Tuesday, July 21, 2009


The cats stole the top piece of my tripod.

Things I found while looking for it:

- 2 bottle caps
- 3 ball point pens
- 8 furry mice
- my powerpoint remote advancer
- $1.23 in change
- 1 cotton ball
- 1 wooden block
- 2 balls with bells in the them
- 3 paper clips.

Things I didn't find:

- bit the goes on the top of my tripod

...... sigh.

Monday, July 20, 2009

And even more reviews....

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
© 1999, rating: *****

When I was a junior in college, we did a mock trial case based on this book by Jon Krakauer about his Mt. Everest Experience. At the time, I didn't read it - probably because I was so immersed in the case and I didn't really have any free time to read what I wanted to read. Eight years later, I finally read it.

Into Thin Air is a memoir of Krakauer's ascent to the top of Mt. Everest during one of the deadliest single events in the history of Everest Expeditions. The year that Krakauer climbed the mountain, eight people died during the ascent to the peak due to a deadly combination of an unexpected storm and a series of small mistakes. Jon Krakauer's description of these events takes the reader from his initial training to go up Mt. Everest, through the entire climb and then into the aftermath of the incident. Something that bothered me about Into The Wild was Krakauer's clear admiration for the idiocy of Chris McCandless and his man-beats-nature attitude. This book lacks of that. Krakauer admits early on that in this case, Mt. Everest wins the battle between humans and nature. This book really is absorbing and even though you know how it is going to end, it does make it a less interesting read.

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
© 2008, rating: ****

Loving Frank is the story of Frank Lloyd Wright's seven+ year affair with the wife of one of his clients, Mamah. The story is told from Mamah's perspective as she deals with having an affair, leaving her husband, getting a divorce and being in love with Frank Lloyd Wright, who quite honestly comes across as self-centered and narcissistic through most of this book.

This was one of our book club selections, and I have to say that while I probably wouldn't have selected this book myself, it was an easy read and it led to a lot of great discussion. Despite the fact that this book was written about the early 1900s, Mamah is a very modern woman and many of the questions and trials she faces are the same as the ones that women face today. We all had to keep reminding ourselves that we were reading about 1910, and not 2009. The end of the book is shocking and I won't give it away, but we had a lot of discussion about that as well.

So, in the end, I do recommend this book even though it wasn't something I would have chosen for myself.

Two books reviews ....

Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk
© 2009, rating: ***

Pygmy is the lastest offering from the totally screwed up mind of Chuck Palahniuk. This is only the third book that I've read by him, and it did have a different feel to it than the previous two. Pygmy is the story of a teenager from an unnamed totalitarian state who travels to the American midwest as a terrorist in a plot called "Operation Havoc". No, I am not kidding. While in the midwest, he has to do what he can to fit in with his host family (comprised of "host cow father", "chicken mother", "pig-dog brother", and most importantly, "cat sister") while carrying out his subversive plan.

I bought this book for my boyfriend for his birthday and told him that I wanted to read it after he was finished. He liked it, me ... not so much. So I'm glad I didn't buy it for me. There are some scenes that are very funny, like when Pygmy tries to make sense of school dances, church ceremonies and spelling bees. I also thought that the interspersion of Pygmy's terrible experiences in his home country with those in America were also interesting in the parallels and the ways that they were different.

I think that this book failed in two ways - the first was the language. It is written in an odd style of pidgin english. For instance, in the chapter about the school dance, one of the sentences reads, "Occasional male student approach female, request mutual gyrate to demonstrate adequate reproductive partner, fast gyrate to display no cripple. No genetic defect to bequeath offspring." The entire book was like that ... it was a little like reading Chaucer in Middle English; the first few chapters were difficult, but my mind did get into the rhythm of it.

