Monday, July 25, 2016

Last week of Freedom, Conventions, and Assorted Odds and Ends

Hello readers,
Am back after a hiatus spent with grandchildren and what we now officially call "Grandcamp". Four of the five were here for just about a week along with our youngest daughter, and we did have "grand" time. Running about looking at sites, making crafts and cooking for 3.5 times your usual table crowd makes for a busy week. It was fun.

So now it's time to get serious about the impending school year. And I am finding that a challenge. I really don't want to think about another year just yet. What's more, I find myself dreaming of grabbing a discount ticket to London and just jetting away! This is nothing new... it happens every summer during this time. I love my work, really enjoy the students and the variety, however about this time it feels a bit like a cage that soon I will be forced to crawl back into. I think the images I have of the work others do is part of the problem. I imagine other people at jobs where they can choose to spend more than 3 minutes in the bathroom or take a coffee break or lunch with friends and not be ''watching the room" and I inwardly fantasize about it. That's the sticking point for me about where I work and what I do - absolutely NO discretionary time. Your life is locked into 80 min. segments with 5 minute passing times and somewhere in the day you get "prep time" but you must use it while on campus. It's like being in a prison and it is not any surprise to me at all why all the inmates, both teachers and students, can't wait to rush out the doors each May! Is normal "work" like this too? Or do all you readers with "normal" (i.e. non-teaching) jobs get to call some of the shots about your use of time? So I start fretting about it a couple weeks out. The meetings get onto the calendar first.... I think to "break us all in" to the idea of having to be back in our routine.

For evening entertainment the past week I have been dipping between Netflix and the Republican Convention. Between the two, I will take Netflix. However, there was sort of train wreck quality to the RNC gathering that one couldn't help but watch. So tonight begins the Dems and it's kicking off with a bang that involves firing a woman who heads their national committee. If social media had anything to say about it, which it does but who cares, Senator Sanders should consider rising from the ashes and stealing the show, but that won't happen. However, given the list of speakers that will appear at this one, I will most likely find myself tuning in. I have at least found that conventions make it easier to knit or crochet while watching than do Midsommer Murder episodes on Netflix.
Are any of you less than excited about November's elections? I know I am NOT looking forward to all the ads on mainstream media... which is why I intend to avoid it as much as possible in the next 3 months. Most of you know that my husband is into all things political, although more on an international scale than a national one, so the days ahead are a bit like a big sports season are to other folks. Must admit, it's fun to be a spectator at times like these.

Movie review time: haven't seen many this summer and all of them so far have been kid flicks. Caught Spielberg's BFG based on the book of the same name by Rhoald Dahl. It was delightful and dark and well-executed. Mark Rylance was brilliant as the giant. Second film, The Secret Lives of Pets just about put both me and my 3yr old grandchild to sleep. I would suggest saving it as a rental for some night when you have little people you want to nod off around... and then quietly tuck them in. I will say this, cat lovers will not appreciate that all the cats in the film are either a) ridiculously overweight or b)viciously mean. It kept 3 out 4 grandkids mildly entertained and then they rated it only a 3 starts out of 5. My grandkids have serious movie critic chops, folks.

Still enjoying my bike, although I must admit that one week of 100 degree heat here in Misery-(oops) Missouri put the damper on my plans to ride daily. Some things are just not worth heat exhaustion.
Our pool seemed a safer option for the past 5 days of scorcher temps. I hope you all survive your final week of July with coolness!

Till next time - all the best.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Back again, so soon?

What is it about blogging that keeps me coming back for more? Even after an almost 2 year hiatus, I found myself with a few free moments today and thought about this blog. So here I am - back again. Even though I know that many of my dear readers are long gone and not reading anymore! Who, after all, follows a silent blog.

So in that gap, I celebrated TWO birthdays - a landmark one and an anti-climactic one. I turned sixty which I expected to be a much bigger deal than it actually felt. Yes, my family made a wonderful fuss about it, everyone coming to town to help me celebrate etc. but overall it passed fairly calmly. I am not sure what the next 20-30 years hold, and how many of them I will get to enjoy, but the first 60 have been good and very satisfying, each in their own way.

At sixty, I expected to be more set in my ways than I am. Ironically, I find myself becoming a lot more relaxed about "big issues". I am more likely to say, "So what?" or "Does it really matter?" than I used to be. Not sure what that means in the long haul, and am also not sure if this will be how I go from here on out, but right now it feels right.

This past spring, that second birthday came and went. And so now I am 61. Biggest thing I have done thus far in my 61st year is buy a new bicycle. Yeah, a bicycle. Not just any bike either. I got an electric bike. It arrived in June and has provided me with a great deal of fun and freedom since its coming. It has enabled me to go up hills that were denied to me by my physical limits using my conventional bike. I can pedal to the library and the market and I feel that no matter what else happens, as long as I have the ability to ride off on it, I am not truly "old". That sounds weird, I know, but in my head it feels good.

So here's to grandma on wheels! Will hopefully make this NOT my only post in 2016!