May 24, 2005
This is a story about a girl and her flute.

This is a story about carrying the black case from my locker to band practice.

This is a story about typing up programs for a living room recital given to relatives (I liked planning and creating the show more than actually performing it).

This is a story about taking a few private lessons but not really caring that much about what I was doing.

This is a story about becoming “first flute” (the number one spot) and learning to play the piccolo (basically a tiny, high pitched flute) as part of my first flute duties.

This is a story about a frustrated music conductor, trying to corral a room full of restless kids.

This is a story about cleaning my shiny, silver instrument, inside and out.

This is a story about going to marching band camp, practicing our steps on a big green field.

This is a story about awful outfits and big furry hats and standing on the sidelines at football games, part mortified and part proud.

This is a story about the one song I remember performing—the music and the complicated patterns we marched into—Yesterday, by the Beatles.

This is a story about wishing I’d earned to play something cool, something useful, something “real life”—like the piano, a guitar or the drums.

This is a story about being glad for having learned to read sheet music (not that I could do it now, but at least I know what real musicians are “doing”) and having the experience of playing music.

This is a story about attending the San Francisco Symphony recently and marveling in the beauty of the sounds and the talent on the stage.

This is a story about remembering the finger positions of the notes, surprised to be able to play a song on my daughter’s recorder.

This is a story about ambivalence.

This is a story about reconciling the embarrassment of some of it with the gladness about doing it.

May 16, 2005
The Pendulum is Swinging
Feeling kind of overwhelmed, I decided to seek guidance before typing a new blog entry today. The quick and easy kind, that is, where some magical colored balls tell me what I should do.

My magic word for the day is BALANCE. It’s been a hectic, chore-filled day, so I think that divine sources are telling me that I have license to go read a book for 20 minutes. At least that's how I'm interpreting it.

To find your word of the day, go here and click on the Word Magic button on the left.

May 09, 2005
Life In 3's
realization: It only takes 35 minutes to get to the Napa, CA shopping outlet from here. So why aren’t I going on wine tastings more often?

unnerving: hearing a male voice answer his cell phone in the dressing room next door (the Banana Republic Outlet has unisex dressing rooms)

fitting into the next size lower and realizing it’s not a fluke, because that happened at another store a few weeks ago too. (Could Pilates actually be effective?)


annoying: having one of the contractors working at our house come upstairs and overhear an embarrassing phone conversation

redeeming: new baseboards and crown molding, and soon, I will never have to see that guy again

decorating tip: A new color of paint really makes a room. But taping pictures of Muppet babies all over the door works if you’re under 5, apparently.


realization #2: there is less than one month left of school.

feeling: Holy crap!

yet another realization: J. will never be a kindergartner again.(!)


duh: grocery shopping is boring

discovery: $5 for the e-cart can solve the shopping part

but: you still have to put the groceries away at home


interesting: Mother’s Day gifts from the girls were their own things wrapped (It’s a preschooler board book! Thanks!) There were also many, many cute cards and hugs and kisses.

Pumpkin: The clock has struck midnight and I’m back to cooking and chores. It sure was fun being catered to all day though. Can we do that holiday twice a year?

A keeper: J.’s kindergarten Mother’s Day project, below

(click to enlarge)

May 03, 2005
Everyday Starts at Zero
“Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s when you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it.” – Margaret Thatcher

I get a thrill from crossing items off my to-do list, maybe more so than most people. Forward movement is necessary for me to feel content. If a day starts to slip away and I haven’t actually finished something, I feel unsettled.

The last few days, for example: Paid the bills…check. Figured out the menu for a lunch party…good. Made that bothersome phone call… whew, a relief. Spent fifteen minutes decluttering…excellent. It can be any one thing or a few things, but it’s got to be something.

According to Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, I am an “achiever”—that is, a person with a constant need for achievement. The authors state, “You feel as if everyday starts at zero. By the end of the day you must achieve something tangible in order to feel good about yourself…If the day passes without some form of achievement, no matter how small, you will feel dissatisfied.”

This is an accurate assessment of me. Yet, it doesn’t completely define me. I’m also happy to read a book, hang out with the kids, or “waste” time. I can (and do) relax.

It’s just that most of time, a successful day or week means that I got stuff done. There. My blog entry is complete…check.