12/31: meeting my deadline

I found out this morning that the deadline for a translation project I was working on got moved to mid-January, but I had already decided to finish it today.  Tempting though it was to change my plans and linger for two more weeks, I wrapped it up this afternoon.

12/30: outrageous and fun

Matthew Bourne's Gothic ballet production of Sleeping Beauty, that is.  My sister saw it live last year, but I had to be content with watching the DVD this evening.  It's gorgeously done, and also crazy.

12/29: new and nearby

I finished my translating work early in the afternoon, at just about the time when Chris realized that it was too overcast for him to go flying--so we went on a new-to-us trail at Bell Slough, which we often forget as a possible place to go for a quick hike.  In the brisk air I did more walking than picture-taking, but here's a photo of some bracket fungus from underneath.  I can attest from recent walks that fungus is flourishing in Arkansas these days!

12/28: good news

When our neighbor moved away this summer, she was especially worried about Leonard, a feral cat she had been feeding for years, but the new neighbors happily agreed to take care of him.  We haven't seen Leonard much recently, so we've been hoping that he's been okay.  Today at sunset some of the new neighbors came down to the lake and said that Leonard is doing splendidly--and is being much friendlier and more affectionate than they had expected.

12/27: making

Some frustration today with a translation project, and made more stinging by the fact that I caused myself that frustration--so I turned to other things instead.

I made a Roman sweet cake with rosemary, almonds, spelt flour, and honey from our hives, using this recipe (here).  And then I worked on an art project that I had been picturing in my mind for almost a year (yikes!); it's nice to have it finished and propped up on my desk now as a reality.

12/26: leftovers

Leftover crepes for breakfast.  Leftover orange non-chicken for lunch.  Leftover curry for dinner with leftover stewed apples for dessert.  All good the first time and still good the second time.

12/25: long walk

We went to Woolly Hollow this afternoon and did the 4-mile walk over the creeks and around the lake.

A milkweed pod in the midst of letting go: 

Water and light slipping over rocks:

12/24: good smells & sights

Smells:  coffee beans dropped off at our house by one of our neighbors, spiced apples cooked as part of this evening's crepe dinner, and curry sauce made in advance for tomorrow's meal.

Sights:  bluebirds and cedar waxwings at the birds' water dish.

12/23: private sun celebration

Attending Paul Winter's concert with my family this weekend made me part of a very large solstice celebration--hundreds of people were assembled.  Tonight I was back at my lake and enjoyed the post-solstice sun alone.

12/22: laski's village

I was so lucky with choosing books to bring on our trip!  Not only was Tove Jansson's True Deceiver fantastic company on the way to New Jersey, but Marghanita Laski's Village was a wonderful read on the way back.  I had read Laski's Victorian Chaise-Longue a few years ago, and I was glad to get to know more of her work.  Once again I'm thankful to Persephone Books!

12/21: new-to-me artist

My brother-in-law suggested that we could all go to the Zimmerli Art Museum, and we spent a quiet afternoon there.  I was especially glad to see the special exhibit focused on the works of Oleg Vassiliev.

12/20: solstice concert

My mother bought everyone tickets to Paul Winter's solstice concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.

The cathedral:

The peace fountain on the cathedral grounds:

And around the peace fountain are small bronzes cast from sculptures made by children.  I love this one, which reinterprets Pan's pipes, making it a pipe to smoke (√† la "peace pipe"?) instead of a musical instrument:

12/19: with family

Chris and I spent the day with my mother, brother, sister, and my sister's spouse.  The Rutgers agricultural school is a short walk from my sister's house.  There weren't many animals out on a bitter-wind morning, but here's a photo of one of the barns:

And some holiday lights on my sister's porch:

12/18: the true deceiver

I read Tove Jansson's Moomin books when I was younger, so I was intrigued upon learning that she also wrote novels for "grown-ups."  I took her True Deceiver with me on the plane to New Jersey and I finished the novel just before we landed.  It was great, as well as beautifully translated by Thomas teal.  I look forward to reading more of Jansson's novels and maybe even revisiting the Moomins in the upcoming year.

12/17: auto-response

This was the last day of final exam period.  I set the auto-response on my work email to let folks know that I'll be away from it until the 27th.

12/16: very nice drafts!

