A Little Ray of Sunshine

Monday, February 27, 2006

Rainy Day

Beau and Hemi are watching out their bedroom window, waiting for the garbage truck to come. It always comes at about this time on Mondays, and they love to see it.
I played Saturday for the Eastern Star Tri-state meeting. Bless their hearts, they took up a donation for me (which they didn't have to) and gave as much as I would've charged, if they were folks I charged. The look on the checker's face at Walmart was priceless as I counted out my bill in ones. And Walmart finally got in the proper size tire to replace the one on my husband's bike that got sliced by a shovel. We've been waiting since September, I guess.
And thank goodness the Stars were so generous: our car's coolant system has sprung a leak. We're hoping it's just a hose or a connection someplace, but it's somewhere in the mess of stuff, wires and hoses and suchlike, that goes over part of the engine and under . . . some peice of car equipment that I'm sure is important but blocks our view.
I've also got a gig coming up this Friday. Again, it's not a paying gig, but I need the exposure badly, and it's an ongoing opertunity that I can plug my students into as they get better. Which will be very good for them. I need to get some business cards made up. Some of the downtown shops host artists the first Friday of every month, and those that consider themselves more sophisticated like to have live musicians. One of the artists is the son of one of my students, so that is how I came to get involved.
I think I've found a doc, actually, a pair of nurse-midwives who work in a partnership with a group of OBs. Hopefully this will work out well. I'm a little leary because you don't know which of the two you'll get, it depends on who's on call, but hopefully we'll like them both.
I just had to take a time-out, Beau came crying to report that Hemi poked him in the eye with his toe. It looks fine, but Beau insisted he needs a bandage. So out of the scrap fabric, I made a bandage. Of course it lasted all of a minute before he decided his eye wasn't hurt anymore. And now they're back to playing.
It sounds like my dryer's done, so I need to go change out the laundry, and I'd probably better check on my rye bread after that. It's rising. In theory. I did mention it was rainy, today? For some reason my bread rises slower when it's rainy.

Friday, February 24, 2006


Mmm, garlic bread.
Except for the part about us being out of bread. I'd have to bake. Which I need to, anyway.
My husband is a wise and thoughtful man. The last time we went to the grocery store he told me to buy chocolate ice cream. "Why?" "Because you'll want it some night at midnight and it's handier to have it on hand." This is true: I am not the sort of woman who begs her husband to go buy her something she's craving. But I will be much happier, and be extension, so will he, if I have it on hand.
I think I'm going to go bake. We're out of bread, anyway. Likely I won't want garlic bread by the time it's done baking, but that's okay.
I wonder why garlic bread?

Did you know you can't buy really good bread? At least not around here? Great Harvest comes the closest, but theirs is all gooey. The grocery stores sell styrofoam that they claim is bread. I'd bake my own even if it weren't cheaper. The only time I didn't was when I was pregnant with Beau, in my pre-Kitchenaid days, when I couldn't stand up long enough. Ick.
Of course, the Kitchenaid is busted now (well, it still works but it sounds like it's breaking, so I won't run it) and until we can afford fixing it, I'm back to mixing by hand.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

It's Beau's fault!

Really, it is. He's been asking for a baby. Now he's getting one, probably a little after his birthday, at that. End of October or early November--I seem to go about 9.5 months.
No, it really isn't his fault. But we were hoping to wait just a little while longer, you know, so I wouldn't be six months pregnant going to the east this summer. That'll be an interesting trip. And I can't wait to hear what C. says when I tell her she can't have my measurments for the bridesmaid dress just yet. Because what I measure at one month pregnant isn't going to be the same as six. (She's going to give me a bad time, she told me she didn't want me pregnant for her wedding. I'm smart enough at least not to make her any promises.)
The worst part, of course, just as it was when I was pregnant with Hemi and Beau was in diapers, is changing those dirty diapers with constant nausea. My husband is sweet enough to take over the icky chores when he's home, but unfortunately, he still has to go to school.
And the part I'm least looking forward to is finding a new doctor. I already suggested that we move back to Moscow just so we could have the same doctor.
So far, though, the nausea is all. My back is fine, that sciatic nerve isn't acting up at all. (Yet.) I hope it stays this way. I couldn't feel my leg during my first two pregnancies, and I couldn't stand up for five minutes straight from the pain. (If I need to, I'll be doing the wedding and NYC in a wheel chair. We skipped doing too many things because Mama couldn't stand during the first two babies.) Perhaps the Yoga is helping. I sure hope so. My Yoga instructer (she's an RN, too, so I feel pretty safe with her) says I can keep doing Yoga and she'll help me with some options as I get bigger and more awkward.
What has always worked for me with nausea is fresh papaya. Of course, the grocery store only had green, so I've got to wait for them to ripen. (I tried ginger, crackers, and everything else old wives tales suggest with Beau, and the result was that I found out I really don't like throwing up all those things.)
My father-in-law, my mom, and my dad are thrilled. In fact, I'm not sure who was the most excited, my father-in-law or my mom, but they certainly take top prize so far. My father-in-law was going to tell my mother-in-law, but I haven't spoken to her yet so I can't gauge her reaction, except I'm sure it will be happy.
The boys really don't get it, yet. Nothing they can notice except that Mama doesn't feel good. I'm sure they'll come to understand in time. As I recall, Beau really didn't notice Hemi much until he could feel him moving and couldn't fit well on my lap anymore. Hemi's older than Beau was (they're nineteen months apart), so I'd expect more awareness, sooner, and Beau will be four by the time the baby is born, assuming baby is on time.
I'm sure posting will be more sporadic than usual.
We really are looking forward to the east coast trip. Dad has some professional connections/friends at the American Museum of Natural History so, if we manage our visit right, perhaps we can get behind the scenes there. I'm sure Beau and my neices would love that. From our family trips I remember the backsides of more museums than the exhibit sides. Museum of the Rockies was particularly interesting: they were working on their models at one time when we were there, and I got to see them before painting.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The weather, the drivers, and music

