Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday Twitterdeedum

I've known Finneys forever, it seems.  We had a Finneyville on our bus route which extended from North Boyer to North North Boyer where bus drivers would pick up kids and then maneuver the tedious turnaround just before the tracks, using a driveway with a big gateway.

That segment of Finneyville extends clear over to HWY 95 from North North Boyer along the Bronx Road.  These days, a lot of other folks besides Finney family members live in the Boyer version of Finneyville, as the original land has been divided and sold off.  

I think there's even Finney land up on the mountain west of North North Boyer and a lot of folks have bought homes up there.  

I also know that Finneys lived at Colburn when I was growing up, cuz my current neighbor Gary Finney and his siblings attended the grade school that still sits on the hillside east of HWY 95 in Colburn.

Nowadays, Selle has its own Finneyville, extending from South Center Valley Road clear over to the Union Pacific tracks near the Selle Grange.  Go a little further and an extension of the Selle Finneyville continues on the south side of Selle Road to East Shingle Mill Road.  

There may be more plots in Finneyville, but these are the Finney habitats with which I'm familiar. 

I've known Finneys because of the early school bus route, because of going to school with some, because of 4-H, because of teaching and because I've never really lived in a Finney-less neighborhood. 

All that said, they have a whole lot of other relatives I know whose names are not Finney, including Olivers, Stradleys, Paulets, Madsens, etc.

"Why all the Finney talk this morning?  Don't you mention Gary Finney often enough?" readers may be thinking. 

Well, yes, I do talk about Gary, my neighbor just up the road and my classmate.  

Today I'm gonna talk about another Finney.  I first became acquainted with Linda Finney during my early teaching career.  She was a senior in high school then.  I just remember how personable and how SMART she was.  Lots of Finneys are smart, by the way!

I also taught some of her siblings. 

Well, Linda came back into my radar, like so many other former students, through Facebook.  

At the time, I learned that she had taken that good brain and that personable nature and had done something pretty impressive with it, as indicated in the following link:  

After I read the story above, I sent a note to Linda congratulating her on her retirement. We still haven't gotten together for that promised visit and cup of coffee in Sandpoint, but I was thrilled yesterday when I saw that she has started her own blog.  

"Among The Fields of Gold" will focus on retirement and serving, and knowing Linda's fine writing skills and universal outlook, I'm guessing it will be a fun site to add to my morning blogroll.  

So, check it out, and to Linda, "Good Luck with your blog and have fun."  I have a feeling you've got a lot more to contribute to this world, and I'm sure all the folks in all the Finneyvilles are proud of you.   https://amongthefieldsofgold.wordpress.com/

In other news this morning, how 'bout those Eagles from Eastern Washington University. Talk about an upset in a storied setting.  If ya haven't read, the Eagles beat Indiana in men's basketball last night.

Looks like the Spokane area is in for plenty of basketball excitement this season.  The ZAGS pulled down an 8th place and 10th-place ranking in yesterday's latest NCAA polls.  

Willie and Annie during an angelic moment. 

Finally, this was my second black-and-white challenge photo yesterday on Facebook. Could I look at this photo all day?

Yes, as I'm sure most mothers do with their own precious pics.  

We all have many moments which we wish would last forever. This is one of mine,  and thanks to cameras and computer photo albums,  we can get our maternal, loving fix any ol' time. 

Today Precious aka Annie will arrive at Spokane Airport, and then we'll head to Sandpoint High School's Les Rogers gym where "Big Man" aka Willie will be sitting next to coach Duane Ward as they hope for another SHS girls' varsity basketball victory.

Let the Thanksgiving fun begin. 

Happy Tuesday. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Back to Black and White

In living black and white . . . .    Remember those days when our world was a whole lot more black and white---not only visually but also logically.   

No in betweens when it came to rules:  We lived our lives in "either-or" mode and rarely even thought of the notion that we could do anything besides what was dished out to us by those in authority, including God, our parents, our teachers or our bosses.

I'm sure life was a lot simpler then. 

We also viewed the black and white lives of all our favorite actors on all our favorite television shows.  Remember Clint Eastwood as Rowdy Yates on "Rawhide" and Fess Parker on "Cheyenne" and Jack Webb as Joe Friday on "Dragnet"?

Yup, we had to imagine how blue or brown their eyes were and what color blue jeans---or were they blue?---Rowdy was wearing when he scooping up his dinner in that pie tin and talking to Wishbone, the cook.

Now, Jack Webb----his suit probably was black-and-white cuz we did have an apparel era where most men wore those black suits, white shirts and black ties.

It's been a long while since we lived so much of our lives watching black and white on the boob tube or abiding by black-and-white either-or rules.   

The gray areas of thought have emerged as has living color. 

