Saturday, May 31, 2008

First Day in Vermont

First of all... last night I slept under a warm blanket with my window open! That was nice! This morning when I woke up and peered out my bedroom window, the view made me giddy (it was dark when we arrived last night). Nic and Kristiina's yard is lush green and filled with colorful flowers.
It began raining, though, while we had coffee and made breakfast, so that altered the sightseeing plans Kristiina had for the day. Instead, we did a little shopping in New Hampshire where there is no sales tax (Kristiina needed some work clothes and Nic picked up a couple of pairs of jeans) That was cool.
Then we had a late lunch at their favorite pizza place in Claremont; a really good meal! On our way home we stopped at the grocery store that they always go to (the one in Claremont is far more reasonable than the one in Windsor).
Even though the day wasn't exactly what Kristiina had in mind - it was still fun and full of wonderful sights! We saw hills and long-range mountain views, and so many trees and flower varieties we don't get to see in tropical Florida.
When we got home, I went around snapping a few pictures of the flowers in their yard. There's pretty rhododendron in lavender and bright pink, there's several lilac trees in varying shades of lavender, there are two big peony shrubs, but those haven't bloomed yet... they have great big buds, though. And there's another pretty shrub with orange flowers on it that Kristiina hasn't been able to identify yet.
Following a much needed nap, we played Wii Fit for a while. I love Wii... I want one! Then we settled in and watched a movie (I Am Legend... Yikes!). Our late lunch was so big that no one wanted dinner. We just munched on popcorn and Raisinets. Well balanced meal...
And that was Day 1. I didn't sweat once! Instead, I had on jeans, closed toe shoes, a long sleeve shirt and a sweater! Amazing.
Tomorrow we plan to do what we were going to do today... head up to Nic's work site in Woodstock and also check out where Kristiina works near Quechee Gorge. She said there's some neat antique stores, a glass and pottery factory, and the Cabot cheese factory there. Looking forward to it!

Here are a couple of photos from today. Hopefully tomorrow we'll get some with a blue sky!

Here's the pizza place

Their side yard. So colorful.

Part of the back yard - detached garage.

The view of the dairy farm from the back yard (and kitchen, living room, master bedroom, upstairs hall, and one of the guest rooms!)

The front entrance

Peering out one of the front windows.

Outside every window of their home is a charming, colorful view like this one!

Talk to you tomorrow!

Friday, May 30, 2008

We're Off!

And I will not sweat again till June 10th when I'm back home!! There are sooo many reasons why I am excited about this trip... not sweating for 10 days is near the top of the list!

More from Vermont in a day or two!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Take your woolies!!

This was the subject of an email mom sent to me yesterday. In it, she had simply posted Windsor, Vermont's forcast for the next week! We can expect lows in the 40s and highs in the 60/70s. Oh... yeah... pack the woolies, alright! We're already subjected to 90 degree days down here! It's going to feel awfully chilly to us; but oh so refreshing!! Mom said, "I bought some warm slippers!"

Oh, and Kristiina posted this to her Flickr account the other day

I read today where someone said that God's favorite colors must be green and blue. I imagine this is why they think so!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

It was nice and relaxing! Friday evening, we had dinner with our next door neighbors then took their boat out to watch the sunset. We enjoyed that - we just moseyed around our Cape Coral canals.
Saturday was quiet. Joe golfed and napped, I photoshopped and relaxed.
Sunday, Joe and I had lunch with mom after church, then mom and I did a little shopping. Later, we went out on the neighbors' boat again for another sunset viewing!
Monday was a bit more tiring, but productive. We spent the whole day doing yardwork and cleaning the pool/patio. Thankfully, there was a strong breeze blowing to keep us cool. I have sore muscles today!

What did you do?

Here are some pics of our boat ride. The sunsets weren't all that spectacular...

Hmmm...the night setting doesn't work well when the boat is moving!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Mother's Love

Aw! Will you look at this... does this melt your heart, or what?!
This precious little thing is Sara, less than an hour old, being kissed by her mama, Zeila.
That was June 2, 2007.

Here's that beautiful girl today. Now, she's about 50 pounds of pure joy and will turn 1 year old next week!
More on that later...

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Week from Today!

This time next week, Mom and I will be in a plane headed for Vermont! We're thrilled!

Here's a glimpse of what we're in store for:

This was taken by my Flickr acquaintance and a Windsor resident, Stew Stryker. It's of downtown Windsor. The houses to the right are the Old Constitution House and the Windsor House (I think), both rich with history!

We're eager to get up there for so many reasons... not the least of which is to experience springtime in New England!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Memory Lane

This one's for Kristiina. I have to make it quick because I'm at the office... (yeah, and because I have a long line of people out the door, each with a signed contract for me to process and close for them, and I'm really busy...hmpf! No, no sarcasm here.)

