Posted in Musings and Mutterings


First let me share with you the beauty that is currently brightening my office. I got this hibiscus as a gift from a family after the spring concert. She graced my back porch all summer long and when it got colder, I brought her into my office since it has one of the sunniest windows. She’s been blooming all fall and winter. The bloom really only lasts 24 hours, but they are gorgeous. I took this picture with my new camera. There are so many settings, that I have to relearn how to take pictures with an SLR.

Frank took this shot of Piper the other day. The detail was great, right down to the little water droplets on her nose that stay there after she’s gotten a drink!

For some reason, my computer doesn’t want to recognize my memory card, so I had to find the cables to transfer my images and of course, although they are both Kodak cameras, none of the accessories match.

Speaking of memory, I had a bit of a tiff with my kids this morning. We had gone shopping the morning after Christmas, and one of our stops was at the Party Store. I casually asked if I should buy party supplies for New Year’s Eve. I got no response. So this morning, I mentioned that I still didn’t know what the headcount for New Year’s Eve was. Libby snapped at me that she had “already told me” that she was planning on going to a friends house. (Um, no…. never discussed) I asked her if she had received permission and she said she had not, to which I suggested that perhaps this meant that the discussion truly wasn’t had with me. She was very annoyed and kept telling me how she had talked to me at the Party Store. (Nope, she and Sean were playing with the NYE stuff while I looked at Christmas cards for next year.) She also tried to tell me that I had forgotten her company party this weekend (which I hadn’t, although I do admit that she originally told me her party was on the 29th and then when she reminded me last night she said “Saturday” and I simply didn’t put the date and the day together, but I did know she was going and needed a ride home).
 Needless to say, she left in a huff of what she believes is my incapacity to recall anything she ever says, and I was left grumbling about conversations with others being attributed as conversations with me.

Enter Sean.

Sean asked me what my problem was. (He’s not subtle.) I explained that I was frustrated that his sister frequently accuses me of forgetting conversations we have never had, and proceeded to tell him about the NYE discussion. He said he didn’t know what he was doing and that he had talked to about 10 people but hadn’t made up his mind- while rolling a lint brush on his new black pants. I mentioned that I had not heard from him as to whether he was going to stay home and his response was that he had fun here, but it was boring. (Ok. How am I to take that??) Then he goes on to tell me how when you are “young” you don’t want to go to the same place all the time and that the same four walls are boring. (I get what he’s trying to say, but he’s really digging a hole the way he is saying it.) Then he doesn’t understand WHY I could be offended and a bt hurt by that comment. Sorry hanging out with your family is so boring!!

I guess the main frustration I’m having, is that:

1. I TRY to find out in advance what everyone is planning and I can’t get a straight, non-confrontational answer and

2. I’ve heard from my children how they wish our family was as close as some of their friends’ families, and then they don’t understand that close families spend time with one another and build bonds that make them close.

I’m not misled or deluded to think that my children should spend every minute of every holiday with me, or that they will always be around for New Year’s Eve. I think the frustration is that the consideration of their own agenda is always of higher priority than simple communication with us about what they would like to do. They are so busy making plans with everyone else, they just seem to assume I “KNOW” and thus are taken aback when I question them, so that I actually *WILL* know.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Where do they come from?

Every year I tell the kids that Christmas will be smaller and every year the don’t believe me. Sometimes I have to wonder myself, because it has taken me a full day of wrapping and I’ve still found a few more things I’ve stashed away, like a squirrel prepared for a harsh winter, that I need to wrap! I think the gifts go into some kind of void that only opens near the holiday.

Then there are the gifts that you know you bought, and can’t find anymore. As if the same void just forgot to cough those back up! I mean, c’mon, my closet isn’t that big!!

I’ve been spending roughly the same amount of money on gifts for my kids for years, (read too much) but since they were small when I started with that amount, it looked like tons of stuff. Now as they’ve aged, their gifts are more expensive, but their budget hasn’t really changed. Funny how that’s seemed to work out quite nicely. Now throw in the 4 grandchildren to buy for and my budget is toast! I can’t not buy for the babies!

I’ve got one more batch of cookies to bake tomorrow, I’ve finished a treat I promised a friend, I’ve finished the cards…. (bursting into song- Greeting cards have all been sent, the Christmas rush is through…) ok, enough of that.

