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A-B-C's of Me

This is a questionnaire that they asked us to do in Relief Society a few weeks ago because they've started "spotlighting" sisters in the weekly email newsletter. I thought I might as well post it here as well for posterity's sake.

A—Animals you have: Cat, named Brigitta

B—Book you love: "The Neverending Story" by Michael Ende

C—Chore you hate: Cleaning the bathroom

D—Dessert you love: Cheesecake, no toppings

E—Extra time spent: Reading

F—Favorite color: Green

G—Greatest vacation: Tikal National Park in Guatemala (or as every Star Wars geek knows it, Yavin IV)

H—Have to have: music and Star Wars

I—Instrument(s) you play: Oboe, sort of. I don't think I've even opened the case in a couple years.

J—Job title: Materials and Purchasing Assistant

K—Kids: None

L—Last movie you saw: In theaters? Frozen

M—Music you love: Anything by John Williams

N—Nickname(s): None

O—One trait you admire in others: Not being afraid to speak their mind.

P—Phobia: Spiders and snakes

Q—Quote you love: "A child who sings is a happy child." - Elder Enrique R. Falabella of the Seventy

R—Recreational activity you enjoy: Hiking

S—Scripture you love: 2 Nephi 4:15-35 (The Psalm of Nephi)

T—Traveled to: Canada (visit family), Taiwan (band trip), Guatemala (visit a friend), and 18 of the 50 states

U—Unknown about you: I taught myself to lead music by studying the back of the hymn book whenever I got bored during Sacrament meeting as a kid. And also watching my many choir and band directors.

V—Vegetable you hate: Water chestnuts

W—Worst pet peeve: People who think they know everything.

X—Xtra fun hobby: Photography

Y—Yummy food you make: I don't really like to cook because it's no fun when it's just me. But I have a really good recipe for Jambalaya.

Z—Zip Code you had before this one: 80525 (Fort Collins)


You Know You're a Star Wars Geek When...

... you see the acronymn MTFBWYA* in a book you're reading and your brain processes what it means before you even realize it.

*May the Force be with you, always.

November Stats

I officially dropped out of the challenge group. It was dead anyway. I unsubscribed from the group on MFP and unfriended the group leader. So even if it gets revitalized in the last couple months of the year, I won't even know about it.

Current Stats
Weight: 125
BMI: 23.6 (healthy is 18-25)

You're not going to get body fat percentage again because I don't have time to measure this weekend. Maybe I'll do them next weekend when I hit the 1 year mark.

This October has been a little weird. Typically it's been going off of Daylight Savings Time that halts my walking to work because after we switch back to standard time the sun sets before I even get off work, whereas up to the week before it's rising right when I leave and setting right when I get home. But for the last few weeks it's been dark in the morning with the sun not rising until nearly 8 when I usually leave home at 7:30. So I haven't walked to work since the first week of the month. I'm trying to get back into working out in the evenings after dinner, but I've had trouble breaking through the inertia after getting comfortable on the couch. I need something to keep me exercising so I don't regain all the weight this winter.

Snowy Pictures

I was talking to one of my co-workers last Tuesday morning about how I'd been wanting to get to up to Rocky Mountain since September to catch the fall colors but that the Fates kept conspiring against me (floods, then gov. shutdown, then weather, then choir concerts...). So when I found out two hours into the work-day that my manager was still sick and wouldn't be there, I decided to take her advice and just take the rest of the day off and head to the mountains (after all, he wasn't there to say "no" and I didn't have anything to do anyway).

It probably still wasn't the best day to go. While it was nice in Loveland, it was snowing by the time I got up Boulder Canyon. (FYI, here's the route I took to get there. Better than what I would've had to do a couple weeks ago, but still more than double the time the drive would be if Big Thompson Canyon was open). Most of the fall color was gone at the higher elevations in the park, but the Peak to Peak Highway between Nederland and Estes Park was gorgeous. I just wish there had been places to pull over to take pictures but most of the shoulders had been washed away so there was a deep drop-off from the paved road (and in some places the pavement has been nibbled away at, too).

Despite the falling snow and 20 degree temperatures, I decided to go ahead and try the hike I'd been wanting to do which leaves from the Bear Lake trailhead and goes up past Nymph Lake and Dream Lake and up to Emerald Lake. I'd never been up into the park when there was that much snow so it was a new experience for me (I also don't think I'd ever been hiking in the snow, either). I didn't take as many pictures as I probably would have under better weather conditions but I still took a fair amount (100+) and found that I got a lot of good ones when I finally looked at them on the computer the other night. Now I just have to decide which one to use for my Christmas card. (Feel free to vote for your favorite.)

Nymph Lake, Dream Lake and Emerald Lake pictures (the last two pictures are actually Bear Lake)

I'm thinking I may try to go back up this Saturday and find a spot to camp out with my tripod and telephoto lens and see how many elk I can catch. I saw a lot last week on my way out of the park but was cold enough I just wanted to go home.

Boy, I used a lot of parentheses in this post.

House Painting

The house painting is done. Finally! It only took a month. I shouldn't complain too much because I did get a steal of a bargin by hiring a couple of men from church to do it, and there was that aforementioned week with all the rain when they didn't get much done, and then they both found jobs so it's taken a while to get all the last little details finished off.

Pictures behind the cut.Collapse )
There are more pictures here.


October Stats and Other Stuff

I did a little better at exercising last month (walking to work), except for that one week when we got 7 inches of rain.

