Saturday, November 14, 2015
I had a wonderful visit from my 203 students today. They really enjoyed the hollow and the hike and we had some good food and good conversation. I had the house in nice shape and tomorrow I will try to do some work on my trench with the water from the French drain. Classes are still going well with not big problems. I have one class left before the break and I am ready to get up to New York to see Gabes, Francesca and Julian and then Gyorgyi’s niece Laura. It should be fun. I texted Kelly some and I think we will chat this week at some point. She seems okay but is still feeling guilty about the house. Gyorgyi and I had a nice dinner at Rockfish Grill and went to see a very well done movie, Bridge of Spies. Tom Hanks was very good and the Russian agent was excellent. I still have lettuce so that is fun but the cold is coming. Bryan got the approval from the County on Monday so the AEP work should start very soon. I should have electricity by late December. Bryan’s overall bill will be about 3,000 and that I can afford. I just hope AEP doesn’t hit stone and they have to charge me several thousand to get through it.
Friday, November 6, 2015
It is almost a catch up blog but since it is Friday I guess I am a little early. There seems to be a problem with the electrical permit. Bryan called me yesterday and asked if I had called the county since it seems someone has. I certainly didn’t, as I assured him, and he said he would go down today and try to see what is going on. I was hoping to have electricity by mid-December but late December is probably more realistic. I am still eating lettuce out of the garden and that is a treat. Two days ago I took the tractor out and dug a trench for the water pouring out near the greenhouse and that has dried up the upper part of the road completely. I purchased 70 feet of flexible pipe and I hope to get the trench fully dug and the pipe in by next week. No big rush on that since the road is now protected. I got the lawn tractor back today (241 dollars for servicing it) and I rode up to the house to cut up some of the remaining leaves and then did the same on the orchard road and in the orchard. That should help with evening the road since too many leaves prevent the scraper from working right. I saw Claire during the week and that was fun. I am supposed to join the Gallos for dinner tomorrow to celebrate Cathy’s birthday. I have two gift cards for her from her favorite stores. Kelly seemed a little down when I talked to her but she didn’t call back so I think she is handling things okay. Two more weeks till Thanksgiving break and I am looking forward to seeing Julian and Laura. I’m sure I will have fun with both of them. Had a nice walk with Rob yesterday and things are going well for him. I will be having my 444 class out tomorrow and I have done the major cleaning today. An hour and a half tomorrow should finish things. We will be moving into the new building in June, and I told Rosemary I won’t be ready with all my packing until the spring semester ends since I will need to use some of my stuff until then. I certainly don’t want to be looking in boxes until then. I haven’t heard back from CEA about my paper proposal but I had two essays accepted at Dan Woods’ Virginia English Journal. I am also hoping that my poem will be accepted by Floyd County Moonshine.
