Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year, New Nephew

My beautifully blossoming niece Heather and her husband Matt will be welcoming their first child Hunter in the New Year.

Hunter is due at the end of February.

Heather just recently found out that both Matt and his brother were over 10 pounds at birth.

Now there's something to look forward to!

So from FlutePrayer to all my blogging friends, Happy New Year everyone!

May God bless and keep you safe and secure in the palm of His hand.

Sunday, December 30, 2007


I've crawled out from under the sodden Kleenex and half empty decongestant bottle long enough to say "Happy First Blogiversary" to FlutePrayer.

It was one year ago today that I found the courage to enter the blogging world.

I wish I had something brilliant to write, but there seems to be only mucus where my brains used to be.

So it's back to the couch and my pillow for me.

Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by!

I'll be back.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Viral Encounter

I've been wrestling with a cold.

Okay, the cold has me in a headlock.

This is unfortunate because I have a recital coming up on February 11. These were to be my golden days of practicing my flute before school began again.

I'm going to try to get 20 minutes of practicing in today. My lips haven't seen a flute since well before Christmas so that's where I'm starting.

I will work up to 4 hours in a few days.

Meanwhile, you can find me hugging a box of Kleenex and reading Lord of the Rings for the 50th time.

Gandalf isn't dead!


I feel better already.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Alarming Video

Someone actually had the presence of mind to grab their video camera (sorry for the colorful metaphors) during a 1:30am fire alarm incident in September 2006 at the same Embassy Suites we stayed at. Looks like this happens all the time.

How rude!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Enchanted Afternoon

After our alarming early wake up on Wednesday, we weren't in any hurry to get out and about. Mid afternoon found us at the AMC theaters in Downtown Disney to take in "Enchanted" (yes, my husband is a prince!). We enjoyed the beautiful theater and entertaining film.

We stopped for a light dinner at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen, then hopped on the monorail for a quick trip to Disneyland. The previous evening, while the rain was coming down in torrents, we stood in line for "It's a Small World" figuring we would be dry during the 15 minute ride. Sadly, (or providentially in Bob's view) the ride completely failed in a way the cast members had never seen before and we were turned away (we just went on and found Nemo figuring that we couldn't get any wetter underwater).

Wednesday we returned to Small World and successfully rode it for probably the last time until it re-opens in October after a 9 month overhaul.

We considered viewing Fantasmic, but weren't really in the mood for crowds so we hopped into our car and made it back to our hotel in time to view the fireworks from our room once again.

We had a lovely night's sleep interrupted too early by a rogue phone call. It seems there are way too many kids staying at the hotel with way too much unsupervised time on their hands who choose to entertain themselves via the phone and alarm systems.

We are still chuckling over our many misadventures (wait until you hear about our dinner at Tortilla Jo's!), but are grateful for the hilarious memories we've taken away from our little getaway to Disneyland.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Alarming Wake Up

Understand this. I am not a morning person.

When my dear husband Bob and I initially became interested in each other, one of the first questions I asked him was, "Are you a morning person?", knowing that if the answer was in the affirmative the relationship would be over.

Fortunately he chuckled and replied that he most definitely was of the night persuasion. We were married 10 months later.

Which brings us to the present day. Bob and I are on a little get away; a chance to rest, relax, and sleep in before heading to our decidedly morning oriented relatives in Atascadero (I love you Christy Lurker Trupe!!!) for Christmas.

I was (I kid you not) dreaming of a SWAT team lobbing tear gas at a house when the nightmare became reality.





..time is it?....



We quickly donned footwear and obediently headed for the nearest emergency exit along with hundreds of other hotel guests (the majority with very young children) all in various forms of nightwear.

We made our way down 5 flights of stairs and out into the wet morning.

I was already suspicious. I had read a review of this hotel on Trip Advisor complaining of 3 false fire alarms in one night.

We were comforted to at least hear the siren of an approaching first responder:

Apparently they were skeptical as well.

Only 3 firefighters actually entered the building:

Here it is: An exclusive shot of FlutePrayer before 6:15 in the morning!

After about 20 minutes the all clear still hadn't been sounded, but no additional trucks had been rolled to the scene.

