Monday, April 21, 2014

HERE WE HAVE IDAHO . . .



Geocaching was not the focus of our recent trip to Boise. We didn’t stop at all on the way to Boise, unless you count that stop at the Triumph dealership in Caldwell where Mike test rode a 2008 Honda Interceptor 800 touring bike, which wasn’t right for him. Now he knows. Then it was on to Boise to assist Milo with bike maintenance and various errands. We had supper at the Mongolian Barbecue, which we deemed very good.
Arriving back at Milo’s from the motel on Saturday morning, Mike disappeared. I thought he was someplace he wasn’t, but eventually he returned from finding a geocache in the neighborhood. I don’t know why I didn’t figure that out. At any rate, he accomplished his morning walk which seems to loosen his back. At home, he and the dogs take a 15-minute walk every morning.


On the return trip Saturday afternoon, we did make four stops to geocache, only finding two. But again, it served the purpose of getting us out of the car to walk or stretch. The drive on Hwy 95 between Boise and Lewiston is tedious but beautiful and I only wish I could show more pictures of snow-capped mountains.


 


Here’s Mike at our first stop near New Meadows.

 

And here's a stop at a rock outcropping above the Payette River. The hint was “under a rock.” This type of cache is my least favorite and I just don’t care about even looking.
The next stop was at a rest stop and equally frustrating. No, I didn’t take pictures of the rest area.

But, the best was right at the top of the White Bird Grade where one can look out over the peaceful valley and see the majestic mountains in the distance. The warm afternoon was turning into a cool evening, and though we hadn’t realized it yet, we were about to encounter a storm – mainly wind.



In 1877, the White Bird Canyon was the site of the famous battle between the United States and the Nez Perce Indians. You can read that history here. I mention it because it is part of our history and because the natural scene is so remote, beautiful, and pastoral – such a contrast to the idea of war. I suppose that's always the way, though. Our stop was above the scenic overlook which tells about the battle.


 

And when we arrived home, I took this picture of the storm sky over Idaho from our front porch in eastern Washington. KW

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A VISIT TO BOISE



Friday, April 18 (Good Friday) – The day of our trip to Boise had finally arrived, and somehow the dogs knew. The dogs weren’t going, and somehow they knew that, too. Mike took them to the boarding facility where Nellie seemed to accept her lot and the uninitiated Bess questioned that he would leave her there.

As we traveled, I remarked to Mike that I’m glad to be out of the celebration of Easter through the whole Easter egg thing -- though I admit that I enjoyed some jelly bean eggs during the season.

Our time in Boise – just a few hours, really – was spent with son Milo and our grandsons Mason and Gage. Milo’s time with the boys had been set with their mother, so we picked them up at the appointed hour Saturday morning with the idea of spending time at a park. They chose Kleiner Memorial Park, which actually lies in Meridian.

Kleiner Park is a large, well-planned facility for family activities, BUT – what we failed to take into account was that Saturday was the day before Easter and a huge event, an Easter egg hunt and family day, was in progress. That wasn’t the atmosphere we needed, so we opted instead for the quietude of Ann Morrison Park in Boise proper.   

Grandpa Mike and Gage tossed a baseball back and forth, then kicked the football for a while, and then rolled the balls on the bocce ball court. (Too bad we didn’t have bocce balls.) Meanwhile, I set out the snacks and made sandwiches. Mason is recuperating after surgery to repair his left foot and ankle, so he gets around on a scooter. He and Milo went for a quiet walk.

Ann Morrison is a mature, well-established park now, and Mike reminisced about moving to Idaho those 45 years ago and taking his two little boys to a Boise city park – perhaps this one – and pushing them on the swings.

With the aid of this new-fangled technology, I included Aunt Hallie in our gathering by means of a text message. She sent a “selfie” of herself making a face and challenged the boys to do the same for the phone camera. They obliged. Those photos will lie forever in the privacy of the family photo archives – at least until my cell phone fails.


Our few short hours were over all too soon. Or were they? I think Grandpa Mike got pretty tired – and maybe Mason as well.

And then it was time to take our leave – first of the grandsons and then of Milo – and return to our valley. Parting is always bittersweet, but at the same time we have never been so connected, thanks to our electronics. KW

Thursday, April 17, 2014

OF DOGS AND NAPS IN THE GRASS



“We need to watch the dogs for ticks,” I casually observed.

I don’t remember what Mike said. Perhaps he just grunted, or snorted derisively, or maybe he said it was too soon.

At any rate, I was scratching Bess’ ears for her on Sunday after our trip to the farm when I found a tick on the underside. Then I found one crawling on the wall in the bedroom.

“Are you sure?” asked Mike. “Maybe it was a little spider.”

I assure you -- I know the difference between little spiders and ticks.

The next tick I found was crawling on Mike’s biking shorts as they hung in the bathroom. I don’t know where all these ticks came from. Perhaps that nap on the lawn at the farm had something to do with it.

Then, on Monday, as I was again scratching Bess’ ears, I picked another tick off her.

“Oh yeah?” said Mike. “I haven’t found any on her but she has a wart behind her left ear.”

“No, she doesn’t!” I answered, knowing full well that that was a tick, too. I dug deeply through her thick fur and confidently pulled the “wart” off.

“Okay,” said Mike. “I’ll treat her.” Out came the Bio-Spot and little Bess had her first tick-repelling treatment.

We haven’t found any ticks on Nellie, but when we go back to the farm, she’ll get a treatment, too.

Bess is such an energetic pup. Nellie is a bit of a “pillow potato.” Even in youth, she appreciated her morning nap on her pillow and extra recovery time after a hunt. Not so Bess. She’s excited to get out and participate in whatever is happening. If she gets a little tired, a short nap will bring her back to life. KW


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"In your Easter bonnet . . ."



Last weekend at the farm, while Mike was outside hard at work on his spring chores, I was focused on making an Easter bonnet “with frills upon it” for granddaughter Emmy’s American Girl doll.

I finished the dress last week from a pattern I purchased through Pixie Faire called “Jennifer and Kate” from Jelly Bean Soup Designs. The pattern is simple and the design flattering to the doll's rather blocky shape. I used scraps of cotton fabric for the bodice. The ruffled skirt is an eyelet border. I loved that the bodice is lined and all seams enclosed.
 
(I requested and received a picture of Emmy's Easter dress (right) so that I would have some idea as to style. I would love to have more nearly matched the fabric and colors but couldn't find that in this limited market.)

Well, after I finished the dress, it had to have a bonnet. I get these ideas, and then nothing is right but that I follow through. Sometimes I forget that these are issues only within myself. Is that what it means to be obsessive?

Anyway, I couldn’t find a hat pattern that fit my conception of a little girl’s Easter bonnet in my rather extensive pattern collection. What came to mind were the thread hats that my mother crocheted as Christmas decorations. What would happen, I asked myself, if I used one of those patterns with cotton yarn (such as we use for crocheting dishcloths) and a bigger hook?

Mother’s collection of thread ornament patterns is stored at the farm, so as soon as I could get to it, I sought them out. Yes – there it was – a fine example of a frilly bonnet. (This instruction pamphlet is “Victorian Accents” from Annie’s Attic, 1993.) I grabbed my cotton yarn and a size F hook and started to crochet. I had to know if this idea was going to work. I crocheted now and then and it didn’t take long, as projects go. By Saturday morning I had finished the bonnet.
 
Come Monday, the dress, the bonnet, and a pair of shoes and socks were addressed to Emmy and mailed from Gramma’s Scrap Bin.

Oh – I could write a sonnet
About this Easter bonnet . . . KW