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The view up a side canal near the Champlain and Erie canals.

Four more )
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So, I spent part of the drive home pondering the two churches, and what other questions I should ask to help with a potential decision.

Too Small Methodist-- they simply have to expand the job, and thus the pay, from what they're envisioning (and the pastor already knows that). They're currently offering a 9 month position with 3 unpaid weeks off-- so work and pay for only about 38 Sundays. I'm looking for 6 or 8 Sundays off, but not 15!

Just Right Presby-- I want to ask them more about the church/congregation at large. I've seen their "mission statement", but how are they living it out? What local missions, what outreach?

I expect to hear from Just Right early in the week, Too Small not until Friday at the earliest.
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An army of invading juvenile ducks!

Four more )
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Sudden burst of energy began last night. After dinner I bought gas for the mower, and then emptied, hosed out, scrubbed, dried and refilled both cat boxes.

Today's practice was really good. I'm feeling reasonably ready for Sunday and for my auditions tomorrow and Friday; but even better, the Bach D Minor is beginning to feel really good. I need to spend a couple of hours smoothing out the rough spots, but most of it flows really well. I'm taking it slower than most recordings, not because I can't play it that fast, but because it feels right to me slower; I can hear shapes and flows that I've never heard in the "wow, look how fast I can play!" recordings.

I also went to Trader Joe's this morning-- I'm becoming a serious fan. This evening, after cooking dinner and cleaning up, I packed two boxes of books, and loaded them and a small bookcase into my car. I figure every small load I move now will make the actual moving day a bit easier.
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Cedar waxwing.

five more )

Pics

Jul. 12th, 2014 09:24 pm
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Amazing tree trunk! What probably happened here is that a mighty pine tree was cut, maybe more than a century ago. Suckers grew up around the outer ring of the stump and have meshed together over the years.

Four more )
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...another trip to Albany. Brought down a bookcase and box of books, and started rearranging the apartment to hold all three of us in a month.

Choosing the books was interesting-- a sort of variation on the usual desert island question. What books do I want here, what do I still want in Vermont, what will I put in storage? My selections were also affected by how recently I've read some favorites. What I settled on was all of my Dorothy Gilman, Margaret Coel and Zenna Henderson, plus a bird identification guide, and some other random odds and ends. Still space to bring down at least one more box full.
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Can you find mama wood duck and three chicks?

Three more )

focus

Jul. 9th, 2014 10:41 pm
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I occasionally watch one of my former pastor's services (at his new church) online. Recently he used quotations from commencement speeches as a starting point. He quoted Bill Gates at Harvard in 2007, urging graduates to 'choose one issue and become an expert in it.'

That struck a chord for me, as I feel a deep urge to give back, to make the world better somehow-- but have never found a focus. Sometimes a project will suck me in, but mostly every issue and project interests me and pulls at me, until I feel completely scattered and ineffective at anything. So I've been pondering the quotation, and considering which of those many tugs at my heart are strongest.

Environmental issues are dear to my heart, but I've come to realize they're actually in second place. The stories and occurrences about which I am most passionate always involve-- children. Specifically children with some kind of special challenge-- differently abled, poverty, etc. (Remember Peace Partners?)

So, while I'll continue to read and ponder any issue that catches my attention, I think that as I begin to build my life in the Albany area, I'll be especially looking for some way I can help children with special needs, and some environmental project to get involved with.

Day of rest

Jul. 7th, 2014 09:21 pm
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I had intended to practice today, but woke up feeling sluggish. After a couple of hours of putting off practice, I realized how badly I didn't want to go-- and this week's pieces really aren't so challenging that I had to. So I mostly stayed home and got local stuff done; eventually I drove to a grocery store half an hour away for some specialty stuff.

We still have one cat here, Laura's tortoiseshell Nala. Nala is desperately clingy after being alone for two days.

Tomorrow I have to get back into practice, and teach several lessons. Hopefully another good night of sleep will have me ready for that.
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Seven new pics, including a rose breasted grosbeak and several shots of a beaver.

$19.68

Jul. 4th, 2014 09:59 pm
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I sometimes have a terrible time allowing myself to spend money, even when I've deliberately set out to do so. For example, I often go to farmers' markets and leave without buying anything. I combat this by setting a goal, with the kid's help if she's with me.

For years as we travel I've noticed an intriguing large roadside stand, but as we were making longer trips it was never open-- either we were leaving very early or returning home late. This week I finally passed that stand while it was open, and it was delightful! But I only bought a few peaches (yes, trucked in, but personally trucked in, overnight, and incredibly sweet and juicy). So knowing that we could stop there today, I told the kid we needed to spend the money-- say, $20, though that could be split between today and the return trip on Sunday.

She took me at my word, helping me select fingerling potatoes, two types of onions, zucchini, more peaches, a lemon, and a raspberry pluot to sample. Total? $19.68. Going home we will at least buy fresh figs, if they still have them, and likely more.
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I'm going to aim to post daily during July. The stress of the last couple of years (seriously, more than 2 years) has caught up with me, and I am inclined to curl up in a ball in the back of some imaginary cave; I need to fight back.

For the moment I'm still pondering the worship service yesterday.

religious stuff back here )
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Five new pics at the top, from the Old Burying Ground in Salem, New York.

Frank S

Jun. 29th, 2014 10:44 pm
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Communion


That is Frank Schaefer celebrating communion this morning, and it is MY pic.

When I learned I could take today off, I started exploring what church to visit in Albany, and stumbled across the news that Frank would be preaching at First Methodist in Schenectady (not the UM church to which I've applied). I was tempted to go to hear him, but there were other reasons to go elsewhere so I was torn. Then the news about Frank broke, and then the other reasons evaporated, so hubby and I were there this morning. It was awesome!
Behind here I probably gush. )
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Top seven pics are new (and annotated).
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Four new pics up... they are bees, don't click if you're phobic!
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New photos there... hard to share them here because of changes on Flickr.
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