Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Calm before the….

Hopefully it’s the calm before the calm and not the storm. Today is Libby’s last concert, ending her 11 year run with the Children’s Chorus. I am pretty sure I have everything in place. Since Wednesday I’ve been running around putting things in order, buying reception food for 700 people, dealing with ticket and seating issues and making sure everyone knows where they are supposed to be. No biggie there, but I’ve been gearing up for this last performance. I know I’ll cry.

For 11 years my baby and I have spent Thursday nights together. From the first year when we would drive up to Patapsco Valley, fighting the Route 29 traffic, to this last year where she drove herself to Abiding Savior Church, Thursday’s have been our time. We’ve shared countless meals together, sang in the car with each other, learning the words or the music to a particular piece and talking about what has been going on in her life. I think the amount of time she’s sat on my lap (even this year) at Peabody is far greater than the time she’s done so at home! Now, we are coming to an end. She’ll be leaving for college in the Fall and I’ll be starting my very first year with Peabody without her. It just won’t be the same.

She says she’s going to audition for the chorus at Salisbury. I hope so. I know that singing in the chorus has been ‘her thing’ for so long, that I’d hate for her to not be able to enjoy it still. Besides, the chorus she’s in now is for treble voices, I can imagine it will be a wonderful new experience for her to sing with bass as well.

5 hours and counting until I need a really big box of tissues…..

Posted in opera


Just got home from the first Tosca rehearsal, what an awesome experience! 16 children from our chorus will be performing in this opera next week along with– FRANK!!

Yes, while hanging out at the rehearsal, the Baltimore Opera Company, announced that they would like a few supers to help out and guess who jumped at the chance? Certainly not me! Even though Jenny doesn’t think I’m shy, I would have melted into a puddle of nerves if anyone had even hinted that I do anything that is not behind the scenes. I even had to beg the director of the chorus to PLEASE not have me stand for recognition during concerts… I just shake and quake at the thought. This is the VERY reason I pushed all my children to have no fear of speaking up and being in the limelight of life. (I may have done too good a job of

It was a true experience to sit in that space and watch the Maestro create a visual masterpiece to go along with the auditory feast. The children were very well behaved and were so happy and excited to be there… and I must admit, all did very well with following the queues they were given.
I guess I need to order tickets now. I can’t let my husband walk across the stage in his priestly robes and not be there to witness it!!
In case you are interested:
Tosca By Giacomo Puccini May 5, 9, 11, 13, 2007
Sung in Italian with English surtitles A Baltimore Opera Company production.

“Your eyes cut through my heart like a knife.â€Â� –Baron Scarpia
“Actually, that is a knife.â€Â� –Floria Tosca

The opera takes palace during a 24 hour period in Rome in 1800 as at the city awaits the outcome of the battle between Napoleon’s army and the Austrians at Marengo. Puccini was fanatically accurate about the historic timeline, places and characters that he employed to serve as the backdrop for this fierce battle of wills. The sadistic Baron Scarpia’s obsession with the singer Floria Tosca and her lover’s protection of an escaped political prisoner collide in a spectacular psychological drama. The Baltimore Opera Company production is a re-creation of the actual locations that Puccini and Sardou chose for their opera. Strikingly similar to the sets that Puccini authorized for the premiere of the opera, the Church of Sant’Andrea della Valle, Baron Scarpia’s apartments in the Farnese Palace and the roof of the Castel Sant’Angelo are all faithfully recreated as Puccini intended.
The Baltimore Opera Company is proud to welcome soprano Georgina Lukács in the title role. She has appeared in the title role in Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco , Vienna , Berlin , Hamburg operas. World renowned bass-baritone James Morris returns to the Lyric stage. A Baltimore native, Mr. Morris has electrified audiences with his powerful portrayals of Wotan, Scarpia, Don Giovanni and Mephistopheles. Italian tenor Antonello Palombi makes his BOC debut in the role of Cavaradossi. He has appeared in the role in Zurich and Frankfurt and is in great demand throughout Europe for his sensitive portrayals of the great romantic tenor roles. Maestro Andrea Licata who has brought his special expertise of the Italian repertoire to so many BOC productions, will conduct. Running time approximately 2 hours, 15 minutes. 5/5, 5/11 at 8:15pm, 5/9 at 7:30 pm, 5/13 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

4 Coats

I’ve spent the majority of my weekend painting my bedroom a deep color called Ripe Currant. It really is a beautifully rich color and I think I’m going to love it once I get everything set up. The problem is that I have now put one primer coat and 3 coats of paint on my walls and I’m going to need another coat. I’m using good paint, Behr, but I guess this color is just that intense. The picture above is not my room, btw.. just a red room… I’ll post my room when it’s done.

