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Author Archives: Lets Go To Idaho

My Hillbilly Hair

My Hillbilly Hair

I’ve had this blog-post brewing in my head for a few weeks now. Ever since my last haircut. I’ve been waiting for a photo opp of a day when my hair was lookin’ cute and sassy. Truth be told, I never fix my hair, ever. I whip it back into a clippie in one fell swoop.  Boring, but practical and easy. My daughter got her long locks chopped off today after much deliberation. She and I have so much in common, except for what we spend on our hairdoos. I decided this was a good-a-time as any to tell you about my hillbilly hair. Read the rest of this entry

Our Stranded Adventure

Our Stranded Adventure

No, we weren’t stuck on a mountaintop in the wilderness, nor a valley down by the creek. We spent last weekend in an AutoZone parking lot. I must blog about these things or else I forget they ever happened when I’m older and grayer and more senile ;-). So far, every adventure I’ve been on with Lance has been enjoyable. The key to a happy life is to enjoy your shipmate in smooth sailing or in shipwrecks (you may quote me on that, go right ahead).

Last Saturday we were headed home from a ‘quick’ trip to town, stopping at our 3 favorite home improvement stores. The truck bed was full (as usual) and we were going to make one last stop for fuel before heading home ‘early’.  Early enough to make dinner and get some more work done on finishing up the foundation. After exiting the highway, heading toward the gas station, Mr. Dodge Ram dies. The ‘funny’ thing being, it died last spring, a block from this same gas station. Apparently our fuel gauge has been getting increasingly worse (we know this now after running out of fuel 3 times due to faulty readings). Thankfully, a fellow trucker, offers a quick tow across the street. Lance proceeds to pump in 35 gallons of diesel and then does the diesel dance (what you have to do to get a diesel running after you run out of fuel). Still no go.  Read the rest of this entry

What’s For Dinner?

What’s For Dinner?

What mom/woman doesn’t loathe that question? Me. At least at this state in my life I no longer dread that question. There is a lot in my life I no longer dread. Maybe I’m just chillin’ out or maybe the hair color commercial of the 70s is right- I’m not getting older, I’m getting better (ha).

Growing up, dinner was at 5:30, without fail. Feeding a husband and 7 kids had to be quite a labor of love for my mom. Back in the 60s & 70s you just didn’t go to fast food places for dinner, ever.  We didn’t have a microwave either (we did have a dishwasher, her name was Becky). I am certain my mom got tired of cooking and figuring out ‘what’s for dinner’. Read the rest of this entry

The End Is Near

The end of the foundation work that is. No one (but God) knows how much longer this earth will continue to plug along. It was July 16th of this past summer that the ‘skirting’ on our house was stripped off. We knew it was bad, but that day showed us just how bad it all was. I won’t beat the decaying wood log foundation to death by repeating just how unstable this house was. I will sing the praises of Lance and our neighbor, Merle, for their amazing efforts.

The end is near

Read the rest of this entry

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off To Work I Go

Tomorrow I embark on my 2nd month of work with my new employer (a local dock building company). I frequently thank God for all the jobs I did not get.  I also thank Him for allowing me to spend the last year working alongside Lance. Is it normal to wish I was busting my butt around the house and not getting paid rather than getting paid to sit in a comfie chair answering phones?

I’ve been reunited with ‘Sunday Night Dread’ and loathing the 5 day work week. I do not understand why we should spend a greater portion of our week at a job. I envy the self-employed, independently wealthy and those that are retired. Enough complaining. I am thankful to be be gainfully employed, again. Our expenses are few but we do like to eat, regularly.

There are many great things about my job. The office I work in is ‘only’ 19 miles away. I love the commute. It’s not the 3 block walk I once had but it is a beautiful drive. I may sing a different tune come winter. The first 5 miles are through our neighborhood. Winding roads along a lake surrounded by mountains. 5 more miles weaving through valleys and mountains. Then 5 miles through ‘The Flats’, rolling farm land that still takes my breath away. Funny how ‘The Flats’ are still hillier than the Texas Hill Country or any square inch of Iowa. I hail from Iowa, so farmland holds special fondness. I pass several cows, barns, pastures. There is even an old gray mare that reminds me that I, me, Mare, am getting old and gray, but not dead, yet. The last 4 miles wind through a little resort town. I do my best not to hit a tourist not looking both ways before they head over to the ice-creamery.

Another plus- there doesn’t seem to be a dress code in the office. Yee Haw! I remember when I first started with EBSCO Industries 11+ years ago. You weren’t allowed to where flip-flops or capris. T-shirts and ball caps were highly illegal. Thankfully I didn’t have to wear heels, hose or suits. My co-workers here wear shorts, jeans and any old T-shirt.  I haven’t worn anything so casual, yet. Just the thought that I CAN, brings me  great joy. I do wear flip-flops each and every day, hoping the frost doesn’t come too soon this year. Hmm, maybe I can get some toe socks 😉

The hours are great, I’m done each day at 3:30. It feels like school is letting out, I get home in time to enjoy our slice of paradise before the sun sets. The people I work with are laid back and nice, even if I am old enough to be their mother. The pay is better than McDonalds and the work more enjoyable than standing at a register at my local Wal-Mart. Easier on the legs of this ol gray Mare ;-). Oh, and there is health insurance, something people my age may need sooner or later.

