Wednesday, November 30, 2011

365: Winter Lindsay

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

365: Fog

We noticed last week that the fog is getting thicker and denser as we roll into winter here in Northern California. Chico sits in the valley between two giant mountain ranges. We're also upwind from San Francisco and Sacramento so anything that rolls in from the bay rolls into our valley and sits. Chico is very clean & green but unfortunately we suffer from the bigger city's pollution during the summer as it rolls on up. Looks like we get their fog too. The weirdest part is that it hovers over Chico and we live just far enough up the mountain to not get much of it at all. The past two days it has been blazingly sunny when we leave our house and as soon as we start our descent into Chico it's like we're flying through a ton of clouds. It usually clears up midday but returns for the drive home. I don't mind fog, and I surely love it more than snow, so if this is what winter is like around here, I'll take it!

(Thanks for snapping the picture while I drove babe!)

Monday, November 28, 2011

365: Anti-Bear Harness Contraption

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

365: Love & Hate

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

365: Tubby Time!!!

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

365: My Sparkly Hat!

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

365: Holy Leftovers

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

365: The Mess Before the Storm

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

365: Let the Madness Begin!

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

365: Three Jobs

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

365: Beautiful View

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

365: Heavy

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

365: Walk

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

365: And Costumes!!!

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

365: A Spot of Tea!

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

365: Wood Carrier/Stand

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 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

365: Shameless Self Promotion

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

365: Grading

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

365: Family Game Night!

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.

Friday, November 11, 2011

365: Yum Scrum

As it was Veteran's Day and California celebrates nearly every holiday I had the day off at home. I did a lot of cleaning, started catching up on my grading, and best of all, had one of my favorite lunch foods. French bread pizzas are a family favorite and one that's easy enough for even me to make! I ran out of Italian blend but a cheddar mix will do in a pinch. It was a good day at the end of a very bad week. Here's to the weekend!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

365: Freshly Manicured

And no that's not an innuendo. Unless by innuendo you mean "IT SNOWED IN INDIANA TODAY AND ALL WE GOT WAS OUR CAMPUS LAWN MOWED AND TRIMMED?" Then yeah, maybe.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

365: New Perspective

Now that we've "fallen back" it gets dark dramatically early. As in I took this picture after leaving my class at 5:15 pm. It's kind of weird. I teach during the day and am usually home way before dark so I've never seen campus at dusk. It's pretty. Not that this is shocking. Our campus is pretty darn gorgeous in general.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

365: Wackadoodle

I know I've had non-stop dog posts lately but they really are such a huge part of my (and our) life. And it's that time in the semester that we're just hunkered down trying to get to Christmas. So there are not a lot of photo ops. Our dogs ALWAYS provide good photo ops. 

Anyway, I'm pretty sure Daisy's brain has fallen out somewhere in the canyon. Lately she has been so goofy. Her latest thing is being a completely lazy slug with no bones in her body. Several times in the past few weeks we've gotten up from the couch and in the process rolled Daisy off of us. Rather than, ya know, MOVE or right herself, she just stays wherever she rolled off. It doesn't matter of she's upside down, laying wonky or being totally squished. And she'll lay there forever. Or until we get back to the couch and reposition her on our laps. She's totally insane.

Monday, November 7, 2011

365: And then there were four...

I still can't believe our little Stone is gone. All day long I've been looking around the house expecting to see him. When people would ask "How in the world can you have FIVE dogs?" I would always tell them that after 3 you don't really notice. While that is true generally, today having only 4 dogs has just been so...loud. The hole left in our family is heavy and big. This has pretty much been the stupidest day ever. The only thing that makes it better is the outpouring of love we've received from our family and friends from around the world. I know that everyone knows how important these dogs are to us and it means a lot that so many people took just a moment of their day to say kind things to us. I got 8 emails from my students telling me how sad and sorry they were (I cancelled class today and let them know why since I was out of town at APHA last week--I didn't want them to think I was just blowing off class). We gave ourselves the day to be sadder than sad; tomorrow we pick up the pieces and move on, but he will never be forgotten.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

365: Setting the Mood

Ange woke up with a bad cold so we did a lot of laying around today. We pulled the blinds down, fired up the stove and got warm and toasty. Very conducive to a lazy, rainy day in the canyon.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

365: Old Man Scare

We had a little bit of a scare today with Old Man Moses. He woke up not feeling well and looking pretty run down. He's 13 years old and possibly has cancer so we know that at any time we could lose him. He refused food and water all morning and was having trouble getting around. We steeled ourselves for a long, hard weekend. And like he is wont to do, he seemed to turn a corner around 1 pm and is bouncing back. I got him to eat some Scooby Snacks and he started getting thirsty. By dinner time he was behaving almost like normal again. We still have it in the back of our minds that our time left with him in little and precious, but for now I'm glad that he seems to be perked up again. We just love this old guy.

Friday, November 4, 2011

365: Insane Pointillism Car

I stopped by the grocery store on the way home this evening and couldn't help but capture the insane car parked in front on me. I'm all about outrageous and borderline tacky, but even I have my limits. And not only is this insane but who has the time to create such a detailed pointillism design on a beat-up old truck? So weird.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

365: My Nemesis

No, not her. Just that dang brown pillow in the foreground. My lovely wife likes to pretend she's a baby bird and sleeps in a nest of pillows. All night long the nest presses up against me trying to smother me. Luckily I'm bigger and stronger so I just push back. It would be nice if we could cuddle all night but I suspect I would just be playing a supporting role. Literally.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

365: Blizzard

Five days of conference was more than enough for me. I couldn't wait to get home. Apparently Denver had a bit of a blizzard Wednesday morning. Luckily this is all I had to see of it. Our flight was delayed about 45 minutes but that was a small price to pay to get home to sunny CA!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

365: Fancy, Not Functional

Josh and I had lunch at a fancy dim sum place near the convention center. Emphasis on fancy. It was overpriced, not that tasty and not entirely functional. I ordered some oolong tea (my fav) and it arrived looking cool and pretty. However have you ever tried drinking hot tea from a glass? Stupid. You can't pick it up because the glass gets way too hot. So I had to wait for my $4 (!) glass of tea to cool way down and by then it was time to run to our next session. I've never taken a shot of oolong until then. Meh.