Archive for October, 2007

All this, and cake, too!

The many-splintered elements of my personality have been competing for supremacy again this week. It’s been such a full week!I’ve juggled technical writing, multimedia production, teaching, scholarship and management, with the more homey skills of knitting, gardening, and baking. Last night, I made two cakes for Grace’s retirement party tonight, a banana cake with cream cheese icing, and a six-egg poundcake.


It was so nice to put aside the technical questions of barcode scanners and multimedia creation, to not ponder the measurable effectiveness of multimedia use in learning outcomes, but just to make butter fluffy with sugar, to mix the eggs in one at a time, and to lick the beaters of the mixer like a child while my house filled with the aroma of warm, soft cake.

It was a simple joy. Maybe, I might hazard to say, a kind of feminine contentment that I too often outrun in my own life.

In fact, it was nice to transition, if only for those few minutes from “I am SHE, who holds technology in one hand and education in the other while balancing the demands of faculty and students” into “I am she, who makes sweet and tasty things for the people I love.”

At the end of the night, I could declare to Emilie that “I have baked cakes!” with -exactly- the same level of pride and accomplishment that I used last week when I said, “I’ve had an article accepted for publishing.” Maybe even MORE pride, but a glow of pride welling from my heart, and not from my head.

Emilie once said to me that I live too much in my head. I’ve held onto that estimation for a long time.

Obviously, Emilie is more clever than she thinks she is.

I think I’ll bake her a cake….

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No, it’s not a euphemism for something your mom told you not to do before marriage.


It’s what you sometimes get to do when you live in the country. Tonight, at about 11pm, Tony and I were walking Abby for the last time before going to bed, as we always do. Abby was sniffing at things and enjoying the night air, nosing around in the pinestraw lining the driveway and looking for frogs, when suddenly she jumped straight up and back, growling and barking. When I shined my light over in that direction to see what had startled her, there was a snake, about 24 inches long and coiled up to strike. We weren’t sure whether Abby had been bitten or not, so we thought it safest if we went ahead and killed the snake in case we needed to identify it for the emergency vet.

So Tony took off up the hill for the hoe, and I stood there, in the dark, with a squirmy dog in one hand and a squirmy snake in the beam of my flashlight. Creepy. Very creepy. The wind was blowing, water droplets were being shaken from the pine trees overhead, and I stood there staring at a snake. Or…two! Sure enough, another snake, about the same size, sidled up and started getting “romantic” with the first. It was just like a Wild Kingdom episode, right there in our pine island.

Okay, maybe it was more like Wild Kingdom Meets Halloween, as Tony approached with a garden implement and proceded to hack both snakes into oblivion. My hero!

Being a peaceful person, I felt kind of guilty about being a party to their death, but upon closer inspection (yeah, I don’t like to get close to live snakes, only dead ones) they were positively identified as copperheads.

So much for getting to bed at 11. Here it is, 12:53 pm, and I’m still awake, waiting for the adreneline surge to abate so I can go to bed. But I’m happy to report that Abby wasn’t bitten, and in the end, that was most important to me.

P.S. We put the snakes in a tupperwear container. I can’t WAIT to show my mom and hear her shriek! Sometimes, my inner ten-year-old is hard to suppress.

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Okay, so I set up a blog for my best girlfriend Emilie (blogservations.wordpress.com) and SHE’S GREAT! Of course, I knew she would be, because everything about her is great, but especially her creative use of the English language. It’s so nice to check in with her once and awhile and see what’s happening in her life, and in her mind.

We have such different lives! She is a hard-working stay-at-home mom, shuttling between the grocery store, the playgroup, church meetings, and family events. And she finds a few minutes every day to collect her thougths, and blog. It’s amazing to me.

I shuttle myself physically between work and home, church and the family farm, and mentally between high-tech gadgets and language learning theory, to “what needs to happen this week in the garden”, and in between all this, the only time I seem to be able to woolgather is when I’m commuting or working in the garden. Either way, I’m nowhere near a computer. I always say to myself, “You’ve got to remember to write this thought/idea/feeling/observation down when you get a chance”, but I rarely seem to find the chance.

So, that’s why my personal blog sucks. ;- )

However, in order to share information with my family regarding the formation of our nonprofit foundation, I HAVE created an additional blog for the foundation, wgcarter.wordpress.com. Interestingly, I seem to update that blog everyday, adding information and photos of the garden and the land.

Maybe I just can’t get interested in myself. Maybe my self is wrapped up in other things right now. I don’t know.

I do know that, when I want a glimpse at a life full of interest, challenges, wit, and love, I can check into Emilie’s blog, and enjoy her world and her virtual company.

Love you, Emilie!

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