6/1/14

What's Been Going On

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There's been quite a bit going on here the past couple of days. I've written some posts ahead, but I haven't been keeping up with the other stuff I've been doing. That isn't to say that life around here is all that exciting, but occasionally, we do fly off in wild directions and do some things that are kind of interesting. And I should probably just point out that when one begins one's 7th decade of life, one's definition of "exciting" has changed substantially from earlier iterations.

So Friday morning, Sue and I walked on the top of our ridge. It was a good day for it. While the air was a little hazy off in the distance, it was fairly clear. I snapped this picture of the view of the valley. I always love standing just in this spot. The red barn below against the background of the green landscape is very appealing to me. One of these days Mike and I are going to make a trip back east, and I'm going to focus on barns for a memory quilt.


My walk with Sue was only the beginning of a wonderful day because we went to a James Taylor concert that night. If you've been reading this blog for a while then you know I'm a life-long fan. Portland was the first night of his summer tour which is taking him all across the country and into parts of Europe. The venue was full, and there were people of all ages there from babies to folks older than us (I know...hard to believe). Of course, we had to snap the requisite selfie before the concert started. 


Yep, just two sexagenarians there to enjoy the show. (I had to say "sexagenarians". Get your mind out of the gutter.) We had good seats...11 rows back. My iPhone pictures didn't turn out great, but you can get the idea. I was zoomed in as close as I could get, and so they're a little grainy.


When he came back for the second set, he was wearing a hat.


We saw him in Portland once before. It was four days after 9/11. It was a very moving concert that day. Planes had been grounded, and I'd been waiting my entire life to see him in concert. He started off by saying that they had given some thought to canceling and that their families were concerned about them flying, but he said, "We wanted to play." 

They sang "Shed a Little Light" a capella, and it was one of the more emotional moments of my life. Considering the events just four days earlier, these lyrics brought down the house:

Let us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King
and recognize that there are ties between us, all men and women living on the Earth.
Ties of hope and love, sister and brotherhood, that we are bound together
in our desire to see the world become a place in which our children can grow free and strong.
We are bound together by the task that stands before us and the road that lies ahead.
We are bound and we are bound.

Anyway...I'm still a fan after nearly 50 years. I'm hoping you'll be able to see this little snippet of video I took for you. If you're on a hand-held device, you'll probably have to watch it from your computer.

video

So that was Friday. Yesterday I had grand plans about getting a lot of stuff done, but I found myself procrastinating most of the day. One of my procrastination activities was to go through some old scrapbooks. I was in our high school band at Vista High School in North San Diego County. High school band competitions were hot back then. I'm hoping they still are because being in the band was the highlight of my high school experience. 

I went to a three-year high school. When I was in a sophomore, we had a brand new band director who had come up from one of the junior highs in our small town. He set about turning our little rag tag band wearing old worn out uniforms 


into one of the most competitive bands in the state of California. Our school district was not wealthy, by any means, and Vista was a small town back then. Still, the community and the school district got behind our effort to raise money for new uniforms. We sold candy bars, went on pop bottle drives, held flea markets, concerts, bake sales, spaghetti dinners ... you name it. By my junior year of high school, we were all flash and dash in our new uniforms patterned in a British theme.


By the time I was a senior, we were regularly winning stiff competitive venues. It was very exciting to be a part of such a dynamic process. 

Anyway...all of that to say that our band is holding a reunion this summer, and I am going. A few of us have been dragging out memorabilia from those days, and yesterday I decided to drag out the volumes of scrapbooks I kept while in high school. I posted a lot of pictures to Facebook, most of them of interest only to those who were involved. Procrastination, maybe. But it was still fun to take a little stroll down memory lane, and to read the comments from my former band mates. Oh yes, and I did some laundry too, just to keep myself grounded in reality. 

So, once I'd wasted most of the day, I decided to head down to the sewing room and at least do the cutting for my June doll quilt. June's theme is "In the Garden". My partner and I decided to just surprise one another, but I'm going to stick with the theme. I'm fairly certain my partner doesn't read my blog, so I don't think I'll be spoiling the surprise by posting what I finished yesterday.


