Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Puppets And Potluck

(Hope you like photos, because there are lots of them in this post!)
The Old Schoolhouse is located down the road a spell from Marlinton, in Mill Point, and it's one of my favourite places out here.  Under one woman's care and dedication, it has become a warm and welcoming place for folks to gather, eat, drink, dance, or jam.  On Monday, it was given over to a potluck in honor of Brian Keith, a puppeteer from the Tears of Joy Theatre in Portland, OR, in town touring a show called Little One Inch.
If there's one thing that Pocahontas County does, and does well, it is potlucks.  I don't know that I'd ever actually made something for a potluck before moving here, so the frequency of them is constantly challenging to my lack of culinary creativity.  But I do love how you never know what you'll end up eating at one of these!
Once the food was dispensed with, the puppets came out.  From silhouettes to marionettes to sock puppets, there were plenty about to play with.
 (Please forgive the blurriness of most of these--it was dark and the flash on my camera is so harsh that I usually don't use it.)
The evening wound down after a piano that had been sitting on the porch was moved inside and Jamie played a little ragtime for us.  All in all, a fun, creative night!  You can expect to see more of the schoolhouse, if I can remember to keep bringing my camera along!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

In Which Vista Makes Friends

As promised, here are photos of Vista's playdate with Ruby and Maybe.  Vista likes anything that walks, rolls, flies, or swims, so there was no question that she was going to have a good time--fortunately, Greer and Adrienne's pups had a good time, too!  Ruby's the smaller, and Maybe's the larger--don't you love the shot of Vista and Ruby hugging?
Thanks for letting my dog bring chaos into your kitchen, ladies!  (And also for feeding me dinner!)

Monday, September 27, 2010

In Which There Is (Debatably) Roadkill

Saturday was the second of Marlinton's two annual festivals, the Autumn Harvest Festival and Roadkill Cookoff.  I've been assured that no actual roadkill was consumed, though I did not make it close enough to the mobbed food tents to determine for myself.  I should note that I do very poorly with crowds, and MAN was there ever a crowd out there!  So these photos are all from the hour or so I managed before running home in a panic to hide.
See?  Crowds.  This was taken from outside the Pocahontas Woods booth.
One of our board members, Ernie, with the booth.
Inside the booth.
There was axe-throwing outside of the Opera House!
Opera House VISTA Jamie showing us how it's done.
Before handing the axe off to Kate.
Who also showed us how it was done.

So much fun!  Vista was with me, and completely in heaven.  Folks were walking around with big bags of pork rinds and kids were running about toting spray-painted "guns" made of PVC pipe, shooting marshmallows at each other.  It was a good place to be a dog, although--unfortunately for Vista--not one with an agoraphobic owner.  Hopefully her evening playdate made up for it--photos soon!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Self-Portrait As Pathetic Immune System

On Monday, all of a sudden I could smell again.  "Emily!" I cried to my roommate in my deep and husky man-voice, "What's that in the toaster?"  She told me it was just her lunch.  "But I can smell it!  What is it, exactly?"  It was toast, covered in pesto.  Another VISTA had given her a great deal of basil, and we're currently drowning in pesto.  Which was when I realized that yes, I could smell, but I could only smell pesto.  I hate pesto.

Still, it was a stepping-stone, and later that night, joy upon joys, my ears unpopped for the first time in days and I could hear unmuffled again.  These things combined with the fact that my dreams were 50% less bizarre and I was able to think relatively clearly convinced me that come Tuesday morning I would wake up well and hale!

I am remarkably stupid for a college graduate.  Doggedly, I went to work anyway, pockets stuffed with tissues.  I made it until about 11:00, at which point I had gone through all of my tissues and half of a roll of paper towels, to boot.  Only Vista was feeling happy.  I stumbled home, defeated by my own shoddy immune system, and spent the rest of the day wrapped in a comforter on the couch, feeling feverish once again, as my body had apparently decided to punish my foolish tip-toe forward by shoving me two steps back.

And yet, here I am at work again.  Today I brought a whole BOX of tissues, chugged some cough syrup in addition to the usual morning Advil Cold & Sinus, and am sort of actually feeling okay.  I have no illusions about making it past lunchtime, however.

And now, because it makes me happy to make lists, here are the things that have kept me sane (sane-ish?) through this wretched whatever-it-is.

