Tedium Terminator

Caregiving is many things but one of the side effects that you don’t usually hear about is the tedium. Maybe others don’t experience this but I can only run up and down the steps to fetch food and ice so many times a day before it starts to get tedious.  Stress baking and cooking didn’t help much either this weekend.  I’m even looking forward to going to the office.  Yikes!

So I was thrilled when I heard from a girlfriend that her newest grandbaby came a week early and is healthy and at home already. Thrilled for two reasons: a healthy new grandbaby is always thrilling AND I now have a project to work on.

I’m making baby blocks and I have to know the baby’s name before I get started since the number of blocks and paper squares depends on the number of letters in the baby name. Once I got going on the blocks I remembered that  I needed to make a couple of thank you notes for YA as well.  I spent a couple of relaxing hours in my studio and now I feel better.  Guess I need to come up with some projects to work on the next couple of weeks!

Do you have any go-to tedium terminators?

Strawberry Fields Forever

In the news today, Strawberry Fields, the spot that sparked John Lennon’s imagination and led to their great song will be opening to the public soon. You will be able to walk the gardens and grounds and there is a visitor center with interactive exhibits that highlight Lennon’s early life.

According to the story, about 60,000 visitors gather at the gates to Strawberry Fields every year.

What spot inspired by song would YOU like to visit?

Binder Heaven

Binders are my thing. Give me a good binder with tabs any day.  I have a binder for my other book club, for poetry that I’ve printed off the internet, for directions, for recipes and for Solstice planning.  Vacations and special events like the solar eclipse also get binders.  I made a binder for YA’s college search and another one for college financial aid.  Luckily at work, I need a binder for each program and I also have a binder for assorted things I need to keep track of.

YA’s injury has generated massive amounts of paper: emergency room paper, orthopedic paper, worker’s comp paper and insurance paper. Every time we leave the house for an appointment, I get handed the folder.  I joked on Tuesday that I was going to put it all in a binder; YA snorted.

So I was surprised yesterday morning when she said “can you put all these papers in a binder?” I didn’t know how serious she was and although I agreed, I didn’t have the project on my immediate radar.  She asked again at 5 p.m. and then 8:30.  At that point I grabbed an unused binder (yes, I have a stash) and some tabs (yes, I have a stash) and we worked on it together.  She sorted out all the papers, I labeled the tabs and 3-hole punched everything.  As she wheeled herself back to her room with the completed binder, I felt a warm glow.  Two binder gals together!

How do you like to organize your papers?  Do you think our society will EVER be paperless?

Violin Debacle

The discussion of bands and band instruments the other day reminded me of something that I haven’t thought about in quite a while.

When Child was in the third grade, she came home with a permission slip and information on joining orchestra at school. I was a little skeptical.  When she was five, she wanted to take piano lessons but after 2 months, her piano teacher fired her.  She didn’t want to practice and then at the last lesson apparently she was rude to him (I was in the kitchen when this happened, so didn’t witness it).  She hadn’t made any other overtures toward an instrument, or even music in general, so I was surprised when she informed me she wanted to play the violin.

I always wanted to let her try things, so I read through the papers and signed her up. Luckily the school had a violin she could use for free and the next day she carried it proudly home.  Then for the next week she proceeded to torture the poor thing horrendously.  I can’t even begin to describe it but whatever you’re imagining right now, amp it up.  The dog and cat hightailed it as far away as they could get from her.  I wanted to jump off a cliff, but since that’s not very encouraging to a kid, I pasted a smile on my face and ate a lot of chocolate.  At one point I thought, is it really that hard to make a decent noise on a violin, so while she was at gymnastics, I tried it.  I certainly wasn’t going to win any awards, but I could at least pull the bow across the strings to make a sound somewhat reminiscent of music. So there it was; Child had no violin ability.  Still I let her scratch on because I figured I’d let the music teacher do whatever dirty work was needed.

By the end of the second week, she was practicing much less. While this made all the ears in the household happier, I knew it meant she was losing interest.  The third week she didn’t practice at all, despite my reminders.  There was a practice book in which she was supposed to record how much time she spent playing; I told her that if she wasn’t going to practice she had to be honest and put down “0” or it wouldn’t be fair to Mr. Brown, the music teacher.  So she marked all the days with a “0” and off she went to school.  When she came home that afternoon and she still had the violin, I was a little surprised but not nearly as surprised as when I looked at her practice book and where there had been “0”s that morning, there were now numbers on every day.  10 minutes, 20 minutes, one even said 30 minutes.  She had erased the “0”s when she got to school and written in her false data.

While I appreciated her ingenuity, I couldn’t let this go, so I made an appointment with Mr. Brown, took her with me and had her tell him what she had done and then apologize. He was AMAZING.  He was very kind and understanding.  He asked her if she really wanted to continue and when she said “yes” (I just about fell on the floor), he suggested they give it another week.  Of course she didn’t even pick up the violin the next week so we went in again and met with Mr. Brown to give him the violin back.  She never looked back.

Is there something that you just don’t a talent for?

Words for Book Lovers

I get an email every day from Dictionary.com with a “Word of the Day”. Then on Mondays there is a quiz of the last seven days worth of words.  And occasionally there are other emails about word-related things.  Last week there was an email with a link to “Words All Book Lovers Should be Using”.  You know I can’t resist that.

Here are the words.

  • bookish
  • colophon
  • bibliotaph
  • fascicle
  • logophile
  • sesquipedalian
  • bibliophile

How many of them do you know? How many of them describe YOU?  Any other words you think all book lover should be using?

Band Memories

I had a real blast from the past this weekend when I tuned into the new MPR Concert Band Stream. I played the bass clarinet all through high school and college. It isn’t a very exciting instrument, but I had a lot of fun playing. I have a few recordings of my college band, but I don’t own many wind band cd’s. Husband was worried it would be all Sousa marches, but even he, that hoity toity cellist, enjoyed the selections we heard. He really liked the emphasis on percussion. We heard lots of Vaughn Williams, Holst, and Percy Grainger pieces for wind band, selections I remember playing,  along with more modern things .  They were very evocative for me, reminding me of emotions associated with the music, and memories of ensemble playing that I hadn’t thought about for a long time.  I do hope there are enough recordings of wind band music to fill up the daily program.

What are your memories of learning an instrument or playing in the band?

Who Dunnit?

We all know that headlines don’t always tell the story. The last few days there have been lots of articles about scientists “solving the Loch Ness Monster”.  Although I am a skeptic in general, I couldn’t help clicking on the first story I saw.  Of course scientists have NOT solved the mystery of Nessie.  What they have done is find more eel dna in the water of the lake than they expected.  All it took was for one person to say “maybe the Loch Ness Monster is really a giant eel” for the story to take off.

The same arguments for why the Loch Ness Monster can’t exist apply to a giant eel (lake too cold, not enough food to keep a giant eel alive, no bones/evidence of previous generations) but that hasn’t stopped the explosion of “Nessie is a giant eel” stories.

I don’t make it a point of following stories like the Loch Ness Monster, the faked moon landing or anything having to do with Area 51, but I look at reports if they cross my path. I do follow the work being done on Amelia Earhart’s disappearance fairly closely (TIGHAR) and I do think this mystery will be solved in my lifetime.  But Nessie, not so much.

What mystery would you like to be explained?

%d bloggers like this: