Monday, July 30, 2007


Does anyone else have trouble with transitions? I thought I was doing well and commented on it in an email to Gina. Here's an excerpt from my email to her of my lastest fiasco:

(This refers to the musical group Celtic Woman)
.....Reading the bios of the singers was a very humbling experience for me. So much for my dreams of being a celtic woman. Either that, or I'm going to have to start performing a lot more, because I'd have a lot of catching up to do. Can we say auditions?! Ooo, that's a bad word in my vocabulary.

I spoke too soon; Hubbie and I argued last night. I was upset over the mess (which made it hard to find things and put away), and knew I was tired, so I should have went to bed. But I had to pop off one comment about never having to deal with as big of a mess at gina's (even with dishes and all). Quit your laughing! In hindsight, it is sort of funny.

I went to bed and calmed down, but Hubbie started slamming things around putting them away, for an hour (it was a big mess), so I couldn't go to sleep knowing he was upset. And so on it went until we started yelling at eachother.

But that really wasn't a transition arguement, that could have happened at any point in time. I was upset though because I was trying hard to ease back into reality as painlessly as possible.

I was having a hard time because I left the house clean, but came home and couldn't turn around without 10 things on every flat surface screaming at me to put them away.

Actually if that confrontation hadn't happened last night, it would have happened today, because my parents just called and they're coming down for a surprise visit. I would have been flipping out trying to clean that mess up.

Hubbie left a very nice apology letter on my computer, and I'm sorry as well, so things will be ironed out. Sometimes though, I just wish I had my own mess to clean up....

So began my trip back to real life, but hey, things are looking up!

Gina and I (and bass recorder). Notice I don't have the "big sister stranglehold" around her. Guess my little brother and I are too far apart in age for me to have aquired it.

Thought this pic of my daughters is a funny comparison to the one above.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Here I am, Home again

Home at last, after the grueling 350 mi drive. I only got lost once. I never used to get lost. I must be losing my touch. It's because I insist on taking back roads in NY. Loud Rock Music kept me awake during the drive on I 79 between Erie to the PA Turnpike, the most boring stretch of road I have ever experienced. At least in WV you can look for old log cabins and the beautiful mountains.

The Third thing I did when I got back was take a nice long bath. We'll leave numbers one and two unspoken, only to say that it may have involved the 6 bottles of wine I brought back from NY. I am enjoying a sweet Niagara white wine right now.

It's a big improvement over that Martini I had at our past Thursday night dinner. So I'm uneducated about drinks. And I ordered the first thing that pops into my head, probably too many James Bond movies. I was being quite discreet about it until Gina wanted a sip and made a horrible face. My friends at the table sent it back while I was on the phone to have it remixed with something sweet.

Friday at Eastman we had our final performance, our farewell also. I'd traveled through all three Orff levels with 6 of my classmates, and it was bittersweet. I had waited so long for my Orff Certification, but it was sad knowing that I wouldn't be traveling up to NY to see them again. I can go up to visit, and I will, but what we had was very special. One forms a bond with people that they work closely and intensely with for two weeks. You all are such accomplished teachers, I'm proud to say I'm a collegue with you. I love you all, and I'd better either a. stop blogging at this point, or b. quit drinking that wine.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Genesee Country Village and Museum

We went to a historical outside museum on Sunday. We could have spent a few days here. Here are some of the pics from the Genesee Country Village and Museum in NY.

Sarah's knitting in the backseat on the way there.

These women were very friendly. We enjoyed watching them work.

Freshly dyed

There were many types of musicians.A limber jack.

A Civil War Reenactment

There were a number of beautiful historical homes trucked in from elesewhere and set on a foundation. They were set up like a village or a town. We were able to tour many of the buildings.

I had a great time and hope to visit again.

Half Circle Tuesday

This post is for Gina's friend Sarah, who is extremely talented in many areas, textile arts being one of them. This is my "half circle" skirt and here are are the directions for making one.

The three of us went to the Genesse Country Village and Museum on Sunday. We had a wonderful time. I will post pictures. I just need to go get some homework done right now.