And, so when a feature on Facebook involves a chain reaction "black-and-white" photo challenge, some of us oldsters are feeling right at home.  

The basic principle:  five photos over five days, taken any time, any place.  Once nominated, each photographer nominates someone else to do the same.  

Not a bad activity and definitely a fun approach to photography---that going back to the old days stuff.

My daughter Annie is in her second challenge this week, so she nominated me, and I nominated my sister Laurie who nominated our sister-in-law, Joyce.  

Yes, we can nominate people outside the family, but we have so many people IN the family who love to capture fun photos with their cameras that this second round is adding a few of us who didn't get to do it the first time.

I was thinking this morning that I might post all my blog photos in black and white until we reach Oahu in a couple of weeks.  Then, let the color flow.  

We'll see if that works out.  In the meantime, this morning's offerings include photos taken yesterday when we truly had a mostly black-and-white day with the gloom and a good dose of wet snow---Kiwi, the tree and one I call "snowboards."  

And, then there's Kiwi again.  That's my first photo posted for the Black and White challenge, and, oddly enough, it's the first photo I ever took with one of my telephoto lenses. 

And, then, for fun, the bottom two---same picture in both frames taken about five minutes ago as the sun is painting ever changing, glorious views of Schweitzer this morning. 

Seemed fun to show what color does for our lives.  So, enjoy.

And, have fun today appreciating the color-filled moments in your life. 

Happy Monday. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Turkey and Stuff

I don't think the day could have been any better for Willie.  

The SHS assistant coach wakes up, still floating from the girls' basketball team's huge upset win the night before at Les Rogers' gymnasium.  

He then learns that he gets to go his first-ever ZAGS game in The Kennel with his dad.  

The only hoops he has to go through on this more-than-magical Saturday for a lifelong basketball aficionado are Mom's picture ops and the request that he wear her ZAGS cap at the game.

He's already proudly wearing his "Sandpoint Basketball" black fleece jacket, especially proud after the previous night's victory.  

Mom's hat doesn't look too bad, and when photo op time comes with Mom standing on one of the dining room chairs pointing her camera, Dad proudly points at the commemorative ZAGS photo, taken on Senior Day in the Kennel a couple of years ago when the ZAGS ranked No. 1 in the nation.

Soon Dad and "Big Man,"  as Bill has called Willie since birth, head out the door, on their way to Spokane. 

Their itinerary:  a stop at Cabela's, then a stop at Costco, then on to Gonzaga University. 

Dad reports this morning that once Willie found his seat, he stayed there, taking it all in until the game ended.  

I tell Bill that I know he did stand up once cuz his adoring family ('cept Debbie who was volunteering at last night's Holly Eve) spotted him and Bill on the TV set.  

During that moment at halftime, when Swiss Miss couldn't pick him out, Laurie ran to the screen and pointed him out----the Big Man with black fleece and the bright red ZAGS hat kinda stood out. 

Bill and Willie took in every nuance of another fabulous ZAGS victory and then topped off the day with the grand finale----a trip to DICK's Restaurant for dinner and people watching. 

Doesn't get any better than that for a guy like our Willie. 

Today we're all looking ahead to the next big thing (besides the ZAGS game against Georgia on Wednesday).  

Turkey day is getting closer, and suddenly, it seems,  there's much to do in a hurry. 

The Lovestead turkey, a 17-pound Butterball, sits out in the ice chest waiting for Tuesday and the big thaw. 

Speaking of turkeys, the other day just before driving on North Kootenai Road through "Betty Berger Pass,"  as Bill calls it, I passed by Betty Berger's place in time to see a group of plump turkeys, walking the fenceline, accompanied by a big Whitetail buck.

It seemed like a friendly, tightly knit group----that buck and those birds----without a care in the world.  

I'm sure they know that life is pretty safe if you stay on Betty Berger's land where there's pickin' aplenty in the big fields and a nice orchard where you can eat apples 'til your belly hurts and then bed down---maybe even with your turkey friends. 

Our Butterball probably never enjoyed a "free-range" life quite like that, but I'm gonna drop that thought, lest I get too sentimental when Butterball comes inside for the big thaw.  

Gotta detach oneself before all the thawing and grabbing those giblet and stuffing that bird with Stove Top and cooking it for several hours and then carving it up and then eating it. 

Today I'm gonna do my dress rehearsal for the big feast, making sure that I have enough table and chair space and table cloths and napkins and glasses and all that stuff which goes together to create an elegant setting.

Not that it will be too elegant at my house, but I can assure you that this is the one day of the year when we don't plop on our couches with our plates and drinks and watch a little TV while dining.  Anything beyond that is elegant at the Lovestead. 

