What a day. Today was a two Maxalt day. Out to Opelika twice and taught this evening.


It is still January. We have a blooming tulip poplar in the front yard.

I used my telephoto lens this afternoon around 4pm to capture these photos.

I have spent most of the day in bed working off my iPad and keyboard. Low grade migraine... needing sleep and quiet... and I managed to accomplish much in spite of it. Tomorrow I teach but I am supposed to observe students all day too. We shall see.


I let Frisbee out this afternoon and instead of just doing his business and coming right back, he enjoyed his back yard. He got in the grass in the sun and soaked it up for like 20 minutes. I got my telephoto lens and took this picture from inside my office. 

Later he crashed in his bed in the sun.
I think I want a Whippet puppy.


My workshop went great. I had teachers from nine counties across the state as far away as Mobile and Huntsville areas. We met from 9-3 and I think it was one of the best workshops I've done. We had plenty of time and I had SO much help from my friends and colleagues who organized it. No migraine, no exhaustion. It was perfect.


I walked to school today. It took 27 minutes door to door and was quite pleasant. I had a couple meetings with students and then went to help set up for my workshop which is tomorrow. Dinner was leftovers from Mom and I ate lots of those tomato sandwiches.


Last night I had this dream that I was a horrible teacher. I wrote it down this morning. Picture it. Here goes.

I had planned a lesson and it involved clear plastic magnetic balls with electricity in them. I came to class and passed them out. Student behavior got out of hand. I started trying to explain it on the board but nobody was listening. Realized my shirt was unbuttoned and buttoned it up a bit. Students were disrespectful and I had no control at all. One student had derived the physics behind the balls' behavior and I looked at it, and it was so complicated with concepts and symbols like momentum. I could not tell if it was correct. Finally, I got so pissed off, I yelled at the class saying, "you have paid me to teach you this stuff! And I spent an entire DAY planning for it, and this is how you behave?!"

I started to leave the room then remembered a teacher should never leave her classroom. So I went in the storage closet. There I realized I had lost my shirt. I was not wearing anything from the waist up. Someone had used the storage closet and made a big mess in it with lamps on and trash on the floor. I rummaged around and found a sweater to put on. I put it on and came out. Most of the students had left but there were a dozen remaining, quietly sitting in their desks. I just looked at them. They were sorry. They had not noticed I was naked and had not told me.

That's when  my former colleague in Kentucky came in with someone and asked what we were doing. I said nothing, just test review or some other BS I made up to hide the real story. The former colleague started drawing formulas on the board with lambda and nu symbols and it totally intimidated me. I had now lost the classroom too.

Classic teaching nightmare with college students and a nudity twist.

Today I found out I've been nominated by my department for the College of Eduction Outstanding Faculty Early Career Award. The website says it's to recognize faculty who have shown excellence in teaching, research, and outreach  above and beyond what is typically expected and demonstrate great potential for an academic career in higher education. Wow. After a dream like last night, I'm so floored. Wow.


After a month of haggling with AT&T and getting basically nowhere with no coverage in our house for our cell phones, we went to the local AT&T store and talked with the manager and got a free microcell tower. Hooked it up and got 5 bars instead of zero. The only hassle is that the microcell has to be near a window and we have such deep overhangs on our roof that it has to be on the floor near a window to "see" the satellites. Oh well.

Today I went and observed my students at two schools. They were all doing well. I had one student tell me that she had learned more in my class in the past two weeks than she has in all the classes she has taken from the ed school put together.


Tuesday. This morning I went to WalMart with Dan to look for some stuff for the kits he is building, and I was walking down the baby aisle when I heard my sister Sakura singing. I stopped and looked around and saw this display of children's music. Sure enough, she said she did an album for Fisher Price a few years ago. I don't know which one.

I taught tonight and it was a great class. It just feels SO good to be teaching science education.


This is my view out my home office window. See the blooming camellias? They bloom all winter here. Winter in Auburn is so different from winter in Kentucky or Virginia.
I worked from home today-- a holiday-- and got a lot done.


Long drive home.

We left in the morning after breakfast and got to Auburn and went straight to my mom's for some food. Since I am still not eating solid food (tongue ulcers) she put gumbo through the food processor for me. It was divine.

Frisbee and Squirt were glad to see us and we were happy to be home.


Old friends are best friends.

Here we are with the Miss Money Penny, GarBo, Kelly Green, and Walter White. Money Penny and I became friends when we were pregnant with our youngest together and going to the same OB. That was 22 years ago. Dan and GarBo worked together at two different companies in C'ville. I met Kelly Green when Aza and her youngest were newborns and she lived around the corner from me (25 years ago). Jes introduced Kelly Green and Walter White to each other at our house a number of years ago when she worked with him at an outdoor store and just knew they were meant to be together. They married 6 months later.

We spent the rest of the day visiting old friends. Lots of hugs.


