The other day, I didn’t realize I left my coat in the office until I was half way to my car. I weighed walking back upstairs against completing the trek to the car in the light snow and 15 degrees cold. I felt fine, so I decided to shrug off the weather. Once in the car, I Facebook Bragged about officially adapting to the Northwoods weather. The car never warmed up before I made it home. I regretted the decision from the moment the Fiat Popsicle made it out of the parking lot. In the morning, I realized “I ain’t got no coat” to wearRead More →

1. A new semester, crisp and clean

2. Engaged students

3. A new textbook to engage the engaged students

4. Fresh snow that looks like cotton growing in treetops

5. Blankets and a home to protect me from fresh snow

6. Family

7. Coffee, always coffee

8. People who work hard and do their jobs

9. Old school Bic pens.

Remodel the kitchen or embrace what you have with gratitude and work for social justice instead? The choice should be easy, but it’s not. I admire the man in this article and his family so much, especially now that I pay two mortgages and consider daily how to remodel this new home in the Northwoods. Maybe I should buy a hammer instead of surf Apartmentherapy. How to use that hammer without succumbing to DIY culture is a whole different question, though.  

Give me gratitude or give me debt:

New Year’s holiday gratitudes: 1. Deer outside. 2. Trees heavy with snow so they look like shaggy dogs. 3. A white Christmas. 4. Netflix, binge-watching television, Lillyhammer. 5. Staycations. 6. Cuddling, cuddling, cuddling. 7. Cuban bean soup. 8. Cargo space in SUVs. Thank goodness. 9. Meyer’s soap. 10. Cheap snow boots that still do the trick.   ∞

People. The people who helped me get to the Northwoods of Wisconsin this year – people who wrote letters of recommendation, proofread job application packets, and held my hand; committee members and HR staff who held a job search; family, friends, and my partner who packed and moved me here; my cats who didn’t run away. This is where I need to be and I’m grateful I got here. The realtors, bankers, and inspectors of Rhinelander who got me into a home in time for Thanksgiving. The Louisiana students who have told me this summer and fall semester that they miss me, starting from theRead More →

1. Deer corn 2. Hank and Milo coming to life in the Northwoods. 3. There’s still some warmth in the air. 4. Great veggies from the neighbors’ garden. 5. “Aggressive” snow tires that fend off fear of oncoming snow. 6. Butt-warming leather seats in a car. 7. Cider. 8. Phone reception. 9. The first movie in four or five months. 10. A good realtor who brings hope about selling my house in Louisiana. Now that’s something. ∞

This morning I read off a litany of complaints to anyone who would listen. I realized it is time to list some gratitudes instead. 1. Lebanese Iced Tea, a lovely concoction served in middle eastern restaurants in Louisiana. I read that it was invented in NOLA. It is mostly lemonade and rosewater. Quite delicious. 2. The new red chef hats worn by the employees at the middle eastern restaurant where I drank Lebanese Iced Tea for lunch today. Bright and happy. 3. All the videos on the intertubez of Fiat 500c’s driving around in the snow. I’m now confident I could drive my car throughRead More →