Saturday, April 16, 2016

Honky Tonk Girl

Last night around midnight I got home from my week in Nashville, where I visited from Tuesday-Friday for the NAGAP conference. What a fun trip! I had the opportunity to spend time with my old college roommate, Linda, whom I had not seen since I was pregnant with Annalisse (as happens with good friends, we picked up right where we left off!). She lives about 45 minutes outside of Nashville, and came for the afternoon and spent the evening with me so she would not have to drive home late at night. I got in around 1pm, and we connected around 3pm and walked around a bit, going in and out of the honky tonks, had a nice dinner, and went to listen to some more music. Wow, were there great bands in the bars, and there is music literally everywhere you go in Nashville. So much talent. I was especially mesmerized by "Slick Joe Fick," a very well know "slap" bassist who had a role in the 2005 Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line.

Here's a sample of amazing and entertaining Joe Fisk playing with Harry Fontana:

Now, I think I've mentioned in this blog before that I'm not super crazy about country music, except for the classic stuff I grew up with. I also like rockability and old fashioned blue grass. But, I couldn't deny the engaging qualities of the musicians along Broadway, which was just two blocks from my hotel. On Wednesday morning, before the conference I visited the Johnny Cash Museum, which was also awesome and had tons of authentic items in it.

Once the conference began I was busy attending sessions, networking, and visiting with old friends. It was a great week!! ~ and of course I ate too much...

Another notable milestone this week: Mom and Dad's 60th wedding anniversary. I just love having Mom's beautiful wedding dress hanging from the guest bedroom door. It's so special to look at, I find myself gazing at it a lot.

Things are winding down for the kids' spring term. Cam has his masters thesis defense this Thursday, then he'll need to focus on finishing off his incomplete from the fall term and wrap up his academic career at RIT. Then, of course, it would be nice if he could find a job!

Annalisse is a little stressed. She has one course in which she's not doing as well as she would like, and she found out late last week that there was a chance she might have a take home exam in that class (good news), but that the professor changed her mind and it will be an in-class exam (bad news). Her professor also threw in a last minute video project. Keep going, 'Lisse. Just a little longer and you'll be on your way to Italy (May 24)!!

Speaking of countries that begin with "I," last Sunday we booked our plane tickets to Ireland for early June. YAYYYYY! In the next week or two I have to finish up booking our accommodations, then we will be ON OUR WAY! We're very excited!!

Today has been a beautiful, warm and sunny spring day. Mark and I did a bit of yardwork and cleaned out the garage. A real gift of a day!

Check back for a fun Thursday celebration of Jasper's 9th birthday! I see a nice vanilla custard in his future...

Sunday, April 3, 2016

And then I blinked...and it was April!!

Welcome to April (3rd), a day of blustery snow and howling winds. What an interesting interpretation of "April Showers."

Since my blog entry, Easter has come and gone, and we've had some amazingly warm and sunny weather. Even Pup got a nice bath last Sunday, and we spent time baking in the sun while he dried. Easter was not super eventful. We did frittata and fixins' for brunch after church, then did some stuff around the house (like the aforementioned bath), took some nice walks, took a nap, took Cam back to school, then, when we started to get hungry around dinnertime, went out looking for somewhere to eat. You guessed it: not much was open because, after all, it was Easter and restaurant workers wanted to be home with their families. We ended up at Panera, which was lame, but at the same time "fine" since we didn't want a huge dinner, just a "little something." Annalisse didn't come home since she had just gone back (after break) the weekend before, so it was really low key group, but a nice time spent with Pat, Nic, Patrick, Cam and Morey, who came over for a little while to have a bite before heading to the Highlands to spend the day with Ann (who is not doing very well).

This weekend has also been a busy one. Friday was an especially long and event-packed day which started at the usual time, and ended at 4am on Saturday morning. I took the day off to take Cam to Buffalo for his flight to San Diego (via NYC) for the Experimental Biology Conference, at which he is presenting his research via poster presentation today (Sunday). Of course, his flight was delayed out of Buffalo, and he his missed his connecting flight to SD. He texted me from the runway at 9:22pm to say that they were finally taxiing out. You do the math. The plane landed in San Diego at 3:15am (our time), and he texted he had gotten to the hotel around 3:45am (12:45am his time). So, that was a relief. We have the pleasure of picking him up at 7:30am in Buffalo on Tuesday morning, so he can get back in time to get to his classes.

Additionally, Annalisse's improv group, Zamboni Revolution, took part in an Improv Festival at RIT on Friday night. They went on stage for the last 1 hour set which began at 9:30pm (wayyyyyy past my bedtime), and we got home from that around 11pm. Tired! We went out to dinner with friends Carol and Michael before, so it was a fun night. Three (+ Annalisse) out of the seven members came to Rochester, and the kids spent the night at our house. They also had a late night, getting back from the Improv Festival afterparty at 3am. So, that's why my Friday really didn't end until the wee hours of Saturday. It's all good, though. They are really nice kids and we had a great breakfast before they headed back to Syracuse around 11am. Everyone was psyched to watch the men's Final Four game Saturday night, which they unfortunately, lost.

This week will find me hosting a Traveling Vineyards Wine Tasting event on Thursday night, presented by my good friend, Heather, then I'll be counting the days until I leave for the NAGAP conference on April 12.

In the meantime, I'll be biding my time, waiting for the snow to melt and the temps to go back up so I can continue the wonderful work of looking forward to spring.