Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year End Closeout!

The last day of the year is here.  I don't want to be all about the "Wasn't it JUST the start of the year?!" like some old lady, but seriously!  Wasn't it??

All in all, I think it was a good year.  I've made some mistakes, but I don't have any glaring regrets and my family is healthy.  Progress!

So I perused the archives for about a minute before heading into the New Year hoopla, to refresh my memory on some of the events of the year.

How many references can you get?  That's okay if it's zero.  No... really...

OKAY!   Well, I enjoyed that little walk down  memory lane, mainly because I'm reminded of how I got to share the year with my fun blog friends and even managed to find a few more!  (And I don't know why this text won't line up properly - all part of the bloggin' fun!)

And now, onward to 2014.  My resolutions?

Let's GOOO!


Monday, December 30, 2013

how big?

It's not like I was looking for it.  Not actively, anyway.  I was just... y'know... a little curious.  It'd been a long time since I was with anyone else.

So, I just had a little time on my hands, and this voice in my head directed me to the online ads.  I figured I'd just lurk around.  I confess now that I've done that before, and honestly, never found anything even remotely interesting.  It seemed to be all stuff for the younger crowd, or for old men...

But that voice was persistent.  And so I looked.  And I saw.  I saw something rare.  A perfect match?  Could it be?  Online?  Magnum was just upstairs.  What would he think if he knew what I was doing?

After reading the profile information, my curiosity grew and, next I knew, I hit the message button.  I had just one question:  how big?

I hit "send".

... and got no response.

I went to bed that night thinking it wasn't meant to be.  No response.  I should just forget about it.

But the next morning, I couldn't help it.  It was like some other brain was directing my hand as I returned to that specific ad.  It was still there.  Calling to me.  There was a phone number and a name.  I decided I would try that, and if I got a voicemail, I'd forget it and move on.

I dialed.   He answered.  And it wasn't voicemail.

So again I asked, "How big?"

His answer made me weak in the knees.

I got directions to his house.  He lived in the mountains.  I could be there in 45 minutes.

I didn't lie to Magnum.  I confessed everything.  I confessed that I'd just gone there to look around.  I confessed that I'd been there looking around before, but had never found anything that caught my eye.  I confessed how this one almost seemed to be waiting for me.  Me.  It was destiny.

He understood.  What a guy.  I left, and assured him I would be back.

I found the house.  Ellie Mae and I climbed and wound our way through the snow and hills to reach this mountain destination.  From the phone conversation, I learned that people there didn't get out much.  They stayed inside for their... activity.

I just had to see for myself.  The size.  I had to see it!

And there she was

"It's a size SMALL.  My wife is 5'5", and only rode it a few times for our at-home spin class until she got the stationary bike she likes better"

Was he kidding me?!  Never let this beautiful creature outside??  Fricken' SPIN CLASS?!?

Well... she's been  OUTSIDE   now, KNOW  WHAT  I'M  SAYIN'?!

I'm 5'5" and I go  OUTSIDE.  And it's gooooood.

Blog, meet Alice.  Alice, meet the blog.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Silver Liningness Sunday

It's a wonderful life!  And that's not just a Christmas movie!

A fun week it was, with Christmas in the mix and all.  The tent is still up, beckoning us to spend the night again.  A new Christmas eve tradition?  This being the first annual?

But there was certainly more to the week than going all Donner Party...

For one thing, we somehow managed to win Magnum's office football pool again.  Who needs Powerball?!

Chaco came home Monday afternoon.  We've had a few rowdy game nights, gone shopping at the rowdy mall, played rowdily (word?) with new toys and such.  Maybe time to cut back on the Christmas sugar?

When Chaco went back to his apartment Friday night, I got to see it for the first time.  I've been wanting to check it out, but since it's pretty much a college bachelor pad, I didn't want to go all MOM on him with all the guys at home.

Nice digs, I must say!  It's really spacious and quite a step up from the freshman dorm (which isn't saying a whole lot).  He's got beautiful views of Pikes Peak and the city, and I think his kitchen is bigger than ours at home (which isn't saying a whole lot).  And I was impressed with how tidy and well stocked it was.

