Monday, October 27, 2008

Photography and My Lack of Talent

I've been thinking a lot about taking pictures. I'm a little miffed at myself for not picking up my camera this weekend. I had a beautiful three-day visit from my neice, Thea, and then Jay, Hank, and I went on a great hike at Mt. Grace State Forest on a crisp and sunny fall day. And I didn't take a single picture. What is wrong with me?

I love taking pictures but feel like I'm just taking nothing-special snapshots with my camera. I don't have a fancy camera - it's actually second-hand - but I like it. I've been thinking of taking a digital photography class and then started thinking about the pictures I have taken. These are the cream of the crop - at least to me.

I'm sure if someone with a tiny bit of photography knowledge would declare these the work of an ameteur, but so be it...

Happy Birthday Hank!

Today is a special day! It is Hank's Birthday! Hank is 2 years old today! I love my Hank!

And today Becky got her new puppy! So now Hank has a new cousin. The puppy is 9 weeks old and is a girl Black Lab named Marley. I can't wait to meet her!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bag Tag

So I was reading someone else's blog - no one I know in real life, just a random. And I came across the Bag Tag. This is really timely because I've been right about to clean out my purse for about a month now. Here's my motivation!
Horrible confession - My purse has about 3 pounds of loose change on the bottom of it. I've been using Jay's money all weekend, claiming I didn't have any. I had $0.42 in my wallet change purse. That's all I thought I had. In reality I had $10.31 in my purse. How embarassing!

Now, on to the tag. Here are the instructions:

1. Show photograph of your bag/ purse and it's entire contents.

2. You are not allowed to edit contents before photographing!

3. List the contents and give descriptions.

4. Bag tag your friends.

  1. Two cell phones - one for work; one for my real life

  2. Pack of Halloween cards to send out tomorrow

  3. One orange mint

  4. Piece of sea glass from Hawaii

  5. A shell from Hawaii

  6. Two Halls naturals cough drops from when I got sick after I got back from Hawaii.

  7. One hair elastic

  8. One set of keys (normally there are three sets in my purse)

  9. One travel thing of tooth floss

  10. One tin of Badger Balm for my terrible cuticles

  11. Two chap sticks

  12. Nail/cuticle clippers - a must have since I've quit biting my nails. Yea Me!

  13. Mechanical pencil

  14. Pen

  15. Left, Right, Center (best game ever)

  16. Cell phone charger for work phone as it won't hold a GD charge

  17. Three loose one dollar bills (didn't know I had - should be in my wallet)

  18. Crappy, crappy, crappy black wallet (note to self - buy cute wallet and coin purse)

  19. Digital camera

  20. Bottle of lavendar hand lotion (from Hawaii - so good!)

  21. Zip-lock with emergency tampon and pads (note to self - buy cute emergency girl bag)

  22. Altoids box that has no altoids in it - Contents: Advil, Tums, loose earings, breath mints

  23. Bank Card (should be in wallet)

  24. 2008 Planner - my life! If I lost this I would cry for days!

  25. Check book

  26. The line of junk at the top of the picture is all trash - mostly receipts and gum wrappers

  27. $5.25 in quarters (21 quarters)

  28. $0.50 in nickels (10 nickels)

  29. $1.30 in dimes (13 dimes)

  30. $0.26 in pennies (26 pennies)

  31. One Boston subway token - I have no idea where this came from. Someone must have given me this as change. These have been obselete for years, since the change to the Charlie Card (which sucks)

  32. One Canadian penny

Friday, October 24, 2008

Jessie & Peter's Wedding Anniversary

October 27th is Jessie & Peter's Wedding Anniversary. Jay and I gave them a one night stay at a bed and breakfast in Buckland, MA and we are taking Thea for the weekend! Yeah! In celebration of their anniversary, here are a few pictures of the special day:

They got married at Magic Wings, which is a butterfly conservantory. The location was beautiful and there were butterflies flying around the whole time. The reception was there, too. After the reception we all went back to Jess and Peter's and had a huge bonfire celebration. It was awesome.

Trails School

I'm sitting in Jessie & Pete's house - the only one up, besides the dogs, reflecting on the past three days. I just spend three days at Trail Management School, which was quite possibly the best training I've ever been to. The best part was Wednesday - we spent all day at Mt. Grace State Forest putting the things we'd learned into practice.

First, I went to the Trail Drainage session. This session was all about how to keep water off the trail and prevent or stop erosion. My group learned how to use clinometers to measure slope percentage and then found some places where water created damage. First we made a water bar with a dip in front of it, that directs water off the trail. Further up the trail, we found a steeper slope with a bit more erosion damage. Here we put in a rock water bar. This required us to quarry some pretty big rocks from the area and put them in the trail to help divert water.

