Saturday, October 21, 2006

Icing on My Cake...

As I mentioned in my previous entry, I've had a wonderful few days. Last Sunday's day trip through central Idaho was absolutely wonderful.

Monday, I stayed home from work to spend the morning with my guy before he had to leave on his next California run. This was a requested, planned day off. After a nice morning with my guy, I was back home before my son was out of school, so I had time to do some house cleaning.

When my son got home from school, he let me know he was starving. Hmm... I had some errands I needed to take care of in town, maybe we could go out to eat, just the two of us. He was all for this. I named off a few of my favorite restaurants, a local Mexican food chain was at the top of my list.

Our first stop was the tux rental place. My son had his senior pictures taken weeks ago and had yet to return the shirt and jacket! The tux rental place had actually called for the first time, earlier that day, wondering when we were going to return his rental. They were really nice about his late return, and my son was back in the car in minutes.

I asked him, where do you want to eat?

All of a sudden, he wasn't quite hungry yet.

Okaaay... I went about my own errands I needed to take care of.

After my last stop, I asked again where he wanted to eat. He decided he'd like to go to the Olive Garden. It had been awhile since we'd been there, and it was his favorite place. Oh, and he was starving again.

We arrived at the Olive Garden, parked fairly close to the door. It was only about 4:00pm, so not too many people were there yet. There's only one Olive Garden in Boise, and it's always packed.

So, I locked the car and I'm walking towards the entrance and there's this young gal standing there. I looked at her in disbelief. I looked past her, wondering if she was with another group, then back at her. It was my daughter!!!!

My son, and my parents, knew she was on her way since the day before. She wanted to surprise me, and boy did she! I about peed my pants! It's been more than a year and a half since I'd seen my little girl (she's 25 yrs old). I couldn't believe she was here! I was in shock! I had just talked with her the night before! She never hinted she was half way to Idaho from Los Angeles when I talked with her.

I went to work on Tuesday and immediately requested the rest of the week off to spend time with my daughter. I had a wonderful visit with her. We just hung out together, did a little bit of shopping, but really just stayed around the house, my parents' house, and visiting Gramma at the nursing home. My daughter was still recovering from her surgery.

She stayed through Friday, and left Friday afternoon. My son drove back with her. They stopped in Las Vegas to spend the weekend with their dad. My son flew home, late Sunday night, and my daughter drove on home to Los Angeles. It was so, so very good to see her! Talk about good for the soul. This was definitely my icing on my cake.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Good for the Soul

The past few days have been wonderful. This last weekend, my guy and I went to the Trailing of the Sheep Festival in Kethum, Idaho. Our day was full of culture, fun and perfect fall weather. What a time we had.

It was Sunday morning and Ketchum is a good three hour drive from home. The parade started at noon. Our alarm went off at 6 a.m. but we were so tired from our work week, my guy didn't even get home from his California run until late the night before. Did I really want to get up? Did I really want to go? Thirty minutes went by. Yes! We were going to the festival.

We were up and on the road by sunrise. We drove through for breakfast and coffee, having an early morning car picnic, just the two of us. No dogs, no kids, no family or friends.

We made a couple of stops before arriving at Ketchum. Our first was at a grove of Aspens, just east of Mountain Home. The sun had peek up over the tight canyon walls and lit up the tops of these trees.

Our second stop was along the Wood River in Hailey. It was gorgeous back there. Mother nature was showing her colors brilliantly.

In Ketchum, people were already lining the Main Street. The parade was to start in about an hour. Seems we waited and waited. The announcer tried to keep the crowd entertained while a single bagpiper made his way up and down the street.

And then the parade started, the local Boy Scout Troop led the way.

Different groups of sheep herders wore their authenic national dress in celebration of the end of a season of sheep in the mountains. Did you ever watch the movie "Heidi"? As a kid, I loved that movie! The sheep coming in after a season in the mountains reminded me of the movie.

Anyway, I took so many photos I couldn't decide which to share with you here, so I've made several slide shows for you to partake in our day. The mood was festive and everyone was enjoying the sounds of the event.

Did you notice the bagpipers' bags? Yes! They're sheep! Too cute!

