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Weekend Events

16 Jun

Three events this past weekend that are still rumbling around in my thoughts:

  • The last thing I remember before being put under anesthesia for endoscopy and colonoscopy was suprise—my own and the nurses’ —at how high my heart rate was. The nurse said “Don’t worry, I can take care of that” as she injected the drug into my IV line. The first few sounds I heard while coming out of anesthesia, before I could open my eyes, were the repetitive beeping alarm of the cardiac monitor and the conversations of the nurses of one team handing me off to the next shift informing them “She can not be left alone, the monitor is going off constantly.” And firm handling, shaking and a voice calling me to “Wake up, now”. At 50 beats/min the alarm would sound. Later on, when I finally did wake up, the nurse on duty said I must have been uncomfortable so more sedative was administered. I was out a long time. I wonder if I was also uncooperative, or if uncomfortable is somewhat a synonym for uncooperative in those circumstances. Comfort and cooperativeness go together in many situations, I think. All OK, by the way.
  • Isabelle played “Gavotte” by J.S. Bach (number 1 in Book 5 for Suzuki folks) at her recital. It is an unaccompanied piece, which was a good thing, since earlier in the day I had the procedures indicated above and was in no shape to play piano. Her instructor, Mr. D., is such a wonderful musician and teacher. He tutored her on the importance presentation and little details can add to or detract from a performance. And she listened! So she did a great job. She is starting to self critique more–a good skill for life.
  • She and I went to another recital. Two of her friends performed a piece together. The venue was on Cornell campus, and there were easily three times as many students performing as at her recital. Two things of note. The piano teacher is gifted in choosing music appropriate not only to the skill level, but also in tune with the personality of the students involved. The vast majority of pieces were duets–either piano (one or two pianos), piano and violin, piano and cello.

There were many very good performances. The outstanding one I keep thinking of was two sisters, both in bright, coral toned summer dresses each of different style and pattern with bare legs and black shoes: flats for the pianist who was taller, and small heels for the cellist. Both girls were willowy and fair, their blond hair pinned up. That they were dressed up immediately made them stand out in this recital, unfortunately. They were exceedingly well-poised. The cellist was an elfin creature whose fine facial features were somewhat skewed–larger on one side and slightly smaller and narrower on the other. Which made her appear sly, or knowing, or disdainful; the effect was magnified by the way she held and moved her head when she played. They played “Elegy” by Faure. Magnificently. The cellist played from memory. She was as good as many an adult I have heard. For one so small, thin, and finely cast, the sound she rendered from that instrument was incredible.

Her sister reminded me of a dryad, a tree spirit. Longer limbed and willowy, she swayed and glanced at her sister; her playing was perfect accompaniment. Their personal presentation, technique, dynamic range, style all combined to produce an enchanting, time-stopping performance. It was Art.

Hawthorne Update

16 Jun

Hawthorne Stumpwiggle has been with us now for a bit over two months. I am still astonished at how much is new to him: walking around and in ponds, frog jumping, frog noises, wading in streams, garden sculpture, bones to eat, cows, a horse, electric fence — all in the past ten days! He must have led a pitifully narrow existence prior to coming to us.

Amy, our vet and neighbor and friend saw him today. It was immediately apparent to her that he has changed quite a bit. Calmer, listening to direction, more able to control himself. He frequently still acts like a 50 pound toddler, however. And like a toddler is not to be trusted with animals smaller than himself.

I see that he is happy most of the time, trusts us, is much less anxious, wants to be where we are. Jay still is not reconciled to the sloppy drippiness that is a big hot dog who has just drunk water. It does make for a pile more laundry and floor cleaning. Hawthorne has discovered he likes bones. Specifically, lamb and deer bones. He also loves cheese, venison sausage, smoked fish skin, and anything that can be licked from a plate after supper is over.

I also know I have had more dog inflicted bruises since he has come than I have ever had in my whole life. When he is exuberant or thinks we are playing (but I never play that hard!) or is irritated, those teeth and claws can do quite a bit of unintended damage quickly.

He and Daisy, the new dog on the farm, have a budding friendship that at this point is similar to kindergarteners who like each other: antagonistic, but interested.

He is intelligent, and it is our goal to continue molding his smarts and his will to make Hawthorne an even happier dog.


16 Jun

Young Ripple is doing very well on a diet of worms, bugs and cat food soaked in water. So well that today he flew a few feet a couple times. I spent time with a bird book trying to see if he could possible be another kind of thrush–saw a wood thrush, but it seems he is a robin. He stretches, he digs in the dirt, he chirps and peeps at us, his little head feathers rise and fall depending on his mood: similar to the crest of a cockatiel owned by friends, though not as obvious or spectacular.

The flowers are clematis growing up the trunk of a locust tree.

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