Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wheel Chair Birthday

Thanksgiving didn't exist for me last week as I lay prone in a hotel bed trying not to oink.

Today is my birthday and I didn't want to yield completely to infirmity. I've been fever free since Saturday and am not coughing or running out the nose. I did develop a new symptom yesterday, though - Vertigo. No biggie unless you want to WALK. At Disneyland, Annual Pass Holders get a $72 gift card on the day of their birthday. I didn't want to miss that. Hence the wheel chair.

Although there is no way I can walk, the wheel chair allows me to enjoy the Disneyland experience. Here's something I've noticed: kids look me right in the eye with big smiles and (thanks to my birthday pin) wish me happy birthday. That is absolutely making my day. We should all try to be more childlike...
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Which Turkey Gave Me The Flu?

I woke up this beautiful Thanksgiving morning in Atascadero with the flu. There's no doubt that the headache, body aches, and fever over 100 degrees match the classic flu symptoms. I haven't had flu like this for years. A flu shot was on my to do list, but I've spent the last two months with a cold then a mild bronchial thing. It didn't seem wise to get a flu shot. Now I won't need one. Think of all the money I'm saving. One of the benefits of flu is loss of appetite. I won't feel at all sorry for myself as the rest of the family digs into the feast later today. All in all things are pretty great. I've never had the flu in a hotel room in Atascadero before and I love new experiences. I've got a stack of books, a loving family praying for me, and Jesus in my heart. It doesn't get any better than that!


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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy 80th Birthday Dad!

My dad was born 80 years ago today in Boston, Massachusetts.

Bob and I are grateful to be able to spend the day with him at my sister Christy's home in Atascadero, CA. The big celebration will be tomorrow, but we're having a quiet little do tonight. Happy 80th Birthday Dad! Here's to many, many more.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Carpooling on the 405

Bob, nephew Seth and I are on the road to high adventure. Actually, we're on the Northbound 405 during rush hour, trying to escape L.A.'s clutches. We were making good progress in the carpool lane. It just ran out. No matter. Traffic is MUCH lighter than usual. We are grateful to be on our way to visit family in Atascadero. Fresh air here we come!

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A Visit From Nephew Seth

Our nephew Seth left his Paso Robles home in September for a 9 month stay at Hume Lake under their Joshua program. He spent last week with his group in Mexico. Today part of the group made the pilgrimage to Disneyland. He was going to return to San Diego with his friends, then turn around and drive home tomorrow. When Bob and I heard about the back tracking, we offered to pick Seth up at The Happiest Place On Earth. Apparently a good time was had by all, although Santa Ana winds kicked up, forcing the cancellation of the fireworks show.

Seth is safely tucked away in our office, drooling over Bob's studio set up. Tomorrow (later today, actually) the three of us will drive 240 miles north to join the rest of the family for Thanksgiving. Bob and I are thankful for our traveling companion. Sleep well, Seth!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Teaching In A Practice Room

It sometimes comes to pass in the course of flutely events that I have to teach in a practice room.

Advantages: It's better than teaching in the elevator

There's a piano in here

Disadvantages: Door doesn't lock, air conditioning isn't sufficient, lots of company

Bottom Line: I am so grateful to have this job. I love working with the students. If that means we sometimes meet in a practice room, it's alright with me!

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Juries Are Approaching

It's that time of year. Time is flying and accompanists are in short supply. What are we talking about?

Flute Juries. What is a Flute Jury anyway.

You've been taking flute lessons all semester, receiving weekly grades for practice time and lesson performance. How will you demonstrate what you have learned? You will prepare a solo to play with a piano accompanist in front of several faculty members. No pressure there. Performing well under pressure is what is required of musicians, hence the JURY. Two lessons remain in the semester after this week. Have at it!