There was quite a wait between the bagpipers and the sheep, and as fate would have it, I ran out of batteries for my camera. My guy, being the great guy that he is, took off for the nearest store in search of new batteries. No sheep were in sight and they were to be next up, the grand finale of the parade. We waited for a good 10 minutes, and then... there they were... SHEEP! But, my guy wasn't back yet! I had just enough juice left with my batteries to take these shots of the sheep coming in.

By the time my guy returned, all that was left of the sheep was the trail of droppings left on the street. He missed the main event, and I felt so bad. He was a good sport about it, and on we went with our day.

We had lunch, another car picnic with freshly made deli sandwiches from the local market. We watched the people of Ketchum, some seemed to be very well off. I was hoping to see Demi Moore and her girls. No such luck. I didn't recognize anyone famous.

My guy grew up just about 90 miles from this part of Idaho, so he had lots of things to show me. There was an area on the west side of Ketchum called Warm Springs. Oh my gosh, the houses were incredible, as was the scenery. There was this one cabin along the Wood River for sale. I pulled out one of the flyers in front of this place and was shocked... 3.5 million!!! Wow! Here's a slide show of Warm Springs.

We did see many common, modest homes amongst the expensive ones. One that caught my eye had this yard that was fenced with skis. How appropriate. This home sat right in front of the Warm Spring ski runs off of Warm Springs road.

Next stop was Elkhorn Village in Sun Valley. Boy! And I thought the homes were expensive in Ketchum! Castles were built here. We drove up and around alot of the homes. Some were totally solar powered, others were built of nothing but steel. The taste in home style was as vast as anyone's imagination.

As we were leaving Sun Valley, from on open parking lot, there was a perfect view of Bald Mountain, famous for Sun Valley skiing.

It was getting late, I was hoping to be home in time to see some of the BSU football game. They haven't lost a game this season.

We decided to take the ride up over Galena Pass in the Sawtooth Mountain Range rather than returning home on the Interstate.

My guy has talked many times of the great summer camp experience he had when he was a child. He knew it was along this road, but wasn't exactly sure where. And then, there it was. We pulled in and drove into all the different areas within the camp, all the time, my guy was reminiscing those days of his youth.

And, if that wasn't enough for one day... Further up the road, just before the Galena Pass, we ran right into a herd of sheep coming down the mountain. My guy didn't miss the main event afterall. It was so peaceful there; no crowds, no parades. Just beautiful.

The weather had gotten dark and the temperatures were dropping when we left Sun Valley. Light rain had been falling since we left the sheep in the mountains. When we got to the top of Galena Pass, it was snowing! Sideways! We stopped at the vista view pointe which, on a clear day, you could see the grand Sawtooth Mountains. This day we saw lots of clouds. We continued down the road on the other side of the pass, towards home. We were still about three hours out. We would pass by Red Fish Lake, one of my favorite spots on earth.

We continued on as the rain stopped, it was getting late and dark. Bewteen Stanley and Lowman, there are several public hot springs, some of which are State Parks, maintained by the Forest Service. I think this was the Kirkham Hot Springs. Funny, at the top of the mountain it was snowing, and at the bottom we've got people in bathing suits enjoying a hot soak.

We drove through Lowman, to Banks, to home. After Lowman, we were able to pick up the BSU football game, live on AM radio. We were home to watch the 2nd half of the game and BSU win again.

What a perfect day, totally good for my soul. I had requested the next day off work and was looking forward to spending a day at home before returning to work. TO BE CONTINUED... The Icing on the Cake.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Quick Update

My mom's total knee replacement surgery went excellent! She was admitted to the hospital after her recovery time in surgery, and she discharged from the hospital, late Friday afternoon. My dad stayed by her side the whole time. The hospital brought in a cot for my dad to sleep on. My mom is doing really well, very little pain. Fear of the pain was what was keeping her from doing this surgery years ago. After the past couple of weeks, my mom has decided to go ahead with her other knee replacement sometime in February or March.

As for my daughter, she had her surgery this week, just two days ago. Her good friend stayed with her all day at the hospital and took her home that same night. She seems to be doing well, though she's sore and moving very slow. She asked me to stay home, telling me it wasn't a big deal that I'm there. I wish I had just gone to help her out, but she's doing good.

So, all in all, my worries are put to rest. My mom and my daughter are both doing fine.