TGIF. The Week Off Work Edition.

It's very quiet here this morning. HoneyHaired is at school taking her last exam of the quarter. Art History. Hubby's luxuriating in being back in bed after driving our grrrrl and the neighbor grrrrls to school this morning. It was my turn, but I bartered to drive extra shifts on a morning without so much snow and ice. I was thinking perhaps next summer.

Birds are chattering away at the bird feeders in our front yard and I see glimpses of a fat furry tail scampering across the outside of our living room window. This fall we had a mama and baby squirrel constructing an elaborate nest outside our kitchen window. The baby would come out in the evenings at dinnertime and peek in, lifting his little paw on the screen like a hello. I don't know if it was the workmen who came to fix the gutters or a forewarning of the bitter wind that comes in from that western exposure, but the squirrels moved their home from the back of the house to a front window box where I hope they're more protected.

I can see the lights on in the kitchen of the house across the street and up the hill from us. Soon their two little boys will be bundled in bright red and yellow coats and start whooping their way across the adventure that is their backyard.

I've had this past week off work and have enjoyed every second of staying in my oversized grey sweatpants with the big pockets. I am completely in love with these sweatpants. The week was slightly marred by the fact that my Occupational Health and Safety Workshop class had to give a presentation to the county's 44 fire chiefs about our survey project. And when I say "our group" I mean that out of the 5 of us only Joe and I worked on the Power Point and went to this meeting. I had no idea what to anticipate so I imagined something very formal with all the chiefs in their dress blues and being very judge-y. It, of course, was nothing like that. You're lucky if you can get them off their phones and Blackberry's for half a second. But it is done and I can almost relax.

I still have to work on IRB(Investigative Review Board)forms to modify the study and get approval, but IRB has not switched over the class members from last year to this year and I cannot get on to the protocol. I like to get things done, mostly because I'll forget about them, so this is like a loose thread that keeps flitting in your face every now and again.

Christmas shopping this year has been mostly online. I like to buy local, but haven't really had the time. I don't think I've shared this yet, but HoneyHaired was accepted to college--Urban Planning. That was a big celebration here and a sigh of relief. I wandered all around the east and west campuses of the university a few days ago to find a Tshirt from DAAP(Design, Art, Architecture & Planning)as a stocking stuffer for her. I may have paid more in parking than for the actual Tshirt and I should mark on the calendar the first of many, many checks to them.

So, there's my life in a nutshell these past few weeks. I'm patiently sitting here with my coffee, wrapping paper and tape awaiting FedEx and the mailman to bring boxes and boxes of goodies to me. In the meantime I found a recipe for Caraway Citrus Mustard to give as gifts and to use on pork loin or ham sandwiches. I think I'll try it out and catch up on all The Good Wife episodes I've missed this quarter. Wishing a very blessed Advent to you all...

Walking Beside a Creek

by Ted Kooser

Walking beside a creek
in December, the black ice
windy with leaves,
you can feel the great joy
of the trees, their coats
thrown open like drunken men,
the lifeblood thudding
in their tight, wet boots.


  1. Congratulations on a child off to college! Love the poem and photo too.

  2. Congratulations on having had some R&R, completing course work, and shepherding your daughter into college! Happy Holidays! BTW, I love your new blog look!

  3. First, congrats to HoneyHaired (which university will she attend?).

    What a fun post just catching up in the midst of calm. I love your new header art, and just being here, as always.

  4. Congratulations all the way around. Before you know it, you'll be sitting at your daughter's commencements. I swear, all I did was blink and it was here!

    Good luck with the IRB. Unless they're independent IRBs, getting what you want will be similar to moving heaven and earth.

  5. Hi Shiny! Nice to catch up with you. Congrats to your honey haired girl and love and joy to you for the Holidays! xoxo


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