I've been knitting this for some time now. Maybe a week. It's going to be a shawlette... and I think I'm going to like it a lot. I enjoy working with fingering wool but it is time consuming.

Last day of May.
Here are thirteen thoughts...
1. Write a memoir, or at least start one.
2. Taper one day at a time and cope.
3. Relax.
4. Exercise.
5. Start cooking again.
6. Knit.
7. Look forward to the trip to Maine.
8. Transition from black tea to green tea.
9. Have hope.
10. Enjoy the rain. Free water.
11. Organize the clothing and simplify the room... de-clutter life.
12. Add new friends and cherish the old ones.
13. Cope with migraine and remember #9.


The photo shoot was so cool. The photographer came all the way from Pennsylvania to do this, and I had five grad students come. The man took over 300 photos. I can't wait to get some of them! I learned later that I had spaced out and not realized that the man always assigned the two female students with the role of "note taker" on the iPad, and let the male students do the active work of holding devices, etc. That makes me angry, and I can't believe I didn't notice it.


I went to school this morning at 9am to set up for the photo shoot at 11am. After interrupting a class and closing off the divider, and printing these gears and other stuff I realized that the photo shoot was not on this day, but the next day. I stayed for 4 hours getting stuff ready anyway. It felt nice to be at school- to escape in a way from my worries about CJ.


I do not recommend making corn chips in a non-stick pan. first, it takes too long to cook them in a small amount of oil. But more importantly, the chips end up tasting like plastic after cooking for this length of time.


Sunday. Squirt and I went to my lab to try and hang up a painting, and also install the 3D printer properly. I propped the painting up on an easel and Squirt got to printing a blue clip on the printer after much work with drivers and video cards and software. 


Today I planted hostas, coral bells, and astible by the steps out back. First, Dan had to dig up all the nasty brush that was growing there, then I had to amend the soil, then dig the holes and plant them. They are perennials and will only grow bigger and better each year.


Happy birthday to my love.
We had dinner at a Japanese Thai place, dessert at The Overall Company (photo) and then went to Home Depot and my mom's house. 


The ginkos are doing well.

Today I went to an antique mall and bought this old iron fence as a backdrop to the herb garden.

The zinnias CJ planted are doing well.


This is my classroom. I've been working on making it nicer through posters, furniture, cleaning and organizing it. Today my grad student and I added a couch and a carpet. The carpet really ties the room together. ;)


My yoga socks are complete.
So is an IRB, 22 documents for state review, an annual report, and today I had a meeting with the Dean, Associate Dean, and Department Chair about curriculum revisions. 
So much for a summer.
I need more yarn.


We loaded up our bird feeder and waited for the birds to come.
The squirrel came first.
I decided to try and "foil" him with aluminum tape. It didn't work. He climbed right up on the slippery tape.

So then I got devious and mixed cayenne pepper with Crisco and spread it over the foil.

Then I felt guilty and gave the squirrel a peace offering of a piece bread on its tree.

At first the squirrel was deterred. It was not fond of the pepper icing on the foil.

Then this "other" squirrel came into the yard (see, it has a funky tail) and it scurried up over the hot pepper icing and proceeded to eat until its tummy was full. Soon all the squirrels were dining, then drinking water from the bird bath.

I removed the greasy pepper coated foil and cleaned the bird perch of all the slimy mess.
Still waiting on some birds.


I've been knitting yoga socks as a gift to my visitor who left. However, upon preparing to finish the second sock I ran out of yarn. So I have to unravel part of the first sock to finish the second one so that both are identical. As Dan says all too frequently, "things are never easy." Sorry you have to look at my crusty heel. Just look at the sock.


Squirt and Strawberry cooked us dinner tonight. They made the salsa from scratch, and the guacamole, and even the tortillas (flour and corn) and it was so so so delicious it was authentic Mexican tasting. Squirt does not want me to post this photo so please don't tell him.


The good thing about Squirt's phone is that he found it after losing it on his way home from school, and the other good thing is that he knows how to replace busted phone screens. However, he does not know how to replace busted everything else.

Friday night. I was a homebody.


We finally filled up the bird feeder with seeds and are waiting for our first bird to visit. Such a great view from the kitchen table! I submitted a paper today to a journal (after two rounds of revisions) and was relatively productive.


My visitor left. It was incredibly sad and hard to let her go. Like caring for an ill spouse who dies, I felt a sense of loss and lack of meaning in life. As I kissed her goodbye I wondered if I would ever see her again- wondered if she would ever visit again, wondered if she was going to be OK.


Things started unraveling again today.
Visit to Chewakla was supposed to be calming, so see the water and hear the waterfall. However, I don't know if it did any good. 

My visitor was very deep in thought and closed in and trying to figure out what to do next with her life. Her journey has been difficult these past few months. I'm trying everything I can think of to help.


Mother's Day was magical. Church then lunch out. More painting, more walks in woods... and it felt like my visitor was really turning a corner towards health. It felt like we were getting the layer of mud off the truck... and revealing something calm and grounded underneath.

We went to lunch and she wanted me to take a photo of this loaf of bread. For some reason, she found it compelling.


I went to see an art show today with Dan and our friend The Social Worker. This is a painting by our friend Bobby, who is talented in so many things- music, art, gardening, etc.

I painted the Mother Mary for a friend from high school. My visitor and I painted and it was very soothing. All was calm. We drove at sunset over to the arboretym to see the turtles and just be in some deep woods.

The trees were magnificent. The air was cool and humid, like  tropical rain forest.

I lay down on a bench and looked up at the trees and felt sheltered under the canopy of life.


It's hard. I'm not going to put anything about the ordeal in this blog since it's too personal, but it's so very hard. My visitor is not doing well at all.


We had  drive in the country... went to a lake. It was supposed to be calming to go for a drive in the country, and spend some time on a dock by Lake Harding. My visitor was anxious and feeling worse by the minute. I didn't know what to do.

That morning she had been feeling well. We even went for a run and visited the woods across the street. But things started going downhill during the drive in the country. We had lunch at this Mexican place, which was pretty nice for a Mexican place in Alabama. 

The evening was not good. Actually it was the worst evening so far during our visit. My heart ached and I felt helpless to help my visitor through her ordeal.


I had to attend a party for a colleague at work, but was exhausted. My visitor and I did not sleep again this night either. Carrying on my normal routine is difficult when I want to help my visitor so much.


May 1 began with a phone call while still in bed.
I was getting a visitor that evening.
I drove to Atlanta to pick her up.
We did not sleep that night.
My visitor is having a crisis and I'm trying my best to help.