Tag Archives: high desert

A New Year, a change in the weather ~ yikes it’s cold!



Yeah, Yeah, I know. It’s winter. I live in Idaho. But seriously… this is ridiculous. Let’s see, right now it is… 7 degrees. They are forecasting that the temperature in the morning will be minus 4 or thereabouts. brrrrrrrr!! It used to be this cold, the first time we lived here. It just seems like it hasn’t been like this the last several years. But now? Global warming my eye.¬†

It’s so cold I couldn’t bear to make the outdoor cat sleep … well, outdoors. He has a bed – well, a blanket in a box in the shed – but it’s so cold! Poor kitty. So I made him a spot out in my dad’s garage, and dad didn’t argue. He says cats are spawn of the devil, but he has a soft spot in his heart for all animals, regardless. ūüôā¬†¬†It’s nearly 60 in the garage, so I¬†think that’s a big step up.

It makes it rather hard to follow through – oh, shoot, to even begin! – that wonderful ‘resolution’ of getting out and walking every day! Yeah, I don’t think so!

Just as I’ve been typing this (altho I admit, I am also watching a movie, so it’s taken longer than you’d think) it has dropped to 5.5 degrees…

Thank the Lord for warm homes, fireplaces, snuggly beds and hot tea.






“At least it’s a ‘dry heat'”


Today’s official high temperature – well in the United States, anyway – was 108 degrees, in Boise, Idaho. Yeah… right where I live. ¬†Well, okay, technically, I live in one of the outlying towns… but, still. It was toastin’ hot here today.

The weird thing is, it didn’t seem horribly hot to me. Hot, yeah, of course, but not like ‘walking into a furnace’ hot, and you’d think it would have felt like that.

I think there is something strange going on… with me. See, I was born and raised in the West – Southern California. Then since getting married, we have also lived in some other western states – Idaho, Utah, Washington… and then Virginia. The West can be hot… obviously. But it’s dry. Well, okay, the Seattle area isn’t exactly what you’d call dry, but what I mean to say is, it’s not humid. Not in the least. Most of my life, when I’d complain about the weather and how hot it was, someone would say “well, at least it’s a dry heat” and I’d think “what the crap does that mean?” because let’s face it, hot is hot, right? Well, no. Wrong.

We lived in Virginia about a year and a half, over two summers. Geez, you talk about HOT!!¬† And guess what? It’s not the temperature that kills you, it’s the humidity. I don’t understand why anyone would live back east on purpose. Humidity is just… gross. It’s like I couldn’t even breathe back there when it was hot…¬†like I was¬†wrapped up in a hot,¬†wet, woolen blanket.¬† urrgggh.¬†

So we’re back in Idaho, and even though it’s been over 100 degrees every day this week, and just plain crazy hot today… it felt…. good. A nice hot. Just a “dry heat”, lol. I guess you have to experience the “wet heat” to understand what that means.

Sleigh Ride ~ Bogus Basin Outfitters, Boise Mountain Range, Idaho


The road up was nasty, as I suspected… even nastier (quite icy)¬†coming back down. Especially when the guy ahead of us stopped dead in the middle of the road (but I couldn’t get mad, ’cause he stopped for a deer who was considering crossing just then).

BUT! The ride was soooo fun!¬† We had a great time. It’s been awhile since we did something fun, so it was especially memorable.

The ride up as it started to get snowy…

This rock is known as “The Buffalo”… it’s a halfway marker point –

My windshield wiper froze up, so we couldn’t get the window clear –

The Nordic ski lodge, where we waited for the sleigh to arrive –


It was getting dark by the time we arrived at the little cabin, so I have my camera on a pretty long exposure time, and I am not good at holding still! So, these aren’t great pics, but give you an idea how it looked, anyway.

Looking out from the hot chocolate shack, where we had a nice wood fire and – well, hot chocolate!

Super, super fun! Everyone in our group enjoyed it; adults, teenagers, and the little ones. I highly recommend it!

Snow? Why today?


This afternoon, since it’s a holiday,¬†a group of us are going up to the ski mountain to take a ride in a horse-drawn sleigh.¬† The road up the hill is treacherous if it’s snowy,¬†and full of hairpin curves. Not to worry though, as it’s been pretty much dry as a bone this winter. We’ve had the latest opening ever of the local ski resort, and the road has been dry pretty much the whole winter. Which is bad for a whole host of reasons, but makes for better driving, to be sure.

Until today. Today it is snowing like mad. Big, lovely flakes fluttering down. I’d be thrilled – if it wasn’t for my plans.¬† The snow isn’t really sticking here in the valley, but it’s most likely a different story up the hill.

IF we make it up there safe, I bet it will be a really pretty ride!

Then hopefully we make it back home safe, as well!

Snow!! Finally!! A late winter for Idaho


I didn’t think we’d ever get winter here in the Treasure Valley, but it finally arrived! Although my inlaws in Seattle are getting more snow than we are, here in the mountain region of the country… really, we in Idaho should have waaaay more snow than Seattle!¬† Still, I’ll take what we get.¬† It’s so pretty. It’s not supposed to last, they tell us it’s going to turn to rain soon… I did get my workday cancelled, so it’s all good!!¬† Yay!

