Monday, December 26, 2005

New Website up and running

The new site of mine, www.heatherstars.com , is up and running. I updated the journals and pics section with two entires. Oooh la la! And so the journey begins.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I'm still alive

Has it really been since October? Gosh, I haven't been THAT tardy about updating before.

Life is busy. I've spent the past month making Mom and Brian's house like new. I'm in the home stretch ... just two more rooms to floor! And one is my bathroom...a whole 18 square feet. :-) There's some paint, molding, cabinet hanging, and neatening up to do. Eventually I'll put a new roof on, too. Undecided about when or what type.

My bike panniers are coming in the mail soon. Hooray! When I get out on the road, I'll be updating a new site: www.HeatherStars.com There'll be journals, pics, and assorted other things. Right now it's a very perfunctory site - just a few words here and there, and a gear list.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Heather's Grand Bicycling Adventure

Oh yeah, I never said what I plan to do. Well....

Mom and I are heading down to Florida the first week of November. We'll be meeting Brian (Mom's Fiance) in Disney World and having fun there for a few days. We'll celebrate my birthday on December 1st, in between me laying down a new hardwood floor in their house. On the 3rd they'll be getting married, then I'll be house sitting while they're on their honeymoon. Once they get back, I'm taking off.

I'm riding my Cannondale T800 bike from Florida to California via some warm, southern roads. I haven't figured out my exact route yet, or what I'll be doing for fun and excitement along the way. There are a bunch of National parks I want to see, and maybe I'll go into the big city of San Antonio to explore. I want to see Alpine, Texas again because I remember it as being a really beautiful place in the middle of nowhere when we visited it years and years ago.
I'm making a website about my whole adventure, and I'll tell you what the address is once I've got everything figured out and in a nice, neat format.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Toby the big red van is gone


Heather under the hood

I found a new home for my van. A nice couple from New Jersey came up yesterday to buy it. I was kind of sad to see my van motor off without me. I learned so much about mechanics from working on it!

After getting the bill of sale notorized in town and waving bye to the people who bought Toby, I took my new bike into the local sports store. I spent 2 hours in there drooling and getting a bunch of new bike goodies installed. Clipless pedals, an under the saddle bag, tube of lube, headlight, tail light, frame pump, water bottle cage, and cycle computer. I also had a couple of spare spokes made just in case. Turns out they have a fancy spoke-making machine in the basement. They let me go down there to pick out shoes for my new pedals...WOW the place is huge! The underground section of the store takes up almost the entire city block. I had no idea the place was so big!

Everybody working there was slightly jealous as they wished me luck on my trip. I'm going to be sending them postcards along the way. I'm so excited! I can't wait to get out there on the open road. :-)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Vermont Homestead for sale

Mom put up a site detailing about our homestead for sale. You can find it here.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

What next for Heather?

The next few months are going to be busy. Mom and I are going to spend them cleaning the entire house and land, paring down our belongings to the nth degree. Once the homestead sells and everything else is in order, she's moving to Florida.

What will I do? I want to save money and eventually buy land and build a cool new house. It'll be a few years though. Also, today I went to my doc. He's going to take out the wires and some screws from my arm in December. I need to do everything that requires any strength between now and then. As soon as I hit the operating table, I'm not allowed/won't be able to do hardly anything for a few months. After my appointment this morning I went to a Barnes and Noble to look at their house building books. I want to build something really cool this time around.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Smoothies on Martha's Vineyard

I was reading my blog and realized I never wrote about going to Martha's Vineyard! Once again, I was having too much fun.

We all took the ferry over from Hyannis to Oak Bluffs. We drove off the ferry via a really cool old dock that was constructed of thick wooden beams and a wooden planked deck. Navigating through the cramped streets lined with shops full of tourist trinkets and overpriced but delicious food, we pointed the van inland. Masses of tourists and buildings gave way to a gently rolling, narrow road flanked by old stone fences.

After setting up the smoothie booth at the mostly empty fairgrounds, we packed our towels and headed to one of the many beaches. The weather was beautiful. Sunny, warm, with a constant sea breeze. We drove around, checked out the cliffs at Aquinnah, and took some pictures of lighthouses.

Once the fair started on Thursday, we were pretty busy all the way through. On Sunday we finally ran out of fruit 40 minutes before the fair officially closed. As soon as it did, we all hopped into the van and headed for town. That night we went to a fancy restraunt called Jimmy Sea's. They go there every year after the fair is through and treat themselves to a big dinner, hang the cost! Paula had puttanesca, Michael the fruit of the sea, Jesse some butternut squash ravioli, and I, the shrimp butter cream. We each had a drink from the bar, and no dessert. The tab came to $150. Figuring $200 was a nice round number, Michael gave our waiter a $50 tip. Even through I wasn't the one paying, I have to say that the dinner and experience were worth it. It was such a treat to eat at a place like that. The food was delicious, and the portions were absolutely huge. We ended up taking them in a cooler to the beach the next day and stuffing ourselves to the gills again.

