Sunday, December 31, 2006


Well, being that it's the end of the year and all, I feel like I should write something profound. It's been an interesting year and sometimes things just don't always go the way you want. That's probably all I have to say about that. (='.'=)

I'm going to now illustrate this with a photo set of Max and Sophie (I'm thinking of turning this into a flip-book).

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Stay in line

Hmmm...I'm pretty happy that 2006 is almost over. Happy New Year to all of you. It seems that many people I know are looking forward to a new year.

I have a splitting headache but had to interrupt feeling sorry for myself so that I could post this.

I bought this sign a few days ago as a Christmas present to myself:

Seriously, how could I pass that up?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

You don't think I'm weird, do you? appears that I have been tagged for this "6 weird things about you" questionnaire that is going 'round the net. Well, at least around in my circles. Around in circles. Around circles. Round circles. Hmmm. Anyway.

Sorry my answers are long. That's, like, a weird thing about me. How much I write, when a shorter answer would easily suffice. Consider it a freebie. However, on to the real list:

1. I have food allergies, regular allergies, car sickness, claustrophobia...etc. So a dinner out with me means no Asian food and picking through the menu (and asking lots of questions or making special requests), I have to sit in the front seat of the car, I have to sit on the outside of the booth...and so on. I'm like that kid at camp who always had to be in the nurse station and came with an enormous shoebox full of pills. That's pretty much me.

2. I think that my cats are Jewish (God's way of trying to get folks of different religions, or different flavors of Christianity to get along). I also think they are nearly human, and understand what I say to them.

3. I often anthropomorphize inanimate objects. So if something falls down, I sometimes feel sorry for it. I also think my truck has feelings. Sometimes I don't want to get rid of something because I don't want to hurt its feelings (you know, like that old vase I am giving to goodwill - I don't want it to feel hurt because I've replaced it).

4. Sometimes I think I have a hearing problem (but I really don't - I can hear just fine, especially when I don't want to). I am so visually oriented that I find it hard to listen to audio books and I always watch movies with subtitles or closed-captioning on. When someone tells me something, I often have to see the words spelled out in my head. I often look at people's mouths when they talk, and if I am not looking at their mouth, or not looking at them directly, I occasionally seem to not be able to hear them, or catch words. Sometimes when I hear people talking, I think they aren't speaking in English. But they are. But then again, sometimes when I accidently switch to the Spanish channel (I suck at foreign languages, so I don't know Spanish), I will listen to it for a minute, and not realize it is not English. I think that's pretty weird, don't you?

5. I have a serious problem remembering my right from my left, and often will think "I pledge allegiance to the flag" so that I can think which hand is my right hand (no, that "L" shape hand thing doesn't work for me; because if you have a problem with right and left, why the heck would you remember off the top of your head which way the "L" is supposed to go?). So when I give you directions, if I say left, I might really mean right. But sometimes I might say left and really mean left, right?

6. Sometimes I can't sleep at night because I will start thinking about words that shouldn't go together, or words that do go together, but individually don't make sense, or seem strange, or words that seem spelled wrong, or alliterative words, or weird questions that suddenly bother me, or big long run-on sentences that I create in my head just like this one. Also I envision long sentences with lots of big words, or a string of small words (and lots of parenthetical statements).

So, that's pretty much it. I'm weird. But so are you, probably (although I bet you don't say the beginning of the pledge of allegiance to yourself when you are giving someone directions).

I'm not going to tag anyone...because...everyone I know is pretty much doing this (or has done it). But if you've not been tagged and would like to tag yourself...go for it.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Some Old Testament fun in a bag...

It's from but I think it would make the perfect Christmas gift for some fundy kids out there...Hey, I mean, I dressed up as a leper one halloween. I can totally see myself playing with this:

A bag of plush toy plagues!

I have to find more stuff to sell so I can buy this for my nephews! I love the thought of little J. and E. fighting over "An icky boil on a piece of flesh!"

Selling my blog to the highest bidder

No, I'm not really selling my blog. Anyway, I wouldn't know what to get with the $.99 I'd get for it.

