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Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Hallows Eve

Living out in the middle of nowhere in the woods means that no trick-or-treaters come knocking at my door.  I don't blame them.  There are no neighbors and the woods can be a pretty scary place at night, shawdows creeping between the trees and scraping branchings overhead. While we save on not having to buy candy I do miss the sight of pirates, spiderman, and princesses at my doorstep begging for candy.  That's one of the drawbacks of living in the cabin.  Its lonely.  Secretly I hope when we move that it will be somewhere where there are trick-or-treaters.  
So those of you who have draculas and witches gracing your door step be thankful.  Fill their bag with something horrible for their teeth, but wonderful for their memories.  I would if I could!


Since tomorrow is the first of November that means the September/October photo assignment will come to an end and I will pick and announce the winners!  That also means there will be a new photo assignment with a new prize.  The topic is still undetermined, so if you have any suggestions please share!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

What am I Doing at Four AM?

One of the reasons I love my animals is because they never cease to make me laugh with their randomness.  They also provide me with fodder for amusement in the wee hours of the morning at my job, which, to be honest, its those wee hours that are slowly tearing me down and turning me into a zombie.


Have you ever heard of Icanhascheezeburger?  Well that site is secretly a guilty pleasure of mine that I browse on those nights where I am in the dim lights of the nurses office trying to stay awake.  I have to occupy myself some how and studying just puts me to sleep.

I ams  Ekwipped for Travels

or how about...

NAP-SACK  UR DOIN' IT RIGHT!

or maybe...

i iz in u bakpak steelin ur homewrkz!

Seriously, you thought I would be productive at four in the morning?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Eureka! ... You're Killing Me

Whoever said house hunting was fun lied to me.  I think buying a house is one of those things, like birthing a baby, that everyone is so excited for and the end results are worth celebrating, but for those actually going through it is a painful, intense, and difficult ordeal.  Only with house hunting there's no epidurals and yelling and screaming at everyone isn't acceptable.  

Yesterday Shawn and I toured the Upper Valley (that's what the area around where he works is called) for a moderately priced home that we both adored and would want to immediately move into.  Turns out its very easy to find a house you utterly dislike rather that one you love.  We walked through five houses and asked about a bazillion questions. 

Here's a synopsis of each of the locations...

This house was full of animals.  The owner either forgot or didn't care to put them away before leaving.  Dogs scampered about the house.  The carpet was matted and run down.  There were several cats running around.  One of the cats was very pregnant and waddled behind us everywhere we went. 

Pro: The stables.  The six stalls were nicer than the house.

Con:  Dirty, worn carpets, holes in wall, missing ceiling on the bottom floor, completely unkempt.


Our Real Estate broker added this house to the list at the last minute.  Its his company's own listing so he knew a lot about it and really seemed to push this house on us.  Overall the house was well kept, but its basically a shoebox.  A small shoebox. It was also closer to Shawn's work than any other house we saw. 

Pro: Modern, doesn't need work, close to the Fire Department.

Con:  Size.  This tiny shoebox is only 1000sq feet.


This house was so big that the photo doesn't do it justice in the least.  A lot of modernization has been done.  Character seeped out of the floor boards as we walked through it.  You could just tell that this house has been a good home for generations, but as any old home it needed and would always require a lot of hard work.

Pro: Utterly beautifully redone kitchen and downstairs, large, unique, and homey.

Con: It needs a lot of work, and probably a new roof.


This building was built in 1850 and used to house the post office for a tiny little town. While it looks beautiful from the listing photo it was definitely a misrepresentation.  This house was about two feet away from a brook that floods every spring.  The inside was also laughable and needs a tremendous amount of work

Pro: none, really.

Con: Flooding, interior disrepair.


While the photo doesn't make the house seem like anything special it was by far the best one we viewed.  I fell in love with it.  It has four bedrooms, a beautiful fenced in yard, two car garage, and even a heated in ground pool.  All in our price range.  So what's the problem? Its not close enough to the fire station, says Shawn.

Pro: great layout, modern, clean, spacious, heated pool, two car garage, and is at the end of a dead end road

Con:  Shawn doesn't like it and he says its too far away.


