Archive for April, 2013

Great spring concert!

Yesterday afternoon, Andrew and I participated in one of those Sunday afternoon Old Stone Church concerts.  I really enjoy attending those events, but it was quite different to be on the stage instead of in the pews.

This was to be the spring concert for our community choir, the Branson Chamber Singers, but since Bob Abbott directs two homeschool choirs as well, he decided to have the kids’ choirs also each do a couple songs, and then we did two songs all together, which was just very exciting.

Because we knew there would be a lot of parents attending, the venue was shifted from the Old Stone Church to the sanctuary at First Presbyterian, a larger and very lovely facility with great acoustics, a piano, and a pipe organ.  Ah, the pipe organ.  That does bring back memories.

Bob likes to weave a recurring theme song throughout a concert, and this time it was “How Can I Keep From Singing?”  It’s a simple hymn with several verses.  To start the concert, a woman played a flute solo of the melody, and then Andrew stood up and sang the first verse alone, a capella.  He did a fine job!

Our adult choir sang well, for the most part, excepting the several times that I realized, “Hmmm. . . I just sang that measure and NONE of the other altos have gotten there yet.  I believe I’ll just hold this harmonizing note and wait till I can get back in step with them.”  Sheesh!  I really do know how to count. . .

On several of the songs, we made mistakes that the audience probably missed, but on a of couple songs, we sang them as well as we ever had – maybe better!

The whole thing was really fun!  Now we begin rehearsals for Faure’s Requiem, a massive and famous work of choral (and orchestral?) music.  We’ll be singing that on June 21 as the grand finale to the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra’s massive week of music-making in Branson.  After that, our choir will break till the fall.

Maybe pinking shears?

Andrew started this week’s mowing last evening, completing the biggest part of the riding, and he went out this afternoon to finish it.  Scott had told him the whole job had to be done by suppertime tonight.

Well, mid-process, the rider quit working, and it seems to Andrew to have the same symptoms that cost him a $100 repair job last summer.  Sigh.  Hopefully this time it’s something simple that Scott can fix.   So, very disgruntled and very discouraged, Andrew headed back out to push mow the rest of the yard.  I heard the mower running for quite a while and then silence.  Some fifteen minutes later, Andrew entered the office, hot, sweaty, dirty, and trying not to scream.  He informed me that now the push mower won’t work, either.  It had run out of gas, he filled it (two processes that he has probably done successfully a hundred times), and he tried to start it.  It would not start for love or money or ME!  I even went out to hold my mouth right and yank the cord, but neither of us could get so much as a sputter out of the beast.

So much for yard work done by suppertime, and we have church tonight.  I told him to go ahead and do the weed-eating, and he did almost all of that, but the mowing. . . who knows?  Andrew and I jointly hate the fact that mowers are in that specific genus of equipment that simply cannot EVER be relied upon to faithfully perform as designed.

Our grass cutting resource collection seems to be shrinking.

Amazing Andrew

For the past several days, while he’s been on restriction (as a consequence for his previously bad attitude toward me), Andrew has been TOTALLY cheerful, helpful, and kind.  He’s been taking initiative.  He has not complained when asked or told to do things he doesn’t want to do.  In short, he has been a delight!

The restriction ends tomorrow at 6:30 PM.  May that not be the case with his good attitude.

They’re in the ground!

This past Saturday, April 13, just two days before our whopping tax bill was due, I planted my seedlings.

I now have four tomato plants in the side yard barrels (all four are “Big Beef”), six tomato plants in pots on the front walk (one more “Big Beef” and five “Early Girls”) and six red pepper plants also in pots on the front walk.  All of those were started from seed in the attic.  In addition, I have one “salsa pot” that houses three cilantro plants and one jalapeno pepper plant that I bought at Wal Mart.  I still have about half a dozen tomatoes in peat pots on the porch, because I didn’t have enough pots for all of them.  I’m saving them for now, in case any of the others go puny and need to be replaced.

I also bought eighteen assorted marigolds and planted them in various places in the big flower bed and the mailbox bed.

This morning, I resumed my morning watering habit, but I can see that I will need to get up earlier on watering days.  It’s growing season!

How much wood. . . ?

Scott and I were walking down by the bridge this evening and on the far side, scrambling among the rocks up under the bridge, we did yea and verily spy a woodchuck (a.k.a. a groundhog).  How fun!


I was thinking the other day about rotation; not like the earth rotating on its axis, but all the rotating I do.  That does rather make it sound like I am a ballerina or an ice skater – NOT! – but I do rotate.

I have this thing about stuff being used in order and/or used evenly, and when I was putting towels away, it occurred to me that I rotate many things, and that made me wonder if everyone else does, too.

With virtually no thought, I automatically rotate:

~ sheets (in the “linen closet,” which is actually a shelf in our bedroom closet)

~ bath towels (in the linen closet)

~ kitchen towels and cloths (in the kitchen drawer)

~ produce (in the fruit and vegetable drawers of the fridge)

~ milk, cheese, and eggs (in the fridge)

~ T-shirts, socks, and underwear (in Scott’s and my dresser drawers)

~ bars of soap (in the linen closet)

~ boxes of cereal (above the kitchen cabinets)

~ bags of tortilla chips (above a different kitchen cabinet)

~ ministry thank you notes (in a shoe box in the office)

~ cake mixes (in the pantry)

And in other news, there are five days on the April calendar that are currently totally blank!  Tomorrow is one of them.  Actually, Andrew cleans tomorrow and that probably should have been written on the calendar, which would mean that there are only four blank days in April.  However, blank does not mean that I have nothing to do tomorrow.