Today started with a beautiful sight, and ended with one.
The snow fall from last night was stunning. It took a while, but Dan got me to my meeting. Starbucks was closed so we had to trudge through snow to Gillie's for a coffee and yogurt beforehand. The workshop went very well. Not all teachers were able to attend but everyone came away much more confident in their solar car building talents.

It's important to maximize torque while maximizing speed at the same time or else the car just won't be able to push itself!

After the workshop we headed for C'ville where we met Aza and LT and took them out to dinner at Rev Soup. We walked on the downtown mall (cold) and it was nice to see the old haunts. Here is Aza's 25th birthday photo on the Free Speech wall at the far end of the mall.


We spent the night with the Bojangles since Aza didn't have room.



It snowed today. See?
I don't know how we will get to Charlottesville tomorrow to see Aza.


What a glorious peach! Funny how it looks like the moon photo I have posted up top.

We are on the way to Blacksburg so I can teach a workshop.
The scenery in Virginia is stunning.

I taught my best class ever last night. 13 students. It felt so good. I was in my element!


I went to the endodontist today to have my tooth checked out. He said a root canal is in my future and gave me an antibiotic prescription to take along on my trip to Virginia this week.

Picked up some yarn for the drive from Hobby Lobby.

Worked on my class which I will teach tomorrow.


I took these pictures today for some curriculum I'm writing. This morning I got up and finished re-writing an article and submitted it to the journal again. Then I worked on my class and eventually worked on building cars for the curriculum photos.

My tongue is still ulcerated. Today I had oatmeal for breakfast, yogurt and carrot juice for lunch, and soup for dinner. Not chewing has tamed my sore tooth but I'd best call the dentist tomorrow anyway. Oh Lord, I do not want any more dental work on this tooth.



The paucity of posts this week is a reflection of the frequency of migraines. I think I had one every day this week. I managed to accomplish some tasks and keep some meetings, but seemed to end each day in bed feeling like life as I wanted it to be was over. Today, Saturday, I took these photos before going to Columbus with my mom and Dan to look for two chairs to put in front of the window instead of these. Two matching fabric chairs, maybe something like Martha Washington chairs. We did not find such a thing in Columbus. I worked on my syllabus today and finished it. I worked on an article I'm revising and made all the revision notes on the manuscript hard copy.

However, there is always something. My tooth still hurts and I cannot put any pressure on it. That would be OK if I could just chew on the other side of my mouth, but going to the dentist seemed to make my tongue ulcer flare up again and now I cannot eat at all. I'm back on a liquid diet with oatmeal. I'm pretty sure my tooth is cracked and needs a root canal. As for the ulcer, I have no idea.The dentist has no idea.Two medications he prescribed do not work.

At least I'm quiet. Dan gets a break from hearing me complain because I cannot talk without pain.


Yesterday I got a call from the dentist that they had a cancellation and could see me for my two cavities. I endured the pain and anxiety but one of my teeth still hurts a LOT.
Today  I had to meet a student at school so I did some unpacking in my office. I unpacked 3 boxes and loaded up my shell and rock shelves.


Migraine again. This day was pretty shot. I worked on my syllabus some, and a paper some, but dinner was prepared by Squirt while I hid away in a quiet room. He decided to make fresh pasta and ravioli. He made the dough, rolled it out paper thin, made a filling with spinach and mushroom and pine nuts and lemon zest and ricotta, and then made these beautiful round pockets of delicious goodness in a sage butter sauce. Squirt got his Nana's cooking gene, that's for sure.


Migraine. Spent all day struggling with pain. Managed to read a little and drive my mom to and from the car repair place. Watched a couple episodes of Mad Men.

The above passage, in a book I'm reading about Jefferson, really struck me and I could understand exactly what Patty's role was and how Jefferson felt.

I was at my mom's and one of her cooks, Annie, like my hat. So I gave her this one I'd made that was pretty identical.


Trying out some new stitches from a book Aza gave me. I'm just itching to start another afghan. Worked today on a paper I'm submitting to a conference. The furnace was fixed this morning but I still spent a couple hours working at school.


This morning the light was good and I decided to pop on my good lens and take some artsy photos of the kitchen for the cabinet makers to use on their website. Here are a few of them. 

See that little recipe box? I can't remember where I got it from, but I've had it forever.

After this, I started working on my writing project and worked on it until almost noon when I had a meeting with a teacher who happened to be the little brother of a friend from high school.
I wrote all afternoon, cooked a curry chicken dinner, then wrote some more. I think my paper is up to 11 pages now. It was a successful writing day.

Dan bought us a new thermostat we can program to turn down at night and turn up in the morning. While installing it something went very wrong and now we don't have heat. It should be a cozy night. I think I might need to work from my office tomorrow!!!


It's hard to believe, but I finished the New Years letters and photos today. Printed over 70 photos and got consent from all the kids for their news brief in the letter. I used merge mail to print all the envelopes and Dan stuck on the stamps. We had a quiet day- nice walk in the woods in Town Creek park. I really love living here this time of year.