Archive for the ‘Boise’ Category

Back to Boise!

April 21, 2010

It’s Sunday, April 18th. The day has arrived! Megan has had her casts on for six weeks and it’s time to get them off. We make the 275-mile drive back to Boise today! 6 AM tomorrow morning Megan will check in to St. Luke’s Hospital for surgery to remove the pin in her left foot. Then another cast goes on her left foot for 4 more weeks. The cast on her right foot comes off completely. She will be able to walk!

It’s noon now and we are loaded up, ready to go. Megan and Rudy are in the back. We have purchased a harness for Rudy and strapped him in next to Megan. Good dog!

Except he hates it. He tells us by whining, yipping, and howling through the first 45 minutes of our drive. We stand our ground. He must stay in the back, in his harness. After all, he’s a dog and we are his masters.

Until we relent and finally let him have his way. He knows where he belongs – on the console between the two front seats – to help drive. He spots dogs, squirrels, pedestrians, bicyclists and blowing leaves ahead and and lets us know by leaping across the car frantically yelping at them through the window as they pass. This is why we tether him now. He could sail like a missile across the interior of a car traveling at 80 mph, especially if we have to slow down suddenly. So we have tethered him at his post and yes, he is helping David drive.

We shoot to Boise across I-84, making it in four hours, and check into our motel. We enjoy a lovely dinner outside on the front patio of a restaurant in downtown Boise. Here is a picture of Megan at dinner:

The girl at the table behind her posed for the photo, too, because she knows what a special evening this is.

Megan took a picture of us sitting across from her:

… Big ‘D’ and me. Why does he look so much bigger than me?

After dinner we take a stroll downtown. The weather is exquisite with temperatures near 80 degrees. We pause at the fountain in the square –

And walk to the Capitol building a few blocks away:

Back at the motel I get the worst night’s sleep ever. The room is too hot (or were my hot flashes too hot?), the bed too soft, and all night I worry in the haze of my semi-sleep about having to be awake by five, to get her to the hospital by six.

But we pull it off. Here she is at 6:15 am, her usual cheerful self, waiting to be admitted:

She’s gone into surgery now. David and I grab the time to take a walk outside around the hospital. And discover this garden –

transplanted from Holland? Wow! Spring is sprung in Boise, Idaho! David checked out the aroma of this tree:

Does a cousin of the southern magnolia thrive here too?

Megan’s surgery went beautifully. Here she is in recovery, sleepy, but happy.

Who says hospital gowns don’t look sexy?

We check out of the Hospital by 11 AM and decide to grab lunch downtown.

A perfect pair, we are at lunch – Megan, sedated, and I, sleep-deprived. But we do enjoy lunch. Next, we return to the car to head for home. But wait! The dog! He’s been cooped up in the car most of today and will surely give us fits on the long drive home if he doesn’t get some exercise.

So last stop – Ann Morrison Park, home to a fabulous Frisbee golf course. Megan is not so enthusiastic about the Frisbee golfers, or the walk-

However, the exuberance she lacks has been tamped down but is now overflowing in Rudy.

… fetching the tennis ball. We walked about a quarter mile, while he ran a good two miles, retrieving that ball.

The flowering crab (?) trees are putting on a show as well:

Spring here is unfolding a good three to four weeks ahead of Idaho Falls, where winter can, more likely than not, turn to ‘sprinter’, with spring arriving so late you’re into summer by the time you even notice the trees.

Anyway, it was time now to head back to the car

through this beautiful park, savoring the sights, sounds, and smells of spring.

And hit the highway for our 4-hour trek home.

Megan and Rudy are in the back seat again, ready to go.

Yeah, like that’s gonna fly. How long do you think Rudy will last tethered to the back seat?

It lasted about three blocks.

He’s gotta help David drive.

Do you wanna hear about our trek home?

… 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!