After the 'tour de upper valley' we climbed into our own vehicle for the long drive home to discuss what we had seen throughout the day.  It was at that moment I realized that house shopping was not going to be easy or fun.  The very last house we saw I loved.  It was perfect.  I walked through it with a smile.  Shawn, on the other hand, cringed and made some weird face when I expressed my feelings about the final house.  He hated it.  Then the fighting began.  I wanted to put an offer on it.  How could he not like a house that had a heated in-ground pool and a master bath with a huge porcelain bathtub?! I could see myself taking a bubble bath there tomorrow.  

Shawn insists the fifteen minute drive was too far from the fire station.  He wants to be able to be there within just a few minutes should a fire call come in or the need for station coverage arise. I insist that the house is utterly perfect.  I could take bubble baths all winter long in the nice and  relax in the pool all summer long.  Doesn't that sound like an awesome plan?  And then there is the sun room to relax in.  Or the well appointed kitchen to cook in.  A big fenced in backyard for the dogs to run around in with a big open field adjoining one side of the yard and a wooded ledge behind it.  No neighbors in site from the back deck.  And I can just see my future little ones riding bikes up and down the dead end road that the house sits at the end of.  Honestly, I cannot comprehend how he can't love that house!  

The more I persist the more he stonewalls me.  Its a classic marital disagreement, but just like any of our disagreements we'll work through it.  In the meantime we'll both have headaches.  Ugh.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Exhaustion

Yesterday I spent the entire day riding around in a new modeled silverado with our Real Estate representative looking at homes.  It was utterly exhausting.  Not to mention I was running on absolutely zero sleep since I worked the night before.  When we finally arrived back home at the cabin some one hundred miles away from where we were searching I immediately brushed my teeth and went to bed, too tired to discuss what we had done all day any further.

We saw some things we liked, saw a lot of things we didn't like, and developed an elephant sized disagreement about what we want  in a new home and, more specifically, where we should live.  Its becoming apparent just how difficult house shopping is and how unfun it can be...


I'll explain it all soon.  But I have the feeling we don't have all our ducks (or as the photo illustrates - geese) in a row.  December 3rd is fast approaching.  I'm not sure we'll make it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Going Once... Going Twice... SOLD!

 So I may have tricked some of you from my last post.  How deviously clever of me!  Your guesses made me laugh out loud.  Thanks for that.  Oh, and for the record I am not pregnant, but the news is almost as exciting!

Most of you probably have forgotten that our house was for sale, didn't you?  Sometime way back in May we decided it would be a good time to try and relist our cabin and attempt to sell it.  The month's ticked by.  Our real estate lady was MIA for the most part.  A showing was scheduled a couple of times and no one showed up after our long and hard work to make the house look absolutely stunning.  We had pretty much thrown in the towel with the contract set to expire in less than a month.  

Then things started to change about two weeks ago...

A couple who has been quietly looking for a house for two or three years wanted to see ours.  I cleaned the house and made it look almost presentable enough to be featured in "Good Housekeeping".  Almost.  Then we didn't hear anything for over a week.  Being used to disappointment and a lack luster real estate representative Shawn and I assumed that the couple decided our house just wasn't for them.  You know what they say about those who assume, right?  

Late one evening a few days ago Shawn called me.  "Guess what!  We have an offer on the house!"  For once I didn't have a reply and Shawn had to do a series of "hello? are you still there?" before I regained my train of thought.  Seriously, that was about the last thing I expected him to call about and I was utterly unprepared for any sort of response.  Initially, thought, it wasn't all happiness and lollipops.  The offer was more than $20,000 less than our asking price.  My heart deflated, but only a little. 

We played the back-and-forth game.  One offer after another.  Slowly their price rose and our price crept down (reluctantly).  Today we received the phone call we had been waiting for.

They accepted our counter-offer.

The cabin is now officially under contract!  


Our closing date is December 3rd, which is less than six weeks away. (eeek! So soon!)  That means we will be homeless after December 3rd if we don't get our butts in gear and purchase ourselves a new home.  Let the house shopping officially begin! 


And sorry to all of you I fooled.  Although, I have to admit I thought it was pretty funny!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ode to Modern Medicine and a Prelude

If I had to answer the question "What is the greatest invention in recent history" Penicillin would be high up on my list for possible answers.  After half a week in agony my tooth and jaw pain has nearly abated, but with no thanks to Vicodin.  Thankfully, I didn't undergo any sort of drug induced haze, but rather it made me incredibly dizzy and nauseous while not touching the pain.  Once the antibiotics kicked in after a good two days I began to mend and whatever was causing my pain (probably a budding infection) seems to have abated.  *knocks on wood*  

And tomorrow, because I am feeling better, I have some very awesome and incredible news to share with all of you!  Boy, am I excited! Actually, both Shawn and I are excited. We've kept it under wraps for a little while so it might seem kind of sudden.


