She lives! The electric edition

Well, I’m no better at getting back to this blog now than I have been at any time in the past year. I’m sorry.

It’s been a year of change and upheaval for me. With the job search in August/September, I had heard about a postion in a nearby town from a friend. That didn’t pan out. Then we went to Mass in another nearby town and the priest mentioned a job opening at their parish school. That lead to a 1st & 2nd interview and a “shadow day”. And while that situation progressed, I learned about an opening with my son’s school. That was the lead that finally lead to the actual job. So as of October 1st, I am the assistant cook at my son’s Catholic school. It has been a hectic, wonderful learning experience for me. I love being there and helping our head cook create the delicious, healthy meals for these children. I have learned so much and when we get back from Christmas break, I’ll be learning even more. We are a good team and have great help from a number of volunteers who come in to help serve the food, assist the kids with condiments and wipe down tables. It has been an incredible blessing to be able to do the work I enjoy with people I enjoy spending time alongside.

Ditty went as far a sections with her swim team this year. She was hoping that she wouldn’t need to go as her shoulder has been bothering her. We have been working with our chiropractor and that brought some relief. Now that swim season is over, that has brought even more relief, so I just need to encourage her to keep doing the exercises so that she doesn’t re-injure it next year. She is also preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation. It’s hard to believe that she’s old enough to do this. And trying to get her behind the wheel time finished so that she can get her driver’s license. My little girl is becoming a very poised and practical young woman. We also purchased a new step-up flute for her. She has needed one for a long time (about the last 2 years), but we didn’t just snap one up. We took our time and had her play several different flutes to see which one she liked best. I’m pleased that she decided on an Azumi. Some people might get down on me for that since the Azumis are a Japanese flute, but seriously if you haven’t heard one-don’t judge me. The American school of flutes are very light and bright sounding. The Japanese school of flutes are darker and deeper in tone. Frankly, they just sound so amazingly full and rich. These aren’t words I can use with the American school of flutes, although they are pretty. While we were flute shopping, the flute specialist who was helping us also let Ditty try out a $13,000 model. If you think there is no difference except for the price tag, you would be very wrong. That flute sounded so amazingly rich and, dare I say it, delicious that if money was not an object, I would have entertained serious thoughts about getting that one. Maybe she’ll consider becoming a concert flautist so we can get that one.

BooBoo is still taking guitar. Why, I’m not sure since he hates to practice. Apparently, he just likes playing – but not an electric guitar. He chose a new accoustic guitar, made by Fender and shaped like their Stratocaster model with the cutaway body and the inline head. I seriously wanted to ask ” So, who is this girl that you’re trying to impress?”, but I didn’t. I know you’re probably amazed, so am I. He also wants to try out for track and field this spring. He had a lot of fun at the Track & Field day that the High School boys’ track team held through community ed last spring. Hopefully, he will find his sport. I’m sure there will be something out there for him to enjoy. BooBoo will also be participating in our school musical this year, but not backstage as he usually does. This year, he has chosen to be one of the actors and will be an Apostle in our school production of Godspell Jr. It should be an interesting show. I remember singing some of the music when I was in grade school at my Catholic school. Of course, we also sang some of the music from Jesus Christ Superstar. Very 1970’s indeed! 🙂

So, you may be wondering why this is “the electric edition”. Well, early this past Saturday morning, I experienced chest pains and DH brought me in to our local hospital emergency room. While I didn’t need defibrilation, they did hook up quite a few electrodes to me to monitor my heart. And because the enzyme that gets released if there is a problem with the heart takes 4-6 hours to occur in the bloodstream, they had me admitted to a hospital room for observation. In that room, they attached even more electrodes because their heart monitor uses different ones from the monitor in the E.R. I think I seriously had about a dozen of the little stickers on my chest & abdomen. If they had needed to defribrilate, I possibly would have lit up like a Christmas tree. Electro-Woman. Hmm, glad that didn’t happen. I’m 50, I don’t look good in spandex.

