Monday, December 20, 2010

San Francisco

You may be thinking, "oh cool, she went to San Francisco, this post will be full of neato photos." Wrong. How very wrong. I did have a good time in San Francisco, but I only took one photo the entire time. I was pretty busy doing work stuff most of the time (since I was there for a conference). On Wednesday night I did go to a contra dance in Berkeley, which was a good way to add some play into the week. I didn't have my camera though, and I would have been dancing the whole time anyhow, so no loss there. The only other fun thing I did was a little bit of shopping.

So now.
The moment you have been waiting for.
I present to you,
the one San Francisco photo.



Amazing and delicious.

Friday, October 29, 2010

sunset

I have been in a new office lately, and now I have a west-facing window, which provides a lovely view of sunsets. Yesterday the sky was getting extremely pink and I didn't have my new fancy-pants camera in the office, so I took a couple photos with my trusty little point & shoot. These photos don't even do the colors justice, as the sky got less bright in the amount of time it took me to grab my camera, shut off the light, and climb onto my desk to get a clear view through my heavily-ivy-covered window.




It was a really lovely sunset!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Photo Blog!!!~

I have started a new blog! It is a photo blog!

http://tuesdayphotos.blogspot.com/

This is where I plan to post photos I take with my new camera. Possibly a photo a day, although that seems Very ambitious.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tour de Taste

On Sunday Greg and I did the Tour de Taste. It is a "progressive pedaling picnic" hosted by the Upper Valley Trails Alliance. We rode the Classic loop which was a 17 mile loop from Fairlee, down to Thetford, across the river to Lyme, and then up to Orford and back to Fairlee. Along the way there were 6 different stops serving food from local farms and restaurants. It was Awesome! We rode at a nice leisurely pace, enjoying the scenery and the food. Plus now I am inspired to start riding my bike more!



Here is a photo of Greg and I at the Cedar Circle Farm. We are posing with our compostable spoons that were provided for the ride. At the end of the loop we got a free prize for disposing of the spoons in the proper receptacle. The prize was a booklet with all the trails they maintain, which I was quite excited about.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Canning Joy


Greg and I are having a ton of fun canning things! Exactly two weeks ago today we started our first batch of dilly beans, so they are ready for eating now. We haven't opened a jar yet. I am tempted to let them sit a little longer, but I'm not sure that will actually improve them. We have also made blackberry jam with free blackberries from Harjit's yard. And spiced blueberry jam with some blueberries we picked at this great secret blueberry farm I know of. And lastly we canned pie filling! This one I am particularly excited about. We have two blackberries (more of Harjit's blackberries) and one blueberry (from the Super Acres pick-your-own place in Lyme). yummmmmm

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Garden Log

This post is mostly for my own purposes of remembering how our vegetables did as well as when and how much we harvested throughout the growing season. I hope to keep it updated and also possibly add photos if appropriate.

July 7: 6 green beans
July 14: 5 green beans
July 24: 4 green beans, 1 cucumber

July 27: 6 green beans
August 4: 2 cucumbers, 10 green beans, 11 green beans (barn), 1 pea
August 5: 8 green beans
August 8: 5 green beans
August 11: 8 green beans, 5 peas
August 12: 2 cucumbers, 14 green beans (plants at Greg's have been demolished by deer, should have had Much more)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Old Notes

I am sitting in the airport, not really wanting to read, and also having zero access to free internet, so I am doing some blog-writing, that will hopefully get posted shortly after being written.

