My life long friend drove over from Richmond to see us today. I have many more photos to add about my 24 hours in my old haunt.
Good times.
Long drive tomorrow though. Work to do.


Successful workshop today with teachers and students. Left B'burg at 4pm for C'ville for a too short visit with Aza.


Dinner in Blacksburg with my good colleague the Archeologist- stories told, good food savored, and then there was the view!!!


I shall never do this drive alone again. It was just about the worst thing I have endured. It was supposed to be an 8.5 hour drive but I got lost, got a migraine, got dizzy and lost my vision, and it got dark. I arrived in Blacksburg frazzled to the bone, to the soul, 10.5 hours after leaving Auburn.


I am trying to see the beauty in life. Feel awestruck. Wonder.
I want to capture wonder with my lens and remember it.
What used to be a street is now a concourse on a Sunday morning the day after a big game.

Azaleas that bloom on campus in early fall.

My Aunt Cacoo came to visit and we are both old enough now to need reading glasses on our heads at all times.
Oh the wonder. Oh the joy. Oh the beauty of family.


The night before the big game, the lights in the stadium are bright as we drive to the theater for a play. The play was VERY good. "Nickel and Dimed", it was called, about a woman who lived on minimum wage as an experiment. Very thought provoking. It felt good to get out and do something in the community that I enjoyed.


The beauty of living here is that when old friends come "home" they look for other old friends. Breakfast this morning with gals I knew at 14...


I've been riding my bike for exercise. I'm getting better. I'm tempted to ride it to school tomorrow... really tempted. Should I take the plunge???

Today I taught a class in the Engineering School. and did really well. No nerves- fluent words- felt right at home.The kids seemed to enjoy the activity. Also observed two classes at AHS. A pretty exhausting day, and I finished it with a bike ride which I'm proud of.

Tomorrow morning I'm having Breakfast with three old high school girlfriends. Two, I haven't seen in 30+ years... and I'm so excited!


Dinner tonight with my dear father figure, Dr. HH and his lovely wife the "Rheporter." We went to her book signing last night and tonight and had a lovely time catching up on old times and new. Dr. HH was my history professor back in the early 80s, and a dear family friend since I was a little girl. We were European travel companions when the girls were 10 and 12, exploring the south of France together with his late wife Joy and granddaughter. Good times, good times. We were invited to visit them in Mississippi and I think we should take them up on that. I'd love a traveling tour of the most "southern" state where the tea is probably even sweeter.


Today was my grandma's 91st birthday. I decided to make her a video greeting, upload it to YouTube, and email it to her. I had to work all day... Mondays are always 12 hour days, and didn't get home until after 8pm. It was a bad day and was only made better by my teaching a class in the evening. I love teaching. The badness of the day was the email from NSF that said,

The PI Transfer Action 1247287 for award 1029724 was cancelled on 09/14/2012 by Regina M Al______r-P______.

which means in layman's terms that somebody at NSF dropped the ball big time and cancelled my grant transfer because there was "no respond from awardee" which is a bunch of crap. Well, I was so upset Dan had to drive me to school where I fumed most of the day until I got to teach class. I think this will be resolved. There is no way I would have come to Auburn if my grant hadn't been able to follow me. And, I am supposed to be here... it was destined by the feeling of peace I got when deciding to come. Although not much has been peaceful since we arrived on July 1st, I hold on to that fleeting feeling of peace when my prayers to the universe were answered.

Happy Birthday Grandma. I hope your day was super special. I'm going to come see you soon.


I rode my bike over to the new house today to help Dan with some wiring. I pushed and he pulled. This wall partition was built... it will have the range in front and a breakfast bar in back. Dan and the Storyteller have done a lot. The new AC vents are in... and some of the old AC ducts were removed, so caked with gray dusty crud that I think all the ducts need a thorough cleaning after this is all over. VERY GROSS.

I still can't believe I actually live here. It's like something from a strange dream. Not like "a dream come true" and not like a nightmare... just unreal. Really. I live here? I really live here? I really moved BACK here??? Somebody wake me up.


This flower appeared in the yard today. It must be some kind of naked lily or amaryllis...

Today before Dan left to go to the AU football game he told me to do two things: ride my bike and clean the bathroom. He insisted those two things would help me feel better.

Sometimes it's comforting to just have someone direct you like that.

I rode 3.4 miles and like to died. Then vacuumed the whole house, cleaned the bathroom, and mopped three floors. Did two loads of laundry... and indeed... felt better.

We went to dinner tonight at Johhny's in Opelika and it was OK but the company was good. We are making friends and need to remember to reciprocate.
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Friday night, my mom needed help in the kitchen. I helped make ham biscuits then formed 160 snausage patties (yes, I said snausages) and after Doris cooked them, made 160 snausage biscuits. Three hours. I think I will stay in the professor business and out of the food business.



Tent city sprang up today in anticipation for Saturday's home game. That's where I will be on Saturday-- home. See the building far off to the left with the white top? That's where I work. I took this picture from the parking garage.