Chaco, Wolfgang, and I all got our first semester grades posted, and if we were in middle school, we'd all get bumper stickers!

Wolfgang was pet sitting a neighbor friend's cat last week.  We've sat for "Mittens" before when the family travels at the holidays and vacations.  I hadn't seen her since last Christmas.

When Wolfgang did an overnight ski trip last week, I took over Mitten duty.  I walked into the house, flipped on the light switch, and BAM:

Mittens has put on a few!  In fact, this photo doesn't really do justice to her voluptuousness.  Anyway, it was nice of her to agree to being featured today, and maybe help inspire cutting back on the Christmas sugar.   Since Kat left *sniff*, we haven't had a good fat cat pic in a while.

So a nice week, and the weather's been nice, so I even managed an easy trip to sex change town to visit with my parents for several hours.  

... and then there's this new toy, but it requires its own blog post I think.  (Plus I haven't told Tessa yet).

Here's hoping all of my blog friends have a great end to 2013 and start to 2014!



Saturday, December 28, 2013

there are probably worse things that have happened in a fitting room

I went for a little run this morning and noticed a bit more company than usual.  Are the resolution runners already afoot?  Pun intended?  Actually, I think it might be because I've been sleeping in - just a bit - so was out when more of the general population wasn't asleep.  Still, I know the resolutionists are about to arrive.

It's been a nice break so far.  Since everyone survived Christmas Camp, the gifts were dished out.  And on time too as we weren't part of the great UPS / FedEx missed shipments of 2013.

On Boxing Day Thursday, we joined the hoards and went to Best Buy and the mall - just to be a part of the chaos.  Chaco was getting some needed jeans at the mall and the hip, trendy store we were in had quite a queue to the fitting rooms.  I told him, "Let's just get them and you can try them on at home, just don't remove the tags".  After all, men's jeans are so much easier to buy than women's!

As we left the store with the untried-on jeans in a bag, however, Chaco began plotting.  He could go to non-hip, non-trendy Sears and use their fitting room to try on his non-Sears jeans.

"You can't do that!", I interjected, "That'd be like bringing a sack lunch to McDonalds!"

"I'd do that too!", he confessed.

In the meantime I got some basketball shoes with Meego for the upcoming season.  Later we met up with Magnum, Wolfgang, and Chaco at the snowboard/skateboard store where Chaco reported that his jeans fit just fine.

"How do you know?", I cautiously asked.

"I went to the Sears fitting room!"


Would you?  Have you?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

dispatch from Christmas Camp

Dear Friends and internet lurkers,

If you're reading this, it means that we've succumbed to the elements, wild animals, and/or failed at cannibalism...


Oop, I mean... MERRY  CHRISTMAS!!!

Christmas Camp 2013 was a success!  The tent was cozy warm!  

...until it wasn't.  The cute little stove really poured out the heat, and my feet would wake me up whenever it needed more fuel.  How convenient, right?

And then it would be cozy warm again! ...until it wasn't.

And it certainly helped that Napolion was there to keep us all relaxed

So Merry Christmas to all my blog friends!  Warmth and love and warmth to you all!!

Hugs and Kisses,

Monday, December 23, 2013

home for the holidays

Some of the old long-time readers of this blog may recall past Christmases around here when we used to go on our yurt adventures over the winter break.  We'd go a-yurtin' for a couple of days up in the mountains.

It was always a good time, but one of the drawbacks was that we had to reserve the yurt plenty in advance, and the weather and roads getting to and from yurt country often presented mild peril.  As I recall, one of the roads along the journey is called "OH MY GOD! Road".

So we stopped going.

BUT, this year, we've got the next best thing!  We've decided to field test our Zombie Apocalypse tent.  (Thanks to setup team of Magnum and Meego)


This is to be our accomodations for Christmas Eve.  I've decreed no prezzents for anyone who doesn't make it the full night.

... which means I'll probably have a lump of coal, if anything, to show this year.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Silver Liningness Sunday

I will start by admitting that we have NO Christmas decorations up.  We don't even have a tree yet, but that's pretty par for the course anyway. That should all change today, though.  At least that's the plan.

