Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year Review 2009

It feels like the time for lists and "best of's" so I thought I would try and wrap up 2009 with a list of some of the notable events in somewhat chronological order:
  1. Winslow New Year's Visit
  2. Bench Yurt Trip with the gang
  3. Boulder Ski Tour 2009
  4. Snow-box Derby Champion!
  5. Visit to Tucson to see the LaDukes and celebrate Avery's 1st Bday
  6. Hadley Walker was born March 3rd
  7. Duh! Skiing in Switzerland, France, and bike riding in Italy
  8. Ketchum Wide Open Mini-Golf Extravaganza
  9. Stay-cation at Les Saison
  10. Middle Fork River Trip, yee-haw!
  11. Bryan & Kat get engaged
  12. Lucy's 1st knee surgery and recovery
  13. Growing my garden...yummy :)
  14. Trip to Cali to visit Nana and drink wine with my girls in Carmel on my 30th.
  15. Our one year anniversary!!! Phew, made it!
  16. Born Lakes hiking with Lucy and Zach
  17. More mountain bike riding then I knew I was capable of
  18. Tony's retirement in Salmon
  19. Lily dog passes away :(
  20. Trip to Yosemite and Reno!
  21. Cutting fire wood and then giving it back for a lack of permit
  22. Farewell to Jen Lyons :(
  23. Painting our entire house
  24. Erin moves into MoLo and then moves out and then moves in....
  25. Thanksgiving in Reno with the family
  26. Tree hunt Charlie Brown style
  27. And a pioneer Christmas in Hailey!
Phew! And that doesn't really cover it all. If you made it through my list you can only wonder what is to come in this next year...2010 bring it on!!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Outtage!

If you stop and think for a moment what it must have been like for the pioneers of the 19th century to wake up Christmas morning in a Western mountain town. Before rushing to the presents you had to find a light source, build a fire because of the negative temperatures, and look for something warm to eat...

Whether we liked it or not that was our Christmas morning. The entire Wood River Valley was powerless as of 10pm Christmas Eve. No Christmas tree lights, no warm coffee/tea, no lifts running on the ski mountains, no phone calls, and most importantly no heater! That was a glimpse into our Christmas morning. But despite our lack of things that need power (which is pretty much everything) we managed to have a wonderful Christmas!

We sprung into action like true campers. Zach pulled out the headlamps and camping light. We built a fire in our wood stove and luckily we could make coffee/tea on the wonderful flat surface. Not being able to contact anyone, we decided to load up and head up the canyon to Zach's parents house. Not surprisingly, they were doing the exact same thing as we were, however we had coffee :) We decided to head back down to our house and have a proper Pioneer Christmas :) Jean and I whipped up some eggs, hashbrowns, and toast on the wood stove. Then we settled into opening gifts around the tree. Aaaahhh, Christmas!

Luckily, the power returned around noon in our neck of the woods but the people north of us (yes all the rich Sun Valley folk including Schwazeneger, Jamie Lee Curtis, etc.) where not as lucky. Their pioneer Christmas lasted into the evening and I can only imagine what they were eating for breakfast.

We continued to stay warm with a skate ski around Quigley with Lucy.
Later that night I served up a proper Swiss fondue for four. Apples, rosemary bread, and chicken sausage in melted cheese. Fresh duck in peanut oil. Not too shabby for pioneers.

Lucy settles in with her new "goosey"
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and are staying warm where ever you may be!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Stories and pictures to follow.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holly Jolly

We've had a festive weekend starting out with the annual office party for Ruscitto Latham Blanton. Appetizers, wine, and a white elephant exchange made for some funny office memories involving the latest holiday trend, the "snuggie". An adult blanket with arms, this item is sure to frighten any Christmas gift recipient.

Saturday was a great day for skate skiing and we headed up north with Jenna, Willie, and our dogs to break in our winter sticks. Lot's of laughs followed by a delicious meal at Galena Lodge, we all went home ready for a nap.