The second place this book failed was the ending. Holy crap it was silly, especially considering the kind of story Palahniuk was trying to tell. Perhaps it would work on the big screen, but it was not a fitting end to this story.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
© 2007, rating: ***

Junot Diaz won the Pulitzer Prize for his multigenerational family about American immigrants from the Dominican Republic. The book is entitled The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, but the majority of the book is actually about his family members; the sections about Oscar are relatively brief. In fact, if there is any main character in this story, it is the fuku, the curse that follows the De Leon family through the generations.

Oscar's grandfather Abelard supposedly said A Bad Thing about Trujillo - an offense punishable by death during the Trujillo dictatorship in the D.R. From then on out, a fuku followed his family, preying upon each generation one by one. We as readers hear about Oscar, his sister Lola (in her voice), Lola's boyfriend Yunior (in his voice), his mother Beli and his grandfather Abelard in alternating chapters in the story.

In the beginning, I found Oscar a compelling character. An "anti-Dominican Dominican", he is overweight and in love with "the genres" - sci fi, fantasy, role-playing games. He has few friends, and no girlfriends, but when he falls in love, he loves with all of his heart. However, as the book goes and on we see more and more of Oscar from the viewpoints of other people, I found him to be more and more irritating in a way - though perhaps that is a sign of good writing, and I was seeing Oscar through the eyes of Yunior. Truthfully, the most compelling character for me was Lola, and her portions of the story were briefest of all.

I wanted to like this book very much - it was our book club selection for this month and I was really looking forward to it. Where the book fails for me is not so much in the story telling but in the writing. I actually quite liked the style of the writing, but Diaz intersperses a lot of spanish into his text with no translations. While it gives the story greater realism, it is distracting and annoying for those who don't speak spanish. Also, since much of it is slang, the online translators don't do much. Additionally, Diaz includes lengthy footnotes about the history of the Dominican Republic as background information for those that don't know. I found the foot notes also to be a distraction ... which is too bad, since there were some funny bits tucked away in there. Finally, it takes a long time before you figure out who the narrator of most of the story is and how it came to be. When the narration begins to switch all over the place, it was distracting to try and figure out who was telling which portions of the story - which is important, because there are biases in the voices of the narrators.

So all in all .... three stars. I'm not sorry I read it, but it will likely be one of my most disappointing books of the year. We will be discussing this book in book club tomorrow and maybe I'll like it better when we are done.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


The first cat I got was a stray kitten. A feral cat had kittens in a large planter on her front doorstep. She worked with the kittens as they were growing up, got them used to being around people and handles, got them used to being provided cat food to eat and then offered them up for adoption. After two of the kittens disappeared from her front porch (taken by some passers-by) and the last one was left sad and alone (her words, not mine), I took in the final kitten - or else, I would have been guilted to death. That is how I acquired Cleo, and that is basically how I've acquired all of the cats I grew up with. Most of them have just come in from the outside, strays that my family took in over the years.

My other cat is a blue-point ragdoll that I got from a couple who was about to have a baby and decided they didn't have time for their cats anymore. He is an enormous long-haired cat and the first purebred cat that I have ever owned. When I got him from the couple, he had a couple of small mats in the back of his fur that he would not let me brush or cut out. He'd let me brush his back, his sides, his tail, but he would not let me touch his butt or his "pants" with the brush. As a result, the fur got more and more and more matted over time until VF started calling him "Rastacat" (which is only slightly better than my friend D's nickname for him - "Jabba the Cat"). I decided the only thing I could do is get him shaved. This decision launched a campaign from my boyfriend and D to give Blue a lioncut.

The lion cut is demonstrated here on this small, puffy dog taken from cute overload. Please note that what little dignity this small, puntable dog had was ripped from him by the lion cut.

My cat is dignified! He is regal! To give him a lion cut would make him the laughingstock of all cat kind. He would look utterly ridiculous, and while it would make for many amusing photographs of him looking disgruntled, I am not going for it.

When I looked into groomers to have him shaved, I contacted someone who was recommended to me. When I told her what had happened to my cat, she laid a colossal guilt trip on me - I was a negligent owner, his skin was probably really irritated under those mats, he could have parasites, I should have had it taken care of months ago. Then she told me she would have to charge me upwards of two hundred and fifty dollars to shave one 18lb cat.