On the topic of my hair:

I settled into a no-shampoo routine. About 1 or 2 or 3 times per week I would shower and do a salt water rinse on my hair, followed by an apple cider vinegar rinse. Most days I felt "meh" about my hair. Some rare days I felt like I really liked my hair. Some days I also thought my hair looked terrible. I don't want to go back to using shampoo because I really don't think it can be good for me. I have now tried using a baking soda and water solution to "wash" my hair. I think it worked fairly well, when followed by the acv rinse. I also spent a week in Aspen attending a conference with my friend Allison, who originally got me interested in avoiding shampoo, and she suggested trying a dry shampoo, as a fast alternative to doing the shower routine with my hair, if I woke up one day hating how my hair looked. I think she said corn starch works as a good dry shampoo, just shake a little on top of my head, and brush out. I need to look that up though, to make sure it was actually corn starch, and not some other powder substance.

All in all, I feel like my hair cleaning is super low-maintenance, which is my favorite part. I am also so amazed that I was able to curl my hair and have it keep the curl without using any bit of hair spray.

On the topic of travel:

Over Memorial Day weekend, Malory came to visit me in VT. We had a lot of big plans to do a lot of fun things. She scheduled her trip around the Vermont City Marathon in Burlington, which she ran like a champ. Greg and I took on the important role of "support team", which included making giant neon signs with puffy things saying important things like "You Rock Snakebite" and "Don't Trip" with a picture of a jaguar crossing the finish line. OH and one funny but terrible thing that happened at the marathon: one of the wheelchair racers fell into Lake Champlain! For those unfamiliar, the wheelchair racers ride these super fast tricycle-like things. Well at the end of the race there was a 90 degree turn, right on the edge by the water. I am pretty sure that is where he went in, because I don't know how any bikes going a decent speed could make it around that corner. Another interesting fact: the winner of the foot race beat some of the wheelchair racers, who had started 5 or 10 minutes before the foot racers. THAT is crazy!

Aside from that, pretty much everything we wanted to do on that trip went wrong. We spent one day visiting Montpelier, where we had a terribly disgusting dessert eclair, followed by a visit to the Trapp Family Lodge, where nothing was really going on and they didn't have a tandem bike we could rent, followed by a visit to the Ben & Jerry's factory, where they gave us a tour, but they weren't actually making ice cream, because the workers had a long weekend. Another day we wanted to go to Afternoon Tea in Chester, VT at a little B&B. We got to the door, but it was locked, so we knocked/rang, and about 4 minutes later a woman comes to the door and says, "Oh I'm sorry I'm closed today." Malory and I stood there for a minute, not sure what was going on, especially since I had called two days prior and made a reservation and had actually talked to this woman twice. So we were kind of like "oookay" and started to back away, and then the woman started talking. Apparently she was up all night with her dog who had eaten an entire bottle of ibuprofen (which is highly poisonous for dogs, she informed us, not to mention poisonous to any living creature when eaten in doses as large as a full bottle). Therefore, she was closed. Again, "oookay" and start to back away, and the woman starts talking more. "Did you have a reservation?" "yeeeah we came for afternoon tea?" "ooh... OOh (this is when she realized she totally forgot about us)... OH I am SO sorry. Now I even remember talking to you on the phone" and on and on. We stood on that porch for a lot longer than I felt comfortable with, but the fact of the matter was that no food was prepared and therefore we were not having tea. The woman actually did call me later and left a message on my phone. She was practically crying into the phone, so I'm not Positive about what she said, but I think, sandwiched by apologies, she offered us free tea. Unfortunately (fortunately?) Chester was far enough away to make me feel like it was not worth another awkward experience with this lady.

The one other thing that I remember going wrong was that it rained on the day we were planning to go canoeing. By that point the disappointment was not so great, because we weren't really expecting our plans to actually work out.

Malory did bring me a giant spoon, so that was great!

Flying Notes

Flying from Manchester to Chicago is definitely one of my favorite trips. We were flying at maybe 10,000 feet, and the sky was totally clear, so I could easily see everything. I actually slept through NH and VT. I woke up when we were over NY, as recognized by Lake Ontario to the north. I actually had to spend some time thinking about the Great Lakes, because I kind of forgot what they all were.

