Gah...have I really been gone since mid-February? (shakes head, dusts off laptop, wonders where to begin)It's not like the blog hasn't been in my thoughts. I've composed entries almost daily, but haven't quite been able to put those good intentions down on this here dashboard. But a chance early rising (thanks, Ella) and a cup of coffee might just make this happen today. I can't completely catch up on every little thing in life, but I will hit the highlights...the trip to The Mountain, with the knitting guild was definitely one of them. Oh and I spent 8 weeks in the spring taking the Georgia Master Naturalist certification course, spending every Friday out in the woods around Athens, GA, sciencing, learning about our local natural surroundings and hot environmental issues. I am now a certified Master Naturalist, a title I do not yet feel qualified to carry, but there it is. This path got me interested in stream water quality assessment, so I've been pursuing the trainings for that certification, as well. This is considerably more technical, there are tests to pass and qualifications must be renewed annually. I passed my chemical monitoring lab test, and in late July, will do macroinvertebrate id training. This is where you learn to id all the little crawlies in the stream bed, for census. I like little crawlies, streams, and data geekishness in general, so I am happy with this new direction.
I'm still working at the Tiger Mother Tutoring business. I am actually teaching 4 classes for her right now, in her summer enrichment program. I work from 10-3, get served an excellent Korean lunch each day, and generally enjoy myself, though at times, the language barrier and the rambunctiousness of over-indulged children can become overwhelming. I'm halfheartedly looking for other work - I enjoy this job, but the pay is not what I'd like to make; I'm constantly feeling like my lifestyle exceeds my paycheck, and while there are plans afoot to alleviate that, I'm still job hunting. Kindasorta.
I applied and was accepted into GA State University for this fall, to do non-degree coursework toward an ESOL certification. Something I should have done years ago, as I've been working with non-English speaking students my whole career; indeed, they have been my bread and butter. The state of Georgia does not recognize my talents in this area, and so I have to do the coursework (12 semester hours) in order to be allowed to take the exam to certify myself. Ideally, this will lead to a better job, (albeit, one with tons of paperwork, long hours and endless political ramifications) hopefully in my local area. I've been subbing at some neighborhood schools this spring,in Chamblee and on the Buford Highway, and was filled with hope for finding work in a pleasant environment once again. I am looking forward to being a student again! Contemplating a new backpack, hoping to coddle this macbook into lasting another year or so (it's circa 2008, but doing fine) and pricing light rail passes for my commute...
Commuter marriage still surviving, and working out okay. P was here this weekend, and I will fly up to DC for about 5 days, next week to visit. He is enjoying his work still, and I am still enjoying not living in the Beltway Buzz, so for now this arrangement continues. The Atomic Lodge's assessed value has dropped quite a bit, its mortgage payments are reasonable, and while it needs a ton of work in the form of remodeling and updating (not gonna happen anytime soon) it remains a great place to live.
Dogs are well. Cricket has settled down somewhat, 6 years puts him in his prime, and we have a good little routine now. He remains my constant shadow, but somehow, he seems less clingy, more companionable now. Ella is in fairly good health, though terribly arthritic. I have her on Metacam for arthritis, and a liver supplement, to help with the metabolizing of the NSAID, and she's doing okay, feeling a little less achy, if frisky behavior is any indicator. She turned 14 this spring, and is one of 2 pups from her litter still surviving. She wakes nightly to go out to pee, around 2:30 am, and my sleep patterns have started to work around this. I'm acutely aware that every day with Ella is a gift, these days, and we spend lots of cozy time together.
Sewing, knitting and spinning have happened throughout the spring, though they deserve another post, with pictures. I've finished a couple of small things, and I'm getting geared up for the Tour de Fleece. I joined a local knitting group, different than the one I usually knit with (I still meet with them, too) and am finding them totally amusing.
Some things don't change...still trying in vain to get that daily home yoga practice in - I manage about twice a week, + class. The house is still messy and the yard is still a work in progress, but I've been having fires in the firepit, and the sunnier yard is quite a bit greener than my dirt-covered wasteland of years before.
Life is good.