The last day on the Island, we were able to go to a resident's only beach, thanks to a friend of Michael's who let us in. We spent the entire day baking in the sand, playing games, eating, and surfing the waves on a body board. I spent hours out in the ocean catching waves, and came back home a brilliant red from head to toe.

All in all, a great working vacation.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Life in General

Gosh, I've been such a bad blogger this year! I never seem to find the time to get online and update this thing unless I'm in a wicked bad mood and need to vent. The blog has been very therapuetic that way... like when I heard through the grapevine that some company called up John Christman and mentioned my blog to him. From what I hear, John is really pissed and looking for a way to "Get even" with me. I also hear that he's still treating his employees like crap. He's really digging himself deep.

I've been having fun being gainfully unemployed! I'm finally getting the garden and homestead all ship-shape for winter, before the snow starts to fall. Soon I need to enter the work world. In between schlepping wood and preparing the garden for snow, I've been searching for a good winter job. I've narrowed it down to either outdoor recreation or something to do with baking. Any good job leads?

I'm off for a nice Sunday drive with Jesse.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Car troubles

Yesterday mom and I took my old van grocery shopping. I hadn't driven it in a long time, ever since I bought my Toyota 4runner. It was just like old times .... on the way home, the van died. The starter motor kicked the bucket in the parking lot of the general store 1 1/2 miles from our house. Of course I didn't have any of the 4 fix-it manuals for the van with me, so mom had to tell me what to do, based on her foggy memory of what fixing her junker cars was like back in the old days.

Finding the starter took awhile. Instead of being near the front of the engine, GM thought it better to stick the thing in the middle of the car, behind the wheelwell. I had to lay on my back in the middle of a fairly deep puddle to finally get to it. Mom neglected to tell me the starter would start sparking and whirring around like crazy once I got the screwdriver wedged in there. Eeek!

Luckily the thing started and we made it back home. I'm going to buy a new starter for $47.99 and hopefully everything will work out ok. If only I were as lucky with my Toyota 4runner...

Yesterday I had the 'yoda set up to go in for a brake job and inspection. When I went out that morning to drive it there, the thing wouldn't start. It's never not started before! It would turn over just fine, but wouldn't actually start. The battery was fine, and I couldn't find a reason for it not to start. I had to call the garage and have them tow it there. A few hours later they called me back to say it would cost $800 to $1,000 to fix my car up to inspectable shape, and they didn't think it was worth it. Noooooooo!!!

Being poor sucks. You only have enough money at one time to buy a $1,000 or under car, then it keeps falling apart and needing massive amounts of money. (sigh) Too bad bike season is swiftly coming to an end...I could just bike to work, if I had a job...

Speaking of job, have you checked out Google yet? Now when you type in "John Christman Construction" , my blog entries about what a crappy business he runs are the third and forth link. Take THAT, you scum sucking pig. :-)

Ahhh, now I feel better.

Anybody want to buy a 1986 Toyota 4runner as a parts car? Everything solid except the frame and back brakes. :-) Only 116k miles...

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Smoothies

I'm off doing smoothies. Be back on Monday or so...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Why I was fired

I don't know why I was fired ... When I asked John why, he looked surprised and said "I'm tired of your attitude of always moping around, and I'm not going to pay you to *expletive* draw on things".

Well gee, nobody has ever accused me of being mopey on the job. As for drawing on things? I drew an electrical meter on the side of the new garage to let the homeowner know exactly where to install a new one, and I drew a sun on a rafter after one of the foremen doodled a sun on his portion of the rafter while we were both holding it. Uh oh, better watch out!

A while back, I wrote on my timesheet to let John know I'd be taking a week off to travel out of state and work for smoothies. More than a week went by, and I hadn't heard anything. The next week one of the foremen told me that John had been talking about letting me go because he didn't want me to take time off. He said that if I wanted to keep my job, I should show up for work the next Monday instead of taking it off like I had said I would. So I showed up on Monday. John didn't say anything. I showed up on Tuesday. Still nothing. I worked 2 hours on Wednesday, then John showed up and promptly fired me, giving me his lame excuse. Bastard! How rude to fire me even after I came in the week I wasn't supposed to be there.

It's one thing to be a jerk. It's another to be so vindictive that he decided to fire me, without warning, after coming into work for 3 straight days after the date I wasn't originally going to be there.

His actions speak loudly of his character. (Or lack thereof.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

John Christman Construction

It has been 1 hour and 30 minutes since I was fired from my job as a carpenter at John Christman Construction. I burst into tears on the way home, but now I'm coming to terms with it. I've never been fired from a job before...it's a wierd feeling.

