85 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 10-6-18

  1. This little squirrel appears to be quite the camera hog πŸ™‚

    Painter is having more knee issues, so he had to go back to the doctor today. The cortisone shot he got a few weeks ago has worn off (he was supposed to stay off the knee but didn’t) so we’ll see if there’s anything they can do.

    We seem to take 2 steps forward and 1 step back on this project. Sigh.

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  2. And the latest “move” clarification from Carol — the old building has apparently been sold and will be turned into a condominium project by the developer. So those rumors the residents were hearing several months ago were true.

    No surprise, it’s a nice neighborhood, across from the Hollywood Hills, directly under the Hollywood sign, so very picturesque and quaint (in an ‘old’ Hollywood kind of way). Someone will no doubt make a lot of money with condominiums there.

    So she and the other residents are moved, for good, into the new Glendale building which is not far away, its just east of Griffith Park which has been part of our regular touring haunt anyway.

    She seems to think it will be colder and that the area will get more rain but I said not that much, none unless our current drought breaks, although it is a tad closer to some mountains that get snow maybe every decade or so.

    Another plus: There is a Mo. Synod Lutheran church in Burbank, which is the community next door to her now, and I’m hoping she can get hooked in there. Carol said the down side was that their SS/Bible study was downstairs in the basement (stair access only) so she wouldn’t be able to go to that, but I think when she learned about that it was when she first moved to the other building 3 years ago and had first called them. So I told her that circumstances may have changed. If not, she could just go to worship there. I also think a smaller church might be better at providing more personal attention to her for rides, etc. Hollywood Pres was never very proactive when it came to that, unfortunately, but then again she wasn’t very good about asking for a regular ride.

    Very obscure side note: This Lutheran Church was where Randy Rhoads (of Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osbourne) and his mom Dolores attended, his funeral (1982) was there. ? For whatever that means, or doesn’t. That was somewhat after my rock own music time so while the band names are familiar, it wasn’t really in my era.

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  3. It’s not even 7:30 eastern time (and, what, 4:30 in California) and this is comment #15? What are you imbibing, Donna? Did Tess have to come get you and herd you off to bed?

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  4. Wait…what time is it?!! Morning! It is still dark here in the forest and the owls are hooting away outside my window. It is a chilly 31 degrees with a high of 45 today….1-3 inches of snow predicted for Tuesday…..I will have to take a photo if it materializes….some of us are downright giddy over it all… ⛄️ (brought my plants in last night as when the sun comes up I expect to see frost on the rooftop!)

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  5. Good morning. The windstorm has a last abated, and it is looking like a beautiful day outside. Today is the start of a bit of a holiday, aside from homework that is. The university always manages to align the autumn semester reading week with the Thanksgiving long weekend, so the reading week is actually only four days, plus a statutory holiday Monday. My list of things to be thankful for is long, and includes the opportunity to come here. Already, I have had many new experiences and been able to learn several new (to me) nursing skills, and learned a few words of Inuktitut.

    The people here are generally friendly, and meeting the elders, who remember the old ways of the Inuit, has been a delight. They are intelligent, dignified, and when they laugh, their weathered faces light up. Sadly, the community is not without its problems, the same as many such communities in the remote north face, as they transition at lightening speed from subsistence hunters and gatherers, who used all their ingenuity and cunning to fight nature in order to survive, to the technologically advanced but morally inert and mentally insipid post-modern Western era. The ugly face of suicide has been seen more than a dozen times in the hamlet in the past year, with one tragic funeral taking place the week we arrived – sorrowing family members traveled on the plane with us and met their weeping relatives in the tiny airport. All is not well with the young people. One symptom of the problem is the number of broken windows in the community. The building that we stay in has been no exception. The outer panes (the windows here have three layers of panes) were already cracked and punctured when we got here, but three times in the past week, the room where I sleep has been hit in the night, and the lower part of the pane is now completely missing from a heavy rock that was thrown last night. I fear they will crack the second pane with the next throw.

    Having rocks thrown at my house is nothing new. Certain obstreperous West African youth used to occasionally pelt my house that was close to the road. I did not oblige them by coming out, which was what they wanted me to do, probably in order to ask me for something. Having my windows broken is nothing new – my arrival in the West African village was marked by a soccer ball splintering the glass panes on one of the windows in my house. I am more concerned with the well being of those who are throwing the stones here. It is not good for youth to have nothing better to do than destroy.

