When I was young I wanted to run away and join the circus; it wasn't so much for the running away but rather for the horses. The circus had lots of horses, I just wanted to be near them. The years since those days have passed, I'm older and the circus is now performing nightly in my home under the guise of cable news. Those are the words that skipped through my mind every night during February. At one time I declared my home an Anna Nicole Smith Free Zone to any who would listen but clearly the news didn't get that memo. So for what its worth, since the son's untimely death in September I've viewed the 'lawyer' boyfriend as suspect...very suspect. Then last month another in his circle met a tragic and untimely end. How convenient for him. Now back to the real world. Sam's mom, Virginia, celebrated her 76th birthday last month in the company of her family at a local Italian restaurant. Half way through the meal Dilynn looked up at her with those bright blue eyes and said "Happy birthday Granma!" in the sweetest tone much to Virginia and everyone else's delight. Basking in the glow of her now captive audience Dilynn took full advantage of the situation and repeated the wish, over and over, each time changing her tone, expression and posture to better cover a wide variety of highly animated deliveries. This had everyone in stitches and she continued until her mother put a gentle stop to her antics, but not until she had delivered the final wish in such a way that I was a wee bit reminded of a certain Presidential birthday wish delivered by the one and only Marilyn Monroe. She (Dilynn, not Marilyn) continues to charm and amaze us with her personality and development. Last month she learned the A-B-C song and sings it all by herself quite well; no surprise since her mom is a teacher. When she reaches the letters L-M-N-O-P she runs it all together as 'elementopee' and this puts a smile on our faces each and every time. She can count to ten, with a little help from her mom. Amazing. Thinking back to myself and my younger sisters, we didn't even know what a letter was at 20 months, let alone recite the entire alphabet. On Valentines Day we invited Sam's mom over for dinner...chicken cacciatore and phyllo wrapped asparagus. It was delish! I do enjoy cooking most of the time, and trying out new recipes even though Sam once commented that I always want to use his mother as a guinea pig. Sure it was the first time I'd ever prepared chicken cacciatore, but the aparagus dish was a repeat (it's so good...and I've included the link for the recipes in the sentence above). Sam brought home a gorgeous pink azalea plant, and Virginia knocked on our door bearing a beautiful fresh-cut floral arrangement. All the makings for a fragrant holiday filled with love. We also received our wine club selections from Icicle Ridge Winery and the Riesling, once opened, didn't last long.
Sam lets air out of the tires to gain traction surface on the snow (left). When Dave's black Jeep got stuck, we drove around him and found ourselves stuck as well, leaving Bill and his red Jeep to pull us out (right). The following Saturday we took Sam's Jeep to the cabin and planned to stay through the holiday weekend. A couple of friends with Jeeps accompanied us and it was a good thing since everyone got stuck at least once. We made it in to the cabins, got out the four wheelers and went for a ride to check on all the cabins as well as the condition of another road out. The other guys left in the afternoon, but Sam and I stayed the night and drove out the next morning. We didn't get stuck, but we did slide a bit too close to the down side of the mountain road a couple of times. The drive in to the cabin (left). Sam and Rum get out the snow plow and get to work...or rather play (right).
Modern-day downtown Orofino in a time warp. The photo on the left was aged and the photo on the right is as taken. We've been thinking about upgrading our travel trailer and buying a fifth wheel. Last month we visited all the local dealers but the inventories are very limited and even though we found one brand we really liked (Montana by Keystone) a few features didn't sit well with us so we decided a trip north to the Spokane area was in order. Once home from the cabin we showered and repacked for an overnight trip north. The weather started out great but halfway into the trip we hit freezing rain and within seconds passed a guy in a new Intrepid who had spun 180 degrees and slid off the road. Next thing we know our Jeep starts heading toward the ditch, will not respond to Sam and a few tense seconds pass before he finally regains control of the vehicle. Whew...that'll increase your heart rate! The weather in the Spokane and Coeur D' Alene area was horrible (cold, windy, and rainy) not the best for looking at RV's but we found what we want, a Big Horn by Heartland. No one here in the valley sells the brand, but a Spokane dealer had one model available but they have two of the model we want on order. Whether we actually make the change this year or wait until next hasn't been decided. It's a huge move up on many levels. Rumbeau is doing extremely well. I was concerned that Allie's absence might depress him, but actually just the opposite is true. At first he seemed lost and listless, but within a couple of weeks he snapped out of it. Her absence has changed many of his behaviors, in some cases for the better. He went back to sleeping on our bed with us at night, a practice he quit doing after we brought Allie home because she took over his place on the bed. For years I've worked with him to take a treat 'nice' from my hand, but he always went into competition mode and snapped the treat from my hand, often biting me in the process. Now, he takes treats nice and gentle. He sure moans a lot though, due more to being old (he turned nine y/o in January) and he does get all stoved up these days. Rumbeau is the third male black lab Sam has ever had; the prior two, Chewy and Benson never made it nine years; Chewy's hips went out on him at seven years, and Bennie made it eight years before he became paralyzed and lost the use of his legs. The difference may be in the food as we've fed Rumbeau Science Diet Lamb and Rice since the day we brought him home, and we didn't with Chewy and Bennie. Spring is just around the corner. The snowdrops have already bloomed and now my daffies are up and on the blooming verge. It's light when I leave the office. What a relief. I'm taking a week off and looking forward to getting rest, relaxation, and some creative pursuits done. And hey, thanks Christy for buying the two layouts from me! Hope you enjoy! I'm really enjoying the movie I'm watching since it is about a horse and based on a true story. A double favorite. We rented three movies a couple of weekends ago and we ended up with Flags of Our Fathers, Flicka, and Flyboys. It wasn't until the drive home that I realized all three movie titles began with the letters FL. Didn't plan that...how bizarre. All three were good, but Flyboys really stood out and is based on a true story. Hmmm, I'm seeing a pattern here...true life stories brought to celluoid. Tonight we'll watch How the West Was Won, a classic that oddly enough Sam has never seen. It's been years since I first saw the movie in a North Hollywood theatre with my Grandma, and yet the memory of that day, as well as certain scenes from the movie are still fresh in my mind. There are days when I can't remember something I read or heard two days ago, but I hope I will always retain the memory of the better days of my childhood.