Ground Control to Major Tom

So, yeah. My overwhelming life just became even more overwhelming.

A quick update:

The Day Job just piled another person’s worth of responsibilities on me. Like a big, stinking barrel of fish. That isn’t smuggling a Hot Dwarf into a down-trodden town. Bad form. Bad form, indeed.

The Mom Job continues it’s long, slow slog into the sunset. Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease. Tomorrow is her birthday. She will be 84, finally older than Dad was when he passed away. Some days she doesn’t remember him. Too many hard choices lay ahead.

The Job Where I’m Mom has changed a good bit in the last year. Young Padawan got married before Christmas to a lovely young lady. GradSchoolGirlThatsAlmostDoctor gets her hood and silly hat in May, and can officially put the ‘Dr’ in front of her name. We will make our last school-related trip to NY/Long Island. Any after that any travel there will be purely for fun. While we won’t miss the sideways stinging rain that seems to magically appear each time we’re there, we will miss the short security lines at MacArthur airport.

In about a month Hubz and I will be traveling to the British Isles with 200 of our closest friends for a choir tour and mission trip. Besides being a bucket trip for us, the group will perform at many churches and finish up at The Proms. For a family of musicians, that ain’t half bad.

More to come as I scrape the rust off this old thing.

Mozart’s Violin

Yes, Wolfie’s very own violin and viola are on tour in America.

Listen to the sweet sounds here and be healed of your post-shutdown trauma.

“My life would be worthless without music.”

Imagine a cello made from garbage. Then imagine the strains of Bach #1 coming from such …

(h/t The Anchoress)

…an answer to the utilitarian types who think beauty and art are unnecessary and extraneous. These people are so poor, but they still want art, seek art, live for art. The transcendent connection to God. The beauty that saves us.

Where in the World…

We arrived home Saturday night at almost midnight. RedState was a great success and soon, very soon, I’ll have thoughts and even pictures if I can only find the camera in this mess of boxes and bags and bikes.

In the meantime, for the next two weeks, blogging will be scarce to non-existent as we are packing and moving the younglings off to school.

NotSoWeeHighander returns to his college in Rome, at least what’s left of it. He’s easy to move. Sheets, clothes, game system, laptop, TV, gallon of milk and two boxes of Chips Ahoy Chocolate Chunk cookies. Everything fits into the back of an SUV. Done.

HornGirlWithoutAGig heads off to grad school in NY. Besides all the usual girlie stuff, too many clothes, shoes, makeup, jewelry, books, trinkets, and a drugstore’s worth of shower/hair products, we also have a bike, a horn, a stand, four crates of music, various electronics including a new MacBook and five boxes of YARN. Yes, YARN.

Insert into this swirling sirocco of bedlam our ailing and ancient dog. Last week, Elizabeth/The Anchoress lost her beloved Allie. Oh, how I wept when I read her post. Now we face the same grief as we watch our little Chance fade away. I had so hoped he would make it until the kids were gone and we could handle everything quietly. This morning I’m surprised he made it through the night. He may take his leave of us before the kids ship off, which will make our partings even more bittersweet.

Pray for us.

Gosh. Darn. Son of a Gun.

Well, the news is in, or out, I should say. The long wait is over. HornGirlWithoutAGig is going to grad school.

The details are still coming together. And we have to work out housing and transportation and MONEY and other such things. But my sweet girl is going to New York to further her education as the most awesome of horn players.

There are so many memories of band concerts, half-time shows, solo competitions, district bands, JanFests, All-State bands, Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony and ASYO. Dozens of auditions. Thousands of hours of practice. Aunt Peg, who put her horn in the hands of that young girl the summer of Ridgecret Music which we unfondly remember as TheTripWithNoAirConditioning and taught her her first scale. The years of lessons from CR, Master Horn Jedi and waker of dragons in the misty hills of Black Mountain, NC. Sweet and encouraging LH, who lent her Strauss No. 1 for the audition that landed her the spot at Governor’s Honors Program where she met Robert Rumbelow who led her to Columbus State. JD, who gently coaxed back into playing with the Sons of Jubal which led to remembering how much she missed it.

