Thursday, November 15, 2018


ups n downs....

the last 24 hours have been something.  after work yesterday I dropped by the assisted living center where Betty was moved weeks ago.  she was in pain last week and over the weekend in and out of hospital. Now she is on pain meds, morhpine. the cancer spread from her lungs into her body, from what her daughter told me and for days now shes been in bed incoherent on morphine for the pain every 2 hours and not eating or drinking much.  It's a pallative care situation I'm afraid. alas. I went inside her bedroom and sat next to her while her daughter updated me on everything that had passed last week and this. I sat there and held on to Betty's hand as she lay with a frown and scrunched up face in pain and moving her legs under the covers now and then bent kneed. I wish the pain meds alleved her pain more.  I would have liked to spent time with her peacefully holding her hand and perhaps saying some prayers or just speaking to her... however I'm prepared for the end and realize the Sunday before last will be the last time I'll have seen her as herself.  I'll await now for the news from the daughter and husband. and I might go by on the way home from work tomorrow just to check in with the daughter who is struggling and caring for her 24 hours waiting.
I had begun to reach out to Betty 6 years ago after her husband died, they were both a part of my gardening club, and I offered to give her rides to the meetings every month ( she drove during the day at 84 but not at night).  I also enjoyed going to evening church services because I had someone to sit with and she also didn't like sitting alone, so that worked out well.  I felt I was doing a good service, as the old testament is all about caring for widows and orphans ;), and I liked being of help and needed.  We became friends as Betty would cry about missing her husband and I'd pat her on the back or encourage her on the drive home from a meeting etc.. I enjoyed visiting and speaking about our gardens or the club or whatever.... as she got older, she'd take me around the house and point out everything, we did that many times, and she'd tell me all the same stuff again, or look at a photo album, again pointing out who was who etc... anyway, I've decided that while I thought I was helping someone be less lonely, it turns out I might have been helping myself be less lonely at the same time. and now I see how much I'll be missing having someone to sit with on Sunday nights or a home to stop in at anytime, like the old days when you would just drop in on people if they were home, she always was. and I'll miss the phone calls on my answering machine asking if I'd be going to church or not or why she won't be there if she had to miss etc.. or if there was a missionary meeting after the evening service to please plan on coming as she was bringing a dish that would cover for both of us.
she would be 91 in January, so obviously a good age long lived.  the sale of her house is closing this Friday, emptied out, her daughter was bagging up her clothes in the closet while I was there visiting yesterday, everything except what she'd wear in the funeral.  whew, that was a lot to take in yesterday afternoon.
I went to crossfit next and got in a good workout and didn't say much to anyone, wasn't in the mood. came home and sat in front of a stack of papers, and couldn't get my mind on grading so just sat there and distracted myself online and cleaning house.
I woke up to a pleasant surprise. a message from a hunky PE teacher back in Portland. the man I stayed with from airbnb during my visit years ago.  he's such a little flirt randomly.  last night he sent a little message saying: hello handsome, how have you been etc...  I thought to myself wasn't it just a few weeks ago, I was lying in bed hugging the sheet or mattress and thinking of sending him a message? ha  I messaged  him back this morning with some pithy comment about not waking up with him in bed next to me, but settling for waking up to a message? I dunno I thought it sounded cute. I told him I ran a 5k last week in 26:40 and am working on my power snatch at the gym.  ( I realize now I may have over done the macho speak in the message, but whatever. ha ) so the morning started out pretty well.
I felt rather fine going to work this morning, wearing some new shoes that came in the mail yesterday with the belt i'd bought in Tulsa to match. a dark maroon shirt and maroon and paisley tie, a beautifully matching wool jacket over all etc.. you know the drill with me by now.   and... on the way to work I got a flat tire on the highway just before my exit. at first the light came on and I thought, oh low air in a tire, but as I exited on the ramp i could hear and feel a rumble rumble and while taking the road to my school, a flat flat. parked as soon as I turned into the lot at work.  And went in immediately as I was just on time, 8 am.  I had planned a fairly light day today with all 3 classes. they are turning in a major paper and then they watched a short film "Tanghi ARgentini" and writing about it over the weekend. not much instruction involved other than I like to think a moving speech from me about what they've learned now how to do and would want to carry through to other classes, writing about something and having thoughts to share about it, building up words and reasons to communicate about their logos etc etc... anyway.. the morning went very well and at 11 am I was done with 2 classes, and back out in the parking lot, in my shirt tie and new shoes alas! ha, jacking up my truck, taking the wheel off, putting on the spare.  I was pretty sure the tire was ruined but I went across the street to a garage and got their opinion, yup, ruined! they kindly aired up my spare though.  back to my office,called my local Goodyear tire garage where I always go and arranged 2 new tires ready, lunch, afternoon class at 1:30, then by 3 I was leaving work on a street north ( instead of hiway) with my spare tire on and going to get two new tires.woot.  I sat and graded papers for 30 minutes while they put on the tires, $246. and then made it home with about 10 minutes to change for gym and head back out the door. :)
I'm glad tomorrow is Friday. I hope to get as much grading done as possible with my office hours tomorrow. also this weekend I hope to get most of the papers done so I can get them back to students Tuesday on not have stuff over the holiday weekend.
I"m not going to reach my goal of writing my parents a letter before thanksgiving, but I'll still work on it and follow through before Christmas for real.  I have some friends in AR praying for me about it. and I've pretty much got down just want I want to say.  I also shopped plane tickets to Tokyo last night. an escape, a getaway! I got a wild idea about taking a trip after school is out this December for 5 days in Tokyo, just sightseeing and I want to shop the Loopwheeler store. it's a brand I have no access to in USA and just love their style.  yes I need a life. I know. I'm not travelling to Tokyo, not this year anyway ;)
happy weekend all!

