Saturday, August 29, 2009

Visit with Sasha Kurtz

I met up with a friend from Camp Killooleet, Sasha Kurtz, and her daughter Oona, who's 18 months old now. It was great fun to explore mammals, gems and dinosaurs with them at the Museum of Natural History in NYC. Oona was very well behaved and fun to be around, even when our lunch conflicted with her nap time. Sasha is working temporarily as a freelance web designer for a pharmaceutical company. Her husband David works for an architecture firm. It was great to meet up with them, and hopefully they'll visit us in VT next summer!

August Visit with Grandparents

The kids at the Putnam Valley library with their Grandma and Mark!

I had to go to NJ for a few days of work, and the kids came along to visit with Grandma/Mark and Grandpa/Xiomara. They're at their country houses. We drove down on a Tuesday PM and took the ferry across Lake Champlain to NY. We made it to Grandpa's house in 4 hours. The kids went fishing, to the Dutchess County Fair, visited the Putnam Valley library and ate out a few times. I hope that these sorts of vacations without their parents help to bring them closer to their grandparents. I'm alone in NYC missing my family! Mattie is helping care for her dad in Landaff NH.

Emily and Xiomara with her birthday present, a tea set.

On the ferry to NY. Josh is looking for Champ!

Emily and Suraya, who we gave a ride to NY.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ron Hunt's Party 8/22

Ron's birthday extravaganza was held on 8/22 at Dow Field in Franconia NH. It was a bittersweet event for many folks. Ron's condition is stable, and it was good that he was able to attend and enjoy the event. On a humid day with rain in the forecast, it wound up being just cloudy. About 100 people showed up including folks from all over New England. It was nice to be able to honor Ron while he's with us. He has touched lots of people over the years, and this party was a testament to his presence.

Lots of photos at Kathleen Boulanger's Facebook Page below:

His cake with a tractor on it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I won a running race!

I did the 15K Bramble Scramble trail run at Catamount Outdoor in Williston VT on Sunday. To my great surprise, I won! I was first overall, and first in my age group! I was surprised when I crossed the finish line. I asked "Was anyone in front of me?" and the reply was "No". While I would love to say that my victory was due to being super-fast, the reality had more to do with a lack of competition at a small race. I won a new pair of Salomon running shoes!

2009 Bramble Scramble
Age Group Results
August 23, 2009
141 Racers!
Male 35-44 Place Name City Bib No Age Overall Time
1 Daniel Scheidt 944 38 1 1:13:55.7
2 Gary Lagasse 957 44 7 1:24:21.6
3 Paul Sulva 947 40 9 1:27:14.1
4 Scott Nichols 946 44 11 1:27:39.3
5 JJ Boggs 935 39 20 1:35:59.8

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Em's Birthday

Em turned 7 on 8/16, and we moved her party to North Beach due to the heat (92 degrees). The girls had a great time splashing in the water, and we got pizza and cake for everyone.

Blowing out her candles!

The girls having pizza.

Celebrating with family at Sauza's Brazilian BBQ.

Daria's Wedding

Almost 5 years ago, Daria arrived in Burlington from Poland, after enduring a blackout in NYC and 90 degree temperatures. She was our au-pair for 2 years, and grew quite close to all of us but especially Emily. On 8/14, she got married to Zach who works for the TSA at Burlington Airport. She looked beautiful. Emily was flower girl and Mattie was maid of honor. They looked great in spite of the normal pre-wedding jitters. They got married at Oakledge Park on the Lake Champlain in Burlington, with dinner afterwards at T-Bones in Colchester. They're also buying a house in Milton later this month. Daria works as a para for the Burlington School District. Congratulations!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Wampahoofus Trail

Mattie and I went for a hike and did some trail maintenance on the Wampahoofus trail on Mt. Mansfield. It was a warm day, but not too humid. The summit was a huge crowd with people driving up the auto road. I saw an article about how the number of tourist in Vermont is up this summer, although they're spending fewer dollars.

I love this photo. It shows the lushness of Vermont in summer over a cool mountain creek.

Coming through Canyon!

Near the chin. We bumped into a group of hikers from camp in NY.

North Beach: The West Coast of New England

When asked what she was thankful for last Thanksgiving, Em replied "North Beach". It's a perfect swimming beach with great facilities including a playground. Plus a season pass is $40! We took Em after camp one evening.

Em building sand castles.

Me and Em playing in the water.

Having dinner down by the beach!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ron Hunt's Party

Ron's party will in Franconia NH at Dow Field from 2-5 PM on 8/22. We hope to see friends and family there for music and good times!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Intervale Bike Ride

Before dropping Josh off at Camp Abnaki, we went for a short bike ride through Burlington's Intervale, which is a section of park and farmland along with Winooski River.

