yesterday's activities


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am sorry to hear that ccm

take dh to train b/c I need his car and mine is in shop
teach spin then YGM...recieve the disturbing news that a second friend this week has lost her husband
home to field some calls about engaged couples and the upcoming grief group that I am going to be doing
graze...nap...hustle to get some groceries to the food pantry for a big neighborhood food drive....continue to try to smooth out some ruffled feathers over the many transitions at the gym...pretty spent...anticipating an evening that doesn't involve much movement...and terribly grateful that tomorrow is a day off of work and dh and I have a corporate event that his firm is hosting tomo, which may actually feel like; a the Museum of Science an Industry....which means that tomorrow I will not have to cook, do dishes, or work


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Friday: Crazy intense day of appointments because of school cancellations earlier in the week, and then Child had a friend sleep over.

-8.25 miles on treadmill.
-Read about 230 pages. Oops. Two different books: Ruth Ozeki's _A Tale for the Time Being_ and Marie Lu's _Champion_, both published in 2013.
-Did a little grading.
-Worked on my schedule for next week.
-Watched "The Living Daylights" with the family. Yes, we're back to our "watch all the James Bond movies" Family Fun Night plan. Eh--Timothy Dalton is not my favorite Bond.
-Cut out a ton of Boxtops for Education.


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saturday...sleep til glorious is that?...peacefully putter around on the internet until someone calls at 9, and in my hurry to go see who it is, I launch a full cup of coffee into the air, which <<TRUST ME>> could not have hit more places in the TV room...spend some time being cranky pants and cleaning that...go to grocery with dh....our new empty nest a new reasonable rate with a new hotel in indy because I am finally starting to feel a small bit optimistic that I will recover from my current dance funk and I can't go back to the the"Bed Bug Inn"...two strikes and you are out on that little problem...partcularly when I don't get refunded....pretty moronic given the amount of business I gave them...but fine...

it is a weird night as I am missing the studio showcase because dh wanted me to attend a Chicago Bar Foundation Charity event sponsored by his evening in which all proceeds go toward providing legal help for those who cannot afford it...dh has been feeling a about my dancing of late, and I thought it important as he is at a new firm....I have not been to this museum in a long time....we frequent other Chicago museums fairly regularly, but not this one....I am glad I went...for a variety of reasons....I think it has been good for me to take a break this year in some of my previous dancing committments including dance has been the 800 pound gorilla in my life for over 8 years now...and I feel very fortunate to have a healthy husband who wants to be with me...and it was fun...the entire place was decorated for Christmas around the World and it was fun to look at and read about the ways in which other countries do or do not celebrate a winter holiday....the other displays at the Museum have been vastly upgraded since the last time I was we walked through the area on cloning and saw the cloned animals there and also went through the physical science area where the kids get to make a "tornado"...there are a few areas that are a bit too graphic for me ...but it really is an awesome Museum and I always feel grateful that we live so close to the city...and, as a cherry on top of the cake, dh won all three of the items he bid on in silent auction...I am grateful that it didn't cost more than what I would normally spend to go to Ohio Star....he won 4 passes to Medina, where the 2012 Ryder cup was held, Architectual tour of the city, and tickets to "wait wait don't tell me" coupled with a gift certificate to eat at "girl and the goat", which is stephanie izzard's restuarant.....anyhow ....a lovely evening, in spite of having to comfort our daughter again about that whole Northwestern football situation


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Sleep in until after 8 … will need all possible energy for the evening festivities.

Shower. Print and review lists. Pile things (tablecloths, ribbons, baskets, plastic cups, napkins, plates, pens, utensils, boxes of wine, jugs of iced tea, tea bags, sugar) on dining table, checking them off the list. Load two large ice chests into car, and we’re off.

First stop: breakfast (no, it was probably brunch) at favorite restaurant. Pick more caloric of usual options …. “eggs Louis” which is eggs benedict with crab and fresh spinach in place of Canadian bacon … super yummy. DH has “San Francisco scramble” which is no longer on the menu, but they’ll make it anyway if you ask.

Second stop: party rental place. Strangely, they have my customer information but not my order. The order was for 10 pitchers, which they have in stock, so no problem. We wait while they find the pitchers (which turn out to be the fancier version, but they charge us for the plainer version that we thought we had requested, so all is well).

Third stop: giant warehouse store. DH has decided that our Christmas icicle lights are marginal and we need them for tonight, so he needs to buy replacements. Whatever. We also do the usual weekly stuff since we’re here.

