Monday, December 05, 2016

Off-Shore Bird Watch . . . .

Thanks to my longtime friend, Sue Haynes, I just realized that today is "Happy Anniversary Day" for "Slight Detour.  

Twelve years of posting almost every day.  A little crazy! As I wrote to Sue, that's a lot of "blah, blah, blah" on a "blob," as they used to call it back in those days. 

It's been a fun run and continues to be.  Thanks to all who tune in and especially to those who've tuned in since the very beginning.  I appreciate your support of this daily enterprise.  Now on to the post launching year No. 13 . . . .

Word on the street and on Facebook is that record numbers of eagles are hanging out around the Bayview/Farragut area.

After a trip down that way yesterday afternoon, we concur.  And, I wish I had a bigger lens for my camera.

Hard to catch good shots of those birds when they're soaring through the air looking downward toward the cold waters of Lake Pend Oreille. 

When they're a little closer, it's not so hard, but they've got "eagle eyes," and they often fly off the second they sense one's presence.

Not so with their competitors, the seagulls.  They'll hang out, allowing a good photo or two or they'll just all take off at the same time, providing another good photo or two.

The shoreline along Buttonhook Bay is lined with piles of dead Kokanee (land-locked Salmon living in fresh water) which have washed up after spawning.

So, the shoreline offers a feast of abundance for the birds as well as a distinct fishy order for sensitive human noses. 

Fortunately, a cool and rather strong breeze dulled the odor while challenging birds above us to maintain their chosen flight patterns.  

We took Liam with us so he could have another opportunity to walk as a solo dog.  He's a trooper, very well-behaved, and I'm thinking Bill rather enjoyed the experience, especially with the easy-walk collar.  

In the meantime, while carefully maneuvering my way over the rocky beach,  I tried to capture a few nice shots, all the time wishing for a little better lighting for capturing true essence of one of the most beautiful and pristine settings in our area. 

Though the place attracts thousands of people every year, it remains clean, uncluttered and peaceful, especially when on this day, Bill, Liam and I never saw another human during out 45-minute visit. 

On our way back, the squall, loaded with piercing hail on our way down to Farragut, had blown off to drop some more of its load in some other area.

The sky was amazingly beautiful with big, billowy gray clouds accented with shade of pink from the setting sun. 

We enjoyed our quick trip to Farragut and later enjoyed the convincing victory by the Seahawks.  It was, indeed, a good day for birds yesterday and their spectators yesterday. 

And, today we begin the big chill which is supposed to last the week here in North Idaho. Along with it comes clear skies, dry ground and crisp winter air.  Love that combination. 

Happy Monday.  


Looking west across the Lake Pend Oreille Long Bridge

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Of Burgers, Buns, Balls and Bird Houses

My sister Laurie did not want me to take a picture of her trying to bite into this sandwich. I don't know why I complied with her wishes.  Bet it would have been a good one.

This will have to do, though, as a representative of one part of a busy and beautiful Saturday.  

We were blessed with sun---in preparation, of course, for even more rain.  During most of the morning, the ground was covered with a thin coat of snow.  

Combine the sun with that snow, and a playful, happy attitude emerges. 

Both horses and doggies spent a part of their morning dashing through the snow.  In the case of dogs, even I dashed behind them for a while.  Morning play time in the field also serves as my exercise time.

Using my good friend Fitbit, I usually set a goal of walking and playing with dogs for about half an hour. Yesterday's outdoor exercise routine was especially fun and invigorating.

I also spent a little time walking around admiring the brilliant colors of yard accessories enhanced by the morning sun. 

Then, it was back to the house to bake a batch of hamburger buns.  Bill said good bye and headed into Spokane with Costco and Cabela's runs preceding the blow-out he watched at McArthey Athletic Complex between the Lady ZAGS and Presbyterian College Blue Hose (moniker which evolved from the original Presbyterian Blue Stockings). 

I'm thinking that Bill bypassed watching the big ZAGS-Arizona Eat Fest here at the Lovestead simply because of the Presbyterian aspect to the match-up.  He IS a good Presbyterian, after all. 

Anyway, my buns turned out big and tasty, and it seemed later, that the guests all liked stuffing them with Wood's burgers, homegrown Walla Walla sweet onions and all the rest of their preferred condiments. 

To say we were delighted by the game and its outcome would be an understatement. Many, many "YES's" erupted in between stretching our teeth over burger bites and occasional visiting. 

