Sunday, April 29, 2007

House Work

So we are putting in the floor downstairs. Our original plan was to go with carpeting, but after we got home from Hawaii and saw some puddles down there, we had to rethink. We decided to go with the vinyl squares, so we will have the ability to pull up one or two if needed. We got the office done yesterday, and we are going to go buy supplies for the rest of the basement now. Hopefully it goes as smoothly as it has been. Its fun really, to see the floor change so quickly from gray cement of a basement to something nicer than our kitchen.

Hopefully tomorrow we'll have pictures.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Reading Anything Good?

I've been in a blog-reading rut lately. So I started clicking the 'Next Blog' button (at the top of the page) to expand my online horizons. I've had to sort through a lot of junk, but I've found some great blogs that way. Supposedly you get a random blog with each click, though I have my doubts. I've seen the same blog 3 or 4 times in one sitting, so it would seem a few people found out a way to break the rules and increase their page hit counter.

But anyway, I've added my favorites to the 'Links to Cool Stuff' list on the left. They are: Another Shade of Grey, which I really like. Lots of interior design, color, texture, arts in general, and inspiration. Have Dogs, Will Travel, is written by a woman from Australia who moved to Italy with her husband and dogs. Its another art blog, with lots of sketching, painting and a bit of photography. The Internship Diaries, a blog by a photojournalist from San Francisco, living in Chicago, has quite a bit of amazing photography. And for something completely different, It is a numeric life, which is about statistics from social and science studies. Very interesting. And entertaining. Its along the same lines as indexed (another blog I really like, and have been reading for a while), which is one of the more clever (cleverer?) blogs I've come across in a long time.

So thats what I've been reading. Does anyone have a blog they frequently check? I'm definitely looking for recommendations.

Monday, April 23, 2007

With pictures this time.

So Hawaii was fantastic, as I've said. I took a bunch of pictures, more than anyone other than myself would ever want to look through. As soon as we were out of the jet bridge, I wanted to take a picture of everything. Honestly, everything was beautiful, and I wanted a picture. As in 'Look! The airport has palm trees! ' click click click! I got over that relatively quickly, but I still came home with over a thousand shots, so watch the Picture of the Day, I'm sure there will be a lot of Hawaii there for a few weeks. I really feel like we saw a lot of what Oahu had to offer. In fact, on our last day, Mike found a top 12 list of things to do on the island. We had done 9, and were on our way to the tenth. And Eric was a wonderful host. I'd definitely recommend staying at his place. He thought of everything for us, and it definitely made the trip much better. Thanks, Eric!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Back to Maine

We had an incredible time in Hawaii. We saw beautiful things in every direction we looked, went on amazing hikes, ate delicious things, swam and snorkled and sailed, and just relaxed in the sun. Claire loved it just as much as we did. We did have a bit of trouble getting there, and its quite a story. It definitely deserves to be told, but not today. The time change and sleeping on the plane are starting to catch up with me. It was quite the trip home. Not stressful, but very long. I haven't even loaded my pictures yet, so you'll have to wait for that. And when we got home we found out we weren't completely untouched by the huge storm that hit New England earlier in the week. We lost a bit of roofing, a bit of fencing, and we have some water in the basement. We'll probably need to get the ceiling in at least one room replaced. Its hard to tell now how much damage there is (I'm a little afraid to look in the attic), but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough, hopefully tomorrow morning. We were, however, very lucky. Our next door neighbor had much more damage, and other areas of the city are still without power. We hear it was quite the storm. We picked a great week to be in Hawaii!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Cascade Head

Last weekend, Curtis and I hiked around Cascade Head on the coast. We happened to catch the views from the top between a storm earlier in the morning and one later in the afternoon - excellent timing! The trail was pretty empty except for the two of us, which allowed for a quite picnic at the top with warm homemade veggie chili. My hands were pretty icy from the wind, next time I shall remember gloves even if the sun is shining! Here are some of my pics from the trip...eventually I will transfer my flickr badge to this blog. Sorry for the delay Sheila!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Getting ready.

I spent the morning buying little toys and trinkets that will (hopefully) occupy Claire's attention for 10 hours on an airplane. My plan is to put them in a bag and let her reach in without looking to choose one every once in a while. This strategy worked perfectly when we were driving from Wisconsin to Maine, so I'm pretty sure it will work again. I also took away her L-Max for the past week or so in order for it to be 'new' again on the plane, and I always have crayons and a notebook when I fly with her. Any other great ideas for activities? How about food? I never know what to pack for food, and for shorter trips I rarely take anything along. But with such a long flight, I have to take something or else we'll be overpaying for food on the plane. Does anyone have a favorite food they like to fly with? I'm looking for ideas.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Hunt

Easter was a very low-key day for us. We had planned on hiking, but Claire and I were feeling a but under the weather, so we decided to stay in. I slept almost the entire day, and Mike and Claire had their fair share of napping as well. When we all finally rolled out of bed around 5:30pm, we decided to get the egg hunt underway. It was surprisingly cold for Easter, but we all had fun hunting for eggs anyway. And the snow added a bit of difficulty to the hunt. Claire seemed to think I had buried all of the eggs, and spent quite a bit of time digging in the snow for them.

