Friday, January 27, 2012

Ryan Klopf, of DCR, came out today to look at the property and that was very instructive. He couldn’t locate the smooth coneflower—it will be much easier in the spring—but he explained what he thought needed to be done to protect it and also what should be done with the Tree of Heaven. He is going to come out in the spring to work on that also. I am very excited, knowing I can move forward on protecting things soon.
I think I have a cold but I hope it is not a result of the new blood pressure medicine. I think I have a bit more energy but I am not sure since I may have the cold. I am coughing some (which could come from the bp meds) but a congested head seems more likely to be from a cold.
I fixed the greenhouse leak and pulled out the dying peas. I picked off the infected leaves from the other tray of peas and I think they will survive. I did open up the two doors and I think getting some air in there will help a lot.
I played golf this afternoon and it was very cool and windy so I had to wear my heavy jacket. I didn’t hit anything further than a hundred yards but it was my putting (two three putts and a four putt) that killed my chances to break 50. I shot a 51.
I graded six poems so far and read some journals and some of Sister Carrie. I am not fully back into teaching but I am getting there.

Monday, January 23, 2012

I have been on the new blood pressure medication for four days and I had three tough and listless days. Today I think I feel slightly better but it will take many days to determine if I am really less tired.
I fixed the culvert with erosion control stones and some concrete. I bought 8 10 pound bags and they were very easy to handle. I wish they were 20 pound bags but it worked well. The problem I had was the day never got warm and sunny as expected so the concrete didn’t set quickly and I am not sure it ever will. I have the a hundred or so rocks there so resetting it won’t be too much of a problem.
I have been taking hikes even though I have to nap after them and riding the stationary bike even though a nap has to follow that. I need to fix the pipe that goes into the 1000 gallon tank (another gift from Tracy that I feel I have to maintain so when I sell the property both of us will get more money). I was worried that I would find some dead animals in the tank, but even though the cover had come off (it must have been a bear), there wasn’t anything dead in the tank and I cleaned and replaced the cover, screwing it in tightly.
I saw Jeff, Rachel and Benjamin on Saturday evening and it was fun, good conversation, nose rubbing with Benjamin, reading, block playing and a little bit of carrying him around.
I thought the football championship games were terrific and I am looking forward to the Super Bowl.
My first week of classes went well and since I have smaller classes I don’t think I will have any disruptive students sitting in the back and chatting.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Things are okay but my blood level has gone down a little more. Rob has taken me off the two blood pressure meds and is hoping that the meds are what is causing my blood problem. It is a slim chance, but worth trying before more major tests.
I took a hike this morning, then a nap, some stationary bike riding, then a nap, weights and yoga, then a nap. I am really incredibly tired. I really have to push hard to accomplish much.
My shoulder is better, but I haven’t tested it because of the weather. No snow for the next ten days so that is good. Both Cathy and Kelly aren’t feeling very good so that worries me.
I started teaching on Tuesday and I think my classes will be fine. I have 25 students in 203, 25 in 321 and 15 in 310 so I shouldn’t be overwhelmed with grading, though my preps will be about the same. I could hardly walk back to my office after the second Tuesday class.
I am having someone out next week to guide me on protecting the smooth coneflower and give me some advice on the Tree of Paradise.
My money situation is about the same so I have to be careful.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My mini vacation has gone well, although I have injured my shoulder playing golf yesterday. I knew it was tender but I played anyway and I am paying for such indulgence. I even took three advils to kill the pain and I used the heating pad for a couple of hours. My visit to Columbia went very well and I rode the bike out along the sims trail and then I hiked along the river trail. I haven’t been that far out for a long time. I biked alone the river and ate dinner at Motor Supply and the triggerfish was terrific. I drove back up to Charlotte yesterday and I will go back home tomorrow, on Monday. I want to get the generator early if I can and I don’t need the extra day. I got a nice e-mail from Kate about her inspiring me and I did e-mail a woman in Salem who was looking for a friend and that is where I am. Rob wrote Raechel a terrific letter about here responsibilities as an adult and I hope it has some effect. I started a couple of poems but they don’t seem to be going anywhere. We’ll see. My financial picture is not very good now. I have 116K on the equity line (the limit is 120) and I really have to be careful for a while. I was very generous over the holidays but I have to cut back.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

1/12/12 Well, I got back into writing humor. A few days ago I was in my office and I went to see Rhonda to say hello and Dean Kate was there and very friendly. She asked me into her office and we had a great chat. She told me about the cougars that are supposed to inhabit the experimental forest near Clemson and how students set out piles of cheeseburgers to attack them. That was very funny and after I left I got inspired to write and I made her the center of the story. It was a very funny essay and she loved it. She wrote back calling it genius, which is very flattering but untrue. I do have talent in writing humor and I would like to write more. Perhaps I should try a comic story, maybe this summer.
I am in Charlotte, having played golf at Birkdale and eaten dinner at Carrabba’s. I will walk around and watch the Duke-Virginia game.
I left the house in good order and I have cleaned up the attic and gotten rid of two garbage bags full of stuff. I am going to work on the cabin soon and get rid of more books. I am having the generator serviced and it should be back on Wednesday morning.
I haven’t heard back from Diane Green but I hope I get the extra 2K credit.
I have to start teaching on Tuesday so I am taking a five day vacation before I start.

Friday, January 6, 2012

I have about 11 days left of my vacation and I wish I had more writing to do. I really want to write a humor piece but nothing seems very funny to me right now. Being two and a half pints low on blood doesn’t seem very funny and though the republican primaries and debates have their humorous moments, I can’t get motivated. I need something interesting to happen, like waking up and finding a 15 foot crocodile in my pond (rather unlikely since they like warmer climes and brackish water). I am very happy hiking each day out to the orchard, shouting to the trees that they won’t be cut and asking the big white pine for healing, for me and others. But what is funny about that? I am enjoying golf but that isn’t very funny. I know I will be funny when class starts again but I need something right now. I may go down to Columbia in five days and spend the end of my break down there but that isn’t funny. My friend Gloria is not feeling well but that certainly isn’t funny.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The new year has come and gone and my writing is going very well. I have basically finished the CEA paper, sent in the Kaaskill Life piece, finished a poem about the easement and I am keeping my blog up to date.
Today is January 2, and I was very tired most of the day, even though I did take a hike to the orchard in the morning (it was just above freezing), did my yoga and weights, rode the stationary bike for 20 minutes, practiced for 20 minutes, and did some things around the house.
Yesterday after Jeff called I drove up to Roanoke and had dinner with Jeff, Rachel and Benjamin. Benjamin was particularly fun and he enjoyed rubbing noses together immensely. Earlier in the day I had gone for a walk with Rob around Pandapus Pond a couple of times.