Tuesday, May 6, 2008

the first day of summer vacation

It has been years -- probably 11 years -- since I've had a true "summer vacation." But this year I have an entire month, from May 6 to June 6, that is all mine, with no real obligations to my employer, or any other institution.

It was a perfect day. I did just what I wanted to do all day long. Of course some of the things I wanted to do were necessary -- like feeding the animals, doing a load of laundry, doing a few dishes. However, for the most part, me and Rosie dog, spent the day outside.

I did some sketching, for the first time trying out the small box of pastels I bought 8 months ago (before the Virtual Learning Initiative interrupted my life). I like the quality of these pastels -- more oil than chalk -- but I'm going to need a wider array of colors!

I started reading Lester R. Brown's Plan B 3.0 which details what Brown and the World Watch Institute feel is necessary to prevent the collapse of civilization from the threats of overpopulation, poverty and environmental degradation. I've read the previous edition of Brown's book (Plan B 2.0) and many other books, articles, research reports, blogs, etc. that outline the problems, so I'm focusing on the chapters that discuss solutions this time around. I'll probably have lots to say about this and other readings this summer on Sociological Stew and Blue Island Almanack. But for my personal blog, I just want to note how wonderful and pleasant it was to sit and read exactly what I wanted to read for as long as I wanted. To have the time to pause, think about things, stare off into the woods, and jot down my brilliant (ha!) reflections on the reading.

In addition to reading and note taking, I did some journal writing. I've had so little time to write for the last six months, that when I have, it's gone into my blogs and not my journal. Time to make up for all that.

In the middle of the day, to get the blood stirring, I hauled the reel mower out of the shed and gave 30 minutes over to some vigorous aerobic exercise. A reel mower is the kind that runs entirely on human muscle power. It's good for the small area around the patio, quiet, and definitely gets the heart rate up, and produces some sweat.

As the sun began to go down, I borrowed John's digital camera and tried to capture the wonderful quality of light in our western facing front yard. Evening light in the front yard (right). I love the way the evening sun slants across the grass and back lights the leaves on the maples.


Jessica said...

I just bought Plan 3.0 too! We can have "Sue's summer reading book club"! Although I only have 2 weeks to read it, I don't think I'll have a problem finishing it. :)

Qaro said...

That sounds like a perfectly awesome day! : )

Qaro said...

Is this book pretty interesting?

sgreerpitt said...

The book's author Lester R. Brown writes about complex and technical topics in an open and engaging manner. His educational and occupational background blends both natural (agricultural) science and social science (economics), into a balanced view about environmental problems and society. This particular book (out of the more than 100 he's written over the past 35 years) stands out because of it's focus on solutions. The solutions are all based on existing technology and economic systems, they are all designed to work within the framework of capitalistic economies with democratic political institutions. Almost all are solutions that have been proven to work somewhere, they just haven't had as wide an application as necessary. So, yes, I think the book is pretty interesting.

One of the nicest things is that you can use the link in the article to read it (in pdf format) for free.

Qaro said...

Thanks for telling me about it. I will look for it.