come taste the spice in my life



Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all -Helen Keller
Fitting? yes, I think so!

How do you challenge yourself?

This past weekend was an adventurous weekend full of a few wonderful exportations & challenges Idaho has to offer in terms of outdoor summer activities. These satisfying but rewarding experiences that were sometimes a bit terrifying but they give me the chance to test myself over and over. Exploring new ways to challenge myself and test my limits. (And, part of the reason I started this blog…)

After my accident on Thursday I needed to take my bike in for a tune up and a once over to make sure it was in good working order.  I had planned on a long bike ride Saturday morning but that is now out of the picture so I needed something to do on Saturday morning. There was a concert, festival rather, with multiple bands, in town. It was going to be hot that day thou and it just didn’t sound like a great time in the sun and heat. What did sound like a good plan though was heading north for a day on the river…so I made last minute plans to join my good friends, Chelsea & Jocelyn on the water instead.

We headed three & ½ hours north of Boise to Stanley, Idaho and camped out on Friday night. Along the way we experienced a summer lightning storm and the fires they often cause.

The bright red glow over the hill from the highway lit up the otherwise dark sky reminding me that there are some very powerful things out of our control.  When I awoke in the Sawtooth mountain range I was reminded of one reason I love this state.  It was quite, cool and we were surrounded by snow covered jagged mountain peaks.

The put for the float was north of Stanley in the Salmon River. This stretch would have class II rapids for us to have a little bit of fun on in our kayaks. Only the third time in a small boat for Jocelyn, Chelsea and her family were taking a newbie and a semi-newbie on the water for some good ol’ fashioned water fun!  And it was just that, great fun with AMAZING views!!

The girls and I headed back to Boise that evening to prepare for another day of adventure and beauty on Sunday morning. Jocelyn and I were going with some other friends to repel in the desert canyon lands of Idaho. I wasn’t really certain what I was going to run into with this experience, but I still wanted to go. I’m afraid of heights and I tend to not remember this little tidbit until I get to a spot where I am terrified.  It’s not a limiting fear, but I do have to make a conscious effort to move past the fear.  I’m sure I’m just reacting to the basic human instinct that falling is not the best idea, but it can still cause a few problems.

The hike to first repel was up and over a hill, down into the canyon where a stream was running.  We were to follow the stream from where it entered the canyon to its exit point.  Along the way the stream created several waterfalls.  A few of them were traversable by scrambling the rocks along the canyon wall while there were two that were not so easily done.

For those two waterfalls we repelled down with nothing holding us from falling but a line

connected between a harness around our waist and a boulder. It was a great experience that really tested my ability to set free and relax. A quality I sometime have difficulty doing. The hard part, stepping over the edge without letting go of the line to hold on to the rock…I failed at this task and scared everyone above me out because that was really the one thing keeping me from falling, my right hand on the line. I recovered quickly and had a wonderful repel.

Both activities this weekend were wonderful experiences and ones I hope to continue for a long time to come!

What saves your life?

Today a bicycle helmet saved a friend from a careless driver, saved me from a careless turn and could have potentially saved a child from death.

I don’t think I’ve ever crashed on a bicycle before this evening and it was completely my fault.  I took a corner too fast, applied the brakes and slide to the ground barely hitting my helmet on the concrete stones instead of my cheekbones.  I’m ok suffering some awesome bruises but if I didn’t have my helmet on it would likely be a very different story.

When I returned home this evening I learned that a friend of mine was hit by a vehicle while riding his bicycle.  I’m don’t know the details but apparently the driver didn’t look both ways.  He was crossing her path and things didn’t end well.  He is ok with only a few bumps and bruises but it could have been very different if he wasn’t wearing his helmet.

While pursuing the news reports via FaceBook this evening, as I often do, I learned of a 10 year old boy in the next town that had been killed by a motor vehicle this afternoon.  The boy was crossing the street in a crosswalk when he was hit by a 70 year old women.  As I stated before he was killed from the injuries he suffered but had he been wearing a helmet things could have been very different.

These happenings all occurred today and it made me think, “How much does this really happen?”  According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:

  • The most serious injuries among a majority of those killed are to the head.
  • Eighty-nine percent of bicycle deaths are persons 16 and older.
  • Helmet use has been estimated to reduce head injury risk by 85 percent.
  • Ninety-one percent of bicyclists killed in 2009 reportedly weren’t wearing helmets.

I wear my helmet EVERY time I ride and always will…I hope you will too.

