Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Meme

We will decide today at 5:00 p.m. when A. gets off work if we will try to drive across the state. The current road conditions for our trip are slick with blowing snow. I expect we will be staying here. While I am a bit sad, all your suggestions for little traditions for just the two of us have me all warm and fuzzy!  
For lack of anything else to say:

Eggnog or hot chocolate? I am not a picky or cautious eater, but I can't get past the word eggnog. Too many "g"s in the back of the throat. *gag* Hot chocolate from scratch, baby!
Artemisia's Homemade Hot Chocolate
1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, plus more if you want it really chocolately,
2 tsps instant coffee crystals
1/2 tsp cinnamon
healthy dash of red chile powder
tiny splash of vanilla
1 cup milk

Heat half the milk and all of the chocolate, stirring until thoroughly melted and incorporated. (I found it combines much smoother if you heat it in 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring between intervals.)
Once combined, add the other ingredients, stir until combined. Add the other half of the milk. This should cool it down enough to enjoy immediately!

Does Santa wrap the presents or leave them under the tree? Santa wraps the presents and then leaves them under the tree.

Colored lights on a tree or white? White. Once those go out, A. will insist on colored lights.

Do you hang mistletoe? Uh, no.

When do you put your decorations up? The weekend after Thanksgiving.

What is your favorite holiday dish? Oh, my. I love it all. Definitely not the lutefisk.

Snow: love it or hate it? I love it unless I have to drive in it.

Can you ice skate? Um, skate is a strong work. I can ice wobble.

What is your favorite holiday dessert? I love the caramel cookies and this other jello, pretzel, whipped cream dessert my grandmother makes.

What is your favorite holiday tradition? Oddly, going to church.

Candy canes: yum or yuck? Bleh.

Favorite Christmas show? How the Grinch Stole Christmas (original cartoon) and the Nutcracker Ballet.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Obsessively Refreshing my Homepage

I am trying to come to terms with the knowledge that I did not get either Christmas cards or Christmas cookies distributed this season.


But, I have had my shopping/gift-making done for a couple of weeks, and the peace that has accompanied these last few days is so worth it.

However! I get to play around with New Year's Appropriate cookies, cookie cutters, icing and letter templates. Yay for something new!


The weather does not look like it is going to cooperate with our trip north to spend Christmas with A.'s family. I am getting pretty twitchy about this. Like, hella twitchy. Mostly because all the nieces and nephews and brothers and sisters in A.'s family will be there. The kids ages range from nearly seven to almost two, and nothing makes Christmas as fun and kids, especially kids waiting for Santa! More than once I have been bewildered by my own wish that the kids wouldn't grow up so quickly, and the holidays really bring this desire into focus. How many Christmases will we all be together with the kids, waiting for Santa?

Also, we are supposed to have a family photo taken on the 26th. They invited me to be in the family photo! I am kind of over the moon. Also, I really, really want an updated family photo. So badly. Because, again, the kids are growing like weeds and we need to document them as often as possible! Gah!

So. I am trying to deal with the possibility of not making it to northern Wyoming for Christmas like a grown up. I am failing pretty miserably.


I do, however, kind of look forward to a Christmas that is just A. and I. How sweet!

I need your suggestions, idea, musings. What would be a nice Christmas tradition for the two of us to start? We have a couple of small traditions already. I buy him a Christmas Wreath scented Yankee candle after Thanksgiving and he give me a bottle of lotion in my stocking (something his late father always did for his mother).

What can we do on Christmas Day? Do you and your significant other have something that makes the day special for the two of you (that you don't mind sharing)? How about your folks, or an aunt and uncle? Do they have some sweet traditions?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Five

1. Night before last I dreamt that Michelle Obama came to visit me and my two best friends, DPR and JelBel. We tried to play some music for her on three different saxophones, but had forgotten some of the notes. I felt a bit ridiculous, but she just smiled her awesome smile. We decided to call it a night, and she insisted on sleeping on the couch. I fretted about finding her a blanket that wasn't covered in dog hair.

The next mornig we decided to show Mrs. Obama some of the Wyoming landscape. While DPR and JelBel took her to see some random land formation, I babysat Buster, Belle, and Bo, The First Pup, and made breakfast from scratch.

Mrs. Obama was wearing a really pretty, cream skirt suit and heels and I woried about her hiking in those heels.


2. I did not get Dream Job. I didn't even get an interview! Honestly, that surprised the hell out of me. What surprises me more is that I am not devastated. Disappointed, sure. But feeling totally okay. I still fee like I would have kicked ass at that job and I am pretty sure they are idiots for not hiring me. I am not doubting that. How cool is that?

3.I have applied for another job for which I am positive I will be amazing. (Smug, much?)  I need my Thesis Advisor send an ABD (All But Dissertation) letter to Who-I-Hope-Will-Be-My-Future-Employer. That feels lame. Also, this is the advisor who is not so good with details or timeliness. I think I am going to call his ass at home and request the letter. So far, he has not acknowledged my email about it. Yeah. I am calling him. I think it is well within his responsibilities as an advisor and mentor to help me get a job, yes?

4. Last night A. and I went to my office Christmas party. It was a really fun evening, surrounded by really good people. I am so fortunate and grateful for my co-workers. This is not hyperbole; they are good people. I don't necessarily want to leave my current job, though I wouldn't mind a new challenge, that is for sure. I don't want to leave these co-workers. But, A. and I are trying to move on to post-grad school goals, and so it goes. I do want to put us in a position where A. can start to pursue his goals. That is my most current goal. Certainly not my only goal, but for right now, for Team A. & Artmeisia, that is what has to happen.

5. Did you know that an ingrown hair that turns nasty is considered a boil? A boil? I guess I thought of boils as some random, medieval trial of some sort. You know, that when away with the advent of soap.

I happened across that delectable tid-bit during some random googling yesterday, and it was not googling about icky skin infections, either.  A BOIL. Yuck.

Anyway, Happy Friday to you!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Five

1. Why, hello there!

2. How about some riveting weather chit chat, eh? What can I say? When it is -40 with windchill weather is kind of an omnipresent topic, you know?

We've had enough snow and wind to totally drift my car in at the house. We are a one-truck household right now. I kind of like it when this happens. I feel like such a team, what with A. and I planning our schedules and helping each other out. It is kind of sweet. In a pain-in-the-ass, bitch-under-your-breath, poke-your-eyes-out-with-the-fireplace-poker sort of way.

It has been somewhere around -15 and -22 for nearly two weeks now, with highs reaching 4 degrees, at best. To keep our pipes from freezing we've kept the wood stove going throughout the night. This means A. and I take turns getting up at 1:30 a.m. or 4:00 a.m. to add wood to the fire. I am so flippin' tired! I was positively delirious when my alarm went off this morning at 4:00 a.m. No, really. It was one of those wake up's where you are pretty much back asleep as you hit the off button. Thankfully A. got up and took care of the fire, because it never even crossed my mind at 4:00 a.m.

I am in total awe of all parents who survive keeping infants alive. Dear lord.

3. We are working on training Buster and Belle to stay at home without us without anxiety, but they aren't there just yet. This has been a bit of a bummer with the super sub-zero temperatures. We can't leave the dogs in their doghouse, even if it is very well insulated.  I worked from home three days during this two-week cold snap so the dogs could rough it by taking their naps next to the fire. But I have run out of remote work (unless I configure my home system differently, which I might try and do this weekend.) So, I decided to day-board the dogs at the fancy-schmancy vet in town for the last three sub-zero days. (It was surprisingly inexpensive, just $13/day for both pups.)

