Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One step closer

Last night, I finished my first semester back in school!  I spent the weekend finishing up a big analysis paper and had my last lesson of the semester yesterday.  Ahhh.... I can't believe it!  It hasn't really settled in yet that I can finally relax, but I'm sure it will later today when I get on a WV-bound flight.  Looking forward to seeing family and relaxing!

Friday, December 9, 2011

I really don't have time to be writing this, but....

WOAH!  I think I forgot what the end of a semester is like when you are in school!  Yikes!  And it's at the same time that we are supposed to be getting ready for the holidays - decorating, shopping, making travel plans, baking, going to Christmas shows, meeting up with friends, and on and on.  Who came up with this schedule???  Bad timing.
Hopefully I will get everything done in time and be able to catch my plane to WV, where I hope to put the breaks on long enough to throw a man in the oven and pass out a present or two.  (Or just pass out.)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's December!!!

Look who is coming into style:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thoughts of Thanks

It's THANKSGIVING!  Turkeys are running for cover, pumpkins are turning into pies, cranberries are getting saucy, and tons of people are clogging the streets to watch giant balloons roll past the buildings of New York.  I didn't get to go home to be with family this year, but I am glad to have wonderful friends to spend time with today.  Thanksgiving is such a great holiday because everyone loves getting together and eating lots of great food.  Taking time out to be thankful is certainly a good thing too.  I've decided to share 10 of the billion things I am thankful for this year.  In no particular order:

I am thankful for... 

  1. this year especially, my education and for going back to school.  It's a delight to be back on track with music and working hard towards small and large goals.
  2. a family that has supported and loved me through all my pursuits and helped me follow my dreams.
  3. friends who surround me with laughter, love, and encouragement
  4. God!  It's great to know that he has it under control, even if I can't understand a bit of it.  Also thankful to have found a church that both challenges and encourages me each week.
  5. my job.  Gotta pay the bills and I'm lucky in these times to not only have a job, but to have a boss that's flexible enough with my insane schedule that I can go to school while holding down the job.
  6. music - for filling my life with passion, love, creativity, and excitement.  
  7. coffee...without which I would not function half as well as I do.  :)
  8. my health - something that really should not be taken for granted
  9. food - for making life a lot more delicious.
  10. my iphone - for taking my organization skills and not only turning them up a notch, but making it a lot easier.  Also for providing several ways to keep better in touch with everyone. How did we survive before we had EVERYTHING in a little device in our pocket?
The more I write, the longer I want to make the list.  So basically, life could be a lot worse.   There is a lot to be thankful for!  To quote MMHoney, we just need to take the time to "slow down and smell the roses".

Happy Thanksgiving!!!
What are YOU thankful for?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

She's a sweet little thing.

On Saturday I was walking up Third Avenue in Manhattan, enjoying the sunny side of the street, when I passed a pastry shop, La Delice Pastry Shop.  It's a very traditional, small, mom and pop shop with only enough space for big counters filled with a variety of cupcakes, cookies, cakes, bars, tarts, etc., etc., etc.  Pretty much any kind of desert you could wish for. The smell alone will give you a sugar high!  No room for tables... grab your sweets, your coffee, and go.  

I've been to this shop before, but the reason I bring it up this time, when I didn't even go inside, is because of  the cake in the window.  The shop does have a life-sized baker mannequin at the front door to welcome guests, but if he comes across a little scary (which he can at times) there are beautifully decorated cakes in the front window to help seal the deal. This weekend they had a Barbie cake.  (I guess it's not officially "Barbie" but a Doll Cake.)  The reason this excites me is because I used to have these cakes as a kid. I don't remember exactly how many I had, but I know I had a few and I was quite a fan of them.  I'm also not sure if they were all made by Mama, or possibly Mom made one too, but they definitely came down from that side of the family.  Kind of a strange cake, now that I think about it... but fun and I loooved it as a Barbie obsessed girl.  I doubt the Barbie cake is all that uncommon, but I know I don't see them on a regular basis, so it was kind of neat to see her in a NY bakery window.  Maybe I'll get one for my next birthday...isn't that what every 30-something wants? At least I'll know where to order it from...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Falling Leaves, Changing Colors

