Tuesday, April 27, 2010

mother's day

No, don't panic. This weekend is not Mother's Day. But, it is coming up, and I'm excited. I love my mom and all, but this Mother's Day will be a little different.

Mom and Dad are building a house up in the mountains, and it's pretty cool. They have a nice view of some pretty peaks, and it is in a beautiful wooded area, but still close to civilization. I went up a couple weeks ago, and it's getting close to being done. The inside was painted, but there still needs to be bath fixtures, cabinets, floors, and lots of other things installed. But, their builder says the outside is done and it looks great.

Here's a view from one of the upstairs windows:

So, installing the wood floors is a pretty big job, but if we all gather up and do it ourselves it will save them tons of money, so that's what we are going to do. On Mother's Day weekend.

I know, it seems like a weird day to do wood floors, but that's the only weekend that would work for everyone. So our Mother's Day will be gathered around in an unfinished house, on un-installed floors, with a faint odor of floor sealant.

But we will be together.

That's the cool thing to me in all this - that we will be working in an unfinished house, in a not-really-ideal Mother's Day setting, but we will all be together. OK we are going out to lunch, so it won't be a picnic in the unfinished living room, but we will still be together.

That's why I up and moved across the country, so I could be near family. I'm so grateful that I get to be a part of my family again, and that I get to do things like a Mother's Day in an unfinished house.

Love you Mom.

Friday, April 23, 2010

the white stuff

I feel like I am usually a fairly upbeat, happy person. OK, yes, occasionally I have my moments, sometime I even have a day. But I think that overall, I'm pretty positive.

Now, I'm starting to think that the weather is affecting me. Today it is snowing to beat the band, crazy wet and slushy outside, and I feel totally ...blaeech. I can't think what it would be except the slush outside.

But I definitely think that your life is what you make it, so I think I will get up and do some cleaning, light some candles, and change things around some. I'm hoping that change breeds change and that will change my mood.

Besides, I need to apply some "a place for everything and everything in it's place" here in my house. I've just laid stuff down too much lately and it's driving me crazy. Maybe that little exercise will help too.

We'll see...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

by the numbers

OK, here's a recap of last night's concert, by the numbers:

105: number of ugly black dresses on stage, all worn by the chorale, incidentally

64: number of orchestra members

6: number of locomotive bells that were rung from THE LOADING DOCK for the Coronation Scene. Not on the stage, not backstage, but from the loading dock. Those suckers are SO loud!

1: number of batons Don waved around

8: number of solos sung, all by Chorale members, and they knocked it out of the park!

2: number of parents that came. OK, just the parents related to me!
Thanks for coming, Mom and Dad!

un-numbered: the goosebumps I got during the last song, the closing song from Carmina Burana

900: people that stood for the first song, the Hallelujah chorus

between 10 and 20: number of mistakes I think I made. I know I made several. Fortunately, I am COOL and covered it up well.

I think that's a good recap - it was SO much fun. I really enjoyed MOST of the music, and felt really good about the performance. Wish you were there!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

the home stretch

This week will be a trying one to say the least.

It's performance week.

No, I'm not on Dancing With the Stars. My choir has a performance this week, and that means that my whole week from now on is taken up with rehearsals and performances. Performance is on Saturday, so this gives me:
Wednesday - 3 hour rehearsal
Thursday - 3 hour rehearsal
Friday - 3 hour rehearsal
And last but not least, the big show on Saturday. 100 member chorale, 65 member orchestra, 2 hours of music, 6 soloists, one VERY ugly black dress (x100), and my special little book light that I clip onto my music folder so I can see my music while standing on the front-lit stage.

I know, I'm a music geek.

You'd think that after all this rigmarole all week that I'd be sick of this music, these people, and especially the VERY ugly black dress. But...

Actually, deep down, I like it. The 3 days of rehearsals is a little annoying, but all in all it is fun. I really do enjoy it! I think that the rewards of singing are so much meaningful for the performer than for the audience. I appreciate the audience, but I sing for me. The discipline, the being part of a group that is doing something so much bigger than just me, the camaraderie, and the amazing feeling I get when it's all over.

Totally worth it.

See you on Saturday!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


In the traditional, historical and religious sense, the word "requiem" means a church service or mass for someone who has died. It is a time to reflect, and remember the person who has passed on and get some closure. It is also a musical piece, written for just such a service, and it incorporates the latin words of the Requiem Mass into song.

The literal translation of the word requiem is "rest". I know this because I sing. The Chorale is doing the Sanctus from Verdi's Requiem, and it is beautiful. I really enjoy singing this piece, and it is a little respite from some of the other pieces that I don't enjoy so much. Each week when we get to practice this beautiful piece of music, it is like a little oasis of calm and tranquility in a sea of otherwise agitated musical pieces.

Today is a snow day. I was thinking about this as I dragged myself out of bed at 7:30am this morning. What a wonderful opportunity for rest. For tranquility. For recharging. This phenomenon of the snow day is such an amazing thing. When I get that call in the morning, it always strikes me a a present. Now I know that the district leadership does not consider me, personally, when they decide to call off school for the day, but it still is a gift. The sleeping in, the lazy getting ready, the lazing around the house in PJs.

I'm so grateful.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

the dance

This might be the funniest sight I've had while teaching - I so wish I had a picture, or video to show. I'm getting my little kids ready for their concert. Spring concert is going to be with 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade, so we are working on songs, and some clapping, and other assorted concert things.

One of the songs that 2nd grade is singing is "You Raise Me Up". Josh Groban didn't write this song, but he sang it and really made it "famous", if you could call it that. He made it well-known. Maybe that's a better way to say it.

Anyway, I pulled up a you tube clip of Josh Groban singing this song, so my 2nd graders could watch him sing it, in his amazing voice. We all crowded around my computer and watched this performance.

About halfway through the 4 minute clip, I heard a very slight snicker. Not really laughter, per se, but just someone who saw something and made a very small snorting sound...

So I turned around.

There, in the back of the room, totally engrossed in what they were doing, were about five 2nd grade boys. The only description I can apply to what they were doing is "interpretive dance". They were whirling around, arms overhead, making very large swooshing gestures in time to the music. Then one of them leaped over toward another one and grabbed him in a hug. Then more arm waving and swooshing gestures in time to the music.

I just watched them for a half a minute, then snickered myself. It was pretty cute to see them dancing and making up these "ballet-type" moves to this song. Once they were discovered, it all went downhill from there because they totally hammed-it-up for the attention.

But that first sight of their interpretive dancing to "You Raise Me Up" was priceless.

Just a little insight into how much fun I get to have in my "job". :)