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  6. Good morning. Busy overnight here, I see.

    I’ve got a different sort of playing gig today. The venue where I perform in piano concerts is in a community that has an an annual apple harvest celebration. Today is the day for that, and as part of the festivities, there are tours of historic buildings and other landmarks going on this morning and afternoon.

    That lovely 100-year-old Steinway is in the 3rd floor auditorium of a building on the Historic Register in our state, and tour groups will be making a stop there. When they get up to the 3rd floor, they want a piano player to play a piece or two for those on the tour.

    I love to play that Steinway any chance I get, so of course I said yes to this opportunity. πŸ™‚ Five of us are each taking an hour to be the pianist up in the auditorium. My time is from 2:00-3:00. I’ve got my music picked out, practiced up, and will bring other music to practice on during the times the tour groups are elsewhere in the community.

    It’s been six months since I last played on the piano, so even if there are few to no tour groups coming through during my hour (it’s a small town, and mine is the second-to-last hour, which I’m thinking the earlier times might have more people touring than the late times), I am still really looking forward to playing on that piano for an hour today. πŸ™‚

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  7. Roscuro, I think of you when I read to the kids a book we have checked out of the library right now: Bound by Ice: A True North Pole Survival Story, by Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace.

    Far away and very cold.

    I’m sorry to hear of the problems in the area you are. Not surprising, but sad. The realities of daily life can be so difficult, harsh.

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  8. Roscuro, so interesting to read of your adventures and impressions. Be safe.

    Jo was right, it was *only* 11 pm or so when I went on my posting binge. I’d been mopping floors and cleaning, catching up on laundry all evening and had just sat down to unwind. πŸ™‚

    So I haven’t heard from the painter since yesterday afternoon when he was taking off for his knee appointment. No idea what his status is or if he’ll be back today or soon, at least.

    He did the other 2 front windows yesterday but they’re kind of a mess, lots of paint smeared all over the glass, so a sloppy job. I presume that can/will get cleaned up. He must have had to leave before he could do that. 😦

    His partner was a no-show yesterday which further complicated everything. Guess he wasn’t answering his phone either. And he painted my neighbor’s side of the garage (my north garage wall is behind their property line so is essentially part of their backyard, who knows how that happened back in the day but it did) but didn’t bother to paint the window trim correctly, so she’s frustrated again.

    Always something.

    Somehow I thought the painting would be less of a hassle than some of the other major jobs, but I was apparently wrong. We’re now approaching mid October already …

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  9. Raining here. We had hoped to get the roof on the horse shelter yesterday but did not manage it so husband was going to make seventeen year old stay home to do it. But husband appears to be ill today so it will probably go back to where it belongs, me and twelve year old. All the hard work is done, just putting the tin on the top.

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  10. *That should read “there was almost no precipitation”.
    Thankfully, the hamlet didn’t get the storm damage that there was in the capital, Iqaluit.

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  11. A little music for your day, if you’d like to hear the pieces I plan to play this afternoon. They’re from a collection of seven pieces by Kevin Olson entitled, collectively, Impressions on Color. They’re written for students, but since they’re at a late intermediate to early advanced level, they’re complex enough to be enjoyable to adult players, too (and to listeners, I hope).

    I am doing “Impressions on Blue” and “Impressions on Yellow,” which I think are my two favorites. (I love all the pieces in the collection, though.)

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  12. The composer put three or four adjectives under each title to describe the mood of his pieces. For “Blue,” he wrote Peaceful, Calm, Serene, Introspective. I loved that piece even before I heard it, just seeing those adjectives. πŸ™‚

    “Yellow” is Happy, Radiant, Light-Hearted. That made me smile, too.

    I bought the book a couple of months ago, as inspiration in writing my own compositions. I’ve composed 25 pieces since then, so it’s been helpful. πŸ™‚ (Twenty-four of the pieces were miniatures — only 12 measures each — intended for my piano student who needed some transitional repertoire to bridge the gap between his playing level and reading level. The other piece is a 48-measure piece I composed on August 31, a date I consider to be something of the last day of summer. It’s title is “Wistful Waltz,” because heading into fall is always a wistful time for me. I needed to do something to cheer me up, and composing helps.)

