a better day.

tuesday was not my day. there was nothing terrible about it, but it was just incredibly ho-hum in a way that bothered me. the routine was the same as always: a workout with a group of women, a drive to work, 8.5 hours in the office, a drive home, a welcoming puppy, chores, dinner, etc. same as most of my days. but everything felt just a little bit off. my workout was fine, but i felt a little bit frustrated towards the flow of the group and not as strong as i have other days. my drives were the same as always- 38 miles each way, but on the drive home i grew frustrated with the radio and sick of looking at the same long stretch of road every single day. my work day was slow- plenty of projects to work on, but nothing that i had any interest in doing. by 3pm, i wanted the day to be over. i walked to pick up lunch, wanted to be inspired by the sunshine and fresh air, and instead just was disappointed that neither friend i called during my walk was available-- or ever returned my call. it was a slow series of events that made me feel blah, and i could have easily let it all ruin the rest of my day.

instead, i made two tiny changes that improved everything.

1. i stopped at the library when i got back into montpelier after my drive home, and checked out a book on cd that i was excited about listening to in the car. it's a totally cheesy beach read, and i am not exaggerating when i say that all i want to do this week is drive my car so i can listen. driving to the park? driving to the store? instead of silence, or a little npr, i'm squeezing in a few track of the book.

2. for dinner, we ordered pizza. nothing like an expiring coupon and a weeknight treat enjoyed on the picnic table to bring the day back.

let's be honest. not every day is as great, or as full of gratitude, as the typical day i write about on my blog. i have plenty of blah, boring, or negative moments. but what is the point in sharing those? the world has enough negative in it. this blog is my place to share the moments that i do love, the people i enjoy them with, and the words, songs, meals, and images that make me smile-- and that i hope will make you smile, too.

so, what will you do to make today a better day?


new york times on montpelier.

the new york times ran a great little piece highlighting montpelier last week. i saw it because my facebook newsfeed was exploding with posts from childhood friends sharing the article and saying things like "best place to grow up" or "my little hometown." i'm here to say: it's a pretty great place to be an adult, too.

you can enjoy the article here.


happily ever after: jenna & alex.

today marks one month since jenna & alex's big day (happy anniversary!). it seems only appropriate to share my little recap of what was truly one of the happiest weekends i've ever enjoyed.

to say the weekend was perfect sounds cliche, and unlikely. but, it truly was. from the ominous rain clouds as we set up the barn and surroundings on friday before the rehearsal that somehow cleared in ideal time, to the joyous rehearsal dinner complete with half the crew jumping in the pool in our formal attire... 

two sweet nights in the farmhouse on the wedding site property staying with jenna & al, and jenna's brother will & his lovely girlfriend anna... absolutely stunning flower arrangements and details and decor all done by jenna, her mom and alex's mom... 

awaking on saturday morning to low mist and bold blue sky. a day spent getting ready, celebrating, with a field full of boys doing projects and then drinking beers and playing games. 

a barn of girls setting up and giggling and enjoying the sun. one perfectly behaved dog. and then a flurry of hair, makeup, a sip of champagne, some tears, photos, and butterflies for all. meanwhile, the boys got ready just downstairs below us in the farmhouse, which was so funny and so perfect all at once. 

and then: as their guests arrived and greeted, jenna and alex had their first look in the field to the edge of the property. it was the sweetest moment. hard to capture all of the emotion in an image, but i will forever remember jenna hooting, making tiny little first pumps with her hands, and running barefoot across the field looking pefectly stunning in her gown, straight into alex's arms. the joy on their faces was so genuine and beautiful. 

after that: we all enjoyed the most well-crafted, personal and touching ceremony. i think it is safe to say that most weddings are remembered for the reception. the ceremony, whether long or short, is rarely very personal or memorable. this was certainly not the case on this day. i hope i remember this ceremony forever. the raw emotion, the perfect selection of words, the advice given by other couples, the vows. it was beautiful. 

