Tag Archives: real life

Back from camping!

We had a wonderful time, camping next to the ocean, lulled to sleep by the roaring waves each night (and yes, they certainly did seem to shout without end). It’ll be hard to fall asleep tonight in the relative silence!

I’m glad to be back in a bed, however, and not fighting for space on an air mattress. (It’s easy to keep the dog off the bed, but not so easy with an air mattress that’s less than a foot off the ground. Yes, we took the dog camping with us this time. Next time? Well, that’s a subject for debate.)

It’s late, and I need to go to bed. I stayed up way too late last night, scanning the sky for meteors. I had seen three the night before, plus a satellite or two, but nothing last night, although someone else saw two.

No meteors in store for me tonight, unless perhaps I dream them.

Good night!


Nitpicking in general and Les Mis in particular

I am a nitpicker. There, I’ve admitted it. It’s funny, because I’m not good at details. I mean, my memory consists of general impressions, emotional responses, and odd, random facts floating for the most part aimlessly.

I am good, however, at noticing details that I find annoying. (Maybe that’s not such a unique trait.)

We were privileged to see Les Misérables over the weekend, with the 25th anniversary touring company. It was a thrill, because while we’d been planning for years to see it with the girls, since seeing it nearly 20 years ago without them, the ticket prices were numbing. Even the cheapest seats were out of reach.

And then… a miracle occurred. Okay, not really a miracle. But it seemed like a miracle. I checked my spam folder and saw an announcement that Fred Meyer was sponsoring discounted tickets. We paid half-price for our “cheap” seats. It was still a strain on the budget (we won’t be going out to eat for birthday meals for the next year) but it was doable.

Last time dh and I saw the show, we were in cheap seats in the second-to-the-last row in the farthest balcony behind a pillar. Seriously. I sat back, folded my arms, and sulked. What a waste of money! …and then the music started, and within five minutes we were leaning to our respective sides of the pillar and as far forward as possible, riveted. The stage was impossibly small and far away, the figures practically microscopic, but we were pulled in by the power of the story, the music, the voices, the staging.

The cheap seats for this visit were five rows back from the stage, way over on the right side, which meant we could see the left side of the stage, all the way to the center and a little beyond. The show was staged in a way that we didn’t feel as if we were missing a whole lot. We know we missed some things, but didn’t feel bereft.

Actually, I was glad of some of the things we missed. Youngest was at the far end of the row, so more of the stage was cut off from her sight, which meant that she missed some of the more lascivious action during “Master of the House” and “Lovely Ladies.”

(While we’re on the topic of grumbles, I was mortified that someone leaned over to shush the girls, who were apparently talking to each other, maybe whispering, maybe not, during the show. We had seats in two different rows, so dh and I weren’t with the girls. They’re not little, so I’d expect them to know how to behave.)

(Don’t misunderstand me; I wasn’t mortified at the shusher, I was upset at the girls for not having the sense to keep quiet. I was very glad that the lady in their row leaned over and asked them to be quiet. They learned a lesson (seeing a public event is a lot different from watching it in your living room), and I think they were quiet for the rest of the show because I didn’t see her lean towards them again.)

We could see a little of backstage, dark-clad people moving about adjusting things. It wasn’t too bothersome until the last fifteen (?) minutes or so — the climax of the show. Someone apparently didn’t pull the back/side curtain all the way, which left us staring over Valjean’s shoulder at a monitor with a bright image of the conductor, waving his arms at the orchestra. Come to think of it, we could see the conductor through the whole wedding scene that preceded Valjean’s death scene. It was a distraction.

So don’t let me give you the impression that I thought we wasted our money. Les Misérables is amazing. The composer is a genius. The translator did a masterful job. The performance earned a prolonged standing ovation from the audience. (Girls grumbled a little that not all the voices were as good as on our original cast CDs.)

It was worth every penny, and more (I want to move up a seat category, next time the show comes to town, if it does. Maybe if we start saving now…).

I just wish I could get that white waving figure out of my head!

