Monday, August 31, 2009

How many different ways can you say...

...I hear, or see, a train?

Sandpoint Idaho has to be the iron horse capital of the world!
Apparently, no less than forty to sixty locomotives pass through that town on a daily basis.

Last weekend, every time one passed by, I couldn't help but jest about their ubiquitous presence - without using the word train...

I hear something.
Can you feel that?
What's that noise?
There must be an earthquake.
Is that a helicopter?
Another tractor-trailer unit must be passing through town...(an entirely different post).
Can you hear that?
What's that banging?
I hear a whistle.
What are those lights?
What's that screeching?
The ground is shaking.

I have always found trains facinating:
Their power.
Their noise.
Where are they going?
Where are they coming from?
What are they hauling?
I can't help pausing to listen and watch every time one rolls by, shrieking and pounding, along the rails.

A helicopter flew directly over our heads yesterday morning...
"Oh, look, a train!"

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Manx A Lot

Beau and Jenny.

After a certain amount of head-scratching, followed up by some concrete research, I discovered we've inherited no ordinary kitty.
It turns out that Beau is a Manx cat.
Manx are typically known for being "tailless", yet their tails do come in all lengths. In order to avoid a certain genetic defect, where the spine is too short causing severe problems, breeders will always incorporate a tailed cat in their breeding program.
Other characteristics of this type of feline include shorter front legs, a broad chest, a plush, "double" coat of fur, a longer-shaped head with ears set far apart, prominent cheekbones and large, slanted eyes - all of which Beau possesses.
Beau does have a long tail, but the odd thing is that he cannot hold it straight in the air. Rather, it will flop over, quite comically, from side to side, wagging awkwardly when he walks.
Another distinguishing attribute is Beau's penchant for playing in water. He loves helping when I water my flowers and he will actually roll in any spills and puddles. I've also had to put his water in a sturdy dog bowl, so he won't knock it over and play in it - or vice versa. I've often discovered Beau soaking wet, and he appears quite content being so. Apparently, he'd rather jump in than drink it! This, too, is another profound characteristic of the Manx breed.
So, there it is - the long and the short of it...
Beau's odd looks and remarkable behaviours have been explained.
Thus far...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

This little piggy went to market ...

The weekly Farmers' Market was a feast for the eyes, nose, tastebuds - and sore feet.
We wandered through stands loaded with fresh fruit, vegetables and bakery items, arts and crafts, hand-made jewelry, trinkets and carvings. Buskers were on every corner, sending their soft melodies out to wind through the marketplace and the aromas of brewing coffee, baking breads and hamburgers twisted tantalisingly about our heads.
I came home with ten pounds of baby potatoes, a bunch of carrots, two huge green onions, half a dozen cobs of corn, three pounds of tomatoes, one large English cucumber, two cloves of locally-grown garlic, a baby yellow watermelon, a pint of juicy blackberries and four loaves of different Artisan breads...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

August ...

Mama deer and babies.

Colleen and daughter, Trina.

Lake Windermere.

Hidden Bay beach.

C'est Beau...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Two days ago Ian, Eugene's older son, discovered Smoke in his favourite shady spot.
It appears Smoke lay down and crossed the Rainbow Bridge in peace.
He is now at rest on a sunny hillside next to Henrietta.
I also believe that Scat crossed the same Bridge several weeks ago, but we will never know for sure.

Rest in Peace Scat and Smoke - we love you.

Enjoy yourselves as you bask in the sunlight, pounce on field mice and chase butterflies...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Beth and Tucker up Pedley Pass - elevation approximately 4,000 feet.

Thursday, August 06, 2009


Eugene has a cat - a very old and beautiful cat.
His name is Smoke and he has been in Gene's family going on twenty years now.
Alas, old Smoke is looking toward the Rainbow Bridge, I am afraid.
Gene came over today and asked if I would take a look at his lovely grey tom. It was heartbreaking to see his rheumy eyes, matted coat, distended belly and to feel his bones, sharp and protruding, beneath his skin. Smoke was calm and he looked up with trusting eyes as I held him in my lap on the drive to the vet clinic.
Of course, at his age, the prognosis is not good - cancer or congestive heart failure is the apparent diagnosis. We could do the heroics and spend a fortune in vet bills, but Gene and I both want to see him live out his days the way nature intended. So, the vet gave him an injection for dehydration, a steroid to make him feel perkier and some ointment for his eyes.
When we got Smoke home, he lept from my arms and headed for a the shade where I fed him a bowl of canned salmon. He has had such a difficult time eating lately, that it was good to see him enjoy a meal. No more cat food for Smoke - canned tuna and salmon from now on.
We hope that, when his time comes, Smoke will wander off and find a sheltered spot with a view where he can lay himself down.
It seems that our furry friends are leaving us as quickly as they are finding us.

Take care, Smoke.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Fur flying everywhere...




I simply could not resist!
Jack, so named, because my kids were watching a Jack Black movie when we got him, is a multi-coloured Abyssinian guinea pig. Tippy, named for the white tip on her right ear, is a rabbit of unknown breeding and the kitten, Beau, is the result of a brother and sister pairing. Beau has bowed front legs, either a result of inbreeding or possibly an inherited dwarf gene. The only pet we actually purchased was Jack and the other two are rescue animals. We decided to buy Jack, because we could not find any guinea pigs that were up for surrender in town.
Murphy's Law promptly kicked in and there are now four guinea pigs up for adoption...
We are also looking at adopting a Brittany Spaniel through the National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network in the United States. I am waiting to hear a reply to my inquiry as to any Brittanys that are available, suitable and whether adopting internationally is feasible. It would be so nice to be able to offer a good home for some of those orphaned (young and old) dogs.
We have our hands full now and are looking for a sizeable hutch for the Jack and Tippy. At the moment, they are in a cage divided with cooling racks held together with twist ties!
Necessity is indeed the mother of invention.
I love these furry creatures and I often wish I lived in a place where I could take them all in! Alas, that is not to be, but I will rejoice with the ones who have found a home with us.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Sunday, August 02, 2009