Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Second "Boot" Day & First Corduroy Day ;-)

I love corduroy pants, particularly colorful ones like this one (hard to find!) and I wear them all winter long.

The Most Racially Diverse Religious Faith!

Wow, I'm pretty excited about this figure right now, because diversity is something I value greatly -- and thankfully our own local church and school community has become incredibly diverse in the past five years since I moved here, reflecting the greater trends in the country.

My denomination is the most diverse in the U.S. according to the Pew Research Center!

I learned about this in an npr article about us and Ben Carson (who I happen not to support). The article does leave out one important difference between us and other protestants, the concept of death.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

First "Boot Day"

I put off wearing boots for as long as possible. I do have to admit that on a rainy day about a month ago I wore a pair of short "army style" boots, but that was it. 

I know that I'll be wearing boots daily for over five months, so I wasn't eager to get started. But today was cold and raining and I just had to do it. :-(
I guess we can say that "winter" or the cold season has arrived to stay. :-(

My Only Exercise

I know I need more exercise, since walking to and from the parking garages and up and down stairs is my only exercise right now. And it is quite plentiful, in fact. 

But today I thought it was a bit too much! 
The top level of the parking garage? 
As we'd say in Brazil "nobody deserves that!" (Isso ninguém merece!) or, maybe in a better translation "I don't wish that on anyone!"

Since I am carrying an older laptop and a heavy textbook in my backpack, i'm guaranteed a good workout. ;-) now I just need to walk a little faster!

Monday, October 26, 2015


I kind of liked it, but I don't know if I'll be watching again.

I just don't do TV. But I'm sure glad that we have about 9 channels now, including PBS! I'll be watching Downton Abbey when it airs here!

This was the upside of our new & better internet. If only it weren't so expensive! Boooh :-(

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Random reasons why I don't like Fall

  • Waking up and getting up in the dark is hard, but having short days after the time change is even harder. It's totally a lose-lose situation.
  • I hate mums which is a weird name to give to chrysanthemums (the actual name of the flower and how it's called in Brazil, where I grew up -- crisântemos in Portuguese).             Tangent: Why do Americans love to shorten so many words? (Some pet peeves of mine: convo, legit, ammo. Some are not so bad, such as: app, info, memo)
  • I hate the colors purple and orange which seem to be the official colors of Halloween, oh and I don't care for yellow either. (yeah, and there are tons of yellow, orange, dark red or pink/nearly purple mums around, sigh...)
  • I loathe Halloween.
  • I don't live in Massachusetts or New England anymore, so fall is blah anywhere else after you've lived eight years there.
  • Is the season that ushers winter.
You may not believe this, but I've been writing this post for the past three weeks. First, talking on the phone, which is how most posts start out nowadays, and then editing on the computer for several days. I'm sure there are other "random reasons" that I cannot pinpoint right now, but I want to get this post out before Fall is over! ;-P

I also considered interspersing the items with gorgeous Fall photos, but I'll leave it as is. I don't have the energy to go look for photos right now. And they'd totally defeat the purpose of the post too...

I'm even more unhappy this particular Fall because I think the foliage was more beautiful than in previous years, but we did not have any time or any way (due in part to house guests) to go for even one hike or a beautiful drive out in the countryside. So sad! 

I don't think I have full-blown seasonal affective disorder (SAD), but Fall and Winter make me feel blue. I think the shortening of the days is worse, though. Once it's winter at least the days start getting gradually longer, so there's hope!! 

The things that aren't going particularly well in my life (like the 8 am class) and that of our family don't help, right? I'm not done yet with my series of "out of sorts" posts. In fact, this is one of them. 


Friday, October 23, 2015

It went well!

I've been so busy, with work, and my commute and nephews and in-laws at the house that I haven't  had time to do an update. Thanks for the question, What Now?

The surgery went well and my BIL is going home from the hospital tomorrow. Yesterday my FIL arrived from Brazil and spent the day with his son and my husband drove up with his mom to pick up FIL and see his brother.

Tomorrow we drive the in-laws and nephews (in two cars -- booo!) to stay with BIL for a week. We're exhausted, but we need to drive them. One option would be for me to drive them on my own and for K to stay home with the boys, but we're thinking we'll all go. K wants to come back home tomorrow... 

In two weeks we'll know how the healing is going. Let's hope it will be ok!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Shadow/ Perspective/Please Pray

I wrote this last week (10/14) and I am only posting it today.

A close family member had a rare form of cancer four years ago. This person underwent two surgeries and radiation therapy and went into remission.

The tumor is back, though, exactly in the same place, and now there will be another surgery and other treatments. The surgery is happening right now, please pray for the surgery and his recovery.

We are all worried, but also confident that The cancer can be treated and go inti remission again. And hopefully this time it will last for a long time.

There are two things that we are experiencing as a result of this: there is an enhanced sense of perspective, every other worry in life pales in comparison to The thought of possibly dying from a life-threatening disease. And the second, my husband describes as this dark shadow that permeates everything we do. 

This week Next week, we have family staying at our house because the surgery will probably be in the middle of next week. Please keep a family member in your thoughts and prayers. This person is only 40 years old and has two children.

