Saturday, October 31, 2009

Some pics from Logan

The bottom photo is the results of my wattle-fence building experiment. I've always wanted to make a wattle fence, but never had willow branches to try. At the end of this fall's yard clean-up, I found I had several lengths of really long branches (I don't know of what kind of plant). Alas, it is not the tightly-woven little fence of my imagination, but it was a lot of fun to try.

We have already had two snowfalls this Fall! Right now the snow is gone and the weather is crisp and beautiful. I am waiting for our trick-or-treaters to arrive, with a mountain of candy in hand. We were told that last year our block received 600 kids!

Friday, October 30, 2009


Here's what the knitting group would look like if we still met. It's turned into a roller derby group - we're in our Halloween costumes (notice #42's derby name, yes another knitting baby is on its way!). And Rusty in the luchador mask I won at the El Santo movie fest at Liberty Hall Plus the newest knitting baby.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Cheryl!

I always forget the date, but know that our favorite soccer-playing, Tennessee home-owning ecologist is officially a year older sometime about now.
Happy Birthday Cheryl! Wishing you a wonderful next trip around the sun and many more to follow.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Good advice I received too late

One of my mother friends gave me this sound advice when I was seven months pregnant, so it was too late for me. When pregnant when your regular clothes stop fitting, don't spend lots of effort making them fit and don't jump into maternity clothes. Buy some clothes two sizes bigger than you normally wear.

The big advantage to this comes a few months after giving birth. At that time, one is sick of maternity clothes, sick of looking pregnant and not yet fitting into one's regular clothes. At that point, one absolutely doesn't want to go out and pay for new "fat" clothes since one is intending to fit back into one's normal size. If one had normal (i.e. non-maternity), but larger clothes sitting around, it would be psychologically much better ("hey, I fit into some non-maternity clothes) than giving in and going and buying them new ("I can't believe I have nothing to wear so I need to go pay full price for stuff in the "women's" department.")
I'm in Colorado where it was 80 degrees on Sunday for my croquet tournament (I could still wear my maternity capris, which I love) and is currently snowing, and I'm glad I went and bought a pair of big jeans yesterday-- but I actually could have used them last March.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Birthday wishes

Happy birthday to our favorite cnidarian biologist! Wishing you a wonderful day, Abby!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Our New Home!

I finally have a moment to post some pics of our new house! Sorry for double posting if you have already seen these on Facebook, but for those who haven't...

We are really enjoying our new place, the house was built in 1941 (Stelios found what we believe are the blueprints in the attic - who knows what other treasures are there!) and once you start looking around the place, it has a lot of interesting features to it. The hardwood floors are beautiful, we are enjoying the sun room a lot and I finally have a yard to play around in! I will be trying to send out our address when I have a chance between pcr's and I hope that all can come and visit us soon!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I thought twice about posting this picture. The koala is so over-the-top adorable it seems like showing off to share the photo. But it illustrates some important changes in my life that I want you all to know about. Notice the double chin, pornstar boobs, bulging tummy, and greasy complexion? This picture sums up perfectly what my first trimester of pregnancy was like. It was exciting, emotional, puffy, full of travel, and pretty uncomfortable. For a month I actually felt green (think bugs bunny feeling queasy). But that has passed, and I’m getting to the part where it starts to feel real. We’re getting really excited now and happy to start sharing the news. I just wish I could tell you all in person!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Where I Belong?

Ever since Irene posted on my blog about her missed calling (or in another life followed her calling) as a literature prof. "writing treatises on the foundations of modern fantasy literature" I've been contemplating alternative fantasy careers (What were you meant to do?).
Then a job posting came across ecolog to teach writing here. And I so wanted to apply. I'm not sure why-- sure, the job pays as much as my current job, but, instead of teaching 3 different lectures and three different labs each semester, I'd be teaching 5 sections (with twelve or fewer students each) of what would likely be the same or similar classes each year. But it wasn't that. Somehow I want to teach science through writing and writing through science. I feel I was meant to be someone who excites students about links between nutrition, ecology, plants, cooking, community and social wellness and writing through food.
And I was going to post about it and ask you if I should apply and what alternative careers you are missing.
Then the replacement ecology prof. brought his labs to my garden for a ecological garden lab and about half of the students loved it. Then I guest lectured on stats to the "Techniques of Science" class and am still thinking of better ways to introduce biostats. Then I started (gulp!) finding papers on harvest and matrix models that were published since my dissertation so that I can (gulp!) actually submit pieces of the darned thing and I found I was fascinated by the process (gulp! gulp!).
Crazy as it seems, maybe this is the job I was meant to be doing.
What fits you about your current position?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Bat Baby

I'll let the mother post the details when she is up tp it, but rumor has it that our favorite bat biologist and her beekeeping hubby now have a litte Zoey to keep them company (i.e. awake).

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Econundrums, maybe?

Situations in which you might want to make the ecologically "right" choice, but it's not very clear what that is.

Here are a few of my recent ones.

1) I think on my own blog, I already mentioned the Norway maple trees in my yard. They're an invasive species, so maybe I should cut them down and plant native trees instead. But on the other hand, they're performing a variety of ecological functions that their hypothetical replacement trees would take a good many years to grow into. My decision here was that if money was no issue I would probably replace them, but money is definitely an issue - so for now, they stay.

2) Inspired by some very pleasant fall weather lately, I started thinking about riding a bike instead of taking the train to work. There is a bike trail that more or less follows the train tracks along the Schuylkill River, and to reach it, I would probably drive to the same train station at which I currently board the train. There are too many huge, bike-unfriendly roads between our house and the Schuylkill trail for me to bike all the way from our house. If I drive then bike, instead of drive then ride the train, I personally get some benefits - I'd save money and get more exercise. But environmentally speaking? The train will run whether I use it or not, and I presume that my presence on the train is negligible in terms of energy cost to run the train. Maybe the extra calories I would eat to make up for all that strenuous biking would have a higher ecological cost than my contribution to the ecological cost of public transit? Not to mention that by using public transit, I'm helping to create demand for it and ensure its continued operation/improvement so that it can be a viable alternative to driving. The lazy option might be the greener one here.

What econundrums have you thought about lately?