Archive | 12:39 PM

Friday Night Concert

12 Apr

Three ladies went to hear Jennifer Koh and her accompanist, Shai Wosner perform Mozart and Schubert Friday night.

The music was beautiful.  Mr. Wosner was absolutely wonderful as a player and accompanist.

I wish I could give Ms. Koh such high praise.  But throughout the night I kept wondering what more she could do musically if she would only restrain herself; if she poured herself into the music rather than into the incessant gyrating, hunching, twisting, bending, stooping, twitching movement of her body and head.  That behavior forcibly detracted from the loveliness of the music, especially the Mozart, since she seemed to increase the speed of  head twitches when she played  faster, lighter pieces.  The more lyrical movements of Schubert were the least physically distracting.

The audience gave them a standing ovation and they came back and played a bit from Beethoven’s 6th sonata.

Such artistry and beauty marred unnecessarily.  Isabelle’s teacher is so right to insist on her standing up straight and use minimal movement.  He also teaches her to be self aware of habits that can become detrimental and disturbing to others if allowed to go unnoticed.  It seems Ms. Koh has no one like him in her life to speak to these habits.

The other interesting note was both performers used music for all pieces!  It made me feel better about my memorization.  More anon.

First Full Week of April Suppers

12 Apr

Monday: split pea soup, homemade wheat rolls, garden lettuce

Tuesday: penne with creamed (fake) crab and peas, sugar snap peas

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: as before, with salad and venison burger

Friday: pizzas!  Ground venison, onions,  garlic, and pesto  cooked together before being put on the dough, then topped with parmesan and tomato sauce, pepperoni and cheese

Blooming

12 Apr

The Pulmonaria are blooming. The wild little white-flowered mustards  deserve a mention.  They have been blooming for at least two weeks in the alfalfa field.

The purple Pasque flower has a half dozen blooms open:

Another hellebore is blooming for the first time:  a red!

And then, of course, but unfortunately, the cherry and plum are in bloom.

Note the masses of blooms.  The whole of one plum tree is covered.

Last night in the dark Jay and I worked to put a large tarp over this tree to help prevent some of the damage frost will be doing the next few nights.  We damaged quite a few blossoms and branches in the process.  Hopefully we will save more, though.

Yesterday there were many bees and small wasps covering the open flowers of the tree!

What a delight to see them in the midst of their labors.  Note the little pollen stains on the white petals.

Trout

12 Apr

Last week we three and a neighbor boy went trout fishing on the afternoon of the day the DEC stocked the local streams.

Both youngsters outfished us.  They each caught a nice brown trout on a spinner. They each also recovered a spinner from the branches of small trees overhanging the stream left there by less intrepid fishermen.

Jay caught a brook trout at the stream in Dryden on the way home.  Another comparison:

Hawthorne’s Gotcha Day

12 Apr

Two years ago today we met people from Vermont off an interstate exit who were driving home from picking up two rescue dogs in Cincinnati.  One was a Fox Terrier.

One was a terribly thin, anxious, confused Airedale which was squished into a crate too small for a tall dog. The Airedale was coming home with us.  The rescue people had been told by his first home that he was unmanageable.  He came with a three-inch stack of paperwork to document it.

Those people were wrong.

If you do not know: I have a way with animals.  I inherited it from my father, I think, and perhaps my grandfathers.  Two degrees in animal science and one in education have helped hone that gift from God.  Head knowledge enters in after other  heart or body or empathic knowledge.  It is a two way communion.

Whatever one wishes to call this gift, it was clear within minutes of meeting him that the primary thing wrong with this dog was a hurt heart. He was sad. He had never felt part of his prior home’s ‘pack’, never felt loved.  And his doggy heart was broken.  It was also clear that his name was all wrong.  As we sat together in the car on the way home, he was clearly Hawthorne.

Zip forward two years.

Here is Hawthorne Tugger Stumpwiggle  Saturday.    After a morning walk on which he runs and sniffs and digs and investigates and rambles.  After morning raw chicken.  After playing outside with his current favorite toy–an orange rubber squeaky sort-of octopus. After morning nap. After more afternoon play.

He has his own sort of doggy purr,  and a groan of pleasure, and uses one of these, or sighs loudly, if you scratch him in just the right places. He was left alone (accidently) outside for 15 minutes!  And just stayed in the yard, playing with his toy.

He can be allowed outside in cold weather to go pee on his own and will come right back.  For a piece of pepperoni.  He is still very much a ‘will-work-for-food’ boy. He now loves to be loved.  He likes hearing “Good for you!” and being lovingly roughed up when he does come, when he does obey.  Which is most all the time.

He is neither scared, skinny, confused or unloved anymore. Rather, Hawthorne is confident, muscly, aware, integrated into our lives,  and very much loved.  And happy.   Happy!  Cheerful!  Exuberant!

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