25 February 2008

To clean or not to clean...

Growing up I had a very tidy Mother to say the least. You had to be really quiet and sneaky if you wanted to sleep in but had to get up to go to the bathroom because if she heard you your bed would be made before you got back. If you left a glass on the coffee table and left the room it was forfeit. She would follow you around with a wash cloth if you were eating something sticky. The up side was that you always had clean clothes, and knew where to find your shoes. I remember a friend of mine taking a marble from one of her knick knacks and putting it in a potted plant. She found it within 24 hours and demanded to know how it got there!
I do not consider myself to be anywhere near this level of cleanliness or organization. However, there are times when she shines through in me. Like when I get the toothbrush out to clean the bathroom or I move everything on the countertop to get every little dust-bunny out of the corner and for some reason leaving the house on a trip.

I cannot leave a dirty house when we are leaving. I don't know why. I vacuuum all the pet fur from the floors, couches, and corners knowing full well that they will replenish it before I get home. Same with the slider window. I clean it knowing that Polar will have his nose pressed to it the whole time we are gone. I put all of their toys away, washed, folded, and put away all of our clothes(Lizzy helped of course!), and clean the bathrooms. Taking out the trash makes sense, but why did I have to organize the drawers in the bathroom? Well, now that I have mopped the floor, cleaned out the fridge, and bathed the cat (she was helping to clean the boiler) we can go...

24 February 2008

Freudian slip??

from CNN:
NEW YORK (AP) -- Even though Mike Huckabee is still battling for the Republican presidential nomination despite long odds, he said Saturday he won't "overstay his welcome."
Then he did precisely that, lingering on the "Weekend Update" set of "Saturday Night Live" despite repeated cues to leave the stage.
The former Arkansas governor appeared in a "Weekend Update" segment in which he described his confusion over whether it is mathematically impossible for him to win the nomination over front-runner John McCain.
After anchorman Seth Meyers explained the numbers, Huckabee responded: "I'm not a math guy, I'm more of a miracle guy. So at this point I'm gonna focus on the miracle part."
However, he said: "Mike Huckabee does not overstay his welcome. When it's time for me to go, I'll know. And I'll exit out with class and grace."
Then he remained seated at the "Update" desk even though Meyers made it clear it was time for him to leave...

A day in town.

We spent the day at some friends here in town. On part of their property they have cleared trees and installed a rope tow. Art and our friend strapped on skate skis, and alternated zipping down the hill, drinking beer and talking. Their kids joined in the fun, too (uh- with the exception of the beer...of course) They are pretty good skiers. I guess having a ski hill in your backyard gets you a lot of practice :)

S and I stayed inside where it was toasty warm. She showed me the seeds she had started. Onions, leaks, and flowers at this point. I pass on that D who is using our greenhouse has started tomato and pepper seeds, but I have a slightly brown thumb so I buy the plants and plant them in June. I am planning a small garden this year. In the past three years we have had so much construction that it wasn't possible but I am hoping for tomatoes, beans, spinach, and onions this year.

We also talked about chickens. Her girls are getting a little older so she needs to freshen up her group. I think we are going to go in together as you need to buy a certain number of chicks. My vote was for the Aurocona chickens that lay the blue/green eggs. They are hardy chicks and I like those eggs better for some reason.
We ended off with a great meal and chocolate fondue. The kids liked the marshmallows the best. Anything dipped in chocolate is always a hit!

23 February 2008

Twelve great years!