I can't believe it's almost been a week since I blogged last. I have got to get out of this non-blogging funk.

I've been really busy trying to find things to sell in my house, cleaning, and trying to find work (er, not necessarily in that order I guess). I'm happy to report that I got work for Monday and Tuesday this week and the next. So that is very exciting. Four days of in-house agency work, and hopefully none of them will cancel. The downside of freelance, for sure.

The last two days I have been putting stuff up on e-bay. The big sellers so far are my... (and this is like a coming out of sorts for me)...Little House on the Prairie series. OK, go ahead and make fun of me. It was my favorite show (and book series) when I was a kid. So I have seasons one through six and I'm selling them. I have this one annoying e-bayer who keeps e-mailing me questions about how much I will sell them for in this or that combination ("How much would you charge for seasons 2-6 together? How much will you charge for season 3, 5 and 6?") and it doesn't matter that each time I keep telling her I can't sell them as a set because they have all already been bid on individually. So then she just e-mails me asking about a new combination. Gah.

But anyway, I have a number of things up and hopefully I will get in some money there. I am keeping my most favorite stuff though (aside from the Little House DVDs), so don't feel sorry for's good to get rid of stuff.

There are a couple more serious posts I want to write, and I will, when I have some time again. Hmmm, unless someone wants to pay me to post? (I know my posts lately have been just so compelling that I could start an e-bay auction for another post, and you all could bid. I know, I might be taking this too far.)

Here's a toast to more work coming my way...or some really crazy end-of-auction bidding war on some of my junk. (clink!)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Like I need your support

Saw this on a message board about cats:
How can I get my cats to stop jumping on the countertops?


(there were many answers given by different people but that one made me spit my tea onto my keyboard)
and one more:
How can I get my cat to stop Meowing? We have had him since he was a kitten, He meows all the time and really never stops I don't want to hurt him in anyway, I have tryed smaking him on the butt and using a spray bottle filled with water but nothing has worked and he is still meowing

I do not understand why he is meowing all the time just for no reason cause he always has food & water filled up everyday

You try not making one word for a day, and if you do, have some one slap yur dumb ass.

cats meow....what do you want him to do--bark?

maybe he is trying to tell YOU to shut up. You sound like a yapper yourself.......blah blah blah
Which reminds me of a great bumper sticker I saw recently:
National Sarcasm Society. Like we need your support.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

My Un-Christmas tree photo series, part 2

Here's my tree, with ornaments. When I get the colored light bulbs for the stand, I'll probably take another picture and bore you with that too. The stand (which you can't see in this photo I just realized, but here's a photo of it) is actually a vintage cast iron stand with three spots for three light bulbs (needs to seriously be rewired but I will just have it turned on when I'm sitting in the room, armed with my trusty fire extinguisher). Anyway, three colored bulbs are on order so hopefully it will all be complete before Christmas, even if it is my Un-Christmas tree.

I suppose like any tree, it has too many ornaments on it. Well, this is my big Christmas decorating hurrah, so I guess I'll just leave it how it is. At least my electric bills won't go up (hi, Pam). ;)

P.S. I would totally recommend being out of work from the point of view of getting things done around the house. Sucks as far as those bills and stuff go, but I've installed an under-cabinet kitchen light (that's been sitting in my basement for four years), alphabetized my DVDs, organized my tools, made vegetable stock to freeze, made myself a wooden Christmas tree (save a tree! make one out of wood!), and completed a few other small projects that have been staring at me for years. It's amazing how much time you have when you don't work. Too bad nobody warned me about it before I started that nasty work habit. It's so hard to quit once you're hooked.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Where Vicki and I agree

Someone named Vicki just posted a comment on a two-year-old post at She writes:
As I read testimonials from gay and ex-gay people, I see a similar trend. Many were sexually abused as young children/adolescents. This must certainly cause people to question sex practices as they grow up, because their sexuality has been violated.
Also, guys and girls who grow up and don't fit the gorgeous "barbie and Ken" look, seek acceptance from peers anywhere they can find it. If someone from the same sex is going to love them for who they are, then they will gravitate to the love. We all want to be loved. Its just too bad that kids are so mean to one another, and the outward appearance is so important to teens. Like the skinny short guy who gets teased in high school. He figures he'll never get a date with girls, so as he grows up he gravitates to boys. We need to love and accept everyone as they are young so they don't have to go looking for love in other places.