I'm actually glad it happened, because I've been thinking of quitting for a while now. I was getting really uncomfortable with being associated with John Christman. The work was getting shoddier by the job, the tools we worked with were defective and dangerous, and John didn't treat his employees very well.

John's brother Bob runs one of the crews. Bob made so many mistakes it was embarassing to work with him. The garage I was working on this morning when I was fired is a good example. For starters, Bob didn't make sure the garage foundation was square before he poured it. It came out so unsquare that the walls aren't even fully on the foundation, and the bolts that go through the wall to attach it to the foundation are too close to the edge, causing a multitude of problems.

It just goes on from there.... door openings too small for the doors, walls not lining up with the existing building, etc, etc. Not something I want my reputation to be associated with.

When I started working for John Christman, I would ask people I knew what they had heard of him. It wasn't good. I should have known...

Sunday, August 07, 2005

What's new

Time flies!

My last post mentioned I went in for a job interview. Well, I got the job and have been working there full-time since, as carpenter. I'll refer to my boss as John Doe, the company as John Doe Construction, Inc. The pay isn't great, but it's been fairly steady work. Myself and the rest of the crew have become increasingly restless and irritated at our rate of pay and how the company is run.

John Doe owns a shiny new Hummer, a Toyota 4x4 truck with a massive lift kit and all sorts of optional accessories like off-road lights, another lifted 4x4 jeep, a brand new sports car with Hemi for his wife, a new tractor, a backhoe, a powerboat, big travel trailer, a big house and new garage/workshop across the street, several different properties, etc etc.

Our construction crew works with dilapidated and non-OSHA approved tools such as a chop saw with no safety blade quard, a table saw you have to turn on with a nail (Even worse, you have to prod the internal switch with this nail to get it to stop...not something you can do very quickly in case of an emergency), etc etc. We have a couple of cordless drills, but never seem to have the batteries that go with them.

Last week the boss bought yet another new truck. It's a quad cab, but is just for John's use. We get to use his wife's old truck as the company rig...enough room for two plus a midget in the back. Some of us found the invoice for the new truck - $35,000. That amount of money would buy an awful lot of working, safe construction tools, ladders that aren't duct-taped together, or even a little raise for his workers.

I started at $9 an hour. I'm up to $11, which is still less than my very first construction job with a company 3 years ago. Everybody else is paid within a few dollars of what I'm getting .... even one of the foremen, whom is worth oodles more. All of us peons are just bankrolling John's lifestyle. John has been through a lot of people just while I've been there. He can't hold on to people because of the crappy wages and inefficient way he runs the company.

Monday should be interesting. The rumbling of discontent is getting stronger every day.

Friday, August 05, 2005

New posting

I'm going to start posting again soon. I have a lot to catch up on! Stay tuned...

Friday, April 29, 2005

Heather and Jesse are back

We've been back in VT for a couple of weeks now. I finally got around to reading all of my mail. Jeez, there's lots of it! It will take me a while to write back to everybody.

Right now Jesse and I are looking for some good jobs. We were working for a friend of his, helping build his house up in the northeast kingdom. That money tided us over for a little bit, but now we're broke again. Unfortunately part of the reason we have no money is because somebody else we worked for screwed us over. We'll have to sue if they don't cough up the money they owe us soon.

I'm slowly easing back into carpentry. My arm is still sore, but it's healing nicely. Only one of the breaks isn't completely healed...but the doc says I'm doing A+ and my progress is amazing. My bad arm is only 2 or 3 degrees off of normal when I try to straighten it out. In two months I see him again to talk about which hardware to take out. The 6 1/2" long screw is coming out, as are one or two of the plates. They took some more x-rays while I was there, which I used to gross out other people in the waiting room.

Overall life is going pretty good. I'm looking forward to making some money! I really want to get serious about saving it to buy my own land sometime in the next couple of years.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Ticks

Yesterday I went to browse the magazines after updating my blog, leaving Jesse alone with the computers. When he came to find me later that evening (I was in the photography section) he bounced over with a sly smile and announced he had made an executive decision...We were going to stay at a motel that night. He had been looking up Ocala area places to stay and found some good ones.

Weird. I never stay in motels. It sounded like an excellent idea though, what with the hot showers, the big beds, etc...Especially considering neither of us had washed up in at least a week. We ended up going to Howard Johnsons and splurging $40 for a room. We fell asleep sprawled across the bed, watching tv. How weird to catch up on the news after so long of not paying attention to it!

This morning I found a tick on Jesse. We've been staying in national forests for weeks now, and the first time he gets a tick, it's in a motel room. It definitely wasn't there last night...