I turned 49 today. It became anticlimactic around dinner time when it was apparent there would be no cake, no party, no presents, no cards. Pity party-- that's all. Just me celebrating another year of life and dreading the feeling of an incoming migraine. Dan took me out to dinner here (see pic) and we had Popsicles afterwards at The Overall Factory, which was nice. My sweet husband tried to make 49 a little sweeter.


Remember this post?

I said that in three months my daughter would be mountain climbing again. Well guess what I saw on Jes's Facebook today?

I believe this picture was taken when she was three weeks post-op, right around the end of August. Exactly three months after my mountain-climbing prediction the day she was diagnosed. 

That's my girl.


Frisbee whippet.

Today was the first day it felt GREAT to live in Alabama. The air was cool and not humid. On this spot around noon I went outside and just lay on the concrete in the sun to soak up some rays. It felt GREAT. If only all days were this wonderful. I worked most of the day on job-related writing and reading... and finished Squirt's afghan present for Christmas.

I taught myself how to knit. This should be a fun diversion too.


After working all day we went to dinner in Opelika at the Irish pub. That was followed by grocery shopping-- not my ideal Saturday night date night. I came home exhausted and crawled in bed with knitting and books to lull me to sleep. I haven't been sleeping well lately- waking up at 4:30am regularly. Not good.


Inspired tonight by the new exhibit at the museum. We went to the opening, which was where the "who's who" of Auburn spent their evening. The paintings were stunning and it was just really fun to be there.


We put tape on the wall to try and envision where cabinets will go. We've owned the house for almost two weeks now and I'm ready to start seeing some things happen~ We are concerned about preserving the character of the house and have some difficult decisions to make.


Today I worked from home until mid afternoon when Dan asked if I wanted to work on the new house. I decided to remove the wallpaper from the kitchen. The first layer was easy. Then next layer was easy too, but messy.

This is a piece of the original wallpaper. I'm going to look online and see if I can find it. I see an apple or a cherry, George Washington chopping down the cherry tree, or a cowboy with an axe, and on a different spot I saw a dogwood flower and I cut it off the wall and saved it.

Four hours later...


I have the blues. This is the inside temperature and relative humidity. It's rainy and dreary and my energy is just plain low. I hate living in this house and just want to be moved in to my new house with all my stuff and artwork and things unpacked. The humidity outside is 75% and inside it's 70%. Try sleeping in this s$%@!


Sunday. I got out of the house this afternoon to do some shopping and realize just how terrible the shopping selections are here. There is one antique store. There are a couple of places that sell nice women's clothes. OK, there are two bike shops but they are small. And sales tax is 9% here because it supports the schools. So I bought a sweater, a makeup mirror, a bike helmet and lock, some toothpaste, and didn't get to buy yarn because the only craft store around is closed on Sundays.

For dinner we went to Mom's for shrimp stew over grits, corn salad, green salad, and bread. Plum cake and whipped cream for dessert. She invited over our good friends B&M and B's two cousins from Texas.


Saturday came and went fast.  We got the "all clear" yesterday from the bed bug inspector so I started to take things out of black plastic bags and bring them back into my bedroom. Clothes, pillows, blankets, towels... crochet supplies, curtains. I hung curtains and washed pillows and made beds look more cozy and hung a few more things in my closet. While doing that I worked on some lesson planning, and started learning how to use the data logging equipment I borrowed from school. I installed Logger Lite on my desktop and laptop, and hooked up all the equipment in order to measure the humidity in our house.Here is what I found:
Aza's room (where my desk is): 59 %
Dining room: 58%
Squirt's breath: 98%
Air coming out the dehumidifier: 29%
Air coming out the AC vent in the sunroom: 56%
Squirt's bedroom: 59%
The filter on the furnace intake: 51%
Outside: 60%

So... the humidity in the house is only slightly lower than the humidity outside. Squirt pointed out that we are contributing to the humidity by breathing. True, but the dehumidifier is supposed to at least counter that! No wonder it feels sticky and muggy in here. I'm looking forward to seeing how my mom's house measures. And our new house, once we can turn the AC back on!


The good thing about Fridays is leftovers from the museum cafe. This is tomatillo gazpacho with cucumber and avocado. Oh boy, was is good. A perfect appetizer.

Today I had three meetings and during my third meeting I got a call that I had another conflicting meeting and had to leave the third meeting for a different third meeting. it's hard to keep my calendar updated.

The house is coming along but we have some decisions to make. The openings may be too open and we might reduce them from 5' to 4' openings with transom windows above. Also, we need to decide on the appliances and then the counter and the floor. Plus there are still cabinet details to work out. We need a really good interior designer to help us. Doors? Do we replace the flat plain doors? Trim? Do we upgrade the teardrop trim?

Sushi tonight for dinner at a Korean/Japanese restaurant called Naruto. The Japanese "tea" tasted horrible. It tasted like boiled shoes. I kept trying to figure out the taste and eventually Googled Korean tea and looked through the list of 30 tea types until I recognized the flavor. Corn. It was corn tea. Roasted corn tea. Bleccchhhh.