Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Living the "EXTREME"

I'm alone at the Hampton in Pocatello, reminiscing about an amazing week. We've been a part of something BIG and WONDERFUL and UNBELIEVABLE! (Not that our summer hasn't already been big and wonderful and unbelievable!) I'll explain...

My cousin Jane stays with us periodically when she comes to town. She has such an unbelievable story -- I've mentioned her in my blog before. She has been through SO MUCH! A couple of days ago it was announced that she would be the recipient of a new home through the TV network series

They were looking for a photographer. I wrote Randy a great bio and volunteered him immediately including his websight as a reference. The Associate Design Producer, Lisamarie, called within a day (anyone need a bio?) and asked Randy if he had any scenic photographs of Idaho. We both spent our growing up years and half of our married life in Idaho, for heaven's sake, and we didn't have ANY photos to speak of, so Randy replied, "Not many, but for Jane, I'll take some!" Lisa Marie was thrilled with the idea of his creating original photos just for this project. They would need the images in a day and a half.


Wednesday 8:30 PM. We made adjustments to our schedule and hopped in the car. It was pretty late to be making a road trip, but time was ticking and we needed to be in Stanley six hours away by sun-up.

Thursday 3:00 AM. We dragged into Stanley, Idaho at 3:00 AM. Rang the nightbell at the closest hotel, waking up the Hotel Manager's Husband, and happily spent the $95 to sleep three hours in a bed rather than our little squishy Civic. Randy was shocked that Frugal Freida here would agree to such a thing. But... you know...

6:00 AM. Up to catch the suns first morning rays, Randy was off to photograph Little Redfish and the Sawtooths.

The day was still young! Jane is from Eastern Idaho. We need to go there! We got the hair-brained idea to drive another 5 hours across the state.

Through Challis
photo by me (I do all the record-keeping kind)
With a stop to climb the hillside (watch where your step!)

For a more-than-ground view of a typical Idaho scene.

And on through Rexburg

photo by Me again
to Mesa Falls
and still another photo by me

ending the day in Idaho Falls
We watched the sun set on the Idaho Falls Temple, then made the 3 1/2 hour drive home. All in all I think we drove about 14 hours in a little over a day and hopefully captured something that would wow the powers that be.

EMHE needed the photos by 10:00 the next morning. They said they would call by the end of the day.

We waited...

No call.

We figured they had decided to go another direction. No problem. We had a great time getting away together for a day. And besides that - we could give them to Jane later anyway.

EXTREME ADVENTURE #2 - On the Hunt for the Perfect Shot

Randy received a message from Erica, the show's field producer, "Please call me back as soon as you can, I have an idea!"

They asked if he could be there that night. They would put us up in a hotel for a couple of days. We were packed up and in the car within minutes.

We dropped by the studio to pick up what Randy needed and received a message from Lisa Marie (design producer) as we were heading out the door. They needed seven images printed for the house and delivered by 10:00 Monday morning. This was getting tricky! Maybe the right hand (design department) wasn't quite aware of what the left hand (video department) was doing! We dropped the images off to Ray at Pixels and crossed our fingers.

We arrived at the Hampton Inn at about 6:00 pm.

Nice Room, huh?!

Randy was given his first assignment. Scout Mountain- Early Morning- Funky, Artsy Macro Shots.One would be used for daughter #2, Ruth Ann's, headboard. She's into photography. Please deliver by 10:00 am. And while you are at it, please find a good outdoorsy nature place to do some filming.

Cherry Springs Nature Area - Mission accomplished.

After all was said and done, we spotted this sign:
OH NO! We had been shooting all morning! :o)

Next assignment: Randy would be filmed "teaching" Jillian (former Bachelorette, now host of this show) how to shoot. Be ready at 10:00 am.

We were given official T-shirts, and Designer Guest Passes to give us free reign for the entire set, house, etc. We waited... and while we waited, we got our first glimpse of Artworld (that's where they create all the original pieces of furniture).

Found adorable Adriane there. She's Jane's oldest child. Jane has nine children - not just eight like they mention on the show. But Adriane is married now, so she couldn't be a part of it all. She is definitely a BIG part of the family. I'm sure she missed them like crazy this week.

Volunteers worked tirelessly around the clock. Jane requested the the windows and doors of her cottage house be salvaged. I think they created a wall or ceiling out of them... We shall see.

This is Bill and Boris. They are violin makers from Southern California. They were asked to restore two of the children's smoke-damaged instruments and ended up working on nine. They have been working 14-16 hours a day. Sophie's cello could not be helped so a foundation that Bill knew about donated a VERY FINE instrument. (I was told the value, but do not feel it is my privilege to disclose the information.) It is an amazing and unbelievable gift. Sophie is going to be thrilled to tears!

I played on Great Aunt Ralphene's restored violin. She would be so pleased.

And another that Bill himself had made and gave to replace one that could not be brought up to par.

I met Tyler who was creating benches for the back yard from SCRATCH.

And a local builder who hand-crafted this wall decor of The Lord's Prayer out of several thousand pieces of wood.

And Snickers who had waited all afternoon for HIS taping. (You will LOVE this show -- it has dogs in it!)

The "Designers" are great and actually DO work on pieces for the home themselves, but the real stars are the great people "behind the scenes." So MANY people giving SO MUCH out of a sense of community and love. It is more than heart-warming.

We were able to see the house inside and out. (No pictures inside the house, please.) This is the house - three days young. By the next day, the landscaping was already in!

Even their chickens get a new home!

It was 4:30 pm. Randy was finally called. He led the film crew up to Cherry Springs Nature Area on Scout Mountain.
Jillian being filmed driving up the mountain.

It began to rain. It began to pour! We waited...

then went ahead and filmed under a canopy of trees.

So... When Jillian made her entrance to meet Randy, she mentioned she felt like she was back on The Bachelorette! I quickly exclaimed, "Oh... NO you're NOT!"

The film crew. Such NICE people!

Randy and Jillian

(She really is VERY kind... and PRETTY too!)

To Be Continued...

Don't you just HATE that?


  1. I feel like every one I know is talking about this on facebook. I hope you don't mind if I share your link to this blog post.

  2. A-mazing! I can't wait to see the episode!

  3. Kathryn, that's so awesome you got to do all of that!! I can't wait for the next post!