Ultimately, I decided to get a second opinion. I went across the street and asked the veterinarian if they would shave him for me. They told me sure, said it would be fifteen bucks and that I could grab the cat and bring him over that minutes. Done and done - and no lion cut, much to my boyfriend's dismay.


But really, Blue needs all the dignity he can muster.

In all seriousness, for anyone considering the acquisition of a ragdoll cat .... they are wonderful kitties. Blue has an awesome temperament and he is great with my other cat. While he does not love to be hugged and cuddled, he does tolerate it very well. However, maintaining their coats is kind of a pain.

In other pet news, at the bottom on my apartment food chain, I was glad to see that my clownfish started hosting! They are hosting my rhodactis mushrooms. In the wild, they would host anemones, but clownfish will often take a proxy in captivity. Since these guys are odd, captive raised hybrids (Amphiprion percula x Amphiprion ocellaris (Australian black color variant), there was a big question as to what anemones they would decide to host in. They opted for something like a carpet anemone in my tank (more like the male A. ocellaris parent). Once they start hosting, assuming the one that is becoming female accepts the smaller male, they should start spawning! Of course, if the female decided that she doesn't like the little male, she will rip his belly out and leave him for dead. I love ecology.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince!

Last night, VF and I joined a slew of Hogwarts bedecked youths and went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. We grabbed dinner at 9:00pm and went over to stand in line about an hour later. Silly, silly adults - what were we thinking? When we arrived for the line standing, the line already stretched away from the theater, down the street and around the corner. We took our places in the line and VF, demonstrating remarkable foraging skills, found an old desk chair someone put out on the street for us to take turns sitting on. Many of the people walking past looked at the pair of us with envy, and we basked a little in it. Joining us in line were many Hermiones, Harrys and Rons, as well as a Professor Snape, a Bellatrix LeStrange, a Draco Malfoy, and a TV News cameraman. While the youths in line waved at the camera with shouts of "Weasly is our King!" and "Hi Mom", VF and I hid out faces.

Apparently being at the end of the line was not the end of the world, as we were able still able to get perfectly good seats - and we did so without running through the theater, screaming about passionate love for Daniel Radcliff. We settled into our seats, I pulled out my Gryffindor scarf to keep me warm (yes, I do have one) and we waited the hour for the movie to start.

There is something magical about seeing the opening night show with the true fans. Every preview was met with screams and wild applause, including the one for G.I. Joe which looked positively wretched. The most promising preview of the night was the one for "Where The Wild Things Are" which looks very good. The most puzzling preview of the night was one for a movie based on the Sherlock Holmes mysteries - only, the movie has been made as an action/adventure flick including Holmes in a boxing match and hanging off of a cliff. Maybe my mind is a little fuzzy, but I don't remember Doyle writing any kind of scenes like that for his protagonist. Also, and maybe this is a case of my liking the series so much as a kid, I have trouble picturing Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes and Jude Law as Watson. Law is too pretty to be the affable Watson and Downey Jr. is too rough around the edges to be the meticulous and mysterious Sherlock Holmes.

After the previews, it was time for the movie to begin. Since anyone who has stood in line for hours to see this film is a true fan, the theater settled down immediately. There was little talking during the movie except for laughter in all the right places and enthusiastic cheering and clapping at the end of the movie. Truthfully, this installment of the Harry Potter saga deserves the clapping at the end.

Part of the success of this movie is that the book is much shorter. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is probably my least favorite book of the series, but this was easily my favorite movie thus far. When I read it, I commented that I thought it would be almost better as a movie than it was as a book. Because it is shorter and concentrates on one major plot point, it is easier to bundle it into two hours and forty minutes. The greatest problem with the last movie (my favorite book and I thought the worst of the movies) is that there was so much information in the book - all of it important in the end - that the filmmakers had to make a very choppy film in order to fit it all in. People who had not read the book were lost, bored and confused (at least, that is what I gathered from my sample size of three).

