Monday, March 26, 2018

And a Hearty GOODBYE to 2017

You guys.  SO MUCH has gone on since on fingers) last June.  Let's review, shall we?  You can also almost just zoom through and see the pictures, for a quick update on my life, but if you like to read my scattered off-the-hip updates, well, yeah...there's that, too.

We've had:  *inhales* ...A bunch of yard renovation, a wedding followed by a beautiful reception, a graduation followed by a gift Jetta, an empty nest, a funeral, my first first-class seat on a plane (OMG THE FRONT OF THE PLANE, what is even happening?), a great Christmas party, a cookbook published(!), a hip replacement, an amazing vacation, and...a wrecked gift Jetta.  *insert super-annoyed-mom eye roll here*

Oh, and I managed to crochet our newly on-her-own graduated youngest daughter a super cool afghan in February, and knitted a new scarf for myself this weekend, in between cross-stitching everysingledayevenonvacation on my giant recreation of the Lady and the Unicorn tapestry.  See?

I've literally taken this across the country in my carry-on, twice.

I also petted a MOOSE.  Yes, I know.  Dangerousssss.  I'm crazy.  Shouldn't have done that.  Etcetera.  But yeah, I totally did, and I was up on the porch safe behind a big pillar when I did it, and she couldn't get me, and she didn't seem like she cared, so I just went with it.  Since no one believes me that we had a totally tame-ish wild moose in our actual front yard (for like weeks, actually--the bushes barely survived it), I did manage to video the whole thing with my free hand while simultaneously watching her for signs of attack-moose mode so I could duck back inside and avoid being trampled or pummeled or beaten to death by her hooves, or whatever happens when mooses attack you.  Is "mooses" a word in that case?  No idea.  When "moose" attack you...that doesn't sound right either. Whatever.  Anyway, I totally petted her.  And I'm making "petted" a word, too.  I'd post the video but apparently it's not in the right format to upload, and I'm too lazy to figure that out, so here are some photos.  Maybe sometime I'll post the video in a separate moose-related post...

what are you doing?

Not sure that's a good idea...

Ok, whatev.  These bushes are too delicious.

We also had an orphaned baby hanging around a lot.  And, a whole other one (I hope!) who decided that our garden fence line would be a good place to...lie down and die.  (no photos of *that* but omg what do you do with a dead baby moose? No one wants to help you with that...)

Anyhoo...we're EMPTY NESTERS now, and it's hilarious how many people use that whispery-concerned voice when we tell them that, like we've just suffered a bereavement, and they ask "Soooo, how's *that* going? Are you guys, you know, doing ok?"  And we're like, "Ummm, yeah.  We're fine with it."  Why wouldn't we be?  We raised our girls to be independent, smart, capable women, and, voila---there they are; doing life, and rocking it.  Our oldest got married last April, and we hosted a beautiful evening reception in our back yard in June for them, followed by our youngest graduating from high school in June and moving to her own apartment in July.

Are they sweet or what?

Purple sky unedited and just...amazing! What a beautiful night!!
On a side note, I did totally finally manage to get that cookbook project published, which I promise I will write about in another post.

And, since Shane and I started out as best friends who also find each other incredibly hot (I know, awkward TMI), then took a detour into parenthood, we now find ourselves with all this empty house and free time together and, wait--what? --possibly some discretionary money that's just...for us?  What's THAT about?  When I find extra money in the bank account, I'm immediately glancing over my shoulder and wondering "Wait-what bill did I miss?" Still adjusting to that.  And guess what? IT'S FREAKING AWESOME.  It's like when we were in our 20s and we could just...get up and go out if we felt like it.  Out to dinner.  To the bookstore.  To Home Depot (yes, girls, we still do that on Sundays).  We may even take a road trip sometime.     

I know.  Crazy.

It helps that we still are best friends who find each other incredibly hot (even though we qualify as what my 80s-highschool self would call "totally super old"), and we still love to do everysinglething together and enjoy each other's company immensely.  I love that we have the place to ourselves.  I do love when our girls come and visit, and we have a houseful of young people hanging around, relaxing, eating and visiting (and yes, playing on their phones).  But then I love that they all leave and go home at the end of the weekend, too.  So, yeah.  Empty nesting is a revelation.

