miscellany Archives

January 25, 2005

An introduction

I decided to start this site to have a place to keep track of my various crafty addictions instead of using something static like a scrapbook. In addition, I expect to chronicle the trials and tribulations of living and breeding in San Luis Obispo county, the 7th least affordable housing market in California, the least affordable state in the US (At least according to some national homebuilding association). I think at last check only 14% of residents could afford the median home price, sitting somewhere in the $400-500k range.
How is it that my husband and I manage to own a home here? We were in the right place, at the right time and had the cojones to sign lots of scary legal documents resulting in borrowing more money than I’d made in my lifetime up to that point. We bought our house in February 2001 for $270,000. At that time, we both had full-time tech jobs and impeccable credit, perfect for securing a mortgage. Nevermind that we’d each spend 6 months unemployed over the 2 years that followed. In any case, we have somehow managed to have a pretty comfortable life in a part of California that hasn’t been completely spoiled by traffic, smog, and overbuilding.

The “breeding” part is where things are gonna get challenging. We both feel pretty strongly that one of us should make a career of child-raising, at least during the early years. Having the biological advantage of breastfeeding and such, we have agreed that I get first dibs. Working out how to make it on one income with the added cost of a child is gonna be interesting (much like the old Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.”), considering that more than half of our monthly income is going to housing. I’m currently working part-time but I can imagine that there will come a point where part-time is going to be too many hours in the day.

Another challenging aspect is the state of health care in this area. Technically, we’re considered “rural” so the rate of reimbursment for doctors is fairly low. Combine that with the outrageous housing costs, the influx of retirees who made a buckets of cash selling their homes in SoCal and the Bay Area, and the closing of the county hospital a couple years back and we’ve got a big mess brewin’. There are no freestanding birth centers within 100 miles. There is only one midwife that does homebirth (at least until the other one comes back from a sabbatical in 2006 — if she comes back). There are about half a dozen nurse midwives who do hospital births. Neither of the two San Luis Obispo hospitals will “allow” water birth (one has a tub for labor up to the point where the membranes rupture).

… but I digress. What you’ll see here in the future are probably more ranty things, lots of crafty stuff, and a plethora of pics and anecdotes about the daily activities of our pets.

May 4, 2005

Imagine that...

I'm actually enjoying going to the gym and walking on a mechanized road to nowhere. It is just so much more *convenient* than going on an actual walk in the Big Blue Room. And I don't need sunscreen or feel guilty about not taking my dog. Afterwards I can do strength training, sit in the jacuzzi or steam room (or was it a sauna?) or just head home. I'm working a lot harder on the treadmill than I normally do on a walk outside and I don't have to worry about picking a route that will end me back home before I collapse.

And at the end of the session, I feel *good*. That's the part that I always manage to forget about when I'm not exercising regularly. That all those things about feeling better physically, having a better mood, more energy, etc., they really *do* exist. *For me*. Not just for some person in a magazine, or some stick figure on the stairmaster. Hopefully, I can continue remembering this at least 3 times a week. :)

Now that I've seen the bohemoth that is the Kennedy Multiplex in SLO, I'll probably try to keep my gym bag packed and in the car when I go to work. It is probably less than a mile from my office and has nicer and more plentiful gear than the AG facility.

Tomorrow's big exercise of the day will likely be "chakra restorative yoga" at Sycamore Springs. I've got another 6-8 classes on the card I bought, so I need to work on using them up. I've missed the intro class for the past 2 weeks and will be missing it again this Saturday in order to hang out with my mom and likely next Saturday if we do make the trip to IKEA to buy a new guest bed. 11:00am-12:30pm on Saturday is a really horrible time for me. It means that I pretty much miss the farmer's market and I feel like I have to put my day on hold. I liked 9:00am-10:30am *much* better. If I'm lucky, they'll put it back when they redraw the schedule in June.

May 26, 2005

Crappy sleep, Day 6


Woke up in the middle of the night due to pesty dog again. Mark must have opened the door earlier because at 1:30am, Kira ran out to the backyard woofing (it was decidedly not a full on bark). When I heard her come back in, I got up and shut the screen. Then I had to find Luna and get her back to bed.

Around this time, my old cell phone started crying about low battery even tho I'd put it on the charger* (so I could pull any remaining numbers out of it today). Luna paced back and forth around the bed until I actually got up and went out to the living room to turn it off. As soon as we got back to the bedroom she went back to bed and didn't get up until the alarm went off at 6am.

Of course, by now I was very awake and laid in bed for an hour, got hungry and went out to the kitchen to eat the last 2 spoonfuls of B&J's and a glass of milk. Socrates, sensing that someone in the house had dairy products, came to the kitchen to beg. Then I kicked him on my way back to the bedroom because he was right under my feet and all the lights were off. At least I didn't fall over.

When I got back to bed, Mark was snoring like a buzzsaw and I was becoming increasingly agitated. I search fruitlessly for earplugs in my nightstand by touch and finally remembered that there should be some in my suitcase under the bed. I crawled down to the foot of the bed, pulled out the suitcase and felt around the pocket until I found the earplugs. Sweet Relief! I finally fell back asleep sometime after 3am and slept solidly until the alarm went off at 6:00.

