mothers day

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Three Wonderful Weeks on the Mountain

WARNING - LONG LONG POST - NO PICTURES - camera didn't work!!!

Aug 23 – Tues. I am writing this Wednesday morning and as I look at the date I realized that I missed my Leah’s birthday. She turned one yesterday – Tuesday….it matters not that I have already given her her present and that I talked to her mama on Monday….but I should have called her yesterday and wished her a happy birthday. I have done this all my life …overlooked or forgotten or spaced off special days for special people. I so wish my brain would work better. So happy birthday darling girl!

Anyway – I wanted to sit down and write a few lines every day while we are up here at Bear Mtn. It is paradise here – so quiet and peaceful, birds singing and hummingbirds zeroing in at the bird feeders. It is our special spot – Ed's and mine. No interference from the world here….no TV, no radio, no cell phones, no racing here or there. One thing that is going to change is no texts, thank heavens. I do want to hear from the kids when they have to get a hold of us. Those I love to get. We will get the new booster antennae set up first thing. It would have already been done except Ed is not feeling good(he is fighting a cold) so he is moving a little slower.

We got here about 3:30 Tuesday afternoon. We unloaded most of the truck –or I should say Ed unloaded it and sat it in the trailer and I unpacked it and put it all away. We had a full truck load – clothes, food, solar panel, clean towels and sheets, fresh water, plus new dishes and stuff that I have bought, one plate at a time so I can set a pretty table here on the mtn. They are square shaped Corelle ware with a pretty brown and green leaf design across part of them. I’ve got the big plates – during this next while I will buy the bowls, mugs and small plates that match – service for four.

After I got the trailer shipshape then I went out and sat on our deck with Ed and read for a couple of ­hours. Ed bought me a lovely outdoor chair rocker that is so very comfortable with part of his Cabella’s gift card that he received as a retirement gift from MTC.

I fixed a yummy meal of funeral potatoes and ham with Monkey Bread and corn. After washing the dishes afterward we went on about a mile walk around the camp to see who was here – there aren’t many of us. Dee is just down the road from us and Dennis has moved to the tent site where Terry and Dan used to be. I don’t know if Dennis is here alone or not. Tina is here also. Anyway that is it – just the five of us on the mountain.

I love it here when it is this quiet. We didn’t swim or go in the hot tub today because of the boil I have. But it started draining (FINALLY) somewhat Monday nite and lots on Tuesday, so I know it is getting better – once it cleans itself out and closes back up and is no longer hard and hot and swollen it will be healing. At that point I won’t feel like it might be contagious…I would hate to share a staph infection through sitting or swimming in water.

Wednesday August 24

It’s been a marvelous day today. I slept until 9 am this morning and it was already 60 degrees outside. I started cleaning – sweeping the deck and the carpet on the deck until all the leaves and twigs were gone. Then I went around my whole trailer and washed all the windows outside. I gathered all the hummingbird feeders in and made up some sugar water for them and refilled the one outside our window that we can watch when we are sitting at the table eating. I got the new feeder out and unpacked and filled it. I took these two outside and hung them and then I took the third one and sat down outside and painted the white flowers red….it seems like the hummers always ignored this one and I decided that it was too plain. So I brought up a little paintbrush and a small bottle of red paint and painted the white flowers red. It made it really pretty and within 15 minutes of rehanging it I had a hummer!! I found my birdseed and filled that feeder too. What a fun morning. I also got out the grape lights that I found on clearance at WinCo…five clumps of grapes-- green, purple, green, purple, green, each with ten big grapes on each clump with a light inside of each grape. I wrapped them around a pole by the deck and they look cute during the day and then at night we turn them on and they are so fun.

After lunch we headed up to the pool to play – however I had to stay out of the sun due to the sulpha drug I am taking for ten days, and out of the water due to the infection in my ‘boil’. So I laid on the chaise lounge in the shade with a book and had a nice afternoon. A couple from Canada had stopped in to camp here for a week and we all had a great visit. Nice couple. It’s still real quiet up here this week – just about eight people around. I enjoy the busy noisy weekends with all our friends but I also enjoy the quiet of the mid week days too.

Ed is still not feeling really well – his cold seems to be getting better but he still has a sore throat and lots of coughing. But he is relaxing a whole lot so that should help him –(we decided after that he may have had a touch of walking pneumonia!

I started making my first charm necklace tonight – mainly got it laid out and planned in my brain. Hopefully it will work well.

