lothiriel_1: (bill milquetoast opus)
Had a very pleasant visit back home, with good (if a bit cool) weather to top it off. Didn't go on the whale watch, but I did eat a plentiful amount of seafood during my week + stay - pad thai with shrimp at a restaurant in Newburyport, boiled lobster at Barnacle Billy's in Ogunquit, fried clam strips at Woodman's in Essex, and baked haddock at Westside in Peabody. Om nom nom nom.

The drive south was mostly uneventful with traffic only becoming a problem in Virginia (naturally). Still, I managed to make it home in a little over 9.5 hours, which is a southbound record for me. The cats were almost out of their minds with happiness to see me, and they have both been pieces of furry Velcro since. I took today off to recover from the drive and do things like grocery shopping, laundry, and, most importantly, garden maintenance.

click here for gardening goodness )

I've thoroughly enjoyed having this little green patch this season, and I've been learning a lot about what I want to plant next year and how I want to do it.
lothiriel_1: (Default)

Yes, I'm still around.  Can't access LJ from work anymore, so there went that pleasant, time-killing activity.  *sigh*

So, what have I been up to lately?
 

  • Accomplished - one Master's of Science in Biology, diploma received, sigh of relief breathed
  • In progress - Scotland trip album scrapbook (getting close to being finished)
  • In progress - Job hunt for new position (no luck yet)
  • In progress - weight loss (Weight Watchers joined, going fairly well)
  • Traveled to - Savannah, Georgia, for work-related course (American Indian Cultural Communications)
  • Celebrated - 39th birthday (*gulp!*)
  • Hosted - Dad and stepmother over President's Day weekend (went very well)
  • Received - both Federal and state tax refunds (YAY!)
  • Learned - "Wilt Thou Go to the Barracks, Johnny?" Scottish highland (recruiting) dance
Looks like most of you have been pretty busy as well.  Hope you all had pleasant and safe winters - spring/Ostara is only a few days away!

lothiriel_1: (going nuts)
Things I WANT to do today:

1. Leave work. Now.
2. Go straight home.
3. Take a nap.
4. Play with my scrapbooking stuff all night
5. Stay up late and sleep in tomorrow.


Reality:

1. I'm stuck here for another 2+ hours.
2. I need to go to the gym.
3. I need to prepare for my oral comprehensive exam as much as possible. It's next Friday (OMGs!! OMGs!! OMGs!!).
4. I have to open the store tomorrow morning, so sleeping in isn't possible, therefore staying up really late isn't advisable.

It's almost over, it's almost over, it's almost over...
lothiriel_1: (going nuts)
Unless I hear otherwise (the "otherwise" being "you really screwed up and need to do it over"), my written Comprehensive Exams are 1/3 complete.Read more... )

That's about it, I guess. Just trying to stay awake at this point, and get everything done.
lothiriel_1: (cutter john aaiigh)
If nothing else, it has been a very productive day, and it's not even over yet. boring domestic crap follows )

boring love life crap follows )

not-so-boring-but-far-off trip planning follows )

Anyway, those are my activities and musings for the day - it's dinnertime, and I have one last serving left of the venison stew I made last week (mmmmmmm...). Then it's back to MP/comp exam studying for the evening.

Hope you've all had a great weekend!
lothiriel_1: (holy crap)
I am in full-on study mode right now, and my Population Ecology notes have been my near-constant companions for the last week. Seriously, they've been with me everywhere.

I've gotten a bit frightened in looking at some of them, though. I've been reviewing the homework assignments I had for the class and I'm at a loss when it comes to explaining how the hell I learned to do all that stuff. Even though the tests were take-home, you still had to know which equations to use and in what order. I'll turn a page in my notes to find a sheet full of numbers and tables and graphs and my mind starts going into panic mode.

It's calculus, coming straight for us! Shields up! Take evasive action!

Guess I need to contact the prof who taught that class and see if he can send me a couple of practice problems that I can play with.

Saturday I spent the day scrapbooking at a breast cancer benefit crop called ScrapPink. I didn't do any photo work this time, but I did get a lot of the journaling done for the pages I did at the crop I went to last month. I estimate that my Scotland album is about 40-50% done. I'm really pleased with how it's turning out.

This week will be pretty uneventful until Saturday, when I plan to drive to Williamsburg for the Scottish Festival (Albannach! WOO-HOO!). Other than that, it's business as usual.
lothiriel_1: (it dices it slices)
and I feel like I've put in a whole day's work already.

