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Thursday, August 30, 2012

toni's

toni's is the best ice cream place. We met beth and jack there tonight during halftime. the raspberry softserve with pretzel cone is where it's at.

jack explained a new xbox game to me...mine craft. the world is made of blocks but you have swords, shovels, tnt, rope, clay, more blocks, sand, torches, day and nighttime, pumpkins (?), straw, mud...you get the idea....or do you, because i'm still completely lost.

i tried to explain middle earth, hobbits, men, elves, wizards, dwarves, ents, the One Ring, orcs, urukhai, etc....he wasn't the slightest bit interested. i'll have to try again in a year or so.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

boo sings the blues

boo has been fantastic at learning tricks. possibly my favorite trick thus far is when boo sings with me. i'm not sure how we discovered this talent, but she is pretty good. she will mimic noises i make...yelps, growls, and howls....and sometimes even gets on the same pitch with me. i like to think this makes her a canine prodigy, but maybe it's just a coincidence. 

can you tell i love my dog?....since half of my posts are about her (and not my husband...as pointed out by my husband). i will likely regret putting this video on the internet.

video



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

the weekend

brian and i went to a wedding this weekend. my friend and sorority sister erica got married, and it was absolutely beautiful...every little detail! erica and kenny are totally googly-eyed for each other...so happy for them.



it was also a great time to catch up with some of my favorites that i don't get to see enough. krista, jess, and i gabbed the whole time...and sweet little ava kept herself busy with wedding cake and even played with brian a bit!


it's funny how our conversations have changed since college. i'm so glad i have these girls to talk to about new jobs, marriage, babies, 10 year high school reunions (eek!), and where we go from here...

Monday, August 27, 2012

shenanigans

i have a feeling that someone on campus (if caught) is going to be in a lot of trouble...

yep, those bubbles are about 3 feet high!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

score!

i hope that i haven't jinxed us, but i couldn't pass this up...

we stopped at a moving sale today in cross lanes...a lady brian has known since he was little is moving down south and was selling practically everything she owned....dishes, couches, chairs, paintings. i am a sucker for really old pieces and was drooling over a short chest of drawers with a marble top...but the price tag was a little steep for our current budget. however, i was also drooling over another piece...a beautiful solid walnut buffet circa 1800s. yikes. and at $125, i couldn't pass it up. luckily, brian liked it too and my wonderful inlaws were willing to store it for us....which brings me to jinxing ourselves....

i am buying furniture for a house we don't own yet. oh my word....i've lost my mind.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

where's boo been?

....on brian's nerves!!!

that little puppy was in to EVERYTHING yesterday....trying to jump on tables, pulling things off tables to chew, splashing all of the water out of her water bowl and becoming soaked in the process, climbing on the door of the dishwasher....you name it!  bless brian's heart...i thought he was going to lose his mind.

she has made a game out of army-crawling under our bed from one side to the other. i found her chilling with her bone underneath the bed recently. as rotten as she may be sometimes, that face just melts me....

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

first day of school

yesterday was my first official day as a professor. i was pretty nervous, but it ended up being a really good day. 

it made me think of my very first day of school...ever. i had sleepy eyes, some serious bangs, and a bookbag twice my size (don't knock the dress...you know you had one just like it). i was nervous then too, but came home talking a mile a minute about how great my day was. 

so, i made brian take a picture of me on my first day as a teacher to put next to my first day as a student....figured at least my mom would get a kick out of it...


Monday, August 20, 2012

defense, part 2

before heading to the picnic, beth took a group shot (plus jack). our group doesn't have the best track record of taking good pictures...but this one is surprisingly good.  i already miss these people so so so (so!!!) much....

my mom and brian put together a lovely picnic with killer food. it was so nice to eat and visit with friends and family.

i finally got a picture with mr. webb (who is totally rocking the deep-V)....
thanks for the banner shari!!!


jeff, jess, and ava made the trip from charleston wv. krista traveled from nc. krista and jess are college roommates...as evidenced by their trip, they are unbelievably supportive.

