Think about this ... "be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle"

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

the King's field trip

So while we were in Coatesville, PA (where we were "landed" on our third day back on the road after our volunteering stint in VT from May-October) we went into Philly to meet up with a very dear old (as in long term friendship, NOT age because he and I are the same age) friend of mine.

Robert is the Chief Engineer of his ship 

and graciously offered to give Rick a tour of said ship (he offered the tour to me as well, up until the time I had my mishap and broke my arm, at which time said offer was rescinded - no broken appendages allowed on board!!).   Sadly, neither himself, King Richard, or I took a photo of the "stairs" from the parking area up to the ship ... with or without said broken appendage I don't think this blogger would have scaled those steps ... 

Rick, surprisingly enough, didn't strongly object to the stairs and I think he has a worse fear of heights than I do ... then again, he knew a great tour was in order after the stairs so I guess that may have been what fueled his bravery!

Robert and I have been friends since junior high school ... (yes, that IS a looong time) ... his mother and my mother worked together and our parents were friends beyond that.  

Robert went to Mass Maritime and traveled the world before "retiring" ever so briefly ... some people just aren't meant to retire and he is one of those people ... 

The Regulus ("Robert's ship") is in what is referred to as a "ready reserve" status by the military and can be ready to sail per the military within 96 hours of order!  She (why are ships referred to as she??) is 946 feet long and can carry 700+ military vehicles ~ YIKES!  The link provides some interesting statistics - well worth the quick read.

While on the Regulus Rick got to see the USS Kennedy (foreground) and USS Forrestal docked ("moth balled").  He did find this quite distressing, although he did say that these ships were available as a donation to "anyone" willing to maintain them (??)  I had hoped that the King himself would provide some personal thoughts about his tour here, but alas, that was not to be ... try as I might just not gonna happen ;-(

While Rick and Robert were touring I stayed in the car with a good book and my camera ...

Enjoying a pretty nice sunset and some seagull noise ....  Indeed, a wonderful time was had by all (Thank you Robert, as always, it was great to see you, and hopefully we'll catch you on our April north bound journey somewhere in Baltimore!)

hopefully this post, and lack of cast, will get me back in blog mode .... stay tuned to find out ....

Monday, November 14, 2011

My arm is free free free at last

From its hot pink armor!  

Let the rehab fun begin ... bring it on (and my faithful heating pad and bottle of acetaminophen!  

Oh yes, and himself, King Richard, is certain that I should be back on the trailer roof tomorrow completing the repair I was up there working on when the "mis~hap" occurred!!!!  FAT CHANCE, maybe Thursday but NOT Tuesday!)

Stay tuned.......

Friday, October 28, 2011

Humpty dumpty

(and I)

had a great fall (not autumn, but f-a-l-l).

Additionally, I had loaded 25+ photos to do a post about leaving Quechee last Sunday, it was waiting for text ..... it will be waiting a bit longer since I don't do so well right now typing left handed!!

As the saying goes .... stay tuned ....

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

the fungi (and fun guy) of Quechee

This, below, is what started this whole pictoral post several weeks alright at this point it was more than a month ago ... We were sitting out at another of our wonderful, delightful, relaxing "campfires" (which often times start around 1:30 in the afternoon) and what to my wondering eyes should appear but this most interesting fungi photograph opportunity .... (gotcha didn't I ~ you thought it was going to be an early Christmas tale since we are in the land of snow ~ a post for a different time)

But seriously, this photo (above) was what started this post oh so very long ago .... As Sir and I had been walking about the campground it "dawned" on me that oh what a plethora of fungi colors and statures there are in just this tiny bit of land we are on (well "tiny" is a relevant term here).  

So off I went a time or two, camera in hand, thinking oh what a photographer of fungi am I ... Seriously, who knew all these colors and shapes, sizes and hiding places these fungi would have.  Well since at this time it has rained, I believe, eleven days in a row, causing the fungus to grow fungus and the mold to grow mold, and the people and canines to, perhaps, grow webs between their toes ... not to mention that some of "them" get just a wee bit "testy" and short tempered and perhaps a bit "irritable" (just thinking a bit, of course)

 and lo and behold I come across a site from my "childhood" (a photo of the site above, certainly not a photo above of my childhood) .... "Indian Pipe" Such an interesting fungi it is, and reading the wikipedia info, I had NO clue there are, somewhere in the world, a red version of said Indian Pipe!!

Who had any clue there were so many shapes, sizes and colors of fungi.  Speaking of fungi, how about the fun guy below .... is that a happy, fun guy face or what ....

Truth be told here (of course the truth would be told), He, the King, was out cleaning sites one day (or something I can not attest to witnessing, because I was not with him at the time, and only heard about it some time after the fact ... and what should He come across .... the fungi of ALL fungi ....

Are you ready for this???  

He was quite proud to be the finder of such a treasure, so proud and honored was he that he proudly displayed it for anyone showing the most remote (really and truly remote) interest, including his female boss (not his wife, but his boss at the campground) ...

Oh yes, he carried this around in the campground pickup in case, just in case, he should cross paths with anyone who might like to see this wonderful specimen of fungi a fun guy can stumble upon in a damp, very damp environment up here in VT ...

