Still time to plant a garden!

According to  garden experts, it is way too late to plant seeds with the hope of a good crop. They are probably right, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t grow some vegetables.  If you do it right….

How do I start now?

In case you hadn’t noticed, almost everywhere you shop stores are offering plants.  Vegetables, flowers both annual and perennial, vines, shrubs, and trees.  The world is loaded with things you can grow!  If you wanted to harvest tomatoes but neglected to start seeds in your kitchen  in March, don’t worry!  There’s still time to get  plants and plant them.  With good weather, and good luck, you should get some wonderful home-grown tomatoes by Fall.

Vegetable plants, started and growing are available everywhere you look.  The trick at this point is to buy the biggest, hardiest shortest growing season plants you can get  your hands on.

For example, you can buy many different types of tomatoes, from Beefsteaks, which take longer to grow but produce much larger fruit,  to Early Girl, the type we usually grow here in North Central Idaho.  We have had good luck with the Early Girl, mostly because it has the shortest growing time.  We usually do start our plants inside, even though we buy them as plants.

Tomatoes don’t like it cold.  Spring around here is especially unpredictable,so  it is best to keep the plants indoors until you are sure that cold nights are past.  There are vegetables which like it cold, like lettuce, which will do fine outside right now, but tomatoes will not.

What else can I plant?

We hope that you don’t mind that vegetable seed planting time has passed you by.  You can  just buy your vegetables pre-grown from the grocery store, that’s good too.  There are TONS of other options, as we mentioned above.  Pick whatever you would like to grow, buy it, and get in the ground, and enjoy the nice weather and the fruits of your recent labors!

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The great ordeal, time to unpack!

Success!  You have gotten moved!  All of your belongings are again housed inside a structure other than a moving van or your truck and/or trailer.  You can be proud of yourself.  Ok, that’s long enough!  Time to start to unpack!

What should I  unpack first?

We think that the obvious place to start is in the kitchen.  Even though you and your family have enjoyed sampling the dining offerings at ALL the local eateries, it will be nice to eat a home-cooked meal, even if it is only hot dogs.  Therefore, getting the kitchen even somewhat setup makes a good place to start with the unpacking.  We know that you have marked your boxes so that you can put your hands on everything you will need to get things cooking in your new kitchen.  Right?  Well, anyway…

Once the kitchen is at least somewhat sorted out, you can begin unpacking your bathroom.  You have been able to make do with the two towels that you put in the dreaded  “last box”, but now, it will be nice to change them for some other of your favorites and give the moving towels a week off.  Laundry will be the next stop for those towels!

Where else should I concentrate?

Since your furniture should be approximately where it will be placed in your new home, you should try to get your laundry up and running.  We told you to plan for about a week of clothes left out, and you probably are ready to wash them, as well as anything that got dirty during the move.  Hopefully, your soap and other laundry products are clearly marked and accessible…

How about my clothes?

We know that you packed your clothes where you could find them. It’s no fun to wear the same five shirts and two pairs of jeans much past a week, so locate your clothes boxes and get them back in the dresser or hung in the new closet.

By this time, you should be well on your way to being completely unpacked!   Yay!   Congratulations!


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Time to pack, you’re moving!

Spring is the very best time to sell a home, and Spring is finally here!  If you need to move soon, we want to be sure you are ready.  Here are some great tips to help you pack!

Do you have enough  supplies?

We tend to underestimate how many supplies we will need.  Things like boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, markers, and other filler packing material.  Unused supplies can be returned if you purchase it from your local big box store or a moving and storage company.  Then you can buy plenty and not worry about running out, or of having way too much after the move.  Lots of small boxes, some medium boxes for lighter things like plastic kitchen containers and bedding or towels, and some large boxes for especially fragile things that will need to have extra layers of packing and not too much per box.

What to pack first?

