The girls spent the afternoon at their gym class and Cocoa and I stopped at the nearest trailhead to hike while we waited. I have been putting off hiking since last Fall when I tried hiking there with three kids and for whatever reason got totally spooked being out alone in the woods. We chose meadow, open, trails today and saw lots of friendly hikers. If my GPS was right, we covered a mile in about 45 minutes. By the end Cocoa was so fed up with my attempt at "speed" I would hear a "PSSSHHHHHH" from behind me as he hit me with a freeze spell- I would freeze in place while he inspected whatever rock or stick caught his attention, and then would shoot another beam to un-freeze me and we could move forward.
After class I dropped the girls and their cousins off at my parents' for a sleepover, J picked up Cocoa for a big Dude Night of high school football, burgers, and donuts, and I had dinner with my sister and her in-laws. I had never been to their home, it's beautiful, and she made such a yummy meal. From top right, it's thousand year egg, chicken with onions, eggplant with black bean, and Chinese-style sausge. She served a beautiful bowl of garlic broccoli as well.
I had to scoot off to my piano lesson in town- I can see the progress I have made in the last year, but I still have so far to go it's ridiculous. I had no idea how much technique there was... How much was possible. Sounds ridiculous, but it's true- it didn't occur to me that playing harder music would require a new level of technique instead of just being able to read the notes faster. My main skill up to this point has been sight reading- it's invaluable as an accompanist, and I am very good at it. It's allowed me to help a lot of soloists and choirs out of tricky spots, because being thrown a binder of music a week or two before the performance is depressingly common. It's amazing how learning a new way of bending your elbow or turning your thumb under can make an impossible song possible.
I met my sister and niece for dessert nada wander through the craft store after my lesson, and got home about the same time as the guys.