100 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 11-24-18

  1. That’s Catalina Island in the distance at the far right edge of the photo.

    The lighthouse is the Point Vicente Lighthouse where the whale census activity and count occurs every year as the migration takes place toward Mexico.

    A beautiful, cool, clear day on Thanksgiving. So much nicer than last year’s 90-degree Thanksgiving Day heat wave 😦

    From Wikipedia:


    … Point Vicente Lighthouse was built in 1926 on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The light source was dimmed during World War II to avoid aiding the enemy. It was automated in 1971 by the United States Coast Guard. The original third order Fresnel lens still revolves in the lantern room. In 2015, the Coast Guard announced its intention to install an LED light with a 14 nm range, replacing the current light and lens.[3]

    The Point Vicente Lighthouse is just north of the entrances to the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbors. It was operated and maintained by the United States Lighthouse Service prior to that Service being merged with the U.S. Coast Guard, which was delegated all aid-to-navigation responsibilities in 1939. The lighthouse was manned until 1971 when it was automated by a remote electronic aids-to-navigation monitoring system. …

    … This lighthouse also incorporates a pleasant-sounding foghorn to audibly warn ships during times of low visibility which are common to the area. …

    (Today): The Point Vicente Lighthouse is open for tours on the second Saturday of each month, 10am to 3pm PST. The lighthouse and grounds are federal property owned and operated by the United States Coast Guard.

    In addition to the Lighthouse & USCG Museum, the property includes three houses, which are Coast Guard residences. …


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  2. Good evening Jo.
    Good morning everyone else.
    A light house is quite an undertaking. Moving material to remote locations.
    I have often wondered what motivated them. An accident? Or landmark?

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  3. From yesterday:
    “You Are My sunshine”, written by two time governor of Louisiana, Jimmy Davis and made popular by Gene Autry, is one of those songs that will never die.

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  4. Good morning. It has been raining here, again! I hear a bird singing now while the sky is brightening up. It sounds hopeful.

    I was reading yesterday’s comments just now. I don’t remember going out for Black Friday sales. I may have at some time years ago but if I did I did not form a memory of anything different than usual shopping. The only thing I want to stand in line for, if need be, is to vote. I wish people would be as dedicated to voting as they are to the Black Friday sales. They don’t realize that with the right people making the laws and regulations that they could save a lot more over time than they save on Black Friday deals.

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  5. Home!

    Genuine question: “How do I keep my mouth shut?”

    Having now confessed sin and asked forgiveness from a relatively new family member . . . I can now continue the day.

    Shaking my head and hunting for a gag–though everyone is gone right now!

    Yikes, but I can still type . . . sigh.

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  6. Six Arrows, on your blog post I would like to see your plans for instruction for the next session. Will you have an open house for prospective families? What distinguishes your program from other available programs? Do you teach to the different learning styles? Do you compose yourself and teach composition? Are you bilingual and teach in any language other than English? Do you see any new trends in instruction based on new technology? Can Alexa be a partner in getting students to practice? This is a brain dump of ideas. πŸ˜€


  7. 6 Arrows – I think perhaps one concluding post would be a good idea, even if only a brief one. You could announce that you are closing down the blog because it has not accomplished what you hoped it would, thank those who have read it, and wish them a Merry Christmas. Then leave the blog up for another couple weeks or so, so the post may be seen by anyone interested. How does that sound to you?


  8. I didn’t mention that on Thanksgiving morning, Chickadee spent most of the time in her room, saying that the talking and hearing the videos The Boy was watching was too much for her. Granted, her room is right off the dining room, where I was sitting at the table with my laptop while Nightingale was preparing our brunch, but it was still sad for me. It would have been so nice if she could have sat at the table with me, and the three of us could have been chatting.

    That afternoon, she was picked up by the McKs to go to a big family Thanksgiving at Mrs. McK’s sister’s house, where I’m sure it was going to be much noisier than our house was.


  9. At least she was there, Kizzie. Maybe it’s sometimes baby steps? Have you broached Christmas plans yet?

    I’ll be driving the freeways today, I promised to visit Carol in her rehab but first I need to by her residence to pick up some things for her, including some cloths and reading glasses, then find her new temporary spot in Silverlake (which should be pretty close to her residence). She also put in a request for golden Oreos (the vanilla Oreos) and diet cokes, but I am going to ration those for her, give her only a baggie of cookies not an entire package. She can tear through dozens of cookies nonstop with the sweet tooth she has and I doubt that’s very good for her right now.

    I also encouraged her on the phone last night to get back to asking for help to use the restroom. She’s getting way too used to just relying on diapers and I told she’s going to lose her muscle control if she’s not careful and that will impact her lifestyle, especially when it comes to going on any kind of an outing.

    I realize there are “accidents.” But it’s become standard for her now. She’ll pause in our phone conversations to tell me she’s “wetting” her pants. Why didn’t you buzz for a nurse and call me back? I don’t know how much of this is her just getting “used to” it vs something she actually can no longer help (physically). 😦 😦

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  10. We have 2 lighthouses closer in to the port. One is the Angels Gate Lighthouse built in 1913 at the end of the breakwater. It’s not really accessible but I got a tour of it about 5 years ago after they’d finished some renovations (one normally can only view it fairly close by water, the breakwater is too dangerous to traverse). We had to go over by water tax and then climb up a Jacob’s ladder hanging from the breakwater rocks.

