Thursday, December 27, 2007

Snow and Snow

I made it out to the farm just in time for it to start really snowing. There's about an inch on the ground and it's melting given the 35-40 degree temperatures. But . . there's more snow expected tonight!

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 23, 2007


This puts my long drive on I-40 a couple of weeks ago into perspective. Apparently a pick-up was dodging in and out of traffic in the blowing snow and caused a semi to topple over, blocking 3 lanes. The lack of visibility, not the road conditions, accelerated the pile-up to 50 to 80 vehicles. Cars even crashed into emergency vehicles.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

From a colleague's web page

I have sometimes thought of the final cause of dogs having such short lives
and I am quite satisfied it is in compassion for the human race;
for if we suffer so much in losing a dog after an acquaintance of ten or twelve years,
what would it be if they were to live double that time? -- Sir Walter Scott

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

If it's Thursday, it must be Denver

After two days in Beaver Creek skiing, we're back in Denver. We'll go out for a nice dinner and then finish up some Christmas shopping tomorrow before I fly back late in the day.

I only wiped out once and I'll blame that on the snow being icier today than yesterday. At least I didn't break anything. I was suitably warm and the snow falling was just beautiful today! The lodge was a perfect choice and close but not too close to everyone and everything we needed.

Between the winter weather we've had at home, the ice storms in Amarillo, and Oklahoma, and the winter wonderland of the last few days, I feel like I've had winter already and we're just getting started!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007


It seems as if December is the fastest month - all of the grading is done, thank goodness. Am on brief family holiday doing something I haven't done since the mid-80s but I regained the hang of it today. A relative is doing things to shoot himself in the foot and doesn't want help . . . . but is rude about it all. It appears as if it's the classic . . . . I know I'm wrong and asking for help but don't like it when I get it. I'll keep having to learn that some things never change . . . . and that my job is not to let them impact me.

Christmas will be a bit lonely without my little Shadow but I am traveling as much as is humanely possible until the time is right to get another dog. I will blog later about my trip to the humane society last week. It appears that I owe several blog entries and will surely catch up within a month . . . . hopefully sooner.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

More snow!

I arrived back from DC last night and ran into large snowflakes about 30 miles from home. Some folks were being too cautious given the semis that could come up behind us at any time but that was the only real challenge. Not having freezing rain coming down was a definite plus. I think the Tahoe made all the difference - it's heavier than my Explorers were. If I had been driving an Explorer, I'm thinking I probably would have slipped off the road.

I need to finish grading work from this semester. I finished up an OAH newsletter article this morning and then went to Joplin to pick up a Fed Ex package from Santa Fe that required a signature.

Also, a dear friend who is only 40 has been diagnosed with cancer. Luckily, it's small and early . . . . .

More later . . .

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Amarillo then Ice Storm

I drove through Oklahoma's worst ice storm in a century yesterday without even realizing it. I thought I would drive out of it but my information was old. Mom had let me know they were also expecting the storm but my cell didn't register that message or call until I arrived at the farm last night. I talked to Mom Saturday to let her know I'd made it to Amarillo but she apparently didn't realize I didn't get her message or I would have driven further that night.

Someone was looking out for me because I didn't even slide on any of the overpasses or bridges. This was the first time I had driven the Tahoe in bad weather and, if yesterday as any indication, it is much more stable than the Explorer - even if I still envy those who have the new burgundy colored Explorers.

My town's electricity was still partly out and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had electricity at the farm - even if it meant I couldn't see if the generator had kicked on given that last year I didn't have it operating properly. I may be back out here tonight if the electricity isn't restored in town. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's almost all back on in Carthage so that I can not only check on Mom and Dad but get my hair taken care of. This ice storm wasn't in the schedule!

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Santa Fe

The trip to Santa Fe was outstanding - not only the food, Pasqual's is a favorite, but also spending time with colleagues/friends and working with the teachers in Santa Fe as they begin their adventure as part of a Teaching American History grant. They explored western history and seemed keenly interested in more closely exploring New Mexico history.

We have 3 TAH grant applications successfully submitted and I'm helping with some others.

I heard a report on controlling stress this morning and it underscored some of the things I'm trying to do - take pleasure in the small things (ie chopping food for a meal) and don't be afraid to stay in a hot shower a few minutes longer. Since Shadow's been gone, I've been working especially hard to slow down. I stayed at the same place I did when Shadow was with me (the reservations were made when I thought he would still be around) and so some of the memories were a bit difficult but that is just part of what will be happening as I deal with all of this.

I'm hoping to get home tomorrow but the weather may not cooperate. Luckily, I only hit fog about 50 miles out of where I planned to stop. Hopefully driving mostly interstate will mean the roads should be in better shape. It will be interesting to see what I wake up to tomorrow. The worst of the storm isn't supposed to hit here until Monday.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Amarillo by Morning

I'm on my way to Santa Fe to evaluate a grant and to eat some great food. The drive today was uneventful. It was almost 70 degrees today for the latter part of the trip - this time of year it can be summer weather or a blizzard so I'm keeping my fingers crossed my good luck continues given that there are definite parameters for this trip.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Back from DC

I'm back but busy catching up on doing all the work that didn't get done with the personal issues going on over the last two months.

I hit the road tomorrow for a grant project and should be able to put my thoughts together and do some catch-up posting.

Plus, there's the end of the semester crunch!

Winter has arrived although we missed yesterday's upper Midwest snow and ice but today it looks like we will have one more day in the 50s.

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