Monday, January 11, 2016

I Love Skiing

Southern Idaho has suffered winter drought during the last 3 or 4 years, therefore, ski conditions have been less than desirable.  El Nino has increased our early winter snow pack this year are I am thrilled with the outstanding ski conditions this year.

My desire to ski is definitely strong this year.  As a matter of fact, I want to be on a ski hill every weekend if not more often.  My desire is so intense that I bought myself new boots for the first time in more than 10 years and rented skis for the season.  I have decided that I will never buy skis again because I think leasing for the season is a great alternative.  I do, however, have one problem, most of my friends are not as eager as I am.  Well, with the exception of Glenn.

Glenn is a childhood friend and he wants to go as often as I do.  He is a great companion.  Last weekend, we ventured to Soldier Mountain, a fairly local family ski resort.  We reminisced our childhoods because we each spent many days riding a bus to ski as many weekends as we could there.  It was great to ski runs that are so familiar that we could nearly ski blindfolded.  So much nostalgia, so much fun!

I not only skied there as a child, I taught my children to ski there, too.  It was great to see that Soldier has retained its family friendly policies and prices.  I really enjoyed watching toddlers to senior citizens enjoy their time on the mountain.

Glenn and I made a pact that we will still ski in our 70's because most ski resorts allow you to ski free at that age!  Apparently, there are a few benefits of aging!  

Monday, January 4, 2016


I celebrated a three-day New Year's weekend in the mountain resort town, McCall, Idaho.  It is a charming little community on the shores of Payette Lake.  My dear friends built a cabin there and I am lucky enough to enjoy a few weekends a year there.

New Year's Eve was very low key.  We spent a nice quiet evening at home sipping limoncello and champagne, watching college bowl games and quietly ringing in the New Year.

January 1st, we snowshoed in the mountains.  There was an established trail for snowshoers and cross-country skiers but we preferred creating our own trail in the fresh powder.  The sky was brilliant blue and the snow was fluffy - a perfect day to exercise in the cold, fresh air and enjoy one another's company.

After trekking around the outdoors for several hours, we stopped for appetizers and beer at a favorite local diner/watering hole.  The perfect end to a great workout.

Saturday, I was eager to ski but could not rally anyone to join me.  My best friend, Leslie, is from Mississippi and she she to have lost her enthusiasm for skiing but she does love to snowshoe, so she, her daughter-in-law, Kristin and I snowshoed in the state park around the lake.  Our adventure was spent outdoors on another gorgeous, albeit, very cold (12 degrees) blue-sky day.

I had an amazing, relaxing weekend enjoying the mountains, the snow and most importantly, terrific friends.  A wonderful way to start the year.  I am so blessed.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Removing Vinyl

I thought that there was hardwood under the vinyl but I discovered that I was wrong.  I spent 2 days scraping up the incredibly ugly vinyl floor.  Fortunately for me, my neighbor brought me a floor scraper which definitely made the task easier.  It was still hard work, however. The continuous scraping caused a blister on my right palm which was not aware of until I accidentally popped it.  Surely, I should have considered wearing gloves!  

I now have no idea what I will do about the flooring but I am pleased to have the old removed.  Another task completed.

I plan to take the week from renovating to prepare for Thanksgiving.  I do not need the aggravation or inconvenience so I am putting the appliances back in place and trying to resume to "normal".

Thursday, November 20, 2014

One Task Down....

The wallpaper is now completely removed.  I detest the color yellow and now I see yellow every time I walk into the kitchen.  This is definitely great incentive for me to paint the room. 

I still need to wash the walls and remove some of the glue residue.  I am not washing down the walls until I finish sanding the trim and cabinets.  "Work smarter not harder" is my motto. Why scrub the walls twice?

I finally feel a measure of satisfaction with the completion of that nasty job.  Next task on the list is removing the horrible vinyl flooring.

This is the wall and floor behind the appliances.  Horrible!  Looking forward to this being GONE!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Scraping Wallpaper

Wallpaper removal has been tedious but I was progressing at an acceptable pace until I discovered a complication.  The wall behind my appliances was a painted wall and I realized that someone had simply painted over the wallpaper.  Once again, I resorted to online research to solve this problem.  I discovered that more elbow grease was the only answer.  First, I scraped off the paint and then resumed wallpaper removal.  It was frustrating and time consuming but certainly not impossible.

Another obstacle was the arched wall above the appliances.  It had not been painted but it was difficult to get the vinegar/water solution to penetrate because it dripped off too quickly. This problem sent me back to researching a method to ease the difficulty of this task.

I found a great product, Chomp a commercial wallpaper stripper in a spray bottle.  It was very effective and definitely mad my life easier.  Chomp is relatively inexpensive and is non-toxic.  I bout my bottle at The Home Depot.  This is not an advertisement  but I want to share products which worked well for me.

As I mentioned earler, this process is slow and tedious but I am making progress day by day.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Kitchen Remodel

I love my nearly 70 year old house.  I love the structure and the details of this house.  I love that it is larger than it appears but it is so cozy.  However, I hate the decor.  

After reading numerous DIY blogs and watching hundreds of YouTube videos, I was eager to start my kitchen remodeling.

I decided that I will begin with three changes.

  1. Remove the wallpaper and paint.
  2. Remove and update the flooring.
  3. Update the countertops.

I started removing wallpaper only to discover multiple layers of wallpaper covering the lathe and plaster walls.  I began scoring the paper and spraying a solution of fabric softener and water on the walls and letting the solution set for 10 minutes and then scraping the wallpaper off with a putty knife.  This was messy but it worked well.  The upside was that my kitchen smelled great.

My friend, Leslie, told me that vinegar and water work great, too and is much easier to clean so I switched and realized it is cheaper, too.  The vinegar solution may even work a little better because the acid breaks down the glue.  

I have not really set a time table for completion but hopefully will be able to have the kitchen painted by December 7.

Friday, October 25, 2013


I am a grandmother for the second time!  Sweet little Anessa joined her cousin, Gabriel, as the lights of my life.  She is perfect and I am ecstatic to have a granddaughter.

Our family has not welcomed a girl for nearly nineteen years and we are "little boy" strong - five of them between the ages of 5 and 13 - so her arrival has been highly anticipated.

Mollie is delighted to have a niece.  Mitchell is thrilled to have acquired the the title of Uncle.  My mother thinks that she is perfect and my sister visited the hospital 3 different times.

Gabe seems to adore her.  As they left the hospital, he told his dad, "That baby just melted my heart." and that melted this grandmother's heart.

Her parents, Tim and Meg, are now adjusting to life as parents.  I am so pleased to see my sons as fathers.  They are loving and doting and have exceeded my expectations for them as parents.  Gabriel and Anessa are lucky to be so loved.