    Once inside, we walked all the way up the winding metal staircase to the top of the lighthouse which offered an amazing view. We were as high as the birds flying by and way above the giant container ships passing through underneath. πŸ™‚

    (Picture at the link)

    This historic lighthouse has marked the entrance to the port since 1913. The breakwater is 9,250 feet long and contains nearly three million tons of rock, brought over from Santa Catalina Island. Designed differently than any other California lighthouse, Angel’s Gate is situated on a forty-foot concrete square. Built to withstand rough seas, the framework is structural steel, with steel plates to the second floor. The lighthouse is so well-constructed that, after a five-day storm in 1939 sent violent seas smashing into the building, the 73-foot Romanesque tower leaned slightly toward shore, but still stood defiantly, as it does to this day. The lighthouse was automated in 1973, thus eliminating the need for keepers.

    The two note blast of its foghorn every thirty seconds is a familiar sound to local residents. Mariners entering Angel’s Gate are guided by the lighthouse’s rotating green light. Whenever a deep sea vessel arrives on her maiden voyage in Los Angeles Harbor, the master is presented with a plaque etched with the likeness of the light, an official greeting from the City of Los Angeles, and the lighthouse that watches over the entrance to her harbor.

    On October 27, 2013 the lighthouse celebrated its 100th birthday after an extensive renovation. The lighthouse is not open for walk through tours however harbor tour boats are your best opportunity to get a close-up view. From land, walk to the end of the fishing pier at Cabrillo Beach for a view. Due to extreme danger walking on the breakwater ridge is not allowed. …

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  11. And our oldest and prettiest lighthouse is out at “The Point” — this one was built in 1874 and is open for regular tours as it sits inside a popular park. A friend and I toured it a few yeas ago at Christmas on a rainy day. It also, of course, provides amazing views from the top.


    It’s very picturesque and I spotted it some months ago being used as Jessica’s east coast hometown in a 1980s episode of Murder She Wrote.

    Picture at the link above

    Built in 1874, the Point Fermin Lighthouse was the first navigational light into the San Pedro Bay. Phineas Banning, with the support of many local businessmen, petitioned the Federal Government and the US lighthouse Board to place a lighthouse on the point in 1854. Although the Lighthouse Board agreed funding and land disputes delayed its construction until 1874.

    Paul J. Pelz, a draftsman for the US Lighthouse Board, designed the Stick Style Victorian lighthouse. The design was used for six lighthouses built between 1873 and 1874, of which three are still standing, East Brothers in San Francisco Bay, Hereford Light in New Jersey, and Point Fermin. The Stick Style is an early Victorian architectural style and is simpler in design and decoration than the later high Victorian period. It is characterized by its gabled roofs, horizontal siding, decorative cross beams and hand carved porch railings. …

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  12. Good morning.

    Jo and Janice, regarding my blog post(s), thank you for those GREAT ideas! Maybe next month won’t be my last post. πŸ™‚

    Jo, I’d have to say I’ve done a lot more posts about “music” than about “me” — who I am and what I love about teaching music. I think you’re right that I should give more of a glimpse into the “who” behind the “what.” My best friend had suggested something similar for my first post: writing some sort of welcome post to give a little background into who I am and how I got started in piano. That first post was pretty short compared to a lot of them that followed — only 440 words — but didn’t have anything about how I enjoy teaching. It was mostly about how I got my start in playing.

    I wrote another post about my piano performance journey — my experience had twists and turns in it from a nervousness/comfort standpoint — that I thought would help students/players who may be dealing with performance anxiety. (Some of my blog posts are directed to piano players, some to piano parents; fewer of the latter. Some are more general and can be to either.)

    But out of 21 posts, only two have any personal elements in them. Strangely enough, I didn’t put anything about how I love to compose, even though I did a four-part composing series on my blog this summer. I think I was too much right-down-to-business (melody, rhythm, harmony, finishing touches), without injecting enough personality, and how I love composing.

    Perhaps I should go back and edit that in — my experience with and love for composing.

    Janice, your brain dump is a treasure trove. πŸ™‚ Some of the questions you ask are answered on my home page. (I have a “Unique Features” section with different offerings for piano study plans, and I let it be known that I tailor everything I teach to each student as an individual.)

    Your question about new instructional trends based on technology is very relevant. There’s a discussion going on right now on a piano forum about teaching via Skype or other online platforms — what new equipment is available to make the experience more satisfactory for student and teacher alike, the circumstances needed to avoid losing the connection, questions about whether artistic nuances in playing come through well enough in a digital connection, etc. I don’t know enough about the subject, and have no personal experience using technology in my teaching, so I wouldn’t feel comfortable writing about such a topic (yet), but that would be a good future topic to consider. Living in a rural area (small pool of potential students) with what seems like a great many piano teachers in my and surrounding communities, I’ve considered whether I should branch out via online lessons.

