Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Still Blogging

Lest anyone think I had stopped blogging altogether, let me put your mind at ease. I haven't!

Now since I spotted the first green grass yesterday, I can tell that I'd better hurry up and finish my winter blogs before I forget what it's like to have snow. It's wonderful weather right now; a trifle windy but still nice.

Clancy has his own blog now, Clancy's Tails of Woe. Well, every dog needs a hobby.

K thx bai.

Oops, wrong blog.

Until the next adventure,
Noni Beth

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sick Day

In case anyone wondered how my day was going...

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Long Gala

It was only 29 performances, as it turned out. I felt quite proud of my achievement till I found out the Froid music teacher had to be his own accompanist, to the tune of 34 songs. And that left me only a piker.

All the kids did great. My very favorite wasn't part of our group (though I adored every single performance from our school) - it was a very young boy hardly any taller than Devon who sang, "Oh, Give Me a Home". Major cute factor.

Tiggy did quite well on both her pieces. No relation to the quality of her music, but I rolled her hair in foam curlers the night before so she had a riot of ringlets. There were still plenty left by the time she got home, as you can see. But ahem, the music.

Her vocal piece was first, well after lunch. I'd already played around 3/4 of my music by that time. It was the second time that day that I'd played "All Through the Night", and she did awesomely great, of course! Now, the judge did have a little talk with her about the need to stop using chest tones and strengthen her head voice instead. It just might be that she had ALREADY HEARD THOSE WORDS FROM SOMEONE ELSE ONCE OR TWICE OR THREE HUNDREDTY TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whew! I'm ok. I'm fine. Really.

Her flute solo was very good considering she's played for less than two months. Also considering that last night when she finally got around to practicing with me, she was breathing between every single note. With considerable hyperventilation, we finally got her phrases stretched out to 1 1/2 - 2 measures at a time, and with the help of her little curly head she nailed it.

Damon got both of his songs out of the way first thing in the morning. His vocal number was a Southern folk hymn, and ok I'll just come right out and say it. He forgot the words. That cost him on his score, but the judge still raved over his beautiful voice. He also collected a whole new following of fans who found him nothing less than angelic. Guess I'll have to let him listen to the Vienna Boys Choir more often.

His trombone piece was the first of three times I would have to play "French Folk Tune", so I wasn't as tired of it as by the time I got to Tiggy. His brass judge was a fellow trombonist, and it was wonderful to see him work with each of the kids and encourage them in their musicianship. Trombone isn't an easy instrument, and I love seeing Damon tackle it. Low brass has always been my fave.

I wish I could tell you about each and every one of the kids I played for today, including my very own nephew. They each conducted themselves like champs, and as proud of them as I am, I know their music teacher must be busting buttons. For most of the day I had "Cactus Jack" stuck in my head, later to be replaced with "Skylark" and a few other catchy tunes.

By the time we had pizza and came home, we were pretty tired. Some sweet widdle people even dropped off a couple hours before their bedtime. I finally had to cover the bodies where they fell.

Tune in two years from now for a report on Devon's solo. Will it be a tuba? Only time will tell.

Taking a break from adventure,
Noni Beth

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Le Festival

After a couple weeks of intensive practice, it is at last the night before the music festival. Tomorrow, grades 4-8 perform in Plentywood in a variety of groups and ways. There will be everything from full choir and band to ensembles and solos. Damon and Tiggy are each doing an instrumental and vocal solo, as well as being part of the band.

Me? I'm the accompanist again; a far more ambitious project than the Christmas program, to be sure. There are 26 different songs, and a grand total of 30 performances for me between 8 am and 5 pm. Mom was shocked to call and find me practicing this evening. "You mean they're doing stuff that's hard enough that you have to practice???"

Well, um, yes, I did have to practice some of them. Quite a few of them. Mom was quite diverted to hear Russian Folk Song, and Tina got to hear Rubber Ducky. Did you know that Ernie's little ode to bathtime reached #16 on the regular old billboard charts in 1970? That was a little before my time, so I had no idea grownups were so fond of rubber duckies.

Time to get a little shut-eye, since the alarm waits for no man, woman, or child.

On the verge of an adventure,
Noni Beth

Monday, March 8, 2010


For the last week or so, we've gotten wave after wave of thick, freezing fog. The first few days weren't too bad - each day it got warm enough to melt the ice that had formed all over every non-moving thing.

Now, I don't know for sure, but I suspect what made this so much worse was the lack of wind. See, most every time before, the ice would form thickly in town, where things are more sheltered, but out on the prairie, there would be only a thin coating that didn't last long.

Here I must inject a brief apology, much as I loathe such sorry explanations. My computer is dead. The internal piece that connects to the power cord is broken off inside, and having been there, done that, and gotten the t-shirt, I already know it means an entire motherboard replacement for a lot more than I want to spend right now. This affects my blog quite directly, since my handy little photo editing program was on my computer. It galls me to put out such colorly unbalanced photos, but it would gall me even more to not put them on here. You've gotta see this! So look anyway, knowing that it's not really that color here. Blue, yes, but not that blue.

Oh, I can't crop, either, but that's a whole nuther problem. the foggy days wore on, the ice began to build up on the power lines, and on the trees and bushes of the prairie. In fact, you would hardly recognize my tree from A Year in the Life of. Thus the power outages began. Big ones, little ones, in between ones. Thursday we had several long ones, starting about 5:30 am. School was nearly canceled, but ended up starting late. After several more short outages, it went out and stayed out for several hours. At 1:45 the kids were all sent home.

About 1:47, the power came back on and stayed, and I arrived home to find Clancy a nervous wreck, while my vacuum ran all by itself. Did I ever mention he doesn't like vacuums, even when wielded by the people he loves? Well, when they turn on by themselves and won't stop...

Shortly after midnight, the power went off for the rest of the night. We stayed quite comfortable, thanks to the emergency heater Dad installed while he was out here. That was the last of the long outages, but we have had several bazillion smaller ones. None yet today, though it's not over yet.

During all my trips to Plentywood this week - at least one a day, and four on Wednesday - I had ample opportunity to observe the waxing and waning of the ice on the lines. You just can't have that kind of fun in California!

My sister-in-law told me of the worst outage this area had in recent memory, the year before they moved out here. The ice buildup was so bad that it took out about 30 miles of power poles, and the town was without power or running water for a month. It hasn't happened since, and won't, either, not till Mom gets out here to enjoy it.

Staying warm and having fun,
Noni Beth

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

And a New Post from December

A Yellow Birthday

A Year in the Life of a Tree


I am learning that digital cameras weren't meant to function in subzero temperatures. Not my digital camera, anyway. It took the picture, but complained bitterly.


Tina and I both thought the tree would surely be covered in snow, right up to the tippy-top. Though plenty has fallen, it keeps blowing away.

Yes, I'm serious!

A little later in the day I took this one. And wow, the tree is still there!

It's been foggy some, freezing fog of course, but this day was sure a doozy. Driving along, about all you could see was the road for a little ways ahead, since everything on the sides was white, and the snow blended seamlessly into the fog.

MARCH 2010

Does this photo look familiar? I'm having such an odd sense of deja vu all over again.

New Post from January

Oh, Where Are the Lakes?