Wow.  Right this moment the setting sun is shining right down my street and highlighting every color of every leaf on the tree outside my window.  It is stunning.  As if the tree is on fire.  I've noticed that New York has been absolutely gorgeous over the past week.  The leaves are just at that place where much of them have fallen and the rest will fall any moment. The colors are at their most beautiful.  Even those scattered on the ground are vibrant in color. The hues seem to change throughout the day, deepening as the sunlight hits them from a new angle. It's sad that this most beautiful moment is so short, passing so quickly. I wish I could freeze the colors like they are now and look at them for months.  Maybe part of the beauty is that they are here for such a short time and have to be appreciated before they are gone.  Either way, I had to slow down several times this week to look at the beauty all around.  I bet we would all benefit from doing that more often.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy 11-11-11

Busy busy busy busy busy!!!
Anyone who thinks going back to school and keeping a job is easy is nuts!  No time for anything!

Had a big orchestra concert last week and spent this week in rehearsals for a concert of new music.  Last night I played in the premieres of two pieces - playing both clarinet and bass clarinet.  Tonight we repeat the concert at a different venue.

I'm enjoying being back in school and working much harder on my music...but it's CRAZY times!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Not enough space.

Twice a year I am faced with this ginormous task of switching out my clothes from one season to the next.  I kind of hate this task and I wait until the last possible moment to do it.  As the weather gets cool, I try to wear cute jackets over any 3/4 sleeve shirts I can come across, with the pants that stay out year round.  Usually there is a light scarf that will help me last another week into the fall.  But eventually that just doesn't cut it anymore and I need a sweater and am forced to do the big switch.  This entails standing atop a wobbly stool and pulling a ridiculously overstuffed army sized bag from the top of my small closet. Usually either the pulling out, or the pushing back up almost knocks me off the stool to a near death.  I always try to get rid of a few things to lighten the load, but I don't really have much excess.  My clothing purchases have dwindled greatly over the past few years, possibly inspired by the pains of moving stuff around?  Why is the only storage in my apartment up high?  I guess it represents New York.  No room to expand up!

Anyway - I came across a few interesting ideas during my switcharoo this season.  First of all, somehow without busting down a wall and expanding my closet, I was able to install a hanging shelf organizer to hold my sweaters.  I'm not sure how it actually fit, and things are pretty tight, but I'll take it!  Having the sweaters in there opened up a shelf where I can now store all my music books for school, which were taking up a nice space on the floor.  And somehow by rearranging the stuff on top of the bookshelf I was able to store my big ol' bag o' summer clothes up there, which opened up a little square of space on the top shelf in my closet!  Wow.  I don't even know what to do with that space yet!  It's amazing.  I wonder if that's a sign of living in a New York apartment for a while.  If you sit and stare long enough, you will figure out a way to come up with just a little bit more space.  And that space will make an unbelievable difference.

The other idea, which is actually a question is: why do I have 3 billion hangers when only about 50 will fit in my closet?  Where did they all come from?  And shoes...there is just no good way to store all of my shoes.  Oh well.  I'm doing all right, I guess.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Perfectly Pumpkin

It is the time of the year to O.D. on pumpkin.  I love it!  I've been eating pumpkin flavored everything since it came on the scene a few weeks back.  I made pumpkin bread, had pumpkin donuts, pumpkin coffee, and pumpkin delights (thanks to Mom!).  I bought pumpkin spiced granola at Trader Joe's, but I haven't tried it yet.  Maybe tomorrow...or maybe I'll try it tonight! There is a pumpkin candle burning in the kitchen.
It may seem a little crazy, but pumpkin stuff is only here for a few months, so it's best to overdo it while you can.  I would like to have pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin soup.
And, of course... pumpkin pie!

Mini Pumpkins!

After writing and rereading this, I feel like "pumpkin" is kind of a funny word...

Friday, October 7, 2011

cooler outside = soup inside

Fall must officially be here, because I just made SOUP!!!  First thing this morning I ran out to the grocery store to purchase my goodies and came back to chop chop chop those veggies.  An hour or so later the apartment smells delicious and I have a big pot of my favorite lentil soup to get me through the weekend. All right!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

From the Met to the Mets

This summer we tried to take advantage of the summer and the city and get out and do some different things.  Like going to the zoo, botanic gardens, beach, and white water rafting.  It was a lot of fun and a way to take little "staycations".  Most of our adventures were actually inspired by those coupon websites: Groupon and LivingSocial.  Those sites clutter my inbox with a lot of junk, but occasionally something good comes along.  Not only are the offers good because they give you a discount, but also because they make you think of things that you might not normally think of.  Also good for people like me, there is a time limit to purchase and use the coupon, so I can't put it off for long.

