Sunday, October 24, 2010

a lofty peak

Today Tim and I hiked the Pinnacle, a part of the Appalachian trail here in Pennsylvania. It was really nice to get away from school, work, and the Mainline for a bit. Kind of a mini-vacation.

It's been a little tough getting used to living here and managing school. Basically, my whole life has been turned upside down in the past couple of months. It takes me awhile to cope with change, especially of this magnitude. I am so fortunate and sometimes I need to get out of myself and see the bigger picture.

Friday, October 15, 2010

It's fall and I should be studying

Fall already?

School has been busier than I could imagine. It is a lot of work--endless papers and tests. So far, I like the program. The other students are nice and friendly. The professors are very involved and insist that we are on a first-name basis. I would try to be more interesting in describing school, but I can't really think about it anymore. Not today.

I am getting used to living in Pennsylvania. I do miss Maryland a lot--my friends, the area, the stuff that I was used to for the past few years. I miss the students, but not necessarily the work. My apartment is fine...there are some things that I would like to change but it is safe and somewhat affordable. Everything here seems a lot older and, with the all the stone, a lot darker.

TJ is away this week. I miss him--it's very strange to be here without him around. I keep thinking that I will eventually just leave and head back to Columbia. It's going to take awhile to adjust and I keep reminding myself to be patient.

This weekend:

1. Studying for my two tests on Monday
2. Recovering from my three tests this week
3. Listen to the wind outside my creaky window...I love it.
4. Some strong coffee made with my new French press

We watched a movie in class this week--Away from Her (directed by Sarah Polley) and it was very good. In it, the husband reads from Ondaatje's "The Cinnamon Peeler." I love him. I can still hear his accent from when he read at UVM.

...When we swam once
I touched you in water
and our bodies remained free,
you could hold me and be blind of smell.
You climbed the bank and said

this is how you touch other women
the grasscutter's wife, the lime burner's daughter.
And you searched your arms
for the missing perfume.
and knew
what good is it
to be the lime burner's daughter
left with no trace
as if not spoken to in an act of love
as if wounded without the pleasure of scar.

You touched
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamon
peeler's wife. Smell me.

photo from
abridged version of "The Cinnamon Peeler" by Michael Ondaatje.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

rainy days

We have been living through a summer Nor'easter this week. It's been rainy and cold for the past few days. It makes me want to do a whole lot of nothing! I have spent a lot of time online--buying books, reading blogs, and debating backpacks for school! I'm going out to lunch and then heading back home to have my car checked since it hit 100,000 miles awhile ago. Really hoping that I don't suffer from too much sticker-shock.

I bought a couch and loveseat on Craigslist, and have contacted a seller about an Ikea dining table and chair. It's a knockoff of a Saarinen table, which I feel badly about, but not bad enough to spend thousands on the real thing at this point in my life.

I like it!

Monday, August 23, 2010

the "not-really back to school" back to school

GC goes back to school today.

In some ways, I am sad. I miss my friends and some of the students. I miss the predictability of the days and the schedule. I miss the overall routine. I have to remind myself that what I am doing is a good thing, something that will make a positive difference in my future.

I am happy that I don't have to work in a field where I have some serious philosophical differences about teaching and socializing children. I will enjoy waking up at a more reasonable hour and not having the crazy amount of work to finish on evenings and weekends. I am excited to still be helping others while having a more flexible schedule for awhile. It is nice to have options and I am very lucky to be able to attend school full-time.

I am still on the Cape and will be for the next week and a half. It's rainy and cold today, and I'm planning on ordering my textbooks (outrageously expensive!) and maybe the wedding scrapbook while I have the time.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

summer's lease hath all too short a date

Oh, where has the summer gone!  I cannot believe that it is already mid-August. The other day, I was riding bikes with Tim and Andy and first noticed the leaves beginning to change. The days are a little shorter and it's much cooler after 5pm. I love summer and I'm trying to hold on for as long as possible.

This summer has been pretty indulgent. I took three classes at the local community college (if you need to take any prereqs for programs, the community college system is the absolute best!), so now my prereqs are done for school. Sociology, Abnormal Psychology, Anatomy and Physiology I and II, and Statistics. Done! Other than that, I've been relaxing, planning, and having fun with family and friends.

I'm excited for school, but also a little nervous. I start classes on September 8th and move to Pennsylvania on the 2nd. It will be sad to leave home again and start something new. I think it will be worth it, though--I pray it will be worth it!

On the wedding front, mostly everything is done. We have booked the photographer, florist, and DJ. I even chose my dress this week! I went with my mom and the second I tried it on, I knew that it was the one! On the whole, everything has gone pretty smoothly. My sister and I stuffed the Save the Dates last night and I'm very happy with those, as well. We got them from Wedding Paper Divas, where I'm thinking of getting our wedding invitations (they won't be the same as our Save the Dates). The only thing that is potentially stressful is our guest list. I would really like to have Tim and I know everyone there, instead of adding people that we have not met. Also, it's very easy to go way over budget when including all our friends, family, and guests. Right now, we are at about 150, which is where we'd like to keep it.

I'm listening to "The Villagers", which is actually one Irish musician. The album "Becoming a Jackal" is very good. Kind of moody, which will be good for fall.

photo from

Friday, June 25, 2010


Having summers off is absolutely wonderful. I love how the days just blend together, and the only decisions to be made are which books to read and what time to get ice cream. Lovely.

I've been at Tim's for the past couple of days. Today we went for a ride by the cranberry bogs in Carver. Then we came home, ate lunch, went swimming, and fell asleep in the hammock. Before I knew it, it was time to go for drinks and dinner with Natalie. It was so nice to catch up and talk about the wedding. Overall, a very good day. Tomorrow is looking like it will be more of the same.

On the wedding front, the date, our Church, and reception site are confirmed. I won't list them here, due to privacy issues. If you'd like, you can email me about it. We've decided on navy and dark pink for the general color scheme. I would like to keep the wedding as local and independent as possible and we've been interested in hiring those recommended by family and friends. I'd like to add some personal touches to the wedding. Etsy, oncewed, and snippet and ink are great for inspiration.

I tried on some J. Crew dresses earlier this week. I will be going with J. Crew for the bridesmaids for a few reasons. My bridesmaids live in various areas of the country and I'd like to make it easier for them. J. Crew has various styles of dresses that are flattering for all body types and at various price points (they have discounts for teachers and grad students, too!). Below are some of the styles that I like:

I also tried on the below wedding dress, which looked terrible on me! It would need serious alterations, but I wasn't a huge fan of the shape or coloring:

For my dress, I'll be looking at independent boutiques in the southeastern Massachusetts area. I think that will be my best bet. I was surprised to find that I liked the strapless and "pouf" dresses!

We are looking for vendors. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!

Top photo by Stephanie Congdon Barnes, other photos from J.Crew and

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I started my classes on Monday. I have Statistics from 9-12 and Anatomy and Physiology 2 from 5-10. It makes for a long day, but I am very fortunate because my instructors are nice and the workload is demanding but manageable. I think I will be okay.

I've been home for nearly two weeks and I am happy. It's nice to be with my family and friends here. I love waking up, having coffee on the deck, and walking to the beach. Yesterday, mom and I went to the boatyard for lobster rolls and then went to the beach for drinks and dessert. I'm very lucky.

Tomorrow I am heading off-Cape to see Tim and Natalie. I'm excited for Thai, hiking, cycling, swimming, and World Cup. Oh, yes, and studying! Ha!

I will post a wedding update soon.