Friday, December 26, 2014

Really, Pinterest?

Ruby (8) and Grace (5) are coming for a play date tomorrow.

I was worried about what to feed them and decided to go to Pinterest for some ideas and to be the "really cool" grown up.

Idea number the one. Grilled cheese roll ups. One slice of bread, flattened, crust removed with a slice of American cheese on top. Roll it and cook it like grilled cheese. I've never tried it but it's bread, cheese, and butter. How bad can it be?

Idea number the two. Vegetable pizza. Tastes good and good for you. Not really a novelty but new to me. I've prepared it but haven't yet tasted it. Again, there are only so many ways to mess that up.

Idea number the three. How cute is this?

 

 

Except when it actually turns out like this-

 

 

Those are Swedish fish floating on the left and sunk on the bottom on the right. I won't even talk about how it started in a more fish bowl looking container and only filled an inch of the space.

The last time they were here it was summer and we played outside, painted rocks and drew pictures with awesome markers. Tomorrow we will play with markers and cool coloring and activity books, and we will drum. I have several drums here in the house home for vacation. Enough for everyone. I also remembered I had these-

 

 

Boxes of buttons. And really, who doesn't love buttons.

 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Cracks Me Up.

Or ways in which five year olds are hilarious.

We are watching The Nutcracker this last day before break. We are five. I add commentary while they are watching to help them make sense of it all. At one point Marie (Clara) leaves her sleeping place and appears in the living room perfectly coiffed. I said, "my hair never looks that good right when I get out of bed." Sylvester says "it's probably because she has a bigger room." (Insert confused puppy look here.)

As they leave, Charlotte says "Merry Christmas Mrs. Terry, bring one of your toys to school when we come back." I said, "I'm not sure if Mr. Terry is going to get me any toys." She said "You never know... Maybe he will get you a puppy."

There is a second class of five year olds coming this afternoon. I can't wait.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Looking through a different lens

Do you remember Rusted Root?  Did you love them as much as I do?  Do you dance every you hear the Enterprise commercial?  I say yes to all.

One of the founders of the band, Jim Donovan, gives drumming workshops.  But they aren't your typical "I'm a music teacher, what can you possibly teach me" drumming work shops.

They are for people.  All People.  And he teaches about the power of chanting and vibrations in the body.  And you pause and meditate.  And you learn how to lead a circle of drummers.  And you don't need any musical knowledge.  At all.  And sometimes it even gets in the way.

I went to a workshop this weekend in Mt. Pleasant PA.  It was about 14 psychotherapists of one kind or another. He is all about using entrainment and sound energy and percussion to change the energy of the waves of our psyche.  Our brains latch on to patterns.  Percussion creates patterns for our brain.  If we can adjust the pattern with drumming, our wacky waves can become calm.

As a "music person" I had no fear coming to this workshop.  I've been an average performer always.  I understand that it takes practice to get better.  I learned this weekend that adults have more fear than children when it comes to creating in those spaces.  I've only ever been to music teacher workshops where everyone and their dramas are mostly ready to jump in at a moments notice.  I learned so much about people watching him teach adults how to find the musician inside themselves.  I learned so much about the things music teachers do to stifle these joys in children who turn into adults.

The method and training I have has always embraced student exploration and improvisation and I thought I was really "it."  I'm teaching what they need and giving them chances to create.  After this workshop I realized, not so much.  Or at least certainly not as much as I profess to do so.  When you're always fixing the sound, kids never let go of their fear and just be with the sound.  The urge to strive for perfection has become much less.

I am in my 28th year of teaching.  There aren't very music workshops that I can go to where most of the material and techniques are already known.  This weekend, after the Sound Empowerment workshop, I feel like I got a new toy to play with.

If you ever get a chance to attend a session (click here for linkety), run, don't walk to see him and meet him and know him.  It was AMAZING!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Some thoughts

I was a recluse when I started blogging. I had one good (not husband) friend and the primary basis of that friendship early on was that canceling plans was allowed if there was excess anxiety on either side.

When I started reading blogs I found internet friends who wrote about knit nights and yarn stores.

I thought, hey maybe I could go to a yarn store.

I did. They had knit night. After much trepidation, I went there too.

I found that I could be a part of that tribe and I made friends.

All that practice being and making friends while knitting helped in the real world. For a while I carried my knitting to combat social anxiety and only rarely did I need to resort to it.

Now I can go out into the world without it and have fun, not even needing medication. Of late I've even initiated a few social gatherings and looked forward to them with anticipation rather than dread.

Anyone who suggests that there is not magic in knitting has never heard my story.

Thanks everybody.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Knits of Wisdom

Enchanted by the thrill of larger than life knitting,

 

Two fair isle sleeves at a time

 

Fair isle WVU toboggan
Double knitted fair isle scarf

 


More trickery to follow

Let the simple pleasures of k1p1 malabrigo not be forgotten.

 

 

Friday, August 08, 2014

Who Am I?

HusbandBob's daughter is an effortless food artist. During the first week of vacation she threw together an amazing chicken tortilla soup with a store roasted chicken some tomatoes and some chicken broth and leftovers from a previous meal. She also made a kale salad that was delicious and seemingly effortless.

That combined with the crazy kitchen dictatorship of week two and the last week of freedom has led to some more forays into healthy delicious cooking.

On Monday I tried a sausage/summer vegetable dish. Peppers, onions, red potatoes, zucchini, rosemary, garlic, and chicken apple sausage. Roast the potatoes and fry it all up in the pan. There were some glitches. It took longer for the potatoes than the recipe indicated, it was a little light on the sausage, but it was edible, interesting, and not spaghetti.

HusbandBob ate it but not without trying to turn it into spaghetti or stir fry. This would be good with red sauce. What if we had more peppers, no potatoes and served it over rice or noodles. What if you used ground beef instead of chicken. Oy.

 

Today it was Julia Child's eggplant pizza. It had a little higher difficulty level. I have never bought let alone cooked an eggplant. Nor have I ever salted anything to draw out the water. (Daughter did this with the kale so it wasn't completely foreign). This was delicious. I did it! I've got to think that the top shelf (as opposed to Kraft low fat shredded) mozzarella had something to do with it.

 

So, for at least the second time this summer I have to ask, Who Am I?