Archive for September, 2007

Catch Up – Wisconsin

This past week, I went up to Wisconsin for a business trip.  This is my fourth trip to the state and I continue to be struck by its beauty.  This trip was especially pretty– their leaves are just starting to turn! 

This time around, Larry and I were in La Crosse, Wisconsin near the Minnesota border.  We took a couple of hours one evening to drive around and explore.  We visited Grandad Bluff, a rocky outcropping that stands a whole 590′ over the city.  We also took a drive on Apple Blossom Scenic Drive in Minnesota. 

Marshes from Grandad Bluff

View (looking South) from Grandad Bluff

Sunset as we approach Minnesota

View from Apple Blossom Scenic Drive – the Mississippi and a moon rising

But, I didn’t have to go very far for the best view of the trip!  On our final morning, my alarm went off.  I thought about the obligations of my day and I was relunctant to rise.  But, I did get up.  I shuffled over to my window, opened the curtains and found a lovely view accompanied by a morning fog. 

View from my hotel room (through a screened-in window)

And suddenly, I was invigorated and ready for my day!  Coffee can’t compete with the energy this good earth gives me.  Nature is my favorite stimulant (apologies, soy lattes!) 

And with that happy note, it is time for bed.  As usual, more pictures of La Crosse, Wisconsin are available on my Flickr site.

September 30, 2007 at 11:27 pm 2 comments

Catch Up – Weekend of Sept 22nd

Okay, I’ve been quite busy as of late.  Here are quick glimspes of what I’ve been up to:

Groomsman Dress
Two weekends ago, I went up to the Northern Virginia area to do an activity that used to fill me with dread– I went dress shopping.  And it turned out to be a fabulous time.  I got to meet Stacy’s fiance, Louise.  I got to meet Stacy’s daughter, Addie and I got to get to know one of the bridesmaids better.

One of the bridesmaids, Jenn, and little Addison

On top of that, the act on trying on those fancy dresses was quite fun.  I’m pleased with our selection.  I was also pleasantly surprised with the price!  The whole drive up, I mentally braced myself for something along the lines of $500.  The morning of the shopping outing, my father got me flustered.

“No!  That dress is going to be a thousand dollars!” he exclaimed.

I was a bit worried until I reported Dad’s statement to Mom.  She rolled her eyes and asked me a simple question:

“Oh come on, how many bridesmaid dresses has your father bought?!?” 

How much is this dress? $1000? $500?

Dad’s guess was a gross overestimate, as was mine.  We would both suck ass at The Price is Right. 

Thank goodness. 🙂

That same weekend, I got to visit my home town!  The reinnovations to the 123 Bridge are almost done and they include a pedestrian walkway with beautiful views of the river and the town!

Occoquan River

Town of Occoquan

I also got to visit the house I grew up in, my grandmother’s house, and a brick dedicated to my grandmother on the sidewalk in front of our town hall.

Grandma’s Brick

It was a brief, but very pleasant homecoming.  More photos of Occoquan are available on my Flickr site.

Surprising Art
Within eighteen hours I discovered that *two* individuals I know have some artistic talent.  First off, Ryan Somma can draw cartoons?!?  And then an absolutely mind-boggling discovery followed.  My brother, that pesky little boy who ruined my first kiss, can paint?!?!?!  I was helping my Mom move furniture to my brother’s room and found his rendition of a turkey buzzard (my 2nd favorite bird!) on display:

Turkey Buzzard by Jay

Who knew.

Serendipity and Spit-up
When I met little Addison, I got to hold her for a while.  Things were going smoothly for while, but then she made a face and I suspected that at any moment she would start to cry.  With an audience of people I just met for the very first time, I was self-conscious about triggering a sobbing spectacle.  So what do I do?  Run away!  I handed Addie back over to her father before she had a chance to cry.  Almost immediately after the hand-off, Addie spit up on Stacy.  With him, it got on his shirt.  BUT– the way I was holding her, it would have been a perfect shot on my still-growing Locks of Love hair.  Sometimes, it pays off to be a wuss!  😉

September 30, 2007 at 10:54 pm 3 comments

links for 2007-09-25

September 25, 2007 at 12:22 pm Leave a comment

Acupuncture and Manicures Do Not Mix

Last night I had an accident involving an old nail and my left index finger.  This is going to sound a lot scarier than it is– at the moment I have a puncture wound (small!) going through the middle of my fingernail and into the flesh below.  Again, it’s not that bad.  The way everything clotted, you can barely tell my fingernail has a hole in it.  In fact, today I had the finger in plain sight at lunch and everyone’s appetites stayed in tact.

