Sunday, April 22, 2018

A Few Minutes More

There is something thoughtful about sitting in ones living room as the last of the day is fading into 8:20 pm. (Living so far north is still cool and weird to me.) A summer smelling candle casts a warm glow over the room, and friendly shadows dance on the walls. The dishwasher chugs away, a sign of tasty meals prepped, and a clean kitchen to start the week off. The tiny, stir crazy dog is finally at rest, snoring softly in my lap. The chorus of chirps from tiny frogs can be heard roaring through the closed windows.

I feel a soft sadness, great grief, and an unfamiliar peace. Unfamiliar because it feels different. New. Unexplored.

I think...that I will sit here for a few minutes more.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Cynic

I'm having an interesting time delegating brain space. The priority is supposed to be on finishing school. Two. More. Weeks. To get it all done. One part of my brain is like ahhhh get it done lady. The other part of my brain is like "with what?"

I was on a couple flights recently. Five to be exact. That's another story. Anyway, after I had finished reading a book for my class, I popped back in on a book I've been reading for intrigue. It's called Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans. It's got all the things to think about. Here are some of the things that struck a cord during those moments of travel:

This is quote in the book referencing something written by Heather Kopp:
"Many months would pass before I understood that people bond more deeply over shared brokenness than they do over shared belief."

I've been sitting on that for a couple weeks now. Or some amount of time. My sense of time is shot.
Maybe that's why blogging feels so productive for me. Maybe that's why frank candidness feels like a safer space than trying to be someone I'm not.
I have been such a recipient of love and support. Things no one would no to give if I hadn't said or acknowledged that I Not to mean I don't want to be un-broken. That would be okay with me...but wow all the love.

She then begins chapter 11 with this quote:

Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist. -George Carlin

You see...shortly before reading that I had discovered in myself, and even expressed to my sister, a newfound spot of cynicism in my self. How can I be a lovely guest at a wedding when my forever quit. How can I not scoff when the vows that my partner and I made almost eight years ago were taken to mean less. Reading this allowed me to re-frame my thinking. Just because my person had a hard time and a different scenario doesn't mean that this is their scenario. This is an isolated event in the fabric of time. What is now will likely look different later, and in different light.

But I'll tell you. I liked that place of idealism. It was lovely. Not always sunny but always moving forward. Striving for something. Now in this place of disappointment, I wonder if I will come across a place of trusting, idealistic, companionship with another human again without the lens of disappointment.
I might. Many people have expressed optimistic sentiments or personal experiences. Maybe I'm supposed to sit at this vantage point for a hot minute.

On page 86 Rachel says:
"See I've got this coping mechanism thing where, when I'm feeling frightened or vulnerable or in over my head,, I intellectualize the situation to try and regain some sense of control. .... In some religious traditions, this particular comping mechanism is known as pride.

Hmmmmm. Let me intellectualize this for a moment....maybe I'm trying so hard to sort all of this out in my brain the energy I should be using for finishing my classes is being spent on intellectualizing my situation.

In some ways I might still be avoiding. I have a lot on my plate. Dealing with all the things on my plate...or leaving all the things on my plate allow me to differ the reality that he's not simply on a work trip. That the lovely parts of our companionship aren't gone.
That the reality of my expectations of graduating are different now that he's not in them. I had expectations that my graduation might look like the celebration we had for him last year.
He (we had been long distance dating) and his family had asked if I wanted them to come to my graduation for undergrad. I had said no. This isn't it for me. Come see me graduate when I get my masters. That one I will have really worked for. In some sense, that was a plan. One made before we were even married. An expectation.

It makes me think back to the time when I had a student in full blown meltdown in the hall, and I was trying to help them isolate the issue so I could help. The student profoundly, through hiccups and sobs, noted that "Its...just...that....things....aren'"
Never in my life have I identified more in the moment. I get it kid. Boy do I get it.

