Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hot Stones Here I Come!

It is time for my spa weekend with Erin!!  I am so excited and a little nervous, too.  We are heading to Canyon Ranch tomorrow for 3 days of health, fitness and luxury.  I am so excited about the hot stone massage, the spa treatments, the hikes and the fitness classes, not to mention some quality sister time.  The grounds and surrounding area look amazing from the website and this should be a gorgeous weekend.  I'm looking forward to getting back on the exercise wagon and kicking off the next phase of my life.  I am so glad that my sister chose to share this weekend with me!

I am nervous (and a little excited) about the meeting I chose to set up with a nutritionist.  I want to lose some weight.  This has been an ongoing struggle for a few years now and I am ready to make some lifestyle changes to help with that.  I enjoy the working out and it's time to keep my eating habits from sabotaging that. 

So, I joke about how I want to drop 4 dress sizes this weekend...I really want to lose about 20 lbs by the time R&R comes around this February.  Today is DAY 1 of that journey.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Much Better Day!

Tuesday was definitely an improvement over Monday even though it was long.  I had a good day teaching (though that seems to be a given this year, my kids have been great!) and then got my after stuff done.  I got to the DMV to turn in my plates, got to the podiatrist and to back to school night. 

The podiatrist says I'm healing, but because of the location of the fracture, it's slowly.  I am cleared for shoes, but only as long as I'm pain free.  No heels, nothing crazy, but I planned for that.  I picked up a pair of black riding boots and a pair of Frye motorcycle boots that are fairly flat.  With good insoles I should be comfy and slightly more stylish.  The skirts and sneakers look just isn't for me!

Today was topped off with an email from my sister for this upcoming weekend.  We're going to Canyon Ranch for a few days and the plan looks AMAZING.  Spa treatments, nutrition and diet consults, lots of activity, I'm excited!

Tomorrow...dress down Wednesday.  I love a short week at school!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I miss shoes!

Sneakers are definitely comfortable but I am tired of them!!  I miss my heels and that good stuff.  So, because I am in need of some inspiration I started looking at shoes online.  They led me to a blog that I now follow.  Check out the shoes by Kobi Levi when you get a chance.  They are so interesting and really clever.

I would LOVE to have something like these but with them only being custom ordered, I think if I actually had them I'd be afraid to wear them.  They're called Coffee....of course!
So, I have a doctors appointment this's hoping I get good news and the clearance to wear something other than sneakers!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

One of those days

That I just couldn't get anywhere I needed to be in time!

1.  I was 10 minutes later to work than I wanted to be this morning.
2.  I missed getting into DMV by minutes this afternoon.
3. I called the insurance company to cancel the car insurance...and it can't be cancelled until the plates are turned in.  (See above)
4.  I called to make an eye doctor appointment...the first available one is NOVEMBER 29th.  Yup.  2 months from now.  Insanity.

However, my sister is taking me away for a very fancy trip this weekend so I'm looking forward to that.  Tonight I've been doing my homework and planning out some of the activities I want to try while we're away.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Aunt Eileen's Birthday

Last night was my Aunt Eileen's birthday celebration.  She threw herself a party which is just great!  The extended family (16 of us) met up for dinner in Harrison and had a great time.  The food was amazing and we all had a fantastic time.  Eileen looked absolutely amazing and was a great hostess.

One highlight of the party was the unexpected photos.  When we arrived at the dinner table Eileen had place cards out with photos of each of us from earlier and in my case, less attractive time.  They were surprising, cute and great conversation starters.

My mom, Aunt Kathy, sisters and I collaborated on a photo collage frame for Eileen featuring her over the years.  There were photos from before there were any kids to some just a few years ago.  We collected so many pics that we included a small album of all the extras that Erin put together.  Watching everyone go through the photos and reminiscing was a lot of fun.  The hairstyles, the "trendy" clothes and the very large glasses were especially funny!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Overseas Update

It's time for the latest from the big sandbox!

Anthony and I have been lucky enough to communicate fairly often.  Email. G-chat and Skype are all wonderful inventions and have made this deployment slightly easier.  I love seeing his face and knowing that things are going as well as we can hope for.

For the most part, he's doing well.  There are moments of "excitement" where he is but nothing serious.  They are pretty well fortified thank goodness!  The days are becoming very monotonous which is difficult.  He's compared it (many times) to the movie Groundhog Day.  Wake up, go to work, back to barracks, read/watch a movie, good to sleep.  Repeat a few hundred times.  The best break-up for this monotony is the daily mail.  He and the guys love their packages, cards and letters!

I'm trying to send stuff at least once a week and I make sure to email once a day.  It doesn't feel like enough but it seems to be working.  He got an email last night while we were chatting from someone he works with and it totally changed his tone of voice.  It was great to hear the different just a few sentences was able to make for him.  He doesn't get the chance to email often but the last one was focused on all the trips he wants to take when he's home.  Far away and still thinking about going away, gotta love it!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Miss Independent

I think I am too independent sometimes.  I have a really hard time admitting that I need help, especially when it comes to being emotional about things.  I had a crying jag just recently and it was all I could do to make myself call my friend Heather.  I was so glad that I did but it also made me realize that most times I don't call anyone.  It's hard for me.