Thursday August 25 – Woke up early (for me) about 8 am and set about making a good breakfast for us – scrambled eggs, bacon and toast plus hot chocolate. Ed is feeling really miserable and I was hoping that a good meal would help him get over this cold. I pulled everything out of the pantry and moved shelves around for a more optimal use. Then I went out to the truck and got the new shelving system for our bathroom closet so we didn’t have to pile sheets and pillowcases and towels on top of each other – we now have four handy shelves in that closet – still giving us room for robes, coats, jackets and other clothes. Great!!

Then I went outside and started weeding the hillside – the West end isn’t getting the water it needs and was full of weeds. I then planted the ground cover I had dug up from our front yard…I filled five 32 oz drink cups with plants plus one 8 inch pot. I still haven’t decided where I am going to plant the 8 inch pot full as we have to figure out why it’s not getting water like it should. All this time Ed was sleeping. He felt so rotten that he told me that if he didn’t feel better by tomorrow he was going to have me take him to Boise to the doctor!! That’s when I realized he was sick. I fixed lunch – bacon and tomato and cheese sandwich and he took one bite and said he just couldn’t eat anything. About 3 pm I left Ed and went up to the pool and played volleyball with the couple from Canada and another new couple, John and Gayle from Parma. Come to find out their whole family is LDS and they have a daughter heading to Florida on a mission on the 6th of Sept!

For dinner tonight Ed had a cup of Ramen noodles – the closest thing to soup that I had in the trailer and I ate his sandwich that he couldn’t eat at lunch time. After dinner tonight Ed seemed to feel better – he got up and sat on the deck with me as I read and we watched the hummingbirds come to the feeders and the flowers. We have three different hummers and two of them are pretty nice to each other. But when #3, the meany shows up he chases the other two away. The regular birds haven’t found my feeder with birdseed yet. I think tomorrow morning I am going to go up and scatter a bunch of birdseed around on the ground….of course then the turkeys will come and eat that – we will see.

About 8 pm we took our chairs and walked down to Dee’s and sat around the campfire at his place and visited with Tina and the two other couples that are up on the mtn right now. Tomorrow is Friday and the park will start filling up with people for the weekend – it will be fun to see and visit with everyone. Oh and the stars were gorgeous tonight.

Friday August 26: Here we go again – I didn’t realize it until right now that it was the 26th – Jerod turned 14 today. I will try and send him a text message tomorrow wishing him a belated birthday. Wow these kids are growing up way too fast.

Spent the morning pulling weeds, planting the rest of the ground cover and working on a necklace. Ed is feeling so very much better which seems nice. I spent about an hour sitting in the dirt digging out the fire pit area with a hand shovel and then Ed finally (!!!) shows up with a big shovel and finishes the job in about ten minutes!! Oh well – I felt like I was helping anyway. We are going to bury the washer machine tub we found in the Layton park next to the rock wall – about 9 inches deep. Then we will lay paver stones on the ground around the front of it – should make a nice fire pit for us. We still need to find a 55 gallon drum lid to make a cover for it – that is required fire protection here on the mtn

Went up to the pool about 2 – Susan and Del had just come it – haven’t seen them since May so it was a grand reunion. A few other couples have shown up too – spent the afternoon swimming and reading and floating in the water – so nice. Talking to all our friends too. We invited Wayne and Jannie to come over to our place tonight about 7:30 ---I got out the fruit and cheeses and salami’s that I bought at Harmon’s before coming up. They stayed and visited until 10:15…it was such a nice warm evening – it is 75 degrees outside right now!! Bedtime.

Saturday August 27 – what a fun busy day. I got to sleep in as Ed went hiking up to Monkey Rock with Jannie and Wayne from Canada. I will go with him next week but I hike very slowly and I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with Jannie – she is thin, wiry and full of energy. Ed got back about 10:15 and said he wanted to go up to the hot tub so I decided to walk up with him. Once we got up there we found ourselves in the middle of the planning for the nights activities - a ladies night out where the men were to serve the ladies the whole meal. About noon we walked back to the trailer and got some lunch and then went back to Susan and Del’s to meet with Del and find out what he needed us to do. I told Ed, hey, this is for the men to do but he insisted that they had asked him to bring me to help too – I thought maybe my job would be to visit with Susan while the guys did all the work. HAH!! They had us go up to the lodge where Ed and I spent the next three hours peeling, quartering, and slicing cucumbers and green onions very very very thin!!! For the cold soup! Then I proceeded to make salad for 35 – sooo good! It had the lettuce, spinach and other greens, plus sunflower seeds, candied pecans, craisins, chopped red onions, chopped chicken, and feta cheese. All mixed together with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Of course I got to rip, tear and chop the mixture of greens, plus all the chicken too! Then everyone else (they were busy making kebobs) left Ed and I watching the mixture of rice (it had several different types of rice in it) cook. At 4:45 Ed got the green soup mix out of the refrigerator and carried it down to Susan and Del’s lot where the dinner was held – while I carried the two big bowls of salad- we had already sent or taken everything else before that. Ed returned to the kitchen so that he could bring the rice right at 4:55 pm.

