Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hubby's home...

Hubby is home. He survived his first full week teaching freshpeople.

He's survived some drama where he's house sitting.

He survived the boredom of Corn State.

Tonight it is comfort food and "Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares" on the TIVO.

On Friday it is the State Fair -- and the llama barn :).


Into the groove...

Today I felt like I was in the teaching groove.

and felt good!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My grandparents, part 1

My grandparents are finally getting old. Grandma is 90 and a bit fragile. She gets a little confused, but she realizes she's confused and she's very gentle in her confusion. We had the same good conversation several times during my last visit. Every time she was very supportive of my teaching, proud that I'm department chair and encouraging about my dissertation. Her personality hasn't changed, but her short-term memory has declined.

Gone is the Grandmother who insisted on finishing her degree at Iowa State (where she met Grandpa) and who raised four kids with such a strong value of education that all of her grandchildren are either in college or have BAs.... most of us are or will have graduate degrees. Also gone is the Grandma who started a career as a social worker in the rough parts of Des Moines. While Des Moines isn't exactly the mean streets of NYC, it was a challenge for a quiet woman from Michigan's UP. Grandma took that challenge and I'm sure the families on her caseload were better for it.

We've been having the same basic conversations with Grandpa for several years now, but I recently realized that is because he's stubborn and not because he's really senile. One of my stronger motivations to finish my dissertation is to be able to give him a copy. I'm going to print it in large print and give it to him bound, like my cousin's husband did a while back. The difference is that I'm going to insist that he read it -- and give him a quiz on the contents :).

Grandpa was a pioneer in several ways. He developed farming techniques that have increased farm productivity in amazing ways. He later developed the techniques needed to recover land lost to the open-pit coal mines that used to dot the Iowa landscape. These days he's a crusader for proper nutrition and exercise. He reads the large-print version of several health related magazines and is always nagging his overweight children and grandchildren to get more exercise. His main focus now is taking care of Grandma. He makes sure that she's eating well and that she takes a 30 minute walk every day.

Every day I hope that I end my life like my grandparents. Healthy, happy and going to Super Wal-Mart for exercise (not shopping!) on rainy days.

My grandfather's last garden

My grandfather's garden...

The link is to a great piece about my grandfather's last garden. He and Grandma are selling their place in Iowa and plan to live in Florida full-time.

About a month ago Mom and I made a quick trip down to see my grandparents. We sat in their small and slightly formal living room and ate the best corn on the cob and BLTs I've ever had.

Nobody can grow tomatoes quite like my grandfather. They were fat, deep red and incredibly juicy. Every slice was like a hunk of a sunny Iowa day sliding around in my mouth. Biting into a BLT brings back memories of chasing fireflies, swimming in the Slater pool and smelling the oil they spread on Slater's side-streets for their alternate-year 4th of July celebration.

My mom got divorced when I was about 8. I was old enough to know that money was tight, but that the divorce was a good thing. I was also old enough to know that my grandfather grew extra rows of garden and that Grandpa and Grandma would use their weekends to bring us fresh vegetables in the cities. In the fall, Grandma would bring canned tomatoes, frozen corn and the most amazing freezer jam. I knew that, although we didn't have much money, we weren't poor -- we had grandparents in Iowa that loved us enough to bring us vegetables when we needed them.

As an adult, I've looked long and hard for tomatoes that compare to Grandpa's. I have yet to find any that come close -- even locally grown farmer's market tomatoes just don't compare. I suppose that's because all of them are missing the secret ingredient -- love. My Grandpa gardened because he loves his family and he loves the land. He loves the challenge of outsmarting the pests and the weather and he relishes continuing the family farm tradition on a large lot in a small Iowa town.

Soon, all that will be left of my grandfather's garden will be a dozen or so jars of canned tomatoes sitting on the shelf in my kitchen... plus, of course, my memory of those tomatoes.

to the new coaches...

