Lucy won her showmanship class.  

Classmates, friends and horse lovers, oh my!

Years ago, Maurine's dad used to come with his combine and harvest our dad's grain crops. 

Terra and her family:  Trent, Tricia and Boston.  I caught Lefty closing his eyes.  Oh well!

One fine man, Mr. Rod Berget, with his daughter Taylor.

They may have been hurrying up and waiting!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Saturday Slight

Am about to head out and feed horses for the morning, and soon after that, it's off to the 4-H horse show with Mr. Lefty.

He's had quite a summer of tender loving care.  You can maybe see the positive changes in his overall appearance from April 22 to yesterday just after Terra bathed him.

This weekend, all this attention and work will be topped off with some competition. 

Lefty's friend and handler, Terra will practice her skills at showmanship, equitation and making it through the obstacles on the fairgrounds trail course. 

We're hoping for the best, but the ribbons will just be frosting on the cake because Terra has come so far this year with her confidence and her knowledge of general horsemanship.

This is all thanks to the "village" of wonderful adults who have guided her through new challenges. 

As an observer/guide and cheerleader, it's been a fun ride for me, to say the least. 

Good luck to Terra and all the Gold n' Grouse 4-H Club members as they compete in this weekend's show. 

That's it for now.  

I might return later this afternoon and post a few photos of today's events. 

As promised, this weekend's blog postings will be a bit hit and miss. So, thanks for your patience. 

Happy Saturday.  

Friday, July 20, 2018

All in a Day . . .

Smoky skies this morning and cooler temps.  

In fact, it almost felt like September when I went out for morning chores.

The cool air was welcome while the haze---not so good.  Tis too much of a reminder of most of last summer when we couldn't see the mountains for weeks.

So far, the smoke hasn't come close to what we endured last year.  Hoping it never does cuz there's nothing worse for tourist season, where scenic beauty is the catalyst, to be unable to see the beauty. 

The hot weather of the past several days has reaped some wonderful benefits.  Hay harvest is going faster than usual.  

My sisters had their fields over in Colburn cut the day before yesterday, and I'm told ours will go down in a few days. 

Last year and the year before, we never saw haying equipment until August.  So, fingers are crossed that the current pace continues. 

One of the most satisfying feelings in any year on a farm with animals is having fresh hay stacked in the barn. 

And, speaking of harvest, I harvested for a good portion of the day yesterday.  

In the morning, it was blueberries, raspberries, three big cukes, the first officially almost ripe tomato off the vine and two baggies of green beans.

Later, my sisters and I returned to the huckleberry patch where Bill and I had picked earlier this week.  

This time the place appeared to be bearless.  

Of course, that absence was probably helped along by a long session of target practice at a pit nearby. 

While picking in a relatively shady spot, we saw lots of traffic heading up and down the road.  

In one case, a bright red pickup rolled by with the passengers apparently seeing us.  A short ways down the road it backed up and people got out. 

Soon, one gentleman came walking my way with his hand open.  

"Are ya huckleberrying?" I asked.

"Yes," he said, "just want to see if these are huckleberries." Turns out they were from Oregon and most of the group had never picked hucks before. 

After I assured him that the big berries in his hand were, indeed, huckleberries, he returned to his group, and a minute later, they had driven on.  

About that same time, Bill appeared on the scene.  His fly rod just happened to be in his pickup but no bucket for picking.  

So----as if to earn his right to fish---he followed me around for a while picking handfuls of berries and dropping them into my bucket. 

I finally announced that he could go fishing now.  I think he was quite pleased to see the gals enjoying the patch he had discovered earlier in the week. 

So, two baggies of hucks went to the freezer, joining the other three I had picked earlier.  

Like the hay, those hucks are coming earlier than usual this year.  As they continue to ripen up higher in the next couple of weeks, we might just have a good supply for winter. 

Our huckleberry excursion operated in "egg-timer" mode yesterday cuz I had to get home to do chores and then haul Lefty to the 4-H meeting at the fairgrounds where Terra would meet me.

So, from the huck patch to the trail course, the day moved on with demonstrations, last-minute reminders for the weekend show and then practice with trail obstacles and showmanship. 

As always, it was fun observing the learning and kids with their horses. 