You can see it’s getting deep…

Poor confused Robin… dude, it’s not spring yet

Stuff that’s weird


I think I will start a whole category here on my blog for this. Because life is full of weird stuff.¬† What I’m thinking of now is the weather here in Idaho. It isn’t winter right now. Not one stinkin’ flake of snow for Christmas. We have this weird pattern of it being freezing cold and dry as a bone, then when we finally get a little precipitation, the temps jump up to 40 or 50 degrees. Rain. Not snow.¬†For an Idaho winter.¬†The other day – Christmas Eve, I think – I was sitting on the back porch in my rocking chair, in sweats and a short sleeve shirt, just soaking up the sun. I was so warm!¬† Ok, my husband came out and was like “geez, aren’t you cold?” and I couldn’t figure why he’d ask me that. Of course, when I went inside I checked the thermometer, and the temperature was only 30 degrees out. It seemed warm to me.¬† Weird.

My 50th birthday ~ it was actually a pretty good day


First off, I think birthdays should always be on Sunday.¬† I mean, pretty much everyone has that day off… I know, not everyone, but most folks in my circle, anyway.¬† The day started off with church, which is always a good way to start.¬† The service we go to isn’t super early, so I don’t mind – too terribly – getting out of bed.¬† I also have a big group of my ‘peeps’ to sit with, so even on days like yesterday when Alan is in the coffeebar and therefore goes to early service instead, I don’t have to sit alone.¬† Not that I’d hate that, I’m a big girl and sit by myself just fine… but it’s more fun to sit with my friends.

After church we went boating with some other friends.¬† We went to a small reservoir nestled in the sagebrush covered hills of southern Idaho.¬† You drive up Freeze Out Hill then past Frozen Dog Road – I’m so not making this up!!¬† Funny stuff, this place I live in. The hills are dry and the grass is brown, so they look like beige velvet.¬† The sky was as blue as you can imagine, with huge puffy white clouds piled up over the Boise Mountain range in the distance.¬† It just so darn beautiful here! I was careful to wear sunscreen as that stupid medicine is still in my body messing things up, one of which is causing me to burn easily. The kids all got to try waterskiing and tubing and had an absolute blast.¬† (I used to adore waterskiing, but it’s been over 20 years and 100 pounds ago – I was afraid I’d hurt something if I tried it!)¬† Maybe next summer….¬† I’m irritated because I forgot to take my camera!¬† I did find one pic online that sort of gives an idea of the area we were in, but doesn’t really do it justice –

Anyway, we had a fabulous time!¬† We had to rush home from there (about a 45 min. drive, thru the town we used to live in, which made me really miss it!) take about 15 minutes to¬†change clothes, try to do something with our hair to not look all wind-tousled, then head over to my sister’s for my birthday party.¬† It was actually more of a tea than a party… that just sounded nicer to me!¬† My sister has a real talent for design and decorating, so it looked amazing.¬† We had lots of goodies and jabbering… how can you beat that??

So, all in all, since I had no real choice in the matter of turning 50, it was still a good day when all was said and done.  I guess I can continue to push forward, one day at a time.

Vonnie, this one is for you! Idaho, the Gem State


Per an earlier request via comment, this post is going to be about Idaho.¬† So, what can I say about Idaho?¬† So much of what you see in a place is about what you do or don’t like… such as – Wide Open Spaces.¬† I love the expanse of sky that you see here, and that you can see the awesome mountains in the distance, and watch the storms rolling in from the far-off edges.¬† When we lived in Virginia, I felt claustraphobic because of the woods all around us – it felt totally closed in, and I didn’t like it.¬† However, I recently met a gal who moved here from somewhere back East, and she said she feels all icky and exposed here because you aren’t surrounded by trees!¬† So, it’s all perspective, eh?¬† Now, I have to say that in Northern Idaho, you are surrounded by trees, altho they are evergreens instead of the hardwoods back East.¬† But it’s not like that in Southern Idaho.¬† North and South are sort of two different states.¬† Here in the south, it is sort of high desert, dry and sagebrushy.¬† Beautiful.¬† To me!

There aren’t a billion people here, which is why we moved here from Southern California.¬† Now, if you ask a native Idahoan (or someone who moved here from California more than 25 years ago so they think they are exempt) the Californians are the demise of Idaho.¬† They think we should all go home.¬† I think if¬†they hate the newcomers¬†they¬†should move to Alaska. ¬†Sheesh.¬†¬† Anyhoodle, there are still open lands between towns, and farms dot the landscape, and we have open irrigation canals.¬† Don’t¬†swim in them, though!¬† They have a wicked undertow.¬†¬†You can be¬†driving through a suburban neighborhood and come across a pasture of cows or horses, grandfathered-in because they were there first.¬† I love that.

