Thursday, May 31, 2007

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." - Shakespeare

So, that opportunity I'd asked you all to send well-wishes about a couple of weeks ago? It's a no-go.

A. had been considered for a great G.A. in his department. We would have even been able to eat food while A. is in grad school. Imagine that!

The lawyer/instructor that approached A. about hiring him, decided that, yep, she really did want a law student after all. And A. is, well, not a law student. Thanks for getting our hopes up!! Grrrr.....

Back to square one. We just need a break, dammit.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Another Round of Heart Pounding Adrenaline, Please

Well, A. forgot his TURNED-OFF cell phone in the truck last night, and thus forgot to call me when he arrived in Lander to say he'd arrived safely.

Since he's been having a variety of mechanical problems with the truck lately, I took this lack of a phone call to potentionally mean that he was stuck in the middle of the desert, outside of cell phone range, trying to get help of some sort. On a highway notorious for its lack of traffic. Hmmm.

I woke up every 30 minutes in a cycle of panic and reassurance wondering if he was ok and wondering what I should do. Worrying that I was worrying too much. Quit being hysterical, already. Everything is fine. He's a grown man who's found his way through more difficult situations that this. So he might have a very uncomfortable night ahead of him. It could be worse. He's fine. Right? Right?!?!!? What if it wasn't a stalled truck but an accident? What if some kind of action taken right this minute is what will determine if he lives or dies? You know, that kind of panic. I've had so much adrenaline bolting me out off fitful sleep over the past 8 hours that I am EXHAUSTED.

By 3:30 a.m., I'd had enough and I called the highway patrol to see if they had reported a truck parked on the side of the road matching a description of A.'s truck. They hadn't. Whew. There also weren't any accidents reported on that road. Whew, whew. I set up "An Attempt to Locate" on A. and tried to go back to sleep. It helped; I only woke up two more times.

I am so tired I think I am going to puke.

A. called this morning to say, "oops, forgot the phone in the truck." AAARRRGGGHHH!

He feels terrible that his forgetfullness sent me into fits of panic. I wish I could feel some measure of satisfaction that he feels miserable, but mostly I am just relieved he's ok. There is a little bit of pissed off mixed in there, too.

I haven't had a fit of panic like this in years. But am I just hardwired to freak out like this, or is there something I can do to keep from flipping out? Both A. and I have lost a lot of people in our lives, so I know the universe is capable of throwing some shit our way. I don't ususally let this kind of thinking take over, but last night this kind of thinking seemed to force itself on me, waking me from sleep.


Monday, May 28, 2007


A. has just left for the field again, but he won't be home until June 7 at the earliest. I am really sad right now.

I remember when I CHERISHED time away from whomever was my current flame. Boy, I must really have something for A.!

Since Highway 130 is open for the summer, we drove through the Snowy Mountains and Medicine Bow National Forest to get to Saratoga. At the peak, near Lake Marie, there were still ten foot snow drifts at the side of the road. Folks were camping at the base of the mountains and snow shoeing and cross country skiing at the top! There is just over a 3,000 foot rise in elevation in the Snowies (6,000 foot rise to the top of Lake Marie.)

We went to the Saratoga hot springs and it was a wonderful way to spend what was to be our last day together for a while. The community hot springs were especially hot today. I don't know why. Even the "regulars" couldn't completely submerge themselves.

So, A. and I decided to cross the river (cold!) to a secret little hot spring that gathers next to the river, behind a lot of tall grasses. Most people don't know about that pool, and it is always a bit cooler. It is awesome; it is private and comfortable enough you can stay in it for much longer. (The only bummer is you have to cross the VERY COLD RIVER to get there and get back.) It was hot, too, more like what the community hot springs usually feels like. We hung out in there for a while until some kids found us. Everything was begrudgingly G-rated, I promise!

Then, after we re-crossed the FREAKIN' COLD river, we decided we really wanted to be submerged in the hot pool. I really feel like all those minerals from the hot spring are energizing and centering, and I really wanted to experience that for a while. So, A. and I both went right in. What a strange sensation to jump into water that is too hot, rather than too cold. Anyway, if A. and I sat perfectly still it was awesome. It was when I moved around and worked up my own energy that it was too hot to bear.

On our way back through Saratoga before we headed back through the Snowies, we stopped at a little cafe called Warm Springs Cafe. They have awesome pies. A. got blueberry, his favorite, and I got cherry, my favorite. I think A.'s blueberry pie was really a mixed berry pie because there were a lot of raspberries and blackberries in there -- and a lot of seeds. It wasn't quite the treat A. was looking forward to.

