Monday, October 10, 2011

Camping and Cookies

Two of my favorite things. Last weekend (world's slowest blogger here) we met the Dolin trio and headed to Eagle Camp on the Cherry River just outside of Richwood, WV. Although we had enjoyed some beautiful Fall days leading up to the trip, it was cold and rainy for the duration of our drive and campout. We managed to squeeze in one day and night of fresh air before calling it quits a little earlier than planned. Greg and Dolin actually spent a large portion of the trip collecting firewood that we stacked by the fire to dry. Apparently it dried well because when the stack collapsed into the fire ring, it wasted no time in going up in flames. :\ That was one warm least for a few minutes. We enjoyed the first hot chocolate(s) of the season that was also accompanied by the first snow of the season. Here are some of the highlights:

Scrunching her nose at Greg. :D

Dixie spent 95% of the weekend shivering. :( Sookie was in heaven and barely sat down.

The (bundled up) Dolin family!

My new camp meal...a fire-roasted quesadilla! I assembled quesadillas at home, wrapped them in foil, froze them and they worked out wonderfully on my high tech roasting stick.

Greg fashioned a bench by the fire. It was put to good use.

Ramen noodles. I'm not sure whose mouth is watering more!

Ah, the perfect smore.

Little pig, little pig...

The snow (!) as we hiked back out. October 1st.

Once we made it home, Greg was baking the last of the cookies. I peered inside of the "empty" bowl he sat by the sink and insisted there was enough in there for another cookie in there. As you can see.... I was right. :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Coopers Rock Picnic!

Only one post into my blog's "re-awakening" and I'm already slacking! :) That didn't take long. Busy times in Casa de Estep, with trying to keep our heads above the pool of homework and trying to run enough to keep Sookie's energy at a tolerable level! We did sneak a little bit of fun in there though.

Last weekend we enjoyed the great almost-Fall temperatures, the view at Cooper's Rock, and company! (Which we're always excited to have.)

We took advantage of the nice day to pack a picnic, featuring Greg's (ok Jeremiah's really) incredibly slow-grilled chicken. Incredibly. Slow. But worth it. We also had some gluten-free cupcakes to celebrate Kathy's birthday! I really couldn't remember the last time I had been on a picnic, but we had a great time. This is Sookie using her best hypnotic stare to silently will me to drop a drumstick "on accident." Didn't happen.

During our visit to the playground (and it wasn't just for Laci!), I tried to keep the killers at bay while Greg tried out the rides. Dixie, being the celebrity that she is, put on her shades to avoid being seen with such commoners. :D

This weekend may be mostly non-blog-worthy. Our agenda includes, homework, an oil change, and homework. But the following weekend is camping with the Dolin's, so I have no doubt that amazing photos will ensue!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Digging out the ol' blog...

I've had some lapses in my blogging, but this year-plus hiatus definitely takes the cake! So much has happened in a year, so here's the super-condensed version...

- Made cross-country move from Pullman, WA to Glenville, WV
- Purchased first home
- Purchased a bunch of "stuff" to fill home
- Ran my first marathon
- Ran the Frozen Sasquatch 25K (probably seems insignificant, but that race definitely deserves a spot on the list)
- Got a second dog, Sookie, in February (5-week old, blue merle Australian Shepherd)
- Sold first home
- Sold all of the "stuff" in home to move to a smaller place
- Moved to Morgantown, WV to return to school for terminal degrees (Greg - PhD in Forestry, Lindsey - MFA in Graphic Design)

I think that covers the basics anyway. So here we sit in Morgantown, two weeks into school and things are going well. Despite being buried under piles of reading, we've managed to squeeze in lots of fun too. Seeing as how canines are typically the stars of this blog, and the inaugural post was all about Dixie, it seems fitting that this Blog Part II post feature some photos of Sookie. Here they are in order from when we first brought her home in February to today!

First meeting 

First bath 

Her eyes started out very blue with a tiny brown speck in her right eye. Now, that right eye is half blue, half brown, and her left eye is a very light blue. She also had this little white spot on her nose where there was no pigment. As she grew, that gradually disappeared and is completely gone now. 

Dixie tends to be a messy eater, but Sookie is always there for clean-up duty. 


When her hair is wet, she gets perfect 80s crimps around her ears. 

Faux-hawk! She apparently, is less than thrilled about it. 

A few weeks before school began, we ventured to Otter Creek for a camping trip. Bad idea. We. Got. Drenched. First off, we had to hike in the dark to get to our spot. Then, after the campfire was going, one of the guys discovered a teeming yellow jacket nest within 100 ft of our tents. It was unbelievable that one of us hadn't stumbled over top of the nest as we searched for sticks...and even more amazing that one of the four dogs hadn't stirred up trouble. The problem was taken care of at the cost of only one or two stings (sorry Greg R) and we settled in for the night.

