Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Today's photos really are random. And in no particular order...

Bananas in Honduras

Friends in McCall

Sweet Pea on the playground

An odd outhouse in Cottonwood, Idaho

Horses on the front lawn in Cottonwood, Idaho

Driftwood at Big Eddy

A fairy from Charlie's Garden

Kids in the chairs at Charlie's Garden

A barn in Lakefork, Idaho

Emmett, Idaho Waterworks

Williams Farm signs

Sunday, July 26, 2009

We've had a sad few days at our house. My grandmother passed away on Monday. I suppose when someone is 90 it seems a little overly dramatic to say that it was unexpected. But. Well. It was. I won't go into all the medical specifics. Suffice to say, last month she was grocerry shopping and planning a trip to New York. And now she is gone.

The reality of my life is that I don't get a lot of time to sit around and reminisce, or brood. There have been a couple of quiet, tearful moments. But mostly I am just keeping kids fed, dressed, reasonably safe and in bed at a semi-decent hour. C'est la vie. But I did sit the other day and write her obituary, which was bittersweet. I think it turned out...nice. A sum of someones life in a single page and all that.

It didn't say the thing I never said to her. (Not that I have lingering regret. I don't believe in holding out on the I love yous. We are a smoochy cuddly bunch around here.) I really don't even think it was necessary to tell my grandma about the ah ha moment I had as an adult, as a mom, just a couple of years ago.

You see, if we get technical, she was only my grandma because she decided to be. Years ago. When her middle son married a woman with a 4 year old. I don't know what even made me think of that. Maybe it was watching her delight in my kids - her great grandkids - and realizing that there was not a single part of her that didn't consider me/us family. There never was. And even though I remember quite clearly the day my mom and dad told me they were getting married, I don't remember my grandparents EVER not being Grandma and Grandpa.

And I think that's pretty cool.

So here is her obituary. There is a lot left unsaid from my perspective. Like all the trips we took in their motorhome, and all the crazy stuff we went to see. (That might be a fun post in and of itself. I'm sure a bunch of those quirky places have web sites I could link to.) Or how she taught me to crochet, and needlepoint. Or about the little plastic looms she bought so we could make flowers out of yarn. How there was always Squirt in the fridge at her house, which clearly is to blame for my life long addiction. About how we picked asparugus along the ditchbanks. Or how she made wine in the bathtub. Or how I channel her every time I do a major junk reduction in our house. Oh, and the time we took her to get her ears pierced! I could write all day.

But children and dishes and laundry are calling. So I will end with this. We love you Grandma!

Eleanor Mae Sigsbee Fuess passed away peacefully on Monday, June 20th after 90 years lived to the fullest.

Ellie was born on March 20, 1919 in Madison, NY to Jason Sigsbee and Ella Evans. She was the third of four children – Bob, Leonard, Ellie and Jean. She attended school in Madison, NY where she was an outstanding athlete. At a time when girls played basketball in long skirts, her high school team won the state championship. Her coach, Doc Talbot, didn’t know until later that she played the entire second half of the game with a dislocated shoulder.

Off the court she won the heart of a sophomore named Ron. They wed on December 30th, 1939 and were married 60 years before Ron passed away in 1999. During those 60 years they were rarely apart.

After high school graduation Ellie attended Excelsior Business School in Utica, NY. She worked for an attorney, William Burke, as a legal secretary until she got married. Ron and Ellie lived in several small towns in central and northern New York before settling Pulaski in 1948.

Ellie raised three boys, Barry, Louis and Phillip. When the boys were school aged she began working alongside Ron. From 1948 to 1952 she worked for Pulaski Wood and Supply (a bowling pin factory) as a secretary. In 1952 she and Ron bought Pulaski Fuel and Supply, and ran the company together for about 15 years. After that, she kept the books for The Log Cabin (a hotel, bar and restaurant) until she and Ron followed their sons to Idaho in 1972.

In Idaho, they bought a small farm in Boise where Ellie had a beautiful garden. Her green thumb and skills in the kitchen produced delicious jams and jellies, pies, and even a batch of apricot wine!

Both Ron and Ellie were very active in the Eastern Star, serving as the Worthy Grand Patron and Matron of the Idaho Grand Chapter in the mid 1980’s. Through that organization they made many dear friends and served the Boise community philanthropically for years.

RVing was a favorite pastime of Ellie and Ron’s in their later years. They enjoyed traveling from coast to coast, always stopping to visit a new monument or find a quirky attraction. In their retirement they sold their farm and became snowbirds, spending half the year in Florida and half the year in Idaho, with lots of trips to visit family in New York as well. After Ron’s death Ellie continued to winter in Lady Lake, FL. Her friends there became like family, and she enjoyed her role as the entertainment and excursion coordinator for the community where she lived.

Just recently Ellie moved back to Idaho full time to be with her family. Her great grandchildren brought her much joy these last several months. Friday mornings were their weekly play date where she would read books and play pretend with them tirelessly.

Ellie was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Leonard, her husband Ron and her youngest son Phillip.

Ellie is greatly missed by her brother Bob, sister Jean, her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My mom said, "Lets do something tomorrow that you wouldn't do if Mr. G were here." So I read her this:

Friday and Saturday. 8 am to ? Take a drive out to the beautiful Long Valley cattle country to Twin Pines Ranch. The garage is full of treasures, antiques, primatives, unique birdhouses, clothes and really neat stuff.

