Category Archives: life in idaho

neighborly

Today I was pulling out of the driveway, and the neighbor across the street (the one with the teenage son who has both a motorcycle and a monster truck and interrupts many of Buttercups naps because of his anti-muffler stance) waved at me for the first time ever. I waved back and thought, “Oh, how nice. My neighbor waved at me.”

As I was driving off, my brain processed the scene a little better, and I realized he was carrying a shotgun to his car. This didn’t seem the slightest bit out of place to me, but he was probably waving to appear less intimidating.

seasons

I lived in Fort Worth until I was just about to turn 27, and my opinion on seasons was this: Fall rules them all, winter is great, too, as long as I can stay inside, spring is okay but muggy and buggy, and summer is the worst thing that could ever happen to anyone anywhere.

I moved to Amarillo and found that I wasn’t really opposed to any of the seasons; even summer was tolerable, because it’s a dry heat.

Then I moved to Florida, where it is summer from March until December and fall-ish from January to February and unbearably humid all year round. In Florida, I hated pretty much everything except February. Well, I could deal with November through March, really, but after March, I just wanted to die rather than have to go outside for anything. And I did love the summer thunderstorms, as long as I was comfortably inside with the air conditioning blasting and the golf course window blinds open so I could watch the beautiful show.

And then I moved to Boise. This morning at my workout, the instructor asked our favorite season. Fall is still my hands-down favorite season, but I was thinking about it, and here in the high desert, they’re all pretty sweet. The fall temperatures are wonderful, and when it’s too cold, we get to bust out the sweatshirts and flannel PJs and warm up with hot soup and cocoa around the fire pit. Plus football and hockey start, so I really can’t think of anything wrong with that brilliant season. Winter here is also great. I grew up without snow–I can seriously remember snow actually sticking to the ground ONE time when I was growing up. The snow was gone and the snowmen were sad sacks by midday. In Boise, we get a pretty decent amount of snow and have an actual good shot at a white Christmas. But we don’t get so much snow that we’re sick of it before January ever arrives. Sure, by the time March rolls around, I’m ready for some warmer temps, but I can deal. Also, no ice storms, at least not like the Metroplex ice storms. It’s pretty grand. Spring in Boise is amazing. My whole life, I kind of nothinged spring, but here, the temperatures are perfect, everything gets so lush and green, and the flowering trees are gorgeous. And while it is a little buggier, it’s not generally muggy (this year excluded). Even summer is tolerable. This summer has been more humid than the last couple, but I know this is the outlier in the bunch, so I’m okay. In Texas, it’s hot in the shade, and in Florida, it’s hot if you’re even inside the house and near a window, but here the shade is actually… well, shady.

I never knew I could actually love all four seasons. While summer is still my least favorite, I no longer dread it or hate it. And man, fall here is everything fall should be.

We picked a great place to live.

different

I work out on weekday mornings with a group of moms, together with our kids. At the beginning of every class, during warmup, we go around the circle of strollers and introduce ourselves. Name, child’s name, child’s age. And the instructor will ask a kind of getting-to-know-you question, so we each answer it when we introduce ourselves.

It turns out I’m kind of an oddball. I mean, we knew this. You’re all vigorously nodding your agreement. Two examples:

One morning, the question was something like, “Give me one word that describes motherhood.” This was the Mother’s Day class, and there were probably 30 or so moms there. The answers were things like “blessed”, “beautiful”, “joy”, “love”, “amazing”, etc. You get the picture. My answer was “sleep deprivation”, which, yes, is a phrase, but I followed it up with one word: “teething”.

My favorite recent question was, “What magazines do you read?” Hahaha. I stopped taking People and Entertainment Weekly years ago, and, well, we don’t read a lot of magazines. The answers were things like National Geographic, Organic Gardening, People, Conde Nast Traveler… you get the picture. And then it was my turn. “We only get Gun Tests Magazine.” Well, we do.

Sunday’s dining adventure

Frank and I really don’t eat out very often. The main reason is money. We’re on a strict budget so I can stay home (that’s really important to both of us) and we can pay off the debt from our previous house, and any dining out has to come out of our grocery money. Since we’re gluten-free, our grocery budget is already huge, and I haven’t been inclined to make it any bigger, and I don’t want to eat beans and rice every day of every week.

This year, we’re going to be able to eat out a little more. I’ve added a few extra dollars to the grocery budget, and we’ve decided to stop just *saying* we’re going to try new restaurants and actually get out there and do it. We know we can get good gluten-free dining experiences at Chang’s and Outback and Epi’s and Cottonwood and a number of other pricey restaurants. We’re going to try some of those when money allows. But we also want to try decently-priced restaurants and see how their gluten-free experience is.

We tried to start that Sunday after worship. We drove to an Indian restaurant on State Street that we haven’t eaten at. It smelled wonderful when we walked in. But alas, it was lunch buffet time, and the place is tiny, so it was completely full, and we decided to try again later. Then we drove to a Santa Fe Mex kind of place I’ve seen a few times. Closed on Sundays. Argh. We went downtown, because we were already close, and decided to try the Indian restaurant down there. Also closed on Sundays. Across from it was a sushi place that is–can you guess? Closed on Sundays.

So we gave up and decided to just go to On The Border. We know the salsa doesn’t suck, and they have allergen-free menus available, so it’s easy to eat there, especially since I also have to be egg- and dairy-free right now (oh, and it’s going to get worse, because I’m going to cut way down on corn). On the way there from downtown, we passed by another “Mexican” restaurant we’ve never tried (see, we have tried very few restaurants), Cinco de Mayo, and decided to give it a shot. When we walked in and only white people were eating there, we should have turned around and walked out. We have yet to find good Mexican (or Tex Mex or Santa Fe Mex) here.

One trend we’ve noticed in Idaho is that the restaurants serve you bean dip as well as salsa while you’re waiting for your meal. That’s good, because the bean dip is usually good, while the salsa is horrific. Two of the Mexican restaurants I’ve eaten at here put basil in their salsa. Basil. I feel like Rachel Lucas, unable to find good Mexican food in my new home. It would make sense if Idaho didn’t have a Mexican population, but we do. The table guac was good, so I have to give them that. The mole wasn’t bad. But if you’re a Mexican restaurant and don’t have good salsa, it’s just not going to work out for us. It’s not me, it’s you.

