Friday, April 26, 2013

SPRING FLING!

CELEBRATE SPRING FLING!
DOWNTOWN CROUCH/GARDEN VALLEY
APRIL 27, 10-4

ARTS & CRAFTS BOOTHS

QUAINT SHOPS

OLD MERCANTILE EXCHANGE CRAFTS MALL

WAGON RIDES FOR THE FAMILY
PETTING ZOO

BISTRO
RESTAURANTS
DELI AT GV MARKET

TRADING POST

PARK & WALKING PATH
~ ~ ~
GRAND OPENING
~"CENTER FOR THE ARTS"~
10am - 8pm
Artists' Wine & Cheese Reception
6 - 8 pm
Selected Works from Artists
Enjoy seeing the new
 Gallery, Gift Shop & Classrooms 
Located downtown Crouch
Everyone Welcome!

Crouch Council: Cottage Resort Development Moves Ahead

  Since the Crouch City Council denied de-annexation of a piece of property between the Post Office and Weilmunster Park last year, the county has been working toward a solution to the problem posed for Don Weilmunster’s development of Garden Valley Cottage Resort.
  Planning and Zoning Interim Administrator, Rora Canody, appeared at the April 10 Crouch Council meeting, on behalf of Boise County. “We’re trying desperately to work with the city and Mr. Weilmunster to help get a family split, so the city portion remains in Crouch,” she stated. “My request is—we want the city to agree to split the parcel, and the part of the property in the City of Crouch would be the city’s.”
  City attorney, John McFadden, said that from the standpoint of people who invested money, the council should vote.
  Councilmember, Wendy Bates, requested clarification on the term, “family split”. It was explained that it referred to an old concept of splitting off a part of a parcel belonging to a family, which would normally be for the use of a family member. Canody said that under the Boise County Subdivision Ordinance, they do have a process of splitting.
  McFadden assured that the split-off parcel would then be completely under City of Crouch jurisdiction, so county rules would not apply.
  On the other hand, Weilmunster can go ahead with development of his property, which will now be completely within the jurisdiction of the county.
  Council approved the split.
  The Grand Opening of the Center for the Arts will be on Saturday, April 27, all day, along with Spring Fling. Booths, crafts, wagon rides, food, fun for the family!
  The Garden Valley Arts Alliance was given approval to change its name to Garden Valley Center for the Arts. GVCA Treasurer, Tiffany Thuleen, presented several requests pertaining to the Center’s financial operations. Since the ordinance is being re-written by McFadden, he will include the approved items.
  The Center for the Arts will open a gift shop, inside of the center, which had a successful Raggedy Opening three weeks ago, in the revived Lumberyard building in downtown Crouch. Acting Mayer, Richard Messick, signed a sales tax registration form, so the artists can collect taxes.
  Attorney McFadden said that the City of Crouch does not have a non-profit 501c3 but Boise County Commissioner, Jamie Anderson, explained that they can use an IRS “courtesy letter”, which will allow the arts center to make grant applications to a lot of entities.
  The council has not completed the process of adding the Crouch Museum to the city. It is expected to be finished next month. City Clerk, Kim Bosse, received unexpected notice that the Laura Moore Cunningham grant money must be used by May, not July. Hence, Paul Shepherd’s bid to change the ground slope was accepted and he will get right on it.
  Businesses delinquent in paying their annual business license fees will be charged an extra $150. For reconsideration, they must appear at a meeting and address the council.
  Kim Bosse bid her farewell to the council and introduced newly hired City Clerk, Vickie Chandler, who will begin her stint at the beginning of May. (A farewell party was held for her on April 20 at the Dirty Shame.)
  The next Council meeting will be on May 8, at 6:30, in the Syringa Building.
 

Skinny Dipper Hot Springs Closed for Now


  Shucks. Better put on your shorts and head to another warm-water idyll for this springtime. The Bureau of Land Management has announced the closure of the Skinny Dipper Hot Springs and the surrounding area (41 acres), until June 30, 2013.
  BLM officials say the closure is due to the 2012 Springs Fire, which burned away vegetation on rocky slopes above the hot springs. Because spring rains could lead to falling rocks, flooding and debris flowing through the hot springs, bare bottoms will have to settle elsewhere for the next three months.
  After June 30, the hot springs will be open for day use only.
  This will not be the first time for day-use only at Skinny Dipper. Since 2004, several fatalities, assaults, and numerous injuries have occurred with nighttime use. Be forewarned that there is no cell-phone access at the springs. It is not advisable to thumb the nose at your own safety.
  The government warns that anyone violating the closure could face a fine up to $1,000 and up to twelve months in jail. Closure signs will be posted at the Skinny Dipper Hot Springs, near Milepost 4, four miles from the town of Banks.
  Whispers among skinny dippers divulge continued use of the springs, but you could get ticketed by federal officers, if parked there.  According to County Commissioner, Jamie Anderson, the county would respond “only if requested by federal law enforcement for an officer assist”.
   Butt--beware, be safe, and perhaps be bare somewhere else.

