Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday Aug 31, Allergy Training Day

Today, I decided that no matter what temperature it is tomorrow night, I'm either A) dragging out the sleeping bag or (since Jamie is comfy with the chill and isn't likely to go with that plan) B) wearing my onesie penguin pajamas. Both last night and the one before I was cold! Vellux blankets are cozy and soft, but they suck at insulating- I constantly feel like wind is blowing through it. My froggy quilt is not full bed-size, and it kept falling off. And of course, I thought it would be a good idea to go to bed with mostly dry hair. Wrong! Damp hair is ice hair.

I was going to wear my new skirt today. It's a simple jean-like beige skirt with orange stitching, Jamie found it at Goodwill. I thought it would look super cute with my orange 3/4 sleeve butterfly shirt. But I guess I should start checking the weather, because it was too cold. It will be nice later today of course, but oh well. Jeans, sweater and windbreaker it is!

I had to get up early today to go to training for allergic reaction training. There was also a wellness fair, with various gyms, massage places, and doctor office people there. I found out that I'm at an ok body mass index- so not overweight, really, but I suck at fitness. They had me do sit and reach, crunches, push-ups, and 3 minutes of step-up-step-down to find working heart rate. That particular one was "very poor". I told the guy at sit and reach that if a cougar is about to eat me I was NOT going to be touching my toes in that particular moment. He laughed. Anyway, I wasted time doing that and looking around, because while I knew the health fair was from 8-12, the allergy class wasn't until 9. I could have slept longer! Oh well.

Simple power point and some cool expired-pen practice stabbing with an open-book quiz and I will now receive a card in the mail good for 3 years which gives me a prescription for one adult and one junior pre-measured epinephrine pens that I can have refilled four times. In case a student gets stung by a bee on the bus and has an all-out gonna-die reaction, I can stab him/her. All joking aside, this is a pretty cool thing to have handy, and its nice that this state does that. I found out each pen is somewhere around $85.
So I am now CPR certified and can use an Epipen. Yay!

Tomorrow I will also be getting up early and pedaling back over there to see Mr Bossman. The six or so routes which were available have been taken, but there are 3 unassigned now. I'm not sure what politics is preventing me from just being able to bid on those, but I can't right now. However, I will be driving one, and so tomorrow will be like the dry-runs in Jacksonville. Go through the route so on the first day of school I don't get lost. Sounds easy enough.
School starts next Tuesday!

I spent yesterday cleaning the road grime, bug guts and last of the Florida salt off my bike. Then I cleaned Tig's too. Her mountain bike had a years worth of dust collected. Hers now looks slightly newer than mine. Florida hates bikes and Oregon loves them I suppose. But, some steel wool should get off the little specks of surface rust and mine will be good as new.
The reason I spent some time giving them some love is that Tig said she'd like to go for a ride, and she thought it would be a great idea to go the route I needed to take this morning so I knew where I was going. Then they left for a little birthday get-together that I forgot about. I wasn't sure if we'd still go, but if they got back, I intended to have everything ready to go. I was really excited to do this, for some reason. Also, it was a great excuse to put my new present in action, so I got the trailer all assembled. Tires aired up, everything clean, I did laundry. Tig got home and zoom! off we went. Marty loved the trailer. She would make little nonsense mumbles over the bumpier sections to hear her voice vibrate. Towards the end she got a little cranky, but she found the toys we had in there with her. She had been awoken from her car-nap just before we left, so grumpiness was much less than expected. Tig said we needed to get the boys on bikes too.
It was lots of fun, though I had to stop just before the neat bridge to get some water. Even with the gum my mouth was so dry. She brought home really yummy clove gum. I think it's my new favorite. Of course, it isn't new- it's rather old-fashioned, she told me. Go figure. Jamie got home as we were stopped and we could see the stadium lights of the school I was aiming for, so we turned around and went back home. But it was a great ride.

This morning was chilly, but my little yellow sweater and windbreaker were fine for it once I got going, and I took the opportunity to wear my neat striped knee socks. Pink and dark pink! I tried, but I couldn't convince the girl on the bus last year to trade me her matching stripey gloves for my rainbow striped black ones. :P Gloves are something I might need sooner rather than later. It wasn't THAT cold out but the wind on my hands had them pretty numb in a hurry. Other than that and a runny nose, it was a lovely ride this morning. It always seems easier headed home, plus it was slightly warmer. I got to say good morning to a lot of nice-looking people on the way back.

I've decided I might not actually need lights on the bike- it gets light around here pretty early. At least until daylight savings changes again. Also: I want streamers from my handlebars. I might make my own with bead strands. Wouldn't that be neat? I wonder if they would flutter right? Or whack my wrist and hurt. I'll have to try that later.

