Sunday, May 29, 2005

The View From Sax Mountain

Sax Mountain is the current title for Greg's saxophone quartet. After the success of the Quartet for Winds (Double Fugue in One Movement), he felt encouraged enough to start work on this idea. Greg has always wanted to write something for saxophones, and this should turn out to be a nifty little piece. I've heard measures and phrases here and there, but so far haven't heard the work-in-progress as a whole. The problem with our sharing an office is that when he's working, I'm working -- and so I usually tune him out when I'm trying to concentrate. Greg may have already played the piece through a dozen times, but I was right here and didn't hear a thing.

Through the connections he's been making on the composers' portal and blog and through his search for composers who share his ideas about harmony and counterpoint, Greg's been getting quite a bit of new traffic to his Web site. He's decided that he wants to start doing the updates and maintenance on his Web site, since he anticipates needing to make more updates more often. I am sure I'll be able to retain my current position as resident Web jockey, but he plans to learn Adobe GoLive and give it a try on his own. (I use Macromedia Dreamweaver, but used GoLive and its predecessor PageMill before Dreamweaver was available.)

As for my own musical news, I'm currently listening to a CD of my chorus's spring concert. Rutter's Magnificat came out astonishingly well; I'm quite impressed with us. (It's such a pleasure to listen to your own performance when you don't also have to be holding up your part of the concert at the same time. You get to relax and hear the piece as a whole.)

I miss singing with the chorus, but I'm happy not to be doing the Pops concert this time around. Tired, warmed-over Broadway show tunes just don't hold that much interest for me, and I've resolved not to waste the time singing stuff I dislike. I'll rejoin the group in September when we go back to doing classical music.

What's That Round Yellow Thing in the Sky?

Did I mention that yesterday and today have been bright, gorgeous, mostly-sunny, warm days? I've celebrated by bringing home two humongous, bright red potted geraniums for the cement pots on the front steps. I've also picked up a flat of marigolds (which I adore), and will be putting them into the ground this afternoon. The house painter removed the old rusty plant hook on the garage, so I'll need to find a replacement before I can add a hanging plant to the front of the house as well. The window box hardware is still intact on the side of the house, but I need to locate the window box itself.

I talk a good gardening game and I adore flowers, but I'm not really much of a gardener. I like the idea of hanging around outside and playing in the dirt, but with all the other things I have to do around here, I never really get around to doing much after the annuals go into the ground.

For the first time in months -- maybe a year -- Greg and I sat outside on the back deck and celebrated the end of the deluge with a little wine. When the bugs start to appear, they'll be too fierce and numerous for us to be able to enjoy the outdoors at dusk (even with our Mosquito Magnet running, when it does run).

Almost in Season

Even though I'm pretty much a joke as a gardener, we'll be able to enjoy home-grown veggies all summer and into the fall. One of the local farms operates on the community-supported agriculture (CSA) model, in which people buy shares of the year's crop. This allows the farmers to run their farm as a sustainable business, and it allows us shareholders to enjoy huge quantities of beautiful organic vegetables from June through October.

We tried this for the first time last year, and really enjoyed it. One share of the crop turned out to be far too much food for one couple to handle, so I was bringing veggies to work and offering them to my hairdresser and the person who does my facials. We had so much extra that I nearly had to leave bags of veggies on people's doorsteps, ring the doorbell, and run away. The freezer was full, the fridge was full, and we couldn't eat them quickly enough before the next week's onslaught was ready. I hate to think of how many veggies we had to throw out because we didn't get to them in time.

We'll be smarter this year. This year, we'll be splitting our share with another couple in a nearby town. Since we live near the farm, we'll pick up the veggies and bring them here, and then the other couple can come split them with us. The beauty part of this arrangement is that if you don't care for a particular vegetable, chances are that your splitter will trade you something you like for it. I hope our splitters like kale and don't like eggplant.

Knitstuff

I sure as heck hope I didn't cheat on my yarn diet. (Not that I've been truly devoted to the other kind either, with all the rain we've had pouring down on our heads lately.) Anyway, before I signed up to practice a little stash asceticism, I'd put in an order at my LYS for 8 skeins of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride for another felted tote bag. That yarn finally came in, so I dropped by to pick it up yesterday. No sense making the nice people at the shop suffer for my sins, is there?

The Fletcher sweater is coming along, and I'm proud to announce that I haven't screwed up the instructions in at least a day. I've finished the back and have made it about a third of the way up the left front. Donna has probably been wearing hers for weeks now!

Fuzzbutts

Seamus and I start our obedience class on June 22. He's all signed up, and all I need to do now is copy his shot records before the first night of class. I've ordered a regulation dumbbell from AKC, though we won't be using it in this class. Seamus really is ready to compete in Open, but I'm starting at the beginning so we can start working together.

Greg is completely smitten with Seamus. Actually, we all are (except for Persephone, who is extending her vacation in the downstairs family room). He's such a sweet, happy puppy, and loves to be in the middle of things.

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1 comment:

Sharon said...

I will totally help you rationalize that yarn purchase if you will help me with the one I'm probably going to make tomorrow. :)