Sunday, November 16, 2014

I've Been Busy...

Wait, I better not say "read my blog" if you want to catch up with what I've been doing.  I haven't been blogging.  I have been busy.  I suspect we all have been busy, but somehow, blogging has been placed on the back burner of my life lately.

A few words that describe me during the last few months of my life are:

  • foggy
  • unfocused
  • distracted
  • busy
  • going in too many directions
As my husband and I drove towards home today, I observed the route I take daily as I travel to and from my home and wherever else I am going with unbelieving eyes.  Surely I had not completely missed the passing of summer to fall and from fall to winter, I mused.  Yet, in my heart of hearts, I had to admit that in many ways I had missed much of the glories that come with the changing of the seasons.  I simply have been too distracted to drink it all in.

When I last wrote, I had just returned from spending time with my son in Pennsylvania after he had been injured.  As an update, he seems to be coming along in the healing department as well as can be expected.  He still has not recovered the use of his right arm and hand, but we remain hopeful as his injury heals.

Mid-October, I had planned on going to Vashon Island in Washington to again meet with my dear blogging friends.  (Read about our previous weekends here:  A Weekend To Remember and Time With Dear Friends I'd Never Met.)  I was so excited to spend time with DJan, Jann, Linda, Deb, Sandi. My tickets were all purchased, and I'd sent my deposit for the weekend.  I needed a weekend away.  I needed laughter and talks with my dear friends.  What I didn't need was the rash that appeared on my upper body about ten day prior to my departure for Vashon Island.  I used ointments and creams and self-remedies.  I saw my dermatologist.  No better after all of this, I saw my allergist.  My body had experienced an allergic reaction to some unknown trigger and the hives and rash that was making me miserable was just not getting any better.  My allergist told me she really did not want me to travel in my condition.  I considered my options, thought about the reality of having an even worse reaction to something that might require me using my dreaded EpiPen.  It really would not have been wise for me to travel in the condition I found myself, so I missed that special event and stayed home.  In the meantime, my allergy medications were increased and I spent my time trying to relax.  Finally, thankfully, the rash went away, and I stopped itching.  I could again tolerate clothes rubbing on my skin.  I decreased the allergy medications, and so far, I have been fine again.

October 22 is my dear husband's birthday.  I always look forward to his birthday because it comes at such a beautiful time of year.  This year, a few days before my hubby's birthday, on a day when he did not have to work, I asked if he would mind celebrating his birthday by visiting the Denver Botanical Gardens.  It had been several years since I had been to one of my favorite places.  Even though my hubby really doesn't get as excited over gardens as I do, he agreed to celebrate his birthday by doing something that I really wanted to do.  What a glorious day we had.  The gardens were even more spectacular because of the beautiful artwork of Dale Chihuly which is now on display throughout the garden.  

Since my outfit matched the sculpture at the entrance to the gardens, Jim took my photo.  

If you live in Colorado, and if you have not yet gone to the Denver Botanical Gardens to see this display, you must go.  The Chihuly Exhibit is there through November 30.  We were very surprised how popular the exhibit was on the day we were there.  We literally took the last parking place in the parking garage.  There was a line to buy tickets.  The garden was full of people.  Despite all the crowds, we really enjoyed our time.  The trees in the garden were still colorful and some perennials and roses were still blooming.    Here are some of the highlights:

Flowers of glass against a fountain

A beautiful rose 

"Easy Does It"  Rose 
The rose that I planted at our home in Pueblo in memory of Julie was especially beautiful.  Seeing it in bloom brought great joy to my heart.  

I loved the oranges, red, and yellows in this display.

Lots of color and shapes to delight the eye

The pairing of "Easy Does It" with orbs of orange and yellow brought thoughts of Julie to my mind.

One more shot of my favorite rose.

Another sculpture…

The same sculpture up close…

These sculptures reminded me of the glaciers we saw in Alaska.  I thought they were especially interesting.

Fall in all its glory is punctuated by these red spires.

More red spires…
These looked as if they were growing out of the ground.

The day at the gardens was a special outing for us.  Thankfully, we had a day together in sun drinking in the waning days of fall.


On October 22, Jim's actual birthday, we both had to work. Yes, I have taken a job.  That is why I am so busy.   I was unsure whether or not I would take the job after it was offered to me.  I had not officially applied for it.  A teacher quit and there was a need for another teacher to replace her.  I was called.  I visited the class prior to accepting the position.  Stepping on campus, I realized I was a goner. Who could resist this view everyday?  This campus is absolutely beautiful.  

I actually began my new job on October 22.  I am teaching international students English at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS).  Yes, I am indeed back in the saddle again.  Perhaps, this is why I have felt overwhelmed, foggy, distracted, and as if I were going in too many directions.  I also have been quite happy when I am actually in the classroom teaching.  I've told friends that the best way to actually cure the fantasy of going back to work is to actually go back to work.

I love teaching again.  It is good for me to be on campus with young people.  I love the campus atmosphere.  I have missed it so much.  It is also great to be working with international students again.  I love doing that.  Also, it is good for me to be involved with others in an atmosphere where I am constantly challenged to think, create, and teach. 

 It has been a greater challenge than I anticipated to teach this time around.  I gave away or threw away nearly all of my professional resources when we moved.  Everyday, I feel as if I am reinventing the wheel as I try to bring in interesting activities to enrich the lessons I am teaching to my students learning English.  Thankfully, my class only meets two and a half hours a day, four days a week.  This means that I have a schedule that does not tax me physically; however, I find that I spend every morning in lesson preparation before my 2:00 p.m. class. 

This opportunity to teach came along without me really seeking it.  I am grateful for it.  It has expanded my horizons yet again.  I will only be teaching until mid December.  By then, I'm sure I will happily reclaim my title of Retired English Teacher.  If I don't get around to visit, please forgive me.  I miss reading your blogs, but I am a bit bogged down right now.  I hope to be back among you all soon...