We made a trip to the Black Hills to see the cabin my brother is
building. They had just finished putting enough of the roof on to
keep out winter, with the aid of this cherry-picker:
The new cabin is the two story one behind the small green roofed
cabin. It looked large from the outside, but is just one room on
each floor with a covered stairs in the back.
It was fun to take a ride in the cherry picker... Our stay wasn't
intended to be long, which was good since snow was predicted for the
next evening, so we left early and visited Lead and
Deadwood. Lead resembles a lot of western burned out mining
towns. This sculpture was interesting--a mountain man and a
On closer look it was missing his left hand,
which was probably not a feature of the original sculpture, but does
speak to the fact that wolves are not necessarily man's best friend.
In Deadwood, I saw this building which explained to me in two words the
meaning of the title of Robert Johnson's Terraplane Blues. I knew
the Hudson was an early auto, and now I know the Terraplane must have
been a make of auto as well (I never have listened to the lyrics of
that song too carefully).
1876 was the big year for Deadwood, with the Black Hills Gold Rush,
Custer's Last Stand happening a couple hundred miles west of there, and
the iconic shooting of Wild Bill Hickock in the Saloon no. 10 .
There's a modern Saloon No. 10, and like most of modern Deadwood, it's
loaded with slot machines. But one part of the business district
was mostly empty storefronts, including this one:
A fire took out most of the wooden buildings from the original gold
rush, so most of the buildings date from the early 20th
Century. One building that I was sure was an antique had
been built based on photos just about 10 years ago... The whole
town is a national historic landmark, and the source of their tourism,
so care is taken to preserve an old time feeling.
I picked our Stanley prunes today. We probably got a half box,
which is the most in years, due to remembering to water them more
regularly. There were a lot of bits of pruneskin on the leaves of
the tree, I'm guessing from squirrels... We have another small
tree with Italian prunes, but they're still hard and will be lucky to
ripen before the hard freezes begin...
My son headed back to ski-land today, and I headed back to
pottery work, glazing two bisque loads to yield three glaze
loads. Some of the shelves are pretty empty, but I've got a long
time to refill them... The weather was in the upper 70's,
suitable for shorts again...
And the warm sunny days seem to continue indefinitely. Have we accidentally moved to California?
I got interviewed for a new local online paper this morning. I
had previously visited the site where it will be posted next week: Rathdrum weekly news
pointed out to the reporter that they should build a subscriber base
via email, since most people forget to visit webpages on a regular
basis... Good luck to them to figure out a way to make any money
off the news...
We went and saw the Drowsy Chaperone musical at Whitworth in Spokane
last night. Great production with a full orchestra for the cost
of a movie. You can see the whole play on Youtube if you search by its
name--I viewed enough of the video to decide the play would be fun,
which it was.
In the last week sales have slowed a lot, but today there were
customers all day in spite of the blustery weather (which turned to a
heavy sprinkle tonight).
In the garden I cut down all our sweet corn as well as clearing the
green bean plants, all part of tucking it in for winter...
Although we've had two light frosts, still no hard frost on the
We went for about a 5 mile hike this afternoon to Chipmunk Rapids on Priest River--we had the whole place to ourselves...
Darkness was falling so we didn't get to revisit Kaniksu Marsh, which
is also on this network of trails from the Priest Lake Welcome Center.
We're getting enough rain to end the fire danger and probably revive
the grass. I've been pressure canning tomatoes the last couple
days--28 quarts. Our serious winter wood started being delivered
today, which means a lot of stacking--two cords today and three more
coming soon. Today's activities also included pottery work, music
practice, and attending Fiddler on the Roof in Spokane this evening.
October 19 Here is the link
to the photos I took at the October Bluegrass Showcase. As
frequently happens, I didn't get anyone to snap a photo of Jonathan and
me playing a nice set of old time tunes...
Our winter apples are red and
gold delicious, and both trees had few apples form this Spring, but
because of the organic spraying I did for codling moths, the remaining
apples look the best ever in size and shape. There were about a
box and a half of each type. I picked them today in advance of
rainy chilly weather this week, and plenty of signs that deer are
coming in the orchard at night and taking big bites off some of
them. There still may be most of a box of golden apples the
pottery, from a tree we planted many years ago and neglected as the
lilacs crowded around it, until this year when I launched a
counterattack against the lilacs and we watered and sprayed the tree.
With the holdoff of serious freezing, our grapes are
also tasting great now, although they are also a small crop this year...
We got an even inch of rain recently, ending the dry spell
authoritatively and making little things turn green again.
Although the weather remains above freezing, there are plenty of signs
of impending winter besides the colorful leaves falling, like the loads
of wood we're getting delivered and loads of manure for the
garden. Both of those involve a fair amount of work on our
part--clearing out the garden and stacking the wood. The dahlias
and gladiolas are half collected for winter storage, and today I picked
two thirds of the carrots, leaving the rest to overwinter. We
probably got about 125 pounds of carrots this Fall...
Potatoes are next...
In the pottery I had to repair one of my kilns when
it stopped firing in a reasonable time, and finally got it all working
again yesterday, replacing elements, thermocouple, and relays.
Orders and restocking are keeping me busy...
Here's a combined photo of some of the fun fungi we've been seeing
around Priest Lake this Fall, including today at Moose Lake (highly
Here's a gray jay that greeted us at Moose Lake:
It was a very overcast day in dense woods so the photos tend to be a
bit blurry... We also saw a mule deer, a mother, yearling, and
this year's fawn whitetail deer, and a coyote crossing the road just in
front of us, all in the gathering gloom.
We're still getting rain, manure, and wood. We got offered a cord
worth of mill ends, which needed to be cut up, and as we cut them we
realized they are green wood and will need a year or so to dry enough
to burn without excess creasote, so we've been ferreting wood away in
the basement... We also added a wood storage/privacy screen on the deck
of our blue cabin, mostly because we needed somewhere to store all the
wood we've been getting.
Books read and other media of note:
Between the Plums by Janet Evanovich.
These 3 short novels work as screwball comedies (ala Harvey), seem a
bit out of this world for the regular Stephanie Plum line. I am
aware of the Lizzy and Diesel series these connect to...
Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons A very clever book updating the Canterbury tales and various mythologies to the distant future, worth the 1000 page read...
They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie The
CD version read by Emilia Fox was very enjoyable--sounding like Hayley
Mills as the young plucky protagonist. This book from 1951 caught
a lot of the cold war spy furor, but lapsed into the over-the-top
Control/KAOS type scenerio with too many necessary coincidences to
really work as a spy novel.
Pronto by Elmore Leonard An
advantage of a bad memory is enjoying again favorite authors, and no
one wrote sassy criminal dialog and tense plots like Elmore
Leonard. This one is the prequel to the Justified TV series, and
reading it again after having seen most of the seasons of Justified
gave me a new appreciation of Raylan, as characterized by Timothy
Top Secret 21 by Janet Evanovich.
From one point of view, Stephanie Plum is caught in a Ground Hog
Day sequence of lowlife FTA's, exploding cars and amorous
misadventures. From my perspective, the plot never really
changes but the frequent laughs make each novel a worthwhile
experience. It did feel like the denouement was rather too
Ventus by Schroeder, Karl. I've
never been sure what genre space opera is, but this is my idea of it,
with larger than life characters fighting for the fate of the human
universe. Great nano concepts as always with Schroeder.
The Long Fall by Walter Mosley All the hallmarks of a classic noir novel, along with engaging family subplots.