Category Archives: Life

Denial to Acceptance … Really

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Last week … Indian Summer

Each seasonal transition I have a mini meltdown … I become so invested in the current season that I never want it to end.  Tuesday last I moved from foot dragging, whining denial that fall is giving way to winter and Indian Summer won’t last into acceptance of winter’s charms. Icy winds and night frosted branches, snow dancing down and sun peeking from beneath clouds to glitter on said frost.

This week @Cascade, Idaho … yes, in November … like 3 days ago

It’s here … although on the calendar we may have more days of Indian Summer which I will revel in … winter is coming, snow is falling and plans for the winter months are starting to bustle to the front of my brain. They are the indoor, quieter activities, interspersed with days of mountain shusshing skiing (alpine & nordic), a trip or two south of the snow meridian, and maybe I’ll get the first chapter of the life story of my Great-Grandfather Hyrum Chase Nicol outlined if not completed.

What’s on your late fall and early winter want to do list? I hope it includes giving Thanks with family and friends, and giving secret service where it’s least expected. I hope your list contains stuff that will make you break out in bubbles and giggles of laughter, and trying recipes that will waft great smells from your kitchen, and will your list contain projects to actually be completed before (like me) your mind wanders away?

So my friends, I’ll keep wandering, even if it’s only in my mind and soul and finding that perfect run, on the perfect snowy powder day … you’ll join me, won’t you?

 

The 2017 Great Greenhouse Apocalypse

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Survivors of the 2017 Great Greenhouse Apocalypse

Well, aren’t I glad I didn’t stay home yesterday and work in the yard when the weather was beautiful and the sun was shining because today it is gray and rainy and my yard chores will not be done, and the lawn won’t be mowed, nor the garden beds roto-tilled.

I guess it’ll be time in the greenhouse adjusting watering for the survivor plantlings and I’ll be feeling badly that most of my greenlings are dead. That’s right. Dead.  Dead. Dead. I gave them their first fertilization, mixed it too strong, and now … sad, withered, wilted , shriveled, dead or on life support mixed peppers, tomatoes, and basil plants  must be interred in the compost bin.

It’s far too late in the season to begin again so I’ll be planting garden center veggies … which if you add in the cost of running the greenhouse, seeds, planting medium, the new mist watering system and buying 5$ plants to grow a veg … well, off the top of my head I’m estimating that each tomato or pepper I harvest this fall will cost me 10-15$ (well, maybe not ‘that’ much). But, hey, I can’t worry about that now, can I?

Because, it’s not the money, or the harvest itself (well, maybe a little), but it is digging in dirt, waging war against weeds, and against the hordes of fruit loving, voracious beaks the crazy bird lady next door entices to the neighborhood, and my horrible assigned pressurized irrigation time (middle of the night). Those things keep my heart pumping and mind focused, but it’s truly the wonder in my spirit when I watch a minuscule seed burst open seeking sunlight,then mature into God’s gift of life … fresh, bountiful food for our table, bounty in the freezer and  jars on shelves.

I’m fearful the sight of shriveled, dead plantlings might burn your eyes out, so here’s a photo of The Survivors of the Wanderingkeri 2017 great greenhouse apocalypse …. Chimayo Chili Peppers.

On the Cusp

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On the Cusp … has an adventurous sound to it, doesn’t it? It portends, it anticipates, it leans forward, a balancing act one day at a time. It feels like holding my breath before I tip off the edge of the ski run, point upward toward the peak at the end of the vertical trail, open a new book, or start a plan. Anything can happen.

Today’s footwear … in Cusp Mode

Breathing, in this moment, the fire is glowing in the stove, but the window is open and I can smell the rain of spring. Here, in Council, the ground is only beginning to shed its snow coat while in Boise the greenhouse is busy protecting the baby greenlings, the piles of last falls debris are anticipating a burning and the bird-caller-finder-feeder neighbor lady’s trees are full of veracious beaks on recon while our garden beds and fruit trees are coming out of hibernation.

A MUST Read!

