Wednesday, December 13, 2017


I've been listening to Christmas music the past few mornings during my first-cup-of-coffee Internet surfing.  

Unfortunately, the CD runs out about halfway through that early-morning time at the computer, so I play it again. 

The last song on the CD is the "Hallelujah" chorus from Handel's Messiah.

For some reason this morning, each time I heard the chorus, I wanted to get up and start belting out the words even if I can't carry a tune.

I was very happy, knowing that on this day after an election, I wasn't gonna have to take my friend to lunch to assuage her deep grief and that I wouldn't need to send my daughter flowers for the same reason.

Not that I don't enjoy either gesture, but today "Hallelujah" seems to take care of my own needs as well as those of my friend and my daughter. 

This feeling of supreme elation comes from last night's election results in Alabama, which inspired me to state in a Facebook post, "Hope and decency still live on." 

I don't care what party politicians represent, the two words above should be staples for how they conduct themselves as representatives of their constituencies and as human beings in general.  

If they cannot live up to expected standards, they should not run for office or they should resign. 

Granted, we are all flawed, but over the past few months, the insidious level and widespread examples of disgusting behavior and total disregard toward what should be honorable positions of leadership has been nauseating. 

My concern focuses more on this country and its future than on whether Democrats or Republicans win elections.  I'm also very concerned about how long this sorry state of affairs (no pun) continues. 

That concern emanates from my experience as an educator, knowing that young people need and seek good examples to observe and to respect in modeling and molding their own behavior. 

I'm hardly a pollyanna, suggesting that we should expect perfection on all counts.  

Perfection is not possible because we are human, but we certainly should expect to see better behavior at the highest levels in the land than what we have been witnessing almost daily.  

We should see leaders who take their positions seriously, not only in what they hope to accomplish but also with the means they employ to achieve their goals. 

This is not too much to ask, and I believe it is imperative that those who would wield power both in politics and in the work place should see a wake-up call from yesterday's Alabama election. 

It's past time to restore honor, respect, hope and decency back into our institutions of power.  

I personally hope it's not too late.  

The world is watching America, and so are its citizens who truly love the principles and values on which this country was founded. 

Hallelujah!  We've seen a start with yesterday's election in Alabama. 

Let's continue on course to restore our country back to the truly inspiring nation which has made us the envy of the world and proud Americans throughout most of our lives. 

I could say, "on a lighter note," but this is serious also. . . 


I'm not an certified horse show judge, but I have taught a little youth horse judging during my lifetime.  

If young horse judges had to place the usual four entries in a class of equitation---including the entry above---this pair would not receive a placing IF he wasn't excused from the arena for abusing his horse, that is. 

In the interest of horses and their well being, I'm especially glad the guy didn't win his Senate seat from Alabama last night. 

Imagine having to watch more animal cruelty as the pair came bucking up to the Capitol steps with the rider trying to rip its mouth off. 

Hallelujah for the horse!

Happy Wednesday. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

CB Update

I promise not to bore readers EVERY day with stories about CB, but just three days into his new life, I'm totally amazed at how well he has adjusted. 

And, having my friend Helen send me a video yesterday, showing people hugging many, many species of animals---even fish---I could identify. 

I was hoping to include the video but can't figure out how to get it to play on the blog. 

It definitely brought a smile to my face because I've been doing my own share of hugging since my little Arabian colt arrived in Idaho last Friday.

When I had my first one-on-one encounter with him inside the horse trailer at our friend Nancy's farm, I cradled his head in my arms, talked softly to him and massaged his head and neck for about five minutes while Nancy took her baby Ellie to her new surroundings.

CB seemed to really like that initial attention from his new mom, and since then, every time I've played with him, he's perfectly happy to bury his head in my arms for more loving and hugging. 

The little guy has made a remarkable transition from nursing off from his protective mom at Ravenwood Arabians to holding his own inside the box stall and out in the corral at Tibbs Arabians. 

In fact, I may have to have a chat with him about hogging the grain bucket while his stall mate and buddy Arty stands by and watches. 

CB is a smart little horse, and he's been learning quickly about leading and what "whoa" means and even getting a start on understanding "back." 

