Monday, 25 June 2012

Grandma Peterka's Art

My Grandma Peterka was known for her artistic abilities.  She was a regular painter of greeting cards and also made and painted ceramics.  When she passed away a few years ago, I asked my aunt if she had left any paintings behind, but she wasn't sure.  I was thrilled when she showed up to see me this morning with a great big stack of them!  Here are a few of my favourites:

The bottom one is the largest of the bunch and (obviously) not at all like the others.  It will probably be the first one I frame, however, because I LOVE it!  Strangely, it is also the only one of the bunch that she didn't sign, so I don't know which way she intended it to be oriented . . . anyone have any thoughts?

Speaking of Grandma's name, I was recently telling a friend that my Grandmother's family was German (she was actually born in Germany!) but I was confused as to why her last name, Adams, didn't sound German.  I asked my Uncle Dale and he said it was actually "Adam" but changed to "Adams" when they arrived in America.  I am curious to know if her full name, "Amalia Myrtle Adams," was perhaps originally "Amalie Mirta Adam" (the German versions of her name).  More questions for Uncle Dale!

CORRECTION:  It was my GREAT grandma who was born in Germany, not my grandma!  

So Long Tampa. Hello Cincinnati!

Though I was sad to leave great friends in Tampa, I am excited to start rehearsals with the Catacoustic Consort and Gut, Wind and Wire here in Cincinnati!  I arrived this afternoon and was greeted at the airport by my Uncle Dale who is a priest here in Cincy.  We went out to lunch before he dropped me off at this gorgeous home that I will be staying in for the next four nights.  Here is a quick peak at my lodgings:

view from the bed

My dorm roomies in Tampa were AMAZING, but I'm pumped to have my own bathroom complete with a huge vintage tub!!

It is quite a step up from my dorm room!

Tomorrow I will be meeting up with my uncle again and my Aunt Mary Lou will be joining us from Michigan.  It should be a lot of fun.

Speaking of Aunt Mary Lou, here is a picture Uncle Dale took of the two of us when I was about eight or so.  He gave me a big stack of photographs when I arrived and this was just one of many great ones:

As always, I'm missing my two favourites and can't wait to get home to see them!  From the looks of their recent blog posts, it looks like they're having a great time, but being apart this long is always a bit heartbreaking for us all.  

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Ice Cream in the Park

Charlie and I spent some time in Crystal Palace Park yesterday.  After a solid session at the playground, we went to the ice cream truck that sits just outside (shameful!).

I learnt from Bethie later that this was the first time Charlie had a cone of her own (though I certainly helped her with it).  I let her choose from the menu, and she chose a whippy with a flake.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Despatch from Bromley

An update on what Charlie's been up to while her mum is away.

Trying on a variety of jewellery... 

Loads of commuting to and from nursery.  Banana in the morning, raisins on the way home.  It's a ritual now.

Pleased after moderate success climbing into and out of a box that holds her toys....

Doing her best LeBron James impression...

Making a tasty meal for her Papi after a long day...

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

One Man and a Little Lady

One of the best parts of my day (aside from singing lots and lots of Bach with AMAZING singers!) is when I get an email from Jason with pictures of Charlie!  This first one is my fave:


It looks like he took this one while tipping her backwards in her pushchair (which she loves!).  

This child loves to swing:

She adores watching the cats roam around the backyard:

This last picture is from a recent FaceTime (like Skype for iPhones) session we had.  If it were clearer, I would totally frame it!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Happy Fathers' Day to our Dads!!

Happy Father's Day to Dadada, Pa and Grandpa Marshall!  Thank you all for being wonderfully supportive dads and loving grandpas.  We love you all very much!  

Since I don't currently have access to my iPhoto library, I sadly don't have adorable pictures to include with this post.  Sorry!  I did, however, manage to steal a photo of my dad from Facebook.  He is running for PUD County Commissioner in the Skagit Valley!  Vote for Greg Peterka if you live in the valley!

in the Berry Dairy Days parade this past weekend


Happy Father's Day to the loving (and dashingly handsome) father of my sweet babe.  There aren't many dads who could do half of what you do for our family.  Charlie and I both love you so much and truly appreciate you.


a blurry (but adorable) picture from a recent FaceTime session

self portrait on the way home from school

Friday, 15 June 2012

Dorm Living

Here is my room for the Seraphic Fire Professional Choral Institute in Tampa:

It is a far cry from the places I usually stay when I'm being hosted to sing, but I absolutely love it!  I feel like I'm back in college!  I just need some posters and a shower caddy and I'll be all set.  ;)

Monday, 11 June 2012

Headed back to Florida (and Ohio and Indiana . . . )

This week I'm headed back to Florida to work at Seraphic Fire's Professional Choral Institute (PCI).  We'll be singing and performing with the students of PCI and will put on a few concerts at the end of their program.  I'll be singing lots of Bach whilst enjoying some Florida sunshine.  I can't wait!