My evening activity has been reading and commenting on the drafts of some seniors' final papers about Ovid's Metamorphoses.  They were really great to read--it was wonderful to see their ideas spelled out in detail, to spend time with their interesting thoughts, and to gauge how far they've come in the course of the semester (as well as in the course of their college careers).

12/15: interesting articles

On my way to the Greek final exam I slipped an old (but as-yet-unread-by-me) issue of The Horn Book into my bag, and I'm glad I did.  It was full of great features, really good food for thought.

12/14: foggy morning

I woke up this morning as if it were a school day!  I couldn't go back to sleep, so I went with Chris on his morning walk in the fields below our house.  The fog stayed with us the whole time we were out.  (Quite a bit of field plus the ridge beyond it is obscured by the fog in this photo.)

And the moisture in the air distilled itself somewhat magically on the grasses.

12/13: sorting

Time spent in my home office today sorting through months of accumulated things--all of it interesting but none of it ever urgent enough for me to take it in hand.  It feels good to have winnowed my way through it.

12/12: unplanned call

My sister and I missed our first-Wednesday-of-the-moth phone chat last week because we were both busy grading.  This evening I wrote her a quick email and she decided to call me as soon as she read it, which brought a smile to my night.

12/11: three walks

I haven't gone on walks much at all this semester; but over the past few days I've managed a few, and today I fit in three.  I joined Chris after lunch and before our afternoon appointments on his walk to the post office in town, and then I walked down to the dock in the late afternoon and again at sunset.

From the afternoon dock-walk:

12/10: a handful

Lunch with Chris at a sandwich place in Little Rock after my doctor's appointment.

A walk with Chris on some new "nature trails" on campus.  They're more manicured than natural, hence the quotation marks--but it was nice to walk on them before turning to an afternoon in the office.

Getting half of the Greek final exam written.

Red velvet cake in the cafeteria at dinner time.

Time to sweep the house this evening while listening to more of A Snicker of Magic.

Hanging out with the cats.

12/9: not having to worry about traffic

I spent last night in a hotel near a medical center in Little Rock because I had some screening scheduled for the morning.  Usually when I have to go in for tests I just drive down early--but the traffic is heavy and accidents (leading to long back-ups) are (unfortunately) common.  More than once, even when I've given myself double the time for the drive, I've been stuck in a jam, anxiously looking at my watch as my appointment time got uncomfortably close or even passed by.  This time I decided that since going in for testing is worrying enough there's no point in also getting worried about traffic--so I booked myself into a hotel less than 5 minutes from the medical center.  It was great to wake up this morning and have one set of worries off the table.

12/8: unexpected together-time

I needed to head out of town in the evening.  Though it's only for a night, I felt sad to be missing time with Chris and the cats.  But then Chris and I discovered that we could squeeze in lunch together on campus before I left, and when I got home to pick up my luggage I realized I had time for a quick romp with the cats before getting on the road.

12/7: caught up

As of 9:15 p.m., I have worked through all my sets of things to grade or comment on.  It's the first time since mid-October that I haven't had something waiting for me.  That's par for the course for me in the second half of a semester--as soon as one set gets done, another set appears.  But now I'll have a week before new sets arrive.

12/6: done a day early

I finished grading a round of papers that I thought I'd have to work on tomorrow, as well.  The papers themselves were interesting to read (it was exciting to see what aspects of our texts students decided to write about), and now my grading of a different set of papers tomorrow will be less pressed.

12/5: chris made dinner

I usually take the lead in making dinner because Chris does all dish-washing, but today I wasn't up to it.  I had a bad headache and was strung out from the day at school; nothing especially bad had happened, but I was worn thin and rattled nonetheless.  So Chris cooked up some tortellini and grated some cheese and it was warm and good.

12/4: back-up glasses & my eye office

While getting ready for school this morning I noticed that one pair of my glasses was broken.  It made me glad that I had fought the worry that getting two pair of glasses would be extravagant:  I was able to switch to the second pair without a losing a beat.  Thinking about how to get the first pair fixed was a little more challenging since time is tight these days.  But luckily I was able to drive across town after work today and catch the folks at my eye doctor's office before they closed--and they oh so pleasantly and quickly fixed my glasses.

12/3: looking back

When I'm teaching beginning Latin or beginning Greek I start each class session with a "thing of the day"--be it an interesting word or etymological connection, an historical person or event, or an ancient artifact.  Then, at the end of the semester, students can opt to take a bonus quiz on all the things of the day.  Today I compiled the master list of the daily things for the Greek course:  what a collection of tidbits and curiosities, and a fun way to get a snapshot of the semester and the ground we've covered.

