Monday, March 25, 2013

Winter Term Wear: Final Weeks

Final Lecture: Tuesday

Final Lecture: Weds

Final Exam Proctor:

Casual Finals Week:

Casual Finals Week:

Term is over! Lots has happened--life is busy, busy.

General update: 
--I got the news on Saturday that I was waitlisted for the program in Denver, which ironically only has made me want it more. I can really see myself working with veterans as a career at this point, but not sure how the door is going to open.
--I also got word that I'm only going to be able to teach one online course this summer (enrollment is down, which means our offerings have to decrease)...which means no real income for the summer. Not a big deal if I was going to be moving, but since I'm waitlisted (and with less chance of a decent financial aid package at that....) then it means I have two months to find a new job for the summer.
--I'm realizing I love my job but am slightly bored after two years of doing the exact same thing.
--Housemate M got asked to move to Taiwan for work for 5-6 months. He moves end of May.
--I broke things off with B, as he was falling pretty fast...and I'm not there yet. In fact, for two days the idea of a real committed relationship left me on the verge of a panic attack. I feel bad though as B is a really, really great guy and deserves a really, really great gal.
--M & I are heading to the Redwoods/San Francisco for 4-5 days for my spring break. Mom & Dad are dog sitting--should be entertaining. 
--Life starts to get stable and then the rug slips a little more--I'm trying not to panic, but I hope to the dear Lord above that something final truly opens and stabilizes, so God, a lil help and direction and open doors would be nice. ;)

Hope y'all have been well. Blog reading has been nada as of late but thinking of all my bloggy friends for sure!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Winter Wear: Week 9 the heck is it week nine already?

So sometimes weeks 8-9 include a slight increase in irritability... it's that point in the term when you wonder how students still are not reading directions, there's an increase in emailed excuses, and everyone is just a tad bit more tired of winter and wanting a break. Needless to say, this week brought lots of reminders to students about what it means to be in college and to operate at the college level both in terms of professionalism/respectfulness and academic expectations--I'm sure they were thrilled.

Tuesday Night Lecture

Wednesday Night Lecture 

Both these outfits you've pretty much seen before. The sweater dress was a serious last minute grab in the two minutes I had to get dressed and head out the door. 

This week for the first time ever I also ran out of time for one of the two lectures planned for today. That means that I have to cram three lectures into next week.

This week we had an inclass activity based on three articles, and then I lectured on cancer, which also includes a soapbox on chemical exposures and human health effects.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Weekend Awesomeness

So beyond the awesome snowshoe adventures, this weekend left me feeling so, well, good and sort of spoiled.

Some other highlights:

---After snowshoeing on Friday, I took the housemate to meet up with my gal R for dinner, as they're both from Michigan...they actually grew up 20 minutes apart from each other. M and I were starving of course...but it was nice to just chill in a funky restaurant in SE together and listen to them share stories.

---My parents were up again and spent Friday night here. They drove up to see my nephew in a performance and then made the extra 1.5 hr drive again to crash here and then see extended family/Granny the next morning. Sounds like they had a great drive up the coast, stopping to do some things they usually don't do. They both really like M and were pretty impressed that he offered to make breakfast for everyone. It was great to see them and be able to host them, even if briefly.

---Late Saturday morning as my parents left, my gal T came over and we headed out for brunch together. We were able to chit chat about stuff we've been individually dealing with and it was just a great start to Saturday.

---Saturday afternoon I tried to take a nap (no go) and then M and I ran the rent money by the landlords to introduce him to them before heading up to REI to return the snowshoes I'd bought (but that weren't the right size and that pinched my toes due to an overly tight binding). I started looking at GPS watches and found the one that my old running buddy Mike suggested...and it was on sale for thirty bucks off--SOLD! Housemate M and I then went to Freddies for groceries...and I started thinking about hosting a dinner party at the house.....

