Archive for August, 2006

Drama of a Different Sort

August 30, 2006

Because I don’t have enough stress in my life already I came home yesterday to a domestic nightmare. After work I came home to change and go for a walk before picking Luke up from kindergarten. The closet light wouldn’t work so I figured that the bulb had burnt out. Well, until I saw other things were off too. I checked the breaker panel in the house and everything was fine so I called the power company. They informed me that there weren’t any outages and that they have record of my payment and to check the main breaker outside. It was off so I flipped it back on and things seemed fine…

I got home from walking and picking Luke up and prepared to make him some dinner, only to discover that things were definitely NOT fine. The stove turned on…but wouldn’t heat up enough to boil water. Some things worked in the house and some didn’t. Jay came home, talked to the neighbor who said the fencing contractors had cut their water line while taking out the fence, and suggested that one phase wasn’t making it into the house. Jay had a business dinner to attend so I called a friend who has a meter (yes, I’m an EE without a meter at home…disgraceful, I know) and we checked out the panel inside and confirmed that only one phase was making it in the house. It was dark and difficult to see the main outside so Jay called an electrician who came out first thing this morning. Did I mention that the electrical main for our building is a suspicious two feet from the digging location where the contractors cut the neighbor’s water line?

The electrician this morning discovers that the contractors cut the power line and that the water is *boiling* underground because of the proximity of the cut power line to the cut water line. He says it is too big of a job for him to do and that the concrete will have to be dug out (the word “winch” was mentioned) and a new line put down with the power company’s involvement. We have called the home owner’s association and they are supposedly sending someone out to deal with it “immediately”. We have had so many problems with our home owner’s association since we’ve lived here; I cringe to think about dealing with them over this. I am prepared for battle though!

So this is where things stand as of this morning: I have lukewarm water instead of hot water, can’t run the stove or the microwave, can’t do laundry. Half of my electrical outlets don’t work so I moved the fridge into the dining room last night and have to use a flashlight in the bedrooms (but the bathroom lights work). The ceiling fans don’t work but at least my OTT light outlet is good. Oh yeah, and it could be *weeks* until it’s fixed, according to one of my co-workers. Great. I have got to wonder what drama will be next in my life…

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Bear Canisters

August 29, 2006

Thanks for all the nice comments; I had such a great time on the trip and can’t wait to go backpacking again (this time with matches!). There was a question about bear canisters…well, they are special containers for food, trash, and toiletries that bears can’t open. One of my friends has this one and we rented a second one at the ranger station. They are required according to the wilderness permit. I was a little apprehensive about bears but we didn’t see a single one. The guys were disappointed but I was relieved!

Sarah I know what you mean about putting names to faces; I love being able to do that and I’ve been surprised before too. I laughed that you thought I was blonde. I don’t surf either, nor am I a vegetarian. Oh, and I hate sushi. So those California stereotypes don’t fit, but I do hate cigarettes and love the outdoors, so those two apply at least.

So my birthday was Sunday; I can’t believe that I’m 28 already. I did start a new project for the occasion: Gypsy Hearts by Shepherd’s Bush. It’s small so hopefully it won’t take long. I was stuck at work pretty late last night and didn’t get much stitching done.

Choir starts back up this week; I have really missed it during the summer. What else is new…counseling was awful yesterday. We are just incapable of seeing eye to eye and it really sucks. Things have been really strained lately and it is taking a toll on me. Change can be so hard, even when it’s the right change. I know this from past experience but this is a tough situation and it’s hard to know what’s right!

Well that’s it for today. Maybe this will be the start of more frequent posting again…

Kindergarten and the Great Outdoors

August 24, 2006

Today was the first day of school. How is it possible that my baby is now in kindergarten? I must say I handled it well; I didn’t cry and Luke was perfectly happy to go to his class. I’m sure it helps that we already know 3 out of the other 19 kids in his class (2 from soccer, one from his preschool class). He was so excited about his new lunchbox, though it’s for snack time since I will happily pay $2 a day for a pretty decent cafeteria meal. I can’t wait to pick him up after work and see how his day went. I know that it would be normal to feel sad that he’s growing up so fast, etc, but I didn’t have a problem with today. I always loved school; it was a refuge for me. I know it isn’t that way for everyone, but he seemed to enjoy learning new things at preschool and I intend to do all I can to foster a love for learning in him.

I had quite the adventure on my backpacking trip and I’ve been meaning to write about it but have been busy. As usual, right? Well we drove up to Mammoth Saturday, via Camarillo (which is actually 120 miles out of the way). Luke spent the week at my mom’s house and enjoyed the week immensely. I understand there was much lego building and more than a little spoiling! My mom was so excited to spend the time with him and I know he enjoyed the time with my brothers.