Today I’m cusping like this…taking a few more days in front of the fire, reading books, and thinking I need to finish the quilt laying quietly under the sewing machine needle waiting for phase 2. I finally finished with the “Beast” … my yearly January puzzle that took me like 8 weeks to complete … I did a happy dance when that last stupid pink,pinky,whitish-pink, green, greenish, greenish-black, black flower patterned piece actually fit in place.

I am cusping and planning a hiking trip in Yosemite National Park in a couple of weeks. Sweetie was a wildland firefighter, at one time he was the first Superintendent of the Union Hotshots, out of La Grande Oregon. In a few weeks we’re headed south to Reno for a Hotshot Superintendent Reunion & National Hotshot Association meeting.  Sweetie, knowing that Yosemite is on my “want to see it myself list”, suggested we spend a few days in Yosemite before heading north again.  Bless his heart!

Anticipation

In cusp mode, I’m not ready for spring yet, I’m not so secretly praying for another monster snow fall on the ski hill before I hang up the Pearls for the season. Though I did buy those new Asolo trekking shoes  and this afternoon Sweetie and I are planning on cleaning, organizing, and replenishing our fly fishing packs …

Anticipation

On the Cusp … Yeah! an adventure all in itself!

 

 

 

Free Seeds and Wildebeests

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It’s the middle of February (it flabbergasts me that its been 7 weeks of winter and the days are visibly lengthening already) … which means it’s time to open the greenhouse! Last week I gathered the peat moss and vermiculite, cleaned & sterilized the planting trays and turned on the heat in the greenhouse. Ah! The smell of wet earth and the promise of an abundant harvest tickles me right down to my toes.

Anticipation

Anticipation

Spring may be 5 weeks away, but the garlic is 4 inches high in the garden box, the chives are sending out bright green shoots and weeds are already bursting out around the perennials. And although I’m still itching to use up all the snow on the ski hill, my fingernails are beginning to fill up with dirt.

Yesterday I took the seeded trays from the darkness of their incubator, setting them side by side beneath the misters I installed last week. The misting system needs a bit of tweaking to narrow their coverage a bit since they’re watering windows and floors along with the plants on the shelves. Overall my “I’m tickled” level was high …

So far on the shelves I’ve Chimayo Peppers, Mixed Peppers, Roma Tomatoes, Spinach, Marigolds  and Spearmint. I’ll be starting some Black Heirloom Tomatoes seeds (… I love FREE seeds). These were sent in the box with my misting system from Dripworks.com (they’re my go to watering system guys).  I may as well plant them too, right? Can’t waste a good seed!

A MUST Read!

A MUST Read!

Cheers to this lovely time of year, the cusp of a seasonal change … snow or rain, ski or garden … I love these days when I don’t have to make a choice. I can do both. Whether I will or not is entirely dependent on the whims of my thoughts this wet Monday morning.  I may stay in low gear and savor homemade pumpkin waffles made with pumpkins from last fall’s harvest, smell the dirt while checking on the plantlings then settle back into a cosy chair to finish this totally marvelously written memoir by Beryl Markam titled West with the Night.  I closed my eyes last night with scenes of Africa, giraffes in telegraph wire necklaces, lions on railroad tracks, wildebeests in their dervish dances viewed from the cockpit of a tiny 2 seater bi-plane.

Life is an Adventure … I never know where the hours will take me. Vaya con Dios my friends!

 

 

 

Embrace the Chill

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I’m cold. Like most of the country we are snow and ice bound here in Idaho, but that hasn’t curtailed my winter much … well, except for the 3 days we were drifted in up at the ranch in Council before Al, our snowplow guy, could get to us. Skiing is pretty much the only thing on my agenda. The valleys are under frozen inversions yet the slopes are blue sky and squeaky snow. Where would you want to be?

Sweetie and I broke my no skiing on Saturday rule last week to attend the Brundage Mountain Beer & Gear Day. I didn’t partake of the beer, but demo’d 5 different skis (and it didn’t cost me a dime (then)). The plan was simple: ski the same slope in approximately the same lines to ensure that I gave each set of skis its chance and hopefully find the skis I’d like to replace my K2s.

