I actually have an evening with time to blog, and I don't even know where to start. Christmas was wonderful - daughter was home for almost a month, older son was off from college, no major illnesses, and we had a great time. Daughter didn't go back to college until after younger son's birthday on the 10th so January has actually felt shorter than usual. Some of the weather has been really cold, and we had snow and sleet on two different weeks. Today was beautiful with a high around 70 so I took a long walk this afternoon.
Dear husband and I took an anniversary trip for the first time in quite a while. We were trying to decide between Blowing Rock, NC and Richmond, VA (both about the same distance). That was the weekend of the snow so Blowing Rock would have been really pretty, but it was also going to be colder there, and there aren't as many things we do inside there. If it got too cold in Richmond, there are lots of stores and museums.
It turns out that we didn't spend much time inside. It got warm enough in the afternoons to go to Maymont Park and the Ginter Botanical Gardens. I took lots of pictures (of course!), but my camera hasn't been working right lately so the photos will require a lot of fixing up. The light meter has gone rather crazy, and the focus has a mind of its own. The camera is now at a local repair shop, and I'm left with a sad and empty camera case. I probably won't blog that many of the photos.
I've had a number of bad doctor's appointments (including the worst one ever) having to do with my blood pressure, asthma, and allergies. It's gotten to the point where my blood pressure goes up a day before a doctor's appointment because I'm dreading it, and it usually stays up for a week after because I'm so angry at how the appointment turned out. I talked to my doctor about the way my blood pressure tracks with how tense I am,* and she agreed that I should see someone about better ways any way to handle stress. Three doctor's appointments later, I still haven't found anyone in the regular health system who will help with that.
However, I've been getting occasional massages for the last half year. They're wonderful, and I slow down so much. I really can focus on things and appreciate beauty for the next few hours after a massage - before I go back to normal. Because it's so expensive, I alternate massages with voice lessons - which means that, if my voice isn't up to having a voice lesson, which happens all too often, I use the money for a massage instead. My massage therapist actually also specializes, not surprisingly, in how the emotions affect the body so I'll be talking more to her about that next week (because I lost my voice (and voice lesson) last week).
Home schooling is going wonderfully right now. Younger son has gotten into programming in the last week. He's also started enjoying math. Along with the algebra he's doing, we've been doing the constructions from Ruler and Compass (for those of you familiar with homeschooling math books, although he liked the other Key to... books he found the Key to Geometry books boring). I think younger son is past the worst of the past year's growth spurt, with the migraines and dizziness that went along with it. He's got a lot more energy for things. I'm glad because, even though we were still homeschooling, I felt like I missed him during his 13 yo hibernation year.
Unfortunately, the second session of the Swing Dance class that Dear Husband and I were taking is on Sunday evenings so we aren't taking it. On the happy side, the Broadway Dance class is back on Thursday evenings. So far, we've done One from A Chorus Line and Forget About the Boy from Thoroughly Modern Millie.
There are lots of posts I've thought of in the last month, but didn't have the time to write down (and edit, and edit...). I will mention one thing from one of them: I loved Les Misérables. It's one of my (many) favorite musicals. As I said to my kids at the theater, I've been waiting for this movie for about twenty years. I did see a student production onstage, but I haven't ever seen a professional production before. Were all the singers ideal? No, but I think that, given the usual need for box office stars, they did a fantastic job, and they got the spirit of the musical.
* Whereas, my bp hasn't changed at all when I've gained or lost weight or when I added lots of fruits and vegetables - and, now, I'm on to the low sodium thing.** By the way, do you know that, if you feed three hungry guys taco salads with no salt at all, none of them will have their usual seconds, but two of them will be back in the kitchen later for snacks?
** Which means no soups in the cold parts of the winter because canned soups have so much sodium. :(