Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Heather is in the hospital....

Heather was working the lift at Sugarbush when her boss let her do a ski run on her lunch break. She went out of control, hit a post and lost consciousness. The ski patrol brought her down the mountain and she was sent by ambulance to our local hospital. To read the rest of the story, go to Wendy's blog

Please keep Heather in your thoughts and prayers. She faces 10 hours of surgery on Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Long time no blog

Gee, I guess it's been awhile since I've sat down to write something!

I'm currently in the library, waiting for Mom to get loose from the hospital across the street. I'm figuring out what to do for the rest of the day....Today and tomorrow are my days off from my lift operations job at Sugarbush.

It's definitely time to clean out my van! I've been sleeping in it over at Sugarbush so I don't have to commute an hour every morning and night. I'm working out the kinks as to what I want to have in my van, where to store it, how to organize, etc etc. Last night I bought some fabric to make new curtains. I'm going to rip out the oriental rug that's currently there and install a hardwood parquet floor instead. I'm almost done with building the cabover storage area and facing everything with aromatic cedar. (The other day my cousin Charlotte said my van smelled like a hampster cage.)

I have a couple of plastic storage bins underneath the bed and am working out a system to store things on higher shelves under there. Right now my bed consists of 5 camping mattresses, a futon, feather bed, cozy flannel sheets, 5 blankets and two poofy pillows. It's the most comfortable thing I've ever slept on. Ahhhhhh. The only bad thing about it is getting up in the morning.

As for how work is going, I've got some pictures to post later. It's very scenic up there, especially when the sun starts to rise and make the snow covered spruce trees glisten.

My coworkers are all really nice and fun to work with, except one. He's a sexist idiot with no regard for safety or being polite. He should be dragged out back and shot. My bosses rearranged the schedule so he and I don't work together anymore :-)

I'll write more later about the intrigue and things that go on behind the scenes later...



Wednesday, December 01, 2004

My 21st birthday

Break out the confetti, I turned 21 today!

I was in town with mom at her doc appointments today. When I got back, I went on a little baking spree. I didn't make anything for my Aunt Liz's birthday two days ago, so this way we have birthday cakes to go around.

I made Tunisian almond cigars, poppy seed cake, and lekach, a type of Jewish cake redolent of ginger, cinnamon, and honey. The recipes were from a book called Jewish Cooking, by Marlena Spieler. It's an excellent cookbook! The dishes are delicious and the pictures exquisite. It also has some Jewish history and interesting tidbits in the front.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Good Book

I picked up an interesting book in the aisles of the local library today and didn't put it down until just now, upon finishing it. Great book! In fact, it got an award for being one of the 500 best books written by a woman since the year 1300. It's called:

Princess: A true story of life behind the veil in Saudia Arabia

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Featured

Just found myself featured on the front page of Claire Wolfe's Blog. Pretty nifty! You should stop by to read her blog, and perhaps go to the library or bookstore to check out some of her books.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Dancing

Last night's band was amazing! The bands that usually play are always good, but these guys were out of this world! They had the usual instruments and a killer sax player.

Now that I'm becoming a regular there again, the guys have started to hit on me. Last night one guy kept telling me the reason the place was so packed was because they had all come to see me, another guy who was drawing me a map to get to another dance gave me his phone number, and a couple of other guys hit on me as well...one casually remarking on how good a local cafe was, and that that was where he was going after the dance.

I was in such high demand that I didn't get a chance to dance with the nice guy I have at the previous dances. I did feel his hair though. :-) It's only a 1/4" or so and feels exquisite when you run your hand over it. How could anybody resist?

Have you ever heard that joke that goes; "Why can't a girl find a guy who's smart, funny, cute, sensitive and kind? Because all those guys already have boyfriends." Lately all of the guys I've had crushes on are gay. I've got a 12 to 1 bet with myself that this guy at the contra dance is too. I keep meaning to ask, but it's kind of hard to casually sneak it into the conversation...

I drove home in the rain and sleet with my noisy, blown up muffler. I felt pretty wiped out and a little queasy from the nonstop action of the night. A couple of miles from home I started to feel like I was going to puke. When I started to walk across the field to the house, it suddenly hit me - that watering that starts in the back of the throat and signals imminent upchucking. I dropped my stuff and got off the path just in time. Blech! I felt instantly better though.

I slept in till 11 this morning. I'm starting to feel old. I never puke or feel tired! I suppose it's inevitable though...My 21st birthday is in 9 days.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Pinstripes

Somebody has been stealing the gasoline out of our cars. It's been happening off and on for the past couple of weeks. Mom and I now have locking gas caps, and Eric installed a huge hasp and padlock on his gas door.

Yesterday I tried to start my car and got nothing. The spark plugs weren't sparking. These are brand new spark plugs and wires..... I'm starting to think whoever's stealing the gas has been monkeying with other parts of my car. Bastards. Time to buy a shotgun and sit out there at night.

I bought and replaced the distributor cap and almost everything inside it. I'm going to install the new coil tomorrow. When I tried to start my van earlier today, I got nothing except a huge BANG that shook the house and scared Mom. I have to figure that one out tomorrow.

After that excitement, Mom and I went to town for her doc appointment. We brought her motorized wheelchair so she could test drive it around the local mall. While we were there, I went inside a frou-frou clothing store to see what it was like. They were having a sale on suits ... pinstripe suits! I've always had a thing for pinstripe suits and have always wanted one.

I tried on a few to see what I looked like. Snappy! Too bad I never have an occasion to wear something like that. It's not the most practical thing to wear while working in the garden or on my van. Perhaps I'll get an office job this winter as an excuse to get it. I wonder what kind of office drone I'd make? I bet I could have a lot of fun being someone's secretary. Mmmm, office supplies...




Tuesday, November 09, 2004

My van!

Hallelujah! My van finally has an inspection sticker on it!

I spent 3 hours at the garage, asking a zillion questions of the mechanic as he worked on my van.... "What's this, how's that work, what's that do?"

He tightened up the exhaust, drained, refilled and put a new filter on the transmission, installed a lower balljoint on the right hand side, and inspected it. Total cost: $169.

My van purrs now. According to the nice mechanic, he can't see anything else wrong with it. He says it's in really nice shape. Woohoo!

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Contra dancing

The place was packed last night! Great band, lots of people, and it lasted a little longer then usual ... from before 8 to midnight.

The kids and I had a great time! We danced with other people and each other, at one time doing a 4 person waltz with the nice guy I waltzed with last time.

Now we're all in recovery from too much fun :-) My feet hurt, Peter has a headache, and we all slept in late. Charlotte conked out even before we left the parking lot.

Thursday, November 04, 2004


Sam kissing Zeke

Water droplets on Maple leaf



I've always loved macro photography. There's something soothing about capturing the beauty in a small object that's often overlooked.


Sunday, October 31, 2004

Out dancing

Last night the kids, Peter and I went to a contra dance in Montpelier. They have them every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Saturdays of the month. I haven't been in years. Long time no dance. It felt great to do it again!

I was still a bit rusty with the dance moves. I had forgotten how to do a lot of them, and I'm not that great at remembering the sequence they're supposed to go in for each one. I had a blast anyway!