ringbearer od

and then: a party to remember. the day was so special for me not only because my very best friend was marrying the love of her life, but also because there was such a strong community supporting them, and i had such history with many of the other folks. my parents, and several couples they have been friends with for 30+ years, jenna's parents- who fall into that category, and also who are so important to m,e along with much of the rest of her family, friends from high school, college friends who i've come to know. i felt the love all day long. amazing food, endless laughter, glowing sun, old friends and new, the best berry cake, toasts as the sun set, dancing, the lighting of lanterns, and a fire to wrap up the evening.

it's hard to describe the emotions that surrounded the day for me, and easier to recount the details. i felt so joyous for the 60+ hours spanning the weekend, and the emotions stuck with me through much of the week that followed. jenna has talked about how often she know thinks of the wedding and how happy that makes her feel. the same is true for me. it is a blessing to see your best friends so happy, and i felt so fortunate to be a part of that. here's to living those memories for ever. j & a, i wish you a lifetime of happiness. 

congrats, loves. 

stowe pinnacle.

as i mentioned, brett and i went on a quick hike up the stowe pinnacle. i love this hike because it is quick and has a variety of terrain-- bridges, rocks, wide trail, skinny trail, big rocks, ladders, and even bigger rocks! and of course, there is the beautiful moment when the trees get shorter and shorter, and then you are above treeline. that, to me, is magical. 

i did this hike twice last summer- once solo, and once in the fall with jenna, od & lu when lu was really too tiny to be hiking. it was fun to take her back there this summer so she could show off her leaping and running skills and lead us up the mountain. brett hadn't hiked any of the worcester range and this was a great introduction. it was a beautiful eve and we caught some amazing views & skies. 



sharing states.

on saturday morning, we waved to my good friend kat as she drove off in a trusty subaru. since june, we've enjoyed "living" in the same state again. you see, kat and i became friends back in 2005 when she came to work at aloha. since then, we worked together for two summers (05, 07), and then she moved to colorado. over the years that followed, we enjoyed many a visit between copper & steamboat, then denver & steamboat. we skiied, we hiked, we enjoyed sushi, we saw great concerts, we got to know each other's friends... we had many a memorable adventure.

and then, i moved to vermont. kat stayed in colorado, then cruised around the world this spring. and then! she came back to camp in vermont. we got to enjoy a few visits over the summer- in fairlee, as well as a few times she got away to montpelier for some r & r. it's been grand. but now, she's headed back out west.

heading out to dinner to enjoy her last vermont night.

bye kat! come back soon!


a summer saturday.


coffee with kat before she set out on her long drive back to colorado. peaches & maple yogurt. an early drive out to joe's pond for a bit of time on the water with j. a long dog walk. a bit of reading on the lawn. puppies frolicking. swimming! lunch on the porch with nanny while the rain came through. a drive back into town singing old crow out loud. a tiny dish of ice cream. a sleeping puppy. harvesting the garden. planting fall crops: spinach, lettuce, beets. a few cilantro and basil seeds. weeding & watering. and now: setting up the hammock, making a cocktail, and taking my book out to the shade.

sweet, sweet summer days.


a summer sail.

last weekend proved to be just the 'summer in vermont' filled weekend that i was craving. the movie was excellent- i highly recommend it. we had a double date dinner afterwards with the boys. on saturday, i joined my parents and the kidneys for a splendid sail on the lake after a walk in the park and a quick outing to the farmers market. it was a sunny summer day, with decent winds and just the slightest cool august air. we ate, we swam, we chatted. it was delightful. i wished jenna could join us-- but it is always so nice to spend time with her parents. 

i sure hope that is what jenna & i resemble in 30 years.

 sunday, i did my chores around the house and then waited for brett to get off work for an evening hike up the stowe pinnacle. it was wonderful- photos coming soon!


happy birthday, mol.

two and a half years ago, brett came home from his new job and said "i found you a friend." for the weeks that followed, he told me about this girl he worked with who exuded happiness. he knew we'd get along well. he was oh so right.

slowly, i got to know the wonderful being that is molly. over the next 14 months or so, we had many a marvelous adventure skiing, dancing, singing, cooking, celebrating holidays, enjoying local music, riding bikes late into the evening, and generally just appreciating our steamboat lifestyle and the great people with whom we got to share our time. molly is truly one of the happiest people i know-- and she brings sunshine & joy into all those around her. she is always up for an adventure- whether it is going out on the town or trying tricky ski terrain. while we have both moved on from steamboat,  our friendship has continued through joyous texts, and weeks upon weeks of phone tag. mol-- i wish you love & laughter for the year ahead. 