I met my husband at an ultimate game one summer in Greeley. A couple of months later one of my roommates, Paul, invited him over with a few other people. We had a great time and I remember thinking Art was fascinating, but I was still dating someone, and besides Art had this huge beard, and a really wild hairdo that desperately needed cutting. A couple of months later I went to a Christmas party at Art's. (I had ditched my dead weight boyfriend at this point. That one was not pretty!) I think Art was trying to hook up with my friend Erin, even though Erin was suggesting that I talk to him... After winter break, my roommates girlfriend encouraged me to go out to the Armory (bar) with her. Lo' and behold, Paul was there with Art. With a freshly shaved face and a nice short haircut. Many of our other friends were also there. I was sitting talking with Robin, when Paul and Art came over. Mysteriously Paul left, then Robin and we were alone. We looked at each other and joked about how we were set up, and not very subtly. A little later that month Erin was having a party at her house and she said I should come because Art would be there. So I went, and we ended up talking the night away...
We were married a little over three years and four moves later. Our twelfth anniversary is this weekend. I wouldn't trade a minute of those twelve years, and I look forward to many many more with my best friend, business partner, and love.

The happy couple.

The wedding party.

The great cake debate. Smear or be nice? We were nice and the cake was yummy!

Me with my parents. Poor Dad got his first speeding ticket today. You would've thought the mean old fuzz would let him off for a warning on his daughter's wedding day!

Art with his parents.

Getting ready. I was ssssoooooooooooooooo nervous!

Our darling neices.

February 24, 1996

I was so glad that my Grandpa Jack was able to be there. I didn't see him a lot growing up but he made it special when we did visit. I still miss him dearly.

Paul. My Lord of Honor. He was a great friend and co-worker. He and Robin are the ones who get credit for getting Art and me together. It's amazing how we can lose touch with people who were such good friends.

Many of my cousins were able to make it to the wedding. It was nice to have so much of my family make the trip to Colorado from Wisconsin.

Gary's great mustache experiment. I think his mullet topped off the look :)

Even my Mother's parents were able to make it.

The air guitar was a bit hit. Kevin got his licks in, as well as Peter and Natalie.

A new novelty for weddings were the disposable camera on the table. Now commonplace, we thought we were pretty clever...

It is nice to see that others enjoyed dinner. We were so excited and had so many people we wanted to talk to we hardly ate a bite.

Good friends.

Many of Art's friends made the trek from New England for the festivities.
Thanks to all of our friends and family for the memories. It was one of the happiest days of our lives and we were glad you were there to share it!

20 February 2008

The thrill of the hunt.

Our business is approaching it's ten year anniversary this year. Hard to believe on so many levels. We have grown and expanded along the way. Moving our shop after only two years for more space, adding a warehouse a few years later, then doubling the warehouse space and adding a loading dock. This has been all well and good, but the down side is that we have been leasing all of the above. So we have had to make do with existing conditions, pay for someone else's investment, and pray that each time a lease matures that we can renew the same space for not too much more money. Historic property in a now industrial zone. Too bad it's on wetlands...
We were going to start looking for property to buy a few years ago, but the real estate market was out of hand in our area. There would be no way to finance the outgrageous sums people were asking even if you wanted to. Then we had a great year that made it all seem possible. Then it hiccupped and we along with our whole industry had one of the worst years ever. This year things seem to have leveled out, and the market has stabilized a bit. There aren't many properties to choose from, but with our warehouse lease coming up we are going to try (cross fingers and toes) to make the plunge.
Searching for business property is not quite quite as fun as house shopping. It's not warm and cozy. You don't picture yourself having a cocoa by the fire. Especially warehouse space. We spend most of our time figuring out how a fifty-three foot trailer with a sleeper cab can get in, turn around, get unloaded, and get out several times a day, possibly along with the 30 or so people that come in to the store or to buy pellets (there needs to be space to load these folks up as well). Wetland studies, variance requirements, road cuts, lot studies...

There is never anything ready to go of course. Unless you count the one down the road (on a very possibly too small lot) that is not only priced to high to get financing for, it's also under contract. :(> So we have to look at buying the property, doing site work, getting a building and road in all before either our warehouse lease runs out at the end of May, or at least before our largest stove shipment of the year lands (hopefully we can push until June.) Good location, bad variance nightmare. Plus we have to vacate the old warehouse, move a forklift, empty it of inventory, shelving, workbenches... Oh, and we are gone almost a month between now and then. No pressure.
These are some of our highlights/ lowlights/ mighthavetomakedo's

This would be the make do. Short money, stupid layout that doesn't allow anything bigger than a Luv pickup to get in or out.

