Blog Archive

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Catch Up!

Goodness...I haven't posted anything in quite sometime.  I used to blog at my school desk on campus during slow-brain moments when I needed to let my subconscious work out some complex data-related thing.  And these days I don't sit at a school desk often enough for that to even happen.  So on the rare occasions when I DO sit down to work I actually WORK.  How novel.

I've been struggling to get back on the school work/data crunching/dissertation writing wagon.  It's my least favorite thing to do at the moment, but I'm confident that'll change.  Distractions include:

  • The lovely Indian Summer weather.  I don't want to waste the warmth sitting inside so when I'm not at my job or sleeping I'm often out and about.
  • Running. Dave and I were training for our first 5k by running at the airport 3-4 times per week.  It may sound silly to train for such a short race, but we're new to the loving-to-run club. I'll have a whole post on how that went but here's a spoiler: it was fantastic!  We are still running now that the race is over so we can do other races, too.
  • Food storage.  Oh my goodness, we didn't even get to press apples for cider or harvest honey this summer but I was still up to my eyeballs in canning/freezing/drying/cooking the abundance of fruit for storage.  Eddie has figured this hobby out and will make up stories about how once upon a time he picked a whole bunch of [insert his latest food obsession] and he spent "hours and hours" [insert his choice storage method: freezing/drying/canning] it all to "save for the winter."  
  • Eddie. I have a love-hate relationship with this four year old stage.  One minute he's a doll who is helpful, considerate, and sweet and the next moment he's an argumentative, mocking, know-it-all, stubborn monster.  
  • Yoga. I still go about 3 times per week and I love it.  
  • Taking care of my in-laws. I've started doing some geriatric-type caregiving for my in-laws, including all the big shopping, providing my FIL's dinners, and making and driving them to doctor appointments both in and out of town.  
  • Work. I am 'in the office' 2 days per week but usually end up doing some extra work throughout the week since a lot of what I do is not water company-specific but for other components of the Bower Enterprises.  It has been an excellent way to meet people in the community, make new contacts, learn about all the other projects that Dave has going on, and whatnot.
  • The dang house. Oh boy, this house.  It's huge. It's mostly under construction (= mess that's not worth cleaning up). It's inefficient because of the sheer size, construction chaos, and layout.  It can only get better from here on out but it's a painfully slow process because we're not millionaires who can pay people to do the work for us. Have I complained about how we don't even own the stupid thing so it often feels like we're doing all this work for nothing?  The good news is that we won't have to decorate the inside for Halloween--it's a nightmare of a haunted house already, full of scary 1960s decor and ghosts of Good Intentions Past. 
  • My mom.  I haven't mourned much since she died, at least not outwardly.  But we did so much grieving back in 2008 that I felt like it was almost a relief.  She was so uncomfortable with her appearance, her story of ignoring the cancer for so long, the prognosis, that we all knew she'd be glad to have it all gone.  Now I'm planning her memorial reception--an occasion to remember her at her best.  I have struggled with the church a bit to make sure it is a happy memorial but the idea of having a celebratory party disturbs some people.  My mom wasn't one for sad emotions so I'm sticking to my guns about it and it can be stressful and overwhelming.  It's happening in about 2 weeks but I'm finding that I put off the planning for longer than usual because I don't want to confront her death as real.  I finally had to sit down to hash out the details and disturbed me how unsatisfying it felt.  Normally I love the rush of getting things organized.  (I need a vacation, I think.)
**I was blogging and then BOOM my brain realized I'd done something wrong with my data analysis so I looked and yes indeed, I needed to fix something.  So I did, ran some tests, shot off an email to a postdoc to confirm my procedure, and came back. I love my subconscious...I think it'll be what ends up writing my dissertation.**

So there are numerous distractions.  But as it gets colder and miserable outside I won't have so much food storage to take up my time.  Almost everything else will still be there but I know my motivation will kick into gear...soon...

Here are a few pictures to enjoy until I get around to posting something else.

We adopted a kitty cat named Nina.  The dogs are veeeeeeeeeeeeeery interested in her.  Taters wants to nose/sniff/chase her and Ruby wants to guard her from Taters and Eddie...unless there's ice cream residue to be licked off a plate.  Then they all get along just fine.

