29 January 2011

Winter wonderland

It was actually warm enough to enjoy some time outside this afternoon! So Cam and I went and tromped around the park (I made a snow angel) and we also made a snow man!

Camden donated his scarf and hat to the snowman, so the poor thing wouldn't melt. Though, the real danger is from rabbits tearing it down during the night to get to that scrumptious nose!

27 January 2011

Pay it Forward

Found this over at Mother Moon's blog and I like it! So here I am, following her example.

A simple little exchange of sorts. The rules are as follows:

* Create something hand crafted for the first five people who leave a comment on this post who say they wish to participate.

* To play along one must be willing to likewise repost these instructions and also create something handmade for the first five people who comment on their post.

* All gifts are to be created and handed out during 2011.

Just a warning: My gifts are likely to be baked goods. Mostly because that's all I can "hand craft." (Though other options for you are a knitted scarf or hat. Or... Something. Like coasters. Or smudge sticks! ;) hehe) Just be sure to leave your email address so I can email you for your physical address.

23 January 2011

Winter's End (almost)

(Photo by thanq)

At this time of the year, we are solidly in Winter's grasp. It's as though she knows her time is growing short, so she begins to throw everything she can at us. Imbolc is just around the corner, which is the beginning of the end of winter. This is the time of the year when the natural world is quietly slumbering and slowly gathering its strength to awaken in a few short weeks in a riot of color and life and breath. A time where I begin to get Spring fever and crave green and warm sunshine and gentle rains. It's as though I can feel the energy gathering in the world around me, and I can feel its affect on me.

I've been cleaning and organising my house almost nonstop for two weeks now. Not to say that it is any cleaner or more organised than when I began, but well, I've been trying. ;) Of course, this has probably been helped by having out of town visitors and new furniture (a "junior" loft bed for Camden) which facilitated a whirl of furniture moving (SFMA, anyone?) and other organisation. But I'm still ascribing most of the fault to the building energy I feel every time I step outside.

I've also been channeling some of this energy into more creative outlets. As I said in an earlier post, my senior recital is coming up this Spring. And I've been spending lots of time in the practice room preparing and learning the pieces I've chosen. I feel like I've gotten a lot of work done in the short time since the semester started.

I can also sense some of the effects it's having on Camden. We are slowly making strides to clearer speech. He's still not as vocal as a "typical" 4.5 year old, but he is more vocal than he was a year ago. But more than that, he's beginning to add end sounds (previously missing without prompting) to his words. Sometimes it's the wrong sound (rote or roke as opposed to rope), but any attempt is a step in the right direction.

I want to buy some crocuses. And, uh, let them "escape" into my (rented) yard. Crocuses are my favorite part of Spring, because they are its heralds. I smile every time I see them, especially when I see them poking up through the snow. Anyway. I hope you all are enjoying this time of quiet energy. I am!

20 January 2011


My parents came to visit Cam and I earlier this week, and I managed to convince them to take us bowling. And it was SO MUCH FUN! I hadn't been in years, and the last time I went, I did very poorly. So it was nice to go and have fun and do well. (I bowled a 128, which is pretty average, right?) Camden had a fun time, also, and has already started bugging me to go back. hehe Silly kid. :)

15 January 2011

My new favourite cookies

So I've been craving chocochip cookies for about a month and a half now. But, you see, I have an issue with cookies. I don't like hard cookies (generally). And I don't like "chewy" cookies, because they are either soggy or are only "chewy" for a day or two, after which, they are hard as a rock. I like cakey/soft cookies. Ones that stay soft if stored properly. So anyway, I wanted soft, cakey, delicious, chocolate chip cookies. And the only chocochip recipes I have make the usual crumbly, brittle, hard cookies. Ew.

So I went searching!

And found one! Well, okay. I altered it a bit in order to make the cookies I wanted, not to mention I was missing an ingredient or two.

Recipe for 24(ish) Chocochip Cookies

1 1/2 C flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
2/3 C butter, softened
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C white sugar
1/2 pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 egg
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 c chocolate chips
3/4 c chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift together flour and baking soda; set aside.
Cream butter and sugars.
Mix in pudding mix.
Add eggs and vanilla.
Stir in the flour mixture.
Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Bake for 10 minutes.

That was the recipe I started with. I added some flour. (Don't know how much! I'm so terrible at keeping track! lol) I also substituted almond flavoring for vanilla, which I was out of. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I should have used almonds instead of walnuts in my cookies, but that may have been overkill.

These turned out to be absolutely delicious (as you probably guessed, what with the title of the post and all). Definitely in my top three favourite cookies.