And the best news: I emailed Schwinn and explained how my rear tire wasn't holding air pressure. Since the move, maybe because the temperature difference from night to day, I don't know, my rear tire is losing and needs re-inflation every few days, instead of once a week or longer. I couldn't find any bubbles from a leak when I dunked the tube in the kid pool, but I thought I must need a new one anyway, so I went online. I couldn't find a tube for sale that matched the numbers on my tube. I thought to order one from Schwinn, maybe. So I contacted customer service, but I had the idea to explain also how the bike was shipped with the wheel untrue and we straightened it and I'd been riding it since February. The lady emailed me back and...

they're going to send me a new rear wheel!!

So if you saw my comment on Facebook, that's why. No questions asked, have a new part. No receipt, nothing. Just name address, phone number and the model of bike please. I'm thrilled. I'll have a extra emergency tube in case I run over something sharp. She said the slight warp in the wheel itself could be what is causing the tube to not hold air. I'm not sure how that works, but I'll take it!

P90X sort of fell apart at the one month mark. Rest week occurred in conjunction with Val and Marty's birthdays, and we just sort of never started back up again. I was bummed, because for once I wanted to finish this, but at the same time this is somewhere around the 4th one-month stint, and I've seen no real changes in myself. I'm hoping that biking everywhere will do like I've heard it has for many people and be the exercise I need to slim down enough to really like my figure. Just a smoother stomach and legs please. I'm told cardio will do that, and I figure at least an hour a day (4 trips of about 15 minutes each, just for work) will help.
The impala finally decided that after all the work of hauling a camaro and two-dog family cross-country, it wasn't just asking politely for those new brakes anymore. It blew apart a brake rotor, if I heard Jamie tell me right. The camaro is now in service (which I of course am enjoying, I love that car).

Jamie has a job through LaborReady doing networking cable on the National Guard base. He's getting paid a lot more than he's used to, and its at least for another month. It's possible they might hire him permanently. Jamie is just worried that somebody is going to say one day "wait a minute, we're paying someone this much for that?" and send him home. Putting all that wire up seems to me to be a pretty easy job, from Jamie's descriptions, but then again you don't exactly want minimum-wage dunces screwing it up either. I'm happy for him and my own job starts soon too.

I wish we had little pot pies, here. I'm hungry and I want some hot soup or ideally a steaming pot pie. Mmm. I must go forage.

Hugs to everyone! <3

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday, Aug 15th 2011

Yesterday was a blast! I wanted to write and post pictures as soon as we got home, but I also wanted to play Warcraft, and I tend to make less sense when writing tired...

so good morning!

We celebrated Valath's birthday with a cookout at Malone. We and a ground of friends converged on the empty lake at 11 o'clock and stayed until the sun went down behind the mountain, around 6 or 7:30 I think. We had five or six coolers, a whole bunch of food, a $16 fail-propane-grill newly purchased from somewhere, and the ancient camping stove which replaced it. There were hotdogs, hamburger, brats, sausage. S'mores. Fruit, soda, tea, chips, cheese puffs.
We had a group of Jamie and I, Val and Tig, Tig's parents and two brothers plus a brothers-significant-other. We had Tig Aunt and Tig cousins, and a uniquely helpful Tig-friend that ended up being called a boyscout. This man supplied tools when Tig's dad forgot them for the dock- he had a demolition hammer, ratchets and sockets, all kinds of stuff. He had a blanket I wrapped in when it got cold. He had duct tape to repair Jamie's shoes when the dumb things started fantastically falling apart. One edge broke, then the other edge, then the other shoe copied it... it was like a revolt of the shoes or something. I made a sit-upon out of a snapple case and spent most of my time just hanging out without the camera. When the sun went down we went back to Tig's parent's house and had cake and more berries.
Marty. This is right before she fell forward into the water. She tends to want to dunk her face anyway, but apparently it is extra-scary when it happens unintentionally. Washed the berry juice off pretty well, though :) We decided she's still too small for the floaty jacket- she doesn't have enough bottom end to be a keel and keep it from floating her face-down. A little bit of cuddles and some daddy-gator fixed her right up for more splashing though.

Beautiful Malone.

Dock! The sun was pretty...

Almost finished dock! We've rebuilt the half by the shore, and the left L section. Tig's dad has a lumber mill, which is like a huge complicated upside-down table saw that takes a tree trunk and gives you boards- it's awesome. He supplied rough wood for us, and screws. (The drill died so the L isn't actually planked yet, have to finish up another trip.)

Two trees which gave us shade most of the day. Pretty sun. Don't leave me sun! It's cold without you and the skeeters came out to hunt...

Tree with fixed dock. The other boat slope was taken so we had 2 groups come and put their boats in during the day, and one had to pull their boat out twice because it was really crooked. People like to ski out here and pull floaty-tubes and flip their girlfriends off in turns. It's funny.

