Saturday, August 30, 2008

This Could Be Fun

that is ... if you cooperate... by cooperate, I mean actually write a reply...

So here goes. I'm unabashedly stealing two ideas from Miz Booshay, cuz they were good ideas that got people talking (typing)!

Friday, after a bit of discussion, she posed this question: If you were to jump in a time machine, where would to go to and why?

My reply (tis good to reply):

Time travel. Would I be tempted to go back a couple of decades and redo life sans the mistakes... I'd be tempted, but that's not where I'd go.

I think I'd go back to the 18th century. I always feel wistful when I read or see a movie about that era. Now, would I be a city girl donned in pretty petticoats and bonnets; or would I be more of a pioneer sort concerned with churning butter and raising chickens?

I think I'd be more suited to be the pioneer...just don't ask me to slaughter anything! (I'd be inclined to name my chickens and keep them as pets!) Oh, and I'd like to bring running water with me. I think I can live without the electricity; just give me an indoor toilet that flushes!

Then today, she got talking about names...see her post for the discussion, but it boiled down to this: What names do you just love and wish you could use? -And- Did you have a plan when you were naming your children or pets?

My reply (tis so very good to reply):

My daughter, Kristiina, and my mother, Christina, share the same name. My mother was born in Helsinki, Finland, and when they came to the states my grandmother "Americanized" her name. When we chose to name our daughter, Kristiina, we decided to use the Finnish spelling. Poor kid, she had numerous teachers in school (elementary, of course) tell her she was misspelling her name with the double "i" at the end!

And forget about finding a bookmark or keychain that had the proper spelling. Oh well, she actually liked the individuality.

I've noticed recently that most of the girl names in my family (mom's side) end in "a"

My grandmother, Eva
My mother, Christina
Me, Pamela
My daughter, Kristiina
My aunt, Mega (short for Margaretta)
My cousin, Alana
My cousin, Erika, and her daughter, Ela... and on it goes.

I have also noticed that I have named all of my female pets with names that end in "a"

...Tasha, Misha, Bianca, Kissa, Tahra, Zeila, Emma, Sara (once I noticed that there was a pattern... I did the last three on purpose).

So, might I get a response, or two... or these need-to-know questions??? (C'est tres chic to reply.)

Okay, well whether you, my cyber friends, spill your guts, or not, I wish you a happy weekend! (Christina, Mega, Alana and Pamela are having a fun girls' weekend here in the Twilight Zone... oh, I mean, down here in SW FL! Wish Kristiina weren't in Vermont!)

Our five pairs of feet at the beach at the last girls' weekend Kristiina was able to join us (I miss your feet Biinaboo! ...have you done one with us since this one?? )

The five of us at the "Jupiter, Florida Girls' Weekend", headin' out for a bite to eat!

Friday, August 29, 2008

So, that's a cord...

... or maybe it's 3 cords.

My son-in-law, Nic, emailed me this photo. The subject line read, "Our first cord of wood." He later wrote to me that there's a guy from "the job" (which is synonomous with "the project" that you've heard me speak of ... or would that be you've read me write of... but that sounds silly...) Anyway, he said there's a guy from the job that splits wood every year so they bought 3 cords from him.

Aha, this must be 3 cords of wood. Whatever it is, they're hoping it lasts all winter - but he said it's predicted to be a cold, snowy one!

Nic and Louie, their good friend, loaded it all up in the dodge then stacked it neatly here beside the garage. What a task!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Time to Eat

in Turtle Town.

This guy is the biggest of the Turtle Town residents... and he tends to push his weight around. I've seen him nudge the tortoises (although, I have discovered they may be box turtles) out of the way to get at the dry food (some of the Tetra Pond Food gets tossed in the pools, and some gets put into a shallow dish).
He's also a glutton. He'll stuff his mouth as much as he can before heading back to the pool to swallow it; then he'll come back to do it again, and repeat the process a dozen times. Here, it looks like after he packed his cheeks like a chipmunk, he went back to share... don't let that fool you - it's not in his nature. I think he just dropped a morsel or two.

Now this one is quite a character. Besides his bizarre orange color, I can't get over his nose!

He makes me think of a Sesame Street character.

... such as Telly Monster, (if not for Telly's close-set eyes). He does seem to have Telly's nose!

So, as you can see, we're still on turtle duty. It seems we've become their semi-permanent surrogates. Our neighbors blew in town, spent a whirlwind week packing a few essentials and taking care of some matters, then scooted back to Georgia where they've enrolled their boys in school. They said "they might be back for Christmas." (???)

