Hey, It’s An Alpaca!

Yesterday, one of my peeps said, “Hey, how are the llamas?”

“What?!?!” I say.  “You’re kidding right?”  There was a twinkle in their eye and I knew that they were giving me a hard time, but “hey,” back at ya—they are alpacas, let’s get it straight :)

I hear it all too often, llamas, llamas, llamas.  I have nothing against llamas, they are wonderful creatures.  But I have alpacas–there is a difference…

Although llamas and alpacas are both camelids and very closely related, alpacas are 1/3 of the size of a llama, their ears and muzzles are shorter, and their fiber is different.  Both llama and alpaca fiber is very soft and warm, but up close on the animals body, it lays differently.

Alpacas and llamas have different personalities too, alpacas being

"Isabella", the alpaca

more aloof and flighty than a llama.  Partially it is their small body frame that makes them more skiddish.  Everything is a predator to them, so they run.

And yes, alpacas spit too!  Just like llamas and camels.  That’s what camelids do, spit when they are provoked.

"Antonio", the llama

And I will answer you all, because I know that you are wondering, “Yes, I have been spit on.”  It is gross, and green and smells, however once wiped away it is gone.  Let’s put it this way, it’s better than stepping in dog *&$% out in the yard.  That stays with you all day, all week, all year.  Better off to just ditch the shoes–hopefully you are wearing them.

To those close to me who like to give me a hard time, I just want to say, “Thanks guys, I know that you just love me….but for the record, read above.”

Enjoy the pics–I’m glad to be back!

Me and my girl, Isabella

With Love,

Kate

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iPod Meets Washing Machine

“iPod, let me introduce you to somethingthe washing machine.  Now, stay clear, do you hear me??”

I like to do laundry first thing in the morning.  There is something productive about walking downstairs, opening up the washing machine and popping a load in before you even turn the coffee pot on.  The hum of the washer just screams to me that I’m getting stuff done.

Yesterday morning was like every other, I opened up the washing machine, ready to start a load, but there, intertwined with the shorts and tee’s, was the cord to my iPod.  S*&$!   It went through the wash.  I hate it when that happens.  There is no way that it could have survived the heavy load setting.  No way…  Why oh, why, didn’t I check my pockets?  There is absolutely no one to blame but myself,  UGH!!

Starting my day like this reminded me of the morning I dropped the pot of soup all over the kitchen floor.  It’s like the time that I wore my not-so waterproof watch in swimming or left a pie plate on the hood of my car and watched it crash to the pavement as I pulled out of the driveway (and yes, it was full of fresh strawberry rhubarb pie).  It reminded me of the many times that I have left my shoes outside and it poured rain all night and when I went to put them on, I realized that I was going to have to go to outfit B–or was that C, D, or E?  These things were all just mood spoilers, day changers, and big pains in the neck, brought on by no one else but Me.

I knew that I shouldn’t have put the iPod in my shorts pocket, I knew it.  So, in the midst of blinking myself awake, I untangled the cord, and laid it on my kitchen table, to dry, maybe?  It was definitely dead.  Nothing…. God, what a way to start the day. 

I walked away from the iPod and the washer (my heart was not in a load of laundry at that point) and decided that a little later that afternoon, I would try it again.  But, 7 hours later it was still dead.  And as I picked it up off the table, and started for the trash, there was a nudge inside.  Something was saying–”Don’t throw me away, recharge me, plug me into the computer.”  Hmm..

And to my surprise, when I plugged that iPod in, it lit up, charged, and this morning I was able to rock out on the treadmill to it.  Wow, maybe my day wasn’t so bad after all.  Still,  “iPod, that was washing machine, and washing machine that was iPod–now stay away from each other…am I clear? Or someone is going to get hurt.” (Me)

I’m still thinking of my July in NH–wistfully.  It was so much fun.  But it is August 2nd, and we are back to the reality of iPods and such.  Thought I would share a few pics of 3 generations of waterskiiers.  We all skied this July. 

My family, we just waterski.  :)

Generation # 2-- "Don't fall Smartie!"

Generation # 3--yeah, he did it!

Generation #1--still the best skier of the bunch!

Have a great night!

With Love,

Kate

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I Touched A Snake!!!!

Yes, I am about ready to have a heart attack..

I can’t believe it, but I touched a snake today–yes, I really did.  This coming from the girl who wrote an essay in 8th grade called “Snake Phobia!” 

 
I took the kids to the Squam Lake Science Center today.  I had an inkling there would be a snake there, which is probably one of the real driving forces behind our trek up there.  The question was whether or not we could touch it.  What I really wanted was for Jacob to touch the snake.  He is crazy over reptiles and bugs and all the likes, so I knew it would make his day to actually feel one. 
 
Last night, as I was tucking the kids into bed, talking about the day ahead and the possibility of a snake sighting, Jacob asks me, “Mama, will you touch the snake?”  Without hesitation I looked at him and said, “Absolutely Jakey.  If you touch it, I’ll touch it.” (gulp, gulp) I was done for, I had to touch the snake–there was no way out of it now.  
 