ol roy....

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Monday, November 12, 2018

nov wknd....

Last weekend was fun.  I left work early and drove up to TUlsa Friday to meet a friend for lunch. I wasn't sure what to expect since we'd planned it a few weeks back and I had though it'd just be him and me meeting up.  I left work after an hour or so and made it up to TUlsa by 11:30 to meet at Blue Moon Cafe, which I kept driving by and missing since they have taken down their awning our front. ha  My friend J and his wife E and their 3 kids were there and we sat down for lunch. the kids completely quiet and well behaved actually, just the kind I like ;).   btw i had a chicken sandwich and it was not great, dry and just a breast of meat on a bun with lettuce and chees ( granted I'd asked without the guac) but still, not much for a ten dollar sandwich.
anyway, after we chit chatted a bit, the wife and kids took their car to run over to Utica square and J and I got in my truck to go to World Market first and then meet them at Utica.  It gave us a chance to catch up, we both like to give our social commentary and gripes about this or that online or tv and how we view things also job stuff and all that. he's a good longtime friend.  I bought some chocolate and cookies and a few Christmas napkins , and we looked at other stuff there then left for Utica.  We shopped at Banana Republic and I tried on this really cool drab green mole skin jacket, but was like, nah.  their Traveler style slim fit jeans fit me well, and I have a blue and black pair, so while J tried on a few pairs, I considered the drab green moleskin pants and then decided to get a belt.  I got some shoes on sale online last week, a pair of work shoes , my brown ones I've had for ages like more than ten years are worn!! so anyway, the new pair of shoes is more of a tan brown, so the belt was needed to match.  it was $60, but everything was %40 off, plus I got %15 off for being a teacher, and then I got another 10% OFF for using my BR credit card. Voilah! $36!  (I'd done the math on the jacket and it came out to $109, but I detained myself because I knew I was going to make another online purchase at around $80 on Saturday, which I did, 2 Ramshorn WIllow trees and a Cotinus shrub)
anyway, his family came and found us in BR, and we all walked down to the Anthropologie store where everyone found interesting things to comment about in their Christmas stuff section. then I left.
I had planned to make it back by 4:30 for crossfit, but got home just in time to cancel and then wait for the 6:30 training class instead.
Saturday was great, lazy morning, cold out, pajamas on most of the day, doing laundry , online videos, a wee bit of grading online things from my classes...  about 5pm I left over to S's house here in OKC. his husband B was out of town all weekend so we'd planned to go eat at Cafe Parelli's at the mall and catch the end of the OU/OSU big rivalry football game. then we walked around and went into Pottery Barn there and then Banana Republic again, this time I tried on the drab green pants and they fit perfectly!! however I'd forgotten my wallet and didn't have my ID for them to look up my account etc etc to buy them... alas! :)  we also shopped at Dillards after that then I made it home by 8:30ish.
I received a phone message while I was out. it was from Betty's daughter saying she wouldn't be at church in the morning. Betty had some dire pain last week and they said the Cancer had spread from her lungs and she's been put on painkillers and in bed in a hospice room? at the assisted place she's in.... sigh.
I went to church SUnday, and Sunday school afterwards, then grocery store as usual.  graded some online stuff and laundry and general pick up arond the house Sunday, then drove over to my mom and dad's around 2:30 for a few hours. my older brother and 2 sisters met me over there and we all chit chatted and hung out. we discussed Thankgiving, and then we decided i would host our sibling Christmas get together this year since my bro did last year and the the sister before that and the other sister hosts Thanksgiving etc etc.  after everyone had left, my mom took me back to a room and gave me a file of her mother's writings.  My mom grew up in Long Island and her mother was somewhat of an independent literary sort. she had several typed up stories and records of addresses where she'd submitted them to magazines and such.  stories about the family dog and "How to Not Give Up Smoking" etc..  a few Writers magazines in there as well from '61.  I brought them home with me. 
I didn't swim laps this morning because of the snow! we had snow this morning!!  good week to all, I just noticed up way too late.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

