Sunday, April 6, 2014

Blocked the view

We had an big fat fail with our new wooden blinds for the sliding glass doors in the kitchen.  Somehow we forgot to take into account that when you raise wooden blinds, your head clearance is radically reduced.  We ended up needing to crawl under the blinds like a bad round of limbo so we decided to relocate the blinds to another room.  In lieu of nice, wooden blinds, we have installed a removable bed sheet held in place by clothes pins.  Please be jealous.

I did manage to (finally) apply stain to the backs of two of the new bedroom doors.  I just have one more round of stain, and then I will have to put on the polyacrylic - three rounds.  After that, I have 271 sticks of trim to stain plus another door.  Okay, I might have inflated that number.  But there is a lot to do before Mike graduates (on April 25!).  

Speaking of a lot to do, I better get back to my lesson plans.  Happy Monday!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

It's almost time for exams!

Wow!  I'm overdue for a post.  It has been extraordinarily busy for us.  

Work has continued to be demanding for Mike.  He logged about 55 hours this week - a marked improvement over the previous weeks but still busy.  He's been worried about his only test this semester also.  That test was today, and he's feeling relieved that it's over.  His final project in the class (worth 1/3 of his grade) is due in two weeks, so he'll still be tied up with school for a little longer.

My school load has been full also.  With two weeks left in the semester and having lost I-don't-remember-how-many days due to snow, the professors are trying to jam in a few more assignments.  I turned in my final paper for my Teaching of English as a Second Language class on Friday, but I have to present and turn in my curriculum for practicum in two weeks.  In phonology, she wants to give us one more quiz, one more test, and probably 2-3 more homework assignments.  Oh boy.  Don't call me.  Don't email me.  I'm in a cocoon of homework here.

In good news, the sun is shining and no snow is falling.  It would appear that spring has finally arrived in SE MI.  There was tiny buds on the magnolia tree outside our bedroom, and the woodchuck is back out, scrounging for food.

House projects all but stopped this winter.  I have to finish staining the bedroom doors before Mike's family arrives to celebrate Mike's graduation.  We also have a kitchen blinds problem, which will be remedied this weekend.  I will try to dedicate a whole post to it. 

Actually, at this point, just cleaning is a huge task.  We haven't had time to sweep, let alone finish the hall remodel.  I must chant my mantra now:  "This isn't forever; soon it will be done."


I hope the sun is shining wherever you are and that spring is on her way to visit us all.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Half and half

Bad half first. 

Mike's week stunk.  I know I posted on Wednesday that things were slowly down for him, but I jinxed it.  He ended up having to work 20 hours on Thursday and 11.5 on Friday.  His total for the week was something like 75 hours.  Horrible.  He was so fried by Saturday.  He went to class, turned in two homework assignments, got the notes for the only exam, ate lunch, and crashed for three hours.  

This morning we had breakfast with friends, Mike did a little homework, and then he crashed for about an hour.  He's still exhausted, and this week isn't looking much better than the last.  Poor, poor Mike.


Good half.

Mittens has recovered!  Yay!  It's time for his six-month check up (he's geriatric now, you know), and I plan to shave him.  I can't stand all the shedding.

In other good news, I think I have found a thesis topic.  The set-up is different this time around.  There is no professor to assist or to guide much, and theoretically we have only one semester to do it.  Yeah, so that's impossible.  Most people end up taking an incomplete and finishing it the following semester.  I don't want to do that so I'm starting early - or going to try to start early.  

Neutral news.

There has been virtually no progress on the house.  Mike hasn't been home, and I've been working on school projects and tutoring.  Mike is frustrated about the lack of progress, but there's nothing for it.  When school is over and work calms down, he will have a lot more time.

Hope everything is 100% well in your world!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Busy week so far

We sailed through the weekend pretty easily, but Monday brought new worries and new challenges.  

Mike's project at work became more stressful and more pressing.  Another trip to England seemed imminent, which wouldn't be a problem were it not for his Saturday class.  He should catch up on his assignments this week, but another trip would cause him to miss his only exam in the course and more homework.  He was worried about having to delay graduation. He worked 15 hours on Monday, and 18.5 hours Tuesday into Wednesday.  He has made some progress, and so his boss sent him home yesterday after only 10 hours.  He is still working hard to wrap up his end.

As for me, I haven't been terribly stressed. There's just a bit more homework this week and a few more meetings than usual, but nothing horrible.  My biggest worry this week has been Mittens.  On Monday I noticed he was acting sickly - rejecting food, vomiting, and isolating himself.  By Tuesday I was quite concerned so I got him in to see the vet.  Poor little guy had a UTI and mild pancreatitis.  After a shot and some antibiotics, he ate a tiny bit.  He's been eating more and more, but he's still not back to normal.  I hope he'll continue to improve everyday.

The final event happened last night. Mike and I came home from visiting my parents to find the electricity out and the power line laying in our backyard.  Since Mike has homework due on Saturday and I have a take-home exam to work on, I dug out the candles and matches while Mike found the flashlight.  Our dining room looked like we were holding a séance.  For two hours we sat and worked by candlelight (actually Mike quit after an hour and a half and played guitar in the basement).  Around 9:30 - Voilà!  The power returned, Mike went to bed, and I spent another two hours working.  

Hopefully we will be spared from any further drama, illness, and power outages.  Fingers crossed for smooth sailing the rest of the week.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Busy two weeks

Mike left town almost two weeks ago, and he's returning tonight.  His bosses asked him to stay an additional week in Cambridge so he did.  Last weekend he attended some concerts and explored Cambridge.  He never gets to do that during a short stay, and I think he enjoyed it.  He did run out of money after the first week, and I had to wire more to him.  

I stayed busy while he was gone.  Last weekend I went to a food pantry in Detroit with the college ESL club. It was fun.  I met a lot of new people and had fun helping others.  On Sunday I invited all my students to attend a small concert by the Oakland Youth Orchestra.  A very small number of students from each group (there are five groups) performed, including one of my friend's daughters.  Surprisingly, all of my students were there.  One of them hated it, but it was good for him to try something different.

Tonight I am attending the senior recital of one of the girls in my Teaching ESL class.  She's a music major - opera.  I invited my students again, but I think they're sitting this one out.  Mike wanted to go with me, but he won't be back in time.  Looks like I'm flying solo.

Other than the highlights, it's work, papers, homework, and lesson plans for me.  Mike's behind in class now so he'll be busy this week, trying to catch up.  At least we have friends and family to break up the monotony.