Saturday, July 31, 2010

Loopy family column

I've been having great fun with my new hoop. What is a hoop, you ask? Read on.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Just yesterday, the kids were getting out of school for the year. Then I blinked, and it's now the end of July. Amazing.

This particular bit of mystification at the passage of time is brought to you by the fact that tomorrow is the kids' last day of their summer enrichment program. It's been a great time for them, taking four different classes each day, from 8:00 a.m. until noon. They've really enjoyed it a lot.

It's been a great time for me, too. I've made good use of my time, doing a lot of writing, mostly. I've been pretty faithful about exercise, too, and I made time for coffee with a friend today, which was great and long overdue.

It all comes to an end tomorrow, boo-hoo. Abby has full-day camp next week, which will be good for her, and fun, too. I'm with the boys, though, from tomorrow at noon through the start of school in September.

August is a lovely month, but it's standing before me like a big, open pit. Aside from the lack of structured things for the kids to do, we have three family birthdays and Earl's and my anniversary (#17 this year.) Busy, busy, busy, as it always is every year. Lots of preparation to do, and very little kid-free time in which to do it.

This year will be even a little busier, as I'm stepping out of my comfort zone as a teacher to do a little performing. My sister and I are giving a recital of mostly show tunes on August 14. That is its own blog post, so I'll leave the details for another day. Suffice to say it's another layer of busy-ness in the month that is rivaled only by December in our household.

I'm going to milk the kids' four hours of enrichment tomorrow for all they're worth.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Milton Musings Column

This weekend's Milton Musings humor column is up. This summer's heat and humidity has made me a little crazy, and it's been affecting the whole town, too.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Living Well stories

The Patriot Ledger published its Living Well section yesterday. I have stories on pages 3, 6 and 11, on Laughter Yoga, Greek yogurt and hooping, respectively.

In related news, I'm now the owner of my very own hoop. My sister-in-law is a hooping instructor, and between her enthusiasm and my research for my article, I decided I wanted to give it a try. My brother made me a hoop, shipped it (you should have seen the look on the mailman's face!) and I tried it yesterday. Fun stuff! Hope no one sees me in the backyard, though.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Today's family column

Here is today's "Just a Minute" column. One of the best things about summer is summer camp.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Two music articles

I had two articles in today's Patriot Ledger. One is about Ron Vigue, the new executive director of the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra. He's got a lot of enthusiasm for what he does, and in the course of our conversation, we discovered we went to the same undergraduate school. Small world.

The other article is a preview of the Duxbury Music Festival, which opens this weekend. The festival will feature some lesser-performed chamber works, as well as musical events large and small.

Those were deadlines numbers 3 and 4 this week. Number 1 was a magazine feature that will come out in September, and number 2 is tomorrow's Just a Minute column. Still have number 5 ahead of me. Busy week, just how I like it.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Milton Patch Column

Here is my second column for Milton Patch. Hopefully it won't get my pool tags revoked.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Exhausted gratitude

After many years of commuting to work, first by train and then by car, I consider myself fortunate to work mostly at home. I'm not out there, fighting traffic every day. I'm not running to catch a train and then squeezing myself into a car just as the doors close. I don't miss it, either.

Then, every once in a while, I have to drive into Boston, like today. All three kids had dentist appointments, at the dental clinic at Children's Hospital.

The appointments were at 2:00, 2:30 and 3:00. We left the house at 1:00, and walked in the door to the clinic at 1:40. After waiting about 10 minutes to check in, we finally did, and had a seat in the unbelievably crowded waiting room for what I hoped would be a short wait.

Usually I totally forget to bring anything to do. Today, I remembered, and so I handed the kids their books, and opened up the Globe.

Twenty minutes later, I'd read all I wanted to read. (How about that potential spy exchange deal? Wow.) I attempted to keep the boys from climbing all over each other, but by 2:35, I'd had enough. Back to the reception desk. Did I miss it when our names were called? Because my first appointment was at 2:00.

Five minutes later, in came the hygienist. The rest of the appointments went more or less smoothly. Parking cost more than usual because of the delay, but I got an extra buck back from the change machine so it almost evened out.

Of course, by the time we got back to the van and out into the street from the parking garage, it was 4:00. The Longwood Medical Area is not the place to be at 4:00 on a weekday afternoon, at least not if you want to get OUT of the Longwood Medical Area any time soon.

Fifty-five minutes later, we finally got home. I am completely exhausted. To be sure, some of that is because in my zeal to get the kids to their appointments on time, I forgot my afternoon iced coffee. This means that instead of crashing at, say, 9:00 at night, I crashed around 5:00.

I'm still down. I have a lot to do this evening and somehow have to dig deep and find the energy to do it. I don't want to have a coffee now because I'll be up way too late. On the other hand, maybe I could finally conquer my ironing pile if I were conscious for a few hours more than usual.

Exhausted moms of the world, I'm right there with you today. And I'm not even sleep-deprived from an infant, or from waiting up all hours of the night for a teenager who missed curfew. Just low on caffeine and psychologically stressed from fighting traffic on the Boston city streets.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Star-Spangled Family Column

Here is today's Just a Minute column, inspired by Brian's love for our national anthem.

While doing research for this one, I found an online exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution about the anthem and the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key's poem. It's a fascinating read, and an interesting snapshot on this particular aspect of U.S. history. You can see the exhibit here.

Enjoy, and have a safe and happy Independence Day weekend!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Busy, busy, busy

This has been a great week. The kids started their half-day summer camp, and, after a few initial bumps related to drop-off and pick-up, they're enjoying it immensely.

So am I, as I am now the proud owner of four hours every morning to do kid-free stuff. It's nearly double the time I'm used to, and I feel like the kid in the proverbial candy store.

On Monday, I hit the gym bright and early and then came home and wrote an article for the upcoming Living Well section of the Ledger. Filed that.

On Tuesday, I took a walk and then prepared for an interview, which ended up being rescheduled. Wrote about half of my next column.

On Wednesday (this is starting to sound like The Very Hungry Caterpillar) I again hit the gym, then had my first practice session on the organ. It totally blew my mind, with the two manuals, the pedals, the feet looking laterally higher but sounding lower than the hands...a very humbling experience for this teacher, and a good reminder of how my piano students must feel when I'm asking them to do something new.

Today, I took the day off from working out, finished my column, wrote questions for my magazine feature interview tomorrow, set up a couple of other interviews for upcoming features, and had the rescheduled interview.

Tomorrow, the plan is to do that feature magazine interview, then hit the gym on the way home.

Having this time in the morning to work out and write has me over the moon. I no longer feel like I have to be in front of my computer, catch-as-catch-can, all day long and into the night, just to get my writing work done. I can work, and then be done with it for the day. What a gift!