Archive for October, 2015

October: Ghosts of Halloween Past

October 29, 2015

Here in southeast Idaho we’ve enjoyed one of the mildest Octobers on record. The Fall colors have been exquisite. I’ve captured lots of photos on walks through our neighborhood and around town.

What, another photo?

What, another photo?

Tautphaus Park:
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The brilliant trees lining South Boulevard:

October 23

October 23

Community Park:

Some folks get right on the leaf detail

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Halloween decorations begin to appear. We watch a fenced graveyard evolve on regular walks past one house. The man constructing the graveyard was out there one day when we passed by. He said it takes him 6 weeks to put it up, one day to take down.

Enter if you dare...

Enter if you dare…

Totally worth it!

Are you going creepy

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Or kid-friendly?

Warm fuzzy's

Warm fuzzy’s

Megan and I pulled our Halloween box out this past Tuesday. The box must be 30 years old. Over the years, we haven’t thrown much away. Whatever we take out, add, or put away again, ends up on top. We rarely disturb the bulky lower contents of the box – old masks, costumes, accessories, unused decorations…

Out comes the paper plate spider Megan made in grade school.

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and the huge hairy spider now hanging in the doorway to the den

how 'bout a head massage?

how ’bout a head massage?

Mr. Skeleton on the buffet

Yes, I'm very much alive

Yes, I’m very much alive

Our sound-activated Ghost comes out. You might recognize him …

'Stretch'

‘Stretch’

the Brooklyn accent-talking ‘Stretch’ from the 1987 movie ‘Casper.’

Oh crap, he needs new batteries!

Yeah, you try getting the screw out

Yeah, you try getting the screw out

10 minutes later I know for sure, I don’t have the right screwdriver to open up the battery compartment.

Oh, and I’ve torn Stretch’s torso in half in the process…

Yes, that'ring of hot glue sitting on he counter is supposed to be holding the ghost together

Yes, that ring of hot glue now sitting on the counter is supposed to be holding the ghost together

Stretch is dead

When's the funeral?

When’s the funeral?

So we’re finished putting out our decorations

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– time to carry the box back downstairs to the basement…

Oh no!

the guts of the box

the guts of the box

What the …

The old box gave way…

Nice 'coming unglued' visual

Nice ‘coming unglued’ visual

The box came unglued … and then unravelled. You know, like humans do. Dumb 30+-year-old worn out box!

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I plucked my old mask from the heap of stuff pooled at the bottom of the stairs. Although the mask may be 20 years old, it makes me look about 200 years old.

Oh, and here’s Ben’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume from … Kindergarten??? (26 years ago)

Ninja Turtles might make a comeback?

Ninja Turtles might make a comeback?

And legs to Aaron’s 2nd grade spider costume

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Okay, well, I had to model the next great find:

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No recollection here of anyone being an m&m. No idea where this thing even came from. Cousin to the Raisins? What year is that?

Last but not least, the most worthless Halloween costume accessory on the planet- witches fingers.

my hands qualify well enough without the fingers

my hands qualify well enough without the fingers

Renders the uniquely human quality of ‘opposing thumbs” completely non-operational. Heck, you can’t even scoop candy out of a bowl to give to trick-or-treaters with these puppies on. Believe me, I’ve tried it. That’s why they settled to the bottom of the box, like, twenty years ago. And stayed there.

Wildlife Photos, Yes! … and Scenery!

October 23, 2015

Glacier – Part 7 (are you serious?)

Tuesday September 15 – Travel day…

Check-out time at the condo is noon… enough time to squeeze in one last nature walk. Especially since we just exit the front door of our condo, cross the street, go behind the opposite wing of the resort and we’re at the entrance to the wildlife reserve that is part of the Lodge at Whitefish Lake.

Bring the bear spray! Megan reminds us. She had done this walk with Aaron earlier in the week and seen the physical proof of the presence of bears.

Eric leads the way..

Eric David Ben and Rhonda

Eric David Ben and Rhonda

Ben is skeptical of seeing any wildlife, after all, we are in the middle of – traffic. Human and car. After about 10 minutes on the trail you curve away from the highway. The rest of us had already done this hike, about 5 times, since the whole loop from start to finish takes about 15 minutes. There are deer – we have proof! On my first trek in here with Aaron and Megan we captured some photos

Yes, those are deer

Yes, those are deer

It takes a watchful eye …

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A zoom …

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just the right lighting …

Aaron's photo wins the prize

Aaron’s photo wins the prize

and a perfectly posed deer (trained for the tourists? Is there a tip jar or something?)

