the road is calling and we must go

The new ride.

This lovely Highlander is ready to hit the road and head East.

We plan to get an early start this morning and drive the 380 miles to Bozeman. The last time we drove from Idaho to Rhode Island was September, 2015.

I read some of those blog posts and discovered we’d often traveled 550 miles a day. Our last day on the road was over 600 miles.

Not this year.

Honestly, I’m not sure how this is going to work. We’re hoping to drive 400 miles each day, but a lot depends on our energy levels, weather, traffic, construction and the stock market. Banjo Man often spends extra hours in the morning or evening working.

We will do the best we can. And we will never drive at night. I am not making hotel reservations ahead of time so we can stop when we need to or keep driving if we’re not tired.

So…wish us luck. We’re looking forward to it. The car was 80% packed last night. The pantry freezer and refrigerator have been emptied, cleaned and turned off. The floors are vacuumed, the garden shut down, the outdoor chairs covered, the deck cleared, kayaks stored and the house is in order and all set for next year.


The car is ready and so are we.

Wish us luck!

Posted in family, road trip, travel | 5 Comments

cabinfest 2022

Cougar Creek Band knows how to put on a party.

Joe, one of our younger members, had the brilliant idea to reunite the band up at Banjo Man’s newly-finished (after more than three years of renovations, repairs and finish work) 50-year old cabin up on the mountain.

We hadn’t played together in four years. Where did the time go?

It would be a potluck. Bring your own everything. The cabin has no plumbing and no electricity, but it does have a new outhouse.

Banjo Man hoping he can remember the words to his signature song, “Whenever You’re Lonesome”.
Me and Dancing Mandolin Player enjoying the sun on the porch.
His joy knew no bounds.
Bruce, Retired Mountain Lady and DMP

My heart was full.

Retired Mountain Lady has a lot more photos on her blog. Grab another cup of coffee and head on over there to read more about one of the best days of the summer!

Posted in friends, lake, music, the band | 1 Comment

the beautiful colors of september

Dahlias, a pumpkin, an anniversary card and a new tablecloth all make me love this month.

And then there is this, another sign of fall:

Yesterday was the day to haul the bags of frozen apricots from the freezer and turn them into jam.

I have already canned a lot of peaches so I am done with “putting up food” now. We will be taking some home with us, but the bulk of the fruit will be stored for next summer’s meals and desserts.

From the window is the view of a very quiet lake. I try to go down to the beach for an hour or two each day, just to walk along the water’s edge, look for arrowheads, watch for eagles and enjoy the lovely calm that comes from the sound of waves.

It doesn’t get any more peaceful than this. I’m soaking it up!

Posted in food, lake | 1 Comment

another anniversary, whoo hoo!!!

September 26, 2022

I have no idea why I was wearing that huge white bow.

And…that bald head belonged to my sweet Great Uncle Mac.

The man in the pink shirt–because he couldn’t find a clean white one on the morning of the wedding–is Banjo Man, of course.

And here we were last night after dinner with Dancing Mandolin Player and her Boyfriend Bob.

September 26, 2022

Posted in family, friends, lake | 5 Comments

september sangria

September is the “Social Season” here at the lake. Company has returned home, grandchildren are back in school, summer heat is only a memory (it is 46 this morning) and gardens no longer require hours of care.

Which means it’s time to party.

Montana Kathy outdid herself last week. Can you tell?

Jalapeno muffins and devilled eggs appetizers.

Six of us gathered to eat and sip and talk and laugh beside the Clark Fork River. Lunch was seafood paella, roasted garden beets and freshly baked baguettes (thank you, Martha).

I tried a new recipe for my dessert contribution: French Custard Cake. The ingredients are put into a blender, mixed, then refrigerated for at least an hour but up to several days. I prepared the batter the night before, so the next morning all I had to do was slice the peaches (I wish I had used more than the recipe required), add the batter, sprinkle with sugar and bake.

I am going to make it with pears next time.

If you’re curious, here’s the link:


Posted in food, friends, lake | 1 Comment

a good time at home goods

Check out that rust-orange plaid tablecloth. It might be on one of my Thanksgiving tables this year. The ceramic pumpkins returned to the shelf. Just not the right color, though I thought they were cute.

But then again, I love pumpkin decorations. I had to resist shelves of them.

I finally picked out a glass one, but while Banjo Man was minding the cart it fell out and broke. He was mightily embarrassed and thought he had to pay for it, which amused the Home Goods cashier no end.