Begin by packing everything that you don’t need to be comfortable but want to keep.  Things like art on the walls, extra bedding and towels, books, CDs.  Remember, an excellent time to dispose of anything that is not being used or at least appreciated is while packing.  The Goodwill would love to have your unwanted but useable discards, and do you really need that fourth cheese grater?  Probably not!

What’s next?

Pack clothes that are out of season but you want to keep.  Pack Costco-sized packages of things like paper goods and leave out only what you will need until after the move.  You probably won’t miss the one hundred extra rolls of toilet paper that you store, just in case.  These things are very nice to keep in stock, but try to think about how much you will really use between now and when you unpack in the new home.  Pack all extra clothes and leave out enough to see you until you can do laundry in the new place.

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Great European Spring vacations

Here we are and so is Spring!  It’s been a very long Winter, and you are ready for a vacation.  You have been saving, and you are ready for a European adventure.  Where are the best places for vacations?

First, how about Madrid Spain?

If you are looking for some nice moderate temperatures,  you should consider Madrid.  Their daily temperature hovers between 60-70 degrees.  In addition, you can enjoy fun nightlife, amazing architecture, outside dining, and friendly natives and an unhurried atmosphere.  It is Spain’s largest city and the capitol.  Madrid is in the center of the Iberian peninsula, and makes an excellent headquarters from which to make day trips to outlying points of interest such as Toledo, where you can visit some amazing old buildings steeped in history and charm.

Maybe Spain’s next door neighbor, Portugal?

Why not?  It features lots of charm from it’s colonial heritage, impressive architecture, and smaller crowds and lower hotel prices.  Moreover,  it has world-class beaches, mild Spring temperatures and unique history and culture.  Also, they speak  their own language!  It is one of the least -visited capitol cities in the world.  Lisbon seamlessly blends it’s rich history with a cosmopolitan capital city vibe, combining the two to form one exceptional experience. If you are looking for a blend of the new and the old, this is it.

 Vacations in Monaco

This tiny nation is big on charm, and fun!  The temperature is moderate, it has beaches, and it is famous for it’s casino,  Monte Carlo.   Monaco shares a continent with France.  However, this country  is ruled by it’s own monarchy.   April is the perfect time for a visit.  The room rates are reduced and the weather is lovely.  If you are a sun-seeker, look no further than Larvotto Beach.   Or  if you are a race fan, check out it’s annual Grand Prix race, held this year May 28th.

In conclusion, if you wish to head to Europe, now is the time, and check out these spots.

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Cinco de Mayo is coming!

The month of May is just around the corner.   We have all the information you need to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in style.  Read on!

Cinco de Mayo?

No, it is NOT Mexican Independence Day!  It actually marks the date of a not-so-famous battle fought in 1862.  The battle was between Mexico and oddly enough, the French.  The battle of Puebla was an unexpected win for Mexico, and is what Cinco de Mayo (fifth of May) is really all about.   Mexico’s independence day is September 16.  Independence for Mexico came in 1810, fifty years earlier.  What it represents is resistance by Mexico, at that time a new nation, against foreign interference.

Here in the US, we celebrate with parties which feature Mexican food and consuming of adult beverages.  However, if you are looking for something to fill the afternoon before the party, try the Cinco de Mayo fiesta package from the Coeur d’Alene resort.

How about a golf date?

Our own Coeur d’Alene Resort is offering a great way to celebrate the not Mexican new year with a  very special golf package.  Of course, you’d need to like golf, but if you do, this might just be for you.  What they are offering is a golf package that includes golf, of course.  In addition, you have the opportunity to sample tequila at selected holes around the course.  There will also be delicious Mexican food and cervesa (beer) available.  Sound like fun?

If golf isn’t your thing, most restaurants, especially Mexican restaurants will be serving up the party platters of tacos, enchiladas, nachos, and of course Mexican Beer, so you can join in the festivities somewhere!  Who doesn’t love to eat Mexican food?

Cinco de Mayo has become an excellent excuse for a fun Mexican-themed party, and now you can amaze all of your friends with your knowledge of the real reason for the celebration.




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