This year will be the first debate season in 10 years in which I won't be coaching.

It is kind of weird not to be doing debate, but it is also very nice. An amazing person at BNCC took over the program this year, because he has a passion for debate and doesn't want to see the program end. He has plenty of coaching experience, so this post isn't directed to him....

This post is for all of the first-year coaches.

If you do your job right, coaching debate isn't the same as doing debate. In fact, it is quite different.

Instead of making your own arguments, you are helping others to craft their own. It is your job to keep yourself out of their round and to help them express themselves. The last thing you want to do is to make a 'mini-me debater' out of any of them. You need to resist the urge to spend preparation time giving dictation -- because that isn't teaching, it is just talking. That is hard.

Being a senior debater probably put you into leadership and mentor positions, but it didn't require you to do the hard parts of coaching. An important part of coaching is telling a debater they made a mistake, that they aren't ready or that they've generally screwed themselves over. Equally difficult is to challenge debaters to do better without crushing them or pumping their egos. Both of these things are equally hard.

If you were a good debater, you were in high-pressure rounds. You know how to handle them and can give some good advise. What is hard about coaching debate is turning around a team that isn't winning. Encouraging students who have yet to win a round is probably the most important thing you can do. That is hard.

I'm sure that as a debater you were a good, responsible member of your squad. You had a hand in communicating the squad's substance use rules/norms and you probably took care of more than your share of intoxicated debaters. What is hard about coaching is the increased level of responsibility you have. You ARE the person in charge when you go on the road. Your duty is to make good travel decisions ALL THE TIME. This means that you are on-duty 24/7 when you are with your team. You don't get time off to get drunk with your pals, you don't have times when someone else is on-duty and you can kick back. You are the one who needs to be sober enough to drive to the hospital if necessary. That is hard.

As a good debater, I'm sure you had friends on other squads. Understand that your status has changed. Those friends are your friends, but they are also competitors. They'll be competing against your students and trying to sway your ballots. Those competitors probably haven't forgotten every time you beat them, so they may or may not be your friend... The thing is, you can't judge your friends and your new debater-friendships will be different. That is ok -- make the transition to hanging with your coach friends. They'll be an invaluable resource for you -- people who can help you out hard choices on the road, who will encourage you in many parts of your life and who are your peers... so you can really be friends with them. Making this change is hard, but worthwhile.

As a good debater, I'm sure you had friends on your squad. The hard part about the transition some of you are making is that you are now expected to coach your friends. To them, you are on the other side now -- you are a coach, and thus no longer connected to the student grapevine, but -- you are still YOU (and they all thought they could be or ARE better than you) so, why should they take your advise? There is no good way around this problem... much better coaches than you have tried to solve it and failed. Don't plan to work with your school's "top team" as more than a friend -- for real coaching work, focus on the freshmen on the squad. Giving up the vicarious win isn't easy, but it is worth it....

Some of you will be starting at a new school -- either as a coach or a grad student. The challenges of moving and adjusting to a new school and unfamiliar squad culture can be quite a challenge. If you are a typical debater, you'll want to rush this part. Don't do it. Take your time -- make sure you communicate your new squad loyalty... but hang back a bit in terms of fitting in. Each squad has a different feel and every year's personnel changes morph the squad culture as well. It isn't easy to hang back, but investing that time now will let you see how things shake out later, and it is worth it...

And overall, enjoy your time coaching. There is nothing quite like it... and, say hello to my coaching pals when you see them. I'll miss you all and I promise not to get bored on my weekends off :).

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Miss Teen South Carolina...

Now, go to You Tube, search on "Miss Teen South Carolina subtitles" -- do it.

(yea, the link thing seems to be beyond me).

I don't tell you to do this very often, but this is worth it -- both scary and funny at the same time.

48 hours to hubby...

About 48 hours from now hubby will be home.

I can't wait -- I've missed him. I got used to the 'couple bubble' again over the summer, so being without it (or, having it spread between here and Red State) is hard.

