Monday, June 24, 2019

Clean and Bright

I didn't expect rain yesterday. 

Even watered my plants, as you can see in the photo of Liam above.

Liam has invented a game to play every time I water. 

At first, I didn't really notice because Liam follows me with his muffled bark everywhere I take the hose. 

He is not allowed to hang with me unless he finds his ball and carries it in his mouth.

There's a reason to that strict discipline. 

You see the hose is one more thing to herd, and, occasionally, Liam thinks he needs to charge the hose and take a nip at it. 

Too close for comfort in my mind, so I figure if he's got a ball in his mouth, I'm safe from getting in the way of his teeth. 

Liam can still bark with that ball in his mouth.  Those Border Collies are pretty adept.

Anyway, one day I cued in to the new game Liam had  invented all by himself. 

The playing field includes the deck and front yard.

Liam's game begins precisely the instant I point the hose toward the flowers just north of the deck.

That is Liam's cue to begin his ever-widening circles, always with sound effects featuring barking with the ball in his mouth. 

The highlight comes just as he leaps off the deck and tries to escape the water spraying from the hose. 

Once he's made the hose pass, Liam races to the north, makes a bigger circle around the lawn, races back on to the deck and repeats the water leap. 

Sometimes out of sheer perversity, I stand in front of his route, taunting him with the hose.  

Liam can switch into reverse pretty dang fast.

After eight or nine of these hose passes, I tell him that's enough-----don't want the poor thing (who's been known for his stamina) to wear himself out.

Believe me, Liam would do that if I kept that hose spraying. 

Now, back to yesterday's unexpected rain.

I had just collected some lovely lettuce from the garden and had decided to fix a chicken salad with the trimmings for last night's dinner.

Bill had gone to the woods with his chain saw.  

And, then, the rain began to fall. 

Bill stuck it out down in the woods as long as he could, but this soaking rain decided to stick around. 

So, he returned to the house and while enjoying the fresh garden salad with sourdough garlic bread, we received a call.

Willie and Debbie and Emma and the the three grandpuppies, who had gone to Boise for the weekend, were having car trouble in Coeur d'Alene.

So, within minutes, Bill was on the road. 

As the rain continued, I took advantage of another reading situation. 

Kya, the main character in "Where the Crawdads Sing," is now planting a garden. 

I'd really like to sit and finish this book, but I'm not only enjoying every page, I also have a few other things to do.

So, my plan is to savor each chapter for the next few days in between chores.  Can ya do that with a book?

Anyway, last night's rain continued long past when I finally closed the book. 

Suddenly, sun rays began to appear in the front yard.

Camera time, I thought. 

So, out I went to the neatest treat possible after a good downpour: a beautiful rainbow across Taylor's field where cows were grazing on wet grass.

Soon, a second rainbow.  

By golly, sometimes it's nice to get seconds when you're enjoying the magnificence of nature. 

So, like my neighbor Janice, who snapped a prize winner of the rainbow and the Lockwood barn, I walked in the rain, with no coat or hat but with camera in hand snapping away.

Like Janice, I also fought the "raindrops keep fallin' on my lens" syndrome.  But, by golly, they kinda add to the realism of a rainbow photo. 

So, if you see spots, you know why. 

The earth and its animals and my camera lens got a good washdown last evening, and virtually every scene was downright stunning. 

Moments like that make wet pantlegs and water dripping down your face worth the effort. 

So, I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed the moments.

The rest of the local Love crowd, complete with dogs, made it home fairly quickly and with no more incidents.  

Their car stayed in Coeur d'Alene, so they have to wait and see what gives.

Finally,  do you wanna an impressive collection of North Idaho mushrooms?

My friend Connie and her family from Hope are mushroom aficionados.  

Plus, Connie's published two blog posts in the past few days, so go check them out.  

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sights along a Saturday Schweitzer Stroll

Yesterday, after enjoying a wonderful Di Luna’s breakfast visit with our friends Betty and David, I headed down the sidewalk toward my car but soon took a “slight detour.”

It's time, I thought, to get that book, which was enjoying a prominent display in Vanderford's book store window.

Most of you can probably guess which book. 

Within five minutes, I walked out with my very own copy of Delia Owens' New York Times Bestseller "Where the Crawdads Sing."

In fact, I was so proud that I even showed it off to a driver who had stopped at the cross walk.  

She smiled. 

I've been meaning to get a copy and read it for several weeks, but life got in the way. 

Maybe there will be time one of these days, I thought. 

Well, Mother Nature made that time yesterday with a sudden rainstorm while I was trying to mow the lawn. 

Instead of frustration, I smiled as I put the lawnmower away, thinking, "I can go in and start that book."

The rain lasted for about half an hour, giving me time to read through the first 30 pages of the novel, written by a lady who, up until recently, lived near Bonners Ferry. 

