Yesterday, I sat down at the piano and played Clair de Lune from start to finish without music. As I was looking back through old posts to figure out how long it has taken me, I was amazed to find it has only been a little over 2 months. That may not seem like a great victory to a professional musician, but I felt on top of the world. I have never been able to memorize like this before. It wouldn’t have even taken me that long if it weren’t for the holidays (we spent several weeks traveling and I was too busy to seriously practice). What a difference a great teacher can make. I still have much work to do to perfect it… I have some voicing issues to work out, but I never thought I would be this far.
The Bach and Beethoven variations are coming along nicely, although I have not begun to memorize either piece yet. I find myself daring to dream that maybe, just maybe, I might be ready to audition in the next year.
Tuna Girl wrote recently about her “Mondo Beyondo” list… a list of things you would like to accomplish that are so outrageous you can barely bring yourself to write them down. Auditioning would probably be at the top of my list.
But there are lots of unknowns. I don’t know where Uncle Sam is moving us yet. I don’t know if there will be a nearby college with a music program, much less if I could make it through the audition process. I don’t know if we can afford it. I don’t know if this is the right choice for my family at this moment in time… the dutchkid is several years away from being in school full time.
There are a lot of ifs ands and buts. But I have hope.
Reason #1001 why I love the commissary.
I ordered the dutchkid’s birthday cake this year because we had so many people coming and I decided I needed to let go of wanting her to have a homemade cake. For some reason I felt stressed out about trying to plan the birthday festivities, especially if I had to make the cake too. I would have preferred to just have a very small gathering… but that’s another post.
Since the neighborhood was coming, I ordered a half sheet cake with four Disney princesses on it. Hey, if you’re going to the trouble, might as well go all the way, right? The deli lady told me you pay for it when you pick it up, how nice! So on the day of the party while I was running around getting things ready I sent dh to get it.
They did a beautiful job, the dutchkid was seriously “wowed”. When I asked dh how much it was, he says to me, “Didn’t you pay for it when you ordered it? I was going through the self checkout but the lady and I couldn’t find the bar code. I said you must have already paid.”
That man managed to walk out of the commissary without paying for the cake! If I would’ve tried something like that, even innocently, I would get arrested, but him? He just smiles sweetly and those ladies eat it up. So of course, because he’s ever-so-proud of his frugality, even when it borders on the illegal, he had to tell everybody at the party how he got the cake for free. Here is a picture of my darling innocent daughter blowing out the candles on her stolen birthday cake:
I know I put my phone number on the order sheet but I never even got a call about it. I went first thing after the MLK holiday and paid the nice deli lady for the cake. She laughed and thanked me for coming back. I told her that I couldn’t have shown my face in there again without making it right! Only at the commissary would they trust someone enough to make it right on their own.
Published January 22, 2009
Maybe it’s the cold spell we’ve had here, but we have been fighting off sickness all week. The dutchkid had a nasty cold earlier this week and I have had a sore throat for the past two days.
But the real humdinger is that my poor dh can barely get out of bed. It takes a lot to really bring him down, and I haven’t seen him this bad in a good long while. He actually went to sick call this morning, I can’t even remember the last time he did that. He’s too sick even to do the “will you please put your hand on my forehead, tell me how sick I am and bring me something to eat?” charade.
I feel bad that he feels so bad, but I’m honestly I’m more worried that the dutchkid or I will come down with it next (what a heartless wife I am!). But I don’t have the luxury of being able to crawl into bed and not emerge for two days, especially if the dutchkid has it too. I’ve been chugging my pomegranate juice and Vitamin C like there’s no tomorrow. Germs, begone!
“Shadowed beneath thy hand may we forever stand — true to thee, O God, and true to our native land”
I did watch the inauguration today. Normally I’m not into that sort of thing, and my dh has often wondered what kind of rock it is that I’m living under. But I crawled out today and turned on the TV. The lovely music of Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill alone was worth watching, but those words spoken by Rev. Lowery in his benediction caught my attention.
They come from a poem (later turned into a song sometimes called the “Black National Anthem”) written by James Weldon Johnson: Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing
God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou hast brought us thus far on the way.
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray;
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee.
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God, true to our native land!
I may not agree with President Obama’s politics, and not everyone liked the end of Rev. Lowery’s benediction when he used a civil rights chant. But what powerful and beautiful words in that poem.
Do people who have naughty children *know* that they do?
I’m just asking because we just finished up some early birthday festivities for the dutchkid. We invited pretty much the whole neighborhood because in our on-post fishbowl once you start inviting, it’s hard to draw a line without hurting feelings. In this particular case, we have one family on our street with two very badly behaved children. In fact, that has been a common topic of conversation among the other mothers, how they like the parents but can’t stand the children.
Now I know why. In the process of several hours they managed to: dump an entire pitcher of lemonade on my table, make the other little girls cry, opened several of the dutchkid’s presents and spread water over my basement floor with the dutchkid’s play mop. But what gets me more than any of the regular kid “shenanigans” is that they are very demanding and disrespectful of all adults, as well as outright mean at times to other children.
When they are caught red-handed the parents make a big show of yelling at them, and seem to appear strict but the behavior never gets any better.
