Monday, December 28, 2009

winter wonderland

How about that? This blizzard rolled in on Thursday morning and kept on going until Saturday afternoon.

This photo was taken on our drive to see family Christmas day.

Police snowmobile:

When we arrived home from Christmas, we had this to deal with before we could get in to the garage (Got another 8+ inches after getting home I think.)

We had already shoveled this twice at this point, too.

On Dec 26, the next day (random houses and cars).

Guy shoveling his roof.

Merry blizzardmas!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

catch me if you can

I gave a presentation last night, and that was the last of my responsibility toward that class (aside from watching/listening to the presentations of others next week).

That's a relief.

I have two more papers to write for my other class. One will be short and easy; the other long and not as easy. I hope to finish one of them tonight, after my class (which is three hours long).

On Saturday, I am throwing a bridal shower for my best childhood friend. I have not devoted as much attention to this as I wanted to, but I have been swamped with school and other things (related to our own wedding, our home, and the impending holidays), but I hope she will enjoy the shower. I would also really like to get our Christmas tree this coming weekend, and decorate it. The following week, we have a holiday party to attend. We're also going to take some pictures of a friend's new baby for her. The week after that is my friend's wedding. We are the photographers (not something we make a habit of, but this is a favor/wedding gift). The wedding is another friend's bridal shower.

I wish I could say we're going to have a nice relaxing Christmas break away from it all, but we're not. I am planning to take half a vacation day on Christmas eve, which I'll probably spend wrapping presents for our trip to my in-laws' house.

Other stuff I've been doing lately: I laid out and ordered some books from Shutterfly (I make our photo albums that way; also making wedding album gifts for some family members.) I ordered our Christmas cards from them too. Last Saturday, I put up our Christmas lights. I did most of it, but husband had to do the part that involved standing on the top step of the ladder.

Winter is here, so I'm glad I got our lights up. It's been cold for weeks, but we finally have some proof.

Generally our snow comes whipping in sideways on the back of a 40 mph wind, creating drifts and visibility problems. This is just odd.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

have to / want to

Oh man. Such a busy month ahead.

On the "school" list: I have a 20 page paper, a project, a 15-page paper with accompanying presentation, a 6 page paper with accompanying presentation, and another 6 page paper. Most of that is due in the next 2 weeks, and is in addition to the normal reading assignments and class activities.

On the "other obligations" list, we have wedding Thank You notes. And Christmas gifts for the parents and grandparents. (I want to give them all shutterfly photo-books of our best photos. Currently I'm editing the photos, then I'll lay it out.) It's been over 2 months. I should have this stuff finished already. Hmph. Aside from our own wedding, I also have my longest-known, best friend's wedding. It's the weekend before Christmas and we're the photographers. I'm also throwing her a shower 2 weeks prior (the weekend before our Finals week). At least it isn't being held at my house! Additionally, another friend had a baby a few weeks ago and would like us to take some baby portraits and pics of her family. That's probably going to be the weekend after this one. I'll feel pressure to edit those ASAP too, because I assume my friend will want them before Christmas.

What else? Oh yeah, holidays! Thanksgiving is the next holiday, a week from tomorrow (really?! already?). I need to make a baked good for that. (Well, I don't need to, but I've been wanting to. I really like baking and I found a new thing to try.) We need to get a Christmas tree too, but when? Thanksgiving weekend we have the baby portraits. Then the following weekend is my other friend's shower. And with all the homework we have (Mr. N has as much as I do, if not more, and the stress of studying for final exams), it's not like we have "most of a weekend" free after a Saturday obligation. It'd be nice to hang some lights on our house too. Be a little festive. There are even clips for them up there already (thanks, previous owner!).

I've now got a list of "when-pigs-fly" stuff I have planned to do before Christmas. Like scrapbooking our wedding cards (this'll be awesome, seriously -- when I get around to it). And printing out the whole year's backlog of pictures for my normal photo albums (am I the only person who does paper albums anymore? I love them. But mine are a bit neglected at the moment). And embroidering our stockings with our names -- last year, I ran out of time to do it, and this year by God I was gonna get it done. Oh and Christmas Cards! What about those? We did them last year and would like to do them this year. This year's cards are going be pretty "quick and dirty," I guess - if they get done at all.