Today Terra will come over to finish up with hoof sanding, clipping and organizing all her supplies in the horse trailer for tomorrow's show. Then, she'll give Lefty his bath.  

Afterward, we'll dress him up to look almost like an outer space creature with hopes of keeping him clean for tomorrow morning's showmanship class.  

Morning "get-in-full-motion time"  will come early tomorrow and on Sunday, so I'm posting a disclaimer today.  

If the blog is a bit erratic over the weekend, as far as timing is concerned, bear with me.  Something will appear sometime during each day. 

Thanks for your patience.  Have a great Friday. 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

This and That and TBT's

Some mornings I'm never quite sure of what's gonna show up on the blog. This morning was one of those, even though I had a few ideas. 

Well, as life unfolds each day, so do distinct themes that go along with whatever seems to be happening at the time. 

Now that I know what's gonna be on the blog, I can maybe use the word "vintage."  

Love that word because in my mind it connotes one of my favorite aspects of living:  remembering the past. 

Nostalgia is a key ingredient in my bag of reasons to get up every morning.  The bag is pretty full with lots of other things, but I can guarantee that the assortment of past memories takes its share of room.

So, today's post has brought my mind alive with smiles and fragrances and good memories of a few folks very appreciated within my circle.

Let me start out with the link below.  If I were dedicating the contents of this post to someone else who dearly loves nostalgia AND creates it with her talent every day, I would name the lady featured in the Daily Bee story. 

Congratulations once again for one of our community's finest artists for the much-deserved recognition she is receiving with this year's Festival at Sandpoint. 

My friend Judy Pederson brings back the past exquisitely through her paintings of barns and rural scenes.  You can read more about her latest achievement in the story.  

Judy, I hope you enjoy today's blog as much as so many of us enjoy your artwork!

Reading Judy's story in the morning paper launched the nostalgia theme. 

I also loved reading this morning's Bonner County History "50 Years Ago" column, especially the part about Karen Evans, the "bridal-elect" who was honored with a wedding shower. 

Karen has been a faithful reader of this blog, so, of course, this history note is essential for today's focus. 

Later, coming upstairs and seeing a photo posted to my Facebook page further enhanced the vintage idea.

This posting also inspired another theme among the photos:  first horses/first horse experiences.  

My friend, family member and former student Monty Collison was on a nostalgia kick when he posted the picture of him, his ribbon and his mount Sassy on my wall. 

Monty has moved on as a highly respected horseman who competes and wins at the national level. 

Sassy, a cute little Appaloosa mare, provided other young people some of their first horse experiences, including my sister Laurie (Sassy was her first horse) and daughter Annie. 

There's a lot to be said for those reliable, beloved equine pals which stand prominent in the memories of horse lovers.  Sassy certainly earned her medals in the kids and horses hall of fame. 

And, then there was Tonka.  She was a big Appaloosa mare our family purchased from the Hawkins family.  Both my son Willie and my brother Jim had some memorable riding experiences on Tonka. 

Because I've witnessed another youngster having the time of her life with her first horse experiences, I've included Lefty among the circle of beloveds.  Every day of watching Terra and Lefty learn together has only magnified the wonderful bond I see between the two. 

Interestingly enough, a few years ago, another young lady spent many hours riding Lefty while he was stabled for a month in Spokane where Monty trains and teaches riding. 

That young lady named Madison has moved on from her early horse experiences with some wonderful achievements.  

There's a photo of her on Facebook all decked out with a collection of championship awards won at a regional horse show last weekend.  Congratulations to Madison.

And, to all of the above, as well as a couple of my sisters who can tell their own share of first horse stories (was it Queenie, the pony, Barbara?)-----I hope these photographic memories bring back some fun thoughts for each of you. 

That's precisely what I love about nostalgia.  

It's such a rich and satisfying ingredient for us to savor as we continue to move through the phases of our lives.  

Mighty fun to look back and see where and how we began our individual journeys. 

Happy Thursday. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

HuckleBEARy Heaven, Et. Al.

I'm gonna stick my neck out this morning and declare it a good year for huckleberries. 

Along with that, it's important to keep in mind that the bears know it's a good year for huckleberries too.

I do think there are enough of Idaho's state fruit to go around for both the peeps and the bears. 

In fact, yesterday our visitor showed the utmost of grace and consideration when it came upon us picking away at what was probably gonna be its afternoon dessert down by the river. 

