Wednesday, May 30, 2012

There should be a Dunkin' Donuts around here somewhere.

This gal was looking for breakfast in the field this morning.  She spent a couple of minutes digging in the the dirt but always managed to stay behind the apple tree and the fence.   

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Who needs bionic when you can have neon.

Our Ballerina Girl is going from walking on her tiptoes to flat feet so that she can become a Montana Mountain Girl and hike up and down the mountain.  She had her surgery at the Shriner's Hospital a few days ago and will be back to running around soon.

Showing off the iPAD she got to play with while waiting for surgery.

After the surgery she gets designer casts for her legs.

She got to choose the colors for her casts.

Neon colored legs!  Wow!

Trying out her neon legs for the first time.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Father's Day Fishing Success

The Burkhart guys annual fishing trip was a huge success last weekend.  It's a Father's Day gift.  No wives and children, just a couple of days to relax, fish and play poker.  

It's their one chance to fish for Kokanee on Lake Mary Ronan. They stay in a rustic cabin at the Lake Mary Ronan Resort and there's a lot of planning as to what food supplies to take. There are certain beverages that are required if you are planning to really catch a lot of fish. It takes a lot of phone calls and emails to decide what fishing tackle is needed and which fishing technique to use to catch Kokanee.  All good things.

I wish I had more photos to share with you but all I have is the photo of the fish they brought home.

35 Kokanee this year

Retired Mountain Man will smoke these as soon as we get some nice warm weather.  Smoked Kokanee, one of the tastiest treats in the food world.

Yes, I know Father's Day is in June, but after the first year's trip to Lake Mary Ronan, we learned that to really catch Kokanee, the guys needed to fish earlier in May.  

Friday, May 18, 2012

It was a sunny day on May 18th,1980 just like today.

We have been very fortunate here in the Pacific Northwest because for the past week we have had high pressure holding over us. Finally, an entire week of above normal temperatures and sunshine.  For gardeners it is a wonderful very busy time out digging in the dirt.

It was a similar spring back in 1980.  It was so warm in 1980 that my carrots and other root vegetables were already several inches high on this date.  In 2012, it's time for all of my plants that I started under the lights in my basement to be moved up to the front deck to harden off.

The Red Robin Tomatoes see the light of day for the first time. 

The geraniums have started to make blossoms and should be ready to transfer to pots in another week.

The lettuce that was growing under the lights is very happy to see sunshine.

The Wave Petunias need to be transferred to pots.  It's next on my "to do" list.

The potatoes, carrots, beets, onions and the first row of lettuce seeds have been planted.  I have been busy spreading manure and compost on all of my flower beds and the vegetable garden.  I would say I am 2/3 done so that is good news on May 18th, but
back to 1980, a long, long time ago.

May 18th, Mt. St. Helen's Day

Photos from: USGS Prof. Paper 1250

We still lived on the Loman Place and would build our house that summer.  We watched with great interest all of the goings on at Mt. St. Helen's during the early spring.  We were in a pool at the local bar, Murphy's, as to when it would finally erupt.  We didn't win.  

When it erupted on the morning of May 18th, Retired Mountain Man, being the scientist he is, laid out pieces of plastic sheets in our yard so that he could take measurements of the amount of ash that might fall.  He and our two sons spent over an hour making the preparations.  We had no idea of what was about to happen.  Well, I think he had some idea, but I was clueless.

As the clouds of ash approached Lake Pend Oreille and our cabin, the animals and birds definitely did not like it.  I remember a flock of geese circling above our place, noisily honking "what the #@!" as the sky darkened and the ash clouds came closer.  It was a very eerie sound.  Since then, I have never heard geese honking without thinking of that moment.

Mid-day sunshine became dark night.  The ash permeated everything.  It seemed to find any crack in the old log cabin that we lived in and seep inside. You were pretty sure you did not want to be breathing it into your lungs and many people wore masks.

Photo from: USGS Prof. Paper 1250

In a couple of days it all settled out of the air onto the ground and it covered everything.   We took the hose and sprayed it off of everything in the vegetable garden, the fruit trees, berry bushes and grapes.  Our youngest son, who had just turned 6 years old at the time, walked into the garden and came running back to the house yelling "there are a million snakes in the garden"!  We knew that David didn't like snakes (another story to be told later), so we really didn't believe him, but Retired Mountain Man went to check it out.  As he walked into the garden area carrying David on his shoulders, a snake crawled over his foot and he noticed several others scampering away from him.  Yes, they were everywhere!  We had created a green zone which became a haven for the snakes where there was no ash.    

