Falling Behind

This isn’t good.  The weekend passed without my having written here.  Surely the exhaustion factor can’t be setting in so early on.

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Friday Night

Never would have believed I’d be living for the weekend.

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Muddling through the Middle

Wednesday of the first week.  Much organizing.

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First Day

Noted on Facebook that today’s first meetings with my students reminded me of how much I like teaching.  My friends countered by noting that the first day–before any grading–is the best.

Hear, hear.

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Last Day of Grace

Right.  Very close to finishing the final syllabus for the first meeting of my senior seminar tomorrow afternoon.  Think I’ll leave the draft to rest overnight and go over it again in the morning.

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Now Here’s a Challenge

This past week’s task for my organizing resolution has been to arrange my kitchen to make mornings easier.  Since I’ve been preoccupied with producing syllabi and traveling, I now have time to turn my attention to this task.

It’s a good thing since my kitchen is one of the less organized spaces in my home, partly as a result of the age of my home and its lack of–shall we say–modern conveniences?

Now, the house does have indoor plumbing, I’m happy to say, though I have some suspicions that might have been added only about a hundred years ago.  The house is of indeterminate age.  Some records retrieved several years ago by the local preservation society indicated that the place was built in 1909, but I’m pretty well convinced that was the date the kitchen and bath were added to the back of an earlier construction.

And since all of the plumbing for that kitchen and bath are located in one place–above a capped well in the crawlspace–I’m guessing that the running water and–happily, the city sewer connection–are even more recent.  Leaving aside my joy at having found a then-vintage if not antique home with an original cast-iron footed bathtub, I did kind of buy myself a pig in a poke when I purchased this home nearly ten years ago.  Especially when it comes to the kitchen.

How shall I describe it?  Charming?  One friend has called it refreshing and honest.  An English friend describes it as “unfitted.”  Which I rather like.

I am happy to have a gas stove, though it is regrettably unvented.  And I like the side-by-side refrigerator I bought last summer, replacing the oldish, freezer-on-top fridge (that my dog regularly opened to steal butter and leftovers) with something much more energy-efficient (and dog-safe).

I’m far less keen on the location of the stainless double sink, which resides in a niche carved out of the bathroom and lacks adequate space for washing up.  There is not, need I mention, a dishwasher.  Nor is there a convenient spot for a coffee station with adjacent fill sink.

Not that I really think such things are necessary.

In fact, “unfitted” is a nice English way of saying that my kitchen has no built-in cupboards and consequently entirely lacks counter space.  Which allows me to invent new uses for vintage dressers and use an old jelly cupboard for a pantry.  All very charming, and I like the effect.

But I must admit that–like my garden-in-progress, my dressing-room-in-progress, and generally the rest of my life-in-progress–my kitchen has more conveniences in my dreams than it does in actual fact.

I hope at some point to be able to afford a lovely kitchen remodel that will both preserve the unfitted charm of this homey space and include moving the sink and adding a garbage disposal and dishwasher located under a back window that looks onto the back porch–which will also be expanded during this fantasy remodel.

Which remains somewhere in the distant future.

All of which is to say that I’m pleased to be encouraged to look realistically at how to move my actual kitchen towards greater morning convenience in the meantime.

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Home Sweet…

Well, that was surprising.

I usually enjoy travel, but the past couple of days were singularly unpleasant.  I took the train down to Washington, stayed two nights, and returned home as quickly as possible.

Physical pain and trying to be two places at once lay at the bottom of this unaccustomedly unpleasant travel experience.  Both the train and the conference hotel seemed unbearably stuffy.  Overheated under circulated air led to headaches, which frequent five-minute walks from the hotel where I was staying to the conference hotel helped.

I was a long way from being at my best.

It’s good to be home.

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