Saturday, August 4, 2012

Time Out!

We interrupt our vacation coverage for an update from Unalaska.  It seems like there's been a lot going on since we returned home so I thought I would catch up before getting back to the rest of our trip.  The worst news is that our kitty Ajax has been missing for a week.  We are heartbroken--we've had him since soon after I moved here and he's been such a big part of our lives for almost 8 years. He and Kali have always liked to go in and out of the house but usually don't stray too far.  Ajax would actually drive us a little crazy with his meowing to go out and then scratching at the door and meowing to come back in a few minutes later.  A few times he's stayed out all night but not often and he's  always returned the next day.  In fact, he's usually crying at the bedroom window at 2 or 3 AM wanting to come in.  Friday night that didn't happen but we weren't overly concerned when he wasn't home when we got up on Saturday.  Then the whole day dragged by with no trace of Ajax. We continued to expect him any minute but, of course, became more and more worried as Saturday turned into Sunday and Sunday to Monday with no sign of the boy.  Now it's been a week and we are fearing the worst, though we are not sure what could have happened to him.  I've called Public Safety a couple of times and no cats have been picked up or turned in.  We've had foxes in the yard but they did not seem very threatening, and there are always eagles about, but the cats have been out in the yard with both foxes and eagles with no drama.  Who knows if one of them decided to come after him, though.  We don't have a lot of traffic and it wouldn't really be in character for him to try to go in someone else's house or take up with new people.  So it is a mystery and we will probably never know the answer, which makes it even harder.  It seems very odd without him and we even miss his irritating habits. He's a good kitty and I am not quite ready to say he "was" a good kitty so we will just keep hoping he's been out on a little adventure and will come back home soon.  :(

We've been super busy--Rich has worked every day and long days since we got back.  The Friday night deck bbq is in full swing--a summer tradition--so we've been enjoying those after he finishes his long day getting everything ready.  Last week we even got to sit out on the hotel deck in the sunshine--it was heavenly! (They call it the deck bbq but many weeks it's too chilly and we sit inside to eat).   I'm working on my next fundraiser at work and also started teaching another session of ESL/GED classes the day after we got home.  You may remember my stories about having to get up and teach a 7 AM class in the winter; thankfully, I am teaching a 7:30 PM class this go-round.  Last time I had mostly GED students and this time it's the opposite--almost completely ESL. Classes are held on TTh evenings but I have several GED students who want to prepare for the test so I am adding Wed. nights next week.  I really do love teaching but I am spending  a huge amount of time outside of class preparing, especially since I have NO experience with ESL and am constantly doing research, looking for lessons and activities, and dreaming up ways to keep class fun and interesting. I have spent hours making posters, cutting pictures out of magazines to illustrate various categories of words, and trying to find appropriate ethnic groups so the pictures are not all white people.  I am really not a singer nor a performer but I have made a fool of myself teaching them "head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes," (hopefully you know that song and are singing along in your head), demonstrating the "Hokey Pokey," and singing "A sailor went to sea, sea, sea to see what he could see, see, see, but all that he could see, see, see was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea."  They love those little rhymes and games and we spend a lot of time laughing and hooting and high-fiving along with the more traditional learning.  We've played word bingo, run relay races (identifying words) and worked on family trees.  We've role played different situations and conversations.  We've practiced, practiced, practiced.  I have students from Ethiopia, Mexico, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, and Japan!  They are all lovely people and such dedicated learners.  I would love to tell you more about them--maybe I will ask if I can share some of their stories.

My tomato plants are still going strong, surprisingly!  We have been harvesting tomatoes regularly and some of the plants are just huge--the pots are setting on a table but some of the shoots reach up to the ceiling!  I want to prune and trim them but it's hard to know where to cut back because there are flowers on most of the tall shoots.  So I am just letting them go wild right now.

We've had some beautiful sunny days, which has definitely made it easier to be back! Summer in Unalaska is gorgeous--if we ever have a spare moment we need to get out and hike and take some photos.  Maybe soon!

Okay, back to vacation next.  

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