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Posts Tagged ‘violin’

Guilty Pleasures on Allison’s Blog. Guilty Pleasures « That’s What She Blogged

 

Here’s a quick list of mine :

 

1.     Yes, People magazine.  You don’t look so guilty reading it in the doctor’s office though, you know.

2.     My third watching of Tortilla Soup this month.

3.     South Bend Chocolate Company, Dark Chocolate

4.     Watching CBS Sunday Morning in my pajamas.

5.     Taking down my Harry Potter gift trunk to be a kid again.

6.     Having the house all to myself

7.     Singing to myself when I have the house all to myself

8.     Practicing the violin

9.     A mechanical pencil and a sketch book

10.          Reading a good book   

 

Okay, they are mostly not such “guilty pleasures.”  But, they sure are pleasures.

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Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you and put the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 weird or random facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and link to their blog.
4. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a note on their blog.

My Tagger – Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and the Needles of Doom

Why is it that when you get something like this, your mind just freezes up.   Me?? Weird?  Random perhaps!  Weird definitely.

  1. I actually like to organize.  You would never know this by my house; where I organize my desk by throwing it all, the paper, not the desk, in a rubbermaid, when the paper piles up too high.  Two years later, you can just toss almot all of it.  But, when I am done working in my studio, I like to put everything back in it’s place, so the next morning, I go out and I’m ready to roll.  This is perhaps why, I cannot work now, because both studios look like a hurricane hit them.   I do dream of having a decent office, some day, where I can file, yes as in file in alphabetical order in a cabinet, all of that paper and have a place for extra office supplies.  AND, a cork board wall to hang all my information for my book:  drawings of characters, things not to forget, etc, etc, etc.
  2. I too am a fan of What Not To Wear : TLC and, if Lyda will nominate me, I will nominate her.  We’ll have to take secret photos of each other though and that could get embarrassing.  At the present time, my wardrobe is one pair of good dress pants, one polyster suit my mother gave me and I refuse to wear because polyster is just plain YUCK!!!  The rest of it–they can have all of the jeans and t-shirts they can carry.  I would follow you anywhere for $5,000 worth of decent clothing, a good haircut and what makeup to wear.
  3. I really enjoyed working as a security officer in a grocery store.  I would get off the train from Chicago, where I was going to college, grab a shopping cart, put some shopperly items in it and troll the aisles.  I did not like to bust the little old men who pocketed $3.00 bottles of aspirins, while buying $200 worth of groceries.  But, I loved it when I found someone loading up their purse with higher end items.  They were wise to security too and once I got stiffed when I missed them dumping the items before I could bust them.  But, that happens to everyone once in a while.  Those bikers with cartons of cigarettes in their leather jackets were a real trip too as they just did not want to stop.
  4. I really want to spend two hours a day practicing my violin.  I love playing it and want to get back to the level I was at, while living in Wyoming and taking lessons.  Well, actually, I want to get way better.
  5. I too am a pretty good dancer, like Anna-Liza.  I can follow just about anyone and often do.  Opps! That was meant for dancing.  However, I am a bit rusty.  Note to next romance, you are not even in the running unless you will learn to dance.  Twenty years without dancing is more than enough in one lifetime!
  6. One of my favorite all time movies is Kinky Boots (film) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The last ten minutes of that movie is worth watching over and over and over.  I just love it.  It’s such a study in thinking outside the box for success and a great message on acceptance.
  7. And finally, I love the realism I paint, and I can’t wait to get back to painting, where I hope to go off in a new direction and really free up my work to show more emotion. 
  8. I’m throwing an eighth one in that I just thought of.  That is that, I spend an inordinate amount of time daydreaming (Of love, what else?).  I dream of a relationship where we sit in a gazebo with swing each evening, under the stars with a glass of wine or Bailey’s and talk about the day and keep our relationship close.  A relationship where one of you comes in the kitchen and the other grabs you and starts dancing, see # 5 above, to our own music.  Where we are comfortable with the silent times together.  Where we can critique each others art work and make, not just the artwork better, but where we have the affect of making each other better people.  That would be a perfect match.

On that note, I’m not sure I can find seven people I feel comfortable tagging, but I shall try those I read on a daily basis.  I am trolling through my daily blog reads and finding that those who write only about their son, or cooking (and don’t ask why I read that.  I have an aunt who reads cookbooks for entertainment — it’s another hereditary thing), or those who write about fitness or their upcoming nuptuals, or the two who you cannot post back to.  In other words, I’m coming up blank here. Of course, Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and the Needles of Doom  and XUP  are on my daily blog reads but they are out-of-the-question. 

Oh, heck with it, now I’m losing my stuff.  What stuff you ask?  Brain matter!  Web pages! you name it.  If you are willing to be tagged, please let me know so I can tag you.  I mean we all need ideas for blogging, right?

