For Sale

Finally put our house on the market in February.

Finished the basement and misc.

We hope it sells quickly.

Farewell, Spokane.

An Oregon house soon?

Looking at various properties.

Thought we’d never build again but…

To quote somebody from the past, “Never say never”

Where we’re living now:

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North Coast Soap Company

Check out North Coast Soap Company. Handmade soaps from good people on the Oregon coast. I’ve seen their operation and know they’re working hard to produce a quality product. These would make great gifts and they look good as guest soaps in your own home. Pass the word on!


Handcrafted soaps from the Oregon coast!

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Jasper NP – XT Pics

Took the old Canon Rebel XT to Jasper NP in Alberta, Canada. Snapped some shots, chose several to upload here. They’re not great…click for slightly larger photos.

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Ball #1

We did a bit of target shooting today. Shot the balls I got for Christmas (there’s a joke in there somewhere). Took some pics and videos [edit to remove link]. Will work on uploading those later. Here are two photos of a bullet that didn’t quite make it all the way through.


The plug at far right must have been from the molding and it was blown out after only a few shots


This is a Blazer 9mm Luger 115 grain from aluminum casing


I’ll probably invest in a few more of these self-healing targets of different shapes and sizes. They were fun to shoot as they rolled and bounced unpredictably so we were taking a new shot each time. Great with the 9mm but this solid, heavy ball was a bit much for the .22 revolver. It didn’t jump using the smaller projectiles.


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Wintery Drinky Thingy

Weekend late-night, before bed, relaxing on the sofa, wrapped in a warm blanket, simultaneously watching a movie on Netflix and the falling snow outside my windows; I’m not a big drinker (anymore) but a lovely treat is a hot potion I concoct when the mood is right:

Brew 10 ounces (295 milliliters) of decaffeinated coffee into a 16 ounce (473 mL) mug

Add one shot – 1.5 oz (44 mL) – of Kahlúa*

Add one shot –  1.5 oz (44 mL) – of Baileys Irish Cream**

Add 1½ shot – 2 oz (59 mL) – of Jameson’s***

Stir it up and keep it hot on an electric mug warmer so you can sip slowly, savoring the sweet, hot liquid goodness.

The whiskey must be Jameson…never a substitue.

*Kahlúa is a coffee-flavored, sugar-based liqueur from Mexico. The drink also contains rum, corn syrup and vanilla bean.

**Baileys Irish Cream is an Irish whiskey and cream based liqueur.

***Jameson is a blended Irish whiskey.

One final note: this is NOT an “Irish coffee”
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Snowshoeing 16 Jan 2016

No plan other than pointing the car toward Montana and driving until we found a place to hike. Pulled off the interstate at Fourth of July Pass but the road was too slick. Back on the freeway headed east, made a pit stop at Old Mission State Park, Idaho. Not a good place for ‘shoeing. A little further east is Cataldo, ID. We parked at the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes trailhead and hiked northeast about 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers). Decided it might not be a good idea to drive home in the dark as the snow was coming down heavy. Back to the car, tossed in our soaking clothes (not wearing water-resistant) and cranked up the heat for our 60-mile (97-kilometer) drive home.

Left the camera at home so only have several mobile phone pics:

Check out the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes. We’ve hiked, biked, and now snowshoed several sections of this awesome trail. Might have to head out there again tomorrow morning with dry clothes, a camera, hot drinks and camp chairs so we can relax by the river and try to spot moose, bald eagles, rednecks, or simply watch the snow falling.

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We drove seven miles south from our house to the James T. Slavin Conservation Area to do some light snowshoeing.


Here’s a chart from showing the calorie-burning benefits of snowshoeing: 420-1046 per hour is awesome!


We decided to ease into the activity this year rather than going all-out and getting burned out early (we’re starting to feel our creaky joints). Our first day out was less than two hours and our second day out was under three hours. Great workout and very peaceful.


Strapping in


Trail into the forest



Men’s MSR Revo Explore 25-inch


Women’s MSR Revo Explore 22-inch


Leki Cristallo Trekking Poles with optional snow baskets. We’ll reinstall the regular baskets for ‘normal’ hiking


Outdoor Designs Alpine gaiters large size. I’ve been using these since 2003. My boots are Vasque Snowburban Ultradry


Mellissa’s boots are Vasque Pow Pow Ultradry and she’s also got Outdoor Designs Alpine gaiters sized medium


Waiting for me while I rest my knees


We broke this trail on the way in and decided to take advantage of it on the way out



This is the proper way to haul gear — just throw it in and go for hot coffee!

I tried walking without poles for a little while and it was OK on the packed snow; when we began breaking through the crust I needed the poles to keep my balance as my snowshoe tips occasionally caught on the up-step. They also helped on any uneven terrain. I wouldn’t go snowshoeing without poles.

Another lesson was to dress in easily removable layers. The temperature was around 30°F (-1°C) and within ten minutes of activity I was peeling off my snow jacket and down liner. Second day we went I wore a fleece and a windbreaker. The windbreaker came off quickly.

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