I just want to break this down quickly and give my response to this as I hear these kinds of statements all too frequently.

As I read testimonials from gay and ex-gay people, I see a similar trend. Many were sexually abused as young children/adolescents. This must certainly cause people to question sex practices as they grow up, because their sexuality has been violated.

I find it intriguing that since the vast majority of pedophiles are men, when a man molests a boy, it supposedly causes the boy to be attracted to men. Yet, when a girl is molested by a man, it allegedly causes that girl to be attracted to women. That doesn't make sense. Yes, sexual abuse messes people up. No question. But if it really "caused" homosexuality, the percentage of people who are gay would not be as small as it is (I think the current estimate of the gay population in the U.S. is about 3-5% vs. the 25-30% or more of the population who have been sexually abused as children). And, there wouldn't be the confusing issue of why being molested by a man would cause completely opposite outcomes between men and women.

I've written in the past that I am pretty certain that having abuse in one's childhood is actually one of the main reasons that many people enter the ex-gay movement, or attempt reparative therapy to begin with. A while back, Peterson wrote a great post about this called How Sexual Abuse Made Me Ex-gay, and it absolutely represents how I feel on this topic.

Also, guys and girls who grow up and don't fit the gorgeous "barbie and Ken" look, seek acceptance from peers anywhere they can find it. If someone from the same sex is going to love them for who they are, then they will gravitate to the love. We all want to be loved. Its just too bad that kids are so mean to one another, and the outward appearance is so important to teens. Like the skinny short guy who gets teased in high school. He figures he'll never get a date with girls, so as he grows up he gravitates to boys.

I think that many of us who had problems with our peers did so because we already felt different or were perceived as being different and/or bad or wrong.

I had never even had a girlfriend by the time I started the ex-gay program I attended. And I know I'm not alone in that. Many ex-gays or ex-ex-gays had never had any same-sex experiences before we went into the ex-gay ministries, so we certainly weren't loved and seduced "into" it.

It is "just too bad" that so many kids are mean to each other. But this is not going to stop as long as kids are raised to believe that it is OK to make fun of gay people, or it's OK that gay people's lives are being derided, and decided and voted on by the rest of the country. Kids today hear and read and absorb amazing amounts of anti-gay rhetoric all the time, especially from the pulpit and from their parents.

It's most definitely too bad that there are so many kids who barely survive junior high and high school because of torment from their peers. It's too bad so many become suicidal as a result of their sexuality. It's too bad that there has to be special high-schools set up where gay or gender-variant kids can learn in peace and without having to face violent speech or actions on a daily basis (there's a great article in The News Journal in Delaware that looks into the lives of kids who come out in high school and what they face).

And I love the "skinny short kid" thing. A kid like that who grows up thinking he'll never get a date with a girl is almost certainly not going to start "gravitating toward boys." If a guy is feeling like he'll never get a date with a girl, I somehow can't possibly imagine him deciding that instead of having roughly 50% of his peers in the potential dating pool, that he'll limit his options to 3% and risk even more teasing, bullying, harrassment and rejection.

All this stuff isn't even logical, and yet people say it all the time without even thinking about what they're saying. This is the message they take away from the Exodus seminars, ex-gay testimonies, and the short sound bites that people like Dr. Dobson, Alan Chambers and Randy Thomas give to the media.

Vicki concludes, We need to love and accept everyone as they are young so they don't have to go looking for love in other places.

