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Day 216: I'm in it for the Cookies!

Christmas sugar cookies 2014. 

Such a busy time of year. Tis the season to be stressed, some say!

But I feel happy today. I've noticed that here in Portland, when the weather is unusual, people are unusually friendly.

The weather has been unusually strange lately! Portland is known for it's rain. But really, it's usually just overcast with a light drizzle.  The rain we have been having over the past few weeks is a steady DOWNPOUR.  Many Portlanders go through most of their lives without umbrellas.  As a walker and a commuter, this is no longer possible for me. Even my bubble umbrella doesn't quite cut it! I have to wrap everything in plastic in my backpack. Especially my music and my Kindle.

Today was another rainy, blustery day. But thankfully not too cold. And everywhere I went I was met with jolly, friendly looking people!

I have noticed that I have become inordinately attached to my routine.  So this morning, when my alarm clock went off at 5:30 a.m. and I was wiped out and sore, I felt extremely guilty with my decision to miss my pre Mass workout.

But I told myself I could work out later. So I reset my clock.

But then...I just couldn't get myself to get up for Mass. I reset it again, telling myself I could do some prayer later. Plus, I did need my energy for all my upcoming peformances.

Finally, at 9:00 a.m. I dragged myself out of bed with the intention of practicing piano, drinking some warm lemon water, blogging and then heading to the gym.

But my daughter also emerged from her bedroom at the same time. Her husband and her had plans for hunting early this morning, but he decided to cancel that in lieu of sleeping in.

Really, I think human beings were designed to hibernate in the winter!

Anyway, to make a long story short, I am glad we all slept in. My daughter and I went to the gym together. She has been running daily. She ran on the treadmill next to my eliptical  machine.

I forgot how competitive I can be. I kept glancing at her monitor and tried to stay ahead of her. We did a mile. She beat me by a mere 2 minutes.  Her mother, 28 years her senior came in at 14 minutes. She did 12 minutes. Not bad.

But I was sweating profusely!

I did some ab work and stretching. Then we went grocery shopping. There is a Grocery Outlet right next to the gym. We went in for yogurt.

$60 later we emerged with many great deals! Yogurt, cheese, Kefir, hummus, oranges, gluten free bars,... oh my!

Then I was off to teach piano.  I had planned on running up to the library to work on my recital programs for my piano students' upcoming recital. Our printer doesn't work, so when I need something printed, I use the free computers at the library.

But the standing water made for slow bus travel.  I opted instead for lunch out:  a salad bar at Fred Meyer's. It seems like a lot of people had that same idea. I got a nice salad for $6.00 and walked into their eating area.  Lots of people.  Talking and smiling.

This is odd for Portland. People are not UNfriendly. But generally keep to themselves.  It was like a big party right there in ol' Freddy's.  There is a Peet's Coffee shop in the eating area. I treated my self to a hot cider spiced tea. Basically hot apple cider with a tea bag and a cinnamon stick.

I sat there and ate and sipped tea and smiled at all the friendly faces.

Then I was off to teach group piano at the Community Music Center.

It was the last day of the term. My students were all in high spirits. I gave them all candy canes at the end of the class.

I'm feeling really good about this time of year. Sometimes I wonder if I will make it through all the lessons, preparing my students for performance.  But really that is the best part. I can sit back and enjoy the fruit of my labor.

It is important to me to ease the fear factor for my students. I was always deathly afraid of recitals as a kid. I still have nightmares of the long path I walked in silence to the piano. We were not allowed to bring our sheet music. I got so nervous, I often forgot half my piece. I remember many tears.

I tell my students I don't care about the mistakes. We are listening for the beautiful music in between. If they make a mistake (we all do!), just keep going, or stop and go back. It is a teaching school, after all.  I sit on stage with my beginning students.  And I have the audience clap as they walk to the piano and of course, afterwards. We make lots of enthusiastic noise.

And of course there are cookies afterwards. I had one of my little boy students say last week, "I'm in it for the cookies!"

I'll have to make sure I make some gluten free, almond flour chocolate chip cookies for the recital.  Note, the picture above is from 2014. My daughter and I made oodles of sugar cookies for presents. That's before I went gluten free.  I will take pictures of my GF almond flour cookies next weekend!

After all, aren't we all in it for the cookies?


Happy Friday!



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