So, for most of this week I drop A. off at work in the morning then drop the dogs off at the vet. Again, I don't know how people have kids and schlep them all off to school and daycare and whatnot before going to work. Saints, the whole lot of you.

Wednesday night, in her excitement TO! BE! FREE!, Belle ripped a toenail clear out when she exited the kennel. She didn't make a peep, or pay any notice to her foot. She was too busy squirming around, saying hi. We couldn't help but notice all of the blood all over the lobby floor, however. Holy. Shit. That had to hurt, but you wouldn't know it by how Belle was jumping around, wagging her tail. (Needless to say, I was really glad we were boarding them at a vet's office.)

Poor thing had to get the nail sheath completely removed and her little paw is all wrapped up. She hasn't whimpered, whined, wobbled,  limped or licked at her foot at all. In fact, I have to keep her from rough housing with Buster and jumping up on the bed. I don't think she even felt it, the lunatic.

The antibiotics must have been a bit of a shock to her system, however. When I went to lift her out of the truck Thursday to carry her in to the vet's, I discovered, by way of olfactory horror, she had barfed up her breakfast. Yay! Not only did we have to dig our way out driftd snowpack that morning, but I got to scoop up doggy puke from all over the gear shift! Wahoo!

4. We went through our entire wood pile on the front porch, seeing as how we've been keeping the stove going nonstop. So, last night, A. and I bundled up in long underwear, jeans, turtlenecks, sweatshirts, snowpants, winter coats, balaclavas, hats and gloves and hauled wood to the front porch. It wasn't too windy, and was just above zero, so it wasn't nearly as miserable as I anticipated. But, still. It is a shit ton of work.

Yes, Thursday was a spectactular day, if you were wondering.

5. As I was digging chopped wood out of a snow drift, it once again became clear that my survivial is not automatic. It is not a given. Regardless of all the illusions we put up to make us think otherwise.

So, while the past couple of weeks have left me tired, sore, and sometimes delirious, I am grateful for the tangible reminder of my mortality, of my fragile agreement with the Universe to keep breathing.

I plan to enjoy every inhale and exhale.

Happy Friday to you!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Creative Bone in My Body is Healing!

I have not worked on The Thesis for a bit. I have a meeting with Former Thesis Advisor #1 Soon-to-Be Thesis Advisor #3 in one week. With Thanksgiving and a trip to Utah (Tabiona, if you are interested) to see my grandmother in between.

Ha ha ha ha. Oh, shit. HA HA  HA HA HA HA.

It is my own fault. I am able to concentrate and whatnot, I just haven't forced myself to work on it.

I am having a hard time sitting down at the drab desk in the overcrowded home office. It almost feels like a punishment. I feel lonely in that room. I don't even like to update my budget or mess around with photos in that room. I feel badly saying that, as A. has tried reorganizing it for me on more than one occasion in hopes of me clicking with the room. No luck, so far.

I'd rather be hanging out in the living room, teaching myself how to knit and crochet. And maybe even sew.

Because, you see, I am starting to feel the creative in me again. Ever so slightly. I have long hidden it, for some reasons I understand, and for reasons that are currently too vaporous for my mind to wrap around. I am not quite ready to start painting again. But soon. Soon.

Part of it, I believe, is just that I am actively a part of my life, my world again. And the way I interact with the world is creatively, with imagination. I am not saying I am wonderfully creative or that my imagination is all that, just that those are my points of intersection with the world. Where my mind, my heart and my spirit find connections with the world in which I live. I suppose you could say these are the avenues of my reality.

I can't believe how much of my life was taken by depression and anxiety. I am thrilled to have it back. For a while, I was so protective of it, and terrified the depression would gradually sneak back in and steal it away.  I am finally starting to trust that I am learning what my depression was and that I will recognize it if it resurfaces. A. keeps an eye on me, too. If I start to slip, I know he will approach me about it. I am so, so, so grateful for that.

Maybe I should tackle the home office as a project? Make it a space that I create, and therefore, as space I can create in?

Perhaps I will take some pictures and upload them. I will need lots and lots of help. Lots of ideas on how to do this with an itty bitty budget. Also, I like the idea of reusing existing materials or used furniture as much as possible. You know, save it from the landfill, yadda, yadda, yadda.

 I don't have a lick of interior design talent -- or hell, even competency. I do, however, think I want to go with this color scheme:

That is supposed to be brushed steel on the right and wood grain on the bottom. Heh.


Thursday, November 19, 2009


I have a huge report due by the end of the day today and I am avoiding it like a champ. My blood pressure ought to be fantastic around 4:50 p.m.


I returned Monday from a road trip with my sisters and nephew. My youngest sister and I met our other sister in Omaha, and from there we drove to Fargo for a cousin's wedding. We had not seen that side of the family in close to 20 years. There were a lot of new little people to meet.

My grandmother was able to attend. She is in her late 80s and has been in pretty good health until the last couple of years. She suffered a stroke nearly a year ago and her speech is affected. She can still talk, but what she is thinking in her head doesn't come out quite right. She is learning how to handle her frustrations.

She actually communicates much better than I was anticipating, and we were all able to catch up. Her mannerisms are all intact, and for whatever reason that comforted me. She would run her hands through her hair when she was talking about my little nephew. She couldn't get enough of his curls. Oh, his curls!

Her funny little mannerisms acted like a balm, as I was really shocked at how frail she has become. I always thought of her as a stubborn ox. Now she looks like a little bird. It is hard to acknowledge that soon she will pass on. But as hard as that is, I am so grateful to be a part of the journey with her.

All of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren -- except one -- were together at the wedding. She absolutely beamed.

It was pretty awesome.


Spending nearly 32 hours in a car over the long weekend was not as awesome. I love road trips, but this one was packed a bit tight.


However! I was trapped in a car with this little cutie for 14 of those hours! 

I defy you to find a cuter kid.


The weather in Fargo, North Dakota was wonderful. At home, however, A. got nearly eight inches of snow and temperatures below zero for three days straight.

What the hell?

Also, the mercury hasn't risen above freezing yet.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Forgive Us

Six hours from the time I am typing this post, John Allen Muhammad will be executed.

John Allen Muhammad was the mastermind behind the DC Sniper shootings.

I was genuinely scared when he and his young partner, Lee Boyd Malvo, slipped in and out of the DC area, seemingly invisible, shooting people indiscriminately. I felt like game for a hunter. A hunter I didn't understand, so I didn't know how to hide. First, there were reports of a white van at all the shootings. Of course there were; every service company has a white van. That didn't stop my heart from beating faster when I saw a white van parked on my quiet little street, however.

From my Metro stop, I had to walk through a crowded shopping area. Then my route became isolated. Abruptly.  I had to climb 86 stairs that crossed a large, tree-filled park. The stairs and path were brightly lit, the park was dark and the trees provided adequate camouflage. At the top of the stairs was a road that lead to entrance ramps to three different major freeways, only 100 yards away.

It seemed a perfect location for an attack.

I stopped staying at home. I packed a suitcase and stayed at my boyfriend's.

I put my life on hold on account of terror.

This time, an execution feels personal.


I am positively sick. I do not, absolutely do not, want this man to be killed. I think it is nothing short of barbaric that we as a collective, as a government, as a people, condone killing someone, anyone.

It is no less righteous if we call it execution. It is still exerting power over another and deeming it lawful to take someone's life.

I will always believe that every life is divine and deliberate. Perhaps that is simply the stronghold Catholicism still has over me. Maybe not so Catholic, I extend this to non-human life, as well.

