Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Seeing the Fishes, Enjoying the Sights

Also enjoying the fishes and seeing the Sights. Soon: wallaby time!

Monday, June 11, 2018

More Miscellany Ahead of Departure

Spouse: ... and then, I figure they have public transit.
Me: We are taking FOUR flights literally halfway across the GLOBE, it will take 28 hours, have you considered a TAXI?  Surely they have taxis in Australia.

Preschool, in an email: "So our summer camp director is getting married in three weeks and is... not so much directing summer camp this summer... but we'll all take turns!  It'll be great!  Also last year's director shredded all the paperwork [WHYYYY] so here are four lengthy forms, including one that your doctor must fill out by law, and we need them today.  Thanks!"

Me, unwisely: "Sure, I'll set up all the tech for a new group of the Jews of Our Rural Town, make a website, set up a mailing list, send out two messages, and organize a potluck, all before Friday!  SUUURE."

Me to my mom: "We're out of here!  Good luck!  I left a power of attorney on the fridge; tell me how much I owe you when we get back!"

Later addition from my nervous system: "You know what you really need today? A MIGRAINE."

Monday, June 04, 2018

Busy, Busy, Busy

... no time to think.

This week and next week are Mommy Camp, i.e. I must entertain three children for about eleven hours a day. (If I do not entertain them, they start hitting each other.  No, I cannot prevent it; there are three of them and only one of me.)

So far we have done: bike riding practice, baking lessons, summer reading, Nerf playtime with friends, lots of walking, juneberry foraging, and, tomorrow, strawberry picking.  This week there are tennis lessons.  Also, we have been to Walmart four times in four days.  Don't even ask.

In ten days the spouse and I leave for Australia.  So far I have Zenmoo's invaluable travel advice (thank you!!!), a travel charger thing, and a pile of random garments and bags and stuff.

I have indulged in a frenzy of online shopping, by which I mean I have bought things we don't urgently need, such as two rain jackets that don't leak (the last one was from a dumpster at Snooty U, circa 2004; it has had a long life for a free jacket), and two pairs of hiking pants (jeans dry with exceeding slowness).  Considering that the spouse has just received two grants and a large lump-sum payment... it's probably fine.  I just have this nagging guilt/worry about spending money on anything.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Meditations during Rural Travel

Today I went to a medical appointment in the back of beyond.  For reasons.  I made the mistake of using Google Maps, which took me a completely ludicrous way, forgetting that one should NEVER EVER DO THAT HERE.  However, I did drive by the Booker T. Washington National Memorial (at his birthplace) and the "National D-Day Memorial" (inland in the rural South, possibly as a tourist trap for the roaming buses of military-worshipping racist white people we get on the regular). Anyhow, it was bizarre.

(On the way back I stopped at a plant nursery.  Truly, I have a problem. However, now I also have a tomatillo.)

Although we've been here almost five years, the breathtaking beauty never, ever gets old.  And I'm extremely grateful that my wee people are more travel-friendly now - not least because naptime is over forever! - and we can enjoy the outstanding outdoor things this summer for basically the first time ever.

And no matter how trying it is to be home with the kids all summer, I can console myself with the knowledge that in 11.5 weeks, they all go back to school.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Five Minutes of Good Things

In no particular order:
  • My grades are turned in.  I don't have to teach again until AUGUST 28. 
  • Justina Ireland's Dread Nation, which will appear later in a book reviews post, but it was SO GOOD.
  • I went and planted, no joke, four dozen flowering things at Sweetpea's preschool today, and am looking forward to seeing them grow.
  • My mother is coming tomorrow just to do fun things with me.
  • I'm still transcribing things for the Anti-Slavery Manuscripts project and it's neat and I feel I have a valuable skill to offer (I am actually trained in reading holograph letters!)
  • This summer I am taking the children to the beach; none of them has ever seen the ocean (we lived in the Midwest, y'all) and it will be exciting!
  • I finally got my serger working and then I sewed myself a dress from a comfy knit and it was sooooo fast.
  • I BOUGHT MYSELF A TREE PEONY!!!!!! (They were tragically out of the stripey ones but clearly this means I should go back next spring and get another.)
  • I helped a good friend re-design her front yard and we planted it all and it already looks amazing. 
  • I learned of this delightful nursery which sells about 700 varieties of irises.
  • I put together an order of fancy daffodils for me + front-yard-redesign friend.
  • I planted some lovely heirloom beans!  My perennial onions came up and are growing!  (If anyone has an Ito'i onion to sell me.... I tried to order one and they sent me bunching onions instead!) And so are my cucumbers!
  • All the garlics I planted in the fall are growing with great enthusiasm.
  • Someone asked me about what fruit trees to plant and I was able to give them good advice!
  • My apples and my Nanking cherries have set fruit!
  • All my flowers are flowering all over the place and it brings me joy.  I'll post a picture some time.
  • (If all of these seem like they're about plants it's because I really, really love plants.)
What's good with you?

Monday, May 07, 2018

The Usual Miscellany

I don't even know what to say, so I haven't been.

I applied for a job!  I was very well qualified for this job!  The college had decided whom to hire before posting the job, and readers, it was not me.  HRs of the world, please revise your stupid policies about this? Surely there exists a reasonable policy that does not require a farce of an open search.  (It is not a state school, i.e. they can do whatever they want.)

Thanks to my dear spouse stirring the pot, Mountain U's Other Science Department chair has now emailed me about maybe teaching there?  Next spring?  Meanwhile, Yet Another Science Department also has emailed me about the same.

As it never rains but it pours, it also transpires that at My U, the intro bio courses are being handed off to the newest faculty member ('You've won the complainer's penalty!' I said), who would very much like to re-design the whole darn thing.  I would also like to do this thing, and I am bored.  So!  We are now writing a grant (even better, an internal grant) together.

None of these things are permanent or predictable or guaranteed to alleviate boredom.  On the other hand, doing nothing surely won't alleviate boredom, so I may as well...

I am finishing up the grading (ugh) and then don't have to do anything for three whole weeks (yay!) except I signed the kids up for swim lessons spanning an hour and a half, twice a week for the rest of May (ugh).

The spouse and I are ditching the kids for two weeks to go to Australia, though!  It's one of the few highlights of academic life (for me).

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

On the Division of Labor, Again

Since I was last extremely irritated on the subject of the division of spousal labor:
  • I asked the spouse to take Child #1 to his yearly checkup.  This required four (4) reminders despite being on the family online calendar, but it was then accomplished without my intervention.
  • The spouse volunteered to a) come home early twice a week and b) take Child #1 out to play basketball, so that said child might actually sleep on the regular.  He has done so twice! 
  • We came to an agreement about children's swimming lessons, wherein we are both inconvenienced, but not terminally so.
  • We have been swapping off, once a week each, putting the kids to bed alone.  This way the free-time-available-per-parent is more favorable.
I realized that part of what going on was that the spouse was taking my time and organization for granted... but I was also going along with the default that had come along after many years of habit, where I arrange and then follow through on all appointments, repair persons, medical needs, and summer camps.  

I will probably continue to organize at least most of these.  However, I don't mind organizing this, because the spouse organizes such things as trash, investments, and car repairs.  I mind doing all of it as well.  So if we continue to split the actual, inconvenient carting-of-children, I think I can be more satisfied with how it goes.  I do need to ask!  And he needs to continue to be cheerful about it.