Saturday, March 31, 2012

Snow Day for Running

Awake, ready to go out and it's snowy.  Dammit!  So, I'll run tomorrow when my chances of being sprayed by a salt truck and just have another cup of coffee.  This 10K training is just not going as well as I wanted...and yes, I realize that much of that is my own fault.  Have a good weekend!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Weekday Running

I had 2 runs planned for this week.  I didn't do either of them...why not?  I do so well with my long runs on the weekends but have trouble making myself run during the week right now.  The weather has been fine, I've been busy but that's nothing new, what gives?  I am going to aim to do better next week because the 6 mile run this weekend need back up. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I passed!!!

Scores came out just a little while ago and I passed my School District Leader exam.  Yippee!!!!

Test Stress

Tonight between 5 and 10 I get the scores on the first of my administrative exams.  I am very nervous as much as I know there isn't anything I can do now.  I actually feel more stress over getting the score than I did about taking the test itself.  Is that weird?

I think that the days when you knew that the scores would eventually show up in the mail made this easier.  I haven't slept through the last couple of nights because of having this stuff on my mind!!  When I was in high school and college I had no idea when to expect my SAT and then various teaching test grades so there was no stress.  (I am just realizing how many standardized tests I've taken!) Then again, there was less stress in general so maybe that was another part of it.

Tonight's goal is to sneak in a 3 mile run.  A white shirt and staying on sidewalks may be necessary if it's late but I need it!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Two New Bundles

Less than 2 weeks ago both my SiL and a lifelong friend had baby girls on the same day.  I am very lucky to be an aunt again and am so glad both little girls arrived happy and healthy.  Both girls had excited entrances and weighed about the same.  10 fingers, 10 toes and super cute!  I also love that though the parents don't know each other they gave their daughters rhyming names. 

Welcome to the world Chloie and Zoe!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Relaxation in Many Ways

Saturday was just about perfect.

I started my morning with a walk to the chiropractor and bank and back home.  It was a gorgeous day and I'm feeling much better than I have the last 2 weeks.  I've had a pinched nerve in my neck that has made moving my head and left arm not so fun.  But, I was clearing for a jog on Sunday...yay!

After I got home and showered up I went for lunch and a massage with my sister.  We at Harper's on Main and then it was off to the Oasis Spa.  60 minutes of Swedish massage is like heaven and the masseuse focused on the area in my neck and shoulder where I was still tense.  It was like being back at Canyon wonderful!

There was a WHOOOLE chicken in my half of the leftovers!
When I left Dobbs Ferry I headed up to Mahopac to Dogfish Head Night at Holy Smokes with Heather, Stacy, Frank and some of his friends.  An hour's drive and very much worth it.  I got to try 6 different Dogfish beers and the food was delicious.  My favorite beers of the night were Bitches Brew which is a stout inspired by the Miles Davis album and Noble Rot which is almost a wine.  The rep described it as a "mullet" being wine in the front and beer at the finish.  I had to laugh and the beer is delicious!  I also tired Namaste, Fort, Chateau Jiahu and Saison du Buff.  The Saison stands out the most as it was very grassy tasting...too much for me.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dinner and a Show

Last night was the kind of night I love.  Thanks to my MiL I got to attend a dress rehearsal of Manon at the Met!  I drove in with a friend of hers, my sister-in-law and her bf.  We had dinner at Bar Boulud before hand and then off to the show.  I had delicious grilled halibut over lentils with grilled endive.  I kept  hearing that commericial with the lady saying "No, it's definately pronounced On-Deev."  

 Anna Netrebko was a wonderful Manon but I was most impressed by the tenor playing De Gries, Piotr Beczala.  His aria in Act II was unreal...and I am guessing was holding back at some moments and not singing full voice.  Still GORGEOUS!  This is someone I am goin to make an effort to go see again.  Going to an opera is always inspiring for me and makes me want to sing more than I do...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

New Knives!

Let the cooking begin!!

I am the proud owner of a set of Wusthof knives and I need to find something to cook with them to "Christen" them.  Any suggestions?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bridal Shower Cakes

Chocolate and Lemon Vanilla cakes with raspberry filling for Michelle's Shower
I have been gone the last week for a couple of reasons, including being exhausted and having a cold.  Those two things were probably related but as of this morning I feel like a new person. 

Last weekend I threw a bridal shower for my friend Michelle who is getting married in April.  It was a great time and all of the organization, prep work were worthwhile.  Other than having bought WAY too much food for the appetizers everything was just about perfect.  And really, what's wrong with having some extra cheese and crackers around the house during the week.  (Oh, my healthier eating...that's what the problem is...oops!)

So, the cakes that Heather and I made for the shower are above and I was so happy with how they came out.  We did two cakes because the bride wanted chocolate and the mother of the groom is allergic.  The longest part of the process is the coloring of the icing but I was pleased with how the ended up. And they were yummy, too!!  I was smart enough to have made the roses out of royal icing earlier in the week so once the cakes were iced and piped we were able to put the flowers and leaves on and call it a night. 