    Anyway…thank you for sharing your thoughts, Jo and Janice. I am feeling much more inspired and hopeful this morning after reading your ideas! πŸ™‚

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  13. And a little bit of the rest of the story to the above:


    … Between the years of 1927 and 1941, the light was electrified and managed by the city. On December 7th, 1941, Pearl Harbor was bombed and the coast was blacked out for fear of being a beacon to enemy ships and planes. Sadly, the light was never to be lit again. During WWII, the lighthouse served the US Navy as a lookout tower and signaling station for ships coming into the harbor. After WWII, the lighthouse was again turned over to the City of Los Angeles for use as a residence for park maintenance employees. It was during WWII that the lens and lantern room on top of the lighthouse tower was removed and a square room was set in its place. This unsightly addition was often referred to as the “chicken coop.” In 1972, two devoted citizens, Bill Olesen and John Olguin, raised funds and worked diligently to replace the lantern room and the lighthouse to its original glory for her 100th birthday in 1974. Their efforts also placed the lighthouse on the National Register of Historic Places.

    In 2002, the lighthouse was restored, retrofitted, and rehabilitated for public access with funds from the City of Los Angeles, the Port of Los Angeles, and the State of California. The lighthouse was opened to the public on November 1, 2003 under the management of the Department of Recreation and Parks for the City of Los Angeles. Volunteers from the Point Fermin Lighthouse Society serve as tour guides and help to keep the lighthouse open to the public.

    And I remember both those guys who found the light (it wound up in a private residence of someone up the coast at Malibu, I believe; purchased at an auction). They convinced him to donate it back and they finally got the light back “home,” it was quite the tale they never tired of telling. Most of that happened before my time at the local newspaper, but they were both still very active in the community and were a huge loss when they died in later years 😦 I believe I wrote both of their obituary stories. The newspaper also is defunct, sadly, somewhat absorbed into the daily that I now work for but never the same.

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  14. Kizzie, in thinking about doing one more post, I wasn’t necessarily considering deleting my blog after that. I figure it can stay up along with my whole website. (The blog is just one page of my site, not a separate entity that’s costing me extra money or anything.)

    Some of my old posts get viewed months after they were first published. A young man in Vietnam read my May 2018 post in August and emailed me to tell me how much he enjoyed that post. Then a few weeks later, he emailed again, let me know he had a music blog, too, and asked if he could write a guest post for my blog. “My” October post is his — complete with his name on it. Some Vietnamese readers viewed the post in October.

    Someone in China likewise shared an old post of mine on social media this year, so that brought a little traffic from there.

    The one thing that might convince me to delete my blog page after a concluding post would be because some people encourage teachers with blogs to write regularly, otherwise it looks like there’s “no one there” anymore. I have a post gallery down at the bottom of my home page that shows the image, title, and date of my three most recent posts. So, in time, if I stop writing, the “most recent” post will be longer and longer ago. I don’t know if it would be better to not have that end date so visible at some point down the road?

    If I stop getting blog post views some time — and that’s quite possible as I really only have one semi-regular reader, and she is quite busy — that might very well be the time to take out my blog page, or at least the post gallery at the bottom of the home page. I’d want to let my Vietnamese guest writer know that, though, as some of his content is on my site.

    Whatever I decide to do, I don’t want to announce that I’m shutting down the blog because it hasn’t accomplished what I hoped it would. I announced that here (sort of) last night because I was in a funk about a number of things right then. πŸ˜‰ But I don’t want negativity on a site intended to attract clients.

    Which means that perhaps I am too accustomed to permitting myself to be grumpy with you guys here.

    But your idea of thanking readers is a good one, Kizzie. My November post was about giving thanks for music. I think I could look for opportunities to edit that one to put more specific examples of my gratitude to piano clients in there.

    Thanks. Back to work on my site. πŸ™‚

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  15. But just one other thing. (Maybe this is a prayer request.)

    There was a discussion here a little while back about introversion/extroversion. I had written that I’m an introvert, but can be an extrovert when it comes to piano (teaching and performing).

    I didn’t mention that, though I am in charge of contacting a lot of people regarding district auditions — prospective judges, various staff members at the institution where the auditions are held to secure the auditions date, facility needs, food service personnel for the judges noon meal, etc. — I am having the hardest time getting up my nerve to email a composer friend of mine about how to get my music published.

    I had casually mentioned to my district auditions mentor that I compose music, and she was very excited to see some of my work. So I brought it to our next meeting, and she was especially complimentary of the music I wrote for my “new” transfer student, to bridge the gap between his playing and reading ability.

    She asked me if I’d published my work, and I responded that I hadn’t, and didn’t know how to go about checking into publishing. She then recommended I talk to our mutual friend Joyce, who has many pieces for students published by Alfred Music out of California.

    I still (weeks later) have not contacted Joyce. I have her email address; her phone number is probably in our local phone book. I just don’t sit myself down to contact her and ask if we could get together for coffee or something and discuss composition publishing.

    I’ve been going to her workshops for years, and I know she would be thrilled to help me out, and yet… the introvert in me is dragging my feet. The voice in my head is saying, you’re not a real composer. I don’t even have any technological equipment to type my music. It’s all drawn by hand — pencil to manuscript paper page.

    Pray that I just take that next step without all the mental gymnastics?

    Thanks, fellow wanderers, for all your encouragement and support.

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  16. Michelle, pray always. Let no unwholesome word come from your mouth but words that will edify and encourage. If that fails, try staples. Let me know if this works, I might give it a try.