We are all touching the snake, together

So we did it–we touched the soft, not-so-slimy snake.  It only came close to biting my niece just twice, but we touched it. :)  You can tell by the look on my face that I was really nervous, and did almost go into cardiac arrest as I touched the thing.  But what was priceless, was the look on Jacob’s face when they brought that 9 foot snake out on the table and told him he could touch it.  I won’t forget it for the rest of my life.  I might even pick one up, if it meant I could give him that experience again–well, maybe…

 
And, Auntie Al, I did it, so you can do it too!!!!!
 
How fun–we all touched the snake!  Have a great weekend.
 
With Love,
Kate
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Tooth Paste In A Cup

Speaks for itself.

“I’m sorry to bother you, but do you have any tooth paste?  I must have forgotten to put mine in my overnight bag,” I politely asked the woman who owned the motel.   She looked at me, with her hands on her hips and replied, “Well, I don’t have any per se, but I have some of my own and I could give you a squirt.”

I smiled, “sure, that will work, I’ll be down in a bit to get it from you.”

 “Okay, just come find me in the lobby or outside and I will grab you some.”

It's the shadow me

“Thanks.”  As I walked out onto the porch of the motel, the sun was just about down and a warm glow hovered in the air. I settled in a wicker rocker sitting in the corner of the small porch to finish my glass of wine, and watch the few people staying for the night, going in and out, back and forth to their cars.  I knew that I liked this place.  I felt like I was in a comfortable home.  Her son, around 22, was over on the front lawn juggling with a friend of his from college.  The owner had told me in a brief conversation that her twins were home working with her at the motel; it was a big help and they did what they could. 

I noticed that the crickets had started chirping and over beyond the dirt parking lot, a fire was going, and a cozy party of 2 were gathered over there enjoying its warmth and companionship.  I was tempted to go and check it out, but I didn’t really want to interfere on a private moment.  Oh, well, I was just as content to sit here and watch.

I sipped on my wine, and thought. . What a great place.  Non-abrasive, friendly, inviting…just what I was looking for on this night.  From the moment I walked in that afternoon I felt welcomed.  There was something oddly familiar as I scanned the walls where old family pictures and paintings of the mountains hung.  They were suggestive of all the recreational activities to be done and the good times to be had here.  The eclectic, mix-match of furniture was comfortably worn and inviting, in a pleasant kind of way.  When I asked where I could eat, the motel “keeper”, gave me a nice overview on each place to choose from.  She and I exchanged content smiles as she let me into her life, telling me a little about her father and mother who started the motel way back when..

View from the front porch

After an hour of rocking and watching on the porch, my eyes were getting droopy, speaking to the effects of the wine that had warmed me through.  I sat there with my long sweater wrapped around me, enveloping me in a dreamy content.  I needed to get to bed so that I was fresh for my big day on the mountain tomorrow.  But first, the tooth paste…so I slipped back to my room, and decided that a plastic cup would work quite nicely as a container.  When I got back to the lobby, my friend could not be found, but I did see her son.  I went to him and explained, and he kindly took my cup and went inside to fill it.  No problem..  When he came back, there were 2 slugs of toothpaste at the bottom of the cup, exactly what I was looking for. And as I headed down the long hall way to my room on the end, I couldn’t help but think,  any place that would give me tooth paste in a cup, was well worth coming back to.  Not only were they willing to give it, but I was willing to take it.  

The friendly, slow manner, and the feel of it all…thank you Carol and family, at Carlson’s Motor Lodge, in Twin Mountain, New Hampshire.  You made a most memorable night for a person who wanted to find a place to tuck away and just be…  I’ll be back.

www.carlsonslodge.com, (603) 846-5501.

Looking up the driveway

With Love,

 
Kate
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“And Heaven Is In Sight…”

I made it--I can barely stand it's so windy!

This past weekend I went to the White Mountains in New Hampshire–my old stomping ground.  It felt so good to be “home”. 

As you read I thought that I would share this new song that I like– A little Cold Play

 

 
Saturday morning I packed up and headed for the mountains, specifically, Mount Washington–the highest peak in the northeast.  Imagine, a native of New Hampshire and I had never been?!?  At 36, I was finally getting around to it.  Sunday was my day, and I did it via the Cog Railway.  What a day it was…
 
First off, for those of you who are unfamiliar, Mt. Washington boasts the highest recorded wind speed on earth, and the reputation of having the most severe weather in the world.  You don’t mess around with the Mount.  I would have loved to hike it, but where it was my first time and I was alone, I felt like I needed to get the lay of the land.  However, next time, I am hiking it, and I may even stay up in the AMC hut that’s located at “Lake in the Clouds.”  Next year maybe?
 
