Monthly Archives: March 2009

Sun 29 Mar 09

I woke up this morning to a scene right out of CSI. A couple small pools of blood on Mary’s twill Pottery Barn rug. Blood mist over a square foot area on one section of the bedroom wall, splatters on other areas of the wall. A sticky splash of blood on the door and a long steady trail of drops leading from the bedroom into the hallway. Cue ominous music.

Nora’s ear was dry when we all went to bed last night, but I guess she must’ve scratched it open again at some point, hopped off the bed, and started doing cartwheels around the house. So we spent an hour this morning with a mixture of peroxide and water carefully dabbing up the drops on the floor. The Pottery Barn rug is a goner (but this probably beats pools of blood on the actual carpet), but everything else came out okay. She may be sleeping in the cage tonight.

Sat 28 Mar 09

When you pick a fight with a dog twice your size, don’t be surprised when you get your comeuppance. Nora’s okay, but was none too pleased when I made her sit out on the cold back deck until the blood stopped dripping (she kept doing that ear slapping head shake, which probably didn’t help matters any). Got her mostly cleaned up and neosporined and she was pretty mellow the rest of the night. Should be a rugged little scar on that left ear.

Sat 21 Mar 09

What’s the deal with Spring this year? We haven’t had a breakout 70 degree day yet, just a long gradual warming trend. Yesterday we finally touched the low 60s. Just warm enough to open up the windows for the day, circulating some non-dog-smelling air through the house. I tried to dry some clothes on the line in the backyard in the afternoon, but they kept blowing off into the dirt. Man, it gets windy here. The dogs seemed puzzled when I made them stay outside for about eight hours straight. I guess they’ve gone soft after a winter of couch lounging.

So, I’m pretty sure that I’ve had my fill of Yakima. It’s nowhere near an urgent need to leave or anything, but if the car were loaded this very moment and we were driving away tonight, I don’t think there would be a huge wave of nostalgia either. I mean it’s definitely been a great little blip on the life timeline, but it might be time for another blip. I wouldn’t complain about one or two more years, but I wouldn’t complain about zero more years either.

Mary’s in Columbia, South Carolina right now with a friend who’s visiting grad school there. And while she’s telling me about how annoying it is driving in traffic again and waiting five minutes at stoplights, she’s also saying how watching someone else make a life-jump has motivated her to start looking at master’s programs again. Hey, I’m all for catalysts. Let’s bounce. Yo.

It’s fun to think about if nothing else. So the goal then is to find a college with a Counseling Psychology master’s program in a city that we can afford. Probably a state school to keep tuition in check, but that’s not a deal-breaker. Preferably a big enough city where I wouldn’t have too much trouble finding a job. I’d vote to stay near mountains all things being equal, but I suppose that preference plays second fiddle.

So, a couple options after an initial Googling (CA would be great, but we can’t afford it. OR came up empty for programs. No programs near us now that fit):

Colorado State U (Fort Collins, CO)

A year ago we couldn’t afford to buy a house in Ft Collins. Looking at real estate now though, I think we’d be okay. This would be an amazing place to live. We’d be halfway closer to Michigan and about an hour each from Rocky Mountain National Park and Denver. I couldn’t find a single job posting similar to what I’m doing now though (not that I want keep desk surfing, but it would pay the bills). U of Northern Colorado in Greeley also has a program (PsyD though).

U of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT)

I’d love to live in Utah. Even though I’m pretty sure I could track down employment, SLC might be a bit too pricey for home ownership. All the Mormons we play basketball and flag football with here though seem nice (in a sober stroller-pushing sort of way), so Utah’s probably pretty friendly. And Band of Horses sings a pretty phenomenal Great Salt Lake. So, you know, that’s good.

Western Michigan U (Grand Rapids campus)

Boooo lake effect snow/clouds! I have to be honest though, this would be by far the easiest pick of any college out there. Mary’s already been accepted and I think she could re-enroll without too much hassle. It’s a short 48 credits in a city we already know with houses in our old neighborhood going for like $60k. Mary mentioned that parts of the city of Columbia reminded her of GR, and seeing that made her sure that I would hate living in Michigan again. So, maybe, maybe, but having tasted this sweet western mountain air it’d be really tough.

I vote Fort Collins.

Sat 14 Mar 09

The thing about living in a valley partially surrounded by mountains is that you can’t necessarily always drive wherever you want to. Winter through Spring you’re kind of at the mercy of mountain pass conditions. It might be fifty degrees and sunny at our house, but have a couple feet of snow falling forty minutes away up in the Cascades. A little different than life back in Michigan where driving conditions are fairly uniform (if the road outside of your front window is clear you can bet all the roads are clear). Well the passes were finally looking sunny and dry yesterday morning so Mary and I headed off for a short day trip to Leavenworth, WA.

Originally a thriving timber community, Leavenworth’s economy slumped when the Great Northern Railway Company relocated out of town in the 1930s. Then fifty years ago some clever Leavenworth officials decided to spark the tourism economy by transforming the city into a mock Bavarian village. The whole town jumped on board and today every building you see there is clad in a Tudor-style exterior. I think it’s actually built into their building codes. So even gas stations, banks, and McDonald’s are following suite. It’s all very immersive and the alp-like peaks jutting up in the background add to the effect.

We spent a couple hours walking around the city, eating German sausage, drinking German beer, and generally just enjoying the nice weather. We also popped into a few of the shops and snacked on gelato and handmade chocolate. Pictured below, lunch at Munchen Haus.