Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

We are, I believe, ready for Christmas.

Son number 2 and his wife were here the first week of December and we had a lot of fun with them.

The food is all bought and as ready as it can be ahead of time for our annual Christmas dinner with others who live far from families or who aren't celebrating on Christmas day and would otherwise be alone. There will be 5 of us this year unless some others are trapped by snow and show up.

Hubby sent out our Christmas cards – what few we send these days.

The gifts were mailed and received by family in California with days to spare.

We have been to the Boise Botanical Garden Christmas light show, had fun with friends and done 'Christmasy' things.

There is snow on the ground but not on the roads and that is perfect for our 'White Christmas', and yes we do play the Bing Crosby CD a lot!

The cookie dough is in the fridge to bake fresh to take to church for the Christmas Eve Services.

The house is reasonably clean.

And so...

It is time to take a breather, and really think about what we do and why. It does not matter that we
don't really know when the birth of Jesus took place, we celebrate because he was born. We celebrate that he was born because it is the first step in the amazing life that was promised for 2000 years, the life that would result in a victory over death, the life that would be given for us. Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, has its beginning on Christmas eve. My prayer for all of you who read this blog is that you would receive that great gift from Him and truly understand the reason for the season!!
                     God Bless us Every One!!

I wish you all the merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of New Years!!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Winter is Coming!

Yes I am a game of thrones fan!  Although I started on the books, I have become hooked on the series.  Winter is on the way though in real life and we are getting ready.  While youngest son was here he pulled all the weeds and plants out of the garden so it is winterized.  (he did a better job than I was going to!) 

 The Garlic is planted and covered for the cold weather.
 The leaves have been beautiful, however this week they all just fell off in unison!  Hubby and I have raked 18 bags (39 gal lawn and leaf bags!) of leaves for the compost and mulch and some for the trash company who make compost and sell it. 

  We had our first fire today as it was just a hair above freezing when we got up and didn't get a lot warmer during the day. We bought a new wood 'holder', and will have more wood on the porch so when it snows we don't have to trudge to the barn.

 I love this time of year!

We took son # 3 home to California so we could see the rest of the family too.  Got to see son number 2 and their new digs, they are living in the mountains and working at a year round camp.  Hiking, horseback riding, skiing, boating and all that!

Mom went with us to see where they were.  This is the lake they see from their cabin.

 This is where they do s'mores each night with guests in the summer....

Here is son, wife and Grandma.  They seem to be very happy in the mountains.  (son and wife that is, grandma is perfectly happy in the valley! No snow!)

Of course we had to see Miss Lily!

Barefoot in her pretty dress...she is such a character!

And of course we got to see oldest son and his wife as well.  Daughter in law number one loves to play board games so we had several 'game nights'!

October went by very fast it seemed and I have no reason to believe that time is going to slow down for me at this point!  I am working on Christmas gifts and looking forward to son #2 and wife coming to visit in December as the camp is closed for 3 weeks getting ready for Christmas guests.  The mountains got about 2 feet of snow today just 30 miles from us...yup winter is!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Time Flies....

Can't seem to catch up these days!  The end of summer is always busy but this year, summers end was rather abrupt!  It went from warm and sunny to cold and cloudy with a whole week of rain!  Very unusual for us.

We did get a major project done that we have been working toward and saving money for for at least 4 years and that is the house painting!!  After many ideas I finally settled on simple and we painted it white with black trim.  Here are the before and afters:

Before - peeling and flaking a pale yellow and light blue....

After - I think it looks cleaner as well.

and my purple door!!

The before on the back porch...

and after.

White vinyl lattice work to replace the broken wood ones.  Had to have a cat door, it is their 'safe space'!

We are very pleased with the look and the fact that the house is sealed now as they caulked and repaired the spots that needed it.  Should help with the winter weather to keep it warmer.

We took a trip to Hell's Canyon for our Anniversary (37 years).  It is the deepest gorge in North America, the Snake river runs through it, and it is part of the border between Oregon and Idaho in the south and Washington and Idaho in the north.  It was a beautiful day and a fun trip, we rode on a bus with the Parks and Rec group and then took a Jet boat ride up the canyon.

We pulled into a cove on the Idaho side and they turned the big diesel engines off so we could hear the river ...

 The view on the Oregon side!

Class 4 rapids with a 14 foot overall drop!  We've had so much water this year that it is like spring runoff season in the fall - very unusual.

Youngest son came up to visit and for my birthday, he took the bus to Winnemucca Nevada and my friend Anita and I drove the 4 hours to pick him up, stay overnight and bring him home the next day.  We wanted to see new stuff as we have driven this road every time we go to California.  So we stopped at the Charbonneau grave site....
 Son of Sacajawea from the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Beautiful sky, and lovely but lonely scenery.  This is along the southern route for the Oregon Trail and it is interesting I think, to look and see what the pioneers must have seen and wonder what they thought.

This is cattle ranching country, wide open spaces.

The old Stage station was here which we did not expect - kind of a bonus!

Then we drove a little further to a little town called Rome, Oregon.  (town is really stretching it, I think there are 5 buildings)

The pioneers thought these rock formations looked like old Roman walled fortresses from a distance, so they called them the  "Pillars of Rome", which is how the little town got it's name.

Kind of amazing, I think.  But perhaps the most amazing thing was that we kept seeing these green boxes that looked like cable TV boxes.  We stopped to look and they said "fiber optic cable" buried here!  Seriously the true middle of nowhere has better internet service than we do!!

So we have been rather busy - and a fun time was had by all!!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Summertime is....

Winding down - thank goodness!  Everyone knows I am not a fan of the heat and this has been a very hot summer for our area.  There are some things that go on in the summer that I do like, however, and the Fair is one of them.

If you grew up in a rural area, the fair is the culmination of the summer.  If you were in 4-H this is when all of your projects needed to be completed and were judged on merit.  If you were older, this is when you might take everything from your quilt to your collection of antique salt shakers, your homemade jelly to your garden fresh produce, your cakes and pies, which are also judged and awarded ribbons that are bragged about for the next year.  Then everyone in the surrounding area comes to see and be seen, the kids ride the carnival rides and everyone eats 'Fair Food' which includes everything from chocolate covered bacon and deep fried Twinkies to funnel cakes and corn dogs.  As a former 4-H kid I always figured if you didn't go home from the fair with at least one stomach ache you must have missed something!

l-r  Judges Marilyn and Judy, Anita, Myself and Hubby
 Imagine my pleasure when my friend Anita was asked to be the Superintendent for the 'Needle Arts' section of the Canyon County Fair and replied that she would do it only if I would help her.  I was so excited, and we had so much fun!

We assembled a team of helpers and Judges and we were off to the fair for a week!

 I gained a new appreciation for how hard it is to be a judge watching these two examine seams and 'points', deciding which workmanship was in some cases just a hair better.

 We appreciated too, the young ladies who climbed up and hung our quilts when the judges were done.

That purple quilt in the center was done by a 75 year old gentleman who sews the quilts himself, but does let his wife help him with color combos!  He won the 'Peoples Choice' award the first day.

Needle Arts is 'sew' much more than quilts!  (sorry the pun was just waiting there)  It includes anything that is made with a needle; clothing, crochet, knitted items, home decor, toys, doll clothes etc.. (two categories: youth and adult)
That American flag in the corner was crocheted by a young lady in the under 17 class and won the 'Peoples Choice' award on the last day of the fair.

The ribbon for 'Best of Show' in the youth category went to a lap quilt by a 12 year old young man!  Some of our youngest exhibitors are doing lovely work already. 

I am pleased to see young people still doing this sort of thing.  So many of our youth are making headlines for reasons that make me despair of the future.  The kids who came to the fair made me think things will be OK!

This beauty won Best of Show in the adult category, and is completely hand stitched - the applique, the piecing and the quilting!  Oh my...the time and patience involved!  The finished product is so worth it to look at though!

l-r Angie and Pearl ( Pearl is Anita's mother)

 The section had to be monitored all the time so Anita and I were there for the whole fair.  We did have help on several occasions.  Hubby came and helped out 3 days, and we had a few friends that gave us a break here and there. 
These two characters were arguably our most popular 'docents'!  They came and let Anita and I see the rest of the fair for about 4 hours. They were a big hit with everyone.

It was fun but probably a good thing it is only a week, we were tired!  We got back to our normal lives and are looking forward to next years fair already!  (Okay it took a couple of days to start looking forward to it!)

In the meantime, at home....

The garden is exploding, and not just with weeds.

Hubby's tomatoes are producing at an alarming rate!!

Hubby has finished the new planter in the front yard....

...and dispersed and raked 12 yards of 'road mix' gravel in the lot area.

And now you also know what he does while I sit in an air conditioned office 4 days a week!!  (this may also be why he has lost more weight than me this summer!)

Football season is starting and fall cannot be far off!  WooHoo!

Monday, July 10, 2017


Funny how things happen isn't it?

 In my last post I wrote about having the arborist come out and see if the Corkscrew willow could be saved.  Two days later half of it broke away and fortunately fell away from the house, did not crush the barn and only slightly bent the fence.  We now just had the guys come out and cut it up....and after seeing the base of it we made the appointment to take the rest down as well.

This is part of the wood from the first half, Hubby has worked very hard at wood for the last month!

The second and larger half has now come down.  Can you see how much shade we are going to be missing?

And there is much more wood for Hubby to work on.  We had to order a new chain saw chain already!

We found two nests in the wreckage, this one was the biggest and made of mud and large sticks.

This piece makes a nice place to take a rest in the garden, yes?

Last year I was fairly sure the echinacea was dead and I needed the pot.  Since I wasn't sure, I stuck it in a small pot very roughly and forgot about it over the winter. It is obviously a hearty plant!

We did go fishing, this is on the Snake River looking at a place called Lizard Butte.  When the light is right the rocks look like a lizard sunning himself on the hill.

The geese were friendly - I think they were the ones scaring the fish away!!

And this egret seemed to have the best fishing spot...

We did not catch any fish but we had a lovely day with our friend Anita.

I did process the garlic scapes and this vinegar smells wonderful now.  It is a mild flavor and is very nice on salads.

And just this evening I harvested the garlic.  I am very pleased with the size of the bulbs.  I planted 45 and harvested 45.  I will let them dry and then clean them up.

It finally got hot this last week and we are suffering through a heat wave in the western United States.  It has been 106F here (41C) and of course with no AC except in the bedroom, it is not fun!  The good news for me is that I am working 4 days a week again for awhile in air conditioned offices.  Hopefully these clients need me at least until the heat wave breaks!  I am trying not to complain too much....we used to live closer to Death Valley and it was up to 127.7F (53C)  there could be worse!  We will survive...winter is coming! (for all the Game of Thrones fans)