12/2: swamplandia

One of my current students heard from one of my former students that I like Karen Russell's novel Swamplandia!, and he mentioned this to me today.  (Both of the students in question also like the novel.)  I hadn't thought about Swamplandia! in quite awhile, and it was so nice to share my enthusiasm with another fan and to remember how much I really do like it.  It's also sweet to have the opportunity to simply be a fellow fan with students, since our various readings of and appreciations for this particular novel weren't connected to our academic interactions.

12/1: postal bounty

A windfall of postcards in my in-town mail-box today from Belarus, Germany, the US, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Switzerland, France, the Czech Republic, and Finland!

11/30: before lunch

I had to run out to buy an additional goody to slip into a birthday package for a friend; I got up early (well, early for me on a Sunday) and made it to the store and back while most other folks were in church or bed.  Then I got the package ready to ship and readied two other packages for a trip to the post office tomorrow.

11/29: before november's end

I had set the end of November as my deadline for finishing some chapbook binding, and this evening I met it.

11/28: dried grasses for a photographic bouquet

Chris often walks in the farm fields below our house, but he usually does so early (very early!) in the morning, so I don't join him.  This afternoon, however, we went together.  Lots of dried grasses and things going to seed.  It couldn't help but remind me of the Thanksgiving bouquets my parents would gather and arrange for the house each autumn.

11/27: cobbler

Last year we realized that what we most wanted to make for Thanksgiving was cobbler and we decided to make only that.  This year we chose to go the same route, perhaps transforming last year's lark into a tradition.

11/26: a handful

Getting to sleep in a little bit.

Buying groceries with Chris for tomorrow's cobbler, and getting other goodies in the process.

Playing with the cats.

Listening to A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd while sweeping the floors.

Taking pictures at Woolly Hollow and down at the dock.  Here's one from Woolly Hollow:

11/25: work, but less hectic

It was the last day of work before a long weekend, and a good number of students, faculty, and staff had already left for the holiday.  I had a quiet and calm but productive Greek class and then a few afternoon meetings with students--a nice way to ease into a little break.

11/24: music slipped in

I made a late-in-the-day decision to go to the college orchestra's concert this evening.  I had never heard Steven Gerber's Spirituals before, and I'm glad I now have.  I'm especially grateful to have heard his "Homage to Ravel" (inspired by "There is a Balm in Gilead").

11/23: rainy day outing

We were a bit stir-crazy by this afternoon, so even though we weren't feeling 100% we took a drive out to Wolly Hollow.

11/22: marathon

Chris had a bad migraine today and in solidarity I watched lots of episodes of The West Wing on Netflix with him.

11/21: wrapping up

My part of the utopia course ended today.  We still have some team-taught and workshop sessions after Thanksgiving break, but I've now taken two groups of students through what I wanted them to read, experience, and think about, and that feels good.

11/20: 8 hours

...of sleep...on a school night...rare.

11/19: high-tops

I wore my honey-colored Converse high-tops to school today; they make me smile.  One of my students said that she especially liked them; they made her smile too.

11/18: confirming a choice

I've been second-guessing (and third-guessing) my decision to end my part of the utopia course with David Levithan's Boy Meets Boy, which isn't as straightforwardly in the utopian tradition as the other works we've read.  In the course of thinking about (and doubting) my decision I ended up having some nice thoughts about the utopian tradition in general as well as the particular texts we've read in the course.  And re-reading Boy Meets Boy this evening made me feel like it really was a good choice.  There are vexatious things about the novel, but it's a good one for the course and especially good as the last one they read with me.

11/17: a collection

Lovely-looking snow upon awaking, but it didn't beset the roads (hurray) so getting to school wasn't a trouble.

My cold (or whatever it is) isn't gone so I left school after teaching my classes.  Chris left at the same time and we were able to do some grocering together before heading home.

After some time resting I was able to muster myself to do some reading of scholarly articles and students' summaries of them.  One student chose an essay on metamorphoses and metaphor in Christine de Pizan and the Ovide Moralis√© which was a fun work-out.

And how nice to log in here at the end of my day and see in my feed updates from two other bloggers who post good things:  Ruth (at Five Things) and Meri (at Count to 3).  I love their windows into their days and thoughts.

