Archive for March, 2010

… Truckin’ On Home

March 23, 2010

So, to pick up where I left off with Megan and her surgery – we were still in Boise – and Megan was ready to check out of St. Luke’s hospital.

Oh, wait! Before we do that, I want to share a few more photos I took of downtown Boise.

I took this photo standing on the second floor of the Capitol Building, looking out through the columns over the city, down Capital Avenue:

Far in the distance you will see a tower poking up in the sky. That’s the old Boise train depot. We decided to drive to the other end of Capital Avenue and check it out:

The Boise Depot

We stood in front of it and I snapped a photo looking back over Capital Ave:

Follow Capital Avenue back, toward the center of the picture, and you will spot the dome of the Capitol Building.

I got David to pose in this picture I took of the back, track side, view of the Depot:

There are some well-preserved old buildings downtown, like this one on Idaho Ave:

Okay, so now Megan has checked out of the hospital and it’s time to hit the road for the 275-mile trek back to Idaho Falls.

Megan is in the car ready to roll …

And get back online texting her friends.

It had been three days since we had driven to Boise – and now, on our return, I was hoping to glean from the landscape some fresh signs of spring …

The signs were fresh, all right. With more snow clouds on the horizon.

Then we passed this rig:

What are those things stacked upside down in the back – giant dog kennels? Who bought this stuff?

I spotted something that might be photo-worthy in the field ahead, advancing toward us at 80 mph, an old barn and … OOOO! Where’s my iphone? … fiddle … fiddle …tricky to capture it!…”Click!”

What? Trucks? Where did they come from? I never even got another glimpse of that barn. By the time we got past those two trucks that barn was a good half-mile behind us.

A few miles down the road I took this photo. Any buds on the trees? Or did the leaves recently fall? I’m suddenly confused …

This sure looks like November to me.

We kept driving and driving, with David at the wheel and me making sure he wasn’t dozing. I had a strategy in place for keeping him awake. If I saw as much as one eye lid droop I would begin chattering at him non-stop. Or he would have to pull over and let me drive.

He stayed alert.

Here I captured a typical southern Idaho landscape:

Is that truck following us?

I glanced at Megan in the back seat …


Okay, so I was bored, too, and trying to keep myself awake, in case I had to start chattering …

I captured this picture:

Do people actually live here? How far is the mall? Does that truck look suspicious to you?

I was determined to capture scenery with my iphone. I’d have the camera function ready and I’d be focusing on some subject of interest, but then we’d accelerate into the passing lane, I’d hear the loud roar of a truck, and …

…”Poof!” – shoot an abstract of the inside of our car.

Here I captured another farm, pretty close to Idaho Falls. You gotta take what you can get.

I wasn’t going to demand David to “Stop the car now and let me out!” to take the photo, especially given that the odds of getting run over by a truck might be pretty high.

Okay, so we’ve pulled into our driveway now. We’re home! Whew.

Time to get Megan out of the car and into the house …

… without being impaled by crashing icicles on our way to the front door. Ahhh! A fresh sign of spring!

Flowers arrived!

So did the new faucet for the main floor bath –

It’s a perfect fit – with the holes in the sink, that is. David spent most of a Saturday adapting and attaching the plumbing, with several trips to Lowe’s for various sized plumbing pieces.

Is that you, honey?

He proved himself a handy plumber. The faucet works great. That pull-out hose is handy for washing hair, or rinsing out bins.

Or if you are a grandparent or parent of young children, I say, out with rubber duckies and squirt guns. This faucet could offer hours of great fun for small children and immature adults. So if you think you might want one of these for your bath, for whatever reason, it is made by Delta – model number 550.

We’ve been home for almost two weeks now. Megan has long since settled in. So has the dog …

… until she boots him off.

We’re just hanging out, mostly. She in her recliner with cell phone, books, music, art supplies, and TV controllers and I with my iphone. Hey I’ll photograph anything. And post it on my blog.

I just took a picture of our new dining room table arrangement:

It turns out, you need the leg supports off the wheelchairs more than you need them on. But you also need to put them somewhere handy.

Interesting still-life there.

Maybe I should take up painting?

