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Huckleberries: The cosmetic perks of cold weather

Horse whisperer Erica Curless (now also part of The Spokesman-Review team producing the Monday Boomer U page) sez it’s “never good when your trailer tire passes you at 60 mph.”

At the time, Erica was hauling a load of heifers for sale to Billings. The Les Schwab at Thompson Falls said it could replace her tire – next Wednesday. So Erica & Co. limped into the Les Schwab in balmy Missoula (9 degrees) to fix the tire. The road trip continued from there over the slick-as-snot pass near Livingston (minus 20 degrees).

Fourteen hours later, Erica made it to Billings Livestock Commission. It was 14 below in Billings. Sums up our Country Girl: “Who needs Botox when it’s 14 below? Cheeks frozen in smile.”

Birthday kindnesses

For her 50th birthday (which occurred Tuesday), Debbie Dixon Birmingham, of Coeur d’Alene, wanted something special – for others. So she asked her friends to help her celebrate the Big 5-0 by performing two hours of random acts of kindness.

They did just that Saturday evening, competing for the highest score from a list of more than 50 deeds that were assigned different point values. Those involved in the birthday exercise were: Marie Nail, Julie Meridith, Melina Wilcox, Julie Reber, Mary Reber, Tracy Shull and about 10 others.

Groups delivered dinners to Family Promise, visited nursing homes, bagged groceries, picked up tabs in local restaurants, paid compliments to strangers, delivered water and granola bars to warming shelters, shoveled snow, caroled, left change for vending machines and laundry, took cocoa to bell ringers and more. Feel free to steal the idea for your next birthday.


Bruce Twitchell of Coeur d’Alene High felt “a little schadenfreude” when he heard a tale of woe at Coeur d’Alene’s Kroc Center on Thursday. While waiting for a cabana after exercising, Bruce overheard one businessman tell another that he felt stupid for leaving his dress socks home. So he was wearing a suit to work sans socks. Bruce laughed. But matters weren’t as funny moments later when he discovered, after showering, that he’d forgotten his towel. Paper towel. Paper towel. Paper towel. Toss. Repeat … Wonder what’s the back story to that “Cat Xing” sign (black cat silhouette on yellow background) that Councilwoman Kerri Thoreson of Post Falls photographed at the Hayden Lake Country Club on Thursday? If you can train a cat to cross a road at a certain point, it ain’t no cat … Poet’s Corner: Temperatures plunge,/the winter winds stir,/I’ve no more to add/except to say, “Brrrr” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Cold Front Today”) … Quotable Quote: “Yes, North Idaho is just a tad bit chilly this week, but aren’t you loving the brilliant sunshine? Bring it!” – Facebook friend Nancy White, of Coeur d’Alene … Huckleberries Online poll: Sixty-two percent of my blog crowd voted that the 1-11 UIdaho Vandal football team should join the rest of the college’s sports teams next year in returning to the Big Sky Conference. But the poll probably won’t deter the gridsters from moving from independent status to the faraway Sun Belt Conference instead.

Parting shot

Councilman Mike Kennedy of Coeur d’Alene isn’t the only male who’s functionally illiterate when faced with a wall of Pantene products.

Daughter Nora asked Mike to pick up shampoo at Fred Meyer on the way home from a meeting. He regrets not asking for more details.

After posting a photo of the myriad varieties of Pantene shampoo on his Facebook wall, Mike implores: “Ladies of Facebook Land, (men) don’t ask for details because we are dumb (mostly). We just can’t bear being met with that look of ‘you can’t be trusted with anything can you?’ every time. Have mercy on us. Give us some usable details!” Bingo.

Read Dave Oliveria’s North Idaho blog, Huckleberries Online, at

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