Thursday, March 04, 2021

Twin Rivers Visit: TBT


Quite often, Bill and I are pretty much the only visitors to a variety of regional outdoor spots.  

That's the way it was yesterday at Twin Rivers Campground, 'cept for the geese and a few deer. 

He had gone ahead to the campground northeast of Bonners Ferry where the Moyie River from the north flows into the Kootenai River, running east and west. 

I believe yesterday's outing was Bill's second fishing excursion for 2021, and so far, the fish have won. 

Waters are cold, but they're flowing, and to be out where rivers run through, even if the fish aren't yet biting----that's Heaven for Bill.

I told him I might drive up later but reminded him that there's no cell service in that area, so if I came, I came; if not, he would figure that out. 

When I arrived, I saw his pickup, but it took me about 20 fine minutes to have a Bill sighting.  

They were "fine" minutes because the sunshine was glorious and just strolling around watching geese while making my way to the water's edge fit right in to my plans of taking in the full beauty of the day. 

In some places, the sun was shining so brightly, that I had to shield my eyes to search down the shorelines for a lone angler and a fly rod. 

That was okay too.  Nice to have too much sunshine. 

Eventually, as I walked back toward the car, planning a jaunt down a trail leading north, I spotted Bill in his red fleece holding his rod in one hand and his walking stick in the other. 

We visited for a few minutes.  He said he probably wouldn't stay much longer and would pick up fish and chips in Bonners Ferry on the way home. 

Music to my ears; any time I don't have to cook dinner is just fine. 

We both enjoyed the gift of yesterday, which for me included some more fence painting and shopping and tidying up the house. 

Twas a good and productive day indeed, and it's always a good day at Twin Rivers. 

Happy Thursday. 

Thursday Throwbacks . . . . today, a good friend's 75th birthday and some photos of her friends at a book club meeting.  Also, a family gathering back in 2012, Debbie and Willie's wonderful foreign-exchange students ( Laura from Switzerland and Emma from Germany) and five years ago, members of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe came to Sandpoint High School to share highlights of their culture with students from the high school and Farmin-Stidwell Elementary.


Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Just Marchin' On

Something a little different today to go along with my photos from yesterday, most of which were taken on a pleasant early-spring  walk through the next-door Meserve Preserve and most taken with my new i-phone camera. 

I had hoped that the pond might be melting enough to attract some Canada geese, but not yet. 

Still, a definite air of spring and some relatively easy walking over mostly bare ground made for a nice early-afternoon outing. 

And, to think that today will be even better! 

Loving the weather this week, which is allowing me an early start on slapping a new layer of white paint on my barnyard fence. 

So now, how about a little Shakespeare.  I thought this was a fun read.  Hope you do too.

Happy Wednesday. 


from Mental Floss, by Dana Schwartz

William Shakespeare devised new words and countless plot tropes that still appear in everyday life. Famous quotes from his plays are easily recognizable; phrases like "To be or not to be," "wherefore art thou, Romeo," and "et tu, Brute?" instantly evoke images of wooden stages and Elizabethan costumes. 

But an incredible number of lines from his plays have become so ingrained into modern vernacular that we no longer recognize them as lines from plays at all. Here are 21 phrases you use but may not have known came from the Bard of Avon.  

1. "Wild Goose Chase" // Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene IV

"Nay, if our wits run the wild-goose chase, I am done, for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole five. Was I with you there for the goose?" — Mercutio

This term didn't originally refer to actual geese, but rather a type of horse race.

2. "Green-Eyed Monster" // Othello, Act III, Scene III

"O, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on." — Iago

Before Shakespeare, the color green was most commonly associated with illness. Shakespeare turned the notion of being sick with jealousy into a metaphor that we still use today.

3. "Pure as the Driven Snow" // Hamlet, Act III, Scene I and The Winter's Tale, Act IV, Scene IV

"Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, go." — Hamlet

"Lawn as white as driven snow." — Autolycus

Though Shakespeare never actually used the full phrase "pure as the driven snow," both parts of it appear in his work. For the record, this simile works best right after the snow falls, and not a few hours later when tires and footprints turn it into brown slush.

4. "Seen Better Days" // As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII

"True is it that we have seen better days and have with holy bell been knolled to church, and sat at good men's feasts and wiped our eyes of drops that sacred pity hath engendered." — Duke Senior

The first recorded use of "seen better days" actually appeared in Sir Thomas More in 1590, but the play was written anonymously, and is often at least partially attributed to Shakespeare. We do know Shakespeare was a fan of the phrase; he uses "seen better days" in As You Like It, and then again in Timon of Athens.

