Monthly Archives: October 2007

Postcards from Nashville.

1.  Paducah has a Husband Road.

2.  Kentucky has signs before every bridge which say something like, 'Bridges freeze before road in cold weather.'  Greg hates that — Arkansas does something similar.

3.  As I was crossing the Tennessee River, I got the song "Tennessee River and a Mountain Man, we get together any time we can…" in my head, and it WOULD. NOT. LEAVE.

4.  Nashvillians (-villians? -villites?) are my kind of folk.  They eat EARLY compared to St. Louisans.  In St. Louis, 7 p.m. is the holy dining hour, wherein it becomes difficult to find a table.  In Nashville, the restaurants fill by 5:30.

5.  I decided to go to a brewpub to study and was carded for beer.  Me.  Carded.  I'm damn near 32.  Sweet.  Greg, he gets carded all the time.  ha!

6.  The hotel thinks I'm from San Francisco because someone from SF canceled and the administrators just swapped my name in, without changing the address.  I didn't bother to correct them, especially after I got a sweet room on the concierge level.  Now if I can only keep myself from looking like an ass because my key card doesn't work right in the elevator, I'll be good.

7.  My waiter at the brewpub and his roommate (also my waiter at the brewpub, I know, weird) are going to St. Louis this weekend.  They knew I was from St. Louis even though my driver license (I got carded, remember?) bears the name of a suburb.  These boys must be geography majors at nearby Vanderbilt University.

8.  My camera ran out of memory as I was trying to take a camera photo of the sign for Kentucky.  Damn!  I missed it, and I really wanted to have it to show Laurel.  I don't know why, she probably wouldn't even  care.  I had to delete some dark obscure shots in order to take photos, but the Kentucky sign was long gone.  Maybe on the trip back.

9.  The hotel has song quotes all over.  In the elevator, it says "Love in an elevator, living it up while I'm going down…"  and in another elevator it has "I feel the earth move under my feet…"  And in the lobby there is a jukebox.  We the guests can program in the music playing in the lobby.  This is Music City after all, right?

That's about it.  I have to go down to register in 29 minutes, and judging from the way everyone else is dressed, I need to dress nicely.  Blech.  Also, there is some other kind of group down there right now, so I'm feeling pretty intimidated about looking for my group.   Oh, well.  Time to buck up.

Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, & Tennessee.

Those are the four states my wheels will touch today, as I travel out of town for a business conference.

 For some people, traveling away from family is a luxury, something to which they look forward with glee.  I am not one of those people.  Oh, I like to see new things and have new experiences, and all that.  But at the end of the day, I want to be home.  Home with Greg, Laurel, and Ethan.  That's where I belong.

 I won't get to be home until Sunday. 

Ethan doesn't care about this of course, and he seemed a little puzzled that I clung to him a little longer this morning when I dropped him at preschool.  Laurel moped in the car, telling me repeatedly she didn't want me to go.  I tried to explain this is what a working mother must do sometimes.  I told her I didn't really like it either, but there it was.

They'll be okay.  Greg's ordering pizza tonight, which is a special treat.  Earlier this week, he even told Laurel, "Hey, when Mommy's gone, maybe we can do something fun, like order pizza!"

As if I'm not fun!  Hmph!


Over the weekend we had the lawnmower out for one last time before the winter hits.  We decided the kids needed some driving lessons.  Ethan drove first, on Greg's lap.  Then we let Laurel take the wheel by herself, but with me walking alongside.  Both the kids did swimmingly well, and we look forward (silent scream) to letting them loose in cars.



Curb Appeal.

We worked on the inside.  We worked in the back yard.  We worked all over this house except for one area — the front.

Our house was a sad little thing when we bought it.  Curb appeal?  Schmurb appeal.  We didn't even rate a paved driveway (though that was remedied by way of our contract for purchase).  It lacked storm doors, which are an absolute must for me.  But when we bought it we focused on the interior, not the exterior.

This summer we finally started focusing on the outdoors, building our giant patio / wall.  Finally, we turned our attention to the front.  After a lot of time, effort, expense, and frustration, we feel better about how it looks.

Here are the before and after photos:

Before (September, 2004):




Now it's home.

Rapt + Or = Raptor.

We made a great effort to attend the open house at the World Bird Sanctuary.  The kids had been at their great-grandmother's and we were unaware that Ethan had been awake since 4:30 a.m.  Oh, but we found out.  He is not a friend to birds.  He ran all over the place, and Greg was completely exasperated within 10 minutes.  He persevered, however, and we got to see a few things.

Lots of raptors, including eagles, falcons, owls, etc:

Laurel finds it difficult to focus on many things, but birds are not included.  She has a wealth of knowledge about these birds and is hungry for more:

We visited the raptor hospital, where Laurel showed off her knowledge to the docent manning the station.  He looked at us and said, 'She's already reading the Conservationist?  Wow."  Yes.  Then she remarked on the workings of his falcon trap and, incredulous, he said, "Okay, how do you know so much??!"  Laurel was fascinated by the raptor hospital, and frankly so was I. 