We'll do up the formalities as best we know how, and the big dinner should be fun for Swiss Miss. This will be our first Thanksgiving, celebrating with a guest from another land.  So, we'll try to exhibit our best behavior.  

Yup, it's a busy week ahead, and kinda fun too, doing all the planning and hoping that everything falls into place for another year of gorging ourselves on good food, then collapsing on the couch waiting for it to digest in preparation for dessert topped off with the perennial question of why we ate so much. 

Happy Sunday. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday Slight





Yup, what a win for the Bulldogs!  They knocked off a perennial powerhouse from Coeur d' Alene, and I do imagine last night's victory will set the tone for the rest of the season. 

I also think this win is SO nice for Woodie Ward, who's been coaching at Sandpoint High School and Sandpoint Middle School off and on since 1966.  

Pretty neat for a 70-plus guy armed with years of coaching knowledge and the heart to take on this team and take them to this point by the second game of the season.

Woodie told me last night that he is very thrilled to have Willie working with him, and I later told Woodie, that Willie said "yes," to coaching this season because of Woodie.

Duane Ward is, without a doubt, one of finest, most respected of family men, coaches and good friends and role models anyone could know in Sandpoint.  

What a wonderful opportunity for Willie to work side by side with such a wonderful human being!

And, to watch Duane coach during a game is a treat.  He's constantly teaching those girls on the fine points of playing basketball and in a kind way. 

Hat's off to the coaches and the team.  I have a feeling the Bulldog girls are going to be a force this year, thanks to the inspiration of last night's victory. 

This morning looks like a beautiful day.  The snow is mostly gone down here in the valley but looking adequate up there at Schweitzer for its season opener. 

It's almost balmy outside this morning with a slight breeze drying out a night's worth of rain. 

Speaking of balmy, it's getting closer every day to an upcoming trip with Annie.  In a couple of weeks, Bill and I will join Annie in Seattle and fly to Honolulu for a week on the north shore of Oahu.

I try not to think about these fun adventures when there's work to be done, but as we wind down toward Thanksgiving, I'm finding visions of sunny beaches and geocaching with Annie's friends on the island popping in to my head more frequently.

Bill has never been to Hawaii, and, of course, Annie, always the cheerleader for travel, threw in the plan to visit Pearl Harbor.  Bill, always the history buff, especially WWII, liked the sounds of that idea. 

So, when the big day comes, we're going to pack our suitcases and head for Paradise. The suitcases will not be too full, though, as I learned when Annie and I went to Maui a few years ago that layers of clothing are certainly not needed. 

We feel fortunate to have some wonderful help to watch the place and keep the critters fed and comfortable during our absence. 

And, yes, the camera and computer will go along.  And, yes, I'm getting pretty excited

Before that fun journey, though, there's Thanksgiving to think about.  I do have my Butterball and my butterflake rolls and my stuffing mix.  Swiss Miss told me last night that she's bringing something Swiss to dinner, but it's a surprise.

Can't wait to sample it. 

Lots to do on this Saturday, so I'll push the "off" button and wish everyone a great day AND "GO ZAGS."  Another Bulldog victory tonight would make our day!

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Snowy Friday Memory

Headline today:  Snow.

That was the regional headline 11 years ago on this day---a Friday---as the first blanket of snow hit the area.  It was to be the first of many white blankets that covered the ground that winter.  Seemed like it snowed continuously for weeks afterward that year.

The headline 11 years ago on this day in our family:  our dad had passed away.  

Seems we never forget the details of such days.  

Our family had all gathered from Idaho, Washington and Montana after a week of coming and going from their homes to Sacred Heart Hospital, supporting our mom and supporting each other as doctors monitored the Harold's condition following a heart attack. 

Probably none of us will ever forget those nights spent in the family visitors' lounge where we did everything manageable to find some physical comfort on those couches and chairs to grab a few Z's.  

Those who found sleep early were the lucky ones.

As they snored, some of the rest of simply dreamed of how nice it would be to sleep. 

After Harold passed away early in the morning, we all had breakfast at the hospital cafeteria and then headed home.

If I recall correctly, that was the day Barbara slid off the road, and that was the morning that Laurie watched me from the back seat of our car, constantly watching me contorting my body in an effort to stay awake as I drove.

I think I made it to the Rathdrum area before someone else took over the driving duties. Nothing---even if there had been a snorer right next to my ear---kept me from drifting off into a deep slumber for the rest of the trip home.

That day changed our lives as it does for all who have lost a close family member for the first time. 

We've had another similar situation more recently with the loss of our mother.  Our memories are of events of that July morning are very different but no less painful. 

This morning, we have only about an inch of snow on the ground, and it is very pleasant outside after several days of cold, frigid air.