On a recent weekend I grabbed myself a Groupon to go to a Met's game!  The weather has been on the edge for a couple of weeks now, but that Saturday turned out to be a perfect day to take the train out to the stadium and watch a game from the nosebleed.  And for once, I went to a game where the team I was cheering for actually won!  I was nervous when half way through the game the score was still tied 0-0, but eventually it picked up, got a little exciting and then the Mets sent those Phillies packing!  It was a lot of fun!

Go team!!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

I'm having a lot of problems with uploading pictures onto Blogger and Picasa Web albums.  Anyone else having this problem or know what's going on?  It starts uploading, then gets stuck.  So annoying!

Friday, September 23, 2011


Wish I could plop down and take a nap like this guy...

Bronx Zoo - Summer 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Back to School

Hello blog readers!  I am still here!  Don't worry!
I have made some big changes lately - mainly going back to school to start my doctorate!!!  A doctor of clarinet! Whoa! Crazy!
It's been quite an adjustment and although I'm not fully settled yet, I am very excited about the changes and the possibilities it can create for the future.  I am still working part-time at the opera, so I am staying busy busy busy.  I should be asleep right now, but I was up finishing my homework and thought I would say hello to the blog world.  Homework....there is a concept I had easily let go of over the past few years.  Hahaha.  It is interesting to go back to school after being out for a while.  Some things I slipped right back into as if I never left...other things I totally forgot.  Well, blowing off those cobwebs and diving in...that's what I'm doing.

Friday, September 2, 2011

                          I can't believe it is September! 
Where does the TIME GO???

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Naturally Disastrous Week

I survived both an earthquake and a hurricane this week.  Pretty big week.  Except I didn't really experience either one.  I was walking outside during the earthquake and didn't feel it at all.  In fact, I thought people were joking when I made it back to the office and everyone was talking about it.

Hurricane Irene wasn't really too bad either.  Most of the strong rain and wind was during the night when I was asleep.  I think the worst part of this storm is that they closed down all public transportation very early and it is still not back up, so nobody can get anywhere and everything has to be closed.  We've probably had worse storms on regular days, but the MTA being down has created a crisis of its own.  I call this an "MTA induced crisis."

Well, better safe than sorry.  That's a lot of natural disaster for one week.

Monday, August 22, 2011


A big Happy Birthday to this blog's biggest fan!  

Gobs of Love and Happiness to her!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Not your average beverage container...

I know I have spoken before about how some coffee cups seem to make me happier than others.  Honestly, I am a fan of any "coffee delivery system", but some are a little more enjoyable than others.  I went into the whole thing here, if you'd like to be reminded.

I love when a really cool cup jumps out at me.  Such a thing happened not too long ago!  I was browsing around, creating a dream list at Anthropologie, when I stumbled across this cute creation.  It calls to me a little bit more as a 'tea' mug than coffee, but I love its uniqueness. (The design continues a little bit on the inside, which is even more fun!)  I was a bit skeptical about the comfort level of that 'handle', but it actually fits quite well!  Sometimes a mug looks great, but just doesn't feel right.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that this one fit the bill.  And coming from the sale section meant my bills could fit it!  All right!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Market Madness

Last weekend it just wasn't hot enough in the upper 90's, so we went down to the farmers market to heat things up a bit.  Peppers, anyone?

No thanks.... not my style.  But I did come home with some yummy sweet corn.  I love sweet corn in the summer.   I always think of buying it off the back of a pick-up truck by the roadside in WV.  I can't do that now, but the farmers market is the next best thing.  I see the workers bringing in huge new bundles of corn throughout the day - straight from the farm.

It's fun to walk around the market and check out the different things available.  They have plants, meat, fruits, veggies, and other stuff, like honey, bread, jam and yarn all from local farms.  Especially if you get there early, the options are endless.  Find a little  inspiration and plan a good fresh dinner!  Yeah!

