A Postcard from Sun Valley

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Hi there. I’ve missed you!  Where does time go? Only 10 days until the official first day of Summer!

YAY!!! (note to self; must start working on those upper arm exercises but… Yaaay?!)

Much has happened since we last spoke. In my little neck of the woods, our younger son graduated from college. We are very proud of him as he worked almost full time while he was going to school and God knows that’s not easy.  In other news, we were also going through a learning process, building a new home, our very first from the ground up. It’s taken about the same amount of time for us, though we’re still waiting for our caps and gowns.  I’ve been pretty consumed with the project (gross understatement) but we’re finally within a hair’s breadth of visualizing, if not actually naming our move-in date. There will be some celebrating when we walk through the door to actually sleep there the first night. (I hope my husband isn’t expecting, like, furniture too) Those of you who follow me on Instagram know the house is in the Cape Dutch Style, a form of architecture I’ve always admired. But more on that later.


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For now, we’re once again back in beautiful Idaho, escaping the June Gloom that so predictably settles upon Santa Barbara, indeed much of the California coast virtually every June, like a big, grey, wet shawl. Ugh, give me an umbrella and rain any day. If you’re ever planning a trip to Santa Barbara, DON’T come in June and if you do, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Up here in Sun Valley, the sky is cobalt blue, the changing of the seasons sharp and articulate. Lupines spike everywhere, and peonies sway and swoon in the breeze like tipsy Edwardian ladies under heavy hats.


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Our driveway trees shed their delicate white blossoms right before our eyes in less than a week and the ranunculus are Chelsea Flower Show ready.



The river is loud, lusty and a tumultuous muddy brown.  Rushing by so fast and choppy it’s hard to imagine any fly fishing or river rafting for several weeks yet.

Yesterday afternoon, dark bruised clouds skirted in over the mountains and hearing a thunderous, deep clap, I ran to the porch hoping to catch our first storm. Instead, I was treated to the site of a massive tree, blackened stump upended, crashing down the river, smashing into boulders as it rushed by as quickly as it came. A humbling glimpse of Mother Nature in frightening full force. Can you imagine being out on a raft and seeing that bearing down on you?? Eeek, let’s not even go there.




Back inside the safe confines of the kitchen, my son and his girlfriend have been cooking up a storm of their own.



Mom’s on crouton and Negroni duty. Two things I happen to excel at 😉  (FYI-Did you know this is National Negroni Week?)


This chicken recipe they made for us, discovered on the site “Not Without Salt”  is quick, easy and completely delicious.



Fresh garlic, bacon, lemon rind salt and herbs


Pre-brown an entire chicken





submerge into an oven proof casserole pot with small new potatoes, cover in whole milk, and cook for 90 minutes. Superb. Left-overs possibly even more delicious.

Full Recipe here :





Sun Valley Al fresco


We’ve also been enjoying this luxurious downtime reading (me-Howells’ “Indian Summer”) watching the  Stanley Cup Finals, old movies and of course, a little hiking.



A trip to Sun Valley wouldn’t be complete without at least one visit to “The Pio” for cocktails and prime rib!



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Hiking in Sun Valley.


Yesterday we drove about an hour north to Redfish Lake for lunch. It’s a lovely old-school type of place, with camping grounds, a little general store, vintage ice boxes, and a big covered porch to set and stay awhile, ponder life, grow good thoughts, watch a summer storm unfurl across the lake, as we once did. I will never forget that smell. Heaven. If I could bottle it I would be Tom Ford.

I do believe it was also on that same trip, driving home, I kept insisting I smelled chicken, only to find when we got home that our younger son had stuffed his shorts with left-over chicken nuggets on the way out of the restaurant. PRE-“Napoleon Dynamite”!


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Redfish Lake restaurant


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The General Store at Redfish Lake, Idaho


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Redfish Lake











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Time goes too fast, doesn’t it?

Here’s hoping everyone’s summer is slow and easy.

It’s nice to ‘see’ you again!

xoxo S.P.





  1. You have captured it perfectly. I was there earlier this week and it is so pretty. It has changed a lot over the years. I was sad to see a five story hotel going up on Main in Ketchum, but time marches on.
    This time I discovered Lizzy’s Coffee. She is a magician. Thanks for keeping us all posted on your adventures over the years.

  2. Hi Slim, Thanks for your lovely postcard….i missed you! Ofcourse I follow your Instagram. But a series of beautiful pictures accompanied by an inspiring story are the best! Love from Holland, Gerry Poelmans

  3. “…peonies sway and swoon in the breeze like tipsy Edwardian ladies under heavy hats.”

  4. Saw you all enjoying town last week so I was expecting a Ketchum post soon. Glad to see our fine town look so lovely in your photos.