And then there were complicated directions and mention of gravel roads, which made it that much more enticing in my opinion. After about the 4th bright pink sign directing us further into the wilderness we laughed that it was definately an activity that Mr. G would have put the brakes on.

But the yard sale did not disapoint. There were treasures, antiques, totally amazing birdhouses, and really neat stuff. I took home $20 worth. Yay! But the drive...the drive was breathtaking. Did you know that while it was 104 degrees in Boise on Friday, here in paradise there are mountains still capped with snow? Have you ever watched an osprey hunt for fish in a river just enough below you that the bird is flying level with your car? Did you know that Birds and butterflies that winter in Mexico spend the summer right here in Idaho?

Not a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon.

If you are nosy like me you want to see some of the treasures. So here are a few (not that great) pictures. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera on the trek. Otherwise there would be fantastic pictures of Idaho's heartland, the really amazing birdhouses, and two kids going nuts over some horses named Beuford and Buck.

(I tried to find a way to buy their birdhouses, nothing online. If I track them down I will post info. They were so cool. Made out of reclaimed barnboard, tiles, license plates, glass doorknobs, horseshoes, barbed wire and so much more...)

Supercute Halloween decoration

Desk lamp with the silk lampshade that we painted green and brown with watercolors when we got home.

My favorite find - this old window. I am going to put photos behind the glass and hang it in our bedroom.

Cute sign that looked like it was made to go above our slider.

Wine basket that is now sitting on our plant shelf next to the "Vino" sign. And the two empty bottles in it were shared with good friends/family over the 4th of July holiday!

And finally, the Unicorn - but not the little raggamuffin girl...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ok. Don't throw things at me, because this is not a post to harsh on Taylor Swift. I dig T Squeezy. Really. She's cute, and her songs are catchy, and I hear that she is a true artiste who possesses mega songwriting talent AND the brains to manage her on-it's-way-out-of-orbit career. My cell phone rings Taylor. It's all good. (Hey Taylor, love you! Smooches!)

But. (the BIG BUT.)

Ok, why is it so cool to throw the popular cheerleader types under the bus these days? I keep hearing that new song of Taylor Swifts' on the radio that goes:

But she wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts
She's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers
Dreaming bout the day when you'll wake up and find
That what you're lookin for has been here the whole time

What's wrong with short skirts? I mean, that's all there is hanging on the racks at the mall, FYI. And who says you can't be a down to earth girl who wears cute dresses? Why all the judging Taylor? WHY?

Lest you think I'm being a bit obsessive, it's not just that song. All the kids/tween shows seem to have a "mean girl" villian. And it's always a cheerleader who looks to be about 25 years old. And the hero is always a supermodel disguised as a superdork by a ponytail, some converse, and a pair of glasses. Ah, pop culture reality!

Admittedly, it's been a looooong time since I was in high school. (Ouch.) But I don't remember the cheerleaders being in a totally otherworldly league. And I don't remember anyone clawing and fighting to be the dorkiest girl in school either. Not that everyone was trying to be The Most Popular, but...uh...isn't popularity something you achieve when a lot of people like you? Seems like most people are at the very least striving to be likeable.

It is irritating to me that women are so programmed to see each other as the enemy. Guys don't seem to get into that crap like we do. Honestly, it's so silly. In my adult life I have had very few friendships fizzle. But the ones that did almost all had some element of this going on. Jealousy over weird stuff. Competativeness. Manipulation. Icky. I mean, can't you just be you, and I'll be me, and we can either enjoy each other's company or not?

Anyway. Don't really know where I was going with that. Just a little Clover rant. Now lets all have a group hug.

See, isn't that nice?


Thursday, July 09, 2009

Ok. I'm not gonna lie. Weight Watchers is kinda hard. I feel like I ate rabbit food yesterday and I exceeded my daily points by 2.

Today I am doing a little better. And I went to the gym so I think I earned an extra point. Which I am hoping to cash in for some very WW friendly sushi later. Yum.

So anyway...I guess the reason I am having a hard time losing these last 15 pounds has become abundantly clear to me. Salami and cheese can't be lunch every day...

Le sigh.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

There is this cute little farmer from Homedale, Idaho that keeps coming through our subdivision with his pickup full of fruit. I missed it when he came through with cherries, which is what inspired our picking day, but last night he had apricots. So I bought a small box. They are so delish.

He said to me in that way that only farmers from Southern Idaho can say it, "Might findsumbugs. Ahdon't sprayem." Which didn't really bother me cause I'm all Green and earth friendly and pro organic and stuff. But having just now dealt with getting said apricots in some type of longish term storage (i.e. cutting them up for freezing) I am starting to feel a little romantic about pesticide.

Ugh. Bugs.

I think I have all the tiny wormies, black bugs, and bug...erm...bug residue?...dealt with. So I am going to make some apricot puff pasty turnovers. Which should have a Weight Watchers points value of about 2, each. I know this because I used the recipe tracker on my brand spakin' new Weight Watchers online account to calculate it.

That's right. Day one of Weight Watchers and I am already trying to squeeze some baked goods into my measly little 22 points per day. I think I might be missing the point. No pun intended.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Some snaps of the cherry picking day in Emmett, Idaho. Sweet William didn't contribute much to the harvest.