53 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 8-9-18

  1. Good morning. Pretty cards, Cheryl. The one on the left for if it’s a boy, and the one on the left if a girl?

    I had a weird dream early this morning that I was in college (must have been from talking with N last night about her upcoming college experience), and I entered the music building, but it was way different than before. I walked past some people who appeared to be employees and was thinking, I should suggest to 4th Arrow that she work here.

    After turning a corner, I walked into a classroom where some other adults my age (my current age, not my college age) were gathered, waiting for our teacher to introduce the reading in what looked like a book-of-the-month type class. Only the teacher had the book, though, no one else.

    I was thinking, why did I sign up for an 8:00 am class? That’s so awfully early! πŸ˜‰ Then I realized, as I left the class (in which we did nothing) that, no, it was actually Sunday afternoon, and I wondered why I signed up for a class at that time.

    And then, as I walked across campus — and it was dark out by this time — I was saying goodbye to three people I’d just met, and we were all young, like late teens/early twenties. It’s like we’d been friends and had gone on one outing, then we were all saying goodbye and walking in our separate directions, away from each other.

    Strange how I must have taken some snippets of my conversation with N last night, and some aspects of my own college experience and my current life (including hoping 4th Arrow will get hired for a job soon) and rolled it all into one dream with all those twists and turns in time of day and so on.

    Time to start my real day now. Hope yours is a blessed one, all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oops, meant to say, “the one on the left for if it’s a boy, and the one on the right if a girl.”

    Sheesh. See what I mean about the 8 am hour being too early?! πŸ™‚

    No, not your left, your other left.


    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ours is due any day now, though with it being a first baby, we probably have a few more days. Not knowing if it’s a boy or a girl, I made cards for both.

    The “girl” one I made several months ago. It was my favorite of a bunch of cards I made for baby showers up north (most of the moms were having girls, so I made a bunch of girl cards). The flower bow on the collar and the ribbon around the waist are ribbon, but the rest of it is parchment paper, embossed and pricked and cut.

    The “boy” took till more recently to make, because we were settling in here and I couldn’t decide what to make. (I made a toybox labeled “baby” with a bunch of toys spilling out of it for her shower.) I had a pattern for a cute little baby outfit that looked boyish, but clothes don’t seem as much an emphasis with little boys, so I looked through my supplies to see if I could come up with something better. This paper reminded me of a quilt, and three by four squares is a good size for a card front. So I cut out a portion that included a good variety of poses, pricked the edges for a needle, separated blue multi-shaded embroidery floss and tied it in strands around the edges, and sewed mini buttons of a half dozen colors into the middle. It seemed a bit lame in one regard: if her biological mother were still alive, she would probably be making an actual quilt for the baby. But I don’t quilt; I take photos and I make cards. (I don’t know if she actually quilted either, since I’ve never seen a quilt she made. But she had quite a few quilting books and we still get catalogs sent in her name–yes, even after the move–with quilting supplies. And she did do needlepoint. So my hunch is that had she lived long enough to have a grandchild, she would have made a quilt, and almost certainly she would at “least” have made a needlepoint picture or a homemade stuffed animal or something. But I’ll be the grandma who sends books and who takes children on nature walks and reads or makes crafts with them. My few forays into embroidery when I was a child–and my learning to knit long enough to make one scarf because I was in a group making them–were enough to show me that working with cloth wasn’t really for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Happy Thursday, we’re over the hump.

    Painter has declared himself out of commission, completely, until this heat passes which could be a while still.

    They arrested someone yesterday for deliberately starting the fire that’s raging now in Orange/Riverside counties (the “holy fire”) to the south of us. He apparently hated all his wilderness cabin neighbors. So there. Our sister paper broke the story (one of the reporters had done an extensive series of stories on that canyon area just about a year ago and had developed a good rapport with the fire captain and others there so my guess is they were given a heads up about the impending arrest that morning and were able to be there when it happened).

    So aggravating to know this was all a deliberate act. So far there have been no known deaths from the fire but that could change and then he’ll be charged with murder as well. The guy was arrested wearing camouflage boxer shorts and a large gold medallion around his neck, so go figure. Definitely some mental illness in his past from what they’ve been able to determine.

    Our office manager’s daughter and son-in-law were evacuated from the area yesterday and my friend’s brother and his family now are in the path for evacuations as well.


  5. Good brunch time or at least it was before I got on the phone with Karen and then had another call from someone at church. I had already spent all morning trying to get all of Art’s appt. with docs on his phone calendar and it looked like it all got lost so I downloaded another app and synced and it all appeared on the new calendar. I don’t need to spend all my time like this, but Art does not have as much techie know how as I have so it falls on me.

