Monday, July 29, 2013


Work has been good lately. Busy, but good. Back in January, I met with my boss's boss, and his boss (the Director of our facility) to talk about our research, and propose a new project that I hoped would be valuable to the organization, interesting to me, and make me in turn valuable to the organization. It has to do with looking at genetic variation in genes that make mosquitoes resistant to insecticides.

It's taken a while to get rolling, and I needed to do another project in the meantime, but we are underway and it's unfolding. Colleagues at work have been really accommodating and helpful (really helpful) as I try to learn new techniques. Insecticide work has to happen in one person's lab, and she's been awesome in giving me all the access I need. I ran into boss's boss last week and gave him an update. He said that they are working on project planning for 2014, and that my project should be supported and on the list. Good news.

Then late last week I got a forwarded email from the person whose lab space I'm borrowing. It was a job announcement for a tenure-track position at the local university, my alma mater. It's 80/20 Research/Teaching. I had seen the announcement the day before in an ecology listserve I subscribe to, and it was sent by someone on the search committee, who I know from when I was a student. This is a different department, but her area of research was close to mine and she was an unofficial mentor.

I initially dismissed it, but then FB messaged the woman I know to ask if she thought my experience was enough to make it worth applying, even though we were just getting going with the project. The position is to look at herbicide resistance in weeds, as opposed to insecticide resistance. To my surprise, she said, "Absolutely, you should apply."


So I'm going to apply. The deadline isn't for another month. I really like what I'm doing, but the year to year contract thing isn't as stable as this position. Interesting.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Very close

Well, the date for the demo of my kitchen has been set, and my contractor has put together a schedule that runs over about two weeks, where they will hopefully be able to get in and get out as quickly as possible. 

We have run into a little snag with the countertops, and it remains to be seen whether this will affect the schedule. When I met with the guy, it was my recollection that I had asked for prices on the Cambria, and the sales person did not have that recollection. I'm trying to be fair about this, but after a couple of weeks, I sent an email to my contractor, specifying what I wanted estimates for. He forwarded this email to the sales person. Still I heard nothing. Finally, early this week, I get an email from the sales person asking when I can come in and finalize choices. I say I'd like prices before I come in again. He says I didn't choose anything that he could give an estimate on. I reference my email with specifics. I hear nothing. 

Then we set up a meeting for yesterday (Saturday), and I figure he's got a few days to get the estimates. Then it's Friday (the day before) at 2 pm, and I don't have the numbers. I send yet another email saying I will not meet Saturday without seeing numbers ahead of time because (I mean, did I really need to spell it out?) I didn't want to see the numbers for the first time there in the showroom and feel pressured to make a decision there and then. Geez.

So he emails again yesterday morning, saying he'll have numbers by the end of the day Monday. I don't know if they'll be able to fabricate the counters in time, but I guess that's my contractor's conundrum now.

Grr. I'm getting frustrated just thinking about it. It'd be great if he came forward and said, "Oops, I didn't see that email where you asked for prices very specifically." But it will all work out.

I bought a new stove and a dishwasher yesterday. Of course, that has a story, too. I thought I would do a good turn and shop locally for the appliances, so I hopped online and went the downtown appliance store's website. I cross referenced the Consumer Reports recommendations with what the appliance store offered, and selected the stove above (a Frigidaire, gas, self cleaning, convection oven) and a dishwasher. For some reason CR likes expensive dishwashers, and I thought one shouldn't cost more than the stove, so I looked at models and then went down a couple of steps. Like the guy at the store said, if you're the kind of person that scrapes dishes before they go in the dishwasher, most of them will do a great job.

So I go into the store with my choices, and the sales person says, "Oh, yes, well that's a third party website, and we don't have control over those numbers." Pause. I raise my eyebrows in disbelief. She says they've been trying to get it changes so the site doesn't show prices, because (get this) the site shows the very lowest prices, on par with larger stores. Umm, OK. But she was able to sell them to me at those prices, and after a couple hundred dollars more for delivery, installation and hauling away my old stove, I've got shiny new appliances that will be delivered when they are needed. I'm keeping my fridge until it doesn't work anymore and I don't care that it is white an these are stainless. So there.

As I'm writing, I think that I should mention this or that, but this post is already pretty long, so more later. Hope you have a nice Sunday!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Put 'em to work

I found Christine Marie Davis' blog a year ago or so, and thought her work was really great. She hammers things flat and makes jewelry from them. Metal buttons, knitting needles, stuff like that. Metal shine, lots of texture. It's really nice stuff.

I had a few buttons around and wanted to see what they would look like smashed. I thought it might be a good idea to put my kid on it. He likes this task a lot. I need to take a picture of the finished products, but suffice to say that I'll be looking for more metal buttons on Ebay.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

This and that

Tis the season for rainbows. We get just a touch monsoonal here in CO in July and August. A bit more humid, and a pretty good chance of rain or gusty cloudy stuff in the afternoon. This one is out my back door. 

