Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I heart U

We had a fun family day yesterday. The kids and I went out to play in the snow...sledding and snowfluff fighting (to dry for snowballs!). My daughter wrote this giant message for her boyfriend before we called it quits on the snow and went inside to make hot cocoa and sugar cookies. Fun day.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Golden Tulips

One of my favorite things each spring is the display of tulips around my home. There are hundreds of bulbs mixed in with daffodils, hyacinths, and irises and the display is gorgeous.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Southwick Grade

I think I have also heard this called the Orofino Grade. This is a shot taken as we went down the grade from Southwick, past Dworshak Dam, and into the small town of Orofino. It is quite a drop with some very dramatic views, a nice twisty motorcycle road, and plenty of road hazards in the way of local wildlife...everytime we have used this road, we have seen (or very narrowly avoided) some sort of critter. One time it was a group of about 30 wild turkeys which was pretty cool.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Orange beauty

How about a bright spot of color today? With our winter wonderland outside right now, I thought I would share yet another of my poppy photos. By now you know how much I love them!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Birds in the Maple tree

Today I did a bit of birdwatching. It was a relaxing day. :) I first noticed the birds in the crab apple tree next door and posted about them on my Palouse Daily Photo blog. Then I noticed a few of these birds in my Maple tree. I am not sure what kind any of them are, but they were fun to watch.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Man's best friend

There is no doubt that my husband loves his dog. None. We have been blessed to have her in our lives for the past nearly 14 years. She is starting to show her age...the hearing is gone, getting up and down isn't so easy...you know how it is. I am just hoping she has a few more good years left in her. This time of year is her favorite...romping in the snow with her 'kids' is something she can still do and have fun.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yellow daisy

I am feeling a bit 'cold' today...there is a near total whiteout outside my windows, and more snow on the way, so this nice warm looking flower was my pick for the day...no pun intended!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Finally a moose!

Ok, so the photo is awful...blurry and ill composed, but hey, it's a Moose! What is so impressive about a moose you might ask? Well, when we moved to Idaho about 8 years ago, it was my fondest desire to see moose...they are my favorite animal, after all. We lived in Troy, which has moose frequently seen meandering about town, eating the farmers crops, and chasing (and ramming) school buses. Not a difficulty to see a moose...just not when I would have my camera with me!

Fast forward to this past summer. My hubby and I were on a motorcycle ride, two-up. He rides a Kawasaki Ninja and one of our favorite things to do anytime there is not ice on the road, is go for a bike ride. So we headed out for an entire afternoon, just the two of us. Just as it was getting dark, I saw a moose. Camera in hand from the back of a moving bike I took shot after shot in desperation that one might turn out. The light was gone and it was pretty dark, so I didn't have much hope. Then we stopped and turned around...and so did the moose. So we turned around again and so did the moose. Finally we stopped and sat in the middle of the road so it wouldn't be afraid to cross and when it did, we went ahead on our way. I got home to ONE picture that had enough light and not too much blur. But hey, it's a photo...of a MOOSE!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ice stems

When the snow was finished with us, these branches from my Lilac trees looked beautiful. We didn't get nearly the amount of snow that was predicted...never trust the weatherman, they are just guessing! We did get about 3" though which was plenty for having a bit of fun in. The kids stayed out nearly 2 hours sledding yesterday and came in with bright red cheeks, ready for cocoa! Today it is a balmy 9°, but sunny which is nice.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Steptoe Butte

One of our favorite rides to take with our local motorcycle group is this one up to the top of Steptoe Butte. It is a nice ride through the rolling wheat fields of the Palouse and then a nice spiral one lane road to the top of Steptoe. It was a gorgeous fall day and the visibility was amazing. This photo shows the beginning of the road into the park. In the trees there are some nice picnic areas and they are often empty. I posted more about Steptoe in this post on my Palouse Daily Photo blog.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Playful pups

A few years ago we had a pair of Shih-Tzu's who produced several delightful litters of puppies. These three beautiful pups were lucky to be born in the spring and were so much fun to play with outside where they would race and frolic until finally they would collapse against the nearest human for a much deserved rest. Cute little bundles of love and energy to be certain!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Emily's Journey