So, I don't know what I expect now. Or what I want. I don't even know if I want to walk for me. It was just an expectation built upon previous interactions. Never have I loved standing in a mass of chaos. Typically after the build-up of getting things done, I crash. In our conversation my sister mused that she typically gets sick. A forced crash. I'd probably rather go out to coffee with each of the people who are wanting to celebrate me and with me. I'd value that interaction more that missed moments of quality conversation because I tried to divide my time. But will I miss that "I did it" picture? Or will I be sad, cynical, or disappointed that the picture doesn't look how I expected.

(By the way, I don't have the answer. Input from others on this one surprisingly hasn't made me feel enlightened. It's my hope that posting starts some processing and allows for a beautiful epiphany in the morning....okay its already four hours when I wake up for the second time.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

S & G’s

My cousin pointed out to me that there’s a parallel to Successes and Gratitude...
I’m amused.

Today’s Successes
1.) An amazingly successful differentiation and student grouping when I wasn’t sure how it was going to work.
2.) The most beautiful avacado grabbed on my way out the door.
3.) Two walks with Rico dog. Morning and afternoon.

Today’s Grattitude
1.) My dad and his big birthday today! I’d really be in a bind without that guy and I love him so much!
2.)A colleague who I’ve been meal swapping with left me home made taquitos in the work fridge. Nom nom nom.
3.)Stick-to-it-iveness. My mom taught me the value of following up with customer service. We only ever had JanSport backpacks because they’re a company true to their customer service and Lifetime Warranty. I called in about a pan that was less than stellar. The mostly promptly sent a replacement. It came today. It’s the little things.
4.) A perfectly ripe avacado. No funny brown spots.

Answered Prayers
Today the tension started to work out of my muscles. The muscles loosened, joints fell back into place. I still feel like I have a ways to go, but that was an encouraging marker.

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

Well. Apparently there are three things that go in the newspaper here. Births. Deaths. Divorces. Yessss.

In less than five days my husband moved out and my roommate moved in.

Why is it that cleaning carpets yourself really isn’t that satisfying?

I moved furniture to support the carpet. My sister brought up something I’d been meditating on, via text. It’s amusing when people who know you well bring up the very topic you were thinking.
“rearranging furniture is so refreshing”
My reply:
“I agree. Though I'm going to be semantic.
Rearranging furniture is good for a fresh start.”

One is typically sore after an aggressive day of cleaning and furniture arranging.
The dog was mildly irritated with so much change of scenery.
While it’s fresh, new, different....and puts a spin of ownership on a situation that’s difficult to own....the after taste is still a little funky. Like fake sweetener.

On big cleaning days I used to be part of a team. It’s strange to get back into a mentality of thinking about how will I manage the tasks I’m not great at on my own. (I know that any of you would have helped if I had asked...I’m not saying  I couldn’t have had help from any of my friends.) it’s just different when you spend so many years intentionally being half of a partnership. One that I thought was quite fantastic. Efficient. Balanced.

Photos. When you order the prints and put them proudly on your wall in a lovely frame it never occurs to you to think “How will I feel about this memory when my husband moves out?”
My past experiences with those photos is that I loved to share them. When someone asks about a certain photo, you get a fondness in your voice when you tell the story. While I don’t want to erase the memories, now I think about the context of those events. We’re they what I thought they were? Do they now mean something different with the information I now have? Which of these memories am I currently willing to share? Which do I even want to talk about or have reminders about? What will be the perspectiveof this new person moving into my home. Full of pictures of an unknown person.

My brain has been busy. It hasn’t had a lot of time to be sad. I think this is intentional. I know some of those things sound sad but really they’re kind of just busy thoughts right now. It’s easier to be busy than to be sad. Being sad is a lot of work.

That being said, thoughts keep rolling around and I’m not sending them off. (I kind of hope this post will help with that.) They’re lingering and I’m having trouble closing some of the doors so that I can focus my energy right now.

I had an interesting conversation with someone about what it means to be enough or fine. Good enough. Fine enough. Things I see in my house that other people don’t is a big one right now. Having someone move in is like having new company that is never going to leave. What will the norm be? At the beginning everyone’s on their best behavior. Wow that is hard to sustain. How long before you can fall into routine and what is “comfortable.” Whet will comfortable look like in a month and how will you know that everyone is satisfied with that level of comfort? Also I spent a lot of years striving for comfort with someone I know and love. What does that look like with someone you’re not in a relationship with.  Like I said...overthinking.