Today, I would have finished that last coat, but the guys are supposed to come and install the maple flooring. I had really hoped that my painting with this deep red would be done PRIOR to my light flooring being installed. Too bad I didn’t know if I’d need another coat until the light of the morning… last night it was too dark to tell with my lamp. This room will definitely need proper lighting.

Frank and I spent part of the afternoon in Home Despot checking out crown moulding and baseboards. Home improvement projects do not bring out the best in our relationship. I think it’s crazy the way we just can not get along. I usually want to do things by the book and he’s willing to fly by the seat of his pants. Even though 99% of the project may go well, that 1% will be the thing I see over and over. I think that if we could come to a happy medium point, it wouldn’t be so bad, but we are both so stubborn that it just turns into a growling match. That’s why I told Frank that I’d pick the moulding for the room and he and Dave can install the stuff. I’ll have a Cosmo and then maybe if I don’t KNOW where that 1% error is, I can’t obsess over it!

I’m also supposed to have my new furniture delivered today… originally, the plan was to paint the room, get the flooring done and then get the furniture delivered.. in that order, but the best laid plans of mice and men…now the former contents of my room have been spewed about the top floor of my house and the flooring guys and furniture are supposed to be delivered at the same time. I guess the furniture will just have to be delivered to the living room. As it is, my mattress has been in the dining room for the past few nights… makes getting a drink at night pretty easy to do!

Hopefully I won’t be sitting and waiting all day, because all I want to do is get moving and accomplish, and if you know me then you know the inactivity is similar to trying to cage lightning…. it’s not wise!

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Can you guess who this is?

Up and about early today. My daughter’s alarm clock goes off at least 6 times every morning and some days I just can’t ignore it, so this morning I got up, made some coffee, breakfast, did all the dishes, made a pan of lasagna and answered all my email by 7:25. Now what?? I guess I can catch up on the news from overnight, read some blogs and start my work day although Thursday’s are my long day and I don’t finish until about 10:00pm.

I started painting my bedroom yesterday. I’ve had a cold that I’ve been ignoring but when I was bending over to open and move around paint cans, the pressure was rough. I let out a groan and my son started teasing me about getting old. I think it’s only just beginning to dawn on him that I am 24 years older than him and what that really means. Anyway, I wasn’t the one- 15 minutes later- who was complaining about his back hurting and making noises about his body hurting! I told him he was getting old, too! Just because I don’t ride as many roller coasters as I used to, don’t put me out of commission so quickly!!

My bedroom has never had more than the builders grade paint on it for over 22 years. This means I have to seal the walls with a primer. Ugh. I hate the primer color – a rose mauve- but I know it’s temporary. Still, with my new furniture due to arrive on Monday I see my weekend activities very clearly defined for me. Paint, paint, paint and um…. paint. Yeah.. that seems about right. Still, I’m excited to FINALLY be putting my room in order!

Sean moves home this weekend. We are looking forward to seeing him around again. He brings such an energy to the house and Libby has really missed her brother. Welcome back, Sean. How long will you be staying?? 😉

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Taxing Day

Today was the official day to submit your taxes, even though I did hear that if you lived in this area they would actually give you until Thursday because of the storms. I’m not really sure why storms, late in the season, would be a good reason to extend the tax deadline by another two days when there had been virtually 2.5 other months to prepare your taxes, but who am I to decide? I did my taxes long ago and have already gotten back my meager refund (no complaining here, that’s the way it’s *supposed* to work. Uncle Sam doesn’t pay me any interest, why should I loan him my money for free??) and I’ve spent it on a new mattress and some paint for my room. That’s right folks, I reinvested it right away! My back is happier already.

The above picture is someones coin balancing creation. Must have taken a patient and steady hand to create something like that.

