85 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 11-29-18

  1. Hi Chas

    The Inuit love Christmas. The Inuit staff at the health centre put up Christmas decorations this past Monday, and I saw a Christmas tree (artificial, of course) up in the home of a patient during a home visit. In the days when they each lived in their own camps, they would all come to the trading station and mission that was here for Christmas to go to church and then square dance, a practice they picked up from Scottish whalers, long into the night. They still hold a square dance and play games the whole Christmas week, according to the guide at the cultural centre. I finally got the chance to visit the centre this week, and they have carefully preserved the records of their history, consulting the elders who remember the past (of which there are fewer and fewer, sadly). There is an entire Inuit house at the centre, made from whalebone and sealskin, that was actually lived in at one point. The Inuit had permanent dwellings. They only built igloos for winter hunting, as temporary shelters, and also had tents for summer hunting.

    The centre also has remains of the whaling equipment of British and American whalers, who nearly hunted the bowhead to extinction in the 1800s – the whale oil they harvested lighted the streets of England and New England, while the baleen was used in corsets. When you compare the bone harpoon, attached to a sealskin float, and the sealskin kayak of an Inuk hunter with the wooden boats and iron harpoon gun of the Qallunaat (the Inuktitut word for non-Inuit people) whalers, you realize that the Inuit were very intrepid and highly skilled to be able to kill a whale with much lighter equipment. There was the back of a bowhead whale skull, just what would be called the occipital bone (in humans) at the base of the skull, and it was massive, over seven feet wide and at least five feet long, and about 18 inches thick. The bowhead are slowly recovering their numbers, one hundred years after the whaling stopped, and the Inuit are very careful about how many they hunt – only one community each year gets the chance to hunt any of the species which are considered threatened (incidentally, I saw two polar bear skins drying outside a hunter’s house the other day – a rarer sight than the sealskins that I usually see drying).

    One of the most fascinating displays was made up of a pattern of very small bones, which the guide said were seal flipper bones used in a game. The bones of several seal flippers would be placed in a bag, and then those playing the game would try to lasso and draw out as many bones as possible. Each of the bone shapes symbolized a different thing – the largest bones were the patriarch and matriarch of the camp, then there were the father and mother, and older and younger siblings, there were four bones to make the sled (the sleds were once made out of whalebone before it became scarce, but are now made out of imported lumber) and little pointed bones for the dog team, and curved bones for the hearthstones, and other bones to make up the house. The more complete set of equipment you drew out of the bag, the better you did in the game, and at the end, you could trade with one another to get what you needed – a northern version of Settlers of Catan, invented by a people who spent long months in the dark and cold. I have another game they used to play, made by a local artisan, similar to our cup and ball game, but more difficult, with an antler point attached by a string of sinew to a piece of bone that has multiple holes through it. The object is to hold the antler point and swing and catch the piece of bone on the point through one of the holes. Playing such games helped children develop the hand eye coordination needed in either hunting or sewing. They also played lacrosse, with equipment made from sealskin, and a version of soccer that could be played out on the ice, under the northern lights.

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  2. Speaking of games the Inuit play, I learned from the guide that there are two golf courses in the community. I have actually seen one of them, which runs along the side of the fjord near where I like to take pictures. The community also has a hockey arena. People here are as passionate about hockey teams as soccer or football fans in other parts. It might seem redundant to have an arena in a place where the ocean itself freezes over, but while the fjord ice, once it is thick enough, can be traveled by snowmobile, as it once was by dogteam, it is far too rough for skating. I have also learned that people go swimming in the summer in the largest of the hamlet’s rivers and streams that are supplied from glacier ice – the average temperature in the summer here is 7 Celsius (44 Fahrenheit).

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  3. Beautiful predawn here this morning. Venus is brilliant and, when seen through the telescope, very similar to the half moon in the sky. Just starting to get some blues and pinks in the low east. God is amazing. Glory to God.

