Tuesday, September 28, 2010

a post...

...about when my parents came, we drove all over northern Vermont, saw lots of leaves, lots of covered bridges, AND a babbling brook!

My parents and Ansley were here for 4 days, and we had a blast.

They got here late Thursday afternoon, so we went to dinner at American Flatbread. It was amazing...I love that restaurant!

They spent Friday mostly on Church Street, shopping and looking around, while Bech worked and I had school. Then we made homemade sushi for dinner.

Mom really wanted to see lots of leaves, so we found them! It was a little early down where we live, but the further north we got, the better the leaves were. On Saturday, we ended up driving all the way to Jay, Vermont, about an hour and a half away. Jay is a popular ski resort. On the way, we stopped at a covered bridge or two, plus a maple syrup store. We ate lunch at Jay's, then took the tram up to the top of the mountain...it was so cold up there! But the view from the tram was absolutely beautiful. And the tram driver said that the leaves were in their peak...score! That was all mom wanted, to see some leaves in their peak!

We drove back down through Smugglers Notch (a steep mountain road, that is actually closed in the winter because it gets dangerous when icy), then through Stowe. We stopped at the Von Trapp Family Lodge for a few pictures, then wandered around the town (it is so cute), before a really good meal at Frida's.

Sunday, they came to visit CMC with us. After lunch, we headed to Shelburne Orchards to pick some apples and eat some delicious apple pie. We also picked up some fresh apple cider...yum! Then we headed to the cute town of Vergennes, just to see a typical small New England town. It felt a little like Star's Hollow! Then back up to Shelburne Vineyards. If anyone from Burlington is reading this post, you should definitely go to the Vineyard. They have wine tasting there for a great price, and it's so fun. Dinner at Vermont Pub and Brewery finished up the day.

On Monday, I had classes again, so my family mostly just packed up. I was sad to see them go, but at least I know I will see them at Christmas. And we had a wonderful time.

My mom took most of the pictures, so as soon as she gets them online, I'll share them. For now, here are the few I took:

Leaves in their peak...aren't they amazing?

Ansley and me at Jay's peak.

At the top of Jay's...so cold!

I have Bech's jacket on, and I look like a green marshmallow. But I really wanted to show y'all how foggy it is on the top!
My favorite picture from the weekend. We stopped at a general store in the Green Mountains for a snack. Bech and Dad decided to pose with the carved bear. I think the look on Bech's face is priceless!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

No pictures in this post...sorry! I just have a few random thoughts:

1. I LOVE working in the library! I cannot believe I never worked in a library before. I work a variety of jobs (periodicals, reserve, and the science library), and I really love doing it. I get to organize (which I love), and, more than that, I get to organize books (which I really love). I have lots of time to work on homework as well.

2. My parents and my little sister fly in tonight...yay!!! I am very excited to see them! I cannot wait to show them Burlington. I think they will love it.

3. I ride the bus to school. I get to ride it for free with my UVM id. It takes about 15 minutes each way, and I really actually enjoy riding it. I don't have to drive or park, and I am grateful for those 15 minutes of down time at the beginning and ending of my school/work day. But there is no telling who is going to be on the bus each day with me. I am used to living in a nice little clean world. But I can't do that on the bus. And I am reminded each day how similar this is to the gospel. It is easy for me to escape to a nice, safe church world. But that is not the gospel. The gospel is messy, because of other believers, and because of me.

4. Being in a state where I am not surrounded by Christians (both nominally and really) has made me crave and enjoy Christian fellowship so much. We had Bible study last night, and I was so thankful for the time we spent praying together. I think it is very hard to be a Christian in Vermont, but, at the same time, being a Christian can feel so much more real.

5. I am still absolutely loving my classes. Plus, each day I find I get faster and better at my translations. I have been out of school for 3 years, so I am thankful for this! And as my homework takes less and less time, I will be able to work more on that dreaded reading list.

6. I hate to take sides, but I really just think I love Latin more. But I do love Greek.

7. Since these are getting really boring, I will end this post now. Hopefully the next post I do will contain pictures of the fall color up here!!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Whew...thank goodness for the weekend! Things have been crazy lately. I am working 19 hours at the library on top of school. Luckily, I get to do a lot of homework during work. And I definitely need that homework time!

This past week, we went to a young adults Bible study through a local church. I have definitely missed being around Christians our age. I have taken that for granted my whole life. But having Christian community is such a gift!

Then on Wednesday, we celebrated our 3 year anniversary. I can't believe Bech and I got married 3 years ago. It seems like it was just the other day! We went out to eat then picked up Ben & Jerry's for dessert.

