Category Archives: Uncategorized

Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival – University of Idaho (Seed Post)

This festival takes place every winter (generally February) and has been going on since 1967.  This year I plan to finally go!

http://www.uidaho.edu/JAZZFEST

 

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Ice, Ice Babies

Winter in Pullman starts on Halloween and ends July 4.  Ok, this is a little bit of an exaggeration, but winter can seem to last forever, especially after the Most Wonderful Time of the Year comes to an abrupt and depressing end.

Last year, in order to give us something to carry us through, we got the boys started playing ice hockey with Palouse Youth Hockey Association.  This has been a really fun activity that our entire family has enjoyed, the boys as players and we parents as spectators.  Palouse Youth Hockey Association has six different age categories, with ages ranging from little (say, about 4) to teen.  Practices and home games are at the Palouse Ice Rink, located at the Latah County Fairgrounds. 

Hockey season starts around November 1 and ends mid-March, which means that the kids really get a chance to develop as players and to form friendships with their teammates.  November and December are generally devoted to practicing.  This year our boys have one weekday practice and then a practice, game or Jamboree on Saturday (or a weekend-long tournament).  The game, jamboree and tournament schedule picks up after the New Year.  We have home games, a home jamboree and a home tournament, and there are also many opportunities for games/tournaments/jamborees on the road (Lewiston, Tri-Cities, Coeur d’Alene, McCall and Moses Lake).  In the younger age category that we are in, travel is not mandatory. I am not sure if that holds true as the kids get older.  The travel can be a bit heavy, but it is a great time.  And it gives us something to do to keep our minds off the dark, cold days of winter!

There are some demands put on the families.  There is a volunteer hour requirement, though you do have the choice to pay a fee instead of volunteer.  Also, the travel can be time consuming.  A significant demand is the financial one.  There is a registration fee to get started, equipment rental fees, tournament fees, and travel costs, and then if you want to do things like buy skates, jerseys or other equipment, it can get to feel pricey.  However, you really do get a lot out of the experience and you get a long season. 

The Palouse Ice Rink also has adult hockey, figure skating, curling and broomball.  There are learn-to-skate programs offered, and plenty of open skate times. 

As I said, our neighboring cities also have ice rinks.  (See links below to the ones I have been to.  McCall’s is especially nice.)

And if your kids have skates, try skating on a pond.  Our boys skate at Sunnyside Park pretty regularly and that is free!

LINKS

Palouse Youth Hockey

http://www.palousehockey.com/

Palouse Ice Rink

http://www.palouseicerink.com/ 

LC Ice Arena

http://www.lcicearena.com/

Frontier Ice Arena (Coeur d’Alene) (there is a good skate shop near here)

http://www.frontiericearena.org/

Manchester Ice and Events Centre (McCall)

http://www.manchestericecenter.com/

 

PS:  I could not resist the Vanilla Ice reference. Sorry.

 

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And Away We Go…. Again!

It has been a long time since my last blog post.  Life as a wife and mom, a new full time job, a thankfully full social life, and so on and so on, have conspired against this blog.  At one point, I had basically given up on the hope that I would return.  This feels like a confession!  Indeed, I have felt guilty, especially when someone would say they actually read and enjoyed my blog, and asked why I wasn’t writing it anymore.  (This is also very gratifying – someone is out there!)

But here we are, entering a new year, and I have a resolution to get back to this.  I will try to do one good entry a month, at least, and maybe some additional quickies.  Why?  Because it is a way of forcing me not get complacent.  It is too easy to stop exploring, to stop noticing, to stop doing things that are new.  And I remember arriving here with little kids and thinking… what on earth do I do here?  If I can help anyone who is in that same boat, that is wonderful.  So here we go, a new year and a new chapter!

Image

On the road again, through the beautiful palouse.

And to those of you who have submitted comments (and one quite important correction)- I will work through those soon!

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Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute

I am going to start doing some entries on places I want to go but haven’t gone yet due to a lack of time (a constant problem!)  This is the first one.

The Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute (PCEI) is a local organization that seeks to “increase citizen involvement in decisions that affect our region’s environment. Through community organizing and education, PCEI assists members of our communities in making environmentally sound and economically viable decisions that promote a sustainable future.”  (From their website http://www.pcei.org/mission.htm.)

Its website describes a handful of “Special Places” which I am very much looking forward to exploring this summer.  The Special Places include Rose Creek, Magpie Forest, Smoot Hill, Moscow Mountain Cedars, Idler’s Rest and PCEI’s stream restoration sites. These sites are all close to Pullman.

From the PCEI website, here is some information about each Special Place (note there is a lot more info on the PCEI website -these are just small excerpts):

ROSE CREEK:  “The Rose Creek Nature Preserve (RCNP) is a special place located only 7.5 miles northwest of Pullman, Washington, near Albion Rose Creek Preserve is the best example of the distinct quaking aspen-black hawthorn-cow parsnip community type of its kind remaining in the endangered Palouse meadow steppe ecosystem. The twelve-acre preserve is bisected by Rose Creek with a plant community of native bunchgrass species in the upland, and a lush community of species such as Fendler’s waterleaf, and purple trillium in the wet meadow.”  (http://www.pcei.org/rosecreek/)