So now we're in the Ocala library again, updating and researching places to go. Merle Fest has been nixed in favor of just slowly working our way back up to Vermont, enjoying our money while it lasts. We're going to buy tickets to Grey Fox instead, which happens in New York state in July. It includes camping and is almost/just as cool as Merle Fest.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Marion County

Ahhhh, yet another air conditioned, cool library. This one is the Marion County headquarters library in Ocala, Florida. It's huge! They have over 40 computers here. Lots of great books and magazines, too.

Jesse and I stopped by to read our mail and perhaps do a little catch-up on blogging. While in Ocala and on the way here, we stopped at a natural foods mart to get some soymilk. When we got back into the jeep, it wouldn't start! No turnover or anything....

This jeep has been through two starters already with the previous owner. We tried some trouble shooting in the parking lot and were figuring that was probably what the problem was. Since it's a stick, we tried to pop the clutch. After 5-10 minutes of pushing the jeep up and down the small incline in the parking lot and having no luck, this army guy comes out of the local recruitment center to give us a hand. He helps us wiggle the starter, bang on the battery cables, etc. We figure out that the problem is corroded battery clamps. Get the thing started and drive to a auto place, replace the clamps and get some duct tape to fix a hose problem. Woohoo, nothing too serious! Man, what a workout though ... I was the one pushing the jeep most of the time.

Our jeep now sports a holstein cow that's J B welded to the hood. You can wiggle the whole car by moving the cow. It looks dashing riding up front, above the pretty green Vermont license plate. We've gotten several smiles and comments over it already. A couple of little old black ladies walked by and admired the cow, saying they had salt and pepper shakers like that once.

This entry is a little bit disjointed because I only have a few minutes in which to compose it. Dang time limits.

Jesse and I are figuring out what to do next. So many possibilities! We've been bumping around the cheap campgrounds in Ocala for awhile now, now we're thinking of doing the free campground route, or perhaps moving upstate or even to Georgia for a different change of pace.

I'm starting to get a little mopey at the onset of hiking season. I want to be out there! There was an AT/FT hiker staying at Lake Delancy campground the past few days. Great charecter to talk to! Turns out he had run into my mother while she was doing the whole trail angel thing in Tennesse when I was out hiking that year. Maybe I'll do the LT again this spring...

I hope to run into some hikers when we get up to the smoky mountains. Part of the reason I got J B Weld for the cow instead of superglue is because I left my backpacking stove at home and figured I could make an alcohol soda can stove with it...something you can't do with superglue. That way I could go backpacking for a little bit while I'm up there.

Time to go,

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Ocala

Ahhhh, just came in to the air conditioned coolness of the Umatilla library from getting our pictures developed at the local Walgreens. The lady there really admired our pictures and said we ought to go pro. This batch was of the Everglades and all of the wildlife we encountered. Lots of good bird pics and alligators.

Yesterday we drove up to Ocala National Forest from lake Okeechobee and camped at Lake Dorr. It's a pretty NF campground conveniently located right off the main drag. (Route 19) Today we went to town (Umatilla) to get soup, fresh greenery and ice for the cooler. We're going to chill out somewhere in the forest for a few days, finally organize the jeep, and catch up on writing in our personal journals. Then it's off to one of the springs for snorkeling and canoeing!

Camping is cheap here, usually $5 - $6 a night. Quite the nice change of pace from the $100 a night we had to shell out for camping in the Keys! The really scary part about that is that was the cheapest option available. Camping at other places was even higher, not to mention what the motels got away with charging...

They say if you really want to know someone, go camping or on a road trip together. Jesse and I have been doing both for a month now and haven't killed each other yet. Quite the opposite, really. So for all of those guys who keeping applying to be my boyfriend...that's really sweet of you and I'm flattered, but I'm quite taken at the moment.

Anyhoo, we'll be working our way up the coast pretty soon here. Merle Fest is in less than a month! North Carolina, here we come!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

In Southern Florida

This post is coming to you from the southeastern tip of Lake Ochechobee in the South Bay library. We stopped off here on the way to camp for the night to check our mail and download applications for Merle Fest.

After we left Susan's house, we went to the Everglades. Saw lots of alligators and even more mosquitos. Went looking for a place to camp on Key Largo and ended up driving all the way to Key West before we were successful. Gosh, the place gets super, super, SUPER packed on Easter weekend! Stayed two nights, then drove back up to Long Key state park. Pretty primitive sites along a boardwalk and the ocean.

Now we're headed to Ocala for the cooler temps and fewer people. Lately it's been in the 80's and 90's. Ick! Sure beats freezing back at home though. :-) When it gets to hot here, we just jump into the ocean with our snorkeling gear.

Time to leave...my 30 minutes are up.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Fun in Florida!

Jesse and I have finished work here at the evil stepmothers house, and are off to start enjoying the real Florida. Remind me never to work for family again, even if it is a pseudo relationship. Blech!