Another component of  enough comes around relationally. There’s quite a bit of healing that needs to be done when someone says “you’re not enough to be worth making it work.” My words. My perception. But something to grapple with. As an individual what will it look like to be enough for myself. For God? What is enough? What will that look like? How will I know I’m there? What can I do to get myself there faster?

My house is almost as clean as it was the day we moved in.
Roomate is successfully moved in.
Garage door opener will be here tomorrow.

Encouraging co-workers.
Student who know the drill. I put in a lot of legwork at the beginning of the year to give my students ownership of the class and the procedures. I strive to put myself in the position to be a resource rather than the keeper of everything. At the beginning of the year this is hard for a lot of kids. Especially just coming to middle school. Now I love to tell them “Look at what you can do!”
Rico dog.

Prayer Requests:
I’ve been clenching my jaw at night. I’m starting to feel the impact in a lot of ways. I would love if you would pray for my physical health and that I can apropriate emotional responses in a way that doesn’t manifest physically.

Monday, March 19, 2018

What is the protocol?

I recognize that in some ways watching these posts may be like watching a train wreck. You want to look away but resisting is hard. I remember feeling that way with a different bloggers experience. However. I also recognize that her scenario and points have scaffolded my experience and been a great of resource. If you are capable of looking away, feel free. If not, it is my hope that someday my words might scaffold someone up

So today is his birthday. What is the protocol? There isn’t one. It’s hard to be happy or feel celebratory in this scenario.
Finally I landed on making charcoal grilled salmon, with Budget Bytes savory coconut rice and grilled zucchini.
Special ish.

Spring break is over. I start school tomorrow. I’ve been maintaining my pre break sleep cycle schedule so tomorrow will be rough. On the other hand I haven’t allowed myself to sleep til noon so I have that going for me.

I really operated in a stupor over break. It was hard to snap out of it. My brain wasn’t registering. I couldn’t shake the fog enough to prioritize appropriately or get the right things done.
Tonight in preparation for Monday I pulled out my planner. I hanged the cover...because the previous cover was a distracting deterrent. One of the reasons I love my Erin Condren planner is because the covers are interchangeable. My new cover came... I swapped it out today.

I counted weeks until I head out for my dear friend’s wedding. There are not very many.
Whooooom. All of a sudden it was like when Harry gets pulled out of the Pensive and back to reality. I’m optimistic that this has the cold water dumped in the head, awakening impact. And that I will have solid momentum moving forward.

Planner cover changed.
Real meal prepared. All food groups represented.
Bubbling up laminate counter 😖 re adhered and clamped. Here’s hoping that buys me a few more months.

Good food.
The right kitchen utensils
Planner with swapable covers
Rico Dog, comedy and snuggles

Friday, March 16, 2018

Don’t Click Buy

Let me first start off with the most sincere gratitude for all of your kind and encouraging words. So often we feel like we must keep heartache in but in my head I know I would want to support my friends if they were having similar experiences. So even though it is extremely vulnerable, the knowledge, the support and the insight of others is so worth the vulnerability. If we take nothing else away from this experience, let us take that.

Secondly, the sun was out today. Rico and I took two walks. The general productivity is increased, though the brain functionality is not. One small downfall to leaning on others during stressful times is that it sort of becomes impossible to remember who you told what. For example: there were some items that were desired by both parties. Someone, more than one person I’m some point reminded me that hose are just things and that things can be replaced.  (My sister was not one of those someone’s as I learned today. She does not remember that conversation.)

Anyway, those someone’s were right. They are just things. Things we acquired in our 10 year relationship. And to be quite honest....when you put them all in your online shopping cart, or in three online shopping carts because they can’t all be found st the same place...those things amount to quite a significant sum. 

So my dad dabbles in real estate, my sister dabbles in money management. They’re clever people. They also have good number sense. I do not. Nor have I ever claimed to. 

They were real clear when they said “Don’t go spending the dollars. It doesn’t make cents.” They didn’t say exactly that, but you get the gist. 