1. The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
2. Replaying Windwaker (though to be fair I started it before catching the plague)
3. Emma
4. General Winston's Daughter by Sharon Shinn
5. Avatar Book 2
6. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (this came from the library, which has been a GODSEND)
7. Gas station pizza (which, as it turns out, makes excellent balm for a sore throat)
8. Candy corn
9. Hulu
10. Frequent (and increasingly angry and pathetic) calls to my mom and Laura, gleeful Appa-filled texts to Chris.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

In Which I Find Myself Surrounded By Tissues

This photo has nothing to do with this post.  I didn't take it, Christy did, from an airplane somewhere over Southeast Asia.  But I have had a miserable weekend, and it gives me a momentary glimpse of escape, so I'm clinging to it.

I am a terrible sick person.  I try to put on a brave face, but that only lasts about the first five minutes, after which I am about as grouchy and pathetic as a person can be.  On Friday, it was a sore throat.  By Saturday, my throat felt so swollen I could hardly swallow and I could no longer breathe through my nose.  I curled up on the couch and attempted to shield my roommates from the miserable mood I knew would shortly descend.  Fortunately for them, they had better things to do than sit around and pity me, and I spent most of the day alone, reading, watching movies, and napping.

I went outside to doze in the grass, but a short time later I abruptly realized that I was on my way up one of the trees in our yard with no real memory of having gotten myself there. Fortunately I hadn't made it very far up; coming down from where I was was graceless and painful enough.  I retreated into the house, and safety.  That was the first slip into delirium I can recall.  The second was when I realized I was having a conversation with my DVD rack.  I was doing most of the talking.  Unsurprisingly, my DVD rack is not a terribly good conversationalist.

My night was peppered with fever-dreams of Greek gods and tidal waves (I've been reading this series), which were odd and vivid, even for me.  Today, which would have been wonderful enough as it was, a small headache developed behind my left eye (they always start behind the left eye) which by early afternoon was a full-blown migraine.  Added to this was Vista (who's suffering from an ear infection), who was so bored of my misery she was vocally complaining.  As of now, the migraine has gone back from whence it came, and I only feel a little like I was beaten with a wiffle bat.  Could be worse.

I hear this wretched thing is going around, and I have only one piece of advice for any future sufferers: stay away from trees.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Seneca Rocks

Lest you think that I drove all the way to Pendelton County (roughly 200 miles round-trip) without taking in its most spectacular sight...
Seneca Rocks
It is so amazingly gorgeous I can't even describe it.  There are horseback trips to the top which I want to do SO badly.
Also: Vista found a pretty little snail shell.  Thanks, Vista!

Ghost Woodshop

Last week, Mr. and Mrs. H and I traveled to a neighboring county to take a look at a piece of equipment.  It was being sold out of a woodshop that had shut down after the economic downturn.  I forget sometimes that I have a purpose larger than making a website and going to potlucks, but this trip reminded me, pretty forcefully.  The whole place was left exactly how it was when the employees walked out of it, months ago.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Here's Your Blog Post, Ma

My phone rang yesterday while I was watching a movie about the music of Appalachia.  It was my mother, worried because she hadn't heard from me.  Now to understand the oddness of this call, you have to understand that my mother is not the sort of parent who wants her children permanently tangled in her apron strings.  My mom is all about my independence, probably even more than I am.  When I first went away to college, I called home fairly often.  I love my mom, and wanted to hear her voice.  Her response to one such call was, "What are you calling me for?  You're in college, go to a party, get into trouble!"  That's my mom.

I still call her, but nowhere near as often as I did in those days.  I assumed this was a system that worked for both of us, so I was startled by the reason for her call, especially considering I'm driving home tonight for the weekend.  "I haven't heard anything from you!" she exclaimed.  I was still trying to puzzle out why this was unusual.  "And you haven't updated your blog!"

Ahhhhhhhh.  Well, here, Mama.  Here's the most interesting this I did this weekend:
The lovely Miss Jamie, Opera House VISTA and today's birthday girl, suggested an impromptu drive up the Scenic Highway.  So we did.
And it's forever as beautiful as I remember it.

(And if I'm been silent here and you're missing me, for some reason, chances are I've piped up one way or another on my other blog, or my tumblr.)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Shop Dog

As you may have noticed based on the backgrounds in the videos I take, Vista comes to work with me.  She's a very good shop dog.  Quiet, calm, extremely friendly, and she's learned not to wander into the workshop when the door is open and only occasionally darts out the front door after birds.  Which means I really only get a mini-heart attack once a week.  When people learn she comes to work with me, the question I am most often asked is if the loud noises bother her.  Since today has been a pretty noisy one, I decided to take a little video to illustrate.