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Today is a pretty rainy day. But a good day to reflect on the good things in life. I got an email from Grace in small things which reminded me I have a lot of reasons to be thankful. Here are today’s Five:

1. the soothing sound of rain falling

2. a really nice week with Tom

3. the boys come home tomorrow and life resumes as normal – the way it’s supposed to be.

4. the remaining quiet that I have left to enjoy for today

5. Three healthy, happy boys – the youngest of whom is turning 12 tomorrow!

When the phone rings in the middle of the night and you know that your children are away (and one of them is asthmatic and has food allergies) you practically have a heart attack before you wake up enough to realize what is going on. That’s what happened last night in Burlington. Sound asleep in our hotel room and somewhere in the middle of the night (around 2:30) Tom’s cell phone rang (it of course didn’t help that the ringer is set to “deafening” levels anyway). As it turned out the horrible weather back home here, killed the power and Tom has the house automated to call us when the power is out (a leftover from the days when we didn’t live here and would have to send a neighbor over to check on things if the power were out for any length of time). BTW, the house was kind enough to wake us again two hours later when the power was restored, so that we wouldn’t lose sleep wondering, no doubt.

The trip home took a detour and we wound up over by Chimney Point where we had lunch at a quaint little diner on the corner of the road. There, Timmy if he was with us, would have wanted to move in. Sandwiches and burgers are served with a side of fries bigger than most places ‘large’ order of fries. We each ate about half of our own sides and there was still enough left over to qualify as a large order of fries at most places.

After we left there, we came upon a trio of people in a car that needed a jump. They were on a corner literally in the middle of nowhere. So, in the spirit of “Do a Good Turn Daily” (the boys’ scout motto), Tom pulled out the jumper cables and shortly they were happy, running and on their way.

We finally made it back and are glad to be home. Here are some pictures taken from the hotel room. Gorgeous room with a view. Thanks Tom, it was a good mini vacation.

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Here’s some pictures that we took in the evening from the walkway by the Lake.

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IMG00028-20090729-2057Tom and I have been spending a couple days in Burlington while the boys are in camp. This is a real treat for me. We got to spend some time together and explore which is pretty cool. Today we went on a drive up to the islands on Lake Champlain which was very pretty and definitely a vacation consideration for next summer. Isle La Motte was both our favorites since it is only 16 sq miles 8 of which are land and has not a restaurant that we could find, store or any of the other hokey tourist trap type places. Having finally spent some time by the Lake in the summer (as opposed to the winter when we were up this way last during the day) and it is beautiful. Reminds me of the ocean, peaceful and calming.

Tonight, despite the rain that fell crazy earlier, we were able to walk down to Chuch Street for some delicious Thai food for dinner. A real treat since we seldom get it where we live. It was a nice and relaxing day and a good trip. (Despite the crazy screaming woman in the room next to us)

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The boys are off….again. Their brief stint at home was over. Today we dropped them off at Camp Wakpominee in Fort Ann where they will be spending the week. Everyone was in surprisingly good spirits to be off again so soon, which was a good sign. But when we dropped them off, it was rather heartbreaking to me since Tim (the youngest) was all teary-eyed and actually crying since he is not fond of scout camp due to its over abundance of daddy longlegs. He was well outfitted with his mosquito enclosure that goes over him and his sleeping bag but since the boys had the site to themselves this year (last year they had to split the site with another troop) they were quick to point out that everyone could have their own tent. Good news to everyone but Tim. Tim stood outside of his tent with tears streaming down his face because he had to touch the flaps to get inside and they were covered with daddy longlegs. Makes me sad, but I know that he is there with his brothers and his friends and the adult leaders who all know him and are going to take good care of him. I just want him to have a good week, since his birthday is Saturday and I hate to think of my “baby” alone and crying.

