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


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


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.


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!


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


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 if you or someone you know would like it.

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


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.


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


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