In 2001 I was pregnant with my first gestational surrogate baby, Emily. When she was born in 2002, I made this Postage Stamp Trip Around the World Quilt for her. It is made up entirely of 1" squares and is, I think, the best quilt I have ever done. Emily's parents are my good friends and live in Australia, so this surrogacy journey was indeed a trip around the world for them...twice!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Road Trip! Seattle - The Museum of Flight

Road Trip! Seattle - The Seattle Museum of Flight was our last stop on this trip. What a fascinating place, and lots of history contained in this building...even a flight capsule from one of the space missions if remember correctly. We also got to step onboard one of the old Air Force One presidential airplanes. I believe it was the one from the Eisenhower-Nixon administrations and certainly isn't anything like the current ride our president enjoys. The kids reallyhad fun playing the flight simulation games and sitting in an old F/A-18L Hornet .

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Road Trip! Seattle - Seattle Aquarium Dragons

Road Trip! Seattle - After the Space Needle and the Science Center, we headed over to the pier and visited the Seattle Aquarium. Next to the tidal pool exhibits, the leafy sea dragon (Phycodurus eques) tank was my favorite thing to watch. They are so delicate and graceful! We spent a very nice 3 hours viewing all the tanks and the outdoor displays as well. The salmon ladder here is world famous and there are many viewing areas both above and below to see the native fish.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Road Trip! Seattle - Science Center Orchid

Road Trip! Seattle - This photo is a bit grainy, but I still love it because the orchids looks so translucent and delicate. These were also at the Seattle Science Center.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Road Trip! Seattle - Science Center Moth on the Cobblestones

Road Trip! Seattle - Outside the Science Center it had just stopped raining...rain...in Seattle...imagine! hahaha Anyway this guy wasn't inside the atrium, but I thought him just as worthy of a photo. I imagine he had come down to the ground for a drink.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Road Trip! Seattle - Science Center Dino Bones

Road Trip! Seattle - Inside the Seattle Science Center they had this great T-Rex display. He doesn't seem as terrifying as one might imagine from the movies although I am sure they were nothing to mess around with at the time! I was just expecting something a bit...bigger.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Road Trip! Seattle - Science Center butterfly garden 2

Road Trip! Seattle - Another photo from inside the butterfly garden at the Seattle Science Center.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Road Trip! Seattle - Science Center butterfly garden

Road Trip! Seattle - We visited the butterfly garden at the Seattle Science Center which was pretty nice. These lucky butterflies get a nice climate controlled atrium to avoid the cold and dreary weather outside. I remember the camera I was using at the time I snapped these photos...a point and shoot Olympus that I beat the heck out of until it died a sad death on a concrete floor. I look at these and wonder how much better they could be with my new baby.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Road Trip! Seattle - KOMO helicopter

Road Trip! Seattle - From the top outside walkway of the Space Needle, you can see all of Seattle. The KOMO 4 News Building is just below and I thought it looked like a giant clock up there at the top with the helicopter blades for hands, so of course I had to snag a photo. The kids really thought it was cool that they could see it so well.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Road Trip! Seattle - The Space Needle

Road Trip! Seattle - In the winter of 2002, right before Christmas, we met my mom in Seattle and spent a few days being tourists. We visited the Space Needle and were surprised to find Santa ensconsed in the viewing room waiting to hear what we all wanted for Christmas. It was an incredible day for this photo.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Little Monkey

My middle son is happiest when he is climbing or hanging from something. During the summer he can most often be found out back in one of our apple trees. Here we had gone to the park and he immediately found the monkey bars. Now all he needs is a banana!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fragrant Bloom

Can't you almost smell the fragrance? This is a rose from my very own rose bed. I have 30+ plants but this one is the one I love most because it has the most amazing scent and just the lightest tinge of pink on it's petals. The flowers are a very good size as well, but they don't last long once cut which is a real shame.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I just love the colors of Autumn. The leaves on this tree outside the high school turned a bright shade of vermilion that I couldn't resist getting a photo of.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The daisies are a nice bright spot in our garden for several months of the year. These yellow ones stay long after the daffodils and tulips have faded.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I have several succulents, this one is my Thanksgiving Cactus. I just want to know HOW does it know the date? It bloomed yesterday right on time for it's namesake. I have a Christmas Cactus as well and just noticed today as I was adding soil to the pot and moving it to a new location, that it has the start of flower buds on the ends. I wonder if it will bloom Christmas day? My Easter Cactus always, always blooms for the occasion and I posted an earlier photo of it here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Nana (my mom's mom) made the best pecan pie EVER. No, really. It is the best. I have had her recipe for years, but just came across it a few weeks ago when I was sorting through a stack of recipes I had never taken the time to organize...and there it was. It broke my heart when my beloved Nana passed away in 2001, but she was alive for me yesterday as I made this pie and again today as I cut and ate a piece...and it was just as delicious as I remember. :)