It isn't that I'm not comfortable in our new place (I love it!).

It isn't that I'm not busy and getting things done, because I am.

Rather, I miss the daily comfort of living with my hubby. I miss the casual conversation that doesn't happen over the phone. I miss having someone else to do cat therapy and someone to go out for ice cream with me...

I miss the couple bubble...

TV... oh no you don't....

I've been watching the season finale of Army Wives on TIVO.

spoiler alert, spoiler alert, spoiler alert

I've been crying for the whole time, as the husbands are being deployed... Trevor and Roxie have an amazing exchange of vows, Pamela's husband has to leave without saying goodbye etc... All the spouses are going into harm's way, and we know that.

then... at the end... Marilyn's psycho husband walks into the hump bar (where the main characters are all gathered) wired with explosives.

They SUCK!

Now I'm going to have to go onto the Army Wives website....

First day, part two...

Tuesday/Thursday is my heavy teaching day. I have classes at 7:45, 9:30 and 12:45.

By 2:00 I felt like I'd spent all day doing water aerobics...

Why is the first day so much more energy intensive than any other day?

The plan for tonight is a pizza, some TIVO and an early bedtime!

First days of school...

Last night was my first time teaching a night class for a couple of years. Debate is a different animal and fulfilled my night teaching duties -- but, the students are different.

Last night I had a good, adult night class full of eager ethics students!

I tried something new -- asking them what student and professor behaviors bothered them... I figured that we could have the discussion before they knew me and before they knew one another.

The results were predictable -- they don't like hearing tangents about the professor's private lives, especially following instructions to be on time because class time is valuable. They don't like students who have side conversations or whose cell phones go off. They also don't like to have one or two students dominate discussions.

I told them that the solution to the last one is to be prepared to speak-up -- and if necessary get a little group of students to take turns speaking up in class... I told them that instructors keep calling on the dominating students because nobody else is participating...

yea, I think it is going to be a good year.

Wish me luck with my 7:45 logic class... I'll try the same things with them, I wonder if it will work :).

Monday, August 27, 2007

yea for my gym!

A gym in the southern part of BNstate has denied family membership to a same-sex couple with kids.

During the news coverage of this club, I found out that my gym (a large, semi-national chain) allows same-sex couples with kids to join as a family.


now -- I'm off to water aerobics (outdoors, probably the last of the year... sigh.)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I need some cat parenting advise...

Blind kitty keeps having panic attacks. He gets lost and then freaks out and starts doing the cat equivalent of screaming at the wall.

I've just purchased a diffuser for kitty pheremones, so maybe that will help.

Do you have any suggestions? He seems to calm down if I pick him up, but I can't hold a 15 pound cat 24/7 ---

Friday, August 24, 2007

meetings, day three -- the unioin meeting version...

The only meaningful thing we do on the last day is the union meeting. Funny thing is that the huge herd of people who crowded me to the "bad" side of the auditorium on Wednesday has thinned considerably. Of course, I'm not in a position to blame them, this is the first one I've been to since my first year -- when I figured out that they don't take attendance at these things!

9:05 One of my favorite people is the union president -- she's great one-on-one, but her usual wit and wisdom doesn't seem to translate to leading the meeting... sigh, this could be a long morning.

9:25 The questions asked are the same basic ones that they asked 4 years ago, still no answers?

9:30 Gym teachers shouldn't talk... really. At least this one speaks better than he writes. His political aspirations would be dashed if he had to take the college's a writing placement test.

9:35 Dude, put on some socks with those loafers and shorts... not a good look.

No time noted -- I made a lot of to-do lists etc... doze.... listen to the state union president complain about negotiations... realize that some of the stuff he's calling unreasonable isn't as unreasonable as he may think... hope this hot head doesn't screw things up...

10:30 Note to self, DO NOT mix up notes for blog post and notes for the department from the meeting... really, don't do it.

