Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The remains of the day

Life-saver: Sonic has $1 burgers every Tuesday night. Ahh! Sweet!

My brain makes weird connections sometimes. I was just thinking how blogging is like private devotions. I make myself believe that if I can't commit to it a decent chunk of time, I should skip it altogether. Not a good approach. Both are, I guess, time investments. Of course, the vast difference in the value of these two things makes the comparison quickly looses its effect.

But just writing that intro reminds me of another comparison between blogging and private devotions. I often find that at the start, my mind draws a blank, but if I just make a go of it (respectfully), thoughts will soon start to flow. The hard part is making the initial attempt.

On to other things: Thursday Josh, Candace and I are going up north to check out the University of Chicago as a possible grad school for Josh. Should be a good trip. More on that later.

Other summer pursuits include guitar and Latin lessons. I'm going to teach guitar lessons to a friend this summer, and I'll tutor a girl in Latin for a few weeks too. We'll be gearing up for next year's Latin II class. Really looking forward to teaching two levels of Latin next year, and tutoring this summer will help me get back into the language. I guess I better play the guitar too to toughen up the ol' fingers.

Here are some of our backyard photos:
Like I told you last blog, we had a backyard fellowship the other night. There was a lot of visiting, baseball playing, bubbling, cat petting, and even some attempted pinching. Thought you'd like to know that. You have some fun too.

Not much remaining in this day so I better go.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Little girls and a cat

We had a backyard fellowship
At our house tonight.
Meat on the grill
With friends around
The citronella light.

The volleyball
Flew through the air,
The ladies looking on.
A guy played baseball
With the boys
Round the corner on the lawn.

With waning light the fireflies
Showed forth
Their fleeting glory.
The Psalms arose
From every voice
The everlasting story.

But on this night
I'll hold inside
A special memory
Of three small friends
Who pet a cat
That sat upon my knee.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Center stage

The lights dim. The conductor, well-beloved and humble, speaks the opening words. The audience is put into the right mood.

The orchestra starts to play The Barber of Seville Overture. The music pokes fun at “real” opera. Thoughts of old Bugs Bunny shows freely roam through minds. The players express their fun-loving joy. Rehearsals and practice behind them – now they have just the music. Some play without pause, others stop to quickly turn a page. A silent service.

The reaction from the audience is immediate and sincere.

Conscious of those who come behind. Sliding chairs. Moving stands. Making room. Waiting patiently. Most of the players exit the stage.

A quintet remains to perform a Corelli piece comprised of six movements. Moving from walking rhythms to more lively tunes, the players’ hard work and skill are swallowed up in musical expression. The first and second violinists enter into a lively interplay with one another. Both violists and the cellist enter the frolic as well.

The crowd responds with delight.

Every musician returns to the stage. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 is introduced as a baby grand piano is wheeled to center stage. Three musicians move gingerly forward taking their places at front stage. Joel, a tall, confident high school senior, holds his violin. Next to him standing composedly is Katie, a lovely flutist. Seated next to her is Lindsay, the radiant, graceful pianist. The conductor sets the stage for the music and turns to his orchestra. His hands motion the instruments into playing position. All is ready.

The familiar concerto leaps forth. After the first movement, the audience is not able to contain themselves and claps and cheers loudly. Performance decorum demands silence between movements, but decorum would never do at a time like this. Silence is no response for such wonderful music. The audience too must have the center stage so an involuntary outburst of clapping and cheering ensues. Two more movements round out the concerto and allow the audience to clearly hear the solo instruments.

The final piece to be performed is Beethoven’s Egmont Overture. The performance is powerful and dramatic. The music ends. The audience jubilantly rises in standing ovation. Flowers are presented. The air is electrifying.

But wait. It’s not over yet. The orchestra has a surprise in store for their beloved conductor and his wife. To celebrate the very day of their 22nd wedding anniversary, the players have prepared some waltz music so the couple can dance. The music begins and the lovers dance. Center stage belongs to them now. Smiles are all around. The song ends and the dancers bow. Then suddenly the players begin to play a second waltz. The crowd laughs to see the conductor and his wife’s dance prolonged. They dance again, start to bow only to hear the players begin their third waltz. The hilarity compounds and the conductor pleases the crowd with silly antics looking at his watch, borrowing a cane from an old lady as he pretends to grow old during the dance, and hooking his wife toward him using the cane as his arm’s extension. To the delight and amusement of the audience, the players let the couple complete their dance after the fourth waltz.