Today I'm planning on running some errands. I have to pick up some groceries and other necessities before we leave for our tropical vacation. I'm still at home though, and my list is only partially complete. Obviously I'm having a difficult time getting going today. But I'm awake and dressed, which compared to yesterday is a big step in the right direction.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Tuckerman's Ravine

Mount Washington in Maine/NH has a place called Tuckerman's ravine. Each spring it is just cold enough to have good fresh snow and yet just warm enough to make it a great climb. This spring is no exception and this weekend a group of friends and I hiked up and enjoyed the adventure.

The hike was about 2-3 hours up and the views were spectacular. Here are some pictures.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Tulip Trip

Greetings! A lovely April here in Oregon so far. Last weekend I went to the Wooden Shoe Bulb Company to see the impressive display of tulips. Even though it was overcast and a little wet, it was well worth the trip! I think the images speak for themselves...

Easter Eggs

Claire and I spent the morning dyeing Easter eggs. She's never done it before, and she took the job very seriously. Its also been a long time since I've done it, so it was really fun for both of us. We didn't do anything fancy, just drew a few designs with crayons before dunking them. I used a white crayon, and it was really fun to watch Claire as she saw the design come through after dyeing them, even though you couldn't see it before hand ("But MOM. You can't see white crayon on a white egg!). Now we're all set for tomorrow. Claire got her hand made Easter basket in the mail yesterday from my mom, and tomorrow our plan is, if it stays somewhat nice outside, to do another hike like we did last weekend. Maybe hide a few eggs in the woods for Claire.

The rest of today should be nice and quiet. Mike is off hiking up a mountain in order to ski down it, so its just Claire and I. He and a group of guys are going to Mount Washington, and in specific, Tuckerman Ravine. We were looking at the website yesterday, and the avalanche advisory was 'very high'. I'm glad to see its lower today. Honestly, it sounds very exciting, and I'm sure he will have a great time.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Welcome Back, Winter

So the 'Picture of the Day' was actually taken today (04-05-07). Overnight we got 10 inches of snow. I'm sure it won't stick around long, the snow already looks to be melting off the roads, but it doesn't exactly feel very much like April anymore. On the other hand, we'll soon be in Hawaii, so I can't complain at all.

In the mean time, we are having an incoming resident and her husband (Sadie and John) stay with us for a few days while they job/house hunt. They drove up from Washington DC last night, and a trip that should have taken 8 hours lasted 14 due to the weather. Then today they found out that a number of John's interviews as well as some showings were canceled because of the weather. Seems like its been a rough start for them, but hopefully they find something they like in both searches. If not, I really think John is all set to just move right in with us.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Shift Happens - Globalization; Information Age

I know this is a shift (haha) from what we are usually posting about, but I thought it was really unbelievable. Pretty intense music, too.

Spring Cleaning

I've been making some changes here at the halblog. Nothing too earth shattering, but a change is nice. I'm going to attempt a picture-of-the-day in the sidebar. Hopefully that goes well. I figure I've stuck with blogging longer than I expected, so maybe I can make the commitment of a new(ish) picture each day. Actually, now that I look at it, I have to change the picture I chose already because I've used it on thehalblog just a few posts ago. See, I'm getting better at it already. I expect I'll continue to play with the template until I find something I like, or until I get tired/frusterated with it. Hopefully I find something I like.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Mount Douglas

Today we hiked Mount Douglas, and it was really fun. The hike itself was great, there were some pretty steep parts, but we managed to push and pull each other up, and the scenery was amazing. We saw gigantic moose tracks, I really should have put my boot in the picture or something for scale, because you really can't get a good idea of its size from the picture, but they were huge. Much bigger than Mike's foot.

We also saw A LOT of moose poop, which actually doesn't look at all like what I would expect. I didn't take a picture, but if you want, you can see what it looks like here, and depending on how much you like that, you might want to buy a pair of these. Made in Maine, you know. Unfortunately, we didn't see the moose itself, but if we had, we would have been prepared. Our friends from Alaska (Meghan and Jason) told us that you can easily hide from a moose behind a tree because their eyesight is not very good.

Anyway. There were some really pretty creeks along the trail. Some we could see, and some we could only hear, they were still covered by a crust of snow.

It probably took us two hours to reach the summit, but it was well worth it. The view from the tower at the top was unbelievable. We were lucky enough to be there on a clear day and could see Mount Washington as well as other peaks, Lake Sebago, and the ocean. Beautiful. Then we took the more direct path down, which was much shorter (by about two hours), but also much more steep. I took a lot of pictures and had a difficult time deciding which to post here on the blog. You can see them here.

Adam Sutter's New House

Adam Sutter (Portage High class of 1999) is living large. He just started a new job doing community relations for the American Cancer Society and he and his wife Amanda have just finished building a new house. Below are a few pictures. For more pictures click on the link (over there on the right side of the page) titled The Sutter Home.