Decided it would be a good idea to take a picture of the helmet…


Boulder Lake

Last weekend I was privileged to have in my company the mountains of eastern Idaho, specifically the Pioneer Mountain range, and 9 other friends.  On Friday afternoon, several of us started on the four & ½ hour drive to the middle of nowhere and we were all VERY excited.  The main goal of the weekend was to complete an 8 mile hike to a high mountain lake named Boulder Lake.

Our group car camped at Wildhorse Campground in the Salmon-Challis National Forest (7,350 feet) Friday and Saturday night.  Saturday we did the hike, taking most of the day to complete it.  Boulder lake lies at 9,520 feet making our climb a steep and strenuous one for a short 4 miles one way.  It was a great hike with tremendous views, 2 river crossings, steep switchbacks, bouldering, and snow on June 30th.  I can’t wait for my return trip!

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I wake up every day…

Fiftieth Birthday

For my aunt’s fiftieth birthday last week my cousins (Roni & Jake) along with their father decided to throw her a surprise birthday party.  It was big ordeal keeping the party a secret up to the day of the event.  They were all very excited for the surprise.  For the party I got to make the cake!!  I just wanted to share this cake and how it turned out.

It was my first tiered cake, and it turned out nicely if I’m allowed to say!  The cake was a delicious vanilla with a cherry pie type filling. I frosted and decorated it primarily with butter cream frosting and used a bit of fondant for some decorations.



I’ve have a quote similar to this hanging on my wall since I was a very small child.  I believe it goes something like “Those that want little will be not be disappointed.”  It brings me back to reality at times when it feels like nothing is going the way I want.

Car lessons 1 & 2

This blog is about my life lessons and today I learned something new…brakes need replaced OR they make bad sounds.

About a month ago I learned a different lesson…tire gauges aren’t usually wrong. I have low profile tires and the amount of air between a full tire and flat one, isn’t really noticeable. There is somewhat of a difference because I went out one morning and thought “that tire looks low, I should go put air in it”.  Then I checked it with the tire gauge. “No pressure – that must be wrong” I thought.  And so I drove, nope, I didn’t put the spare on I just drove, and it drove just fine. I drove to the gas station down the street – “$0.75 for air forget that” and I drove.  I decided at that point that I should have it looked at so I took it to local tire dealer with an awesome reputation, Les Schwab.  They were great. They took care of my tires right away and set me up to get the alignment looked at (not something that could be fixed…something about Mazda not making a part) and told me my brakes had about 10% left. Now, the thing about my brakes means absolutely nothing to a girl who knows almost nothing about cars. So what do I do – “oh, I’ll just hold off on the brakes for a while.”

That “while” reared its head last night as the crunching sound being made when I braked or turned became unavoidable. I took it back to the same place this morning and received a lecture from the cute guy who helped me before about how I should have had it done before…good thing he was cute. In an attempt to avoid another lecture and possible more damage to my innocent car, I left it to get worked on and have the brakes replaced.

So, another life lesson…listen and RESPOND when you are told something needs done with your car. I’m not a fan of this maintenance stuff!

Viewfinder into the past

This week I went through and scanned old color slides my grandparents have had in a storage unit, untouched for some 40 years.  Most of the photos were taken in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s.  There were some slides that I didn’t care much about scanning, like the scenery of some beach down south.   Then there were others that I (and other members of my family) will likely cherish forever.

Pictures of people I have known all my life, but I hadn’t ever really seen them in this light.  My mom’s third birthday party, my aunt hanging upside down from a tree, my uncle as a baby (lots of him as a baby!) and my grandparents as a playful, fun loving, young couple.  I have always known them as fun loving and playful but truly being able to see this in a photograph is just something else.

My grandparents celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary this week.  As I scanned their wedding slides, I saw in my grandfather’s eyes the same look he gives my grandmother every time I see them.  That look of love, rejoice, and gratitude.  I love seeing that look in his eyes.  They truly have been through a lot in their lives, more than I’m sure I will ever know, but to see this look makes me happy and hopeful.  Hopeful for the future and what it might have in store.

These pictures also reminded me that I am a product of my blood.  Most of my family and friends think I am crazy for doing most of the things I’ve enjoyed doing since moving back to Boise – most…with the exception of my grandparents.  They love hearing my stories, I think it’s because it is something they use to do or in some cases still do.  I love sharing with them too, because they typically share back and that can only happen for so much longer.

Too often we decide to…

Too often we decide to follow a path that is not really our own; one that others have set for us. We forget that whichever way we go, the price is the same: in both cases we will pass through both difficult and happy moments. But when we are living our dream, the difficulties we encounter make sense. —Paulo Coelho


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