Sunday, September 30, 2007

Middlebury Rugby

Here is Emily playing rugby at Middlebury yesterday:

Emily is in the center, getting ready to assist a teammate in tackling a girl from Smith.

Unfortunately, Middlebury lost both the A side and B side games to Smith, but both games were well played. This is the B side game.

And it was a beautiful day! It doesn't show in this picture, but the fall foliage colors are starting to turn. Still not at peak, though.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Another Montreal pic

Here's another picture from our Montreal trip on Sept. 16 - Camila and Laura trying on coonskin caps in a gift shop. Cool, eh?

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Today we visited two farmstands in New York. We drove in two cars across the Grand Isle ferry to Plattsburgh and visited the Everett Orchards farmstand. We had lunch there, and then Nancy and Laura left us and went to St. Lawrence University for an overnight visit. Laura is considering applying there.

Camila, Alvaro and I continued on to Peru.

Of course, that's Peru—the town in New York, not Peru—the country in South America. We drove by several apple orchards and a large dairy farm in Peru.

Then we visited the Rulfs Orchard farmstand, where we rode on a tractor-drawn wagon down to the pumpkin fields and Camila picked out a pumpkin. The tractor driver was the owner of the farm, Bob Rulfs.

Mr. Rulfs was pleased to have us visit his farm, and he gave us a half dozen cider doughnuts for the trip home. We went home on the Port Kent–Burlington ferry. We had good views of the Green Mountains. Here is the range from Mt. Mansfield to Camels Hump, with Burlington in the middle. At the left is another ferry going the other way.

LUHS Homecoming

Sept. 22 was Homecoming at Lamoille Union High School. There were the usual home soccer games – boys and girls, varsity and junior varsity, against Peoples Academy. Laura played in the girls varsity game, which, alas, Peoples won. But the interesting part of the day for me was a small ceremony celebrating the fact that it was 40 years ago this fall when LUHS opened. In the fall of 1967, when Lamoille opened its doors for the first time, Bill went there as a senior and I went there as a 7th grader. Bill was in the first class to graduate from Lamoille, and I was in the first class to go all the way through, all six years.

Dr. Roger Mann and Clark Dodge, Sr. both spoke at the ceremony yesterday. Both were on the school boards that formed LUHS. They talked about the decisions that were made at that time – whether or not to combine the existing town high schools in Cambridge, Johnson and Hyde Park into a new union school, and where to site the new school. Then Bill Baker spoke. He has been a math teacher at LUHS almost since its inception. He talked about various events in the life of the school since 1967, and I was delighted that he mentioned the rifle team in the 1970s. Mr. Baker and Mr. Leonard Reed (also a math teacher, no longer at Lamoille) were the faculty advisers. We practiced at the Morrisville Armory. I helped organize the rifle team in my junior year. I think it lasted maybe a year after I graduated in 1973.

Interesting trivia: Clark Dodge, Sr. has a granddaughter (Megan Dodge) who is at Colby College with Brian and Dr. Mann has a granddaugher (Alison Wells) who is at Middlebury College with Emily.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mt. Mansfield

Yesterday was the 3rd Yankee Farm Credit Loan Committee hike. We hiked Mt. Mansfield. It was a beautiful day, warm and sunny. Here is a photo on the ridge.

The goal was to hike as many of the interesting little side trails around the summit as possible. We did quite a few! Four of us hiked up the Haselton Trail and then hiked the Lakeview Trail. The other four of us rode up the gondola when it opened at 10 AM and hiked up the Cliff Trail to the ridge. We met on top – and found someone to take the above picture. After that, we hiked the Subway, Canyon North Extension and the Canyon North Trail. Then we went to the summit, and finally down the Cliff Trail. All of us rode the gondola down.

The two previous Loan Committee hikes, both when Dean Moreau was president, were in New Hampshire: Lafayette and Lincoln (2004) and Eisenhower (2005). There was no Loan Committee hike in 2006.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Trip to Montreal

Yesterday Camila, Laura, Nancy and I went to Montreal. Here is Camila at the Canadian border.

We visited the Olympic Park, site of the 1976 Summer Olympics. Check out these winners!

The famous inclined tower is rising over the Olympic Stadium with its retractable roof. (Both the tower and the roof were not completed until a decade after the Games.) We went up the tower and enjoyed the views, but did not tour the Stadium.

