Sunday, October 16, 2011

Early Christmas Present

I was so careless with my old awesome hand-me-down camera that I absolutely lost it. I canvassed several different airport lost and founds' for several months and no one has been able to locate it for me, so me and the Hubby decided that an early Christmas present was in order.
 NIKON D5100   You bet!!
 Costco has these babies for sale and there are so many great features revolving around ease of operation, color and light changing, videography (I've never had a camera that does both still and video pictures, let alone a great one), large screen that gives multiple types of information, light weight so I can carry it without bothering my neck so much, and so many other cool features.
Isn't it pretty?
Thanks Hun. You are the best.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bitter/Sweet Day

The Hubby and I took Michael to the airport this morning early. He is off on the biggest adventure of his life. It is really an amazing opportunity in this 21st century to be able to serve others and take time out of his life to grow up, educate himself, learn love, learn the Gospel, and decide what manner of man he wants to be.

As I watched him ascend the escalator in San Jose International Airport on his way to the MTC (mission training center) in Provo, Utah I did get tears streaming down my face. Michael waved a hardy goodbye and gave an easy big smile and then he was gone from my view for the next two years.
I tear up again as I write this down, but I am truly excited for him as he embarks on this mission to Sao Paulo, Brazil. The blessings he will receive over the next difficult two years will be unmeasurable, and we that are left behind will also be covered in blessings as we will witness his growth and read about his trials, challenges and faith promoting experiences.
I can hardly believe it is here, and now I am again alone in my home thinking about my sweet little boy and the happiness he has brought to me and his entire family over the years.
He is smart,
he is beautiful,
he is funny,
he is a lot of fun,
he is strong,
he is competitive,
he is athletic,
he is good,
he is a virtuous man,
he is protective of me,
he is right,
he is stalwart,
he is wonderful
he is Michael
and I will miss him terribly.

Monday, October 10, 2011

General Conference Weekend

Last weekend was spent with family, and making memories for Michael to carry with him for the next 2 years.
 We listened to conference, spent time with the San Jose nieces and nephew, had Jonathan as a visitor from SLC, played freeze tag and basketball, and the boys went out to their traditional dinner after priesthood meeting.
 Lena and Lexy like to make baskets, and this time they had TWO uncles helping them score.
 Luke is getting his sports all mixed up. He watches his sister play soccer so I think that he knows what to do with a volleyball on a basketball court?  Not really.
Uncle Jonathan, Lena, Uncle Michael
 Michael did change out this net before he left on his mission.
I should explain the dinner tradition. John takes the boys out every 6 months after the Saturday night session of conference, and they try to be in the same city if they can. However, Jonathan hasn't been to conference with them for 3 years and he generally doesn't go to church. He made and exception for the tradition and they seem to all have had a great time. David was working during the day, so he met them at Priesthood meeting and I didn't get a picture.
 The boys went to visit their favorite Inger Sandberg.
Swinging in GramVi and GPa's apple tree. Wheeeeee!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cossette Family Home

After a lovely week of travel and exploration with The Hubby, we headed back to Boston for the plane ride home. 
On the way we detoured through Dracut and Lowell, Massachusetts, in order to locate the home that John's mother grew up in. She lived her whole childhood in the home along with her 10 brothers and sisters, and John wanted to see if it was still holding up. 
The neighborhood looks great and we were able to talk to a few people that lived in and around the old family house on   40 Dean Street
                            Dracut, MA

Here's a shot of the back yard and the trees beyond. When we called Mom to tell here we'd seen the old place she asked if the creek was still running behind it. No picture, but I walked back there and thought it would've been the place for kids to play and record their memories. Her parents planted the old trees and some of them are dead, a long tree life spent.  I'm sure there was no chain link fence when the Cossette's lived there.
We saw a cute little old lady walking along the street and stopped to talk to her. She was 2 years younger than our Grandma Hodgman, but had grown up a few houses away and remembered the family well. She had a french last name as well said her sister Pauline was one of Muriel's friends and she herself was Paul Cossette's age. Both of their older sisters had been nuns. She talked on and on about the 2 families and their similarities.

She told us where the old grade school was so we went to check it out. What a beautiful school. (Ecole St. Lois)
The old church has been renamed and we'd have never found it without Mom's old friend.

This stop was a highlight for The Hubby and we were very glad to have taken the time to stop in Dracut.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Other New Hampshire Tidbits

Here is a random smattering of some of the other things we did last week.
 We were able to have some yummy hotcakes and maple syrup at various breakfast places.
 These were some of the mushrooms that we found along the damp trails of the White Mountains. They are stacked in the small little crevice of this mossy rock.
 Looking for moose in the boggy areas at dusk and dawn.  Well, just dusk. You didn't really think we rose up early enough to explore before the sun?
 The Hubby sort of enjoyed our boat ride on Lake Winnipesaukee. I really liked it though, so he went along because he is nice like that.
 More neat little growing stuff.  This time on a log.
 We rode the tram up to the top of the ski mountain and explored around for a while. Another beautiful day for viewing 60 miles out into Vermont, Maine, and almost to Canada.
 This seat on the Cog Railway shows us how long people have been obsessed with Mount Washington.
It is the highest on the whole east coast of the US of A.

 We walked all the way to the top of the mountain ..... from the train drop off 50 yards below.
The trusses and cogs were pretty interesting and the new biodiesel train pushes up the steep slope in about 25 minutes.
 There were old resorts to see along the highways showing that this has been a popular tourist destination for many many years.
 Do you see a moose?  We saw one dead one along the side of the road. Good thing I saw 6 in Utah last month.
 Little white churches along with turning leaves is how I originally visualized the small towns of New England.  We did see several.
 This cute little Canadian lady was a very good cook. Baguettes and macarons were the order of the day.
I don't know why they need these signs.  Did I mention that we saw no live moose?

Seriously very cool trip. Sorry that my blog has completely turned into a travel log.
Only one more to come and it'll have a different genealogy type twist. I'm sure you are going to wait patiently.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Covered Bridges

These were unique but traditional bridges. The Hubby and I really loved them and looked for them all over the Mountain region of New Hampshire.
 There were two bridges along the Kancamungus Highway and so we got a good look on our first day of exploration.
Most of the bridges are built with arches and a long truss system. Like the one shown below.
 This one was built in 1858. It is 100 years older than I am. Pretty crazy.
 Some are painted, some are rustically wooden.
 Here's a newer one that is used along a very busy highway. We found it on our way to church.
Blair Bridge here is not being used because of the floods last month.
Hurricane Irene went through and dumped all of its rain right onto Vermont and New Hampshire causing all kinds of flooding and 28 bridges were either destroyed or damaged greatly.
One called Turkey Jim's that we looked for was totally gone.
 This bridge is along the Flume trail in Franconia State Park.
... and this one is a footbridge along the Flume trail. I have no idea how they built this bridge across a deep canyon in the middle with no roads going in and out of there. Engineers are amazing.
Sometimes I feel like they are stupid as well. Just look at how they planned the power lines around this old historic bridge. It would look so much better without them.

Anyway, the covered bridges are very cool and we were lucky to be able to go see them.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Waterfalls Down the Granite Slabs

One of the most beautiful attractions of the White Mountains of New Hampshire are the many waterfalls.
We hiked a short distance to several falls and a bit longer distance to just two. There were many more to see, but these were the ones that we afforded the time to see.
 Sabbaday Falls just off of the Kancamungus Hywy. was our first stop.  Here the granite rock has held up pretty well over the 10 million years of its creation. The basalt rock fault that was interspersed through the granite has broken down and has created a separation that is beautiful. Nice little swooshy pools are formed at each decent, creating a clean beautiful affect.
Another day we traveled up to Franconia Notch (or Pass as we in the West call it) where there are several spots to view. 
 This one is called the Flume and it too is a granite rock/ basalt rock formation too. Almost making a tunnel in the forest, the water decends quickly down the 800 foot long narrow fissure in the granite.
 The granite walls go straight up on both sides of the creek that is cutting away slowly as the years pass.
 This top of the flume waterfall is called Avalanche.
 The Hubby artfully takes a picture of the water flowing nonstop over the rock.
We also got some new found friends to take a couple pictures for us.

Another discovery just up the road and in a mile from the "Flume" is the "Basin".
 Here the granite rock is smooth and wide across the forest with streams trickling down, or falling fast depending on the direction you happen to be turning your eyes.
I was trying to get the perspective of how large the boulders are, but pictures don't quite capture the massiveness. This solid bedrock granite is at least 40 feet wide to as much as 80 feet I'd guess, and I'm going to estimate that it goes at least 1/2 mile. That is just the area that we could ascend while wearing our regular shoes and being in our mid 50's. I'm sure a larger section could be reached by the younger set.

 Everywhere you looked was another picture to be taken. I didn't want to miss anything, but missed it all the same.

It really was pretty cool.

Yet another hike was taken in Crawford Notch.
 This was probably our most difficult hike, as the roots of trees, and large rocks had to be navigated around as we made our way up to the falls.  It wasn't even 2 miles in, but it took nearly an hour. The result was a 200 foot fall that veiled over the whole rock.
 What a cute hubby!
Again, pictures don't do it justice. It was very pretty nevertheless.