Monday, August 31, 2015

Rain Show

I don't think I've ever been so happy to see it rain so hard. 

That was the prevailing news feed on Facebook yesterday, as poster after poster expressed gratitude and relief that finally the rains did come.

They were pounding at times, happily really wet all the time. We received a thorough scrubbing and a big boost for fields where our critters have been eating tasteless grasses for weeks.  

We won't talk about the deer.  Their cuisine differed widely from that of the cows and horses, thanks to gardens and flower beds.

This morning when I turned Lily and Lefty into the first pasture rather than the hay field, they did not race across it.  They stopped just past the gate, put their heads down and began breakfast immediately.  

That's where I've been sprinkling, so baby green grass has had a chance to grow, and I'm sure it was mighty tasty to my horses.  

Anyway, yesterday's rain was delightful, and after several hours, the landscape, the shrubs and the flowers offered some lovely photo ops.  

Raindrops never looked prettier coming from the sky and landing on leaves, limbs and petals. 

And, then appeared that mighty rainbow . . . kinda like one I've never seen in a lifetime.  

At our place, we could see two distinct rainbows, but one definitely stood out from the rest kinda like Jamaica's Usain Bolt did in his sprints over the weekend. I don't think I've ever seen such a dominant runner. 

Yup, that was a Usain Bolt rainbow last night, taking up the eastern sky, far and away the most spectacular rain art I've ever seen. It adds one more item to the list of natural extremes we've witnessed during this strange summer. 

We are thankful for the beauty and the boost to the critter food supply. 

Meanwhile, off in Japan, Annie spent her Monday touring the neighborhoods and the shopping scenes of Tokyo.  She had a geocaching friend to guide her on her travels, and I'm figuring she's about to turn in for the night. 

On her tomorrow, which is still today here, she'll move on to Kyoto where she'll spend a couple of nights.  I have a feeling we'll see a temple or two in her upcoming photos. 

Hers from the neighborhood tour are at the bottom. 

Busy week ahead here.  I talked to my sisters last night, and for all intents and purposes, they're basically starting their new teaching year today----with the official start on Wednesday. 

So, we'll all be into a new routine, not seeing each other much 'cept for Friday nights.  

In my case, I have one story to write, some details to attend to for next week's reunion and probably some yard work, which after yesterday's rain, should once more be a bit satisfying and pleasant.

Better get at it.  Happy Monday. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Still Waiting . . . .

People got really excited and thankful yesterday when they heard rain falling a few times during the afternoon hours. Then it stopped just as many times as it started. 

Maybe this is the big one, I said to Bill while we were both out walking the Lovestead grounds.  I headed to the house so my camera would not get wet. By the time I laid my camera on the kitchen island, the rain had stopped once more.

About two minutes ago, after a dry night, I thought I heard pitter patter so I opened the window up here where I do my computer work.  Sure enough, drops were hitting the tin.

"It started," I yelled down to Bill. 

By the time, I started pecking away at my keys, the pitter patter had once again stopped. Bill told me earlier this morning that there's a 100-percent chance of rain today. 

"It stopped," I yelled to him downstairs.

"Well, that's the 100 percent," he said. 

So far, all the dreams and yearnings for a good downpour here in North Idaho have been drowned out by dry skies and empty clouds. 

We'll see how the day goes.

Yesterday was interesting with all the winds and the dirt and those occasional drops of rain.  I remained in rainy-day mode all day, but something was missing:  the rain. 

I still completed some indoor projects, like cutting up and freezing part of my abundant 'mater crop.  When the winds came, I decided it might be wise to pick the big apples on the little tree. 

Occasionally the pocket knife came out to cut the netting which had protected most of the apples for the past several weeks from none other than the Bambi clan. 

I read this morning on Facebook that I'm not the only mad, disgusted and frustrated flower owner in Selle.  Christa, down Selle Road,  posted comparison pictures of before Bambi came and after Bambi ate all but the stems of her hostas.  

