Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring hiking at Okemo

This week I made a mistake ... I thought I had guests coming on Monday afternoon for two days, but turned out I had written the dates down wrong! They are actually coming this next week. I was only glad that I was had mistakenly had them coming a week earlier vs. a week late

With no house guests, it turned out we could go on a hike with some of our Okemo co-workers on Tuesday.  It was a really nice end to our work season and a gorgeous day for a hike. We've felt fortunate to get to know both Phil and Melissa through our work season ... Phil is a fellow Christian brother and very fun guy who we've hung out with a lot with in the past couple months; we were happy to find out early in the seaspm that Melissa had also served in the Peace Corps, giving us a common bond of some similar experiences even though we'd served in opposite parts of the world. 


Laziness pays off! (for once)

In December, Jason and I paddled across Tiny Pond to take clippings of these beautiful berries for a festive arrangement in our barn.

Being the lazy person that I am, I never fully cleaned up the leftovers from my arranging ... I left them in a bucket of water on the first floor of our barn for the winter.  I noticed this week that they were still very much alive!  And, so they're having a second-go inside adding some prettiness to our home.  Love that!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Last Day Working

Our last day working here will most likely be tomorrow. 

It has been such an odd, odd season.  The resort will be closed as of Monday.  The earliest close they've ever had.  We've been incredibly fortunate to be able to work this long, but it is depressing to know the number of lives this bad season will impact negatively.  The trickle-down for Vermont as a whole is discouraging.  They could have used a good season to boost things after the horrible flooding in August ... but that isn't the case this time.  It was over 80 degrees here today -- absolutely gorgeous, but definitely not snow friendly. 

Now comes the question "what's next?"

We are incredibly grateful that Jason has been hired as a long-term substitute teacher at our local elementary school.  He started last Wednesday and although he's only scheduled for three hours a day, it of course requires A LOT more time than that to get prepared for the three classroom hours.

Many people have asked me if I'm also going to get a job ... that is a little tricky since our winter caretaking gig is up as of May 31 and we also only have one vehicle. So, I basically need a two month job that I can do on Jason's schedule or do from home (without internet or electricity).  So, my answer has been to tell people that "I'm going to practice being a housewife."  Most people think I'm joking, but I'm not.  I don't feel any shame in just focusing on keeping up a good home and doing all the yucky jobs that Jason and I usually share doing.  We'll see if my attitude is the same after a few weeks :)

But, the even bigger question is "what's next for us?" Where are we going next, what are we going to do, etc??  Perhaps you'll be surprised to hear that we plan/hope to stay in Vermont for another season of winter caretaking. We really like it here and feel that since we didn't get a "real" winter this year, we should at least give it one more try!

For the summer months when we're off from our caretaking duties (and also don't have a place to live ;-) ), we plan to have an awesome roadtrip back to California and then up to Washington.  We are taking the l-o-n-g way home, but who knows when we will have the opportunity to do something like this again.  We are super excited to see friends and family that we have not seen for a very long time and see some parts of the country that we've never seen before.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A March mish-mash

I've been pretty quiet ... life has gotten busy all of a sudden (which is a good thing I think ... many of the things making us "busy" are doing things with friends which it is great to have!)

Here are a few photos of what's been happening with us ...

We've got a temporary (rather labor intensive) fix in place with our water ... part of the process involves this tubing being in our house.  Lovely :)

We've had some crazy weather, like everywhere else I suppose. A BIG snow storm, dumping 12 - 14 inches on everything ... making the work-around to our water ever more interesting and requiring Jason to get up on the roof one more time to shovel.

We've had some beautiful sunsets too -- with Spring on it's way, these trees will soon be clothed again which will be wonderful, but I will miss being able to see through them.

These birds made me so happy, they were flying from treetop to treetop catching the last rays of the sunshine before it went down for the day. 

Seeing these did not make me happy -- thousands and thousands of tiny black bugs hatching out and covering every surface outside! So sick!

And then, we got one more snow storm.  Probably our last one for the season.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Water update

So, we still have not fixed our water situation - in spite of working on it nearly everyday for the past week  Grr.

The timing on these types of things is always interesting/humorous --

1) we first realized the problem at the beginning of our work week when our time at home (& time to work on the problem) was very limited
2) we got a big snow storm several days ago ... great for our work at the ski resort, not so great for working outside with natural springs, wells and pipes.
3) the pumps we have only seem to work sporadically - when they feel like it. A pump will work one day while we test it, then we speed off to work and return the next day thinking we have a possible fix in place...only to have the pump decide it doesn't feel like pumping
4) Jason leaves on Thursday for a 6-day trip to N. Dakota to celebrate his grandmother's 100th birthday

We are trying to find the humor in the situation now and enjoy some laughter in the moment instead of getting overly frustrated, but it IS frustrating :)

Luckily, our employer, Okemo, has generously allowed us to use available showers and we're conserving the dwindling water supply that we have ... our peace corps and Palau experiences are coming in very handy.

Yesterday, we decided not to work on it and instead went for a quick snowshoe before work to enjoy the awesome new snow and amazing landscape where we live.  That was a good choice.  When I find my camera cord, I should have some pretty photos to upload.  We still absolutely love where we live in spite of this little "challenge."

Today I made these apple-cinnamon muffins.  These have become a bit of an easy, go-to recipe for me. They always seem to turn out really good.  I use one apple that I don't peel, just cut into small pieces and today added a butter, brown sugar, oatmeal, cinnamon & a bit of flour crumb topping.  Delicious!