Almost balmy, I'd say, but that snow is there to remind me that winter has arrived, maybe not on the calendar, but in a very tangible way. 

And, the calendar says Nov. 21.  The date serves as a tangible reminder of our dad's last day here on Earth.  

Fortunately, we also have and enjoy a multitude of other memories of his days leading up to that snowy Friday----the well-honed tales around the kitchen table, the roll-yer-owns, the tractor scenes in hay fields on the upper and lower farms, the milk house at the "Upper Place" where Harold had lots of tools, a stove and a bed for snoozing. 

We'd also occasionally catch him snoozing in his pickup as he sat in the driveway next to the milk house, probably thinking about farm projects on the land below before drifting off to a good nap. 

Harold tinkered a lot in his milk house and in his two shops down at the Boyer Farm.  He knew how to fix things, and if at first he didn't, he spent time problem solving until the fix-it project succeeded.  He was brilliant with his hands.  

It would be an extreme understatement to say that Harold knew and loved horses. Probably the greatest title we ever bestowed upon him besides "our dad" was "horseman." 

In our family, there's a difference between people who simply own horses and those who have earned the distinction of "horseman," and I can tell you that the latter is supreme. 

In Harold's mind, owning horses meant not only to enjoy them but also to treat them with respect, never to abuse them and always to provide them with the best care possible. 

And, so on this Friday, Nov. 21,  with the season's first thin blanket of snow, I'm sure family members, wherever they may be, will be taking some time to think about Harold and all those memories, the never-ending story telling and the guidance that will always keep him alive in our minds. 

Happy Friday. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Very Special Book: Now Available in the U.S.

"Any time I read something that makes me think, 'Wow!' I try to rewrite it as something normal and boring, then compare that to what made me say, 'Wow!'” 

It’s a fun exercise, and my writing seems to improve … at least for a few days!   --Cindy Wooden, Senior Vatican Correspondent; Photo by Paul Haring

Well, our Cindy Wooden from Sandpoint has certainly attained the "Wow!" factor as a writer. We can now refer to her as "author" Cindy Wooden.  Her name appears on the cover of a newly released book with Pope Francis. 

Released earlier this fall, the book featuring Cindy's writing, the photography of Paul Haring and the thoughts of Pope Francis, is now available in the United States via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Pope-Francis-Guide-Gods-Time/dp/1601374984/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416497023&sr=1-2&keywords=pope+francis%3A++a+guide+to+god%27s+time

I received a note from Cindy yesterday, telling me of the book's U.S. availability.  She also pointed me to some information which she has penned about the new release which coincides with the Church's calendar and its new year beginning Nov. 30 with Advent. 

The majority of this post will feature Cindy's words of explanation about the publication, but I'll also include at the end some of her autobiographical thoughts about the craft of writing---thoughts which she sent me a few years ago for a blog targeted for two Young Writers' Conferences in St. Anthony and Moscow where I spoke. 

I have oft noted over the years in this blog how we---who have known and followed Cindy as a student, family friend and world renowned Catholic journalist---have joyfully maintained a great pride in her ever since she first went to Rome in 1989 as a reporter for Catholic News Service.  

Cindy talking with Pope Francis on the Papal Jet--courtesy of her Facebook page. 
---Photo by Paul Haring. 

Let's triple that joy this morning as we celebrate yet another wonderful achievement for this accomplished Catholic journalist as she continues to chronicle the daily happenings surrounding the Papacy. 

I can't wait to have a copy of the book and, like everyone else who admires and loves "our Cindy," will be even more thrilled when she comes home to Sandpoint to autograph it. 

And, now it's time to feature some personal insights from "author" Cindy Wooden.  The first item below is from a Catholic News Service blog entry. 

Posted on November 19, 2014 by Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY — For Catholics a new year begins Nov. 30, the first Sunday of Advent.
Our new book, “Pope Francis: A Guide to God’s Time,” explains the church’s liturgical year using the pope’s homilies. The book is published by Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Libreria Editrice Vaticana (the Vatican publishing house). You can order it directly from the bishops’ publishing office or on Amazon.

As a journalist, I read Pope Francis’ morning homilies and Sunday Angelus addresses looking for “news.” Usually with Pope Francis that means finding odd, interesting and colorful turns of phrase.

“God spray” and “bat Christians” come to mind. In the first instance, the pope said God is a real being capable of and desiring a relationship with each person; he’s not some kind of esoteric mist or “god spray.” The second phrase comes from a homily about lukewarm Christians who seem to prefer to dwell in a dark cave like bats rather than walk in the light.

Last spring I went back over the homilies Pope Francis delivered in the first 14 months of his pontificate. This time I was not looking for news, but for his explanations of how the Catholic Church divides up its calendar into seasons, special times of preparation and special times of celebration: the liturgical year.

