Tag Archives: #wanderingkeri

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.

10 Pounds in a 1 Pound Sack

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For more than 30 years Sweetie’s cousins fly from Pennsylvania to Idaho, to fish and hunt. Since I met them I’ve waxed poetic of red rocks, ponderosa and piñon pines, petroglyphs, and pictographs, the spirit and ancientness of southern Utah, and northern Arizona. Almost my FAVORITE place on earth …. so far.  We’ve encouraged, begged, wheedled, teased, and guilted them to come and experience another part of the west … and this year, in fact in 4 weeks, a couple of them are taking us up on our invitation to come face to face with God’s watercolor box.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnticipation! Planning for an extended road trip is always exciting, don’t you think? Sweetie warns me that I always try to put 10 pounds in a 1 pound sack when I’m planning … I admit, I generally do. Though I am getting better … well, at least I’m trying.

This is exactly a road trip … to taste, to feel spirit and solitude, to breathe ancientness so that it plants seeds so deep they will have to come again and again.

We’re packing the Micro Minnie Winnie campbox  that we acquired last fall … it’ll be it’s long distance break in trip. Which reminds me we have to give it a name, maybe on this trip it’ll let us know what it is.  The cousins are renting a Cruise America RV (little) and we’re hitting the highway for this 10 day road trip.

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Camp-Box Supreme Everything we need … nothing more, nothing less

In a nutshell: Boise to Salt Lake City where we’ll meet up with the cousins, then down to Moab (Arches & Canyonland National Parks), then Bluff  (Cedar Mesa and Hovenweep National Monument). We’ll drive through Monument Valley (yeah John Wayne and John Ford!) on our way to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. After the enormous expanse of that canyon we’ll head north and walk, hike, climb and work ourselves down through Wire Pass (a coooool small, slot canyon which connects to the longer Buckskin Gulch canyon). We’ll work our way west through Kanab (stopping always at Houston’s Trail’s End for chicken fried steak) then on toward Zion National Park.  To complete the circle we’ll wend our way through small towns Utah to I-15 and head north for an evening and a morning in SLC before sliding home to Boise.

It makes me breathless just thinking about it …  10 pounds in a 1 pound sack? What do you think?

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*Links are for your convenience if you want to know more about the places I’m wandering to. I receive no compensation for any links I put in my posts.

Yosemite-What More Can I Say?

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I love finally exploring an iconic area that has been on my I have to go there and experience That for myself  list.  It’s not a “bucket” that I toss experiences into with a been there-done that check one off and head to the next one on the list. That phrase bucket list seems to take the life out of wonder and has a frenetic sort of collector feeling to me … like I ‘have’ to get through this list before I die quality to me.

I’m about dreams, and what inspires me. I’m about anticipation and exploration … tasting, touching, listening, feeling awe at the magnificently spectacularly diverse world we’ve been given to live in.

By Ansel Adams wanna be Keri Vest-Vergari

Ansel Adams’ dramatic black and white portraits of Yosemite National Park’s granite peaks and roaring waterfalls ignited one such dream. And last week, for our 12th anniversary, Sweetie and I spent 2 nights near Yosemite Falls staying with friends who live and work in the park, Kelly Martin (Chief of Fire & Aviation Management at Yosemite) and her husband Paul Heffner. While Kelly had to work, Paul gave us the ‘insider’s view’ through the park. Did you know that Yosemite has its own zip code, its own jail and judge and has a permanent and temporary workforce population that is 4 1/2 times larger than Council Idaho? Or, did you know that a past concessionaire trademarked historic Yosemite names and places and once they lost their contract kept the trademarks and the park had to change the names? What? And we let them?

We picked the perfect time to visit, and although the campgrounds, cabins, and hotels were semi-full we felt as if the place was almost empty as we hiked and walked around the valley.

By Ansel Adams’ wanna be Keri Vest-Vergari

So, I joined the thousands of wanna be Ansel Adams’ and attempted black and white visions of the granite peaks from the valley floor … the Half Dome hike seemed daunting for a first hike of the season and to tell the truth, we didn’t even think about it!

Yosemite is a wondrous place and you can find solitude even in the midst of the waves of humanity that flood the canyon all year long.  We did and it was a dream.

On a personal note: Happiest 12+ years ever Sweetie!! Just so ya know … I love you and THANKS for bribing me with Yosemite. The whole week was perfect!

**photos taken with an iPhone 6 and a clip on telephoto lens**

 

 

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!!

 

The Great Christmas Tree Hunt of 2016

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I wasn’t going to put up a Christmas tree … I decorated the house, the mantel and chandeliers, but I wasn’t going to put up the tree. We were going to be gone, in and out, all month. What was the point?

Well, Dang! I missed the smell of pine in the air (and not from a scented candle). The corner where the twinkling lights warmed the winter evenings was dark … I missed it! Then I realized I was missing something else … my Christmas spirit.  I was missing my traditions! The tree … I needed to put up a tree … I needed my tradition of choosing and decorating that tree; watching It’s a Wonderful Life  while adding the lights, bobbles, and glitter to it’s branches and sipping eggnog from a crystal goblet. That tradition sparks my Christmas engine.

img_3963Yesterday, a few weeks later than usual , we stopped at our local Forest Service office and purchased tree hunting tags (10$ each, a bargain anyway you look at it). At home we layered up,  looking a lot like Ralphie’s brother after we pulled on knee-high rubber boots, jackets, snuggy gloves, and hats (beside being winter  and cold … it was snowing).

Up Pole Creek Road we drove, a few white knuckle slides until Sweetie put the truck into 4-wheel drive. Peering through snow crusted windows we searched for the perfect trees, close enough to the road we wouldn’t need a search party to find our way back, but far enough away to meet the 50′ from the road rule.

We spotted two little trees not far apart off the side of the road, well, down the hill off the side of the road. Excitedly I stepped from the cab where briefly I was on top of the snow before I abruptly dropped  through to the ground below … up to my knees (and my boots weren’t tall enough either).  Blazing trail Sweetie dropped off the road, carrying the bow saw and even following in his footsteps I was  pushing through thigh-high velvety powder (where were my skis?).

You know of course the rule that a very small tree found outside grows like Alice taking her 2nd pill and fills every available space once it enters the room. After forgetting this rule numerous times we attempt to err on choosing the smaller of small when on the hunt for our Christmas trees … even then we generally lop off branch ends to fit.

With little effort the trees were  down … actually Greg cut and hauled them … I took pictures.  Back up hill we went, Sweetie dragging both trees to keep from tipping over.  I had one thing to do … pull one tree 10 feet up to the road …  I dragged and slogged, and dragged some more grabbing whatever short branches poked above the snow to pull myself forward … near the top I floundered … I slipped, one leg beneath me and if a quickly thrust bow saw handle wasn’t within reach I would have tumbled head over tookus … me and the tree.img_3970

It was a very successful Christmas tree hunt … bagged, tagged and back to the house in under an hour … the snow inside my boots didn’t even have time to melt.

Right now, behind me, one of the trees is looking over my shoulder, wondering how the heck it ended up inside this tiny room when yesterday it was part of time and space .  It must be in shock! But it’ll be happy to know that once it shares our Christmas celebration it will grace our field sheltering quail from predatory birds.

Hey! I just realized I can tradition twice this year! Once in Council, and again in Boise … how can a girl get so lucky? Especially one who loves a good goblet of eggnog!

May your traditions lighten your heart and home with joy and happiness in this Christmas season. The celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. (Luke 2:1-20) … the greatest gift of all.

Merry Christmas!