10/31: time this morning and this evening

I left the house about 10 minutes earlier than usual today, and I used the extra time to pull in at a pier and take some pictures.  The haziness where the water meets the bottom of the hills is from vapor rising off the lake.

This evening I needed to go grocery shopping, but I stopped by the dock for just a few minutes on my way.

10/30: in the nick

I haven't been able to kayak much recently, and my while-on-the-water photos of August sunsets seem so long ago!  But tonight after dinner I noticed some colorful sky peeking through the branches of the trees that separate us on the ridge from the lake down below.  I decided to grab my camera and get to the dock before I missed the moment.  I even drove instead of walked because in a matter of minutes the light would be gone.  This is what I saw when I got to the lake:

I'm glad I made the dash.  Part of me wishes I had dashed without my camera so that I would have spent more time simply enjoying the sunset and less time snapping pictures.

10/29: sighting

...of the waxwings as they make their annual stop in town.

10/28: punctuating grading

I sat at our long table this morning, facing the big windows and grading Latin tests.  I took breaks to photograph the clouds.

10/27: successful Saturday afternoon

This afternoon I ran an activity with some Latin students that I've wanted to organize for awhile:  we listened to the audiobook of The Little Prince and followed along with copies of Regulus, the Latin version of the novel.  None of the students knew the story, so its melancholy came as a surprise, but I think they enjoyed the experience.  And an alum who's in town came, too.  I hadn't run many events on campus in the first part of the semester, but I have a few lined up for the rest of the term, and I feel like this afternoon was a good start.

10/26: favorite salad

Dinner included a version of a salad I've enjoyed since my youth:  romaine lettuce, sauteed vegetarian "bacon" pieces, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and a little sugar.  It's warm and crisp, sharp and sweet.

10/25: clarifying

Some progress today in clarifying some professional goals.  I had been thinking of some things that (theoretically) would be great to do, but I dreamt about them last night and this morning realized that they might not (practically) be the best routes for me to take.

Yes, every now and then I dream my way forward.  I'm probably not really dreaming when that happens--just existing in a part-awake, part-not-awake state, and it's the right grain of mental sifter.

10/24: today's visitor

Activity around the asters seems to have slowed, but I enjoyed the chance to see who was lingering.

10/23: morning and evening

By this morning, yesterday's unfurling rose had resolved into ruffles:

And I enjoyed walking with a neighbor at twilight.

10/22: second round

The roses bloomed in the spring but then went on a lengthy hiatus during the hot, dry summer.  Now they're flowering again:

10/21: flickering flight

For awhile this afternoon Chris and I set on the deck, watching the aura of activity around the asters.  So many winged things flying among the blooms!  The flowers themselves seemed to twinkle as a result.  This particular butterfly seemed to know when I was focusing my camera on it, so it kept flitting just as I was about to take a picture.

10/20: sitting, sipping, sun

The little aster patch in our front yard is blooming, and since it's one of the best things going right now, it's getting a lot of visitors.  Among, them, this butterfly enjoying the sun and the flowers while sipping nectar:

Later in the afternoon I met a friend at Starbucks.  We enjoyed sitting outside in the benign light, drinking our drinks, and having a good conversation.

10/19: before and after

Some sweet moments with the cats, both before I left for work and after I came home.

10/18: work then reward

Three faculty committee meetings today:  one first thing in the morning, one at lunch-time, and one at the end of the work-day.  But they all went more smoothly than they could have--and when the last one was over, a colleague and I decided to go out to an impromptu dinner together.

10/17: happy ending

Our monthly faculty meeting didn't last long this evening, which meant that when I got home there was still time to do some preparation for tomorrow's classes.  So I finished reading Daphnis and Chloe, and what a delight it has been!  I'll look forward to hearing what the students have to say about it tomorrow.  In the meanwhile, I'm grateful to be able to close my work-day with a novel that has a happy ending.  Happily-ever-after is not the norm in most of the Classical literature I teach; I appreciate this pastoral reprieve from epic and tragedy.

10/16: walking across campus

All my classes this semester are in the same building as my office, which means I see the same people a lot.  Today I had to walk across campus mid-day to get my flu shot in another building, and it was so nice to exchange words in passing with people I don't usually see.  It gave me a boost to have people smile when they saw me.  (I don't think the people in my office building dislike me--it's just they see me all the time--and I them--so there's almost no "oh-it's-so-nice-to-see-you" smile-factor at play anymore.)

10/15: air & light

A day of meetings at school, and my last one ran late:  I was leaving campus near sunset.  But the slant of the orange light and the softness of the air were some compensation for the later-than-usual departure.  There was even a floral hint of autumn blooms on the breeze, mixed with the smell of fallen leaves.

10/14: taking shape

At our editorial meeting this afternoon, Chris, our poet friend Sandy, and I chose the first poems for inclusion in the poetry journal we've launched.  There are many (many!) more submissions to read, and we won't start publishing for a few weeks or months, but this step toward making the journal a reality feels good.

10/13: up close & at a distance

An email and a text from friends who make me smile.  Plus company from Chris and the cats during an under-the-weather day.

10/12: pastoral world

I'm enjoying spending some time with Longus' Daphnis and Chloe, clever and disarming.

10/11: hundreds

...of moths flying in and over the high grasses.

10/10: launching

...into fall break.  An early dinner out, followed by sunset kayaking on the lake.

10/9: doing my share

Chris' teaching schedule is more flexible on Tuesdays and Thursdays this semester, which means that he's been taking care of a lot of practical things that have to happen during business hours.  Today I was able to arrange my work so I could take Wilkie to his vet appointment, and I felt glad to know that that was one less thing on Chris' list.

10/8: magical morning

What I saw as I walked from the house to the car at 8 a.m.:

10/7: an interesting article

...on Roman marriage laws and how they're used by Apuleius in his fairy-tale-like story of Cupid & Psyche.

10/6: both-and

I thought that this morning I would either be able to sleep in until I naturally awoke or be able to get my sister's birthday present packaged and posted.  Happily, I was able to do both.

10/5: up-note & filled-up

I felt like the work-week ended on a somewhat more optimistic note than I had expected.  That is a good thing.

It's a wet and chilly night.  Perfect for eating warm pasta and freshly baked chocolate cake.

10/4: off the radar

Some worries magically disappeared for a few hours this afternoon while I was teaching.  It was nice to forget those concerns and immerse myself in Latin with the students.  Thank you, Apuleius.  Thank you, students.

10/3: on the move

A tarantula crossing the road this morning!  I grew up not seeing tarantulas in their natural habitat, so every time I see one here in Arkansas it seems magical.

A former student of mine who sent me an email this morning to let me know that she has moved to Baltimore and enrolled in a PhD program at Johns Hopkins.  I knew she had gone on for her MA and other graduate certifications in California, but I didn't know a PhD was in the works.  Her new advisor is someone I know, and I look forward to seeing her in the profession in years to come.

10/2: a second during sunrise

10/1: blinking light

Truth be told, I don't like seeing the "message waiting" light blinking on my campus phone first thing in the morning.  Maybe it's because it's red, but it makes me worried as soon as I walk into my office.  Today, though, the message waiting was an utterly sweet one from a former student.  That kind of message deserves to be announced with a blinking green light instead!