5. "Off With His Head" // Richard III, Act III, Scene IV

"If? Thou protector of this damnèd strumpet, talk'st thou to me of "ifs"? Thou art a traitor—Off with his head." — Richard III

The Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland wasn't the first monarch with a penchant for liberating heads from bodies. Her famous catchphrase came from Shakespeare first.

6. "Forever and a Day" // As You Like It, Act IV, Scene I

"Now tell me how long you would have her after you have possessed her." — Rosalind

"Forever and a day" — Orlando

We have the Bard to thank for this perfect fodder for Valentine's Day cards and middle school students' love songs.

7. "Good Riddance" // Troilus and Cressida, Act II, Scene I

[Thersites exits]

"A good riddance." — Patroclus

Where would Green Day be without Shakespeare’s riposte? In addition to acoustic ballad titles, "good riddance" also applies well to exes, house pests (both human and insect), and in-laws.

8. "Fair Play" // The Tempest, Act V, Scene I

"Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle, and I would call it fair play." — Miranda

Prospero's daughter never would have been able to predict that "fair play" is used more often now in sports than it is for the negotiation of kingdoms.

9. "Lie Low" // Much Ado About Nothing, Act V, Scene I

"If he could right himself with quarreling, some of us would lie low." — Antonio

Shakespeare's plays contain brilliant wisdom that still applies today. In "lie low," he concocted the perfect two-word PR advice for every celebrity embroiled in a scandal.

10. "It's Greek to Me" // Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene II

"Nay, an I tell you that, Ill ne'er look you i' the face again: but those that understood him smiled at one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me." — Casca

"It's all Greek to me” might possibly be the most intelligent way of telling someone that you have absolutely no idea what's going on.

11. "As Good Luck Would Have It" // The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act III, Scene V

“As good luck would have it, comes in one Mistress Page; gives intelligence of Ford's approach; and, in her invention and Ford's wife's distraction, they conveyed me into a buck-basket.” — Falstaff

Determining whether a Shakespeare play is a comedy or a tragedy can largely be boiled down to whether good luck would have anything for the characters.

12. "You've Got to Be Cruel to Be Kind" // Hamlet, Act III, Scene IV

"So, again, good night. I must be cruel only to be kind. Thus bad begins and worse remains behind." — Hamlet

Here’s an idiom that proves just because a character in a Shakespeare play said it doesn't necessarily mean it's always true. Hamlet probably isn't the best role model, especially given the whole accidentally-stabbing-someone-behind-a-curtain thing.

13. "Love Is Blind" // The Merchant of Venice, Act II, Scene VI

"But love is blind, and lovers cannot see the pretty follies that themselves commit, for if they could Cupid himself would blush to see me thus transformèd to a boy." — Jessica

Chaucer actually wrote the phrase ("For loue is blynd alday and may nat see") in The Merchant’s Tale in 1405, but it didn't become popular and wasn't seen in print again until Shakespeare wrote it down. Now, "love is blind" serves as the three-word explanation for any seemingly unlikely couple.

14. "Be-All, End-All" // Macbeth, Act I, Scene VII

"If the assassination could trammel up the consequence, and catch with his surcease success; that but this blow might be the be-all and the end-all here, but here, upon this bank and shoal of time, we’d jump the life to come." — Macbeth

Macbeth uses the phrase just as he’s thinking about assassinating King Duncan and, ironically, as anyone who's familiar with the play knows, the assassination doesn't turn out to be the "end all" after all.

15. "Break the Ice" // The Taming of the Shrew, Act I, Scene II

"If it be so, sir, that you are the man must stead us all, and me amongst the rest, and if you break the ice and do this feat, achieve the elder, set the younger free for our access, whose hap shall be to have her will not so graceless be to be ingrate." — Tranio (as Lucentio)

If you want to really break the ice, the phrase appears to have come from Thomas North, whose translation of Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans provided much of the inspiration for Shakespeare's ancient word plays. This is a great meta "did you know" fact for getting to know someone at speed dating.

16. "Heart of Gold" // Henry V, Act IV, Scene I

"The king's a bawcock, and a heart of gold, a lad of life, an imp of fame, of parents good, of fist most valiant." — Pistol

Turns out, the phrase "heart of gold" existed before Douglas Adams used it as the name of the first spaceship to use the Infinite Improbability Drive in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

17. "Kill With Kindness" // The Taming of the Shrew, Act IV, Scene 1

"This is a way to kill a wife with kindness, and thus I'll curb her mad and headstrong humor." — Petruchio

The Shakespeare canon would contain a lot fewer dead bodies if his characters all believed they should kill their enemies with kindness instead of knives and poison.

