Monday, June 30, 2008

Photography for Sale!

Check this out. The Farmer's Diner, where Kristiina works in Quechee, VT, is located in the Quechee Gorge Village. Right between the glassblowing shop (with lots of cool glass pieces for purchase) and Cabot's Cheese store (they have a yummy free taste-testing buffet setup), there's an awesome gift store that has expressed a desire to have Kristiina's photography displayed and stocked for sale!

(Kristiina took these so I could see...)

Here are some framed prints displayed behind the cash-out counter.

And to the right of the counter, the cabinet containing her matted prints. I was with her when she took those two top ones. The one on the left is the old Community Church (I think) in Windsor Village, and the one on the right is the Connecticut River, taken the evening we "dashed out" after she got home from work. Actually, I was with her (mom, too) when she took most of the framed prints, too. Cool.

(The day we dashed out... and she captured the pretty CT River shot.)

How cool is that?!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wedding Palms

...such a lovely day this was.

See the six little palms on the alter - 3 behind the girls and 3 behind the boys?

This is the sole survivor; beautifully arrayed in front of my screenless pool cage :-/
It hasn't grown much in 2 years, but at least this one looks healthy.

Do you think it needs a bigger container?
Or, would it be happier if I yanked out those flowers and gave it its own space?
Or, should I just leave it alone?

Happy Zeila

Zeila entertaining herself outside yesterday morning. I didn't realize until I viewed this on the computer that she was using her brush as a toy... she's not supposed to have that out there! And did you notice how she preferred to stay in the sandy area they have created for themselves... it really is their favorite place to play. Ah well, so be it. Someday they'll be more sedentary and I can spuce up the place with a little landscaping. For now, I'm glad I have happy, healthy, energetic dogs.

There wasn't much solitaire playtime before she spotted Luke. They love it when Luke comes out. Usually they run with him up and down the fence.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Go Go Sara Swimmer

Here's our Super Star Swimmer!! Viewing quality is a whole lot better on my computer than it is through YouTube... but you get the drift. And do you have sound? I can't hear it through YouTube, either. (??)

Anyway, this is our precious girl's new hobby. She does it dozens of times daily!

Sara Gets A Drink

Finally, I was able to upload the video that I was discussing in the post below. Stay tuned for more fun videos.

I was able to catch her in the pool swimming... again, and again, and again... you'll see.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Backyard Fun

I was taking pics and video of the dogs last night... they were having such fun playing out in the yard (If you read the puppies' birthday blog about our missing screens and sand-pit yard, now you can see what I was talking about. What is it PW says? Just keepin it real?! Yeah!)... Anyway, all of a sudden I heard a kerplunk in the pool. Sara decided she was thirsty. This is now how she gets a drink of water. She will not lean down at the pool's edge like her mother and brother (they're allowed to drink from the pool when chemicals haven't been recently added)...
no, she must get in shoulder-deep on the second stair, as opposed to ankle-deep on the first stair. (Oh, and speaking of keeping it real... our 25-year old pool needs to be resurfaced. Wouldn't want you to think those spots are dirt, after all!! Our whole house needs re-something!)

But back to Sara... this little dog is now constantly damp. She was in twice this morning before I even left for work. She's become passionate about this (and quite proud of herself). Watch how she begins to paw toward the deep end; she was contemplating taking a little swim. She usually does, however, this time Dex came up and distracted her.

She's always been our bravest, most adventureous little pip-squeek of a pup. This latest trick has dubbed her Supah-Sara (say it with Broadway flare... use jazz hands, if you want to)!

(I was unable to post the video here... but finally got it to work above.)

Monday, June 23, 2008


These two, Riley and Sara, have discovered they like to swim in the pool! It's a new adventure - Riley just made this determination today, while Sara's way ahead of him... as she realized it yesterday! Fortunately, they both are very clear about where the stairs are and the proper way to exit the pool.

Soon, there'll be action shots!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Woman After My Own Heart

Beth Moore... she's an author, speaker, bible teacher. I've been doing her bible studies since 1994. She and her husband are grieving today, having lost both their dogs to unrelated illnesses in the span of three short weeks. Remembering how we felt when we lost Jake, my heart hurts for them.

Something I read on her blog today made me smile:

"...It won't be long till we fill our house with puppies again. We'll take a little while to recover then dive back in. And they'll drive us crazy for two solid years and chew up half the furniture. And we won't care because Keith and I are dog people, plain and simple. Keep the fancy house. We'll take rompin' stompin' dogs. Tranquility never has been what we've looked for in a home. We like L-I-F-E even if it covers the couch with fur...."

