Three kittens!!!

What are we nuts? I guess so, but the three little kittens have stolen our hearts. Our house has seemed empty ever since we lost Snapdragon and Bee Balm. They had good, long lives and we loved them dearly, and now we have Luna, Kali, and Shiva. We wish them good long lives and we love them dearly!
Shiva in the farmer's market basket

Luna in the gallon bucket

We haven't had kittens in, oh, 18 years. And when we last had kittens we lived in an apartment--much easier to keep track of where the kittens have gone to.

Oh, and our kitchen had almost zero counter space, so keeping the kittens off the counter was easy. 

Kali in the cat bed
But now we have lots of counter space and we haven't figured out how to encourage our cats, especially Kali, to stay off the counter. We tried yelling "no" until we learned that the cat will just associate the yelling with the person yelling; as soon as we leave, she'll just jump on the counter. 

Shiva, Kali, and Luna all together
Oh, and aluminum foil didn't work at all--she looked at me as if to say, Am I supposed to be afraid of that?

Well, yes, you are!

They are fun to watch, they have a ton of energy, but maybe the best is the purring that goes on when we hold them on our laps, when they sleep between us and when they eat!

I'm back!!

After a very challenging year I can happily say that I am cancer-free, and now ready to start enjoying my retirement.

And my wife Anne has two new knees (say that fast!) and one sore ankle (long story) but at least surgery is behind both of us.'s September again. The second September that school is starting and I'm not going in.

Last year was a whirlwind of surgery and coping with a diagnosis of cancer--I didn't actually get to feel what it is like to be retired.

This year I'm getting to enjoy it.

Here's what I've got lined up (so far!)

  • I'm taking Reformed Worship and Sacraments, online at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. It's my seventh course; one more and I will have earned a Certificate in Congregational Leadership.
  • I'm taking Drawing I with the amazing Laura Gould. I've taken art journaling with Laura but it's time I really learn to draw.
  • I'm teaching the Thursday morning Adult Ed class with Tami Seidel at the First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown, my church.
  • Finally, I'll be teaching 7th and 8th grade Sunday School, alternating with Adult Ed on Sunday mornings at First Presbyterian.
Sounds good, doesn't it?

In between I'm lobbying for peace and justice with my Friends Committee on National Legislation Advocacy Team. Anne and I will be attending the Quaker Public Policy Institute in Washington DC in November.

And finally, our three beautiful adopted kittens are bringing us great joy. 

Named for goddesses: Luna, goddess of the moon; Kali, mother of the universe; and Shiva (who is actually a god but we thought was a goddess), the destroyer.

"Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans" John Lennon

So here we are, planning my retirement and our fall vacation.

How did we get here? Well I transitioned to retirement by teaching half time for the past two years (academic years 2015-2016, and 2016-2017). I taught all my courses in the fall semester and took the spring semester off.

Spring of 2016 is a bit of a blur. How did I ever have time to teach?

First, we went to Israel with Bet Am Shalom Synagogue. It was an amazing trip. Pictures can't do it justice so I won't try, but here's one of all of us in Jerusalem:
Bet Am Shalom group
We went to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Eliat, visited one kibbutz and stayed on another. We experienced Shabbat in Jerusalem and Shabbat on Kibbutz Ketura.

And that was January.
Menu for Marina's Confirmation lunch
Then my dad fell and fractured his hip, so that was February. We went to Florida at the end of February for our grandniece's confirmation.

Aunt Carol turned 86 in March and the family got together for that.

Aunt Carol's birthday lunch

And then it was summer!

Summer of 2016 is a bit clearer-we took a vacation to Maine, renting a (weird) house on Deer Isle but loving every minute of our time there. 
And then it was time to go back to work ;(
Fall was bitter sweet-teaching for the last semester. No last lecture (popularized by Randy Pausch who knew he was dying), just a series of last classes.

And at the end of this month, a week from Thursday, I'll be "officially" retired. Stay tuned!
Selfie with balloons Anne gave me

It's August....already?

Lunch at Aragosta, Stonington, ME
So here I am, on August 8, starting to plan for the new semester, which will be my last one as a full-time (well, full-time sort of, part-time/full-time) professor. Retirement, here I come! I met today with Rob Mundy, a professor of English and director of the Writing Enhanced Course program.  So I'm starting to think about syllabi, books, assignments, stuff like that.

I'm guessing that for me, in a way, summer is over. What about you?

Summertime! And the living is easy...

Or is it? Between the news from Istanbul, and the "Brexit" vote, I'm starting to feel like "I'm just visiting this planet." So I changed the title of this blog from the bland, "Connie Knapp's Blog" to "I'm just visiting this planet." Because that's how I feel.

And then there's my own stuff-planning my retirement from 30+ years of college teaching. And there's another place where I have other worldly experiences-college teaching has changed drastically over the last 30 years, but that's another story-visit me at Being An Information Systems Professor for that story.

I do love the summer, and I always have a list of projects miles long. This summer is no different. So, just for fun, here's my list:

  • Finish Sage Lewis's Udemy course on setting up a GoDaddy web site using Wordpress.
  • Finish AndrewWilliams's Udemy course on plain old Wordpress
  • Start Andrew Williams's Udemy course on installing Wordpress locally
  • Finish Seth Godin's freelancer course
  • Learn how to use Scapple, a mind-mapping tool
  • Take down the old arbor, put up the new one
  • Plant a new butterfly bush, hydrangea, and honeysuckle in the garden
Some of those things take a few minutes, some take, well forever!

Just to keep me motivated, here's a picture of the beans growing in our garden-this will remind me why I do like summer!

So, what are your plans for the summer? Not just your vacation plans, but your project plans, garden plans, whatever plans?