Rio coming in from pasture

Rio coming in from pasture

Friday, February 27, 2015

Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows...

Sunshine yesterday and this morning is making quick work of our snow.  Meanwhile, back in Texas, it had just started yesterday, and still going this morning.
Rio sent me a good morning hello.  Undaunted by a little snow, he ventured out of his barn and had his breakfast while Sis chopped the ice off his water.
 Last night, I had been working on Rio portraits to make the second photo collage for Dad's room.  Rand suggested I make a second one to go with the one I made for his Christmas and put it in his room so he can still see Rio on those times he does not feel like getting out of bed.  Sounded like a good plan to me.
Like this morning, when it is cold and snowy!  One of Dad's favorite things is when he wakes up and Sis sits in the chair by his bed and has morning coffee with him.  Before, Dad and I used to sit out on the deck in the mornings and drink coffee.  Sometimes one might not think of that at the time, but when I look back now, I treasure those opportunities and that we made time for them. 

There are double windows to the left of his bed, and they were watching it snow.  He said it was a resting day.  I on the other hand, have to get in to work today.  Though I have managed to get quite a lot done during the snow days this week, it is time to show up in the office.  At least the sun is shining.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

And so the wintry mix has begun...

 I was scheduled to give clinical comprehensive exams today--a grueling 2 day long affair for me and the students.  In the vein of looking at silver linings, all the hours and hours I spent writing the exam were good, because it is done...but in the face of all the other priority tasks looming in the next few weeks, you hate to have spent days on something without an immediate payoff.  Pretty sure travel would be hazardous, students were pre-warned we would likely have to cancel, and that regardless, they should not attempt travel if weather was dangerous in their areas.  We needn't have wondered--the entire region is under winter storm advisory.  It is always one of those bitter-sweet outcomes--true, I don't have to be at work today as in physically in the building, but so much of my work involves writing and research and use of the computer and use of Internet that it is hard to make a case for not doing anything just because I am sitting here rather than sitting there.  That's when being a cat comes in handy--Son House really is not concerned with where he has to be and what he has to do, other than try to avoid the large spots of snow and ice.
 I had begun to wonder when the snow and sleet would start, but mid-morning, it kicked it fast and heavy.  It has been intermittent since, letting up for a bit and then coming back. 
The cardinals are are as intermittent as the ice and snow...and my accomplishments when I stand at the window and watch them.  Time to get back to work--this manuscript won't write itself.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Rain and some more rain

Libby's kennel is a pond.  Water is running down the hill at breakneck speed.  We are in for it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

On finding solace in a whirlwind

Yep, this is pretty much how I feel right now--like last spring's flowers, droopy, ice-covered, in a fading pot.
I have those intermittent moments where it seems like there is a spotlight showcasing something of photography, and blogging.  You know, those things that help me keep my sanity in this world "spinning hopelessly out of control" (Willie Nelson, "Hands on the Wheel," 1975).
 Not long ago, a fellow blogger said taking a picture--even on a phone camera--was like looking through a spyglass.  Focus.  It is all about the focus.

I suppose that is the good thing about finding solace in a whirlwind--focus.  When you train your eye on the one thing, you stop focusing on the giant whirlwind encompassing you--obscuring the view in the maelstrom.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ice Storm

This morning

This afternoon

This evening

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Libby wants Son House to come in and play!

This morning as I was getting ready for work, I heard a sound from Libby's kennel that sounded like she was dancing around in the kind of play dogs do.  I could hear her nails clicking on the little wooden porch where she likes to lie in the sunshine.  I glanced out the window to see what she was doing.  You probably can't tell from this first picture...
 ...but it is beginning to get clearer...
...that Son House had discovered the hole in the gate.
"Hey, Mom, what do you think is happening here?  Is this my little brother?  Or just a big blond rat?"

 "Oh, wow, someone to play with!  Can he come in and play, Mom?  Can he, huh?  Please?"
 Son House seemed to be thinking about the invitation...
"Sure dude, it's all fun and games, until I get in there and one of us gets hurt..."

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Relentless: Oppressively constant; incessant

 Going into week 4 of "the illness" and it saps just about any wherewithal I have to want to do anything in the least bit productive or useful, or for that matter, anything necessary.  Friday I felt fairly well, enough to get out and to the grocery store, and even to take a short drive through the country--what one might term a circuitous route to the grocery store.  It was pleasant, and the sun was shining.  I built a fire in the firepit, and perhaps because we have not had rain in a while, the wood burned well and it was another pleasant hour outside.  In retrospect, it was likely a mistake as yesterday, I felt like the dregs of the firepit and could not work any up steam whatsoever.
I cooked dinner, we watched a movie, and Abby enjoyed some time with a bone.  The movie was (I think) supposed to be a romantic comedy, but it was just sort of depressing to me.  I chalk that up to persistent illness, stress at work right now, and the nagging thoughts in the back of my mind about family issues.  Sometimes, though, I think you just have to roll with the feelings and not fight them, so that's pretty much what I did yesterday.
By evening, I was feeling better and worked on some interesting research for Preservation in Mississippi.  I got so involved in it, before I knew it, it was 11 p.m. and I did not want to quit, lest I was on the cusp of discovering some of the elusive information.  I dreamt about Rio and Dad, and awoke this morning before 5 to the sound of rain.  I lay awake for a bit, thinking about the dream, and the patterns in my life when I struggle with issues of loss and change and feelings of being out of control.

The rain has continued throughout the day, as relentless and incessant as my cough.  I have, however, shifted forward in mood and productivity, and accomplished some things needing doing and some things wanting doing.  I looked out the window and saw a cardinal at the bird feeder--"see a redbird, make a wish" we used to hear when we were children.  Redbirds were rarer in the part of Texas where we lived, unlike Mississippi, so it was a special treat to see one swoop by on the creek where my Grandma lived.  I stepped out on the back porch to feel how cold it might be, and saw a huge cardinal perched on the limb of the fallen tree that I can't quite get around to finish cutting up, though I burned some of the limbs in my firepit Friday night.  Two in a row--must be good luck, right?
Consistent Libby, waiting for my return, winked at me.  Things are looking up.