Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I'm taking my students ice skating today. I haven't been skating since I broke my thumb roller blading 4 years ago and had to have reconstructive surgery. But I have missed skating and am looking forward to getting back on the ice.
I'm going to have to do the Bride of Frankenstein act at first, while I get my ice legs back, but hopefully, I'll be gliding along after warming up.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I don't know if these kinds of petitions really have any impact, but this is one from The Breast Cancer Site, requesting that insurance companies should not be the ones that determine who should be able to receive testing for the BRCA gene. This is a pretty serious issue for those of us with high risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
My own experience with this is that after receiving genetic counseling, it was recommended that I get the genetic testing. However, my insurance won't pay for it and it costs thousands of dollars. Thousands of other women are currently in this situation.
The insurance companies will pay for this test, IF a woman is tested positive for breast cancer. However, there is a wait time before the test results come back, so treatment is delayed ( a woman may wish to have both breasts removed as well as her ovaries during the surgery to remove the tumor if she has the BRCA gene.) Also, a woman who is high risk for the BRCA gene, may develop ovarian cancer, which is usually not diagnosed until treatment options are limited or non-existent.
I have attached a link to the Breast Cancer Site in case you are interested in signing the petition.
Good health to all,
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Farmer's Market 2009
My first musical experience was piano lessons, which I started when I was 8 years old. I had wanted to take cello lessons, but my mother was dead set against my learning a stringed instrument. I was a little sad, because, in some ways, the piano is a lonely instrument for a child. My sister played clarinet, and my brother played trumpet, so they were in band, and better yet, the marching band.
I did learn to love the piano. Being a shy child, it was easy to spend intense hours studying the nuances of music in the coziness of my music room. My piano became my close friend.
My younger son took up violin at 8 years old, and I had visions of eventually playing piano - violin duets with him, but that never transpired. After a few years of studying violin, I found him peering over my shoulder, paying very close attention to the Chopin piece I was playing.
"How do you play that?" he asked, pointing to the bass clef. I explained the bass clef to him, and he continued to watch as I played. The next morning, I woke to hear Chopin being played exquisitely. Caleb was at the piano playing as if he had been born playing the piano. At that point, I turned the piano over to him, as it became his new love and he spent many hours, as I did, discovering the beauty of piano music.
After Caleb left for college, I never really returned to piano playing. Life was busy, hours at work were long, my energy had gotten diverted elsewhere. In many ways, much of my creative energy got filtered into teaching.
Then my father became ill and needed care-taking, my little granddaughter, Lilee, was born, and my personal time became even more scarce. What brought music back into my life, was the sudden death of Lilee, the light of my life. My heart was broken, and I did not know how I would go on. Needing something in my arms, and something to focus on, I picked up a guitar for the first time. I did not want Lilee's short life to be without lasting positive impact, and looked for Lilee's gifts. The biggest gift of Lilee was the gift of music; the path back to joy.
I have been on that path for a couple of years now, and am in many ways back to where I was as a child, discovering myself through music. When I made my first shy and awkward appearance at guitar class, the teacher asked me what kind of music I wanted to sing. Sing?????? That was the last thing I wished to do! I quickly found a classical teacher, and discovered how flamenco music spoke to my soul.
But a dear friend who wasn't playing guitar well yet, wanted me to accompany her as she sang. This grew to her learning to play the guitar, and me finding the thrill of singing harmony. Eventually, another friend joined us, and behold - a band!
Music has truly been a journey toward healing and self discovery. Not by humorless drudgery, but by the joy of feeling the vibrations of the music, focusing on the richness of each note, uncovering the mysteries of technique. My time alone with my guitar is a powerful meditation. My time playing music with my friends has brought us together in a much richer relationship.
We had a fun gig tonight.
Thank you, Lilee for bring the joy of music back to me. You are in my heart with each note.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Yesterday, we made the Vietnamese spring rolls and chopped the veggies for the egg rolls. Today, we wrapped and fried the egg rolls, and prepared the rest of the food.
The Kindergarten dragon led the children from the rest of the school to lunch - with much cymbal clapping, gong banging, and bubble wrap popping.
The food was delicious, with a lot of fresh veggies. The egg rolls probably had the highest calorie count because they were fried, and it was a little high on the carb side if the rice and noodles were included with the sushi rolls. I think the tofu stir fry countered that somewhat with the protein.
Vietnamese spring rolls ( I posted the recipe in yesterday's blog)
Hand made egg rolls; filling: bok choy, nappa cabbage, fresh ginger, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and a sprinkling of soy sauce
Vegetarian sushi rolls
Tofu stir fry
Whole wheat almond cookies, made by the Kindergarten
All in all, we had a delightful Lunar New Year party this afternoon. The children love preparing food, setting up the feast, and even cleaning up afterward. While it is labor intensive for the teacher , it is also fun to have the warm, family-like feeling of preparing food together. Plus, I enjoy watching children learn to love nutritional food preparation, and savor their veggies.
Now - I'm putting my feet up!
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