Obviously, I think the lives Muhammad and Malvo took were also divine. Do not think that I don't care for the families and friends who lost someone dear to them. They weigh heavy on my heart -- my soul -- as well.


Today is a dark day. I feel connected to it. I was more frightened by the Sniper than I was on 9/11 or the weeks following the 9/11 attacks. I have a visceral memory of my heart beating wildly the night I walked up those steps, and then later back down, with a packed suitcase, fleeing from my home.

Forgive us for we know not what we do.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Puppy Steps

Well, I was leaning quite heavily toward crate training Buster and Belle, and holy cow, you all pushed me the rest of the way. Thanks for all of your suggestions and support. Much of your advice echoes the plan we have in place and that makes me rest a bit easier. It certainly makes A. feel better. I think he finally believes me that we can introduce the crates to the pups and it won't be a prison.

I wasn't a part of the pups lives when they were "trained." In fact, I've never taken part in training a dog - ever. So, this is all kind of new for me. I am just lucky that I have really well-behaved pups (for the most part). Really, the only time they cause trouble is if we leave them alone in the house.

My ultimate goal is to crate train the ding dongs and use that training to then train them to be in the house alone. You know, introduce them to being home alone much the same way as we will introduce the crates - a bit at a time and with plenty of positive reinforcement. All the while, taking steps to ease any anxiety. So! There will be much watching TV with our coats on and keys in hand! Plus, then they will have the crates as their established "safe place." I'd really rather not keep them cooped up in the crates all day. They are active dogs. I doubt they'd like to be in a crate for four hours at a time.

We haven't purchased the crates yet. We are trying to figure out where, in our itty-bitty house, to set them up. We would like to set them up in the living room/kitchen area, as that is were we spend most of our time. But damn, I have no idea how to reconfigure the living room to accomodate two very large crates. (I am kind of re-thinking my Will Always Have Two Dogs philosophy.) Eek!

Since we will be taking this training slowly, the introductions to the crates will happen during the day. We may or may not eventually use them overnight. The dogs are always calm and never get into anything at night. However, it would be nice to know the dogs can sleep in their crates calmly overnight should we find ourselves in a place/situation that calls for it.

To kick start this all off, I purchased two Extreme (!?!?!) Kong's. Now, you need to understand something. Our dogs don't play with toys, dog or otherwise. They look at you like you've lost your fool head by throwing a ball and then chattering at them in high-pitched voices like an idiot. There is not tug-of-war. There is only wrestling between the two of them, and occasionally A. will join it.

I was hoping the Kong's would work as something to occupy their wee little brains for a bit and could be used as a part of crate training. If they took to them, instead of ignoring them completely. (My other fear, of course, is that Buster will get so damn anxious to get The! Food! that he will eat the entire damn Kong.)

You guys! My dogs acted like dogs! They love those things! Of course, they have both figured out how to flip it over and get the kibble out already. So now we are using a combo of kibble smeared in peanut butter and homemade treats that are a bit bigger and have to be maneavured inside. They love them! It keeps them occupied for a good 45 minutes and then they are wiped out. They have completely forgotten about their J-E-R-K-Y night-time snack! So! Wiped! Out!  And! Buster is so SMRT! He has not eaten the entire toy out of frustration.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Doggy Anxiety - Need Advice!

Buster and Belle are going to be turning 10 this winter. You would never know it. They haven't slowed down a bit. They still play rambunctiously with each other multiple times a day, they go for mile-long walks without any sign of tire or strain. Their eyes are clear and their hearing seems a-okay. Hooray for muddled mutt-DNA!

I want them to stay this way for as long as possible, obviously. So, as winter approaches -- or rather, as WINTER CONTINUES UNTIL THE END OF FREAKIN' TIME -- I'd like to keep them inside during the day when the temperature drops below 20 degrees or it is really windy.  Give their joints a little break. (Belle might not like this plan, actually. She loves the snow and cold. She will lay down with her legs spread clear out and her belly in the snow. Weirdo.)

The problems are these: Belle likes to tear apart tissues in the trash and Buster eats everything in sight. (Case in point: we left them inside today and they found wheat berries, fermenting meusli, and sunflower seeds. This ought to be fun later.) They break out of the laundry room to do this.

So clearly, we have some separation anxiety issues here. (They exhibit none of this behaviour when either A. or I are home.)

They don't seem to get stressed out when they are left outside, however. The don't dig, they don't whine, they don't try to escape. They bark their fool heads off at The UPS Truck, but they do that all the time. (What is it with that big, brown truck that makes them go batshit crazy?)

We started Buster on doggie prozac a few months ago to help with his increasing fear of thunderstorms. He became even more high-strung on the drugs! Any quick movement or loud noise sent him shaking. We took him off the meds.

However, maybe, this is about routine? They know the drill - when we leave they go outside. Maybe we just need to condition them to another routine, where they stay in the house alone? If so, do you think crate training would be worth a try?

The current strategy I want to put in place is this: begin gradual and consistent desensitizing and re-conditioning about being left inside alone while very, very gradually introducing crates as an awesome, safe place to be. I don't plan on leaving them in the crates alone until well after I feel like the desensitizing and re-conditioning have settled in.

Perhaps I should put Buster on the anxiety meds again? Maybe he will get better with them since it isn't thundering right now?

Boy, I should have started this in May. Oops.

Thoughts? Advice? Help!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Boo Humbug

We have loads of snow. It is hard to say how much exactly because the 30 MPH winds are drifting it everywhere. Bah.


I have two Boo's to deliver and they are currently trapped in my car, which is trapped at the mechanic's because all roads in and out of town are closed and the parts for the repair are stuck 66 miles south. I was so excited to go Boo-ing, darn it.


It is still snowing. Good times!


Happy Thursday to you!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Forecast: Quiet

I came home Saturday evening from a fun visit with my friend, AGR, to discover that I had no phone or internet. Turns out, the line to the house was cut somehow, and they will try and fix it in about a week.

So, I am currently being naughty and posting from work. Shhhh!

We are supposed to get up to two feet of snow in the next day and a half. What do you expect the changes to be that the phone/internet line be put in before the storm?

Yeah, so all things internet will be light for a bit.

And, I am preparing some work projects so I can work from home, without an internet connection because two feet of snow? My little Civic will just whimper and refuse to move.

Stay warm! May winter not be so eager to greet you as it is here!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The tires are the things on your car that make contact with the road.*

So. That job I mentioned? Thanks for all the support! I am going to apply.

I met with the fella currently in the position for a beer last weekend and we talked shop. (He is also a graduate of my grad program. Go, American Studies in the public sector!) The job sounds 70 percent amazing and right up my alley. A solid 10 percent will be a challenge, and that is exciting. That other 20 percent? Well, it involves me traveling. A lot. Now, this isn't hop on a plane, stay in fancy places, eat at yummy restaurants, work while on the plane, etc. kind of travel. This is get in a car, drive by yourself for four, five, maybe eight hours a day, stay in Super 8's kind of travel. It is not productive travel. It is staring at a road, often times in bad weather kind of travel. Without a decent radio station.

Plus the other stuff, salary vs. cost of living, etc, etc. 

I am going to apply. But I have some thinking to do.

In fact, I um, decided that I am going to talk to Former-Soon-to-be-Current Thesis Advisor #1 about this. Hear me out. FSTBCTA1 is excellent at networking and has particular interests with scholars working in the public sector. This is exactly what drew me to this particular graduate program and to this particular job opportunity. He can help me look at this potential job within the frame of the big picture. If a couple of years (but no more, ugh) of travel (and networking) means setting myself up for some great opportunities in the future, it might be worth lugging around a binder of CDs, investing in some snow tires, and hitting the road.