However, we had a view of the window from our table. There is this darling little house that sits on the opposite bank of the river. I WANT TO LIVE IN THAT HOUSE SOMEDAY. So, I sat and daydreamed about how fabulous my life would be in that house, sitting on the front porch after dinner with a cup of tea and a good book, looking out over the river. Awwww...

As a wonderful transition from my imaginary world to the real one, a couple on a small boat drifted by on the river. They both had fishing poles, and their Golden Retreiver was wonderfully well behaved. The woman caught a fish! From our seats, it looked like a 10 - 12 inche trout of some sort.

The little escape together, away from town, was a wonderful little gift. A.'s departure was bittersweet: we are delighted in all that we are to and for one other but disappointed we have to be these things separated from each other. Thankfully, he'll be back home in the fall.

Nest Emptying as the Fellas Head Out to the Field

No de-cluttering took place yesterday (sigh).

Instead, we went to the movie theater to see "Pirates of the Caribbean Something Something (3)" at the noon matinée. The movie was good; I didn't care for a large part of the ending, though. Semi-spoiler alert as this part of the ending is totally predictable: Did Elizabeth Swan, after all she's come to realize and accomplish, really need to get married? I thought it would have been better if she hadn't. But as I am rather ambivalent about marriage, I suppose it isn't surprising I'd have liked an different ending. The movie managed to sucked up the entire afternoon, so I just came home and made dinner.

MG, a good friend of A.'s who has been staying at the house for about a week, wanted to see the movie. He works for the Colorado Game and Fish and lives in a gulch for a couple of weeks at a time, with a week off in between. It is not a comfortable life, and he's not particularly fond of his co-workers (that he lives with 24 hours a day, to boot), so I thought it would be nice to make sure he had an enjoyable day before he headed back to work. He just left about an hour ago for another stint. Thankfully, he really, really enjoys the work itself, so I don't worry too much about him out there.

I made naan when we got home from the movie! Actually, the breads that came out of the oven didn't resemble naan very much, but my fear of producing eight hockey pucks was unfounded. The bread has a tart taste, as I made it with yogurt, and was very soft and moist. Not stretchy like I'd prefer, though. I am sure cooking the breads in an oven and not a tandoor oven had something to do with it. However, I conquered yeast as an ingredient! Wahoo!

The korma dish that was supposed to accompany the naan was a disaster, however. It tasted fine, it just LOOKED TERRIBLE. Nothing I've ever made has looked so bad. A. and I did not wake up in the middle of the night with excruciating stomach pain, so it must have been ok.

A. leaves tonight to head out back in the field, and I don't have the heart to ask him to de-clutter on his last day at home. He's offered, but I know he'd prefer to go to the hot springs. I am going to track down my swimming suit; it would be really nice to relax in those natural mineral springs!

I think I'll tackle the kitchen when A. hits the road; that will keep my mind off waiting for his call to say he's arrived safely.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Oh, Glorious Morning, Free From Butt-induced Breakdowns!

T.'s Closet
Three 33 GALLON lawn and trash bags later:

Wow. I have a lot of clothes that don't fit anymore. My closet looks AMAZING.

Buster always drags his bed into my closet to sleep. He seemed disoriented last night - where was all that crap that comforts him so?!?

This morning was so pleasant. I went to my closet and could see everything I own, right there in front of me. An entirely new feeling presented itself this morning: I was happy that every single piece of clothing in my closet was going to fit.

I didn't have to start my morning wrestling with clothes that, nope, still don't fit, and feeling more and more miserable about my changing body.

You are absolutely right, K. I was much, much happier starting today knowing I had pants that fit. (And yes! Please send me those clothing tips!!)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Preview of the Uncluttering About to Ensue


About to be under close scrutiny:

1. Kitchen
Do we really need two stock pots, two can openers, two ice cream scoops, (ok, maybe we do need two of those) and approximately 74 juice glasses?

2. T.'s Clothes Closet
I've gained 15+ pounds in the past year, and no less than 3/4 of my closet does not fit me anymore. I have finally come to terms with the fact that I am not going to fit into this stuff any time soon, so I am getting rid of it -- all! Then, if I manage to stop my butt from growing and even manage to make it shrink again, I'll get to go shopping for some clothes I REALLY like. Since I've been one of those disgustingly fortunate women who had previously never gained weigh and never had to think about it, this is a new adventure for me.

