Monthly Archives: February 2013


This morning I accidentally posted a bunch of posts to the wrong blog!  Whoops!  If you’re interested in it, feel free to check it out.  Its linked in my header EHT247.


Stay tuned!  I’ll get some “real posts” up as soon as possible!

My Unexpected Encounter With the Barred Owl

Last night I got home from work late around 10PM, and as I pulled into my spot in my apartment complex I was startled by a huge shadow that swooped down and landed in the tall bush in front of my 2nd story window in my apartment. I was on the phone with my sister, and the conversation when something like this:

Me:  OMG….omgomgomg!!

Sister: What?!

ME:  OMG!!! the coolest thing just happened!! This HUGE Barn Owl just landed in the bush RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!!

Sister: omg, I don’t care.  Why don’t you call someone who would care, like dad or something.

hmmm….great thought, dad WOULD care!

ME:  OK, gotta go.  I’m calling dad!

Immediately, I hang up with my sis, and moments later I’m on the phone with my dad:



ME:  No,  (keep in mind I’m not even dating anymore, so that actually would be unbelievable, so I pretty much disregarded him saying this) the coolest thing just happened!! This HUGE Barn Owl just landed in the bush RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!!

Dad:  Well it probably wasn’t a Barn Owl.  It was probably a Barred Owl….

ME:  OK, well it was huge! Like 25 – 30 lbs – wing span of like 3 feet!

Dad:  yea…It was probably a Barred Owl.  Barn Owls don’t come out in the open often.

ME:  OK, whatever, it was a huge owl.

He was kind of missing the point of the excitement, but after I eventually agreed that it was most likely a Barred Owl, but I would “know for sure after I look it up” we were able to move on to the excitement of seeing this predator.  My dad, who is just as obsessed with “being right” as I am sent me a link to a Barn owl and a link Barred owl within 3 minutes of getting off the phone.  Turns out he was right…it was a Barred owl.  Bravo Dad, bravo.  Here’s my pic to prove my sighting.

barred owl - erinWhat?  You can’t see anything in that picture?!  What the…OK, so my picture isn’t the best…stupid smart phone!  But see those eyes?!  even from a distance and in the dark, you can see this guy was a monster!  I sat in my car looking at him for a few minutes, and then I got out.  Partially to try to get closer to take a better pic, partially to go inside.  Mr. Owl puffed up and cocked he head to one side looking at me, and then cocked his head to the other side…still staring me down.  I figured it was a pretty good idea to hop back in my car because I was more than slightly afraid he was going to dive bomb me.  Moments later a smaller bird flew out of the adjacent bush and Mr. Owl swooped in…he missed, and then flew away.  All about 10 feet in front of me.  It was AWESOME!

barred owl

Disclaimer: I did not take this pic! click photo for source

So in case my picture wasn’t a good enough picture for you to see what the Barred Owl looks like, here’s a pic I grabbed off the internet.  Though my picture didn’t capture Mr. Owl’s beauty I was able to see him clearly while I was sitting/standing there, and he was so cute!  So as you saw from my conversation with my dad above, I mentioned that he was really big, probably 25 – 30 lbs.  Turns out that the average weight of a barred owl is only about a pound in a half…I guess there is really something to be said about hollow bones!  In my defense, his body was definitely much larger than a football, so I was just assuming he was heavy because he was so big.  But I guess it makes sense that something able to soar through the air is so light.  I was correct about the wing span, though.  The average wingspan is between 3 – 5 feet.    You learn something new everyday, right?!

barred owel - wing span

Disclaimer: I did not take this pic! Click photo for source!

Barred Owls are known to perch while hunting, and most of the time opts for rodents like mice or moles.  Given the 2.5 feet of snow on the ground, its not surprising that he was swooping in for something not buried:  a bird!  I wish that he did catch his prey because usually they will devour their findings on the spot, which would have been cool.  The best part is that according to The Owl Pages, Barred Owls typically stay in a .3 mile – 1.5 mile radius of their home, so I’m hoping that he will come back and visit again.  I will call him Frank.


Inspirational Blogger Award!


I was nominated by Wine & Dash for the Very Inspirational Blogger Award. I’m pretty excited about it!  I’ve gotten nominated for blogger awards before, but have never actually taken the time to follow through on the write up.  But hey, there’s no time like the present!  erinHasThoughts is just over two years old and I’m thrilled that somehow I have kept the ball rolling and am still in the “blogosphere”. Thanks for the nomination, Karen!  Blog on!

