slow and steady

Apr. 17th, 2017 11:08 am
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[personal profile] rimrunner
There's nothing like owning 90 acres of land to make you feel like you're eating an elephant.

I had Friday off (benefit of working for a Christian organization) so Mr. Darcy and I spent the day digging Japanese knotweed out of the land and getting hailed on intermittently for our efforts. That morning I bought my first pair of Carhartts and I can already say they're one of the best purchases I've ever made. I'd have developed hypothermia otherwise, and probably scratched the hell out of myself when we spent some time afterward exploring our nearby wetland, which required clambering over and around brush left from the previous owners' clearcutting.

We found several trilliums, though, which in and of itself was worth it. I also harvested enough nettles to make about a cup and a half of pesto, which I brought to a party on Saturday night. And we took stock of the amount of skunk cabbage on the land (there's a LOT) before a thunderstorm drove us back to the car and down to Mr. and Mrs' P's to go out for Mexican food with them and Mr. P's mum. That was Friday.

Saturday I did gung fu, had a writing group chat, and went to a party.

Sunday we were back on the land, this time digging up tansy ragwort, a supremely nasty plant that is dangerous even to handle bare-handed. We dug it up until every plant we looked at looked like tansy ragwort (it somewhat resembles thistles and dandelions, both of which we also have) and then went for a stroll around the land, met with the guy who's going to dig our utility trench and re-gravel the driveway (the sellers did a shit job), and harvested more nettle, which I brought to Mr. and Mrs. P's and sauteéd for Easter dinner. I'm also pretty sure that I found wild rose, Pacific bleeding heart, and common red paintbrush; I'll know about the latter and the roses for sure in a couple of months when they bloom. We've definitely got salmonberry and red huckleberry going on. No thimbleberry yet but I hope to find some.

Last weekend was SMF; obviously I didn't go. I haven't gone for five years. Most of the time it doesn't bother me, though I did think last weekend that it might be about time to plan another trip to Greece. I did contemplate going camping for the weekend, possibly even at Flagler (it's a huge park, so chances of running into anyone I knew or encountering the festival itself were basically nil), but decided to work on the land instead. That's pretty much what I'm going to be doing outdoors for the foreseeable, I think. But also some short hikes and overnights to break things up a bit.

In other news, the university president resigned. Not entirely a surprise; there had been rumors, which the boss had passed on to me—something she never does if she's not reasonably certain there's truth to them. The provost has been on medical leave for over two weeks and there's speculation she's going to follow the president out the door. She's only been there since August and inherited a mess, with some undisclosed but apparently fairly serious health condition on top of that, but I get the impression that fairly or unfairly there is very little confidence in her, the soon to be former president, or most of the rest of the university administration. Most of them came in within the last five years and none were internal hires. They don't seem to have spent a lot of time learning how things work, or communicating clearly about what changes they want to make and why, other than reducing enrollment and diversifying the student body, both of which are necessary, inevitable, and ultimately should be good for the institution—but the way they're doing it sucks. Have I mentioned that my department didn't know what our budget was until November, over five months into the fiscal year?

Anyway, the university will probably survive, not least because there's a long history and tradition of faculty leadership, and that process—including determining which positions will be eliminated due to a necessary reduction in force—is ongoing, almost in spite of the administration which has shown no sign of having read the faculty handbook. (At the very least the provost ought to be familiar with it, but I don't get the impression that she is.) But, as I've written elsewhere, I'm making my own separate plans for the future. I have something of a tendency to stick around places longer than I should (I should have left the ATC and everything associated with it earlier than I did, for instance) and I'm pretty sure the university can get along just fine without me.

Next weekend we have our spring revel, and the following weekend I'm taking an edible plant workshop at Wilderness Awareness School. Very much looking forward to both of those things.

Overall, things are good, and the things that aren't, I don't think I'm up to writing about right now. Maybe later.

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ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
Ilana

April 2017

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My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

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