Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Poem – by my son

Breath, twisting and rising
In the misty night air
Drifting away

Drinking in
The fresh damp eve
Smiling as my hair
Dances with the breeze

Eyes alight with a quiet fire
Burning in the chill of the darkness
Eyes gripped
With strength and ambition

Yet quivering lips
Like a small frightened child

As the mist wraps ’round
The wet body
I laugh whispering
From those shaking lips

The leaves tremble and shake
Crackling in the wind
Without a word

The winds turn to gusts
The fires burn brighter
The fists clench with fierce determination

And I relax
Gentle and subdued
Another creature
Cradled by nightfall
And the crescent moon

While my skin glistens
In the dim pallor
A smile parts over the now firm lips

The wind dies
Leaving the branches still
And I slip into the mist

Strong of heart
Strong of will
Strong of mind
Strong of soul

Cradled by
The crescent moon

Posted in Musings and Mutterings


I imported all of my blogs from Yahoo 360!, but none of the title pictures came with them. That really stinks. I think I can give up the comments, because there was really only three people who ever commented (thank you Cheryl, Jenny and Dave) but I miss the pictures since I carefully chose each one to fit the blog. Grrrr… I’m debating whether I should go back to my 360 account and copy and save all the pictures, then repost them with the appropriate blog.

Yep, I’m that silly.

I see that my sister logged in here. I’m really hoping she’ll stick around and turn up now and then.

Ugh, it’s almost 1 and I swore I was going to go to bed early tongiht.. just didn’t  think it would be early morning.


Posted in chorus, opera

Command Performance

Frank likes being an extra for the opera. They call them ‘supers’ in this realm. Weeks ago, he received an email telling him that he was accepted as a super for the upcoming opera, “Maria Stuarda” and that casting would be held tonight at the rehearsal hall. We packed up our things and headed into the city and arrived about a half hour early.

We quietly went into the hall, and sat in the seats for the chorus/supers while the principal singers were rehearsing. It was beautiful and powerful and moving, yet we were all alone. By this I mean that wouldn’t you expect there to be more than two people in the super seats by 6:15 if you are supposed to be there by 6:30?

Eventually, the opera manager- who knows who we are from my work- came over and asked what we were doing there. I blithely said I was there for a private concert, which he laughed and said, “That’s fine!”, but Frank told him he was there for casting. Hmmm…. seems we didn’t get the memo that casting was rescheduled for Wednesday.

Oh well, in the meantime, Frank and I got a private performance some people would give their right arm to have with Austrian soprano Gabriele Fontana singing the title role of Maria Stuarda. She has appeared in leading roles with the Bayrische Staatsoper, Vienna State Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, and the Bregenz Festival and is in great demand in Europe for her interpretations of Leonora (Fidelio), the Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier) and Senta (Der Fliegende Holländer). Argentine soprano Fabiana Bravo makes her Baltimore Opera debut as Queen Elizabeth following impressive performances with Washington Summer Opera and Virginia Opera. Miss Bravo joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera and debuted at San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera and Michigan Opera Theatre. Tenor Gregory Kunde is regarded as one of the most elegant bel canto singers on the operatic stage, bringing impeccable phrasing and dramatic intensity to every role he undertakes. He has become a favorite among area bel canto fans for his performances as Arturo in I Puritani and Elvino in La Sonnambula.

Too cool, eh?

Posted in Musings and Mutterings


I’ve sat down to write this blog a few times now, but never really felt the URGE to actually write anything. There are just times where I am completely unmotivated to do ANYTHING and the time just slips by. Not sure that is really a good thing, because I am here for a finite time frame, but then I think, who will really care if the window frame wasn’t painted if my time should arise. The answer I come up with time and again is, ME!

Last weekend I had a pleasant surprise. Well, a few of them actually. I had invited my friends, Jenny, Dave and Jenny’s daughter Megan to have dinner before we went on the long-scheduled, but often canceled, ghost walk.

