Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Work on the street continues. Our so-called sidewalk was completely ripped up yesterday. Now it is quite a drop from the porch door to the street. They are doing a very neat job. They did break one of my tomato plants, an heirloom that was planted near the sidewalk, in the upper bed. It was the Cherokee Purple. I think I may have salvaged it last night, though. Its little stem wasn't completely snapped, so I tied it up, gave it a drink, and it still looks OK today. Even so, I am glad about the work. It was a long time coming. It will be nice when it is done, although I am not eager for cars to resume speeding up Green Avenue again. Some still go too fast, even with the obstacle course.

Today they are working out there again. I hope they don't damage any other plants. I am a little concerned about the storm. They have not taken a break, even with rain, thunder and lightening. It isn't a terrible storm, but still. I resisted going outside to tell them that common sense should dictate that they go sit in their pickup trucks until the lightening stops. I suppose they are under a deadline, but regardless, you think they would know better.

On another subject, I am keeping myself 100% on top of the class at this point. Not sure whether things will stay that way, but it is an effort to even out my workload, take precautions just in case complications in my life arise, and strengthen class community. We'll see if it works. The enrollment right now is 45. That's my largest class ever, whether in the classroom or online.

Back to gardening, the beans are all up, but the cucumbers seem to have been eaten by birds (or maybe the seeds rotted), so I re-planted today. A few days ago I saw a female Cardinal in the garden, pecking away. I watched anxiously, not because of the seeds (although I admit to being a little worried), but because she seemed to have trouble figuring out how to get out of the fence, and I was wondering what to do if I had to intervene. I also re-planted a few of the beans, because some of the plants had the leaves chewed off, leaving only stems. Not sure whether slugs were the culprit (with all the dampness, probably), or a groundhog. This morning I saw a half-grown groundhog tangled in the fence, and again, I watched and worried, equally about the plants and the critter. I opened the kitchen window and hollered, "now you get out of there," and s/he stared right back at me. I don't know if s/he had gotten into the garden and I noticed only on the way out (after eating my beans), or if the fence worked, and s/he was tangled from the outside.

In both cases, nature took care of itself - the Cardinal flew away and joined her mate on a tree stump after a few tries, and the groundhog got free of the fence and scampered down the hill, accompanied by another groundhog that was at least as big as Sophie (and much fatter). What a relief! Slugs I don't like (and if they were the cause I will get them to drown themselves in beer) but the Cardinal was beautiful and the groundhog was adorable.

When the rain clears, I must get a picture of the rosebush near the garden to post here. It is especially gorgeous this year!

Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm sorry. Pabst, winner of the ugliest dog contest, is adorable!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I've had a few things in mind to post here lately (including how irritated I was over Roger Ebert's review of My Sister's Keeper...but since I haven't seen the movie, I decided that would keep). Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, what can you say? As a teen in the '70s and young adult in the '80s I admit to feeling sad.

Bob's doing well, although the third surgery is becoming more likely. Still hoping that turns out to not be the case. The weather has changed from continuously overcast and rainy, to sunny during some parts of the day, raining during others. The endive is up!

What motivates me to write today, though, is that yesterday, faculty received an email about changes in textbook ordering, sparked by revisions in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Opportunity Act. We have to have our book orders in by October 1 for Spring and March 1 for Summer and Fall. This is supposed to enable timely access to affordable course materials for students.

Although those dates are very early, I don't have a big problem with the deadines (I usually get mine in kind of early anyway), and I do believe in helping students with making books affordable (I have copies of all of mine on reserve at the library), but I am concerned about one aspect of the legislation, "Reference to this textbook information on any printed course catalogues." Anytime I have referenced the printed course catalogues, there are many things in there that are out of date - making the information available online is not much of an issue, but I don't think the printed versions are revised very often. Since I change some books about once a year, does this mean that out of date information will be in there? And then students could have purchased obsolete materials and expect faculty to accommodate them? (Might this force faculty to change books less often?)

How did this slip through from the Feds without so much as a whimper from colleges?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wow, a summer day! I planted endive and marigold seeds. Next up, cucumbers, beans and more marigolds.

The construction on our street is really moving along today - they arrived at 6:30 AM! I guess they wanted to take advantage of the weather.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The sun came out briefly - I ran outside, planted the parsley, oregano and coleus, did poop patrol, picked up all the dog toys and put them in the washer (Sam takes them outside - there must have been 20 plush toys out there), and weed wacked.

Tomorrow, I'll plant the seeds.
The weather is starting to get to me! Not raining at present, but it is so gloomy. To look at things in a half-full way, if it was warm and sunny, we would be pining away for the pool and Samsonville - since we can't go there, it is less bittersweet.

But I want to plant the seeds! I got two parsely plants, oregano and a coleus over the weekend. I think I will plant them today, whether it is raining or not. Tomorrow is supposed to be a nice day (I'll believe it when I see it), and if so, I will get the seeds in and weed wack. The grass loves all the rain and soon it will be up to my knees.

Class starts today. 51 students enrolled! They all won't stay in, though.

Friday, June 19, 2009

We're having a (brief) break in the rain, so I planted the rest of the tomatoes. This year I planted fourteen, representing nine varieties. In the garden I have three heirloom plants: Arkansas Traveler, Stupice and Wisconsin 55, plus two Big Boys (a hybrid). In the flower bed, I have one heirloom: Cherokee Purple, as well as four Big Boy plants. In containers, I have four heirloom varieties: Chadwick Cherry, Yellow Pear, Burbank and Marvel Striped.