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  17. Kizzie,

    One of the hardest things for me to get used to in going over to my mother-in-law’s house, or to various family gatherings on my husband’s side of the family, is that the TV is frequently on. We didn’t have a television when I was growing up (not till I was a teen) and even after having it, we wouldn’t have dreamed of letting one or more of the children watch it while the rest of the family did something else, anymore than we would have allowed them to run through the house screaming. I’ve told my husband that if I had been marrying young enough to bear children, it was an important point to me that those children be reared without TV, and that I don’t want to be offering screen time to visiting grandchildren. I don’t know if he is on the same page on that one, or even understands how important it is to me. But I don’t like noise, and TV to me is useless and annoying noise unless I’m specifically watching something–and while some movies are worth watching and I will watch some sports with my husband, most stuff on TV is not something I find worth watching.

    I had kids coming by the house regularly in Chicago, and one time I answered the door to several children to find several saying gleefully, and simultaneously, as soon as I opened the door: “You have your TV on!” That was how noteworthy it was. And I turned it off as they came in. When I had foster children, I knew they would be coming from homes with a TV, and probably with a TV on all the time. My “compromise” arrangement was that we would watch a kid video every Friday night. (That was my answer during the week when they asked for TV, which they did less and less as time went by.) Interestingly to me, they’d watch about the first ten minutes and then ignore it. Often I turned it off before it was even over. If I could have children in my home for four weeks straight, 24/7, without TV, I can certainly manage to have grandchildren without TV, and I hope I am able to. Certainly if a child sat down in front of the TV during a family holiday and turned on the TV without permission, it would go right back off.

    Now, the Boy is the only child in your household, he does live there, and your family rules are going to be different. But may I suggest everyone might be happier and have better memories of the holidays if the TV stays off (unless you are all watching it together) and Auntie plays games with the Boy instead of escaping to her room? If she is like me, the TV being off would make a huge difference. Human talking and laughter is not an annoying noise, but TV noise is.

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  18. 6 Arrows, sometimes you just need to do it. Write up an e-mail to her, sit on it overnight if you need to, and reread it the next day. I personally don’t mind writing e-mails, but I don’t always like calling people. Sometimes I just tell myself I need to do it and pick up the phone. (Then I can be relieved if they don’t answer and it’s their job to call me back!)

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  19. 6 – you are definitely a composer! That piece you wrote inspired by my mountain picture was lovely and totally invoked the feelings I had when I was there!

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  20. Good Saturday everyone! That is a lovely lighthouse. I have never seen a lighthouse in person…I should put that on a bucket list or something 😊
    It is windy and cold and we expect snow in a few hours…we will take a ride down the road and see the sheep before the snow gets here….I need fresh photos of those wooly friends. πŸ‘

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  21. 6 Arrows, each blog post needs to give a take away for the readers. Always think readers first and that will help you know if you are on the right track. Even thinking of offering suggestions of where readers might go for their children’s music lessons if they have special needs. I am reminded of working in the preschool where a student had problems, maybe autism, and was disruptive and did not fit in. The child was basically being kicked out. I insisted that we find other suggestions of places to give the parents. It just seemed the least a Christian school could do. If you offer help like that then the families will remember and tell others about you even if they can’t use you for their child’s lessons. Become known as a music resource person to your community and beyond.

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  22. Cheryl – To clarify, he was watching a couple YouTube videos on the tablet, and it wasn’t an ongoing thing. IOW, the noise was over after a while. Funny thing is that Nightingale turned the TV on in the living room for anyone who might want to watch the parade, but no one sat in there to watch it, so I turned it off after a bit. (That isn’t something that could be heard from the kitchen-dining room area, though.)

    I agree with you about not having the TV on while company is around, or during a family celebration. An exception would be if everyone is watching something specific, like a movie or football game, as part of their get-together.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Janice – How did it work out for that child?

    I saw something recently that said that churches don’t do very well with autistic children. 😦

    There are also many disabled people who cannot get into many of our churches.

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  24. Kizzie, we had no followup on the child. I think parents are too embarrassed to return to schools in such situations. But if they are sent away in a kind manner then they might have good reports to others about the school. Remember that Atlanta is a really big area so we did not have any contact outside of school hours unless we ran into someone at the grocery. People may not live in the area of the school, but choose it for convenience of drop off along the way to work. I think it would be quite different and more on a personal level where you live.

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  25. I always felt badly that my former church was right next door to the county school that had the main special needs classes yet we had no outreach. I did suggest it, but in hindsight, I know the church was too small to have the size funding and staffing that could have handled that. But where God is included, He can make up for shortages in miraculous ways.

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  26. Kizzie, based on what you said about the parade being turned on, maybe she wanted y’all to watch that with her since she was more like the guest in your home. When nobody did then her feelings got hurt and she retreated?


  27. Kare …. I did marvel at your home project enthusiasm (was it on the Rants and Raves post?) and hoped no balloons would be popped too soon πŸ™‚

    I had a good 90-minute visit with Carol (and one of her roommates who was quite talkative πŸ™‚ ) — I picked up her clothes and reading glasses from her residence before that and the nursing home was only 10 minutes away, it’s one she’s been to twice before. Hoping she’ll be out of there by mid or late week coming up. She seems to be feeling better and they’re giving her physical and occupational therapy.

