02 March 2017

When it rains, it pours

 We got a little bit of snow at the beginning of the year - or at least that's what I'm gonna call it. :) So glad that I got to experience this rare phenomenon in Crescent City before we move.
 I FINALLY found my dream thrift store item (actually it was at an antique shop): a stoneware mini loaf pan. This one makes 4 loaves, but I'm not complaining.
 I also finally finished my bear rug pattern (designed and knit by me) for my friend Lihi. The bear now lives happily on her cabin floors.
 Because I couldn't get enough of knitting, I also knit one shy of a dozen of these "pussyhats" for my friends (and my husband). So cute to have little ears like that! I only made one pink one, I suppose that's the rebel in me.
 We went to the opening bout for the season at Humboldt Roller Derby. This chick had a funny sign so I got my picture taken with her. It was a good match, although one of the long-time players busted her shin and had to get surgery. Yikes! It happened so fast, too. Reminds me to be grateful, that's for sure.
 The month of January I did an online 31-day yoga challenge (along with my mom and some of my friends in town). By the end, I was able to do this fun arm-balancing pose. Haven't been able to do it since... :)
 I also got into candle making this winter. I've been melting down beeswax and making tapers and pillars and really enjoying it.

 I joined 9 other ladies for a retreat up the North Fork of the Smith River. Fairly easy to get to, but amazing and "untouched" country. We were blessed with relatively mild weather, although it did rain the entire weekend.
 Jack and I went on a whirlwind trip to San Francisco. We went to see my first-ever professional musical performance. It was a quirky one called "Assassins" and it was absolutely amazing. I hope it is the first of many more professional musicals I get to see in my lifetime. :)
And after that (the previous two events and this happening in the space of 9 very busy days) I went up to house-sit at Lihi's cabin, where I was blanketed in beautiful, true, snow. Wood stove fires and fluffy flakes were my companions as I alternately chopped wood and read my latest homework book.

School has been busy, and I am about halfway through the semester already. Which reminds me that I need to pick my topic and submit it in about a week... better look into that. We are anxious about our upcoming move. Jack finally got the Lassen job officially, but now we are struggling to find suitable housing for both of us and there is a lot of stress in the house right now. We are also expecting two sets of houseguests and Jack is preparing for entering the Humboldt Homebrew competition for the first time (which is forcing him to learn a lot of things he isn't familiar with about kegs and carbonation, etc.). We just hope that amidst all of this, we're making the right decisions for the present and for our future. Hopefully everything falls into place in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, the rain continues after two sunny days, and we're ready for it!

Until next time!

29 December 2016

End of the Year

December has been a happening month. We visited my aunt and uncle in the Santa Rosa area, visited a friend in the Chico area, and then hosted Jack's folks for the Christmas holiday. Now, with New Year's Eve on the horizon, we're possibly hosting some trail crew friends but will otherwise keep it pretty low-key. Jack has said no visitors in January, and I'm actually looking forward to having a bit of a social break. Although no visitors doesn't mean no traveling, and some of that may happen.

These last few days it has been beautiful and sunny, but there's snow predicted in the forecast for early next week. If it happens, we'll have been lucky enough to be in Crescent City for a rare event. Depending on who you talk to, it sounds like the last time there was snow on the beach was around a decade ago. Figures that this winter would be so cold the year I decide to buy a bunch of winter garden plants. ::sigh:: At least I mulched, and so far only a couple things have wilted.

I can't help but get extra retrospective right now since we recently had the life-changing job offer from Stanislaus National Forest and that means we will be moving come April. We drive around town and view everything as if it could be the last time - elk in the meadow by our house, sunsets over the ocean, roads with very little traffic. Yet I'm also starting to get excited dreaming about what may come. What will my new job be like, what kind of home will we live in next, what new trails will I be able to hike? I think I am most excited about the relative closeness of my former life in the Eastern Sierra. I am already planning a meet-up with one of my many friends for a hike, and I'm sure I will make it over to Bodie at least once or twice over the course of the summer.