I already planted regular basil, an Aconcagua Sweet Pepper, Holy Basil, Peruvian Purple Chile Pepper and Purple Di Milpa Tomatillo in containers, also some marigolds here and there, a geranium and two hanging baskets of petunias. The chile pepper doesn't look too good, but the others are doing OK (the regular basil is thriving).

It looks like the rain will finally stop on Monday, so I'll plant the cucumber, green bean, endive and marigold seeds on Tuesday. I had planted lettuce and parsley seeds, but with the rain, hail and cold, they didn't amount to anything.

This is the latest I've ever gotten the plants in. It had better be a warm September or the harvest will be pitiful! Except for the number of tomato plants, it is a lot less than I usually do. Life has been too turbulent, and the weather hasn't cooperated. Nothing planted in Samsonville, of course - although last fall we put in some perennials, including Hydrangea - hope they are all thriving!

Bob went into work today for the first time - he is approved to work half-days.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I purchased the domain name www.gullybrookpress.com from yahoo in 2002. It redirected to my AOL hometown site. I remembered that I should have it redirect to my new verizon site. I was able to get into my yahoo account, but apparently I didn't use it to buy the domain. Finally, after days of emailing help, I figured it out and it now redirects to the new place.

Now, I have to finish all the virtual museums that are under construction, and it will be all set.
I took advantage of the nice day and rototilled my garden! I only planted the tomato plants and some marigolds, though. We are supposed to have rain for several days in a row and seeds would rot. My ankle held up pretty well, but lugging the 'tiller around wasn't easy.

Monday, June 15, 2009

My summer class is all ready. It starts in a week, but students have access now.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lots of excitement here in Castleton this weekend. Besides the two-day celebration for Hudson 400, the high school boys baseball team won the state championship. Now, I am not much of a sports enthusiast, but when I was in Stewarts' last night, the clerk (associate? Not sure what they are called at Stewarts') told me about the win and said the Village would be having a parade down Main Street at 11 pm. I could hardly believe it, but with the atmosphere very upbeat from the flotilla, who knows? It was raining at 11 pm - but sure enough, I could hear the sirens from the parade.

Friday, June 12, 2009

This afternoon, we went to Schodack Island State Park to see the Historic Flotilla on its was to docking at the Castleton Boat Club, as part of Castleton's & Schodack's celebration of the Hudson/Champlain 400 (and Fulton 200).

The Half Moon

The Clearwater

The OnRust

In the morning, Bob had another follow up appointment. It seems to doctors are in consensus that he is going to need another surgery. It's very hard to accept.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bob had his second follow-up appointment today. It went OK. He looks and feels well, and I think we were more optimistic going in than we were afterwards. But he did get cleared to go back to work for half days, starting June 18. He has another appointment Friday, and two more in two weeks. I really hope he doesn't need another surgery eventually.

The walk in the hospital really killed my ankle. Did the same thing last week. It felt so much better this morning, but tonight it is really bothering me. I don't learn!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

In this post, I mentioned Edible Arrangements. Recently, when I was casting around for an appropriate thank you gift for the people who have done so many good deeds for us recently, I remembered it. I have sent eight - and everyone loves them. I just have to mention what a great idea it is. They seem to deliver everywhere, and it is flawless. Highly recommended.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Still working on the website. I'll have to switch to focusing on the online class soon, though.

That and the garden. I bought some plants today!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

I finished restoring my GBP website - at least for now. I'm sure I'll add more, and tweak what's there.

Added: I still have work to do. A lot of the site is fine, but four pages of the virtual museum need to have photos uploaded.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Bob is OK. He looks well and is improving, but it is slow going. I have a feeling it will be like this for months. I'm really hoping we can get to Samsonville for July 4. The pool is open (what a great family I have. The pool, the rides...). The grass is mowed. I am not sure whether Bob will be cleared to swim by then, though.

I finished my big end-of-year advisement projects - just about a month late. Now my plate is cleared and I can garden! I ordered some live plants from Seeds of Change (as well as my usual seed order). My summer session class doesn't start until the end of June (50 students have registered - but I'm sure a lot will drop).

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Bob had his follow up appointment today. The doctor believes he will probably need a third surgery, but we are focused on that maybe not being the case. He looks and feels well. He wasn't cleared to drive or go back to work (no surprise about the work), and he has two appointments next week.

The cab was late! Very anxiety producing. What made it worse, there has been a lot or work being done on our street for about the past 10 months or so. It's a one way street, but often you can't drive the correct way on it. So this may have contributed to the hold up. As a result the ride to the hospital increased my car phobia at least +10. (I was envisioning inventing a phobia game...)

Edna killed a chipmunk! I was not happy. She brought it on the patio so I could see it. And of course, I had to deal with it. (One of the many jobs that I never have to do, that I now have to do.) I felt sad for the cute little thing. But Edna is really amazing - she must be around 17 at this point and still vital.

My ankle is so tired! Walking around in Albany really pushed it more than even the stairs or weed wacking at home (this morning it actually felt like it was on the mend).

One student emailed - complaining about the grade (an A-!). I didn't budge, of course.
Bob's follow up appointment is tomorrow afternoon (actually today; I just haven't gone to bed yet so to me it is still Tuesday). I know he is apprehensive. He seems pretty well overall but there are moments when he struggles. Please let him be on the road to recovery.