Monday, October 31, 2011

IRS and other random thoughts 10-31

I received a letter from the IRS today.  It is over the payroll taxes from the store I had.  I had a payroll company do my payroll and stuff but when the store closed they did the end of the year paperwork but never sent it in.  Needless to say, this was a surprise when I got notices about this.  Since then I have sent in all the paperwork.  Well, they lost the W-2s and W-3 from that year.  I was on the phone with them but I only had to wait about 30 minutes (which for them, that isn't a bad wait) until I talked to a real live person.  He was very helpful.  He was polite and nice too.  I always heard that they are not, well, my experience (as limited as it is) has been that they have wanted to help and they were polite.  He told me to make a copy of the W-2s (all 7 of them) and the W-3 and send them in.  He gave me the address and told me what part of the notice to send in with them.  Talk about a good thing.  I was very pleased.  He put a hold on any action and said most likely when they balance, everything will be dropped and that will be the end of the paperwork mess up from the store.  The only thing left for me, paperwork wise, is paying on the sales and use tax that we owe from the last year.  I am on a payment plan and that paperwork is all taken care of.  Thank goodness for that.  I am very happy about how this is turning out.  I will copy those papers this evening and mail them tomorrow.  It shall be done quickly on my part so that they get them sooner and can put them in the beginning of the process to take care of them.

I think I am missing Mom a bit more than normal because it is Halloween.  She really liked the younger children and their costumes.  It was just something that she loved.  Then again, Mom just really liked children.  She had worked with children since she was 14 when she was a girl guide (Canada's girl scouts) leader.  From there Mom went to work with Army Cadets in Windsor (boy do I remember that!  I have lots of memories of being at camps and away with them) to working with my students for sewing and other things.  Mom just enjoyed children a lot.  I would say that Mom really loved lots of things.  I am hiding in the house tonight because I just don't really want to do much.  Trick or Treating here lasts from 6 pm when the sirens go off to 8 pm when the sirens go off again.  I do like how the fire department lets people know when it starts and when it ends.  It really is for the best this way.  When we were small we would go to our elementary school for trick or treating.  Sometimes I would do a lot and other times I would be with mom in the classroom where she would be passing out the candy.  I really liked how the school had a party because all the candy was checked by the fire department (back then people would put glass or razor blades or something equally dangerous in children's candy) and you had a safe environment to go trick or treating.  My friends would all be there too and as we got older we could go without my Dad taking us around.  We would all meet in the gym/lunch room where they would be serving cider too.  I just remember it being a good time the times that we did it.  I know in early elementary we did this, but I don't remember later elementary after my dad left.  I don't remember too much about Halloween then.  I know at one point it was just Mom, Andrew, and I but I don't really remember too much about it.  I have a picture of Andrew and I in our costumes in 4th and 5th grades in the china cabinet.  I was a princess and I wore one of my Mom's fancy dresses.  It was pink (naturally!) and I loved it.  She even had a little jacket to go with it so I wouldn't get cold.  The little jacket was white.  I remember the other holidays so much better than Halloween.

I was thinking about Mom earlier today and that brought some memories out of all of us together.  I have very little memories of my dad.  The only reason I know what he even looks like is because I have a picture of him in one of the picture albums.  I don't know what brought this memory on except I was scratching the top of my arm where my booster shot scar is.  I do remember that day really well.  Mom was never really allowed to tell Dad when she took us to the doctor because he felt his first wife was constantly taking my sister (I have never met her, she lives in England as far as I know and is 16 years older than me) so he didn't want Mom taking us "all the time".  So she just never really mentioned it to him whenever we went.  Well, that day was my booster shot.  Remember how much those hurt?  I do remember because I didn't cry too much I got to pick out a book to buy.   (That was Mom's bribe, a book if you don't cry)  I remember we went during the day so I missed a bit of school.  I was not unhappy about that.  I didn't like school then either.  We came home, Mom made dinner and I remember we were sitting at the counter in the kitchen not at the dining room table.  I was sitting to the right of my dad and Mom was at the left end of the counter.  I must have been wiggling (that was usual for me.  I wiggled all the time) and Dad got mad.  i remember trying to not wiggle, but it was hard so of course, being the young child I was, I wiggled again.  He smacked my arm exactly where the booster shot site was!  I immediately burst into tears because that sucker hurt.  My dad was like, what I didn't hit her hard.  I jumped down from my seat and went to Mom to be soothed.  Mom just quietly said, she had a booster shot today and you hit her where she got the shot.  He didn't apologize, he just said, well, she shouldn't have been wiggling.  I have very few other memories of him, but this is the strongest one I have.  I do remember Mom putting ice on the spot to help it stop hurting.  She even let me sleep in her bed with her that night.  I have so few memories of my dad (he left when I was about 8 and the last time I saw him I was 9) but boy do I have many of Mom.  Mom used to tell me how she knew when I was faking sick to stay home from school.  I would go to my dad and say I didn't feel good.  If I went to her, i was really sick.  She told me this when I was in my 20s.  Of course, this all changed after he left.  Then I just went to mom.  By that time though, I was having so much trouble with my tummy, that I missed generally at least once a week or once every other week.  It wasn't until I was 40 when the doctor said what was wrong.  My stomach doesn't digest properly.  That is why I take reglan.  It is kind of funny to realize how quickly we adjusted to no dad, but the adjusting to no Mom is so hard.  I guess we were so used to dad traveling all the time that it didn't make a difference.  We always had Mom with us and she was the one who took really good care of us.  Even he admitted at the time of the divorce (in court no less! and he was mean to Mom during the divorce) that she was a really good mother.  She certainly was.  Yes, she made mistakes, but we talked about those when I was an adult and she apologized for some of the things she did.  I apologized, she apologized and we put it behind us.  I think that was when we became more than Mother and daughter, we were friends.

I do hope everyone has a good Halloween and a good day.  I am enjoying the peace and quiet here in the dining room.  I think I am going to make some chili for dinner now.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The day before Halloween

I don't particularly like Halloween.  I am not really sure why, outside of it is such a focus on horror and I am not a horror girl.  I can't watch scary movies or horror movies.  I can't read scary books or horror books either so I am just not into Halloween.  Mom loved seeing the smaller kids dress up for Halloween and come to our house trick or treating.  I am not going to be passing out any candy this year.  I am just not up to it.  It is going to be cold and rainyish and well, I just can't stand that long.  If it was nicer out then I could sit outside and pass out candy but it isn't going to be nice so no trick or treaters for me.  I will do what I did last year, sit inside and watch TV.  There was a time a few years ago we had a lot of high schoolers who wouldn't even dress up.  They wouldn't even wear a mask!  It was insane.  Fortunately, the few years have been more littler ones.  Those are the ones Mom loved to see.  When we were small, Mom decorated the house for Halloween but not with anything scary.  We had a witch, but she was a pretty one, and I think we had some cute ghosts too.  I don't completely remember.  I just remember how Mom loved to decorate for every holiday.  She never missed one when we were growing up.  I have some nice window clings for Thanksgiving this year.  I will put those on the windows but I don't know where our other decorations went.  They were for on the table.  I will have help decorating for Christmas, Lily will be here for that.  I am going to see if she wants another gingerbread house.  If she does, then I will get one for her, if not, that is okay too.  It is all up to the lovely young lady.  Whatever she would like, works for me.

I took a nap after church today.  Yes, I actually made it to church again!  I was there for 7:30 am.  I sang with the choir and enjoyed myself.  After the choir was over, Carolyn (another really nice young lady) and I went to sit with her family.  I think next week I will leave my coat with her family since I will be sitting with them.  I love her family.  They are simply wonderful people.  I am thankful they invited me to sing in the choir.  I am hoping Katie will join too as she is a wonderful singer and a great young lady too.  My Katie goes to the same church and it was a nice surprise to realize that.

I don't have any students today.  I had my normal Sunday student on Saturday this week.  It worked best for his schedule so I didn't mind.  Next week will be the last time he will have a lesson until January.  He is going to Hawaii and India.  He will be gone for about 2 months total.  I do hope he has a good time.  I will be burning CDs this afternoon for this week.  I went and bought some ink for the scanner so I can make some copies.  I need to copy Isaac's music for him.  Katie is making copies for her and Calli.  I have to make copies for Allison and for Natalie too.  Many of the students already have their music.  These are the last of the students who need them except for Isaac, the newest of the crew.

I don't really have any plans for the evening today except for watching some TV and maybe movie.  I don't know.  I am reading a good book so I may just finish it for the evening.  I know what I should do, but I am not in the mood.  I should be emptying the table and putting music away.  I also should be vacuuming the floor too, but I am just not in the mood for anything like that.  I will do it this week.  I also need to fold some clothes that are on the hangers in the back room.  They are the few clothes left of Mom's.  I am definitely not in the mood for that.  I need to though this week, because the pile of clean clothes of mine on the dryer is getting bigger and I need to hang up some of those clothes so I can take them upstairs.