This movie does an excellent job balancing the interpersonal relationships between the main characters and the developing love stories between them and the darkness of the rise of Voldemort. The actors playing Harry, Ron and Hermione have all grown up and become far better actors. I thought Daniel Radcliff was particularly good this time around - he has been honing his acting chops on the London theater scene, so that is not particularly surprising. The girl who plays Lavender Brown hits just the right note playing a lovesick teenage girl. Sadly sidelined in this installment were Professor McGonagall, Hagrid, the Weasley twins and Neville, but it was nice to see Tom Fenton (as Draco Malfoy) and Michael Gambon (as Dumbledore) take a more integral role. Malfoy in particular had become something of a one note character in the last two installments, so it was nice to see some depth in this movie. Jim Broadbent is another perfect casting job as Horace Slughorn.

All of the Harry Potter purists will complain about the parts of the book missing from the movie - no funeral scene, no huge magic fight in the castle, skirting around how the twins paid for their joke shop (since they left out Harry's winning from movie 4), pretty much all but one quidditch scene, some of Dumbledore's memories of Voldemort are left out, and no mentions of Dumbledore's wand (important for movie number 5). But none of those - except possibly the bits about the wand - were integral to the story of the Half Blood Prince or the two movies that will make up the end of the series.

All in all - if you are a Harry Potter fan, you shouldn't be disappointed in this movie. But if you haven't read the books, or at least seen the last four movies, you will likely be lost. David Yates is back directing the two parts that make up the last book in the series and this bodes well for a fantastic three part finale worthy of the books.

At least, in my opinion.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Vermont Part III

... picking up where I left off ...

After we stayed the night in the cabin on the lake, it was off for a day of sightseeing. We decided early to take as much time as we wanted in the morning and afternoon so that we wouldn't hit New York City until after midnight. We decided we'd prefer to get into the city in the middle of the night than sit in the parking lot of I-95 after a holiday weekend. One of the taxes of living in New York is the time tax for entry and exit - the city does not let go of its prey easily.

After a few wrong turns in the back roads of Vermont, we crested a little hill heading towards the town of Cabot, VT. On the way there, we stopped so I could take a photo of this random little shack in the middle of a field.

Little House


Cabot Creamery, one of the oldest farmer-owned cooperatives, was the first stop on our vermont tour largely meant to torture my lactose intolerant boyfriend. The tour was $2.00, which was approximately what the tour was worth. We watched a little movie about the history of the creamery, learned a few factoids (Cheddar cheese is naturally lactose free! Gloves are less sanitary than bare hands! Mechanizing the plant didn't push people out of jobs, oh no it didn't!), and then we got to see cheese being made. Great blocks of cheese, and great vats of cheese curds, and cranes patterned like a Holstein cow (no, I am not kidding).

Makin' Cheese

After the tour, we got to taste all of the cheeses. Good God they were delicious. The boyfriend was tempted into taking some of his moo pills by the habenero and the chipotle cheese and the sounds of my lips smacking. I walked out of there with about two pounds of cheese and it is delicious. In fact, I'm eating a little piece right now - aren't you jealous?

After that, it was a trip to a roadside attraction that my boyfriend found. Turns out there is a man in Vermont. And that man makes art out of spiderwebs. He is likely the only "spider web farmer" in the United States. When one is so close to something so bizarre, the only possible thing to do is to take a look. After a quick detour for some good eating at Ed's Barr-B-Que in Barre, we were there.

Ed's Barr-B-Q -- I took this quick shot as we were leaving the restaurant to post on the interwebs. The food here really was delicious, the beer selection excellent and the service was fantastic. If you happen to be in Barre or heading through Barre, I can't recommend it enough.

