July 28, 2021

One year later and all is well

by Janie Jones

Greetings to anyone still out there. It’s been almost a whole year since I’ve added a post. And, to be honest, I haven’t really given blogging a moment of thought. Sorry all.

The last year was very busy. I will not sport with your time or sensibilities and give you a recap. Suffice to say, I am well. The spud is well. Leif is well. And, the dogs are also well.

In the big news arena, I defended my master’s thesis exactly two weeks ago and passed. I am done! Yay! I was offered a fellowship with Sea Grant, which actually started about three weeks before I defended, so it hasn’t really sunk in that I am done.

As I am still in “recovery” mode, I am not really sure what will happen next. But, I just thought I’d let anyone out there who might be wondering “What the heck happened to Janie?” that all is well.

I don’t know if there will ever be an urge to return to blogging regularly. We will see. But seriously, once again WordPress, this new updated version sucks.

Best wishes to you all!

Janie Jones, Master of Environmental Education

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August 3, 2020

The beauty of boring

by Janie Jones

Hello all.

Well, the new blog was a bust.

After keeping it up for a few weeks I realized I had run out of things to say, and it lost its allure.  Besides, I got to thinking, no one really could be interested in such boring posts anyway.  I mean, if I am bored with it how could other people not be?

So, I am back here.¬† Sort of.¬† Just wanted everyone to know that all is well.¬† COVID-19 doesn’t seem to be a huge issue in my corner of the world, so far at least, and my summer has been busy with the normal, boring stuff of life.¬† Which, is not a complaint.¬† It is actually a pleasure.

I have a new summer job which I enjoy very much.¬† I have great co-workers.¬† It’s work from home with flexible hours for the most part.¬† I wish it was a permanent thing, but it is only temporary.

I have been continuing to work in tick monitoring and doing some Lyme outreach.  Our group has been asked to make a community outreach video about our work, and the bulk of this task has fallen to me to coordinate.  Parts of that have been fun, but time consuming.  This year I have trained up several undergraduates so we can monitor tick population and activity on a weekly basis, which has given us a much better data set.  Earlier on in July two undergraduates and I also built six tick traps which we plan to use bi-weekly or monthly.  The traps are actually working pretty well, but are a bit of a pain in the butt as you have to buy dry ice for them, and then they need to be carried around to various locations, left for about 18 hours and then they need to be gathered back up and inspected.  Nothing worth doing was ever easy.

I was supposed to be working on writing my thesis, but have been distracted by a great many things (obviously not by compulsive blogging, however) and have made little or, to be honest, no progress on that front.

Now I am anxiously waiting to hear whether COVID-19 will keep schools closed this fall in my neck of the woods and whether I will lose my graduate school funding.  Fingers crossed that life stays boring!!!

The spud has been summering with her dad and step mom.¬† Apparently they did a little road trip and the spud took horseback riding lessons and finished her basic SCUBA certification.¬† Yay spud!¬† She is going to be 16 this December, so learning to drive will likely be next summer’s activity; unless we tackle that during the school year.¬† While it is a bit scary to think I will have to turn over the car keys, on the other hand, I am greatly looking forward to not having to chauffeur her around to things as much.

Leif turned 50 this July.  We talked about how to celebrate, but in the end we just stayed at home and grilled rib eyes and corn on the cob and ate our weight in watermelon.  I also made a gigantic punch bowl full of potato salad and a cheesecake with Key lime curd  and homemade whip cream topping, which melted because it was stupid hot that day.  I can assure you, however, it tasted quite fine just the same.

Because I have been too lazy to dig out the air conditioner units and put them in the windows, this summer we have melted ourselves through an Aliens movie marathon, all three seasons of Stranger Things and the first two seasons of MI5.  Leif is hot and heavy into Sharpe, but although it is refreshing to see Sean Bean not die, I am take-it-or-leave it.

I planted three variety of tomatoes, a cucumber, celery, kale, Swiss chard and potatoes.  The Swiss chard is kicking butt, but the others are not harvest-able yet.  That said, they are growing well.  I am eagerly awaiting a few dozen tomatoes to finally turn red, and my cucumber is loaded with flowers.  My taste buds are tantalized.

So.¬† As you can see, nothing terribly exciting going on.¬† But then again, a normal, boring life does have some of it’s own advantages and comforts.

Hope if you have had an exciting summer it has been for all the best reasons and not due to side effects or direct effects of the pandemic.

Best,

Janie

March 21, 2020

New times, new digs

by Janie Jones

Hello friends!

 

The Spud, Miss Pickle and I were out at the park today, it was a lovely day for a game of Sticks.  But if you are Miss Pickle, every day is a lovely day for sticks.

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It has been lovely hearing from many of you either in your blogs, comments or by email.  I am glad many of you are doing well.  My heart goes out to those who have been hit close to home, I send well wishes and will keep you close in my thoughts.

I have been thinking about life in our new reality and decided I want to document these days, because it feels like something good should come out of this.  So, I have opened up a new blog, something I have thought about doing for a long time.  And, I have decided to go transparent, no aliases for myself.

If you are interested in reading the real life and times of Janie Jones, drop me an email and I will send you my new address.

janiejones.greatwhitenorth@gmail.com

March 19, 2020

Keeping tabs

by Janie Jones

Hello everyone.

