It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

No electricity!

We had a whopper of a thunderstorm last night. I had grilled a little supper and the pups and I dined outside. We had just finished when the thunder started rolling. I sat outside for as long as I dared and we went in just before the storm hit. I love the way it smells (ozone is it?) when it starts lightening. It was pouring rain and the wind was whipping the trees and rolling trash cans, too! I was going from window to window and out in the garage to watch, like I had never seen a storm, but I love it! About an hour into the storm I lost power, zap and it was dark.

I never appreciate electricity until it is gone. I had none for 6 hours and it was so strange. When the kids were small and our power went out I would light the oil burning lamps and we would play Monopoly. But I had no one to play with so I lit oil lamps and candles and walked around for a while trying to figure out what I could do. There was total silence in the house, no noise. It was fairly dark and the air was still. Funny that those ceiling fans don't work without electricity. In fact there isn't anything that really works without electricity! So I listened to music on my Zune and played some of the lame games on it and then went to bed. I opened a window but that didn't do much good to cool the room.

At 2 a.m. I got up to get a drink (and considered getting in the car and driving around to cool off). As I stepped out of bed, click, the light came on and the air conditioner kicked in. What a beautiful sound - an air conditioner running. I just take everything for granted sometimes, and having to do with out is a real reality check!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Just say "Thank You"

This isn't the first time this has happened, but when it happened this afternoon I decided it was time to sound off! After a trip to the eye doc yesterday I went to the optical shop after work this afternoon. I bought 2 new pairs of progressive lense glasses and had lenses replaced in 2 pairs of readers so I spent some money. The guy that helped me was very nice and very knowledgeable about the glasses but when he handed me my receipt all he said was "see you tomorrow at 3". That is it! He never thanked me for my business!

I've had the same thing happen in the grocery store and always wonder, "Don't these people realize that my purchase helps to pay their salary?" How hard is it for stores to train their employees to look people in the eye and say "Thank you" as they complete the transaction? Most department store employees do, and usually they will call me by name as they hand me my receipt. My 2 favorite clothing stores do, too. I think it is time for me to start completing those annoying little surveys they give you on your receipts.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Gift of Music

Church choir practice started up again tonight after a brief recess. I had missed several practices before the recess so I felt like I had really been gone a long time, but it was good to walk back into the choir room and see familiar faces and know that I'm back in the routine. And as we were practicing I had the thought of how thankful I am for music. Imagine a world without music...I can't. I have never understood people that don't care for music, how can you not like it? (I once took a quilting class and several participants were complaining about another class they took and the instructor insisted on playing music during the class. However, the same ladies were quick to note that they did their best sewing while watching movies...go figure). Even little Cameron can recognize tunes, his little face lights up when you start to sing "Head and shoulders, knees and toes"! So, bring on the music I say!

I will sing a new song unto thee, O God, upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee. Psalm 144:9

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Vermont Day 4 & 5

We left the Lodge at 9 a.m. in a pouring rain and headed to Shelburne to the Shelburne Museum. This place is like no other museum I've ever seen! It is spread out over several acres (I forgot how many) and is a collection of stuff, all kinds of stuff. I bought a book about the lady that collected and assembled all the stuff as I was quite intrigued by it all. They had quilts and needlework on display, but the Ticonderoga and an exhibit of Ansel Adams photographs were my favorites.
The Ticonderoga, a restored steamboat that operated on Lake Champlain. It was fun to go inside and see the elegant dining room and the teeny staterooms for the passengers that required overnight accomadations.

This is one of the few round barns still in existence. Inside there was an exhibit of quilts made by family members of Alzheimer patients (very touching, but very sad) and an exhibit of carousel horses.

This is an actual train depot and there was a steam locomotive and a private rail car you could walk through. I had to think of my father and how he would have loved this exhibit as it was authentic!

We returned to the Lodge just in time for another rain shower so I didn't get to do the hike to the family chapel and any more exploring at the Trapp Family Lodge. But I enjoyed sitting in an Adirondack chair on the balcony outside my room and watching the rain! Again we enjoyed an excellent meal in their restaurant.

The next morning we said good bye to the Lodge and headed to the Vermont Quilt Festival. It was wonderful, like a mini Houston Quilt Festival. I really enjoyed looking at all the quilts and did some shopping. At 1:30 p.m. we were back on the bus and made a brief stop at Quechee Gorge and then we were on to Woodstock Vermont. I spent most of the hour we were there in the post office shipping 3 (yes 3) large flat rate boxes home with all the treasures I had purchased, just a note here in my defense that most of the other people on the tour were shipping home several boxes, too! I managed to snap a few pictures and eat a cup of ice cream before it was bus load time again.

Quechee Gorge, and yes, Chicken Little walked out on the bridge and made this picture.

A hotel in Woodstock (would love to stay here someday!)

A two hour ride brought us to our final hotel in Nashua New Hampshire. This evening we had our farewell dinner and a show and tell time (as if we hadn't been doing show and tell all week!).