It is snowing here today. I always find it amusing how when there is a foot of snow on the East Coast it is national news and that entire half of the country comes to a halt, brakes squealing.
Here, we get a foot of snow, and it is business as usual. Two feet will perhaps suffice to close the schools for a day: people need their children at home to help shovel, don't you know?
I wish I could find the microscope, I think the boys would like to see a snowflake in it.
Drivers are getting stupider lately. Yesterday, going to the grocery store, I was crossing a traffic light intersection and had to swerve around some man going the other direction who had pulled into my lane intending to turn left out of it. He gave me a very nasty look with an expersion as if to say what did I think I was doing? I had a green light and cars behind me, of course we all went. At least, since he was in our lane, the left turn lane he should have been in was empty so we could get around him.
After the grocery store, I was in a left turn only lane at a different traffic light, and quite suddenly the people ahead of me decided to turn even though it was the cross street's turn to go. Three of them pulled out right into oncoming traffic. So did someone turning left coming from the other direction. I don't know how they all avoided being hit.
I don't worry about the teen drivers, it is the adults who have had an onset of driving insanity! With the snow today, perhaps they will all crash and total their cars and thus take themselves out of the driving ranks, but that is probably too much luck to hope for.
My first student of the day told me of a possible gig. Unfortunately he was a little sketchy on details. There is an artists' exhibition Downtown the first Friday of every month. His adult son, a potter, mentioned to the lady whose shop he was exhibiting in that his father is a 'cellist. The shop owner reacted with enthusiasm. Now his father, my student, is preparing for his second performance right now and is at the almost amature stage (studying the Prelude of the First Bach Unaccompanied Suite, among other music), and is quite correct that he could not yet handle an hour performance. He hasn't an hour of performable music, unless he included beginner peices. So if I can track down the lady who owns the home decor store on Main Street, perhaps I can play there. It wouldn't be for pay, except possibly tips, but it would get my name and music out into the community, and maybe attract paying gigs or more students.
I use the Suzuki books through 3 to teach with. I am not entirely pleased with book 4. There are only four peices in it. I insist that my students buy the entire Bach Unaccompanied Suites, so they own or will shortly own the two movements in the Suzuki in another book. Then the Suzuki has two movements of a Breval Sonata and two of a B. Marcello Sonata. The Marcello seems to be transposed from Bass. The fourth work is the Tschaikovsky Chanson Triste. I am not pleased with transpositions from other instruments: there are so many lovely and suitable works for that level written for 'Cello, and a transposition is useless for later performance. I think we will be doing some of the Wm. Squire pieces, the Bouree and Tarentella, maybe, and perhaps buy just the Breval to go with them, instead. As well as the Golterman Concerto in G, and maybe Saint-Saens' Swan for something slower. And of course, some of the Bach, how much depends on which student, as some of them, like I did at their ages, positively hate him, and probably I won't do more than enough to expose them to him a little. Why discourage their practicing by giving them music they cannot stand? I had plenty of experience as a teen with a teacher like that.
Which reminds me, it's really time for me make time to practice the Bach. I'll need it for the 25th, and if this other opertunity pans out . . . well, I only improvise so much, and I'm a bit short of solo arrangements of popular tunes, I need to do some more.

