I realized that I hadn’t posted today’s “What I’m thankful for Today” post yet. (Department of Redundancy Department?)
I slept in, worked out with Mike (my trainer if you are new), grocery shopped, talked to a friend on the phone, taught ONE student, went to the gym again to run 4 miles, and now I’m winding down. What am I thankful for? Days off work! I’m thankful for relaxing days like today where I have very few commitments on my time. This sort of day allows me to catch up on errands and emails, relax, shop, unwind, get lots of good exercise, practice, whatever I want. I’m very thankful for days off! (My next one isn’t until next Tuesday, so…I’ll be thankful again then but have to come up with something new…)
Ah, a well-deserved morning off! I got to sleep in a bit and have a leisurely breakfast. I had hot oatmeal and decided to try a container of the Chobani Yogurt people have been raving about. I had peach flavor…um…it was nothing special. Sorry!
Tuesdays right now I teach one student. In January I’ll be teaching at the St Louis School of Music on Tuesdays (or when they need me…). Unfortunately I don’t know where I’ll move my Tuesday home student to…right now I am only able to teach at home on Monday and Thursday (which two months ago seemed like MORE than enough!). I can’t believe my home studio is actually officially full. (I will have a waiting list, for anyone interested. There is always turnover). I have picked up about five new students in the past couple of weeks and I am really excited about them. I also have a new student at the Ballet School, starting tomorrow. So many people to teach! It’s wonderful how (from my point of view) private music education is alive, well, and thriving!
What else is going on this week? Well, I am probably doing another race (5k) on Saturday. I say probably because I registered, but it might rain, and we’ll have to see how am I feeling about that. Honestly, I’m sure I’ll run it. I seem to have the race bug right now, and I think I can beat my last time. Plus this will be my first alone race, and I want to see how well I can pace myself on my own. (I am looking at this as a positive thing, as my running is something I do alone, and I want to feel confident enough to do a race alone as well!)
I feel a bit stressed lately…I don’t actually have that much to do, but with the impending holidays, time is running out on concert prep and that sort of thing. I’ve got about four different performances at my two schools to deal with in addition to my own gigs. I also get stressed about house cleaning–ideally I’d like to live in a clean house, but have trouble picking up after myself, and I hate dusting…so I just stress about it rather than say, spending a morning off cleaning. Then I take it out on Chris later 😉 I just need to keep up on my to-do list so I don’t forget things.
Today I am thankful for my delicious and no-fail pumpkin bread! I make this bread every year at least once (if not more) once we get into pumpkin season (a.k.a. Autumn). It is easy to take to potlucks and always turns out really moist, freezes well, and is just basically really good.
I made my famous pumpkin bread yesterday for a baby shower. I decided to be fancier this year and add chocolate chips. What a brilliant idea!! I can’t believe I’ve been making this stuff for years and just now thought of that.
Okay, I searched the internet high and low, but could not find a link to the recipe. It’s your lucky day: I’m going to type it out. I’m assuming it came from a Libby’s pumpkin can as Libby’s pumpkin is mentioned in the recipe by name. My sister Leslie copied it for me (by hand!) several years ago.
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup quick or old-fashioned oats
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups Libby’s pumpkin (15 or 16 oz can)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 packed brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup chopped walnuts (note: I never use these! Here’s where I would recommend adding chocolate chips instead!)
(Preheat oven to 350 degrees F)
1. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, salt in large bowl.
2. Beat eggs, pumpkin, sugars, water, oil and evaporated milk in large mixer bowl on medium speed until combined.
3. Beat flour mixture into pumpkin mixture on low speed until blended; stir in nuts (remember, CHOCOLATE chips).
4. Spoon into 2 greased 9 by 5 inch loaf pans.
5. Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 65 to 70 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean.
6. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, remove to wire racks to cool completely.
* for mini loaves, prepare the same, but use 6 greased 5 5/8 by 3 1/4 inch pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes.
My friend Julia hosted a “Pumpkin Party” a few weeks ago. She recently posted some pictures from it, and I wanted to share a few here for you (hopefully Julia won’t mind!). Basically the party was a pumpkin carving party with lots of pumpkin foods, treats, and beer involved. I’ve never been one for pumpkin carving (I think I’ve tried three times, and it’s just a lot of work 🙁 ) but I’m always really impressed by people who are good at it!
I can’t believe how creative/talented with a knife some people are.
Most recommended: Schlafly Pumpkin Ale (have a six-pack in the fridge, as it was on sale. However, it will probably end up sitting there for months as I really only drink socially. I will have to take it somewhere, I guess!)
And last but not least, this is my friend Jon. He’s missing. If you see him, please let us know.
In light of last night’s fun performance (plus going out for drinks and food afterwards)…today I am thankful for GOOD FRIENDS. Without my good friends, my life would be much less fulfilling and interesting. Friends are definitely one of the things that makes life worth living! And since I know many of my good friends are reading this, THANK YOU for being there for me, supporting me, and entertaining me 🙂
Today I am thankful for the gorgeous fall weather. The air is brisk, the sky is blue but cloudy, the trees are various shades of red, orange, and yellow, and I’m very comfortable outside in pants and a jacket. This is my favorite time of year!
When I lived in Cleveland, that meant winter and SNOW was just around the corner. Here the fall is not so ominous 🙂 I am just thinking about pumpkin spice lattes, turkey and stuffing, cute fall shoes, and running outside. I’m so thankful fall is finally here!