Friday, July 16, 2010

Puppy Graduates

Blossom, Class of July 2010

Sawyer, Class of 2010

Blossom and Sawyer graduated from Puppy Training tonight and they celebrated with a ride around the store in the basket!

Of course, they had been riding around looking over the end of the basket, being really cute and when I stopped to pull out the camera they then decided it wasn't so much fun and they weren't going to have their pictures made! They are just like children.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Vermont, Day 3

Ok, back to my trip. Day 3 started in Freeport cool with rain. The hotel had their fireplace going (heaven on a June morning!) and we gathered around it as the bus was being loaded. After a 2 hour ride on winding roads which almost did me in we arrived at Keepsake Quilting. I was so excited as they are a major store and I've ordered many times from them. However, due to the rain we arrived later than planned and ended up only having about an hour and a half and that included our time to buy a sandwich for the afternoon ride. So I was cruising quickly through Keepsake!
Our two hour ride during the afternoon was very scenic and we were all glad to arrive at the Trapp Family Lodge. All I can say is what an awesome place! The scenery is just breathtaking and the Lodge and surrounding areas are stunning. I loved the fragrant garden and would love to have had time for one of their tours. We spent two nights here and had two delicious breakfasts and two evening meals in their first class restaurant.

This is part of the lodge, it is too big to get into one shot and still have any detail visible. And, there was no air conditioning in our rooms (no need for it).
This garden provides flowers for the hotel and vegetables for the restaurant.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cam Jam takes to the outdoors

Cam and I had a little time together tonight and we went outside! Just like his cousin Jaydon he loved playing on Gammy's driveway. He was dirty and sweaty afterwards but even after his bath he still wanted to go back outside to play! I almost put out the little blue pool for him today, so that will be next. (And yes, the basketball is from the maroon school and we support the orange school but a neighbor gave it to us as a hand-me-down so we just pretend it is orange!)

No No Bad Dogs!

Don't let this sweet picture of Sawyer fool you....
This is what I came home to on Friday! If you are wondering what is going on the puppies had pulled the cushion out of their bed several weeks ago (it is on the right, upside down) and I had given them a towel to put in the bed since sometimes they were still sleeping in the bed (that is the yellow thing in the bed). On Friday Sawyer tore a hole in the bed and stuck his head through it (from underneath the bed no less). I came home and he was wearing the bed, literally. Oh yes, the white stuff all over the floor is a shredded "puppy pad" .

Apparently he had been wearing this for a while since he had pee-peed on the bed and when I got him out he ran to the water bowl and drained it.

Nice, huh!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Maine, Day 2

Day 2 (Tuesday) of my trip was the longest-we left the hotel at 9:15 a.m. and returned at 10 p.m. Warning: this is a long post.

We first visited the Portland Head Light (house) where the battery light on my camera started flashing low but I managed to get a few pictures. This was a quick stop and we were back on the bus. Two hours later we were touring around Kennebunk and Kennebunkport. I purchased a disposable camera and then I ate lunch at a place called Allison's after I saw the sign that the Food Channel would be there on Saturday for a cook off with another local place. I had excellent clam chowder and a crab salad sandwich which was delicious-hope they won the cook off. There were so many shops, lots of artists and art related work, but our time was short.

After another ride we were at Knights Quilt Shop, very charming. From there we went to the Atlantic Ocean for a quick walk. We were in awe at the flowers, and I couldn't believe how fresh the air was (and how different the Atlantic is from the Gulf of Mexico!). Then we were back on the bus and driving again. After a quick stop at the Nubble Light House we were then on our way to Foster's for our lobster bake. And, yes, with some coaching I dissected my own lobster. I don't know if I would do it again, but at least I can say I did it! I also managed to drink about half of a Shipyard beer (made locally and not too bad) so I could really say I experienced New England. It was a long day with a lot of bus riding, but we saw a lot of Maine and had a good time, too.
Houses and resorts along the Atlantic Ocean

Nubble Light House (only accessible via a basket suspended over water)

Roses growing along the Atlantic Ocean. Many were wild varieties with nasty thorns!

Sunday, July 4, 2010


The first day of my trip started with a morning tour of Boston. This was very quick, and as I wrote earlier gave me a feel for the historical significance of the city. I would like to go back and have time to really explore some of the sites. After lunch we headed "Down East" as they say and went to Freeport Maine. We spent two nights here. What a neat town, many outlet stores here as well as local shops. I ate dinner at Jameson Tavern (built in 1779 and turned into an inn/tavern in 1801 and now a very nice restaurant). Of course, had to make a trip to the L.L. Bean flagship store while here. During the first afternoon we visited our first quilt shop, Cotton Weeds.

Jameson Tavern

A New England home (& yes, they all looked very much like this one!)

July 4th

I just had to snap this picture of the flag flying in front of my house today. I always like to see the American flag flying, especially those really big ones. I love those crisp colors, but even more when you think about what they stand for...Freedom! I'm proud to be an American, let freedom ring through our land. Happy Birthday America!