Wednesday, April 30, 2014


My dresser is in my bathroom.

My pillows are on my the living room.

The contents of my bookcases are in the kitchen.

I'm not entirely sure where I left my shoes.

I'm sitting here typing this at the dining room table. My view if I look up is my TV, some tall cabinets from Mom's craft room, and other assorted odds and ends. Millie has been wandering around with a semi-panicked look on her face, meowing at me. I know what she's saying: "Oh, shit. We're moving again, aren't we?" I keep telling her, "It's temporary, sweetie. Now get out of the way so I can move this dresser into the bathroom."

Tomorrow, the well-worn carpet in my bedroom and Mom's craft room is getting ripped out, and not a moment too soon. When Mom and Dad moved here in 2006, most of the house (even the bathrooms, ew) was carpeted with a not-great quality a light color. One of the first things they did was replace it in the great room, master bedroom, and bathrooms. There's wood flooring in most of the house, and linoleum in the bathrooms.

They kept the two smaller bedrooms carpeted, though, and now, 8 years later, it is showing its age...and the traffic patterns. Recently, they decided it was time to take it out and put wood in the two small rooms, and I, for one, am excited to no longer have to deal with the carpet.

But of course, it's leaving me discombobulated.

It's only for a few days, but what a few days. I've been running around playing clarinet for the musical, teaching, doing my normal stuff, and running around, literally (three miles yesterday). It's exhausting and I can get a little cranky, but mostly, I'm just dealing. At least I get to sleep in my bed tonight and tomorrow night (Friday is questionable, as the new wood floors will have to set).

At this point, I've got one eye permanently affixed to June 1st on the calendar--it's a Sunday, it's the day after graduation, and it's a day on which I might go for a long run, but will definitely, definitely spend some time prone on my bed, admiring my new wood flooring, watching movies and sipping a margarita.

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Little Monday Motivation

I'm a worrier. It's just in my nature to worry about things before they need worrying about, to worry while they're happening, and to worry about them long after the need to worry is gone.

It's something I'm always working on, and I am getting better with age, as I figure out that I cannot control everything around me, and that I will screw up from time to time, and that's just life. Deal with it.

Every Monday, I get an email from a list I subscribe to called "Monday Motivator." Today's was timely, as I've been trying to keep a lot of balls in the air the last few weeks (and this will continue through May). Written by a man named Scott Westerman, his message today (not yet up on his site), had a couple of pieces that felt quite profound to me.

If your best friend confided this [your current problem], what advice would you give? We tend to be gentle, rational, patient, supportive and pretty darn smart when those we love ask us for our wisdom. Find your best friend and get an emotional battery charge. If that person isn't nearby, speak to yourself as you would to that individual you most cherish. And listen.
This is spot-on. When friends have stuff they're worried about, I remind them that they're okay, they've got this. My friends do the same for me. Why, then, is it so hard for us to do it for ourselves?

Ten years from now, how important will the things you worry about today really be? Probably not important at all. Our earthly assignment is to discover our calling and work in its direction to the best of our ability. There are always detours on this road but if you keep your eyes on your ultimate destination, you will deal with most unpleasant things that face you now, without losing sight of your goal. This is the foundation of faith. That sometimes irrational belief that if you keep on keeping on, things will work out.

Absolutely. Things will work out. And I need to remind myself, more often that the things that keep me awake at night now are not, in the grand scheme of things, very important. I can't even remember most of what bothered or worried me ten years ago, except some angst about leaving a job I loved that was only part-time.

Westerman has a site where you can read his past Monday Motivators (a favorite of mine, shared my my friend Lindsay and the one that had me subscribing in the first place, is Chasing Happiness. I'm due a re-read of that one). Some weeks I simply skim the content of the email I receive, but others, like today, really hit home with me. Today's was worth sharing...especially as it gave me a break from worrying. ; )

Sunday, April 27, 2014

10K Finisher

That's me. ; )

A couple months ago, it was suggested to me that I run a 10K race to help me step up my 5K pace. I've been gunning for that sub-thirty 5K for ages, and conventional running wisdom is that upping the distance helps the speed. So I gamely signed up for the Capitol City Classic 10K, then nervously strapped on my running shoes and started pushing the distance.

