Saturday, August 8, 2015

Wow...

Two more days until I start my FT job!  I am *so* excited and a little bit scared (what happens if it turns out that I can't do it?)...I know I can, but there is a bit of the imposter syndrome happening, too...

AND we are packing up the house to move...What have we done? LOL.

But, seriously, what have we done? Our closing date is the Thursday before Labor Day and then we move...that weekend!  I am a bit overwhelmed...I just look at things and think: What are we going to do with that? I am afraid that we have too much stuff and that it won't fit...I am afraid that there are more boxes that are to go into the craft/sewing room (first time they will be combined) than we have space for...The boxes are going into the smallest (12x10.5) bedroom until we figure out the set-up of the craft/sewing room (the big/heavy items will go directly into the master bedroom - craft/sewing room) and I am just sure there are more boxes than space in that room.  I can move boxes though...if we need to, they can go into the living/dining room...we are not sure what is going in those spaces, anyway, LOL. 

AND I am prepping for a class I have never taught, though I have been a student in them (I am also reading the textbook), and two that I have taught, but with a different book, so the presentations are being changed...and so, I need to update my methods, and teaching schedules...

AND I get an office to myself, but I have to wait until the guy who is using it now moves out, so I can move in...AND then I have a TON of books, etc. to move into that office.  Wonder if I can schedule my nervous break-down now?

All shall be well, and I have packed my sewing machine for the time-being.  Almost everything that has been hanging up is down and we are slowly packing each room.  I am thinking that we might have to buy a few new boxes, but not as many as I thought at first.  We saved most of our boxes from moving from Greenville, NC to Leland (our closet was full of boxes and we still have most of the bubble/newsprint for wrapping).  We have had to re-box some things because the boxes has started to fail, but most are enduring and are reusable (yay!).  We still have a few days (3+ weeks) and I think we are well on our way to having the house boxed.  Luckily, we are only moving ~25 miles, so we can make multiple trips in the cars, too...but the hope is we will be 100% moved into the new house by Labor Day...Wish us luck, and me some sanity.

Peace

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes...

Life is moving on...

I got the full-time, 9-month job at Brunswick Community College.  I will be teaching similar classes to what I have been teaching for the last 4.5 years.  I will be teaching 3 classes at one institution instead of 2 at one college and 1 at another for more money and benefits! 

Along with this...we have put in an offer for a house in Shallotte (pronounced: Shall-Lote, not like the green onion).  The offer was accepted and now we just have to work on financing - We have money for the down payment (thank you Mom!) and we could afford it without working full-time, but it will be much easier with the full-time position...The house is close to the school, and very close to two different grocery stores (biking distance!...now, we just need to add some baskets to the bike so I can bring home a gallon of milk - ha, ha).


 This is a screen-shot from a listing website...It is a 3-bedroom/2-bathroom house of about 1700 square feet.  There is a huge, old live oak tree in the back yard! It is on about a half-acre of land, with woods behind it.



We are also fostering a kitten that showed up in our back yard...she is very cute and is NOT staying - we are working to reduce the number of kitties in our world!  Everyone thinks we are lying, but it is not true...and we also fostered a boy a few months ago and he is now in someone elses house :)


We have named her Pippi Longstockings (see the photo, above for the stripy leggings)


She is very cute and will make someone an absolutely fabulous girl...she *SO* wants a kitty-friend and she is fearless! 


She has a little spotty belly and is just cute.


These photos were taken when she had only been here for about 3 or 4 days...She is about 8 weeks old in these photos.  She now follows me to the bathroom and wants to hang out with us.  Our kitties Do. Not. Like. Her!  We are working with an agency called Adopt An Angel in Wilmington, NC and she goes for her spay on Friday (she will be about 10 weeks old then).  After her spay, she will probably go to the adoption-place (PetCo) next-week Wednesday or so.  We are going to help pay for the spay and then they can use the adoption money ($55.00) for other kitties.  She is (hopefully) the last kitty we will be fostering...This new house will not really have a place for us to isolate someone...

I wish we could save them all, but the ones we help are one more that will not be contributing to future overpopulation issues.  We will continue to support the local groups (including the Fix A Friend spay and neuter clinic in the area).  They did more than 130 spay/neuter surgeries last week - both dogs and cats! They are amazing, we are hoping that some day they will be out of business (because they have done all the spays/neuters that they can, not any other reason)...

I will post more photos (kitty and house) when I get a chance/get some...

Peace.

Friday, June 26, 2015

as the kitty turns...

over and lays his paws on my laptop... it is hard when to type when I have a very enthusiastic "helper" who does not understand that cat paws also can use the touch-screen...sigh.


Anyway...Life has been going on and on. 

