Friday, July 31, 2009

You are invited to Anna's baby shower

Hi Knitters - Anna wanted me to invite all of you to her shower! Sunday Aug. 9 at 10:30am. It's at her mom-in-law's house in Lawrence. Please email me at my ku address if you are able to be there and I'll send you directions & other details that I don't want to post to the world. I don't have everyone's emails so am mass inviting you.

Please join Pat (Anna's mom), Juanita (Anna's mom-in-law) and me in celebrating Anna's baby boy! We will have a brunch with Anna while she is in Lawrence.

Since Anna is in the process of moving to California, rather than overwhelming her with more items to pack and move, if you would like to give a gift, please arrange for your present to be shipped to Anna & Nate's new address: (I'll send you this)

Anna is registered at
(click on the links, she's registered under Anna + her new last name):

We will shower her with pictures of her gifts, so bring a picture of the gift to share at the shower!

GBKD offspring

Congratulations, SS! I haven't checked this blog in ages, having been swallowed completely by fieldwork recently....and what timing; I'm so glad I checked it today (I'm procrastinating working on my ESA talk, which, relative to giving birth, seems incredibly uninteresting and inconsequential).

Woohoo! I'm guessing SS is no longer *bored*, and hope that all went well with the delivery. Sending you warm wishes and lots of zzzzzzz's!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Happenings of the Greater GBKD

Maybe because I'm not on Facebook (sorry, I still might someday, but another student just tried to convince me to join which reminds me of how little I want to think about students and co-workers as "friends". Somehow I'm much better about publicly anonymously posting about my life for readers who have to seek it out rather than worrying about friends and privacy settings), or maybe because somehow I'm a social-networking "node" (this idea makes me giggle), or maybe 'cause I don't pay enough attention: I've noticed that a lot of momentous things are happening that haven't been fully noted. So, here's a partial list of things that I understand have, will or were going to happen this year and that I desire more information about.
Babies: 4 new ones-- one of undetermined sex to be induced on Wednesday, a girl to Heather due in Sept. and a girl due in October and a boy due in December; plus one one year old.
Moves: Jenny to St. Louis, Cathy to St. Louis, Jennifer to Liberty (from Independence), Molly to Utah (and a marriage), Juls to Lawrence (all completed), TT to California (in progress?), and Beth to a different place (hoped for?).
Travels: Jenny to New Zealand, Erin to Palau, Cathy to Australia, SpSq to Italy, Abby to Britain (?), Jennifer to Puerto Rico (?), Sal Sis to the Grand Canyon and Haiti (?) and many others I don't know about.
Research and Jobs: Cathy fantastic finish, Cheryl almost done, Beth closer to tenure, Juls back in grad school and with a possible new project, Abby taking great pictures and making crazy dives, Jennifer fumigating a greenhouse, TT and Irene involved with all kinds of projects, Sal Sis becomming a stricter boss . . .
On-going Stuff: beekeeping, reading, knitting, commuting, house repairs, house painting, cool crafty mobiles, pets, hiking, canoeing, gardening, fascination with mosses, summer science camps . . .
Anyway, I don't think I'm the only reader who wants more details!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

