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


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.


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...

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

He never got married
He was always telling stories
He loved green pastures

His first name was Jesus
He was bilingual
He was always being harassed by the authorities

He talked with his hands
He had wine with every meal
He worked in the building trades

He called everybody "brother"
He liked Gospel
He couldn't get a fair trial

He never cut his hair
He walked around barefoot
He started a new religion

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...


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


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. :-)


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.


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 try on others and see if they fit.


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


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. :-)