Zara was trying to get him. First time she's tried to attack a person on TV.

It's been a busy, full week of meetings and class and grant work and lots of stuff.
I'm best being busy.


I did this. I went to Montgomery and stood with about 25 people outside the courthouse to protest the appointment of DeVos as Secretary of Education. 


It's spring here.
The tulip tree is blooming.


Sitting in our hallway during a tornado warning.

I knit a pink kitty cat hat.
It's all I could do.


Today felt really gloomy. It felt doomy gloomy.
So I knitted a pink hat.


This is some pressure-sensitive film I got a sample of. It turns pink under pressure and you can see that when I twist the two pieces together, increased pressure is at the twist. Just trying to think about how to use this stuff.

Today I spoke with an important person at the National Academies of Science about the possibility of co-authoring a book. That was cool. 


Today at midnight Aza turns 29.
Here are photos from her 20-something decade....
She is a determined woman with a head on her shoulders and lots of adventures and surprises ahead of her in life!

Today I started work on a new grant. It's fun work!


Abandoned, forgotten, once loved basketball net thingy causes me to pause and photograph it on my walk this morning. Someone purchase it and either had it shipped to the house, or carted it home on the top of a station wagon, went to the hardware store to buy concrete, dug a  very deep hole, placed it with the help of some extra hands, and secured it while the concrete cured with eyes watching and anticipating. Then, the children played, bouncing their ball, shooting their ball, rescuing their ball from the woods or the street, pestering their father to play with them after supper. Then, the children grew up and moved away. The basketball net thingy stood silent and rusted.
The house went on the market and sold.
The house waits.

The basketball net thingy spoke to me this morning on my walk.


My students (or former students) are actively making babies. This is happening so often that I'm always creating baby blankets for them. Three are expecting right now. I started one this evening--- it will be pretty, and made from an alpaca blend.

Today we went to church, (we walked both ways!) and Dan watched the Packers game while I worked and cooked. We watched Sherlock this evening. 


Last night I went to bed with a migraine-- the sick feeling one that is pain plus the feeling that your brain has had vinegar poured into it. So, I called off my Saturday morning walk with LACA and decided to sleep in.
7:55 I hear a text alert and decided to see what the fuss is about.
"Hey, You on your way??? Just checking!"

I had a comprehensive exam to administer in 5 minutes and my head was still on the pillow.
Take pills
Brush hair
Brush teeth
Get dressed
Print exams
Boil water
Gather breakfast food
Make coffee
Leave house.

I got there at 8:20 and the students started their exams at 8:30.

Maybe I'll get some items crossed off my to-do list this morning.

By the end of the day (I was on a roll), I had finished writing an immense report summarizing three years of research on this one project--- and I submitted it!
A winning day that started with oversleeping.


Today was my first day walking to school. I had meetings from 9:30 - 2:30 so I left the house at 9. It was a warm, sunny day-- in the 70s. It felt good to be walking to school again. I listened to a podcast on computer science on the way and on the way back home, which was really interesting. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/on-being-with-krista-tippett/id150892556?mt=2&i=1000379900590


This trigger image reminds me that Dan and I went on a nice long walk across College Street, over behind the medical school, around the pond, and over to Donohue and back through the arboretum.

This funny image reminds me of when Zara actually really IN FACT got on my lap this evening. She was kneading on my sweater while I was trying to read a book. Awwww.... she must have wanted me to get up and get her a treat. Which I did. To encourage more lap snuggling.

Checked calendar--- this morning I had an ultrasound of my uterus to see what's going on there. Also, got dressed up and held a meeting for my new interns, which went very well. It was a full day and I felt really fine.


Monday morning- it feels like the start to a good semester. I met with two students at 10 for a "spring cleaning" of the lab space and the storage closet. We got it all done, and it feels great.

Of course, because I am writing this on Saturday, I can't remember anything else about my day. The picture is the trigger image.


Went to church and met a couple new folks. I just love that place. There was a potluck afterwards, so I quickly made a big spinach salad to bring before we went. It was a hit and got eaten all up.
Went grocery shopping and walked for about an hour to try and get enough steps to not be ashamed in my Weekend Warrior competition with my daughters, niece, and sister Sta.

What I struggle with is guilt when I'm not working. A goal for the new year is to work during the week and not feel guilty for not-working during the week-end. Good luck with that, Chrissy.

Cat trying to eat my shoe:


I went for a walk with my friend LACA and we found some ice- the only evidence left of our cold, rainy night. I was in a good mood. Felt really positive about life. The rest of the day, I got some work done on course syllabuses and Canvas sites. Made a nice big spinach salad for dinner.


I went to a school this morning and had a good meeting-- positive and optimistic about the semester.
Then went to the university and did some busy work and talked with a friend.
And since I'm blogging this on Sunday, I have a very faint memory of what happened next.

Oh I know, I waited for the snow!!! And I waited and waited, and Weather.com said it was snowing for hours, but it was just raining raining raining and by the time the temperature dropped below 32, the precipitation had moved on. Pooh.


Today I got up, made my bullet coffee, worked a bit then WENT FOR A WALK/RUN. Came back, worked some more--- had lunch, worked some more, went to a school, etc. etc. Then went for a second walk after dinner so I wouldn't be too shamed this week in my FitBit challenge with my daughters and sister and niece.

Also-- great news-- the cat sat on my "lap" (if the construct is defined loosely.)
Here's proof!
This Prisma rendering brings out the mood so much better than the raw photo, which is very very tan.


Today I didn't have focus. I was very sleepy and wanted a second cup of coffee badly. I should have gone for a walk this morning. Should have could have would have but I was lazy.