this is the charlottesville crew (though we are missing alan)...terra, robin, jeff, lauren, and evan (dude, where is your deep V?).  i can't hardly look at this picture without getting weepie.....

aunt betsy traveled down from dc. this picture is crazy to me...there is no mistaking that we are family. if my grandma had been there and in line with us, this would be even better...like looking at my future self....

my uncle dennis and aunt paula came up from raleigh. i got a picture with them, but my aunt paula would kill me if i put it on the internets ;-)

my mom and dad were probably more excited for this day than me. they were behind me from day one...

part of brian's family came in from charleston wv and greenville sc. they have taken such good care of me....his dad and mom, sister kelly and david, and our sweet nieces gracie, mimi, and maddie. is that a pretty family or what!? (we missed you jen, andrew, davis, and riley!!!)...

my second family, the fortney's, also came...from home in wv and columbia sc. brenda was my first babysitter, so dee and i have been best friends since i was born. she's really like my sister...and that's my new sweet 'niece', baby ansley. i hope i get to see her more now...


i didn't get pictures with everyone...and there were so many other important people there to celebrate with me. thanks to everyone who came...the day was perfect with you there.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

the youngin'

my new science colleagues...chemistry, physics, and biology...met for happy hour to welcome us newbie professors. i was a little late, so when i arrived most people were already sitting and chatting. i pulled up a seat on the end and the waitress asked to see my id. when i looked up, everyone was smirking and then started laughing.

yep, definitely the ONLY person there to get carded.

oh my.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

my brain is mush

i spent all day becoming oriented with learning outcomes, assessments, and assessment mapping (yeah, i don't really know what it means either).  while very informative and necessary, my brain is complete mush.

i have a syllabus to finish and lectures to prep, but i think i'm just going to put on some pajamas and watch pride and prejudice.  that's ok, right?

Photo courtesy of IMDB

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

where's boo been?

we find this dog in some pretty funny places...not necessarily doing things no dog has ever done before, but if you take your eye off of her for a second, she's likely somewhere she shouldn't be.

such as the dishwasher....licking the clean dishes (that then needed rewashed since she also licks her rear) and the dirty dishes....

we were able to capture the tongue action...getting in as many licks as possible before we stopped her...


i was planning on making this a weekly thing, but my brother just told me i'm like a creepy cat lady...maybe this will be the only "where's boo been?" post. i need to re-evaluate some things. 
 

Monday, August 13, 2012

defense, part 1

on july 20, i defended for my ph.d. in chemistry. i started grad school in august of 2007, so my defense was five long years in the making. the first part was a research talk open to the public, and the second portion was a private defense...just me and my faculty committee. my mom and friends put together an amazing spread for the public portion...

this was my title slide. my title wasn't very good. i had tried to work the word 'mediocre' in somewhere, since my chemistry stunk, but i settled on this....

everyone says they couldn't tell (i think they are just being nice), but i was a nervous wreck....

i had waited a long time to have an occasion to order those earrings ;-)

the talk put maddie to sleep...


i was so caught up during my acknowledgements that i thanked my family but forgot to specifically thank my parents...sorry mom and dad...i love you and couldn't have made it through without you. 

the private portion with my committee immediately followed. i was in the room with them for about 1.5 hours. my back was killing me. it's been a while since i wore heels all day. this is after getting the official "you're a doctor" handshake and coming out to greet friends and family...

sweet hugs were waiting from jack and gracie.  jack was confused by the whole event. he thought i was getting married.  i'll have to show him pictures to prove he already attended that one. he later asked "joanna, did you get the doctor?"  i sure did buddy.

my group got me the most amazing gift. i lost it a little bit. i'm sure they weren't surprised...

they know how much i love screwtop caps and that scanning system from the 70s...


i'm also bummed that i got zero pictures with my cousin beth....she was behind the camera the whole time. thanks for documenting the day for me beth!!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

the story of boo

for five years, i had asked brian for a dog. finally he promised a dog as a graduation gift.