Library Receives Grant for Children’s Books

   The Libri Foundation is a nationwide non-profit organization which
donates new, quality, hardcover children's books to small, rural public libraries in the United States, through its BOOKS FOR CHILDREN program.
  The Foundation supports the concept that children who learn to enjoy reading at an early age continue to read throughout their lives. In order to develop a love of reading, children must have access to books which stretch their imaginations, touch their emotions and expand their horizons.
  In areas like Garden Valley, the local public library is most likely the primary source of reading material. At a time when more and more children and their parents and teachers are using public libraries, the libraries are facing increasing financial hardships and are unable to buy the books their young readers need.
  The Foundation works with Friends of the Library or other local organizations, because they believe in community involvement and want to encourage and reward local support of libraries. In this case, the GV Friends of the Library have donated $350, which the Foundation matched on a 2-to-1 ratio. Thus, the library will receive $1,050 worth of new books.
  Cass Meissner, the library’s Youth Services Coordinator, is familiar with the needs of the library and the community, and will select the books the library will receive from the Foundation's 700-title booklist. The majority of books have been published within the last three years, but old favorites are also offered.
  “We will begin selections with books we need for our summer reading theme and also consider patron requests,” says Meissner. “We will host an open house, when our new collection books arrive. We have fun youth programs each week and would love to see you.”
  According to Meissner, there is always a need for youth non-fiction--books they can use for programs and activities or student research. Donations to the library for collection consideration are always welcomed, and are greatly appreciated.
  More information on the foundation can be viewed at www.librifoundation.org/.


Senior Center: Community Brainstorm!

                                                                                                                         
    I’ll begin. A woman from California, whose father is moving to a house on Packer John, called to ask questions about the Senior Center: “My dad doesn’t get out much but he loves to go to the Senior Center to play pool with friends.”
  How about a pool table and card tables for games at the Center?
  A lady named Nancy announced that she has her mother’s collection of National Geographics and would we want them? I remember when the Center was divested of all magazines and reading material. It seems we have a few token books on a shelf now, but any other readables are seniors’ newspapers. How beckoning is that?
  Perhaps we could use the Center shelves for Granny’s cache of books--on so many subjects. Visitors could enjoy a book here with a cup of joe or drop their 25 or 50 cents into the can and take it home.
  Now, all of our ideas will be worthy, but without the friendly face and willing body of a volunteer (there’s that catchy word again), what good are the ideas? We need OPEN HOURS and a smiling face to say “hello and welcome”, answer the phone and make the coffee.
  We are considering options and asking you to do the same, because the changes are coming, and with CCOA’s lack of funding—cooks and coordinators are not on the menu.
  And—pardon me for harping—why have cooks and coordinators if we can’t afford enough open hours and have very few loyal patrons?
A rare sight of Granny Ruth Richter sitting down,
 but still working on piles of clothing!
  The large building is here and it’s paid for. The Memorial Garden and productive herb and veggie gardens beautifully flourish in three seasons—thanks to dedicated tending by Linda Baker and Jayne Carlson (HELP NEEDED ON TUESDAYS AM).  This is a super, central location and by gum, I’d like to see it thriving!
  If anyone has a light bulb illuminate the darkness of the drab future of the Senior Center, please carry it brightly to the seniors board, via phone (462-3943), e-mail (gvseniors@frontiernet.net) or stop in during meals or visit Granny’s.
  Our building is crying out for community activity!
   Thursday Breakfasts are served at 9:30. Affordable and a friendly way to get the day started.
   DINNER is a warm affair at the Center. Your whole family is welcome—low prices also give you the opportunity for family ambience, with all ages.
   If you need a home meal delivered, call Judy.
  Granny’s Closet never stops adding new (gently-used) merchandise, so check her out. Apparel for all sizes and ages, linens, fabric and sewing notions, books galore (bring two, take one), gifts, glass and kitchen wares, pet items, and the hardware corner is a trip to explore. Open Fridays, 12-5 and Saturdays, 11-4.
  Exercise with Petite Ione for free—easy, non-intimidating Fit & Fall-Proof routine—join the ladies—open to all sexes! Come on guys—buck up and get in here.
   NOSY NEIGHBORLY HOME TOUR  is on its way--June 1, from 10-4. $10 a ticket, on sale at the Center, Granny's Closet, Garden Valley Market and the Old Crouch Mercantile Crafts Mall, downtown Crouch.
This tour will be fun, taking you to a variety of homes--Log Houses, Artists' Abodes, Glam Digs and such.
Bistro, Restaurants and Deli options are in Crouch, along with shopping ops. Put it on the calendar!
  Find us at 261 Middle Fork Road, GV/Crouch. 462-3943 or gvseniors@frontiernet.net.
  