The result is this book, which is illustrated with 91 beautiful photographs taken by my Rome colleague Paul Haring. (Reviewing the pages before publication, my attention always strayed to the photos. I can’t pick a favorite, but the one to the left definitely makes me smile every time I see it.)

The title comes from one of Pope Francis’ homilies. The pope is someone who is constantly looking at his watch because he sees a careful management of his time as a spiritual discipline and as sign of respect for the people he is supposed to meet at a certain hour. But in homily that inspired the title, he said that when we go to Mass, we enter into God’s time “without looking at our watches.”

In the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives, Pope Francis celebrates a morning Mass and gives a homily almost every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. He recites the Angelus or Regina Coeli on Sundays and major feast days — and uses those occasions for a commentary on the Mass readings. Then there are the Masses — with a homily — for Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Holy Week and Easter, the proclamation of saints and other special events.

“Pope Francis: A Guide to God’s Time” mines all those homilies and commentaries to find Pope Francis’ secrets to prayer, happiness and holiness. 

The book also provides many quotes from Pope Francis on the Eucharist, peace, mercy, forgiveness and, of course, on the evils of gossip, which he has started referring to as a form of “terrorism.”

In the United States, the book is available in English and in Spanish. In Rome, it’s also available in Italian.

From Amazon:  About the Author
The book is written by Cindy Wooden, senior Vatican correspondent for Catholic News Service. She has lived in Rome chronicling the teaching and lives of the popes and events at the Vatican for the past 25 years. Photographs are by Paul Haring, senior staff photographer for the CNS Rome Bureau, who has covered the papacy full-time since 2009 and has traveled with Pope Francis on all his international trips.

Amazon blurb by Cindy:   Pope Francis has said that when you enter a church or chapel and devote time to prayer you are entering into God's time. In "Pope Francis: A Guide to God's Time," the pope's reflections on the Bible readings from Mass lead readers through the Catholic Church's liturgical year -- its seasons, times of preparation and times of special celebration. 

The 91 full-color photographs in the book show the pope living what he preaches, bringing God's love and mercy to those in need. The book offers visual highlights of his first 14 months as pope -- from his election night appearance on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica in March 2013 through his visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem in May 2014. 

While providing an overview of the liturgical year, it also offers an introduction to the biblical themes Pope Francis sees as being most important for Christians today: the abundance of God's love and mercy; the danger of gossip; and the need to meet people where they are, listen to them and help them. 

The richly illustrated presentation offers answers to people asking how to pray and how to read the Bible. The guide also responds to the questions: What does Pope Francis say about prayer, mercy and judgment? How does one live a Christian life?

A Little More about the craft of writing, by Cindy Wooden. Cindy, along with several other writers, contributed this for a blog about writing called "Oh, the Writing U Can Do," which I created young writers in 2008. 

Name: Cindy Wooden

Getting started: I worked on a school paper in California when I was in the fifth grade. We called it Chalk Dust and managed to put out only one issue. I don’t even remember what my role in it was or if I had an article in it. But there were only four or five of us involved in the project! In junior high school in Sandpoint, we managed to publish more than one issue of the school paper, but definitely not more than one a month. I worked on the school papers in high school and in college as well.

Education: English classes and journalism classes obviously helped enormously, but there was and is no substitute for actually working on a paper. That’s how you learn to handle deadlines, style questions, space requirements and editors.

Advice: Writing is a discipline. While blogging or journaling can help you realize you actually can fill that blank page, it is even more important to realize that anything you write can be improved. That’s where editors come in. Sometimes they are wrong. Sometimes they ruin your pristine prose. But mostly, they make you look better  . . . !

To write well, you must read EVERYTHING. For aspiring journalists, you must read newspapers. 
I try to find copies of the Pulitzer Prize winning news stories each year. Any time I read something that makes me think, “Wow,” I try to rewrite it as something normal and boring, then compare that to what made me say, “Wow.” It’s a fun exercise, and my writing seems to improve … at least for a few days!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Slice of the Key Lime Pie

Twice in the past two weeks, I have stood inside a Sandpoint restaurant and pointed through its window to the north.

"Right over there . . . just across the block from here is where I was born," I've told people.

The first time I shared that tidbit of vital statistics occurred during a quick visit with a foursome sitting at a table by the window.  Two familiar faces sat on one side finishing a luncheon meeting with two bankers whom I'd never met.

So, with the introductions, I threw in the birth-announcement trivia, complete with the information that back in the late '40s when my contemporaries and I were born there, moms and babies had to stay in the hospital for two weeks and that my mother remembered the staff rolling dead people past her room, which was near an exit. 