We met Will Knight, owner and proprietor of the spider web farm. Sadly he had already harvested earlier that morning, but we got a chance to paw through his most recent pieces. Will Knight is the kind of guy you could probably talk to for hours and seemed to have many stories to tell. While we were there, we saw two cars pull up Spiderweb Farm Road (yes, that's the road he lives on), take a spin around, and drive away. This message goes out to all of those who do that - if you've made it up the road, why not stop for a minute? Take a photos? Chat with the proprietor? You might actually like something. B ended up bringing home two larger piece, while I settled for a very small piece of web memorabilia. I should have worked up the courage to ask him to pose for a picture, but instead I settled for asking him to sign the back of my spiderart (the smaller pieces were unsigned).

Spiderweb Farm II
The sign says "Spiders at Work". And yes, you can buy those in the shop too.

Spiderweb Farm I

Having come this far through Vermont, we decided to make one last tour stop in Waterbury, VT - the home of Ben and Jerry's. This tour was slightly more expensive than the Cabot Creamery Tour at $3.00, but we got to see another movie and we got to watch ice cream being made. At th end of the tour, we all got a scoop of Ben and Jerry's Mint Chocolate Chip (their flavor of the day) and I watched B take approximately 20 of his moo pills to get the whole thing down. I told him I was happy to take the terrible burden of finishing his scoop, but he declined. We weren't allowed to take photos in the factory, but we were allowed to photograph the end of the tour.

Top flavor hallway
hallway featuring the top 10 flavors - (in order) Cherry Garcia, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chunky Monkey, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Half Baked, New York Super Fudge Chunk, Phish Food, Coffee Heath Bar Crunch, Peanut Butter Cup and Vanilla Sorry Stephen Colbert but Americone Dream was not up there - but not yet in the flavor graveyard either.

We also walked around the grounds to the "Flavor Graveyard" where all of the fallen flavors are memorialized. B and I were both shocked and saddened to see that our beloved coffee,coffee buzzbuzzbuzz! was among the dearly departed. Its tombstone read: Its heady buzz made us zoomzoomzoom! / Bounce off the walls like a rubber room / Now this zippy flavor's gone / But caffeine headache goes on and on.. Disregarding the fact that I'm not sure a rubber room bounces and the possibly improper use of the apostrophe, it is a fitting tribute to one of my favorite flavors.

Flavor Graveyard
Flavor Graveyard

Silo Diptych

Ben and Jerry's Industrial
Factory Building Exterior

We thought that this was going to be our last stop, but on our way out of Vermont we saw a sign on the side of the road for the Morrill Historic Homestead. Never one to pass up a brown sign, we headed off in search of this place. We figured it would be closed, but we might be able to take a look at the grounds or at least see what it was. Apparently it is Vermont's first national historic landmark and the grounds were totally open for us to tromp around in, and peer in through the windows of the various houses. I wanted to take a walk up a pretty path, but once more the squelchiness of the water soaked ground prevented my efforts. I haven't finished all of the photos of this area, but I'll leave you with one two of the pretty little creek tumbling along the property line.

On our way out of Vermont, the almost full moon was rising and it looked far closer than normal. And this seems the right note to end on, so that will have to be that.

The moon is closer than it appears

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sea Kittens

Someone posted this on someone else's journal in the comments section, and I totally thought it was a joke. I went through the various parts of the site and slowly realized that is was not a joke - it was a real site.

People are crazy. And I want to be clear that I don't think the decision to become a vegan or vegetarian is crazy; I think that this site is crazy. There is a difference.

Create Your Own Sea Kitten at peta.org!

Look, her name is Sammy! Because she's a salmon! Get it? And she is carrying an ipod and a coffee, just like me! Fish are just like me! Except the tutu thing, I'm not sure what dark part of my mind that came from.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Day One, Part II

continued from the previous entry

Once we finished at the Dog Chapel, it was time to find something to eat. Since St. Johnsbury was basically closed for the fourth of July, we thought we'd try to find something in Barnet or West Barnet, the nearest town (I use that term loosely) to where we were staying the night. About three miles down the road towards Barnet, and no service on ye olde iPhone, we decided to turn back to the last place with service to use google maps to find someplace to eat. Turns out that was in Wells River, one exit south from where we were at.