Lots of people are heading out these days. For as long as I've lived here (30 years), people have been relocating to our area. Now, they seem to be fleeing; our neighbors appear to have moved to Georgia, one of the closing agents here at the title company recently advised me that she and her family will be moving to South Carolina... I've heard that that the size of the classes at the schools are decreasing (down about 30% from last year). A friend of mine that works at a bank said it's unnervingly slow (I can relate), and the number of vacant homes in our neighborhoods is astronomical. It's a strange time to be a SW Florida resident... surreal in an ominous, unsettling sort of way.

Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart, and wait for the LORD.
Psalm 27:14

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More Autumn in August

And more of Kristiina's photos that I snagged from her Flickr account!

She took these last week...around the 18th, I guess. I just can't believe that they already have glimpses of fall foliage.

This is a view of Mt. Ascutney from The Project (the enormous cabin for which Nic is overseeing the construction). See the hint of red to the right?

Here's a better, more obvious look!

How about this one?

Pretty, huh? Just wait till a couple of weeks from now!
I'll keep you updated.

And to see a bunch of pictures of the cabin... head here (Kristiina's Flickr).

Here's a preview:

Holy Moly! That's a lot of logs. If I'm not mistaken, this side of the cabin has that beautiful view of Mt. Ascutney.
See the guy sitting up on the peak... you can hardly tell here, but he's taking a moment to appreciate the view. And I do believe that's Nic (white shirt) on the phone, taking care of important details, no doubt (I'm proud of him...)

Oh, and if you read the comment (the one and only, lonely comment) in the post below, Kristiina said that Nic and Louie saw a black bear on their way up there the other day!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Can You Imagine... in a place where it's not uncommon for a Black Bear to come visit your backyard?!

My cousin (Hi Alana!) took these recently when she and her family visited PA. This is at their friends' cabin (I think... is that right, Alana?). It's not their primary residence... but still! How cool is this?!

If the bear decided to turn his attention to Trey and the others out there, they could easily have dashed in the cabin... they weren't in danger sitting out there, quietly observing.

There were some ears of corn up there that the bear was very interested in.

I just think it's awesome to be able to observe wildlife like that. Of course, I guess it's all a matter of what you're used to. I no longer marvel at the huge manatee that swim in our canal daily, nor am I awed by the 4 ft. iguana that visits our seawall every morning looking for breakfast. But, maybe someone from the mountains of Pennsylvania would find that pretty incredible.

Oh, but speaking of wildlife visiting your backyard... have you seen the Youtube video of the young twin moose playing in a sprinkler while their Mama observes (and takes a drink or two for herself)? How I would love to see such things from my back porch!
Watch this...

Twin baby moose in sprinkler

Did that make you smile? It did me... they seemed to derive such pleasure from playing in the sprinkler! And Mama exhibits a perfect blend of patience and attentiveness. Aww.


It's knocking on Vermont's door already!! Check this out:

See the red branch above the stone column?!

Kristiina took this recently of The Project, as Nic and one of the crew members survey the job (or maybe they were just taking a break to enjoy the view...?!?!). I talked to her last night and when I asked her about the weather... "Is it getting cool, yet?" She elaborated that "Yes! It's getting cool. As a matter fact, I've already spotted some red branches at The Project and as I drive to work!"

Goodness gracious... it's August!

What's the weather like where you live? Any traces of Autumn yet? There's no doubt it's still summer Florida... Hot and Humid!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

~ Good night sweet pups, goodnight ~

I love this video... and I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that sings to her puppies (except, that I would have scooped up the whiney ones and rocked them, too)!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Meet Fay

She was very gentle with us.

Fay stayed a Tropical Storm, never reaching winds that exceeded 60 miles per hour. Landfall ended up being a little south of Naples. We just had wind and rain all day...

I cleaned the master bathroom and organized my closet. I flipped through a couple of magazines. I loved on my dogs. I lollygagged with Joe over a couple of cups of coffee. It was a very relaxing day.

The dogs were very relaxed, too.

They found it to be particularly good napping weather.

And I stayed in my pajamas all day... I love Hurricane Days!!
(When they're gentle, like Fay.)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bracing for Fay

We're hunkering down in anticipation of Hurricane Fay. Well, not really. We're taking mild precautions "just in case"; but its only expected to be a Cat 1 by the time it makes landfall. I'm going to close the office tomorrow (the schools are closing, so I'm following suit), and we'll unplug the computers and get them up off the floor, but we don't need to board up all the windows (well, I hope we don't... since I'm not going to!).

At home, we'll bring the potted plants in off the patio so they don't go sailing through the neighborhood, but otherwise, I'll take advantage of the opportunity to get some housework done... some reading... some relaxing... some snuggling the dogs... some snuggling Joe...

While it's never a peaceful feeling to be the target of a large storm, we don't have the dread with this storm that we did when Hurricane Charley was making a beeline for us (actually, it wasn't making a beeline for us - it was supposed to hit Tampa; it shifted a tad south at the last minute making us nearly a direct hit). We lost our house in that storm.

