Saturday, December 19, 2015

Beginning of December 2015

December isn't over yet, but I thought I'd go ahead and share with everyone the events and pictures of the first part of December. I think I'm going to have plenty of pictures of our Edmonton trip, so might as well split it up!

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="399"]frost Frost! The kids in San Diego are thinking it is snow right now, but it is common enough in A-town![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="391"]frost Glittery, glinty[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="315"]walnuts One of my cleaning clients left me some walnuts! Now I just have to get a cracker![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="472"]bella lulu Lulu and Bella like watching me when they aren't chasing each other or barking at nothing.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="356"]sb and lucy Someone got hold of Matthew's phone one Bible study![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="480"]painting Finally getting to painting the underside of the deck! Since it was cold, the paint was really thick and hard to spread. I went ahead and finished it when it was warmer at noon a few days. Nice to not have that hanging over our heads (haha, literally:)[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="314"]boots We needed to get boots for Matthew for our Edmonton trip, but didn't know which ones to get. Thanks to Zappos, he ordered several pairs to find which ones he liked best. One pair looked really nice, but didn't seem practical, so we went with the warmer, more versatile ones.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="333"]doggie So cute when the dogs want to get back inside to be with you when their kennel is being cleaned.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="395"]cooper Cooper was making a bed out of the deep leaves! Looked like a cozy bed[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="769"]rainbow Matthew took this stunning rainbow picture at work![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"]butterfly One Saturday we drove out to Cayucos to see the big waves. After going out on the pier, we hiked Cayucos Hill. We ordered lunch up there from Giovanni's in Morro Bay. We picked it up and drove out to the north side of the rock to watch the waves while we ate. Then we walked to south side to watch the waves crash over the jetty. Mom and Dad and Austin and Sarah Beth were just leaving and said we missed some HUGE ones. We still got to see some big ones! Then we drove to San Luis to grab a few last minute things for our trip.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="350"]cacti Don't know that I'd seen a cactus like this one before. Thought it was cute[/caption]

Cayucos hill

We were going to spend a Saturday with Granddaddy and Grandmommy Cotten, but he came down with a sore throat so we had to postpone. We got some trip shopping done instead. Then on the Wednesday evening that they were leaving town, Matthew picked them up on his way home, they had dinner with us, and then we took them to the airport. Earlier in the week Grandmommy went thrifting with me. We both found some good deals!

That's all for now I think! I'll try to post again at the end of the month to cover our adventure to Edmonton.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

November 2015

A busy month, come and gone. Let's see what happened in November...

