Saturday, July 23, 2016

Fiddle Camp

It's summer.
Now what day of the week is it?

Yah, that's how it feels ;D

The time... it's flying by.

But Things have been Happening.

Things like fiddle camp.
Gunnar and I drove over to Moses Lake so he could spend a week at fiddle camp :D

Because I have zero interest in driving through Seattle when it can reasonably be avoided,
we took the long way.
The scenic way.
Highway 20.

First stop:

Gorge Creek.

Gorge Creek - home of the scary bridge.

And the incredible gorge.
And the goofy boy.

Next stop:
Washington Pass.

Gunnar, on the brink of disaster... not.


Love those stairs... and that boy!

We're lichen it ;D

Gunnar's lunch dreams came true in Winthrop, at...

Three fingers

Cruised through Brewster...

Made a quick stop at Dry Falls...

And settled into our hotel in Moses Lake to be ready first thing in the morning for...
Fiddle Camp!

Fiddle camp is our nickname.
Actually it's a fiddle "workshop",
which means classes from 9 until 3:30.

See Gunnar, right in front of the door near the back?

Gunnar was in a "Lower Intermediate" class.
Most of these students had been playing 2-4 years,
and they were all ages.
A couple kids looked about 7 or 8,
and there were gray haired grannies as well :D

Meanwhile, while Gunnar fiddled....

I spent the day at the hotel,
storing up Vitamin D for winter.

It takes a lot of energy and focus to play a violin all day long,
and Gunnar was glad to be done for the day
and just relax and goof around!

Day One is in the bag ;D

Meanwhile, Day Two,
Gunnar is back in class,
and I am suffering for the cause ;D

Evening - Gunnar is studying for his next CAP promotion...

... while I'm watching the beautiful sunset from our balcony :D

Day Three,
Gunnar is back at camp,
and I'm taking one for the team ;D

I'd interrupt my demanding schedule to go meet him for lunch :D

And we'd chill out at the pool later in the afternoon :D

The first day, especially, was quite challenging for Gunnar.
He considered moving into an easier class,
but decided he would likely be bored if he did,
and it was better to be "pushed".

By mid-week, he was settling into the rhythm and feeling more comfortable :D

Day four and five followed the same pattern.

At the end of the week, all 19 (I think) of the classes performed a piece they'd been working on,
and the instructors each performed.

Many of the instructors were amazing.
And having sat in on some of Gunnar's class time,
I can tell you they made a dramatic improvement in a week.
He has made great strides in his skill!

Though he was pretty nervous about playing in front of people -
even a friendly crowd like this one!

If I can figure out how, I'll post a video later.
They played a medley of Thanksgiving Hymns.
Not as "fiddle-y" as the other songs they learned,
but beautiful :D

Then the long drive home,
via a different route,
Highway 2.
But first we meandered through eastern Washington.

Transitioning from the drier center to orchard country, near the river.

Rock Island Dam.

Columnar basalt.

Crossing the Columbia.

We stopped in Cashmere do see some good friends of mine - the Huge family.
(Don't say "Hyoodg", say "Hyoo-gee" :D)

They very graciously invited us for dinner,
and let us kind of eat and run,
because they knew we wanted to get along home.

Good people!
And I forgot to get a single photo - doh!

We did have to make one more stop along the way,
to get a milkshake at...

Zeke's is a landmark, between Index and Gold Bar - a classic.

I'm amazed we didn't get caught in a big summer rainstorm crossing the pass,
doesn't it looks dark and foreboding back to the east?
But we didn't!

Had a wonderful trip!

It's fun to spend that kind of time with just one of my boys, for a change.
We're thankful that everything went smoothly,
in spite of being a bit frustrated the first day of class ;D

And glad to be home again, home again,

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Tuesday Brain Dump

1.  It's summer, even though the weather doesn't feel like it.

Last year:

Notice what's behind the boys...

Yah.  One of three fire-fighting helicopters.

This year?


Oh well, keeps it safer for fireworks!

