Guess Who’s Coming to Breakfast

A Hailey, Idaho, resident heard a clatter in his basement early yesterday morning.

He ran downstairs to find . . .

. . . a cow elk — in the family room!


The elk was apparently hoping to play a little late night billiards before enjoying an early breakfast.


Actually, the elk had fallen through a basement window while foraging for food.

The owner called 911 and deputies were dispatched.


Blaine County sheriff’s deputies and Fish and Game officers drove the elk up the basement stairs and out of the home.

“It took us about 2.5 hours, but we got her out uninjured,” said Alex Head, Fish and Game senior conservation officer. “The basement will need a good, deep cleaning, but we are glad it worked out as well as it did.”

“It is one of those years, we have a lot of elk and we have our first normal snow levels in the past five years and elk are being pushed into the valley and getting into trouble,” said Daryl Meints, Magic Valley Fish and Game regional wildlife manager.

I can just imagine what the cow might say to her calf sometime next summer.

“Did I ever tell you about the time I fell into a little hole?” 


Rich is going to see his orthopedic doctor on January 11.

We’ve been counting down towards that day since October 2.

October 2 is the day he broke his knee.

walkerAnd January 11 is the day he hopes to begin walking again.

That’s 101 days of not putting ANY weight on his right leg.

None. Not one teeny-tiny bit.

He’s been using his walker to get around.

We bought that walker to use when he had hip replacement surgery a few years ago. Bought it at the Idaho Youth Ranch Thrift Shop for $5. That’s the best $5 we’ve ever spent. That sucker’s been a lot of miles…

The walker’s a lot easier to use than crutches, especially because it was so critical that Rich didn’t trip and put weight on his right leg. That would have meant another complete round of surgery and recovery.

For some strange reason, neither one of us Googled what the next step will be in his recuperation. It was almost like we didn’t want to know.


So the other night, I went down an Internet wormhole while Googling Tibial Plateau Fracture recovery.

I found a message board where people talk about their experiences.

There’s a whole lot of acronyms that are used.

NWB–>non-weight bearing
PWB–>partial weight bearing
FWB–>full weight bearing

And here’s the first post I read:


There’s no need to read it all.

But please take a look at the fifth line from the bottom. It reads:

NWB 48 days – 12 hours – 55 minutes

So this guy counted the days, hours, and minutes he was NWB, and he was NWB for HALF the time that Rich will be.

It’s been a long 101 days… 🙁

I Love a Bitch Who Owns It!

There’s nothing more refreshing than a bitch who owns it!

I’m not talking about a woman who is a bitch just to be mean.

I’m talking about woman who uses her bitchiness (and other traits) to smartly make a point.


Here are two perfect examples from a recent Huffington Post article about Carrie Fisher.  The article contains  her comments about Hollywood’s and others’ focus on her weight and age.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 14: Actress Carrie Fisher attends the 7th annual Governors Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center on November 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
(Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

My favorite line is where she talks about the pressure to lose 35 pounds to reprise her Princess Leia roll in Star Wars:

“They don’t want to hire all of me — only about three-quarters!”

That line is followed closely by when she went on to talk about the film industry’s obsession with appearance:

“We treat beauty like an accomplishment, and that is insane.”

And Carrie Fisher, a bitch who owns it, later closed that discussion on Twitter by re-tweeting a fan’s answer to a criticism about her by a non fan.


Just love a bitchy woman who does it well!  🙂

Cute, but the answer is still, “No.”

I’m playing in a local pickleball tournament today and tomorrow.

It’s being put on by the Fort Boise Community Center which is a part of the Boise Parks and Recreation Department.


Coca Cola sponsors many of the activities of the Parks and Rec,  and they are sponsors of this small tourney.

Part of our SWAG (Stuff We All Get) is an adorable  winter polar bear that’s been outfitted for pickleball.


He’s very cute.

But he is not so cute that I’ll switch from Diet Pepsi to Diet Coke.  🙂



World Traveler

Richie is off traveling again.  He’s starting in Vietnam hopes to visit other Asian countries during his 25 day trip.

And he’s one happy traveler!


If you’d like, you can travel vicariously through him by checking out his blog at (And if you want to receive an email to alert you when there’s a new post, click on the Follow link in the lower right hand corner.)