(A little background here!)
The first year we planned to go it just never ‘happened’. The second year we got to the point of picking a date and making reservations, but it was still not meant to be, for mother nature decided to dump large amounts of chilly rain on that particular October night. On that night, we had decided we would eat dinner before the walk, thinking dinner in Ellicott City would a be nice touch before the walk. We had chosen the Ellicott Mills Brewery. We waited for a table and got seated and explained to the waiter, as we always have to, that I have an onion allergy and can not have any kind of onion anything in my food. No onion powder, scallions, chives, leeks, onion juice nor anything cut directly after having touched an onion. And oh, by the way, if you have a fajita or grilled steaming onions, could you please not go near my table. Also, since my people all love me ( or more accurately don’t want to have their evening ruined by and ER visit) please don’t include onions on their plates either. The waiter was not pleased and seemed very put out and determined that there was nothing in that restaurant that I could eat and apparently the chef was of such poor quality, could not prepare me anything either. I literally ended up eating a few lettuce leaves that somehow passed as a salad and some kind of dessert. (Because we all know that there are no onions in dessert!!) Between the rain and the non-existent dinner and Dave being tired, we decided to can it that night and try again later. Again the year passed and we didn’t get to it.

This year, Jenny started talking about it in August, and after a false thought that September would be the best time, we finally chose last weekend to do it. We almost had yet a third cancellation when I broke my toe ( I really do think I broke it) on a bag of toilet paper the weekend previous, but I did my best to baby the baby toe and make sure that by that planned weekend, I could hobble around in my shoe if I stepped just so.

The evening before the walk, I heard a car pull up in my driveway and expecting my son home from work, thought nothing of it. When I heard the squeal in the foyer, I knew it was Libby home for a surprise visit and that she was greeting her dog with joy. I got a hug, but Piper gets the real love!! I was so happy to see her. She looked happy and good and promptly left again to go hang out with her non college friends, promising to go on the ghost walk with us the next evening.

Since the restaurant fiasco was still fresh in our minds, I offered to make dinner at my house for the group, thereby nullifying any issues with onions! I planned a menu and bought ingredients and then started to think about what I had done. My menu was Autumn Turkey Tenderloins, New England Butternut Squash and Rosemary Roasted root vegetables. Sounded good to me, but my guests are not as adventurous with their palates as I can be. I decided that since nothing GREEN was really being served, save the granny smith apples in the Turkey Tenderloins, for which I actually used chicken, I would be safe. I nervously prepared the now termed “Tricken Tenderloins” and vegetables, fearful that my guests would experience the rumbling tummy I did the year before when there was nothing for ME to eat, but I was very very pleased and proud when no one really questioned what they were served, and at very least tried what was offered, and didn’t retch on the table when they found out they had tried parsnips, turnips, rutabagas and butternut squash!! Now that’s what I call a friend!

We finally got to the ghost walk, with extras in tow, in the form of Sean, Shawnda and Liberty. I was a bit slow and sore by the time we were done, but it was enjoyable, and while brisk, the weather really couldn’t have been much nicer for this time of the year. We rounded out the evening with apple pie and were all ready for bed after our nice walk.

Oh! Turns out that the restaurant we had eaten at the second time we tried to go on the walk was the same place that a fired accountant had hung himself. Maybe that was why the waiter was such a poo!!

The next day, Libby, Frank and I went to the pumpkin patch at Larriland Farm to get out pumpkin. Since there aren’t really any kids, I got one big pumpkin and I hope to carve a scene with one of those template things. It was great to be out in the patch with my family and watching all the little kids running around trying to find just the right gourd! Sigh… good times…

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Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Don’t Post Too Often

I don’t post on here often enough. Maybe I’ll start copying and pasting blogs from my Yahoo 360 account in here so my friends here will see that I’m still around. Sometimes it seems as though there really isn’t that much to talk about and other times there is just so much, or just so much to do, that I don’t get to writing at all.

Work is work, family is good. The first is necessary for the second to be so! The second is really the first in my life! Now if you can follow that, you will understand what I mean.

We are getting ready to start a busy time in our year. Frank will be doing another opera and concert season is nearing. This time of the year is a bit strange now that we don’t have children at home. For so many years I would take the kids to the pumpkin patch and decorate the house with crafts that we did, or the house would smell wonderful with the projects we had baked, but the children are all grown and the grandchildren are too far away and sometimes I feel a bit sad that the fun I used to have is just not the same anymore. Occaisionally I consider going back to childcare, for maybe one or two little guys, but I wish I was guaranteed the wonderful kids, or the parents,  I’ve had in the past. At least I still have my cat! And even tho I sound mopey and depressed, I’m not! I’m just readjusting to how life is now. I enjoy getting in my car and going where I want when I want with little to no effort. No wrangling shoes and diapers and bottles and crumbs in my new car. No cricked back while trying to buckle children into impossible contraptions for their own safety that they have undone seconds after you are seated and have started off down the road, looking at you in the rear-view mirror and laughing the whole time.

