Saturday, December 31, 2011
We are leaving Indy tonight. Apparently NYE is not a popular night to fly! I don't think I've ever seen a departure board this empty here. Hopefully the flights home go off without a hitch! Goodbye all my lovelies! We'll miss you and see you next year!
Friday, December 30, 2011
Ange's dad, brother and nephews came up for the evening and we decided to go out for Japanese for dinner. Only the two older nephews had ever been to hibachi so it was a fun experience to see the other Japanese "virgins" take in the experience. The best, of course, was Lane who is 6. You would have thought he died and went to heaven. My favorite part is when he said "Aunt Lindsay he was a REALLY good chef. You really should try this steak, I think it's the best I've ever had!" So cute and earnest. But even with cute overload I stuck to my veggies :)
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
We had a whirlwind day visiting various friends and family members. Spent the last part of the evening with two grad school friends. While we were at ARoth's house we lit the final candle on her menorah. Which was in front of a Christmas tree-like decoration. That's how she rolls yo. Good times.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
We had lunch with some Indy friends and Jen suggested we stop by Crown Hill Cemetery (3rd largest in US!) and check out the sites. Surprisingly Ange and I have never explored Crown Hill do we thought this was a GREAT idea. We saw James Whitcomb Riley's grave (which is apparently the highest point in Indy), went Geocaching (where I tripped and fell--smooth), and then spent a ridic amount of time finding Dillinger's grave. But it was worth it. Lots of giggles were had. Yay for vacation breaks and friends!
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Ange and I went to our second family's Christmas today--our traditional Nigerian feast. Being at the Obeime's made us realize how much we miss our African peeps. We are in a black hole of little diversity in Chico and although we knew this, being in Indiana drove that point home in a huge way. We're sad we didn't get to spend more time with the Obeime's but the few hours we had were a blast! And the food was super delicious! This has been the perfect Christmas all around :)
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Ange's dad bought a little Harley off of someone to add to his fleet of motorized vehicles. Ange couldn't resist the chance to take it out for a spin. Now she's convinced we need to buy it from him because it's the "perfect fit" for her. Keep dreaming sister sue. If we have $5K laying around somewhere that I don't know about I'm sure we can find something else for which we can use it!
Friday, December 23, 2011
Nothing reminds me more of my in-laws than a Polar Pop full of Big Red! Without fail, every time I see Ange's dad, brother or nephews one (or all of them) have a Polar Pop in their hand. Old Doug Funny got one today just to make me laugh. Good times :)
Thursday, December 22, 2011
We came down to Seymour to hang out with Ange's dad. We decided to have Mexican for dinner and splurged on some massive margaritas since we weren't driving--whoa nelly is all I have to say!
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I took my B-I-L on our annual "shopping for my sister's Christmas presents excursion" today. We both had to go to the bathroom and he said "I'll wait for you to go first" and I really was perplexed for a moment. Why is he waiting? And then I realized that men don't regularly use stalls and therefore don't have handy little hooks to hang their bags on when they use the bathroom. Huh. I never really thought about that. I don't go shopping that often with men so it didn't occur to me that men have a different shopping quandary to deal with. As I was washing my hands and holding my bags between my knees I also bet that men didn't know that trick either. Clint confirmed that he had never once in his life held a bag between his legs. He also shared that in bars, men have shelves over the urinals where they stash their drinks while peeing. Weird right? Interesting gender difference discovery today. I'm definitely using this in my lectures next semester.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
We went to see my BFF tonight and had a lovely evening first with her family and then with just us girls (the grown-ups). Ange snapped this picture of Chloe before we left. She's just too cute for words! Can't wait until we have one of our own :)
Monday, December 19, 2011
First night back in Indy and you know we had to hit up Pizza King with (part of) the fam! It was delish as usual. My dad was actually having fun contrary to the look on his face. My sister is just clearly insane.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
In less than two days we'll be freezing our buns off in Indiana! Can't wait to see all my Hoosier peeps. Gonna miss these dogs and this weather but we'll only be gone 13 days. Now to make sure we don't pack half the house...
Friday, December 16, 2011
Now that we've been settled in Chico for 5 months we're finally starting to make a lot more friends and surprisingly we've found some serious game fanatics amongst our new pals. We had another couple over this evening and had a TON of fun. Played lots of games, laughed, ate tons of food and generally enjoyed ourselves. Hopefully we'll be doing this a lot more in the months to come!