I reacted surprisingly strongly to a recent conversation. I’m in a weird nesting mode. I’m wanting to keep the things I researched and planned for the same. I think subconsciously I’m doing this so I don’t miss the things, and consequently the person choosing to be out of my life. I find myself wanting to change the things I don’t like, or compromised on, because it can and why shouldn’t I? I’m reasesrching how to finish projects that aren’t done because they were his and I decided I would let them be his...but now they’re mine. 

The reality is that life isn’t the same, life won’t be the same and that it’s impractical for me to expect to load up my Amazon, IKEA, and Costco carts and purchase everything I want to “make things whole.”  Idolitry? Coveting? That’s a bitter pill to swallow.

I’m lucky to have people in my life brave enough to say what they notice. Even though it’s really uncomfortable and not at all satisfying.

1.) Roommate found.
2.) Walking. Rico and I walked 16,100 steps. Not my best but definitely better than zero.
3.) I did not click “buy” on anything.
4.) I returned my RedBox rental on time. Home Again. I cannot for the life of me figure out why it’s called that but I found the movie oddly relatable though not life goals. I did not watch it with children or parents in mind and cannot recall appropriateness.

1.) See’s chocolates.
2.) My tribe. I am so blessed with a tribe that extends far and wide. Thank you to the Twisted Sisters. ❤️
3.) Sunshine. We had it today and I spent the entire drafting of this post with my face pointed at it.
4.) Bulbs peeking out of the ground and a hint of green in the dark brown fields.
5.) The most spectacular caramel vanilla Frappuccino I can get with my Star Rewards. (No really that was my order and wow did she deliver.)

Thursday, March 15, 2018

A Piece of Cherry Pi

Y’all. Today was paper signing day. It sucked. There’s really not a nice way to say it.

Someone was giving me instructions today and said “Is that okay?” or “Are you okay?”  My response  was “No! Nothing about this is okay.” It might have been a bit strong given the specific conversation but my brain just got stuck on “okay.”

My stomach was not happy today. A smoothie did not cut it. 4 oz of bacon did. Followed by a bun less hotdog cooked in the same pan some hours later. Why don’t we always cook hotdogs in bacon grease?

The weather even picked up on the mood of today. Rainy and gray.

Eventually the sun peeked out just as I was wrapping up today’s phase of emptyjng of the sewing room and talking to my sister. Maybe an hour later I ate some leftover home made Mac and Cheese and started to feel like water would stay in my stomach.

I got some tanning sessions because I need every ounce of sunshine happiness in my life. Particularly with my seasonal issues from living so far north. Also note that I am in close communication with my doctor and counselor about all the goings on. We are not meant to live in isolation. Which brings me to my grattitude:

1.) I am so grateful to have shared everything I shared last night. I was able to fall asleep shortly after writing. And it just felt so good for everything to be out in the open. I’ve never been one to love life behind closed doors and now did not feel like the right time to start.
2.) I am grateful for all of your kind words, your encouragement and your love. So. Grateful. In my head I’d love to be writing back to each one with pages. My brain says it’s not having that right now, so please know, your words are not falling on deaf ears. They are wind in my sails.
3.)I am grateful that there was a Safeway between my evening errand and home so that when I finally got really hungry, I could pop in and get the LAST piece of cherry pie that I’m sure was meant just for me. Happy Pi Day Friends!

1.) Papers signed.
2.) Car titled in my name.
3.) Major Work done moving sewing room into master closet.

Looking Forward To:
1.) Summer. Sunshine. 80 degree days.
2.) Using all the craft stuff I just moved.
3.) grad-u-at-ing

Prayer Requests:
1.) Kind words
2.) A clear mind so that I might be able to focus on the school work I was hoping big to bust out this week.
3.)A positive outlook/optimism/hope.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

An Insufficient Ketchup

It’s been a while, to say the least. I gravitated toward Instagram where I could say it all in a photo. A line of text peppered with hashtags.
Today I find myself in a state of grieving.
The last time I can remember feeling a process this big and this deep was when’s Mom was sick...and then passed away. For many reasons blogging supported processing and healing. For this reason I break out the blogger website and put my words to screen.