    I love those cards in the header. They are both precious and took great skill and talent to produce them. Good job, Cheryl.

    Another co-worker (who is in the office infrequently) knows I sometimes go out to pick up food from a restaurant about twenty minutes from the office. She has a special request for me to get something there for her when she is at the office. Just call me Gopher Janice!

    Now maybe I can get back to what I meant to do this a.m. until everyone needed me. Except I have not talked to my brother, yet. I think I need ten ears!

    I may get back to say another hello later. It is stress relief to visit with you all. I hear Art making another appt. now so it’s back to his calendar for another go round. Maybe I will try to teach him how to do it. Try is the key word.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Well, time here has been spent trying to get twelve year old to connect spelling with reading. He reads well, better than a lot of children I have heard attempt it but not perfectly. He still guesses at words based on the first few letters. And that can make some strange sentences but he checks out about five library books per week and seems to know what they are about at the end. He can tell you a lot about the various wars of our nation and other nations. He loves history.

    And waiting for people to get their daily summer math pages done and their brief compositions.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Cardiologist says I have leaking valves.
    But he already said that. He can do an operation, but we won’t do that.
    Ten years ago, maybe.
    I may die some day.

    I waited in another room for over an hour to give blood. A five minute procedure. Good thing I don’t have high blood pressure.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Oh, I found my miniature hangers this morning (I thought they might be too small, so I hadn’t really looked for them), and now the dress in the header is on a hanger.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Janice – Nightingale and I are still “old school” when it comes to her work schedule and appointments. She has a calendar book (I forget what it’s actually called) in which she keeps track of her work schedule, appointments, and various other activities, and she color-codes it all with different colored highlighters. She also writes her work schedule on our downstairs kitchen wall calendar.

    If she is at work, and needs to look at my calendar, I take a photo and send it to her. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Kizzie took the words out of my mouth (or fingers), Cheryl — that sounds cute, the little dress on a little hanger. πŸ™‚

    College classes — I didn’t have too many at eight in the morning, but the ones I did were more to be endured than enjoyed, simply because of the time of day, not so much the subject matter. (I remember the whole second year of music theory was at 8.)

    The quarter (we were on quarters rather than semesters where and when I went to college) in which I got my highest grade point average was the term in which my first class was at 11:00 am. That fit my body clock so much better.

    I’ve read that people tend to have their most mentally alert time about 2.5-4.0 hours after waking up. Since I am more of the night-owl variety than a lark-type, a good night’s sleep for me is about 11:00 pm to 7:30 or 8:00 am. So my cognitively sharp time is around 10:00 am to noon.

    It’s past noon here now, so if there are any mistakes in this post that I don’t catch (just caught one — I first wrote “those” instead of “this” in this sentence πŸ˜‰ ), I can blame it on the time of day again, as we head toward the afternoon lull.


  11. First semester of my freshman year, I was pre-registered when I arrived . . . and had 8:00 classes five days a week. My roommate was a junior, but somehow she had also signed up for all 8:00 classes. So we went together daily to breakfast. After that (with one exception) I never took another 8:00 class, and after that I nearly always ate breakfast in my room, a piece of fruit scrounged from the dining room the day before or a bowl of cereal. (If we didn’t take another dessert, we could take a piece of fruit, and fruit was the only food we could remove from the dining room.) When I had 9:00 classes, I might have slipped into the dining room for a quick breakfast at least sometimes.

    The other exception for an 8:00 class was a Saturday class, a three-hour class, 8:00-11:00 Saturday morning–murder for a college student. My roommate took an extra semester to graduate, and somewhere in there she and I took the same class (for me it was taking it a year early, for her a year late, and I don’t remember what class it was). We thought that if we took it together, we could help each other get up and stay awake, and sympathize with each other that Saturday was the one day a week we couldn’t sleep in. Anyway, we ended up with a tradition we both liked. As soon as the class was over, we would race to our room, see who could be the first one into bed for a one-hour nap before lunch.


  12. I requested my student who started this week to leave the music books he brought to the lesson with me for a week, so I can look over more carefully what he’s studied in the past, what his previous teacher wrote in them, etc.

    He brought four books (I’d earlier asked his mom to bring to the first lesson the books he’d been studying in most recently), and I’ve been examining that music now the last couple of days.

    There is hardly anything written in his music, and almost nothing in his assignment notebook beyond titles and page numbers.