2.  I want to do this.

But I won't
Where do you even get beach balls that big?
And what kind of paint would stick to them?

But wouldn't you love to do this?!
I mean, what if you looked out your window one morning and saw that!

It's a giant Muppet!

3.  Gunnar and I watched a little friend recently.

She wasn't entirely happy to be separated from her parents for a couple of hours.
If only she'd realized that hanging out with us is WAY more fun than
sitting in the car for a couple hours!

Oh well.

At least I got a good baby-snuggle :D
Isn't she a cutie?!

4.  Just down the alley from us...

a beautiful madrona tree.

5.  This is what I have to contend with in planning the next school year...


Of course they all have a different schedule.

But would it really be too hard to put their calendars in the same format?!

6.  This could be my boys, all day long.

7.  Kon-Mari this:

So, what's new with you?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Brain Dump In Which This Is What Happens In The Summer

That is, I can hardly remember what day it is.
The days, they are flying by.

1.  We started our summer with a bang,
as we gathered for Fathers Day  (5) / June birthdays (7),
aka Christmas In June.

Exhibit A: And that's not all of it!

One birthday girl, saving a seat for another (slightly older!) birthday girl :D 

It's a good thing nobody designated me the photographer,
because I sat across from a wall of windows,
didn't take many photos,
and the ones I did take weren't exactly great,
but here's my brother - one of the five dads we honored.

Somebody was really excited to get new doll-house furniture...
a bedroom with BUNK BEDS!

Though he pretends to be disgusted by ANY summertime discussion of school,
Gunnar is kind of looking forward to going to high school,
and he needed a new backpack :D

New clothes!

... and she knows it ;D

She wanted a little compact mirror.

Three of my guys :D

All the cousins but one -
away on a school trip to WA D.C. and NY.

And... more new clothes :D

2.  For Gunnar's actual birthday,
he requested tandoori chicken and naan bread.

Maybe it's just me, but IMHO
curries and fish should always be cooked outside.
I'm kind of particular about smells in the house.
And it's better on the grill anyway!

While his brothers slaved over the hot grill (ha ha ha)
the birthday boy got extra screen time.

I think these guys were having a better time!

So my BABY is officially FIFTEEN.
And, for the record,
I don't understand how that happened, since I still feel thirty ;D

3.  Tate has been working hard, finishing his chemistry.
I was happy to let him defer it to summer,
with all the other responsibilities he had through the spring.

Also, Tate acquired something new, can you see it?

Look closer.

His very own.

He had to leave it at home until the case came,
because TEENAGE BOY.

4.  Let me tell you what I think about deer.

The boys got me a lovely hanging fuchsia for my b'day,
then my cousin gave me a sunflower
and the boys gave me a red-white-blue flower pot for my birthday.
Nice, right?

But something doesn't look quite right.
There's no more red in the flower pot...

And the poor sunflower...

And they got most of the buds, too.

I'd much rather EAT deer, than have them eat all my flowers!

5.  Tate having a quiet moment with Polly.

Yes, she is lying on her back like a (human) baby, in his arms.
He's made her quite gentle :D

6.  Gunnar and I continue to go on morning walks,
and we admire the flowers around the neighborhood.

How are they so favored,
that the deer leave their flowers alone?

7.  I'm loving my new office/craft space.

These big storage units were difficult to move,
and when I say "difficult" I mean Kerry and the boys disassembled them, 
and then reassembled them,
because they are too big to go around the corners.

I'm not sure how many more moves they can take.
Ya gotta love IKEA,
but it's not exactly heirloom quality, y'know?

I still get a little surprise when I walk in and see this in my office...

... but I can sit down, put my feet up,
and have my morning tea,
with Harrison Ford.

And tonight?

8.  Kerry is taking me out to dinner...
for my birthday!

I'm not milking it...
well, maybe a little.

He offered to take me out ON my birthday,
but my girlfriends had taken me to lunch
and I wasn't hungry enough to really enjoy it.
My parents invited us up the next night.
And then... life got busy.

Tonight's good!