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.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Heather's Window

My window came in! I got up at the crack of dawn this morning, stole Peter's truck, and went on a field trip to the lumber store. The guys there were trying to convince me that one of the panes had broken during shipment. Uh huh.

Right now it's still in the packaging, laying on the floor next to my couch. I think I'll build a mini balcony outside before installing it. I need a place to stand when I finally side that section anyhoo.

Work today was painting at the community center, the porch of another house, and going over to the town garage to measure it. The town wants the entire building painted, including the roof. Just the roof measures over 5,000 square feet. Eek! I'm online tonight to price some compressors, hoses and spray guns.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Giant cup of tea

I bought this cup and matching plate for 25 cents at the same garage sale where I got my $12.75 couch.  This cup is HUGE! My fingers don't even touch when I wrap both hands around it. It's more than a foot in circumfrence.  I'm not sure how many ounces it holds, but I have to use 3 teabags to get the same strenth as I would 1 bag in a normal cup.

Last night I had a hankering for coffee. I hadn't had any since February, so I didn't feel guilty when I brewed up some full bodied rainforest nut and filled my cup almost to the brim. I added some cream and sugar and I was all set to go. Mmmmmmm. Is the planet shaking, or is it just me?

Heather with her mug of tea

Ahhhh, tea. Perfect for chilly mornings such as this.

Goodies from the mail

A fan of my blog just sent me these in the mail. Very cool! I'm going to hang the sign up in the back window of my van. The Sheet Happens magnet already graces the back door, sandwiched in between "Have you hugged a flamingo today?" and an onion decal from Onion River Sports.

Now I'm going to do some research on burlesque...

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Mayhem and destruction!

I came home from painting the community center and spent some quality time with my new couch. I wrote in my paper journal for the first time since June, did a bunch of reading, and listened to some swing music. I started to feel really antsy. I did the best thing I could think of in that situation ... I went upstairs with my 24 ounce hammer and busted out my old window frame. I took a picture of the dust plume that poofed up when the frame hit the ground.

My new window comes on Thursday.

In the meantime, it's nice and breezy upstairs. I'm thinking of building a small platform under the window, like a mini balcony. Maybe I'll start getting serenaded. :-)

There are a couple of pictures over on my mom's blog.


I've been doing a lot of painting over at the community center lately. I just ran across this joke and had to share it. :-)

Church Restoration Project
There was a tradesman, a painter named Jack, who was very interested in making a dollar where he could. So he often would thin down his paint to make it go a wee bit further. As it happened, he got away with this for some time.

Eventually the local church decided to do a big restoration project. Jack put in a painting bid and, because his price was so competitive, he got the job. And so he started, erecting the trestles and putting up the planks, and buying the paint and thinning it down with turpentine.

Jack was up on the scaffolding, painting away, the job nearly done, when suddenly there was a horrendous clap of thunder. The sky opened and the rain poured down, washing the thin paint from all over the church and knocking Jack off the scaffold to land on the lawn. Jack was no fool. He knew this was a judgment from the Almighty, so he fell on his knees and cried, "Oh, God! Forgive me! What should I do?" And from the thunder, a mighty Voice spoke,

"Repaint! Repaint! And thin no more!"

Sunday, July 25, 2004

I've been going to the lumber store a lot lately. Everytime I do, one of the guys that works there wants to know how my house is going. It's been embarassing to admit my siding still isn't today I finished the front of my house. Some other day I'll finish the rest. :-)

I still have to stain it to match the rest of the clapboards, both on front and the sections on the other 3 sides I haven't gotten around to. I think Yestermorrow should do a class on how to get the motivation to finish your siding. I usually play good  music to get that effect.

What I've been listening to lately:

Fade To Bluegrass: The Bluegrass Tribute To Metallica
by Iron Horse

by The Indigo Girls

New Favorite
by Alison Krauss and Union Station

Motorcade Of Generosity
Fashion Nugget
Comfort Eagle
by Cake

by Paul Simon

I've been reading a lot at night. Recent books include:

Zen and the art of making a living
Laurence G Boldt

The evolution of useful things
Henry Petroski

Workshop Math
Robert Scharff

David Pearson

Cordwood Building
Rob Roy

Alternative Housebuilding
Mike McClintock

Building Contractor's Exam Preparation Guide
John Traister and Keeler Chapman

Peter France

Becoming a Chef
Andrew Darnenburg and Karen PAge

Do It Yourself Housebuilding
George Nash

The Seven Storey Mountain
Thomas Merton

Read any good books lately?