Of course, I might not even get an interview, and all this scheming and plotting will mean nothing. Whatever.


My car is sucking my bank account dry.

Fucking cars.

Between the 60K-mile maintenance work, worn break pads, a faulty visor (Honda paid 99% of that one!), and a mirror broken by a TUMBLEWEED,  I've put damn near $800 into this car over the past three months. 

I woke up this morning from a dream where I was talking to my mechanic and he told me the funny noise was my breaks. That dream played out in real life about an hour ago. I am psychic! Move over, Allison Dubois!




One of the few things A. and I genuinely disagree on is public transit. It kind of breaks my heart. Plus, I AM RIGHT.


* Can anyone guess the artist of the song with this lyric? Hooo boy, that song brings back memories.

Happy Tuesday to you!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Five

1. Someone tied up their two dogs to a tree next to my office for over three hours. The young dog, still a puppy, barked the ENTIRE time. I finally went out there to make sure the dog was okay. She was; she just was stressed out that her owner was gone.

I left a note to let the owner know the dog wasn't handling being separated very well and was barking incessantly. I was trying to be diplomatic. Personally, I was am kind of concerned that they left their dogs there at all. I get that things are laid back here, but those dogs were clearly lonely. What if someone gets tired of the barking and goes out there and smacks her? Leaving your dogs unattended means they can get treated in any number of ways by any stranger that passes by. I am not okay with that.

I left my name and number on the note. (I hate when people leave anonymous notes. It seems so chickenshit.) I haven't heard anything. I wouldn't imagine I would get yelled at for having pet their dogs. They left them tied up in a very busy, public place, unattended for three hours. But you never know.

I wasn't too worried that the owner would beat the dog for barking. Both dogs were happy and carefree; neither of them showed any shyness or hesitancy toward me when I walked up to them and pet them. I really don't think the dogs are being beat. I just think the little one has some separation anxiety issues. Unfortunately, those issues make her very, very loud. This is a campus; someone is going to get fed up and call Animal Control.

Would you have left a note?

2. We are supposed to get about six inches of SNOW today/tonight and it is supposed to drop down to SINGLE DIGITS tonight. This is going to be one helluva long winter.

3. I have decided to apply for the job. I am meeting the person currently in the position for a drink this weekend to discuss the position and the organization. I am having some issues with this, but that is another post for another blog.

4. A. came home after four days of hunting (well, one day of hunting and three days of hanging out at his mom's wondering if the snow was going to break so he could continue hunting). One of the three fellas in his hunting party got his first bull elk.

It has snowed all week in his hunting area and he is losing hope that they will be able to get back in to the back country before the season closes. If we move from Wyoming this will be his last chance to hunt in this area, and it is his favorite area bar none.

I hope the storms break for a bit.

I was still anxious as he left for his trip, but much, much less so than normal. Yay, for modern chemistry and mood-altering drugs! Oh, and therapy, too.

5. To remove my make up at night, I have started using straight up olive oil. It is awesome and I can't recommend it enough. There! My secret is out. Do you have any strange/brilliant/unusual beauty routines or tips?

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I am still fighting this cold. This is getting ridiculous. I've taken to shaking my fist -- clenching the latest tissue to meet my snot-filled nose -- at the sky in total despair. I feel fine, but I am still snotty and have a bit of a cough. Today dawned an interesting (and gross) new symptom: I am so stuffed up I cannot blow my nose and yet it runs continuously. I basically have a tissue stuck up my nose at all times to keep this under control. Gross.

I am back at work, as I don't think I am still contagious, but who the hell knows. I wash my hands constantly, taking great pains not to touch any goddamn surface with my hands on the way to the sink in an effort to be a courteous walking petri dish and have gone through nearly an entire bottle of hand sanitizer. I am ANNOYED. 

I should just be grateful I have paid sick time, understanding co-workers who prefer I stay home rather than spread the ick around, and that this wasn't any kind of flu, swine or otherwise. Feel free to kick me in the butt.


A few days ago it was HOT outside, in the 80s. (That is pretty toasty at 7,200 feet.)  That weather is gone. The wind has taken to destroying our world and will once again. The wind is holding steady at 40 mph, with 50 mph gusts. It is barely in the 30s. *whimper*

Yesterday, A. was travelling back home from Fort Collins, CO, when a tumbleweed THE HEIGHT OF THE CAR came crashing into the car on the highway. It was considerably windier yesterday, with gusts well past 60 mph. Thankfully, A. didn't swerve or get all tangled in the damn weed. However. IT BROKE THE DRIVER-SIDE MIRROR. The mirror is totally cracked.

Yeah. A tumbleweed. 


Er, a job I have been pining after for a few years is opening up in December. In many important ways, I am totally qualified and would excel in this position. It would be a challenge and I would love it. However, I don't have experience in some other important areas, so I might be wasting my time. Do I apply? Also, it is non-profit (of course!)  and is sure to be a daunting workload.

Have I just jinxed this by writing about it? Gah.


Monday, September 28, 2009

3 Boxes

Folks, I have gone through three boxes of Kleenex in the past five days. That means, I have blown my nose at least 810 times.

However! I don't look like Rudolph! I found a miracle. Eucerin's Aquaphor Healing Ointment. I know it probably is just fancy (expensive) petroleum jelly, but damn, it works. My pores look a poorly thought out polka dot pattern, but whatever. I have not whimpered 810 times.

I am still congested ( after Five! Days!) and have a nasty cough. I am going to guzzle some cough syrup (not enough to really have fun, alas) and try to go to work. I feel up to it, I just hate going to work as a 5'2" petri dish. Hopefully I am not contagious anymore.

Are you bored yet?


While laid up, I finally saw Grey's Anatomy for the first time ever. Yep. I am totally sucked in and have some updating to do to my Netflix queue.

What is in your queue?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Five

1. Last night I squeezed 10 lemons and stored the juice in the fridge. Originally, those lemons were to be the sour in homemade Whiskey Sours. Now they are the lemon in my "I'm siiiiiick" tea with honey.

2. I am staying home again today. This is my third day home. I could probably load up on cold medicine and manage to suffer through a work day, but I would rather not. Plus, I really don't want to spread germs around. This cold has been a doozey, and I certainly don't want anyone else feeling this crappy.

3. Speaking of spreading germs, I really, really, hope I didn't spread this yuckiness to A. He leaves tonight to do some scouting work in his elk hunting area. He knows of a rarely-used trail in the area and wants to clear it of any dead, fallen trees and such this weekend. It would not be fun to do all that hard work while feeling this crappy.

I was originally considering going with him. I kind of liked the idea of helping with the hunt on some level. But I feel wretched, still. Plus, two of his hunting buddies have decided to join him. I might put a damper on their weekend in the mountains.

Besides, my head apparently exists solely as a vessel for copious amounts of snot, and my throat is raw from me breathing through my mouth for the past two days. Man, I really hope he doesn't catch this.

4. I am so sick of tea, you guys.

5. That's it. I am getting rid of as many books as necessary to make it so every book has a spot in our existing bookshelf. Who am I kidding? I am not going to re-read Dante's Inferno or The Art of Mesoamerica again anytime soon.

In between marathon nose-blowing, I am going to start hauling books into boxes for donation to the library. At least I won't be sitting around watching the Lifetime network again today.(Um, I have a new confession: I kind of LOVE the show Wife Swap. I know.)

Happy Friday to you!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I genuinely do not believe I've ever had a throat this sore before. Ugh. I am going in to work long enought to make a few changes to the cookbook's index, preflight and package the files and upload them to the printer's FTP site. I should stay longer, but, ugh. No.