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="455"]weeds Another of Matthew's artistic photos! Field across from Uncle Jim and Aunt Carol's one Sunday evening gathering.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="567"]field Here's the picture I took of him taking a picture! I think it is a pretty neat picture, too![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="344"]puppies Going into the dog pods to clean one morning, I had to stop and take a picture of the puppies! Notice the one in the very front, and then there are two on the blanket and one on the bed.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="425"]puzzle I think this is Anna. A shy dog I was working with. This little nose work puzzle is a favorite of many of the dogs. You put food or treats in the different levels and they have to spin it to find them.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="363"]plant This is the plant I bought several weeks ago from Kmart. After one big leaf fell off I was sure it was going to die, especially since I read that it is a very picky plant! But, lo and behold, a few weeks later I noticed these new little leaves growing! Yay, I didn't kill another plant![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="370"]crutches Matthew sent me this picture one day from work. It did make me panic for a second but I noticed how short the crutches are for him and knew he was pulling my leg. Ouch! maybe I need those ;)[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"]avila One Saturday Matthew attended a mini edtech conference in Avila. I went along and after writing in my journal, went for a lovely run until he was ready to go![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"]sea gull view Seagull's view.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="516"]clouds Pretty clouds at sunset as Matthew was leaving work one day.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="525"]the bros This picture makes me laugh every time! The bros with their Under Armour T-shirts. This was soon after Uncle Jeff and Aunt Donna from PN arrived. A lot of the family met at Merry Hill to have coffee together. That evening everyone went to Mom and Dad's for dinner.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="456"]frisbee golf One of our new favorite activities is 'frolfing'. Frisbee golf. It is pretty chill, can do it with two people or 7, exercise but not intense. You can play however many holes you want. Also, the ones who are better still do bad throws and those of us who aren't so good get good throws! For obvious reasons my frisbee has thence been dubbed "Tree Hugger" and Matthew's "Rolling Stone". Yeah...[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="539"]sb's bday Sarah Beth's 17th birthday![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="540"]hailey So glad this little cutie is my niece![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="521"]play Sorry about the poor quality of photo. Some of the family went to see "Cinderella" at the PCPA in Santa Maria. I went with Mom and Dad since Matthew didn't go.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="559"]relatives This is Brad's brother, Jeff, and his wife, Donna. It was super fun to be with them again, as always. We missed the boys, though![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="377"]Cayucos pier One Saturday we drove out to Cayucos for lunch and to walk around a bit. It was fun to go out on the new pier![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="331"]lizard This little guy had been under the trash can. He was so cold that he didn't even move when I touched him! I was afraid I'd run the wheel over him, but he was gone later on once he warmed up, so I guess he was okay[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="329"]empty Remember when I posted a picture of the clean dishes stacked in the drainer? This is kind of the same thing. Often when I do laundry, we have dirty laundry ready to go in the basket before all the clean clothes are even put away! But this day it was empty for several hours. It just feels good to have a job completed for awhile.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="287"]spice rub This is my spice rub for some tri-tips. They were still pretty frozen so I put the rub on them and let them thaw another day in the fridge. Then I started grilling them before Matthew got home. Since I had plenty of time, I didn't rush them and they were SO yummy![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="318"]spaghetti Guess what was for dinner this evening?! Spaghetti is one of Matthew's favorites, so I took the picture to send to him so he could start anticipating dinner :)[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="503"]wmm Okay, silly picture... Matthew had dine-in at work one Thursday evening. It is a really fancy dinner for all the cadets and cadre and civilian staff. Lucy and I went to Farmer's Market. I was excited to see 'The Wandering Madman' back in town.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="387"]chia tea latte One afternoon Mom, Cherisa, Sarah Beth, Aunt Donna, and I met at Bru to visit. This was a very yummy chai latte.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="480"]Poppa and Granny Enjoyed a lovely Saturday with Poppa and Granny Clem. Way too short, but glad we got to do something with them. We did a scenic drive, two piers, dinner at Duckies. In the evening we visited Nancy, Tanja, and Lucy, then to Mom and Dad's since Sarah Beth had begged me to bring them to see her![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="544"]sunset Sunset from the Cayucos Pier[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="353"]cutting Finally getting around to cutting denim squares![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="402"]gold This bright gold tree kept catching our eye from our house so I took a picture to share with you all.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="635"]green grass SO strange to have the grass turning green in November![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="535"]Hailey On Thanksgiving day we went Frisbee golfing with the whole family! Then we went to Mom and Dad's for chili and hot Fridays![/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="520"]dinner Matthew captured this (un)lovely picture of me making dinner at Mom and Dad's. I wanted to get to know Joel and Vivian Cooper more and I thought Granddaddy and Grandmommy Cotten would enjoy meeting them as well. Brad and Vanessa were very hospitable in opening their home for everyone to come there.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="382"]us And here the month of November ends with taking care of each other while we are sick! I'm very thankful for my amazing husband and the cozy apartment we make home. I'm thankful for all he's helped me learn about myself and the growing we've done together. Just as I knew God's hand was in our meeting each other, I see it in our past two years of learning and living together. Life in general as well as marriage isn't always a bed of roses, but I'm happy and blessed beyond every dream! I thank and praise God for his amazing love. Until next time~~~[/caption]

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Newfoundland verses Tasmania

Okay, so you junior high and high school students are going to think I'm crazy, but I've been wanting to do a research paper! Whew, my secret is out and you can think I'm weird as you want to :) But, you see, I'm going to kinda cheat. I'm going to just find out all the details about something that I'm curious about, and fling them all over the place. I might work on this for an hour, or maybe a bit for a few days. "Hm," you say, "if I had that choice I wouldn't mind researching something either!" So here goes, and I hope all will find this interesting and fascinating as I think it is going to be!