Front of Heather's House

Heather Sawing Clapboards

Weird Words

A handy collection of weird words to work into your next conversation.

Yard Sales

Yesterday Mom, Angela, Sam and I drove to the Montpelier Farmer's Market and then to some yard sales.  We got to one sale just as they were toting everything from the sale to the free pile. It took up their entire front lawn. We toted away armloads of good books, cooking implements, 5 pairs of cross country skis, 3 pairs of boots, and one pair of downhill skis and boots that fit me perfectly.

At sales where we actually bought things, I got a feather bed to go in my van. I'm going to lay down a couple of my camping mattresses side by side, then foam we have laying around, then the feather bed. It's going to be a really comfy nest. I slept on the featherbed last night. It was soooooo comfy.

I also bought some lightweight nylon pants for 25 cents each to use as summer work pants. Carhartts are just too hot to wear when it's 80+ out.

I submitted my Yestermorrow internship application on Friday. I won't know if they want me until almost October. If they do, I'll be working there until January. It seems like a good thing to do in the dead of winter, especially considering I won't be able to live in my house then. Aunt Liz and family are moving into my house within the next two weeks. Her husband Eric is good with cars and has promised to help me with my van. Woohoo!

Friday, July 23, 2004


I've been drooling over a couple of goodies from Bosch lately. My drill has been living on borrowed time, so I've been researching replacements. Bosch really likes dropping their tools multiple times and recording their results. A recent test I read talked about droping their jobsite radio off a one story building, with nary a skip of the CD player.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Yestermorrow Design Build School

The Yestermorrow Design Build School is so cool! We went there last night for a talk at 7:30, and didn't get home until well after 11. I took every single piece of promotional material they had. I've been online looking at their site today and have printed out an internship application. I am definately applying! I've found what I want to do with my life. :-)

I'm going to fill out the application and bring it and the other required materials over before the week is out. They should hire me. I have a background in construction, I'm a voracious learner, I'm enthusiastic and a hard worker, and if you look up Yestermorrow Building School on Google, my blog is third on the list. If you look up just Yestermorrow Building, I'm first on the list.

Well, off to regular work for the day.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004


I played hooky from work and instead went to a 3 hour lecture on radical agriculture with Angela. Mom wrote about it over on her blog. When we got back, I picked 5 pints of raspberries...the first of the year from our patch! Tonight I'm going to a talk about handicapped accessible treehouses at the Yestermorrow building school.

I'm going to go out to read in my house and figure out what I want to do with my life next. I'll let you know when I figure it out. :-)


Monday, July 19, 2004

Domestic Goddess Part 2

I wrote this out in my house but couldn't get to bed. Came into the main house to transfer it onto the computer.
I can't sleep. It's 11:35 pm and I'm up in my loft, writing by the light of my headlamp. The radio is streaming rich jazz while outside is the sound of lush, heavy rain. I just devoured a 152 page book in a little over an hour. It's called "Plain and simple; a woman's journey to the Amish". I grabbed it on an impulse while on my way to the library checkout desk.
I've been laying here in the dark, drumming my fingers against the mattress and thinking about the book for the last half hour. In some ways I think of the author as yet another rich yuppie who's in search of a meaningful life after decades of a shallow existence...And in other ways, I can identify.

Everybody spends their life searching for meaning. I don't know what my purpose is, but I do know that I'd like to spend it having a positive impact on the people and environment around me. Lately I've been hung up on the idea of maturing into a domestic goddess. For me, that means delving more into the things derisively labeled "Home Ec".
I want to create fabulous masterpieces in the kitchen, loose myself in scrubbing the tile floor until it sparkles, wash, iron, decorate, etc. I want to create a warm, welcoming home environment. I want to heat the dinner plates beforehand, at least occasionally. I want to have a home where people kick off their shoes and feel utterly at ease. I want to spoil everybody into delighted pieces.
Some days I think it would be fun to have a whole flock of kids. Most days though, I'm pretty sure I only want one. Though if the right Italian guy with a loving, extended family came along...  When I have a kid (s?), I want to devote my time towards raising it. I don't want to have an outside job at the same time. I want to travel and do lots of interesting thing with it and the father. We'll do things like go to the zoo and makes faces at the walruses. That's a ways off yet, as I don't want a kid until I'm almost 30. There are still so many interesting things I want to do before then! And I also have to find a husband, first. Details, details!
One of my favorite quotes comes from the side of a Celestial Seasonings tea box; 
"Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but rather outward in the same direction"

