Walking with the Monk at FR

March 25, 2018

Last September I had to cancel ten days at Forest Refuge so I could be with Michael as we waited for more test results. Luckily the MRI showed that a suspicious something was nothing, and I rebooked my retreat for spring break. Too bad that was exactly when Michael would receive his honorary membership at the Royal Conservatory of Music in London from their president, HRH the Prince of Wales. Continue reading

Kvelling over my students

March 10, 2018

I was so proud of Solène after she sang Barber’s “Knoxville Summer of 1915” with the Princeton University Orchestra on their March concerts. We had worked on it a lot last fall in preparation for the concerto competition. I loved teaching the piece to such a sensitive and talented singer, sharing all my favorite moments of interpretation and expression. It was actually good vocal practice for Solène as well, focusing on the simple, sweet, childlike quality of the music and text, learning not to overload her voice and do more with less. Continue reading

Biking in the Sonoran Desert

February 16, 2018

It was time for a winter get-a-way to someplace warm. It was also a great opportunity to see my sister again. We decided on Tucson where we could relax and visit for a few days before I went on another Backroads biking trip. Susanne thought the last time she had visited was 2007, the final year my parents spent the winter there. For me it had been much longer. Continue reading

Farewell Hugo

I can’t believe he is gone. We didn’t have enough time with him and now the house is too quiet. I find myself wanting to check on him or thinking of getting him his special food at the market. Poor dear Hugo had not been doing well as of last summer. He didn’t want to walk, couldn’t get in the car and wasn’t interested in his dry dog food. He walked in circles and seemed to get lost in the house.  He had been slowing down for the past year or so but was much diminished when we picked him up from the kennel after our trip to Scandinavia. Continue reading

Biking in Gettysburg

October 30, 2017

It was Fall Break and I was hoping to have a biking get-a-way in Lancaster PA with my friends Muffin and Tom. Unfortunately, they had to cancel at the last minute, but I found a wonderful replacement. The Philadelphia Bike Club hosted a biking weekend in Gettysburg and I managed to get one of the remaining spots. After tending to the health needs of husband and dog over the summer, and cancelling time at the Forest Refuge and my second study visit to Madison Wisconsin, I really needed a break and a few days to myself. This did the trick. Continue reading

Opening of Lewis Arts Complex

October 10. 2017

At long last the new music building in the Lewis Arts Complex is ready and the university celebrated with a weekend of festivities and special events to inaugurate all the new rehearsal and performing spaces. The theatre and dance departments brought in famous special guests from outside the university community. The music department showcased all our in-house talent, featuring faculty and student performers from the orchestra, glee club, jazz ensembles, as well as Richardson Chamber Players, So Percussion, Plork, new music by the Sound Kitchen faculty and grad student composers and more in performances that took place all over the campus. Continue reading

A Hero’s Farewell at Arlington

Monday, August 21, 2017

Michael’s brother Ev was buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. It was an emotional and surreal day. A retired three star General in the Air Force, fighter pilot and decorated Vietnam War hero, it seemed not insignificant that he died on March 15, the Ides of March and the day of Julius Caesar’s assassination, and was interred on the day of the solar eclipse. Continue reading

The Cancer Summer – Again

So after a few weeks of good health for all, and the promise of a relaxing summer, it all started again. Michael had an appointment the first week of June with his breast surgeon for a 12-month check-up. The day before he went, he felt a teeny, tiny something in the area of his mastectomy. But there was no more breast tissue there. What could it be? Probably nothing, said Rachel, the breast specialist, but we’ll do a sonogram just to be sure. Humm, the sonogram looked a bit suspicious, so we should do a biopsy, just to rule out, you know, anything bad. Continue reading

IMS: Heart’s Release or Heart Attack?

I just got back from the cardiologist and passed my echo and stress test with flying colors. So this tale has a happy ending – now for the story itself: I had signed up for the April monastic retreat at IMS, but was on a long waiting list after the lottery. I also signed up for the May retreat with Kamala Masters, Debra Ratner and Mark Nunberg and figured if I got into the earlier one I could transfer my registration. Continue reading