Monday, May 31, 2010

More pics from week 1

Week 1 was very long. We ended up working in the field on Sat since Monday was a holiday. I slept a lot on Mon as you would imagine.

Val and I. I am wearing waterproof pants after the miserable day we had on Fri. We got rained and snowed on. I was very wet and unhappy. Luckily I found some pants later that day.

Taking a break on one of the hills. It was right after this that we found a Loggerhead Shrike nest. It was very cool.

Black Beauty - our truck's name. She is a sight of beauty when we see her at the end of the day.

Giving Black Beauty a bath.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Week 1 - NV

Well, we have been in the field for several days now and it has been very interesting. This is what it looks like most of the time for miles.

Here I am on the first day getting ready to start working.

On the second day, we walked on clover fields and cow pasture, as well as sage scrub.

This is my field partner, Valerie. She works for Matt's company in the Houston office.

A Lewis' Woodpecker we saw next to the road on our way home.

We have seen a ton of hawks, eagles, sparrows and other small birds. I am really enjoying myself even with having to get up at 4 am each morning.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

SLC, Utah / Elko, NV

After 3.5 days in Salt Lake City, Utah I am finally settled in Elko, Nevada for the next three weeks. Matt and I got to spend time togther during the training. It was really nice to be together - minus the no-see-ums and mosquitoes.

I also got to meet some of the people he has talked about for the past 2 years. Here is with Zack and Don.

I am very lucky to have a great partner, Valerie. She has been out here for the previous 2 years and knows the ropes.

Valerie and I drove to Elko on Saturday past the salt flats. This was my first time in Utah and this part of Nevada.

Once in Elko, we immediately went to the decent coffee shop. After taking care of some business, a bunch of us went out for sushi. It was pretty good sushi - especially for Nevada.

Counter-clockwise: Valerie, Jean, Rebecca, Miriam, Luis and Mikal

Tomorrow we start searching for bird nests...and breaking in a new pair of boots (uugh).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Getting ready for the field

I can't believe I am leaving tomorrow for 3 days in Salt Lake City and 3 weeks in Elko, Nevada. The hardest part is leaving Lavi and Gandalf...Matt will be with me in SLC. Since I am home most of the time with these two, this time it is a lot harder to leave than it use to be. Namir was a trooper, for the most part, although Matt said he would miss me by day 3 and would throw up all over the place - whatever. Speaking of Namir, the 1 year anniversary of his passing is on Friday. It is hard to believe it has been a full year. I am lucky to have Gandalf though, he has filled a big void.

Since I am leaving for a while, I thought I would make Matt some food he could take out of the freezer. I marinated 2 flank steaks and made him 2 batches of chicken enchiladas. I even called the Everyday Food lady on the Martha Stewart Sirius Radio channel to ask about freezing them. She said as long as the chicken was cooked, I should assemble them and then freeze them. He could cook it off later. She also said I was a very good wife :)

My "good wife" enchiladas

It is going to be hard living in a hotel room with only a microwave and mini-fridge. I don't think there are many dining options in the town and in trying to save money I am planning on getting creative. I will keep you posted :)

I did make a double-sided photo accordian to display in the room to help bring home just a little bit closer. I used the Bind-it-all to connect the pieces.

I hope to make some posts about the trip but I don't know how often that will happen after 12-hour work days.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Getting Piggy With It

Cochon 555 is an event to raise awareness of heritage is also an opportunity to stuff yourself silly with all things pork. This purpose of this event is to hold a competition for 5 chefs tasked with creating 5 or so items each from their own heritage pigs. The winner was picked by attendees and a panel of judges. They have helpd this event in several cities around the country already. Along with the amazing bites created by the chefs, there was also a butcher demonstration and another whole roasted pig. If that is not enough, the event was topped off with pig-related dessert. There were also 5 wineries doing tasting to pair with the pig creations.

As much as I would have loved to just attend the event, the $125 ticket was a bit much for us. So, I found a way to volunteer and helped with registration. I did get a chance to enjoy some of the VIP reception prior to the main event. I stuffed myself with incredible cheese and also tried a salt sampling.

