Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Dryer Has No Power Over Me

Instead of throwing the clothes in the dryer so I can fold them and finish packing before, oh, midnight, I am sitting here, screwing around with a couple of blogrolls.

Check out the new links under "friends" and "random, regular reading"!!

So, I am out of town again this weekend. It will be whirlwind of driving, driving, driving.

I have to finish packing (I will get this done before midnight, I will!), load the car, and try to get some sleep. Thankfully, the back seat of the car is still dog-proofed, so I am good to grab the dogs and go. I am going into work tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. (dear God) so I can get the hell on the road by 4:30 p.m. or so. Once again, I am meeting A. in Worland, as the truck is up there being worked on by the only mechanic A. trusts. From there, on Saturday, we are driving to Gillette for A.'s friend, J.'s, wedding reception. Then, we are either going to drive back to Worland that night or camp somewhere in the Big Horn Mountains. Sunday, I drive back home and A. drives back to Lander for work.


Fun, eh? So worth a post... I am looking forward to seeing J. and C., though. They were married a few weeks ago in Jamaica, and alas, A. and I didn't have the budget to attend. (sigh)


Wednesday, June 27, 2007


A. totally pulls this stunt and wins every time. He also threatens to read my books in the bathtub. Nooooooooooo!


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Report: Zippy Pants Weekend, 2007, No. 1

First, a few highlights A. and I encountered prior to ever setting our feet in the creek:
  • Two changes of oil in my car.
  • One fucking asshole swerving on the highway to hit animals on purpose.
  • One malfunctioning pickup truck.
  • One deadbolt lock neither A. or I were aware of.
  • One attempt to set the cabin on fire.
  • One attempt to flood the cabin.
  • One giant spider.
But! BUT! This really was one of the most wonderful weekends I've ever had. And it was my first trip to the family friend's cabin.

Leaving town on Friday afternoon got off to a rocky start when the mechanic put the wrong oil in my car, hence the second oil change.

Then, about midway to Worland to meet A., I got behind a goddam shithead that thought it brilliant to swerve all across the highway in an attempt to run over the prairie dogs and grounds squirrels that tried to cross. First, I was utterly shocked. Then, disgusted. Then, I was angry. I was bolted from anger to sorrow when I saw him hit half of a prairie dog. OMG!!! I started to cry. (Shut up, as Black Sheeped would say.) Then I swung back into full-blown anger. Needless to say, the minute I got within cellphone range, I called the bastard in to the highway patrol. I found a kindred spirit in the enraged dispatch officer. I felt my anger was vindicated, a little bit. And I am sooooo tempted to post his license plate number for all to see... Bastard.

However, once I arrived in Worland, A. had a sweet, romantic evening planned. It was so lovely. A. is awesome.

I love this man.


So it seemed the weekend had turned around. When we took off Saturday morning for the cabin, all seemed well. Until the truck nearly didn't make it up the first hill. And every subsequent hill on our way through the Big Horn Mountains.


Any worry that I had that we would be stranded was pushed from my mind when we pulled up to the cabin. It was nestled in-between Lodgewood Pines and surrounded by loads of blooming wildflowers. A. and I bounded up the steps to the front door. Then. He quizzically looked at the door, perplexed by the BRAND NEW DEADBOLT that had appeared. That he does not have a key for.


So, I tried to think like a criminal and break into the back door. The deadbolt hadn't been locked, but the chain lock had. I found an old piece of wire and fashioned a little hook. I could get a hold of the chain, but just couldn't jiggle it loose. I am a shitty burglar.

A.'s stepdad asked us to pick up a ladder from another cabin in the area while we were up there. So, we decided to swing by and pick up the ladder, hit a stream or two, and head back to Worland.

The couple that had the ladder knew where the spare keys were!! Woo hoo!!

The electricity and water lines were both shut off in the cabin. I got cranky at the idea of using a spider-infested outhouse all weekend. So, A. turned on the electricity, including the switch to the crawl space so he could see to turn on the water lines.

Um, did you know that if you turn on an empty water heater you can burn out the element and potentially burn your house down? Me neither. But now both A. and I know that!

A. opened the water lines, and I ran around the cabin closing off all the faucets that had been left open. But after I'd closed them all off, I still heard water running and it sounded like it was running inside the wall.


I ran into one of the bedrooms and flung open the closet doors to discover 1) that, indeed, there was a washer and dryer at the cabin; and 2) water pouring out of the hot and cold water hook ups that WERE NOT HOOKED UP TO ANYTHING.