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Grab Yer Tools & Head to the Senior Center Garden!

Contributed by that gardening fool, Jayne Carlson


The landscaping around the Senior Center requires routine maintenance.
 
Linda Baker and Jayne Carlson have been doing much of the work. 

At times, we can recruit some Project Patch volunteers for BIG projects.

It is the small tasks like pulling a few weeds or adjusting the sprinklers that need weekly attention. 

Linda and I are scheduling Tuesday mornings to get our gloves dirty and attend the herb garden.

We will be planting some vegetables in the back beds.

We need some help, perhaps just an hour of easy work, from people who enjoy the flower garden.

Please HELP on Tuesday mornings at 9:00 AM, every week.
 

Thanks to every member of the Senior Center.


Jayne Carlson

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

School Board Meeting Changed

The School Board meeting has been moved to Monday, May 13th, 6:00 p.m., in the Flex room.

The board will be attending the High School Awards/Scholarship Night on Tuesday, May 14th, at 7:00, in the Multi-Purpose Room.


Connie Bartel
Clerk of the Board
Garden Valley School District
P.O. Box 710
1053 Banks Lowman Rd.
Garden Valley, Idaho 83622
Ofc.: 208-462-3756
Fax:  208-462-3570

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Adventures in the Lake District!

Ruth and friends continue their UK trek north to the Lakes.
By Ruth Richter
On Thursday, March 14th, we had a short drive of about 130 miles, almost entirely on “M” Roads (British terminology for freeways or interstates) driving from Wales to the Lake District.  In the process we managed to skirt around Liverpool, missing the homes of the Beatles in the process, as well as bypassing Manchester, both big industrial cities that held little interest for us.
Driving on a four-lane (sometimes six-lane) highway made the miles clip by quickly and we found ourselves in the Lake District area by 10 a.m.  Once in the area, we hit the lesser roads again, “A” and “B” roads and, primarily because it was recommended to us by Mary Wilson, another of our neighbors, we sought out Beatrix Potter’s home.  What a great stop it was and we all loved the home which was set up to look as if she and her husband had just been there having a morning cup of tea.  One of the interesting things we learned was that she’d used her home for the drawings found in many of her books and so in each of the rooms was a page displayed from the book where she’d drawn a corner of the room with the furnishings we were seeing there.
After a stop for lunch where I had rarebit for the first time in my life, which was simply good, we went on to Ambleside to find our B&B.  We were staying at the Elder Grove B&B rather than a self-catering cottage since we had only allowed ourselves two nights in the Lake District.  Our B&B was more like a small hotel and our two rooms were excellent and provided an exercise program in that the rooms were at the top of this old Victorian building – four flights
up! 
 