P.S. This is actually my brother-in-law we lives in Egypt. When I wrote the post we had just found out and he had not gone public with his situation, but now everybody knows.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The 8 AM class

This early class is killing me!

No kidding, even a student in my 2 PM class said that to me last week.

It is only Tuesdays and Thursdays, and it's only 20 minutes from my house, but that doesn't make it any better. 

I have barely been able to get there on time for every class. Today I decides to come back home, but I generally stay in town for my 2 pm class -- on Tuesdays I go straight to a graduate class of Brazilian music which I attend to help my friend who teaches it (and because I LOOOOVE the topic, it's the highlight of my week!). 

I have this pathetic Tu-Th schedule because of the room availability and because I decided to leave the period from 9:30 am to 2 pm free so I can volunteer at my sons' school once in a while...

I never ever want to teach another 8 am class. It doesn't work for me! :-(

Out of sorts

I've been really out of sorts lately, so I'm going to write a series of out of sorts posts, which is probably not nice at all, but at least I'll get some blogging done, right?

Cheap therapy! Sigh...

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Naturalization Postponed (Again)

I really, really wanted to vote for president next year, therefore I had decided that I was going to become a U.S. citizen (we both were, in fact). However, we really cannot afford the naturalization fee right now (as we couldn't two years ago when we became eligible to apply).


Good thing to know that I'm not the only one, according to this 2013 Time online article. I know that 1,360 (for two people) is not that much money, but it's more than a ticket to Brazil and visiting my country next year is way more important to me. Not to mention that since we're running out of time to apply before our trip next June, it may be wiser to wait. After all, it takes roughly six months and then we still need to get passports, which could take several weeks.

The upside? That's one less item to worry about in my stress-inducing to-do list. I'm a little sad, but it does take some weight off my shoulders. And maybe I can sort-out my name situation (hopefully I'll write another post about that) before becoming a citizen.

So, two less votes in this "purple" state here for whoever the blue candidate will be. I hope the state turns "blue" again in 2016 despite lacking our votes!

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Back to Brown

Today I got brown highlights (with some darker blonde) all over my hair, but the brown washed over the blonde, so my hair is pretty dark right now. I'll be buying clarifying shampoo & washing multiple times and I hope that'll help to bring the blonde highlights back.

The hairdresser, who had loved the blonde on me, was pretty disappointed, but I'm happy to go back to a more normal me! My older son just said "it is weird, but better!" 

The original results from back in May are here.
Before (today):
I will probably get highlights again in December for family photos, but I'll never ever go blonde again, that's for sure!

P.S. Later my son added the following: "You're not as cute, though." Yeah... I guess blondes are the cute ones . BLAH! (Sigh...) And I told him that I'll be soon adding some highlights to be "cuter." Oh well! ;-) 

Friday, October 02, 2015

What we did last Sunday -- Cool Time Lapse Video!

If anyone in your life plays Minecraft or Nintendo games (particularly in the WiiU), please tell them to check out and support my son's channel on YouTube!

And if you want to see a cool time lapse of us emptying, moving, and refilling a bookshelf, check out the first three minutes of this video:

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Sent (Application/ Tenure Package)

I'm still stressed out about some of the other items in my endless to-do list, but submitting the application is no longer one of them.


I'm feeling at peace about it. Today New Hire even called me into hir office to ask me (in a somewhat anxious voice) whether I was applying for the position or not -- and I said I'd to it tonight, that things were crazy at home with K submitting his tenure package.


He spent the night from Sunday to Monday working on it and came home only at 4:30 am. I'm glad that he's done, though. He's even telling a silly joke about it which I got his permission to share in another post.

I'm cold and nervous right now because I just spent some time reading (for the first time in THREE YEARS) student evaluations.

I hate doing that. But I braved it tonight. And included only one class in my application packet. One of the most glowing ones.

I still can't believe one of my student wrote (a year or two ago) that "my attire is not appropriate" -- whaaaa? I cannot wear colorful cute clothes to work? I need to wear dark pantsuits? Or serious little black dresses. Really? Who says that?

I also drove my husband crazy editing the teaching statement. You know, I don't think I'm cut out for this after all. I don't have the thick skin, I don't have the desire to please anyone, much less other scholars. I'm too scatterbrained to do anything right.

Some students picked on my disorganization or "scatter-brainess" but, thankfully, most really "got" me and my enthusiasm, my compassion, my flexibility and my deep desire that they learn.

I know I should be reading these faithfully every semester and improving. I know. I'm BAD. I'm lazy and extremely ridiculously sensitive.

I need a new therapist, that's for sure, and I hope I can find one soon.

I'll write more about this later, but I realized something VERY depressing about blogging today. There are exceptions to the rule, but most of the people whose posts I really loved to read quit blogging because they wanted to be writers. And they went for it. Some actually did get published.

Who did not? Who is still blogging?

yeah... very very very depressing and very bad for one's self esteem. If I'm still writing here (with no audience whatsoever) it means I'm really, really bad.

Long gone is the day when blogging changed my life for the better. I wish it could still do me good.