So yes, this is the time of year when Netflix makes money off of us. The movies sit on the TV stand for weeks before we watch them, sometimes. Oh well.

I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot of stuff in there. Stuff like Christmas shopping, and wrapping. And eating, sleeping, and did I mention working? Somewhere in there I also have to get a new passport, because we're going on a trip in March.

I was telling my friend and fellow doctoral cohort member that I don't know what I'll do when I'm done with school. I'll have all these crafts and hobbies and baking ideas, and I'll actually be able to accomplish them because I'll actually have free time on my nights and weekends! Being able to do stuff I want to do, in a timely manner? The concept seems to outrageous and wild to me right now.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

cat in the dishwasher

It's a little blurry, but I really like this pic.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

our wedding, a few pictures

 We were married on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at the Traill County Courthouse in Hillsboro, North Dakota. It was small: 7 people attended. Perfect.

[Credit for the above 3 pix to Shawna Noel Photography; bottom one by family.]

We went to a nice dinner at a Grand Forks restaurant, with all of our guests. Then it was back to our house for cake!

After cake, the night was pretty much over. The nine of us sat around in our living room, stuffed with cake, and chatted until it was time to say goodnight. It was a really great day. I'm especially glad we chose to end the night at our home - the memories of the cake-cutting.

Three days later, there was a picnic to celebrate, thrown by my in-laws. The party lasted until 3 AM (even though we personally were tuckered out and ready for bed before midnight).

We were unable to take a honeymoon after our wedding. I wish we had been able to, but we really did not have the time due to school. We'll see if we can take one next summer.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

rusty, settling in

Tiberius discovered the front window a couple of days ago. I'd put a blanket there for him prior to bringing him home with us, but he was just too busy exploring and playing and being hyper to take the time to sit and look. Now, I guess, he has decided to spare a little time each day. He can see cars, birds, weather, people walking by, etc. Since our snow last week, our leaves have been falling from the trees in droves. He's loving it.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

our new cat, Tiberius

A.k.a: "Rusty".

We picked him up on Saturday in the late morning. We put him on the toy-dog carrier I got at Petco on clearance (12 bucks!) and took him to town, where we made him wait in the car while we got some Chinese food from our favorite restaurant.

Then we brought him home. He meowed most of the way. After we got home he looked out the windows and smelled the furniture and bit my foot.

Today I gave him a bear to bite:

And he also took several naps.

He is used to being kept in a (large) kennel at night. We will not be doing that, but for his first few nights we plan to keep him confined to one area of the house. It's a big house and he's a small cat, so we feel better introducing him to it (and all of the wonderfully destroyable things within!) slowly.

Friday, October 09, 2009

we got a cat!

Here's how we were encouraged/suckered into it.

About 6 weeks ago I had the following text-conversation with one of my oldest childhood friends.

Her: We have a cat inside. You want him? We were just taming him down and then moving him on...
Me: Hah no thanks - cat free life is nice:)
E: Well if you change your mind let me know. He's turning out to be a great cat. My life is just too busy
Me: Hah how old - kitten or adult
E: 2 or 3 months. Was a wild one we trapped from my wild adult cat. Didn't know if it would work but it did.
Me: Cool not for me but I'll ask around.
E: Thanks.

First of all, yes, we do text in mostly proper grammar and complete sentences. We're not those kind of textors (*shakes fist at damn kids, yells at them to get off her lawn*).

And second, a little bit about my friend E. I've known her since I moved to the region, back in 3rd grade. We were in the same class, and rode the same bus. We've been friends ever since.

She's always had a soft spot for animals. She now owns and operates a business related to those interests. I'm very proud of her for having the courage to make her life and living doing something she truly loves - most of us don't have that courage. But anyway, animals. For as long as I've known her, E has been trying to find homes for several. She grew up in a farm environment, so there were always kittens and puppies (many people here don't believe in spending the money to spay and neuter animals that primarily live outdoors and exist to catch mice/ward off predators/etc). Don't judge E or her family and/or neighbors for this please.

