28 February 2009

Heaven on Earth

Sixteen years ago I went on a trip to Moab with my new boyfriend. I was smitten and I was also very nervous about the trip because I did not want to mess anything up! So we hopped in his red Jeep with his Malamute, Moose, in the back and headed off over the Rocky's to Moab.

Three years later we were married at a Guest Ranch in Loveland, Colorado. Of all our wedding plans the choice of where to get married took the longest. We settled on the Ranch because it was close to us and my parents, not in the mountains (we were getting married in February after all and we did not want to get snowed out!!), not too big, and it was beautiful!

We don't always do something for our anniversary but this year it seemed important. We had signed up for a conference in Las Vegas for late February. So we tacked on a couple of days and headed to Zion National Park.

It was named Zion because of how breathtakingly beautiful it is, kind of like heaven on earth. We drove up through AZ and into Utah then wound our way up into some of the most impressive mountains Ihave seen. Highway nine and through the mile long tunnel they carved into the rock mountain to our destination- the Zion Mountain Ranch.

We passed deer on the way and three other times on the trip, and they have Buffalo on the Ranch that wander around in the field in front of the cabins. We also passed wild turkeys but hubby was not impressed with them!
We checked into our cabin just before sunset.
There was a fresh blanket of snow which rarely happens, but it was around 45 F (almost summer to a New Englander!) so we sat on thr porch swing and took it all in!

The next day we hiked, and hiked, and hiked!

It was wonderful. We started with the easy but very rewarding Overlook Trail. Then we drove up the scenic road (which only allows shuttle buses in the summer) and hiked the Emerald Pools Trails, TheRiver Trail that goes up to the narrows, and the Weeping Rock Trail.

It is a very special time of year because the snow melt causes beautiful waterfalls, and pools of water collect in the beautiful dessert environment.
We were pleasantly surprised how many others were enjoying the park. Usually when we go places in the off-season you can hear crickets it is so empty and quiet!

We had a great lunch at Oscars in Springdale as recommended by one of the previous guests who had left their recommendation in a guest book left in the room. (I love that!) Then we watched the sunset again after having stopped for a little refreshment. It is Utah so choices are VERY limited. We got some beer. Turns out it was 3.2 (you think I would know this!). The sunset was nice though!

Before heading out the next day we went for a morning horseback ride. Art hadn't been on a horse since he was about five years old, and it didn't go well... Horse properties are a large part of our town and about 20% of our medical calls are horse related. So I was very pleased that he would go! We had a great time! The views were beautiful, Art's horse was very gentle, and the weather was perfect!

22 February 2009

Prince and the Pea

Ah, bedtime. One of my favorite parts of the day!
When I was little my Mom got me a canopy bed. I used to run up the hall, jump into the room, swing around the pole, and onto the bed so the alligators underneath couldn't eat me!
When I was in high school I got a waterbed. A big pillow kind. I LOVED that bed. The room was often cool, but my bed was always toasty warm!
Then I started sharing my bed!
While I can sleep almost anywhere...
and even though ou wouldn't know better by sleeping on his lumpy old futon...
I married the Prince (and the pea)!
So we began to look for a bed that fit just right.
The first one we got was as hard as a rock!
It was also a little too small!
We wanted something fun!
Well... maybe not that fun!
It had to be warm because our room was chilly!

Then, once we had two cats and a dog we were trapped!
The sand and grit are endless!
We might as well sleep outdoors!

We finally found the perfect fit!

11 February 2009



I had a problem with the bank bailout last fall and the auto bailout but felt powerless to do anything about it. Now the Spendulus bailout is poised to sink us another 820 billion. This really ticks me off!!
Giving people money does not teach fiscal responsibility, it only prolongs their downward slide. If I ran my business poorly it stands to reason that I would lose money and be forced out of business. I would never expect a handout as a reward for my poor performance, nor would anyone offer me such a handout. Fox News has been very informative about the bailout, including copies of both the house and senate version. It is over 1500 pages so I cannot say I read it all, but you don't have to see much at all before you see how loaded it is. There is a petition link on their home page and I would like to encourage everyone to sign it and pass it on...
Thank you :-)

08 February 2009

White Mountains

We just got back from an all too short getaway up in the White Mountains of NH. We left our motley crew in the trusted hands of our pet sitters, loaded up our skis, snow shoes, cross country gear, ice skates, and lots of warm clothes and headed to North Conway. We took the Kancamangus Highway hoping to see a Moose (like we did a few summers ago). No moose but it was beautiful. We stayed at the Eastern Slope Inn (formerly home to EMS) which is right downtown.

We had a great visit. Art's favorite may have been cross country skiing around Dolly Copp. His family used to camp, hike, and fish up there just about every summer. He had never been there in the winter though!?! We did camp in nearby Barnes field one September, but never in the snow.
He had a great time showing me all the spots they used to hang out in. The skies were clear and although it was cold we had a great time. We even brought some snowball (cupcakes) with us from our breakfast in Gorham. That was Art's birthday treat.