Our marriage is ending. The papers have been filled out. We’re supposed to sign them and submit them tomorrow. The bank accounts are separated. He has a move out date and I’m in search of roommates. I feel in a daze.

The question “How are you?” gives cause to think these days. I am doing.  Life happens. One day at a time. Try as we might it is not to be paused, and truly, if we paused it we would miss out.

 I see that in spite of the situation I am blessed and loved by so many.

I have lots of questions:
Why wasn’t what I had enough?
Why couldn’t what I was willing to do be enough?
What will the future look like?
Have I pursued every possible solution?
Will my sleep schedule ever look normal again?
Could this not have happened after I graduated this spring?
How will this impact my sense of identity and self worth?

My sinuses would love for some of the feelings to take a back seat
My ears would like for my sinuses to cut it out. .
My jaw takes issue with the clenching.
My skin would love a nice tropical vacation from the yuck.

Both my job and my studenting are on “spring break.” I was looking forward to the opportunity to get all the things done. To make massive progress. My brain is having trouble getting on board with that plan. It wants to thing about living arrangements (he gets his apartment on March 22, the goal is to have a roommate, maybe two by April 1)  how life might look, and what will be gone.

This is yet another reminder for the teacher me of how stress and trauma impact my students daily when they’re dealing with big things.

In some ways I think my brain is relieved at the potential finality signing and submitting papers might  bring. I’ve been trying to opperste as though this was a  Schrödinger’s cat scenario. Maybe it’s still alive. Maybe there’s something else I can do. That takes an effort and level of endurance I didn’t know I had.

While this does bring some finality and closure, more than one person has asked me “Would you still take him back?”
I made a promise for better or for worse. I truly believe that this is the worse. Right now I stand firm that I’m called to be open and listening for God’s plan for me. I am trying to hear Him through this experience and have faith for His plans for me.

Aren’t you mad at him?
Mad. Frustrated. Hurt. The thing is, I don’t want to give those things a foothold in my life. I am trying to be intentional about sticking with things that are “kind and helpful.” The other feelings are legitimate and to be recognized absolutely. They’re just not feelings that I want to bring in to stay.

Someone recently gave me a tip to keep a grattitude/success log. I’ve enjoyed that. Theee things to be grateful for and three successes from the day.

Three Successes
1.) I successfully conducted two preliminary possible roommate interviews.
2.) I learned the process for taking another person off a car title.
3.) I made dinner tonight and it was more substantial that a hot dog or pizza quesadilla. Charcoal grilled chicken, rice pilaf and grilled asparagus.
4.) I’ve been craving those California foods. Wienershnitzel, In n Out, and Jamba Juice. Today I made a smoothie that was stinkin close to a Jamba Juice smoothie and it was great.

1.) Daily pep talks from my sister and dad. They really help me stay grounded.
2.) Coffee ship knitting with a friend.
3.) A local DMV that answers calls and after only a few rings and no holds.
4.) All of the love I have been receiving from friends and family. Thank you all for your prayers, thoughts, and words of encouragement. Sometimes I’m a little flighty in my responses, the brain thing again, but know that I hear you and it means so much.

Ps. Tomorrow is pie day!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I Forgot. Again.

My life updates have existed in status updates, its different these days! However, what I have to say tonight could not, according to social media etiquette, fit into a status update or Instagram caption.
I am a poor remember-er of dates. Days. Important ones. I'm sorry. Sorry to all. 
Luckily, when Luke greeted me on Saturday morning, it was with good humor that he asked me if  I "knew what today was." I said "no" and he jovially reminded me that it was our anniversary. It's not the first time I've forgotten. Six years I think. If I'm wrong just pretend I'm not. Okay? I felt sorta bad, threw a pillow at him for not warning me, and then got up and got ready for church. 

This man had made breakfast for himself and kiddo (I opted out), taken the tiny dog out for his morning routine, sat with said dog and given him loves, and shown me love by letting me sleep in, and giving me a nice forehead kiss when I came downstairs, along with smirks because I forgot. 
Guys, my heart full! He is my partner and my team mate. We compliment each other so well! I love how all of our ups and downs, and our practice and active learning about how to be better partners to each other pays off! I am grateful to God for the journey he took me on, and for leading me to Luke so that we can now journey together.