There's this one guy there that I've danced with before. He's really nice, always smiling, and looks a lot like our favorite hiker Radar. I danced with him a couple of times tonight. He had to teach me how to waltz again. He showed me how much easier it was to follow him if I put my hand on his chest near the shoulder joint. You can then feel the slightest change of direction and follow before he starts to move that direction. Try it sometime :-)

We were out until 11:30pm. The kids conked out in the back of the van on the ride home. I was still jazzed up from the excitement and didn't get into bed till late. It's good I got out tonight and danced up a storm - I polished off half a gallon of eggnog over the past couple of days. It's my yearly holiday treat :-)

Friday, October 29, 2004

Office safety

I was searching for that statistic on toilet seat injuries when I ran across this funny article:

Workplace safety

Idiots

Somebody sent me a letter recently and said that research had been done about IQ levels and being understood. Evidently, if your IQ is 30 points higher than the person you're talking to, neither one can understand/comprehend the other. That statistic sure is evident in the comments section over on Rob's blog. Some people just take the information in front of them way out of context and derive totally opposite views than what the information really states.

Did you know that the average IQ in the U.S. is 100? Pretty scary!

It seems like a lot of people in this country don't know how to reason, or think, or form opinions on their own without somebody else telling them what to think.

I'm sick and disgusted of all the airtime the 9/11 incident has been getting. About 3,000 people were killed. Whoopie! More than 10 times that amount die each year in this country from the flu. See the CDC website for more info. Why don't we declare a war on germs and classify them as enemy combatants?

Did you know that over 1,000 people visit the emergency room each year for toilet seat related accidents? Priorities people, priorities!


My Butt

Boy, I was really incoherant when I wrote that last entry! Chalk it up to not enough sleep. When I re-read it this morning I realized it needed more detail.

Yup, I have stitches. They're underneath the skin.I was supposed to keep on the three butterfly bandages that were holding the outside skin together, but I ripped them off 4 hours after surgery. They hurt. Everything feels fine now :-) Though I suppose the doc won't be pleased ... they were supposed to be left on for a week.

I'm supposed to take it easy for the next couple of days. I think I'm going to catch up on my reading. If I go outside, I'll be tempted to work on my van again ...

Speaking of my van, I picked it up from the garage last night. They installed my brake lines and looked it over for inspection. It needed a couple of things done before they could inspect it, so I made an appointment to have them done. It looks to be November 9th before I can legally drive it again. (Sigh)

This garage was really nice and quick. They charged me $55.50 for the brake line work, which I consider fantastic! Both my uncle Eric and and I had tried to get the lines off previously, but couldn't budge them. I tried for several hours. It's such a relief to have them done now! The braking capabilities definately improved. My right front brakes had been locking up if I stomped on them too hard, now they work properly.

They now need to replace the front wheel bearings, tighten up the exhaust to the manifold, and patch a couple of small holes they found in the body. Then I'm all set! Woohooo!

I need to figure out what to do this winter. I need to get a job and pay off my debts ... and buy some new toys. I really need a circular saw, jigsaw, and a drill. Especially if I go down to Florida this winter to work as a carpenter!

I'm fairly sure that's what I'm going to do - Florida needs carpenters, I need money. Plus it'll be nice to hang out in gorgeous weather all winter. (Side note...while looking at my butt picture, I realized just how low my tanline really was. Jeez! I didn't know my pants hung that low)

I'm off to read some good books. I'm trying not to go out to the driveway, scooch under my van, and fix that exhaust. That's how I got this splinter in the first place. :-)

Thursday, October 28, 2004




I wish I had the camera in the operating room! I could barely see a thing from my position on the table. It was pretty cool to be totally numb but aware of what was happening.

The doc had to poke around for quite a while to get the metal out. It kept moving around inside, so he had to lengthen the incision from the original plan ... it's about an inch long. Now my official pain in the butt has been removed and now sits on my shelf in a urine specimen jar. :-)



Van cab area - note hula girl on dash

Interior of my van

Monday, October 25, 2004


Enlarging bed and making new doors

Saturday, October 23, 2004

van cedar




My van took another step towards completion today. I installed aromatic cedar planks on the top and sides of the lip where wooden paneling meets fiberglass roof. My handy dandy rope lights are behind the side planking, and the top ones make nice candle or other small object shelves.

The other day I gave the exterior another coat of paint. Today I finally reinstalled the black rubber weatherstriping that encircles the roof cap attachment point.

Recently some yahoo sent me a letter saying how awfully I was living my life, that my van was a waste of money and I should have bought a newer car, etc etc. I get the idea that the letter writer totally missed the point of my life.

I see my van as a great investment. With it, I'm learning valuable mechanical skills and getting a huge self-esteem boost every time I figure out how something new on it. I now have a home on wheels and a snazzy work vehicle. My van isn't as likely to get stolen as some other vehicles out there, and I can easily spot it in a parking lot. My van has also been invaluable in terms of therapy.

I get great enjoyment out of my van and the rest of my life. Rather than save up all of my money and time for two weeks of vacation a year, I enjoy the money and time now. I could get run over by a bus tomorrow...But more likely, I could get an auto-immune disease like my mom. It doesn't make sense to save up money and fun for a time that may never come. It's nice to have money in the bank, but I'd rather use that money on things I can enjoy now...like cool carpentry tools for work, and outdoor gear for play.

There is a strong incidence of auto-immune diseases within my family. There's a chance I could get something like Lupus or Myasthenia Gravis later in life. If I do get something like that, I would like to have at least lived a little before hand.

If you don't like the way I live my life, then bite me. :-) And only send letters that overflow with genuine flattery and adoration.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Mechanical bill

I'm in a better mood now :-)

I still haven't found the mechanic, but I figure he'll finally find me/call me back if he wants to be paid. I'm going to give him a bill for his 'services'.

He originally wanted $77.24. $45 for the part, $30 for labor, plus tax. Well, I've done some calling around. Being a mere customer and not dealer, I could only obtain that part from the dealer instead of a parts shop. They would sell it to me for $21-27. Being a dealer, you know they mark it up substantially. The part probably really only costs $8-10.

The bill I'm thinking of sending goes something like this:

Original Bill:
$45 Part
$30 Labor
$2.24 tax


My Bill:
You charge $5 a day for cars not picked up promptly after fixing. You did not begin to fix my car until 7 days after I brought it in for the original appointment. $5 a day times 7 = $35

You did not bother to inspect my car like I asked you to. Nor did you install the two brake lines because in your words, "It would cut into the other work I'm doing elsewhere". My car's inspection grace period expired while it was sitting at your garage. I have been unable to go to work until I get it inspected, and the soonest appointment I could get from a reputable garage was 10 total days/7 working days after you released my vehicle. I earn more than minimum wage as a carpenter. Even at minimum wage, I would have lost $378 thanks to not being able to use my van to get to work.

My uncle graciously fixed the crooked steering column and wiring you screwed up. At the $30 an hour you charge, he should be fairly reimbursed for the 2 hours it took him. $30 x 2 hours = $60

Total Bill:
$473
minus cost of your bill of $77.24

You owe me $395.76

Have a nice day :-)

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Agitated

I went mechanic hunting today, unsuccessfully. Andy Morse of Morse's Garage was nowhere to be found. According to his mother, he plans to take this whole next week off. She wouldn't tell me where his house was, and the directions I obtained from his cousin were kinda vague. I went to both the Calais and Worcester town clerk offices to see if they knew where he lived. I walked around where his house was supposed to be and bumped into some neighbors of ours, who didn't know he was even living in the neighborhood. I tried a different but almost parallel road and asked a couple of the neighbors down there if they knew of him.