The ultimate compliment of the night was when one of the girls at the shower asked me to make a cake for her for this June....YAY!!  It's nothing huge but I have to admit that I am REALLY flattered to be asked to do this for someone I have never met before.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Cold

I woke up yesterday with a nasty cold and today is no better.  The weather outside is gorgeous and I just want to lie on the couch until my sinuses decided to unstop themselves.  It's the worst.  My mind wants to go outside, take a walk, go for a run and and my nose isn't cooperating!  Oh, and I'm sore from my Monday run so I really want to go and get moving to help work away the soreness.

I am hoping by Thursday to be back outside...if not, my next run is scheduled for Sat. AM.  I'm looking forward to it!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Testing, testing!

Picture me in one of these cute little carrells
I spent today taking the first of my two administrative exams and I am fried.  It was a full day of testing and besides the testing being tough I don't know how people sit at a desk all day!  I think I did alright and now it's a waiting game until test results post at the end of the month.  I really hate the waiting game.

The SDL test is all about what is the best choice for hypothetical administrative situations where you are acting as a school district superintendant.  The multiple choice questions were starting to make my eyes blur by the 2 section of the test.  You know I'm at the end of my rope when I am looking forward to the essay sections.

I was most worried that I wasn't allowed to bring water (in the form of coffee) or anything in with me to help me stay alert or any way to take notes, etc.  Seriously, the test starts at 8am and I can't bring my coffee with me!?!  Turns out, they provide you with laminated sheets and wet erase markers to take notes.  Can I tell you how many times during the test I screwed up which direction I was slipping that spiral yellow laminated pad??  Insane.  Oh, and the pages were numbered. 

Needless to say, these were not easy but I think the 2nd half was more difficulty than the first.  So please, if you could just send some good karma my way it would be great.  I really want to have passed done well!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Clingy Cat

I love Hazel, I really do.  But even as I write this she is trying to sit herself on top my arms and computer.  Since I came home each time I sit down on the couch Hazel is as close to me as possible.  Almost to the point of annoyance.  But, she's just so darn cute that I can't help but melt when she starts to purr.  Who doesn't love to be loved?
Kitty Close-Up

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Wine Night

The Olivers (my girls at work and I) have a fantastic ritual we call "Wine Night."  This week it got me through a week that felt interminable and sometimes just motivates me at the end of a long day.  Every couple of weeks we get together at someone's house for a couple glasses of wine, snacks and catching up on our lives.  There are 4 of us and because we teach different things in a large building and rarely have lunch periods together this is necessary.  It's one of my favorite things.  Even last night, when I was falling asleep on the couch, I got up and was excited about Wine Night.

I love our night together because it's a totally relaxed and free-form event.  There are nights we play on the Wii and act like kids.  Board games and card games come out.  Or, like last night, there is WAY too much catching up that we need to do.  There is nothing too private and there is no judgement.  My girls are the best.  They have been so supportive throughout Sarge's deployment and I told them tonight I that this needs to be lasting ritual.  It almost reminds me of how the girls from Sex in the City would get together to catch up...we're just different enough but have enough in common that sharing is always interesting.

Friday, March 2, 2012


I made it through the first week back and it's time for All-County.  This time for my 6th graders, some of who had me laughing during rehearsal today.  I have one kid who is such a ham and was dancing and enjoying the music so much it was a joy to watch him.  He did need some reminders to stay focused but it was so amazing to see that unbridled enthusiasm for singing.  It reminded me of how much I used to love these weekends as a kid....they are probably a huge part of why I became a music teacher in the first place.

I also got to see one of the teachers who definitely inspired me to become a music teacher.  Ms. J was my band director in middle school and I remember deciding that I would go to the college she did and become a music teacher in 8th grade.  It all happened, though when it did I was sure that I was meant to be performer and this was just a "back up plan."  Ms. J, myself and another teacher had a fantastic discussion about a teacher we all and our VERY different reactions.  15 years before I was in high school Mr. M was energetic and inspirational.  He was to Ms. J what she was to me. By the time I was in HS he was more apathetic and really not the teacher I can imagine he was during the peak of his career.

This discussion is making me think tonight about how I need to find ways to continue enjoying my students and their learning.  It is so easy to get bogged down in the every day nonsense that has nothing to do with music.  I am not sure when I fell in love with music but it might be time to start looking at how to bring that love into my classes more regularly.  What music made me want to sing?  (Ok, I know Les Mis was involved's the first Broadway show I remember listening and singing along to repeatedly on cassette.  Yes, I'm old.)  I know I pick music I love when prepping for concerts, but I'm not always sure I pass that love on to all of my kids.  Is that even possible?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sub Plans

One of my least favorite part of teaching is creating sub plans.  Most of the time it is just easier to drag myself to school and teach myself but the occasion comes when I do need to be out.  As a music teacher it can be difficult to find a sub willing to, and capable of, running a rehearsal.  So often, I leave videos and worksheets for plans.  However, there must always be a set of plans "just in case" the person who might be in for me is music teacher.

I find this difficult because I know how tough it is to be a sub.  It was how I started out in my career and it can be rough.  Middle school is just challenging in general, think back on yourself in middle school and you'll begin to remember just how challenging.  I want to leave activities for the students that are meaningful, fun, educational and won't torture the teacher, either. 

To the other music teachers out there, what do you do?