Monday, December 29, 2008

Get Smart

As you can see, we watched movies this weekend. Gary has a rotten cold so we laid low.
I used to hate this show when I was younger, BORING. But I love Steve Carell so I decided to put it on my Netflix list. He didn't disappoint. He was very good and funny and I like Anne Hathaway, she is so pretty! But I wouldn't rush to watch it again either.

House Bunny

I loved Anna Faris in Just Friends, she was hilarious, and also in Scary Movie 2 so I was really looking forward to seeing this movie. I was a little leery about her trying to be the lead in a comedy and I was right to be. She didn't pull it off, it was an okay movie, and there were some pretty funny parts but all in all I was disappointed.

This picture is funny if you know the song. Dogs in cars are so funny, they think they are human.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Your Heart Belongs to Me

This is Dean Koontz at his best. This is about a 34 year old Internet entrepreneur who seems to have it all. Money, a nice house and a beautiful girlfriend. Out of nowhere he starts having troubling symptoms and within days he is diagnosed with incurable cardiomyopathy and is put on the transplant list.
One year later he has a new heart and life is looking up again until he starts receiving mysterious little gifts and even more disturbing a graphic video of a heart surgery with the message "Your heart belongs to me". He is being stalked by a woman who is the spitting image of the 26-year old donor of the heart he received.
And she has come to take it back.
Awesome book.

The Dark Knight

We watched this movie last night. It was sooo long, 2 hours and 33 minutes. Gary was sound asleep by the end. I nodded off somewhere in the middle and jerked awake when something exploded on the movie. I don't think I missed much. Although this type of movie is not normally my cup of tea, I had to watch and see the late, great, Heath Ledger in his role as the Joker. That was the only good thing about this movie, how he brought this character to life, he was brilliant. The rest of the movie was downright plodding in a lot of parts. I give this 3 stars but only because of the Joker.

Christmas 2008

Mom and Dad's Tree
Shell, Mom and Me

Gary, Brooke, Me and Nicole

Shell, Nick and Mom

My beautiful girls!

Mom and Dad

Brooke, Mom and Nicole

Gary and Louie

Christmas Day at Shelly and Charley's

Billy and Gary

The new addition to the family, Sophie

Nicole and Eric here on Christmas Night
I can't believe after all that planning and wrapping, it is all done and over with. Phew, it is exhausting! On Christmas Eve we went to my parents house, the weather had turned nasty, sleet and freezing rain. We had Chinese food and then opened gifts. We didn't leave there until after midnight, and the ride home was horrible! We took the highway and it had warmed up so instead of ice on the road there were thick white pockets of fog. I was terrified that a moose would be standing in the middle of the highway and we wouldn't be able to see it. (a woman was killed a couple of months ago on that highway because she didn't see the moose that she hit!!) We got up kind of early on Christmas morning, after only 4 hours of sleep! Opened up another round of gifts. Gary and I did stockings this year because we had bought ourselves a new bedroom TV in the Fall. Brooke got me a really nice pocketbook from Wilson's Leather, and a wallet to go with it that she had bought when we were in Stowe. She must have seen me eyeballing it! We left at 1 and went to Gary's brother's house. They had 24 people I think, but somehow we managed to squeeze in. We had a delicious dinner with ham and turkey, squash, cheesy potatoes etc. Lots of food. We had a Yankee Swap afterwards, Brooke got a Dunkin Donuts gift card, I got a little pink teapot and Gary got a mini air compressor. After that we played Bingo, we were all losers of course. Got back home at 7, and Nicole and Eric came over. More gifts to open. They got us a gift card to Chili's and I also got slipper socks, bath gel and body spray from Bath and Body Works. Gary got some scratch tickets and he won $25! Brooke got the Vera Wang Princess perfume set. They left at 9 and we collapsed into bed.
I don't know if I was stupid or brave but I went out shopping yesterday. I didn't find any really great deals. I am all stocked up for wrapping paper, bows, tissue, gift bags, ribbon and card for next year though. I picked up a couple of small gifts, and put them in my wrapping closet. Hopefully I will remember who they are for next year!

Monday, December 22, 2008


More snow. A lot of blowing and drifting but I think we got about 12". I don't think it stopped snowing this weekend at all. Maybe for a few hours on Saturday afternoon. Needless to say, I didn't go anywhere, thank goodness my shopping is done. Today I have an eye appt. and then I get to come home guessed it! Shovel! yeah! i am pumped about that for sure. Louie will be happy though, he won't have to wade through snow deeper than him to get to where Gary snow blowed an area for him. We had a dominoes game yesterday, and I thought I was going to win, I was ahead for most of the game, and then Brooke snuck up on me and won. Not that I am a sore loser but maybe there was some cheating going on??? :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fred Claus

I think I will start a movie review along with my book reviews. We watched this last night and I wasn't expecting a lot from it, but I really liked it. Vince Vaughn as an actor that I have always liked and he did good in this movie. The surprise was Paul Giamatti, he was the nasty movie producer in the movie Big Fat Liar and I was kind of expecting him to have a nasty twist to the Santa part, but no, he was surprisingly sensitive. A good fun movie!