Her first year at UGA JanFest, as a tender high-school freshman, her group played Hindemith’s March from Symphonic Metamorphisis. She said it was the most exciting piece she’d ever played. The conductor told the band to play the last six notes as you would say, “Gosh. Darn. Son of a Gun.” Or maybe something else. (I picked this recording from YouTube because you can hear the horns the best. Gives me goosebumps every time.)

Lately, we’ve had some dark months here at the praxeum. But as Mr. Lundie told Tommy in Brigadoon, “Sunshine can peek through a wee hole.” And indeed it has.

Congrats, sweetpea. I’m so VERY proud of you.

Beethoven’s Five Secrets

My close friends know I have the gift of tears. Today the tears come too often and too easy.

Then from Gerard, our Lazarus, comes this beauty.

“Don’t just practice your art, force your way into its secrets. For it and knowledge can raise men to the Divine.” — Beethoven

Indeed. And that path to the Divine leads through valleys from which most would turn away.

Where in the world

After a wonderful night of music, I’m speniding the day in one of my favorite Georgia towns.  Plans include, but are not limited to:  a late breakfast at my favorite morning spot, a visit to my favorite yarn shop, a stroll on my favorite campus, acquisition of the yearly bling, then dinner at my favorite restaurant.

Go ahead and say it – I know you’re jealous!

Athens Food Adventure, Part the Third and the End of Our Day

So where were we? Friday morning after breakfast, I believe.

Lunch was at Marti’s at Midday. We shared Martha’s Salad Plate which is a huge basket of salad with pimento cheese, chicken salad, fruit and the most marvelous toasted pita wedges. After we were sufficiently stuffed, there was enough left over for another meal!

Afterwards, we waddled over to Chick Music and caught up with some old friends.

Luckily, our dinner reservation at 5 & 10 was later in the evening. This time we ordered different dishes (except the Hubster liked the little lyonnaise salad so much on the last trip he just had to have it again). For appetizers, I had clam and chorizo soup and he had his repeat salad. Then my entree was grilled redfish with quinoa and green beans. He ordered the pork tenderloin with ribs over a grit cake with collards. Out of the two nights and four entrees, this was the most exquisite. Only a true Southerner can wax poetic over ribs. And wax he did. Galactic perfection.

For dessert, we shared a wonderful ginger creme brulee.

On the way back to the hotel, we swung by The Melting Point, to see if we could roust out our friend Tim P. before his band played. We caught him and his wife just as they were walking in the door. While we stayed through their first set, Hubster ran into even more old friends. I mean, really, is there anybody he doesn’t know?

Finally, we turned in. For breakfast this morning, we tried the Big City Bread Cafe. Now I want to move to Athens and eat breakfast there everyday.

This was one of those trips where you never want to go home. Leaving this magical weekend means going back to the grind which, to be honest, been taking a toll on both of us.

On our way home, I kept thinking of Brigadoon. Fiona frantically tells Tommy, “It’s the end of our day!” Tommy doesn’t understand until Fiona, and all of Brigadoon, fade into the evening mist.

I may have been born in Atlanta, but Athens will always be my heart and soul.

Athens Food Parade, Part Two

Update on our Dawgylicious trip in Athens continues…

After a mecca to Georgia’s best yarn shop ever, Main Street Yarns and Fibers, we met our friend John Berry and his sweet wife Robin for a leisurely lunch at Mirko in Watkinsville. Mirko reminded us of one of our favorite places in the ATL, Figo. Hubster and John have been friends since 8th grade.

Last night we had supper at Farm255 on West Washington. Their menu is more on the side of organic, sustainable farm style. For our appetizer, we had a (local) cheese and fruit plate with candied pecans. We both had shrimp and grits for our entree. The shrimp were from Savannah, the grits did NOT need seasoning (which was just amazing to us), the tomatoes were so fresh and the poached egg on top added the perfect taste. For dessert, Hubs had the creme brulee and I had the chocolate mousse cake with orange marmalade. Definitely a place we’ll be going back to!

For breakfast this morning, we went to Mama’s Boy, a diner over the Oconee river on Oak Street. They served a wonderful breakfast. I especially liked the cranberry and fennel sausage.

