Odds and ends Monday

It’s been a while since an odds and ends post. So:

Erin and Madelyn on our first hike, to Emerald Pools in Zion NPA week ago Thursday, we finished the first trip of my sabbatical, our annual “School’s out, hit the road” adventure. The girls and I traveled to southern Utah, which I’ve been wanting to visit for years, visiting all the major parks: Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We flew to Vegas, rented a minivan, and drove our loop from there. Our trip was thirteen days, with a day of travel on each end, staying in hotels and rented apartments. Everything went well: no airline foolishness, the girls traveled well, we enjoyed hiking and sight-seeing, and most of the places to stay Erin picked were great. Bunches of pictures on Erin’s flickr, and bunches more to come.

What’s next? Not sure. I have a conference in July, and then a beer trip with Jeff and Thomas. The girls are going to Michigan with my in-laws while I’m gone. We have a short camping trip planned in early August; maybe we’ll tack a week or so on Lake Superior to the end of that.

Around the house, I’ve been doing a lot of miscellaneous work lately, much unplanned. Last week Erin spilled a half-gallon of milk in our Subaru. D’oh. I vacuumed out as much as possible with our wet-dry vac, then rented a carpet cleaner to do the rest. At least the spill was confined, for the most part, to the front seat. I decided to make the best of it and clean the whole car top to bottom, taking out the kids’ car seats and giving those a good scrubbing too. So far, so good: the car doesn’t smell bad at all, and nobody’s spilled anything in yet, either. More recent housework: find out what was jamming our disposer. The answer: a dime. I had to yank the disposer, but I got the dime out, and the disposer still works.

I also rounded up a bunch of electronics for disposal at our local recycling facility. This included a bunch of old hard drives. I formatted most of them with Darik’s Boot and Nuke. A couple more I couldn’t get to work required other means. That’s part of a larger, “must clean the basement” project which will surely continue.

Lots of rain here lately. Our strawberries fared poorly this year, with many rotting on the vine, but we still got a few good bowlfuls out. Not enough to make jam, though. The weeds in the garden are pretty crazy, as it hasn’t stopped raining long enough for us to do anything about them. Heck, I tried to mow on Saturday, and only got half the lawn done before rain started. Maybe I’ll get the rest done today. No tomatoes yet… plenty of greens, though, and surprisingly our lettuces are still tasty. We brought a bunch to a dinner party last night and were pleasantly surprised to find they weren’t bitter at all.

Now to continue reading and catching up on parenting and other things!

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