Friday, July 22, 2011


Woah!  It got HOT!  It was hot yesterday and it is hotter today and it's supposed to be hot again tomorrow.
This was our temperature today:

The humidity on top of that made it feel like 112 or something insane.  To me once it's that hot it's all the same.
 I went out for a little bit today, but I am perfectly happy spending the rest of the day eating ice cream in front of my air conditioner.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


This evening I was caught by one of those quick but heavy summer rain storms.  I took shelter in the subway station while it passed.  Look what showed up when the storm passed:

Friday, July 8, 2011

True Criminals

Crazy things always happen to me!  I just came back from lunch, where I was sitting in the park on a bench eating my turkey sandwich.  A guy walking his two dogs comes my way.  One of the dogs runs over to me like he wants to say hello. Cute!  I reach out to pet him and the dog grabs my sandwich right out of my lap!  It was on the ground before I even knew what happened!  While the first dog wrestled with the napkin, the other one joined in the party and took half for himself!  All the meanwhile, the owner is trying to get rescue the napkin and the plastic bag, apologizing profusely.  I think these dogs are pros.  They may have done this move before.  After they finish, they lay down at my feet, knowing that I couldn't possibly be mad at those puppy eyes.  (Yeah right, they are waiting to see if I have any more food!!!!) See if I ever trust a cute friendly dog again!  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Family Time

I am so excited that I went to WV to be with family over the holiday weekend.  I loved having a long weekend and being able to get away from everything for a little while.  You can't quite relax in the city like you can outside of the city.  West Virginia was so beautiful and green.  The weather was great and we were able to enjoy some time outside.  Eating lunch on the porch with Mom and Dad...catching up on everything.

I always value being able to spend time with family - even though sometimes it can be crazy and hectic.  This visit was very special because I met my niece, Emma, for the first time!  She was so sweet and adorable and I loved her immediately.  I'm so glad I was able to spend time with her and get to know her a little bit.  I know she'll be a totally different little person the next time I see her. I wish I lived closer to my nieces and nephew so I could be a bigger part of their lives, but I cherish the time that I do get.  It is so amazing how little babies grow and develop their own personalities!  I remember the first time I saw Joel.  He was already 6 months old.  They are so different when they are first born than they are at 6 months.  I can't want to see what Emma will be like in a few more months.  Right now I love how she gets the pouty lip and sticks her little tongue out.  She also makes some incredible faces.  If she maintains control over those expressions as she grows up I could see quite an acting career in her future.

On the other end of the spectrum, I was able to spend good time with my two grandmothers.  They are also very special to me and I love being around them.  They always have great stories to share. I think I have a good chance at turning into a pretty cool and feisty lady in my later years.  As they say "I got it honest."

At our July 4 (on the 3rd) cookout, I was able to snap a picture of 4 generations:  Jared with his daughter, his parents, his Mama and Mama Honey.  I guess that's a Kodak moment if ever there was one.  Too bad Ben wasn't there with Joel and his little Erin, who I have yet to meet!  That would have been perfect.  Except my arms would probably be pretty tired.  Emma loves to be held and bounced and it's a workout after a while!  I'm sure Erin would want to join in the fun.  I do believe we have a name for such behavior: One One Two Girls.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Red, White, and Blue

Just a moment before it's over, I have to say Happy 4th of July!  Happy Independence Day!  I had a wonderful holiday weekend and was so glad to be able to spend it with family in West Virginia.  I had to come back to New York today, so we did most of our celebrating yesterday.  We had a cookout, ate festive homemade cheesecake, and watched the fireworks in Charleston.  Today I caught a glimpse of the NYC fireworks, but it was through a peephole view down the street. Since I wasn't able to get all the way over to the river most of the fireworks were blocked by tall buildings. Too crazy!  But I heard the booms and it was exciting.

For some reason, which I am not sure of, the Coney Island hot dog eating contest is on July 4th too.  I heard some guy ate over 60 hot dogs in however many minutes it is.  Sounds pretty ridiculous to me.  I wonder if that guy really likes hot dogs.  I wonder if he will take some time off, or will he fire up the grill again tomorrow.... Well, I remember last year I was at Coney Island and saw the original Nathan's hot dog shop.  I ate one because you have to, right?  It was pretty good.  I rode my bike (moment of silence) to Coney Island and had a great time that day.  If you are curious as to what day it was, you can check out the clock on the picture that counts down to the next hot dog contest and do the math.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Bicycle Thief

It has been some kind of week.  I sit here on Saturday night, closing out the week and realize how much has happened!  I am in West Virginia right now, relaxing and spending time with my family, but earlier this week was not so nice and easy.