However, I did have one little, tiny beef. On their menu, they listed a breakfast item called “Chocolate Cake for Breakfast.” Now, all my son’s life I told him he couldn’t ever have chocolate cake for breakfast. Now these people have blown my mommy cover. Thanks a load there, sport.

Henryk Gorecki, Composer of “Sorrowful Songs,” Dead at 76

(via The Anchoress)

The Polish composer, Henryk Gorecki, passed away yesterday. He was 76.

…the work for which Mr. Gorecki is most widely known, the Symphony No. 3 (1976), explores the gradations of a single mood: somber, introspective reflection, conveyed in three long, slow, quiet movements that last nearly an hour. Scored for orchestra and soprano, the work’s vocal sections include settings of a 15th-century sacred lamentation, a simple prayer (“Oh Mamma do not cry — Immaculate Queen of Heaven support me always”) scrawled by a young girl on the wall of a Gestapo prison in southern Poland, and a plaintive Polish folk song in which a mother grieves for a son lost in war.

This achingly beautiful excerpt was recorded at Auschwitz by Sinfonietta Cracovia, conducted by John Axelrod and featuring soprano Isabel Bayrakdaraian. It was included in the film HOLOCAUST – A Music Memorial Film from Auschwitz.

Remember America, but for the Grace of God and the blood and toil of patriots before us – there go we.

Start Your Friday Off With a Smile

Via Mary Katherine Ham on Facebook,

Mazel tov to the happy couple!

A Welcome Distraction

The new strings are here! The new strings are here! After weeks of agonizing back-order, the new strings are here!

Long time readers know that I play cello. Or try to play cello. I took it up as an adult, more as a dare than anything. I love it, but arthritis and short fingers hamper me. I do my best.

So tonight I’m busy restringing my cello and trying not to think about the stupid mosque, being able to take six vacations, politics or whether we are still at war with Eurasia. Or shrinking in horror over being “favorably cited by David Frum.” Hee.

Prior cello posts: Sad Day for Cellists
Cello Heaven
Mucha Love
Honest Scrap

Atheiests Don’t Have No Songs

Music is always a big deal at our house and especially so on Sundays. Therefore, without further ado, here’s the gleefully swiped youtube from Gerard at American Digest: Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Riders sing at 2010 Merlefest

Christians have their hymns and pages, (hymns and pages)
Havah Nagilah is for the Jews, (for the Jews)
Baptists have their rock of ages, (rock of ages)
Atheists just sing the blues.

Romantics play Claire de Lune, (Claire de Lune)
Born agains sing He is Risen,
But no one ever wrote a tune, (wrote a tune)
For godless existentialism.

For Atheists, There’s no good news,
They’ll never sing a song of faith.
In their songs they have a rule,
The “he” is always lowercase.

The “he” is always lowercase.

Some folks sing a Bach cantata, (Bach cantata)
Lutherans get Christmas trees,
Atheist songs add up to nada, (up to nada)
But they do have Sundays Free.

Some folks sing – they sing to heaven, (sing to heaven)
Coptics have the book of scrolls,
Numerologists count – they count to seven, (count to seven)
Atheists have rock and roll.

For atheists, there’s no good news.

They’ll never sing a song of faith
In their songs they have a rule,
The “he” is always lowercase.

The “he” is always lowercase.

Atheists – Atheists – Atheists

Don’t Have No Songs.

Christians have their hymns and pages,
Havah Nagilah is for the Jews,
Baptists have their rock of ages,
Atheists just sing the blues.

Catholics dress up for mass
and listen to Gregorian chants.
Atheists, just take a pass
watch football in their underpants.

Watch Football in Their Underpants

Atheists – Atheists – Atheists

Don’t have no songs.

Don’t Have No Songs.

Boys Will Be Boys

“It’s the hotness.” (h/t The Smoking Gun and Hot Air) Here’s our boys in the 82nd Airborne/Afghanistan, bustin’ a move…

Bonus points: In the original Lady Gaga video (not suitable for little eyes and ears – Hot Air has a link), where you seen that diner before?

Happy Passover, Y’all

Gleefully swiped from Moe Lane at RedState, who declared it Pure Awesome. I agree wholeheartedly!

Next year in Jerusalem and WITHOUT Obama. Happy Passover, y’all!

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