Tuesday, April 17, 2012
I'm still here, but I have been very busy. This is the time of year when school really takes over my life between conferences, the spring musical, and the end of the year camping trip. I have not had time to either post or read very many blogs, or do tracking on any regular basis. Nor have I had time to get to the gym for body pump or zumba, both of which I really miss.
These are the sacrifices of the season, but I have been getting in my miles in three walks per day usually logging in 4 to 8 miles each day. It is a gorgeous spring and all of my exercise has been outside, involving walks and heavy yard work clearing brush. The honeysuckle has been taking over and Mike and I have declared war on it.
I have also been clearing my woods path so I don't trip on walnuts or get smacked in the face by stray branches. This has become more important since adding running into my 'walk' routine. Stella isn't quite certain what to make of this development. If she has a stick or a ball in her mouth, she runs nicely beside me, otherwise if I'm running she thinks she has to goose me. Our nickname for her is the Austrian Tush Nipper.
I have also committed at least an hour a day to playing my guitar. This is my time, a time to focus on something I love without distractions. Other concerns melt away. It is a moving meditation for me; focusing on each note, or having everything working together. Both being outside and playing my guitar bring me joy and help keep balance in my life. Otherwise, I am working too hard - teaching is demanding and this time of year it is my tyrant.
I am loving the jack-in-the-pulpits that are blooming in my woods!
Monday, April 09, 2012
Sometimes having morals is hard on your morale, especially when you find the first morel of the season...
it is in the nature preserve!
Well, I did get a nice photo of it, but it just about killed me to leave it there.
Can I get angel wings, or at least Browne points?
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Vacation has been very good for me. I am feeling more relaxed and more 'together.' Several people have mentioned how relaxed I look; a testament to how stressed I looked before. The next two months at school will be busy to the extreme, so I am gathering up as much 'me' time and friend time as possible so I have the inner resources as possible to make the big spring push. Upcoming events include the spring musical, Mary Poppins (which includes my class and the 3rd graders), graduation, end of year testing, taking my class camping for 3 days, and the end of the year work bee. April and the first week of May will be the big push towards the production of Mary Poppins.
I have not been able to get the walking in that I would have liked to. My foot injury is not healing well and causing me quite a bit of pain. I had been able to push through and walk with my toe brace on, but I totally re-injured my foot when I tried lunges at Body Pump on Monday. I should have known better than to try the lunges, but I just wasn't thinking. I knew after the first lunge that it was the wrong thing to do, but the damage is done. I need to substitute the lunges with squats, and now I think I need to substitute walking with swimming for a while. Miss Stella will not be so happy with that and it is hard for me not to go out hiking. I love to grab a camera and investigate the progress of spring.
It has been wonderful to finally have some long stretches of time to practice my guitar. I have been struggling with the flamenco form, bulerias, which has a fast tempo and difficult techniques in it. Having extended periods to really concentrate on technique has been really helpful; I feel like I am making some breakthroughs.
Here is flamenco great, Paco de Lucia, playing bulerias. He is amazing!
My mini camper project is underway, but going slowly. I have been getting sanding and some staining done. Without a deadline, I am taking my time. The beginning part of a build is always the most tedious - lots of prep work and figuring out 'special effects.'
Spanish class was on hold this week because my friend's wife, Josephina, has been in town. I haven't seen her for 20 years, so it has been wonderful to spend time with her. She goes back to Cuernavaca tomorrow. I will miss her when she leaves. I am hoping that we might be able to visit her home in Cuernavaca in a couple of years.
This may be the reverse for me, but my diet is so much easier to be in charge of when I am on vacation. It is too easy to snack on empty calories and salty things at work, and I am more inclined toward stress eating during the work week. I want crunch and salt during the day, and chocolate and a glass of wine in the evening. Without the pressures at work, I really am not craving the crunch or the chocolate.
Today is a special day. It is my youngest son's birthday. Exactly how did he turn 36???
Here he is with his grandma (my mother) and his big brother. He has certainly been and continues to be a wonderful part of my life!
Loving this spring!!
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
I just shouldn't get this tired. My 6th graders went to visit their next school yesterday, so I went over there early to greet them at the office door before they went through the school day with a former grad. The children are always nervous about going on to their new school, so I arrange for them to visit in early spring to take the anxiety about next year out of the rest of the school year. I am looking forward to their feedback today.
After teaching the rest of the class all day, then having a faculty meeting until 6:00, it ended up being a 10 hour work day. I had dinner when I got home, and took Stella for a 3 mile hike. Then I was DONE! Or so I thought. I entirely forgot I had Spanish class and crashed. I would have felt bad enough about this, as there is only one other student besides me, but the worse part is that I am hosting this class in my classroom at school. Which means my teacher (and friend) and fellow student, were locked out when they got there last night. My cell was in my car, so if they tried to call, I did not get the call. I am feeling some remorse today. I sent out emails of apology this morning. Ugh! I hate it when I flake.
Tonight is a board meeting, so another 10 hour day. Come hither, spring break! I desperately need you!
The parent who bought the Lovely Lavender Cottage took this photo and sent it to me. I gives an idea of scale.
This is my inspiration for my next build, which will be just for fun.
Monday, March 26, 2012
And it is!
It was a chilly, breezy day with bright blue skies and sunshine; truly a gorgeous March day. I have been looking forward to today's walk all weekend to see which new wild flowers are in bloom. There are many that I really look forward to; hepatica which I posted last week, trillium, trout lilies, yellow violets, and Virginia blue bells among them.
Today's walk was a red letter wild flower walk for me.
First I found the white violets, which are pretty, but a lot more common than the yellow ones.
After hiking quite a while and looking very carefully, I finally found one of the yellow violets. They don't seem to clump at all; you are fortunate to find a little singleton sitting off by itself. When I first met Mike and took him out for a spring hike, I told him about yellow violets. I was excited about showing him one because he is very color blind and the one color he can see clearly and identify is yellow. For the whole walk, he thought I was kidding him. When finally found one he was amazed by it. They are very sweet little yellow gems.
Last week, I found only one snow trillium, but this week, they were liberally sprinkled through the woods. They don't have a long blooming season, so you have to time your walks just right. I missed them last year.
The Virginia blue bells looked positively vibrant in the sunlight.
They are such a cheerful splash of color.
I have been seeing trout lily leaves for a couple of weeks now, and waiting for them to bloom. I found exactly two today. They look so graceful with their nodding blossoms.
I love the unassuming red/brown blossoms of the wild ginger. You really have to look to find them. They are dark in color and lie on the ground under the heart shaped leaves of the ginger plant. Can you see the blossom?
Both the Dutchman's breeches and the red trillium were blooming on last week's walk, but this little vignette was so pretty today, I had to include them in this photo collection. Such a pleasure to have them still blooming this week.
This was such a pleasant way to start the week. I hope you had a pleasant Monday as well.
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