Our course, his favorite may have been going to Wildcat on his birthday. It had gotten down to seventeen below zero the night before, and we were only expecting to get up to about ten (down in Conway), but hubby would Never turn down a FREE ski ticket. So he froze his eyelashes and enjoyed spectacular views of Mount Washington as he skied.

Oh, then there is one of my favorites. We rode the Snow Coach up to about 4200 feet.
It was amazing. We even ran into the snowcat coming down from the observatory with the once a week shift change. It was still crystal clear and you had full view of the Presidential Mtns. Very cool.

I spent his b-day shopping at the outlets. They had a new Bean up there, but I think I am spoiled by the ones in Nashua and Manchester. They have all the best stuff without the vacation destination price tags.

Another favorite was ice skating. There is a great town rink right in front of the train station in the center of town. There were people there day and night. So many people teaching their under five kids how to skate all the way up to teenagers waving around hockey sticks, to adults skating every which way. I mostly tried to eavesdrop on an overly excited parent who was teaching his (guessing...) 3 year old how to skate, stop, turn, etc. It was my third and fourth time skating, and I think I might be getting the hang of it. My arms were nowhere near as tired as last year ;)
We ate well the whole week. We started with Martini's, Calamari, and a great dinner at the local steak house. We enjoyed Horsefeather's renowned curried crab asparagus soup. We ended with a good German dinner and beer. Now I think we are eating celery and carrot sticks until the end of time...

Art had a great birthday. He loved his tent. We set it up in the condo to test it out. All was well on the home front. Even Elliott was a good boy while we were gone. The babysitters love all the fresh eggs too! Life is Good :)

05 February 2009

Triple Crown

Today is a very special day for three people in my life.
My Mother becomes a better friend and confidant each year. She is so vibrant, and full of life! I miss that we live so very far apart. This has always been a special day for us to celebrate her. I can still remember a rare time when my grandparents came to visit us, and it was for my Mom's birthday. At the time she was actively decorating cakes. I remember feeling very impressed, but a little sad that she had to decorate her own cake. It was beautiful, with yellow frosted roses all around it.

I started dating hubby over the holidays. One of our first 'solo' dates was in early February. He wanted to go to Denny's. We we're in college, and it was a common hang out so it did not seem anything out of the ordinary. Then when the check came he took out his license, gave it to the waitress, and said it was his birthday. (Denny's did free birthday meals at the time -maybe they still do??- and I did not know at the time, but my parsimonious Yankee hubby will never pass up a freebie!

This was an adjustment for my Mother to have to share her birthday! She was too funny about it. She was a good sport, though. Art thought it was pretty cool.
Then it happened. With my brother's third child. My sil wasn't due for nearly a month, but on February 5th my charming little nephew J made his debut!
That is three birthday's on February fifth in a family of nine (at the time)!
It has been a celebration ever since!
So happy happy happy birthday to three people I love dearly!

02 February 2009


A New Englanders guide to winter terms.

Frost heave- No this is not when you are so sick of the frosty cold that you feel you might lose your lunch. These are the wonderful moguls that appear on any, and from my perspective all, paved roads in the winter. Water sneaks down a tiny little crack, builds up, freezes, and pushes the road up.

Pot holes- Often created when a plow truck goes barreling down a frost heave ridden road. Some are large enough to lose a small car in, but if you're lucky it will be filled with ice for most of the winter.

Plowable storm: It snows so much here that have created a minimum standard at which point we will plow. Usually over four inches. Art and I will not usually do anything unless it is over six. The snowblower doesn't come out unless it's over eight.

Squall- a short lived but wicked nasty storm that tears through dropping snow and blowing anything over that is not tied down.

Plow Mail Box: I have included a picture because I know many of you are skeptical. We have lost our mailbox at the shop three times this year (alone) to our friendly neighborhood plow trucks... Ggggrrrrr... We are making one of these in the spring.

Reduced Salt Area- No this is not a healthy alternative meal plan. In New England if you don't use salt to melt the snow off the roads you will very quickly not be able to find them. They use more elbow grease and less salt in areas with drinking water nearby, however. These roads are usually very slick and what may be a four lane road in summer may be a single lane by mid=February. The good news (or maybe it's bad news...) is that you get a new car every six years!

Nor'Easter- The mother of all storms. A wicked bad storm that usually starts in the early morning, snows and blows its way through the day and next night, etc. and so forth for up to three or four days. The storm hits the ocean then wraps back around dumping ungodly amounts of white stuff all at once. I have seen multiple inches per hour, and multiple feet in a storm.

Wicked bad- I am pretty sure this term started in relation to the weather, which is frequently just that.

Mud season- Even though we are done plowing, snowblowing, shoveling, scraping, slipping and sliding, we have run out of room to put all the snow and the wood pile is running low we appreciate every last day of cold because the next season to come is mud season. AKA- spring. When the rains come to melt all this snow that is what we have for April, May, and into June...

Sun silly- My favorite! This is what you get when that sun makes a rare, and long overdue appearance! Many New Englanders will run outside with their shorts on to celebrate...