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Were you ever in a relationship where you woke up one morning and said, ‘This person is making me old.’?

 

It’s not that they are actually making you old.  Mother Nature does a fine job of that on her own and when your genes add something like heart disease or cancer to the mix, it is scary. And, it is not that I am afraid of death, because I am not. And, someday I will explain that when I am feeling very psychic and ready to open my soul to the world (plus a death experience- not my own though).

 

What the thing is, is that I want to enjoy every minute of this life while I am here.  It is way too short not to.  I used to hike, picnic in the Dunes State Park in the winter, ski (cross-country and downhill), and just explore.  I went camping every chance I got.  Daughter-of-eleven and I once went camping with the tent and a roll of aluminum foil.  Seriously, I forgot blankets, bedding and utensils.  I stopped and bought a spatula and a blanket.  You can make a very good bacon and egg breakfast on foil, over an open fire.

 

I have visited every state in this union except Alaska. I have camped in Canada and spent two hours in Mexico.  That’s a whole other story.  I have whale watched and driven a large cargo van up a gravel mining road in Colorado.  That MAY just be what is wrong with daughter-of-eleven.  She was with me and never quite got over that adventure.  She did not mind going up so much, it was the backing back down the narrow, steep, drop-off, gravel mining road that did her in. 

 

The point is, and I am sure there is a point somewhere; I am not ready to sit in a rocking chair yet.  I have given up most things for years now because it seemed so unfair to my husband to do things without him.  He cannot help being disabled, but I realized a few years ago that I was getting older than I should be because of not living and it was not doing him any favors either, that I was declining.  He does what he can and I need to do what I can.  As I said, life is just too short.

 

I started out taking violin lessons.  It was something I had always wanted to do and I inherited my uncle’s violin.  So, the last year and a half I was in Wyoming I studied with Rainer Schwartzkof and, if I do say so myself, and actually, my teacher did; I’m rather an advanced case study on violin.  It may have been the years of music in school. and teaching myself to play organ.  But, by the end of the year and a half, we were doing Mazas duets and, oh, how I loved that.  I gave that up when I moved.

 

So, now that I am all better (my chest has been opened and my heart repaired) and I again have health insurance to get some rehab to help me get exercising again, I am anxious to get back to the violin.  My goal: to play Hay Una Mujer Desaparecida by Wolff; Three Pieces from Schindler’s List by John Williams and I have a book of Classical Solos to tackle.  I am also anxious to get back to painting.  

 

Until they get me settled in rehab, I walk (on our four acres), and I tend the garden (getting my pulse rate up a bit) and I take pictures, and I write. Irritating Chihuahua accompanies me and occasionally sneaks away, but when I am out of doors, it recharges my batteries.

 

Life is too short, not to live it.

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My mother joined our household, of four, for a family Easter. One grandson, who is only home in the summers now, is working in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Our oldest daughter and family (with three grandsons) had their own celebration in So Bend. Eight other grandchildren, who live in Wyoming, have long been missing from our embrace. It was a comfortable and enjoyable day, with the two grandsons who live with us.

 Dinner was ham, mashed potatoes, corn, deviled eggs, guacamole and chips, baked beans and Easter Bread. We remembered the salad on Monday. No one was about to forget the blackberry pie, nor the two pineapple pies. We try to make sure that everyone has something that is their favorite.

 I am not a game person, feeling that I should, and would rather, be painting or writing or sculpting, rather than playing with cards. Sometimes the noise of it is just too much. But, I even joined them for a game of Tryce. The fifteen year old took over after that. They continued to play games until it was time to take my mother home.

 Sunday evening, I started thinking about what I would consider my most memorable things in life to be.

 My family would have to top the list. Moments I have spent rocking a child, having one come to me with problems or happy events, or just to show me a flower or rock they have found. This makes me incredibly sad that I have never even met my youngest granddaughter.

 Other memories are:  

 

My mother serving me tomato soup and grilled cheese when I was ill and home from school. That’s traditional mid-western comfort food.

 

Dad always bringing me a treat in his lunch box is another great series of moments. One, where the child, me, never really realizes that it’s food right from our own cupboard/refrigerator. It always tastes better out of his black metal lunchbox. Do I sense a pattern of food developing?

 

My oldest daughter remembers things from when she was two. She remembers odd things. Not those things you remind them about every holiday. She remembers moments you just would not believe someone that young would remember; just plain, ordinary, everyday moments.

