17 February 2011

Taking a breather...


It's been a long, miserable winter thus far. January was filled with trials and tribulations, illnesses and tragedy... And I am NOT referring to the Steelers loosing the Superbowl.

The third trip to the big game since I started college actually served as a nice distraction from the darkness that pervaded my household through the month. It was a reason to cheer and yell and curse about something that in the grand scheme of things is all for fun. I'm gradually learning the ins and outs of football so that I can understand it a bit further than "TOUCHDOWN" and "TACKLE." Being quizzed on "what position is so and so playing and why did he just do that," and "why did they run the play that way instead of this way" served as a good way to keep my mind from getting too bogged down in the negative. Something the weather certainly didn't facilitate.


Our area was repeatedly hit by major snow storms. They each dumped just enough to make life miserable, but not enough for it to be fun. You know, that 5-6 inches of powder where it takes them forever to properly clear all but the main roads. However, since the main roads clear easily, nothing is cancelled. Times like that make me miss Pittsburgh, where two inches of accumulation would lead to widespread panic and closures. For all the talk about the "Lake Effect" snow storms, I never saw them hit the 'burgh. Hell of a wind on the Bluff there, but never any major snow events.

On top of the snow, several ice storms left a crust of ice on our yard and driveway approx. 3 inches thick. The puppers couldn't even go out in the snow to walk around without hurting herself, never mind play some snow Frisbee. Her forlorn look all month only served to depress us more. She would walk up to us and look from us to the door, her eyes begging, "Please? Outside? Pleeeaaaasseeeeee?? You promisssseeeddddddddd!"

I swear I have never felt guilt like this from an animal before. This dog is really something special.


Nevertheless, I've done my best to keep busy. The start of February helped, because with it came the start of the spring semester. Once again, I'm plunged head first into course planning, lecture writing, and grade giving. My students are a little younger this semester: more freshmen and sophomores than juniors and seniors this time. And bizarrely enough, it makes me feel a whole lot more confident.

I mean, I know I'm qualified to do this. I have a BA, I have my masters, I've done the studies and taken the classes, and frankly, I'm good at teaching. My course evaluations from last semester prove that. But when I'm standing up there looking into the eyes of people I very well might have been in high school with, all of a sudden it's hard to remember those things.


I've also been doing my best to keep color in my life. The grey barrenness that comes with January and February in NEPA can really get to a person, so I've been getting some knitting done. I'm trying the Traveling Woman one more time, this time with the yarn I originally had set aside for my failed Swallowtail Shawl . You know, just in case I bollocks it up again, I don't want to be using that lovely Noro. I'll save that for when I get the hang of shawl knitting.

The yarn I'm using came from eBay years ago when I was first beginning to knit, and is of unknown fiber. I think it's 100% wool, but I only think that because that's what I put on my Ravelry stash page when I first got my account. The colors are beautiful though. Bit less blue and more purple than this picture wants to show.

I also have another largish project on the needles, an amazing cabled scarf in a rich, dark blue. However, it is a gift, so no pictures of that until I give it to its rightful owner. If you're super curious, it is posted on my Ravelry page.

For now, I'm trying to keep as much color and spring in my life as possible, and I hope you're all doing the same!


- l.c.