Other than that, this was a good and productive week.  I already mentioned that the college semester came to a close.  All of my grades have been posted, and I'm happy with my GPA at this point.  My two teaching classes were, more or less, weeder classes for people to see if they really? want to be school teachers - thrown right to the elementary and middle school wolves, but it was all pretty familiar to me.  We did lose a few along the way, and now I'm glad to be done with those and get on with the remainder of the program.

As for my calculus class, that was just so fun and reminded me of what a nerd I am.

The weather's been up and down, but the frost did finally burn off yesterday.  Wolfgang has recently taken up longboarding, and I've recently taken up playing with the camera (I can't quite call it "photography"), so I practiced some action shots yesterday.

Meego had another band concert this week.  They sounded really good - and so much more enjoyable than those 3rd grade recorder programs!

I'm also glad to say that the eye dermatitis has ebbed and I feel almost human... at the moment.  Puffiness has deflated and wrinkles are of a more appropriate depth.  And the winter solstice was yesterday, I can feel the days getting longer already!

So onward!  There's a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree with our name on it!

Friday, December 20, 2013

lighter shade of grey

A thick fog rolled in last night.  China gets up this morning, and she's all, "Abby!  Get the camera and let's go out and take some photos of the frost before it all burns off!"

So we go out, lickety split, and I take a few shots.

That was about eight hours ago.  It still looks like this:

This is an all-day frost affair so far.  I guess Mother Nature decided to take matters into her own hands regarding our holiday decorating.

Then Wolfgang and I decided to go shopping for some needed cold weather stuff.  Uhm, it's the Friday afternoon before Christmas.  But it's cold out, so stores won't be too crowded.

HO  HO  HO  HA  HA  HA  ha  ha......

In other news, I ate a peanut product today as part of the Great Peanut Experiment.

No reaction other than I got a new zit.


Thursday, December 19, 2013


The house has gotten a little smaller.  Wolfgang came home for Winter break last night.

I brought Ellie Mae over to the dorm at the appointed hour and helped lug a few things.  A few of Wolfgang's friends were hanging out and helped carry.  They're a nice bunch of kids, and Wolfgang and 3 friends are already planning on rooming together in the dorm apartments (like where Chaco lives) next year.

After we got into the car to drive home, Wolfgang commented, "This is going to be weird not seeing those guys every day".

And I agreed in all seriousness, "Yeah, now it's waking up each day to... your family!"

I'm impressed with the "quality" of students at the university, now that I'm in the mix too and dealing with the general population daily.  My previous experience at CU-Boulder was okay, but there were a lot of rich kids there, a lot of Trust Fund babies just attending CU in order to party and ski and pledge their mom's sorority or their dad's fraternity.

UCCS doesn't attract that crowd.  I'm not saying that all students here are hard-working and studious, but they're just nicer to be around.

It's a relatively long break.  Classes don't fire up again until the third week of January.  I too am feeling a bit at a loss, and I'm just a part-timer-commuter-old-person student.  I've become accustomed to being at the university each day, to doing homework and completing assignments.  Now... the sloth abyss?

I remember Chaco having similar feelings last Winter break.  He was also used to the rigors of college, and to suddenly be without a schedule left him feeling a bit adrift.  I remember thinking that was a good thing, and now I'm feeling it myself.  A bit anxious to be back at it and moving forward.

My final final was yesterday morning, dark and early.  Good time of day for math.

So, while driving home, Wolfgang and I brainstormed a few things to keep us busy and make best use of the break in addition to the traditional holiday activities.  Some things on my list:

  • Play with my art toys
  • Make a few visits to my parents'
  • Play with our new camera
  • Blog everyday ??

This morning was relatively warm out when I went for a run, so I decided to break in my new capri tights.  Later, I decided my first  winter break "assignment" would be to submit a review of the tights over at the Brooks website.

Already, I had troubles with...

Describe Yourself:


I don't think any of those choices "Describe Myself".    I ended up going with Gym Rat because I think I'm somewhere between Casual / Recreational and Avid Athlete.

