Sunday, April 30, 2017

Kenducky Derby

You really need to experience duck derby once in your life.  We were never clear on where the finish line was for these little guys~turned out to be more of a duck raffle than race.

People fell in the water and free milkshake coupons were handed out~so everyone went to lunch feeling jubilant. 

(and for the record, the heat/humid combo that happens here is disgusting.  I'll take Texas/Cali heat any day over this miasma.  Doesn't help that the faculty were required to be dressy and/or formal all weekend.  Stay tuned for outdoor graduation in black academic robes/hoods.)

Saturday, April 29, 2017

the brochure looks nice

Sheryl Crow said it well in her 1996 hit song~so I'm using her lyrics to close out the month of poetry.  My boss called me into her office on Thursday morning to tell me that they couldn't afford to rehire me for next year.  While I have not (yes, understatement) enjoyed this rustic chapter,  I am not enthusiastic about the whole job hunt/pack up/schlep/start all over again routine.

I hitched a ride with a vending machine repair man
He said he's been down this road more than twice
He was high on intellectualism
I've never been there but the brochure looks nice
Jump in, let's go
Lay back, enjoy the show
Everybody gets high, everybody gets low,
These are the days when anything goes
Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer feeling fine
He's got a daughter he calls Easter
She was born on a Tuesday night
I'm just wondering why I feel so all alone
Why I'm a stranger in my own life
Jump in, let's go
Lay back, enjoy the show
Everybody gets high, everybody gets low
These are the days when anything goes
Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is

So now the resumes are going out in earnest~seven weeks to figure out what's next!

Friday, April 28, 2017

je suis reconnaissant

For unexpected and lovely and, somehow always what I need gifts from a friend and her mini-me curly-haired sprite.

Amethysts are some of my favorite gems and this hand-crafted one will be treasured for a very long time.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

teachers need stickers too

What a lovely thing to find on my desk!  Seems that the Advanced Spanish class had to do a project to honor teachers and so, this happy paper for me.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

quiet beauty on a stormy day

Am a bit bemused at the party rental peeps trying to set up for our large May Ball event that is going on all next weekend.  We're having torrents of rain, but the grounds people had to be out, mowing everything.  

And now, the rentals are trying to pound stakes into the sodden ground without much success.  With the winds whipping off the river, not sure why they're trying to erect a tent this afternoon.  We're not using it until Friday night, so there's still time.

Fortunately, my part of this circus is ready to go, so I can shrug this bit off and admire the teensy water beads on the fallen leaves.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

much of having

Prolonged, they slacken into pain
   or sadness in accordance with the law
   of apples.
            One apple satisfies.
Two apples cloy.
                     Three apples
         Call it a tug-of-war between enough and more
   than enough, between sufficiency
   and greed, between the stay-at-homers
   and globe-trotting see-the-worlders.
Like lovers seeking heaven in excess,
   the hopelessly insatiable forget
   how passion sharpens appetites
   that gross indulgence numbs.
         The haves have not
   what all the have-nots have
   since much of having is the need
   to have.
               Even my dog
   knows that—and more than that.
He slumbers in a moon of sunlight,
   scratches his twitches and itches
   in measure, savors every bite
   of grub with equal gratitude
   and stays determinedly in place
   unless what’s suddenly exciting
               Viewing mere change
   as threatening, he relishes a few
   undoubtable and proven pleasures
   to enjoy each day in sequence
   and with canine moderation.
They’re there for him in waiting,
   and he never wears them out.

"The Necessary Brevity of Pleasures" by Samuel Hazo from A Flight to Elsewhere. © Autumn House Press, 2005. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017


What I'm saving in rent this year, I'm losing to petrol costs.  Every shift I'm off, I hit the road.  Today was the 104 mile trip to Target.   

Everything is SO GREEN right now.

Rural whimsy (this was a turkey all through November).

Saturday, April 22, 2017


How twelve consecutive (that's the bit that counts!) hours of slumber and a jaunt into civilization can alter one's outlook. 

Popped over to Richmond for a snack at my new favorite Vietnamese place and to browse Penzey's.

Where I got a free magnet to celebrate Earth Day.

My score at the GW Boutique.

And a new stash of spices/herbs.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Poetry Friday

As it is National Poetry Month, seems fitting to start posting an actual poem on Friday.  This one resonated with me today as I've been spending a lot of time right now analyzing the past to see if I can make a better decision for the next chapter.  A convoluted way to say that I have zero idea what I'll be doing next year.  I might be on the same campus (but NOT in the dorm).  I might be in Dubai. I might be teaching English.  I might be teaching in a studio again.  I might be bagging groceries.  I dunno.

Some of this, is no doubt, triggered by watching all the seniors getting ready to launch into their college life and having a wish that I could do be doing the same.  Starting fresh.  Crafting a better life. 

But, for now.  It's Friday and I'm off for the weekend and get do nothing but rest.

Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read
to the end just to find out who killed the cook.
Not the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,
in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication.
Not the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,
the one you beat to the punchline, the door, or the one
who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones
that crimped your toes, don’t regret those.
Not the nights you called god names and cursed
your mother, sunk like a dog in the living room couch,
chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness.
You were meant to inhale those smoky nights
over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings
across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed
coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches.
You’ve walked those streets a thousand times and still
you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
when the lights from the carnival rides
were the only stars you believed in, loving them
for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
You’ve traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the upstairs
window. Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied
of expectation. Relax. Don’t bother remembering
any of it. Let’s stop here, under the lit sign
on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.

"Antilamentation" by Dorianne Laux from The Book of Men. © W.W. Norton & Company, 2011.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

some days

The younger Cali 'phew in concert

Ya just don't wanna sing.  And that's okay.  There will be another chance.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

what's worse than Monday?

One that comes at you when you worked all weekend.  Everyone keeps telling me that this trimester will fly by, but it doesn't seem to be.

Saturday, April 15, 2017


is the Japanese term for forest-bathing.  We all know how great we feel after going for a hike~who knew that it had research and a name behind it? 

Finally went to explore the Rappahannock River Nature Preserve.

Flittering butterflies everywhere~this was the only one I caught.

SO many greens.

Easy hike with good trails~realized that this is the first time since leaving Texas that I've had this kind of walking.

More Dogwood wearing Easter finery.

Friday, April 14, 2017


Took advantage of a rare week day off and gorgeous weather to explore a historic garden. The Green Spring Gardens have been around since 1784.  But honestly?  It was too lovely a day to spend much time absorbing historic facts or Latin plant names. 

It was simply a day to wander around. 

While there were Dogwoods in the Napa Valley, I've never seen them like this~stunning!  As they are the state flower here, they are everywhere.

Saw a sign for a garden shop during the drive, which I believe wins cleverest shop title ever:  Holly, Wood, & Vine.

A glimpse of the original manor house.

I want to like lilacs, but find their scent too cloying and overwhelming.  Guess I'll stick to admiring their colour.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

How do you fry an egg?

Beginnings of the choir Easter treats. 

A little hard to see, but there's an osprey noisily building a nest on top of this chimney. Hope the homeowners aren't planning on using their fireplace any time soon.

A tree, giddy with this spring thing.