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October 29, 2007

What we did on our six hour vacation.

Filed under: Uncategorized — annie @ 1:03 pm

bonyardhigh.jpg   Yesterday we moseyed over to the Connecticut shore to check out a couple of lighthouses.  On the way home we checked out this cool old boneyard in the middle of nowhere, on a minuscule road.  A bit of spontaneity hit us around 9:30, and we ditched Stake Conference, grabbed our jackets, and off we went in search of three lighthouses–all of which we found easily, to our surprise.  In our haste we didn’t take a map with us, just the GPS.  A nice escape, something we need to do more often.  We get very tied to work and routine and forget why we love living here.  Between the lighthouses, boneyards, and stone walls, there’s always something to check out. 

October 23, 2007

Irony

Filed under: Uncategorized — annie @ 7:07 pm

Sunday morning at about 6:30 I set about to practice, not a totally unusual task for me at that hour.  It seems to be a time when I have fewer distractions than at other times, and since I am married to the King of all early risers, it doesn’t bother anyone else in the house.  So why not.  Patrick and I often talk about the art of practicing, how zen it can be.  Sunday was a perfect day for it.

My routine for practice is to get comfortable with a good magazine, (or today, for instance, my Water Exhibition text) set it on the music stand and go for it.  I read while I play 70+ scales in four octaves and other technical exercises.  It’s rote work, mostly finger limbering stuff.  I’ve played them thousands, thousands of times, so I don’t have to think about fingering or for that matter, what scale I’m on, since I automatically move from c-f-Bb and on through the circle.  I can be interrupted and return, at the appropriate spot, without conscious thought.  It’s just something I do.  I first started this reading-while-I’m-playing thing after I heard Itzhak Perlman say that he watched old I Love Lucy reruns while practicing.  I don’t think I could handle that much sound, so I tried reading, and it works for me. 

Which brings me to the irony part.  The magazine I opened to read was November’s Atlantic.  The article I read was The Autumn of the Multitaskers, by Walter Kirn. The heading:  Neurocience is confirming what we all suspect:  Multitasking is dumbing us down and driving us crazy. 

Now that’s irony.  (I highly recommend the article, by the way.) 

October 22, 2007

Bumped brains and fire storms.

Filed under: Uncategorized — annie @ 8:07 pm

joyce on stairs.jpg  A couple of years ago, on the same day, Mount St. Helens erupted (with Audrey fairly closeby) and Nicholas experienced a pretty good shake in LA, courtesy of the San Andreas fault.  This has been another “*whew* that was close” week.  First Joyce gets hit by a car while walking home from work, then Nicholas and Tiffany-Ann move out of harm’s way just in time for Malibu to go up in flames, again.  Luckily, Joyce was not seriously injured when she bumped her brain and Nicholas and Tiffany-Ann actually ended up with a rare few days off work and school, since Pepperdine University is closed until further notice.  For them, it was sort of like getting a Snow Day. 

I was delighted with the article in the NY Times about Teton Valley.  You know you’ve made it when you make the Times Escapes section.  Just watch out for cars when you cross the street there.  And everywhere.

 

October 14, 2007

Apples Apples Everywhere.

Filed under: Uncategorized — annie @ 5:04 pm

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 noah & claire in sports car.jpg  ginny stirs the sauce.jpg  ginny and strainer.jpg  mia and the sauce.jpg  first bottle.jpg

jars.jpg  claire asleep.jpg  dancing beisels.jpg

Here’s the applesauce story in a nutshell.  Craig and Randy took the kids to the Bronx Zoo for the day, while Ginny and I tackled 160 pounds of apples.  Mia insisted in parking herself under the Victoria Strainer, where she could keep an eye on Charlie out the window.  We finished 48 quarts and 36 pints of the good stuff.  Afterwards, Claire took a little sleep, and there was dancing all around.  It was great fun, and we plan to make this an annual event.

 

October 2, 2007

My favorite student.

Filed under: Uncategorized — annie @ 5:27 pm

sIMG_0001.JPG   Piano lessons are in full swing again.  I’m biased, but this is my favorite student.  It seems like this year has been tough so far.  Lots of kids seem to be having attention problems.  More kids with attention problems, and bigger attention problems.  Maybe it’s me.  No, it’s not.  I’m in a whining mode about it, but I’ll get over it.  Too many kids are so over scheduled that they can’t possibly find adequate practice time.  It was so much easier to teach twenty years ago.