Wednesday, December 05, 2012

(Almost) Free At Last

I know I've said this approximately 87 times but GOOD GOD this semester has been tough. And not just for me - my closest MFA friends would definitely agree. Most of us are half way through the program now, and the middle, it appears, is a hard place to be. While Nathan and I were busy getting married last month, four couples we're close to were busy breaking up. The dissolution of a relationship is never easy, no matter the circumstances, so even though our own relationship is pretty awesome, we've tried to be supportive. Which mostly means getting drunk in the middle of the week and singing karaoke.

Sing it, Joe.

Meanwhile, the semester kept rolling on. The papers remained ungraded. The books remained unread. The projects remained unfinished. And so at the end of last week, I brushed off yet another hangover, drank a few liters of water, went to bed at a decent hour, and woke up read to get shit done. Yesterday was my last official day of classes (teaching and taking) and now, all that stands between me and winter break is some grading and my final project for Bookbuilding. I hope to finish the project today, and I can't grade anything until the kids hand their stuff in/take their final on the 13th. Slowly but surely, freedom will be mine. I'm really looking forward to break this year, and not just because I'll be able to make progress on my writing and spend time with the dogs and actually cook meals again. I'm looking at it as a giant reset button, so that when the spring semester starts up, I'll be more organized, less stressed, more focused, and ready to write and teach and learn with renewed passion and limitless ambition. Which will be a nice change from my current state of collapsing on the couch directly after a frozen dinner and/or singing terrible renditions of pop songs at karaoke. There's a time and a place for those activities, and they are surely not four times a week.

Just in case you think it's been all last minute work and drunken escapades, we have found time for some slower, kinder activities. For example:

Game night at Erica's, where we played Rummikub and Blokus. I didn't think I'd like Rummikub, but it's actually really fun, despite the initial math. It also made me nostalgic for all the dominoes we played in Nacogdoches, especially the trash talking.

We put up a Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving! This is our second year getting a real tree, and while Nathan still thinks it's silly, it warms my bitter heart. We snagged it at the Farm Supply Store where we get our chicken feed, hay, and garden things, and it was grown in North Carolina, just a few hours from us. We don't have a ton of ornaments on it right now, because I would rather slowly build our collection with unique and meaningful pieces, rather than buying them in bulk at Target. For now, a few scattered ornaments and pretty lights are more than enough. Seamus likes to bask in the glow of the tree, as you can see. He's getting so gray in the snout, which makes him look a bit like a very hairy Santa Claus.

We also started work on our new and improved chicken coop. While our first coop is very great - adorable (if I do say so myself) and cleverly designed - it's a little on the small size. This is especially true considering we want to get three more hens in the spring, for a grand total of six ladies. So far, Nathan has sketched out plans and we've started building the frame. I have no idea when we'll actually finish this project, but I'm hoping before the New Year. Obviously, I'll keep you all updated. 

Speaking of updates, I hope to get back to blogging more regularly now that the semester is nearly over. I have plans for improving and redesigning the blog over winter break - nothing major, but some tweaking that will hopefully make the upkeep of this dear space easier for me and thus more enjoyable for you. I've already done some work on the About page, and I'd love to know what you think. I'm trying to carve out a general theme for the blog, because I don't fit in a niche and I'm kind of tired of explaining that my blog is about "you know, like, just, me." Obviously, this is a sign of my growing maturity.

Hope you all have a great Wednesday (is it really Wednesday? Oy.) I'm off to get some work done and put this semester to rest. Wish me luck!