Yesterday, he experienced his first sensations associated with wearing a blanket after Arty's new blanket arrived and CB was given the hand-me-down.  Just like with human babies and their clothes, foals grow out of halters and blankets almost with the blink of an eye.

CB's presence has given me a new lease on life.  Actually, I don't think my lease was really running out, but having a new face in the menagerie always adds a boost to one's enthusiasm AND expenses and responsibilities.

All three go hand in hand with animals/pets.  Once we learn, however, that they probably are gonna cost money pretty much all the time and demand our attention every day, we can move on with the true rewards:  enjoyment, love and having our own daily purpose. 

Their needs never end, and that is good most of the time.  Sometimes I even think about life without animals and how easy it would be to just take up and leave on a trip any old time I want. 

Then, I think about what I would do the majority of the year when I'm home, especially in the winter time. 

I would miss them dearly. 

Responsibility for other living beings does add work to our lives every single day, but the fulfillment derived from those daily efforts and all that mutual loving is priceless. 

So, I'm really happy to have a new little horse to hug and to love, along with all the other beloveds around here. 

It's definitely a win-win situation.  

So glad I was born a farm girl. Can't imagine any other life, and after just three days, I can't imagine life without little CB.

Happy Tuesday.  Go hug your cat or your lizard!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday Miscellany

Rather than getting right off with glowing reports about the "beautiful" ZAGS game we watched last night, I'll save that for later.  

This morning seems like a miscellaneous-type day.  So, that will be the focus.  

In the one-horned buck category, I want to document that somewhere there could be a nice "shed" out there for the shed hunters to pursue.

Either that or this guy got into a tussle.  

He didn't seem too concerned about our presence when we saw him on Friday.  In fact, I think I could have captured a variety of views during the time we spent admiring his anomaly. 

He lives at the Bison Range over in Montana, and I think he probably enjoys a pretty carefree life 'cept maybe when he looks in the mirror. 

                                                                                             --- Nancy Wright Photo

Then, there's the "I'll take care of you" situation in Upper Pack River where Miss Ellie who came home from Ronan with my little CB has found her new best friend.

That would be Peaches, who carries her age rather well.  Could be her stomach weights her down a bit, but for 25, she's pretty amazing.

This relationship kinda reminds me of the Foster-Liam friendship when Foster was actually bigger than Liam---for a couple of hours anyway. 

Nowadays, big proud Liam races around with little Foster, and little Foster keeps big, proud Liam pretty intimidated most of the time. 

I'm wondering if Peaches is doing the same with Ellie.  

Anyway, it' looks like a match made in Heaven. 

Photo stolen from Cindy Wooden's Facebook page . . . I'll do my "Hail Mary's" for penance!

Speaking of Heaven, seems like our Sandpoint friend Cindy is managing to get a pretty good pipeline toward St. Peter welcoming her through the gate via Pope Francis.

She posted this picture this morning, adding "This is the not-too-weird one from L'Osservatore Romano. (Nov. 26 flight to Yangon, Myanmar) with Josh, my co-editor for "A Pope Francis Lexicon," to be released Feb. 15 by Liturgical Press.

Yup, Cindy has been working on another book, associated with Pope Francis. Good luck, Cindy and Josh.  

Litte CB's new best friend circle is growing.  He spent yesterday in the large corral with Arty, Persi (pictured) and Mazy.  

All went well.  Seems he's fast becoming a member of the Colburn herd. 

Last evening we watched the ZAGS game at MickDuff's pub in downtown Sandpoint.  Toward the end of the game, we enjoyed a visit and a candy cane from Mrs. Santa and her sidekick.  

Mrs. Santa also goes by Susan Moon, and I've seen lots of pictures of her lately in various places, helping Santa greet people and handing out goodies. 

Thank you, Susan, for the Christmas cheer.  It was a nice interlude during a very nice evening. 

This final photo brought me to tears this morning.  It appeared in my Facebook private messages with a note from James Martin. 

James is a professor at Montana State University.  He also earned his Eagle Scout status in Bill's scout troop, and he sat in my honors English class as a sophomore at SHS. 

His mom Jean is a longtime family friend.  Lately, James has been working on a manuscript about the good ol' days of fishing on Lake Pend Oreille, where his mom and he have caught a fish or two of their own. 