I don't know how to get better about it but maybe that's something I need to learn this year.  I'm good at asking for help DOING things, like moving boxes or fixing house stuff I can't do.  I just feel like I never know what to say, or that whoever I call will be appalled by whatever stupid little thing it is that's set me off.  I also feel like I knew what I was getting into with this and I shouldn't complain.  And yes, I know anyone who knows me would tell me that I'm being ridiculous and to just maybe the next time you hear a sniffle on the end of a phone call, it'll be me.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Not enough coffee

Note:  I found this post tonight that I apparantly forgot to post Friday.  Oops!!  I guess I really hadn't had enough coffee!

Today there was just not enough coffee!!  I got in from Randall and Claire's wedding late last night and have to be up and at school at the "regular" time...not such a great combination.  However, it was a great night and totally worth being tired.

Care packages

My husband is almost more spoiled now that he's overseas that he was here.  His laundry is done for him, his food is prepared for him and he never has to do the dishes...maybe there is something to this Army thing! 

Now, I know he's making plenty of sacrifices over there and I'm only kidding about it.  The bags of gifts to be sent out in my living room certainly show how our family over here is supporting him.  My aunt, my parents and I have all picked up things to be sent overseas and the amount is fantastic! I have packed up 2 boxes to go out first thing tomorrow morning and I'm pretty sure I'll be able to send out 2 more at the end of the week.

I'm trying to spread them out; I know life gets monotonous for them and deliveries help break that up. So, I send out about a package a week.  Between those and daily e-mails I'm hoping to keep his spirits up and maybe even those around him.  I certainly hope he isn't eating all the oreo cookies alone!

The current challenge is finding new things to send...any suggestions?  We have sent cookies, beef jerky, sunflower seeds, magazines and a few other specific requests.  I need inspiration!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011



Yes, this is the stupidest post ever, but when I'm running around most days and I finally get to relax and watch some tv, it's so great to have good stuff to watch.  Parenthood starts tonight; Sons of Anarchy started last week; Top Chef Desserts and Project Runway are narrowed down enough that I remember who the contestants are.  Then more and more over the next couple of weeks.  There are some new shows that look pretty good, too.  What stuff do you all like to watch?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Always remember

South Orangetown Ceremony Flag
Yesterday was a long, periodically tough day.  I sang at 2 memorial services for 9-11, attended a third and made an appearance at a local college writing letters to Sarge's unit.  I was continually reminded of how much positive community activity has come from this tragedy.  10 years ago I was living in NC, teaching high school chorus when I found out what was happening in NY.  I think of it as the day I became a true "grown-up."  I was so far away and it really hit home how much of a New Yorker I truly am.

I started my day in Haverstraw and sang first, thank goodness.  That ceremony was pretty much a tear-fest from that moment on.  I recovered myself with a trip to the deli to see some of our friends before heading over to the Orangetown ceremony where I got just be "the wife" and observe and listen.  There were some true and heartfelt words that, again, brought me to tears.

My sister saved the day with a phone call at 1.  We went for a short walk (15 minutes is my limit) and then had lunch at Noonan's.  Yummy burgers and beer make for smiles and a little recovery from all the sadness.  Katie is awesome!

STAC students
My final 2 stops were less emotional, I think I was just wrung out by that time.  The stop at STAC to visit the college students writing to the unit was really positive.  The unit needs those notes and letters to keep them intact emotionally as was pointed out by the friend of ours who helped organize the drive.  (Thanks Jim!)

The Clarkstown ceremony was very formal.  Their Honor Guard is TIGHT.  I was impressed with the drill and ceremony...and I'm getting to be a good observer, though I don't think I could ever successfully do it.   Hudson Voices sang again and I think it went pretty well.  I know I was more together than I was during the morning's ceremony.

For those reading, keep writing.  Our soldiers need to hear from us, even if they don't have the time to write back.  They get our notes and it helps them get through another day.  Sarge recently compared their lives to the movie "Groundhog Day" where each day is exactly like the first.  Write and remind your soldier that there is life outside their base and routines.  They will appreciate it!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Another rainy day...

This is one of those mornings where there just isn't enough coffee.  I haven't been sleeping well, though I did get a solid 6 hours last night so I'm better than yesterday, and I'm running myself ragged at school.  I had an 8th period class yesterday...I have new respect for teachers who have that every day.  It wiped me out.  It's all good stuff...but yikes!  I am actually glad that I can come home Friday night, lie on the couch and catch up on DVRs. 

I have been saving the season premier of Sons of Anarchy for a time when I can watch the whole thing snuggled up with Hazel.  So excited!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What wakes you up?

