Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hodge Podge

Why is this sweet lady smiling?  Because this morning her gifted grandson came to our Bible study for a sozo this morning.  He has been experiencing insomnia.  It was a great morning of ministry and the Holy Spirit gave many encouraging words for him. 

After I came home from Body Flow at noon I noticed the abundance of peeling bark on the crape myrtle trees in my back yard.  It's really beautiful and seems to cry out for artistic use.  Wish I were artistic. 

I love to mess with colors, though.  Over the past week I played with beads.  Here are some of the results.

Pearls--Freshwater and irradiated, along with gemstone chips and beads in pinks and grays.

Gemstone ovals and cubes with silver beads.

I love the color variations in these ovals

These are some older favorite garnet beads. I re-strung one end of one strand and added an extender.

The beads below are one long strand of funky chunky leftovers.  

Then I took a nap.  After the nap I worked on the studio schedule for the eleventy seventh time.  Still not working out for some students.  So I laid it aside and cleaned out part of my closet. 

Rainy July Day

I woke to thunderstorms with big thunderboomers this morning. That in itself is unusual for July, but this continued throughout the day. By this evening this is what my rain gauge held.

Our housing area is near a lake and this is what one of the drainage canals looked like at 8:30 p.m.

The street at the junction of one of the drainage canals where the water goes under the street and into the pond that feeds into the lake was full too.

But the sky was gorgeous!  

Monday, July 26, 2010

Jonahbear is five!

Jonah is five today. Wow!  This is his "cool" face. 
Here is the first five years in video. 

Saturday and Sunday

Saturday my quartet played for a wedding in this beautiful chapel. Before we began the bridesmaids were in their flipflops chatting it up.

This is my usual vantage point for a wedding. Behind the music stand positioned where I can see the bridal party and bride enter from the back.  For some reason we usually play from the bride's side, just to the far left of the bride's family.

This is our church. My friend, L is an artist. This is her current work in progress.  She paints where the congregation can see what she is painting, right up front under one of the lecterns.   She stopped to chat before the service started while some of the younger girls were studying her work. I'm warming up with the praise team.  It was my first official Sunday to play with them and I was SO BLESSED!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Change of Plans

After the three performances Thursday I brought Nannie home with me and showed her some of the latest blog photos from the Rowdy Girls and the Cheese Family since she has no internet connection, or computer, or iphone, or technology information.  After Nannie left I started the dishwasher and put a load of laundry in to soak, then got some watermelon, a mug of ice water, and an ice pack for my knee.  It was a VERY hot day. 

What I failed to recognize is that my blood sugar was dipping, which is why I was feeling so hot, so tired, and craving the water and watermelon.  Then I went to sleep—for three hours.  Big mistake. I missed Body Flow and woke up in a goofy stupor of foggy headedness.  Is that a word?  Well, that’s what it seemed to be.  I tried to give Scooter my allergy meds before I realized what I was doing. I found myself standing in a room with no clue why I walked in there.  So, I sat down and made myself eat a full meal of  protein, veggies, and whole wheat bread, then my brain turned on.  I noticed that Muffin sent a text and was on the way home.  Good news!  I had a plan for a quiet dinner and some DVR’ed TV—Psych, Covert Affairs, White Collar, So You Think You Can Dance.  On Friday my plans included meeting a real estate agent to look at office space, a great work out at Body Flow and Pilates, and a trip to Lowes. 

 On Wednesday while I was teaching I heard a huge noise in the kitchen and Scooter, my darling hearing challenged dog even heard it.  My students declared that they saw him standing near the French doors of the music room and there was no way he caused the noise, which I thought was the trash can turning over. It wasn’t.  The lens over one of the large fluorescent fixtures in the kitchen ceiling fell from the sky!  It broke into at least six pieces, one of them still huge and falling all the way to the dining area.  I was SO thankful no one was in the kitchen when it happened! 

During the morning, during the Body Flow class and for about two hours afterward Muffin and his sister talked about Nana’s care during her recovery from the broken bone.  Plans began to change. While Mufin got the car serviced I packed for me and for Scooter. We left town around six o’clock, Muffin exhausted from the excessive driving from last week and his regular driving to and from the job—about 350 miles round trip each week. We arrived at Nana’s about 8:30 and found her doing very well.  She is in great spirits and no pain and is performing well from chair to walker to wheelchair and back again.  We’ve been here more than twenty four hours and for almost three hours she entertained the health car agency representatives while they completed paper work and asked her questions.  God provided a sweet lady to stay night and day with Nana for one week. Then Muffin will return to help them reassess her needs.  Muffin grocery shopped and cut up a watermelon for us to share with her for the week.  I did laundry, scrubbed her bathrooms, especially the toilets, and went back to the store to fetch a few things that were missed.  I sliced food into daily portions and washed fresh fruit and chilled water for her for the week.  Muffin’s sister and the kids came by for the agency visit and stayed to share about the upcoming vacation to Grand Canyon, Kings’ Canyon, Sequoia, and Yosemite National Parks.  They leave tomorrow morning.  All of us are very thankful for God's provision for Nana and praying for complete and quick recovery for her.


Thursday the studio performing group, which has no name but really needs one, gave away our gift of music to residents at a nursing home, a retirement center, and a church. 

