Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Next Time You Go To The Symphony…

My lovely Hubbs entered a drawing at work a few months back, and won a pair of tickets to the San Francisco Symphony! Sunday was the big evening, and in the running around and getting ready to go, I took 10 minutes to do something that made our experience 100 times better, I’m sure.

Literally, this was done in the 10 minutes before I needed to go get ready. I looked up the performance that we were going to see, and found out the name of the pieces and composers. I googled and wikipedia-ed, and quickly copied/pasted a few interesting-looking paragraphs about each composer and piece. I printed out the three pages and threw them in my purse. Not a long drawn out research project, let me tell you!

Over dinner, I read Hubbs some of the interesting facts, and we talked about them. (even though we didn’t understand many of the musical terms or info). I highlighted a few things that we’d want to remember, so we could read it just before the song was performed.

Can I tell you, this transformed our listening experience. Instead of just being amazed by the beautiful music, and then, maybe, feeling like it could.. just.. put.. me to sleep… I knew that the violins in the Russian Easter Overture were going to be representing the light radiating from the Holy Sepulchre. I could listen to see if I heard it, and visualize the story the composer was trying to tell. Later, I knew that the catchy 4 note series repeated over and over in the Cello Concerto was actually the composer’s name transcribed into notes. There were treasures to find and I had a key in my lap to tell me what to look for!

Wikipedia had plenty of technical analysis of the pieces which didn’t make sense when I read them at dinner, but when we read it along with the music, we got it! It gave Hubbs and I plenty to talk about also –

Instead of:

“That was beautiful, did you like it?” “Yes, it was wonderful! Those instruments were amazing…” “Yes….”

it was

“Wow, did you hear the part that was supposed to sound like light? The plucked violin strings were perfect!” “Yes, and I can see why that second piece was described as the most difficult cello piece to perform.” ” Wasn’t it interesting to hear the similarities and differences between the Russian pieces?

So the next time you go to a performance, a museum exhibit, a play, take 10 minutes, do a little bit of homework, and see how much your experience with the piece of art changes.

Here’s some more inspiration to help appreciate music (its long, but very inspiring!) Don’t you wish he could sit next to you at the symphony and explain it to you?







And Then There Were 4, or Trouble in the Hen House, Part II

The Phone Call

On Saturday, while we were out, we thought the worst happened. We got a frantic phone call saying that a big black dog was running around the backyard, and all the chickens were gone.

We drove home in silence – Hubbs’s anniversary gift to me, our little gals that we lovingly raised since they were one day old, and they had just started laying. And now the poor things were gone. Just like that, with no defense against a dog on a rampage.


We got home and took stock of the situation. The dog was gone, apparently back in the neighbor’s yard where it had dug through the fence, and it looked like there had been a chicken massacre. Feathers were EVERYWHERE. Grey speckled ones here, white fluffy ones there, red and brown feathers scattered wherever we looked.

We walked around to try and account for all the girls. Della had already been brought into the house. She was alive, but looked pretty mangled. There was Wilson’s body, red feathers easy to see lying in the the back weeds.

Hmmm, this was going to be a tough job.

We kept searching, and then, shivering under the wheelbarrow, we saw Roxy! She was spooked, and patches of feathers were missing, but she looked ok. Back into the coop she went.

Ok, at least we have one that’s gonna make it.

We kept on, and incredibly, we found Picker (I know, we should have given her a better name) hiding behind a flower pot – broken leg, chewed up back, but alive!¬† So Jacks was left. No sign of her in the yard, or in any of the neighbors’ yards. We walked around to the front, to ask the neighbors if we could search their yards for a lost chicken, and there, without a scratch on her, was Jacksie. (We always knew she was the clever one!). In all the chaos, she had flown over our front gate and was waiting for us near the tulips. Woohoo!!

We instantly felt like we understood the parable of the lost sheep – the others were all accounted for, but all we wanted was to find the lost sheep er… chicken. (And its just a silly chicken! How much more joy is there when the God finds His child and brings him home!)


As bad as Della and Picker (now renamed Red) looked when we brought them in, I think they’re going to be ok. They’re in a large bin in the warm house, and are being pampered with little cups of applesauce and water brought right up to their tired beaks. Red was so grateful for the treatment that she laid us an egg, right there under her broken leg.

So our little flock remains. Four strong. Ok you four, no crowing and absolutely no more playing with the neighbor dogs, you hear me? We’re not losing any more of you!

The First Egg

Today is the day we’ve been waiting for! Hubbs greeted me with the news that the chickens had laid an egg, which he had beautifully waiting for me in one of our many saved cartons.

I left them in the coop all day today (normally they get the run of the yard) hoping that they’d lay an egg for me, and in a spot where I could find them. The trouble, of course, with free-range chickens is that their eggs could be laid in any number of the nests they’ve made all over the yard.

The sad part of the story is that I accidentally left them in the coop without enough food or water, and so Hubbs found the egg just as the girls were munching on egg number two, which we would have had now in the carton if I weren’t such a bad chickie-mama….

But they’re laying. Thats the great part.


Inspiration from Bouquets to Arts

Here’s the first attempt at learning from Bouquets to Arts. I saw an arrangement (pictured below) that used many rows of flowers in vases of different heights to represent a steamboat.

The inspiration for me, which I tried today, was to make an arrangement that used multiple heights of flowers and vases. Conveniently, there are many pink flowers in bloom in the garden right now – rose of sharon, hibiscus, and potato vines – which lent themselves well to a monochromatic arrangement. Below are pictures of flowers from the garden, and then used in an arrangement.

Here’s the final arrangement. One hibiscus in each of six small bottles-turned-vases, in front of three square vases of tall greens and wide potato vines.


Latest Project

This gallery contains 1 photos.

Well, I appreciate your patience with me as my blogging has been somewhat… irregular the past couple months. Its just that I’ve been devoting so much of my time and energy to a recent endeavor: project baby(!) I’m just coming … Continue reading


Bouquets to Art

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Each year the San Francisco DeYoung Museum holds an event that makes me want to go home, cut a pile of leaves and flowers from the yard, and go arrange them. Local florists choose various works of art throughout¬† the … Continue reading

Trouble in the Hen House

Saturday morning, we heard some strange noises coming from the chicken coop. At first, I thought it must have come from a neighbor’s house, and so kept on with what I was doing. Then, we heard it again. Hubbs and I rushed outside, when to our shock and dismay, we found this:

All this time, we’ve been raising her as a lady, waiting for her to lay, and now we discover that Bear is not a hen after all.

Now you may look at these pictures (as we do, now) and say “Oh, what a nice rooster!” But in our defense (we’re new to this whole chicken farming thing after all) we bought the chicks understanding that they were all female, we were told she would be a beautiful chicken, and many of the other hens have those red deals on their faces.

Because of his new habit of crowing at 6:00 a.m. and bullying the ladies, our desire to comply with city ordinances, and our desire to be on good terms with the neighbors, Bear is currently enjoying his last day out in the yard. Tomorrow, our coop will be one rooster lighter.

Hubbs did warn him, after all, that all this crowing would turn out to be bad for his health.