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  4. Roscuro’s post reminded me of when we had an event at our house with lots of friends, relatives, in-laws, and out-laws. A friend came into the kitchen where I was cooking and said, “I can’t believe it – a room full of Canadians and no one wants to talk about hockey.”

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  5. Chas is right.

    Pretty much dead center of the tree too, like she wanted you to notice it…. πŸ™‚

    I saw it in the email too. It made me roll my eyes…. πŸ™„

    So…… Roll Eyes! πŸ™‚

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  6. Christmas!

    And it’s raining! And my roof doesn’t leak. And the windows all close, nice and snug.

    So are the lights on the tree in the photo all red and green?

    I could really just go back to sleep so easily right now, I can’t stop yawning.

    A shower should help.

    I had a house dream — Somehow I realized that the “wrong” paint was used all over the house, it was an interior, non waterproof formula and I was going to have to call the painter back to start over.

    I know, more of a nightmare …

    One of our local cities has taken an interesting step in the coyote war, they’ll do a state-mandated study on actually upping the trapping to pursue “culling” the population. Until now, only the most daring entities have even instituted targeting trapping (of ‘problem’ coyotes where repeated attacks have occurred). Attempting to cut down the actual population has drawn major resistance from coyote advocates (they seem to have their own legal teams) who say it’ll only spark a population rebound.

    Probably, maybe. But as someone said, when you cut your grass and it grows back, do you just stop cutting your grass?

    Lots of problems with going forward on this, though, and my guess is that the study will have findings against doing it. But we’ll see. We’ve had a couple human attacks in the state recently, one on a 3-year-old girl in a public park (she’ll be OK) and another on a jogger (I think north of us) who was badly hurt on the neck. 😦

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  7. Good late morning! We went to advance vote this a.m. There was no line once we got there, but traffic to get there was quite heavy. Glad that is over, but I heard there is question about one of the runoff which had an undervote (not nearly as many votes cast as in the governor’s race). That is typical that people don’t vote on all levels. I hope they will not say that part of the election must be repeated.

    There were beautiful Snapdragons outside the library so I got some good photos.

    Art is on edge lately so he was bothered by lots of minor irritations with the traffic. At one point I turned into a Snapdragon and raised my voice which I do not typically do. Then I apologized for my behavior, but I think it got his attention. I have not been going into the office much lately in trying to ready the house for his surgery time and trying to cook more so I am less patient with his frequent complaints while in traffic.

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  8. Beautiful tree, Kim.It tempts me to put up our tree which I have not done in recent years. since we will be home more after Art’s surgery it makes more sense to do it this year. Not sure if we will get to go on vacation as we usually do near year end.

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  9. Roscuro – Thank you for your last comment to me last night (about how YA may interpret being tagged on FB). I had never thought of it like that. The few times over the years that I have tagged her, it has been because I wanted to make sure she saw a particular article, and I added the “No obligation to comment” sincerely. (She has tagged me at least a couple times, too.)

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  10. Kizzie, “no obligation to comment” could quite easily be interpreted as “it’s quite OK if you let me have the last word by posting this.” I’m with Roscuro–do not tag her. If you have the self-control, do not respond to her in any way. It isn’t helping either of you, and it isn’t helping Chickadee.

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  11. BTW, the “I do not see a ‘Roll Tide” Christmas ornament on that tree’ was the same thing as “Please tell me he is not wearing an orange plaid shirt with purple-and-blue striped pants.” I was not saying I didn’t see it, but that if it wasn’t there, I would be more inclined to believe that a genuine southern belle decorated that tree.

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  12. We just had a genuine downpour. I was so excited I went out and just stood in the patio to enjoy it all. And to enjoy my well-functioning drain spouts.

    I could almost see my potted plants smiling. I even moved the impatiens out into the open last night to enjoy the water with no harsh sun for change. And my little Charlie Brown tree in front is brimming with bright green new growth branch caps right now, it’s clearly enjoying a new growth spurt this year.

    And I’m quite sure my Jeep is clean again.

