Friday, July 22, 2016


Hallie shared these before and after pictures of the meter box. She wrote: “I cleaned the rust off the box and painted it with a Rustoleum metal primer. The primer was the PERFECT match to the brick, but the directions instructed to not leave the primer exposed. We got paint that we thought was a match, but it’s a little more orange than the primer. Nevertheless, it was a huge improvement and this small detail made a big difference!”

Hallie adds that Nick painted the "pipe" -- whatever you call it -- above and below the box.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Hallie reports that she and Nick have finished the installation of the pull-down attic stairway in their little Tudor. We've talked about it before (here), but in this pictorial post, you can observe the installation from start to finish.

Hallie and Nick do nice work. They aren't very fast, but they take pride in a job well done.

Sunday, July 17, 2016


The stay at the farm (July 7-15) had its ups and downs -- literally. I took a tumble in the barn last Saturday. Fortunately I wasn’t badly hurt and I’m recovering nicely. I was most upset for the interruption in planned projects. The writing muse became challenged while the sewing muse pressed on.

Next, adding to the tedium, we ran out of high speed internet juice. I’ll spare you the details, but I was probably the culprit, and Mike is sure of it. At any rate, once you use up your allotment of juice, the system reverts to very poor service, not only slow but intermittent. Discussion ensued. Some people would just order more juice, but for us, the decision was a biggy. Eventually we agreed to subscribe for the highest level of service which affords 15 GB of juice per month, adequate for email, orders, look-ups, etc., but stream? -- probably not. In the process, we learned how to log-in and see our juice level. In case you’re wondering, 1 hour of streaming costs 1 GB. Should you want to buy a GB of juice, it’s $9.99. Ah! such is life in the country.

And then we’re awaiting delivery of Mike’s new laptop, which didn't arrive on the appointed date, but that’s another story.

Mike took adventure rides on his new Triumph Tiger XRx on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday he got caught in the rain and came home soaked and chilled. So, we fired up the seldom-used Jacuzzi and warmed him up. Some of the jets didn’t work, but they do now.

Wanting mushrooms for the venison shish kabobs we would have for supper Thursday night, Mike decided to go to Orofino for them – on his bicycle. That meant riding the graveled Gilbert Grade – down and then back up. He left about 8:30 and arrived at the IGA in Orofino in 38 minutes. In returning, he climbed from the bottom of the grade to the top -- 8 miles -- in an hour and two minutes. He was quite proud of this feat, citing his age, even though he was flat on his back in the grass

While Mike was gone, Clearwater Power came and filled our propane tank. Now I’m ready for this year's autumn jelly-making and holiday baking and probably next year's as well.

Wednesday, as I re-hung the hummingbird feeder, I looked south from the front porch and saw a black bear in the field near the pond. This is the first time we’ve actually seen a bear here. Mike happened to be on the porch, so he saw the bear, too, but by the time I grabbed the camera, the bear was hastily lumbering away.

And then there are the deer. We used to see doe and fawn at this time of year and not many bucks. This year we notice a lot of young bucks, and this morning one brazenly walked through the yard to nibble in the south field. He may be the 
same one that called the other day. He knew I was there on the porch and was not the least deterred. When he decided it would be okay to nibble in the yard, I firmly invited him to leave. He didn’t want to. And that’s why we have fences. KW

Friday, July 15, 2016


I love this room. This was Aunt Shirley’s room back in Grandma Ina’s day. And then it was my room when I was a girl. My dad allowed me to paint the walls and the furniture, and he bought a new piece of linoleum for the floor. Of course, since then the room has been updated.

The view from Hallie's room
This room has a great view of the pond, the south fields, and Little Canyon. It also has a sunnier aspect than the room next door, which I call the vintage sewing room.

Now we call this sunny room “Hallie’s room,” but it also doubles as a guest room. I was promoted to the master bedroom on the north side of the house, which is larger but not nearly as appealing.

The Challis Coverlet
I write here to let you know I finished this “granny” coverlet. I started it in 1985 when we spent the summer in Challis, Idaho. I begged scraps of yarn from my Mother so that I could make the granny squares in a variety of color combinations. For whatever reason, I put the project away with the intent to finish it “someday.” I am relieved that it’s finished and that I can move on to make another blanket with new yarn. I have collected lots of beautiful patterns to try. Then perhaps I’ll have enough yarn left over to make another random granny afghan – and so it goes, ad infinitum.

And I’m happy to report that I cut out this ball gown for Emmy's doll last Friday and have nearly finished it. The doll in residence here, “Shirley Anne, American Farm Girl” (a.k.a. Kit Kittridge), is the old model American Girl and too fat for the dress. Shirley Anne was distressed about that, though the smile never left her face. I assured her that she’s beautiful just the way she is, and the dress wasn’t for her anyway. One of my more recent American Girls will pose for a fitting and a photo before I mail the dress to Emmy. KW

Monday, July 11, 2016


I love “Christmas in July” (sales, promotions, and Christmas movies), but this is ridiculous. The weather has me thinking of hot cider and pumpkin pie.

Yesterday (Sunday, July 10), we had a lot of wind and rain. I wore a sweatshirt and baked banana bread to warm the house. Mike lit a fire in the fireplace. At 4:30 p.m., when we walked the dogs, I wore my winter coat. It was 48 degrees.
Then last night, after a late rainstorm, the setting sun put on an unexpected display for us. We had "magnificent effects," as Ina would say. The pictures here just don’t do it justice, but I’m glad to have them anyway.

Today, as I write this, it’s 66. The weatherman says it isn’t going to rain, but just looking at the sky, that’s hard to believe. The July sun is warm, as you’d expect, but it just doesn’t stay out.

Well, on the plus side, it’s a relief not to have to carry water to the garden for a few days. And it’s good to have more water in the cistern. I wonder if we’ll need it. It’s also probable that we won’t have a fire season like that of 2015, which brought devastation to our region, and that's a blessing.

This young buck (spike) noshed just a few feet from the yard yesterday. Mike encouraged me to try for a picture. I turned on the camera and then slipped quietly out the kitchen door and round the back of the house. Of course, he knew I was there the moment I was in sight of him. We gazed at each other for several moments and he let me take his picture. When I took a step forward, he ran. But that was okay. We don’t need him here.
"Is it Big Bird?"

In spite of the rain and the cold – or maybe because of it – the hummingbirds drain two feeders in a day.

We have a resident hen turkey in the draw north of the house. Both Bess and I caught sight of her as she awkwardly ran to the side draw. Bess stayed on semi-point for several minutes but decided against pursuing that big bird. KW