Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hurry Up and Wait

After some pretty exhausting travel and a little recouping yesterday, Nick and I are back to work in Noble County, Ohio.  Never have we been in a court house like this one.  Some kind of gas boom in the area has the place packed with landmen who are trying to get at the same information that we need.  The poor Recorder's Office that has to deal with us all has developed a fairly effective system.  Sixteen people are allowed in the room with the books for one hour.  When the hour is up, they leave, and the next batch of sixteen is allowed to enter.  The line to get in wraps around the courthouse.  When you're at the back of the line, it's a safe bet that you'll be waiting for about three hours.  So, on a good day, If you get to the courthouse at least half an hour before the office opens, you might have access to the deed books for a good three hours.  Thankfully, our fellow wait-in-liners are pretty friendly.  We're all in the same boat and there's nothing we can do about it.  Considering that we're still getting paid, even if we are just holding a spot in line most of the day, it's really not that bad.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Black Friday!

I am happy to report that we did the American thing this morning and went shopping.  Of course, still being a little jet-lagged and all, we really didn't want to get up early.  And we didn't actually want to buy much.  But grandma wanted to go shopping, so shopping we went.  We found her a couple of nice sweaters, had a delicious lunch in the food court, and finally left the mall with a box of chocolates for ourselves.  A couple of Nick's friends joined us for lunch, and then we all headed to the Tacoma Art Museum.  The mall was fun, but it was nice to get away from the crowds and the crazy traffic.
After leaving the art museum, we walked about a block to the old Union Station, which is now a federal court house that happens to have some very cool glass exhibits.  My favorites are the giant orange flowers.  We did a little more wandering around (despite the rainy weather) and finally ended our outing with a cheeseburger for grandma and nachos for us.  

Today was pretty great.  Now we're all pooped and looking forward to a slightly more relaxed tomorrow.  I hope your Black Friday was equally awesome!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

In Flight

Early this morning, we packed up, drove to Columbus and hopped on a plane to Seattle.  We'll be spending this Thanksgiving with Nick's grandma here in Tacoma.  Nick hasn't been able to visit in a long while and I'm meeting her for the first time, so we're very happy to have this opportunity to spend some quality time with her.  It's been a long day of traveling, but we're glad to be here on the West Coast and happy to have arrived safely.  Have a very Happy Thanksgiving wherever you are!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Our New Courthouse. Almost.

We received new marching orders today, so we packed our bags and headed to New Lexington, Ohio to visit the county courthouse.  This is the part of my job that I love.  Courthouses tend to be old and beautiful, full of history, and usually staffed by very friendly people.  We've seen a variety of courthouses so far, but this one is my new favorite.  It looks like a castle on the outside, and it's just as lovely on the inside.  The staff in the Recorder's Office all but invited us to stay with them when we asked about local hotels and they had candy machines in the lobby.  Wonderful.

Sadly, it was not meant to be.  Shortly after we left in search of a good place to stay, we got a big never mind from the bosses and fresh instructions.  Now we're in Noble County, where we'll actually be working for the next couple of weeks.  We haven't been to the courthouse yet, but I'm hoping it's a good one.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Weekend Recap

Sometimes Nick's work takes him to some pretty remote locations, where roads are optional and only sometimes paved.  Such was the case on Friday and our Edge changed colors as a result.  On Saturday evening I went with Nick to revisit one of those remote locations.  During the day, it has a view of an old mining area, but we were there after dark to look at the stars.  And they were amazing.  Nick saw the Milky Way for the first time, and I spotted two shooting stars.
On Sunday we drove about an hour to Columbus.  After Liturgy, we found a small place for brunch called Till.  At first, it seemed like your typical, organic, trendy cafe, but then the artwork and menu informed us that we were, in fact, eating in a biodynamic restaurant.  Oddly enough, we'd just learned about biodynamic farming, so we found it pretty amusing to be experiencing it firsthand.  Now, we still don't know a whole lot about biodynamic theory, but we do know that burying a cow's horn full of manure is involved, as well as singing to the animals while slaughtering them and planting and harvesting according to moon cycles.  Maybe there's some solid science behind it all, but Nick and I remain unconvinced.  Regardless, the food was delicious, so they must be doing something right.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Very Cool Denny's

Just across the street from our hotel in Zanesville, Ohio, there's a pretty cool Denny's.  It looks like an old-fashioned diner, and they have a special hobbit menu.  Awesome.

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Little TLC

After pinching pennies for the last few months, I finally splurged a little bit.  I ordered an awesome water bottle from bkr (it's glass!) and squeezed in a little time for a haircut and manicure.  Now my hands are happy, my hair is healthy, and I'm that much more motivated to stay well-hydrated.  Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Barn Quilts

Driving around Southern Ohio and Kentucky, you'll see a lot of these big squares of geometric patterns mounted on all kinds of buildings.  One of the Brown County tourism representatives told me that they're called Barn Quilts.  Different groups (think quilting guild or arts council) collaborate with property owners to display barn quilts along a trail that leads visitors square by square through the county.  Now there are hundreds of squares across the Midwest.  I love how such a simple thing has turned into a huge public arts movement.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day Trip

Yesterday was our day off, so we went to the zoo!  It was great to be walking around outdoors after a pretty intense week of sitting in front of computer screens.  The opportunity to unwind a little was much needed.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

On the Road

This past week has been a wild one.  We've been criss-crossing Kentucky and ducking in and out of Ohio, not staying in one place for more than two nights at a time.  We see a lot from our car windows, which keeps the drive interesting, but sometimes it's a little sad when we can't pull over and explore all the cool places that we're passing.  Just yesterday we were in Cave City, Kentucky, home of Mammoth Cave National ParkWe'd finished our assignment the night before, so it looked like we might actually be able to have some fun!  We made it as far as the park restaurant (someone was hungry), but then the phone started ringing, there were urgent emails that needed answering, and we had a new location to get to asap.  No caves for us.  Now we are in Cincinnati, Ohio (Batavia, if you want to be technical) and I am determined to go to the zoo tomorrow.  They have a baby giraffe, it's our day off, and I refuse to just pass by everything.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Belated Halloween

Most of my Halloweens are preceded by weeks of brainstorming, costume prep and excitement.  This year I barely remembered that it was Halloween at all.  There were very few decorations around, no trick-or-treaters at the hotel and definitely no spare time to put together a costume.  It was a little sad, but I know that there will be plenty of great Halloweens in the future, and I've got some pretty spectacular memories of Halloweens past to tide me over in the meantime.