Goodbye 2015; Welcome 2016!

Hat Selfie

Each year we like to look back over what we did through the year, and then state our goals for the coming New Year.  Here is our list for 2015-2016!

2015 was our first year in Boise.  We moved here sight unseen after a few years in California.  Over our first eleven months here we did a lot of sightseeing and had many local adventures.  Perhaps best of all, we made some really good friends!  If you missed any of our blog posts from 2015, be sure to scroll down or look through the archives on this blog and check out all our pictures and words!

We have many hopeful dreams for 2016.  During 2015 Carolyn started many projects that she hopes to continue and expand upon in the coming year.  As you know, Carolyn is a hobby sweeper.  In that vein she started a blog geared toward engaging new and fellow hobby sweepers.  It can be found at  In the New Year, Carolyn hopes to build a bigger readership on that blog, as well as continue to maintain Boise Sweepstakes Club on Facebook.  She has also applied to volunteer teach a class for the local Community Education on sweeping.  She is hopeful she will get the opportunity to build some local excitement around this addicting hobby.  And of course, she hope to win more prizes in 2016!

And everyone knows Carolyn’s life would not be complete without helping animals in some way.  In 2015 she started volunteering through the Idaho Humane Society.  Her goals are to continue to make homemade fleece no-sew blankets for the animals.  She will also start her newest volunteer endeavor with IHS as a website writer.  This year-long commitment will have her writing website descriptions of the animals once every five weeks or so.  And her Facebook page, Idaho Dog Advocates will continue to be maintained.

Carolyn’s final two wishes for the coming year are to have more adventures and to finish writing another book.

Dan who has had an extremely difficult year dealing with pain and dysfunction in his leg, also has high hopes that 2016 will be better!  His first wish for the New Year is to see some improvement for his leg.  In addition, he hopes to lose weight, perhaps with the help of a trike equipped with electric assist.  His other big hope for the New Year is to be able to buy a house in our new hometown of Boise!

As you look back and reflect on the past year, what can you list as big events, accomplishments, and adventures?  As you look ahead to 2016 what are you most looking forward to?  We would love to hear your list in the comments!

From both of us to you, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

2015 Engagement Anniversary

We love a reason to celebrate.  That’s why we celebrate all our anniversaries – and not just our wedding anniversary.  There’s the anniversary of our first date, our first kiss, and of course the anniversary of the day we got engaged.  That’s what we celebrated this Friday.  We have such fond memories of the original night: how the impossible snow storm in Virginia foiled Dan’s attempt to bring me to a romantic French restaurant.  And almost prevented us from reaching the romantic hotel room waiting for us on the other side of what was practically a blizzard!  We made it to the hotel but so had half the city, taking refuge from the storm in the lobby, hallways, and restaurant for the night!

This year, although Idaho graced us with some flurries, we were able to pull off a re-creation of that night with dinner at an Italian restaurant and a stay at a Boise inn labeled as the area’s most romantic suites.  Although the evening was not without glitches (just like the original!), it was still a lovely time because we were with each other.

Festival of Trees

Tonight we went with our good friends to Boise’s Festival of Trees, a tradition that has been going on for 33 years.  The event raises money to help improve local health care.  There were all sorts of beautiful decorated themed trees and wreaths, chances to enter contests, and live entertainment.  Check out our pictures from the evening below!

November 2015 Update

It’s been almost four months since we have written a post for this blog.  It has been difficult to have adventures as both Dan and Carolyn have had health issues.  For Dan, nothing has been the same since his cancer surgery.  His leg has been declining and he is in so much pain all the time that getting out to have adventures in the old sense of the word has become impossible.  We realize this means we have to reinvent our definition of adventure and work within the confines of our limitations.  At least for now.  So here is a brief update of what Carolyn has been up to this November.

On November 4, Carolyn took the new volunteer orientation training at the Idaho Humane Society.  Her first assignment will be as a door greeter at the shelter on Black Friday.  In addition, as an ongoing craft project Carolyn and her friends have been working on making no-sew fleece blankets to donate to the shelter.  They hope to finish most of them on Sunday so the animals will have a soft Thanksgiving!

Carolyn has also been working to catch up on her blogging.  Because of all her success at entering sweepstakes, Carolyn created a blog to teach people how to win prizes and talk about information related to entering sweepstakes.  You can find that blog at YOUCANBEAWINNER.  And while she has been struggling to keep up with her FLYING PIGS writing blog, she recently updated that as well.

Carolyn has been spending much of her free time entering sweepstakes.  It’s a fun and easy hobby that, with persistence and consistency, can really pay off.  In the past couple of months she has won a gold Playstation 4, 2 $10 Starbucks gift cards, a $30 Regal cinema gift card, 2 Disney movie tickets, a baseball cap autographed by NASCAR star Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., enough Shop Your Way Reward points to buy an infinity scarf, and lots of candy bars!

Please send your best thoughts and wishes to Dan who will continue to see specialists to try to figure out a plan of action to improve his pain.  Thanks for reading!

WIN! Win a copy of Carolyn’s debut novel!

Win a copy of Carolyn’s debut novel The Debt Collectors: A Lucy Vaughn Mystery now on Goodreads!  Enter now and tell your friends!

Good Luck!

Idaho Botanical Garden and Aquarium of Boise

On June 5-6 we played tourist and saw some local Boise attractions.  On Friday evening we went to the Idaho Botanical Garden.  The gardens are 15 acres and took us about an hour to see.  They include a succulent garden, rose garden, English garden and a meditation garden among other attractions.

Then on Saturday we went to the Aquarium of Boise.  The aquarium features about 250 species of animals and marine life.  Not just fish, it includes reptiles and birds.

Check out our photos below!


On May 24th we visited the town of Hagerman, Idaho which has many hidden gems of archaeology and geology!  We started off with a tour of the Hagerman Fossil Beds Visitors Center, where we learned about the excavation by the Smithsonian that unearthed many excellent fossil samples, such as an early horse-like animal, mastodons, sloths, and smaller mammals.  But our morning would not be complete without taking the fossil beds driving tour!  With several beautiful overlooks, the tour winds through the hills where the remaining fossils are embedded in the rocks.

The Hagerman Wildlife Management Area and State Fish Hatchery was our second destination of the day.  At the fish hatchery you can buy food to feed the fish, and the fish get so excited they jump clear out of the water for the food!

After feeding the fish, we realized it was time to feed ourselves.  We drove to Malad Gorge State Park and had a picnic.  The park has its own driving tour with six points of interest centered on the gorge itself, a true natural wonder!  One of the highlights of the tour was a bridge that crosses the gorge from which you can view the “Devil’s Washbowl” – a magnificent 60-foot waterfall.  We also saw many birds and small mammals that call the gorge home.

Below are some photographs from the day as well as our 360 degree views.  We hope you enjoy!

Hagerman 360 degree views:

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