We had a great time at our English Country Dance last night. It was a blast, but I'll be taking Advil today!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I am, The Other Woman

I've been thinking about how to diplomatically blog about this, you know, you don't want to post anything you wouldn't want on the front of the newpaper, and so on. But I figure I'm just going to go for it.

So, some of you may know how excited I am about my new music teaching job. It was a long time coming. I was a permanent sub the second half of this past school year, and when the job came up for bid, I bid on it, and got it. There was also a second permanent sub in our district who also bid on her job and got it, let's call her teacher "B".

Henceforth: enters the third, in our little music teacher triangle. Another girl, a wonderful out of state teacher whom I like very well, put in her bids on both jobs, we'll call her teacher "C". I and a professor friend mentioned "C" to my principal and we were rooting for her to get the second music job. Well, she didn't as you already know....however all three of us, the professor friend, "C", and myself happen to be at this same school at this same time. I'm taking the advanced level of our course, and "C" is taking the first level.

So, professor friend and I are discussing my excitement over my new job. Along comes teacher "C". We ask her if she had bid on any of the music jobs in our area.

"Oh yeah," loud voice, "I bid on both of them but the board never even called me. They put "teacher B" in one of the jobs and just swung SOME WOMAN into the OTHER JOB...!"

Silence. Professor friend is the first to break it to "C",

"Lydee here, is THE OTHER WOMAN."

"Oh...I mean...they told me she was 54....she's been around forever...."

(Gina's in the background trying not to crack up. Houston, we have a problem.)

Yeah, so I rooted for this child. I tell her it's okay, I had a similar situation happen to me just two short years ago. After all, I've "been around forever."

I am, however only 29.

I think I'll enjoy being THE OTHER WOMAN. (Sexy grin, evil laugh)

What was that smell last night?

Ahh, I slept well last night. I've been up late every night composing pieces and writing lesson plans for our class, and practicing recorder. I'm sleeping on my mat on the floor in Gina's apartment and I woke up in the middle of the night. What is that smell wafting through the windows? It wasn't cigeratte smelled kind of sweet...and then I could hear the guy who lives below Gina. He was chanting like. But the word chanting wouldn't do his tone of voice justice. The only way I can think to describe it, from my pentacostel upbringing, it sounded like he was speaking in tongues. And it was just as loud as though he had an urgent message from God.

I was ferverently wishing for Gina's earplugs. Clue: if roommate goes to bed wearing earplugs- buy some!

My sleepy overworked brain put two and two together and deduced that wafting smell was weed and the gentlemen below Gina was indulging himself in a little weekend vacation to the netherworlds. I offered up a prayer to above mentioned God for me to get some sleep.

And so I did. But I couldn't avoid that wafting smell. Perhaps that's why I slept so well? Perhaps, I shouldn't drive today. I wonder what the effects are of second hand weed smoke? Hmmm....

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wicked Wednesday

My friend Gina (who has so graciously allowed me to invade her home for the next two weeks) is quite frustrated that no one will play the "wicked hard" recorder music in an ensemble with her. Perhaps, Sophanne you could come up and be her recorder buddy. She's dying to use her bass.

I'm in the "wicked easy" recorder group. However I am playing the tenor recorder (it's gina's, she has one of every flavor), so two toots for me! I'm not a completely incredible sissy.

So sorry I haven't posted earlier today. Not functioning this morning because I was up late writing melodies in modes. Bless your heart if you haven't heard of modes. I wish I hadn't heard of them either. They're running through my head, day and night, making wrong notes sound right, and if you're hearing this in a recitative you understand why I can't sleep!
Because of the music in my head! In my bed!
Heaven help me I just can't quit composing,
Somebody needs to turn me off.

The weird things are starting in class. Today I noticed the beginnings of irritation and frustraton. It will grow and eventually resolve itself. We hope so anyway, we really are a nice fun-loving bunch. Alas, strange atmospheric twinges surround teachers who work together 8 hours a day for 10 days in a row with stretched-to-the-max creativity and tired bodies.