Anyway, we’ve decided that Sunday is just the wrong day for our new eating adventures, so we’ll probably move it to Thursday evenings. You know, during Buttercup’s crankiest time of day. :)

Related: Susan has a great post on mainstream restaurants that cater to the gluten-free crowd. We don’t have a lot of those restaurants, but if you’re in the Metroplex, you do. Actually, most big cities have most of them. Go check it out.

Tour of the new house part 2

Part 1.

Okay, where were we? Ah yes. We just finished the kitchen and the ’80s wallpaper (some of it). Next is the livingroom. I like the livingroom. I mean, there’s work to be done in here, but it’s not so bad. For starters, I love the fireplace, which burns wood like a real fireplace. I love that–the smell and crackle of the wood fire. On the other hand, you can’t flip a switch and get the wood fire. That’s okay, though–that’s what husbands are for. I’m going to buy firewood this week so Frank can build me a fire, because we are apparently skipping fall and going right to winter after having a very hot September (it was in the 90s most of the month!). I might want to paint the mantel white or black, but I haven’t decided yet. And I’ve been inspired by sheila and have decided that the long wall there needs to be covered floor-to-ceiling in built-in bookshelves (except where the TV armoire will go in the center).

As you can imagine, I’ve already started ripping off the wallpaper.

Underneath the paper is a nicely textured wall (!!) and pale yellow paint.

Off the livingroom (and kitchen) is what is currently a reading cave and may have been a tiny dining room in the past.

All the bookcases are in there now, and I haven’t actually done any reading in there, but… you know. I could if I so wished. I’m pretty sure this fancy little decoration used to be a deadbolt, because this was the back door, and the gameroom is an extension.

What I do love about the door is that it’s pretty well soundproofed, since it used to be an external door. So sometimes Frank goes in the gameroom to write while I bang around in the kitchen with Buffy blaring on the TV so I can listen to slayage while I cook. And when Tarina visited, she went off to bed in the guest room one night, and Frank and I shut ourselves in the gameroom and karaoked for a while. Tarina never heard a peep. So that’s cool.

Oh, and this room, too, has wallpaper.

I sense a theme: Home is where the creepy heart wallpaper is.

Next is the gameroom, which I love.

Only… I don’t understand the color scheme. Blue trim, doors, moulding… white walls. Something a little backwards about that. I mean, I could understand if the walls were orange, because hey, BSU colors. But no, it’s white on country blue. Anyway, we have our office area when we first walk in, then the Wii/karaoke area, and then the other wing of the room is where the pool table will go once I’ve moved all the boxes out of that space.

The pantry is actually in the gameroom, and I’m glad it’s there. The house didn’t originally have one, so at least there’s one around the corner, even if it’s not in the kitchen. Do you love the valance on the back door? It’s blue/maroon with flowers and stuff. I might cover the walls in that fabric.

Here’s the powder room.


I’ll want to paint in here, replace the light fixture (not my style), and eventually replace the vanity, but it’s fine for now. Oh! And the floor–I don’t have a picture–is grey linoleum stick-on tiles with diagonal darker grey designs. The other bathrooms also have stick-on tiles, but they look fine. And the blue trim is all over the powder room, and the door is blue.

Next, we’ll tour the bedrooms.

Splish splash, baby

Saturday evening, we went whitewater rafting on the Lower South Fork of the Payette River. First, let me give you some advice if you’re ever going whitewater rafting on a hot August day: go in the evening. It was beautiful on the river. The water was cold, but not too cold because of the time of day, there was a nice warm breeze between rapids, and the sun hid behind the mountains most of the time, so no sunburn.

We went with Cascade Raft and Kayak again. Last summer when we went, we did a full day, where most of the day is spent lazily floating the river with rapids spread out throughout the day, they feed you lunch, and you have a lot of time to sit and look at the scenery. That was fun. This time we did the half-day trip, which is three hours, and most of that is spent in rapids. I can only remember two or three spots where we had a lot of time for conversation and checking out the scenery.

We went with Laura (aka Elle) and her husband Jesse. The drive on the bus from Cascade was fun, because once we made the turn at Banks (a turn I missed, once upon a time, and will never miss again), we could see the whitewater we would soon be navigating. And, uhm, it was really white. Also funny, because there was a group of ten Asians going on this trip, and we all got up to look at the whitewater, and while my eyes were going huge with the knowledge of my impending doom, I suddenly heard a LOT of very high-pitched oohs, ahs, and things I didn’t understand. The Asians were very excited and also could not believe they were about to do something so intense. They were cute, because the guys were even louder with the scared noises than the girls.

We parked and got the big safety talk. What to do in a number of situations–it’s one of those talks that makes you want to crawl under the bus and cry for mommy. During the talk we learned that our safety kayaker (the kayak that stays with the rafts to help people who’ve gone overboard) was a guy named Andrew. I say guy, but what I mean is kid. He looked twelve. We later learned that he’s sixteen and an expert kayaker and can be your bestest friend if you’re the man overboard. A little scary to know that your life could very well be held in the hands of someone who can’t even buy cigarettes yet, but we watched him do his thing, and he knew what he was doing.

The four of us got our life jackets, helmets (!!!), and paddles, and then we got a guide and raft to ourselves, which was cool. We were the first raft to put in. The water was coooooold on our feet when we walked the raft in, and Kevin was like, “Don’t be shy, you’ll be getting a lot more than your feet wet.”

We had one or two Class II rapids first, if I recall correctly, and then we did the Class III Bronco Billy.

We’re making great faces in this picture.

I think between Bronco Billy and our next big rapid, Staircase, was when I did something I will never tell our theoretical children about. I rode the bull. It’s not kinky like it sounds. I got up on the front of the raft, threw my legs over the front, and held on for dear life while we went through a rapid. I think Class II, but maybe Class I. I held onto a carabiner (attached to the front by our guide, Kevin) and one of the ropes on the side of the boat. It was exhilarating and scary and had me in scream-giggles until I snarfed water. Even after that, it was fun fun fun. Sadly, no pictures of this event are available.