I swear, a season could not pass without my family being offered a puppy, a kitty, a goat, a duck, a chinchilla, a rabbit, or some other random animal that E had taken pity on and was trying to re-home. My mom and dad love animals, but we had one dog and one cat and they stood their ground in spite of E's (and my) pleading.

So back to the texts. I forgot about it. And then last weekend, Mr. N and I went to E's house to take some engagement pictures of them. As we waited for them to finish primping themselves, this little fellow walked up to us and pushed on our legs. I picked him up and pet him. He purred and pawed at me. I set him down. Mr. N squatted and extended his arm. The kitty stood on his back legs and grabbed Mr. N's hand. Then scampered over and jumped up on his knee, rubbing his furry little head on Mr. N's chest and arm.

E: "You suuuuure you don't want him?"

Silence and smiles from us. E went to tend to something else. "You know," I said, "she tried to give me this cat."

"This is a healthy cat," he said.

"She had him neutered, he's got all his shots," I said.

We went out and spent the afternoon taking photos and getting rained on. We grabbed some takeout Chinese on our way home. We spent a few days both talking about it and not talking about it.

"A cat would destroy that blanket," I said one night, referring to a super-soft throw my mother gave me, which I had kept stashed in a trunk throughout my cat ownership years.

"We could put the litter box in the laundry room," we mused on another evening.

"I would want to feed the cat high quality food," I stated on another day.

And on Wednesday evening, he said to me: "Do you have a name picked out?"
"I don't like to name animals I don't own," I replied.

So we weighed the pros and cons and finally, I texted E. I said: "After 20 years of you trying to make my family adopt various pets... I figure I owe you one."

Last night, I folded up my super-soft chenille throw and placed it back in the trunk. This morning I brought my Peace Lily and my and African Violet to work (both are poisonous to cats). Tomorrow, we'll pick up our cat.

Friday, October 02, 2009

needs improvement

I need to get over this idea that I need a huge, open block of time to do anything. (Homework, work on craft project, read a book, etc.) I rarely have that kind of time, so instead I spend perfectly useful bits of spare time surfing the web and commenting on people's Facebook statuses. It's not really a great strategy, long term.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Our wedding day.

We were married on a Wednesday. A gorgeous, cloudless, blue-skied Wednesday afternoon. A woman sitting near us at the restaurant (after our ceremony) made some too-loud and rather opinionated remarks about this to her dinner-mates before turning her chair and halfheartedly congratulating us on our marriage.

But we afforded the specific day of our marriage little concern because in the long run, it won't matter.

So now, we're adjusting to being married. I can see why people take a honeymoon if they can. Even if they've been living together. That vacation really helps it sink in. It's a shift from the norm and it isolates you from the routine (or chaos) that is your daily life. We're not taking a honeymoon, right now. It doesn't fit our school schedules. Maybe next summer.

What makes our situation weird (for me at least) is that nothing has really changed, even though actually, everything has. We did take a little time off work last week, but the semester has started so the "show must go on". I did skip my Wednesday night class however: I was busy getting married during the class meeting time. He went to his morning class, and he resumed going to class the next day too.

Yesterday we bid my parents a farewell at the airport; this morning we were back at work, and school, and life, and lawn-mowing once more. We're also dealing with a lot of undue and difficult-to-handle stress, just like we were before we said the words and shared the kiss (and the cake, oh, the cake).

I'm super-happy.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

i'm getting married

This week, actually.

We spent the weekend doing lots of house stuff and other various tasks to ready our humble residence for the inevitable onslaught of family.

Posting will be sparse for a few days here, but I haven't abandoned the blog. I'm just busy. Tomorrow: manicure, flowers, parents, and more. And soon: a vow.

And then, more blogging from yours truly. But I'll be a married woman!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

to busy to do anything

My adviser talked me in to a readings class for the summer. I have to locate and read 20-30 articles in a specific area of interest, by the beginning of august. I signed up for the class in mid-May. I've found 3 articles and read 2. What have I been doing? Bumming around, doing yard work, watching movies, surfing the 'net... You know, procrastinating. I could blame my lack of academic progress on our upcoming nuptials, but honestly, that doesn't take up a lot of my time. And my job is... my job. It's not preventing me from getting schoolwork done during my free time.

