27 September 2008

Pat's Visit

It's been a hectic start to the year. Can you believe fall semester is already 1/3 over?

We really enjoyed our visit with George's mum, Pat. Although I spent most of the time studying and at school, George and Pat got out and about to see a bit of the Seattle area.

Much of Pat's trip was actually a working vacation. She is an incredible gardener, and - lucky for George and I - she was anxious to get her hands on our very sad and empty garden. We planted new grass in the spring, but we hadn't done anything with the surrounding flower beds.

In the main part of the back yard, she put together a lovely set of beds full of really beautiful, colorful plants. In the mix are hummingbird-attracting fuschias, hostas, plumbago, tickseed, cone flowers, bleeding heart, eupatorium, crocosmia, silver mound, garden aster, alumroot, and walker's low. Click on the pictures to get a better look. We're already seeing more birds, bees, and other pollenating creatures, so we really hope all these flowers will withstand our local squirrels and cats. We know they'll die off as the weather gets cold, but Pat assures us that we'll have all this wonderful color back in the spring.

Even better, Pat developed a plan for our garden that we can work on when we have time and money and that she can work on when she comes back. When it's all finished, we'll have several distinct areas in the back (including a section with New Zealand plants), a deck off the back, a utility area to one side, a bit of privacy from taller plants in the front, and perhaps a veggie patch to the other side. I can't wait to see how it all develops!

Just before Pat left, she and George planted a very special tree in our front/side yard: a feijoa (aka pineapple guava). George really misses having them, so we really hope that we're able to grow a little bit of New Zealand here in Kirkland. I'm particularly fond of this photo of mother and son wearing matching shirts, glaring at the feijoa as if they're demanding that it grow well. We'll see how it works out next summer. Hopefully we'll have lots of fruit on our feijoa tree.

Even though that's the only specifically Kiwi plant Pat put in during this go-around, George and I think of her every time we see the garden. Pat, thank you for sharing your time and gift of the green thumb with us!

06 September 2008

2L: Prepare to be worked to death

I'm finding the start of my second year challenging. Supposedly, 1L is the hardest part of law school; however, after experiencing 2L for just two weeks, I have to say that it's a strong contender.

Admittedly, much of the stress I'm feeling is the product of my decisions. My load consists of the maximum allowable credits (3 4-credit classes, a 1-credit clinic, and 3-credit legal writing II). I'm also applying to (and hopefully interviewing at) a few local firms that are hiring clerks for next summer. Adding insult to injury, class periods have changed from 50 minutes to 110 minutes...so my attention span is really being tested.

On the bright side, I can feel myself slowly adjusting. My legal writing II course (reputed to be very difficult and demanding) is off to a good start with glowing reviews during my practice oral argument. Since I have managed to schedule Mondays without class, I know it's possible to tackle what I've undertaken if I manage my time wisely. With any luck, I might even be able to carve out a life outside of school. :-)

Speaking of life outside of school, George's mum, Pat, arrived from New Zealand last Friday. She's been on the Olympic Peninsula at an elderhostel for the last week, but, after she returns, I hope to get away from my school work and enjoy as much as possible of her last two weeks here.