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Heather's new couch

Yesterday I went yard saleing and found a magnificent masterpiece of art masquerading as a couch. Originally priced $50, I managed to get it for $12.75. It was the highlight of my day. The couch is from the 1950's and is a dark purple velvet. It comes in two pieces and when put together, is about 7 feet long. It's supremely comfy. One half is perfect for curling up in with a good book. I haven't decided where I'm putting it yet, or in what configuration.  Once I do, I'm sending a pic of it to the people who sold it to me. One of the reasons I got it cheaply was because I promised to give it a good home.
Purple and green is my favorite color combination of all time. The green on my walls is splendid with the new purple couch. I have a purple end table that will look smashing when paired with it. The green really looks pukish in these pictures when in reality it's quite nice. If you'd like to see what it looks like really, go to Wal-Mart and get the Dutch Boy colors brochure. My green is called Wasabi Taste. If for some reason you want the same color, the mixing instructions are on the back. Any paint store can use it them with any brand of paint. I bought $10/gallon Wal-Mart paint myself. My ceiling is called Golden Tan and is found in the regular paint chip section. It looks very preppy together.

What to do next?

This picture is of Steve, my ex-boyfriend from a few years ago. Right now he's working for the Maine Conservation Corps in his second year of being a crew leader. I'm so jealous! It sounds like he's having a blast. I applied for the same job a year before he did, but didn't get it. It worked out ok though, as I spent that year saving up money to go hiking from Florida to Virginia the next.
Now I'm figuring out what my next big project is going to be. I'm really drawn to the National Civilian Conservation Corps, the Peace Corps, and Habitat For Humanity.
I'm going to go think about it while I clean up my house and the surrounding area. Only 2 or 3 more weeks until my aunt, uncle, two kids, two dogs and one cat move into my place!

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Domestic Goddess

Supper last night was stuffed mushrooms and a huge salad of fresh garden greens. Afterwards I went out to my house and didn't realize I had forgotten to blog until after 9pm.

Mom sent me some links in the middle of the night after reading that I wanted to be a domestic goddess. I've already read the cookbook she sent. It's pretty good.

There's also a good book on how to be a good housekeeper.

Hmmm, blogspot isn't working today. I'll have to continue this later.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Blogger's Block

Everytime I sit down to write something these days, my mind goes blank. It's not for lack of content - so many interesting things have happened lately! Like when I pulled up to the community center to drop off tools and this car pulled in next to me.  The driver said, "Hi Heather!" I had no idea who he was... turns out he was from the Carolinas and was in the neighborhood to give me a van repair manual. He knew who I was because he recognized my face from the web. Cool! Good book, too.
Today I took Sam to her graduation from swim lessons. She has now passed the Red Cross level 4. There were a lot of wierd mothers there. They were all very shallow and had a mean edge to them. I hope I don't turn into a superficial windbag in my old age. Instead, I'd like to be a domestic goddess.  I'll write about that after supper.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Heather and her Melons

Like my melons? Not the cantelopes...
Today I experiemented with a low cut shirt and a cleavage enhancing bra. I'm not normally breast-centric, but you have to understand that I've never had any material to work with before....until this year, when I gained weight and went up almost a cup size.
It is amazing how people treated me differently when they could see my cleavage!  Men were falling all over themselves to help me, cars would stop on a dime when I crossed the street, and I received better and faster service at a number of stores.
It was funny watching people stare at my cleavage, then realize what they were doing and try to pretend they hadn't been looking. There was a really sweet and nice MRI tech at the hospital who walked mom and I out to where she was getting her test. His eyes kept wandering to my chest. He would realize what he was doing and quickly look away, somewhat embarassed. 
On a side note, you know how supermarket check-out people ask "Is plastic OK?" I always wish they would instead ask, "Paper or plastic?" So I could say, "It doesn't matter, I'm bi-sacksual" Today was the first time in years they asked the proper question. I didn't tell them I was bisacksual though, because the check-out guy had been staring at my chest the entire time. It didn't seem like the right thing to say at the moment. :-)

It's amazing how two lumps of fat that intersect to create a line on my chest can so totally affect the way people treat me. It boggles my mind!