BTW, there seems to be an issue with my "spell check" on blogger tonight ~ I did my best, but sometimes, hard as I try it just isn't good enough!

Do stay tuned ...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A happy day for himself

I ask you my friends .... is that a happy face or what?

Many many (well two, which often feels like many many) months ago, himself,  King Richard, celebrated another birthday, for which we are aways delighted and gleefully doing the "happy dance".

To celebrate said natal day his son Patrick (himself an air traffic controller) hired his friend, a pilot, to fly his Dad to the destination of his choice for lunch.... His highness the King is "all about" all things aeronautical and didn't really care too much about the lunch or the destination, it was all about the getting there, getting there way up high where the birdies fly .... lets just fly fly fly

Not so quick there your highness .... first and most importantly a pre-flight inspection must be done ... check things in the aircraft, check things under the aircraft and check the oil ..... 

then ....

YOU, your highness can pull the plane out of  its hangar .... 

and finally, after all this work is done you will go up up up and away

to Martha's Vineyard for a delightful, delectable, enjoyable, love filled lunch ....

devastation and destruction

Not a particularly pleasant title is it?  It has, however been the tone in these parts for a couple weeks, but it has also been a great motivator for communities to "come together" and do what has to be done ...

I think I may have posted the above photo a few months ago when we first arrived in Quechee, showing just how beautiful the Quechee Gorge is.  The photos below, however, are quite a different view of said Beautiful Gorge .... don't you think!!!

Taken from the same spot on the bridge looking down into the gorge - the first one when the water level was at a "reasonable level" mid-June ... the next two were taken a couple days after Hurricane Irene reeked havoc on this area ~ tearing towns, villages, houses and families apart with wild abandon!  As you can see from the photos the water level was considerably higher through the gorge - the rock cliffs along the side are under water!  The trails (which by the way are maintained by "us", the State Park) and still impassable because of the damage done to them.  The park system has been working to get them "passable" by the coming Columbus Day weekend, which in these parts is a major tourist weekend because of the gorgeous foliage that will surely color the area in a couple weeks (stay tuned, I just may be back in the blog swing of things and post a photo or two).

Above is a photo of the hydroelectric station just down the road from us (in fact across the street from the  Park Rangers house).  I don't have a comparison photo but this link is a terrific video (tab #1 at this link) of what was happening during this chaos, as well as a still shot (tab #2) which is a great comparison.  There is mention during the video of propane tanks .... a store in Woodstock (about seven miles west of us) had several propane tanks lost in the disaster, being close to the flooding river, of course they floated away with several of them bursting, causing the bridge over the gorge to be closed for a while as a precaution ~ as if there wasn't enough going on!!!

Above, just a random shot of a small building that had "floated" off its foundation!

I think the worst of the local (within a one mile radius of us) tragedies was the photo directly above and those below of the Quechee Bridge.  As you can see the bridge is "fine" but there is no longer access to the bridge, making it an island!  Word has it that repairs will not start until sometime in 2013 on this devastation, as there IS other access to this area.  The photo above was taken approaching the bridge from the south, the photos below were taken from the north side .... amazing the force of nature isn't it!  That mother nature was one "pissed off woman" when she came through here that day!

An interesting note to the photo below, as well as one similar above, the building to the right of the bridge is (was) a real estate office - the entire back wall of the building was washed away!  I do expect that any day now the building will be razed - I can't imagine that any insurance carrier would cover it in the future?

With all this said, there is progress being made - a couple of the businesses in this little area known as Quechee Village have reopened, but more surprisingly the main thorough fare from east to west across the state (route 4) at this point has finally been reopened, as of yesterday, with one lane passage.  The closure of that road had a huge impact on the moral of the entire area with many many small towns being totally isolated.

With all this said I will close by saying I have photos loaded for two additional posts, but well ....... we shall see, but please do try to stay tuned ....

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

The beauty abounds

At the Vermont State Parks.  A while back we took a field trip of sorts to Barnard, VT to visit the Silver Lake State Park.  We thought perhaps Sir Arlo needed some swim and water play time, if not a change of scenery.  We don't have a lake or pond (or any day use area for that matter) here at Quechee (yes we have a gorge, but that's a hike and not always the best choice with a dog who isn't particularly social!

I don't know how big the lake is but it was beautiful and we were able to find plenty of places away from the day use beach area where Sir could frolic!

I turned around to look at our surroundings while Sir was swimming and look who else had been quite active in this particular spot recently!!!  He must have heard us approaching because this sure looked like fresh chewing!

And as the saying goes, I'd say this fella had been "busy as a beaver" for sure!

It's hard for me to believe that we are three months into our five month commitment here in Quechee.  We have been busy busy busy between our volunteering here, travel back to MA, travel to NH and company, lots and lots of company which we have LOVED!  Also, we had the annual "Peck Family Christmas Bar-b-que" (aka PFCBBQ) here at our site a couple weeks back.  Perhaps, just perhaps I'll get around to loading some pictures and doing a blog post about that major event~which was fun fun fun for all (I think, but I am certain it was fun for me!)

I'm thinking that's it for this post, stay tuned and see if another post happens soon .... we shall see .....