Rather than cause a fuss, the bear just climbed a tree and sat there watching us pick.  

Talk about grace---it didn't even seem to mind that I was taking its picture.  

Just had my cell phone, though, but I can tell you that, for the very first time in this ursophobiac's life, I stood my ground, did not run away and snapped a few photos. 

After that, Bill and I walked on down the trail a ways and finished our picking.  When we walked back, the bear was still perched in the tree.  

Once it knew we were finished with our picking, it slid to the ground, looked around and ambled off.  I knew where it was headed. 

The biggest and best berries were right next to the river shoreline. Our trail was far enough away that the berries were about half that size. 

We picked for about an hour and brought home about half a gallon of berries----all very clean.

Twas a great way to escape the heat, strolling around in the shade next to a river plucking from bushes loaded with berries. 

When we returned to the pickup, I walked around the area, and pretty much wherever I stood, huckleberry brush was filled with berries.

Bill quite often fishes in our berry patch area and says, from his experience, it appears to be a bear corridor.  I doubt, however, they are all as laid back as our fury friend. 

So, it's a good idea if you find a good patch to keep a lookout.  And, when you're next to a river, they could sneak up on you pretty easily.

We have our first installment of huckleberries for 2018 and will most likely try to find some time to pick a whole lot more.

While picking those berries and not really too worried about the bear, I thought a lot about contractions.

Not the labor kind, mind you. Haven't thought about those for almost 40 years. 

No, I was thinking about how once again we English teachers could revel in the fact that another hair-splitting application of our vocation had come to the forefront on the world stage. 

This does not happen very often.  Oh, occasionally, someone brings up a misplaced comma which makes an important document have a double or confusing meaning. 

Then, there was the era when the intransitive verb "is" received notable attention in the spotlight, thanks to Bill Clinton who seemed to know the difference between present and past tense and use it to what he thought was/is his advantage. 

If you need a memory refresher, just click on this link.

I don't know if verb tense played a positive role in President Clinton's effort to convince the folks in legal court, but I do know that there may have been a lotta head scratching among those who sit in the court of public opinion.

I also know that at the time, English teachers were in their glory, maybe even some using the President's predicament as a teaching moment when their students couldn't figure out the difference between present and past tense. 

Once again yesterday, we English teachers (well, at least one) rejoiced, knowing that our passion for the language and lifelong desire that it be used correctly aroused wide public attention. 

In this case, 'twas those contractions: specifically falling into the subjunctive woulda, coulda, shoulda variety. 

When Donald Trump shoulda said to the world, "Yes, the Russians did meddle in the elections, and I hold you, Vladimer Putin responsible," he "couldN'T" remember just what he was supposed to say outside the safety of his Tweet Kingdom. 

And, according to the President, it came out wrong.  If he had been thinking straight, he woulda said the right thing, but when you're 72, sometimes you forget what to say and, by golly, the wrong thing comes out. 

That's what happened on Monday, according to Donald Trump.  

I'm glad he clarified it all yesterday and told us that he really meant wouldn't when he said would.

I'm really glad because as an English teacher, I love it when people point out to us the importance of specificity and the old "say what you mean," and "mean what you say."  

Now, I kinda thought he really meant was he said on Monday when he said, "I don't know why it WOULD be the Russians," cuz I thought I saw forcefullness in his comment----especially when he emphasized "WOULD." 

Then, yesterday we learned that he had totally forgotten to say what he really meant, and, darnit all, the wrong word slipped out.  

Whether or not Donald Trump spoke truth on Monday or if he spoke truth on Tuesday when he told us that his truth on Monday was a bit flawed, I don't really care. 

I'm just glad that our language and its proper usage is once again getting some attention outside the English classrooms of America.  

For one brief moment or two in the grand scheme of time, kids may once again sit up and listen, and if one kid in our school system has learned the difference between "would" and "wouldn't," we English teachers shall rejoice. 

It's important, however, to note that the "woulda," "coulda's" and "shoulda's" discussed in today's post come from the subjunctive mood in verb classification. 

And, what is the subjunctive mood in verb speak?  

Those are the verbs that deal with "wishes, commands, suggestions or conditions contrary to fact."

They fit well in today's Trump world. 

Enjoy the photos, and watch out for the bears.  

Happy Wednesday.