11/16: two at the end of the day

Between 8:30 and 9:30 this evening the rain changed to snow, the first of the season.  I held my hand out the door and felt it fall, ever so light, on my hand.

And then I checked my email to find thank-you notes from the two poets whose joint chapbook I've been binding.  I had sent them their first installment of books this week, and their kind words are making me eager to finish the second installment.  It's a winter-themed chapbook, so this evening's weather reminds me how timely it is.

11/15: quiet

Feeling under the weather, I spent the day quietly.  I am grateful that I managed to get caught up(-ish) on my work during the past week so a day of not working doesn't create stress.

11/14: going slower with greek

Last week I decided that in my beginning Greek class we'd finish one less chapter this semester than originally planned.  Today I'm feeling the goodness of the decision:  it's made this busy time of the semester feel less packed, and it's allowed the students to consolidate and more fully process what we've been learning (especially certain new rules about vowel contractions and how they play out in some verbs, nouns, and adjectives).

11/13: good reading

Some of my students are doing research projects this semester, and they have to write summaries of academic articles they've found on their own which are related to their research topics.  Which means that I have to read the articles, too.  They've been choosing interesting ones, and it's been a pleasure to read them.

11/12: less than 10 minutes

November is a nutty month at work and sometimes it's hard to calm down, and more often than sometimes it's hard to find time to do anything except work.  Today I stopped at the pier on my drive to campus.  The air was cold but the sun was warm and bright, and I had my camera.  I took pictures, enjoyed being outside, and relaxed.  It was less than a 10 minute delay to my work-day, yet it did more than 10 minutes worth of good.

11/11: ovid

Oh, the pleasure of translating Ovid's story of Narcissus today.  First the pleasure of doing so alone, in my office while preparing for class.  Then the pleasure of going through it with the students and seeing them enjoy Ovid's wordplay.

11/10: thanks to chris again

Unbeknownst to me, Chris stopped at the store on his way home to buy fresh bread and nice cheese for a sandwich dinner.

11/9: thanks to chris

I went down to the lake for a quick visit in the afternoon so I almost didn't go down for sunset.  But then Chris said that we should go, so I did.  And I was glad!

Any one of these views would have made my day.  To get them all in one 30 minute stretch--amazing.

11/8: gettting better

More chapbook-binding this weekend, and I'm getting better at the process.  Virtually no mistakes or re-dos today.

11/7: their success

One of my friends at work is putting on a challenging play this week, Timberlake Wertenbaker's Love of the Nightingale.  Since the play is based on a story told by Ovid, my friend had asked me to come and talk with the cast last month, and last week I also watched a full rehearsal.  Tonight I saw the finished show.  They did it.  Lots of aesthetic, emotional, and social complexities to navigate, and--wow--they did it.

11/6: encouragement

I had to give a presentation at work today.  As I was talking it was nice to see some colleagues' smiling faces in the audience, and afterward a colleague I don't know very well was enthusiastic.

11/5: disco tray

The trays in our school cafeteria are mostly green, but a few of them are cream-colored and gold-flecked.  These are affectionately known as "disco trays," and they are considered good luck.  You're not supposed to go hunting for one; you just have to see if one happens to be on the top of the pile for you to take when you pass by.  Today at dinner a disco tray was mine.

11/4: deciding

It's always hard, when I'm feeling unwell, to decide whether or not I should cancel class.  I second-guess, third-guess, fourth-guess myself--and in the end I usually don't cancel.  Today, though, I wasn't feeling right and I didn't draw out the decision-making:  I opted to go in for the morning but leave after Greek, giving the afternoon Latin students a group assignment.  It was a good thing to do.

11/3: over breakfast

I paged through The Persephone Biannually while drinking my coffee.  A nice way to wake up:  seeing books that I know I want to read and realizing how many of Persephone's offerings I've managed to read during the past few years.

11/2: peppers

Chris brought back some canned goodies from his fall break visit to his cousin's house.  The canned peppers tasted especially good with tonight's dinner.

11/1: of a different sort

Today I did work other than class prep:  some chapbook-binding preliminaries (printing and cutting, with the hope of doing actual binding next weekend) and reading a few chapters of Trollope's Three Clerks (which has some good uses of Classics, and I hope to gloss it with a student or two this spring).  It was a work day, but it was also a reminder that I enjoy my work.

10/31: morning stops

Recently I've been pausing more often at the pier on my way to work.  Different light and shadows than sunsets at the dock.

