Fall Bike Ride

The foliage has been spectacular for the past week, and it’s been pretty warm as well. Today it’s a little cooler, in the high 50s, and perfect weather to bike to the reservoir and back. Kate and Matt are off watching the Patriots game downtown, Calvin’s off to Doogie’s for a band practice, and Rob’s off taking fall foliage shots (to be posted, stay tuned). The ride was slow in spots, but I made it there without having to stop, but not to say without a fair bit of huffing and puffing in spots. A lot of other people decided to go to the reservoir as well, but I saw only one other person who had biked there. Woot!

Found where Robin had parked her car and sat underneath a small apple tree closeby, taking a well deserved break and just chilling out for a while. She came back just as I was getting ready to leave, but we took time for a long leisurely hug before we heading back home, she on her steed, me on mine.

Peepers

In April the peepers sing at night here. Along with the daffodils and mud season and leaves on the weeping willow trees, peepers are a sure sign of spring in Vermont.

Hidden by the cover of night, these little frogs are heard but never seen. Peepers sound like this:

The Rock Man (and his little friend)

A few weeks ago the town redug the ditches culverts alongside our dirt road, and they put the leftover dirt and stone at the end of the road. I helped Tom move a few of the larger stones, where they found their way to his front stairs. Last week we noticed that someone had made a Rock Man out of some of the smaller stones, a sculpture about a foot tall. I went down there today to take some photos, and the Rock Man had been joined by a smaller friend.

There are also a few small cairns along the road now, perhaps the work of the same person that made Rock Man, or someone inspired by their work.

See this photo and more at the Fall Gallery page.

Wade & Jen's Wedding

This was a perfect early fall day for these two lovebirds to get married. The ceremony was very sweet, out on a grassy hill under a clear blue Vermont sky. Seconds after Jen started reading her vows there wasn’t a dry eye among us. Very touching, very heartfelt, very beautiful.

Rane was there, of course, and it was great seeing the boys and their girlfriends (who we hardly ever get to see). All in all, an incredible day with some wonderful people.

Happy wedding day, Wade and Jen! We love you and wish you much joy and happiness.

Vermont Summer

Summer has arrived in full force and all at once. Temperatures are now typically in the eighties, and the humidity is high. The pool feels great when it’s this hot, and a challenge now is keeping the pool cool with the sun beating down on it all day.

Hobee is walking around all nappy and shorn, and both he and Carley spend a lot of time in the pond getting cool and muddy. And the mud comes into the house with them, where it dries and falls off and covers the floor with a fine layer of dirt which needs to then be swept once or twice a day. Since Carley loves to come up on the bed in the morning, bringing the joy of grit with her. (sigh)

Summer means lots of grilling, swimming, and being out in the sun. It’s a great time to be in Vermont, and I usually resist various pulls to get me out of state, and try instead to get people to come visit us here and share this experience. And it’s also an excuse to grill/smoke more food, not that I need an excuse of course.

My challenge is to stay on top of keeping the outside in shape, which mainly means keeping the pool clean (and chemically balanced), and the lawn mowed. At the moment both are in great shape, and I can relax and enjoy them.

And relaxing is what summer is all about.

Winter Camping?

The Good: The shiny new refrigerator arrived the other day, and it’s working out great. And today we got local channels on DirecTV, so Calvin can watch Simpsons and we can watch the SuperBowl! Whoops, too late for that (luckily Jon and Briar invited us to their SuperBowl Party — thanks guys!).

The Bad: The furnace kicked the bucket last night, and we have no heat or hot water.

Well, it’s actually not so bad, tho it is a challenge keeping the house warm with just a little woodstove. The furnace was old when we moved in, and we’ll be a lot better off replacing it. Unfortunately winter is the busiest season for the furnace people, and it’s tough getting somebody to come out before next week. Two different guys are coming by tomorrow morning to take a look at it, and we’re hoping to get heat and hot water back soon.

In the meantime we’re just keeping the woodstove going, putting on an extra layer and heating pans of water for spongebaths. Luckily it’s not too cold outside (20s-30s), way better than if it was 20 below!

“It’s part of life here” — heard on a radio commercial this morning

Update 10pm: If you boil enough water on the stove you can take a bath without a hot water heater. Isn’t this how they did it a hundred years ago?

Update Thursday: The Benoure brothers install the new furnace first thing tomorrow morning. Thank you!

Update Friday, 6pm: The furnace is installed, heat and hot water are back, I’m off to take a very long hot shower…

The Hot Air Balloon

There's a balloon in our front yard!Yesterday afternoon a hot air balloon landed in our front yard. Calvin saw it first, and alerted us to it. I scrambled for the camera, but could only find the video camera, so the quality of these shots isn’t the best. Carley and I went out to say hi. Hobee is very afraid of hot air balloons, when they go overhead he hides, so with one in his yard he was beside himself.

The friendly crew greeted us, and thanked us for “letting them drop in” as they said. They gave us a bottle of champagne for letting them land (a ballooning tradition, I later found out). I thanked them for the champagne, and for landing and making our afternoon!

After a few minutes, and a crew change, they were off to continue their adventure.

Carley checks it out
Carley checks it out
Balloon crew
Balloon crew
Up, up, and away
Up, up, and away

Wicked Cold, and Deer Licks

I spent the day helping Miles out with his new computer. After lunch we took a break to go outside where it was incredibly sunny and just as incredibly cold (15 below zero). There’s a tame deer that visits him, and we were lucky enough to see it while we were out there. It was chewing on some grass that was poking up thru the snow, and we walked up to it with me doing my best to project a feeling of safety and no-threat. Miles walked right up and started petting it, and I did the same. Such a wonderful, gentle creature, not bothered by the frigid weather and happy to have found some dry grass to eat. Its fur was thick and more stiff than I would have thought, and it didn’t mind being petted by humans, and even licked my hand. For me it was a magical moment of wonder and awe.