Tuesday, October 30, 2007

October review

A few weeks ago was "Chainsaw Weekend" a time when my dad gets us all to go to his vacation house to clean up the yard and woods a bit- taking down trees that the beaver started on, removing trees that are blocking the view of the lake, etc.

We also took the time to celebrate fall birthdays. This was Boy Chris, Dad, Andrew, and for the first year- me! The other three birthdays are pretty close to each other, but mine is in November and lately has been forgotten a bit. So this year we decided to include mine with the others. It felt weird celebrating a month early. And according to this cake, my youth has died. :(

We also took some family pictures, but I can't post those now. I'll need to blur Hanna before I can post. But speaking of Hanna, I can't believe how grown-up she is! She's almost 13 and doesn't seem to have gotten the awkwardness that I had at that age. She's absolutely gorgeous!

Back at home, my Halloween mantle has made progress, and I think it pretty much has gone as far as it will for this year. Maybe next year I'll finish up some of the other labels. I think the part I disliked was coming up with the names for everything. I'll try to get some good pictures tomorrow night and post.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Catching up

I wanted to get all of my vacation posts posted before I moved on to other subjects, and now I feel like so much has happened since August but I've forgotten half of it!

On the scrap front, I've gotten my mojo back. I think my mojo was on summer vacation. Good thing I have a reserve of premade cards or some people wouldn't have gotten them for birthdays and anniversaries.

So, here are links to my "recent" creations:
Stokes, Appalachian Trail, Halloween Countdown, Christmas 1977, Birthday card for Chris, Eleanore, Andrew- Halloween 1980, You Light up the Place, Looks Like Fall, Hammonasset 2007, Halloween Trick or Treat, Oh Baby card, Halloween 1978, and Typecasting.

I'm really liking all of the challenges as a way to push me to get some things done, and also as a way to work on some of my older photos. Also most of these LOs and cards are fall/Halloween related, which just happens to be a favorite subject of mine.

In other news...

For the second year in a row Chris and I served as chaperones/ advisors for our church's youth group trip to Hammonasset. As always, it was a fun time. However, we both got stuck leading a station for the Saturday activities. Mine wasn't too bad (name game where a famous person's name is taped to your back, and by asking yes or no questions you have to figure out who you are) but Chris got to lead the station where they were coloring placemats for prisoners. That didn't really go over so well.

We had brought our badminton set, so in free time we got most of our group playing. And Sunday morning Pastor Eric tried to get us all to rotate through- hit the birdie a few times and then pass your racket on to the next person. Yeah, that didn't go over so well.

I had an absoultely wonderful time meeting Minda and Lisa, two gals from TallyScrapper who came out to Boston for the weekend. We spent some time in the Boston area sightseeing and then we went up to New Hampshire to hang with Tami and Jen.

Who knew that we could get along so well with complete strangers. It was more than I ever could have hoped for. I wish I had the funds to take a trip out to Minnesota to see them again. I'm trying to figure out if I can go to Wisconsin for a crop with them and other Tally gals, but I just don't think I can swing it. There's always next year, right?

At the end of September was Chris' birthday. No, the letters around the edge of the cake don't spell anything out. I just figured that since I had bought all of the letters I should use them. The day after his birthday we had a number of friends over for "Game Night" so it was a nice excuse for a mini party. We played Cranium. Guys against girls, and the girls won. Woo hoo! However, there was a disagreement in the interpretation of the rules and some shouting occurred.

And that pretty much brings us into October. Last weekend was The Great Glass Pumpkin Patch at MIT. You may remember me discussing it last year? The pumpkin pics at the top of this post are from this event. The crowds just keep getting bigger and bigger! Last year we got there a little after 9, this year we arrived at 8:15, but we were still about the same place in line- number 180! Yikes.

After getting our tickets to reserve our place in line we checked out the perimeter of the patch, trying to find some that we liked. We saw some in the back, so when we were finally allowed in Chris went straight for those. I took my time looking at the other patches trying to find some in the lower price ranges. Unfortunately by the time Chris got over to them the 3 we liked were gone. We wandered some more, and then I saw someone carrying one of the ones that we liked. I went up to her and offered to trade any of the pumpkins in our box for the one she was holding. Score! She traded. (It's the yellow one with the tall stem in the back of this picture.) We also got three others- 1 more for home, 1 for work, and 1 for a gift. The picture is of all of our pumpkins from the past 4 trips to the patch. Time to start saving for next year!