Well, I am going to read for a bit.  I do hope you are having a good day too.  It has been.  Church was good and so was the nap.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday 10-29

I can't believe that October is almost over.  I think I say that every month.  Time is going so fast some days.  Today is one of them.  I have 3 lessons, Camille, Rick, and Katie and all but Katie is finished.  I was copying her music but the black ink is out on the printer.  I will have to pick some up this week because I will need to make copies for Allison and Natalie.  Actually, I think I will have to pick it up tomorrow since I need the music by Wednesday.  It won't be a problem, I will go after church tomorrow.  They should be open by the time I finish church.  After that, I can come home and take a nap.  I have all day tomorrow to get the rest of the music organized for the concert.  I also need to make a flyer for the concert so everyone knows the date and time.

I am glad this horrible month is almost over.  With the except of a couple of birthdays, I simply hate the month of October now, just hate it.  I am glad it is almost November despite it being a dreary month, it will be better than October.  I only have 2 more days I have to get through and them a new month will be here. I will be hiding on Halloween just like I did last year.  I just am not ready to take over Mom's passing out the candy post.  Halloween has never been my favorite holiday, even when I was a child.  I like the costumes part of it but I never really got to eat any of the candy I collected.  My brothers got to eat theirs and my candy.  I think I got maybe 2 or 3 pieces total for Halloween.  I was glad when I was not going trick or treating.  Halloween parties were more fun.

It seems that the last flare is over now.  Thank goodness!  My hips have been okay all week so I am glad about that.  It was so hard to walk last week when the left hip was flaring so bad.  I still have trouble lying on my back at night, but I always have trouble with that.  I lay on my sides and it is much more comfortable to me.  It doesn't hurt my hips or my back when I do that.  Otherwise, my hips and back are really unhappy campers and that is not good.

After Katie this evening, I won't have any more lessons for the week.  Rick came today instead of Sunday because it was best for his schedule.  It works for me.  I like to be super flexible when I can because then if I need to change a lesson for a day, my students and their families are more willing to change.  It works out well for both of us.  A perfect example was the reunion weekend a few weeks ago.  I needed Friday cleared so my students came on Sunday and Saturday.  If I was not so flexible, I would have lost out on lessons, but this way everyone is happy.  My new students are more into rescheduling than canceling and I love that.  My old ones also are more into rescheduling rather than just flat out canceling.  It really works for the both of us, the student and me.

I am going to start cutting out the ornaments this week, I think.  First though, I must clear off the dining room table.  It is covered with CDs and music!  It is simply covered!  I have a small spot for my computer and for me to eat, but that is it!  I have the lovely new tablecloth that I am also anxious to put on.  I have a wonderful quilting mat that I can use to measure and cut the materials out on.  I bought the mat about 2 years ago when Mom and I were going to learn how to quilt.  Now, i am not so interested in it, but maybe someday I will be.  I like the mat for other things too so that is good.  I am anxious to have an area strictly for sewing downstairs.  It will be nice to use.  I will also be able to watch TV (when I get one for downstairs) in the family room too.  I may buy a smaller one for up here and move the bigger one downstairs again where it originally was.  I don't know.  It depends on the money situation, of course,  I can't do anything until the property taxes are completely paid for the year.  Once that is in hand, I will be able to save smaller payments for the next year taxes and perhaps be able to buy a new TV for the kitchen/dining room area.  I also have to have the carpet put on the stairs this winter.  I have both the carpet and the padding, it just needs to be installed.  I have the name of a person to do this but I am also going to check on Angie's list as that seems to be a good way to go.

I am going to read for a few minutes, Katie should be here shortly.  It has been a nice and busy day with lessons and getting music ready for lessons.  I am getting up super early tomorrow for church.  I do hope you are having a good day too.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday 10-28

It has been an interesting day.  I went and picked up Maia to bring her to her boyfriend's house.  It was just a quick trip over the border, few minutes there, few minutes back.  The only hiccup was the charcoal in the trunk of my car.  I had thought it was gone but a few days ago I found it in the trunk of the car.  Did you know that charcoal is not allowed to be brought into Canada?  No?  Neither did I.  Fortunately, the border patrol officer let me through and I will have it taken out tomorrow.  I meant to have it taken out today, but I forgot to remind Heather to help me.  I hope I can take it out of my car myself because I am NOT driving around with it anymore.  Next spring, I will give it to the church to replace the charcoal we used for the summer concert.

Acer did really good at his lesson today.  He sat there nicely and he did the proper fingering with both hands.  It was really nice to see how he did.  Then we worked on his high notes and what to do about some of the straining he does.  I think the new trick will work.  I am very pleased with how he did.  Calli also had two good lessons.  She does both voice and piano.  She has a lovely singing voice that is rather mature for her age.  Her range is out of this world for her age and well, for any age truth be told.  She has over a 3 octave range.  It is close to 3 1/2 octaves.  Think Mariah Carey high notes and this 11 year old can hit them.  Amazing.  We finished the left hand for Hark the Herald Angels Sing and started the Little Drummer Boy.  We have about 4 weeks now until the Christmas Concert, which is going to be on December 4.  Emily began her Christmas Concert music too.  She played them very well today so I am not worried that she won't have the music down pat.  Emily will do well.  I have to copy the music for Katie tomorrow.  I just remembered that.  Also, Calli and Katie need their duet too.  Katie will have to decide what they are going to sing.  I just hope that Calli likes it too.

I have been thinking about this for a while.  I have often wondered of the inequities of some things.  This has happened within the family with me for a long time now.  I am expected to accept people's lifestyles, belief systems, and look at things from their point of view, but when it comes to me, I don't get the same respect, for lack of a better word.  I am, at times, ridiculed for what I believe, how I live and in general, my point of view.  I don't understand this.  We are all different in many different ways that is just the way we are made but my differences are insulted (sometimes this happened last spring) and looked down upon.  I just don't understand this at all.  I don't say anything about the differences in our lifestyles but it is okay to put my lifestyle down.  I do not go around speaking the Gospel nor do I condemn people who don't believe in God.  That is there personal business between them and God.  I figure I have enough I am going to have to explain to God that I am not going to start picking up someone else's stuff.  Everyone sins and makes mistakes.  The only perfect person died about 2000 years ago.  I am far from perfect but I try to live my life as I was raised.  I am a Christian.  I was raised in church.  However, I have not attended a church in the last 7 or 8 years.  I recently joined a church choir and have started attending a different church than the one I was raised in.  There is nothing wrong with the church I was raised in, I just feel at this point, a different church is where I need to be.  I have many family members who don't believe in God and I do not try to convince them otherwise nor do I look down at them because their belief system is different than mine.  I just try to live my life and think that actions speak louder than words.  I may not understand some of the reasons people do what they do, however it is not my place to criticize them or put them down.  I want the same things for them that I want for me: to live my life how I see is best, be happy, and be successful.  I want my family to live the way they think is best, raise their children the best that they can, be happy, and be successful.

This is just something I have been thinking about for a few years now.  It has been a thinking and a good day.  I hope your day is good too.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lovely Day 10-27

I have been busy from the moment I got up to when I got home from Choir practice.  I woke up later than originally planned because I reset my alarm.  I was just so tired!  So I rushed to get ready for my first lesson with Breanna.  I had lessons from 2:15 to 7 pm with the exception of 3:45 to 4:30.  I had a small break then.  It was a lovely day full of music.  After my last lesson ended (the first one with the young man named Isaac - whom I have known since he was born), I went to choir practice.  So basically, it was a day filled with music.  Tomorrow I have Acer, Calli, and Emily.  I am picking up my cousin, Maia to bring her over to her boyfriend's house.  He is on the road right now so he won't be able to meet her at the border.  She is going to help with the gas money and tunnel money because it is the end of the month and it is very tight this week (just like it is for soooo many others that i know)  I am grateful for the things I have and that I am able to pretty much pay my bills on time!  (Mostly, anyways - I am still behind in a couple but not too many).

My new student, Isaac is 10 and he is taking both singing and piano.  I am very pleased with what he did today.  We started one Christmas vocal song - Ding Dong Merrily on High, and a few pages for his piano book.  Overall, he did really well.  He also seems to have a good music teacher at his school and it shows.  Benjy and Joiene did pretty well since they don't really practice at all.  I don't know why but they don't.  Benjy played his Christmas Songs pretty well and Joiene, when she played them, she did pretty good.  Both Breanna and Brianne did awesome.  Brianne is learning to play a jump base song.  It is a challenge for her because she has never really had her left hand jump around the notes like this before.  She is such a nice girl.  Next week her sister Brooke will be moving her lessons to Thursday after her sister's lesson.  Breanna is also doing very well.  She has her vocal Christmas song that she is singing and accompanying herself with the guitar.  It will be awesome.  She was also going to sing and play Jingle Bell Rock, but she is having problems with the guitar part so we will use a piano track instead.  It works for me.  Breanna is doing well with her piano but she doesn't want to play the piano in the concert.  I told her that was fine because it is.  If she isn't ready to perform piano, then she doesn't have to play the piano in the concert.  Laith is doing very well with new hand positions that he has never played before.  His Joy to the World is really doing well.  He not only learned to play in middle D position, but we added sharps, dotted quarter notes, and eighth notes.  Laith is such a trooper and is really doing very well with his challenging pieces.  We started the first page of Here Comes Santa Claus.  That piece has 2 hand positions and I think he will do very well with it.  All in all, I have to say that a musical day is definitely the way to go!  I don't think I could handle a day like today every single day, but once a week is okay.  Although, I will normally have a break between Laith's lesson and choir.

