3/31: unexpected clearing & an ongoing good thing

At dinner-time it was grey and threatening to rain.  After dinner it rained.  But then the sky cleared with just enough time to get in a walk along the ridge and down to the lake before sunset.

Back in 2010 we picked up a stray dog (I posted about it here).  She was wonderful, and though I knew it wouldn't work for us to keep her, I was sad to say goodbye to her.  A colleague at work found a fantastic home for the dog with some of her friends from church, and they occasionally send us an email update.  Today we got one, and it is so, so, so clear that Ruth (which is what they named her) has an amazing family that loves her, appreciates her, is delighted by her, and dotes on her.  I don't think she could have a better home.

3/30: cat and mouse no more

If I have a choice, I don't like using things that need batteries, so I've been resisting getting a wireless mouse to use with my computer.  But Tilde the Kitten likes to nibble on cables (especially ones that she senses are "important" to us such that nibbling on them will get our attention), and she's rendered unusable two computer mice in the past few months.  So a wireless mouse has been acquired.  I have to admit, it's pretty pleasant, and it's nice not to have to unplug and stow my mouse every time I walk away from the keyboard.

3/29: first-hand

Over the past few years Donald Winnicott's name has come up in my various reading in various ways.  As of this evening I have finally read--rather than read about--some of his work.

3/28: here comes the sun

Things have been difficult at work for the past month and a half.  This morning I wrote what I hope is the last email message in a long process about an unpleasant situation.  This afternoon as I drove into town I heard The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" on the radio.  And I remembered that decades ago, during another stressful and uncertain period of my life, Chris sang that song to me as a sign that things would get better.

3/26-3/27: two half holidays

Chris is on spring break, but I'm not.  Still, I arranged my work yesterday and today so that I could have some free time each day.  Yesterday evening we went to a movie, and this afternoon we made some new cloth napkins.

3/25: audiobook company

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy (by Karen Foxlee, read aloud by Jayne Entwistle) kept me good company while I was sweeping the house and cleaning the kitchen.

3/24: twice

I went to the lake twice today:  kayaking in the afternoon and sunset-watching after dinner.

3/23: white grape juice

When I was growing up, we used to only have white grape juice as an occasional treat, on certain holidays (e.g., St. Lucy's Day) or sometimes for Sunday brunches.  Now that I buy my own groceries, I can get it whenever I want, but it still tastes special.

3/22: picturebooks for pleasure

I've read so much since last May, but most of it has been assigned for school or earmarked for other projects.  This evening, I sat down with a few picturebooks which I checked out of the library recently and which aren't connected to any of my work.  Paging through them was like walking in a cleaning breeze.

3/21: dinner out

One of our neighbors saw on a state website listing unclaimed property that Chris had $100 he could request.  This evening we took that neighbor and his spouse out to dinner with the money.  It was fun to chat with them, and it was a great way to spend the money.

3/19: three with chris

Enjoying the smells of early honeysuckle and daffodils.

Watching a bat.

Sipping non-alcoholic beer on the porch as the dark came on.

3/18: facebook feedback

I don't post much on Facebook, and when I do it's always a photo and few words.  I like the opportunity to share some of the pictures I take.  Today when I woke up I looked at the "likes" for a water photo I posted last night--they represent such a variety of people from different stages in my life.  It's kind of nice to see them all in the same list--from neighborhood friends to far-flung relatives, from current colleagues to pen pals I've never met in person.

3/17: magic amid madness

Things are so difficult these days on a variety of fronts that it feels surreal, but I am lucky that there are good things close to home:

The jumps of Emma the Cat and the cuddles of Tilde the kitten.

An out-of-the-blue gift package from a friend.

A fixed day to meet another friend for coffee.

Words that don't come perfectly onto the page but come faster than they would have a year ago.

Sun for a walk with Chris before dinner.

Then time to walk again, after dinner, to the lake.

And of course the water:

Chris' foot tapping made the ripples.

3/16: in the mist

An after-dinner walk on a grey, chill day with the rain coming down lightly.  I know, it doesn't necessarily sound appealing, but it was lovely.  The air, atmosphere, feel, and smell all reminded me of the transition from winter to spring in the mountains of western Pennsylvania.