And the last item to discuss, is my Halloween mantle. This picture is from a couple of weeks ago and it has evolved a little since that time. Stay tuned for more pictures once it's completed.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Vacation Post #13

The day started with the perfect feel for a day touring battlefields- cool and foggy. Unfortunately, by the time we left the campground and got to the battlefields, the fog had lifted and the sun was shining.

We picked up an audio driving tour and started on our way. This was much more Chris' kind of thing than mine. Whenever we stopped he would read every placard and I would kind of wander off and see what pretty flowers were around. I tried to give him time to see things, but I think he quickly realized I was bored.

However, I did find this statue to be interesting since it was sculpted by the same guy who sculpted Mount Rushmore. I thought it interesting that we would see two of his works in such different parts of the country on the same trip. He also did Stone Mountain in Georgia, but that will have to be another trip.

By the end of our tour around the park (about 3-4 hours later) even Chris was getting bored. We skipped the visitor centers and decided to head for home.

By 7:30 we were home! Hooray!

Total Miles: 6901.4
High Points reached: 9
Attractions/ destinations visited: 17
States driven through: 22
States/provinces license plates seen: 59
Gallons of gas used: 267.731
Cans of soda consumed: 54
Maps used: 12
Days of rain: 3
Hikers in bed of truck: 8
Bugs killed on windshield: too many to count
Moose seen: 0

Vacation Post #12

Today's adventures cover two days; August 23 - 24, 2007

After leaving the motel in Illinois, we headed across the state and across Indiana. Just before the border into Ohio is Hoosier High Point. It is located in a small wooded area alongside a corn field. I had been here before, but Chris hadn't and since it was on our way we decided to stop so that Chris could claim the state.

A couple had recently gotten engaged at the site, and they had left fake rose petals strewn across the ground. Since this was private property and access could be denied at any time, we decided to be nice and pick up all of the litter. I would have thought that anyone getting engaged at a site like this would have had enough sense to treat the space with respect, but obviously not.

We then continued on our way across Ohio. As nightfall neared, we stopped for the night at a KOA. This was was much cheaper than the one in Niagara Falls, but it wasn't exactly the nicest. Not bad, but a little run-down looking in some places. However, it wasn't crowded so that was nice.

In the morning we headed off to Pennsylvania. Mt. Davis was another high point that I had been to before, but again, it was on the way. This one was another "drive-up" with just a short walk to the fire tower and views over the trees.

After this trip, I have now been to 21 high points and Chris has gotten 13.

We continued on our way, stopping at yet another KOA, this one just outside of Gettysburg. This KOA was another one that was on the pricey side, but it was the nicest one we had been to. I liked that it had a wooded feel to it, so you didn't feel as if you were right next to your neighbor.

Vacation Post # 11

I realize that my blog has been seriously neglected as of late. I hope to remedy that.

I shall now resume the tales of Chris' and Chris' Great American Road Trip- August 22, 2007.

Our first stop was Taum Sauk, the highest point of Missouri.

This "high point" is another very flat one. It's in a state park and the path to the peak is paved. There is another hike in the area (part of the Ozark Trail) but it seemed a bit more strenuous than we were up for and we didn't have enough water with us.

After the high point we headed up to St. Louis to visit the McDonald's Monument. What, that's not what it's called? Sorry, the Gateway Arch. Huh, that's not the name either? Yeah- we were shocked to learn that it's really called the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.

The engineering of this monument was amazing. We watched a film about it, and it just blew me away. And I was also impressed that in the 50s and 60s they had enough forethought to film the construction so that we could watch it. But can we talk about how un-safe it was? No one wore harnesses of any kind! We took a tram ride to the top of the monument. Again with the forethought to make it hollow and lay track so that people could do this! Granted that tram was pretty tiny, but it was worth it. Great views from the top. They also had diagrams showing what the buildings were and also noting what had been there when the monument was erected. Interesting to show the changes. We go to see where old Busch Stadium was, and where New Busch Stadium is today.

When we got back to the ground we walked around the park area for a little while as I wanted to try to get more pictures of the arch from other angles. And then we started thinking....

Hey, this isn't Fenway Park. New baseball stadiums are much larger. I wonder if we can get tickets to a game. So we called Chris dad to first find out if there was a home game that night, and then also to find out what the range in ticket prices was. There was a game, and the prices seemed decent, so off we headed to the ballpark. Score! Decent seats at a decent price. This wouldn't happen back in Boston!

We had originally hoped to get a few more moles driven after the arch, but since we went to the game we knew that wasn't going to happen. No big deal though. Instead, after the game, we crossed the river into Illinois and stopped at the first motel we came to. It was a late night, but we'd had fun, so it was worth it.