I clicked into a pair of Blizzard Black Pearls , took the Blue Bird Lift to the summit and headed down the slope. The Black Pearls had great control, a smooth ride, easy turns, with a substantial feel) ,  after a couple of runs on them I swapped out to some Rossignals (they didn’t fit my ski style … too loose and chattery), I changed up to an upper end Vokl  (which were too heavy for me; I felt like I had 10 pounds of iron on each foot), the next run I tried a boutique ski made in Portland for Brundage (nice control, good carving, but I didn’t want my skis to have a Brundage advertisement on them),  back at the bottom I moved on to a different model of Rossignol’s, (their E88). ( I had no control at all with them, hard to turn, and heavy), then finally I went back to the Black Pearls for my final run.  Guess which one I chose?

Off to the ski shop for the price (YIKES)!!! So, sorry, won’t be purchasing them here. Sweetie and I took ourselves back down the mountain passing on a soak at Starkey Hot Springs and curled up on the couch for the evening.

It's Christmas in January! Blizzard Black Pearl skis with Rossignol bindings. Love at FIrst Ski

It’s Christmas in January! Blizzard Black Pearl skis with Rossignol bindings. Love at First Ski

Once on the couch out came the laptop and I found them! New Blizzard Black Pearls from the Colorado Ski Shop for about 200$ less. Bet you can’t guess what’s sitting in my living room? Well, okay, so you guessed.   Overnight shipping and viola! I do have to have the bindings set before I hit the slopes at Brundage a couple of time to get tuned into the new boards, before a trip through Utah to Brian Head Resort with my ski buddy daughter & my sister. Girls Weekend!!

Well, there are 2 more months before the end of winter and my goal is to ski at least twice a week until the resorts close. Who knows where the snow’ll be calling me.  I have a couple of loop ski trips floating through my mind. Northern Utah, back to my roots (Snowbasin, Alta, Sundance  (that is where I first learned to ski), or Northern Idaho and Montana and try (Schweitzer, & Big Sky), or Eastern Idaho (Sun Valley) then Wyoming (Grand Targhee) which is one of my favorites!  I can’t decide …  maybe rock/paper/scissor? flip a coin? or pull a name out of the hat?  Or just close my eyes and point.  Anyway I decide I ‘m hoping I can get Sweetie out of the shop for a few days to join me on a jaunt or two before spring.

Happy winter! Embrace the Chill!!

 

So, What’ll You Do with Your Poop in an Emergency?

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That's a '53 Chevy under that blanket of snow!

That’s a ’53 Chevy under that blanket of snow!

How are you holding up with the snow and rain and sleet and freezing slush blanketing the country? Here in southwest Idaho it’s been a bumper crop of snow … with a few breaks between storms to take advantage of the ski hills or nordic tracks.  We’ve been feeding the quail which are hunkered up under bush boughs  … the birds of prey are on the prowl (hawk and bald eagles). Their winter feed sources are under 3 feet of snow here in the out fields.

I went to the grocery the other day to pick up a some milk, eggs, and fresh greens … I have never seen the parking  lot spaceless before, nor the store so full of people with overflowing shopping carts. It felt like a run on a bank when the stock market collapsed. People were ‘preparing’ for the snow siege … the school district has called snow days 5 times this week and church was even cancelled last Sunday. Then I looked down at my little carrying basket with the 3 or 4 items in it and I realized that I wasn’t among the panic’d. While I was standing in line looking at the packed carts I said to myself, “Keri, you didn’t have to stop, you could have gone without these few things in this basket”. I’ll have to remember that and just be content at home where I have sufficient food, water, emergency lighting and heat to get through a snow storm or …

One thing I hadn’t thought of, but now I am … what about (stage whisper) if the toilet facilities fail. I don’t know about you, but I take that convenience for granted.  So what IF it failed? It could gross a person out thinking about it, but really? It’d be more gross when it happens, which it will when we least expect it to happen. Hopefully not today.

I went into Google and Pinterest search mode and found LOTS of ideas, plans, and pictures.  It seems a lot of people are worried about poop and are prepared to do something about it.