So, after we got ALL of the faucets shut off and I mopped up the bedroom, we gathered our things and went to a nearby creek. To fly fish.

Because, despite all evidence to the contrary, this was not a straight jacket weekend, it was a zippy pants weekend!!

The fishing was awesome. This is only my third summer fly fishing, but I fell back into it much more gracefully than I did last summer. But, I did lose a ridiculous amount of A.'s flies.

After catching (and yes, releasing) loads and loads of Brook Trout (including 10 from one pool!! That's right, I rock!), we lazily hiked back to the truck and headed back to the cabin to curl up to in front of a fire and watch American President.


It was a great weekend.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Zippy Pants Weekend, 2007, No. 1

Sleeping bag.




Chaco sandals.


My favorite hat.




Fly rod.


Fly reel.


Dry flies.


Zippy pants.



The car is packed, the back seat is dog-proofed, and I am SO READY for the first zippy pants (a.k.a. fly fishing) weekend of the summer.

WOO HOO!!!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Farewell, neighbor?

The family across the road from us put their house and 20 acres for sale last Tuesday. During the dogs' walk last night I saw that the Century 21 sign was taken down. I wonder if they've already sold their place?

It makes me antsy to call a realtor...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Itchy, Itchy

I have been home from the dogs' walk for no more than 60 seconds and I've already popped a Benadryl.


In my blissed out appreciation of summertime out at the house, free from brown, crispy botanical matter, miserably cold snow and 50 mph winds, I didn't take into account the mosquitoes. The bazillion mosquitoes. The bazillion thirsty and tenacious mosquitoes. The persistent little fuckers.

There is one particular segment of the dogs' walk, almost a half of a mile from the house, that is MISERABLE. The folks who own the land adjacent to that section of road own horses, so there are watering troughs and plenty of standing water. I am sure that has something to do with how many mosquitoes populate that little section of our walk. I have so many bites!

The Benadryl is already starting to make me woozy. I suppose the effect is being amplified by the Samuel Adams I took it with. I was going to try and get a couple of hours of work done on The Thesis. No, really. I was. However, now, clumsily flopping into bed sounds so much better than carefully entering data into a spreadsheet. AND HAVING TO SIT UPRIGHT. That doesn't sound so good, either.

Eeewww...there is a big blood smear on my sock where I must have smooshed a mosquito. Evil, itchy mosquito.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Health Care Access by State

My friend, BiblioDiva, over at omnium-gatherum, has put together a great post, "Library Resource of the Week" for June 13. She's posted resources regarding accessibility of health care -- or lack thereof -- by state.

Her post includes helpful links to additional information, primarily the report, Aiming Higher: Results from a State Scorecard on Health System Performance. This report scores health care systems by state. Interesting, and discouraging, stuff.

Check it out. Eat your fruits and veggies and go for a walk. Who among us can afford to get sick?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

No Mopey-ness Here

Monday night’s card game with the ladies did a fine job of keeping the A. Is Gone Again mopey-ness away. We had a small bridal shower/bachelorette themed card game for Black Sheeped!! We still played the game May I?, but we had decorations and some special treats. I think Black Sheeped was happy, if not totally surprised? It is a good thing L. took charge of the decorations; the only thing I contributed were paper cups with naked man-butts on them. I just wanted to add a touch of class to the evening.

There was no mopey-ness in the house at all last night – A. was home!! He and a different co-worker, C., were in the area and stayed at the house last night. And – A. had called and gave me a heads up on MONDAY. Whoa. Awesome. There were clean sheets and a clean toilet before our guest arrived. Cool.

After I whipped up a batch of marinara and made a quick dinner, we took the dogs for an extra long walk. It had been raining all day and finally cleared up after dinner. The grasses and flowering weeds are so green right now. It’s been great; usually we only have a two week green spell out this way. The grass is really tall and the sage is bright.

Our little family and guest walked the road down toward the fox’s den so C. could see the little guys. I’d only seen two kits at a time, but apparently there are three!! All three critters were out and about, running around. As we got closer, two of the kits slid back into their den. The third little guy is a brave little shit. He stayed above ground and kept an eye on us. Curiosity finally got to the other two and we could see their little ears poking up above the grass. I love that the mama fox makes her den in the same spot every summer. She feels like a neighbor.

Of course, I forgot to grab the camera.

I will try to remember to snatch it up with me when I walk the dogs. I think we’ll go for the long walk again; Buster’s leg seems to be doing well and he jumped up on the bed to cuddle with A. last night. (A special treat; when A. is away, I make The Silly Goose stay on his own bed. That he drags into my closet. Silly Goose.)