3/15: creature comforts

Lots of work today for my graduate courses as well as my performance review.  Some of it not so fun (especially the latter).  But we got cupcakes at a new bakery this afternoon, and I've been sipping CuvĂ©e des Trolls beer while working this evening.

3/14: dog of spring

Two of our neighbors got a new dog last year, but while he was young they didn't let him out unattended much.  Now that he's older he spends more time outside, and when he sees us walking he often joins us.  He is so funny and sweet and full of energy.  He makes us smile.  Today he walked with us for nearly 2 miles and also spent half an hour at the lake with us at sunset.  We were grateful for his company.

3/13: gift coffee

We order coffee from Grounds for Change and have it delivered to our in-town box at PakMail.  The women who work at PakMail often comment on how good the coffee packages smell, so we ordered extra packages for them.  When they handed me our mail, I was able to hand some back to them and say, "Actually, these are for you."  It was something I had thought about doing for quite some time, but I had been too shy, worrying that they would think I was odd.  Well, I am odd.  And I'm glad I finally did it.

3/12: final first

I'm thinking about a paper due on Tuesday, and this afternoon I had a sudden brain-wave about how to end it.  So I wrote the last paragraph today, and I really like it.  It's a very different kind of ending for me to be writing in an academic paper, and now I'm looking forward to writing what will lead up to it.

3/11: one plus three plus five

One good thing from my day:  having fun finding examples of metafiction in Babymouse.

3/10: being its own reward (and then getting a reward on top of that)

My writing this afternoon went much more quickly and smoothly than I had expected.  And it was fun.

So this evening I was able to take advantage of the 70-degree weather and kayak at sunset.  O sweet lake and soothing waters, what would I do without you?

3/9: a collection of small goodnesses

Remote access to my work email account was down for much of the day.  It was good not to be able to check it so often.

I finished listening to Doll Bones, and I realized that it would make a good subject for the final paper in one of my classes, so I ordered a hard copy to read pronto.

I worked on my part of a group project on metafiction today.  I'm glad I chose the books and articles I did.

Both Emma and Tilde played with me and the string toy.

We chatted with one of our neighbors while on our afternoon walk.  We don't know her very well, so it was nice to pass some words with her.  One of the wonderful neighborhood dogs provided the on-ramp for conversation.

I used some tasty seasoning on our salad for dinner.

Chris and I watched some TV on hulu before returning to our tasks for the evening.

I realized once again how much I like being the person at Heron Tree who types up each poem in our format for publication.  I like the experience of having each poem's words go through my fingers.

3/8: first sighting

On our walk today I saw my first dogtooth violet (aka trout lily) of the season. Chris said that there were some blooming in the clearing beside our house as well, so when we got home I took a look. Here's a picture of one:

3/7: enjoying listening

...to Holly Black's Doll Bones.

3/6: vanessa's video

I met Vanessa through Postcrossing years ago, and we bonded over our shared love of taking sky photographs.  Now we're friends on Facebook, and today she posted a link to a video she made about inventing a flower for every day of February.  I love that she did the project, that she did it with crayons, and that she's telling the world about it.  (You can watch the video yourself by clicking this sentence.)

3/5: movie night

Chris and I took a midweek break from homework and watched a Western.  It wasn't very good as a film, but it was time spent together.

3/4: luminous

For about fifteen minutes before it set the sun made some trees' wintry brown branches bright orange. I almost didn't go down to the lake this evening, but I'm glad I did--I needed this lesson.

3/3: childhood past and present

Snow and ice on the ground here today.  I went walking at sunset.  I could hear (but not see) children sledding on the other side of the hill across the lake, their squeals and the sound of their sleds on the ground.  The light, snow, and woods all reminded me of the scene on a jigsaw puzzle my siblings and I used to do each winter when we were young, putting pieces together with our mother in the evenings after we finished our homework.

3/2: spicy and sweet

Curry for dinner tonight, with a side salad of lettuce, fresh apples, and dried cranberries.

3/1: record time

I have two papers due on Tuesday evening, so writing is heavily featured on this weekend's menu of activities.  Today I started one of the papers after lunch and finished it before dinner!  This buys me time to work on the second paper, which will be more of a challenge.