Monday, June 10, 2013


Sorry to have neglected this blog for a while. I've had a whirlwind of work, health, and life happenings that just made it a bit out of my way. But I'm back, with the sincere intention of writing here more often so that I can delete my Facebook after we move (heresy!). Other than being a place to share what is happening with us (me, Mister J, and the pooch), I'm a bit at a loss as to what my actual blog goal is... but that' s OK by me. For now it is just a nice way to share, in long form and with good photos.

Since I love lists, here's one regarding the current state of things:

- Health: My health has not been great over the past year, due mainly to my delightful guts. I'm still unsure how much of this I want to share with the world, but I feel it's important to acknowledge (and lend my support to others in similar circumstances). So, long story short, I have leaky gut and am currently eating very carefully due to temporary, plentiful food sensitivities. This is a temporary condition and one that I hope to be done with by next year.

I've learned a lot of fascinating things about intestinal flora and diet during this process, which is part of why I'm willing to talk about it. My own gut issues have progressed alongside new (and older, but newly popular) scientific information about the role of our gut buddies. I will write more about this in the future, if people are interested, but for now I recommend taking a listen to this RadioLab segment "Gut Feelings." It's fascinating, and was extra-fascinating while it was happening to yours truly.

- Moving/School: We depart Sacramento on August 9th for Ithaca, New York. I am attending Cornell for my M.S. in Human-Environment Relations (wwwwwhaaat?), a step forward and slight shift in my career that I'm really looking forward to. I've spent the past six years working in archaeology and, while I find it fascinating, my goal has always been to turn an eye toward the future and use my skills to help people in a more dramatic way. I'll be working on disaster/refugee resilience.

The move itself is thoroughly therapeutic. Mister J and I are not hot weather people, so we're looking forward to a climate where 80 degrees is pretty high... especially after the past weekend, when it was over 100 for several days in a row. We have always been "live with less" people, and when faced with the decision to rent a U-haul or ship most of our belongings across the country, we opted for neither. Instead we got rid of almost everything we own, paring down to clothing, about 1/4 of my books (sniffle), J's beloved gaming system, two boxes of assorted family keepsakes, and our kitchen gear. Everything else is going or gone, and when we arrive we plan to purchase only a bed, two chairs, and some plates. Even now we both admit that we still have a lot of stuff, or what seems like a lot. There came a breaking point for both of us, some thing* we each individually had to break with before everything else became easy, but after that we quickly realized how little of our belongings see any use. So we kept what we use, and the handful of aesthetic things that keep our environment pleasant.

- Life: At this point, my life feels mainly like work punctuated by moments of spare time. This is mainly a result of my commute, which is almost an hour long. We own our house and it seemed foolish to move closer to my office, when we knew we'd be moving later in the same year. I can easily see how important it is to be close to work, though, and if we were planning to stay here, I'd already be looking for our new place. In our new home, we will be a 20 minute bike ride from Cornell down a straight country road, and only a bit further from Ithaca itself.

One of my big obstacles, right now, is trusting that J will be able to support us. I've been working since I was a teenager, with an uncomfortable period of unemployment during the recession (much shorter than most, fortunately). Now it's pretty much expected that my job will be graduate school, and J will become the main breadwinner. We are renting out our house here in Sacramento, which will handily cover most of our living expenses in Ithaca, but it's still a nervous situation for me. I like being independent, and though I've cheerfully hitched my star to Mister J, knowing that I will actually be dependent on him financially is a weird feeling. I've listed myself for tutoring jobs and already have one prospective student, so I know I'll be bringing in at least a little bit of money. We're fortunate to be out of debt, unlike many Americans, and our goal is to stay that way. I don't doubt we can do it; we pretty minimalist people. But it all feels so hypothetical right now!

We're looking forward to life "starting" again. Right now it's pretty much on hold, with us doing the day-by-day to pass the time until our move. After August, the world is about exploration, new connections, and new experiences. Both of us agree, too, that we are looking forward to starting fresh in a new place, together. We've had ups and downs in Sacramento, individually and together, and we're the kind of people who traipse off around the world instead of putting down roots. Time to wipe the slate clean and learn a new home.

Before we go, I'm looking into buying a proper camera. My old Sony broke, and I'd disappointed with the lack of depth in photos taken by my Droid phone (go figure). I'm hoping that I'll have the new camera soon, bought with money from selling furniture, and I'll be able to share some great pictures along the road and from our new home base.

*His: A broken-down old steamer trunk that he always intended to refinish, only to realize that would mean replacing every single part of it. Mine: An antique desk that I've hauled with me for 13 years, through 3 states. 

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