Banjo Man should have had his own cart, because he had his eye on a cast iron pot in which to make chili up at the cabin. I knew he was planning to give Cabin Tours, but I didn’t know he was serving lunch. He also purchased a measuring cup, dishtowels and oven mitts…for the cabin.

His joy continues…

Why were we in the city, you ask? We had taken George to the airport hotel, as he had an early morning flight home today. Which left us the rare opportunity to hit Home Goods on the way back to the lake. Next stop was Kohl’s, where I returned online orders that didn’t fit. And Banjo Man shopped for pants.

Pants? Again with the pants?

Yes, he assured me. He needed more.

It’s a mystery. But next time you see him, tell him how nice he looks.

Posted in family, lake, shopping | Leave a comment

another smoke-filled september

Busy days here, but I’ll be back to blogging daily (hopefully) once again. There are fires north and east of us. They are in remote mountain areas and we wait for rain.

Oh, do we wait for rain!

In the meantime, I am canning peaches. Yesterday this happened:

Having a canning jar break was a first for me. I’m not sure how to explain it–or prevent it from happening again–but I have dozens of peaches to can this week. I hope there are no more surprises!

I tried a new recipe for roasting cherry tomatoes.

This was done at 250 degrees for three hours.

I may have been insane.

See you tomorrow. I’m taking a break from the kitchen and we’re off to Spokane!

Posted in food, lake | 2 Comments

travel day, august 2022

I had a plan. I would fly home to Austin with the Funny Grandson, deliver him safely to his adoring parents and fly home the next morning.

Why the next morning, you ask?

Because it was going to be 106 degrees all week in Austin. I don’t do heat well. Between migraines and Lymphodema, heat and humidity are my enemies.

In other words, I didn’t plan to linger.

But before we left for the two-hour drive to the airport, there were things to do.

Saying goodbye to the lake.
Cherry pie for breakfast.

Before we knew it we were on the flight to Denver. Our Kindles were charged, we had snacks and plenty to read. I’d always wanted to travel with the Funny Grandson.

Let the adventure begin!

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one more sunset, one more piece of pie

The Funny Grandson spent his last evening eating pie, admiring the sunset, looking for arrowheads and playing Mexican Train dominoes.

While he was excited to see his parents, leaving Idaho was not a happy time for him.

He’d had a great summer: he’d found an arrowhead, caught a couple of good-sized fish off the dock, camped up at the cabin, learned how to play poker, swam with “the boys” from next door, picked strawberries and cherry tomatoes, learned how to make hamburgers and peach cake, helped Uncle Will build campfires and spent countless hours in the water.

There. Was. Ice. Cream.

But all good things must come to an end and Middle School loomed ahead, not that he was looking forward to it (I think he’s going to surprise himself and love it), and it was time to go home and buy school clothes and get ready for the next big adventure: sixth grade.

I felt his pain. It’s never easy to say goodbye to the lake.

Posted in family, grandmother stuff, lake | 2 Comments

arrowheads and birthdays

Banjo Man turns 81 today, but I thought he was going to be 82.

Let’s not tell him that.

Yesterday morning as Banjo Man and I were drinking coffee on the deck and talking about the weather and all things Idaho, son  Will came up from the beach after a rare morning visit to the lake.  He is usually studying in the morning, but I suppose he wanted to  wade in the water before it got too hot.

We’re having a bit of a heat wave.  Highs of 100 degrees, which is rare and won’t last long.

In the meantime, the Funny Grandson was enjoying his morning, too:

As always, I asked, “Did you find anything?”

It has been many weeks since a precious arrowhead has been discovered.

“Yes,” Will said.  “A beauty.”

We waited for him to pull it out of his pocket and show us, but he only said, “It’s still down there.  You have to find it.”

Banjo Man has never found an arrowhead,  Never.  But Will was determined that this would be the day, so we raced (yes, raced) to the beach before it disappeared.

“It’s not going anywhere,” Will assured us, afraid we were going to break a hip in our rush down the hill.

He gave hints.  And finally?  Half buried in wet rocks, there it was.

I took a picture of what it looked like resting beside the beach rocks so you could see the difference.

It’s going to be another hot day, so we are all heading up to the cabin to remove any traces of food that would attract a bear very soon.

I am “bakin’ bacon”, as the FG loves to say, for later.  Birthday BLT’s, anyone?  There is still leftover pineapple cake for a birthday dessert.

And we’ll swim.  We have spent our afternoons in the water as we soak up these glorious hot days of summer.

Happy Birthday, Banjo Man!  It’s been a rough winter, but we’re all still here and life couldn’t get any better than this.

Posted in family, lake | 5 Comments