What did I find? If you have space and money you could buy a portapotty and put it on the shelf, but those need water … do you have enough water stored for just using the toilet?   For longer term waste management how about a composting toilet? Did you know you can purchase a toilet seat & lid combination that fits on a 5 or 6 gallon bucket? The lid locks down so it doesn’t slip at that awkward moment. Then there is the duct tape a Heavy-Duty garbage bag into your toilet bowl plan (after turning off the water pipes), just put a few cups of kitty litter in the bottom to help with smell & absorption. Or you could buy a case or two of Travel John bags … these I’ve used camping when I didn’t want to take a midnight streak to the outhouse and vouch they are maaaavelous!

So here’s my plan … buy Travel John Bags (a case I think), and that lock top toilet seat dohickey. I have everything else around the house. Wheww, that’s a weight off my mind.

Don’t laugh … well, at least not too much.  So, what’ll you do with your poop in an emergency?

Today's footwear ...

Today’s footwear …

It’s still snowing. Maybe I’ll go brew up some wicked hot chocolate, stoke the fire, and put together my annual January puzzle.

Life is Good folks!! Stay warm!!

 

 

 

 

#nochristmasbeforethanksgiving #wanderingkeriwins

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My #nochristmasbeforethanksgiving was successful! 30 days of Thanksgiving and No Christmas BEFORE December 1st … that was the journey  I started 30 days ago.  Did you join in?

Dang,  but it was hard to avoid Christmas decorations and the advertisements especially when I had to shop for essentials.  I have become a pro at ignoring the gauntlet of elves, trees, glitter, and HoHoHo’s down each aisle, near each cash register and the insipid all Christmas music stations  playing over every AM/FM band that started in NOVEMBER.

I’m certain I’ll pay a bit more for the few gifts I’m giving this Christmas season, but it was soooo worth it.  Actually thinking about and focusing on my blessings, mentioning something new each day for which I am grateful and thankful for opened my heart to even more thankfulness.  It opened my heart to realize how many, many more blessings I have than I ever thought possible.

In these last hours of the last day of November looking back over my 30 days of thanksgiving and it’s true, for each day of thanksgiving I posted … I thought of 10 more that would mean just as much.  Some things were silly, others heartfelt, and some  at the time seemed quite ordinary … but now I realize, nothing is truly ordinary, is it?

Most of us ... missing ... Steve, Aarin & Bayla ... Pam & Jeff, Clayton, & Breena ... & Chris' wife Cindy

Most of us … missing … Steve, Aarin & Bayla … Pam & Jeff, Clayton, & Breena … & Chris’ wife Cindy

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Ali (holding Mala) , Greg, Peter, and Tessa

November 1: I am grateful for all the wonderful souls in my life. (I can’t put all y’all’s pics here … but you are stuck in my heart forever!)

 

I Pledge Alligence

I Pledge Alligence

Nov 5th: I am soooo thankful to be living in the United States of America! I am grateful to the inspired founding fathers design of a representative republic and the constitution and bill of rights. Don’t take them for granted.

 

Who needs water? Trevi Fountain ... Rome

Who needs water? Trevi Fountain … Rome

Nov 6th: I am so grateful for my sweet husband … he’s a great traveling companion and my best friend!

 

743d8790e9248eb211ac7d6f9ce079d012th: I am so very Thank-Full and Grateful for 20 years of sobriety. Thanks be to God! Even after all these many years, it is still One Day at a Time.

 

6fa1b3ee50b284cc6dbc0b9a13d47e6fDay 13: I’m grateful today that I’ve learned not to take myself so seriously. Life is tooooo short for that!

 

Dad & Mom at the Cabin

Dad & Mom at the Cabin

18th Day: I am in awe and gratitude for the parents I was blessed with. They gave me all they had to give and more … miss you every day dad and I am grateful for a mom who continues to love and cheer me on.

Day 30: I am so grateful for eyes that can see beauty, a heart that loves and can feel love, ears that can hear giggles, the symphony of nature, and kisses. 🙂

I am eternally grateful for my testimony and love for Jesus Christ, my Savior. I am so thankful for the peace that came with repentance and turning my heart to Him. I know that He lives and that He knows me, and knows my name as he knows you.

Thank you for joining me on my 30 days of Thanksgiving journey. I am grateful and love you all! …  Life is Good and We are Blessed!