Making progress

Today was a very productive day. Thankfully the past week has been so warm that almost all of the 2 feet of snow that came down just before Christmas has melted. Jake & I worked very hard the past 2 days beginning the long cleanup process of my property.

This big pile of branches was part of what we accomplished.

It used to all be here in my front yard & rock garden
and here in my sun garden. Its so nice to see the ground again and I'm so glad the snow melted so I didn't have to wait till spring to begin cleanup.
This is whats left of the garden at the end of my driveway. The telephone pole on the left was falling down (that's the top half of it on my lawn) and when they put the new pole in next to it they must have had to dig very deep and that pile of dirt & large rocks ended up on top of my garden : ( I'm hoping after I move the dirt & rocks away that maybe my garden will survive....but I'm thinking it may be re-arranged a bit
These are the larger pieces of wood from my front yard that still need to be cut up for burning next year.

And there is still so much to be done yet.....but we're making progress


The un-beautiful side of an ice storm

As promised.....more photos of the ice storm & the damage left behind. When I woke up the morning after the storm I never would have imagined I'd be without power for 10 long days. I'll start with a few photos taken around town & then the ones from my yard...

Lots of trees in the road..
And telephone poles destroyed..

The wires that weren't taken down by fallen trees or poles we very heavy with ice & hanging low

Am I seriously going to drive under this???

This was what my neighbors driveway looked like the morning after. They were out of town...can you imagine returning home to this?
And my other neighbor who has the lovely gardens & blueberry grove has a view of Boston that she didn't have before all those tree tops broke off...

This is the view looking down my road (that's my mailbox in the bottom right corner) You might never know there was a road there except for the street sign off in the distance...

And this is the view looking up my road from my driveway...

And remember this pretty sunrise over my back yard from a few weeks ago? You can't see it in this picture but there is a pretty circular clearing back there that I called "the grove" and I had planned on planting high bush blueberries back there next spring....

Well there is no pretty clearing back there anymore...this is what it looked like the morning after the storm. Makes me cry every time I look at this photo & the next one....

The view of my property from across the street. All those beautiful trees that I enjoyed the breeze from while on my back deck are either broken off at the top of down completely..
In this picture you can see the top of my maple tree sitting against the corner of my house (and on top of my lilac bush & electrical wires)
Looking out my front door toward my rock garden...

A side view of the rock garden covered in debris and my favoritre shag bark hickory split in 2 & broken off halfway down. This was one of my favorite trees & I'm sad it can't be saved...

my side yard.....lots of free firewood in my future here....

The view of the trees from my deck...they used to all be as tall as that one on the right side of the photo...

My pretty birdhouse was even knocked down off its pole but amazingly was not damaged...
The 2 trees that fell on my deck....thank goodness for homeowners insurance....

And this is how you know who your good friends are. My dear friend Liz & her husband Mike drove an hour to my house in a storm on day 9 without power to help me get that tree top off of my electrical wires. The electric company had told me to leave it there for them to remove & when I called them to tell them the pole the wires were attached to was leaning more toward my house by the day & was afraid it would fall soon. They told me they couldn't fix the pole or turn my power back on till I removed the debris from the wires myself. How frustrating since they had told me a week earlier they would do that. But thank goodness for friends who are there for you when you need them.

Merry Christmas

Just a quick note to wish you all a Merry Christmas. With the long power outage & the normal hustle & bustle of the holidays I have not done much scrapping lately but hopefully I'll be able to do some soon.

I hope you all have a safe & wonderful holiday.


Ice Storm 2008

Wow...its been so long since I've been online or done anything other than read by lantern light for so long.

My town suffered a bad ice storm that left it looking like a war zone and left me without power for 10 incredibly long hard days. I am so tired, emotionally drained and so relived to finally have power back. My son & I did the happy dance all over the kitchen when it turned back on...and again when we turned on the kitchen light for the first time in days. The first 5 or 6 days we managed just fine but on day six I had a meltdown...and proceeded to have a meltdown daily with the biggest one so far being at my family party earlier today. How embarrassing to totally fall apart in front of everyone like an emotional basket case. You can't even imagine how totally draining it is to be in survival mode for so long. And to think that this is the way people used to live years ago.....what a hard life they lived back then. 10 days was enough to last me a lifetime.

So now begins the long process of cleaning up my property of all the trees that came down. I need to buy a good chainsaw & get to work. If only it would stop snowing. Its been snowing pretty much non stop for 3 days with almost 2 feet of snow on the ground....ugh !! I think it has finally stopped now.