Our next big rapid was the Class IV Staircase, the signature rapid for the Lower South Fork of the Payette River. It’s a third of a mile long, and avid rafters from all over the states have either traveled to do this rapid or heard of the rapid at one time or another. And it lives up to the hype. When we saw it, before we were in it, Elle and I gave each other looks that said everything from, “Oh, crap. We’re all gonna die,” to “Who’s gonna take care of my cats when I’m gone?”

I love this picture of Frank and Jesse. I don’t know what happened to Elle, but you can see my paddle and my helmet there behind Jesse. Kevin’s gone, too.

I love this next picture for one reason: Seeing Frank take a wall of water right in the face.

Staircase was so. much. fun. When we were done, we had a big hi-paddle-five, whooped, hollered, all that. It was AWESOME.

After Staircase, we did Fake Slalom, which I think is a Class II or III–I think II, and then Slalom, which is a Class III or IV, I can’t remember which–I think IV. It has two big drops, and the rest is easy. But the drops are insane, and Jesse and I almost flew out of the raft at the same time, and I was grabbing for the rope across the middle of the raft. It’s crazy when you feel your butt come several inches off the raft, and your whole body starts to lurch. If you don’t have your feet set right and one wedged in the raft, you’re going for a swim. We all managed to stay in the raft.

One of us got caught on film not paddling! Shame shame!

Again with the faces. Elle’s kills me. She’s just so happy to be there, not working. Haha. And Frank is so determined to beat that rapid into submission. Either that, or he’s reaaaaally concentrating, looking for Aquaman.

We had one more rapid, right at the end where the South Fork meets the North Fork. The water is about twenty-five degrees warmer where they meet, and as soon as you go into the rapid, you feel like your feet are in a warm bath. This is where Elle decided she would ride the not-kinky bull. She enjoyed it, but instead of snarfing water like I did, she got slammed back into the boat by a rather rowdy wave. The guys were no-shows on the bull riding, because they’re sissies. ;-)

We had a great time. I’m in love with whitewater rafting and can’t wait to do it again when my sister’s here next week!

Fall is in the air

Ah. Yesterday was so nice. I wore short sleeves to church, but when we left, it was a little chilly. By the time we got home (after a visit to Frank’s grama), it was still chilly! And this is after I was dripping sweat at a teambuilding picnic on Friday in the park. It was so cool yesterday that we turned off the air conditioner (which wasn’t running due to how cold it was in the house) and turned on the fireplace for a few hours. (Minerva, of course, was the first to claim the spot in front.)

When we pulled up to visit Frank’s grama, I was struck by the trees. The locusts were already losing leaves and turning colors! Y’all just don’t know how happy this makes me, to have leaves turn colors and fall off the trees. Okay, if you’ve read here for any period of time, you probably do know how happy this makes me. Fall is my very favorite season, followed closely by winter, so we’re entering six months of awesome.

I’m hoping that it doesn’t warm back up (according to AccuWeather, today’s high is 68, though it is expected to warm up into the low 80s later in the week), because I want to do fall things already. I want to bake a pumpkin pie with a flaky crust (I have hope in one of my recent GF baking book purchases). I want to make cornbread dressing and homemade cranberry sauce. I want to tell myself I’m crazy when I grill outside in sweats, gloves, and a winter hat. I want to go to the Pieras’ Halloween party — um, that’s not happening, since we’re over 2000 miles away from it this year, but maybe I can send them a Halloween gift basket to remind them how much more fun their party would be if we were there. They’ll miss Hermione Granger and her ninja friend. We even have a lot of kids in our neighborhood, so I want to hand out candy to the little rugrats — do Mormons do Halloween? Just in case they don’t, I’ll make sure our candy is gluten-free so I can scarf down the leftovers.

So what I’m saying is I love fall, period. I haven’t had one since 2004, so I’ll probably be giddy all season. And starting today, I’m carrying my camera with me everywhere. I was too lazy to take pictures of our colorful spring, but this is fall.

Cold front

We should watch the local news more, because the cold front (and the insane wind gusts it brought with it) caught us completely by surprise. We’re supposed to have a high in the seventies today.

I have pictures and an injured toe from last night, but those will have to come later, as the news kind of has me in no mood to finish my post about it. Meanwhile, ten homes were destroyed and one person is dead after the fires last night. We’re fine, but I think Rowdi is still angry at the big bad wind that attacked the house. If she could have caught it, I’m pretty sure she would have killed it.

Idaho City


St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Idaho City

monkey talk

SARAHK: I think it’s hilarious that the moon comes out here four hours before the sun goes down.
FRANK [seriously]: I wouldn’t call it laugh-out-loud hilarious…

Which, of course, made me laugh out loud. Like I’m so amused by the timeliness of the moon and the persistence of the sun.

Sundown here is so late. It seems like the sun never sleeps until at least nine, and it isn’t dark before ten p.m. Which is totally awesome. Even on the longest summer nights in Florida, it was pitch by 8:45 or so. But here, when it’s totally dark out, it really is bedtime. The moon is out before six in the evening, too, and it’s so bright and solid in the southeastern sky.

I love it here, have I mentioned?

Born to do it.

Hey, so sorry about the absence. Like you noticed.

How was your Independence Day? Unless you were one of the 1215 airmen, Marines, sailors, and Soldiers who re-upped at the Al Faw Palace in Baghdad, it wasn’t nearly as good as mine (do you know how tingly I get simply knowing they did it at one of Saddam’s palaces?). Did any of you see a bald eagle, our national bird, on the nation’s birthday? I would say “me either,” except that I did, while floating down a river in the middle of the forested mountains. You wish you were me.

Oh my goodness, y’all, I can’t even put into words how much fun it was (but I’ll try). First off, I can’t believe that I was such a chicken about it before. The first time I hiked the Grand Canyon, I figured that hiking it was crazy enough (it is, a bit), and no way ever would I be insane enough to raft it or to ever raft any river, because that’s stupid and dangerous! I had canoed many times, but that just doesn’t have the scary factor that rafting has, for obvious reasons. I mean, canoeing can be really hard if you’re on the right river, but generally you’re only tipping over if you hit a tree or a log or something (done that).

