Saturday, January 26, 2013

back to school and one snow is past

I am at my office and the big snow yesterday wasn’t as bad as expected. I drove into town to go to Barnes and Noble and when the snow began to fall heavily I started home. It looked very ominous and when I got home I got ready and went to work with the tractor. I got down the road fine but on the way up, about three hundred yards from the house and on the steepest section, the tractor began to slip. The rut on the right was filled with smooth ice and I very carefully backed down and turned around. I got to bottom and decided to try to get around the ice and at first on the right side the tractor kept slipping. I was pretty nervous but I backed down and then was able to go slowly up the left side (which is the side the ravine is on). I was about a foot and a half from the edge so that wasn’t too bad and thankfully I was able to steer straight. I went back down as the snow continued to fall and with my new method was able to get back up with no problem. The snow calmed after that so I was able to stop scraping the road and spent the most of the rest of the day inside watching Tiger take the lead in the Farmers Insurance Open. I did walk up to the cabin a couple of times to take more books out since I now have a lot more space in the house due to more culling of books I won’t read. My courses have started well and I am in pretty good shape for Monday even though it is only Saturday. This afternoon Rob and I had a nice walk around the neighborhood and he showed me another one of Fay’s hateful letters, which mentioned me twice in a false and very negative way. I wish she would just leave Rob and Becky alone.

Monday, January 21, 2013

ready to start the spring semester

It is Monday, the 21st of January and I start teaching tomorrow. I have sent out all my outlines and rules and posted them on D2L. I came home to 4 or 5 inches of snow and some downed trees but I was able to walk up to the house, get the tractor and chainsaw, and clear everything up in a couple of hours. I wore my chainsaw pants and worked very slowly. The tractor worked fine especially with the blade at an angle. Two up and down passes and the road was pretty clear and today I ran the tractor with a straight blade and have a very good road right now. The humidity with the fan off has stayed around 50 so I am going to wait to put it on again. I had the refrigerator on for the evening but this morning I had enough ice and turned it off. I have plenty of snow and it is going to be very cold for the next four of five days so I can make plenty of ice outside. I changed the oil in the generator today so that is good till the spring. The solar was 80% when I got home and today it got up to 86 so I shouldn’t have to use the generator until at least Friday, which I looks like some snow is coming. I watering the greenhouse today even though it is going to get very cold tonight. The plants hadn’t been watered for ten days so I figured I’d better water some. The lettuce and spinach are doing okay and the peas have flowers which is pretty amazing. I did some weights and yoga today and my strained left shoulder felt it. I may just do the yoga tomorrow. I am glad I am done traveling for awhile and I hope I can stay on budget for a few months. I can’t give out any more money until I get my income tax check back and then I would like to give 2K to charity. I am certainly ready to get back to teaching. Maddie is better but not fully better so Cathy is still worried about her and may bring her to a stomach specialist. I haven’t heard back from John about the salary issue but I guess he will contact me at some point. While I was down in SC I played nine holes with Joyce and Marv and we also played on Saturday, which turned into a very special occasion: Marv got a hole in one on the 16th hole at Legends Oaks. It was a lot of fun and I do enjoy seeing them both. In a few minutes I will be heading over to Rob’s for dinner with Becky and her children. I am looking forward to that.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wild Dunes

It is Wednesday, the 16th of January, and my trip to Wild Dunes has gone very well. I had dinner on Sunday and Monday at P.F. Chang’s and played golf for the first time in two weeks at Charleston National, a beautiful course with a lot of sand. I have been bike riding every day for eight miles and I have almost finished cleaning up my computer, finding that I have written about eight decent poems in the past year or so, and that I have a number of decent essays. My main folder was cluttered and now it is pretty slim. Today I make my visit to my Aunt Theresa and then I will play nine holes with Marv and Joyce. I e-mailed Rosemary about my retirement plans so I guess it will be 6 or 7 more semesters unless things really change. 7 seems very far away but I also realize that I am easily bored and teaching may be a better choice. I do think I would like to do volunteer work but since my energy level is pretty low after I do my exercise, I am not sure I can do any during the semester.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

my last vacation before the new semester (very spoilled!)

It is Sunday and all the weekend playoff games are over. Denver lost in a shocker and Atlanta won in a very exciting finish. I am at Wild Dunes for the first of six nights and my trip has gone very well. In Charlotte I stayed at the Wingate again on Friday and it was fine. I had pizza at the Wolfgang Puck restaurant and it was very good. I then went to Gangster Squad and enjoyed the movie, although it was very violent. On Saturday I stayed at the Clarion in Columbia and the bathroom had a bit of a smell to it and the air conditioner was noisy so the stay wasn’t as pleasant as before. I did have dinner at the Mellow Mushroom and the pizza was very good, tasty sauce, good cheese and a whole wheat crust that was excellent. When I got to Wild Dunes I rode my bike for 40 minutes, then watched the first half of the Atlanta game while having a salad at the Grill in the Boardwalk Inn where I am staying. I then took a walk on the beach for 25 minutes and that was calming and quite lovely. I left everything up at the house in good shape, with the solar charged into the 90s and the fan still off and the temp/humidity 53/53.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


I got home in the late afternoon and had a pasta dinner with fresh salad from the greenhouse. Later I went into town to walk Rob’s dogs and get my final pre-colonoscopy meal. I ate at 622 North in Blacksburg and had a very decent salad and a Caprese pizza with basil that was excellent. The Green Bay / Minnesota game was not very good with the Packers winning easily. This morning I took a walk to the orchard (and back once again) and then I practiced for twenty minutes. I drove into town, went to Walmart’s to pick up supplies, then got more gas for the generator and I am now writing in Applebee’s, which now has free Wi-Fi.

Friday, January 4, 2013

recovery and back on the road

My slow recovery continues. I did sleep pretty well and then I got a little more work done on my Preppers essay. I started up the tractor and the lawn tractor so they should be ready to go on Wednesday when Meade tractor picks them up to service them. I checked the crawl space and no more mice so that is a positive sign. I got the snow shovel out and the black plastic bags in the tractor barn so my list of things to do is temporarily finished. I did take a short walk to the gate and back and that didn’t tire me too much. Chris and Andy came to visit and invited me to a party at Jed’s but I am too sick for that. It is now Friday, January 04, 2013, and my recovery is almost complete. In fact, I was so sick of the gloomy weather that on Wednesday, I drove down to Charlotte to get a break. I played golf at Birkdale and then had a fine dinner at P.F. Chang’s, then a walk around downtown Charlotte. The next morning I drove to Columbia to go visit the Congaree National Park and that was fun, riding my bike on the Sims trail and then walking about a half mile on the river trail. I played golf and shot a 49 and then went to dinner at Motor Supply but the entrĂ©e (a lasagna like macaroni and cheese) was bland. I walked some and then watched the Oregon game at the Pearlz Oyster Bar, with dessert being a bland cheesecake. The house is fine and Meade took the two tractors on Wednesday and they should be fully serviced by next week.