Hostas, like kale and nasturtiums and pansies and geraniums are just not very purty without their leaves.  Poor Christa.  I empathize.

Just like I do with Sally up on Forest Siding and Ruthie out there in Dufort who have all reported the same invasion of their prettyhood. 

It's been a tough summer on the posies, but I've learned in the past several days that those sheets and tarps draped over the plants inside the garden fence do deter. 

The results:  chard is making a swift comeback, baby lettuce is having a chance at maturity and blossoms are popping from the nasturtiums where dozens of blossoms succumbed to the chompers a few nights ago. 

For all who wish to save their flowers, deer do not like sheets or tarps-----just yet anyway. 

My recent retaliation has paid off with a few purty flower pictures this morning.  And, I think it's just downright adorable to have those furry little bumblebees nursing off my marigolds. At least they leave the blossoms in one piece. 

Up with bumblebees; down with Bambi!

In other news, scroll down to the photos from a world far, far away where Annie hoped to take pictures with Precious from atop Mt. Fuji yesterday . . . . 

Foster gets so proud when he can carry the big Folgers can around the fields; I just had to share. 

Welcome to hiking, Japanese-style.  Never in a North Idaho or a Western Washington or even a New Zealand hike have I seen rainbow afro head gear.  I don't know how common it is in Japan, but it certainly is eye-catching.  

I am wondering, however, if it stayed on the hiker's head yesterday because gale force winds and horrible weather far up Mt. Fuji prevented the climbers from reaching the top.

Annie was clearly not happy when she sent a text from the bus taking the hikers back from the mountain, but she did say it was still an amazing experience.  Annie likes to attain her goals, and there's nothing wrong with that.  

She'll just have to go back to Japan and try it again some day.  Heck, I might even go with her.  

Had Bill and I been able to stop off at a "station" aka store along the trail on our recent hike to Strawberry Mountain, I may not have been in such bad shape when the hike was over.

On that hike, I now realize the importance of hydrating (maybe those cramps all the way down the mountain would not have occurred if I had drunk more water on the way up). 

So, having a store partway up the trail where I could sit down, have cup of coffee and stock up on liquids----that would have been nice. 

And, bunking down with your new best friends partway up the mountain, I could have handled that, maybe---if they didn't snore, that is. 

In all seriousness, the Mt. Fuji climb looks like a fun experience even if the ultimate goal had to be put off for another time. 

Can't wait to hear some of Annie's stories when she gets home.  For now, we'll just keep following her journey in Japan and enjoying the ride. 

During that last sentence, I heard a few more drops hitting the tin roof----does that mean our 100-percent chance of rain has increased by ten percent?  

Every little drop counts . . . . as my dad used to say when he talked about the old lady who went No. 1 in the ocean. 

Happy Sunday. And, RAIN, it's okay if you visit us for a little longer. We'll even let you go all out if you wish. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday Slight

It's 6:52 a.m. on a windy Saturday morning in North Idaho.  Do you know where your children are? 

I do. 

Yes, Willie could be up for the day at his home by now.  

If she doesn't have her chronic insomnia, Annie may be sleeping on a mountainside in Japan. 

It's 10:52 p.m. on that mountainside as I write.  Her last post from Japan's Mt. Fuji came a few hours ago with the bottom photo, stating:  

This is where I sleep tonight. Well, nap for a few hours before climbing the last half hour to the summit for sunrise. Goodnight from Mt. Fuji!

Yay, Annie, the adventurer who dares to go where many of us have not gone before nor have the nerve to do so.  

We all admire her so and appreciate her continued zest for attaining the next pinnacle. 

Thanks, Annie, for always letting us go along for the ride as you trek with your new Japanese geocaching friends up that mountain. 

It will be fun to see photos of the sunrise in a few hours. 

***Back to the Northwest mainland where winds are supposed to gust in some places up to 70 mph.  I'd call it this beastly summer's last hurrah.  

Bill is looking forward to enjoying a day's worth of melodic sounds from  the pair of wind chimes on the deck, which he bought me as gifts earlier this summer.  

