Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Rim to Rim Memories

Now for a show of hands. How many people recognize the agonizing switchbacks of the Bright Angel trail ascending the South Rim of the Grand Canyon?

FlutePrayer re-visits Grand Canyon years after fateful hike.

Oh sure. I'm smiling now.

That's because I hiked the Grand Canyon rim to rim and lived to tell about it.

This is the view of the North Rim from the South Rim. We started on the North Rim and hiked to the South.

Due to lack of thoughtful planning, we managed to hike 25 miles in 48 hours. Hiking out by moonlight seemed like such a good idea at the time.

That was many years ago, but the memories of gale force winds blowing away all our camping gear in Indian Gardens are still fresh.

Indian Gardens

We all lived to tell about it, but I never hurried back to try it again.

I'll probably regale you with the long version one day. But not tonight.

Tonight I've got to practice my flute.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Planning Ahead

Now that my finances are all taken care of, it's time to address other issues.

You might have heard this one:

Question: "What's the difference between a musician and a government bond?"

Answer: "The government bond eventually matures."

In an effort to act in an un-musicianlike way, I ordered a will-making program from Costco.com. It arrived late this afternoon.

In under 5 minutes I had completed wills for both myself and my husband.


That left me free to do other, more important things...

...like practice my flute.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Flute plus Four

Rufus and Jenny

The Azusa Pacific University Faculty Woodwind Quintet is preparing for a concert on Monday, February 5.


We got together at Stephanie's house tonight to rehearse.

Fluteprayer and Jane

We got a lot accomplished.

I love my job.

Honor Flutists

I spent the morning at The Beach.

I was there to coach the flute section from the SCSBOA All Southern California High School Honor Wind Ensemble.

My private student Emilie is second from the left

This group of talented high school flutists met for the first time yesterday. They are undergoing intensive rehearsals for a concert tomorrow at the Carpenter Center. They were chosen, through auditions, from more than 100 flutists from the Southern California region.

My job was to get them to play together. Softly (loud they could do). As a section. In one hour.

They are all used to being the best flutists at their respective schools. Now these alpha-flutists needed to form a musical team, blending with others as talented as they in a way that sounds unified, not adversarial. No small undertaking.

They applied themselves diligently to the task at hand. By the end of 55 minutes they returned to their rehearsal sounding as if they'd been playing together for years...

...and I went home to practice my flute.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Jet Propelled Flutist

Dr. Allan at his flute lesson

During his flute lesson today I asked Allan when he first began studying with me. "Oh, right before I turned 70. That was 13 years ago."

Periodically over those 13 years Allan would humbly ask to be excused from the following week's lesson. His reason? "I have to go to Washington D.C. to get some sort of award" or "I have to go to Japan. Their government wants to talk to me about jet propulsion".


This is the same lovely man who listens attentively as I preach to him about breath support, rhythm, fingerings, and performance technique. He is unfailingly kind, quietly witty, and extremely teachable.

I Googled him today. It made for some interesting reading.

You might want to peruse some of his papers. Perhaps you'll want to check out his 1974 Melville Medal or 1982 Henry R. Worthing Medal. Or maybe you just want to read about Effects of Leading Edge Sweep on the Cavitating Characteristics of Inducer Pumps.

Me? I just give the man flute lessons. Well, I also gave him a tube of Virtuoso Lip Balm...

...just in case he wants to switch careers.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Fruitful Flutist

Joanna and Gregory

What a thrill it was to hear that one of my former APU flute students is a new mom.

Joanna and her husband Jarod welcomed baby Gregory into the world on January 20, 2007.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Finding a Place to Roost

I'm looking for a place to roost.

I'm still struggling for studio space at both universities (along with everyone else).

Our landlord recently let us know that the future plans for his property probably won't include us.

I'm not complaining.

I'm looking forward.

To a place to roost.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Accounting for Time

I'm not intentionally neglecting my blog. I want to say that right up front. It's just that, well, I purchased some new accounting software yesterday.

I know that in the long run it will simplify my life. It will save hours of time. It will provide effortless organization. In the short run, however, that has not been the case.

I take some responsibility for that. My last version of Quicken was, um, well, it was 11 years old, so forget easy importing of my existing data.

On the plus side, I had a very nice, long "chat" with Thom T. at customer support in India. He actually was able to identify the data problem (going from DOS based to NFTS based) and patiently walk me through it.

Okay. So I got all my data into the slick new program. Now for the "update" feature.

Theoretically, this allows instant updates from your financial institution right into your accounting software. In actuality, it took 4 hours, a call to WAMU, an extended "chat" with a nice woman in India, another call to WAMU, and a serendipitous web page discovery to force the banking information into the accounting software.

Now for the data manipulation.

I won't go into that right now. I've been at it for another 4 hours and I think everything is okay. Really. Fine. It's really fine. Really.

Anyway, perhaps it would be best if I let it rest for a while.

I need to go practice my flute.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Another Day at the Office

This was my office for the day.

I played a birthday party at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates.

It's a lovely venue.

I got there early so I took some pictures.

(You can't tell how cold it was from the pictures.)

The event was elegant.

I got paid to play my flute.

Life is good.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Paper Work

My bulging briefcase gives mute testimony to the season. It's time for Paper Work.

Paper. Work. Paperwork. Paper=Work.

All of the above.

The new semester is off and running, running, running on PAPERWORK.

