Life updates

Well, it’s been over a month since I posted… mostly due to a HUGE editing project I was working on, the first time I have done an entire book. Along with my other work, this pretty much sucked up all my creative writing and blogging time, much to the detriment of my self-publishing and writing intentions. Hopefully now that that’s done, I can get on with it :) Scientifically speaking, it was a fairly interesting project, at least. Once in a while I’d come across a chapter that was written in good English, and that was like a gift (I do ESL editing, and these were mostly Japanese authors).

I did manage to sneak in a visit to Lisa and Kevin Plaxco in Santa Barbara, which was very nice. Third time’s the charm, as the first trip was foiled by being snowed in (here) and the second attempt by a large fire (there). I enjoyed the sunshine and their beautiful temporary home, and we went on a short camping trip to the Channel Islands. The Island Scrub-Jay eluded me, but there were many other unusual plants, birds, and rock formations to enjoy.

Other than that, it’s been a week out at Hanford working and weeks of rain at home. I was invited to join the workgroup to overhaul our state cleanup regulations, which is something of an honor but also likely to be a fair amount of work. Meanwhile I am working on an implementation plan for a local university to develop a low-impact development center and focus on human impacts on the freshwater environment. All this should keep me quite busy until February, when I leave for a month-long visit to New Zealand (yay!).

In other news, I’ve been battling mice under the house, who think this is their annual winter vacation home (apparently it’s been going on for years). So, all the insulation underneath the house is stripped out (in winter!) until I am sure they’ve been adequately excluded, and then I will be putting newer and better insulation back in.

Also, I recently joined a timebank, which is a really neat concept in bartering. Rather than having to find one person to mutually exchange services with, you offer your services to an entire group of members. Whenever you perform a service, you earn hours, which you can then use to “pay” other people to come do services for you. Everyone’s hours are treated equally, which is one thing I like about it. My garden will be in need of timebank hours soon, I’m sure.

Now I’m just getting ready for Thanksgiving! As many years as I’ve cooked Thanksgiving for the family, I’ve never made a turkey. Originally, our oven was too small, and I like to experiment, so every year I make something different with seasonal foods, but seldom very traditional. This year, since I have a new pro stove that actually functions properly, I’m planning to surprise everyone with traditional Thanksgiving fare – turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls, squash, green beans, and pumpkin pie! So, I’m making my first turkey at the age of 46 :D  Our family has a nice ritual of saying out loud what we’re thankful for each year, which gives the holiday its true meaning to me.

That’s it for now! Enjoy your weekend everyone, and don’t forget to be mindful of what you’re thankful for.

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