Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oireachtas 2008

Well, we made it through our first Oireachtas (which is the regional championships, Western Regionals in our case). It was great that Bekka was able to go and see it all, while only dancing the figure choreography. This enabled her to scope it out and see what she may be in for next year when she will, hopefully, be qualified to compete in the solo competition. I'll tell ya' what - three days of accordion music is a LOT of accordion music!

All our teams danced really, really well. Our under 15 Figure danced better than two of the other teams they competed against, even though those two teams placed higher than they did. Our over 15 Figure (Bekka's team) did not place (missed by one), but also danced better than they placed. The music and choreography for our teams was so great - so full of energy - that many of the other teachers commented. The teams are excited to take it to Worlds in April in Philadelphia!

Sock On (her head)

Hair Up


Ready to Dance

2008 An Daire Over 15 Oireachtas Figure Choreography Team (for the record, the teacher on the far left is not wearing a wig - she is an Irish Goddess and that is her real hair!)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A Visit, a Feis, Grades, Kittens, and a Root Canal

It's been busy and I had intended to write this up a while ago - now I'm hardly remembering what was so exciting!

Portland is an hour and a half north of us. We've been driving up there a LOT! And it's all good.

Back on Oct. 22 Steffi and I bopped up to Portland to pick up her friend from L&L. We had gone all the way to North Caroline to meet a girl from Washington State! Olivia and Steffi spent a good deal of the conference together - attracted by their mutual love of singing. Olivia's mom, Beth comes down to Portland about once a month, so we decided that Olivia would come to Corvallis for a good visit. I feel especially honored by the fact that Olivia has never gone off on her own overnight without one of her adults.

The girls had the whole visit planned out - including watching High School Musical 3 on opening day. We threw in a trip to the Haunted Corn Maize and gave that a good shot, but only made it to the first scary guy before turning around and heading to the car. The owner practically chased us down to give us our money back and we enjoyed Gelato instead. Olivia was so sweet to let me know how comfortable she was, staying with us - I think she really liked spending time with another consensual living family. Her dad is also a parenting coach - you may have heard of him - Scott Noelle.

On Saturday, Oct. 25 we all headed back up to Portland for Feile Samhain - the Feis our Irish Dance School hosts. This was SO MUCH FUN! While there were many technical and logistical problems with the Feis, there is such a party atmosphere. There were three costume reels - 16 bars of anything goes. The musician was amazing during the one we watched - adapting the music to the costumes (like playing the Snow White theme music when Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs came on). Even the judges were in costume the whole weekend, which I'm sure helps the kids feel more comfortable. In addition to all the fun, Bekka moved her Treble Jig up to Prize Winner!

The day after the Feis, Bekka took 6 of her Grades exams in Irish Dance. Dr. John Cullinane (go ahead and click on it - it's quite a treat!) from County Cork was the adjudicator for the grades - it was great to see him dance in person - and he was so personable. It gave us a whole 'nother view of judges. Bekka passed grades one through six (half of all the grades).

During grades Steve and Steffi called to see if we could foster a litter of orange kittens. They are so adorable. Five orange tabbies. We named them Eenie, Meanie, Miney, Minnie, and Moe because we can't really tell them apart!

Back in mid October I got a cold. Yuck - but it was short lived with my super-duper cold treatment of Head Cold Relief (a homeopathic remedy), Emergen-C, extreme rest (doing almost nothing for a couple of days), and my Neti Pot. Oh, and no sweets - which, for those who know me know that that is extreme in itself. This is the second year in a row that I managed to rid myself of a cold in four (yes, four) days! As soon as my cold went away, my tooth started to ache. It started out small and ended up keeping me from sleeping three nights in a row. I ended up pretty desperate at 2:30am - I tried ground cloves (I didn't have clove oil), peppermint oil, salt water rinses, hydrogen peroxide rinses, clove oil the second night (don't EVER put clove oil on your gums - it eats them up - it's horrible!!!). My tooth was sensitive to cold, so I was really averse to using an ice pack, but after nothing else would work, I finally tried it and it was almost heaven on earth! I ended up sleeping on an ice pack, then spending an entire day attached to an ice pack, then sleeping with it for another night.

After four days of Penicillin, it was MUCH better just in time to spend the night with my friend Dominique up in Vancouver so Bekka could take the grades prep workshop. The day after grades I had a root canal - it is a MIRACLE treatment - I tell ya! Don't let anyone tell you root canals are horrible - I couldn't believe how great it was! I am completely pain-free.

So there you have it, our end of October excitement.