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Beauty and the Beast Jr.

“If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.”  George Bernard Shaw

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”  Douglas Adams

The second quote is just in case this post only makes sense to me.  🙂

I realized that with the updates on DH’s cousin and my diet attempt, I haven’t updated this blog with news on Ditty & BooBoo.  They are both in their school’s production of Beauty & the Beast Jr.  Ditty’s part was originally to be a Narrator and fill in dancer during the opening “Belle” scene and also in the “Gaston” tavern scene.  But fate being what it is, she was standing next to the Baker when they first rehearsed the opening scene and the Baker said his line “Marie, the baguettes!  Hurry up!” at which time, the director realized that there was no Marie to rush over with the baguettes.  So Ditty became Marie.  Then I was watching them run the Gaston scene and  realized they had put her behind the bar.  So if the Baker married the Barmaid, did he do it for love or just to have a monopoly on the yeast and wheat?  LOL.  She is having lots of fun with this play and also has to be part of the “Mob’ scene too.

BooBoo was cast as a “Guest” meaning he could have been anything from a plate, knife, fork or spoon, to a cheese souffle, pie, or pudding en flambe.  He was also scheduled to be a fill-in dancer/singer for the “Mob’ scene (where Gaston exhorts the crowd to kill the Beast).  Instead he was placed in all the castle scenes as an enchanted column (yeah, the Roman pillar kind).  He gets to move around: forward, backward, and side to side (enchanted things move), with little shuffling steps.  This takes him out of the Mob scene since he needs to be in his column costume in every castle scene and the changing would need to happen too fast for him to keep up.  But he is also happy with his part and thinks it will be great fun to keep people guessing where the column will be next.

So that’s the news of the household so far.  Rehearsals, swimming lessons, scouts and wrestling are keeping us running.  BooBoo’s new bedroom is practically on hold right now.  I keep thinking that I can get to it if I can just get caught up with the housework and costuming for the play.  Our Costumer put me in charge of the fairies and the villagers (including those who have parts in the Mob scene but might not be villagers in the Belle scene).

Finding leotards for the fairies is proving difficult.  It would be easiest just to order what we need brand new, but budget constraints don’t allow for all new costumes.  So the core group of volunteers have been scouring thrift stores in search of what we need.  It hasn’t worked, so I will be speaking with the director to work out an alternative color scheme for the fairies.  I may have to work out something entirely different for our lead fairy, the Enchantress, because I was just informed yesterday that she is allergic to spandex.  Kind of puts a kibosh on the whole leotard thing for her.  We don’t need a red-skinned (and I mean beet red) Enchantress.  Thinking on it just now, maybe we could just attach the skirts to t-shirts and have the girls wear shorts under the skirts if needed.

Well, here’s to success in convincing the director to go for the changes!

The Play’s The Thing

We took Ditty and BooBoo to see the play, The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe last Sunday.  TheaterWorks USA put on the play at a university near my hometown.  I really like this place, spent much time there my freshman year of college (okay it was my only year of college due in part to spending too much time there).  The woods make for a nice walk and there is a chapel on the opposite side of the lake that you can walk to via a well worn trail through those same woods. 

So after we saw the play, we took a walk down the trail and into the woods to the chapel.  We were well provisioned with snacks thanks to my motherly instinct.  DH may be able to live off air, but the rest of us require at least beef sticks and apples.  We got the hike to the chapel finished rather easily.  I was a bit surprised because I had tried to take a troop of fifth grade girls out there one year and they barely made it past the prep school.  I should have known better, however, because Ditty and BooBoo go on all sorts of hikes with us when we’re camping.

When we reached the chapel (they’ve repaired and repainted it bless them), we had a look round then ate our snack.  Oh, not behind the steel fence that was clearly put in place recently presumably to keep people from falling and getting hurt on the rocks below the chapel (the drop is really not significant enough to call it a bluff or a cliff).  No, we had to go around the fence and sit on the sparse patch of lawn.  This was due to the fact that DH was carrying the bag with the snack and yes, like donkeys on a carrot lead we followed.  Well, at least we didn’t starve.

