12/31: walking as thinking

When I sit and try to think these days, I hit a mental wall.  When I walk, I have better luck.  Understanding gained in bits, amidst the sound of my feet, the warmth of the sun, the cool of the air, the slow moving forward.

12/30: errands

It was nice for errand-running to be the main event today rather than something that needed to be squeezed in.

12/29: together

Seeing the cats curled up with one another in one of their cat-beds.

12/28: favorable conditions

It was grey and overcast for most of the day, but I had a hunch that the clouds could be setting the stage for a fantastic sunset.  I went to the dock to watch, and Chris followed a little after.  I'm so glad he did because I was grateful to share this with him in real time:

12/27: a little flock

As I was pulling into the dock this afternoon I noticed a bluebird, then another, then another and another and so on.  The sun was bright and made their blue even brighter.  I watched and listened for awhile and then decided to go back out on the water for an extra spin so I wouldn't disturb them by disembarking.

The water was a nice blue today too.  I took this photo while on the extra lap around the cove.

12/26: rhythm returning

Trying to get back into the regular flow of things after the vagaries of travel and loss.  Today I did almost all the work I had set myself and got some other things done besides.

12/25: cats inside, dog outside

This morning I played with the cats in the sunlight.  This afternoon one of the neighborhood dogs saw me walking toward him from a distance; he ran to greet me and seemed so happy to see me again (I was happy to see him, too).

12/24: wings

As I was walking this afternoon, a flock of blackbirds flew overhead.  I stopped to watch and heard their wings flapping as they passed.

12/23: back

I've been out of town and out of sorts, but today I was glad to wake up in my own bed with Chris and the cats nearby, do some work for Heron Tree, and visit the dock.  I've taken almost no photos during the month of December, so it felt good to snap some pictures of the water (what else?) today.

12/12: picturebook breaks

Oh, the work is daunting these days, but I realized what would help:  I checked out a number of picturebooks from the local library so that I can use them to refresh myself when the writing gets tough.

12/11: revisiting my work

My task for this week is to compile a mega-document about my activities at work to be used in an overall evaluation of me next semester.  It will be more than 50 pages long, and it is not always easy to write this kind of self-commentary.  But when I get involved in the ideas, in remembering things I've done and explaining why they were valuable, the time can go fast.

12/10: almost to the minute

I've had a hard time settling into work today, but when we came home from grocering this evening I told myself to keep at it until 8 p.m.  I just finished a chunk of stuff and looked at the clock--7:59.  Good enough.

12/9: cafeteria surprise

We ate on campus this evening, and it turned out to be the one night in the semester when breakfast is served for dinner!

12/8: silhouetted

Black birds in the grey day against a white sky.

12/7: spur of the moment

This afternoon Chris read out loud a passage of Mark Twain in which pie is mentioned; it made us want pie.  So we made an apple pie, and on a whim decided to add cayenne pepper as one of the spices.  Two spur-of-the-moment decisions, and they both worked out well.

12/6: keeping on keeping on

The electricity has stayed on all day despite the ice storm--hurray!

And I wrote (and enjoyed it) even though I wasn't writing for an assignment or a deadline.

12/5: regrouping

The bad weather forecasted for today and tomorrow meant that my public talk (which was supposed to be tonight) got cancelled.  So instead of driving across the state this afternoon I finished the last of my semester's coursework, straightened up my home office, and enjoyed hanging out with the cats.

12/4: on the terrace

At dinner-time, the temperature was in the 70-degree range, but freezing rain is in the forecast for tomorrow--so we decided to enjoy the nice weather while it lasted by eating on the cafeteria's outdoor balcony.

12/3: utopias

Chris and I found out recently that we will be team-teaching a course on utopias next year, and I'm enjoying finding and reading possible texts to include on the syllabus.

12/2: birds

Wrens and others along the ridge during my afternoon walk.

And some cheeping birds, unseen but heard, in the holly bushes on campus at sunset.

12/1: work and leisure

This morning I finished all the work for my Fantasy Literature course.  The other course will need to wait until I'm back from my visiting lecture trip, but it feels good to have one course completely wrapped up.

I spent the afternoon writing the Nathaniel Hawthorne part of my upcoming talk, and every time I return to the Wonder Book I am delighted by it (both personally and intellectually).

We did a little socializing in Little Rock this evening.  It's not our usual mode, but the couple we met up with was so fun and kind--I'm really glad we did it.