Ok, what else?  Oh, yeah-- I'll just state once for the record that 2017 MORE OR LESS SUCKED, in spite of some terrific bright spots.  In general, it was just like one punch in the junk after another.  Like, can we get a break here yet? And apparently the answer to *that* question was a resounding "no", for most of 2017.  Oh sure, it had its good moments, but seriously...2017 will be remembered as the Year From Hell, more or less.  Our youngest graduated and moved out, and we had about ONE WEEK of "whoopie, we're empty-nesters" before Shane was diagnosed with a destroyed hip joint that was rapidly deteriorating and would require a total hip replacement as soon as possible.  *cue Jaws music here*

For a guy who works outside, on his feet, in and out of equipment all day every day, this was bad news.  Bad, bad.  It also meant we skipped all the things last summer that meant walking anywhere.  No hunting.  No walking around the fair.  No wandering around Home Depot.  No walking ANYwhere that wasn't 100% necessary, because he was in so . much . pain.  And the narcotics and even the non-narcotics that they gave him for the pain made him depressed and be honest.  Even he noticed it.  The hydrocodones also gave him terrifying nightmares along with the depression, so he mainly just powered through with Tylenol and Ibuprofen.  Not fun-- at all.  For either of us.

He dragged his leg around from June through December, barely able to walk some days because of the pain, plus his hip would randomly give out and he'd fall.  He did manage to work until December 13th, when he went in for a total hip replacement.  To make a long (long, long, painful) story shorter...he came through it with absolute flying colors and was back at work 3 weeks later, on his feet, outside, in the snow, moving logs.  My brother actually moved out and stayed with us for most of the winter, and was a huge help at the log yard and as a backup watchdog for Shane, which made me feel a little more at ease watching him go out in the snow to work.  I'd send them off to work in the morning and be mouthing to Jesse behind Shane's back "do NOT let him fall down!!"  So yeah...that's behind us, thank God.  I'm not posting any surgical photos, though.  You're welcome.

THEN we took a amazing and much-needed Disney trip to DisneyWorld with a cruise to the Bahamas and back, which was almost literally just what the doctor ordered.  Somehow we also rolled the dice with letting them assign our room category, and we scored the BEST stateroom ever, with like 40' of private deck at the back corner of the ship.  It was absolute heaven.  We've always gotten an inside-mushrooms-in-the-dark stateroom, but this was so worth it, much yes.

our room was about 3 decks from the top, right side, upper corner.  HUGE wraparound deck...

And of course, I always get home from Florida and immediately start already planning the next time I can see palm trees because - duh - Idaho - palm trees.

As I write this, it is still cold enough to snow here (March 26th) and too early too cold to go outside and start on any garden stuff yet, though I do have my seeds and potting soil and trowel all at the ready, so I can get our vegetables started for this year.

We also bought a meat smoker, and I didn't think I would, but I've officially fallen in love with smoking our own meat!  So far we've smoked some salmon, our own bacon, and our own ham, and omg-- the taste...can't.even.  I die.  IT'S SO YUMMY.

My first smoked ham

Oh, and if you're still wondering about the wrecked-gift-Jetta from the opening, well, yeah...everyone's fine.  The Jetta's not.  So, that's probably about all we need to say about that...
Boyfriend: 1.  Jetta: 0.

Oh, and the Christmas party we sometimes host, where I make like 45 different appetizers that don't need a fork (no matter what Aunt Alice says..), and start baking in like October, was AWESOME.  We squeezed something like 64 people in our downstairs, and it was just a lovely time with everyone.  Shane's surgery was the following Tuesday, so we wanted to see everyone before he was down for recovery.  I'm already looking forward to doing it again this year.

The List

Anyway, I just thought I'd do a quick(ish) update.  Hopefully I'll start writing more often, now that 2017 is over and done, and it took its black cloud/punch-you-in-the-junk mood with it.

Plus, there are more of my hippie childhood stories that are too good not to share, so stay tuned.

Thanks for reading, and hope you're all having a lovely start to 2018.  It's gotta be better, right?


  1. Hello!!!! You're back! Good to see you and hear all your news. Wow - empty nest. That's brilliant and SO good that you made it to the finish line of active mommy and daddyhood still being best friends. THAT is an achievement. I didn't make it and ended up with a new husband who became an empty nester at the same time as I did and so we embarked on the new found freedom together. Eighteen years later, we are still revelling in our freedom and yes, it's wonderful to have a house full for a weekend (now and then!) but just heaven when they've gone and we can be 'kids' again. (Hard to do that around your own kids who think you are over the hill.)

