Weekend Coffee Share: A New Semester


If we were having coffee,

I’d tell you that I can’t spend as much time as usual because I still have a few things to finish up for the start-up of my classes this week. I’m teaching Intro to Criminal Justice again (two sections) and a combination online/in-person (hybrid) Intro to Sociology course. This is my first hybrid course, and I just completed the training for it about ten days before Christmas. I’m looking forward to classes, but as always, I wouldn’t mind having a little more time before things started up. But I guess that’s always the way. But I’m going to head to a near-by coffee shop (3 1/2 miles away)  😉 to gather my focus.

If we were having coffee,

I’d tell you that I got my sewing machine set up this morning. Dave was so great about packing it up securely so that I could bring it back with me and not have to wait until he arrives in February. I’d also tell you that I think I’ve practiced the basic machine quilting enough while I was in Iowa that I can move onto the actual quilt, hopefully tomorrow.

Dave in Iowa 229

If we were having coffee,

I’d tell you that I finished all the revisions and the report to the reviewers for the co-authored article only to find out that my co-author confused the deadline with one of his other deadlines. We have effectively missed the deadline. He thought it was tomorrow, but it was actually last Tuesday. If we’ve lost the chance to get it published with them, I will start targeting other journals to submit it to, but it was a big disappointment.

Still, I’m still feeling very good about the direction life has been taking over the past few days, and I’m looking forward to the coming weeks.

 If you’d like to join in and have coffee or tea and see what everyone else has been up to this week, you can head over to Diana’s page for the details and the Linky to lots of people who are making the weekly coffee share part of their weekends.


This post is also part of JusJoJan, Day 10. Another great place to connect with other bloggers.


Life: Three and a Half Weeks at a Time

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASome people consider me to a bit unusual. No one who reads my blog, of course, but people who have to actually put up with me on a day-to-day basis.

Anyway, I was driving home last night at the conclusion of my Transition Friday, and I got to thinking about numbers–specifically numbers of days and how many days I’ve been in different spots and how many days are ahead in certain spots. And I came to an interesting discovery regarding the magical number — three and a half.

Now I realize, most of you may not think of a number with a half added to it as magical, but you can just humor my love of patterns that emerge in life without any manipulation on our part. I mean if you have to manipulate numbers to make them come up with cool patterns, then what’s the point? But ok, I could do whole numbers and just use the number of 24, but I ask you, does 24 sound as magical as 3 1/2?

So brace yourselves, I’m going to take you on a journey of the inner workings of my pattern-seeking brain. It’s not too late to run away.

Oh! You’re still here? (And people think I’m strange and unususal.)

Check out these dates:

November 21 – December 15 (24 days)

December 15 – January 8 (24 days)

January 8 – February 1 (24 days)

They each represent 24 days (or 3 1/2 weeks). And each of those blocks of time represents something fairly significant in terms of the location where I’m spending my time. Regular followers know about two of them, and they may even suspect the third one, but here’s the quick run-down.

November 21 – December 15 (24 days)

November 21 was moving day! Well, the first of a few. But it was the day I got into the house I am living in now after staying with my parents since my return from Taiwan at the end of July.

November 21 was the day I picked up Yumi from the airport, stopped at the grocery store to get us some food, and then drove here to unload stuff and fix dinner for our first evening in the new house. She stayed with me for eight days.

The next 16 days involved me getting through the rest of the semester and doing some tutoring. I left the house on the 15th.

December 15 – January 8 (24 days)

On December 15, I headed to my friend Susan’s house and spent the night, so that I could catch an early flight to Iowa on the 16th. Spent 22 glorious days with my husband. Flew back on the 7th of January and spent the night at Susan’s again. I ran errands for a fair amount of Friday, and got back here last night on the 8th.

So, after spending 24 days or 3 1/2 weeks, in the new place, I then spent the same amount of time away.

January 8 – February 1 (24 days)

random numbersJanuary 8 was my first full day back in Michigan. And after working at the coffee shop, helping a colleague with computer stuff, visiting my daughter, making music arrangements for later in the month, and verifying next week’s tutoring schedule, I stopped at the grocery store on the way home from my daughter’s house. That’s when I realized that 24 days from then, it would be February 1, the potential target date for moving into the new place with Dave’s arrival within a couple of days (depending on how things go). But regardless of his arrival date, the lease is likely to begin on February 1 — another 3 1/2 week block of time.

After that, I’m willing to stay in one place for a while. Three blocks of 24 days is enough, but it was kind of interesting to see the pattern of time spent in this house, out of this house, back in this house, until I leave again–more permanently. And I will admit that part of the reason I was thinking about all of this is I got a little disoriented last night unloading the van in the dark and finding my way around the house. That’s when it really hit me. I’d been away from this place as long as I’d been in it, and 24 days isn’t much time to really start to feel like it’s home. But I’m here, and for the next 3 1/2 weeks or 24 days, I’m going to make the most of it.