The other taxing issue has been all the media about the VA. tragedy. Like Cheryl, I turned off the media yesterday. I’ve read news about the gunman and kept up with the latest- meaning the new developments- but I don’t need to hear the popping of gunfire from a cell phone camera and I certainly don’t need to hear the repetitive hype over and over again. It’s like an old Don Henley song….

We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who
Comes on at five
She can tell you bout the plane crash with a gleam
In her eye
Its interesting when people die-
Give us dirty laundry

Can we film the operation?
Is the head dead yet?
You know, the boys in the newsroom got a
Running bet
Get the widow on the set!
We need dirty laundry

You dont really need to find out whats going on
You dont really want to know just how far its gone
Just leave well enough alone
Eat your dirty laundry

Some good news would be welcome now and then… we don’t need hours and hours of bad news. Someone once told me that it’s news because it’s unusual.. if it were the norm, it wouldn’t be worth airing.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Bar, Balls, Beds,Two Sickies and a Pot of Soup

On Friday evening, we went out and visited some friends at a local bar. My husband and I take turns as to who imbibes unless we have a designated driver and on Friday I was feeling so jittery, that I thought a drink would not be a bad idea. While we were visiting with friends, a man from the table next to us started talking to me about some CD’s someone had brought for me. This led to a conversation about music, bands and what songs we liked. Unlike some couples, my husband does not get jealous when another man talks to me. He knew when he met me that most of my friends were male and that trend hasn’t seemed to change but for a very few women whom I hold dear.

For some reason, this particular guy seemed so familiar to me and I *knew* that I knew him from somewhere. Our table and his table started playing a question game and after a few rounds it occurred to me where I knew him from. Eventually it was my turn and I asked him, “Do you teach soccer?” This question floored him. Not only was it a bit out of line from the previously slightly raunchy questions, but I could tell he hadn’t recognized me yet and was wondering how I knew this about him. I waited while he sat there agog and then asked him if he remembered my daughter, Heather. I knew he would; he and she had a great coach/student relationship. Suddenly, recognition dawned on him and he scrunched up his face and said, “oh… I loved Heather… and Frank… and Sean… and Liberty..” He had taught them all at our local middle school and coached soccer for Heather at the high school. He was one of the few teachers that had been a positive role model in my kids time at that terrible middle school and it was great to catch up with him. I called Heather on the phone and let him talk to her and then Jr. stopped by and so did Liberty so it was a mini reunion. When we were leaving he said it was one of the best parent teacher conferences he’d every had.

On Saturday, I had a fuzzy mouth and a bit of a headache. I thought it was because I had overindulged a bit the night before and I thought that the reason my voice was cutting in and out was because I had been talking in a loud bar for most of the previous night, so Frank and I agreed to go bowling later that evening with our friends, Dave and Jenny. Dave bought bowling balls for Jenny and I this past Christmas and after she and I had the balls drilled, we needed to try them out on the lanes. Yeah, I know it’s April, we’ve been busy!! The people on the lane next to ours liked my ball- it’s a giant Yellow Happy Face!! I get a kick out of watching it’s happy little smile smash all the pins! Ok, I’m strange… I admit it.

We left the bowling alley and I realized that I had nowhere to sleep at home. I had given my old bed and mattress to my son that day and was expecting delivery of a new bed today… not sure why it didn’t occur to me that I’d have nowhere to sleep, but Jenny very kindly said I could stay with her for the night since her daughter was out of town. Thanks again, Jenny!!

Of course, Jenny may be cursing me in a few days, but I really hope not, because overnight my scratchy voice and what I thought might be the remnants of a hangover actually became a very congested cold…ugh… and to top that off, Frank had developed a fever overnight and was complaining of a headache and nausea, something Dave had dealt with recently as well. I thought a pot of chicken soup would be in order so I made a very simple recipe that neither one of us felt like eating. Guess I know what my dinner is tomorrow!!

My mattresses came, by the way, and that means I get to go try out my new bed… first one in 15 years. Goodnight

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

The Blob

I had wanted to make a sweetbread for Easter breakfast, so I went on line and searched until I found a simple recipe. It said I needed 3 tubes of refrigerator biscuits, 2 cups of white sugar, 4 tablespoons of cinnamon, ½ cup chopped pecans and ¼ cup melted butter. I was supposed to cut each biscuit into fourths, dredge them in the cinnamon sugar mixture and then layer them in an 8 inch cake pan. Next I was to melt the butter, add the remaining sugar mixture and pecans to the butter and then POUR that over the biscuits. Lastly, I was to bake at 375 for 40 minutes and remove when golden brown.

