If you're looking for my blog, I've moved!
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Saturday, June 18, 2011
If you're looking for my blog, I've moved!
Posted by Jean in Georgia at 6:16 PM
Friday, May 20, 2011
I was on the way to take care of some stuff with my mom yesterday, and I knew it was going to be stressful. I have playlist on my iPod that consists only of my favorite classical choral music that I play for comfort.
Music has always been a big part of my life. Did the requisite piano lessons as a child. Played the violin for awhile. Played guitar, somewhat badly, and I have a banjo here that I swear I'm going to learn to play. It's on the bucket list, so I have to.
But I've always loved to sing, and fortunately I've been blessed with what people tell me is an above average voice. Mezzo-soprano, thankyouverymuch, although I currently sing alto. I've been a part of choirs since I was in the 8th grade. At the girls school I attended from 6th to 9th grade, you were eligible to be in the main chorus when you got to the 9th grade, and they had an audition only group that I was fortunate enough to make. We always did a Christmas concert with the boys school across town. I still remember how wonderful it was when I heard all four parts of Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" together for the first time, and how cool it was when we sang it in performance and the whole crowd stood up. I didn't know the back story of it at the time.
The two schools merged, and I sang with the chorus there. We had to learn all sorts of classical pieces. I hated it. HATED it. I hated the repetition. Hated all those pesky eighth note runs. But my friends were in it. I remember sitting with my friend Karen, throwing Atomic Fireballs on the floor of the Chapel to break them apart and eating them during practice, and bothering the tenors sitting in front of us (just because we could). I didn't know at the time I was learning discipline and that those pieces I hated would become some of my best loved music.
Went to college and sang with the choir there. Discovered the Bach "Magnificat" and how you could really freak people out singing a capella in Latin in the middle of a welcome center. Found out how hard it could be juggling finals and Christmas concerts at the same time. But I'll never, ever hear "Once in Royal David's City" without remembering processing through Glenn Memorial Church at those concerts. I also remember being mesmerized by the string instruments -- I had never sung with anything other than a piano or organ, and it was quite a thrill singing with an orchestra.
After college, I didn't sing for awhile, and I missed it. I tried singing with a community chorus, but it didn't really work out. I had a major disagreement with the director's wife, who was trying to make me stand where I couldn't see the director during the performance. ALL my directors had taught me that I needed to look at them, and by golly, I was gonna do it.
Then, I saw a sign on a local church advertising that they were singing the "Messiah" -- that very same piece with the "Hallelujah Chorus" and all those pieces I had hated in high school with all those blasted eighth note runs. My friend Cathy went there and sang with the choir, so I told her to tell her director that if he needed a soprano who knew the choruses to have her director give me a call. Jerry called the next day. I've been there ever since.
I have to thank Jerry, because singing with him has been one of the biggest blessings of my life. I've sung the old familiar classical pieces I knew, and he's added so many new ones to my repertoire. The choir has become some of my best friends and it's my safe place during so many of life's storms. And where else can you find a group of people who will sing Beethoven's "Hallelujah" from the "Mount of Olives" a la Elmer Fudd? "Hawewujah unto Gods awmighty Son..."
Today I'm going with the youth of our church to sing to one our members who is in hospice care. She always told me how much she enjoyed our music and how much she loved hearing us sing. I'm hoping this will bring her comfort... even more than my little playlist on my iPod brings to me.
Posted by Jean in Georgia at 9:09 AM
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Ok. So, I said I wasn’t going to disappear, and I did.
Well, a lot of stuff happened. Like the end of tax season. This in itself tends to be a whole ball of crapola all wound up in a very short period of time. Except that this year, I had an extra complication:
Yeah, that’s my mom’s house, and that huge green thing is a tree. It’s a tree that my Dad planted. I used to jump over it when I played as a child, and he’d get all over me for doing it. On April 15, there was a huge storm, and the tree fell onto the house. All in all we were blessed; it nipped the corner where it could easily have gone smack into the middle of the house and basically destroyed it. Instead, there was a hole in the roof, three rafters broken and lots of cosmetic interior damage to my childhood bedroom.
Mom was in the house when the tree fell, and she was understandably shaken up. I had been unable to get her on the phone for about half an hour, knowing she was home, and I had already gotten in the Hummer and was halfway there when Richard got the call from the neighbor that the tree had fallen. In case you’re wondering, I can now say with absolute certainty that an H3 will do speeds exceeding 90 in stormy conditions, although they do shake a lot when you get them up to that speed.
No power, no phone, no cable – Mom refused to leave. So Richard came up (Penny stayed home because insulation was everywhere) and we camped. I came back the next day and finished returns and extensions; the day after, power and phone was restored (kudos to Georgia Power and AT&T) and she finally got cable back the day after. But she lost the contents of two freezers due to the power outage – that was a lot of food to lose.
Repairs are underway. I’ll be really glad when they’re done, because it’s been difficult shuttling between here and there to supervise things.
The next thing that’s been keeping me amused is the committee looking for an interim minister at our church. I’m a member of the Presbyterian Church, USA, and if you know anything about Presbyterians, you know that we do everything “properly and in order”. In other words, we go around the world to get from point A to point B. It’s been a two-month long often frustrating process, but I’m hoping we’re about to draw it to a close.
And, to top it off, there’s going to be some changes with my business. I won’t go into them just yet… but everything will work out for the best.
