Camping with Cats


I know, I said never travel with cats. Unfortunately, finding cat sitters would limit our travels so we have decided our cats need to learn how to camp. In April, we traded in our toy-hauler for a smaller, more comfortable fifth wheel. We’ve taken three short camping trips to local lakes since then, and the cats have accompanied us each time. Unlike the hellish 16-hour journey from California to Idaho, we no longer drug or confine the beasts. They ride in the backseat of the truck (mostly), but are free to roam and look out the windows. They seem to calm down after the first 15 minutes, and the remainder of the trip is much more enjoyable.

Priest Lake
Sophie perches between the front seats while Chuck cries in the back seat

Trip # 1 – Heyburn State Park

Can you really call it a trip if the destination is 25 minutes from your house? Our maiden voyage in the new RV was to Heyburn State Park. We stayed at the Hawley’s Landing Campground on Lake Chatcolet. Heyburn State Park is the oldest state park in the Pacific Northwest, created by an act of Congress in 1908. Heyburn includes approximately 5,800 acres of land and 2,300 acres of water. Much of the early construction was performed by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s.

Lake Chatcolet
Lake Chatcolet

The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes runs through the park. The Trail of the Coeur d’ Alenes is a 72-mile paved trail spanning the Idaho panhandle between Mullan and Plummer. It was created through a unique partnership between the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Union Pacific Railroad, the U. S. Government, and the State of Idaho. The trail begins in the historic Silver Valley, continues along the Coeur d’Alene River past scenic Lake Coeur d’Alene and through rolling farmlands to Plummer. We have hiked one mile of the trail…only 71 more to go.

Foot bridge over lake – part of the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes
Foot bridge over lake
Bird nests in bridge
Beaver Lodge?
Floating house on the lake

Trip #2 – Priest Lake State Park

Sure we live 15 minutes from the world renowned Lake Coeur d’Alene, but we chose to drive two hours north to Priest Lake for our next camping adventure. The cats were definitely more comfortable on this trip and were feeling pretty at-home in the RV.

Priest Lake
Sophie checking out the wildlife from the safety of the RV
Priest Lake
Chuck Norris assumed this bed was his (is that a huge cat or a small bed…yes to both)
Priest Lake
Sophie enjoying the new heated, massaging recliner (there is a perfectly good cat house to her left)

Just 30 miles from the Canadian Border, nestled deep below the crest of the Selkirk Mountains lies Priest Lake State Park. Surrounded by the natural beauty of Northern Idaho and mile-high mountains, Priest Lake State Park sits along the eastern shores of Priest Lake, a 19-mile, 300+ foot deep lake. Noted for its extremely clear water, fed by streams cascading from the high Selkirk peaks, the main body of Priest Lake extends north-south 19 miles and is connected by a 2 mile thoroughfare to the remote Upper Priest Lake, accessible only by foot or boat.

We hiked the View Point trail above the campground and were rewarded with a beautiful view of the lake. So far, I have been impressed with the Idaho campgrounds and the quality of their trails. There was also an interpretive trail that continued our tree identification education.

Priest Lake
View of Priest Lake
Priest Lake
View of Priest Lake
Priest Lake
Shawn enjoying the view
Priest Lake
Tree identification
Priest Lake
Pop quiz
Priest Lake
Priest Lake
Priest Lake
Beach and swimming area – the water is still a bit cold for that

Painted on the pavement entering the park is the phrase “Don’t be a Guberif.” We were stumped by that so Shawn asked the park attendant what it meant. He had no idea and said no one had ever asked him before. We Googled it. In 1946, Idaho launched the “Keep Idaho Green” campaign and looking for a way to help differentiate their forest fire prevention campaign from that of other states, Keep Idaho Green invented a new character. First introduced in 1950, the “Guberif” was defined as a creature that starts fires in Idaho’s forests through acts of carelessness. Guberif is fire bug spelled backwards. Read more about the Guberif.

Priest Lake
Don’t Be a Guberif

Trip #3 – Farragut State Park

When someone told me that Farragut State Park was a former Naval training base, I was skeptical. Submarines in Idaho? The park adjoins the deepwater Lake Pend Oreille, where the Navy maintains a submarine research center at Bayview, the Acoustic Research Detachment. The land was transferred to the state of Idaho in 1949 and became a state park in 1965. Ground was broken in March 1942, and by September the base had a population of 55,000, making it the largest city in Idaho. Liberty trains to Spokane ran three times daily. At the time Farragut was the second-largest naval training center in the world. During the 30 months the base was open, 293,381 sailors received basic training at Farragut. The last recruit graduated in March 1945 and the facility was decommissioned in June 1946. It was also used as a prisoner of war camp; nearly 900 Germans worked as gardeners and maintenance men.