Wow. So we drove up just past Horseshoe Bend to Cascade Raft & Kayak for our all-day rafting trip. The Cascade people are very nice, and the guides are great (well, I can’t really speak to all of them, but Eli was excellent). At the headquarters, they put us on a bus to take us to the North Fork of the Payette River, about a forty-five minute drive. Just driving up there is amazing. Since we were on the bus, we could see more than we could have seen had we been driving in the car; we could see down past the trees to the river and the miles and miles of Class V rapids that we passed. Breathtaking and a little unnerving, because you’re like, “Oh no! What if we miss a turn or something and accidentally end up on those rapids and die?” I assume I’m not the only one who had that reaction.

About half an hour into the drive, we stopped to pick up other people who were meeting us at Cascade (I think that’s where we stopped). There were three groups. One was a couple, one was a big family of several, and the other was a family of nine. While we were waiting for the family of nine to arrive, Frank and I sat on the bus and watched the people; we also fidgeted, because we couldn’t wait to get started. The big family of several was taking their sweet time getting themselves ready for the trip, but we later learned that the family of nine wasn’t there yet, so the severals knew we weren’t waiting on them. Now here’s something I hadn’t seen before: A man took off his shirt, and he wasn’t remotely Marky-Mark-like, so I mostly just put on my “ew” face and tried not to watch, but it was hard not to watch, because I was so fascinated by his behavior. The man took off his shirt, lathered himself up in sunscreen (sooooo much sunscreen), and then put his shirt back on. I don’t understand this, because where I come from, you put the sunscreen anywhere that isn’t covered by your clothes. I was still scratching my head and trying to figure that one out when he took off his shirt again. Rinse repeat. Lathered up all over again. Put his shirt back on. Rinse repeat. I don’t know if he was trying to turn his 15spf lotion into 45 or what, but that man applied sunscreen no fewer than three times to the same areas (which would be clothed). Finally, I said, “How much of that is he going to put on?” to no one in particular. The other couple still on the bus agreed that my question was valid, and one of the guides acknowledged the over-lathering. Human behavior is strange.

When the family of nine finally arrived, we got going. We were able to see parts of the river we would be rafting, and the guides kept us entertained with their corny joke-cracking. This is also when I learned that there were children on the bus. Children. The kind that scream and fuss and make lots of noise. I was not on board with this, because what if one of the loud teenage girls ended up on our raft? Srsly. This was a worse thought than taking a wrong turn at the Class Vs.

We got to the whatever point (drop point? enter the river point? get on raft point?), and we almost got smashed into by an impatient guy and his small child in a truck — impatient guy obviously not able to see the giant bus and trailer backing across the highway into a too-small parking lot. People were all kinds of rude in the lot, too. No, the river will disappear if you get into it before I do, so I’m going to be a total jerk about sharing this public parking lot and public river! Anyway, I, being a chick and paying customer, stood idly by watching the guides and a couple of the men unload the rafts, praying that we would be on an all-adults raft. I was so pleased when Eli called the three adult couples to his raft. But Eli was wearing shorts that said “Lost,” and, not wanting to end up on an island in the south Pacific with humidity and Others and toner monsters, I worried just a little.

Finally we were in the river. As I got braver and gained more trust in my life jacket, I scooted more and more off of the cushion on the inside of the raft and onto the outside of the raft, where you are supposed to sit. By the end of the day, I was actually comfortable sitting on the edge. Go me.

The first half of the trip was mostly calm. The majority of the time, we sat there with our paddles while Eli did all the work. He would tell us when to paddle and when to stop, and other than that, we sat watching the amazing scenery as we floated by. We didn’t see any wildlife on the ground (other than chipmunks), but we did see a bald eagle. In the wild. On Independence Day. Because we’re awesome. There were two or three rapids before lunch, a couple of Class IIs and one Class III, I think. Class IIs were fun, but I was ready for more. When we got to the Class III, I squealed in delight — so. much. fun. My brain started screaming inside my head, “I WAS SO BORN TO DO THIS!” Brain was having lots of fun. Apparently, Frank’s side of the raft got nailed on that rapid, because when we got to lunch, I noticed he was drenched head-to-toe, and I was only drenched waist-to-toe.

We stopped for lunch, and they even accommodated my diet. They feed you sandwiches halfway through the trip, but for me they had a salad, because Frank had told them I needed to be GF. It was basically one of those bag salads with iceberg lettuce and cabbage bits (I’m pretty sure they gave me the whole bag, because wow, that was a lot of lettuce), but they made sure to tell me more than once that I could add turkey and veggies from the sandwich fixin’s (which I did), and they sent me three different kinds of dressing, two of which I was able to eat, and I also ate some fruit. I’m not a fan of iceberg lettuce, but I didn’t care, because it was food, and I got to eat it. Oh, here’s a cutie-head moment for you: I took my digestive enzymes along, just in case I got glutened. I didn’t think about the effect that water has on gel caps that dissolve in water, so I was like, “Hey! I’ll stick these gel caps in my pocket, since my pocket is snug, and they won’t fall out! I’m so smart!” Only I didn’t say it out loud, so Frank wasn’t able to remind me that the gel caps would be melting as soon as I got wet. So we’re standing there, waiting for lunch to be served, and Frank asked what was on my shorts. Oh, it’s just water, I thought, but when I looked down, I saw that I had a huge painting of orange and brown all over my khaki-colored shorts. I said, “Oh. Um. I put my enzymes in my pocket before we left.” Frank just started laughing at me. It looks like something rusted in my pocket.

After lunch, we got back on the river, and I couldn’t wait for the next rapids. This leg seemed a little more full of the splashies, so I was giddy. We had a few more Class IIs, a small III, and a big III. The small III was actually more fun (I think it’s called Francois), because it lasts longer and gets all up in your face. The big III was a ton of fun, too — y’all will have to see the pictures of us going over that when we get them, and you won’t believe I did that.

After the last III, it’s all calm floatiness, and the guide does all the work. Frank and I had already decided we want to move on to the bigger rapids, the ones where you have to wear a helmet. I should probably wear one of those just walking on my two feet, so I’m thinking my helmet should come with a full faceguard or something more. Either way, bring it on.

The drive back was a nailbiter, because the girl driving the bus (also the photographer) was driving crazy scary. You know, left wheels over the center lines of the two-lane highway. Other cars would zoom closely by our bus, and she would be like, “Did you see that guy?” Um, did you see you? But she was nice and took good pictures of us, so whatevs.