Here are the rules:

  • Display the award logo on your blog
  • Link back to the person who nominated you
  • State 7 things about yourself
  • Nominate 15 bloggers for this award and link to them
  • Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

Things about me

  1. I hate winter with a passion, and if I could find the right person (family, friend, lova – I have no preference) I’d move to a warmer climate in a heartbeat…I just can’t bear the thought of doing it alone.
  2. I LOVE dogs.  No, I’m pretty much obsessed – since I can’t have a dog of my own (living in an apartment) I walk dogs on my lunch break and dogsit as frequently as possible.  If you hate dogs, a relationship with me – even just as a friend – probably would never work out.  I don’t trust people who don’t like dogs…or pizza, or orange soda.  Something is wrong with these people.
  3. I work too hard and play too hard.  I never give myself a chance to sit and relax.  If I’m not at one of my multiple jobs, I’m probably half way across the country, hiking, wine tasting, or doing something else…It’s extremely difficult for me to just sit on my couch.  In fact, sometimes I have to “schedule” a relaxation day and force myself not to make any other plans…it’s tough.
  4. I’m obsessed with colored skinny jeans – no seriously, I have about every color, wear them almost every day, and have no intention of changing that any time soon.
  5. I love working out! I wouldn’t say I’m the most coordinated or athletic person out there, but I do love breaking a sweat. Whether its hiking, bootcamp, running races, or even something I haven’t tried before.
  6. I love elephants – they are a sign of wisdom and good luck – I can always use a healthy dose of both of those!  They are also one of the world’s smartest animals and are one of very few animals that actually has compassion for others.  They even have a burial ceremonies for the dead.  I’d love to see one in real life and touch it one day.
  7. I want to spend a little bit of time, even if its just a week, in each state in the United States before I die.  I think its amazing to have the opportunity to travel around the world, but there is so much diversity right here in the US, and I want to see it – all of it.  My plan is to buy an RV when I retire and travel the world for a full year, spending one week in each state of the US.  Hawaii and Alaska?  1 week cruises! yes please!  (oh, and also then I’d be able to have a US map on the side of my RV and I could fill in the states as I visit them!! 🙂

I nominated the following 15 bloggers:

  1. Lose It Big
  2. Tattoos & Pearls <–needs to start blogging again…like yesterday!
  3. Words and the Bees
  4. Over My Styled Body
  5. The Bliss Project
  6. Sidewalk Ready
  7. Kendi Everyday
  8. Hello Gorgeous!
  9. Urban Nester
  10. Undressed Skeleton
  11. J’s Everyday Blog
  12. Pop of Style
  13. Round to Ravishing & Back to Round Again
  14. Amateur Healthy Girl  <–needs to start blogging again!
  15. She Wines Sometimes

Bucket List: Case Mountain

Growing up around the corner from Case Mountain, in Manchester, CT, I can easily say that I’ve hiked there hundreds of times in my life.  Since this is one of the hikes on my Bucket Lists’ 50 Hikes in CT I decided this would be the perfect time to put a different spin on the hike.  Those of you who live in Connecticut know that the state has been closed down for the weekend but for those of you who don’t, we got between 24 – 40 inches that got dumped on us, depending on where you live, and it has really put a damper on this weekend’s activities!


I was actually supposed to do this hike with my pops yesterday, but unfortunately the roads were still impassable, so we couldn’t go.  I did go today, though, and was able to convince my seester to come with me.  Let me tell you – if you’ve never been snow-shoeing, it ain’t as easy as it looks.  We started out on the Carriage Trail and were the first people to pass this trail.  With over 2 feet of snow on the trail, it was ridiculously hard, especially going up hill.

Me and Taz towards the beginning of the hike

Me and Taz towards the beginning of the hike

We took turns being “the leader”, as the leader was basically doing all the hard work and the follower was basically just stepping in the other’s footprints.  When we were just about to hit the summit, we noticed that the Blue Trail, which also leads to the summitt, was packed down from fellow snow-shoe-ers. Since we had already spent over two grueling hours trudging through the deep snow, we decided to take this already-blazed trail.

Kate on the trail

Kate on the trail

Seriously, it was touch and go there for a while.  At one point I even said out loud – and completely seriously – “This must be what its like to climb Mount Everest”, OK, maybe I’m a little dramatic, but seriously, It was tough.  I guess it didn’t make it any easier for me that I fell more times than I’d like to admit.  Take it from me, if you fall, while wearing snow shoes, into 2.5 feet of snow, it’s not so easy getting up-especially when you have a dog that is trying to “help” you.  Katie didn’t have this problem, but watching me go through this process time and time again was all the motivation she needed to make sure she did not have the same fate as me.

Me and Taz towards the beginning of the hike

Me and Taz on the trail – getting tired!!

We were ecstatic to reach the top – we didn’t die!  Saa-weeettt! #bestworkoutever!

Me and my sister, Kate

Me and my sister, Kate

A hike that normally takes about an hour took us just over 2.5 hours, but it was an excellent workout, which is EXACTLY what we needed after been cooped up inside for the last 48 hours eating, drinking, and basically being lazy.   I’m so happy that I was able to get at least one productive thing done this weekend, and another check off my bucket list!  Hopefully some of you were able to do something fun through Nemo!