The outside ear candy is truly beautiful, and if gorging on those sounds is all we have to deal with, thanks to the winds today, it will have been okay. 

Somehow, I feel a little nervous about the possibilities of such high winds with fires and downed trees.  Let's hope for the best. 

Once the wind dies down---Baby, the rain is supposed to fall, and I have a feeling a whole lot of celebrating will occur once we've heard pitter patter for more than 30 seconds.

A rainy weekend will be just fine for me.  I have two story assignments for Sandpoint Magazine's Winter Edition.  Some will say, "But you retired from journalism assignments."  

And, some are correct.  My husband retired too but went back to work within a week.  He loves his trees.  I love a good story.

In this case, they're both good----ZAGmania and Cindy and the Pope.   Since both are Catholic related, maybe I'll score a few points and earn a little less rocky road to Heaven. 

Anyway, they should be fun reads.  For now, it's the crafting stage.  Rain outside should give me plenty of time to bury myself in writing. 

I also have to stay on task because Bill and I are headed to Seattle next week for an overnighter, Seahawks style.  Bill purchased some pre-season tickets at a Trout Unlimited fundraiser a while back.

The time has come, Richard Sherman is back, starting tonight, and, of course, Russell will be doing Seahawks duty for some time, thanks to his contract.  I'm looking forward to seeing Beast Mode and the other entertaining players next Thursday night against Oakland.

Annie sent me a Seahawks hat, '47 Brand, which is appropriate since that's my birth year.  Bill has his No. 3 jersey, and I'll be finding my own Seahawks jersey before we walk into the stadium.  It should be a blast.

Elisabeth will care for the critters overnight, and we'll be back Friday.  Then, I'll go from Beast Mode into Reunion Mode with just a few days remaining before the big class party.

Lots of good stuff, it seems----rain, another significant mountain ascent (with Rainier and Mt. St. Helens) for Annie, fun stories, Seahawks and a great party with longtime friends.  

Not a bad slate ahead.   

Happy Saturday.   

And this is why I climb mountains.... Annie Love, Aug. 29, 2015, Mt. Fuji, Japan. 
Beddy bye time on Mt. Fuji

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday, Worlds Apart

The photos above come from Annie's album compiled yesterday called "Exploring Asakusa." 

This area, which was rebuilt after WWII bombing,  is the entertainment district of Tokyo, including geocaches, of course. 

From Wikipedia, I've learned the following:  Asakusa is on the north-east fringe of central Tokyo, at the eastern end of the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line subway, approximately one mile east of the major Ueno railway/subway interchange. 

It is central to the area colloquially referred to as Shitamachi, which literally means "low city," referring to the low elevation of this old part of Tokyo, on the banks of the Sumida River. 

As the name suggests, the area has a more traditionally Japanese atmosphere than some other neighborhoods in Tokyo do.

I think Annie will be embarking on her Mt. Fuji climb later today (our time), so am looking forward to photos from the adventure. 

THIS JUST IN FROM TOKYO 7:56 a.m. PDT:  Apparently I've walked 24 miles in the past two days. I've seen some amazing places and had a great time with friends new and old. Tomorrow, Mt. Fuji!

Back here on the other side of the world, we're looking forward to lower temperatures and rain.  The rain may come tomorrow, and I doubt that anyone will be complaining.

Last night I walked through a part of the hay field and noticed that all-too familiar crunchy sound with every footstep.

Both my sisters and I turned our horses out to what's usually fall pasture, and as we watch it dry up, we have no regrets.  If we had waited until the usual time, it may have been a complete loss, nutrition-wise. 

We went yesterday to the Dahlberg farm near Black Mountain southeast of Bonners Ferry. They had straw for sale at a good price, so Barbara and Laurie took advantage and filled the trailer with as many bales as possible.

The Dahlbergs are known for their fine hay and oat crops.  Like everyone else involved in area agriculture, they have taken a severe hit in their usual yields----about 40 percent of the usual.  