I was given the opportunity to teach this summer, one class of BIO 112 (General Biology II - for majors).   It has been fun.  The class started with five students and is down to four.  We went out on a field trip on Wednesday to collect samples from the sound-side of one of the barrier islands down here.  I love the barrier islands and think they are really neat how they shift and change...I will not get on my soapbox about how we should not be building on them, etc.  Anyway - there were so many people out there - I usually go at non-peak times, like, March and October/November and the number of people just sunbathing and hanging out at the water was a bit of a surprise. 

All went better than I had hoped and we got so see some cool blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) and some neat fish - including a small (~1.5 inch) puffer fish (Northern puffer, Sphoeroides maculatus), a pampano (I think it is Trachinotus carolinus, but it could be an African pampano)...and some pinfish (Lagodon rhomboides).  I guess the puffers from around here are not nearly as toxic with tetrodotoxin as those around Japan.

As I said, we also caught some blue crabs ...one of my favorite species for identification (easy-peasy to ID).  We found a male that someone had ripped off his claws and many of his walking legs and (I sure hope he survived) and then later we caught a big female with claws intact.  These guys are neat because they are sexually dimorphic, so we could tell that one was male and the other female.  

   Image from theblondcook.com

One of my students gave up her hat to catch her - she didn't let go of the hat until she was back in the water! I am just glad it wasn't my fingers.  I was pinched by some smaller blue crabs and stuck in the finger by the rostrum of a shrimp (Farfantepenaeus spp.) that we caught...all-in-all, it was a good day.  There are days I can't believe they pay me to do what I do.  So...we brought the puffer, the pompano, and three pinfish back to the aquarium at school.  I am hoping they are still alive on Monday when we go back.  We removed the bully of a mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus, a.k.a. mud minnow) and it is now living at the Aquaculture facility on campus.

I don't think I want to try to take 32 students out on a field trip next time, though...I am not sure what to do because I really think it was a good experience to see the species in the wild and see how we can catch them, etc. Maybe by splitting the class into two groups and taking only16 at a time...with more supervisory people? I will see what I can do.  I don't know if 16 would be manageable, either...we shall see.

So,  I have received more "'thanks but no thanks" from places.  I have also applied to a FT position at the Brunswick CC, where I am working now.  I have high hopes and crossed fingers, but it has only been ~1.5 weeks since they opened the position.  They posted it on Tuesday night, I turned in my application on Wednesday morning. Nothing like jumping on that quickly.  It was hinted at by two higher-ups that the job would be posted soon (before it was) and that I should be on the look-out for it...I was.  I have not heard about interviews, yet, but hope that it will be soon.  The start-date is expected to be on August 10th.  Fingers crossed.

AND! Today the Supreme Court ruled to recognize marriages for all.  I am so happy that we no longer need to spend (literally) thousands of dollars to get the same rights as my siblings have since they got married.  We had to get legal papers that would allow each other to make medical decisions, to be able to visit each other in the hospital, etc.  The same rights that my siblings had when they got married - by spending as little as $80 ($90, if you wanted the certified copy of the certificate, which we did) in the State of NC and going to a JP.  We had to spend the money twice: once in Ohio, and once in NC...if we had been able to get legally married, we would not have had to spend the thousands of dollars the first time... So, if we move, we should not have to spend the thousands again!  We are now legally married in all 50 States, and DC!  I am so happy, I cannot contain myself...This does not mean that I am protected at my job...this is still an "at-will" state and for whatever reason, someone decides that they don't want me to teach, they do not have to renew my contract and they do not have to tell me why (as far as I know)...Scary.

So...time to celebrate and then get back to the fun of doing my job...There are also times I don't think they pay me enough...but that is not as often. :)

Peace

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Follow up to the follow up of the car drama

OK.  So, last night I went to move the Honda a bit...The clutch went to the floor and did not come back up and the car jumped, even when standing on the brake.

OK, so this morning, I went out and put it in neutral and gave it a shot...same response from the clutch. Put the car in neutral and it started right on up, no problem (yay!) and then I tried to put in the clutch and put it in gear.  Not an option.  The suggestion is that it is either 1) the clutch slave cylinder, 2) the clutch master cylinder, or 3) some leaky tubes.  Worst-case should be ~$200.00.  Sigh.

We had an appointment this morning.  We took the Saturn, and ran a couple of errands no problem.

We came home and I called AAA to pick up the Honda.  The guy came and got it - I helped and literally burned (complete with two blisters) my fingers on the steering wheel.


OK.  I had just finished the third of three books from the library and we got a call to tell me that a fourth one just came in! 

I decided to head over the library and return the read ones and get the new one.  I put the Saturn in reverse and backed off the concrete pad and then went to put it in gear, and head out, and the clutch is dead "floppy" again, like the bushing went out again.  I called the car-place and they said tow it in.  I kinda lost it...we are stranded and we can't get either one when they finish them...I am frustrated by all that is happening...

