The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Thursday, June 01, 2023



I have been feeling a bit stymied for several reasons the last several days.... that is to a large extent why I have been so limited in my writing.  But, I have been trying to work through those feelings and am trying to return to my more preferred consistent pattern.


14. 2 miles (22.9km) on Monday.

6.2 miles (10km) on Tuesday.

14.5 miles (23.3km) on Wednesday.

6.2 miles (10km) this morning (Thursday).  

Yesterday, I spent roughly ~4.5 hours in the brutal sun and heat (~90 degrees F (32.2 degrees C)) planting our garden with my wife.  To avoid sunburn I was adorned with a long sleeved shirt, long pants, and a huge brimmed hat..... and lots of sunscreen on my face, neck and hands.  My wife, who has a beautiful ability to tan needed no coverage of the above sort and was more comfortably attired.  

In our future crops this year, we have the standards of:

  • Tomatoes (although this year we bought three different varieties with widely different dates of maturation so we can have tomatoes occurring through a longer period, rather than they all arriving at once). 
  • Swiss Chard (favorite of mine)
  • Basil (three plants this time so we can make a LOT of Pesto)
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Acorn Squash
  • Zuchinni
  • Cabbage

Newcomers to our garden this year include:

  • Cucumbers (we are going to try to grow them on a trellis)
  • Cantaloupe (colloquially we call them "muskmelons") I love them and hope they do well .
  • Onions
  • Rutabaga
  • and one Banana Pepper.... for years we have tried to grow bell peppers (we colloquially call them Green Peppers, regardless of color).... but have never had good success.  We thought we would try banana peppers because, even though we do not eat nearly as many of them as we do Bell Peppers, we like them, and thought maybe we might have some success.  I am rather doubtful though.  

Besides listening to Mass while I ran this morning.... when Mass concluded, the site somehow auto-fed into another taped talk from the site.  It happened to be part of series discussing the seven deadly sins and the opposing virtues we are meant to strive for.  The lecture I happened to stumble upon accidentally was about the deadly sin of ANGER and its opposing virtue of PATIENCE.  The priest giving the lecture was very thoughtful in his discussion, and I found it valuable, important, and moving.  I am hoping to listen again when not running and try to categorize some of the key dichotomies he talked about with regard to striving to become a better, more giving, more caring person.  The lecture gave me hope that I can potentially move to becoming the more giving, more caring person I WANT to be, rather than the person I am.  Focusing on being more patient is one very significant way I can begin this work to improve myself for others.  

Pipes..... I sure do miss them.  I know I am doing what I should do.  But, the memories of how delightful, how carefree, how invigorating they always were..... ARE robust, strong, solid and true memories of those beautiful earlier decades in my life.  They were and still are magical to me.  



Blogger Unknown said...

I know I am doing what I should do.

Professor, that's wonderful... IF the "should" is coming from within you, and isn't being imposed by judgmental people around you who are trying to control you and live your life for you.

As for me, I spent two lengthy periods of my adult life abstaining from my pipes -- once for ten years and once for nearly five years. But at the end of each abstinence I came to realize that my abstinence was motivated by guilt or desire to conform. Obviously I didn't handle things perfectly; I succumbed to guilt once again after returning to my beloved pipes. But now, after two long abstinences, I've been able to accept myself as the pipe smoker I am and always will be. There are still many people who are certain that I "should" take up abstinence again, but that's a mistake I won't ever again make.

I'm still hoping that you'll find your way back to your pipes, but if you've found a "should" that is truly coming from within yourself, I have a lot of respect for that and I wish you well.

How big is your garden, Farmer Pipe? I admire your dedication to home horticulture. As a home gardener on the scale you describe, I imagine you have already learned many lessons about PATIENCE. When your garden is facing a difficulty, you've surely learned that ignoring or excusing that difficulty doesn't cause it to go away. Genuine PATIENCE isn't the same as merely enduring your pain; it includes taking the steps -- horticultural or familial -- the help resolve the problem. It's tough to be "giving" when you must give something the recipient does not want.

Do I recall that you've in the past written about growing your own tobacco? Maybe, if you can't find enough Iwan Ries or Des Moines experiences to satisfy your palate, you could grow your own pipe tobacco and resolve to smoke only what you've grown?

Thursday, 01 June, 2023  
Blogger Margaret said...

"Should" is a powerful word and I too can be at its mercy. I feel better when I do what I should yet the longing is there to rebel against my self-imposed strictures at times. I will reiterate that you are a GOOD person; the evidence of that is that you are continually (continuously?) striving to improve. Your garden sounds perfect. I love home-grown tomatoes, cukes and zucchini!

Thursday, 01 June, 2023  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Happy running, meditating and gardening. In whatever order. 😄

Thursday, 01 June, 2023  
Blogger GaP said...

When one is striving to be a better person, the distance between "should" and "being" is usually a long road to hoe. Many people don't even try.

Friday, 02 June, 2023  
Blogger GaP said...

And for what it's worth, pipes are a part of you, whether you partake or not.

Friday, 02 June, 2023  

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