Often when I say that, people raise their eyebrows, their jaws drop, and they disbelieving say, "You did??!" I imagine they have visions of our whole house twirling the tumbling down the street like the little house in the Wizard of Oz. It wasn't like that. The storm severly damaged our roof, causing major water and mold damage making it uninhabitable. It was insured (though that was a two-year battle).

As of 11 AM, here's Fay's anticipated course:

See the first little black notch above the 8:00 AM Tue line? That's us.

If you hear anything in the news about Fort Myers, FL... that's also us. I'm in Cape Coral, but Fort Myers is our sister city and the one that always gets mentioned in the news because it's our county seat.

Will have pictures in a day or two, provided we have electricity!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Uh oh...

I better stop entertaining thoughts about a turtle pond; unless it's quarantined from the precious seven that live at my house... check out what I just saw and read on PW's blog...

Here’s Charlie with a turtle. It’s nature. I couldn’t stop it.

(this is her photo, her boy, her dog... and her turtle)

I couldn't have my canines running off with my turtles!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tap tap tap...

This thing on?

Oh, hi. You are there. I can tell because the counter numbers keep rising. It's not because anyone ever leaves me a comment! (Okay, occasionally I get a comment from my darling Kristiina and every now and then a blogger friend).

Here's how you leave me a comment, for those who don't know.

Down at the bottom of my post, see where it says 0 comments? Yes, that's 0 as in zero! Okay, well, click on that; it will take you to a new screen. It'll say "Leave your comment" at the top and provide a little box for you to type in. Be sure to leave your name in the comment box, because you'll most likely select "Anonymous" at the bottom of this screen.

So, after you've typed your comment, it'll ask you to type in some weird letters that don't mean a thing. It's just some security something or another.

After typing in the "code", then you can select Anonymous and click Publish Your Comment (the orange bar). Your comment should appear on the blog almost immediately.

Any questions... just leave me a comment, I'll help you out.

Ho ho ho, hee hee hee! Love you; muah muah!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Turtles and Tortoises

Our next door neighbors have a turtle pond. It's a pretty big area designated just for the turtles; about 10x20 feet with plenty of dry area and plants to hide in, and 3 small pools with fountains. While they've been at their Georgia home for the summer, we've been feeding the turtles.

It's pretty interesting to watch them, actually. They have about 16 (that's how many I've counted, so far) assorted varieties of turtles and tortoises, ranging in size from as big as the palm of your hand to as big around as frisbees.

When they hear you coming, they scurry and splash into the pools to hide. Then they realize it's just you (because, of course, "you" means food) and they come back out to say hello and "whatcha got?"

I've decided that if I were ever to have a pond... it would be a turtle pond instead of a koi pond. Now that I've cared for turtles, I think the koi (is it just koi, or koi fish?) would be boring.

Any body else have a turtle pond (or a koi pond)? What do you think? Glad you did it?

Sunday, August 10, 2008


08.08.08 Cool date...

Since that date, I've been trying to post a video straight from Youtube that hasn't worked. It was of my favorite dance from the So You Think You Can Dance finale... my favorite of the favorites. ...Will and Katee doing the Pas de Deux. I think they did it beautifully; Katee is so feminine, isn't she? And Will... well, he's great - such awesome lines.

Since I couldn't get the video to work, here's the link:

My second favorite was Joshua and Katee's Bollywood dance. That was cool. Here it is:

Were you pleased that Joshua won it? I was. He's very good, and he won with such grace and humility. I like him. I'd have been happy with any of the top 3 (Courtney is a good dancer, but I think the others are better.)

Who was your favorite dancer? And which was your favorite dance from the season?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Where Does the Time Go?

Yesterday, Miz Booshay was inspired to post "pics of yesteryear" when someone asked if her daughter was always such a cooperative model for her (we get to see lots of pictures of her darling Katie, and often photography tips to go with them).

Her inspiration has inspired me... join me on my trip down memory lane:

Is it just me, or does it look like mischief is brewing?

I wonder who she's talking to. Would someone please run a brush through that child's hair?!

Toothless giddiness!!

She seems to have inherited a family trait (she gets it from her grandfather)...

Her uncle and mother show off their talent, as well (yes, we are our father's children).

Dad... the original source (I think... although, this marvelousness could go back even further!)

Seven years old... the first time she saw snow. I think she likes it.

I thought daddy was tucking her into bed. Turns out they were playing... with the camera.

All grown up.

And now a married lady.

But never too old to snuggle!!


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Shack

Have you read it yet? I picked it up this weekend and had it fully read in about 5 hours. I wouldn't emphatically say it's a page-turner... but it was interesting. I'm not sure it's worth all the hullabaloo it's receiving... but it's good.

