ct is trying to kill me…

I know this is supposed to be a bright and shiny new bloggity version of my developing Professorial awesomeness but can I just say… I think my state is trying to kill me.

My wonderful (no sarcasm​ at all here…) bitty Little house in the Big Wood is currently growing an interesting type of mildew in certain corners, damp is creeping in around the door, and the windows are sweating profusely. It may be having a heart attack, and trying to take me with it. Looking at it that way kind makes me feel all special and shit, but seriously, I have been sick since November and am officially done. Game over, I am debating quitting school and escaping to The Keys for some SUN dammit, but seeing as I just did my taxes and owe close to $1K, I think I have to wait a bit to flee the scene.

So today I have nothing of import to share, but wanted to make an appearance in honor of February, the shortest and sweetest month EVER! No, I am absolutely NOT trying to butter good old February up in order to avoid a blizzard when I least expect it… =) In all actuality, my dark secret is that I despise February, but totally​ LOVE it too. The cold and damp and snow and 17 minutes a day of sunlight just make me weep, but then you have those days of brilliant blue, no wind, snows all melted and you look up and are all like “Damn, what a pretty day!” And don’t let’s forget about St. Valentine’s Day!

Speaking of, Paul and I are creeping up steadily on 2 years, having just past 21 months. Did you hear that… 21 months… IN A ROW! =) =) The funny thing is that while this is our second go around for Feb 14, it is our first official Valentine’s Day! =) Let me explain…

Last year, we were knee deep in snow, bills, and sick. Seeing as we were not even together that day, we just decided to call bullshit on the whole day and if memory serves, I spent the evening with take-away and Grey’s Anatomy. It was perfect, considering. Bt this year, he will be here after work, YAY! Since we both get home late, no fancy dinner plans for us, but I was thinking if I manage to sneak in before he gets home, I will light candles all over the bedroom, brew a pot of coffee, and try to cram the girls into that little camisole top that makes me look like a pornstar. Ooh, I just remembered, I have some glitter-blush stuff that will match the blue silk perfectly!!!

In short, we are doing nothing special, just spending some much-needed time together. I am serious when I tell you all that I am a girl who appreciates the little things… don’t like grand gestures, am more appreciative of stuff like him taking out the recycling. I know it sounds silly, but after so many years feeling alone next to an uninterested man, it is wonderful to be with someone who is PRESENT. =)

I actually have nothing further to report, but just had to check in with my peeps. Have a wonderful week, I will try to post again in a few days, hopefully with something more substantial to say. =) Talk soon, lovies!

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great things…

I awoke this morning, wrapped in Paul’s arms, a tepid ice pack wedged between us and under my thigh, and his pillow tenting my head… sleepily grinning, I wondered how on earth a confirmed loner such as myself managed to allow herself to be smooshed into 1 square foot of my generously queen-sized bed. And not just allow it, but sort of enjoy it… don’t tell anyone about my humanity and frailty, please. They are closely guarded secrets, as I do much better with getting respect when I act more the automaton, kwim? =)

So I did what I do, made coffee, luxuriated in the precious moments rubbing his back as he kissed my waist, made his sandwich while he got dressed, made the bed while he put the dirties in the hamper. I got him packed into his truck, sneakers and safety vests streaming across the seat, coffee and Gatorade and lunch perched next to him, and ruffled his hair as he grinned down at me. I wondered what small miracle brought this man to my life, and what good deed I had done to keep him here. I thought about how his smile lights up a room, and how I get to see it more days than not. How every time I look at him, my heart grows just a little bit more, and I am fairly certain that it won’t fit in my chest much longer, if he sticks around…

Contemplative, satiated, comfortable. There is no way any school work is getting done any time soon, and I can take this time off knowing this is a treasure, and that come August 29, I will not have the luxury of relaxing-instead-of-schoolwork again until Dec 20, so I am determined to grab these opportunities when they present themselves, she says with authority. =)

I made a coffee, wistfully hoping that my calm demeanor will allow me to drink and enjoy it again. I am thinking about great things today, and want to get my thoughts down before they escape me. Being in possession of girl bits, I am naturally thinking of contributions that other girls have made to our society, or lifestyle, or education. And while this may make some of you cringe, Michelle Obama popped into my head. No matter how one votes, or what one believes in, Michelle is a girl, scratch that, a woman, of a certain age who has done some meaningful things recently that I look at and think “man, I would like to contribute to society like that, in some small way.”

