No really, I do. My last post here was apologizing for getting behind in my photo blog, and then I fell even farther behind.

12 days behind, to be exact. But maybe you knew that?

I've now uploaded 7 photos (May 17-23) and am currently taking a break. Taking the photo is the easy part - I haven't had a problem keeping up with that. It's the editing and posting that has been KILLING ME! And the longer it went, the less I wanted to sit down and get caught up.

I'll see how far I get today; the rest I will post tomorrow. Seriously! I miss the blog, to tell the truth. :(


Unrelated, but important: today is Memorial Day. A number of people have sent me texts and Facebook messages, thanking me for my service - while I appreciate the sentiments, today is for the dead, not the living. Thank me on Veteran's Day if you want, but not today.

Today I thank SSG James P. Hunter and SSgt Christopher S. Frost for their service and sacrifice. The world is a little darker without them in it.

- Antiope

The semester is ---- OVER! I'm so happy I could puke. I ended up with 4 As, a B+ and a B. Not my best work, but still pretty good considering I was working full time and have a toddler at home.

Also: can you believe he's a toddler now?? Where does the time go?

And I finally updated my photo blog. I'd been keeping up with taking the photos every day but got way lazy with posting them. I'm all caught up now, and will resume taking/posting daily.

That's it. Expect to see me around here more frequently. Probably.

- Antiope

Theseus and the baby left this morning for MA so Theseus can begin the process to become a fire fighter.* Tomorrow is the physical portion (obstacle course, etc) and next weekend is the written exam. My poor car is seeing a lot of miles this month.

I only have a few weeks of school left, can you believe it? Soon I'll be done with this punishing schedule and will be able to have a bit of a life again. So much we want to accomplish this summer - the garden, rebuilding the porch, painting the spare bedroom and bathroom, painting our bedroom and bathroom - and none of it would be possible with the class-load we currently have. I'm going to scream until I puke when this semester is finally done.

So I have the house to myself until tomorrow night (or possibly Tuesday, depending on how it goes with Theseus tomorrow). I have to drive out to my school at some point before 3:00 so I can take a biotechnology exam, then I really should work on physics as I have a test on Wednesday and really need to do good if I want to get an A for the class. Some of the stress this semester has caused me to freeze up a few times, so I haven't been putting in the effort that I should have been. It'll be alright, though. It's almost over.


*If you remember, Theseus has already taken the civil service exam/completed the obstacle course in NJ, but the process takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r, and since our goal is to be back in MA within two years, it only makes sense for him to do this now. And we're prepared to have him move back to MA ahead of me which I finish up at Drexel, if that's what it takes. 

- Antiope

Another great day in the yard. We waited until Sir Grumpy Pants finally went down for a nap and then vaulted into the back yard, peat pots and soil in hand. Theseus repotted the tomatoes (4 varieties - 3 beefsteak and 1 cherry), giant pumpkins, watermelon, peppers (2 varieties - 2 to go), the remaining two acorn squash, a lone white pickling cuke and a lone soybean. He also repotted the clipping I took from a ropey plant he bought me for my birthday - the one I almost promptly killed. As it took its last gasps, I clipped three pieces from the least-dead part; two clippings died, and one has lived long enough to be repotted. You can see it here, when it was still living in a rocks glass in my bathroom. Its new pot is the one next to it in the photo. (I have no idea what kind of plant this is). There are also five clippings from the other birthday plant, which hung on a little longer but eventually also succumbed to my black thumb. So far all five clippings are doing fine in their rocks glass and will be repotted in a few more weeks, once their roots are longer.

While Theseus busied himself with the seedlings, I fed the compost and reclaimed some soil from peat pots whose seedlings died earlier in the spring. Then we set all the plants out in the sun for a bit and took to the lawnmowers. As usual, I steered the trusty rider - Ol' Bess - through the large parts of the yard and Theseus took the push mower to the narrow, oddly shaped areas where the rider won't fit. Now all the weeds are the same height, at least. Right?

