Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Girls Played at CJ Arthurs Last Night......

Friends, and fellow musicians, Will and Robin invited Mollie and Tess to play with them last night, at their monthly gig at CJ Arthur's restaurant in Wilmette. We've been there several times to hear them play, have a good meal, and share in a terrific night out.

This time hearing the girls play was made more special, as in addition to playing their own music, they played along with Robin and Will on some of their creations. Equally wonderful was having our friend, and fellow flutist Gayle, sit in on one of Mollie's compositions. Having Gayle in the mix is always a delight.

As usual, before Mollie and Tess play, there is a last minute run through, as well as rewrites of their arrangements. I am always amazed by how calm and self-assured they are before playing. I don't know how they do it.

Getting ready....
Harp Hands

Limbering up at the harp....
Harp Run through

Tuning the flute....
Flute Run Through

Tuning the harp....
Tuning the Harp

Playing a few of their chosen numbers....
Last Minute

Rewriting arrangements...last minute inspirations....

Final run-through....

Setting up....
Setting up at CJ Arthurs

Reviewing playlist....
Reviewing Playlist

And so it begins...
CJ Arthur Gig

Robin with her new accordion...only Robin could make it look this cool!
Robin with Accordian

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A New Joni Mitchell long last....

Her voice has lost its purity, and is now replaced by a smokey, deeper tone. But the same, beautiful, soulful Joni still remains. Joni Mitchell's "Shine"

Joni Mitchell Shine

Friday, September 28, 2007

18th Birthday Celebration for Max

When Max smiles, the world lights up.......

Max 18th

Max with Cake

Max Birthday

Many thanks to Christopher for helping turn this....

Max Collage

....into this. Well done!

Max's Photo Cake

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Happy 18th Birthday To My Dear, Dear Max

My son Max, who is celebrating his 18th birthday at 3:25PM today, is one of my favorite people in the entire world. There is no one quite like him, and I think he is spectacular.

He has a good soul, a kind heart, a quick wit, and has always had the ability to astonish and amaze me at every turn.

So here for you Max-O, are a few of my favorite photos of you. My love to you always. May this new year bring unanticipated joy and wonders.

Newborn Max

Max in Jacket

Max with Cake

Max with Hat

Chef Max

Turtle Max

Max at Piano

Max at Botanic Garden


Max at Mitsua


Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Week of the Blahs.....

This week has been strange. We all seem tired, droopy, not ready to do much except what we either have to do, or are already scheduled to do. There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason for our feeling like this, but here we are.

We have taken several photos this week, but honestly are too pooped to upload and post them. Soon....soon....

This week we have done, in no particular order....

Grocery shopping

Flute in homeschool orchestra

Shopped produce market - 20 pounds of fresh Michigan apples @ 39 cents a pound!

Survey (paid) on oatmeal products

Roamed party store, killed time before oatmeal survey

Bill finished up an engineering job he was working on

Gave phone support to fledgling homeschooling mom

Planned, prepared 7 dinners, 6 lunches

Baked an Apple Pie

Shared a bit of pizza and conversation with Robin!

Worked at the library

Gave harp and piano lessons to 4 students

Baked Orange Madeleines

Rehearsed flute with Arlington Heights Community Concert Band

Visited with another homeschool mom, offering a little TLC

Attended a dance class

Sat in porch rocker finishing "Going Gray", nearly eaten alive by mosquitoes, worth it in order to relax and read there

Baked Creamy Cocoa Cheesecake

Looked through photos of Max for project for his 18th birthday next week

Finished reading "The Four Agreements" - "Nineteen Minutes" - "Tender to the Bone"

Gave up halfway through "Why People Believe Weird Things"...too redundant after several chapters...

