Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday Twitterdeedum

Hot weather and stuff is quickly ripening. I brought in two tomatoes this morning.  They'll go into a salad tonight. 

Ripe 'maters in July.  Unheard of at our house but most welcome.

Seems I can't pick those blueberries fast enough.  I'll bring in a batch and hours later go out there and a whole bunch more have turned blue.

Banner crop this year too.  That makes me happy.

My raspberries are almost down to the last picking.  I don't get a lot of them, but they do add up, and my freezer shelves are looking BERRY good right now.

While looking over my blueberries this morning, I decided to try a panoramic photo of the front and north yards.  Sun and shadows were nice as was the GREEN lawn in late July.

Unheard of again.  The lawn is once again ready for mowing.  I love to mow lawn but by late July am happy when it becomes a once-a-week routine.

Not so, just yet.

From what I've heard, the once-a-year grass mowing will happen pretty soon.  Lori, the hay cutter extraordinaire was swathing at my sisters' place last night. 

So, she should be coming this way fairly soon. 

This year I'll be almost back to where I was with my haying season workload over at the Great Northern farm:  write the check and wave as the hay stackers go out the driveway. I'll probably give them a brownie or two also.

Because of problems with mice, eating both the hay and holes in the tarps, I'll be asking Harvey if the guys can put it in the barn this year rather than the shed down the lane. 

An area has been opened up inside the barn for more hay storage. We don't get that much off our field anyway, so it will be nice to have it all inside where at least the wet weather can't ruin it.

The mouse population in the barn is significantly less than that in the far shed, so it may take them more time to nibble those pieces of twine and turn the bales into chaff. 

The heat is definitely on as of yesterday, and they say we'll be up near the 100s for several days.  

So, I've found a few ways to beat it this time.

1. DON'T sign on to announce a horse show.  That's a for sure, so I'm in good shape there.  That last day of the Spots of Fun Show at 100 degrees did me in worse than ever.

2. Water the veggies and posies in the afternoon----not the cool morning.  Yup, dragging a hose around while wearing shorts and Crocs definitely has a definite cooling effect, especially when the hose can be aimed at one's body in between plants.

3. Wash a horse.  I did that yesterday with Lefty after finding an Absorbine medicated shampoo which attacks summer itch, fungal problems and flaky skin, among other skin problems. Lefty loved his bath and so did I.  Washing a horse always guarantees a few cool moments when the water from the hose decided to drip down to the armpits.  Directions call for two baths a week, so during this inferno, I'll make sure to follow them to the letter.  Plus, Lefty seems a lot better this morning with his interminable misery from skin problems during hot weather. 

4.  This is my sister Laurie's favorite.  Work hard.  Get sweaty.  Then, wait for the cool breeze to provide a temporary break from the misery.  Last night Laurie came over with her horse trailer to pick up a lawnmower.  Hers went down, or at least she decided she didn't want to run it with black smoke puffing from the motor.  So, she's using our old mower.  I gathered the two boards serving as a loading ramp and hauled them on the 4-wheeler out to the road where she had the trailer parked. Once they were propped up to the ramp, she drove the mower into the trailer. She left, then I hopped onto the 4-wheeler.  As I drove it back to its spot, I yelled to Bill, "This is the way to stay cool."  I had worked up a sweat, and that open-air breeze felt like Heaven. By the way, Bill was so warm when he came home from working on a south slope hillside yesterday, that his T-shirt had a wet pathway where his seat belt had been attached. 

5. During this heat wave, I have that little blue fan which sprays water, which Barbara bought me, so I can carry it with me for relief. 

6. During this heat wave, I'm hoping to tough it out rather than submitting to it.  In my crazy mind, if I don't let it defeat me from doing what I normally do, that will be a victory. 

7. Count the days.  Any time, we've managed to live through one miserable day, that means one fewer to dread.  So, we've got one down and about 9 to go AND then we'll be griping cuz it's too cold. 