Everywhere I went, I explained why I was looking for Andy. Pretty soon both towns should know what a crappy mechanic he is. Both town clerks like to gossip. :-)

I'm still peeved he'd consider the job done and hand the car back to me with the drive shaft installed crooked and more problems then when it came in. The snot.

I fixed some of the problems today. With the help of my Uncle Eric and his cool electrical probe thingy, we figured out the back left blinker and got it to work. But now the left front side and right rear side blinkers don't work. Lovely.

My bed is lumpy, I'm irritable, my car's inspection has inspired, the idiot mechanic is nowhere to be found, I have no money thanks to being vanless/workless for a week, and my credit is shot thanks to normal living expenses and a present I bought myself yesterday. :-) I can't wait to use it...it's a carbon fiber kayak paddle and a nifty wetsuit that I've been lusting after for YEARS.

While I was at the kayak store getting my goodies, I took one of their kevlar kayaks out on their pond for a little test drive. What a gorgeous boat! It's so swift and curvaceous. Very light too...only 46 pounds! It's on sale - only $2,400. Such a steal! I need a roof rack for my van so I can go somewhere. It's either that or take up whitewater kayaking...then I could fit the boat inside the van. :-)

Monday, October 18, 2004

Don't go to Morses Garage

The guy I took my van to is an idiot.

I made an appointment with him to have my van's left flasher fixed, new brake lines put in, and have it inspected. I made the appointment 5 days ahead of time. I bought the brake lines and put them on the passenger seat so he could get to and use them easily. Told him to use them. Dropped my van off on Monday. When I dropped it off, I asked him to do one more thing ... fix the flashers that had become permanently stuck on the drive over. Was told the work should take a day, no problem.

He kept reneging on his promise of when it would be ready. First it was the next day. Then the end of Wednesday. Then Thursday. Then, he told me he might work on it on Sunday, but it probably wouldn't be ready till Monday. In the meantime, my van sat at his shop.

My van sat there for a week. The grace period for having my van inspected after registering it expired while it was there. I'm no longer legally allowed to drive it, unless it's to an inspection appointment.

I went to pick it up tonight. It's a good thing I didn't pay him yet ... he totally screwed it up. When he put my steering column back on, he did it wrong. The gear shift indicator no longer indicates the right gear. The gear shift lever no longer works smoothly or correctly...I have to shove it. The blinker knob won't shift smoothly either, and he screwed up the wiring. Now when I have my high beams on, the brightness level fluctuates depending on how much I'm stepping on the gas.

Bastard.

I'm going back tomorrow morning and will politely refuse to leave until he fixes the problems he caused. I would also like to walk away with an inspection sticker so I can go back to work.

I forgot to mention that he didn't install my brake lines or fix my left blinker like he had originally promised to do. His excuse for why he didn't do my brake lines? He said they looked fine already. This is after repeatedly assuring me that the brake lines would be no problem to do. He also said that doing them would cut into his other repair jobs.

Well excuse me dingbat, but why did I make an appointment with you 5 days ahead of the fact? I thought making an appointment meant you would be put into the work schedule.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Fun with Math

Like I said, I've always hated math with a passion. Though I love physics, theories, and explanations on how and why the universe ticks...As long as it's not too heavy on the numbers. Numbers are just so dry and technical. Give me something juicy and exuberant!

I don't know why I don't like math. I think I'm just allergic to things people want to make me do. For instance, The most miles I've hiked in a day is 38. I enjoyed it imensely. But if somebody told me I had to hike 38 in a day...I think I'd develop a sudden case of leg cramps and insist I would die if I didn't get some immediate bed rest.

A couple of weeks ago a switch flipped in my brain. I suddenly had the urge to do some math. I've been slowly working on it bit by bit every night and find myself having a fun time. I've been studying out of a couple of great books I highly recomend. One is called Math To Build On. It's math geared towards people in the building trades. Lots of nice illustrations, easy to read, and it starts off really elementary. It progresses fast, but it's easy to follow thanks to the easy to understand text. If I only had one math book, I'd want it to be The Tratchenburg Speed System. It's amazing how simple math becomes once you understand this different way of mathematics.



Legs

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Johnson State College

Every week my 7 year-old cousin Charlotte asks if I have a boyfriend yet. When I tell her no, she insists I need to go out and get one. She suggests finding one by going to college.

Today I went to the open house at Johnson State... Not to look for a boyfriend, but to check out their outdoor education program. I've been interested in them for several years now and finally decided to visit campus. Pretty interesting place! They seem to have a lot of things going on there. The professors were all really nice and talkative, the library had a lot of comfy chairs and good views, and the food actually tasted decent.

College gets more appealing the older I get. I want to be surrounded by enthusiastic people who are into the same things I am. I'm not interested so much in the learning as the smushing myself into a tiny dormroom with a complete stranger and being enveloped by the hyper social scene.

I'm seriously considering taking the SATs and starting the whole college application process. It would be a different experience...

Friday, October 15, 2004

What things suck

GRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!

On Monday I brought my beloved van to the mechanic for its appointment to have the wiring fixed and brake lines put in. It's now Friday and I've learned the mechanic just started working on it today. Previously he had promised it would be ready by Thursday. Now he says it won't be ready Monday, and he won't be able to fix the wiring. Time to start charging him.

In the meantime, I'm paying insurance for the privelage of having it sit in his lot. He's had it so long that the grace period for me being able to drive it without being inspected has run out. I can't get it inspected without the lights working, which he can't fix because he doesn't know how.

GRRRRRRRRR!!



Thursday, October 14, 2004

New Bumper Stickers!

Some new stickers that I nought over the internet arrived today. Yay! They say:

Eschew Obfuscation
If going to church makes you a Christian, does going to the garage make you a car?
I saw Elvis making crop circles
Support your local revolution
I give evolution two opposable thumbs up!
I have an ulterior motive for my hidden adgenda
Bipartisanship I'll hug your elephant if you kiss my ass
Congress gave huge tax breaks to the rich and all I got was this lousy bumper sticker
Invest in America - Buy a congressman
Where are we going? And why am I in this handbasket?
Actions speak louder than bumperstickers
Please forgive me, I was raised by wolves
and a sticker with the Christian fish emblem that says inside it: & Chips

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Horoscope

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Events in the coming week will bring the beginning of the end of an influence you love to hate. They will also usher in a turning point for your relationship with a person you should treat better than you do. And that's just a fraction of the many adventures headed your way, Sagittarius. Finales and climaxes will be in the works everywhere you turn, and you will get one last chance to fix a long-standing mess before it explodes. Is that dramatic enough for you? No? You want even more? OK, then, how's this: You may finally realize what you want to be when you grow up.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Something Different

I want to do something different this year. A new experience. An activity to stretch my comfort zones and expand my mind. I feel like I've been doing variations of the same thing for the past few years. Hiking, trailwork and carpentry are all well and good, but I need to try something else!