fall wear....

Han Kjobenhavn sunglasses if you want to get noticed ;). Topodesign workshirt below, and a nice blue blend melange shirt from Taylor Stitch.

first two shirts above Norse Projects, basic striped Gap look if you ask me, but NP does have excellent quality, I like the rugby style shirt coming back. :) next two shirts above are Desigual crazy stuff, but I'd wear 'em.  The only thing I have ordered in this post is the shirt/jacket below from Taylor Stitch, an awesome combo of black and brown made in a 60 wool/cotton and poly blend.  I've been needing the color black for a layer over my work clothes in the mornings other than a NorthFace black jacket I've had for 10 years.... ;).  the last jacket is a beautiful too expensive corduroy zip up from Norse Projects.

I'm going to try and show how I'd wear 'em below put together with my sly paint editing skillzz....

Thursday, November 08, 2018

almost Nov wknd....

what a nice week. so fall! getting cooler by the day and this weekend freezing Friday night. whoosh!  the leaves have been turning so nicely with all the fall rain this year.  I swam laps each morning this week and have been doing crossfit every afternoon. 4 days in! woot. EXCEPT I did not make it to swim this morning. I was asked by a former retired coworker to come over at 7am and help move her husband into his wheelchair since the neighbor that usually helps every morning wasn't going to be able to today.  SO instead of swimming I got ready for the day early and breakfasted and over there by 7am. It just involved leaving my house about 30 minutes earlier than usual since I try to be at work most days by 730. :)
When I got there, she had him in a sort of hammock swing hanging from a manual lift in his bedroom. and needed my help to pull him from behind sort of back and up so that he'd go down just right into his motorized wheelchair as she lowered from in front etc...  taught all my classes well enough today... I spend about 2/3/rd of the class teaching and the last third students writing a part of their next essay in class on computers.  I've enjoyed having only 5 classes this semester and building a better rapport with students.  taking the time to speak to them and listen and give feedback and look at them in the eyes, throw out a few good bits of advice now and then about growing up, washing hands, getting sleep, enrolling early, blah blah.. all this helps develop a certain amount of respect which I think we are all pleased with. after crossfit today I came home and brought some plants inside. almost had a fit in the kitchen when a wasp starting buzzing around and then started bobbing up and down in my direction and I started screaming to myself and went for it with the kitchen towel. ha!  stomped many times on the towel on the floor, disposed of poor wasp. oh well.
S and B called to ask if they could come over for a set of Bose hadphones that S gave me a few years ago. B has a plane trip tomorrow to see his son in Seattle for the weekend.  after dinner I texted and said stay there, I'll bring them over.  they said, bring your swimsuit and we'll soak in the hot tub.  on this first cold cold evening that really hit the spot. I came home now and am nice and relaxed and ready to Zzzzzz 
I plan to drive to TUlsa tomorrow morning to meet my bud J from AR. We;ve been trying for a while to meet up there.  I thinkhe's bringing his family to shop and run around while we hang together? or I don't know but I'm bummed it's not just me and him, but I can't be too selfish, he's married with 3 kids, but I when I had the idea of meeting him and catching up in TUlsa it wasn't with his family so I'm not overly excited, but I still plan to enjoy seeing him and catching up.  too bad because he might have had the coming out speech from me if we'd been just us two. wah wah.
happy weekend all!