Things are about to get very busy for me. Now that I have a student position, the goal is to finish my degree as quickly as possible so that I can hopefully get converted to permanent and then be able to start moving on with my career. That means that instead of doing one course at a time, I will now be taking two. Not too big a deal during the winter, but come summer that will certainly require me to be extra focused with my time. At least for the brief two months that is the summer semester.

In some ways I regret shaking things up so badly - when I applied for this position I really didn't think I would get it. On the other hand, I feel a wave of relief because getting this position has helped to rid myself of that horrible stuck feeling that I've had this year. As hard as it is to move after being in a place for 2 1/2 years, I really think that this should be a good thing for us overall.

Alright, I'd better get to bed - I've been trying to get to bed on time and workout plenty (and in a variety of ways - gym, yoga, swimming, walking, skating, depending on the weather), plus reading and other free-timey things while I'm on break between semesters. In mid-January things are going to pick up for me again and then it will be school and moving and transitioning to a new job... hopefully it all goes well! But for now, it's good night.

Until next time!

22 October 2016

One trip down, one in progress

Fallen leaves atop a stream.
October is a month of travel for me. In the entire 31 days I will have been home for 7 and some change. First was a visit at the end of September and beginning of October to Sequoia to visit Jack and catch up with Trail Crew family and other parkie friends. It was the perfect time to be there: the weather was fine and autumnal, the tourist levels were relatively low, and the fall colors were filling the canyons with extra beauty.

I did a little bit of hiking, though perhaps not as much as I had planned. I took a short hike up the Tokopah Falls Trail and saw a little water in the falls yet, and took a dip in that fork of the Kaweah river (Marble Fork, I think).

Ants in a chunk of bee hive.
 My other hike was a good haul up to Crystal Lake in Mineral King - about 11 miles roundtrip, and lots of uphill! It was a beautiful fall morning, and sunny, but unfortunately after I took a dip in the lake an autumn breeze kicked up and froze my hair into icicles. Oops. I started hiking right away to keep warm but definitely felt it! I suppose October is a bit late to be swimming in alpine lakes over 8000 ft in elevation. Mineral King Valley is one of the places where there's aspens - it's actually a lot more like the Eastern Sierra in the way it looks. And those aspens were golden and glowing in the sun when I was up there - absolutely beautiful.

Crystal Lake

Mineral King Valley
Mineral King Valley

Hole in the Wall
 One of the days Jack and I went to Kings Canyon to Hole in the Wall, where the trail crew there has their home base, and he cooked dinner while I hung out and played music with the folks there. We slept out under the stars (so beautiful) and I woke up to the sunlight spreading over Hole in the Wall - a beautiful and peaceful sight.

At the end of Tokopah Falls Trail
 And now I'm in Moab, after a very brief stint home, and apparently I got a bit overstretched because the two nights of less-than-optimal sleep during travel out here nipped me in the butt and I came down with some sort of flu as soon as I got here. So again, not as much hiking as I hoped, but I'm enjoying just being in Moab and exploring around town. The library here is gorgeous, and there's lots of cool bike/hike trails that go under the roads so you can pop up in different places around town. There's a pool in her neighborhood and I've gone swimming a couple times; there's a rock wall traverse right around the corner and I've climbed around on that a couple times. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be up to a little longer hike(/bike combo?) where Alyssa drops me somewhere on her way to work at Arches.

Which, yeah, I haven't seen yet. Hahaha! Hopefully I'm feeling more energetic soon that I can explore the famous arches before I leave! Eek!

But honestly the biggest goal in all of this is to not get Alyssa sick. I'm pretty much quarantined to my room (and private bathroom) and one chair in the living room. I'm not allowed in the kitchen at all. She's taking immune boosters and regularly wiping down things that she's touching, and I'm taking immune boosters and regularly wiping down things that I'm touching. Hopefully all this caution works out or it's gonna be a total flop of a visit!

I'm here until next Friday and then I start my trip home. On Wed/Thu we're going to go to Alyssa's house and do some hot springing (so excited!), and Friday I take a bus to Green River and twiddle for several hours until the train leaves for Reno.