When our host offered to carry my bag up for me, I “very graciously” allowed him to do so!  Note the “house mouse” that lived right outside the door of our room; a charming little touch which we all enjoyed.  Breakfast in this B&B was a feast and we were even provided a menu to choose from.
Likely of interest is the menu for a full English breakfast, which is typically served at any B&B.  It includes eggs, any style, sometimes a potato of some sort, “bacon” which we would more define as Canadian bacon, sausage, beans (as in the can), a baked or roasted tomato,  grilled mushrooms, sometimes fried toast.  You can pick and choose from a variety of cereals prior to your hot breakfast being delivered and there are also several juices to choose from.  Coffee and tea is also part of the breakfast.  Much to my companions’ interest and then dismay, toast is served on a toast rack which guarantees the toast will be served cold by the time it reaches the table.  In this particular B&B, there were many varieties of this menu that could be asked for, including a vegetarian meal.  Needless to say, after eating this much for breakfast, it is well into the rest of the day before anyone gets hungry again.
We did drive around a bit that afternoon mainly on a quest for a teapot that Marla had decided she wanted to purchase as a souvenir – the teapot is significant in England right now in that it quotes Winston Churchill with the saying, “Be Calm and Carry On” which he uttered during World War II.  More on where the teapot was eventually found later!
Our host at the B&B was consulted the next morning about possible mountain drives we might take.  I remembered taking one before in this area that was just wonderful and hoped that perhaps we could duplicate it.  He directed us on the map that we all pored over and we easily found the road we were to take to go over Hard Knott Pass and Wrynose Pass (not the road I recalled, but more exciting yet).  As we started up the grade, Ken and I noted a sign saying there would be 30% grades ahead.  We figured surely that was the English way of measuring such things and it couldn’t be that steep of grades; we were dead wrong!
Since it had been raining a lot the day before, the mountains called fells here were literally oozing water everywhere and there were marvelous waterfalls, small streams gushing down beside us and under the road, and it was simply beautiful.  As we hit one of several hairpin curves, they were so sharp I couldn’t figure out how we could possibly make the tight turns.  Multiple times there were some mighty gasps from the ladies in the backseat (not to say that I in the front seat wasn’t doing the same!), and Ken was beaming with excitement the whole time, but I suspect his heart was pounding too!
This was definitely our most exciting day so far as well as a very memorable one!  The Lake District which we didn’t begin to see to its fullest is truly a beautiful spot.  It’s also very touristy so if you’re planning a trip to Great Britain, you might want to keep in mind that during the summer months traffic will be very heavy … but probably not over Hard Knott and Wry Nose Passes … which is a good thing since once again it’s basically a one-way road with two-lane traffic!
I’ve been asked about the cost of traveling in Great Britain which people assume is very expensive … certainly it can be.  We did it as inexpensively as possible.  We had “free” airline tickets because we all had airline miles available to use.  Ken was able to get our rental car through Hertz for a very low price of around $600 (and we each shared the cost of this).  As I’ve said before, the self-catering cottages were quite inexpensive but you do have to shop around to find a good price, AND we were in the off season when the price to rent them is considerably less, maybe as much as half or less. 


A man's chair!

Then, other than the times we stayed in B&Bs, we made our own breakfasts at minimal cost, we had lunch when we were out and about but noontime meals cost less than evening meals, and we mostly ate in pubs or cafes with less expensive fare than the restaurants … more ambience too!  (TIP:  we also enjoyed chatting with the staff or the folks at the next table in many of these stops; they are always happy to talk with Americans it would seem.)  Our dinners were almost always back in the cottage and were usually something rather simple such as grilled cheese sandwiches or canned soup or when Ken was craving them, we tried hot dogs which were fine!  We had purchased prior to departure National Trust passes to allow us to visit many of the historical homes and castles, gardens, Beatrix Potter’s cottage, and so forth.  These pay for themselves after the first several visits to such sites, and they also allow you to comfortably visit as many of those places as you choose knowing you won’t have to pay the entrance fee, which can be quite high.
I mentioned grilled cheese sandwiches above; if you’ve never tried English white cheddar cheese, it’s a treat!  I buy it here in the U.S. at Costco in a large block … and it’s Irish cheddar cheese, but just as good.  It keeps well and makes outstanding grilled cheese sandwiches but is wonderful to just slice off a piece and snack!


Syringa Still Looking For Writers!

Book to Include Boise County
50 years of age and older

GV Syringa Club has revised submission
guidelines for the
prose/poetry book
to be published this year.

Due to interest, all Boise County residents
are invited to submit prose and poetry
for consideration.

Please refer to
April 5 post here on
GV Daily News.

April 30 deadline.

Mail in Microsoft Word Doc Only
to

Senior Center to be New Community Organization


The Senior Center burst into moms and babies, tables and
food, and piles of beautifully-wrapped gifts for almost
new mom, Ashley Ross, who is expecting on May 13.
The building definitely lived up to its motto,
"The Center for All Ages".