I have written my syllabi. I have printed same. I am ready to complete my load sheets. I have turned in my scholarship allocations. I'm emailing the quintet program for approval tonight.

I think I'm caught up. I am. Aren't I? Hmmmmm. Better check. See you after Paper Work.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

beFrank's Brother

Marcel Frank Jr (left), Bryan Frank (right)

photo from beFrank's blog

I've never met these two men. The one on the right is the mighty blogger who inspired my own blogging adventures, beFrank. I hope one day to meet the man behind the beFrank blog.

Bryan has become a part of the family. I check his blog daily to see what he and his lovely wife Dellis and their children have been up to. I leave the occasional (well, more than occasional) comment, and Bryan is always faithful to comment back. He is a brother in Christ, and he feels like a brother in fact as well.

The man on the left is Bryan's big brother Marcel. Marcel passed away on Sunday, January 14, 2007 at the age of 46.

I was getting ready for my first day of teaching back at Vanguard when I popped by beFrank's blog to see what he had been up to. I burst into tears when I read what had happened. I am so very sorry for his loss. It is a loss for all of those who surf by his inspired blog.

I didn't even know what a blog was a year ago. Now, thanks to Bryan generously sharing snapshots of his family, my life has been greatly enriched. I have laughed with them. I have rejoiced with them. Now I weep with them.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Does it Work Because It's Pink?

I recently ordered a heart rate monitor specifically made for women. I had been wanting one for a long time, not only for work-outs, but to see what kind of pulse rate flutists have when they're playing their instrument.

One's heart rate increases when one is nervous. As the heart rate increases, the amount of oxygen needed by the heart increases. That means less air is available to blow through one's flute. The result? One can easily skate through long musical phrases in the practice room, but can experience difficulty in holding out even a short note during performance. It's disconcerting (pun intended) to take a big breath in and have nothing left to blow out. (Experiments are now in progress)

Meanwhile, I'm left pondering the marketing choices of this particular company. There was no picture of the box on Amazon, so I was a bit unprepared for the pinkness of the packaging.

Even the inside is pink.

Don't get me wrong. I am extremely grateful that this company has chosen to make and market a heart rate monitor scaled to my petite size. It's just.....well.....did it have to be so pink?

Friday, January 12, 2007


I want my roses to go to sleep.

I used to feel bad about that. However, I was told that if roses don't go to sleep in the winter, they wear themselves out and eventually die a premature death.

I don't want that to happen.

So Bob brought the trash can around and I began pruning.

I still have a lot of clean-up to do.

But it's supposed to freeze tonight. I wanted to get the roses ready for their winter snooze.

Shhhhhh! I think they're asleep.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Is there anything sexier than a man employing a Swiffer duster?

My husband and I are both freelancers. Sometimes one of us is more "free" than the other. After almost 2 years of marriage, we are beginning to find our equilibrium regarding household maintenance.

Bob was expecting a long day of work today. I had a quintet rehearsal up at APU. After spending a few hours cooling his heels at the office, Bob was told his job was to be delayed by unavailable materials. He called and offered to do the marketing. You can't beat that!

When I finally returned, I was greeted by a freshly vacuumed home and my husband with a Swiffer in his hand. The refrigerator was fully stocked.

Not even Mr. Darcy walking through the dawn mist is as sexy as that!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Adjunct Shuffle

It's that time again. Azusa Pacific University, where I am adjunct professor of flute, and Vanguard University of Southern California, where I am the private flute instructor, resumed classes this week. It's time to begin the Adjunct Shuffle.

Students are trying to finalize their schedules. Secretaries are trying schedule studio space. Adjuncts are trying to make a living.

I have had several students send stealth emails with the off-hand comment, "I have changed my major..." or, "I will not be returning to school..." or, "I don't know if I will be taking an hour or a half hour lesson..."

This is typcial of the spring semster. Students have gained insight about future goals based on their fall semester and, rightfully, make course corrections. No matter how many times I experience it, though, it is still unsettling.

Things will all be determined by next Friday, the last day to add or drop classes. By then I will know how much money I will (or will not) be making in the next 4 months, when, exactly, I will be making it, where I will be dispensing knowledge, and who will be the recipients of said knowledge. Meanwhile, I'll be practicing my Adjunct Shuffle.

Monday, January 8, 2007

East-West Ranch, Cambria

Today we headed for one of our favorite places; the East-West Ranch.

We've never seen a nicer day.

It was clear and in the mid-70's.

It's not even this nice in the summer.

We know that we were blessed with miraculously fine weather.

We didn't take it for granted.

We took hundreds of pictures.

We'll show them to you sometime.

But for now, we're packing it in.

We're curled up in our Large Forest View Suite, soaking up the peace and quiet which is Cambria.

Sunday, January 7, 2007


We arrived safely in Cambria this afternoon after a brief visit to Atascadero (no, NOT to the mental hospital) to visit my sister Christy and her family. What a treat it was to see them less than 2 weeks after we last said good-bye.

This is the view from our balcony. You can see Burton Street in East Village.

These are our balcony lounging chairs. We plan to do much lounging on them.

Every bedroom needs a comfy chair near the fire.

We went to Linn's Easy As Pie Cafe for a very late lunch, then got to Moonstone Beach just after sunset (sans camera). It was magnificent.

We're now lounging in the living room sipping Duet creme sherry from Fermentations and eating churro nuggets from Linn's. It is utterly peaceful and still outside. ZZZZzzzzzzz.......