Category Archives: Garden

Outdoors

I took my camera, with macro lens, outdoors with me on Saturday.  Auggie joined me.

The peonies are sprouting upward with speed.  The taller shoot here is about 5″ tall.  Their emergence from slumber is a week or two early, and in another two months or so they will burst forth in giant pink blooms.

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The week

What a week this was . . . !

I could barely summon the energy for a dog-walk Saturday morning, so tired was I.

This past week was my first full week at the office in the last month. We had a power outage, a canceled afternoon & evening of classes thanks to the threat (unrealized) of ice; I had a couple of days away for illness and a day away for travel.

And so this week felt grueling, but I like gruel.

I sang a cabaret show on Tuesday evening, and as usual felt the weariness 36 hours later on Thursday.

District solo & ensemble contest was this weekend. Aaron and Ronan received ratings of 1, and Isaac a 2. These ratings are accurate reflections of what the adjudicator heard, I think. (And then I found out that Grace went to contest unknownst to me, and also took home a 1 rating!)

Between their sings on Friday, I spent more money than necessary at Costco; bought some Lucky Brand jeans and a couple of pairs of socks at Nordstrom Rack; and enjoyed some Tex-Mex. But their bookends of the schedule meant a late arrival home on Friday.

And after Ronan sang on Saturday, I dropped by the shoe repair store in Ladue, then lunched on Thai noodles at Pei Wei, then went to see my niece Anna as she started her shift at Barnes & Noble.

My living room is under repair and renovation, and things are a mess. I don’t like mess.

We had our fifth audition day in the last 29 days on Friday. And orchestra concert started the week, and a choral concert will finish it this afternoon.

My Messing Award was announced.

And we received unexpected news that our assistant professor posting was approved and is now live, so I spent part of Friday evening sending emails far and wide about the suddenly-available position. We need a skill set and background that is somewhat extraordinary, so this search will be a fun one!

I saw all but one of my students this week, both at Webster and at home.

The decennial accreditation process with the National Association of Schools of Music has begun in earnest. Hours fly by when having that fun!

I closed on the refinance of my house, and am now in a shorter mortgage with happier terms.

So, after this litany of why I’m beat, the thanksgivings —

I am thankful for, and recognize that I am blessed with:

  • A home
  • A dog
  • Job security
  • A salary that leaves me comfortable
  • The promise of money in the bank when I retire in a few more years
  • Joyous anticipation of several international trips in the next few years
  • A voice with which to teach and enlighten and entertain
  • Faith
  • No worries about where my next meal is going to be found, or how I will get someplace
  • Good and talented students who wish to learn and grow
  • Family that is well-knit and gets along
  • The promise of Spring, since my daffodils and tulips are now emerging from sleep
  • The luxury of burning candles for mood and scent, and not out of necessity.

2017 in photos

Japanese Friendship Garden

I visited on Saturday the Japanese Friendship Garden in urban Phoenix.  What a lovely and tranquil place this is, in spite of the fighting ducks.

Three studies of ducks:

And the ducks fighting with each other:

The Japanese lantern, studied from different angles and locations in the garden:

Nature always wins. Until it doesn’t. Poor dead tree.

More from the garden

I was lining up a photo of the crape myrtle, and saw the moon in the perfect position for a solo snap.


More from the garden on Saturday, whilst waiting for the hummingbird: