Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Boise Inferno

WOW. I turned on the TV last night to watch the DNC, and found only reports on the big Boise Inferno. A fire started in a field, ultimately destroying 10 homes, damaging 9 houses, and killing one person in a matter of a few hours.
A "perfect storm" of 50 mph winds, super-low humidity, and dry ground conditions created an inferno that moved like...well, wildfire...
This fire was about 8 miles away from us. It was so strong it was jumping roads! It was a scary event, and a reminder of what a delicate balance all our lives are in...and what a different environment we have moved to.


Huh...? Wha...? Who's reading a Glamour magazine during a class chat!?
Not me. Three days of school left...

My's Trip to Portland Cancelled :(

This is the draft iteration of my environmental impact statement. Yes, despite the separate bindings and little binder clips, this is one document. Isn't it pretty?
This is a can of Diet Coke. One of many I have been consuming in the past month in the hopes of being able to keep this document on track.
But kegs of diet soda and all my efforts could not save it. And this "little" document's schedule has slipped and slid into my scheduled trip to Portland. So I have had to cancel it.
I am not happy about this. >:(

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Kristin You're Golden!

The town is alight with Kristin Kudos! Well, Kristins are amazing, and do some amazing, noteworthy things. Which Kristin? Who cares! We heart Kristins. :)

Fun at the State Fair!!

The parents graciously joined me at the Western Idaho State Fair! I have to admit, I was expecting more -- many exhibitors seem to have taken their entrants and left...but we had a lovely time. And some good fair junk food. We enjoyed the quail hatching exhibit, the photography pavillion, and we had fun playing with the hawkers in the "we sell weird stuff" hall.

We saw the first part of the free Gary Allan concert, which was pretty good. I practically had to drag the parents out of the mosh pit.

OK, that's a lie. No mosh pit.

A baby miniature horse! He was SO wee!! As I've said before, "I ain't horse people...." but this little guy's squeaky, high-pitched neigh was pretty dang sweet.

"I want 'em all lined up just like a pretty little chorus line..."

And some semi-fresh hay too.

This majestic fellow has a standing invitatation to the Chicken Ranch.

Saddle Up!

My parents were able to return to the U.S. with the prize saddle my great-grandfather won in the Big Gap Roundup. Miss Ginger was intrigued by its presence.

His initials are engraved in the back...or something close to his initials. James Scott MacKay...you can see how it might be easily interpreted as James Cott MacKay.

A Fun Day Out in Boise!

For the parents' first big day in Boise, we mostly took it easy, mostly just hanging out and catching up. We did manage to make it to the Boise Train Depot and a couple other outings before dinner at the Highlands and a drive up to Bogus Basin. We'd hoped to see the sunset and views, but the smoke in the area nixed that plan.

The lobby of the Boise Train Depot...

Dad and "Big Mike." Dad used to work for the Union Pacific Railroad...that was when we lived in LaGrande and I got the "high desert" bug. :)

We went to Goody's ice cream in Hyde Park...such deliciousness...

How many husbands does it take to read the print on the bottom of a discarded brass shell casing?

A Visit from the VanTuyls and the Long, Long Trailer!

After their 2+ weeks in central Canada visiting friends, family, and my maternal grandfather's hometown of Consort, Alberta, the VanTuyls wrapped up their summer extravaganza with a visit to our Boise homestead! When they arrived, I was going to make a joke about the Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz movie "The Long, Long Trailer" and how they can't make it up the hill because Lucy has taken a rock from each place they stopped and now the trailer weighs too much for their convertible to haul. But I didn't...

Until Mom showed me a handful of rocks she grabbed from the homestead!! HAH!! Rhoooo-daaa, you got some 'splainin' to do....

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Brontosaurus Ribs?

Thanks for the tip on the Boise BBQ, Anita.

And Miss Ginger thanks you too.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


How freakin' awesome are Idaho athletes? Boise's Kristin Armstrong winning gold in the women's road cycling individual time trial was spectacular!! Definitely this will also be on my personal highlights reel.

Also in the running: the kayaker from Togo winning bronze; Latvia whoppin' the U.S. in that first beach volleyball game; and any water polo team in their little baby bonnet hats. Yeah, and Michael Phelps can be on it too.

But come on, does anyone really think those Chinese gymnasts are actually 15 and a half?


Few visitors to the house have reacted to my vintage Cherokees like Sally did. And can I say, few have worn them as well.



I liked all these pictures of brothers.

Brothers on the Boise.

Sunbathing Brothers.

Bicycling Brothers.

Brothers going to Bardenay.

Camelsback Brothers.

A Visit from Seattle!

Chris, Sally, Louie, and Oliver arrived on Sunday for a visit to Boise! We kept them out way to late and ensured they were really wet most of the time -- my idea of a good vacation! :) They were off on Tuesday morning for a couple of weeks travelling to and staying at Yellowstone.

Here's Sally (left) and me in our super-speedy individual rafts with the highest quality paddles you can get for $14.

Uncle J captained the big boat with Louie (left) and Ollie in it.

Monday was waterpark day, but as I loves me some waterpark, I was in the water most of the time, so I have no pictures. But trust me, it was good times, and likely the boys' highlight of their visit to Boise. After that, we walked downtown (boys on bikes!) for a lovely walking tour and dinner at Bardenay. A woman--who maybe had a slight vision problem -- pretty much rode her bike into Oliver's bike. When I'm riding my bike, I make every effort to not drive into other people. Or bikes. That's just me tho.

Sally and the currently-being-refurbished capitol building.

Last on the docket: Camelsback Park. Those are the younger brothers in the bottom left corner, about to tackle the hill.

Sally and Chris also powered up to the top, to behold the expansive views of Boise!

Test Run on the Boise River

As we are not ones to take small children (and their parents, for that matter) down a river we are unfamiliar with, we finally carved out a few hours on Saturday to "Test Float" the Boise River! SUCH fun! The city really knows what they are doing. Really nicely done.

We took the large raft and my "gondolier" navigated while I enjoyed the scenery and the sunshine...

...in my big hat, of course.

OK, you really can't see my toes, but they are painted gold with a red flower, a blue flower, and a white flower on the prime piggies. USA! USA! Trust me, it's quite fabulous.

Plus, really funny story...as we would be out later than the shuttles, we left the Cooper at the take-out spot, and drove the truck to the put-in spot. Where I carefully put my Cooper keys in the truck...because duh! otherwise they'd get wet on the float.

This is the pile of gear my husband was left to sit with at the take-out, while I (soaking wet) took a red taxi to the house for the other set of keys. He thought this little mix-up was HILARIOUS and rather cute. HAH!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Tied up!

Please, please, won't someone blog up all the phrases used by the color announcers during women's beach volleyball that could be euphemisms or double entendres...

I'll leave it at that.


How freakin' awesome are Oregon athletes? Beaverton's Mariel Zagunis winning the first gold of the Olympics was so awesome, and made only cooler by Becca Ward of Portland getting the bronze. All three USA athletes on the podium will definitely make my personal highlights reel.

I'm not pleased that the nation flags are hung opposing the athletes in the awards ceremonies. I prefer the flags behind or above the athletes.

Go Team USA!! (Followed closely behind by those representing my motherland -- Go Team Netherlands!!)

The End of a Good Run

Well, in all of our nearly 17 years together, I have managed to shun, shirk, and be conveniently unavailable for all yardwork. Don't get me wrong, I ain't afraid of hard work, sign me up for some good manual labor any day. But yardwork usually involves dirt. And dirt usually involves bugs. And I don't do bugs. Bugs are gross. Topped only by worms, the very grossest.

But, as my husband has been working night and day attempting to get the bathroom reasonably guest-ready (no sink, no lights, but at least a door and a shower!), the yardwork fell to me.

Not only did I weed the entire front and backyards, but I also ran the weedeater! AND I repotted this palm for our backyard lounging oasis. Get a load of me! I'm sure I'm going to gain a reputation in the neighborhood as a big green thumb. :)

Plus, our first real tumbleweed blew into the yard! I'm a little obsessed with tumbleweeds and their clean, even lines. In preparation for our move, last Christmas I decorated a tumbleweed like you would a tree. Don't you judge me.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Picnic on the Payette!

A picnic on the Payette was in order Saturday afternoon! A quick stop at the deli for samiches, strawberries, and refreshments, a quick drive, and suddenly we were kickin' it in the sand. It was such a lovely adventure!

We didn't build the peace sign, but enjoyed its presence. Plus it made a good cooler.
[Addendum: Excellent eye, A.W. It's true, this isn't a peace symbol at all. Hmm. Did the creators mean to leave out the bottom post? Well, it made me feel peaceful. :)]

It was non-stop rafters and kayakers Saturday afternoon! Looks like a good time, but I'd always rather be in the water than on it... :)

My New (Blue) China Cabinet

While my husband spent the weekend furiously working in Bathroom 1, I completed some finish work on my new china cabinet! After finding it cheap on Craigslist (from an Idaho State Trooper!) I removed the beveled stained glass windows, primed it, and painted it blue! I'm normally not a "paint wood" sort of girl -- I like wood! But this was some low-grade paneling -- I thought it would be better with a nice coat of high-gloss latex. :) It's a little electric in the garage, but the color tones down in the dining room. I still have to replace the glass and rehang the doors, but I'm very happy with it!

Bathroom 1 Floor is Installed!

My husband successfully installed the new subfloor and vinyl in the main floor bathroom, which was no easy feat! It looks fabulous!

The new floor!

Which was apparently made by Fisher-Price? (This is printed on the back.)

The old (quite old) floor.