I am not quite as exhausted as I was when I came in from choir.  I am still rather tired though.  I do plan to head for bed soon especially since I am getting up earlier than usual to go and get Maia.  My flare seems to be gone now.  My left hip is doing very well and seems back to normal.  My shoulder and arm were getting rather sore at practice, but nothing too bad.  I am just glad that the flare seems to be gone and I hope it stays that way.

I do hope you have had a good day too and that tomorrow will be awesome.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday 10-26

I had only 2 lessons today, Allison and Beth.  Allison is working on 1 of her Christmas pieces and she finished her 2 musical theatre selections.  I am hoping that her other Christmas Song comes in next week.  I had to order it from another store as the original one does not have it yet and it has been over 2 weeks.  The other store is shipping it to my house and it should be here rather shortly.  Beth is working on her audition material for Jekyll and Hyde.  She is doing very well.  The audition is next weekend so we have one more lesson before the audition to polish everything up.  Beth works very hard.  She practices regularly so I figure by next week she will be ready to go.

I have to copy some music for Laith tonight.  We will be starting his Christmas songs tomorrow.  I think I copied one already, but I am not sure.  Either way, I will have it ready for him.  I have 6 lessons tomorrow including the new young man.  I have to copy some Christmas music for him to sing tomorrow.  We might as well start with that since the concert is about 5 weeks away.  I have Brianne and Breanna tomorrow or at least as far as I know I do.  Last week Breanna had to cancel.  I really hope she has her lesson tomorrow.  I miss my students when they don't have lessons.

I am very tired tonight.  I didn't want to get up today.  I was just so tired.  I don't know why I was so tired today but I was.  It seems like it will be an early night for a change.  I think I was awake until about 2 am.  I would really rather be asleep by midnight.  Then I would get up a bit earlier (I don't want to get up too early now!) and get a few things done.  I think I am just not feeling well tonight.  I hope it goes away tomorrow and I feel back to normal.

Tomorrow is choir.  I do like going to choir.  My hip seems to be back to normal so that is good.  I should be able to make it to church on Sunday morning.  That is my goal anyways.  I like singing in a choir again.  I just wish that church was a few hours later than it is.  That would be so nice but it isn't so I will go at the proper time.

I look forward to all the lessons I have tomorrow.  Thursday are a good day for teaching as I usually have 6 lessons and choir practice.  I hope you are having a good day today.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

NCIS night Tuesday 10-25

It was a busyish day today.  I had Brooke's lesson, Aaiyanna's lesson, and Charlie's lesson.  I had to get some music for Aaiyanna before her lesson.  I am missing the CD that goes with it so I have to pull out the original so I can make copies of it.  I just had it a few weeks ago so I don't understand why I don't have it right now.  it is bothering me that I can't find it.  I hope that as soon as I copy the original, I will find the other copy.  That is what usually happens to me so I am hoping that will happen this time.

I have been wanting a table runner to go on my mother's dresser and some small cloths or doilies for her nightstand.  I had some but when the room was emptied, they went too.  I have looked on line and it was hard to know exactly what I wanted especially because I really liked the ones we had.  I went into Walmart tonight and at first I was disappointed in what they had but then I went to another section of the store and right there in front of me was a pretty, lacy, white table runner with 2 doilies that will go on the nightstands.    They are all very pretty and they were only about $4.  That was a nice surprise.  I don't have a lot of money to spend on this, so this was pretty awesome.

I have been so excited that my left shoulder has been doing much better.  After a couple of years of getting used to a frozen shoulder, it is nice to be able to move it a bit more again.  It started hurting a bit this afternoon, but I think the rainy and cold weather is really the culprit this time.  It is supposed to rain again tomorrow too.  I have to go and pick up some music for Isaac tomorrow for his lesson on Thursday.  I am also hoping that the Christmas book is in too.  I need it soon!  Allison can't start her other Christmas song without it.

I have to finish putting Calli's songs in Finale this week before Friday.  I think I need a new mouse pad because mine is totally falling apart.  I have some music fabric and I wonder if I could use some of that to make one.  I don't know.  I will look into it.  I looked on Amazon and they have the most beautiful mouse pad.  I just ordered it.  The shipping cost more than the actual mouse pad, however, they don't carry this one in stores.  I have looked at some of the music stores and they don't have them.  I am going to work on Calli's songs again tomorrow.  It doesn't take too long, but I am so very tired today that it is best I wait until tomorrow.  Speaking of tomorrow, I don't get Lily after all.  The orthodontist cancelled her appointment because of a family emergency.  Darn.  I really was looking forward to my girl.  Well, another time!  It probably is a good idea that she not miss any part of tomorrow because she is having surgery on Thursday and will be out of school for a few days.  I am just not sure how much she will miss.

I must copy some more Christmas music for my little ones this week.  Emily needs to start her Christmas music this week and so does Laith.  I will do that tomorrow so I have them for the rest of the week.  So far, Emily and Laith are about the only ones (except for Isaac since he is just starting) who haven't started their Christmas music.  I am almost ready to start working on competition music!  I am thankful to be so busy.  I emailed a few more teachers asking if they are interested in judging for us this year at competition.  I have hit several brick walls.  I have 3 teachers interested so far.  2 for Saturday and Sunday and 1 for all three days.  However, I need more.  This is very nerve wrecking job.  I am not sure I want to do this one again.  I think some of the other jobs I have done are more interesting.  The newsletter about competition and the concert went out last week and this week.  I will put the rest of the Christmas music away that I didn't need and start pulling out the Competition music.  I don't expect to have a lot of students going this year, but that is okay.  I know that Breanna really wants to go but her family already has a vacation planned so she isn't sure she will be going.  Katie and Rebecca made be my only ones going this year.  Maybe after my new students have had lessons after one year will be interested in going.

NCIS is on right now.  It is such a good show.  I think it is one of my favorites.  I don't know what my favorite show of all time is though.  There are so many good ones.  Oh my!  A twist I never expected!  You will have to watch to see the twist.  NCIS Los Angeles will be on after the regular NCIS.

I am hoping to see my friends Jennie or Wendy some day next week.  I saw them a couple of weeks ago at the reunion.  It was such a good time.

I had a good day.  I remembered to go to the bank and the post office before lessons.  I had good lessons.  I do hope your day was good too.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Another Monday 10-24

I have 1 more new student that will be taking both voice and piano!  It is an old family friend's son.  This young man's dad is my older brother's best friend so his dad has known me since I was a baby.  In fact, he knew me from the minute I came home from the hospital.  I am excited about teaching his son.  He will be here this week a different day so that we can get started.  His first lesson would have been on Halloween and no one wants to have a lesson on Halloween?  I will have Bob and Rachel's but their lessons are before the start of trick or treating plus Bob is an adult so he doesn't really care about trick or treating.  Rachel has her lessons right after school so it doesn't interfere with trick or treating.  I plan to be hiding in my house during trick or treating.

I get Lily on Wednesday!  Okay, I don't get her for a long time, but hey, I will have her for part of the day! I am picking her up from school, taking her to the orthodontist and then back to school.  I haven't seen the young lady live and in person in a while, so I am excited about this.

I have to get up a bit early tomorrow so I make sure I get to the bank.  I have the property tax payment to mail (I am so excited because it is the biggest payment I have made yet).  This is going right on schedule so I am happy about that.  I was talking on the phone so I missed the bank today.  I also have to go to the post office and get stamps.

Oh my, there are Christmas commercials on right now.  Wow, it is a bit early.  There are about 62 days until Christmas, can we get through Halloween and Thanksgiving first?  I have to clear off my dining room table so I can put my new harvest tablecloth on.  There is so much music and teaching CDs on my table that it is a good think no one else needs to sit at this table right now.  I do need a new Christmas tablecloth as all of mine were donated a year ago along with a lot of other things.  I do have a really pretty cloth one, but for everyday use, I want to use a vinyl one.  On Christmas Eve I will pull out the pretty one for those two days.  It is a table cloth that my momma would pull out right before Christmas.  I don't think there really is anything in this house that doesn't remind me about Mom.  I don't really mind.  I don't think it adds to my missing her.  If anything, it is comforting to among her things and in the house I grew up in.  I think Lily will help again this year with the Christmas decorations.  I have found a few more Disney decorations in the family room and my room.  I also found an ornament meant for Andrew that Mom and I must have forgotten about.  I know it is his since his name is on it.  I will give it to him the next time I see him, whenever that will be.  I will be starting on my Christmas ornaments soon.  Some material is in my room and some is in the family room.  I bought the quilting batting last week at Walmart.  I have jingle bells and ribbon in one of my sewing boxes.  I do need to consolidate my sewing boxes as I have about 4 of them with small amounts of stuff in them.  I have a really nice one in Mom's room right now.  Mom and I each bought one but we never used them.  Once the sewing room is put in order, I will take care of the extra boxes.  I think one of my cousins would like one of my sewing boxes. She has commented about it before.  If she would like it, I will give it to her.  I also need to clear the dining room table so I have room for sewing too.  I have to see how many I need too.  Everyone is getting homemade gifts this year.  I love making gifts by hand.  It is so fun and always unique.  Mom always loved homemade stuff best too.  That was just Mom.  I have a lot of Mom in me, I think.  She used to tease me and call me her carbon copy.  I do have many of her features too.