But seriously, great show. And now I’m enjoying the music all over again, as the girls have hauled out the book of Les Misérables sheet music and are getting piano time in sight-reading and learning the pieces.

Contented sigh.

Cleaning resource!

Stumbled across this site today while looking up berry stains — that is, how to get berry stains out of clothing. How did the berry stains get on the clothes, you ask? Not because we were berry picking, sad to say. (mmm, fresh U-picked organic strawberries… am going to have to organize a trip soon)

No, for some reason there was a packet of berry jam on the car seat, and someone sat down on it, and the rest is history.

Anyhow, after reading through the berry stain treatment, I did a little exploring and was very please to find information on cleaning with natural ingredients.


Just got back from the Swiss choir concert. (No, we’re not Swiss, but how we got involved in the choir is a story for another day.)

The three girls and I were supposed to sing a quartet, but Eldest fell ill between the before-concert rehearsal and the concert itself. Thankfully, one of the sopranos was able to fill in for her at the last minute, with just a short run-through of the song. Thanks so much, S.!

A cowboy band were the guest artists. You say, “What, a cowboy band? And a Swiss choir?” But there is a connection. Yodeling is common to both!

When dh sent Youngest to buy one of the band’s CDs, the leader so very kindly presented the CD to her as a gift. So even though it’s past bedtime, we’re listening to the CD at this very moment.

The Giant Schnauzer is very glad to have us home, and is being cute and playful (if a nearly-100 lb. dog can be said to be “cute”) and cuddly.

Well, g’night.

Whew. All those weeks of rehearsal. About two hours of concert. Amazing to think it’s over for the rest of the year.

Make Way for Ducklings!

I am so grateful for the W.I.S.E. science class units where we studied birds. It has made us much more aware of the presence of birds in the world around us.

On our way back from the W.I.S.E. field trip to the aquarium last Friday (we’re studying sharks this term), we spotted a bald eagle, wheeling above the Interstate median. And then yesterday we saw a mother duck and her five or six babies (again, Interstate driving, so we didn’t exactly have the chance to take a good look).

This plucky mama was walking along the inner shoulder on her way to the river, her little ones following, while cars whizzed by at 40-50 mph only a few feet away. How in the world did they get to the inner shoulder, anyhow, without crossing three busy lanes? The girls hypothesized that she was a wood duck and had laid her eggs on a ledge under a  freeway overpass, perhaps.

We called it in as a traffic hazard. Can’t you just see someone slamming on their brakes and a line of cars behind them piling into each other?

We didn’t hear anything on the news, later, so hopefully Mama Duck got her brood safely to the river. I have no idea how, as the Interstate Bridge is so high above the river that people wanting to take their own lives jump off that bridge. However, in our studies of wood ducks a few months ago, we found out that the babies jump out of the nest to the ground within a day of hatching.

According to the All About Birds website, they can fall as much as 290 feet without injury! This is with little, stubby, down-covered wings, not the sort of thing a bird uses to fly!

So maybe they were able to jump off the high bridge into the river without any problems, after all. I hope so. They were awfully cute.

Wish I could post a photo of the mama and her babies making their way along the freeway shoulder but… we were one of those cars whizzing by at 40 mph in building rush-hour traffic…


Yesterday while at music lessons (viola for Eldest, violin for Youngest) a sudden burst of wind hit the side of the house, and we looked up, and it was snowing!

…very strange to see, with the cherry trees and daffodils in full bloom.

It’s continued cold, and I’m glad to be snug inside our home today, with a hot cup of coffee and music in the background. Playing now: In Christ Alone (on YouTube).

Spring is in the air!

Today for the first time this year, I hung out laundry — a load of sheets, actually. The sun (when it wasn’t behind a cloud) was so warm! I don’t know if the sheets will be dry at the end of the day, but they’ll smell fresh and need a lot less tumbling in the dryer to finish the job.

Looking forward to more laundry tomorrow. (No, seriously! What’s better than putting sun-dried sheets on the bed? Okay, going to bed and *sleeping* on those sun-dried sheets is actually better than wrestling them onto the bed…)

Do you line-dry?