I have an urge to go someplace, reinvent myself, and try new things. I have no idea WHAT. Vermont is getting claustrophobic. Maybe I'll emigrate to Canada and play with the mounties.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Bye bye

Since I'm between jobs and it's nice out, I'm running away for awhile. Going hiking!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Why Heather needs a life

Last night I was watching a couple episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway? and laughing my head off. Mom remarked from the other room that she misses me laughing that way...throaty and uninhibited, like I used to do all the time as a baby.

I miss it too. I wish I could be more uninhibited when it comes to my personality in public. I'm really quite a shy person when other people are present.

Like the other day at work. I dropped in at the barn to see what Sam and Eric were working on. Sam had finished pounding down the texture of the granite from rocky peaks to a surface that was more like the prairies of the midwest, and had started polishing it. He invited me to run my hand over the silky areas. I started running my fingertips over the buttery soft granite but became instantly shy. Sam was watching me.

If it were just me there....I would have run both hands over the entire block, marveling at the roughness of the raw granite crystals juxtaposed against the newly satin surfaces. I wouldn't have given a whit about my actions ... I just would have done them. And enjoyed it without reservation.

God versus Bush

More bush bashing, this time in the form of a funny jpg illustrating God's will through hurricanes.

http://bash.org/GODvsBUSH.gif

Monday, October 04, 2004

School

I stumbled upon this article. In some town whose name I didn't catch, the daily newspaper publishes it every start of the school year.



"Summer died last night. Never mind the calendar date, and never mind what the meteorologists say about the autumn equinox. Summer went quietly, and its trappings with it.

While children slept, frayed cut-off denim shorts disappeared from bedposts to be replaced by stiff new jeans or slacks.

And lined up on the floor, shoes; shoes to imprison feet grown tough through a barefoot summer.

It all went so quickly; the bright green, blue and golden days, the soft windless nights punctuated by the gossip of tree toads and crickets. Now it is ended. Wind, sun and rain no longer matter. Now their days are ordered by unnatural things: buzzers, bells and disembodied voices coming from the walls.

What shall we do today?
You'll do what you're told, that's what. Thou shalt not run unless I tell you to run. But I ran all summer when I wanted to run.

Thou shalt not talk unless I tell you to talk. But in the summer when I had something to say, I said it.

Thou shalt not laugh unless you see that I am amused.

So the schools reclaim the children, taking them away from non-productive pursuits to Prepare Them For Life. And being children, they adjust.

Besides, it's not all unpleasant. There are old acquaintances to be renewed, summer experiences to be shared, and in the sharing a certain reliving of those precious hours. There are things to be learned, skills to be discovered and enhanced. Knowledge to be accumulated and stored until test time when it can be summoned up, set down and then forgotten to make room for more dispensable knowledge. And that is all for a purpose.

These are your most precious possessions, the educators say. Give them to us and we will give them back to you better than they were before. Maybe. Maybe not. No guarantee goes with the service. No warranty. No money back if not completely satisfied.

All that's certain is that there will be other summers. But this one's dead.

A yellow bus came in the early morning, its lights cutting through the thick gray fog, and carried summer away."

Lights....lights....lights?

My van is being persnickety. This weekend I stomped into the house and declared to mom that if my van had a neck, I'd be wringing it. The electrical system is something else!

I dug out all of the wires from behind the walls and tried to make sense of it. I spliced together 4 loose ends and got the back lights to work again. All I needed to do was to get the left blinker to blink. So far I've failed at that task, and am back at square one. None of the back end lights work.
Perhaps I should let a professional deal with it :-)

The auto electrical shop I went to the other day had a sign:

$32 an hour
$36 if you watch
$40 if you help

I need a sign like that for my carpentry business...




Sunday, October 03, 2004

Mooooo




I'm running away from home soon. I already have cabin fever. Where to go? What to do? What bank to rob to finance it all? I just came in from working on my van. It's been a frustrating weekend!

My rearview mirror took a couple of hours to put up. It's a long story, and involves Gorilla Glue, a kit of super-duper mirror epoxy, 3 types of screws, one rivet and gun, a clamp, 3 broken drill bits, a dead battery and exponential amounts of swearing. In addition, one of my fingers sustained some damage when the drill I was holding sliped and started boring into my flesh with the bit going at high speed. I now have two parallel, ragged cuts. The final outcome? One mirror, mounted upside down to the steel van frame.

This is why when I came in, I liked this picture of the cow. Very soothing. I took its picture as it stood in the middle of the Appalachian Trail last year.


Friday, October 01, 2004

Poser


Sam posing with the granite

I told Eric he was on the web. He was so engrossed with his work, he hadn't noticed I had taken pictures of him. Sam though...what a ham!

Like the goggles/dust mask/ear muffs with built in radio? I personally like the carhartts...As most people who have read my site know. I need to get another pair myself. Mom made me throw out my 4 year old, well broken in pair. She wasn't going to drive me back home from Arizona unless I did. They were so comfy! And well ventilated. :-)


Pray for my butt

I got home from work today and read mom's blog to see what was new. She's currently asking for people to pray for my butt. Why? Well...

I have a metal object lodged inside my skin, to the left of my tail bone. I must have gotten it while sliding around under my van about a month ago.

My doc says he's always wanted to prescribe a butt x-ray, so he sent me to get one yesterday. My aunt Liz said they'll probably find my head up there. Today the doc called back to say the thing is a metal, needle-like object that's more than an inch long and is in such a tricky place, they need to operate to get it out. My surgery is next week. I hope they let me keep it when they dig it out. It'll make for a great conversation piece.




Thursday, September 30, 2004

Stickers on van cap





These stickers from left to right read,

Who would Jesus bomb?
Don't believe anything until it has been officially denied
Stop repeat offenders - don't re-elect them
Drive carefully! 90% of all people are caused by accidents
Come the rapture, can I have your car?
The buck doesn't even slow down here
I'm marching to a different accordian
Vizualize using your turn signals
Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car
Homeschooling The world is the classroom
No, you can't have my rights. I'm still using them
Religions are just cults with more members
God is too big to fit into one religion
I love my country but fear my government
HELL it's not the heat, it's the humidity
Don't pray in my school and I won't think in your church
Militant Agnostic I don't know and you don't either
Oh no, not another learning experience!
Support organic farmers
Unmarked police car
Under republicans, man exploits man. Under democrats, it's the opposite
A leading cause of stress is reality!
Not all who wander are lost
Queen without a country
What would Scooby-do?

Van door stickers

Sam




This is Sam. He lives in the apartment over the garage at the house I'm painting. Normally he lives in New York City, but he's up here to work on granite for a few months. He has a couple of stones, and this one pictured is a 3 ton chunk of granite that he's going to break into about 80 pieces. He's going to polish some, leave some rough, and make it so the stone can fit back together as one. After he's done creating his masterpieces, he's going to tote it home to his loft/artist studio in NYC. Luckily it's an old warehouse and has strong, steel beam floors!

I took this picture while standing on a beam up near the ceiling. It was fascinating to watch Sam and Eric (My current employer) work on the granite chunks. Sam is young, strong and passionate, and approaches his stone with zeal tinged with a bit of confoundment. Eric has been carving granite for 30 years. He approaches it methodically, sure of every movement.




Eric



This is Eric. He wears his "Superdad" hat to work almost every day. He's a super granite sculptor too. Anything you wanted, he could probably make. His creations dot the landscape around here...from the tiered granite embankments for the local swimming area on Curtis Pond, to the benches out front of one of the local libraries.