What else?¬† Hmmm… well, we have 4 definate seasons, which I think is great.¬† Fall is my all-time favorite season, with the colors and crisp air and the scent of wood smoke in the air.¬† Spring is wild, with different weather every day.¬† Or several times a day!¬† We can have sun, warmth, wind and rain, and snow all in the same day.¬† Fun.¬† Outdoor recreation is big here – hiking, rafting, skiing, snowmobiling, hunting, horseback riding… bunches of stuff.¬† Now, shopping… not so much.¬† We have two malls within our little valley, one of which is pretty lame.¬† The other, slightly less so.¬† We have no Nordstrom, no Ikea, no Trader Joes…. but, we have some fun little indie shops… so, it’s fine.¬† Shopping was one thing I really missed when we moved from Cali, and one thing I loved when we moved to Seattle and then to Virginia… but, hey, everything is a trade-off, so my dad tells me! Now I am so poor I can’t afford to shop anyway….

I like it here.¬† I really do.¬† We have moved so much that I haven’t felt like anyplace was home, but since we moved back here from Virginia last summer, I really, really felt like I had come home.¬† It’s a good feeling.

Anything else you’d like to know about Idaho?¬† I am more than willing to share…. I just can’t think of anything at the moment!

Here are some photos of the local Idaho area that I think are a good general selection, to give you an idea of what it looks like around here.¬† These aren’t my pics, just nice ones I found on the internet – I apologize for not giving credit individually.¬†

I don’t know why some are all tiny… sorry ūüė¶

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Living in fly-over country (Home is where the Heart is)


I live in Idaho.¬† Ever heard of it?¬† Do you know where it is?¬† Trust me when I tell you, it is one of the 50 states… but it seems to me that a whole lot of people don’t know that. I remember when my husband and I decided to move here from Southern California… our co-workers kept asking things like “Where are you moving again?¬† Ohio?” “Illinois?”¬† Really?¬† Really.¬†

¬†It was even worse last year while living in Virginia!¬† At least out there, you could think …well, Ohio is close to here, so that makes sense…. sort of…. except not really, because I’m not talking recent immigrants…. I mean, sure, if you told me you were from Zambia, not Zimbabwe, I might not know which one was more¬†north and which more south… but I am pretty sure all of us Americans took US Geography at some point, learned that ‘States song’… you know the one?¬† Yeah, so I think you ought to know where Idaho is.¬† Yet on more than one occasion I found myself saying “No, not Ohio.¬† I-da-ho.¬† You know, it’s between Montana and Oregon.”¬† Because everyone knows where Montana and Oregon are, but not Idaho!¬† Urgh.¬† The good thing, I suppose, is the the less people know about Idaho, the less likely it will get full-up and ruined.¬† (After all, that’s why we left SoCal… too many people moving there!)¬† One of Kiki’s friends in Virginia, when she found out we had moved from Idaho, was like “Ooooh!¬† Do you like french fries?!”¬† So, I guess she at least knew a little bit about Idaho.¬† Yes, potatoes grow here.¬†

My dad calls Idaho ‘fly-over’ country… as in, no one comes here on purpose, they just fly over.¬† That’s pretty true.¬† There are alot of things we don’t have here….. shopping is sparse at best.¬†

¬†No Ikea, no Trader Joes.¬† We don’t have In-and-Out Burger.¬† Or Nordstrom.¬†We don’t have the¬†ocean, and that’s the worst part, really. ¬†We have what you need; maybe not everything you want.¬† Most of what Idaho is known for is outdoor living… skiing, snowmobiling, white water rafting, horsesback riding,¬†hiking, hunting; that sort of thing.¬† We have gorgeous mountains, fantastic lakes, tons and tons of wilderness areas.¬†We have¬†all four seasons, and they are¬†all beautiful. ¬†And about four malls in the entire state.¬† So it depends on what you’re into, huh?¬† It can be frustrating… a few days ago, my hubby and I and another couple wanted to go out for espresso.¬† We went to the one really cool place – which was closed for a private party.¬† Then we hit two other spots – one a local¬†spot and one a nationwide chain (Tully’s)¬†– both of which were closed (it was only 8pm!!) before we ended up at SBUX.¬† Not my fave coffee place – but,¬†they were open. Meh…stuff happens.

It’s not all mountains and meadows… where we live, it’s actually sort of high-desert…. fields and sagebrush.¬† Well, where there isn’t a housing tract.

And some rivers.

Of all the places we’ve lived,¬†Idaho isn’t my #1 fave.¬†Part of it is probably due to the fact we haven’t taken full advantage of all there is to do here.¬† We really need to¬†go camping¬†this summer! ¬†All things being equal (as in, if I could move my family, friends, church, and Kiki’s homeschool co-op with¬†us) we’d probably live in the Seattle area.¬† We love, love it¬†there.¬† However – all things are not equal!¬† We have¬†chosen¬†family and friends, and we are¬†very happy to be living here.¬†

P.S.¬† I did not personally take these photos.¬† I gathered them from around the internet, but none of them said I couldn’t…. so there.