Sunday, September 30, 2018

Pic of the Day



The Godly Care


A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. (KJV) ( Proverbs 12:10 ) 

Animals are God’s precious creatures. He placed us above them not just to rule over them, but also to care for them. While it is good to help others in need, we should not forget about the animals in need of our nurturing. There are many shelters that need our help, which can be given through volunteering, fostering, and more. Isabella came from a shelter, and I am so glad I adopted her. She is a wonderful companion.


Friday, September 28, 2018

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TGIF

 

I never thought today would come this week. Yesterday felt like Friday then the realization hit that it was only Thursday. I have a doctor’s appointment this morning. Hopefully, all the blood work I had done the other day will come out okay. I haven’t gained weight since I last saw my doctor, but I haven’t lost any either. He’s definitely going to tell me that I need to lose weight. I’m hoping everything else will be okay, and I will start trying to do better with losing weight.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Pic of the Day



Neighbors


A few weeks ago, my grouchy, unfriendly neighbor moved out. The new lady who moved in is really nice. I often catch myself talking to her if she’s sitting out on the front porch. She’s definitely a talker, and I’m usually held up if she’s outside when I get home. It’s nice to actually have a neighbor I like and get along with.

Then there is my other new neighbor, he’s cute and kind of sexy. He’s obviously gay. No straight man dresses this well. Actually, it’s lots of different things that makes my gaydar go off. Anyway, I keep trying to find a way to introduce myself, but he keeps slipping through my grasp. He doesn’t seem as keen to meet us, but maybe that will change.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

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Another Late Night


I really hate online teaching. Every time I think I am finished for the moment, there is something else that needs to be done. I also have a few particularly long-winded writers in the bunch. If it says answer something in two to three sentences, don’t give me five or six paragraphs. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Pic of the Day



Nothing Gold Can Stay


Nothing Gold Can Stay
by Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost wrote a number of long narrative poems like “The Death of the Hired Man,” and most of his best-known poems are medium-length, like his sonnets “Mowing” and “Acquainted with the Night,” or his two most famous poems, both written in four stanzas, “The Road Not Taken” and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” But some of his most beloved poems are famously brief lyrics—like “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” which is condensed into only eight lines of three beats each (iambic trimeter), four little rhyming couplets containing the whole cycle of life, an entire philosophy.

“Nothing Gold Can Stay” achieves its perfect brevity by making every word count, with a richness of meanings. At first, you think it’s a simple poem about the natural life cycle of a tree:

“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.”

But the very mention of “gold” expands beyond the forest to human commerce, to the symbolism of wealth and the philosophy of value. Then the second couplet seems to return to a more conventional poetic statement about the transience of life and beauty:

“Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.”

But immediately after that we realize that Frost is playing with the multiple meanings of these simple, mostly single syllable words—else why would he repeat “leaf” like he’s ringing a bell? “Leaf” echoes with its many meanings—leaves of paper, leafing through a book, the color leaf green, leafing out as an action, as budding forth, time passing as the pages of the calendar turn….

“Then leaf subsides to leaf.”

As the Friends of Robert Frost at the Robert Frost Stone House Museum in Vermont point out, the description of colors in the first lines of this poem is a literal depiction of the spring budding of willow and maple trees, whose leaf buds appear very briefly as golden-colored before they mature to the green of actual leaves.

Yet in the sixth line, Frost makes it explicit that his poem carries the double meaning of allegory:

“So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.”

He is retelling the history of the world here, how the first sparkle of any new life, the first blush of the birth of mankind, the first golden light of any new day always fades, subsides, sinks, goes down.

“Nothing gold can stay.”

Frost has been describing spring, but by speaking of Eden he brings fall, and the fall of man, to mind without even using the word. That’s why we chose to include this poem in our seasonal collection of poems for autumn rather than spring.