This photo really has nothing to do with it. I just like it.

Any guesses what I might be talking about?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Of Teeth and Vicodin

I don't take medicine, ever, which is kind of unusual for someone who dispenses medication so readily.  When I have a cold I usually suffer through the sniffles and snots without so much as a drop of medicine.  But when my jaw started hurting a couple days ago and the pain intensified to the point where I couldn't sleep and tears came to my eyes I just had to do something.  There was no way I could fight through it on my own.

Holding back tears and holding my jaw I called my dentist office the second it opened.  For a small town the office is actually booked for the better part of seven months so when they sensed my urgency and told me to come in in 15 minutes I thanked the receptionist with the most sincere thank you, changed out of my pajamas, and hopped in the car.  Five minutes later I was ushered into the dentist's chair.

A round of "good morning's" and "how are yous" rang through the air.  I replied, bleary-eyed, with "not good".  My teeth were chattering, not from cold, but from the pain.  The dentist walked right in and cheerily greeted me.  His smile receded when he noticed the hurt painted on my face.  He asked me a dozen or so questions, trying to narrow down the possible causes of my sudden pain.  While I have had my share of cavities over the years my teeth are in good shape and my last visit a couple months ago proved to be perfect.  An x-ray was done, my teeth were all tapped, poked, and examined.  Nothing.  He couldn't find anything wrong.  I blinked back the tears.  There was absolutely something wrong.

"Well it could be an infection, the start of one." The dentist said with his French Canadian accent.  There is something about a French Canadian accent that always seems to lack empathy...

"An infection?" 

"Well, honestly I don't know what is causing your pain, but it could be an infection.  That seems like the most logical cause.  There is just not evidence of it, yet.  I can prescribe you something for the pain, some antibiotics, and something to help you sleep."


Vicodin, Pennicillin, and Flexeril it is.  

Those are all some pretty heavy duty medications for someone who never takes anything besides orange juice for her ailments.  To be honest I am nervous about taking them.  I have a good reason for my worry, though...

Story time...
Six years ago I went skiing.  Yes, onetime in my life I used to ski.  Well, that one time I used to ski I was a show off, went way too fast, and ended up wrecking in a giant snow ball.  My ankle's ligaments were destroyed.  Off to the emergency room via ambulance I went.  In the ER I underwent a series of x-rays and determined that fortunately no bones were broken, but I had some serious connective tissue damage.  Tylenol with codeine was prescribed, which I eagerly took to dull the skeletal pain radiating from my extremity.  Like clockwork, twenty minutes after I took the medication while we were eating dinner at a nearby pizza place, the medicine kicked in.  Boy did it kick in.  Suddenly I started not making sense.  I thought I was in Canada and that everyone around me was speaking French.  "Why are we in Canada?!" I exclaimed over and over.   I was loud enough that my friends decided it was time to head back towards home.  As we turned onto the interstate I remember have a complete psychotic moment.  For some reason I swore we were on the wrong side of the interstate, going south in the northbound lane, and a head-on collision was imminent.  In my delusional state I even tried to grab the wheel from my friend who was driving.  Then I promptly fell asleep and the next thing I remember it was almost two days later.  

So do you see why I am nervous?  

I don't want to have some crazy delusion while driving, at work, or home by myself.  Unfortunately, Ibuprofen hasn't begun to touch the pain after I broke down and resorted to some form of over the counter medication before seeing the dentist.  Unless I want to live on the brink of tears and extreme pain I have to tolerate a drug induced haze.  At this point I'll take the haziness over the painful urge that has me wanting to manually rip my jaw off my face. 

Here's to modern medicine and pharmacology!  Lets hope the pain recedes quickly.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Maine Winner!

I had a blast reading all of your comments that were "Mainely"  about the great state of Maine!  Some of them really cracked me up.  I never knew you guys could be so clever when the "Maine" focus of the contest was to use the word Maine.


And the randomly selected winner is....

Teri Dingler!  Who's comment was:
My "Maine" goal in leaving a comment is to be entered in the contest but my other "Maine" reason for commenting is that the pictures were lovely and I want to come to "Maine"!!! Thanks for the chance! Teri Dingler from below the Mason Dixon Line and Nowhere Near "Maine" (was that enough times???!!!)

