Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I won!

I won! I can't believe I won a giveaway in the Carnival! I never win anything.

I carefully chose which giveaways to enter. I wanted to make sure it was something I really wanted. When I saw this shoulder bag, I decided immediately to enter my name in the pot. I've always had a weakness for purses (and shoes). And I won!

Did I mention that already?

And what's totally cool is that they have an Etsy shop, Marie-Madeline Studio. We all remember how much I like Etsy, correct?

Singing the praises of my solar panels

The sun came out in the late afternoon yesterday, so it was a comfortable 66 degrees in my house when I got home after class. The outside temperature dropped to 33 overnight, but I refused to turn my heat on. 59 degrees sure feels chilly getting out of the shower. Today the sky is clear and bright, so the solar should run as long as the clouds hold off. I hope to return home to a toasty abode that will get me through the freezing temperatures that are forecast for tonight.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Like a brick

On Friday morning I ate the last of my cereal, so I decided it would be the perfect time to make banana bread with the browning bananas. I could eat it for breakfast Saturday morning with my tea.

So after work yesterday I changed into comfy clothes and threw on Grammy's apron. Earlier in the day I had pulled up BerryBird's Basic Banana Bread recipe and copied it down on a piece paper I pulled from the recycling bin under my desk. No sense in wasting a new piece by printing it out, right?

I mixed everything up, poured it into a big bread pan, and licked the bowl. I even felt a little bit proud of myself, since I almost never cook or bake. Soon the house began to smell heavenly. About 10 minutes before it was supposed to be done, I peaked in at it (why on earth doesn't my oven have a window in the door?).

The color looked good, so I pulled it out. The knife came out clean, so I turned off the oven and dumped the loaf onto the cooling rack. But clearly something had gone wrong. The loaf had not risen at all. I examined the recipe. I had most definitely followed it properly. What had happened? When it cooled enough to eat, I sampled. It tasted fine but felt like a bowling ball in my stomach.

It made a fine breakfast this morning, reheated with butter in the microwave. As soon as I turned on my laptop I headed back over to BerryBird's site. Ah-hah!

Baking soda. The missing ingredient. Perhaps I should have printed the recipe after all.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Itchy & Scratchy

The last two nights I've dreamed about getting another dog. Both of them were similar in appearance and size to the one I have now, although the one last night was female and still growing so she would've ended up bigger than Mr. Dog. My preference would be for one smaller, but I don't exercise a lot of control over my dreams.

FF and I both agreed that it was not a good idea to have him bring Dust Mop Dog to my house during the day now that he's back at work. Our reasons differed, but the end result was what I desired. Now I can do as I please after work, including taking my dog for a walk around the neighborhood. I anticipate getting more exercise this summer (and having to clean less dog piss from my carpet courtesy of his dog). Given the soaring price of gas though, I doubt Mr. Dog and I will be walking anywhere exotic.

On a somewhat related note, the poison ivy that I acquired after last Saturday's walk in the woods has not abated. Weirdly enough, I have it on the insides of both knees and the inside of my left arm. That doesn't seem logical.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day

I celebrated Earth Day by not mowing my lawn. OK, sure, there was an element of laziness involved, but more importantly, I didn't pointlessly use up limited resources while spewing exhaust into the air. It's a small thing in the grand scheme of things, but imagine the difference it would make if everyone mowed their lawns less often.

Someone at work hung a poster with a bunch of ideas for doing your part for the environment. One of the ideas was to say no to ATM receipts. Maybe I should've thought of this on my own, but sometimes I need a little push. It worries me just a little. What if I need a receipt to prove a transaction occurred. Granted, I've never had to resort to that in the past, but it seems risky. What do you all think? I rarely use the ATM, but every little bit helps, right?

I also went for a walk, although not in the woods as I would've liked to. But I didn't use any gasoline by walking in my own neighborhood.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday Night Whine

I spent all of this lovely day inside, working on my laptop. My back hurts from hunching over it, and I didn't even get anything completely done. I worked on this, and I worked on that. I didn't work on that other thing though.

Tomorrow morning in class I am supposed to share 12-15 minutes of video of me teaching. Unfortunately when I tried the VCR, it was dead. So I haven't even watched my video. I know, I shouldn't have waited until the last minute, but I really don't like the idea of just putting the thing in and pressing play tomorrow. Crap. I'm not sure I can get out of it though, considering class only meets two more times after tomorrow and my professor is gone for one of them.

I am so ready for this semester to be over. I can't believe it's almost May. This weather is adding to my overall confusion and not helping me stay on task. Is it bad that I am just aiming to achieve the minimum grade-wise? I'm not sure I've ever been what you'd call a high-achiever. Well, except maybe in French. I always wanted to kick ass in French...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Tell me again why I want another dog?

Today was even warmer than Wednesday, and so after work Mr. Dog and I again went-a-walking. After a quick change of clothes and eating a bit of frosting from a spoon, that is. Mr. Dog was a little jealous since he had to wait until we got home to eat his dinner.