Yesterday I photographed this:

 And this morning the wind was a little rougher so the same basic shot became this:

10/30: on the same page

A good thing:  being in synch with a friend at work.  She asked me a professional question about the theatre production she's directing, and we had the same impression/answer.  Then she asked me a personal question, but very obliquely, and I knew what she meant without having to think about it.  And that she thought to ask me that question--at that particular time and in that particular way--means a lot.

10/29: morning mandala

I was walking to the car this morning and saw that a spider had made this:

10/28: on either end

A nice paper by a student at the start of my work-day.  A very smart idea from a student at the end of my work-day.

10/27: sunrise & sunset

As is clear from this blog, I'm more of a sunset person than a sunrise one, but today I got to enjoy wonderful colors at both times.

Sunrise colored clouds as seen from our deck:

Sunset painted water as seen from the dock:

10/26: moving through and on

I did something today that didn't go particularly well.  In ways it might have gone embarrassingly not well.  But I got through it, I am trying not to overly worry about it, and tomorrow is another day--I'm trying to focus on those good things instead of on the going-not-so-well-ness of the thing itself.

10/25: eating the alphabet

For lunch I made pancakes in the shape of the letters of the Greek alphabet!

10/24: pausing on the way to the car

Be-dew-ed spider webs, seen as I was walking from the house to the car in the morning.  Nice to start the day with a little magic.

10/23: waking light

I wasn't feeling well this morning so I stayed in bed a little longer than usual and got to see an amazing sunrise through the window.  A little later in the morning I noticed that Bryan, a friend of mine in a different part of the state, had posted a colorful sunrise picture on Facebook; I'm glad that the sunrise was good where he was too.

10/22: a welcome reminder & no waiting

At work today we got an email reminder that it was the last day for getting a free flu shot on campus.  I had completely forgotten about it but like to get the shot each year, so receiving the reminder was perfect.  And when I got to the place where the shots were being given, there was no line.

10/21: four good things before 9 a.m.

Reading Clark's journal entry for this day in 1804.

Seeing a string of 40 antique cars on the road to work.

Pausing to take pictures at the foggy lake.

Smelling the camellias as I walked onto campus.

10/20: late can be okay

When my alarm rang this morning, I accidentally turned it off rather than set it to ring again in 10 minutes.  So I ended up sleeping an hour and 15 minutes longer than I had planned.  It seemed a not-so-good way to return to work after fall break--but it turned out to be fine.

10/19: three in a row

Kayaking is hard to make time for during the school year, but I managed to get out on the lake Friday and Saturday after dinner and today after breakfast.  That will have to hold me in good stead for awhile.  It was especially nice to be on the water this morning--almost no one else around (I saw two boats but they weren't close), amazing skies, and different light on the water.  A cloud photo from my outing:

10/17 & 10/18: work & pauses

Bookbinding as Friday's task & grant proposal reading as Saturday's.  Both substantial projects, but happily punctuated by phone calls from Chris & Katy, as well as cloud-watching, aster-patch-watching, and kayaking.  And in the process many, many pictures taken!

Here are just two:  

How lucky that fall break fell at the height of the asters' activity so I would be at home and able to observe.

10/16: at home

I spent much of academic year 2013-2014 at home because I was on sabbatical.  The cats and I worked out a good rhythm together.  By contrast, since school started in August, I feel like I've been using the house as a pit stop.  Today and tomorrow are "fall break," and the breather is giving me a chance to enjoy being at home.  Today I slept in, read Artforum, did some much-needed housekeeping, paid bills, wrote notes to friends, hung out with the cats, ate vegetarian orange "chicken," and kept going outside to look at the many winged visitors to the aster patch.  It might seem odd to have black and white pictures of butterflies, but the black and white made me focus on the patterning rather than the color.

10/15: so big

I noticed a good number of butterflies while walking on campus and then while driving home.  But the best was yet to come:  as I was eating my dinner and looking out through our long windows the biggest butterfly I have ever seen flew toward the windows and up, the light making its wings look like stained glass.  I know I saw it, but even now I can't quite believe it was real--it was that big.

10/14: geese

...flying so low over our house that we could hear their wings flapping.

10/13: little talk

The director of this semester's play at school invited me to come and talk to the cast.  The play is Timberlake Wertenbaker's Love of the Nightingale, which is based on the myth of Procne and Philomela, a powerful tale in Ovid's Metamorophoses.  I loved the chance to share some of my thoughts and to see the students so intent about the production they're working on.