    I was thinking of stopping in at Olvera Street on the way home for a bit of shopping as it was very close but decided not to. Maybe on my vacation time I can scoot up there.

    I did stop in at CVS and bought several small boxes of the battery-powered Christmas lights for outdoor wreaths. Along with the one for the door I’m thinking of putting a couple on my outside gates, won’t that be cute?? I just need to find some inexpensive bare-bones outdoor wreaths and maybe just decorate them with the lights.

    I have all my south-facing windows open this afternoon and how nice it was not to have to wage baby gates in and around them now that they have sturdy new screens (but see-though, I bought their “clear view” screening material to use on all the large casement windows). The front windows are screen-free, but there are screens for them and they’ll be kept in my house so they can be used as needed. I just love the look of the house now without the screen door or screens on the front windows, couldn’t bear to put them in just yet.

    I thought of you, 6, as I was driving to see Carol this morning — I’ve been listening to the random “shuffle” setting on my phone which has music dating back nearly 20 years when I got my first iPod. I haven’t put music on any of my devices in years but I did load them up early on so the library (which is quite diverse) is pretty impressive. And now that I have a car radio that is blue-tooth-capable, I can just let the phone music roll.

    So one of the selections that played this morning was a long rehearsal session with Aaron Copeland rehearsing (I believe he was personally conducting?) Appalachian Spring. Pretty interesting, if slow-moving at times ( lol ) though I knew you’d have appreciated all the instructions and stop-and-go music as everyone tried to get it all *just* right. At one point he burst out with something that was really funny but it’s escaping me now. Sounded frustrated but not quite irritated πŸ™‚

    Oh, look, here it is on YouTube:

    Liked by 3 people

  28. Tonight, in our Meeting House, you are all invited, we are having a sing along of the Messiah. That is my favorite. Not sure how much of the singing I will be doing, but I will thoroughly enjoy it.

    Liked by 7 people

  29. Janice – Chickadee did not show any interest in the parade.

    Was the Christian school able to refer the parents of that child to another good school?

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Oh, I’d love to find a sing-along. We used to have a few around here. The last one I attended I think was with my former pastor and his wife, it was a presbytery-wide gathering in the LA area. But they also did a brief sing-along as part of our secular Holiday “pops” concert in town (which this year is canceled, sadly).

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Cheryl, 1:18, “…sometimes you just need to do it.” Thanks for the figurative kick in the backside. πŸ˜‰ I figuratively laced up my Nike’s — “Just Do It” — and have now sent that email. πŸ™‚

    Michelle, 1:36, I like that idea of putting up a monthly video instead of a monthly blog post. That, of course, involves technology that I will need to learn how to manipulate, as it didn’t work for me the last time I tried. I am still so inept at various forms of tech, lol.

    Kare, 1:56, you are so sweet and affirming! I still have to marvel that the opening rolled chord came about because I was playing a different piece and, after a page turn, I brought my right hand down onto the wrong keys. The resulting harmony was so eye-opening and majestic-sounding, that I had to scrawl the chord down immediately on the musical snippets page of my composition notebook that I go to when I discover cool, out-of-the-ordinary harmonies and such that I might want to use in future compositions.

    Then I saw that gorgeous mountain picture of yours that AJ posted, and I knew right where that chord was going. πŸ™‚ Your timing in sending in that picture couldn’t have been more perfect.

    Janice, 4:06, excellent considerations. Your last sentence, “Become known as a music resource person to your community and beyond.” is thought-provoking. A lot of possibilities in there worth pondering. Thank you!

    Kizzie, 4:21, yes, I think it should be more personal, the more I think about it. On some level, I think I have been holding back on making things more personal because my site is online, of course, with my real name, phone number, and one business email published on it. That’s a bit of a stretch beyond my tendency to keep some online anonymity, as you know from my history here of not revealing my or family members’ names online, our cities/states of residence, etc. So adding more about myself, or perhaps writing about my experiences teaching my own kids piano, or other things like that, would add more to the pool of knowledge people all over the world could have about me.

    Weird to think, for example, that someone in Hanoi emailed me, addressing me by name, before I had even known he’d existed! (He was the October guest-post writer.)

    It’s all sort of strange, really, knowing all of you now as well as I do, and some of you (those with whom I haven’t emailed) probably haven’t heard my name! But other people with internet connections from anywhere in the world might find me and instantly learn the real name and other identifying details of this little rural piano teacher.

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  32. Oh, I would love a Messiah sing-along! Chicago had one, and I thought about going one year. A friend knew of my interest, so she took me to a little one . . . but it turned out it really wasn’t. They had a choir singing selected pieces, and they allowed the audience to sing along on parts of two songs. Not at all the same thing!

    The next year was going to be my last Christmas in Chicago, but I hadn’t announced it yet. (I moved the last two days of April.) I knew that a co-worker went to the Do-It-Yourself Messiah every year, so I went to her and told her I really wanted to go this year, that she had invited me to go with her family in the past, and that I would like to go with them. And she told me they weren’t attending that year, but I could go with them “next year.” I knew I couldn’t, but I was in no position to say that yet!