My birthday is coming up (it’s the 19th, don’t you forget it!), and Frank has already asked me what I want. “Take me rafting again.” “Yeah, but what about a present?” “Take me rafting. That’s my present.” He still thinks he needs to buy me something I can hold in my hands, so I’m like, “Fine. Get me a TV show on DVD. We don’t watch enough of those. And take me rafting.”

All booked

Wow, looking at our July calendar, I’m pretty sure we’ll be ragged or dead by the end of it. Frank surprised me yesterday with the news that he’s booked us a white water rafting trip (!!!) for this weekend. 1s and 2s and maybe up to some 3s. Yes, I’m a little wigged and also really excited. We’ve never done it before. I used to be dead set against the whole idea, before I hiked the Grand Canyon and decided I love the outdoors and should cowgirl up and just do it. Once we got to Idaho, I told Frank we should totally do that sometime. And now we are! Aaaah! So that’s this weekend.

Next weekend, we’re going fishing. My FIL’s favorite fishing spot is finally stocked, so we’re going up there with my in-laws. It’ll be fun. I haven’t fished since… wow, maybe since I was nineteen or twenty. Which, for those of you counting, is more than a decade ago. Surely I’ve fished since then? I can’t remember doing so.

And the last weekend in July, we’ve been invited to go hike in the Sawtooths near Stanley, a hike that sounds like we will not be in any kind of shape for, but whatevs. They can catch us on the way down. The hiking trip means that I need to buy hiking boots, because I haven’t had any since I hiked the Canyon the first time with Essay. I gave them to my mom, as I had not properly broken them in before the fourteen-mile round-trip hike (because I was really smart) and therefore never wanted to see them again. So I need to get those this week so I have time to break them in. Any recommendations as to high, low, mid boots? And how do y’all break in your boots? I’ve read a number of different ways to do it.

The other weekend this month, I turn thirty-two, so I’m sure Frank will plan something for us. He’d better! ::shakes fist::

We bought an annual national parks pass when we went to Yellowstone, so we plan to get a lot of use out of that. We’re only twelve hours from the North Rim and within even fewer hours of several more national parks, forests, etc.

I officially declare Thursday to be the best day of the week

Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!

Psalm 27:14

I’ve always known Thursday to be the best day of the week. It’s the day before Friday, the day when we look forward to the weekend, the day we know that after five tomorrow… there will be rest.

Last Thursday we closed on the house. Yesterday Frank got a job!

Interviewed in the morning, job offer by afternoon. Because he’s awesome. The email from the company said that all of the coal miners were VERY impressed with him. He’s an impressive kind of guy. He starts Monday. His new job is so close to where I work that we’ll be able to carpool. We can drop the dog off at daycare (shut UP!) and both be at work within five minutes.

One drawback: I’m going to have to start getting up earlier. He won’t be walking Rowdi during the day anymore, and we don’t want to lose control of the dog (the little we have), so we’ll have to walk her early, before we leave for work. Which means… carry the one… get up at 5, ply Frank with coffee, walk the dog at 5:30, shower by 6:30, etc. So… bedtime by 9, 9:30? I’m excited about the carpooling, even if it sounds like I’m not.

Second drawback: Planning. It’s been nice calling him during the day and saying, oh, can you run to the store and pick this up for dinner? And can you precook the chicken for me? It seems I’ll have to go back to the proper way of doing things, which is make a menu and do all the grocery shopping and precook the chicken on the weekends. And I’m going to have to get Fly Lady involved so we keep everything clean. I should make a couple of loaves of bread this weekend.

I want to say thanks to you readers who prayed for us and those of you who either helped or tried to help. And yes, a blog reader (one of his) got him the interview and wins the free t-shirt. I know you all want it, but only one can win. ;-)

And here’s where I go all religiony and such: I knew Frank was going to get this job. I’m doing a Bible study with the ladies from church, and this week’s study really had me thinking and praying. And praying. Monday we had made a decision about what Frank was going to do for work (it would have meant a lot of travel), but the decision didn’t feel right. Probably because I would miss him. I prayed hard about it (no one ever says they pray softly, do they?). Wednesday he got called for yesterday’s interview, and I knew this was the one. I told him yesterday morning, you’re going to get the job. You’re going to go interview, and they’re going to call you this afternoon with a job offer (I was wrong, they emailed). The work sounded really interesting to him, and he thought it went really well. When he called to tell me that he’d gotten the job and told me the salary, I told him, that’s exactly what I knew they were going to offer you. I had even done up a new budget the night before using that exact salary. Now I’m not gonna sit here and say that the Holy Spirit told me the salary or that God told me in a vision that Frank would get this job — I don’t believe things work that way. But I am going to tell you that I believe in the power of prayer. Not that we hadn’t been praying all along, but before this week, I wasn’t focused on Psalm 27:14 when I prayed.

um, snow?

Yeah, so tomorrow is the last day of March, and it is currently snowing at our house. I’m actually not that excited about it, just because I really want to get out and explore the area next weekend, and I was hoping to go to Monkeyface Mountain. On the other hand, I’m so excited that it’s not hot and muggy. And this is still running weather. Since I may actually get my evenings back this week, I plan to get started. We have lots of hills, which means I could actually enjoy running again!

exploring

The snow is starting to melt. Only the very tops of the mountains are white now. They still have night skiing going on up there, it looks like, but we should be able to get out and explore Idaho soon. We’re really happy about that. I look at the mountains all around us every day in wonder that we actually live here. And when I see a sunset or the western sky after sunset, I’m amazed that there’s any place on earth with such beautiful sky.

mmm… church crackers

This morning at church one of the men told us that since another woman in the congregation and I both have wheat issues, they are going to switch to rice crackers for the Lord’s Supper. He wanted to make sure that wouldn’t make us feel awkward, and nope, it doesn’t. How thoughtful is that? Frank and I always bring our own rice crackers, and now they’re changing the bread to rice for the whole congregation. I thought that was so nice. We love our congregation. The preaching is excellent, Bible classes are excellent, everyone is nice. I could do with more singing, though. We’re used to an hour of singing before even getting to the sermon. Which reminds me. I need to write letters to our Florida church and my Florida massage therapist. I’m so bad with correspondence. Evidenced by the fact that I still haven’t finished the wedding thank you notes (over two years later), and I fully intend to still send them. Bad bad bad.