Mom and us have been packing our respective vehicles all morning. She just walked in to find me writing this blog. "Give me a beer, I need to take a sip, Heather's actually updating!"

We just finished lunch, now it's time to hit the road. I'll try to update within a week.

Monday, March 14, 2005

This is the mother speaking :-)

Personally, I'm REAL tired of signing on only to find Update Central still there! Now that Heather is blissed out with her new boyfriend and being in Florida, you might want to check my blog for updates and pics....

http://journals.aol.com/wsm311/WendyUsuallyWanders/

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Update Central

Working at Sugarbush degenerated from a fun sociological experiment with ski benefits, into an experience not unlike banging my head against a concrete wall for 9 hours a day. The bosses just got crankier through the season while the bureaucratic bullshit piled higher and deeper.

On Thursday night Jesse and I watched the movie Office Space. It's about a cubicle dweller who gets sick of his idiot boss and just stops coming into work. I had had my fill of Sugarbush and didn't want to come in on Friday, especially since Jesse had that day off... so that morning I called the lift ops office and talked to one of our bosses. I said,

"Hi Ben! This is Heather. Last night I watched the movie Office Space, and this morning I had some really great sex with Jesse. So yeah... I just don't feel like coming into work today. Bye!"

I heard Ben gasp "Oh my God!" followed by shocked silence. I hung up and collapsed into laughter.

That day Jesse and I drove up to the Northeast Kingdom to visit his friends who had built two really cool houses up there. The friends were having a get together later that night. Jesse and I really wanted to stay, but that would mean leaving either really late or really early the next morning to make it back to work. Neither option seemed palatable...so we decided on a coin toss. Heads up we quit work, tails, we go back. The toss came up heads, quit work. We both looked at each other - then decided on doing two out of three. The next toss was tails. The third and final toss ......... Heads. I looked at Jesse and smiled. YES! You just can't argue with a coin toss.... :-)

That night I got to meet a bunch of their friends and munch on yummy food. We all stayed up late talking and listening to music. Jesse and I slept on their futon couch while a couple of other people slept upstairs, and a couple more shared the big dog bed with Freedom, the dog. That morning we all enjoyed a leisurely breakfast. Jesse and I were a bit in shock, wondering what we were going to do now, and enjoying the feeling of not having to go back to the evil Sugarbush.

We've got it figured out now. We're going to try and sell a bunch of our stuff, then run away to Florida in his jeep. I'd love to take Toby instead, but my car insurance is due in a couple of weeks and I don't have the $324 to spend. We don't have much money between us, but we're undoubtable going to have a great time. Jesse has never been to Florida! It's going to be wonderful to show him all the cool places mom and I have traveled to over the years.

We're leaving within the week, hopefully. Today we're spending getting all of his things together. Tomorrow we tackle my room, then outfitting his jeep for traveling. Then off to Saint J to visit his mom and say goodbye, then Florida, here we come!

We'll go down to Naples to visit my mom and Susan. Explore the Everglades and the Keys. Soak up the sun, sand, and fresh fruit. We'll need to find jobs, or at least rob a bank. We have the gas money to get down there and a stash of food. We'll figure out the rest as we go.

This is so exciting! I'm oozing happiness to have found somebody I can travel, talk, go on crazy adventures, somebody to share life with. Yummy!

Friday, February 11, 2005

Insomnia

I can't sleep. Today is the day I go back to work from my two days off. I spent my days off futzing around the house, then yesterday I woke up at 4am and decided to go to Burlington. When I walked out to Toby, the plow was just barely going by. We must have gotten at least 8 inches overnight.

There were people strewn off the highway everywhere. I spent a lot of time going 40 mph. As daylight crept over the mountains, it revealed a fresh white snowscape. Everything was coated in wet powder. The power lines sagged over the road, the pine boughs bent to the trunks.

It feels like a new chapter in life has started. The constant rain two days ago cleared the air, then the snow unified everything under its monochromatic blanket.

Things with Jesse are swell. When skiers getting on my lift ask how I'm doing, I reply, "Peachy keen!" I'm just so happy all the time. Life with Jesse seems open to so many possibilities. I find myself staring at him lost in space, feeling like I've known him my entire life...utterly comfortable. I haven't yet found anything major I don't like about him. So far he hasn't found any of my major skeletons either. Heh heh heh.

Yesterday I stopped by the mountain and rode up the lift to midstation where he was. Gave him some hot cocoa, a clementine, and stole kisses when nobody was watching.

When I came off the mountain I went to a local garage to have my muffled tightened. It had shaken loose courtesy of a snowbank I happened to run over while in Burlington. I had crawled underneath to tighten it up myself, but needed the torque of some air tools. When Toby was in the shop, I had them install the power steering belt I hadn't gotten around to, change the oil and the fuel filter, and look at where my seat was bolted in. They ended up welding the muffler to the piece of pipe that had come off it. Lets see it try to shake loose now! The guys at the Sugarbush Service station were really nice and reasonable. All this took about an hour and cost $60.61.

