Fall is always a busy time for me. The just-starting-to-turn-nippy months on the back side of the calendar are penciled in with conferences, meetings and annual conventions. All requiring travel. This past week I attended the CMLS Conference in Boise, Idaho – land of the potato and the famous blue field. A State enriched in western history and culture, Idahoans have earned the right to boast about their beautiful state. From the Snake River that weaves it way throughout Idaho, leaving rich, fertile farm lands in its wake, to the mountainous peaks in the pan-handle, Idaho is an enchanting parcel of land.
Away for a full week, it goes without saying that I missed my husband and our dogs while I was gone. A lot. A lot, a lot.
But not on the first day. Day one was reserved for enjoying the huge king-sized bed all to myself – no dogs pinning me under the covers, no dog hair adhered to the down pillows, no cat stretched out along side of my back hotter than a furnace cranked on high in the middle of summer. Nope, day one was spent luxuriating between clean 600 count Egyptian cotton sheets with my toes curling and flexing under the crisp freshness that comes with a four-diamond rated hotel. Its pure bliss just to stretch out without being blocked by a dog. Pure heaven to have a minimum of four down pillows to pick from. Yep, on the first day, I didn’t miss one single dog hair.
And I didn’t really miss ‘back home’ too much on day two and three and sort of on day four. These days were just extensions of the first day – Egyptian sheet heaven. These were the days I kept busy with meetings, speakers and sessions, starting early and ending the day late. By day three I realized I hadn’t once used the ‘dog-hair-lint-roller’ brush I always carry with me. I’d been dog-hair free for three whole fantastic days. My white sweaters were still white, my business dress pants were drool free. I didn’t smell like dog. I didn’t have to wipe my hand on my pants legs before I shook hands with an acquaintance. And best of all, I had the king to myself.
On days five through seven, the scales started to tip. My 600 count utopia was losing its charm. I had stayed some extra days to enjoy Idaho with some old friends who summer in Boise. I was missing Malcolm, laughing over silly things, commenting over the day’s events, kissing him good morning, his welcoming hug in the evening. I was missing my girls, their sweet love, their tender nudges, their crazy antics. I was missing the dogs on the bed – on their backs, paws in the air as they sleep, gentle snores washing over them, their weight leaning against my legs. Good gawd! I was missing dog hair!
I flew home on day eight, asking Malcolm to bring the dogs when he came to pick me up at the airport. I embraced the thought of knowing I’d be covered in dog hair in a nano second once I climbed in the car. I knew I would have two dogs clamoring to hug me, paw me, lick me, once I had my seat belt buckled. And I couldn’t wait! Crisp, fresh clean sheets were just a dim memory. The love waiting for me in the car far out-weighed and out-counted my 600 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheets.
In honor of my travels to Idaho….
The Best-Ever Mashed Potatoes
- 5 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups Parmesan Cheese
- 1 cup chopped fresh chives (or green onions)
- 1 1/2 cups cream cheese
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- salt and pepper to taste
Fill a pot with water high enough to cover the potatoes and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until fork tender but still firm. Drain the water and return pot to the stove over low heat to dry for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Add butter, Parmesan cheese, Chives, cream cheese, buttermilk, garlic and salt and pepper to the potatoes. Using a potato masher, mash the potato mixture until smooth. Serves 12.
For more delicious recipes and tails of the dogs, purchase If it falls on the floor, it’s mine! cookbook at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0615869823