I also attended th Trail Signage session where we constructed some trail signs and placed them along the trail to direct people to the summit of Mt. Grace. I got to use a power drill, hammer, and post hole digger.

The last session I went to was the Stream Crossing session. Here we were removing an old rotten foot bridge from a stream and replacing it with a new one. I helped hammer on the new boards and quarry a ton of rocks from the area to help build a natural look around the bridge. Getting the rocks out of the ground and moving them was the best part. We had to use huge crow bars or pry bars to move the rocks. We had to use other rocks as leverage and really use our muscles. I still feel it in my upper back, shoulders, and arms!

I can't wait to bring Jay and Hank back to Mt. Grace to show them what I did. I think we may visit on Sunday! I'll take pictures and post them. Time to play with Thea....

Monday, October 20, 2008

Playing Tag with Memory Loss

The instructions are these:

* Go to your Sixth Picture Folder then pick your Sixth Picture.

* Pray that you remember the details.

* Tag 5 others.

Kind of a boring picture - of our home from the backyard. Obviously in the winter. I'm not looking forward to snow. And cold. And ice. Yuck.
Anyway, I'm leaving tomorrow morning for three days of Trail Management School where I'll learn all about trail building, trail signage, trail use, etc. I'll be at Mt. Grace this week where we will be doing real trail work on real trails. And I'll be staying with a whole bunch of work friends in a big old farmhouse having communal meals. It's times like this I like my job!
Then, I'm going to Jessie's on Friday to pick up Thea for the weekend!!!!!!!!!! Thea's gonna chill with her Auntie Amy, Uncle Jay, and Cousin Hank (woof)! I can't wait. I hope Thea and I can have a 'playdate' with Jami and Drew!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Farm Life

Whew! Four days at the farm and I am pooped! I was surrounded by kids, horses, kittens and dogs all weekend long. The fall foliage was beautiful! I love the farm. Best part - getting to chill with Thea May. Here she is on Friday night when Nana Sue and Auntie Amy arrived:

Hanging at the farm.

Nap time with Auntie Amy.

Only Autie Becky would dress Thea like Miss Fashionista to hang out in a horse stall and walk among horse manure!

Saturday morning we went to Peter's parents farm, Crimson Acres, to watch a Drill Team competition. Drill Team is precision riding in a group set to music. They are such great riders.

These little ones were so cute. The were a begginers Drill Team with three little kids. They did a great job!

This was set to music from "Grease" and the riders were dressed as the Pink Ladies and the T Birds!
This team rode draft horses in the Drill Team competition. They obviously had a great theme.

Sunday morning, Hank and I awoke to a beautiful farm on a beautiful fall day.

Hank and Bones chilling in the morning sun.

Jessie got help from Jay-Lynne and Chloe. They were great pooper-scoopers!

I'm totally in my PJs in this picture - just woke up and it shows!

This is Prince who visited us for the weekend. Prince is a runner; an escaper, so he can't go off leash, but he was so jealous of the other four dogs wandering around. We tied his leash to Hank's collar and off they went! It was so cute.

On Sunday, Jay and Hank and I went to the parade in Orange Center.

Here's Jess, Jay-Lynne, and Chloe in the farm truck...

Which was pulling the float with my family in it!

Jay, Amy, and PJ.

And here's Mr. Handsome.
Finally, Thea May taking a ride with her Mommy and Daddy!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Weekend at the Farm

I am so excited. First off, I'm a horrible Auntie because I haven't seen my neice, Thea May, in almost two months! Well, I did see her once really quick, but it was like 5 minutes 'cause I had to jet to go tutor. Anyway, I'll get to spend 4 days with her!

My mom and I are driving up this evening after work and we're staying until Monday. Becky & Danny will be coming up tomorrow to stay until Monday. A family friend Laura, her husband Dave, and their two little girls will be coming up on Sunday and sleeping over. Jay is also coming up Sunday (he has to work Saturday) and is staying over. I love staying at Jessie's house. It's a big, huge, rambling farmhouse with a million things going on every second. Outside, there are horses, and chickens, and dogs, and cats and sometimes things like goats and water buffalo. Jessie has a garden and maybe there's some basil left that she'll let me take home. Two years ago, I went home with 2 huge garbage bags full of basil. Yummy.

And Hank! He's coming up tonight with me and my mom. He LOVES the farm! He gets to run around with three other dogs all day long, sleep in a pile of dogs, eat as much horse poop as he wants (gross, I know, but he LOVES it), go swimming at the beaver pond, and live the life of a farm dog. I just have to keep him from killing chickens and kittens. Seriously, Hank is a serious hunter and Jessie just got two new kittens. They are in for a scary weekend!

Here's Jessie and Pete and their three dogs at their Farmhouse