Tag Archives: states

“At least it’s a ‘dry heat'”

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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.

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

Spring time in Idaho

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I love the Spring in Idaho.  You never know what you’re going to get!  One morning you wake up and the sun is shining, the birds are singing, it’s warm enough for a short-sleeved tshirt.  Then the wind kicks up, the clouds roll in, the rain starts… sometimes it might even snow.  And that was all just yesterday!  Two days ago it was in the 80’s, and today we’ll be lucky if it hits 60.  But I’m fine with that… summer comes soon enough, and with it the blazing hot days… so I’ll take whatever spring wants to dish out for now.

Springtime also brings new color to our little corner of the world.  Growing up in Southern California, I didn’t appreciate the colors of spring, because we pretty much had it year ’round.  Here though, I notice each and every new shoot and new leaf that pops up – after all, we’ve just been through the long brown and grey of winter, and color is deeply desired!  It’s also time for babies – ducks and geese are all over the open irrigation canals we have here, and since we still have sections of rural living the fields are full of calves and lambs, and even the occasional foal.

 

 

Spring also brings the promise of long, lazy summer days, as well as the promise of the end of homeschooling for another year!  Yay!  No way are we one of these “year-round homeschooling families”… geez, crazy people!  I want a break every bit as much as my child does!

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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Global day of prayer for Burma: the Karen people

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The city where I go to church is listed as a “soft landing site” for refugees.  I don’t know why, or what criteria is set up for this.  In fact I can’t really tell you exactly what that means!  It just is.  As such, we have a lot of interesting immigrants coming into our area.  At our particular church we have a large group of people from the Burma/Thai border called the “Karen” (kuh-rin).  I think they come to us because they are Christian immigrants; also, our pastor was over there working for them…gosh, 30+ years ago.  So he knows them, knows their hisory.  They are a very persecuted people; they’ve been subjected to ethnic cleansing by the Burmese since sometime in the 1940’s. 

Well, I’m not gonna get all political on you…. I don’t know too much about the whole deal except that I believe it’s certainly wrong to try to wipe an entire group of people off the face of the earth. 

One guy from their group got up and sang a worship song in their native tongue.  It was pretty cool.

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.