Out the Window
still raining and ominous

Fifteen minutes later, we found ourselves in the lovely town of Wells River. We at the Happy Hour Restaurant which did indeed have some good beers on tap and good food to be had. We asked the waitress where we might get a few groceries for the overnight, and she directed us to a market: "Make a left into New Hampshire and it's just down the road."

Bridge to NH
the bridge to New Hampshire

On the way over to New Hampshire, we kept seeing signs for the 4th of July celebrations. We toyed with the idea of staying for the IMMENSE FIRE WORKS DISPLAY but ultimately we decided against it. Both of us were sorely disappointed that we missed Buddy the Clown and the Gully Boys.

Wells River Poster

We ultimately decided to overnight at a campground. We were going to actually camp, but this particular campground had a bunch of cabins. Considering the rainy weather and considering the fact that we were both entirely unprepared to properly camp, we requested a cabin if one was available. And wouldn't you know it - one double occupancy cabin was open for the one night we needed it. It was kismet and we took it.

The campground is Harvey's Lake Cabins and Campground and we both really liked it. Our cabin was a small A frame facing the lake with full bathroom with hot water and a full kitchen with a few dishes to be used. When I walked into the cabin, I was struck by the oddness of the decor. There was a little basket of eggs laying on the floor in one corner and an apache wedding prayer in the bathroom. I particularly noted the wedding prayer as it is mention in Rebecca Mead's book The Selling of the American Wedding as having originated in an old western film and NOT with the apache tribe. Later that evening, B confessed to me that the owner of Harvey's Lake told him that this was the Honeymoon Cottage, and suddenly it all made sense. I told him not to get any ideas.

the pictures on the right are people in old wedding dresses

you can see the egg basket in the bottom left

kitchen, and the walls mark off the bathroom

the view

After we got settled in, we took a quick walk around the grounds. B had grand plans to go swimming in the lake, but it's been so cold and rainy that idea was nixed.

B looking longingly at the water - please note that he is wearing his coat

Having given up on the swimming dream, B went out to the fire pit to try his hand at being Lord of the Flame by coaxing fire from water soaked logs. Eventually he did get a small, smoking, flickering fire going. This was fortuitous as apparently fireworks are legal in the state of Vermont. All of the neighbors all around the lake set off fireworks one after another over the lake in honor of the fourth of July. We had front row seats around our small smoky pit.

damp fire pit

neighbors across the lake

After the fireworks, it was bed time.

to be continued

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Long Time, No Blog.

I had an eventful fourth of July weekend.

H and her hubby were back in the country and had a wedding/vow-renewal kind of ceremony and tea and biscuits at her topiary-filled home in eastern Connecticut. I figured I would put in an appearance and B came along with me. We got in on Thursday evening after battling a little bit of traffic leaving the city on a holiday weekend. S and her boyfriend got in even later, so the four of us met for quick dinner and drinks at a restaurant not far from our hotels. In front of the restaurant was a huge banner that said, "Children Eat Free when the Red Sox win!" - which caused me to remark to B that we weren't in Kansas anymore. (B's response: In New York, if the Red Sox win, children get eaten.)

The next day, the tea and topiary were fabulous. H looked stunning in bridal white and the groom wore small sunglasses. But in all seriousness, it was a very nice little ceremony; light on God, heavy on love and the food afterwards was delicious. Towards the end of the afternoon, it began to sprinkle and one of the groom's relatives remarked that a little rain was good for fertility. I told B that I was pretty sure the happy couple had an umbrella or two.

Afterwards, we went out to a Mexican place for dinner and drinks, then to a really cute (though rather crowded after our large party tromped in) bar on the water. The food was good, the drinks were better and the company was the best. Thankfully, most of my friends kept the discussion of my ex-boyfriend's blood spattering debut to a relative minimum. When B and I left, he remarked that he had had a surprisingly good time and liked all of my friends a great deal. Hopefully they all felt the same about him.