“And Here We Have Idaho…”

March 18, 2010

I must admit to feeling a little remiss about how much I botched our State Song, And Here We Have Idaho, in my last blog. Thank you, Wendy, for commenting and fleshing out more words to the chorus. I thought the word ‘grain’ was gonna be right-on, since it rhymed with ‘fame’ and all, and this being Idaho, but, my bad. The word was … ‘flame’, eh, name?

I was discussing with my husband, how I botch the State song, and he replied, “Okay, so what is the Idaho State Motto?”

“Uh … How would I know?” was my obvious reply.

“Well, it’s on the State Seal, which you walked over on the rug at the Capitol, then photographed, uploaded to your blog, and wrote about.” he said.


“Yes. For your information it is ‘Esta Perpetua.’ And what is the Idaho State flower?” he asked, leaning over his iphone.

“I don’t know. I think it’s white, or maybe yellow.” I said. “Not a dogwood, for sure.” I was trying to sound as intelligent as I could, but it was becoming clear that something was awry. He was poring over some site he’d googled on his iphone …

“The State Flower is the syringa.”

“So, what are you looking at?” I asked. I wasn’t going to be answering any more of his inquiries about Idaho State’s ‘this’ and ‘that’ under these circumstances.


Of course. But I’m too slow with my iphone to get to any link with Idaho symbols in time to be up to speed in this conversation.

But I did find a link containing Idaho symbols for my blog … in case you are interested. Would be good to have some of these symbols ready to roll off your tongue if you are planning to run for an Idaho public office, or something.

Or if you think you may find yourself at a Graduation or some other event where you have to sing the state song and you don’t want to be ‘la-la-la-ing’ it, or making it up as you go, you can find the words at this link.

Ah, well, to totally redeem myself, here are both verses to the chorus:

And here we have Idaho,
Winning her way to fame.
Silver and gold in the sunlight blaze,
And romance lies in her name.

Singing, we’re singing of you,
Ah, proudly too. All our lives thru,
We’ll go singing, singing of you,
Singing of Idaho.

And here’s one more picture I took of our fine State Capitol Building:

Now, quick! What is the Idaho State Fossil?

The Boise Capitol

March 16, 2010

David and I stole away from St. Luke’s hospital in Boise for a couple of hours to grab lunch downtown, and visit the Capitol Building. It had just re-opened after a $120 million, 2 1/2-year face-lift. (Hmm, that puts things in perspective. My face-lift would cost pennies in comparison, a good selling point to convince my husband to agree to let me do it – if I present it right: “Some face-lifts cost $120 million whereas mine would only be …”)

Anyway, We were walking toward the Capitol building and I shot a photo …

… while freezing my butt off, because a cold front had moved in and Boise felt just like … Idaho Falls. And I hadn’t brought my winter coat. Stupid! What was I thinking? Spring?

So we walked really fast. Moments later we were inside…

and up on the third floor, looking down…

I have to say, I was impressed! I don’t recall ever having visited a State Capitol building before, but this was about as magnificent as I could imagine any Capitol building to be.

It made me proud to be an Idahoan. Here we have the Great Seal of Idaho:

And the Idaho State Song, which goes like this:

“And here we have Idaho, winning her way to fame. La-la-la-la-la- LA-LA-aaaa, la-la-la … la-la … grain(?)”

Okay, so I only remember the first line. Oh well, that’s predictable, seeing as I learned it in High School.

Here we are overlooking the Senate Gallery:

They had been in session that morning and were now in committee or something. We passed a few of our state reps and senators in the hallways, and seeing them made me feel under-dressed. But then, I’m just an ordinary Idaho citizen.

Although, touring the Capitol building, checking out the House and Senate Galleries, passing by the Governor’s office, hanging out on those balconies where you could gaze up at that magnificent rotunda, made me want to go into politics. For about 10 seconds.

Here we are on the first floor looking up …

at the Capitol’s rotunda – with the daylight illuminating the high columns of windows.

I pointed my camera straight up over my head to photograph the ceiling of the rotunda:

And got myself all dizzy and nearly stumbled over backwards. It would have been … embarrassing! I could have fallen on top of somebody, because other visitors, including my husband, were lying on their backs on that floor, three stories below the rotunda, taking photos.

