Tuesday, March 31, 2009

nothing's sure but.....

So today we get our taxes done. No way not to be stressed about that. The last couple of years have hit us hard at tax time, but we've made more of an effort to pay quarterly taxes on Dear Husband's business this year, so we should be in better shape. I hope. I'm still kinda sick with it. Pretty much all the money Dear Husband has brought in since the first of the year has gone to paying one kind of tax or another. Will be glad when this phase is over.

On a happier note, the women who came over last night to rehearse for Good Friday sounded absolutely wonderful. It's going to be a really cool service. I was thinking about it yesterday, and it's been something like 15 years that a women's ensemble has sung the Martini (composer) Stabat Mater at Blessed Sacrament Church on Good Friday. I know of one year that was an exception, but other than that, it's been a long-standing tradition. And this year Lovely Mary & I are going to sing the Vivaldi Laudamus Te on Easter Sunday morning, which will be our third year of doing that, and we've been assured that after two years it's a tradition too. Maybe ..... but it'll be fun to sing and pretty, tradition or not.

And, because there's never enough church music, my friend JA is putting together a chant ensemble to sing an Evensong service at St Mark's Cathedral on Wed 4/15. He sent out the music yesterday, and it's pretty cool stuff. Some cool antiphons/psalm verses, and a couple of Medieval hymns. I've sung one (Mors Vite Propitsia - I think) before, but the other is new and it's in Italian, which means I'm going to have to actually look at it beforehand, because I'll have a solo verse and I'll want to to actually SOUND ITALIAN, which for me is easier said than done. I can usually turn good ol' Italian into some kind of highschool French/church Latin hybrid that fools NO ONE. Good luck w/ that, Amy.

Ok, only 2 1/2 hours left until it's time to see the accountant. Maybe I'll take a nap.

Friday, March 27, 2009

keeping on

So I'm still here. Long time, no post. No good reason, except that it's a busy time of life. Today would be a great day to spend in bed. It's damp, cold, rainy, grey and altogether the kind of day that would be best viewed from under a down comforter. Not gonna happen, though. There are errands to run, and maybe a trip to Costco. I'm using the fact that I'm feeling kinda draggy as an excuse to skip my appointment to donate blood. Yay me. At some point I'd like to buy a new blow dryer. Wow, that was random.

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures of the blackwork Celtic cross that I've been working on. The pattern that I'm working from is fairly large - too big to fit on my scanner, and the bits that I could scan don't translate very well. The pencil isn't dark enough to show up so it doesn't look like much. You'll just have to trust me that it's going to be cool, based on periodically updated photos. Our Lady of Fabio is at the framers, baby Sophia got her crocheted blanket (that by an entirely fabulous coincidence almost exactly matches her 'going home from the hospital' outfit) and my sisters socks are blocked and ready to be mailed. Progress progress progress.

Anywho, I should really get moving. Step away from the computer, Amy. The 3rd Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter book is waiting for me at the library, and I'm using it as incentive to get myself out of the house. Watched Twilight with Dear Daughter last weekend. The next time I'm at Costco I'm going to get her a copy. Maybe today? She's so into it. It's All Vampires, All The Time at our happy household. Ok, now I'm ready to move.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

thinking about.....

1. Writing
So a few days ago I went over to Vincent's apartment to record some background vocals for a CD he's working on. While I'm not sure I did exactly what he wanted, I think in the end he was more-or-less satisfied with what he got. Vincent is a friend from church, and he did the recording for my band's CD last spring. He's great to work with and it was a lot of fun. While I was over there, we got talking about the direction my band is heading in (hmmm....where are we heading exactly?) and he asked if we ever did original tunes. That would be No. But it did get me thinking. So then on Sunday, while the family & I were sitting in the lobby of the Paramount waiting for The Lion King to start, I mentioned to Kent that I was thinking about trying to write a song...or two. He asked what it was that I wanted to say with my song(s). Don't know the answer to that. It seems that before you can write good songs, you need to have something you want to say. Back to the drawing board, I guess.
2. A new job
For the last 5 years or so, Seattle Childrens (my employer) has had a contract to provide NNP services at the UWMC NICU (where I choose to work). For a variety of reasons that contract will not be renewed after June of this year. However, the UW has posted positions and intends to cover the unit with their own NNPs. So basically I get to choose whether I want to change employers and do the kind of work I want to do or stay with Childrens (where I'm approaching the 22nd anniversary of my hiring) and work at either Prov Everett or Overlake. I've worked in both of those hospitals, and it's not bad work, but I like the UW NICU better. The offer they've made me is very close to what I've got w/ Childrens, from a financial standpoint. It's a tough decision. Not sure yet what I want to do.
(Hey, the title of this post is "thinking about...", not, "decisions I've made").
3. Matti's school
The appeal letter w/ copies of various test results was dropped off at the Public School admin office yesterday. We should hear back in the next couple of weeks - supposedly they'll be notifying people in time for them to complete the on-line registration by the 3/31 deadline. We'll see.
4. Music for Lent
The Women's Chant Choir sang last weekend, which was the first Sunday in Lent. There were a couple of new people joining us, and altogether I thought it went very well. I need to pull up the bootstraps and put some serious planning into the Good Friday service.
I've also been thinking about the whole process of Lent. Last week I put an update on Facebook: Amy is thinking about what to give up for Lent (or something like that). And over all, I'm inclined to want to carry over the theme from the Chant retreat and work on making space for contemplation, rather than worrying about giving something up. I've got a book, Radical Amazement, that has very short chapters and exercises for prayer at the end of each, and I'm trying to read one chapter every day or every other day, then use the exercises to frame my thinking for the rest of the day. So far that's working. Miss T helpfully suggested on Facebook that I give up one activity a week, in order to feel less frantic, and while that's good advice, I think I'm going to approach it more from the perspective of trying to be more conscious about how I'm spending my time. I know I take on a lot, but everything I've got going on is meaningful to me, in different ways, so I will work on changing my approach rather than changing my schedule.
5. Daydreaming about my Sekrit (Viking) Boyfriend ;)
Ok, so I'm reading a lot of fiction, which is really not something I've done much of lately. I'm quite addicted to the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris, but have moved on from there. In the last week or so I've read one of the Harper Connelly mysteries, also by Charlaine Harris, and have read the first Anita Blake book by Laurel Hamilton. The continuity thread seems to be that all these books have vampires or other occult elements. Last night, the NBC news trailer had Brian Williams (and his tie) saying, "And later this evening, we'll take a look at how Americans are distracting themselves from the grim economic situation". I laughed and said, well, I'm reading about vampires, that's how I'm doing it. Whatever works.
6. Finishing socks and a baby blanket
Finally finished the re-do on the Christmas socks for my Dear Sister. I made her a pair last December, then mailed them to a really old address so she never got them. Still need to stitch the toes closed and block them, but am getting close. And I'm also working on a baby blanket. Am using bamboo yarn, and it's really soft and has a beautiful luster. Am a little less than half done on it. And when the crochet projects are done, I'm going to start the Celtic Blackwork Cross. And also have to run into the frame shop to see how much it's going to cost to get Our Lady of Fabio finished, since the auction donation deadline is this week.
7. Writing some more
This post got a little long. I guess I did have something to say here. Perhaps I should make shorter, more frequent posts. People I respect have told me I write well....ok, they're friends of mine, and have to be nice to me, but still. I'm 46, kind of old to decide to be a songwriter when I grow up, or to start writing short stories or something like that. But I was motivated by something to start this blog, so perhaps I should look at that impulse a little closer and see where it gets me.