There was no mopey-ness.


Someone needs to remind me of how much I complained last winter about living out of town. Because. Once again, I am thrilled to be out of town, now that it is green! and there is no wind! and the foxes are back! and the birds have returned! and it is green! Please remind me of the 10-foot snow drifts and the 60 mph winds. Or else I’ll be crushed all over again next winter.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Weekend Wrap Up

[Er. This post was really on Monday morning, not Sunday. Whatever.]

It was a great weekend, and now I sit here typing, and A. is back running around this Big Square State.

My weekend started mid-afternoon on Friday. (Warning: the rest of this paragraph might be more than you want to know. I can't decide if I am oversharing or not. But I am EXCITED ABOUT THIS.) If wary, skip ahead to the next paragraph. A. was home, and he accompanied me to my gynecologist's office. I had a copper IUD placed on Friday! I was so nervous. I was afraid it was going to be really painful and that I would pass out afterward or something. A. was fantastic; he even went with me into the examination room. After staying with me for the pre-procedure questions, I decided I could handle it alone. He returned to the waiting room only after asking me a couple of times if I was sure I didn't want him with me. He's such a good man. So, the procedure. Um, yeah. I am not going to lie. There were a good 30 seconds of P.A.I.N. But that was it. (And it was just 30 seconds.) I had an angry, panicky uterus and some cramps for a couple of hours afterward, but three Advil took care of that. Ordinarily, I would have started a new pack of pills on Sunday. That means that TODAY IS THE SECOND DAY I HAVE BEEN OFF OF EXTRA HORMONES AND IT IS SOOOOO AWESOME. So far. I've been warned by a girlfriend that I may experience a mini-menopause. That would not be so awesome.

Since I was feeling so much better than I anticipated on Saturday, A. and I decided to take a road trip to Denver to visit Jel Bel and A.'s friend, J. It was soooo good to see both of them. Jel Bel looks so happy and relaxed now that she's decided to move back to DC. (Hope I didn't spoil that news for anyone!) I really think she is at peace with this decision. She's still running and looks fantastic. In fact, she ran another 8K on Sunday. Crazy girl.

J. looked great; he and C. were just married a few weeks ago in Jamaica and are still aglow. All in all, it was a day full of good friends, good meals, and good conversation. It was quite a refreshing trip for both A. and I. It was so nice to just RELAX. And see people we miss very much. That, too, was awesome.

On Sunday a friend of A.'s came to the house to help make plans for the big horn sheep hunt later in the fall. A. is planning a couple of scouting trips, and would like to involve his hunting party as much as possible. I am glad he is giving everyone plenty of notice; there is a potential 13-mile hike involved. Of which, 10 miles is in wilderness area. Holy shit. Anyone have an ATV or two he can borrow or rent for the first three, very steep miles? Seriously.

I spent Sunday catching up on household chores and hanging out with the boys while I could. Both A. and MG took off for their respective fields again. The dogs are kind of mopey, as they always are for a few days. Tonight I am playing cards with the ladies. That should pull me out of my own mopey-ness for a bit.

Thursday, June 7, 2007


I had all sorts of things I was going to write about, even a couple of witty observations (I thought, anyway), but my mind is mush this morning. I am tired. I haven't had my coffee yet. It is cold, and really windy and very gloomy out today. THE DAMN WIND. Winter is trying to get its grip on the pretty green things again. Jerk.

Last night was all about plans, or the lack of plans, or of plans revised.

Surprise! A. was in town last night. (It was so nice to see him. His smile lights me up more than anything else I know in this world. Damn.) He and his co-worker were surveying plots in the area and had the opportunity to stay in town.

A., the generous, sweet fella that he is, offered our spare bedroom to his co-worker so that she wouldn't have to charge a hotel rental and wait for the reimbursement. I know what a financial strain that puts on us, so I was glad A. offered to help. I wish I'd had more (oh, wait, any) notice, though. Earlier in the day it had occurred to me that A. would offer our spare room if indeed they were going to be in the area. So, I suppose technically I gave myself some notice. Trouble is they never really know where they are going to end up until around 3:00 p.m. that day.

I was supposed to meet my friend, K., out for a drink shortly after A. arrived. I hated to leave them at the house, so I invited them along and hoped that K. wouldn't think I was being an asshole. I gave her a call and she said that would be fine, but I still felt a bit like a jerk. Besides, I had been really looking forward to hanging out with her and having a long, girly chat fest. With drinks!

