I really am alive, I just don’t have a life

It’s been a long, long, long summer. Jared and I moved from Kentucky to Virginia at the beginning of August, and are currently living with his parents. Most of our stuff is in storage in Kentucky ($44 a month ftw! Greenwood StorPlace rocks.), so we’ll be back out that way some time after the wedding.

That’s where my life has gone, by the way. Between job searching, landscaping and construction in the back yard, and cleaning and reorganizing the house, it’s been pretty much nonstop since we got back to Virginia from the move. We’re hoping that after October 10, things will get back to relative normalcy.

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Heat wave

It’s been too long!

Jared and I are in the DC metro area for a while, catching some shows, spreading the resumes, and getting everything lined up for our move out of Kentucky.

Valkyrie is learning to live as an outside dog, mostly because she’s covered in mud and not allowed to stay in the house because it’s a daily thing with her.

The camera battery needs to be charged, so you’ll have to wait for photos of the in-law’s garden and the current project, an atrium. When I finally find the charger, you’ll also get a look at life behind the sound wall – the 495 expansion is practically in their back yard, despite the documents that put the sound wall about ten feet in the other direction (Somebody snuck an extra lane in. Bad senators, bad. Go sit in the corner.).

But life in NoVa isn’t bad, we’ve got the house to ourselves while the parents visit family on vacation in Canada and the brother spends most of his time at his girlfriend’s place. There are more tomatoes than I know what to do with (literally. They’re practically rotting before we can eat them), and either tonight or tomorrow, I’m making plum butter. I promise, I’ll get the camera charged!

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Filed under General, Virginia

Goodbye, Anita!

In slightly over 24 hours, I went from the owner of a 93 Jeep Cherokee, to the babysitter of said auto. This afternoon, I sold Anita Phillippe the Jeep to a woman from just south of Owensboro. Kim was willing to drive down to Bowling Green today to see my baby, even though Anita wasn’t running. She helped me confirm what the problem was (the grounding cable was toast, so while I occasionally had electricity, it didn’t go beyond the initial key turning buzzing), went and bought the supplies to fix it, and helped me rig it all back together. There’s a little more to be done, but we got the engine going, and Kim finally had to believe me when I said that she runs like a top, I wasn’t stretching the truth. This Saturday, she’s coming back with her husband to drive the Cherokee to a new home.

My city boy, Jared, and I came to the decision just a couple days ago. Since we’re moving to northern Virginia in a month or so, we started thinking about the whole transportation issue. We are staying with his folks for a few months, and they’re pretty much in either walking or metro distance of wherever we’d want to go. If we go anywhere else, we’re probably traveling together, and since his Jeep is newer, we tend to use his for those rides. Add in his two months of military training post-wedding, and my poor Cherokee would have been sitting on the street for almost four months, with very little use.

So Anita Phillippe, you’ve been good to me. You’ve safely taken me from my hometown in California, across the Rockies and the Great Salt Lake Basin, to south central Kentucky, and from Kentucky to California, three times. You’ve toughed out an emergency trip from Bowling Green to Winston-Salem with a day’s notice and no oil change, and have played the part of a U-Haul on a whim’s notice.

Anita Phillippe the Jeep

You’ve put up with bicycles, dressers, enthusiastically wet dogs, and more teenage boys in one car that should ever be allowed.

You’ve suffered windstorms, incredible elevation changes, long distance races against summer classes, the Nevada desert in July, ice storms, and one ten-inch thick tree branch, and have stood firm.

This Saturday, Anita, you will join the ranks of Fred the Ford and Denise de Nissan, but unlike your predecessors, your journey is continuing beyond theirs. You, a solid California chick (well, your previous owner, my brother, still claims you’re a dude, but your temperament is far too much like my own for you to be male), are about to transform into a Kentucky hills girl.

I’ll miss you, girl!

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The Fourth, a Day Early.

Plumas County in California, where I grew up, is a firecracker and amateur firework-free zone. We like our forests in one piece, not burned to a crisp, and that’s hard enough without people putting on their own fireworks extravaganza.

Kentucky though, they love their roadside firework stands. And the people in our current neighborhood seem to love ’em, too. Four different households, in less than half a mile, kept the skies lit up last night.

While I enjoyed the show, it’s still unsettling for me to see them going off in residential areas, so close to rooftops and tree lines.

Driving around after dark led to some spectacular photographs, though!

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A good Friday is…

Getting one heck of a Jeep tan from riding around in a buddy’s redneck rig all afternoon – even if it was just running errands in town!

Happy Fourth of July weekend, everyone! Please be careful with your exhibitions of lights and sound, no burning the garage down!

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Filed under Kentucky, Uncategorized

Wednesdays are strange

When you start the morning by stepping knee-deep into a sinkhole in the backyard, all you can do is hope that the day will improve. Of course, that’s what I get for taking the dog outside before I’m totally conscious.

Aside from a tiny cut on the top of my foot, the only damage was a bit of mud stuck to one heel. No breaks, no sprains, no ridiculous four-inch scrape on my ankle (unlike the last time). I swear, these sinkholes are breeding.

What the sudden fall did do though, was create some lovely misalignment and inflammation in my left hip, which I always appreciate. Nothing like limping around the book store to enforce the quality of your day.

I have a birth defect called Congenital Hip Dysplasia, or CHD (alternately know as Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip). Most people hear hip dyplasia and think of German shepherds and Labrador dogs. But around 1 in 1000 human births have hip dysplasia, and that number is higher among females, and even higher still if they’re the firstborn or were born breech. Or, if you’re me, you’re female, firstborn, breech, and have a family history of it. In other words, I was screwed from day one.

Let’s hope that sinkhole stops growing.

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Filed under General, Kentucky

College has made me lazy.

I’ve been living in Kentucky since fall 2005, and while it is gorgeous in its constant greenness, today has been the first nice, well-temperatured day we’ve had in weeks. I’m thanking the thunderstorm we had earlier, because this afternoon was excellent. But seriously, Kentucky, lay off the heat!

On Facebook, you’ll find a group called Ab Divas and Ab Divos. It’s a relatively small group, mostly made up of people who know one another in northern and central California. The challenge is to do 100 reps of whatever abdominal exercises you wish for 100 consecutive days. If you miss a day, you start over at day 1. If you’re not up to 100 reps, try 50 days of 50 reps

I’m at day 1 for the second attempt of the 50 days of 50. Sit ups should not be this difficult. I’ve gotten soft.

I blame my other half’s cooking. The man has talent. Tonight it was creamy turnip, mushroom and chicken soup with sauteed onions and red peppers. Last night it was slow cooked pork ribs with homemade sauce. I have photos of none of it, because it’s always half devoured before I think about finding the camera.

So instead, meet us and the dog.

Mountain Girl and her City Slicker

That’s us.

Dogface

Meet the fuzzface.

This is Dogface. Valkyrie, eater of flies and challenger of honey bees. They’ve been winning, lately.

And since it’s officially Tuesday, I need to get off the computer.

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Filed under General, Kentucky, Photography