So if you’re in Boise, and have a couple of hours free for lunch and a walk downtown, go visit the Capitol building.

Oh! And see if somewhere in the building you can find the words to our State Song.

Boise – Here We Come!

March 14, 2010

We knew last September that Megan would need surgery to repair the collapsed arch in her left foot and to loosen the heel cords on both legs – which would land her in a wheel chair with casts on both legs for six weeks.

The surgery was scheduled for Monday, March 8, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise – about a 275-mile drive from our home in Idaho Falls. We had plenty of time to prepare. Albeit, the time passed quickly, and we were suddenly faced with getting our butts in gear on this!

For starters, we located a portable large metal ramp so we could get her over the front step. Then David built a ramp for our fabulous circa mid-sixties sunken living room. Hey! Those sunken living rooms were the cat’s meow back then, granted, not a brilliant interior feature if you’re confined to a wheelchair, and not so regal with a large slab of raw plywood leading you down into the sunken room.

But anyway, we located a wheelchair for Megan with large back wheels that would enable her to propel herself. Except it wouldn’t fit through the bathroom door. So we took the door off and hung a curtain. But the wheelchair still wouldn’t fit. So we bought a second, much smaller wheelchair – a transport chair. It does make it through the curtained doorway! Now that’s progress! Megan tried it out:

Perfect! Check out that custom ramp in the background – leading into our aforementioned living room.

We decided to replace the old faucet in our main floor half-bath with a new high-falutin’ faucet we purchased at Lowe’s that included a pull-out shower head. And we hired a plumber to install it – a good plumber, one we had used several times in the past. He gave an enthusiastic ‘thumb’s up’ to our newly purchased faucet and proceeded to install it – ripped out the original faucet, but then forthwith emerged from the bathroom spewing profuse apologies and explanations. Apparently, although the faucet we had bought was standard, our ‘sixties’ sink “wasn’t.” So the new faucet wouldn’t work and the original one, unfortunately, was ruined.

Don’t turn on the water! Oh wait! You can’t.

The three holes on the top surface are supposed to be the same size – you can’t install a hose in that middle ‘stopper lifter’ hole! Great. How could you know this unless you were the one who had tiled the sink in – 45 years ago? So now we had no functioning sink. We had effectively downgraded our ‘half-bath’ to a sink-less ‘quarter-bath’ just in time for her surgery. But don’t worry. David was on it. He would come up with something.

Now was our last chance before surgery to check out the mall. Spring had arrived in all the shops! A little early.

Megan bought a new winter coat.

Sunday March 7, 12:30 PM – we hit the road for Boise- across I-15 with the cruise control set at ’80’. Here we are turning onto I-86 just before Pocatello, about 40 minutes into our drive. The weather in the foreground appears almost balmy! Yeah, right.

At the time we were listening to a song from Megan’s Jordan Sparks’ CD… “It’s a Battlefield…Battlefield…Battlefield..” Really? That should make the three-hour drive ahead of us interesting …

We drove and drove, with the music blasting, stopping to gas up and grab a taco on the go. Finally we found ourselves within 30 miles of Boise –

No, that wouldn’t be me driving alongside David and Megan on my motor bike. Although I did wonder at the time, looking out my front passenger window as we passed, what the wind chill feels like blasting against your head at 75 mph in 48-degree weather. Tough biker chick, there, following behind her two male biker buddies, both wearing helmets. Maybe she put off planning her trip till the last minute and forgot her helmet, or maybe she’s just more macho than those wimpy guys wearing helmets of all things.

4:10 pm now and we’re trying to locate the Hampton Inn in downtown Boise. That is, David is trying to locate it. I have a horrible sense of direction and can’t read the signs any quicker than he can, even if he is driving. Plus, I’ve got my i-phone out – hot to photograph something … Oh! We are passing Boise State! Quick! “Click!”

Now those are some fine cement pots! In such a straight line. Okay, honey, so, no … I don’t see the sign for the motel or where we need to turn … Um …

Oh, it’s the Stadium – home of the Broncos!

– weren’t they ranked number four in the nation, in college football last season? “GO DAWGS!” Huh? Hey! We’re die-hard Georgia Bulldog fans! And our son who graduated from UGA would have plenty to say about Boise’s ranking and the teams they didn’t play, like UGA and other teams in the SEC.