Plus I wasn't sure if I was over NY and seeing Lake Ontario or if I was over Ohio and seeing Lake Eerie. Luckily the Finger Lakes were easily discernible, so I got that all straightened out. I watched out the window as we made our way to Ohio. The neatest thing I spotted was a bunch of wind turbines! At first I couldn't quite figure it out, but then I realized that must have been what it was. A giant patch of them in NY, west of the Finger Lakes, south of Lake Ontario, southeast of Lake Eerie, just hanging out and being awesome. I could even see the actual spinning on the ones that I was looking straight on. It does take a long time to fly along the Great Lakes though, so I also did some reading of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and also got a snack to eat. On Southwest they give out 100 calorie packs.



100 calorie packs are about my least favorite invention ever.

It was an especially odd food to be eating considering the book I am currently reading. Also, on the front of the package it has this special little blurb:
Snacktime Inspirations: Remember, frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh - so stock up the freezer and incorporate them into a variety of different recipes.

First of all, according to my text editor, snacktime is not a word.

Second of all, what is the message here? Having fruits and vegetables in the house encourages you to eat more? And you don't have to worry about them spoiling if you don't eat them, because they are in the freezer?

Most importantly, why does my 100 calorie pack of tiny cinnamon roll shaped graham crackers care if I am eating fruits and vegetables? Kraft Inc. I shake my fist at you.

I'm not really intending to become a total food snob, because I know I could never make it as a locavore, but honestly, some things are going too far.

Anyhow, back to my adventure. I stayed awake until we got to Michigan, where you can see Canada sneaking in to the south of Detroit. I really like maps a lot, and I also really like when I can be far enough away from land to pick out features I can recognize from seeing a map. Mapmakers, I salute you. Also, sidenote, what exactly do surveyors do? I feel like this is an important and neat job, but when I see two guys surveying Main Street in Hanover, are they really doing something that hasn't been done before? This I cannot believe to be true, but I really have no clue about surveyors. I should do some wikipedia reading. Anyhow, then I slept through Michigan, and woke up to see we were quite close to landing, and had a nice morning view of the Chicago skyline. Good trip everyone! Thanks!

Sadly, Midway has no free wireless, so I am not posting this immediately upon typing, but at least I am back to blogging!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Giant Marshmallows

Look what I got at the grocery store the other day.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Stuff Sucks



Thank you toothpastefordinner.com for that.

I rode my bike to school today.
An oil truck came within a foot of me, going at least 10mph over the speed limit of 30.
The gust of wind/My overwhelming fear made me start going all wobbly on my bike.
Maybe this is my fault for not being that good of a bike rider. Maybe it is my fault for loading my crate on the back too full instead of evenly distributing the weight of the stuff I was hauling.
Either way, I was at least going slowly enough to be able to stop instead of fall over.
And I almost cried.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hair Update

I am a day shy of five weeks with no shampoo. All in all I feel very positive about this. There are days when I think my hair looks not-great, but it hasn't been bad enough to force me to do any shampooing. In fact, even if I decide something more needs to be done, I have a lot of options I can try, and I'm pretty sure shampoo will never be one of them.



Here is a low-quality photo I took on my computer just now. You can see my awesome display case with rulers in the background. This is what my hair looks like on a Tuesday morning after not having showered since Sunday afternoon. For the past two weeks I've only been cleaning my hair twice a week. I think that is probably stretching it a bit more than I ought to, but I really want to test the limits here. I had been rinsing my hair with just water on occasion though, for example, if I needed to shower off after going running, but it wasn't quite time for an acv cleansing routine. I think the days when I did just a water rinse were making my hair look more greasy though, so I don't want to do that anymore. So we'll see if I make it to thursday this week before I want to clean my hair again.

This weekend I have a wedding to attend, and I was thinking I might try to curl my hair a bit. This is a big feat people. I have tried this before, and because I don't put hair spray in my hair the curl is gone pretty much instantly. Last night I did a sample curl just to see what it would look like, and how it would stay. Hair that has not seen shampoo in weeks holds curl in the most amazing way!! I didn't even let the curling iron get hot, and I could get curls to stay. My real concern is what will happen if I go swimming in a hotel pool filled with chlorine...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Riding my Bike!