When the boys got home from canoeing, I promised them that I would take their disposable cameras and develop the pictures. I had also found 3 cameras in boxes of stuff we had moved from NJ and thought that I would take them as well, since this is so not what I would normally do, having a digital camera and all, and they would probably sit in a drawer or box for another who-knows-how-long time until I discovered them again. So…with some anticipation as to what was on these “mystery” cameras we picked up our photo envelopes from Walgreens and headed home.

The boys were happy with their pictures and glad to tell me all about their adventures. I will post some of their pictures and they are, I must admit, beautiful and the scenery in person, must have been breath-taking. I wish that I was there, except of course for the bug part – since the boys confirmed that the mosquito is indeed the state bird of Maine. I, as those who know me well know, am the ultimate mosquito food. Hence, they would have had to remove my shriveled body from the Maine woods, as after 6 days there would have been nothing left of me. Yet, I digress – back to the mystery rolls of film.

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These are my older two boys, TJ and Tyler, photo obviously courtesy of their brother, Tim taken in Florida in Disneyworld in 2000. I was pleasantly surprised to find these since all of the digital photos of that trip are floating around in the black hole of the dead hard drive since the photos were all meticulously uploaded each night by my husband from our hotel room to our computer in NJ so we wouldn’t lose them, which hard drive of course crashed within hours of us getting home and before they could be burned to disc or copied or printed or anything. So…..I am left with the photographic genuis of a 3 year old to commemorate that trip. That and one of those “we’ll take your picture for you before you eat dinner in our restaurant” photos taken by Disney.

The remaining pictures on the rolls, are mostly worthless, since they are taken by 3,4 and 5 year olds whose photographic capabilities rested with whatever happened to be moving at the moment. There are nice pictures of backs of heads, lots of people we don’t know (but who I am sure would have enjoyed the pictures) and the ground. So much for leaving photography to the children. But, the surprise was pleasant and the one or two pictures that were worthwhile like the one above, brought a smile to my face.

Tonight we went down to Bob’s Diner in Manchester for dinner and then to the Northshire Book Store. All the men agree that Bob’s has the best milkshakes around. We were convinced that tonight must be “launch your own backyard fireworks” night because on our way back, we passed two backyard displays. We also passed a petrified raccoon that looked like it was dropped from the sky and froze with legs outstretched in fright before it expired.

As we were making our way up our road (for those of you that don’t know, we are three miles from the south up a dirt road) In the summer the road always looks small and narrow at night with the headlights illuminating all the greenery around us. I remember several years ago, before we moved up here permanently, when we would come up for the weekend or vacation, driving that last stretch of roadway, always felt like we were entering a magical, special place, with the trees falling over the roadway and the grasses and weeds and wildflowers on the side of the road.  It always felt like we were going somewhere so far from our normal lives. Tonight, driving up that same stretch of roadway, all of us in the car, reminded me of those drives up from NJ. I would have never even fathomed that we would be making the drive to our permanent, real home – but I am glad that we did.

We picked up the boys last evening. Everyone was so tan! They looked like they had spent the week in the islands, but I guess being on the water for 8-10 hours a day for 5 days will do that to you. Everyone was happy, talking over each other, trying to fill us on in all the different aspects of the trip. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time and it appeared that the whitewater rafting trip that was a bit of an after-thought, was a big hit!

It was nice to hear voices and laughter in the house again. It truly is a big empty house when the boys are away. Everyone was up and out this morning to get new books to take with them for scout camp which starts tomorrow. Today is a busy day, unpacking, laundry and getting things ready for tomorrow. Of course, there’s a lot of just hanging around too – the boys have an appreciation for the comfort of their beds after this past week.

I found this on Odditycentral.com an article about a 35-year-old Chinese artist that has taken to making himself invisible in his artwork. The photographs more of which can be seen at the Odditycentral.com site, are pretty amazing. It is reported that the artist can spend up to 10 hours to make sure that each photograph makes him,well perfectly, invisible.