Tuesday, November 06, 2018


as usual this time of year, during the time change, I make an effort to begin morning swims again. which I've done this week.  I'm getting to bed an hour earlier and getting up earlier at 5am instead of 6.  This gives me time to swim laps and get home already dressed by 6 , time to read quietly, then make breakfast, and I'm more likely to get out of the door by 7am. which I've been slacking off recently.  I like to get to work at 7:30 am or before to set up the rooms like I want, chairs and tables. and then work in my office a bit if needed.  OR gives me time to get things done and get to class say 10 minutes early to greet students.  I'm trying to do this and continue crossfit at 4:30 each afternoon. and so far this week, 2 days in, I've been all right and not feeling completely finished after doing both.  the trick is getting all 8 hours of sleep! it's true.
I've been having a pretty good semester teaching only 5 classes.  usually I have 6, and I've even done seven, but the extra $$$ isn't worth all the extra grading.  I traded an online class I was going to teach for an intersession course during summer before the semester started.  I'll be teaching an intersession course during winter break as well and also getting extra hours in at advising, which I always enjoy.
I've been working on connecting with students more this semester. I'm specifically making effort to look students in the eyes while teaching. They're looking back and listening which is nice. I THINK I've built a good rapport and if I can just get them to keep coming to class, it will be an overall semester.  life of students does get in the way regardless alas...
other things I'm always doing this month is bringing outdoor tropical plants inside for the winter. a table of succulents, plants in pots, and soon the hibiscus.  I've also been eating an extra egg and an extra chicken tender with breakfast/dinner to get more protein. I've also been having an extra pbj sandwich and occasional bowl of cereal at night. but I'm going to reassess the extra calories and focus on more protein added overall. ha! I am up to an all time high of 182lbs. and still fitting fine into all my 32" waist work pants ha!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

