Tuesday, September 30, 2014

the turn of a page

Have ZERO idea of how we're toasting a new page of the calendar, but in a few hours it will be October.  And 'rabbit, rabbit' to those of you reading this as the page actually turns~you know who you are.

Wish this came with scent as I lighted my new caramel votive to welcome the changes that are a-comin'.

Monday, September 29, 2014

despite the weather being toasty, we're pretending that it's autumn

Roasted butternut squash soup with sourdough toasts~crisped with my delightful new find of horseradish cheddar!

 And, of course, a batch of caramel needed to be made.

A pumpkin muffin (alas, purchased) for brekkers on the first day of autumn.

 My approximation of honeyed dessert for Rosh Hashanah.

Michael Pollen's pithiness regarding foods:  "If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't." 

And yes, I continue to take bad photographs of darling singers~here's our Rosie Flores.  I couldn't get a clear shot of her cute turquoise tights/guitar.  She's a pistol, I believe they would say.

School is rocketing along like a lurching roller coaster, but I actually knew every student's name today.  (At least the ones in today's classes.)  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

the childhood song is true

 The rains came down

and the floods came up

And while there were a couple of safe(r) routes to take to school today, it was cancelled as there is no power on campus.  Can I get a "YAY!"?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

the cheese stands alone

But not for long as I received this gorgeous little slicer at the market today.

20th Anniversary of Central Market made for a nice surprise in this otherwise cranky day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

sweet JAYSUS, this had better never fly out of my lamp

About stepped on this climbing the stairs to my classroom~according to one of our science teachers, this is a Black Witch Moth.   I looked it up online and found that it's got a 7-inch wing span and, for those movie trivia buffs, this is the moth in Silence of the Lambs.

Here's me, inching my shoe towards it so I would have some kind of scale.    While it's beautiful, I don't really need to see it fly about my being.

Monday, September 15, 2014

sweets, the sequel

Unpacked the KitchenAid (it's a teeny teeny kitchen that I have here) to make cookies for the lovely maintenance staff as a thank you for all the extra work they did last week.

Had a gorgeous visit with a former student who is here in Austin to go to grad school in music ed.  It is astounding to me to see my babies grown and flourishing.  (and in case you're curious, the above is Zilker Mint Chip.  Zilker being our equivalent of Central Park.)  

A good kick-off (sorry for the football analogy, but I live 1.6 miles from the UT stadium~it's in the very air) for the week.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


and the days zip and zoom past.  This was the first full week of school and it included a lovely dinner with the new Head of School (she leads both the Lower and Upper Schools) and Back to School Night.  The faculty all agreed it was a fine thing that Friday rolled around as we were ALL out of food at our homes and digging on the bottom of the closet to find something clean to wear.

I now have a nifty program on my work laptop that allows me to not only SEE all my students' laptop screens, it gives me the power to freeze their account and the ability to TYPE ON THEIR SCREENS.  I cannot WAIT to use this power during one of the myriad study halls that I am forced to host throughout each week.

While I don't do as much urban hiking here (hello 300 degree asphalt), my coin collection continues to grow.

More little chocolate treats~this time in the form of sunflower seeds.

The staff of the Lower School provided all of us breakfast the morning after BTSN.  So gracious and much needed as I rolled in at 6:30 a.m. to reassemble my room.  (One drawback to every choir room I've been in charge of is that it is viewed as a lovely large gathering space for everyone else on campus.)  I arrived to find that the maintenance guys were already lugging in the very large risers to help me.  Cookies are being baked this afternoon to thank them.

The saga of my desk is finally wrapped up.  At first, I couldn't get the two side drawers open.  At all.  They came and pried them open and for the past two weeks, I had to crawl under the desk to smash a lever to let them release.  And then last week, the top drawer wouldn't stay shut.  Do you have any idea how irritating it is to repeatedly close one's drawer while trying to work at one's desk?   They came to fix all of that and the lock....and ended up breaking the lock.  It was all finally fixed and in working order this Friday.  So, I celebrated by getting a nice tray and organising all the bits.  Happy tidy heart.

