We took advantage of $8 lift tickets (after 3 pm) and went skiing at
Schweitzer for the first time in 3 or more years. In spite of fog
at the top, and flat lighting from the heavy cloud cover, we had a good
time, and may take advantage of their $100 late season pass if we can
fit a day or two per week in for the last 3 weeks they are open...
As I get older, the most important thing is skiing is to not fall
down, and we both didn't fall down...
March 3 It
was another long day at church today, as we moved a family into the
apartment above the church as a temporary shelter... We got home
at sunset, and since the sky was brightening above the ridge, we drove
down to check out the lake at dusk.
sky was just catching fire as we watched two geese (lower left) waddle
across the thinning ice to get to the open water from the first
culvert. It was a nice end to the day...
When our kids were little, I made moccasins for our family from some
sheepskins we'd buy from a tannery in Iowa. They were very
important for living in our little pottery shop, as the floor had no
insulation and was quite cold in winter... When I finally ran
out of sheep skins, the tannery had gone out of business, so I gave up
making moccasins. A couple years ago I tried getting a sheepskin
from Ebay, and it turned out to be both too thick (unshorn) and fragile
from washing... So I was discouraged. But a month or so
ago I made a pair from what was left of the fragile fat sheepskin, and
until it tore was happy with the results. Last week I got 4
sheepskin car seat covers (used) off Ebay, and I'm back in moccasin
mode again. But I was running out of the heavy waxed nylon thread
I use to make it, and the deerskin to strengthen the sole... So I
went back to Ebay and was able to locate both items quickly and "buy it
now." I'd gotten away from using Ebay, after being an initial
adherent, since Amazon is generally comparable in price (and living 30
miles from most shopping makes me like Amazon the way people used to
like Sears and Wards...).
I finished pruning our orchard today. A couple weeks ago there
was a foot of dense snow on the ground. Now there's only a couple
got out these glaze tests today. There were 6 tests originally,
lined up along the top, then the various combinations in the rows
underneath. The one on the right of the original tests is a very
nice green, which may overcome some pinholing I've had trouble with...
I also learned that, in the 4th lavender one, cobalt will make a
lavender without manganese in high magnesia glazes. I've no use
for that info, since I've got a nice lavender, but it's new knowledge...
this afternoon I finished making this pair of moccasins, then cut and
sewed a pair for me (which I'd overlooked at first). I couldn't
help observing that in the time it took to make one pair of moccasins
(two hours), I could make 120 mugs. In other words, I'm not
quitting my day job to be a cobbler...
I used up the free pressed wood I got a month ago--still have a
lot of regular firewood to burn, but I may get another load of the free
wood... Yesterday I moved the just received 2500 pound order of clay
from the front back to the shop with a wheel barrow, three fifty pound
boxes per trip... Today I went up to the Sandpoint Library to hear a
lecture on a pond a couple miles north of our church at Priest
Lake. It's got a peat mat over about half of its surface, and has
cool plants like carnivorous sundews. I was looking forward to
visit it, but apparently it's on private land and they just allow
researchers on to study it... The presenter did, when I asked,
admit that Upper Twin Lake near us in Spirit Lake has a similar peat
bog ecology and is accessible (and one of my favorite natural places to
visit in the area)... I learned that this common flower of Twin
Lakes is called, unsurprisingly, cotton grass
The third child of a family we're helping out came on the day after her
birthday to visit us (the other two had come on their birthdays also
for overnight stays). I made her a pair of moccasins last night,
and got the sizes of her siblings today to make some for them (they're
very involved with the sibling rivalry for stuff issues)... (That
makes 6 pairs I've made in the last couple weeks...)
Here's a panorama stitched together from 3 photos of Priest Lake taken last night.
March 17 Like
most lives, a lot of mine is fairly boring, but it got busy this
weekend. On Friday afternoon I went into Spokane to buy a used
table saw (off Craigslist) and played music with my bassist friend. Saturday
morning our clay art group had a session of making pots for our summer
fundraiser, and the new ceramics instructor at the local community
college stopped in... Saturday evening I went in to run the sound
system for the March 2013 bluegrass showcase I
managed to take some photos, but didn't spend the time I normally would
at is as I didn't want to abandon the control board for long. On
Sunday morning I got up early to make communion bread and hamburger
buns and cinnamon rolls to feed the 11 people who stayed after church.
And soon we'll be going into Spokane to see one of my
fingerpicking heroes, Leo Kottke, in concert...
