Feb 22, 2008

Bye Bye Vermont, Day Three, Headed home

After another latish evening watching movies I slept 'till 8ish and then Steph and I went into Burlington to stylishly sip coffee at her favorite Coffee Place off Church Street, Muddy Waters I think it was called. SOOOooo great. The inside is all done in rugged post and beam with brick walls and decorated with very earthy materials like plants and cool drift wood.

After that we headed back to Recyle North Construction to pick up some goods. Any person updating/decorating their house needs to have a Recyle North Construction near them. I got two bifold doors for $30 bucks. Alas! I shall finally have doors on the office closet instead of curtains! I also snagged a few old 6 pane windows for $2.50 each and I plan to use them to decorate in a very shabby chic kind of way.
With Vibe loaded up I hit the road. After a few adjustments to make the bifold doors stop squeeking and banging every time I hit a bump, I was cruisin' (unless I was stopping to snap pictures that is). The ride home was amazingly beautiful in an unexpected way. It had warmed up to 56 degrees! By the time I hit route 2 it was still just as warm but it had clouded up and the light quality was really neat. The cold snow covered fields beneath the warm air gave off an eerie yet beautiful foggy, misty glow. I wished so badly that I could have gotten pictures. But with my mother's voice in the back of my head, I decided against pulling over on Route 2, in the fog, where there was no shoulder. (Aren't you proud mom!?) There was one spot where there was a store parking lot to pull into and I snapped a few pictures, but by that time it didn't look nearly as cool.
I made it home safe and sound and here I am! What a great trip. Thanks for having me Steph and Jenn!

Feb 21, 2008

Vermont Fun, Day Two

Well, Jenn was off to DC for a conference and little did I know Stephie had a fun, yet relaxing day planned. We drove the back way through beautiful countryside to Stowe, VT. This I loved because VT is beautiful and I got opportunities to stop along the road as it struck my fancy and take black and white pictures with my old school Pentax. (Here are a select few.)

We hiked into a waterfall. Unfortunately it pretty much frozen and snowed over and the water wasn't so much "falling" anymore. But it was a beautiful day and fun little jaunt through the snowy woods.

We checked out the cute shops in Stowe (A little painful to not be skiing there, but lift tickets are steep these days !) and ate at StoweDogs. A gourmet hotdog place. It was super cute! Three generations, (Grandma, her son and his daughter) were working there. The grandma was super sweet and made homemade baked goods. But my favorite part? There are snapshots of peoples dogs pinned to the wall with tacks. They cover the wall and written beneath each one in magic marker is the dog's name and where he/she is from. So cute!

Once our bellies were full, we took a drive past the Trapp Family Lodge (As in the Von Trapp family from sound of music.) Umm, yeah. Had no idea that they were a real family and that they relocated to VT and built a mansion in Stowe!

From there we stopped at a cider mill that has the absolute best apple cider donuts that I've ever tasted! Delish. Then we mosied through Waterbury touring the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and finding a little gem in the Vermont Tea Company! A visit with some old friends Dan and Heather and a relaxed night in watching movies topped it all off! (Here are a few more shots from a grrrreat day!)

Vermont Fun, Day One

Although I had gone to bed at 4am Sat, I could not sleep past 9am. So I got up and had a lazy morning. Had a wonderful chat with Jenn over coffee about her new relationship and the happenings of her life. She's a hoot.

Then round abouts 2 o'clock Steph and I went and picked Jenn up from Campus and they gave me a tour of their favorite spots in Burlington. My fave was Recycle North. It's essentially a thrift store but they also have Recycle North Construction where they sell so much great stuff from boards and trim, to windows and doors, to light fixtures and tiles, to cupboards and countertops. All of the goods are donated, mostly ripped out of homes that are being demoed or remodeled. What a great way to conserve and not be wasteful!

We then hit other fun craft stores and discount stores in the area and I picked up a few odds and ends that were only a dollar or so here and there. You know how I love a bargain!

Back at the apartment I crashed pretty hard due to my 5 hours of sleep. Jenn and I huddled for warmth under, like 100 blankets because the apartment was so cold that we could see our breath! After a few cups of coffee I caught my second wind and stayed up till bout midnight.

The evening ended with an amazing meal of charred steak, sweet potato fries and salad cooked by the chef extrordinaire herself, Stephie! Then Jon, Jenn, Steph and I played Settlers of Catan! A little known game to the greater population, but practically a job requirement to know and play if you are on staff with CCC. So much fun, and alas, Jon ended up winning as Jenn declared, "I'm dating the Lord of Catan."

Feb 18, 2008


I randomly got an unexpected three day weekend at work. So what did I decide to do? I decided to take a road trip...to Vermont...to visit my good friend Steph who happens to now live with another friend of mine, Jenn. So I left on Saturday right? Ummm no. I worked a 3pm-11pm shift on Friday and then left and drove straight through the night for 6 hours! Madness, but fun! (I'm sure my mom will have a mild heart attack when she reads that! But that's why I tell her these things AFTER I'm back and safe :)

Here are the highlights of my midnight drive to Vermont. About 2 hours in to the journey I realized that I had not taken into account if there would be any gas stations open on Route 2 in when I planned the timing of my drive. Then I got to thinking that if there are no places open for gas, there will surely be no places open for me to go to the bathroom and the way I'm sucking down coffee and Mt. Dew, there's no way I can hold it for 6 hours. I had a mild anxiety attack thinking of either puttering out of gas and being stranded in the middle of nowhere or.... peeing in my pants because I'd be too afraid to pull over in the pitch black in the middle of no where and relieve my bursting bladder.