(wild) Life in Utah

Heather inspired me to catch up, too (thanks, Heather!) I'm not sure where to start, but in the past two weeks, Brian and I have driven the 40 minutes up to Tony Grove, a beautiful drive up Logan Canyon that leads to Bear Lake and Wyoming. The first time I went, Brian went off biking and I walked with Lucy around a small lake. This is seriously one of the most beautiful, amazing places I have ever been, right up there with seeing the stars out in the middle of nowhere in Kenya. We have had a very wet spring (although, not a drop of water for the past month or so), but up at 8,000 ft there at Tony Grove it is still spring time, and I have never before seen so many kinds of wildflowers in such abundance. It is breathtaking. The lake itself is near the trailhead to the tallest peak in Cache Valley (Naomi Peak, around 10,000 ft). Haven't done this hike yet, but yesterday Brian and I returned and I accompanied him biking up the road that leads up to the lake. All along the way, ground squirrels darted back and forth, a breeze made the aspens flutter their leaves, and dotting the side of the road were geraniums, columbines, and lupines (and lots of other plants I can't name)... it almost made me forget that I was dying from the altitude!
Sp Sq and her Mister have been on my mind a lot lately-- aforementioned ground squirrels, plus the most adorable "regular" squirrels here in Logan, plus the beaver in the canal that's half a block away from our house. Actually, I can't say for sure that the squirrels in Logan and the ones at Tony Grove are really different, but they superficially seem different. I've only had a good look at the ones down here-- they're similar to the dudes in Arlington, but much smaller in size and they have really distinct white marks around the eyes. They're also much less abundant here. An added bonus are the little duck families in the canals, and watching momma duck and her progeny crossing the roads. Thankfully the cars all seem to watch out for them...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wha. . .Changing Projects and Advisors?!

Ok--I warned you all that if you let me play I was going to hit you up for advice.

I've got an RA for a project that is similar to what I did for my master's. I've been hitting some snags in cooperation from the quarries for access not to mention that the government has drastically changed the safety protocols for working on these field sites. My masters had funding from the state and they basically HAD to be compliant with allowing me access because they were't going to get any results if they didn't, that is now apparently not the case. I will not only have to get more cooperation from more people to even access sites than for my masters but I have to persuade them to babysit me and bring equipment for me to use along with people to run it for me. This project is quite industry-based and since I've had a mouthfull of industry enough to assuage my appetite for the next geologic time period I think I need to do something "more academic" (not to mention a heck of a lot more interesting). I've got an opportunity from a new prof to possibly work with them and I'm seriously considering it.

I can't remember if any of you ladies switched, but do you have any advice about how to break it to my old advisors? I doubt it will be too big of an issue because they are pretty frusterated with the restrictions we are under--but I would rather avoid the "Hi--I'm back, thanks for the funding. . .and Oh--bye--I'm going to go work on something else" animosity. Any experiences, suggestions, anecdotes. . .cookies?!

Monday, July 13, 2009

knitting pets

The Lawrence paper has a section featuring the cats & dogs that live in the downtown stores, which made me think we should have the same for knitter blog. So post your pet photos here with an update! (feel free to edit this blog rather than posting by comment).

Sally and Rusty are cattle dog mixes adopted from Lawrence Humane Society (these are their shelter pics). Sally is around 6yrs old and really turning gray. The shelter got her from Topeka when she was 3 mon. old and had her for 6 more mon. before I adopted her. She's still shy of new people and fearful of paper and feet. Rusty may be 5 yrs old. He was found in Baldwin with a leather studded collar, and is way over protective of me and slinks around like a coyote. Guaba is the 1st cat I got while living on my own. He is 13 (wow). I got him as a kitten in Nebraska, and he's traveled all over NE with me. He's always had a heart arythmia, but seems to be aging well. Yoda is from Red Cloud NE and is 11 (holy cow) but I still think of him as the kitten and he acts like it. His mom was Siamese, which my explain why he's so chattery and likes to play in water.

Mister Splashy Pants
was a drop-off from a young woman I'd never seen before (or since) last July. We named her after the famous greenpeace whale . Since turning one (May 1) she has not become any less kitten-like. She's very cute, pampered, and completely unaware of how her world is going to turn upside down in a few weeks.

Benjamin (grey and white) was a gift from my sister in 2001. His world changed when I inherited Maddy (with the floppy ears) two years later from another graduate student who thought her personality was obnoxious. Benjamin and Maddy were far from friends at first sight, but are now devoted to each other.

A mutual friend gave us Franny the guinea pig. When she was small she was particularly shrill and squeaky, and so was named after Fran Drescher. Franny would hear the rustle of a sack or the refrigerator door open, and would squeal for food. She would chirp quietly when contented, and sometimes while I worked we'd chat back and forth. I miss her. She died while we were in New Zealand this past February.