I fly straight from Tampa to Cincinnati (well, if you don't include a layover in Virginia!  Ugh!) where I'll be rehearsing with Gut Wind and Wire (a subset of this group) and the Catacaustic Consort  at the Indianapolis Early Music Festival.  We'll be performing some bawdy Scottish songs along with some gorgeous Italian sacred music.  Should be a good time!

We'll be rehearsing in Cincinnati and will have a performance there before our two performances in Indianapolis.  My family used to visit my grandparents in Cincinnati nearly every summer, so I have fond memories of the city.  Sadly, my grandparents are now deceased, but my uncle still lives there ("Uncle Father Dale" as we often call him) and I may also get to see my Aunt Mary Lou and cousin Kathy who might come over from Michigan.  I haven't seen that side of the family in ages, so it will be nice to have the opportunity to spend time with them all!  I also hope to visit the graves of my Grandma and Grandpa Peterka while I'm in town.

Now, of course the difficult part of traveling for work is leaving my sweet little family in London.  Charlie is still too young to understand that I'm leaving, so things continue on as usual.  We've been hitting the park, visiting with friends and even made some play dough (which she LOVES).  Since pictures of me going over music and packing would be a bit boring, here are some pics of our recent goings on:

Feeding the birds at South Norwood Lake:

Homemade play dough:

Charlie and I recently visited my friend Mary-Maye where I got a sewing lesson and she got a voice lesson.  While we were there, I snapped this pic of her new collection of fruit and veg that she painted (I adore them all, but the one of the pears on the far right middle is my favourite):

We've also been eating a lot of Jason's delicious home cooking these days.  I took a few iPhone pics of our meals this last weekend.  They were beautiful, super yummy and pretty healthy (aside from the HUGE ball of fresh mozzarella!):

As always, I'll be posting from abroad while Jason tries to find time to post from home.  


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee!

We really lucked out with our timing in moving to London.  We were here for Will and Kate's Wedding, this last weekend we were here for the Queen's 60th anniversary as queen and later this summer, London hosts the Olympics! 

Perhaps it is patriotism (or simply that they have a super styling flag) but everyone and everything was decked out in the Union Jack and/or red white and blue for the festivities.  The shops around Crystal Palace all had festive displays:

And outfits like this were not an uncommon sight:

Jason, Charlotte and I joined in the festivities at Jason's office.  What I originally thought to be a simple invitation to watch the flotilla from the water-view offices, turned out to be a super swank, fully catered party with free-flowing alcohol, live music, jugglers, kids activities and a dress code appropriate for "having tea with the Queen."  Oh my.

But before we got to the party, we had to brave the crowds:

We decided to leave the pushchair at home and opted for the Ergo carrier instead:  

We were escorted in by two "bobbies" on stilts (and later a staff of women in matching dresses).  Jason and I got a kick out of it, but Charlie is apparently not as impressed as we are by exceptionally long legs.

We were greeted by a live band and a huge screen showing live coverage of the Queen.

Everyone had flags and festive Union Jack hats.  Even the atrium of Jason's building was dressed for the occasion:

We spent most of our time in the kid's area.  Normally that would sound pretty lame, but the bar and decorate-your-own-cupcake station provided just about everything we could want out of a party.

Jason's office overlooks the Tower of London and London Bridge, so it was perfectly located to watch the flotilla.  Charlie spent most of her time waiting for the Queen by doing this:

But did manage to watch a little bit of the flotilla as well:

Look!  There's the Queen!  And Wills!  And Kate!

Friday, 1 June 2012

M & M

Jason's mom and step-dad (Marian and Marshall) are visiting from Singapore!  Well, they live in California, but they arrived from Singapore after a thirty something day cruise with Royal Caribbean.  (Ah, to be retired . . . sounds magnificent!)  We convinced them to ditch their hotel reservations and to just stay with us and we're all glad they did.  Between their schedule and ours, we may not have seen much of each other otherwise!  They have spent the last few days touring around London and head to a hotel near Heathrow tomorrow in preparation for an early morning flight back to California.  We're so happy to have them here!

(I got some great shots of them with our proper camera, but in an attempt to make things a bit easier on myself at the moment, I'll just share my iPhone ones for now.  And yes, I know I have helmet-head.  A haircut is on the books!)

PS:  You can read all about their adventures on their blog!  Click here.

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