MTM: The Heat Is On

If the weather app on my phone is to be believed, today’s and tomorrow’s respite of 82°F [28°C]  is a brief interlude. Electronic readerboards around town last Friday were showing 103 degrees (the actual temperature away from asphalt intersections was closer to 99°F) but I’ve seen 106°F  predicted for this coming Sunday. I’m hoping — really, REALLY hoping — that is a sensationalist number.

Meanwhile, I’ll have this song from Glenn Frey running through my head:

 

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My Town Monday: Historic Reflections

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On  Thursday evening, my friend ~A~ invited me to join her at a small concert in a privately owned historic home. We met there after work, shedding warm coats and settling into a row of dining room chairs to enjoy the dulcet sounds of oboe and piano and a soprano.

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This was my view straight ahead, with the large reddish-orange star hanging from the eaves on the front porch and the lights from indoors reflected in the window.

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The home was built in 1909 and has been beautifully preserved. The current owners pointed out the recurring theme of the Maltese crosses, the original lighting fixtures and told us that the beautiful woodwork had never been painted over (unlike some fixer-upper historic era homes).

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It was such a lovely evening that I did not notice that my ankle was badly swollen until I was leaving to go home. I’d brought my cane with me to help me manage the many stairs from street level to the house, and it was definitely needed for the trek back down to the car.

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At home I attempted to massage out the swelling while sharing with my husband how beautifully perfect the evening had been; a few hours later, I was using his foam roller to release tension in my calves and feet — an the effort to achieve sleep. In the morning I headed off to my regular water exercise class but once that was over, I was done for the day. A full day of work plus the evening concert on Thursday caused me to be overdrawn on my Pain & Abilities account. It’s been over a year since my surgery and apparently this is my “new normal.” The things I was able to do just 13 months ago are no longer possible. I know this — I’ve experienced it before — and yet I continue to forget or else stubbornly try to do things. I can attend a concert in the evening or have a busy day, but I cannot do both without paying the consequences in overdraft fees for that Pain & Abilities account.  After my class at the YMCA on Friday morning, my kind husband assisted me into stranded turtle position (ankle on pillow on overturned laundry basket) and massaged out some of the swelling. I spent the afternoon looking out the window at the falling snow, much as I did one year ago.

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Vapor Trails

DSCN9444 cropped for What is it Wednesday Last week, I shared this tiny clipping of a picture, which Hilary guessed correctly in one of her 3 choices.

The full picture is below.

DSCN9444 What is it Wednesday, airplane and vapor trails

Vapor trails can be more than just a Rush album.
And oh! that blue, blue summer sky…

I’ve got a busy week or so ahead of me, so I’m refraining from adding a new What is it? Wednesday picture for now.

 

January highlights

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Little Foot at age 6 weeks

  • Two weeks ago, my sweet SIL and her middle son came to visit, and of course we drove the 160 miles (’round trip) to see the newest family member. I am so in love with this little boy.
  • Once I could put weight on my booted foot, I worked up to being able to hobble to the van, balance while folding up the walker and stashing it by the back seat, and getting myself into the driver’s seat — and then reversing the process. Ah, the freedom of driving oneself! Obviously, all of this had to be done without pain medications. The physical therapist uses a combination of ice and heat at the same time at the end of our twice-a-week sessions, and I’ve been doing this at home as well. It keeps me from freezing the internal hardware while still relieving pain.
  • I’ve gone from hopping with the assistance of a walker to actually walking with a walker; a few times, I’ve even forgotten to use the walker and taken steps without it! All of this while wearing a walking boot, of course. I am not yet allowed to put any weight on my left foot without being strapped into the boot.
  •  It’s been over two months since I had surgery for my trimalleolar fracture. Some things I can do on my own now, but I continue to need assistance getting safely into the shower chair and working in the kitchen is challenging.  Still, I plan to transition back to work in the next week or so.
  • The teenager is taking one of his classes online and my laptop is the only computer in the house that has the necessary voice capabilities for his Spanish homework. This has meant that my evening and weekend time online is sporadic.

Here’s a little something extra for you: “January” by Elton John.

My Town Monday: Bach to Bach

It’s no secret that I am a fan of Zuill Bailey. Last night I had the opportunity to hear him and observe him playing his cello yet again at a pre-festival winter concert. The venue was at a winery and tasting room located in an historic building in downtown Spokane. Thick wooden columns rose from the wood floor to wood ceiling, candlelight flickered on exposed brick walls that were hung with a variety of artwork. But most importantly, there on a small stage was one of the premiere cellists in the world, along with a concert pianist, playing 3 concertos I might not have heard if I hadn’t been there that evening.

I have blogged about him before here and here. I heard and saw him perform in 2 different yet small, intimate venues last December, on back-to-back evenings (hence the title of this post which I had started 12 months ago after that experience) then was sadly side-tracked by the busy-ness of Christmas at work and home.  I couldn’t pass up the chance to see him perform for a fifth time and my husband surprised me by agreeing to come along.

We almost missed the beginning of the concert. It was my fault: I thought I knew where the winery was located, but I had us on the wrong side of the river near the site of the former railroad yard.  The old rail yards were turned into Riverfront Park and the site of Expo ’74. While there is a nice venue in the lower level of the Flour Mill (now shops and restaurants), that was not where we needed to be. It turns out that Railroad Avenue is next to the raised railway that runs through downtown. (You’d think I’d know that after living here for 4 years!) I was stressed nearly to the point of tears as we rushed to the correct address, parked, and walked hurriedly to the building, a full 5 minutes late. We barely made it to our seats before the concert began. I sat perfectly still, upright, with my hands on my knees, and peeked between heads and shoulders to see. It was serendipitous that the first concerto was intense and difficult to play in the designated key: it matched my mood exactly.