About three years ago I purchased a bike from Craig's list. It looked a little like the one above, a Giant hybrid, only mine is plum colored and I have a crate on the back to carry things, as well as a rack on the front, but so far I haven't used that to carry anything. I also have two cup-holders, which hold my travel mug really well, so I can bring my coffee. In previous years I always intended to ride my bike to school instead of driving, but I never seemed to stick with it. This year I'm going to try to be more serious about that.

Here are my reasons for wanting to ride my bike more:

1. It makes me feel healthy. I definitely am one who hates exercising for exercise purposes alone. This doesn't mean I hate physical activity. I just hate going to the gym. I love doing things like hiking or gardening, or even running outdoors with a group of friends, because the primary focus is not 'getting fit', it is just an added bonus. So biking to work fits right in this category. It gets me to my office, but also gives me a bit of a workout. Also, since I only live 5 miles away, it only takes me slightly longer to get to the office by biking than it does by driving, since I have to walk about 10 minutes from the parking lot to my building. And I think if I start getting better at biking (aka not using the brakes on big hills because I'm scared of going fast) then the times should be pretty equivalent. Plus biking is easier on my knees than running.

2. I am all set up to ride my bike in a variety of conditions... or at least I have the ability to be. I got bike lights for my birthday from my mommy this year! A front white light, and a back red light, and both have various modes of flashing or pulsing and whatnot. Very Cool! I still have to get batteries in them and put them on my bike though. Also, I have a really nice rain jacket as well as rain pants, so even the weather shouldn't stop me.

3. This is my sneaky plan to save a lot of money. The cost of gas alone for driving to and from work is somewhere between $.80 and $1.00/day. That is nearly $30/month, just for the gas to drive to school. If you add in other car expenses, like oil, maintenance, tires, etc., the national average cost of a small sedan is around $.50/mile. Obviously this average changes depending on the source, but I went with that number as it is the amount Dartmouth reimburses for mileage on expense reimbursements for work travel. That is $5 per day that I would be spending if I drive to school, which is a LOT of money.

4. Opting for riding my bike over driving is the green thing to do. I have been a Vermonter for almost three years now, so it is about time I started actively trying to be more environmentally friendly. This seems pretty self-explanatory, although I did just find this disturbing article that basically justifies driving, since walking requires more calories, and food production has become so energy-intensive that the pollution from a car is actually less than that of additional food production. There were also some other odd facts* on things like how organic cow's milk is worse than non-organic because the cows produce less milk, making their methane emissions higher because more cows are needed. I feel justified in not buying organic milk, but I'm still going to ride my bike.

Anyhow, I kind of got off-track there, but I am Super excited for my new plan to ride my bike more. This is the third spring that I have said that, so I hope I actually stick with it this year. I have hopes of having bike-riding become my natural choice for getting myself places, and having my car be the backup plan. Plus I want to ride my bike to all sorts of great places, like the farmer's market, the local contradances (I'll still need to drive to the far ones, but at least I can carpool), The Chutes by the Union Village Dam, Isabell's for delicious breakfast, the Whippy Dip for delicious ice cream, and probably other places as well. Ta Da.


*I use the word "facts" loosely, as I don't really know the source for this info.

Friday, April 23, 2010

waving at kids

Yesterday I was the passenger in Greg's car and when we stopped at a red light I looked over at the car next to us, where a pudgy kid was sitting with his window down. I smiled, and he smiled and waved in a really excited way, so I waved back. Then I told Greg about it, and when I looked back the kid looked over again and gave me another friendly wave, so I waved back, and we were both laughing a lot at that point. Then his mom's light turned green, and she was laughing too as the kid waved one last time while driving off. Super Cute. I don't have a picture, but it was essentially like this:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Elephants

My friend Scott posted a link to this article on elephants. Now I can't stop thinking about elephants.