10:45 One of the things I love about my college is that professional development programs are available to part-time people -- and they are explicit about that. Any faculty member can participate in the seminars etc...

10:47 I really hope the uber-anonymous new blogger with the great wit is here. I wonder who it is??

11:30, blah, blah, blah -- why do they repeat info we got on Wednesday? Thank goodness this one is over!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Notes from day 2, the "conference"

I have to say that Day 2 has been significantly improved since I started at BNCC. The nice bit is that they've arranged this more like a conference, with break-out sessions on useful topics -- at least, in theory.

Here are my notes from the day...

8:15 Stop at Starbucks for caffeine for fortification.

8:20 I needed the fortification, the administrivia may-well overwhelm me. I did find out that there is another long-distance couple on faculty... he's teaching here and his spouse is in Iowa on a college scholarship, so he commutes.

8:30 Are those the same donuts from yesterday?

8:32 Yo, woman, hire hubby here so we can do dooty days together!

8:49 I know the keynote speaker is on faculty, and I love him dearly, but he cannot have this much energy every day... but, damm -- he's good.

9:25 And... our writing faculty can write. His piece on the teacher who inspired him was really good, even inspirational... I really want to be a teacher who touches lives... Sunshine and D2 have told me he's a great teacher, and I can see why they say that.


10:05 Motivation is gone, replaced by a deep cynicism about teaching and student behavior... maybe the seminar on dealing with disruptive students wasn't a good idea... Why is it that the same people come to these seminars every year? Especially the cosmetology and auto-mechanics faculty seem to be at every one I go to... aren't they learning anything? Aren't I learning anything if I've noticed them here... hmm...

10:25 Oh crap, I've started to notice the presenter's speech faults. Her favorite is the unique "umm, ahh, a" combo -- but, she's doing all off them. Who says that public speaking skills come with a law degree.

10:29 um, ahhh, a, you know, the best advise she has for us about disruptive students is to discuss the situation with our colleagues. Yea, that is why we came here, so we can talk to one another.

10:35 The shoe dean noticed my red birks... she always notices them... I wonder why.


11:15 Oh no, there are more presenters than participants.. eek. And, the college president just sat down, so we can't call it off.

11:30 SCORE! The college president just suggested / asked a question I wanted to ask. And, it sounds like he'd be fully in support of something I want to do... AWESOME!

12:00 Taco lunch with a couple of philosophers. I'm amazed at how much the food has improved since I started. Maybe they do want us here!

2:00 Finally, a seminar where I learned something... now, if the evil software monopoly would make this for my Mac... I may just be happy to be in her seminar because I really like her AND she's very linear, just like me :).

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Observations from meeting days...

-- I love having a philosopher as a college president. The sad thing is that the others can't keep up with him, so the suckyness of their presentations is even worse by comparison.

-- Strategic mistakes of the day:
* Stopping at Starbucks for a fancy coffee lost me my favorite spot by the wall.
* Leaving the day's agenda at home deprived me of a good place to doodle.

-- Isn't it ironic that the request for computer equipment I wanted to use to improve student learning was never processed because it was lost in a paper blizzard on my dean's desk?

-- Next year I hope the Academic VP implements the "one clap" rule common to many speech and debate tournaments.

-- Some of these folks could use a dose of service learning from my logic class -- a logical fallacy clinic perhaps?

-- Message to the administration-- if you want quick turn around time and more student involvement, REDUCE CLASS SIZES! I have 50 students in my Ethics class, I can't pretend that I have close and meaningful intellectual relationships with all of them -- hell, I don't usually know their NAMES until the end of the semester. And, if I'm going to assign writing, it will take some time to grade their papers.

-- YEA for the Academic Affairs video with a sense of humor (handwritten signs behind the staff members saying "I love my faculty" and "I love my boss") The best part was outakes, complete with the Academic VP's very classy secretary crawling around behind other staff members putting up bunny ears behind them.

