October 2009

Monthly Archive

A real, live date!

Posted by on 28 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: Family Matters, friends, fun, Gardens and Life, good things, Tom, Uncategorized

Tonight, with Tom. I am feeling very special and appreciated. Here we are on our way out the door. I am wearing a lovely green skirt that you can’t see, and the scarf Mother brought me from Ireland. The blouse is new too, with lovely details that are hidden by the lovely scarf… I felt SO elegant!

Tom and me, dressed up!

Tom and me, dressed up!

This was our 19th October 28th as a couple.

Autumn Arrives

Posted by on 26 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: children, Gardens and Life, grad school, rain, school, Uncategorized, weather

The “first significant snow” in the mountains.

A lot of rain down near Puget Sound.

The leaves on the trees, that were so bright this past week, that covered the ground with a warm quilt of color, will soon turn brown and the light will filter through the bare branches. Except for the evergreens, which this time of year seem nearly black, silhouetted against a silvery sky.

The children’s routines are well established, and mine is coming together. Expectations have become clear, and a pattern has developed. I have odd, irregular hours, but overall my days now flow well and most of the workload, while heavy, is now manageable. The weekends are lovely, as I set my own time for “doing” and my own time for “resting.”

I am starting to look around and consider which box I shall empty next… but I am not yet at the “emptying” stage. Perhaps next week. Or over the week-long Thanksgiving break? One thing about time, we always have it. At least these deadlines, for home-centered tasks, are truly flexible.

Not so, my reading for this program. And so…

[the author vanishes behind a stack of books and papers]

Blog Action Day — Climate Change

Posted by on 15 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: blog action, climate, economy, environment, Gardens and Life, good things, Green Living, Peace Making, politics, rain, Uncategorized, weather

Climate change has been a focus of many debates, some panic, and a lot of misinformation in my lifetime. Things have been coming to a head lately, as climate seems to be at least partly behind many extinctions and local ecosystem failures. And the world seems to be no closer to any agreement on things related to climate change, including and importantly, the sharing of resources as diverse as raw materials, training/education and energy sources.

I read a lot of the BBC articles that are posted on their website. Here is one from last weekend: ‘Scary’ Climate Message from Past

And here is one from Monday, What Happened to Global Warming?

In the interests of full disclosure, I do believe BOTH that climate change in the last 200 years is accelerated by human industrial and agricultural activity AND that our world experiences wide-ranging cycles in temperature, rainfall and sunlight. I don’t see the cyclical nature as being incompatible with the concern over “global warming” — certainly the “average” temperature fluctuates, as does the temperature daily.

The main issue, as I see it, is whether the range of temperatures in any given area remain close to historic normal ranges. If the average temperature in August where I live is 65, then it is important to me if that average is reached with highs of 70 and lows of 60 or if it is reached with highs of 80 and lows of 50. Or more extreme. And the same with the average annual temperature…

It is also important to consider when the rain falls – and the water retention that is available. Where I live, year-round water has been abundant for thousands of years, with many aquifers fed by slow snowmelt (some from glaciers) after rain in the winter was stored in the mountain snow pack. With warmer, drier winters and longer spring rains, that snow pack melts more and earlier than normal. Which means our rivers (formerly abundantly filled with salmon) run low earlier in the year, and for longer. It also affects the farmers on the other side of the mountains, who rely on the rivers for irrigation during their long dry season.

Finally, as a person who struggles with mood and energy during the traditional long gray “rainy” season, I admit that a few days of sunshine in the middle of December and January and February always lift my spirits. I get more done, and have more energy for fun things after. However, the sunlight means less rain and has the effect of confusing plants that are adapted to a long, dark season. We have lost a few plants to this, and over time more will fail.

Climate change will have different effects in different parts of the world. I am not a climatologist, I am a gardener, a mother, a person who wants to see humanity as a whole prosper in a beautiful, abundant world.

Right now, I continue to be worried. And I continue to be hopeful that our species’ adaptability and intelligence will allow us to find ways to help the world prosper along with us.

Blog Action Day

Posted by on 12 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: blog action, citizenship, climate, economy, environment, Gardens and Life, Green Living, poverty, rain, social justice, Uncategorized, weather

Coming this Thursday. I plan on posting something, though likely minor. The topic this year is “climate change.”

If you are interested in seeing who else is participating, check out BlogActionDay.org. And check back Thursday — even if it’s only a set of links, I will post something.

Week two…

Posted by on 10 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: Gardens and Life, grad school, Uncategorized

and a normal routine has been established.

Monday, “free” for me to leisurely do housework and schoolwork without leaving home. I need this quiet time to recharge my energy level and reconnect.

Tuesday, a late start to the day, but I try to get to campus a couple hours early for reading or getting together with classmates. It’s a way for me to establish my “personal space” on campus, as a student. This is the formal “lecture” day, and a seminar session.

Wednesday, a short day, only one session on campus a sort of workshop each week. This week I was sick, but managed to stay for most of it. The afternoon is for at-home work or hanging out with the younger kiddo after I pick him up from school on my way home.

Thursday, observations. Have to be up early, but there is an opportunity to visit and discuss the experience with classmates afterward, and then time in the afternoon and evening to work on material that needs to be turned in first thing Friday.

Friday is another long day, starting with a seminar and ending with a workshop. It was nice to start with the in-depth discussion of our readings again, and to end with structured group activities.

So far, the workload allows me to have some time “off” in the evenings, to get to sleep early or to be present for the family and friends. It’s a rigorous schedule, but no worse than I would have if I were working a full-time job — in some ways, better because while I am putting in more than 40 hours a week, I have some flexibility for when I work, and can do things around the boys’ schedules.

And that’s it, in a nutshell. Irregular hours, but on a regular basis…

AUTUMN is here!

Posted by on 05 Oct 2009 | Tagged as: Gardens and Life, Uncategorized

There was frost on the car windshields when we were ready to leave the house this morning just before 7:30. BRRRR!

Really need to get the furnace filters clean so I can run it again in the evenings!

The sky is bright blue, the sun is shining, the trees are changing colors, it is a glorious time of year.

I am getting little things done around the house today, taking it easy, reading over my notes from the day-long conference I attended on Saturday, reading the materials for the coming week, trying to figure out which end is up.

I never really feel I am back in school mode until the end of September or beginning of October. It’s something to do with the crystalline quality of the light this time of year; the meditative way I walk on the earth as the trees and plants and animals all prepare in their own ways for the coming season of rest.

I pulled out our October decorations this weekend. Some are now up, will get the rest as the week goes on. It’s good to focus on traditions at this time of change.