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Pic of the Day



Snakes and Doves


Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (KJV) ( Matthew 10:16

As much as we should desire to be kind and giving, sometimes it can be difficult to do so in our current culture. We want to be good but don't want to be taken advantage of. Like many things in life, this requires a delicate balance of assertiveness and servitude. If you are heavy on assertiveness, try being a bit more subservient today by allowing others to express themselves more. If you are in need of more assertiveness, try speaking up today, either by asking questions or praising someone. 

Friday, September 21, 2018

Pic of the Day




Gallery Opening


Tonight, I am going to a gallery opening at a museum in Burlington. It’s called the “Impossible Ideal: Victorian Fashion and Femininity.” It should be quite interesting, especially to see how another museum does their openings. Here is a description of the exhibit:

The Victorian era (1837-1901), named for the reign of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, is known for extreme expressions of women’s fashion, and for a narrow definition of women’s roles in society. Tight-laced corsets, wide hoop skirts, bustles, and trains exaggerated women’s forms while restricting their movement and activity. Thus fashion, and the popular magazines that promoted it, reinforced the “cult of domesticity”—the idea that women’s place was in the home and not the public sphere. This feminine ideal belonged to an urban leisure class, excluding great swaths of rural or working class populations. Mass print culture also implicitly and explicitly promoted a vision of the ideal woman as white and Protestant rather than any other race or religion.

Even as mainstream periodicals promoted the Victorian cult of domesticity, they also provided a forum for debate about the “woman question:” to what degree should women be educated, seek work outside the home, and have certain rights within marriage, including the right to divorce. These discussions were evidence of a growing restlessness on the part of women, and an ambivalence on the part of the magazines’ editors and contributors, many of them female. While mid-century styles reflected the restrictiveness of women’s roles, by the 1890s fashion evolved to express increasing autonomy. Sleeker skirts, broader shoulders, lighter fabrics, and suit styles that mimicked menswear gave women greater freedom of movement, representing how more women were venturing outside the home for education, excercise, or to work for philanthropic or activist causes.

Through women’s clothing and accessories from the Fleming Museum’s collection, along with excerpts from popular American women’s magazines such as Godey’s Lady’s Book and Peterson’s Magazine, this exhibition explores how fashion embodied the many contradictions of Victorian women’s lives, and, eventually, the growing call for more diverse definitions of women’s roles and identities.



Thursday, September 20, 2018

Pic of the Day



Not Much


I’m busier than I ever have been at work. When I actually have time to sit at my desk it’s not for long. This morning is going to be very busy. I’ll be teaching two classes and then I, along with the whole university, have to attend a Title IX training. 

If you don’t know what Title IX is, it simply states “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” This law includes sexual assault and harassment. So we have to be trained in it. The only good thing is that the Title IX officer is cute, gay, and has a great butt that he likes to accentuate with tight pants. So that will be the morning. 

The afternoon will be going through architectural drawings to decide which are worth keeping. To say the least, it will be a busy day. There are other things going on too, such as the online class I am “teaching.” And then there are a few other things not worth mentioning at this time, but they keep me busy as well.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Pic of the Day



Fall Is Coming


The cooling off has finally begun. That’s not to say we won’t have another warm spell, but for at least the next ten days, our highs will be in the 60s. I love this type of weather. I hate the heat. I’m okay with the cold, but it’s the cooler temperature in the fall and spring that I crave.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Pic of the Day



The Flower


The Flower

 by George Herbert


How fresh, O Lord, how sweet and clean

Are Thy returns! ev’n as the flow’rs in Spring,

     To which, besides their own demean

The late-past frosts tributes of pleasure bring;

                    Grief melts away

                     Like snow in May,

     As if there were no such cold thing.


     Who would have thought my shrivel’d heart

Could have recover’d greennesse? It was gone

     Quite under ground; as flow’rs depart

To see their mother-root, when they have blown,

                 Where they together

                 All the hard weather,

     Dead to the world, keep house unknown.


     These are Thy wonders, Lord of power,

Killing and quickning, bringing down to Hell

     And up to Heaven in an houre;

Making a chiming of a passing-bell.

                 We say amisse

                 This or that is;

     Thy word is all, if we could spell.


