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Power? Check.

I apologize (as I keep doing) about my hiatus. I do not have the same wonderful excuses as some of my blogging pals (newborns, new jobs, vacations, etc.), but I do have an explanation. It appears as if my computer took a little too much stress while I was living in France. I always had a power converter on it when it was plugged in, but alas, those were some big jolts.

So over the past couple weeks I had to go and figure out what was wrong (the battery and the power source died simultaneously, which made the computer rather difficult to turn on) and then acquire the pieces I needed for a solution (which resulted in a rather long call relayed to India where the respondent seemed to only hear one or two words of my response at a time and was reading off a sheet of paper).

But, I have my computer again. And yes, I know I could have blogged from some place else like a borrowed computer or work, but I feel like I am inconveniencing someone or else creating a mighty big window of opportunity for people at work to find out about this blog. I don't write much here about work, but as I've heard a lot lately, "there are lines."

Anyway, what I've been up to. Well, my cousin got married in Cary, NC - and it was such a pleasure to see the whole family again! Lorien and Travis weren't able to come, but the whole rest of the paternal side clan was present (and yet, we somehow were unable to procure a group picture ... hmmmm). I danced like crazy with my second cousin Abby (age=little) who I had never met before. [Image: My sister's dog, Rohan, who lives with my parents near the woods behind their house.]

Rachel and I have been gardening a bunch. [Image: Us, post-gardening after finally clearing the weeds from the front yard and laying good soil and seeds.] The front yard is looking better, as the sunflowers, zinnia and morning glories are all racing to grow taller than the 4 foot fence. The lavender didn't take, nor did the strawflowers but I'm hoping that the couple of marigolds that made it will flower next month (more pictures when the look isn't only green). [Image below: Sunflower, zinnia, and a marigold or two]

In the back, with the help of Paula, we were able to clear an L shape along our fence for the vegetable garden. It is going to be 21 feet on the long side and 12 feet on the short side (and three feet deep). Lots of room for delicious fruits and vegetables. Already there are artichokes, tomatoes, lettuce and green beans shooting out of the aeroGarden [image] where we started them as we build the garden bed.

Otherwise, I've been seeing movies, hanging out with friends, painting and otherwise procrastinating about cleaning up my room. I sewed my own curtains (I'm picky, so making things myself solves the "I don't like anything" problem). I've also plowed through a number of books this month including: Intuition, Brave New World, Les contes de ma mere l'oye, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (re-read). Right now my metro reading book is One Fine Day (re-read for the gajillionth time) and my bed side or home reading is White House Ghosts.

In my quest for happiness I have been thinking about what else I can spend my nights doing, and it occurred to me that I need to get started making Christmas presents! It is July still, but if I wait until the last minute, making all the presents will become overwhelming. Plus, it looks like the election is going to cause all my work events to happen after the first week in November. This isn't horrible, but it does mean that the events and related polling are going to all be slammed into the last two months of the year instead of being spread out over the fall. Not to mention the HUGE amount of vacation most of my colleagues take during those two months (how do you forget to take your vacation until the end of the year???).

So, one of the things I'm adding to my list of things to do with my time is to exercise - in some way, thirty minutes a day. Yesterday, I counted the loading of 78 feet of 1x10 into my Focus as exercise. Today, Paula and I are going to work it out in the pool and for good measure, if I can go to bed 1/2 hour earlier each night (say 12:15ish) then I can walk/jog/run (whatever) in the morning before my shower. This doesn't really help me fill my evenings, but it will help me accomplish my goal (started last September) of losing a quarter of my body weight this year (it's not as horrifyingly drastic as it sounds and is entirely a medical suggestion). If all goes to plan, I'll have only had to be on this medicine for one year and then I can be done chemically altering my body (which I prefer). Also, instead of saying a distance or certain hours per week, I'm sticking to the "everyday, in some way" philosophy - which I imagine will alleviate the, "I played volleyball for 4 hours so I don't have to do anything else this week" issue.

I'm hoping to catch you up on other news soon (translation: probably won't happen) but for now, this post is getting a bit long.

Hugs to all, ~Heather