Merisa, who lives north of Kootenai, just won first overall individual youth horse judge at the Arabian National Horse Show in Louisville, KY. She not only took first overall individual for the Arabian youth category but also placed first overall in all categories---including 4-H and college judges. Merisa, the daughter of David and Angela Turnbaugh, is 15.
As part of her winnings, Merisa will bring home a brand new Western Saddle with 2006 National Champion Youth Judge engraved on the stirrups.
The team of Merisa, Natalie Berve, Margo McBirney, and Kelly Grant placed second overall and won several seconds and individual ribbons in halter, performance and oral reasons.
Way to go, ladies, and congratulations to their devoted coach, Barbara Tibbs.
Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, along came yesterday. I was wishing Annie could be here to snap photos with that fancy new camera. After two days of thorough washing, the autumn leaves were exploding with dramatic color and rich landscapes all along my travels were begging for artists and their brushes.
I think the most striking scene of the day was the decidous grove of tall, evenly-spaced trees dressed with at least half a dozen hues of brilliant reds and yellow foliage at the University of Idaho Experiment Farm on North Boyer. Maybe it's not too late to take my camera into town this morning to catch the sheer beauty of that grove which not even ten thousand of my words could begin to describe.
Anyway, we've got to enjoy this last week of color because the interminable gray will be here all too soon. It's Saturday and time for another assortment of slights.
- Bill's going pheasant hunting today. He missed a rooster last week. His pheasant hunting so far rivals my lifelong desire to find just one arrowhead here in Bonner County. He's been out many times and has seen many pheasants but has not yet bagged one to bring home for the scrapbooks. Today he's taking Annie Dog with him. She's arthritic and tires easily, but she loves to go and she's definitely a bird dog. I'm sure he'll see that she doesn't get too tired in their wanderings around Boundary County grain fields.
- As I type, there's a group of nervous expectant young women, their coach and their entourage sitting at an awards breakfast in Louisville, Kentucky. Yesterday they spent an 8-hour day judging horses at the Arabian Nationals. In this national competition, they judge halter classes and performance classes. Then, they must give at least two sets of oral reasons for their placements in designated classes. My sister Barbara is their coach, and they've all been preparing for this event for several months. We, of course, hope that maybe this will be the year that they win first place. One year an individual on Barbara's team won first place for her high score, but the team has never placed first. They've won lots of other categories over the years, but the elusive first-place team would be oh so sweet. We'll know in a few hours the results. Regardless of how they do, this event is like many others involving intense competition: the journey with all its friendships developed, knowledge gained and lifetime skills acquired will win out in the end.
- Bill has been planting baby trees at the Lovestead. He received a shipment of cedar and fir trees from the UPS this week. For several days in advance, he worked some areas with the rototiller for site preparation. The first night when darkness came, he'd used up all the sites prepared and still had half the trees to plant. So, he came home early yesterday afternoon and continued the process until his supply dwindled to 20 seedlings. I'm sure we'll find a place for them to have a permanent home. The big challenge, as my sister Laurie sees it, is for him to clearly mark all those babies so that when his wife charges through with the brush hog, she misses them. I have promised to do my best.
- The letters before election section in the local blat appeared today on a day not designated for letters to the editor. I was glad to see that we had two grand finales among the offerings. After being told what rot-gut sleaseballs or brilliant wizards we have to vote for, we got to read about dog poop and tunnels. I don't know if one is more important than the other, but they both involved transportation paths in, around and under Sandpoint. People are supposed to pick up their poop while walking their dogs and Lawrence Fury wants to know where all the other piles are going to go when the digging begins on the now-famous tunnel project under downtown. These last two letters gave me great relief and satisfaction that when the election ends, Sandpoint will still be piled higher and deeper with plenty of B.S. to last through the long winter months.
- Then, there's the newspaper report about Larry Stone's leaky faucets. That's what the Council told him could be the problem when he griped about his $130 monthly water bill during a hearing about upcoming water and sewer bill increases. Well, Bill had to add to his misery this week by taking our Oden Water Assoc. Certificate into the office--- rubbing it in to Larry that we have escaped the estimated 15 percent increase soon to be imposed on city residents. I wonder if Larry has hired a plumber; maybe the $130 bill would be cheaper.