 

My first memories involve my paternal grandfather. He had familial palsy or Parkinson. We are not sure which really, but by the time he was in a wheel chair and visibly shaking, I was around two years old. I remember bringing him a glass of water. The next memory is from his funeral. My dad was crying. This is a family thing I have inherited. I could write a whole blog on the things that make me cry, (not blubber cry, just a few tears down the cheek) but should tv tell me about someone doing something nice for someone else. Or, should the time be when I am sitting and watching a parade. (Don’t even ask.) Anyway, my aunt took me for a walk during my grandfather’s service and I remember the patterns of the sun shining through the trees on the sidewalk and how beautiful they were.

 

To this day, I still love shadows: venetian blind shadows or trees on the wall, or just a glass sitting on the window sill.

 

Here is a list of other moments I remember:

 

A whale breaching off the eastern coast. They are so right when they say, “If you have to ask. It’s not a whale.”

 

Petting a lion.

 

Feeling the skin of an elephant. I monopolized my spot, in amongst a row of children at the zoo, but it was just soooo cool. It felt like a balloon full of water.

 

A Harrier jet stopped in mid air over Chicago skyscrapers. I have never heard the streets of the city so deadly quiet. Then slowly it’s nose pointed toward the sky and BAM! It disappeared skyward, in an instant.

 

Sitting on the porch, when I was maybe five, watching a storm come in over the field behind our house.

 

Wrapped in a blanket, I sat and watched a full lunar eclipse, in the quiet wintery night, in Wyoming. Sometimes I just have to experience the world alone, with no talking going on.

 

Another night, I went out alone and the house was surrouned 360 degrees by lightening storms.

 

Wyoming skies are great. One day after a storm, I saw three rainbows in the sky at once.

 

Coming home and getting out of the car every night for “x” days and seeing Haley’s comet.

 

Laying in a sleeping bag, in the sand, watching a meteor shower.

 

Sitting in a hot tub, after skiing, and sort of seeing the aurora borealis. I didn’t have my glasses or contact on, so it was rather blurry.

 

The sound of a bagpiper in a quiet campground in Nova Scotia.

 

The sound of a bagpiper in the college quad after the death of a friend.

 

 

 

The feeling of immersion in the music, and being in sync, when playing a violin duet with, my teacher, Rainer Schwartzkopf. The one thing I miss more than just about anything in the world is studying with Rainer. He is in Wyoming and I am in Indiana.

 

Watching the sun set within sight of Indian cave homes from my van and not getting ejected from sleeping in a National park where I shouldn’t have been, sleeping in my van. Thank you to whomever I owe a thanks. Karma, I hope. It was a sight I will always remember.

 

They all are.

Hope you have dozens too.

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I never met my maternal grandfather, since he died before I was born, and I was only one year old when my maternal grandmother died. They had six children and they live through the stories their children tell. 

 

Memories have a way of reinventing themselves and I have listened to many family discussions that disagree.  One memory all their children agree on,however, happened during the depression when grandfather was a bootlegger.

Granddad supported six children, a wife and a father living in his home; as well as a roving number of assorted relatives, who stayed for short and long stays, and friends who dropped by on Sunday for the best, fried chicken dinner in town.

He had trained as a classical violinist, so when the depression descended, he made extra money playing honky-tonk fiddle in bars and on the radio.  He played on the Hammond radio station as “Dad DeWitt and the Pumpkin Huskers.”  His four daughters sang and his two sons played instruments.  This was not what he became famous for, though.

What he became famous for, was the best bootleg bathtub gin in Lake County, Indiana.  The, then Mayor of Hammond was his best customer.

The still had been set up under a false floor in the coal bin of the house they rented.  One day, a cousin was helping him watch the still and fell asleep at the gauges. Yup, it exploded. Fine black coal dust sifted up out of every register in the house. No one was hurt but it days to get the house cleaned of soot.

Grandpas bootlegging career ended unexpectedly the day a black limousine pulled into the yard. The driver knocked on the door and told granddad that Al Capone was waiting to talk to him. Mom says Granddad’s face turned white as a ghost at those words. Grandma did not know if she would ever see him again. He walked to the car, with Capone’s henchman, and got into the back seat. The car did not drive off. Instead, Granddad sat in the back seat and had a conversation with Al Capone, in the limousine, in my grandparent’s yard.

Capone told Granddad that the quality of granddad’s gin was so high he wanted granddad to make bathtub gin only for him. He would buy Granddad a new car and a new house. But the house would have to be located where Capone wanted it. Granddad politely declined what must have been great wealth during the depression. He explained to Capone that he had children and did not feel it would be right to get them involved in this business. Capone was very friendly and polite about the whole thing and even gave Granddad a cigar.

After the conversation, Granddad came in and smashed the still. That is when grandpa, Omar DeWitt, decided he was not going to make bootleg bathtub gin anymore, for anyone. He was not going to endanger his family because once you start working for Al Capone, you could never ever quit. 

 

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