The Third Wheel Hermit

I have been enjoying a change in pace this summer and while I have thought of several posts, I have obviously only mentally composed them ;-)

And the post title…I have realized that while being social, I am doing a really good job of being a third wheel when I decide not to be a hermit.

June involved a lot of traveling and time with family and friends and July has started with being more social in the Rockford area.

Here is a quick breakdown of June:

1st weekend – was in Michale & Naomi’s wedding. Had a great day celebrating with them! (FotoEnvy did a fabulous job on their pictures)

June 4th – Last day of school! Insert happy dance!

June 5th – And I am off to Rushville :)

2nd weekend – played for Kathleen & Eric’s wedding in Rushville. Enjoyed visiting with friends and dancing the night away!

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2nd week – In St. Louis for a World Music Drumming Conference and enjoyed visiting with Kristy, Amber and Hallie. I love St. Louis and all the performances they have available! And don’t even get me started on the food options! Yum!

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3rd week – back home for a few days and then over to Crystal Lake to spend time with my brother Wayne and his family. My niece helped keep me active and I loved biking with her. When did she grow up?!?

4th week – back home for a few more days and then off to Iowa to visit my brother Brian and his family. Unfortunately, he was up in Canada for work. On the plus side, I did get a chance to visit with Mike, Jolynn, Lydia and their new addition Simon! I also had the opportunity to visit with Amanda and run a 5K with her that holds a very special place in both of our hearts.

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What was the first thing I did when I got back to Rockford? Go swing dancing of course with Naomi! 5K in the morning and a late night out dancing? Why not! It’s summer :-) While dancing, Naomi and I met a couple for Wisconsin that told us about free dance lessons on the riverfront in Beloit. One of my goals this summer is to explore the Rockford area more and get out so two hours of learning and dancing the Waltz sounded perfect for a Monday night! Fourth of July festivities included an interval run. At noon. On a hill. Not by best decision but it was fun! After that I enjoyed walking uptown to see the parade. My most exciting adventure on the fourth was biking downtown Rockford to watch the fireworks on the State Street bridge with my friends Mike and Andi. In total, we biked around eleven miles! I don’t think I have ever biked that much before but it was so much fun!

Yesterday I spent a wonderful afternoon practicing with Michael and Naomi and then they helped me ring in my birthday by going to a late showing of Monsters University. I think we are all getting a little too old late night movies because we were all dragging today at church. Although I did not want to wake up, it was nice to wake up with a phone call from my dad singing happy birthday.

Did you know Google changes their main page on your birthday?

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Oh, and I made myself a birthday cake :D

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For supper, I treated myself to a delicious meal at Social in downtown Rockford. I first heard about Social while looking at artwork at the Rockford Art Scene. The food was delicious! I normally inhale my food (bad habit of a teacher) but I savored every single bite! I started off with a Lavender Cocktail (Tito’s Vodka, lemon juice, lavender syrup, vanilla), and an appetizer special of fried Garlic Scapes. For my main meal I ordered the King Salmon (spinach, lemon, garlic, caper, plenta, mushroom). The Salmon melted in my mouth. Since it was my birthday, I decided to get dessert and am glad I did. I ordered the Mint-Rhubarb Sherbet (lemon, sage, almonds) and an espresso. Other than the delicious food, I enjoyed hearing about where the food came from and how it was made by the chefs. As a birthday treat, the chef sent out an edible flower with a delicious strawberry sauce and something else that I forgot.

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Mmmmmmm. So. Good!

Not a traditional birthday celebration but a delicious one.

This has been a very random post but I wanted catch you up on my crazy life.

Since it is my birthday today, I would like to send out a surprise to the first three people that comment. You can tell me about a birthday tradition, your favorite birthday memory, a random thought…Go!

 

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Zzzzz

Today I woke up late.

Late like I was supposed to be at school at 8 and I woke up more like 8:10. Somehow I manged to get to school before the first bell rang and before my frist class. I might have missed door duty but you know what, I made it. I am not proud of the fact that I was late and was so tired that I was late but I am proud that I made it in time to teach.

The one word that would describe me this week is: TIRED

I went out to eat with a friend after my JH show choir practice and there were a few moments were I felt like I could fall asleep at the table. Thus waking up late this morning.

Tonight I was crazy and brought home school stuff to do over the weekend.

My job may be making me exhausted right now but I love my job. Not the exhausted part. I like my sleep.

Three weeks until the show choir show! Excited and nervous and have I mentioned the five page list of things that need to get checked off.

Stop reading and go make these pop tarts now. You will not be sorry. I made these tonight for my and there will be more made and stored in the freezer for crazy mornings like today.

I still have some lingering sniffels from a few weeks ago.

Taking a sick days really does help you recover faster.

Should probably used one before February :)

 

How would you describe your week? Any new recipes you have tried lately?

I have a chili recipe in the works. Maybe this weekend? Maybe…

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A party to wrap things up

Sorry about my absence :(

Things really have not been abnormally busy but I have been drinking in the quiet and enjoying time with friends.

That leads me into Thursday night of last week. I went to the last Wind Ensemble concert of the semester and loved every minute of it! I have several friends in the ensemble and Erin conducted on the first piece, Commando March by Samuel Barber. A great start to the concert :)

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Next was a piece by James Mobberley entitled Ascension. There were fewer musicians on stage and there was an added electronic element that helped paint a sound picture for the listeners. I was honored to hear this piece and was impressed that Mobberley came up from his job at the University of Missouri-Kansas City to hear the Wind Ensemble play his piece and share a few words with the performers and audience.