   The Garden Valley Senior Center has a unique and exciting opportunity to become a totally new community organization for all ages in the valley--to become something completely unique for the good of everyone.
  Senior Center president, Ron Richter, says, “Here’s the deal. The Center has recently been informed that ‘the sequester’ has hit the agency that has been paying for the staff of the Center and for reimbursing for the meals served. As of the end of June, the agency will not be able to pay for staff and will have to reduce the amount reimbursed for meals. As you can imagine, the Center cannot continue to provide for long without this subsidizing, so something will have to change.”
  The Center now has the opportunity to stop what it has been trying to accomplish and restructure itself into whatever it wants to become.  
  Think about it. We now have the opportunity to gater the community’s input and suggestions and emerge as a completely different community service, designed for the purpose of becoming what the people in the Valley want the Center to become.
  It is obvious that the old Senior Center was accomplishing very little of what Garden Valley wanted. Meal attendance shrank to less than ten people on some nights. Activities attempted, such as game nights, dance lessons, hobby sessions, card playing nights, special breakfasts and holiday meals have been poorly attended; building rentals are minimal. The Center has been unable to find more than a couple of people who want and need home-delivered meals. 
  Also, getting anyone to volunteer to help with anything, especially with volunteering for the board of directors, is beyond disappointment. The number of very faithful people who have always been there to help and volunteer has dwindled down to a small few who are now getting tired and burned out.
  This is not to say that there have not been some successes. Granny’s Closet is the exception, and the outstanding hard work of a team of ladies has made the Closet an important stop for all of us living in the Valley. Also, the overwhelming success of the February Talent Show was most encouraging, and it is hoped that this will become an annual February event--but the successes are not enough to carry the Center forward.
  So this opportunity to resurrect the Center as a new and different organization is an exciting offer for the community to come forward and be a part of the new Center. The present board of directors met in Emmett on April 10, joining other Centers who were also looking at restructuring options. Now the Center is accepting input and welcoming new volunteers for the board. Join in for this important process.
  Keep a lookout for flyers on bulletin boards, the newspaper and blogs for information on how you can contribute. Put our June 1 Home Tour fundraiser on your calendar.
  For now, Dinner is still served at 6 p.m., Wednesday and Fridays. Next Wednesday, come in for Chicken Enchiladas, Spanish Rice, Veggies, Salad Bar and Rolls, and Tapioca Pudding. Friday, 4/25, the Center will serve up BBQ Pork Ribs, Herbed Potato, Coleslaw, Salad Bar & Rolls, and Bread Pudding.
  Breakfast on Thursday, 4/25, at 9:30, will be GV Mountain Biscuits & Gravy , Scrambled Eggs and Fruit.
 Join Ione for her free exercise class, every Tuesday and Thursday at 3 p.m. The cricks and creaks combined with snowy-day munching have taken their toll—time to stretch and move it and this is gentle stuff—come in and feel better.
   Granny’s Closet is open Fridays, 12-5, and Saturdays, 11-4. The wise Granny’s shopper knows a stop in every week is essential for finding what you want—but any visit will tempt you with something you never wanted but now must have “at this great price!”.
  The Center is open during Granny’s hours and exercise, and also Wednesdays and Fridays, 12-7, and Thursdays, 8-11. Call Judy for building rental and other information: 462-3943, or mail to gvseniors@frontiernet.net. Located at 261 S. Middle Fork Road, Crouch/GV. All ages are welcome—hope to see you.
 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Library Friends Bring Ernie Lombard to Garden Valley

   Idaho visionary, Ernie Lombard, has been at the forefront of preserving and recording Idaho's great past, and the Friends of the Garden Valley Library are privileged to welcome a slide presentation by him on Friday, April 19, at 7:00 p.m.
  Lombard has probably visited more ghost towns and mining areas than anyone else in Idaho. As a Boise architect (now retired), Ernie has had a hand in designing several of Idaho's most significant buildings. His talents and passion for architecture and history, along with a strong interest in photography and art, have preserved Idaho's rugged and unique past. 