Last night Jesse and I got dressed up for the heck of it. He wore his bright red pants, pretty white hemp shirt with silver buttons, black hemp vest, and green John Deere baseball hat. I wore the embroidered skirt he had gotten me, a blue crushed velvet shirt, silver dangly earrings and my tiara. Once we got dudded up we decided to go out to eat. A lot of smiles were cast our way.

Time to go get back in bed. I need sleep for work today!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The amazing dissapearing Heather

Hi again. Long time no blog. Bad Heather, bad!

Driving home from work last night I was craving something sweet. I made a deal with myself - if there was a parking space in front of La Brioche, I'd buy something. What luck! There was a swath of 4 parking spaces in a row right outside the door. This never happens, especially during rush hour. I took it as a divine sign and bought a rich and gooey creme brule. I got it to go and drove with my knees through downtown, cradling the container in one hand while eating it from my titanium spork in the other.

This morning I awoke with dreams of rich custards dancing through my head. I actually slept in till 7:30! Peter left for work so I had an entire house to play in by myself. I spent the morning tearing apart my room in pursuit of a w-2 form I had put someplace safe and hadn't seen since. Listened to a couple cds from Banjo Dan And The Midnite Plowboys, Zap Mama, and The Bluegrass Gospel Project. Was in a southern mood from the bluegrass and celebrated by frying up a batch of crispy corn fritters. Finger lickin' good!

Cleaned out my van and rigged up a new sound system for it using a portable cd player and the old speakers from the computer. With the subwoofer on, it sounds as good as any car stereo.

I did a bunch of other cool and exciting things, but I don't feel like sharing. I'm entering a phase of wanting to fully savor the events that happen to me and not go writing about them in such a public space. I have a thing against people knowing too much about me. I know that sounds strange coming from a person who has so many web pages about different facets of their life...but this blog is different. It's been more about personal thoughts and feelings, instead of events or projects, like the rest of the web presence has been.

I do have to keep this updated though, so mom can read it and know I'm still alive. Even before she ran off to Florida, we used each other's blogs as a way of communicating with each other. Lately she's been complaining I don't write enough.

It's time for both of us to grow up. I need to learn to be my own person, shape a life for myself, and she needs to learn to take her pills on time :-)

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Why Sugarbush Sucks

The bastards at Sugarbush hotlisted my pass yesterday! I was all bouncy and ready to go skiing yesterday when I found out. Being hotlisted means your pass comes up as invalid when it gets scanned by a ticket checker. Mine said I was a "Safety Violator". The powers that be don't want me to be skiing on the mountain, even if it is my day off.

I don't see how they can legally do that. Everybody who buys a ticket agrees to not hold Sugarbush responsible for any injury and/or death that results from that activity. It's no different for employees, especially employees there on their day off. So they don't want me skiing with a broken arm ... that's nice, but it doesn't seem like they're able to legally stop me. If they wanted to disallow me because of my injury, they'd have to also bar everybody else with injuries - or it would be unfair discrimination. I know of lots of people who ski/board while injured, in casts, etc. Not the smartest thing I know, but it's legal. The whole Sugarbush policy seems fishy to me.

At least I got in one ski run the day before. :-) That morning I tripped while going into the lift shack and fell on my broken arm. They sent me for x-rays at the clinic at Lincoln Peak to make sure everything was still ok....which it was. Nothing bent or out of place. When I got back to my side of the mountain, I took one run down on skis before resuming work. Ahhhhh.....it was so nice!

Well after getting hotlisted, I spent the day driving around and goofing off instead. Bought a bunch of fresh, yummy food. Went over to Jesse's house that night and made us fettucine alfredo, sauteed carrots in butter and drizzled with maple syrup, and a salad of baby greens, bell peppers, farmer cheese, and all sorts of other yummy things.

Today Jesse and I have the day off. I made us brunch of french toast with fresh strawberries and vanilla whipped cream. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Supper? We'll see.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Tension

Every morning I zip up the access road to Sugarbush at 50 miles per, mind buzzing with ideas and possibilities. I enter my shack, practically quivering with excitement. Then work starts, and I have to put my zest on the back burner. Those ideas bubble up, ferment, just itch to get out and be free. These are ideas on everyday life, to say nothing of those ones involving you know who. The latter are particuarly ummmmm....insert your adjective here.

(Footnote ... I just walked into the kitchen and asked Jesse how much I was allowed to write about him. I got the green light! So long as I don't embarass him too much.)