    And the hip - ouch! That must have been a dark time waiting for the op. My old mum went through one planned full hip op in December 2016 and then a partial the following May and it was a very difficult time all round. So I can totally feel the atmosphere you present here of that period in your lives. But I am really pleased to hear of the swift recovery - must be in very good health to be back at work 3 weeks later.

    Didn't know moose(s?) were dodgy! But then here on the East coast of the UK - we're hardly likely to ever need to know that ��The most wildlife we ever see is that cat that wanders past the house every morning at 11 and then back again around 4. Have no idea where he/she goes.

    I'm pretty sure my Canadian husband, back in another life, used to hunt moose. We used to argue about his seasonal killing of things (I didn't understand the concept of hunting, coming from a town across the pond). So it's good to see someone's hand reaching out to pet one, even if it was dangerous. Oh but the baby - sad :-( Had it lost its mother?

    Anyway, better go - thank you for this glimpse into a world so different to mine and yet so the same in some ways.

    I hope your snow holds off and you don't get another flake of it this year. We've had a bit this year - you'd think we'd NEVER had any before, the way it threw daily life into chaos. And we have MORE forecast for Easter next weekend. Will it? Won't it? Just rain right now so fingers crossed.

    Good luck with this year's veggies - hope you get bumper crops of eveything! I see on the dangerous moose petting pictures you still have gorgeous nails - how do you DO that while doing all your outdoor planting stuff?!!!

    Thanks again for this and I look forward to the hippy stories. And thanks for the inspiration - this has made me think about blowing the dust off my blog! Spent all year working hard on my YouTube channel and haven't posted a thing since last summer!

    Carry on enjoying that empty nest and the next happy chapter of life.
    Much love to you from England.

    1. GILLY OMG yes, I'm still here. Thanks for still being *there*! Love hearing from you, and yes! on the being 'kids' again in an empty house. *cough*

      The baby moose that died, I don't even know...I just woke up one morning and there was something by the fence, then I realized it was a ...body. Ugh. The fish and game department were like "sorry" when I called them about it. I thought they would want to come remove it, but of course they didn't. It didn't appear to be injured, so who knows why it chose our yard instead of the million acres of national forest around us, to drop dead in. Ugh, poor little guy. Omg I FORGOT that YES- he wasn't an orphan. His poor mother was THERE all morning. How'd I forget her? She stood over him for hours, then laid down about 20 feet away for the morning, then stayed in the back yard area all afternoon, then finally left. It was heartbreaking. *sniff* Can't believe I forgot that bit. Tell your Canadian husband that I have over a minute of video of me petting the moose all over her head and ears, just like a tame horse. So, so strange.

      I have had such blog block this year...hopefully it's passing. 2017 really more or less sucked, but 2018 is looking much better, so I'm feeling the urge to jot down random crap again. And plant the garden. And yes...try and keep my nails from being ruined by the garden, haha.

      Definitely blow the dust off your blog, and I'll try to get over there and catch up on forever worth of reading!

      Snow on Easter? Yep, definitely a thing here. Not a welcome thing, but definitely a possible thing. bleh

      Feel free to email me on the back side, and I'll catch you up on the non-publishable side of things from last year.

      xo Stef

  2. Oh no - the poor Deer mum! That's so sad :-( That's just the same as elephants when a baby or another adult dies isn't it? Yes - can chat via email, or your comments section will become something other than a comments section! I know we are both crazy busy and drunk on having our second shots at the carefree 'teen years' again, so let's just catch up whenever we can - no pressure. Really good to connect again on

    1. Yeah...that poor sad mama moose lingered most of the day waiting for her baby to get up. :(

      And yes-- a big YAY on being just a *couple* again!

  3. Yay to Empty Nesting!

    Sorry to hear about Shane's hip, he is too young, but it seems to be happening a lot to young people. Please tell him hello for me.

    You're vacation looked amazing. I'm glad you got to go. I wish I was on vacation right now.

    1. Empty nesting is rocking our socks off, haha.

      I will say hi to Shane for you, he's recovered so nicely, and it's amazing to see him not in pain finally.

      And yes, so much yes, to FLORIDA ALL THE TIME IN THE WINTER. I'm going back for 7 days, next week. Can't even deal with Idaho right now.