Laura Valaas

You are currently browsing the archives for June, 2010.


Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 | People | 1 Comment

The beautiful quail babies have grown up and flown the nest. Er, flown the coop?

We released them (legally) into our backyard gully and watched them rise as a flock and, stretching their wings for the first time as they discovered they could fly, beat their way gracefully through the clear blue sky and into a new life of freedom.

Just kidding, there was no soundtrack and it happened nothing like that. They were living on the porch in their chicken/rabbit house and replenished their food and water, opened their door(s) and went back to doing my thing figuring they would meander away and have an entire day to figure out the wild before nighttime. I check back in an hour. No one has left. So my C.A. joins in the cause and attempts to usher them out of the cage. One startles into a short flight into the yard. Success! The next couple are herded out of the cage and immediately try to find their way back in. We are talking straining their necks through the wires like maybe they’ll pop through. So we had a rotating cast of quail as we tried to get them out and they tried to get back in. Another one flies out. Success! Only he flies straight into the wall of the house and does a vertical flight against the wall up to the eaves before a hilariously clumsy tumble back to the porch. Eventually, we get them all out and they stand around dazed in the yard in groups of 2-4. They’re on their own but I go around and pour out the remainder of their game bird food pellets in piles around the edge of the yard. Not like we have any other use for it.

The quail have regrouped since then and seem to be happy and healthy! They’ve been back through a couple of times to eat the wild bird seed I set out. And yes we can tell which birds were ours because 1) none of the wild birids are the same age and 2) I think they’re actually a different species than the local quail. oops.

So… no quail were eaten in the experiment (at least not by us) and I finally got to raise little baby quail chicks, which I have to admit that I’ve always wanted to do.

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Tuesday, June 29th, 2010 | Snow | 1 Comment

There’s a high school track 20 minutes from my house. Which is the perfect distance to be from a track. (And obviously when I say 20 minutes I mean 20 minutes of easy running not 20 minutes in a car or 20 minutes on a unicycle.) Now that I’m on the 1hr-workout-every-other-day plan the 20min warmup, 20min of ints, 20min back home is a fabulous way to start the day.

There is one weird feature of this track though… it’s entirely fenced with chain link. Which seems odd to me. As far as I’m aware it’s a public high school and I’ve never really noticed any other track being in perpetual lockdown.

Fences are only there to keep out the people who can’t climb them.


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Monday, June 28th, 2010 | Current | No Comments

I went through four cans of diet coke today. AND I went for a short hike in the morning with my C.A. and Ginger so I didn’t even get started in on the diet coke until the afternoon. Why? Because I’ve been working on a computer all day, frustrated because my competency at set task is way below where I would like it to be. It’s hard. I don’t get it. I have to figure it out. All of which leads to very frequent episodes of get up and get myself a diet coke. It’s an unwanted repeat of study sessions in college when I would sit down to work a math problem, realize I was hopelessly in over my head and pursue some task that would, so I rationalized, assist my mental abilities.

It never worked in college either.

And I think my blood diet coke content is above the legal limit.

Yes, I know there are those of you out there who throw back four diet cokes before breakfast.

I can only aspire.

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Saturday, June 26th, 2010 | People | No Comments
Olympic Celebration Day

The group celebrating the start of the modern Olympics

I forgot that I had restarted the blog. The WV Sports Council hosted a youth event down at the park this week and I had the opportunity to go be a part of it. They had wonderful kids there, just excited about life and excited to be out DOING. We did a two mile run/walk with a baton that the kids were supposed to hand off so that every kid got to carry the baton for part of the run. I think they actually accomplished that task, which is pretty impressive for a group of any age people. I also accomplished the entire two mile run/walk and got to visit with a bunch of the kids en route (I mostly walked, I have to admit, other than a sprint finish, which I lost). They all seemed so smart, articulate, and talented for being in elementary school still. It makes me question whether I’m still taking advantage of all of the opportunities of Learning that I have. Which I guess is why it’s good to check in with the under-12 group every once in a while.

Olympic Celebration Speech

Talking & answering questions

Relay Start

The start of the run/walk.

High Five Finish

One of the participants getting a high five from Eric at the finish.

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Friday, June 18th, 2010 | Current | 1 Comment

Welcome to the new!

In reflection of my recent de-centralization of cross country skiing from my life, I have decided to recreate my website as a much less ski-focused place for me to write, ponder, post pictures & generally stake out my small homestead in the wide world of the web. For those wishing to reminisce, the classic archives are still available for your referencing under the “Past” tab. You even get to view them in the old formatting.

Speaking of my old formatting, I have to give a major round of applause to Mr. Alan Schmitz for creating a website back in 2006 that was able to take me through four years of blogging and to Miss Rebecca Jensen for creating a banner that I like enough to never change. Until now, of course. Now I just want to be a little more well-rounded and not be committed to a single theme. (Not that I didn’t do my share of off-topics when I was ski-focused.) I also want to express my appreciation for all the people who have encouraged me along my way, whichever way it happened to be.

So, without further ado, I welcome you, the few who have checked back in after my very dedicated attempt to shed all readers, to the new, at-least-different-if-not-improved… Miscellaneous Blog of Laura.

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