Category Archives: Weather

Super Tuesday

Can you believe the election cycle is still going on? I am trying to think of ways to cope. Sometimes I get too upset and angry over things, both in the news and in day to day life, and I really need to work on staying calmer and reminding myself that the world is a richer place when people see the world differently. And reminding myself that I have chosen a different path in life.

SO…my weekend was crazy. Saturday morning was the Castlewood Cup, for which I was quite undertrained and so was Louie, but we had a great time and I didn’t even come in last…even though I thought I did at the time. I am a seriously slow runner. All of you who say, oh, I’m slow. No. I am. And there was also so much mud, and I thought I was going to die and/or get sucked down into it, lost forever. I might write a proper recap another day. But we lived and we made it! And Louie is a more natural runner than I am and he did quite well.

Then it was pizza and showering and then a Perseid Quartet concert at the Tavern of Fine Arts. We played Dvorak and Smetana and had a great time. This ended up being one of my favorite programs—I’m such a sucker for a romantic program. We had a large and enthusiastic crowd and just had a great time overall. I was starving by the time the concert was over and so really enjoyed my food there too. They have a relatively new chef and he’s fantastic.

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Sunday was a double opera rehearsal day, but at least I got to have a relaxing enough morning. The conductor for the opera, Darwin Aquino, is really great…he’s also a composer and I’m currently listening to a piece he wrote for violin solo. I’m brainstorming a solo violin (only me, no one else) recital program…there are so many cool pieces out there for solo violin, and I’m also finding some (and looking for more) by female composers. That’s another blog post for another day too, probably Smile

So then Monday flew by with lots of students, practice and a rehearsal. Today I had a short rehearsal and then a vet visit. Both of the pets are somewhat on the mend…Chloe’s eyes have definitely cleared up though we have to continue her medication for that, and while Mackenzie isn’t exactly healed, she is doing a bit better for now. I will naturally keep you posted.

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The rest of the week is for teaching, dress rehearsals for the opera, and rehearsals for a young composer’s concert at Webster on Saturday. Should be fun, I guess?!

Fall-Se Alarm

See what I did there? After blogging about fall and pumpkin spice and cooler weather (okay, I didn’t really do any of those things…but my last title had the word “fall” in it) it’s been a really hot week and weekend, and I must say…I’m over it. Luckily this morning hasn’t been so bad, mostly overcast and breezy, so fingers crossed we are moving on? (Full disclosure, I started this post last night, and today I’m already more pleased by the weather, so…maybe things are turning.)

This weekend was pretty fun!  Louie’s dad was visiting from Philly for a couple days so we went out to eat a few times and did a little sightseeing. We went to Treehouse, which is a vegan restaurant that I am conflicted about. I don’t like that their descriptions of dishes involve words like “sausage” or “chicken” and don’t specify how those things are actually made. I get that they want to show you that you don’t need meat, but to me it feels like deception. I had the seitan katsu, which was actually quite good, but the description said it was chicken (which I knew it wasn’t…it was seitan!) which to me, is just weird. Nonetheless, the meal was tasty enough, especially the beets—I’ve become obsessed with beets! The other meal we had was at Olio, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite restaurants. My favorite dishes there are the smoked whitefish salad and the roasted beets with ricotta. Yummy!

We also went up to walk across the Old Chain of Rocks bridge. I’d been there on my bike before, but this time we just parked (on the Illinois side, the Missouri parking lot was closed) and walked across.

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These little buildings fascinated us. It seems they are water intake towers and are inaccessible today.

Yesterday Louie and I met up with some people my friend Eliana’s birthday. We had pizza at Dewey’s Pizza and frozen yogurt at a nearby Tutti Frutti. It was nice to meet a few new people and celebrate her 30th (so young!) birthday with her. It’s always fun to chat with friends of friends and expand our social horizons.

And then this morning I ran 7 miles (around the Botanical Gardens and Tower Grove park from my house) and now…getting ready to teach and must do a bit of practicing. Luckily there is leftover pizza to refuel after my run (great for carb-loading AND refueling, right?!).

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Today I have a few students who wanted to take Labor Day off for various reasons, but I’m teaching the rest. I figured I started late enough in August that we didn’t need a break yet! Talk to me in a couple months…and I’ve set up a fall recital date for the students, which is a first for us. I have other ideas too, like some sort of ensemble Christmas performance with another teacher, but I also know things just get crazy around that time (for me and everybody else) and I’m not sure I want to tackle too much.

Oh, and I promise more trip recaps are on their way. I’m working on the Yellowstone blog post—it’s just a long post but I am working on it, in case you are wondering. I haven’t forgotten, and I will finish!

Beggin’ Pet Parade

The Beggin Pet Parade was this morning in Soulard, and since the good folks at Purina sent me two VIP tickets in addition to some great goodies (leash, blanket, treats, frisbee) we HAD to go. Nearly 70 degree weather was the icing on the cake and I knew it would be a great day.