-- Boo for the other video -- way too long with bored people and cheesy porn-movie music in the background.

-- Also, Good-ole-boy VP, you don't have to introduce all the new staff members.. really, we don't care and most of them are busy working and not there to stand up anyway. We don't remember the ones who ARE there, please don't waste time with this practice -- especially since some of them have been on campus for 10 months!

-- Why does thoroughly unpleasant faculty person end up near me at every all-college event? She was at my TABLE last spring and in the row in front of me today? If she thinks we are buddies, she's really wrong. I don't forget someone who caused me such a hassle....

-- YEA for student testimonials about the impacts of their scholarships. They are the only people I don't HATE for going over their assigned time. If we really ARE all about students and their learning, we ought to be hearing from MORE students.

-- Ending with karaoke makes me regret missing the conference that made it sound like a good idea. I suppose the combination of the high altitude and alcohol made it sound like a great idea...

-- I have to admit that I like my division -- and being their chair is going to be a challenge worth the energy, simply because they are so smart, funny and passionate about teaching.

mommy, I don't feel good....

... I don't wanna go to school today....

really -- I'm not ready for this school year to start, but start it will with a bunch of really dull meetings.

A short note to my administration (who may or may not be reading...??),

Please, we really don't need to "meet" every new employee, faculty member or staff. Making them stand up and wave to the rest of the school isn't going make us remember them later.

Also, please learn how to tell time. You have 20 minutes for your "update", that means after 20 minutes, YOU STOP TALKING.

Finally, you've got to understand that your faculty has about the attention span of a bunch of ADD-riddled Kindergarten students who have had way too much caffeine. If you don't keep it lively, we'll doodle and daydream. I'm a pretty calm version of the typical faculty member and if I cared enough to keep folders from the last four of these events, I could show you the extravagant doodles and mental meanderings...

So, my bloggy friends, wish me luck in this -- and for those of you reading this during "duty days" -- (which should be spelled 'dooty' (as in poopy) days, just know that I'm sitting over there by the wall as tortured as you are -- at least I will be if I'm not getting a good wireless signal or have become bored with editing my feminist epistemology paper.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Score one for New Kitty....

There is actually a cat under those (soon to be discarded) debate trophies...

Here she is, looking deceptively sweet...

It took her exactly 2 hours in the new apartment to get to the top of the kitchen cupboards...

Extra-toes and New Kitty alternate between cuddles and fights.

This morning they were fighting on the bed and she managed to push Extra-toes sideways off the bed.

point -- New Kitty...

Extra-toes may soon regret every time he picked on her when she was a scrawny 7 pounds... she's pushing 12 pounds now and getting her revenge.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Water for Elephants

I just finished reading Sara Gruen's "Water for Elephants" -- a fantastic story told from the point of view of an old man who ran away to join the circus....

She does a great job of telling a compelling story.

and... another summer ends...

Hubby goes back to Red State today, thus officially ending summer for me....

The plan is to be too busy to mope.

To achieve this plan, I've strategically procrastinated syllabi writing, cleaning and paper editing. I've also been slacking off about the gym.

I should be busy right up until the time school starts a week from tomorrow.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Naughty cat dreams...

Have you ever had a dream in which your cat was misbehaving in a spectacular way?

My dream involved a catered Thanksgiving and a caterer it seemed necessary for me to impress...

The naughty cat was New Kitty --- who managed to get outside, into the caterer's truck and eat most of the shrimp and vegetables off of the trays ---

The image I can't forget is of her sitting in the middle of a decimated shrimp try with green peppers (sliced for dipping) hanging out of her mouth.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Ladies of Water Aerobics..

This has been the summer of water aerobics.

Hubby and I joined a great health club this summer. They have multiple locations, including a new location in Red State (the reason we picked that chain... no excuses while in Red State!) The facilities are nice, the equipment new and they generally have indoor pools.