-------------------------------------

Elephants are lovely guys,
Who are good and true and tell no lies.

They don't take more than they can eat,
And always watch where they put their feet.

They don't play with electric wires;
I never have heard of them starting fires.

They have no vices and do not smoke.
An Elephant is a kindly bloke.

Elephants take good care of their young.
They seldom speak with angry tongue.

When in school, they do not cheat.
They walk in lines which are quite neat.

They don't beat up on smaller folks;
Don't care if they're the butt of jokes.

They don't worry what to wear today;
Look mighty splendid all in gray.

Super strong, yet very nice,
And no, they're not afraid of mice.

I've tried and tried but simply can't
Find anything better than the Elephant.

By - Wayne Hepburn for Elephant Appreciation Day

Monday, April 12, 2010

No More Shampoo :D

So my friend Allison has been blogging about her experimentation with not using shampoo. This inspired me to do a lot of reading on the topic and do some experimenting of my own. I used to have a roommate who would only wash her hair every few days. I was always amazed that her hair did not look all greasy and gross, since mine would look greasy and gross after just one day. For awhile in the fall I had managed to cut back to washing my hair every other day, but I had recently gotten back into the trend of shampooing (and conditioning) every day.

This is my new plan. I will start following Allison's routine and will adjust it according to my needs if necessary. This involves doing a saltwater rinse and an apple cider vinegar rinse every other day. First, sea salt is dissolved into a glass of hot water.



Pour that over your head and massage it into the scalp. The purpose is to cleanse the hair and remove dead skin cells from your scalp and whatnot. Then, rinse your hair with the acv, diluted with an equal part of water.



Massage this into your scalp, and be sure to rinse Really well, because smelling like vinegar all day is not part of the new plan. So far I have only tweaked this routine slightly, in that I once waited three days to do these rinses because I had rinsed with just water on the "off days" and I also dilute my acv slightly more so it is more like a quarter acv and three quarters water.

A short summary of why I am trying to be a "no shampoo" convert:

1. Shampoo is bad.* Basically, shampoo was invented in the 1930's(ish). Apparently as a result of houses having tap water with more minerals which made washing regular soap out of your hair quite difficult. Shampoo is the equivalent of laundry detergent.* Even super-expensive, all-natural shampoos will dry out your hair and scalp.

2. The more you shampoo, the more shampoo you "need". My understanding of it is this: you shampoo your head and it thinks, "aaahhh I am feeling so dried out and flakey! Help, Help! Quick, make more oil to put things back in balance!" So your head gets into this tread of over-producing oil, which makes you think shampooing every day is necessary. The unfortunate part about changing to a no-shampoo-routine is that it takes your scalp some time to adjust to not needing to over-produce oil. I guess this can take anywhere from weeks to months, but I'm not really too concerned (see point #5). I think your scalp was designed to produce oils that are good and healthy for your hair. Somehow we decided that it is best to dry out our hair by taking those oils off, but at the same time encouraging our scalp to produce more oil. My poor scalp has been getting mixed signals for my entire life.

3. Shampooing is unnecessarily costly and time-consuming. Shampooing your hair every day is not necessary. Shampooing your hair ever is not necessary. Don't waste the time and money doing so.

4. There is an alternative way. I am initially inclined to say it is a better way, but there are a lot of things I haven't quite figured out, so for now it is just an alternative way. It can be explained with Science. Basically, anything that has water in it is either an acid, a neutral, or a base. We are talking about pH folks. Water is neutral. On a scale from 0 to 14, 7 is neutral, 0 is the most acidic, and 14 is the most alkaline (strongest base).