I practiced my coping skills by taking deep cleansing breaths and then just in the nick of time I spotted a glorious orange and white shining beacon in the night. Ah yes, it was a Cumberland Farms! Those babies are the only thing open 24 hours on Route 2... And the people who work there were super friendly AND the bathrooms were nice and clean. Oh, Praise the Lord for Cumberland Farms!

About two thirds into the trek I got stuck behind a tow truck. Word of advice...NOT a good idea to drive behind one of those bad boys at like 2 in the morning when your eyelids are already heavy. Those rotating yellow lights are mesmerizing! It's SO hard to peel your eyes away from them as they lul you to sleep. When I determined that there was no way to pass him, I increased my following distance considerably and then got by him when there was finally a blasted passing lane on our quick jaunt on I-93.

I arrived safe and sound. Not a wrong turn anywhere. It was super early in the morning and I was wired for about a half and hour but then I crashed! More posts to come detailing my Vermont fun!

Feb 15, 2008

14 Things I Love

A day late I know, but a bunch of my friends did this and I thought it was a great idea to reflect on the positive. So here goes:

1.) The Lord. Perhaps you think that's trite, and I may not always reflect it well because I'm human, but in attempts to keep Him first in my life I shall list Him first.

2.) My amazing (and I do not use that word lightly, he is a wonderful man and he is wonderful to me) husband.

3.) My family. Even thought I do not see them as often as I would like, I cherish them and love them so very much (my sister called me out of the blue to see what was up yesterday and I just love that!).

4.) My friends. I'm not intrinsically a people person or a super social person but I do love being with my friends and am so grateful to have such wonderful ones!

5.) My puppy love...Mr. Hunter. Hands down the most beautiful golden retriever in the world!

6.) My Kitties. Mr Quinn, the coolest, hungriest can in the world! and his sassy counterpart Gabby.

7.) Beautiful fluffy snow and world covered in a sparkling blanket of it!

8.) Mountains! Looking at them is awe inspiring but particularly, hiking them and being at the top to admire the amazing view.

9.) The ocean. Not being in it, per se, as I am a bit afraid of large, wavy bodies of water, but being by the ocean and looking out at it's vast expanse. It's beautiful and it puts things in perspective of just how small we are in this world and reminds me of the greatness of God.

10.) Cadbury mini-eggs! I know it's quite the switch from the others but those little bits of heaven are the best candy every created!

11.) Laughing. Not a little tee-hee, but a good, eyes watering, belly hurting, rolling on the floor laugh about something.

12.) A good cry. Sometimes nothing makes you feel better than a good cry, and there are very sad things in this world so why not let it out!

13.) Snuggling up in the corner of my couch, in my comfiest clothes, with my down throw over me and watching a good movie, tv show, or reading a good book.

14.) Photography. Taking beautiful, thought provoking pictures, or looking at ones that others have taken. It's one time that you really get to see the world through someone else's eyes.

I agree with my friend Amy, 14 really is so few. I could go on an on, but I'll stop there for now.

Feb 14, 2008

Crafty Creations

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone! I have the day off, and so does Jason. Isn't that lovely!? I got the day off because I have a doctor's appointment today and Jason...well he has every tues. and thurs. off lucky bum! So I thought I'd catch up on my blog and tell you about my latest crafty creations.

Last Saturday was wonderful. I slept in, then got the whole house clean (you know how much I love that feeling!) and then went to visit my mother, whom I feel like I haven't seen in forever! We chatted, she made me cocoa, we watched House ...it was marvelous. I also took full advantage of using her sewing machine (as I often do) and made some beautiful throw pillows for our bed. I love to decorate and I've been wanting to dress up the bed for a while but pillows are so darn expensive. I finally decided to go get fabric and make them. Mom helped me hand stitch the final seams and here is the end result! I LOVE them! I think they are better than anything I could have bought, I made 4 for the same price 1 store bought pillow would cost, and I got to spend time with my mom to boot. You can't beat that with a stick!

Feb 9, 2008

Life As We Know It

I suppose I shall update you on our life.