I knew the finger itself was fine, but it’s been well over a decade since my last tetanus shot.  Looking at that old nail that inflicted the damage, it seemed like I would be tempting fate to not take care of my lapsed vaccination.  The doctor’s office was able to accomodate me.  They gave me the shot and they ran a series of tests to make sure I didn’t shatter bone and that I still had feeling in the finger.  Everything was fine.

“Wow,” the doctor said, “You are the worst patient for the best puncture wound ever.”

Umm… I’m not sure what that combination of superlatives means, but from the context of his other statements I think he was trying to compliment me. 

I think.

September 21, 2007 at 3:22 pm 5 comments

How to Endear Yourself to Neighbors, Part III

There are things I expected from working at home– missing out on the comradery of an office, no more free baked goods, BUT the ability to sing aloud to any music at any time.  Today, something unexpected occured while I worked at home. 

I was on a business call with my laid back boss.  I decided to enjoy the weather and sit out on my front stoop.  In the middle of the call, my neighbor emerged out of his house wearing nothing but a towel around his waist.

“Hi, Ed!” I said.

Ed just froze in the middle of his driveway.  It was a complete deer in headlights moment!  I’m sure the last thing he expected in the middle of a work day was a witness right across the street.  It certainly was the last thing I expected while discussing trim weights and bar codes!

September 21, 2007 at 3:04 pm Leave a comment

Sawyer Dance Gene

On Monday I had another Belly Dancing class.  Unfortunately, I was in Kansas for the last class, but how much could I miss, right?  Well, apparently a lot!  All my classmates showed up in ornate little hip scarfs with sequins and coins.  I showed up in a pair of blue shorts with paint splatters on them.  My classmates were readily prepared to join a series of moves and components together.  Meanwhile, I awkwardly tried to mimic their moves. 

I was definitely the weakest pupil in the class last week.  Nonetheless, I still had a splendid time and really enjoyed the experience.  But, I do have to say there were moments were some Sawyer dance stories crept into mind and I doubted my wine-induced class selection:

Inherited Rhythm?
My grandfather had a hilarious story from his youth.  When he was a boy, he wanted to play the drums.  He got a drum set for Christmas and he embarked on some drumming lessons.  After a while, the teacher told my grandfather that he had no rhythm and that he really couldn’t master the drums until he had that key skill.  The teacher suggested that Grandpa should take dance lessons to help his sense of timing.

And so Grandpa signed up for dance lessons which he continuously fumbled through.  Eventually that teacher said enough is enough.  Again my grandfather was told he had no rhythm.  The dance instructor had a helpful suggestion on how my grandfather could improve.

“Perhaps you should take drum lessons.” 🙂

Adam Sawyer Quote
I love weddings.  The highlights– cake and dancing.  My cousin Adam’s wedding in 2000 was one of the best weddings for the latter activity.  My relatives and I danced up a storm!  I must have been out there for hours.  It was so much fun!  At one point in the evening, I went to check in with the handsome groom.  We stood on a balcony and looked down over the rest of the reception.  At one point, Adam looked over at the dance floor and shook his head.

“You can always tell the Sawyers,” he said, “They are the ones who can’t dance, but always do!”  🙂

So maybe I have genetics going against me in this belly dancing endeavor.  But my teacher is patient and I am enthusiastic.  At the very least, I will continue to have an hour of fun every Monday evening.  🙂

September 21, 2007 at 8:43 am 5 comments

Welcome Fall!!!!!

This week our temperatures have finally taken a dip.  It’s been wonderfully chilly.  I find the crisp weather invigorating.  Historically, fall weather has escorted in a new school year, not to mention a new television season.  Even though I no longer attend school and the networks keep pushing their premieres out later and later in the year, I still associate the temperate drop with new beginnings.  Fall can be full of fresh starts.  And it brings forth great views (including gorgeous Virginia Creeper) and gives me spectacular hiking weather!  And there is one more thing fall heralds in…


I love sock hats!  They don’t fair quite well in the summer, so I have to relunctantly part ways with them.  But their haitus is over!  I already got to wear a sock hat around on Monday.  Life is good. 

And now, to overzealously prove my point, a series of photos to demonstrate my usage of my sock hats:

Angel’s Rest 2002 – Black Sock Hat

Bottom Creek Gorge 2003 – Green Sock Hat

Mill Creek 2003 – Grey Sock Hat 

Butt Mountain 2003 – I’m wearing TWO hats (can you take the madness?!?)- grey sock hat underneath and then a burgundy hat I crocheted

Kelly’s Knob 2004 – The Virginia Tech Sock Hat

Larry’s Car 2007 – Blue Sock Hat!

Yup, I’m looking forward to the fall adventures I will share with my sock hats in the coming months!

September 18, 2007 at 7:11 pm 6 comments

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