Wednesday, August 31, 2016

au revoir

We spent the day lounging about~I thanked him for being such a great friend and companion for the past 17 years. 

Thanked him for all the miles he logged in the car and all the joy he's given me.   

His lovely new mat from our last trip together.  My heart is simply shattered right now~am taking some days off to mourn this huge loss in my life.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

digging deep for joy

The adage of 'if I sits, it fits' applies at all times. Princeton, 2007
En route to grad school

Was up all night with a wheezing Bogart.  As I live out in the sticks, the nearest open vet was over an hour away.  As I didn't have funds for emergency treatment, nor did I want to be trying to navigate Richmond for the first with a stressed animal; we stayed home.   

Trader Joe's cat nip scratcher from Uncle Lowell

Sporting Princeton colours

We were in the parking lot of the local vet at 8:45 and because I was crying, they let us in before they opened. They did some preliminary exams and gave him a shot or two and sent us home with three medications and the instructions to come back tomorrow morning if he isn't greatly improved. 

Chatting away in Seattle 2010

They're pretty sure that it is hyperthyroidism~which, yes is treatable.  But it seems that his poor little heart is working way too hard and the treatment is harsh and very expensive.  They will also check his kidney function tomorrow. 

Loved to prop up on all the books around the home

But it may very well be that it's time to say good-bye to my charming and sweet companion of 17 years.

Fortunately, there are no classes today, so they excused me from meetings and sent me home to spend the day saying good-bye. 

I am trying to focus on all the joy and warmth that Bogart has given me throughout the years, but it is a rough day.  Please say feline prayers today for us.

Monday, August 29, 2016

All the same...

It's not Poetry Friday, but I came upon this today and it resonated:

"I know, you never intended to be in this world.
But you're in it all the same.
so why not get started immediately.
I mean, belonging to it.
There is so much to admire, to weep over.
And to write music or poems about.
Bless the feet that take you to and fro.
Bless the eyes and the listening ears.
Bless the tongue, the marvel of taste.
Bless touching.
You could live a hundred years, it's happened.
Or not.
I am speaking from the fortunate platform
of many years,
none of which, I think, I ever wasted.
Do you need a prod?
Do you need a little darkness to get you going?
Let me be urgent as a knife, then,
and remind you of Keats,
so single of purpose and thinking, for a while,
he had a lifetime."
~The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac
Mary Oliver

Sunday, August 28, 2016

decisions, decisions

While my first choice will always be to eat breakfast in bed, I am sensing that the omelette and waffle bars  in the dining hall will be an enticement every Sunday.  Today, I went with a feta/spinach/shroom combo.

A lovely bowl of chocolate chips and many bottles of whipped cream.

Thinking this is some form of hibiscus?  They just started blooming across the street at the Essex Inn. 

One of the most random things I've seen~a fenced off plot of land with two lamp posts and some picnic chairs.  No signage of any kind to indicate what it is. 

Glad the name has changed from the original one! 

Not entirely sure what a Woman's Club does, but they have a darling headquarters.  And now I'm off for three more hours of dorm training~they sure do love their meetings and regulations 'round here.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Friday, August 26, 2016

Alien Lands

Yes.  This is the major display at the major store to buy food in this town~frozen Doritos and Twinkies.  SO far away from Trader's, Wegman's, and Whole Foods and healthy living.  The minute payroll hits my account, I am heading for civilisation as fast as the speed traps will allow.  

Happy to say that my syllabi are done for the trimester and that I have zero duties/meetings until Sunday afternoon!  I may just join Bogart in his favoured sunny nap spot.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

be afraid, be v. afraid

Slowly excavating my office space~have a hunch that I may be taking some cosy afternoon naps in that sunshine! 

This.  This is at the front of the classroom.  No wonder no one wants to take music here.  The entire thing is disappearing as soon as I can track down some maintenance men. 

This also is going to be disappeared.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Girl Power

It was a breezy 70 something this morning~the nicest weather that I think I've ever had during a move.  It's either been sweltering or pouring for the last decade's moves.   To be fair, I live on a school year cycle, so summer moves are fairly common.

The truck appeared within an hour window of the driver's estimate and more importantly, it was actually my pod.   Before he could even get the unit off the trailer, five dorm leaders appeared from nowhere and after unrolling the door, they had everything unloaded within 15 minutes.  I've lived in community before, but this swooping in of sisterhood will take some getting used to (and they are so getting the first batch of whatever I bake!)   Evidently, this was a slow Tuesday in town, as all the townspeople going by (on foot, or driving) stopped to point and talk amongst themselves.  Hilarious.

My stuff was really smashed up~this, of course, was the first box I unpacked to make sure it was undamaged.  So far, no major damages~I fully chalk that up to my stellar packing skills which I've acquired from a nomadic childhood and life.

