Wonderful visit with my sister, Connie!

Last week I spent five days visiting my sister in Grants Pass where she lives with her 3 basset hounds. Penny came along and had the best time of her life! She really liked Maddie, the youngest and newest basset, and the feelings were mutual. Connie helped teach me how to trim dog nails and paw hair, clean dog ears and teeth. She’s a pro! We had such a fun time filled with laughter. So good for the soul.

Fun & Inspirational Retreat!

I just returned from enjoying a 4-day retreat with 18 wonderful women friends at a cabin in Washington. Our focus was on “Navigating Transitions and Impermanence” in our lives. I got some great insight into what I want the next phase of my life to be about. I spent the first 25 years of my life doing music in many different ways. The next 15 years were spent in nursing. After that I threw all my energy into establishing and building a community library in our town. Now, 15 years later, that project is completed. So, it’s time once again to begin a new path of learning and discovery. I can’t be sure yet exactly what form it will take, but I know it will involve animals. Perhaps I will begin with dog therapy. I’m already signed up for classes and excited about this next adventure.

To help guide me on this new path, I created this screensaver for my computer to help remind me each day of where I want to put my energy and what the values are that I will bring to the practice.

A Thrilling Concert!

I had the great pleasure of attending the Oregon Symphony’s performance of Verdi’s Requiem. I love this work! I remember vividly performing it with the San Francisco Symphony in 1973 with Seiji Ozawa conducting and Martina Arroyo, Maureen Forrester, Placido Domingo, and Martti Talvela as soloists. This performance had a wonderful large chorus, great soloists, and of course, a fabulous orchestra conducted by Carlos Kalmar. It sent chills run down my spine and it brought tears to my eyes. It was so moving! Here’s a short selection (Dies Irae) from the work you can listen to.

New Bios Just Added!

I just finished writing bios for both my grandsons. It was fun to remember all the great times we’ve had with both boys and review all the photos taken with them. Both Ryan and Tyler are now in college. Ryan is about to graduate from West Point, and Tyler is a freshman at Southern Oregon University. You can read all about them by clicking on their photos.

I’m Learning a New Software Program!

This past week I have had a lot of fun learning to use SketchUp. This is a powerful, open source, 3D design program that can be used to build almost anything. I used it to build a model of my daughter’s home and property to help her create a landscape design. I’m still learning the program, but have created a pretty good model to start the landscape project. Thanks to plenty of on-line tutorials it has been a great new learning experience. Here’s what I’ve created so far.

I Enjoyed a Wonderful Trip!

I recently returned from a really fun 5 day road trip visiting my dear friend, Ann, in North Bend; my wonderful big sister, Connie, in Grants Pass; and my collegiate grandson, Tyler, in Ashland! It was a lot of driving, but worth every moment of it. While in Coos Bay I was able to attend my old book club where we discussed Ivan Doig’s final novel, Last Bus to Wisdom. I loved the book, and it was so great to be able to talk about it with many old friends. Ann and I talked non-stop as we got caught up on our busy lives during our 2 days together. The weather cooperated and gave us a chance to visit Shore Acres and hike along the cliff. Next I visited my sister and enjoyed a great visit sharing so many health and beauty secrets that I came away feeling totally rejuvenated. It was fantastic and a great way to begin the New Year! Finally I got down to Southern Oregon State College in Ashland and saw Tyler at his college dorm, met his roommate and enjoyed a lovely day walking the campus and downtown and sharing lunch. He’s doing very well in his freshman year adjusting to college life. He’s always a joy to see.

Now that I’m home and reflecting on the trip, I think it was the perfect way to begin the year.

My Favorite Holiday – New Years!

As long as I can remember New Years has been my absolute favorite holiday. All the Christmas clutter has been taken down and put away…I’ve cleared my desk, emptied work spaces and feel prepared for “new things to come”. My tradition is to write my New Year’s resolutions/goals on Dec 31st and frame them in the most prominent place in our house where I’ll see them daily. On New Years’ Eve I’ve taken stock of how I did with the previous year’s goals and decide what is realistic and of current concern for the new year. This year on the top of my list is to engage in more creative, unproductive play (hence, this website) and to commit to spend more time on health related issues (I’m pedalling as I write this blog…no more sitting still).

I have much gratitude for all the years that have preceded this one, and much hopefulness for the years to come. But I know that only by staying conscious and aware will I grow and change. I believe we are all “works in process” of becoming the people we envision ourselves capable of becoming. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

A Fun Christmas Day with our kids!

Yesterday we drove down to Eugene, OR to spend the day with Karsten, Christine, Ryan and Tyler. Fortunately the roads were clear and it was an easy drive. Penny went too, so we had the car full of dog, presents, and food. It was so good to spend some time with each of the grandkids and get caught up on all their school classes and activities. They are all doing very well! We got to see Karsten’s newly painted Porsche he’s restoring. It’s a big project, but well underway.

A Wonderful Concert!

Yesterday we were honored to see André Watts play the Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor with the Oregon Symphony. As many times as I’ve heard this beautiful piano concerto, I’ve never been more moved as I was at this incredible performance by André Watts. The combination of his playing, Grieg’s composition, and our Oregon Symphony literally brought me to tears of rapture. This is an expression of the true power of music to touch our hearts and soul. Thank you André and all the musicians that made this concert possible.

2nd Movement of Piano Concerto in A minor – Edvard Grieg played by Stephen Kovacevich, Colin Davis; BBC Symphony Orchestra