Tuesday, September 22, 2009

North Menan Butte

I don't know why it took us two years to climb up here, but we finally did it. The hike isn't bad at all, and the kids loved exploring up on top.

Cartier Slough WMA

A couple of weeks ago we went for a walk through Cartier Slough Wildlife Management Area.

We saw lots of different kinds of birds, including a pelican, a couple of different birds of prey, and an owl. (Not a great picture, but the owl is sitting on a branch of this tree.)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Orchestra, instruments, and lessons...

I took last year off from orchestra, because of the baby, but I'm rejoining this year, and our first rehearsal was Wednesday. It was so nice to be back in orchestra again, with a great conductor and beautiful music. I was planning on sitting in the 2nd violin section this time, because really I'm an amateur and feel more comfortable there. But that section was full when I got there, and there were only two 1st violins, so I guess I'll be playing 1st again. Luckily, one of the pieces I've played before--a long time ago, but my fingers somehow seem to remember it, and the others aren't too difficult. I'll need to put in a lot more time practicing than I would if I were playing 2nd, but it will be ok.

For our next concert we're playing some Sibelius, some Copeland, and a clarinet concerto by Weber. This is going to be a fun concert. :)

C has just started 5th grade at the middle school, which means he gets to choose a music track--choir, band, or orchestra. He chose band, and yesterday picked up his choice of instrument--trombone! (His first choice was xylophone, but percussion instruments aren't allowed yet.) He is really excited, and I'm sure he's going to do well with it, but I admit I never pictured one of my kids playing trombone. (What can I say--I'm a violinist.) :)

S has been asking me about piano lessons, and I want to find her a teacher. I could try teaching her myself, but I think she'll do a lot better with someone else.

K loves being in choir, and wants to stay there, although she tells me she wants to learn flute, too. I wish she could do both choir and band, and skip other classes like computers, but oh well. I might try to find her a private teacher for flute, we'll see...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Changing seasons

These pictures were taken in August, so I'm late, but I wanted to post them anyway. I like being able to see the cycles of planting, growing and harvesting.

The scenery is always changing from season to season. I'm still getting used to this.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Backyard birding #3

We spotted a new bird in August--a Northern Flicker, or specifically, a Red-shafted Flicker.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Shrinking dairy products

Is this disguised inflation? A recession coping technique? Just wondering.

I probably wouldn't have noticed the smaller containers if there hadn't been a few of the "older" ones still in the fridge.

When we were living in Al Ain something similar happened with our Danish butter. A few months after the Danish cartoon controversy and subsequent boycotts, when Danish dairy products could once again be found on the shelves of our local grocery stores, we noticed that the blocks of butter for sale were smaller. No longer could we buy the standard half cup/114 gram sticks of butter--the new butter was 100 grams.