Apparently, he found this slide among his family collection, so he passed it on to me. 

What a gift, especially in this Christmas season which reminds us so much of our parents.  

The photo was taken on July 4, 1956 near Jean's home on Jefferson Street in north Sandpoint.  Mother had probably ridden her mare Largo from home on North Boyer.

I don't know if Jean rode in the parade that day, but I'm guessing Mother rode alongside Catherine Racicot, who owned Largo's sire Danny Adare, also a bay. 

Catherine and Mother rode their two horses as matched pairs in parades and horse shows over the years. 

Thanks again, James, for providing us with another wonderful memory of a remarkable and beloved matriarch.

Now, to the ZAGS.  They have redeemed themselves from that tough loss against Villanova.  Last night's win over Washington was nothing less than "beautiful basketball."  

They're definitely back on their road to another phenomenal year, and we are looking forward to great basketball entertainment to come. 

GO, ZAGS!  Happy Monday.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Saturday Stuff

Debbie wasted no time falling in love with CB

Baby Horse and Basketball:  that's the story of my Saturday, except for being "emphatically recognized" at the grocery store.

I went over to my sisters' yesterday morning, helped clean CB's stall and then did some bonding with my new little horse. 

Bonding was fun but not that easy.  You see when the resident sidekick where CB shares a stall wants HIS attention too, it gets complicated.  

Arty has been occupying that stall for a few weeks, and, by golly, he wants everyone to know who's in charge, so while I brushed CB, Arty spent his time grabbing my sleeve or trying to remove the shavings packages from their stack.

His interruptions, however, were pretty mild, allowing me to spend some quality minutes with CB, even giving him a little clip with the scissors on his bridle path.  

It will be some time before CB's stockings turn white again.  That Montana mud clings like velcro, so we'll be patient and work gently and gradually at removing it. 

All seems well with the two babies doing their bonding and with little CB getting used to his new surroundings.  The two went out with the big horses for a while yesterday afternoon, and, of course, there was added vying for attention.  

In addition to my horsing around, I attended the Lady Bulldogs' varsity basketball game.  They played a tough Bonners Ferry Badgers squad, so it wasn't the best of games.

Still, I enjoyed visiting with old friends, like former colleagues, Patsy and Lori, pictured below.  

It's always fun to go back to good ol' SHS, where longtime fans occupy the bleachers for a blend of watching the game and enjoying some reminiscing. 

After the game, I went to Yoke's to pick up a few supplies.  While heading over to pick up some butter, I spotted a young lady headed directly toward me.

"I recognize you.  You were in a movie," she said with conviction, adding a few details about the movie, including the fact that she loves the movie, thinks it ought to be distributed all around Sandpoint and that it's on VHS. 

I stood quietly (amazing, I know) while she continued to list off the facts about that movie, finally asking to make sure I was, indeed, the person she had seen in this very fine production. 

In the meantime, her mom and her three little children, all packed into a shopping cart, watched the grocery store drama.

I stared at her a moment longer and finally uttered, "Yes." 

Brittney, my new friend, was referring to the Sandpoint documentary, which was produced a few years back in recognition of Sandpoint's Centennial. 

After she knew for sure that I was, indeed, that person in the classroom, and when I told her I'd probably lost a little weight since then, she noted that I had darker hair in the movie. 

We ended up visiting a couple more times while shopping, and we're now connected online.  

I think back on how grocery stores do provide nice settings for people to get acquainted.  Brittney is not the first person to strike up a conversation dealing with that Sandpoint video, and in each case, the conversations have led to friendship.

Twas definitely a surprising but pleasant late afternoon interlude. 

Back to basketball:  Bill went to the Lady ZAGS game.  They lost by two points---their high scorer was injured before the game and did not play. 

We also hit a bump in the road yesterday when we discovered that our DirecTV does not carry the PAC-12 channel, which carries today's men's ZAGS game vs. Washington.  

Well, we didn't let much time slip by before securing a table at Sweet Lou's this afternoon where they're about 90 percent sure they'll be able to show the game, thanks to a link with the Internet. 