It all boils down to Wednesday.  What a DAY Wednesday was!  All the drama began at lunch when I bounced across the street with my bike helmet in hand - excited about the bike ride I was about to take.  When I reached the bike rack, I quickly realized that I had a bit of a problem.  My bike was not there.  A sadness came over me as I quickly had to accept the fact that my bike had been stolen and there was nothing I could do about it.  My busted lock lay on the ground by the rack, hiding between the neighboring bikes that were able to stay when my my beautiful pink and white bike had been taken away.  So sad!

I don't want to be pessimistic, but realistic in saying that I don't think I will ever see that bike again.  :( The security guards promised to review the surveillance cameras (that were not facing the bike rack) and contact me if they found anything, but the best case scenario seemed as though I would be able to wave at a little tv screen as I watched some fuzzy, hooded, figure ride away with my wheels.  What other feeling could I take back to the office besides a sick, nauseous feeling.

I could hardly focus on my work - so distracted by this violation.  Who would do such a thing?  Why would they take my bike from me?  I had looked so hard for the 'perfect' bike and was so happy with it.  I felt like this bicycle thief had stolen my soul! My happiness! My freedom!!! Arrrghhh!  I was so mad and wanted to get the bike back.  Walking through the neighborhood I felt as if my bike was near - trying to tell me where it was - but it couldn't and I could not reach out to it either.  I wanted it to ring it's little bell over and over so I could run to it, rescue it, and bring it back to it's happy home. 

In my struggle to focus at work, I jumped onto Craigslist to see if the thief had placed my bike up for sale yet.  I started scouring the ads to see what I could find.  In my emotional state, I couldn't remember the exact name, so I went over to the Diamondback website and saw the new model of my missing bike.  I took a link and found it for sale on a sporting store website.  I was so tempted to pay the money right then and buy the new version.  I knew I was going to be miserable going around to all the local bike shops - never seeing a bike I loved as much as my Vital 2.  The new bikes would be expensive.  The old ones would be affordable, but not cheap, and they would be rusty and beaten up.  I was spoiled by my great bike (that I bought in WV!) and wanted it back!  My emotions were going wild as I tried to resist grabbing my credit card and getting it over with.  In the meantime I go back over to Craigslist to see if during the 2 minutes on Dick's website the thief had posted my bike.  Well my heart jumps when I see the headline: DiamondBack Women's bike - like new - never ridden.  I thought THAT JERK!  There is my bike!  I clicked the link and NO - someone had posted the newer model!  The same one I was considering buying! 

To make a long story shorter, I contacted the seller and tried to keep my cool as I thought about the crazy idea of buying a new bike the same day mine went missing.  I was afraid I was just acting on emotions - trying to replace the bike before I had time to be too sad.  I was hoping I didn't want to buy this bike for the sake of buying a bike.  But it really wasn't like that.  It was strange.  The bike that I wanted.  The bike that I probably would have ended up buying even if I waited a month was right there, immediately in front of me.  And for a decent price - without taxes or shipping!  I went out to see it that night.  It rode like a jewel - seriously brand new and never ridden before.  It had been a gift to it's owner and she had never found the time to ride it and was concerned about a knee injury, so decided she no longer wanted it taking up space. I handed over my cash and rode it home! 
The day was a whirlwind. I felt like I'd been thrown around, but I felt pretty good as I rode my new bike to my apartment.  I felt like maybe I didn't let the whole incident didn't get the best of me.  I was very sad to loose the pink bike, but glad that a great replacement was put right in front of me.  And you better believe I will be investing in one of those Kryptonite bike locks - the kind that weigh more than the bike but are said to be the only locks that will protect a bike in NY.   This little incident better be the last of its kind for me!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sponsored by the letter E

Wow - it's been busy!  It's been BABY TIME!!!  I have two more nieces than I had a week ago.  Very exciting!

Last Thursday my cute little redhead niece, Erin Elizabeth was born in Montana.  I hope to see her before she grows up - so sad that my family is spread out across the land.

