Monday, November 24, 2008

A Meme to Kickstart things

We haven't hiked the last few Mondays - so I thought I'd snag this Meme off of Suzanne's blog to give me something to get me writing again.

What is in the back of your car? A snow scraper, a walking stick, a whole bunch of dog fur, and, hopefully, the connector cord for my iPod, which I left there before heading off to NYC.

Name one person who made you smile today. Not a person, a dog. Our dog Birdie was the biggest goof ever today. She rode around with us in the back of the car, looking happy. And, she ate Michelle's chili left-overs, which was pretty funny.

What were you doing at 8 am this morning? Sleeping.

What were you doing 45 minutes ago? Watching the movie "From Lions to Lambs." It was pretty good, right up until it ended with NO resolution.

What is your favorite candy bar? Sadly, I can no longer eat Candy Bars. But, my favourite is Reese's peanut butter cups.

Have you ever been to a strip club? No

What is the last thing you said aloud? “Oh. That's your foot. Well, let's play footsie under the blanket." To my wife - we're hanging out on the couch.

What is the best ice cream flavor? I can't eat ice cream, either. But, there is a company that makes an AMAZING soy treat that is quite similar to ice cream. They have a chocolate peanut butter flavor that's really really good.

What was the last thing you had to drink? Some Crystal-Light instant Red Tea with Mandarin. It's my new addiction.

What are you wearing right now? My favorite pair of blue jeans (some Levi's 550s that I got at the GoodWill in Oshkosh, WI this summer), a turtleneck, and a sweater. Also, my warmest, thickest smartwool socks.

What was the last thing you ate? A BLT, french fries, and strawberry shortcake (no whipped cream) at the Dairy Bar, celebrating Michelle's birthday.

Have you bought any new clothing items this week? No.

When was the last time you ran? This afternoon. Birdie and I took a short run when we got back from our errands. Probably about 2 miles.

The last sporting event you watched? The baseball game where the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Red Sox in the AL play-offs.

What is your favorite flavor of popcorn? Hot air popped, in our popcorn popper, with olive oil, a bit of salt, and healthy sprinkle of nutritional yeast.

Who is the last person you sent a comment/message on Facebook? MS. I've known him for about 15 years, and I've been wondering what he's up to.

Do you take vitamins daily? I've just decided to ditch vitamins - but I will continue to take calcium (since I can't eat any dairy products), fish oil (to boost my good cholesterol), and iron.

Do you go to church every Sunday? And Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, too. Sort of comes with the job territory. Though, even before I got paid to do it, I was a pretty big church fan.

Do you have a tan? No.

Do you like Chinese food over pizza? I'm very fond of both of them - and have figured out which places will make me a pizza without cheese, without even blinking. But, if I have to pick one - Chinese food wins every time.

Do you drink your soda with a straw? Soda's off the list now too - very sad. In general, I'm not a straw fan for things like water and ice tea. At some level, it comes down to the environment. Do we really need to continue to produce all those little plastic straws that will take a millennium to break down?

What did your last text message say? "Coming home soon."

Are you someone’s best friend? Yes.

What are you doing tomorrow? Working. Producing service leaftlets for Sunday, inserts for Sunday, the newsletter for December, having two phone meetings, visiting a shut-in at home, and meeting with the Sunday School teachers. Whew. This seems like a very ambitious schedule.

Look to your left, what do you see? My fat cat and next to her, my beautiful wife who is doing something on her laptop.

What color is your watch? After breaking two watches this year, I've sworn off them. My cell phone displays the time, and I pull it out of my pocket when I need to know. I did ask my mother for a very cool (and fabulously lime green) carabiner watch for Christmas. We'll see if that's what she chooses as my one present

What do you think of when you think of Australia? Kangaroos and Vegemite.

Do you use chapstick? It's a bit of an addiction for me. I have some in my car, in my desk, and always, always, in my pocket.

What is your birthstone? Amethyst. And I love it. I have several great pieces of jewelry with amethysts.

What is your favorite number? Eight

Do you have a dog? Yes. Bird (aka Birdie and BirdDog) is a nine year old Alaskan Husky. We adopted her 14 months ago, when she stopped racing as part of a dogsled team. She's quite shy and nervous about new things. She loves to run, hike, and be outdoors. She's also a bit of a Houdini, having busted out of our motel room in Ontario this summer (but we found her again, Thank God). She lives outdoors, 24-7 and 365. She hates being indoors.