I've done very well, actually. Last weekend I pushed to an all-time high of 7.5 miles, and I've been consistently running 6 to 6.5 miles every Sunday for a few weeks now. A 10K is 6.2 miles, so I knew I could comfortably and confidently run a whole 10K without a problem.

And I did!

Oh, it had its moments. I pushed a little to hard a little too soon, but in my defense, I had to get around the power-walkers who ignored the signs and started up front with the 6-minute milers. Because of this, I set off at a pretty quick (for me) pace so I could get around the slower people, and by the 2 mile marker, I had worked up a good sweat and was starting to think I ought to slow it down a little.

When I reached the point in the course where the 5K runners went one way and the 10K runners another, it felt a little strange to go with the 10K route--if I'd taken the 5K route, I might even have finished with a near-best time, at the rate I'd been going. But I gamely soldiered forward towards the 3 mile marker, knowing that all these mid-pack 5K racers were about to get their bagels while I kept plodding along. (I was a little jealous, I admit it. But mostly I just felt badass.)

The course took us across Sacramento's Tower Bridge and along a nice river walk I didn't know existed, along the well-loved local bike trail, and into some gravelly bits that had me picking my way along cautiously. There were two moments where I almost walked out of necessity--simply to keep from slipping on the gravel on one short uphill and another short downhill. I still consider what I did in those places running, just slow, careful running.

Around the halfway point, my stomach started doing its "oh, honey, you shouldn't have pushed me so hard" rumblings, and I'm sure the people I was running near were perhaps concerned with the gasping and small grunts (which I tried to keep to a minimum) I kept emitting. The course took us over a bridge, so I ran near the edge in case I lost my breakfast, but it didn't end up happening--and I did not walk.

The first four miles of the race felt endless, but the last two seemed more reasonable. I had slowed down a little but I kept running, focusing on making my mind think of pleasant things. My legs felt good, my stomach (mostly) settled down, and I just kept chugging along. I was actually feeling quite pleased with myself for being out there.

Finally, the mile 6 marker came into view, and I could hear people at the finish line ahead. With a burst of fresh speed, I finished the race strong, at 1:09:02, with a smile on my face. I wanted to wave at everyone when I heard my name called out by the announcer. I just ran a whole 10K!!

After grabbing my free bagel (most races I run have bagels for the runners and it's just so nice to stuff carbs in my face after a run) and a bottle of water, I went back to the finish line area to attempt a selfie. A nice lady saw me struggling (and still breathing hard), and offered to take the pic for me.

Red, sweaty, exhausted...and SO PROUD. 

I wandered around a little to gather myself before hiking five blocks back to RosiePro. The bagel was a goner, as was the bottle of water.

My official time ended up being 1:08:05, which is not bad at all. I was hoping to get in under 1:10, and I did just that. It's about a 10:58 pace, but I know a couple of my miles were faster than that...and I know that every time I get out there and run, I improve my speed, my strength, and my endurance more and more.

On the picture above, there's plenty to feel good about--a good time, finishing in the top 50% of women and of my age group. But the best part of all is that one word after "Status." The f-word.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

My Week In Instagram (Week # 74)

This week was a short week--we had Monday off--but it felt so long. My Disney trip already feels like months ago, but it was only two weeks.

And I spent a lot of quality time with my clarinet this week.


Sunday Run Day

Red, sweaty, and satisfied after 7.5 miles.

Hello, Lizard!

A long run means a nice lie-down with Netflix. And a nap.

I made yummy stuff on Monday.

And a big mess.

Curried zucchini soup.

Sold some DVDs at Dimple Records.

And gagged delicately over the maple bacon lollipops. 

It was a glorious morning for a run.

How excited was I to put this away in a file cabinet?

I found these in the pile on my desk--warm-up and
performance plans for our Heritage performance. 

Tuesday night, playing for the Shrek orchestra.

Another evening, another rehearsal.


Four miles on Thursday, my last run before tomorrow's 10K.

Yet another creative shot of my clarinet.

How I'm spending some of my weekend. Excited!

Sometimes, you just need Jamba Juice.

Wearing my awesome new choir hoodie.

Dress rehearsal for Shrek. 

That's it. Nothing today. I'm too tired from packing up my bedroom, all the late nights, all the running, etc. etc. etc.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Big Green Monster

I'm not talking about jealousy. I'm too tired and busy to be jealous of anyone. Well, except people who work 8-hour days and then go home and put their comfies on to sit on the couch for a while before bed. I'm very jealous of them right now.

