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Intro Post
Bloom Where You are Planted
Welcome to a couple of new friends!  As promised, this is my try at an intro post.

I am 43 years old and a university administrator.  I have been in the business for 21 years, so I tend to talk here-and-there about higher education politics, observations, moments of joy and empowerment, disappointments, the whole continuum of life in the ivory tower.

I am married to Allyson (nickname Ally) and we have been together for the last decade+ of our lives.  In 2010, we experienced the greatest miracle of our lives in adopting our son together.  If you want more on that truly miraculous story, please ask.  Otherwise, I am not going to add a link to this public post.  My wife is a midwife.  She owns a business in our town of residence - in the Mojave Desert.  Being the wife of a midwife is not for the faint of heart!  She is on call most of the time in the same way as a doctor.  So, I also talk about this aspect of our lives from time to time.

I earned my doctoral degree in Diversity Studies in 2007.  For most of my studies, we were living in Florida.  Moving from the beach to the Mojave Desert was a tremendous change, but I have fallen in love with the desert.  Most recently, I have taken my love for this place to the challenge of desert trails running.  It's challenging and fascinating...and I often snap quick photos of my beloved landscape along the way.

Over the last 10 years of living in Las Vegas, I have come to adore desert gardening.  I write a lot about growing veggies and the flowers in our backyard.  It is the hobby that is closest to my heart because it is ultra difficult and WAY EXCITING to actually get plants to grow and thrive in caliche soil!

I am a semi-serious runner and I am training for a half-marathon.  I actually participated/finished my first half-marathon in Las Vegas this fall, but that was for fun and I was as slow as a turtle.  This time, I am running with a couple of friends and we have a timed goal for our March Rock N' Roll marathon adventure!   I am well on my way of making the goal.  With six more weeks of training, I know I will feel ready!

I enjoy reading and I have a goal of making it through 10 books during 2016.  Given that I am on number five, Girl at War, I think I am going to make it easily!  Reading for pleasure has always been a joy, but it was not a priority or possibility after our son was born.  We are an active family and spend lots of our time together outdoors.  We hike and we travel A LOT!  Last year, we spent three weeks in Europe.  The year before, we explored Nicaragua, and the year before, we vacationed in Curacao.  We do not spend our money on many things; we spend our money on travel adventures!

I have a major goal of retiring by 59.5 years old.  It is not likely to happen, but it is a lofty and inspiring goal!  Please do not misunderstand --- it is not that work is not good and empowering and all the stuff that comes along with the positive aspects of a career.  From all perspectives, I have enjoyed a magnificent career.  But, I have been in administration for 21 years and I am very ready for my next phase in life.  Many people express to me when I go down this road of discussion that work DOES feed life for them.  Yeah, yeah, I understand.  But, I am talking about the next phase of life in which all hours are mine to do with as I want and please.  I dream of doing things like creating a small gardening nursery or traveling without deadline of a beginning or end date....and, and, and...I dream of life with a retirement check coming in and my time being MY OWN.  Seven years...tick, tock...

I grew up in Cajun Country Louisiana.  I visit every three months because my mom still lives there.  My dad passed away in October 2015 and it was the darkest period of my life.  I am/was very close to my parents and treated our son to visiting them as often as possible.  It paid off.  We call him our part-time Mojave Desert / Cajun boy.  Perhaps the greatest theme across my writing is the significance of family.  I live and breathe that value to my core.

My home is my sanctuary.  I believe this comes across in my writings as well.  This is not to suggest that I/we do not have moments of dischord or ordinary ups and downs, but we work actively to preserve our life n a peaceful, loving, and authentic way.  Our family "rule" is to treat each other better than we treat anyone else in the world...and all of the rest of the niceness in the world will follow...

I am an early riser, so I generally update LJ in the morning...

Let's connect on LJ.  I have enjoyed the gifts of real friendships being created via LJ!

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:-) I know that I was reading your LJ before your family grew to three...I wonder how long before that change? I'm thinking of the early retirement too but just not sure how to keep that additional income coming in when I'm not earning a pay check. My sabbatical is good practice. Like you, it's more about more control over my schedule not about dislike of my least most of it.

What did you think of The Danish Girl?

You were definitely among the first of my LJ friends ---- ahhhh the old days! I am glad we are still connected.

I thought The Danish Girl was exquisite. For me, as a woman who is married to a woman, but was once married to a man...and has dated men and women, I connected so well with the complexities of love as it relates to sex and gender in the portrayal of this film.

You know, retiring in 7 years would make Piers 5 right? Summer vacations could be REALLY fun for you guys!

Retiring in seven years will make Piers 12 years old - a pre-teen! Whoa.

I forgot to add that I am also reading Girl At War and I'm just a few chapters in. I'm nervous with every page as to what is going to happen!

I am right at the beginning. Can't wait to dive in more. I love that the first sentence was about war that started because of a cigarette. The wow.

how long have i known you now? enough to know all those aspects of your bio! nice summary for the lucky newbies, though. :) hope to see you and ally again soon! every time i pass the troubadour i remember our sidewalk greeting. come back to LA!

You were my FIRST LJ friend. That is very precious to me. I love that the icon you used to respond to this entry because we were all wound up in GA at the time. Ahhhhh those beautiful days. I am honored to know you in real life these days.

Ally has many, many clients in the near future. But, I keep promising Piers a trip to the beach. So I am planning a drive to your neck of the woods in the next six weeks or so. Will let you know and would love to get together if your schedule permits.

This is a lot of great info that I did not know, thanks for sharing!

I love your posts so dearly.

Hi, I stumbled upon your journal through a comment you made on a friends post. I am looking for new friends and wanted to know if you were interested in connecting.
My name is Aran, I am 32, and am currently a graduate student in Digital Media in Chicago. Anyways, let me know if you are looking for new friends.

Great intro post! And thanks for reaching out on LJ. Looking forward to getting to know you. :)

I don't live in the desert, but San Antonio feels like it some days... and yes, we have the awful caliche soil too! Luckily we love spicy food, so 90% of my vegetable garden is PEPPERS (and occasionally a squash or tomato).

Doing my first 10k next week... I don't love running, I'm doing it for my sister. When do you start to love it?? LOL

Thank you for the invitation to connect - I think we will enjoy getting to know one another here. :-)

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