Definitely Dead

I believe this is book 6 in the series. A lot of action in this one, I can't even imagine how they will make this storyline work for the HBO show. It will be cool though if they can. Now I have to get the next one, All Together Dead.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Here We Go Again

"Announced by all The Trumpets of the sky,

arrives the snow".

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I can't tell how much snow we got last night, it drifted pretty good. But it was enough that we had to cancel our weekend at the Balsams and postpone it until January. And there is more coming tomorrow, it sounds like much more but you can never tell. Also, it is only 13 degrees out. I think we maxed out the temp today at 14 degrees. Ugh. The only bright spot of shoveling this Winter? Gary bought a shovel at a yard sale this past summer, which I scoffed at because i was melting in the heat. Well, that shovel fits perfectly between the hot tub and the deck railing! For the past 5 years I have cursed that little narrow spot, the shovel would catch and the snow I had managed to get on, would slide off. No more cursing this Winter! At that anyway.... :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A McKettrick Christmas

My sister got me into these McKettrick
books and I love them. I have certainly not read them in any sort of order, but
they are easy to read separately. I saw this in the bookstore and had to get it, it was a quick, easy fun read. I will be passing this on to Shelley next!

Christmas Party

Brooke and Shelley and Louie Cory and Shell

Shell and Mom
Christmas Bingo

Gary the Bingo caller
On Sunday we had our annual Christmas party. We don't get a chance to see my brother and his family at Christmas so we started having this party. This year my Aunt Joan and Uncle Cal joined us, bringing along Grandpa's famous onion dip!! For the meal we had ham, cheesy potatoes, mac n cheese, green bean casserole, honey-thyme veggies, biscuits, Dijon mushrooms and I think that was it. A LOT of food. We did a Yankee Swap after, and we voted on doing it the old-fashioned way, or Ross had a new way to do it. I voted for the new way, which won, and regretted it! It was not fun. You had to decide after you picked a present, if you wanted to trade it with something that had already been opened, or keep it. Once you kept it, it was yours unless someone after you traded for it. No one wanted to trade without seeing what was in the package they picked, so it wasn't that fun. Next year, back to the old way. After that my brother read "Twas the Night Before Xmas" and we passed around a gift. Every time he said the word "the" you had to pass it along. My brother won, but only by saying "The End"!!! We played Christmas Bingo after, and there were prizes for that too. The end prize was a $10 Dunkin Donuts gift card and Nicole won that, but my nephew Brandon and his girlfriend Allison won the most prizes. We also had a guess how many candies game. You had to guess how many chocolates were in the jar, the one who came closest without going over won. My nephew Cory won that, i wasn't surprised, I figured it would be him or his brother. I made Sangria for the first time and it came out good, everyone liked it. All in all it was a great day, and fun to have everyone together. On a side note, I don't know what is up with my camera, I can't seem to get good clear pictures at an indoor gathering like that, it is really annoying!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


This was a really good mystery. I couldn't figure out who the killer was until the story came right out and told me at the end. I think there are other books with these characters in their stories but I haven't come across them yet.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

Notice the nasty white stuff outside the window? ugh.

Dead as a Doornail

I can't remember what number in the series this is, but it was really good. Unfortunately the show True Blood has ended for now, and we have to wait until next summer to see the next season. So meanwhile I am going to continue reading the series so I know ahead of time what will happen on the show.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Emily's Bridge - Stowe, VT

Taken by Ricky, and I get the distinct feeling
that there was anger swirling around in the first
picture. Supposedly young men usually feel the
wrath of the ghost. Then the second picture
taken seconds later, clear.

see the orb?

I see something, just not sure...

Tilt your head to the right when you look at this one
Can you see Emily? I think she is wearing a hat (look in the V)