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  33. DJ, 6:12, I enjoyed listening to that rehearsal with Copland. Brought back fun memories of my years playing in orchestras. And yes, I heard plenty of frustration and/or irritation at times. πŸ™‚

    The most memorable one was when I played in our university orchestra, and we were practicing Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien. The French horns could NOT get their rhythm together on the numerous four-note repeated notes parts, and our conductor was fuming and thrashing violently, calling out those horn players. LOL. Of course the wind players are behind the string players, so we in the string section, especially those of us at the first (front) desks, would hear loud and clear what was getting yelled to the back while the noisy brass was playing. πŸ˜€

    The offending pattern starts around the 00:40 mark:

    Liked by 1 person

  34. DJ, I laughed out loud at Copland’s remark around 4 1/2 minutes in where he said, “Watch out about it getting too sweetly sentimental. It’s a little on the Massenet (pronounced mass-uh-NAY) side there.”

    Why is that funny, you ask?

    Because I thought he said, “Watch out about it getting too sweetly sentimental. It’s a little on the macrame side there.”

    Oops. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  35. I would love to be in a Messiah-singalong.

    The kids and I listen to Messiah a bit at a time every December from the 1st through the 24th. We have Bible readings that correspond to the texts that Handel used for each recitative, aria, and chorus. Maybe I will encourage the kids to sing this year instead of just listen to the music.

    Mumsee, see if a library in your area has the score to Messiah. Check it out and use it for your own in-home Messiah singalong. Put on YouTube and you’re good to go. πŸ™‚

    We use the recording of the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Sir Colin Davis. Here’s the link, if you’re interested:

    Liked by 1 person

  36. In other music news, this year’s piano concert is one week from tonight. December 1 seems so early for the concert, but that’s when it got scheduled, and I’m available that night, so I’m once again looking forward to participating. I can go to the venue on Thursday to practice, but don’t know what time yet.

    Tuesday the piano tuner is coming to my house. He always asks, when we set up a tuning, if 11:00 is OK, and that generally works, so that’s when he’s generally here.

    The day after I set up the tuning, I got a postcard in the mail, reminding me of 5th and 6th Arrows’ dental cleanings. Same day as the piano tuning, and starting at 12:10. I’d forgotten to write it on the calendar, so had double-booked the midday with piano tuning and dental visits. Bah.

    My piano went out of tune worse this last interval since the previous tuning, and I really didn’t want to delay the tuning longer, as the tuner is getting to the busy season with tuning for school choir concerts and such, and would probably not be able to do mine until January.

    And I didn’t want to reschedule the dentist appointments, either, because those are booked out a ways, and that would likely put them into January, too, which would mean the youngest two would only get one cleaning this year, instead of the two that are normally covered per year.

    So I did nothing to change either the tuning date or the dentist date, seeing if 3rd or 4th Arrows’ work schedules might make it possible for them to take the kids to their appointment.

    And guess what? 3rd Arrow didn’t get scheduled for Tuesday! So she can take them, and I can keep the tuning as is, too. So glad it worked that way.

    The other music news is I am stepping in last minute to accompany some middle school choirs at a public school in our area for their choir concert December 6. Something came up with the accompanist they’d originally lined up. We will rehearse at the middle school the morning before, at a high school (where the performance will be) the morning of, and then return that evening for the concert.

    The pay is nice, and the music easy. I’m looking forward to being behind the piano and not having to be out front directing and managing I don’t know how many kids at once.

    I’m getting excited about the gig!

    Liked by 4 people

  37. We took a drive this afternoon and ended up in Elizabeth. It was 57 degrees as we were driving down the dirt roads. We stopped at my favorite shop there , the Carriage Shoppe, and purchased a couple things. After all it is Shop Small Business Saturday. We had lunch at the only restaurant in town and when we were finished we walked to the car in the snow. Big ol’ while fluffy flakes…it was truly magical!! The car temp gauge said it was 27 degrees outside…my how fast the weather changes here! We came home and I put up the Christmas tree…the lights are on and tomorrow the ornaments will be hung…I mean how could I not put up the tree when it was picture perfect Christmas weather outside?? (By the way…Bing was on the stereo singing β€œWhite Christmas”! ⛄️ 🌲

    Liked by 6 people

  38. Cheryl, I saw 3, I think, in your current home state.

    I’d also just like to go hear it performed live.

    We did the Hallelujah Chorus one year in my former church choir, it was so moving to sing! Chills. And so awesome how, even in this secular age (when it’s performed for many nonbelievers every year), everyone still stands for the chorus. Awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Oh, NancyJill, “shops.”

    Antiquing perchance? I so love the framed BC herding picture you sent me once upon a time. πŸ™‚

    I am still planning to paint inside so have very little on my walls right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. I imagine we’ll have some traditional Advent (“O Come O Come Immanuel …”) songs & carols on tomorrow’s service program.


  41. Kizzie, I was not in on the meeting with the parents so I don’t know details, but I believe that some research was made so that other suggestions could be made to soften the bad news.

