Tag Archives: mountains

Hunting Christmas Trees in Idaho

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This is how we get Christmas trees in Idaho.

We traipse through the woods.

Tree cutting, nana's tea, some work stuff, ksilly 297

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After we find the (very im-)perfect tree, we strap it to the top of the car.

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We have soup, sausages cooked over the fire, hot cocoa, and of course – s’mores!

We also have a bunch of fun with friends and family.

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

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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 –

Brrrrr……

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?

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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

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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

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

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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.

Traveling ~ moving ~ with cats and dogs

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If you’ve read my blog for awhile, you know that in the past two years, we moved across the country – and back again.  Yeah, we’re dumb like that.  Hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time!  That is, the first move.  The second move was more in the line of desperation – “Dear Lord get us out of here!!” 

I thought I’d post some pics from our cross-country move;  today, featuring our cat and our dog.  To be honest, it wasn’t all that difficult traveling with them.  The dog loves car trips, long or short.  The cat, well, not so much, but give him a couple traquilizers and let him hide under the seat and he does okay.  The hardest part was probably finding hotel rooms that will accept 1) a big dog.  Most hotels these days seem to take little dogs, even though in my experience they are more destructive (or annoying) than big dogs.  But I don’t get to make the rules. 2) cats.  Finding a room that will take a cat is even harder than one that will take big dogs!  Thank the Lord and AAA, we did fine.  A shout out here to La Quinta!!  We used them all the way across the country – they were absolutely awesome!

One of the difficulties of pet-travel is that there doesn’t seem to be enough room in the car for everything.  I mean, geez, we have a 7 passenger vehicle with only 3 human beings in it, and yet with the animals in the car and all the paraphanelia that goes along with that, you end up with this:

Yeah.  All that interior space, and our luggage had to be on the outside.  Since the East seems to get ridiculous amounts of rain even in the middle of the summer (ick!) we had to make sure it was as water-tight as possible.  Alan and I got really good at packing this up every day!

The interior looked kinda like this:

Huh.  Can’t find the really messy interior shots… which is cool.  See, we had to take this giant crate for the dog (they have to be crated in the hotel room) and also her ramp because we have to be careful getting her into and out of the car since she had her knee surgery. 

So then we have them in the room with us.  Really, we have well-behaved pets.  (I wouldn’t tolerate any other kind!) They didn’t cause any trouble, except on the very last day.  I guess the dog had just plain had enough, and when we left to go have our hotel breakfast that morning she started barking as soon as we left the room and would not stop for anything… which is not like her at all.  We ended up having to take her to breakfast with us – thank goodness the weather was wonderful and the hotel had a patio area, so it ended up alright.

 

 You really need to be prepared when you travel with pets!

The room was nice and big so the crate fit fine.

The cat, of course, was curious.

They both seemed to enjoy the view.

These pictures were all taken on our last night, which we spent in Denver, Colorado.  I will try to post pictures of the entire trip, maybe one day at a time.  All of our moving has been a big pain in the haunches, and yet I am not sorry for the experiences we have had.  I’d be pretty happy to never move again, though.  Well, after we move out of my parents’ home and into one of our own!  Sheesh, I’m not ready to stay here forever!!  God forbid it!  Lol.

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

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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 😦

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

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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.