By the way, I'm eating well up here. Java's coffe/sandwich shop is an incredible treat with funky service to match. I can't help leaving them a tip! hey, they remember me, what more do I want? I did discover that I get really strange after a double shot of expresso-latte. Two toots! Ha ha!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Tuesday at Eastman

My first day wasn't too bad. I survived the homework (and I'm done before midnight!) and I'm actually not as bad at recorder as I thought I was. It really is fun! I forgot how much fun we had in recorder class last year, until we got together again this year.

I took an online quiz what be your nerd type and it says I"m a music geek, even when I tried answering so that it wouldn't say that! Imagine being in the room with 20 music geeks. That's our class. Weird things can happen... and by the end of week two they will...will keep you posted.

Monday Here I Am

350 mi of driving. 7 1/2 hours on my butt. Got lost twice. (And this is my third time up here!) Finally, I am in Rochester, NY. Today is our first day of classes at Eastman.

I think this is such a beautiful area. As usual I stopped in Dunkirk, NY and stretched my legs. There is a park on the beach of Lake Erie. (Pictures below, click on any to enlarge) What is it that I love about this particular spot? I think it's the element of surprise. As a native Pittsburgher, we always joked about Lake Erie being a garbage dump. And then, of course, it's inland. And I'm not accustomed to living along the Great Lakes. So, such beauty from such an unexpected place adds to the pleasure and surprise.

More later...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Sleepy Saturday

Okay, I'm packing...or supposed to be. Packing for a two week trip while being reasonable is not easy. I managed to pry myself away from the sewing machine late last night. Compulsive shopper wanted to take lots of newly made clothes with her. I completed a half circle skirt, a pair of knee lengh shorts based on my pants pattern (the pants turned out fine BTW), and butchered a perfectly good piece of material trying to make a circle skirt squared off. I finally had to admit defeat on that project and go to bed.

Anyway, I'm pleased with what I am taking. Now I need to pack! And be reasonable.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thursday, thursday

Hubby ran in a 5K last night. We went with him; it was out of town. He placed second in his age group. He didn't beat his time though because the course was quite hilly.

This cracked me up: all of the contestants recieved, along with a free tee shirt, a beer mug and the offer of free beer if they take it to the local sports bar after the race! So all the runners are going to go drink beer and eat pizza after the race!

On the sewing front, I finished my first pair of pants, painstakely hemmed them, and then washed the woven cotten/linen material. yeah, okay, so I'm not the brightest bulb on the planet (the pants shrunk and ended above my ankles). I think I have enough hem to let it out and redo. But I was so disgusted, I took a nap instead.

The pic above are the pants before the wash. They are baggy, so in all fairness, they do fit better now. (My hair's a mess, I should have cut my head off of that one.) It's another slapdash sewing book project. Who would have thought? That book was copywritten in the 70's! Onto more skirts today after I fix the !@##%&^(*@! hem.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wonderful Wednesday

Ok, lest you all get consumed with jealously, I'd better explain that my two week trip out of town is to take a music educator's class in Rochester, NY at Eastman School of music. It's fun but all day long and incredibly intense: composing and arranging music for children, practicing one of 3 stupid recorders, and that's just our homework.

Those of you that know me well, know that I describe myself as instrumentally impaired. This has changed somewhat as I learned to "fake book" play on the piano, and learned enough guitar to get me through my day...I estimated that on a typical work day, I spent 3 solid hours playing guitar. My calluses have just peeled off. That means during the summer, I don't do a darned thing (with instruments anyway).

So, I approach the class with joy and trepidation. This is my third class of this type. I've taken the various levels in this course every other summer. It is a wonderful break from the kids, and this is one of those times when I get to rediscover myself. I am immersed in my love for music and movement.

By the middle of the second week though, I miss my daughters horribly. I remember asking the wife of one of the class participants if I could hold her baby. Of course she said no because I was a stranger to her. I was disappointed though because I just needed to hold a baby in my arms!