Recent events continually remind me that our lives are so intertwined. We are are part of greater communities to support each other and to count on others for support. We hurt when we are missing significant players in our lives and we celebrate when we feel surrounded by them. I may forget important days, but now, more than ever I am grateful for all of you! The people who join me...who join us, on our journey. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

My Second First Day of Teaching Middle School

Today was my second first day of teaching Middle School Science. This year I have 7th and 8th Grade students. I still had bad dreams and little sleep the two nights before. It was a crazy day. I am exhausted. 

I am absolutely sure that this is where I'm supposed to be right now. I am thankful for Gods timing. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Quilt Ladder

It all started when I saw this bad boy on Pinterest. In typical me fashion I wanted it  modified. Taller. Not sanded. More rungs.  
At the top of our stairs we have a landing and a corner that needed something. Luke agreed right away when I presented the idea to him. He did not agree the ladder should go all the way to the top so we compromised on 7 feet. 
I dropped him of at the airport in Spokane (Which involved me waking up at 3:00 am on my birthday!). BUT it meant that before going home I got Starbucks, and was one of the first customers in Lowe's that Wednesday morning. They practically did my shopping for me! Excellent customer service. They also, pre-cut the wood for my project!

I borrowed my friend Dani L.'s Kreg Jig for the project. These handy little tools are great for making invisible pockets for screws!

I did find that I had a bit of trouble getting behind the screws when I used the power drill/driver  to put the ladder together. For that I wished Luke had been in town. 

When finishing the ladder I used a pre-stain wood conditioner. In the photo below the top three rungs have been conditioned and just the top of the fourth rung. This is the moment when you start to get excited about staining wood. 

Then I used this Ebony Stain to stain the wood. Below you see it pictured with another project.
Back to the ladder at hand. Isn't it yummy! One coat of stain. That's all I went with. I really like how the grain showed up.

I applied this wipe on poly. I like that there seems to be fewer chances for oopses with the wipe on poly.
I let it dry in the garage being sure to leave it well ventilated for 72 hours. Some of the sites I researched on alluded to the idea that the that it needed movement of air to help it harden. Not just time. When we felt like it was ready, Luke moved it upstairs, because let me tell you, that thing is not light.

And here she is in all her glory! Wow, just looking at all those quilts there, the stories, the history. I like to sit and look at them. Plus, I can lay in bed in the morning and see them all in the mirror at the end of the hall. :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Clear to Foster

We began the journey to Foster/Adopt fairly quickly upon moving to Moscow. We've felt it as a calling for a while now. Most strongly during our time in Kansas. Upon moving into our new home, we began the Home Inspection (is it safe) and Home Study(who are you.)
The home inspection meant delving into a world of cabinet locks, and child safety that I had truly never considered before. We feel like we're most in a place to best serve the needs of children 8 and up, though we did get cleared down to age 6. This means that we did not need to get a child gate for the top and bottom of our stairs. One our cabinets we went with Tot Locks which did not affect the appearance of our cabinets, could be temporarily deactivated for when we do not have a placement, and which seemed to be the most successful at preventing child access.
We installed a grand total of 4. One for stove cleaner and dishwasher detergent in the kitchen. I moved these things to the side cabinet so that we would only need one lock. The pots and pans are now under the sink. 
We also put a lock on a cabinet in our laundry room containing household chemicals. The last two went on the cabinet under Luke's bathroom sink. That's where our medicines are kept. In this locking tool box, we'll keep any prescriptions, and large Costco size bottles of meds. 
Lastly, because we're in a two story house, we got a fire escape ladder. Should you consider one in your future, know that there are one time use ladders and multi use ladders. In case we feel the need to practice. I thought this would be better. 
So yah, we've nested. We're all ready for this child (or children) we know nothing about to come into our lives. 
We pray for this child. We pray that we can show him or her love. We pray for patience and a steady calm. We ask that you keep us in your prayers for those things as well. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

In My Garden

This years garden went in a little late for my taste considering we were moving and all. We got a great variety from Luke's Aunt Kerry. The tomatoes we already have are a result of her handiwork! They are tasty, I can attest!