Photo: Idaho Public Television
   Some years back, Lombard decided he'd like to record as many of Idaho's ghost towns and mining artifacts as he could. During the last thirty-five years, he has logged thousands of miles on his dirt bike, traveling to every corner of the state on his photographic mission.
  Ernie has a collection of historic images of Idaho buildings, numbering to more than 3,000. Some of the buildings you can no longer see, because they've since fallen down or have been destroyed by fire.
   His presentation, "Ghost Towns of Idaho'', has been presented hundreds of times. Every school district in the State has the video created from this presentation, to use in teaching Idaho history. Ernie also conducts historical "safaris'' to ghost towns and teaches about Idaho ghost towns and photography in the Boise Community Education Program. He is the longest continuing education instructor in the history of the program.
   In 2009, Senator Jim Risch said in a tribute to Lombard, “It is indeed an honor for me to give recognition to Ernie Lombard for his vision and many years of work to preserve Idaho's significant history and his passion and willingness to educate Idahoans and others about our wonderful State. Future generations of Idahoans have received a great gift from Ernie Lombard, and we are very grateful.”
  For more than twenty years, Ernie had a vision of a State park that would showcase Idaho's mining history and allow for motorized recreation. In 2009, the vision was realized when, thanks to his leadership, the Bayhorse ghost town, in Custer County, became an addition to Idaho's State Park system. The ghost town is historically significant and many buildings are still standing. The site is extremely well marked, with interpretive signs and kiosks, making self-guided tours fun and interesting.
   This project also provided great trail opportunities for a variety of users. The Lombard Trail, named for Ernie Lombard, is a 14-mile multiple-use trail, open to motorcycles, ATVs, and non-motorized trail users, that links the town of Challis to the Bayhorse OHV trail system. The trail crosses county-owned land, BLM, and US Forest Service lands. Several other mine sites in the area are on the trails system and are equally well signed.
  In Risch’s tribute, sent to President Obama, he remarks on the task involved: “Many parcels in the park needed to have century-old toxic mine waste removed. Bayhorse was one of the first sites in the country to use brownfields grant funds to accomplish that feat.” The work was such a success, the Bayhorse project was awarded the Partners in Conservation Award by the U.S. Department of the Interior, for outstanding conservation results among many partners.
  The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Society said, “One trail may be named for Ernie; the entire trail system exists because of Ernie’s vision, persistence, and dedication.” 
  Lombard’s work on a county historical advisory board led to the preservation of the historic Guffey railroad bridge across the Snake River, between Canyon and Owyhee Counties. This bridge is a centerpiece for Celebration Park.
   Idaho State Historical Society awarded Ernie Lombard with their “Esto Perpetua'' award for significant contributions to the preservation of Idaho history.
   Lombard’s presentation promises to be more than just great photos. He will be bringing a lifetime of intense passion to Garden Valley’s library. To quote him: “So I combine my love of photography, combine my love of history, and combine my love of riding trail bikes to get there, which really works out very well."
  The April 19 presentation is free to the public. Plan to join Ernie Lombard and the Friends of the Library for refreshments after the program.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ruth and Friends in Wales

