Tag Archives: rivers

Leesburg Virginia ~ and snakes who go swimming

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Here in Idaho, we just had our first snow of the season!  Yay snow!  Of course, it only came down from the sky but didn’t stick… it’s not quite that cold yet.  But it was so pretty. 

But enough about Idaho – I’ve been thinking about Virginia.  Because even though we were desperate to come “home”,  there were still nice things about back there.  Not that I want to live there, nuh-uh!  But I have some good memories….

One day, we went on a picnic just minutes from our home.  A pretty little park…

And right under this cute little bridge was this guy –

EEEYYWWW!!!  That is just so many shades of wrong.  I don’ t have any specific snake phobias (I’m more of a grasshopper-phobic – don’t judge!) but I really don’t think one should be in the creek in which we were considering wading.  Just sayin’.

We just stuck with having a meal and calling it a day.

Bonus points to anyone who can tell me what kind of snake that is!

Walking the dog

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So… these aren’t all the best shots, but I can’t figure out how to get in and edit my slideshow… I guess you’re stuck with them! 

This is where I take my twice weekly dog walk after I drop Kiki off at the co-op school.  The leaves haven’t started turning yet, but it’s real pretty there.  Then we share a chai latte!

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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.