    I hadn’t thought of it, but I have some FB friends who will post a blatantly liberal (sometimes liberal Christian) opinion or article and then add: “No need to comment.” In other words, they don’t want a discussion on the matter, it’s a bumper sticker post. Unfortunate that we’ve reached a point where civil discussion is considered something we can’t pull off anymore so the “other” side is simply dis-invited up front. 😦

    (Though that’s not what Kizzie was doing, she was being polite and indicating she was not in any way taunting YA to a challenge; but the discussion about that reminded me that I’d seen this other form of actually intending to cut off any disagreement, it’s been used especially by one liberal Christian friend from my elementary school days who’s very pro-gay marriage).

    Which reminds me, our port community is sponsoring its first gay pride event in 2019 as part of LA’s wider celebration and apparently plans are eagerly underway. Someone suggested I do a story on it. It is a story, of course, but I wish it weren’t on my beat. I do have a young colleague at the paper who lives in town and is very into the whole gay/transgender movement, I was thinking of asking whether she might have any interest in doing it, but she’s now on the breaking news/crime beat so is very busy. And it’s really my beat and story to do.

    I’ll have to just put my objective reporter’s hat on and do it, most likely. πŸ™‚

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  13. I did not hang the Roll Tide Christmas Ornament. I bought it several years ago as a “Dirty Santa” gift exchange (one where you can steal another person’s gift) not thinking that my husband would steal it from the person who chose it. HE hung it in the middle of the tree.
    There is an assortment of Hallmark ornaments on the tree including, Tinker Bell, Red Riding Hood, Raggedy Ann and Andy, and some Madame Alexander Doll ornaments that I collected for BG or that were given to her. There is also a Puppy’s First Christmas ornament that was given to us by a friend when we got Amos. There is a cat ornament, and two more dog ornaments to include Lulabelle. The cat ornament was from when I had Callie Leigh.
    The angel on top is a Madame Alexander Doll that my dad gave me one Christmas (probably before BG was born).
    The lights are red, green, pink, and gold. This tree is in the sunroom.
    There is another tree in the corner of the living room. It is more “decorator” with white lights, coordinated ornaments, and ribbon. It doesn’t have a topper because I want to do something different for the top this year and haven’t managed to go anywhere to get anything.
    There is a third, small tree on the sideboard in the kitchen. It also has colored lights and Mr. P’s grandmother’s ornaments on it.
    NO! There will not be a fourth tree. There may be a Nativity set put out on the table that is in the entry hall. The boxes are out of the attic, I just haven’t had the energy to do it yet.

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  14. Donna. No kidding.
    I saw it rain once in Arabia. It was so unusual that I just stood and watched it. As I said, it only happened once while I was there. We were only a few miles (9-10) miles from the Persian Gulf, but the weather never came our way.

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  15. Kizzie, I think I have commented before that while you may not want to block or delete YA on FB you do need to disengage. YOU have done all you can do. Now is the time to step back and let things unfold as they may. You don’t want to do anything that will tip the scale back to the McK’s now that Chickadee is coming around more. Enjoy the time you do have together and don’t focus on the time you don’t. I DO know that your heart is in the right place. I do not want to see you hurt over this.

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  16. I have been wrapping Christmas gifts. My small area in my closet where I hide gifts was getting too full so I rationalized I had better start since this season will be full of other things (such as taking care of the “patient”). I may not find time to wrap later. Miss Bosley is always interested in this annual adventure.

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  17. DJ – One time recently, YA shared an article against spanking (a study that supposedly proved how detrimental it is) and added the statement that she would automatically delete any pro-spanking comments. I just shook my head at that.

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  18. You know why spanking works? It gets their attention so you can discipline them. If you do it too hard it hurts your own hand. Many of us were spanked and grew up to be well functioning adults. It happened for eons before people thought it was evil.

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  19. For the most part, I have disengaged from YA’s Facebook posts. But I’ll admit that I am prone to feel compelled to say something when the subject is something to do with God, Jesus, the Bible, etc.. Often my aim is for those others who may be reading and getting a wrong idea from YA. Fortunately, she doesn’t stray into that territory too often.