Christopher and Max went to Harper classes, wrote papers, studied

Rehearsed harp, flute and piano with Robin and Will for upcoming CJ Arthur gig

Visited a bit with friends, Gayle and Jamie, who we love, after rehearsal

Survey (paid) on vanilla milk shakes

Went to lunch (with all of us!), courtesy of free Noodles coupons

Ordered Christmas gift for Mollie, grabbing bargains where I can....

Battled telephone bureaucracy over health insurance for the kids

Searched in vain for Tess's lost iPod shuffle...yes, the one she just paid for herself...

Organized upcoming October bills

Went with girls to Walmart and Payless for shoes and jeans to fit their growing taller and prettier frames....clearance sales on all!

Christopher created another huge photo cut-out, this time of his boss for his 30th birthday

Cleaned out huge recipe box found at Estate Sale, kept a ton of old/new recipes to try out

Had hair french braided by Mollie

Began "What Matters Most", new Luanne Rice book

Girls did some math and weather related work with Bill

Bill re-plated ring for Mollie, much to her delight

Taking care of Bill, our first fall flu casualty poor guy.

Finally, the usual house tidying and laundry.....

Can't think of much else. So, in the end we did do lots of things.

At times, I think that we are not doing much of anything. I then backtrack, make a list of things gone by, and realize that much has happened. Maybe, unless it's exciting or somehow over the top, it doesn't feel like it counts?

I will have to pay attention to this.

Maybe I will figure it out...then again, maybe not.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I Feel Like a Beatlemaniac...all over again.....

My morning paper lead me to a review of this book....

Wonderful Tonight

I feel like I am back in seventh grade, a new issue of Tiger Beat magazine is on the newsstand, George Harrison's girlfriend Pattie Boyd is on the cover, and I don't get my allowance until next week!!!!!

Back then, I read everything in the known universe about Pattie. Until sixth grade my name was spelled Patti.....George's girlfriend spelled her name Pattie, naturally, I too became a Pattie. I tried to copy her clothes, her makeup, even her pouty look....I thought she was the luckiest, most beautiful girl in the world.

Pattie Boyd

She still fascinates me. Unfortunately, I just checked my library reserve list, and I am number 12 of 12 reserves.'s Tiger Beat all over again.

The Beginning of Fall Craft-O-Rama....

We like working with our hands. Yet our creative pursuits have been few this past summer.

Fall seems to bring with it a renewal of our collective creative spirit. Perhaps the cool air, the appearance of vibrant color inspires us.

I have been hand sewing and crocheting since the age of four, machine sewing, knitting, embroidering since seven. I miss these things when away from them for to long.

So begins my new project, a Fall Garland for the living room. Gathering supplies.....

Garland Plans

Fabric Stack


Cutting, sewing, pressing, hand stitching.....

In Progress

Adding a final touch....

Adding Pearls

And viola! A new Fall Garland for the living room.

Fall Garland

I'm back in the saddle.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Full Day...

There are days when hours pass, day is done, nothing has happened. Others are filled with a great variety of full, treasured moments. This was such a day.

Mollie worked with one of her harp students...

Donna Harp Student

...while I worked in the gardens, tidying up for fall. Some perennials are at their most beautiful during these last few months before winter sets in...

Sage & Sedum

Fall Garden

Robin came by for a rehearsal with the girls. They will play together at the end of September, at CJ Arthur's restaurant, where Robin and Will perform on a regular basis. The girls are thrilled, and honored, to be invited to work with these great musicians. Gardening while listening to their gentle, haunting piano, harp, and flute pieces was paradise.

Later, the girls spent time learning map reading, and math with Bill. The girls asked Bill if he would help them out with these skills and I know that they enjoyed it, as they were gone for hours!

Learning New Things

Meanwhile, I baked a batch of Brownies....


....Christopher, just back from work at the library, worked on a project for his class at Harper....

CK Studying

...and Max relaxed before starting off to work at the library. He put in a busy day with school at Harper, and a quick clothes shopping trip to Woodfield Mall with Bill.

Max New Clothes

The end of a very full day.