18. "Knock, Knock! Who's There?" // Macbeth, Act II, Scene III

"Knock, knock! Who's there, in th' other devil’s name?" — Porter

Though high school students suffering through English class may disagree, Shakespeare was a master of humor in his works, writing both slapstick comedy and sophisticated wordplay. And, as the Porter scene in Macbeth illustrates, he's also the father of the knock-knock joke.

19. "Live Long Day" // Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene I

"To towers and windows, yea, to chimney tops, your infants in your arms, and there have sat the livelong day with patient expectation to see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome." — Mureless

Today, the phrase "live long day" is pretty much exclusively reserved for those who have been working on the railroad.

20. "You Can Have Too Much of a Good Thing" // As You Like It, Act IV, Scene I

"Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing?— Come, sister, you shall be the priest and marry us.—Give me your hand, Orlando.—What do you say, sister?" — Rosalind

Modern readers often call Shakespeare a visionary, far ahead of his time. For example: he was able to write about desiring too much of a good thing 400 years before chocolate-hazelnut spread was widely available.

21. "The Game is Afoot" // Henry V, Act III, Scene I

"The game's afoot: follow your spirit, and upon this charge cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'" — King Henry V

Nope! It wasn't Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who coined this phrase—Sherlock Holmes' most famous catchphrase comes from Henry V, although both characters do often tend to find themselves around dead bodies.



Tuesday, March 02, 2021

March Gladness


According to the calendar this morning---and I've checked it twice---we are in the second day of the "Meteorogical Spring."  

Aren't you glad?

How many meteorological springs have we lived through and never knew that's what it was called?  And, then out of the blue,  yesterday the phrase suddenly became ubiquitous in the midst of many weather forecasts?

How have I missed knowing that we could really have pretended all these years that it's really spring on March 1 and enjoyed almost three more weeks of the season we all crave after a long winter----if we had just considered the meteorological aspect of it all?

Just curious if I missed that day of weather forecasting all those other years, cuz I sure tuned in to the term for the first time ever and then for several times thereafter yesterday. 

Anywho, it's kinda like the irritating phrase "cancel culture."  

I'm guessing that things were starting to get dull in the political vernacular, blaming every wrong in the world on Socialism, 'cept maybe those last stimulus checks.  

Has anyone read anything about people returning their stimulus checks to the government cuz of the sins of Socialism? 

Will the anti-Socialists return the next proposed batch?

 Just wondering. 

I just read on Twitter----after hearing "cancel culture" attached to a variety of  "wrongs" at least once every day for the past couple of months---that a Congressman is actually calling for a hearing on "Cancel Culture." 

What are they planning to drum up about this term? How will we be better off after the hearing?

Just wondering.

How many others get slightly irritated at hearing the term on a daily basis?

I wish they would just cancel its use.

Anyway, I now have those two irritants off my chest.

Meteorologically or not, a strong hint of March Gladness was in the air yesterday. 

I enjoyed two upbeat conversations with friends---one, at the end of the driveway; the other, on the telephone. 

One could sense that many big clouds are lifting and that they aren't just in the sky. 

Even my horses were feeling the endorphins from a day of bright sunshine.  

They all stood, not moving and not even fighting with each other for attention, as I brushed and combed them in the barnyard during afternoon sunshine. 

This IS definitely a seasonal transition time as lakes and puddles of water are forming where snow and ice are melting. That moisture, mixed with soft ground is forming an abundance of soupy mud.

This daily blend means that Liam will be getting hosed down every afternoon after his thousand trips around the barnyard fence.  

I've also decided he might just be spending more time in the dog run during this thawing, melting process.  

It will be a necessity if I don't want a trench deepening its way to China on my lawn around the fence. 

Plus, until he decides within the bounds of the run that he needs to dig some holes to China, he may stay relatively clean each day. 

I had just given Liam his bath and was walking him around in the sunshine for "shake, shake, shake"  when I received a text from my friend Kathy in Portland stating that she wished I were there. 

She and her retirement-era friend----also my longtime friend, Lincoln school mate and retired Lake City High School English teacher Peggy were enjoying their first day of March Gladness over lunch at a outdoor restaurant in the Portland area. 

It had been a year since they had been able to get together for this kind of visit.  And, yes, I think it would have been fun to be there gabbing with them. 

Some day.  

I also enjoyed hosing down the car yesterday afternoon IN SHIRT SLEEVES no less.  

Like Liam, the car attracts more than its share of mud during these times, and there's no way to avoid it on our dirt road, which has a wide assortment of potholes to maneuver, along with squishy mud.

I sure do wish there were a "cancel culture" for mud and grimy pant legs and dirty dogs during these Meteorological Springs.

We definitely are experiencing a dose of the good, the bad and the ugly of seasonal happenings, but the best part is that we truly are on our way to the real spring, and for that we are glad. 

Happy Tuesday.      

Kathy and Peggy.