Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Adopting an Older Brother

My house in February taken from in front of Bart's house.
In February, one of Blew's friends lost his owner in a snow mobile accident. I offered to care for Jesse, an 11 1/2 year old chocolate lab. I thought Blew loved Jesse, but I didn't realize what an adjustment it would be for her to have to share her home (and me) with another dog full time.

Jesse, taken March 26, 2013
It has been just over a month since Jesse came to live with us, and Blew has Jesse fully trained. Like all labs, Jesse will eat anything. Except for Blew's treats that I swear she leaves out just to tantalize him. She left a milk bone in the front room, and it lasted for days. And, he actually sleeps part of the night out in the front room. He is a good tempered dog, never fights back when she gets angry at him, and always has a tail to wag when he sees me. He has kept her closer to home than she would normally stay when I let her loose, although he does wander a bit with her when he is feeling good. I no longer have the problem of unwanted dog food spilled and left forgotten on the ground. Jesse cleans it up for me (see picture below).

Earlier this winter, two of my neighbors trapped several beaver that were causing havoc in certain areas of Island Park. They skinned them and used the rest of the beaver for bear and wolf bait (remember, these are Fish and Game/Forest Service employees). One of the guys threw the beaver skulls up on top of his enclosed trailer to dry out and keep away from four legged scavengers; you know, like coyotes, wolves, bears, and Blew. Ha...it didn't work with Blew, anyway.

The snow got deeper and deeper, and pretty soon Blew was able to get up on the trailer and began bringing home beaver skulls. She taunted Jesse with them, let him help her break them down into chewable bits, and carried them around like some sort of trophy. I did make sure it was okay that she was taking them. Actually, I told John that if he wanted them back, he would have to take them away from her!

This picture above is with skull number three. I think she brought home skull number five tonight. John told me they trapped a total of ten beaver. We are halfway there!

Look at her licking her chops! She knows she can find good stuff on the top of that trailer. I'll be happy when the snow finally melts enough she can't bring home the rest of her trophies.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Power Outage

I woke up Sunday morning at ten to six, reached over to turn on my light and it didn't turn on. It has been threatening to burn out for about two weeks, so I just assumed that it had finally bit the dust. I headed into the bathroom without turning on any other lights, flipped the switch in the bathroom, and discovered that the electricity was out. It was chilly in the house, but that was not unusual, since the temperatures at night had been 20 to 30 degrees below zero for the days preceding Sunday. I found out later that it was 35 below on Sunday (in some areas of Island Park, not necessarily at my house).

I went back to bed, assuming someone else had probably called the electric company to alert them that our power was out. As I lay there, trying to decide whether I should really get up or not, I remembered earlier this summer when I was without electricity twice, and it had only been my house both times. So, I jumped out of bed and called the outage in.

I don't care how cold it is, Mom!  Come take me for a walk!!!

At about seven, I received my first call to tell me that church had been cancelled because of the cold. By the time seven-thirty rolled around, I was really starting to get cold. I crawled back in bed to try and get warm. I heard the crunch of tires as the electric company's work crew cruised our neighborhood to try and find the problem. I thought the power would soon be on. Ha. It turns out it was an underground problem, and it took until 10:30 before they were able to fix it. In the meantime, my wonderful home teachers brought over a little propane heater to put in my kitchen so my pipes wouldn't freeze, and I had built a fire in the wood stove downstairs for the first time in the ten years I have lived here.

I only had to endure 5 1/2 hours (my neighbor told me yesterday that the power was out when he got up at 5 a.m.) of no electricity in this bitter cold. Thinking back to our first major power outage in Idaho City, this outage counted as nothing. I remember that we were out of electricity for three days that first time in Idaho City, and it was almost as cold there that winter. A news team caught me out shoveling snow off our walkway to the front door and stopped and asked if they could come into the house and interview me for that night's news...about what it was like to be without electricity for so long. I wouldn't let them come inside. Imagine what it is like to go three days without being able to do dishes (it isn't that easy to melt snow for water).

Besides, they should have headed further up the mountain to Placerville, New Centerville, Centerville, and Pioneerville, because those towns were without electricity for seven to ten days. 

It really makes me appreciate electricity!