It is COLD this morning!  I woke up all curled into the comforter which I haven't done in months and loved it.  I do wish it was a little sunnier these days, but I am so glad the cooler weather is here at night.  I love sleeping with the windows open and as much as I push that over the summer, it was nice to be comfortable.

I woke up in the middle of the night worrying about all of the things I need to do around this place in the next month or so. (There was a nightmare first but once awake I can't turn off my brain.)  There are all these little projects that need to be completed and I need to find the motivation to do it.  Replacing door knobs, finishing the trim in the bathroom, getting the living room painted and a few other things, all chores that I have been procrastinating on.  (And some that have been needed since before I moved here!)  This week I want to work up a plan to get them done before Halloween....maybe?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round

Happy first day of school!  Well, the first day with students.  I can tell you that speaking for many teachers, we get just as nervous and excited as the kids about the first day back.  Last night I packed up my lunch, set the coffee so it was brewing when the alarm went off this morning and re-planned my outfit.  It is much cooler than I had expected so the sundress is on reserve for Friday when it's supposed be 80 again.  Outfits are harder these days because of my limited choice in shoes.  I actually have no long pants that are short enough to wear with flats so my choices are capris and skirts until the boot leaves.  (Thursday, maybe?  Hopefully?)  I miss my heels!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Baking Bonanza

Banana Pumpkin Bread
Vanilla cake, Guiness caramel filling, Bailey's buttercream frosting

Homemade scones

The fruits of my Sunday morning....I only burned the caramel once, the 2nd time it came out pretty well.  I think I could have made it a little more solid but I was so afraid of burning it again!  Everything else was pretty basic, next time I try caramel I think a candy thermometer may be necessary. 

The cake and scones were for a family Irish BBQ.  My parents visted Ireland this past summer and we got to see their photos, drink Guinness, Jameson and Bailey's, and eat a variety of yummy food.  My kind of party!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I remember what I hated about performance

So I mentioned that I had an audition on Saturday morning.  What I did NOT mention was that I was nervous.  I didn't quite realize I was nervous until leaving the house.  I was right on time, dressed, made up and ready to go.  I get out to the car and discover that I've left the directions and my music on the couch.  So I run back to the condo to grab them and stand at the door trying to unlock it with the remote car key!  Yup, that's me, standing on the porch, beeping the front door.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

More singing!

So, pretty much what I voice is out of shape.  Summer does that, I don't sing every day so I just lose it.  However, in the next few weeks I'll be right back up there again. 

Results are that I was offered a understudy position for the role of Antonia in The Tales of Hoffman.  I haven't done anything like this in  years and the time commitment isn't too great so I think I'm going to take it.  I am a little nervous because I haven't performed like this in YEARS but I want to do something fun and new.  I was singing yesterday and this morning and I forgot how much fun opera is.  I used to love to do this and I don't remember when or why I stopped but I am happy to be back.

"The only thing better than singing is more singing." 
            -Ella Fitzgerald

Friday, September 2, 2011

Good luck weekend

I sold my car!!!!  So excited..and I should be able to put a little bit into savings after paying off the loan which is always nice.  It'll be the vacation fund for R&R with Sarge.  Yay!!!  I am a little sad because I do love my car and I'm not a huge fan of driving a huge car but I know I'll be happy for the all wheel drive this winter.  It also has the nifty little jack for my iPod that is a totally silly thing to miss, but I'll miss that too.  But, trying to stay positive, this really is a great savings for us for the next year.

I have an audition tomorrow for a local opera company...wish me luck!  It's role that would be fun, and I sang one of the arias in college so I'll be reviewing that today.  My only trouble will be that I know the piece in French and the performance is in English.  It'll be a big learning curve but if I get the part it'll be worth it.  It's kind of strange, I've never actually been IN an opera before so I'm hopeful.  It will be celebrated by a trip to a local Oktoberfest with Linda so I'm looking forward to tomorrow.  I'll let you know if I get the role and when to come see me sing, too.  Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

That's not my name

Our school district wide meeting was the morning and our music department started off the meeting with performances.  I sang the Star Spangled Banner with another one of the music teachers and managed to (almost) hold it together.  So, no joke, I got choked up 3 times in the space of about 5 minutes.  The pledge of allegiance started me off, then I looked over at Niamh while we were singing and almost started again, and then cried when it was over.  Is this ever going to stop?  I hope so because I'm singing at two 9-11 memorial services next weekend and I am going to need to keep it together.  Check back on the 12th to see if I do any better keeping myself together.

The superintendent acknowledged me and Niamh before her speech and mispronounced my last name. Then, at the staff meeting my principal mispronounced my name.  I laugh it off and my friends laugh with me but really??  It's not that hard.  I know, it's long, a whole 4 syllables, but it's phonetic.  There are no silent letters, no weird's a basic Italian last name.  Now, I may not respond to it immediately because it's still new, but c'mon!  As the the Ting Tings sing...That's Not My Name!