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My daughter took this photo and a few other fireworks photos this past Fourth of July in Elk River...current population 153. We head out there most years to spend the day with our friends and their parents who are actually full time residents. The town fills up fast with people from within a 60-80 mile radius who come for the swimming, atv riding, fireworks display, and the huckleberry ice cream that Elk River is famous for!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Spiders anyone? This girl was my sons pet for more than 9 years. She is a curly haired tarantula and we got her as an adult, so I am not sure how old she was, but he cared for her very well, handled her and loved her. She lived a nice long life and we were very sorry when she died. There is no cooler pet than this!

Monday, November 24, 2008

More of the poppies! I love them, I hope you like them too!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Normally I would never post this type of photo, but today I felt the need to tell you about one of the greatest men I have had the honor to know and love, my grandfather. He has always been the most amazing man to me. A little larger than life in all respects, from his unfailing devotion to God, his family, friends, and country, to his selfless love for my grandmother. Here is a man that has always done it right. There is no one other than my own husband that I respect more than my grandpa. He is someone to aspire to emmulate.

As a child, I spent a lot of my time with my grandpa. He would take me out for an ice cream at McDonalds and pop an 8-track tape into the car stereo and we would sing, "Loch Lomond" til my grandma would get sick of hearing us. Or, he would be "the Old Grey Mare" and ride me around the living room on his back. I can only remember one time where he spoke a harsh word to me (and I am quite sure I deserved it), he rarely spoke harshly to anyone or got angry. In fact he is usually smiling and happy even when things aren't so great. Case in point is the above photo...which must have been taken on the saddest day of his life, the day we buried my grandma, his wife and soulmate of nearly 68 years. Always trying his best to make everyone else feel better, that's my grandpa. He has always been my hero.

Today is his 94th birthday. I love you grandpa. The happiest of birthdays to you.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

This is the Palouse River at Laird Park, one of our favorite day trips during the hotter summer months. There is a small pond that has been dammed with a wall of rail ties and this is the area right behind. The pond makes for a great swimming hole, Idaho style, and the walkway above the small dam is a jumping point for those wishing to enter the frigid waters the fast way. The water IS like ice, so sometimes it is better just to jump in!