Okay, so where was I? Oh yeah, so we’ve checked into our motel, thanks to David’s fine navigation, and we are now walking downtown in pursuit of dinner:

Whoa! We should move here! It’s a good 10 degrees warmer and the tulips are already up and several inches tall! Well, they may be up in Idaho Falls too, but how would you know what’s going on underneath all that snow?

It was Oscar night. But we bagged out early. We had to be up at five!

We arrived at St. Luke’s Hospital Monday morning 6 am pronto:

(except it was dark then and this photo was taken at 10 AM!)

Megan was ready and so were we …

Always cheerful. What a trouper! At 7:35 she went into surgery. We waited …

…and paced a bit. David decided to …

cop some ZZZZZZZ’s – and I went on a quest to find some super leaded coffee – with real cream.

Dr. Showalter – the orthopedic surgeon, came out and talked with us at 9:15. All went well! She was up in her room on the 5th floor by 10:30. A little sleepy …

The staff were wonderful. Here you see her Physical therapist, Julie:

She helped us figure out how to transfer Megan and what additional equipment we needed at home.

Megan enjoyed her nurse, Becca:

who was almost as incessantly cheerful as Megan. Megan had great care at the hospital. And after two days, it was time to check out.

and head home again, which is another story…

With that big metal ramp for the front step, though, at least we knew we could get Megan up to the front door and into the house. And David had ordered another faucet (with a hose!) online that would likely work in that bathroom sink. Good thing he’s such a handy man. Life is good!


March 4, 2010

We’ve been back from our week in Cabo for 11 days and the sunshine and memories have to hold me through several more weeks of winter, otherwise known in Idaho as ‘spring’. So, for extra measure, I spent all last week, our first week back from Cabo, imagining that I was still in Cabo. I even started feeling all sad by last Wednesday, knowing that the extra imaginary week of our vacation in my head was already half over.

This week reality settled in. I was ready to forget Cabo and decided to ditch writing the Cabo-II blog with all those photos I took with my i-phone. That was … until I was messing with my phone today and happened upon this photo:

Is that you, Pooky?

What can I say? I had told you about Pee-Wee and mentioned his relatives, now, how could I not introduce you to his voyeuristic cousin ‘Pooky’- fanned out on my spoon, offering a full exposition of his ‘succulent’ legs. (There must be some scientific name for those suction cups.)

Oh, you’d rather see scenery, would you? Okay, here goes: My slide show of Cabo. Let me start with the view of the ocean from the chair I was sitting in while staring down at Pooky. We were eating lunch at the Seven Seas restaurant near San Jose Del Cabo:

After lunch we took a walk on the beach. Utopian! Except you gotta keep an eye out for those crashing waves if you prefer walking on the wet sand along the shoreline. They swell up on the the water in the distance, then come exploding in with an unexpected ferocity that sends them gliding much further up on the shore than you are prepared for…

I was wearing flip flops and a wave soared up to my knees and sucked my left flip flop off my foot on its way back out. But not to worry, the next wave delivered it right back to me. It was a challenge, flip-flopping along, trying to keep up with my husband, David, and brother, Eric, who wore tennies. Wet tennies.

We did lots of things that week in Cabo – some of them real, some imaginary. Like this boat ride out to the Pacific ocean:

We’re in a 40′ catamaran for a whale watching excursion out beyond the tip of the Baja Penninsula. Yet, for a minute, I imagined that we had come off that boat – the Princess Cruise line. If we had, we would have taken a small boat into shore to spend part of the day in Cabo San Lucas. Instead, we sailed on past the cruise ship out into the Sea of Cortez, where we spotted a baby hump-back whale with its mother. The baby was only a few days old and was leaping exuberantly out of the water, timing it just right so as not to be leaping up when I was clicking my camera.

I did have a little excursion on that cruise liner during my imaginary second week in Cabo, where I boarded the Princess and headed to Mazatlan.

