Saturday, September 22, 2007

On the Cusp of the Equinox....

It’s been a busy few weeks!

First of all, most of you probably know that I’ve taken the plunge into digital broadband cable for my computer access. Can I afford it? We’ll find out—I was able to get one of those really cheap for six months deals. Along with that comes six months of cheep channel-zilla digital television for the same six-month period. I don’t really have a lot of time to watch TV, but it’ll be nice to have the channels over the holiday period. So far, I haven’t watched much, because by the time I scroll through the channels to see what’s on, I’m out of time! I will confess to some fondness for BBC-America. Fun to watch those potty-mouth Brits, it is.

I also broke down and bought a cell phone. I got a really cheap plan, so don’t send me photos or text messages, as I am unwilling to pay extra to read them. I am still trying to bond with my phone. I think it’s name is Arthur. Why did I get a phone? Now that I’m teaching for two colleges, as a “real” teacher (rather than as a grad student), I need to be able to get messages, call them if I’m stuck in traffic, etc. So, there you go. Will I ever use my phone while driving? Absolutely not. Too dangerous. Not unless it’s a drop dead emergency. Otherwise, we’ll be leaving the phone off when in the car.

Shocker of the week: Skippers (the seafood chain) has gone out of business. I have many fond memories of dinners there with the kids when they were little, including the one memorable night when a teen-aged Scotty ate 11 fish filets and all the trimmings.

I’ve been busy this week getting ready for the start of fall term on Sept. 24 (i.e., in 2 days!). I’m teaching four classes: two at Portland State and two at Clackamas Community College. At PSU, I’m teaching a section of research paper writing and a special critical reading prep class for students taking graduate exams, like the GRE and MCAT. At CCC I’m teaching two sections of freshman composition. Since the most classes I’ve ever taught at one time before is one, the jump to four is a little scary—especially since I’ve had to write all four classes from scratch. This past week I’ve gotten all of my syllabi copied and my lesson plans ready for week one. One of the classes—the test prep class—is online, so I’ve also had to not only create the materials but build the class. They give you an html format, but you have to arrange and edit everything, etc. Kind of scary but I think it’s all working now.

On the 17th, Bill and I drove over to Redmond for the day. Mom is settled into her apartment and doing well. She seems remarkably cheery about it, which makes me wonder if she at least feels a little more secure being in a place that’s easy to navigate and filled with people who can help her get around. Joe’s been hard at work decorating her digs, and it all looks nice.

Mom is still thin, but she looks better than last time I visited. She even posed for the picture below!

Joe's looking much better, too-- it's amazing what getting sleep will do for you! He's busy getting the house ready to be put on the market.

I will soon be busy selling some of the extra furniture, and her VW Touareg. If anyone is interested in a nearly-new 2005 Touareg for $26 K, let me know! *winks*

Oh—one other big piece of news. I paid off my mortgage! Now that I say that, I don’t even remember what day it was, but it was early this month. Or maybe late last month. For such a big moment, it was surprisingly anticlimactic. It’s great timing though, because I have to begin paying back my students loans, so this will be a big help. Especially since I’m a low paid, part-time, adjunct teacher who has to buy her own medical and dental insurance. But, I’m not complaining. The teaching thing is wonderful, and it’s working out even better than I’d hoped. All is good!

Tomorrow is the fall equinox. For us Pagan people, it’s a time of balance, a time to consider what one has harvested in the past year and what one may need to let go of. Important thoughts to ponder as we face the dark sleep and introspection of winter…. Many blessings, everyone! (And don't forget to balance a couple of eggs....)

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