8. Finally, be thankful for what the heat actually does that's good:  corn grows, cukes appear and suddenly become edible, hay does go into the barn in a reasonable fashion, sometimes all that green grass dries up and we do have to mow only once a week. 

Yup, we've got the last big stretch of summer coming on strong, and if we just plan a little, we can manage.  Today I'm avoiding some of the heat by meeting a former foreign exchange student who's here visiting from The Netherlands.  So, that will be fun. 

As the thermometer continues to skyrocket over these next few days, I do have to admit that I sure do miss Big Blue, our swimming pool which Bill cut up into little pieces and hauled to the dump back when it was cold. 

At the time, I announced that I didn't want to deal all the problems associated with those home swimming pools any more. 

Silly me. 

Happy Tuesday.    

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Minutiae

Well, it's Monday after a fun-filled, full weekend, especially for Annie.  Yesterday Annie rode with Mom, went to the beach and swam with a friend, drove Debbie home from the Art Show at Ponderay Garden Center where Debbie had spent the day at a POAC booth, visited with Debbie and Willie and checked out their new home, went to Sunnyside and swam with Debbie, came home and enjoyed a family barbecue and accompanied her dad and the two Border Collies to Grouse Creek for an evening of fly fishing.

She's still snoozing but will leave around 10, bound for Seattle, where tonight she could be on TV cuz she'll be in the rowdy end zone section when the Seattle Sounders soccer team hosts the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Nope, grass has no chance to grow under Annie cuz she's always on to the next thing.  We've had a great time with her home this weekend.  

In a couple of weeks, she'll once again head over the pond to Germany for work and then on to Austria, Hungary, Switzerland and the Czech Republic for vacation with friends.  They might make it to Slovenia and Croatia, but that's not for certain just yet.

Whatever the case, once again we'll love enjoying her travels vicariously.

I was thrilled that Annie had the time to take a little ride on Lily with the Australian saddle I purchased this past week.  I really did not NEED the saddle but have always been curious about its highly reputed comfort.

It fits both my horses, and I do like the feel and the sense of security. 

One item, not planned on Annie's bucket list for yesterday, was the opportunity to see Miss Kea in action whenever four-legged invaders show up on the Lovestead.

This Shorthorn mama from next door presented a bit more of challenge as she has a bit more mass to run back through the fence from which she came.

I first spotted her eating grass which has been growing in our gravel pile.  So, I told Annie to get her camera.  With cameras in hand, we kept Kea under control and then told her to send that cow home.

Well, as said, it wasn't easy this time.  The big brown gal got cornered by Bill's wood pile, and it was obvious that she hadn't entered the Lovestead through that section of fence.

Eventually she went back to the gravel pile and easily found her way back through the fence into the Meserve Preserve.  Bert came yesterday afternoon to fix the fence.

No visitors this morning . . . . so far, anyway. 

After Annie left for town to visit with her friend, I drove down to the garden center to visit with Debbie.  While there, I learned a bit about this "meditation yurt," which evolved from plans to build a chicken coop.

I'm not planning to buy any yurts in the future, but it was fun viewing and standing in the structure, which its creator said could have any kind of siding the owner desires.

He'll have it on display at the garden center in Ponderay if there's anyone out there who meditates and wants a yurt.

I also met this couple, Rick and Karlyn Urdahl from Cheney.  First, we talked art and fly fishing, and they told me about Rick's book about his friend, J.D. Mackin.

Then, when we got into the real niddy griddy, we learned that we have a couple of common friends, both teachers.  They know my longtime good friend and teaching colleague, Marian Whitfield.   So, of course, that connection made us instant friends.

Later in the conversation, they asked if I knew Lynn Benson.  Paydirt!  Yes, she taught at the high school too, and I taught her son Jake.  Smart kid!  Turns out Lynn lived down the block from them while she was finishing her degree.

They think she lives and teaches in Morocco now, which, if true, is very ironic.  My sister sold one of her photographs to another former SHS educator who is on her way to Casa Blanca for a new education-related job.