    The discussion I mentioned yesterday that included Nightingale was just plain stupid. YA had shared something by a guy saying something like, “Don’t tell me that money won’t solve all my problems, because all my problems could be solved with money.”

    I had passed it by, but when Nightingale got involved in a discussion with YA on it, I jumped in to defend her a bit. What a mistake for either of us to try offering a different perspective! Nightingale’s point, which I echoed, was that there are many heartbreaking problems that money cannot solve, and yet we acknowledged that there are indeed many serious problems that money can certainly help solve. We were told by YA’s friend MT that we are “seriously privileged” to not understand the post. Oh, brother.

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  20. DJ – I’ve probably mentioned before that a friend of hers one time called me close-minded. Why? Because I said that I had looked into both sides of a particular issue, but she believed that only her side was right. Therefore, I was the close-minded one, for daring to think that the other side may have anything worthy to say. πŸ˜€

    Speaking of what YA doesn’t see in herself, I have noticed that she has no patience or tolerance with being treated the way she treats others. It’s almost funny, but really sad. Makes me pray again for God to open her eyes (in so many ways).

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  21. Oh, I forgot to mention that Nightingale very rarely comments on YA’s posts, and on those two posts that she did comment on, that turned into arguments over stupid stuff, her initial comments were meant to be humorous.

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  22. My drawer wouldn’t close all the way and when I checked I found some more gifts that I had forgotten. My suitcase will be very full and there isn’t much to buy here.

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  23. Miss Maddie has excellent taste–but then she’s learning well from her Mimi.

    I don’t have a tree, my husband put up lights, I’m hoping I can figure out how to write a very complicated Christmas letter rejoicing in one baby and honoring another. I’m at a bit of a loss right now and may send out new year’s letters instead.

    BTW, Mimi, you might suggest your personal shopper look at the Fisher Price nativity scene. Mis M would love it–if you don’t go crazy first from the Christmas carol it plays when you push the star. πŸ™‚

    You’re welcome. Going strong and delighting children 10 years later!

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  24. I’m looking forward to getting my Christmas things out of the garage this year — I believe I put them all in one corner, they should be easy to locate. Unless they were moved by painters …

    I am hoping my front door wreath, a lush, realistic looking Martha Stewart brand purchased some years ago at Home Depot, is still in good enough shape to use. I usually add battery lights to it.

    I also picked up a couple new things last year to go with my change in decor that is focusing more on Spanish/Mexican/Southwest themes. Some Southwest ornaments, a lighted pueblo village found used on Ebay, a Mexican Nativity set. I also bought a lighted angel tree topper last year.

    And there are also the old favorites to unpack as well, including the rat ornament. That was given to me by my neighbor down the street who recently died during the time when I was battling a rat in my house. It’s a cute, stuffed pink cloth rat who hangs from her tail … I’ll enjoy it this year in memory of my friend. 😦

    But I want to get a real tree again this year so I’ll wait for another week or 2 before doing that.

    First come the outdoor & indoor lights and mantel / table decorations which I hope to get to this weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Oh my goodness. I am now completely flabbergasted.

    I thought that the commenting was finished on that post about missionaries, but noticed a little while ago that YA had replied to my last comment. Remember I said that she disagrees with the “strings attached” she feels missionaries bring?

    My last comment said that the missionaries I am familiar with offer their help and love as a way to draw people to Jesus, knowing that people cannot be forced to believe, and so do not include a “string of conversion” with their ministries. YA’s reply to that today is that that is the exact string she is talking about – the attempt to draw people to Jesus. She thinks that they should be there to help the people because that’s the right thing to do, not to try to draw them to Jesus.

    Like I said, I am completely flabbergasted by that!

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  26. to “help the people because that’s the right thing to do, not to try to draw them to Jesus.”