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I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect or what would be happening. I’m not a huge “group activity” or “festival” person because I get impatient and overwhelmed easily. But I figured we could manage a parade and besides, we had tickets to the VIP tent—which meant food and drink. Now, before you get too excited, remember I’m not eating meat right now and I had practicing to do later, so no drinking for me. We had hoped to run into my friend April but there were just too many people and the phone service was slow so we couldn’t communicate where we were well enough to find each other.

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Only water for MacKenzie too.

I won’t bore you with unnecessary details (I know, who AM I?) but we had a great time just walking around. MacKenzie loved sniffing all the other dogs and enjoyed being out in the seriously unseasonably lovely weather.

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Louie and I had fun people and dog watching and checking out the neighborhood. We walked the entire parade route before the parade and then decided to go back and get some food at the tent. There wasn’t much offered without meat but we got a little pasta and salad. There was a long line for the bar and since we weren’t day-drinking (like most do at these events, I do get jealous of people who don’t need to practice or do homework or other work later on weekend days!) we didn’t feel it was worth it.

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And the perhaps lame part was that we decided to skip the parade. We’d seen a ton of dogs already and the weather was almost too nice to just sit around. Maybe we are weird, but we decided to walk around more and went all around Lafayette Square as well.

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Swans! And geese and ducks!

The rest of my weekend was nice as well. Yesterday was beautiful and while I did have to work in the afternoon I managed to get a nice run in in the morning.

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See I took a picture!

Here’s the two cats hanging out—this is pretty close for them but they seemed content enough for awhile! Fatness (dark cat) is pretty aggressive and territorial but Chloe (white cat) has learned that she’s MOSTLY all talk and just ignores her.

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Last night we decided to go out for dinner to a local Chinese restaurant. We wanted to get green beans with a black bean sauce and this egg tofu with mushrooms dish. When our server informed us that they were out of the egg tofu, we were disappointed, but asked her which of the regular tofu dishes she recommended. We picked one of her favorite choices to order. The food came out a few minutes later and I tried a bit of the dish. I looked at Louie after my first bite and said, “I think this has chicken in it.” (Remember, we have been not eating meat for a few weeks now!). We asked the server if the dish had chicken, and she said, oh no, no chicken. Only mushrooms and pork.

(We decided to eat it anyway, since sending it back would also be wasteful, and we aren’t even REAL vegetarians. We learned a valuable lesson which is to ask if a meal has meat even if you think if won’t because, for instance, it is listed under the vegetarian portion of the menu, because you just NEVER KNOW. Also the dish was really quite tasty and a good recommendation, just not a good recommendation for a couple who is awkwardly trying to avoid eating meat.)

Did you go to the pet parade? Do you find it uncomfortable asking for special treatment if you have dietary restrictions or food allergies?

Arctic Blast part the third

Social media is blowing up about how cold it is. Honestly, it is really cold here. It was colder yesterday, but it’s still cold. I try to remind myself of a few things:

1. It is winter.

2. I have a house with wonderful central heating and space heaters in the bathrooms and other places where needed.

3. Soon we’ll be complaining about the heat.

4. We humans (I’m saying that in a dalek-voice in my head, btw) like to complain. When we have things in common to complain about we feel a sense of community.

5. Writing lists on my blog is fun!

I should probably just add a cat picture and stop there (this is what google tells me most readers want), BUT I thought I’d ramble on for a few more minutes.

Louie and I are “training” for a 5k on Valentine’s Day. Mostly because we are romantic like that but also because it makes us more likely to get out the door to run if we are thinking about maybe registering for a race. We went on Tuesday when it wasn’t quite as cold as it was yesterday, or today. We will probably run again tomorrow. We debated running today but chickened out.

I remember I lived in Cleveland for many years, and I’m sure it was colder then? Am I just getting old and crotchety, or did I own more corduroys and wool?

I also remember there was a time on this blog that I was way more obsessed with working out, but I’m different now. It’s funny. I’m in less good shape, but I feel better about myself. It’s wonderful, really! And I am in pretty good shape, it’s just that exercise isn’t an obsession. I eat what I like, with reasonable portions and try to eat a good amount of fruits and veggies and whatnot, and it all seems to work out pretty well. My goal for the year is still to get in a little better shape and get back into better running shape, but it just isn’t my number one priority.

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I have a million thoughts but it’s hard to organize them into a blog post. Other people do this without trouble, but they probably do things like plan. I like to just sit down and spew words on the page…does that make me sound a little bit insane? Please don’t answer that, actually.

Some friends and I went to see the Bad Plus last night. It was a great show. I was really inspired by it. I’ve had some discussions with band mates about trying to write some music. I’m such a giant classical nerd and lost my creativity a long time ago in that respect, but it feels like it could be something really fun and use some creative outlets that I feel are likely just hiding a little bit. I used to write music as a kid, before I learned about how hard it was and how bad I was at things and how Mahler did it better. And I try to retain that childlike feeling in so many aspects of my life, why stop with violin? I feel like I could write books and books about the difficult relationship I have with the violin…and music, and how I both blame it for my life problems and attribute all the wonder and good stuff in my life to it.