Part of that is due to the dry summer, but another part, with their oats in particular, suffered because of the elk and deer herds eating the oats before harvest. 

More and more similar stories are indicating that wildlife, feeling totally at home in populated areas, have wreaked a major share of havoc on virtually anything grown domestically. 

At first, it's funny and entertaining, to observe the brazen lengths that deer and elk will go to for their prime meals, but as we watch the overall toll on gardens and farm fields, frustration and anger have replaced the chuckles. 

The past few nights I've added more and more ground cover to my garden, even the nasturtiums, in hopes of having something to show for the hard work I've put in for both beauty and bounty.  It seems to be working. 

Oh yes, we spent time with Stubby (?).  He's half heeler and half Corgey.  He was resting after accompanying Deb on a trail ride. 

And, as you may note, behind the barn roof and windmill, visibility is still pretty limited up in the Bonners Ferry area.

When is that rain coming?

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Throwback Thursday and Stuff

I'm thinking it was the Girls State tea back in 1964 when junior girls were chosen to represent the area at the annual leadership gathering in Boise. 

Of course, they received a proper hometown tea to recognize their selection. 

This is also a definite throwback in that today I doubt that anyone's eyes would be closed in the final selected photo.  Also, Marilynn might have looked a little happier.  

Thanks to digital, these days we can avoid such shots and select one with everyone with eyes open and faces displaying proper enthusiasm.

Wonder if any of us come close to dressing like that these days.  Classmates are worried about a dress code at the reunion.  We've done our best to let them know that times have changed and that just about any ensemble will be just fine. 

Below, you'll see the Colburn School, which, I believe, is now owned by a private party. Until yesterday, I had never, in 68 years, been close to the Colburn Elementary where about half a dozen of my classmates attended school way back when.

It's still a lovely building, and I love it when those old schools get to live on, regardless of who's occupying them.  I do feel sorry for my classmates from Farmin and Washington who have to look at pictures or reach back in their memories for images of the buildings that gave them their educational foundation.  

At the bottom:  the Hope School.  I left it there because it goes along with the sequence of eerie sun photos of the lake last evening.  I decided it would be fun to feature some photos of the still-standing elementary schools on our class Facebook site.

So, on the way to take pictures of Hope School, I must have stopped three or four times along the lakeshore to capture the unusual and haunting beauty of hovering smoke.  We've seen all we want to see of it, but it does make for some amazing photographs.

One photo looks like a bush on fire, but it's not.  Just the sun's rays bouncing off the lake behind. 

And, to further explain the "stuff,"  Annie has been posting dozens of photos on Facebook chronicling her first full day in Tokyo.  

She also sent me one as a text message that doesn't want to act like a Jpeg, so I can't feature it here.  I'll simply tell you that, as a frequent restroom patron, I probably won't book a trip to Japan in this lifetime.  

The thought of maneuvering my sore body down into that position on the floor does not appeal.  She texts, "You just have to be comfortable using this."  

I text back:  Oh my! Remind me not to go to Japan.

I might have some problems selecting something from the menu also.  Since she and Robin Hanson have yet to watch me eat sushi, they'll be waiting even longer for me to order the "organ plate" of fresh innards. 

Of course, that could be a good thing.  I could go to Japan and maybe lose some weight. 

Anyway, she's having her usual good time, and her Japanese visit has involved the culmination of two constant goals for visiting countries of the world.  She has found geocaches and the Seattle Sounders flag has enjoyed prominence in yet another worldwide venue. 

On this somewhat dreary day with the endless smoke-filled skies, I actually heard some pitter patter outside my window.  It lasted about 30 seconds as every "downpour" has done this summer. 

They say the weekend might over a more substantial amount.  We'll see. 

Bill, Willie and Debbie have gone to the St. Joe River today.  They just can't get enough of that fishing; plus, it's Debbie's first trip, so I'm guessing the tour guides will be busy.

Lots to do. So, I'll get at it.  Happy Thursday.