Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ho hum. Back to the real world.

Uh.... The blog. Right.

We have an excuse this time, I promise. The past three weekends, Charlie and I have had out-of-town guests sleeping cozily on our couch and floor. Friends from Portland, friends from Washington, and Charlie's sister have all graced our humble abode.

What a wonderful time we've had. We paddled about on Swan boats in Julia Davis Park. We toured the Old Idaho Penitentiary. We got stuck in a thunderstorm and learned all about our new state at the Idaho State History museum. We saw original wagon-wheel ruts in the ground from the Oregon Trail. We ate three ice cream potatoes. We tried a new restaurant. We took a chilly hike in the foothills. We lit a fire in our fireplace for the first time. We experienced our first snowfall in Boise. We watched the debates, cooked delicious meals, played board games, drank wine and beer, and had great conversations. Wow.

We're not sure what to do with ourselves now! Perhaps on Saturday morning Charlie and I will find ourselves drawn to Boise State University and the greenbelt for our weekly tour about... it's becoming a tradition! Will our stomachs rumble because we haven't stuffed ourselves to the gills at a weekend breakfast out? What's Otto going to do when he has to sleep in the living room because there are no guests to protect from his over-eager cuddles?

It's been busy, and so, so much fun, but I'm relieved that I don't have to fuss over my clutter-pile of mail this week. Otto will also appreciate not being chased around the house by the nasty broom as we sweep the hardwoods.

In the end, though, Charlie and I are so grateful to have friends and family that care enough about us to want to fly to the middle of nowhere (haha, for you coastal folks, anyhow) on their vacation weekends just to visit us.

A few other things have been afoot, too. Charlie and I are plotting a weekend escape to the Hailey/Sun Valley area for my birthday this weekend (birthday is on a MONDAY this year, how disappointing!). We're hoping for lots of colorful trees, and a little time spent checking out Ketchum, Sun Valley, and a little hiking in the area. We might even make it over to Craters of the Moon. I'm looking forward to that. Apparently last weekend in Hailey, there was a big, awesome festival called The Trailing of the Sheep. This involved 1500 sheep being run down the streets of the city. We are definitely THERE next year. Apparently it's a really remarkable festival, and was listed as one of the top ten fall festivals in the world by MSN travel. Sheep!

Finally, I've picked up an on-again off-again part-time job in addition to my full-time one (that Charlie, he is so stingy--I had to look for another job in order to justify a tin of lip balm now and then....). This week I made a little pocket cash doing some pet-sitting for a guy who works for my company.

I was watching four pets: two dogs and two cats. The cats are old as old can be--sweet, creaky creatures that followed me around the house begging for a scratch or two. The dogs are as different as they come: one, an old mutt, is shaggy, slow, and sweet. He wanders about the house, clicking his toe nails and slowly surveying his domain. The other dog, a bounces-off-the-walls 3-year old Doberman is quite another story. She's spring-loaded and wired for sound. Even after having the chance to meet her with her people around, the first time I showed up it took us most of an hour to come to an understanding. I don't blame her in the least ("WHO are you, WHY are you in my house, and I'm-in-a-crate-and-can't-do-anything-but-bark-at-you-and-snarl-a-little!"), I think she was wound up, nervous, and protective. I ended up bribing her with her obsessive love: a rubbery frisbee. As her owner later said, "when faced with the option of protecting her house or playing frisbee, you know where her priorities are." After thoroughly exhausting her with a game of fetch, we were suddenly fast friends--even the kind of friends who try and climb in each other's laps, and dance in wiggly circles when they show up at the house the next day. In all, it was a great experience, but certainly one that stretched my creativity and pushed my boundaries a little (in a good way) when it comes to dealing with critters. Tonight is the first night in a couple days that I'm not taking care of them... and you know? I kind of miss it. Otto on the other hand is glad that I'm no longer covered in grass bits and dog slobber.

For that matter, so is Charlie.