Yes, Teri.  That' was enough and congratulations! Send an email with your address to vtcabinfever (at) hotmail (dot) com. And don't forget... I really want to know if those mints taste like onion rings!

Thank you everyone who entered!  If you didn't win don't feel bad, because I've got another couple of giveaways planned for the near future.  There will be plenty of more chances for plenty of other cool things!


And remember the Christmas cards I created last week?  So many of you weighed in your opinions and the card that most of you liked was this one...


Thank you for all your input!  Since I liked them all and didn't want to settle on just one card in the end I added all three to my photo website for purchase!  You can view all three and purchase them here.  Of course, the winning card above will be part of one of the upcoming giveaways that I mentioned. Stay Tuned!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Because this is 99% True

Temperature Conversion Chart for Vermont

70 degrees
Texans turn on the heat and unpack the thermalunderwear.
People in Vermont go swimming in the rivers.

60 degrees
Floridians try to turn on the heat.
People in Vermont plant gardens.

50 degrees
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
People in Vermont sunbathe.

40 degrees
Italian & English cars won't start.
People in Vermont drive with the windows down.

32 degrees
Distilled water freezes.
Lake Champlain's water gets thicker.

20 degrees
North Carolinians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves,and woolly hats.
People in Vermont throw on a flannel shirt.

15 degrees
Philadelphia landlords finally turn up the heat.
People in Vermont have the last cookout before it gets cold.

10 degrees
People in Miami all die...
Mt. Mansfield Union High students lick the flagpole.

-20 degrees
Californians fly away to Mexico.
People in Vermont get out their winter coats.

-40 degrees
Hollywood disintegrates.
The Girl Scouts in Vermont are selling cookies door to door.

-60 degrees
Polar bears begin to evacuate the Arctic.
Vermont Boy Scouts postpone "Winter Survival" classes until it gets cold enough.

-80 degrees
Mt. St. Helens freezes.
People in Vermont rent some videos.

-100 degrees
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
UVM students get frustrated because they can't thaw the keg.

-297 degrees
Microbial life no longer survives on dairy products.
Cows in Vermont complain about farmers with cold hands.

-460 degrees
ALL atomic motion stops (absolute zero in the Kelvin scale).
People in Vermont start saying, "S'pose I should throw another log in the stove?"


The first day it reaches sixty is when I plant my garden.  It was 40 degrees yesterday and I drove with my window down.  It was twenty degrees the other night so I threw on a flannel shirt.  The girl scouts really sell cookies when its forty below in mid-February.  My husband doesn't don his coat until its about twenty below. And when we throw a keg party in Vermont we just keep the keg outside and pipe the beer through the window.  Why not take advantage of mother nature's refrigerator, right?  I have yet to stick my tongue to a flag pole, but I did stick it to the bottom of a freezer once.  It has the same effect.  Trust me...   or try it yourself and  then please tell me how that works for you.  I always can use a good laugh!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sharing a little bit of Maine with You

Thank you all who commented on my last post.  It made me feel less like an outcast in a corner.  Rather, you all showed me that its something that happens to everyone.  Life goes on and friendships either mend and recover or you pick yourself up and make new friends.  'Tis life.

Now back to the fun stuff.

Maine.

Maine is still on of my most favorite places on Earth, not that I've stepped foot on much of it, but I'm just saying.  Besides spending the afternoon trying to touch the sky on top of Mount Washington we spent two days in Maine exploring the coast, streets of Portland, and shopping.  There happens to be a giant Cabella's store, amongst other shopping meccas like the L.L.Bean's flagship store, just a hop and a skip from where we stayed.  We spent way more money than we should have, but that's okay because we compensated for it by eating Pizza Hut in our hotel room and then going out for a Wendy's Frosty for desert.  That's living rich right there, let me tell you. 

When we weren't spending money or holed up in our hotel room stuffing our faces with stuffed crust pizza and exquisite Frosties we were out and about being tourists and I toted my camera everywhere we went, of course.  




A "hole in the wall" lobster/seafood store along one of the wharfs in Portland

One of the side streets in Portland.  I loved the colorful buildings.

The backside of one of the docks in Portland.


A long private pier in the tidal waters of the Ocean in Harpswell, Maine

A wharf on Baily's Island, Maine.

The famous Portland Head Light.  It was free to visit!

Us at the Head Light. 

One of the most photographed buildings in Maine. I only wish the tide wasn't out so far.