* uploaded a bunch of scanned documents to our online database
* shifted around 3 drawers worth of files to make room for FY09 stuff
* updated a project index list to reflect the drawer shift
* updated another tracking spreadsheet
* had my year-end review with the boss (Went well! Yay!)

Only 6 more hours to go!

*groan*

Dance class was good last night. I wound up being the only one there, due to one classmate having family stuff to attend to, and the other having contact lens issues. Since it essentially was a private lesson, I got to decide what I wanted to work on. Naturally, I chose the sword dance, which we haven't worked on since around February or March.

I learned a whole new step last night! It's officially called the "reverse point", but it's also not-so-affectionately called the "dizzy step". It's really cool to watch, and it's actually not that hard to do - it just takes a heck of a lot of control, as there are several position changes and what seem like changes in tempo. When done correctly, it looks like you're almost floating over the swords. Yeah, it'll be a while before I get to that point.

I started going through my Population Ecology class materials last night, and managed to get through the first chapter. I was VERY pleasantly surprised at how easily so much of it came back to me - especially the equations. I think it helped that I made so many notes on the class hand-outs.

Hope you all are having a great day!
lothiriel_1: (holy crap)
I've submitted my intent to graduate in January. Masters Degree, here I come.

AAAAAAIIIIIIGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Now I need to finish the draft of my project and turn it in for review, set the dates for my comps, and start studying my happy arse off.

AAAAAAIIIIIIGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Updatage: the Pixie was dropped off this morning to get her hiney fixed, and I have a rental for the next day or two. Can't recall the model, but it's a Chevy. Looks kind of like a PT Cruiser, but not as cool looking. It's kind of fugly, actually. But it runs, and that's all I really care about.

Boss has approved my taking Wednesday through Friday off this week. Please join me in a sigh of relief. *Whew!* Now I feel like I have enough time to finish cleaning the spaces that Dad and stepmom will see, AND work on the Masters project (henceforth to be known as "MP").

That's about it. How's YOUR day going?
lothiriel_1: (Banzai)
I spent 14 hours on Saturday sitting on my arse, scrapbooking.

Seriously!

The local alumni chapter of a sorority hosts an annual charity scrapbooking crop (proceeds going to St. Jude's), and this year was no exception. The difference from previous years was that this time, the event was publicized widely, and it was held in the vacant space next to the store. I'd signed up and paid early on, and by last Friday morning, I had all the photos I wanted to work on printed, and all my supplies packed and ready to go.

It was a great event! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were provided (local businesses donated all the food - we even had coffee and goodies from Starbucks), there was a silent auction, a raffle, and lots of door prizes. I didn't win a bloody thing. :)

I did, however, get all of the photos I brought with me cropped and attached to their respective pages, and some of the journalling done. Color me pretty freaking proud of myself. I have another big crop to go to next month - guess I'd better get cracking on printing more photos.

Swimming total - 10 miles. Only 5 left to go. I may be able to get them all done by Friday. I need to be done by next Monday afternoon, since I have a dentist appointment next Wednesday, and I drive north the morning after.

I sent an e-mail to Eric F. (4QF) yesterday, letting him know that I'll play Memory Keeper/Photographer again this year, so it looks like I've made a "what's my SR08 job this year" decision. We've actually had someone on the 4QF forum (I have no idea who) step up to be the Warriors' Tribe team leader, so that's another thing I don't need to worry about. I still haven't decided whether I'll take a watch or not - if I do, it's going to be either one of the first, or one of the last.

Other than that, I plan to just float around at will.
lothiriel_1: (dandelion break)
Hi. So what's new with you all?

Life is settling back into the typical summer routine - work, more work, sporadic dance lessons, trips to the gym, and procrastinating on my Master's project. Honestly, I really don't have anything especially newsworthy to post about right now.


In light of that, I've got a poll for you all. I posted an entry a couple weeks back detailing the time spent in Edinburgh. The post was primarily in response to a request for additional details beyond the brief dispatches I made whilst on (limited) internet time during the trip. So here's the question:


[Poll #1214273]
lothiriel_1: (Banzai)
Last night was my last work night at the store before my trip. WOO HOO!!! I love my p/t job, but I really need a break.

Tonight I'll head straight home (no gym time this week, alas) and start on the following:

1. Clean out the car
2. Dinner
3. Empty dishwasher, do any dirty dishes by hand
4. Clean the laminate floors/vacuum the rugs and carpet
5. Take photos of stuff to-be-packed in my checked bag and print them out
6. Strip the bed/put fresh sheets on

Tomorrow night will be devoted to laundry and packing.

