Life on the Palouse

from lake superior to wheatfields, from grad student to professor, from my sauna to ... i haven't figured that out yet


Donnelly, Idaho

Thanks to our friends Andy and Keri (who initiated the journey), we spent MLK weekend in Donnelly, Idaho with them and our friend Carlie. Donnelly is just south of McCall, Idaho which is about 200 miles south of Moscow. It's in some mountains (name? I dunno) and some lakes and lots of trees and is quite pretty. We rented a house (this one) and did alot of snow playing. You can see photos on my flicker site here: slideshow version or here: backwards, that is, not in order, for some reason. It was a fun weekend. We snowshoed a lot, played games, ate good, drank good, and sadly watched the Packers lose--well, sad for me at least.

It's been a weird semester so far, just trying to get ahold of my schedule which is almost TOO open. I teach Tuesdays from 9-10:30 and 3-5:30, then Thursdays from 9-10:30. That's IT! I have meetings and other student appointments, but I'm trying to find ways to get some research done. I love the schedule, but am having to learn to work with it a bit more productively.

Ok, I'm off to watch some bad tv.



I've grown tired of posting photos here as it takes too much time, so....I've started a flickr account. You can see some xmas photos at

Christmas was good, but strange. Well, more that not being in the UP for the first time in 31 years was strange. Adam and Anne showed up late in the day on the 22nd. We drove to Uniontown and ate yummy burgers at Eleanor's. Sunday I have no idea what we did, but I suspect it involved being lazy. Christmas Eve we ate chex mix and drank Old Fashioneds (courtesy of dad) and Jeff whipped up a yummy meal. It was good. Christmas day we all had to head to Spokane by day's end (as we were flying out of Spokane at 6am on the 26th). But, we woke up, opened a ton of presents, ate bubble bread and sausage and cookies, ate leftovers, and then finally drove to Spokane around 7pm. While we had a white Christmas, it hadn't snowed in days UNTIL we decided to drive to Spokane. It was awful! UP blizzard awful! We had to go 35-40mph the whole way. It took almost 3 hours to get there when it usually takes 1 hour. Then Christmas day our flight was delayed 2 hours, and Adam and Anne's--while on time--sat on the runway for an hour getting de-iced. They missed their connection in Salt Lake. Thankfully we had a super long layover in MSP so our lateness didn't really matter much. But then our flight from MSP to Chicago was also delayed.....suffice it to say it was a looooong day. We finally made it to Chicago around 7pm and went to get Indian food for dinner w/ Katie and Cheryl. Adam and Anne also finally made it after some weird diversion to Cincinnati.

Chicago was good, but busier than I thought. I had to do interviews at strange intervals everyday. Eg; Friday 11-12, 2-3, 3-4. So it pretty much shot my entire day. The good news was that Cheryl stayed w/ us and we got a free upgrade to a suite b/c they screwed up our room. We also ate amazingly well, eating on Bedford at Frontera and a fusion Indian/Mexican place, then eating w/ Karen and Eli at a great Italian place and at Avec. So, it was great to see people . We also caught up w/ Alex Ilyasova a bit. I just imagined I'd have more freetime during the day which didn't happen. So be it.

We all, shockingly, got back to Spokane on time and w/in 5 minutes of each. After a delicious Mexican lunch in Spokane, we came back to Pullman for New Years Eve. We were so so tired that it was hard to function, but we managed to barely celebrate by watching TV and drinking a few leftover Old Fashioneds. Adam and Anne didn't make it to midnight, but I saw 30 seconds of it. Good enough!! Those kids headed back to Eugene on Jan 2 after a day of lazy. Lazy was good.

Now we're back, resettling into our routine. Spring semester starts on Monday--I could really use a few more days but so be it. Our weekend has been super lazy so that makes up for it mostly.

Off to eat dinner. Happy New Year!


Thanksgiving, etc.

Greetings. My evil semester is finally over, and now I find myself in my PJs on Sunday at 2:30pm watching Lord of the Rings--this is pleasant.

