Sunday, September 14, 2008


~KNOCK~KNOCK~ Anybody in here?

So it's been a little while since I've blogged. Lets see if we can catch up.

My buddy Louie moved in with my husband and I July 4th weekend. It's been an interesting adjustment but it's nice having a constant familiar face. Lou has been working at the diner with me since he moved here but just recently quit. He starts work with Nic tomorrow. Both guys are looking forward to it.

I'm a little burnt out on the diner myself. A lot of effort and work goes into each day that is either unnoticed, unappreciated or unnecessary labor. With a fall season and a ski season quickly approaching, I'm wondering if I even want to be in the hospitality or food industry at all. Ah, why can't my hobbies and arts support my habits and lifestyle? I'm really looking forward to the full burst of color of fall. I'm procrastinating a bit on editing the last weeks worth of pictures. I am not seeing as much change as I would like and it's hard to get motivated. :-( Drats!

Here's a sample of some recent stuff...

Nic is getting really far along on this project for Jon. Logs were finished being set a long time ago and Dans crew is finishing up the last of the roof this week. The last week or so has been getting pretty hectic as Nic is now having many of the contractors on site at the same time. The excavation crew has been running lines and conduit in trenches from the generator house to the main house and all the way down the very long driveway. The electritions have been following along as well, making sure the lines are being placed correctly. The painters have had a crew out there pressure washing the logs in preparation for stain. The masons have been working on the main fireplace for the last 3 weeks and have finally made it to the roofline. Next week there will also be the addition of the insulation company. They will be joining the project for 3 weeks while they zip foam everything. It's been both exciting and exhausting for Nic but he's doing a fanominal job!

This picture was taken about 2 weeks ago but it was my first attempt at stiched panoramic pictures. It gives a great feel of exactly how large this house is. The house looks dramatically different now. Hopefully I'll be able to do a similar picture tomorrow. :-)

Louie has already joined the fun 2 days a week but starts full time tomorrow.

So, there's a taste...I hope it catches you up a bit. Let's see if I can do this a little more often. ;-)
Monday, June 30, 2008

New Techniques

This is a picture that I captured on the side of Route 4 somewhere near Quechee, Vermont. I've been playing with different editing styles and found one that I like.



This is a photo that I took because I was thinking about my daddy. I knew that he'd appreciate this one. :-)

This one has an added texture too.

I'm going to go play a little more. :-)
Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Almost there...

Jake and Katie came over last night. I had met Jake many times before but this was only my second time meeting Katie. They are such a sweet couple and seem so fit for each other. They came by so that they could check out our house. It felt very weird to show every corner of my home to someone I barely know. Thankfully though they LOVED it. The color, the layout, the location...all perfect. They've agreed to our terms and are even considering signing a 24 month lease! I think we may have our house rented! Katie is calling me tonight to discuss all that she and Jake talked about last night. I'm hoping that I'll be putting together a rental agreement tonight! Some of the financial burden is starting to lift. The final signatures from them will seal the deal and we'll be comfortable when we move. They even want to move in the day we leave! I'll keep you posted! Woo-Hoo!
Monday, March 24, 2008


Yesterday was a great day. We enjoyed each others company, we laughed, we celebrated. I had a blast cooking another family meal with my grandmother and my mother. It was a celebration of Jesus and his resurrection but for me it was also a celebration of my grandpa. It saddens me to see him so frail but the memories of him in past years, healthy and vibrant, come flooding back. I can appreciate the man he is and the impact he has had on so many people. Sometimes the situation doesn't feel real. He is and always will be my very loved grandpa.
Thursday, March 20, 2008

Zombie in the making

As my stress level slowly creeps up and my task list seems to get longer by the second, the less I seem to want to sleep. I think it's in part to the fact that I feel like I couldn't get everything done even if I decided to forgo sleep for the next 6 weeks. Of course it's also that I'm a bit controlling...or so I've been told. I think I'm just efficient and organized. Maybe it's the constant buzzing in my head of all the things that seems so important or even the harsh reality that many of my tasks are completely out of my control. The sad truth is that forcing myself to go to bed at 2 or even 3 am still doesn't make me tired. It just annoys me more that I have to lay there in the dark until I finally fall asleep. Morning comes too soon and the flooding reminders of tasks still undone come pouring back to me the moment my lids open. *Sigh*

I never really gave much thought to what a daunting task it is to move across the country. How hard could it be? You pack your crap and go. Well, it's a little more involved. :-/ Now that it's 42 days and counting down, I don't even care if I NEED it. It's getting packed.

Trying to line up job interviews, in a state that I've only spent 4 days in, is a little difficult as well. I have one gentleman practically begging me to be my first interview when I get to Vermont but the job is 70 miles from my home. A little too far to travel on a daily basis. Especially the way fuel prices are these days. Diesel is $0.45 higher than premium! It made sense to buy our truck 2 years ago when diesel was the cheapest but these prices are ridiculous. WVO here I come! I'm still pretty worried about employment and how quickly I can get into my first paycheck. A long laps in pay would be our biggest killer! Savings can only take us so far.