The harderst part has proven to be the transition coming home. I go from no family responsibilities for 2 weeks to once again having 2 daughters and a hubby who are needy and have missed me intensely. If only there were some way to ease back into motherhood with out that jolting shock. It's complicated by the fact that hubby interprets my difficulties as me not wanting to be with them.

I think he'll come around though. He's a good hubby. He's come to realize that meds have helped balance the chemicals in my brain, thus eliminating many of the blowups and meltdowns I'd have due to PMDD and PTSD (nasty little car accident I was involved in; the guy who hit me was DOA, but that's another story).

Anyway, this is getting long. Check out the PMDD link. Any info on it is very interesting.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What day is today anyway?

Wow! The summer is rushing by. I'm preparing for a two week trip by myself, no kids or hubby. I leave on Sunday, and I plan on blogging the whole time. More about that later.

I enjoy baking, especially bread. I toss the ingredients in the bread machine, let it do the kneading and raising work, then I take it out and shape it. LOVE IT! Here is a sample of what I baked yesterday: Hoagie buns (Sub buns, I guess "hoagie" is a Pittsburgh thing).We had meatball "hoagies" for dinner. Delish!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Picture Day

Today is a good day for pictures. Click on any for full size.
My little monkey
Bibi and Emmy in their new outfits

Pretty Emmy
My two cheeseheads
Bibi and her various moods

The field behind our house
View from our front porch

Friday, July 6, 2007

Friday, woo hoo!

I don't have much to talk about, and I have a lot to talk about, it's just not all on the same subject.

Sewing: Bibi and Emmy now have matching outfits. Now it's time to start on me again. I want to make pants, but I'm scared to start. Slapdash sewing does not use tissue paper patterns, it just draws right on the fabric. I use disappearing marker. I bought a tissue paper pattern this week and promptly freaked out. No wonder more people don't sew!

"I see lots of pinning and tracing in your future."

Don't think sew! (Ha! Ha! couldn't resist the pun). I'd rather draw shapes on my fabric.

I visited the den of evil yesterday, the goodwill auction site. This is the site that introduced me face to face with "compulsive shopper". She'd always been there, but I hadn't formally met her. This site is more cumbersome to navigate, but it's incredibly easy to bid and win. It's not as busy as ebay, and if you're ebay savy, you can beat the novices bidding on the goodwill site. Umm, from the tone of my writing, I guess you can tell "compulsive shopper" likes ebay too.

And so, I came away with a picture. Compulsive shopper (I need to give her a name) says it was a great deal too. I told her to shut up. Where am I going to hang a 36" by 24" beach oil painting? I wanted one for my bathroom, but maybe not quite that big. It's the art section that gets me every time. The kids toys, books and movies call me as well.

In all fairness, I did find some really good stuff on there. I just need to keep myself in check.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Emmy's Hearts

I had hoped to show some nice pics of fireworks, but I forgot the most important item for night photography: a tripod! My pics looked like a toddler had drawn the fireworks, no offense daughters. Oh well, next year.

I did make a little outfit for Emmy, a halter shirt and skirt. The shirt actually fits my younger daughter, so today I'll make a new one for emmy, giving her a little more room, and a little skirt for Bibi (nicknames).

The skirt was quite easy. Emmy chose the fabric. She's been after me to make this for her, she's excited to wear it.

Here is emmy and "Dipsy". Dipsy is actually called Dixie, you know, like "Winn Dixie" from the movie, but the girls have trouble with the name. Bibi calls her "Dickie"!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Is it going to storm? It looks dark out this morning. Wait, it's only 6:30 am...

Oh, the joys of summer and sleeping in. I'm up at 5:30 when I'm teaching.

I was going to sit in the "man chair" and blog, but decided to sit on my porch instead. My husband built a lovely covered porch that I should use more often than I do.

I love the morning sounds: the birds singing, the turkey gobbling, the tractor putt-putting up our hill to make hay in the field behind our house; and the stupid cows mooing...I swear, every morning that I come out here to enjoy the sounds of nature, those stupid cows start their thing. The farmer must feed them at 7 am. I can't see them, but their beautiful sounds carry. Oh great, now there's a whole chorus of them.

