Saturday, December 29, 2018

2018 rewind

It's time again for the year-end rewind.  Whew, 2018, we hardly knew ya!

Before charging onward into 2019, I'm recalling a few  events - mostly in pics - of the year past:

Got in the first miles and a medal on the New Year's Day "Rain, Snow, or 20-below" Rescue Run 10k.  It was chilly, but I discovered animal crackers and hot Gatorade.

Spent plenty a good time with my P.E.O. sisters...

Nearly froze again when the weather took an arctic turn during the Super Bowl half marathon.  I don't remember feeling as smiley at this point in the race.  I think my face was just frozen in this expression.

We FINALLY went mountain biking

Final prom tux rental?

We sponsored a local high schooler for a P.E.O. scholarship, and she GOT it!

Meego's high school let him graduate 😊

Chaco got a cool dog.

Wolfgang got a cool cat

Our neighborhood finally got decent-speed internet, so I could expand my nerd skills to online tutoring

Wolfgang got a new job and Meego conveniently enrolled at the university in Wolfgang's nice new hometown.  We can visit them both during not parent's weekend and otherwise.

I was thankful to trot my turkey on Thanksgiving.

And we end the year with the acquisition of sweetie pie Penny!

All in all, a good year! There was plenty more, but this has droned on long enough.  I did also make some delightful new blog friends and kept some old ones. 

I can honestly say that the highs outnumbered the lows, and I am truly blessed.  

Thanks to everyone who stops by!  Hope to see ya next year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

it's a wrap

Happy day-after, everyone.  I, for one, am glad Christmas is behind us.  Don't get me wrong, I love the seasonal break and time with family and to reflect.  I'm not a fan of the over consumption of stuff and the stress it brings to so many.  I don't participate in that part, but I know there are those who really enjoy finding creative and quirky gifts for people, though, and don't mean to spoil their fun.

We live not far from a  mall.  Although malls have lost  a lot of traffic in recent years, Christmas time seems to forget about that.  So I'm glad to have less traffic in the area now... oh, wait, there are weeks now of people returning stuff... 'tis the season.

We had a nice day at home.  Wolfgang arrived about mid-morning.  Traditionally, we've had ham and my awesome scalloped potatoes.  This year, I replaced the scalloped potatoes with glazed sweet potatoes because lactose intolerance has infiltrated the family (Chaco, Meego).  Meego looked almost disappointed, stating, "Sometimes it's worth it".

Wolfgang brought some lemon bars, and my SIL had brought over a food-truck pie earlier in the week, so I didn't have to slave over the dessert like I usually do (go to the store, buy a pie).

There were gifts for the kids because, well, I can't resist THAT much.

We spoiled Penny, the new pooch, then the four of us went for a nice afternoon hike as the sun set.  It was nice to see others out enjoying the great outdoors.  As we walked along, we passed a few random evergreens that someone had decorated with Christmas ornaments - nice touch.  This would be a good spot for a pic of said trees, but I didn't think of it.

Use your imagination:

Plus, Wolfgang recently got a new phone that takes really nice photos.  Here's one he took of Penny that's so much better than the blur blobs from my camera.

See how his camera sharply picked up every piece of grit and grime on the rug?  We still don't know what she is, breed-wise. We've narrowed it down to some kind of hound mixed with who-knows.   I think she's just her own little melting pot.

Chaco and his girlfriend came over shortly after Wolfgang had to leave, since Wolfgang's working today.  Chaco and Jess had been up skiing, so missed all the earlier frivolity at our house.  We had a nice visit with them, and they further helped eat the food-truck pie.

All in all, a good day with much to be thankful for.  Now onto the next - New Year's resolution time! 😳

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry / Happy [state your holiday]!

Merry Christmas, blogpeople!  Thanks for stopping by.

I'm grateful for all of my blog friends and look forward to reading more about all of you in the coming new year.

I hope everyone is feeling the love and warm fuzzies.  I'll leave you with this strange floating-head graphic.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Penny for your thoughts?

Meego and I visited the local humane society on Friday, as planned.  Not surprisingly, we ended up bringing home a new family member.  It's for this reason we had NOT visited the humane society until Friday. Who can resist!

Some readers may recall that we had two dogs:  Domino and China.  Our dog count decreased by one when Domino succumbed to pancreatic cancer about 10 years ago, and sweet China became our sole pooch until we had to say good-bye after she'd reached the ripe old age of 17 years about a year and a half ago.

