4/22: gobs

A tasty regional dessert of my youth.  I made some today.  The recipe my family uses is close to this one:  click here.

4/21: done

I turned in my final two papers for my courses.  My second stint of being a graduate student is over.  It was a good (and somewhat crazy) thing to do.

4/20: abloom

Some small trees on campus had furry buds earlier in the week, but they are now open and smell amazing.

4/18-4/19: walking in Loretto (old and new)

I'm resuming my old habit of walking in Loretto, PA, following the routes of walks taken decades ago.  It's like I'm revisiting my old self as well as old sights.  But now I bring my camera and iPhone.

A photo from 4/18's walk:

And 4/19's walk gave me a chance to call a dear friend in Indiana and have a good chat.

4/17: a lake here

When thinking about being in Pennsylvania for a month or more, I was wondering what I'd do about photographing water.  I don't exactly need to take pictures of water regularly, but it has become such a standard practice of mine that it felt weird to think of not doing it.  Yesterday on a walk I remembered that there is a little lake nearby, so of course I visited it.  The sun was high and caught the tips of the little waves.

4/16: a kind loan

One of my best childhood friends still lives in the house next door to my mother's.  When she heard that my mother was coming home from the hospital, she dropped off a movie for us--just so we'd have another option of something fun to do with my mother.

4/12-4/15: a catch-up collection

Reading The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield.  Just fantastic.  Another book I would never have discovered without the amazing Persephone Books.

Seeing some wonderful friends of the family and getting messages of support and good wishes from others.

Playing Phase 10 with my brother, his spouse, and my mother in her hospital room.  It's kind of like Schnitzel, a card-game we used to play a lot (and I mean a lot) in high school.

Working with my brother and sister-in-law through some practical challenges--a leaking water heater created a mini-flood, a broken furnace which left the house cold on a snowy day (yes, snow in April), and getting the house ready for my mother's return from the hospital.  I couldn't imagine doing it alone!  And the repair people have been great, too.

4/11: the last day of sabbatical

Technically my sabbatical isn't over until start-of-the-school-year meetings begin in August, but tomorrow I'll be going to Pennsylvania to take care of my mother as she recovers from a surgery, and by the time I get back to Arkansas it'll be "summer" rather than "sabbatical."  So today is the last day of my sabbatical habits.  Happily, it's warm enough to be sitting on the screened-in porch with the cats--our last installment of sabbatical's "morning office," which became a regular practice last summer during my picturebook course.  I'm sure I'll continue having morning office when possible, but I'll always associate it with this sabbatical.  During today's morning office I finished reading the remarkable Skellig by David Almond and am working on some of the last forum postings for my coursework.  This sabbatical year has had unexpected challenges and difficulties, but this morning I am feeling the goodness of it and am grateful.