Monday, May 31, 2010

Face in my Yard

Kudos to pal Jaquandor for sharing THIS LINK to cool photos and info about the Easter Island statues. I've long been facinated by these mysterious faces, even more so now that I have this face appearing in my new back yard.

Not sure what to call it... suggestions?

Idaho State Parks

On the way home from Utah my beloved and I stopped off at two Idaho State Parks. First we went to Malad Gorge State Park. We had a nice walk along the trail and had some great views of the waterfall and canyon.

Then we drove out the loop and checked out the picnic area and playground. Looked like a great spot for a picnic. (Besides, no matter how old I am I still love playing on the swings!)

Further on down the road we also stopped at Three Island State Park near Glenn's Ferry. We didn't spend as much time there, but did enjoy reading a bit about the Oregon Trail history of that area. There is a museum / interpretive center that we didn't go into but may check out another day. We were ready to get home. But it was still nice to stop and find out what was there so we can plan a more extended visit on another day.

I'm very much looking forward to learning more about Idaho and exploring what the region has to offer.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Utah for the weekend

I just got back from a quick trip to Utah for the weekend. My husband's family has a tradition of gathering for a family reunion each year on the Saturday before Memorial day. This year things were different, because one of the cousins died last week. She had struggled with a tough battle with cancer for the past several months. Sadly, recovery was not to be. So instead of the usual pot luck dinner up at the field in the hills above town we all met for the funeral and luncheon afterward. It was a bittersweet time, sad to say goodbye far too soon to one we all loved. (She was just 63). Still, it was meaningful to celebrate a life lived well and to reconnect as a family.

Then, later in the evening, several of us did head up to the field for an evening weenie roast.

We sat around visiting, watching the shifting light over the field where we gather every year.

My beloved and I took two of the little girls on "An Adventure" exploring walk through the surrounding hills examining bugs and rocks and flowers. They learned about lichen and we looked at various animal tracks. Their major discovery was seeing three kinds of poop and noticing the difference in each one (deer, elk and cow.) Oh to be young and retain the wonder and curiosity for all the world they way they do. We all had a great time.

As the evening wore on the sky came alive with an amazing sunset, which is actually pretty common for that place but still never gets old...

It was just a quick trip, but still a very good time reconnecting in the place where my husband grew up, visiting with his family. One of the blessings of our move to Boise is we are closer to them now and will be able to spend more time there than just once a year at reunion time. It's not a place I'd ever want to live, but without question is is a very special place that we feel richer for being able to visit when we can.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The continuing saga of Belladonna's Jungle...

I continue to try to identify the plants in my new yard. Here are some I'm pretty sure what are:

Virginia Creeper (Love the way this climbs up the fence and can't wait to see it turn red in the fall...just have to keep an eye on it because it spreads EVERYWHERE if you let it. Think Kudzu in the south. Yeah, it can be invasive. Still, it's awful pretty so I'm not about to pull it all out.

Hydrangeas This was a welcome present from our nice neighbors across the street!

Rose Bushes & Rhododendrans




Grapes covering the back porch

Oregon Grape holly


Bee Balm / Monarda

Coral Bells / Heuchera


Any guesses about THESE??

Mystery Plant #1 (Mystery solved by Kathy Darrow!)
This is Hellabore

Mystery Plant #2 - FOUND IT! This is a Siberian Bugloss,

Mystery Plant #3

Mystery Plant #4
OOPS - this picture is on it's side. These are TALL plants that will soon have flowers on them. I'm hoping once the blossoms come out I can figure them out!

Can You Play "Name That Plant"??


After much looking, debating and considering we finally found a house that met all the criteria we had hoped for that was within our budget. There are a few things I wish were different, but all in all, I'm really pleased with our choice.

The house is your basic late '70's 3 bedroom / 2 bath ranch. It's all on one floor so it is something we can comfortably grow old in. At just under 1800 sq feet it is way smaller than what I am used to, but has plenty of space to meet our needs.

The part that makes my heart sing is the yard:

It is truly sacred space that makes my spirit just feel absolutely at peace.
(We'll see if I'm still saying that after long days weeding and trimming all summer, and raking LOTS of leaves in the fall!) Yeah, it's going to take some care. But that's what I WANT. I spend way too much time inside staring at a computer screen. Dirt therapy is what makes me feel balanced, alive, whole. I LIKE working in the yard. This is a yard to really savor.

So one of my first orders of business is to get acquainted with everything...learn what is planted where and familiarize myself with what sort of care the various plants will need.

Some are things I've had in my other yards so I know them well: Bleeding Heart, Columbine, hostas, Allium, Blue Fescue, Ferns, Rhubarb, Periwinkle and lots more.

But there are also LOTS of plants I'm really not sure what are. In the coming days I'll be out in my yard with various garden books trying to identify them. For those I can't figure out, I'll post pictures and see if YOU know what they are!

I have much to do to get all our stuff moved here from Oregon and then get it sorted out and figure out where things go. Getting settled into a new place always takes a while. But anytime I get overwhelmed with the boxes, or anything else for that matter, you will know where you can find me. I'll be out in the backyard.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Idaho Days

Tomorrow my husband and I will sign papers for the loan on the house we will be buying in Boise. I am in awe of how well things seem to be working out since my move here to Idaho just a few weeks ago.

I'm starting to get a handle on the new job. The first two weeks were filled with angst as I struggled with the learning curve of totally unfamiliar tasks in a totally unfamiliar system. But somehow, magically, in week three it all just clicked and I seemed to find my rhythm.

There were many tears shed when I first parted from my dear husband and I wasn't sure how either one of us would handle living apart for the months it would be before he could join me here. But between weekend visits and talking on cell phone every night and morning, we've managed to stay close.

Now the key piece is falling into place best of all - we found just the right house in a great neighborhood. We like our new ward (church congregation). I'm learning my way around. There have been a few bumps here and there, but for the most part, it has been smoother than I would have ever anticipated.

After MONTHS of worry and struggle and wondering what was going to become of us, it seems we have landed in a very happy space.

I have no doubt there will be new struggles and adversities to face around the corner. After all, that's what life brings. But for right now I feel like I'm living happily ever after. For today, it feels really, really good to be a spud.

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