Our temperatures plunged from 107 to 61 with a violent storm or two and a deluge.  Perfect weather for napping. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014

and the rains came

 And the little flowers responded by growing and blossoming overnight.

Actually needed to go and buy a clock for my place~it's the first flat that hasn't had a stove or microwave clock.  Now I can get ready without running to find my cell phone and see how much time I have before darting out.  Happy Monday, all y'all.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

fitness vs./and health

Had my first physical this morning~probably been a decade since I have had just a basic check up.  Am feeling happy over the results of my lifestyle choices and lucky with my healthy upbringing.  They had three people come and double-check my results as it seems (at least inwardly) I am a 25-yo male.   They made me do the treadmill stress-test TWICE because it wouldn't register anything.  Seems my heart is too healthy for the national standard.  Woot!   

I chalk part of that up to my recent squash lessons.   Is it wrong to celebrate with ice cream?

Friday, September 5, 2014


Not sure if all y'all have heard my small diatribe on how many flavors of gum there are at the check-out counter, but this poem reminded me of the insanity that lies in our over-abundance of choices.  The more days I live, the more simplicity I crave.

I go to the corner liquor store
for a bottle of water, middle
of a hectic day, must get out
of the office, stop making decisions,
quit obsessing does my blue skirt dash
with my hot pink flats; should I get
my mother a caregiver or just put her
in a home, and I pull open the glass
refrigerator door, am confronted
by brands—Arrowhead, Glitter Geyser,
Deer Park, spring, summer, winter water,
and dearly the bosses of bottled water:
Real Water and Smart Water—how different
will they taster If I drink Smart Water
will I raise my IQ but be less authentic?
If I choose Real Water will I no longer
deny the truth, but will I attract confused,
needy people who'll take advantage
of my realness by dumping their problems
on me, and will I be too stupid to help them
sort through their murky dilemmas?
I take no chances, buy them both,
sparkling smart, purified real, drain both bottles,
look around to see is anyone watching?
I'm now brilliantly hydrated.
Both real and smart my insides bubble
with compassion and intelligence
as I walk the streets with a new swagger,
knowing the world is mine.

"Bottled Water" by Kim Dower, from Slice of Moon. © Red Hen Press, 2013.

And on that note, I am on fast for some blood work tomorrow for a physical check-up.   And of course, I'm already craving water (and perhaps the gorgeous coffee that is created with water!).

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

as I feel as though I'm drinking from a fire hydrant, the photos will appear with that same energy/format

In absolutely random order from the past week....the above happy cow at Lick Ice Cream, where we celebrated Labor Day.  I went with the delectable Too Hot Chocolate, which is dark chocolate cream with a cayenne kick.

The belated 'Yay! I got a job' shoes.

Quarter found at 0 dark hundred this morning~still have not adjusted to rising at 5 a. bloody m.

And lurking in my school mail box this afternoon~these lovely little tickets to the newest burger joint in town~one with the best vegeburgers I have had, outside of homemade.  And their deep-fried pickles are DIVINE.

Ready for yelling at teaching children all day.

The morning view from my desk chair~so lovely.

And!  For once, a fitted, wearable coloured propaganda piece of required Friday wear.

Getting ready for the first All-School Chapel.

Joined a gym so I can still exercise in the wee hours of either side of my working day.

 Don't remember if I posted this, but a nice little magnetic name tag.

Walking in, the first morning.

Looking toward the Chapel.

My classroom door with the question:  what is your song?  The students are getting a neon coloured post-it to write their name/emotion/energy that they are bringing to the classroom.  Very fun!

Another angle of the assembly hall~cannot wait to conduct a concert or two in this gorgeous space.

And finally, a incredibly random shot of a yummy salad that I enjoyed over the weekend.