April 30, 2009

A Heavy Heart

A very close friend of the family had a stroke last night. I'm not sure of the prognosis but from what I've heard, I think the end is close.

When I was born she made my mom and dad a baby quilt to honor my arrival. In 2006, she made one for C and I to honor KT's arrival. Both pieces are cherished items in my household.

Tonight I made sure to pull it out and tuck the little one in, extra tight with it.

The quilts on the bottom left are the ones she made -- the bottom one is mine, the middle one with the flowers/frogs is KT's.

My thoughts and prayers are with her immediate family right now. May God watch over them all.

April 29, 2009

Sister, Sister

As it is now technically April 30th in the Eastern Time zone, I can officially wish my sister a Happy Birthday!


I'm lucky to have a fantastic relationship with my sisters. I desperately wish that I could see them more often but know that the blame falls squarely on my shoulders for moving away from home.

I hope that you have a fantastic Birthday, Stretch! I'm so proud of the person you are today. You are an incredible daughter, sister, wife, (step) mom, aunt AND friend! May you have a wonderful day today.

Love you!

April 27, 2009

The Curse of Spring

We had some beautiful weather here in Idaho last week -- numerous days of 70 degree temperatures and sunshine. When the weekend rolled around and the sun was continuing to shine (albeit slightly cooler than our temps during the week), we took the chance to get out in the yard and start doing work.

C put on his incredibly sexy rubber boots and tilled the garden areas. We turned the sprinkler system on and adjusted sprinkler heads. I dug up some ornamental grasses from my front flower beds and split them -- redistributing the smaller sections into the flower beds along the back fence.

We even browsed through the local nursery looking at their flower selection and trying to get planting ideas. I bought all of the seeds I want to plant in the garden, but refrained from buying any tender, young plants. I learned a valuable lesson last year regarding how sly spring in Idaho can be. I did buy the final burning bush I want to fill in an area of my flower bed but refrained from planting in Saturday night.

I'm glad I made the decision to forgo any planting on Saturday (besides redistributing the grasses) because we woke up to 2" of snow yesterday morning.

Gotta love Idaho.

April 21, 2009

The Final Countdown

After countless, futile attempts to get an answer, I was finally told yesterday that the review panel will meet on May 4th to discuss the grant proposals. Letters will be sent out by the 11th notifying applications if their projects were funded or not.

If the project gets funded, I'll work through the end of June (unless money is drummed up elsewhere) and then go on hiatus until the new project is started. That could be as early as late fall but will probably be pushed back until shortly after the first of the year. When the project is started I'll end my leave of absence and hit the ground running. Going on hiatus ensures that I won't have to reapply for my job when we get the funding; quitting outright would mean I would have to be rehired.

If the project gets rejected for funding, it's the final strike. Where do I go from here? I'm still not sure. I've been watching job openings to see if anything catches my eye but haven't found anything overly promising so far. If I had a background in plant pathology I'd be pretty well set (a position equivalent to mine is opening up for a new hire at the R&E Center, so I could potentially just shift to his project) but it's my weak spot so that door has been closed.

On one hand I'm glad to know that in less than 3 weeks I'll have a more definitive answer. At the same time, I dread having it.

Anyone want to admit that they now have that song in their head?

April 16, 2009

My Favorite Things

One of the books I'm reading asks the reader to "write down a list of [at least] 50 activities that you love". So here it goes...

  1. Sipping coffee while watching the sun rise
  2. Planting flowers in the garden and flower beds
  3. Picking flowers from mountain meadows
  4. Watching fruits/vegetables grow from seed into something edible, knowing that I helped to make it happen
  5. Laying in the grass and watching the clouds
  6. Driving on dirt roads
  7. Getting flowers for no apparent reason
  8. Driving past the entrance of Yellowstone
  9. Watching Old Faithful erupt
  10. Spending time in Arches National Park
  11. Drinking beer at Moab Brewery
  12. Exploring new places
  13. Traveling with my husband and daughter
  14. Having family/friends visit
  15. Wandering through fabric shops, looking at beautiful fabrics
  16. Picking out fabrics and planning new craft projects
  17. Taking fabrics and turning them into a beautiful gift, watching the pieces morph into something before my eyes
  18. Hiking into a valley I've never seen before
  19. Spending 3 days on a backpacking trip and never seeing or hearing another person (besides those in the group)
  20. Shopping with my sisters
  21. Driving tractor, working ground
  22. Sleeping in and waking up to a day that holds no plans
  23. Going out to breakfast unexpectedly
  24. Reading the newspaper on a lazy Sunday
  25. Napping with the dogs on a random weekday afternoon
  26. Snowshoeing through fresh powder
  27. Casting my fly-line onto a perfectly still tailwater
  28. Cooking delicious meals for my friends/family
  29. Spending holidays with people I love
  30. Picking out perfect presents
  31. Having great conversations with friends
  32. Sharing the things I love with my daughter
  33. Eating decadent desserts
  34. Reconnecting with old friends
  35. Drinking coffee at my mom's kitchen table
  36. Planning and carrying out home improvement projects
  37. Finding the perfect pair of jeans in a store
  38. Taking time to spoil myself -- pedicures, massages, facials
  39. Landing in Detroit Metro airport, knowing that I'll see people I love in a short amount of time
  40. Flying over the Wasatch Mountains in Utah
  41. Walking in the door of my home after being gone for a few days
  42. Rolling the windows down in my 4Runner and turning the volume UP on the radio
  43. Road trips, either by myself or with other people, no matter what the distance
  44. Looking through old pictures
  45. Decorating my house for Christmas
  46. Dressing up and going out with my husband
  47. Roasting marshmallows over a campfire
  48. Drinking wine/beer/cocktails with girlfriends
  49. Helping friends in need, especially when unexpected
  50. Snuggling on the couch, eating popcorn and watching cheesy movies
  51. Playing fetch in the backyard with the dogs
  52. Dancing for no reason other than hearing music
  53. Watching my child discover new things
  54. Making snow angels in the front yard (and the yards of our neighbors)
  55. Sipping hot chocolate after playing in the snow
  56. Spending a weekend camping in the mountains with no TV, no internet and no cell phone service
  57. Not having to leave the house on a rainy day
  58. Crawling into bed after a long day
  59. Reading books that have nothing to do with my job, being a parent or wife, or containing any instructions
  60. Picking lilacs in the spring
  61. Playing/watching softball
  62. Watching the sunrise over Lake Huron
  63. Camping under the stars
  64. Going for ice cream at Reed's Dairy
  65. Dayhikes in the mountains
  66. Going out to dinner with friends
  67. Watching the sunset, sitting on the back patio