I have had a good day.  I am tired now.  I will be heading to bed soon.  I hope your day was good too.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday 10-23

I ended up not going to church this morning.  My hip was so bad I could barely walk to the bathroom and back.  It is somewhat better now, but really, couldn't it have been okay this morning?  I was awake on time and everything.  Oh well, better luck next week.

I had Rick's lesson this evening but I didn't have Katie's.  I don't know what happened, but she didn't come.  I called her but she wasn't available to answer the phone.  I figure I shall speak with her tomorrow or sometime this week.  I just hope my girl is okay.  Everyone forgets once in a while (including me!) so that part isn't so bad.  Katie has never forgotten before, I just worry that she is ill or something happened to her. She is a wonderful girl and student.  Everyone just loves Katie especially my younger students.  She is very good with children.  Anyways, I did call and leave a couple of messages for her so I look forward to her calling me back.  Rick did very well with his lessons.  He is going to be gone for most of November and all of December so these next two weeks we are going to be wrapping up the songs he is working on right now so that in January we will start something brand new.  He is going to Hawaii and India.  I am hoping he is going to have a good time.  I have been to Hawaii and it is simply beautiful.  I spent about a week in Maui one summer for a writing conference.  I was glad I went a few days early because once the conference started, we were busy everyday all day and evening long.  Mom was originally going to go with me, but she got laid off a few months before so she couldn't go with me.  I called her (naturally) at least once a day to let her know what was going on.  I had a really good time and learned an awful lot from the conference.  Mom would have liked to have gone too.  She liked to go with me to these type things.  I went on cruise to Mexico that had a travel writing course.  Mom came with me.  Because we got the cabins at a major discount and I didn't want to share with a stranger, I had to pay for the entire cabin so I asked Mom if she wanted to go.  If I have to pay for 2 people, then I should bring someone with me, that was my thinking.  Mom said sure, she would love to go.  I hadn't bought the airline tickets yet because I was just booking the trip.  After I booked us on the cruise, I went to book our flights.  It was the craziest thing because I had checked the price before I booked the trip and then I checked after with the two of us.  Well, at the time they had a special for seniors so it cost me $16 more to have mom come with me!  I booked our flights and told mom how much her flight was.  She was so cute, I told her she didn't have to give me the money for the flight, it was no big deal.  Mom went upstairs and came down with $16 and handed it to me.  She wanted to pay for her own flight.  I giggled.  Mom was smiling at how much the flight was.  She said she needed to pay her own way.  I just laughed.  So that November, Mom and I packed and headed to the ship docked in Los Angeles, CA.  I had never been to California before.  Mom and I had a blast on the cruise.  We went on a few excursions that were awesome.  We just like so much of the same stuff that we rarely had disagreements of what to do.  Mom and i had such a good time.  I took soooo many pictures.  I just wish I had taken more pictures of her and I in addition to what we saw there.  I have since learned you can never have too many pictures of the people you love.  This was also the trip where the wind literally picked Mom up and moved her 3ft.  She had gotten in the habit to go and walk on the walkway at the top of the ship.  This day was super windy and a bit chilly.  We were heading back to LA.  Apparently, the wind was so strong (remember she weighed about 95 pounds at this time) that it picked her up and moved her.  Mom was so frightened.  She hung on to the rail and headed back inside.  There was another older lady like mom ready to go out.  Mom told her what had happened to her and suggested she not go out as she was super small like mom.  the lady thanked Mom for letting her know and then suggested that the two of them go and walk on the treadmills that were in the fitness room.  It was nice that mom made a friend even if it was on the last day at sea.  When Mom met me for lunch, I was so upset over the fact that mom could have been thrown overboard that I couldn't really eat lunch.  Mom was fine, she was over the upset, I was not.  That was also the day I fell on the floor and bent my tailbone back to where it belonged.  I got up for lunch and slipped on the wet floor.  There was no sign at that point (it had just happened and the crew person was getting the sign and something to clean it up).  My feet just flew out from underneath me.  Mom helped me up.  I was rather embarrassed but I wasn't hurt or anything.  After we got off the ship we headed to a bus tour of LA.  We stopped in a few places and had lunch and a good time before we headed back to the airport for our flight home.  I would say this was one of the best trips we took before the Alzheimer's really started to her downhill.  The next trips we took were to Disney and to Richard's when he lived in North Caroline.  He is on the west coast now so I don't see him very much at all, even if he were speaking to me.  Mom and I went to Disney about 6 times between 2004 and 2008.  It was a lot of fun.  I could have taken her somewhere new but I thought she would remember Disney and remember how much fun we had there so that is why we went.  Every time we went, it was so much fun.  The cast members are so nice and helpful.  I had my scooter with us too.  We also did go to Disney's Vero Beach for New Year's in 2006.  It was great.  We went with Richard and his family.  It was a great time.

Here are some pictures of Mom and I in Mexico:

I do hope you are having a good day too!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

what did I do???? 10-22

I have no idea what I did but the hip that has been bothering me so much these last few weeks is worse today than ever.  It was getting better until this morning.  I really don't know what I did but walking is a problem.  It hurts to stand.  It isn't so bad when I sit but when I stand or walk it is really bad.  It is not fun, let me tell you.  I am sure this flare will be better by tomorrow.  I sure hope so because I have to sing at church tomorrow and I don't want to be in extra pain.

Anyways, outside of the extra pain from the flare, things are fine for the day.  I had 2 lessons earlier and will have to lessons in the evening tomorrow.  Both Rick and Katie needed later day lessons.  I don't have a problem with that.  I will get up super early for church (don't laugh too hard - the alarm goes off at 6:50 am) and then head to church.  After church, I will come home, have lunch, and then head to bed for a nap. At this point, I will really need it.  Since the lessons are in the evening, I don't have to worry about setting the alarm again so I wake up at the proper time.  I will be cleaning off the dining room table (it is totally covered with music and CDs and receipts) so I can put my harvest/thanksgiving table cloth on.  It is really pretty.  It is vinyl like the others but I like it because you can't get stains on it.  Otherwise I have to put a plastic sheet over the cloth tablecloth.  This way, I don't have to do anything about it!  Talk about a good plan!  I was going to put the Halloween one, but since I don't particularly like Halloween, I am just going to skip that holiday.  I just don't really like Halloween.  Mom really liked it.  She was the one who wanted to pass out the candy and decorate the house.  I just left it up to her.  Now that she is in Heaven, I am just skipping this holiday.  I will either go out to eat or hide in my house.  One or the other, on Halloween.  I like Thanksgiving and Christmas much better.  I love Valentine's Day, not so much for the Valentines but for the legend behind Valentine's Day.  Easter is awesome.  What could be better?  I mean to really sit there and think that someone loves you so much that he was tortured and crucified for your sins.  It totally boggles the mind.  I do like Independence Day.  I also decorate for Canada day as I feel I should honor both countries, the one of my birth and the one I grew up in.  I was born in Canada but raised here in USA.  I never become a US citizen because I wanted my children to be the first Americans.  I thought that was cool and the American Dream.  Now that I can't have children and won't be having any, I am saving up to become a citizen.  I know I can pass the test because I went to school here and I know my history.  I won't have to take any classes like many do because I did go to school in the US and that makes me exempt from them.  I have to write down and keep track how often I leave the country.  You have to have this info for the last 5 years so since I have no idea, and I travel to see family every so often, I am starting to keep track now.

So, I am looking forward to decorating my house for Christmas.  The wonderful Lily and her mom, Julie will be coming to help again.  Lily is having surgery on her foot this coming Thursday, so if you could send a prayer or to our way, it would be much appreciated!  Lily will have the other foot done at Christmas time.  I just love Lily and her sisters.  I am going to get another gingerbread house for Lily this year only I am going to buy some other candy to put on it because I am not sure she likes what is on it.

I am going to read for a while.  I was planning on doing some vacuuming, but with the hip in a flare, it will just have to wait.  There is no way around that one.  I do hope your day is going well too!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday 10-21

I slept in this afternoon.  I was so tired.  I don't really know why I was extra tired but I was.  Tomorrow I have to get up a bit earlier than usual because I have early lessons.  I don't mind.  Sandra is only every other week at this point.  I will also have Camille tomorrow.  Today I have Acer, Calli, and Emily.  Acer is working on "When the Saints Go Marching In."  He now has both hands down pat and the entire song.  Calli is working on her Christmas pieces.  She is playing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and "The Little Drummer Boy".  We have only started the Hark the Herald now.  She knows all of her right hand and the first page of her left hand.  I am very pleased with her progress.  Acer will start his Christmas song next week.  He started his vocal Christmas Song today.  He is singing "Mary Had a Little Baby".  It is a beautiful spiritual that he sings very well.  Calli is singing "Ave Maria" and "In the Bleak Midwinter".  She sings them both really well.  She knows In the Bleak really well and we are working on the first verse of Ave.  We should be starting the second verse next week.  She has such a lovely voice, and her range, oh my, she has about a 3 octave range and she is 11!  Yes, I said 11!  It is very unusual but wonderful that she is so gifted with music.  Emily is borrowing my Theory Games CD.  She is going to load it on her computer and play the game.  It is part of her assignment now.  I think she will like it a lot.  She is such a good student.  She still has trouble with notes but only some of them.  I do think the computer game will work well for her and help her with her notes.

