Monday, November 16, 2015

Of frantic dance prep, upcoming Mass time changes, and voyages to Swiss Chalet...

Morning all! It wasn't an easy weekend in the world news, to be sure. Oftentimes, when I think about heartbreaking situations such as this one, I feel fear, as I'm sure is fairly common. But then I remember the words of our beloved John Paul II, and try not to feel afraid: for my kids, for my friends and family, for our world, for myself. I try. But it's not easy, yes? Let's all stick together and pray for each other and for peace in our world. I know that it brings me some measure of solace to think of us all together in community, and I hope it does you as well.

Around my small part of the world, it's looking very fallen leafy and windswept here in WNY these days, very reminiscent of this photo:

It was a busy weekend for us, as we gear up for the holidays and for Advent. At our parish, the Mass times are changing, which I'm a tad chagrined about, but I'll adjust. I love our 10 am Mass, and it's switching to 11 am, which will at times not be nearly as convenient for us. Right away, early in Advent, we're going to see The Nutcracker for a Sunday matinee show, and the 11 am Mass will get us out too late to make it without rushing quite a bit. I think what will most likely happen is that on weekends like that, we will be attending the vigil Mass. We'll develop a new routine and get used to it, but as we anticipate this I'm mourning our beloved 10 am slot a bit. :)

In cute Catholic kid stuff, Anne relayed a precious story to me on Saturday:

"Mommy, we say the Pledge of Allegiance in school."

"Yes! We always said that in school, too. Have you memorized it?"

"Yes, want to hear?"

Of course I did. :) And she took the duty very seriously.

"That's excellent, sweetheart."

"Mommy, did you know that when you say the Pledge of Allegiance, you only need to put your hand like this, over your heart? And not make the sign of the cross after? My teacher told me."

Oh snort. I can only imagine how this went over in Anne's public pre-K. She must have thought it was like when we say grace at meals. I liked how she automatically wove in the tie between a physical gesture and saying aloud something important, a ritual. She's a natural as a Catholic child. ;-)

In other news, my dance troupe is in heavy rehearsal mode for the hafla this upcoming weekend.We have a bunch of group pieces that we'll be performing, and at this point it's always a hodge podge of old and new numbers, combined in new and exciting ways. ;-) So, we have a new veil piece paired with a new baladi number, but also an old pop piece paired with a new drum, and then our newish Saidi piece as a standalone. 

Solos are going to be in the second set, and mine is in there, towards the end. Lots of time to sweat leading up to that. Although I'm hoping that my little birthday party adventure last month will make me appreciate the easier-to-manage hafla atmosphere this time around, and consequently be less nervous about performing in such venues. I have my music all edited and ready to go, and general idea of how I'd like to structure things in my usual improvisational way. 

Running through my music reminded me that I needed to decide what costume to wear, and so a lot of sewing ensued this weekend. I sew about as well as I bake, so you can only imagine how well these little sessions typically unfold. Mike comes out of his office from grading student papers and finds me casually passing him in the hallway garbed in jeans and a costume top with only half a strap, trailing behind me a super long length of black satin. Anne is adorning the walls with random pieces of adhesive Velcro that I gave her to prevent her from causing too much damage in the notions bag.  

"You're probably wondering what is going on out here, aren't you?"

This is a common occurrence in our house whenever I have a dance gig. ;-) Dance costumes ALWAYS require a lot of sewing. If they're new, they never fit perfectly, and so need a lot of work to make them presentable. If they're old, they're losing beads or need new hooks, or have stretched out a bit and could use some tucking. I did not get a separate costume for when I was pregnant with Anne, I just wore my skirt under my belly throughout the second trimester, if that is any indication of what we're working with here. :0 Our costumes are generally stretchy, but don't maintain the same level of stretchiness over time, for sure and for certain.

So I now have black satin straps on my new black and bronze costume, which I'd like to wear for the solo, but the skirt is extremely heavy and needs some more tucking for it to stay put on my hips. Working on that tonight. We're getting there!

To complete our weekend, Mike asked on Sunday if I'd like to go to dinner at Swiss Chalet. Um, YES. You all know about my love affair with Canadian rotisserie chicken. I *love* it there, and given that we now have to cross an international border to get there, I don't get there as often as I'd like. However, this experience has shown me that it really doesn't take all that long to get to the Niagara Falls, Ontario location, and thus we really need to be doing this much more frequently. ;-) At any rate, we packed up the kids and headed north. Yes, for chicken.

But it's all about the chalet sauce, remember? And we had a delightful time:

"And I think that that way, we can...wait. What happened to all of your sauce?"

"I ate it. Are you going to use all of yours?"

*I eye his cup like a vulture circling it's prey*

"No, I guess not. But...what else do you dip in there besides the chicken?"

The man is so cutely naive of the ways of the Chalet. If he's going to go all HEALTHY and choose the vegetables over the french fries dipped in sauce, well then I just can't help him. :0

And the waitress who gave me an extra cup of fresh sauce for my takeout container? Let's just say she got a very nice tip. And very nearly a round of applause.


What did you do this weekend, dear reader? Write in and tell me all about it. :)


  1. I can relate to Anne with the pledge. I taught in a Catholic school for four years and we'd say, "God bless America" after the pledge. Now I'm in a public school and I still say it quietly in my head. . . after fuming that the kids on the PA system leading pledge started with, "I pledge OF allegiance. . ." Come on, sixth graders!

  2. Hi Kate! Yeah, I thought it was cute. She seemed so bewildered that the sign of the cross wasn't a part of this important statement. :0


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