Posts Tagged ‘Captain Cavedweller’


Back in July when we traveled to a big city for a few days of  rest and relaxation, my wonderful cousin, Brad, raved about a new burger joint and told us we had to try it.

(Thanks, Brad, for introducing us to one more way to clog our arteries… just kidding, mostly.)

Anyway, the name of the place he recommended was Five Guys.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Not only are the burgers huge – they’re delicious. Made fresh to order, you aren’t talking about some frozen patty here, folks. Fresh and bursting with flavor they serve up some of the best burgers we’ve ever eaten.

The thing that really made us drool like slobbering fools, though, is the fries.

Again, cut fresh right there and fried to a crispy golden brown with the skins on. Bags of potatoes greet you at the door and a sign lets all customers know where they purchased that day’s potatoes. Honest. You can read the sign and see that the spuds came from X Farm in Y town.

And beyond the fact I like how they support local potato growers, I love the fries. And they give them to you in abundance. Captain Cavedweller and I can easily split an order and still have plenty left we can’t eat.

Thinking it would be a long time before we had the opportunity to experience Five Guys again, we went to their website and discovered they recently opened a location only an hour from us.

FIve Guys… here we come!

She Who Has Great Cousins






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Last week, Captain Cavedweller and I attended the Pendleton Round-Up.

Despite the insanely warm temperatures and the fact one of us got a sunburn, we had such a good time.

We also had great seats, close to the bucking chutes where I was able to take some photos.


Here’s a little action from the Bareback Riding.


The horses seemed to be enjoying it as much as the cowboys and the crowd.




I took a bunch of photos of the saddle bronc riders because The Christmas Cowboy (coming in mid-October) is about a saddle bronc rider. I’ve already been studying the photos, gleaning a few details I want to include in the story.


That, and it’s just fun to look at the images. I love this one.

I also took a bunch of photos of the steer wrestlers – but that’s for a future project you’ll just have to stay tuned to learn more about!

No rodeo is complete without a little bull riding.


Although the bulls didn’t want to get very far away from the chutes to do their thing, I did snag a few photos. Love the dirt flying around the bull in this one.

If you love great rodeo action, the Pendleton Round-Up is well worth your time. Beginning in 1910, the event draws thousands of attendees every year and offers everything from top-name country music concerts, parades, and a Wild West show to the world-famous Rodeo.

I’m so glad we had the opportunity to attend this year because not just for my book research project (which happens to include the Round-Up) but also because it was just a lot of fun.

She Who Enjoys Going to the Rodeo

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Scott off Swingset

Today is my beloved Captain Cavedweller’s birthday.

The above photo is one that makes my heart melt in about two seconds flat into a puddle around my feet.  I love the look on his face, the fact his mother gave this photo into my keeping, and that CC is stylishly pairing cowboy boots with his circa 1975 shirt. I also love that hair.

His mama made the hours-long trek to our house for his birthday and we’ve got a full day planned. Guns and targets, much laughter, and carrot cake will definitely be involved. And presents. CC likes his presents.

Looking through some old photographs, I can’t help but wonder if his mama knew when he was a boy, what a loving, caring, good man he’d grow up to be.


Especially when he did things like give himself a haircut the day before school pictures.



Could she tell he’d be as obsessed (technically, more so) with football now than he was then?



Or that he’d still enjoy learning something new and experiencing adventures.


Or that he wouldn’t outgrow his tendency to rarely be serious. Anyone who knows him well, knows he is all about teasing and joking. It is, in fact, a skill he has finely honed since his boyhood years.

He makes me laugh all the time. Even at times when I’m certain we should be serious – and that has been such a glorious blessing to me.

cowboy scott

I could tell from our first date that he was someone special, someone I wanted to get to know. A year later, we wed and life with him has been so sweet.


Today, I want to say thank you to his mama for raising a good, honest, kind boy who grew into a gentle, honorable, wonderful man.

Scott April 5I also want to say thank you to my husband – my most beloved Captain Cavedweller…

You not only encourage my dreams, but help me chase them.

You make my heart so very happy.

You melt me on a daily basis.

You know how to make even the most simple things so much fun.

You always have my back.

You give me a shoulder to cry on and a hand to hold whenever I need it.

You like me when I’m ornery and love me unconditionally.

You make everything so much better, so much sweeter just by being you.

Love you always and forever!

Your girl

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Captain Cavedweller and I drove many hours this weekend to be able to attend his grandmother’s 95th birthday party.

Grandma Nell balloonsThere were balloons, presents, cake, and much good cheer as we gathered to celebrate Grandma Nell’s special day.