We got to Mammoth mid-late afternoon, got settled in the condo (where I had my own room and bathroom which was great) and did an easy one mile hike around the Earthquake Fault before dinner. Sunday we got up early to go to the ranger station only to find out that we couldn’t get our permit until 11am. The ranger assured us that we shouldn’t have a problem getting the permit since the Rush Creek Trail was a particularly difficult one. That should have been the first sign that we were in trouble… We had a leisurely breakfast at The Breakfast Club (which I totally recommend) and packed up to spend the afternoon hiking in Yosemite. At 11am we got our permit, rented a second bear canister, and headed up to Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite to do a day hike and begin acclimating to the higher elevation (9000-ish). We decided to hike to Cathedral Lakes, 7 miles round trip, and this was one of the high points of the entire trip. Anyone who knows me at all well knows that it takes a lot to make me speechless. I was either speechless or babbling inanely much of this hike as I was overcome with the beauty of the place. I have only been able to upload a few pictures to flickr so far because of the file size limit each month, but here are a couple from this hike:

Cathedral Peak:

We spent Sunday evening preparing for the backpacking trip, after a hearty dinner. Hiking 7 miles at 9000’, even with just light day packs, was a decent amount of exercise. Enough for me to worry about the three days to follow! Monday we were up very early to check out of the condo and head to Mammoth Mountain Inn to catch the YARTS bus up to the trailhead. I don’t have many pictures uploaded from the first day yet but here is one of our camp that first night.

The trail was especially strenuous the first two miles. We hiked nearly 8 miles the first day and one of the other people hurt his knee the first day. The first night was really cold; there was ice in the water pump when I got water on Tuesday morning! The stars were beautiful though and worth the 8 mile trek and freezing cold. The stove caught on fire Tuesday morning and so did two rocks…we had to resort to a wood fire to boil water for breakfast. We were woefully under prepared; the person who was *supposed* to bring matches didn’t, so we were in trouble when the lighter melted! After breakfast Tuesday we lived on power bars, trail mix, and jerky until we reached civilization on Wednesday afternoon. Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from Tuesday:

Me crossing Rush Creek:

posing by the “no fires over10,000 feet” sign:

Thousand Island Lake:

favorite spot (so far) on the John Muir Trail, between the 10,000 feet sign and Thousand Island Lake:

We didn’t discover our lack of matches until we set up camp Tuesday evening. Two of the guys in the group spent hours trying to start a fire by rubbing sticks together while I laughed hysterically.

We returned to civilization Wednesday following the River Trail to Agnew Meadow. We shortened the trip by 7-8 miles due to the injured knee and lack of fire (ie, food). I’ve already decided where I want to go next: I want to start at Agnew Meadow, take the Pacific Crest Trail to Thousand Island Lake, and do the rest of the original trip which was the John Muir Trail down to Reds Meadow. Next time!

Thursday we drove the Tioga Road through Yosemite and I finally got to see Yosemite Valley. Words are so inadequate when it comes to Yosemite.

All told we hiked 28 miles during the trip and I managed to escape with only five mosquito bites (which is impressive considering I ended up with 26 when I went to Tahoe…).

I’d better end this now or it will never get posted. Hopefully my life will settle down soon and I can resume some normal posting. I did do some stitching in the car so I’ll take pictures of that soon.

Still Alive

August 1, 2006

Yesterday was joint counseling session #2. It was rough. We have been arguing a lot more lately than we used to and there was a considerable amount of tension while we were at counseling. I feel like he’s barely making a half-hearted attempt at change and doesn’t take this seriously. We don’t listen to each other but only hear what we think the other is saying, apparently. It’s exhausting.

I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to make that next step, to talk to a lawyer and find out what to expect and start the process, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I want to so badly but it is HARD.

I have actually been stitching again though, which is good. Luke and I rode up with my dad to Tahoe for a few days last weekend. I worked on Noah’s Sub for about 8 hours in the car on the way up and worked another 8 hours on Alpine Seasons on the ride back.

Tahoe was a fabulous trip; I have severely neglected my transfer of photos from camera to computer but hopefully I’ll remedy that soon and can share pictures from the trip.

Two weeks from now I will be backpacking along the John Muir Trail, southeast of Yosemite. I can’t wait. So far this week I’ve had pink eye, a sinus cold, fights with the husband, unpleasantness at counseling, and wretched female problems. Oh yeah, and it rained. Ugh. I’m ready for this week to be over and the next week to start. My brother his coming down this weekend and has agreed to watch Luke Saturday morning so I can go on a 10.5 mile hike to prepare for the trip. Thankfully I’ll be able to wear my contacts again then; I am sick of my glasses (today is day #4 of 7).