Bogart got a little twitchy with all the swishing about, but once I washed bedding and made a comfy spot, he was happy as could be.  And, as with the packing, he wasn't inclined to pitch in so much. 

Went out with my first batch of recycling and found a batch of hangers with an alarmingly large bow on my step.  I think they are from a fellow Texan with whom I had lunch yesterday~I was saying that all I really wanted to do was hang up my clothes.

Tomorrow, I will finally dig into my classroom and begin the actual curriculum planning.  Fortunately, classes don't begin until 5 September.

Monday, August 22, 2016

more steps into this new life.

I have successfully avoided having to drive any bus my entire career~that came to a halt today.  Pleased to say that I did fine and managed to not run over a cop doing a speed trap, nor smash an antique birdbath as I had to back it into a parking space.  Fortunately, most of the time I will only be doing town shuttle loops. 

This bank is ridiculous with the customer service!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016

another vignette

Looking out of the corner window of my classroom~looking forward to being mostly done with meetings next week and getting to spend time there. 

And as my habit when moving, got my library card~I don't remember the last time that I had a signed library card nor when my books were hand-stamped during check-out.  Even the schools I've been at have all been automated for the last decade or so.

As last night I met all the student leaders (class prez, RA's, etc) and today I met my international/mentee group, I am thrilled that tomorrow I don't have to see anyone or talk about myself~I don't know how/why politicians do it.  It's only been a week and I'm tired of telling people all about me and my life.   Ready to begin the academic year and talk about ideas and my discipline!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

full moon rising

The backyard of our headmistress~rather lovely. (And I managed to sit upwind of the crab cracking table. While I usually am not too judgy of carnivores, there is something revolting about cracking open a large bug and sucking the legs of it.  Maybe I lived in the land of cockroaches too long, but ick!) 

This was Tuesday night and I came back to sit and swing and watch the moon rising. 

Some of us on campus were going to go for a kayak ride last night, but we had a violent storm and we decided to stay on land.  It's too cloudy tonight to go~looking forward to seeing an autumn moon rise!

The music classroom/program has fallen into dingy disrepair for the last few years~it will be fun to organize, decorate, and energize the music program so that it's as strong as the visual arts!  People (even in town) are ever SO THRILLED when they find out that I am their new musician~I almost expect cartwheels.  

I'll take some better photos when the painters are gone~but my room is overlooking the water.  It's a good thing my office desk is facing the street side, or I'd be staring out the window all the time. 

Trying out one of the rocking chairs on the large dorm porch while waiting for a colleague.  I am learning that a simple errand/walk that would normally take 10 minutes is stretched out much longer here. Small town living is....interesting, amusing, and disconcerting at times.  As I was walking back from the bank yesterday, a car slowed down and a woman rolled down her window and drawled out her excitement that I was a new bank customer and how delighted she was I was in town.  

This was MERE minutes after my transaction.  

As I had an unexpected meeting cancellation this afternoon (and why, after 15 years of teaching, I always forget how soul-draining faculty work week is) , I popped over to the Sheriff's office to get my fingerprinting done (why, I do not know as my fingerprints have been on-file with the FBI since 1993).  Met another chatty super-friendly office full of people (two of whom LOVED my purple hairs)  and while walking back, decided to pop into the local Episcopal church to say hello and check out the acoustics/spacing.  (The school chapel is abysmal and teeny and crammed in the basement.  If they are expecting a bell choir and any kind of choral/piano excellence, we need another venue.)  Ended up chatting for 45 minutes with Dr. J~a hilarious priest/college professor originally from the Bronx.  As she used to be the school chaplain for several years, she had much political wisdom to share.

I left with an invite to go for Chinese food so good that I would swear I was in NYC and a Wal-Mart gift card to buy whatever supplies I need until my stuff gets delivered.  Little blessings can be huge.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

now, we're talkin'

My Tuesday morning commute. 

Today's PD (Professional Development for those of you never subjected to this delight) was brilliant~not only did we get to learn all about the region we live in, it modeled a good lesson plan.  Plus, we got to spend most of the day in sunshine and fresh air! 

Maybe later when my brain isn't on overload, I will share more of the lecture~but basically we live in the purest estuary in the US.  I did learn that the muddy appearance of the water is from the saline water hitting the fresh water from upstream.

We loaded into various kayaks and boats and hit the water for a few hours. 

It was a bit surreal to watch the Blue Herons and Ospreys and feel the river wind and to realize that mere weeks ago, I didn't even know this place existed.  Guess one never knows what the tide will bring in.  And now, I'm off to my first crab feed~as I survived all the Texan barbecues as a vegetarian,  I ought to be able to get through this.  (Although, the smell of seafood is more off-putting to me than bbq.)  If I can discretely take photos I will~then, no one will have food cravings at all throughout their day.  :)