Good Earth's Sweet and Spicy tea is the only thing I can tolerate. I've even considered pouring into my throbbing right ear.


Tomorrow is the first day of a conference around food security issues. No way in hell am I going to miss a minute of that. AWESOME.


We woke up to an inch of snow on Monday. SNOW.

It snowed until mid-afternoon, and we went to bed with snow still on the ground.



Ok. I am off to put on my most comfy sweatshirt so I can sneak in to work for an hour or so. If I don't curl up in bed first.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


There is not a single cloud in the sky and the air is crisp and clean after a long night of rain. The building are glowing gold in the sunlight. I can smell a bit of fall in the air. It is not far off, now.


A. and I worked part of the weekend getting the firewood ready for the winter, but took breaks to watch the Wyoming/Texas game on Saturday and the Vikings on Sunday. There was more lounging around this weekend than we originally planned. There is still much work to be done to be ready for winter.

It is work that I enjoy, even if it is hard enough labor to make me sweat and ache. It just feels, I don't know, honest, to labor over the felled trees. It makes me appreciate all of the resources and energy - and not just my own - that goes into keeping me and my family warm throughout the winter. Hell, it is not just keeping us warm. We have weeks at a time where the temperature does not reach 0 degrees. These trees are ensuring we survive the winter.

The primal nature of this chore gets into my head, my muscles, my bones.


In a small way, I was disappointed that A. and I did not get a deer last fall when we went hunting together. True, I was anxious as all hell to be around when he killed an animal. I did not know how I would handle it. I am sure there would have been much blubbering and snotty blowing of my nose. But, I knew how I wanted to handle at least one aspect of it.

I want to be present at the moment of harvest. I want to kneel next to that neigbhor of mine and say a prayer of thanks, of gratitude. I want to voice my inteniton to God, to the Universe, to use this animal's life for good. That the energy and life that this animal has given to me will be invested in doing good for all my neighbors, human and non-human. That this animal will fuel my actions throughout the next year, and out of respect for this animal's life I will try my best to live an honest life. A life that contributes to the world. A life lived in an effort to to take for granted that my days on this earth are sustained by the death of others. That there is a balance out there; death fueling life, whether it animal deaths or the deaths of plants, of microorganisms, whatever. That I try to respect that balance in how I live my life.

I guess I hope that by voicing my prayer it will serve as a reminder of how I want to live my life.


It is much easier to understand the energy, the life, the deaths, that go into my survival, my life, through the handling of the firewood and the animals.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Five: Pioneer Shoes

1. Grocery shopping: done. Weekly errands: done. Liquor cabinet: stocked.

I am ready to get to my house tonight and not come into town again until Monday morning.

You see, tomorrow is the Wyoming Cowboys/Texas Longhorns game. Hotels are sold out in town and within a 75-mile radius. There have been RV's camped out all over the place with Texas plates. Apparently, a whole slew of Wyoming season tickets were bought up by Texans to ensure they could see this game. I can't imagine why. I love Wyoming with all my heart, but we all know who is going to win. 

No way in hell do I want to be anywhere near all the drunk students this week. Nor the insane crowd of TEXANS. Drunk or sober.

We can deduce two things from my reaction to, and preparation for, the upcoming event: 1) I have reacclimated to small-town Wyoming rather completely and 2) I am getting old and crotchety.  

2. I hope we don't get completely obliterated by the Longhorns. Or that any of the players get hurt. 

3. A. and I are going to try to split and stack nearly four cords of wood this weekend. I am quite certain I won't be able to raise my hands over my head on Monday. Oy.

4. The little division of landowners in our area do not have a HOA. This does not surprise me in the least; Wyomingites aren't really into rules and people telling them what they can and can't do with their property. The culture here is, for the most part, live and let live. In fact, a tiny town about 45 miles north of us HAS NO LAW ENFORCEMENT OF ANY SORT. None. Well, unless you count the Game Warden who lives there.

Not having a HOA means that there is no association to handle getting our roads graded and plowed (we aren't on a county road, boo.), among other things. A few weekends ago, while A. and I were fly-fishing our way across western Wyoming, all the landowners got together for a potluck to discuss the road issue. I was so dissappointed to miss the meal. It is hard to get to know your neighbors with 10, 20 and 40 acres between you and them and I was hoping to talk to the people I wave to everyday. 

From what I hear, the meeting went really well. People agreed on how to pay for fixing the road and grading and plowing it. To have it done professionally will cost twice as much so we are doing it ourselves. One of my neighbors used to build roads for the Forest Service so we are going to draw on his expertise. Another neighbor has nearly all of the major equipment we need.

Next weekend, we are renting the couple of machines we don't have access to and all of the neighbors are coming out to tear up and rebuild the first section of road off the highway. A. and I will be spending our weekend hauling huge ass rocks to the grinder, then helping lay them out after the road has been built up and leveled.

In a rather overdramatic, romantic sort of way, I feel like a fucking pioneer. Building my own road? Chopping four MORE cords of wood to ensure heat throughout the winter? Also, A. will be going hunting in a couple of weeks and hopefully will come home with what will be our meat for the year. Geez. I am both amused and dismayed by this.

5. Whenever I am in the mountains or plains doing something, especially getting firewood or some other work, I always think about the shoes pioneer women wore, the hideous, purposely-smaller-than-her-foot, too-many-buttoned shoes. How the fuck did they walk, let alone work in those? It makes be think twice about bitching when the screw in my ankle rubs on my hiking boots. 

Not to mention corsets. 

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Five

1. I think I want a cat.

I know I don't want a cat. The reality of living with a cat is not for me. I don't think.

But I want a sweet little kitty to cuddle in my lap.

As long as I was SURE it wasn't going to chew out my throat with gleeful abandon.

If I were to get a kitty, I would want a black and white (tuxedo?) one with white feet, or a grey striped shorthair.

That wasn't evil.

2. How do you spell grey? I always lean toward grey with an "e," rather than gray with an "a." Thoughts? Bibliodiva, is there some official something or other that explains when to use which?

3. Last Thursday, A. and I took off for the other side of the state to the Bridger-Teton National Forest. We stayed for four days, roaming throughout the park, camping and staying in a National Forest crew cabin. We fly fished until we were sore, sunburned, and beaten. I even wore the skin away on the crook of my right index finger from stripping so much line. I felt kind of bad ass. (But it was kind of gross. Ew.) We fished for about 22 hours or so over the four days.

It was awesome.

I have never utterly relaxed like that before. Now I understand why people take vacations and leave work. Geez!

4. I completed my Cutt Slam! Here I am, having caught an itty-bitty Bonneville to complete the Slam at dusk on Friday. Wahoo! (I don't know what the hell is up with The Super Excited Face.)

5. I have decided to start a separate blog, A Fledgling Artemisia, to talk about and journey through the world of therapy, depression, and anxiety. I decided to try out Wordpress (the free version; I don't need a website "project" to further lure me away from The Thesis!). Hope you don't mind. If I decide I don't like it, I will migrate the blog to a format.

If you are interested in hanging out with me as I find out what size Crazypants I wear, hopeful to return them to the store from which they came, and maybe grown and heal along beside me, please visit.

Happy Friday to you!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


All is well, I am just busy as hell. I will post tonight or in the next day or so.

Until then, Buster and Belle send you their love!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Five

1. Sen. Barney Frank KICKS ASS and says it straight.

2. I have worn my contacts for four days in a row. I feel like a superhero or something.

3. I am returning 13 books to the library, all related to The Thesis. I am not renewing them.

4. Buster shakes and gets nervous about EVERYTHING since being put on Doggy Prozac. We are starting behavior training with him, too. I don't quite know what to do with this dog.