    The boy has been studying for six years and can hardly read music. He plays very well by ear, but that’s not what his mom wanted for him. She didn’t know until this summer, when the boy went to a music camp and the camp leader broke the bad news, that he is an extremely slow reader.

    That was her impetus for changing teachers.

    Stuff like that makes me feel so bad for families who invest so much over so many years, and don’t end up getting what they thought they were getting.

    Six years of lessons, but little to nothing of any musical literacy. The music he has now is way above his head, if he were to read it. He won’t be able to play any more of it for quite a while unless I teach him the same way, playing it for him bit by bit until he remembers the tune and patterns and mimics me. Which I am NOT going to do.

    So tough to be 13 years old, and have to almost go back to the beginning and basically start from scratch. 😦 Their confidence sometimes flags at that age; getting bad news about where you’re really at, and what’s going to be needed to remedy the situation, is often quite difficult for kids that age.

    That’s just musical malpractice, IMHO, on the part of the teacher, to be stringing someone along for so long, collecting your fees without laying a proper foundation.

    He’s such a sweet kid, and I hope I can help him move forward with confidence, but the having to start a long ways back from where he is now is probably going to hurt.

    I could use prayers for wisdom on how to proceed with this student, that I would be an encouragement to him in his newly-begun lesson journey.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. Here I am, again, for stress relief! While having lunch, I was on the phone with my brother. The a neighbor stopped by to give us veggies from his garden. I talked to him, took him back to see Art, and had my brother holding. I got a cooking course from the nice man who I had no idea before retirement that he had a restaurant. After he left and my brother finished talking, I finally got a chicken in the crock pot that should have gone in early for our lunch. Guess you know that we will have crockpot chicken for dinner. Yay!

    I wanted to tell y’all what my brother told me. He said a young boy went missing in Clayton county, that is the county the Atlanta airport is in and also where our office is (it’s a large area). Two men (one the dad) had carried the boy out to N.Mexico to a compound in a remote area. A lot of women and children were held there. Remains of a child have been found but i.d. will be difficult. The main news is not telling all the story. My brother heard on the Rush Limbaugh show on the WSB radio that it is a Muslim group that is training children with firearms to enroll in public school and kill classmates. Lovely (sarcasm). But wanted to let you know what you may not hear otherwise. And I hear thunder again…


  14. I just moved a yard of mulch from the ground up tree across the street to my solid clay backyard.

    At high noon because I had my tennis shoes on for the first time in a week.

    I’m now totally bushed and headed to the shower. I may read all afternoon to recover . . .


  15. Janice, I read in the news that the body was that of the missing 3 year old. What a sad thing for that to happen. when I saw pictures of the people, I was surprised, as there is not a large black population in northern NM.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. At my college very few non-freshman classes were at 8:00 am. The notorious exception was a sophomore-level electrical engineering course whose professor insisted for many years on teaching it at 8:00 am. Attendance was usually poor. Groups formed in which the students took turns attending the class and sharing notes or audio tape with each other.

    A story was told that one day when the professor’s class wasn’t meeting he was showing a visitor around campus during that 8:00 hour. The visitor wondered why he didn’t see students anywhere. The professor said, “Are you kidding? Students aren’t up this early!”

    Liked by 2 people

  17. the news report I saw last night had the 9-11 Muslim connection.

    I took Spanish at 8 a.m. in college one semester. Enough said. No habla mucho (6 arrows, I’m on your schedule)

    Interesting email story pitch I received today from a woman whose title is “curator” at a mall. I’d never heard of such a job, but I suppose malls are trying to re-drum up popularity and business.

    Anyway, for those interested in the coming fall back-to-school fashions, these are them (sounds weirdly like a bizarre clash of the ’80s and ’90s to me; “fun accents … fur, plastic & sequins!” oh my):


    It’s back-to-school season with new fall trends are hitting stores! XXX XXXX Fashion Center is a one-stop shop destination for back-to-school and fall fashion stories. We can share insights on hot selling items and trends as students upgrade their wardrobe for a new school year.

    From embroidered denim to metallic jackets, this year’s Fall fashion is focused on statement-making. Multi-colored stripes, animal print, plaid, and floral are all the patterns resurfacing for students this Fall. We’ll see fun accents incorporated into outfits throughout the season, including sequins, fur, and plastic. Once more, athleisure will be sticking around for those who love to keep it casual. While students will mix and match patterns, they will also look to wear monochromatic outfits featuring the season’s top colors: red, blue, and lilac.

    Multi-patterned outfits are here to stay this Fall, so no need to stop with the accessories. Boldly colored and patterned backpacks are paired with metal, fringe, and sequins to complete the look. The casual, sporty backpack look will also be a highly-desired accessory this year.

