Academic New Year

It is that time of year again.  August. When EVERYONE from instructors, to staff, to students rushes to make sure they are all ready for the big day.  Fortunately, this year I had the foresight to plan some time off between the end of the summer tutoring program and the beginning of the regular school year.  Not too much time Friday – Tuesday, I like getting five days off, but only using three vacation days.  (What? You all knew I was sneaky like that!)

Friday I finished out a Virtual Writing Retreat sponsored by the editors of the Writing Center Journal. For most of the week I was stuck at work, listening in to sessions, thinking about my project, and still trying to finish things from the summer. Friday, I participated from home in what I thought would be a better environment.  Only, I really spent Friday fighting with my laptop, until I finally had to restore it, run a million and five updates.  (Seriously)

blue screen image of update counts


And, still the problem was not fixed. Eventually, I broke down, bought an ethernet cable, and now my laptop is permanently a desk top. Outside of my computer issues, the retreat was a great experience.  You can read all about at my new friend’s blog. She doesn’t know it yet, but I will probably make her do some form of virtual writing retreat with me again. 🙂

After a day of computer stress on Friday, Saturday held two fun things, a party and a trip.  The party was really a private class where we all got to build terrariums. Yes, you saw that correctly, and no this is not 1976.  (However, I might have added macrame to the things I want to learn. A girl needs something to hang her terrarium in. It was a lot of fun.

We started with the essentials:

Wine and plants

Wine and plants

Well, everyone else got wine, I had to drive afterwards. We got to choose our containers. You can see my boring non-alcoholic beverage in the background.

Glass vase

Eventually, we had all created something fun.

Terrarium of rocks and succulents

I was planning to take mine to work, but really I think it is too cool for the office.

After the class, I drove up to the mountains to see a friend from my wayward theatre days. I figured that a good guest always brings a present (and there was no way I’d give up my terrarium).

Black kitten on the stairs


As true as that was, I did check with him before bringing a cat.  😉 My neighbor had found a stray, and my friend had a cat when I first met him, so I didn’t think it would hurt to ask.  In fact, by the time little Buco and I made it there, someone was waiting to meet him.

Tiny Kitten


I spent the weekend and almost didn’t come home because they were so cute. Rather, this guy almost came home with me.

You might think this was all fun and games, but it is 2014, which is apparently the year in which no good time goes unpunished. I managed to trip over nothing and skin my knee and elbow on Sunday.  Then at some point Monday night or Tuesday morning, something bit me.

Red welt

Really, look at that.  The swelling is going down, but it is still noticeable, and itches like crazy.

In the end though, I think I win because I have new plants, and …

arrangement of plants

Making room

Found a new hair stylist!

Post haircut selfie

The do


Not too much text, or anything exciting this post.  I meant what I said about the punishment of this year.  We’ve yet to reach stroke levels, but there’ve been a few hurdles, and not much time to process. Enjoy the pictures before I actually start thinking/writing again!


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