I have lots of pictures to share of the damage but right now I'm really exhausted and anticipating my first good nights sleep in a long time. I'd bet I'll sleep like a log tonight. I'll leave you a few more pictures of the beauty of the ice storm and will follow up with the depressing damage photos on another post. Hope you all are well...I've missed my blogging friends.
I'd take fall back in a heartbeat right now...love the crackled ice on these pumpkins
My neighbors swing covered in a thick layer of ice
Amazingly this what grass looks like with an inch of ice coating it.
Sunrise on the morning after the scariest night of my life. Looks peaceful but the sleepless night before this sunrise was anything but peaceful
The gazebo on the town common at sunrise with the moon still in the sky
Love the look of icicles on the evergreens...


Layouts to share

Just a couple of layouts to share tonight before I crash. Jake & I finished cutting up & stacking the dead tree that was cut down a week or so ago & I'm sooo tired tonight.

The layout below is what I ended up with when I tried to do Ali Edwards "a week in the life" idea. It didn't take me long to realize that my Monday - Friday pictures would be pretty repetitive shots of my commute, my desk etc. But these pictures were taken on the day I started (9/28/08) which was a Sunday & also happened to be my 47th birthday. So I thought a day in the life page might be a better idea for me than a week in the life.

Artistically its not my favorite page, but I'd bet years from now it might be my kids favorite pages. So for me, even though it's a very basic page...I still like it a lot. I laugh when I look at the price of gas in this layout. That was just over 2 months ago & I was so excited to see how cheap gas was getting to be. And now its half of that...but I'm sure that won't last forever. And years from now when my kids look at this I can just imagine them saying "wow look how inexpensive gas was"

This layout is pretty simple too. And I have no idea why I chose purple cardstock...but it works with the other colors well I think. I wanted to record the pictures of Tanner from the day we got him so we could look back at how cute he was as a little guy. When I see these I see how big he has really grown in the past few months. Again another very simple page...but sometimes I like these the best. Whats not to love about a page that takes you less than 30 minutes to complete?

I'm off to curl up under a down blanket on the couch. Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone.


A guessing game...

Bet you can't guess what happened just seconds after this photo was taken...

But first let me explain what this is a photo of.... See that woman in the navy shorts & white tank...that's my sister...she is the coolest !!! See the boy running to her left...that's my son. He's pretty cool too. This is the Boston marathon...and I can't even tell you how many times my sister has run it (and other marathons) I think she's up to almost 20 now. But this one was special. You probably can't read her shirt but it says Team Parkinson on it...and it also says for Dad & Ken. You see my dad died a few years back ...and he had Parkinsons. Such an awful disease to witness. But Ken is my sisters husband who was diagnosed with Parkinsons about a year ago...so sadly he & my sister will have to witness this nightmare called Parkinsons all over again. And Deb ran for team parkinson...and raised over $5000 for the cause. So this race was special to us all. My Mom, my other sister, a family friend, Jake & I went to watch her as she approached the finish line. She stopped & gave us all hugs & kisses & you never would have known she had run more than 25 miles...she looked great. Anyway...I told Jake when she ran past us he could run alongside her as far as that blue sign you see a little ways down...and then go in behind that line of people along the road & come back to us. So off they went...

So what happened after this photo was taken??? Well....I took the picture & then stepped to the left so I could look down behind that row of people on the curb & see Jake come back to me (didn't want to lose track of him in such a large crowd) I stood there watching for him....and almost got hit by a train coming up behind me. You see there is a railroad track just a few feet behind that crowd that runs parallel to the road. My poor Mom...I don't think she has ever moved so fast as she did at that moment trying to get to me...that poor 76 year old was jumping over lawn chairs. She shocked us all with her agility in the face of danger. And me....well between my Mom screaming my name & the very loud train horn honking at me just a couple of feet behind me...I just about jumped out of my skin...and I'm lucky I didn't jump further into the path of the train. Pretty scary. But even more scary than that was...I still hadn't located my son...and I was so afraid with the train heading down toward that sign that he was going to run in behind the crowd & right in front of the train....luckily he ran back in front of the crowd rather than behind..phew.

I need to scrap this photo someday soon I think...


Layouts to share

A couple of weeks ago I shared my excitement that I had been asked to be a guest designer for an upcoming dare on the NZ Dare blog. I wasn't able to share any details or the page I did for the dare until they posted it on their blog...but now I can.

The dare was to create a layout that was a nature scene with no people in the photo & also the layout had to have a Haiku poem on it ( 3 lines - 5 syllables in the first & last line & 7 syllables in 2nd line) I'm not a poet by any means and Haiku's never really did much for me. So this one was a tough one for me. Picking out the photo was the easy part since I have lots to choose from. The photo in the layout below is from a 4 wheeling excursion my son & I did in Yankee Boy Basin in Ouray Colorado a few years back. Such a gorgeous place & I've been wanting to scrap this photo for a long time..