ON TO WALES
By Ruth Richter
On this Sunday, it was a fairly nice day to travel.  As mentioned earlier, we had talked with Chris and Peggy Parker about things to do and places to go and in particular, a scenic route to take to Wales from the Cotswolds.
This became the Chris Parker Grand Tour as we headed to the city of Hereford, the area in which Chris had grown up. We stopped there to visit the Hereford Cathedral where the Magna Carta is kept, but it wasn’t currently on display.  Since it was Sunday morning, we arrived there between worship services; it was a cold day, and the heat was on, which doesn’t usually happen that much in churches there, especially one so large.  One man chatted with me a bit and told me it cost 4,000 pounds per day to heat the cathedral; that’s a whopping $6,500.  They had a sign posted asking for donations to help out with paying the bills – no surprise!
Then following Chris’ directions, we drove to the tiny village of Mansel Lacy (charming village names in England!) and found his boyhood home with little problem having seen a picture of it earlier.  It was situated by a clear little stream and was a small black and white house, white stucco with black timbers.  From there we went on to Woebley which is a town made up mostly of black and white houses.
Our lengthier route we’d chosen for the scenery and interesting villages next took us to Hay-on-Wye, which I had remembered as being a small town with books stuffed in every building, on bookshelves just out on the streets, literally everywhere.  This time it looked like they’d perhaps gotten rid of many of the books and it was too early in the morning for shops to be open so we just drove on through.  (By the way, Hay-on-Wye signifies the name of the town, Hay, and that it’s on the River Wye).
The drive through the countryside that day was just beautiful, lots of green pastures everywhere, and the trees weren’t leafed out yet so we had long vistas to view the rolling hills, and every little village we drove through had its own charm.  And in the afternoon there was a light rain off and on.  Once we’d entered Wales, the road signage began to be printed in two languages, English and Welsh; the Welsh is mostly unpronounceable including one village called :                  Llanfairpwllgwyngvilgogeryschwyrndrobwillandyhsiliogogogoch, which means “Church of St. Mary in the hollow of the white hazel trees, near a fierce whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio, near the red cave.”  
Imagine our relief at arriving in Betws-y-Coed with a relatively simple pronunciation that I still can never say correctly.  Unfortunately, about that time, someone behind us was flashing his lights so when we got a chance, we pulled over to see what the problem was.  We had a very, very flat tire!  We called the AA man (like our AAA) and a very nice young man came to our rescue within an hour, which we thought was quite remarkable considering we were in a fairly obscure spot.  Interestingly, in Great Britain, most cars are rented with no spare tire. The tires are supposed to be self-inflating enough to temporarily repair themselves.  In our case the puncture was too big so he patched the tire as best he could and then told us we’d have to go to a tire center the next day.
On we went to Dyserth Falls where our time share accommodations were awaiting us.  Bonnie had a “use or lose” time share availability which we were using for this particular stop on our trip.  We found the place easily enough but were not too satisfied with the upstairs arrangements so Ken and Bonnie went back to renegotiate something a bit better, with Ken saying “his mother” (that was me!) would have a lot of trouble with the stairs.  We ended up getting a two bedroom “condo” that had THREE bathrooms in it.  Mind you, the bathrooms off each bedroom were extremely tiny but it was a luxury nevertheless.
Ken was breaking his fast after having felt ill for the last four days, and what sounded good to all of us for dinner that night was MacDonald’s and we knew right where to drive to get our dinner that evening!   Yummy! 
The next day was terribly cold and windy so we opted for a driving and shopping day.  We drove back to Betws-y-Coed which is a really pretty village, with a river running through it, and the shopping was interesting as well.  We also enjoyed a really great lunch there. 
From there we drove past the Ugly House (pictured here) which was built in less than 72 hours to avoid having to pay taxes on it and we all thought it was beautiful; through Snowdonia National Park to Beddgelert, another charming little village;


Ugly House
and then to the southwestern coast to Port Merion, a folly (something eccentric that wealthy people built to show off their wealth) which is an Italian-looking village.  This village was featured in the series “The Prisoner” with Patrick McGoohan. I’m not a fan of Italian architecture and certainly not in Great Britian, but it was a beautiful coastal setting. 

Port Merion

On our return trip back to our lodging, we drove through Caernarvon and then along the northern coast which was terribly churned up from the cold, blustery day, with the sea pounding over the retaining walls, onto the sidewalks and even into the roadway.  We also got beautiful views of Snowdonia covered in snow at 1,058 meters (around 3,500 feet).
A new tire for the car had to be ordered and was hopefully going to appear at the tire shop the next day.  Ken was in charge of making sure all that happened, while we ladies struggled with doing laundry in washer-dryer combinations in one machine that washed clothes very well but we had a terrible time mastering the drying technique.  Ken had gotten fairly tired with our clothing being hung out to dry all over the living area and was already advocating to hit the Laundromats.  But, remember, this was a CHEAP trip and we weren’t having any of that!
Llandudno was our destination the following day; it’s a small peninsula jutting out into the ocean on the northern coast.  The city there is a Victorian style beach resort with beautiful houses, B&Bs, and hotels lining the winding street following the coastline.  We took a drive up to the top of the mountain (hill) on the peninsula where we were rewarded with sweeping views of the ocean on three sides. 

Conwy ramparts ("curtain wall")

The road led us past an old cemetery with interesting tombstones, such as a wheel with wings for someone buried there in the 1920s. Later that day, we toured Conwy Castle in the city of Conwy; this is a castle mostly in ruins built in the 1300s.  After all that exercise of walking up and down stone stairs in the castle ruins, it was back in the car to drive to Anglesey Island where Beaumaris Castle is situated.  Conwy, Beaumaris, and Caernarvon Castles were all built at the same time by Edward I, as fortifications against the enemies but only Conwy Castle was ever completed.
My guidebook mentioned a tea room that was supposed to be a good place to stop for lunch, the Beau Tea Room.  It was quite excellent, the service was wonderful, they had all kinds of bits and pieces of china for sale and Ken purchased a very interesting and unusual teapot for all of four pounds.  As we were getting ready to leave and everyone else had gone to the toilets (rest rooms to us!) as I was putting on my coat, I happened to eavesdrop on the conversation at the table next to us where four people had just sat down.  All of a sudden it dawned on me that they weren’t speaking British English, and I turned and said, “you’re Americans!”  They were and were as astounded as I was to meet there, especially since they were from relatively obscure Bullhead City, AZ and one originally from Blackfoot, ID and we, of course, from small town Garden Valley.

