Tuesday, September 03, 2013

first day of school

Everything changes on the first day of the academic year.

Breakfast. Faster, slicker, earlier. Though for us, still on the porch. And today, the oatmeal has the addition of Ed's applesauce.

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There is an unusual twist to my teaching this semester -- my classes are very late in the day. That means I spend the hours in advance of them in my sweats at the kitchen table. It's the most efficient way to get things done. The benefit? Right now, I see (beyond the windows and screens) the fuzzy world of flowers and the sheep shed. Makes me smile.

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And again I look up and again I see the last blooms, drawing the beaks of the humming birds. A wide grin for this one. (The bird is in the upper left.)

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The day is absolutely beautiful. Ed is out, dumping wood chips around the shed -- for winter insulation. I'm out only for the photo. Sigh...

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At the western edge of the farmette, the goldenrod is explosive. You can think of it as an invasive. I think of it as a beautiful banner of early fall.

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Isis is outside now too. I've neglected him in Ocean photos. Here he is in the strawberry patch -- one of his favorite spots in the yard.

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Some lilies never give up...

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But it was not meant to be day of play. The first day of school, remember?

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After, Rosie takes me back. Past fields of goldenrod and skies of blue.

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labor day

So many of these national holidays pass by with out much thought as to why we observe them in the first place. Labor Day: a day off from work, oftentimes, the day before school starts. (But historically, a day honoring the labor movement and the workers that contributed to America's prosperity.)

This "day off from work" is, for me, an extra busy day, because however you end the semester, you surely should start it with your head held high, excited, bursting with energy and knowledge and whatever else you want to bring into the classroom. In other words, you need to be prepared.

Are you going to yoga today? -- this from Ed.
Want to play tennis?
No, no time...

Is that really true? No time for a silly game of back and forth on the tennis court?

I take out a packet of nougat that I purchased in Uzes and munch on it. Suddenly I remember that in the evening there, I hiked, randomly, until I could see the sun set over the skyline. Maybe travel is just a stand in for free time?

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(Ed, over breakfast, studying the soon to be replaced roof on the porch)

It's been a long time since my flowers have seen rain or the hose water that comes their way when things get too dry. I take a half hour tonight to throw some moisture their way, knowing darn well that a little water often does more damage than good. Plants are not like people. They do not thrive when we're not paying attention to them.

Or do they? Here's a random surprise: it's growing out of the compost pile by the old barn.

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The hours pass. I take my work outside because there is a sudden nip in the air.

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(Ed, after I trimmed his beard)

There is nothing summer like about the afternoon. I think winter thoughts as I survey the garden.

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In the evening, my daughter and her husband are here and I am so glad they choose the porch for dinner because even though it's cool, it is always grand to be sitting outside as the light fades.

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I make (among other things) ratatouille because a neighbor gave us huge chunks of zucchini in exchange for a few of our cucumbers. Ed isn't really a fan of zucchini, nor is he a fan of eggplant, and my daughter isn't a fan of onions, so it's fair to say that there will be plenty of ratatouille in the fridge in the next week, in case you're itchin' to stop by.

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For dessert, I thought I would replicate the heavenly melon soup I ate in Rouen, forgetting that the pouree is only as good as the fruit. Here it is -- a very tame melon soup.

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Evening is done, Ed's asleep, I'm not too far behind. Tomorrow, school begins.