Anyway, as a journalist, I've got to get to the bottom of this and make sure, if it's true, that those two ladies get acquainted in this "small world."

I really enjoyed my visit with Rick and Karlyn and have a feeling I'll be keeping in touch with them. 

This lady remembered me from mentioning my blog to her several years ago when Debbie and I were dining at The Dish in its original spot off HWY 2 in Sandpoint.

Well, she's moved on, and she's movin' on all the time with her Jupiter Jane's Traveling Cafe.

We had a nice short visit when I purchased some raspberry lemonade, and I promised to mention her on the blog again.  So, if you need a traveling restaurant, you can contact her at jupiterjanecafe@yahoo.com.

Be sure to mention "Slight Detour."

Actually, I'm not in the business of advertising for people.  It's just if they show up in my day, and, of course, if they're nice enough to remember the blog, they may show up in a posting.

And, I guess that's enough blog for today.

Happy Monday. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Faces of Julyamish

I hope Blogger lets me post all of today’s photos.  It’s difficult to pick out favorites when you go to a powwow.
They’re all favorites.

We shall remember yesterday’s visit to Julyamish in Post Falls as a day filled with beauty, awe, fun and family enjoyment.

There’s no better way to describe yesterday's experience as our family members from Frenchtown, Plummer, Seattle and Sandpoint gathered together at what better place:  a powwow.

We took in the awesome sights of the horse parade, the grand entry, individual dancing contests, vending booths and food booths.  We listened to singing and drumming. 

We connected with a few friends, and at the end of the day, some careful teamwork in a silent auction guaranteed my sister-in-law Joyce her dream-come-true:  a framed George Flett ledger art print.

Every year, we keep attending that powwow at the Greyhound Park/Event Center off I-90 and continue to come home inspired and thrilled that we went.  

Julyamish is running again today, with parades and dancing starting around noon.  If you’ve never been to a powwow, go check it out.  

They even supply free fans and spraying fans and an air-conditioned area for when you’ve had too much sun.

Family members:  Laura, Joyce, Barbara, Kevin and Laurie. 

Former Miss Indian World, Lovina Louie and her favorite dancer.  Lovina has come to Sandpoint the past two years and judged the Distinguished Young Woman competition. 

Outgoing Miss Coeur d'Alene danced for the audience. 

The Quads aka Triplets plus One:   Gracie, Jacob, Jade, Justine.  

Barbara and Annie checking out their photos. 

A very happy Joyce with her George Flett framed print and her team of helpers with the silent auction:  Laura, Jacob and Annie. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sunnyside Park: Storm's Aftermath

Yesterday my friend Cherry wrote me a note, suggesting that I go out to Sunnyside Park see the aftermath of Wednesday night’s violent but quick thunder, lightning and wind storm.

“Serene” almost captures the flavor of that quiet, lovely area above the Sunnyside Road east of Sandpoint.  Some of the most breath-taking views of Lake Pend Oreille are to be found in that area.

Well, the serenity has been interrupted in a major and long-lasting way.

Dozens of beautiful majestic Ponderosa pine rising out of a lush hillside, now lie on their sides, either whole or in pieces after being blown to smithereens by those winds which surpassed 70 mph in a few quick, swirling bursts of brutality.

And, Sunnyside Park where many folks I’ve known forever have lived in their peaceful sanctuaries above the lake will never be the same . . . as observers have noted about other cherished areas around the lake.

The fury of the storm left severe damage, some of which can be calculated by insurance agents and some of which has a value far beyond anything that can be added in dollars and cents.

It’s a sad and stunning scene, and I can say after taking Cherry’s suggestion, the sight truly took my breath away and not in a good way.

My heart goes out to all who live in the Sunnyside area and to all others who are still struggling with both material and intangible losses created by Wednesday’s unusual storm.

The top photo provides a sense of what the Sunnyside area looked like before the storm, and I’m hoping the others in this collection capture at least a portion of the sheer magnitude of its force and destruction. 

Like Cherry said, there's no substitute for seeing the scene firsthand.