Friday, October 30, 2015
Another catch up entry. I have had a good week. My dealings with the low level administrator are over, and there are no repercussions. I played golf with Craig today and I was awful. I couldn’t focus. It was pretty cold at first—I had to wear my jacket—and the leaves on the greens really threw me off. I missed some short putts also. It was still fun to chat with Craig. Bryan’s guys put in the meter base on Thursday, so that is finished and Bryan was supposed to file the permit today so I hope he did. Once it is approved then AEP can begin its weeks of work. I filled the potholes in my road (there are some I have to fill in the Sisson road) and I scraped it so it is a lot smoother. I got the lawn tractor picked up for it servicing (I waited two years this time) and I trimmed a little near the gate and the orchard. I have gotten some hikes in (it is simply too lovely not to) and I have had a few salads from my garden. My classes are going pretty well and I think I will get okay evaluations in the two I am going to have evaluated. My kayak friend has been very busy but we are planning to go tomorrow at one so that should be fun. I am excited to try out my new wet suit and my wet socks. I have done a little house cleaning since I will have students coming the next two weekends. I talked to Dave and he doesn’t thing he is going to travel to the Grand Canyon so I am not going to head to Big Bend. I will try to see him next summer, depending somewhat on whether my summer school class makes. Kelly seems to be doing pretty well and that is a relief. I am not going to suggest visiting her. If she brings it up and it seems comfortable I will head up. Dan Woods has accepted two of my essays for his publications so that gives me something for my FAR next year. I hope Floyd County Moonshine takes me poem and that CEA accepts my paper proposal.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
Another catchup as I guess I will be doing until the semester ends. Things are going fine and I really don’t have any major complaints. Kelly is doing very well and that is important to me. She is buying furniture for the new house and she send me some fun pictures of Lucia. I don’t think she needs any extra attention from me so I will just stay in touch here and there. She knows if the situation changes I will be there for her immediately. The situation with Claire G is also going well. She has to finish the blocking but then one more semester and she will have a degree in interdisciplinary studies. I can’t wait to attend her graduation. I am supposed to take her to dinner on Monday to discuss her taking my Study of Fiction course and I am sure we will discuss other things. Lou left a nice message thanking me for helping her and I appreciated that. My kayak friend got sick so there was no kayaking trip this weekend. I didn’t care that much about the actual kayaking but I was looking forward to seeing her. We always have such fun, talking and joking. I had lunch with Claire Hall on Friday and that was a lot of fun. We went for a nice walk on the VT campus after lunch. I also saw Gyorgyi for coffee on Wednesday and we had a good chat. She wasn’t feeling that well but we had a good time for over an hour. I hurt my bad knee again when the low level administrator running the Open House sent an incompetent email with the wrong details for getting into the Fitness Building. I parked closest to the supposed entrance but it was an emergency exit and I couldn’t get in, and the next suggested entrance was also an emergency exit and again I couldn’t get in. I had to walk up a hill (or go up about 20 stairs) and my leg was already aching. I told the administrator that she had “really screwed me this time,” and it is just one more instance of her disdain for faculty and her inability to get things right. She also had the audacity of complain to my chair, even though it is apparent that if she had checked the entrances out (with a quick phone call) I would have parked right near the only entrance and not reinjured my bad knee. I showed the email to my chair and she agreed that the instructions should have been checked out. Now I am worried that I may have to have my knee replacement done soon and that may mean I will have to use my sick leave (which I have plenty of) and take the spring semester off. I was trying to be a team player (and have the surgery done in the summer) but now I may just use my sick leave and do it in the spring. Bryan is coming out this week to put in the meter base and according to Jim Casteele, I should have electricity in a month or six weeks. I will be able to have a bigger air conditioner (and that will make the house so much more tolerable in hot months) and a larger electric heater so I won’t have to cover my head with blankets on the colder nights. I have ridden my bike almost every day, done a shorter hike to the orchard almost every day (Tuesday and Thursday morning I am lucky just to do weights and yoga), and played golf a few times despite my knee hurting during every activity.