Fourth stop: grocery store. We’ve purchased most things on the list but we still need milk (for coffee) and ice for tonight, and our usual groceries. At the checkout DH says “and four 20-lb bags of ice.” The clerk says, “so you want 80 pounds of ice?” Well, when you put it that way …. yes, we really do want 80 pounds of ice.

Home. Leave the ice chests with 80 pounds of ice in the car. Bring in new icicle lights so DH can take them out of the packaging and check them. Go through photo albums and select additional photos for DH to add to slideshow. Re-do about 18 inches of hem of skirt … it came down the last time I wore it. Iron skirt and discover that stitching on waistband is coming out too. Re-stitch waistband and finish ironing. Iron white shirt for DH. DH loads car. We’re ahead of schedule, so take a few minutes to check email and DF.

Get dressed, but put nice blouse on hanger and wear t-shirt.

Arrive at destination early and see friend carrying her first load into church hall. Church caretaker is waiting for us, other friend appears with husband and helpers; unload all three vehicles and start setting up. No one has forgotten or missed anything on the lists. Extreme chaos … the four of us (me, DH and two friends) have a general idea what we want to do, but we need to finalize details. Resolve each issue as it comes up … our friends are wonderfully easy to work with. Tables for food, bar setup, dining tables, decorations … all fall into place. DH sets up computer and projector to show photos; mainly of dancing but a few from the hosts’ past. Both bands arrive and start to tune up. Slip off to change shirt.

But one hour is not really enough time, so the first guests arrive before we’re ready. Guests pitch in and then suddenly it’s all done. More people arrive, potluck food is set on tables. Find a minute to change into dance shoes.

More people, hugs, band #1 starts background music, more people … and it’s time to start dancing. Band #1 is replaced by band #2 (Hungarian). I announce that the first set will be the Hungarian dance that is traditionally done at the start (of a ball, the dance season, or any important occasion), and the non-Hungarian dancers should start to eat.

I’ve invited one of my ballroom friends who is interested in different dance styles (waves at friend!) so I grab him for the first dance. It’s actually a group of separate dances from the village of Szeki, and the first few are very easy. I backlead him at first, but he catches on very quickly and pretty soon he’s leading me. He responds quickly to every suggestion (“make a fist and hold the fist under my elbow” (not kidding … this is a really weird hold but it works in context … “in ballroom, you keep your head left, but in this dance you need to keep your head right”). When I point out that I’m not going to try backleading one step, he observes what other leaders are doing and picks it up … swoon. When we switch to the parts that I can’t backlead, I thank my partner and DH steps in to finish the dance with me. That dance cycle lasts over half an hour total, so when it’s done the Hungarian band takes a break and band #1 takes the stage.

Over the course of the evening from 6 to 11:30, the two bands switched off about 4 times (if I recall correctly). Band #1 played a variety of music (mostly Balkan line dances but also including a surprise set they put together in recognition of the fact that the party was to celebrate the four “Vintage 1953” hosts), The Hungarian band played 6 dances (or dance cycles), each one lasting 15 to 30 minutes (two of the sets had more than one dance).
I danced with DH for the (second part of) the first cycle and all of the last. One of the other cycles included a “mixer” aspect, and I had different partners for each of the remaining three dances. In other words, if you don’t count the mixer, I had only five (or is it 4 and a half?) partners for the Hungarian part of the evening. (Normally, each dance would be longer, but we didn’t want to bore the non-Hungarian dancers so we asked the band to cut the sets short.) When you accept an invitation to do a Hungarian dance, you’re committed to your partner for a long time, so the etiquette of asking/accepting is slightly different from ballroom etiquette. It’s not unreasonable to check the credentials of an unknown partner before agreeing to a commitment.

Midway through the evening, we stopped to sing the (Hungarian) birthday song and cut the cakes. We had a decent contingent of “real” Hungarian guests, so the singing was very powerful (and the song is much nicer than the American “Happy Birthday to you”). We projected the lyrics so those who could decipher the Hungarian pronunciation could join in.

After the last dance, we joined again in singing a Hungarian “going home” song, traditionally sung at the end of the evening. We didn’t have the lyrics projected this time, and I couldn’t remember all the words, but the Hungarian contingent sang it beautifully. More hugs as people leave.

As we were cleaning up, the church caretaker commented on the energy of our guests who continued dancing to the last possible moment. Our friends of vintage 1953 (and others) show the power of dance to keep people young.

I’m still floating on the energy from the party. It was a wonderful way to celebrate our friendship, dancing, and our dance community!