That somewhat dark and ghoulish image always stuck in my mind as I grew up, wondering if my own experience of bringing kids into the world would include such graphic reminders of our ultimate destination once we arrive.  

Fortunately, times (including the duration of hospital stays for new moms) changed as did the hospital location, from that hillside overlooking Sand Creek, to a spot just to the west. 

Yesterday, after having lunch at Baxter's Restaurant on Cedar Street, I was purchasing a second piece of pie when I told my birth-venue story for the second time.  This time I stood at the counter, talking with Tommy, one of the owners of Baxter's.

Tommy had set up tables for a potential group of 12, again my contemporaries, some of whom had probably been born at that same hospital.  

Turned out that we were a bit shy of the dozen Sandpoint High classmates who might show up to talk 50th-year reunion, but the small group still came armed with more than enough local history. 

When you talk Parkins, Hall (as in Ross's son), Chronic, Holt, Hickey (Jackie from Class of 1966 came along with her husband Jim Holt) and Rosenberger, you can expect a tale or two about Sandpoint way back when. 

Add to that another table with the Shook twins, home for a break from their cross country music tours, and fully able to brag on generations past who contributed to the history of Sandpoint. 

Well, we at our table did talk history, most of it associated with classmates and definitely dotted with a few crazy anecdotes.  We did a little business associated with planning our reunion but spent that majority of time reading off names and volunteering to look further to find those not yet on the "updated contact" list. 

Yesterday was the first time I've ever eaten at Baxter's, which is a new restaurant that opened this year.  Depending on when folks lived in Sandpoint, its location could be identified as the old Anthony's store or The Bootery or the first location for Jalapenos or part of Cabin Fever. Someone also recalled another ice cream fountain-type restaurant, which did not ring a bell for me. 

Our lunch was served in attractive baskets, and one of our waiters was a nice young man who originally hailed from France.  I'd describe my burger as fat and tasty---especially with the generous bacon strips on top. 

My friend Judy said it was important to save room for dessert----the key lime pie. Knowing I would be attending a few girls' basketball games during our usual dinner hour, I allowed myself to succumb to the temptation of what was touted as "the best key lime pie ever." 

Judy and I shared a piece, which was a good idea.  It was about that time that I learned why Judy had wanted us to have lunch at Baxter's.  Turns out her son is one of the chefs, and he came out to greet us.  His visit was rewarded with a generous compliment about the food. 

Well, "the best key lime pie ever" is not overrated.  It is truly the best slice of key lime I've ever eaten, and I do like to sample it at various venues.  The generous graham cracker crust could be satisfying enough but the first taste of rich, thick filling immediate signals a delight with every upcoming bite.

Judy says a lady comes in and bakes the pies.  Baxter's definitely found a winner when they added her to the baking roster. 

When our meeting ended, I stayed behind to thank Tommy for setting up our lunch AND to purchase another piece of that pie to take home to Bill.  

That's when the "I was born right over there" story came up, and that's when Tommy told me he would love to know more history about what all has occupied the spot where he and his partner have opened their restaurant.  

He's from Minnesota, and in a conversation with him this past summer, I detected a strong passion for both culture and history.   So, we chatted and threw out names of businesses that we, who were standing at the counter, could remember. 

I told Tommy as I walked out with my slice of pie that I'd do some looking.  While thinking about this fun little sleuthing challenge, an uncomfortable thought hit me square in the face.   

Numbers are dwindling and dwindling very quickly of local walking history books, older than I, who can provide first-person accounts of what was where and who did what in oldtime Sandpoint.  

Not too many of the older history buffs around, and that makes what was once an easy task very daunting----cuz we knew those folks and could glean our information in a quick telephone call. 

So, maybe a trip to the museum will help me provide Tommy some substantive information about his restaurant venue.  Or, maybe someone reading today has a few facts to share.  Feel free to comment if you remember more than The Bootery, Anthony's, Jalapenos, etc. 

I'll pass it along, and it may just give me another excuse to purchase some more pie from Baxter's  cuz Bill agreed with me after sampling his slice that it is "the best key lime pie ever."

Happy Wednesday!  GO ZAGS!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday Twitterdeedum

Foster was in an unusually happy mood this morning, so happy he was wiggling his little rear end and wagging his stub tail every time I looked at him.  He even grabbed his bed and took it around the living room

Sheer happiness is evident whenever Foster grabs his bed and shakes it with his teeth.

Bill said he was probably just as thrilled as we are with last night's ZAGS after-our-bedtime victory.  We were not at all happy during the first part of the game.

Granted, we thought it was really nice that Stanford upset UConn in women's NCAA basketball, but all those time-outs and that overtime with more time-outs and more time spent at the foul line.  

