Friday, January 14, 2011

Where to start?

Dear Georgia,

I am not sure what to title this post and I am not sure where to start. One week ago I was watching from my neighbor's front window as my house burnt. Since those first moments I have tried to write down and record memories, tender moments, out right miracles from this but haven't had the time or energy or known how to.
I must bore people by now, as it is the only subject I can talk about and all I can say is how blessed and grateful I am, but those feelings are so profound that they seem to have carved a deep rut in the vinyl of my life and I am stuck there for now.
And thank yous: how can I stop to write memories when I need to tell so many people thank you? And there are so many many of them that I couldn't possible list them all by name- I would surely forget someone, and I don't even know who some of them are.
And my judgment has been a wee bit rattled - please tell me if this is too personal for a blog.

Love, Heidi

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Oh, I took a lick of my peppermint stick...

Dear Georgia,

Sam has turned my kitchen into a candy factory and my house hasn't smelled this pleasant since I had to close my storm windows.

If he follows through with his end of the bargain and cleans the kitchen at the end of all the twisting, I will let him do it again tomorrow and I will show you how we did it.

In the meanwhile happy singing with Martin on his birthday. I hope audiopest or his trusty sidekick will document for those of us far far away.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 1, 2010


Dear Georgia,

It's been a while since I have written you one of these letters and there is too much to try to catch up on so I will just jump in on today.

Today I am wearing a new piece of jewelry- autumn treasure on my wrist. The trees in front of our school are dropping these so fast that it sounds like rain. What would the farmers almanac predict for a winter that was preceded by a bumper-crop of acorns?

It seemed like a waste to just let these green pearls get stepped on and cursed by the school custodian as she sweeps them off the sidewalk. So we collected a whole slew of them.

Last time we gathered acorns was around the corner from you, and I am sure you remember the mess we made of mum's front walk as we tried to peel them and roast them. These little beauties don't have enough meat in them to make it worth the process, but they are just the right size for beads.

Drill carefully! And use a teeny weeny drill.

We found that drilling top to bottom allows you to keep the corns and the cap together without using glue. Sideways sometimes pops their hats off.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How I learned the Hallelujah Chorus

Dear Georgia,

Happy Birthday!

My birthday story for you is coming, but before I forget I wanted to tell you how much fun it was to sing the Hallelujah Chorus this Easter. And how challenging.

First, I am an alto by choice and ability, but made the mistake of letting the choir director, Tom W. Harris, hear me squawk out some very harsh, sort-of high notes. He stuck me in the soprano section! My throat has been sore ever since.

Second, I don't read music. Not a lick. I still count up the number of notes from middle C both on the sheet music and on the piano. To cover my sad musical failure, I have developed a decent ear and I can get the tune of most pieces that I sing if I hear it a couple of times. It does limit the level of music I attempt to sing. I gladly confess I mostly stick to hymns, folk songs, and show tunes, poorly executed. I know this isn't the hardest music ever written (I remember Doug Bush saying once that Handle was for amateurs) but it was way beyond the way beyond of my ability to hear, play, or sing.

Third, because it wasn't MY church choir I was singing with I only started to learn this piece the Wednesday before Easter! I have proven myself as a procrastinator but this was beyond the pale! The Wednesday rehearsal I fumbled my way sheepishly through by not singing. I was so lost. I was so embarrassed. I was desperately trying to figure out a way to get out of my commitment. Couldn't one of my kids start throwing up? Or perhaps I could fall down the stairs and break my leg?

I went home and turned to my favorite library of music. Youtube. And low and behold, ask and ye shall recieve, the Lord doth provide, there was the answer to my prayers! No, not videos on how to fake food poisoning or how to start a temporary scarlet fever epidemic, but HOW TO LEARN THE HALLELUJAH CHORUS!!!!!

I played and sang with the following 3 videos so much in the next three days that I was sure the neighbors were going to call the cops. "Officer, there is a woman in pain next door. She is being tortured! Rescue her!"

So, did I succeed? Well, that depends on what success means. I still can't read music. I still am not a soprano. BUT I hit all the notes! My vocal range expanded! My confidence expanded! I increased my determination to keep trying to learn how to read music. AND I had fun! I had so much fun! I want to do it over and over and over again! What a great song! What a fun musical dance and puzzle and play! It left me positively giddy! Perhaps these videos won't give you the same experience that I had, but for your birthday I wish you that same feeling of accomplishment and joy that I felt on learning to sing the Hallelujah Chorus.

First: the s l o w e d d o w n version so I could follow along with the notes that I couldn't read.

Next, on tempo, with other people hitting the right notes.

Then, on my own with a bunch of people singing something completely different.

Last, with the choir and orchestra! Yeah me!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bunny Cake

Dear Georgia,
I saw these here and had to try. They made Maggie and I so excited that we ignored our headaches and crackly coughs so we could make them. We thought it would be cute to put carrot cake inside. But I wouldn't do that next time because the carrot chunks kept clogging up the nozzle of the bottle that we filled the bunnies with. So fun!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Double Glazing

Dear Georgia,

I can't get these to show side by side as I would like... But that isn't the point of this post. The point is I found a video that told about glazing -- a watercolor technique where you apply paint on top of already dry paint. I thought I would give it a try. It ended up being so much fun that I painted this triptych of easter eggs. I know that Joh has been playing around with watercolors and so I wanted to post a link to the movie in case any one else will have the "how to make flat things look round" light bulb go off in their brains too. There are 8 segments to this video series. You can bop over to them by clicking here.
I think one of the things that was such fun about this little exercise is that I haven't even been able to see the color changes before and now I can see them and play with them myself. I even put them on my fridge with my kids art. (And I suppose that this is my virtual fridge, too.)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Challenge: No Impact Week

My family and I are going to take this on. Will you join us?