Monday, April 24, 2006

A Weekend Outdoors

Friday was a pretty good day for me. It started by receiving my tax return money, which was certainly a nice surprise. Later in the day I received an email from my graduate school program director letting me know that I had received an assistantship. That was amazing news. Although it is only a quarter time and not a half time I am honored to have been offered one. I will be a research assistant with Dr. Chad Harms whose interest area is computer-human interaction. Basically, I will work 10 hours per week assistanting him in his research. What is the best though is the benefits the assistantship provides. It will not only provide a monthly stipend but it will also pay 1/4 of my tuition and provide health insurance as well as some other benefits. When I got home from work on Friday I got a return check in the mail from my old apartment. They finally had gotten my apartment rented and actually had to cut me a check in the end. The biggest relief was just not having to worry about it any more.

Jim and I had been talking for awhile because I had decided that part of my income tax return would go to something we bought for ourselves and the majority would go to something responsible. In the end, Jim and I decided to get bikes. We spent the majority of friday night hunting down the perfect ones and eventually decided on the Schwinn Skyliner. I think we both feel we made the perfect decision. We weren't planning on getting matching bikes, but I wanted something with an older look, and Jim wanted something with a lot of speeds and this bike was the best of both.

Saturday we went ahead and tested out our new bikes....a lot! We rode around and had lots of fun. We rode up to the bike shop and I got a cool comfy seat for my bike....more comfortable it is to ride the more we'll ride them!

Sunday our main project was the yard. We rented a tiller and tilled up the area for the garden which was lots of hard work (especially for Jim!). I thought it wouldn't be too bad, but we had the mightest of all tillers because its all that was avaliable. So I start out thinking I am going to till up the first row with no problem...bing bang done right? I think not. I start the tiller rolling and that thing just takes off. Here I am running after this massive tiller straight toward the fence. Luckily enough, I got it under control and dropped the handle so it stopped spinning, but basically that's how the tilling went. The thing was so powerful, Jim was tilling and keeping it under control, but I know he is sore today from it.

After returning the tiller we made a walmart run. Then we came home for a bit more gardening. Jim started pruning the hedges up front, he really did good at trimming the one by the driveway back so that you don't brush it when you pull in and out. I had rooted some sunflowers so I got those planted in the front of the house. Once we came to a stopping point we rode our bikes up to true value so I could get a bigger watering can. Lucky enough for us, when we were at walmart I had invested in a basket for my bike. Sounds dorky I know, but it looks nice and I love it! Any how.....that was our weekend.

3 comments:

Mom said...

No doubt you got the "gardening gene" from your dad! Sounds like you accomplished a lot...what a team! I told Frank how you got a "fat-butt seat" for your bike (your terminology, not mine)...he said he'd just get a tractor seat for his and call it good! Ha!!!! So glad your day was so awesome.

Love, Mom

ANA said...

Our weekend was spent doing much the same thing...although I didn't attempt to till--I knew there was no way I could handle it. I stuck to my manual raking.

joy said...

Hey Mandy congrats on the assistantship at ISU! That's great!

I'm anxious to taste all the goodies from the garden. Gives me an excuse to get to Des Moines!

Love you guys,
Mom