She gets me. :-)

(Cozying up with Dex and Zeila while watching a movie one chilly January evening.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sensitive Skin

Ugh. Every time I travel north, I come home with itchy bumbs. Monday on the plane I noticed a menacing bump on my neck and thought it was just a bug bite. Today, I have it my forearms are peppered, I have a few spots between my fingers and I just noticed one on my stomach! What the???
I need to stay out of the woods, I guess. Nah... that'll never happen, I like to hike too much; but I do need to learn to identify poisonous plants... and then pay attention! Hmpf.
My Maximum Strength Hydrocortisone Plus with Aloe seems to be helping, thankfully!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Vermont Day 10 - and Heading Home

Well, it's time to go. We're currently on our way to Burlington to catch our flight home, and I've been thinking about what I'll miss about Vermont.

Besides the obvious...

I'll miss these two like crazy! That's a given.

But a few more things I'll miss are ---

--- the pleasant weather. Even when it reaches 97 degrees... it's pleasant!

--- the mountains. I love mountains.

--- the lush green color of the foliage.

--- the abundance of wildflowers in every field and on every roadside.

--- the charming covered bridges.

--- feeling adventurous and motivated enough to walk 8 miles to another state to see one! (I credit the climate and scenery for that.)

--- driving with the windows down... comfortably (and not minding the wild, windblown hair).

--- Kaelyn and Sophie, Nic and Kristiina's canine kids.

--- being able to drink water directly from the tap and have it taste delicious and cold.

--- my hair... it's soft and tame here (in Florida it's freakishly frizzy making me extremely thankful for the invention of the flat iron).

Thanks Nic and Kristiina for being such gracious hosts! Can't wait to come back!! XOXO

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Vermont Day 9

Yup, we had more sunshine alright... we also had temperatures reaching 97 degrees! No kidding. To think a few days ago I was layering long sleeves... It wasn't unbearable; but so much for not sweating the full 10 days. Thankfully I brought clothes for warmer weather, too!

After breakfast we headed up to White River Junction to check out King Arthur's Flour; a baker's toy store. It was cool. We picked up a few nifty gadgets. While we were so close to Lebanon, NH, we decided to run a couple of errands at Best Buy and Home Depot. When those tasks were completed, we stopped for lunch at Lui Lui, a really good Italian restaurant. Afterward we browsed around the nearby shops. There was a huge LL Bean store; they had some cool stuff in there.

On our way home, we stopped at The Ledges. Another gorge, but at this one, people don't just stay on the rocks... they swim, too! Check it out:

After winding through a path in woods for a while, we encountered this. Look at the couple on the rocks. How romantic.

I couldn't resist. I don't have any idea who these people are... but isn't this precious?!

Okay - sorry.

Here you go... I know this girl! We had fun climbing on the rocks trying to find the perfect shot. Of course, at this time of day, none of them are the perfect shot. The lighting made it difficult not to get one that wasn't completely blown out. Oh well, it was awesome just to experience it. It was gorgeous.

Here's a view of the incredible swimming hole. Eventually we made our way down there.

And got in calf-deep. Very refreshing.

Another wonderful day in beautiful Vermont and, unfortunately, our last full day. {{Heavy sigh.}}

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Vermont Day 8

The sun was shining in Vermont today... and we had a blue sky! It did reach 91 like they said it would, but it wasn't uncomfortable. Maybe 90's is cooler up here.

Kristiina had to work today, but after breakfast Nic drove mom and me through some really pretty countryside before we headed to the diner for lunch (to see Kristiina).

On our way to Woodstock.

"The Green" at Woodstock. It's the downtown area.

Nic strolling Woodstock (while we wait for mom in the bookstore).

Middle Bridge in Woodstock.

Now we've had lunch and will head home via a couple more pretty spots. This is a pond near (or in) Quechee, VT.

This is the covered bridge in Taftsville, VT (real close to Quechee).

This is the view from the Taftsville Bridge.

When Kristiina got home, we dashed out for a few more shots before the sun went down. We headed back over to the Cornish-Windsor Bridge.

This is the Connecticut River from the bridge.

Kristiina is off work the next couple of days. Tomorrow we're going to King Arthur's in White River Junction and also to look for this pretty spot Kristiina heard of called The Ledges (waterfalls). It's going to be sunny and warm again. Yeah!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Vermont Day 7

Rainy, rainy, rainy. That was day 7. We couldn't even go out to pull weeds. Nic got rained out of work and late afternoon we went back up to the property, then over to see Kristiina at work (she was getting done about the time we got there). By then it was just drizzling.

This is the pond at Nic's boss' house. The water is weird looking, isn't it? Nic says they don't do anything to it... it's just spring fed.

Mom and Nic heading back to the house from the pond. Our feet got soaked walking through the grass - it was so wet out.

We went to Rubinton's so Nic could let the dogs out. Bailey is a fat beagle, and Sasha is a year-old cocker spaniel.

Back at home near dinner time... Kristiina shows us her Farmers Diner T-shirt... I have one, too.

The back is cute. "I prefer butter to margarine, because I trust cows more than chemists."

Hanging out before reading the paper; Nic fooling around with Wii.