THE MAGPIE FOREST:  “The Magpie Forest is important because it provides wildlife habitat and represents one of the last remnants of native Palouse shrub-steppe vegetation. Pullman’s Environmental Quality Commission has designated the Magpie Forest as one of city’s most important and endangered “critical areas” in anticipation of its eventually becoming part of Pullman, Washington. [P] The Magpie Forest provides an opportunity to explore native plants, wildlife habitat, invasive species and conservation issues.”  (http://www.pcei.org/magpie.htm)

SMOOT HILL:  “This 730 acre farm, located 12 miles from the Pullman campus, was purchased by the WSU in 1972 for research and educational use. Over 300 acres of this property are in the Conservation Reserve Program because it one of the largest intact remnants of the native Palouse plant community. Smoot Hill’s natural diversity and beauty make it popular for ecology and botany field trips.”  (http://www.pcei.org/smoot_hill.htm)

MOSCOW MOUNTAIN CEDARS:  “Largely spared from disturbance by its location on top of a steep 4700’ ridge, this 269-acre parcel of state school trust land is home to an ancient grove of western red cedars estimated to be 1000 years old. Nurtured by the headwater springs of Felton Creek and Hatter Creek, this stand of trees was nominated in 1974 to be a National Natural Landmark as the best extant example of western red cedar/larch habitat.”  (http://www.pcei.org/mm_cedars.htm)

IDLER’S REST:  “Idler’s Rest in managed by the Palouse Land Trust. The site has several trails, one easy along the creek with towering fir and cedar, one middle that goes through a grassland, and one longer and harder that climbs out of the valley floor.”  (http://www.pcei.org/idlers_rest.htm)

The PCEI website http://www.pcei.org/ has a lot more information about its activities, which include all sorts of things regarding environmental education, restoration and preservation.  Of course, it encourages donations and membership and provides volunteer opportunities.

As I visit the Special Places, I will do complete entries.  Another reason to look forward to summer!

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The Green Frog Cafe (Restaurant, Palouse WA)

If you have not been to The Green Frog Cafe, make plans and get there!  Everything about it is great:  the food is amazing, the decor is fun, the prices are right, the people are friendly, and kids are welcome.

The Green Frog Cafe is located 15 miles/20 minutes north of Pullman in Palouse, Washington (which is a very charming little town).  In the morning they have pastries/baked goods and coffee/espresso/drinks.  It opens at 7 a.m., so we have gone for early morning cinnamon rolls after early morning swimming lessons.  Lovely.

I have been many times for lunch, and the sandwiches are definitely worth the drive.  They have hot grilled sandwiches, cold sandwiches, wraps, pitas, soups and salads. The sandwiches are made on bread from Wheatberries Bakery, sliced THICK.  All the food is made from scratch and everything is simply excellent.  I usually have the grilled sandwiches – they are so good, and big enough to share with kids. They also have beer and wine.

They do live music, open mic nights and other special evening activities.  I have never made one of these, but I have heard they are great , family-friendly, and very popular.  I think they are Thursdays and Fridays, but obviously call and check before driving up there!

The vitals:

100 East Main Street
Palouse, WA 99161
509-878-1490

Tue – Wed:
7am – 3pm
Thur – Fri:
7am – 8pm
Saturday:
8am – 4pm

Photos from The City of Palouse

http://www.visitpalouse.com/greenfrog.html

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Palouse Discovery Science Center (Pullman, WA)

When I moved here I was pleasantly surprised that Pullman has its own children’s science museum:  The Palouse Discovery Science Center.  It is the type of facility you would think you could not find in a small town.  Yet another positive thing about Pullman!

From its website:

The Palouse Discovery Science Center (PDSC) promotes science, math, and technology literacy through educational programs, exhibits, teaching collections, and activities emphasizing hands-on learning.

Experience a full spectrum of programs that include live science demonstrations, hands-on lessons, films, lectures, classes, field trips, summer camps, laboratory experiences, teacher workshops, science birthdays, and outreach services. The center has a wonderful science store, the Curiosity Shop, filled with cool science toys, party favors, and gifts. Stop by and see for yourself what science is all about.”


The PDSC has age appropriate areas and activities for all ages of young kids.

It is a wonderful place to spend a snowy day (or a hot one) and it is a great place to have a birthday party.

It has family friendly bathrooms, a place to nurse a baby, and a place to have sit and have a snack (but no food available for purchase).

It also has a nice gift shop that carries science-oriented kid’s items.

The website :

http://www.palousescience.org/

The PDSC is open Tuesday 10am to 5pm, and Wednesday-Saturday, 10 am to 3 pm.

Admission:
$6 for Adults (12 to 54)
$5 for Seniors (55 and over)
$4 for Children (2 to 12)
Children under 2 are free
Seniors are free on Friday



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Pullman Page Turners (Book Club): Grown-Up Time

One of my favorite non-kid activities is book club.  I am in the Pullman Page Turners, sponsored by the Neill Public Library.  Once a month we meet at a member’s home to discuss a book, drink wine and socialize.

For information, see the Pullman Page Turners page on the library website:

http://www.neill-lib.org/Departments/Library/DrawOnePage.aspx?PageID=777

Neill Public Library also hosts another book club, The Grand Avenue Book Club.  I have not attended that one, but its reading list looks similar to the Pullman Page Turners.  Their meetings are held in the library.

The library website has a GAB page:

http://www.neill-lib.org/Departments/Library/DrawOnePage.aspx?PageID=1146

and they have their own site/blog:

http://grandavenuebookclub.wetpaint.com/

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