I'm still vacillating on the house numbers. I don't think the brass will show up against the siding, and black seems odd when there isn't a speck of black anywhere on the house (OK, I'm exaggerating, there simply must be black somewhere). I guess I need to start by deciding if I'll put them on the siding or on the trim. BerryBird has got me all paranoid that I may be breaking some town ordinance.

After discovering that FF's little dust mop of a dog had peed all over Mr. Dog's dog bed, I rushed out to pick up a new one. I've lost count of how many we've gone through. The first several Mr. Dog ripped open and ate the fluff, but I can't recall the specific demise of the rest. The one that got peed on today was filled with cedar chips, which I imagine don't go through the washing machine very well. I'm not sure that this new one was the best choice, as Mr. Dog keeps trying to flip it over. Why won't he just curl up inside its nice chenille softness?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

These dogs are made for walking

Today started out quite cold, but by mid-afternoon the temperatures had warmed nicely. I left work with a goal- I wanted to go for a walk when I got home. It didn't have to be anywhere exciting or very long, but I needed to get out into the sunshine and warmth. Often such goals lose their strength upon sight of the couch but not today. I changed my clothes and loaded up on plastic poop bags. Mr. Dog and I were off.

I'm always one for studying the neighbors' yards and gardens, but tonight I took special care to observe house numbers as well. My house lacks numbers, and I'd like to rectify that. I've looked at several hardware stores and am still undecided. I'm not sure what color to go with or where on the house to place them. Hopefully next time I'm at the store I can make up my mind.

Now I must do some schoolwork. And think about the walk I want to take tomorrow on my lunch break.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Good Things

  • My daffodils are blooming. Bright yellow happy flowers.
  • My sedum 'autumn joy' has come back. I wasn't sure it would after its disappointing display last summer and fall. I also think that the one I sprouted from a cutting may have taken root. I will be a happy camper if it has.
  • Tomorrow is my last day of student teaching (for this time around anyway). I had a wonderful experience and learned a lot, but it will simplify life to have one less thing on my daily agenda.
  • My host teacher has been cleaning out her prep room and storage cabinets. I've been gifted a poster, sand dollars, a fossil, an unused lab kit on genetics, books, and other goodies. Score!
  • My copy of Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs arrived yesterday. My sister gave me her first novel, The Friday Night Knitting Club, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It had travel and knitting and close friends. It had characters I cared about, something I look for in a novel. If Comfort Food has even that, I will be happy.
  • I've seen woodchucks on my drive home the last two days. For me, that means spring has really arrived.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Another Long Day

It's tough getting home at 9pm when I left home at 7:30am. I don't like it at all. But even more upsetting is the fact that my daffodils opened today, and I didn't get to see them. I really love my daffodils.

The peepers are peeping up a storm, and tomorrow is supposed to be another lovely day. I'm trying to ignore the seven day forecast which takes a dramatic turn towards the white. Much like I'm trying to ignore the looming assignments, not to mention the one I failed to complete by today. I'd much rather think about my bright yellow daffies.

I should be asleep.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Going to the dogs

Yesterday afternoon was the perfect April day. Sunny and mild, it demanded that you be outdoors. And I desperately needed to stretch my legs (and my soul).

After lunch FF suggested we take our dogs to the Good Dog Park. I've never taken Mr. Dog there, as he does not always exhibit good dog traits. He can be aggressive and loud, and tends to stick out his manhood with rather embarrassing frequency. I have always been tempted but not quite brave enough to try. But off we went, knowing that should it not work out there were miles of park to walk through.

Mr. Dog completely surprised me! He trotted around peeing on things and sniffing other dog's parts, but that is just part of the package. He behaved admirably and there were no problems at all. We would have stayed longer but the five pounder was terrified and shaking. FF ended up having to hold him most of the time. Mr. Dog and I will definitely be going back sans the dust mop.

We opted to walk a couple miles too, so everyone was happy. And it's another beautiful day today. I think I may do some yard work.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

I'm running out of options

Well, I found yet another hair salon to cross off my list. Why is it this hard to find someone to cut my hair? It's not complicated. I have long, straight hair (or I did anyway). An approximately even removal of the amount specified would please me. I promise.

Today's attempt resulted in the third stylist in two years to leave my right side significantly longer. I'm starting to get a complex. Do I see myself differently than the rest of the word? Am I the one with a crooked perspective? Even after I pointed it out today, she reached over and pushed the top of my head to tilt it to a clearly not centered position to examine the length. Er, whatever.

Plus, when I said three inches I meant three, not five. Again, whatever. It'll grow back.

But to top it off, her cell phone rang three times while I was in the chair. And she answered it! All three times! Not cool. I felt like that commercial where the woman ends up holding her own curling iron...

I must need a new approach to finding a stylist. Either that or I'll have to foot the bill to get myself out to Utah, where my movie star gorgeous friend lives and does hair.