Nik and Erin arrived to Hailey from Portland the same day and geared up for action on the town. In Ketchum we made sure to stop by all the local favorites, the Pio, Lefty's, Grumpy's, and the newly opened Whiskey Jacques. Oddly familiar the new Whiskey Jacques feels just like old times with some obvious and needed improvements. We ended the night by boogieing down to the Damphools band.

Sunday we struggled out of bed and took the Reno kids up to Galena Cross for some back country skiing. I have to say for their first time ever skinning on skis they did very well. It's not easy breaking in your lungs going up the mountain, and then your legs coming down but they managed to pull through nicely. We finished it off with another delicious meal at Galena Lodge. Seriously how can you go wrong there :)

Only when we returned to town did Zach realize that his money clip was missing. He searched through every pocket, nook, and cranny that he could think of before he was ready to surrender and start canceling cards. Not gonna happen, I thought. I convinced him we needed to go back to where he saw it last which unfortunately meant returning to the mountain that we had skied on earlier that day. In the dark we looked in and out of snow banks and all over the snow covered road for a needle in the haystack. We had to return to the summit of the mountain and then back down to where we had pulled off the road when we finished our run. Zach retraced his footsteps and low & behold he found it! Face down in the snow. The only visible part was the white back of his Costco card. Needless to say we were happy to have made a worthwhile trip.

Pictures to follow....

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Pioneer Woman

A great friend of mine gave me "The Pioneer Woman's" cookbook for Christmas yesterday and I couldn't be more thrilled! In the kitchen I need all the help I can get and the more ideas the better. From this cookbook and my friend, I've discovered "The Pioneer Woman" blog and enjoyed all the insight, photographs, and stories. As I looked through the cookbook I realized there was more to this than just the recipes, there was a story of a woman and her transition from an urban life style into the rural west. Sound familiar?

Since becoming "Idaho Sarah" I have trodden down a similar path to the "Pioneer Woman". I've learned how to cut my own wood, hike up steep back country mountains with two sticks on my feet, stay camouflaged from ducks in the bitter cold, raft down wild rivers, sleep in a tent for almost a month, replace and grout an old tile floor, hate Nap weed, eat wild moose, and more! I've given up my trendy city clothes for heavy winter boots and a long down jacket. I've learned to eat potatoes at almost every meal (Zach's favorite). We have a yellow lab, love the mountains, and are constantly outside regardless of the weather. And I love it all! Living life has never been better since I turned into Pioneer Sarah :)

Thanks Jenna for the great cookbook and the reminder of why I'm grateful to live here!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Whiskey's

I just checked in on the construction progress at the New Whiskey Jacques in Ketchum. They've got a way's to go before their opening next Friday but the completed building is going to be awesome! For those of you that don't know Whiskey Jacques is a historic bar/restaurant that burned down last year in Ketchum. The entire town stood in main street and watched in shock as the building went up in flames. Many a local, traveler, and ski bum, have found themselves in Whiskey's at one time or another on their way through the Wood River Valley.

I'm very excited for everyone in the valley to enjoy having this back in our community. I can already visualize the fun times to be had on the new second level back deck, overlooking Baldy while soaking up the rays with a beer in hand. I'll be seeing you at the new and improved Whiskey's no doubt!

Monday, December 7, 2009

O' Tannenbaum

It was time to break in our new AT boots so Zach and I woke up at 5am on Saturday morning and skinned up the big bad Bald one (otherwise known as our local ski mountain, Baldy). I believe it's around 3,200ft to the top and I always anticipate the first skin of the season with dread and excitement. Dread because I know it's going to be painful to get my lungs and body back into ski touring shape. Excitement because it is always so beautiful and serene to be outside in the quiet moonlight on skis. I'm happy to report we made it with little pain and enjoyed the tour up, well before the first skiers hit the mountain. It was a frigid 2 degrees and windchill of -15 on top of the mountain so we quickly put on our warmer coats, de-skinned our skis, and headed down the mountain on the perfectly groomed corduroy. Our new boots stood the test and my legs are the only thing that need to be broken in now. Warm hot chocolate by the fire in the lodge helped to refuel us for the next part of our day...

