Monday, March 19, 2018
She's still here, and today she has managed to walk the dog, buy me groceries, and plant peas in my garden. Right now she's making me dinner. I feel really lucky.
Saturday, February 24, 2018
We ripped out all the floor boards until we had joists. This is the part where you are working very carefully- if you step between those long boards, your foot will easily pass through the insulation and ceiling tiles into the room below.
Monday, February 19, 2018
When I was planning my trip to Albuquerque, I told my aunt and uncle that my primary goal was to spend time with them, but secondary goals were to eat (excellent food, including green chile), drink (especially red wine), and walk outside (but not excessively).
I am pleased to report that we have succeeded spectacularly. I went walking in the hills both days, and have drunk a very good bottle of old red wine and coffee brewed two different ways. We have feasted on homemade pasta and omlettes. And tonight we finish with homemade French bread, cheese, and gelato.
I'm going to have to eat a lot of salads when I get home to make up for all of this.
Thursday, February 15, 2018
I got the flu last week and slept for three days. I would have stayed in bed longer, but I was helping to run two conferences in a row, so I just powered through. The first day I kept looking longingly at the registration table, with its floor-length tablecloth, thinking that I could just crawl under where no one could see me so I could sleep. However, by the last day I was back to my normal self, i.e. the consummate event planner.
To add to things, Andrew's birthday was this week, which is always a miserable day for me, and Molly the cat has been sick. Just like last fall, she simply quit eating. She spent her time wandering around, complaining that she was hungry and even licking the floor for spills, but she wouldn't eat anything in her bowl. In fact, I suspect she couldn't - I would see her try to eat and the food would just fall from her mouth, as if she couldn't swallow. I resisted taking her to the vet, but because the vet couldn't find anything wrong last time. Finally, yesterday, I tried yet a different kind of food. I don't know if it was the new food or if she is recovering from whatever was ailing her, but I'm no longer debating whether I'll have to take her to be put down this week or next.*
The best news is that in two days I'll be in Alburquerque with Aunt and Uncle de-I, where I intend to eat green chile and drink much red wine.
*I never thought I'd become one of those people who has a cat on anti-anxiety meds or buys different foods to placate their finicky eating habits. But, (1) a cat on drugs is actually a much nicer cat to have around and (2) if I think a creature is actually near starvation I will buy pretty much anything.
Saturday, January 27, 2018
There are about six weeks in mid-winter when biking is hard because it gets dark so early that I wouldn't be able to put a full day's work in before needing to go home. Better lights would help, but the truth is that lots of the forest trails are pretty deserted this time of year and I don't feel safe biking in the dark. As a result, I carefully pay attention to the changing amount of daylight. We are only five weeks past solstice but there's already plenty of light for biking, so I can make that my regular commuting method again. I have to skip it when there's ice on the roads, but that only happens a few times a month.
And while summer seems far away, my gardening spreadsheet tells me that I can start planting things in two weeks - as long as the planting takes place under my grow light in the basement. Still, once it's time to play around with the potting soil and urge the little seedlings to grow, winter seems like it's almost at an end.
Thursday, January 18, 2018
I chose to make a braided brioche version, with a cinnamon-nut filling in the middle of each strand. It was insanely sweet (not a problem for the under-ten crowd, of course) but delicious. I have been eating it all week. A co-worker did hint that if I was going to bring such nice breakfasts to our meetings perhaps I need to bring enough for everyone...
Sunday, January 14, 2018
The next morning, nothing had been plowed. My little rental car would certainly not have managed the streets, so I hiked to the meeting, having wrapped my shoes in garbage bags. (I hadn't packed any boots, of course.) I felt like quite the intrepid winter business traveler.
Alas, Sunday saw my not-quite-so-intrepid side. After a very nice breakfast at my BnB, I packed up the car and started it up so that it could warm up while I de-iced and de-snowed it. After ten minutes' work I realized that I had a clean, warm car that I had unfortunately locked my keys into. This was the only point in the trip where I came near tears. I had no phone, no ID, no recollection of which rental company owned the car, and no clear idea of how to break into a rental car. In the end, it all worked out. The BnB owner had an account with the Canadian Auto Association. I had to wait about 30 minutes for them to arrive, and then it took them about four minutes to free my car. It is astounding how easy one can break into a car with the right tools (See: air wedge). I will be suggesting to my boss that I earned hazard pay.
In the end, the trip went fine. This particular conference requires extra attention, so it's important that I attended. I got to use the metric system (I *love* it) and eat Tim Horton's (the Dunkin' Donuts of Canada). I also drank about a gallon of tea, because tea in the UK, Canada, and Australia is always better than US tea (and I really wish I could figure out how to replicate it.) On the other hand, I lived on cheese sandwiches and pizza - undergraduates did the catering - and interacted with people fourteen hours a day. In response, I will spend my vacation day tomorrow sleeping, eating vegetables, and hopefully not talking to another living soul.