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@Zhena--That sounds so nice! The college where I work has a branch campus in Hungary; I think it would be very cool if we here on the U.S. campus could see an exhibition of Hungarian folk dances. Maybe someday!

Sunday: Featured event of the day is the bris for my nephew. I was a little worried about how I would hold up at this event, but I looked away so I didn't have to see anything. (And the kids were sent into another room.) I did a reading (in English) at the ceremony. My husband, who is not Jewish, found the whole thing fascinating and meaningful. My Mom, who has COPD, started to experience shortness of breath after standing for too long during the ceremony and had to sit down. (And unlike me, she is not wimpy about blood; this really was shortness of breath.) That was a little frightening. On a more positive note, I got some good snuggle time with my little man before the ceremony.

After the party, I took Child to a scrapbooking event at one of her BFF's houses.

I also e-mail all my classes with reminders for this week, work out some final details (I hope!) for tonight's big lecture, make a 2nd batch of lemon chicken and potatoes to freeze, and finish reading Ruth Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being, which I could barely put down.

Have a new thing to add to my list of things to worry about, re: parents. Sigh.

Also got an interesting piece of dance gossip! Can't share in accordance with DF rules, though! ;)

Big day ahead with this big lecture. Wish me luck!


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take dh to train before at Y 7:30 - 11:30....home to feed animals and some prep work for upcoming Grief Group, make a few calls, nap, to mechanic to pay for my car repairs...pick dh up at train...head to funeral visitation of a dear man...pick up our home to find that ambulances, squad cars, etc .....are at our neighbors....long day


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Yesterday got a lot of Christmas shopping done. Today dance class which was awesome especially after a week of work. Evening- relax with glass of wine, cook dinner and watch my favorite trashy tv reality shows
Midway through the evening, we stopped to sing the (Hungarian) birthday song and cut the cakes. We had a decent contingent of “real” Hungarian guests, so the singing was very powerful (and the song is much nicer than the American “Happy Birthday to you”). We projected the lyrics so those who could decipher the Hungarian pronunciation could join in.
I too was at this party and it was great. The Hungarians have a particularly lovely birthday song, originally from the village of Szek in Transylvania. Here is the English translation:

Joyfully live many birthdays.
May it be easy to count your days.
May the sky's dew refresh your heart.
May a flood of blessings cover your house.

May you receive every happiness
as long as you live.
Moreover, may no troubles befriend you.
May all the flowers of your life blossom.
May your heart never suffer any open wound.


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Some AM nonsense with Child, then get her off to school.

9:10--ENG 1101. Discussion of best practices for oral presentations.

10:20, 10:40, 11, 11:20--Appointments.

Lunch and prep.

12:40--20th C Brit Lit. Monica Ali's Brick Lane.

Leave campus and pick up guest speaker.

Let guest speaker have some downtime.

Pick guest speaker back up and take her for a tech check.

6--Reception at President's house.
It was a very interesting talk and a definite success. Not a full house, but a good sized audience, and people asked good questions during the Q+A.

9--Take speaker out to dinner, then back to her hotel.

11--Home and collapse!


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mammogram...dh calls to check up...interesting...because I have already had 3 benign tumors removed and still have one not removed in the past 2 decades... I am a bit taken aback by this sudden concern...think it may havesomething to do with all the funerals we are attending these days...still waiting for bloodwork which I hope will contain some answers as to why I work so hard to no some shopping because the holidays are coming...ready or not....teach energy...take two low dose and ponder being old....cook for dh who eats and promptly falls asleep on my lap...and that is calm about how much I am not missing OSB


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Yesterday I walked down to the Hyatt during my lunch to look at the vendor booths at OSB. I tried out a practice dress from one of the vendors. It fit me ok, but I wasn't loving the style, so I passed. The vendor suggested an alternative style with potential, but time was short and I didn't try it on. I talked to a pro/am student getting ready for rhythm, the student of a local pro I know. She gave me a promising lead on dress rentals for future events.

I didn't stay long. Being there wasn't very much fun. I wasn't sad I'm not dancing - I haven't competed in awhile and I'm not ready for such a big event. Without getting into too many details, that kind of event brings out a lot of body insecurity issues I have, and I was more that happy to get the h-e-double hockey sticks out of there.