    Yes, that is the (not-so-) new idea that many liberal churches would feel comfortable with — If there is any religious influence that results, it would probably be seen as equally “good” preferable to urge people to be more faithful to the religion of their particular culture.

    Because there is not only one way to God in their view.

    Actually sounds very consistent to me from what I know about her thinking on such matters.

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  27. We had to vote for Public Service Commissioner and for Secretary of State in GA runoff elections. Needless to say, I hope the Republicans win. I think tomorrow is the last day for advance voting. Tuesday is the voting at the local poll day. We went pretty far from our usual paths to vote this a.m. We did not want to vote absentee and if we had waited then there is always a chance that something will prevent a person from voting on the designated election day.

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  28. Which tune for Away in a Manger? I’ve heard three of them.

    You knew I had to ask. πŸ˜‰

    Bad weather predicted for Saturday — piano concert day. 😦 Pray it clears up by evening so the show can go on safely?

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  29. I had a call from Karen while I was at Publix. She said they ordered a tree and it had probably been delivered to their apartment office. It would be in a large box. I did not offer to go get it. And I felt badly about that. I also did not give any money or food to the couple with young child standing by the exit door at Publix. I feel like a genuine grinch today.

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  30. In my closet where I hide gifts, I found a new ornament I had purchased last year after Christmas from Christianbook.com which is a smallish white cross with the names of Jesus on it. That will work for ornament exchange on Sunday. So thankful I found it now instead of next week! It is in its box with the styrofoam packing material. It’s perfect for wrapping!

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  31. I do not know what you are talking about, Janice, because after thirty years or so of homeschooling I have decided that run on sentences are not in my bailiwick and so I know longer pay any attention to them but just let the chips fall where they may with no interjections from me for clarification or pontification or illumination or any other nation but that is just me and others might not feel the same way so you were probably right to apologize but as for me no worries.

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  32. Michelle, you’ve got to tell me which version of Away in a Manger is stuck in your head, so I can have the same ONE stuck there. Right now I’ve got three of them swirling around. πŸ™‚

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  33. I like the version of the first one best. I liked the presentation of the second one best. I liked the video of the third one best.
    Not kidding, it’s so.

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  34. #1 is most familiar and I’m guessing is the one Michelle’s got stuck in her head. #2 and #3 are familiar, but when I think of the title it’s usually #1 that I hear in my head.

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  35. Number 1 most familiar; #2 I’d heard and I thought of it too. Pretty sure I have not heard #3, at least not for that song. (I didn’t listen to any options all the way through, just snippets to hear the tune.)

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  36. #1 is the version I’m most familiar with, and was the first one to come to mind when I read Michelle’s 3:25. Version 2 is the tune we have in our hymnal, and Version 3 is in a Christmas songbook I own.

    I found it interesting that versions 2 & 3 have the exact same rhythm in the first phrase, and are remarkably similar melodically (difference bolded):

    2. (Low)So Do Do Re-Mi Do Do

    3. (Low)So Do Do Mi-Re Do Do

    From that point, the melodies and rhythms vary more, and distinguish the two versions from each other more easily. What is really interesting about version 3, compared to the other two, is that the words are all the same, but there are only two verses rather than three.

    Verse 1 includes all of what we consider to be verses 1 & 2 of the most familiar tune, and verse 2 is the other versions’ verse 3 followed by a repetition of verse 1.

    Away in a manger, no crib for His bed
    The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head
    The stars in the bright sky looked down where He lay
    The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay
    The cattle are lowing, the poor Baby awakes
    But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes
    I love Thee, Lord Jesus! Look down from the night sky
    And stay by my side till morning is nigh.

    Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask Thee to stay
    Close by me forever, and love me I pray
    Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care
    And take us to Heaven to live with Thee there
    Away in a manger, no crib for His bed
    The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head
    The stars in the bright sky looked down where He lay
    The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

    The second half of each of those long verses has a different tune than the first half, so that songwriter (Jonathan E. Spillman) had twice as many measures of music to write than did the writers of the other Away in a Manger tunes.

