Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm Baaaaack!

I'm back!!

Sorry for the disappearance but it's been a crazy month. The short version of what happened is this... Knowing how horrible the housing market is, Mr. Higgins put his house up for sale in the late summer, in anticipation of us getting our own place sometime around the wedding. On Christmas Eve, after months and months of waiting and fretting, he got two offers on his house. He closed on it Thursday. That meant we had to find a house! We did and we've spent the last two weeks getting him out of his house and getting my stuff our of storage.

So, there you go. The short version. Neither of us want to live together but neither of us want our new home to become his place. So, the next few months - three before the wedding - will be a balancing act for me between our home and the house I'm taking care of.

We're taking our time settling in and are trying to enjoy the process. We don't want to move again for a very long time! So that means I have plenty of time to decorate! And, knowing me, I'm going to need every minute of that time!

Wedding planning is also coming to a head, with details needing to be ironed out ASAP. It's a busy time but I'm trying to savor it all!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stray Cats

So, I'm a sucker for cats. If you're a frequent reader, I imagine you already know this.

There are tons of stray cats around my house and a new one showed up last week. She looks a lot like my cat except that she's all black. Someone dumped her because, unlike other strays, she always wants to be rubbed and petted. She literally purrs whenever she sees me!

When the weathermen started talking about the arctic blast we're currently experiencing, I got concerned. Where will the kitties go in sub-freezing temperatures? On Sunday night, I got Sybella's carrier and took the door off. I stuffed some towels inside and put it outside, by the front door. It warmed my heart so much to see the pretty black cat go inside it and curl up. She's stayed in or around it ever since.

I have no idea why anyone would dump such a sweet cat. I can't give her a home but hopefully someone will.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday Snow

We got our first snow of the season on Sunday!

I awoke to rain on Sunday morning but by noon, huge snowflakes were falling from the sky! It was beautiful! Of course, it didn't last long (about three hours), nor did it stick to the ground much. It was enough, however, to throw the weathermen into a tizzy. Ha!

I've gotten a bit spoiled by the snow this year. We saw some on the ground (and a few flakes) in Colorado. Then, it snowed in earnest while we were in Tennessee for Christmas.

Despite the lack of accumulation yesterday, it still got my hopes up for a Snow Day today. No such luck, though, on this, the first day of classes for the youngsters. It's going to be a fun day.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Monday will kick off a new semester and, considering the changes that will happen in my life during that time, I don't know whether to laugh, cry, or take a nap. Actually, I think I need to do all three!

By the end of the semester I'll be married. My boss will be within weeks of official retirement. In every aspect, my life is going to be turned upside down. I'm thrilled about it; really, I'm more excited than I can possibly convey here. But I also feel ill equipped for it all.

Wedding details are already nagging at me, threatening to drive me insane. I'm going to have to turn 75% of this stuff over to my mom.

Then there are the logistics of setting up a home with Mr. Higgins.

The next four months are going to be the most exciting months of my life. I just hope I can savor the details, the little things, without getting overwhelmed by the big picture.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Irish Giant

I had no idea there was an Irish Giant in the eighteenth century, but apparently there was.

It's amazing what science can do! And what tumors can do! If such a thing went undiagnosed today, these giants would have amazing NBA careers.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy Marriage

While reading the New York Times online yesterday, I came across this article: The Happy Marriage Is the 'Me' Marriage.

This article cites research that says the happiest marriages are those where the couples learn and grow individually because of the other person. Your spouse should open you eyes to new experiences, new values, etc, and, in so doing, you learn something new and grow as a person. Personal growth is needed for happiness. After all, no one wants to stay the same forever. We want to see new things, try new foods, have exciting experiences. When in a relationship with a partner who causes - or facilitates - these things to happen, happiness ensues.

This makes sense. After all, we've all heard that opposites attract. But this article means that a marriage is a place where each partner is given the freedom and support to grow individually.

Interesting, eh? Upon reflection, I see this kind of relationship in my parents' marriage. And that marriage has worked well for almost thirty-five years.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Coptic Christianity

In light of the horrific bombing at a Coptic church in Egypt, people are asking, perhaps for the first time, what is, exactly, Coptic Christianity.

I enjoy studying the Coptic Church (Coptic being the language of first century Egyptians) as it has a unique place in Christian history. Shortly after the death of Christ, Christianity spread throughout the Mediterranean. Egypt and northern Africa were hotbeds for this new religion, more so than other parts of the Roman Empire (including Rome!). In fact, the Patriarch of Alexandria was one of the most influential figures within the early Church, helping to form the doctrine we know today.

In the third century, before Constantine became emperor, Egypt gave birth to St. Antony. This man, upon hearing the Gospel, abandoned a life of earthly pleasures to become the first hermit of the desert. Over a span of a hundred years (he had a long life!), he gradually retreated further and further into the Egyptian desert. He formed a unique relationship with God through prayer and meditation. He became so holy, in fact, that he was physically assaulted by the devil and his demons. Over the years, other men came to Antony seeking spiritual guidance.

Thus, Antony is known as the Father of Monasticism and, thereafter, a great many holy men and women came from Egypt. It was not until the armies of Islam that Christianity lost it's foothold in Egypt.

And so, Coptic Christianity holds a special place in the history of Christianity. We are all connected, all family within the same faith. We all grieve together.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Back in the Groove

I always find the time after the holidays extremely depressing. This month is going to be crazy, though, so I'm trying to stay positive!

Mr. Higgins and I arrived home yesterday afternoon. The kitties were happy to see us. Well, they were hungry. As soon as I walked in the door, I began working on getting unpacked and resettled. I'd been gone for ten days!

It was a great ten days, filled with lots of family, presents, and great food. This was one of the best Christmases ever. I got to truly get to know my new family and spend a white Christmas with Mr. Higgins. What could be better?

Though we're back to the routine today, I'm looking forward to the adventures January will bring. It's all so exciting!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Nashville Tour

My tour of Nashville was so much fun! We walked across downtown for this view from Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge.

The capitol building looked festive with the Christmas tree out front!

The Titans' stadium (also from Shelby Street Bridge) was empty and quiet.

I really liked the War Memorial Building and the quote upon it: "America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured" (Woodrow Wilson).

It's been a great trip to the Nashville area! It almost feels like home!