Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy Spring!

I started the day with the dogs, walking them in the near-dark. The ground in the field is still a little soft from the recent rains, which is a good, if muddy, thing.

Meet Jane, my new ride. She's pleasant, low miles, everything works (so far), but she's no Cadillac. I still don't feel quite at home with her. Maybe we'll bond tomorrow--I'm going down to the City and nothing like traffic to bring people together. Oh wait, she's not a person. M thinks it will be helpful to get her out on the highway for a little extended engine revving or something. Unfortunately, she's still a little smelly from the stuff they use to make her interior look new-ish, but it's getting better. And I'm just glad not to be stressed out about whether or not I'll break down somewhere, in the dark or rain. I'm also very grateful to M who made the whole purchase very easy on me. We sneakily looked at cars on our auto row late one evening after the stores had closed, so didn't have to deal witht the eager sales staff. Jane luckily was on the lot where he used to work and where he still had friends, so he took care of the wheeling and dealing, so all I had to do was go down and sign the papers. Thank goodness!

I'm going to SF tomorrow on an interesting errand, a new experience for me: I'm a mentor! Someone I met at SXSW last year has an organization, NewMe Accelerator, that incubates startup companies founded by minorities and women, and he asked me to join as a mentor. Frankly, I was surprised--I don't have any business experience--but hey, I love to give advice! And I can certainly advise about marketing and PR once they get their business up and running, so there it is.

It's been a pleasant couple of weeks, with a little excitement here and there.

The house hunting is moving along: we have to paint our home before putting it on the market, which our agent is very eager to do. We got a crazy-low bid from a colleague of our handyman neighbor, so that's a relief, especially after the auto outlay. The whole home purchase idea is still a little dreamy to me. I've wanted more space since we moved in a dozen years ago, but well, we've been here a dozen years and inertia has set in to a certain extent. We've accumulated so much crap that the idea of moving it makes me shut down a bit. Gotta work on my brain compartmentalization techniques I guess. One thing at time. We haven't even put our house on the market yet for FSM's sake, much less found a house we want to live in for probably the rest of my life. One mental decision helped a little--I had been working myself up a bit thinking that this would be the last home purchase ever. Ever! And you know what? It really doesn't have to be. I want it to be a place where I'll be happy if I don't ever move again, but why put all that pressure on myself? Que sera, sera. Only the Magic 8Ball knows the future. And the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Roxy had been acting poorly, not wanting to jump out of the truck, limping and yiping for no apparently reason, so we took her to the vet. It seems that she may be starting to feel arthritis! The vet recommended we give her anti-inflammatory meds and rest her since she may be having back pain. After two days of the meds she started having odd, seemingly uncontrollable spasms in her back leg, so we stopped. But, we did rest her a bit and she appears to be feeling better. She's still not flinging herself about with intensity that she used to when a walk or bowl of food is imminent, but frankly that's a bit of a relief.

I took a few days off of work last week and we went to Manchester for a long weekend. It was very nice, as usual. I didn't work on any of the knitting projects I brought, but I slept a fair amount, read, relaxed, walked on the beach. It rained buckets and hailed too, which was quite exciting. I saw the CityArt gallery space--very nice.

Don, Mom, Roxy by suzipaw
Don, Mom, Roxy, a photo by suzipaw on Flickr.

TMI alert: I'm scheduled for a colonoscopy in a few weeks. My first one, cuz I'm 50, and the first time I'll ever have tried twilight anesthesia. Truly, I'm not looking forward to it, though the "cleansing" process I have to go through the night before appeals to me in an odd way. Hey, I'm a Virgo--scrubbing the ol' intestinal tract seems like A Good Thing.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Adventures of Late

Road trip by suzipaw
Road trip, a photo by suzipaw on Flickr.

In reverse chronological order:

M and I joined friends Caitlin and Sean for a long drive through some BLM back country yesterday. We took Rex (Roxy is very gunshy) and encountered ridges with incredible views of peaks (Lassen, Shasta, Tahoe range, the Buttes) and valleys, scrub and forest, rivers and lakes. We stopped at what we thought was going to be an idyllic spot by a river for some target practice, but it was marred by the many shooters before us: lots of trash, broken bottles, and copious amounts of toilet paper comingled with the incredibly sized pinecones under the trees.

Shooting off the various firearms the men had brought was an activity I don't often indulge in, so that was fun. Our picnic was marred by a caravan of five jeeps that actually were driving up the river bed and tearing it up, but other than that we had a fine time. Rex got a little bored, but I'm sure he was glad to be with us. We resolved to come back again to camp--there were quite a few people taking advantage of the amazing winter weather to set up tents and enjoy the mostly remote area. It's a little unnerving and also freeing to be in a place where the usual camping rules don't necessarily apply. I just wish people could exercise a little more personal responsibility to go along with that liberty.

The week before I spent mostly in Santa Clara at our second conference of the year. It went very well, even better than we'd hoped, and that was great. However, that meant it was also very busy, and that meant I didn't leave the hotel from when I arrived Monday morning til Thursday afternoon. I did hit the gym twice, yay! Though I can tell I've lost a little ground in the weight department--time to get back to the real gym tomorrow.

The weekend before Santa Clara, M and I headed over to Redding for brother Steve's 50th birthday party. It was truly a surprise, which was great. His girlfriend Tammie had booked an excellent band and it was pleasant if chilly hanging out with family by the bonfire. I played kitchen with Sophia and Myla after the party, and we had more quality family time at breakfast the next morning. I feel like I'm seeing more of the brothers and their families lately, and I'm really grateful for that!

In a nuclear family first, we actually left the dogs alone overnight for the Redding trip! We had a neighbor look in on them in evening and the morning before we returned. They survived, but it was pretty hard on us humans.

The only bummer of that journey was the Monster Mobile--this was the first long road trip test for it after the repair, and sadly she failed. Coolant is still leaking and the misfires are back, so into the shop she goes tomorrow. I really don't want to be car shopping now, but I also really need a reliable vehicle.

In other news: I called the real estate agent who sold us our current abode and have put the wheels in motion for mortgage loan pre-approval. Now that I'm back, I can start to dig into that process. Unfortunately, it looks like we probably won't be able to keep our current place and rent it out like I'd hoped, but I have more research to do there.