Now, it’s just a beautiful park with miles of trails, 4 disc-golf courses and a museum. The Priest Lake campground also had a disc golf course, so we decided to get some discs and give it a try. It turns out you need special discs (driver, mid-range and putter), not your old Frisbee. We met a fellow with a backpack full of discs. He was playing numerous disc golf courses on his travels with his dog.

Disc Golf Rules
Warming up on the kiddie course
The fairway in the woods
A small snake wanted to play through

We hiked 4 miles on the well maintained trails that took us down along the shores of Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced ponder-ay). The wildflowers were in full bloom.

One of the wider trails
View of the lake through the trees
Lake Pend Oreille
Iris blooming along the shore
Poppy field bordering the camp site

We’ve visited three of Idaho’s state parks, and they have all been beautiful and well maintained (and they have super nice bathrooms and showers if you need that sort of thing). The camp hosts and volunteers have been friendly and helpful and we’ve met many fellow campers. I’m looking forward to exploring more of Idaho’s treasures, even if I have to take my cats.

It’s Our Idaversary

On March 17th, we celebrated our first “Idaversary”. It’s been one year since we retired and moved to Idaho. We have now experienced all four seasons in our new home state. Today, while we were sitting eating lunch, Shawn said “I think we’ve acclimated.” We had spent the morning outside disposing of the 95′ tree that we dropped. We dragged limbs through the remaining snow to the burn pile and worked up quite a sweat. We sat at the table in t-shirts and shorts with all the windows open and the ceiling fan on high. It is 53 degrees outside and there is still considerable snow on the ground, so yes we’ve acclimated.

We’ve amassed 3 chainsaws: the one Shawn bought me for Valentine’s Day, the neighbor’s larger one, and a spare electric chainsaw from Harbor Freight. We used to acquire electronics; now it is chainsaws.

We’ve taken a couple classes from the University of Idaho’s extension program to learn about our “Backyard Forest” as they call it. We can identity most of our trees and we’ve learned what to look for when thinning our trees. One day we went snow shoeing through our forest and found many trees with undesirable traits such as crooked trunks, split tops, rounded canopies, and dead branches. Thinning should keep as busy for the rest of our days!

The first few trees we cut down usually took two days. The first day, Shawn would cut it down and start cutting off the big limbs, and the second day, we would continue cutting and burning. We divide the tree into three types of wood: the trunk is cut into long lengths for milling; the larger limbs are cut into 16-18″ lengths for firewood; and the remainder is burned.

The tree we were working on today was 95′ tall and 4′ across at the base. We’ve been working on it for 4 days now and still have quite a bit to do. Some of the branches are bigger than the other trees we’ve cut down.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I’ve started a new fashion line for chickens. All the chic chicks are wearing custom hen aprons/chicken saddles. Seriously, who thought of this? And then published a pattern and instructions? Our poor abused chicken has been wearing her apron for a couple weeks now, and seems no worse for the wear. No complaints from the roosters either.

It’s been a good year. We’ve learned a lot and had some fun. Now we’re anxiously awaiting spring. Shawn has seedlings growing for the expanded garden; the chicks have been ordered; and I’m watching the snow melt while waiting for signs of the 200 bulbs I planted in the fall.

Winter Wonderland

I had a request by one of my millions of (or maybe six) followers for an update on the snow. In a matter of days, we went from barren ground to snow-covered; up to 2 feet in some places. The predictions for this winter have been warm and light snow. The natives have been grumbling about it and reminiscing about the big snow back in 2008 when it was 127 inches in Coeur d’Alene.

You’re probably asking: are there different types of snow? Why yes, there are. There is that oxymoron snow, the dry snow. We got that first. It was all light and fluffy, and dry as far as frozen water can be dry. The following day we had winds 20-40 mph and that light fluffy snow blew all over the place. Most of it ended up in Washington, because there sure wasn’t much left at our house. The next snow fall was wet snow.

So what do you do with all this snow? You shovel it…every day. Remember that huge deck that seemed so awesome when we bought the house? Not so awesome when you have to shovel off the snow. On the third day, as soon as we had finished clearing the snow off the deck the sun came out and started melting the snow off the roof which proceeded to fall on the deck. Lather, rinse, repeat.