My Citylink Explorer Pass arrived in the mail yesterday, so that's taken care of. I called the Aros Centre in Skye this morning to confirm the time and pick-up location for the tour I'm taking through them. I got travel insurance yesterday. I got a couple of bills off in the mail today.

Everything specifically Scotland-related is done. I'm ready. I'm so ready.

I've been checking Scotland's weather on weather.com off and on this week, and it looks like the weather and temperatures are right on target. Daytime temps in the 50s and 60s, nights in the 40s and 50s. Kind of like camping at Bealtainne. :)

Sunrise and sunset is going to be different, though. I've never been as far north in latitude as I will be in Orkney. By the end of this month (when I'll be in Stromness and Kirkwall), sunrise (not just the pale grey of dawn - actual sunrise) will be at 4:15am. Sunset is at 10:00pm.

I also checked the website for the Macduff Arts Festival, and it looks like it's going to be a lot of fun. There's even a sandcastle-building contest on the beach at Banff. There will be plenty to see and do and eat. And a lot of the activities are free!

http://www.coastfestival.org.uk/index.php
lothiriel_1: (yawn)
Holy cats, I need a nap.

Busy weekend. I worked at the store 5.5 hours on Friday night and 12.5 hours on Saturday. Then I returned to the store yesterday afternoon for a special event/demonstration, which was fun, but it really cut into my normal Sunday routine of domestic Goddess chores.

It was worth going to the demo yesterday, though, if only for my mode of transport alone. I went with a friend (also a neighbor) – she drove. If you were in the Central Park mall area in F’burg yesterday around 5:30-6:30 pm and you encountered a black mustang convertible with the top down, 2 women and 2 kids, and the sound of Led Zeppelin and Def Leppard blasting from the stereo speakers, well, that would have been us.

Now I’m here at work (the only one on time, as usual – lots of traffic on 95 north this morning, though), struggling to stay awake. I woke up from a very odd and intense dream around midnight and it took a little while for me to go back to sleep. Guess I’ll be hitting the sack early tonight.

Not much else to report, other than to say ONLY 11 DAYS AND A WAKE-UP LEFT!!!!
lothiriel_1: (dandelion break)
Busy busy busy...

yardwork )


Yesterday afternoon's level of activity has continued into today here at work.
work work work )

OMG OMG OMG!!!!!

ZOMG, only FIFTEEN days and a wake-up left to Scotland!!! )

Basically, I'm ready. I have a few things to do before I leave, like some house-cleaning, mail and paper holds, writing checks for the petsitter, and arranging for grass-cutting whilst I'm gone. I need to make sure that all my electronic equipment/computer stuff is turned off AND unplugged. And a few other little tasks.

Almost time, almost time...
lothiriel_1: (opus singing bon jovi)
... or in type, whichever the case may be.

***Quick note so that the rest of this makes sense: Lewis and Harris are in the Outer Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland. Despite the two names, Lewis and Harris are actually the same land mass as opposed to two geographically distinct islands. Lewis' topography tends to be flatter, with lots of moors and marshes, while Harris has lots of mountains.***

Okay, the Outer Hebrides portion of my trip has a bit of a kink in it, in particular the part where I actually leave Lewis/Harris and go to Skye. I am currently reserved for 2 nights in Laxdale Holiday Park's bunkhouse, just outside Stornoway, on Lewis. The day I leave, I need to be at the ferry terminal in Tarbert (on Harris) by 7:00 am. It's about an hour from Stornoway to Tarbert by bus, but there's a major problem with that - the buses don't run that early in the morning.

Here are my options:

1. Drive to Tarbert myself and leave the rental car at the pier. This really isn't a good option, since the fee for doing so is pretty high. In fact, it would double my rental rate. MEEP!

2. Take a taxi from Laxdale to Tarbert Pier. A possibility, but an expensive one - about 55 pounds or so. MEEP!

3. Cancel the second night at Laxdale and find a place in Tarbert to stay for that night, greatly facilitating my on-time arrival at the pier. And it costs considerably less as well.


I've already done some work regarding option #3 - I contacted a B&B that's spitting distance from the pier about their single room. Unfortunately, that room's been booked for several months. I've e-mailed the nice lady back about other rooms/area B&Bs, and I plan to follow that up with a phone call in a couple of hours.

I ironed out the other travel wrinkle yesterday - same type of thing, only in Drumnadrochit/Inverness. I also made my Orkney ferry reservations.

