Saturday, January 14, 2012

All State

For the second year in a row, Andrew was nominated for the All State Honors Band. It's such a privilege - such an inspiring experience for kids to play with other high musical achievers. It means a weekend in Tampa for us, at a hotel, amid the annual conference of our state's music educators. There are instruments to try and clinics for educators and concerts. So many great concerts. Music. Everywhere. Here's a look at how our weekend went:
Grandma and Grampy came to hear the music.
Emma really enjoyed checking out the exhibits and all the cool instruments at the convention.
Of course, Andrew had a concert and that was the whole point of the weekend. He played so well and we are so proud of him.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


A short while before Christmas, we had a visitor show up in our yard. Now, for those of you who don't know, I should clarify that my house is in the middle of our city's historic district. Downtown. One of my neighbors keeps bees, though, and raises pineapples, and the other keeps chickens. The lady down the street keeps cats, but that's a story for a different post. And so, it is not entirely unsurprising to find elements of country life in our little urban-ish neighborhood. Our Christmas vacation schedule had us staying up very late and sleeping in rather long. But one morning, our morning rest was cut short by a foreign sound. My mind was having trouble placing it. But it repeated, endlessly, until my sleepy brain fog dissipated enough to recognize the crowing of a rooster. This was new. My neighbor has heretofore only kept hens and not a one of them can muster that sort of noise. So, I shook Chris out of his slumber and jumped out of bed, dashing to the window to confirm my suspicion and I really did find a rooster, crowing away in our back yard! This proud bachelor was checking out the fine lady chickens in the coop next door. Of course, I sent Chris inside to grab my camera while I sweet-talked my new friend into hanging out a little longer. We woke up the kids who were just as amused as I was - which is to say that we were all slightly more amused than Chris, who had been sleeping through the commotion just fine until I felt compelled to share the experience with him. This handsome gent, with glossy, richly-colored feathers, has been strolling through the neighborhood every morning since then, crowing away at street lights and full moons and sunrises. He has recently been joined by a lovely hen of equally-unknown provenance. She has black and white speckles and remains very quiet so far. They are truly free-range chickens, pecking about the urban jungle, scratching a living out of whatever they find, making their way down the street every morning, moving from one yard to the next in a now-predictable succession, presumably enjoying the unique delicacies each one has to offer for breakfast. In my particular yard, they are partial to my ferns. I know for a fact that my chicken-keeping neighbor has put out some feed for them (I may or may not have begged him to do so). There is one neighbor whose citrus trees are dropping unwanted fruit all over the yard (what a shame!) and I can only guess at what other treats they have found. And he struts, showing his new lady friend how important he is to the neighborhood, telling everybody what's what and that it's time to wake up.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Honestly, I have begun many drafts of posts, hoping to jump back into blogging and catching up my friends on all the changes and events that have come my way recently, and it was really daunting. My fingers have hovered over my keyboard more times than I can count and there are so many words trying to get out that they get all jammed up and I can't really seem to sort them out. And this morning, I thought that maybe - just maybe - that is the problem. An update sort of post would take a really long time and I keep quitting before I start it because it just makes me tired. So I think that I will post now, as though I have been posting all along - as though all of you already know everything that has happened this whole time (I suspect that, over time, most of the details will come out in the wash anyway). Deal? So, this morning, I made donuts. And not even the kind where you fry donut-shaped cut-outs of biscuits-in-a-tube either. I mean honest-to-goodness, homemade donuts. They were sweet potato donuts and I used a vegan recipe, only I used real sour cream and Greek yogurt since I kind of like dairy products a little bit. Or a lot. Whatever.
The thing is, since I am allergic to eggs, I haven't had a donut in years. Let me tell you, I definitely ate more than my fair share of these. Also, I was definitely not sorry about it. Not even one little bit. Because, you has sweet potato in it, so it can't be all bad, right?