Posts from the ‘real life’ Category

Getting my knit on

So I’ve got an accompanying job this week. For years now I’ve played many different Missoula Children’s Theatre productions around town. It’s a touring group of 2 that come and teach a week long musical to local students. Definitely a high quality experience and worth your time if one comes to your town. Anyway, I’ve played the piano for them for about 14 years now and marvel that I still haven’t repeated a show. Anyway, in the early stages of rehearsal I get a lot of knitting done. With the skirt finished, I needed a new portable project. I started the fair isle hat for my friend’s baby to be. It’s a free download from revelry. I’ll try to remember to post a link.

In other news, I got my first sunburn of the year. Woo. It was picnic day at school today and I sat outside with the kids. I so know better. Time to put a tube of sunscreen in the car for emergencies like that. I was wearing my compression sleeve so I now have a reverse truck driver tan. Again, woo.

And speaking of compression sleeves, a little girl asked me about mine at rehearsal.

I said,” the short version is that my arm doesn’t work quite like it should.”

She very seriously looked back at me through a darling pair of glasses and said, ” it’s ok. My eye doesn’t quite work like it should either. We’re lucky we caught it early. ” and skipped off to finish her dinner.


Spring Break so far…

Day 1:  Waiting all day for the dishwasher repairman.  The service window was 8-12.  He got here at 2 pm.  $300 bad keypad.  *sigh*  Watched a bunch of episodes of Fame (1982).  I so wanted too go to that school when I was a kid.  I even have a piano scarf like Bruno’s.  What’s funny is back then I used to identify with the students.  Now I identify with the teachers.  Think I’m getting old.  I’m quite sure one of my students is the reincarnation of Leroy Johnson.  I think what impresses me most about the show is the fact that they all did their own singing, dancing, and playing.  It wasn’t remastered a la Glee.  Lori Singer (Julie)  is actually a Julliard trained cellist.  Lee Curreri (Bruno) wrote a lot of the songs from the show.  Gene Anthony Ray (Leroy) got kicked out of the actual High School for the Performing Arts and was never formally trained to dance.

Day 2:  Dr. Appointment – I’m a healthy fat person.  Woo?   I guess it’s better than having cancer.  Anyway, it inspired me to get moving so I played  Just Dance with the kids.  Which led to this:

I’m pretty sure I’m keeping this video forever.  It makes me happy.


Today is Day 3:  Think we’ll head to the park and have a picnic.  Think I’ll bring the camera.  🙂


Sometimes I think the world feels ominous.  Where is my breaking point?

First, there was Kim.

Then there was a former student, who passed away suddenly last week.

My mother had surgery on her heart this week.  She is doing well.  Thank goodness.  Hopefully out of the ICU tomorrow.  Every time I see her she is better than the time before and I am confident she is going to be all right.

On the layover to my parents’, I got a call from my friend at school.  A whole family died in a car crash.  All of them.  Three sweet boys from my classes and their parents.  Gone.  It doesn’t seem real.  Then I see their pictures in the news.  I just talked to them.  On Thursday.  They were all standing outside the teacher’s lounge, presumably to go to the basketball game the oldest was playing in.  The oldest was really excited about his classes’ music project.  He very badly wanted me to add a Michael Jackson song to the line up.  And was so persistent in trying to get me to play “Keyboard Cat” on YouTube.  The middle boy, always quick with a smile, was learning recorder.  Always trying his very best.  And the little one had just finished his first big music program.  He was so serious.  Like a little grown up.  I’m pretty sure he remembered everything I ever taught him.

I feel like the world is ominous.  And heavy.  While I’m here supporting my parents through my mom’s surgery, I’m not really dealing with the grief of my lost students, but I know it’s going to catch up to me soon.  Most of the time it’s easy to focus on other things, but each time I think about returning to school on Thursday, I see their faces.  And I am enormously sad.


Why is it that I can’t get the childproof cap off the bottle of ibuprofen when I need it –

And the bottle somehow manages to get open in my purse on its own?