Cooking a marshmallow! Slowly.... Catch on fire already. (I did make sure to eat a hamburger before I had 2 s'mores.)

Shoe repair! Poor Jamie-feet. The strap broke and he took it off and set the shoe ont he dock, just in time to put his bare foot down and find a broken bottle with it. There is some broken glass down there, and sharp wires. People are smart to wear water shoes or flip-flops until we find them all.

One good thing: we noticed when we came out this time that there was no trash! As compared to previous visits. The sign had been muddied and executed by firing squad since our last visit, but the new dock boards also had shallow carvings saying "Malin boys love it" and some weird names, maybe. Most weren't recognizable due to weird unidentifiable letters, but one name was normal. I forget what it was. But several other tire-fire pits might have been cleaned up, plus some glass. We have helpers! One legless top-of-tree-trunk (like a half log) bench was missing, and the bench with legs had been moved from our previous fire circle to another location, next to a small pile of twigs and branches for fires. We added the board ends cut off from the dock to it.

I took pictures all around the lake, I had the thought to stitch them together into a panoramic like my mom did once with the farmhouse. Not sure how to accomplish that digitally, though. She just taped the prints together. I'll ask Jamie later.

Point of note: I made sure not to take Jamie's picture today because he doesn't like it. Then when I was going through them quickly last night, he asked if there were any of him. So from now on even though I have to chase people and sneak in shots, i'm getting them! Because I like pictures of people too, and sometimes I even get lucky and snap some good ones.

Our anniversary was a great day too! No pictures there, but Jamie took me out to breakfast at a neat castle-y diner called Elmer's. Inside was like a fancy Bob Evans. Biscuits and gravy weren't up to par, but I had hazelnut pancakes with marionberry (pretty sure its just blackberries?) syrup and chicken apple sausage and eggs. The sausage was really yummy too. Then after breakfast we drove around and explored a little by car, and then went to downtown. We visited the library and found out what it was like, we went to the bead store here and got some things. We walked all the shops and just generally window-shopped. We were going to have hotdogs for lunch but when we walked to it, it was closed. Our game store guy said they might still be at the little fair, and he pointed us instead to an awesome barbecue shack. It's a tiny building with a smoker out front. There's three guys in it and they make everything from scratch, pretty much. I had a luau sandwich, which is shredded pork, a jelly-like barbecue sauce that's delicious, and pineapple rings on a roll-thing that's better than a bun. It doesn't look that big, but you eat it and are full. After lunch we went to the movies. Their matinees are at noon! We missed those, but we saw captain America. No popcorn, since we were stuffed from Smokey Joe's.

Also, that you for the card! Of course Jamie thought the turtles on it were cute (ok I did, but he liked the card in guy-fashion) and it got here just in time! <3

Oh, and also Jamie is no longer kennelmaster. Somebody made up stuff about him and now he's job-hunting again. He filled out a huge questionnaire online to find a job with a restaurant. He was absolutely tickled (my words of course) that he could check off all the boxes of kitchen/restaurant skills except for baking and cake decorating.

Happy Monday.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Isn't it awful when you have the itch to DO something and can't? Or when the creativity bug bites hard and there is no outlet for it? No project to do?

Lately I've had the horrible urge to make things. The pretty patterns I see on sale, the beadwork I see in magazines... I want to draw my D&D character. Or outfits on the cutout like we used to do with the lightbox. I keep seeing the jean top I made (which I broke trying to get on one day, but still have) and how it could be tweaked to make cute variations with collars or maybe even sleeves like a jacket. For those who don't know, that top was a pair of regular jeans turned upside down and made into a halter top. I'd have to wiggle into it because at the time I made it, I had no clue how to make a closure, so the pants zipper opened like usual, but the actual top was stitched closed. Anyway, it was a really cute crop-top halter. I miss the jeans I used to wear with it a whole bunch.

Anyway, I can't wait to have a place of our own and a paycheck so that theoretically, I'd have hobby money. There is  Jo-Ann fabric here as well as a Micheal's, and a bead store, though I haven't been in it yet. If they are too expensive I know I could get a FireMountainGems catalogue. I really want a light box, especially when it comes to writing down the design ideas I have.

Sometimes I want to draw a frog on a bicycle (or a very human-like one as the model for pattern designs. Froggy Creations, or somesuch). I think that would be so neat.

Part of this huge bolt of inspiration came from creating my new character for the Pathfinder roleplaying game (a non-violent priest healer) and giving myself a headache one night by going from books to computer screen to television for an hour of exercise. Those viewing distance changes are a sure formula for head pain. But Excedrin just before bed is a bad idea- it has caffeine. So I was wound up from P90 and fantasy RP research, and spent 4 hours laying in bed thinking of things, trying to sleep but too excited to do so.
To be honest, I sort of enjoyed the vivid imaginings.

Anyway, figured I'd share.