This is us before dinner. My allergies were crazy that day, so my eyes look really weird.

Tonight, we went to a cookout for graduate student housing. They had real southern barbecue. The guy who cooked it has gone to tons of southern barbecue places, so he really knew what he was doing. Plus there were "Wickle Pickles." Turns out, there is a place near Burlington that sells them. If you have never had "Wickle Pickles," you are missing out. If you live in the south, just go to Kroger. They are sooo good!

Alright, I wanted to post pictures of my new cabinet, where I am keeping my china and crystal. I know I want to refinish it in some for or fashion, but I'm not sure.

Any thoughts???

Like I said before, I'm going to be looking on design sponge to see if I can find any good ideas. See how the cabinet doors have a rectangular inset? I thought about using a cool paper on those, something very geometrically patterned.

Seriously, though, give me thoughts/suggestions/links to pictures, etc. Any advice will be greatly appreciated!!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Champlain Valley Expo--AKA VT state fair!

I know I've already uploaded the pig race video (which apparently they do at the Mississippi state fair--to which I would like to say that I have been seriously missing out. All those years as a child that I could have gone to the pig races at the fair, but yet my parents never took me!!!), but I though I would add some pictures of the rest of the fair. Of course, there are rides and such, but we just went to the animal and produce exhibits.

First of all, this here is the fair record for largest pumpkins. This is ridiculous...1,246.5 pounds of pumpkin! Whew...can you imagine growing that thing. There was a very excited old man in charge of fielding pumpkin questions. Of course Bech asked him about the pumpkin, so we learned a lot of stuff. I kinda zoned out a minute into it, so I actually didn't learn that much. But I could have.

Here is a ram. They had gorgeous types of sheep. I liked this ones coat the best.

My favorite part was the chickens. And the chickens were all for sale, for low prices. But I don't think the nice people at graduate student housing would like for me to have a pet chicken. Which is very sad, because otherwise, I really would have bought one. I mean, really, how cute is this little guy (or actually I think it's a girl)...

This one is ridiculously cute...I loved him!

They had fake cows to milk. And, yes, we were in the kids section at this point. But we have never seen these kinds of animals up close and personal, so I think it's okay that we were there.

Cattle. We actually have seen these up close, while visiting some friends who work at a dairy. And they are really really cute!

Baby pigs. Let me just say that pigs are really cute. A lot cuter than you'd think. And funny.

This past week, we bought a china cabinet on craigs list. It was actually just a regular cabinet piece, but we are going to be using it for our china. And then I was finally able to unpack all of our china, annieglass, and crystal. It was like Christmas! I cannot wait to use it all!

One of my favorite things I unpacked was our mint julep cups. They are engraved with an "E," and absolutely beautiful. I was feeling homesick and wishing I was in the grove, so I made cheese grits and drank sweet tea lemonade out of one of my mint julep glasses!

I am going to be looking on Design Sponge for ideas for the cabinet. It needs to be repainted in some way, but I'm not sure yet about what color or what way. Maybe I will put a picture of it online, and you all can give me suggestions!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

As promised...a video of a real live pig race...i didn't know people did this. But they do.

Monday, September 6, 2010

5 things I love!

First of all, let me just say, we just got back from the Champlain Valley Expo, which is the big state fair here. It was really fun. We were given free tickets when we gave blood, so we couldn't pass up a free visit! I will post more on that later, but just know that there may be a video of a pig race on this site within the next few days...
I thought I would list some of my favorite things lately...Here we go:
1. Apple Mango Tango Gain laundry detergent.
This actually ties more into just having laundry nearby.
While in Malawi, we did not have a laundry machine for the first six months. First Mercy did our laundry outside in the sink, then I did it inside in the bathtub. Not fun. Then, when we were moved on campus, we had a washer and dryer, which was wonderful. But then the dryer stopped working. So we would wash clothes, then dry them at someones house (thanks Beth and Emily!).
This past year, we didn't have a washer and dryer either. We could have bought some, but then the dryer would have had to go into our already small kitchen. So I brought laundry with me everytime (seriously, everytime) I went to my parents. I did lots of laundry there, plus some at the Evans and some at people's houses when I would overnight babysit.
Here, we have a laundry mat within the complex. So yes, I have to pay to use it and I have to walk to it, but it is so much better than the last two years! And I have been using my delicious smelling Apple Mango Tango detergent. Seriously, best smelling detergent ever!