Our Christmas tree hunt! Granted we were a warn in from our hike up Baldy but we had gotten the permit (yes of course) and Lucy was ready to go. Why does it always seem that the best Christmas tree's are at the top of a mountain and not near the road where the car is? Maybe it's because they always look so great from far away. By the time we had found the "perfect" tree we had probably hiked up another Baldy and then some, so anything looked good at that point. We had fun sliding down the somewhat snowy hill with our new Christmas tree and quickly stuffed it into the back of the truck.
The perfect tree
At home we quickly realized that our tree was too big for our living room. So we cut a few branches off the bottom...then some more....then some more...until we had what appeared to be the remaining 8ft top of our once beautiful tree. Zach and I were so upset we couldn't even look at it without laughing how ridiculous it looked in the house. Determined not to waste this tree's life I proceeded to decorate the remaining six branches with all the ornaments that would fit. I think Charlie Brown would be proud :)

Next year, needless to say, we are looking for a small tree no bigger then we stand.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Handmade Christmas

With December here I have been trying to gather ideas for Christmas gifts for family and friends. The slow economy hasn't made this easy as it has affected us all. But I don't want to loose the quality in the gifts I'm giving so I'm loading them with love! Ready or not I'm doing my best to make everything by hand this year. I thought I would share my ideas to help others that may need a few. Don't be shocked if one of these items turns up in your stocking.

Peppermint Bark: My favorite holiday treat is delicious
and always brings Christmas to mind.

Hand knit scarves: I've been knitting one for my mother. She wanted something cranberry red and black. She still wears one I made for her years ago.

Poppy Seeds: I have been collecting the poppy seeds from our garden for the last two summers and will give them out to family and friends to plant in their gardens this spring.

Tea: I love hot tea!
And nothing better then fresh tea dried with love for those around you.

Leg Warmers: How cute are these?
My next knit project will be for a pair that I might have to gift to myself.

Hopefully I don't run out of time to do all this! If your looking for me I might be frantically knitting late at night :) xoxo

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Zach, Lucy, and I are in Reno spending time with family and looking forward to a day of relaxation, good food, and great conversations. We will miss our family in Idaho and in the Bay Area but know we will see them soon. I wanted to share a list of things I am very Thank-full for this year:

  • my loving and adoring husband
  • our little house in Idaho
  • a new ski season
  • a great job and potentially great small business
  • Lucy, the lucky lab
  • chocolate chip cookies
  • running
  • good books
  • awesome girlfriends
  • health
  • all my loving family!!!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone :) xoxo

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Guest Blog on Rickshaw Design

I had the wonderful opportunity to guest blog for Rickshaw Designs this week with five gift suggestions for the holidays. The owner, Catherine, specializes in beautiful hand block printed bedding for children out of the San Francisco Bay area. She is truly a creative and savvy girl! You can visit her blog here Rickshaw Design Blog or website at Rickshaw Design.

Here is my blog for her site:
I love Rickshaw's fabrics and am so happy to share some other items I love for sustainable interiors.

* Cub Childrens Cork Chair by Daniel Michalik, Brooklyn, New York, $238
* Tin Roof Switchplate Covers from Anthropologie, $18-$24
* Oil Drum Angel from VivaTerra, $65-$139
*Work Lamp by Form Us With Love for Design House Stockholm, $100
*Solid Bronze Dinner Bell, Rocky Mountain Hardware, $358

And something not for the house but would help me bring things home to the house would be this bike basket
* Design House Carrie Bicycle Basket, $70

Happy Holidays to all! xoxo White Canvas Designs
Thanks Sarah! Sarah lives in the best little town of Hailey Idaho, having that beautiful outdoors at her fingertips she can't help but be inspired by green living. Her design firm specializes in green design for residential or commercial projects. Plus she would be so fun to work with!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gondola Go-nan-Za

