Wednesday, April 8, 2015

I can see the end getting closer

It is Wednesday and I have one more day of teaching to go. My IPD in the poetry class went quite well and after the disasters with the first two, it is a relief that this went well. I will have three more weeks of classes with almost no preparations left, just papers, portfolios and final exams. The hollow is really coming to life and the rue anemone is flowering along with bloodroot and twinleaf, purple dead nettle and ground ivy, field mustard and cress with the shadbush starting. The golden corydalis is starting. The coltfoot is going and the little yellow spicebush flowers are gone. The Louisiana waterthrush is still singing, and I have heard the eastern meadowlark in the pasture. I have heard Carolina chicadees and a pileated woodpecker. It really is a lovely time. I took a hike this morning, then got the house treated by Sam with Dodson, did my yoga and weights, went to play golf (47), then went for an hour bike ride. I was pretty beat by my meeting at three but I got through it and unfortunately the personnel meeting went a half hour so I didn’t get a nap until after my evening conference. I got some info on an annuity for my AXA money and with $150,000 put in, I would get about 10,400, pre-tax for life, with my estate getting the remaining money up to 19 years. That is a great improvement from my own 20 years at 10K a year. 2 and a half years seems more and more doable. I will be having Austin and Amanda out on Friday and then about eight students from the 443 class on Saturday. I don’t look forward to getting the house ready but it should be fun.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring is really finally almost here

This has been a fine Sunday. I went for a walk with Rob, went bike riding for an hour at the CRC, played 13 holes of golf, graded a bit, had dinner at Applebees in Radford and watched Duke advance to the final 4 and got to see Brittany, my favorite hostess, then went for another bike ride of 40 minutes along the new. I had to cover my plants the last two days but the cold snap is over and all of them are doing well. I don’t have much to do around the hollow, but there are always little things to do and the road needs some work as soon as it dries out enough. The Louisiana waterthrush has been calling along with perhaps the Worm Eating Warbler. I have seen juncos and chickadees and the coltsfoot is almost finished. There is a cress in the pasture and speedwells but next week should bring a flood of flowers. My classes are going pretty well and the poetry writing class has stabilized after I put my foot down on sloppy poems. The other classes are going well, and I will evaluate the 443 on Tuesday. My finances are looking fine and I should be able to retire in 2 and a half years. I am looking into Freighter Expeditions for a trip to New Zealand and Australia and that is a possibility.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

getting back to teaching

I am doing pretty well, but my knees are not so good. I did a hike this morning and I felt tired and both my knees ached. I got home took a nap, and decided to rest my knees and not go fishing in the north fork or do my weights and yoga. I did practice piano for about 20 minutes and then I headed off to get rid of the stuff I cleaned out of the tractor barn. I may have done too much biking and hiking lately and also working outside, fixing the road, changing the generator oil, some greenhouse work (the lettuce is up and the broccoli is doing well and I expect the peas up soon). Coltfoot has been out for a week and speedwell is flowering. I heard the Louisiana waterthrush, Carolina chickadee, the meadow lark, cardinals, and perhaps the worm eating warbler. I have to do something about the culvert leading into the pond but I think I’ll wait for my knees to recover. Talking to Gloria and she had a restful time in Florida. She is not going to collect SS yet even though I think she should. Of course, that is her choice. Kelly called me about the holly trees in front of the house and I wasn’t sure if she should cut them down. She choose to and I think the house does look better. My classes are going fine although my last 200-05 class was not very good. I am pretty tired but I only have six weeks left. My commentary did appear in the Roanoke paper but I’m not sure if it was only in the online edition. I got the info from Will about future taxes and I think I can retire after 5 more semesters. That is a comfort.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