    I was just about to finish up my four-part summer series on composing that I’d posted on my blog in June, July, August, and on September 1, too, so I thought I should wrap that all up by composing my own piece for the occasion. πŸ™‚

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  13. Last music post for the time being, but I’m excited that when I sent out a group email two days ago to ten people in our judges directory for district auditions in March, out of those who have responded so far (two of them), both said yes! They were delighted to be asked, and I was so glad that they’re willing to serve.

    Recruiting and communicating with the District Auditions judges is my responsibility as a new co-chair on the DA team, and one never knows what others will say, as far as yes or no, when asked if they’d help.

    One of the women who said yes wrote, “I would love to judge for [name of our district]. Please count me in.”

    Music to my ears. My predecessor, who is mentoring all three of us new co-chairs (she is stepping down), ran a very organized outfit, and is super nice and helpful. All of us new team members are privileged to step into job roles that are, I believe, so much easier because of the good relationships she developed with so many on the local and state level. I recruit judges from all over the state (and even out-of-state), and it’s clear that she’s created a positive environment that others are happy to step into, whether through judging or in other ways.

    Doing good work and treating everyone with kindness and respect, as she does, pays wonderful dividends to many. I’m enjoying my place on the team because of that, for sure, among other reasons. But that’s a biggie.

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  14. 6, how exciting to be able to play a Steinway. I think you read the funny story of when dear friend and relative tested out a Steinway in a showroom and my father was informed that with the sale on, it was only $40,000! I haven’t played on a piano for over a month now.

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  15. Yes, LOL, I remember reading that, Roscuro. Hilarious — only!

    Time to head out and say hello to the Steinway again. πŸ™‚ See you all later.

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  16. Yesterday afternoon, Nightingale and I had what she called an “impromptu ice cream date”. We had just finished having lunch together at the dining room table (we usually don’t eat lunch together) and I happened to ask if the Ice Cream Depot was still open. She said that they will be open until the end of the month. After a pause, she asked, “You wanna go?” So we hopped in the car and went down there.

    We ate our ice cream at a picnic table while listening to the oldies music they pipe outside. It was a lovely fall day, warmer than it has been for a while, but not too warm for me. Then we took a little stroll up and down the downtown area of Main St. (our “downtown” is very small, and quaint), looking at the scarecrows the different businesses and organizations have displayed for the scarecrow contest. There is also a lovely little park right on Main St. that had some scarecrows, and some artwork on an old wall from a business that had burned down and not been rebuilt.

    After that, we got back in the car and drove to one of the little farms that sell things out front. Nightingale had been told of one in particular that sells cornstalks, which she wanted to get to attach to the two posts on our front porch that hold up the little roofy-thing in front of our front door. (I have no idea what it is called, but it doesn’t go the whole length of the porch, only covering approximately three square feet in front of our front door.)

    This place, like others in town, has their things for sale out by the road, with a box to put the money in. Probably not too many towns left where people do that kind of thing anymore.

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  17. Forgot to say that it was a lovely time, all due to a spontaneous whim.

    *******
    Stafford has its problems. Like many towns around us, and around the country, we have a heroin problem. There have been some petty thefts lately of stuff left in unlocked cars. And many here in town are struggling or just getting by financially. (We do have a more well-to-do section of town, though, where Brother and SIL live.) We need more businesses in town, as we don’t have much for shopping, and more businesses in town would take some of the tax burden off the homeowners.

    But in general, this is a nice place to live, quite picturesque in many places, with lovely rural sections, too, even mixed in with the more suburban areas, and with some really nice, caring people. Praying for God to save the people of my town.

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  18. Kizzie, I do love how your Nightingale calls you “mommy” I find it very endearing and sweet.

    *****

    Prince Albert sells/consumes the most liquor per capita in all of Saskatchewan, including the bigger cities. And you can tell. It’s quite sad and there are parts of the city I won’t even drive in and it’s only a population of 36,000. We also have the youth suicide problem to the north. It’s very sad.

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  19. Progress made on painting and my cousin and I had a nice time out for lunch. (Pappy’s, Kim)

    One more week, painters are telling me.

