Friday, February 27, 2015

February has come and gone...

There will be no easy way to briefly summarize the last month...  I've had "blog" on my list of items I hope to get to for some days now, but it seems to be one of the easier things to transfer from one to do list to the next.  I finally have a window of time that seems hopeful (Alida reading a stack of cookbooks, Kali about to head out to do duck chores, and Jason is doing a few errands in town to hopefully acquire the last of the hodgepodge of tiles he will need for our new bathroom shower).  Now my challenge is to know where to even start - it hasn't been a dull month, that's for sure!  Lots more chicks have hatched, the bathroom project is moving along, we've got more seeds started, we enjoyed our first walking iris blooms, the girls and I took a weekend trip to Pennsylvania, we hosted many of the Benners for a weekend in Keezletown, and it has been a very cold and snowy month (we saw sub-zero temps several times).

Next week is spring break at EMU, so I'm taking a vacation week since it is best for me to line up my vacation times with periods when students are also not around.  So today is day 1 of not needing to get out of my pajamas and not needing to wake up to an alarm.  Lovely!!  I have a few projects for work that I'd like to make some headway on but will find it genuinely pleasurable to do so from the comforts of our home, sitting by the woodstove in pajamas (yes, pajamas is a theme here!!).  We don't plan to stray far from home but look forward to my mom joining us for part of the week.  It should give Jason the chance to make good progress on the next big stage of the bathroom remodel: TILING!  And I'm trying to keep myself from making too long of a list of projects so that there are lots of blank spaces in the week for relaxation (hopefully Alida will cooperate with my goal of at least a few afternoon naps!)...

Regarding the bathroom project, post-tiling it feels like it will be all downhill.  The floor will be rather straightforward but the shower will be Jason's artistic outlet for awhile - he will be incorporating some combination of a variety of things (e.g. a mosaic, sunflower, Fibonacci sequence).  I've needed to completely bow out of giving much of an opinion about this aspect of the project as my brain is utterly incapable of imaging the final product.  I do, however, have complete confidence in Jason's ability to make it a really fun, beautiful, and functional shower (I have less confidence in the length of time this may take to complete).

The drywall is done, painting is done, electricity and plumbing wrapped up, and the sunflower wood mural has been re-installed in a more visible location and is fabulous!  And, while this project has been the focus of much of Jason's time, we even managed to get out for a family walk last weekend - the first in a long time and something I really hope in the long-term we incorporate regularly into our weeks. Jason has also compromised his sleep on a number of occasions to work on the first of several larger writing projects.  As part of that, I'm happy to report that, with much gratitude to my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, we have the very rudimentary beginnings of a website:  As of yesterday it went live and has Jason's first project posted: his history with chickens.  Check it out!!  You may be surprised by how fun it is to read, even if you do not consider yourself a "chicken person."  Maybe I'm just a bit biased due to my extreme admiration for the author!  Jason also was recently published in the Reader's Write of the one and only magazine we subscribe to and read cover to cover: The Sun.  Fun!  We've both sent in submissions a few times, as it is a fun writing exercise to take a topic and write a short reflection or story on it. While we do it mostly for ourselves, the free year subscription doesn't hurt anything.

Alida has lost interest in cookbook reading and is now playing with packing peanuts at the kitchen sink.  My window of time is about to come to a close so I'll end with a smattering of photos and a few sledding videos.  Enjoy:

Cousin time following her cheerleading competition!
Treasured family walk around the block!
Proof of Jason's first reader's write submission published!
The timing for the kids' sleepover this past week was perfect.  And the fact that we lost power for a few hours and internet for the day meant that I didn't have quite as much pressure to do other things.  We tromped over the neighbors hill and enjoyed some FAST sledding (due to the cold temps, following some thawing, icing up the powdery snow).  Very fun, and has also led me to do some reflecting on my need to do more "internet-free" days, even when they are not externally imposed...