Yes, we do. It would be wonderful if kids could feel accepted and loved when they are young so they don't have to try to "change" something that doesn't need changing. I'd love to see the day that gay people stop going to ex-gay programs because they are looking for acceptance and love from their parents, their pastors, their teachers, their friends, and most importantly, their God. I want to see the day that all gay, lesbian, bi and trans folks can accept and love themselves and don't feel they have to turn themselves inside out just to find love and acceptance from everyone around them. I guess I agree with Vicki on that.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My Un-Christmas Tree

OK, I admit it. My blog seems to be turning into some kind of sentimental baby, kitty and personal photo blog. Sorry about that. Just don't feel like writing too much these days, although hopefully I will again soon.

I completed a little wood-working project over the last week and a half. I am not feeling much like celebrating holidays in the traditional way, but I realized I had a lot of cool (not so Christmas-y) ornaments I'd like to hang up. I just didn't want a Christmas tree though. So I saw something similar to this at a store and decided to make my own (and I have to say, mine is, like, 8,000 times cooler).

Each post has wire/beads wrapped around it. Hopefully you can see on this closeup.

I do all my work in the living room. Nice, huh? I have a good vacuum cleaner.

Also, answers to the inevitable questions about my carpet:
Yes, my carpet is really that horrible green (it's actually even brighter and more green in person).
No, I didn't pick it out; it came with the condo.
Yes, I'd love to get rid of it.
Hardwood flooring.
You should have seen it when I first moved in and it was also in the bathroom and the kitchen. It went so nicely with the dark brown particle-board cabinets in the kitchen (see close-up shot above).
The previous owners installed blinds on every window in the same color green. Snazzy.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Belated Thanksgiving post

I spent a wonderful Thanksgiving day hanging out with my kitties, Max and Sophie. They had a very fine feast:

I had an interesting meal, although mine wasn't in the nifty shape of a fish. I'd gone shopping for food the night before and just picked up random things I was craving (but very rarely eat). I fashioned a Thanksgiving meal out of the following: bacon, sliced deli turkey, cream cheese, feta cheese and flour tortillas. It didn't really occur to me until Thanksgiving day that these weren't things that necessarily went together. Still, it was yummy. You can't go wrong with bacon or feta, can you?

OK, here's the sentimental "thanksgiving" part of my post...I'm so thankful for my family (furry and regular)...

Monday, November 20, 2006

The other night I had a dream

I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand...

Oh, wrong one.

But I did have an interesting dream the other night (and for the record, I'm someone who rarely remembers my dreams, nor finds any reason to interpret them). The day after Peterson wrote this blog entry about Randy Thomas' recent interview with Adam Carolla (as an aside, you can see a video at exgaywatch that was prompted by Peterson's post), I had the following dream...

I am staying at someone's house (someone who is ex-gay) and Randy Thomas is expected as a guest, for something of an ex-gay work/social visit. I am welcome, though, to be there and meet him. It is very bright and sunny, and so I found myself on my back in the middle of the asphalt road leading to the house, smoking a cigarette (as one would do, naturally).

An SUV approaches. The driver smiles at me as he drives around me, not stopping. It is Randy.

I come to the kitchen and stand on the opposite side of a kitchen bar. He and the others are on the other side. I introduce myself to him (both of us having to bend over a bit awkwardly to see each other underneath the cupboards). His face lights up when I introduce myself, and he says, "Christine?! You're Peterson's Christine?" He speaks with me for another minute and is very friendly and warm, shaking my hand repeatedly while we bend over the bar separating us. He turns back to the others.

I am still in the kitchen trying to find something to eat or drink. I call out for someone to try to help me navigate this kitchen. I can't seem to get anyone's attention. I say to them that I need something to eat, and I don't know where anything is, and I don't even know if there's a place nearby where I can get food. I can't even find a glass in the kitchen to get a drink. No one answers me as their own conversations and planning continue.

Cliffsnotes for dream interpretation:
  • In the late 90s Randy used to be known for not being at all interested in politics, but interested in ex-gays, and gays, and loving people and creating bridges regardless of disagreement.

  • In 1998 he even went so far as to write an open letter to Coral Ridge ministries blasting them for their use of ex-gays for their own anti-gay agenda.

