I am in disbelief that we have been living in Lawrence, KS for over a year now. It has been quite a year. I went from being ecstatic about the prospect of taking some time off from teaching/working to becoming extremely restless and frustrated with being stuck at home. I think "stir crazy" is the proper way of explaining it.

Since we have moved here, I have experienced brown recluse spiders, snakes, and mice all trying to invade my home and backyard. I have learned to make-do with these creatures by not having panic attacks or nervous break-downs.. so far. It has amazed me how Lawrence residents view these pests as pretty common intruders. Although I am able to somewhat deal with them in my own way (brown recluse sticky traps, mouse traps, moth balls, etc) I will never be able to welcome these critters as regular guests. Ironically, the other night we caught a mouse in the brown recluse sticky trap under our bed. The poor thing.

I am learning the art of solitude. I am learning some self-discipline as well. I have had to motivate myself to work on projects and learn new things in my time here. Since living in Lawrence, I have taken two pottery classes and a letterpress class at the Art's Center. I have taken a sewing class at Sarah's Fabrics. I have signed up for yoga classes through the Parks and Rec department. I have re-acquainted myself to crocheting. I have been given some painting commissions to paint dog portraits. All of this is new territory in it's own right. I am enjoying exploring my options in creative outlets. It has been a long time since I have made work for my sake. I am feeling my own creative juices beginning to flow again. Teaching art for five years definitely drained that for me.

Needless to say, if it weren't for my good pal, Matson, I would feel pretty alone sometimes. She has been the best companion anyone could ask for. I only wish that I was a better dog-mom that takes her on walks diligently and plays with her frisbee in the backyard more regularly. She deserves it.

We could potentially be moving again after May of this year. Toby's two-year commitment at KU will come to an end in May. He will be sending applications out again in about a month. So the journey begins again... uncertainty, anticipation and excitement. Meanwhile, as I wait for our fate to be decided, I hope to learn to be a better cook/baker. I hope to embark on motherhood. I hope to feel a sense of peace and contentment with where I am. I hope to become closer to my friends.. new and old.

Here's to another year in Lawrence... a truly cool little town in Kansas. Do come visit.

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