I must say, The Cog Railway was impressive.  It was neat to be climbing up the face of a mountain in a railway car.  There were times when the incline was so steep I felt like I was laying down.  On the descent, my feet dangled off the floor out in front of me.  The Cog has the second most treacherous track in the world; second only to a stretch in the Swiss Alps.  Our train car made 3 stops for safety checks during the trek up the mountain.  Fortunately we passed inspection—phewww! :)
 
After passing through 3 different climate changes, we made it to the summit.  The wind whipped, the jagged rocks met the sky, and the clouds flew by, just over my head.   And as I was witnessing and feeling this wild mountain, all that kept running through my head was a lyric line from the new Cold Play song, “..and heaven is in sight.”  I was actually feeling like I was in heaven, the closest I had ever felt.  It was as if I could reach out and touch the beautiful blue sky and be a part of the world in a different, surreal way.  Amazing..and it was Sunday too.
 
I certainly developed a respect for the powerful ol’ mountain, and the strength that it exuded. Where my picture was taken, the wind was so strong that if you weren’t extremely careful and calculated in your movement, you would literally blow over.  It was quite a feat getting a picture.  Luckily I met up with a very patient man; he and I took turns snapping pics for each other.
  
I finished up the day with a dunk in my favorite swimming hole on the Pemigewasset River in Lincoln. I was  hot and sweaty from hiking along the trails in the Crawford Notch State Park as I meandered my way back to civilization.  And as I let the cold mountain water carry me down river, I couldn’t help but think that it really felt good to be “home”, home in the mountains.   
 
“..and heaven is in sight.”
 
With Love,
Kate 

There it is in the background, my swimming hole---I really did get wet!

At the top

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In The Moment

My Posse, basking in the sweetness..

Today was a great day.  The kids and I are visiting my family in New Hampshire, so I took them to the ocean.  What fun–they loved it.  I did too. 

I had to start my day buying new sunglasses. I lost them and after searching high and low I finally had to say enough and purchase some new ones on the way.  I splurged—$12.  Then, in keeping with tradition, I had to buy beach bubble gum.  The kid’s said what?!?!  Yeah, it’s beach bubblegum, watermelon/strawberry Bubblicious.  It all started when I was 8 and went to the ocean with my Aunt Betsy and cousins.  We had “beach bubblegum” on the way home.   Since that day, whenever I go to the beach I think about that gum and manage to find a pack of it and chew on the way there and on the way back.  It’s great at taking out the taste of salt after a day at the beach.  The kids agreed, however they were more impressed at how big the bubbles were that they could blow on the way home. 

The older I get, the more I enjoy the beach.  I was thinking today, it is truly one place on this earth in which I always feel totally in the moment.  The sound of waves crashing on the beach and the breeze, have this therapeutic way about them.  They pull everything away from your soul that weighs heavy and you are able to just sit with yourself and watch.

Nubble Light House

Watch the people around you trying to sunbathe.  Watch the kids jumping and running from the waves.  Watch the seagulls fly over head, searching for a morsel of food.  Watch 2 people playing frisbee.  Watch a group build a monster sand castle.  Watch my kids race their trucks up and down the beach.  Watch the waves come crashing in.  So much to watch..

At the beach I am totally in the moment, as I race back and forth into the water with my 2-year-old.  I am totally in the moment when I sit in our beach chairs and we eat our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and chips.  I am totally in the moment as I deeply breathe in the salty sea air.  The feeling is timeless, priceless, and effortless…

Go find your “in the moment”, and soak it in, bask in its sweetness.  Relish in it–for that “moment” will never come again.

With love,

Kate

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Born To Be Wild

 

Coming in for the landing!

Hey Everyone–betcha you were wondering what happened to me.  Sorry, between vacationing, and vacationing, and vacationing, I’ve been challenged to find time to blog, not to mention the internet service where I am is not that great …So, I’m back, and I hope you are ready, because I have been inspired–but I will start all of that inspiration stuff later this week :)

 
Now for the fun—  I went zip-lining.  Has anyone ever done that?  It was so much fun!  What a rush to be 200 feet in the air, zooming across this wide open space, looking out over the mountains.  Let me tell you, that is when you know that you are alive.   I’ll admit, that first leap was crazy, and as my heart raced and my stomach jumped up into my throat, I never looked back, I was doing it.   I was “Born to be Wild!!!”  Enjoy the song..

Not only was the experience in itself super fun, but the company was great too.  I went with my sisters, my mother, cousin, aunt, almost aunt, sister’s girl friend and my girl friend–that is what made it that much more special.  I looked at my aunt, who held me as a baby, gave me my first teeth cleaning, has seen me laugh and cry, and thought wow, who would have thought that we would be doing this together?  Then I looked at my cousin, who I remembered being born, and my mother (what she’s done speaks for herself), and sisters, and friend from NY, and I couldn’t help but wonder how did this all come together today?   SARAH!!!!!  So glad that you are having a summer of adventure–because it is quickly turning into my summer of adventure too!  Sky Diving anyone?

Me and my friend--"thank you"

 Well, everyone, just so you know, I am back at the blog thing, so be prepared, I’ve got a bunch of things on my mind that I will pass on to you soon. 
 
Hope you are having an excellent start to your summer, and that you are making the most of it.
 
With Love,
Kate
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