Sunday, September 22, 2013

Encyclopedia of Moi: F

My mom was the master of wise old sayings.  Come to our house and you would hear, "Never put off til tomorrow what you can do today," "Beauty is as beauty does," and "Necessity is the mother of invention." 

Today I'm going to resort to her saying, "Better late than never."  It's been in the back of my mind for months that I need to complete my Encyclopedia of Moi. Months turned into years and I realized today that it's been two years since I posted the letter E. No, I won't give up -- I will finish what I started, it just may take a lifetime.  So I sat down and thought about what has been meaningful and fun in my life, all beginning with the letter F!

Faith - There are times it has eluded me, but I always come back to this core of my existence -- my faith.  Faith in God, faith that things will get better, faith in people that I love.  The word faith probably pops into my conversations several times a week!  There is no doubt in my mind that the more we practice faith, the more we experience it's growth in our lives.

Family - My family means the world to me!  We have strong family ties and in our hearts we know that we will always be there for one another, no matter what.  My parents taught my siblings and me unconditional love and my sisters and I strive to pass that on to our children and one another.  I feel so fortunate to have a family that shares this value.  Add to that a sense of humor that sends us into laughing fits, and I think we're pretty blessed to be part of such a balanced way of approaching life.


Friends - My friends come from so many areas of my life.  My "oldest" friends I keep in touch with are from grade school and high school.  I have a couple of cousins who are good friends that I can call on the phone and it is like all time melts away when we make contact. I've made new friends through the years through other friends, work and volunteer activities.  Through my nonprofit work, I've made friends with people all over the world and now have close friends in England and Kenya who I never would have met had it not been for this world opening to me.  My daughters and sisters are the best friends I could ever ask for!  It's such a joy and comfort to open yourself up to the richness of friendship.  

French - Today I'm sharing a secret with you -- I'm a bit of a Francophile. This started when I was a very young girl, actually, with French influences throughout my life such as...
~French classes were offered in my elementary school one summer, and I signed up so learned to speak and write French and appreciate French culture at a young age. This has followed me ever since. I took French again in college and my professor was impressed enough with my skill to recommend me for a full scholarship to attend a year of college in France.  One of my biggest regrets in life was NOT taking advantage of that scholarship!  Parlez-vous Francais?  
~The Christmas my dad gave my mom a tiny French poodle -- Tiny Lily was hidden under his overcoat when he came in the door that Christmas Eve and voila!  We had a new family pet -- my mom loved this dog dearly. 

~When I was about 9 years old, my mom gave me my first bottle of perfume --"Evening in Paris."  I can still close my eyes and remember the scent and see that blue bottle. Do you remember that fragrance?  I felt très sophistiquée.EVENING IN PARIS COLOGNE

~There was a magazine spread (I'm thinking it was Life magazine) about France in our living room which I loved to study  -- I remember one picture in particular that showed a girl about my age walking down a cobblestone street with bags of baguettes in her arms, and I imagined what her life was like.

~Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy was the first lady when I was at an impressionable age, and she brought a love of French sophistication and elegance to her role.
~I've been to France a couple of times and j'adore la France!
~Last, but not least, some of my ancestors were French, so I'm entitled!  ;)
Ooh la la -- my inner French girl is alive and well!

Flowers - Who doesn't love flowers?  Each time I pass a field of wild flowers I want to stop and take a picture. 
Join in and start your own Encyclopedia of Moi!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Summer to Fall

Beautiful weekend here!  Sunny, clear and 79 degrees.  All the windows have been flung open and I'm enjoying a gentle breeze and the sound of birds in the trees.  We have many song birds in the trees around our house.  When my sister visited once, she even asked me if I had "one of those recordings of bird songs!"   Today I decided to dress up my front door a little so hung up this pretty autumn wreath.  Just the color it needed.

Ash and Lys were home last weekend and we had such a nice time together.  Saturday night we went to Carmel and took in "Peter Pan" at the outdoor Forest Theater.  This is a family tradition that we started when the girls were young, and though we laughed that they graduated from fruit punch to glasses of wine, we still enjoy being out in the forest by the bonfires, supporting our community thespians.

They didn't allow photography during the performance, but I snapped this photo of the pirates during the pre-show songs so you capture the flavor of the night a little.
 So far September has been a wonderful month!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Heart and Soul of Classical Music

Every morning I click on and select the classical music station.  There is something about classical music that speaks to my soul and paints pictures of the beauty and meaning of life with strokes of melody.  I grew up taking piano lessons and learned about Bach and Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin early on. 
Beethoven's Fur Elise was one of my first more accomplished recital pieces, but I also loved his Moonlight Sonata with its melancholy and depth of emotion.
I remember creating words for the melodies I played on the piano -- songs that had no words but I could imagine running through a grassy meadow or watching birds in flight or water splashing over rocks -- all in my mind as I played the melodies.  Try it for yourself!  Put on a piece of classical music, close your eyes, and imagine a beautiful setting....
When I took Music Appreciation class in college I began attending concerts and experienced heart-wrenching and heart-inspiring symphonies first hand that reached into my soul.  Bach's Brandenburg Concertos remain some of my favorite pieces of music of all time.

My husband and I shared this love of classical music and we often listened to it on weekend mornings, attended concerts, and brought our girls up to appreciate it.  He leaned more toward Dvorak and Wagner than I did, but we both enjoyed many composers.

It was with great dismay and sadness that I learned our classical music station in Monterey, kBach, switched over to playing pop and soft rock.  It is frightening to think of classical music possibly disappearing from choices people have when they turn on the car radio.  I'm glad there is pandora and I can play the music through my car's stereo system. 

I've started playing the piano more again.  My husband bought me a beautiful baby grand piano about 20 years ago.  Both of my daughters have learned to play on it, and in our house Christmas isn't Christmas without someone sitting down to pound out a few carols!  We play a bit of everything on that piano:  Bridge Over Troubled Waters, You'll Never Walk Alone, classical music, soft rock...
                                                       ...and yes -- Heart and Soul as a duet.