A couple of lobstermen headed out to sea to check their traps.

Boats at the docks in portland

Oh, if you like some of these photos you'll want to check out my NEK Photography Photoblog if you haven't already!  I've been playing around with textures on some of these photos with really cool results. 




And of course I didn't go all the way to Maine just to come home empty handed... 

I've got a Give Away for you!


Now because I am always thinking about all of you I picked up a couple of souvenirs along our travels and I'd love to give them to one of you!  What do you think of that idea?


Just a couple little things from our trip...  a lobster and moose lollipop, a hilarious sticker, a moose shot glass, and a random pack of onion ring mints (just because I can).  I didn't want to go with the generic touristy sea-shells and beach glass and chose something a little more fun!


If you'd like to be entered into the drawing for these little souvenirs then please leave a comment below using the word Maine in your comment!  I will randomly choose one person from the comments on Friday as the winner of these fun little gifts.  All I ask of the winner is that you let me know if those mints really taste like onion rings. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

When Traditions and Friendships Fizzle Out

About once or twice a year my husband and I take time off to throw a little get together at our house.  Its become sort of a tradition since we owned the house.  Initially we'd have thirty people or more crammed into our cabin.  People upstairs, downstairs, and constantly coming in and out.  The shenanigans would last well into the next morning when people would finally pass out on various couches and chairs.  It was fun.  Was being the key word.

Things have changed.  People change and friends change.  Life and schedules consume us all or perhaps I just have the worst luck when picking evenings to have parties.  

Last night Shawn and I held one of those parties.  I planned it over a month ago and excitedly started informing all of our friends about it so far in advance everyone would be able to make arrangements to come and hang out.  We figured what would be better than a night consuming adult beverages, playing pong, wii, eating food, hanging out, and having a generally good time?  I know Shawn and I sure as heck needed a night of fun!  Initially all of our friends seemed excited.  It looked like a great night was to be had.  As the day of the party approached some people came up to us saying that their plans had changed or something had come up.  Yeses turned into maybes, but there were still plenty of our closest friends who assured us they couldn't wait to come hang out. 

When six o'clock, the slated start time for the party, rolled around I sat on the couch with Shawn watching television and half glancing out the window anticipating the imminent arrival of guests. Six thirty came, then seven.  Our house was still empty.  My stomach was in a knot.  "Apparently this was a bad idea." Shawn said.  Pessimism began to sink in.  "Apparently I picked a bad weekend." I replied.

Then lights appeared in the driveway.  One friend arrived.  Despite being the only person there an hour late he sat down, watched the Yankees lose with us, and hung out.  Another car arrived after eight o'clock with my sister-in-law and a few of her friends.  Those two sets of headlights would be the only ones to come down our driveway last night. 

I was informed by my sister-in-law that several of our other guests, who told us just hours earlier they couldn't wait to come, were down town at the local pub eating dinner.  Its a small town where everyone what each other is up to just by driving through town.  Three hours after the party began one person called us and said that her fiancee was sick and they wouldn't be making it (after they came home from the pub).  The rest didn't even bother to call.


My stomach finally untied itself.  Great games of beer pong (beirut) were had, conversations held, jokes told, and new friends made.  Eventually I forgot about our absentee friends and enjoyed those that chose not to blow us off. 
 
Like someone said last night.  "This is the most fun you could have with seven people".  You're right.  I just feel sad knowing that our tradition of big house parties with good friends may have been killed. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

On Top of the World! Well, the East Coast Anyway.

I've been a lot of places in this great country and this week I crossed a very substantial one off my list of places I want to visit before I die.  Well, I don't really have a list, but if I did this place would be at the top.


For years I have wanted to visit the peak of Mount Washington.  Honestly the mode of travel I have desired to reach the summit is by foot, but Shawn doesn't share the same enthusiasm for hiking (as we discussed earlier!).  So we compromised and took the auto-road all the way up to 6,228 and it was utterly amazing!  Last year we attempted to do this drive, but the weather didn't cooperate.  We were only allowed to drive to 4,000 before the conditions caused them to close the road.  This year the temperature at the beginning of the road was a balmy fifty five degrees and we could see from the bottom that there wasn't a stitch of fog hovering the rocky peak. 


I was amazed that it only took us a little over an hour to reach the head off the road and that it was $31 for the two of us to drive ourselves up.  Well worth every single penny and at such a close proximity its a must visit again, soon.  


