Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dinner with Claire

It has turned out that I only have 4 students in summer school so I will only get 2900. That is a big setback, but I can’t worry about it. The hollow is in good shape and I got rid of most of the wood and plastic pipe in the orchard. One more trip to the dump will do it. Foam flower, large flowered bellwort, large flowered white trillium, spring beauties, violets, garlic mustard, bluebells, rue anemone, cut leaved toothwort, ground ivy are flowering. The redbuds have started. Last night I had a really nice dinner with Claire. We are planning to go bike riding soon and I really enjoy her company. I am still having a problem with one student so it looks like I will have to talk to the Dean of Students to resolve things. The student is disrespectful and lazy, a bad combo. I have almost all the portfolios graded from my first poetry class so I really only have one bad weekend ahead, the next one. David the forester should be out soon and finish up the work and hopefully I can get paid from Natural Resources. I called David King and I hope to have him out soon to service my septic. I am still waiting for Andy to fix the road and to get a load of 357 from Mike. No big rush on those things. I got my federal tax check and that gave me enough to pay off all my many bills this month. Next month will be expensive but I will get paid in June for Maymester and I hope to sell my easement credits soon.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

three weeks of class left

It is Saturday, April 12, and I have accomplished quite a bit. I had Mike out on Friday and he finished staining the cabin, cleared around the solar panels, cleaned the gutters, and got rid of much of the junk I wanted to get to the dump. I cut up the fallen tree with my new battery chain saw and it did the job, if a bit slowly. I got a couple of trout for my pond from the new stocking and I then had dinner with Gyorgyi and we went to a reading at the Inn at VT. On the way back home I visited with the fellows for a good hour. My week of classes went pretty well and I have three weeks left of classes. I did my second open house today and that went well and it was fun to joke with Kate. Later I drove up to Roanoke and played golf with Rob and his mother and that was fun. We had lunch and then I saw her place at Brandon Oaks and it was very nice. I drove back to Blacksburg and went for a long ride at the CRC. I hope to have lunch or dinner with Claire at some point and that will be fun. The Coleman reading is this week and that should go better than last year as I have notified all the readers. The bad news is that I may loss 3k if I don’t get more students in my Maymester course. That will suck if I only have 6 students but I will teach it even for 3K instead of 6K.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

four weeks of teaching left

It is Sunday, the sixth of April and I am sitting in Mill Mountain grading and reading. I did my Lumosity training. Today has been an excellent day. I took a walk in the morning (finding a dead tree down that I will have to cut tomorrow) and spotting bloodroot, cutleaf toothwort, ground ivy, speedwells, bitter cress. The Louisiana waterthrush is still singing. I called Rob and I drove in to go for a hike with him and catch up. He was in good spirits as he had been doing a lot in his garden and almost has Raechel moved out of her apartment. Then it was off to Big Stony for a nap, an hour bike ride, lunch at the Mexican restaurant in Pembroke, then golf at Castle Rock. I am hoping to take one more walk later around the tech campus. I have four weeks of class left and I have finished my evaluations, just in time. I did an open house yesterday and saw Kate and she loved my last e-mail which I know was very funny. I had only one student but I guess it helped. I was able to get my taxes done and Will did use the 3000 deduction for bad debt so Mark now only owes me around 1300. I hope he will be able to pay me at least that much.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

the trip to Baltimore and New York

I am in Winchester, having just beat the bad weather out of Baltimore. My paper presentation on Thursday was uneventful (though none of the other panelists had papers on the theme of horizons) and then I had a fine day walking around Baltimore harbor, eating lunch at P.F Chang’s, going to the aquarium, taking the water taxi to fells point, then riding my bike along the harbor for an hour before heading for a fine dinner at Luna Del Sea which I had Oysters Rockefeller and wonderful Crab Cakes. The next morning I walked in the rain (with an umbrella) to Penn Station and got the 10:00 train to New York, where I walked around some and then headed for Brooklyn to visit Gabes, Francesca and Julian. Playing with Julian was a lot of fun and then we drove over to Arlene’s house for a wonderful dinner of chicken and pork and spinach and potatoes and delicious bread. I watched the NCAA games and Virginia lost by a couple of points with Kentucky winning. The next day I took the subway into Manhattan and went to see Miyazaki’s “The Wind Rises,” not his best work but certainly worth watching. It was raining but I walked about 5 miles and had a nice lunch at the 7 bistro. I walked up to Times Square which was still fun even though it was raining. I got back to Baltimore around 9 and took a cab to my hotel where I rode the stationary bike for 30 minutes and watched TV. In the morning I rode the stationary bike for 45 minutes and then did my yoga, which felt really good after two days of missing it. I then headed for Kelly’s and they cooked me a terrific meal of quiche and pancakes. I played with Lucia quite a bit and she is different, not a little kid anymore. She is very smart and I had a good time talking with her. Then we watched Frozen and we all loved it. I am almost ready for my classes, and I should have all the reading done tonight. Tomorrow, since it is supposed to be sunny, I hope to play golf.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