Friends, Wine, and a REALLY Great Time

NemoHere in Connecticut we were predicted a blizzard.  We were declared in a “state of emergency” and I worked from home.  I was pretty much pumping myself up to watch the lat 5 episodes of Nashville that I had DVR”d and make some beaded necklaces (seriously, thats what I was going to do), but instead had a surprise visitor!  My friend Petow, who also braved Irene with me a couple years ago, showed up with storm snacks.  At that point, I knew my night was about to get a lot more interesting.

Before there was too much snow on the ground, and while it was still somewhat light we wanted to play outside for a while.  So, we played KanJam!  Normally a summer game, we discovered that it is actually an AMAZING game to play when it’s cold out.  There’s enough moving going on that you stay pretty warm.


Later, after it got dark we decided we should go sledding.  We just had one problem-we didn’t have a sled.  So we decided we should MAKE a sled.  We looked around my apartment to see what we could use, and then headed over to my storage unit to check out what goods we could come up with in there.  We ended up using a tupperware top, a slab of wood, and a buttload of duck tape.  And voila!  We’re ready to go sledding.


Its about 9:30AM here now and it’s still snowing…in fact, my car is buried under s snow drift, but I have a feeling today will bring some excitement as well

before and after

In this pic, you can see my car yesterday morning, and then this morning it’s basically buried under a snow drift – the car next to mine is completely covered!

Is the Bachelor the new Real World?

seanGrowing up in the 90’s and early 00’s I watched the Real World (even if it meant I had to do it sneakily because my parents wouldn’t let me watch it).  By the time I was in college, one thing I came to realize is that the only way that you will be accepted as part of the cast of this show is if you are seriously f*cked up in some way, shape, or form.  Everyone’s got a story.

A couple years later, once I’m out of college, leading the life of a young professional, AKA I have nothing to do on a Monday night, enter “The Bachelor”.  This is the third Bachelor/Bachelorette season that I’ve been drawn into and last night it dawned on me.  O.M.G. this is RIDICULOUS!  No, really it is.  It’s the Real World, only more embarrassing, and less fun (for the cast).  It’s like every girl that comes on the show has a story.  No, not just a story, a STORY.  Seriously.  One girl has only one arm, another girl is still “recovering” from watching a tree fall on her best friend at summer camp 15 years ago, another girl is milking the adoption card HARD, and yet another gets the paramedics called every freaking episode…and the list goes on and on.  Now, I’m not trying to be insensitive here, but come on!  It’s like every time Sean gets “one-on-one time” with one of the girls they are just DYING to explain to him why they are “the way they are”.

Did anyone ever think that maybe Sean just wants a nice girl without three trunk loads of baggage?  Watching the show, I actually laugh out loud because the look on Sean’s face when he’s having these “serious one-on-one conversations” is amazing.  It’s a cross of amusement, trying not to laugh, and constant annoyance.  Am I completely ranting about the show right now?  Absolutely.  Am I going to continue watching to see who he may or may not propose to?  ummm…ABSOLUTELY!  There’s only 6 girls left and next week they are “heating things up in the US Virgin Islands, and if you think I’m skipping out on that I have two words for you.  You’re Crazy.

tiaraOn a related note, Tiara is “Tiarrable” and she needs to go home, and possibly to a mental institution, like yesterday.  For real.  You can’t even make up the stunts this broad pulls!

Advice from the Midwest

This will conclude my Iowan posts, but it may be the most important as it is a list of practical, unsolicited advice I received from my gramps over my three day visit. He’s been around the block a few times and I thought I should share these valuable tidbits with the rest of you! Also,even if you choose not to follow advice, there’s not harm in hearing it!

Never order Orange Juice Ina restaurant. Drink a glass before you go out. It’s far to expensive in restaurants. You gotta conserve where ya can!

Remember to give to charities. Donating to charities repents for a multitude of sins,

That being said…

Don’t donate more than you can afford because those who give all their money to the poor will soon live among them.

Make your will.

I’m only 26 and have about. $150 to my name but I was instructed to create my will ASAP because in the unfortunate occurrence of my untimely death, that $150 will definitely create rifts among my surviving family. I think I’m gonna let that one marinate for a few years, but its definitely something to keep in mind!

Don’t drink too much, smoke,or do drugs.

Yes, this is pretty much common sense, but nonetheless, good advice!

Become a Republican.

This is coming from the man who now takes his hearing aide out while his priest gives sermons because when my grandfather asked if it was a sin to Vote Democratic, the priest said “no”. “I can still hear the sermon,” my grandfather claims, “I just do it to prove my point.” Touché. (I think I’ll leave this one on the burner,as I don’t care to talk politics. I just can’t get over how comical that story is!)

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