I'm just a procrastinator of the highest order. I've made it through two and a half degrees like this and it has yet to bite me in the ass. With about 3 weeks left to hunt down and read all those articles, I'm starting to feel the sense of urgency I need to feel in order to actually force myself to get it done. But juuuuuust starting to. I'm also planning a trip out east to see the family, so that helps me to realize the reality of a "crunch time" for these readings.

I can be a really productive person. When I sit down to do something, it doesn't take me long to produce a good quality result. So how did I become such a procrastinator? I dunno. All I know is that "hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


We have bought ourselves a house. Signed the papers 4 days ago. Which was also finals week. Since then, we've been over at the house every night after work, usually until early the next morning, trying to get a few things done before we move in. (Have to be out of our townhouse by the end of May.)

Project 1... ceilings. Ugh. Ceilings are awful.

Up next... walls. Turns out, I'm not a fan of velveeta yellow, dark maroon, lime green, or nautical tan/cream/navy stripes. Yet, we have all that and more (neon orange? Oh yeah.).

Thursday, April 09, 2009

what day is it?

There is a lot of stuff going on in our lives right now.

School is getting to the point where we're both having to put in a lot of work on class projects, most of which will be due in late April or early May. Then there's work. Work work. I'm going to be out of town for work two Fridays in a row coming up. Fun stuff. Generally, school and work do monopolize the bulk of our time and energy.

The issue with this is that two other things are sucking the bulk of my time, energy, and interest (not to mention money): buying our first house, and getting married.

So: we're full time employees, we're full time students, we're buying our first house, and we're getting married in the fall. While I'm trying to take it all in stride and trying not to split hairs over details, it's still turning me in to a pretty major stress-ball.

I wonder why I'm having so much trouble sleeping. When I'm not thinking about closing costs, window treatments and bidding wars, I'm musing about hairstyles, wedding bands and receptions. And lawn mowers, and marriage licenses, and home inspections, and -- you get the point. All the time feeling guilty that I'm not putting forth more effort in my classes or taking on additional projects at work.

My birthday is next week, and I completely forgot about it until last week. I know that "this too shall pass", but MAN am I tired! Does anyone else out there feel like they're bursting at the seams this spring?!

Monday, March 02, 2009

so then...

We got engaged a few days ago!

(I think I'll just continue to call him "boyfriend," for now...)

Love him, love our life, and love my ring. (I will have to take a picture at some point.)

As for the wedding? Neither of us loves that detail. City hall anyone? Anyone?

Monday, January 19, 2009

living is easy with eyes closed

If you've been following my twitterings* (I know they're called 'tweets' but I like 'twitterings' better) you'd see that I've been busy with lots of things. Laundry, cleaning, reading, writing, working. I suffered a blow earlier this week when I lost funding for my spring classes due to no fault of my own, just a change in policy. It was infuriating to receive the letter and even more infuriating that my protests fell on deaf (or helpless) ears... don't particularly enjoy unexpectedly being told to pay out thousands of dollars. But, what happens happens and money is only money.

The first week of school was as it should be: followed by a 3-day weekend.

In addition to homework, boyfriend and I also spent the weekend partaking in the delicious Chinese buffet in our hometown (under the guise of helping his grandmother with her computer). While he performed updates and configured plug-ins, she showed me 50+ years of scattered family history in her photo albums. This inspired me to work on my own photo albums: a hobby I did/do enjoy, but one that's been lying dormant for a good year and a half while life happened. As the long weekend comes to a close, I've made a serious dent in them, and that feels like progress to me.

I have to sort some more photos now, then fold the towels, the last of basically a month's worth of laundry that got backed up due to the holidays and our being out of state for a week or so, before I make us some curry. Then, on to Season 2!

*I have a twitter account now. "@Nodakademic." I put it in the sidebar on this blog.