Speaking of embarrass - Sugarbush employees get the weekly newletter, "Beat Around The Bush". This week's issue has an I Spy column. I don't have it on me, so I'll paraphrase. Basically it says "I spy a jeep driving, snowboarding lifty following a broken-armed fellow lifty out of the parking lot. Is it love?" We haven't figured out who placed it yet. :-)

Anyhoo, I'm over at Jesse's house again tonight. We just came up from his studio in the basement, where he's been painting and I've been writing for the past 2+ hours. Read some things about the dada philosophy. Feel like I'm going to burst out of my skin again. Gahhhhh!!!! Too much pent up energy! How to spend it, what to do.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Jesse

Soooo....about Jesse. Jesse says I'm not allowed to write about him anymore on my blog. Currently I'm over at his house hanging out after a fun filled day at work and evening with him. But you don't get to hear about it, because Jesse prefers to remain annonymous. :-)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Still At Work...

Not much new. Still going to work, still enjoying it, still broken. I've made an entire zoo of origami animals to keep myself amused in the lift shack.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Lift operations

The first few days back at Sugarbush have been fun. Everybody does a double take when they see me and say "Wow! Didn't you break your arm? Where's your cast?" Then I show them my 13 inch long scar from surgery and wait for them to utter the inevitable "EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!"

Work has been ridiculously easy. All I'm allowed to do now is to push buttons. No flipping chairs, raking the ramp, or any of the other fun things. I'm still sitting around bored like I was at home, but at least I'm getting paid for it. To make up for the boredom I'm starting to come out of my shell and have longer conversations with my fellow lifties.

One of those lifties is a guy named Jesse. On Thursday Jesse and I spent the day working together for the first time. I had to leave early for a physical therapy appointment...but we bumped into each other again down at the Waitsfield post office later that afternoon.

I finally went to bed after midnight. Jesse and I had caught a movie called "The Corporation" at the Eclipse Theater, explored his studio and the rest of the house, listened to him play guitar (I wish I were that talented!), and stayed up late talking. He's been the first person in a long time that actually knew what spanikopita was when I asked. Mmmmmmm.....

Also exciting that evening was when I was describing my van to Jesse's dad. He said "Hmm, are you the one in the paper?" and whipped out a copy of the Village Reporter. Inside was a picture of my van! Somebody had taken it while I was parked at Sugarbush.

Now I'm home for my days off. Time to go on a baking spree! I have a bunch of peanut butter cookie dough chilling in the fridge. I think I'll make brownies too.

Earlier today I crawled underneath my van to tighten up the exhaust. It had gotten loose awhile back when I got stuck in a snowbank coming out of the driveway. Now it purrs quietly, but it's harder to start.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Work as a lift operator

I'll update sometime this weekend...Saturday and Sunday are my days off. So much fun stuff! Last night was pretty cool - Jesse (another lift op) and I went to see a movie over at the Eclipse theater. Fun fun!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Doctor suggestions

Any suggestions for funny things to try and get the surgeon to write on the note authorizing me to go back to work?

Doctor's Note

On Friday I went to my general practitioner to get a note saying I could go back to work. She wrote on the prescription pad:

"Heather can resume work as a lift operator @ Sugarbush. No heavy lifting. For complete recuperation, Heather needs physical therapy in the form of feeling Dave Forward's hairy chest at least once a week."

Dave is my boss. :-) The powers that be at Sugarbush thought the note was a hoot. They asked if Dave himself had written it. Well, one of my bosses was all set to take me back to work on Saturday. When we went to talk to the guy in charge of employee safety, he nixed me working until I got a note from the surgeon who did the work ... just in case. My appointment is on Monday.

I hope Dave is getting teased mercilessly about the note. I'm not there, somebody has to do it for me :-)

How many does it take to change a lightbulb?

I grew up Unitarian. It's so true :-)

Charismatic: Only 1 - Hands are already in the air.

Pentecostal: 10 - One to change the bulb, and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.

Presbyterians: None - Lights will go on and off at predestined times.

Roman Catholic: None - Candles only. (Of guaranteed origin of course.)

Baptists: At least 15 - One to change the light bulb, and three committees to approve the change and decide who brings the potato salad and fried chicken.

Episcopalians: 3 - One to call the electrician, one to mix the drinks, and one to talk about how much better the old one was.

Mormons: 5 - One man to change the bulb, and four wives to tell him how to do it.

Unitarians: We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey you have found that light bulbs work for you, you are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your light bulb for the next Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, 3-way, long-life and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.

Methodists: Undetermined - Whether your light is bright, dull, or completely out, you are loved. You can be a light bulb, turnip bulb, or tulip bulb. Bring a bulb of your choice to the Sunday lighting service and a covered dish to pass.

Amish: What’s a light bulb?