5. In the cookbook I am designing, under the snack section, there is a recipe for a blueberry smoothie. It is called the "Purple Cow." (This cookbook is aimed at low-income folks with kids.) It explains how you can mix a smoothie together in a ziploc bag, then snip the end to pour it in a cup. It says, you can "milk the purple cow."

Milk the purple cow.

I cannot get over this. I am very, very tempted to delete that before it goes to press.

Happy Friday to you!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Warm and Fuzzy

Over the weekend, A. and I headed up to the mountains - twice - on Saturday and brought home two cords of firewood. A. went up again last night with a friend and brought back two more cords. We are all set for a warm and fuzzy winter!

Because of all the pine beetle kill, the Forest Service is thinning out trees on all the campgrounds to keep the tress from falling over and smooshing people/critters or from catching fire. This means getting firewood this year is stupid easy. It was so little work I felt like I was surely stealing it. Trees were already felled, cut to 5- to 6-foot lengths, and stacked. We were loading up our first cord when a fella in a Forest Service bobcat-thingy pulled up. He asked A. what diameter wood he was looking for, then puttered off only to return with nearly half a cord of wood in the bobcatpthingy's claw. Woot! So nice of him.


Sunday, A. and I finally made it to another Rockies game. This was only our second of the season! Usually we have been to four or five my now. I don't know what has kept us so busy, but clearly we need to get more games on our calendar.  It was fun to go to the Cubs game; there were at least as many Cubbie fans as Rockies fans.

Then! We went to Jess and Torsten's! I am so glad to have finally met them. Actually, it felt like we had already met and just hadn't seen each other in a while. It was a comfortable, relaxing evening with friends. Wahoo!

What  a wonderful, smart, good-looking couple. They were so comfortable to be around because they are so happy and comfortable with each other. Montana is sweet, sweet, sweet! And so freakin' soft. And sweet.

We could have visited for hours, if only A. and I hadn't had to drive two and a half hours back to Wyoming. I am tickled that they live just down the road! (Around here, 2 - 3 hours away is pretty close.)

Wahoo! It was a great way to start the week.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Have You Ever Dated Someone a Second Time?

As I settled back into my office after a three-hour meeting on Monday morning (Gah!), I found an email from Thesis Advisor #2 waiting in my inbox.

All in all, he really like what I sent him a couple of weeks ago. He said I showed "tremendous command of the theoretical framework" I am working with, which completely made my day. His suggestions for Chapter 2 are clear and I should be able to handle those without too much misery.

If I am able to address the issues in Chapter 2 that he pointed out then the issues with Chapter 3 will be clear and pretty easy to deal with, as well. So, not too bad. I am not overly worried about this.

Check me out! Did you read that last sentence!?!? "I am not overly worried about this." HOLY COW, you guys.

So, yeah, I am in a rather good place with The Thesis right now. 


Thesis Advisor #2 is going on sabbatical. He warned me of this, so that is not really a crisis, just a REALLY BIG BUMMER. I asked him who he recommend take his place as chair, and he said he "actually" (his words) recommends Thesis Advisor #1! Gah! Thesis Advisor #1 does have the best background for what I am doing, but.... shit. 

Thesis Advisor #1 has published about one of the spaces I am looking at. That should be a good thing. Right? Except what if he is so dead set on his own ideas that he refuses to acknowledge mine and what I have done so far? I am not worried about my idea getting tossed so much as I am worried about getting buried in a muddle of vague "ideas" and "suggestions" from Thesis Advisor #1. Like before.

But, before I was neck-deep in depression and anxiety. Maybe this time I can see through the shit, or at the very least, call him on it and insist on clarity? Wha?

If I do go with #1, I am going to explain up front that he needs to respond to me and my requests within a week or so. I am not afraid to do this. (Yay! The old me, the REAL me, wouldn't be afraid to do this, either. Maybe I still am a bit of a spit fire!) Maybe if I say this out loud so IT IS OUT THERE he will be embarrassed enough by his past behavior he might make an effort to be available. Maybe.

Thesis Advisor #1 does not like fiddling around with abstract theory. This IS The Thesis: fiddling around with abstract spatial/social theory and creating a methodology based on it to apply "on the ground." I think this is exciting. Thesis Advisor #2 admits #1 isn't a fan of abstract theory, but because that chapter is "really solid" I shouldn't have to worry.


Since the gist of The Thesis is to create a methodology based on abstract theory and simply uses this particular space as a testing ground for said methodology and is not trying to definitively explain this particular space, it should be okay. Right?

Thesis Advisor #1 is totally content to let me run on my own without bugging him, obviously. So maybe he will just help me finish and call it good?


Potential Thesis Advisor #3 really isn't into spatial theory stuff I at all, and isn't familiar with the theorist(s) I am working with. But, she is curious and a bit of a dare devil, so I think she would be willing to dive in. However, given this, it may take longer to finish with her than Thesis Advisor #1.

Do I really want to chew my way through THREE ADVISORS? 

So much for the good place.

For now, I am fine tuning Chapter 2 and re-writing Chapter 3 and ignoring the fact that I don't have an advisor. 

What would you do, Oh Wise Internets?

Friday, August 7, 2009


I had to go buy some mascara over my lunch break because I cried all the morning's application off during my therapy appointment. I made sure to buy waterproof stuff.

So, yeah.


I am toying with the idea of trying to work some of this stuff that is coming out in therapy here, on this little site. Does that make you squirm? It makes me a little squirmy. I worked long and hard not to know this stuff about myself. Why the hell would I set it out there for all of you? 

I think it could be helpful. If I am working through ideas and issues and digging up stuff, and knowing  I have to work through them at least competently enough for someone else to read perhaps follow along, I might dig in and do it a bit more honestly. You know? If I were to just keep a private journal I don't know if I would push myself the same way as if I know someone out there was going to read it. I could just quit mid-sentence. I could delete the entry and no one would be the wiser. Certainly not me.

Of course, this could drive the five of you away quicker than a cattle prod. 

I could just clam up and resist this inclination all together. But, that game plan is what landed me in the foul box to begin with. 


What do you think? Good idea? Bad idea? Maybe a different blog for it? 


I could use a piece of dark chocolate right about now.


Happy Friday to you.

Monday, July 27, 2009


It appears that the Mountain Bluebirds successfully raised two little birds! They have fledged and moved on.

We are rather tickled in our household.


I can't help but feel a certain connection with those tender young birds. Fly high, little ones. Fly high, fly straight, fly strong.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Present

So, things are good. I think my doctor and I have found my own special cocktail of meds that are keeping me from sliding into a funk. I am consistently operating at a 7 or 8, rather than a 3. I am able to get out of bed nine days out of 10. I am not spun into a frenzy then flattened out by anxiety over and over throughout the day. I haven't gone over the edge in weeks. Many, many weeks. A disorienting spiral into hell had been a daily occurance. I cannot adequately convey how FUCKING AMAZING it is to be on an even keel. To have both feet in reality. I am feeling around for solid ground. I trust myself to recognize the solid ground and to plant my feet firmly to it.

It is just. so. good.

I am so, so grateful for those around me who encouraged me to get help and who have been so very awesome in supporting me. My family has stepped up and rallied around me. My friends take each new day that comes right by my side. A. is here with me, always. He stayed. He didn't leave me. (I don't think he had considered leaving me, and I think that is amazing. And humbling. And so full of grace.) He looked me in the eye, clearly seeing all that I am, and stayed.