There are some things that will not be new when/if we ever have a baby. 1) I already wake up when the dogs make noises in their crates or get up in the night (even though I try to ignore them and go back to sleep most of the time). 2) I rarely get to go to the bathroom alone. I've ususally got an entourage of 2 dogs and 1-2 cats. (I realize this could be prevented by closing the door, but Kira will actually scratch at the door or push it open if it isn't latched completely.)

* - It turns out that I put the darn phone on the charger but didn't actually check to see that the charger was plugged into the extension cord. Oy.

August 26, 2005

Welcome to the World!

Mike & Ame Wagoner's twin girls were born yesterday at Twin Cities Community Hospital.

Meet Alexis Kathryn Wagoner, born 2005.08.25 at 11:57am
5lbs, 11oz, 18in long

and Kaitlyn Amelia Wagoner, born 2005.08.25 at 12:00pm
5lbs, 8oz, 18 3/4in long

August 28, 2005

Good luck, Gulf Coast...

I'm getting ready to head for bed knowing that when I wake up in the morning here in California it is somewhat likely that the city of New Orleans will have been obliterated.

I've never seen New Orleans in person but I did spend many, many hours reading descriptions of the city over various eras via the words of Ann Rice. Say what you will about her novels but her love for New Orleans was evident through her descriptions of a city full of color, texture, scent... I am deeply saddened that I may never get a chance experience the city as it stood today.

My heart and thoughts go out to the millions of people whose lives lie in Katrina's path.

October 28, 2005

Counting my blessings...

I've finally succumbed to the creeping ick that Mark picked up last week at work. But today instead of staying home and cuddling with my good friend nyQuil, I sucked it up and went to work.


Because I am in sunny, cool California. With electricity. And gas in my car. An internet connection. Food in the cupboard. Drinkable water in the pipes.

My coworker (whose work tasks I've picked up on top of my already overfilled workload) lives near Ft. Lauderdale. Florida. She is also sick, as are 2 of her 3 children and soon her husband. While their home is still nearly intact (the patio furniture flew away or was otherwise destroyed when Wilma blew through earlier this week), she has no electricity and may not for another *three weeks*. They just got the water back on (after 5 days without running water) but it is non-potable. They have 1/4 of a tank of gas left in their car, despite waiting in line at the station for 2 hours (and getting nothing). Their food supplies are running low and while the older children are coping, the toddler is going bonkers because she's sick and completely without her normal routine. When we got off the phone, they were gonna head further north with hopes of finding an open gas station where they could refill their tank and ATMS that were working so they could get money to buy food and other supplies. The only thing that has been working the whole time has been her phone service so at least they've been able to communicate with the outside world.

Yeah... My day has been pretty easy...

December 4, 2005

The Happiest Freakin' Place on Earth

Disneyland rocks.

If you have the desire and the means to get there before January 7th, I'd highly recommend it. They are currently running both the 50th Anniversary and the Holiday decor.

Originally, I'd been playing around with the idea of going to Disneyland for my birthday (I'd done it before in 2001 when they first added the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay to the Haunted Mansion). After I casually mentioned it to my mom, she said that if we would drive her down with us then she would pick up the tab for the hotel and tickets. I surely wasn't going to refuse that!

As soon as the trip date was settled, I took to the Internet to gather tips and info on visiting the park and I am really glad I did. I joined the forums on and was able to ask questions of many folks who worship The Mouse.

The prep work was invaluable. After reading up, we picked up our tickets the night before on a walk from our hotel (which turned out to be about 3/4 of a mile each way and with a peek of the fireworks show) and were at the park waiting to get in by about 7:30am (they opened at 8am). As a result, we'd ridden Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion Holiday, Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones Adventure, and the Jungle Cruise by 9:45am with no wait longer than 15 minutes. After breakfast at the River Belle Terrace (where, by contrast, we waited 45 minutes in line), we watched the 50th Anniversary "Parade of Dreams" then headed back to Tomorrowland for Star Tours, and Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. Mom wanted to go back to the locker, so we split up and Mark and I got in line for the Matterhorn. Mom got waylaid by the Christmas Parade so we rested on a bench for a while after our ride. When we got back together, we were going to ride the Monorail but the line looked pretty long so we went for the Disneyland Railroad instead. The Main Street station was closed because of the Candlelight Processional happening that evening so we disembarked at the station in New Orleans square and stopped by the French Market for a late lunch. Mom and Mark had french dip sandwiches and I had a side salad and a mini chocolate cake adorned with raspberries and a white chocolate portrait of Jack Skellington. Yum!!! After lunch, we took ride on the Sailing Ship Columbia then headed for Fantasyland. We took pics sitting in the Golden Dumbo, then went into the Mad Hatter so I could get some 50th Anniversary Golden Ears. Once out of there, it was on to It's a Small World. The line was huge but we ended up seeing them do the holiday lighting ceremony while waiting and it was pretty spectacular (I got lots of pics). Mark hates the ride but it was easier with the holiday because there was more varation in the songs. About 2/3 of the way through the boats slowed and soon we heared an announcement asking those who were stuck on the ride to remain seated and wait for assistance by a Cast Member. Yup, we were *stuck* on the one ride Mark hates the most. I would have been laughing my ass off had I not been within strangling distance. My mom had just mentioned that getting stuck in there would drive her insane too. After we finally got out, we made our way over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and picked up a FastPass before heading for Critter Country to look around. On our way back through New Orleans Square, we stopped in Le Bat en Rouge where they sell the Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise. I got a zippered hoodie with a big Jack face and a stuffed "Scary Teddy", while Mark got a stuffed Zero. They had a Jack pocketwatch that I really wanted to get for Mark but it was $110 (oy). When we finally got out of there, we went back to Big Thunder Mountain for our ride. It felt a lot smoother than I remember it. It was a nice pick-me-up boost of adrenaline before we made another trip to Tomorrowland for a souvenir and dinner at Red Rockett's Pizza Port. Then it was back across to New Orleans Square to attempt to squeeze in to see the first showing of Fantasmic. We just made it and the show was so worth it! At this point, I'd run out of steam so we went out to Main Street to watch the fireworks. Just as the show was scheduled to start, they announced that the fireworks had been cancelled due to wind. I couldn't figure out why nobody was leaving Main Street and then the "snow" started. It was really incredible being packed in with tens of thousands of people with the lights and sights of "snow" falling on us on Main Street. We managed to get across the street and headed to our locker before the room became jammed and then headed out of the park. By this time Mark and I were exhausted and in pain (feet mostly) but we sucked it up and made the walk back to the hotel. We arrived in our room 15 hours after we'd departed that morning.