The rain had stopped and Bill had come home from helping with a church yard sale, so we decided to go to Schweitzer Mountain Resort, where this weekend is 7B weekend.  

Lots of stuff going on up there to usher off the summer activities.  Today the resort will offer free chairlift rides. 

Yesterday, we hit the tail end of the day's activities, which meant most of the crowds had gone home.  

Still, visitors were taking advantage of recreational opportunities, including mountain biking, hiking and enjoying some of the features around the village.

One such:  a  xylophone. 

Ever since a visit to Sedona a few years ago, Bill has been quietly lobbying for the Sandpoint area to get install a xylophone along the sidewalks or somewhere that visitors can enjoy making music. 

Well, of course, when we spotted the instrument at Schweitzer, Bill went over and gave it a try.  

Both coming and going on a hike up the cross country ski trail, we could see that the xylophone was, indeed, a popular feature. 

And, during one spontaneous "concert session," I could not take my eyes off from the young man with stunningly beautiful red locks testing out his musical skills. 

So, of course, I snapped some photos.  His family stood nearby, and I was told he wants his hair long because of a big brother. 

Also, during our stroll around the village and up the trail, we met Suzanne, who's in charge of the trail riding horses.  

She was carrying a pick, looking for horse apple deposits on the trail when we struck up a conversation with her.

Seems I'd heard about Suzanne, who's from Germany, a few months ago during a conversation with a farrier who shoes her horses. 

In seconds, it seemed as if we were old friends, so we talked for some time.  Twas during this conversation that I learned of Suzanne's close friendship with none other than Delia Owens and another horse woman I happen to know named Linda.

Suzanne said the trio who loved to ride together up there in the Moyie country called themselves the "Three Musketeers." 

Sadly, for Suzanne and for Linda, Delia has moved back to her homeland in the Southeast.  They've lost their riding partner, but they're happy for Delia and all her success.

As always, yesterday's spontaneous trip to Schweitzer netted us some pleasant exercise in a beautiful spot AND we met some interesting and nice people.

So, I'll be remembering the day and doing my best to find more down time to read Delia's book.  She's definitely got me hooked. 

Happy Sunday. If you're in the area, go check out Schweitzer today.  Lift rides are free, and it's mighty gorgeous up there.   

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Saturday Slight

A small group of former Boy Scout Troop 111 members got together with their scoutmaster Bill Love last night.

It had been more than 30 years since some had seen each other.

The evening included a visit to the scout room at Community Hall, followed by pizza, beer and ever-flowing tales about the good ol' days and scouting activities.

Also, special memories about two members who have passed away:  Kip Smith and David Zelinski.

Bill, who's already in town helping out with a Presbyterian yard sale at the church peace garden, told me the reunion was great. 

I'm already seeing comments from the others:  we need to get together again this summer.

Who knows: maybe they'll gear up for another walk through the Bob Marshall Wildnerness.

And, a personal note:  it was great seeing you guys and nice to know that we've all acquired a little gray hair over the years.  

Jon Stolz

Jon's brother Jeff wanted to come but got off work too late.

Jon, who lives in Sagle, serves as general sales manager at Pierce Auto. 

Mike Welter

Recent retiree from U.S. Navy.

Mike and his wife Wanda now live part-time on family property in Gold Creek. 

Dwayne Rogge, reunion organizer.

Dwayne lives in Western Washington where he works as a patent agent for a law firm and owns his own photography business. 

Chad Brockus

Chad drove up from Post Falls, bringing with him a Scout Troop 111 book of memories.

He works as an associate buyer for Itron.


Adam Cochran, National Park Service U.S. National Mall, wanted to come, but Chad "got backed up in traffic on I-84 near Chicago and couldn't pick him up." 

Well, that's the story Chad fed Adam anyway.

Adam was there in spirit, though, sending Messenger comments. 

Another crazy Saturday, which has started with a trip over to my sisters' to feed their canine beloveds, Jessie and Meggie.

By the way, they fed the Australian cattle dog siblings for the first time seven years ago today. 

We drove to Spokane Airport on June 22, 2012, where the pups had arrived in a crate from Missouri.  

At first, we didn't think anything was inside that crate cuz they were so tiny. 

I remember stopping at a McDonald's parking lot in Rathdrum where they set foot on Idaho ground for the first time. 

Also, I'll be heading out soon to meet Bill and our friends from Boise, Betty Munis and her husband David for breakfast. 

Betty has served as the head of the Idaho Forest Products Commission for many years, while David has worked for many years as a forest consultant. 

Lots in common, since Betty's a farmgirl from Phillipsburg, Mont., and we all appreciate trees. 

Should be fun. 

Happy Saturday. 

Saw my first fawn for 2019 on my way back from Colburn this morning.

The little one had just crossed the road and then took off across a field following his mom, leaping through the wet grass and suddenly disappearing in it.

I think Mom sent a message for the baby to stay put, and she'd come back later.