Then on Saturday (after keeping her Mommy up and in pain all day and night before) little Emma Lee was born in West Virginia.  I am so excited to have a little WV mountain girl I can visit when I go back home.

Congratulations to both of my brothers and their wives on the birth of beautiful healthy daughters.  I can't wait to meet them!

Monday, May 16, 2011

When is vacation?

I still wish there was more time in a day, and more days in the weekend.  That would be so helpful.  I feel like I never have time to get done the things I need to do, let alone the things I want to do!
Just finished a marathon weekend.  I played 4 performances and had rehearsals before two of them.  On Friday night I played Tristan and Isolde with One World, for the season finale.  Saturday afternoon I played Puccini's Il Tabarro with the Brooklyn Repertory Opera.  I played bass clarinet for that.  Sunday was the biggie, with Puccini in the afternoon and Wagner at night.  "Puccini in the afternoon" - sounds like one of those CDs with greatest hits of Puccini operas and a 'calm' black and white picture on the front.
Anyway - Talk about a day...and a weekend. This one was right on that line of what they call 'too much'.  Towards the end of the Sunday Wagner rehearsal my brain was turning to mush.  And a mushy brain is no good for Wagner, which requires pretty intense concentration.  Oh well - it all worked out in the end.

Now I need to go finish cooking dinner, pick up the mess my room has become, practice my clarinet, work on reeds, contemplate my living situation, etc., etc., etc.....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

No cavities...but not exactly clean

I had a dentist appointment during lunch today.  My dentist's office is conveniently located just up the street from where I work.  I had a nice appointment and came out with glossy teeth and a happiness of not having any cavities or major problems.  Despite the weather report, the sun was shining and it was a very nice day.  My appointment went so well that I had about ten minutes before I was due back in the office!  We have a small park across the street, so I thought I would sit there and read a book for a few minutes, enjoying the sun and the smooth feeling of my tongue over my teeth...before I go inside and fill them with food and stain them with my beloved coffee.
Just as I was entering the park, I felt a little plop on my left side.  It took me by surprise when I looked down to find a bright spot on my purple jacket where a bird, in a fly-over operation, had relieved himself on me!  So much for my little happy moment!  Maybe it was the glare of the sun on my teeth that caught his attention...  Maybe the purple jacket, making its first spring appearance, was a target...  Or maybe, like some people say, it is good luck and will cancel out that broken mirror I carry around as a part of my makeup bag...  Who knows?
All I know is that I've got to get to the cleaners.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Picturing the flowers

I've been pretty excited about the weather this week.  Not the weather that was in the forecast, but the actual weather.  The forecast has been nothing but confusing, predicting rain and thunderstorms almost every day this week - starting with what was supposed to be a rainy gloomy Easter Sunday but was beautiful instead.  What we ended up with (for the most part) was a very nice week.  I never knew what to wear or if I should take my umbrella or my sunglasses, but I'll carry both any day for the chance of sun!  

It's also been fun to watch the skyline change outside my window every morning.  Each day the park became a little bit greener than it was the day before.  The tree right outside my window is looking quite nice and the park has turned gorgeous.  Yesterday on my lunch break at work I grabbed a sandwich and sat in the small park across from my office.  I snapped a few shots of flowers and of a bird that had an interest in my sandwich.  I love the spring and taking pictures of flowers.  It's so easy to be a 'good photographer' when everything around me is so beautiful!  

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

A spring in my step

It seems like spring is ever so slowly, finally starting to show itself in New York. It's been a long time coming, that's for sure.  We had two days that were really nice this week and a couple of days that were more gloomy and rainy.  I guess rain is to be expected in April, so I should keep positive and hope that April showers really do bring May flowers!!!

I have been trying to coax spring into showing up a little more.  Maybe it is nervous about coming out after winter was so strong.  Who knows.  I thought buying some spring shoes might help.  Right?  Besides, I had a coupon from the fabulous DSW that was about to expire so I had to use it!  It's a bit of a gimmic, yes, because I had to spend money in order to save money, but the coupon was only sent to me because I had spent a certain amount of money in the past.  I really couldn't let that go to waste.