My left shoulder had been giving me a lot of problem for the last 2 years.  I have bursitis in that shoulder but for some reason, it has been doing much better!  I can lift my arm up.  I still can't put it behind my back very well, but I can lift it up!  I was excited when I discovered this this week.  I went to lift my arm up to reach and normally when I forget and use the wrong arm, it hurts.  Well, it took me a few minutes to realize that it was the wrong arm but it didn't hurt!  Now, if only my left hip would be this better.  I am so excited about my left shoulder though.  I knew eventually some of the shoulder would come back to normal but I didn't know when.  I am glad that I have more mobility with it for now.  I will take what I can get that is for sure!

So far this week has been decent.  Tuesday, the anniversary, wasn't as bad as I feared and the rest of the week was good with lessons.  I only had 1 absence, Breanna, yesterday.  I had Brooke and Brianne who were new.  Brooke had 1 lesson about 3 weeks ago but it was Brianne's first lesson with me.  I think we did well together.  Both Brooke and Brianne picked their Christmas music and started the songs.  So far almost everyone has started their music except for a few that will be starting this coming week.  I should have an idea in the next week or two when the Christmas Concert will be.  After I have all the music copied and passed out, it will be time to find out who is going to competition.  I know that Katie, Rebecca, and Aggie are planning to go but I am not sure who else will be going.  I don't have major plans for Saturday or Sunday except for lessons like last week, but that is okay.  Last weekend was wonderful from the parade on Friday to the reunion on Saturday and then Karlyn and crew's visit on Sunday evening.  It was wonderful to see these friends of mine.

I have to say that without my friends, students and their families, and my family, I think this last year would have been even harder.  It was the worst year of my life, hands down.  It was worse than when my dad left, when my brother was kidnapped by my dad, or any other horrible incident.  Losing my mother was the worst.  I never imagined living a life without her and yet, I am.  I am busy with my students and planning for a concert and the competition.  I have found ways to do housework that I haven't been able to do in a few years.  I learned new tricks to get dressed all by myself, something that hadn't happened for about 2 years before Mom passed away.  I have learned a lot of things that I haven't done in a long time.  I am pleased that I can be mostly independent where before I had to take care of mom all the time, she helped me with a lot of things I couldn't do on my own.  Once Mom became to ill to help me, she and I had already devised ways for me to do these things on my own.  That allowed me to be able to help Mom when she needed me.  I do miss helping her all the time.  She smiled so much and was so easy (most of the time) to work with.  I came up with our routines and they worked for us.  I just can't believe at times that it has been a year.

I do hope you are having a good day.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday 10-20

I went to choir practice tonight.  It was fun.  I was back in time for Project Runway.  Today is the finale!  Anyways, it has been an interesting day.  Breanna had to cancel her lesson today because of a live lesson at the same time for school.  I met Brianne and she is a very sweet girl.  We picked her Christmas Songs.  She started both of them today as well as a Hanon Exercise.  Then Benjy and Joine had their lessons.  They are so cute.  Benjy finally picked his songs for the Christmas Concert!  Laith was the last student to have his lesson.  We started his "Joy to the World" today.  I was very excited for the students to start their Christmas music.

After lessons I went to choir practice.  I wasn't there last week because I wasn't feeling too well.  We aren't singing a song in church this Sunday but we are a part of the worshiping team so we are expected to attend.  I will be there.  I do hope I sleep better this Saturday night than I did last Saturday night where I didn't fall asleep until 6 am.  Carolyn, my neighbor and friend, was also at choir practice tonight.  She has a lovely voice and she is also a very sweet girl.  She is 15 or 16 and a junior in high school.  Our choir is medium sized with pretty balanced voices, which is a good thing for a choir.

I don't have much planned this weekend.  It is completely different from the busyness of last weekend.  I have lessons on Saturday, right now 2 of them, but I am hoping both Katie and Rebecca have their lessons either Saturday or Sunday.  Sunday I have church in the morning, nap when I get home, and then Rick's lesson.  I don't need to have to go grocery shopping as I went shopping last weekend with Calli.  I will need to pick up some milk though but that is a quick in and out of the store.  I don't think I will need anything else.

I was so excited this afternoon.  I was working on bills.  I was able to make the biggest payment on the property taxes so far!  It is only the 20th and on Saturday I will be able to mail the payment!!!!  I am so excited about that!  I am so thrilled that I have been blessed with the new students because I am almost at the point where I can't have anymore.  I was so scared when Mom passed away because it took both my disability and Mom's social security to pay the house bills.  I only had about 5 or so students.  I do honestly think that God wanted me to focus on Mom that was why I didn't have too many students because after Mom passed away, I got more students.  Now the students that started in January of 2011 are no longer with me.  Many were adults and either quit right away or at the end of the initial sessions.  There were 2 students who were temporary students, meaning they were students for a specific competition and were finished with lessons at the end of the competition.  This was solo and ensemble, which is through the schools.  Stephanie and Amanda P had about 6 weeks of lessons each just to work on solo and ensemble music.  The two teenagers who started in January quit for the summer and have not come back since.  I was hoping that Amanda S would come back this fall but so far it has not happened.  The students who have started in the late spring or summer I still have.  Breanna and Emily started in the spring and they are still here.  It is a good thing.  Things are working out for me.  I feel stronger in my faith now than I did when I first last Mom.   I am also not so scared like I was.  Once I realized I was living in fear and recognized that fact, the fear start to go away.  I still have some fears, but I no longer feel they are controlling me like they were.

I am going to read for a bit and then head to bed!  I do hope you had a good day too.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

the day after 10-19

Today was a great day.  I must say it was!  I woke up early (okay - that is not the great part!) and headed to my girls, Hannah, Natalie, Lydia, and Sarah's house to pick them up for ... Harry Potter part 2!  Yes, I have now seen that movie 5 times in the movie theatre.  The movie is finally at the cheap theatre so the movie cost $1.  It was definitely a bargain!  I had such a good time with the girls.  After the movie, we went to Del Taco for lunch.  It was a small restaurant right near the movie theatre.  We all chatted and had lunch.  Then I had to take them home.  However, I had quizzes for them!  There were about 4 or 5 quizzes about the Order of the Phoenix and the Deathly Hallows.  Natalie got them all right, Lydia had 3 wrong, and Hannah had 1 wrong.  Sarah did pretty well but as she is only 8 and hasn't read the books, she doesn't know all lot of the answers.  I had a good time.  I also had 3 lessons tonight, Allison, Natalie Z, and Beth.  Allison chose her last song for the Christmas song.  Natalie Z picked her Christmas songs tonight too.  Beth and I worked on her songs for the audition on November 5.  The theatre is doing Jekyll and Hyde.  Beth should be more than ready for the audition when she goes.

Most everyone has picked out their Christmas music.  Only Benjy and Brianne haven't picked out theirs yet.  I have to copy some music for Calli tomorrow.  I have to put her song in finale and make a CD for her.  I will put it in Finale on Friday before her lesson.  I also have to copy Acer's piano and vocal Christmas songs.

My left hip is in a big flare right now.  I think it is one of the biggest flares I have ever had and it is only on the left side.  It is really annoying.  It started about 3 weeks ago and I really expected it to be gone by now.  I don't know how it started.  It started after spending the evening in the ER though so I am not sure if that is what caused it.  Those stretchers are not very comfortable.  Who knows?  Fibro is strange and that is the way it is.  I do hope it goes away soon.  The tramadol and meloxicam aren't helping it too much, but they do help a bit.  I would be in more pain if I didn't have them.

Tomorrow is a day filled with music.  First up with be Breanna, then Brianne, Benjy, Joiene, and finally, Laith.  After lessons I have choir practice.  I am looking forward to that.  It is still hard to that I have to get up so early but I will eventually get used to it.  I usually take a nap as soon as I get home though before Rick's lesson.  As far as I know, he is having it at regular time, which is 1:30.  That gives me a good couple of hours nap!  If he has it early, that is fine too.  I think I will be begin cutting out the Christmas ornaments on Sunday.  I have to trace them out first.  I bought the quilting batting on Sunday when I went shopping with Calli.  We had a lot of fun shopping.  It is definitely the way to grocery shop, take Calli with you!  She puts everything in the cart and then she puts them all on the table at the check out.  She also likes to try to drive the scooter that I ride in.  It is quite cute.  I have the best students in the world.  From my little ones to my adults, they are all awesome.  I have about 21 students now.  I need only a few more and then I won't be able to take anymore.  I am hoping by January I will be filled up.