It was an honor to be able to join with family to mark this milestone event. CC had the opportunity to visit with his two cousins, as well as a cousin from Texas enough times removed I can’t keep it straight, but she is a real hoot regardless of where the branches sprout in the family tree. I also finally got to meet CC’s uncle and his wife, which was fun (especially after waiting twenty years to do so!).

Grandma Nell 1lrI can only hope I’ll be half as “with-it” as she is if I should live to be her age. Other than needing the assistance of a walker, Grandma does really well, her mind is still sharp, and she is as feisty as ever.

It was just after her birthday twenty years ago that I first remember meeting her.

For many, many years, CC’s grandparents spent the summer months on a ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Grandma worked as the ranch cook during the busy guest season. CC and I had been seeing each other several months and it was the first time his grandparents had been home since we’d started dating seriously.

Grandma was so friendly and welcoming, she made me feel right at home. One thing that stuck with me, all these years, was how excited she was to show us a photograph taken on her birthday of her riding a horse. She was so proud that, at the tender age of 75, she’d still been able to get on one and ride. Even then, I recall thinking, “Wow, I want to be like her when I grow old!”

After meeting her that first time, she and I quickly discovered we both loved cookbooks and recipes. Over the years, Grandma has shared many of her favorites (both books and handwritten specialties) with me. The best chocolate bundt cake you’ll ever eat comes from Grandma Nell’s recipe.

There were many times I was convinced Grandma could run circles around both CC and me. She is a go-getter, determined, and full of sass. She’s also sweet and thoughtful, and very loving.

Thanks to CC’s cousin Robb, Grandma even has her own website where she shares her recipes and has her very own cookbooks available for purchase.

Every time I see her, I’m just amazed by Grandma Nell and her ability to live life so fully and so intently. She is truly an inspiration.

Happy, Happy Birthday, Grandma!

We love you!

CC and His Sidekick

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Captain Cavedweller had a rare weekend off from work so we spent it driving all over the countryside, eating things we know we shouldn’t, moving some well loved “junk” to storage, and in general enjoying time well wasted.

Our weekend together also helped me remember a few important details about my husband.

The first jog in my memory occurred when he emerged from the bathroom the first morning of his weekend off sporting a goatee. He’s been sporting scruff on his face for a few weeks and from past experience, I’ve learned to not complain about it too much or too loudly because that just prolongs the suffering. The last thing I expected was to see his snappy goatee, which, by the way, I love.

CC is always game to go for a drive, as long as there is something interesting to see along the way. Apparently 207 miles of dirt, harvested wheat fields, rocks, more dirt, winding mountain roads with no guardrail, and one deceased porcupine did not qualify as interesting.

Also, after spending the better part of a day driving 207 miles round trip to the middle of nowhere so I can take photos of a town that no longer exists, CC just wants to be fed (and gas station food does not count.)

While he seems to have challenges remembering details like the wedding we are supposed to attend, the name of my cousin’s new baby, or what time we need to leave for an appointment, he recalled with startling detail the exact location of a new restaurant he was most interested in trying after I mentioned weeks ago it was opening.

When CC decides he is completely and totally done with a project (like moving well-loved junk), it means he is completely and totally done right now.  Not five minutes from now, not “wait, let’s just…”  – all done. Right. Now. Which turned out to be a good thing, because I was ready to be all done, too.

She Who Is Now Remembering Many Details…


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In our travels on our vacation, one stop took us to an heirloom garden where flowers and veggies popular a century or so ago were featured at Fort Vancouver in Vancouver, WA.

garden arch

It was quite lovely.

purple poppy

There were plants that looked familiar and then some that we’d never seen before, like this gorgeous purple poppy. I want some of these!


The artichokes grew in spiky splendor along with staples like corn and potatoes.


They had the loveliest hollyhocks, growing contained where they were supposed to. While I gazed on in admiration, I saw Captain Cavedweller shudder. One year his mom and I both planted hollyhocks… apparently about three times as many as we should have and both of our yards were quickly overtaken with the towering blooms. I’ve been banned from ever again in this lifetime planting hollyhocks (I my mother-in-law was, too) so we have to admire them from afar.

flowers bright

I fell in love with this bright flower. I just loved the color and, of course, realized later I forgot to right down the name of the plant.

flowers against sky

Anyone have any ideas? The way they bloomed against the summer sky was absolutely gorgeous!

She Who Loves Seeing New Things


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wheat lr

Last week, Captain Cavedweller and I took some time off and escaped to a big city where I can shop to my heart’s content and he can eat things like fall-off-the bone delicious ribs and the best french fries known to man.

Driving to our destination, we enjoyed the scenery and I may have asked (okay, more like yelled “stop the car!”) to pull over a few times to snap photos.

This is one of a beautiful wheat field set against the gorgeous summer sky.

I’ll be sharing more vacation photos and stories this week, just as soon as I get my head back on straight and our laundry done!

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