Lucy, a Jack Russell Terrier, was originially a temporary foster pet, just until my sister and I could find a new home for her. She was two years old and sick with heartworms when we first got her, and her rabies vaccination tag was from Kentucky. Other than that, her past is a mystery. She stayed with us for a couple months before she was first placed in a "real" home--in Richmond, with an older woman who realized that Lucy was much too high-energy for her, returning her to us after only a week. I was mopey and sad the whole week she was gone, and overjoyed when we found out she was coming back home. She's been my dog (and now Brian's) ever since.

Friday, July 3, 2009


I have been lightly and only partially admonished for not keeping up with this blog and, therefore, having heard from Lisa (and others of you) only a handful of times since I left KU two years ago. The few times I've jumped on the blog, I tried to piece together everyone's recent histories, got overwhelmed, and disappeared. I will do better.

It would be good to see Lisa on Facebook. This summer is an exception (see below), but during the busy school year, I find it's a great way to take 30 seconds every few days to see what everyone's up to, with histories that are easy enough to follow should you fall behind. This comes, of course, at the expense of having all kinds of peripherals and tangentials able to see various amounts of your personal life (although you do have a fair amount of control), as well as it asks you to condense your life events into tiny snippets.

This blog is great because it allows posters to elaborate in their own way. I try to make my Facebook entries somewhat amusing and blog-like, and a small minority of my friends there seem to take the time to read and respond. Just like this forum, but it seems like the virtual equivalent of Lisa's and my parties: the Hostess with the Mostest has a better attended blog than I ever will and seems to throw it together and maintain it with much more ease than I ever could if I were to start one.

This summer has been an exception to my typical sporadic Facebook behavior because I'm bored and like to see others’ updates. I'm about 6 months pregnant and generally have been avoiding being outdoors because the prairie heat is much harder on me than usual. We continue to do home improvements, but in my state and with my limited skills, there are many things I can't do, especially when home alone during the day. I've passed on opportunities to go to Costa Rica (for research advising) and to Alaska (for meetings) because they needed too much pre-planning, and early on I had no idea how functional I'd be throughout pregnancy.

So far, the process has gone absolutely as smoothly as could be hoped. No problems, complications, concerns, or risk factors. At last measure, baby girl was 60th percentile for size (this is one of those things about which you want your child to be average). I've had very by-the-books nausea, fatigue, and general misery during the first trimester, a pretty good second trimester, and a third trimester that promises to be filled with tiny, frequent meals.

Walter and I finished a breastfeeding class (it turns out this is not a process covered during any part of one's preparation as a mammalogist, but yet it needs covering) and we are now in the midst of a natural childbirth class. I would like to go 100% natural and am leaning towards water birth but still reserve the right to request drugs if "necessary" at some point. I almost feel silly talking about all the classes and research we've been doing, but it's really hard to gain real-life experience before the event actually happens. To be honest, I'm pretty confident about the next 18+ years but am freaked out by giving birth. I'm slowly getting to the point where I'm just waiting for it to happen.

Our home improvements include a brand-new kitchen, done mostly by ourselves, that needs only grout between the tiles and new floor trim, which is waiting in a pile of unfinished wood because the kitchen shares a "logical" space with the dining room and living room, both of which are in earlier stages of improvement. I'd like them done before the baby is due in late September, as they seem to form a self-contained home-improvement unit. But also, we've got to finish the baby's room! Walls and closet are painted bright green, but we're at a stopping point because we need to replace the closet and hallway doors (and there's only so much you can fit into a Prius) and are 95% likely to commit to new windows in the house, which means that baby's room will remain without trim for another 6 weeks. Oh, and the wood floors need either to be seriously redone or covered with carpet. Not sure what we're waiting for on that one.

I'll end my essay here. I really do plan to be better about lurking on the blog and look forward to hearing more from Lisa and the rest of you! I hope everyone has an enjoyable 4th of July!