3. A.'s Clothes Closet
He has a shirt in there that he wore in his high school senior pictures. Enough said.

4. Bills Notebook
My bills and other important mail get weeded out of the junk mail daily, so at least that much is done. But, I've been stacking these documents on top of my 3-ring binder rather than actually filing them. Ugh. This can be done while watching M.A.S.H. later this evening.

5. T.'s Office/M.G.'s bedroom
I need to organize the latest thesis notes from my meeting with the city. And I have a Donation Goal to donate 10 books. This will easily be the most painful part of the weekend.

I'll send updates! May the fun begin!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

A Furry Breakfast

As I left for work this morning, I saw the mama fox and one of her pups about half of a mile from the house. She had breakfast in her mouth – it looked like a Wyoming Ground Squirrel – and was rejoining her pup. The little guy ran up to her and snapped up breakfast in a flash. He took off to his own special little place to eat in private, and mama kept watch.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Warning: A Rambling, Poorly Written Update

I’ve been terrible at posting all month; my apologies to my four loyal readers. It’s been busy. (As I review this post, an awful lot of it is about A. Hmm ... what the hell does that mean? Do I want to know? Also, as I review this I see it is long and rambling. Sorry. But not sorry enough to do any thorough editing.)

The past few weeks have all been a whirlwind of new opportunities and adjustments in our house. Much of the craziness has surrounded the preparation for A.’s new job (and subsequent six weeks in between paychecks- argh!). It all came about very suddenly – A. had to negotiate to be able to give he former employer just two weeks notice. He got a new job with the Wyoming Game and Fish department surveying prairie dog populations ALL ACROSS THE STATE, all 97,914 square miles of it. Unfortunately, he is rarely anywhere near our home town. So, A. lives out of a backpack and calls me every evening to tell me where he’s living for the night and I have the house to myself most of the week. Needless to say, our days look A BIT DIFFERENT than they did just a few, short weeks ago. A. is enjoying the work and the experience will help inch him toward his larger goals after grad school, so this time of chaos is well worth it.

But, I really miss him. The dogs mope around. And there is a distinct, audible shriek of despair from the lawn and trees (including two new apple trees!) whenever I approach with any hint in my eyes that I intend to do yard work.

We haven’t heard about the other opportunity that I’d posted about and asked you all to send good karma. Keep sending those good vibes – we should hear any day now!! I really don’t want to jinx it, so I am still not going to spill the beans. No, it’s is not a new house. Oh, how I wish. Anyway.

Last weekend, 30 minutes into his trip home for the weekend, A. came down with the flu -- suddenly and violently. I got a bunch of incoherent, rambling phone calls from him along the way, which didn't set my nerves at ease, to say the least. I was playing cards with the ladies when I got three of his calls. I had thoughts of West Nile Virus and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever running through my mind.

Other than that, it was a FANTASTIC night of cards with the ladies! Lots of gossiping and catching up: there is one wedding coming up, two [and a half?] house searches going on, three hubbies/partners out in their respective "fields," one new sweet puppy, and one recent doggie surgery. Lots to talk about!

Thankfully, I was able to get Andy in to see the nurse practitioner (who is awesome, by the way) and he was on Tamiflu in a few hours. That stuff is amazing.

Since Saturday was so gorgeous, unlike the current temps in the 40s and 50s, I fired up the grill in honor of my friends in the East who were themselves BBQ’ing and grilled up a bunch of veggies: zucchini, tomatoes, jalapeños, green onions, and bell peppers. (Yes, I know there are real and important differences between grilling and BBQing and that most likely we were all grilling and not BBQing at all.) Then, once the veggies cooled, I chopped them up (roughly) and used them as a filling for burritos. SO YUMMY.

I’ve been doing a lot more cooking, but I don’t want to bore you (more than you already are). For the most part, I am destroying centuries of Indian cooking tradition by combining available ingredients with the few techniques in which I am not totally inept. I am trying to get ingredients and spices in WYOMING for Pete’s sake, so cut me a little slack. I am going to try and make my own naan tonight. Food involving yeast intimidates the hell out of me.

The dogs and I have been much more faithful about our walks, and I think Buster is loosing a little bit of weight. I think his back leg is still bothering him every now and then. I am going to investigate finding a new vet, someone a helluva lot more thorough.

Everything is so green right now. And -- finally -- our lilac bush is starting to bloom! Up here at 7,200 feet we are a bit behind the rest of the botanical world. I’ll try to get my act together and post some pictures. After all, around here, it only stays green like this for about three weeks.