Found out I was awarded a very big grant today---- it put me in a shocked state of worry as I started thinking about all the work it will require. Money = Work. But it's good work.

Drove to Phenix City to meet with some teachers and took a photo of the building.

Worked a little, watched some TV... knit a little---- may tomorrow be more focused and joyful and less worrisome.

Here is what the Prisma app does--- it takes a boring bland picture of a building and gives it emotion. I need to Prisma my life!


Today started out well with an invitation to coffee from a student--- and there at the coffee shop I sat with two work colleagues as well, and a friend from the church we started going to--- and I met her friend too- and it ended up being like a community. It felt good, and made me think about this phase in life and with what it needs to be filled (while I celebrate the self-reliance and independence of my children.) So, I found my pearl of joy in the neighborhood coffee shop.
Worked at home this afternoon, cooked a good dinner with spaghetti squash and ground chicken meatballs and coconut curry, went to Mom's for a while... and had a piece of cake.


I got up and drank my bullet coffee and worked for six hours. Set some appointments, wrote some exams, answered emails, started reviewing a 50 page manuscript--- while it rained and rained and rained and the sound was a constant reminder of my inner sadness.

Mom and Dad came over for a while in the afternoon. They left to go have dinner with friends.

We ate leftover chicken curry stew.

We played with the cat. I wrote some letters.

I took a long bath.

Not sure how to approach this year but while in the bath I realized how impermanent everything is, how nothing ever stays the same. How we only have the moment and each moment comes with a pearl of joy- you just have to find it instead of yearning for the pearl of joy from yesterday.

This phone app, Prisma, which takes a photo and turns it into art, is phenomenal. http://www.cultofmac.com/435997/popular-prisma-app-turns-iphone-photos-into-painterly-masterpieces/


New Year's Day morning with bed head hair.... and Squirt had to catch the shuttle to the airport at 11:30. We spent the morning with him while he packed up.
Sta stopped by to say goodbye--- they had a long drive back to Texas.

Then the rest of the day begins for me.
The blue time.

The time when I knit and cry. And think.

Dan put away the tree and all the decorations--- everything went in the attic today. I cooked a chicken stew all day, and black eyed peas. So, there was that- but mostly I sat and thought and cried and knit. I started writing a dozen memoirs in my head about my life, trying to make some sense out of it. 

Dan says I'm not depressed, just sad, and it's a normal thing.
Mom says she went through it every time we left too--- and just had to stay busy to keep herself from thinking about it. I remember my mother-in-law crying each time we left after visiting. I don't know-- it's unusually painful, almost too much pain. It shouldn't feel this way. I have to tell myself that parenting results in this--- it's supposed to result in this. It's healthy, a healthy phase in life. A quiet phase where I get to watch the fruits of our parenting labor. I get to watch. Some parents do not receive this blessing, and I need to remind myself of this.
This is normal. This is healthy.
I'm blessed. 
jtbo says yes. I hear her say yes.

What will this year bring?
What will I make of this year?
Do I make resolutions?

Here are some visions. I have visions.
I have visions of continuing a healthy diet and a healthy walking habit, and maintaining the 20 pound weight loss of 2016.

I have visions of being more calm and relaxed. Meditation would be good to usher this in.

I have visions of writing--- submitting 5 publications this year.

I envision myself blogging more regularly because it's so easy to forget my day.

Pottery and painting--- even if I'm not very good- the process alone is worth it.

Visiting my children. Just getting on a plane and visiting them each at least once this year. Squirt in March, Aza in May, and then Jes this summer. If I could go visit one of them every 3 months.... 

Getting involved with a community more-- we started going to a church we like.

Relaxing into my job instead of fighting it. It is what it is. Letting go of wishing it was something else.
Two more things-
1) Letting go of fear and worry
2) Appreciating the time I have with Dan 

And I wish I will be more loving towards others in 2017.


Selfie with Squirt.
My heart...

Chocolate pots de creme-
The best dessert ever.

We were at Mom's for her New Year's Eve party tonight. 
I brought sweet potato fries that I over cooked and cut too small.
We stayed until after the ball dropped in NY, which we considered the true turn of the year.


Squirt and his adopted aunt Gwennie....
She loves him so much.

Aza left this morning. I was OK at the time, but as the day went on I got sadder and sadder. We were at Mom's for dinner and we finally got word that she arrived safely after a small collision with some road debris that had her purchasing duct tape from Walmart to keep her car together.

Dad is here now too.. 
So it's me, Dan, Squirt, Dad, Mom, and Sta and Kels and Will. And Maizie.


Maizie is 14 now and simmering down-

Today was sad.
Jes left--- Dan took her to the airport.
But before she left, the used video player I ordered from eBay arrived and we got to watch old movies from when the kids were little and we all lived on a dirt road in the country. The used video player was not working well, but we gladly put up with pixelization because the movies were so so so sweet. 
It brought back so many feelings and memories. I took it for granted that my children would always be with me, and I had no idea what it would feel like to have them grow up and move away. 

I'd love to get to go back 25 years and spend a day with my babies and just snuggle with them all day long. Maybe I'll be able to in my dreams some night. I think that's what grandparenting must be like--- you get to experience those times again. You realize how special they are/were when they are gone. 


More games today at Nana's house. I can't remember this one. Look at that look my son is giving me. 

 Sta and Kels and Will and Maizie arrived last night-- so we had some good cousin time going on.
and sister time...

Squirt and his 1st cousin--- they are only a year and three weeks apart in age, and have known each other forever. 

Jes and I went to the coffee shop this morning and met with my colleague... to talk shop.


Games. Dan and the kids really got into this game, Catan.

The girls tried Bananagram

Here is our house with Aza's car in the driveway. A full house.