One of the last mothers to leave tonight commented to me that she had this family over last weekend and that she was never doing it again. I can’t say that I will be quick to invite them over again myself. Dh thinks that they know their kids are naughty, but if I knew the dutchkid would act like that I would watch her like a hawk. I would be so embarrassed if people talked about us like that. Maybe they don’t care?
The dutchkid’s birthday is rapidly approaching. And I’m not exactly sure why, but each year when we celebrate it makes me sad.
It makes me wonder what sort of mother I am, why am I not happy about another birthday? It’s not that I wish she could stay small forever, and this year she’s certainly had milestones that we really worked for (hello, potty training!).
But this morning, I watched her put together a puzzle. It was a Christmas present and a few weeks ago she wasn’t able to do it. I was amazed and proud (and glad she got the puzzle loving genes from me). Then suddenly I started thinking when did I stop paying attention long enough for her to change so much?
It might be because as every year passes it is more and more likely that she will be an only child. And all I can do is sit there with my camera and wish time would just slow down so that I could savor it.
Published January 13, 2009
Tags: military life, PCS
Today the list of the top 8 places we would like to go was sent into dh’s branch manager. I seriously need a drumroll, or maybe just a drink. I feel like dh and I have been discussing options and what-ifs and rearranging the order for eons. We’re hoping to hear something back by the beginning of February. Dh has repeatedly been told that he should get something in his top 3, but I’ll believe that when it happens.
I’m just dying to type it out, but you know, my dh would never forgive me. His own self imposed OPSEC and all. How about a few hints? We could stay here in the South (several options there). We could move to Korea. We could move to a beautiful mountainous state where my friend Army Blogger Wife is moving. We could go to Spain (don’t I wish). That really narrows it down, doesn’t it?
I feel much better now having shared my angst.
My mother’s dog is named Samson. This is quite possibly the most ironic name ever, mostly because while the biblical character of Samson was a brave, strong hero this in-real-life Samson is the the ultimate scaredy-cat of a dog. Anyhow, Sam’s favorite hobby is to sneak into your room and steal your unmentionables to bury. My mom has entertaining stories about how she came home to find her underwear all over the lawn.
While we were home over the holidays, I accidentally forgot to close the door to the room we were sleeping in. This time he decided against the unmentionables but went for the dutchkid’s jammies. Cute froggy print ones, that he took right out of the suitcase. No doubt this spring when all the snow melts my mother will find them in her flower bed.
So this made making her new pajamas higher on the priority list of projects. I already had purchased the Bedtime Story Pajamas pattern from Oliver + S and this week I finished them up:
(forgive the odd angle, the pants aren’t really that much bigger than the top)
Seriously, I love her patterns – clear and detailed. As a relatively novice seamstress, I get frustrated sometimes because with other patterns they assume you know how to do things. I am still at the point where I need it to be spelled out so that my finished project looks good. Especially with clothing.
And here she is wearing her official “smile” for pictures. It cracks me up every time.
I feel like writing today although I don’t have anything earth-shattering to say. So if you’re not in the mood for mindless drivel, scroll on by.
The dutchkid has a lovely case of pink eye, what a nice welcome home present that was from our church on Sunday! She did finally ask about her fish and I followed TunaGirl‘s advice and simply said that he had died. She did ask a few more questions and I told her that he went to heaven and didn’t need his fish tank anymore. She was sad for approximately 30 seconds and that was that. Whew.
I was driving in the car this morning and heard this very strange arrangement of “Clair de Lune” which was all woodwinds: clarinets, oboe, bassoon, several saxophones. (No, I still don’t have the whole thing memorized – almost, maybe next week). It was very odd, sort of like if you had a symphony of geese honking. I think Debussy would have had the same reaction I did: what the heck is THIS? Now that I’ve offended any random woodwind players who happen across my blog, let me say that I do like woodwinds! But you just can’t quite get the same dreamy quality a piano has with an instrument like the bassoon. Listening to it was sort of like eating ice cream with ketchup on top, it might not be bad but it sure is weird.
and with that mental picture we conclude the mindless drivel segment for today!
Tonight we will light our advent candles for the last time. It is the 12th day of Christmas today! (12 drummers drumming, anyone?) The day where tradition holds that the Magi reached Bethlehem to worship the newborn King.
In keeping with the three kings’ travels, our advent wreath also did some traveling this season. My dh grumbled a bit about that in terms of trunk space, but I was glad we did. I wish I could say that we lit the candles every day, but even just a few times a week helped give me a sense of having a constant. And a few minutes of quiet during dinner to really bring our focus back to why we celebrate Christmas. Which was priceless in the middle of all the driving, packing, unpacking, shopping and general mania that came with the holidays.
This is the first year we have ever really observed advent. I remember as a kid the advent readings and candles at our church. Now as an adult, dh and I tend to gravitate towards very contemporary churches and they don’t really observe advent in that traditional way. I used a little book called Before and After Christmas by Debbie Trafton O’Neal, which has lots of neat crafts and things in it that will keep us busy for many Christmases to come. It does have something brief with scripture you can read each day, although next year I might look for a different devotional to use. I think this is definitely a tradition I would like to keep, if only for my own sanity.
For the first time in years, I may actually be a little sad that Christmas is over. But not to worry, Easter is right around the corner.