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Ryan Seacrest on Main Street USA

Bob and I are back at Disneyland picking up an item that wasn't packed with the rest of my purchases on Saturday. Ryan Seacrest is on Main Street USA as filming of the Disney Christmas Special continues. Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Holiday Filming at Disneyland

Main Street USA is filled with the holiday spirit as filming is taking place for the Christmas Day holiday special. It just wrapped. Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Faculty Recital

Joel Clifft and I really enjoyed our Faculty Recital at Azusa Pacific University last night.

My dear husband Bob recorded and video taped the concert. When it gets posted to YouTube, I will post it here as well.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who attended, and greater thanks to those who couldn't attend but prayed. You all made it a pleasure and a joy.

Until the YouTube postings (don't hold your breath), check out more pictures here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tuba Recital

Bob has been in Goleta since Friday. I've been staying occupied practicing for the recital Joel Clifft and I are doing at APU. Meanwhile, I wanted to lend my support to friend and colleague John Van Houten at his recital close to home at Cal State Long Beach. Tuba seems to be the opposite of flute in all respects. It's extremely refreshing to hear it's robust, thunderous sound. What a great way to spend a Sunday evening while I wait for my beloved to return to me. Way to play, John!

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Flute Repair

I'm in Carlsbad watching flute technician Jay Sleigh lay hands on my instrument in preparation for the recital a week from Monday. He is a patient artist, extremely gentle with my beloved flute. It was worth driving 83 miles in the pouring rain to get here. I know it will play all the better for his expert touch. Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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Friday, October 9, 2009

True Love

Although my dear husband Bob is pretty far under the weather, he is still working out of town this weekend until Sunday evening. When I left for my rehearsal this afternoon a few hours before his departure, he was slumped in his comfy chair looking miserable. Despite his pitiable physical state, when I returned our empty home I was greeted by a really funny and romantic note that he had taken the time to write. What a guy!

When I went into the bedroom some time later, I was touched to see Bob the Bear surrounded by rose petals.

Gentlemen, this is the way to express true love to your wife.

Thanks, honey!

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Disneyland Date

Bob and I haven't seen much of each other lately. We've had opposite days off for the last month. Despite the fact that Bob is exhausted from punishingly long days at work and very concerned about his still-hospitalized mother, the dear man insisted that we take advantage of our Annual Passes and head to Disneyland for dinner and the new fireworks show.

We are enjoying the MUCH cooler weather, and are contentedly digesting our delicious meal. Not sure where we'll wander to next. I'm just grateful that whatever we choose to do, we'll be doing it together. Bob is a true prince.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Low Tech facebook

My brain has developed a case of Short Attention Span Theater.

I find myself surfing from book to book to book to, well, book. In my defense, sometimes manly Jack Reacher is in a bit TOO much of a bind. If things get unbearably tense, I flip over to see how wry, witty spots agent Myron Bolitar is doing. This book is much darker than usual, though. Hmmmm. What is pet sitter Dixie Hemingway up to? Oh. Ludicrous plot premise. Maybe new friend Lewis Gillies has something entertaining to say.

It's like a green version of facebook - checking on friends' statuses (statusi?) without using a bit of electricity is good for the environment. Really. Best part? These are LIBRARY books. See? I'm recycling AND saving money. Have I justified my short attention span yet?


How about * WAIT*! Jack Reacher's in a bind... Gotta go!

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Posterous Posting

Trying out posting with Posterous because blog hero beFrank uses it. Not sure what I would do if he told me to jump off a bridge...
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Excellent Expo23 Experience

I wasn't sure what to expect from Expo23 at the Anaheim Convention Center on Saturday.

Bob was out of town and I was on a solo geek tour of all things Disney.

I was not disappointed.

I am looking forward to the new Cars Land, so was excited to see the scale models.

What I wasn't expecting was the Imagineers that are working on the project were actually there to answer questions about their project. No detail was too small, and they withheld nothing about the coming adventure.

Very, very cool.

This audio-animatronic stuff creeped me out a little:

I heard about the castle being built with donated canned items so I brought a few myself.

I wasn't prepared for this level of artistry:

I was excited to hear about the new things in store for the parks.

