Thursday, February 27, 2020

Mule Deer

Since we've spent most of the time we've been here up at Joseph Plains, we've not seen too much of  the area 'down here' yet.
And although this winter was mild, the weekend weather was often bad, rainy or cold or snowy.
But last Sunday dawned absolutely gorgeous, so we finally went for a day trip to the resort town of McCall and the nearby ski-slopes of Brundage Mountain.


It's about an hour and 15 minutes drive, following the Salmon River to the south, towards New Meadows, where the temperature dropped to a freezing 8 degrees ..


From there, you turn left toward the mountains ..

When we were slowly starting to climb to an elevation of  5003', following the windy road, we started to see more and more snow.


When we finally reached the village, the roofs were covered with a couple of feet of snow! Fortunately the roads stayed dry and clear. 

Even Lake Payette was frozen over!

The little cruise boat that tours around the lake in summer, sat frozen in the ice at what is actually the dock, you just can't see it at the moment ..

People were ice-fishing, something we'd never seen before:



I was rather disappointed about the village, I'd heard it was a rather cute, but other than a very short and uninteresting main-street there was really nothing special about it. 


After having coffee at the Dreamtime Coffee-house, also nothing to write home about (the pastries were over-baked and tasteless), we drove a little further south to the villages of Donnelly and Cascade.
We were looking for a view of the lake but couldn't find it, until we realized we'd driven right next to it the whole time, thinking it was a meadow .. duhh ..
The towns were tiny and not of a lot of interest, but the scenery was gorgeous .. all that snow, glittering in the sunshine!

One thing of interest were all the Mule Deer we encountered in both villages. Apparently they're being fed and they're pretty much domesticated, albeit still 'wild'.

We drove back to McCall where we had a nice lunch at a Mexican restaurant with a view of the frozen lake.
Driving out of town afterwards,we stopped shortly at the local 'Little' ski-slope, and than up to nearby Brundage Mountain where the skiing gets a lot more serious ..

The slopes here are wide and nicely groomed,  and have an undisputed reputation for the Best Snow in Idaho.

The Brundage Mountain Resort sits right at the bottom of the slopes, and was packed on this beautiful (Satur)day!

Three lifts bring you to the top of the hill at 7600'.

 Image result for brundage mountain

No skiing for us anymore though! We're starting to get a little more concerned of breaking something now we're getting older, especially since we have very little experience.
Cross country skiing would be more up our alley, but we didn't bring any appropriate gear or clothing, so we just enjoyed seeing everybody else having a lot of fun ..

Here's a few more pics of the way back.


On another note, last Tuesday was 'Fat Tuesday' or Mardi Gras, once again.
Of course we're not Catholic, but after spending time in Louisiana, and New Orleans especially, we're hooked on clebrating the day with a little silliness and most of all .. King Cake!

Although I used the same recipe as last year, this one came out a little drier. 
Nothing that some extra butter wouldn't solve though, and it was still very good. This time I even had the correct 'purple' sprinkles!


In Googling the recipe, I came across another Mardi Gras tradition that I had not heard of before, namely the eating of pancakes on that day?!
Hey, anything involving pancakes sound good to us, so I whipped up some batter, and (banana-nut and apple-raisin) pancakes were had by all ..

Also, I'm very happy with my new carpet that arrived last week. 
I'd wanted one for ages, but somehow it just never came about (traveling/lack of money/etc), so I'm thrilled (really) to finally got one.

I'd ordered it online through, who have the excellent police that you can return it free of charge within 30 days if you don't like it!
But I do. Do I ever! It's nice and soft, the colors are beautiful and the size is just right! I'm so happy, it's so beautiful!

And as of today, the last of the concrete went in around the house. 
Last Tuesday they poured the first half of what's going to be the carport, and today the second half was done.
(Unfortunately James had miscalculated slightly and he was short just a yard or so, but a new truck was ordered and everything is in by now.)

First half in ..

Such a smart guy that James, to do this in two batches. 
This way he could stand on the already cured ones, to do the rest!

And the second half in ..

Houston .. we have a carport!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Ha! As I said on Facebook: "that's what you get when you mention Spring!"

Mother nature had to proof me cocky I guess, and dumped an inch of snow on us last Sunday night. 
And here I thought good-ole' Punxsutawney Phil knew what he was seeing, or actually not seeing, and predicted that early spring ..
Oh well, it only lasted a day and melted away quickly but it sure makes for pretty pictures doesn't it?


James cancelled Monday's work but since they worked on Saturday not much was lost there ...

Other than having to wipe our dishes, we weren't inconvenienced much .. (got to record 'our' shows, you know!)


We'd already got our groceries done on Saturday, and snuck in a lunch at Cattlemen's  Family dining, another local restaurant we hadn't been to yet.
It's mainly run by Kate who is quite a remarkable and very energetic women, trained as a classical pianist, has raised five children, been a fly-fisher river guide, and now runs this fun little restaurant.

