Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Thanksgiving always seems to be a time to remember our blessings and be thankful ... I wish I would give that kind of focus to my blessings everyday. 

This year, I felt especially thankful for Peace Corps.  In spite of the many organizational negatives I encountered during my experience, I am thankful for Peace Corps.  First and foremost, for introducing me to my incredible husband - a person who I never thought I would meet.  Secondly, I am so so so thankful for the group of people it introduced me to.  Our little band of 16 volunteers, bound for Tonga.  Many of who I still keep in touch with and all whom I shared a uniquely challenging and memorable time of my life with. 

This weekend I was reminded to be thankful for Peace Corps because we were blessed by a visit from a fellow volunteer and friend, William.  It was a totally spontaneous visit and we loved it! I was grateful for the reminder of the priceless things I gained from my Peace Corps experience. 

When William arrived on Thursday morning (after taking a very early bus from NYC), he began unloading his small backpack -- it was packed with all kind of treats from Trader Joe's!  He'd hardly brought any clothes and was apologizing for not being able to bring more food!  This is the kind of guy William is.


It had snowed the day before so we got out on some snowshoes right away ... figuring to exercise before the Turkey coma :)

No trip to Forest Echo would be complete without a canoe ride on Tiny Pond ...

... or a hike up to the lookout ...

The boys built a BIG snowman!

A quick fishing trip on Tiny Pond -- the fish live up to the name: Tiny!


Putting William to work before he headed home!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


We were lucky enough to have some wonderful friends come for a visit this past weekend.  Can I just say how nice it was to have friends around - even if it was just for a couple days?  It makes me realize how much I miss people.  Oddly enough, living in Vermont has actually left me feeling more isolated than when we lived in Shanghai, so it was great to be able to connect with some good friends.
Megan and I met 15 years ago while at college and I am so thankful that we've been able to continue our friendship.  She and her husband, Michael, made the 10 hour (one-way) drive up to see us and had no qualms about staying in our off-the-grid living situation.  
Michael who has a very nice camera and a gifted eye for photos, took some beautiful photos which he agreed could be shared here.  Any of those photos are marked with a MM in the corner. 

As you will be able to see ... I am still toothless.  Grrr.  After getting my bridge re-bonded, it only stayed in a week before falling right back out again, right before a holiday weekend.  So, I was toothless in Vermont for the weekend.  Fun :)
We had an awesome time hiking, canoeing, talking & talking, playing board games & football (on a field lit by car headlights), making applesauce and eating (of course!)

PS -- we're all wearing bright colors since deer hunting season began this past weekend and we didn't want to get shot! I can't believe that after living in LA & NYC, I'm more afraid of getting shot here in the wilderness of Vermont!



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Turkeys in the morning

We woke up to over 20 of these wild turkeys in our yard!
Thanksgiving anyone???

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Do you ever just feel lost?

Do you ever try so hard to be the person you want to be and just utterly fail?  Day.After.Day. 
Constantly failing at something makes me want to just give up. 
Will I ever be the kind, patient, tender-hearted woman that I want to be?  Will I ever even make progress toward those things?  I dunno.  Today, it seems impossible and I feel empty with that depressing thought.
I know that tomorrow when I wake up, I'll have a new perspective -- for some reason, "a new day with no mistakes in it yet" gives me the boost I need to try yet again :)
For today, I get to sit in this beautiful library and use the free internet ... I am fortunate.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

First Visitors!

Before the snow, we were fortunate to have a visit from Jason's parents.  It was a very quick visit, but we squeezed in a lot of fun activities and as always they were incredibly good sports - not complaining once about the outdoor toilets or lack of electricity!  We were so glad to have them see and experience our new home and only wish they could have stayed longer.


Testing out the flavors of our local cheese maker -- they had samples of 8 or 9 different types of cheese! Delish!

We got stuck in a thundershower on our way to Tiny Pond and made use of a nearby shelter -- 

Beaver work.

On our last day ... at Buttermilk Falls.