Is it this generation's Pilgrim's Progress as Eugene Peterson touts? I wouldn't say so, but it does make you ponder the possibilities as it paints a picture of the author's version of what could be the trinity, life after death, God's omnipresence, and the spiritual realm.

I read where the author said the story was birthed out of conversations he had had with God; "nocturnal meanderings," he said. "...The first Saturday I started working on inputting was the first time I decided that a 'story' would be the right vehicle for these conversations. I didn’t have one (a story), but I thought it was a great idea. So I began to create characters in situations that would allow my conversations to occur. These conversations were very ‘real’ to me, buried in the experiences and processes of my life…mostly over the last fifteen years."

I was perplexed, at first, when Papa was introduced as a large, black woman. I thought, "oh no, is this going to have racial or feminist undertones?" But keeping an open mind, I learned later in the story why the author did that and it made sense.

It does beautifully display God's tender mercy; that's it's present... He is present, even (or maybe especially) when we are despairing.

So, if you've read it, I'd love to know... What was your impression?

BTW, click on the picture, above. There's a hyperlink to the book's website. There you can read the forward and first paragraph. (The forward is pertinent to the story.)

Monday, August 4, 2008


The boys are fine. I was able to pick them up shortly after 4:00 pm yesterday and they were still feeling sluggish from the anesthesia. They had no appetite - didn't even care to have water. Blaze looked sad and sullen; like Eeyore. He hung his head so low his shoulders were hunched, he tucked his behind under, and looked up at us with sad eyes. Whenever he was awake, this is how he moped around. Pitiful. They both slept a lot. This morning, you'd hardly know that Riley had anything done; he's chipper. Blaze still has traces of his Eeyore demeanor, but he's improving!

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

I'm crying for my poor, precious boys today! They're at the vet having that dreadful procedure done! Ackkk!

Here are the sweet brothers when they were 11 or 12 weeks old. They're just over a year, now, and 3 or 4 times this size. (Yes, polar opposites in appearance, but they are brothers... litter-mates!)

Look at those darling faces. The innocence! This is how they looked at me when I dropped them off this morning... and, panic-stricken, I think I heard them say, "Mom! Where are you going? Don't leave us!!" They shook and shivered and dug in their heels when the nurse came to take them to the back room. This is why I'm crying (not literally... but my heart's heavy)!!

She came back saying that they're not scheduled till after lunch, but since they're so nervous they will give them something now to calm them down. She said they'll be feeling real happy in no time. {sigh} Okay.

Oooh, their bottoms are gonna be sore tonight and the girls won't understand why they don't feel like playing (look out girls, your turn is coming later this month!).

By the way, this is mom and dad ...just so it makes sense to you how those two adorable pups could be brothers from the same litter!

I find it intriguing that the blond boy who looks exactly like mom has a curled tail just like his dad, and the dark boy who looks exactly like dad has a straight tail just like his mom. :-)

Do me a favor and pray for them today, okay? ...what... you can pray for dogs; they're people, too!


Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Housework

I sure do wish I could hire someone to clean my house. I don't know when it's going to get done!

This morning I'm here:

I was here last night, too, with hundreds of other woman watching Beth live from Kentucky via simulcast. Good stuff... food for the soul!

Then, I'm going to come home and head straight here (okay, I admit it... it's at this point that I could choose to do the housework. But I'm choosing not to!):

Anyway, as I was saying, I'm heading straight here... To float in the pool, while Sara swims out to me time and again! I've spent the last couple of Saturday afternoons floating in the pool; it's so relaxing. I have to take advantage of it while the temperature is right... I'm speaking of the pool temperature. For anyone that doesn't live in the tropics, this would be ridiculously warm, but I like my pool temperature to be in the low 90s... high 80s is a bit chilly! A mix of Florida sun and rain makes it just right (without a good rain to cool it off from time to time, it gets too warm even for me)!

Sunday it's off to church and then to mom's for lunch and an afternoon of visiting with her.

Looks like this weekend could slip away without my picking up a broom or the bottle of windex! C'est la vie!! It'll be there Monday evening after work... or... next weekend, for that matter. Hmmmm, I wonder if I could get away with that! (???) I already know the answer to that... never. With our silly, scampering seven, we sweep up enough hair every day or two to cover another dog!

Hope you're having a fun and/or relaxing weekend, too!

Friday, August 1, 2008

One Thing You Do

What's one thing you do every day that makes you feel good? You know, like you're doing something good for yourself.

I have a couple of things... one of them is I drink this stuff:

Sometimes I change it up and drink this stuff:

It looks like this:

Joe says Eeeeew (or a more masculine version of Eeeeew) everytime he sees me mix it up and chug it down, but it's actually not too bad. I wouldn't call it yummy, but it's doable - especially since it's supposedly so good for me!

So, what's your thing?

About Me

My photo
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