We slowly climbed up the ever winding road as we rose above the incredible landscape and the east coast unfolded before our eyes.  "Views of over 75 miles" said the man at the beginning of the road.  He wasn't kidding.  


Snow appeared.  Actually its technically called rime, which is fog frozen into ice crystals.  The temperature continued to drop as we rose.  We were ascending into another season. 


Suddenly the observatory appeared out of the clouds.  The mammoth of a building and antennae was dwarfed by the rocky ledges.  


The wind, which is normally fierce (Mount Washington holds the record for the windiest place on earth), was only slightly gusty, as if standing on a seashore.  The rime proved just how fierce the wind can be by  forming at sharp ninety degree angles on every surface the was opposite the wind's direction. 


This building, which according to the sign has been standing there since 1871, is actually chained to the mountain so that it doesn't blow away in the fierce winds it must withstand. The fact that chains are a necessity for the building to remain erected is mind blowing and I love it.


The peak was actually fairly crowded.  This young man and his golden retriever made the grueling hike up despite the slippery conditions of the top third of the mountain.  In a way I envied them both, but in all honesty I'd probably complain far too much the entire way.  


Many people who don't drive up choose to ride by train on the Cog Railway.  Its quite expensive at over $50 a person for the trip, but you get a nice comfortable train ride and that's pretty darned cool in itself. 


Somehow I stole a quick photo of the summit with not a single person in the way.  There were constantly people climbing up the ice covered rocks and forcing strangers to awkwardly balance on the icy rocks while snapping their photo. All I could think of as I watched senior citizens and city girls in ballet flats traverse the rocks was how you get people medical treatment or to a hospital from up there.  


So naturally, just like everyone else, we forced strangers to awkwardly stand on the icy rocks and take our photo together.  Despite it being overcast Shawn felt the need to wear his sunglasses.  It will forever annoy me every time I see this photo.  


We walked around the entire summit to take in the sights.  There really is no restriction on where you can walk, which is wonderful.  Nothing is roped off, nothing is out of bounds.  The whole mountain is for everyone to enjoy. 


As we began our trek back down to warmer climates we saw this sign that said "Use Lowest Gear. Stop to Cool Your Breaks." in multiple languages.  It literally appeared as if the road dropped off the face of the Earth and we were about to plummet six thousand feet to the ground below.  No roller-coaster ride even compares.

Shawn and I have decided that making the trek up Mount Washington is going to be our wedding anniversary tradition since we have inadvertently made the drive (or attempt in the case of last year) both years we have been married.  Every year we are going to take a photo of us and decades from now I will create an album of our photos at the summit year after year.  The thought of the end result fills me with sentimental warmth.


Mount Washington is seriously one of the coolest places ever.  Definitely check out their websites!



Next... the coast of Maine!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I've Disappeared to Maine!


Shawn and I are taking a couple days to enjoy ourselves and escape our hectic lives.  We're off on a mini-vacay until the end of the week.  I'll miss ya'll, but this is going to be way more fun!



Meanwhile, check out some other cool stuff you may have missed...



Have a great week.  I know I will!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Its Never too Early...

Christmas is just around the corner.  You know it!  I can't believe that I haven't seen decorations in the stores yet, but then again I am working nights, eating primarily spaghetti and gas station food, and sleeping when most conventional stores are open so there very well may be some Santa Clauses and elves afoot already.

Just because I haven't seen anything Christmas related doesn't mean its too early to start thinking about it.  While sorting through some of my old photos I got to thinking...  I should make a Christmas card out of my own photos this year!  That only make sense, right?  Normally I just go to the supermarket and pick out some cheesy Vermont looking scene that is five bucks or less.  That just won't do.  So for this year, I chose three photos that I took last winter and gussied each one of them up, adding a different Christmas-like saying.  Now I can't decide on which one I like best. 




Since I can't decide I now want to hear from you!



Wouldn't you like to receive or send one of these out to all your friends and family?  I despise the painstaking process of addressing cards, but receiving them sure is great so I always return the favor. The card that wins will certainly be part of a later give-away.  I figured since you help me pick out this years Christmas card then you should have a chance to win it!   And this winter I'll try and be more "Christmas Card Conscious" as I traipse around the countryside with my camera.  After all, I do have next year's card to think about!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Two years a Mrs.