He doesn’t post every day. But when he does post, he  writes something so intriguing and engaging that you’ll think you’re almost there right alongside him.

(Yes, I’m biased because I’m his mother… But I really do think that his travelogues are the best ever!)


And his pictures are interesting as well.

Here’s part of his first post, written as he was leaving Seattle on Christmas day.

vnI’m starting in the south in HCMC and in about 3.5 weeks I’ll be flying out of the north and Hanoi. I know I want to do some hiking,  some diving (weather permitting), see the Mekong delta,  cruise through Ha Long Bay… But I’ve got no set plan… Just going to wander around for a couple weeks.

PS Took me a while to figure out that HCMC is Ho Chi Minh City. And I only knew that because I knew he was going to Vietnam.  🙂


1226151007We’ve woken for two days to pogonip, and in looking at the weather forecast it looks like the pogonip will be staying around for a while.

Pogonip is an ice fog that forms in the mountain valleys of the western U.S. when liquid fog droplets freeze to surfaces.  

When the ice crystals stick to surfaces, it is technically called a hoar frost. But those of us who grew up in the west, simply call the entire process (ice fog and resulting crystals) pogonip.

1226150956It it common on mountain tops which are exposed to low clouds, and it happens in valleys during an inversion when low clouds are trapped and the temperature is very cold.

Pogonip is not soft and fluffy like snow. It’s crisp and brittle.

The word pogonip comes from the Shoshone Native American tribes who reside in the western U.S. And it literally means ‘freezing death’ because they believed that if you breathe in the frozen fog the crystals will form in your lungs.

While pogonip can  be very pretty, there are times when it’s a curse. If weather conditions are just right, and inversion can last weeks, weeks where you don’t see the sun all day long…

During those times, the pogonip grows and grows to make normal objects even more surreal.

Here are some from a walk Sophie and I took this morning.


1226150959fChunks of melted snow…


Ornamental grasses…


Silk flowers…


Frozen puddle with leaves…


And on our morning walk, Sophie and I happened upon a robin sitting in our front yard.


Lastly, here are a few pogonip pictures I took during that three week long inversion while we lived in Fallon.

Barbed wire…


Looking at a cottonwood tree at Rich’s dad’s ranch through two pieces of barbed wire.



My favorite pogonip photo. A ‘WELCOME’ sign on our back porch…PogonipWelcome

Praynksters in an Idaho Life

Our favorite news channel is KTVB, and one of my favorite things to watch on it is Brian Holmes’ Idaho Life. He reports on unique, wonderful, and Idaho-esque stories…

Yesterday’s story was about Pascal Karega, a young refugee  from The Congo who spent over three years in a camp after escaping civil war in his native country. He’s now in America, working two jobs, studying to earn his high school diploma, and taking care of his younger brother.

There is a local group called the Praynksters who use the idea of a flash mob and turn it into an opportunity to do good and have a good giggle at the same time. They are a faith-based group who surprise people in need with some Christmas presents. And they organize other kinds of ‘giving mobs’.

The Praynksters met with Pascal for their recent giving mob.

Here’s the video and the story that aired yesterday on KTVB:

EAGLE – It is the giving season and, once again, the “Praynksters” have surprised another person with a parade of presents.

It’s a typical weekday morning at The Griddle in Eagle. Diners are dining, cooks are cooking, and dishes are being diligently done in the back by Pascal Karega.

“Sometimes it gets a little crazy,” said Karega.

This job is another in a long list Karega’s had in the four years he’s lived in Idaho.

“I love working in the restaurant, it’s one of my favorite jobs,” he said.

“He had sort of a poise and charisma about him,” said his manager, Martin Oshiro, who hired Karega a few months ago.

“He’s got just a great spirit, he’s very uplifting, positive, he’s always smiling,” said Oshiro.

Which may be surprising considering where Pascal came from. He escaped the civil war in his home country of The Congo only to spend three and half years in a refugee camp in Zimbabwe. He doesn’t like to think about it.

“It is my country, I love my country. And it just makes me sometimes upset,” said Karega.

So instead he focuses on what’s ahead of him, even if that means at the age of 24 he is trying to earn a high school diploma, working two jobs six days a week, and watching over his younger brother.

“It has been a while since i slept for eight hours,” he said.