i found boo from a cockapoo breeder about an hour from charlottesville. we would have loved to get a rescue dog, but most of my family is allergic. a relatively hypoallergenic dog was a necessity, and this particular breeder was the cheapest, by far. however, by the time he called me back, he only had one little girl left.  after we saw her at six weeks of age, it didn't really matter whether we got to pick or not...she was so sweet....


we were able to bring her home at eight weeks. she whined the whole ride home and eventually climbed up my chest and curled up between the car seat and my neck.


she looked just like a stuffed animal when we got her and wasn't much bigger than some of her stuffed toys....



we quickly saw pieces of her spunky little personality.  she isn't really scared of much.  though she may be startled by something initially, it takes about two seconds before she gets curious and starts investigating. this has been the case for everything but her own reflection. she's just not quite sure about that dog in the mirror yet....



sometimes she wants to sleep in weird positions and sometimes she is super cuddly...




now at 3 months old, she can sit, stay, lay down, shake, and spin around as she jumps. for a while, her favorite place to sit was on top of her crate...


...but that started the jumping and climbing phase. now she can jump up on the couches, and gates are a piece of cake....

video

Thursday, August 9, 2012

thesis faces

as i was writing my thesis, i thought it would be cool (cool??) to see how disheveled i became closer to the due date. it definitely would have been cooler if i could have grown a thesis beard, but oh well. so, when i was writing at night or during the day, i took a picture of myself....at least when i remembered...this is only 1.5 months worth (i didn't remember very often). i wish i could throw out more than half of these...yikes!...but that would defeat the purpose.  my wardrobe is also pretty embarrassing. the star wars and lincoln band t-shirts sure did get a lot of play. don't judge....they were likely clean (enough), and i didn't have any brain cells left to put together outfits.....


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

office

i moved in to my office today...peemypants excited!

i know it doesn't look like much, but let me highlight some of my favorite parts...

the huge window looking out onto the lawn with a ledge begging for some plants, the built-ins on the left side (they need some pretty books arranged by color), my comfy chair and large desk (that i don't hit my knees under), and a huge blackboard on the right that you can't see here.

i'm thinking a rug, an awesome lamp, and some frames on the walls will go a long way...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

canning peppers

my mom and dad have really gotten into canning in the past 5 years or so.  they do it because they love having the food around during the winter and because they enjoy it. 

early in the week, my dad asked if i was prepared to be a migrant worker on saturday = we are canning.  he picked up a bushel of green and hot peppers from a lady with an incredible garden just up the road from us with the intention of canning peppers in sauce.  we started before 8 am washing, cutting, and drying them out.  most of the italians in the area will tell you that the peppers should dry for days after wiping them down and cutting them, since they produce so much water in the jars. we weren't that prepared. we let ours dry until mid-afternoon...



the hot peppers are no joke when you are cutting them. gloves are required...as are lab goggles as far as i'm concerned. don't laugh. does this really surprise you? later in the day, i grabbed a knife that still had hot pepper juice on it. my hand was en fuego the rest of the day and kept me up part of the night....



boo was being awfully quiet while i was cutting peppers. she had found a way to entertain herself...

bless her little heart...she's so dark. we are never going to get a good picture of her sweet little face.
 


while the peppers were drying and my parents ran errands, i made the sauce. this recipe comes from some of our italian friends and is fantastic.  onions, garlic, olive oil, tomato paste, tomato puree, tomato juice, water, salt, sugar, and handfuls of fresh basil. absolutely delicious!




once the peppers were dried out enough, they got fried in some oil and combined with sauce. we only cook them long enough to get hot rather than soft (the pressure cooker practically turns them to mush later). then, into hot jars with lids...





and into the pressure cookers....


 
some folks don't pressure cook their jars. my dad insists...to make sure the food is as safe as possible. we also did the same process with the hot peppers in sauce, only these got weiners as well. sound gross, but it's pretty good...


once the last jar was finished, it was almost midnight, and we were all pooped.  we ended up with 17 pints of sweet peppers and 26 pints of hot peppers and weiners. the bad part about canning is, you go through all that trouble and then by the end you are dying to crack some open. our final tally may have to be adjusted over the next few days ;-)