Saying Goodbye

Sadly, this birthday (the 8th) came with the news that my lovely father-in-law had passed away. He had been fighting Alzheimer’s for the past few years.  We braved the ice to drive to Kansas City. It was a scary drive while we were in Arkansas but clear when we got to the Missouri border. Crazy!

The time at a funeral is so interesting. Difficult but also very good time with the family. I was able to play my harp for the visitation and funeral and I think my mother-in-law appreciated it. It is nice to be able to have something concrete to do that I also think is caring and beautiful.

Weather woes

So we are having out first bout of serious winter weather here in Arkansas. It can be nasty here at time and we had a particularly bad storm in 2009 so we are all a little paranoid. Hopefully, this round is not as serious but it has a bad look to it. Unfortunately, for me it means that students have cancelled, the gig tonight was postponed and my gig for tomorrow has been cancelled. The weekend is looking iffy for brunch and a personal gathering and another gig next week many be cancelled. It is tough when you have worked hard to prepare for these gigs and they are cancelled – along with the resulting income. The downside to being self-employed. But right now I’m happy to be sitting by my fireplace.

Website

I am sooooo excited to say that my website has a whole new look and should go live in the next day or two. Sonia and Mike did an awesome job with the remodel and I can’t wait to show it off!

Thanksgiving & Making Music

We had a wonderful visit over Thanksgiving with my aunt in Southern California. It is wonderful to see her every year. This year we took a little side adventure and went to the Museum of Making Music. It was a fun adventure and I highly recommend it if you are in the area.

Holidays approach part II

I’m polishing up my Christmas songs getting ready for the season. It is a fascinating time for me as a harpist to get out these songs every year. What is interesting to me is that this serves as a yearly benchmark for me and my progress as a harpist. I think at this point I’ve amassed about five versions of every Christmas standard. Each year I review all the old tunes and different versions and some years I like one version and some years another. Plus I always also add a few more new tunes into the mix.  Overall the process of reviewing has gotten easier since now the tunes feel like old friends and my sight reading skills have improved significantly in the past few years. Christmas is always my busiest season and I love sharing it via the beauty of the harp. I’m out and about more in public during this time which is always fun. Next week we travel to California and we will take the week off to celebrate Thanksgiving with my Aunt and then back to work!

Party!

Last night I played for the lovely people at the Sunshine School and Development Center in Rogers. This is the third year in a row that I have been asked to play for this fundraiser. I’m honored that they ask me back every year – it is such a great event! Each year they feature art from the children and the theme for this year was “Under the Sea.” So you know I was polishing up my “Little Mermaid” songs for the evening.

Fall Frolicking

We are having lovely fall weather here in Arkansas and most of the leaves are down off the trees but not all. There is still some great color around and I love the piles of leaves… but not the work involved in picking them up! Anyway, I decided to take my harp and my wonderful new dresses from Bonner-Bell  out into the leaves for some pictures. I had a ton of fun working on the photos even though it is hard to be both model and photographer. I felt like I got my daily workout between raking leaves into place and running back and forth between the harp and the camera. When my husband got home I showed him the pictures which he loved and he could tell that I had had fun on the project. His response “too bad you don’t like your job!” I know!! I’m sincerely spoiled and grateful that my day at the office involves frolicking in leaves.image

Hospice Moments

Today I went to hospice as I normally do on Tuesdays. While I was playing in the living room I could see the patient in the room to my left “conducting” the music as I played which I thought was wonderful. I went in to check if there was anything specific I could play for him but he just wanted me to continue. Later when I was getting ready to leave the social worker asked me to come in and play something special for him. I decided to take my harp in and not my sheet music or stand. For someone like me that is usually very wedded to having paper in front of me this was a bold step. I’ve become quite good at improvising but I like that safety net of paper. I played for him for about ten minutes just noodling (as we harpists call it) around on the harp. It was a very satisfy time and I felt a nice connection with the patient and my harp. Sometimes it is good to branch out beyond your safety zone!

Strange but True

I was thrilled to discover that my “Strange But True Harp Story” regarding my appendix-wedding adventure was featured in the latest issue of the Harp Column. Not that I’d like to relive the adventure but it did make for a fun story and a free subscription renewal to a great magazine.IMG_0386

Wine and music

Last night we drove to Altus, Arkansas to a meeting of the Arkansas Wine Growers Association. It was a lovely group and I got to meet several of the family members who are among the big names in Arkansas wines. I played during the cocktail and dinner time and I was set up close to the bar. You could clearly see the wine maker’s taste testing and thinking about the wines as they left the bar! It was fascinating. I also got to take home a fabulous bottle of wine! Bonus. 🙂