Hair and skin have a natural pH of 5. Soaps are bases, which dry out your skin (think of your hands after doing a lot of cleaning with strong cleaning solutions). Vinegar has a pH of 3. So basically, using vinegar acts to keep the pH balance of your scalp where it wants to be. Sea salt has a pH of something like 7.5 to 8. It is very weakly alkaline, but still makes it necessary to use the vinegar to restore the pH of your scalp. I have read that a lot of people use baking soda (pH of 9) to wash their hair, which would be slightly more alkaline than the sea salt, but still quite mild. Here is the catch: I don't actually know the pH of the shampoo I was using, which is why I don't know if this routine is better based on a pH argument. At least it is better that I now actually know what I Am putting in my hair. Also, aside from being good to your scalp you also want to be good to your actual hair. I haven't done enough reading on this, but there is a Science to hair as well, and shampoo is essentially making your hair very unhappy.*

5. What do I have to lose? Seriously. The one negative side effect is that your hair Might get really greasy for awhile until your scalp adjusts to not over-producing oil. So far I have not used shampoo for 5 days, and I don't think my hair looks that bad. Even if it did look kind of bad, I doubt anyone in the physics building would even notice. This is a place where it is acceptable to wear the same outfit for a week, no problem. In fact, physicists are so into low-maintenance that I will probably start to feel an even greater sense of camaraderie with these people. Aside from that, I know a certain someone who will strongly encourage me to reconsider my new routine if my hair starts to get out of control. But honestly, I don't ever think it will.

Also, I don't really do anything with my hair as is. I don't even brush my hair. The only thing that I do care about is making my hair grow long enough to be able to chop it and donate it. One of the problems with hair donation is that you cannot donate split ends, so it often takes me a long time to grow 10 inches of good hair, because I need to keep trimming off the end. I am so sure that an avoidance of shampoo will make split ends much less of a reality for me.

Also, in preparation for a possible really-greasy-looking-early-stage-of-new-hair-routine, I bought a new scarf to wear on my head and also some cheap fabric from the remnant bin at Joann's so that I can make some sweet headbands. Now I have become a headband-wearer, which I am really enjoying. When people see me wearing a headband it totally distracts them from my hair, and (I am pretty sure) they don't even notice the state of greasiness of my hair.

Also, small sidenote: this research has been very enlightening. It makes me wonder about my face soap as well. The active ingredient is an acid, but it still dries out my face so much, which then makes a face moisturizer necessary. Are these "necessities" also not necessary?

Anyhow, now I am just waiting for the time when someone compliments my hair without even knowing I gave up shampoo.


*Please note that broad generalizations are a result of me taking everything I have read about this on the interwebs to be fact.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I was feeling like doing some baking this weekend, and what I really wanted to make was something like banana bread without the bananas, since I don't even like bananas. I did some googling, and ended up finding this recipe for a delicious sweet bread alternative. When I was shopping for ingredients, I happened to find myself in the applesauce section, which is not normal, but it made me remember how you can replace the oil in recipes with applesauce, so I got some. Then I got home and realized I had some bland yogurt that I was not intending to eat, and I remembered how you can replace the oil in recipes with plain yogurt. So I ended up making two loaves of this bread, one with the applesauce substitution, and one with the yogurt substitution. They both turned out well, which I was happy about. So far the reviews of which bread was better are pretty mixed. The yogurt one was definitely more moist and also kept its moisture longer. By day three it is practically like sticky buns or something, where the applesauce one kind of dried out.

The End.

Monday, February 15, 2010

hockey!

This year the physics department gathered up enough interest to get our very own intramural hockey team! In previous years I have played with the debate team, because they would sign up in the co-ed league, which required at least two girls to be on the ice at all times, and for some reason they just didn't always have enough girls show up to their games.
This is a video from two years ago. I am on the yellow team, wearing green pants, and I'm pretty sure I got an assist, which is about the only good thing I ever did while playing with that team. Luckily Tim, who was filming, took note of this amazing feat by yelling MY name and not the name of the one who got the goal:)


This year our team is much less shaky, as there seems to be quite a bit of hockey talent in the physics/astronomy department.
Below is a picture of six of our guys and just one opponent. I swear it was during actual gametime... not my fault if the other teams gave up on playing offense. My favorite is how we have one player in figure skates. It just makes everything so much more like Mighty Ducks.