Sunday, October 18, 2015
This is another catchup entry. The big news is that I should find out on Wednesday if the Sissons will let me have electricity put in. If it were just a cable underground I think they might but they have to connect the cable with about 10 above ground boxes and I don’t think they will go for that. I also asked Danny if he would consider selling me a right of way across their road. He didn’t reject the idea, saying first that he wasn’t sure if they were going to sell the farm, and then saying to wait until we figured out the electricity situation. Having that right of way would be an immense benefit, and I think I would spend up to 65 thousand for it. 80 would be too much, but even at that price I would be able to sell the property much easier. I have to wait and see, something I never like doing. I had a wonderful trip with my kayak friend. It is lucky I am my age or else I would be falling in love; I’m not sure that is not happening right now. Certainly my friend is an amazing woman. Haven’t heard from my troubled friend. I left a message for her on Thursday but no response. I assume she is busy and doing okay. Had lunch with Claire Hall at Gillies and then we had a nice walk. I should see her again this week. Claire Gallo had a very good week and I am hoping things continue well with her. My classes are going well and I am almost certain that my problem student has dropped the course. Midterms are on Tuesday for three of the classes and Thursday for the 444 class. I have the Tuesday midterms done so one more left to do. I have finished the seventh week of class and things are quite well. My knee is a little better and I took two bike rides today along with weights and yoga. I went in for the Open House at RU and had 4 visitors, not too bad. The hollow is in good shape and Jim Casteele has put down the survey makers down so things are moving along on the electricity. I had dinner with Claire Hall on Thursday and that was a lot of fun. Kelly is doing fine and that makes me feel very good. A lot of drama at the Gallos this week with Carla and Claire but I think things are getting better. My kayak friend and I are hoping to run from Foster’s falls to Allisonia next weekend if the weather is okay. That is the route for the Triathlon, which actually takes place next year.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
This is another catchup entry. The big news is that I should find out on Wednesday if the Sissons will let me have electricity put in. If it were just a cable underground I think they might but they have to connect the cable with about 10 above ground boxes and I don’t think they will go for that. I also asked Danny if he would consider selling me a right of way across their road. He didn’t reject the idea, saying first that he wasn’t sure if they were going to sell the farm, and then saying to wait until we figured out the electricity situation. Having that right of way would be an immense benefit, and I think I would spend up to 65 thousand for it. 80 would be too much, but even at that price I would be able to sell the property much easier. I have to wait and see, something I never like doing. I had a wonderful trip with my kayak friend. It is lucky I am my age or else I would be falling in love; I’m not sure that is not happening right now. Certainly my friend is an amazing woman. Haven’t heard from my troubled friend. I left a message for her on Thursday but no response. I assume she is busy and doing okay. Had lunch with Claire Hall at Gillies and then we had a nice walk. I should see her again this week. Claire Gallo had a very good week and I am hoping things continue well with her. My classes are going well and I am almost certain that my problem student has dropped the course. Midterms are on Tuesday for three of the classes and Thursday for the 444 class. I have the Tuesday midterms done so one more left to do.
Friday, October 2, 2015
Well, this will be an interesting update. Classes are going well. My problem student has stopped coming so I am hoping she is going to drop. We have had rain for days and a lot more to come at least till Tuesday. My interesting story involves the New River. I went down to the 114 bridge on Wednesday after taking a bike ride along the river near the campus. The river was at 8 feet and it is usually at around 2.5. I was trying to take a picture to send to my kayaking friend but I couldn’t figure out the zoom on my new phone. Then I saw a kayaker upstream clinging to his upside down kayak. He was more than halfway across the river but my first instinct was to jump in and try to help, as I have done a number of times when I have been kayaking and someone gets in trouble. I took my shirt off, but now I had no kayak or life jacket, he was far off, and the currents were intense. I decided not to jump in and instead ran to my truck, got my rope and started to head down river to see if I could throw the rope out or jump in if necessary if he got close. First, however, I wisely called 911, quickly told them what was going on, and then started down river. With the river up there was no path, just a lot of vegetation which was tough to get through and which caused me to fall a couple of times. In fifty yards I had to give up and I worked back to the clearing and talked to the first policeman who arrived. I offered to try to head across the cornfield in my 4 wheel drive pickup but there was no clear path and more police and emergency vehicles were arriving. I told my story a few times and then left, very upset and worried about the kayaker. I starting crying as I drove and I knew that if he drown, I would feel incredibly guilty since I didn’t jump in. I called the police and they didn’t know his fate. Then I called again about a half hour later and they told me he had survived. Of course, I started crying again but for such a different reason. I went to sleep still questioning whether I should have jumped in, but after a decent night’s sleep I awoke knowing I had made the right choice. He was too far out and the currents were much too strong. However as I got out of bed, I realized that I had severely injured my left knee (my really bad one) and could hardly walk. I had to put on my knee brace and walk with my hiking stick, and I am still using it on Friday. I hope to be fine in a week or less.