Saturday, May 4, 2013

Two For the Price of One

The semester has ended. Next week is finals week, so I still have work to do and then freedom. I am quite behind on both blogging and reading. I have had plenty to do to finish up school. Tonight I am posting two blogs. So get a cup of tea and settle in for a long story that I will tell in collages.

Daffodils--at last

Spring finally arrived as the old snow melted, leaving behind lots of moisture, but with another storm on its way, so I took photos of my lovely daffodils that survived the last storm. Then I cut a healthy bouquet so that I could enjoy them inside. 


Our pond project finally got started. Removing lilac stumps was challenging, but as hubby learned how to use the mini backhoe, they came out. Let me tell you, a man in a backhoe is a dangerous thing!


With the backhoe work done, it was time to work the back. We had good help: Jennifer dug in, Heather scooped out, and Jacob got his first lesson on how to use a shovel. And even better lesson we hope: That it is better to work your brain rather than your back.

We, of course, are not done. Next the sides of the pond have to smoothed out and the liner put in place. Perhaps this week.

Boys and Men and Big Toys

All little boys need grandpas who live in the country. I have taught Jacob how to drive the EZ-Go, so he loaded up the lilac stumps to dump in the dump pile. He has learned his driving lessons well. He is one of those city kids who loves his video games. What grandchild doesn't ask grandma "Do you have any chores I can to earn some money?" He got more than he bargained for, didn't he? He really wants a  particular video game. I think he should read. So I told him that I would pay him for book reports. He has to read 10 pieces of literature and write a 100 words book report for each one. His mom says he is reading. We will see if he keeps his end of the bargain. 

And then there is Nathan. He is his mother's little helper in the garden and boy did he love helping grandpa run the backhoe digging holes for the two new trees that will replace the Russian olive. Like I said: Men and backhoes: a dangerous combo.

Really? More Snow. Come on. It's May Day! 

Percale for you. Flannel for you. And lucky you, you get the 300 count.

And then it snowed--again. This time around we were warned to cover our plants, so we covered the two peach trees and the North Star dwarf cherry tree. They were just ready to bud out. We put the box that our freezer came in around the peach trees and then covered them with sheets. Good thing because it did snow--lots. May 2nd Colorado set a record as the coldest night in history  For us it was 17. 

Who wants cake?

And Finally. A finality. I have known all year that this would be my last year teaching. The English office ladies had a wonderful celebration not only for my retirement but for one of my colleagues who had been at UNC for 42 years. She is a noted Margaret Atwood scholar and really quite deserved the accolades. I was--am--year to year contract. So there was cake and flowers and hugs and tears and wonderful sentiments and a beautiful clock to help mark the time. 

I will really miss my friends with whom I have worked for eighteen+ years. I started graduate school in 1989. I was 43 three years old. Heather was in 9th grade, Jen in 6th grade. I had been out of school for nearly 20 years when I decided that I wanted to teach again after being a substitute teacher and a stay at home mom. After grad school, I taught at Aims Community College than went to the university. I never expected the job would last for so long. I can honestly say that I never once dreaded going to work. My colleagues were the best; the students were the greatest. I will say my final good-byes to them next week. I don't think that I will tell my students that I am retiring because I probably wouldn't be able to do it without a few tears. I may go back in the fall to tutor in the Writing Center, but I want my time to be mine now. I want to sew and scrapbook, travel, spend time with my own little ones, take pictures and, yes, spend lots of time in the garden with the head gardener. And of course blog about it all the while. 

Keep reading. Last week's blog follows. I'll be back to reading blogs and writing when I have my grading done and my grades posted for one last time at the end of next week. Grading--the one thing that I will not miss. Oh and getting up at 6 AM and driving to work in the snow. Won't miss that at all.

Now read about Asparagus. 


  1. Your daffodils look lovely, good idea to take them into the house with the snow you got!!. Looking forward to seeing the finished pond, lovely that it was a family affair!! Best wishes for a very happy retirement and to have more time in the garden and especially with the family.Love Jackie in Surrey UK.x

  2. Retirement is a strange time. Like you, I retired from teaching and missed, not the teaching, but the children. For a while!
    You will have so much to occupy your time with the garden projects now.

  3. Congratulations on your well deserved retirement! What a great way to have you Grandson earn the video game he reading.
    Loved the picture of Grandpa and Grandson..priceless!

  4. Understand that spring has starting problems at the "gardenspot", snow in May........ You will get a beautiful pond, it's so exciting and satisfying you do all the work with your own family, great! And your will get used to it and enjoy your freedom to have more time for more pleasure. When I retired I felt very strange I remember, when I was gardening for more than two hours I found I could be more useful, but after some time we get used to it and are enjoying life!

  5. Wow you've been busy. Congratulations on your retirement from teaching, and your start to all the creative activities you're sure to enjoy. What a wonderful looking pond, looking forward to seeing more photos of it. The asparagus will be a great addition too. Do you think that's the last of the snow now?

  6. YAY! I'm so happy for you, Ann!

  7. Hi Ann, Well, I have been wondering about you and if you have "dug out" and I see you have and not only that, have dug a pond! It looks big and I hope you will show it as it moves along toward finished. Congrats on your retirement from teaching. You will really enjoy all your new projects. Looking forward to your blogs in future, Egretta

  8. Bittersweet--retirement is like the spring we have had--cold and hard and full of warmth and gold. Congratulations. Sharon W. also, I see. You taught with diligence, humor, and passion--all those rows of Freshmen--little incomplete sentences learning depth in writing. Your impact continues for generations.

  9. So the time has come...and it will be a happy retirement. Soon you will be free to sleep in, relax, do what you want.

    I'm sure you will be just as busy, that's one amazing pond.


  10. I wish you a long and happy retirement and look forward to reading all your future adventures!