Last night Matthew and I watched a "Smarter Every Day" video by Destin. If you don't know who he is, you need to look it up on YouTube! Here's the video if you want to watch (warning: graphic images of cancer on an animal). So I was like, "Wait, the Tasmanian Devil actually exists (I did already recently learn that somewhere else) and were on the earth is Tasmania?" So we pulled up a map. My first thought was "Wow, that's way south, I wonder what the weather is like there?" After watching the video and seeing eucalyptus trees in the background (that Matthew pointed out) and these interesting little rat/squirrel/mink/whatever creatures, I was really curious about the climate. Also, everyone thinks Newfoundland is way North when the south part is very close to Maine's latitude. What is the actual latitude compared to Newfoundland and are there currents that affect its climate like the Northern current does Newfoundland. Is Tasmania bigger than NL? Is it considered an island? What do people do there? What's the population? What's the landscape? What other odd creatures live here? What language do they speak? Do they fish? Are there whales? Icebergs? The whole idea of it being to me what Newfoundland is to many other people, totally intrigued me! I don't know much about it and is what I suppose about it actually correct? Some of the ideas people have about Newfoundland are pretty far fetched, but if I was to talk to someone from Tasmania, they'd most likely think the same things I do about people's misconceptions about NL. So I decided to find out!

Newfoundland statistics include Labrador. Which is great as it is a joint province BUT for purposes of comparing two islands, one an Australian State and the other half of a Canadian province, I'd like to stick closely to the similarity of the island aspect.

NL pop: 500,249  TAS pop : 515, 000. Almost half of TAS' population lives in the capital city of Hobart and its metropolis with much of the island being nature reserves and parks. The same holds true for NL with St.John's and surrounding cities/communities coming in at 211,724. While NL's parks and nature reserves don't match TAS, much of the interior is uninhabited.

Newfoundland has 42,030 square miles of land with 6,000 miles of coastland. Tasmania clocks in at 35,043 square miles of land (6,988 less) with only 3,033 miles of coastland. This makes NL the world's 16th largest island and TAS the 26th largest. Both have many small islands surrounding them.

Newfoundland is about 7 degrees farther north than TAS is south. Remembering the seasons are switched because they are on opposite sides of the equator, let's compare by seasons. (Also, sorry all who are used to temperatures in Fahrenheit, but both NL and TS go by Celsius so I'm not converting everything! Just remember 0 C is equal to 32 F.)

Spring in NL lasts for 2 months with the average high being 8 degrees Celsius and the low being zero. While spring in TS lasts 3 months, it is not uncommon to get snow in the higher regions at times. While the temperature varies quite a bit over the island, the average high is 17 and low 8.

Summer NL, lasting 3 months: high average of 19 degrees and low average of 9. Summer is always the recommended time to visit Newfoundland! There is still no guarantee that every day will be sunny skies, but probably enough to get in some sights. Summer TS, lasting 3 months: between 20-24 degrees. A bit warmer, but still the peak season in Tasmania, summer sees all tourist attractions open including swimming ("bring your bathers" in one place I read) though it is a little nippy. I read another place about a swimming club. They do long swims all year around but wear wetsuits.

Fall NL, lasting 2 months: high average of 13, low of 9. Fall TS, lasting 3 months: temperatures between 17 and 9 degrees.

So are you wondering where NL's other 5 months are?! Yep, winter! I'd consider November to be a mix of autumn and winter. Sometimes there is an Indian summer over a week or two with temps in the high 50s/low 60s, sunny days with light breezes and blue skies! But other Novembers consist of RDF (rain/drizzle/fog), often snow squalls, and sometimes early snows that sticks (and doesn't leave until March). The average temperature for those 5 months are between 1 and -6, often with a windchill factor lowering what the temp feels like by several degrees. March, at the end of winter, can also vary quite a bit. Sometimes there is snowstorm after storm and March leaves with blankets snow still on the ground. Other years, while there are always storms in March, some of the snow has melted except for drifts and where it is piled up.