    Has anyone ever painted outdoor concrete?

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  20. I do. You paint it for four square or hop scotch! Someone did a map on PNG in chalk in front of the office for a prayer time last year. I asked if they could paint that on the concrete.

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  21. DJ, I figure if it is not painted already, I’m not going to paint it, because then I have to maintain it. In my home in Nashville, some houses in the neighborhood had painted foundations and some did not, and mine did not. All the houses to the right had painted them, and to the left they had not. Mine was the dividing line, and I let it be! I also chose not to paint my interior wood doors, cabinet, and window trim. Wood doesn’t need to be painted (and I personally think it looks better unpainted), so why make that commitment into the future?

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  22. I was told to paint our new foundation with black tarry paint. It was supposed to help protect it from being eaten away by the ground moisture when the dirt was piled against it.

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  23. We do have a concrete spot under a downspout, put in last year and already I can see I will have to do something as the water is eating away a large depression in the concrete.

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  24. Lots of painted porches in my town, mostly red πŸ™‚ Lots of old (and newer) Spanish/Mediterranean style houses dotting our port hillside.

    I also have steps and a front perimeter wall, all plain concrete. There’s nothing “pretty” about gray concrete (unlike natural wood, which I agree is beautiful unadorned).

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  25. Dj, boil some water and heat a spoon in it. Put the hot spoon on each of the bites for a few seconds – don’t burn yourself, though. The heat might kill the itch. It works for me for mosquito bites. I sometimes have to do it a second time later in the day.

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  26. Could you stain the concrete steps, DJ? Paint always seems to peel and look horrible after a while. Of course, I live where there is lots of rain and snow and cold and the freeze thaw cycle could be the cause of the paint peeling.

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  27. Wow, confusing. I started reading Kare’s 9:07 and thought it was advice for my porch!

    Yes, maybe staining rather than painting concrete? This may be beyond my tolerance levels and financial means for now anyway, but looking at my house from the front I keep thinking … Now if only I could tie in the porch, steps and front wall …

    Someone needs to stop me.

    Probably good to wait until next spring/summer anyway.

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  28. Kare, the possibility of paint peeling from concrete is exactly why I didn’t want to paint anything that hadn’t already been painted. If it has already been painted, you have to maintain it. If it hasn’t, I’d rather not “commit” to keeping it up. I do understand how unpainted concrete can be ugly, but to me it’s mostly just invisible. But a porch might be different, especially if the house itself has just been painted. I only had a smallish stoop and about three steps, and I didn’t bother to paint any of them.

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  29. Kare – Neither Nightingale nor Chickadee transitioned to calling me “Mom”, so I am still “Mommy”. And yes, I love it, too. I think it’s cute, and endearing, that she even uses it on Facebook when mentioning me. πŸ™‚

    And Hubby was still “Daddy”, although grown women calling their dad “Daddy” seems to be somewhat common, or at least accepted.

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  30. I was about 9 when we moved to the house we’d stay in for the rest of our time together as a family. The girl next door was my age and had a sharp tongue (I still am in touch with her, we still get together occasionally, and her tongue can still be sharp πŸ™‚ ) — she teased me one day about calling my mom “mommy.” “You still call your mother ‘mommy’???” she said with a real “tone.”

    I think it was probably then that I began transitioning more to ‘Mom’ which caused my dad to question why. Don’t think I ever said. Funny how peer pressure can be so strong.

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  31. I’ve found something else to paint — an old porch (now back patio) bench, chunky wood that was sort of ‘shabby chic’ white, now peeling (bought it shortly after I moved here).

    It looks cute on my patio but maybe cuter if I make it a little more Spanish looking with a coat of turquoise paint? πŸ™‚ It’s really quite Mexican looking, it occurs to me now.

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  32. Had a brief skirmish walking the dogs a little while ago, my one neighbor’s sister lives around the corner (they’ve both recently been widowed at young ages, 50ish) and she was visiting there tonight when we walked by. Fibi, their black Lab had gone with her and all of a sudden came flying out over the baby gate in the open door space right at us, to which Tess began to fight. Luckily on of the kids got the dog back in.