In any case, Thanksgiving happened. Mom and Bill came to Pullman to visit

We tried to go to Joseph, OR--turns out it's a long drive. We only made it 1/2way, but saw some nice scenery on the way.

It was a pretty rotten day, and ended up snowing. Hence, our snowy house (it still looks like this, which is nice now that Christmas is approaching).

Eventually, we all made our way to Eugene where we drank beer

...and where we ate

...and where a small child filled a sisu shotglass with sausage
...and where Adam practiced being an old lady version of himself
...and where we took pictures of ourselves
So that was Thanksgiving. It was good.

This weekend Chris and Sharon and their circus (2 kids, 2 dogs) came down to visit. The kids are absurdly cute. We ate, drank, and were merry.

And speaking of merriment, our Christmas tree! We look tired. We are.
Adam and Anne will be here for Christmas, so that should be fun. This is my first Christmas in 31 years that I won't be in the Keweenaw. It's Jeff's first (33 years!). Phew. It's really nice not to be worrying about travelling though, much more relaxing. We'll see how it goes.

on that note, back to tv and snacks.


The Gales of November Remember

It's been less than a month since my last post--not so bad! It's been busy to say the least. Lots of teaching, lots of advising, lots of work. Last time I posted we were headed to Portland. We had a really good time there, but for some reason I didn't take any pictures....who knows. We ate well and explored the city more than we had in the past. We also found the neighborhood we'd like to be idle rich to win the lotto--it might help if we actually played it.

Lately we've been up to some nesting activity--painting, cleaning, rearranging furniture, etc. We move the dining room and at some point I should make a video of how it's all layed out now, but the dining room now looks like this:

Jeff has also been cultivating some facial hair. We went mushrooming last weekend and Jeff's beard helped with the mood of the northern Idaho woods:

This weekend we went up to Coeur d'Alene to visit Chris and Sharon and meet their new spawn. Their previous spawn, Silas, has a sweet little drum set which Jeff spent some time playing with (note, this is toddler size):

They fit Silas better:

Finally, Willow. It's hard to get good pics of squirmy babies.

Mom and Bill are headed here at the end of this week. We shall cavort in the Palouse and then head to Eugene for Turkey day.



Apparently teaching 3 classes means that I only post in here every 2 months now...yeah me. Oops. So, stuff happened, it might've been good.

In September, we went on a Seattle journey to see a few concerts. One night we saw the Animal Collective in this club on Capitol Hill. It was bizarre, but interesting. We were old there, and got to watch all the cool kids be young and cool. The next night we saw the New Pornographers at a club downtown. They were really good. We were average age there, along w/ all the other married, balding, 30-something ex-college radio folk. It was fun to see shows again, it's been awhile.


On our way back from Seattle we drove through a grass fire. It was scary. Moments afterwards the highway was closed (it should've been when we drove through it as I'm pretty sure flames shouldn't be licking your tires as you drive).

Approaching the fire:

Miles after the fire, looking back over the river:

In September we also finally felt settled into the house. We still have a number of ongoing small project, but it feels much more like home now. Note, home:

In October, dad and Kelly came to visit. We had fun, ate good, and did some exploring. Some photographic evidence:

Down @ the Snake River--

Dad @ the Snake River, wearing the Packers shirt the day BEFORE the game, thus assuring a win:

Jeff @ the River looking like a badass:

The obligatory Lewiston view:

And then we went to Steptoe Butte which we had never been to. These pictures really don't do it justice, it was pretty amazing.

Dad and Kelly:

O'er there!

Good times.

Also in October, we bought gutters. Then the rain began. I guess gutters are good. We also had a visit from the world's biggest slug (seriously, what the hell?):

Tomorrow we're headed to Portland for the weekend. I have a meeting at WSU-Vancouver on Friday so we're making a weekend out of it. Hoorah!

