Wednesday, August 20, 2008


After more than 80 days working in Montana on our ranch I returned to Boise, and the many summer projects that need to be finished before school starts on August 25th. The list was very long a week ago, but we are crossing things off at a pretty quick rate. We've replaced a dilapidated screen door with a new Andersen glass door, replaced multiple door handles and deadbolts, power-washed the house and deck, repainted exterior doors and trim, built a bench on the deck, painted the deck, and done more yard work and weeding in the garden than one ever thought possible.

The trim repairs proved to be a bit more complicated than I expected. After removing the rotten trim I discovered a surprise; the old fascia boards were custom cut to fit together like a puzzle. To replace them would require a table saw. Off to Home Depot after doing some research on Consumer Reports. Creating the new fascia was a piece of cake with the right tools! We reevaluated some of the project priorities and decided that we needed a bench on the deck, and with the new table saw I figured I could handle it.

It was a chore to complete in the heat but we are quite pleased with our new addition!

Just as a side note, thinking of the ranch. Here's a picture of my 1965 John Deere 4020 with the loader. Althought it is nice to be home, I kind of miss the massive amount of daily labor that we managed to do every day on the ranch. I spent most of yesterday (and most of my next several days will be spent) catching up on my studies.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Guest House

A friend shared this with me today. It resonated with her and then with me. It helped me to gain an understanding of the inexplicable.

The Guest House

(From The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks)

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Coming soon...

I can't believe the last time I blogged was July 30th, and that I left ya'll hanging about the sheep. There are many more stories to tell about our summer that I'm sure we won't get to all of them.

I arrived back in Boise with Cash and Gus (the two sheep-marauding dogs) a week before Jon and Tucker and it is has been somewhat of a difficult transition for me and Gus. Per usual, Jon adapts readily but I am slower to ease into the old routine. I have been home for a week and a half and my suitcase is still sitting open and full on the floor of the guest bedroom. I find myself barely able to be inside the house. I find myself wanting for physical work on a scale that just isn't available here in the city; although, the backup of six weeks of yard work gave me a good run for my money. Gus quickly bored of the confines of our yard. He found a hole in the fence and decided to explore on his own. Fortunately, he didn't go too far and when I found him he was so excited that I had decided to join him for his adventure!

I am sure we will try to do some posts about a few more things from the ranch, but for the most part, life will move on. School starts at BSU on August 25th for both me and Jon. Just like last semester, my night class falls on one of the few nights that Jon doesn't have class. Arggh! But, a friend of mine will be in the class with me which will make it much more enjoyable. Jon starts his clinical nursing rotations so the semester should be very interesting and busy for him.

Summer is not yet over and I hope it has treated you all well. We will make the most of what remains.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Summer Photo Log

Finally home! I returned to Boise on Saturday evening after a nice 12 hour drive through Montana and Idaho. We chilled out for a night and then started our long list of projects we've got to do here at our house. Gardening and yard work were first on the list. There was also a good bit of laundry and house cleaning intermingled throughout most of the day. I've added pictures to our photo repository from our summer so far. You can see the mess our renters left behind, the clean-up effort. We got so many things done, most importantly the transformation of our ranch from a junk pile to a cozy place to stay.

I just installed a dog door for our 3 boys, they seem confused. I think they prefer having a doorman. We'll write more later, enjoy the photos!