peach blueberry pie.

a summer can't go by without enjoying my favorite sweet treat. my dad's birthday always fell while i was away at summer camp while i was growing up, and many summers my parents would come down to visit with a picnic lunch. the best part was always when they pulled the pie out of the picnic basket (sometimes even accompanied by melting vanilla ice cream). i'd invite my tentmates to join us after their lunch in the dining room, and we would enjoy this little slice of heaven. 

as i've gotten older, i've started to make this pie for myself, and to share with friends. i distinctly remember making it for the first time while we lived on the alpaca farm, using fresh colorado peaches (the best!) to enjoy on a pizza night at the yurt. i also made it for my "summergiving" feast that i could for a few of my steamboat favorites in 2010. the first bite of pie will always bring back memories of each of these past enjoyments. 

the combo of the peaches & blueberries, surrounded by cream and sugar, is marvelous. enjoy it for dinner, for breakfast, or just for snack. pair it with a glass of milk, vanilla yogurt, or a scoop of ice cream. 

the recipe:

1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 c. sliced[/peeled] peaches & blueberries (I do 2 cups of each)
------ or 1 can (1-lb. 13-oz.) peaches drained and rinsed
1 9" unbaked pie shell
1/2 c. heavy cream ( or canned evaporated milk)
------ or use 1/4 cup of either, and add 1 TBS. instant tapioca to fruit.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In medium bowl mix sugar, flour, salt and nutmeg (and tapioca if using).
Turn into pie shell. Pour cream (or evaporated milk, or try whole milk) over top.
Bake at 400 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes or until firm (or bubbly around edges).
Chill at least 2 hours, (after cooling for a bit on counter top, so you don't heat up the fridge or crack a glass/ceramic pie dish if you used one).


this week.

here's the forecast for the week:

if i could drop everything and take a week of vacation, i would. this is the most perfect weather in all of the year: crisp, chilly evenings that make you pull on an extra blanket, and warm, sunny days that make you want to hike, swim, sail and play all in one day. enjoy!



a couple of weeks ago, i headed down to aloha to enjoy a day of summer camp. i drove the one hour on backroads down to fairlee in the early misty fog, with glimpses of the beautiful blue day in would burn into at the high points. it was the most perfect day i could have dreamed. an activity period in arts & crafts, two periods on the canoe docks-- both spent trying paddleboarding and catching up with friends, a quick stop at lanakila to say hi to some friends down there, grilled cheese for lunch, and so many hugs. i wore my old camp uniform, i got called 'edodd', and i smiled endlessly.

two of my campers from my last summer on staff (2007) have now been counselors for a few summers. it's so fun to see my girls all grown up, with campers of their own. and there's nothing better than being told "you're my inspiration, e.dodd" when i tell them it seems like they are a great counselor. my heart smiles.

i had so much fun playing camp and catching up, it did cross my mind more than once that it sure would be great to rearrange 8 weeks in order to work at aloha for another summer. but then, driving home just after sunset and being greeted by the lupe dog and my own bed sure was nice. for now, i'll enjoy my memories of eleven wonderful summers, celebrate the friendships i created, and cherish the ways camp influenced my values & lifestyle.

thanks for welcoming me, aloha.

rocking our green & white


my old campers.


happy friday.

it's going to be another local weekend, and i'm excited for that. tonight, i'm going to see the intouchables and then go out for dinner. i love simple nights out. they feel like such a treat.

the rest of the weekend is up in the air-- farmers market, hiking, blueberry picking, or sailing? all i know is the weather will be great and i am eager to enjoy some more summer activities.



"somewhere in this great world the sun is always shining, and it will sometimes shine on you."
-myrtle reed


wedding teaser.

my post about jenna & alex's wedding is getting quite overdue, in part because the idea of reviewing the combined 600 photos that b & i took over the weekend is daunting, and because i have so much i want to say that it seems like it could take a year. so, to get things started, here's a little teaser of what was truly one of the most special weekends i've experienced. congrats to my loves, j & a.