First up, per my usual, I recently became emotional/bored and decided the best remedy was to do something to my hair. Instead of cutting it, per my usual, I dyed it brown and got a funkier layered cut. I love the cut. I thought I hated the color at first, but it's growing on my and I'm pretty sure its my natural color as it matches my eyebrows remarkably well. We'll see. (Note: My hair will not usually look this good as I rarely take the time to style it. And Note: to anyone who lives near me. I'm still pretty fragile regarding the whole thing, so if you see me and hate it, lie through your teeth and say I look fabulous, unless you want to see a grown woman cry ;)

On a more serious note, I am really enjoying work. I love the people I work with. I love the clients. My schedule has not really become regular yet but I have hopes that it will soon. Most of all I love being in the social work field again where I am constantly exposed to social injustice. It's not that I like social injustice. It's that I think I was getting a little too complacent in my bubble and not making an effort to go out and keep my eyes opened to the social injustices in this world which I really am so passionate about changing. Now I am immersed in it because of the clients that I work with and the things that they face and there is no way to turn a blind eye, there is only a choice, stand by or do something. Love it!

Jason is no longer a hall monitor. I don't how they're surviving without him! He got an assistantship through his masters program. Here is what that means. He teaches a college algebra course and in return gets his tuition payed for and gets a paycheck per month that is only 40 bucks less than mine! So his schedule looks like this. MWF he has one hour of office time, then one hour of sitting in on a class, then he teaches his class for one hour. And then he takes a 2 1/2 hour class on Monday and a 2 1/2 hour class on Wednesday. Pretty sweet stinkin' deal if you ask me! He's enjoying it. The stories he comes home with now are about irresponsible, whiny young adults who don't turn there homework in, skip class, give lame excuses and then want him to give them a break. He doesn't. His whole class isn't like that. Just a handful, but those are where the good stories come from. I don't know how he does it. He must really be cut out for this!

Feb 4, 2008

Super (Duper Pooper) Bowl

That picture pretty much sums it up. You know the horrid outcome...but here's my story...and my prerogative. It's long but it's worth it I promise.

We got invited to four Superbowl parties (I feel very loved). Do you know how many we went to? None. Why? There are a few reasons. First, because I wanted to bury myself comfortably in the corner of my couch wearing my rattiest sweats and feel free to suddenly leap from my couch and yell as spasticly and loudly as I want at my TV without weird stares from people I don't know and without frightening small children. Secondly, Jason and I did not want to travel anywhere because we're lazy and we simply couldn't risk missing part of an all new House which aired right after the Bowl on FOX. I make no apology for any of that.

All that said, here's my rant about the poopy doo of a performance given last night by our beloved Patriots. My supervisor thinks the game was rigged and they were payed off to lose. This is a distinct possibility in my mind given that their performance last night was such a stark contrast in comparison to the level of play during the entire rest of their season. However, I think the loss can be summed up into three key points.

#1) The horrendous job by our offensive line. (I mean seriously, what the crap were they doing!? I watched one guy try to block and he literally looked like he was in a girly fight! Just sticking his arms out and aimlessly pansy slapping, with his eyes closed, at the lineman who was truckin' for Brady. Brady was like one of those plastic toy punching bags that kept getting flattened but would bounce right back up again. Newsflash O-line: You can't get any touchdowns if Brady can't throw the ball because he's trapped under 1,000 pounds of NY Giant muscle! C'mon! You guys are paid millions of dollars to keep those defensive linemen from getting to Brady! Do your stinkin' job! That's like me not doing a progress note or not taking a client to an appointment. NOT an option... if I want to stay employed. Meanwhile, Manning had all day long in the pocket! His blockers did such a good job that I swear he did a little jig and waved to his mamma each time before he threw.) Here are numerous photos of Brady being sacked. Do you see any Blockers? Um no. I think I'd drop to the ground, curl up in the fetal position, start crying ma-ma and pee in my pants if these guys were flying at me left and right.

#2) Belichick's controversial call to go for it on 4th down instead of trying for the 49 yard field goal. (Sure it's a long one...BUT our kicker's made a 52 yarder, you gotta have faith in your kicker, the team was already clearly sucking at that juncture in the game and they should've taken whatever points they could get. I know he might not have made it! But if he had, the game would've been tied when that ticker ran out and now we'll never know will we!?)

#3) The miraculous 3rd down, 32 yard conversion at the end of the 4th quarter where Manning evaded the sack and Tyree caught the ball under intense pressure hanging onto it between one hand and his helmet while being tackled, bent backwards over a patriot defender. (I'm sorry people, but I have to eat humble pie and hand it to them...that was miraculous! I mean, Un-be-freekin'-lievable! That won the game. Without that play they would have lost. They would have either gone for it on the 4th down or punted it away. Gotta give credit where credit is due...but that's not to say that the Pat's couldn't have racked up enough TD's to seal the deal far before that clutch play had they played like they did the previous 18 games!!!)

I have to admit, the social worker in me is pleased that both Mannings now have a Superbowl win so that Eli does not have to live in the shadow of his big brother and suffer with inner turmoil, creating sibling rivalry and tension within the family.

And on a final, more serious note, I LOVED that NY #17 (who caught the winning touchdown) humbly knelt for his TD celebration and then when interviewed, gave credit to God on National TV and then teared up. (Perhaps the Pats didn't throw the game after all :)

Feb 3, 2008

Sparks Update

Have no fear. I can bake again. Jason took the display apart again and wrapped the metal pieces he had added with insulating tape. Even so, I made him test it out first. And I'm happy to report: no electrocution and no sparks!