Anyway. When I first went GF, I was really bothered by the fact that I couldn’t have the normal unleavened bread (matzoh crackers usually). I did a lot of studying to make sure it was okay for me to use something else. I couldn’t find anything in the Bible that said that the unleavened bread has to be made of wheat. Just that it is to be unleavened. And when the preacher at our new congregation first noticed that we always wave off the bread and use our own, he asked me about it. I told him it’s because of the wheat thing, and the first thing he said was, “Well, the Bible doesn’t say it has to be wheat bread. Just that it’s unleavened.”

We kind of lucked into this congregation. We actually have a couple of differences with the congregation doctrinally, but nothing I consider to be too big now that we understand more about what they believe. We believe all of the same things except a couple of smaller issues where they come down more conservative than I do. Frank doesn’t have a strong opinion either way but leans to my side, and we both can see both sides of these issues. I talked to a couple of the ladies about it last week and told them we believe differently on a couple of things but we wouldn’t leave because of those issues alone — as long as they don’t have a problem with the fact that we don’t agree on it and as long as they don’t have a problem with us believing differently. Their response was that they’re not the thought police, basically that the congregation needs to get along and that if there is a disagreement we need to all be open to studying about it, and sometimes the conclusion will be that we agree to disagree. That’s refreshing, actually, having been through a church split in the past (that was at least as bad as going through my divorce).

So we’re very pleased with where we ended up.

That was long and rambly, wasn’t it?

guess who I saw today?!

I was driving down the road, coming home from work, and there he was just walking on the sidewalk.

You’ll never guess.

A black guy. I saw a black guy today! And I’m pretty sure that he was the first black person I’ve seen since we moved to Boise. I mean, I hadn’t really thought about it, but when I saw him walking down the street, I actually exclaimed out loud (to no one), “Hey! A black guy!”

I was really excited.

Obama came to Boise, supporter acted like high school girl.

I don’t have much to say about the part of the speech I saw on TV. Same old Obama — hope and change, no real substance, hope and change, I hate capitalism, people who vote for me are like those establishment-resistant fighters in the American Revolution and the abolitionists, I want to rebuild this country Bloc by Bloc, blah blah blah.

Ok, so they showed the speech on TV this morning, and there was this one lady on the TV wearing a pink scarf. We’ll call her Pink Scarf Lady. I’d say late thirties, early forties. She was on the second row or so, and Obama kept walking back in forth in front of where she was. And she was practically losing it. Every time he walked by, she immediately looked up to see herself on the jumbo tron. And then she would giggle gleefully, wave at the jumbo tron, and practically pee herself. And she did this every time she knew the camera was on her. Eventually, she stopped paying attention to Obama at all (I can’t blame her there) and just started following the camera. What’s it doing now? Is it on me? Is it on me? How old am I again?

I was amused and just watched her make an idiot of herself the whole time. More entertaining than the speech, anyway.

So Pink Scarf Lady, when you google yourself, as I’m sure you will, I just want you to know that you were the highlight.

snowed in

You know, it has snowed the last three Saturday nights. By the time we got up this morning, we already had so much snow on the ground that we can’t even tell where the roads are (but for the cars parked at curbs). Snow is still falling heavily, and the wind is blowing rather hard. We can’t go anywhere.

It’s supposed to get up above freezing in the afternoon, so I’m hoping that means we can get to church this evening, get my seizure meds this afternoon (I’m completely out and didn’t have either of my doses yesterday), and get the grocery shopping done. I really don’t like doing the shopping at the store nearby, because it’s fairly expensive on everything except meat. Plus I like getting my chicken at Wal-Mart, because they label it gluten-free, which makes it easier. There are so many places to look on packages of chicken to find if they’ve basted it in wheat, but Wal-Mart puts it in big bold letters under the nutritional info.

We can’t even tell how much snow we’ve gotten, because it’s so windy.

Sure is pretty, though.

awesome v not awesome

Awesome: Waking up in the dark, worrying you’re running late for your first day of work, then realizing that you have over an hour left before you have to get up.

Not Awesome: Waking up in the middle of the night thinking someone is beating on your windows. Turns out it was a very loud ice storm.

Awesome: Being excited about a job. This is the first time I’m actually excited about a job since… um… 2000? I mean, there’s always the excitement of finding out what you’ll be doing, meeting new people, getting into the work, but true excitement about what I’m going to be doing? That just hadn’t happened in a long time.

Not Awesome: All these political calls we’ve been getting. Every single one of them is calling our Florida number, and every one of them is a recorded call for McCain. Come on! At least let me talk to a person so I can properly tell them what I can think of the man that screws the American people every chance he gets.

Awesome: I had lunch with lottiedottie’s SIL the other day (she agreed to change her name to SIL, but lest y’all think I’m talking about my own SILs when SIL comes up in the future, I’m going to call her Sil. Clear as mud?). We had a lot of fun and a very nice time and talked about everything. Including religion and politics! Haha, only mature adults can do that over a meal. Mature adults and me. Sil brought one of her precious children along, and he was just adorable. Hardly threw any food in my face at all! ;-) Kidding, kidding. We’re going to try to drag our husbands out, the four of us, soon.

Not Awesome: I’m about to go walk the dog, and it’s surely going to be stinking cold. I love the cold, I don’t so much love to walk in the snow and ice, and Rowdi can’t stay out in it too long, because her wittle paws get cold.

Awesome: I’m wide awake!

Not Awesome: I’m wide awake early enough to catch some of Fox and Friends. I’ve been getting up late enough to miss it every day. Alas, no more.

Awesome: Yesterday all the snow and ice melted off of the ground and, more importantly, off of my car. I was pleased with this, because we ruined Frank’s windshield wiper blades the other night when we did our snow shopping, and I don’t want Frank to have to get out and scrape my windshield on my first day.

Not Awesome: Our cars are covered again this morning. Too bad for my hubby! (Hey. I still don’t own a pair of gloves, because I haven’t found any I like, and he has gloves. Plus, it’s his job.)