So, today was wet and chilly. Tomorrow is supposed to be partly sunny and in the low 90's. What?! I wasn't supposed to sweat up here. Kristiina has to work, but Nic is going to show us some sights. Maybe it'll be a cooler "90's" ???

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Vermont Day 6

Well, if yesterday was sedentary... today was anything but! It got off to a slow start; we had cereal and coffee, and each flipped through a magazine while we had our second cup. But as the minutes ticked by, we realized that we needed to get our rears in gear and do something. We got ready and decided to go for a walk.
We were going to bike ride, but Joe thought that bike riding on Route 5 was a bad idea. The shoulders are pretty tight and the vehicles travel faster than they should. He's probably right. So, we set off on foot...

...and walked all the way to New Hampshire! I'm serious. We just kept going. It actually was our destination since we wanted to see the Cornish-Windsor Bridge, but that was when we were going to ride bicycles to it... we didn't realize we'd get there by hoofing it! It's about 4 miles each way; so we walked roughly 8 miles today. That's reasonable, though more than a day at Disney.

So... here's what we encountered today:

The Dairy Farm. I wish we had a blue sky. It was so overcast today. But, at least it wasn't raining.

More farm views.

The goats came out of their pen to say hello. They were noisy.

They were awfully curious about us.

We stopped often to take pictures. Too bad about all the wires and lack of blue sky!

There was an abundance of wildflowers along the road.

Love the flowers!

Pressing on. (Yeah, not the best route for a bike ride.)

Finally, we came to the waterfall at the American Precision Museum.

It was a pretty spot.

Just a little further was a diner we wanted to try for lunch...Dan's Diner on Route 5. We sat at the middle window with the flowers beneath it. The food was good.

Okay... back on the road and, of course, we encountered more beautiful flowers. Here's a big, fluffy peony.

Here we are... this is the bridge entrance on the Vermont side.

Peering out the window at the Connecticut River, halfway between Vermont and New Hampshire.

A look at the bridge from New Hampshire. Have I mentioned I wish we had a blue sky today?!

The entrance to the bridge from the New Hampshire side.

Inside the bridge and headed toward home.

I don't know what we'll do tomorrow. Maybe just go out front and pull weeds. There are a lot of fuzzy dandelions out there.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Vermont Day 5

Well, today was certainly quiet. Mom and I had plans to ride Nic and Kristiina's bikes to Union Street and photograph the Cornish-Windsor Bridge (the longest covered bridge in the US) and the American Precision Museum where there's a pretty waterfall. But, it was rainy all day. So... we didn't do much.

Here's a picture of our weed bouquet from yesterday... and how a fireplace/stove is arrayed in spring.

This is how Sophie spent most of her day. Dig that plaid carpet in the sunroom.

And how mom spent much of her day.

We did do Wii Fit for about 45 minutes! Turns out I'm an excellent runner (in place) and I'm a yoga master (apparently Wii ascertained this because I kept my balance during a breathing exercise).

More tomorrow......
Hopefully tomorrow will be sunny (at least not rainy) so we can take that bike ride.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Vermont Day 4

Both Nic and Kristiina had to work today so mom and I were on our own until about 3:30. We had a leisurely morning then decided to tackle some of the boxes that have been hanging around here. Not the full ones... we wouldn't know where to put things. But the empty ones. They had a TON of empty boxes all over the place that they just haven't had an opportunity to take to the basement yet (the move required hundreds of boxes which has been overwhelming). They're not discarding them because they'll burn them come winter! So we stacked them neatly downstairs making a 10' X 7' wall of broken down boxes. After lunch we decided to take a walk.

We went down their street then circled around to the service road for the farm so we could see the yard behind their house. This is the perspective of the farm and the mountains from below.

Check this out! I'd have been ecstatic to find these as a kid in Syracuse! Okay, I was a bit excited to find them today... but I restrained myself from picking them and sending them sailing into the wind!

Northern weeds are so pretty. We actually picked some and brought them back to create a lovely weed bouquet! We found quite a variety.

Now we've reached Nic and Kristiina's yard. I'm standing in the shade of a HUGE tree that's on their property. That horizontal branch you see will make a perfect rope/tire swing!

And turning in the direction of their house... here it is. There's about 40' - 50' of yard before you get to that steep hill. Nic is going to build stairs so this lower level of yard is easily accessible from the top. Right now there's a path, but it's pretty steep. That open window on the right is the guest room mom is staying in.

Heading back home, we saw some Queen Anne's Lace - also reminiscent of Syracuse!

We're approaching Nic and Kristiina's house. Visible over the neighbor's green fence.

Here we are. I thought it would be fun to paint their fence while we're here, but Kristiina said that too much of it has to be replaced to bother. They'll just live with this "rustic" look until they're ready to do that. It's not at the top of their long project list.

It was such a pleasant afternoon, we really enjoyed the walk (about 2 miles)... the sunshine, the breeze, the fresh air. We decided to go out to dinner tonight, then came back and watched a movie... it was a good, relaxing day.

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