What is it about February that sends children into a frenzy?

My friend in the mental health field says that problems are significantly higher in February than any other month.


I miss knitting.  And my knitting peeps.  I have at least 3 projects on the needles and I have no idea when they’ll get done.

Merry Christmas 2010

A friend of mine on Facebook used the Year in Status Collage application and pondered if it was going to replace our Christmas letters.  I played with it and found it gave a pretty accurate snapshot into what my year had been like.  It reminded me of things I had already forgotten.

My dad says that the adult years pass so quickly, and he is right.  Things happen.  Funny things.  Sad things.  Stressful things.  Lucky things.  It’s weird seeing it summed up by short witty Facebook phrases.

I’ve just finished my first year back teaching music.  Loving it.  My students inspire me to become better at my craft.  It’s so strange the differences between being a young single teacher and now a not so young mama teacher.  My mama and teacher voice are starting to sound similar.  Heh.  I used to rely solely on the piano as my accompaniment but I’ve started using guitar (Thanks Marcy for the loan!) much more often.  (I think Santa might be bringing me one this year!)

The husband is still working for the same company.  As I understand it, he’s starting to work more internationally (there have been conference calls to India!)  We both feel very fortunate to be working when there’s so many people looking for jobs these days.  He is a patient patient man who has been very supportive with all the changes this year. 

The girl is in second grade and now a proud member of Prep Choir of the Colorado Children’s Chorale.  She has learned many of the same songs I learned back in the ’80s when I was in CCC.  They do way more choreography now, though.  So cute!  The husband and I went to the Christmas Concert.  When I asked her what it was like to sing at Boettcher Hall, her eyes grew wide and she answered, “Awesome.”  Yep.  She’s my kid.

The boy is in his last year of preschool and continually cracks us up with his antics.  I especially enjoy his dance maneuvers.  I often forget what a big boy he is, and am surprised when he uses grown up words and phrases with his little boy lisp.  Lately, the kids have been playing Harry Potter and my favorite spell he uses is “Potato!” (Protego!)  It is quite a sight to see, the boy running around, Tinker Toy wand in hand, shouting “Potato!”

This year we also welcomed my sister and her family to stay with us.  It’s pretty much a sitcom waiting to happen, but times are hard and when we can help, we should.  Sometimes people think we’re crazy, but I cherish this time with my family.  We get to hang out with other adults (we trade babysitting), my children get to have a great relationship with their cousins, and I get a baby fix without having to actually have one.  🙂

Like my dad says, it all goes by pretty quickly and life at our house is anything but boring. 

So my Christmas wish for you, my friends, is that 2011 is chock full of not boring things and witty Facebook statuses.  What is the plural of status, anyway?

PS  You’ll notice (the boy often uses this phrase) I did not mention the C word this year.  In fact, I think this year, the C word is Crazy.  Heh.  Or Christmas.  Or even Cookie.  As in, I have not actually made any Christmas cookies this year and it’s now Christmas Eve.  Oops.  Or Card.  As in, I have not actually sent out my Christmas cards.  Maybe everybody gets Valentines this year.


So I’ve been seeing the usual gratitude postings for Thanksgiving this year and have decided to join in.

Today I am grateful for large arm chairs, for mine allows me to cuddle with both my not so tiny babies before bed.


Lost and Found

So a couple of weeks ago, my sister calls me and says, “You’ll never guess what I found!”

“My Charmed Knits!”‘

“Um.  No.  But you’ll be really excited.”

“More excited than if you’d found my Charmed Knits?”

I believe there was some eye rolling that I couldn’t see over the phone.  Heh.

So remember the camera I lost back in 2009?  It turns out I must have put it in the jogging stroller zippered pocket.  Now here’s the super amazing thing.  I gave that stroller away.  And before I did, I hosed it down.  And my sister’s friend then hosed it down again.  And then looked in the pocket and found the camera – which still works!

