Right around this time of the year I always want to clean out.  I believe it may be the opposite of spring cleaning. 

I have an urge to throw open all my windows and doors, shake out the rugs, air out the house, clean everything, and sort through things; then, lock everything back up, nestle in, get warm and cozy, and enjoy the winter. 

I love my surroundings to be clean.  The problem is, often I have no inclination to clean up after us most days.  But, the past week was different:  we all pitched in and cleaned the house, LG included.  Room by room, we vacuumed, scrubbed, sorted, cleaned, organized, re-folded, and tucked away.  The house feels so much cleaner, but the nesting instinct that seems to fire for me right now is still yelling loudly at me.  Clean more!  Throw out more!  Donate!  Do it!  It's highly distracting because I want to work hard on various work projects, but the urge to clean is deep-seated and tempting.  So, in order to reward myself for working with little breaks, I allow myself to do a little cleaning in between my projects.

After all this, at least my house is clean.  =)
Why are all my favorite merchandise websites offering incredible deals today when I have no money to shop with?!  Why?  This mental torture is inhumane.
So, hello life!  I forget what you are like sometimes in graduate school!

Where did October go, seriously?

I worked hard on my pre-dissertation paper and submitted it to my committee, and prepared for the Halloween party (o! glorious halloween party!).

Then, all of a sudden, November is here.  Cold days, warm days, cold days, Florida, grant writing for my dissertation, and then suddenly it is the day before Thanksgiving!


Where does time go?  It disappears so quickly!

So, a quote from LG some time ago, just in time for yummy Thanksgiving!

LG:  "I want to go to Grandma's house and shoot her.  And then have roasted chicken."
Me:  "LG!  That's kinda mean, don't you think?  Also, if you shoot her, how would she cook the roasted chicken?"
LG:  "Well, Grandma's going to be the roasted chicken."

I think he may be well on the way to writing scripts like The Shining and The Sixth Sense.  Holy cow!
How many of you bought wigs for Halloween? 

How many of you put said wigs back into their bags and stowed them away?

Show of hands.

Who took those wigs and said, "What else can I do with these?"

I did.

Who else took the wigs and said, "I know exactly what to do with them."

I know I did.
Oh yes, I went there.
You know, it's funny.  Just as sometimes my ovaries mysteriously and with no apparent warning sing out, "MUST HAVE KIDS.  SOON!" I experience the same thing with my brain when I see puppies, especially Lab puppies.  I don't think you can get any cuter than Lab puppies.  I know I'm so very biased, and I fully admit it.  There's a big temptation in me to want just.one.more, perhaps a yellow, to round out the furkids.  But!  And this is a big but!, not unlike my own, we don't know what the living situation will be in the next year.  Have no clue.  Both Joel and I are coming on to the job market, and we are looking internationally as well.  Some international appointments have restrictions on how many dogs you can have, so that is a current deterrent. 
Alas, I will have to deal with the mental anguish of not having another for a while, and love what I have.  And boy, do I love them.  =)
Oh my gosh, where did I go?  What happened?  What's my name?

Florida was a blast, lots of great food and I had the opportunity to roller coaster my brains out.  Quality hot tub time, too, at a near-empty resort.  Fantastic!

We arrived back Saturday night without much fanfare, and fell right back into our respective routines.

This week, I've added the final fifth member to my dissertation committee.  I'm also very busy writing up a grant proposal for my dissertation funding.  In fact, I'd say I'm writing at a break-neck pace, which means that every time I look at this blog address, I get little shivers because I know I'm sooooo neglecting this space!  I will try and provide lots of updates during the next week about all the stories I can share with you!
We decided to take advantage of the day and take the dogs out hiking this afternoon.  Unfortunately, everyone and their brother decided the same thing (sans dogs).  A secluded hiking area we normally frequent was packed!  We decided instead to pull off the side of the road and play fetch in a field.  It was very leisurely and we had a nice time stretching out onto the grass with nothing but sunshine and warm air around us. 

Later, some Frisbee enthusiasts joined us in the field, and although the dogs were especially interested in chasing their Frisbee, we managed to keep them by us.  They did a very good job at minding.

Tonight we are  headed to a middle eastern dance celebration that my friend is involved in.  Should be quite the show.  As a student even, I paid $8 for pre-tickets so I'm expecting a lot!  I love dance.

Off to Florida next week, so don't expect too much in the way of posting...
Trooper (left) 9 months / Cosette (right) 2.5 years
Guess what we did for our Halloween 2009 party? 

We built a haunted house!