This post is for JusJoJan, Day 9.

Transition Friday with a BIG Dose of Good News

library coffee shop 004I flew in from Iowa last night and landed in Michigan at 11:15 pm. My friend Susan picked me up at the airport and brought me to her house where my van had been parked while I was gone. Three weeks ago, I spent the night at Susan’s place before we headed out early for the trip to the airport, and last night, I again spent the night there before heading out this morning back in the direction of my current residence.

However, since there was a fair amount of distance to cover, along with errands (like groceries and a potential visit to my daughter’s), I planned a leisurely route that would get things accomplished and get me home by evening–a day of transitioning from my time in Iowa to my life back in Michigan. This plan was workable largely because my classes don’t start until next week, and my private tutoring also got put on hold until then as well.

The plan had been to visit my daughter around lunch time, and I planned to stop somewhere along the way (about a 55 miles driver to her place) to have coffee and finish the revisions on my co-authored paper which is due Monday.

I decided to stop at a coffee shop that I’ve visited many times in the past, but not since my return to the US in late July. Today was the perfect day for it. I ordered a latte and a muffin and settled in to work on what I hope is the next to the last time I have to look at this paper.  😉 While I was working, my phone rang. It was one of the faculty from the university where I work. She was frustrated trying to put her course materials on our online platform, so I arranged to stop by before going to my daughter’s.

This colleague is the same one who is letting me stay in the house that they are planning to put on the market in the spring. But there has been something happening in the background. They also have a rental house that happened to become available around Thanksgiving. But they were trying to decide whether to rent it again (after a frustrating broken lease) or to just put it on the market again.

In a bit of a joke, she said, “too bad we didn’t know. That would be an even better location for you.” (Although at the time I moved here, I hadn’t started the tutoring yet, and my income was still a little iffy to take on rent.) But right before Christmas, she sent me an email and asked me if we were serious about it. Dave and I talked about it and of course, we were interested, but we were concerned about how much rent we could afford at least until he got here and we knew more about what we could expect as regular income. At our ages, we aren’t fooling ourselves about finding full-time jobs, but we’re both good at cobbling things together to create income.

So, I responded to the email, saying yes, we’d be interested if we could work something out rent-wise. Then we didn’t hear anything. I sent another email a couple of days ago, but no answer as of yet.

But after working on her course stuff, she brought up the house again. I gave her the timeline Dave and I were looking at, and she said she was willing to work out a rent that just covered their expenses plus a bit–and not a big bit. The end result was $20 less than my best hope for what we could get. I was delighted. Even if Dave didn’t get a job for a while, I could manage it if we cut our spending to not much.

Dave was planning to get a small truck to bring back a few of the pieces of furniture his sister doesn’t want–things we didn’t give to Salvation Army because they are things that we could use to reestablish a household again. And it looks like we’re going to have a place to put those things, and we can set up the lease on the new place to coincide with his arrival with the truck. We are quite excited!

I also got a call for doing three weekends work of music at then end of January and the first two weeks of February, so it was a rather awesome day. And I still got to see my daughter and spend time with her.

And a bonus? I will be able to move my piano out of my brothers’ house into my own place. A darn good day, I’d say!  🙂


This post is part of JusJoJan



To or Not To Tuesday: Week 10

jjj-2016It’s Tuesday, and for me, that means it’s time for another To or Not To Tuesday, in which I pose a question about something I may or may not do, and then spend a paragraph or five talking through the decision that becomes obvious by the end of the post. The irony, of course, is that there is really no decision to be made, once everything is out on the WordPress table.

Well, this is week ten, and aside from a few awesome people who have made comments about what they may or may not do, and one reblog (thanks, Linda), my idea about posing To Do or Not To Do questions didn’t seem to catch fire. Which leads to this week’s question:

So for Week 10, the To or Not to Tuesday question is To Continue or Not Continue the To or Not to Tuesday.

I don’t think very many paragraphs are needed for this one. I had fun. I explored some ideas that I might otherwise just have mulled about without actually processing them. But with my theme for the new year: “make peace with your broken pieces” and my word for the year: direction, I think I can move through the process of finding my inner wisdom with much better filters, and that I don’t really need this weekly post anymore. Besides, I never had a banner for it. (Hey maybe! To or Not To Make a . . . . oh never mind!)  😉

Thanks to everyone who visited those posts. I appreciated your input on my mythical dilemmas. And I guess we’ll see what crazy things I come up with in 2016.

This post is for day 5 of JusJoJan.