Just a few happy-making things today! Most pleasingly, things are progressing well, I think, with my dissertation proposal — woohoo! I've sent in the rough drafts of the Introduction, Methodology, and Literature Review, and received commentary back. In all the cases there's a lot of polishing to do, of course, and a few bits where I was told this was a very interesting point and I should develop it further — which is very encouraging to read! But I didn't receive any requests for major re-writes or do-overs, which is a great relief. I'm guesstimating this should be all completed on my part in about a month, tops, which will include sending in the proposal, the dissertation committee paperwork, and the ethics committee paperwork. Whew! I think I'm gonna make it! ;)

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Speaking of hard work, I was seated in a local Kirk's for lunch the other day, enjoying my burger — delicious, as always — and just relaxing my brain a bit from writing. I was rather desultorily doing some reading on my cell, so it took me a bit to register the two guys in the booth before me. They appeared to be two blue-collar guys on lunch break, one in his 30s and the other in his 40s, and they were slowly talking their way through a difficult problem together. I couldn't tell exactly who was talking, since I didn't want to stare and be rude, but I could hear bits and pieces of the conversation.

From the tone of their voices, they were clearly struggling with whatever it was they were talking about. One of them would say something like, "Okay, so how big is it," and the other would reply with a measurement… and then ask, "Wait, how do you change it from inches to centimeters?" Or one would ask, "So do we have to include the thickness, or what?" and the other would think hard for a bit, then slowly answer. It was when one of them said, "What's the volume of a circle again?" that I amusedly thought to myself that I should get off my duff and go over and offer to help if I could — but then I heard, "Google it!" and I knew they had cell phones with internet connections — they'd be fine, and they wouldn't potentially be embarrassed by a girl knowing math better than they.

They continued in this vein for a while as I listened and grinned quietly to myself — I remember well struggling with both multiplication tables and long division as a child, and with calculus as an adult! From what I could overhear, it appeared they were calculating how much pipeline and what sized pipe they needed for a contracting job. Eventually they finished and came to a satisfactory answer to their problem.

It was at that point that I feel I must congratulate myself on my self-restraint — because as they put away their cell phones, pencil stubs, and scribbled-on napkins, I heard one of them exclaim ruefully to the other, "Math is hard!" — and somehow I managed not to immediately stand up and shout, "BARBIE! YOU ARE VINDICATED!!" ;-D

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Oh! One last wonderful thing to note: I had an awesome Mother's Day! Sort of, at least… ;)

For Mother's Day I sent my mom one of the beautiful SARK blankets — it's the one titled "Just for Mom" here. It arrived in plenty of time, and on the actual day I called my mom to wish her a happy Mother's Day! That was nice, both because I like talking with her and I don't do that enough, and because she seemed to really love the gift — yay! However, she had to end the call early because she had some women friends coming over for bridge. When I asked what else she was doing to celebrate Mother's Day I discovered that apparently Dad wasn't taking Mom out for dinner or anything because his birthday is coming up in two weeks and they decided to celebrate then — so Mom had invited the friends over for bridge.

After I hung up I was kind of bummed — I mean, come on! Mom is a fabulous mother and an all-around awesome woman! She's brilliant, has the patience of Job as well as endless creativity and a wicked sense of humor, cooks like a dream, and always looks smart and attractive — though if she reads this she'll laugh and put herself down, which I wish she wouldn't. She also bicycles, goes horseback riding, hikes, cheerleads for the local basketball team, and serves on worthy committees — and that's only the things I know of off the top of my head! In fact, a friend of mine once listened to me talking about all the physical activities she loves to engage in, then said in awe, "Your mother is a retired superheroine, Collie, right?" ;)

So after talking about this with my housemates, we agreed that one's husband simply must give a gift on Mother's Day to his awesome wife of about 50 years! So I went on-line to Edible Arrangements, found a store local to Mom and Dad, selected a beautiful and delicious little fruit basket that included chocolate-dipped strawberries and pineapple slices cut into star shapes, and had the attached note read: "To a fantastic mother and wife! Love, [Dad's name]." I hit the purchase button, had a small 'squeeeee! Mom's gonna love this!' moment… and then thought no more of it.

This morning — three days after Mother's Day! — I got a call from my mom. Heehee! She was so shocked and pleased about the basket! Between enthusing about how sweet and juicy and delicious and beautiful the fruit basket was, I got the story from Mom: apparently the basket arrived a mere one hour after my purchase on Mother's Day! That impressed me immensely — Edible Arrangements is a simply amazing company which I'm happy to promote! Better yet, however, was the story of how Mom tried to figure out who the basket was from. I got a case of the giggles as she related how Dad immediately disavowed purchasing it — silly man! He should have gracefully accepted the credit, then figured out who actually sent it!

Next Mom thought maybe it was my sister — but she called later that day and mentioned that Dad had alerted her to its being Mother's Day today in the US, so that she could send her best wishes to Mom on time. My sister lives in the UK, and their Mother's Day is a week later than ours. So then Mom thought it must have been my sister's husband — so she sent him a lovely thank you email telling him what a wonderful, sweet, thoughtful son-in-law he was! Of course, he wrote back a day or two later saying he'd love to be all those things… but it wasn't he who'd sent the basket either! Mom thought some more about this, and then decided it must've been one of her women friends who'd come over for bridge. After all, while several of them brought over hosting gifts, one of them hadn't — so maybe this was a subtle and very sweet way for her to do so! Mom was about to send her an email just like she'd sent to her son-in-law… but then she thought: no, best to be sure! So she called Edible Arrangements and asked who had sent the basket… and they told her, and she called me right away.

So yeah… best Mother's Day evar! :-D

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