Even with as little time as he has, Karega was willing to sit down for an interview with what he thought was a documentary filmmaker.

“All I knew was he’s gonna come, do the interview and that would be it,” said Karega. But that wouldn’t be it.

Instead of being in a documentary about refugees, Karega was being made a recipient of the “Praynksters” giving mob.

“I think it was his story. We knew he had the right look and feel. It was just something divine that pulled us to Pascal,” said Jeff Agosta, a member of Praynksters.

One by one, more than two dozen strangers stopped and gave Karega a gift. And it didn’t stop there. The Praynksters also provided a wedding package for Karega and his fiance. And a local car company chipped in, too.

It was a moment Karega will never forget. And a reaction Agosta won’t either.

“He had that exhale of a lot of stress that’s been building up and it said, ‘Something’s paying off. I’m doing something right and somebody’s watching out for me,'” said Agosta.

Now Karega can continue to watch out for himself and his future, a long way from just taking up space in a refugee camp.

“You start planning because you see actually a way. It’s hard to start planning when you don’t know if there is even a way,” he said.

Karega plans to study business management in college after getting his diploma next year.

As for the Praynksters, they plan to do a giving mob again next year and hope to inspire others to give just a little of themselves.

If you would like to see the whole “Giving Mob” clip, click here.

Wil Can Fly…

Remember yesterday’s post about the dad who took pictures of his youngest as a real life Elf on the Shelf?

That dad, Alan Lawrence, has also created pictures of his son Wil flying and you can find many of the photos on his blog:

What a wonderful dad and what a great inspiration this family is!

From USA Today

‘Wil Can Fly’ photos honor boy with Down Syndrome

Alan Lawrence, a photographer and father of six from Utah, has posted some amazing photos of his son soaring over a corn maze, gliding over the waters of San Francisco and eating an ice cream from the air.


Lawrence says his two-year-old son Wil is “blessed with Down Syndrome and the ability of flight.”

When Wil was a baby, he used to wiggle his arms and feet in the air like he was trying to fly, Lawrence said.


“My family would always joke that he was trying so hard that one day he would start flying,” Lawrence told USA TODAY Network.

He decided to make Wil’s flight a reality by using Photoshop to create images of Wil hovering above places the family has visited.


The series of images, called ‘Wil Can Fly’, are part of a 2016 calendar, with half the proceeds from sales donated to two Down Syndrome foundations. The series serves as a reminder that people with Down Syndrome can do anything they set their minds to, Lawrence says.


Lawrence said the photo series has helped him share his son’s story and connect with other parents who are going through emotions that can surround parenting a child with Down Syndrome.


“I had struggled when I found out Wil had Down Syndrome and these photos are a celebration and illustrate the joy we have with him,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of fathers and mothers reach out to me and say, ‘I appreciate your honesty.'”


Elf on the Shelf

I’d never heard of Elf on the Shelf until a few years ago.

I’ll admit that I still don’t know a whole lot about the whole phenomena, but I think this is the basic premise…

Santa Claus knows who has been naughty and who has been nice because elves visit children between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Parents tell their kids about the elves by reading a book and placing the elf in a different location throughout the house every night so that the kids get the idea that the elves are watching them.

NBC News aired a story today about a family who has (with a little help from Photoshop) turned their youngest into a real-life Elf on a Shelf.

Dad Turns Baby Into Real Life Elf on A Shelf


Love it or hate it, the “Elf on the Shelf” is helping many families understand the meaning of Christmas.

And that’s what photographer Alan Lawrence realized when he turned his 4-month-old son into one.

“We’ve always just kinda called him our little elf,’ said Lawrence of his son.

Lawrence started working towards turning his son into a “real” elf simply by taking photos with his the tot around the house dressed as an elf — and then photo shopping himself out.

“He was special and he’s different,” said Lawrence, a father of six. “I want to celebrate the blessing that he is to our family.”


This is the first time Lawrence and his family have ever done Elf on the Shelf, but they didn’t anticipate the viral response they’ve gotten.

He even perches atop the shower in one photo.


And causes some Christmas tree mischief.


Lawrence has been at work earlier this year raising money and awareness for kids with down syndrome, inspired by his son Wil who’s been diagnosed with the condition.


A bit more video…