This past Saturday Sun Valley unveiled it's new gondola from the base of River Run to the Roundhouse Lodge. Not exactly the most spectacular distance by means of any gondola or tram but huge in the effect that it is making on our little town. 3,200 people waited in line at the base of the mountain to get a chance for a free ride up the brand new Dopplemeyer cars. Free hot chocolate and cookies helped the wait along with a little jib park to entertain people in line. Ruscitto/Latham/Blanton has been working on this in conjunction with Sun Valley Co., for over a year now so it's always great to see a project come to completion. And the views from the Roundhouse were spectacular! Some people participated in a snow shoe race from the base to Roundhouse Lodge and then enjoyed a ride down. We had one of Zach's cousin's visiting for the weekend so we took the easy way up and down. Our little town is thrilled to have the new feature on our ski mountain. Hope everyone gets to share in our excitement with a little Sun Valley skiing this winter :)

New Moon Review

The "girls" (all eight of us in our 30's) had a great time at the New Moon showing last Friday night. Filled with all sorts of teenage admirers we stood in line for twenty minutes before getting in to one of the two sold out theaters showing the movie in little Hailey. It was all the romance you could ask for with slightly less cheese then the first Twilight film. The special effects were a LOT better in this film, thank goodness because I was worried they were going to
dress sheep up in wolf clothing after watching the first film.
Overall it was enjoyable but truly nothing can compare to the books :) Still looking forward to the next movie...Eclipse!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Twilight Tonight!

Yes, I'm a groupie and so excited to stand in line with a hundred other girls of all ages to swoon over Edward and Jacob. Never even heard of Twilight this time last year. Amazing what a book can get you into! This must be like what women felt like when the Beatles were around in the 50's.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Winter Cold

Zach and I had a wonderful Sunday skate ski for our first time this winter near Galena Lodge. Beautiful blue bird skies and a few trails to play on before the season officially starts. Everyone we passed had an ear to ear smile with excitement for the early ski conditions. The trails still needed some extra snow in places to cover over rocks or limbs but for the most part it was great start.

Earlier that morning we had Skyp'd with my sister, Addie, and her family in Tucson, AZ. From my laptop I was showing them the new snow in our yard, our firewood stack, and our wood stove keeping us warm. Cameron, my brother-in-law commented about how we must get tired of the cold. Yes, that happens as you can get tired of the heat I imagine. But in our hearts we love the cold and that's why we live here. I have never been more active in the winter time until I moved to Idaho. Nordic skiing, backcountry skiing, broom hockey, and skating are just some of the things that people are occupied with for fun during the winter. People are always on the move here and resting just means sitting around a fire somewhere with friends/family to share your cold adventures.

Cold is a funny thing. In some people's minds it can be the worst thing ever. Being cold can sound horrible. But as I've grown to learn and appreciate, cold also has a beauty and freshness that can only be enjoyed when you relax and open up to it. There is nothing like the feeling of fresh crisp air after a new snow outside. The quiet that surrounds is a moment to take a depth breath and feel warm and calm inside.

Not to say if anyone was offering me a free trip to say... Hawaii I would pass it up though :)

Monday, November 9, 2009


Last Tuesday Zach and I came down with what we can only think was the 24hr flu! Terrible, is all I can say for a day of utter misery. We were paranoid that it might be the dreaded swine flu at first but were relived when we woke up the next day to relative normalness. We were so lucky to have my sister, Erin, on hand as our nurse for the day and mom, Jean, nearby to bring us chicken soup and fluids. Thank you! We were a wreck! I don't think there has ever been a time where I haven't wished for my mother to be near when I have been sick. And luckily we had a mom and a sister at our mercy. It's been almost a week now and I still feel like I'm recovering from that day. It slows you down and really makes you appreciate little things again. All of a sudden I am so grateful for every bite of food that wants to stick with me, being outside never felt better, and I am obsessed with cleanliness. Not that I wasn't before but now I look at everything and see germs. Erin has been a trooper and managed to put up with me despite my consistent fussing and organizing while she visits. Hopefully we won't be getting sick again for a LONG time....! For all those sick people out there, hang in there, and the best medicine of all is sleep.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Regina!

Happy Birthday to my fabulous friend Regina!
Lucky her, her birthday is on Halloween
and she get's to be the Birthday Princess every year.
29 and looking fine :)
Luv ya!