This game could be a game changer for either the ZAGS or the Huskies.  ZAGS are coming back from their stinging defeat against Villanova, while the Huskies are riding high on a victory over No. 2 Kansas. 

Either way, one team or the other will be riding high with a victory tonight. 

So, I'm thankful we'll be able to watch.  The games are streamed also, so anyone who has relatively fast Internet could watch also. 

GO, ZAGS!!!  Happy Sunday. 

Arty and CB munching together. 

Longtime friends and former colleagues:  Patsy and Lori.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Good Times with Babies, Local "Time" Star and New Idaho Political Star

That's Nancy with her Eli, and that's Jen with CB, and that's my brother Kevin's elbow. 

We could not have asked for a better outcome, hauling two little horse babies from Montana to Idaho, than what we experienced yesterday.

Last word from the folks who visited with little CB after our Friday-night dinner was that he and his stall mate Arty had gotten acquainted and were settled in for the night after a bed-time session of enthusiastic TLC. I have already discovered that little CB loves his peep attention. 

The texts also reported that CB was munching on hay, drinking water and getting along just fine with Arty.  Arty wasn't so sure at first, but after some time spent with his new buddy, one report said Arty had quit laying his ears back. 

You see, we observed that CB probably could hold his own when he answered one of Arty's hate stares by turning his rear and feigning a double kick. 

No blows, though.

It took all of about five minutes to urge Eli (who now lives in Upper Pack River with her owner Nancy) and CB into my brother's trailer at Ravenwood Arabians. 

When we stopped for gas at Thompson Falls, not a peep was heard from inside the trailer where the two stood calmly, just looking back at us when we peeked in the window. 

Both Nancy and I were pretty apprehensive about the unloading procedure, first at her barn and later at Tibbs Arabians.

Much ado about nothing:  both came out of the trailer at their new homes without incident, and I swear that CB, after having a halter on for the second time pretty much knows how to lead.

It did get a little dicey (mainly for me) when an entourage of three other horses swarmed and sniffed out CB as he entered the arena and walked across to his stall.

I wondered if they might get a little exuberant and forget there was an old lady in front of that new little guy, but they were all very careful and respectful of my space. 

It's been pretty muddy over there at the Ronan farm, so CB's pretty white stockings are crusted gray right now, but with some careful grooming, we oughta get him all spruced up in no time.

Again, many thanks to Jane, Jen, Kevin, Joyce, Barbara, Nancy and Ashleigh who all helped with the transport process.  

Two new horse moms are relieved and thrilled and ready to get started dishing out a lot of love to the new babies. 

In other news, I'm happy to share more information about our Sandpoint High grad who designed the entire interior of this week's Time Magazine Person of the Year (POY) issue.  

Chelsea Kardokus, whose family roots in Sandpoint go deep among the Darnell and Bergstrom family, was gracious enough to share with me some details about her position with Time Magazine and about her role in this week's edition. 

After graduating from Ball State University in 2012 with a degree in journalism graphics, Chelsea went to work for Time in 2013.  Since then she has received several promotions and now works as associate art director of the publication.  

Chelsea says she works on pages every week with Wednesday being the deadline.  On Thursday's, the staff starts on the next week's issue. Her responsibilities range from small segments to features to entire issues, such as the Person of the Year edition. 

"I worked on the POY for two weeks exclusively and before that for about another week while working on other projects," Chelsea explained. "I did not do the cover but did the whole inside.  Only the creative director ever designs the cover. 

I came up with the entire design for the main package---colors, fonts, placements, the ideas for pulling out the women's quotes, etc," she added. "I did know the whole time I was designing [ who had been selected as POY], but it's very secret. I couldn't even tell my mom [Lori Darnell Lowery of Sandpoint] who it was." 

Chelsea says that sometimes the staff gets to meet the honorees but usually photographers go on site to shoot portraits.  

As a fascinating aside, another SHS Cedar Post/Monticola alum, Rocky Kenworthy, SHS Class of 1983, worked as photography assistant to Gregory Heisler in 1993 when four world leaders were featured on the cover. 

Rocky sent me postcards from different countries as he jetted around South Africa and the Middle East on a "secret" assignment, which included portraits of Nelson Mandela, Yassah Arafat, Frederick de Klerk,Yitzhak Rabin and   

Twas pretty neat to learn later that he had participated in this monumental assignment.