Seconds later, no smoky stuff

The Legend:
Emily's Bridge

The Gold Brook Bridge, Stowe Vermont
In the nineteenth century a beautiful young woman named Emily grew up in the town of Stowe. She came from an abusive and overprotective family.
The family was so overprotective that they would not allow Emily to be courted by any of the young men in town. However, one day a handsome young man came across Emily's path while she was doing chores. He instantly captured her heart.
Madly in love Emily introduced the young man to her parents. Her parents, deciding the young man was too poor and uncivilized, forbid Emily to ever see him again. Emily's parents had the young man dragged from their home while Emily watched in despair.
The young man could not be dissuaded. He met Emily while she was away from the house doing chores. Their love deepened and the young man asked Emily to elope. Emily's heart overflowed with joy. Not only would she be marrying the man of her dreams, but he would be taking her away from this oppressive life. They rushed off planning to meet at The Gold Brook Bridge the following night.
Unfortunately, Emily's parents discovered her plans. On the night that Emily was to elope they sent a couple of local thugs to find the young man and beat him unconscious so he would not make the rendezvous. They hoped Emily would believe that the young man had gotten cold feet and abandoned her. They received their wish.
Emily made her way to the bridge and waited. The night grew cold and her lover never came to claim her. Emily collapsed and began to sob, the thought of returning to her abusive parents entered her head and she became angered. She began to pound the sides of the wooden bridge until her hands were bloodied. Unwilling to return to her living nightmare Emily untied the rope that she used to bundle her belongings. She tied one end of the rope to a rafter of the bridge, the other end she tied around her neck.
She hung herself in the cold night. In the morning her lover finally arrived. Horrified, her lover cut her down and buried her near the bridge.
Today, locals know The Gold Brook Bridge as Emily's Bridge because Emily's angry spirit haunts it. Many people have experienced a disturbing phenomenon that has resulted in large scratch marks appearing on their cars. Others that have walked through the bridge have been clawed by Emily. They described it as if a pair of long nailed hands digging their way into their back and scratch down. Upon exiting the bridge they have bloody scratch marks traveling the length of their back, yet their shirt is not torn.
Some have reported hearing the sound of something dragging across the roof of their vehicle as they drive across. Upon investigation they see nothing. It's assumed this is the sound of Emily's feet dragging across the roof.
Others have reported seeing a white apparition inside and around the area of Emily's Bridge. Typically, the apparition is seen at night. Along with the apparition people have heard sounds of Emily sobbing; others have heard a helpless voice crying 'Help!’

As you can see by my pictures, there was definitely something there. The night was clear and black, there was no fog or smoke in the air. I could see as I snapped pictures, there is the smoky stuff, next picture, it's gone! People have reported their camera's malfunctioning at the bridge for no clear reason and Saturday night 2 camera's that were there malfunctioned. One just died, and one the flash kept going off click click click and she wasn't touching it. She lost all of her pictures that she had on her camera. I was very happy that mine worked just fine, I think Emily wanted me to take her picture. I probably took 50 pictures in order to capture the ones that I got, I have a few more that have the smoky stuff in them, but these were the best. Supposedly the "orbs" show up in pictures where there is a haunting, I got a few of those. Some people say they are dust motes but I don't think so.
I was not scared being at the bridge, I did not have the feeling of anything evil, angry or malicious. Instead I felt sadness for her. But, that doesn't mean when I went back to the inn, and we were all in bed and I was the only one still awake because I was so pumped, that I didn't get scared. :) I did have to turn the bathroom light on because I kept thinking that I was going to open my eyes in the dark and see the ghost's face floating in front of me.
Do you believe?

Thanksgiving in Stowe


Danielle and Brooke

Even Louie got to go!

Ricky and Quinn in his Thanksgiving suit

Thanksgiving walk

Brooke and Christina

Pool sharks

Polish Poker game

Ben and Jerry's YUM!

Hello Quinn!

A game of Sorry

Quinn and Brooke
We had a great time in Stowe. The inn was dog friendly so we were able to bring Louie with us. He was very happy. We got there around 3 on Wednesday and settled in. Then we went to get pizza for supper, and to see the movie Twilight. I liked the movie, but the book is 5 times better. When we got back to the inn we went in the hot tub and swimming pool.
On Thanksgiving we drove to the bike path in town and took a long walk. It was not too cold and there was no wind so it was nice. At 3 we went to the Thanksgiving buffet, it was very good, although I did not have turkey, I had the prime rib. :)
On Friday we went downtown to some shops, I picked up some Christmas presents , the prices are not cheap on anything there. We went back to the same pizza place for lunch. Get this, we got 3 large pizza's and 8 soda's and the bill came to $75. Hello? pizza? Even though we swore we were full after all that pizza, we went to the Ben and Jerry's factory for ice cream. We didn't take the tour because they weren't making ice cream that day. That night at 11:15 a bunch of us got in our cars and drove to Emily's Bridge, a supposed haunted covered bridge that has been written about in various books. There was probably 12 of us so it was not that scary to be there even though it was on a back road and black as pitch. I am going to do a separate post on the bridge so that is all I am going to say at this point, except I slept with the bathroom light on for the last 2 nights of our stay.
On Saturday we went out again, drove up and looked at the Von Trapp family lodge. For those who don't know who that family is, they are the family portrayed in The Sound of Music. We went to the Cider Mill after and got some fresh apple cider donuts, and some fresh ice cold apple cider. They have a gift shop there and we poked around for a while. We stopped at the Cabot cheese store and that was our lunch, cubes of cheese and popcorn with shaker cheese on it. :) For dinner that night we went to a restaurant called Gracie's , it was all decorated with a dog motif. I had a salad and shepherd's pie. This pie could have fed my whole family! When I was done eating it didn't look like I had hardly eaten any. We had to change rooms that night because we lost our heat and the room felt like we had the AC on. It was kind of a pain to move but we did it pretty quickly.
We went to the bridge late again that night, but with less people so it was scarier. After breakfast Sunday morning we packed up and left the inn. We stopped at one more store and I loved this one, it had good prices and I got to pick out some of my stocking stuffers.
So we had a wonderful time and brought back lots of good memories.


Von Trapp family lodge