Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tummy and toesies Tuesday

It's been a long time since I showed a Tummy Tuesday post, but with Frankie being so obliging I had to close out the 2008 Tuesdays with this one.

This was a new bed style I thought I'd try. I plopped it down in the kitchen in front of the heating vent, and voilĂ , instant Frankie favorite place. And here he is, doing his day job.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to All

This is a special Christmas for Dolly, because she's at home - we officially adopted Dolly this month. She continues to graciously share her tree and ornaments with the other fosters, big and little, and hopes fervently that they will all find homes of their own soon.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

One more day 'till Christmas

So many ornaments to destroy, so little time...

But you can't get the full effect without sound. I've learned to recognize this rustling from wherever I am in the house.

I have collected a large basket full of ornaments from the floor and various other resting places, and will do one last total tree-redecoration tonight.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008


The hairiest part about last night's concert was getting there.

I had planned well, I thought. I went to my 4pm lesson in concert black attire, with dinner (Zone-friendly string cheese + 2 slices luncheon ham + medium honeycrisp apple + walnuts and roasted squash seeds) packed in my bag. I figured if I left by 5:30 I could make my 6:30 call, as it is usually 30-40 minutes in rush hour.

Lesson was great, BTW. The student before me ran over, by design, I discovered. There was no student after me, as T- planned on running over with me on the other end. So I had a half hour of observing one of T-'s old students who had come back for an advanced brush-up on Haydn C. Then I had a little over an hour for my lesson, G major scale concentrating on intonation in the upper 2 octaves, and revisiting Lee #1. I've been working on memorizing it, a topic for another post, and it is amazing how much new technique gets overlaid each time I have a lesson on this etude.

Anyway, I left the lesson room at 5:20, and was exiting the parking lot by 5:30. Then I ran into one nail-biting back-up after another. The details don't sound as exciting today, but I was sweating, and grateful to end up only 10 minutes late for call. We have had horrible traffic since the snow started seriously falling last week. I surely hope people remember how to drive here again, soon.

The concert was anticlimactic. DH caught this pic, so I can show you the set-up. The orchestra is in a pit formed by surrounding elevated walkways, where speakers, singers and dancers moved above us. You can see the front row of cellos on the big screen - my head is in the leftmost corner.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Morning paper

Last night's rehearsal did indeed end after 10pm. Much to my surprise, we have a beefy string section, expanding from 2 or 3 to 5 in each section. It feels a bit odd to be a volunteer in the midst of a professional, or at least paid, section.

Two new pieces were added, one a cello obbligato and piano accompanying a child's recitative with choir. Very nice, and handled by one of the pros. It was by no stretch a dress rehearsal for us, as we were hurriedly marking in bowings and dividing parts throughout, not to mention sorting through pieces and discovering who was missing what. At least being busy keeps things from getting tedious.

One thing I noticed was that orchestra members have much better discipline than choir members. It was no problem at all for us to sit quietly in our own thoughts while other performers were being rehearsed, while the choir couldn't seem to help chattering when it was too long between singing. I wonder why that is?

I slept in quite late this morning to compensate for the late night last night, and in anticipation of another one tonight. The black-and-whites joined me while I drank my morning coffee and, well, tried to read my e-mail and morning blogs. Sometimes it's hard to see around the crowd at the screen.

You just know that Frankie would be the little boy in class whispering to his neighbors, throwing spit balls and pulling pigtails.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Music schedule

You might not know it from reading my blog recently, but I do still play the cello. After taking two whole months off over the summer, but still feeling slightly burnt out, I cut back my schedule significantly this year.

What I am not doing:
Flute trio
Piano trio
Piano lessons
Vocal ensemble

What I am doing:
Cello lessons, weekly +/-
Voice class, also weekly
Cello quartet, weekly, with a coach
String quartet, sporadically, every few months
Church orchestra, weekly rehearsal and 1 or 2 services, 3 of 4 weeks

Plus a Christmas performance, which is this week. So we have a dress rehearsal tomorrow night, scheduled for four (4!) hours, and concert on Thursday night. I also simplified my life by scheduling everything at Music School on one day, which happens to be Thursday. So this week I'll go straight from my lesson to dress rehearsal, and miss voice class and cello quartet.