Oh, actually: before we mowed the lawn, we rescued another turtle from the woods. The lot across the street from us is marshy, and there are often turtles traveling back and forth from the marsh to the lake. This turtle had kept close to our fence and had crawled under part of the massive brush pile we've created, which was blocking his (her?) path to the lake. I climbed over the fence, but I couldn't get to where it had crawled. We waited a little while for the turtle to turn around and crawl out from under the brush pile, and then Theseus reached over the fence and pulled it out. I carried the turtle down to the lake, the same way we did last time, and we left it alone to make its way to the water in peace. I know the turtle would probably find its own way to the water eventually, but I always feel bad when we find them rustling through the leaves. Turtles out of place. So, we help.

After the baby woke up, we ate and did some chores inside. The laundry never ends. We gave the baby a bath before bed and I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the bathroom - a slight sunburn on my face. Or maybe it's just dirt. Either way: awesome. :)

- Antiope

Also, this:

- Antiope

After work today I got a couple solid hours in the yard - mowing the lawn, raking the last of the fall leaves, cleaning up from the firewood delivery. It felt good to feel the rattle of the steering wheel against my palms and to flex my arms against the wet leaves. I missed the yard.

While I roamed around fixing up the disarray of winter, Theseus brought our little seedlings out to the deck and repotted the strongest ones: soy beans, pumpkins, zucchini, summer squash, bush beans, acorn squash, pickling cucumbers. We are having much better luck this year (fingers crossed!) and will hopefully not have to supplement our garden with Home Depot plants. It sucked last year, to put so much work into picking out the seeds, getting all the supplies, planting the seeds, waiting for signs of growth... and then still having to go buy plants because everything died. This summer, with luck, we'll be eating vegetables from the little seedlings Theseus repotted this afternoon.

Here's my photo from today. It was a good day.

- Antiope

That is all.


- Antiope

Two weeks ago was spring break - we are over the halfway mark of the semester. As I type this, we have 7 weeks left of school, including finals week.

7 weeks seems so far away when I think about all the work that stands between me and the end of the semester. I have chapters to read, papers to write, problems to solve. I'm rapidly losing energy and motivation. Doesn't it seem like this point comes earlier and earlier each semester? I so look forward to the summer with my light schedule of only 3 classes, the least I've taken since I began. And then in the fall I'll be off orders and can focus my attention on Drexel. And on the rest of my life...

When I say this isn't easy, please understand what an understatement that is. This is the hardest thing I have ever done - harder than basic training, harder than the deployment, harder than carrying a baby for 9 months. It sucks. I am constantly tired and worried about not having enough time in the day to do everything I have to do (I never have enough time). I am always stealing bits of time to finish up other tasks, like folding laundry during my lunch break or cramming for an exam while stopped at a red light. I miss the baby and Theseus terribly and hate that I am missing out on so much of their lives right now. I can never look forward to the end of the work day because I don't get to go home; instead I'm on the way to school, eating a granola bar in my car, alone.

I'm just feeling sorry for myself and I apologize that I've made you read this little pity party. I'll feel better soon. In 7 weeks... but who's counting?

- Antiope

Yesterday we had the baby's 1 year photos done. I was a little worried, considering what a disaster it was trying to get the holiday ones done, but he was great and I'm really happy with the way they turned out. We ordered a whole bunch of prints and will be mailing them out to everyone once they come in.

In other photo news, Weebly was having issues last night so I wasn't able to post yesterday's photo until this morning. You can see it here. Now that I've gotten past feeling like the photo-of-the-day is a chore (ok, I sometimes still feel like this), I am really enjoying this project. It's nice to touch the camera everyday, and I feel like I'm getting better. The lack of obvious subjects around the house forces me to be more creative. I do look forward to the end, though - we'll have a great collection of photos that tell the story of 2012.

Ok, have to jump in the shower and get to work. Did I mention that this week is spring break and we don't have any classes?? Theseus and I are going on a date tonight while Austin is with the babysitter. Magical.

- Antiope

This song makes me cry.

You can read the lyrics here, but they are not hard to understand if you listen.

- Antiope