Friday, November 21, 2008

An Arbor Day memorial that sits within the University of Idaho Arboretum. It is one of my favorite places here in town to go and just sit and enjoy the beauty of God's creation.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My favorite photography subjects are my children, no doubt about that. This is my youngest son who was happily building a sand fort during a summer day trip to Laird Park which is a very nice break for us. We spent the day playing in the ICE COLD water...well the kids did anyway. I spent most of my time in the shade on a blanket taking pictures!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Most of the leaves are gone from my Red Maple tree now. We had a few days of solid wind and rain and that pretty much did them all in. But this photo was taken a week beforehand and shows what beautiful color the tree has. For a few weeks each year we are treated to a glorious rosy hue splashing the walls in our living room as the sun sets behind the tree.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Poppies! I love them. They are only glorious for a little longer than a month, so I have to take all the pictures I can while they are out.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Road Trip! Portland - Once Angie and the girls and I arrived in Portland, we met my other friend Ruth and dropped all of our girls (5 in total) off at the hotel for an evening of pizza and swimming while Ruth, Angie, and I went to THE best restaurant in Portland, Jake's. Anytime I am in Portland there are a few things I cannot miss, and the Chocolate Bag dessert tops the list! It is rich with raspberries, white chocolate mousse, several kinds of chocolate, and whipped cream. Ruth nearly finished hers off. Angie had about a third of hers left, and I could only manage to eat a quarter of mine! Maybe my yummy steak had a little something to do with that.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Road Trip! Portland - At the footbridge over Multnomah Falls, I decided to be daring and leaned over to get this shot of the lower falls emptying into the pool below. As I was taking this photo, another tourist was taking the same type of photo and lost his umbrella into the drink. Guess that's what happens when you are trying to hold a camera and an umbrella at the same time!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Road Trip! Portland - Once you have left your vehicle and begin your small hike to the base of Multnomah Falls, you will be able to see the old foot bridge that crosses the water. The trail system will take you over this bridge and on up the side of Larch Mountain should you decide you are feeling adventurous. I hiked up with Angie's daughter only as far as the bridge because the others decided to wait for us below. As I mentioned in a previous post, it rained the entire trip...my daughter and her friend decided to wait in the car, and Angie waited at the base.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Road Trip! Portland - Right before arriving into Portland, Multnomah Falls will draw your gaze. It is the second highest year-round waterfall in the United States at 620 ft, and cascades down from Larch Mountain on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Basin. Visitors can park in the rest area right off Interstate 84 and walk to the base of the falls. The more adventurous...like myself...can hike up to the bridge and beyond. There are a series of trails throughout this area that connect to other parks and smaller waterfalls.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Road Trip! Portland - One thing you are sure to see a lot of on a trip across Interstate 84 in Oregon, are trains! Lots and lots of trains. This engine was actually stationary for the shot. Most of the time they are moving and have 100 or more cars attached behind them. Commerce along the Columbia River never sleeps.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Road Trip! Portland - Last year at about this time, my friend Angie and I took our girls to the Revolve Tour in Portland. I took a few pictures along the way which I will feature for the next few days.

This photo was taken from Interstate 84 which runs along the south side of the Columbia River Basin in Oregon. The mountains in the background are on the Washington side of the river. It rained the entire trip...par for the course this time of year...but when I saw the rainbow over the river, I just had to try for a capture.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you to all the United States Veterans that have fought for our country's freedoms. We owe you a debt that can never be repayed.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Doesn't this look like fun? I took this photo last year during Bovill Days. There was a picnic after the parade and this guy cruised in and dropped ping pong balls onto the park lawn. If you could scramble fast enough to get a ball with a number on it, you won a prize. We won something, but I cannot remember what it was!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I think God gave us Autumn because he knew that we would need memories of brilliant color to last us through a long winter. I snapped this photo 2 weeks ago as we trekked back to our parking space after the University of Idaho Homecoming Parade. Nothing in the parade even came close to the beauty of these amber leaves.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Our beautiful kitty, Beethoven, is the most affectionate and loving cat ever. He has personality in spades and has never met someone he didn't like...or leave without a furry reminder of himself! When we first moved to Idaho, my hubby worked for the Human Society and Beethoven was an abandoned kitten. Someone missed out on the cat of a lifetime when they didn't keep him!

Friday, November 7, 2008

This summer, my hubby and I decided to have a 'date' day and got on his Ninja 650 two-up for a ride through some beautiful Idaho countryside. Normally the bike is used for his daily commute to and from work, but that day we headed up Highway 95 to Plummer and then turned east onto Highway 3 towards St Maries. This is Chatcolet Lake which is actually the southern most tip of the much larger Coeur d'Alene Lake. Getting my hubby to actually pull over for me to take a photo is a challenge that involves helmet tapping and much pointing and gesturing...I was unsuccessful in conveying my wish to stop, so this capture was while we were booking along at 55 mph!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

When the poppies are in full bloom, there is a fine black dust that covers the bottoms of the petals. In this photo you can see the dust beginning to form.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A few weeks ago, I captured this photo of a rose in my front yard after we had a two day rainy spell. A few days later we had our first freeze and all the roses started to die off for the winter. I thought perhaps I might get a few more blossoms, but this was the last one to fully open.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Daffodils for Kimmie Sue

When I was a young girl, my best friend KimSue and I would walk down a muddy dirt road in West Virginia (I lived in WV for 7 years) to an abandoned farm house off of Lynn Creek Road. I absolutely loved, and still do, exploring old fallen down dwellings. Anyway, this particular farmhouse sat very close to the road and was nothing much to get excited about. Come spring however, we were delighted to see the daffodils...hundreds and hundreds of them...blooming all around the house. In my mind I can still picture it and the fun we had cutting them or digging them up and taking them home to our mothers'.