Snowy winter is back, and cold, and the
Mill Pond is frozen over hard enough for walking on. All is good
except the shoveling...
Jan. 7 We
enjoyed Epiphany a lovely set of now former neighbors, with supper,
burning the greens, lighting a few fireworks, and letting loose one of
those hot air candle lanterns as were featured in Tangled... They
always make me nervous since there is still flames in it as it ascends,
but on a cold wet January it's about as safe as could be. There
was no wind and it went straight up until the light disappeared.
Previously I've found the lantern a couple blocks away. The
snow is pretty deep to be mucking about looking for it.
We had about 8 inches of snow, turning to rain, settling down to about
6 slushy inches now. Butters and I went for a walk along the
lake. The two inches of slush on the 2 inches of ice resembles
ripply water, as evidenced by this photo:
sun only breaks through the clouds and fog occasionally. It's
been above freezing every day, and I walk around without gloves or hat
for the most part... (hate to rub it in, Minnesota...)
I've started work in the pottery again. Last year's sales lagged
a bit from the previous two record years, but were totally acceptable.
I have about the same amount of pottery on hand now as last
January--one ton's worth. Since I use 3-4 tons of clay per year,
I have my work set out for me, particularly since I made asterisks by
the pots on the inventory that were at low ebb...
Several empty apartments and storefronts on Maine Street are getting
fixed up, hopefully to rent again. A portrait photographer is
moving in at the corner of Maine and the highway. Her name is
Amanda Jayne, and she has some trophies she won in Spokane for favorite
photographer on local polls... I've seen people take photos of
empty storefronts so business on Maine could pick up again this year...
Butters is nearing the end of his obedience training, which turned out
to be mainly positive reinforcement with treats. This week his
homework was "leave it." I leave a treat within easy reach of him
and admonish it to leave it. He immediately understood the game
and will watch me patiently, or even while I'm out of sight, for the
cue to get the treat.
Jan. 15 Time
flies sometimes whether you're having fun or not... Right now
I've got a head cold so it's not so fun, but January is whipping past.
It's been cold enough again to walk across the Mill Pond, but the
rest of the lake seems chancy...
This was hoarfrost growing around a small hole in the ice on the Mill pond (about a foot across).
It's winter blah time, and bird feeders help to entertain when the
ground and sky are both gray... The grayness of the light has
made great photos unlikely, but good enough for identification...
I have one feeder filled with sunflower seeds, and our mountain
ash tree is still loaded with frozen berries, and sometimes still
robins, grosbeaks, and today a solitairy bird that popped a few in
while hanging out in the tree (it's possible that the berries ferment
with age)... ' This is Butters scurrying across the snowcovered ice...
bird was feeding on the mountain ash today. I got a better photo
of his backside, that helps provide the ID, besides his SOLITARY
The tawny lower wings and white side to the tail make me think it's a Townsend's Solitaire...
January 18 I
was really down with a cold/flu virus two days ago, but I recovered
enough Saturday to go do the sound for the bluegrass showcase. So: My January 2015 Showcase photos
Today we stopped at the Hardwood Inn in Priest River on the way home
from church for a very leisurely dinner and to watch the Seahawks
surprise comeback win over Green Bay. There wasn't a big crowd
there, and I was tempted to leave when there was 5 minutes and two
touchdowns between them, but we were all screaming and rejoicing as a
group at the overtime win! As I write this no one is expecting a
miracle for Indianapolis...
January 19 The
same mountain ash tree that broke a lot of its crown with an
overabundance of berries this fall continues to provide for robins,
flickers, cedar waxwings, and today pine grosbeaks. Here are the
seem to be biting them and mostly drinking the juice, as it's above
freezing. They were so tame that I could stand 5 feet away to
take the photos, and only the late afternoon light kept them from being
Looks like it might be March until May, the way it's staying around 40
with drizzle and fog... There's still over a foot of snow up at
Priest Lake, but we've only got about 6 inches here, and the lake is
thawing under the warmth onslaught... I spent a half hour
chopping ice in the church parking lot because it's so easy (after
breaking it into chunks with a splitting maul).
We've had two new businesses move on on Maine Street in the last couple
weeks, a photographer and her transportation specialist husband, and a
screen printing shop. They don't add to the tourist amenities
(except maybe the screen shop if they do a line of Spirit Lake
clothing), but it's good to keep the business area humming...
January 27. We enjoyed the Banff Film Festival last night in
Coeur D'Alene and plan to see the 3rd night this evening. The
films are about outdoor enthusiasts like kayakers, mountain climbers,
and fly fishermen, but geared for the vicarious pleasure of lazy lay
Books read and other media of note:
Riptide Ultra-glide by Tim Dorsey
Florida is a special state, as evidenced by a special Florida tag on
Reddit... That said, I was thinking of a Florida vacation before
reading this book on everything that a couple from Wisconsin (like the
waiter from Barcelona, Wisconsin explains everything about them) could
experience on a Florida vacation. In spite of the nightmarish
scenerios, it has the funniest serial killer (an oxymoron, I know) and
flows like a Riptide ultra-glide... The CD version was
delightful, red by Oliver Wyman, with the central character sounding
like Roger Rabbit... I don't expect the Florida tourism approves
of this novel, but if you like Carl Hiiassen, you'll probably like this
Circles in the Snow Patrick McManus A
shame this talented comic writer came so late to the comedy detective
drama. A favorite gag from this one was the tremendous noise as
two people shot down a perilous rapids, such that they were hoarse for
days afterward... I wasn't quite clear on the denouement, but
that's the Blight Way...
The Peripheral by William Gibson A
complex and to my mind overly wordy novel about a murder mystery
in a parallel future and some rednecks getting their lives together in
the current day. Lorelei King did a great job of reading this for
the CD version... Searching for the Sound by Phil Lesh An
interesting inside look at the Grateful Dead. Phil seems fairly
forthright on the wrong paths he and the group trod, occasionally
lapsing into new agey astrological reasoning, but on the whole an