Her Let’s Move! campaign is amazing, crossing the boundaries of gender, economic status, and geographic location to reach ALL of our children, which is no small thing. It is refreshing that all children matter in her campaign, rather than some specific group. Her mentoring programs encourage girls to smash the glass ceiling and ways to overcome the things that hold one back, such as fear. Her support for military families, education, the arts, and her creation of an AmeriCorps program in Chicago are some notable contributions that she has made not only to our country, but to the wellbeing of our younger generations. When I think about her working full time while taking care of her children while her hubby was fulfilling his Senatorial duties, I realize that she has become a role model to me, someone who had opportunity, to be certain, but who has worked tirelessly for decades of her life to live up to the sacrifices her parents made so she could become more…

Greatness comes in all shapes and sizes. This may seem an oxymoron, but one small act of kindness, or purity, or morality can ripple out in untold ways. Just hold open a door for a struggling senior, or smile at a young mother with a crying toddler instead of grimacing, or generously tip the waitress who spilled coffee on your shoe if you doubt the veracity of that statement.

When I began, many years ago, to realize organized religion was not for me, I switched from a religious mindset to a philosophical one. I read many works by the Dalai Lama, Buddha, Confucius, and everything I could find about the Sufi, Shinto, and Taoist traditions. Previously, I had been taught to repay kindnesses to those who had bestowed them upon me. While on my path for self-discovery, I realized that what worked best for me was the opposite, to take what others give me in love, and create something meaningful I can pass on to someone at a later date. I learned to take life’s lessons with grace, even when they were not what I hoped for. I learned to take what I could from my experiences, and create meaningful change in myself, or to simply enjoy the beauty that is given to me. In turn, I want to walk ahead, and do the same thing for others who have a need. I am pretty fantastic just as I am, but I want to be more. I want to be great. =)

What great things have you accomplished, or are working on? What are you most proud of? Conversely, what have you done that was meant to be spectacular, but ended as a spectacular mess? For me, in that category, it would be my relationship with Hubby No More. =) I do not crash and burn often, but when I do, damn, are there some flames! =) Go be your best, be spectacular, be great! Enjoy your day, peeps.. =)

r.i.p., fishwich…

The first death in our almost-blended family-type unit… that it was a 6 inch fish with a penchant for biting doesn’t lessen the poignancy of the moment.

Thank ALL that is holy, Paul unexpectedly came over last night and was able to rid the tank of the poor, slimy creature that had apparently been stewing in his own juice the entire day as I was in class and orientation. Perfect timing, Fishwich. The life of a pet owner, sigh.

Rigor mortis still had the yellow-grey body in its grasp, and Paul almost dropped it out of the scoopy net and onto my bedroom carpet…Sobbing and screeching, I hid under the covers after flinging an entire linen closet shelf’s worth of bath towels at him, which now need to be double washed or I will NEVER use them again… stop laughing, he did that enough last night for all you all readers, thank you very much! I am glad he had the foresight to fling the corpse into the woods at the back of the complex, or I never would have gone again into our back yard area, for fear of encountering a cat-eviscerated spine or head staring blankly up at me… eww…

So… I was at school yesterday and had the requisite swag bestowed upon me by the VERY bouncy student advisory team, the collective age of whom was less than mine, lol. Nothing makes me feel quite as old as being in a room with 25 tan and willowy rising Juniors, eager to impress us with their backflips and typing skillz… weird combination, I know, but still quite impressive to behold, sans coffee and freezing in my middle-agedness.

I am in all A levels, making me feel rather like the Sorting Hat put me in the best house. 17 credits didn’t sound like much while I was registering, but facing the stack of books this morning and filling in my day planner, the familiar “oh shit” moment grabs me and I wonder, for the umpteenth time, what the HELL I am doing. Oh, I know I will end up satisfied, happy, and in possession of that elusive PhD., as that is my nature and success follows me, if I bother with the effort. But every few years, after achieving a preliminary goal, I am scooted right back to the beginning steps of the next goal, and would very much like to be stagnant for a few years, you know, to breathe and all. =) How can I work on my novel if I am busy with maths (again??!!) and mentoring and the dreaded PRAXIS exams? So I better pour another cup of coffee and relax on the back patio with that stack of books and the scent of tomatoes wafting pleasantly toward my smiling face with just one more little “crinkle” around the mouth than last year.