When the Laumatia's showed up from Jacob's basketball game in Clark Fork, he informed us that maybe his team might need a little more practice.  We were happy to avoid asking for the score. 

Twas a fun day from start to finish, and my cell phone says the rain/snow mix is supposed to stop around 9 a.m.  By tomorrow, temperatures will dip into the teens and eventually single digits.  

I won't mind that cold, crisp, dry weather one bit, and I have a feeling my horses will be quite happy to get a break from slogging around in the water and mud.   We've had enough. 

Happy Sunday to all.  GO, SEAHAWKS!  And, can't wait to see where No. 8 Gonzaga ends up in the NCAA rankings this week after two phenomenal victories.  Nice!

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Nifty Gifts and Finding Lost Lake

She's from Port Angeles, Wash., and she does all the lettering. 

Twas a busy day yesterday, especially so because I skipped over a key word in a text sent to me in the morning.  Amazing how words matter, especially when you planning out your day. 

My niece Laura sent a group message to my sisters and me, telling that she would be driving through Sandpoint enroute to Clark Fork for her son Jacob's basketball game.  Seems like she said the game time was at 1.  

So, I texted to the group that Bill and I were going on a hike in the afternoon but I would be around all morning, so to stop by.  Then, I hurried up on a race around the house, vacuuming and dusting and generally tidying up. 

Well, Laura never showed, and shortly after noon, Bill and I headed out.  He wanted to walk a new trail into Lost Lake.  

"We have to watch the time," I said, explaining that I had to arrive back in time to pick up the car, race home and feed horses and then hurry back to the Tracie Finney's annual craft show where I was planning to pick up some items.  

So, we drove out past the popular Green Bay campground on Lake Pend Oreille and on to Mineral Point, which provides spectacular views of the main lake channel and the rugged mountains across the way.  

The spot also is home to a monument honoring law officer Brent Jacobson who died while in the line of duty back in the late 1980s. 

Once we'd walked around and taken a few photos at Mineral Point, we headed on up the road to U.S.F.S Trail No. 81.  Twas pretty muddy at the parking lot, but the wet trail wasn't too bad for walking with its heavy carpet of this year's fallen leaves.

In the midst of the walk, just before reaching the lake, I stopped and checked messages on my cell phone.  

One message indicated that Laura was going to swing by Marianne's house to pick up some photos that my sister had sold to one of Laura's friends.  

This just didn't make sense because I had texted earlier that we would hiking in the afternoon.  Then, I thought about the dogs and how a family member would probably walk through the garage to see if we were home.

So, I texted that we were out on our hike, would not be back until about 4 and to please DON'T open the garage door and let Liam out. 

Well, it turns out that Laura was a bit befuddled at receiving that message, and then my sister Barbara had chimed in. 

"I don't think Marianne saw your first message," Barbara texted.  I thought I had, so I scrolled upward and saw that key word which my eyes had sped past in the morning.  


Yup, it's fairly important for all parties to know.  Laura knew what she was talking about. As did Barbara.

But Marianne----oops, she did not see "TOMORROW" in the first read and was responding to Laura as if Laura's plans were "today."  

All the sudden everything made sense to me, and eventually when Laura read my apology text, my correspondence made more sense to her. 

Anywho, we found Lost Lake a few minutes later.  I asked Bill if Lost Lake had any historical significance. 

No, he said, it's just Lost Lake. 

So, we went on our way, albeit a few minutes behind schedule, but I picked up the car, fed the horses and came back to Bronx Road to drop in on the craft sale and check out a few booths. 

It runs again today from 10-6 p.m.  Lots of fun and interesting and festive items and very nice folks at each of the vending tables.  So, check it out.

In the meantime, my grand nephew Jacob has a basketball game in Clark Fork TODAY, so my niece Laura will be rolling through town, and it will be quite all right for her to stop off at my house.

We'll all be cheering on the ZAGS as they take on their biggest challenge so far this season----Arizona.  2:30 p.m. PST on ESPN.   Should be a great game and it's TODAY, not tomorrow  GO, ZAGS!!! 

Ruthie May Eich, owner of Windward Gift Shop, creates these beauties from used bottles with her kiln. 

Denise Marley sells these items. 

Sage Saccomanno is selling these lovely wreaths and swags.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Seasonal Silence, Ah!!