As for the measurements Retired Mountain Man took, I don't remember what his results were, but we still have two jars of Mt. St. Helen's ash stored in the basement.  It's our son's inheritance.  They each get a jar of ash and they can tell their grandchildren the story of their Mt. St. Helen's experience. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Warm enough for mosquitoes now.

Some very real truths sent to me in an email from my sister:

When a woman says, "what?", it's not because she didn't hear you.  She's giving you a chance to change what you said. 

The speed in which a woman says, "nothing", when asked "what's wrong?" is inversely proportional to the severity of the shit-storm that's coming.

When you really want to slap someone, do it, and say "mosquito"! ! !

Fortunately, the mosquitoes are beginning to appear here in the northwest.  Those crafty southern belles get to use that line six months out of the year. They also have another one that I thoroughly enjoy using, having a "come apart".  "I am having a come apart" is fair warning to anyone within reach or earshot.

Yep!  A mosquito slapper.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Our big night on the town

Friday night some of the Krewe Band members and spouses traveled to Bonner's Ferry to attend a concert  by our guitar/mandolin/ singing instructor, Doug Bond.  The event was held at a new venue in Bonner's Ferry called The Pearl.  It was previously a church and has been renovated as a theater.   They serve beer and wine and delicious desserts during the performance. 

We decided that first we would eat at Papa Byrd's Bistro, which it turns out, serves really awesome Italian food.  They also had a band playing gypsy jazz music while we ate.  After that we would have dessert at The Pearl and enjoy the concert.

Unfortunately, I did not take my camera but Recorder Man, Neil, did share this photo with me.

Our violin chick also took photos and I am hoping she will eventually post something on her blog.   I will provide a link when she does.

Doug played the guitar and mandolin and sang for over two hours.  It was a great performance!   He is a very talented musician who also has an awesome voice. 

Every Tuesday for an hour and a half, he very patiently teaches us new licks, new songs, new harmony - for the guitar, the mandolin, the violin, you name it.  He somehow manages to always stay positive and has a great sense of humor.  Trust me, he needs it when he's teaching the band chicks.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Spring Fling Gig at the Hope School

New River Train

Tear My Stillhouse Down

Ballin' The Jack


This was our first gig with our new PA system.   Although we all look pretty serious in these photos, I think everyone had a lot of fun playing some tunes on a beautiful sunny day. 

This group has a lot of equipment.  It only took a pickup and two cars to move everything to the gig.  It is true that we may need either a van or one of those trailers with the band's name painted on the side.

We filled the entryway to the school.  No one was getting in or going out this door.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Gold Fever

Left to right:  Linda, Jamie, Griz Eileen, Runaway Roy, Retired Mountain Man holding the Chemist, and Don, Guitar Man.

I ran across this photo to share with you.  It was taken in 1975.  They are standing in front of the entrance to the Auxor Mine.  We didn't know then that we would become part of a gold mining operation a year later in the last attempt to "get rich quick" by mining gold out of the Auxor.  There were lots of hours of hard work and many expenses and very little gold. 

I am reminded of the movie, Paint Your Wagon, and the song Gold Fever.  We definitely had a serious case of Gold Fever.  It went on for several years until one by one, all of the "pardners" dropped out.  

Then I got...
Gold fever
No romp 'n rollin' girl
And fellow stuck
'Cause your the, gold fever
Nothin' can help you
But the yellow stuff

Hooked am I!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Born to be Wild

Mom's and grandmothers, they are always there for you even when you screw it up.   There are five siblings in my family.  Let me just say that we didn't exactly fall into the angelic category when we were growing up.   

Yes, I carried a fifth of vodka hidden in my purse (it was a big purse), off the bus  on my Senior Sneak Trip for one of my friends.  Yep, we got in a lot of trouble.   As for my brother, Guitar Man, I can't even begin to tell you........  In 1969 he did take my sister Kathy's beautiful new baby blue Chevrolet Malibu and rolled it (several times) on a very rural gravel road. He had serious injuries but managed to crawl to a farm house for help.  Back in those days you simply had to find out how fast a car would go.  100 mph? 120 mph?

Notice in the photos below that my mom has really beautiful gray hair. 