Our program:
Folksy Fiddlin’ 
Macy B, Christian K, Mattie S
Yankee Doodle…..Arr. McMichael
Ashokan Farewell..…Ungar/Mason, arr. McGlaun
Fantomen....... Arr. McLean
Little Fandango…….McLean
Orange Blossom Special.....Rouse
*Solos: Macy B…German Dance…von Dittersdorf
Mattie S…Humoresque…Dvorak

At the nursing home we had a piano, so I accompanied the group. We had a broken, bent music stand incident, but I keep two yoga mats and two music stands in the trunk of my car.  In case you were wondering I actually use the two yoga mats more than the stands.  Most of the places where I play there are music stands in place.

Anyway, after performing at the nursing home the residents, many of them in wheelchairs, wanted to thank the students personally. One of them, a fastidiously groomed lady wearing pink from collar to ankle, told me she hadn’t heard Humoresque in 10,000 years and it made her feel like she was in a wonderful dream.  That’s why we go to these places and play these programs.

When we arrived at the nearby retirement center forty-five minutes later I was expecting to perform in a large room, which is almost a mini auditorium with a grand piano.  However, the program director was on vacation and had failed to leave instructions or to even put us on the calendar. So…

We improvised by asking to play luncheon music in the dining room.  We set up along a wall, taking care to keep the stand legs out of the way and moving all the cases and bags away from potential disaster with a resident with a walker or cane.  What I haven’t mentioned yet, is that my Mom, The Nannie, came along for the performances.  She enjoyed chatting with the program director at the nursing facility, and at the retirement center decided to sit in the foyer just outside the dining room door out of the way.  Well, a resident sat beside her and complained loudly about us for twenty minutes—the duration of the program.  She called us beginners, said we were “right in the way of ther table”, and that we were way too loud for the dining room.  Then she went on to get really nasty from there. At the end of the program she told Nannie that her house burned to the ground, she lost everything that she owned and her children asked her to come to the center, but her money is running out.  Bless her heart, no wonder she has a bad attitude.  I pray that she can find joy and receive abundantly from the Father who provides abundantly for His children. 

Moving on to First Nazarene Church for the senior citizens monthly covered dish, Christian K was providing some drama.  His character was Starving Teenager.  Thankfully they let us eat right away and it was delicious food!  Homemade bread, fried chicken, beef fingers, King Ranch Chicken, fresh vegetables, macaroni and cheese, and lots and lots of pie and cake.  By the time we performed we were very happy musicians indeed. 

Friday, July 16, 2010


Not much happening in the studio in July and August.  These three teenage turkeys showed up to rehearse for a day of performances though.  They asked if I would be photographing their faces.  "No", I said. "Your knees."

Knees are such a lovely part of our anatomy.  Even Scooter is impressed.

These two brothers had the audacity to grow inches and inches over the past few months, outgrew their violins and needed new ones. The new ones, of course, needed markings--little narrow tapes for finger placement. I use racing stripe tapes in three colors from the auto store.  It's sticky, pretty, and narrow enough to keep little fingers fairly accurately in tune.  T is very proud of his new violin!

B, his brother, got his new violin and finger tapes two weeks ago.  He decided to cheese for the camera at the very last minute.  

One day of teaching, five students, about an hour and forty five minutes, lots of repetition, lots of encouragement, lots of attention to bow strokes and intonation and dynamics and especially to ensemble playing, a few minutes of tuning and sticky tapes and peeling backing off the adhesive, and then a visit from a cellist who came by to get a gig folder.   An afternoon of satisfaction and blessing--priceless!

Sweet Gracie Girl

Thank you, God, for the music she adds to our lives.

And thanks so much for the activity and charm and joy!

Thank you for these two wonderful years of beauty and wonder and blessing in this package of sweetness with curly hair and lovable innocence.  


Last weekend we were having fun. Lots of fun. We were with the Rowdy Family. Friday was a rainy day and characterized by too much cabin fever and too many indoor activities.  Saturday was beautiful. 
The girls woke up declaring, " Saturday! Let's go to Trudy's!"  So, of course we did.

Roo was already ordering in the car on the way--bacon, eggs, bacon, migas, bacon, waffles, bacon and "yellow" (lemon bars), and bacon.  She also discovered Tres Leches Cake. After three pieces of bacon, migas, eggs, waffles, and some pineapple.

Em was quietly eating even more than Roo.  The Kona coffee was excellent! 

We took advantage of a playground near the Apple store.  Roo like the giant armadillo. Em was cozy with the butterfly bench. 

And the fountain.

Both Em and Roo were quite taken with the kids station at the Apple store. Dr. Seuss and Photo Booth were the big hits.  And Marmee got a new adapter and connecter.

Love these sweet times together!

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Projects

Most of our visits to see Mike and Joy in Washington, DC have concurred with them working. We find plenty to keep us busy by visiting museums at those times and meet them for lunch and dinner. Now that they own a house all is different. Our latest visit was also on a holiday. We loved being with them more and kicking back with them in their basement in front of the TV or sitting on their porch drinking coffee or eating dinner, watching as the neighborhood families and American University students walked past us. 

It was also exciting to be able to help them a little with the 70 year old house and its needs. 
Furniture was assembled.

New numbers were installed at the front door.

A new chandelier was installed in the dining room.

Old energy inefficient lights were exchanged for new energy efficient ones. A dimmer switch was installed. New outside security lighting was installed. Herbs were planted. A new doorbell was installed. 

And, I think I can successfully report that a good time was had by all.  Especially after a good night's sleep and viewing the accomplishments by the light of a new day. Thanks be to God for His blessings on this new home, on this old neighborhood, on those who live there and visit there. May His peace inhabit all its rooms for as long as it stands.