You call this wildlife? I have deer in my back yard!

Yes, but do you have trees gouged with bear claw scratches?

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This plaque explains it:

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Terrifying! This is why you bring bear spray on this nature hike. (Okay so the scratches have been healed for like, 50 years?…)

Hiking back out now

Megan Aaron and Kelly

Megan Aaron and Kelly

What a bonus that you can access wireless internet on your phone through the whole hike!

Almost back out now…

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I make Adam and Meredith pose for one last photo:

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Time for goodbyes. Boy were they quick. The complimentary resort airport shuttle pulled up and the kids loaded on, Hey, wait for me!

Aaron is the last one on

Aaron is the last one on

I – quick! Hop up into the shuttle and snap this photo (much to their annoyance, by now, I’m sure)

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Goodbye Kiddies! To the Kalispel airport they go – to fly back to their far-flung lives in New York, Atlanta, and Boulder.

No worry though, I’ve a helicopter standing by so I can take off and hover over them all the way to the airport, you know, to make sure they make it there safely…

Uh, actually, David is in his truck, behind the wheel, with the engine running. Get in your car and let’s go, Jody. We’ve got a 7-hour drive back to Idaho Falls and we’d like to make it there sometime today.

So off we go – in our two vehicles, Megan and I in my car – following David and Eric in David’s truck. (Scott had left much earlier in his rig)… Dang! I’m driving! How can I take photos, then?

Well, I did snap a few photos of our trip home. This first one, behind David at a stoplight on US 93 through Whitefish.

Downtown Whitefish

Downtown Whitefish

We drive back the way we came…from US 93 south onto 83 … there’s wide open highway here and the mountains are beautiful…I grab my phone and quick – snap a photo!

wide open spaces!

wide open spaces!

Several miles later…

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We pull over at Seely Lake Town Pump to gas up and grab a quick bite. The four of us are crammed around a booth eating when Megan notices this sign between the windows above us:

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Haha! Parent’s worst nightmare… get back in your car with a jacked-up kid and a puppy…

Back on the road now. Hey Megan – I’m driving but look how scenic it is! I hand her the phone – take a photo Megan! and somehow switch the camera to video. She takes the phone….

Awwww…could have been a great video, Megan!

No, Mom. She is not interested in taking photos or videos on the journey home. She is interested in being home.

Well that’s about it with our trip to Glacier. I know I promised you photos of scenery so here’s a couple more from the drive home. I just grabbed the phone and held it up and shot – with my car on cruise control and David at a safe distance ahead.

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What? Since these were ‘Glacier’ Blogs, you were expecting photos of wildlife and scenery taken from, say, inside Glacier National Park? Well, to be honest, between the conflicts with college and NFL football games, crowds, parking problems, seasonal closures, flu, and downright logistics of planning activities for a herd of 11 people, I think I need a do-over on my trip to actually see Glacier National Park.

Blog about Glacier with ‘Wildlife’ and ‘Scenery’?

October 16, 2015

Glacier – Part 6

I wanna hold ’em like they do in Texas, please
Fold ’em, let ’em, hit me, raise it, baby, stay with me…

Lady Gaga’s ‘Poker’ song? Shouldn’t your blogs about Glacier include photos of, say, wildlife and scenery? Why, yes. You do have a point there…

It’s our last night in Whitefish on our family trip to Glacier – we’re hanging out at the condo after a memorable soak in the hot tub, as you know, consuming leftovers from our previous meals out. Which, dinner at Tupelo Grille last night was fantastic …

How to spend our last evening together? How about a game of Texas Hold-em?

Meredith claims she has never played poker. So Aaron writes her up a cheat sheet on what hands beat what – from the ‘high’ card to pairs, to two pairs, three of a kind, full boat …

We deal the cards out. Eric makes a bid…

Eric plays tight

Eric plays tight

We see the flop.

Meredith is confused.

Hmm, so my cheat sheet says...

Hmm, so my cheat sheet says…

So does three of a kind beat 2 pair?

Bidding goes around …

Meredith goes all in

Meredith makes 'all-in'

Meredith makes a move

Call!