This summer the club opened a new location in BN state with a fantastic outdoor pool. They offered a water aerobics class every morning at 9:00 -- and I was hooked. Water aerobics is great -- you get a good workout with low impact (I am getting old, you know...). The classes at my club are generally 60% cardio and 40% toning and flexibility. The point of the class is to be up to your chest in water, so if you don't know the steps, or want to modify a move because you are tired, nobody knows!

So, when my summer teaching was over, I spent many mornings in the pool with the ladies of water aerobics. Generally, the water aerobics crowd is distinctive. We are older and flabbier than the rest of the club members. We are tanned from the boobs up and we also seem to be having more fun!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

recipie for a middle of the night nutty...

1) Wake-up to a cat screaming in the hall. Calm cat and realize you can't get back to sleep.

2) Check e-mail. Find e-mail from Academic VP about low enrollments.

3) Go to newly re-organized college website.

4) Look at class enrollments.

5) See only 3 of expected 4 classes (side note, 1 class course release for being department chair is bogus... )

6) panic -- how can they register for classes if I'm not even listed in the course list?

7) Wonder which of the adjunct faculty classes I can snag and still make it to Red State on weekends.

8) Worry that when they changed the schedule, that class didn't get back into the system.

9) Look at notes from syllabus-writing to see if I have info for it, as that would have come from the internet -- plan to use it as proof of the class previously existing...

10) Worry that when I requested a room change, the dean's assistant deleted the class instead.

11) Realize that the new system only shows available classes, i.e. classes with at least 1 seat open.

12) Think that this system sucks, as I use it for my informal advising and as such it won't show me all the classes being taught... sigh.

13) Wander around the newly designed website until I find the class-list function.

14) Sign in, hoping I'm remembering my ID number.

15) See 4 classes listed, which calms my panic...

16) Go back to bed...

Monday, August 13, 2007


and -- I've just found the grades and first-version paper comments for the student who thinks she ought to have a higher grade.

I can read between the lines and see that her paper sucked-ass...

Am I easily irked?

A student who started my class almost a YEAR ago has now made a complaint to my dean about her grade. She says she was e-mailing me about it, but I haven't received a recent e-mail from her... hmmm-- and, she's SOOOOO stubborn that she probably won't admit that she was using an old address.

I considered raising her grade last year and decided not to, because her work didn't show the skills she needed --i.e. presenting the other side of the argument. I suppose that is really hard when you are such a homophobe-bigot you can't even comprehend the other side.

Of course, I'm pretty sure I shredded her paper in June when I did a huge office muck-out. Unless she came by to pick it up and can prove otherwise, her grade will stand.... ha.

Sigh -- It seems like I need a few more bits in my standard syllabus...

1) No late final papers.... at all.
2) Every late paper will receive a penalty. The standard penalty will be 10% of the point value.
3) Make grade challenges in the semester following your class. Papers leftover from the previous semester will be destroyed after that semester has lapsed.
4) Don't be a homophobic-bigoty-ass-jerk and expect to get away with it.

Friday, August 10, 2007


I started the day in the pool for water aerobics.

Hubby and I just went for a bedtime swim.

I was an otter in another life....

missing the 'involvement fair'... NOT

Every year I was a debate coach at BN state, I had to represent the team and try to recruit debaters at the 'involvement fair'.

It was always required of student organizations and always a waste of time. It was scheduled for the first week of school and took about 3 hours --- just what you want to try to organize/staff (around my classes)/ do in the first week.

The 'involvement fair' model works great for the Spanish club or the Asian Students Association. It is also a fantastic forum for any sports team, Greek organization or honor society. It sucks for debate.

The thing is, if they come for the free popcorn and punch, they aren't looking for an activity that requires a lot of hard work and travel. They are looking for something to do in their down time, not an academic activity significantly more challenging than their classes in which they'll be competing against the top students from 4-year schools.