I also celebrated my first Zinnia bloom! Yay! I've got one on each of the other zinnia plants just itching to burst forth! 

I think we have a cucumber and I know we have a zucchini plant. Those two are going to burst forth over providing us with goodness soon! I was a bit worried for the zucchini as something nibbled off all the first round blossoms! We have new survivors and I cant wait! 
That's the really great thing about taking trips (and having automatic sprinklers.)
When you come back, all kinds of exciting things are happening in the yard! 
Luke got to mow. That's his turf now. (Pun intended.)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Idaho, Wyoming, Montana Knitting- Camping- Golf Tour

We left Friday morning on our Idaho, Wyoming, Montana Golf Tour.
It was to be a camping trip with a bit of staying with friends and family.
 Our first night was spent in Boise with Luke's parents. You know you married a good family when the first thing they do when you arrive is put their son to work!
It's been a much more whirlwind summer than I anticipated and I had just bound off on two rather large projects. I didn't have any great car knitting ready to grab and go so I worked on dishcloths on that first driving segment. I did one medium and three smaller. I've learned that I really like to have a small clothes to do quick wipes, AND they dry more quickly which I also loved. Plus, them matched the lemon soda John (FiL) got for us to try!   
That night I wound some yarn for a sweater. A sweater whose pattern I still hadn't decided on, but I knew when I finally picked it I'd need yarn wound into a ball. I kicked myself for not winding it at home with Taylor the Swift and Lucile the Ball Winder. Alas, if I wanted to knit, I must wind.  
The boys golfed at The Valley Club, in Sun Valley, ID. Neola and I tromped into town. Checked out the local yarn store. (I cant believe I forgot to take pictures. Sorry folks. Its good.) We browsed yarn, got some goodies, and sat at the table and knit while I pretended to work there providing commentary and pattern recommendations to anyone who would listen. 
We explored a bit in Sun Valley but it got chillier than I expected! The whole trip was chillier than I expected. Poor planning on my part. We stopped of at Craters of the Moon. Most known to me through the fabulous Sharon Creech's Walk Two Moons. If you haven't read it. You must. And then know that I was there. In real life. Its cool weird. 

We trekked to the top of this mountain and these pictures don't even do it justice.  

Here, Here We Have Idaho. (State song. BTW.) Seriously, for those of you who think Idaho is just potatoes, check yourself. Idaho has such diverse and one of a kind landscapes. They're just....great. 
My part of this trip was the camping. Sure we forgot sleeping bags and mattress pads and had to borrow enough to make it from the in-laws. Sure we went a bit longer than we should have without showers. It was great. Really. We've never been camping together before! Seriously, camping should be part of early marriage requirements. Maybe in some cases therapists should be waiting in the wings. It really challenges roles, and jobs within a marriage. (Our marriage.) We had to get better about communicating what was going on. There was no wifi, TV or electrical outlets. Let me tell you we were rationing our phone batteries on this trip. 
Luke got to use the hammock...even though he really doesn't like them....and they're uncomfortable. Can you tell?
Luke was given a slightly hard time about his "Glamping" attire. In truth, I guess we were glamping because we'd jump from car camping to crazy cool golf courses each day.
I give you: 
The perfect S'more. Yes. After that one, I had s'more. 
 As I said we were phone battery rationers. My knitting pattern for the sweater I finally decided on was on my phone and turned out to be a bit more detailed that I had anticipated. My sitting, knitting outlet time actually gave me quite a perspective on communities and their treasures.
 It was also fun to get a sampling of the hidden gem restaurants along our trip. Here I'm enjoying sliders, one in each kind of meat at Big Hole BBQ in Victor, Idaho.
At Huntsman Springs Golf Club, a golf course in Driggs, Idaho. I sat outside and enjoyed the bountiful blooms of perennials the grounds crew had skillfully coached into an artful display.