    Tess does not do well with other dogs, especially loose ones coming at her! I’m always really cautious when walking them, if another owner with a dog (even on leash) is coming our way, I automatically cross the street or walk out into the street to avoid passing too closely.

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  33. Interesting, the two sisters (from Mexico) married two brothers (from U.S., and the brothers also were identical twins). Both men died fairly young from inherited heart conditions. My neighbor lost her husband 3 years ago and the other brother around the corner died just last month. Very sad.

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  34. And you could paint the hose and the hose reel! How about a nice gray to match the cement. Or you could put in turquoise smurf turf for your front lawn and the hose could be brandywine to really bring it all together! How am I doing, Kim? Am I helping? Huh? Am I?

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  35. Dj, for itchy bites, Kare’s advice is good. You could also turn the shower on as hot as you can stand it and stick your foot in there. That is what took away the itch and the infection from my bites.

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  36. I don’t remember ever calling my parents “mommy” and “daddy” (though “Daddy” really is prevalent in the South, and last I knew my sister’s kids–the oldest boy about to turn 20–still called her Mommy). Mom once said, with some sadness I think, that we younger ones transitioned to “Mom” and “Dad” really quickly, since we had brothers who were a lot older (7-14 when I was born, and I have two siblings born in the next 38 months). We heard them saying Mom and Dad and switched to that.

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  37. I might have a black widow in my bedroom. If so, it is only the second one I have seen since leaving Arizona (29 years ago), and the other was a dead one I saw in Nashville. I reached down for my socks, my hand went through a spider webs and came up covered with web,and I heard a tearing sound I associate with black widows. (Do any other spiders make webs with that eerie quality?) I could see the spider in silhouette in the back once I turned on the light, and it wasn’t recognizably a black widow, but neither was it clearly not. I grabbed bug spray and sprayed (of course she fled as I aimed it, but hopefully she got a dose).

    And I realized why I don’t have the very common fear (especially in my sex) of spiders: for me, only black widows hold a place of fear. Not even tarantulas or wolf spiders (of whom I saw my share in Phoenix, and yes they are big and they are hairy) are worthy of fear. But black widows, with their webs you walk into and hear them tear, their large shiny black bodies with a red hourglass underneath, the white splashes of waste in some nests, and their reputation for poison–and the fact that I heard that tearing sound multiple times each year and had to quickly locate the spider herself when I did–make this one spider I am a bit afraid of. And I don’t want a web two feet from my bed!

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  38. Good Sunday morning. Most of the family have headed to church for the 8:00 service. Fourth Arrow and I slept in (she and I have both had colds/sore throats/etc. this week and needed extra rest). She, especially, as she had to work until 10:00 last night and didn’t get home until 10:30. We’ll go to 10:30 church this morning (and 9:30 Bible study).

    I’ve never seen a black widow spider and hope I never do. But now I’ll know to listen for the sound of a web tearing. I didn’t know that about them.

    Yikes, Cheryl. I hope you eradicated the one near your bed! That’s too close for comfort.

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  39. I don’t recall my siblings and I ever calling our parents Mommy & Daddy. It’s been Mom & Dad as long as I can remember.

    My own kids, too — none of them call us Mommy or Daddy. When they first started talking, they’d call me Mama, but that was an extremely brief period of time. Same with Daddy. We were already “Mom” and “Dad” before the kids were through toddlerhood.

    Interestingly, my mom still calls my dad “Dad” and my dad calls her “Mom” or “Ma.” They never wanted to use each others’ real names in front of us kids, and now that we’re all out of the house, they never stopped calling each other Mom and Dad.

    Growing up, a neighbor boy who was a friend of my brother’s, would always call his parents by their first names. I don’t think his siblings did the same (and he and all of them were biological children, rather than, say, step-children who might call step-parents by first names). Maybe my parents didn’t want to use each others’ first names so that we kids wouldn’t call them by their first names like the neighbor boy did with his parents. Of course we knew our parents’ real names early on, though.

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  40. It’s okay, 6. I’ve taken 62 occasionally with no remorse. It’s only a “sin” if you’re in your Jeep and run someone over on the way to 100.

