Wednesday, February 25, 2009

She's A Beaut...

As you all know, we're having the first annual Hillbilly Games on April 25th - I hope you've all marked your calendars! Elmer has a friend who for years, did catering and kind of specialized in huge gatherings and often cooked whole pigs. So, naturally, he had a HUGE BBQ that he built about 35 years ago to accomodate these large gatherings. The other day, we were working on details for the Gathering and thought, heck, let's call Krupper and see what he'd charge to do a whole pig for us! I mean really, can you think of ANYTHING more proper than to cook a whole pig for the Gathering? That's what I thought...

Well, sadly, it turned out Krupper was retired from pig catering. "BUT", he told Elmer, "If you can find 5 guys to help you move it, I'll give you that BBQ." Needless to say, Elmer thought he'd died and gone to hog heaven (sorry). A big-ass BBQ FOR FREE!

Elmer found 5 friends (and yes, it took 6 of them to load it) and they put it on a trailer that his goose hunting buddy Pat has. Pat and Debbie are dear friends. So much like us. The guys hunt geese together EVERY weekend from October until it closes in January.

Anyway, she was a little rough when the guys brought her home. She'd been sitting outside for several years with no use. Lots of rust and definately in need of some TLC.

So she got some shiny new wheels and was winched off the trailer...

where she got a new coat of protective stove paint. She's so pretty now that we don't dare leave her outside. So, she has a spot in our overly-crowded garage, that I've NEVER, even one day, actually been able to park in due to all the wonderful things we seem to find. So what do ya think!

We're definately going to have to give her a name - your thoughts? If we don't come up with something, maybe we'll do a contest at the Gathering...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Boise Komen Race For The Cure - Join The Riot Squad!


I belong to a club. But it's a club that no one wants to join. Our club has very strict criteria in order to join. You must be either male or female, aged 18 to 112. You have to be of any race and live anywhere in the world. It's a club that also touts thousands and thousands of survivors, but not all are so lucky.

I've walked The Race For the Cure for many years. It's a venture that is very dear to me. Last year, we decided we really should get a Team together to make it more fun. So, this year I'm starting early and hoping to get a huge team together - in fact, I would love to win for the largest team of "Family and Friends." We're going to have a GREAT time! You don't have to actually walk or run with the group, but I'd love to have you join the team!

Click here to join The Riot Squad! Or, if you can't walk or run with us, feel free to make a small donation.

Every step counts to help us find the cure for breast cancer...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Take That!

Bryan at Dad in the Headlights just posted about an LED scrolling message bar you can buy for just $69 to mount in the back of your car to send messages to people behind you as you drive. That's right, no more finger waving!

Here’s mine…

Hey buddy, your right front tire is about to fall off!

Did you know there’s a hand sticking out of your trunk?

Don’t make me stop this car!

Dim your damn lights dumbass!

And then I’d have a finger - could you do a finger? If you CAN do a finger, I’m gettin’ me one.

What would YOU put on yours?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Great Day...

We had the gang over for Jacki's birthday yesterday. I love it when we all get together. We also got our assignments for the Hillbilly Gathering and Games. We're getting ready!!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Hidden Springs Merc...

The new owners of the Merc have turned it back into what it used to be when we first moved here, and even improved upon it. It's now the "neighborhood" gathering place where people again feel comfortable and welcome. Kids come here after school for fresh-baked, warm-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies and milk or a slice of pizza. Moms come and meet for coffee before they pick their kids up from school and "The Empty Nesters" group meets here every Saturday morning for breakfast. It's a comfortable place - old wooden floors, tin on the ceilings, and big old gas station garage doors that are opened in the summer for Friday night "Happy Hour".

