Travel Tuesday # 5 – Regent’s Park, London

This photo of a lovely formal floral display was taken in 1998 during by very first trip to London.  I really wanted to walk through Regent’s Park because it is the setting for part of Virgina Woolf‘s novel Mrs. DallowayIt did not disappoint me.  I think it is still my favorite of the Royal Parks in London.


Music Monday #5 – Schubert

The Austrian composer Franz Schubert was born January 31, 1797, near Vienna in Himmelpfortgrund.  He would die in Vienna of typhus at the age of 31.  A shy man, who is said to have given only one public concert, he is often over shadowed by others like Beethoven,  Mozart, Schumann,  and Chopin.  His 600 Lieder (romantic songs) are probably his greatest legacy but he also wrote significant chamber works and piano pieces.  There are only a smattering of short solo dances, marches or serenades by Schubert that an average piano student will encounter.  His Impromptus are popular with students who gain that level of facility as well as with concert pianists.  His Sonatas and the Wanderer Fantasy are ‘big’ works demanding very accomplished performers.

Here are 3 YouTube clips  of Schubert being played by some past piano greats:

Rubinstein – Impromptu Op.90 N.4

Richter – Schubert “Wanderer”

Rudolf Serkin –  Piano Sonata in B flat

A Trio of Blog Awards to Pass Out

During the month of January 2012 I have been honored to receive 3 different blogging awards:   

Candle Lighter Award                         The Versatile Blogger                     HUG AWARD

I am now going to list 6 women and their blogs.  I have not notified them in advance but I invite all of them to accept any or all of the awards listed above.  And I invite any followers of my blog, or accidental discoverers of this post, to visit these 6 blogs.

1.  Kim of Woman in the Middle

2.  Lesley of Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

3.  Melissa of Melissa Camara Wilkins

4.  Pam of Mushy Cloud

5.  Patti of A New Day Dawns

6.  Sara of my points of view

Yet Another Award

The Rules:

1.  Thank the person who shared the award with you by linking back to them in your post. 

               Thank you Kate Kresse of  Believe Anyway

2.  Pass this award to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know that you included them in your blog post.  

I will be getting to that part a little later, but I am not promising a full 15.

3.  List 7 things about yourself.  About me -?

1.  I have lived all 52 years of my life in the state of Vermont.
2.  My blog header features my 22 year old cat Zoe.
3. Chocolate is my favorite flavor, followed by lemon and raspberry.
4. I worked as a school music teacher for 7 years during my 20s.
5. I operated a piano studio in my home for 19 years.
6. I am prematurely retired.
7. In 2012 I am aiming to attend 4 – 5 Zumba classes a week.

Another Award

I am pleased to acknowledge that Kate Kresse of  Believe Anyway granted me the HUG AWARD today.


Hope is an expectant desire; a confidence in a future event; a ground for trust and confidence; to think; to look forward to with trust and expectant desire.”

The HUG Award© was initiated by Connie Wayne at A Hope for Today at, which promotes hope, love, peace, equality, and unity for all people.

The HUG Award© is for people with an expectant desire for the world, for which they:  Hope for Love; Hope for Freedom; Hope for Peace; Hope for Equality; Hope for Unity; Hope for Joy and Happiness; Hope for Compassion and Mercy; Hope for Faith; Hope for Wholeness and Wellness; Hope for Prosperity; Hope for Ecological Preservation; Hope for Oneness

The HUG Award© recognizes and honors those who help keep hope alive in our current world, which is plagued by war, natural disasters, and economic recession.  They nurture hope, in any of the above areas (in italics),  by the work they do, or in their personal lives with things such as blogging, public speaking, charity work, etc.

The HUG Award© is for anyone, anywhere in the world, who meets the guidelines and wants to be nominated for the award. Please leave a comment on this page if you are interested in receiving this award, or if you would like to nominate someone else for the award.

The HUG Award© is for people who, without giving up or compromising their own religious, spiritual, or political beliefs, are able to nurture hope and respect the dignity of all people.

The HUG Award© is for those who, without bias or prejudice, use their resources and gifts to make the world a better place for everyone.

The HUG Award©is for people who have a hope or an expectant desire that the work or talents they use in things such as blogging, public speaking, charity work, etc., will make a positive impact on the world.

These people do not have to actively use the word “hope” in their work or creative talents.  They only need be conscious of their desire to make the world a better place for everyone.

These people use their available resources–a smile, a hug, a helping hand, a listening ear, a voice, time, money, possessions, education, personality, talent, websites and blogs—to make a positive impact on the world and make the world a better place to live.

The HUG Award© is not specifically a website or blog award.  It can be given to people in your community, at your employment, at your place of worship, etc.  Please make sure they have a copy of these Guidelines, and please don’t forget to submit their names back to this site.

I will be announcing blogs that I am passing awards onto before the end of the weekend.  I have 3 different ones to distribute, including the HUG AWARD.

Thoughtful Thursday #4 – Smartest

Who is the smartest person you know?

I really racked my brain trying to come up with a great answer to this query besides saying my husband.  But guess what? – I had to face the fact that despite his numerous areas of ineptitude my husband is in the end & overall the smartest person I know.  What we are talking here is book learning smart, reads way too many newspapers daily and retains what he reads smart, is interested and knowledgeable about far more academic topics than his own discipline and sub-field smart.

The flip side of this is that for other types of smart I find and rely on other people, or I have to be smart for myself.   I have girlfriends who are smart about awkward family or interpersonal situations.  I will always need to know a good carpenter, mechanic, plumber…

But just let me end by saying my husband is not someone you want to play Trivial Pursuit against, even though there are some categories, like pop culture, where he is clueless.

Wacky Wednesday #4 – Jan. 25 is A Room of One’s Own Day

When I saw this ‘holiday’ listed at  I immediately thought of Virginia Woolf.  When I went to do a little fact checking I found that A Room of One’s Own Day is claimed by as their invention.

Here is the room I claim as my own.  As you can see it has a spot for my computer and a flat screen TV, plenty of shelf space, and as a room of my own I let the clutter be ( up to a point).

This photo is Monk’s House, which was Virginia Woolf’s country retreat.  She had a garden room that was her writing room, but it appears I did not take any photos of it when I visited the property.

Travel Tuesday #4 – Gardens at Hill House

A few years ago we spend about 10 days based in Glasgow, Scotland.  One of our excursions was out to Helensburgh and Hill House.   Hill House was donated to the National Trust for Scotland in 1982 and is a fine example of the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.  The house itself is not why I choose to feature it today.  We are having a rainy, gray, non-snowy January here in Vermont so I wanted to look at some colorful and lush garden photos. So now I’m going to let these photos from the Hill House grounds speak for themselves.

Music Monday #4 – Mozart

The anniversary of W.A. Mozart’s birth rolls around on Friday, January 27, 2012.  For many people Mozart’s music is very appealing.  When it comes to his writing for keyboard (harpsichord or piano) his Concerto’s for Piano are his more important works.  However some of the  little solo pieces (Minuets, Marches, etc.) that  he wrote as a youngster can be played by piano students relatively early.  The “easier” piano sonatas take a many more years for most students to reach.  His Piano Sonata No. 16 in C major, K. 545 is popular among late intermediate level piano students.   Two other works by Mozart that hold appeal for teenage (or adult amateur) pianists are his Rondo Alla Turca ( the last movement of his Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K 331) and the Variations on “Ah vous dirai-je, Maman” K. 265   (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to us English speakers).

If you what to listen here are a couple of links: A YouTube of the Sonata  K545 complete  and A YouTube of the late Vladimir Horowitz playing the Rondo Alla Turca