october 31st

Another halloween completed tonight!  this is the 4th or so year that my block has done a safe street and block off the street at the intersection where my house is and then 5 blocks south of me.  the neighborhood association provides some candy, although most of us donate our own. Many families and kids come by from 6 - 8pm. Amy, my vet friend, has come over each year to sit on the porch with me and hand out candy. it's lots of fun. this year I had two big bags of chocolate candy ordered from Amazon, also 100 glowlight bracelets for $10.  I also found some gummy bear packets and lots of dum dum suckers.  I also got some pencils as a gag treat, and I bought some little debbie snack cakes also.  I also put some candy canes in there that are already in the stores. ha  lots of variety. the bracelets were the biggest hit though.
A picked up a pizza on the way over from work and man I'm feeling it now having 4 pieces, my half,  of the pizza. 
It's been a pretty busy fall as usual teaching up a storm. this semester I've been focusing on connecting more with students, and I think my goal of looking them in the eyes more is helping.  I'm not a good eye contact person, but being aware of it helps me put forth effort.  I just teach and will start at the back wall or wherever as if they are hanging on every word, and really I need to look at them and connect, and like I said I feel good about it this semester because I see them looking back at me more and staying tuned in.  I've already a handful of students come by my office this year, which is a good sign. albeit they have needs and concerns, but I fell good that they can trust me to come and talk to someone to about it.  one student having trouble with getting financial aid through veteran affairs and his father disability and him qualifying as a kid etc... and the other from saudi arabia and suffering from anxiety of his country making him come back home if he has low grades, and instead of focusing on studying he says he sits there staring and in fear for an hour not able to think of anythying other than having to go back home etc... i got him some help because he thought the math lab on campus couldn't help with engineering classes, but they have labs and tutors for the higher math classes also etc....
another student who is hard to read and doesn't put a lot into my class, he'll come by before class sometimes to sit in my office and finish something assigned so he can make sure he's doing it right and will sit at the chair across from my desk writing something while I just sit there doing whatever I was doing before he came in. ha  I'm interacting well with my colleagues as well.
I don't knwo if I blogged, and I think I did, about a disappointment last semester when another prof was given a coordinator position that I had hoped to get..someone newer than me ( and who I felt less qualified). well I got over it, especially after the lovely summer break.. well, it turns out he was hired into a director of student services position in another dept on campus and no longer in our division, SO.....  now I could maybe get the position. or not. but meanwhile me and the rest of the committee in charge of choosing a new textbook will have more say, and the other 3 of us all agree and are in agreement with the direction we want to go, which I think may have differed somewhat with the other guy who left.  sorry that might be confusing.  let's just say things are mellowing out.
Another thing is the horrible things the new Dean has done to our division and so we have sort of bonded about those changes as well.  not so much to our half of the division but the other half, pretty much pushing out the theatre prof and his classes that have been offered for YEARS and then changing the school newspaper to like 4 pages of worthless items, no longer covering any school news at all, what kind of school paper doesn't cover school news?!?!? sigh...
a couple of weeks ago my friend Betty was moved out of her home into a senior care, which is actually very close to my home just south.  it wasn't easy for her, but it was needed as she has had more and more memory issues and her health issues.  about 2.5 weeks ago her family took away her car keys, and then a week later she was moved out.  she had been prepared for it and for a few weeks even helped get out all her things and lay them on tables around the house as her son in law put prices on everything in the house or marked things for move/keep.  she was moved, and then just last weekend, they had the estate sale.  a bit sad , but for the best for all involved. it was tough for her daughter and son inlaw going over so often to help with meals and stuff daily.
I bought a few things, some out of sentimental value and things just to have. a mirror, a 1$ old blanket that I LOVE the colors on, and some framed wheelbarrow handles from a trip to Italy $5, and an old terra cotta rather large pot from the front garden with a big open mouth lion face on the front. sigh....  I've visited her already a few times.  it's a very nice new place of course and she has meals there downstairs with people each day, she's very better off.  she has some sort of cancer on her lungs that can't be treated since she's 91. so I dont' know how much longer she has.  I've been very brave in preparing myself for her end, but I've become very accustom to visiting and spending time with her, I'm not sure how I'll get along, I consider her a friend after all. all in due time.  It all started from obeying the old testament which is pretty much all about taking care of widows and orphans.  6 years ago when she was widowed, I felt my duty to begin giving her rides to our garden club meetings since her husband had always been the one to drive there at night.  She also got me in the habit of going to church every SUnday night at 6pm. as she'd always invite me and I knew she didn't like sitting alone. So I felt I should help and care and be a friend, and that time will have its end. ahh well.
no other new news here. I'm trying my best to save money and put everything into upkeep ofmy house, being responsible and not buying anything new from fancy online brand clothing companies! ;) boooo!  happy Halloween all

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Norse Projects..... oh how I love thee....

but you're not a boyfriend or life companion that I can actually live with and communicate all my ideas to and love and share the world etc etc blah blah. anyway, I'd have to be feeling pretty lonely and hopeless and down and out to spend money on a $500 coat, $100 hat, and $300 sweater.  But how fun would it be to show up somewhere in this outfit? just putting it on in the morning and going out to the pickup in the cold morning wrapped up in all that wool and the matching hat (!)... well, I never! ha ha :)  But seriously,  is there like a Gap, Target, or Uniqlo version of these out
(if you're a clothes horse, single, and not a public school teacher, check or for the sweater et al.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Friday, October 05, 2018