Awesome: I precooked all of the chicken for the week yesterday, so cooking dinner will not take so long this week. I’m going to try to precook chicken every week so we can eat before 8 p.m.

Alright. See y’all later, peeps!

snow shopping is fun!

Haha, just kidding. Yesterday Frank had been home for an hour or so (after his interview, which went well, by the way), and I’d been inside for a few hours since walking Rowdi, trying to find the floor in our bedroom before the storm called work hits on Monday. We decided we’d go to the outlets (I LOVE the Bass and Van Heusen stores there), then the post office, then Wal-Mart. We let Rowdi outside to do her business before we put her away, and… everything was covered. Completely covered in snow. Sidewalks, cars, lawns, houses, streets. We were confused. Like, how did we miss that? We’d gotten at least an inch of snow.

The snow was still coming down when we left. Barely, though — just a light drizzle of sparkling frozen water. So we went ahead and ventured out. It was light out, the snow was hardly coming down, it was all good.

Flash to twenty minutes later when we were on the highway, heading down to the outlets. It was dark by then, and traffic was moving slowly. It was nice and calm, but I was a little nervous, just because there were semis everywhere, and none of them were wearing their snow chains. I’m such a snow newbie. I own it. We thought about turning around, but eh, we’re tough. We made it to the outlets and found an awesome sale at Van Heusen. See, Frank has lost weight, so we needed new khakis for him (on sale), sweaters, button-down shirts (both also on sale). It was awesome. And I was able to get three more pairs of pants so I have enough clothing to make it through my first week of work. Seriously, anything business casual I owned? Gave it away long ago. We stopped by Bass and got me a pair of brown work shoes (I had black ones from my shopping earlier in the week, same style), and Frank even found himself a pair of dressy casual shoes. When we came out of the shops, the car was completely covered again, and another half inch or so of snow was on the ground. Do they make car covers for SUVs? One cool thing about the snow (as much havoc as the ice it left wreaked on our windshield wipers), though… the way it sparkles. My goodness. Fresh snow is so crisp and pure and sparkly, looks like tiny diamonds… we should bottle it up and sell it for $400 a jar.

We skipped the post office, because well, I couldn’t see the exit ramp, and I was almost past it when I saw it — I don’t do big swerves in the snow. Wal-Mart was a most productive visit. I decided we need an ironing board after all (among other things), because I don’t want my new coworkers to know I’m a slob. Do you think I can fool them, Magic 8 Ball? “Outlook is bleak.”

so I have an interview this week

It’s been two and a half years since I interviewed anywhere. Ack! I did a phone interview with HR today, and it wasn’t so bad, because, as y’all know, I have a sparkling personality. ;-) Anyway, I’m hoping the accounting jobs around here move faster through the hiring process than do the engineering jobs. I’m not convinced it will. I put my application in with Accountemps on Thursday, and they haven’t even called yet. I know that sounds silly, because it’s only since Thursday, but in all of my accounting life, any time I’ve worked with Accountemps or Robert Half, they have called either the same day or next day after receiving my resume. So it’s a little disturbing that they haven’t called.

However, I did only submit my resume for this job on Friday, so at least at this company, they may be moving fast. And the job is one of my dream-type jobs, except that there has recently been a full accounting department upheaval, meaning all new people except one or two. That part doesn’t scare me, though, because I’m used to a lot of turnover in the audit world, and as long as I’m doing something I like and the problems that caused the turnover are fixed (I’ve been assured they have been), I’ll be happy.

Industry! I loved working in industry. I’m actually excited and hope they want to hire me soon. I’m not going to stop looking, in case they drag out the hiring process for months, as it seems companies here tend to do.

The only big downside is the money. It’s like I’m right out of college again! But whatever. Benefits are good.

neighbors

My in-laws have bought a very nice house close to ours. Not the same neighborhood or anything, but closer than they are now (the mileage may be close to the same, but the traffic from our house to theirs is much better than from our house to the place they’re in now). The house is gorgeous (I drool over their inside paint). We actually like hanging out with them, so it’s a good situation. I know they’re planning to meet a lot of people in their neighborhood so the Mean Old Man can have a bridge club (just kidding) but I think we’ll still hang out. We all like playing board games and cards and watching some of the same TV shows on DVD.

It also doesn’t hurt that they have an elliptical machine, so on cold days, I may have to take advantage of their hospitality and their equipment. And when Rowdi is bad, we can just send her to visit the grandparents. ;-)

solicitors will be fed to angry dog

And by angry dog, I mean the woman of the house.

We have had so many solicitors come to the door since we moved in! In Florida, we would get about one every few months, but here they seem to come every other day, and that is not an exaggeration. We’ve had the Schwann’s guy, the guy who sells steaks, the other guy who sells steaks, the farmer behind us who wants to sell us a cow, the kid who wants to shovel our driveway for two bucks (we said yes to that little capitalist-in-the-making), the Avon lady, the door-to-door perms lady, a few used car salesmen, and today, a man came buy and offered to give Frank a box of Jell-O if he could just come in and demonstrate some contraption he had. Frank told him we didn’t have the time or the money (box of Jell-O aside). Ack! How do SAHMs get any lunches prepared, babies fed, naps done, and all that when the food and snake oil people are ringing the doorbell all day long? And homeschooling moms, how do they fit in school? Dude.

The second steak salesman came a couple of days ago and almost got an earful of SarahK. Rowdi was barking when the doorbell rang, because, let’s see… she’s a dog. We’re still training her on that one. Anyway, she was barking and howling, so I held her by the collar so she wouldn’t run out the door — she was clearly in her “I’ve forgotten how to be good” frame of mind and would have bolted past steak man and given the neighborhood smells a good sniffing. Mr. Filet Mignon said, “Oh, sorry to bother you. I didn’t realize you had a killer in there.” Somebody’s hackles went straight up, and they weren’t Rowdi’s. I couldn’t even see the idiot, whose own dog probably barks at the doorbell too, and I yelled from the bottom of the stairs in my say-it-to-my-face voice, “SHE’S NOT A KILLER!” The door was not open for that guy very long.