    For more insights on the hot looks for back-to-school, we can also arrange a time for you to visit the mall and talk to shoppers and retailers. Please let me know if this is something that interests you. I’d love to collaborate!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The article AJ shared over on the news thread says they were connected to the “blind sheikh” of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.


  19. Elvera never went shopping for Chuck’s school clothes until after a couple of days of school. To see what was being worn.
    When I was going to school, having something to wear was enough.
    Not kidding there.


  20. Kizzie, yes, I heard that on the news report last night as well.

    Interesting conference coming up at our church a couple Saturday monrings from now:


    The Problems of Evil – If God is all powerful and all good, why is there evil, suffering, and hatred? … a conference will be hosted to address this difficult question. Addressing:

    * the theological and philosophical aspects of evil;
    * the personal aspects of helping others through illness and suffering and
    * the civic application of the concept of evil as it applies to the accusation of hate speech.



  21. Thanks for the prayers, per my request above. I’m already getting a plan sketched out with ideas for resources to use with the new student. I’ve made more headway in the last couple of hours than I did for the rest of the last two days. I should have asked you to pray earlier. πŸ˜‰

    The hard thing with finding good materials for older students who need to backtrack to easier music (unfortunately, that happens more than one would hope) is that so many pieces in the early levels have very juvenile titles and cutesy pictures.

    Not what any 13-year-old boy would want.

    Also, too many of the older or adult beginner method books leave a lot to be desired, pedagogically, so those resources, while they’re sometimes touted as being good for adolescents in the early stages of piano study, don’t always deliver as well as the marketing schemes seem to suggest.

    Anyway, I do own a few titles — supplementary books and solo sheets — that I think will work nicely at his present reading level without having lyrics and drawings about cuddly kittens and such.

    Some of the music is by contemporary composers of student repertoire; others are short, very easy works by historical composers like Handel, Haydn, Diabelli, Gurlitt, etc., that don’t have any pictures in the book at all.

    In addition to theory (which he only studied for one year), sightreading, and technique, I’m going to layer in up to three pieces of repertoire — one slightly below his reading level (which is hard to find appropriate titles for, because that level is not much above the earliest beginning reading pieces there are), one at or slightly above his level, and one that might be called a “stretch” piece that will take longer than the others, and will challenge him without, hopefully, overwhelming.

    For this practice week that he’s in right now, though, he’s only doing one repertoire piece along with the theory, sightreading [something new each practice day], and scale work. It’s enough for now. Next week I’ll probably up the repertoire to two pieces, as we will have more time to devote to the lesson, since the first lesson included some chatting with the boy and his mom to get to know them a bit before launching into the lesson.

    Eventually we should be able to work in a third piece, to get that easy/moderate/stretch trio of repertoire going. An easy piece for quick turnover and a feeling of rapid progress, a moderate one for support and gentle encouragement in skill building, and a stretch piece to present a reasonable challenge as he learns stick-to-it-iveness, developing a piece over a longer term.

    Variety is the spice of life. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Something really amazing has happened since I started running a week ago.

    For a few years recently, I’ve noticed that I have some weakness and tremors in my hands, starting from right when I wake up and lasting well into the day. It would go on for something like 12 hours before it seemed I had enough strength to control my fingers well.


    Only seven days after I started running (I can’t believe it’s been that short a time, and I only run every other day), the weakness and shakes are nearly gone!

    Only a tiny bit in the morning, and within maybe an hour or two, my hands and fingers are strong and functioning well.

    It’s incredible how much stronger I feel now. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this huge improvement happened right after starting to run again.

    I just feel so much better on so many levels — physical, emotional, even my piano playing has gotten better! — and I am ever so grateful to God for what He’s worked.

    Miracles do still happen these days! Praise the Lord!

    Liked by 5 people

  23. Water Safety Instructor was my eight in the morning class I loved it About the only thing I liked about college. Let me rephrase that. The only thing I liked about college.


  24. Five o clock in the afternoon and it is ninety nine feels like one hundred five. How do they determine what it feels like if it does not feel like what it is?


  25. My first full-time job was at a drugstore that was open 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

    The pharmacist would work the whole twelve hours. Two pharmacy techs / assistants would work eight-hour shifts (roughly 8-4), and the store manager would work 8-4. One cashier worked 8-4:30, or actually 7:45-4:15 (she was our main cashier, 65 or 70 years old, and never expected to do anything other than cash register even if we had no customers in the store). We also would have one part-timer, usually a high-school student, who worked 4-8 p.m. One employee would work 10-6:30, allowing us to have two cash registers open if we happened to be having a sale or something. Everyone else worked 9-5:30.