    Oh, sorry, I misunderstood Chickadee’s level of interest in the parade. It is sad that she disconnected from others while there. It is difficult to consider what troubles her. Maybe since she is not home often it means she notices
    the absence of her dad more than the rest of you who have in some ways adjusted to him not being there? I don’t mean your sense of loss is any less, just that she has not had time there enough to process the loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. All our services are, essentially, the same — but the elders did decide that the last Sunday of the month would be no guitars, drums, etc. Not a huge difference, but nice. (And we sometimes have only the piano anyway, so not remarkably unusual). I think it was to encourage people to actually sing from our hymnals.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Chas at 9:28 a.m.: “QoD
    Where is everyone?”

    Six at 10:39: Where is Chas? It’s been 13 hours since he posted on this thread. (Though he posted around noon on the prayer thread.)


  44. Our church has a wonderful special-needs Sunday School program that meets twice a month from September to May. It’s in its second year. They recognized the need for it, and got it set up. Finances or other situations (staffing, maybe?) prevent it from meeting every week, but we are grateful that it could be done, and there were willing participants in organizing and keeping it going.

    Liked by 2 people

  45. Taima, which is Inuktitut for finished, done, complete… The three assignments I had to do by today, that is.
    I got the last assignment done just in time. Word failed to save the file correctly, so I lost four hours of work which I had to rewrite.

    Liked by 3 people

  46. New picture was taken from the nature trail also that my cousin and I walked on Thanksgiving — you can see the perimeter rail fence on the portion of the trail up ahead; it’s off to the right on the top of the cliff as it winds northward.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. My cousin and I were marveling at how folks long ago managed to sail across the seas in their primitive sailing boats, not having a grasp of what lay ahead or when they’d reach land.

    Liked by 3 people

  48. But they knew enough about the stars and their movements to be able to find where they were going and where they had gone and to pass the info on to others. Without a GPS.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Six, from yesterday. I was watching Purdue beat Indiana, then some work, then SC lost to Clemson. This morning, I went into the SS class and discovered that I was teaching. I hate that. I had no notice whatsoever. The fifth chapter of James is not easy.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Donna, they had latitude down because of the sun. But longitude was always difficult until the chronometer. Then they could tell that the stars were to be at a certain place at a certain time.
    That’s one reason Columbus thought he had reached India.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. DJ, they had more confidence their ability to observe their surroundings than we do. It isn’t just the sun and stars that a human can use to read their location on the oceans, the water itself has a lot to tell. Current, flotsam, even the action of the waves can tell a lot to those who know how to interpret the signs accurately. Now we trust that computers and instruments can tell us more than our five senses, yet if those senses are properly trained, they can navigate across an ocean as vast as the Pacific, from New Zealand to Hawaii as the Polynesians did.

    It is the same in healthcare. We use machines to read and analyze everything now – heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, temperature, and what is wrong internally. Yet we have highly calibrated monitors in the tips of our fingers, the pupils of our eyes, and the middle of our ears, which could tell us almost as much if we had the patience. When I was taught physical assessment, we were told there were four ways we could examine people using our senses: inspection, palpation, auscultation, and percussion. The first three ways are self evident in the senses involved: the sense of sight for inspection, the sense of touch for palpation, and the sense of hearing for auscultation. Percussion is a combination of touch and hearing, using your fingers to tap and listen for the sound of different vibrations from different internal structures. It is capable of detecting an enlarged internal organ, or a collapsed lung, but hardly anyone uses it anymore because using X-rays and MRIs are easier than learning how to percuss accurately.

    Perhaps that is the real reason people feel so disconnected and lonely. They are no longer truly engaging their senses to make sense of the world around them.

    Liked by 3 people

  52. Morning! That certainly is a beautiful ocean view Dj….
    We awakened to 5 inches of fresh snow. It certainly has caused some angst for weary holiday travelers….I thought of Mike and prayed for his safety……
    We are staying in today…the plow has been through but there remain a thick crust of ice under the cleared snow…the sun is out and doing it’s part in the final clearing… β˜€οΈ ❄️

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Agree (about navigation). They learned to use what markers were available.

    In hindsight with what we know and have at our disposal now, we see how daring it all was. And what’s interesting, too, is man’s innate, God-given desire to explore, to push the limits of his environment, though with that comes both desirable and undesirable results as men wield that knowledge and experience for either good or evil, often both.

    And the sea can be a fearsome foe, a force over which man has no control when caught in the snares of its storms and riptides and massive waves.


  54. It is one month to Christmas, and a week from today is the first of December and the first Sunday of Advent. I have been listening, each Sunday, to a sermon series on Esther – it is the second time I have listened to the series. I listened to the last sermon today, which is titled Celebrate. The preacher, Liam Goligher, meditates on how the annual two day celebration of Purim by the Jews for their deliverance by Esther from the hand of their enemy Haman is a foreshadowing of how we should celebrate our deliverance by Jesus Christ from the enemies of sin and death. Goligher, as a good Presbyterian, insists that our only ordained day of celebration is the Lord’s day of Sunday; but he does admit that the ordination of Purim by Esther and Mordecai as a day to celebrate the rest the Jews had from their enemies was a perfectly legitimate celebration, although it was only instituted by human agency and not at any direct instrustion from God as the Passover or the Feast of Atonement or the Feast of Tabernacles had been.

    After all, Jesus observed Hannukah, which is also called the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22-23), another Jewish holiday instituted by mere human agency. The description of Purim in Esther are very similar to the traditional festivities of Christmas, “days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and gifts to the poor” (Esther 9:22). Humans need a day to send gifts to one another and get together to eat and laugh, and what better reason for Christians to celebrate than a commemoration of the Incarnation of our Saviour and Lord.