We got to the bar and K. gave me a call. She sounded pretty upset; the stress of her wedding next weekend, all the soon-to-be-arriving family, a house on the already-saturated market, and not knowing where she and J. are moving -- or when -- finally hit her all at once. She asked if we could reschedule. Of course! The last thing I wanted is to be one more concern for her right now! I do hope we get together soon, though. I was really looking forward to hanging out. But, I'd much rather hang out when it will be fun and something to look forward to for her, too.

I felt really bad hearing how upset she was. It made me feel so helpless. I'd like to do something for her, like magically and gracefully remove any and all anxiety from her sweet little heart with a hug, wouldn't that be grand of me? But, I also don't want to impose anything on her that could feel like one more damn obligation, you know? Hmmm. She really likes chocolate cake.

When we arrived back home -- surprise! M.G. was in our living room! He has a few days off from his work on the river in Colorado, so he came up to our place to stay. Hope the couch was comfy.

I am tired.

Monday, June 4, 2007

I Call Bullshit

I am calling bullshit on this thesis and every damn thing connected to it. I prefer beer over wine most days and I pronounce "for" as "fur," dammit.

Read this great (if a few years old...just ran across it) article about the ridiculousness and snobbishness of academia!


Ah, Crack

The consensus is in: dark text on a light background makes aging (ever gracefully!) eyes happy. I am also feeling to lazy to mess with html for now, so this template will have to do for now.

This weekend was quiet. A. went to Powell, Wyoming to help his sister and her family move the rest of their furniture and belongings up to Billings, Montana. Due to work contracts, she and her husband have been living separately for a couple of months now and she's had the kids, (4 years and 1 year). Needless to say, the whole family is so happy to be back under one roof! Although A. was less than thrilled to be moving furniture, he was happy to see his family. I wished I was up there; I really enjoy spending time with his family. (How fortunate am I?!?!) But with gas prices as they are ($3.20/gallon!!!) I thought it best to stay home. My little Civic would not have been too helpful, anyway.

So, instead, I had a mini decluttering session in the kitchen, mowed and watered the front yard and cleaned up dog poop. I even got a couple of hours of thesis work in. Fun stuff! And I bonded with the dogs. Big time.

I spent some time over the weekend training the doggies to wear Gentle Leader halters. We've been using them for a while, and at first, everything was great. These halters are amazing; they stopped the dogs from pulling me on our walks immediately. A miracle!! I could walk both dogs at the same time, instead of one at a time. Wahoo!! At first, the pups did great with the halters. Then, seemingly out of the blue, they started throwing fits about a half a mile into the walk, leaving the remaining quarter mile to a struggle. Belle will throw a straight up TANTRUM. The little shit. She never acts so undignified. It is disconcerting. Now, it has become a challenge just to get them to wear the damn things.

So, we are starting over.

I am planning on spending the next couple of weeks just getting them used to wearing the halters again. I've used the click and treat method to train them on some other behavior issues, and have generally been met with success. Buster takes to this method particularly well. I mean, there is food involved. And the possibility of more food. And lots of pets. So much affirmation that yes, indeed, we love him. Awesome.

Belle resists a bit and takes a little while longer to train. She is smarter than A. and I combined, so I really think it injures her pride that she is being trained. By humans. And by such silly humans as A. and I at that.

So, to help move this process along and keep Belle on board, I decided to chop up cooked hot dogs as special treats for these particular training sessions. I had a feeling these would be an even bigger hit than popcorn, their other human-food treat.

Did you know that for dogs, chopped up hot dogs are the equivalent of CRACK?

Buster shakes in anticipation for his next treat. Shakes. I wish I was exaggerating. Belle no longer has any pride. She is the epitome of the ever-attentive student. She won't leave my side for twenty minutes after we've wrapped up our training session, just in case there is another treat.

I may have started these dogs down a slippery slope. I wonder when we grill hot dogs if their cute little heads will explode?

Friday, June 1, 2007

HTML is Calling Me

So, I was already really sick of my old template and have switched to this one. (No shit?) I think reading the darker text on a light background is a bit easier.

My patience for these templates is wearing thin. I am going to have to start messing around with html soon. Bleh.

What do you think?

Sushi Makes People Happy

This is awesome! A fella placed his camera on the conveyor belt at a sushi restaurant and caught the atmosphere of the place and time on "tape." It moves REALLY slowly, but you get to see everyone's happy faces and hear the sounds of the restaurant.

I've only eaten at one restaurant with the conveyor belt sushi delivery method; it was in Birmingham, England. It made for a fun atmosphere.

Sushi makes people happy.