We thought we might foster Greyhounds, but the cat wasn't having it.

So we'd talked about getting another pooch, but waited for the timing to be right.  And here we are, Meego's home on break from school for a good month.  Magnum's got a buncha holiday time off.  I'm in the seasonal lull.  Sounds like pooch time to me!

Blog, meet Penny.  Penny, blog...

We don't know much about her beginnings, she transferred here to Colorado from New Mexico.  The staff estimates she's 3 to 4 months old.  She weighs about 15 pounds and is a total cutie.  She's the only dog we visited with at the shelter. We were also the first to visit with her.  She had been made available for adoption just that morning and I'm 99.9% sure someone else would have adopted her that day if we didn't.

The shelter was BIZ-ZEEE on Friday.  Here I thought we could go when it was relatively slow, beat the weekend crowds. HA.  But it's good to see so many dogs "flying off the shelves" of the shelter.

She was spayed on Saturday morning, and we picked her up in the afternoon.  She was a bit groggy but has been playfully coming around today.

...although as I look through my pics, it seems she's always laying around

Oh well, making herself at home, which is nice.

Well, the cat's still a bit "WTH?!"

Friday, December 21, 2018

holiday squishes and kettle burns

Went for my annual mammogram yesterday, nice to have that completed for the year.  I am grateful that these things have historically been only minorly discomforting with no anxiety.   *squish*squish*squish*   "thanks, you can go now" and then get the all-clear a short while later.  No family history, relatively low risk (small asian boobs... ).

So THAT's done for the year.  On  a side  note, the mammogramologist / mammographer / mammotechnician / not sure of her actual title - told me that I have "well developed pectoralis muscles".  HA!  Well, I've been going to the gym more regularly since last spring.  I don't notice much difference from the "before", but I'm sure she's handled a lot more boobs than I have in order to make an informed comparison.  Anyways, it prompted her to make an additional *squish* angle, and then I was done.

I came home and started doing some work after putting the kettle on for tea.  A while later, I emerged from my desk to find the kitchen kind of hazy.  *GASP*- the tea kettle!  I forgot about it, all the water boiled away, and I burned out yet another kettle.  Yes, this has happened before 😒

So, the happy ending is that I now have a shiny new kettle.  My old one was a cheapo from which the cheap spot weld holding the whistle in place failed after about one week of use.  I replaced it with a, hopefully, better stronger whistle.  Because I can be stupid and need these things.

In aquarium news, I've got 6 fish now.  The roots of my bamboo are growing, but I can't tell if the actual stalks are growing.  Oh well, I'll take roots.

In looking at my calendar, I currently don't have any tutees scheduled for the next 6 days - not surprisingly.  I asked Meego if he wants to go with me today to the pet shelter "just to look" at the dogs available for adoption.  

Just gonna look.  

I think.

Monday, December 17, 2018

the lost boys

We picked up Meego for winter break from college last Friday.  He'd moved to a new dorm just the weekend before, and for that, I'm grateful.

One of Meego's good friends from high school also attends this university.  They'd tried to room together, but didn't get all their info in on time apparently.  But no biggie, they still hang out.  The university has an app that's "kinda like Tinder" where incoming freshmen can peruse profiles and find compatible roommates and get to know each other a little ahead of time.  Seems like a good thing, in theory.

So Meego found a roommate through the app. We met him on move-in day, and he seemed like a nice enough guy.  And he does have some good traits... but those traits are all fuzzed because of the copious amounts of drugs the dude uses.

It's sad really.  Meego says he'd start smoking weed first thing after waking up in the morning, and he's clearly addicted to JUUL pods.  In the short time Meego's known him, the roommate's done Molly, mushrooms, and cocaine, along with weed and booze and who-knows-what-else.  He says he won't do PCP. Well, nice to know the kid has discriminating tastes.

When we met the kid on move in day, he came across as outgoing and friendly, excited to be in college.  I'd say he had "the look" of a potential partyer, but a good portion of college kids have that look.  Meego says there were times when people would come into the room and roommate would just be staring into space with his mouth open, oblivious to others in the room.

Meanwhile, Meego's HS friend was in a 4-bed suite.  One of the 4 messed himself up by mixing alcohol and Xanax.  Twice.  He was sent packing after the second strike, another sad story.

