Saturday, May 9, 2020

and that's a wrap

Spring 2020 semester for University #1 is done (for me, anyway).  Final grades are calculated and posted, retention forms completed and submitted, and courses closed to student access.  This really was a very successful semester in terms of my students, not that I did anything different this time.  Nobody withdrew from any of my classes – that’s never happened before, and probably never will again!  So, it’s 100% retention and this reflects well on me, though I’ve never felt like I have much control over retention.  Shit happens.  Shit especially seems to happen to people attending University #1.  I am flexible when students come to me with their myriad of unfortunate events and situations, but ultimately, it’s up to them whether or not they deal with stuff and get back on track, or just give up.

Sadly, there are no graduation ceremonies this spring. I hope University #1 will plan a ceremony later in the year, but right now, nothing is planned.  High schools have already commenced in virtual ceremonies.     

Someone and I went on a grand adventure last Saturday.  It was a fabulous spring day – cloudless, 70 degrees – just magnificent!  We met up with some of Someone’s YMCA basketball buddies and their wives for kayaking on Tygart Creek.  I have never been to this creek, but had heard it can be dangerous at times.  Someone assured me it would not be dangerous and his buddies were very familiar with paddling this creek every spring.  I trusted.

Long story short, we parked in a grassy area in the median of the Interstate – between two bridges that cross above Tygart Creek very near the Olive Hill exit.  This, of course, is not good practice...actually, it’s illegal.  We unloaded kayaks and some took their empty trucks to the take-out spot farther downstream, and then one guy brought everyone back.  We tossed kayaks over a security fence – they tumbled roughly to the creek far below.  I must add that it did not please me to have to treat me dear kayak so brutally, but there was really no other way with this location.  Then we climbed over and carefully picked our way down the muddy, rocky, slippery slope to the tall weeds at the edge of the creek.

We put in off the rocks right into white water – this was a virgin experience for me with my kayak in water this rough (about Class 1 rapid...or perhaps something less than Class 2).   I went first and the guys assured me that things got calm around the bend of the creek and I could wait there.  It was exhilarating to say the least, but I made it without issue through the rapids.  When the water calmed, I turned around to watch others come through.  Twenty minutes went by and still nobody came, and then finally, two came through successfully, and then here came Someone paddling hard, too hard, and he flipped over.  His kayak came on downstream and I snagged it.  Someone fought his way over to shore with his paddle.  Two guys worked hard to paddle back up against the current and to take his kayak back to him.  Long story short, Someone had already flipped over several times before I ever saw him.  The water was not deep, fortunately.  To be fair, three others flipped over in those rapids.

Tygart creek is beautiful, but there were trees down across the creek that we had to negotiate, and places where the water was too shallow to paddle.  There are beautiful cliffs in places, waterfalls, and wildlife.  It was great fun, but I didn’t take many photos because mostly I was working to stay upright in white water or watching the creek bed in front of me to avoid getting stuck on trees and rocks.  This was not a leisurely trip, but great fun nonetheless.  Someone had fun despite being wet the whole day.  He borrowed a kayak for this trip.  I think he’ll be wanting to buy one this summer.

Someone ahead of me (in red) on Tygart Creek

We stopped for a break on Tygart Creek (my beauty is lime green)

The pandemic gave me reason to blow the dust off my sewing machine for the purpose to make masks.  The governor of our fair state has ordered/requested all people to wear masks in public staring May 11.  Indeed, the college president has requested that we wear masks starting May 11 if we are coming to campus.  This will be the new norm, it seems.  I made masks for me and Someone, and also for my brother, Erin, and Emily.  Sarah has been making masks for months...she is an expert at making masks by now. 

KyLady in green mask (of course, green)

Miss Erin approves

Also, rather than doing things that desperately need doing (like cleaning house or decluttering), I’ve been baking: cookies, lemon meringue pie from scratch, cinnamon rolls from scratch, and white bread.  None of this is good for us to be eating, but Someone eats the lion’s share (and sometimes the lioness’s share as well).  Someone is an exercise bulimic so it’s OK that he eats so much; he just runs extra miles. 

white bread (recipe makes two loaves)

Lemon meringue pie

Pie after Someone cut himself ONE piece

Cinnamon rolls after Someone had ONE (serving) for breakfast 

Ever since being able to climb stairs after my hip replacement, I’ve been sleeping in a spare bedroom.  It’s really nice having my own space...I’m not sure that I’ll ever rejoin Someone in the master bedroom.  For one reason, I sleep better alone, despite sharing my little bed with Gracie and Molly.  Someone likes to watch TV late into the night.  If he gets up early to run, he flips on lights and rattles around like a bear foraging through garbage cans.  The spare room was Emily’s room at one time.  She selected the paint color, the most God-awful Pepto-Bismol pink that you can imagine.  I changed out the ruffled curtains yesterday, and the next task will be to paint the tiny room something reasonable.  Later this year, I hope to have the entire upstairs refloored.  No more carpet!

Miss Molly Flufftail purrs loudly at night

Gracie does not share the bed well.

No more ruffled curtains in KyLady's house - little girls grew up

It’s time to be scrubbing the porch and setting my houseplants outside, and getting the garden planted.  So much to do, so little time!!  But today is another fabulous, cool spring day.  Someone and I are taking Gracie for a long hike near Grayson Lake today. Play today, work tomorrow.  

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