    In celebration of that, I have been listening to my Christmas music – none of which has any reference to snow, a plump man dressed in red, or metal instruments found in steeples or on sleighs – and I have been meditating on the fact that the music of Christmas is a tradition that goes all the way back to the Incarnation in the Gospel of Luke. There are not one, not two, but four songs in the first two chapters of Luke, all about the coming of the Christ. That is the reason we sing when we celebrate Advent and Christmas, because all who witnessed the Incarnation could only sing of their wonder. The first thing Zechariah did with his restored voice was to sing a song of praise, while Simeon celebrated the close of his life with a song of praise.

    Liked by 3 people

  55. DJ, I have seen that terrible aspect of the sea with its unknown dangers and uncontrollable powers connected with passage in Revelation where it states, after the destruction of the first heaven and earth, that “there was no more sea” (21:1). In the Bible, the sea is constantly a source and symbol of danger and death.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. Phos, you likely don’t remember it, but there was a time when the Christmas music played in public venues was Christmas Carols, not just “White Christmas’ and “Here Comes Santa Clause. Somebody may have it, but I haven’t heard real carols in public places lately.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. And since the guitar is my favorite song and Chet is my favorite picker and Silent Night is my favorite carol and Children is what it’s for:t
    I couldn’t resist this:

    Liked by 3 people

  58. Chas, I have heard real carols in public places. Canadians tend to be less uptight about religious content in public spaces. In the city, in front of city hall at this time of year there would be a big Christmas tree and Santa sleigh next to a giant menorah and a large manger scene. Since the Muslims put up a banner wishing everyone a Happy Eid over the main street, and the Hindus held a Holi celebration on the university quadrangle, and the Sikhs have their annual parade through the downtown, everyone gets a chance to display their own religious holiday content and most people are content.

    Liked by 2 people

  59. Too bad the Canadians get the freedom of worship idea better than the American Leftists do. Does Canada have any law similar to our 1st Amendment?


  60. Peter, freedom of conscience and religion is part of our Bill of Rights, which was not enacted until 1960. Canada never separated religion from the state the way the U.S. did with the 1st Amendment. But both French-speaking Catholics and English-speaking Protestants were equally involved in creating the Dominion of Canada in 1867. There was come localized religious intolerance, usually based on the prevalent faith of the settlers in the area – well into the 1970s, the Catholics in Quebec actively discouraged Protestant missionary activity there, but the Catholic church no longer holds sway in that very secular province; while the city of Toronto, Ontario, used to, in the mid to late 1800s, have riots between the Catholic Irish and Orangemen on St, Patrick’s Day, but that city is now perhaps the most multicultural and pluralistic city in the world, with people from nearly every country in the world, each of them with their own religion. Canadians, culturally, generally don’t mind religious symbolism or the idea of there being a deity, but they get very uncomfortable by dogmatic statements. For example, armed forces chaplains praying publicly, such as for a Remembrance Day service, only use the name of God, not identifying which god. If Canada had a state religion, it would be Universalist Unitarian.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. I don’t have a problem with different beliefs, I have a problem with people killing other people in the name of their belief. I don’t think Christians are called to that and I don’t think anybody else should do it.

    Liked by 2 people

  62. Son is very excited. He is taking a turn at having the dogs in his room. Daughter did well but she was clearly not adjusted after two weeks. Sleeping later and later and getting pretty mouthy about the care of the dogs and toward the dogs. We will see if twelve year old does better than eleven. Not sure I am willing to try with seventeen year old daughter. She gets her apple cart upset by too many things.

    But today she enjoyed making herself a fine dinner and having her cupboard restocked.

    Liked by 3 people

  63. Yes. Ew. I don’t like those things.

    Growing up, we had a cat for a while that looked like a skunk. I was walking down to my grandparents’ house one evening, around dusk, to go practice piano, when I saw that nice kitty alongside the path.

    I stopped and bent down a little to pet it when I realized that wasn’t Sam. Yikes. I turned myself around, very very slowly so as not to alarm it, and walked slowly back home. My heart never beat so fast when I was moving like molasses as it did that time!


  64. I had piano students years ago — a brother and a sister — who had moved here from Quebec. Their dad was a minister of some liberal denomination. I’m pretty sure it was Unitarian of some sort. Is Universalist Unitarian the only type of Unitarian?

    The parents were quite liberal in their politics. Well, at least the mom was, but my guess would be the dad was, as well. They ( or she) thought Bill Clinton far too conservative.


  65. Linda, what hymns did you sing for Christ the King Sunday? We had Crown Him With Many Crowns and Jerusalem the Golden, among one or two others I don’t recall.

    Our main hymnal has Jerusalem the Golden with one tune, and our newer hymnal supplement has Jerusalem the Golden with another tune (that of Gustav Holst’s The Planets (Jupiter)).

    It was kind of neat because we used that second tune to sing the hymn, but earlier in the service we sang the words to The Song of Simeon using the first tune of Jerusalem the Golden.

    I like both versions’ tunes, so was glad to get to sing both today.


    Looks like this is 99. I will let someone else get 100. Good night.


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