Alas, I did not go out today. I worked a half day then crawled into bed. My pathology report came back though and all was benign. Good news!

Today was another "Not Maya" day, as I was contacted by a nice lady named Leslie who found a cat just a mile away from where Maya was lost, but she sent me a cell phone picture, and it was not Maya. Poor Maya. I still wish she would decided to get herself found. Here's the "not Maya" of March above. As a reminder, the "real Maya" is below. The real Maya does not have all that white on her face.


I spent the day in bed- did a little work at the computer, but mainly laid low with a heating pad. All day. Dan was out helping somebody pack up and move. Squirt was playing soccer with a friend. I was wishing I had magic powers and could summon tea or chocolate or a cleaning lady. This photo was taken last week when Dan and I were in Mississippi on an old Native American mound. Better days.


No walk today. I managed to take a good nap and avoid pain pills
though. I ventured outside long enough to photo our new bushes!


It's been a full week, but alas, no photos were taken that YOU would want to see. I have some very graphic photos of my innards, taken by the surgeon who operated on me Wednesday, but believe me, you don't want to see them! All is well- not to worry. Percocet is my friend and I'm doing well.

So this week I ordered my doctoral hood, collected and analyzed the delayed posttests for my study, spent some quality time with Martha Jefferson, and got an awesome job offer from the University of Kentucky. Today I signed the contract and feel so right about it. Very right. I canceled an upcoming interview, turned down the offer to pursue an opening at another school, and feel content about where the next phase of our lives will take us.

Tomorrow I plan to get out of the house and take a little walk. My camera will be with me.


We left Mississippi early this morning and stopped in Baton Rouge on
the way back to the NOLA airport. Of course, we paid a visit to Mike
the Tiger, and he was busy grooming in a corner of his habitat. This
was the best picture I could get and the closest I've ever been to a


Longwood, built by the Nutt family was never finished after the war.
We visited this today. Largest octagonal house in the US.


We are staying in this B&B, The Choctaw -in Natchez, Mississippi. My
presentation went great this morning, then we left New Orleans early
afternoon heading northwest. The sunset over the river was lovely.
This is a beautiful town.


Lots of walking in boots today back and forth from our hotel to the
convention center. Each time I passed this really cool mural. Beignets
and coffee for breakfast, I hope we have a yummy dinner of good Creole
or Cajun food. Weather perfect.


We arrived in New Orleans after 12 hours of travel by plane and car.
Exhausted and hungry, we ventured into the French Quarter which is
pictured here. We had po-boys and fried eggplant for dinner then came
back to our hotel room and found the door ajar. Security came and we
switched rooms, then I fell asleep after midnight with a migraine to
the sound of elevator noises. Our new room borders the elevator shaft.


This morning I cried over a job lost. This afternoon I celebrated with
Dan at our fave restaurant over a job offered! LP, you were right.
Next time I go to New Orleans, you're invited.


Today I defended my dissertation in this room. Sixteen people attended, including both my parents and Dan. It was so wonderful to see old friends, colleagues, grad students, and family members. I passed! My advisor welcomed me back into the room after deliberating with the committee and shook my hand saying, "Congratulations, Dr. [insert my last name here]" Here I am with my advisor and Thomas Jefferson. (My advisor is the one on the right!)


We went to visit Aza today. Here are three generations of strong women: my mom, me, and Aza. How come her hair grows faster than mine? Youth. See the progression of hair length?

We had a nice lunch with Squirt and Dan too. A good time, with smiling faces, was had by all.

Now to sleep and rest up for my BIG day tomorrow. I'm so excited!


Getting ready for my dissertation defense on Monday. Trying to reduce the number of slides I created so the presentation is under 30 minutes. How can I tell the story of a 2-year 326 page dissertation study in 30 minutes?
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These bushes by the side or our house died over the winter. The neighborhood is giving away some bushes that need to be removed for a highway being built near the entrance, so Dan cut the dead ones down. We have hired a company to dig up the good ones and plant them here. I hope they live.