16 February 2008

The Good, the bad, and the ugly

Here are some shots on top of Temple Mountain of the recent snow/ice storm. So pretty.

Hate the plow truck driver...

Love the Bobcat! and DH the driver of course :)

Here is a shot of the house whose garage and breezeway fire Art helped fight with mutual aid to a neighboring town this week.

This shot from Monadnock Ledger

13 February 2008

Quebec or NH?

Art has tromped off to Canada on a boondoggle with a few of our pellet manufacturers. I decided to sit this one out as I am still recovering from the winter slime/ear infection.
Quebec has had official Carnaval celebrations since 1896, but this is Quebec City's 400th anniversary so it is/will be quite the show.

They missed the opening and closing parades which were last and this Saturday, but I hear they are quite the spectacle.

High on their list was to see the ice hotel, or ice castle, constructed 100% from you guessed it, ice. I hear they are pretty chilly although people often stay in them. (this is a swiped carnaval photo as with the others;) real ones from his trip should follow once Art gets back)

Other activities on their list were the canoe races where a bunch of crazies put their canoes on the frozen river for a canoe race. What nutter wouldn't want to take part in the annual Snow Bath? (note the deranged looking snowman mascot they use- creepy!) They also have sledding hills set up with large water park like tubes that send six or eight people plunging down a snowy hill, tons of food, entertainment and an all around good time.
Three days in the subzero frozen tundra that is Quebec this time of year did not sound fun to me. Ssssooooo, I opted to stay in NH instead. This is what we have:

A subzero frozen tundra that snowed eight inches last night, and expects one to three inches of ice on top of that today!
Put that on top of that (excuse me, I meant UNDER that) the snow and freezing rain that accumulated (and froze) while we were up in Conway and you get one big friggin' mogul to hop to get the car in the garage. Yeah, that is our driveway. ((((Sigh))))

The world's worst plow driver has just done his usual less than satisfactory job at plowing the drive. aka one swipe sideways across leaving a huge honking pile of snow (I'd wager almost eight feet high at this point)with a snow boulder about five feet in diameter right in the path of the Element as it tries to enter or leave the garage. Not that the Element (or a Hummer) could hop that frozen snow ball and bank... He avoided the other drive completely because Steve's truck was parked on one side.
I fully bundle up just to get the mail. It is like an arctic expedition. While the frost(ice) on the trees is beautiful I have to wonder- Is it spring yet???

09 February 2008

North Conway

We stayed at the Glen Forest Inn in North Conway. We started the weekend with Art's sisters, Kevin & Lindsay, followed by our guys coming up during the week. We had a great time. The units were not all that big, but they were big enough. The basement was very well set up with a game room including billiards, ping pong, and video arcade. They also had a nice sofa area, and game area. They had hot tubs, and saunas with a breakfast area and more seating areas on the main floor. It was a little dated but had that cozy ski lodge feel.
Art went skiing Saturday with his family at Black Mountain.
I walked around the town and started a puzzle. I also visited the local hearth shop. I like to see what they are doing with their displays that I may use, or things that didn't look right to watch out for. Nice shop overall. Strangest thing was a big hot tub in the middle of the shop that made the whole place smell like chlorine. Didn't remind me of fireplaces or stoves at all. I did like that they had all of the units up at eye level, and took the glass out of the doors so you could easily see in. Sunday we went around to some local places to check things out and ended up at a local bar to watch the Superbowl. Bad Patriots. You could have heard a pin drop when the other team got that last touchdown.
Just as with Vegas and the fire that occurred right after we left there was a big fire at a hotel in Conway while we were up there. So while I went into a cool little shop with my sil/bil, Art poked his head in the fire station to chat with them about the blaze. Seems it isn't the first and they are due to failing boilers on aged duraroc floors. We ended out the day ice skating. Monday we had a day to ourselves so we drove up over the pass and on to Gorham, then back down to Jackson to ice skate. Great day!