April 14, 2009

And Still He Sleeps

After 10 years together, it is clearly obvious that my husband will sleep through just about anything. Drives me absolutely insane. I'm awake with the smallest of noises -- my heart racing as I strain to hear every sound in the house, trying to figure out what's going on. Next to me he sleeps like a log. Completely oblivious unless I jar him awake and force him to pay attention.

Absolutely maddening at times.

About 4:45 this morning, I'm woken up by his snoring. He's lying flat on his back and sawing logs. I push him onto his side and pray that the noises he is emitting significantly reduce. No dice.

My movements alert the 4-legged inhabitants of our bedroom that something is amiss. Now Logan is awake and jumps off of the bed. He begins pacing around the bedroom and nosing at the bedroom door. Knowing that he can easily go 10 hours without going outside, I hate the thought of getting out of bed to let him outside. I vehemently hiss at him to shut up and lay back down. The whining and pacing continue.

I lay there in bed, pulling the covers up tightly to my chin, hoping that sleep will come over me and drown out the snoring of my husband and the whining of my dog. No dice there either.

Next to me, my husband rolls onto his back yet again and the snoring intensifies. As his weight shifts, his right arm picks up momentum and I'm smacked in the face with the back of his hand. My eyes well up with tears and I curse at him. I lay there trying to determine if my nose is bleeding.

The dog continues to whine and pace. My husband brings the offending arm up over his head and I quickly yank it down to his side to avoid getting smacked again. The whining is now impossible to ignore.

As my anger and frustration ratchets up exponentially, I throw the covers off, curse yet again at my husband, and stomp my way to the kitchen to let Logan outside. As he goes tearing off into the backyard his claws dig into the warm fleshy top of my foot. More cursing ensues. I hear my husband snoring from the bedroom, behind closed doors.

A short trip to the bathroom and I'm standing at the back door, hissing at my dog to get his furry backside in the house. He instead thinks it is appropriate to run Indy 500 laps around the backyard with lightning speed. The decision to come in follows closely behind a threat to leave him outside, me shutting the door and turning the back light off. Within seconds he's standing on the step.

The clock on the bedside table reads 5:07 when I pull the covers back up. I sigh in realizing that in 53 short minutes the alarm will go off, signaling the start of our day. I close my eyes and hope that I'll get some sleep before I need to wake my husband up.

As I feel myself drifting off, the cell phone on the dresser buzzes to alert us of a new text message. Knowing that the reminder feature is turned on, I curse at my husband for the final time, fling the covers off yet again and crawl out of bed to acknowledge the message on HIS phone.

How nice would it be, to be able to sleep through all of this?

April 8, 2009

Taking a Step Back

A couple of months ago, I started running again. Trying to build up some stamina and endurance in the hope to work up to running a 5K this spring/summer. I made it to about week 5 of the 8 week training program I was doing but severely stalled out a month ago and my gym attendance dropped drastically.

I've tried to justify my reasons for not going -- the craziness of the grant submission, my sister visiting from Michigan, family dinner time -- it helped to ease the guilt creeping into my brain when yet another day went by that I didn't go to the gym to run. The truth is, it's hard to find the time and I'd much rather do something else in its place.

Last week I started doing strength training at home. After 2 complete rounds of training sessions at the gym, I have a good idea what I need to do. Couple that with some online help in putting a workout together, some free weights, a resistance band, a jump rope, an exercise ball and the Wii Fit (for cardio) and I can put together something that's equivalent to what I can do at the gym. Without leaving my house.

But guilt still lingers. The guilt that once again, I set a goal (albeit weak since I never registered for a race) and I'm walking away from it. Yesterday I made a conscious decision to focus on the strength training and not be concerned about running. Maybe when the weather gets nicer I can run when KT is awake. Maybe. Or maybe I'll just run around the backyard with her, chasing the dogs and laughing at our silliness. Or maybe I'll attempt it again in another year.

The guilt of stopping the training is less though, than the guilt of not going to the gym when I knew I should be. I know I tried to meet that goal; I know it isn't a fit right now. The benefits I was gaining are outweighed by the disadvantages.

A copout? Perhaps. Even so, it's a choice that I'm 100% okay with right now.

April 2, 2009

Insomnia is Cruel

The clock on the macbook reads 12:50. My eyes are wide open and my mind is racing faster than is legal for this time of night.

I shut the computer down, originally at 9:30 and began winding down for bed. By 10:30 I was pulling the covers up, snuggling in and breathing a sigh of relief at the early turn in. I was yawning as C crawled in next to me.

Two hours and half a dozen techniques later, I was still awake and tired of tossing around. So here I am. Sitting in the living room, HGTV showing on the satellite and the computer in my lap.

The insomnia had gotten much better. I've had a good month where I've slept well (since I submitted the grant). Let's hope that this bout passes quickly. Heaven knows I need my beauty sleep.