Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My Crazy Name

So far today I have been addressed as:

Dr. Royer

All by people who had my full name and email address prior to sending me an email. Nice.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Random Updates

Long time, no post. I have been trying to do at least one post per week, but I haven't been good at keeping up with that this month. This is probably due to a lot of reasons, but mainly we haven't had much going on lately. That is, unless you consider working extra hours fun. I don't, especially when the weather has been so nice out. Also, I start teaching Summer II tomorrow, so I have been prepping for that. I am able to re-use some of my materials from the Spring semester, but not all. I've also been trying to arrange/help my grandma move into assisted living. It is not going as smoothly as hoped. So, needless to say, there hasn't been much to post about.

Todd did go to St. John's, Newfoundland for a work conference. I stayed behind for work and to take care of the dog. I am glad I don't live in Canada. He said it never really got above 50-degrees the whole time and it was usually very gray out or raining. I would go crazy. It reminds me a bit of the winters we experienced when we lived up by Cleveland. Below is a picture of Todd while out exploring the island. He saw lots of icebergs and ate a lot a fish.

Also, I am happy to report our garden did survive the flooding. We weren't sure it would since it was under about 2-feet of water. But, we cleaned it out after the water subsided and staked everything back up. So, that seemed to work. In fact, things seem to be growing well as evidenced by our broccoli below. We also have already have peppers on Todd's jalapeno plant. Crazy!

We didn't have a big celebration, but Lucy turned 3 last week. She hasn't calmed down much (when do labs ever become calm?), but she has started turning a little gray on her chin. Despite the gray, we still get asked if she is a puppy since he is so petite and high energy!

Rhubarb Pie

We still have rhubarb coming out of our ears. In fact, I got even more from my grandmother's yard last weekend. So, I took my first attempt at rhubarb pie this weekend. I made my own version of a good recipe I found online. The difference was that instead of using a pie crust on the top, I used my favorite crumb topping for pies. It turned out pretty well! The rhubarb is really tart, but the crumble on the top is very sweet, so it balances out for a good flavor. I will definitely try this one again, although I still prefer apple pie as my fruit pie of choice!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Flooding and Severe Weather

We awoke this morning to power surges, tornado sirens, and flooding. Not quite the Saturday morning I envisioned where we would sleep in and be lazy. But, thankfully we have no damage to our house or property and there are many who were not as lucky. After the tornado siren stopped, we went out to view the damage. You can see me standing in the middle of the street in front of house. Basically, a river was flowing through our side yard. There are three streets in our neighborhood and it slopes downward from the first to third street. We are on the middle street, so our house was high enough not to get any water, however several neighbors in the street at the bottom of the slope were not so lucky. But, the water was rushing right through our side yard and was at least a foot or more deep. Below is a picture of the water coming through - most of the water in the neighborhood drained this direction. You can see our washed out garden, too. Other pictures are posted here.

Other parts of the state were not as lucky. Several areas just north of us by 20 miles are devastated. We got upwards of 7 inches of rain over night and other areas around us got a lot more. All of the major highways out of Bloomington were closed and some of them even have sections washed out. Many local lakes had dams that were breached and thousands of people have evacuated their homes. It has been a week of weather as we had another day of flooding earlier this week and severe weather with tornadoes around us several different nights. Hopefully, the coming week will be a little more peaceful.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Trip to Wrigley

Well, we finally made it to Wrigley for the first time of the 2008 season! In celebration of Todd's birthday on Sunday, we decided to head to Chicago for the day. Yes, just for the day. I know it is a little crazy, but it really isn't that bad of a trip. We go several times each year and have done the day trip a few other times, so we knew what we were getting into! Anyway, we left the house a 9:00am, got to Wrigley at noon (thanks to the time change), which left us enough time to get tickets and lunch before the game started at 1:20. After the game, we walked around a bit, grabbed dinner, and headed for home after the traffic died down. We made it home by 11:15pm! Of course, we have our special route and new secret parking spot, so that helps us get there despite the crazy traffic. Thankfully, Lucy is an awesome dog and just hung out in the backyard the whole time.

It was a great trip! We saw the Cubs win their 8th game in a row and saw a Soriano homerun. Also, Edmonds did well during the game (although it is hard to cheer for a former Cardinal). It was also Illini day, so we saw lots of fellow Illinois grads and saw Ron Zook sing the 7th Inning Stretch. I will say that we were not dressed for the weather. I checked the forecast before we left and adjusted a little for the cooler temps closer to the lake. The temp was listed as a high of 80, so I figured it wouldn't be much below 70 for the game. Todd and I both dressed in shorts and t-shirts and neither took long sleeves to the game. Yikes - it was freezing, especially with our seats in the shade! I know, we should have known better. We have been to Wrigley in May and June before and know it can be chilly. Maybe we were hoping for summer. Who knows, but I did have to invest in a $60 Wrigley sweatshirt that is two sizes to big for me. Oh well. So, we have seen the Cubs in DC, Cincy, and Chicago so far this year. I am hoping we can check out a few other parks this season. No specific plans yet, but we are not good at planning ahead (I have lightened up on this obsession over the years as I prefer to have detailed plans, as most of you know).

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sad Puppy News

As some of you know, we have been waiting to get a Chesapeake Bay Retriever for close to a year now. When Todd began hunting more this past year and training Lucy for hunt tests, he knew he wanted to get another hunting dog. Chessies are well known for their hunting skills and we wanted to get a puppy with a good pedigree in terms of hunting. The problem is that finding a good breeder is very difficult. We looked all over the country and finally decided to get a pup from Skoog Kennels right here in Indiana. Lately, we have been waiting with excitement as the pups were to be born the last week in May and we would have brought one home at the end of July.

The sad news is that the pups never arrived. Freyja (the female mother) was taken to the vet last week because she wasn't showing signs of being in hard labor and her temperature was rising. It was decided that she needed a c-section to get the pups out. During the procedure the vet found she had a twisted uterus and that the one pup that she had been carrying was dead. It was determined the pup died when the early labor started to push it down towards the birth canal but had no place to go due to the twisted uterus.

Needless to say, we are pretty sad. Todd was excited to get another dog to train and I was happy that Lucy would have a playmate and someone to keep her occupied. We are looking at other breeders again or we may wait until Skoog Kennels breeds again next year with another dog.