Which brings us to the next point...the houses. We're 20 days past our original closing date for the Vermont house and we don't have a loan yet. :-/ The market is in such a bad place right now, people with 700 beacon scores are being turned down for loans. Here we are trying to buy a second home! We're nuts! We both wish that we could sell the Florida house but we just can't. Even if we had someone interested in buying it, we couldn't ask what we owe. This market crash has hurt us in so many ways! Thankfully we have a couple (whom we think we can trust) that is interested in renting it from us. It wont cover the mortgage...actually it'll only cover about half but we're thankful that we'll have that bit of income too. I just don't know what we'll do if this sale ends up not happening. We'll have less than a month to find a place to rent, sight unseen. What a headache!

I just found out last night too that my husband is going to have to go to Montana for a week too. It's bad enough that we have 6 weeks until the moving date, now I'm going to be a man down for one of them! He works so hard and he's putting everything he has into this new project. These last few months have been pretty lonely. I'm not complaining because Nic is aware of the time he spends towards work and he is extra devoted to giving me face time. It's still gets pretty lonely though. He spends a lot more time on the phone with people regarding the job both at work and at home. His nights are now spend with a computer in his lap reviewing emails and adapting the project schedule. His days are frantic working full time as a finish carpenter and squeezing in design meetings and conference calls. I proud of him and I know this is going to be a great step forward for us. I can't wait until we're finally settled in Vermont and he can focus on the project with his undivided attention. It should free up his evenings for me again. :-)

As if I didn't have enough to be consumed, my thoughts are often wandering away from tasks and towards my grandfather. My wonderful, well adjusted, peaceful, wise, great story-telling, grandpa. His battle with cancer has lasted the better part of a decade. It seems odd to be thankful for a disease as devastating as cancer but in a way, I am. I know that God has our days numbered before we even begin to come into existence in our mothers womb. I recognize that we were given a chance to say our goodbyes and let him know what he meant to us. I'm thankful that this disease has allowed me an opportunity to live a more examined life these last few years. It's caused me to be more aware of the time I have with those I love. I try to end all conversations with an 'I love you'. I try to express my appreciation in all of the small efforts. His struggle with cancer has shown me how strong his faith and his character are. It's allowed me to see the love he has for his wife (my sweet grandma) and the steps he was willing to take to make sure she knew we did everything we could. I'm finding it hard to bring to words exactly how much he means to me. The games we played, the many stories he told me while I sat in his lap, the warnings of safety as I grew up, the pride I can see in his eyes when he smiles at me; It makes me want to weep with love and sadness. Humans are so finite in our definitions of beginning and ending that most have a hard time accepting that God is timeless. So, why does that translate into difficult goodbyes? Shouldn't we already have an accepting spirit that there will be an end to every life? I know that the hard goodbye that I need to choke out through tears will only be an earthly one and that he will be waiting for me in heaven when my journey on earth is over but it still makes those last few years on earth a little more lonely without him.

So that's what's on my heart. That's why I don't sleep anymore. My words get jumbled, I lose my train of thought, I forget what I'm trying to do mid task and I feel like everything is moving in slow motion. As I adjust to my new insomniac state, I'm thankful a good cry can still put me out like a light, even if it is on a wet pillow.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I've been chosen!

This image has been chosen by to represent Trevi Fountain in Rome. What an honor! As it turns out, I will get full credit for the photograph on the website with a link back to my Flickr gallery where it's hosted. The second edition of the Schmap Italy Guide is due to be published mid-April 2008. Be sure to look for it! How exciting!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring has sprung

Welcome spring! Thank you for bringing feelings of renewal, refreshment and promise! I breath in your sweet fragrance and watch eagerly your unfolding beauty.

Photo details: Plumeria (aka Frangipani), My backyard, Florida. Taken 03/06/08, by me.

...and so it begins.

My name is Kristiina and I am now a blogger. There is something calming in the release of your worries and fears. Talking about them makes them seem not so bad. Writing them almost makes the burden of them feel a little less.

I'm joining the blogging world so that I can get life's ponder ables off of my chest.

Over the coming weeks, months and years I will be facing many new adventures and obstacles that will mold my heart and spirit. I look forward to the move across country but I am fearful of the loneliness of leaving my loving family behind. I am thankful for the closeness we share. Especially the sharing of our heartaches with each other while trying to cope with the imminent passing of my grandfather (to cancer). I'm concerned about being committed to two mortgages but am hopeful of the financial gain within a few short years. I look forward to starting a family of my own but hate to do it so far from those that mean so much to me. How can a grandchild learn the wisdom of their grandparents when they are 1800 miles away? Will I ever see the beaches again on which I grew up? Why didn't I go more often?

Is it the beach or the area? Is it the area or the people within it? Is it really the people or do I really mean my family. How can I be without them when they are 90% of who I am?

With tear stained cheeks, I begin my journey to self discovery. Thanks mom for being such an eloquent writer. You have me as a blubbering fool reading your blog. If nothing else, this will be my regular communication with all of you who I love that will be so far away.

...and so it begins...the start to a new diary.
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