I realized a few days ago just how long it had been since I’d done any stitching when I took out a piece to start and began treating overdyed cotton as if it were just plain DMC. I was completely mortified. Between work, looking after Mom, and church, there’s not been much time to do anything I like. I’ve been doing some fairly simple knitting, but not a lot. Evidently, this is a signal that something has to change. I’ve got to learn to take care of the caretaker. And somewhere along there, I’ll have to regain my sense of humor about a lot of stuff.
Posted by Jean in Georgia at 7:56 PM
Friday, March 18, 2011
...yeah, the usual tax season slogging about. Most of my clients have begun to wake up and realize "Say... perhaps I should get my taxes done." The next three weeks will be incredibly busy.
Outside work is busy too. Our pastor is retiring on Sunday. I'm on the Interim Pastor Search Committee, chiefly because I'm the disbursing treasurer. Let's just say that our committee and the Presbytery are having a disagreement over some things, and I'm not really happy with the Presbyterian Way of doing things right about now.
To top it off, I broke a tooth last week. It's tax season, so I must need a crown, right? (Four of my five crowns have now been acquired during tax season.) Went to the dentist yesterday - now, let me say up front that I love my dentist. Been going to him for 22 years. But yesterday, for some reason, the novacaine didn't work. Three shots of it didn't work. The tooth never got numb. (Cringe with me, people.) The drilling was Not. Pleasant. At. All.
So, after a week like this, what's a person to do?
Order more Wollmeise, obviously.
I totally blame my friend Benne on Ravelry. Yeah. That's it. See, normally I'd just lurk around The Loopy Ewe to see when some Wollmeise might go up and then try to snag some, but Benne is wise and crafty. She's locked into the time on the Gen-u-ine Wollmeise website out of Germany as to when they put up new product. So she told me about it, and I promptly bookmarked it. By the way, they send you a pack of gummi bears when you order from them.
So today, Benne let me know that they had grab bags up. What did I order?
I don't have a clue -- it was all in German.
But if it looks anything like this, we're golden:
Posted by Jean in Georgia at 11:07 PM
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Ok. I know I kinda went on radio silence there for (*cough*sevenmonths*cough*) awhile. I'll try not to do the disappearing act again. I could use the trite old excuse that things got busy, or that life got overwhelming... but all of you are way too smart to fall for that trick. Bottom line is: I'm lazy. And, I didn't think I had anything particularly interesting going on. You have to admit you get tired of me yammering on about business and taxes. I know the look -- it's that glazed over look people get right before their eyes roll back in their head... or that kind of glassy stare they give me right before they say "uh huh..." very earnestly and I know they have no clue what I've just said.
Fortunately for me, Steve (my new business partner) is a fellow geek. He also gets excited about taxes, of all things. We were positively beside ourselves with one return with a total boatload of income that ended up owing no taxes due to all the taxfree bonds (srsly, we nearly blacked out the name and put that one on the bulletin board). And we just about threw a party when an audit letter came back showing zero liability.
Dang, when you think about it, we're sooooo easily amused.
Steve's the tall blond on the left. We've even got our name on the office, so we look official and all. The 720filer.com thing is stalled a bit. Our programmer kind of bit off more than he could chew, and he didn't deliver the e-filing portion. Let's say he's now our ex-programmer. Unfortunately, that means we're still filing these forms by hand, which is so not what we wanted at this point.
So, it's now tax season. Outside of a laptop failure (what? you don't think that copy of Windows I have is legal? what is this box on my desk, then?) and subsequent laptop shopping (how fast is the hard drive? No. 2.3 ghz is not the hard drive. No. An I3 is not the hard drive. Never mind.), it's been going ok. We have an intern now -- and along with it comes the opportunity to
warp shape a young accountant to be.
Other than work, you ask? Miss Penny (aka "Princess Chunky Butt") is now officially 2 years old. She's grown into quite the beautiful pup, if I do say so myself.
Of course, she rules our house with an iron paw. She went on her first vacation trip to Highlands this summer, charming everyone within her sphere of influence. She particularly likes to charm them out of food and is now up to 17 pounds of dachshund fury, which is how she got the "Chunky Butt" moniker. She had her annual checkup yesterday, and the v-e-t said the ugly "D" word... as in "Diet". Richard and I gasped in horror, since Penny can be quite the pawfull when she's hungry.
Stitching and knitting? Been doing a little... not a whole lot. When I get in at night, I generally sit down and immediately fall asleep. But I did crochet these booties for a friend who is expecting a little girl.
I was fairly pleased with them. I've got a lot of stitching here, and I put stitches in here and there, but I never seem to get anything finished. Perhaps if that stitching ADD wasn't so bad and I worked on one thing at a time, eh??
That's my little catch up... I'll try not to disappear again. I thank those of you who contacted me and told me you missed my little blog. Makes me feel good to know you notice.
And please, pray for the people of Japan. I have Japanese clients who were there when the quake hit -- we've heard from them, and they were in Tokyo -- and many of their employees are from Japan and have families there who are affected (to my knowledge, everyone has checked in and is fine). Japan is a strong country, but this has been a hard hit and it's going to take a lot of help for them to get back on their feet. Please watch out when you donate to relief organizations and make sure they're legitimate. Go to www.charitynavigator.org and check them out if you're not sure.
Posted by Jean in Georgia at 5:35 PM