Not much new to report on the kitchen remodel front. Apparently a lot of people are getting their houses updated, and I'm still waiting on the cabinets to come in. I'm also waiting back (tomorrow it will be a month, which I think is absurd) to hear about the estimate for the countertops. I don't know what the hold up would be there, as they've got the drawings and all. I haven't changed my mind again, but did ask them to give me an estimate for laminate while they were at it. 

I visited one appliance store in town, thinking I'd just pick out a gas range and dishwasher, and couldn't. I left, saying "I don't know enough to make a decision". So I was able to get a one month (it will renew automatically if I don't cancel - just like the dating site!) subscription to Consumer Reports, and checked out stoves and dishwashers there. Their favorite dishwashers are around $1000, so I'm going to have to go with a less favorite one there. It'll be nice to have one for when I cook something big. I haven't had a dishwasher for the 8 years I've lived here, so it will be a treat. If it didn't add value to the kitchen, I probably wouldn't, but I'm glad I get to have one. Also looking forward to having a real stove hood that vents outside. 

I'm finally starting to sleep better. Mr W was away and camp and it exacerbated the fact that I had not been sleeping well for several weeks, perhaps the lead up to said camp. I wasn't sure why, but I had this undercurrent of anxiety about having him go away to camp for a week, even though he and I had visited, and I was OK with everything about the camp. I psychoanalyzed myself about it, and discovered it symbolized the start of him eventually growing up and leaving. Isn't that the pisser about good parenting? If you do it right, you raise a person you love to be with, and they are supposed to leave. *sigh*. 

He had a good time, btw. I wonder how much I talked about all the ins and outs the time I went off to summer camp around 6th grade. I've gotten some highlights, but will have to ask more questions if I want to know more.

I hope to post a little more regularly, and if you are one of the folks who reads these sporadic posts, I appreciate it. :-)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hello there Muse, it's been a while

I've been in a creative slump for a few months. Not really inspired to make anything new and list it in my Etsy shop. Part of this is because the stuff isn't selling that fast and I have a good inventory of my bracelets, so don't feel compelled to make more of those. I think what I need there is to get more advertising, and I'm working on that.

Since I got my hair cut short, I've been wearing earrings more, and it seems that the earrings I have are lovely, but I want some larger pairs. Hey, I can make some myself, right? Sure. So I hopped on Pinterest and found a few things I liked (here is the link to that Pinterest board if you want the original sources):

Making my own jump rings used to intimidate me, but my skills are a little better and I think I could do the above design with a combo of vintage buttons and my polymer clay buttons. 

I really like these. They induced a mild forehead-smacking moment where I said, why don't I make my clay buttons really thin (and therefore just decorative for this purpose) and then I can stack them like this in cool colors and textures? It's a very simple design, and I need a little file to make the earring wires out of the wire I have, but it's totally doable. 

So I've got some ideas that I'll try tomorrow between bouts of paint scraping, and over the weekend. I'm finally seeing progress on removing the old peeling paint from the porch and am almost ready to sand it, wash it and paint it again. I will be so very glad when it's over. It (speaking of forehead smacking moments) occurred to me that if the paint was hard to remove in a few spots, it's probably not going anywhere and could be painted over with the super-duper thick deck miracle paint I saw advertised at the orange home store. 

And tomorrow Mr W and I will go see the fireworks. Last year they were cancelled because it was so dry and we had just gotten over the large fire in the area. Well, they were postponed, but I then forgot about it until we heard the booms from the house on Labor Day. My dear son is going off to sleepover camp next week, and I dropped a bunch of money yesterday at the gear shop and got him a decent pair of hiking boots, as well as some good socks and a headlamp. The camp is only about an hour away, but they are off the grid, so if it were me, I'd want a good headlamp with extra batteries for sure :-)

Finally, I received the square foot samples of the Cambria countertops and as I suspected, the Waterford is truly lovely. On a total whim, and because like a blue jay or crow I am attracted to shiny things, I impulsively ordered a sample of Parys:

I got it out of the box and said, "Ooooooohhhhh. It's so pretty." One nice thing about Cambria is that it's all the same price, so the sparkly ones don't cost more. Parys is like Waterford in that they've got the same color of blue chips, except Parys has more. They are iridescent and not at all overwhelming or over the top as I had thought they would be. There isn't any tan in this at all, but it goes fine with the maple cabinets and the grey actually matches the "white" in the multicolored glass tile (click on the Waterford link above to see that if you'd like). So it's either Waterford of Parys and both are really nice. 

Hope your holiday is grand!