    Nearly everyone who worked the 9-5:30 shift envied the 7:45-4:15 lady, since she got off earlier. Me, I willingly took the 10-6:30 shift that no one else wanted! On Wednesday, prayer meeting was 7:00 and it was half an hour a way, and after a day of working I needed to change clothes. So I liked to get the 9:00-5:50 shift Wednesdays only, and that was usually honored since I was willing to take the “worst” shift the other four days. Of course, I didn’t have a family to cook for, or a social life, and my sister (who was my roommate at the time) tended to work two jobs at a time, so she was rarely home. I had no particular reason I needed to be home, and working a little later in the day allowed me to stay up later and sleep in a bit.

    In Chicago I started work at 8:00, with nearly all my co-workers starting at 7:00 or 7:30. Since 8:00 was the official corporate start time and the others were on flex time, I had no pressure at all to change to their time, and I was glad for that. I could sleep till 7:00 (the earliest I can reasonably get up), and I also had an hour of quiet at the end of the workday, the only one in the office for that last hour. (One other editor did work late, too, but our boss, fellow editors, and typsesetters would have all gone home.) Occasionally I would work late, or stay to write e-mails (I didn’t have internet at home until I left Chicago), and then it would really be quiet and nice.


  26. Mumsee, I know you mean to be facetious at 8:34, but meteorologist have a heat/humidity index that gives a “feels like” number. They use it also in the winter when it’s cold and dry. Heating in really cold weather can be as uncomfortable as the cold if some humidity isn’t added.


  27. It is about eighty n.ine in the living room, it feels quite warm but go outside for a bit, and suddenly, it feels cool. Feelings are not a very useful indicator usually


  28. Our skies have turned an eerie yellow as the smoke from the closest fire has made it’s way northwest to us. And big, fat raindrops were falling as I left work, all very odd for us.


  29. The Iowa picnic organizer (I’m covering that event Saturday, it’s actually a century-old event here in SoCal) told me some folks were worried about the hot weather and may stay away this year. β€œAh, a little bit too much like home?” I said, with this weird humidity? He laughed.


  30. One semester as a graduate teaching assistant I had to do the 8:00AM class. The first day I said, β€œIf you’re in this class you’re either a Freshman or registered late.” They all agreed. I also said, β€œI drive 25 miles to get here and most of you probably live within a mile of campus. So if I can get here at 8, so can you.” I rarely had any tardy students.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. One of my daughters played by ear. Her piano teacher caught on and quit playing music for her.

    I have a leaky valve and do take a baby aspirin for it. Otherwise, it is, apparently, nothing to worry about. I am sure this is different for everyone, however. We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. Good for your daughter’s teacher. In my oldest daughter’s case, who also picked up music easily by ear, she had sat on my lap for years as an infant and toddler while I was teaching my piano students in those days. When I started teaching her, she also played the music by ear for a time, because she remembered it from hearing it played by other students.

    It doesn’t take long, once they start stumbling around with wider intervals or with accidentals, or various other things that tend to trip up those playing by ear, to figure out that a student isn’t reading what is on the page. With my daughter, moving her into different music that none of my other students had played fixed that. πŸ˜‰

    The thing that was so sad with my new student the other night was that, although he played with great technique and enthusiasm on the piece he selected to play for me — a piece he’d studied with his previous teacher — he had a “memory slip” in one area, and though he had his music open, he had no idea how to get himself out of that stall. He didn’t know where he was on the page, and when I pointed to the area and said, “Let’s start here,” he just stared blankly at the notes like they were a bunch of gibberish, and he didn’t know how to orient himself to find the keys he needed.

    So I told him how to figure out the letter names of those specific notes and find the corresponding keys, after which time he could roughly get through that four-measure section or so, and then he remembered the rest of the piece.

    I praised him for his good tone and fine sense of rhythm, because I wanted him to be encouraged about the things he’s doing well, but, boy, there’s going to have to be a lot of practice with basic note- and interval-reading to build a foundation where he’ll be able to read fluently the music that has currently been sitting open on his piano rack while practicing.

    I also discovered, quite by accident, that he couldn’t remember whether his pinkie is called finger 1 or finger 5. I suppose that makes sense that he wouldn’t remember that, if he’s never followed a score that has the occasional finger number in it.

    This kid is such a trooper, and willing to learn new things. It’s a shame he was held back for so many years from the opportunity to develop full musicianship.

    Liked by 1 person

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