Almost all of her products, including meats, are organic and/or home grown and she bakes her own breads!
Besides that, she likes to get to know her customers, tries to come over for a chat when she can, and apparently has some great (fishing) stories to tell ..


We split a Greek wrap, accompanied by some fried onion petals (yum!). Not 'haute-cuisine' but very tasty and filling ..
Unfortunately Kate was talking up a storm with some other customers so we didn't get to chat with her, but since I've heard her breakfasts are phenomenal I think we'll be baaaack! 

Talking about bread, since my sourdough bread-baking has been a bust twice in a row now (think hockey pucks/deadly weapons), I tried a no-knead-bread for a change (and a moral-booster) which came out rather good ..

It rose so well, it hit the top one of the 2 cast-iron pans I use to bake my breads in, and got a little to brown (think black) on one side, but it tasted good so I might stick with that for a while ..

The raspberry bars I made were excellent as usual, super-sweet, but so good!

The house really took shape this week. All the outside walls are in as well as some of the inside ones ..

I'm also quite excited, since I've found a different area to walk!
I drove the car all the way up to the back of the canyon and parked it, and than walked up the small path that leads all the way up the hills on the right hand side.
Halfway up I had this view, looking back towards the house. If you look real careful it is just visible in the middle of the picture (that white dot, just above the trees):

Here it is, when I zoom in:

And guess who I came across, when I rounded the next bend:

I'm pretty sure this is that big herd of Elk that came down the other week, and overnight-ed in our pasture!

Unfortunately I had to walk the whole way back down to the house, since for some reason I could not for the life of me get the #@$%! car to start back up!
James drove me back up (on the tractor), and of course he got it to start right away!
It turned out that I had maneuvered the front wheels in some rut, which was the reason I could not turn the stirring wheel out of it's 'locked' position, which prevents it from starting ... sigh!

Beautiful Idaho .. even in the grey of winter!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Spring is on it's way!
Driving to Grangeville last week, I spotted these lambs in a meadow in Slate Creek!
It was a miserable day, cold and rainy, and the poor little things were all hunched up next to their mamas. 
I didn't take pictures than, but decided to go back there yesterday, which was beautiful and sunny, and this time they looked much better! Most of them were just relaxing in the sun but a few were up and about ..

This is one of the daddies!

They are Rambouillet sheep or French Merinos, and have very fine, and super dense, fleece.
I'll try to get my hands on some!
A little further down the road there are several large herds of cattle in the meadows near the creek, and guess what .. calves!

So cute! This is as close as I could get, on this side of the river, and using full zoom on my camera, still not the best shots but you 'get the picture' (ha).


I'm amazed at how early these youngsters are born. 
I bet there's still some cold weather coming, but I guess the farmers know what they're doing and they're going to be OK?!

Talking about that trip to Grangeville, we had to pick up Sam's truck, which was repaired (busted fuel pump), and we took the opportunity to do grocery shopping and get some materials for James as well.
This was how the road up the Whitebird pass/summit looked like:

White Bird

This is a little further up the hill, looking back ..

And here we're passing Miriam's place, right in the middle there, where you see some trees at the bottom of the hills ..

This is just before we reach the summit at 4,245', again looking back to where we came from ..So far the winter has been very mild, this is about as snowy as it has been. We didn't even get that much. OK, let's run and knock on wood now ..

James certainly is happy about it, and even more so now he has found 3 more workers this week! There young 'kids' and don't know much (yet), but they work hard and are willing to learn. Yeah!
Things are moving forward a little faster now, and the first walls have been going up:


Looking good there boss!

How about this view from the master-bedroom window:

This is how it looks now coming up the driveway to the old house below:

Don has done some more excavating and leveling ..

It's hard work, holding that level, but someone has to do it ..

My week would have been rather uneventful as usual, except for the fact that I spend several anxious days trying to book a plane- ticket to Amsterdam!
Yep, Time for another visit to family and friends, it's been a year and a half since I was over there, so I'm a little overdue, but of course there was the truck-disaster and all, so there really was no money for a while.
I always get so nervous, trying to get the best price and making sure I make no mistakes in dates and times and everything else ..
But I got one, with nice dates and times, so I'm happy, and boy what a relief!
The price was outrages, but I guess that's only going to get worse with the whole 'green' movement ..

 I got myself a present for a job well done ..


A new bag! As I mentioned in the previous post I went back to the restaurant in Riggins where I saw it and lo and behold, they still had it!
My old bag was 7 years old and falling apart so it has been retired.
This new one is a Myra-bag, apparently made from the canvas of recycled, old army tents with some scrap-leather accents and straps.

I feel so green! Somehow I don't think it'll make up for that airplane ticket though ..