Monday, January 23, 2006

January Happenings

(pictures to come when Blogspot lets me upload them).

Well, so much for the ease of December, when my client load is lighter and I have time to actually attend to my blog on a more regular basis and even time to read the blogs of friends. HA! Now, its January, my client load is huge, I've got end of the year bookkeeping to do, we're in the midst of a big house project, I'm the chair person for Rowan's Girl Scout troop's cookie sales, so my blog sits neglected for weeks at a time. I thought I'd start out the week with an update and a couple of pictures at least.January rolled in with unusually warm temperatures and we lost all of our beautiful snow. So gone were the days of ice skating and sledding. We got a couple of inches of snow on Friday, but nothing compared to what we had in December. While the warmer weather sure is nice on our heating bill, it leaves me wondering if this is just a fluke of nature, a bigger climate shift or global warming. It's just not typical.
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January also brought about the celebration of my 43rd Birthday. The girls had a ball planning their surprises for my special day, complete with making breakfast and a cake. Rowan gave me a box of "wishing stones" so that I could pull a wish from the box anytime I wanted. I decided to share my wishing stones with our dinner guests later in the evening, figuring why it would be fun to share the wishing wealth on my birthday. I think we've started a new family tradition with the wishing stones thanks to Rowan's creative mind and generous spirit.

Turning 43 hasn't had any major implications..doesn't feel terribly different than turning 42, or 41 or 40 for that matter. It's all relative at this point. I seem to have walked my way, in the past year or so, into perimenopause. I recall commenting awhile back that I hoped to embrace this time with lots of good spiritual energy. HA! I'm not liking the "symptoms" of perimenopause much at all and am fairly p*ssy about it..Hm, I guess therein lies the spiritual challenge, doesn't it.

A new piano has graced our home. We've been talking "piano" for a long while now and finally made the leap this month. It is really fun to hear the house filled with the sounds of a real piano! Rowan was resistant at first, in tears at the showroom, not wanting to give up her old friend of the keyboard. We left the keyboard up for her during the transition phase, but she hasn't touched it since the arrival of the piano. Gemma's feeling out of the loop, being the one family member who doesn't play and has asked to start Yamaha lessons.Rowan's "graduation" from Yamaha was yesterday, celebrated with a concert and party to follow. It was a very bittersweet day for Rowan, her teacher, Jani and I and the other parents/kids and their teacher. These kids have been together for three years!! The program began with four classes of ten kids in each and over the years 10 kids have stuck with it and made outstanding progress in their musicianship, their friendships with each other and their connection to Ms Susan. I felt so proud of Rowan, who confidently sang out on all the vocal pieces, played her solo at the big grand piano, played an original composition and played the co-lead on an ensemble piece, as well as did an improv jazz piece with four other kids. This is huge, compared to the rehearsal for the first concert where she was a puddle of tears, totally intimidated by the performance atmosphere and the grandeur of the stage. I also felt sad as this part of her musical life draws to a close and she says good-bye to kids she's seen once a week for the past three years. My hats off a zillion times to their teacher, who through her love of music, her compassion with young children and her skill of teaching, allowed each child to blossom in her or his own way. Now we're on to to private piano lessons, sad to leave behind all of that great ear training, voice training and cooperative ensemble playing and excited to find out what the next chapter is like.

Rowan's also been busy with musical stuff at school. The company, Opera for the Young, came to her school to do a performance of The Barber of Seville. Rowan and several other second-graders were in the on-stage chorus. It was a very funny rendition of the opera, with Figaro portrayed as a 1950's motorcycle-riding barber and Rosalina as a poodle-skirt wearing teeny-bopper. The chorus members were each dressed as fellow teeny-boppers, Rosalina's friends, complete with letter jackets. Rowan's been singing the songs for weeks!! I really enjoyed watching how much she was enjoying herself while on stage.

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