Sunday, April 27, 2014

Late April beauties!

I returned home today, after spending the weekend away as part of the culmination of our department's Honors Program, to find the garden filling out with beautiful blooms. What a feast to my tired eyes!

The violas are always my favorites, as are the Bleeding Hearts, and the crab apple tree is festooned with lovely white and blush-pink flowers that make it look like a bride ready to commit to an eternal spring. The flowers don't actually last long and that's why I love photographing these trees each year, especially on a year like this one, when winter has refused to make a gracious exit.

On the work front, I'm done with directing Honors, after doing it for two years in a row. I've enjoyed the planning and organizational challenges, and have loved watching the students come into their own when talking to the outside examiners, practicing for (maybe) what might come to them later in life (like possibly defending a dissertation). I was anxious that my heart issues would get in the way, and prevent this weekend from coming to fruition. But, thankfully, all went well and everything came together nicely. Now, I'm relieved and pleased and ready to put this last season of Honors behind so I can focus on finishing the semester, which still remains to be accomplished.

I have great hopes that next week, when classes end, everything will continue to run smoothly (while I've had several bad episodes, the new emergency meds have helped to keep me out of the ER) and I will be able to finish teaching and to travel to Chattanooga, TN, this coming weekend to be at my oldest nephew's college graduation. Incredible to think he was just a tiny baby what feels like only a few years ago!

In the meantime, the best thing about going away is coming back home, to my beloved husband and furry children. There is, really, no place like home, and I am blessed to have the one I have.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

April, finally


April is finally here and, with it, there have been (thankfully!) a few more long-in-coming days of sun and warmth. Not yet a normal spring, but beggars can't be choosers.

Looking forward to when we'll actually be able to use it, last weekend my husband cleared our porch, converting it back into something appropriate for human use after it spent the entire winter as a "homeless cat camp" we created for Hester, the feral cat we trapped and had spayed last spring and whose kittens we trapped and delivered to the rescue that sterilized her.

Hester was a little confused about the change but we're both very happy that the porch (which she was used to this way before this horrid winter began and made it necessary for us to creatively contrive shelter to keep her safe at -40 windchill) is ready for warmer weather, if it ever really comes.

In the meantime, my husband built a small home for Hester, which she has yet to use, but which we hope she'll get used to after she realizes it's not a trap.

Lance also brought out our dining set into the patio, which is also there for when we're able to have dinner "in the veranda," as he likes to say. This is all helping us to look forward to what should inevitably come.

Meanwhile, the beautiful bright yellow tulips he gave me after I got out of the hospital two weeks ago, held on strong. I can't wait for our own tulips and forsythia and daffodils to bloom!


Also, last weekend (I'm a little behind here), Lance made his world-famous pizza with my homemade dough. He made two kinds, one deep-dish veggie for him and one thin-crust with pepperoni for me. And a small loaf of bread. This time we decided to use the recipe for artisan bread as our dough and it worked out well.

Healthwise, I've had two other "scares" with my AFib, this past week and one today, but they eventually resolved themselves with the emergency medication. I see the specialist again on the 21st and will be wearing the heart monitor until the 14th so we'll see what he says.

The good thing with this situation is that I'm making the very best of any and every minute in which I feel normal. It's a feeling to treasure because it can be so evanescent, and that allows me to live very much in the present. That is a good thing, indeed.