2. Meyer's dish soap.
Meyer's has a whole line of natural cleaning products with AMAZING smells! My favorites are Geranium and Basil. I usually alternate between the two. It's pretty high concentrated, so you don't have to use that much each time you wash dishes (and we wash dishes a lot, because we don't have a dishwasher). It's slightly more expensive than other soaps, but so worth it. It's natural and smells great!
In Jackson, you can get this at Fresh Market or Everyday Gourmet. Here you can get it, well pretty much everywhere!

3. City Market Co-op
This grocery store is incredible! It is a co-op, and we actually just bought a membership in it. It's only $15 a year, and you get a dividend check at the end of the year based on how much you spend there. There are tons of options.
I googled this picture (and strangely enough, I'm pretty sure I met the girl on the left Saturday at the Farmer's Market). I think it gives a pretty good view of their produce section. They have a good selection of organic and conventional.

One of the other reasons I love it is pictured below...they have a HUGE bulk section! They carry the basics (granola, snack mixes, flour, sugar), plus lots of other items: tahini, fresh ground peanut butter, chocolate chips, beans, balsamic vinegar, dog food.
There are two great reasons to buy in bulk. The first is that you can reduce the amount of waste. At City Market, you can bring in your own containers and fill them up. You create less empty containers to be recycled or thrown away. The second reason is that it really is cheaper.
For instance, I use balsamic vinegar a good deal for salad dressings. A bottle of it may cost about $8. I filled 2/3 of the empty bottle up for about $3.
Or take spices. If you need a strange spice, you can go out and buy it in a metal or glass container for $3 or $4. Or you can go to a bulk section and get a small amount of the spice for 50 cents.
Plus, I can buy milk there in glass bottles, which just makes me happy!

4. Tostito's Lime Tortilla chips.
I know, I know, so unhealthy. But I just can't resist them. I go through phases where I just love one particular food item, and these are it right now! I could eat a bag a day (don't worry, I don't!).

5. The fall!
I don't have a picture for this, but I am sure I will have ton's soon! It is starting to turn into fall here. Today, the temperature is in the low 70's, and I had to wear a cardigan to the fair. I am excited to do some very "fall-ish" things this year! We are going to go to a pumpkin patch and a corn maze, plus lots of looking at the leaves!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

This week has been crazy busy, but over all pretty good!

I have had tons of homework to do, first of all! But my Latin professor looked at what she was assigning us and decided to pare it down, which is nice. And I am enjoying my homework, which is always a good feeling.

On Wednesday, my mom called to tell me she sold my car...yay! I am so thankful for that. It is one less worry for us.

Then on Thursday, I got a job at the library! I think I have said this before on my blog, but my funding for school is a grant, not a TA or research job. So while I get money, I don't have to work for it. This job is great, because I will be making extra money, and I will get to study a lot! I am working about 16 hours a week to start with. I may move it up to 18 or 20, but I felt like I needed to start slow then move it up.

Friday, we met up with some friends of a friends (all in the grad department in math) for Duff hour. I'm not sure I'm spelling that right. It's a thing bars around here do where starting at four, local beers are $1. They keep it up until the keg they're using run's out. It was fun to get to meet and talk to some more people.

Then we headed out to dinner, just the two of us. We tried out a Mexican restaurant, but it was pricier than Mississippi restaurants, and just okay. But it had an amazing view of the water.

Bech worked Saturday morning, so I headed into the farmer's market with our neighbor and friend, Kylar. It was bustling! I added some pictures so you can get a feel for the farmer's market here.

This is the view walking up into the market. It's held in City Hall Park. It goes back pretty far. There are always tons of people with dogs and kids. People here bring dogs EVERYwhere! It makes me miss our Juno!

Of course, I had to get some of Half-Pints beautiful tomatoes. Here they are in the containers at the market. I stand there for about 5 minutes and pick out each one. They're $3.50/lb, and worth every penny!

Here are some more of their goods...artichoke and Japanese cucumbers.

Then Saturday afternoon, we headed about an hour down south to my professor's house in Shoreham, VT. We actually were able to come out to this house a few months ago when we visited. There was a departmental picnic, so all of the professors and their families were there. I loved getting to meet some of the professors I hadn't met yet, plus all of the wives and children.

After we got home, we hung out with Kylar and another of his math friends and played Settlers of Catan. I have been really lucky lately and have one 3 or the last 4 games I have played...that needs to change because Bech and Kylar are getting slightly annoyed and are starting to block me from the beginning!

Today we are headed to church. We are trying out a new church that is closer...paying the gas to go 35 minutes away every Sunday was killing us. We went last week and enjoyed it, and it seems to have a good population of people our age.

Finally, to end this, a food picture. I made these for a church picnic 2 weeks ago...orange cupcakes with an orange buttercream icing...yum!