13 January 2011

Teacher Sydnii?

(Image not by me)
So for the last year or so I've been planning on being a teacher. Taking the necessary courses, jumping through the right hoops, looking up lesson plans/ideas on the internet. All these things so that when I'm out there in the real world, I won't be utterly lost (and as for the courses and hoops, well, I need those to graduate, too).

But just recently has it sunk in that I'm actually going to be a teacher. And I'm actually pretty excited about it. While it's not my ideal career choice (since I don't really have one), I am still able to be excited about it and feel good about doing it, which is important. I'm entering a position to be a musician, a musicologist, a music theorist, and a guide for impressionable minds. How is that not exciting?

I loved elementary music. And when I was doing my observation hours (55 hours of observing different grades), my hours spent in the elementary classroom were by far my favourite. And this may be a little selfish of me, but I want my students to have the same fond memories of me that I do of my elementary music teachers.

I've reached the point where I'm no longer ready to graduate just so I can be out of school or in the "real world". But I want to graduate so I can teach be a music teacher and inspire my students. (Gods, is that hokey or what? lol)

(And I promise, I'm trying to get back into the habit of blogging on a regular schedule.)

05 January 2011


(Photo not by me)
Many months ago, I made smudge sticks. My herbs were dyingstarting to die, so I figured I would harvest them and turn them into something useful.

Let me just preface the rest of this story with: I had never made smudge sticks before!

So I chop down my herbs (sage, lavender, mint), pull out my skein of white cotton yarn, and sit down at the computer. Get on google, search: how to make smudge sticks. Aha! So many hits. I picked one. (Likely the one from ehow.com, since it is A) the first hit and B) is the "visited link" color.) So far so good. I had the right supplies: plants to smudge with, string for tying them up, scissors for cutting the string, and the idea of a smudge stick in the first place. I mean, I could have just let them die out there, right? (Instead, they got to die a slow, eventually dehydrated, death, hanging upside down in my closet.)

So, anyway. I have the supplies. I read through the instructions; they all seem pretty self explanatory. I mean, really, you're just tying together a bunch of plants. But! There is one rule to follow: do not bind them up either too tightly or too loosely. And I didn't! I bound the herbs with just enough tension. Then I hung them up to dry. In my closet. No joke.

Enter today. (Okay, not today at all. Really, like a month ago when I first noticed this.) My smudge sticks are dry! And practically falling out of their binding. Ugh! But I followed the rules! Neither too tightly nor too loosely. Obviously someone sneaked in and retied my smudge sticks too loosely. Oooorrrr I failed to remember, when binding them in the fall, that when things dehydrate, they have a tendency to get smaller.

So, thanks a lot ehow.com smudge stick-making tutorial!


(I am tired and in a mood tonight. And felt like making fun of myself. And to further make fun of myself, please, check out this past post: What I learned today.)

01 January 2011

Happy New Year!!

Health and happiness to my readers (and everyone else, of course!) this new year. My year started off with snuggles from Camden, playing with tinkertoy robots, and cinnamon rolls! It's started out well, now I just have to keep the ball rolling so it gets better. lol

I'm not one for resolutions. So instead of making the obligatory statements of lose weight, be nice, etc, I'm going to tell the planned benchmarks of this year, which will happen one way or the other.

This year is my Senior Recital. The date is set for mid April. I'll be doing a joint-recital with my friend, who plays tuba. Yep. A tuba/percussion recital. How fun is that?! The good news: I have all of my music picked out and know three pieces. I still have two pieces to learn: one multi-percussion piece and one duet with a friend (percussionist) which will have an afro-cuban feel to it.

I will also be taking the GRE this spring. Not really looking forward to it, but I don't have much choice. Hopefully I will only have to take it once.

I also graduate this year. In December, I'll be getting my BA. I was due to graduate in May, but a change of majors (kinda) in the last year threw my plan out of whack and trying to cram EVERYTHING into the last two semesters was a terrible idea, as I learned this last semester. So I'm taking my time, and spreading things out a little bit between this spring and next fall semesters.

So those are my definite plans for the year. As well as observing the wheel turning again, watching the seasons come and watching the seasons go. Seeing my son grow into himself, hearing his speech grow clearer everyday and rejoicing in his knowledge of emotions and abstract ideas. Learning and growing, myself.

I found this quote in Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, and it really spoke to me. Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination. This will be my quote for the year. It will remind me to enjoy the journey and worry less about where I'm trying to go.

Many blessings to you and yours, friends!
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