My Royal Chantanae carrots are HUGE this year!  

"The" cat has become "Dave's" cat.

Here's the Bower-Levie-Whitney team last weekend!

We went to the beach after the race.
More later: Nina Kitty, back to school in Davis, Eddie's 48 month check up, a few perfect weekends in Gualala...and...there's probably more.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Visiting Davis

Last weekend Eddie and I went to Davis for Leila's birthday party.  Cassie had invited us juuuuuuuuuuuuust in case we wanted to come...and of course we did!  We were lucky that Dave needed some alone time to get the newly textured sheet rock primed in the downstairs bedrooms.  So off we went on Saturday morning after waking up late, having breakfast, and packing up the van.  It was so refreshing to not worry about packing up the dogs and tons of stuff--just the toiletry kit and a change of clothes.

We made on pit stop in Petaluma for snacks and then went straight to the party.  It was at a gymnastics place we'd never been to before, which was fun.  Cassie was the only one who knew we were coming so it was really fun when all the other parents got excited to see us walk in.  Ahhhhh, I really felt loved.  Eddie took off immediately toward the trampoline with his Davis bffs, Leila and Isaac.  I didn't see him for the rest of the party except for a lemonade request and then cupcakes/candy at the end.
A kid and his croissant and juice.
The party was a circus theme, complete with buckets of peanuts and popcorn and TONS of candy.  Each kiddo got an empty paper sack to fill with candy as their goodie bag.  Eddie did the reasonable thing: he tasted each thing and kept what he liked and handed me what he didn't.
All the kiddos enjoying their cupcakes.
Eddie's cheeks are rosy red from intense tumbling. 
Before we moved away from Davis, I decided that we should play at every single park in town. I found a list/map online and began checking them off. In July we left with two remaining on the list.  So after the party ended and Cassie went out with her family, Eddie and I headed off to those parks.  The first one was disappointing, having only two baby swings.  Seriously, nothing else, not even a bench to climb on.  However, the last park did not disappoint.  Eddie proclaimed it as his favorite park in town, but I think his memory isn't very good.  Rainbow City definitely wins the prize for best park, not this one on Redbud.  It was small but we had a good time together.
I love these rotating seats--and especially that green metal umbrella thing in the background--it spins and spins you around when you hold onto the bars with your hands.
We headed back to Cassie's to spend the night. The kids ate pizza on the couch with Leila's dad and uncle while Cassie and I chatted at the table. Everyone crashed around 9 pm.  I usually hate sleeping with Eddie because he's a thrasher but this night wasn't too bad. The worst part of the night was all the noise from outside. Cassie lives a block from campus and it happened to be the Saturday night before school started for the year.  We were serenaded until midnight with shrieking girls, bike bells, and chanting frat guys.
We slept in the 'infant room' of Cassie's house, a room she uses for her daycare.
That morning I was in serious need of coffee so we all walked downtown to Pete's.  We let the kids play at the park for a bit before heading back to the house to pack up.
They were playing pirates, I think.
It was hard to leave because we love Cassie so much...but it was also fun to run errands with Eddie after we departed.  He got to pick out two new fish and an aquatic snail at the pet shop, plus 20 crickets for his classroom lizard.  Then we headed over to Wal-Mart to pick up a few odds and ends, including whichever <$20 toy Eddie wanted.  He'd been so good with all the driving and change in schedule and he hadn't gotten a new toy in a while so Dave and I agreed to let him pick something out.  I steered him away from certain things and he settled on an Iron Man action figure.  It has recorded sayings on it and he thought of them said, "Popsicle bread."  I finally realized it actually said, "Possible threat" and tried to correct him, but he's sure he's right.
Cassie gave Eddie a huge sack of old princess/fairy dress up gear before we left. Here you can see Kiki, who got to eat her very first food while we were there.  She's a chow-down champ!
Eddie was asking all sorts of questions while the gal scooped out his fish.
Lab meetings and school have started up again but I'm on leave for the quarter. I'm planning on going to campus for the meetings and some lab work/focused writing time/professor meetings once or twice a month. So...until next time, Davis!