Welcome back, friend.
I'm glad you could stop by and visit. Did you notice something new? Well, my parents were by this morning and we were able to spruce up my apartment patio area with flowers, plants, and a new set of windchimes. Best of all, my mother gifted me a cafe table and chair that she had originally found by the side of the road. I had mentioned how I wanted to write outside more, but my furnishings at the time were less than ideal for it.
Cue my mother saying "Oh. I have a table out back that might work for that."
And, sure enough, it fits perfectly on the patio and is the right size to hold my laptop, a cup of coffee, and allow me to actually sit up in the chair instead of slouching over my portable lap desk.
My dad contributed to my patio make over by putting up some mesh wire so that my dog could not slip out between the bars and as of this writing he's currently lounging out here and enjoying the view with us.
We realized a little belatedly that I still needed one more pot and then also my cushions have seen better days. Mom ordered me a cushion for the chair that came with the table and I took care of going out to purchase a new pot and new cushions for the remaining chairs, as well as, a set of outdoor fairy lights to string along the railing. I even picked up a few small, decorative ceramic pots to set out on the two tables out here and I'm really enjoying the atmosphere I've created with my parents' help.
I can definitely see myself writing outside more often now -- at least as long as the weather stays brilliant like this. As you may know, the southern United States is notorious for getting far too hot and humid as the seasons shift towards summer. For the time being it's sunny and cool (65 degrees and windy), but that never lasts. Luckily, I did purchase a small fan to bring out with me and I think if I employ it during the summer it won't be too bad at all -- at least maybe not in the mornings or evenings.
Oh! I nearly forgot. Why don't you grab a cup of coffee or tea or even a glass of water -- which is what I'm having after all that redecorating -- and I'll tell you about some other aspects of my week.
This was the first full week back at school since Spring Break and I can tell the seniors are hanging on by a thread already. Lucky for them, they are nearly done, but I have them first thing in the morning so most days I got to start with whining or requests for a nap. I don't think they realize just how much of the course I've already had to cut since they leave at the end of April! There is no time for napping kids, I want to say.
Of course, the real struggle this week has been coming to terms with the terrible legislation that my state has passed. Our legislation in Arkansas has worked towards pretty much banning being a transgender individual in the state. I know Arkansas isn't the only state doing this, but the fact that we were one of the first and we were putting forward so many anti-trans bills, well, it makes me embarrassed to even admit that's where I live at the moment.
On the other hand, it only makes me want to be more vocal and blatant about being part of the LGBTQ+ community. For instance, I started wearing a rainbow pin to school every day as a gesture of support. I used to be afraid of being so open in a conservative school like the one I teach at, but I know I can't be the only person in the entire school that feels this way.
And, sure enough, as I was reading some papers this week I noticed at least two students being open about their sexuality with me. I think they're starting to realize that I'm someone they can turn to about these things -- even if they may not know that I'm asexual and a member of the LGBTQ+ community myself.
I honestly wish I had more asexual pride stuff though -- did you know that this past Tuesday (April 6) was International Asexuality Day? I didn't do much to celebrate, aside from sending in a poem in to a contest to celebrate. I did see an old post I made a few years ago where I vaguely alluded to discovering that label and embracing it as my own. Maybe next year I'll do something a bit bigger.
Let's see...aside from that I've just been trying to enjoy the outdoors more. A few days ago I took my dog, Cooper, out to a nearby park. On Friday I ate my lunch outside in the part of the school that our student council is going to be bringing some color to soon. And this morning I finally saw a hummingbird at my feeder! I was starting to worry they wouldn't come and while he didn't stay long, I was excited to see him out here. It means he'll come back -- I hope.
And I suppose that brings us full circle. This went a lot longer than I expected. I hope you'll join me again on another weekend.