They had moved the tables from the deck at the clubhouse and set them up by Susan and Del’s place. They had decorated the tables with white table clothes and cut black and white hound’s-tooth print fabric squares with various cardboard bottle holders with colorful (fake) Shasta daisies coming out of the bottlenecks.

It looked very festive. I sat down with Sherry (her husband was sick all day Saturday so he didn’t make it to the party) and Chuck and Nancy and Ed and I. When Ed showed up I helped him put on his cuffs (the cufflinks were made out of screws, washers and a wing nut all painted black) and he put on his black tie so he would be properly dressed as a waiter. Fun! The first course was frescetta bread with different toppings …one with hummus, one with a thin slice of Swiss cheese topped with a dab of cranberry sauce and the best one was marinated feta cheese - all three were delicious.

Next came the cold soup – All the ingredients had been pureed together and then refrigerated. Just as they served it they added the thinly (very very thinly) sliced green onions and cucumbers. We have been promised recipes next weekend!

Course three was the salad – everyone loved it!

The fourth course was the main course….a vegetable shish kebob made up of red, yellow and green peppers, onion, zucchini, and yellow squash, and a choice between a beef or a chicken shish kabob. I chose the chicken and Ed chose the beef so we could taste both meats. They had been marinated in different sauces – the beef was good but the chicken was to die for.

The fifth and final course was dessert – Asian yogurt with honey with mixed berries and a chocolate stick and a white sugar stick.

It was a fantastic meal. It left us full but not stuffed. The waiters carried out their jobs with panache. Del had planned the whole thing with Ron helping him – he planned each and every dish, bought everything, hauled it up to the mtn and then supervised the completion of the whole party. He was even the one who ironed the tablecloths. Susan said she did very little to help – it was his party and he wanted to do it!!! What a fun evening. The jokes were fun, the skits were fun, the door prizes were fun…all in all a great time.

Sunday August 28. Last night we all decided that the summer was getting away from us and that we hadn’t had a communal breakfast yet. So we were all told to show up with whatever we wanted to add to the collection by 8:30 am and we would eat at 9. This time of course it was the ladies doing all the work but it was fun to work together. I brought hot chocolate mix, a dozen eggs and a pound of bacon. Patty had the bacon cooking on two skillets and Natalie was working on hash browns. I helped cook the bacon and we put it in a pan and put it in the oven to keep it warm. We blew a fuse as we had too many electric frying pans going at the same time!! As soon as I finished with the bacon I turned that skillet off and went over and started cooking the scrambled eggs – it was across the kitchen on another circuit. J As I cooked the eggs, Lori started in on cooking the French toast – she used the leftover frescetta bread from the night before and dipped them in egg batter with a bit of cinnamon in it. Others had brought orange juice, a big package of fresh raspberries and cinnamon rolls….we got the paper plates and plastic ware from the kitchen along with butter, syrup, jam, salt and pepper shakers and ketchup.

So we feasted again. The kitchen in the clubhouse is easily big enough for five or six cooks at a time. The only difficult thing is be careful and use the potable water for anything that someone might eat straight. We also would put a little bit of Clorox in the dishwater.

I spent another hour cleaning up the kitchen – right down to helping to mop the floor but it was a fun morning. Then Ed and I got on the four wheeler and rode back down to our trailer where we promptly took a nap. Right after noon we headed back up to the pool area where I got pretty good at playing volleyball! In the swimming pool so it makes to real difficult to move too far at a time to get a ball coming at ya but loads of fun. Of course my team lost both games!!

I stayed in the shade most of the day as I am finding myself burning really easily with the sulpha drug I am still on. Tonight will be the last of them thank Heavens! I feel like the ‘boil’ is finally clearing up – I stayed out of the pool and hot tub until 48 hours had passed from the last time it seeped water, blood or pus. Once it dried out on top I figured I couldn’t pass the staph infection to anyone else so it was safe to go back in the water.

