Sunday, April 29, 2012

Is the pace picking up at your house?

We did finish that shed in Montana.  Well, it's almost finished.  

When we left, it still needed the window, door hardware, the work bench and paint inside and out. 

 Spring is definitely here and Retired Mountain Man is starting to panic and make his annual "honey do" list. 

The list:  Get the lawnmower ready.  
Put nitrogen on the lawn.  
Install the rain gutters on the eaves.

Build two raised beds for you know who.  
(She's always causing trouble and wanting something new.)
Move the deck furniture out of the shed to the deck.

Clean and install the pump in the fountain.
Get out the weather station equipment to monitor rainfall amounts.
Check dahlia tubers and get ready to plant them.

The pace of life is definitely picking up here.

We can add to all of this the band has a gig on May 12th!  

Yesterday some of the band chicks took timeout from practicing and drove to Moyie Springs to buy our seed potatoes and onion sets for the garden.  We shopped at the Farmer's Market in Bonners Ferry, an art gallery, a book store and enjoyed a very nice lunch at a little place called "Under the Sun".  Yes, they did have just about everything under the sun.  Our final stop was the Moose Valley Garden Center.  The back end of the Subaru was packed full as we headed back to Hope.  Next year we should probably take a truck.   

Today the Cougar Creek Band will have almost a full band practice.  (We are still missing Saxophone Man).  Eleven of us will be here as Banjo Man and Violin Chick are here for the next three weeks.  The house will be rockin'!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it's not the fish they are after. Henry David Thoreau

It was the last beautiful day this week before the rain moved in.  

Retired Mountain Man and I decided that we would go fishing for perch.  

Denton Slough

Fishing in Denton Slough is a social event.  The two men in the photo with 

Retired Mountain Man are from Priest River.  They frequently have their mother 

with them, but not that day.  They already had a very nice mess of fish when we 

arrived around 2:30.

Travis and Dale both stopped by to fish for bass.  Some people just stopped by to 
chat, like Tyler, who was on his way home from work (net-fishing in the lake).  
Cami, who walks her little dog a couple of laps in that locale, also stopped by to 
visit.  It's a very pleasant way to spend a few hours in the afternoon.  It's also more
entertaining if you catch some fish every once in awhile.
This is my pole.  
I was banned from casting as my first cast ended up between the two fishermen 
from Priest River. 
The next one got caught over Retired Mountain Man's line and we ended up 
losing both lines in the rocks.  
Retired Mountain Man did a lot of !#*& and I said it was OK if he cast my line 
from then on.   I think I've told you before that I am a klutz!  Yep!  Even at 
fishing.  At least I didn't trip and fall down on the rocks. 
We did catch some fish. 
  I caught one.  See the tiny one in the photo?
Fresh fried fish are very tasty.  These are going to make a couple of very nice dinners.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

If you build it, we can park our car in the garage.

We took a trip over to the Bitterroot to help son number two build a shed, but first things first.  That means some time for this cute "Stink Bug".  Only Grandma could get away with giving him a cookie this size.  I love being scolded by my son.  "Mom, don't give him that cookie!"   Hmm. 

Cookie, cookie, cookie!
 (No, he didn't eat it.  The photo is of the only bite he actually took)

We are officially Grammy and Papa.  Papa and the little Stink Bug managing the train yard.

One of the reviews for the shed we are about to try to construct said that two men put it together in a day and a half.  They paid someone to post that review.  No way!  When the assembly instructions are in a one inch 3-ring binder, you know you are in for it!

Page 5 of 87 - Let's see, what do we do next?

Stink Bug helps out.

To be assembled.

These pieces go with the pieces above.  You would think with all those large pieces you see in the photo above that it wouldn't take long to put this together.  You would be wrong. 

This shed is necessary so that some of the stuff in the photo below can be moved out.   This is actually a garage.   Where do you park the car?

The weather was absolutely beautiful!  Warmer than normal temperatures -  in the eighties both days.  We did stop every once in awhile to take a look at the wildlife down at the pond below the house.

Sandhill Crane

The Sandhill Crane does not breed until it is two to seven years old. It can live up to the age of 20. Mated pairs stay together year round, and migrate south as a group with their offspring.   You can read all about them and listen to their song at this link:  All About Birds

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Reineke Five

This is a photo of the entire mischievous clan.  I have no idea how Griz Eileen survived raising us.  I think it's because she's one tough lady and yes, she's still taking care of all five of us.  We are hoping to get the entire group together again this summer.

 Here she is fishing on Lake Pend Oreille, one of her favorite things to do.  One of us, (probably my brother, Roy,) is getting a scolding here.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Say DaDa"

It's was so much fun watching our sons grow up, celebrating birthdays and every milestone in their lives.  Today is our youngest son's birthday, which reminded me of these photos.

I have to say that there are moments I haven't forgotten and these two are among the best. 

Jamie and Collin

David and Ben

Happy Birthday, David!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

No Whining!

I love Tuesdays.  Tuesdays are my guitar lesson days and the lesson is sooo much fun with my instructor, Doug Bond.  It's even more fun because I take the lesson with my friends, Ann and Ellie,  the Mandolin Gals. We play our instruments, try to sing along at the same time, (very difficult for me) and laugh at ourselves a lot!

