Month: February 2009

  • Tonight was, to quote Dmitry, "girls' night out."

    The "girls" in question being Bethany and Brianna, who I collected after school and are spending the night.

    They're supposed to be sleeping, but five'll get you twenty they're not.  

    Anyway, Meredith and Margaret joined us for a couple of hours to work on Valentines (except Brianna hit on the idea of making purses, which the other three immediately copied), decorate the sugar cookies kindly Elaine provided, and did the Silly-billy Dance thing.

    First they did paper crafts:



    Then decorated cookies:



    After putting out a fair chunk of bucks on cookie and craft decorations, naturally the real hit was when I turned on "Splish Splash" and "Rockin' Robin" (from the soundtrack for "You've Got Mail"):




    I suppose I'd best go check on the girls and tell 'em to Go To SLEEP.  Tomorrow night is Bethany's slumber party, so no doubt they won't get much sleep then, either.  That's gonna be a tired pair o' chicks come Monday morning, I fear.

  • Spring comes early in Texas. This afternoon I noticed a tree across the street that has leafed out.

    I've been dreading spring, as it's the first marked seasonal change since Don's death on November 29th. Here in North Texas late fall and winter sort of smush together, so the official start of winter didn't signify any real difference of season, but spring...? Spring tends to come all at once.

    Three months ago tomorrow was Don's first trip to the doctor, where he was relieved to be told (erroneously) that his troublesome cough and shortness of breath was due to pneumonia.

    Having the seasons change like this seems to put such an enormous distance between Don and me. He's not here to see the trees go green, or the draping crepe myrtle he planted a couple of years ago bloom.

    I'll be glad when Valentine's Day is over. We never did anything but exchange cards, but oh...! how I loved getting my Valentine's card from him. On Valentine's Day, my birthday, and our anniversary he'd give me a beautiful card and write a message on it that half the time brought me to tears. When the doctor told me he was dying, one of my first thoughts was "no more cards from Don."

    BTW, contrary to the gloomy tone of this post, I really am doing much better, with not near as many dismal times, and my general demeanor regaining its normal cheerfulness. Things such as spring coming and Valentine's Day are still hard, though.

  • Okay, fine, I'm a musical ignoramus.  Who knew the tenor last night is a professional opera singer?  Huw Priday, and there's a YouTube video of him singing "Here is Love", known as the love song of the Welsh revival of 1904:

  • What a great evening!

    Mind, it started off a bit shakily as I was close to canceling due to the severe storms scheduled to move in and I was concerned about leaving Dmitry home alone during them, but decided to at least go to Barbara's house for dinner and then monitor the weather.

    The next "shaky" bit was when Dmitry came out to the living room at 5:32pm, all washed and dressed, right when I was thinking I'd best be getting ready to go. I inquired as to his presentability, and it turned out he was expecting me to take him to Carolyn's prior to going to Barbara's. Okay, yes, I had suggested that as a possibility the night before but he didn't know if her mother had to work last night or anything, and nothing was ever said.

    I took silence to mean it wasn't going to happen. Turned out I ought to have taken silence as confirmation, for he assumed it was "on." Ran frantically back to change clothes then we raced to the car, me grumbling at Dmitry. He apologized, but it was still a silent ride. I wasn't more than eight minutes late, and in fact arrived before the other two ladies! (Dmitry chortled complacently when I told him that later.) We had a lovely supper then departed for the Bass Hall, with me taking my van so I could leave early if necessary.

    Lightning was visible to the west as we entered the hall. The occasion was a Sacred Music Gala put on by the Fort Worth Symphony and the Southwestern Baptist Seminary's 200-voice Master Chorale, and there were many people from Christ Chapel present. It was wonderful, although the opening number was, um, interesting. Everything else was terrific, and the tenor was born in Wales and had a voice to rival any tenor's, anywhere.

    Periodically I'd check the radar using my cell phone and could see the storms moving over us. At intermission I felt it vibrate and it was a text message from Dmitry: "r u safe?" I responded "Yes. Was it a bad storm" and received a terse "yea" in reply.

