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Dec. 2, 2014

Lorilee Gill

    Although I took a lot of photos at the Fall Folk Festival this year, they were mostly blurry and inferior in quality to the two volunteers I enlisted, so I mostly spent about 6 hours editing and arranging the webpages of them.  The results are at this link...   We did get the photo above of us performing, which often doesn't happen when I'm the photographer...

Dec. 5


Here's the view of Spirit Lake downtown this evening as a nearly full moon pokes through the hazy clouds.  Most of the lights come from the Linger Longer Lounge, which is trying to win the $250 lighting prize for businesses that will be awarded tomorrow at our lighted lawnmower parade.  I plan to participate in the parade, but won't venture a guess as to in what way...  We're also doing a very low key lighting display, sure to be an also-ran in the competition (which we didn't enter).
Downtown Spirit Lake, after a million dollar street/sidewalk/lighting upgrade, is in a fast decline as some businesses close or move.  Last weekend the video/icecream/fudge store closed, partially a victim of the Internet taking over movie rentals.  The Parkside wine bar has closed for the winter, and the hair dresser on Maine has been replaced by a dog groomer...  The 3 Funky Monkeys moved next to the Police Station (making 3 shoppy shops including them, C's Antiques, and us as the only tourist destinations aside from bars and restaurants downtown.  Our local chamber of commerce is working on improving bike/ATV access to the next down to the north, hoping bicycle tourists will be a draw (questionable, and I bicycle).
    Speaking of bicycling, we have an inch of crusty snow making bicycling (with a dog) a more exciting endeavor.  

Dec. 6



Tonight was the lighted parade on Maine St.  This year there were about a half dozen riding lawnmowers, several trucks including the firetruck and local church groups, and me with a handcart with various stuffed bears lit by candlelight with an umbrella because it was raining most of the day.  The theme for the hand cart was "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas," which I also played on the harmonica while pulling a hippo on a sled with a sign that read "Not Me."  It was a bit subtle compared to the inflatable snowman on the other floats.  But fun....



This is another view of the lights downtown Spirit Lake.  The pottery would be to the right of this view...


 Dec. 8
One of the perks of  doing church at Priest Lake is the truly wild country around there.  Last evening we stopped at Dickersheet Campground to look at the Priest River
and saw a moose in the river less than 50 yards away from us.  It looked very big, as moose do.  Then we saw its mother, which was twice as big.  I headed back to the car to grab my camera hoping for a silhouette, but they headed off into the woods...
    The weather has been hovering around freezing, melting enough that there are only a few patches of snow, and I can still bicycle down the hill behind our place with Buddy...
    We visited a fine wood turner in Rathdrum today, who made his living as a machinist inventing a gadget to attach rubber dinghies onto the back of big boats, but recently got interested in the variability of wood and cranks out bowls and vases and salt and peppers like I do pottery (of course I'm faster, by nature of the medium).  I got my start in pottery from having already used a lathe as a youngster, which taught me the way of shaping things that turn...

Dec. 10

The sun almost poked through today after drenching rains yesterday, so I decided to walk with Buddy Butters around the Mill Pond.   The property across the way is getting logged, probably in advance of a rumored 30 homesite development (no I'm not thrilled).  This photo from near the end of the road fill shows the thin layer of ice with a lot of seaweed frozen in it, and the fog wafting through it all.  The fog held out and won out again at the end of the day...

Dec. 15
    Last weekend I attended the Whitworth College Christmas Concert (my idea to attend, but not my cup of tea).  I also went to the Spokane Bluegrass association meeting and jam, and had a fun time jamming for about an hour after a meeting that tended to run a bit long...
I've made two batches of pffeferneusse cookies in the last week, having sent half of the first batch off to one son, then eating the other half before I could send them off to the second son.  When I confessed what I did to my first son, he texted back, "it happens."  It does (I admit, snacking on them while blogging)...

Dec. 18
    We were walking around on the ridge the other day, taking the scenic route (which we locals call bush whacking), and found over a dozen large evergreens in one small area  that had been blown over recently (still had green needles).   We had some gusty winds a few weeks ago, but they must have converged at this one point to knock so many trees over.      We've had some light snows overnight, just enough to cover the ground and make the animal tracks both visible and recent.  There  were mostly cat, raccoon, and a few snowshoe hare tracks.  The deer are apparently staying up higher on the ridges since there's minimal snowcover this year.
    Today the thin skin of ice on the lake started moving against the beach from a breeze that came up.   Butters ran along the beach where the thin ice was rubbing along the shore, certain that there was something to catch in the noise and the ice pushing up on the gravel beach.  We even saw some gravel get picked up on the ice and pushed up a ways...
    When we expanded our covered sales area several years ago, there was one part that turned into a car port over time, but  that dripped on you as you got out, and had to be shoveled right to the edge of the car.  Yesterday I figured out how to extend the roof another 3 feet with some leftover lumber and galvanized sheet metal, so now I'm looking forward to some of the rains predicted over the next few days to see how it works out...

 Dec. 27
We took a long walk up the new bike trail at the end of the lake, then bushwhacking up towards the top of the ridge. As often happens in the logging country, besides a great view, just when you feel you're in the middle of nowhere, you come up to the next level of logging roads.

There was only hoar frost, but it resembled snow in this area.  Butters had a great time...



This was the view from near the top, of the west end of Spirit Lake...  We had climbed high enough to be level with the clouds on the other side of the lake...


Books read and other media of note:
Leviathan Wakes  James S. A. Corey  .  A plausible combination of noir detective and Alien movie type Alien invasion.  It made me long for Andre Norton who mostly used furry telepaths to help find caches of wonderful ancient star knowledge...

Plugged by Eoin Colfer  
A dash of Angela's Ashes,  New Jersey mob, and screwball black comedy.  Colfer knows how to tell a good story.

A Talent for War by Jack McDevitt  In a genre that looks steadily forward instead of back, this novel uses future history as a key to unlocking a futuristic mystery.

Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton  While I applaud the author's attempt to give plausibility to the tech he envisions in this alien invasion saga, the steady details drag on the storytelling and at the end I was not eager to grab the next in the series in spite of a genuine cliff hanger...

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