Monday, May 28, 2012

Every time Honor and I take a walk around the neighborhood we see these works of art.  Wanted to document them before I leave this area.
Robot on the fire hydrant...

Sailboat on the sidewalk...



Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Day in Mystic...

 Today I had a craving for a lobster roll.  My friend, Allison, told me about this small lobster shack in Mystic, CT and I figured I'd run out and give it a try.  I was definitely not disappointed!!  The shack opens at noon.  I arrived at the perfect time, about 5 minutes before opening and right before the crowds.  As soon as I got in line a never ending stream of cars and bicycles headed into the gravel parking lot.  I felt like cheering when the window opened for business!


I ordered the hot buttered lobster roll.  This is much different than any other lobster roll I've ever had because there's no mayo.  The lobster was cooked perfectly but I think the roll could have done with a bit more flavor somehow...maybe more butter?  It just tasted like lobster and bun.  Delicious, but needed something more.  

I drove into Mystic and decided to walk around the town.  Mystic Pizza called my name.  Yes, this is the real Mystic Pizza where the movie with Julia Roberts was filmed!  I went in and decided to have a slice of pepperoni.  Yes, I had just had the lobster roll an hour before, but I wanted a piece of pizza from this place.  The pizza was excellent!  The crust was soft and slightly chewy, the sauce/cheese/pepperoni ratio was perfect as well.  This was probably one of the best pieces of pizza I have ever had.  Everyone was outside taking pictures, me included!

Well, you can't have a lobster roll and a piece of pizza and not have dessert!  So, I headed back towards the famous Mystic drawbridge to this cute ice cream parlor.  I was definitely not disappointed!!

I was going to have a Chai Cinnamon ice cream cone until I saw this - a sweet/salty combination of chocolate covered pretzels, salty peanuts, and caramel sauce.  Yes please, I will have a scoop of that on a sugar cone!  mmmm...delicious!

Walking across the drawbridge I looked down the Mystic River and saw the ships of the Mystic Seaport.  I'd like to go there but it costs $24 just to get inside.  That's a little steep for me if they don't have a rollercoaster...haha.

Mystic was a great little town.  I didn't stop in most of the shops because they were jewelry and artsy kinds of stores.  I did stop in a small beading store on the way back to my car though.  It was as cute as a button and I saw so many cool things.  I need to take classes before I buy anything like that to work on though.  I also didn't buy stuff because I'm going to start packing soon.  More on that later.

Until next time...

Monday, May 14, 2012

School's out for summer...

Another note from one of my students.  This was written on the back of her exam.

Classes are now officially over and I can't believe that I have finished teaching for one full year.  I will be continuing to go to work though because I have two manuscripts that I need to submit for publication before the summer is over.  One is ready to go.  The other, my Master's work, is taking longer.  The initial reviews want me to do more experiments that I just don't have the means to do.  This means I'm going to have to rewrite this manuscript with information eliminated.  Oh well, it's all a process.

I love the combination of green, purple, and white for the flowers in my office this week.  They make me very, very happy!!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Thrift Store Finds...

I am on the last book in my stash so I decided it was time to head to the thrift store to pick up a few more.  Boy oh boy, did I score!!  I ended up getting seven new books, many of which are on my "To Read" list.  I picked up the following:
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • A Prayer for Owen Meaney
  • Magic Hour
  • Giving up on Ordinary
  • Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Snow Falling on Cedars
  • The Geography of Bliss
These should keep me occupied for a little while.  I like to read a little bit every night before I go to bed.  I need to start devoting more time to my reading though.  Now that school is out for the summer I am going to try to add at least one hour of reading to my day.

I also picked up a new globe!!  I was so excited when I saw it on the shelf.  How can you pass up something so gorgeous when it was only $5.99! I *heart* it!!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Now this is the life!

This is Honor, my dog.  She has got to be one of the most spoiled pets in the world!  Every morning when I get up, she immediately climbs into my spot on the bed.  She stays there until I am done checking email and taking my shower.  The only sound that will rouse her is when I start to get breakfast ready for the both of us.  She'll wander out to the kitchen to see what's going on before I let her outside to do her morning routine.  This gives me enough time to make the bed and get my lunch ready before I head off to school. live a spoiled-rotten dogs life!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Time for Finals...

This morning I graded final exams for one of my three classes.  I found this little note on the last page of one of the exams.  Anthony tells me that I made rocks fun...and that makes me very, very proud of the job I do.  This is why I teach.  And how impressed am I that he knows that quartz is a mineral!!


Monday, May 07, 2012

My Organized Office...

I am one of those people that requires things in my workspace to be clean and organized.  I knew I wanted to get my office into some type of order, but wasn't sure what to do besides put all of my courses into white binders.  I wanted something that would look appealing and offer me the storage I craved.  I was so excited when I ran across these binder templates because they are my favorite colors!  I ordered 17 white binders and set to work a couple of days ago.  I absolutely LOVE the way they turned out!!  Here they are in the book case.

Here's another view, just closer up.  I love the titles on the side.  The templates are fully editable in Adobe Illustrator so you can make them into whatever you'd like. 

Having this project completed made my heart (and head) very happy.  I also organized my books by subject (i.e. introductory geology, paleontology, oceanography).

Finally, the other thing I've been doing is buying flowers for my desk every week.  Here's a picture of this week's flowers.  Aren't they pretty?

I think that our workspace reflect who we are inside and how our brain is working.  I need neat, orderly compartments in order to be most productive.  Every night I make sure my desk is completely cleared off so that I start fresh the next morning at work.

Check out the templates for yourself.  They are located here.


Sunday, May 06, 2012

Waiting...and cookies...

I think the interview went well.  But then again, it could have gone really well and the next candidate did really well +1.  So now it's a waiting game on the job.  There was another candidate that interviewed on Friday and another coming up tomorrow.  My understanding is that the department will be making a decision by the end of the week.  I'll be honest - really liked the school, the department, and the area (reminds me a LOT of Knoxville).  I'm hoping I get the call that they want me.  I'll let you know as soon as I know.

Today I decided it was time to finally use my new cookie scoop.  Oh, dear cookie scoop, how have I lived without you for this long?  Look at those perfect mounds of batter for smores cookies.  (I know, I know, my cookie sheets look horrible, but they bake excellent cookies!  They are the airbaked sheets and I can't seem to part with them).

And this is how these delicious cookies come out after baking.  I've eaten a couple (or three) and they are superb!  
Here's the recipe in case you'd like to try them yourself.

A funny thing happened yesterday when I was out walking Honor.  This blue car pulled up to the stop sign in front of us.  We were about 25 feet away from the stop sign.  All of a sudden the people in the car started yelling "Dr. Shroat-Lewis, we love geology!" as the car turned the corner and drove off.  Oh my goodness.  I laughed so hard.  Those crazy kids!!  Makes me very happy to know that some have enjoyed my class.