This is my photo of him from 2006 (he's just a little grayer, as am I)
Leo Kottke concert was highly entertaining as well as being totally
devastating to my own sense of being a fingerstyle guitarist. Of
course I knew what to expect, having seen Leo a couple times
before. In the relatively small Bing Theater it was easy to
observe his fretting hand making magical passes over the strings.
Once or twice I recognized a chord...
I got my saw set up today. From the plastic on-off button, I can
tell it's from the 60's to the 80's--otherwise it looks like an antique
(funny how time flies). It even uses the old style of a separate motor
run by a V-belt, which I like because if the motor dies I can replace
it with another... Once the saw was set up I cut some pieces of
Formica to go on the storage shelves I started last week...
March 19 The
sun was out so nicely today, that I had to walk around the Mill Pond.
First I did pottery work and spent an hour changing the Chamber
sign and replacing the interior light tubes (Sondahl Pottery rented it
this week). The walk was pleasant--still dense snow in patches, mud
in other patches, but quite walkable. I was hoping for some birds
and got these:
Northern Shrike. In
both cases I couldn't identify them till I got home, but I knew
the robin-sized shrike was distinctive. I'd only seen a
shrike years ago chasing another bird (you can tell by the beak it's a
killer). The magnification on these is so great to make
them both pretty grainy, but I'm coming to like some of the grainy
photos produced by telephoto in low light. My favorite was this
dancer from a few years ago:
March 22 I've
been enjoying woodworking lately, finishing off the inside of one of
the faux-bay windows I like to make yesterday. Unfortunately the
turning twisting and pushing to screw in some screws set my back back
again today... It was 25 with a thin fresh layer
of snow this morning, but come on, it's March, can't last forever...
I heard the windy weather we had the last couple days loosened
the ice on the main part of the lake (and the dock at Bronze Bay).
Usually the ice melts first in the shallow Mill Pond, but the
wind was the deciding factor this year... The Mill Pond
is covered with ice except the flow area from the bridge...
With the inch of rain we got a couple days ago, I imagine it's
starting to flow over the dam at the end of the pond...
My back recovered on its own this time, in time to work unloading more
scrap wood and plywood after the local pallet place called and wanted
me to get a truck load of scrap today... In
spite of it feeling pretty cold lately, the Mill Pond is now less than
half ice covered, and the main part of the lake is ice free...
So today we had the family we're helping (through our church) down to
do pottery, have hot dogs and marshmallows by a warm fire (on a chilly
evening), and took them to see the falls (spilling out of a dam) at
Post Falls. While they were here 4 members of the family we
helped last winter stopped by to say hi on their way to their now
apparently more stable home in Oregon. This was while there were
three customers in the shop, making 14 people here at once.
I saw the first Spring beauties and buttercups today, on the west facing hill across the street from us...
March 26 Because
we have a pickup truck, we started getting extra horse manure for our
numerous gardens--the third load I got today. It was warm enough
to enjoy the sunshine without a jacket as well-- and the ice on the
Mill Pond is gone... There's still a 6 foot pile of
snow in the parking lot across the street, and patches are seen in the
woods, but the snow is fading fast...
It was a nice day, so I thought I'd work in the basement on organizing
it and making more shelves. Then I thought again and went for a
walk around the Mill Pond and up on the ridge. There were a few
grass widows opening (as in this file photo, but without the fresh snow)
I saw Stellar's jays, which are fairly common in the woods but I never see them here in town...
I also saw some red crossbills, common goldeneyes, and a couple eagles... It was nice to enjoy the 50 degree temperatures.
Indigo Slam by Robert Crais This
book has everything but a memorable (and related) title. It's got
kidnapping, drugs, lovable and unlovable waifs, mobsters and
counterfeiting... It would make a good movie, even has a
Hollywood style double ending... Out of Range by C J Box. I
think of Box as Tony Hillerman without the spiritual/native stuff...
He knows Wyoming and uses it as a stomping ground for elk and
spies alike, as well as vindictive small town sherriffs and in-laws...
In this novel Joe Pickett has to fill a vacancy in the Jackson
area, exposing him and his wife to potential affairs and other
dangers... The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard
Leonard is fascinated with the interplay between law people
and and criminals, and usually writes in the present day, but
this one is set in the 20's or 30's with a young U.S. marshall and the
wannabe public enemies number one... I liked the references to
some of my favorite old time bands, and bits of trivia about the real
famous outlaws and lawmen of the day. I did wonder when a
recording was used to help identify a suspect--unless it was a victrola
type record I don't think there was much recording technology until
wire recorder near WWII... Still a very enjoyable book...