Finally, this morning, I'm thrilled to share some information I learned the night before last about an exciting new entry into the Idaho governor's race.  

Idaho Rep. Paulette Jordan made her official announcement about entering the race Thursday evening. My niece Laura, who works as environmental specialist for the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, was present for the announcement.


Here's a short segment from Spokesman Review staff writer Betsy Z. Russell's story in the link above. 

Rep. Paulette Jordan, a 38-year-old Democrat from Plummer and member of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, says she wants to run for governor rather than seek a third term as a state representative.

"Service is an inherent value in my family, from my ancestors on down to my sons, and they will carry that tradition forward in their lives. I'm proud to be part of Idaho's family," Jordan said while speaking to a crowd of friends, family and supporters in Moscow.

"Because of who we are and who we can become, my vision for the 21st century is seeing Idaho emerge as the greatest state in the history of the United States," she said.

Some pretty exciting news, I'd say.  

Best of luck to Rep. Jordan! 

Happy Saturday, and GO, Lady Bulldogs, both at Gonzaga and at Sandpoint High, where the local team is going after its third win this week. 

Friday, December 08, 2017

Big Day Ahead

The photos above show my newest little horse the second time I saw him and decided for sure that I wanted to buy him. 

My sisters and my brother Kevin are making this all possible for me by providing his transportation home today and a temporary stabling situation at Tibbs Arabians while I feed the hay which was stacked in our new box stall BEFORE I ever met CB.

The day I met him was just by chance.  I was walking through the stalls where Jane Bohn of Ravenwood Arabians had some mares and foals.  We had gone to look at Nancy and Barbara's babies, selected and purchased on an earlier trip to Ronan.

I looked out the corner of my eye and was drawn to this adorable little bay baby with four white stockings and that beautiful strip and "heart" in his face.  I LOVE to look at and admire pretty horses, even more than riding them. 

So, I thought about him from that moment on but knew that my extra stall was not available.  

My sister Laurie later sent me some photos they had taken of the little guy when he was just a few days old. Adorable, for sure.

A while later, my sisters asked me if I was still considering him, to which I said yes but there was no room at the Lovestead Inn for him.  

They were nice enough that day to tell me he could stay with Barbara's baby Arty for a while. 

My brother has offered his trailer and is bringing it from Frenchtown later this morning.  

We'll all gather together at Ravenwood Arabians and encourage our friend Nancy's little girl Eli and my handsome CB into the trailer.  

Then, off we'll go, headed back for Idaho and new homes for the young 'uns. 

I've said many times since making this decision that I don't really know why I decided to buy him, but I did.  Maybe it's because it's a new adventure with a beautiful animal.

I'm also excited about the fun we'll all have watching him grow and deciding just what his future ought to be. 

CB probably will wonder what the heck has happened to him over there in Ronan when all those humans urge him into that strange enclosure where he'll ride for four hours and then come out of the trailer to a strange, new setting. 

I think he'll get enough TLC, however, that he'll be okay. AND, it's for certain he'll be a great joy to me and all others who love pretty little horses. 

Thanks to all who are playing a part in this wonderful new adventure, especially some kids in Salt Lake City who came up with his name. 

Happy Friday. 

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Historical Day, Memory? And So On . . .

From a December, 2014 Slight Detour post, describing our visit to Pearl Harbor:  

We were fortunate to have a Pearl Harbor survivor aboard our boat that took us to the Arizona Memorial.  He pointed to an orange and white structure off in the bay and said that's where he was when the attack came.

"They were only after ships and planes," he said, indicating that his structure specialized in fuel. 

When the survivor and his wife walked off the boat after the tour, a spontaneous and generous applause ushered them down the walkway.  Very touching, indeed.

Later, I met another survivor and bought his book.  He comes to Pearl Harbor four days a week and autographs his book with a hand stamp.  This survivor has lived in Hawaii most of his life.

One of the sweetest, gentlest souls I've ever met, I'd say.  When a family with some little children came, he sat happily for photos with each child and gave them a hand-out with his photo and a summary.