All in all, the trip was a fantastic way to spend my pre-birthday weekend and I'm already looking forward to next time we visit Disneyland.

December 8, 2005

The Other Shoe

After a fantastic trip to Disneyland and a nice, mellow birthday I got kicked upside the noggin' with my first bout of flu in 10 years.

Tuesday morning started out with congestion and a sore throat. I was hoping it was my body de-smogging from the visit to OC so I went to work. Still in denial, I ignored the first chilly twinges but by the time 1pm rolled around I had cancelled all my afternoon plans and headed straight home, where I slept for 2.5hrs. Evening brought more chills and then the fever hit. My measurements topped out at 101.2F. Which for me is more like 102F, as my normal temp is about a degree low.

When I took my Wednesday morning temp, I was still at 100F. Thankfully, my honey made a trip out to the store for soup, ginger ale and a Jamba Juice (which was the only thing that quelled the pain in my throat that day). I sent an email to work telling them I might be out for the rest of the week but would try to check email during my normal hours. Which I did between naps. I was in bed until about 3:30pm, when I got up to make some soup and continue watching Lord of the Rings (my comfort movies). I drank a 1.5L bottle of water over the course of the day and I think most of it came out my nose. I've got a trash can full of tissues to show for it (or at least I did, until the damn dogs go into it).

This morning my temp was 100.1F. I decided it was time to call the doctor just in case there was a bacterial component. My head was splitting with sinus pain and my throat felt like someone was dragging a knife across it every time I swallowed. I took an Advil Cold & Sinus which dulled the pain for the most part and managed to get an appointment to see the Nurse Practitioner at 3:45pm. I stayed in bed until I got hungry around noon then napped again until 2pm when I got up to take a shower and get ready to drive to doc's office. Of course, my temp was 98.8F when the medical assistant took it. *sigh* When the NP finally came in, she looked in my ears, nose, and throat and decided to give me antibiotics since we were going into the weekend. So now I have 5 doses of Azithromycin to keep any bacterial beasties at bay. I just finished off The Return of the King. I'm probably gonna stay up a little longer then shove off for bed. Tomorrow will be another day at home with maybe more work, maybe not. So far, I've been doing only minimal email responding tho tomorrow I do have to turn in payroll for Data Entry. Yeehaw. Thank $deity for Remote Desktop.

Oh, and I can't forget to mention that today I got my new toy. :) A shiny, black 60GB iPod (now with video! Sweet Jeezus!). I picked it up from my office on the way to fill my prescription at Costco. Alas, I'm still feeling too crappy to play with it for now. But I have opened the box and looked at it lovingly. :)

December 31, 2005

2005: The Rollercoaster

I figured I should probably review what registered as significant for me this year since part of the reason I keep this blog is to record memories. I'd like to take a moment to do a monthly recap of 2005.

JANUARY: Met with my obgyn NP for a pre-conception appointment (after we'd already been trying for 6 months) where I was diagnosed as "pre-PCOS" and anovulatory. Also upped my thyroid medication after noticing a rash of hypothryoid symptoms returning. On the upside, we attended a fab wedding where we were treated to a live performance by these guys. Also, our nephew Nicholas burst into the world on the 25th.

FEBRUARY: Started taking progesterone which ended up just short circuiting my long cycles, doing nothing to help with the lack of ovulation. Mark turned 30! And for the life of me, I can't remember how we celebrated that. We attended the wedding shower for his sister Jennie and her fiance and met our new nephew in person for the first time.

MARCH: I think March was very rainy. See...this I why I have to write these things down.

APRIL: April started out with two Bay Area weddings on the first two weekends of the month. The first was for Mark's sister Jennie on Treasure Island. It was fantastic with family, friends, SF, and crazy weather. Next was our friends Jesse & Barbara. Their wedding was in San Jose and very mellow. We got to hang out with much of the bbs crew. On the way home we took Highway 1 and camped in Big Sur for a few nights. It was beautiful and we nearly had the campground all to ourselves. I also joined a gym to try to get in better shape.