Monday, September 27, 2004

My job

It always happens on a job. The customer will say, "Since you're here, could you....?" Sometimes the request is for something small, like an extra half hour job. Sometimes it becomes bigger than the original job. Last year, a 3 day stair mending job became a May through October full-on house makeover job.

I started working where I'm at now around the middle of August. The job was originally to paint the ceiling and posts of a small side porch. The job mushroomed into painting the rest of the trim around the entire house. Which morphed into painting their entire apartment above the garage. Then it moved inside their house to start painting the wainscotting and trim in the kitchen. Then the living room. Which then became the bathroom ceiling and window, the stairwell leading up, and today, it became the master bedroom windows. The only thing left to paint is the outside doors and the windows in the 2 other bedrooms. Hmmmm...I wonder if that's next?

I can't complain. I really love having a paying, steady job. All of my current money is being funneled into my van project. Every week I say, this weekend I'll get it on the road! Soon... very soon...

I tried bleeding the brakes after installing new calipers and pads. Nothing will come out. I think it's a clogged brake line. I have the new lines, but I can't get the old ones off. I think it's time to hand it over to a "real" mechanic. The other problem is my left tail light won't blink. All of the other lights work great. I discovered it has a cut wire. Time to remove the insulation around it and work on it from the inside. Bzzzt!

I took everything out of my van, then vaccuumed and beat my rug yesterday. It looks so clean now! I want to find/buy a foam mattress soon. As soon as I get my van street legal, I'm going camping!

Three proofs that Jesus was...

THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS JEWISH
He went into his father's business
He lived at home until he was 33
He was sure his Mother was a virgin, and his Mother was sure he was God

THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS IRISH
He never got married
He was always telling stories
He loved green pastures

THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS PUERTO RICAN
His first name was Jesus
He was bilingual
He was always being harassed by the authorities

THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS ITALIAN
He talked with his hands
He had wine with every meal
He worked in the building trades

THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS BLACK
He called everybody "brother"
He liked Gospel
He couldn't get a fair trial

THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS A CALIFORNIAN
He never cut his hair
He walked around barefoot
He started a new religion

THREE PROOFS THAT JESUS WAS A WOMAN
He had to feed a crowd, at a moments notice, when there was no food.
He kept trying to get the message across to a bunch of men who just didn't get it.
Even dead, he had to get up because there was more work for him to do.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

What's new

I slept in until 11am this morning. Ahhhhhhhhhh. The previous two nights, mom and I have gone late-night grocery shopping.

When I did get up, I played around in my van. I cleared out most of the junk and tools, vaccumed the rug, and put another coat of paint on the exterior cap. I read a couple of books while I was out there. One of the books was from the 70's and had this to say:

"If you are going to panel the entire interior of your van in mirrors, you will need a glass cutter."

Lots of great info on wierd window shapes, quirky design ideas, and tips on how to install shag carpeting.

Haven't been updating lately because I've been working. I'll finish up this job within the week...

Sunday, September 19, 2004


Innocent looking Liz and Heather ...

Saturday, September 18, 2004


Family togetherness

No explanation...

Birthday

Today is my cousin Sam's 10th birthday. Wow, a whole decade old!

Mom and I had thrown her a birthday party in Arizona earlier this year, thinking we weren't going to see her for a while. Since we already gave her presents then, I'm going the cheap and easy way this time- make her a card and enclose 10 bucks.

I wonder what kind of cake I should make? Last time I made spice cake with cream cheese frosting. Maybe something chocolate this time....I'm going to the kitchen to figure it out.

It's Peter's dish night tonight. Perhaps I'll make a 10 course dinner. :-)

Friday, September 17, 2004

Bloggerific!


Heather in the bathroom mirror

Somebody sent me the first prank boyfriend application today. He describes himself thusly:

i'm very hairy and short, my interests are watching television, and scratching
myself, i hate animals and children, i want to be your man

Sounds delightful :-) Except for the hairy part...I've never felt a hairy chest. It appeals. Both mom and Liz really like them, in fact it was requirement #1 for Liz's man hunt. My mother has asked several men if she could feel their chests. All have said yes. She even felt Rob's while he was here to visit. :-)


Cooking


Pasta in alfredo sauce

I've forgotten to take my happy pills for the past couple of days. Now I know why I haven't felt much in my right mind. I must be crazy today...I cooked up a storm, on MY dish night! For lunch I roasted 3 colors of potatoes with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, chives, onions and garlic, and grilled two marinated steaks apiece. I sauteed some onions and garlic to smother the steaks with.

For supper I made fettuccine in alfredo sauce with a sprinkling of chopped basil. Was going to make dessert, but decided there were enough dishes. Neither mom nor I can cook without using almost every dish in the house. It's a special talent.

Mom wrote about me dousing myself with pepper spray today over on her blog. Yesterday I went to the dentist. The day before, I was sticking the lizard in the stovepipe of an outdoor stove when I realized too late that there was a wasp nest in it. A couple of days before that, I had accidentally dropped my van off of the jacks and came thisclose to the wheel falling into the dirt. An hour later Eric dropped the other side of my van, and bent his jack out of shape. That same day mom accidentally broke his tail light out with her ATV.

While getting 3 of my teeth sealed yesterday, the novacaine wore off just as the dentist was grinding down my back molar with his drill. I screamed. Quickly got another shot of drugs. When I left, they told me it would take at least 6 hours for the numbness to wear off. I was normal within 3. When I got back, I learned it always wears off quickly for mom, and it doesn't even effect my aunt Liz.


Thursday, September 16, 2004

Good book

I picked up a fascinating book at the library today. It's called

Cooking for Mr. Latte
A food lover's courtship, with recipes

I started reading it at a stoplight. I was so engrossed that the person behind me had to beep to let me know it was a green light. People in Vermont never beep.

Relationships

I have not been in a relationship in 474 days. It's been an interesting time so far. I've been through a lot of phases.

At first I started looking up born again virginity.

Then involuntary celibacy...

Which led me to wonder what different cultures had to say about sex for unmarried women.

I pondered if arranged marriages made good sense.

I perused several dating sites.

I usually read the personals ads for amusement. I crafted a few of my own. How to describe my personality and wants in 30 words or less?

I decided that relationships were unhealthy for people my age. How can you develop your life, interests and goals, while trying to mesh with someone elses? Your entire life's course can be altered depending on what sort of mate you choose. I thought of the types of men I'm attracted to....

1) Italian guy with large family
Hmm, I could marry one of these, have a few dozen children, and live happily ever after in Italy on the family vineyard.

2) A carhartt and 3-day-old beard wearing trailworker
We'd spend our lives building trails and leading conservation corps, possibly starting our own conservation organization. Retire in Alaska.

3) Hunky construction worker
We'd build our dream house, or possibly rennovate a fixer-upper Victorian with great lines. Perhaps rennovate a bunch of other classic houses in good neighborhoods and rake in the rent/sales cash.

4) Outdoor nut
We'd meet while working at the REI flagship store. Our paychecks would be spent on gear purchased at steep employee discounts. Our free time would go to exploring every outdoor pursuit out there. We'd hike the triple crown, do a lot of adventuring in other counties. Pardon me while I drool over the nice chest this guy would have...