     O that I once past changing were,

Fast in Thy Paradise, where no flower can wither;

     Many a Spring I shoot up fair,

Offring at Heav’n, growing and groning thither,

                 Nor doth my flower

                 Want a Spring-showre,

     My sinnes and I joyning together.


     But while I grow in a straight line,

Still upwards bent, as if Heav’n were mine own,

     Thy anger comes, and I decline:

What frost to that? what pole is not the zone

                 Where all things burn,

                 When Thou dost turn,

     And the least frown of Thine is shown?


     And now in age I bud again,

After so many deaths I live and write;

     I once more smell the dew and rain,

And relish versing: O, my onely Light,

                 It cannot be

                 That I am he

     On whom Thy tempests fell all night.


     These are Thy wonders, Lord of love,

To make us see we are but flow’rs that glide;

     Which when we once can find and prove,

Thou hast a garden for us where to bide.

                 Who would be more,

                Swelling through store,

     Forfeit their Paradise by their pride.


Monday, September 17, 2018

Pic of the Day



Up Late



I was up late last night working on my grading for my online class that I am “teaching,” I put teaching in quotes because I wouldn’t call what I do teaching as much as I would call it merely grading.

One good thing from yesterday though is that my interview with the transgender women went exceptionally well. She was very open and forthcoming about her experiences and her transition. It was a fascinating interview.

I’m off today, so I’m sleeping in.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

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Roots Will Grow


That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, (KJV) ( Ephesians 3:17

When you place your faith in God and trust that His plans for you are better than you can imagine, Christ will send the Holy Spirit to you. Through prayer and daily reading of the Bible, a relationship will grow. This relationship is unlike any other, and it will sharpen you to constantly grow to be more like Christ. 


Friday, September 14, 2018

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So Excited


I am so excited, I can hardly contain myself. I have an oral history interview with someone I have been pursuing for three years. She came to my attention shortly after I arrived in Vermont, but she lived in Ohio and was not going to be coming to Vermont, so I had no way to interview her. I met her yesterday at homecoming. You might be asking so what? Why is he so excited? Well, when this woman graduated in 1963, the university was an all male school and she was one of the men. By her 50th reunion, five years ago, she had transitioned from male to female. There is no doubt she has stories to tell. I can’t wait until Sunday.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

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Homecoming


I will be glad when homecoming is over. I worked a 12 hour day yesterday getting ready for it. Today and tomorrow, I will be working 10 hour days, and Saturday, I will be working a 7 hour day. It’s exhausting. In addition to all of that, we have to be charming to the alumni all the time. There is just so much to do and there doesn’t seem enough time to do it all. Come Sunday, it will all be over with.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Pic of the Day



Getting Ready


Because I work at a university museum, homecoming weekend, which starts tomorrow, is one of our busiest times. We get tons of donations. Our bookstore actually sells stuff. (It rarely does much business during the year.) We have a new exhibit opening. The museum associates (our benefactors) meet for their annual meeting. And all in all, it’s just exhausting getting ready for all of it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Pics of the Day





To Jake



To Jake

 by Eunice Tietjens


You are turned wraith. Your supple, flitting hands,

As formless as the night wind’s moan,

Beckon across the years, and your heart’s pain

Fades surely as a stainèd stone.

 

And yet you will not let me rest, crying

And calling down the night to me

A thing that when your body moved and glowed,

Living, you could not make me see.

 

Lean down your homely, mist-encircled head

Close, close above my human ear,

And tell me what of pain among the dead—

Tell me, and I will try to hear.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Pic of the Day



To the Airport



I got Mama to the airport, now I’m going to sleep a little while longer. We had a great visit while she was here. Now, I won’t see her again until Christmas. I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Pic of the Day



Pray Always



Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (KJV) ( Ephesians 6:18  ) 

God does not tire of hearing your voice.  Do you have a worry? A need? A reason for thanks? God wants to hear about it.  Prayer is the appropriate response in every occasion.  Take time to pray and connect with God today.