So I haven't blogged since January 1, 2011; New Year's Day. Rereading that post, I can say that I met my first goal: to finish the first three chapters. It just took a lot longer than I thought. I sent the first draft in with 130 pages in March. My chair sent it back with instructions to deepen each chapter - probably another 60 pages. It took a year to write those first 130 pages. I knew it would take another 6 months to write 60 more. It has! But it has been approved by my chair and I will defend this portion the end of the month. And I am pleased with how the chapters have developed. I will certainly not complete the dissertation in time to finish in 2011. BUT, definitely in 2012! By January I will know if I can finish in time to graduate during spring semester.
Other highlights in the last 9 months:
The major ice storm in January that kept us locked in our house for a solid week. No school. No swimming. No venturing out. No heat. No heat? That was simply coincidental that the heating system died the same week as the first day of the extreme cold. The temperatures never rose above 30 degrees. But since all the roads were iced, we could not get to the credit union for money to pay for a new heater, and the repairman had trouble getting around also. Wow! But we survived with space heaters, electric blankets, and we had heat upstairs. I got a LOT of writing done that week because there was nothing else to do!
Spring Break. Another storm. Only this time the power was out for 2 1/2 days. Now that was a problem for writing. So I ended up sitting out in the car, running, with my power adapter plugged in to the cigarette lighter so I could use my computer. Writing for the first three days done in the car.
Summer Vacation. Wow! This was the vacation of all vacations! We rode Amtrak from New Orleans to Los Angeles with Sylvia, Chase Isabelle, and Lilly. so-much-fun! Rebecca and Ernie and their four: Ernie, Nigel, Emmaline, and Max, met us in Los Angeles. We took pictures on the grounds of the Los Angeles LDS temple where John and I were married 37 years ago.
Then Disneyland! That will light up anyone's eyes! John and I rented electric scooters and kept up with everyone! Great fun!
Then Visalia. Home. Where I grew up. Dinner with my brothers, my sister and my mother, my children and grandchildren. So nice. Dave arrived to join us for the next 10 days.
Possibly my favorite part was the next three days spent in Kings Canyon National Park among the Giant Sequoias. So peaceful. So many memories. We camped here nearly every summer when I was a little girl. We took our kids camping here nearly every summer until we moved east. To see the eyes of our sons-in-law and our grandchildren! I loved that they loved what I have loved!
Then dinner in Fresno at my sister's "new" built-in-1920 house. Goodbye to Rebecca and Ernie and kids. The rest of us went to church with Mom the next day. She always loves to show us off! And I think we love it too.
Then to the cemetery. Grandma, Ahma, and Dad are all very near each other. (Grandma - my mother's mother; Ahma - my father's grandmother)
A day of shopping with my sister, then off to Monterey and San Francisco with Dave, Sylvia, and the kids. Monterey Bay Aquarium. An upscale hotel right on Union Square thanks to Dave, a ride on the trolley car, sour dough bread at Fisherman's Wharf. Dave flew home from SFO. We took the kids to the fabulous Egyptian museum in San Jose then back to Visalia.
The last day. My sister and I took Mom to the temple in Fresno. A remarkably spiritual experience for all of us.
Then back to Los Angeles and the train ride back to New Orleans. Memories to last a lifetime!
The rest of the summer: walking the track in the morning with friends; swimming in my friend's pool in the afternoons; writing, writing, writing in between all of this.
August - back to work. Only back to work with a broken ankle. First day, carrying my box of goods to the car slipped on the wet step. Broken. But I went to work with it wrapped in a soft brace thinking it was only a sprain. Of course, that was after I walked 5 laps around the track before I went to work. Silly me. The next day the x-ray showed a nice clean break. Hello boot.
September - still wearing the boot. But only another week now - that makes 8 weeks in total.
So that's the synopsis of the first nine months. There's much more. Like working at the temple in Atlanta every Friday night. That is a remarkable experience. And weighing in at Weight Watchers every Saturday with my new friend Rose Ann who works there and has a seventh grade son. I try to go in the afternoon when no one else is there so we have time to talk! 11 pounds down. 9 more to go. And teaching seventh graders who like me! They asked me to eat lunch at their table with them instead of eating at the faculty table. So I did!