As of about 5 this afternoon, we’ll be down into the single digits on the countdown to Dallas’ return. (This is assuming his plane from Newark lands on time…I’m not going to hold my breath.) I spent this morning deep-cleaning the house while everybody else was at work–I even moved the giant sectional sofa in the living room to vacuum under it, something I’m not sure anybody’s ever done because I can’t see Dallas’ mom being able to move the sections by herself. I’m definitely feeling it in my arms and legs already.
My days have been surprisingly happy this week, possibly because there’s definitely a light at the end of the Dallas-being-away tunnel.
Day 36: Gabby action shot! She was pretty wild that day. She has a bad hip (common in her breed) and after a mishap where she jumped for the couch and missed when she was a puppy, she doesn’t generally get up on furniture without help. I put her up on our bed and she basically unmade it, then she jumped back to the floor to go to the opposite end of the house and dig in the big basket of dog toys. She was so very proud of this piece of plastic that used to be a ball.
On Day 37, some of the green tomatoes we salvaged from one of my father-in-law’s plants (which fell over in a windstorm) began to ripen as they sat on the kitchen counter. I like that orange-ish color.
On the morning of Day 38, I spotted a rare creature in the wild: a cup of coffee consumed out of a real mug at my own house on a Friday morning. Usually Friday mornings are for getting up well before sunrise, travel mugs, and wishing there were three of me during the first hour or so of my work day. I was very thankful America’s birthday fell on a Friday this year because three-day weekends are awesome.
Day 39 was hot, sunny, and beautiful, so naturally I sunbathed (gotta get my tan on, so I’m not the whitest person in any of the six states I’ll be spending time in next month), then eventually I just had to have something sweet. This definitely met all my needs.
My in-laws wanted to get some yard work done on Day 40. I was going to help, but my mother-in-law wanted me to stay inside with Bo and Gabby, because they get really upset when they’re left in by themselves, and they absolutely couldn’t be outside getting into things. Bo kept watch for them at the front window. It makes me sad to see that he’s starting to show his age. He’s eight years old, is on heart medicine, and in the past was on steroids for a skin condition he’s had since he was a puppy. You can’t really tell in that picture, but he’s starting to get cataracts as well. He’s doing well now, but I worry constantly.
I was back at work on Day 41. There’s a field next to where I work, and sometimes I like to get away from my desk and go out that way at break time. While I was off for the long weekend, the dandelions in the field went to seed. As of yesterday, they were still there, but I’m sure they’ll come along and mow soon. They always do.
I then proceeded to miss Day 42 entirely. Frankly, I’m a little surprised I made it this far without missing a day, because I’m pretty disorganized. But I recreated what I had been doing and took a picture of it anyway: reading the Planetary Report. I’m a member of the Planetary Society (my fellow Millennials may recognize the man in charge: Bill Nye the Science Guy), and I received a package from them on Monday containing a pretty sweet t-shirt and the March Equinox 2014 issue of the Planetary Report. Yesterday evening I got home, ate, put on my pajamas, and climbed into bed to read it cover to cover. I think the article I posted the picture of was the best one in the issue because it covered a lot of my major interests (science, space, China). It also talked about the reactions of the Chinese people to the (spoiler alert) failure of the lunar rover due to mechanical problems. Social history has always been my #1 focus when I’ve been writing anything academic. Sure, the environment has been the main subject, but I tend to focus much more on the ordinary people than on a government viewpoint or on the science, which I’d have to probably try explain at a level higher than I can understand to tie up all the loose ends in a paper. I really enjoy reading about the science side of things, obviously, but it’s nice to see the scientific community addressing the human aspect as well.
…so yes, that wraps it up. I could write and write and write…and I have been, just not here. I don’t anticipate reentering academia in the near future, but to keep my brain sharp, I’ve been reworking some past papers and research projects. It’s been surprisingly fun. I guess you can take someone out of the ivory tower without taking that love for learning away from them, because that’s where I’m at right now.