Friday, August 19, 2016

Outta Here

Chan did not get the job, though it's possible another will pop up soon, we have decided to A) wait until after the sea lab trip before she applies for anything else and B) finally get around to Part 2 of the Summer o'Fun Plan that got hotted out.  Good grief, it's either been 110 or storming or both ALL DANG SUMMER.  I was so worried she'd get hired and we'd miss the chance.

We only had one actual idea for a trip, so we are doing that and dragging Ben along.  I set up AirBnB stops for couple night to ensure showers, laundry and recharging batteries could happen.  And to have a local contact because knowing a number of a real person in the area is a deterrent to serial killers, check engine lights and other people driving badly.  Plus, at $30 a night, it's nearly as cheap as camping but without the whole 'food storage safety' issue.  Bears.  And I read that if we hike near prairie dogs to use DEET.  ack.  I read that in some places, they carry the plague! I can't help it, I still want some for the yard.

We head out Monday, I have bins of snacks and bins of camping gear and a basic idea of clothing options.  I had 2 separate swimmy stomach panic things that hit so hard I had to sit a while.  I have no idea why I get so worked up.  I love to travel, I just don't want to actually leave home.  By the time Matt got home, I was irritable and so he hauled me to the track.  We got nearly 5 miles before I wound down.  Now it's midnight and I am back around to worked up.  And hungry, though I don't dare eat this late.  I've been SO good lately.  Eating carefully, walking at least 3 miles a day 5 times a week.  Boring, but I grow weary of feeling sluggy.  Eat less, move more.  Pretty much the only way to improve in that area.

Met up with friends Monday in Athens, went to Anniston on Tuesday for a field trip, went to Shakalaka Wednesday with a group.  Won't do THAT again, oh man.  It was packed to the rafters. Mowed, walked, vacuumed the whole house, fed the cats.  Wonder has shown up after 4 months of being gone.  She's in surprisingly good shape, I suspect...second home!  She was bright white and clean, trim but muscled and not at all scrawny.  Teeth look great, gums are pink and her tummy had no tender spots.  Eyes were clear, feet in great shape.  I thought she'd been killed by the dogs across the road.  She's disappeared again, I guess Cat Chow isn't her thing.

Anyway, that's the happs, I will post pics later as I have taken many and they are still on the camera. I used to think people who did that were brain damaged.  I still don't let the laundry pile up, though, There is a limit to my madness.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Elusive Family Photo

With 2 adult children and all 5 of us still living in the same house, you'd think a family picture would be a simple matter.


I finally beat down the defenses over the weekend citing Mother's Day/Birthday wish fulfillment and got everyone outside for NEARLY 5 whole minutes.

Our single family shot in which Ben and/or Jake had not left the screen.  Matt's holding my arm to keep me from flailing at them.

Then the shot of the kids:

In which a minor demon possession runs through the group

AND...the one shot of all 3:

I now remember why it's been 4 years since our last family photo...

Monday, August 8, 2016


I either have a need to sit and write a bit, or else I have had too many B vitamins today.  Sometimes, it's a gamble.  And this isn't my only blog so sometimes it gets messy as well.

This morning I got up to get Chan up and she was up already and showered to boot.  Her interview was at 10.  I said elsewhere it was the first, but she did interview for a job last summer with the park service.  

We arrived on time (yes, she's 18 and can drive but around here, you don't get your license until you get a job and can pay for that insurance JUMP) and in she went.  The only thing I told her ahead of time was to answer verbally, don't nod or say mmmhmmm.

She was in there an hour and 20 minutes.  I sent Matt a message saying I'd had 2 heat strokes and developed 3 ulcers.  He said he was to busy throwing up (from nerves) to reply.

Chandler, and Ben, but Chandler is quiet and calm, there's no jitters or apparent thinking things through until every bit of potential mayhem has been thoroughly mapped.  I recall birthing them both, so I don't think they are adopted, but they are neither one a thing like me. Or Matt.  We both run our mouths and play Worst Case Scenario.

Anyway, out she came, her usual Sphinxy self.  I pried, some.  Sometimes a direct question yields results, sometimes she totally ignores me and hums.  After her whole life so far of this, it's just part of it.  I could get mad, but that's hardly going to help.  It always requires a direct question, there's no just opening up and telling anything and after the question is answered, she offers no more.  Except the occasional nugget like, "I always wanted a Barbie Jeep".