Powered up by a couple of beef sticks and a really good apple, we hiked back the way we came.  The lake trail does go all the way round the lake, but unless you’re a health nut, that’s a pretty big lake to hike all the way around.  Plus there’s the hike back to the far parking lot to retrieve the vehicle.  On the way out to the chapel, I was looking for the statues that I remembered being on the trail but I couldn’t find them.  I remembered a statue of Mary, not a large one, placed in a little house-like shelter (not sure if it is called a grotto when it’s made of wood) and a stone (or possibly cement) statue of Blessed Kateri Tekawitha.  I was appalled that the statues might have been removed.  But then we took a different path to get back to the parking lot and we found the little wooden shelter.  Mary’s statue was gone, possible to be protected indoors from the approaching winter season.  Let’s pray the removal isn’t permanent.  Then we found the statue of Blessed Kateri, so I told Ditty & BooBoo what I remembered of her story.

They weren’t impressed.  Maybe because I didn’t tell it well enough.  I really needed a bathroom after that two hour hike, so the story got considerably shorter.  Or maybe because kids don’t always appreciate a good religious story.  Or maybe they were tired, or it didn’t have all the flash of the play they had just seen.  Oh well, we’ve got a few extra days off this week so I’ll pull out the old book containing the story and read that to them.  I can also pull out our saint book and see what they’ve written about her.  Ditty and BooBoo will just have to remember what the statue looked like though.  With this cold I got, I’m not about to take another hike in that woods until late spring.

For those wondering, Ditty’s knowledge bowl team (grades 5th & 6th team 1) earned the fourth place spot in their first meet of the season!  Not bad placement at all as there were about 20 teams in the competition.  Our school’s 7th & 8th grade team 1 took first place in their division.  I’m not sure how many 7th & 8th grade teams there were, but the scores were very close within the top three rankings.  Good show kids!

Room on the Broom

DH, Ditty, BooBoo & I went to see Room on the Broom last Friday.  The production was put on by Tall Stories Theatre Company based in London, U.K.

We absolutely Loved it !!  The musical was laugh out loud funny.  The characters were very well played.  We were impressed that a troupe of four could carry off six characters without losing any from the stage. Granted, three of the characters were puppets-but still that requires a bit of well planned swap offs.  Ditty and BooBoo were laughing so hard at some of the antics, that I have to say I was glad this was a kid’s production so other people’s kids were laughing out loud too.  Why do we always think we need to be quiet in the theater?

Morag Cross played the Witch and Lesley Cook played the Cat.  David Garrud did the puppetry for the Dog and the Frog.  Who would have guessed that a guy with a UK accent could speak Southern USA so well.  Frog was from the south you see.  Scott Armstrong played Dragon and did the puppetry for Bird.  It was Scott who first hid in the empty seats in front of us at the beginning of the show.  David asked DH as he went by us whether he was comfortable.  To which DH replied the first time “Working on it”  and the second time “Almost”.

Tall Stories Theatre Company productions tour to theatres, community venues and schools in the UK, Europe, North America and Asia.  They had performed this particular musical to school groups earlier in the week and were giving just a one night performance at the end of their run.  I’m so glad that we won those tickets from Moms Like Me.  I also feel so lucky to have even heard about the play being nearby since this is one of BooBoo’s favorite books and it was only there for one night.

If you’d like more info about Tall Stories Theatre Company, you can visit their website at: www.tallstories.org.uk .  Hope you have the opportunity to see this play at a venue near you.

Perfectly Preserved In Perpetuity

Friends, Romans, Countrymen

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Quotes:

"If you are what you should be you will set the whole world on fire."
St. Catherine of Sienna

I finally understand

"Among those around you, apostolic soul, you are the stone fallen into the lake. With your word and your example, you produce a first circle, and it another, and another, and another, wider each time. Now do you understand the greatness of your mission?" St. Josemarie Escriva: The Way