Thursday, March 5, 2015


Today I want to give credit where it is due- to my readers. Thanks for hanging in with me for these last four or five years. I was digging through old blog posts, trying to find a particular one- more on that in a minute- and it made me think about who reads this and just what the hell we all get out of the experience.

Hopefully, I'm showing a bit of my world. This morning, I'm in my heavy red bathrobe, sipping hot coffee and trying to come to life before I go do my weightlifting. I'm in the office portion of the house. The office is part of my dressing room, on the second floor, with no door and just my old dresser and a rack for hanging clothes. And make up, and hair stuff, and a mirror, and a rocking chair that my sister Patti gave me. The heater is on because it's 27 degrees outside. However, it's predicted to get up to about 60 today. First time we've seen 60 since October. If you've read my blog even once, you'll know that I'm not excited about Spring. Oh, it's a lovely season and it's neat to see the world wake up from a long slumber. Except that we didn't have any slumber this year. I'd say we had less than 3 inches of snow in total for the entire year. You might imagine that as someone whose favorite necklace is a snowflake pendant, I want more. We've even gone to visit snow in the mountains. The ski areas up here have had very few operational days, and ski tourism is out all over the state and in Idaho. Boo. *sips coffee*

Back to the world. Our old house is from the turn of the century, around 1900. The owners put in modern carpet and put in new drywall. The original doors are still up and the weird nooks and crannies that go with the architecture of a peaked roof are naturally still in place. Our bedroom has angled ceilings that slope such that we have few places where we can strategically place the bed without banging our heads every time we go to sleep. I love it. The only thing I don't love is the tiny kitchen. We have the upstairs and half of the down. The other half is walled off- along with (probably) the other half of the kitchen! The owners use their half of the bottom as an office. I think besides the drafts in the winter- you can stick fingers through the sliding windows- these are the only downside of the house. It's wonderfully located and the owners are quiet, only showing up a few days a week and never early. With a Starbucks, a pizza place, and a grocery store within 200 meters of the front door and an easy mile walk to work, I couldn't imagine a better place for us for now.

I get up earlier these days, 5, 5:30, 6 ish. Going to bed between 8 and 9 is better for me, even if it's not more fun. I'm more productive in the mornings. I get to go work out if I get up in time, and since I do most of my grading online, I can knock some of it out in the mornings. I like to have a little time alone too, to think and write and read. I do love reading for pleasure. Most of my life follows a routine: wake up, get around, work, teach, work, teach, teach, teach, volunteer hours, grading, home, dinner, sleep. I get the workouts in where I can. I often get a yoga class in once a week, though I try for twice.  Since G and I both work so much, we eat lunch as our big meal and usually just have something light for dinner. On the weekends, it's travel.

My life seems to be missing something, and indeed it is.  I miss my little kitty, Eleanor. I miss her about as much as I thought I would. Her presence was pervasive in my life for almost 19 years. I must have burst into tears a dozen times the first day she was gone. And the second day. On the third day it was less. Now the rawness is gone, but I feel as though I am missing something or someone important, like a low-grade fever. You can ignore it for awhile but eventually you have to get some rest. On Saturday the vet called to say her ashes were back. I hope by saying that here, I get up the guts to go get her.  Nobody has said to me: Eleanor was just a cat. Because DUH, I know that. Nobody has said "get over it". That might be because nobody would say such a thing to my face or even online.

Everyone has been kind. Like really kind. My veterinarian's office sent me a handwritten card. My in-laws sent me flowers and a sweet note. My former student came by with hugs and flowers too. It's just too much to list how many nice things people have said- in text message, Facebook messages, phone calls, and notes.

Thank you. So, so much. When we figure out how and where we will be, G and I will adopt another rescue pet. The Nevada SPCA is where Eleanor came from. I think shelter animals are often the best kind.

Now, if you're still reading this, I'm hoping you can help me out. GR asked a question about a blog where I talk about hunting, and a friend of mine who hunts, and how I reconciled his philosophy with my own. I can't find the damn thing anywhere. I looked at every post between the first one and the time I met G. Zilch. If you run across it, can you alert me in the comments or email me? That would be awesome. Thanks!

My quarter at school is coming to a close. Two more weeks, then a week of relaxation. Ok, planning. Then I'm teaching 4 classes. Two is considered a full load for tenured faculty; three for non tenured.  It's going to be busy. I'm looking forward to it though. I was invited to teach an honors course in academic research; just up my alley. I'm not sure how I'm going to pull this off and retain my sanity. I love to be busy, like really busy.  But my days are already full and I'm not willing to give up sleep or gym time. Sometimes I feel like a juggler with too many balls in the air; every week, some ball will get dropped and I will have to remember to be kind to myself about the whole mess. I will make it through, probably laughing with all the new stuff I learn from students. They think I'm the teacher. Little do they know they are the reason I'm here.

Have a good weekend.

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