Anyway, as I said, I'm at the office and was feeling a little hungry. So, I decided to make myself some peanut butter toast. Here's the memory-for-Kristiina part... as soon as my toast popped up, the smoke detecter started beeping and blaring (no, I didn't burn my toast... it's just sensitive).

Does that make you miss your Florida kitchen, honey?!


Monday, May 19, 2008

Puppy Kisses

Dexter hates them. At least he'd like to portray himself as hating them.

This is his warning posture... he's strongly suggesting they don't come near him all licky, wiggly and waggy. It just annoys him.
"I'm telling you... Stay There! Don't come any closer..."

This is how seriously they take him...
Emma (who always has something in her mouth) thinks he might like it if she shares.
Blaze just thinks he can lick away the ferociousness. He can!
"Argh! Again, they're not buying it!! Can't a guy have his space?"

That's all show... he's a lover!

"Thanks for letting me come in the bedroom with you mom...
and for shutting the door! High-five (or four)!"

Sunday, May 18, 2008

More Photoshop Fun!

I had a blast today doing more exploring and experimenting with Photoshop. Check it out (of course, I had to post the befores and afters). My subjects for today's fun are my cousin, Aimee's family...

Oh yeah, and just so ya know... I don't have one of those mega-cams like my blogging/photo-sharing friends with their Nikon/Canon SLRs (seeking grace...). I'm just using a Canon Powershot s3 is, though someday I hope to graduate to the big-time.

Here's Megan... all PS'd and pretty!

Megan before the fun

Sweet, thoughtful Megan (PS'd... but what can I do about that bright white spot on her arm?)

And before

This adorable one is Haley (don't care for the effect on the window)

Before the fun.

All four of the kids - uploaded it looks darker than it did before (?)


The whole family... Aimee and Monty with their four happy kids! (again, a little dark and shadowy)


My precious pun'kin with Haley and Megan (they need a little sunshine on their faces)


They need a little more tweaking!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Messin' Around

Thanks to Miz Booshay and The Pioneer Woman (see their links at left), I've been having fun playing around with Photoshop today. I'm SUCH a novice... and only have the "Elements" version, but I've still gleened some of their wisdom, I think... and even though the final version of the photo may be a bit to "lit" around grandma's face... and so very soft (the straight-out-of-the-camea version was a tad fuzzy), I still think there has been an improvement.


After a bit of PS'ing around! (My precious grandma... telling me she loves me. :-) I'm blessed!)

What are your thoughts?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

It was just Mom and I together for Mother's Day this year. John and Helena were on the other coast visiting her mom, and Joe was flying back from Vermont. I missed having my darling girl around, but I got to talk to her a couple of times!

We had a good day, though. We made Roasted Chicken and Vegetables for ourselves and while it was in the oven, we watched the video of dad's memorial service (mom had just received it this morning at church from those kind enough to put it together for us). More than make us sad all over again, it actually warmed our hearts. I glanced at mom from time to time, and she had a smile on her face with a slight expression of longing. I felt the way she looked. Our eyes misted a bit here and there, but mostly we enjoyed watching it and numerous times throughout, commented that dad would have been pleased.

After we ate, we went to Dillard's for some Clinique face powder. That's about it! Pretty quiet, but we enjoyed the day.

Cape Coral, Florida

While Kristiina was in Vermont taking pictures of her tulips... I was home taking a few pics of Jaycee Park...

A sailboat passes by...

The water's edge at Jaycee Park - Caloosahatchee River

Through the trees at the park...

A view of Cape Coral Bridge

This canal, accessible from our house, brings you to the river, and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico

It was a nice, though HOT, day in Cape Coral.

Vermont Pictures by Kristiina

Here are a couple of photos that Kristiina just loaded to her Flickr account yesterday! I'm looking forward to getting up there (as I've said numerous times before!) and being able to post a few photos of my own!

Check it out:

Here's their house

A beautiful pink tulip growing in their yard

and some yellow ones...

And this! It's May and Joe found a lone snow mound to play in!!
in flip flops!! :-D

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Quechee Gorge

I received an email from Nic and Kristiina today at 1:45. It simply said, "We are looking at this right now!" (sent from Nic's iPhone)

Quechee, VT is about 15 miles from Nic and Kristiina...
I can't wait till June when I can go explore all of these beautiful sites (sights)!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Interesting City Stats

Kristiina and I were chatting on the phone last night and she was telling me what they had been up to yesterday. Taking advantage of the "outdoor season" they were getting some things situated in the yard. She said they went to the store in search of garden tools and noticed (not for the first time) the strange looks they were receiving from patrons and merchants. Not unkind, necessarily, but she said it's obvious that the "town" realizes they're the newcomers. That struck me as odd and I got thinking about where they've moved from compared to where they've moved to. Check this out:

Cape Coral was built about 40 years ago by two land speculators who believed that the property's location on the Gulf Coast provided abundant sunshine and almost endless opportunities for waterfront living.
The City incorporated in August 1970, and its population continues to grow rapidly. With more than 160,000 residents, Cape Coral is one of the fastest growing areas in Florida. Cape Coral is the 3rd largest city geographically in the state of Florida and is the 11th largest city in population.The city is a large peninsula on the Gulf Coast of Florida and is bordered by the Caloosahatchee River on the east and Matlacha Pass on the west. The city is located about 90 minutes south of Sarasota.