So the layout below is what I came up with for my dare entry.

And below is a layout I finished yesterday. Very simple and quick to put together. I love the colors on this one. Most of the patterned papers are from Basic Grey's Urban Prarie line...when I bought it I never would have thought it would be so versatile & that I'd be turning to it so often when pulling together layouts.
I probably should explain this photo and why I wanted to scrap it. My son came home from playing basketball with the neighbor boy and asked me if they could play video games together. I told him that I thought it was much too nice of a day to be indoors playing on the playstation. A few minutes later I came around to the front of the house from the back yard & there they were sitting on the front porch, with the tv just inside playing baseball on the playstation. I had to laugh out loud when I saw them. Pretty clever huh?
The chipboard title letters are from Martha Stewart...I got them on clearance & I really like them a lot. You can't see it from this photo but they are shiny..and the color is so pretty isn't it?

That's it for tonight...I have another layout to share soon...just have to get it photographed first. For now I'm off to bed...enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone.


One more thing to be thankful for...

About this beautiful girl....

This is my daughter Amanda. She's been in the Navy in Aircrew school for the past year & a half. She is graduating in a couple of weeks with military honors at the top of her class. I'm a very proud Mom....and yes I am thankful for her every day. And thankful she has found her niche and is so happy. But there is more...

She's in love. Head over heels in love with a man who makes her very happy. And if she's happy..I'm happy.

They met in aircrew school....became friends, began dating ...

And fell in love....

Madly in love..... And today she called me because she wanted me to be the first one she shared her news with...that he proposed to her today (in a very romantic way)...and she said yes. So she has something to be very thankful for this Thanksgiving...and her Mom is thankful too. Thankful that after years of men who treated her badly and didn't appreciate what a treasure she is..that she has found this handsome guy who brings her such joy, is so good to her & loves her so much.

So happy for these two.....I hope that they share a lifetime of love & laughter together. Congratualtions to my baby girl. Love you !!!

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Just a quick post as I have to get my carrot souffle cooked before I head over to my sisters for a delicious feast. I spoke with my daughter this morning. She is sad she can't make it home for Thanks giving but she'll be home 3 weeks from today so that will be here before I know it. And she is spending the weekend with her boyfrined who has come down to Florida from his base in Virginia to spend the weekdend with her...so I know she'll have a very happy weekend.

Off to finish my baking but I'll leave you with a few things that I'm thankful for today (and every day)

  • My family above all else !!!
  • My health
  • Our troops, some of whom are not able to enjoy the Thanksgiving with family that we are enjoying today
  • Having a roof over my head, food to feed my family & a warm fire to heat my home.
  • Good neighbors
  • Being an American
  • Having a 5 day break from work for the holiday weekend
  • Being only 3 weeks away from seeing my beloved daughter again.
  • November being almost over...that means I'm one month closer to springtime.
  • Having a big piece of property so I can garden to my hearts content
  • Living in a small town.

I'm sure I could go on & on...but there's cooking to be done. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


Randomness & a layout to share

Jake was so proud to bring this home from school the other day & tell me that he had won 2nd place in an art contest at his school with it. I love the noses and especially love how each of their eyes are looking to the side. They say the one clear way to tell that someone is lying to you is when they look off to the side rather than look you in the eye. Ironic that they are politicians???

And can I just say that this boy is going to make some lucky woman a very happy wife one day. He cooked me dinner last night all on his own (with a little bit of advise from me on how much of each ingredient might work for what he was planning.) And he even wears the towel on his shoulder like I do when he cooks. Love that !

Egg noodles, broccoli, cooked hamburg seasoned with garlic, pepper & smokey paprika..placed in a casserole & topped with a cheese sauce he made seasoned with basil & then topped with a breadcrumb topping.

The finished product fresh out of the oven and the proud handsome chef who created it.

And you know what....this meal was totally delicious.

And a layout to share that I finished up this morning. I really love this picture of Jake sitting near a pond we were hiking around . The brown & green pattern paper is from Crate Paper & the green scallop edge paper is Creative Imaginations. Loved how great they went together. Funny..when I was doing this layout I was thinking the title was "Awesome Kid" But as I look at it now it looks like it reads as "Kid Awesome" Ah well...I still like it.

And a closer shot of the journaling on the left side of the page. The green scalloped edge peeking out from behind the circular "boy" rub on is actually a felt flower from Creative Imaginations.

Off to get some things done for Thanksgiving baking....I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.