Today I got a rejection from Vermont and found out that the Kentucky job is not a done deal. It's scary. I may not get a job offer after all this work.

Not such a good Friday the 13th.
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I am so frustrated today. I have issues. Many many issues. Igor FAXed me this smiley face so I could test out our new FAX machine just in case somebody somewhere wants to offer me a job and get an offer letter in my hands pronto. That doesn't seem to be happening. Frustrated.

At least I have a smiley from Ian to encourage me to keep my chin up.

My mom arrives tomorrow. That will help. And I get to see Aza again on Sunday. That will help too. Photos of smiling actual faces to follow.


Squirt is working hard on an 8-step Rube Goldberg project that must include electricity. A motor spins that copper coil which a marble rolls down, falls into the funnel, down a tube, hits a button which releases a catapult throwing a metal ball into the bucket thing on the right. Then the ball falls onto a see-saw. I don't know what will happen next. He has made this out of junk he found around the house, stuff he bought from Lowes and Radio Shack, and has done all the work by himself. He has used the table saw and other power tools, and most importantly- his brain. He mostly works on this in the middle of the night, which is his usual study time. We heard hammering at 4am last night, power tools the night before. It's his first real engineering design project and I'm very proud of him. The fact that it was due on Monday doesn't seem to bother him as much as it bothers his parents. I just hope he gets it to school before the end of the week. A photo of the final contraption will follow!
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We went for a walk this evening and the sunset was beautiful. I'm glad I had my iPhone along for a quick snapshot. It's Tuesday and I have all week to finish my defense presentation, edits to a paper I got accepted to a journal, and the presentation I'm giving next week in New Orleans. Yes folks, you get to see photos of New Orleans next week!
The entrance to our neighborhood is being ripped apart because a road is going through. See the tall bushes in the back? We are allowed to take them. We are hiring a landscaping company to dig them up and move them to our yard for us next week. I hope they're still there. First come first served.
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Aza came home this weekend. It was GREAT to see her! We took her out to her favorite restaurant on our downtown mall. They are replacing all the bricks on the mall. It's going to look nice when it's all done. I took the day off and didn't work hardly at all this weekend.

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This little shopping area is in a town nearby, Skaneateles. We could have moved there 23 years ago, as Dan was interested in a job there right out of college. Dan took this picture. Quaint and small town. I think we would have liked it.
We had a walking tour of campus with a woman who knows her stuff. This was after my teaching presentation and after all the interview meetings were over. Dan came with and we got to see and learn about all the unique buildings on campus. This is the music building. It was the second or third building on campus. Here is the stained glass inside. See on the right where the horses and carriages would pull up to let people out? The building is made of sandstone- I remember that. We flew home today. Taking different flights, I got in earlier and was really tired out.
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Today my interview at Syracuse began. It was a warmish early spring day and my research talk went very well. Over half the attendees were engineering faculty, always a good sign. This is Hendricks Chapel, which bears a striking resemblance to our Rotunda here at UVA.

I thought the campus was so very pretty. We also had a tour with a real estate agent today and the houses nearby- within walking distance- are cute and inexpensive and architecturally interesting.
This is a view from our hotel room window. We are staying at the Sheraton. You can see the Hall of Languages, the big Dome, and the (what do they call it?) big castle building on the right. It's the music building. In the foreground is a building designed by I.M. Pei. I think I'm spelling that right.
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The Hall of Languages, the first building constructed on Syracuse's
Campus. I arrived today and was pleasantly surprised by my
surroundings. Dinner at a fancy restaurant in Armory Square.


Happy square root day! The snow is still on the ground. Squirt didn't have school again. I got a job offer! It's not official yet, but it was verbally offered. Pretty pretty pretttttty cool.
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This is my dissertation. I made six copies- one for me and five for my committee members. I turned it in today!

It snowed last night- so pretty. Squirt had off school so he went snowboarding. I'm resting up for my next adventure- Syracuse University!
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First day of March. I felt well after spending all day in bed yesterday. I spent 12 hours writing and am now reading over my dissertation in preparation for printing off 5 copies to be delivered tomorrow. It's snowing outside!