MAY: Near the end of May, I started cheating on my Linux distro. I couldn't help it. I fell for Mac OS X. It ran so much better on my shiny not-quite-new G4 PowerBook! I named the PB "R2D2", as we had just seen Episode III and the Mac sleep mode reminded me of my favorite Jedi droid. On the reproductive front, I saw my obgyn who said the NP was totally off base with the progesterone and she prescribed metformin instead. It seems that I'd gotten to the point where my body was headed toward diabetes (not surprising really, it runs on my dad's side of the family) but not quite there yet. The metformin is supposed to help reverse the process... but at a price.

JUNE: Started with another great wedding, this time in our own neck of the woods. Mark even performed the ceremony! Alas, much of June was lost to the hazing ritual of metformin: nausea. All the time. I lost my normal appetite signals and got... more nausea! Yay! One of the most noteworthy events in June was the birth of Jayden Joshua Oksner on the 10th (his due date!). I can't believe he's already 6 months old.

JULY: Two words: BoHo Sympo. :) Kira got a chance to swim in the Russian river this year. We also had our usual 4th of July party. This year's menu included Bulgogi, pineapple fried rice, and Chinese chicken-less salad. The garden started producing zucchini, green beans, and sunflowers.

AUGUST: Stayed with the Slugs in Guerneville a second time for a wedding in Sonoma. I *looooove* visiting the Slugs. Also, our friend Ame had her twin girls, Alexis and Kaitlin, on August 25th. Unfortunately, August also included watching hurricane Katrina's aftermath in horror and sadness. It hit a little closer to home when I found out that a dear childhood friend had fled her home in Biloxi. Thankfully, she and her family made it safely to CA and are, like so many others, putting the pieces back together. The pumpkins I planted back in May were harvested. I ended up with 9 White Lumina pumpkins from the 4 vines. In the house, we installed a whole house fan. Best $300 spent EVER!

SEPTEMBER: Fell in love with another inanimate object. This time it was the Toyota Prius we rented the weekend of a friend's annual party in the Bay Area. We plopped down our $500 deposit and joined the waiting list. Met with obgyn again. She was encouraged that my cycles started to look more normal and said to keep up with the metformin and see her again in December. I whined about the nausea and then promptly was done with the adjustment period. I still get some random nausea occasionally but it is most likely to happen when I need to eat something. Another side effect is loss of appetite. I think by now I had lost 5-7lbs. Also, I had humongous mutant zucchini in my garden and determined that I planted the tomatoes way too close to the sunflowers and another tomato season went bust. Oh yeah, and I went to Kansas to attend my grandfather's 80th birthday party!

OCTOBER: We attended the final wedding of the year on October 1st, wrapping up a whirlwind of 8 weddings in 12.5 months (Mark was in 4 of them). Full-time counterpart at work gave notice. I took on half of his tasks in addition to my own in the interim. When hurricane Wilma hit Florida, I got all his tasks because the person I was splitting them with was without power for a full 2 weeks. I still believe I was on the lucky end of that stick. I impulse purchased way too many pumpkins, in addition to those I had grown. I speed-carved 3 pumpkins on Halloween just before nightfall. Keyhole saws rock!

NOVEMBER: Started the month working remotely from the Bay Area on psuedo-vacation (well, Mark was on vacation anyway) and got a nasty cold. On the plus side, we toured the Scharffenberger factory and ate at Zachary's pizza in Berkeley. Madison Shea Klein was born to our friends, Jason and Melinda on November 14th. Spent Thanksgiving in Hanford with my family.

DECEMBER: Went to Disneyland on December 3rd with Mark and my mom. The weeks of anal retentive planning paid off and we had ridden our mandatory rides by 9:30am and had a fantastic rest of the day. My birthday was nice and relaxing and then *wham*. The next day I got nailed by the flu for the first time in 8-10 years. That knocked me out for about 5 days. Saw the obgyn again. She is of the opinion that things are progressing nicely and I should wait another couple of months to have a hystosalpinogram (ink injection test to check for tubal blockages and uterine oddness). I talked her into giving me the lab slip anyway, and will probably bump the timeline up a month. I would really rather know sooner than later if there is a problem beyond the hormonal imbalances. I didn't really feel like doing the holidays this year for some reason. Maybe it was the freakin' heat that kept the temps into the 80s up to the beginning of the month. Or maybe the bittersweetness of seeing everyone's babies. I dunno. But from what I can tell, I'm not the only one who just wasn't into it this year.

So, um, this definitely took more than a moment. Especially since while I've been composing this post we had a 2.5 hour power outage and a phone update from our friends in Guerneville who are now cut off from the rest of the world and without power due to the storms and the mighty Russian river (They are OK. They saw this coming and prepared in advance so they'll just be sitting tight until the roads are cleared).

2005 was an interesting ride. Sometimes in the Chinese curse kinda way, sometimes not. I'm definitely ready to embark on the journey into a new year. See you there!

January 7, 2006

Namaste, mofos!