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  41. The Steinway posts remind me of two instances in my distant past:

    I went on tour with Continental Singers the summer of 1977. Part of our tour was into Yugoslavia. For 6 days our pianist had to sit out, as none of the small churches had pianos. (There was a Lutheran church with a 150 year old pipe organ she got to play, but not for our concert.) When we left Yugoslavia, our next concert was in Austria. That city’s auditorium had a brand new concert Steinway that had not been used for a performance yet. Our pianist was ecstatic!

    The other instance was when Keith green came to play at our church in Tucson. We had a 9 foot concert Steinway. He didn’t like it because he’d rather bang on an old piano than play one like that. He played on it anyway and the concert was great, as was his usual.

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  42. I don’t understand the stereotype of the female terror of spiders. My siblings and I found insects more intriguing than frightening. Of course we killed spiders found in the house, the same as any insect, but not out of fear, rather out of a simple need to keep the house clean. Our lack of fear was mostly due to my mother’s love of teaching about nature and how she would portray a spider’s web being a marvelous creation, rather than an object of horror. No creature was portrayed as inherently frightening to us, though some we were taught to respect at a safe distance.

    My mother, when she was a public school teacher, used to teach her students in the same way. She took them on nature field trips, and brought in things like shed snake skins and an owl pellet containing a whole mouse skeleton and cicada shells to show them. She still had a few of those artifacts when we were children, and often called us outside to see something that she found, such as a chrysalis on a branch or a toad in the garden or a bird’s nest in the bushes (she also taught us not to disturb a nest). Now she teaches her grandchildren to have the same curiosity and wonder about the plants and creatures around them.

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  43. Speaking of my mother, I call her by many different inflections of the title Mother. Mom, Mommy, Mama, Mumsie, and Mums might all be used at once when trying to get her attention, but they call also all be used individually to express affection or just in simple direct address.

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  44. Morning! It is a cold foggy morning in this forest and snow seems to be falling in various parts of our state…not here yet but it is a comin’!
    I have always called Mom…Mom….but my Dad was Daddy…or Daddy-O…he was cool like that 😎
    Black Widow spiders….just say no to the spider…Yikes! And snakes…no no no….run do not walk away…run! πŸ•· 🐍 😳

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  45. I remember a black widow spider who had a web on the clothesline when I was growing up, a friend and I would be fascinated watching it — from a decent distance — that summer.

    And the brown recluse spiders were causing panic some years ago.

    But I’ve normally not had a big fear of spiders as most are harmless and can even be good if they’re eating household insects (though i’m not necessarily thrilled to see a spider in my house; but I’ll usually let it be as it’s uncommon enough.

    Reptiles were more fearful to me as a child, especially lizards of which we had many in our yard. I managed to mostly get over that squeamishness after getting Annie and we had SO many lizards as house guests there for a while, hanging out on shower curtains, sitting on the sofa.

    Annie once dropped one on the bed next to me as I was reading. Wheee, out of that bed I sprang in record time.

    I know, the lizard was probably more scared than I was. lol

    But still …

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  46. I probably called my folks mommy and daddy until preteen years. Then joined the big ones with mom and dad though I suspect mommy and daddy slipped in for a while.

    My children call me mom, mommy (nineteen year old son), momjo, ma, mumsee, mumeo, mums, etc. Whatever.

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  47. “Whatever” is a new one.

    Calling one’s parents by their first names strikes me as so peculiar, but not unheard of I suppose.

    The worst thing to have inside your house is a rat.

    I don’t mind them outside, am not naturally afraid of rodents per se. But inside my house? It somehow makes me go crazy, mice too — but especially a rat. Nothing worse than a big, sneaky rat lurking around in the shadows at night.

    Shudder.

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  48. Reading in the news the other day, about the boy who got into such trouble for calling his teacher ma’am, reminded me of how, when we first got here, people were offended that my military children called people Mr or Mrs and Ma’am and Sir.

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  49. Roscuro, I too have always been fascinated by the creepy crawly things, and I’d do the nature hikes with kids I babysat. (One mom commented on that many years later.) When I was a teenager, I once saw a wolf spider on the street, very hairy. She wasn’t moving, so I picked up a small stick and prodded her just to see her walk . . . and a couple hundred babies ran off her back and in all directions!I had just thought it was a hairy back. I’d love to get a photo of that mama with all those hitchhikers! With this camera that zooms well, I have learned how fascinating and variegated the insect world really is. I prefer birds and flowers and butterflies, but if there is an insect on a plant, I usually photograph it too, and some of them are really amazing once you get a good, enlarged view of them.