I didn't expect to see Darth Vader:

Here's what we saw:

My favorite part of the day was The Princess and the Frog presentation. No cameras were allowed so I can't share the stunning images we were amazed by.

Hand drawn animation vs computer aided is like a live symphony orchestra vs a synth.

There is no comparison.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sonic BOOM

I was just sitting at home minding my own business.

La la la.

Peaceful busi***B*O*O*M**BOOM****what the????

First thought? Earthquake. Except, wait. No shaking.


Then I came to my senses and remembered some news story or other had mentioned that the Space Shuttle might land at Edwards Air Force Base resulting in the signature twin sonic booms:

I can also report that this map was extremely accurate, at least here in the Long Beach area.

I am extremely thankful that the landing was safe.

I feel fortunate to be a small part of the experience.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's All About The Food

Azusa Pacific University resumed classes yesterday. I was on hand for the first meeting of Flute Choir (more on that at another time).

Thursdays are another teaching day for me, but since flute lessons don't start until next week, I took advantage of my last Thursday of freedom and went to the Los Angeles County Fair.

Here's a question I've always pondered - why is the L.A. County Fair so far from most of L.A. County?

My dear husband Bob has been putting in up to 15 hours on the days he's been working in the Green Building.

I used his employment today as an excuse to make my first trip to the fair in probably 25 years.

That's just the excuse.

It was really all about the food.

What to choose? Frogs legs? Deep fried twinkies? Totally fried smores? Heart disease?

I went for the healthy option:


It had a vegetable right in it!


I thought happy thoughts all the way home.

And there you have it.

It's all about the food...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Unexpected Road Trip

It was Monday, the first day of vacation for Bob and me after 7 weeks of Muni Band and a weekend of work for us both. We were going to take the week easy before heading up to Crestline for 6 days of quiet solitude and recuperation from the grueling summer's work. We were going to sleep in, then spend a lazy day being lazy.

The phone rang at 6:40am.

It was Bob's brother-in-law Jim. Bob's mom had had a heart attack the night before in Oklahoma City and was at that moment undergoing heart catheterization. Bob's sister Merilyn, Nellie's caregiver in times of need, was unreachable on a fishing trip to Alaska, the first she had been away in quite some time.

I hopped online to check the airline schedules. It's not easy to get to Oklahoma City from L.A., and it was already pretty late in the day (7am!) to grab a flight. When we determined that it would cost almost $2000 to get us both there, I changed tactics and went to Costco Travel.

In no time I had arranged for a car rental and a hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We threw things into suitcases, jumped in the car, and hit the road.

We kept checking on Nellie's status as we drove. By that afternoon it became clear that she needed a pacemaker installed. Her pulse often dropped to 20 and she was not doing well the way she was.

Although Nellie wanted to wait for us to arrive, she finally agreed to have the surgery at 8am Tuesday morning, about the time we were waking up in Albuquerque after our 2am arrival. By the time we hit the road, Nellie was out of surgery and doing well.

As we drove through the Texas panhandle we were able to talk to her and receive the encouraging news that her pulse rate was steady at about 60 and her blood pressure was regulated as well.

We finally arrived at St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City a little before 9:30pm to see a glowing Nellie sporting wonderful vital signs. What a relief! We were told that she would come home the following morning. We went back to her place, scrounged up bedding, and plunged into sleep.

Yesterday morning, however, brought some sobering news. Fluid had built up in Nellie's right lung that would have to be removed before she could be discharged. We high tailed it over to the hospital and sat with her while she waited for her turn in the cath lab. We were told it would be a few more hours and were just ordering her lunch when the tech came to take her down to face the needle that would do the job at hand. Bob accompanied her while I remained in the room fielding phone calls and admiring the efficient staff as they performed their duties with smiles on their faces.

After 90 minutes or so Nellie and Bob returned, glad that the procedure was successfully completed and hoping it would never, ever happen again! The waiting commenced. Any adverse symptoms wouldn't manifest until 2 hours later. We were assigned the task of watching her blood oxygen level. If she could keep it well over 90 she could go home.