I started off the morning doing my normal 30 minute walking route with Luna in hopes of loosening up my hamstrings a bit before my 10am yoga class. Thursday's Group Power class was pretty brutal. I think that after three weeks in a row my muscles are getting to the point where they're just strong enough to get me into trouble. :)

We ran into the neighbor whose backyard connects to ours. She was walking her little Pug and she asked if Luna could meet him since they all keep barking at each other through the fence. They were ok at first but spending way too much time nose-to-nose and Luna got a little snippy. I reeled her back and chatted a little bit with the neighbor then went on my way. When I got home I had the bright idea to try to take Kira out and find them again so Kira could meet the Pug. (If I ever get a Pug, I'm gonna have to name him "Pugsley". It is a moral imperative. Just like naming my future chocolate lab "Toblerone"--"Toby" for short.) This extra jaunt clocked my morning walk in at 45 minutes. Woot!

Yoga rocked today. I did my first un-assisted shoulderstand EVER!!! This is huge for me because the shoulderstand is one of the postures that freaks me out. All previous attempts involved using the wall as a prop but today it just kinda happened. My theory is that because I've been strength training an hour a week for the past 3 weeks, I've built up enough stability to be able to hold the shoulderstand. I didn't hold it as long as everybody else but part of that was probably that I got so excited that I lost my concentration. The class ran about 30 minutes over time so instead of 90 minutes it was 2 hours. Double woot!

The slight downer is that the instructor for this class will be leaving the resort after next week. But she will still be teaching in the local area so I left her my email address and I plan to attend next week's Full Moon Yoga (a 3 hour evening class that runs through "aqua yoga", tai chi, meditation, etc.). Since I haven't managed to get myself to one yet and since this may be the last one she teaches, I'm gonna make extra effort go.

After yoga I usually hit the local farmer's market and today was no exception. It felt fantastic to be outside in such great weather and after class I could not be grumpy that it is too warm for January. I got navel oranges, clementines, meyer lemons, tomatoes, chinese broccoli, bok choy, snap peas, and swiss chard. I devoured an orange as soon as I got home and had sauteed chinese broccoli & bok choy in garlic and soy sauce and a clementine for lunch. Farmer's market after yoga is dangerous in that I'm always hungry after class and I crave produce. So the only real danger is spending every penny on my person and buying a bunch of food that may just sit in the rotter.

Now I think I'm gonna relax for a while with Mr. Socrates and watch some SG-1.

February 2, 2006

Weekly Roundup

This has been an interesting week...

It started by having a middle-aged Korean man fill my uterus with dye and will end with me driving home from Hanford with a styrofoam cooler filled with dry ice and ice cream.

Bright and early Monday morning, I went in for a hysterosalpinogram (I've seen about half a dozen different spellings for this word... That's probably why all the medical folks just call it "HSG".) The test consists of assuming The Position, as most ladies do on a yearly basis, and having a solution containing idodine pumped into the uterus to see if it spills out the fallopian tubes. This is watched with a fluoroscope (x-ray).

It is a little disconcerting to see the radiologist and his assistant putting on the lead aprons to cover their reproductive organs while mine were covered only with a hospital gown and a sheet. On the plus side, my tubes spilled the contrast into my abdominal cavity just like they were supposed to and we found no evidence of any alien mining operations in my uterus. Whew! That was a relief.

Dr. Google told me that the test could cause cramping and that it was a good idea to take painkillers ahead of time. I took two acetaminophen about 30 minutes beforehand and it was well worth it. The test was really more uncomfortable than particularly painful but I'm sure that varies from person to person. I felt good enough that afternoon to go to my strength training class and make the rest of my body sore. :)

Tuesday I called for an update on the Prius wait. I'm now fifth on the list and should be getting my car some time this month. The guy told me that they get another allocation of cars on Monday and to call back after that to see if they have a delivery date for me. Wheeeeee!

There wasn't much noteworthy about Wednesday. Other than it being pay day. Which I can finally confirm after my credit union's online banking site was down for over 24hrs.

I skipped watching Lost in favor of, yep you guessed it, watching MORE SG-1! (It turns out this was a good call because Lost was a re-run.) I finished SG-1 season 7 (it took me 3 days, just like season 6). Damn the end of that season is a doozy! I expect that my interest will start fading once I catch up to the current broadcast episodes and no longer have full seasons in my hot little hands. Of course, now I'll be interleaving SG-1 with Stargate Atlantis (yes, I know I'm insane -- but I get a lot of knitting done!)

I got my tax docs Thursday. I think that was the last piece we need before being able to dive into doing our taxes.

Being Groundhog Day, we spent the evening watching the movie of the same name. I highly doubt we'll have 6 more weeks of winter because I don't think we've had more than *one* so far. 2005 was the warmest year on record, much to my displeasure. After last year's deluge, our rainfall has been a dribble except over New Year's when it decided to double our 4inch rainfall total in 72 hours.

Also, I ordered 4 more place settings of Cobalt Blue Fiestaware from I'm glad I did because it was the last day for free shipping if you spent a certain amount. Since I pulled our old dishes out of the cupboard, we haven't been able to go more than 2 days without running out of plates. I might get another couple of settings later on when they're on sale again.

Today, I agreed to watch a friend's almost-8-month-old little man while she did a phone interview for a writing assignment. I was a little apprehensive after hearing how things had gone with him this week but he was in a really good mood today. We played on the floor, in his toy car, and went for a walk in the stroller. Every time he saw a truck drive by he would giggle. :) He's definitely a cutie, and tall! He looks nearly the same height as my one-year-old nephew.

