2/29: buoyed up by

...the fulfillment of a Leap Day wish: I really wanted to see a rabbit on Leap Day, and I did! One hopped across the road at the bottom of our driveway this evening.

...the comment left by another blogger today. I am so grateful to everyone who stops by.

2/28: re-reading

An email from a friend, received this morning and written in response to one I sent last night. I read it several times today just because it made me feel like she was nearby.

2/27: a lucky decision

It's the evening, and I'm still at work at my campus office. But deciding to stay here was a good call: though I didn't know it when I decided to stay, our neighborhood is without power, so if I were there I wouldn't be able to do my prep for tomorrow's classes.

2/26: third wave

The crocuses have bloomed in stages: first the lavender and yellow-orange ones, then the striped ones, and now the deep purples ones.

2/25: awaited & arrived

The scent of this year's winter honeysuckle in bloom.

2/24: wrap-up

The work-week ended well.

One especially fun aspect of its ending well was our final conversation on The American Senator in the Trollope seminar this afternoon.

2/23: observing words

The students in my Vergil class talked very nicely today about interesting and artistic ways in which Vergil uses or arranges words in the opening passage of the Aeneid. They really had great things to say about a tightly focused topic.

2/22: the upside of allergies

Yesterday we had the windows open to let in some sweet spring air, and I started to sneeze: the pollen is back! But it's a price worth paying to get to smell flowers on the breeze. At several points today as I was walking I stopped in my tracks to pause and enjoy.

2/21: keeping an appointment

I am not always good about working "real-life" appointments into my semester calendar. Usually I try to cram all sorts of doctor visits and similar things into breaks and the summer. But sometimes I can't, and today I managed to make it to the dentist for my semi-annual check-up and cleaning. Sounds prosaic, I know, but it's definitely a good thing.

(I should add that having dental insurance is also a good thing, not to be overlooked or taken for granted!)

2/20: stripes

On some crocuses Chris planted. This is their second year to appear.

2/19: catching my breath

The past weeks have been busy to bursting. Today I let myself not feel driven by my to-do list. I needed just to breathe and be.

I was prompted to do this by my body: it's rebelling against the pace and reacting to all the colds being passed around at school. Usually I'd be vexed, but right now I'm grateful for the corporeal reminder. And I'm going to listen to what it's telling me (at least for a day or two).

2/18: typing, old school style

Chris bought me a typewriter today. I had been kind of hankering after one, in a nostalgic way, for over a year. And now I hanker no longer.

2/17: looking up

A day for optimism. Even the daffodils felt so.

2/16: help

Of various sorts, from various people at school. (I'm too tired tonight to write more, but I'll go to bed grateful.)

2/15: three

...bunnies hopping along our ridge as we drove home this evening. So sweet to see, and prompting an I-can't-help-but-smile smile, even at the end of a long day.

2/14: four

...bluebirds sighted.

I saw three of them at various points while driving today. It's been awhile since I've seen them winging around, so I was very pleased. They always make me catch my breath a little bit.

The other bluebird I saw today was of the artistic kind--a bit of an outdoor mural painting in downtown Conway. The mural's being added to all the time, and today was the first time I noticed a bluebird amid the other figures. (I was walking downtown with Chris and a friend--and I didn't have my camera with me, otherwise I'd post a picture.)

2/13: done

...with work for the evening at 9:15, which is earlier than I've managed to be finished since the semester started. I do like my work! But when I work much later than 9:30 my head keeps spinning so much that I can't fall asleep before midnight. I'm looking forward to sweet slumber descending sooner than that tonight.

2/12: where credit's due

Truth be told, I'm not generally a fan of Jeanette Winterson's work. I read one of her novels years ago, and more recently I stopped early on while reading another (and I don't usually abandon novels midway). But I enthusiastically give her credit today: I read her excellent critique of Frederick Turner's Renegade: Henry Miller and the Making of "Tropic of Cancer." She didn't shy away from saying things that needed saying. I was impressed--and grateful.

2/11: back to the book review

I started reading the New York Times Book Review in the early 1980s: my parents would get the New York Times and the Washington Post on Sundays, and for an hour or so before brunch the family would sit in the living room and browse the pages. When we were young, we children read the comics; as we got older, each of us migrated to other parts of the paper, and the book review was mine. In college, I was lucky that my college bookstore had free copies of the book review for people who wanted them. During graduate school my parents gave me a subscription to the book review as an annual present, and now I keep the subscription going myself. The book review has stayed my companion for more than 30 years--and in those 30 years many other things have come and gone, so I have special affection for this faithful periodical and its place in my life.

Today Chris had to be at school for a conference, so I was solo at home for lunch and dinner. But not really solo: I read one book review during lunch and another during dinner.

2/10: (almost) every table taken

Chris and I have been worried that the new-ish Greek restaurant in town might not get a large enough client base quickly enough to stay open. When we went there for dinner tonight, however, the crowd was good and getting bigger. A small business victory? I hope so. (And for their sake, not just because I love their food.)

2/9: plenty

As Chris and I walked from my usual parking spot onto campus this morning, we passed a bush, still leaf-less with bright pink blossoms. It caught Chris' eye. It catches mine all the time, but I enjoyed getting to see it afresh by seeing Chris' reaction to it.

My Greek class did a great job on their quiz today.

One of my students said that her two favorite days of the week are the two days on which her only classes are Latin and Greek. (She has Latin and Greek on other days, as well, but on two days each week those are her only classes.)

We got cookies from Maggie's Bakery after dinner.

I had a nice two hours of work in my office at school after dinner. Instead of lamenting the fact that I was still at school, I enjoyed the focus and quiet.

I received emails from two friends, a postcard from a pen-friend, and a new supply of my favorite lip balm.

Some people wrote encouraging things about the photo postcards I sent them.

The contractors are done putting on our new roof.

2/8: not perfect, but progress

The jam-packed-ness of the semester is going to mean that I have to temper my perfectionist tendencies. I made a few infelicitous mistakes at various points today and took some little missteps, but all in all I got lots done and have been trying to move forward rather than look back or lament the small things.

2/7: mac and teesday

Macaroni and Cheese on a Tuesday = Mac and Teesday. I think it's going to become a tradition.

2/6: quick conversation

A former student called me in my office today. I only had a few minutes to talk before having to go teach, but it was great to exchange words with her.

2/5: arabella again

This is my third time reading Trollope's American Senator, and Arabella Trefoil may be my favorite Trollope character ever. Getting to spend time with her again is definitely a good thing.

2/4: cutting and pasting, old style

I grew up in a very DIY house, and every year when Valentine's Day comes around, I remember the craft supplies piled high on our table while my siblings and I made cards for our classmates. I channeled those memories this evening while putting together a few valentines to send out to our families.

2/3: generosity

Chris made his week harder to make mine easier.

2/2: outside

Today was busy and full, another at-work-for-15-hours day. But I did have the chance/need/excuse to go for walks on campus at 3 unexpected points in the day, and I was glad for that time in the sunlight.

2/1: mike kelley

I heard today that Mike Kelley passed away. That is not a good thing. But all his work is a very good thing, and I feel lucky that I got to see his great LACMA exhibit in the 90s, which was exciting and funny and heart-breaking and whimsical and intellectual and eye-opening. Chris and I refer to Mike Kelly's art often--it has become part of our lives and our common experience. I am grateful that he shared with the world as much as he did and as long as he could.