We finally had enough snow to try out our new snowshoes. We tromped around the yard testing our skills in powder and on our hills. I fell in about two feet of powder because I didn’t pick up my feet high enough. Shawn had a good laugh before helping me back up. It was beautiful in our little piece of forest.

I’ve been waiting for a good snow to do a little quilt photography, so I finally got the opportunity. My lovely assistant held the quilts.

One issue we have with the snow is our long, semi-steep driveway. Our neighbor keeps it plowed, but spots can be icy, especially the where the end of the driveway meets the road. This morning, when the repairmen arrived to fix our wood burning stove, they knocked at the door and asked if we had a four-wheel drive truck. Their truck couldn’t make it up the drive. Shawn had taken our all wheel drive SUV, so they trudged back down the driveway to get their tools. They made several trips up and down the driveway in the course of their work. I must admit I have been very impressed with the work ethic of the young people I’ve met since moving to Idaho. These guys didn’t complain and finished the job with a smile.

So far, I’m enjoying the snow. It’s fun to snowshoe in, pretty to look at across the valley, a good workout to shovel, and mesmerizing to watch as it falls. Of course, I don’t have to walk around in it looking for food like these guys.

Breakfast & Dinner

I’m sure many of you are wondering what happened to those two cute little pigs named Breakfast & Dinner.  Come on, you knew this day would come folks.

June 2018

November 2018

*** Warning *************

There are a couple graphic butchery photos below, so just stop now if that bothers you or scroll really fast.


Breakfast & Dinner lived a very happy, albeit short,  life at Spring Creek Acres.  They rooted up acres of pasture and enjoyed a non-GMO diet.  The sisters frolicked about and happily grunted when Farmer Shawn brought them treats every day and sprayed them down on hot days.  They grew bigger and bigger and bigger, until one day Farmer Shawn decided they were ready to become bacon, sausage, and other tasty delights.

Skinning (and no that’s not the same sled from the previous post…we have multiple pink sleds)

Sawed in half

I’m the first to admit, the killing and processing part is not fun and I was not overly involved.  Once everything was chilled and cut into less recognizable pieces, I joined the party.

Shawn sold two half pigs and invited the buyers to join in the processing.  Talk about knowing where your food comes from!

Let the butchery begin

Pat grinds meat for sausage as Heidi looks on

As you can see, we like sausage.  With some of our meat, we made Jalapeno breakfast sausage, Italian sausage, and German sausage.  I grew up eating smoked Geman sausage at my grandparents’ house on Sundays, so I was trying to recreate that.

10+ pounds of sausage meat ready for seasoning

Packaged sausage ready for the freezer

German sausage in casing ready for smoking

German sausage after smoking, ready for Christmas Eve dinner in Fresno

All in all, the processing of the two pigs took about a week and yielded over 300 pounds of meat.  Shawn also cured bacon and smoked the hocks.

Slicing Pat’s bacon

Mmmmm, bacon

Pasta with Italian sausage

We now have a freezer full of pork and chicken for the coming year, plus a bit of elk from the neighbor.  Raising and processing your own food takes a lot of time and effort, but it tastes so good.  Cheers to Breakfast & Dinner!


Yesterday afternoon it was sunny, so I suggested to Shawn that we walk to the mailbox.  This is a nice 1.7-mile roundtrip.  I put on a cotton/wool long sleeve base layer shirt with a fleece shirt over, thick athletic pant, knit gloves, and a beanie hat.  By the time we got down the driveway, which is a feat in itself, the sun went behind a cloud and I was cold.

Today, Shawn suggested a walk.  I looked out the window at the gray day and gave him the side eye, so he pulled out his phone to check the weather.  It was 36 degrees and the peak of the heat for the day.  I added some layers to the previous day’s outfit.  Long sleeve base layer shirt again, sweatshirt, fleece jacket, athletic pants, sweatpants, white cotton gloves under my knit gloves, and the beanie hat.  Instead of turning right at the end of our driveway to go to the mailbox, we turned left to go up the steep hill.  Now I had too many layers!  This matching the weather, the workout, and the layers is a delicate science that I need to perfect.

As seen on our walk:

We’ve had our first two snow events for the year.  The first dropped about 5 inches of snow after Thanksgiving.  It was enough snow to pull out the sled and find a mild downhill in our front yard.  Shawn also managed to pile together a snowman on the deck.  The first snow is so pretty because there’s no dirt mixed with it.

Black walnut tree

The weather station covered in snow. A good shake of the pole got the wind meter working again.

