Posts Tagged ‘Vermont’

Summer Adventures

In May, as spring was in full bloom, we headed south to visit Crown Point and its new bridge. We had watched the video a bunch of years ago about the destruction of the old bridge, and now we had a brand new one. Most of Crown Point hubby hadn’t seen for years, and I hadn’t been to the fort and the lighthouse. The colonies had both British and French forts at this location, active during the French and Indian War – nicely done job on a small museum.

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Light house at Crown Point, NY

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Samuel Champlain

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New York side, looking toward Adirondacks

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Shoreline on NY side

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The new bridge – you can walk across

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Baking bread

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Vermont Observations

The Browns River in Underhill, VT

The Browns River in Underhill, VT

Yes, rivers in Vermont have WATER in them! This is the Browns River, names for my husband’s family who settled this area in the late 1600’s, Indian raid and all to Montreal. Lots of history here, as well as all of New England.  In all of our travels this summer we passed this sign:

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…which as I looked for other pictures realized we have crossed it many times in our 40-plus years of travel and never realized. More here.

So after 6 months some observations about our new home on the other coast…..

Local news – we arrived right at the end of the legislative session….for a week we had complete coverage of the major bills, pros and cons, what all the provisions were, and when they would take effect. Very different from Tucvson/Arizona. reminds me of living in Maryland where bhe national news WAS the local news.

GREEN……watched a full-blown spring develop, which was so incredibly gorgeous and reminded me of how much I have missed the seasons. Had to wear my heavy raincoat once, otherwise my jacket was fine. Weather was wonderful, and on days when the humidity is down, it is glorious. So far we are handling the humidity!

Over heard a discussion of several adults at a show we had gone to, lamenting the fact that a “big box” store was coming to the area – small town idea of a big box store coming in to town – Dollar General. But hey, Big Lots is huge!

No Target store anywhere in the state, and only two Walmarts in the state. I do miss Target, but if I have severe withdrawals, I can go across the lake to Plattsburgh,

Very few chain stores/fast food places – CVS for pharmacy, 1 Walgreens in the county, mostly mom-and-pop stores – bookstores, restaurants, really nice for a change to support locally.

Yellow traffic lights mean to “speed up,” and since there are not a lot of center turn lanes, you wait for your chance and GO.

Everyone loves Bernie – Feel the Bern! – including a barn painted to support our senator and presidential candidate.

Candidate Bernie Sanders

Candidate Bernie Sanders

There is water all around. WE’VE HAD A WET SUMMER SO FAR, so the corn crop has suffered, as well as early fruits. Very interesting to be back in solid rural farm country, with farmers’ markets all over.

What was once solid rural now still looks rural, but as you go off the main streets, you can see the new development. The commercial development has roads leading off the main drag, and then everything for parking lots and inner roads are well-developed. Easy to get around.

It is so easy to get somewhere else – trip to the Hudson River Valley was only about 200 miles away –  easy to see a lot of things.

Really friendly people, even at DMV! In order for hubby to qualify for his handicap sticker, by state law he had to do a driver’s test to prove with a disability he could still be a safe driver.

Because of humidity, odors tend to hang in the air more….like skunk and manure……

Lots of mom-and-pop motels – very few of the motel/hotel chains until you hit the bigger cities. Tree bark is completely different, and nearly every gas station has a full-service deli….

Dress Barn – fantastic colors, very bright, as opposed to many of the softer southwest colors. Road grades are interesting – we thought out west 7% was steep – highest we’ve come to here has been 15%.

I’ve got to get to all of my pictures……November is turning out to be pretty warm (high low 502 today), so I’m sure soon we’ll be staying in a lot! A couple of quick shots of autumn, looking west over Lake Champlain to the Adirondacks.

Autumn from Overlook Park, Spear Street

Autumn from Overlook Park, Spear Street, looking southwest

 

Lake Champlain, looking northwest, from Overlook Park, Spear Street, Burlington

Lake Champlain, looking northwest, from Overlook Park, Spear Street, Burlington

 

Finally…VERMONT!

Birch1 We are here, finally, after two years in the planning. We are finally at home in hubby’s native state of Vermont, as well as the area his ancestors settled: Jericho, Vermont. Yup, he’s a Brown. And the operative word is GREEN!!! Once we got into Arkansas, the greens of spring were really soothing, and as we headed further north, greens were sprouting, until finally in Vermont there were just a few sprinklings of beautiful spring. But two days of rain changed all that to glorious colors spreading very rapidly. We literally watched the lilacs sneak into bloom. It was a hard trip across country, and not the first time we’ve done this trek. I counted up and this is our fourth time back and forth across the interstates.

