Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"My Heart's In The Highlands"

A Day to Forget

In reality, though, it will be one to live on in our memories vividly. Just to set up the scenario- our car has had some sort of hard-to-diagnose mechanical issue, it'll just up and quit on us. Tom thought he had finally figured out the trouble. It ran great for two days, so naturally we thought it would be fine for our road trip.

Sunday, September 20:
Good grief, primitive camping sure requires a lot of 'stuff.' After weeks of gathering begged, borrowed and bought gear, we were ready to load the car. It took Tom (his area of expertise) almost four hours to puzzle-piece it all in! Trunk stuffed- check. Car top carrier stuffed- check. Every available cranny inside the car stuffed- check. Just enough space for dogs and people- check. Finally, myself weary with waiting and Tom weary with loading, we pile in and head out, full of excitement to be on our way!

Immediately, Greer begins drooling. We anticipated her car sickness, so made sure the water-proof seat cover was tucked in well and gave her a dose of Dramamine. I'm here to tell you, drugs don't always work. Not ten minutes into our journey, Greer begins vomiting liquids; all the while drooling like a mad dog, looking at me pitifully as if to ask "How could you put me through this?" Eoin, meanwhile, has squished himself against the car door as much as possible to escape the projectiles, but to no avail, she drenched his tail- "Ewwww, Mom, did you see what she just did? Eww, get her away from me! Stop touching me!"

Then, the car died. Oh, no? Oh, YES! Characteristically, it also starts right up again. Two more miles... it dies again. I'm tearing up by now. Tom pulls off the highway... it dies again. It's behaving worse than ever before under the load on the engine. We both know what neither wants to say out loud: this car will not make it, we have to turn back. Now I'm crying. Greer is still vomiting and drooling buckets.

The saviors of the day are my sister and our brother-in-law who agree they can spare their minivan for the week for our use. Thank you from the bottom of our collective hearts!!! I am weeping now and Tom is choked up. We were afraid the trip we'd so looked forward to for months would have to be canceled.

We baby the car home via side streets. It doesn't die once. Gr. By this time I'd really like to blow it up and be done. Needless, to say Eoin and Greer were glad to get out of the car! By this time it's 1 p.m., so we decide to go out for a bite to eat, regroup and de-stress. Afterward, what took Tom almost four hours to load took us one hour to transfer to the minivan, with room to spare, each dog can travel in it's own crate.

A relaxed dinner out, movie in, good night's sleep. Begin again Monday. Boy, were we glad that wasted day was over.

~ too much load for the Bomb ~

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Must Visit Webpage

On Tom's trip last month, he befriended a neighbor (Stewart) who just so happens to love riding horseback all over the valley, and taking lots of pics. I thought I snap a lot of shots! Stewart then compiled some of the images of our land into a web page just for us. Thanks a million! Click here.

You'll also notice at the bottom of the page, links to his other webpages containing tons of information about the area in general, and many more pictures of the valley. Plus, lots of cool charts (Stewart loves charts.)  

Monday, September 14, 2009

Road Trip Four- Tom to the Land

Saturday August 22nd, Tom drove off into the rising sun to check out the lay of the land for a driveway. I stayed behind, again, with the critters. That's okay, my time is coming... and soon! He's pretty sure he found a route to put in an all-season driveway to the building site (or what we think will be the building site, but won't be 100% certain until meeting with Kelly next week.) Tom is a guy of few words, even more so when exhausted (he also has a great sense of humor), so I'll share with you a very abbreviated version of my 'interview' about his weekend:

(Sunday night, late)
K: Soooo, how was it?
T: Good. Too short. Man, it is so beautiful out there.
K: Did you see any wildlife?
T: There were chipmunks everywhere, on the ground, in the trees! And they did not like me being there.
K: That's too funny! hahaha
T: They kept dropping seeds from the trees, all over. Even chasing off the birds that landed in their tree!
K: What about the stars, were they really bright at night?
T: Oh, yes! It was incredible. I left the rain fly off the tent, so it was just the bug screen top. The stars were so bright and huge. They looked so close, like I could just reach up and touch them.
K: Did you sleep alright in the tent?
T: So so. I found an area where deer had been bedding down, so I figured they know what they're doing, right? Well, I found out a deer's body and a humans body should not sleep in the same location. The ground was rocky under the grass. I tried to stay out of the depression from them, but ended up in one anyway. I tossed and turned all night. Plus, I was cold all night. It was cold! And the sleeping bags were too thin and too short. So, I'm tired!
K: Was it at least nice and quiet?
T: NO! There were all kinds of noises. Even below ground. I couldn't figure out what it was, but think it was moles or something underneath me, since I made the mistake of putting the tent up under a tree, and they were chewing on the roots. I even thumped the ground with my fist... it stopped instantly. I could just imagine them under there saying: "Shh, what was THAT? Oh no, it's a monster! Run for your life!" hahaha
K: ahhahahahahaha
T: But the solar shower we got worked great! Only, I showered in the trees sort of... at dusk.... the skeeters ate me up. I even have bites on my bum! hahaha
K: Oh no! hahaha
T: And the camp coffee tasted great on the chilly morning.
K: Mm.
T: I didn't want to come home, you know.
K: Oh, thanks.
T: You know what I mean!
K: Yes, I do! Just teasing. (peck on the cheek) I don't blame you. You would have come back for us, though, right?
T: Always.
(Monday morning)
K: (answering the telephone) Hello, Hunny.
T: Why can't we just pack everything up right now and leave? I gotta get out of this rat race!
K: No 'hello, Hunnie' back or anything, huh? I know. I wish we could, too. Soon. We just gotta hang in there.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Anticipation is a Killer

We are getting ready to go for our camping trip to the land. It'll be the first time I have personally stepped foot on it, but together also the first. Gathering supplies, washing the old camp kitchen, refreshing batteries in lights, planning the menu, thinking about activities for the week. Yeah, yeah, you know me, the Organizer; what can I say. ::shrug::

Wow, a whole week in Republic. On our land. It's sinking in. The anticipation is killing me!!!

We'll camp for 7 nights and 8 days. Kelly Lerner, our architect, will meet us there and also camp for a night to get a feel for the site, use her nifty solar pathfinder to pinpoint the best location for the house for solar gain and pv array, and talk about design details/materials. Too fun! I can't wait to document everything and report back here to all of you. :) Stay tuned!