Full boat! Dang. She takes a ginormous pot

Scott, David and Aaron stunned by Meredith's all-in

Scott, David and Aaron stunned by Meredith’s all-in

Soon David is out. He goes to bed. Meredith and I are raking it in; she’s egging me on in my obnoxious arrogant winner behavior with girl power pump fists.

Then Aaron takes Meredith out. She hangs around, starts tearing little ends off her cheat sheet, chewing on them … uh oh … Out flies a spit ball across the table at Aaron. I’m laughing uproariously, egging Meredith on. She’s chewing again … this time the spit ball is directed at Adam – it lands against his chest and when he brushes it off it leaves a dark wet splotch on his shirt. Ha ha ha!

Well, the mood at the end of any poker game is generally sour, per my experience, you know, except for the big winner(s). I manage to break a little above even in this game, but spit balls help deal with emotions involved in bluffing, bullying, outbidding or even out folding others out of their money. In my case, both outcomes of winning or losing turn me sour. I feel bad taking other people’s money but worse losing it. Loser!

Okay, so we’re down to the last day of our trip: Travel day. Tuesday, September 15. I pretty much have to promise you photos of wildlife and scenery, don’t I? After all, wasn’t this series of blogs supposed to be about our trip to Glacier National Park?

‘Hot’ Tub Cougar Adventure

October 10, 2015

Glacier trip – part 5. Okay so where were we? Oh yeah, in the ladies room at Bulldogs in Whitefish with Fabio …

The 11 of us had been sitting around a big tall table at Bulldogs devouring hamburgers and sandwiches, drinks and beer, slaw and fries, when Megan and I made a trip to the ladies room.

The ladies room at Bulldogs is plastered with Chippendales (and I don’t mean chipmunks)

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The two stall doors are rated, and one of them is ‘R’

Okay, Megan, this is not your stall

Okay, Megan, this is not your stall

Do not look at these photos

Do not look at these photos

No photos (Noooooo!) of the hot naked full frontal male posters in my stall. Well, okay ladies. How about a thumbnail size of the one photo I took of the scene in front of me as I sat on the stall with my pants down trying to pee? If you are reading this blog on your i-phones or i-Pads, do not expand or zoom in on the thumbnail sized photo.

But I can very safely post a full size photo I took of the area around the bathroom sink and mirror.

G-rated, right?

Ladies, do not direct your attention on the faucet.

Faucet

Cougar snapping faucet photo for female entertainment

If viewing this blog on your i-Phone or i-Pad, scroll right on through this photo and continue reading. Do not stop to zoom the photo for a closer look of the faucet area.

What are you doing, Jody? Hmmm. Well, see where your mind goes after you spend 5-10 minutes in the company of hot naked men…

Okay, whew!, so our group heads back to the condo after lunch. I had been keeping an eye on the pool area from our patio – one thing we hadn’t done yet was hang out in the hot tub. It was usually occupied. But today, this afternoon – hey, it’s empty! Let’s go for it! Our own private hot tub party! Megan, quick, get your bathing suit on! I rustled the rest of the bunch. David, Eric, Scott, Meredith, Ben, Rhonda… we were all getting our suits on.

Megan and I got to the hot tub first. Hey! What’s this? A bachelor party? Sure enough, in the time it took us to get our suits on, a half dozen young buff males had descended on the hot tub. Oh well, there’s room for us. We’ll take over this end of the tub, they can have the other end.

Hot tub bachelor party

Hot tub bachelor party

Soon Meredith, Scott, Eric and David had joined us on our end. It’s a party! Let’s order drinks from the poolside bar!

We flagged the waitress and she took our drink orders. The bachelor party ordered drinks too.

Except when the waitress arrived back with the drinks she couldn’t open the gate. I hop out to assist. So does one of the hot young bachelors…

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Oh, but there’s too many drinks. Another young hunk joins the effort…

Cougar sandwich

Cougar sandwich

My heart is racing. My goose bumps are tingling.

Whew! What a rush. I’m so young and alive!

I must not let my hand brush his thigh

I must not let my hand brush his thigh

For an instant I’m … 24! (Or 34.) (Uh, 44.) (Okay, 54)

So there. I had to share with you my very hot sexy cougar Glacier experience. And I’m pretty sure, no matter how young I might feel at any particular moment in the future, I’ll likely never again be as young as I was in that hot tub cougar sandwich moment.