It wasn't looking hopeful at first, but Nellie got right down to the task of breathing more deeply. The numbers slowly improved to the point where she was free to go home at about 6pm. HAPPY DAY!!!

After we got her settled in at home, Bob went out to fill the armload of prescriptions she was handed on her exit from the hospital. After a call to her doctor to clarify dosage, she swallowed her meds and we got her safely to bed where she enjoyed a restful night.

She is doing very well today, ensconced in her recliner with Bob by her side on the matching chair. I'm enjoying the opportunity to dive into the pile of books I had checked out in anticipation of a vacation quite a bit different than the one we are experiencing.

It is peaceful and quiet here. Bob's mom is a model patient - strong in her faith and determination to look at the bright side. Her left arm will be pretty useless for the next 6 weeks so it won't do to leave her on her own. Bob's sister will return Sunday afternoon. Until then Bob and I will stay here enjoying Nellie's company and marveling at how our plans were suddenly and smoothly transformed to God's plans.

They are the best plans every time...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday Night Date

Bob has been working 6 grueling days a week since Muni Band started - 4 with the band, and 2 with his other job, usually out of town. That's why I was extra grateful for a Monday night date tonight.

We are thankful to be Disney Annual Passholders. We decided to slip over to California Adventure for some dinner and a parade.

We hadn't tried the Mexican food place since it moved to its new location so we gave it a try.

It's not quite as good as our favorite Mexican food over in Disneyland, but delicious none the less.

We found a peaceful place near the water and enjoyed a warm breeze, a beautiful sunset, and each other's company.

Here I am on the outside of a couple of soft tacos:

Paradise Pier looked lovely as the moon made its way across the sky:

Our parade vantage point was excellent:

I haven't seen the Electrical Parade since the 70's. What an extremely pleasant blast from the past it was to see and hear it once again!

As the crowds surged to the main exits, we went against the flow and exited through the lovely Grand Californian Hotel and out to the trams just as the fireworks started. We watched the grand finale from the parking structure, then made our escape before the throngs even reached the main gates.

It was wonderful to spend the evening with my true love.

It made me feel like a genuine princess!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Muni Band In Review

I've been too occupied playing in the band to blog about it.

What I can do is show you the season so far.

Please bring your picnic and join us for Week Four.

See you in the parks of Long Beach!

Friday, July 3, 2009

It's A Sign!

Marine Stadium was filled to overflowing last night for its first Long Beach Municipal Band concert of the summer.

The crowd was the first of the year to see the magnificent new sign celebrating 100 years of Muni Band:

Fortunately, last night's audience contained trumpet player Chris Eble. Chris, a Muni Band regular, is on leave this season to play "Spamalot" at the Ahmanson Theater. He dropped by with his family to listen to the concert (we're THAT good!). The traffic in the greater Los Angeles area was HORRIFIC last night - so much so that one of the trumpet players got hopelessly mired in congestion and was unable to make the downbeat.

Along came Chris to the rescue! With the aid of Muni Band Crew member John and his trumpets, Chris jumped into action. Way to go Chris!

Also on hand was Darlene, the winner of a silent auction prize at March's Municipal Band Gala. Darlene's bid secured her the opportunity to conduct the band in the "Washington Post March":

She did a wonderful job!

To top the evening off, vocalist Barbara Morrison wowed the crowd:

You've got another chance to see us and our fabulous new sign tonight at 6:30 at El Dorado Park.

Be there or be square.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mayor Bob Conducts The Municipal Band

City of Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster joined conductor Larry Curtis at this afternoon's Long Beach Municipal Band rehearsal at Long Beach City College.

It was an honor to have the Mayor drop by, but we were in for a special treat.

The former trumpet player stood in front of the band and conducted Stars and Stripes Forever.

He rocked it.

His favorite part?

"The Little Music Things".

Translation: the piccolo part played by us:

Come join us in the parks of Long Beach.

The Little Music Things are featured every night this week.

Complete Schedule Here