Monday, February 13, 2006


I guess me sharing a few dreams started something: Heidi (http://pebblechaser.blogspot.com/) has one up. My last noteworthy dream was about a world where magic was treated like we treat technology. This went straight into the writing files. It was one of those dreams where I'm not myself. This makes it so I can sometimes hop around to a different POV character. Hey, I have weird dreams.
Vox (www.voxday.blogspot.com) has a post up about aspartame. After Morgan's comment about how poor people rely on the government for health care, I realized that, although we are definitely poor (by the US standard, at least) we have not needed much health care. In four years of marriage, I've had one sinus infection that required antibiotics, and my husband has had a kidney stone. Hemi had viral pneumonia last winter, but that doesn't require any medical treatments. I hear people whining about their children's ear infections all the time. My boys haven't had any.
I think it's because we're poor. We really can't afford much junk food. Since we can't buy it, we don't eat it. Veggies, fruits, meats, whole grains are cheap. Well, cheaper than pre-processed stuff. That's how I can feed a family of four on a food budget of $250 a month, and still buy luxeries like fresh fish and real, imported parmasian cheese. (I don't think I spelled that right.)
Sometimes my food budget is less, it's one of the most flexible parts of our budget. I can feed us on $200, but we have to drop the fish and cheese.
We eat better than many people we know who are upper-middle-class. Whom we frequently eat with. You see, we're at the low end of the economic strata, but fairly high in the social strata, at least in this town. Classical Musicians can do that, you know. Actually, all Arts people can.
Because I'm willing to wear second hand clothes, and dress my children in them, we don't look poor, either. (My husband, unfortunately, does not wear a size that is regularly available second hand, he is too tall and muscular.) If you met me walking down the street, you'd never guess that I'm a stay-at-home mom and my husband is a college student, and my biggest worry is paying the bills.
Appearances are deceiving. What we haven't got in money, we have in time. So many women I meet say "I'd love to stay home with my children but we just couldn't afford it." We live on less than they do. The difference, I suppose, is that they paid $50 for that brand name sweater. At most, I paid $.50. Being thrifty is more valuable than being well-paid.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The weekend snuck up on me, and I think it hit me on the head.

This was a very busy weekend, between Saturday's teaching, getting our 'new' couch, helping a friend, M., move (the same young gentleman mentioned in my socialization post), a DnD game, dinner with my parents on Sunday, and a superbowl party with the Easter Star ladies, and then our friend M. came over to play Diablo II, a supurb time-eater. Yesterday seemed like more of the same, Beau fell on his 'new' bed and bit his lower lip badly.
Our 'new' couch was a gift from one of my Eastern Star ladies and her husband. She is such a charactor, she is my mother's age but acts twenty years longer (and looks younger, too, mostly because of her attitude). She has officially retired, as has her husband, but they have a deal, it seems, that anything outside of their regular budget that one of them wants they must take contract work to do. Both of them are in the financial businesses. So she decided that she wanted all new furniture. Now she had to take a contract down to Las Vegas to pay for it. The company that hired her pays her transportation, her hotel suite, everything. Such a hardship, or so she tells us! She gave us the couch, and some of her and her husband's old clothes, and said "I remember back when we were young and poor, so I want to help you out. Don't worry, by the time you're my age, you'll be rich too!" She's short, so I can't take her old dresses or pants, but some of her sweaters and her husband's sweaters fit me just fine.
We had been worrying about the furniture situation, you see, Beau and Hemi have been sharing a twin bed, sleeping foot to foot, since we moved in here. It's worked well for the most part, but they're both growing like weeds. Hemi is so accident-prone in general that we don't dare get them a bunkbed yet, which is what we'd like to do eventually.
I bought a futon to serve as a couch way back in college, as a single girl, (and had a fight with an almost-ex-roommate over whether or not I got to keep the futon I'd paid for, I won of course). It was used when I got it, and over the years we've had trouble with the frame, even to the point of replacing two boards, which promptly split again, the week after they were replaced. We've been using a stack of old text books to support that corner.
Now we have our friends' old couch (which, incidentally, looks brand new, that's how well she keeps her furniture), we tossed the futon frame out in the yard for scrap wood, put the mattress on the floor of the boys' room, and moved the twin bed out. The mattress is in the living room, the box in the hall, and the collapsable metal frame in our bedroom.
Our first summer project, well, after the garden is in and the trellis' built, is going to be a storage shed. It may be bigger than our trailor, but will surely be worth it to get some stuff out of the house.
The boys approve of their new bed, except for Beau falling and biting his lip (I didn't see what happened but suspect he may have been playing James Bond and jumping off of his horse-on-springs- onto the bed).
Next weekend and the weekend after ought to be a little saner, aside from the DnD group, but starting the last weekend in February I'm going to have three very crazy Saturdays, and it's all the fault of Music Club and Eastern Star.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

My husband

made crepes for dinner tonight. Isn't he sweet?
He almost always cooks dinner on Wednesdays because I teach until 5:30, and I am usually too exhausted by the time the last youngster leaves to throw together a stir-fry, which is all there is time left for. Sometimes, of course, I do a stew that can be left to sit all day, usually when he has an exam.
His last class on Wednesday is always Choir, so he comes home with that musician's high, you know, the one you get from working hard and doing well. Not quite like the performance high, but it's still a good, on top of the world sort of feeling. Aside from Choir, today was a good day for him anyway.
His intern group had lunch with the interim university president today, and each intern had to do a five minute presentation. His project is Information Security Awareness. He's particularly talented in public speaking--I think it is the Baptist Mission School's fault. And his project happens to be very impressive. He printed out the 1/2 hour short version of his educational presentation--the full power-point takes 2 hours. He's got a mass communications student working on a video with him. He's got buttons and flyers and I don't know what else in the making.
So he came across very well, and was appropriately congratulated by those running the program who were hoping to impress the interim president. He came home on cloud nine.
And he made crepes for dinner.