But hey, there's a silver lining.  Meego and HS buddy and HS buddy's remaining suitemates started thinking about Meego moving out of the drug den an into the vacated 4th bed.  Meego was dealing with the situation pretty well, but still, Magnum and I were all, "Hell yeah, see what you gotta do".

So they made it happen.  I thought the university would just wait until the start of next semester, but they moved Meego a week before the break, and we picked him up from the new digs.  Not only does Meego have better roommates, it's just a nicer dorm - newer and nicer facilities.

This helped to not hurt druggie roommate's feelings.

Meego:  So my friend's got a vacancy in his suite, and I'm gonna move into it.
Drug dude:  Oh, cool.  Yeah, that's a nicer dorm
Meego:  Yah...

Meego let the ex-roomie keep the (our) dorm fridge and microwave since he would otherwise have to go without.  The ex will supposedly pay Meego for them, but I'm not going to hold my breath.  I think the whole thing has Meego appreciating where he is now

Got any "interesting" dorm / roommate experiences to share?

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

ringing in the season

We got us one of them Ring®️ doorbells.

Magnum wired it up last weekend, and it seems to be doing its thing.  As far as I know, we've not been victims of porch pirates *knock on wood* *throw salt over the shoulder*, but I know it's becoming a pretty common crime with people increasingly shopping online.

So we'd talked about getting a Ring or some such for a while and finally installed one.  I'm happy to say the feed has been quite boring so far.  It's mostly of my comings and goings along with footage of the neighbor cat looking for Napolion, and one entertaining video of magpies either fighting or engaging in foreplay, not sure which.

I've also learned that amazon has lockers to use for deliveries.  There's a Whole Foods about a mile away from our house, so I'm going to try the locker system next time I order something from Amazon.  Anyone need anything? For my experiment?

Maybe I'll order some fish stuff as my aquarium is starting to take shape.  I added three male guppies, a plecostomus, and a little pagoda lantern thing.

It still seems like there's a lot of empty water space in there, but I'm pretending to believe that the plants are growing and bulbs are sprouting.  

Anyone else have some sort of surveillance system for home or work?  Any stories to share?

Monday, December 10, 2018

party talk

We seem to be in the thick of Holiday merriment now.  I don't have any decorations up whatsoever, but I see them popping up all around.

I'm not sure what I'll do for the house this year.  In previous years, I've filled our front windows with lights, which looked very pretty from the outside.  On the inside, though, it involved lots of tape on the windows.  Now we have these nice new windows, and I don't want to hang lights in them.

I might have to face my fears and get on a ladder.

Speaking of lights and festivities, my P.E.O. chapter had our holiday party on Saturday.  It was a good time, and we got the annual Von Trapp staircase photo:

While Dee, our hostess, was setting up her camera for the shoot, I leaned my head back to fake catch 40 winks on the pillow the woman behind me was holding - she'd acquired it during the gift exchange - noting how comfy it was.

"That's not a pillow", she informed.  HA!  Well, it was quite warm and comfy, nonetheless...

During the party, I had a vegetarian conversation with one of my sisters who is a longstanding vegetarian.  I think I'm going to be one now.  For a trial period at least anyways.  So far, I'm one day in.

Speaking of animals and not eating them, I thought I'd share this shot of the duck / goose pond as a follow up to the goose carnage that happened last weekend.  There are still geese a-plenty, and all the poop that goes with them.  Hopefully these know that mingling with motorized traffic is not a good idea.

So, I have a question for those who've managed to read this far.  During the P.E.O. party, one of the ladies gave a blessing before the meal, as we always do for meal get togethers.  Now, P.E.O. is non secular, however...

involves inspirational readings chosen by members, but P.E.O. meetings and activities do not reference, require or promote any particular religion or religious practice...

That said, I can confidently state that the majority of  P.E.O. members are Christian with varying degrees of piousness.  In a lot of cases, including my own, it's mostly a result of living in this country.  But the organization has been pushing for more inclusiveness in recent years, and I do know of a few non-Christians in the mix.

SO, back to the party and the dinner blessing.  It was VERY Jesus heavy.  In the past, whoever's done the blessing gave more of a generic blessing of the food and sisterly love, support, and fellowship, etc.  But this time, it was Jesus Jesus Jesus, and blood, and... well, perhaps you get the picture.

