Sunday, July 31, 2005

A Day Well Spent

Can anybody guess what I did all day today? You've got it -- I read Harry Potter! For eleven hours. :) Hooray! Now all of you who have read it already can finally talk to me about it!

Backing up to yesterday, the party was actually quite enjoyable, and I discovered that croquet can be highly amusing when everybody but you is drinking copious amounts of beer. The dirt cake was a success -- two other people brought dirt cakes as well, but they were chocolate pudding instead of vanilla, and weren't nearly so good (if I do say so myself). Hats off to Monee for the best recipe!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

It's over!

I am officially done with field school! Hooray! It's been a very fun experience, but boy, what a time and energy commitment! I'm ready for a bit of a break, that's for sure. And there are so many wonderful things still to come this summer, it's about time I got on to them. Like finally reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I broke down and bought it on Tuesday because I was passing by a Borders, and brought it home and promptly hid it away in the deepest darkest drawer of my desk so I wouldn't be tempted to open it until after field school. And I've been such a good girl -- I haven't even peeked at the table of contents. I'm probably not going to start it until tomorrow -- the last-day-of-field-school party is starting shortly, so I'm getting a ride back to Vancouver for that (we had a half-day today, which was nice, so I actually got to come home and take a shower before the party). I'm not totally thrilled about partying at the moment -- I'd much rather stay home and read Harry Potter -- but it could be fun. And besides, I made dirt cake! Complete with flood silt (grated chocolate), gummy worms, river rocks (also chocolate), and a gold coin (yep, that's chocolate, too) for the grand prize. So I have to go. :) Anyway, after tonight I'm definitely done with field school. Now I just get to wait for the permadirt on my hands, knees and elbows to slowly wear away... :)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Picnics and Pesto

Today was a good day, a social day. Not, unfortunately, a homework day. :} Cate came over around lunchtime and we made sandwiches and the most delicious smoothies in the world, and took them out into the Park Blocks for a picnic on the grass. Yum! After she left I tried to do some homework, but somehow got sidetracked into making cookies. I wonder how that happened? :P It has become something of a tradition for me to bring cookies to field school on Tuesdays, so this week I made chocolate, oatmeal, walnut, chocolate and white chocolate chip cookies. Mmmmmm.....

I took a few cookies to Cristie and Martin in the anthropology lab this afternoon, and then headed over to the garden, where I mixed a bunch of compost and fertilizer and spread it all over my garden plot. There were so many good worms in there! I have high hopes for this improving the happiness of my plants. Things haven't been doing wonderfully because the soil is new and doesn't have any life in it, so the compost should really help. Several people have already fertilized with compost in the last week or so, and their plots are certainly doing better. Hooray for compost!

While I was in the garden, I did a "major" harvest -- the most goodies I've picked at once. Besides the peas I picked and ate in the garden (those never make it more than two feet from the plant), I brought home two baby zucchini, two strawberries, three cherry tomatoes, an onion, and a whole mess of basil, both purple and green. Yum! Cristie came over for dinner and we ate pesto and salad with fresh garden veggies. Everything that didn't come from my garden came from the Farmer's Market. Pretty soon my lettuces will be ready, and I'll be able to make a whole salad completely from my own garden! I even have a bunch of cucumbers coming in, including one semicircular one. :) Gardening makes me happy.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

And Now for Something Completely Different

... Shoveling gravel! :P Since I obviously don't get enough exercise during my normal Tuesday through Saturday week of biking across the river to Vancouver and doing archaeology all day, I volunteered to help lay the gravel foundation for the ADA-approved paths at the community garden this afternoon. They got a whole pile of gravel trucked in, and we were laying it down. Somebody from the landscaping department at PSU is going to come compact it this week, then next week we'll lay an inch of sand over it and then put the bricks on top. It's going to be nice. So anyway, I spent a good two hours shoveling gravel this afternoon. It was a perfect four-person job (which was good, since we had exactly four people) -- Paul and I shoveled gravel into one of two carts, Jeff ran and dumped one cart while we were filling the other, and Nara raked the gravel evenly to cover the pathway. We had the timing down so well that nobody was ever idle. It was very efficient, but also very tiring. :) It's going to look so good when it's done!

On a slightly less energetic note, I made granola this morning for the first time in forever. Hooray! And tomorrow I'm going to make pesto with fresh basil from the garden. Yum! I also checked out the fifth Harry Potter book from the library so I can skim it and review the latest events this week, in preparation for finally starting the latest next weekend. I'm not letting myself start it before then, because sleep is still an important commodity, at least for the last week of field school. Saturday is the last day, and there's a party afterward, so I probably won't start reading until Sunday (I'll want at least one good night's sleep and a good grocery shopping trip before I dive into it). And then people will finally be able to talk to me about it! :)

Bed time now. I woke up early this morning by accidentally kicking the cat off the bed, and didn't quite achieve the same sort of sleep after that. And, what with the shoveling this afternoon, I'm zonked. At least I have another weekend day. I'm going to fertilize the garden with compost tomorrow! I'm so excited! (Had to get that phrase in there somewhere. :)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Small Pleasures

Yesterday at the farmer's market I was looking for eggs (among many other delicious things). Unfortunately, I got there pretty much right at the end of the market, so I wasn't very hopeful when I approached the one stall that had an "Eggs" sign. I queried, "do you have any eggs left?" and the young man answered, "No, I don't, I'm sorry." But then the woman (his mother?) said, "Well, actually, I have one duck egg left." I laughed and asked, "What do you do with one duck egg?" and she promptly responded, "Make an omelette!" So I bought the one duck egg for 60 cents and carefully carried it home in my hand on the bus. This morning I had scrambled duck egg with tomato, basil and sharp cheddar cheese - delicious! It was a fun little treat, and now I know what duck eggs taste like. :)

On a completely different note, but still in keeping with the theme of the post, check out this cool website that Cristie and I discovered last week. We were looking for pictures of one of the fountains close to campus, and ran across the Blake Andrews Photo website, with pictures mostly from the Portland area. I especially like the "Chameleons" section.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

You have the hands of an... archaeologist

Cristie came over for dinner last night, and then we went out swing dancing. Hooray! I wasn't sure I was going to make it, after five long days of field school and not much sleep the night before, but I'm really glad I went. There was a one-hour east coast swing lesson before the dance, and we arrived in time for the second half of it. I got totally discombobulated because they were teaching it "rock-step, triple-step, triple-step" instead of "triple-step, triple-step, rock-step" the way I'm used to dancing. I guess it's a mark of how long it's been since I've been swing dancing (not counting Big Dance, I suppose) that, when faced with this style of teaching I felt like I didn't know how to dance. It was weird. But once the actual dance started it was really fun. There was a live band, which is always nice, despite the fact that the bassline was mic'd way too heavily and their seeming inability to maintain a single rhythm through a tune (they turned the one perfectly good waltz into a swing halfway through, and did funny things to a bunch of other tunes). I guess that doesn't exactly sound like a ringing endorsement, but it was nice to have live music. The people there were really friendly, and there was a good mix of dance abilities and ages -- from 14 to probably 65, and a decent college-age-appearing crowd (though we didn't actually interact with them much). Cristie and I were talking to one guy for a while, and told him we were archaeology students. The next time I danced with him, he commented, "Well, you have the hands of an archaeologist." I protested that I'd cleaned them as best I could (and did a pretty good job, I have to say) and tried to put lotion on to soften them up, but I guess that didn't help much. He said, "No, it's not a.. bad thing. They just feel... different." Hmmmmm. I have a feeling that wasn't exactly a compliment, but I took it as one. :P

Off to the Farmer's Market now. It's a gorgeous day!