I am heading for bed soon.  My hip is really bad but only the left one.  It is very strange how that is hurting and the other one only hurts as much as usual, nothing out of the ordinary.  I hope your day was good too!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The anniversary

I was afraid of this date, very afraid of today but it isn't as bad as I thought.  It has been a year since Mom passed away.  I miss her as much as I did the day she passed away but I think I am better at coping with the grief.  There are times I feel paralyzed from it, but there are more days that are okay than not okay.  I am going to look into a support group.  I think I need a bit of help with coping with the paralyzing days.  I am thankful that I teach at least 5 to 6 days a week and some weeks everyday.  It helps me get my day going and organized.  I need the busyness of teaching not only because I love teaching so much, but it also gives me something to focus on.  Right now I am trying to get all the Christmas music together for everyone.  Almost everyone has their songs.  There are only a few students who don't and they will be choosing this week.  I am not completely not looking forward to the holidays this year.  As I don't particularly care for Halloween, I will either go out for the evening by myself or hide in the house like I did last year.  For Thanksgiving, if my cousin comes, I will cook dinner for us otherwise I hope to be at Kathy's parents house with Kathy and her family.  I am so thankful that her parents include me in the holidays.  I have known them most of my life since Kathy and I have been friends for 40 (yup, I said 40 and we are only 43) years it is like a second family to me.  I do plan to be with Kathy and family at her parents for Christmas too.  I had a good time last year and I enjoy being with her and her family so it is a good place to be.  It is nice because I think that Mom would be happy that I go there for the holidays.  Competition is still kind of weird as mom went with me every year but one since I started teaching.  She even came to several of my competitions when I was competing.  I remember the first one so well.  I was singing for the competition.  I was only 17 and it was my 2nd dance competition ever.  Mom drove me there (not that that was unusual) and I was sitting with her and the rest of my dance studio.  I had rather long hair and it was in a ponytail for the number that I was going to perform.  My dance teacher had a bad habit (as many do) of finding fault with every number but her own students.  It wasn't very nice but I didn't really think about it.  Usually I didn't say anything but this one number I made a comment.  All of a sudden my head snapped back and I was being pulled by my mother.  She heard my comment.  It wasn't super rude, but it shouldn't have been said.  It was not nice or appropriate.  Mom took me by the hair until we went outside so she could speak with me privately.  She didn't pull that hard, but she did get my attention, which was her goal.  Anyways, needless to say, I NEVER said anything rude, inappropriate or mean again at any performance whether it was a concert or a competition.  It got to the point that I started sitting away from my studio and dance teacher as once I realized what was being said, I just didn't want people to think I said those things too.  When I took students myself from the studio, we generally sat a few rows away from the rest of the studio.  Also I would talk to my students about what is nice and not nice to say.  Basically, I enforce the old "if you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing" approach.  I to this day enforce that.  I only have one student's grandmother who needs to learn this because there are times I cringe when she speaks during competition.  It is quite embarrassing to the student too because she does know that it is mean to say what her grandmother says.  I won't every forget that moment with Mom though.  Ponytails come in handy to get a daughter's attention don't they?  Mom was there when I won 4th place overall in the competition the last year I competed myself.  She also took me to the nationals that summer and once again I won my category and I won 4th place overall.  We had a good time at competitions.  When I started going to AGM and then MMA, Mom went with me.  She always called herself my assistant.  It was great.  She would be in charge of music and getting it back from students so that I can do whatever duties I needed to do.  I do miss having my assistant at competitions.  Going by myself is not quite the same.

I do hope that this coming year is not so hard.  I am busier than I was when Momma first passed away.  I only had a few students and now I have a few more.  I did have my disability, but I can't pay all my bills just on my disability.  I am capable of working part time, full time no way.  That won't happen and I don't expect it to happen anytime in the future.  I have about 25 students with some every week, some every other week, and 4 once a month.  It is enough to keep me a bit busy and it is enough to pay the bills.  I have room for a few more students, but not too many.  I am happy with what I have right now.

I did have a few lessons today as usual.  Brooke started her lessons with me.  She has had one lesson, but that was more of a trial lesson.  She is a very nice girl.  Her sister will start with me on Thursday after Breanna's lesson.  It will be funny because Breanna will have her lesson and then Brianne will have hers.  After Brooke was Aaiyanna's lesson, and finally, Charlie with his lesson.  Charlie did an hour lesson this week and will do an hour next week too because we have one more lesson to make up.  It will work out really well because we have plenty of music to work on.  Brooke picked her Christmas songs this afternoon.  I have her in the piano/vocal Christmas book because it is harder.  It is the way the music was originally written and not made easier.  She was happy that I did that.  I asked her if easy piano would be good for her sister and she said yes.  I thought so and I am pleased that I have picked the right book for her.  Aaiyanna finished a few songs and is doing very well with her Christmas music.  I picked a bit of a hard one for her and she is doing really good.  She loves "Sleigh Song" and I know she practices a lot on that one.  I made the right decision in copying her music and putting it in a binder.  It is definitely better for her because she would have like 5 different books right now.  With her being so young, only 7, that is a lot of books for her to carry.  Only about 3 students have not picked Christmas Songs.

I am watching NCIS right now and then I will watch NCIS Los Angeles.

Overall, it hasn't been too sad a day.  It is better than I expected.  I have had some tears, but I expected that.  I can't believe it has been a year.  I wish she were here but I am thankful she is in Heaven without Alzheimer's Disease.  I wouldn't want her to be here and suffer that I wouldn't want but I do wish she were here.  I miss both the Mom she was before Alzheimer's and the Mom she became with Alzheimer's.  I do think that if she were still here at this point she would be a vegetable and bedridden.  I am thankful that I didn't have to see her lose her smile or for her to be bedridden despite how much I miss her.  I am also thankful for the amount of time I was able to spend with her.  My brothers did not get to spend the time with her that I did.  I feel bad that they missed so much time with her.  My friends and their children knew my mother better than her own children (except me) and grandchildren.  I wish they had the chance to spend the amount of time with her as I did.  I think they would have had a good time and a chance to see mom as a person not just as a mother.  Mom and I were more than just mother and daughter, we were also good friends.  I would have to say that she was one of my best friends.

I hope you are having a good day.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday 10-17

It has been a pretty decent type day so far.  I cried a bit because tomorrow is the anniversary of Momma's passing.  It started with my Muglia girls.  Lydia didn't have her lesson as she broke her wrist.  I felt so bad for the young lady!  No piano for a few weeks for my young girl.  Sarah, Hannah, and Natalie had their lessons.  All three did very well.  They are all working on their Christmas music at this point.  It was so neat this afternoon when the older two, Natalie and Hannah, and I talked about where they are in piano and where I am having them head.  They thought it was pretty cool that by the time they finish high school, they will be able to play pretty much whatever they want.  I don't think either really gave it any thought.  Right now they are playing piano/vocal/guitar music instead of the easy piano that they used to play.  I have some awesome music that I haven't had many play because many students quit before they get to this point.  Some are too busy or don't want to practice or whatever the reason, they just quit.  Sarah is doing pretty well too.  I am pleased with her.  She is just beginning the level B book and is learning her Christmas Songs too.  Left hand was a bit hard for her but she really had them down pat.

Rachel had a good lesson too.  Poor little one, she has a bit of a cold.  She seems to love the new computer game for music.  I do hope it will help her with her notes.  She is doing pretty well, but the game will also help her too.  Rachel is just an adorable young lady.  She is actually going to have her lesson on Halloween because the lesson will be early before trick or treating.  I have not taught on Halloween in so many years that it will be strange.  However, I am glad she is going to have her lesson and not miss anything.

Tomorrow Brooke and her sister Breanne will have their lessons, as far as I know.  Brooke is at 2:15 and Breanne is at 3.  They are new.  I am anxious to begin with them!  It should be good.  Tomorrow I have 4 lessons.

I do hope you are having a great day.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I almost forgot!  Here are a few pictures:

Top picture: Kathy, Me, Wendy, Peggy
Middle Picture: Lori, Andrea, Me
Bottome Picture, Andrea, Me