  • From all reports he is warm and friendly in person to gays, ex-gays, and ex-ex-gays.

  • When Alan Chambers became Executive Director at Exodus in 2001, nobody (including Exodus themselves) seems to deny that Exodus changed significantly. It became an organization that increasingly focused on politics and less on the people they originally sought to help (for more on this, check out Timothy Kinkaid's post on exgaywatch about Exodus' changed priorities).

  • Randy once wrote, "This politically fixated speech has to stop and the gospel must be put into action. I want to see the Coral Ridge leaders start serving the gay community instead of fighting them. I want to see them lay down their own agendas and start picking up God's, which is salvation, not the next election. Our future does not lie in Washington D.C.; it lies in the palm of God's hand and I want to bring as many with me as I can."

  • Randy now works at Exodus as well, and was in DC in June of 06 with Alan Chambers to lobby for the Federal Marriage Amendment act.

  • Oh, and I smoked when I was previously gay-identified, and also for a few years during the beginning of my ex-gay experience.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Recent Travels Part 1 of 3: New York

This is my friend Jed. He hosted me the entire time is was in New York. He says he lives very near NYC, but let me tell you, there is "Jed time" and there is regular time. Jed actually lives in NJ, about 2 hours out of the City, if there's not much traffic. I got to commute in with him on several days and do some touristy stuff. I also got very sick at his house one day and found out that he was an even better friend than I could have ever imagined. We'll just leave it at that.

There's one thing that not many people know about Jed and me though. Shockingly enough, we actually have slept together. It was a one-night stand kind of thing. And at a Gay Christian conference no less!!

OK, the real truth is we just shared a bed for one night. Both of us felt safe, though...pretty sure there was not much going to happen between us.

I flew in on a Saturday night and he whisked me on a night tour of NYC, and then over to a friend's house for a dinner party. The "gay lifestyle" just exhausts me. The next day he took me on an a gorgeous (although very uphill) hike with eight dogs. He breeds and grooms poodles. (Can you get any more gay than that?)

This is how cooking with eight dogs works.

Here's another of Jed cooking. I brought out nearly all the ingredients for two Indian dishes, and we'd been working on them together when I burnt my two fingers. I think he was also singing, which is why I was looking at him funny. Well, to be truthful, I look at a lot of people funny. Because of the fingers, I walked around the rest of the night making the peace sign.

I am really grateful for Jed's friendship and hospitality!

(My pictures of the Connecticut part of my trip are in the previous post below this.)

Recent Travels Part 2 of 3: Connecticut

Jed took me to Sarah Lawrence college to watch Peterson's Doin' Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House play. During the Q&A, I had the opportunity to come on-stage with Peterson and say a few words about being a woman in the ex-gay movement. Peterson mentioned it on his blog, and thankfully rephrased what I'd actually said so that it made sense.

Here's a very blurry picture of us. Peterson suggested we think of it as art. Hmmm, I think I recall that it's his water that I have in my hand and took a drink from. Well, he's a sharing kind of guy.

Here are three images of Peterson using every electronic device he carries with him, all in the space of about a half-hour. I think it's clear he was wishing I would stop using the crazy flash on him. Oh, and don't worry. He didn't eat any of that pizza. He's still a good vegan boy.

Peterson arranged for me to stay at the house of a Friend (that's capitol "F" kind of friend...a friend who also is a Quaker Friend). I was very thankful to have a place to stay.

This guy's house had enough stuff in it to fill about three houses. I did have to laugh when I saw his "simplify" sign, though. I've highlighted the little sign in front of the "simplify." It says, "Believe in yourself and anything is possible." I guess we all have to start somewhere.

I also got to spend an evening with Mike A. and also with Steve Boese from A Tenable Belief. It was wonderful to spend time with them both, and in addition, I was able to spend quite a bit more time getting to know Steve, and that was fantastic.

Here's another of Peterson and myself just before I boarded the bus back to NYC.

(Some other pictures from my trip are in the previous post below this.)