The lines to the elevators were worse than the ones to Finding Nemo.

We took the stairs up 5 flights (fortunately I have been working out).

I caught this picture of the firefighters as they road the elevator down:

Were they mocking us?

P.S. The fire alarm has gone off 3 more times since then.

Alarming, isn't it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Bob and I just watched the Disneyland fireworks show from the comfort of our room. We've never done that before!

Prince Caspian

I loved the book. I'm looking forward to the movie.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Disney Rest

With Bob's wonderful mom Nellie safely home after her lovely week's stay with us, Bob and I are making our way to Disneyland for a bit of rest before joining my family in Atascadero for Christmas.

No, we can not afford to stay at the Grand Californian Hotel. We will be staying at a hotel nearby.

It's supposed to be rainy, so you will find us snuggled up in our suite watching HGTV (since we don't get it at home) after venturing out to the Magic Kingdom.

I'm not sure if I'll blog while we're gone, but I will (of course) take some pictures.

And hey, if you're going to be in the Disneyland neighborhood let us know. Maybe we can ride Indiana Jones together!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Blogging Family

I lifted this wonderful picture from Darleene's blog Darleeneisms.

Bryan "beFrank" is my blogging hero, and the inspiration behind my own blog. Almost every "toy" you see on this blog was added in an effort to emulate his masterful style.

Darleene "Darleeneisms" is my tech hero. She has been blogging for over 10 years and knows everything cutting edge about internet technology.

Although we have never actually met in person, I value these two as part of my family.

So Merry Christmas you two. You and yours are welcome in our home any time!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

An Irish Tenors View

My view yesterday was of the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts where The Irish Tenors were set to perform.

One of my favorite views is of a stage door that I am authorized to enter:

Finbar Wright (standing, right) and Karl Scully (left) join the orchestra for a rehearsal.

Here's another view of Karl Scully:

Anthony Kearns completes the trio:

This was my working view: My eyes were glued on wonderful director Arnie Roth all day:

Had I been paid by the number of notes played, I'd be able to retire in Fiji right now.

Bob and his mom Nellie were able to attend the concert last night.

A good time was had by all.

I love my view!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Blazing Flutists

I heard some wonderful playing Saturday during the APU flute juries (the finals for flute lessons this fall). We are all grateful that juries were completed successfully.
Now, feast your eyes on these blazing players:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Express Arrival

It was a beautiful morning at Ontario International Airport.

Bob and I were there to pick up his mom Nellie from her ice-delayed flight from Oklahoma City.

She was ecstatic about her Express Jet flight. She said it was the smoothest, best flight she'd ever taken, even through the very stormy weather out of Will Rogers Airport.

She is now safely home with us. We are so thankful that she is here.

Bonus: We were able to get tickets for Bob and Nellie to the sold-out Irish Tenors concert I'm playing in tomorrow. We're all looking forward to that. I'll see what I can do about getting some pictures from that job. Maybe yes, maybe no.
I'll keep you posted.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Icy Delay

Photo from Will Rogers World Airport Website

I got the email from the Oklahoma City Airport last night just before midnight: Bob's mom Nellie's morning flight to Ontario was canceled due to the huge ice storm paralyzing the region. The cancellation wasn't really a surprise. Sunday evening's flight from Ontario to Oklahoma City had been canceled as well. It is difficult to load an aircraft in Oklahoma if it is sitting in California.

Nellie called at 3:45am to confirm the cancellation. Fortunately she is booked on tomorrow morning's flight.

So today will be spent in naps, naps, and more naps. Tomorrow Nellie arrives and the party can begin.

UPDATE: I just received this from Nellie:
"It is now 11:50 A.M. here on Monday - our power was out for 5 hours. It came back on about half an hour ago. Cheryl had phoned to have us come over there because they have a generator and we were going to do that but the large Bradford Pear tree at the bottom of our driveway (Bob will remember it) had split and fell across our driveway and we could not get out anyway. It was very cold in the house. We had all stayed under covers from 5:30 when the power went off until around 8:30. It is a frozen world out there. This is the worst we have had right here at our house and we may lose some more trees. A young man named Chad who works for the builders has a winch on his truck. He was at their office and came over and pulled the tree out of the way so we can go out if we need to."