Off to Hanford tomorrow to install Mom's birthday present (a dvd/cd burner) and see the progress on her kitchen remodel. I'll be bringing home The Best Ice Cream Ever for Mark's birthday next week. For the uninitiated, The Best Ice Cream Ever is Chocolate Chip from Superior Dairy. They still make all their ice cream in 10 gallon batches and they use liquid chocolate for the Chocolate Chip so it is permeated with little flakes of chocolatey goodness rather than chunks to break your teeth. I grew up on the stuff, as did my mother who often fondly recalls that a milkshake used to cost 15 cents (now they run about $4.50) and that my grandfather used to bring home ice cream for them after completing his milk delivery route.

That's about it for this week! Who knows what next week is gonna bring... :)

March 1, 2006

Losing My Balance

In mid-January, the place I had been taking yoga classes restructured somehow and my teacher left. That particular class is no longer offered and she isn't teaching anything similar elsewhere (in fact, her only regularly scheduled class is a class for seniors offered on Tuesday mornings at another local studio).

I *loved* her class. It was just the right combination of poses and breath work at the right speed. I left the class feeling lighter and longer and blissed out. Because the class was at a resort, I was often the person who didn't come with a friend so the teacher would be my partner if she wanted to do partner poses. She was the guide on my journey to quiet my mind and release my tension.

Since that time, I have tried two other classes and they seem to have landed on opposite ends of the spectrum. Last week, I took the yoga/pilates fusion class at my gym. The poses were too fast, the music too loud, and I felt rushed and overheated. Tonight I took a restorative class which while nice and relaxing (yay, aromatherapy), had a whopping 4 poses in an hour and a half and was almost all lying on the floor breathing.

I suppose I will just have to keep looking. In the meantime, I may try to put together a home practice if I can keep dogs and cats and the view of my cluttered house out of my way for long enough to be of benefit.


EDIT: Hmmm. Looks like they've added my original class back to the schedule at a different time with a new teacher. Since I still have 2 more classes on my card, I think I will give that a shot before looking elsewhere.

March 30, 2006

Moral Imperative

I've recently decided that I have gone too long without having ever tried a creme brulee.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to provide locales in either the SLO area or Bay Area that give good creme.

This message will (not) self-destruct in 15 seconds.

September 18, 2006

Where There's Fire...

Ugh. Yesterday the smoke from the Day fire in Ventura county started creeping northward. Today it has totally blanketed the southern half of SLO county. This morning when I left there were fine bits of ash on my windshield and the sunlight today is a sickly orange color.

My sinuses are going bonkers. The 2 minute walk from my office to the car resulted in a headache. I am seriously starting to consider getting some kind of mask to wear when I go outside. Normally, I might just tell myself to suck it up but I don't have any idea what effect, if any, this might have on the baby. :(

Before the weekend, the fire was about 30,000 acres and 30% contained. As of this morning at 7am, the fire had grown to over 74,000 acres and dropped to 15% containment due to the very rough terrain and the offshore (aka Santa Ana) winds that were whipping around. So there is really no telling how much longer we're going to be breathing horribly smoky air. It is scary to think that for once I'm going to be relieved to get to the Bay Area for the weekend because the air quality will be *better*.

October 13, 2006

You've Been... Thunderstruck!!

(I bet you have it in your head now too, eh? ;)

In an uncharacteristic turn of events, we have been having quite the spectacular electrical storm this evening. It started around 7:30pm with the lightning visible all over the place to the west and has just started moving off to the north (where I expect it to hit a power station and take down my work DB server any minute now...). The light show in the earlier evening was fantastic. I just barely heard the first rumblings of thunder around 10pm when I was going to bed. Alas, they became louder and more frequent as the storm approached.

This is only the second time in the six years my dogs have been alive that they've been through a thunderstorm and the last time was during daylight hours. Luna was pretty much unaffected but Kira spent most of the time from 10pm to 1:30am pacing the bedroom and whining. I pretty much gave up on sleeping, as the baby kept jumping around either from the thunderclaps or the rumbling of my hungry tummy and every time there was a flash of lightning my brain started counting.

I finally got out of bed around 1:30am, apparently just as the storm was leaving our vicinity. I took an inventory of the pets (not that I could get more than a couple feet away from the dogs, or at least from Kiraboo) since earlier Squeak tried to go outside and I wanted to make sure both cats were in the house. I plugged the wireless access point back in behind the TV (power had been flickering a bit), booted up the laptop, and ate an apple and cheese while checking out the radar image.

Things seem to have settled down now. Socrates is snoozing to my left and the dogs are both asleep on their beds at my feet. Sounds like it is time to head back to bed...

EDIT: Damn. Either the neighbors next door are tossing boxes off their balcony or the thunder has started back up a bit. No, really, I didn't need to sleep before going to work... Nice way to start Friday the 13th. Now where did I put that hockey mask?

October 29, 2006

Celebrating 6 Years With Omlettes, Otters, & Sausage Fingers

Today is our 6th wedding anniversary and the 9th anniversary of our official "start of dating". It always feels like forever and just yesterday at the same time.

In honor of the occasion, we decided to spend a night in Monterey and visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Our first weekend away together back in 1997 was a trip to the aquarium for my birthday. I think we've only been there once more since then and in the meantime an entire wing of the building was completed.