I kind of want to delete that paragraph, both for the eager honesty, and for the bad writing, and also for the rambling and nonsense… but I’m going to leave it. I think one of the themes I’ll have for my blog this year is really trying to share some of the struggles I’ve had with music and the violin. Another theme is cats, and perhaps a third theme of stuff that absolutely nobody wants to read about. That can fit into a large variety of topics, luckily, and is mostly the topic of my blog already, so it’s not a real change.

I was going through the pictures on my phone to see if there are any worth sharing (short answer, no, long answer, I’ll share what I want to share!) and I found this Facetime screencap I made. I think that this is perhaps the most awesome picture of me ever! It’s all worth it to have that adorable face on there, right? Maybe I was trying to make the same face as an adult, and that just doesn’t work.

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And with that, I bid you adieu, friends and dear readers! Stay warm 🙂

Cold But Sunny

That’s the weather for here in St Louis. Now you don’t have to go outside to tell, since I just told you.

Okay, so since starting the Whole 30 diet, how am I feeling? Well, I’m feeling okay. A little tired, and generally hungry all the time, but not wanting to eat anymore (technically you aren’t supposed to be hungry, but I find I can’t eat enough at meals to NOT be hungry afterwards, but I’m okay with that at this time as it’s only the third day.) The other thing is that I find myself thinking about food and planning my next meal constantly…I’m not sure how I feel having to think so much about food, but again, it’s only 30 days.

Yesterday I had a long run around Tower Grove Park (more than one time, as I’m sort of half marathon training…) and saw this awesome birthday cake. St Louis is having its 250th birthday this year and there are cakes placed all over the city! This is the first one I’ve seen, but I’ll have to seek out a few more. (They aren’t actual cakes, just FYI.)

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Can you tell exactly where it is?

I had a rehearsal last night for a church service this weekend at St Francis de Sales Church. It is the second largest cathedral in the city (after the Basilica) and is absolutely gorgeous. And absolutely not heated, so it was quite cold last night. Luckily beautiful choir music (a Mass by Mozart) and great string playing kept us a bit warmer than we might have been…come check it out Sunday morning at 10 am! It’s a traditional Latin Mass.

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My view—this is a very unimpressive picture, but it looked really awesome at the time, except for that light ruining everything.

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I think my cat has managed to gain back a fair amount of her weight loss. This is of course, all my fault. But I love her anyway. Look at that soft creature!

I realized I have a lot of practice and some studying to do–we are preparing some new quartet music, I have a solo violin/piano recital booked for the fall and am being pretty ambitious with that repertoire, and there’s lots of other random stuff that I need to look over (opera…opera!).

I also have a couple books (one on Prokofiev Sonatas and one on Baroque String Playing) that I want to delve into a bit more than I have so far, and I need to figure out a bunch of stuff for my private teaching (repertoire, theory, that sort of thing) that I’ve been neglecting. I’m hoping the warmer weather and the diet (and thus, less social activities, ha) will make me a very productive Hannah!

Don’t forget: Celebrate Fitness is just around the corner! I’m in for the bootcamp and really looking forward to it. Check out my post about it and let me know if you have any questions!

If I title this post using the phrase Breaking Bad does that mean I’ll get more traffic?

No, I haven’t finished watching the final season yet. I will tomorrow. (Probably). But I’ve read all the Game of Thrones books so I know what happens after that. Also I watched the movie Prisoners and figured out what was going on about halfway through so I definitely feel good about my chances here.

The weekend flew by. Saturday was full of work.

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Wedding ceremony at Our Lady of the Pillar

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Cocktail Hour at the Artist’s Guild. This was not our setup, obviously—this was for the band who would be playing after us. I bet they were more fun, though we played opera arrangements for 90 minutes, and the Carmen arrangements made me want to brush up on my Carmen Fantasy. And then thinking about Carmen Fantasy made me want to really buckle down and compose my dream piece: Fantasy on Themes from the Sound of Music. I wonder if I have the skills for that?

Sunday was full of entertainment, including a bike ride on the Riverfront Trail. Action shots–

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It looks like the seat could probably be higher.

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It is worth noting that I wanted to get a cool purple-ish helmet at Target but my head is too large for ladies’ helmets.

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Biking is so much funner than running. Why did I just learn this recently?

Monday was different because instead of my full day of teaching I did some canceling/rescheduling in order to play at a fundraising event. The cool part was that the Mayor was there and also the Attorney General of the State of Missouri. I didn’t take any pictures because I was on good behavior and that can seem creepy, but it was enjoyable and we got to hear some speeches (totally made me feel like I was on the West Wing for awhile there.) We also got to play an arrangement of one of my favorite songs—”The Luckiest” by Ben Folds. It always makes me a little teary.

Saw this on a blog I read recently. It’s from the 30 Happiest Facts of All Time.

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Speaking of running—I figured I’d sign up for a 5k after Thanksgiving (this is in addition to telling Leslie to find a Thanksgiving 5k in Phoenix, where I’ll be spending my Thanksgiving vacation. Yes, why don’t I say Thanksgiving again.).

Cats. It benefits cats. I can’t think of anything more fitting, honestly. I think running for a cause other than myself might be my best bet.