Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Harvest Continues

A couple weeks ago we were overwhelmed with zucchini (gave some away to neighbors and on craigslist). Now we're pulling down tomatoes like they're going out of style. (The zucchinis haven't stopped coming either and we put a cooler out front by our sidewalk everyday so people will take them off our hands). There's also about 50 eggplants growing that should start to be ready in a couple weeks!

Next year I'm going to build another vegetable garden planter - about 20 feet long - in some unused space in the backyard. That will more than double the garden and give us more variety (some of these plants are really huge).

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Wow! I didn't know this still existed but sure enough, we found a dairy that does home delivery! The dairy is in Southern Idaho and we're invited to bring the kids down and meet the cows.

We now get delivery every Wednesday morning - glass bottled, low-temp-pasteurized milk that's much better for the kids than the stuff in the supermarket that lasts weeks.

In addition to milk and dairy they also have lots of other items like local organic bread, organic coffee, awesome fruits and vegetables, etc. Below is a pic of some of the other items we tried our first week.

The company is Town & Country Home Delivery ( We love it!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Boise is a Moderately Large Slice of Heaven


"The Neighbors are Ruining our Diet"

We made it!

1,000 miles over 2 days through 5 states and we’re here (arrived Thursday July 9, 2009). Escrow closed on our house about 90 minutes before we rolled into town. Since our "stuff" wasn't arriving until the next day, our awesome real estate agent, Phil Hoover, met us at the door with the keys, gave us sleeping bags, pillows, folding chairs, an aircard to use for internet, and stocked our fridge full of enough food (and wine) to last us days. We settled in, had dinner on the patio, and watched the sunset.

So we're here now (Brian, Molly, Patik, Finnegan and Mol's mom Nancy who we owe a ton to and will be living with us for a couple years until she decides what part of town she wants to live in), and we're seeking out everything the Boise area has to offer, which is a lot!

Here's a short video from when we arrived:

The first weekend, we:

- Unloaded our trailer:

- Went to downtown Boise to beat the heat and play in our favorite fountain:


- Drove 25 minutes north to watch the whitewater rafters (VIDEO):

- Went swimming:

- Walked 'round the corner of our street to the lake;

- Got our shirt factory all set up - AND my new office with a window (unpictured)!

- Picked some veggies from our garden (right now there's tomatoes, eggplant, herbs, onions, and LOTS of zucchini!)

- Barbequed a couple times (grilled zucchini -yum!)

- Enjoyed an outdoor art faire in nextdoor Eagle, Idaho

- Started buying furniture and such

- Enjoyed a short, nice thunderstorm on Sunday afternoon, and generally just spent a lot of time outside.

This photo was taken at 10:10pm and is undoctored.

Dietary Complications

We'd vowed that once we arrived we'd exercise more and eat better, and the fridge was just full of healthy food when the doorbell started ringing... and ringing and ringing, as neighbor after neighbor brought over all kinds of goodies - brownies, lots of cookies, and we hear that bread is still on the way.

It seems every time we step out front we're meeting new people and generally getting stuck chatting it up - but everybody is so nice and friendly! Our street is mostly made up of ex-Californians, ex-Arizonans, and ex-Nevadans. Seems they morphed into hospitable, easygoing attitudes rather quickly once they arrived!

Ah, Sweet Sweet Customer Service

Seems most of us have been lamenting for some time now - where has customer service gone? I have the answer: It's gone to Boise! It seems in any store you visit, the number of employees ready and willing to help you is far greater than the number of customers and you can't walk two steps in any direction before someone is making sure it's the direction you want to be headed. Staples, Albertson's, Home Depot, Lowe's, Target... it's consistently great.

Case in point: I was stumbling around the grocery store on my own, trying to find some minced garlic, among other things. An employee walks up, asks what I'm looking for. "Minced garlic," sez I; "the kind in the little jar." Employee says "actually it's in a few places in the store. Your best bet is in produce." "Thanks," I say and continue down the bread aisle before heading to produce. About two minutes later as I'm finally picking out some bread, same employee finds me with 3 jars of minced garlic in his hands. He's run around the store gathering every variety they have and here they are for my choosing. He knows the prices, I choose the one I want, and he heads off to put the others away, duly satisfied that I've accomplished my garlic task. Some of you reading this in other midsized towns have probably experienced this, but in SoCal, anything remotely like this is unheard of. Same goes for local companies on the phone, including government offices.

A sign seen in the DMV (no joke!):

In 2008, this office served 7,208 customers.
The average waiting time was 2.1 minutes.
To help avoid this delay, please take a number when you arrive.
Thank you!

In 10 Days, I've Seen:

Lots of these:

None of these:

Just two of these:

...and that's all right with me.

Don't Read This...

...if you aren't one of my friends or family (or work aquaintances aka friends). That's because it only took about 48 hours after arriving for me to subconsciously begin "not" to lock my doors much of the time (car and home). I'm still generally paranoid and untrusting so I don't want you to know this if you don't know me, but I'm getting there. The rest of the neighbors don't lock their stuff either, and I found out they all have our garage door access code, and yet I haven't exactly rushed to change it.

DO Read This...

...if you ARE one of my friends or family. This place is amazing. I'm going to try to convince you to come check it out and eventually move here, so I apologize in advance if I'm too persistent or annoying about it. Don't buy another house where you are, at least, until you visit. We've got extra bedrooms - consider this your official invitation! (My parents are arriving in two days to house hunt!)

Look... It's quiet here. It's clean. Good schools, great place to raise a family. There's a ton of kids around and it's not awkward to bring them places. Insurance of all types will cost you 1/3 what it does in L.A. - and everything from car registration to gas to utilities is cheaper too. We've got good diversity. The people here are so welcoming that the USRP (United States Refugee Program) repeatedly picks the Boise area to send refugees for permanent placement (there are Bosnians, Serbs, Croats, Ugandans and Somalis that I know of here). There's an awesome, active Basque (northern Spain) population here - great food and lots of cultural activities. In summer it stays light till after 10pm and the winters aren't that bad. We get less rain than Los Angeles! There's a ton to do here, and activities for all seasons. Local skiing is 40 minutes away and then there are some of the best ski resorts in the world in the state. Lots of major parks a short driving distance away... think Yellowstone! We're near the border of Oregon, and Canada is accessible too. Houses are inexpensive but not "cheap." There are jobs here - Idaho typically ranks #2 in the country for employment (that's second from the BEST). There's tech, there's large headquarters of companies you know. We have the best airport I've ever been in, laughable traffic, big skies, less stress and some of the nicest people you'll ever meet. Come on up with an open mind and give us a try!

As heard on the radio last week during rush hour:
"Here's the traffic report: There's nothing of note going on on the freeway right now, and no reports of any problems elsewhere. Smooth sailing. And that's the traffic report."

Other tidbits
Here are some other videos and photos I wanted to share.

1. Short video of the day we left CA for Boise.

2. Really cool slideshow of various stuff from recent days (press play!)

3. Boise and Idaho on the map (since people seem to think IDAHO is inside IOWA) (or Canada, I've heard both):