    I detest roaches with a passion, I don’t want mice in my house (they’re dirty and destructive), and I would hate to have rats. Spiders I live with–I figure if there are insects to be eaten, the spider will eat them. If there aren’t, it will die. My husband doesn’t share that philosophy; he wants them dead. So now I kill the little ones, call him for the big ones (not because I’m afraid of the big ones, but because I hate to kill anything.) The possible black widow got bug spray.

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  50. Spider webs collect dust, and accumulated wrapped shells of deceased flies and lady bugs in a dusty web-filled corner does not really look very clean, so getting rid of spiders in the house helps cut down on the number of webs and wrapped bug corpses around.

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  51. Roscuro, that makes sense. Most of the spiders I had in Nashville seemed to be webless spiders. I’d rather have a spider than a fly or a mosquito, so I pretty much let them be.

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  52. A cat is an excellent deterrent for rodents entering your house — unless the cat brings them in for a game. That’s happened here, but not in a while.

    I would try to save the lizards when I could and so became much less squeamish about them over time (though I always used garden gloves to handle them).

    Mice and rats in pre-Annie days would get the Rat Zapper, pronto. But I haven’t had that problem in a long time now, thankfully.

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  53. We found an alligator lizard in an empty paint can the other day. One of the painters took it home and put it in an aquarium of sorts he has for reptiles, he’s been feeding it crickets.

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  54. Sixth Arrow doesn’t kill any creepy crawlers. She grabs a napkin or piece of paper, slides it under the bug, then puts a little jar or other container over it, carries it outside, and releases it there. She does tell me when she’s removed, say, a deer tick from the cat’s fur, knowing that I will crush and flush the tick down the toilet.

    DJ, I found it strange, too, that the neighbor boy referred to his parents by their first names. It’s possible he only did that when talking about them rather than to them (I was rarely at their house — they had a bunch of boys and only one girl, who was quite a bit older than I, so I didn’t associate with them much), but my brother hung out there a lot, and I’m pretty sure he said his friend called his parents by their names while speaking to them. Which seems logical — why would he tell his peers, “Today A & V went to town” instead of “Today Mom & Dad went to town”, if he was calling them Mom & Dad at home like everyone else?

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  55. Back to Steinways:

    My American Music Teacher magazine I get as part of my MTNA member benefits runs an ad regularly from Steinway & Sons, “Celebrating more than 200 ALL-STEINWAY SCHOOLS.”

    A bunch of conservatories, colleges and universities, and other schools of distinction are listed in the ad.

    Can you imagine how much it would cost to buy two dozen or so Steinways for all the performance and practice areas in a school?

    At my alma mater, both of the performance pianos — in the recital hall and on the main theatre stage — as well as the two grands in my piano professor’s office were Steinways, but the rest of the pianos (except maybe the pianos in other professors’ offices) were not Steinways.

    Even Steinway uprights are expensive — more so than other makers’ verticals.

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  56. Oh, we had grand pianos in the choir and band/orchestra rooms, too, that I’m pretty sure were Steinways, as well.

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  57. The Boy had gone from calling Nightingale Mama to calling her Mommy a little too quickly for her liking, and then started calling her Mom when he was still a preschooler. She missed being called Mommy. But when he was upset or crying he would revert to using Mommy, and eventually went back to calling her Mommy all the time.

    I remember when Chickadee was learning to say Emily. First it was Memmy for a while, which I thought was cute. Then she started saying Memily, and that was cute, too. Then one evening, she learned to drop the first M, and she was so proud of herself, she kept saying “Emily” (kind of like “Em Uh Lee” over and over, in varying intonations. So cute!

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  58. I don’t remember when ours stopped calling us daddy and mommy. Two of the daughters occasionally call me “papi” (pronouncrd ‘poppy’), which is what many Latin Americans use. It was funny when at a beach in Puerto Rico a child would yell, “Β‘Mira, Papi!” (Look, Daddy!). All the fathers would look to see whose child it was.

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