Last night, we turned the Merc into a 5-star restaurant. Beautiful white linen tablecloths and napkins covered the tables and the rooms were lit with beautiful red candles. We all wore black pants and white shirts. Brand new 6-piece tableware and beautiful new white plates were set with rose petals scattered around. It was a sold-out, reservations-only event which started with a wine tasting, live music, and of course appetizers. That was followed by homemade soup and salad, then they enjoyed their choice of halibut, prime rib, or some fancy vegetarian pasta dish I'd never heard of. It ended with their choice of three beautiful desserts and a free glass of champagne. All of course, beautifully plated. As people left, they commented on how wonderful everything was and how much they enjoyed the evening - they had especially loved that fact that someone had taken the time to carve the beet on top of their salad into a heart shape - really, someone did that.

Then, it turned into HELL... I have NEVER seen so. many. frickin'. dirty. dishes in my life. Our dishwasher arrived at 7:00 to start on them and worked for over an hour doing load after load. At 8:00, I took over (I work a little faster) washing and putting dishes into the sanitizer. The kitchen floor was like trying to stand on ice - grease or something had spilled and it was a challenge just to stay upright. The two younger kids were putting dishes away as fast as they were coming out. Dinner plates, salad plates, water glasses, wine glasses, champagne flutes, dessert plates, plates for rolls, plates from appetizers and of course 6 different pieces of flatware. Why on earth does a person need 6 different utensils to eat ONE dinner? You need one fork and one knife - really, anything more that that is just silly.

Finally at 10:00, the owner came in and took over dish duty and told me to go home. "But look at all these dishes that need to be done!" I couldn't just leave. We hadn't even STARTED on the pots and pans that were piled high from cooking dinner and there were still lots of tables that hadn't been cleared. She insisted. I can't remember being THAT tired in years. I have no idea how long they worked - it had to be past midnight.

Anita, our photographer/waitress took lots of pictures. I'll have her email some and I'll post them later.

I hope next year for Valentines dinner we have hot dogs and use paper plates - unless of course I'm a diner...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

"Mercantile Purgatory"...

I've been working at the Merc since the new owners purchased it 7 months ago. Basically, I love working there.

I'm a really hard worker, but I'm not one of those "warm, fuzzy" people who can stand and chat for hours about nothing. Besides, they don't need any more of those at the Merc. We already have several that I'd like to... well, never mind. I am the "eldest" member of the Merc team - older than the owner and the manager and every other employee. My personality is more like Maxine, from the Hallmark cards.

The other day I had my first nasty customer. The back part of the Merc is partially hidden by a half wall and unless I see you walk in and sit back there, it's likely you won't be found until closing time. Most people make a point of stopping by and telling me they're going to be in the back.

I was standing at the front doing some work when a lady walks up to me.

"I was just wondering, am I just supposed to wait forever back there before someone takes my order?"

"Why yes ma'am you are. Didn't you see the sign back there that said "Mercantile Purgatory"? Now get your nasty ass back there, sit down, and shut up. And then when you get tired of doing that, go home."

No, I didn't. But I would have if she hadn't caught me so off guard. I am, however, ready for the next one...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Smokey and the Deer...

I've posted several times about how lucky I was to grow up the daughter of a Game Warden. Mom and dad taught us about so many different animals and we were fortunate enough to grow up raising many of them including bear cubs, owls, hawks, eagles, a raccoon, and so many others I can't even remember them all. I'll post later about our adventure with the raccoon - that's a story all it's own. But one of my favorite animals that we raised was a fawn.

Some people in Lowman saw an eagle pick this fawn up and try to cart it off, but lucky for the fawn, he was too heavy and the eagle dropped it so these folks brought it to dad as he was the closest Game Warden.

We had a German Shepherd at the time named Smokey. She was the most awesome dog. She was truly a member of the family. Well, the fawn thought Smokey was his mom and tried to nurse from her - which she didn't mind. So actually, the fawn grew up thinking not of himself as a deer, but a dog. When we'd come home from school, he'd come running down the driveway to meet us and jump on us just like a dog does. Damn those hooves were sharp! He followed us everywhere and when Steve and I would go down to the creek fishing, he was right there with us. He came in the house when he wanted to and would jump up on the couch and fall asleep.