This week, I've been out every night--Monday was Sac Choral, but every other night was to rehearse with the orchestra for the spring musical at my Large Suburban High School. (That musical is Shrek, hence the title of this post.)

It's actually been a lot of fun; I'm enjoying the process, I'm enjoying reuniting with my long-ignored clarinet, and I've never played in a pit orchestra before. The kids in the cast sound great. But I'm not going to lie, I'm so bloody exhausted from the 12-hour days I've been putting in (get up, gym/run, teach class, work on school stuff, teach piano lessons, rehearse, come home, crash) that I'm looking forward to having a weekend to...

Oh, wait.

Because this is just my life, I have to move out of my bedroom before May 1st. We're getting the carpet replaced with wood next week, which is a true "hallelujah" because the carpet that came with this house isn't the best and it's showing its age in a big way. But it means that I have to move everything out of my bedroom, so this weekend will be devoted to packing books and whatnot, and dragging them out to various corners of the house and garage. Fortunately, I don't really have a lot of stuff here, and as I go through my books, I find a few that I'm happy to take to the used book store, so that helps.

The next few weeks are full of activity for me--rehearsals and then performances of the musical, getting ready for my own spring concert, regular lessons, workouts, a couple of races, and a Sac Choral concert weekend. June 1st is going to find me half-comatose on my bed, watching movies and guzzling tea between naps.

It's worth it, though.

Things are going pretty well, really. I'm busy, which keeps me satisfied and happy. I do actually get enough sleep at night, what's missing is the much-loved "down time," though I'm managing to grab some here and there (this afternoon, a glorious four hours of it).

And while I may grumble and groan now and again, I know that at the end of all this, I'll be resting through June, having successfully completed my first year at the LSHS, performed the epic and bombastic "Carmina Burana" with Sac Choral, and looking forward to spending some time in the summer getting ready for a great 2nd year.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Don't Tread On My Badass

To the dude at the gym this morning:

Maybe, in your experience, there are women who come to the gym solely to flash a cute booty and flip their hair around while balancing two-pound dumbbells in their hands, though that's not what I see in our club. I see people of all fitness levels who are dedicated to improving their lives and health with exercise. Bravo to us all.

I didn't even notice you at first, because I was swinging a 25-pound kettle bell, using my hips to leverage the weight up in the air, level with my shoulders. It's not a difficult exercise, but it is effective and I do like to focus on my form so I don't do it incorrectly and hurt my back. So when, mid-set, it penetrated my brain that you were behind me, repeatedly calling out, "Look over here!" to my back, I chose to ignore the annoying noise because I immediately assumed you couldn't possibly be bothering me when I was so engrossed in my workout.

But you were. Your eyes were right on me--my backside, really. I could see you looking my way in the mirror in front of me, and I immediately felt annoyed and bothered. Maybe you were trying to be cute, but what you did, instead, was basically harass me. Because you only stopped your endless "Look over here!!" calling when I finally threw you an irritated glance in the mirror. Our eyes met. You were smiling. I was not.

After that, you made no more attempts to get my attention, and for that I am grateful. Grateful that I didn't have to interrupt a really good workout to deal with you. Grateful I didn't have to get rude. I am not a confrontational person but believe me, when you treat me like an object while I'm getting my badass on, it makes me unhappy. The claws will come out next time.


Meg of the LPB

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Back To the List

I took a week off from my Weekly Goal List this week, and it was wonderful. While I'm normally very satisfied to tick things off my list as the week goes by, this week, I needed to be away from that level of responsibility. I got very little accomplished, but I did complete my one big goal: to relax and clear my mind from the stress of leading a choir trip so I can focus on the next six weeks.

But a new week is starting. I have tomorrow off, but it's otherwise a normal day in that I've got the gym, and Sac Choral. My list is ready for the week. Bring it on.

Friday, April 18, 2014


I think I'm finally winding down from the craziness that was choir tour. I've spent the last few days being lazy (except for work outs and piano lessons). Today I stopped by my office to drop off some choir sweatshirts I picked up, but I didn't stay long.