Saturday we were in Glen Ellen where Mark was the officiant for the wedding of the person who performed our ceremony. The ceremony was short and sweet and the reception was a very nice brunch after which we drove down through Sonoma Valley, across the Golden Gate, and down 280 where we met up with sis & bro-in-law for a late lunch at a gyro place in downtown Mountain View. Afterward we hung with the fam for a bit and then headed down to Monterey.

We stayed in the cheaper hotel part of town and were rather vexed trying to get to the aquarium this morning as it appeared all the streets we needed to use were blocked off. It turned out today was a half marathon in Monterey and we had to get back to Hwy 1 and take Hwy 68 into Pacific Grove to get to the vicinity of the aquarium. Even after all that we circled the same block about 3 times trying to find a parking lot that wasn't blocked by road closures. Finally when we did find a lot, it turned out to be right next to First Awakenings, the place we were planning to have breakfast!

This morning I had my first omlette in *years*. I had been turned off by cheese with my eggs after getting a veggie scramble that had so much cheese in it I felt ill afterward. Today I had the "Bacado" omlette. It was bacon & avocado topped with jack cheese & sour cream with salsa on the side. Very yummy. It came with potatoes and english muffins. Mmmmm... They're also well known for their pancakes which are *huge* and come in varieties like Bluegerm (blueberry wheat germ), Bananagerm, and Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal. Next time...

After breakfast we still had about 45 minutes to kill before the aquarium opened for members (our friend Kathleen rocks and lent us her guest cards so we not only got in free, but also 30 minutes before the general public; thanks again Kathleen!!) so we strolled down to Cannery Row alongside the half marathon runners and toodled outside the aquarium for a while. Once inside our first stop was the Outer Bay exhibit to see the Great White shark. Damn those tuna were huge! Alas, the jellyfish exhibit was closed so we headed over to see the otters.

For a few weeks now, the outer part of my upper left thigh has been falling asleep when I stand for too long so once it was apparent that it was futile to try to squeeze in to see the otter feeding, I sat on a bench for a bit. On the walk over to the otters, I'd noticed that my wedding ring was feeling kinda tight so I took it off and put it in my wallet for safe keeping. While sitting on the bench I noticed that my fingers were warm, red, and swelling up like sausages. That kinda freaked me out because swelling (especially rapid swelling) is sometimes a symptom of preeclampsia. We went over to the info desk and they called one of the first aid staff over. He took us to the first aid room where I asked them to take my blood pressure. It was 130/90 which is rather high for me (my last prenatal visit had it at 110/70) but it was also a rather small cuff and I was stressing out over the sudden swelling.

I went ahead and decided to sit for a while to see if it would go away on its own. We took up a spot on a bench outside in the shade in hopes of me cooling down and promised to head straight back to first aid it didn't subside. Thankfully, it did go away and did not return for the rest of the day. I spent a lot of time sitting on benches and visiting the ladies room but I did get to see pretty much all the exhibits that really interested me and Mark got to see pretty much everything he want to see while I was taking breaks on the benches. I'm really looking forward to the new otter exhibit opening next spring, as the otters really are my favorites (with the penguins a close 2nd).

After lunching briefly in the aquarium cafeteria, we set off for home. I slept for most of the ride. All in all, it was a good weekend and a nice anniversary. It was also the last trip we're planning to take out of the county before the baby comes.

Tomorrow I'm gonna give the midwives a call to tell them about what happened with the swollen hands and see if they want me to do anything right away. In any case, my next regularly scheduled appointment is on Tuesday so any further investigation may just wait until then. I'll definitely be posting an update afterward.

February 5, 2007

Everybody's Workin' for the Weekend

Now that I'm caring for a newborn all day, I relish the weekends when Mark will be home to take turns holding & tending to Zoe so I can do other things. Even better are the weekends that include visits from grandparents, who want to do nothing but hold the baby. :)

This weekend my dad visited on Saturday. He and I took Zoe to farmer's market then went to lunch and ran some errands while Mark took a nice long nap. After she was fed, he and Mark watched Zoe while I went to the hardware store for water softener salt then after her next feeding we all went out to dinner.

Sunday was a really good day even though I think I overdid things a bit. First, we walked to our favorite neighborhood breakfast place with Zoe in the Bjorn. Mark had to take a work call near the end and it lasted for the walk home and after so he just kept the sleeping baby on his person. I took the opportunity to ride my bike for the first time in 8 months and got the dogs some exercise. I did some other random things around the house before Zoe woke up for her next feeding. I finally started feeling like myself again. After dinner I started a gauge swatch for a pair of socks while we watched either Iron Chef or Farscape, I can't recall which.

My brother and his girlfriend also came by, as they decided to spend a couple nights at the infamous Madonna Inn for her birthday. We visited at the house for a bit then kinda invited ourselves to lunch with them in Pismo. We went to Mo's and they headed down the street for chowder but re-joined us because the place was closed. I found that my sunshade is very handy for hiding the fact that I'm putting nursing pads into my bra. I had forgotten and started leaking as soon as we ordered our food. Thankfully, I had some in the diaper bag in the car. After lunch we said our goodbyes and Zoe, Mark and I walked down the pier for Zoe's frist visit to the ocean. It was kinda uneventful since she was sound asleep but at least I got a picture!

February 26, 2007

Gnome Infestation?

I have been misplacing things lately. And they aren't stupid little things either. I have searched high and low yet cannot find a) my debit card, b) my iPod cable, or c) my Palm cable.