This little flower. The stem in the lower right-hand corner is just basted on right now. I'll stitch it down completely when the whole quilt is made. 

You can thank Pfelicity for those nice sharp points. She's a very good piecer. Actually, I think she sews a better straight stitch than Big Bertha. Things are still taking me twice as long because I have to double check myself every step of the way, but the next couple of weeks, we'll have lots of time to get better acquainted. 

So that brings me to the last thing I did yesterday which was to take some pictures off the birdcam. I decided to focus on our fly-through feeder yesterday, but I can see that I need to lower the camera to more of a bird's eye level. The pictures weren't all that good, but I did enjoy seeing the backs of the birds in a little more detail. Ordinarily they're more in profile. (And don't you think "The Backs of Birds" would make a good title for a novel?) So here's the little measly batch from yesterday. This first one is the back of a scrub jay.


I think this next one might be a juvenile black-headed grosbeak.


You can see the little patch of orange there on his throat.


We get these band-tailed pigeons who are too large to eat from most of the feeders. They're dependent on the other birds to toss them a few crumbs every now and then. This one below managed to squeeze his fat body into the feeder.


Here's an adult black-headed grosbeak, although I think this may be a female. The males are more red than this.


The one below is a stellars jay. I find their feathers around the yard, and they are incredibly blue.


So I think that brings you up today, and I've come to the end of my Sunday procrastination efforts. Time to get a move on and get something accomplished. I hope your weekend is going well.

9 comments from clever and witty friends:

LynCC said...

Fun! The band reunion ought to be a blast. Our girls were fortunate in the same way to be a part of an incredible marching and symphonic high school band. It gave them a lot of great times with some terrific trips and memories to last their whole lives. Enjoy your gathering!!

WoolenSails said...

You are always on the go, wish I had half of your energy, lol. I am not a concert kind of person, love the music, but cannot sit still that long, lol. Love the candid photos, up close and personal.

Debbie

Tami C said...

Thanks for the little video of James singing! I like the looks of the doll quilt you are making for your partner. It's strange how you don't normally look at birds backs. Some are really pretty!

Kathy H said...

Fun to see your band pictures. We were just talking about our kids's band competitions. We don't miss he work that was involved but do miss the excitement, music and friends. Great times for the kids and the parents! I like the pictures of the birds. It was fun to see the details of the feathers. I always have a happy day when I see those pictures. Thanks for sharing them.

kc said...

Amazing how clear & strong that voice still is - I'm sure he's done some umm...illicit...stuff in his life, stuff that surely should have done some damage, yet it's clear as ever...not to mention moving and truly beautiful. I can see why you'd be a lifelong fan. And speaking of which, lookit you go, gurl! That's THREE concerts now, in the same 25 years...you're about 2 ahead of me!

Brother was in the band, and I remember when they were selected to go play in someone's inaugural parade, I think it might have been Richard Nixon, but I'm not sure (not much to brag about, now, considering the way things turned out, eh?). But it was a big deal then!

Your flower's pretty - you do such a nice job of color selection. I really wish you were here to advise on new paint colors in this new house of ours...are you ready to hit the road yet? Of course, you'd probably overload on sunshine & quite possibly die of heat exhaustion...and we don't really have furniture yet....but, hey, the door's open anyway!

Thanks for sharing your version of mundane with us..sure makes for interesting reading every day!

Dana Gaffney said...

Thanks for the video, that's one of my favorite songs of his, he sounds good! Weird, but I liked the backs of the birds pictures.

Becky said...

Loved seeing the band pics!

quiltzyx said...

How great is JT?!!! I, too, have been a fan since the olden days & I could listen to him forever.

Have you ever thought to save some of those Stellar Jay feathers to use in a quilt? I really do like the Backs of Birds pics too! (and the FIRST thing I thought of after you wrote that was the Beach Boys song, "Beaks of Eagles"!) I recently read a book called "Sparrow Migrations" by Cari Noga. I very much enjoyed it. It uses the event of the plane that was safely landed in the Hudson river as a starting point.

Kate said...

Love the bird pictures! They have a nice texture you don't get in the profile shots.