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Someone in our canyon (or something--the deets are sketchy) got a grant to hire The Fire Service to come create defensible space on our road for fire prevention. So in case of a canyon fire, in theory, our road and the additional defensible space surrounding it will help prevent the fire from burning up the entire canyon. They've been out every day for the past 2 weeks clearing brush, cutting tree limbs (and sometime whole trees), and raking stuff around. At the end of each day they stack logs on the side of the road. I don't know if we're supposed to take them but dang, they just sat there for days looking so ready to be transported to our home to dry out and become firewood for our stove. So after days of temptation we grabbed a few. However most of what they cut we're in way too big chunks for our use. Apparently they've been monitoring our pilfering and he realized we only take small logs. Today I hit the mother lode because they stacked up so many small, appropriately sized logs I finally filled up the car! We'll have to see if any last til tomorrow or if our grubby neighbors get in on our gig too.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Daisy, the notorious escape artist of the harness/collar contraption, has gotten a new harness. We spied it this weekend at Petco and decided to give it a whirl. It only fastens in with a strap in one area and the rest is a wide swath of mesh covering most of the upper body. It appears to be working. She's tried twice to shrug out of it and has not been successful. We think it's because it creates almost a turtleneck style neckline on her due to the whole mesh connectedness piece. I'm sure given time and with enough effort she could Houdini her way out, but luckily she only has to be in it at nighttime when we can keep an eye on her. She's not THAT quick with it like she was with her other one. And while she doesn't love it, she sits patiently while I slip it on her and looks only a little bit pathetic with it on!
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
There are tons of wild mushrooms growing in the canyon. There are at least three different species that grow in our gravel alone. I've seen two or three others growing out in our yard too. I'm totally a mushroom lover--as long as I know what they are (for 100% sure) and that they aren't either some poisonous killer mushroom or some trippy psychedelic mushroom. However all the ones growing around our house are suspect. So they piss me off continually every time they pop up. I don't want the dogs to eat them so I'm constantly digging them up and flinging them in the garbage. I just wish they'd stay away!
Monday, December 12, 2011
No Ange isn't praying or reaching towards the light. She's conducting. Like a choir director. And what is it she's conducting? Alvin & The Chipmunks sing "Christmas Don't Be Late." Love her. She's such a crazbo.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
We decided to do one of our favorite things on our anniversary: geocaching! We were 10 for 10! Score! We also saw some really awesome sights and had lots of giggles. Best. Day. Ever.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Whilst meandering around Chico today we decided to stop at the $0.99 store. Ange has been wanting binoculars for a while and she was in luck! Granted they aren't the most powerful set in the world but 4x zoom for a buck was still a steal. She spent the next 20 minutes reading signs and license plates to me. I was trying them out at a stop light and when I turned to look at her with them she screamed so loud I flung them into the door. She of course died laughing. The best part was that they didn't even break! Now that's really giving them 4 stars!
Friday, December 9, 2011
I have been craving oatmeal cookies for about two weeks now. Tonight I finally remembered to grab some oatmeal at the store before I came home. One of the few things you can find me willingly cooking! Yum scrum!!!
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Sam is obsessed with all things soft and papery. He raids the trash can all the time; he's even figured out how to use the step can in our bathroom. He drags bits and pieces around all day long and lovingly shreds them into millions of pieces. For the past two days he's been tearing up massive amounts of Kleenex and we couldn't figure out where it was all coming from. Ange finally discovered a box of tissues that had fallen off a side table that he had hidden between the couch and the table. He was mad when we busted him. Better luck next time buddy.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
This picture doesn't do any justice to the beautiful view that we are (sometimes) treated to on our way into Chico each day. The mountains look 10 times bigger and more beautiful with your naked eye. The only thing that ruins the view are smoggy or foggy days. As the fall settled in (and we've not yet hit the winter rains) we seem to have less of those days so it's all picturesque days for now!
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
EEP! We woke up this morning and there was FROST on the grass on the hill behind the house! It wasn't anywhere else (this is the shadiest part of the house) but STILL! It was enough to make me die a little on the inside. Allegedly there's a cold front moving down from Canada and it's supposed to be even chillier tomorrow. The high in Forest Ranch is only 45! I guess this is good considering we'll be in Indiana in exactly two weeks. Help us grow some hair on our chests or something...