You know, as a music teacher that would make a funny analogy: YOU ALL SOUND LIKE A BUNCH OF COWS AT FEEDING TIME! Since I work in a semi-rural school, they'll know what I mean!

Sorry, I haven't had enough coffee to be nice yet...I'm a city raised girl who insists on living in the country. That could take an entire post, but at this point in the morning I would be quite snarky about it, so we'll leave it be. One advantage though is that I can walk on my porch naked and no one will see me...except the farmer putt-putting up the hill on his tractor. Excuse me, I have to go put a shirt on...

So on the project front: The long-awaited sewing maching arrived at last this past Friday. LOVE IT! (add in the Dragon Tails character singing that phrase and you'll know how I hear LOVE IT in my head) It's great, I've made 2 skirts and 4 shirts to date, all from the slapdash sewing book. Can I wear everything I've made? No.

Well, in fairness, a shirt and skirt are for my daughter, and the skirt turned out well. The shirt/halter top? It doesn't cover enough, and that's on my 4 year old daughter. Same with mine. Slap Dash sewing must assume one has the body proportions of a 12 year old.

However the second skirt and modified halter top I designed myself (taking my body proportions into account), with a generous amount of elastic turned out great!

Am I supposed to show my head? I see all these pictures with no head, but a full lenght pic would look funny without a head.

The fabric I used was very forgiving, and so is elastic. Did I mention the liberal use of elastic? Hey, my first project I can wear; I'm so proud of myself! Slap dash sewing, here I come!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Reminiscence: Mother-Daughter Relationships

My favorite picture of my mom and dad

As a prelude and note of explaination to this post, you should check out uberstrickenfrau's post: I dreamed I was a Rock Goddess...but I got Stoned.

I began to comment on her comment on my comment and all comments, etc, but thought a post would be easier.

That is definitely something I would have done to my mother.

Yarnhog if you want ideas for your own children, my mother has some doozies!

Frau, I can tell you have a nice relationship with your daughter. It reminds me of my mother and I. I see the humor in it, maybe because my mother and I have done stuff like that to eachother, LOL! Like the time she packed baby food in my lunch for school, or the time she put the rubber fishing worms (minus the hooks!) in my pb&j sandwich in my school lunch. The worms, neatly disguised, were especially disgusting.

Or the time she put saran wrap on the toilet, cedar chips in my box of cereal, or would hold the phone extension over the toilet and flush it when she thought I'd been on the phone with a boy too long...

You know how some moms are stage moms? Not my mom. Oh yeah, I could sing, but so could she and she had a guitar and a wicked sense of humor to go with it. Mom had a whole act for us ready to go for all the times people would ask her to sing for church functions and whatnot.

It included "You've Gotta Have Skin" to the tune of "You've Gotta Have Heart" (you've gotta have skin, all you really need is skin....and when the doctor know's that you're feelin' sick, where does he stick his needle in? In the end of your skin).

She found two rubber chickens for us to coreograph into the song.

And there was "God Bless my Underwear" to the tune of "God Bless America". God bless my underwear, my only pair. I adore them but I tore them on the nail of the old rocking chair. From the front seam to the back seam I tore them beyond repair. God bless my underwear, my only pair.

Of course, Mom couldn't leave out the props for God Bless My Underwear: long red union suits attached to broom poles that we'd wave like flags.

She had an entire arsenal of songs like that. I think she got them from the original "Praire Home Companion" radio shows they had on in the early 80's.

I did have fun singing with her despite the occasional embarassing moment (like the time the mayor showed up for the church dinner & show).

Mom taught me not to take myself so seriously! Or, maybe that's how she got her revenge on me....

About This Blog

Hmm, seems somewhat redundant. I'm a mom of 2 lovely ladies. I'm the wife of a triathlete machine. I'm a general music teacher in a public school. I like to take pictures of things, especially things i consider beautiful. I like to share. As long as it isn't food. Enjoy!

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