Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I hadn't planned to post today...

But I just received some fab news... the publication of a textbook to which I contributed material in several chapters... a colleague has received her courtesy copy so mine is probably floating around my former office somewhere. Ladies and gentlemen, I offer for your approval:

Disease Surveillance: a Public Health Informatics Approach. Joe Lombardo and his team at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory have been my primary partners for all of the work I did while in my former position. Together---their informatics and programming, my public health practice and epidemiology, we were a formidable team and I (not so humbly) can honestly say that of the several teams that were making similar efforts, we were the most successful. So its nice to have this to add to my resume. If I ever go back to working in the professional world this will be a nice little nugget of persuasion...

Since I'm here...

I can update you on recent happenings at home. Having completed the super-secret project, I've moved on to complete work in the Krista tee that I began late last summer. I've now finished the back and I'm about 1/3 finished with the front. Its a fun pattern to work up and goes fast. If time is on my side, I could reasonably expect to complete the knitting over the weekend and then just require assembly:

I have knit the first 8 or so rows about 4 times having become confused about where I was, where I was supposed to be so rather than suffering through the anxiety I've had about the errors on the back, I opted to knit, re-knit and re-re-knit. I've been knitting like a mad woman---I've awoken with sore hands the last two mornings... The only thing I can say about the super-secret project is that it may be the prettiest of its kind that I've ever made, and I've made many. Once the recipient has it, I'll post photos. I love it very much.


All of the plants are in their new homes. That was quite a huge bit of digging and soil under the fingernails, muddy pants... I put in veggies for the first time in several years; about 5 tomato plants of varying types and states of maturity (I want my tomatoes as soon as possible!), sweet banana peppers and a watermelon. For me, the watermelon isn't worth the effort but I've yet to meet a kid who doesn't get completely psyched about growing their own melons.

So let's count: two new trees, 8 vegetables, six new potted plants and a bunch of stuff I did for MIL: some irises, a lot of stuff I don't even recall.

Home upkeep

I've never lived in any place so long as we've been here. There's just a whole bunch of stuff that has to be done to keep a house looking nice and in good repair. I've spent some time the last couple of days preparing the columns at the front of our house for re-painting. They have a mildew issue and there was some rot going on at the base of one...so after digging out yucky stuff, filling with wood-fill stuff, sanding, etc I'm ready to move on to scrubbing of mildew, priming and painting. In fact all of the exterior wood trim needs work but since the back of our house is 3-stories, its a daunting task for me. I'm going to do all the stuff I can do easily with a ladder on our deck but we'll have to find someone else for the other places.

I'm actually deadly serious about stripping and refinishing a couple of patches in our hardwood floors, too. That's a big, scary job. You don't want to screw this kind of stuff up.

And grout: I've been on my hands and knees this week brushing up yucky stuff from the grout in the girls' bathroom. Bleh, bleh, bleh.

But it definitely feels great to be getting some of these things done after not having the time to do them or even to schedule someone to come do it for us. I'm beginning to understand why empty-nesters often move out of their family homes---too much work.

Oh! Haley's teacher is joining us for dinner at home tomorrow night! Haley adores her and is really quite excited about it. I enjoy her company but I wish she didn't make me feel like I could be her mother quite so much... anyway, should be a lovely evening.

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