I eventually calmed down and decided that it can be towed in the morning and I can go with it and then come back with one, whichever one is finished first.  I know the library is not too far from the car repair place and I will go with the driver and the car, and then go to the library and wait.  I guess I can take my laptop, etc. - I need to develop an exam for Monday.

I am *so* over the cars, but I am not willing to give up having one...We already decided that it is not worth replacing the AC in the Saturn, because the Honda still has working AC.  But we hope that they keep on running.

Eventually we will have to put them down/let them go, but we are still allowing them to limp along...sigh.  We have been eyeballing some "new" cars and we have decided that we want a station wagon-like vehicle - that will allow us to haul things (recycling, cats, items we like that are big and bulky and don't fit in the current cars).  We liked the Subaru Outback and that is $34,000+ and that is WAY more than we want to pay!  After seeing that, we kinda shut down the search. 

Some day...some day...

Peace.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

follow up to the job interview...

Well, seeing as I have not heard from the school, I am assuming that I didn't get a call back for a second interview...alas. 

How can I change what I am doing? What am I doing wrong. 

I am thinking that I will contact the last two places and ask for suggestions as to how I can improve what I am doing.  I am *SO* frustrated. 

I have been keeping up the positive attitude and thoughts for *SO* long that I just don't know what else to do, besides give up and look for a job not in the teaching-field - And who knows if that will be any better...grrrr.

Sigh.

Peace.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Job Interview...

So...On Thursday, I kicked some fanny and submitted all the grades necessary to be done with both colleges.  We then picked up a rental car (at about 6:30 a.m.), parked our car at one of the colleges, and headed up to central Virginia.  We got there with time to spare (yay!) and then we were able to check into the hotel (double yay!) and Fonda was (finally) able to get some sleep.  I went to the appointment (I was about 25 minutes before the "15 minutes early" request).  The campus is small and sweet.  Kinda like Brunswick CC.  The person I was to meet with was at lunch (nothing like being early, huh?). 

I think it went OK - but I always think it goes OK.  I expect to hear within the week (if I get the second interview) and if that happens, they will do the second one via Skype (or some similar technology, for both candidates).   We shall see.

We found two fabric stores and found out about two more...we also found some thrift stores and antique-like stores...


We stopped at the Virginia Welcome Center (Virgina is for lovers) and they had peanuts spelling out LOVE, so of course, we had to get a photo :)


The dogwoods were blooming...(our finished about 2 weeks ago, down here)...These were cool because they were pointy...


We went to some thrift stores...this ^^ one was a religious-type with creepy-eyed rabbits...Notice the one in the middle-back who is plotting to rip out your throat while you are gaping at the other creepy rabbits in front.



All he needs is to be painted white and have big pointy fangs and it would complete the image





This..."chest of drawers" = "Chester drawers" - a thrift store in Chester, VA... Where I found...




these socks...Soulmate socks "because life is too short to match socks"

Then we went to Petersburg Pickers - an antique/resale place...


If the goats are out ^^^ they are open...


We saw this piggy bank with eight eyes...Like it would be perfectly at home with The Simpsons.  I was amused, but Fonda really didn't seem to be so.





A little further around the edges, we found this elephant dress.  I am almost positive it was 100% polyester, but I didn't read the tag.  On the price tag, it was called a Brady Bunch Dress...




Then as I was putting the elephant dress away...I found THIS ^^^ dress...There is nothing I can say about this, except that the person who made it had some MAD crochet skills...Wow.  Just: Wow.



Then, as we were leaving, Fonda recognized that the reason they had a ladder bolted to the garage door was because they were spelling out the word LOVE...so, we began and ended the trip with LOVE.  Now...if the interviewers just follow through...

We made it home safely and only ran into TS Ana once were were back in NC...not much except wind and bands of rain (sometimes really heavy).  It rained all day on Sunday and most of Monday, We probably got more than 6 inches total (judged by the full concrete-mixing tubs of the neighbor).

Now: I just have to mow the grass - it is beginning to get a bit out of hand...

Peace.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

well...follow up to the "and then this happened"

well...Turns out there is something called a bushing between the links of the gear shifter...Apparently they sometimes fail (usually with some warning, if you know what to feel for)...cost about $76.00 with part and labor...YAY...

That being said...The Honda...We had planned to take it on a trip this weekend...so, took it to the repair shop and then got The Call.  Not only for the expected O-ring leak, but some additional leaks and the rear brakes...metal-on-metal...and a frozen caliper...So...$1500.00 including 1.5 days labor.  Looks like we will be renting a car...sigh. 

OK.  Now I need to go to bed, but I wanted to put your minds at ease about the Saturn, at least...now we worry about the Honda and the insurance that is due - ha, ha :)...

Peace.

the fish girl

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Leland, North Carolina, United States