Tag Archive | Arts

Fire and Rain

Fire Dancing

 

Tuesday night we went to a big Luau with dignitaries and professional Polynesian dancers (and of course food!)  We had a great evening, even if it was outdoors.  Much to everyone’s relief, the weather decided to cooperate and there was heavy cloud cover providing much needed relief from the summer sun.  As the evening went on and the dancers came out, they were performing at a little outdoor pavilion, and then they concluded the performance a little after dark with a fire dance.  I love the fire dances.  The problem came when that much appreciated cloud cover decided to start spewing lightning strikes during the fire dance.  Fortunately it waited until after they put out the final flame, and all of 10 seconds later it started pouring.  Great timing.

 

Time and Perspective

Every March I hold a contest for my piano students.  It is the time of year they start getting too busy or lazy to stay on top of their practice, so I just need to give them a little push.  My children are no exception to the lazy bug, and it helps them as much as anyone.

Yesterday I was explaining to my son how the practice contest was going to work, the prizes, and what he was supposed to work on.  It was too much, he didn’t want to practice, he couldn’t do it, he wanted to give up before he even started.  That evening I set out the song he was working on and his practice chart and just left it on the piano.  Looking for a way to get out of going to bed, he gravitated over to his music.  Suddenly he remembered how much he actually liked the song he was learning, and sat down to practice, doing everything he had been asked to, and more.  This morning, first thing, he has already gotten to work and finished learning the song that he had been putting off for months!

We all know that time changes things, incentives change, and so does perspective.  If I had forgotten that concept, and gotten caught up in the negative emotions of the moment, I would have decided that working with this child was not possible and that it would take a miracle to get him to even try.  Patience, time, and change can allow things to happen that we would have previously considered impossible.  I believe this is one way miracles happen.  It is not because the impossible has occurred, but because time and patience have occurred.

 

Broadway Anyone?

The Phantom of the Opera (1986 musical)

The Phantom of the Opera (1986 musical) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night I was able to attend an incredible performance of Phantom of the Opera with my husband and 3 oldest children.  We love the music and enjoyed the excitement of the performance.   It is some of my favorite music and very well done.  The price tag was reasonable also.  How lucky I am to be able to enjoy one of the exclusive cultural events of the century.  Miraculous to watch in my living room.  Miraculous talent.

Thanks PBS!

It is a must see.  http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/episodes/the-phantom-of-the-opera-at-the-royal-albert-hall/about-the-program/1258/

And This

Finale

Johnny Lingo Moment

Last week one of my husband’s friends moved to Salt Lake.  He had a “project piano” in his home that he did not want to take with him.  He gave it to us to see if it was even possible to fix or not.  I took one look at it and said it needed to go straight to the dump.  Even DI would not want this thing (and they sell some pretty poor excuses for pianos there.)  Les wanted to just test out the integrity of the insides before we dumped it.  We did not even take it out of our van to test it, because if it failed to be able to hold a tune we were not even going to try.  I was very disappointed when it was decided it could possibly be salvaged to maybe hold a tune.

We brought it into the house, and into good light.  I was so disappointed.  I didn’t even take any “before” photos because I just wanted it out of my house.  Ugly.  There were major stains on the wood, food actually caked into the crevices, missing and cracked varnish, and two mismatched legs of the wrong size, shape, style and wood.  Not only did it not even stand up straight, but it wasn’t playable because the keys were too cracked and would cut your fingers, and every note was out of tune.  One note even had a make-shift black key made out of Popsicle sticks!

I had some friends come look at it who worked with wood.  Les was pretty sure that he could restore the insides without too much time or expense.  (Have I ever mentioned that he is often overly optimistic?)  They looked at it, and verified that it was structurally in good shape, but kind of had a scared expression themselves looking at the condition of the finish.  Just strip it down and start all over again was their recommendation.  And the legs could be salvaged as well, they would help.

Great.  Now I have a time consuming work project in the middle of the family room.  Les was excited, thinking we could make enough on the piano to cover our entire mortgage this month.  That is really stretching it I told him.

Yesterday we started working on the piano.  In about 2 hours we had the largest problem on the insides completely fixed, the entire thing cleaned (tons of pennies and dust bunny heaven – eecchhkk) and the second largest problem (the broken white keys) halfway finished!  We put stripper on the entire piano.  As I started scraping the varnish off, I discovered one of the shocks of my life.  This piano is BEAUTIFUL.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  It’s not a dirty, disgusting, neglected brownish piece of wood, it is a very expensive looking, dark red, gorgeous, probably mahogany piano.  There were some repair parts it needed that are very hard to find, but so far everything we need we have found extras of sitting in our garage!  I will definitely have after photos, and my overly optimistic husband is raising what he hopes to sell the piano for as we speak.  Talk about a Johnny Lingo moment!

If you don’t know the story of Johnny Lingo, you can watch it on YouTube.  I’ve attached then end section of the original movie to this post.  I think we need to name this piano Mahana.

 

 

Les’ Miracle

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

After 12 years of consistent, diligent writing of a series of novels, my husband Les e-published his first book this week;   The Eye of the Sun Part 1 of Blackwood: Legends of the Forest.  I didn’t think he would ever get around to publishing as he was dead set against even submitting his work, even after all of these years.  It’ a magical fantasy series.  He finally took the leap and self published to Amazon Kindle.

It’s a large accomplishment for anyone, but for someone with his level of ADD to finally finish a project of that size is pretty amazing in and of itself.  I give Les full credit for accomplishing that task.  (Even if he did so at the expense of some other pretty important priorities.)  He also did all the web presence himself – another huge project, which I see this morning isn’t quite as finished as he thought.

Here’s the miraculous part.  One sold last night.

You can see his site here.

You can see his sale page here.