So… Do you want to hear about our Poker game?

Are you serious?

Hey, you think I’m done with my ‘Glacier trip’ blogs? No way. Living in the present is over-rated.

‘Big Mountain!!’ – (uh, downtown Whitefish? …)

October 3, 2015

Glacier- Part 4 – Monday, September 14. Our last full day of vacation – for the 11 of us in a condo at Whitefish Lake Lodge. We had gone into the Park the past two days, how about something exciting and different today? Whitefish Mountain Resort! (or “Big Mountain’). I had done my research. Big Mountain is, of course, a fabulous winter ski resort, but offers fantastic summer fun, too! Take the lift or tram to the top and enjoy panoramic views of all of Glacier National Park and into Canada! Take the 3-hour 7-zipline tour, where you hike and zip across and down the mountain. There’s the alpine slide, or ropes course, or tree top climb, hiking, restaurants, and mountain biking! I pushed hard on the group over breakfast and had them all convinced to go.

I even pulled out my i-phone, Googled ‘Big Mountain’ and read aloud to the group, “Open now!”

So the 11 of us piled into three cars and drove to Big Mountain. As we pulled into the resort I was thrilled to see there was plenty of parking. We piled out – looked around – glanced at the gloomy looking Mountain looming in front of us. No human activity whatsoever. No chair lift ascending the mountain. Empty glass ticket booths. What?

“It’s closed, Jody.”

What the heck. I finally did corner the only other person at the resort as he walked to his car. What’s the deal here? “Big Mountain Resort is only open on weekends beginning in September.” That’s not what my i-phone said!!

So we piled back in. (Okay, so we saved 800 bucks on zipline tickets alone…) Our 3-vehicle caravan pulled out and drove back, past our lodge, into downtown Whitefish. Parked by the Whitefish Depot. “Hey, let’s check out the trains! And I hear there’s a free museum in the Depot.” Eric had taken charge. I didn’t take any pictures, of Big Mountain or of the Depot. I was out of the mood for pictures!

Here’s a link to the Whitefish Train Depot which contains a nice photo of the Tudor Style Depot. The train station is the busiest Amtrak stop between Seattle and Minneapolis. It is also home for the Stumptown Historical Society Museum featuring railroad and community artifacts. I was fascinated with the kerosene powered iron (no ironing for me, I would for sure catch myself on fire) and the fish in the display case with a coat of beaver fur (labeled as one of the first lake trout (!!) you know, it had to keep warm somehow…)

In the lobby between the depot and the museum you could enjoy a Nordic ski experience, just right for Ben and Rhonda:

Hey, What's that orange arm doing there?

Hey, What’s that orange arm doing there?

Megan joined in too, having her best skiing experience ever

Hey,

hey, couldn’t you have edited out all that i-Phone garbage?

Try your hand at fishing!

Ben, you caught that huge fish with a stick?

Ben, you caught that huge fish with a stick?

Way

Way to go, Rhonda…

The depot was just two blocks from all the shops and restaurants downtown so we left our cars parked where they were and headed in that direction – in different groups. Ben was looking for a place to play pool. Don’t know where the others headed to, but all that money we didn’t spend at Big Mountain (the cost of chair lift, plus zip lines, times 11, plus bike rental, alpine slide, food and drink, plus…) was burning in my pocket. So Megan, Rhonda, Meredith and I went shopping. Fine souvenirs (mostly clothing) were purchased by all! Very happy! We dumped our loot off at the car and are running to meet the others now, for lunch.

Megan and Meredith in downtown Whitefish

Megan and Meredith in downtown Whitefish

Shopping makes you hungry! So, where to eat a late lunch? Let’s see… there’s 11 of us. Hamburgers sound good. Scott was Googling restaurant reviews on his phone. We asked merchants in the stores for suggestions.

So where do you get the best burger in town at 2 in the afternoon? Why everybody agrees… Bulldogs!

But, please don’t use the public restrooms in Bulldogs.

Just like, while sitting on the toilet in the stall, don’t open this box right next to you …

I absolutely am (not?) going to open this box.

I absolutely am (not?) going to open this box.

Of course I opened it…

Is that you, Fabio?

Is that you, Fabio?

Ah, but of course, this encounter with Fabio and his friends had no lingering affect on me whatsoever, nor did it make any difference in how the rest of the day played out…

Right?