Friday, December 14, 2018

A full week, unphotographed

I haven't been very good about making visual images this week. Lots of opportunities too - last night, at a Hallowell rehearsal; earlier yesterday at Katie and Savanna's house, making paper snowflakes (mine didn't come out all that well, so maybe they are better un-photographed); Wednesday evening at a Concert Choir rehearsal; Wednesday afternoon at a Centering Prayer event at the Guilford Church; working at home on gifts, cards and my Christmas letter; meeting John and Cynthia Monday at the West Townshend Country Store before going up to Windham to look at a house together, etc.

Right now,  it's Friday, and I've been sitting in the Subaru waiting room for four hours! Our Impreza had developed wheel bearing problems, and needed other services as well, so it's been a big job and I'm told it will cost $900! Ouch! But on the other hand, we make a lot of long trips, and have now put on over 215,000 miles, so some wear is hardly surprising.  Everyone else in the waiting room has come and gone, and I'm left here all by myself. Sigh!

Here I am, waiting patiently

BTW, the River Singers concert last weekend went very well. I got a lot of very nice comments on my solo, which was gratifying.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Concert tonight!

I'm in the Green Room at Next Stage in Putney, Vermont, where River Singers is performing tonight. Our leader, Mary Cay Brass, is talking with Val about the announcement of one of the songs. 

        Val and Mary Cay

I'll be singing a solo in a Sufi chant titled Jahac Hrabrosti. 

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Sixth night of Hannukah

We are at home enjoying listening to the Western Wind Hannukah CD, starring Theodore Bikel as narrator, while we burn the candles in the minorah. Hearing Western Wind also brings to remembrance Ellen's friend Adrienne Asch who was their manager for a while. Western Wind sang at her memorial service. That must have been five years ago, about this time of year. There are many occasions when we miss her voice and thoughts so much.  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Doing ok

When I made my last post on Monday, I was in bed with a cold. But Tuesday I got up and had a quiet day, which included working on music for the evening River Singers rehearsal, and then went to the rehearsal and actually sang my solo reasonably well. We even were able to go early to the soup and bread meal before rehearsal, and met John and Cynthia there. We've arranged to meet them  next Monday morning to go look at the house in Windham which I wasn't able to see last week because I was in bed.  

Wednesday evening was a rehearsal of the Brattleboro Concert choir. We sang through the entire program: the Allegri Miserere Deus and the Mozart Requiem.  The Allegri still needs a lot of work, and the concert is only one month away. We don't even have any rehearsals during the holiday season. So I hope that we can rise to the occasion.

Today, Ellen is in Northampton where she picked up Tamar after school and is going to spend some time with her. So I'm having a quiet day at home. I just fixed myself some lunch, and I've been listening to a recording that I made of the rehearsal last night. It is a little painful to listen to, but it is revealing, and is giving me some guidance on what I need to do to improve my own contribution. I can't fix everybody, but I can try to do the best can.

Yesterday morning, we took a break to watch the entire funeral service for George  H. W. Bush. I can't say that I was much of a fan of the 41st president when he was in office, but in today's situation, it seemed important to honor some of the qualities which he had which are so absent in the current president. And as a minister, I'm always interested in seeing what people decide to do in a funeral service. I especially loved hearing the hymn Eternal Father, Strong to Save, the so-called "Navy Hymn," which I have always loved. Though I will have to say that the choral arrangement that they used seemed a little over the top. I think it would've been better just as a congregational hymn. 

Today I believe is the fifth day of Hanukkah. Earlier in the week we got out the menorah, and lit candles the first night, Sunday night. We will probably light the candles again tonight when Ellen gets home. Our beautiful menorah comes from my father, who was a Chaplain in World War II, and was given this menorah by a fellow chaplain, a Jewish rabbi.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Home in bed

Last Friday I came down with a cold and I've been in bed since then keeping warm, taking fluids, taking echinacea, drinking Mullein/coltsfoot tea, etc. Feeling better and hoping that I'll have a voice for tomorrow's rehearsal with River singers.

I missed out on a tour Saturday of a house in Windham, Vermont with John, Cynthia and Ellen and a realtor, but Ellen brought back a full report. She and Cynthia especially loved the house. John was a little less enthusiastic but still open to the possibility. It does have major issues with water in an unfinished basement. But it has a lot of nice features and 70 acres of beautiful land and views!

       The house in Windham 

I also stayed home from church Sunday morning but Ellen took the choir music and all my instructions and everything went well. She played the recorder with a couple of the pieces, Mary W-G directed, and I'm sure it was beautiful.

I have a feeling I'll be using my bottle of entertainers secret throat spray to get me through rehearsal tomorrow and at the concert this weekend. I'll be singing a short solo in one of the songs. Entertainers secret gives immediate relief from hoarseness. I just ordered another bottle of it. I learned about it from my otolaryngologist.

        Entertainers Secret Throat Spray

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Mr. Squirrel wants in!

For a couple of days now, a squirrel has been making resolute efforts to get into our house! He has investigated every window and door;  he's climbed up the side of the door and sniffed out every crack and just now he's just been standing outside the door looking in a little wistfully.

                                                                 "Won 't you let me in?" 

Today is a "bake cookies day" for Ellen and it is not going well. One batch of dough came out strangely and some almond slivers got over-roasted. Plus a beautiful knitted vest she 's been working on for months showed up today with two holes in it - mice ? Anyway, it can't go into the church bazaar raffle like that! Sigh ! Hope it starts going better for her - she has a lot of cookies to bake for the bazaar.

Meanwhile I had a dental cleaning this morning that wiped me out. They used the ultrasound machine which I find very disagreeable. Then I went to the computer store to get ink cartridges and they said they've stopped selling ink because they lose money on it! Huh? I thought that was how they made money? Staples doesn't carry precisely the cartridge I need, so I have to order them from Amazon. I tried and couldn't read those letters you're supposed to reproduce to prove you 're not a robot ( I think my old iPhone cannot handle their website) so I'll have to go out with the computer. It's one of those days!

Made the order for ink cartridges on the computer at the church, easy as pie. Also got my music copied for Sunday choir. Yay!

Monday, November 26, 2018

More photos from Thanksgiving

Thanks to Michael Schoeck for these photos!

         Katie, Gertie, Amy and Michael

 Gertie and Katie outside the glassblower's studio

                 Working on a jigsaw puzzle

                    The hearth in our house

          Looking out the window

2nd Thanksgiving dinner Saturday at Katie & Savanna's  (photo LCC)