Archive for September, 2006

Pinolera Feature

Posted by Karen in Family, Work.
Thursday, September 28th, 2006 at 4:40 pm

The Pinolera has officially moved to Minneapolis! HURRAY!!! I lined her up with a temporary job where I work, so she was able to start making some money almost as soon as she got here. The great news for her is that she then got the very first job she applied for, which she will be starting on Monday. The sad news for me is that work will no longer be anywhere near as fun for me without her.

So in celebration of the fun we’ve had working together over the past couple of weeks, here are some photos of the Pinolera in action, and the last few weeks we’ve spent as coworkers.

We’ve spent most of our time planting plugs. The first picture is of Sierra using an auger to dig holes for the plugs. She used tons of hand tools during her job this summer, but we use tons of power tools, so that was a little adjustment. She became quite a master at changing the blades on the brush saw, and even managed to break a brush saw in her short time working here! (Ok, fine, she just happened to be the one using it when it broke.)

I had a little run-in with a wasp nest a few weeks ago, where I stepped on it while herbiciding and a wasp went up my suit and stung me in the thigh. When I opened up my suit it flew out, stung me in the nose and then kept dive-bombing me! Another one joined in and it got a little scary, but I just kept running and eventually they went away. I had a big ol’ bruise on my thigh from the sting. Well last week Sierra stepped on a bee or wasp nest and one stung her on the stomach! She got the hugest big swollen thing that hurt and then itched for days. Ewww.

We’ve unfortunately had lots of cold, rainy days lately, but on the nice ones we find a spot to have lunch outside – it won’t be much longer that we will be able to do this so we gotta soak up all the sunshine we can!

We had an extra adventure on her last day when Kevin, our crew leader (the one in the brown sweatshirt) got our truck stuck in the mud. It took us an extra hour to get it out. We couldn’t get it out going forward, so Kevin decided to try going backwards. First we had to unhitch the trailer, swing it around, and then pull it out of the way with the Kubota. Luckily, the going in reverse plan worked. Somehow no one fell in the mud, which would have made a great picture.

Sierra looooved driving the Kubota RTV, as do I. This is what we’ve been using to haul plants around to the different zones we plant them in, as well as tools, and people.

Another girl started working there while I was off galavanting around the tall grass prairies, Katie. She’s awesome. She is also looking for other jobs, so I may lose her soon too and once again be the only girl. Sad. It was her birthday on Monday so Sierra and I made her cupcakes. Mmmm, cupcakes. I’m super happy for Sierra getting her new job, and so excited for her as she starts this new chapter in her life. But my job is just not going to be the same without her. It’s been so fun to be able to share this with her, and to have someone else get to know my coworkers and boss, and really understand what I do. I’ve got some great memories now. It’s kind of funny to think that next week she will be doing something so completely different and in such a completely different environment. She’ll be inside for one thing, and most likely won’t have dirt stuck under her fingernails and burs on her clothes!

Happy Dog-iversary!

Posted by Karen in Bruno, Holidays/Birthdays/Etc.
Tuesday, September 26th, 2006 at 8:30 pm

It has officially been one whole year since we adopted our little dog-friend, Bruno! Sunday the 24th was his one year dog-iversary. We know that he was a completely different dog then, but it’s so hard to remember what he was actualy like. When we see him constantly tearing around the house with a toy in his mouth and doing everything in his power to entice you to just play with him, it is so hard to remember that when we got him he didn’t even know how to play. We had to teach him. It’s so hard to remember that his coat was rough and grody, his ribs were sticking out, and he had a big, bad cough.

I met a woman last weekend whose husband had recently passed away. She has a 16 year-old and an 11 year-old, and she said that their pets had been invaluable in helping them all get through it. She said that for 3 months after he died the dog waited at the door for him to come home. It all made me think a lot about the kind of place pets can have in your life and in your family, the kind of companionship that’s somehow just different from anything else, and how being greeted at the door by a super excited Bruno never feels any less wonderful. We know how lucky we were to find each other, and we can’t wait to have many more years of fun with him. We love you Bruiser McGee!

