Sunday, April 28, 2013

Afternoon delight, freecycle style, that is, I can't think what you thought I was going to say...


Anyway, or "so" (have you noticed this is the new way to start every sentence?) I was gloomily perusing the freecycle site this morning, thinking oh well, there's nothing I'm going to need and want and oh well, taxes due to the township next week, very broke right now, and there it was:  slipcovers in creamy white with sort of pink flowers, Ikea, for three seater sofa.

Just when I realized there is no money whatever in the budget to replace my old green cover which I'm so tired of that even the cats don't like it much, here comes a lovely new one.  So I was invited to go pick up, I guess I was an early responder for once, and brought home a BRAND NEW slipcover set, complete, which FITS my sofa, in a nice loose shabby chic fit.

So once in a while the universe thinks, so, let's send her a treat for being such a Good Person, So Nice, So Kind, So Thoughtful, No Matter What Anyone Says, and here it is.  Totally clean, no need to do anything but put it on.  And take a picture as a brag unit.

So the old green tie on slipcover thingy from Target can move to the loveseat at right angles to this sofa, and the ancient quilt ,currently covering it and tending to be hard to sit on, since it ditches the sitter gently onto the floor, will be retired to the spare bed or something.

See, or so, things is good.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

One foot in front of the other

I think I'm in a kind of secondary phase of recovering from the stresses of earlier years.  Eighteen months, and I am still not quite there yet.  Big waves of loneliness, and being at a bit of a  loose end, while still being busy.  I try to remember that I have a lot of physical recovery to get through, too.  

This too shall pass.  Meanwhile, art proceeds inexorably, life making little or no difference to the creative energy, in fact the work is pretty good all things considered.  If you'd like to see what's up at the moment, take a look here 

Latest DVD watching that has helped a whole lot with the loose endedness:  Call the Midwife, brilliant series, Your Sister's Sister, very complex and funny and sad and appealing and just good, Dalziel and Pascoe, two latest seasons, great drama.  And tonight on the menu is Mr Selfridge.   

Any other recommendations that I might get on DVD at the libe, gratefully received! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013


This is the South Asian student group at one of the local high schools, and the annual bash, of student written script, dancing, staging, organizing, including a great dinner, was last night, despite terrible torrential rain.  

The slightly damp audience had a great Indian dinner, served in the school commons, just like being back at school except the food was great, then we trooped into the auditorium for an evening of music, dancing,skits, and general great stuff.  Tarang J. my honorary grand daughter was the person in charge of the whole event this year, as president of the association and what a great job she did.  

She organized the whole thing, dinner and concert, wrote the script for the skits, organized the program printing, danced and sang in the event. Gosh do I sound like a proud grandma or what!

 Handsome Son came with me to visit his old high school for the first time in the many years since he graduated and had a weird experience revisiting it in a different part of his life.  The auditorium we were in for the concert is newly built since his time, which made him feel quite, um, mature!

Since the students we know are now seniors, we won't have any connections with next year's cast, but I think we might go again anyway, just to support a nice event.

Pix are not great because the lighting was pretty low, but you get the gist!


Friday, April 12, 2013

New Tiny Toy

See that little gizmo, slightly bigger than a postage stamp, attached to my music stand?  my new metronome.  For them as don't do music, it's a device meant to assist in playing at tempo, and makes various sounds to enable you to do this.  You set it at the number you need, it ticks or beeps or flashes or whatever you want, to keep you on track.

It's great for practicing solo the pieces you play in a consort, so you don't get to be the person dragging behind or trotting ahead (that's my besetting sin, always too alert), and though it's not something to use all the time, it has its value.

This is amazing, new to me, so tiny and with all kinds of functions, meter, value, volume, you name it, shipped to me from Betty Lao, if I remember rightly, in Singapore.  Anyway, this is a great new toy, very portable.

It used to be that only your music teacher had a metronome, which in the early medieval period when I learned piano, was a triangular wooden thing with a removable front behind which lurked a pointer that could be set to tempo to tick and wag back and forth, little tyrant.

One of my recorder friends, a very firm lady, now long gathered to the recorder group in the sky, used to whip her old wooden metronome out when we played at her house and insist on using it.  She lived in an old house with a wonky wooden floor, and when she set down the metronome, not only did the clicking echo loudly, but it clicked out of rhythm, as the machine swayed a bit on each iteration on and off the tick,tick,tiiiiiiiiiickticticiticiticit,tick, tick.  

But all my protests were in vain.  She insisted that it MUST be accurate because it was a MACHINE!   So we sort of blundered along, but we weren't very good anyway, so I guess it wasn't much loss.  I think I play better now!  We always hoped the metronome had been tidied away and we 'd assure her that it was no trouble, we'd manage without it.  She was loads of fun, most of it unconscious on her part.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Daffodils, spring, and remembering

Finally the daffodils have sprung officially, and I made a couple of pix of the 9.11 memorial area Handsome Son, Handsome Partner and I planted in the fall of 2011 in memory of the people who died on that day.  Each spring we are so thankful for life and how it returns, and all the daffodils people planted to celebrate the life of Handsome Partner, all over the world, are there dancing along to the melody.  I added in a picture of giant daffodils in front of a garden chair -- I planted these long ago on the patio when I was overhauling it,  at HP's request for "those great big ones, the REAL daffodils".  He meant the King Alfred variety, so I was happy to plant them and see them come up faithfully year after year.