---which ended up getting myself, M, and my old housemate A invited downtown to my buddy L's apartment where he and his gf were having a seafood boil. M and I stopped for Abita (southern) beer and some other contributions....and then the five of us had a great night just chatting, eating some great food (my first crabs!), listening to L's old school records, and just hanging out in general. When we left we planned another evening for all of them to head over for dinner here....

---Sunday was the great day with B up on the mountain and included lunch at this great lil Mexican place on the way back. After showering and taking care of the dogs, B drove out to pick me up and we went to see Identity Thief in the theatres. This marks two weeks in a row that I actually sat through an entire movie without getting restless....big improvement folks! :)

---After getting dropped off after the movie, M and I threw some dinner together and watched an old favorite (Old School) and chatted about our respective days. The dogs were happily exhausted.

Seriously great, great weekend...full of lots of little and big moments. Tons of outdoor time, quality conversations with great people, and honestly, in so many ways, I'm just feeling spoiled lately...and retraining myself that it's okay to do the little things for others and trying to work on being a better friend in general. Life won't always be up on a high....I know this, but I'm enjoying the high that life is presenting currently....

Hope y'all had a great weekend as well!

Two Snowshoe Trips, One Weekend

Snowbunny to Yellow Jacket Trail--5 miles
On Friday, took the housemate and his coworker on their first snowshoe adventure. While the pictures don't do it justice, it was 50 degrees out and gorgeous. Fresh powder and once we hit where the sign above was (1.25 mile gradual incline in) and headed into the next section, C took over breaking trail since the preset trail hadn't been traveled in a while. 

Headed up. You can just barely see C and Anna on either side of M and Roxi. C seriously was about 200ft (and waiting) in front of M and I the entire way--talk about a serious snowshoer! ;)

M and I had great fun snapping funny pictures and pottering along. Although the guys (and dogs) ran the declines, while I poked cautiously down them. :) We also came to a couple melt away sections (after a whole section that felt more back country than anything. The first two little streams the guys (and dogs) jumped, while I inched my way across....but then we came upon this melt-off creek:

After exploring the bank, the only way to cross was going to be taking snowshoes off and trying to get up the bank on the opposite side and I wasn't sure if there would be any other decided to turn around.....The creek was about 2.75 miles in.

We took an alternate trail back down and again, while it didn't photograph well...there was a massive sunbreak in this somewhat clearing here. It was gorgeous! Once we connected back to the trail connection, M and C took off with Anna back up the original 1.25 mile gradual incline, while Roxi and I podunked along taking a break and snacking-ha! 

Both guys had a great time though, the dogs loved it, and while the trail wasn't my best still was a fun experience all around.

Trillium Lake Loop--5.5 miles 
B has been wanting me to take him out hiking or snowshoeing. While he's not a huge outdoor guy, he's willing/wanting to try since he knows how much I love it. We were supposed to go with my friend E, her husband, and their dog, but they ended up having a car issue the day before so just B, the dogs, and I went. Trillium Lake is a fairly easy 5 mile pretty jaunt with a premade track. The only real drawback is that it's well used and traveled, which can be a pain on the weekends with the dogs...oh and there's a pretty decent hill at the very end ;) But it made a great introduction for B and we got up there early enough that we beat the impeding crowds. The above picture is at the "view spot" looking out across the lake--on less cloudy days you can see the mountain that is located behind those clouds. Ironically it was a GORGEOUS day, our leisurely pace allowed us to just chat & enjoy each other, and the dogs could hardly believe how spoiled they were.....
B let them ride INSIDE his truck both on the way up and back. I stuck them in the truck bed for part of it, which they do love, but B was worried about them getting too cold on the way back. The lower picture lets you know that they appreciated his generosity...and made this lady pretty happy :) Especially since B has some mad vacuuming to do before turning his truck in for its replacement now--haha!

Two great snow shoe trips! Might try to get one more in before the very end of the season....because it's really feeling like we're transitioning into hiking weather out there. Although M & C did tell me that it's only fair that I try snowboarding now in exchange for their participation in my snowshoeing hobby. :) Haha but might just have to do that....