Today, Columbus day, is my wedding anniversary.  For me, so far, being married has been a continuation of us dating.  not much has changed.  Before we were married we broke a lot of the social taboos.  We already owned a house together, lived together, and had a joint checking account.  The only big change was my last name.  But alas, like all other married folk, whether nothing has changed or everything I am no different to marking the day of "I do" with some sort of celebration and thoughts of bliss and happiness. What better way to conjure up some of that than by sorting out what I remember from that very day, two years ago.
  • I slept in the same bed as my husband the night before we were married (gasp! sorry mom)
  • My gut was in knots, so uncharacteristic for myself, and I visited the bathroom more times than I cared to count.
  • My friend spent a good twenty minutes perfecting my make-up and I went and wiped it off immediately after. (Sorry Megan! I'm just not used to eye-shadow.)
  • My father made me wait downstairs in the church, just him and I, in silence, for a full five minutes after the pastor told us he was ready for us to make our way to the entrance of the church.  I nearly balled with some weird mixed emotion of anticipation, anxiety, happiness, and stage-freight. I honestly never want to feel that combination again.  You're right dad... I'll never forget those five minutes.
  • I don't remember anything from the ceremony, except that happened too fast for anything to sink in.  Oh, and that my face hurt from smiling so hard.
  • I've have never had a night that was more fun with more friends and family in my entire life.  I'd give anything to relive that night.


This video sums up the evening perfectly.  All my friends and family in the same place having an incredible time celebrating our happiness and friendships. There was nothing more I could have asked for.  Heck, even my drinks were free!


We went into it as friends and friends we shall forever be. I love you Shawn!
Happy Anniversary.



Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sharing the Beauty of the Kingdom!

A while back one reader mentioned he'd love it if I would make my photos available to use as a desktop background.  What a great idea!  I mean, I use my own photos as my desktop so wouldn't it be nice if I shared them with you and your computer?  I thought you'd like that, too. 

I am still going through photos I took almost TWO WEEKS ago.  Its atrocious, the amount of photos on my memory card, but one by one I am slowly sorting and processing them all.  Because it may take me forever to be able to show you them all at once I figured I would share one or two at a time. 


I love this photo.  Its not perfect.  The horses are too far away and at the back of the field, but I can overlook all that and am drawn to the infinite woods line of burning color.  That's why I love this photo and why I wanted to share it with you!  To download this photo for your desktop click this link.  (its a .rar file).  This photo is actually my own current desktop background. 

And there is something more I have for you!
I stumbled across a screen saver I made a while back that is a collage of many photos from last year.  Many are my all time favorites.  To download the screen saver click this link (its also a .rar file).


I hope you enjoy both of these as much as I enjoy sharing them!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Karma, ten years later.

While I was sitting in class, minding my own business, I received a text message from my husband.  Something had happened to his truck...


Shawn stopped at the post office.  It was mid-day, the busy time in town where everyone is on lunch break and running various errands, when Shawn decided to check the mail.  He was inside for only a minute, maybe two.  Someone had stopped and talked to him for a second.  When he came back out of the post office he saw his tail light smashed in.  No one was around, no one saw anything, and no note was left.  It was a hit and run. 

Tail lights on newer vehicles aren't cheap and you can't just replace the lens.  You have to replace the whole darned unit.  To add insult to injury our insurance deductible is $500 so there would be no reason to claim it.  Even so, t had to get fixed right away.  That kind of damage to a vehicle will earn you a ticket mighty fast, so he called the local Ford dealership for a price on a new tail light.  $130 was the price they quoted, but after hearing Shawn's story they lowered the price to $68.  The dealership didn't make a dime on the tail light, because of that really nice guy.  At least for every bad situation there is someone trying to make it better. 

Then I got to thinking... 
Could this be payback for something a decade earlier?  Does Karma really hold a grudge that long?


When I was barely sixteen and barely old enough to drive I was backing out of my orthodontist's office (whom I hated with a passion).  I was pretty new at backing up so I guess I didn't do it quite right.  While looking left I heard and felt this horrible crunch sound behind me to my right.  Ooops.  I ran right into my orthodontist's car.  Panicky, I didn't know what to do so I did the only logical thing a sixteen year old with a still wet driver's license would do....  drive away.  As I looked in my rear view mirror I swear that there weren't any scratches and all the pieces of his car were still where they were suppose to be, but then again I didn't get out of my car.  In fact, I hurried my little butt right out of there as if nothing had happened.  No one ever said anything to me at my next visit.  I felt like I got away with murder. 

...guess not.

What goes around comes around, I suppose!