Three Things Thursday

three-things-thursday-widget-badgeWith a house guest, a move, and our first winter storm, there has been a lot to smile (and do other things) about. Things are still hectic, and there are still things I can’t find, but I do like the new place. Yumi and I have been doing lots of fun things, and there will be updates later when there is less craziness. No photos for this feature yet, but since I’m still getting settled and my family is stopping by my not-yet-settled house later today, just putting a written post is something to celebrate. Am I right?  :-)

  1. It’s raining, but the snow is gone, and that is definitely worth smiling about. I’m all about experiencing winter again (sort of), but last weekend was a bit soon after all the unseasonably warm weather we were having. OK, I’m spoiled. But at least the white stuff is gone for a bit. I’m smiling.
  2. Since Saturday night was my first night in the new house, and I had a house guest to boot, we stopped and did grocery shopping. I loved it. I haven’t done real grocery shopping in nearly ten years. And I really smiled that I haven’t lost my touch for sales and saving money. Score!
  3. Tuesday evening, when I finished tutoring, the parents gave me some take-out Indian curry. YUM!
  4. Bonus: I treated myself to a couple of scented candles, and they will be lovely for this evening’s festivities. I’m especially grateful I’m not actually putting on a dinner for 20 people, but having them stop by after dinner for a Christmas celebration for the ones who can’t return next month will be fun.

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for hosting this event. Check it out!

To or Not To Tuesday: Week 4

What a week!

Traveling through the storm on Saturday to bring Yumi, a Japanese exchange student back from Detroit to spend Thanksgiving week with me.

Moving the day before she arrives so that we’ll have a place to stay. That wasn’t part of the plan, but it turned out to be the reality.

Juggling said move and said company and the actual work deadlines that are popping up.

Oh, and my parents, my siblings, and all siblings’ children (along with a spouse and child of one of those children) will be coming to my “unsettled” house after Thanksgiving dinner.

Still, I found a ride to get Yumi back to Detroit on Sunday (so she can catch her shuttle back to school), and we are managing to have a lovely time amidst a few moving details and the work that can’t be sloughed off until next week.

So for today, it was “To Blog or Not to Blog.” On a couple of levels, but they are all sorting themselves out.

  1. First, the simple matter of today. And though it is late, I’m still getting it out there today. Because this one is one I’ve been thinking about for a while. It was almost my “To or Not To Tuesday” for week 2.
  2. Realistically, that original idea for week 2 was more global than just one day. I wondered, as I have before, about just backing off from blogging. But then, I know what would happen. First, I would miss it. Second, I would get even less writing done then than I do now. Third, it would affect my connections with the blogging community. Those three factors make the answer to the more global question a no-brainer.
  3. This one is somewhere between #1 and #2. It’s November 24, and I was posting every day until the 21st per plan. And then my computer got left behind on the trip to pick up Yumi. More exactly, it got left in my friend’s car. And since getting it back, I’ve been pretty busy with getting settled in at the new place. Not that I’m fully unpacking or anything, but still, some things simply have to be done. So it’s tempting to let the rest of the November challenge alone. But then, I realized that it really is only three days that are out of whack. And since I had already had the glitch with having my posts show up on the wrong days because of having my settings still based on the time in Taiwan, it’s not really that big a deal. In fact, when I hit the publish button, I have 22 posts for the month, and it’s the 24th. So just two behind. Kind of crazy to give up for a matter of two days. Especially when there are some pictures and adventures that Yumi and I have been sharing.
  4. Which brings me to the last issue about blogging. I don’t think the “look” of my blog is all that inviting. But I also know I don’t have the time or the patience to play around with it at this point. And I don’t have any crazy friends (or daughter, hi Kate) who are particularly crazy enough to take on the thankless task of giving my blog a makeover. So for now, that will be the “do not” of this “To or Not To Tuesday” post.

OK, so not much to say about this one, as it appears I have most of this in hand, but as always, comments are still welcome.

How about you? Are you making Thanksgiving dinner? Are you simplifying holiday plans? Any To or Not To questions weighing on our mind?


If We Were Having Coffee: oooops edition


If we were having coffee, I’d have to tell you that you will have to wait for a real post until I get my computer back tomorrow. I left it in the car of a friend yesterday, after picking up Yumi, the Japanese exchange student visiting me this week.

Lots of updates coming, but for now, all you get is this quick update as we pass through at my parents’ house!

See you tomorrow!

It’s Moving Day!

puppy and moving 010I took a few things over yesterday, but today is the big day. One more minor load sometime in the next few days. And I’ll admit, it isn’t pretty, but I’m managing to do it on my own with my parents’ van. It’s piled up like this because I can’t actually get into the main part of the house yet, but I have access to the bedroom where I can leave things. In addition, I was able to put a few things in the lower kitchen cupboards. I didn’t have much luck with my photo attempts either, but you get the general idea. I’ll post more pictures as I get settled.