Wonderful interplay. Wonderful music. Wonderful day.

This is the true story of Saturday's concert performed by the KASH (Kokomo Area Schools at Home) High School Orchestra. The conductor is John Christenson. Candace, Amy, and Ben are all players.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Supper goes awry

Sisters and email, what can you say? It's always interesting. Like take the past few days for instance. One wrote that she has unearthed a couple of old family recipes of main dishes that we used to eat as kids. So one of them came back later reporting that she had made one of the dishes and it brought back childhood memories. So the other made the dish and reported back too. So I set out to re-discover this lost cuisine, but didn't fare so well. (No pun intended.)

Here's an excerpt from my email to them.

OK, OK, so I realize that I'm the only one who hasn't reported on my journey down memory lane with dinner recipes from childhood, and all, but I guess I'm expecting everything to just fall into place. I had really good intentions today. I mean, I printed out the email with both recipes on it, and I actually got a pan out and filled it with water and set it on the stove to boil to prepare the noodles. Then I really looked at the recipe.

"Hum, pimentos. I don't have those. Oh well, I don't think you really HAVE to have pimentos for this dish. OK, I'll get the cream cheese out of the frig. Where's that cream cheese? It was here yesterday. ... Blast those kids - eating all the cream cheese just when I need it! Little varmits eating me out of house and home!

"Whatever, OK, I'll just scratch the casserole.

"Now for Plan B. No prob, I'll just make the other one. Let's see. Bacon - check; flour - check; mush soup - check; American cheese - hum, don't have that ... but I do have the creamy, yellow cheese stuff in the jar ... reckon that'll work - check; 4 well-beaten egg yolks and 4 stiff-beaten egg whites - well, aren't we picky - check. Why do the old '60 recipes have to be so labor intensive? ::sigh::

"Directions, directions - here we go. It says, 'Fry bacon.' OK. ::cuts open the bacon and gets out the pan.::

"Then is says, 'Drain on absorbant paper.' Well, duh.

::scans through the recipe:: "What the...?! You mean to tell me this takes 55 mins. to bake? Man, they even cooked slower than we do these days! I mean, I gotta BE at my exercise class in 40 mins. Oh well. I'll REALLY do it tomorrow. Yeah tomorrow, that's when I'll make it.

::Looks in the pantry. Spies a can of Progresso Soup.:: "Now, that's more like it!" ::Finishes the last bite when the first kid enters.:: "Where's supper?", says he.

::Thinks about retorting, "You tell me where the cream cheese is, Bucko, and I'll tell you where supper is!" Bites her tongue and with an angelic smile points to the fine selection of soup in the pantry.::

Well OK, so I stretched the truth a little with that angelic smile business. I was just trying to come up with a happy ending.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Early morning in our neighborhood

This morning I woke up around 4:30 and was amazed to see the first dim glow of the morning seeping around my curtains. I took this picture about 4:55 from our dining room to show you that the sun is starting to come up PRETTY early here in Kokomo, Indiana. I don't plan to be up that early in a week on June 21st, the longest day of the year. I'm sure the sun will be up long before I will!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Smothered chops

Back from Texas.

> Canny's grad;
> seeing home folks;
> being back home in the pineywoods of East Texas.

> Not near enough time;
> time flew by;
> wish we had more time.

Tonight I'm going to the Women's Night Out with our church ladies. Yippee! Prayer, fellowship, and eating out! Great combination!

Started to seriously work on Rob's and my reading project this week. I plan to spend several hours each day on the project - he'll end up spending even more time on it than that. It's pretty cool - we go on walks and talk about what we've been reading. I'm reading about Scottish church history and he's reading sermons about the application of Scriptural and historical covenants. We'll both eventually read all the material. Profound subjects. I'll let you know more about it as I soak it up and try to make sense of it. I'm starting out with a lot of questions.

Umm, I can smell the smothered pork chops, ::thinks about cracking a joke about chops, but decides it's entirely too corny:: :::Her readers sigh with relief::: but I can't eat them - have to save my appetite for dinner with the ladies. Poor me. :-(