The next day, we woke up bright and early in our comfy bed in the Hilton to road trip it up to Vermont. About a month or so ago, I saw an entry in the flickr blog about a dog chapel in Vermont, by artist Stephen Huneck. As some of you may or may not know, I have a love of random American roadside attractions. After seeing the photos on the flickr blog, I decided I had to visit and I convinced my ever-tolerant boyfriend that he too wanted to visit the dog chapel, and more importantly, he wanted to drive up there after the wedding tea.

So that is what we did.

We made it to St. Johnsbury with very little difficulty. We stopped (at my request, of course) at both of the scenic overlooks. At the second scenic overlook, we could tell that - surprise, surprise - rain would be coming in. I mean, it has rained pretty much every day in the north east for the last month, why should last weekend have been any different.

Scenic View
rain rain rain

St. Johnsbury seemed like a fairly small town and was absolutely dead on the 4th of July. There were some picaresque abandoned trains on the way into the city, which I also made the boyfriend stop at so I could snap off some photos. He won many points by never once complaining about this.

the wrong side of the tracks

The Dog Chapel is on Dog Mountain, just outside of St. Johnsbury. I believe all of the land leading up to the dog chapel and gallery belongs to Stephen Huneck. For those that are interested, the story of how the Dog Chapel came to be is all on the website. There is plenty of dog art adorning all aspects of the gallery and chapel, including dog busts, dog statues and dog benches.

The chapel is a little building off to the side of the gallery. As you walk up to the chapel, there is a sign that says, "All creeds, all breed, no dogmas allowed".

No dogmas allowed!

Inside, the walls are covered with little notes and photos of all of the dogs that were loved and have died. There is a little writing desk at the front of the chapel with paper and pens so that anyone can leave a little note.

Writing Remembrances
Writing implements

R.I.P. Sadie - now on the wall of remembrance

R.I.P. Sadie - now on the wall of remembrance

RIP Sadie - I left a picture of her in a little open spot on one of the walls

The interior of the larger chapel is filled with Huneck's art and furniture, from the stained glass windows, to the dog adorned pews, to the woodcut prints on easels in the front. It's a very pretty little spot - and it's a good thing it is, as the skies opened up and it began to pour just about as we walked into the chapel. We sat in the chapel for about 30 minutes waiting for the rain to lighten up enough that we could make a run for another building. Consequently, I have a lot of photos of the interior of the dog chapel.


Dog Pews

All of Dog Mountain was green and pretty and dotted with wildflowers. There was a wildflower walk and a scenic forest walk. B and I squelched about halfway up the hill before we decided that it was going to be too wet to take a romantic and relaxing wildflower walk.


After all of this, B waited patiently while I agonized over which prints to buy from the gallery. Everything was on sale for the fourth of July. The artist was there the day we went and he was signing books and smaller prints. I eventually settled on a set of three: two smaller prints and one large one that is signed and numbered.

Dog Chapel
even the dog got bored waiting for me to make up my mind

We were not the only ones there that day, but we were the only ones without a dog in tow. There were lots of great dogs running around, but this golden retreiver was probably the happiest.

All dogs welcome!
all dogs welcome!

After I bought my prints, it was time to go. Sally, the Hunecks' black lab - and the featured dog in much of the art - watched us go.

Leaving Dog Mountain
leaving Dog Mountain

On our way down from the mountain, we saw the Maple Grove syrup factory. Though it was closed for tours on the fourth (sob sob sob), we did stop for some maple candy, maple syrup, and maple spread. And, of course, some photos for me. It's a pity that there were no tours, as this is the only food product made in Vermont that my lactose intolerant boyfriend could sample with no cares. And yes, I did make him go to the cheese factory and the ice cream factory the next day.

Maple Syrup Factory
syrupy goodness

to be continued as I get the photos edited