“Life is easy in the ‘Shade”

While walking this morning, I passed, as I always do, the Walker’s house on the far side of the bridge.  They own the Native Signs company in Branson, and Tracy is very creative and into using old stuff to make interesting stuff.  She and Eric are forever working on their house and yard, and they’ve managed to create something of a farm on their tiny one-acre plot.

Currently, they raise chickens, ducks, and pigs (well, the most recent pigs were slaughtered a month or so ago), and in the spring and summer, the pig area becomes a garden that for obvious reasons produces like absolutely crazy.

This morning, Tracy came out to meet me as I walked by and said she had to show me the latest addition.  In her arms, she was cradling a baby pig.  Her name is Turtle, and she’s an eight week-old, pot-bellied pig, to be raised as an indoor pet.

Tracy’s been looking online for a pot-bellied pig for nearly a year and finally located this one in Texas.  She was going to drive to Texas to pick her up, but her husband told her she didn’t need to do that, so the pig was sent in a crate on a plane.  Tracy and her husband drove to Kansas City last night to pick her up.

Little Turtle is somewhat traumatized from all her travels and tends to run skittish when set down, so Tracy’s been carrying her around like a baby.  Both of their daughters are grown (24 and 21) and moved out, so I guess Tracy’s lavishing her mom-love on the piglet.  she said she wanted to show me Turtle, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I walked by one day and saw a small pig running around in their front yard.  I said that that was something one would only see in Walnut Shade, and she replied, “Well, we have a saying:  Life is easy in the ‘Shade!”

[Note:  When I came home and told Scott about this, he said, “If there’s something you really want, then ask me.  I’ll probably say yes.  But for a pet pig in the house, the answer would be NO!”]

What a cleaning crew!

Tonight our church hosted a Bingo Blast.  This means that we invited anyone who wanted to come, to spend up to two hours. . .

eating hot dogs, chips, soda, and cookies

letting their kids play a variety of games, including a “jump” house

playing bingo for a variety of prizes, including gift cards for gas, groceries, and restaurants, hotel stays, gift bags, and cash

hearing the gospel explained

all for free!

Earlier in the week, Pastor Barb was trying to guess how many people would come, so we’d know how many hot dogs to buy, how many gifts to provide, etc.  We took a stab and guessed there’d be about 100 people, including probably some 30-40 of our own.  Our Life Group was working the second shift, and I was pleasantly surprised when I pulled up and there were a LOT of cars in the parking lot.  There were about 35 church folks involved, but at one point, Pastor Barb counted 92 non-LCC people, too!

I think the event was a great success on getting people to come.  Now we are hoping some of them will come back on Sunday morning.

There were two Life Groups assigned to the clean-up (9:00 – 10:00 PM), and one of those groups was ours.  However, our group also happened to be responsible to do the weekly church cleaning tomorrow, so we had decided that rather than coming back on Saturday morning, we’d just stay and do it all Friday night.  Thankfully, another group stayed to help us, and in about an hour, we got the whole Bingo Blast cleaned up (and it was quite a mess), AND all the regular church cleaning done.  WOW!

I was amazed at how hard and fast everyone worked, and it was great to finish the job tonight.

Sadness and joy

Although there are shifts every year as some guys move or their schedules change or their family situation is different, several die-hards have been after Scott to get a Promise Keepers team together this year, so he did.

Parks and Rec posted the church league schedule, and the games are – of course – on Thursday nights at 6:30, 7:30, and/or 8:30.  Each week, one (or sometimes two) team(s) has a double-header, and PK is in the upper division with four or five other teams.

This is all well and good, but our choir practices are also on Thursday nights, from 7:00 – 9:00 PM.  Choir generally is off for the summer, but since we have some special performances in late June, we will be rehearsing every Thursday until then.  The ball season runs April 11 through the end of June.

The end result of all that is that for the first time in 14 years, I can’t be at Scott’s ball games.  When I realized that, I couldn’t decide whether to cry because I’d miss all his games, or be glad that we each get to do something we love on Thursday nights.  It’s a tough call, but I’m endeavoring to go with the latter.

The season started tonight with a PK double header at 7:30 and 8:30.  First, we played Grace Community Assembly (formerly Tri-Lakes Church), and then Church Army.  Despite my absence, we narrowly won the first game, and I was able to zip out of choir and get to the ball field in time to watch the second half of the last game.  We were down 13-3 when I arrived, and it wasn’t looking good for Our Heroes, but (maybe thanks in part to my exuberant cheering?) the Promise Keepers staged an outstanding come-back and ended up winning 16-13!!!

Scott played lightly, spending portions of both games either in the dugout or base coaching, but I think it was still fun for him.  I LOVED being able to watch and cheer them on.

For those who care, here are the guys I saw playing for us that I knew:











They also pulled in about three guys I didn’t know.  That new (older) ump was at the plate and Hank (wearing gloves – it was in the low 40s and breezy) was out behind second.

It’s a good thing choir comes first, as I hollered myself slightly hoarse.  = )

Just in time

Last weekend, it was warm.  Warm enough that I wore shorts on our bike ride and was quite comfortable.  I would’ve been sweating in jeans.  I wore a pair of off-white shorts instead of my preferred blue denim ones, because the elastic on the blue ones is too big and they slide around on me.  I like to tell myself that that’s because I’ve lost so much weight, but since they still fit perfectly in the rear, I suspect it’s really because the elastic is shot.

So I took to my friend, Judy, who is a great seamstress and does alterations by the hour.  (Note that this waistband was all scrunchy sewn in, not just elastic through a casing, which I could have dealt with myself.)  I gave her both pairs of blue shorts Sunday at church, and Wednesday night (last night), she handed them back to me, all good to go.  Now, that’s great service!

I got them back just in time.  This morning, it was 30, cloudy, and windy when I walked.  Sigh.

Good thing I didn’t set my tomatoes out yet!

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