Summer solstice in the great PNW

You know what’s one of the best things about living here?

Time expands…

OK, well, maybe not. But the daylight lasts amazingly long.

Please to check out these pictures


My first school reborn

My Grandmother, bless her heart, will still send me actual news clippings from newspapers and magazines and such. Luckily, in this age of the Internets, I can also find the articles online.

Anyway, she just sent me this article about the Clarksburg School being converted into municipal offices for Millstone Township. I grew up in this very rural area of NJ (now less rural, for sure), and I went to school in this very building for Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, & 3rd grade. This building was a 5 minute walk from the house where I grew up, but alas, since my parents split up mid-way through Kindergarten, I spent my mornings & afternoons with my babysitter, who lived in a house 5 miles away. So, every morning, my father would get up, drive me 5 miles away and then drop me off. And then, I would walk down the babysitter’s 1/4 mile driveway to catch a bus back to a school 5 minutes from my house. Then, after school, I would get back on the bus, walk back up the 1/4 mile driveway, and wait at that house until my father could come pick me up.

But, I digress. I know old people like to talk about one room schoolhouses, and this building had a similar feel to a one room schoolhouse. As you can see in the article, it actually started out as only 4 rooms when it was built. By the time I went to it, IIRC, it was probably 8 or 10 rooms. We actually had a combined 3rd/4th grade class in one of the rooms. I attended 4th & 5th grade in a building in Perrineville, and then 6th, 7th, and 8th in the building (or part of the building) that they’re still using for school. My graduating class from Elementary School only had 71 people – and by Elementary school, I mean K-8, and most of those people I went all the way through with. 

Ah, memories. I feel very blessed having had this experience. As I wrote about last year, I’m still in touch with my Principal from that school, and I’m so glad that the building is still intact.

Chocolatey music download goodness

Thanks to Pliable in “On an Overgrown Path” for pointing out two repositories of classical MP3 downloads.

One is a collection of historical collection of recordings from a Finnish Radio station. Ignore the Finnish – it’s still great stuff: (since I just got done singing a concert almost entirely in Finnish, it’s almost natural for me :-)).

The other is some snippets from London’s Mostly Mozart festival:

Do yourself a favor – download one or two and expand your horizons. You might be pleasantly surprised!

Coco Van

Alright, so it’s Coq Au Vin. Bonibaru asked me what I’ve been cooking, and she just so happen to do it during a  week when I had been asked to cook my first test recipe for Cook’s Illustrated. As I’ve mentioned before, Cook’s Illustrated was a revelation to me, and so I signed up to help test new recipes. I did this quite awhile ago, and finally a recipe came to test.

Coq Au Vin.

Well, actually it was sort of a “quick” Coq Au Vin. Well, “quick” if you’ve got a couple of hours.

It turned out, well, OK. I think the bacon I used was too smoky, and, of course, a big part of the recipe is mushrooms, and I hate mushrooms. But, I included them anyway, because I was testing the recipe. 

I gave them copious feedback, and I can’t wait to do another test. My biggest issue with cooking is getting the inspiration to do it, and so having an email come to me complete with recipe that I have to make within a certain period of time, it’s perfect!

I would share the recipe with you, but since that’s how these people make their money, it doesn’t seem like the right thing to do. If you buy this book, you can find their long form Coq Au Vin. If you subscribe to their website you can it to. I’ll let you know when they actually publish the recipe I tested.

Things I’d like to write about

When I was not employed, I had lots mo’ time to write in this here blog. Also, during that time, I was not talking to ANYONE most of the day. I was all alone and caught with my thoughts.Now, not only do I not have time, I’m talking to people all day. Sometimes, I’ve just had enough of expressing myself.

Anywho, I have been thinking about some potential Blog entries in the future; I’d like to write them down so I don’t forget about them.

  • The value of shared experiences
  • Thoughts on having been membership president and possibly moving on
  • Quirks of the people with whom I talk all day
  • Why arrogance and stupidity seem to go hand in hand
  • 6 years of marriage
  • Guinea pig ownership
  • Painting the guest bedroom
  • Adventures in the yard
    • Well, there are probably more. If you have any requests/suggestions, please pass them along. I know I’m not Shakespeare or anything, but, you know, perhaps you enjoy reading from time to time. 🙂

      Seattle Choral Company Presents: Baltic Homeland: Folksong Heritage from the Baltic Shores, June 3rd

      The Seattle Choral Company, conducted by Fred Coleman, will conclude its 24th Season with Baltic Homeland: Folksong Heritage from the Baltic Shores. The choral heritage among the Baltic countries is centuries old. Unknown to most Americans, there are more choirs per capita in this region than anywhere else in the world. Communal singing and national song festivals play a significant role in the Baltic states, attracting thousands of participants. Here folk traditions and epic poems have been great sources for a vast choral repertory that is now being appreciated everywhere.

      The Seattle Choral Company will first explore several key figures in the Finnish choral repertoire: Jean Sibelius, the foremost composer of the Nationalist school, Toivo Kuula, a deeply Romantic visionary, Einojuhani Rautavaraa, a contemporary composer who succeeds in finding a universal musical language, and the young Jaakko Mantyjarvi, who has achieved overnight fame with the zany humor of his El Hambo.

      The second half of the program will allow listeners to witness the colorful vocal writing of Veljo Tormis, Estonian master of ancient Baltic folk song. You will discover the magic, primeval power of age-old, runic folk tunes, found among the surviving peoples of the Baltic shores.

      The program will include choral songs by:

      Veljo Tormis (Estonia)
                 Four Game Songs from Sangaste
                 Livonian Heritage
      Jean Sibelius (Finland)
                 Drommarna (Dreams
                Rakastava (Beloved, The Lover)
      Toivo Kuula (Finland)
                 Auringon noustessa (Sunrise)
                 Siell on kauan jo kukkineet omenapuut (Yonder the apple trees are blooming)
                 Nuku (Sleep)
      Einojuhani Rautavaara (Finland)
                 Och gladjen den dansar (With joy we go dancing)
                 Sommarnatten (Summer night)
      Jaako Mantyjarvi (Finland)
                 El Hambo

      Performances (click the date to buy tickets from Brown Paper Tickets)

      June 3rd, 8 PM @ St. Mark’s Cathedral, Capital Hill
      June 4th, 3 PM @ St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Medina


      Special group rates available for groups of 8 or more. Groups of 15+ from schools & non-profits at 50% off. For discounts, call the SCC at (206) 363-1100.