"When you go back to school, take this and tell them you visited Pearl Harbor," he instructed each youngster.  They beamed with pride with their token of the visit and with his gentle guidance.

He is 97.5 years old and a proud family man who established an electrical business on the island, which has been in existence 60 years.  His son now runs the business. 

Oden Bay Book Club Visit . . . a fun evening

My dear friend of "44 years," Ann called me a while back and asked if I'd come to one of her book club gatherings Dec. 6.  

Ann belongs to two book clubs.  This one includes many residents of her neighborhood at Oden Bay. 

My assignment was simple:  just read a story from one of my three books. 

I don't do too many speaking gigs any more, and it's been a while since I've read many of the stories written more than 20 years ago. 

While thumbing through the books to decide on an appropriate selection for the group, I came across "Marianne's Guidelines for Remembering Old Whatshername."  

Remembering Old Whatshername, and, to be fair "Remembering Old Whathisname," have definitely been issues of late. 

In fact, just a while back two close friends and I sat at a luncheon date, each grasping for those elusive names throughout our visit. Fortunately, we remembered each other's names.  

With that experience still fresh in my mind (which is amazing since I forget some things in a split second), I decided to read the story from Postcards from Potato Land

I wrote it 20 years ago when I was just entering the realm of memory loss.  

Not a lot has really changed since then, I decided except for all the computer terminology about "main frames" and "chips" and all that stuff which was still relatively new and exciting to most non-nerds back in the mid-1990s. 

But that problem of grasping for the name while engaged in conversation----it's been going on for a long time, and, to think, it only gets worse with each day. 

Anywho, the book club members, who ranged in age from early 50s to 86, seemed to identify with pretty much every aspect of the story.  

Only disappointment----not one person in the room, not even Ann---who I think should know, if I remember correctly--could offer the proper response to the question, "Are you a turtle?"

Either they've forgotten, or nobody ever initiated them into the Turtle Club, which always promotes squeaky clean thinking. 

The best part of reading my story about remembering came when I asked the question "Do you need coal or oil?"  

Ann instantly chimed in with me on that one while the rest of the women sat in silent amazement.  Seems no one else in the room grew up in the "Inland Empire," as it was called then during the days of "Starlit Stairway" every Saturday night on KXLY Channel 4 at 6:30 p.m. 

What, may I ask, was the telephone number for the Boyle Fuel Co. Leave a comment with your correct answer. I'm betting more than one reader knows the answer. 

Twas a fun evening meeting the ladies of the club.  We all enjoyed laughs aplenty, and that is always a good thing. 

Medicaid for Idaho:  

My friends, Luke and Garrett, and their dedicated team of Reclaim Idaho supporters, are now embarking on a petition campaign in hopes of getting an initiative on Idaho's 2018 ballot, which, if passed, would mean the expansion of Medicaid to nearly 80,000 uninsured Idahoans currently in the Medicaid coverage gap. 

Here's the latest news release on their efforts, which have simplified the petition process. 

Reclaim Idaho
1867 Lignite Road
Sagle, Idaho, 83860

Medicaid Expansion Petition Drive Officially Begins
For Immediate Release - Sagle, ID December 6th, 2017

On Wednesday afternoon, Reclaim Idaho activists released the final version of their petition to Expand Medicaid eligibility in Idaho.

Before Idaho petitions are circulated, they must be vetted by the Idaho Secretary of State and the Attorney General. 

On Tuesday, the Secretary of State notified Reclaim
Idaho of the completion of the vetting process.

Reclaim Idaho has invited volunteers to begin circulating copies of the petition immediately. The petition is now available at for volunteers to download, print, and begin circulating.

I strongly support their efforts and encourage anyone who has time to circulate petitions in their behalf to visit the website listed above. 

Finally, a bit of news I read in a Facebook posting this morning.  This year's Time Magazine Person of the Year issue, which the world saw for the first time yesterday, was designed by a Sandpoint High graduate, Chelsea Kardokus. 

Chelsea served as the editor of the Cedar Post her senior year of high school.  She has also designed other inside pages for Time.  

Hats off to Chelsea!  She's from Sandpoint, and we are proud of her!

Guess that's all for today.  

Happy Thursday.