I don’t know if it was the gated community thing in Florida or what. But I’m seriously considering putting up a sign. “Solicitors will be fed to vicious woman of the house.”

sick

Ick. My temperature went back up last night, and this morning it was down in the 97s again, almost normal. I don’t know what it is tonight (don’t have the energy to take it), but I’m exhausted just from grocery shopping and don’t even have the energy to cook dinner. Poor Frank, he’s been living on Amy’s Organics meals the last two days. First I thought I’d make a pizza tonight. While I was grocery shopping and my sexy husband was getting his sexy hair cut in most sexy fashion (those Wal-Mart hair salon peeps do a really good job with his hair!), I realized I was starrrrrrving. Weird, because I’d had a big bowl of soup not five hours earlier. So while I finished the grocery shopping, I decided I’d make chicken tostadas instead, and Frank said he would never complain about chicken tostadas, because he loves them almost as much as he loves me. And then I was too weak to go through the line when I was all done with the shopping, so Frank had to check out while I sat on a bench and felt completely awful. BTW, WHY does Wal-Mart put Six-Flags-grade trashcans (i.e., they smell like throw-up) right next to their benches? Yuck.

Anyway, we had Larabars on the way home, and that made me feel better, so I thought I might be able to cook by about 8:30. At 8:30 I told Frank he should go ahead and have some Amy’s Mattar Paneer for dinner (it’s his favorite). Since 7:30, I’d been snacking on Fiery Habanero Doritos and Wal-Mart’s Indulgent Trail Mix (which is so yummy). And as soon as Frank pulled his Mattar Paneer out of the microwave, the smell made me absolutely nauseated. Meaning I ran to the powder room to make sure I had a place to throw up if needed. I wretched a few times, then I burped a lot (you wanted to know, admit it!), and I didn’t throw up, but I even had to come to the den to type this blog entry just to get away from the most nauseous smell ever. And I love the smell of Mattar Paneer, even in the freezer-food variety.

Hopefully, Frank won’t talk on the phone long and will take his tray right to the trash when he’s done eating and take the whole kitchen trash to the garage so I can make it through the evening without barfing all over the rent house.

Oh, here’s a convo for you:

SARAHK: Sweetie, when you get your food, will you also grab my glasses from the powder room [which is right next to the kitchen]? I left them on the sink so I could hold my head over the toilet.
FRANK J.: Sure. [I couldn't see him.] Rowdi, come here! Good girl! Now take these to Mommy! No, take them… Good girl!
SARAHK: You can’t give the dog my glasses! Stop it, get them back from her!
FRANK J.: Good girl!
SARAHK: You can’t put those in her mouth! She’ll slobber all over them!
FRANK J.: Now take ‘em to Mommy, Rowdi! Good girl…
SARAHK: YOU CAN’T PUT A $200 PAIR OF GLASSES IN THE DOG’S MOUTH!

This is when I swung around the corner and saw my husband cracking up. Rowdi was running along beside him, and he was holding the glasses, laughing, telling me he never gave her the glasses. What a butthead!

Anyway, I feel like crapola. My mom says Pappy has the same thing (fever, headache, no cough, no runny or stuffy nose, no stomach problems), and my step-sis had the same thing this week.

Ugh. I hope to be better soon. I don’t like feeling like I don’t even have the energy to go up to the reading room and stare at the sunset (which was most spectacular today, if you were wondering).

plausible

One of the kids in the neighborhood made this snowman after the first snowfall.
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wind

Wow, it is windy here today. It’s so windy that Frank took the trash out earlier, and he’s already had to go retrieve items that have blown away. A few minutes ago, I looked outside, and one box and one garbage bag were stuffed up under Frank’s car. Oh, and earlier when we carried out the Christmas tree, I saw the most gigantic tumbleweed I’d ever seen — about twice the size of the ones in west Texas. Really, it was the size of a tree, not a bush. It ended up firmly planting itself next to our fence. Better there than the car, anyway. The wind is loud, too.

birds

When we were getting out of the car Sunday at the church building, the geese were so loud overhead. I’ve heard the birds before, so I knew what they were, but never in such volume. They were flying northeast, so I figure these are the low-IQ geese. It’s winter — go south. Yesterday I came upon them when I was driving home from lunch. Apparently this group live at the cemetery. Hundreds of geese hanging out under the trees in the graveyard.

So here’s what I want to know. What other kinds of birds will we find around here? I’m so used to sandhill cranes and egrets in Florida that I barely even remember what non-tropical birds look like. I assume I’ll see a lot of birds I’ll remember from Texas, but are there birds that live specifically in the deserts? Y’all tell me.

Am I a complete dork? Yes. Maybe I should get a bird bath when spring comes. They actually do make bird baths out of something besides stone these days (I was never a fan of the ones that look like statues). You can read more about them in the link. I’m fond of the metal ones. Of course, a bird bath would probably be a lot more work for me, because it would mean checking to make sure there are no birds around any time Rowdi went into the yard. Though they do have wings — they could just escape.

SarahK, why Boise? UPDATED

Because this…
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let it snow, baby!

We woke up with new snow this morning, and it is still snowing from overnight. Was snowing pretty heavily for a while. I love snow!

Minerva hasn’t seen snow since Amarillo, and this morning I opened the blinds in the reading room so she could get to the window sill. She’s chirping at the snowflakes as if they were insects or lizards.

She’s so cute!

movie mania… and whence came that snow, yo?

We’ve seen more movies at the theater since arriving in Idaho than we saw this entire past year at the theater in Florida. It helps that Sarah One is here and goes to the movies so often. We’ve seen Enchanted, 3:10 to Yuma, and tonight we saw Charlie Wilson’s War. We went into the theater around 5:00 this evening (and it was beautifully cold, couldn’t have been much above twenty degrees out), and when we came out after 7:00, it was snowing and had been for a while. It was coming down fairly heavily, and we were all surprised. By the time we finished dinner, we’d gotten a good half inch or so. Yay! Of course, on the way home, we had a little moment where I kind of gently slid off the road and onto the grassy patch next to it. No biggie, only a half spin or so. And the drivers here are so stinking nice! The cars behind me just paused and waited for me to get back onto the road (I just drove a couple of feet on the grass and moved right back). Not one single car passed me. I heart Idaho drivers. When you signal? They actually let you over! I’ve not been cut off one time since arriving.

Anyway. Nice evening. And snoooooow!