I have no doubt that these people will accompany on my journey, however long it may be. I can only hope to be as good to them as they have been to me.

I just may be the luckiest girl in the world. Really.


I am feeling better about the idea that I am on meds. I may be on them for a long time. I may not. I may have to adjust the dosage, even the type from time to time. And I really am okay with that.

The difference in the quality of my life is profound. And it isn't just the meds that have cleared the fog. Knowing my diagnosis and working to understand it has helped me reach into that fog and grasp the hand of the person I once was, the person I really am, the person I remember and pull her through the haze to the present.

I am starting to look myself in the eye, and see all of who I am more clearly. I don't think my road to recovery would be nearly as fruitful had I not included therapy. I am getting far enough into it that the sessions aren't just about getting to know each other and were I am, but about digging into those things I have kept so very carefully hidden from view. From mine, my family's, my friends, strangers. The hard, dirty work is about to begin.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. I want to heal, but I am not at all excited about the pain and work it will take to get there. I am scared.

It is like the notion of history and the present. History as a process, not the past. You can only really understand the present when you trace back the current conditions to a particular time in history, to a certain set of circumstances and structures that made it possible for the present to be produced. Then, you trace those steps forward again, back to the present. This is how you understand, annunciate the present. This is how you know the present.

Hmm. The present.

+++ UPDATE: And thank you to you, my bloggie friends! You guys have been more help than you will ever know.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Quick Question

Hey all,

I am working on a post, but in the meantime, I want to ask you a question.

What are you passionate about?

I can't wait to see what you say.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Five

1. Work is kicking my ass. And stressing me out.

2. The Thesis is kicking my ass. And stressing me out.

3. I will be trying to read/write part of Chapter 3 of The Thesis in the car this weekend. We are going to Nebraska for a A.'s friend's wedding and to see my super-adorable nephew, M. I can't wait to scoop him up and squish him. CANNOT WAIT. 

4. It is a good thing I don't get the slightest bit car sick.

5. We will be camping somewhere in Nebraska tonight, in an effort to make this trip a tad more friendly to our rather empty pocketbooks (Yay for new computers, car maintenance, and homeowner insurance premiums!). I am going to attempt to get ready for a wedding at a campsite that boasts showers. I may have to straighten and style my hair in a gas station bathroom. 

I am trying to decide if I keep an admirable eye on my budget, am a champ for getting ready in whatever way necessary for a wedding, or if I am white trash. 


Happy Friday to you!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Apparently, there is one motherboard that might be compatible with our fried computer. It costs $250, nonrefundable.

So! We are looking for a new CPU. Our current CPU is an HP, and other than it had Vista on it, we were happy with it. Do you have any suggestions? A. watches hockey online, we store pictures on the machine, I have The Thesis crap on there, but that is about it. We don't need anything for design or layout, film editing, gaming, etc. Pretty simple, actually.


Um, we put Buster on doggy prozac. Is this ridiculous? Over the top?

The poor little guy has separation anxiety. His ever-increasing fear and uncontrollable bladder during thunderstorms are really too much to deal with anymore.

I hope the prozac works. He handled the first dose without any problems, but last night he barfed it right up with all of his dinner. Hmmm. He not generally a barfer, so it was definitely the meds. We have decided to stop the meds until next week. We are travelling to Nebraska this weekend and don't want to deal with side effects while on the road.

We are going to have to budget in new carpet before we sell the house. Gah.

/both Momma and pup are on anxiety meds and in therapy! Hee!


On Friday, A. has a phone interview for a job in Arizona. It is a GREAT job, good salary, just what he wants to do. It is in a ITTY-BITTY town. Which would be okay, except that I won't have a chance in hell of finding work. But, this is the kicker. There is no downtown. NO DOWNTOWN. It is just sort of houses next to each other. Creepy.

Great job. Horrible place to live.

We both have some nervous tummies. What to do?


Regardless, I am hoping will all my heart that he does great with the interview and that we have a difficult and complicated decision ahead of us.

Gah! Butterflies!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Five

1. An acquaintance from England posted a link to the Re-burbia Competition on his twitter feed the other day. Holy hell, I am excited about this. This is the kind of work I would love to somehow be involved in for the rest of my life. If only I were actually qualified for such work. Instead, I am just really, really good at forcifully voicing my opinions about the blight that is suburbs to anyone unfortunate enough to be within earshot of me.

(I blame fucking suburbs for everything. EVERYTHING. Pollution! Crime! Lack of social networks! Dissatisfaction! The mortgage meltdown! Oil dependence! Successful Fearmongering Campaigns! The widespread poor health of Americans! EV-ERY-THING. )

So, I have decided to submit an entry! Because I really need another deadline on July 31.

2. I took yesterday afternoon off from work to go fly fishing. A. and I went to one of our favorite spots - in fact,it IS my favorite spot. We go here at least once or twice a year. It felt so, so good to be out there, fishing. In fact, I couldn't fall asleep last night because I kept replaying the afternoon in my head. I just wasn't ready to let the afternoon go, apparently.

3. I am not joining A. and some friends for a camping trip to the same area this weekend. I am staying home to work on The Thesis. I am making progress.

4. The Universe insists on fucking with my efforts, however. Monday afternoon lightening struck the utility pole to our house. Even though the electricity to the house was already out, that strike fried our computer. Ha ha!

We replaced the power source to the CPU and that wasn't the problem; it is most likely the motherboard. A motherboard that is apparently impossible to find anymore. The computer is only a year old, for Pete's sake. So, I may go computer shopping Saturday morning.

Fortunately, I have every. last. file. associated with The Thesis backed up on a back up drive, an online back up site, AND a USB flash drive.

5. I was once called paranoid. Now I am called smart.

Happy Friday to you and yours!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Friday Five, A Day Early.

1. My honey is sick. What a bummer of a way to enter a three-day weekend. What a bad thing.

2. I suppose this means I will have more time to myself, and thusly, more time to work on my thesis chapters. And that is a good, if not very fun, thing.
3. I figured out how to update my twitter (ridiculous! word!) feeds via my cell phone. I feel spiffy. Especially since I have my twitter feed update my FB status! I AM FANCY.

4. I am so, so, so happy to be in treatment -- in all its glorious forms -- for my dysthymia and anxiety. I am perhaps most thankful for the relief from the anxiety. Every day I am amazed at just how incredibly miserable I was and how painful it was to experience life. I never want to give my emotions/whacked-out brain chemistry that much control over my life again.

5. I will likely repeat this statement when I ever get around to posting my fitness goals, but the pose I most want to achieve in yoga is this:

It doesn't seem like much, or very dramatic, I know. But I am totally inflexible. Always have been. To be able to be standing perfectly upward and perfectly downward at the same time seems like it would be one of the coolest trips ever. Not to mention I could sure use a rush of blood to my brain on a regular basis.

Do you have any fitness goals?

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

31 is Not My Favorite Number

July 31 is simultaneously the date on which my two most important and excruciatingly difficult and nuanced chapters of my thesis are due to my advisor and the date I have to deliver my files to the printer for a brand new cookbook that I am designing and laying out.

Sweet Jesus.


I am going fly fishing on August 1 NO MATTER WHAT.


Yesterday, while working my fool ass off on the cookbook, I quickly remembered how much I LOVE indexing. I am not kidding, here. I love indexing a reference document so, so much. Ridiculous, right? But, oh, how I love it. I love systematically scanning the sections and subsections, then the paragraphs for important key words and topics. I love building multiple hierarchies in which to index topics. LOVE.