Cows in the river. And we wonder why we have coliform issues in Lake Champlain?!

The view from the Ethan Allen Tower looking over Lake Champlain.

Day in Stowe

After picking up Em in Hardwick, we stopped in Stowe to pick up and Josh at our friends the Becks who own a condo at Stowe. We enjoyed their pool and dinner.

The kids eating local watermelon for dessert.

We stopped at the very swanky Stowe Mountain Lodge.

The girls lounging on my car on the way to the pool

Ron Hunt Update 8/10

Ron seems to be stable now after his surgery. He can do simple things like walking, but struggles to articulate complex thoughts and tying his shoes. He is living at Audrey's for now. It seems clear that he can't live in the Landaff house unassisted. Audrey's house isn't ideal either since soon people will be returned to work and school. Can he be left alone in Audrey's house during the day? I'm not sure.

We're also starting to learn about what his insurance will pay for, and what it won't pay for. It seems like a good solution would be to live with Audrey (Mathew and Kristyna go to college in about 2 weeks) and have a daycare provider come to Audrey's house so he wouldn't be alone. However, apparently Medicare/Medicaid won't reimburse a home health care aide. We need to get more info about this. If anyone has info that they can share, please e-mail

Camp Wapanacki

We picked up Em at Girl Scout Camp Wapanacki in Hardwick VT. Em had a great week. Although she was the youngest girl there, her counselors said she was fine. She really like the ponies. I had a great impression of this camp. It seemed well organized and fun. She really looked forward to all the letters that she received. She had great weather too with almost no rain. She asked to go back for another week. The transition seemed to be tough on Em; she was really rude to Mattie and me.

Em with her counselors.

Em by the lake.

The pretty lake at camp with with the swimming dock.

Night Out!

Mattie and I had a rare event on Friday; no kids! Em was a sleep away camp and Josh had a sleepover with his friend Mason in Stowe. We went to the Festival of Fools and bumped into friends Nikki and Andy. We had a drink at Red Square.

Festival of Fools

The Festival of Fools took place in Burlington this weekend. It's a festival of street performers who come from all over the US. It brings more tourists into town during August when tourism is at its peak anyway. They had jugglers, dancers and musicians. We only saw the Friday night events.

These guys played drums, keyboards and plastic buckets!

This guy was juggling knives.

Sailing Camp

Josh has been at sailing camp this week at the Community Boathouse here in Burlington. He really loves sailing although neither Mattie nor I really know much about boats. He really enjoys the camp and asks to get there early. According to his counselor, he can take me out now without another adult! He got really lucky this week and there was almost no rain.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Summer Reading Program

Em is at Girl Scout Camp, and Mattie was at Dartmouth Hospital with her dad on Wednesday evening, so Josh and I went to the Summer Reading celebration program. It was fun, although we didn't win the grand prize, a new bike from Northstar Sports. They said that about 1300 kids participated in the summer reading program this year. That's really impressive since I think that they are only about 2000 students in the Burlington School System! Josh and I went to Flatbread pizza beforehand.

Our friend Michael Stein took the picture below of Josh and I.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ron Hunt Update 8/5

Ron had brain surgery yesterday. As of today, I understand that he's stable at Dartmouth Hitchcock now. He will recovering at Dartmouth for a few days. Although the chemotherapy and radiation didn't shrink the tumor, the surgeon decided that surgery might be able to help. I don't believe that the tumor itself was touched, but there was a cyst that was removed which will give the tumor more space to grow before hurting Ron.

On another note, the town of Franconia is having some sort of celebration for Ron on 8/22 or 8/23. Stay tuned!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Camp Wapanacki and New Hampshire

Mattie and the kids went to New Hampshire for Mattie's high school reunion at Echo Lake. It sounds like everyone enjoyed swimming in the nice weather. They stayed at Audrey's house and dropped off Emily at sleep away camp on the way home.

Em at her cabin at Camp Wapanacki, a Girl Scout camp in Hardwick, VT. She'll be there for a week. She's doing Pony Tails which means she'll be spending a lot of time with horses in addition to the normal camp activities. If you've ever wondered where your girl scout cookie money goes ($4 for a box of cookies?), this is where is must go. A week of sleep away camp is $350! For reference, Camp Killooleet is about $1000/week.

Kids in the hot tub at Audrey's.

Kids in the pool with Bailey (Audrey's dog) in the corner.

Jump rope Camp

Em went to jump rope camp last week, which is run by the Girl Scouts. She enjoys it, and it certainly keeps the kids active. At the end of the week, they had a show for friends and family where they did jumping routines like double dutch, egg beater and hot peppers.

Em getting ready for her routine.

Em doing her moves!

Em with her friends and certificate of completion.