    The finale was the audience standing and singing a rousing rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus along with the Chorale, which was - of course - beyond words. Then we streamed out of the hall to find soaking wet streets and a brisk, chilly wind. The storms had completely passed thru during the concert, so I missed the whole thing. Perfect! No trouble going to fetch Dmitry, either.

    What a blessing of an evening. A real treat from the LORD.

  • It's doubtless an extravagance but I signed up to take voice lessons, starting next Monday evening. I've always wanted to do that, but never got around to real point, after all. Now I'm in the Christ Chapel choir (surrounded by all those marvelous voices!) I've got a valid reason.

    What I'd like to do is try to get hold of the music the choir will sing soonest and take that to the lesson so the instructor can help me with it.

    We'll see!

  • Tell you what, I do love my Sunday school class and the choir. Yesterday there was a brunch for the ladies of the Harvesters' class, which was very nice indeed, and I was made very welcome. ;^)

    The food was good, too.

    This morning was Sunday school, followed by singing in the choir. (I only wish my voice were an asset, but everyone's kind enough to slough over my lack of range and general lack of ability to sight read.) Once the choir's part is done, many of us adjourn upstairs to a room where the sermon is broadcast, so we needn't try to find seats in the main sanctuary (which is almost totally full). After the service I heard my name called and one of the ladies said she and another lady were going to lunch and would I join them.

    Sure! We went to a seafood place on Bluebonnet Circle, where Pam and Kendra had soft fish tacos with rice and beans, while I had fried chicken tenders with french fries and hush puppies. Yum! We sat and talked for a good hour and a half. What a blessing to share such time with sisters in Christ! And one of them lives not far from me, which is nice.

    And on Tuesday night I'm going to the Bass Hall with another couple of friends from the choir, to hear the Southwestern Baptist Seminary choir (if I recall correctly).

    Life is perking up some, which I didn't think was possible not long ago.

    As it says in Lamentations 3:22-23:

    The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
    For His compassions never fail.
    They are new every morning;
    Great is Your faithfulness.

    And true it is.

  • My friend, Heidi, sent me some choice quotes from various comedians; here are my particular favorites:

    "A study in the Washington Post says that women have better verbal skills than men. I just want to say to the authors of that study: Duh."
    --Conan O'Brien

    "In elementary school, in case of fire you have to line up quietly in a single file line from smallest to tallest. What is the logic? Do tall people burn slower?"
    --Warren Hutcherson

    "I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three."
    --Elayne Boosler

    "The Swiss have an interesting army. Five hundred years without a war. Pretty impressive. Also pretty lucky for them. Ever see that little
    Swiss Army knife they have to fight with? Not much of a weapon there. Corkscrews. Bottle openers. 'Come on, buddy, let's go. You get past me, the guy in back of me, he's got a spoon. Back off. I've got the toe clippers right here.'"
    --Jerry Seinfeld

  • The internet connection's been problematic over the past several months, frequently disappearing for a time then reappearing, or being slow as chilled honey.

    Used to drive Don batty, as he'd be having a conference call via the internet then get dropped because the internet signal would go off.

    I would suggest maybe it's the modem?

    No,'s Charter, not the modem. To be fair, a tech traced back and found somewhere where the signal was flickering off periodically. He wasn't approved to work on the actual Charter line, though, so he had to turn in a work ticket for it. That was, I dunno, last September, I think.

    If memory served it worked pretty well for a bit, then began to really act up after Don died (naturally!).

    Would call Jonathan Andrew, again suggesting it might be the modem. No,'s Charter, not the modem.

    Last night the internet was so slow I gave up on it, then it was working fine this morning, then quit and was out for hours. A phone session resulted in a tech being scheduled to come out this afternoon. Which he did.

    He replaced the modem.

    Now I get to pay for his visit plus the new modem.

  • I've been rereading Warren Wiersbe's "Why Us? When Bad THings Happen to God's People" and realized I'd stopped short the first time of reading the appendix of "choice statements of spiritual and philosophical truth". Here's one that leapt out at me:

    "As long as we want to be different from what God wants us to be at the time, we are only tormenting ourselves to no purpose." (Gerhard Tersteegen)

    Isn't that the truth?