There's really not much left to do at this point, arrangements-wise. I plan to stop at the local AAA office this week to get my international driver's permit and some British sterling. I also need to get my travelers' checks at Navy Federal (that won't take long).

Only 58 days and a wake-up left to go...

Um, what?

Mar. 18th, 2008 08:57 am
lothiriel_1: (bill milquetoast opus)
I stayed home with the sick fridge today, which is now fixed, to the tune of $265 (ouch...). I'm going to give the temperature a chance to settle for a couple of hours, then I plan to head out to the crappy Food Lion and pick up some staples to put into it (OJ, milk, yogurt - that sort of thing).

Now that the repairman has come and gone, I have the rest of the day to myself. Whatever shall I do with a WHOLE DAY OFF mid-week?

Well, for starters, I tried making a couple of phone calls to Scotland to make some reservations. This was not a successful venture. I looked up the country code, called the number listed, and got the same message each time I tried - that the number I was dialing was not in service for the country I was calling. Huh? I was using the code for the UK, which, as I recall, Scotland is a part of.





Okay - I just figured it out. All numbers in Scotland and the UK start with a "zero" that needs to be dropped when being called from outside the UK. I now have a car reserved for Lewis, a day tour reserved for Skye, and I changed my lodging for Loch Ness/Inverness slightly (so I can make an early bus to Ullapool and the Outer Hebrides). It was fun calling the Aros Centre in Skye to arrange the tour - the guy who answered the phone answered in Gaelic! Feasgar math!
lothiriel_1: (dandelion break)
It was a quiet, but fairly productive weekend. Friday night I worked the crop at the store - good sales that day, plus I managed to get out a bit earlier than usual.

Saturday )

Sunday )

In other news, More updates - refrigerators, cats, travel planning, etc. )


That's it for now, I guess. I expect to be hearing from [livejournal.com profile] genevieve2006 about her newest pending arrival (son #3), whose due date is next week, but could probably show up at any time.
lothiriel_1: (cutter john aaiigh)
Who the hell is the ref who's officiating this game?!? I need to call for a do-over! I can't recall if this sort of crap was in the Wheel of the Year reading that [livejournal.com profile] etainwilson did for me on New Year's - I need to check the notes she sent...

All right, I've got a little good news to crow about and plenty of bad news to whine about. Let's get the crap over with first.

Refrigerator is dying )

Windshield is dying )

Tax refund is dead )

Cat is dying )

Hey, if you've been glossing over the bitchy parts, stop now.

Highland dance weekend in review )

So now I'm at work. At the moment, no one else is here, so it's very quiet. It would be nice if it stayed that way, but the way my luck's been running, I'm not holding out much hope of that. Anyway, if you've gotten this far, thanks for reading.

Only 80 days until Scotland...

Updatage

Feb. 20th, 2008 06:34 am
lothiriel_1: (bill milquetoast opus)
Busy, busy, busy...

New-sy, but kind of boring )

I guess that's it for now. Time for another cup of coffee. At least I get to leave early today for a dentist appointment - I have a feeling I'm going to be in bed by 8:00 tonight...
lothiriel_1: (bill milquetoast opus)
I actually slept last night!!! YAYYYYY!!! I skipped dance class in favor of just going home, having a light supper (Trader Joe's creamy vegetable bisque soup and toast), watering the new plants, making my Dad a birthday card, and hitting the sack an hour early. It was worth it. I slept almost straight through the night (except for about 10 minutes very early this morning when Fiona decided to take a stroll over my legs and chest, purring her head off). I still could have used another hour or two, but I'm not as sluggish today as I was yesterday.

Yay for sleep!

I stopped by my dance instructor's house/studio on my way home from work yesterday to return the kilt, blouse, and socks I'd borrowed for the medal test on Sunday. She had my evaluation sheet for me - I passed!!! In fact, I got a "pass plus"! Not as good as a "commendable" (Damn those brain farts/screw ups I had!), but still better than a "pass". The comments were all things that I hear from M. occasionally - knees out to the side more, keep the working foot tighter around the leg while doing sheds in the fling, keep feet closer together doing the pas de bas in the sword dance (this one I knew - I'm still getting used to the feel of my new ghillies as opposed to my bulkier dance sneakers). M. said that overall, I had a really good evaluation. So now I get to look forward to getting my certificate and bronze medal in the mail - in about 6-8 weeks. :)

Yay for highland dance!

Work at the store tonight - here's to hoping that we don't have any bitchy customers!

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