This kid is about to get clobbered by the astro professor who plays with us. He is not a small man to start with, but wearing full hockey gear makes him look downright intimidating. Also, please note that we have one fan in the audience!! woohoo!!


Aside from playing a few late night Monday games (one was after 11pm, so pretty much I was asleep on the ice), we have been playing out on the pond as well. Yesterday Greg, Dustin, and I were challenged to a game by a group consisting of a dad/uncle and a bunch of cousins/brothers between the ages of maybe 8 and 14. I was slightly intimidated, because pond hockey can get kind of out of control sometimes. At any rate, I agreed to play, knowing that I could just leave at any time. We took the youngest brother Paul on our team, and played 4 on 5. We had tons of fun, and eventually, with enough passes to Paul, he got us our last goal, which he was pretty pleased about, considering he was playing against his older brothers. We ended up skating for two hours and today I am quite tired and sore. All in all a good time, and I am SO glad I'm not stuck in Alaska and missing the entire skating season like last year!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Next time you look back, I think you should look again.

Today I am in a blogging mood. Prepare for what could possibly be a lengthy post of my adventures from the past few months or so. I think I will follow along with what few photos I have, and see where that takes me.

There was a bonfire.

This is Dustin, keeping warm and entertaining us with his impressive glowstick-collecting skills. The bonfire is always a pretty cool thing, but it was cold and raining, which was not so great. I think that happens every year.

There was the Dartmouth Underground Tour.

This is a photo taken while we were under the Dartmouth green. These tunnels are very lengthy and carry steam.

There was a snake.

Jo and I saw it one time when we were talking a walk around the pond.

There was a fall hike up Gile.



This is the fire tower and me at the top of the fire tower with Sarah and Lisa. I was playing dress-up, wearing an amazing outfit inspired by some french teenagers I saw hiking once.

There was halloween.

Some people came over to the barn. This is a photo I took of Julie with some odd settings on my camera. I like it.

There was a hike up Cardigan.

On the way down the mountain some people asked us if we had a rope, which sadly I did not. Apparently they found this sweet little dog whose owners were further down the mountain looking for her. This is a picture of Greg carrying Gardenia back to her owners.

There was a conference in San Francisco.

I flew on Virgin Air, which is the hippest airline ever. Check out these neon lights and futuristic seats. They also had free wireless (thank you Google) and also electrical outlets.

There was the Ferry Building and a pier.

Here are Brian and Bethany on the pier in San Francisco. My back hurt a lot because I spent the day walking around carrying my computer in my backpack.

There was some cool artwork at SFO.

Enough said.

There was a trip to Wisconsin, where I got to see my younger brother's new house and my older brother's and sister-in-law's slightly less new house.

Here is a picture of the fat bunny who lives in the backyard of Andrew's house. My dad lined up some carrots for him, which he is clearly not going for.

There was a visit with my grandma.

Here she is with my dad. She has macular degeneration and is legally blind, but she said that if I was going to take pictures I needed to send them to her too, because people always take pictures and never give her any of them. :)

There was family time.

Here is Adam with a wine charm in his nose.

There was a trip to the botanical gardens.

Here is a caterpillar of lights! Also, I'm really proud of myself for spelling caterpillar correctly on my first try.

There was a trip to Madison.

We had a great lunch at the Java Cat, which I will fondly remember as the Lava Cat.

So there you have it, a photo tour of the past few months. I guess most of that was concentrated in December, but certainly not all of it. I might try to do a better job of taking more photos, but lately I need to feel really inspired to actually pull out my camera. We shall see. We shall see.