Thursday, October 27, 2011

I Walked How Far?

As stated in the previous post, late October turned into one giant Scientific Undertaking for yours truly. Two projects, two different clients, two different parts of the state. All added up to my having walked over 35 miles for science the past three weeks. Some was walked in heat of almost 100 degrees Farenheit (that's 37.7 degrees Celcius to the rest of the world). Some was walked in a torrential downpour so heavy that my sodden feet were sliding back and forth in my work boots (Ah, but I did not get the data wet! The Nerdy Scientist triumphs!).
Some was walked across plowed agricultural fields so soft that one sank above one's ankles in dirt (think about walking through 8 inches of snow). later than normal heat + later than normal rain = later than normal blooming plants ----> intense allergy attacks. Some places were inaccessible by road, so we walked in and walked out, which is why I'm not really certain how far we walked in total. Far, I know it was far.

All in the name of science.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Crock Pot Craziness

Things have been slow here in the Nest, but work is about to ramp up to 10- to 14-hour days with a field project out of town. "Aha!" said I  to myself, "the perfect excuse to dust off the crock pots and get some cooking done ahead of time so you can fall exhausted onto the couch and mindlessly chow down after a long, hot day of science."

Yes, that's crock pots with an 's'. Mother of Mossy passed down an old family crock pot years ago, which is quite small, and because it's old, does not have a removable liner. This last makes it the devil's own pain in the tuchus to clean. Last Christmas, Neighbor T gave me a larger crock pot with a removable stone liner. Naturally, I took this scheduling nightmare (did I mention my students have their mid-term exam Monday night, after my 12- to 13-hour day?) as a challenge to find two things to make simultaneously in both crock pots. Behold the results: Cowboy Casserole and Breakfast Casserole.

My version of Cowboy Casserole, a crock pot staple you can find on many websites, involved one-third less meat, one fewer potato, and great northern beans instead of red kidney beans because that's what I had in the pantry. Necessity being the mother of making do.

The furry helpers were underfoot, of course, hoping a big ol' slab of meat would suddenly fall onto the floor, where it would be fair game. Didn't happen.
Breakfast Casserole consisted of 4 of those rectangular hash brown patties, 8 eggs, half a box of tofu bacon, and handfuls of cheese. Sampled this morning and the hash brown patties were not a bad substitute for real hash browns. I am very happy that my morning routine this very busy week will involve making my tea, popping a bowlful of casserole in the microwave, and feeding the zoo, saving me about 15 minutes of prep time. I enjoy making breakfast and having a nice, relaxed start to the day, but that won't happen for the next few weeks anyway, and this means the boys will get a short walk in before they get left alone for 12 hours or so.

Yea me, for being organized for a change.