I just read a post from Sarsm, and it made me think outside of my four walls.  So many of you in the blogosphere are emotionally near and dear, and being as how you are spread out across the globe, please spare a minute occasionally and let us know how you are doing in the wake of COVID-19.

So far we have been fortunate as there have been no cases reported by authorities in my neck of the great white north.  However, our local officials are being proactive and schools have been shut down and many businesses are closing or reducing hours to limit large gatherings.  Many programs are popping up to help people obtain food and maintain wages if their workplace is closed.  Stickittoyou U has cancelled all in-person events and mandated all non-essential employees to stay home.  I am fortunate that the vast majority of my work can be done from home, so I am not financially affected at this time.

Our primary and secondary schools have also shut down.¬† For the time being all lessons are suspended, but schools are to resume at the end of the month using online learning methods, and it sounds like they will remain that way for the rest of the school year.¬† I don’t know what this will look like exactly for the spud, but I am glad she will not have to be riding the public bus to school every day.

So, the spud and I are doing our best to stay at home and have supplies delivered as much as possible.  Even if we were to catch the virus, we are probably not at high risk for complications beside severe flu symptoms.  But Leif has a lot of other complicating health issues, so we worry about him.  And we worry about our other friends and family members who are also in high risk groups or areas where the virus is hitting hard.

It has been a very surreal time, but we are trying to stay calm and do what we can to be as safe as possible.  I just wanted to check in with everyone out there.  Please let me know how you are doing!  I will try to check in regularly, and I hope you will find a way to pause in the midst of adjusting to the new normal yourselves and keep up with your bloggy buddies.

My best wishes that you, your family and friends all whether this crisis with good health.

Hugs,

Janie

 

 

 

December 16, 2019

Happy Christmas

by Janie Jones

Recently something made me think of this YouTube gem, so I dug it up.  I have been addicted to it this past week or so.

So, my gift to you all:

Be sure to watch all the way to the very end.¬† Which I don’t think I ever did when I discovered it back when it was first published.

If you want something more traditionally heartwarming, I highly recommend checking out Klaus available on Netflix.

Leif, the spud and I watched it yesterday and there wasn’t a dry eye on the sofa. I think it is officially my new favorite Christmas movie.¬† Well, okay, maybe I should say my favorite animated Christmas movie.¬† Nothing can top A Christmas Story.

Wishing you everything good this holiday season!

Janie Jones

October 16, 2019

Help a friend

by Janie Jones

Hello,

A friend of mine did the voice over for this short video (the link is listed below the photo).  Apparently, they are entered in a competition, so if you like the video, please vote for it.

Screenshot_2019-10-16 #fridaysforfuture.png

 

https://editfest.filmsupply.com/submissions/fridaysforfuture/oX2VUu?fbclid=IwAR1qU2lLlCCNO7xoizLsilYRa0WhG1oVFEOdehWgIehypiBnHx0mS70nla8

The voting link is at the bottom of the screen under the video.  It asks for your email, but I am told it is not to send you anything, just so you vote once.

 

 

October 12, 2019

In case you were wondering

by Janie Jones

Bloggers came, and we read them and we fell in love with some of them.  We were shocked or outraged or comforted.  We laughed.  We shared.  We felt connected.  Then, bloggers disappeared and it was like the lights went out.  Now the blogosphere feels like a ghost town in an old western, with tumbleweed spambots the only thing rambling through the comments.

Do you ever wonder what happened to them?  Some of them I really miss.  Like dear friends who move away and then never call.  You hope their lives have moved on to bigger, better, happier things.

In case any of you were wondering what happened to Janie Jones, for the most part I think I am moving on to bigger, better, happier things.

For those of you who have followed me over the years I don’t know if you’d really recognize me anymore.¬† I don’t always recognize myself.

Who am I now?¬† I don’t exactly know, I have a lot of my journey ahead of me yet, but I do feel like I’ve entered a strange, marvelous new landscape and I feel like this new landscape may be a reflection of a new me.

I think, for the first time I can remember in a really, really long time, I can manage.

I finally got laid off from the mouse lab.¬† And I was happy about that.¬† It was a huge relief.¬† I got offered two graduate assistant jobs so I could go back to get my master’s degree, and I love these jobs.¬† They pay almost as much as I made in my full time job, and I got two good sized scholarships, so I don’t have to pay for any of my education expenses this first year.¬† I have a third job working for a friend, I don’t like that job so much, but it almost makes up the gap in my pay from my full time job and I can kind of do it when ever I want.¬† All-in-all the classes aren’t too stressful, but they are sometimes a challenge¬† as the new material is very different and less precise than the material I studied as an undergrad.¬† I think in the end I will do well, and I hope that I will have more employment opportunities when I’m done.¬† So, it’s seeming pretty good.

The spud is here with me, she’s going to a small charter school for high school that has a heavy focus on the fine arts.¬† She is apparently loving her ornithology class and is in the school play this fall.¬† She is doing great with riding the public transportation bus, and has some friends who she coordinates with to take the same bus in the mornings.¬† She’s a teen now, and sometimes a bit too saucy for her own britches, but that’s to be expected of the age.

So, that’s the new Janie’s Place.¬† It’s still busy and still a work in progress, but it seems a much happier, manageable mess.

Hope all is well with you, my bloggy buddies!