I found a few things to gather on the property.  We have a black walnut tree, and this is our harvest from November.  I was surprised by how many we got because I saw so few on the tree.  After shelling them, we ended up with about two cups of nut meat.  Since there were so few, we enjoyed them raw as a snack.  Next year we will hopefully have more so we can do some baking with them.  Very tasty!

Rosehips are purported to be high in vitamin C and we have a lot of wild rose bushes on the property.  I read they are best picked after the first snow.  Unfortunately, the deer ate all the conveniently located hips.

I’ve been enjoying my new sewing room.  A couple of years ago, I made my grandson a set of mini advent stockings, so I had to make some for my new granddaughter too.  Twenty-four little stockings stitched, trimmed, turned and in the mail in time for December 1st.

Ready for the countdown to Christmas!

Well, it’s 4:30 PM and dark outside, so time to put on another layer…

Fall in Northern Idaho

It was hot.  Then it was not.

We had mid to upper 90s in August, a week or so of 80s in September, then it dropped into the 60s mid-month.  On October 3rd, we had our first freeze.  That left us with a bunch of green tomatoes still on the vine, so we canned green tomato chutney.  I was a little skeptical, but it’s tasty.  Goes great with Indian food or over cream cheese with crackers.

Green tomatoes with red onion, raisins, dried apples, vinegar, and spices

We also harvested our onion crop.  We got quite a few, but they were small this year.  We will be better prepared next year and hope to get large onions like our neighbor’s.

The onions are small, but they have great flavor

Our neighbor’s onions were huge, 1-2 pounds each

Shawn grew some pumpkins, but like the onions, they came out small.  However, the few small pumpkins we got made a great puree and pumpkin bread.  He’s in the kitchen now whipping up a pumpkin pie!

Mini pumpkins make mini pumpkin bread loaves

We’ve also been doing more canning.  Our next-door neighbor got an elk and gave us some ground meat, so Shawn canned that with potatoes, onions and carrots.  While it tastes good, it was not pretty enough to warrant a picture.  I’ve been buying dried beans in bulk and canning them.  It’s very handy to have pinto, black, white, kidney and garbonzos readily available.

Soon it will be time to bottle our first experiments in fruit wine.  We will have a couple gallons each of plum, peach, and apple.

Improvements continue to be made outdoors.  We ordered seedling trees from the Pitkin Nursery at the University of Idaho in Moscow.  Shawn planted 20 Tamarac trees on the south end of the property and then potted maples, chestnuts and others for planting in the spring.  Most of our trees are evergreen, so it will be nice to have more fall colors in a few years.  We are also working on the planting area around the house.  We moved dirt to join to small hills.  Shawn plans to put a pond behind it.  I planted 120+ bulbs and divided and re-planted the existing peonies.  I hope I didn’t kill them!


New planting area behind the logs

Gratuitous pig photo

The kids and grandkids visited mid-October and the weather was picture perfect.  We went to Green Bluff for pumpkins and apples; we played at McEuen Park in downtown Coeur d’Alene, and we hiked the Cougar Gulch trail.  It was great having them visit!

Cougar Gulch Trail

We didn’t spot any cougars, but we found this old tractor

Cooler temps also mean more time spent in my new sewing room.  I made flannel jackets for the grandkids and started a new blue and white quilt.

While we are enjoying the changing of the seasons, we recently learned of another type of seasons in Northern Idaho.  Bug Seasons.  During the summer, we experienced yellowjacket season.  Now we are in stink-bug season.  There was also a brief two-week period of gnat season.  I’m sure you’re thanking me for not posting photos.

Fall in Northern Idaho

Six Months Later

It has been six months since we retired and moved to Idaho, and what a busy six months it has been!  I think we’ve accomplished a lot both inside and out.


  • Unpacked (mostly)
  • Removed tons of nasty carpet and wood flooring
  • Laid over 2,000 sq ft of new flooring
  • Installed new kitchen appliances
  • Replaced toilets
  • Painted about 70% of the walls, 16 of 27 doors, and 14 of 21 windows
  • Replaced numerous outlets and switches
  • Removed and replaced baseboards (in progress)

Living room before

Living room after (still needs to be painted)

Master bedroom before

Master bedroom after

Sewing room before

Sewing room after


  • Revitalized the old garden
  • Fenced and cultivated a new garden
  • Returned the old tractor to a working state
  • Felled numerous trees and trimmed others
  • Supplied power to the workshop
  • Built a chicken tractor and a chickshaw
  • Raised and processed 50+ meat chickens
  • Raised 9 laying hens and 2 roosters (we’re getting 8 eggs/day now)
  • Raised 2 pigs
  • Harvested cherries, plums, apples, cherry tomatoes, Armenian cucumbers, beets, carrots, onions, wheat
  • Canned cherries, plums, peaches, beans, chicken
  • Dehydrated cherries, plums, tomatoes, apples