Have a beautiful day, peeps. Anyone else working toward a new career or promotion these days? Best of luck if so, and congrats if not. =) Wishing you all light and love, and no end to happiness… =)

 

instagram and summertime…

It’s summer, July, my birthday… 2016 is HALF over, srsly??!! I have so much to accomplish before the end of December that I am not sure I can squish it all in. But I am having a hell of a time trying! =) =)

We had ferocious thunderstorms last night, Paul was on call so he spent half the night re-wiring Hartford. We had coffee before he went out the first time, Gatorade before he left the second, and by 0600 he was back in the truck again, coffee and lunch on the seat next to him, rain gear piled under hard hat and harness, cigarette dangling from corner of smiling mouth, one hand waving out the window as he hollered “Happy Birthday Baby!”

I’m sitting here in my impossibly cool living room, bathed in sunlight and thankful for the breezes that are blowing my messy hair about my head. I did some VERY light hiking this morning, not enough to hurt overmuch, but hopefully enough to burn off the Swedish Fish  calories eaten with abandon and zero guilt as the sun came up.

I finally got on the instagram wagon, a little late to the game in my particular fashion. I find it intimate, easy, fun, and LOVE to snap a photo and know that in less than 2 seconds, I have posted it, and can even zoom in or change the color! Please find me there, at:

@straitontillmorning

I have saved countless hours by not posting my photos here, and just popping them into my phone account.  A better representation of my days, no matter how truncated. =)

At any rate… Paul and I have been taking the yaks out at every opportunity, and this physical activity has brought a new level of intimacy to our relationship. Due to my knee injury, I cannot get them on and off the car or truck, so while I can “help,” this task is left to him. He is LOVING the maleness of taking physical care of me, lol. =) Not only does he take care of the on and off loading, but he makes an arm bridge for me, allowing me to get in and out without undue stress on my poor knee. Once in the water, he slowly paddles circles around me in his more streamlined boat until I get my bearings and manage to fight the current to head in the agreed-upon direction. He is WAY stronger than I, and after 6 months of no real workouts, I am a little less than I was a year ago. So though he ends up ahead of me regularly, he always comes back close to me, offering words of encouragement and smiles. This is the first time he has had a chance to really take this role of protector and helper, and he is flourishing under what I feared would be a mere responsibility.

Additionally, we went fishing, several times. Watching him throw out the line, play it a bit, then sit in companionable silence in the waning evening sun and just soak in the calm. Valium for the soul… so very much needed. =) The fishing thing is a HUGE deal, because he has not been in 5 years. His best childhood friend dies then, and he and this man fished constantly, flying down south to oil rigs and similar sites to real in the big boys of the game, marlin and tuna. Since he died, Paul has not been back out, and while our little excursions are not the same, watching the stress melt from his face as he relaxes makes my own heart sing. He is in his element on the water, beautiful to watch as a gracefulness that belies his size controls his movements. He smiles hugely enough to block out the sun, and comes home exhausted and sated in a way I have not observed before.

That he would chose now to return to this sport, and chose me to accompany me, is not small thing, and that fact is not lost on me. Our relationship is deepening, but rather than feel strangled, I feel buoyed by it all. He shared this part of himself with me, without reservation. Those of you with men in your lives understand the wow factor of that statement. =) So while my living room is littered with yaks, life vests, and the odd whistle and ePirb device, I am deeply satisfied in a way that is very new to me. I feel like I am trying on couture, but instead of being tight and scratchy, this lusciousness was made for me, and that realization stuns me. Looks like my general plan to move to the Keys and teach my college classes online should become something to more seriously consider. =)

At any rate, I have to go now. I love being here with you, but I love hiking in the rarity of a cool July afternoon even more. Catch you on the flip side, peeps… much love to you all who chose to share my journey. =)

fish sans chips…

I joked the other day about WANTING, really wanting, like in wanting-to-infinity some fish and chips… should have made myself a little less vague…

Paul calls yesterday on his way to his sister’s place to help her move for a few hours so I could get some semblance of work done in his absence. No, I have not figured out how to write papers while he is here, looking all sexy and stuff. =)

So he asks me if I want a fish tank, says it’s free, good shape, has fish and filter, all that jazz. I mumbled my interest and assent, and hung up, desperate to finish my work while the thoughts were still coherent. The phone rings about an hour later, he asks if I am at a good stopping place, to which I assure him the affirmative. He asks me where he should put it, as he will b home in about 15 minutes. PUT WHAT? The fish tank, of course. Sigh.