Thank You God for helping me find a job later than sooner. I shall continue to go off to work each week until our ship comes in and I can retire. Maybe, just maybe, God will promote me to a senior citizen. Planting a garden and chasing grand children will be hard work, but I bet I’d be good at it.

There’s No Place Like Home

The best part of working, aside from the paycheck, is NOT working. I’ve worked for my new company for 2 whole weeks. That makes this Labor Day weekend all the more special. Three whole days to be home. Delightful! Everyone at work had plans to party, go boating, camp….I just want to be home. Water our newly sprouting yard. Clean out our new chicken coop. Do laundry. Be home. There really is, no place like home.

I do love it here, even though I am dreading winter. So much so, that I fantasize about winning the lottery so we can build our dream (underground) home in a more temperate climate. Apparently, last winter was a mild one. I thank God that He didn’t let all snow break loose and allow a fierce winter in northern Idaho. Lance asked me the other day if I regretted moving here. That was an easy, ‘no’. That doesn’t mean I don’t wish winter wouldn’t happen.

This is the last busy weekend for our lake community. I shout a silent ‘hoorah‘. It’s nicer when there isn’t so much traffic kicking up dust. I love the locals, they provide plenty of entertainment.  Today I captured this photo as Mountain-man Mike drove by with a neighbor’s goat. Mike needed some brush cleared, so he borrowed Kevin’s goat for a for a few days :-).

Have goat, will travel.

Last year the September weather was spectacular. I can only hope this year will hold the same incredible sunshine and warmth! In anticipation of the cold months ahead, Lance made the chickens a warm, insulated, home in the corner of the wood shed. Due to some recent wild animal activity, he put up a 6ft chicken wire fence….we no longer have free range chickens. The trade-off is, we hope to not lose any more chickens to dogs and cougars and bears, oh my. Life is good, here in northern Idaho.

I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world.  ~George Washington

Wiring the chicken run

Birds of a feather (sticking together)

Teener chick, checks out her newly wired run

You Can Take The Girl Outta The South, But You Can’t Make Her Wear Pants

How’s that for a title? Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loathed the onset of Fall. I’m not normal (in many ways). When the cooler temps set in, my mood swings to sadness. Sure I love brisk weather and cuddling up under the covers, but moving from summer to fall has always been a mournful time. Always.

Think about it, when the weather turns cooler you can’t go barefoot, wear shorts or soak up the extra hours of sunshine. It goes back to my youth. Summertime meant no school, long lazy days and carefree nights. Autumn meant school is in session, days are shorter and life is anything but carefree. When my kids were little, summer meant sleeping in, lounging about, doing what we enjoyed. When autumn came, it felt like our lives weren’t our own. We had to get into the school routine, my kids weren’t ‘all mine’ anymore. That was sad.

It’s still August (just barely), but the nights are already getting shorter and cooler. This morning the thermometer read 45 degrees. I had already ironed a skirt and short sleeves to wear to work. So, by gosh, I was going to wear my cute skirt and short sleeve shirt, topped with a sweat jacket and the car heater on full blast. Shoot, it’s not even Labor Day, WAY too soon to think about winter weather and all the woes that entails.

One great thing about my new job is the casual dress code. The operations manager interviewed me in his favorite Utah polo and his golf shorts (Thursday was golf day for the ‘big wigs’). Everyone wears shorts, jeans and T-shirts. Why not? I work for a dock building company in a tiny resort town nearby. Who cares if all the workers are dressed casually? A banker came in the office this week for a meeting and everyone ‘dressed up’. The owner wore long pants, the engineer actually wore his shoes all day, the production manager wore a shirt that buttoned, my supervisor decided not to show her toes…. they were all stylin’!

After working 10+ years for a big company, I own more than my share of dress clothes. 90% of said dress clothes are skirts. So what if I’m the only one in the company that ever wears a skirt (keep in mind there are only 49 employees and of those only 5 are female). I will wear a skirt until I see one of my coworkers wear sweatpants, then I’ll rejoice and retire my skirts till next summer (think July).

I do miss the season they call winter in the south. I now fully understand why there are so many ‘snow-birds’ out there. Since we only own one home, I don’t see any plans to fly south for the winter. I will drag my summer out as long as possible. I plan to avoid wearing long pants for as long as I can, even if it means cranking up a space heater under my desk so as not to shiver audibly. Yes, I miss those quasi-winters in Alabama, but I wouldn’t trade our spectacular summers for theirs any day.

Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes.  ~Ada Louise Huxtable

1st day of work