Sure, they say they are interested -- they may even show up at a meeting... but I never counted on the involvement fair recruits to be anything more than a number-plumper (i.e I could say that 15 students were 'involved' in debate, when only 4 or 6 actually competed...).

In a more broad sense, it is very nice not to worry about recruiting more debaters or training new debaters. Having my last teams be D2 & D3, Swear Jar & Sunshine is just fine by me...

The idea that I get to just teach philosophy and manage faculty is really beginning to sink in. I don't have to plan a debate travel schedule, make a budget, make reservations or worry about who is going to be ready for the first tournament of the semester. Getting to teach ethical theory and logic instead of topicality and disads is an amazing thought.... gee, getting to teach only what my graduate education prepared me to do -- what an f-ing shock!

The Bourne Punishment...

Hubby and I went to see the Bourne Ultimatum.

On the Ultrascreen... It is a huge, huge, huge screen with excellent and LOUD sound.

We came out feeling beaten up.

It was a good movie (not as good as the Simpsons, but what is??), but the way the chase scenes were filmed combined with the huge screen made them feel like they were invading our personal space.

I've never been so worn out after watching a movie. We came home, ate a late lunch and took a nap.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

yea BN State!!!

A nasty, hateful person is coming up from a square state to protest a funeral due to a recent national story... Because we are too tolerant of gay folks.

He called us "The Land of the Sodomite Dammed".

and... we are f-ing proud to be in opposition to him. A local radio station is working on making t-shirts. I'll get one if I can :).

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

by the way....

--- You meet some interesting characters at the laundromat... Today some random guy told me all about his career busting polluters with the EPA. He also told me all about his 6 brothers and sisters who have degrees from Purdue -- pretty remarkable for a black guy in his late 60s...

--- We saw the Simpson's movie last night at our new (new to us) local movie theater. It is great fun... stay to the end of the credits...

For those of you who have seen it, how long did it take you to stop singing the "Spider Pig" song?

Hubby and I have a custom version for new kitty. "Spider Cat, Spider Cat does whatever a Spider Cat wants. Can she swing from a web, no she can't she's a cat..."

--- I heard on the radio that the bridge I used on a daily basis is rated less safe than the 35W bridge that collapsed. I'm so glad we moved... avoiding it would have put me on a brand-new bridge, but would have taken at least an extra 20 minutes every morning... sigh.

--- Our move on August 1 marked the first time I've ever lived outside of the Louisiana Purchase.

Monday, August 06, 2007

the sweet sounds of laundry...

It has been 5 long years since I've been able to do laundry in my own home.

As I write, the washer and dryer are rumbling in the laundry room.

I forgot the true luxury of having your own washer and dryer. Being able to put in a load any time, without quarters and without worrying that the old biddy down the hall was going to take your stuff out if you aren't there when the cycle ends is really great.

Life is good.

Friday, August 03, 2007

We are making progress...

I have a desk and the livingroom is kind of functional.

The best thing is that hubby has put the new bed together, so we get to sleep in it tonight!


Hom doesn't give you instructions with your new king-sized bed frame.

and... they talk to you like you are a dumb-ass when you call to ask them about it.

trust me.

At least IKEA has instructions, they are pictures that don't really mean anything, but they give you some hope.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

for those of you who know where I am...

I wasn't involved in the traffic disaster that has made the national news...

It is very close to hubby's university, but we were moving up and down the east version of that highway today.

Moving tips...

If you are moving, go to Menards and buy yourself a cart for the boxes.

We got one like the moving people have, it takes four or five book boxes and has saved us a lot of hassle.

It is the best $22.00 we spent this move!

how to cure a backache...

Last night was our last night in the old place.

We'd been packing all day and were tired.

My back hurt so much I could barely get out of bed...

but, we had to celebrate -- you know, THAT way.

Especially since it was the last day in our old bed.

This morning, no backache...

whoopie cures a bad back.