I thought it was a more relative question, we talk about salt water tanks and sea stars often. I thought he meant this freshwater tank would reside at his place until we cohabited. I thought he meant some other time… to which he replied he can turn around, drop it at his place, and be back up here by 11pm. Sigh.

It really IS a nice tank, now that we got the new filter going. The fish seem happy, and curious, busily blowing sand in scattered piles while the other guy hangs upside down from algae covered rocks, his food source that I am not allowed to scrub off while boyfriend is at work. Like I would put my hands in a dirty fish tank, snort.

Photos forthcoming, have not had the time or energy to take snaps and transfer them to computer. In other news, early birthday gift of kayak and accoutrement happily broken in, day trip to Watch hill for fishing checked off our Summer To Do list, and museum visit to ooh over plaster reproductions of Greek sculpture accomplished. Final shot before another scope of knee, done. Surgery moved to back burner until further notice. Pounds lost, zero. Pounds of toys gained and now piled in living room, 217. Pairs of shoes not in closet because door blocked by his kayak, 5. Dead worms dropped from tackle box onto front stoop, 2. Not a frayed mess, however, because new neighbor smokes about a pound of medical grade a day on the adjoining back porch, so I just hobble into the kitchen and breathe deeply a few times a day. It’s all good, baby. =)

my apologies, jeff bridges…

I am really sorry, Jeff Bridges. For some inexplicable reason, you are the manifestation of everything that was good, right, and strong about myself and my childhood. It is way too large a burden for one man to carry, even you, but the deed is done, and I cannot look back now. You are the man. End of story…

I think it all began when I first saw “Tron”in lush, Technicolor Glory, on LaserDisk no less, at my uncle’s house on hot summer day. I was dizzy from swimming in the pool in the miserable midday Kansas heat, and thankful that we would not be subjected to another showing of “Poltergeist,” which somehow was terrifying to me despite my advanced age of 13.Perhaps is was less that particular movie than his insistence of watching stuff like “The Thing” in front of us 5 kids, spilling his beer from laughing fits when we shrieked and ran from the room.

Jeff Bridges looked out from the TV at me, his head surrounded by that campy, glowstick illuminated hat, caught my eyes, and I have never been the same since. I have no idea what made me think he really saw me, or that he was talking TO me, but that drawl, and the sandy hair, and gentle eyes, it seemed as if he was telling me “every little thing’s gonna be alright.” At a time when I desperately needed to hear that message, I did not question where it was coming from, only was thankful that it was coming through loud and clear. The fact that he nearly always sounds bewildered only endeared him to me further. I could totally relate.

Through the years, Jeff’s ability to be there for me while he starred in movies such as Starman, Kiss me Goodbye, Fearless, Blown Away, and the second in the Tron franchise made me fall further in admiration for him, if not love, per se. That came after True Grit and Crazy Heart, two roles which MUST have been made with him in mind, so beautifully he portrayed the characters. Even the watered down cinema version of my beloved The Giver was enriched by his ability to deliver a well placed line, gravel and desire for better and more and what was lost so real in his yearning tones…

So there you have it. I do not know what the question is, but the answer is Jeff Bridges. Try him, seriously… he works. =)  The real men in your life will be glad to be out of the hot seat, and if by chance he ever does let you down, well all you’ve lost is fangirl status. But don’t share the tragedy with me, because I will flat out not believe that he did not hang the moon… Namaste, peeps, from me AND The Dude… lol.

 

the cat who ate danish modern…

In which she is returned and all are left wondering where she has been… =)

Hello once again my bloggity friends! It is I, your oft-absent-in-person-but-never-far-in-spirit, sweltering, and just a bit plumper than you may recall…Tish! I did warn you I would be back, but had no idea how long it would be between posts and poppings-by.

Jumping right back into the saddle, I am considering acquiring a pet, of the feline and pedigree’d variety. He is a stunning Bengal, 5 months of age, a sweet boy with a playful personality and a soft, questioning “Meorwl?” as he reaches languidly and long-limbed to prod one’s lap. I fell ass over teacup in love with him on sight, and have spent the better part of 2 weeks trying to talk myself out of the expense. I don’t think he eats danish, modern or otherwise, but do know he likes his home-made chicken dinners. Regardless, I loved the title, enjoyed slightly the book, and had to make the reference. =) Of course, my lineman in shining hardhat tells me late at night as I am slipping to sleep that this may very well be the perfect birthday gift for me… regardless of how this little one is initially paid for, there is still upkeep and commitment to think of, and as we know, moss grows never-long under this scholar’s feet. Is it reasonable to get a pet now, or should I wait until school is done and aforementioned man and I are cohabitating? As with a child, there really never IS a perfect time, but some are certainly better than others…