As much as I love summer sandals, I don't feel quite like buying them yet.  We are just passing that awkward stage of shoe shopping where I have no interest in more boots or winter shoes but I'm not ready for flip flops. I searched around DSW for a long time and nothing was really striking my fancy.  Eventually, I just started trying on things for fun when I found a perfect pair of spring shoes!  Cute, colorful, light and 'springy'.  Yay!  So I was able to use my coupon and walk out of there with some happy feet.  I love new shoes!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Winter woes

Is spring ever going to get here?  It's cold!  Am I stuck in some kind of never-ending winter?  It's been February since February.  I've had enough.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Roles, Casa

Lately, for the first time in my life really, I've been thinking about casseroles.  I never had a problem with them, but they weren't really something that I would think of.  They were always at church dinners and occasionally we would have one at home, but not often, so they just didn't cross my mind.  But recently the casserole has snuck into my brain.  I'm sure it goes along with the whole pop culture looking back to the 50's, retro, vintage thing. Is Mad Men the chicken or the egg, I'm not sure, but it's all quite fun.  Some food blogs I read are also talking about casseroles and The Kitchn's Faith Durand just released a book called Not Your Mother's Casseroles.  Not that I have ANY problem with my mothers cooking, but I thought it sounded fun so I checked it out from the library.  There were some interesting recipes, but one problem... I didn't have a casserole dish.  I know it can be done, but who really wants to make a casserole in a boring old aluminum rectangle pan?  Isn't that brightly colored ceramic dish half the fun of baking a casserole?  Well, it would be to me.

I went on with my life without thinking too much about the casserole thing but then one day last week, there I was, killing time in the TJ Maxx and off the shelf and into my hands jumped the best looking casserole dish I'd seen in ages.  Red with white polka dots?  Hello!  Of course you are coming home with me!  I'm even using birthday money and calling this one a gift!  I am in a new decade now, and that means its okay to want cookware for my birthday, right?

Tonight is my debut night with the casserole.  I am making a dish that features rotini, chicken sausages with sun-dried tomatoes, chickpeas, spinach with sauteed garlic, diced tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese.  I hope it is delicious! I made a great mess putting it together and got a little nervous as my dish reached its capacity and I kept adding more of the mixture. I'm sure it is WAY too much food, but I love my leftovers at the office! Only 5 more minutes in the oven and a few minutes of rest and I'll be able to dig in!

Full and ready for the oven!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dawning of a Decade

Happy Birthday to ME!!!

...and Dad, and Ben, and Dave, and Adam, and Vanna White, and John Travolta, and even Yoko Ono.  What a day!

Monday, February 14, 2011

The 14th

This day is dumb.
I liked it when I was a kid and Dad brought home chocolates in a heart shaped box for his GIRLS!  Where's Dad?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Whoa Nelly, it got cold!  I don't know what happened because the last few days have been in the upper 30's, which felt like it was in the 60s after our previous cold spell.  Even this morning it was 39 degrees, but something happened while I was at work and it is COLD again - 19 degrees to be exact.  There is a far cry between 39 and 19.  Sitting in my room and listening to the wind howl down the street doesn't help things either.  When it even sounds's cold.

On a warmer note, I am playing with the New Amsterdam Symphony in concert this Friday!  We are playing the Brahms Requiem, which is a piece I have loved for years.  It is one of those that I got a hold of in undergrad and wore it out for a while. Nerdy factoid: Brahms' Requiem was first presented to the world on February 18 - my birthday!  A few years before I was born (112), but still...
What I love about this piece is the gorgeous choral writing and harmonies.  The clarinet part itself is kind of boring and exhausting to play (a lot of LONG notes a.k.a. good exercise), but I just play along and listen to all the beautiful sounds that surround me.  I've always loved Brahms...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Title-less Blog Post about Music and Opera

I am having a very 'musical' weekend.  I love when I get to have these, because in general I spend too much time at a desk and not enough time being musical.  Yesterday was a very nice day.   I did some teaching, followed up by a yummy vegetarian lunch, then did some roaming around in The Strand bookstore, some coffee, and lots of practicing.  That's a pretty nice way to spend a my opinion.