10/12: year three begins

This evening I posted the first poem in what will be our third year of publishing Heron Tree.  It feels good that we've gotten this far with the journal.

10/11: housekeeping weekend

We designated this weekend for house-cleaning in advance.  Today we focused on the common areas of the house.  It feels good.

10/10: a snapshot

A friend posted on Facebook a picture of his baby looking intently at a board-book I had sent.

10/9: reading

I got more reading done today than I had anticipated--all work related, and all good.  I look forward to a time (December?) when I might be able to read something for leisure again, but in the meanwhile I am lucky that so much of my reading for work is enjoyable.

Also good on the reading front:  I bought Chris a book I thought he would like (Straw in the Sun by Charlie May Simon), and he read the first chapter while drinking his morning coffee.  When he finished the chapter he said, "That was one of the best first chapters I've ever read."

10/8: eclipse

Our alarms rang at 5:00--that's Chris' regular wake-up time, but a bit earlier than usual for me since I wanted to see the eclipse.  It took me some time to wake up; in the meanwhile Chris went outside and found the best viewing spot.  If I had gotten up even earlier (around 4:30?) I could have seen the moon part bright, part dark--but we did get to witness the last bit of its slide into full eclipse.

10/7: 5 minutes to spare

A long list of tasks for the day, but I managed to move through them all and be done 5 minutes before my mental turn-off time, which gives me the chance to write this before calling it a night.

10/6: grateful

...for a very quick stop on my way to work to look at the misty lake:

...for the word enneapetalous, which I discovered today.

...for coffee and chocolate cookies in my office as I prepared to teach.

...for a sweet, crisp apple after I taught.

...for a session with a student in which we focused deliberately on Greek accents.

...for the extraordinarily nice people who work in the college cafeteria.

...for the (emotionally) difficult read of an article about the limitations of radical utopian thinkers when it came to women.

...for Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time, which responds to those limitations.

...for a walk to the dock with Chris; it was a brief pause amidst work, but we got to see this together:

10/5: smartweed sunday

Although I had plenty of work to do this afternoon, I needed to get out of the house for a bit to clear my head.  Chris drove us out to Woolly Hollow State Park.  The Pennsylvania smartweed was blooming, which makes me happy every time I see it.

10/4: morning, afternoon, evening

Texting my mother and siblings to wish them well on St. Francis' feast day. 

Combining a business meeting with Chris and a nice lunch out at a new-to-us restaurant.

Deciding against kayaking (regretfully but wisely) yet going to the dock for sunset and seeing this:

10/3: something tilde likes

I discovered this week that Tilde the Cat likes to have her belly rubbed! My Dear Cat Wilkie would swat or nip whenever I tried to touch or brush his stomach, so I kind of trained myself not to pet cats there in general.  But it turns out that Tilde loves it.

10/2: the rain...

...waited until I was back at home this evening.

10/1: a good evening

We had fallen out of the habit of making salad as part of our dinner--and when I say "we," I really mean "I" since I'm the salad-maker--but on tonight's plates salad returned.  Hopefully, a habit resumed.

I walked down to the dock with Chris, only planning to stay for sunset but knowing that Chris would probably stay later since a number of folks congregate there on Wednesday evenings.  One of said folks came by in his boat and picked us up, promising to return me when I needed to get home.  So I had an unexpected half-hour on the water.

And then I talked with my sister, as part of our standing plan to call one another on the first Wednesday of the month.

Finally a little playful cat-time with Tilde and Emma.

9/30: 3 for today

Morning:  The beginning Greek students did well on their quiz.  They've been doing well consistently, but it's nice to see the trend continuing as Greek gets harder.

Afternoon:  The Latin students translated smoothly and had good things to say about Ovid's story of Niobe and its relation to other tales in the Metamorphoses.

Evening:  During the school year the work doesn't seem ever to end, but I took time to make vegetarian Hopping John for dinner and then to walk down to the dock with Chris for sunset, where a neighbor joined us.

9/29: rotated back in

Today I wore a shirt I haven't worn in years, and I'm not exactly sure why I stopped rotating it in.  It's well-designed, more stylish than what I've been wearing recently but not in a showy way.  I felt good in it all day.