Mom holding Mitzi, Kathy, Connie,?(who is that?), Grandma Ella and Don.

The last of the trouble-makers, Roy.
We lived across the street from the school (in the photo above).  When Roy (now known as Runaway Roy, but that's another story) was 4 years old he used to go across the street to the playground so that he could play with the kids at recess.  One day mom looked out the door for Roy and saw the school secretary chasing him across the playground.  She thought he was a kindergarten student and that he was running away from school.  The secretary, who was a little bit pudgy, was running as fast as she could yelling, "come back here", while Roy was scampering for home as fast as his little legs could carry him.  

Roy, Mitzi, our future biker, and Don (his bike at the time)
Do you think the photo above was taken in the 60's?  Get your motor runnin'.  Head out on the highway, lookin' for adventure?  Absolutely!

Once Griz Eileen finished with the five of us, she started working on raising grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

Jamie, Tessa and David, 1975

With Collin in 1998

Ben in 2009
Rylee and Collin in 2004

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Say goodbye to the Queen of the Border Collies.

Mollie Burkhart, one awesome dog.   She was born on April 1,1998, on a dairy farm near Chatteroy, Washington.  She tolerated only one cat in her life, and that was Jones, pictured below.

What does it take to be an awesome dog?  

She only barked when there was something to bark about, such as a deer in the yard.  That required one bark.  A bear, on the other hand, required several barks that became known as "Mollie's bear bark".  Her job was to keep deer, moose, bear, raccoons and any other varmint, out of my garden and that is exactly what she did.

She stayed home and patrolled our property daily for those pesky varmints.  She liked being outdoors and preferred it.  At night she slept on the deck underneath our bedroom window.  She was always on the job.  When she did come in the house, she had her rug by the door and that was where she would be, especially in her senior years.  She loved sleeping on the rug.  

She absolutely loved to play with the Frisbee or any toy that could be retrieved.  She was very good at it.  She also loved the Old Cougar Road version of golf.  She was just positive that golf ball was for her.

She was very gentle and patient with kids and never tried to herd them but kept track of them all the time to be sure they were safe. 

Mollie and Collin

She loved the "Firewood Game".  Jon would use the wheel barrel to bring in loads of wood to the house.  He would throw her toy and Mollie would retrieve it and drop it in the wheel barrel for Jon to throw it again. 

April 1, 1998 - May 8, 2012

In memory of Mollie, a rendition of Tom T. Hall, singing "Old Dogs and Children and Watermelon Wine".

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Wild mushrooms have a wide range of flavor and each variety has a deep, delicate unique taste.

If you haven't tried wild mushrooms, I would recommend it even if you have to buy the dried wild mushrooms at your local market.  In our area there are many edible spring and fall mushrooms to hunt and harvest. 

Whenever it has not been raining, Retired Mountain Man has been hunting for these little jewels.

He has found enough of them so that I can make a Wild Mushroom Orzo for the potluck tonight.

Yesterday he found a nice cluster of Coral Mushrooms.  The deer had eaten a lot of them but were kind enough to leave some for us.  These are ready for the dehydrator.

Fried Coral Mushrooms

These were dipped in Eggbeaters (to convince myself I am cutting down on the cholesterol), lightly coated with flour, and fried in butter.  Yes, they taste really good!

Saturday, May 5, 2012



Those were the words we were hoping to hear back in our Seagull Charter fishing days.  We used to fish during the week of the K & K Derby which was always the first week in May.  Every year we would book Seagull Charters for opening day. 

Retired Mountain Man and Roy

We enjoyed it so much that we also booked a day of fishing every fall.  Over the years there were a lot of friends and family that joined us for the day.

Griz Eileen almost always went with us.

Here she is posing for the camera.

Ah ha!  She's actually fishing here.

JP and his fish.  It's on the wall in his living room.

The Seagull was a very nice charter boat with a heater and a nice cabin to keep you warm on the cold mornings.  It could accommodate six people (and all of their food and beverages) very comfortably. 

David R. and JP, who both caught big fish that day.

Glenn and Retired Mountain Man

Sometimes the fish were not biting.  There was a lot of extra time to do other things such as work the daily crossword puzzle.

Grandma Lois and JP

Patty with her fish.

A view of the cabin.

Captain Jim and Uncle Roy


Although we no longer fish during the derby and Captain Jim has retired, the Seagull is still out there fishing on Lake Pend Oreille.