Friday, September 21, 2012

At Last: Vacation!

Tomorrow, we leave for our second trip to Rocky Mountain National Park.  The last time we were there, Mr. Higgins proposed.  Naturally, we have very fond memories of the place!  Ha!

This trip couldn't come at a better time.  We're exhausted - mentally and physically.  While everyone went away this summer, we stayed put, saving our vacation time for when we knew we'd need it most.  Our last vacation was in April.

As you probably know, I got a new boss this summer.  The transition, for me, has been anything but smooth.  The search for this new boss was a political nightmare in my department.  I was not involved in the search, but no one was more affected by it.  I wish.....well, I wish some things had gone differently, let's say.

And let me say this.  Never have I been more motivated to work on my own writing, in the hopes of finally getting something the hopes of moving on.  Mr. Higgins is completely supportive of this.  I just need to make time, every single day, to work on my own writing.  That's easier said than done.  

For now, I'm going to focus on vacation and relaxation.  Mr. Higgins hopes to do some hiking.  I hope to survive said hiking.  And I think I'll take my knitting along, just in case I have time to work on it.  We have booked a cabin that overlooks a small river.  I cannot wait to sit on the porch, listen to the water, and watch the trees and mountains.  Heaven!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Old Age

I turn 31 next month.  In the same month, my dad will turn 71.  

My dad retired about seven years ago.  In those seven years, I've definitely noticed a mental decline.  I can easily compare him to my former boss, only a year younger at 70.  There's no comparison.  He seems like he's 60.  My dad seems older than his 71 years.  

I've read about how to keep up your mental awareness in old age; my father has never in his entire life done anything like these things.  Of course, everyone is entitled to live their life as they wish.....but if he develops Alzheimer's or dementia, it's not going to be fun for our family.   

A colleague's wife has Alzheimer's.  She's at all of our parties and social functions....and it's heartbreaking to see.  She's asked her husband "how many kids do we have?"  Now, it's getting to the point where she can't be left alone.  

I can't imagine my father going through this.  All of us hope it doesn't happen to those we love but we must be prepared if it does.  

Getting older is not fun, despite the medical advances of our time.  Sure, people are living longer, but, from what I've seen, this is not always a blessing.  When you outlive everyone you love and are immobile, what's the point of continuing on in such an agonizing state?  At that point, I hope I'm mentally able to decline all means of sustaining my own life.  I'd rather not be a drain on society.  I'd rather die happy.  

These are tough topics.  But my parents are getting older.  We can't be afraid to talk about such things.  It's imperative we talk about them.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

iPhone Dilemma

I do not have an iPhone.  Gasp!  I don't even have a smart phone.  If you don't know me, you're shocked, right?  

I have a dumb phone.  Here's my dilemma: the dumb phone is one it's last legs.   I need a new phone.  When I go online to look at the options, there are all of two dumb phones available and they all look like they belong in the hands of a man at a construction site - ugly and bulky.  Sigh!

Here's the thing: though I love Apple, I don't really want an iPhone.  I don't want access to my email all the time.  I don't want to be surfing the web in the parking lot of a store.  How many times have I had to sit through my friends, at  dinner, checking their email or waiting while they look up something "essential" online?  Hundreds of times.  How many times do I walk behind a student who is reading something on their iPhone - while walking (slowly) down the stairs?  Everyday.  It's annoying.  It's pervasive.  I hate it and I don't want to be one of those people.

The cost is also an issue.  I don't want to shell out at least $70/month for a data plan that I resent!  But I do love Apple.....  In all honesty, I think I would be happier with an iPad (to take on trips instead of my MacBook Pro) and a cute dumb phone. 

I'm sitting in on my professor's class this semester.  Out of 13 students, 2 have iPads, 10 bring laptops to class, and about 10-12 have iPhones.  All of them have smart phones.  Of course, we're talking about a private school where most students drive BMWs or Lexus'.  My class case study is not indicative of most college students, I'm sure. 

However, recently I ran over to the library to pick up a book.  The librarian at circulation had a question and said, "look it up on your phone."  I took immense pride in saying "I have a dumb phone.  Sorry."  That meant she had to turn to the computer.  And do her job. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Early Christmas Crafts

I'm trying to get a head start on Christmas this year - both in shopping and crafting.  This is usually something I can just never do, so let's hope it works out better this year.  Especially since I'll lose a week of December to a trip with Mr. Higgins.  Eek!

I had this great - or possibly terrible - idea of something to make for our parents.  Amazingly, I already bought the stuff to do it and am ready to start.  Unfortunately, we leave for vacation a week from Saturday.  Hopefully, I can start on this project this weekend (though it's a busy weekend) so at least it's in progress when we leave.

Every year I debate about making Christmas cards.  Almost every year I leave these to almost the last minute.  I'll wait and see how I feel after the parental project and then decide if I want to make our cards. 

I'd also like to finish two knitting projects to give as Christmas presents.  One is absolutely essential.  And I should probably add another project since I have another friend who is pregnant.  I'd like to do some more baby socks!

At the very least, I guess it's good that I'm thinking about all this!

I've been lightly chastised for not posting more often.  I'm sorry; life has been busy but not with things worth blogging about.  I'll try to do better.  Promise!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Vivaldi's Venice

Last week, I finished a novel that was very enjoyable and enlightening: The Four Seasons: A Novel of Vivaldi's Venice by Laurel Corona.  This is the review I posted on Goodreads.

Though this took me quite awhile to read, I thoroughly enjoyed this piece of historical fiction, set in 18th century Venice. Having been to Venice, I loved thinking of Chiaretta and Maddalena there, singing and playing the violin. The two are sisters, orphaned, who grow up in a convent. They excel at music. When they are grown, Chiartta marries to have grand adventures among the elite of Venice. Maddalena stays at the convent and continues to play with and for her maestro, Vivaldi. The novel could have done without Vivaldi but it was intriguing learning about the Red Priest. A lovely novel!

I love Venice and I love "The Four Seasons" so this novel was perfect for me!