That added up to our missing more than half of the first half of the ZAGS game.  I received one phone call from a friend, asking "What the heck" and suggesting that I use a bad word like her frustrated husband was using.

She just wanted to vent, and she found a willing audience.  Then, she said, "Okay, I'll hang up."  

Minutes later (seemed like years), I received a text message from my daughter-in-law Debbie who knows how Mom Love is if anyone interrupts either "60 Minutes" or a ZAGS game.

"Howya doing" the text read.

"Damn mad," I texted back.

"You can get it on the sports news channel. I think it's 207," Debbie's next text read.

So, we switched over and steam immediately quit coming out of my ears.  I called my friend and told her to turn to Channel 207.

"We don't have that channel," she said.

Well, duh, Dish Network as opposed to DirecTV.  I don't know if she ever found the game, but we did, and it was a great one, making for a good night's sleep and a happy morning for humans and for Foster.

As if we needed anything else to brighten our day, I brought the papers in and, lo and behold, there was Willie on the front page!

Later, Bill yelled upstairs, "You're all over the paper today." 

Guess I missed the "50 Years Ago" in Bonner County History where KT Littlefield had opened up her kindergarten on South Huron as a babysitting venue for weekend skiers.

Yes, KT tapped my classmate, Andrea Balch, and me to watch the kiddies on Saturdays and Sundays while their parents went up to Schweitzer to ski.

At that facility, I met the May brothers, Ron and Bert, and one of the Farmins, Kristi, and Bobby Nelson, among others.  I won't say which May brother bit me because 50 years can often cloud the misery, luckily for the biter of the hand that fed him his sack lunch.

The only other bad memory I have of those days was that they were long because some skiers must have been skiing well past dark, and I'd finally make it home around 7 p.m.

Funny that such an item should show up in today's paper, as KT's daughter-in-law Peggy sent me a friend request yesterday.  For the umpteenth time since we attended the University of Idaho together, we have reconnected.  

It's always good to catch up with Peggy, who took the time many years ago, when my mother was out of town, to teach me to drive our Ford station wagon with its standard shift.  

I had taken drivers' training, but back in those days, instruction included only vehicles with automatic transmissions, probably so the instructors would not have to be given hazard pay.

Anyway, I was pretty much out of luck about driving cuz every vehicle on our place had a standard transmission.  My mother fully remembered the time I drove the tractor and got the mower stuck in the gate and summoned two strange men to please put it back before my parents got home, only to have my parents arrive precisely when one strange man was driving my dad's tractor across the barnyard and the other stood with me observing.

Let's just say that moment of introduction was awkward at best.

Anyway my mother had developed an anxiety about my driving skills, and it was especially noticeable the one time she relented to let me practice driving the car with her emphatically and actively sitting next to me in the passenger seat.

She actually spent most of her time, gasping, shrieking and trying to climb out of the car as I fumbled my way down the road, managing to stay out of the ditch every time my mother let out another loud sound.

Calm and cool were not my mother's strong suits.  She never allowed me to practice again, but then Peggy came along.

In roughly 15 minutes, I was shifting gears and driving that Ford down the road as smoothly as if I'd been at it my whole life.

So, I have Peggy to thank for starting me out on a lifetime of hopping in the car and enjoying the ride. 

Got a class reunion meeting today, so I'd better shut up and get on my way. Later, we'll watch Swiss Miss in her basketball playing debut, so I'll end with "Go, Bulldogs!  Go, Swiss Miss!"  

Happy Tuesday. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Miscellany

Well, I found the road to Lost Lake (mentioned in yesterday's post), but the south branch of Thimbleberry Lane goes up a steep grade, and a sign reminds curious intruders like me that the road is private. 

So, I turned around, a bit disappointed that Lost Lake will remain on my bucket list of things to see (especially when they're in the neighborhood).

The trip was not all disappointing because along the north branch of Thimbleberry Lane, the deer up above stood and posed for its portrait before running off into the woods.

I was amazed how calm the creature was because I had just turned around on the segment of North Thimbleberry Lane where a sign warns of a "rifle range."  If that deer has lived long enough to reach adulthood, it must be savvy about staying out of the rifle range, especially during hunting season.

On my way to Thimbleberry Lane, I passed by Ina Jacobson's place where, at first I thought I was seeing a freak of nature----frozen flowers in the midst of live vegetation.

Since it was Ina's place and since my chastisement for trespassing into her yard just off the road would come from some rather good friends, I took a chance and my camera to get closer to these unique and gorgeous flowers.

Don't know what they are and have never seen anything like them before, but I'm sure someone out there knows exactly what they're called. 