But we are older, and the amount of sitting really took a toll. First night from Tucson to Santa Rosa, NM east of Albuquerque. These first two days were long ones because we wanted to make it before more storms hit tornado alley. Second day to Ft. Smith, AR, and third to Nashville, TN. Then to Roanoke, VA and the fifth day to my niece in northern Virginia. That was an easier day – a wonderful glass workshop in Staunton, VA that we had been to five years ago, and then a tour of Manassas Battlefield. My great nieces and nephews are adorable, and my oldest – Gracie – is a firecracker.

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No mater how many times we stopped to stretch and do some simple yoga moves, my legs still cramped badly. A week after arriving they are finally back where they were and the aches have started to subside. But oh my, the traffic!! This country definitely runs on trucks. Arkansas infrastructure really needs work on the interstates, so I can only imagine what the state roads are like. Tennessee was better, but Pennsylvania was exactly like we remembered – cold patching flopping in the breeze.

The amazing thing about all this move is that everything has been falling so easily into place.The last two months before the move I had a lot of anxiety about whether or not we were doing the right thing…but NOTHING was a problem. Everything happened as it should, from the delivery of the truck to the packing to the unloading and storage here in Burlington. Everything was so smooth – and if you’ve moved any time at all, you know how stressful it can get if something goes wrong. Our only problem was a night in southern New York with the Sheraton saying it wasn’t a CHOICE hotel, and the Choice saying it wasn’t a Sheraton. How did they solve the really lousy night and service? By offering us a voucher for a free stay at that hotel when they were done with construction…..like we’re headed back to Newburgh, NY just to stay there……..Not thinking highly of Sheraton at all.

So last Wednesday we crossed into Vermont and headed up Route 7 (after missing the turn, which we have used for some 39 years). Green Mountain state, how gorgeous. The photo at the top is by the small park in Underhill on the Browns River, and it looks like spring is in full swing, but not so – it’s just started up here. There is still forsythia in bloom – which I remember from springs in Maryland was the first color to pop. There are so many blooming trees – I had forgotten just how many trees come out in color this time of year. I love birch trees, so I had to snap that. I have other pics but they’re on the main camera.

The only wrinkle is our actual new home. We had been on the waiting list for some senior housing for the last nine months, but when we checked in with them, we were not at all happy at attitude – not willing to show us floor plans, talk about costs, nothing until we were at the top of the list. Well, that doesn’t help us much at all. So our first day out and about was discouraging. Couldn’t get a new bank account because we had nothing to show with a new address – thank you, Patriot Act. Well, Friday I left for the day with no expectations at all for what we would find. The best thing about Friday morning was the fog – we have fog in Tucson maybe twice a year. It was gorgeous.

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We had an appointment to look at a senior complex Friday at noon (this after I spent about 3 hours on Craigslist the night before trying to see what was available). We had talked about what we wanted in a place so we wouldn’t have to move again, and we finally settled on the most important criteria – second bedroom studio space, decent light, covered parking, no stairs. This complex we looked at had all that and more: still being built, third floor, good light, spacious, new appliances, emergency pull that hooks into the local rescue, good community, and everything nearby – pharmacy next door, great bagel shop across the street, credit union within walking distance – and……UTILITIES INCLUDED! Absolutely perfect, so we signed on the dotted line. The wrinkle is we can’t move in until September, so we will be doing some traveling in the meantime. No pics yet, as everything is under construction.

So – the adventure continues!

 

 

 

 

 

Week 2 Photoshop

I couldn’t wait for school to let out so I could come home and work on this week’s lesson. I chose two photos, but I have started working with the one of Mt. Mansfield in Vermont taken from the Underhill side of the mountain. This goes way back to when we were dating, and the picture has started to fade with age. Plus, it just hints at the vibrancy of a Vermont autumn. Here’s the original:

The first thing we had to do was apply the Auto Contrast – which did give some improvement to the clarity of the photo.

Then we worked with the Levels. I was able to get the reds of a New England autumn really pop out. Moving the sliders – I had a spot on each end of the histogram that was empty, so I moved the slider on each end. Then by moving the middle slider I was able to get the reds.

The final thing I did was work with Curves, which I am used to as a result of touching up eBay photos each week.

Overall, a good effort. I need to work with a lot more photos to get really good at this, especially being able to read the histogram for all its information. I did notice that all the pictures I “restored” over the winter holiday look pretty good, so I’m thinking that Curves adjustment is a good one.

We are marbling in the big tray tomorrow – send good thoughts – it would be great if it worked!

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