Sunday, December 4, 2011
See that little bundle of blonde-ness curled up on the floor in my blankie? Ever since the doggies were dis-invited onto the couches Carmie likes to share with me in whatever way she can. It usually involves sleeping under or on top of my couch snuggling blanket or my slippers. Good thing I have such a big blanket (it's at least a queen size blanket)! My little shadow needs to stay comfy :)
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Our second social event of the weekend has been described as a very exclusive dinner party where we were instructed to "dress up" to the hilt. Ange doesn't have many dressy clothes (mostly business casual) do I thought matching Native African attire would be our best bet. Plus I have a billion native outfits that I never get to wear so this is a great excuse! Ange is less thrilled but she's playing along because she is AWESOME like that.
Friday, December 2, 2011
Ange and I are trying to be more social. We don't have too many close friends here -- a few but we don't want to burden the few we have so we feel the need to branch out. Partially it's due to the fact we live out in the sticks and partially we just haven't made enough effort. We've resolved to fix that! So far it's mainly consisted of us being our charming selves and not turning down invitations but we're gradually working up to inviting people to do things ourselves! Tonight we went to the LGBT Faculty & Staff Dinner and it was awesome. More positive reinforcement to not be lame!
Thursday, December 1, 2011
A good friend wrote me an email today and called me "Ms. Organization" which I thought was funny and I was sitting here amongst my notes related to the bear incident I thought about how I best manage stress, particularly related to things I have little control over, and it really is about me being methodical and organizing the shit out of anything I CAN control that makes me feel better. My sliding glass door measurements might not stop a bear from coming in but dammit they make me feel a little braver!
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Any time it drops below 50 degrees I feel the need to bundle up like Nanook of the North (see picture). I am glad I live in California instead of Indiana as this greatly reduces the amount of time I'll spend freezing this winter, but it does still fall below 50 here (especially in the canyon) late at night through early morning. Luckily I have my trusty rusty marshmallow jacket and faboo sparkly hat to keep me warm when we take the doggies out.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
(Thanks for snapping the picture while I drove babe!)
Monday, November 28, 2011
Daisy is a mastermind when it comes to escaping. She's pretty much the Houdini of dogs. She's had to wear a harness her whole life because she can wiggle out of a collar in nothing flat. She has even mastered wiggling out of a harness. When taking her on a leash we had to thread it on the underneath side or she'd yank it right over her head. This weekend while running through the canyon she must have gotten trapped on something and lost her harness in the process. She came home "naked" and with harness burns around her neck and scrapes all over her belly. We had been worried that might happen and that sealed the deal for a microchip and no more harness. We've been taking her out at night on a leash for the past few months because if we don't she runs around for hours in the dark. Tonight I took her out with a back up harness and when I was rounding up the other dogs she slipped out of it. However with tonight's bear scare this has become completely unacceptable. So I decided to outsmart her and rig up a two part system. She's wearing a harness and I've attached a regular collar around her waist and connected them with the leash! She. Is. Pissed. There is no way for her to get out of it! The first time it was a little tight and she kept bucking like a bronco and flopping over like a fish. We were dying. But she's gotten used to it and it keeps her safe!
Sunday, November 27, 2011
I have poison oak AGAIN. For about the eleventy millionth time since moving here. I have it on both my arms and on my eyes. Lovely. I think it's from the dumb wood we use for our wood stove even though we've worn gloves and long sleeves every time we've carried it. It's just my lot in life.
On the other hand in the background you can see my 1/3 of the bed (because SOMEONE uses the other 2/3) that I LOVE and can't wait to crawl into in .2 seconds!
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Since we've been working outside on the camper for 4 days the dogs have had free roam of the canyon. It's pretty much been the best 4 days of their lives. Until this evening. Because then it was tubby time. Sam decided to roll in something that looked like a poop/mud mixture and smelled like straight up vomit. The two girls have been running through the damp dirty canyon and were due for a bath anyway. Duke doesn't get baths inside usually because he is terrified of the tub and Sheps aren't supposed to take baths much because of their skin issues (of which Duke has many). He also doesn't get into much so he doesn't get too dirty like the other three. He'll get a bath in the spring. None of them like the bath, but Daisy looks the most miserable so she got to be the 365 photo star! Poor sad doggie. But now they all smell so nice and clean!
Friday, November 25, 2011
I freaking love this hat. I could pretty much wear it all day every day. It's comfy, warm and down right snazzy. I bought it in July about 3 years ago. It was on clearance for $1.99. I think I was with one of my sisters or friends. She (whoever she was) thought I was a total weirdo for buying a winter hat in the middle of an Indiana summer. But duh, how else can you score deals like this??? I've worn it every day during gypsy trailer remodel and I think it's what's adding that extra bit of pizazz to this whole undertaking. **Jazz hands!**
Thursday, November 24, 2011
In addition to working on gypsy camper all day, Ange whipped up a 12 course Thanksgiving meal. And now our fridge is stuffed to the gills. We will be eating leftovers until next year I'm pretty sure. Luckily it was DELICIOUS! And I didn't have to do any cooking. Just clean up. And lots of it. But I'll take that any day over cooking. Thanks babe! I love you!