Here are some pictures of the butchering demo.

After the demo, they held a raffle to give out all of the pork that was just cut up.

Jen and Michelle both won! Unfortunately, I was not so lucky.

By this point I was stuffed from all of the food. Some of my favs included, the pork rillettes ravioli, pork liver mousse, blood sausage, roast pork loin, pork'n'beans with pork cheek slaw (yes, the crunchy bits in the slaw were pork cheek) and so much more I have no idea what it was. But this was not the end. All of a sudden, they rolled out another whole roasted pig!!

You would think it was over now...but no...dessert was next. I was not about to pass up candied bacon and ice cream sandwiches. I know there was some type of "bacon fat" involved in the ice cream sandwiches but it I was in such a haze at this point.

In the end, the chef from Olympic Provisions was the winner. He will participate in the national competition in Aspen, CO next month.

But I did not go home empty handed. I was able to score the pig snout for my pooch. Many people were envious but truthfully it was so hard it would not have been easy to eat. But Lavi was in pig heaven!

Til next year and boy do I hope there is a next year.

Another article about the event:

Doggie Dash 2010

Once again, we particpated in the Oregon Humane Society Doggie Dash along with ~5,000 of our closest friends. With that many dogs you'd think there would be lots of barking. But no, it is more of an organized chaos.

Our Burlingame Buddies team was rockin' red and orange bandanas.

The team roster (by size):

Toby (and Kathi)

Lavi (and me)

Gomez (and Laura)

Roxie (and Susan)

The team during the Dash

Some of the interesting sights included a minature horse and the same cat as last year sitting on its owners leg amidst all these dogs. Here is Roxie trying to figure out the horse.

The cutest dog award goes to the bulldog puppy:

The crazy face award:

Lavi enjoyed snoozing in the sun after her exciting morning.

Until next year...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Week in the Life 2010 - Book

Here is the finished daily pages of my Week in the Life 2010 book. I decided to only use supplies I had on hand. I had an 8 1/2 x 11 book by SEI sitting on the shelf, craft cardstock from Paper Zone leftover from my holiday cards, and many coordinating papers and die cuts from My Minds Eye (MME) that I won as a giveaway last National Scrapbook Day at Craft Warehouse. All I had to do was print my photos at Costco.

Non-MME: Supplies - American Crafts Thickers, American Crafts camera sticker, Maya Road sheer calendar.

On the first page of each day, I stamped the day and date with Technique Tuesday letter and number stamps and then heat embossed with white embossing powder from Joann. I also used a Technique Tuesday stamp for the black dot border with Ranger Jet Black Archival Ink.

I still have some random pages I plan to make with a few lists and other materials I collected during the week.

Monday, May 3, 2010

JAG Agility Fun Match

Our agility club, JAG Agility, held its first fun match yesterday. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work. We got very lucky with the weather partly sunny and best of all - no rain! I was focused on so many other things and forgot to put on sunscreen and my face got fried.

Lavi did as I expected - zoomies, but she did settle down and finally do what I asked. I believe the zoomies and the sniffing are stress-related. I am doing my best to be patient because in the end it is fun. I still think she is happy when she is zooming and also when she is performing.

Here is a movie of her first 2 runs and her last run. Unfortunately, I did not video the 4th run, which was her best. After watching the other clips, you probably won't believe me but she did the whole course at a moderate speed - even the weave poles. The last run in the video is a typical run when she is tired at the end of the class. She is more focused on the treat and stops at a lot of the jumps looking at me like she has no idea what I am asking her to do.

I also ran Boomerang a few times. He is my instructor Jim's dog. It is like driving a Ferrari. I will have someone video that next time so you can see what a driven dog is like on the agility course.

Here is a picture of Hillary (Jim's daughter) running Boomerang.

This is Jim, our faithful leader.

Jewel, one of the Corgis.

And Lavi chilling in her crate...

The morning after...conked out on the bed with her buddy who missed her terribly yesterday.

Matt Nevada 2010

Here's a nice photo of Matt during his aerial surveys last week. Isn't he handsome?