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wed; 8-11=fitness classes....11-12 phone calls , change clothes, feed animals, 12 -2 lunch with friend, 2-5 df, fb, calls, look for old X-mas lights for gym project, early dinner, 5-9 facilitate grief group and see an engaged home, watch dh pack for another trip, sip skinnny margarita


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7a groggy..up late due to some distressing news about a few acquaintances and dh left at o'dark thirty for the airport..
8-9 teach blast....9:30 -4 home to laundry, dishes, pet care, taking out trash, etc...lunch, nap...4:30 -9:30p; teach spin, and fusion, staff meeting, brief chat w/ dh on way home....10p eat small amount of dinner, drink wine and watch news...bed eventually


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Up at 4 a.m. Shower. Unplug everything in the house. Note RAI,,,N!!!
Leave with DH in the rain,,,pass a horrible 4 car accident in the carpool lane eastbound...ok, it's only 4:45 a.m.
Get out of traffic and watch a gorgeous Purple Sunrise outside of Palm Desert.
Drop down to Route 8 to bypass Phoenix and see some really interesting things traveling down the road, including a HUGE HUGE shovel to probably an Earthmover? took up two lanes and had 7 police cars escorting it.
Stop in Deming New Mexico, head out to Italian Grill, weather news, cold, windy, freezing rain (from Calif.) headed in on collision course right into the region we are driving into. DH is not thrilled...but that's part of the adventure right?
Peaceful evening, flying e-mails and msgs about Kate winning "World Championship Bronze Smooth A" in Ohio she's a great young lady and I'm in love with her horse. He's amazing himself! I'm thrilled for her first time at Ohio and also coming in second in the Best of the Best Bronze presentations. The chatter quiets down, the Big Bang and The Crazy Ones is enjoyable!


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Woke up, Deming New Mexico. LOVED the mattress - my back said "thank you very much"...looked outside and the strangest cloud cover I've ever seen in my life was a blanket over the mountains. Took at least 10 shots of it. Posted one to Facebook. Amazing....really.
Terrible freezing wind, some rain,,,and never above 28 degrees all the way into Junction Texas.
Stayed in BW-Junction, very nice and a good workout room...wake is frozen over, ice warnings,,,"don't drive if you don't have to"...uhhhh.
Staff is quite nice and checking with roadways and Sheriff on conditions.
150 miles away from family...and NOW we are in bad weather.
Get to Round Rock, all three grandkids run out of their house, pull open our doors and drag us out of our car. News, hugs, kisses, more hugs, "I lost a tooth this morning news"...
They help drag all of the stuff into the house, we are doing early Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow (so I'm posting now) and I'm teaching them all how to make cookie cutter sugar cookies and a special only made at Christmas Roll Up Cake. I also teach them how to suck the egg yolk out of the white with an empty water bottle and they think that is the coolest thing ever.
Gifts,,,,for all. The BEST GIFT,,,,I went to Hallmark Card Shop, purchased the barrel of "soft throwing snowballs" very safe in the house, does not hurt or destroy anything...they tore that open and Grandpa, me, DD and SO - against 3 kids,,,,a 20 minute throw as you go SnowBall Fight in the house. I'm the favorite grandparent right now....THEY LOVE IT, we love one got hurt and nothing got destroyed. Actually took video clip of snowball fight hitting Dh. He's a good guy when it comes to Grandchildren. But we know he's planning a surprise attack with these things. Possibly the best gift I ever purchased. And it got the kids tired as well!!1
Baked Ice Cream Roll Cake that DD could never eat due to food reactions, and she is amazed and excited to have it tomorrow.
Feels like home, can't hear yourself think, talk is never ending, GS#1 wants GP attention, GDDs - want to learn in the kitchen, and it feels soooo much like....THanksgiving! The Family, The food, The Baking, the Friends, the BAD WEATHER driving, the smiles and laughter...yes, it's great being a grandparent and hearing all the exciting news they've been holding up to tell us. Invited to a Dance Social in north Austin, must pass, important Cookie Cutter Making tradition taking place tonight....color me happier than I've been in a long time. Joy,,,,and more joy.


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fri; teach spin, teach senior class...home to change and can't remember what to job two...facilitate second session of grief group...get blood work back which shows nothing but perfectly fine cholesterol (slightly elevated triglycerides=advised to cut the carbs back and slightly low vitamin d...get a supplement)...exhausted and out early

sat (today)awake today at 8, tan (hey, that vitamin D thing)...teach fusion (step and run today) hour and a half in snow to nephews' 11th birthday party....the only relatives there....I am not going to say what I think about that, you can imagine it...anyhow, he was thrilled and we went rollerskating, which seemed suicidal at first, but we eventually remembered how.....home to kitchen bunches of non-carb stuff...anticipate bed soon

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