What happens when you abandon your blog for a year?

  1. You find a backlog of comments awaiting your approval – all from fine, upstanding porn, sex, and business opportunity hosts. They clearly came to this blog to appreciate my fine writing and insightful observations, and in return, generously offered links to their slices of life. Lesson #1, don’t use the word “shadow” in a title – it attracts a very different type of “shadow tour” operator than the one I intended. Lesson #0 – very, very glad my settings require all comments to be approved before posting.
  2. You notice all the typos that you missed, oh, the first 100 times you read through the title page. Fixed, read, proof-read, read-once-again, and I bet there’s still an error in there somewhere.
  3. You get nostalgic for those first months of living off-the-grid in the middle of nature when it was all so *new* and *exciting* and every day was an *adventure.* I still get giddy when looking out the window and discovering a herd of elk in the meadow or counting a gaggle of 40+ geese pitstopping in the lake on their snowbird trek south for the winter. But the “adventure” now includes plumbing issues, and heater issues, and walls that weep because that’s what caves do – even when they’re man-made.

So what do I wish I had posted this past year (digest version)

  • Woodpeckers. Cute when they’re cartoons. Less cute when a woodpecker has pecked all the way through the cedar siding of your new workshop. What is that carpet of fluffy white stuff blooming in front of the shop? All the insulation pulled from the hole to make way for a comfy, cozy nest in our wall. Are woodpeckers on the endangered species list? I certainly hope so.
  • Fake barn owl. Placed on porch roof of workshop to scare away the woodpeckers. Favorite place for said woodpeckers to perch? You guessed it – on the head of the fake barn owl. Oh look, it swivels from side to side. Wheee. On the bright side, despite being only weighted, not screwed into the roof, the owl has survived gale force winds. So hoot in its direction for form & fit, even if it flunked function.
  • Cougars. As in Washington State Cougars! A section of my wardrobe is devoted to Crimson & Grey, I get teary-eyed whenever I hear Andy Grammer’s “Way Back Home” and I automatically echo “Go Cougs!” when it’s called out in faculty meetings. I truly love teaching at WSU. Having just finished my 3rd semester there, I feel like I’m getting the hang of being in a business school and teaching undergrads (vs. engineering grad students at USC – which was also fun, but way different. Fight on…). And in the teaching, I’ve been taught – and am putting that new business mindset to use…
  • Treehouse. After crunching the numbers, owning turned out to be cheaper than renting, especially since I expect to be there for a while, so we invested in a mid-century modern home tucked into the trees of College Hill in Pullman. In November, I moved out of the apartment (farewell 2am vacuuming neighbor) and into the house just in time to experience a Cougar Football Saturday from the deck. Heard every cannon shot when WSU scored and listened to tens of thousands of fans chanting Go! Cougs! as the sound roiled out of the stadium, bounced off hills and echoed across the campus. Living in a college town is fun!
  • The Pullman-to-Naples commute. Coming home for long weekends (huzzah for Tu-Th classes) means a 3.5 hour drive along US 95. From the rolling wheat fields of the Palouse, to the mountains of north Idaho, Prettiest. Commute. Ever.

Are we all caught up? Heck no. Will I be more prolific on the blog in 2020? Eh, who knows. Time to grab the binoculars and check for moose šŸ™‚

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