We returned again to the Mike Harris Campground in Targhee National Forest. Made more significant for knowing one very cool, and very real Mike Harris.  For a pit toilet campground, it was well maintained, clean, quiet and peaceful. 
The next day we made for Jackson, Wyoming. I went to Knit on Pearl (though no longer actually located on Pearl street.) More to come on that later.  
Luke enjoyed golf at Teton Springs Golf Resort. When he was about to be done I returned to the course and knit away while I waited.  
Lunch was at Snake River Brewery and Restaurant. We had Game Chili, an Apple Walnut Salad, and Pork Tacos. Yum!

We finished that day at Snake River Sporting Club. We had a couple minutes before the golf. Luke and I lounged in these cool looking chairs that were, as Luke said, more comfortable than they looked.
I also enjoyed these funny, bickery birds that puff up. I couldn't tell if they were mating, sun bathing, or claiming territory. They were amusing. If anyone knows what they are, please do share. 
Luke golfed with Justin, Taylor and for once I decided to go along and take my knitting with me! Take note, my sweater, knitting and Nalgene all match. 
Lets face it. Luke did most of the driving. I knit. I also took pictures. 

These little voles which vex any golfer, grounds crew alike amused me to no end. They just eat and carve these mazes in the grass. As though someone was doing it on purpose but with no design in mind. There's a children's book in the making. Vinny the Artistic Vole. Dibs! 
There's a natural spring on this course. 
Once I saw Justin drink a water bottle full, I was convinced to try it. Pretty good! 

While we SHOULD have considered just camping at the last course as some of the guys joked, we didn't. We went on and by the time we got to Jenny Lake Campsite, Teton National Forest, all the sites were full. Boo. We opted to drive on but then got too tired to drive so we pulled over for some shut eye. Only to be awoken by a park ranger. Turns out pulling over to get a few hours sleep in your car is considered camping. We explained our situation and she sent us to an "emergency site." Which turned out to have been filled. So we slept in the car in the camp ground check in parking lot with a note explaining our story on the windshield and taped to the office door. That was a good move because by the time Luke went in to explain ourselves, they had read the notes, decided to let us sleep, and waived the camping fee. Bless them.  

We meandered our way though Yellowstone the next morning. 

Preventing the hangry with a banana and peanut butter.
Our next course was one Luke had been looking forward to quite a bit. Then the rain joined our trip. It was looking dismal. Quite dismal. 
Then it let up a bit, someone loaned him a rain jacket, and off they went. 
While they did that I knit to the end of my yarn. I had already concluded I was NOT hand winding another hank of it, and opted to instead browse the weather reports and promptly arrange for a hotel room that night.
Judging by the large puddle outside our window the next morning, I'd say we made a good decision.
On our last day of travel we headed first to Rock Creek Cattle Co. which is just outside of Deer Lodge, Montana. 

I decided to ride along today too. I kept seeing these funny things on the side of the cart path. 
My first thought: Hmmm, I guess geese and their poop are a real problem for golf courses. 
My second thought: It's sure in a real condensed area. Do they plow the poop? 
I asked Luke that one out loud. He laughed and told me the pull plugs out of the grass to increase airflow to the root system. Go figure.
Here are holes left by the plugs.
Below are where they don't pull plugs out, rather they pierce the turf with a machine that has many sharp stakes.
Here you see the piercer. 
There's a THIRD machine that pokes and slices the ground then rolls it smooth.  
All for the love of golf. Speaking of a love of golf, I have a love for golf tees. They're suuuuuper useful. Especially in knitting. You've seen me use them as a cable needle. Here I'm using them to hold the thumb stitches of these finger-less mitts I started making with my yarn made in Montana that I bought in Jackson, Wyoming.
Golf stop two on that day was with Michael at the Missoula Country Club. They were having a ladies tournament so he drove us around the perimeter. There's a fun beach just off the course. 
Then he took us to Staggering Ox Sandwiches in Missoula, MT. They have this cool cylindrical bread that gets stuffed with your sandwich ingredients. There's no seam. Nothing falls out the sides or the bottom!

Plus we ate at the comic book table!

After that we drove back to Moscow to get things done and rest up for our next adventure. About to begin soon!