I got out the biscuits, mixed up the cinnamon and sugar, cut the biscuits into fourths and began to layer them into the pan. After coating the biscuit bits, I melted the butter and added the remainder of the cinnamon sugar mix. I’m not sure how many of you are bakers, but does 2 cups of sugar and ¼ cup of butter sound right to you?? There was NO way to POUR this over anything. So much for following the directions to a *t*. I added another ¼ cup of melted butter and that barely helped either. Lastly, I tried a bit of milk and I got a slightly more pourable consistency. I poured about ½ of the mixture on top of the bread and had to dump the rest. This is a picture of my heinous result. Typically, I’m not such a clod in the kitchen, but for some reason, this was not one of my better efforts.

So be it!! Happy Easter, everyone!

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Mom & Daughter, Dad & Son

Yesterday, I went with my daughter to pick out a Prom gown. We traveled to Frederick to a shop that guaranteed that they would not sell the same gown to anyone who is in the same school as you to hopefully negate the chance of two girls with the same gown.

After picking through their selection of gowns, we took our choices to the dressing room, where there were 5 other moms with their daughters, all doing the same thing. The daughters were wriggling into and out of gowns, shyly peeking from behind the curtains to see if mom could zip them up or get her approval on the way it fit. Some were grumbling because they were still looking for *the* dress and some were almost giddy at playing dress up. The shop owner and her assistants all fluttered around taking away what they called, “no goods” and bringing girls new gowns to try. The Moms were all patiently waiting to be called for help, most of them rolling their eyes and smiling at each other as if we were all part of a club.

Liberty is a curvy 5 foot 2 inches and most gowns will need to visit a seamstress to be hemmed for her, so she’s never really comfortable with the way the dress falls. We had narrowed our choices down to one royal blue strapless gown and one golden gown with rhinestones and ruching. While waiting for the shopkeeper to answer a question about alterations that would be our deciding factor, Libby watched the girl in the dressing room next to us try on just about every gown she had chosen, finally trying to make a choice between an orange beaded gown and the same golden gown we were considering. I couldn’t figure out why my daughter had suddenly become quiet, withdrawn and sullen until she mumbled that she thought the other girl looked better in the golden gown than she did. This girl was at least 5 foot 10, needed no hemming for any gown she put on, was lithe with little curve and you could see my baby comparing herself to this other girl. My comment of, “It doesn’t look better, just different.” didn’t seem to make her feel any better. We ended up with the blue gown, which looks stunning on her, but she later said she chose it because she couldn’t get the vision of the other girl in her gown out of her head!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Frank, Sr. and Frank, Jr. were busy cyber shopping the Sears site for Craftsman tools. Jr. just started a job in which he needs to have his own tools, but wanted Sr. to help him choose what was necessary. After deciding which kit looked to be the best, they ordered the tools and then went to Sears to pick up the order and to also choose a few other needed items. Two hours later, my husband came home with a carrot cake, a thank you gift from my son and his girlfriend. (mmmm carrot cake)

What a lovely way to have spent our Saturday afternoon with our children.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Gotta Get a Shimmy on

I was recently poking around on the web when I came across a belly dance video clip and felt that old familiar wiggle coming on. I took some dance lessons a few years back and caught on pretty quickly, heck I’d been dancing through my hips most of my life, so it didn’t seem that different to me. However, I was taking the classes with some women in their later 40’s and was amazed at how stiff and tight they were.

Now, I get why. I’ve been sitting too much. I’m stiffer than I ever was, and the old adage, use it or lose it is screaming at me. I have a number of belly dance videos that I need to haul out to go along with my Yoga. It’s not an issue of time or availability, it’s an issue of motivation. I’m a night owl by nature and exercising in the AM just seems to be impossible to get to, but the later the day becomes, the less likely I am to exercise- or dance- because I’m wrapped up in the day to day. Ever since I busted the platter in my kitchen, I haven’t danced much at all and I sure do miss it.

I think tomorrow shall be my dancing day.