I am also FINALLY, with much ado in proper Tish fashion, a fully committed, enrolled, and deposited student at Eastern CT State Uni. Ahem, yes, I changed major and institution again, but let’s focus on the fact that I come to Eastern with several professional recommendations shining in my back pocket, and my first degree-fulfilling class is taught by my department head, who also happens to be my advisor… the fates have found another plaything, apparently, and stars have aligned so much so that in looking back, I can see the path by which I got here, illuminated by my 3.92 GPA and the odd firefly. It is nearly June, after all. =) While my fingers are slow in the heat, and my words oozing inefficiently in puddles here, please hear the joy in my voice and see the radiant smile on my soporific face as I share this news with you all. I am happy, satisfied, and feel content in my bones, rather than the constant buzzing stress of the least year in limbo, trying to yet again fit myself into a box of not-my-own making. Glad I got over it, and myself, long enough to reach out and do what is good and right FOR ME, others be damned.

I also, finally and to the delight of many a reader, can claim to have seen Downton Abbey. I fell stunningly into the trap of the beautiful clothing and bucolic setting, and between finals and work, managed to binge-watch all of the first 5 seasons on Netflix, all the while hiding the growing obsession from Paul. I know, I’ve got mad skills. =) Feeling empty now that everyone is dead, arrested, or leaving, and knowing there is only one season left, I have filled my telly time (read: not doing housework, cooking, or exercising) with re-arranging my fall semester’s classes… at least until the system locked me out and Sara, my boss for 9 more days, asked me if I am on the spectrum. Reading, coloring, reading more, watching grainy videos of 1970’s hits on YouTube, and deep conditioning my hair have kept me occupied for the time being. Must wean self from mesmerizing box… in mean time, suggestions welcome. =)

Hmm… college? I  now am in possession of the literally BEST schedule for the fall semester. Ok, slight sarcasm, but am actually excited and HAPPY about it, so score one for your darling author. =) I am getting all the mundane stuff out of the way as quickly as possible, and there is math involved, so feel free to skip ahead to next paragraph break if that sort of thing makes you cringe. I am doing a liberal arts for educators maths class, should be just enough stress and inanity to make me lose a few of these extra pounds, to there is that. Next up is Information Management for the Professional Educator, which is a fancy way of saying “learning to make powerpoints and word docs for your students who are probably asleep or texting anyway.” Computer crap, pure and simple, but only interesting. For the PE requirement, since my injured knee STILL is not right, I opted for the Issues in Health Education, which aligns nicely with my Nutrition class already taken to make a pretty 5 credit package that the state is loving. Weird, but handy. The english class I nabbed is Writing Literary Criticism, which promises to be great fun, and will be taught, in entirety, by the PhD holding Professor, no TA in sight!!!! =) =) The class is comprised of 20 of us, all funneled together due to our career goals and PRAXIS requirements. This is one reason I went for this school… Uconn classes are all lecture halls, 100+ students, with a MA seeking TA. Erm… I  am a MA seeker, why not just let ME grade my own work, and reduce the tuition? But I digress… Recent American Hist, surveying 1877-now, is a good fit, because of the current policy requirement. Lastly, in a fit of inspiration and creativity inspired by a weekend of Audrey in Roman Holiday, comes my foreign language requirement which is… ITALIAN!!!!! =) =) I know, what about Spanish and Latin Cultures?! But seriously, Italian, with an Italian teaching it. Sigh. Pure fun choice, remind me of that please about mid-terms when I am mangling my declensions and unable to determine when I should trill or flip an “R”… and did you know that in Italian, “S” and “Z” make 2 sounds each, one voiced, and the other unvoiced? WTF does “unvoiced” mean anyhow?? But against all odds, beyond reason and without explanation, I am utterly happy and excited for the term’s beginning. Let’s see how I feel after a summer of Art History.

I realize there is absolutely NO WAY I can catch you all up in one post, so I will take some time in the nest few weeks to pop on and write about the last few months. Any pet owners caring to comment about the reality of a cat in an apartment when you know a move is inevitable can please do so at your convenience. Or tonight, no rush. =)

Talk again soon, peeps. Lovely to be back, and particular thanks to Aggie and Alice, and to everyone who has stuck around this long… have a lovely day, and Namaste. I do see you. =)

 

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