But.. but... I'm certainly NO Gym Rat.  It's the wrong choice.

I hope this doesn't affect my GPA.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

after the before

Okay, so remember a while back I blogged about my itchy, puffy, irritated eye skin?  The itching!  The burning!  The puffing!

And then I blogged about how it improved with some Burt's Bees, so I'd written it off as exposure to wind and cold temperatures?

Fact is, the problem is still plaguing me, I've just been managing it.  I need to keep the eye skin moisturized with ointment, clean it off 2 or 3 times a day and put on more ointment, make sure not to get any ointment on my actual eyeballs or else the puffies really take hold...  Add that the "condition" makes the lines around my eyes deeper than usual - like I need THAT!

Anyways, this was my miserable self last Saturday.  My eyes were SO irritated, all I could think to do was take a pitiful selfie:

complete with forehead zit
I had slacked on my management duties.

I began to wonder if maybe I was having an allergic reaction.  After all, it feels like I've been motorboating some latex boobs.  Not that I've ever motorboated ANY boobs - and don't ask me how I know I have an allergy to latex - it's just what I imagine would happen if I were to do such latex boob motorboating.

So, in my desperate, pitiful state, I decided to begin an elimination diet.  I would start by eliminating certain common allergen foods and see if doing so made any difference.  I've begun with peanuts since peanuts are a common allergen, and I eat more than my fair share.  

Really, peanuts are everywhere!  In my peanut butter, in my snack bars, in my trail mix.  I've never had an allergy problem with them before, but maybe I've developed one in my old age.  Like the latex thing *ahem*.  

So, I think it was Saturday afternoon, I ate my last peanut.

Here's a few minutes ago.  

Yah, I've since had a haircut (zit remains)

Better?  Actually, blogger is somehow helping me out with the smoothing, because the photo I took doesn't look as smooth on my computer, but I'm going with this...  But STILL, the original "after" is better than the pitiful "before".  

Honestly, though, I don't think it's the peanut-free living.  I can feel the itchy-puffy-irritated potential just beneath the calm surface, ready to burst forth.  I've just been more attentive to managing it these last few days.  

But I guess I'll keep up the experiment for a while longer and see if real improvement happens.  It's not like I'm missing peanuts or anything.  

(Just keep telling myself that).


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

just browsing

I realized a strange thing today. I realized that all of my Christmas shopping is done.  Finished.  Finito.  I've got a whole 'nother week, and yet... here I am.

That's not to say that all of Christmas PREP is done.  Oh no no no no.  We don't have a single Pagan symbol embellishing either the interior or exterior of the house.  But that will happen in due time.

And the food.  I don't have any Christmas food.  I usually do up a ham with some good ham accessories, but I'm considering lamb this year.  It seems so mean to eat a lamb.  Why do they have to be so tasty?

But wait, I got sidetracked.  I'm supposed to be blogging about how my shopping is all done and how that's a good thing.

To be honest, we don't have a major list of people to exchange gifts with.  Way back when, we used to exchange with just about everyone in the family tree - including all of Magnum's step-branches.  That fizzled quickly, especially after we all started popping out babies.

But silly me, I went to the post office yesterday.  As if having all of my shopping done wasn't providing enough "holiday cheer", I went there and later learned that December 16th is the busiest post office day of the YEAR.

"But... but... I just need stamps?", said Clueless Woman (ME).

So lemme just say... I still need stamps.

But I did spend a little bit of time there to retrieve the contents of our p.o. box and then gawk at the ridiculous line.  While doing so, I heard, "Hey, you're a bicycle!"

I looked down to see a little girl addressing me.  She was with her mom and three sisters.  I'd guess all the kids were under 5 years old.  I realized that as I stood there observing the poor slobs in line, I was still wearing my bike helmet.

I admit that I don't envy a mom with 4 kids under 5 at the post office on the busiest post office day of the YEAR.  The mom somewhat apologized for her daughter's shyness {sarcasm}, but I daresay there are much worse things she could've called me other than a bicycle.