5) Cultured Yuppie
We'd see the world via a beautifully crafted mahogany sailboat. When on land, we'd have a sprawling but not ostentatious big house-little house-barn, spread on several hundred acres in the country. We'd throw dinner parties for our enviro-conscious, Mensa member, politically active, Volvo-driving friends.


Think of how drastically your life would be altered if you were to spend it with a different mate.


I have no idea what I want to grow up to be like. How do I know what type of man and future life I want, too? I guess that's why people date...to try on others and see if they fit.


Google

My boyfriend application page has finally reached top status over on Google.

My life

My horoscope says I'll soon realize the meaning of my life:

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Physicists have been on a roll for the last hundred years. Beginning with Einstein's theory of relativity in 1905, they've uncovered secrets of the cosmos that would have seemed like magic to nineteenth-century scientists. Yet they still haven't found their Holy Grail-the "Theory of Everything" that would tie together all their discoveries and, in the words of Stephen Hawkings, allow them to "read the mind of God." According to my understanding of the astrological omens, you Sagittarians have been on a similar ride in the past 12 months. You've gathered tantalizing clues to the greatest mysteries of your life, but have not tracked down your personal Theory of Everything. That could change in the coming weeks, though. You're closer to the Grail than you've ever been.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Back from a mini-vacation


Heather under a tree near Canada


I woke up on Monday and felt awful. Sam and Charlotte came home with school cooties and kindly gave some to me. Grossness. I was complaining about not wanting to go to work when mom decided we should run away together somewhere for a few days. I called the people I was to work for to let them know, then mom and I packed and hit the road.

Mom wrote about some of it on her blog.

I need to get back into the groove of blog writing. I've been slacking horribly! To get my writing juices flowing, here a random facts about Heather's World:


My feet are women's size 10 1/2 E

I received the LL Bean Christmas catalog today. I want one of the male models pictured. They look so outdoorsy and delectable.

I get an average of 3 boyfriend applications a week. Two in the past few days have been women offering their best friends.

I bought a bullwhip for 99 cents. My aim is getting pretty good...

I'm currently reading Lip Smackin' Vegetarian Backpackin'

Current chocolate addiction? Lindt milk chocolate with extra fine cocoa nibs.

Tomorrow I go to the dentist.

Monday, September 13, 2004


Lizard under hood

I bought a giant plastic lizard at a garage sale for my aunt Liz. She had a smaller version perched on her dashboard already. I brought it home and was poised to superglue it to her hood when mom talked me out of it.

Since then, Liz and I have been surrepticiously putting it in various odd spots around the driveway.

Lizard in paper box

Lizard in van wheelwell

Lizard under outhouse window box

Friday, September 10, 2004

Visit to our farm

Rob Cole posted pictures and stories over on his blog about his recent trip to our house.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Brakes

Just got back from the parts store. My expenses:

Quart of brake fluid - 3.77
Two Complete Calipers - 23.99 each
Two Brake hoses - 26.99 each
Gallon GoJo Fine Italian Pumice hand cleaner - 12.95
Two Tail light bulbs - 1.39
Two cans Fix-a-flat (One to replace what I owe eric, one to keep in my van) 5.98
Two sets Brake pads - 11.99

With tax, it came to $145.72 I'll get back $10 when I return my used calipers. It's from a thing called a core. It's like a bottle deposit for auto parts. You return the old parts so they can remanufacture them.

This is the first thing on my van I've actually HAD to fix. Everything else has been preventative maitenance. When I was driving my van around the block a couple of days ago to see how the exhaust system sounded, I got to a flat spot and applied the brakes. I hopped out to look at the skid marks to see if all 4 wheels had locked up properly. When I got back in, the right front brake wouldn't disengage no matter what I tried. I had to drive almost a mile back home with it stuck. My wheel smoked for quite a few minutes after I had parked it. I pried off the hubcap to let it breathe better and found burn/soot marks on the inside of the hubcap. Hmmm.

When I disasembled everything yesterday, my brake pad was firmly stuck to the rotor. I used a hammer to whack off the caliper. Sparks flew :-) Everything looks in fine shape now and rotates properly. I am going to pry off the cover and stick more grease in my bearings if they need it.

Charlotte has been pressuring me to get the van ready so I can take her camping. Liz has even started up a campain to run away with me and see how far the tank of gas will get us. She wants to go to Wanakena Forestry school with me. :-)


Monday, September 06, 2004

Where I've been


Pile of cucumbers


I've been working on my van a lot lately. Finished putting in the exhaust system, it sounds great! Slowly cleaning out the interior. You can read what I did today and see a good picture of me swearing at my brake calipers over on mom's blog.

As I was stomping on the lug wrench to get enough leverage to take my tire off, I was thinking about quality tools. I'm slowly building up my mechanical and carpentry tool cache. The slowness is due to lack of much money and the fact that I usually buy the best tools I possibly can. For instance; my miter saw. I could have saved $500 by buying a 10 inch stationary chop saw. Instead, I saved and saved, and bought a top of the line Dewalt 12" compound, sliding double miter saw. It cost me $600 and is worth every last penny. It's built to last and can handle almost every possible angle encountered on a job site. A smaller saw with lesser bevel angles would have worked at first, but also would be having me cursing its limitations by now.

Cheap tools are never worth it. They cause more problems in the long run that counter the initial cheap and easiness that attracted one to it in the first place. Quality tools feel and look good , do the job effectively and pleasurably, and they last. It's a wise lifetime investment to always go with the best. It pays off in droves over the lifetime of the tool.

This got me thinking of men. Why settle? Being in a relationship just because it's easy and convenient instead of being of high quality and built to last makes as much sense as buying a wrench from the Dollar Store, made in China. Both will break apart and leave you with frustration. You're left with less money, nothing to show for it, and a sourpuss attitude.

I'm waiting for quality.

I can amuse myself pretty well in the meantime. :-)

Friday, August 27, 2004


My fuel filter. Small, isn't it?

Aleka on my $12.75 couch and .50 cent pillow

Heather's Van on ramps

Whatnot

I've been a bad, bad girl. No updates in almost a week? What was I thinking?

Life has been busy lately. I've been working my tail off doing more painting for the people who had the apartment. Now I'm doing the trim on the entire outside of their house, as well as the finish trim inside. I'm grateful for the work - my credit cards are smoking from the recent activity. I'm getting into the whole van fix-it project.

My van sat for quite a few months this year without me starting it. When I tried in the summer, it wouldn't even cough up a turnover noise. The culprit? A malfunctioning fuel pump. I bought a new one for $13.88 and installed it along with new fuel lines and shiny new clamps. Now it starts better than Eric's (Uncle) 1982 truck.

Two days ago I dropped the entire exhaust system out. I called about 3 dozen places trying to find a replacement y-pipe. It's the pipe that goes from the engine block into the other exhaust pipes. Nobody had it ... not junkyards, auto parts stores, muffler shops, dealers, even the factory stopped making them years ago. The muffler places wanted several hundred dollars to build me a new one. The people I know who weld didn't want to touch it for fear of igniting a nearby gas line. Finally found a place that had it!!! - 2 hours away. That's another story and a half.

Now all I need to get it on the road is to reinstall the exhaust system, buy some new tires, register and insure it. It'll only cost $600 more. Oh joy. :-)

It's so exciting to be so close to having my very own car! Charlotte (Cousin) keeps saying I have a sweet van. She especially likes the wooden ceiling. My aunt Liz thinks the disco ball is a bit outrageous. And Eric is suffering from engine envy ... I have a bigger one than he does.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Posting

I try to post something at least every 1,000 hits. Lately I haven't been up to par ... too busy working and having fun!