I could be doing 101 things for school--lesson planning, planning out next year, etc. etc., but I'm only interested in relaxing right now. The next six weeks are going to be insane (and this is not me being melodramatic). I have two weeks of almost-nightly involvement in rehearsals for the Spring Musical (this in addition to my private music lessons, though a calendar quirk is allowing me to get a week off from that, thankfully). There's prepping my kids for the Spring Concert and (hopefully) singing a song at the graduation ceremony. Regular music lessons, except for that one week off. Regular workouts. My first 10K in a week, and a 5K in May.

Mid-may will find one Saturday with me in Fairfield for a job training (same gig as last summer), then back to Sacramento that evening for rehearsal and a concert for Sac Choral. I almost decided to sit this one out, and still sometimes think I'm stupid not to...but it's Carmina Burana and heavens, how I'm enjoying that piece.

At school there will be the annual testing, a staff meeting this week, and the end-of-year activities will start piling on. Before I know it, these six weeks will be coming to a close and I'll be submitting my grades. I plan to spend some time in June organizing the nooks and crannies of my classroom and office, and Lynn, the band teacher, will be moving into the office with me in June, too. I'm actually excited about this, as we get along well and I won't mind having the company in those rare times we'll both be in there at the same time.

I have a couple of guys actively pursuing meeting up with me on the online dating sphere and I'm just looking at my calendar and wishing I could tell them, "Just...wait 'til June, okay?" I'm actually a bit blase about dating right now, even about That Boy (yeah, still in my life. He just...will be for a while).

So, yes. This week, I rest. Tour took a lot out of me--I joked to Mom at one point that I felt rather like a sheep dog, constantly running in circles trying to keep tabs on my flock. It's exhausting. I trust the kids--they're great--but the rest of the world terrifies me.

I just sounded so much like my mom with that statement.

Tour was a lot of fun, but I was also in a constant state of alertness. I'd go on a ride, scream and laugh my head off, then get off it to immediately check my phone just in case a text had come through and a student needed me. Fortunately, the only texts I got while in Disneyland were questions about meeting times and places. But there was always that possibility, and the responsibility is exhausting.

This week I had my normal piano lesson schedule and a ton of make-ups, but now, for the next three days, I have nothing. Oh, I'll run on Sunday, and go to the gym and Sac Choral on Monday, but otherwise, it's all about relaxing, catching up on my reading, maybe watching a movie or two. I want to do a little bit of cooking so I have some ready-to-go meals during the week, but I enjoy that.

On Tuesday, I hit the ground running again, and it won't let up until May 31st. Blogging might be scarce, especially on weekdays.

Thing is, I can handle it. I'll be tired, and there will be moments of crankiness, but I know I can handle all that needs to be done. So bring it on.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Week in Instagram (Week #73)

Yeah, so this is more than a week, it's a week plus two days, and I probably won't do a Week in Instagram post this coming weekend because it's Spring Break and I'm recovering from my choir tour.

Also, all those Week in Instagram posts where I say I was busy? I wasn't busy. This week was busy. And hectic. And crazy. And fun.


Shadow of a runner who had just completed 6.5 miles.

The bees were here.

Mom worked in her garden.

So did the bees.


Duchess loves her mom.

The living room.

At Sac Choral.

Student elections week. Huh.

A wonderful gift from my PEST at school. 

I put this on my white board.

Imagine my surprise (and mild dismay) when the minivan I ordered was,
instead, a massive Suburban. But I handled it!



Outside my classroom, bright and early on Thursday morning. 

Dorky High School Choir Teacher (I wasn't driving, we were parked).

The view from my hotel room.

Newport Beach, California

Everyone is welcome at the beach.



Of course I put these up on Instagram!!

Those light sabers would come in handy more than once.

At California Adventure

When I was little, we left Disneyland with Yours Truly crying, "We didn't
ride Dumbo!!!" the whole way out. Dad's shocked I didn't ride it this

Lunch at the Blue Bayou.

Souvenir light-up ice cube.

Haunted Mansion!

The Matterhorn

These days, the balloons light up.


Proud Teacher. : )

Brought a little magic home. Happy to be home!!!

Disneyland swag. I also bought two hoodies, one t-shirt, and some
shortbread cookies.

LOVE this.

This is for my office.

Best souvenir by far. I lost my 23-year-old Mickey watch last summer, and
I was really, really sad. So I bought myself a new one. Love it.