Winter in Tasmania lasts a lovely 3 months with temperatures between 3 - 11 degrees Celsius. Snow is to be expected in the mountains regularly, though it doesn't sound like the cities and towns at lower altitudes and near the coast get much. The city of Hobart is Australia's second driest, but doesn't often have water restrictions due to the nearby resources in the mountain reservoirs.

Precipitation varies quite a bit over TS with some areas getting just over 600mm per year and west coast getting almost 1,500mm to create a rainforest environment! Newfoundland's average precipitation starts at 1,000mm and goes to over 1,500mm!

I am fascinated by looking at pictures of Tasmania! Why? Because I would guess many of them were taken not far from where I grew up. Some pictures have different landscapes, but there are beaches and other formations in NL also. The mountains do differ quite a bit in appearance as well as elevation. NL's highest peak is in the Long Range Mountains in Gros Morne National Park. The Cabox, is 814 meters (2,671 ft) above sea level. Tasmania's rugged peak, Mount Ossa in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, stands at 1,617 meters (5,305 ft) above sea level. Tasmania is one of the most mountainous islands in the world with over 30 peaks higher than 1,200 meters.

Well, it was over a month ago that I last worked on this. I'd love to get find a way to get pictures on here to make it more interesting, but you'll just have to look up some pictures of Tasmania and Newfoundland. I really enjoyed learning more about Tasmania and even meet (through blog) someone that lives in Australia and is planning on visiting Tasmania sometime soon!

October 2015

Hello everyone and welcome to November!

Let's take a walk through the last month and see what happened during October in the lives of Matthew and Margaret Pauls, including a 2nd anniversary!
poemThis sweet poem is at one of the houses I clean. I took a picture of it because Vanessa had just been telling someone how she leaves Hailey's handprints on the glass sliding door for a few days before washing them off!                                     Can you relate, grandmas?!sunsetWe can't see the horizon where the sun is setting from our house, but we sure enjoy the sky from time to time. Whenever there are clouds in the evening we keep our eyes peeled for the colors to start!comicThis comic says "Custard's last view." Another sighting at a cleaning job comes below...lizardI'm not afraid of mice, but when this little lizard scurried across the hall in front of me, my heart definitely skipped and then pounded for a second! It was the first time I'd seen one in the house. Poor little thing was so scared.sandwichFried egg, bacon, avocado sandwich, Yes please!turkeysWe often spot wild turkeys when walking dogs at Woods. We also have to keep our eyes peeled for momma cows. Since the calves have been born, they can be a little possessive!super banana muffinsSuper banana muffins! Based on a paleo recipe, I added lots of extras to these to pack it with protein, fiber, and other good things
yardsaleThe first Saturday in October, Mom had a yard sale at their house. Grandpa and Grandma Pauls on the left, Uncle Phil and Aunt Pam in the middle, Austin blending into the background (see below) Mom, Dad, Michael, and Sarah Beth.
austinThere he is!yardsaleIt was a ton of fun and while we sold lots, there was still lots left!geeksThat Saturday Matthew was geeking with some fellow geeks at a mini edtech conference in Avila. Rich Hovey used to work at the Del Rio school and Matthew was super excited when Grizzly hired him. They did a presentation together. Nick Perez in the middle with Scott Burt on the right, two more great teachers.roofingAustin and Dad worked on the roof most of that Saturday. And finished the shingles that evening with Matthew's help.roofingBrickleyI think this is Brickley, but maybe not!peekabooWhen we clean their kennels inside, we lock them in their little yards on the outside. Some of them can't wait to get back in to investigate their new toys and bedding! I think this was Sunny.carackWe can finally carry our kayak! But... there have been so many shark sightings that Matthew doesn't want to go out in the ocean now!
dishesThe daily job. Done for another 24 hours, or less.stormy skies"Tut-tut! Looks like rain!!!"