So, life is different, but again, that doesn’t mean it’s bad. The new project is to get the house on the market and find the perfect spot to build or buy a home. This place has served it’s purpose, but there are too many people and too many changes going on and I’m ready for some trees, and birds and animals and less traffic whirring up and down my street and the noises inherent with living in a very crowded suburban area. I must be getting older!!

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Continuing Woe….

Bang! Bang! Bang! The pounding on the peasant woman’s door awoke her from her slumber.

“Hear Ye! Hear Ye! By order of the Queen, you are hereby ordered to meet with the Princess, Lady Laura and a castle minion on the morrow. Once a method of meeting has yet been determined, you will be notified as to whether you need to travel to the castle, or have the information relayed to you by messenger.”

The lowly cat herding peasant woman was confused, but happy that a meeting was to be had about her meager stipend.

Next day, the woman was awaiting news as to the method of the meeting. Two missives were sent to her door, telling her that she was to meet with the Princess, Lady Laura and the castle minion, but not how they were to meet. Finally, she was summoned to the soothsayer. She peered into a steaming basin of water and there, in the reflection, she saw the Princess, Lady Laura and the castle minion. Lady Laura and the minion were girded in their armor, ready to defend their positions, even though the peasant woman had no way of harming them. The Princess had a look of worry upon her blonde brow.

“We have come together to discuss the wonderful work the cat herder does for the Princess. The Queen wishes to let the peasant woman know how much she appreciates what she does, thus she has decided to cut the cat herders pay, create more work for her and limit the time in which she must complete it!” stated the castle minion. Lady Laura beamed with pleasure. Surely the peasant woman would be pleased that the Queen had bestowed her with such an honor.

“But this is not what the Queen told me!” sputtered the Princess. “She assured me the cat herder would get a larger stipend and some help from the royal cat stables.”

“Pish Posh!” replied Lady Laura. “The peasant woman knows we are all very pleased with her work. She should be happy to have her stipend reduced and her work increased! It is an honor!”

“Anon”, added the castle minion, “there are no spare stable workers to be loaned out. The cat herder will have to do her work in less time and with no pay when she travels to neighboring lands to herd special groups of cats! You know how much the Queen enjoys those special herds, however, the cat herder should be happy that we all like what she does! That should keep her heart warm on those cold winter nights.”

The Princess and the peasant woman gazed at each other in astonishment. The Soothsayer began to mumble some words. The waters began to swirl and become cloudy, and the images began to fade. Faintly, the lowly peasant woman cat herder could hear the castle minion and Lady Laura laughing.

Believing this to be the way of the world, the peasant woman continued to work hard, hoping that her skills with herding cats would eventually make the Queen realize that with all the extra milk her herd of cats were providing to the castle, it was in Queen’s best interest to help the cat herder, for milking cats is not an easy thing!

One morning, just as the peasant woman was rubbing the sleep from her eyes, a missive came from the castle.

“Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The Lowly Peasant Cat Herder is required to be present at the castle for a meeting with the Queen, a castle minion, the Princess and Lady Laura. This meeting will occur on the second Tuesday, following the first Monday, in the third Quarter of the fourth sennight after the moon rises and sets and is haloed by the red frost on the first virginal slaying to appease the Harvest God, where a discussion will be had about how the Lowly Cat Herder will continue to herd her cats with no help from the castle, in less time and with an even more meager stipend! The Lowly Peasant Cat Herder should feel honored by this appearance!!”

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Parent Weekend

We went to visit Liberty in college over the weekend. She seems to be enjoying herself. She’s adjusted quite nicely and has some awesome roommates. Looks like they have been having a great time, what do you think?

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It’s enough to make her father’s hair stand on end!!
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Which is what college life is all about, as long as you don’t screw up too badly, in which case you end up like this….. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

When in reality, you wanted to get your degree so that you could actually wind up like this…. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And of course, as my musical tribute to Libby’s Bandana party….