Where to begin! Oh My!!! 10-16-11

Last night was a fun night.  It really was.  I had sworn after high school that I would NEVER attend a class reunion.  Hm, I guess I lied?  I wasn't really sure I wanted to go but then Kathy and I talked about it and we decided we would attend.  I am so glad we did!  It was so much fun.  I had such a good time and I really needed it to.  I saw several people I was friends with in elementary school but then you know how things change in junior high and high school.  It was so nice to run into them there.  I think my facebook friends list may be growing!  They had a photo booth there and it was really cool.  Peggy, Andrea, Kathy, Karlyn, and I all got our pictures taken with it.  Normally, we all know I run the other way when it comes to pictures, but I feeling pretty good about my looks yesterday.  For a chub, I don't think I am that bad looking.  Yes, I soooo need to lose weight, but, overall, I wore make-up (yes, I know such a shock since I don't wear it everyday anymore) and I had a nice outfit on.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to wear but Kathy gave me the idea of my beautiful gold sweater.  It is an Elisabeth by Liz Claiborne sweater so I don't wear it everyday.  It had a skirt it belonged to, but like so much of my stuff, it got donated because they thought it was my mothers.  I just wish they had asked because I loved that skirt and I did wear it when I was on a cruise and for Christmas a few times.  It was nice and swishy.  Alas, it is gone now.  However, at least I have the sweater that went with it.  It is gold and black with sparkly things on it.  Very dressy and fun to wear.  I had my hair up in the usual ponytail as it wouldn't behave.  I had my bangs looking okay though.  I did, like I said, wear make up and I discovered my eyelid brush needs replacing.  It ripped.  the other end is a different kind of brush so that did work out well.  I got there a bit before 7 but Kathy and Peggy were already there.  It was so funny because when I got there they said here is your seat.  You are sitting between Kathy and me, that is what Peggy said.  I just laughed.  I took about 25 pictures.  I have some really fun pictures now of us.  Kathy got her hair cut and it looks so nice.  It is really pretty.  It is actually kind of funny because Kathy and I have similar taste in a lot of things, music, books, food, activities, and we have both worn the same hair style for the last 10 years!  Now she has a different look.  It suits her very well.  I am not ready to chop all my hair off but I know she has been wanting to do it for a long while.  One of my friends, Hunter, is a breast cancer survivor.  She has been battling it for the last year.  She has now beat it.  At first she had her wig on and then she took it off.  Her hair is starting to grow back.  She is a wonderful strong woman.  She came over to speak with us and get a few pictures!  There was only one slight mishap.  When Peggy, Kathy and I were looking at the yearbooks (yes, another thing I swore I would never do) I almost fell and took not only Kathy who I clung to but Peggy as well.  I don't know how I almost tripped, but I almost did.  thank goodness Kathy was standing strong and we didn't fall.  We all pretty much stayed until the end at midnight.  There was a few last pictures with us as a group and then we all said goodbye.  I would say one of the good things about facebook is that it allowed us to find high school friends so that they would know about the reunion.  That made a big difference although a lot of my facebook friends from high school did not attend.  I would say that about 1/3 of our graduating class was there.  I know that at one point one of the girls and another were arguing about how many were in our class.  One was adamant that we had over 600 and the other was like, only about 300.  I would say it was only about 300.  We did not have a huge class like the class of 1987 was.  They were a bit class.

Today, I had Calli's lesson and I burned a few more CDs for the concert.  Calli and I also went shopping.  We had a good time.  She was a bit thirsty when we were finished so I stopped and got her a drink at McDonald's.  Hey, for a dollar you can pick any size.  She wanted a medium.  She also was so very excited about the rice crispy treats I bought myself.  She ate one in the car.  Calli's dad and uncle were over helping with the shower head and with the railings.  I now have railings for the downstairs hallway!!!  This is simply wonderful!  It has been so hard for me to get up and down the stairs without them.  I don't have good balance so I am always afraid of falling.  Thank goodness I hadn't at that point.  Now, I don't have to worry because they are up and looking fine!  I think I will paint them white this winter.  This way, both will be same the color and maybe the two different styles won't matter much.

Well, Karlyn should be here for a little while in a few minutes.  I was teasing her last night.  I told Peggy and Kathy that she wouldn't be here until 8 and you know what?  I was right!  They arrived at 7:50 pm!  You see, Karlyn has mentioned to me that they are late for everything!  On Friday they were going to leave early, but it just didn't happen.  Things get in the way.  We all have that happen once in a while.

I do hope your weekend was good.  Mine was very good.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Reunion!!!

The reunion was a FUN!!!  I had a great time.  I am glad I went.  Kathy is going to let me know if there is a lot of walking for the cider mill tomorrow.  If there is, then, I will not go, but if there isn't, I will.  that is how it stands now.  I just got home and I really had a wonderful time.  The committee did such a great job. I got lots of pictures and I will post them in the afternoon since technically, it is Sunday morning right now!  I am waiting for the dryer and then I am heading to bed!  Have an awesome night!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

the start of the 25th reunion activities

Today was the homecoming parade.  It was short and nice, much shorter than I ever remember but then again, I was in the marching band and we were always first in the homecoming parade.  The Shelby and Utica police and fire trucks were in it too along with an ambulance.  They had cool sirens going.  They actually led the parade and then the Utica Marching Band was after them.  The friends that I went to the parade with are from marching band.  Corinna, Penny, Laura, Peggy, Jennie, and I were there.  Jennie and Peggy's children were there too.  I hadn't met Jennie's four until today.  They are really sweet kids.  She has 4.  The oldest 2 are twins, DJ and Nancy, then Julie, and lastly, Mary.  Mary is 2 and I think the twins are 10.  Peggy's son is 6, Nicholas.  I have met Nicholas before.  He is are really nice young man.  It was a wonderful time.  After that Jennie and her crowd, Peggy and hers, and I went to Chili's for dinner.  It was a good time.  Now I am waiting for Stacey to come to see the saxophone her daughter is borrowing from me.  Jennie borrowed a cello for a few weeks.  Her friend has a son who wants to try it out.

I had to reschedule my students tonight because of the parade and also because I wanted to go to eat with my friends.  Emily's mom graciously rescheduled until tomorrow and I believe Acer and Calli will be coming on Sunday.  That is what I hope anyway.  Kathy will be in town tomorrow for the reunion tomorrow night.  All in all, I am very pleased with how everything is going.  I only hit one snag.  My little scooter is not working very well.  Yup, that is right.  It says it is charged almost full, but when you go, it goes down to nothing.  I can't find the charger.  I am very upset over that so I had to order a new one.  I am really hoping it is just the need to be charged and not the batteries but the batteries are 6 years old.  Of course, it hasn't been used in a while so that could be it too.  I will get this taken care of as soon as the new charger comes in.  It can't be because it sits in the garage because I have always kept it in the garage.  I should have the new charger by the week after next.  I won't be able to use it on Sunday but I am not sure I am going to the Yates Cider Mill either.  It is from 11 to 1 and I am not so sure I will be awake.  We shall see when the day arrives.  I already told my friends, the Hubels, I will NOT be attending church that morning as it will be a rather late night.  I am, surprisingly, excited about going to the reunion even though I don't remember 1/2 the people who are attending.  If they weren't in band or choir, I didn't know them or really ever hung out with them.  And, like Jennie said tonight at dinner, if they were in the "in" crowd, I definitely didn't know them.  We were in the "band" crowd and "choir" crowd.

Stacey just left with a happy Kaela.  She got sounds out of the saxophone!  We are very excited about that!  I showed her how to put her reed on the mouthpiece.  The only issue was that her mouthpiece didn't really fit the instrument.  I know that the cork needs to be replaced, so maybe after that would be better but the mouthpiece I have for it fits just fine.  Her teacher will look at it and see what is going on and what to do.  I am not sure if anything needs to be fixed or pads replaced as it hasn't really been played in about 30 or so years.  I have used it now and again, but not recently.  I thought the thumb piece was broken too, but it turns out that it was fixed so I am wondering if Mom took it in when I had the store to be checked out.  It is hard to say as I can't really ask her since, well, I have no phone to Heaven. Boy, do I wish there was a phone to Heaven.  Can you just imagine how cool that would be?  Anyways,  Kaela is one happy girl and that is what is important.

Tomorrow will be a great day.  I have 3 lessons and the reunion.  I get Kathy!!!!  How much better could that be?  Well, let's see, Andrea, Penny, Corey, Jennie, Peggy, Laura, Wendy, and so many more that I can't even write all there names!  I am just really excited about it.  I hope your weekend is good too!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday 10-13

I am not feeling so good today.  I did have 2 lessons and they went well, I am just having tummy issues this  evening.  It is so annoying and it did make my evening plans change.  I did not go to to choir practice because I was light headed again.  This is getting rather annoying.  It had better improve for the weekend as I have big plans for tomorrow and for Saturday.  I have lessons in the afternoon and then I have the reunion in the evening.  I think it begins at 6 but I am not sure yet.  I have a lesson at 1:15, 4, and 5 before leaving for the reunion.  It should be a fun weekend.  Also on Friday, my friend, Stacey, is coming to have her daughter try the saxophone.  Her daughter, Kaela, has her heart set on playing the saxophone.  I am just glad I have one she can borrow to see if she really likes it.  I hope she does because Stacey bought her a new mouthpiece, ligatures, and reeds.  I also bought a reed for her because I wasn't sure if she would have any.  I am glad Stacey got some for her though because Kaela is going to need a few because I have yet to meet a beginner who doesn't break a lot of them.  I am going to show Kaela how to put everything together so she will know what to do for band the first week.

Project Runway is on right now.  It is the last challenge before the final 3.  This should be interesting.  One episode left after tonight.  It is too funny how the designers don't always take the criticism well.  Josh always has this, how dare you not like my outfits.  Kimberly was the same way.