Last person you talked to on the phone? Michelle's mom, Margaret.

Have you met anyone famous? Faye Dunaway, at the bookstore a zillion years ago. Tom Brokaw, when he did a signing at the bookstore. And, countless fabulous authors, all, you guessed it, at the bookstore.

Any plans today? It's 11:08 PM. I'll be lucky if I get a shower before I go to bed. That's all the plan I've got left.

How many states have you lived in? Four: Massachusetts (for 38 years), Virginia (for three years), Michigan - the Upper Peninsula (aka the UP) (for 2 years) and now New Hampshire (since August 2008).

Ever go to college? Yes. I have an AB, double major in Relgion and History, an MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching), and an MDiv (Master of Divinity).

Biggest annoyance in your life right now? My office isn't heated. Sometimes the space heater is not as effective as I would like, and my fingers get too cold to type. Also, there is a mouse in our basement, which is annoying my wife. So, it's annoying me, too.

Last song listened to? “Battleflag" by the Lo-Fideltiy Allstars. It's got some pretty R-Rated Lyrics, but a fab beat. And, it's on Michelle's iPod and since it's her birthday, she got to listen to all of her fave songs today.

Can you say the alphabet backwards? I could get to P without really having to think about it, but then I had to say a few letters forwards to get moving again. But then I made it all the way to A. So, I guess, yes, I can.

Do you have a maid service clean your house? Not so much. However, I am lucky enough to have an amazing wife who keeps our house spic and span.

Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time? Brown Merrell Clogs.

Are you jealous of anyone? Not really. I've never been a particularly jealous person. Though, I am occassionally wistful thinking about people with enough money to make a real difference in the world and not worry about meeting all their obligations.

Is anyone jealous of you? I have never thought of this question before. It seems unlikely.

Do you love anyone? I love my wife. I love my mom. I love many friends. I am blessed.

Do any of your friends have children? I am getting tired. I first thought the question was, do your children have friends (which is a bust, having no children). But, to answer the question as it is - yes. Some of them do. Some have grown children. Some have little kids. Some are parenting grandchildren. And many friends have no children.

Do you eat healthily? For the most part. But, I am deeply, deeply, attracted to onion rings, and other greasy savory things.

What do you usually do during the day? I get paid to visit with people, talk about God, talk to God, spend an amazing amount of time producing things, think strategically, and go to meetings (some of which are productive and some of which are like being poked in the eye with a sharp stick).

Do you hate anyone that you know right now? I don't hate people. I do, sometimes, hate things that people do, but I don't hate the person.

Do you use the word ‘hello’ daily? No. I tend to use the word "hey" instead.

What color is your car? A lovely shade of dark blue.

Do you like cats? You betcha. We currently give food and shelter to three of them. Which might be at least one cat too many, but que sera sera.

Have you ever been to Six Flags? nope.

How did you get your worst scar? My knees look like crap from a variety of biking skid-outs when I was a kid, and a run-in with a pier. But, the worst scar, in terms of length and seriousness at the time, is on my right ankle. When I was about 6, I tripped over the faucet on the outside of my parents' house and peeled the skin back to the bone. It still tingles when I think about it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wowzer Waterfalls!

Today, we hiked in Randolph. We were looking for a hike that would be fun and scenic (even though it was misty) and not too challenging.

We found a loop hike in our Randolph Trails book. We ascended on the Fallsway Trail, so named because it passed by three gorgeous waterfalls. The elevation gain was slight (only 400'); the trail itself was lovely. It began snowing shortly into the hike. We enjoyed seeing the color contrasts between the amazing greens of the evergreens and the lightly falling snow.

We chose to return on the Beechway trail, which had a very gentle descent. Michelle noted that the trail was aptly named, since all of the leaves on the trail were beech leaves. We also saw several interesting fungi. One type was a small, roundish, bright yellow-orange jelly-like growth on several trees. Michelle thinks they were a type of slime-mold. One giant rock had lots of a common lichen, called crustos lichen. And, it had a number of giant folios lichen, so named because they look like big leaves or foliage.

We can't wait to return to this area of Randolph and hike more. There a number of criss-crossing trails, and an old rail trail. We think it will be a great trail running site, as well as a place to snow shoe.