So I have pictures of L during Tae Kwan Do (the only day she didn’t cry, I might add).

But the happy finding things, doesn’t stop there.  I DID find my Charmed Knits book.  Sitting on the filing cabinet.  In my room.  Where I know I looked several times.  I think it was under an invisibility spell.

And here’s the kicker.  I went to take a picture of the old camera for this post.  And I can’t find it.


I’ve written about this before (I think.  Or at least I meant to.) but each time I have surgery I have this urge to get everything ready.  Which is funny because I never get it all done.  So here’s what I’ve accomplished so far.

1.  Kids are signed up for swim lessons.  I completely failed at getting them signed up at our local pool.  The lessons fill up ridiculously fast because our pool is somewhat warmer than the others in the area.  So my kids are going to the famously freezing pool in July.

2.  I’ve been watching season 2 of Lost on netflix while I’m doing laundry.  I love the love story of Rose and Bernard.  🙂  And strangely, my washing machine is starting to sound like the smoke monster when it’s on the spin cycle.  Which then makes me wonder if that’s what they used for its sound on the show.  Hmm..

I loved the Lost/Target ads.  I’m pretty sure we single handedly keep Target in business.

3.  I made a truck load of chocolate chip pancakes to freeze for the kids breakfasts while I’m recuperating.  The girl is pretty good at using the microwave now. 

4.  I am lucky to have such amazing friends and family.  One of these years, I am not going to be the high maintenance friend.  I promise.  My brother and his girlfriend brought us food already and my friends at church have set up a dinner calendar.  My sister is taking the kids while I’m in the hospital (no small feat as that means 5 children under 7, one of which is a baby.)  John’s family also are helping out with the kids after I get home.  Did I mention how grateful I am?


So today I’m 36.  I’m sort of ambivalent about it.  I woke up feeling weird and disconnected and it sort of hasn’t left me.

School was fine.  I did have a little kid freak out in class and have to get sent home.  I’ve never had that happen before.  Mostly I just feel bad for the little guy that his life is so crappy he felt he needed to pick a fight in music class to establish his credibility.  Which, of course, it didn’t and now he’s in trouble.  *sigh*  I shouldn’t focus on the one negative incident since I had a lovely day with the rest of the kids, but I think it’s something inherent in teachers to want to help the ones that need help.

As for the ambivalence, I think it’s like a friend posted on my Facebook wall.  (Yes, Rex, I’m going to quote you.)  Heh.

“I think our souls never age, and are amused as they watch the rest of ourselves get older.”

Sometimes I think I’m 12, enjoying the music games as much as the kids.  Then they will yank me back to adulthood by needing me to referee.  Sometimes I am 80, with my joints and back creaky from Tamoxifen, but then later I’m back to my teens, playing Mario Kart with the boy.  I guess I just don’t feel defined by a number anymore.

It is, however, a good excuse to eat cake.

Mmm.  Cake.

What I did on Tuesday, or how I broke my ankle.

Yesterday, I was feeling pretty good.  Got up on time, got dressed, decided to wear a skirt and tights (which those who know me well, know I almost never do), kids got ready on time.  We went outside to walk down to daycare and L said, “Mom watch out, it’s icy!” A little too late.  I turned my ankle so well it chipped off some of the bone on the inside.  Now, as an adult, I very rarely cry (cancer crap excepted) but I bawled.  Scared my poor friend at school to death when I called her.  Luckily, they were able to find a sub (kudos to that person for taking middle school music without a lesson plan!)  I couldn’t go in with the doctor until 11:45 am and then she definitely wanted some xrays.  So the husband (who took the day off to help me.  awesome guy.)  drove me over to the imaging center, where all the patients were sitting in the dark.  Due to a power outage.  Yep.  I know.  Anyway, so then they transferred all of us to the hospital to get our scans there.  So yeah.  I broke my ankle.   I have a couple days on crutches with an ace bandage until the swelling goes down, then they’ll give me a boot thing.  *sigh*