  5. So beautiful! I am surrounded by that June Gloom you mentioned. Can I get on the next plane? Love to your beautiful family and keep enjoying… Glad to have Slim Paley back!!

  6. Cheers Slim!!…………Good to hear your voice!….. I am on the same page of “life/stuff” in which you write! Applause and toast to you, for finding the time to post 😉 I shall be looking for that hammock in your new home (with aforementioned “un-painted” pink lantern donning a “dutch” bonnet) ….pretending to have a slow and easy summer

  7. What a lovely place to escape the June Gloom of California. I know exactly what you are talking about, but fortunately here in Lake Arrowhead, at 5K feet we are usually exempt from it. I generally live above the clouds. Thanks for the update on your activities and for the good looking recipe. I’ll have to try it.

  8. It’s past midnight here and I’m being tortured with your gorgeous, delicious (I’m sure) food! LOL

  9. Good to have you back where you belong! And thanks for the beautiful recipe…Sunday night’s menu is set.

  10. Dear Slim,
    Always love your Ketchum/Sun Valley posts – thank you! I lived there for a year, just after university, and will never forget the sound of the quaking Aspens shimmying in the breeze. God’s country, indeed!
    The chicken recipe looks right up my familia’s alley. Will try this week sometime. Any recommended best Dutch-oven? This is my perfect excuse to visit the Creuset (sp) store here in Madrid!!

  11. I was so excited to see your post this morning. I’ve missed your voice and your photos. My husband and I are heading out to SB in a couple of weeks and are hoping the June Gloom will have made an early exit. Enjoy the rest of your pre-summer summer vacation. S.

  12. Looks like perfection! I was just telling my friend that I want to visit the Northwest this summer and now you make me want to push to make it happen. Also funny that you mentioned Not Without Salt. She was on my press trip to Morocco five years ago and could not have been nicer. Happy Summer!

  13. Slim wonderful escape with this post! No one knows how to capture a feeling like you do. Everything I love about an American Summer is here. Traveling through Switzerland now and though enjoying it I am looking forward to coming back to this in the Sierras. Glad you are well and congrats on the graduation. That went fast. Our oldest just graduated from high school and this is a trip to celebrate. Cannot wait to see your home. Love Cape Dutch style! Enjoy the summer. So glad you checked in! Kim

  14. Insta-Slim is good but your blog posts are better. Thank you for coming back! Negroni week? Hurrah…that’s why that Aperol Spritz was so appealing last night. And now I have a plan for dinner. You’re the best! Love from from sultry SC.

  15. Alas, my teleporter is on the fritz! Your stunning images and beautiful descriptions will have to suffice.

  16. Dying from the beauty!!!! How utterly gorgeous..appeals to every one of my senses, my husband really wants to go there and if I show him this post I think we might have to go sooner than later. So beautiful…thank you for sharing!

  17. Great to hear from your Slim, and I feel your house-building pain. Dutch Colonial is fabulous–similar to the Maine coastal cottage we built in the middle of the Carolinas Piedmont eight years ago. Building a house is something like having a child, but so rewarding when it “arrives” and you get to show it off. Pictures please!

  18. So worth waiting for, Slim! I have a casserole dish that I hand-carried home from Lima that’s going to be so pretty with that chicken – yum.

  19. So fun to see a new Slim Paley post! In my blog feed, I always save a post from you for last to read because I know I’m in for the biggest treat. And this was Signature Slim ~ incredible photos {and even a video!), the beautiful word pictures, the recipe and the humor. Thanks for sharing, Slim!

  20. Long time no hear, Slim! Glad to hear your younger son graduated college. I was lucky, I could afford to be a full-time student. 🙂

  21. Yes, we have all missed your blog posts. The one time of year it’s lovely to be out of state. Escaping to Las Vegas for fireworks each 4th of July weekend helps. Still, we are blessed. Thank you for the beautiful photos and sentiment!

  22. Hi Slim,
    TG for IG…its a way to stay in touch through pictures and I’ve enjoyed keeping up with your via that avenue.
    Your place in Idaho always looks like a little slice of relaxation in paradise.

  23. Colourful and gorgeous as always. Your visuals tell a story and your words are so humorous. Miss you and miss Santa Barbara, even it is as grey it cant be as bad as Europe. Ours is grey and drizzly with strikes.

  24. Hurrah for another Slim post! I’ve missed you. The river, the porch, the hiking, AHH. Summer. I’m here in inland SoCal, but not inland enough to escape mornings of June gloom. My teen & tween are out of school & want to head to the beach, but not yet. Still chilly and grey at the coast. No thanks.

    This years’ vacation is planned, but boy does this give me ideas for next years.

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