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Bumper Stickers

My fledgling collection. Bumper stickers are an integral part of the vehicle restoration process!

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Thought for the day

"'I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.'"

--George W. Bush, to evangelist James Robinson, reported in The Guardian

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Friday, July 09, 2004


Apparently dozens of you people have been putting in the key words "Heather's butt" and other variations into multiple search engines after reading my post about it. Amusing. :-) Who knew my butt was so famous?

Last night at the library I picked up some Scientific American's, Psychology Today, Utne, and books on carpentry, the zen of making a living, and one on pilates. I want to get back into the great shape I was in last year. I also picked up some brochures on the local colleges and other interesting courses offered in the area. I'd really like to take some first aid courses this year. Time to dig up some grants and get certified as a Wilderness First Responder or a Wilderness EMT.

I'm starting to branch out more and become more sociable. It's nice having a driver's license...I can steal the car and go to interesting presentations whenever I want.'s raining today, that sounds like a good idea...

Thursday, July 08, 2004


Was planning on going to a talk/slideshow/exhibit about the Costa Rican rainforest tonight. When I got to the library, the presenter was giving off terrible, boring, ego-maniac vibes, so I spent that hour browsing the books instead. (Besides, there were no cute guys in attendence. Priorities!)

Went grocery shopping afterwards for some salad and Jane's crazy mixed up pepper. I had no idea it was that expensive! I use the stuff with abandon. My favorite is steaming 3 cups of green beans, adding half a stick of butter, and seasoning it with lots of the aforementioned pepper and crazy mixed up salt. Mmmmmmmmmmm.

Last night I buzzed mom on the intercom from my house to let her know I was back. Didn't hear anything, so I went to bed. Half an hour later I hear a big buuuuuuurrrrp over the intercom. It's the official Martin greeting. :-) I need to start answering the phone like that. Scare away some telemarketers.

Yestermorrow Building School

Last night Angela and I went to a free talk about alternative building methods such as cob and strawbale. There were lots of pretty slides and quite a crowd of cute 20-something guys.

The school is a pretty neat place. I could see myself taking some classes there. I picked up some promotional materials about the place and got a schedule of upcoming talks. Next Wednesday at 7:30 is a slideshow about stained glass. The next week, it's about handicapped accessible tree houses coast to coast. Very cool! And free. :-)

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

How people find me

Mom checks the site statistics every day. It's interesting the words that bring up our websites. My favorite search today?

Whipped and Sheared

It doesn't scare me that people find our websites through such strange searches. What does make me wonder is when people are searching for something like Heather's butt and end up staying on our site for hours, reading the many different pages.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Heather's World Relocation?

Painting my house is on hold. My aunt Liz has decided she wants to move into my house while she and her husband hunt for land in Vermont. They're moving here in a month or two, as soon as they sell their house in Arizona and pack everything up.

We're going to convert the bed in my former room into bunk beds so Sam's sister Charlotte can live in there with her. That leaves me with the option of building another dwelling to live in, or living in my van.

Speaking of my van...yesterday we had two women visit. They showed me where the bolt to loosen the tension on my drive belts was located. Woohoo! It shouldn't be too long before I'm ready to bring it in for inspection. I need to complete 15 more driving trips to qualify for cheaper insurance needs to be instated before I can bring the vehicle anywhere.

It's going to be so nice to finally have my own car! I've been collecting a bumper sticker collection for it. The other day I slapped a new one on, "Forget love, I want to fall in chocolate" :-)

Friday, July 02, 2004

Heather's grease monkey hand

Bottle of Antifreeze

Old coolant hoses

What I did today

Heather under her van

I finally have health insurance again. Woohoo! I used the opportunity to get myself put on Celexa, an anti-depressent. I've only been on it a few days but already feel sooo much better. I have energy and verve again! Things seem accomplishable!

I painted my house ceilings, have been working my butt off in the garden, and stopped being afraid of my van. Tonight I removed the coolant overflow tank, drained the radiator, replaced three coolant hoses, and scrubbed the accumulated dirt and grime off of the easily accessible frame pieces.

I did pretty good - I only spilled two cups of coolant, hit my head once, and swore three times.