Now the mtn is just about empty – Dee is the only other person up here. We are heading up to the hot tub to visit with him in about half an hour. We love the fun busy times and we love the relaxing quiet time too.

Monday August 29th thru Tuesday Sept 4! Quiet week and busy busy fun weekend. Another new couple from Baker Oregon showed up last Monday and stayed a couple of nights. She was very very quiet but by the time they left she had started opening up. We enjoyed them. Took them on the hike up to Monkey Rock. Ed took his GPS and found that it is exactly 2 ½ miles ….a good 1/3 of that is very steep uphill and another ¼ is very steep downhill. I take THREE bottles of water with me to keep hydrated. During the week we got the fire pit finished, the waterfall cemented, a new flower garden created. Every morning we spend working on our lot and every afternoon we spend up at the pool. Wed and Thursday were very cool – it started warming back up on Friday so the weekend was comfortable but I could tell it was September. I am sooooo not ready for Fall. Brent and Kathy got here Friday afternoon and we thoroughly enjoyed having them stay with us for the long weekend. Kitty and Larry were here from Southern Utah, Randy and Rosemary from Bountiful and Don came (Lucinda was in Spain!!) with Lee. Lee cooked for the two of them all weekend in a Sun Oven!!! We are going to see if we can find them online. They would be fun to have.

Saturday evening there was a tailgate party at the pool at 3 in preparation for the big Bronco’s game that night. Boise was playing Georgia. There were parties going on a three different places that had tv’s and we could hear the cheers everytime Boise made a touchdown! Lots of good food –

Sunday evening we had a delicious meal cooked by Jerry and Shirley – just $5 a couple. Again – lots and lots of good food! Monday morning we did another ‘group’ breakfast. Busy weekend – lots and lots of people for the Labor Day weekend. Monday by 3 most everyone had left….there were only about four or five couples left on the mtn. Tina had a family party with her two daughters and their husbands and her three adorable grandsons. It was fun to meet her family. Susan and Del stopped by Monday evening to give me a gardening lesson on the different plants in our hillside and how to care for them. Al and Lori stopped in on their way home from a fun resort in California that they went to – got the rest of us excited about going there for a visit. Lori’s dad was retiring after 63 years of driving a milk truck –he started at age 12!! Last night at 10:30 he was bringing his last route to a close and so she had me help her make a big banner that said “Happy Retirement Buzz….it’s great that you quit before the milk curdled!” They were going to hold it up as he drove into the yard on his last run and let him drive through the sign.

So quiet on the mountain again today. We only have a week left of our idyll… We are going down to Boise tomorrow to buy the food for Ed’s retirement dinner that we are cooking for the group on Saturday – we are going to dutch oven a complete meal. We will go to Meridian and visit with Susan and Del at their house…wash my sheets so I can leave the trailer with a clean set on the beds; and hopefully get our emails too!

Wednesday – Sept 7: Drove to Meridian today and went and visited Susan and Del at their lovely home. We got on the computer and caught up with our emails and washed one batch of clothes and then after they were dried and folded we went to dinner with them at a fun Mexican restaurant. We sat and talked for a couple of hours and finally they headed back home and we went to Winco’s and bought groceries for the dutch oven dinner to be held on Saturday.

Thursday and Friday – quiet days on the mountain – we wire brushed the deck and painted the whole thing a warm pretty brown – it looks great. I finally decided to use my phone to take pictures with so I could add them to this blog and when I sat down to download them onto the computer I realized I have lost the USB port that holds my mini card from the phone. So I can’t use the phone for a camera either. No luck either way. Spent another nice afternoon at the pool – didn’t even have to vacuum it as Dave from Idaho City vacuumed it before we got up there. So we lazed around the pool. Friday evening I went to the board meeting and listened carefully to the plans for the club. We made a great big sign that said “to retirement and Beyond….Congratulations Ron and Ed!!! Ron retired the first part of June and Ed retired the end of June. Ron didn’t know we were making the sign and including him in Saturday nights’ celebration.

