With thanks for garnet, the gift of life; ivory, the gift of music; myrrh, the gift of healing.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hi Again, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! 2011! Wow, did I sleep through the last year a a half? No, I didn’t, but I sure did neglect and forget about my blog. Last week I was looking for the date of next year’s Robbie Burns Night, and when one of the Google hits was this blog, I thought, oh wow, that’s familiar!

I left off with our anniversary in May 2010. That was a wonderful time. John went with me to the California Autoharp Gathering in Dunlap (east of Fresno), an amazing weekend where I stepped into the autoharp world, which has occupied much of my time and attention ever since. After CAG, John and I went to Sequoia, then down along the foothills to Lake Isabella, eastward to Owen’s Valley and up the eastern side of the Sierras, where neither of us had been before. We explored the Mono Lake area, then came home through the just opened Sonora Pass, with snow packed higher than our car much of the way. Gorgeous!

Fast forward to our 30th anniversary, May 2011. We again celebrated, with a shorter adventure, also after CAG (though John didn’t go with me this year). He took the train down to Paso Robles, where I met up with him by car, and from there we went on to Cambria for a couple of days, enjoying the town and beautiful ocean beaches, then up through Carmel Valley, stopping for yummy French-fried artichoke hearts in Castroville.

En route home, we picked up Mary at Amber’s in Santa Clara, where she’d stayed while we were gone, because she’d recently fallen down some stairs at UC Santa Cruz and triple-fractured her ankle. She took a leave of absence while healing, since she couldn’t get into her apartment or get around campus for awhile. She’s now finishing up her last quarter at UCSC and will graduate next month with her B.A. in Sociology. She’s done great in her studies, and is a fantastic writer!

Amber has been working for the last year and a half as a program coordinator with the Jesuit Volunteers, overseeing the JV communities in Santa Clara, Berkeley, Oakland, and Sacramento. She screens applicants, arranges and evaluates their work, advises them on community living, spirituality, problem-solving, etc.. It’s been so nice having her close, and during her intensive visits to the Berkeley and Oakland communities, we’ve enjoyed having her stay with us part of the time.

Daniel continues to work as a professional pizza maker with LaneSplitter Pizza, as well as being an active, independent photographer. He’s been photographing much of the activity at Occupy Oakland. He is a excellent cyclist and bicycle mechanic. And he has a lovely girlfriend, Linzi, who we like!

Now, for the BIG NEWS! John recently got a job at UC Berkeley as an administrative assistant in the art history department, and he starts next week. He likes the people in his office. We’re very excited and happy. Once he’s settled in there, I’m planning to “retire” from my position and work only part time (same job, per diem, setting how much I want to work), since we will have health insurance benefits through John’s job.

I will be able to focus more time and energy on music (plus exercise, washing dishes, writing my blog, etc.). As I mentioned above, I’ve been learning to play autoharp. I’ve linked up with an autoharp friend as a duo, Harper & Reed (autoharp and accordion), now expanded to include another autoharp friend who also plays hammered dulcimer, with whom we are Hammer, Harper, & Reed. We’re going to work together over the next few months to make a CD.  Here’s one track, hope you’ll enjoy (played with Ron Bean and Carey Dubbert):

In April, I’ll begin a class to become a certified therapeutic musician, playing autoharp. I’ll keep you posted on that.

We’re very thankful for the blessings we have in life and family. My mom is now 94 and going strong in Escondido, and John's parents are also well and happy on the East Coast. I wish all my readers a joyful time of thanksgiving and celebration. Talk to you again soon!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

May 2: Our 29th Anniversary!

Celebrating 29 years of ever deepening love in our great adventure of marriage! We did lots of fun things this weekend, description coming soon!

April 21, 2010: My Mom's 93rd Birthday!

Blog post and photos coming soon!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

I'm holding this date space open for thoughts which I want to put in writing, but not tonight.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dear Amber!

I'm a day late, this should be March 27, but we had a nice, full day yesterday. John and I picked Amber up at her home in Santa Clara, Mary at the train station in San Jose, and met Daniel at the California Academy of Science in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. We all enjoyed the museum, had a little stroll through the park, came home for Zachary's pizza, salad, and birthday cake. Amber and Mary spent the night with us, Amber sang at church today, and John drove them home this afternoon.

Thank you Amber, for being such a wonderful person! 
Thank you God, thank you John, 
thank you Daniel and Mary.
May you have a wonderful new year,
full of life, love, joy, and grace!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My New Hat

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted. Someday I'll write about my work. I work so hard (and long) that when I come home, I don't want to write about it. But I will someday.

It's more fun to write about music, which I've been doing a lot of recently. Chris and I played at the Pelican Inn for Valentine's Day. That was quite a work out, strolling and playing my 16 lb. piano accordion for 4 hours; exhausting but successful, and quite a joy to have John there for dinner at his own little table. We played the same music for the patients on my hospital unit a couple of weeks ago. They really enjoyed it. And, that was the initiation of my new hat.

Then, this past Sunday I got to play Irish traditional music with two other friends for a St. Patrick's Day dinner. We played for 3 hours; easy, playing my 5.5 lb. Tommy, sitting, after the V-day marathon. Beautiful place, lots of fun, and people definitely enjoyed the music. I enjoyed playing and re-learning tunes I haven't played for awhile.

John and I will attend the Black Brothers' St. Patrick's Day concert at the Freight and Salvage Coffee House tomorrow night; I know it will be wonderful. 
Shay Black recently bought my Lily (cousin to Tommy). Maybe he'll play it in the concert?

I'm going to visit my Mom the following morning. See you soon, Mom!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Daddy's Birthday

Today is the 97th anniversary of my father's birthday.
Joe Trueman McChesney, R.I.P.

Thank you for marrying Marian, my future mom, on this day.
Thank you for your love and hard work in support of our family.
Thank you for the wonderful play house and play yard you built for Jane and me.
Thank you for taking us to to the beach and bowling.
I wish I'd known you better. I wish we could have shared our lives together longer.
I love you and thank you for passing on your life and name to me.

(photos will follow).