So how many people went and listened to my 3 versions of Little Drummer Boy?? I thought someone might comment on the variety I posted. I mean, how often do you hear Klezmer Christmas songs?? It’s almost a contradiction in terms, isn’t it? And the orchestral version of LDB, blended with Ravel’s Bolero? Ok, that’s odd. Then the guitar version is actually kind of nice. I didn’t have the heart to post the German grunge rock band version; be thankful.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

The Date

Last night Frank and I went on a date. Sounds funny since we’ve been married so long, but it was a date nonetheless. Frank made reservations at Mrs. K’s Toll House in Silver Spring. We both dressed up in fancy duds and had a lovely dinner. (No Onions anywhere!) After dinner, we drove down to DC to see the lights and to visit the trees on the mall. Since our reservation had been a bit later, we didn’t really have time to get out and walk on the mall, but we cruised about in Everett and listened to some beautiful holiday music while we looked at the decorations and then we came home. It was very very nice.

Which is what I prefer to remember, as opposed to the conversation I had with my sister in the parking lot prior to dinner. Her birthday is Dec. 9 and I had forgotten to call her on her day. (Not my usual style, but it was a concert day and it just slipped by.) Dave’s birthday was the day after, and I wasn’t even up to go out on his day, so I still wasn’t thinking of my sister either. A few days later, I remembered that I had forgotten, so I went and got her a card- she won’t read her email- and figured I’d write my apologies in there. The next morning, with pen poised over the paper, Sean shows me a news article where I learn that my nephew has been arrested. Now I know that my card probably isn’t appropriate anymore and that I owe my sister a phone call, but I’m not going to call her that day since the arrest was fresh and I wanted to let her get over the things you have to take care of when your child is in trouble. That led to a quiet time, early for a dinner reservation, 10 days after her birthday, when I finally made the call. Glad I did, and glad I waited. She was teasing me about forgetting, but kinda serious because she figured something had to be very wrong for me not to remember her. I explained that I had seen what was going on in her life and was giving her a bit of space before I checked in.

 She’s a mess. Her son is facing jail time and almost 40k worth of fines and damages and some of the root of his behavior can be traced to his father (they are divorced) who is mentally and emotionally abusive and a drug addict. My nephew is part of one of those downward spirals that drugs can drag a family through. I offered my love and support to my sister and walked into the restaurant.

Frank and I just looked at each other, both feeling the same sympathy/empathy for my sister. Not the best birthday nor holiday for her this year. We said we owed our children a discussion to say two things.
 1. See, I wasn’t kidding when I said this kind of thing could happen and to follow the rules, this is why I was always “up in your junk”!
 2. Thank you for listening and following the rules!
I love my kids.

Posted in clay, ornaments, santa

HIdden Talent

I went to the dungeon today- the work space in my boss’ basement- to do some filing. During a break, I went upstairs to see her Christmas tree and decorations. She’s recently redecorated and if I could figure out a way to boot her from her home and just replace her family photos with mine, I’d be happy!

As I was looking at her tree, I saw an ornament that I particularly liked. It was the letters JOY, joined together with an elf wrapped around the J and O. It was so cute. Then I noticed a very intricate Santa face, with an extremely detailed beard, and liked it right away as well. Then I started to get an odd sensation that I’d seen these pieces before…. and WHAM!! I realized they looked familiar because I MADE THEM!!

Since the boss had been my daughter’s teacher for 12 years, I naturally gave her little gifts every year. Handmade items were generally the case and once I found I loved playing with the polymer clay, she got ornaments. I must say, they were quite good. I mentioned how I saw them on her tree and she put her hands on her hips and told me she was a bit upset that she had stopped getting her ornaments. Well! now we know what to do for the boss every year, don’t we?!

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Pre Concert Concert

739 seats have been assigned, at least 100 reassigned, 188 singers have been rehearsed and uniformed, food and supplies for over 700 people have been purchased and loaded into my car, emails, phone calls, directions, lists; all done. Now it’s time to settle my nerves a bit and trust that I’ve done a good job and all is well. I’ll let you know tomorrow!

Frank found 124 versions of LIttle Drummer Boy for me on the web. ( I only wanted one, but this is interesting) We’ve heard a country version, a grunge band, choral, klezmer, operatic, pops orchestra, guitar – you name it. Frank suggested we put it on my MP3 player. I told him I think Little Drummer Boy 124 times might be fatal.

Just like any other evening in my office, my cat is under my desk lamp sunning herself, the dog is just behind my chair casters, testing fate to see if I’ll run over her, and Frank and I are sitting at our respective desks poking around/working on our computers. We are all in the smallest room of the house, funny how that’s the coziest little spot.