Monday, March 24, 2008

ALERT: Delinquent Blogger Seen On Mountain Bike

That’s right! It was me on the trails Sunday afternoon. I got a big dose of “ass kicking” on Sunday trying to keep pace with Ryan (on a single speed) and Mike (on a hard-tail) on the Ridge to Rivers trails. The weather was gorgeous albeit a bit overcast. Mike’s ride is in the shop so I drove over to his house with my bike and a loaner for him to ride. We rode up to Camel's Back to meet Ryan before heading out on our 10 mile beat down. It seems as though the first ride of the season is always the hardest. I can’t imagine what my fate would have been if I hadn’t been commuting by bicycle all winter long. I know now that my short commute did nothing to keep my lungs in shape; they are still burning today.

I’ve been thinking lately about converting my mountain bike and commuter bike to single speed machines. Converting the bikes will be the easy part. Converting me is going to be the hard part. I’m excited about the challenge of learning to ride in a totally different way. I actually ordered the parts today! We’ll see how my conversion goes in the coming months.

Kate and I are officially on spring break--school's out! Wednesday we are heading for the hills, literally. We are heading to Montana for a couple of days and plan to stay the night in West Yellowstone, Montana at The Stagecoach Inn. We’ll take the camera and post a trip report when we return to Boise.

Until then…

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Our backyard has a wacky tree in it with gnarled branches that curl back on themselves. Neglected for many years, we had to cut and pry its limbs out of the chain link fence enclosing the dog runs. The tree is commonly known as a filbert, which is a member of the hazel family; they produce edible nuts, namely filberts and hazelnuts. This contorted variety is considered mostly ornamental and is known as Corkscrew Hazel or Harry Lauder's Walking Stick. Appropriate to my Scottish heritage, Harry Lauder was a Scottish entertainer. I haven't been able to find out why the variety is thusly named.

It is one of the many harbingers of spring and bloomed shortly after the temperatures began to warm. The blooms are long dangles of tiny yellow pollen-filed flowers that don't look like anything like flowers. These flowers are called catkins.

I just finished reading Gene Logsdon's book Organic Orcharding. In it, he says that occasionally these trees do produce edible nuts. I'll hope and wait and try to beat the squirrels to them!

Green Eggs

We picked up this dozen of fresh eggs from the Boise Co-op the other day and to my utter delight, some of them were green!

Here is a close-up view; some of them have speckles!

Jon grew up on fresh eggs, but I had never eaten one. I love eggs for their role in baked goods and breakfast, but I am picky about them; I am one of those people that picks out the squiggly white tag (the chalazae) and won't use eggs if the whites are too runny. I admit I was a bit squeamish to learn that they are fertilized:

I think what this really means is that they COULD BE fertile. Because the hens are free-range, there is no telling what those ladies have gotten into or where there morals...lay.

Jon's fried eggs were cooked first and he oooed and ahhed about the depth and flavor of the eggs. Again, I was squeamish. To be honest, I don't really know what egg flavor is and I'm not sure if I want my eggs to have a flavor. So it was with trepidation and I admit, some mild nausea, that I ventured into my first bite.

I was an animal science major for two semesters in college and learned how to identify the white dot on the yolk indicating the egg is fertile, so for my breakfast I definitely had scrambled eggs and chicken zygotes. And well, they were good! Bon Apetit ya'll!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Falcon Family Visit

The Dunn/Falcon/Shepard Clan and the Boise Skyline

This past weekend much of our Montana family descended upon us--six of them! It was a blast. The boys went to the mountain on Friday and snowboarded all day while Leslie, Taya, and I puttered around town, ate a leisurely lunch, and cooked a wonderful pulled pork dinner. Saturday, Uncle Jon made everyone bacon and eggs for breakfast. (I have discovered two ways to get teenage boys out of bed in the morning: snowboarding and bacon.) We all walked to the Boise State University campus, to Julia Davis Park and Zoo Boise, and then downtown for a late lunch. After swimming and water slides at the YMCA, we went out that night for pizza at the Flying Pie Pizzaria and celebrated Brutus' birthday with cake and a movie at the house.

Troy, Me, and Taya

Uncle Jon as Sherpa