Of course, this task wouldn't be nearly as fun without the pretty fantastic indexing scripts in InDesign. I know I often curse Adobe and shake my fist in the air in indignation at how they own my ass, but I will give credit where credit is due.


Maybe I could freelance as an damn indexer? Damn. That would be fun.

[UPDATE]: Check it out! There is an American Society for Indexing!!!!


I know.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Totally Willing

A. has been applying for jobs faithfully since April. Originally, we had five towns/cities that we hoped to stay in. Then the search expanded to the Rocky Mountain West. Now, the search is expanding to anywhere there are jobs. Sometimes we think we should stay put, pay off our student loans and set ourselves up for a really good, comfortable move in a few years. Gah.

This is the first time I have moved with someone. What a different experience. Every conversation requires a compromise. Thankfully, we have both been pretty good at remembering to consider the other's needs and wishes and this has made the past few months an exercise in partnership rather than a battle of wills. But it is still ridiculously hard. We don't argue, but we are both stressbots. So, there is that.

Some couples make these kinds of big decisions and moves seem effortless. How the hell do they do that?

What is the most difficult is seeing A. feel discouraged. He worked his butt of in grad school. He graduated with a 4.0! As well as some phenomenal experience from jobs and internships. It is just a super rotten time to look for a job. He is starting to wonder if he will ever move into his field. It breaks my heart.

I am willing to do this as long as it takes, am willing to move somewhere less than perfect so A. can move toward his goals. Totally willing.


We have a Mountain Bluebird couple who have moved into one of our bird houses. They lived in the other bird house earlier this spring, and even had chicks. Baby birds!

A few weeks ago a sparrow came and killed their chicks.

Why does nature have to be so God-damned balanced?

A. and I were devastated. I wish I was exaggerating here, but I am not. I got teary and A. got MAD. He moved a chair up to the window and kept a slingshot next to it. (What?!?!) He was just watching for the damn sparrow to come back.

The bluebirds came back a few days later and set up home in the other birdhouse. We have taken their protection pretty seriously. In case you hadn't guessed that by now.

Now, A. will suddenly crouch in front of the bedroom or kitchen window, then haul ass out the front door. All I ask is, "Sparrow?"  I get a grunt in reply, but then I see him running around the front yard like a maniac and my suspicion is confirmed.

We are confident the bluebirds have eggs in their new nest.

I am totally willing to chase that damn sparrow away, all the while screaming my head off and waving my arms like a damn fool.

Totally willing.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

An Awakening

Often, the smells in the air after an afternoon thunderstorm or first thing in the morning--whether here, my hometown, back East, or anywhere else I've been before--bring back specific, wonderful memories. Place and instance conjoin once again, overpowering the limits of time and location. Connections are made. A glimpse of eternity has been allowed. A part of my soul stirs wildly as it recognizes one of the many events in its constant creation.

These traces of scent might bring a slight pang of bittersweet nostalgia or smack of an event so profound it left me transformed, evermore. A breeze might leave me longing for those times, those friends in grace, or encourage me to send prayers of gratitude for a life so fine.


I have found that laughter affects me much in the same way. Often, some of my favorite things about those most beloved to me are their laughs. A.'s laugh is my favorite sound in the world. My co-worker's laugh brings a huge grin to my face, without my even knowing it.


Two weeks ago I was in Ohio for my baby sister's graduation with her Masters in Clinical Social Work from Ohio State. It was so fun to hang out with my family and see the life my sister has built for herself. The first night I arrived we stayed up unitl after 1:00 a.m., giggling in the dark, sharing stories. I was home.

Last weekend I drove to Salt Lake and reunited with dear college friends, BK, TW, and KW. On paper, there is little to suggest we would make good friends. In the light and energy of life, however, we grew to be very dear to each other.

Sitting around the W's kitchen table, catching up and reminiscing, laughing late into the night and again over breakfast, my soul was truly and quite simply singing. There has been an awakening.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Fresh Starts

My house is regularly presentable. I can tackle the Laundry Monster and win, usually without breaking a sweat. I can step back and discern the very next step in The Thesis Process and move forward, rather than feel overwhelmed by the insanity of it all. The sink is always shiny when I go to bed. A. and I are spending more time together, and I haven't snapped at him in WEEKS. I am regularly doing yoga. And flossing. I am starting to wake up happy and not anxious. Getting out of bed doesn't require a monumental effort anymore, just a big effort. More mornings than not, I win that battle.

I am feeling much, much better. I have the energy to reclaim my life and I am not allowing anxiety to ruin it.

Life has been really, really, nice lately.


Therapy is going well. I am more comfortable with my therapist. I am being honest in our sessions so healing and honest work can happen. There are surprises, discoveries, connections, patterns and long buried memories coming to the surface. It is good. It is terrifying. It is exciting.


This last session I was telling my therapist -- in a very animated way full of exaggerated facial expressions and over-the-top hand gestures, which is the real me!! yay! -- how I've started to implement the ever-nerdy/geeky Getting Things Done methodology into my work and thesis life. I explained how I went through every! last! random storage thingy! pile! drawer! in my office and got everything that has been bouncing around my head and causing mini anxiety attacks right the hell out of my head and into a safe place so I could just. quit. thinking. about it. Now I am learning to trust myself, my system, and that I will see whatever it is that needs done when I need to. It has been both exhilrating and relaxing and such a damn relief.

Anyhoo, my therapist had this HUGE smile on her face and said, "You loved it, didn't you?" Yes, indeed.

I wish I had realized that A. was joking when he said he was going to ge me a labelmaker for my birthday that year. My disappointment ran deep. And obviously, I haven't forgotten.

It is lame but true: Few activities are as satisfying to me as gutting a room and tossing out ALL the clutter and re-organizing. LOVE. IT.

I am looking forward to moving someday and getting to just PURGE our house of so. much. stuff.  Man, I get all hopped up and twitchy with excitment just thinking about it.

It is like having a mini fresh start.

How about you? Do you enjoy de-clutting and purging or is it daunting? Do you like to hold on to stuff? Why? I am intersted!

Happy Friday to you!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Band Aids

Do you ever get sick of the computer? Man, I have been lately. Between work and trying to finish The Thesis my butt is sick and tired of being parked in front of a monitor.

That is my excuse for not posting. Take it or leave it!


I am going to dress up as Cleopatra next Halloween, because, holy cow am I ever the Queen of Denial.

Therapy is starting to get interesting. And exciting and scary.

And worth it.


I may lose my current advisor, aka The Most Kick Ass Thesis Advisor Ever Who Totally Gets Me, to a sabbatical. *whimper*

Hold me.


I backed into a very stationary, very large storage shed the other day. Behind the public library. In A.'s truck. Boy, I felt like an idiot when I went back into the library to explain I just punched a hole in their storage shed. They were super awesome about it.

I gave the cop all of my insurance info and whatnot. He called something in and came back because the truck isn't registered to me. It is registered to A. and I am just listed as a driver with our insurance.

Oh, yeah. I COMPLETELY FORGOT. We aren't married.

I forget, sometimes. No, really. I forget that we aren't married.


Tuesdays have always been the worst day of the week for me, even when I was in grade school. I could kind of slide through Monday pretty quickly without incurring too many injuries, even if I wasn't totally prepared for Monday. But, man. There is no tricking Tuesday. Tuesday just knows when I don't have my shit together. And Tuesday always makes me pay.

Stupid Tuesday.


One of A.'s best friends, another artist, also hates Tuesdays. He hates them vehemently. I wonder if it something to do with the artistic temperament?


On that note, have the best Tuesday you can, and keep some band-aids close.