Sunday, December 9, 2007


Why the blog silence?

I am toast.

I'm glad someone actually noticed my absence. My sister Janine gently inquired if everything was alright.

Yes, it's all good.




Why? I've been doing lots of fluting for money, lots of driving, and having lots of end of semester adventures.

APU flute juries were yesterday, signaling the end of the fall semester for me. Yes, yes I will post pictures soon...just not right now.

My dear mother-in-law Nellie arrives from Oklahoma City at 8:35 tomorrow morning for a week's stay. The house is in need of a little tweaking before her arrival. Okay, my work space in the office/guest room is piled high with stuff, stuff, stuff. I'm going to dump it all into a box and deal with it after she leaves. Wait, that's what I did last year. Those boxes are still waiting to be dealt with...

I get to play for money later this week. That is great.

But right now? This is the first time I've been home for more than 8 hours (including the sleeping part) in a week. I've forgotten what my pillow looks like. My husband and I are way behind on our hugs.

It's time to catch up.

I'll blog later.

Right now I'm toast!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Ornamental Quest

As I unpacked our Christmas ornaments the other day I realized that we were lacking something. We've made a point of getting a dated ornament from Disneyland every year. This year...oops!

Fortunately we were able to hop in the car yesterday and make a brief but refreshing trip to the Magic Kingdom to do some ornament shopping.

Of course, most of the dated ornaments have been gone since October. We did, however, find a really attractive 2007 mirrored snowflake to hang on our tree.

We enjoyed a relaxed lunch at our favorite restaurant and then, without riding a single ride, jumped back in the car went on to the auto body shop to try to get the shoddy work on the interior dealt with. More on that later.

Meanwhile, I am grateful for the little piece of fun we had during our ornamental quest.

Monday, December 3, 2007

A Masterful Experience

At 7:00 Saturday morning we loaded up the van for a trip to Malibu.

We were on our way to a flute Master Class by Sir James Galway.

Sir James was in town for a series of concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and had agreed to appear at Pepperdine University.

As we made our way through Malibu Canyon we were on the lookout for Mr. Darcy ("who knew walking could be so hot?!?")

We arrived ready to learn and excited about the opportunity:

Jen joined us a little later:

There he is; Sir James, decked out in purple:

We all listened attentively as he told us the secret to successful flute playing...

...practice, practice, practice.

We left almost overwhelmed with the wealth of information Sir James effortlessly dispensed.

We all agreed that we would go home and practice, practice, practice!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Good News Bad News

The good news is the body work on my car looks great.

The bad news is the car was left where the rain could get to it while the rear window was removed, the headliner is torn, and the back seat is wet and stained.


I was given full assurance that the problems could be taken care of any day next week.

Goody. Another trip to the auto body shop is in my future...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Zippity Do Dah Day

My birthday is this Saturday.

Since Bob will be working in Rancho Mirage and I will be taking several APU flutists to the James Galway Master Class in Malibu, we spent the day at Disneyland yesterday to celebrate in advance.

We happened upon our friend Kurt conducting the Disneyland Band:

Muni Band colleagues Tim and Chris were also present:

Since I am known as Aunt Doda, the band played Zippity Do Dah in honor of my birthday.

That was cool!

It was a truly beautiful day. The skies were clear and the air was warm.

The castle has its new snow overlay (it is especially breath taking at night):

We had lunch at our favorite "casual dining" restaurant:

The canoes were in operation.

Who could pass up an opportunity like that?

I can't remember the last time I was in one of these:

About half way around, I wondered what I was doing in the canoe. That rowing is hard work!

We had a wonderful, laid back day strolling through the park and taking in the sights.

Now, refreshed and renewed, it's back to work!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Family Thanksgiving

My entire family gathered in Atascadero for Thanksgiving this year:

Well, there was one member who is waiting for his debut. This is my niece Heather (with husband Matt in the background):

And the soon to debut family member? Meet Hunter:

Expected arrival: February, 2008.

I'll keep you posted!