Archive for May, 2013

Suddenly summer

May 31, 2013

After a fairly cool and wet spring, all of sudden we are in a heat wave.  The temperature shot up from the low 70s F to the low 90s.  We still had our heavy wool blanket on the bed and had to pull it off last night.  The chipmunks have also suddenly made an appearance, which is very welcome.  I’ve had to suddenly shift dinner plans to salads and other cool things.

Yesterday I spent the day at a departmental meeting.  It took us a long time, but we made some real progress and I feel good about the work we’ll be doing next year.  This is all part of the big change to the core curriculum.  It feels like we’ve been hauling at the wheel of a big ship for a long time and now we’re finally starting to move on a new tack.

Finally some sun

May 27, 2013

We’ve had a long run of cold, gloomy, wet weather here.  It’s been feeling more like March than May.  Today we finally got some sunshine and warmer weather.  I was able to go out and get the lawn mowed.  It badly needed it after all the rain it has been soaking up.

Green pop

May 14, 2013

We had several warmish, dry weeks at the end of April and beginning of May when the flowers started blooming and the trees began to put out little leaf buds, but everything seemed to be taking its time getting into the swing of spring. Then this past weekend we had a couple of rainy days and suddenly the leaves have all popped out and everything is green. It’s beautiful.

Green grass, green woods

I have just finished my final grading and submitted grades. Later this week I have a couple of graduation ceremonies to attend. At the end of the month we’re having a big departmental meeting to talk about the coming changes to the curriculum, but things are finally winding down for the semester. I’m looking forward to taking a little time off before getting down to the business of getting ready for the fall.

Just passing through

May 7, 2013
Noisy visitors

Noisy visitors

Another sign of the seasons turning: geese stopping by on their migration.

Civic duty done

May 7, 2013

Yesterday morning I had jury duty over in Lawrence.  There were about twenty of us that day.  I haven’t been into Lawrence before at all, but it’s not very far away, so the drive was easy.  When we all came in around 9, they told us they had 16 cases pending for the courts that day.  At 1, the judge came in to tell us that all the cases had plead out, so we were done for the day.  Massachusetts has a one day or one trial system for jury service, so having sat in a room for four hours, I am now done for three years.  I made it home just in time to see E. before she left for work.

In the evening, Georgetown had its town meeting.  I walked over to the middle/high school with my Finnish walking poles in the evening.  There were a number of issues on the meeting warrant that passed without any problem, but there were two matters that called for a lot of discussion.  The first was a proposal to buy a permanent conservation easement on the last operating farm in town, which would require the land to either be farmed or kept in a farmable condition.  There was some heated debate between people on one side arguing for the importance of preserving working farmland in the town and people on the other side saying that it’s too much money to spend when the town isn’t actually acquiring any land.  The best line of the night was one older lady who stood up and said: “This is costing us the same amount of money we already voted to spend on a new dump truck, so stop saying it’s too much money.”  I think the clinching moment was when the current landowner stood up to speak.  He said (to paraphrase): “My wife and I have farmed that land for forty-five years and we’re both now over seventy.  When we’re gone, we want to make sure that the land will stay a farm and not get turned into a subdivision.”  After all of that, the vote passed by a huge margin.

The second big issue was covering the school athletic fields with artificial turf.  I went into the meeting fairly skeptical about the idea but I was convinced by the arguments.  The artificial turf will be a lot cheaper to maintain, it won’t have to be fertilized which means no run-off into local streams, and it will make the fields much more usable.  I was surprised to hear that a lot of Georgetown High School “home” games have to be played in other nearby towns because the fields are not usable.  While I don’t have any particular attachment to high school sports, it would be nice to have people staying in town on Friday and Saturday nights, going to local restaurants or ordering from the local pizza places.

April dinner: yellow and purple

May 1, 2013

April’s colors are yellow and purple. Yellow is pretty workable, but purple is a little bit of a challenge. I wasn’t able to find all the supplies I was looking for, so I had to make some small changes at the last minute and we ended up with a smaller and simpler special dinner than usual, but we still had a good time.

E.'s yellow and purple table

E.’s yellow and purple table

The main course was an omelet stuffed with fried eggplant. The eggplant lost some of its purple color in being fried, but it still came through in places.

Fried eggplant omelet

Fried eggplant omelet

For dessert we had lemon sorbet with blackberry compote.

Lemon sorbet with blackberry compote.

Lemon sorbet with blackberry compote.

To drink, we had mead from the meadery in Virginia, kindly delivered by my folks on their way through town.