I expect my debit card will resurface any moment, as I called the bank to replace it this morning. I'm confident it wasn't stolen by humans as there haven't been any charges on it since I stopped by Trader Joe's Valentine's night. BTW, this is what you may be given when stopping by Trader Joe's on Valentine's night half an hour before closing:

I suspect the cables are off somewhere having some kind of illicit affair, as they were both on a tray table together when I last saw them. Despite my best efforts and much wracking of The Brain, I cannot find them in the house. They may have decided to r-u-n-n-o-f-t and elope in some locale where their love is not forbidden. I am especially distraught at the disappearance of the iPod cable, as I just put together a bunch of smart playlists I wanted to load onto the 'Pod for listening in the car either to try to calm Zoe's screaming or drown it out long enough to reach our destination.

March 9, 2007


We've had a bit of a rollercoaster this week but today and yesterday have been really good. So much that I start to think I'm getting the hang of this mommy thing. Today we have Pirate Baby!


I almost feel normal again. This week I have managed to do the following:

- get a haircut
- vacuum the house
- do most of the laundry
- get 5 hours of sleep in a row
- knit the bottom ribbing on my sweater
- clear the counter of the dirty dish backlog
- meet Mark for lunch at my favorite mediterranean cafe (Yay, gyros!)
- dye my hair
- arrange returning to work next month (20 hrs/week, from home, no set schedule)
- scrub the shower walls
- eat nachos (Zoe's almost 3 months so we're re-testing dairy)

Yeah, it's been a good week.

February 12, 2008

Sayonara, For Now.

I'm officially taking a break from blogging (She says after not posting anything in the past 2 months). Things are just too crazy with adjusting to the transition from caring for a baby to parenting a toddler and when I have some time where I can actually think complete thoughts, I'm using it for knitting or updating my knitting stuff on Ravelry ( -- it rocks!). If things ever settle down, I'll be back because I am going to miss preserving memories here. I just can't do it right now. TTFN.

P.S. I am continuing to upload new photos to Flickr, so if you are interested in seeing my little monkey grow up, give me your Flickr name and I'll add you to my friends list there, as I am not keeping any baby pics public there any more. Knitting and miscellany are still public. Also, I will still be reading blogs & LJ and sometimes commenting so I'm not falling off the face of the earth completely. I'm just picking other things over maintaining my own blog.

July 20, 2008

Things Our Couch Ate

After not being able to find the mega remote that controls our entertainment system we pulled up the couch and found it has velcro panels on the back. Upon opening these panels we found the following:

- the DVD player remote that has been lost for months
- Mark's wedding ring
- Mark's iPod Nano
- a length of parachute line
- a padlock
- two crochet hooks
- a fingernail clipper
- two cat turds (likely dingleberries)
- several receipts
- a business card for iFixIt
- 3 linked baby toy rings
- a sock
- 3 hair rubber bands
- a knitting row counter
- a paperclip
- the gauge swatch for Zoe's sweater
- 2 blocks
- a syringe for dispensing baby Motrin
- lots of dustbunnies

The mega remote was also inside the couch, still being digested.

February 16, 2009

Oh Hai

I'm going to attempt to get a plugin that will repeat my Twitter updates here since that tends to be what I update the most. I'd like to start posting more of my knitting photos here if I can drag myself away from Ravelry long enough. I have been knitting tons and have no shortage of projects in the queue. An addiction to sock yarn can do that to a person. :)

IMG_0492.JPGDestash Sale2008 YarnPirate BootyIMG_1605

Baroness Von Wigglestein is in perpetual motion, as usual. She just hit 26 months and is doing new stuff every day. Her verbal skills are still exploding which is awesome because she can tell me what she needs a little easier every day. She has learned to respect the ocean so we have made several trips to the beach before winter finally settled in (now that it is freakin' February) and I can sometimes even sit down! Woohoo! Now that the weather is cold, windy and wet things have been kinda challenging. One day we cleaned the garage, a few times we ran outside between rain clouds, and today we put on our rain gear and ran errands. It was great that we needed cat litter because Petsmart was a fun place for a kid that loves animals. We walked a circuit from the fish to the cats to the rodents to the birds several times before checking out and heading to Costco.


The garden is green. Very green. Unfortunately, it looks like I'll need to remove another whole lawn from the front yard once the rains finish up. Seeds blew in and, much to my dismay, have taken over. Additionally, I now have a new planter bed to fill with soil so we can plant more veggies this year. Right now I have green onions and peas to harvest and some blueberries that are slowly trying to mature after blossoming during our January heat.

Now I have to get back to my knitting. :)

October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

May 15, 2010


Well since there are a few things I'll be participating in over the next few months, I thought I should probably warm up ye olde blogg here.

Since my last post in January, I have been to Disneyland twice, Stitches West, & the Conference of Northern California Handweavers. I have bought a 2nd spinning wheel (a lovely Majacraft Rose), driven 200 miles alone with my 3yr old, lost 15lbs, put in the summer vegetable garden, read/listened to 9 of 10 books in the Outlander/Lord John series by Diana Gabaldon, knit two sample pieces for Miss Babs, won a blue ribbon for beaded yarn I spun and got fiber geeky personalized license plates for my car.

Soon there may be posts about the Drums of Autums swap and the upcoming Tour de Fleece.

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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to blackmoondog in the miscellany category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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