Photo courtesy of CatersNews Agency

Photo courtesy of CatersNews Agency

Photo courtesy of CaterNews Agency

Photo courtesy of CaterNews Agency

He stated that his artwork is a form of protest to the actions of the Chinese government is shutting down his art studio. He claimed it is his representation of not fitting in. Amazing stuff.

Courtesy of Virginia Tech Weed Identification

Courtesy of Virginia Tech Weed Identification

I haven never heard of this before a couple weeks ago, but I did see firsthand the nasty burns that it can leave on your skin. Nothing like poison ivy, this leaves marks that look like you were burned and according to the person I saw that was exposed, it feels like it also. The name, wild parsnip, or poison parsnip. The plant is blooming now with yellow flowers and resembles Queen Anne Lace except the flowers are yellow instead of white. The plants can stand 3-6 feet tall.

According to the UVM Master Gardener website:

Has high concentration of furocoumarin chemicals, which cause phyto-photo-dermatitis. When absorbed by skin, furocoumarins are energized by ultraviolet light (present during sunny and cloudy days) causing them to bind with nuclear DNA and cell membranes. This process destroys cells and skin tissue, causing severe burns (hence the nickname ‘poison parsnip’).

Virginia Tech Weed Identification - Photo

Virginia Tech Weed Identification - Photo

The plant is highly invasive and some say worse than poison ivy since the irritation to the skin not only itches but burns, similar to second degree burns to the skin. Best to avoid at all costs, it is mostly found on the sides of highways and in fields here in Vermont.

photo courtesy US CPSC

photo courtesy US CPSC

Efficiency Vermont has kicked off a new program to recycle that old fridge that you may have standing around, sucking energy. They’ll give you $30 for it, to boot. An appliance recycling company has been hired by the program to collect and recycle used refrigerators. The company maintains that about 95% of the fridge parts can be recycled.

Here’s a link to the article.

For more information about Efficiency Vermont.

As a mother it scares me that the three children that I spend so much time caring for could be gone or severely injured in a moment. We protect them by making sure that they eat good food, dress appropriately for the weather, wear their seatbelt in the car, look both ways when crossing the road. Yet, there are so many, split seconds, that can turn a world upside down.

My heart goes out to the family of the Vermont skier, Cody Marshall. Cody is presently in a coma in Utah because of one of those split second silly things. One of those silly things that I could see my old boys doing, just goofing around, just being silly. One of those scary, bone-chilling moments that can bring a mother or father to their knees. Cody, 26 years old, from Pittsfield, Vermont is in Utah for training for the United States Ski Team. He was training for the 2010 Winter Olympics. He was out at the mall with some friends and slid down the rail of the escalator – a simple act that any boy might consider. Except this slide cost him, big time. He fell backward off the rail and fell 20 feet. He is now in a coma. A split second. Devastating.

His family has put up a blog to monitor his progress and report it to friends and family worldwide www.codymarshallsblog.com. I am sure that his family never expected to be at his bedside in a hospital monitoring him and showering him with prayers to come out of the coma and return to his life. As a mother it is a nightmare come true. My heart and prayers go out to he and his family. Shivers go up my spine to think that split seconds can break a mother’s heart and there is nothing that you can do to protect them from it. Life, that is.

One of my favorite things to do with Tom is to go exploring, especially here in Vermont, since who knows what lurks close by? On Sunday, we had a great, relaxing day where we went out for breakfast and on our way back, took a couple turns. We found this beautiful lake which we knew was there but found public access which was a nice surprise.

This is a picture of Lake Ninevah in Mount Holly which is a beautiful lake.

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We are discussing the idea of getting a couple of kayaks. Then we can take a lunch break and go paddling. It is close and would provide for a pretty neat lunch break, don’t you think?

Evilwife on the move

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https://tammyheff.wordpress.com
2012.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Evilwife and Happenings on the Hill (http://tammyheff.wordpres.com) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

There have to be 5 things even on a really bad day.

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