HaileyHailey helping Vanessa make a cake.watering holeI know it is hard to tell what is going on in this picture. If you look closely, you made see a hump on the side of Buttercup's water bucket. It is a squirrel getting a drink! She has to share her water with deer, fox, squirrels, and birds!cloudsThe sun shining on this cloud just made my heart rejoice! It is just so glorious!sbmAnother batch of Super banana muffins in the making!usOur 2nd anniversary! We made some plans kind of at the last minute to do some hiking and the zoo, but then I got sick, the weather was icky (overcast and chilly, hahah!) and we felt more like vegging than scampering around the country. We took some drives, did some shopping, went out to lunch, took it easy, and did lots of talking. We didn't take many pictures, so Matthew thought we should get some documentation...ususSee canyonSaturday we drove out 41 and then Old Creek Road to 46. Sunday we drove to Santa Margarita Lake and then down to SLO and out Perfomo Canyon Road. Wish I'd gotten more pictures up there! It was SO pretty and amazing. Then you wind back down and meet up with See Canyon Road and end up in Avila.See canyonhalf calorieThis loaf of Udi bread was 1/2 calorie!teethI finally went to the dentist. First appointment they did assessment and took pictures and x-rays. The next appointment they did a cleaning. The next appointment they cleaned up a few soft spots. So glad to have all that done! And for insurance! beforeMatthew grilled chicken with BBQ sauce one evening. It was SO delicious!afterMatthew's plate afterwards...meThe picture I sent Matthew the next day! yummy leftovers :) (I didn't really have it all over my mouth like that, I just did that to show him how much I was enjoying it!)fallFall colors!patrioticWhen Pat saw my Canadian flag out, she had to give a U.S. one to Matthew!sloOne Saturday evening we hiked Bishop's Peak with Mom, Dad, Austin, Sarah Beth, Lucy, David and Lauren, Codie and Tessa, Kevin, Addie, and Cassie.sbSomeone is excited to be hiking!hikingIt was the perfect warmup for running the next morning!race daySo much fun running my first half marathon, 13.1 miles! Chief Weathersbee forgot my Grizzly Run Club shirt, bright pink!, but she has a good excuse (baby brain! :) Someone told me there was only one hill. Going up about the 5th or 6th on mile 10, I asked the people behind me if they'd been told the same thing. We had a good laugh. Everyone was also talking about the tarantula that was out for a stroll that morning as well! I didn't think I had anything left in me to sprint at the finish line, but I could hear mom and Sarah Beth yelling from a couple 100 feet away, and I started sprinting no problem! Matthew ranked 3rd in his age group and several of the cadets also placed in the top. It is a pretty small race, but a plus is that the kids take home extra medals. flowersMy sweet, thoughtful sister-in-law even brought me flowers! The official race photographer got a picture of mom holding them! You can check out the pictures of them and the cadets here. And if you see a picture of 212, no it is not our Jenni Hulburt, but I did a double take every time I saw her... which wasn't often because she was doing 7:20 miles and was WAY ahead of me!bruno and ladyLady and Bruno, a bonded pair (meaning they were in the same household and have to adopted to the same household).treatBought myself a treat this week when I was grocery shopping!baked oatmealHave you heard of baked oatmeal? One chilly morning it sounded like fun to try. I had to make quite a few substitutions to the recipe, but...goneIt turned out okay! Yeah... I ate the whole thing! But hey, my metabolism was still on turbo boost from running Sunday morning.quicheI like making quiche for dinner every so often. Vanessa gave me her yummy recipe that Matthew likes.shreddedThere had been a stack of papers on our dresser for weeks, if not months, and I was ready to say good-bye to them! I asked one of the ladies I clean for it I could borrow their shredder while I was cleaning. Many thanks to her, the dresser is now... a catchall for other things! :)

And that wraps up October.