On that note, I think you'll probably hear from me in another 2 months....such is the semester.


belated UP photos

i'll post some photos of alex's visit later this week, but at the moment i'm catching up on my UP summer vacation photos--or at least a few highlights.

adam and anne's friends michael and melissa came to visit little traverse, we spent some time w/ dad and kelly in the front porch (aka, the place where, as grandpa burt says, "the damn thing [the lake] looks different every night).

jeff grills a duck beer can style:

this is me after performing katri and dan's wedding ceremony. i look very reverend-y don't i?

jeff and anne dance weird:

adam, jeff and anne do the traditional billy idol sneer:

my ladies!

ani is a bunny, matt is an angry bunny:

post-suomi breakfast. my people.

so that's that for now. i started teaching today, and i am a sleepy beaver. more later...



Jeff and I had the incredible burden this weekend of having a free cabin to use in Hope, Idaho (just near Sandpoint) overlooking Lake Pend Orielle (pond-er-ay). God bless generous colleagues. We headed out Friday afternoon, stopping at the coop to buy salami, mozzerella, tomato, basil, bread, wine, cereal, milk, and beer. It took about 1:45 to get to Coeur d'Alene and then another hour to Sandpoint. Finally, from Sandpoint to the cabin took about 30 minutes. Sandpoint is like Traverse City. A real mix of tourists and locals, and amazing views. Lots of cute shops, restaurants, etc. As you drive north and east around the lake (Hope is actually southeast of Sandpoint, but you have to go around the lake to get there) it becomes much less touristy, although it's definitely still got that vibe--just much less Traverse City feeling and much more Copper Harbor, if that makes sense.

The drive from Sandpoint to the cabin is crazy beautiful, weaving through the mountains and popping out periodically on the lake. See:

The actual town of Hope is teeny, with a few marinas, a few restaurants, and that's about it. The cabin is a little outside of Hope. You drive up this dirt road up a big ol' mountain. There is a real mix of cabins on the road. Some are trailers w/ junkyard dogs, some are really big ol' fancy log cabins, and everything in between. On the way you go by our favorite place, appropriate for north-Idaho (think militia):

We then found the cabin, just as the sun was starting to get low in the sky. This is a photo on our way out actually, but you can see the cabin:

It's on a sloping 5 acre lot, with a mix of grassland and big ol' conifers. It's a great 3 bedroom place, nice kitchen, and lots of windows. The best part is the view, and the front porch. We probably spent most our time on that porch.

Here's me when we first got there, opening my beer and prancing about the grassland:

Ok then, the view:

Not half bad eh?

Friday night we drank some wine and ate our coop goodies, as we were too fried to go back to town for dinner. It was quite lovely. We got up Saturday, hung out on the porch for awhile--see Jeff eat breakfast:

..and then we headed down to check out the water. There is a campground/public beach just down the hill from the cabin. It's really nice, and far less busy than the ones at Sandpoint, but still very popular.

Walking up to the water:

The lovely lake, as clear as Superior:

The beach, it's quite rocky:

And then, the self-portrait:

We wandered about Sandpoint later Saturday, and then eventually headed back to the cabin. Grabbed a belated birthday/anniversary dinner down at a place on the water, just a few miles from the cabin. It was really nice and quite tasty, plus it had a hell of a view.

Today, Sunday, we got up late, did our porch breakfast and eventually packed it up and headed out. Overall a really great vacation. Could've used about 2 more days of staring, but still, this was good.

sort of unpacked

so the upstairs of the house is about as put together as it's going to get until we finish up the basement and move the tv.

the kitchen, notice the nice new black fridge. oooh, and we sold our old fridge tonight which was incredibly exciting and a bonus $200. yippee.

the dining nook, although we're pondering moving it to the office space. that won't make much sense via these pics, but if you were in the house you might get it. still, it works good for now.

the living space. that chair is sort of floating right now, but it works. also, the tv won't be staying there, but again, it works for now.

the office/bar:

and finally, the back stairwell which is going to be our picture hallway.

and there you go. tahdah.