This has been a weird couple of weeks, hence the lack of regular posting. School has been non-existent these days as we've been dealing with another round of illness that seems to be especially persistent in hanging on - or, the kids just keep passing it back and forth. Also, my migraines have returned, so I've been in not-so-good shape myself. Rather than paying for another round of Botox, my husband has opted that I have surgery for a (hopefully) permanent solution to my headaches, so I'll be scheduling that shortly. In the meantime, I've decided that the past week or so will have been our "spring break," nevermind that it's not yet spring! I've been busy planning our spring school schedule and getting the house and garden plans in order so that we'll be ready to start back in full force next week.

Here are a few personal highlights from the past two weeks:

Photo © amy.arch
  • The Sunday before last, I spent an afternoon at the awe-inspiring Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Wichita for the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion. In the Rite of the Call to Continuing Conversion, the Church welcomes those who are already baptized and are preparing to be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil. The Rite of Election is similar, though for Catechumens who have not yet been baptized. It was my first visit to the Cathedral, which is absolutely beautiful, and the first time I've had the opportunity to hear our bishop speak, and I quite enjoyed it. We have a wonderful down-to-earth bishop with a great sense of humor.
  • We got a free piano! A beautiful 1915 C. Kurtzmann upright that has some minor [cosmetic] blemishes, but sounds absolutely lovely. My goal is to have it refinished, eventually. I took piano lessons when I was little, but have forgotten most everything, so I hope to start lessons again soon.

  • While picking up the piano, we also adopted a new dog ~ a 2-year-old chocolate Doberman Pinscher named Jake. He may very well be the best dog we've ever had: he's calm, friendly and extremely well-trained. Jake gets along with both Emma and the cats beautifully and does not chase birds like Emma does, thank goodness. He's even good as a guard dog, though really, he's just a big baby!

  • Last week, I read Amelia Dyer: Angel Maker: The Woman Who Murdered Babies for Money by Alison Rattle and Allison Vale, an excellent book which I had *hoped* would put an end to my interest in Victorian baby farmers, but had quite the opposite affect. I also read half of The Real Oliver Twist: Robert Blincoe: A Life That Illuminates a Violent Age by John Waller. This week, I continued The Real Oliver Twist and read The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective by Kate Summerscale and Possession by A.S. Byatt ~ both of which were very good.
  • Going to the local feed store at this time of year is always a dangerous thing for me, because this is when the baby chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese arrive ~ a sure sign that spring is just around the corner! Several years ago we had both chickens and ducks, but a neighbor's dogs broke into the pen repeatedly and killed most of our chickens; another neighbor shot the rest for fun (fortunately, he has since moved!). I've been wanting chickens again, and much to my delight, my husband surprised me last weekend with eleven of them! We're going to build a new house for them right outside our immediate back yard (where the herb and vegetable gardens will be), and fence off the entire area so that they can free range while still being closer to the house. Hopefully this will keep them a bit safer.

  • We have an appointment with a realtor tomorrow morning to look at this house:

    An honest-to-goodness Victorian mansion that I've been obsessing over all week. It is 3 stories, 6000+ square feet with 7 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 5 fireplaces, 3-4 stained glass windows, numerous built-ins, and two guest houses on the property (which we could use for rental income). Now clearly it needs a lot of work, which is my biggest hesitation (can you say money pit?!). It's not conveniently located either, which we could overlook if we weren't so scared about the sheer amount of work involved (new plumbing, new heating, new wiring, etc.). Nevertheless, the potential is incredible! I've dreamed, since childhood, of fully restoring an old Victorian, and this house surpasses everything I could have imagined. It's especially wonderful because the original features have been left mostly intact, which you sadly don't see much of anymore. Initially my husband was enthusiastic about the house, but now I'm afraid reality has set in; perhaps he'll be won over after looking at it?!


  1. Julie said...
    Wow! What a week! The house is absolutely gorgeous. We are going to be hatching chicks in May. Enjoy those little babies!
    Daisy said...
    Oh man, I'm green with envy. The beautiful church, the gorgeous house, the chickens... Sounds like you've been having an incredible few weeks.
    Moonbeam said...
    I love chicks! Chickens, not so much.
    The house is amazing. Can't wait to hear the update on that one.
    I hope everyone is feeling better next week.
    Gretchen said...
    Wow--look at that house!

    It was baby chick week for us, too. Fun!
    WildIris said...
    I think I would be obsessing about the house too. What a beauty! You've been busy too. I hope all are well soon.

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