On Friday I finished painting an entire apartment. It now has sand motif walls and mission biege trim, cabinets and doors. It looks 10 times better! It used to be an institutional blue.

Tomorrow I'm making everybody Sunday brunch. It's going to be richly decadant french toast topped with strawberries and fresh whipped cream. I'm in the middle of baking the bread for it right now.

I've modifed the following recipe in a number of ways, such as using evaporated milk instead of half and half, more sugar, vanilla and butter. The recipe is from the book Inter Courses. (Steve, the nice ex, bought it for me :-) )

French Toast Baked In Honey-Pecan Sauce

4 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup half and half (or Evap Milk)
1/2 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
4 Slices thick French bread
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup chopped pecans


Combine eggs, half and half, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Pour half the mix into a baking dish. Place the bread in the pan and top with the other half of egg mix. Refridgerate, covered, overnight.

Melt the butter in a 9x13 inch baking dish and stir in the brown sugar, honey, maple syrup and chopped pecans. Add soaked bread slices. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes until puffed and brown. Serve immediately.


MMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!


I love cooking for other people. :-)

How I feel today:


Evil Heather

Thursday, August 19, 2004



This picture is from Friday evening, when I was returning home from a full day of volunteering over at Yestermorrow. I spent it fooling around with screen doors and insulating downstairs in the building where the interns stay. They wouldn't let me use power tools.

Doing a day at Yestermorrow was fun and very informative. There are a lot of nice people at Yestermorrow, but not much motivation to get things done. I practically screamed when I saw the utility room in the downstairs of the intern living quarters ... the sheetrock was unfinished and had become the victim of a steady drip of water down the pipes. There was a film of water on the concrete floor, and the sheetrock in the moistest corner was covered in mold. There were leaks around the foundation in other parts of the building, but no plans to fix them. And as far as I know, they don't plan to rip out the rotten sheetrock. Ewwwwww!!!

They wouldn't let me use power tools, even though they had seen the website and knew I built a house without accidentally sawing off any vital body parts. This is even after I signed the form that does away with my right to sue if I tried anything stupid that resulted in injury or death, such as flossing with a power drill.

They aren't very organized. They knew I had skills but were scrambling to find something for me to do, even though I had let them know I was volunteering a day ahead of time. They didn't have supplies on hand, so I ended up going to the lumber store for fiberglass insulation and polyurethane.

Now for the good stuff - I have enjoyed the free lecture series they've been hosting this summer. Very inspiring and lots of pretty pictures in the slide shows.

Heather In Warren




This is me earlier this evening near the Warren store. Tonight was the last in the free summer lecture series at Yestermorrow. Now what am I going to do with my Wednesday nights?

The Warren store is a pretty cool place. I bought myself an almond tart and read the paper out on their deck overlooking this river. Spent some time thinking about what to do next in life. So many possibilities! The ones I've been kicking around lately are going to Randolph Technical or Johnson State College, living in my van while working as a carpenter in Florida this winter, or starting another house project on our back 9 acres, in the form of a Scandavian inpired stave church type of dwelling. Lots of pointy things and dark wood shingles. Stained glass. An airy loft.

My better living through modern pharmaceuticals is going great, with one exception. If I don't take a second pill in the afternoon, I can't get to sleep. I feel too creative and alive to waste it by going to sleep. Guess who forgot to take her second pill today and is still awake as the clock inches closer to 2am on a worknight....?

Water cascading over rocks

Friday, August 13, 2004

Quote Unquote



Tell The Truth And Run
- Yugoslavian Proverb


I'm on my nightly kick to figure out what I want to do with my life. I gathered up some of my old notebooks to see what I had written in previous moments of angst and found a page of good quotes. The previous one seems apt tonight. What I think of people with bad attitudes:

Moral Indignation Is Just Jealousy With A Halo

- H.G. Wells


And of course,

Blessed Are The Cracked, For They Let In The Light


Thursday, August 12, 2004

Gross Food

There are some foods that are so gross, greasy, wierd, etc, that you just can't resist them. Velveeta isn't one of them. That is just not a food product. On the other hand, you have corn dogs, spam, and fried mozerella sticks. Mmmmm.

Spam Facts

I'm a big fan of candy. When traveling across the country, my diet usually consists of beef jerky, cranberry juice, red licorice, and sour patch kids. Lots of links to good junk food sites at:

Junk Food Mecca

Free will VS expectations

The minute you tell me I must do something, I want to do anything but. If you told me I had to baste the perfect turkey and do the laundry, I'd run away screaming. It's a totally different story if I choose to do those things by my own free will.

I'd eventually like to be a good wife and homemaker because it sounds like a good idea. I'm not going to give up carpentry or any of my other interests to slavishly devote my life to caring for somebody else...but if the man is appreciative, praises my cooking etc, he can be sure of (almost) always coming home to a hot and scrumptious dinner and other delicious things.

I won't dress myself in nothing but saran wrap to greet him at the door if he demanded it, but if he dropped a subtle hint that that sort of thing turned him on, you can bet I'd run to the supermarket for some plastic products.

There's a difference between doing something because you want to, and doing it because it's expected of or you're told to.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Yestermorrow Build And Design School

Went to the usual Wednesday lecture at Yestermorrow school. What a neat topic! Tonight there was a fascinating guy from Martha's Vineyard giving a talk on scattered, affordable housing. At the very end he showed us some slides, including a great bunch of his company slicing a house in half to transport. Half of the house fell off the truck and went splat into the dirt. They managed to get it upright, fix it up, and now it looks normal and is being lived in.

There's a really cute intern who has the Wednesday job of getting people to buy tickets in the 50/50 raffle. Half of the money goes to their scholarship fund and the other half goes to the winning ticket. Tonight I got to pick a ticket from the bowl. I asked if I could root around for my number, but alas, Nick said no. The ticket I picked belonged to tonight's presenter. He donated his share back to Yestermorrow.

I hung around after the talk to get tips on becoming an intern. I'm gung-ho about getting the position!

Horoscope

My initials are HAM and I was born under the Chinese sign of the Boar. Look what my horoscope for this week is:

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): To the ancient Chinese, pigs were sacred because they could eat anything, and turn it into energy. The creatures were regarded as masters of transmutation. Nothing, not even garbage, was unusable to them. The Chinese aspired to be like pigs in the sense of being able to learn from and derive benefit from every experience, not just the tidy, tasteful ones. I mention this, Sagittarius, because it's an excellent time for you to imitate that paragon of holiness, the omnivorous pig.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Dating

Yesterday we splurged on our once monthly treat of eating at the Chinese buffet. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

My fortune cookie told me, "Now is the time to ask that special someone out on a date". I think they mixed my fortune with somebody else's. I've never asked anybody on a date. I think it's the man who should be doing the pursuing. It's the man's job to pursue the woman, make her feel pretty and feminine, bring her flowers, protect her from bad things, and whap anything that bothers her over the head with a big stick. As a girl, it's my job to fawn over how clever and cute he is and make him feel rugged and masculine. Pursuing him for a date goes against our ingrained biology.