Ina's apple tree took a major hit with the recent frigid temperatures.  Frozen apples do have an artistic flare, though, and it's doubtful the neighborhood deer will feed off from them cuz they're pretty high up on the tree. 

Today could be our last day of brilliant sunshine and cold, cold air.  We've been spared those bitter winds the past couple of days so working outside has been tolerable, and I'm seeing an end point to leaf removal----always a happy time each year.

There's no rest of the wicked at the Young Love's house where last week was totally dominated by long, long days, prepping for "Dancing with the Stars."  Someone posted a photo of the group from Saturday night.  That big boy on the left end is Dr. Love, who'd just received a "close" buzz. 

No doubt, he's preparing himself for the girls' basketball season, which starts tomorrow night.  This year Willie is serving as assistant coach to Duane "Woodie" Ward, and it sounds like he's enjoying the assignment.

Swiss Miss will debut in her new sport during the Junior Varsity game tomorrow afternoon. Except for some rather sore ankles from so much running and turning, she's enjoying basketball. 

It's definitely a "basketball, anyone?" week with the college teams in full gear today, including a ZAGS home game with Southern Methodist University tonight.

And, this is a week where afternoon naps might be wise since two games start at 8 p.m. I'm gonna have to pace myself and make sure I don't fall asleep.  And, the ZAGS are gonna have to win so I don't have that later insomnia problem stemming from ZAGS losses when they play those late games. 

Hopefully, all will line up right, and we'll enjoy the whole week's worth of basketball fun. 

During the days I'll keep putzing along, preparing for Thanksgiving dinner here at the Lovestead----clean-up and preparing dishes that can be prepared ahead of time.  So far, the cranberry sauce is ready.  Next come the turnips and sweet taters, and later, I purchase the turkey.  

Lots to do, so I'll sign out for now.  Happy Monday.  GO ZAGS!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Cold Pack and More

No tubing or kayaking in the Pack River these days.

These two photos were taken just west of the Pack River General Store yesterday afternoon.  One week of frigid temperatures has pretty much shut down any dreams or desires of floating down the river until next spring. 

As I walked back to my car from purchasing my Twix and coffee at the Pack River General Store yesterday, this scene spoke to me----loudly proclaiming the end to another season of  hanging out at the picnic tables between the store and Pack River.

Yup, those leaves have fluttered in the breeze for the last time and have hit the ground to stay for the winter or to disappear after a raking session.

We have definitely begun the blah time of year color-wise, only to be brightened up by new blankets of snow. 

While waiting for the clock to wind down for the big dance evening at The Panida yesterday, I had taken the drive in the lower Pack River area, looking for some fun photos. 

At the store, I had asked my friend and former student Ali if she knew where Lost Lake was.  She wasn't sure but suggested it might be in the area where the elk are.

We have several areas in the Selle Valley with elk in fields, so I presumed Lost Lake, which has a private golf course, was probably on a road not far from the Pack River General Store where I've seen elk in a field.

 I think I was wrong because the road I took wound up a mountain, but never took me to a lake or a golf course.  Of course, it the lake's name is "Lost," what should I expect.

Coming up empty-handed on my Lost Lake adventure, I drove a stretch of the old highway over to French Road where I finally saw Sheri Williams-Remmers' herd of cattle (above and below).  From the highway, they're far off in the field, but French Road offers a better view of what look to me like Highlanders.  Just a guess.

Whatever breed they are, they're cute, and they were pretty curious about the lady who stepped out of her car to snap photos.

In the meantime, this morning, I've looked up Lost Lake on the map and realize that it's closer to where we live than I first imagined.  The map shows Hickey Road, which takes off from Selle Road.  So, today, I'll have to go on another adventure and see if I can find Lost Lake.

Speaking of finding things, my daughter Annie was on a geocaching hike yesterday over near Seattle.  She found the cache(s) and, lo and behold, a family relative (my cousin Sue) who was also out hiking.  

Later in the day, Annie found a rather familiar someone else at the soccer match.  He was wearing his glasses, which is fairly unusual for him when he attends Seattle Sounders matches.  

This is an owner of the Sounders.  I'm guessing he owns the club because the price was right.  

As for fame and glory, there was plenty at The Panida last night.  Dyno Wahl, executive director of The Festival,  won the Sandpoint version of Mirabeau trophy for her "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" routine.  

Willie aka Dr. Love lifted his partner quite well without dropping her on the floor.  I think he scored points for that and points for his facial expressions.  

The judges didn't comment a lot about Willie's footwork, but they were impressed at how he had really heated up the place with his foxtrot to "Fever." 

Sorry I don't have photos or video, but I'll leave you with Peggy Lee, and you can just listen and spend some time imagining Willie gracefully gliding(?) across the Panida stage with his elegant partner.  

Happy Sunday