Monday, August 31, 2009

First Week's Lunches

This year I finally bought a Laptop Lunchbox and have been taking my lunch with me everyday. I was worried that it would be too small, but it's amazing how much food you can stuff in there!

Monday: I forgot to take a picture but I packed millet breakfast bread, black beans, steamed kale, and a plout.

Tuesday:Soba noodles with sesame sauce and local broccoli, a local pear, local bok choy, extra sesame sauce, and more millet breakfast bread.

Wednesday:Orange tofu with rice, steamed local broccoli, local Asian pears, and wild harvested local sea palm with almonds.

Veggie enchiladas made with local corn, zucchini,onion, and peppers, salad with local raw corn, zucchini and canned beans, millet breakfast bread, local plouts.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

First Week of School

Made it through the first week and I'm ready to start another tomorrow! I worked out a few kinks in my schedule and now everything should be finalized.

Geological Oceanography 10-11. I've had this teacher before and as long as you put EXACTLY what he says as an answer, you're golden.

Plant Physiology Lab 2-5. As above, I've had this teacher before and he is really great. You can tell he got into teaching because he loves to teach and is really excited about the subject matter.

Field Cruise 5-8. Continuation of last semester's and last summer's class. This semester we'll be writing the paper, submitting it to the 2010 Ocean Sciences Conference and preparing a poster and our presentation for the conference. We originally planned to submit our paper to the AGU conference, but since the deadline is in two days, we decided to be reasonable. I'm very nervous and excited about publishing a paper and presenting it at a national conference, but I'm looking forward to the networking opportunities. Also, I've heard that a lot of people come to this particular conference to look for undergrads to take on as Masters/Ph. D. students! Fingers crossed!

Plant Physiology Lecture 10-11. Same teacher as the lab instructor. I'm looking forward to this class.

Work 12-5. So glad that they were able to keep me this year with all the budget cuts!

Wednesday: Same as Monday minus field cruise.

Thursday: Same as Tuesday.

Geological Oceanography lecture 10-11.

Geological Oceanography Lab 2-5 at the Trinidad Marine Lab. Same instructor as the lecture. I'm really looking forward to this lab. Last Friday we spent our lab barefoot on the beach in the sun measuring the beach profile. There's just nothing better than that.

I'm also taking an online course called "Sound Mind-Sound Body." From the syllabus:
"This online course is designed to provide students with a broad introspective examination of health and wellness that incorporate the mind, body, and soul. The course is organized into the following three sections, which represent the Ancient Greek triad of Mind, Body, and Spirit, and embody the "Sound Mind in a Sound Body":
  1. Mind - Cognitive Health, Hostility, Mood, Social Networks and Support, Stress and Health, Time Efficiency
  2. Body - Alcohol, Caffeine, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Sleep
  3. Soul - Existential Health, Humor, Music, Passionate Living, Spirituality"
I think the class will be very interesting!

I'm also very excited because today, for the first time since moving out of my parents' house, I am doing laundry in my own home!! My mom and dad came up yesterday with a washer, dryer, and small chest freezer and got them all installed and working for me. I'm still moving the freezer around trying to find a good spot for it (I think I may have to find an 'OK' spot for it...) and then I'll fill that sucker up with casseroles and frozen fruit and tofu and hopefully have lots of meals that I can just pull out and heat up during the week so I can keep from getting take out. Thanks Mom and Dad!!!!!

For now I'm off to pick up the house and get it ready for the new week, do some class reading (why can't they make textbooks read like 'smut' books? I'd have no problem reading them then!), and folding my freshly laundered clothes. Take care everybody!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Looking forward

School starts on Monday and I don't feel ready at all. I am looking forward to having a schedule, a fixed routine to follow, but aside from that I'd really rather have a couple more weeks of vacation. Normally I enjoy school (sometimes not when I'm in the midst of a round of tests), but with the state budget cuts increasing my tuition and decreasing my financial aid, quality of classes, and hours my department can pay me to work and the 2 days a month of staff furloughs that may or may not mean classes won't meet (not even the teachers know what is happening), this year is just looking like it will be a big mess. All that on top of general class stress. But I do think I'll enjoy my classes (geological oceanography, senior project, field cruise, plant physiology, photography, and sound mind-sound body), and I'll have almost all my friends in most of the classes.

I'm trying to get all my "domestic" things done now, or within the first few weeks of school and get them out of the way. I've been doing a lot of canning, and plan on doing tomato sauce, blueberry syrup/jelly/pie filling (haven't decided yet), apple sauce and apple butter in the next few weeks. I want to freeze a bunch of blueberries, muffins, bread, casseroles, brown rice, and other similar items to have for quick meals during busy weeks. I'd also like to do at least one more batch of dried apples as well, but we'll see how it goes. So far this year I have preserved:

-1 sandwich bag of dried apples
-1/2 sandwich bag dried cantaloupe (from two melons! Wow they shrunk up a lot!)
-1 sandwich bag of dried pineapple
-4 12-oz and 10 8-oz jars of strawberry jam
-9 pint jars of dill pickles - thrown out because they were so salty you couldn't eat them!
-9 pint jars of dill pickles from a different recipe - probably going to be thrown out... :(
-18 12-oz jars of white grape jelly with grapes from my parent's vine

One thing I am excited about starting school for is my new lap top lunchbox! I've wanted one for several years now, and I finally broke down and bought one with a carrying case and an extra set of inner containers. I'm trying to lose weight before the wedding and I think the compartments will help with portion control and will keep me from buying food at school.

Did I mention wedding? Why yes, I did! David and I have decided to get married (really for real this time!) next summer after over 7 years of being together! We are shooting for June 12th, which will give us about a month after graduation (we will both walk in May, although David will have classes to finish up in the fall semester) and about two months to enjoy married life before David starts classes in August for his last semester at HSU. After that we plan on moving out of California for greener pastures and to gain residency in another state before I begin my graduate and Ph. D. work. I'm very excited, but am trying to keep a level head and focus on my school work for now.

That's all for now. I'm off to make next week's meal plan and enjoy one of my final free afternoons in the sun.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Where has the time gone?

Hmmm...anyone still there? I can't believe it's been so long since I've last written, but there were many reasons for it. Since I last wrote, I went through one of the toughest rounds of finals I've had in my college career, suffered from depression caused by the stress (happily with medication and relaxing over summer I'm feeling much better!), went on a two day oceanographic cruise collecting sediment samples, spent half my weeks processing roughly 1200 samples and sorting through them to find individual foraminifera, had a wonderful 4th of July weekend with my parents, decided to finally really for-sure this time get married next summer and started planning that and in general have been vegging out on the couch watching Doctor Who. Whew! So I'm sorry it's been so long, but hopefully you can forgive me!

For right now, that's all I have to report. I'll be writing again more frequently though, I promise! Until then, I'll leave you with a couple pictures from the oceanographic cruise.

This is the box corer we used to collect the sample. This device is solid steel and weighs a ton. It is lowered to the seabed where it buries into the mud to collect a 50cm long core. The arm M. is standing on swings down to cover the bottom of the core as it comes up so you don't lose the sample. I'm in the red shirt stabilizing M. as she primes the device (which is a bunch of fun on the high seas!)
M. and I wait for the box corer to return from 150m depth to the surface where we will "tag" it with lines at the end of an 8-foot pole and use the lines to control the corer back to the deck and make sure it doesn't swing back and forth, damaging the sample and anything in it's way. It takes two of us on each side to control it. I'm in the grey shirt.