I am annoyed that, even with having cut back, my scheduled elements are stepping on each others' toes.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I don't know what else to say.

Last night we had the first tip-over, fortunately toward the window, so it was easy to grab the tree and sit it back upright. Today it's below zero, and I'm making the rounds to put down towels as draught-stoppers to keep the door bottoms from freezing. The tree-tipping culprits have burrowed in together under the tree for a mid-day nap, a winter wonderland of light snow outside the window.

How cute is that? Monsters.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tree update

The tree is still standing, though occasionally looking a bit worse for wear. This is a typical daytime configuration. I think there are five under or in the tree...

... and one taking advantage of the make-shift tree skirt that has fallen to the floor.

Yes, that's a garland of purple beads that's hanging loosely, as well. Once a day I make the rounds, picking up and replacing all the ornaments I find on the floor, and re-stringing the garlands. There are no breakable ornaments, and no tinsel, so no harm done, and we are all greatly enjoying the tree.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tree 1 Cats 0

I hope you didn't bet against the tree - it's a sturdy little thing, and has been cleverly decorated with indestructible ornaments. I did hear a few of them rolling on the floor, not yet to be seen again, but on the whole, things look pretty good.

I have taken about a thousand pictures since yesterday - very hard to get a good photo of a moving kitten in the dark (except for the tree lights) with a pocket camera set on no flash.

Here's a truly ornamental glamour shot of Johnny, my climbing wonder.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Any bets

...on whether it will last until morning?

It's time

The snow is gently falling, our first significant storm, though we have indeed remained snow-covered since November 30th. It got up to 25F this afternoon, and felt warm. Not being inclined to go outside this evening (I hear the traffic is horrific), I decided it is a good night to put up the Christmas decorations. I put DH on a plane to Lost Wages this afternoon, so it's a good thing I have lots of other helpers.

Oh! Charlie Brown Christmas is on TV tonight! I think I am beginning to feel festive. I wonder if I have any Christmas Cheer in the house?

Friday, December 05, 2008

Practical matters

I would just like to report that, when a small kitten with bad diarrhea has deposited a large pile of soft stool in a cat carrier, putting the carrier outside to freeze before attempting to clean it is a brilliant beyond brilliant idea.

I guess winter is good for something, after all.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Frankie was feeling a littly punky when he came back to my house after my trip, and wanting to get some work done while he just wanted to be held I stuffed him into the bottom of my fleece vest. He just sat there calmly and "helped" with the dishes.

BTW, Johnny did just fine with his little operation. You wouldn't even know he had anything done. I sure hope he did!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

No laughing matter

I spent most of yesterday alternatively going through a 2-week high stack of mail and taking foster photos for a display at the shelter. Here are two stripeys, Jonni relaxing on the beach with Seri.

But today, Jonni is Johnny and he is spending the day at the v-e-t having his teeny tiny hoo-ha-ectomy. He might not have been so jolly if he knew what the morrow would bring.

I don't think I've even mentioned Jonni/Johnny before, though s/he's been with me since the beginning of October. He arrived with Frankie, two lonely-only 6-week-olds found on streets in different parts of the metro area. Frankie was supposed to get his operation today, too, but has been delayed for a recurrence in his diarrhea. That's probably one reason I haven't written about them - how much can you say about poop? And more poop. Really more poop.

When these kittens arrived I was fresh out of inspiration for names, so I started calling them Tuxie Tim and Stripey Sue. After discovering that Tim had been named Franklin by one of the other volunteers, they became Frankie and Jonni. (I meant to wax eloquently about how Jonni was named after a former coworker, but never got around to it. Just as well.) We were still pretty sure that Jonni was a girl when I left for DC, but things were clearly different upon my return. A late bloomer. Good thing we weren't still calling him Sue.

Monday, December 01, 2008


I return to the Frozen Tundra of the North, and what am I greeted by?

Snow! The very next morning. This is what my deck looked like after all the kitties (who aren't allowed out on the deck while I am out of town) trooped outside to inspect it.

And it's what the deck still looks like this morning. First time this year that the snow lasted another overnight. I heard on the news this morning that we have already had 4 inches this year, the most in the past three this early in the snow season. And last year it snowed on December 1st and we didn't see green again until late April.

I'm not ready for Winter. But at least the sun is shining today.