We were greeted with rain before even leaving our tents the next morning, but it finally subsided and we emerged and enjoyed breakfast before venturing up stream to a swimming hole for the dogs. A few splashes and pictures later, the skies became more ominous (that's probably a wee bit dramatic, but it sounds good) so we began to work our way back. Rain came immediately. Then it poured harder. And harder. And harder. As if that wasn't enough, as we ran down the trail to make it to camp, we stomped across yet another yellow jacket nest. There were a few more casualties this time, including Jen and Sookie - who apparently thought she was in trouble when she felt the sting because she just sat down. :)  After a few minutes of standing around, soaked to the core and debating what to do, we decided to surrender and just head back home. After much prodding from Greg, Jen & Greg had driven all the way down from Columbus to go with us, only to participate in one of our worst campouts ever. I imagine we'll have to do some serious convincing if we ever want them to come back! Here are a few of the pics....

Pre-rain. :D 

We should have a verrrrrry interesting post for you this coming week. Greg has discovered bikejoring and has everything set to give it a try. I'll explain more and have a video for you soon!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Greg's Big Day

Finally! After a year and a half of hard work, Greg was able to breathe easy this week. On Friday, May 21st, he presented his research and conducted his defense immediately afterward. As everyone expected, the entire ordeal went smoothly and he passed! Greg's presentation was in front of 15 or so fellow grad students, researchers, and faculty members (as well as yours truly). The defense itself was behind closed doors with only those faculty members serving on his graduate committee. Now that he defended successfully, Greg has been working on some changes to his thesis before submitting his final draft to the graduate school. He won't technically graduate until August, but we celebrated anyway!

Before the big presentation.

Whew... After the presentation! :)

The WSU Cougar


Now that we have THAT checked off the list, Greg and I have been concentrating on selling and packing all we own to make the return trip to WV. We'll be starting our cross-country drive (our 4th in 18 months!!) this coming Friday afternoon after I leave work. Destination Glenville. See you all soon!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bloomsday & More!

Whew, that was quite a hiatus from the blog. Since returning from our Canada trip, Greg and I have been on the go non-stop it seems. So many things have happened in that amount of time that I'm sure I'll forget lots!

Greg had the opportunity to spend a few days in Seattle at the end of March. He attended a symposium with some other grad students and professors, and got to do a little sightseeing. Here's a shot of the Space Needle from the car. :) He also visited the first-ever Starbucks and "experienced" a fresh seafood dinner (everything was mixed up and just dumped directly onto the table).

First ever Starbucks!

Fresh fish market in Seattle

Fellow grad students

In March, I got to spend a few days visiting home and helping with all-things-wedding. I'm not allowed to post the pictures though, as I've been sworn to secrecy until July 10th. :) But I enjoyed the visit.

It's now official... Greg and I will be heading back to West Virginia (permanently) at the end of May. Greg is putting the finishing touches on his thesis and presentation as we speak (or at least he's supposed to be!). I will be leaving my job at the University of Idaho on May 28th, and will be joining the business faculty at Glenville State College in the fall. Exciting and stressful times!

Last weekend, Shannon and I headed to Spokane for a final "hurrah" before we leave. We had a great time shopping (too much), eating (too much), and running (not enough)! Spokane plays host to the annual Lilac Festival Bloomsday Run, a 12K (7.46 mile) run that begins and ends in downtown Spokane and boasts nearly 50,000 particpants!! 50,000! My goal was to be in the top 40,000 finishers. :) Shannon and I actually did much better than that. I placed 6,887th place!! Woo, hoo... who ever thought that I'd be proud to announce I finished in 6,887th place?? I made sure to wear my bright yellow West Virginia shirt during the race, hoping to get on the news for coming all the way from WV. Didn't work. There are a few pictures of me online (although you better break out your magnifying glass) here: The third picture is a pretty good one of Shannon and I crossing the finish line. And the sixth picture shows me mid-race. Here are a few pictures that I took during the run...

Participants were encouraged to wear extra clothes and then toss them in the trees and on the sidewalks once the race started. Volunteers then collected the clothes to donate to charity.

Still half asleep...

Look at all the people! This is just part of the "green" starting group. There were 10 or 12 different starting groups.

Part of the "green" starting group.

Almost to the start line! This race used RFID tags on each runner's shoe - your individual time started when you crossed the start line and stopped when you crossed the finish line. Pretty cool!

There were people all along the route cheering and providing entertainment. This church had a priest waving and a choir singing!

This band fired up a rendition of "Hey, Good Lookin'" just as Shannon and I approached! Coincidence???

Look at the mass of people that are already to the top of the hill in the distance. The group of people behind us was even bigger. A few miles after this point, you could look down on this stretch of road and still see people chugging along.

Greg and I have lots of work and not much time for play in these next three weeks. We'll try to post if we can!