9/28: back to postcrossing

Postcrossing was a big find for me in the spring of 2007:  I had always enjoyed sending postcards, and it was amazing to discover a community of like-minded folks.  Over the past year, though, I've only been participating (very) intermittently, but this morning while enjoying my time on the porch I wrote 12 postcards.

9/27: evening out

We went to North Little Rock to watch a play by a local playwright.  We arrived at the theatre early and so wandered along a little stretch of Main Street.  How not to be charmed by an old sign like this one?

9/26: bonuses

I got really amazed this morning while looking at fossilized pterodactyl outlines.  I was poking around online a little because I wanted to be able to show my students how the pterodactyl's name (wing-finger) is apt, and I was jaw-dropping astounded by the images at Wikipedia like this one (click here). I didn't think my day had such a thing in store for me.

I had mentally prepared myself to be finishing my abstract this evening (to meet a midnight deadline), but I managed to finish and submit it early--which gave me time to kayak.

9/25: mid-morning break

At 10:08 I looked at the daily email listing of on-campus happenings, and I saw that there was a dance recital at 10:10.  I didn't have time to weigh if I should or shouldn't go--I just went.

9/24: more systematic

Over the past week I've done some noodling with an abstract.  This evening my work on it was more focused and organized, and I think I'm three-quarters done.

9/23: in my bag

Back in September 2009 we had some days of great clouds; seeing them while on campus and being unable to photograph them (because I had no camera with me) was one of the things that pushed me to get a little camera to carry around in my book bag.  (Old blog post about it here.)  Today was another September day of great clouds, and as I left my office in the afternoon I was so glad I had my book-bag camera on hand.  It's not the same one from 2009 because I've gotten a little more particular over time, but pulling it out made me think fondly of that first one.  And these were the clouds I was grateful to be able to photograph today:

9/22: unsystematic but something

I am trying to pull together an abstract for a paper, and I've done scattered thinking on the topic over several years, taking unorganized notes on related articles and books.  The lack of organization is not a good thing and something I need to rectify (though not now, as I'm trying to get the abstract done).  But it is good that I made some time today to think about the ideas, poke through some old notes, and collect new bits of bibliography.

9/21: blogiversary

Six years of almost daily good things--that's a good thing!

Other good things in my Sunday included:  lentil and carrot salad with ginger dressing, apple lentil cake (yes, lentils was a deliberate theme), a stroll with Chris and our cameras, some texts to-and-fro with my family, tickets to fly east in December to meet up with my family, a little time at the lake, and that little bit of time extended to walk and talk with a neighbor.

From today's walk with Chris:

9/20: date with the lake

Kayaking time is harder to come by, but I was able to go out on the lake this evening.  Some geese flew overhead, a reminder that we're moving into autumn.

9/19: woman on the edge of time

I chose Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time as one of the texts for one of my courses this semester, and I'm really glad I did.  As I was sitting in my office this morning, preparing my notes for class, I re-read a passage in the novel and the rightness of it struck me as so very right that it made me cry.  A few hours later a student, unprompted, quoted the same passage.

9/18: in the act

We know that coyotes sometimes take up residence in the neighborhood (we hear them), and a few years ago we realized that they must come into our yard occasionally to eat persimmons, but we had never seen them.  Until this morning.  Chris spotted one underneath a persimmon tree and then came to get me so I could see it too.  It was casually eating up the fallen fruit.

9/17: comfort food

My dinner:  a big plate of cheesy French fries.  This is my treat-to-self before each month's evening faculty meeting.

9/16: a few sentences

The summer-and-holiday practice of writing four pages most mornings goes by the wayside during the school year, alas.  But this morning, while I was finishing my coffee on the porch, I managed to write the opening paragraph of an abstract, and it felt good.

It also felt good to put a postcard to Chris' uncle and aunt in the mail today.  They've always been wonderful to me, and they've been having some challenging times.  A photo and a few sentences from me can't really change that, but I hope it can give them a smile.

9/15: pulling off for a minute (twice)

On my way to school this morning I stopped to photograph the lake.  An older couple was enjoying the view at the pier, too.

On my way to the grocery story this evening I stopped at the dock to catch some of the light on the water.

9/14: in the air

I was feeling well enough this evening to go out on the lake after dinner.  The air had an autumn cool in it.

9/13: very short stroll

I'm not feeling well today, but before the sunset Chris and I walked around our house a little, picking our way through the overgrowth and grasses.  I took a few photos, including these of some late-blooming (or about-to-be-late-blooming) alium.