Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Almost ready to head to NYC

I think I will be able to do the NYC trip. With Monday completely off (no yoga and weights, no biking, no walks, no golf) and with hours of a heating pad, my thigh feels much better today. I even did some yoga and weights but was careful not to push any of the exercises too far. I have had another big salad from my greenhouse and I will eat the broccoli tomorrow. I was able to purchase the small casio keyboard so I will bring that with me on the NY trip and on the long summer trip. I have been working on a couple of poems so that feels good and I am doing some good practicing on the piano. The last two mornings I sat outside on the porch, drinking green tea and trying to meditate. My mind is so much a wanderer just like my body. I also got rid of some more books and some old files, which I will shred today I hope. I will watch the Cavs/Bulls tonight and that should be an interesting game. Today (Wednesday) turned is turning out very well. I got up early and cut the grass and used the trimmer so it should be in good shape when I return. I played piano, rode the stationary bike very gently for 20 minutes, did some light yoga and weights, then headed out. I went and played 11 holes of par three golf and my hamstring feels pretty good. I will probably go for a walk this evening. I think I am ready to head to NY.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

catch up and new york trip delayed

I have just finished putting in my grades and I am done for the semester. Now I don’t teach until August 31, 115 days away. I will be heading off for Belle Isle in Richmond for a bike ride along the James and then golf at Royal New Kent. The next day is Chincoteague for a few days and then up to NYC for 5 days. Yesterday I got a ton of things done in the hollow, fixing the spot where I almost got stuck in the orchard (I took the tractor out and got two half buckets of soil). I put in the soaker hose in the greenhouse and that should keep things in reasonable shape while I am gone. I cleaned up the house and went up in the attic and got out the piano case and my good pack, which I may bring on the big trip since I could walk in a bit with my fishing gear. I charged up the chainsaw battery after cutting up the rest of the fallen tree by the tractor barn and using the trimmer around the house. I talked to Cathy today and she is very busy but hopefully I will be able to have dinner with her when I return on the 20th. Carla is calling again and that can go nowhere good. On Friday I started my trip to NY and on Sunday I am heading back to Ironto with a pretty bad thigh injury which is not allowing me to walk. I drove to Richmond, had a nice ride on Belle Isle, drove to Royal New Kent, playing nine holes of very uneven golf, then went bike riding at William and Mary and colonial Williamsburg. After that it was off to Chili’s for a frajita dinner and to watch the Cavs lose to the Bulls on an incredible game ending shot by Derrick Rose. LeBron wasn’t great and Kyrie Irving was pretty bad. I headed to the Williamburg KOA for a night of camping. In the morning, I showered and then drove off toward Chincoteague and I got there in time to check in at Tom’s Cove, for a long bike ride, with a walk along the beach, for a break at AJs then another walk along the beach before heading to Don’s to eat crab cakes and watch Golden State lose again. My thigh was hurting during the second beach walk but when I got to Tom’s cove it was killing me. I took 4 advils and when I got up I realized I was going to be out of commission for a couple of days, at least, so I decided to head home to rest my thigh all day. I changed my Hampton stay till following the visit to Gabes so I hope I will be okay to leave by Thursday. Otherwise I will have to rearrange or cancel the visit to NYC.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

end of the semester and not an hour too soon

Classes are finally over. It has been an okay semester with my American Renaissance course going well along with the evening 200. The other 200 gave me a few discipline problems and the 310 had a number of surly students. I guess that is what they pay me for. I headed off this morning for the Cascades and I made it to the first view of the falls, far enough to enjoy the falls and not hurt my knees any further. It was spectacular, as the entire hike was and it was great to get back there. I texted with Maddie and Claire and told them that I would like to take them to the Cascades soon. After my hike I had a nice lunch at the Mexican place in Pembroke, pretty unmemorable food but hot and cheesy. I am rethinking my Hethwood plan a bit, since staying between Cburg and Bburg might make more sense, just as long as I am close to the Huckleberry trail. I will be using both areas quite a bit so being near BBurg might be just as good as being in Hethwood, and the savings could be substantial, possibly enough to pay for the two winter months down south. I will be leaving for Chincoteague next Friday and that should be a lot of fun along with the New York trip. I think I earned my trip this year. The hollow is in very good shape with the road in excellent shape, and the area around the culvert fixed (I put two large rocks by the culvert and they fit perfectly. The bluebells are almost gone but there are chickweed, wild geraniums, ground ivy, garlic mustard, and violets still to be found. I heard the bt green and I think the worm eating, and I had a great look at a scarlet tanager already. It’s been a good spring.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

May 7th is coming

A long time since my last entry but things are going pretty well. I have started grading my portfolios and papers and it is rough. The students want grades they can possibly get (based on their earlier work) and their papers are all over the place. Some of the portfolios are sloppy and weak. Of course there are a few stellar papers and portfolios but not many. I have resolved my student problems so that is a relief. The hollow is in great shape and though it took me an hour to get the lawn mower running, I did cut the grass even though I almost got my truck stuck in the muddy spot in the orchard when I used it to jump start the lawn tractor. I should have asparagus soon and cherries not much later. I have been eating lettuce from the greenhouse and I had to wash away another hornet nest and a wasp nest. I could live with the wasps but no hornets. I heard scarlet tanagers on today’s hike. I had a fine time last night with Maddie and Claire at Mellow Mushroom. It was interesting to see Maddie and Claire together and Maddie was very thankful for her present. Talking to Claire on the way there and the way back was also fun. I am not going to let the summer school debacle affect my summer trips. I will be going to Chincoteague and then to NY (and I will stay at the Hampton for two days before heading to Gabes). I am planning to go up to Labrador as part of the long summer trip and I may even head out from Colorado to attend Dave’s wedding. It may mean I have to teach another semester but I don’t want to sit at home and count my pennies when I want to travel.

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.