She allowed it 'went fine' and the interviewer used flashcards and told her about an engineer who made an electric skateboard once.  Yes.  That IS all the info I have about it.  Oh, and they made her fill out an application on paper exactly like the online application and she didn't know any of the phone numbers off hand.  I only know the number for my mechanic off the top of my head and she'd be a bad reference.  I don't come in at 3,000 miles for an oil change.  I think 5k is just fine.  My 24 year span of non-burned up engines would back that up.  OMG I am old.

We had lunch at Taziki's because food is the one area Chan has never balked at being perfectly clear on.  Even in her years-long non verbal phase, she would at least point when it came to food.  She had the stuffed grape leaves.

And, that's all I know so far.  On the way home we got boring groceries, which means none of the junk food was for me.  I mowed the front yard and where we park so that when it rains all week and the grass grows 6 inches in 3 days I can narrow my focus to the recently clipped area.  This works well for many things, BTW, not just grass.

Update when I have anything TO update.  It's a data entry position on an aerospace and defense contract with the government.  Which is a little cooler than making burgers and required a shopping spree at the thrift store for office wear.  And which means I can never see even a pic of her cubicle or a blueprint of the building or park anywhere other than directly in front of the guard shack.  But they do pay for college and she can move up the ladder if she does the work and puts in the time. So...fingers crossed.

If she doesn't get it, we are going on a road trip.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

42 and beyond

The answer to life, the Universe and everything.

My birthday coincides with that of Harry Potter, a fictional boy who is far more popular than I will ever be.  This cracks me up.  It's also World Ranger Day, which is awesome because I truly appreciate rangers.

I have very few plans for this year, I am on track to finish my new year goals of 52 hikes, 1000 miles of walking and camping out 30 nights.  I don't have any big travel plans, beyond our usual fall trip which is only taking 3 of us and only 4 days.  Chandler and Jake will both be at work. Things, they are a-changing.

We didn't do much for the Big Day, it's sort of ceased being a thing, but I feel like 42 may be the last birthday to celebrate at all, and that only thanks to Douglas Adams for writing the Hitchhiker series. So, I mention it.

In other news, 'being active' plans are coming along nicely, I have 3 backpacking trips on the calendar as well as a marathon in October, of which, I am only shooting for the 12 mile option.  And walking it.  I am not anything close to ready to run half a mile, never mind 24 half a miles!  The other day I was running on the treadmill and thought, "This is awesome!  I don't think I have ever gone this long!"  I looked at the clock,  39 seconds.  Hrm.  I keep hoping it was a glitch, but really I think time slows down on the treadmill and 39 seconds takes roughly 11 minutes.  But, it's just as likely that 39 seconds is the record to beat.

We mowed and did home-type stuff (but oddly no laundry or vacuuming) for a couple days and yesterday, went swimming.  The boys did some synchronized...something.

Then Ben did the classic 'knock your sister over' manatee manouver

His hair is borderline insane

Emma's hair refuses to mermaid but is dramatic nonetheless

Have our initial dates set for the JMT, which I won't even post since they will change 9 times and there's still the permit to get my hands on.  So it could even change years.  :(  But, there's still the goal of being ready.  Which I am not.

I have a friend who is, out of the blue, wanting to walk the first 200 miles of the AT.  In March.  I told her, "You have fun, take loads of pics!"  because, no.  Cold AND crowds and not enough ground cover to hide my shiny hiney is like a trifecta of uh-uh.  Plus, the people who start the AT and drop out during that period are almost all total idiots.  So unprepared crowds at that.  The lack of LNT principles alone would give me hives.

I am hating this heat and am ready to be outside walking up something or seeing a view.  We have been doing 3 miles nearly every night, Matt's phone keeps dying because...Pokémon Go.  So they are not all tracked, but they are happening.  To get the e to have an accent, hold down alt and type 130 on the number pad. I know this because I once knew this mom who insisted I use the accented é in her name in the club newsletter,

Heard yesterday that your brain can't tell the difference between excitement and stress, that how you perceive the situation is all stress really is.  But stress can kill.  So...if the same chemicals are coursing through your systems whether you are excited or stressed means...happiness kills just as fast.  That was a little depressing.   Moral of the story-stay calm.  Which is the same as Don't Panic. Which is a good way to end a blog about 42.