Windsor is a small (pop. 3800) but progressive community situated on the banks of the Connecticut River in the shadow of Mt. Ascuntey in southern Vermont.
The town was founded in 1761 and, in 1777, the Constitution giving birth to the Republic of Vermont was written here. The tavern where this historic event occurred is preserved here as the Old Constitution House. This building is only one of many historic sites in and around Windsor.

Imagine that! Windsor is over 200 years older than Cape Coral and over 42 times smaller. The history and intimacy that must wash over Windsor intrigues me. It will be interesting to see how Nic and Kristiina take to the change.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Things I'm thankful for today

1. The church at large (as in the authentic body of Christ)
2. The internet

Because of those two things I have sincere friendships in other states and distant lands I wouldn't otherwise have. They provide a connection that wouldn't otherwise exist.

Thank you to the one today, who went the extra mile to personally offer sincere condolences and to say they're praying "with their hearts in it." It was such a neat surprise to hear from you!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tulips and Daffodils

Kristiina called this morning so excited! They're very busy unpacking the truck, but she had to take a quick minute to tell me... she has tulips and daffodils growing in her own yard!

Springtime in Vermont. It must be beautiful!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

They're there!

Hooray! Finally, they have arrived safely at noon today (Sunday), forty-seven hours later (eleven of those spent in rest-stops trying to catch a few Zs)!!! They're excited to be home and off the road; they've all said it's the worst road trip they've ever experienced. But... now it's behind them!

Joe said the area is beautiful ...

(no, this isn't their property... but it's a taste of springtime in Windsor, VT - their new home town!)

...and he said their house is very nice, that when I get to see it (in June) it'll bring back memories of the old, northern homes where we used to live.

They'll do minor unpacking today, but mostly try to recuperate from the drive.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Happy Birthday!

to my Kristiina!!

Unfortunately, she's spending it in a truck on the highway. They said it's a SLOW trip having to caravan with that huge, heavy truck and trailer! At least there have been no mishaps.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Saying Farewell

Ah... okay, so the week of the move:
Tuesday evening, April 29th, eleven of us (some of Nic and Kristiina's immediate family) had dinner at PF Changs. It was a nice evening, though we missed dad (he liked PF Changs). Wednesday, April 30th, they picked up the big Penske truck. Joe spent the afternoon with them helping them get things loaded - and filled up the truck about half-way. Thursday, May 1st, there were more of us there to help and it's when the majority of the house got emptied and loaded onto the truck and trailer. While the guys (and Kristiina) were doing all the heavy lifting, I kept myself busy cleaning the house behind them so it would be ready for Nic and Kristiina's tenants. Thursday was a very busy, and often stressful, day. We didn't finish until well into the evening. They had hoped to leave Friday, the 2nd, at 5:00 am, but it didn't end up happening until 1:00 pm! Everyone got home too late the night before and needed to be sure to get a good night's rest before they attempted to drive to Vermont... straight through! Friday morning we took care of last minute things, like touch up paint and final mopping.
Then it was time to hop in the trucks and head off. Nic and Gary were driving the big Penske truck, pulling the trailer; Kristiina and Joe were in the Dodge truck with the dogs; and Diane and her friend from RI (since I couldn't go) followed in their car.
I thought I'd be a mess when it was time to hug and say goodbye, but I really did okay. No tears, yet.

Here's a picture story:

Moving is hard work...

The truck is almost full and all this still has to go on! Kristiina says, "we can do it!" (with dad's help - he's good at loading).

Gary and Joe break things down so they'll fit.

Oh my! That's one full truck!

Decide to take a quick break when friends come over to say goodbye.

Kristiina, Dan and Nic just before it's time to hit the road.

And there they go!

Stay safe, my Sweethearts!

See more...

And even at this point... no tears. I was a bit baffled by it. Obviously, that's God's grace at work, again! Later that evening, though, I had a cleansing cry while I prayed for their safety, "God, go with them and protect them..." I was reminded of The Prayer song that played at their wedding:

I pray You’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know
Let this be our prayer
When we lose our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with Your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe
I pray we’ll find Your light
And hold it in our hearts
When stars go out each night
Remind us where You are
Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with Your grace
To a place where we'll be safe

About Me

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I'm a wife, mom, and grandma living in rural Vermont. I spend 40 hours of my week working outside my home and away from my garden, but am nevertheless passionate about healthy eating and sustainable living. By sourcing nutrient-dense food from local farms and avoiding processed foods, we are realizing how our over health is being impacted for the better. I’m excited to have you join me as I share what we’re learning and invite you to offer your insights in the comments. “…giving thanks in all circumstances…” 1 Thess 5:16-18