This morning I got the day rolling with a book and a cup of coffee.  On the dock for today is an audition this afternoon and tonight I am going to see an opera at the Met!  I am meeting friends to see Nixon in China.  I'm very excited to see this opera because I love the music of John Adams and he will be conducting the original Peter Sellers production.  I went to a panel discussion earlier this week that included Mr. Adams and Sellers, among others from the cast and creative team, and learned  a lot about the creation and development of the opera.  I think the more you know about a work of art, the more you enjoy seeing it.  I also think there is a certain energy and excitement that comes with 'new' music where the people who actually came up with all the ideas are right there creating it again in front of my eyes.  Good stuff!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wintry Weather

Yesterday, going to work in the morning looked like this:

Today (with a 2-hour delay because of suspended train service) it looked like this:

We've had our share of snow this year.  I think it's been the most snow in a winter since I've been here in New York, which is almost three years.  I don't remember getting a significant amount of snow the past couple of years.  We would get a little bit, but maybe only once a season. I believe this is the third snow storm we have had... and January isn't over yet!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thank God for tall rubber boots.

Weather, weather, what are you doing?  Snow, sleet, ice, freezing rain, regular rain, topped off with a gust of wind.  What more could we wish for?


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Slow cooked goodness

I am loving my crock-pot.  I've had it just over a year and let me tell you - that thing is amazing!  I love that I can throw a bunch of stuff into it in the morning, then go out, run around town, come home and have a delicious hot meal ready for me!  That's true love. 

This weekend, thanks to an email from my friend Betty Crocker (I wonder if she is related to the Crock-Pot), I made a chicken and gnocchi soup that was fabulous!  It kind of reminded me of a creamy chicken pot pie, without the top.  A nice country home cooked meal for a cold weekend night.  Served with fresh sour dough bread from the farmer's market... Perfection!  I want to say this is my favorite thing from the crock-pot, but I say that pretty much every time I make anything in there, so I guess it wouldn't really count.  But it is in the top 5 and will definitely be made again.

I think next weekend will be a perfect time to try my Wheat Montana Chili Mix that was given to me for Christmas from my Montana family.  After that, who knows.  Suggestions welcome!  YUMMY!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Snowy Scenes

Over Christmas break I ended up spending three days more than planned in West Virginia.  I was supposed to leave on Monday morning, but was not able to get out until Thursday because of the snow...and I was lucky to get back when I did!  New York really got smashed with a mess of a storm.

Although it wasn't planned and I was forced to do laundry, it was nice to spend a little bit more time with family in WV.  It seems like I don't get to come in for more than a few days at a time now that I work a full-time job.  It's much harder to get time off and take vacation days when I have responsibilities at the office.  Since I take care of payroll for my's pretty important for me to be there.  :)
One way I spent my extra time in WV was going up to visit Mama and seeing the sights along the way.  My short weekends in St. Albans don't really leave time for getting out of town too, so it was great to be able to spend the day driving up the mountain.  The curvy roads make me car sick as a kid, but I enjoy the scenery now.

One stop along the way was  Hawks Nest State Park.  The snowy views were spectacular and Dad had interesting stories to narrate.  I love to stop and take pictures there and think about when Mom and Dad had their summer wedding there!  Of course I wasn't a thought in their minds at the time, but it's fun to imagine.  The mountains were really pretty covered in snow.  Once my toes were froze we moved on went to visit Mama in Lookout.  We talked about the old general store and looked at old pictures while warming up with a bowl of her delicious potato soup.  It was great to spend time with her, but we had to leave before it started getting dark because we wanted to stop and look at the New River Gorge Bridge.  It was so pretty, but some of the overlooks were closed because of the weather.  The small windy road under the bridge was technically open, but not a snow plow had even looked at it, so we decided not to chance getting stuck in a snowdrift somewhere. 

Eventually I made it back to the city, but it was nice to relax and enjoy the quiet, simpler ways of the mountains.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


PAR-TAY!! My blog is celebrating a milestone with this post.  This is the 200th post of it's life!  Yippee!!!  I've been in and out and up and down with the consistency of the blog, but I have now given people 200 opportunities to hear me ramble about something.  Isn't that terrific?  So if you find yourself complaining that I haven't posted often enough, go back and explore the past...surely you have forgotten something over the years.  Like when dad was in a hole and then they tore up the sidewalk, or how about the time I was waiting for the train, or that one time I had coffee,  and that other time I had coffee, or the time we REALLY had coffee.  And don't even get me started on the men... See?  A lot has gone on in my life over the past few years.  And plenty of coffee has been consumed in the meantime.  So sit back, enjoy, and here's to the next 200 cups.

Saturday, January 1, 2011