As he grew up, it came closer to hunting season. Mom decided the only way to make sure he didn't get killed by a hunter was to put an orange vest on him. So dad bought a bright orange hunter's vest and we put his legs through the arm holes and tied it on. It was the funniest thing seeing that deer romping around wearing a hunter's vest.

Unfortunately, one day while we were at school, he went down to the creek to get a drink and his vest got caught on a stick and tore off. Some guy came down the road and saw him standing by the water and shot him. The only neighbor that lived nearby, saw what happened and ran to the creek, yelled at the guy who had just shot our deer, and wouldn't let him take him. I remember how hard it was for mom to tell us what happened. What a sad day.

But, the memories I have of that deer and our sweet dog Smokey, will forever be a special part of my life. This is the only picture I have of them. I hope you enjoy it as much as I always have...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Something Special in Idaho...

Anthony Malone of Middletown, Conn., died eight years ago at age 83 - when the 11th grade international history students at the Vineyard Christian Home School Co-op in Boise were in second or third grade.

But the students know about him. They know he served in World War II as a medic. They started their investigation from a peculiar place: Malone's Army helmet, in which he wrote his name, company and Army serial number.

Their teacher, Dennis Mansfield got the helmet in 1971 as a gag gift from his father. For 37 years, Mansfield carted around the helmet. Then Mansfield brought it to his students and gave them a mission: Find out about the man who wrote his name in the leather lining.

For two weeks, they Googled, read a newspaper obit and studied the military unit - 16th Battalion Medical Detachment - to which Malone belonged.

They typed Malone's serial number into Google and discovered he had been in the Army. Malone joined the service in 1941, before the attack on Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entry into the war.

Students also discovered the whereabouts of Malone's family, when they found his obituary online.

Family members didn't know what to make of the initial calls from students. But as they came to know the students and Mansfield, they embraced the work the students had done.

Malone - everyone called him Tony - was like many World War II vets and didn't talk much about his war experience, family members say.

Malone's family filled in some of the blanks the students hadn't learned about his life. He told Decker he joined the Army because he thought it was the only way he'd ever see Europe.

Boy, did he see Europe. Records show his unit was in Sicily, mainland Italy and France.

After the war, Malone returned to his hometown of Middletown to work for the Goodyear Rubber Co., cutting the soles for sneakers, and later for Pratt & Whitney, the aircraft engine company, working as a sheet-metal welder. Morin remembers him going to work at 3 a.m.

He helped raise a family and put his daughters through college, and he laid some money aside to help his grandchildren. "He was a hard worker," Morin said.

The history students hope a relative can come to Boise, meet them and receive the helmet. They are looking to see if they can cobble together frequent-flyer miles to help bring a relative to Boise. Family members are discussing it, but they hope some of the students can go east and meet the family. "It would mean so, so much," Decker said. "I think it is wonderful."

Either way, Malone's family says having the helmet is special to them and their mother.
Idaho Statesman

Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick has donated enough frequent-flyer miles to send 10 students and the teacher to personally deliver the helmet to Mr. Malone's family. What a great thing to do! Thank you Congressman Minnick!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

He's Still Here...

Last night I had a meeting with Idaho Peace Officers' Memorial. One of our Board memebers is retired from ISP and now works for the US Marshalls Service. On the way into the meeting, he stopped me and told me that last week, a BLM employee was out in the Owyhees and saw a camp and stopped to check it. As it turned out, it was Claude Dallas, out there all alone.

As soon as I get home today, I'm going to call and see if I can get in touch with the employee. I don't know why, but I want to know all about the contact. I wish I didn't care but I have to admit, I try all the time to find out where he is. I guess part of it is that if he's in the area, I want to know so that I could possibly be prepared if I ever accidently ran into him in a store. I don't know if I could ever really be prepared for that. What would I do?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Remaking America...

I've decided that it might be better to do this post once a month instead of every week. They've been asking me to work more and I think people feel "pressured" to post something and there may be weeks where we can't think of something to add. So save up your good deeds or kind words to post once a month. It's going to start with us to help Remake America!