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  37. I have two versions in my head. The chapel version from when I was in school with just a piano and the Episcapal β€œhigh church” version with the organ and violin.
    It is one
    Of my favorite Christmas songs. It and Silent Night are the only ones I Thing I sing well
    Kim

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  38. Are the rains helping with the fires? I don’t watch the news (couldn’t if I wanted to, since we don’t really have TV access since our move) and pretty much only hear about them what is said on here.

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  39. I’m sad that I missed logging in on the day my pictures were shown. The moon picture was taken from my driveway. I had to stop on my way to work to take the picture – it was just so pretty. And the sunrise was when I arrived at camp (work). Again, so beautiful I couldn’t resist taking out my phone and taking the picture.

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  40. Fires out. Accidents all over tonight when I drove to and from church. One looked pretty bad– 10 EMTs/Paramedics working on someone In the road. I prayed, but it didn’t look good. Road was still closed 3 hours later.

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  41. The rain now is causing mudslides, unfortunately.

    From a few hours ago:
    _________________________

    Heavy rains in the Woolsey Fire burn area on Thursday caused a mudslide in Malibu, and area residents were told to evacuate immediately. …

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  42. My animals are loving the rain, though. They’re drenched. All 3, even the silly cat, were just hanging out in the backyard earlier when it was coming down steadily.

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  43. Kizzie, 6:44, somehow I missed seeing that post of yours before I posted at 8:55. (Didn’t see Kevin’s 7:06, either, until now.) Anyway, though, yes, I think #2 and #3 sound quite similar, because there are a lot of direction changes in both melodies. They have kind of a circular melodic motion.

    Version #1 sounds quite different to me, though, because it has those long descending lines in measures 1-4 and 9-12, where the notes either go down or stay on the same pitch, mostly the former. (High)Do Do Ti La La So Fa Fa Mi Re (low)Do.

    There’s your solfege lesson for the night. πŸ˜‰

    One of the music composition books I read a few years ago talked about different ways to construct melodies, and pitch direction (ascending, descending, arch, inverted arch, etc.) is one consideration when putting together a melody. For as many years as I’ve been playing music, I didn’t really pay much attention to melodic contour as much as I do now, since having read that book and doing a lot more composing than in the years before that.

    Writing music has helped me notice more details in others’ compositions; thus my lately-frequent questions about which tunes others here have sung in church or heard elsewhere. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  44. It is time for me to go to bed. I just misread Janice’s 10:22 “The Casting Crowns manager is a parttime pastor at my church” as “The Casting Crowns manger…”

    Good night. πŸ™‚

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  45. Sorry, Chas. πŸ™‚

    You know what’s really funny (and a bit embarrassing) about my 1:12 a.m. post? I wrote the wrong series of solfege syllables in my second paragraph. Instead of going from high Do (pronounced “doe”) to low Do, I should have gone from high So to low So.

    I went to bed and lay there a bit, trying to sing in my head the solfege syllables for the whole Away in a Manger first version. And I realized that I was wrong in thinking the song started on Do, because Do to Ti, the first pitch change I noted in my 1:12, would be a half-step (the closest distance on a piano), but the first pitch change in the song actually moves by a whole step (skips one whole key). The song ends on Do, so with the sequence of pitches in it, it has to begin on So in order to end on the tonal center, which is Do.

    And if that’s confusing, well, that would be about Lesson #100 in learning solfege — I skipped over a few lessons in the past couple of days, and botched the last one. My bad. πŸ™‚

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  46. I just thought of something: Away in a Manger, first version, in several publications I have, works its way down from D to the next lower D in the first phrase, but is in G Major. Joy to the World also goes from D to the next lower D in the first phrase, without any repeated pitches, but is in D Major. Thus the So to So of Away in a Manger, and the Do to Do of Joy to the World. I think I was picturing Joy to the World’s first phrase (and its key signature) when I typed my 1:12.

    Note to self: don’t try to give a music lesson after midnight. πŸ˜›

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