I don't think I was the only one who felt it over the top, but nobody was about to stop her.  I just wonder about the impression it made on the 4 or 5 guests in attendance who are not yet in P.E.O. but thinking they might want to be.

My question:  If attending an event thrown by a charitable organization of "no particular religion or religious practice" that suddenly turns very churchy, do you find that off-putting?

Friday, December 7, 2018

give a girl a fish

Yesterday, I was at the university library to meet with a student.  As mentioned, they're in the thick of semester finals, and the library was abuzz with tension.  I don't miss those days, but they were so long ago for me, I hardly remember.  Still, though, if I could remember, I don't think I'd miss them.

I arrived a bit early and was out in one of the common areas while I waited.  There was a girl sitting at a nearby table, talking to herself as she studied, surrounded by papers, books, calculator.  I could tell she was doing math.

"Okay... okay... I know how to do this...", she was saying to herself, or God, or somebody.

For me, I'm sensing an upcoming slow down in business with the winter break coming soon and high school seniors finishing up their college applications.  So I'm thinking up some little projects to fill the free time.

On that note, here's some aquarium progress.

I've got the water properly conditioned, added some gravel and bubblin'.  Yesterday, I planted a few plants along with some bulbs that are "guaranteed to sprout".

Guaranteed?  So... what if they don't sprout?

I've never had a tank this tall before, always had shorter, wider rectangular tanks.  I like the look of this tall hexagonal, but I have to stick my whole arm in up to my armpit to reach the bottom.  There are probably tools for installing plants at the bottom of tall tanks, but I don't feel the need to geek out quite that much yet.

So after putting in what I thought were relatively tall plants, they look so short and tiny.  I need a tall chunk of driftwood or something before I'm ready for actual fish.  Hopefully I won't experience the mass death that happened with the last aquarium.

"Okay... okay... I know how to do this..."

In other updates, we've still got this Bacon Hot Chocolate.  Any takers?

Anyone else have an upcoming break in workaday stuff?  Planning to eat anything weird?

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

humidity, carnage, anxiety

*FOOM*  It's Wednesday, already!

  • It's been a busy few days, but all good.  On Monday, we had a whole house humidifier installed and I feel better already.  Who knows, maybe the thing isn't even doing anything and it's all placebo effect.

I know that, in some states, DE-humidifiers are the thing, but here in Colorado, the air can get very dry - especially indoors in the winter.  I declared myself done with putting up with stand alone 1-room humidifiers.

I'd been thinking about it for a while, and a couple of weeks ago, we had our furnace tune-up.  I'd planned to ask the tech about a humidifier.  Magnum was home for Thanksgiving break, and almost on cue, he got a bloody nose, which made for a nice segue to begin the humidifier discussion.  Now we own one.

  • We were watching Ella, Chaco's pooch, last weekend.  We took her out for a walk and came upon an area where a bunch of geese were hanging out, not far from a road.  As we approached, the geese began to disperse from the sidewalk by waddling off to the side, HOWEVER, two of the geese decided to TAKE OFF FLYING across the road.  

What followed was not pretty.  They were taken out by an SUV that was going over the speed limit, especially dangerous given the fact of all the geese hanging out by the side of the road .  The sound was awful - imagine taking a big grocery store chicken and throwing it full-force at your car - accompanied by a flurry of feathers.

One goose was injured and able to scamper back to safety, but I don't know how bad its injuries were.  The other one took almost a direct hit and lay twitching in the road for what seemed like an eternity before it stopped moving altogether.

I felt bad because I'm pretty sure the geese were wanting to move away from the approaching dog.  We were just walking, though, not moving fast.  And Magnum reminded me that that SUV driver was going too fast.  But sorry, Mr. or Mrs. Goose.  RIP.  I've found "comfort" in this story to assure me that geese aren't always angels...

  • Busy times in the tutin' world currently.  Semester finals and such have these students on edge.  I'm hoping to be a calming presence.  Well, one can hope anyways.  Colleges around here have winter breaks that last an entire month, so there will be plenty of time to shut the brains off soon.

Honestly, I used to think that "test anxiety" or "math anxiety" were just terms for people who didn't want to put in the work.  But I've met a few people for whom their anxiety is a real obstacle despite their best efforts.  Wish I had a fix-it recipe.