I'm wearing my favorite long flannel nightgown, the one with the pink rose print, over a pair of purple leggings, buried beneath four layers of covers--a flannel sheet, a fleece blanket, a quilted bedspread, and a microfleece throw--because the sun hasn't shone in days and I am COLD.
I was supposed to have a date tonight--we engraved it in stone a week ago, and he said he was "excited"--but I received no reply from him when I texted to confirm on Wednesday. Ditto Thursday. Bachelor #2 also asked me out for this weekend, but didn't actually pick a date; I was rather hoping to see him tomorrow night, but haven't heard a peep from him since Wednesday. Bachelor #3 has family in from out of town, so is unavailable this weekend. And don't even ASK me about Bachelor #1.
I am getting a message from the Universe, loud and clear. "Stay home. Teach your piano students. Write your novel. Watch television with your kids. Bake pies."
Yep. That's a direct quote.
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The truth is, I have had no choice but to stay home, because Casey's car is still in the shop, so he has needed my trusty red Honda Accord to get to and from his classes at GGC. Luckily, my piano students come to me. But they have been unusually challenging the past couple of weeks. Most of them are preparing for for a piano festival on February 20th, so we're getting down to the wire, and the pressure is on all of us. As a result, I have been dealing with tears and tantrums, joy and triumph--with love and patience, for the most part. Here's hoping that joy and triumph prevail in the days ahead.
On the other hand, my novel is coming right along. I committed to the "1000 Words A Day Challenge for Writers," meaning I will write 1000 words a day at least six days a week for the entire year, and so far, so good. Some days it is harder than others, but right now, the words are flowing, so I am going to enjoy it while it lasts.
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Most days, I get up, see Nathan onto the school bus, exercise for 30-45 minutes, write for a couple of hours, and then teach somewhere between nine and fifteen piano students. Mondays and Thursdays, Nathan has music lessons afterwards. After all that, he and I usually kick back with a little television. Thank goodness for TiVo. We are regular viewers of Desperate Housewives, House, 30 Rock, Ugly Betty, and American Idol. (I also keep up with Oprah, David Letterman, Lost, and Grey's Anatomy, but I do that on my own time.) I am pleased to report that, with the exception of last week's episode of House, Nathan and I are fully caught up on our television viewing. (And we have House on our schedule for tomorrow morning).
Fridays, I have no piano students; my intention today was to focus on my writing. I am planning to submit the first 25 pages of my novel into a critique workshop scheduled for March; the submission deadline is February 20th, and I wanted to work work on those revisions today. But the gray skies and endless rainfall have made it difficult to maintain a positive attitude and a stiff upper lip, and that, combined with the dating situation and a couple of middle-of-the-night phone calls from my firstborn, made it hard for me to get going this morning. One thing I have always done to get myself through a tough day is baking, because it makes the house smell good, and then there is the reward of something delicious to eat. Usually, my project of choice is cookies, but this week, it has been pies. Nathan loves cherry pie, so I baked a cherry pie for him to come home to on Wednesday; it was an early release day from school, but I had piano students until 9:30, and I wanted him to know I was there for him, at least in spirit. Today, I baked both a pumpkin pie and an apple streusel pie. I tasted both--just the tiniest sliver of each, I had to work too hard to lose that 3.8 pounds--and I do believe that apple streusel pie is one of the best I ever made. Here is the recipe.
APPLE STREUSEL PIE
4 large Rome apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
A generous sprinkle of lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Pillsbury pie crust, prepared according to package directions
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Toss sliced apples with lemon juice to coat well. Add 1/2 cup sugar and the brown sugar, flour and spices, and stir until well blended. Pour into pie crust.
Using a food processor or pastry blender, combine topping ingredients; sprinkle evenly over apples.
Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for about 45 to 60 minutes, until apples are tender and topping is browned.
Vanilla bean ice cream would have made this absolutely perfect.
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And there you have it--a Friday in the life of a romantic, sexy, single, successful middle aged woman. Ooh, la, la.