Recent Travels Part 3 of 3: Miscellaneous Photos

Here are some photos I took while out and about. The weather was wonderful and amazing the entire trip. When I left, it started storming. I'll let you make of that what you will.

Pictures from the hike:

Pictures from NYC:

I had to take a picture of myself at Grand Central Station since I was proud of myself for making it there. During the very early morning (for me) commute from NJ to NYC, Jed had given me instructions for the subway, which I wrote down while half-asleep. Also, since I get extremely carsick I had to write without looking. My instructions turned out to be quite crypic, even for me. For "42nd Street" I had only written "4C." Well, I guess it kind of sounds like 42nd street. To describe the cross-town shuttle I wrote "black ball white" which is referencing the color of the route number indicator on the subway train (which was actually gray). So, you can imagine that I was really proud of myself to have gotten this far, and I think it shows on my face.

I did photoshop the following image from several that I'd taken, although I did take them as motion shots on purpose. I don't think I could ever sit through an actual church service for quite a while still (some wounds take a long time to heal), but I did enjoy going in as a tourist.

Inside the Guggenheim which I didn't tour on this trip (I did in '95) because there was a show being installed.

I took these two while in stopped traffic on some bridge or another.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The deal.

OK, here's the deal, see. There's really good reasons why I haven't blogged.

No, really.

Besides my finger (which doesn't seem to be healing that well, although it's much easier to type now without it taped), I am really sick (didn't make it too far into the cold/flu season, did I?).

I also have a freelance boss, whom I've worked for since 2002, who just completely went crazy about a month and a half ago and decided that I am the root of all evil. Totally baffling, upsetting, and crazy-making. I've been accused of everything from inflating my time to...well, too many things to list.

My contract is over at the end of October, and then I'll have to find some new clients (this one was about 80 percent of my annual work), because the thought of being in the same building with her for longer than that is just killing me (besides, she says she doesn't want to use anymore freelance after that). Only 13 more working days left. Not that I'm counting or anything. And not that I've had nausea and stomach pains every day for that last two weeks.

Anyway, I also lost the charger for my camera batteries. A new one is on order (I put it off until I realized that I had looked in all the same spots over 5 times each and I was bordering on developing OCD).

But that has nixxed the pictures and the vlogging, which I was enjoying, instead of writing.

Frankly, I've been really burnt out lately. Since the beginning of summer, really. Sometimes there just comes a point when I can't handle all the ex-gay rhetoric and the blatent lies and hateful language coming from the religious right. I know I can't take it personally, but sometimes I just can't help it. So I need to retreat for a little bit and just attend to my own world.

I've also been trying to have more balance in life...taking care of myself, getting on a more consistent sleep schedule, cooking, etc. That's been good but hasn't left a whole lot of time for blogging.

However, I knew it was time for a blog entry (or at least some excuses of why I haven't been blogging) when my own sister wrote and asked what was up with me because I hadn't blogged in so long. She even offered to type for me while I dictated over the phone. That's what sisters are for (well, and lots of other things, too).

I promise I will get back to blogging soon, although I might still take a bit of a break from the ex-gay stuff. Peterson has been blogging like mad with some really excellent posts, and there have been quite a few great posts lately at, so I suppose I don't feel like I have too much to add at the moment.

P.S. Here's the photo of my finger the day after I fractured it...or bone-chipped it...or both. Just call me a sympathy-whore.

Of course, you can click to make it larger. Cuz I know you wanna.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

blogging update

Typing with two fingers taped together is very difficult, so I might be doing more vlogging instead of blogging for a while.

When I fell on Sunday while hiking, apparently I fractured my finger and have a wee bone chip. Hand surgeon recommended taping for a bit. So I have my middle finger and ring finger (the injured one) taped together. Taking me about 20 min to type this short post. Uff da!

Look for a video soon, probably chronicling my time spent with some elk yesterday. Maybe I'll show a pic of my finger so I can get some sympathy. ;)

I'll leave you with one picture of a recent sunset I saw while on a much less eventful hike.