But I was able to report to Magnum last night, once Meego was out of earshot, that our shopping is done.  Then I listed the things I'd gotten.  So now my challenge is to remember - for an entire week - where I put stuff because I sometimes forget such things.  And well...


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Silver Liningness Sunday

*POOF*, Fast week, huh?!  Seems like I was just here doing the frozen silver liningness of last week.

I'm happy to report that temperatures here have improved and the snow and ice is trying to melt.  After the first couple of days, fluffy pretty snow becomes crusty grungy and nobody wants that to hang around.  Plus, the temperatures feel almost human again.

AND, brother Guano surprised me with some new running duds in the mail this week!  Some  capri tights and a tech top from Brooks.  Unfortunately, it's been too cold for the capris as of yet, but I've got a good feeling I'll be "field testing" them in the next few days!

On a related note, I was walking home on Friday at about the time the elementary kids got out of school.  I saw this kid, Tyler, walking towards me.  Tyler used to hang out with me at the crosswalk each day after school.  He didn't even cross the street, he just liked hanging out.  In fact, he even told me that he wished he did cross the street so as to be part of the action.  He was one of the kids I knew I would miss when I left that post.

Anyways, I saw him walking towards me.  He was kicking a tennis ball he'd extracted from a pile of snow.  As he passed me, I said "Hello!".

"Hi", he responded and kept kick-walking.  A couple of paces further, he stopped and said, "HEY!"

So we had a nice little reunion.  He told me about how he'd won first place in the 5th grade spelling bee and so now is going to the regional bee.  If he gets first or 2nd in that, he'll go to the state bee.  I'm not one to put a lot of weight on spelling bees in general, but I'm excited for him.

And speaking of winning, we won Magnum's office football pool again last week.  WHOOO, it's almost like that powerball jackpot!  except... not...

And we think we've discovered China's issue with the stairs.  After noticing that she goes up and down the basement stairs just fine - in fact, she seemed to go up and down them JUST for dealing with the stress from her issue with the other stairs - we're pretty sure her problem is that the stairs going upstairs are too slippery for her comfort.  They're wood whereas the basement stairs are carpeted.

Any suggestions?  Short of providing my own self as a grippy human walkway?  (It has crossed my mind)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

done! (almost)

We're already in our last days of the semester.  Geesh, it seems like the semester was just starting, and I was getting used to the whole idea of being a college kid.  I still remember fighting the urge to take my shoes off in that hot classroom.

I'll admit, it took me a while to get used to being a student again.  Luckily, the program I'm in has a lot of old people people from prior careers returning to get their post-bachellorate teaching licenses, so we're in similar boats.

Somewhere along the way, I realized I was enjoying the process.  My partner for elementary student teaching is a kid - literally, fresh out of high school.  Nice guy, a little quiet and tentative, but he puts forth a good effort.  Strange having someone young enough to be my own child as a partner, and I'm sure it was weird for him too at first, but in the end, we had a good time and worked well together.

For middle school teaching, I was partnered with another mom-returns-to-school.  She's working on her math degree at the same time, and her content knowledge is a little behind mine, but she's a whiz bang at power points and other classroom technologies where I'm lacking.  Perfect match up.

So this week we had final presentations for each of those classes.  They were fun and went well, and now... they're over.  I'm signed up for the next round of classes.  Next week, I have a final exam in my math class, and then it's time for a long break before the spring term.

As we wrapped up the teaching classes this week, I was almost sad they were ending.  But when we all compared notes to see what we were taking next semester, most of us will be continuing on together, so that was comforting.

Now, one more week - all these deadlines are being checked off and I find myself with some room to breathe for a while.  It's like that last part of a race where you can see the finish line and get this sudden surge of energy...

Except, it's not... not really.

It's more like when you're cleaning the bathroom and you're putting all the cleaning supplies away and then you notice the grime in the shower tiles that just need a bit of scrubbing, but you just say, "Ah, screw it".

But I'll get there.  THEN, I will kick my shoes off.

For Mama Kat's prompt:

5.) Talk about a problem you tackled this week.