six weeks left of the semester

It is Sunday evening and I am watching UVA play Memphis and they are looking pretty good, 35-20. I hope the second half is just as good. I talked to Andy today and he is going to fix the spring area and strengthen the road. It shouldn’t cost more than 650 and I won’t have to worry about it for a long time. My road is in very good shape right now so there is no rush. I had a nice time yesterday with the Sisson campers, playing corn hole and then chatting in the evening with the ladies. I have been invited to Jed’s wedding and it sounds like it will be pretty easygoing. I played golf today and shot a 46 though I had to wear my heavy jacket. I also got a hike in and rode my bike for 40 minutes before going for a walk with Rob. I have a couple of easy days and then I head up to Baltimore to give my paper, visit NY, and see Kelly and her family. I still have a little grading to do and some reading. I bought three gallons of the good Thompson’s and I stained both bridges and did the porch and the front of the cabin. The greenhouse is doing quite well and I should be eating lettuce soon.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

a quick visit to Charlotte to escape the cold

I decided to head down to Charlotte on Thursday morning (because of the cold) and that turned out to be a good decision. Charlotte was much warmer (about 50) and I played golf at Regent Park and rode my bike there also. I graded some at the pizzeria, and then went to the wingate to do some work and then head to P.F. Chang’s for dinner. It was my usual steamed shrimp dumpling, hot and sour soup, and a mix of eggplant and broccoli. It was excellent. I walked around a little and then pretty beat went back to my room. In the morning I worked a little, then went for an hour walk around the 4th ward and downtown Charlotte. I drove to the New River Trail but the trail had just gotten new gravel and my bike tires sunk too much. I drove on the roads for a half hour and then finished my ride along the river trail in Radford. I watched some TV and then headed home to see the job that Mike had done. He started a bit too high but it looked pretty good and he is going to put half a load further down and put the rest of the 57 in a pile by the pond. He will also be bringing me a load of crusher run and a load of 357. In the morning, I got up and went for a nice hike after working on my paper a little (it is pretty bad but almost done). I finished clearing the asparagus patch and then went back with the compost and fertilized the fruit trees and the asparagus. I emptied the lawn tractor gas and filled that this evening along with another container for the generator. I let the sun charge the batteries up pretty good and then I used the generator to keep charging them. I started at about 1200 in 1 and I got the charging rate down to 7.8-11 so I hope to finish tomorrow. I watched the Virginia game and then the Duke game (they will meet tomorrow at 1) and then took another walk to my gate. I vacuumed the truck of all the trail mix I spilled, washed the plastic in the front and cleaned the front seat. I also brought in the two containers outside the greenhouse and planted my second 8 broccoli plants. We will see how I do. Now I have three trays of lettuce, two of peas and four of broccoli. I spoke with Gloria today and things are a little better but I hope she can quit soon or I am worried she will get sick.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

middle of the break

It is Wednesday, March 12th and my break is about half over. I have gotten a good bit of grading done but I still have enough to keep me busy. I will be heading to Charlotte tomorrow for an overnighter and I will have to do some grading down there and start reading for next week also. I have basically finished my road and it is in the best shape it has been in for years. I must have spent ten hours on the tractor and my knee feels it. Coltsfoot came out on the 10th so that is a nice treat, certainly foreshadowing the advent of spring. I used my new Stihl battery chainsaw and it worked very well. I cut up the fallen tree in the pasture and did some clearing along the road and up by the house. It is a little slow but it cut a six inch piece of wood with no real trouble. I planted more in my garden, including 8 broccoli plants and some lettuce mix Rob gave me. The early lettuce and peas are up and I should have some to eat in a few weeks. I have ordered some crusher run and 357 and Mike is coming up tomorrow morning to see where I want it. Yesterday I went up to Barbours creek (which was just stocked) and I fished a very pretty stretch of rocky water but didn’t get a hit on dries or nymphs. I then fished a little of the South Prong and it was lovely water and not completely impossible to fish. There were a few decent pools in the rhododendron and I did bring up a small trout. I went for a walk with Rob in the evening after riding my bike at the Tech campus. Earlier in the break I fished Wolf creek and caught two nice trout (over twelve inches). I have played golf a couple of times at Auburn and after starting well on my second visit, I shot a 9 on the tight, short 5th, making a number of mistakes in judgment. I was playing from the golds but I switched to the reds to see if I could still break 50 and I shot a 6 on the difficult par 5, 4 on the par 3, 5 on the easy par 4 and then a 4 on the final hole, ending up with a 48.