I have to clean off the table tomorrow as well as the kitchen counter.  Naturally, I haven't done anything. I wasn't feeling to good to do anything except take a brief nap.  I didn't sleep very well last night.  I took my nighttime and I couldn't sleep.  You would think that medicine made to make you sleepy would actually work, right?  Not most of the time with me.  Sometimes it takes hours before I can go to sleep.  I know pain is part of it, but sometimes it isn't about pain at all, it is my brain that won't shut off!  It just won't shut up and let me sleep!  Very annoying, let me tell you!  Anyways, I think I feel asleep about 4:30 or so, then the phone rang at about 8 am.  I let that one go to voice mail.  The phone rang again at 8:20 am.  I answered it this time.  It was Aaiyanna's mom.  Aaiyanna had left her backpack here at my house on Tuesday and they live quite away from me.  Her father was going to be in the area and he wanted to pick it up.  I said sure.  I mean, she needs this backpack that has her homework and stuff in it. I told him to call when he gets here.  He called and now Aaiyanna has her backpack.  I was awake at that point and a bit hungry so I had a bowl of cereal.  I stayed up for a bit before heading back to bed.  I slept on and off for a while before I had to get up for Breanna's lessons.  She brought her guitar and played her "Silent Night" for me.  It is a slightly different, at times, melody from the proper melody but it really suits her and with her guitar, it is really nice.  She has to work on her Jingle Bell Rock now.  I copied the music for her so she would have the chords to work with.  Breanna said she will have the music ready for me next week.  She is also coming along very well with her piano too although she doesn't like to perform with piano.  She only sings at concerts.  Laith is also doing very well.  He started piano this summer and he knows his notes already for the new positions that he hasn't learned yet.  Laith is doing so well that I will be changing him from the prep books to the basic books.  The biggest difference is what you learn in 1 page in the basic books, you learn 2 pages in the prep books.  With the next books, it is important that he be still challenged, but not to hard for him.  My other young ones, it will depend on how soon they nail the names of the notes.  Rachel has the computer game right now and Emily will get it next week after Rachel returns it this coming week.  I am excited to see how it helps Rachel.  She knows her C Position notes, but I have since added the Middle C Position and the coming up G Position notes.  Those still give her some trouble.  Overall, I am pleased with Rachel.  She knows her songs every week and she is a joy to teach.  She always has a smile on her face and is ready to do something new.  I have the best students in the world.  this particular group of students are fun, excited to learn, and not one of them is being FORCED to play or sing!  That is a first for me as I usually have one or two or sometimes three who are being forced to play or sing.  I am so thankful that I don't have one at this time.  I would like to keep it that way.

I am heading to bed shortly as I just am so tired and I don't feel well tonight.  I hope tomorrow is better.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday 10-12

I have 2 students I don't know what to do with because they are from the online company but they haven't paid for this months lessons.  Last week was their last weeks of paid lessons.  The online company dropped them from my schedule but they were here so I am not sure what to do about this.  Benjy was so exhausted today that they are coming tomorrow so I will have to have her call the company tomorrow when she arrives at my house.  It is an awkward situation that I hope is solved easily.  I just love the two kids though, they are so cute and are doing pretty well since I don't know how much they practice.  I don't think they actually practice at home very much.  It is hard to say.  Benjy (age 6) knows the notes on the piano and his had position, the same with Joiene (age 5).  I am nervous of how they will do when they start reading notes on lines and spaces.  We shall see.  Tomorrow will be interesting.  I will also have Breanna and Laith's lessons tomorrow too.  I like Thursdays as not only do I have fun lessons, I have choir practice.  I will not be in church this Sunday because of the Class Reunion on Saturday night.  I am looking forward to the reunion.  A group of us will be meeting at my house for the parade on Friday afternoon.  I will be clearing off the dining room table and making sure the living room is in good order.  I will also clear off the kitchen counter.  It desperately needs it because I have some packages that I haven't opened yet.  I have the new pasta pot and a DVD that goes to Kathy.  I have to put in bags the DVDs and books for Kathy.

I was trying to call Emily's mom last night and somehow I dialed Julie instead.  I felt kind of silly because I meant to call Emily's Mom.  However, it was awfully nice to talk with Julie.  She is feeling better so that is good.  It was confirmed that the last hospital visit she had was indeed an asthma attack and her heart is fine.  Thank God for that!  I was so happy to hear that.  My lovely Lily will be having surgery on her one foot at the end of this month and the other foot should be done during Christmas vacation.  I haven't seen the lovely lady for a while.  She was so busy this summer with Summer Music Theatre and her summer vacation that I didn't get to see her at all.  It was a bummer but what can I say?  the older she gets the more busy she gets.  She is now a teenager and we all know how busy teenagers are.  I do hope she is doing well with school this year.  Lily is a good student so I imagine that she is.  I miss her though.  I hope to see her soon.  Julie mentioned that I would be seeing her soon so that is a good thing.

I accidentally picked up an easy piano Christmas book when I needed the regular Christmas book so I had to go and exchange it today.  I also ordered another vocal Christmas book and CD that I need.  That will be the end of what I need for the Christmas Concert this year.  So far, a little more than 1/2 have picked their music.  I have just a few that need to pick their pieces.  6 students need to pick their songs so that is good.  I also will be working on who is going to competition and what they are going to play.  October is a very busy month for me.

After this week, I should be able to take the rest of the money from lessons this month and put them directly on the property taxes.  I am so excited about that because I only have until end of February to take care of this.  Ugh!  I may be able to put more than expected down this month on the bill.  With holidays coming, that means absences.  Absences means less money.  In the last few years, I have been lucky enough to have students who have wanted lessons during Christmas vacation so I am hoping that this will happen again this year.  I am pretty sure Charlie and Bob will as they usually do.

I figure in the next few weeks I will start to work on the Christmas Ornaments for the students and my friends.  I am looking forward to start working on them.  I have pretty much everything I need for them so I just need to start cutting them out and start the sewing.

I am looking forward to Friday and Saturday.  I dread Sunday, Monday, and most of all, Tuesday, however, with friends and family, I will get through this.  Thank goodness for lessons!  I have so much to do to get ready for next weeks lessons with copying music, CDs, and arranging music.  Thank goodness I have a lot to do this coming week.  I did, however, FINISH the newsletter!  Finally!!!!!  Yes, I should have had it out 2 weeks ago, but hey, it is not to late now.  I don't know when the Christmas Concert is anyways, so I couldn't put the date in the newsletter whether I did it two weeks ago or this week.  The competition music is starting to be picked out so it is still timely to have the competition info. The only info I didn't put in was how much the hotel was.  I couldn't find it on the website.  Yeah, somehow I missed that important info.  It is on the website.  I know what it is now and I can tell the parents when they sign up for competition.  Right now I only know of 3 that are going.  It is fine if only 3 go, yes it is nice to have more, but if the other students don't want to go, that is okay too.  It is more important that they keep learning more and more about their instruments than to concentrate only on competitions.  I do know of teachers that will not teach students if they won't go to competition.  That isn't me, it works for them, but it doesn't work for me.

I am watching Dance Moms.  It is the season finale and the fifteen top outrageous moments.  They are pretty funny.  I am just thankful I that I don't have to deal with parents like that.  It is very entertaining though!

I do hope you are having a good day.  I had a busy one and plan another busy one tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday 10-11

It was exactly one year ago today that I last heard my mother speak to me.  It is kinda weird to think that though.  She was responding to questions and holding (short ones of course) conversations with me, her brother, her niece and nephew, as well as some friends that day.  While it wasn't our first day with hospice, we had been a hospice family for about 3 weeks at this point, it was the first day of her in the hospice unit in the hospital.  I am not as sad, right now, as I expected this day to be, mind you, it is only about 5 pm and there are many hours before I go to bed.  I was thinking last night about Mom.  My first memory involves her.  I was coming down the stairs to the kitchen.  I must have been about 3 or 4 years old.  I remember walking down the stairs and she looked up and smiled at me.  I then remember running to get a hug and a kiss from her.  I am grateful that my last memory of her speaking to me is a good one too.  So many people don't have that like I do.  She was lying in the hospital bed all bundled up because she was always so cold. She had several pillows around her and her little feet were propped up with a blanket so she wouldn't get a sore on her heels.  I leaned over and hugged her as best as I could, which is really hard when the person is lying in bed, but I tried.  I gave her a kiss and told her I loved her.  She said she loved me too.  Those were the last words I ever heard my mother speak.  I don't know if she was able to speak that night to the nurses, but by the next day she could no longer speak.  I can still see her in the bed.  She looked so small.  Mom only weighted about 84 pounds when she passed away.  It seems like yesterday sometimes and other times it seems like she was only a dream, yet I have pictures and some of her things, so I know she was real.  I just miss her a lot and wish she were still here.  I don't wish she were here with the Alzheimer's, I know that the last 6 months of her life were hard on the little lady, I wish she were here and healthy like she was before Alzheimer's.  Those were the good days although, even when she had Alzheimer's she was fun.  I just had to adjust what we did, that was all.

Aaiyanna had her lesson today.  We started her Christmas songs. She seems to like them so that is good. She is singing Gesu Bambino and Sleigh Song for the Christmas Concert.  We will do lots of fun Christmas Songs too but those are the ones for the concert.  She is such a cute little girl.  She loves my Mom's little bear dressed as a dog.  She really loves that.  I think she holds him or my heartsong carebear during every lesson.  McKenzie is supposed to have her lesson tonight.  I am really hoping she does.  She hasn't had a lesson in a month and that is just not good.  I know the place where she practices is under construction, so I am not sure if she is coming tonight or not.  I have not heard otherwise, so I am hopeful McKenzie will have a lesson tonight.  I am hopeful.

I emailed the local University in Kalamazoo and we have our 2nd judge for the Michigan Music Association Competition!  I am very excited.  Her name is Elizabeth and she is a vocal judge.  I am so thrilled that we have two judges.  We have the guitar and now 1 of the vocal judges.

It has been an up and down day for me.  I hope yours is better.  Here is a couple of pictures