Compost maintenance

Posted by Nate in Landscaping.
Sunday, September 24th, 2006 at 6:19 pm

It’s been a while… And we’ve been, of course, super busy. Today was the first sunny day all week and it was so nice I ditched the basement and hit some outdoor projects. Not really high on the list but something needing doing was dealing with the compost bin… It had been sort of full when we bought the house, but not really maintained at all, and there was some charcoal and various bits of non-compostible crap in it. Lacking the time last year we just started throwing scraps on top of what was there and turning it occasionally.

Finally it was almost 3/4 full and today I decided to get it cleaned up. I pulled a trash bin out of the garage and shovelled most of the yet-to-be-compost scraps into it. It was more than I planned on, nearly full… Then I grabbed some bits of lumber laying around and some 1/4 screen we had and built a makeshift sifting bin. It ended up being way more labor-intensive than I figured – I’d load up the bin and go shake it all around the lawn, then bring it back to another tub and work the remaining clumps by hand for a while, finally dumping the sticks and roots and debris that wouldn’t go through.

I ended up with two tubs pretty full of fantastic compost and nice small layer on most of the lawn. Sweet. Maybe a little fertilizer on there before winter and we should have a dog-proof lawn next spring… :) The rest of the compost will go on the garden and flower beds before winter, and the good news of the big push today is the compost bin is now reset back to our own scraps – everything we started with is out. Should be easier to keep the nearby plants from sending roots up into it…

Road Trip via cameraphone

Posted by Nate in Travel.
Tuesday, September 12th, 2006 at 3:14 pm

It started Thursday evening after soccer. Everyone ran home to clean up – and for some of us (Scott), pack – before hitting the road to Colorado. I didn’t record the start time, but I believe it was getting close to 9… We drove all night, Cody, then Scott, Rick, then me.

The bummer of the rotation is that I was supposed to sleep during those first two shifts but everyone was all excited for the road trip and nobody slept. So round about dawn we crossed into Colorado and I took these pictures of my co-pilots. Princesses.

We rolled into Ft. Collins to kill some time before picking Troy up at the Denver airport, and decided to eat breakfast at Lucile’s. Hell yeah. That put us right by campus so it was time for a stroll down memory lane…

We headed over to the old theatre building and stuck our noses in all our old stomping grounds – or what was left of them. The old black box is a classroom, the improv room is divided and weird, but saddest of all was the mainstage.

I know that space sucked and the audience was uncomfortable and couldn’t see, but that’s where we all served our time… Weird to see just the outline of the old stage, the empty light grid, and the lonely white cyc. Then it was off the airport, grab Troy, and up to Estes for the festival! We checked in, cleaned up, got our tickets and headed to the fairgrounds. Friday is the hot ticket if you actually want to eat or do something popular — much less crowded, but almost everything is up and running.

That night we hit a concert: Brother and Seven Nations. Good show, but we were all hitting a wall, and the venue wasn’t the best and the audience could have been more animated. And the MC for the evening was beyond annoying, almost single-handedly ruining the show. Seriously. Not sure if the group took to Brother as much as me, but I loved them. Super sweet. 7N was pretty right-off-the-CD, nothing new from them but some good banter between songs.

Then home to bed for a quick night’s sleep before the main event: Saturday. Rose early to check out the parade, and got to see my parents! They came up for the day to hang out and check out the festival, and it was great to see them. That’s us just after the rain that morning — you can see the cardboard cozy around my cup to keep my fingers warm. It was damn chilly for a while there…

I think this speaks for itself, and in fact sums up the day rather well. Hell of a good time.

Next morning was another whirlwind, starting with brunch with Scotty’s parents at a super nice lodge. That’s Rick taking in the gorgeous scenery. Hard to remember how much I used to take the mountains for granted, now that I never get to see them. Ah, mountains. Next stop in Berthoud to visit Rick’s family and drop him off. It was great to tour around the place, and they fed us like kings before sending us on our way with a ton of delicious leftovers.

Coming down out of Estes we passed the Devil’s Backbone, one of the first places Karen and I hiked back when we lived in Colorado. Managed to snap a picture out the car window… Finally dropped Troy off to meet his parents – it was an elaborate surprise visit, they thought they were picking up a custom-made DVD cabinet for his brother’s birthday – and we were back on the road.

Official time: 2:30. We hit home at 4:30 (hour lost), and I was asleep by 5:30. Amazingly I believe we all had a pretty normal day the next day, I know I wasn’t firing on all cylinders but was still somehow productive at work. So there you have it! Big fun road trip!