Work is really busy right now. I pulled a 12 hour day yesterday. Those kinds of long days have been rare, indeed, unlike DC, so I won’t complain. But I will complain about this: the files I’ve inherited from previous “designers” (from three separate computers no less) are going to drive me to drink. Before noon.

However, truthfully, my awesome, supportive, funny, smart and caring co-workers more than make up for it. Really, I couldn’t be more fortunate when it comes to folks I work with or the work we do (low-income and food stamp nutrition classes.)

So, that is my life right now. I am cooking to keep myself occupied in the evenings while A. is gone. I am sitting down and doing more studying and writing, too. Thank goodness! But, this means my butt is continuing to grow.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

It's always a good time for cake!

I am exhausted. I got back late last night from the statewide spring meeting for the organization I work for, and I haven't managed to really wake up and join the living all day. Typing has been especially maddening today. I woke up dyslexic and with extra long fingers, apparently. (If only you knew how long this post is taking me to type up!)

Lethargic is the word of the day. I really think someone in the office thought it would be funny to replace the morning pot of coffee with decaf. Maybe my officemate is still getting back at me for post-it noting his workspace while he was on vacation.

As I ponder the cause of my utter lack of energy, poor motor skills and inability to find the right word to explain anything I am trying to say, my oh-so-silent alarm clock comes to mind. Last night I managed to set my alarm for PM instead of AM. The, I woke up in a panic an hour late this morning, adrenaline running through my veins and frying my startled little neurons. All of this probably hasn't encouraged me to greet today gracefully or with much presence of mind.

I am also too groggy and loopy to write a decent post (as you are well aware, for you have fought your way to here, through stifling boredom and poor sentence structure). So, here is a fun post idea, blatantly stolen from Nothing Special. (Thanks, L.!!)

Below is my cake personality. I was surprised by the result. I just assumed I'd be the kind of mousy but sweet angel food cake. What's your cake personality?

You Are a Lemon Cake

Strong, sexy, and overpowering.
You know who you are, and you're not afraid to show the world your fabulous self.
You're confident, charming, and extremely popular.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day Proclamation - 1870

Mother’s Day Proclamation - 1870
by Julia Ward Howe

Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
“We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”
From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: “Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace…
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

Via either (I think!) Pandagon, Feministing, Echidne of the Snakes, Feministe, Bitch Ph.D., -- I can't remember where! The point is, someone shared this with the world, and I am doing a terrible job of publicly thanking them.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Please send good thoughts. Please.

A WONDERFUL opportunity has presented itself to A.

That is all I am going to share right now out of paralyzing fear of jinxing this whole thing. (Yep - we are baseball fans.)

Please, PLEASE, pray, send good thoughts, share your good karma, whatever, for A. to be afforded this opportunity!

We should know soon how this all turns out and then I'll blab away and share all the details you never asked to hear.

This would mean so much to both of us. We will return the love -- we promise!


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Friday, May 4, 2007

Ten White Men

From the Republican debate last night.

No question whose party this is.

Not. Mine.

Update: I love Bitch Ph.D. She was also struck by a photo from last night's debate, and has two great thoughts about it. Check her out.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Dancing on air above a rocky slope!

A. just called me at work and he is ECSTATIC!! He just drew his Big Horn Sheep license!!

These are very difficult to draw - you have to build up "preference points" for 12 years before you can even qualify to apply for a license. It usually takes years to draw the actual license. Many people never draw in their lifetime.

That is one happy man on the phone.

This is also one of the very rare instances that I've witnessed A. exercise foresight and planning. And for 13 years, no less! Actually, I know he will be diligently planning and researching all summer for this hunt. These animals live in rocky, hostile terrain, and it will take special planning and preparation for a successful (and safe) hunt.

I am really happy for him. Who knew my day could be made by a hunting license?

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Just Five More Minutes

I am not a morning person. Never have been, and probably never will be.

That said, I still manage to wake up five minutes before my alarm goes off every morning. Or, rather, I manage to be woken up five minutes before my alarm goes off.

An insistent little white paw taps me on the shoulder every single morning. I wake up, groggy as hell, wondering what the fuck is going on. I start to dismiss whatever it is that may have woken me and begin to drift back off.

Another insistent paw. I roll over. Perky black ears. Bright, light blue eyes. And a smile.


Always five minutes before the alarm is set to go off. And never on A.'s side of the bed.

Oh, Belle.