spring break

A very productive day, with two hikes, trimming the road, clearing the asparagus patch, charging the batteries with over 260 amp hours (still much left to be done). I may have a little trouble since when I switched to equalize this evening, the charging rate went down to around 12, much below the 40 I am used to. I hope tomorrow will be better. Over break, I cleaned out a couple more big garbage bags of trash in the cabin and organized the guest room, consolidating all my found golf balls (which are several hundred at least), practiced a lot on the piano, walked a lot, cut myself a new walking stick (to replace the one I lost up in Catonsville). I played golf a couple of times and shot okay. I had one nice walk with Rob and may see him tomorrow if he has time and has recovered from his cold. I have also planted 12 broccoli plants along with my two kinds of lettuce and sugar peas. I did write a commentary about Ferguson for the Roanoke paper and I will find out soon if they are going to use it. It doesn’t matter much but I think it is a well written effort. The trip to Kelly’s was very productive and with Alfredo’s help I accomplished a great deal, fixing a couple of broken drawers, spackling and painting the cat claw damage, fixing the molding around the attic door and in the kitchen, running a trip to the dump. I had a nice time with Lucia after I talked with her about how she wanted to play (basically she was fine with doing anything she wanted to me but she is 6 and I can live with that). I start teaching on Monday and I am ready for the final 7 weeks. It has been a decent semester so far and I hope it continues this way.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

one week to spring break

I had a productive weekend, getting ahead on my grading, hiking and walking quite a bit, doing the bike indoors and weights and yoga. My weight is 212 and it seems stable at that but I do want to get it steady at 210. I am eating a little too much and that has had a bad effect on my number. Classes continue pretty well and this week should be relatively easy, with three movie classes and three midterms. I am ready for spring break and it should be fun to see Kelly and Lucia and help Alfredo. I hope I can get some golf in soon but it might not be till the following week. Gyorgyi and I went to the Still Alice after dinner at Nawab, and that was fun. She seems to be doing well and I advised her to at least check her TIAA account to see how much is in stocks. No word from Dolores or Marina and I am not going to do anything at this point. Gyorgyi agreed that what Marina said was terribly unfair but she thought I shouldn’t reveal what Marina did (I had promised her I wouldn’t) but I think all bets are off after her outrageous behavior. My finances are okay and my planning will depend on what Will says I will have to pay in taxes after I move out of the hollow. 10K will pinch me but 8K would be fine. I talked to Sandra at Union and she said I can get a 5 year arm, which would get me to 69 before the rate could rise. The payment would be 860 a month, which is doable.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

winter has gotten rough

I am in my office working after a busy day. It snowed about 5 inches yesterday so after doing some writing (on my computer piece), bike riding and some reading I took the tractor out in the 40 degree day with a bit of sun and worked on the road all the way to the Sisson tractor barn. I worked for about 2 hours, had lunch then worked another hour. I then walked down to my truck and Mike was there and he rode up on his big tractor and evened up the road some more (He had come up after the first snow and cleared the road). I paid him $350 for both jobs and he was appreciative. With the extra cost of the motel room (4 days at 105) I spent about and extra 770. I just hope we don’t get more snow. It is going to get cold again, so I am heading home before the road freezes up, not until 10 at the earliest. I drove Maddie back from VT on Friday and she was grateful. Lou also called and thanked me for picking her up. I don’t mind and Maddie is a very decent and smart young lady. I am glad I have helped her and her sister so much; at least they and their parents are appreciative. I am still angry at Marina’s ingratitude, but there is nothing I can do to change her so I am going to let it go. She has been poisoned by her father and there is nothing I can do. I talked to Kelly and offered to come up to help getting her house ready for sale and she was grateful. I will come up on the 7th and 8th of March, the beginning of my spring break, and that will still leave me time to go south for a few days if the weather gets bad. I am looking forward to seeing Kelly and Alfredo and Lucia.

Monday, February 16, 2015

the first snowstorm of the winter

Finally in mid-February we get a big snow, possibly 10 inches by tomorrow at noon. Radford was closed at noon today and it’s not clear if it will be closed tomorrow. I spent last night at the house and that was pleasant. I rode the bike and cleaned up the guest room a bit and got almost all my work done for the first two days. I parked down by the gate so just in case I would be able to get out and I did in the morning around 9. I charged the batteries to 100 and that should be good until Wednesday when I shall have to go out there unless we get some sun. I am staying at the Hampton Inn in C’Burg and I got the 95 dollar snow rate so that is a lot better than the 122 rate. Got a nice e-mail from Maddie about the owl email from the bird club I forwarded to her and she seems to be doing fine. My dinner with Cathy on Saturday was fun though we had to cut it short because of the weather. I ended up sleeping in my office, which was not the most pleasant thing. My classes are going well and I am glad 4 weeks are over. Catherine, the woman who responded to my email on Match, didn’t respond to my second email. That’s okay with me.