To coincide with the snow that’s on its way this weekend, my friend Susan is driving me to the Detroit airport tomorrow to pick up an exchange student who is coming to see me for Thanksgiving week. My dad told me that the AAA weather alert says that the heaviest danger will be where the snow accumulation is the heaviest. Huh! Go figure! You can’t make this stuff up.

There will be more about Yumi in a post later in the week, but for now, her travel plans are to take a shuttle tomorrow morning from her school in northern Ohio to the Detroit airport, where we will meet her at approximately 10:00 am and whisk her away back to the tri-city area.

The move was supposed to precede her arrival by a few days, but obviously that didn’t happen, so we will have an interesting time, but it will still be fun. She’s aware of the moving glitch and is willing to help. Between that and the fun things we have planned (and the school work we both have to do), it will be a nice week. And she’ll be joining my family for Thanksgiving.

But for now, I need to finish loading the van.  More later.

Three Things Thursday – November 19

three-things-thursday-widget-badgeI have seen this feature over at Nerd in the Brain’s blog for a few weeks now, where she lists three things that make her smile. A regular dose of gratitude in small doses seems to be an easy way to stay in that spirit. Every time I see one of her posts, I am drawn to do it myself. But what usually always happens is that I totally forget about it until I read her post on Friday morning. And by then, it’s not Thursday anymore. Today, however, I figured it out and was able to actually post on Thursday. So since I’m finally on track, here are three things that make me smile today:

  1. a cinnamon crunch bagel shared with my mother when I got home from tutoring
  2. the fact that I got the first van load taken over to the house for occupancy on Saturday
  3. the anticipation of cooking in my own kitchen again; it’s been a very long time.

Because of the moving component mentioned above, there aren’t photos to accompany this list, but I’ll surprise you one of these weeks.

If you want to participate the rules are pretty darn easy, and you only have to count to three. Check it out at:

Wordless Wednesday: 10 Things of Thankful

TenThingsBannerThis is a hybrid post, combining 10 Things of Thankful with Wordless Wednesday. The wordless part will be the ten photos (the things of thankful). But first, I want to explain a little bit, particularly for my readers in Taiwan.

The fall season (also known as autumn) is known for its colorful displays as the leaves on the trees gradually turn into glorious colors and fall onto the ground. As the leaves fall, people eventually rake them up and move them to the curbs in front of their homes. Then the leaves are picked up and recycled.

I have pictures of various stages of fall, and I decided to combine these photos with the attitude of thankfulness because we have been very blessed with unseasonably warm temperatures this fall which has made the season last even longer. After missing this season for six years, I feel extremely lucky and grateful to soak in every day of this incredible beauty. Even the piles of leaves waiting to be picked up make me smile. Autumn has always been my favorite season, and these pictures show some of the reasons why.

My Ten Things of Thankful for Wordless Wednesday


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“To or Not To Tuesday”: Week 3

It’s week 3, and you will be happy to know I’m not going to write about quilting today. I had something I was going to write about, but I changed it because I am in a bit of a dilemma. So, I’m going to present my question and my thoughts about it. Then I’m going to ask for comments and suggestions from the studio audience. That’s where you come in.

So here is this week’s question: To work or not to work.

Now it’s not really what it looks like. I know I am going to continue working, but the real question: “To fill out applications to seek a full-time 9 to 5 job or not to fill out applications for a full-time 9-5 job,” seemed a tad overwhelming.

So here’s the deal. I have a few places I’ve been watching for jobs–mostly in the student services area, although my dream job of being an assistant director of a writing center came through, but it meant living in a place where neither of our families lived, and at this stage of the game, that just seems unrealistic.

Here’s the thing: Whether we end up in Iowa or in Michigan, I’m not sure that looking for a full-time job is the right thing for me/us. After all, I haven’t done a job like that in a while, and like it or not, there really is age discrimination, Virginia (of Santa Claus belief variety — not the commonwealth variety).

In addition, there is so much going on in my life that I want some flexibility. I don’t want to have to be keeping track of personal time, sick time, vacation time. And extra meetings and events outside the 8-5 time slot (as needed).

I think that maybe I got it in my head that I needed a job like that because I was having trouble finding money earning opportunities. But now, that has changed a bit. And while adjunct teaching at the university is not good pay by any stretch of the imagination, the tutoring opportunities are building.

It’s still less than I could make with a “real” i.e. full-time, job, and there are no official benefits. But I do have flexibility to some degree. I also like what I’m doing, especially the tutoring. And it could lead to a few piano lessons here and there.