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
The building storm that is. Today we shredded gypsy trailer apart and made a giant list of needed goods for repairs and decorations. Then we spent eleventy million hours at Lowe's & Home Depot. We got everything we needed except two panes of glass and a new counter top. Tomorrow will be major construction and the beginning of decorating. Can't wait to see it take shape!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
My mom and stepdad arrived from Long Beach tonight. They brought an army of supplies with them to overhaul gypsy trailer. I can't wait to get started!
Monday, November 21, 2011
I officially three jobs to do today: take care of the dogs, keep the fire in the wood stove going, and take a shower before Ange got home. She was supposed to be home at 7. I barely made it. Life is rough.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
We spent several hours in Chico today at the Harvest Feast sponsored by Stonewall Alliance Chico (Ange's work). We caught the sunset as we were coming home and some pretty valley fog to boot! How can you not love coming home to this?!?!
Saturday, November 19, 2011
The evening sky tonight was lovely. It felt like the clouds were heavy and sagging and ready to unleash a downfall at any moment. But they didn't. We love the way the clouds cling to the top of the canyon. It's a lovely view from down here. You should come and visit sometime and see for yourself.
Friday, November 18, 2011
You know those buttons you are supposed to push when you need to cross the street and you push them about a million times hoping and wishing that they'll actually change the light but you know all you're really doing is taking out your frustration at your powerlessness? Yeah, well here they actually work like they are supposed to. Within about 30 seconds of pushing one they light actually does change. It's amazing. Ange and I thought it was like a magic trick when we first moved here. We're going to be so spoiled when we go back to the "real world" where they're mostly ornamental.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
My community health students are doing their end of the semester group presentations. One of today's groups was doing environmental health issues and their priority focus was pesticide related health. To my immense surprise and joy they came prepared in full safety gear and did their presentation dressed just like this. They had so much enthusiasm and were very knowledgeable about their topic. I just love them. It was the perfect way to head into Thanksgiving break!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Ange has been having weird reactions to caffeine and/or aspartame so she's been trying to avoid coffee and soft drinks. Which pretty much leaves water. And water gets boring after a while. After our new friends invited us over for tea this weekend we thought it might be good to incorporate tea drinking into our routine instead of so many soft drinks and coffee. And because we're weirdos we feel the need to slap on a British accent and ask each other if we'd like a spot of tea rather than "hey, want me to turn on the water for tea?" We're totes weird. We know this and we're ok with it. Cheerio good friends!
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Now that we're wood stove users we needed to acquire some wood apparatus. In particular we needed something to carry and stack the wood inside so there isn't a trail of icky moss and wood fragments all over the place. I did my best Amazon.com shopping and found this little gem. It got good reviews (good bang for the buck) so I ordered it. It came today and I even put it together! Look at me! Being all butch and shit. It's not fancy but I think it's going to fit our needs well.
Monday, November 14, 2011
I'm trying to teach a course during our long winter intersession/break. It's extra money that we could really use and will give me something to do (that I HAVE to do) so my brain doesn't turn to complete mush during our 6 week break. It's going to cut into doggie cuddle time and SVU marathons but doggie toys ain't cheap so they'll deal with it. I have 16 students signed up and I have to have a minimum of 20 so I need to go on a full court press for these last two weeks. My dad would be proud of that sports analogy BTW. I'm keeping it simple and playing up the positive aspects. Come on students, you know you want it.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
It's that time of the year where I start to have a lot of grading to do. I have all of my big "term papers" due in my classes, plus regular assignments and class activities. With 145 students and no TA it's a lot to do. I decided I'm going to have to crack down between now and the end of Thanksgiving break to get all caught up. Then I'll just have a few things to do before the end of the term. It's time to get in the zone peeps!
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Ange and I were total slugs today. We ate junk all day and laid around on the couch watching tv all day. So we decided we should take a break and maybe stimulate our bodies in SOME way. So we had family game night! Ange kicked my butt at Guess Who? eight times and then I beat her in Scrabble twice. She was really close the first game which was awesome because it was the first time she ever played in her life! I smoked her the second game though. Hehe.