We visited the Biodome, the Botanical Garden, Notre Dame and Old Montreal. We did not by any means see all of the Botanical Garden, but we did see the "Magic of the Lanterns" display in the Chinese Garden (Sept. 7 - Oct. 31, 2007). Here are Laura and Camila in the Chinese Garden:

And here is a more direct view of the display behind the girls:

There was a sign explaining that this display told the story of the following legend:

Between Heaven and Earth
Chang E flies up to the Moon

This legend dating back over 2,000 years tells of the love between Yi, the celestial archer, and Chang E, a young mortal orphan girl. Yi, a skilled bowman, was ordered by the celestial Emperor to come to the assistance of Yao, the terrestrial Emperor, and shoot down nine of the ten suns that were scorching the Earth. He spared one sun, for the benefit of humans, animals and plants. He became a hero to the people and decided to remain on Earth. There Yi fell in love with Chang E, and refused to leave her to return to Heaven.

In order for him to live for ever with his wife, the valiant Yi accomplished 1,000 feats and was granted an extremely rare pill of immortality by the Queen Mother of the West, who lived in the Kunlun Mountains. She told him that he and his beloved must share it – but one day, by mistake, Shang E swallowed the whole pill herself. Whoever took the entire magic tablet would be drawn up to Heaven forever, with no hope of returning. So it was that Chang E floated up to the Moon all alone. Since then the Moon has shone especially bright and, because of Chang E, it is rounder and whiter than ever on the fifteenth of each lunar month.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Camila's 18th birthday

Sept. 12 was Camila's 18th birthday.

Here's Camila, in a Lamoille Union "Lancers" sweatshirt, with her first Vermont moose!

Brian's 22nd birthday

Sept. 11 was Brian's 22nd birthday. I don't have any pictures, because Brian was away at college. Brian, hope you had a great day!

Pager's 93rd birthday

Sept. 8, 2007 was Pager's 93rd birthday. We had a family gathering and dessert at our house. There are four generations (via Donna's family) in the photo below. Pager is sitting on his birthday present—a wooden bench to go in his lilac garden, behind his house.

Standing, left to right:
Carrie Lafountain
David Lafountain
Jerry Cole
Bill Putnam
Jason Putnam
Donna Putnam
Beth Cole

Sitting on bench:
Devin Lafountain
Yvonne Bartlett (Donna's mother)

Sitting on deck:
Shyanne Lafountain

Not in the picture (because she took it!): Camila

Rotary Orientation

On Sept. 8, Camila, Laura, Nancy and I went to the Rotary orientation meeting for inbound exchange students and their host families. This was for all inbound exchange students in the local Rotary district. There are six this year: Camila; a boy—Alvaro—from Spain (living with the Hogans); a boy from Germany; and girls from Switzerland, Peru and Brazil. A nice group. Last year this meeting (with Marion) was in Morrisville—close to home. This year it was in West Lebanon, New Hampshire, about 2 hours away. So, with travel, it took most of the day. But it was a fun time for all. Mom did a great job in her skit—acting as a high school girl trying to hit on Alvaro ("Alvie"). I wish I had a movie of it! :-)

The only bad part of the day was that while driving home (in the Honda) I hit and killed a dog in Stowe. It was one of two beautiful golden retrievers. Their owner, an older woman, had taken them out for a walk. She had taken off their leashes, and the dogs got away from her. One of them ran right in front of me, with no time to react. The dog's owner was upset, and I was sad. This was the first time I've hit a dog while driving.

Bienvenida, Camila

Camila is presently living with us as a Rotary exchange student from Chile.

Camila, welcome! We are pleased to have you as part of our family.

Camila is keeping a blog of her year in Vermont here.

Au revoir, Marion

Marion lived with us (and the Girouxs) last year as a Rotary exchange student from France.

Marion, it was a great year, and we miss you! You can check in here to see what's happening with the Putnam family since you left.

Marion kept a blog of her year in Vermont here.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Welcome to this blog

Welcome to George's Home Blog!

Not quite sure where this is going. It will be an adventure! :-)

Who's who in the family:

Parents: George and Nancy
Children away at college: Brian and Emily
And now Marion! (see post #2)
Children at home: Laura
And now Camila! (see post #3)

Pager (rhymes with "logger") is the family nickname for my father, Harold Putnam.