I have 5 – 10 years of working ahead of me (at least), and I like the idea of patching together things that keep in in contact with people who want to learn, while sandwiching in a few of my interests.

The other benefit is that if I really get focused, I might actually write some of the textbook ideas I have for helping non-native speakers of English to overcome their negative beliefs about English writing.

I know I can’t do everything I want to do, and my time becomes more limited with each passing year. But I need to be realistic about an income. Still, I don’t want to sell my soul for a few dollars. If I can get by, maybe it’s enough.

So, what say all of you dear readers of mine?


Thanks to Linda, my first official joiner to the “To or Not To Tuesday” postings. Here’s her post from last week. What about you? Are you pondering any “to do or not to do” questions? Feel free to join in.

NaBloPoMo – The Best Laid Plans

rat_mouse_PNG2457In spite of the craziness of class prep, grading, increasing tutoring hours, and an impending move (and a week-long house guest), I made the seemingly insane decision to participate in NaBloPoMo in November, and commit to doing a post each day in November.

Now before you think this post is about me being too hard on myself and that I can give this up at any time, it’s not. Actually, I’m enjoying the daily posting, and I am gathering more and more ideas of things I may eventually write and post. No this post is about how when it APPEARS that I’m not on task, it would be easy to use that as an excuse to stop, and I haven’t done that.

Let me explain.

This is November 16, and if you look at my post calendar, you will see that I have 15 posts for the month. That’s because I’ve posted one every day for the first fifteen days of November. I might add this is the month with the most posts since August of 2014, and it’s only the 16th! But then if you look at my actual calendar, you will notice that four days are not “lit up”: the 1st, 6th, 9th, and 15th to be exact. But I posted every day; really I did.

So what happened. I have until midnight each day to post and have it show up on the appropriate day, right? Well, sort of. The problem — which I didn’t realize until the 9th — is that my WordPress settings are still based on the time zone in Taiwan. And most of the time, that means that noon is the new midnight for me. If I want something to post for today, I have to post by noon. But on the 9th, I finally caught on that even that wasn’t good enough, because DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME had ended! Now Taiwan is 13 hours ahead of Michigan, not 12. Crap! So what I posted for the 9th showed up on the 10th.

So, while I’ve actually posted every day, my calendar (and my “tally” postings on other blogs) have not reflected that “accomplishment.” In the past, I may have let go of the project at the first sign of resistance, because after all, I’m no longer in the running for being an official “survivor” of the challenge nor any potential prizes. Still, for me writing every day in a month after more than a year of being lukewarm about blogging is a win for me, and I’ll take it. I’m going to keep going and hit the 30 for this month, one day at a time. Even if my calendar doesn’t officially record the regularity of it.

And by the end of the month, I’ll actually change my settings to reflect my current country of residence. But no sense in messing up the pattern now. Besides, now I try to post by 11 am and keep things going in the new order.  :-)

A final note: the post for the 15th was late (and showed up on the 16th) because I didn’t care about making the 11 deadline. I’m fighting a lovely cold and figured if I just got something posted, even if it didn’t make the 11:00 cut-off, I was still “on schedule,” even if my schedule isn’t quite with the rest of the world.

Weekend Coffee Share: New Adventures Edition


If we were having coffee, I’d tell you:

This is the beginning of the last week of living with my parents. After nearly four months, I will be moving to a house that is about 30 miles from here. It is actually a little closer to the university and about the same distance to the family where I do tutoring. The house belongs to a colleague at the university. She and her husband have bought an older home in the city, and I will be staying in their old home while we work on getting it ready for the market in the spring. In the meantime, I can live there until it sells.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you:

admin-ajax.phpOriginally, the plan was to be moved by now, but the owners of the houses had a few delays that impacted the schedule. In that plan, I would have returned from my son’s wedding (October 24) and started the moving process. So with the month delay, I have lots of packing and organizing to do at a time when I don’t have as much time on my hands. This is actually a good thing because it means I’m working more. In addition to my teaching, I am tutoring, both through an online site and with a local family. My local tutoring keeps expanding to fill available hours, but for now, I’m taking it. It’s good to finally be making enough money to meet the bills.

Between adjuncting and tutoring, I am Now that I have almost full time hours between the two jobs, moving (on my own) is a bit of a challenge. However, the good news is that I still don’t have a lot of stuff to pack up and move. On the other hand, I somehow accumulated more than I had when I first returned from Taiwan. Funny how fast that happens.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you:

I’d tell you that this week’s move is happening just in time, as I’m expecting a houseguest on Saturday. She will be with me for a week, joining us for Thanksgiving. More on that next week.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you:

That it’s going to a busy week. I hope it treats you well!

If you’d like to join in our coffee share, check it out on Diana’s blog. //