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For all of you Tolken fans out there I think you would have thoroughly enjoyed the last piece: Symphony No. 1 “The Lord of the Rings” by Johan de Meij with Matt Bean as narrator. Amazing experience! I have heard all of these pieces being practiced as I taught in Browne but to hear them in the recital hall gave me goosebumps and made me excited! I love it when music makes me excited ;) Anyway, this last piece depicted Gandalf the wizard, The Elvenwood, Gollum, The Mines of Moria, The Bridge of Khazad-Dum and the Hobbits.

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So many concerts last week but with music like this, all the concerts energized me and made me even more excited to go out into my own classroom and teach the future generations of performers and audience! Yea! :D

So what did I do after the concert?

I am so glad you asked ;)

Naomi and I had invited our friends over for an end of the semester/going away party. I had so much fun making the food and thankfully a lot of it disappeared by the end of the evening :)

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It was so nice to relax and visit with friends outside of the music department as well as some friends that are not in the music department. I did not count how many people we had but at one point I am pretty sure we had close to twenty in our trailer. Our trailer is a pretty good size but I don’t think we have ever had that many people in it at one time before.

Since it was a Thursday night and people still had things to do on Friday, they started leaving by 11:30 and everyone was gone by 12:30. While I may be a college student, late nights and I do not always get along and Naomi and I were exhausted!

We left cleaning up for the next day, put away the food and went to bed.

My excitetment did not end Thursday though…and you will just have to wait to hear about the wonderful recipes that I made. Here is a teaser for you, the cheese in the red bowl does not have any sort of dairy product in it.

;)

Have a great day!

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Friday!

I don’t think I have the words to describe how excited I am that it is Friday! I have a list of things to do this weekend but I am looking forward to doing things on my schedule and not fitting things around Monday through Friday schedule. This last week seems like a blur more than usual since my recital was last weekend.

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On a music note, I have been enjoying sight reading through Bach’s Inventions and am getting ready to start working on Lowell Liebermann’s Gargoyles and Debussy Estampes. Today I stopped by the music library and picked up scores for Bach’s Partitas, English and French Suites so listening will be added to my list :D  

This week was a fairly low key week which was really nice. Tuesday night a guest speaker, Michael Leahy came to campus and gave a presentation called Porn Nation. I helped out the night of the event because the Bible study I go to was the main sponsor of the event. A lot of prayer and foot work had gone into the even to make it a success and it was amazing to see God work! We had reserved a room that was supposed to hold around 250 students but we were praying that God would make the room bigger so that more students could hear Michael Leahy’s presentation. We opened the doors at 6:30 and by 6:45 there were no more seats available. By 6:50 the leaders decided that we would have another presentation at 9:00 as well. Even though people knew there would be another presentation they still piled into the room and were packed in the room like sardines. There was a large number of students in both groups that stayed to hear the spiritual side of overcoming an addiction and Michale’s struggle and how God saved him. I was able to hear the second presentation and was impressed with the content and overall presentation. Praying that God will continue to work and am excited to see what He will do :D

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Lazy Saturday while slightly productive. Now ready for Sunday and ready to get some more homework done after church. What are your weekend plans?

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End Of Summer

 

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Summer is drawing to a close. I cannot believe that school starts on Monday :( I am excited about my classes but I feel as thought I have just started relaxing. As far as classroom classes, I only have three but I know with performances, research, students, etc I will be kept very busy. I will be giving my senior piano recital early October which I am excited about but I am especially excited about starting to repertoire after my recital. I will also be in concert choir this Fall. It has been awhile since I have sung in a choir so I am looking forward to getting back into the routine of rehearsals. As a bonus, I had time for steel band! This is something I have wanted to do since I started college but have not had time to do until this semester.

Last week I invited some friends to come over to hang out and eat (Kristina, Tyler, Amanda, Lisa S. and Austin). I made salsa with an added ingredient of avocados, pizza and Tyler made fresh mint ice cream. The ice cream tasted like mint smells out in the garden. So good! I also made oreos (http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2009/02/oreo-cookies-made-from-scratch-just.html) which are so much better than buying them. We were going to watch a musical but we ended up talking and singing and just being random. Another night will be planned at some point in the future.


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I am trying to get back into the routine of making food. I had several bananas that were getting very ripe so I decided to make banana nut muffins. I prefer these to bread because they are easier to pick up and take with me when I am running errands or late in the morning :) Instead of using oil I substituted apple sauce. These are nice in the morning or anytime of the day ;)

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In addition to making my own food more, I have tried to go the local farmers market on Thursdays to buy fresh produce.

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The corn I plan on using in a salsa and a soup recipe that my friend Amanda has posted on her blog (www.vegacious.com), The tomatoes and one of the green peppers are for regular salsa and the yellow squash is for a recipe that I seem to have misplaced. Not only did I get fresh produce but the special bowls that I ordered came in (plus one of my school books but that is not as exciting)! I used these for the first time tonight and I love them! So much easier to eat salsa from.

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This was my lunch/afternoon snack while I finished reading a fantasy/fiction book that I picked up a couple weekends ago. Tonight I was in the mood to cook, especially since I had all of the fresh produce :) I decided to make a summer pasta salad that Amanda had posted about and it was good (http://vegacious.com/2010/08/summer-pasta-salad/). I was missing Garlic Gold but I improvised and mixed some olive oil with dried oregano and a little bit of minced garlic. I like the taste but I am eager to try it with Garlic Gold.

 

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This has been a good last week of summer. I know summer is not over but summer without school is almost over. Tonight my new roommate for the fall moved in. I am excited to get to know her better as she is a choral music education major. We both will be student teaching up in the Chicago suburbs in the Spring so we are excited and nervous about being so close to getting jobs ^_^ I am tired so I think that means I should go to bed ;) Tomorrow I will be helping mom and dad paint a little more at the caretakers house out at the campground. Good night everyone!

 

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