If only they would allow her to volunteer, but alas, one must be 13 to do so.

Ethan was not quite so enchanted by the raptor hospital.  He did, however, find a good spot to sit and wait for us to finish:


Dog 4 Sale. Cheap!

Vinnie got into big trouble over the weekend.

Greg was sealing the driveway when I called him off duty for a minute to help me with something.  In doing so, he (oops) didn't quite get the garage door closed. 


Vinnie nudged open the garage door and romped through the sealer, onto the sidewalk.

Greg was pissed.  I laughed and ran for the camera.  Then I scrubbed it up.


Photos don't do it justice, but I picked these up the other morning, just as the sun was hitting the trees behind our home.  The trees are starting to turn, but haven't yet reached their peak:


There Will Come a Time.

Folks, I'm angry.  Really, really angry.

At the beginning of this semester I registered for a computer course.  Halfway through the first class, the professor pulled me aside and said, "This course is too basic for you.  You really should consider dropping it and taking the advanced course.  Unfortunately, we don't offer the advanced course this semester."

Bummer.  But I got permission from the department head and another instructor to switch to his course, Real Property Law and Transactions.  I missed the first class meeting because I was registered for the computer class, but I caught up.

I've regretted it ever since.

The professor was new, and did not have control over the youngsters in the class.  Furthermore, the information he gave us was junk, taken straight from the text, with no examples or explanations.  He refused to give us reviews for our exams and even refused to give us an inkling of what would be ON the exam.

The final exam class average was a 67%.  Now, that says a lot about the professor, when the class AVERAGE is 67%.  Clearly there is something wrong here.

I received an A in the course.  However, in examining my grades (which it took him much longer than other professors to post) I noticed he docked me an attendance point.  Gasp!  I know.  Terrible, right?  But still, that was my point.  So I politely e-mailed him the following:

"I noticed you docked me a point on my attendance grade.  I assume this is because I was not in attendance for the first class.  However, I feel I should not be docked for that, because if you will recall, I was in a computer course that night which I dropped and switched to your course.  I clearly would have been in attendance had it been possible.  Therefore, please consider adjusting my grade so it accurately reflects full attendance.


Observe the jerk's response:

"You were not present for the first class.  As a result, you lost a point for class attendance.  It does not matter the reason why you were not there.  Therefore, I am not going to change the grade for that particular item."

Well.  Them's fightin' words.  With raised brow, I fired off the following:

"I must admit I am surprised by this response. 

I believe you yourself taught us that acceptance is an essential element of a contract.  Your syllabus is a contract, more or less, setting forth your requirements for the class, allowing us to accept or reject those requirements as we see fit.  I did not have the opportunity to accept your terms until the second class meeting because I was not even registered for your course until that time, and therefore should not have been expected to abide by the terms of the syllabus at the time I missed the first meeting.

I am a darn good student who has made a fair request.  I am confident your fellow professors would attest to this.  I feel your rigid unwillingness to consider these special circumstances is punitive in nature."

He hasn't responded.  Perhaps he took his itsy-bitsy cojones off to bawl in a corner somewhere.  He is quite honestly the sorriest professor I've ever had.  And yet, I rest easier knowing that in the end, this is actually quite the unfortunate turn of events for him, for he will no longer have me in there to yank his class grade averages out of the gutter the way I did with this one.  He won't even have the ability to appear to be teaching anything.

What goes around comes around.


Time Keeps on Slippin’, Slippin’, Slippin’…

Okay, yes, I have been remiss.  Yes.  I know.

I've been overwhelmed with finals, with work, with shopping, with trying to find volunteer opportunities for an 8-year-old, and with trying to find spare moments to do nothing but enjoy my limited time with family.

But now, the moment you've all been waiting for…

A post!

Last weekend (as in 10/6) we took the kids to our friendly neighborhood pumpkin patch.  It was 90 degrees that day.  Ninety!  In October!  Needless to say, none of us really felt like that was pumpkin-pickin' weather, but beggars can't be choosers.

Ethan had to high-step through the pumpkins: 


Laurel, in typical Laurel fashion, passed over pumpkins in favor of clover: 


We didn't find the pumpkins we wanted in the field (happens every year), but we had plenty more from which to choose: 



Ethan has a lot to learn about mass times the acceleration of gravity:


However, he does appreciate the fact that wheels make transport much easier (he insisted on pulling the wagon, NOT riding in it):


For whatever reason, Laurel found the most value in a small pumpkin, a bouquet of red clover, and a stray, foot-long piece of cornstalk:

It was too hot for pumpkin-pickin', but we managed to survive (albeit drenched with sweat).  Maybe next year the weather will be more seasonable.