Current Stats
Weight: 125
BMI: 23.6 (healthy is 18-25)
BF%: 25.8 (acceptable is 25-31% for women)

The Other StuffCollapse )

Big Thompson Flood Pictures

I took a walk this afternoon (first time I've been able to since last Saturday) up to a street near my neighborhood where I'd heard that, while the road was barricaded off, there was no personnel there so people had been parking their cars and walking down to the river. I took all the pictures with my cellphone so they're not the best quality, but they might give you an idea of how much water was rushing by about 1/4 mile from my house.

Lots of pictures so there"s a cut...Collapse )

Sometime this morning, the Poudre River in Fort Collins, the Big Thompson River in Loveland and the St. Vrain River in Longmont all topped I-25. The interstate was closed from just north of Denver all the way to the Wyoming boarder. They've just started reopening it in sections in the last few hours. Now the concern is the cities down stream to the east because all three of those rivers eventually converge with the South Platte and they've been reporting major flooding to the east of me all afternoon.

They also opened CO-402 about an hour ago which had been closed between US-287 and I-25 since yesterday afternoon. Not that I can get to 402 right now without going way west. Last I heard there was only one north-south street over the river open in the city and it's on the far west side.

The saddest news I've heard today was during a press conference with the Larimer County Sheriff. He was finally able to fly around the area to do a damage assessment up the canyons. He reported that there are huge areas of US-34 through the Big Thompson Canyon (the road up to Rocky Mountain National Park) that have completely washed away down to the bedrock and he suspects that the entire 17 mile stretch will have to be rebuilt. Who knows how long that's going to take. I may not make it back into the park before spring.

50 to 100 Year Storm

This week has been crazy. It started raining Monday afternoon and really hasn't stopped for more than a couple hours at a time since. As of this morning, Loveland had gotten 4.5" of rain. We've had about 2" in the last 24 hours alone and we're supposed to get another 2"+ before the storm finally moves on tomorrow afternoon.

This evening I've been watching the flood gauge at the mouth of the canyon at the NOAA website. Earlier I had thought that maybe the crest wouldn't be as high as they originally forecast, but I guess it's just going to be later than they thought it would be.

We've been under constant flood warnings since yesterday afternoon. This was the latest flood warning I just noticed.

Issued by The National Weather Service
Denver/Boulder, CO
Thu, Sep 12, 2013, 7:44 PM MDT

As of 9:30 PM, the river was at 6.78 feet. I've heard several comparisons to the flood from 1979. Personally, I haven't seen any flooding, but my house is about 1/4 mile away and maybe 200 feet higher than the river, and I don't usually have to cross the river on a typical day.

EDIT: at 10:15 it registered 10.8 feet.

The impact notice from the warning... I walk under that railroad bridge over the Big Thompson along the Loveland recreation trail regularly. Somehow I don't think I'll be walking along that portion of the trail anytime soon. I wonder how long it will take them to clean it up.

All the water is mostly because several dams up the canyon have broken or overflowed, or they opened the gates because the reservoirs are full. I guess it's better that they do a controlled release than have the dam break and have all the water come raging down the canyon on its own.

There are two sections of US-34 up to Rocky Mountain National Park that have washed out. Majorly bummed because I was planning on going up there in a couple of weeks. With all the roads through out the area washed out I really don't know if I should get my hopes up that the road will be repaired by then. I figure at best it will only be open to local traffic.

Speaking of yesterday... The trip down to chorale practice last night was an experience. While we were traveling down the interstate, suddenly this little red car starts zooming past us when we realize, he's going backward. He pulled even with us before he spun out and off the interstate (away from us, thank goodness). It was like something out of a movie and will definitely make me think twice about how fast I'm driving in the rain in the future. We saw 2 other vehicles that had hydroplaned and spun off the road on the way down to Denver and probably 4 or 5 more on the way back.

Also, because of all the rain, the house painting isn't quite done. They still need to do a second coat on the front door and most of the trim work. Probably some touch up on places on the main body color, too. At least it's supposed to clear up and warm up next week.

September Stats

So, I slacked off last month. I didn't exercise as much, and went on more than a few junk food binges. Ironically, last month was when everyone started noticing that I'd lost weight.

Nothing else really to report. I'm attempting to get back to my healthy habits this month. Though, can I really call them habits since I let them go last month? It's been hard because now I'm back in the habit of snacking in the evenings and have the junk food cravings. Fortunately there's nothing left in the house.

I wonder if I should continue to use the "weight loss" tag for these entries since I'm not really losing anymore weight. And I had planned to do these monthly updates all year as part of the challenge group thing, but since the challenge group has gone the way of the dodo, I'm not sure anymore.

Current Stats
Weight: 126
BMI: 23.8 (healthy is 18-25)

I didn't post this sooner because I had company in town last weekend and honestly hadn't weighed in a few weeks and was kind of afraid to. I also didn't measure today so I can't figure body fat percentage. Probably hasn't changed anyway.

From Oz to Wonderland

I finally finished the 14 Oz books by L Frank Baum (with a few other books thrown in between). I think I enjoyed the early and later books more than the middle books. They just moved faster; kept me wanting to read.

As I neared the end of that series, I've been trying to decide what to read next. I still want to read Harry Potter again, and The Hunger Games again. But awhile back I found a free ebook of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" (it's public domain now so lots of places have free ebooks of it). With ABC starting their spin-off of Once Upon A Time in October - appropriately called Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, I decided this was a good time to read the book, since I don't think I ever have. (Not that I expect the tv show to stick to the book. I just thought it might be fun to have all the background knowledge in my head.)

Nothing else has really been going on. Oh... Except that I'm painting my house. Okay, I'm not, but it is being painted. The house is 12 years old and the rule of thumb is to paint it every 10 years. I know I haven't painted it in the 8 years I've been here and I think I can be fairly certain it wasn't painted in the 4 years before that (other than when it was built, of course). Maybe I'll post a picture when it's done. It looks completely different now and I like it much better.