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Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Own Private Idaho: And Then There Were Three

My Own Private Idaho: And Then There Were Three: Blue was sleeping on the front porch swing when Karen and I went off to the post office and to visit our mothers in assisted living this ...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Own Private Idaho: Absent Friends

My Own Private Idaho: Absent Friends: Today, Karen and I got back from  a week in Portland, our first vacation in seven years. Upon our return, Karen called her son, who was ho...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Own Private Idaho: Show Me the Money!

My Own Private Idaho: Show Me the Money!: After a couple of delays and several skirmishes with a calculator to determine how much money we'd already sunk into building our new house,...

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Own Private Idaho: Surviving the Tour

My Own Private Idaho: Surviving the Tour: I was looking forward to and dreading today for about two months.When I'd signed up for the Tour de Cure, Spokane, sponsored by the American...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors - So do BBQs

We gave a rather spontaneous BBQ on Saturday for the neighbors of our valley.  We began calling on Wednesday, and put everything together by Saturday afternoon.  Each neighbor brought a dish of beans, or salad, or fruit. Jay manned the grill for hamburgers and hot dogs and provided ample beer and pop (what we call soft drinks out here in the west).

Fiona and Neala (on left) brought their new blue heeler puppy, Blue. It was carefully passed from child to child. Esperanza (in blue), last year's baby, whom everyone worried about because she didn't start breathing as soon as she was born, is now over a year old, walking, flirty, and as bright as a pin, and we're all relieved and happy for her.

Carlos brought the elk antlers he'd discovered way up on our property while horseback riding.  Yes, he asked first before retrieving them and taking them home to clean.

Neighborly news was exchanged now that everyone is out and about after the long winter.

 Joe (with wife Jacqueline in photo) spent 6 weeks working in the Williston gas fields of North Dakota earlier this spring, vowing never to return to its bleakness and wind and the prospect of no hook-ups for his camper.

Randi recounted his honey bee stories to Davy and Theresa. We're pleased to have bee hives in the valley to pollinate all the wild apple trees - good for us and for the deer, too.

                                       John and Fran, originally from Texas, spun yarns of being in the Air Force during the early Cold War days, when 10 loaded nuclear warheads were kept aloft 24 hours a day.

Pat (with his girlfriend Cheryl in photo) and his daughter Meagan and her husband Matt (on right) recounted their trip to their ancestral Ireland.

We think about 31 of us were there, but I forgot to count. Left behind were a child's purse with small dog leashes and collars, a salad bowl with a delicious spinach salad (owner unknown), and memories of a valley gathering.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

My Own Private Idaho: Loading Up the Juice

My Own Private Idaho: Loading Up the Juice:  7 a.m., and here comes Kootenai Electric Cooperative. Seemingly every truck they own. A bucket truck, a pole truck, a pickup truck, and ...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Own Private Idaho: The Foundation Kings Play Songs of Cement

My Own Private Idaho: The Foundation Kings Play Songs of Cement: It's 6 a.m.Saturday, and quiet for a while. But I'm expecting the Foundation Kings to come rolling in soon for their third day on our hous...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My Own Private Idaho: Look What the CAT Dug Out

My Own Private Idaho: Look What the CAT Dug Out: We have a new topographical feature on our ranch. I call it Mt. Dirt, a man-made pile of topsoil, clay and crushed granite that looms over o...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Yesterday was May Day - not the May Day of the Internationale, but the May Day celebrated by children for centuries.  I wouldn't have remembered, had not two lovely valley children, Fiona and Neala, brought us a May Day basket decorated with wild yellow sunflowers that they carefully had woven around  the basket's edge. I was so surprised, I forgot to photograph it, but here's a photo of the sunflowers in water.
  They also brought a jar of honey from their own honeybees. It tastes of apple blossoms because hundreds of volunteer apple trees grow throughout the valley and the bees do their duty in pollinating them. I've never tasted honey so good.  The girls also put in the basket huckleberry marmalade, huckleberry tea, and two decorative dish towels neatly folded beneath the treasures.

  Their intent was to sneak up on the porch, place the basket in front of the door and knock.  When we opened the door, they would run and we would chase them.  When I looked out the window and saw them coming with their mother, I stepped out on the porch. She tried to shoo me back in but, alas, the surprise was spoiled for the girls. They had rehearsed their part, but I had failed to play mine. They found solace in swinging on the old swing from one willow tree (thank goodness the ropes held) and climbing up into another willow.  Unexpected surprises are the very best surprises, especially when they come from children.