Saturday morning, while Patty was at the trailer visiting (and Ed was busy with the macerator pump and black tank) Dee showed up asking for help up at the commons ground, as Dean had showed up with the big tent. We were trying it out for size to see if it would work for a new clubhouse. We have been trying to decide (as a club) whether or not we wanted to stick build a new and bigger clubhouse or put up a tent that we could have drop down sides on and a few heaters that would give us a place to meet and play when the weather is bad – I was all for the new building itself until they explained that it still wouldn’t give us a club house during the winter as we have no parking areas big enough to hold the 20 or 30 cars minimum that would show up for a winter party. Rethinking the clubhouse to simply extend the summer fun two or three extra weeks in April/May and two or three extra weeks in September/October plus rainy summer days – the tent 20x40 feet – would do fine. Anyway we had about 8-10 people show up at the commons area and Dean showed us how easy it is to set up. After the tent was set up we relaxed up at the pool until about 2 when Ed and I went back to the clubhouse and started slicing potatoes and chopping onions. We headed up to the pool and played a wild game of pool volleyball until about 3:30 and then we headed back to the commons area . Ed started the briquettes while I went in and started working on the salad. I had lots of help with slicing tomatoes and cucumbers for the salad and vegetable tray. Someone ran back to their trailer and grabbed another can of olives to go with the two I had brought it as we all decided that the platter was lopsided and needed more olives. That’s how we work together on the mountain.

I had previously gone through my jewelry and put together decorated bags with different necklaces and earrings and bracelets and watches. I put about $40 worth of jewelry in each bag. I set them all up on the lid of the hot tub for a silent auction. I started bidding at $10 per bag. I donated all winnings to the club and we auctioned those bags at $20 and $25 per bag. Ed and I made about $140 for the club doing that.

The food turned out delicious although the chicken took awhile to get done. We dutch ovened chicken, potatoes (with bacon, onions, and cheese), green beans (again with the onions and bacon) and then had a huge salad plus a huge vegetable platter. Donna had some left over French bread that she turned into garlic bread to go with the meal. Then Ed made his famous beer scones which we served with whipped butter and either honey or jam. DELICIOUS!!

As this was also the Volunteer Appreciation dinner – the club honors all the volunteers for the summer at this meal… and since everything on the mountain is done with volunteers it is a special night. Everything from thanking the officers and committee members to thanking Alan for macerating the waste from the pool outhouse to thanking those who watered the lawns and mowed the lawns and replaced the bad Trex around the pool with new Trex and built stairs and etc and so forth.

They had chosen several items from the mini store in the clubhouse and set them out and had drawings through the whole dinner for door prizes. I had offered one necklace out of my box of older necklaces. That was the first item chosen. The next ticket we called was new lady and she joined Sharon sorting through the box to find something she wanted. Sharon looked at me with a question in her eye saying “there is only supposed to be ONE item from this box isn’t there?” I nodded but mouthed to her quietly that “I would donate two necklaces .“ We had a marvelous time and everyone loved the whole evening. Afterwards we cleaned up and I was sooo tired but then they hollered out for a NIGHT volleyball game – so I went up and joined them. I’m a lot better than I was when I started playing at the first of the summer…but I still miss a lot! However since we are all playing for fun no one cares who wins or loses. The water in the pool Saturday night was probably 86 degrees – it felt wonderful. We played FIVE games!!! Finally about 9:30 we quit. I went back down the stairs and found Ed sitting at the campfire visiting with a bunch of people. I slept really well let me tell you!!

Sunday was a quieter day – very relaxing. We did manage to get enough people at the pool to have a fun volleyball game from about 1 until 3 when everyone said “time to go home!!” Chuck and Nancy invited us over to their trailer for elk steak that night – ymmmmm.

Monday – we got up and had breakfast and relaxed and read – we were the only ones on the mountain except for Machelle….it was so quiet. We fixed ourselves a lunch and went on a four wheel ride4 over to a pretty little valley on the other side of the canyon that has been closed off for several years but was recently reopened. We read, ate our lunch and did some shooting. Then we got back to the swimming pool by about 2 pm. We had the pool to ourselves the whole day. I read and floated and drank my Pepsi. We swam and thoroughly enjoyed the pool. Finally about six we headed back to the trailer, had some supper and started packing up so we would be able to leave early Tuesday morning. I realized in the middle of the packing that it was the 12th of September---Ethan’s birthday. I sent a text message to Kris to tell him Happy Birthday. During that three weeks we missed 5 of our grandchildren’s birthdays. Oh well – they had their presents already, so that’s the important thing. I changed the sheets on our bed so we could come back to clean sheets. We both ended up having a shower after we got all packed so we could climb into those clean sheets with a clean body. I think that is the first time Ed has used the shower in our trailer. It is so little and narrow. He always goes up and soaks in the hot tub and visits and then uses the showers at the clubhouse where he has room to move.

We are on our way home …hate to see our idyllic vacation come to an end! It has been wonderful. We are going to go up to Monte Cristo with the kids next week so we are still praying for warm weather.