Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tuesday, July 26: Some Seriously Wonderful Things in My Summer

1. Spending empty nest time with my beloved. Nothing spectacular, and maybe a few too many nights that the Sox blow an awesome lead and lose, but our time together makes me smile. My chosen grown-up. He's a keeper.

2. The weather! It has been hot, sunny, lovely, changeable. . . with just enough rain to keep things green. Just enough. We could use a full night of rain once a week, but oh my this has been a lovely summer.  Tomorrow we're off to the lake house on Waterview Drive for four days, and I hope hope hope hope hope it will continue!

3. Reading. I have set my mind to gorging on books, and it's been a pleasure. Below is a screen shot of my "My Books" page on goodreads, and that doesn't include my recent audiobooks (a re-listen of Georgette Heyer's The Quiet Gentleman and the first three Harry Potters!)  which have also been wonderful.

I haven't loved them all, and I didn't finish them all, but the luxury of having a big stack that I can jump into at will––at will, I say!––is a delight.

4. Hard, consistent, academic work. I am taking course #2 of Univ. of Me/Farmington's four course certificate in Proficiency-based Education, and this course required us to do some of the basics of social science research: a focus group (nerve-wracking but ultimately incredibly worthwhile), an action plan, and. . . . hardest work I've done in a long, long time, a literature review––not like the ones above, but a review of research out there on a certain topic (mine was parental involvement in the PBE reform effort) coupled with my own findings and thoughts and plans for forward movement. It was intense, overwhelming, and exhausting, but when I was done, I had kicked some major social science research butt. I was able to put three solid days into the work (on top of a few weeks of research reading and generalized panic), and when I was done, the prof. asked me if she could use my review as a model of graduate level scholarship and professionalism! Wahoo––aside from the external praise, I simply relished digging so deeply into my. own. work. Suddenly, I could imagine doing a doctorate, and really, really enjoying it. I think I'm done with this class (possibly one other tiny assignment), but man, it was a pleasure on many levels (I'm signed up for class #3 for the fall, so that's a good thing!). Also great to be able to work in my study at my desk--lovely view, and good space to dig in and work hard.

5. Project time! I finished Andy's socks (pic below, I hope),

and after a bit of unsettledness, I've resurrected a cast-off project from my sister and have been enjoying figuring it out. We've lost the pattern, so I've been winging it with pleasure. What a treat to start at the upper yoke of a huge cardigan and just crank up from there! In addition, I have been fiddling with the free Sorbetto tank pattern, digging out some fabric I got for one long ago but never did anything with. I had a lovely time piecing the pattern together while I listened to The Quiet Gentleman, but we're leaving tomorrow for our mini-lake vacation so it will sit. Ah well.

I hope when I come back (it will be August) to continue much that has been good, but to add more hiking--did a lot before my wonderful visit with Julie and my Hebron Friend Reunion, but none since, mostly due to the class; some more sewing (maybe finish the table runner? and the tank? Make a dress?); lots more reading, and more time with my man! I also hope to organize an afternoon visit/tea/knitting session with my school knitting group, as well as some other social events.

Such richness.

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