Monday, September 18, 2006

More about Norwegian Grandmas

Only this time it's not about my Grandma. One of my cousins (who shared Grandma Isabelle with me) wrote me about her Grandmother on the other side of her family.

It [hearing about a brain tumor] always makes me think of what Grandma H. used to say...if we were completely saddened and puzzled by someone's death. She would always say that when she was young, death was a part of life. She saw her own brother operated on - on the kitchen table of course, and he died there as well. He had diabetes and they knew enough to know he had a bad pancreas. Apparently that's what they were fishing for (with the soup ladle)...anyway, her point was that today, death surprises us. In the old days, it was almost inevitable and moods were good if you escaped it. Interesting perspective. Of course, that coming from the woman who insisted that Aunt Louise was kept alive by sugar water and she would have no such thing. So she made herself a no code in her living will...forever barring SUGAR WATER (really, a cure all for anything). Then she had a 'spell', no one did everything, and it pissed the hell out of her. My sister and I laughed about that for a week.

Grandma was quite a character. She wore these STURDY brown tie up shoes that had a heel that hit the wooden floor like a shot. And she was a sturdy woman. Very no nonsense and didn't allow laughing at the dinner table. Of course, she would look up from the head of the table where we would all be eating one of her sunday dinners...and say, "IS EVERYONE MAKING OUT?" which would send all of us teenagers into gales of laughter...which always made her say, "Enough of this nonsense". It's funny that my family has a sense of humor on either side.

This reminded me of what my Dad would tell his junior high class when they were slacking off. "Get humping everyone!" (unfortunately for a junior higher, he worked at the same school I also attended, so I heard all about it forever.) It makes me laugh now, though. The beauty of getting older I guess.

Feel free to comment with any stories of your grandparents or parents if you feel inclined. I guess I'm in a nostalgic mood and I'm interested. Also, for any of my cousins reading this, anything else you'd want to write about Grandma B. would also be wonderful. I have more stories but I don't want this blog to turn into endless stories of my family and pictures of my cats and nephews.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Back to blogging

The thing about not blogging for a long time is that it feels overwhelming to start up again. So much has happened in the last two months that I don't know where to start. I think, instead of starting at the very beginning, I'll start at the very end (and work backwards if I have the time and energy).

I woke up today with a smile on my face (very unusual for me – I'm not remotely anything that could be construed as a morning person).

I decided to take a hike. I googled trails near here and found a trail leading to a "Lake Isabelle." That one appealed to me for reasons I'll explain later.

On the drive up to the trailhead, I realized that this was the prime weekend for the aspens turning. I know my northeast U.S. friends won't be all that impressed with this, but it's very beautiful when most of our trees here are evergreens. Not only that, but we don't really see this in Denver. It's higher up. I think the elevation here was about 8,000 feet (2,438 meters) above sea level.

I had left the house anticipating cool but sunny weather. I wore my standard hiking gear – old tennis shoes (I still haven't found hiking shoes I like), some short sweat-type pants and a t-shirt and old sweatshirt.

Imagine my surprise when I reached the trailhead (over 10,000 feet) and found snow!

It was supposed to be a short trail (4 miles roundtrip). And it was, in length. But here's what I was wearing for shoes (no tread) and here's one of the most easy, level, and least snowy/rocky parts of the trail:

The 2.1 mile trail uphill took about an hour and a half and was quite treacherous, especially in my slippery shoes. However, the view along the way made it quite enjoyable, despite the freezing weather, bitterly cold gusting winds, ice, slush and rocks, and a sprained finger (catching myself when I fell once).

Here is a little video I made right before I'd reached Lake Isabelle (when frankly I didn't know if I would ever get to it). It explains why I chose that trail and that lake. I'm sorry the audio is so bad. It was incredibly windy, as you'll see.

Here is the lake. It wasn't too much further.

Beautiful day. Beautiful spot where I live.

(P.S. - technical garbage - if anyone knows how to center the video on the page, please let me know. Since this is my first video, does it work for everyone? I saved it as Quicktime...)