Our group could have forked out 800 bucks or more and gone out at 6 AM on one of these fishing boats:

And if we’d gotten real lucky, we would have come back by 3 PM with one or more raised flags, announcing our catches we were hauling in for the day – such as dorado (mahi mahi), or sailfish, or marlin, or tuna, or … nothing – which resulted in your boat returning with no flags flying at all, even if you did pay the 800 bucks…

Not on our boat, esp. since we didn't go

And the pelicans are faithfully waiting for the catch to be hoisted up and weighed:

… and to grab some scraps when the fish are filleted:

Except, I refused to go fishing. So I sabotaged the whole idea. Hey! I get seasick. Plus, I look horrible at six in the morning, and I’m probably a witch, though one can’t be sure, because I’ve made it a point never to be up then, lest I find out for certain. Why take the chance?

I certainly did not go fishing, in my head, during my second week in Cabo.

We talked about owning a yacht, docking it here with the others:

But, well, a yacht all the way from …

Casper, Wyoming? How did they get it here?

We were always hungry for lunch and considering places to eat. Solomon’s Landing, near the docks, had great fish tacos:

Solomon's Landing

We discovered another restaurant for lunch, true to its name:

That's us, upstairs, behind those flowers

I took a photo of the view over those flowers on the second story deck where we were sitting …

…while waiting for our first round of giant, killer Margaritas. It was here that we celebrated Victor’s birthday, complete with serenade:

Stephanie and Victor -Do we have to listen to this even if it is Victor's birthday?

“Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you …,” sung in their finest Mexican accents, strumming two chords. “How about a love song?” Victor suggests.

And we drank more Margaritas than usual because it was Victor’s birthday …

… and his birthday reminded us of an old Beatles song, which we sang in unison all the way down the stairs and out the front door of the restaurant, because we were feeling really, really happy …

But we could still walk, so we went shopping at the grocery store:

We are disciplined about it:

We checked out some other shopping deals:

And entertainment options:

Then carried our loot home:

Melia Cabo Real Resort

It’s time for dinner now, and we’re headed back out into the balmy evening:

It’s 8:30 PM and we’re sitting in Victor’s favorite restaurant, Edith’s, whose culinary fare is fit for a king. Victor had made the reservation three days ago, and we felt lucky that they had squeezed us in before the end of our trip. Tonight was the feast to surpass all feasts! Order up the appetizers! Oh, but wait a minute, Jody … looks … pale. Says she feel’s a bit queasy. As in, she knows what’s in her stomach, of which she’s about to hurl, which would be ‘Pee-wee’ – that whole baby octopus, Pooky’s cousin, she ate in one piece at lunch at Seven Seas Restaurant overlooking the ocean a few hours earlier. So, no choice but to … bail Edith’s! Quickly! Head for the car! But wait, what about dinner? … Food fit for a king, is what we’re looking for? …

Victor Ate Here

Burger King comes to the rescue! The food was served fast enough to where Victor got Jody home just in time for the … well, you know… not-pretty scene involving her face, and the toilet, and loud convulsive sounds coming from the bathroom …

Alas, It is our final day. And I sit and take in the view from our balcony one last time before we check out of our resort:

Travel day. Good-bye to Cabo! – the southernmost tip of Baja California Sur. We are headed now to the airport in San Jose Del Cabo:

Time to board … and fly … and land … and get luggage … and drive…

Pulled into our driveway in Idaho Falls by 11 PM Sat. Feb 21. Temperature: 12 degrees.

Unpacked for a couple of days. And shivered. Geez! My blood must have thinned! Midway into last week, my imaginary second week in Cabo, I wandered outside and took this photo of our house:

Does this look like Cabo, Mexico?

And ran back to Cabo in my mind. I even considered planning a fishing trip in Cabo after I get back off the Princess cruise, returning from Mazatlan.

Okay, so today is Wednesday, March 3. Just another day. Except I came across Pooky, and a flood of great memories and fantasies washed over me, in the midst of my reality.

I took another picture this morning – this time out our front kitchen window…

That doesn’t look like the ocean to you, does it? Didn’t think so.

Hey! It’s a whopping 40 degrees! Is that rain?

I need to get out there and take down our Christmas lights. Okay … I’ll do it.

… But first, can I go on this Fiesta Cabaret Cruise …

…in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico? Please? Pretty Please?