Once in a while there's a jarring note -- as this morning when one of my neighbors ran out to the 9.11 plantings in the trees and forcibly stopped a woman from digging up entire daffodils, bulbs, foliage, the lot, and then to the woman's amazement, made her return the bucketful she'd taken, so we can replant!  the culprit insisted that these were "public flowers" that she could dig and take.  Yeah, that'll work.  And said she planned on reporting this to the HOA.  My friend happily encouraged her to do so!  then perhaps she will learn that there's a difference between common areas and free for the taking areas!  so some of these daffodils will be in another home soon, when we replant after they've recovered from the shock.

Meanwhile my friend investigated and found that this woman had already stolen a few and planted them around her home!  I guess in the end they can be seen and enjoyed by everyone but dang it's annoying to have larceny of this barefaced sort.  I understand gardener's larceny, having appropriated a few little cuttings of my own, but the ethics of the situation are that you do nothing that stops the growth of the plant.  In fact my little prunings are good for it.  I don't dig up the entire thing!

And then I remember that this kind of incident is one of the rough dark threads in the shining shawl of life, and we move on.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Last of the Harvest of 2012

Here's the very last of the 2012 farmshare about to become a lovely soup, with the addition of carrots (farm doesn't do carrots, our soil not very good for them).  So, since the new season opens in mid May, I'd say this was a terrific investment -- farmfresh veggies from mid May to mid April, and that's only what I froze for myself.  It doesn't count what I gave to friends.  And ate fresh, and cooked right away.   All I had to buy was a few potatoes and a couple of carrots, aside from the potatoes I grew in containers on the deck, that is.

Smug.  that's me.  Also the Big Wall is nearly finished....stopped before I reached a place where serious furniture and glass ornament moving will be needed.  Anyway the tray was empty of paint. This is a very sane way to redecorate!  I have a painting date set for a few days' time after other obligations are met.

So now I can get on with my current lovely embroidery, a biscornu designed by one of our embroidery chapter members.  This is while I think and plan about goldwork, in anticipation of the book's arriving. and practice my trills on the recorder and other pieces.  

It's all go!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

How doth the busy bee, or stitcher..

Blogistas who would like to know how I improved the shining hour today, can go here and turn green with envy at What I Did!

I definitely think that joining the Embroiderers' Guild was one of the nicest things I've ever done for myself.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chop Spring Wood, Carry Spring Water, Paint Walls

Just so tired of waiting for actual Spring weather, so I decided I couldn't be pestered waiting any longer and I set to work to paint the living room this morning.  One wall at a time, my usual policy, so that I've finished the plan before I'm worn out and regretting getting into it. And I use cheap old rollers and toss the sleeves promptly. Also swathe the paint tray in a plastic bag which I invert and toss after the painting session, thus avoiding boring cleanup.  I just think the whole world should follow my method, it's that good.

Full disclosure:  I've been glancing up at this particular wall, between living room and kitchen, the dining area, focal point, for about two years and idly wondering if I would ever regain the strength and the balance and the interest to actually paint it.  I do have the paint in the house, a mix I made for myself of a semi gloss white and a flat yellow, which gives a lovely low sheen in palest yellow.   Well, anyway, there it was waiting.

Then suddenly, today was the day to test my strength.  And I found that an hour and a bit was enough to do a very nice job on one wall -- and I went over the next a bit just to use up what's in the tray -- so this is good.  I was amazed to find I was very steady on the steps, no problem at the ceiling level, or the floor level, equally a challenge.  This is where I brag that my weight training is, too, useful, neener!

Now I won't have to cringe at the drips down the wall where dear little kitties knocked stuff off the pass through.  Or the fingermarks left by the installers when the thermostat was replaced.  All that.  Not to mention that the old color was a very nice pale dusty pink which looked terrible against the newly painted adjacent hallway and opposite wall which I painted last year in this nice yellow, very mildly sunny.

So there you are, after all the highflown musical and art adventures of recent times, it's back to chop wood, carry water, paint walls. You have to take my word for it that the wall in the pix is in fact pale yellow, a shade that refuses to register on my camera.  Just imagine pale primroses nestling in the glen. Yeah, that'll work.

And the rollers are tightly wrapped in plastic to bring out in the next day or so to do the Big Wall, the biggest in the house, in fact.  After that most of the room is more or less accounted for.  Smaller walls, corners, we'll burn that bridge when we come to it..

Monday, April 1, 2013

No foolin! late breaking March news in April

This is virtuoso recorder playing in action! to be exact, a celebrated member of our Recorder Society chapter, and well known early music performer,John Burkhalter. John marked March as Play the Recorder Month 2013 in characteristically generous style, playing solo free "popup" performances around Princeton on Friday March 29th and Saturday March 30th.

He played selections from The Beggar's Opera and music of the Netherlands to audiences in Princeton University Art Museum, the Music Department Woolworth Building, in the lobby of Princeton Public Library, and, specially for children, on the third floor of the Library. At the libe, a small dancer suddenly joined in, an unexpected bonus! He also played at the Firestone Library and Labyrinth Books.

These were all short concerts, all in walking distance one to another, played solo to different audiences at each location, as a series of spontaneous events. This was such a gift to the community, in honor of recorder playing and his own belief that though he himself is a virtuoso player, respected in the world of early music, anyone may enjoy, listen to, and play music at their own level. You've heard me banging on about how art is for everyone, and now you see a musician doing likewise, putting it into action. Couldn't resist showing you here!

He encourages everyone to try, and the conductors he engages to lead our monthly Recorder Society meetings, themselves well known performers, are very much in agreement with this approach! Thank you, from all of us, John, all year round.

So that's our entry into April, with a tribute to the end of March!Please note that the photo credit goes to Darryl Kestler, recorder player and, as you see, photographer.