Though not really a "problem" - still a tackling.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Rifle: A Love Story

Based on actual events... of today...


Nice to meetcha, Rifle.  (China and Napolion don't agree).


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Silver Liningness Sunday

Greetings fellow Ice Agers!  Cold enough for ya??

Oh well, I'm happy to report that the sun is visiting us, at least for the time being. It's still cold, but brightly so.   Like Magnum says, maybe the sun reads my blog.

Still much to be grateful for this week, like a warm home and clothing.  I was out yesterday and saw what I think was a coyote.  It didn't look in very good shape - scraggly, limping and near frozen.  And I'm taking advantage by defrosting our freezer today.  The contents are out in the big walk-out freezer that is our back deck.

I was glad to not have class on Thursday.  The university didn't close altogether, but cancelled all classes before 10 a.m.  Mine that day starts at 9:25 - woot!  Meego got two full snowdays, hasn't been to school since Wednesday.  And I am grateful for the Metro bus system that gets me to school when bicycle commuting is out of the question.  It's clean, safe, and economical!  Okay, I got that from my bus schedule pamphlet, but it's true.  I do have a car, but prefer to not be a part of the congestion if I can help it, and the transit system makes it easy and convenient.  Here's one of the fleet all decked out for the Parade of Lights:

I love that they included the bicycle!

On Wednesday, when the storm was moving in, my dad went to fill their car with gas.  My parents are old and not in the best of health, and my brothers and I worry about them still living independently in their old house.  My dad had some troubles while getting gas - probably a combination of the bitter cold and his general health.  The gas station attendant could've just left him to struggle, but instead took action to get him needed help.  My little hometown gets teased somewhat for being a little podunk town.  Add the fact that it was once the sex change capitol of the world, and it can be the brunt of many a joke.  The people there are of the best though!  

Finally, here's a pencil portrait of Meego that one of his friends made during Thanksgiving break.  Isn't it good?  The artist is a middle schooler!  

My own artwork has taken a back seat while I'm going to school, so it's good to know there are still kids out there with pencils and sketchbooks doing other things besides cyber bullying each other!


Friday, December 6, 2013


Dear Sun,

I miss you.  I need you.  I realize that I can't live without you.  I'm just able to see you in pictures and videos.  It's not enough.

It feels only cold now.  Please come home.

Your Abby



Thursday, December 5, 2013

only miss the sun when it starts to snow


School was cancelled today.  Even for me.  My first snowday as a college kid return.  It's really the combination of snow and c-c-c-c-cold that got the Powers That Be to cancel today's round of learning.

I post the above thread from Meego's fbook to illustrate the coldness.  Even HE broke down and put on long pants.  I almost didn't recognize him.  We actually had to go out as the storm was moving in on Tuesday night to buy him some long pants since his current stash didn't look to include any that fit.  

So I've made use of the day stuck at home to scrub.  My floors are shiny shiny, and I evicted a rather large colony of dust bunnies.  

And now, since its Thursday, I thought I'd do some Mama Kat action with one of her prompts for the week:

5.) Something your child did or said this week that made you smile.

For Meego, I present the above.  More specifically, the 
  • "I lost".  *like* 

But, so as to not play favorites, I must include our other "children".

For Wolfgang, he's always been one to express his gratitude, very generous with the Thank Yous.  And he often relates things to me about how much he's enjoying college life.  He'd told me about a few kids from his high school class who like the local university, but didn't want to go there because they felt a need to get farther away since their parents would hover too much.  
  • "I'm glad you don't make me feel like that!"  *whew* (Tank Girl, not Helicopter Mom, remember?)

And here are a few of Chaco's contributions from a conversation we had regarding a couple of his roommates:
  • "I don't know why they're enrolled in college but don't care about their classes and grades" *inward beam*
  • "Well, I like to play video games too, but not All.  The.  Time."  *inner sigh of relief*
  • "Now I know why you got upset when we didn't clean up after ourselves!"  *Good God Hallelujah!*

And what the heck, here's my "daughter", China this morning:

"Jimminy Crickets, it's cold!"

I think that's dog expletive.  


