The house really completely fell part last week -- it was more filthy than I think it's been since we moved in, almost four years ago. Apparently spending 60+ hours online in addition to my teaching work leaves essentially no time for housework. So much of yesterday was spent doing some deep cleaning, and while I wouldn't call it clean, we're almost back to presentable levels.
Yesterday I also finally revised "The Yellow Dress," my ten-minute play for Rasaka, and I was pretty happy with it. But now the director and actors have a few questions and suggestions for additional revision, so I'm waffling again. It's definitely much improved though, so that's something. I'm going to finalize it tomorrow, one way or another, which also means I can send off my application to Ragdale. I've been nominated for a two-week artists' residency there, in playwriting, which will be very cool if I get it. Two weeks in a lovely retreat, plus a $700 stipend, which would nicely cover the cost of the additional childcare Kevin will need to survive for two weeks without me. Cross your fingers for me.
Plan for today is mostly to prepare the mid-term for my students to take on Thursday. I've never made up a literature exam before -- this should be interesting. The students have been requesting multiple-choice, which, I admit, would also be easier for me to grade. But not, perhaps, the best test of their actual knowledge. Hmmm...it'll probably end up a mix of multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and short answers. They only have 80 minutes for this, and it's going to be closed-book, so there are limits to what I can reasonably expect them to accomplish in that time. (Interestingly, I offered them the option of open-book, and they pretty much said, "Hell, no." Although some of them were in favor of a one-page sheet of typed notes. Hmm... I still have time to allow that, so if you have thoughts one way or the other, or any other lit. exam sugestions, please weigh in.)
I do want to spend some time outside, once all that is done, given that it's going to an astonishing high of seventy degrees today. I had a bunch of bulbs that never made it into the ground last fall -- about half of them are thoroughly dessicated, and have been tossed, but the other half are actually sprouting. I was going to plant them indoors, but given this weather, I think I'm going to just stick most of them into the soil in the roof garden and see what happens. Did save a few hyacinths for indoors, though, mostly 'cause I love their scent and will be able to smell them better indoors than out. It's very windy on our roof much of the time.
I'm wondering if it's too late to start seeds this year. I have a bunch, plus a little Jiffy kit. Could just save them for next year -- advice?
This weather is just making me garden-crazy. I've ordered some of my spring plants already -- my favorites are this great deal on these David Austin English roses -- that works out to something like $10/rose bush after shipping, which is pretty fabulous. I loved my Christopher Marlowe the last two years, so I think it's time it had some company from some more old English roses. Nine rose bushes (plus some Happy Chappy groundcover and a double-decker tree rose) is going to make my roof garden a bit rose heavy this summer, but you know, that's okay with me. I sort of wish, sometimes, that I was the kind of girl whose favorite flower was something unusual, whimsical, odd -- hellebores, or columbines, or even lilacs or daffodils. But no, I hate to admit it, that while I love many many different flowers, I really do love roses best. Especially if they have a fabulous old scent, and/or change colors, like Happy Chappy, or Joseph's Coat.
I know it's too early to celebrate spring in Chicago, I know. It will get cold again -- we may even get some more frosts, killing all the new buds on the trees. But when it's so lovely out, it's hard not to be optimistic, to get excited about the coming warmth. And even better, it's a holiday! I hope all of you have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day today! Maybe we'll make some soda bread, or some corned beef and cabbage. Yum.