Old garden before

Old garden after

New fenced garden

Meat chickens (Frankenchicks) before

Meat chickens after

Pigs in June

Pigs in September

Fresh eggs are a daily occurrence

Two of the many trees Shawn has dropped

Kootenai Electric installing the new transformer

Trenches and wire for power to the workshop

Our new lifestyle, location, and DIY projects also required the acquisition of a few new tools:

  • Snow shovel
  • Farm boots
  • Numerous pairs of work gloves
  • Loader, boom, chain harrow, and disk for tractor
  • Chainsaw
  • Chipper/shredder
  • Cultivator
  • T-post driver and puller
  • Oscillating multi-tool
  • Floor scraper (ultimate tool for removing staples in carpet pad)
  • Generator
  • Paint sprayer
  • Pressure canner
  • Dehydrator
  • Cherry pitter
  • Paper log maker
  • “No Hunting” signs

Posting our No Hunting signs along the edge of the property

The last six months have flown by, and we’re starting to get into a groove.  If the weather is good, we will work on an outside project.  Not so good, then we’ll do an inside project.  We’ve also taken the time to explore our new surroundings with a few hikes and camping trips.  We’ve taken up flyfishing (that’s a whole new list of equipment for another post), and visited many of our local breweries, restaurants and farmers’ markets.  Life is good.

Farmer Shawn Grows Wheat

We are surrounded by wheat fields, so we know wheat grows well in our area.   In early spring, Shawn planted a pound of wheat seeds in a row in our garden.  For the longest time, it was the only crop in the garden that seemed to be growing.

The green row in the center of the garden is the wheat

The wheat dwarfs all the other plants

By midsummer, the wheat was over two feet tall while the tomatoes and peppers were still taking their time to get their groove on.

This wheat thing is new to us, so once the wheat turned brown and the farmers around us began cutting their wheat and hay, Shawn knew it was time to harvest.  He cut all the wheat by hand and hung it in the garage to finish drying.

I don’t know if it’s a bushel, but this is our full crop for the year

Shawn did some internet research and learned how to build a DIY thresher.  It is pieces of chain attached to a rod in a bucket.  He uses his drill to turn the rod, and the chain beats all heck out of the wheat to separate the chaff from the wheat.

We cut the wheat heads off the stalks by hand.  I’m thinking the Amish are more automated than we were.  It took a few hours for both of us to remove all the seed heads.  The chickens were happy with any we missed.

Ready to thresh



The final step was pouring the threshed wheat in front of a fan to separate the seeds from the chaff.  The heavier wheat falls into the bucket and the chaff blows away.  Shawn did this process a few times.  The resulting product was over six pounds of wheat ready for milling into flour.

Shawn plans to plant an acre of wheat for next season, so we will need to work on our automation techniques!

Fun With Food

After a couple of weeks with days in the 90’s (and two over 100), we are starting to see fruit and vegetables ripening in our garden.  We’ve picked some cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, Armenian cucumbers, onions, tomatillos, chilies, and plums.  We’ve finally identified the mystery fruit trees: two are plum and two are pear.  We’ll probably remove the pear trees because we aren’t big fans of pears and they are more dead than alive, but the plums get to stay.  I tried one today and it was delicious.

Armenian cucumbers are popular in Fresno where I grew up, and they are my favorite cucumbers because the skin is soft and not bitter.  My brother says I’m probably growing the first ever Armenian cucumbers in Idaho.  I made a quick Japanese pickle salad with the first cucumber.  The second one was added to tomatoes and onions.

Since our garden is not quite bountiful enough for canning yet, we took advantage of a sale at the local fruit stand.  We purchased a box of Washington peaches, a box of Fuji apples, and a flat of California strawberries.  From that we made:

  • 4 quarts of unsweetened applesauce
  • 4 pints of apple butter
  • 4 pints of strawberry jam

The peaches are still a bit firm, so we will peel and can those later this week.  The pigs and chickens are in heaven enjoying all the fruit and vegetable scraps.

