Wednesday, January 31, 2018

and now I know

I was surprised to see an individual student name listed on the school calendar for a birthday celebration~and then, I met Fatima and know why the entire school threw her a party. She is an exuberant woman from Morroco~when she gets excited (about every fifteen minutes or so) she starts to speak in a mash of four languages(Arabic, French, English, and Amazigh), but we still figure out the point of her story.

One of the standards of teaching ESL is the amount of food that shows up~one of the reasons that it so much fun.

Birthday girl wearing the green scarf. 

SO many cakes.

I am having such a good time this week~meeting students from: Jordan, Honduras, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, China, Russia, Morocco, and Spain.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Penzey's for the win

Dropped by Penzey's today~am addicted to their air-dried shallots (sprinkle those on eggs with the paprika and your breakfasts will be transformed!) Turns out that they're doing another gift~so came home with a large bottle of Parisian herbs to try.

Monday, January 29, 2018

the Devil made me do it

Am subbing adult ESL classes this week. One of my name games is to have everyone create a name plate by drawing three things they love.

We were all puzzled by the devil on this man's card. Someone asked what 'devil' is and the reply was 'Satan'. Then, the room got really quiet. 

Turns out it's the emblem for his favorite football team~the AC Milan. It was a great ice breaker for that class.

I've been chuckling all afternoon over this. (also, note to self~maybe don't teach international students during the World Cup this summer. Could be a very contentious classroom!)

Sunday, January 28, 2018

the fire-eater turns three

Pink is the color du jour.

And singed nostrils were the party trick.

It's a good day that includes sprinkles!!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

the spa defense

My answer to dry winter air and living in a house where the stench of meat cooking comes through the vents.

Friday, January 26, 2018

walkin' on sunshine

Lousy exposure, but was fun to watch the feline in the princess's castle.

Pleasant day for a stroll around the lake. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Sunday, January 21, 2018


Am slowly becoming my father in regards to keeping gift cards for awhile before using. I had forgotten that I had a Starbucks card tucked away~it came in handy today while teaching my first batch of Sunday students. It's going to be a nice day of teaching variety between voice/piano/flute!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

quiet yet productive

On one level, deeply bummed that I wasn't able to march in DC today~on the other level, deeply grateful for a full day of subbing music lesson. And? As a bonus, they were mostly voice students instead of the tediousness of piano lessons. (To be fair, there are some fun piano lessons, but usually when a student signs up for voice, it is because it is their choice and not something artful foisted upon them.)

Time for change.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

foxy morning

As I walked down some icy steps this morning, the student behind me started shouting. It took me a couple of moments to realize that she was shrieking "Fox, fox!" Not the first thing I heard. SO glad it is almost the weekend.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

purveyor of goodness


Per the usual snow-stocking-up, swung by Trader's and the library and found these delicious new crackers.

Am loving the view out my window~these winter stark trees cause me to stare out the window for swatches of time.

Monday, January 15, 2018

upside to everything

Yes, the Potomac is frozen

One of the nicer things about working on a day when most people are off is that there is little traffic! A pleasant evening of music lessons~met a new adult piano student and heard that my voice student's Carnegie audition went well.

Tomorrow is supposed to be bringing more snowflakes.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

criiiiiiisp air

As we've gone back into the negative wind-chilled mode of being, I am proud of myself for prying me out of my cocoon of hibernation to go for some long sunny rambles this weekend.

And we changed the Christmas red to winter blue.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

whatever it may be

"As soon as you start thinking that this year could’ve been better, 
please remember the mountains and the valleys 
and the setbacks and the triumphs 
that got you to the exact patch of land that you inhabit now.
Feel your feet hover over the ground 
and bask in the texture across your toes, 
whatever it may be. 
None of it was accidental nor in vain. 
You are forever stretching, growing, breathing, evolving. 
You are not to be wrapped up in yesterday, not matter how comfortable the cloth may be." 

~Julie Faulkner

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

polka dots

Bring me joy~and today is full of them~sheets, jammies, coffee mug, and penny found. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

What's this??

An almost 50+ degree jump in the weather and life feels doable again. It was delightful to step outside and not feel extreme pain. Also a treat to walk firmly and quickly across the parking lot~not to mention how nice it is to drive with confidence again. Everyone is outside this afternoon and the birds/squirrels/dogs are going nuts with the frolicking.

Back to the job hunt~these snow/ice days have brought to my attention the deep need for a salaried job and/or one where I can walk/Metro to work.

Monday, January 8, 2018

cake and sleet


It's been an exciting Monday so far. I did get to teach at least one ESL class before the region freaked out and the sleet came.  I decided to swing by the library and Trader's since my evening classes were cancelled. Evidently, the entire county had the same idea. 

My students all had a huge exam over the weekend and were giddy with relief that it's over. One of them spent yesterday baking to recover and served me this divine cake~Hareeseh. Those of you who know me, know my opinion on cake. But this was so good that I got the recipe

And now, I am home~safely off the slick streets with a stack of books and a fridge full of food. Bring it, winter.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

blink, blink

Astonishing how warm a windless 13 degrees feels after the negative gales we've just lived through. However, I cannot complain too much. I have a warm place to sleep. My car is still working and we never lost power.  I've read through a huge stack of books with all the cancellations of classes and other activities. It's been just TOO cold to function.

I'm so glad to see the end of Grayson (who decided to name storms?) and go back to our normal winter programming for a few days.

Friday, January 5, 2018

protect, feed, read, walk

You cannot tell by the photo, but these are frozen solid from sitting in my car. Guess I won't be disinfecting any piano keys today.

Forgot that I left a water bottle in the car as well. 

Just happened to glance out the window and caught about four minutes of gorgeous pink.

And I leave you with some words from Jane Kenyon (they are advice for writing well, but I think they work beautifully for living well):

"Be a good steward of
your gifts. Protect your
time. Feed your inner life.
Avoid too much noise.
Read good books, have
good sentences in your
ears. Be by yourself as
often as you can. Walk.

Happy Friday!
Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves, 
only the things I didn’t do 
crackle after the blazing dies.

—Naomi Shihab Nye

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

fortuitous bounty

I am scraping the sides of this lovely lotion~gift from my choreographer from Wonka and thinking that perhaps I needed to actually go and buy some lotion.

When, unexpectedly, a friend gave me a belated Christmas gift. And!! It is almost the exact same scent and texture of the above lotion. (I am super picky about my lotions~both the scent and the texture of them.)

Perfect timing~both for the need and for the bitterly dry/cold weather our skin is enduring at present.

Also just received an offer to teach a 10-week ESL class~it's one day per week, but I'll take it!