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I won't treat you like you're typical

Baby, it's COLD outside!

The last few days, the meteorology people around town have been all a-twitter about this Siberian storm front headed our way.  It's here!

My weatherbug shows the temperature as one whole degree F.  Wind is 20mph.  That equates to a windchill of freaking cold.

So it was back on the bus for me this morning.  I arrived at the bus stop in all my bundled glory to find a large grocery bag full of a variety of snack bars sitting on the bus bench.  Was that left there intentionally or by accident?  I like to think that someone purposely left it there for bus rider freebies.  Still, I didn't take one - candy from strangers and all that.

Once on the bus, a woman I've ridden with before sat bundled.  She's also a student at the university - computer science.  Last time I rode it was snowing and she was singing "Let it Snow" at the bus driver's request.  

She actually has a very good singing voice.  When I first climbed aboard and heard it, I thought it was the music streaming through the bus radio.  

"You're not going to sing to us this morning?", I asked her

She covered her face, a little embarrassed, and said, "Well, the weather outside IS frightful...", but didn't break into further song.

Instead, we went into a more geeky conversation - she all computer science, me all engineer turned math teacher.  It occurred to her at one point that "Next March, we'll be able to celebrate a whole pi month instead of just pi day!"  Simple nerd pleasures, I can hardly wait.

For the ride home, I glanced out toward the bus stop from a windowed area in the University Center.  A woman in a motorized wheelchair was also there.

"Are you waiting for the 9 bus?", she asked me

"Yes, is that the one you're waiting for?"  

"Yeah, except I don't want to go out there because it's snowing and I'm in a wheelchair with no gloves and things are about to get real with this weather", she perceived.

I made sure the driver waited for her as things had gotten "real" since the morning.  It's snowing harder now, and sticking to everything.  I've shoveled the driveway, but you wouldn't know it.

I think the changes in atmospheric pressure are making the animals stranger than usual too.  My plecostomus, Jansen, has stopped his usual cleaning routine.  I got him a couple three months ago when it seemed that the fallout from the fishtank apocalypse had passed.  He went right to work and scrubbed that place clean.  But now, all he does is hang out with his fins up on the heater.  Drinking beers.  

My aquarium thermometer shows happy temperature, and I'll note that I keep the thermometer at the opposite end of the tank from the heater.  Yet it's as if Jansen's gone on a one-fish union strike.  The algae is getting the upper hand.  

Then there's the cat:

What does he think that is?  A heat sink?


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Silver Liningness Sunday

Welcome to the weekend wrap-up from the week of Thankfulness!

It was so nice to have a little break from the usual work/school grind and have all of the kids' smiling faces around the house.

Throw in a fun, charitable 5k and a colonoscopy, and who could ask for more?!

The local newspaper snapped this pic of Wolfgang and some Turkey Trot also-rans.  Wolfgang ran with a few of his running buddies from high school.  He finished at just over 20 minutes after not running for about a month and while nursing a slight cold.

I wish I could run at his bad day pace on a good day.

Although there was a bit of a break in classes, the actual work didn't slow all that much.  We're in the final push before the end of the semester, so lots of final projects and looming final exams.  The nice thing is that the light at the end of semeseter 1 tunnel is getting bigger and bigger, and I'm pretty happy with where I'm sitting.  I wasn't sure what going back to school would be like after so LONG, but it's been fun and I'm holding my own pretty well.

I also realized I've made a few school friends.  Even some classmates who rubbed me the wrong way in the initial weeks have turned out to be fun, and I find myself hoping they are in some of my classes next semester.

The house is currently very quiet except for the barking, sexing toads.  The menfolk all went to the shooting range while I finished some schoolwork.  Now that's done so I think I'll take China for her beauty walk.

Here's another newspaper photo from the Turkey Trot - The Flash winning.  I saw a bit of a post race interview with him.  He led most of the way but was passed at one point by the guy who would eventually take 3rd.   Flash regained the lead in the final mile.

"I had to, the crowd was all cheering for The Flash!"

There is something to be said for crowd support.

Thank you to my blog friends, for your support!