Friday, May 29, 2009

New Life!

Yesterday morning I woke up a bit before 5 AM. Since my list of things to do is very long, I decided to get up and get going. I did some work in the basement sorting out clothing to send to the Good Will and winter clothing to pack and store away, hopefully for a move before those clothes are needed again.

I wandered off for breakfast about 10 AM and then went to work. During the afternoon I did all the interviews and other work to change the status for three valuable faculty from fixed term to permanent, tenure-track positions. This activity was one of the most important things I had to do this month. I finished up all the administrative tasks associated with this and headed home about 5:30. Not to my surprise, the idea to lay down and the couch led to a nap.

About 8:30 the phone started to ring, and when I caught up I found my daughter was ready to go to the hospital for the birth of my third grandchild. I grabbed my purse and flew out the door. I got to her home 20 minutes after the call, but when I got there, I found a neighbor had already driven her to the hospital.

To make a very long story short, my third grandchild, and second granddaughter arrived at 4:24 AM. She is a little princess. She weighed in at 6.5 pounds. Her little face is about the size of teacup right now. We haven't had a baby in our family this small for nearly 40 years!She seems to have a very mellow personality. Not much seems to upset her.

When everything seems to be settled and organized I came home to sleep, hitting the sheets a bit after 6 AM. It was certainly an interesting 25 hours.

Certainly pictures to come.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Weekend Adventures

My idea of a 3 day weekend hit a speed bump. I had to help my doctoral student advisee greatly improve her paper outlining her major project. That took most of Saturday morning into the afternoon. A beautiful afternoon.

I didn't want to work anymore, so decided it was the perfect time to go to the Mall of America and get a gift card for my granddaughter's birthday. I walked over to the corner and took the bus to the light rail station and then took the train to the Mall of America. I quickly got the gift card, but anything else on my mind didn't work out. All in all, I think I walked about 3 kilometers inside the mall. I know that 2 times around levels 1-3 with one time around level 4 is 10K. I did one time around level 2 plus some back tracking as well as the walk into the Mall from the train station. It seemed so freeing not to have to drive!

I stopped at the Highland Cafe and had a sandwich before coming home. All in all it was a lovely afternoon.

Today I picked up my granddaughter and she helped me load some things out of the garage and the basement into the Dumpster in a Bag. It will be picked up on Tuesday. Then I need to get one more to take care of the rest that I'll be disposing this way. I have to get the 1-800 Junk guys here one more time, too.

Tuesday back to designing a course and doing other work related activities. I'm getting down to less than 30 days before leaving -- and in the midst of all this, expecting a new granddaughter every day, too.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nebraska Adventures

Last Tuesday afternoon, May 12 I flew to Lincoln, NE. I had intended to drive due to the high cost of air fares lately, but then suddenly the air fares came down, thank heavens! I know why. Neither the plane to or the plane from was full. The airlines need passengers, and couldn't get them with a price of $800 for a one hour flight!

This was my first trip through MSP with the signs being all Delta. It seems very strange.

I took my computer along and managed to get two modules completed for a new course that I'm designing for fall semester. Many think teaching online is easy and a lazy thing for a faculty member to do. They don't see the hours that went into creating all the modules, writing quizzes months in advance, constructing discussion questions, setting up a gradebook, all this work!

My friend and I did a visit to the International Quilt Study Center on the UNL campus. This is always a treat. The work now being saved is beyond belief. I saw one quilt that was constructed form 87,000 pieces, none being larger than a postage stamp.

We also went to a play based on Mary Pipher's book, Reviving Ophelia. This was commissioned in Cincinnatti, and Lincoln is the second place in the country that it is being presented. I also got to Mary Pipher at a bookstore signing to tell her how we are using her books in our courses at Metropolitan State University.

Most of the days in Lincoln featured very cool weather -- it was nearly uncomfortably cold to go the Farmers' Market on Saturday morning. Yesterday in Lincoln the temperature rose to the high 80s. Today in Saint Paul we are up to the 90s, so summer is off to a start.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Moving Adventures

My daughter moved in a huge heavy computer desk. Then she left me with it. Now this wasn't a very good desk in the first place, one she found along the street for free. How do I get it out? This evening I decided to celebrate nearly the end of school by doing something other than reading student papers. (I'm going into my first summer in three years without having to teach -- it seems so strange to use the computer for something other than online classes.)

I grabbed the top half of the desk, already on the floor -- I gotten far enough with it to separate it into two parts. I started up the stairs with it, and it started falling apart. Oh good! So I took it out for disposal part by part, and that's one more large task done toward moving.

I have three more big things to get moved out of the basement and then the worst of this job is done. One step at a time

And this week, I also took my cat to the Humane Society. Anticipating spending seven of the next thirteen months in Europe means I'm no longer a good candidate to have a pet. With my daughter expecting a baby next month, she is not a good candidate to be running over to my house even this summer to care for the cat. My cat was at least 17 years old, not a kitten when I ironically took her from someone moving to Europe. My cat's old cat behavior did not make her attractive to any one else in my life, so on Tuesday we parted.

On Wednesday I signed the papers to get an easement for the driveway on my developed lot. Hopefully in a couple weeks all details will be finished and I get on with trying to sell the property.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Musical Adventure

Yesterday I had a musical adventure. From 1945-1970 the minister of my church was Arthur Foote. He was also a skilled and accomplished musician. Our church now remembers his life with a special musical Sunday. There isn't a sermon. The whole service is music and readings. We had the large church choir, the children's choir, the youth choir, Mila -- a women's group that sings Central European music, and One Voice, a GLBT choir. The hour plus was magnificent.

Then in the evening I went to the Ordway Theatre to the Legally Blonde, musical version. What fun that is! If you ever get the chance to see it, do!

How nice once to almost have a weekend.

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day Adventures

The above picture taken from Poland Our Poland blog shows how May Day is celebrated in Poland and in many other countries.

In the United States, however, it is very different. I remember as a child fixing May Day baskets for friends and then trying to sneak to their homes and deliver them without being caught. I was remembering this with nostalgia a few years ago, and came home to find a May Basket in my door.

The nearby Catholic school makes May Baskets for neighbors. Mine came with notepads, a highlighter, a packet of zinna seeds, coupons, and candy. The note on the front thanks us for being good neighbors to the school.