I used to hate dresses with a passion. How was I supposed to hang upside down from trees while wearing one? Nowadays I find myself increasingly liking them. Last year I wore a purple flowery one for backpacking, this year it's a black cocktail-esque dress. I love the way full skirts swirl up and around my legs when I'm out contra dancing.

I find myself increasingly loving and celebrating the differences between men and women. Don't get me wrong, I love the effects the women's liberation movement has had on the world. I hate sexist pigs. But I do recognize that women and men are innately different and should recognize and celebrate that fact. We should get paid equally for equal work, but we should also realize that we're better at different things in life. No woman is ever going to beat a man's weight lifting or running record. No man is ever going to be able to nurture a child as effectively as a woman.

And I will never ask a man out on a date. I want someone who thinks I'm the most delicious, talented woman to ever walk the earth and will do anything to have me. Why make it easy by asking him out?

Pffft. Sometimes I wonder about the seriousness of fortune cookies. Could they not be the deep, metaphysical morsels of truth I make them out to be?

Monday, August 09, 2004

More about the Dog

Puppy was dumped upon Liz and Eric by my grandmother 7 months ago, and was never reclaimed. They like the dog, but it's a little too much for them. They already have a dog, a cat, and two rambunctious children to take care of. They were also taking care of my grandmother's poodle for several months, but she took that one back.

Personally, I'd never own a dog of that type. I prefer mutts with husky, German shepherd and wolf/lab in them. Something with more brains and personality.

Mom posted more about the dog yesterday over on her blog.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Free Dog



This is Puppy, Liz and Eric's dog. They would like to give it to someone who can offer it a nice place to romp freely. Contact us at Royalepain@aol.com if you or someone you know would like it.


Stats:
Purebred Golden Retriever
4 years old
Female, spayed
All shots current
Likes other dogs, cats and kids

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Bad Kid

I came in for lunch and discovered mom had been busy over on her blog. This is part of the reason I don't want to have a kid until a long, long time from now. It'll probably act just like me. God Forbid!

Random Thoughts

I'm killing time until Samantha wakes up, so I can continue cleaning my room.

My aunt Liz (her mother) had a few requirements for her dream guy. She wouldn't waiver on one of them - that the man had to have a hairy chest. On the first date with her now husband, she told him what she wanted. He lifted up his shirt in the middle of the fancy restaurant and said, "How's this?" She felt him up and said "Ooooh, that'll do nicely"

Friday, August 06, 2004

Cleaning

Today I took a day off from work to clean my room. I'm consolidating my junk and making way for all of the things from my house to come in. To free up space, I brought in my sawzall and crowbar to demolish the built-in desk in the corner. Ahhhh, that made me feel better.

Liz and family should be here tomorrow or within the next 2 days.

Dialog and debate

See mom's blog for a comparison of dialog and debate.

Commentary

When I came in for breakfast and mail this morning, I had 29 new emails. Only a handful weren't comments from my blog. I should have enabled comments sooner! This is fun, like my very own soap opera. :-)

Want something else to bicker about? Let me elaborate on why I have lists for mate qualities...

I want the best male specimen I can get my paws on. Why? Well, when I eventually mate and have a kid, I want that kid to be endowed with the best genetic material it can have. I want the kid to be cute, wicked smart and talented. A lot of that relies on nurture, but having kick-ass genes in addition to wonderful parenting skills will sure give the kid a boost.

So if you look at it from that angle, I'm looking out for what's best for hummanity and the perpetuation of our species. The lists show what a true philanthropist I am.

I don't plan on having a kid for another 10 years or so. In the meantime, I intend to find a man who possesses those qualities to grow and build a life together. My current life is filled with all sorts of wonderful experiences already. Now I want somebody to share those with, work on our goals and dreams, go "Look at that!" when we see something interesting, laugh together, dream together, and get each others sarcasm and subtle humor.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Wasabi

I was looking for a sample of my wall paint color, when I found a fascinating page about wasabi. Stalking the elusive wasabi


Answering People's Comments

If you're a Christian, you should be loving, not condemning thy neighbor.

See my previous entry, sarcasm is for smart people. Subtlety is as well. Some people just don't get things unless they're walloped over the head with a clue-by-four.

If I had wanted a sex toy or any of the other things I mentioned, I would have obtained them already. The internet and Canada are wonderful things. I was being facetious.

My lists of soul mate wants and not wants was very reasonable. Are you telling me there are people who look for qualities such as

1) Looks like a rhinoceros (on a good day)
2) Can't be peeled off the couch
3) Hates kids and animals
4) sour puss, half empty attitude
5) doesn't bathe, picks nose in public
6) At least a foot shorter than I am
7) Hates learning anything, won't crack a book unless forced to at gunpoint
8) Communicates by grunting
9) Thinks romance is for sissies
10) Won't lift a finger to help


Interestingly enough, I got a great book on the side of the road today. It's called "If you like Pina Coladas ... The humor and weirdness of personal ads"

My favorite of the moment is:

SWM, 24, Wile E. Coyote type supergenius: eclectic, creative, and complete with existential angst. You: light hearted road runner type, minus the cruelty, with a smiling appreciation for all my ridiculous schemes. My heart is a giant magnet and for once you actually ate the birdseed full of ball bearings. Bzzt! Clank!

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

What I've been up to

I've been wicked busy the past week! I've been out having too much fun to be disiplined, sit down, and write.

Tonight Yestermorrow had a documentary film on the Rural Build project. Fascinating stuff. Pretty pictures. Scroll below to find a pic I took of their treehouse. One of the current interns is living in it at the moment. Otherwise I would have taken some inside pics...

Went to Maine, gawked at LL Bean, ate some scallops. Mmmmmmm. Saw Acadia, savored the pungent ocean air, poked around a lighthouse.

The hoard (Aunt Liz and family) will be decending shortly. They left Arizona on the 3rd and expect to be here in 4-6 days. I've been working like crazy to get everything nice and shiny and ready to go. I shudder to think how many ATV loads of my stuff has to come back and find a new home in my room. I think it's time to do some major rearranging in my 12x14 room to fit my velvet couch in there.

Made a couple of lists about my ideal soulmate. Top ten for "Must have" and "Must not".

Must Have:
1) Taller than me - preferably at least 6' +
2) Have a great smile and/or nice chest
3) Playful nature
4) A go-getter
5) Love variety
6) Like books and reading
7) Romantic and sensual
8) Great conversationalist
9) Practical talent ... I.E., mechanic, carpenter, great with people/leadership
10) Will do the dishes


Will not touch with a 10 foot pole:
1) Picky eater
2) Homophobe/sexist pig/republican (But I repeat myself...)
3) Chew with mouth open
4) Not like traveling/camping
5) Can't amuse himself, especially in bookstore
6) Rude to waiters/bad tipper
7) Hate dogs
8) More than occasional drinker/gets drunk on purpose (Buzzed is fine...sloshed is not)
9) Whiny
10) Smoker / does drugs



Installing and shimming new window in loft

Completed Window (Almost)

Heather putting on final coat of paint

Yestermorrow Treehouse

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Friday, July 30, 2004

The Ocean




It's funny, yesterday I kept thinking that I'd like to go to the coast of Maine to eat some lobster and visit L.L. Bean. This picture will have to do for now. It's one I took last year on a beach near Naples, Florida.