I don't know who is more excited---Bill or I.  Both of us had first thoughts this morning about the Subaru.  We can go to Anderson's Autobody and bring it home today after it sat a month in the driveway with its injured headlight and fender.

It will be nice to have the car to drive again.  Immediately after picking it up, I'll go to Tracie Finney's annual Home for the Holidays Christmas Craft Show. 

I have to pick up some items from my friend Kari and will most likely take a tour through the colorful vendorville at the Long Branch.  That's what Tracie has named her venue, which is beyond festive, inside and out.

Should be a fun Friday as we get together for our usual Friday night with family.  

Yesterday's first day of Advent turned out to be fun too, capped off by another big ZAGS win last night. 

I enjoyed a fun visit with Dr. Grace and Susie, our vet and vet technician who came to give Lily another of her series of flu shots.  

Then, it was off to the Bonner County Heritage Museum to purchase a book, recently released by my fellow writing friend Jenny Leo aka Jennifer Lamont Leo.  Quite often, if I don't have time or do not want to take on a writing assignment, I just send 'em to Jenny who is a phenomenal writer and editor. 

Well, earlier this year, she has published You're the Cream in My Coffee, a Roaring Twenties novel, set in Chicago.  It's been a busy year for me, and I'm just now getting a chance to check out her book.  For potential readers, here's a summary:  

In 1928, Chicago rocks to the rhythm of the Jazz Age, and Prohibition is in full swing. Small-town girl Marjorie Corrigan, visiting the city for the first time, has sworn that coffee's the strongest drink that will pass her lips. But her quiet, orderly life turns topsy-turvy when she spots her high school sweetheart--presumed killed in the Great War--alive and well in a train station. Suddenly everything is up for grabs.

Although the stranger insists he's not who she thinks he is, Marjorie becomes obsessed with finding out the truth. To the dismay of her fiancé and family, she moves to the city and takes a job at a department store so she can spy on him. Meanwhile, the glittering world of her roommate, Dot, begins to look awfully enticing--especially when the object of her obsession seems to be part of that world. Is it really so terrible to bob her hair and shorten her skirt? To visit a speakeasy? Just for a cup of coffee, of course.

But what about her scruples? What about the successful young doctor to whom she's engaged, who keeps begging her to come back home where she belongs? And what, exactly, is going on at the store's loading dock so late at night?

Amid a whirlwind of trials and temptations, Marjorie must make a choice. Will the mystery man prove to be the cream in her coffee--the missing ingredient to the life she yearns for? Or will he leave only bitterness in her heart?

Unfortunately, Jenny and I missed each other, as I arrived much earlier than her usual time to volunteer at the museum on Thursday afternoons.  So, I left the book for her to autograph.

My trip, however, did not disappoint.  It's truly amazing what the staff of Olivia, Cameron and Heather, along with volunteers, have done to transform the museum AND I only visited the lobby. 

I'm planning a trip sometime next week with my camera because I've been told that the exhibits are amazing and that the rest of the building has a whole new look.  Three creative ladies are blending their skills and passions to enhance the appearance and the offerings of our local museum.  

I'm looking forward to my camera tour.  Good job, ladies!

After spending a few minutes on the walking path overlooking the Pend Oreille River near Memorial Field and returning home, I decided to start a new routine for Liam----taking him on his own for walks in places other than the Lovestead.

I'm figuring that eliminating the distractions of what other dogs are up to will turn out to be a good experience in his ongoing training and our bond.

So, off we went with Liam wearing the EZ walk collar.  I finally decided on the Trout Creek Wildlife Management area off HWY 200.  When we arrived two other women had taken off down the north trail with half a dozen or so dogs of different sizes and breeds.

With that in mind, Liam and I headed south on a mown trail, eventually coming to the river shore. 

The silence of the area was "deafening," as they say, but peaceful and fulfilling. It's nice to get away from the somewhat disturbing "noise" of our outside world these days.  Plus, it was pretty neat to see Liam's ever-busy nose checking out every scent possible as we moved through the area.

He was a good boy, and it was obvious that he enjoyed himself as much as I did.  

As long as weather allows and some good walking areas remain, I intend to take Liam into some more seasonally silent areas.  Tis good for the soul, especially during these uncertain times. 

Happy Friday. Enjoy the photos. And, do check out Jenny's book at the museum or at a local book store.