Snowdonia

Another driving day, since we were making sure we got to see as much of Wales as we possibly could took us again to Snowdonia.  At one point we stopped at a “chocolate shop” and had drinks.  They also had a nice little gift area and I was able to purchase a lovely tile picturing a black-faced sheep who is wearing Wellies (Wellington boots).  He’s very whimsical and makes me smile every time I look at him!  I also picked out a really nice coffee cup decorated with fishing related things to take home to Ron, who has been using it every day since then!
I need to pause here and share a bit of information with you.  Four senior citizens traveling together were often looking for toilets.  Here in the U.S. for me that problem is usually solved by either a MacDonald’s or a gas station with a convenience store.  In Great Britain, virtually every little village has a public toilet.  They are remarkably clean, well stocked, but are not heated (whoo-ee, that’s cold!) and there’s also no hot or even warm water in which to wash your hands.  Still, it’s very convenient and usually well-signed to quickly be located.  In the one we found this particular day, they were charging us 20 p to pee (we didn’t really balk at the price which was minimal, but this particular facility was very high tech with a locking door that had the one on the inside fearing she’d not be able to figure out how to get out!
Later that day as we stopped to stock up on another round of groceries, Marla was chasing a coin she dropped on the floor rolling toward another lady’s trolley (shopping cart).  The lady responded with “I thought you were attacking my trolley!”  On my shopping list was the purchase of four boxes of Lemsips (similar to our Theraflu hot drink) for Peggy, who says they’re ever so good.  Being a good neighbor, I aspired to purchase for her five boxes and presented them on the checkout counter … only to be embarrassed when I was told they were restricted and I could only purchase two at a time.  Well, at least now we know why they’re such good medication when one is feeling under the weather!
Another helpful hint:  If you plan to take a trip to Great Britain and plan to do it on your own spending most of your time in the countryside, money becomes somewhat of an issue.  Our housing rentals were all paid for prior to leaving the U.S. but if you plan to stay in B&Bs, they want you to pay the morning you’re leaving and the small ones in the countryside usually only take cash.  Travelers checks won’t work either.  I’ve always been comfortable carrying a significant amount of cash and don’t use ATMs.  There are likely to be ATMs available in most villages, however, and most banks will exchange dollars for pounds as well, but it still involves carrying a significant amount of cash.
We shared our day-to-day expenses, with each of us putting a specified amount into the common pot and then our meals, petrol, groceries, incidentals were paid out of this pot of cash that one person was in charge of.  It made things much simpler, not completely fair pence to pence (penny to penny), but it mostly comes out about equal for every person.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Wanted : Home for Rent

WANTED:
HOME FOR RENT in GARDEN VALLEY
2-3 BEDROOMS
We would like to rent a nice home or modular home
on a little bit of land .
Preferably one level or one bedroom downstairs,
maybe around 1500 ft. or so.
We have a 5-year-old German shepherd house dog,
who is as clean as we are.
Just the 3 of us, we are senior citizens
and hope to rent for a long time in a nice home.
By June 1.
If you have pictures, please send to:
  Catherine Mendez
 961 N. Clara Avenue
 Meridian, ID 83642
or
Call 208-855-9862

Friday, April 12, 2013

Public’s Help Sought in Elk Wasting Case


Idaho Fish and Game is asking the public for information regarding a cow elk shot and left to waste along the Middle Fork of the Boise River Road near Alexander Flats on April 6.

Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) is offering a reward for information in the case and callers can remain anonymous. Contact CAP at 1-800-632-5999 twenty four hours a day.

Responding to the initial report, Fish and Game conservation officer Ben Cadwallader found the dead elk lying within sight of a nearby camping area. The animal had not been field dressed.

Evidence was collected at the scene, but Cadwallader hopes to learn more about the case from an eyewitness who might have details regarding campers in the area at the time of the poaching. “I am very interested in visiting with anyone who has information regarding this case,” Cadwallader stated.

In addition to the CAP hotline, persons may also contact the Fish and Game Nampa office at 208-465-8465.