Tuesday, August 30, 2016

...said the spider to the bat...

“Will you walk into my parlour?”
said the Spider to the Fly
~ Mary Howitt

After killing the seventh fly (hello! I have a Venus flytrap in the bathroom; why aren’t you helping!), I decided to move the topiaries outdoors. I’ll have to move them indoors for winter, which won’t be until close to December here so I have plenty of time to figure it out. For now, I just need to keep the little guys watered in the August Virginia heat! (Holy moly! Is it seriously almost September?!?)

Friday, August 26, 2016

...a worthwhile pursuit with spiders and bats...

"Anything I've ever done
that was ultimately worthwhile
initially scared me to death."
~ Betty Bender

Last week I celebrated my tenth year at my job. I’ve let go of the administrator role of department chair (yay!) and reduced a good amount of my service that has been weighing heavily on me for a few years. So now it’s just me back to teaching, which is what I really love doing.

My classroom door!
I’m also going back to graduate school for a degree in Public History because why not! :D I’ve probably mentioned before that my young adult dream job was to become a tour guide; and, along with the Guide School I was in a few years ago and giving tours at the cemetery, I am developing a Dark Tourism course for my university. The Public History program hopefully will give me more of a foundation to go along with my street cred :p

This semester I am taking two graduate courses. One course is a graduate introduction course to the major so I really have to have it to meet future prerequisites, which translates to a very complicated Monday commute. If you thought a three hour one way commute was nuts, you’ll now think I’m seriously a bit off. After teaching, I will leave campus at 2pm to catch a 2:30 train that will get me to my town close to 5pm. At that point, I’ll drive in rush hour traffic to reach the university around 6pm (if all works as planned) for my 6:30pm class start time. About 4 hrs one way. Yep. But you do what you have to do, right?!?

Even though I’m inside a classroom all the time, I was completely freaked out about being a student again. I'm trying to remind myself that this is supposed to be fun; that I already have a job that I love and I don't need this degree; and, that it's ridiculous to feel so anxious. But, this is who I am. Last weekend, we walked the University of Richmond campus so that I could feel that I understood where everything is located. We fit in just fine on their move-in weekend because we looked like parents of a new freshman as we walked around the campus. Ha!

Although I’ve grown up in this area, I have never walked the campus. I have no idea why because this place is beautiful!

Last week was my orientation. When I left the building, I noticed fluttering above my head. I had to stop count at about bat #30! With beautiful old buildings and breathtaking grounds, the bats have the perfect environment.

Of course, their mascot is the Spiders! While we walked around campus, my fella pointed out spiders that were incorporated into the landscape.

We also found a pleasant surprise when we discovered a columbarium and memorial garden which is located on the east side of the Henry M. Cannon Memorial Chapel and is available for those interested in having the university as their final resting place. 
A reminder from the universe

Monday, August 22, 2016

...swooning over Pottery Barn Halloween topiaries...

Oh roses for the flush of youth,
And laurel for the perfect prime;
But pluck an ivy branch for me
Grown old before my time.

Oh violets for the grave of youth,
And bay for those dead in their prime;
Give me the withered leaves I chose
Before in the old time.
~ Christina Rossetti

A little over a month ago, I placed my Pottery Barn Halloween 2016 order. The topiaries arrived today! I have been concerned ever since I received the shipping notification as the temperatures have been sweltering this week. How in the world would topiaries be shipped and arrive without being little dried up pieces of ivy?!? Turns out, they made it just fine. I quickly watered them after unpacking them and realized that, um, they’re pretty large. Right now, they’re hanging and sitting in my bathroom so that I don’t remind my fella that my gothy eyes are sometimes bigger than our gothy house! 

I *believe* that I will keep the bat topiary in the bathroom, which has taken on a bat theme after my fella stuck a few bat decals to my mirror a few years ago and along with the recent addition of the Pottery Barn flying bats wall frame. The spider may be heading to my work office since I’m not sure where I can *hide* him in the house where my step-kitty won’t eat him and/or my fella question my (large item) choices :p Just kidding! He’s actually my biggest enabler. 

Hmmm, I wonder if I could get him to hang (as in climb) the wall. 
Per the tracking notification, Schickenberg Nursery, a wholesale grower of ivy topiaries that specializes in unique frames, filled the order. Although Pottery Barn does not sell them, I learned that the nursery also sells witch and pumpkin topiaries. (If you follow the pumpkin link, the pumpkin is bottom right and somewhat difficult to see.)

I think they’re beautiful and so far, I believe they are indeed my favorite *Halloween* purchase of the season.

``whispers`` Thank you Pottery Barn for selling such awesome and lasting products.