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Van conversion

It snowed today! By tomorrow morning I should be able to look out the window and see 6 inches of new powder. Woohoo! Hmmm, maybe I should go skiing... :-)

Tomorrow I go to the Doctor and try to wheedle out a note that says I can go back to work. If I get one, I'm driving to Sugarbush to drop it off, talk to everybody, and get myself inserted back into the schedule. I'll also do some locker decorating and give everybody homemade peanut butter cookies.

Today I made a huge collage of my favorite pictures to put on the outside of my locker. I'll look at it and be reminded every day of what I want in life. I have pics of various trips I've taken over the years, my van, pets, house, etc. I'm wondering what sort of decoration I can get away with in the lift shack? I'm going to tack up a United States map for starters...

Decorating my van has been a slow process. Most of the curtains are now installed, the parquet floor is dry-laid and the storage system is coming together. When/if it gets warm again, I'm hauling out the goop to lay my floor for real. What will I do with myself once it's finished?

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Ski resort

Today I drove to Waitsfield to visit Sugarbush. It was great to see everybody again! They were all surprised to see me. I spent three hours hanging out at various lift shacks talking to my fellow lifties, even riding up the chairlift to say hi to a couple of people up there. I also painted the interior of my locker in prep for moving back into it. Tonight I'm going to design a collage of my pictures for the exterior.

It's nice to be able to move my right arm again! I was able to put on and take off my jacket, albiet very slowly. I kept grossing everybody out by showing them my incision. Great reactions :-)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Local Library

This week mom has a series of appointments at the hospital to be massaged and wrapped up like a mummy. I'm a mile away at the regional library, amusing myself with the books and computers.

I've had a library card here since before I can remember. Not much has changed in those years....The walls are still adorned with the same 80's era posters promoting reading. The place has the same musty, old book smell. Even the librarians are all the same.

One of the things I like about this library is they don't have any late fees. It's something I appreciate today, having just returned two books that were due on November 29th. Oops. Time to go check out some more!


Monday, January 03, 2005

Sugarbush

Sugarbush was an eye opening experience for the 20 days I was there. It started in the mornings, when my eyes would snap open at 4am, never fail. I'd poke my nose out from under the 7 blankets to check the clock and temperature. It was always the same - too cold!

I slept in my van in various parking lots on resort property on the nights I didn't feel like driving the hour home. I ended up there most of the time. I usually slept in one of the condominium lots at the Lincoln peak area. In the morning I'd roll out of bed and drive the 1/2 a mile to the gym. It opened at 6:30am on the weekdays. I'd go in in my pajamas, take a long, hot shower, and get into my bathing suit. I'd crank up the sauna, then go for a splash in the pool and whirlpool. Laze around in the sauna to dry off, then into my work clothes. I had to be at work at 7 or 8, depending on the schedule that day.

I'm going to gloss over work here for awhile. I'm more interested in reliving the inter personal soap opera that was going on. What a show! It seemed like everybody was kissing and/or having sex with everybody else...Even the people who were married to others. I hadn't realized the magnitude of my goody-two-shoesness until I listened to the stories people had to tell, and really watched eveybody in action. I personally never did anything...Except tease one of my bosses, Dave.

Dave is in his late 30's and has a reputation of trying to get into the pants of every female at the ski area. Who knows how often he succeeds. I'm betting quite a bit. When I arrived, I became Dave's next project. Poor Dave, he never had a chance...But boy was he fun to tease! One evening we were out at the local bar playing pool, when a lady asked if he was my father. Dave couldn't live it down the rest of the evening. Well, the next morning I came into work, put my hair back in barrettes, and assumed my most innocent looking face. I clutched my teddy bear to my chest, stood in the doorway of his office and said... "Daddy? I had a bad dream last night. Can you do something to make me feel better?" Dave turned bright red. Everybody else in the locker room thought it was a hoot. :-)

I miss the fun I had at Sugarbush. Working the lifts allowed me to have a lot of contact with people from all over. I became less shy, more cheery and outgoing. It's hard not to when your job is to greet people and make them feel welcome! I also discovered the pleasures of a perfectly raked ramp. It was soothing to be out there making a great ramp, lost in the patterns of the steel rake and my thoughts. I had a loooooot of time to think.
I need some more time to think to figure out what to do next.

My former lift shack

Back of my van, with candles

Lifts in the mist

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Heather's World Updates

I'm back at home after three days at the hospital for my broken arm. I now have 3 steel plates and various screws holding them in, and one 5 1/2 inch long screw lengthwise in the bone. Surgery took 8+ hours. The docs sliced me from upper arm to below the elbow and peeled back the skin and muscles to rearrange eveything inside. I have a bunch of interesting looking bruises.

I'm adjusting to life as a lefty and one-handed typer. My arm is slowly getting better, but it will be a long time before I can do much with it. Time to start thinking about tame jobs to do for a living, at least until I'm completely healed up. Any suggestions?