Here's some more pictures I took Sunday after the electricity came back on and I took Blew with me to return the propane heater:

Come on! Let's run!

The guy's snowmobile trail from the forest service sheds to the groomed trail on Old Chick Creek Road.

Swans on the Henrys Fork of the Snake River by Angler's Lodge

Cold water meets colder air.

Last Chance subdivision and Sawtelle Peak


First Official Farrar Family Christmas Party

We decided as a family to begin having our Christmas celebration together prior to Christmas so that each individual family could spend their Christmases with their immediate family without that guilty feeling of having to visit another home on Christmas.
There were only two siblings and their families, plus a niece and nephew from another family, who were unable to attend this year. Although we missed the ones who couldn't come, the rest of us still had a fun time playing games and visiting with one another. Here's to many more Farrar Family Christmas parties!

My two (so far) great niece

My great nephew

Merlin and Michael compete while Mom keeps score

My youngest nephew (love his hair!!!)

M&M compete, with Carma keeping score. (And yes, that's nephew Ryder, asleep in the background.)

Alicia and Jason

M helps guide her mother's ping pong ball into the cup.

Amanda and Mike's turn

Merlin and Lynette were the funnest to watch! You can tell they've been married for a few years.  :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Louie Lake and Boulder Lake Hike

Carma, Amanda, Mom and I planned a fun hike for Labor Day weekend. Carma had done a backpacking trip with her young women up to our old haunt, Boulder Lake. She had read about a trail that connected Boulder and Louise Lakes and we all agreed we could do a six mile hike. When I told Cathi about it, not mentioning the mileage, she questioned whether we should take Mom on such a hike. She had done the hike from Boulder Lake to Louise Lake the previous year and recalled it as being strenuous. I just laughed her off, telling her that she had gone the long way.
Creek crossing on Louie Lake Trail

Mom crossing the creek
 We decided to do the hike from the Louise Lake side so that we could find the Louie at the Lake letterbox series in the correct order. Cathi had found them backwards and another letterboxer recommended that it was difficult to find them going the opposite way.
The trailhead to Louie and Boulder Lake are in the same parking area. We parked near the start of the Louie Lake trail and donned our day packs. We took the dogs, of course, and they were excited to be going. They must have crossed the creek at the beginning of the trail three or four times, getting in the way as we attempted to keep our feet dry. I gave Mom trekking poles, which proved to be wonderfully appropriate.

Finding the first of the Louie Lake four letterboxes was fast and easy. We climbed a further up the trail and came to an exceedingly steep stretch. Upon reaching the top of this stretch, we found that we had passed by box number two. None of us wanted to go back down that stretch, as we had a long ways still to go, so we logged into box number three and continued on to Louie Lake. 
Tali taking a break at box 3

The road continuing up to Louie Lake was dusty, the dirt billowing up over our shoes. One nice thing about this weekend seemed to be the lack of people. We only saw a few fishermen on this side of the mountain. 
Amanda topping the little rise for our first view of Louise Lake
Louie Lake from box 4 

After logging into the fourth and final box of the Louie Lake series, we continued around the lake and up the trail. We climbed and climbed and climbed and climbed. It was a good thing that the dogs had all taken advantage of the cool water of Louie Lake, because there was no water on the long (five mile!) hike between the two lakes.
Carma watching the dogs swim at Louie Lake


Resting under a tree
Continuing up the trail

On the downhill side

After a long dry walk, we finally started down to Boulder Lake. The dogs were hot and tired, and so were we. But we were only halfway there. We still had to reach Boulder Lake, walk all its length down to the dam, and then follow the trail two miles back down to the trailhead.

Boulder Lake
Even Blew was tired by the time we headed down the trail. While waiting for us to traverse the rocky, rocky trail, Blew kept laying down to take rests. Sometimes, she would lay down right in our way and refuse to move. I've never seen her so tired.

 Even though the hike turned out a lot longer than we had planned. We had a really enjoyable time. I had planned on planting a letterbox at Bouder Lake, but was too tired to hike any further than down the trail. So, Carma and I took another trip to McCall in October, hiked to find box 2 of the Louie at the Lake Series, and planted "My Mountain" at Boulder Lake.