It seems winter may have begun to move in here in the northern panhandle of Idaho. It is a beautiful day from where I sit here at my kitchen table, warm and cozy. My view of the foothills of the Cabinet Mountain Range and the valley full of the ranch pasture land is missing one thing today: the horses. Our herd of 50+ horses just made their last run up the county road from the field to the barn for the winter. They are all tucked away in their winter housing close to the barns and an abundant supply of hay.
We are experiencing the hottest, driest summer here in North Idaho that I can remember. I have heard other more seasoned residents compare the conditions this summer to those of the Sundance Fire of 1967 and The 1910 Fire.
The air was so smokey at our house yesterday that we spent most of the afternoon hiding in our house. I was told the many fires in Washington are to blame for the socked in, smokey, grey sky we are experiencing here in North Idaho.
For several years now, I have tried to grow a garden here in North Idaho or at least veggies in pots. I love my grandma’s garden and I have very fond memories of picking peas and carrots from her garden and eating them dirt and all. So my desire to have a garden must have come from there. I started out going all in and trying to grow a whole garden. Everything that first year became completely overgrown with weeds. The next year I reeled in my enthusiasm and fairly successfully grew some veggies in pots around our house. At that point I formulated the strategy that I would start small and each year gradually begin growing more and more. The next year Landon helped me build a larger raised bed in which I grew corn, beans, peas, strawberries and some radishes. All was well and I even got a large amount of Dilly Beans pickled, until the cows got in and feasted. No corn that year. The following year I decided it was time for an actual, real, full-on, in the ground garden. The first location for the garden I picked turned out to be the drain field for our septic system. Relocate. I spent hours laying paper and hauling composted manure. My plan was to create a miraculously weed free Back to Eden Garden, but when I discovered the price of woodchips/mulch that I was planning to use I skipped that and just did some good old fashioned weeding by hand. This worked for most of my 30’x30′ garden plot. The fence that I was hoping to put up didn’t get done and the deer ate well that summer. I will say that although they ate most of my garden, they did eat the weeds as well so I have to thank them for that. My corn was the last hold out since the deer didn’t seem to be very interested in that. As the time approached to harvest the corn, the calves got in and ate it.
Just a little photographic proof that I do in fact cook. Also, I can successfully grow something. I give you roasted beets and kale salad from my garden along with corn on the cob and BBQ pork ribs. To be honest, though I must admit that I did not cook the ribs…they were left-overs from a delicious meal at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch.
I believe that everything that happens has meaning and purpose. I believe God set this universe into motion and continues to work through every detail of it. I believe he is intimately involved in every aspect of our lives in an effort to bring each and every one of us into a relationship with Him.
Ground work is not a completely unknown to me. I have spent time working my horses from the ground (especially the babies). Usually this ground time is broken up by time on my horse’s back riding down the trail, working in the arena, working cows or teaching lessons (yes,I teach horseback). So why am I on the ground? I have been sentenced to 30+ days of groundwork.