There's one thing about Tuesdays that I don't love -  the errands which are always attached to lesson day.  Yesterday, it was "take the snow tires off the car" day, and after waiting for five hours at the tire center, it also included buying new tires for the Outback.  Ouch! Painful price tag!  Yes, I know.  A necessity, but I would much rather spend the money on a new keyboard or a guitar or a vacation weekend......   Not a necessity.

On the other hand, a flat tire is a major inconvenience.    

Please, no more whining!


At the end of the day I did finish the labeling and the shrink-wrap for 54 bottles of wine.  These bottles are ready to be moved to the wine cellar. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It's in the bottle!

We started the wine bottling yesterday and have two carboys of wine in the bottles ready for labels and shrink-wrap.  

Bottles cleaned with sterilizer solution

This handy gadget makes sterilizing the bottles easier.

You need one of these in the bottle as you siphon the wine.

Everything is sterilized in the solution at each step.      



Another cutting of lettuce before I move the plants outside.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Red Robin, Red Robin

I haven't been slacking off in the plant and garden department.  My geraniums and petunias have been growing under lights in the basement since January.

Yesterday I transplanted the petunias, marigolds, dill, some of the peppers and my Red Robin tomatoes.  Ripe tomatoes in another month!  I am very happy with the Red Robin tomatoes.  They will start to bloom and set on tomatoes in an 8 inch pot.  I keep transplanting them into larger pots and they just keep growing.  Last year they produced tomatoes until October. 

I have started my other tomatoes and peppers for the garden, lobelia, alyssum and my begonias.  All are still in the starting stage and won't need to be transplanted to larger pots for another week.

2011 Red Robin Tomatoes
Remember how good a real ripe tomato tastes?   No, not one of those half ripe, hard as a rock store-bought ones.  A real tomato that ripened on the vine.  Yeah, I know, they try to sell us those "on the vine" ones too, but the taste still isn't there.  It won't be long and we'll be eating our fresh home-grown veggies once again. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Can you hear Beethoven's Ninth?

I didn't get fired!  I'm still on the trail crew and it's day three.  We are two thirds of the way down the trail so we will only need one more day of work and it will be finished.

Looking up from the 1st switchback

Photo taken looking down at the 2nd switchback

Maggie on the turn at the 1st switchback

Retired Mountain. Man is almost to the 2nd turn

It was a beautiful day.  Sunshine and about 55 degrees.  Last evening I heard the frog's singing in the swamp for the first time this year. I think they were performing their version of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.  It's wonderful to listen to.  The Frog Chorale with the sounds of Cougar Creek rushing down the mountain in the background.  Welcome to Spring 2012.

I have included a clip of a performance of Beethoven's Ninth.  Enjoy.

Friday, April 13, 2012

New Game Cam Photos and Trail Crew Qualifications

These are some of the latest photos from Retired Mountain Man's game camera.  There were no deer this time, only elk.  Darn.

We have sunshine today so we are back on the trail crew.  It's the dirt work now.  I will try to post more trail photos tomorrow.  Hopefully, we will have dug out the trail enough that you can actually tell it's a trail. 

Retired Mountain Man is definitely the trail crew boss, as I have never done this before.

If you remember this post,  He is One of Those Guy, Guys, then you know that building a switchback is a piece of cake for Retired Mountain Man.  On the other hand, for me it's another story. I have spent plenty of time digging in the dirt in my gardens though, so I feel I have enough experience for this job.   (I hope I perform well enough that I don't get fired)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Making wine is like having children, you love them all, but oh yes, they are different." Bunny Finkelstein, Judd Hill Winery

The time has come.  The final wine tasting was today and the judgment is that all three carboys are ready for the bottle.  This year we have an elderberry wine,  a peach/pear wine and an apple/pear wine.   They were started last fall  (October 2011 Wine Making)  and have been in cold storage for the last 5 months. 

The peach/pear wine has a beautiful color and dry fruit flavors.  The elderberry has a very rich berry flavor and a dark burgundy color..  The apple/pear has a beautiful clear straw color and a light dry crisp taste.  All three are very drinkable wines. 

I finished removing the labels and washing the last 25 bottles and now have 75 clean wine bottles ready to go.  I added the ingredients to stop any possible  fermentation which means we should be ready to bottle in a couple of days. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I wonder if the Forest Service is hiring people for their trail crew?

We're still here.  Moving slowly.  It took us approximately an hour to saw and clear our way down the hillside.  I tried to take photos as we worked our way down the mountain, but it was difficult to get a shot that really showed what we were doing.

We began by sawing out some limbs that had fallen on the existing trail.  Maggie was totally confused about what we were doing.  Why weren't we just walking down the trail?  What's with all this stopping and sawing and picking up brush? 

The first switchback.

It's not too bad.  The slope is not real steep on this leg.

Now we're going down.  See my blue jacket up on the first leg of the trail?

The second switchback.  I am the brush clearer, picker upper, and thrower over the hillside person.  I am falling behind in my job in the picture below.  Retired Mountain Man has left me a lot of brush.

We've got a big chunk of a rotten tree to cut out of here.

This is the first leg of switchback number three.  I am already at the turn and I am looking back up the hillside.

The last leg of switchback three as it turns and goes up the hillside.

Ta da!  We're back at the existing trail  which continues down the hillside.

A couple of more views as I walked back up the new switchback.