Sunday, October 14, 2012

Always my inspiration!

It's not everyday that I get an opportunity to publicly brag on my Mom and Dad, but when I think about how much they inspire me, well, TODAY seemed like a great day to tell you!

Here's a picture of them from this summer -

We were celebrating Mom's 82nd birthday at a very cool restaurant called Haven in Oakland, CA.  Speaking of cool, have you EVER seen this type of decorative treatment in a bathroom sink?
I have no idea - maybe to help with splashing?  Certainly an attention getter!

Dad is 86 years old and have they lived in the same house for over 40 years in Moraga, CA.   They remain incredibly active in the community and participate in exercise classes three days a week.  There is a mandatory three mile walk each morning for my Dad - this helps him keep his energy up for all the different singing groups he belongs to.  He's the sole driver in the family now - Mom has macular degeneration, but she still cooks and does the laundry.  What a wonderful group of friends they have!

On our last visit, we shared a glass of wine (or two - make that three) in the backyard gazebo and enjoyed this snack.  The napkin gives you an idea of their sense of humor:

And how enchanting was this to see?

Several families of quail come back each year.  Just delightful!

My parents have been such great examples to me.  Some of what not to do, but mostly of how to live life to the fullest.  I think I come from pretty good stock!  Love you Mom and Dad!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Getting to know me just a bit better!

Part of my great e-course "Blogging Your Way" homework is to write a new bio.  So that's what I've done!  Click on the above tab "About Holly" and find out a little more about me.

I'd love to read yours, too - can you post a link to your blog in the Comments below?

 Happy 10-11-12!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Playing the clarinet again!

Remember how you imagined your future life when you were growing up?  Isn’t it amazing to look back (so far) and see how things have really unfolded? 

One area of my life that took a very unexpected turn was picking up the clarinet again after not playing for….. well, since high school :-)

When my Mr. Wonderful and I moved to The Villages, FL, I found out there were several concert bands in existence.  Oh, what the heck!  I’ll take my beloved sixty five year old clarinet (it was my Dad’s – he used to have his own dance band!) and see if I can still play!  The tone had retained its beautiful quality, and I found myself falling in love with it all over again.  Even though I thought I would poke a hole through my lip that day!  For you musicians, you know what a hit my embouchure took.

Now, six years later, I find myself looking forward not only to rehearsals but practicing at home.  I play regularly with a Concert Band, Clarinet Ensemble, String Orchestra, Pit Orchestra and Advanced Wind Ensemble.  Holy moly!  Did I count that right? 

Recently, I was asked to join a community-based orchestra called The Villages Philharmonic Orchestra for one concert.  It is make up of local students and community members, but mostly professionals from the Orlando area.  To be in the midst of professional musicians was a real treat!  The clarinet player who came, Vanessa, couldn’t have been nicer to me and was so helpful in helping me fine tune my technique. 

Here is one of the songs we played: (Look for me at the end!)

Click Here

Did you ever play an instrument when you were young?


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Who cares if you can't swim? Jump into the deep end!

That's right - the water's warm!  Or so they say...... I'm taking a blogging class and have just activated a Twitter account.  Because it's part of my homework..... Lordy!  Buttons and gadgets and widgets, oh my!

Have you ever written a Haiku?

A Haiku is a shortened form of Japanese poetry.  Get your creative writing juices going by writing a three line poem - first line has five syllables, the second has seven and the last has five! 

Here are some I've written over the past several years:

Wind whispers her breath
Clouds born and softly billow
Patiently they wait.

Earth so newly damp
The mist hangs as fallen dew
Shafts of sunlight peek.

It came from down deep,
with a wink and a giggle
and said, "Here I am!"

"It's easy" she said -
Letting Go of Holding On
"Just loosen your grip!"

What does your Haiku say?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Why aren't they called Dust Kitties?

Although I love my dark hardwood floors, it's so easy to see the dust.  Especially when you haven't dragged out the vacuum cleaner for weeks.  And you have one hairy cat who is still shedding big time because it's still getting into the mid- 80's here in central Florida.  Since the offending feline, Bichu, pictured here:

seems to be taking yet ANOTHER four hour nap, it was time to suck up the offensive hair that had been deposited in every nook and cranny in the house.  I wish they were as beautiful as this:

Or as cute as this:

Alas, they pretty much all look like this:

I know, ewwwwwwwwww.  THIS IS NOT A PICTURE OF MY DUST BUNNIES.  Because I don't HAVE dust bunnies, I have dust KITTIES. And they have been banished from my home - well, at least until they come back expecting to be fed :-)

Do you have any offensive dust critter stories?