When Zuill Bailey plays, you can hear the layers of music and emotion build throughout the piece. His cello sings, weeps, exalts, triumphs, whispers, sighs, and dances. When you see him perform, you experience it even more so — layer upon layer, ever changing. His facial expressions, his entire body language, becomes part of the musical experience. This is, perhaps, due to how he internalizes the music when he memorizes each piece. Yes, he played all 3 concertos last night from memory.  And yet despite having such focus in his playing, there were times when there was a few measures of rest and he listened to the piano accompaniment only to hear the building rumble from a train going by… and he would look up to the vibrating wooden ceiling and smile.

By the final concerto, I was spending half my time watching my husband watch the cellist. SuperDad was clearly enjoying the experience and amazed at Zuill’s mastery. I think it’s safe to say there is another Zuill Bailey fan in the house.

Luckily, we will continue to have opportunities to hear Zuill Bailey play his cello: he is the artistic director of the Northwest Bach Festival and has expanded the festival to include opportunities to hear great music in a variety of settings everywhere he goes: schools, prisons, places that serve lunch to the underprivileged, along with smaller venues like the one I had tickets to last night.  He enjoys educating people about music and sharing his love of it everywhere he goes. If you ever get the chance to see him perform, especially if you at all enjoy classical music and the sounds of the cello, I highly encourage you to go!

N is for…

Count your blessings, name them one by one…

I’m using Thursday posts to focus on thankfulness — and instead of counting blessings, I’m challenging myself to come up with them alphabetically.  (You can find the rest of the posts in this series here.)

Welcome to N week!

Today I am thankful for….

Nighttime concerts in the park  (this one was the Royal Fireworks Concert on July 28th)

Nighttime concerts in the park (this one was the Royal Fireworks Concert on July 28th)

Nearly Neon

Nearly Neon

Natural beauty

Natural beauty

… and the Neil Young song now playing in my head…

N is for Nap.

He wasn't allowed to use his "pluggie" (pacifier) off the bed. When he fell asleep leaning over the bed, I draped a blanket over him and took a picture.

He wasn’t allowed to use his “pluggie” (pacifier) off the bed. When he fell asleep leaning over the bed, I draped a blanket over him and took a picture.

Now it’s your turn: what are you thankful for today?

Sunday Musing, in bits and pieces

My latest lanyard ~ light purple with "old opal" Vintage Venetian seed beads

My latest lanyard ~ light purple with “old opal” Vintage Venetian seed beads

Lanyards are difficult to photograph. 

While lavender/light purple isn’t my favorite color, I put a lot of work into making this lanyard something I would be proud to wear or sell. (The idea, of course, is to sell it. The setting up of my Etsy shop is in progress!)

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  • I feel like I’m trudging through sludge in my brain tonight. Cold medicine helps me manage symptoms like sneezing, coughing, and congestion, but it doesn’t help me to think straight. 
  • I managed to clear my throat enough this morning to sing with the choir. Despite 2 cups of coffee at home, I still forgot to put my reading glasses into my purse — luckily, one of the other altos is smart enough to carry 2 pair in her purse! Nothing like sharing “cheaters” among friends. 🙂  
  • In the next few days, I need to complete 4 beaded leashes (2 different orders) which are at various stages of design. I bead the same way I quilt: a lot of doing, a lot of undoing… beading, un-beading; sewing, un-sewing. Eventually, I have a product I am happy with and put on the finishing touches.
  • Whenever I start a creative project, it tends to lead me off on rabbit trails of other creative projects. Right now on my dining room table are some wine glass charms and the remains of a stamping project (and the plans for another). Ten feet away is the baby quilt I started at a “sew day” last Wednesday before I agreed with my MIL (on Friday morning) that it was unrealistic to finish it prior to the baby shower at 2pm on Saturday.
  • Tomorrow is the student/teacher/parent conference for my youngest son. If my brain is engaged, I will remember wear a lanyard as a conversation starter and pack along a few more lanyards just in case a teacher or staff member notices and asks about them. Of course, of greater importance is remembering that I have a 1:30 pm conference time!  I’d be lost without my Google Calendar and the subsequent reminders that are sent to my e-mail inbox and pop up on my screen.
  • I’ve been looking at slideshows of my photographs from Utah and Arizona last year and looking forward to spring break. The sunshine on cactus and rocks almost make me forget how cold it’s been lately.
  • Zuill Bailey played Bach’s Complete Suites for Unaccompanied Cello this afternoon here in town. Unfortunately, at $50 per ticket, I couldn’t afford to buy a pair of tickets in good conscience — especially since I wanted to take a friend instead of my husband. (I love him but he doesn’t love music as much as a few of my friends love music.)  If you don’t know about this musician, do yourself a favor and click here.

What thoughts are wandering through your mind?

Friday Five: Point of Inspiration, and Back to the ’80s

on display

on display

N-Sid-Sen t-shirt quilt

N-Sid-Sen t-shirt quilt

N-Sid-Sen is the native name for this “Point of Inspiration” where braves would go to wait patiently and seek a vision. It was a terrific place for a scrapbooking retreat.

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I spent a bit of quiet time in that rocker (3rd from left).

the view from the rocking chairs

the view from the rocking chairs

You might recall that I’ve been going through photos, looking for classic 1980’s fashion. Here is proof that others had it, even if I didn’t…

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The woman on the left (in the group of 4) is wearing an outfit she actually wore to work when pregnant with her daughters in the mid-80's. I love that she gave herself a faux-baby-tummy to complete this look on Saturday!

The woman on the left (in the group of 4) is wearing an outfit she actually wore to work when pregnant with her daughters in the mid-80’s. I love that she gave herself a faux-baby-tummy to complete this look on Saturday!

Scrapbooking weekends are proof that “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!”