Apples washed and quartered

After the apples are cooked, the food mill purees the fruit and discards the seeds and skins


A day’s canning

Fresh strawberry jam on a homemade sourdough English muffin

The laying chickens have finally kicked it into gear and are laying 4-6 medium to large eggs daily.   The yolks on the fresh eggs are a deep yellow-orange and very thick.  They make great fried eggs.  I’m getting experimental making frittatas.  Last night’s frittata included eggs, milk, jack cheese, bacon, breadcrumbs, tomatillos, onions, chilies, and garlic.  Shawn approved.  We aren’t sure what kind of chilies we picked, but they weren’t very spicy.

Last night, Shawn processed the last of the meat chickens (a.k.a. Frankenchicks).  He had to do the butchering at night because the bees and wasps are rampant during the day and very attracted to the meat and blood.  We now have a freezer full of chemical/drug-free chicken that should last us through the fall and winter.  Raising meat chickens was definitely a learning experience, but I think Shawn has it mastered now and next year should be a breeze.  (Check out his videos on YouTube.)

The nighttime butchering setup

That’s a tie-dyed apron, not blood

Bagged and ready for the freezer

Time to go see what the garden has to offer today…

Bird Watching

I’ve never really had an interest in birds.  Maybe it’s because we didn’t have a lot of birds in our suburban backyard in Elk Grove; just the annoying blue jays in our redwood trees.  Now we have an abundance of birds in our yard.

I cleaned the kitchen window and repositioned the bird bath so I can take pictures of the birds.  With the exception of the turkeys, as soon as I go outside they all fly off.  We have had as many as five magpies in the birdbath at once.   These are good sized birds.  At first, they appear to be black and white, but up close you can see they have blue and green in their tail feathers.

Our lovely electrical panel in the background

Still eating cherries…

We have a few hummingbirds in the yard, so I got them a feeder.  I always think of them as cute little birds, but they can be mean.  As I was watching the first hummingbird use the feeder after I hung it, another hummingbird swooped in and kicked the first bird off.  The feeder has multiple feeding ports, but the bully bird wanted the whole feeder to itself.

The finches are still living in Tito the dinosaur’s mouth.  There are other small birds that fly through the yard, but these two have decided to stay.

When we first moved in, we had three to four large turkeys that would wander through the yard on a daily basis.  They have been enjoying the feed that the chickens leave behind when Shawn moves the chicken tractor.  A few weeks ago, we noticed they have babies.  We now have a “rafter” of turkeys.  (See, I just taught you something.  My blog is so educational.)

This is most, but not all, of the rafter

Other flying creatures that enjoy the birdbath are wasps, bees, and yellow jackets.  Neighbors in the area have reported that the insects are having mass drownings in their pools in the current almost drought-like conditions.

Other Happenings Around the Homestead

I have a new stove!  The knobs were falling off the old stove and we were using pliers to turn on the burners.  Of course, the hole in the countertop was a quarter inch too small, so Shawn had to get out the saw and make it a bit bigger.  I’m still cleaning up the superfine dust.

Shawn whipped up a batch of Italian sausage from the pig he butchered in his butchering class a few months ago.

Eight pounds of Italian sausage sealed and ready for the freezer

Now that the weather has finally turned warm/hot, the garden is thriving.  The wheat is almost ready to be harvested and the tomatoes and tomatillos have set fruit.  One of the grapevines has grapes.  Our mystery fruit trees are full of hard green orbs.


Don’t be fooled, they are not as large as they may appear in this photo

Two varieties of beets

The pigs are growing at a rapid rate.  Last week, Shawn introduced them to the electric fence.  They learn pretty quickly after a shock or two on the snout.  The electric fence allows them to have a bigger area to dig and root in which seems to make them happy.

I think this is what a happy pig looks like

Our chickens have started laying eggs.  We have four eggs so far.  They are small, but Shawn says they will get bigger as they lay more.

We are still painting and laying flooring in the house.  We’re working on the basement this week.  As usual, nothing is straightforward once you start tearing things up in an old house.  The wood stove in the basement was installed over the carpet, so now we need to dismantle it and lay the new flooring underneath it.  What were they thinking?

One of the 27 doorways in the house primed and ready for painting

Since we live on the Couer d’Alene Indian reservation, we decided to check out their annual Julyamsh powwow at the fairgrounds.  Tribes from all over the country come to compete in drum and dance contests.  The dancers were all ages: from grandma to toddlers.  It was very colorful, and the frybread tacos were tasty.

And then they invited everyone to join the dancing, so this couple did

We also took a walk along the beach and through the park in downtown CDA.  The best places in town to catch Pokemon.

We are off to the movies this afternoon to avoid what is predicted to be the hottest day of the year.  You can do that when you’re retired.