So I undecorated our Christmas tree the other day. Yeah, I know, it's late February. We don't get evergreens for Christmas, mostly because we have always lived in small spaces, and making room for a tree is difficult. Instead we decorate our ficus tree. We had a Norfolk pine tree in a pot that we would decorate, too, but a friend is babysitting it for us until we get larger digs. Unless it dies. Which it sounds like it is on its way towards. This friend very kindly got us another, smaller Norfolk because of the impending death of the former pine tree.
I know that this may sound lame, but I felt like I had accomplished something when I removed the ornaments and the lights. I didn't have the heart to do it in January. January needs a boost around here, so the lights and ornaments stayed. The naked ficus looks like a regular old plant again, it has a more spring-like air, and we are ready to move on to March and said spring.
In other news, my attempts to meditate have been pretty good. I've been a little lazy and have been doing it lying down, rather than sitting up. I've got to work on that. I'm more alert when I'm upright. Though I'm more relaxed and meditative lying down. The work is bringing that relaxation to my body as it sits up.
Quilting is going much better than I thought. I'm working on a Picasso quilt that will be a wall hanging. Picasso did a bunch of sketches promoting the peace movement -- spanning several years, I believe. One of them stuck with me. The colors and imagery are simple, but manage to accomplish the complicated expression of peace, brotherhood, all that stuff we hope for every day. I decided I would like to try to recreate it with fabric, so I could look at it whenever I wanted. I'm using similar colors, but I'm using patterned fabric, too, not just flat colors. the applique is going more smoothly than I thought, so I'm pleased so far. I'm not going to post pictures yet. I'll wait until it's closer to finished and also post Picasso's drawing, so you can see the inspiration.
In adoption news, we are still awaiting updated paperwork from the USCIS. Since we decided to adopt siblings, we needed to ask the CIS to "reopen" our case, which meant we had to pay them more money and get an updated homestudy. Our social worker did her part in record time, the office sent it off for us as soon as they got it, which was January 24th. So we've been waiting about 3 weeks or so. The last time we awaited CIS approval it only took 12 days, so I'm a bit bummed. It seems impossible to check on the status of our case, because we don't have a case number, the money was sent as a money order, so it won't show up as a check being cashed from my account, and there doesn't seem to be a way to reach a person when you call the toll-free number. We're left with the unknowing waiting that is the hallmark of the adoption process. Since Mercury is retrograde, I don't expect to hear anything until after the first week in March, which makes it more bearable. I know, sounds ridiculous, but anything that makes waiting easier is good.
It has been around 40 degrees the last two days -- it feels positively balmy! I could actually smell the earth when I went outside. Thanks to the sinus surgery, my sense of smell is back. I can't tell you how wonderful that is, unless you've experienced it yourself. Smell affects so much in one's life. How your food tastes, being able to smell your loved one's hair when you hug him, figuring out if your dog needs a bath (not yet), realizing that you're burning the pancakes -- the list goes on and on. This may sound weird, but I cannot wait to experience Ethiopia's smells. Like most places, I'm sure there will be the good, the bad and the ugly, but will all be a part of the experience of being where our children come from, and that means the world to me. And smell has so much impact on one's memory.
Speaking of my nose, it's healing pretty well, but unfortunately I have an infection that seems to have gone into my right (cursed) ear. My ENT was pretty bummed, as was I, especially since I had been feeling good until last Friday. Then I started feeling tired and headachy, and well, infected. He confirmed this by probing my proboscis with that crazy scope thing he sticks up my nose (lovely, I know), and did a culture. We changed antibiotics, and I am saline-rinsing my nose like it's the latest craze. It helps a lot. Part of the problem was that I started work last week, and I went from cleaning my nose 6 times a day to only 3 times a day. It's tough doing it at work, since I was teaching/touring with kids, and never seem to sit still for very long. Not to mention sneaking around with my salt water and the bulbous rubber irrigator.
The doctor got tough with me, told me I needed to take more time off and attend to the sinuses. I worked Tuesday, took today and tomorrow off, and will work Friday. Then another 3 days to rinse and rest, and hopefully things will look better. I feel better, that's for sure. I don't want to gross you out with too many details, but the scabbing inside my nose is pretty irritating. Itchy and scratchy. Please send positive vibes to my nose. Now that it can smell, I think it will pick up on them more easily.
My eating has been good, too, btw. I have not bought any cookies or muffins in over a week. Bought a bag of tangerines and apples, too, to satisfy my sweet tooth. I did allow myself a smidge of super dark chocolate, but only a smidge. Speaking of which, OMG, have you ever tried Gr@@n and Bl@ck's organic dark chocolate? Try the Hazelnut and currant bar, it is everything that is right in the world.