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Another Christmas concert in fieldhouse

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis Christmas concert has been a tradition for MANY years, even before I was born. My parents paid for the tickets for Ken and I to go and we had our bus ride with about 25 other people paid for also.  What a wonderful time to get to the fieldhouse an hour before so I could walk through my old alma mater.  The campus has added many new buildings since I attended 40 years ago.

There were FOUR choirs in different colored robes and there must have been at least 400 singers with an orchestra of about 50 members.  The audience in the bleachers must have been at least that and on the floor of the gym where I used to play badminton and watch basketball games, there must have been another 400-500 people.  In total, there was probably about 2,000 people in this fieldhouse that serves the college as a sports place throughout the school year, but in December it is a wonderful concert.

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How nice to go to a restaurant afterwards with the 25 other people and enjoy Christmas caroling before we ate.  My folks are in their 80s but they look much younger.  A great way to celebrate the new holiday season! My Mom is wearing her Norwegian sweater while my Dad is wearing his usual bolo tie.  They met as singers at voice lessons and the rest is history.

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Concert happened, lights out

men's chorus

The concert was a success at the Carnegie the other night, we probably had about 150 people in attendance (counting the choruses) and we brought in almost one grand. We can move ahead with our renovations on the old building of 107 years.  We had an architectural engineer look at the place the next day. We need to know what to do with the coal room that I was hoping would turn into a storage area.  His report will cost us almost two grand so we definitely needed the help of the fundraiser concert.

We also talked about an elevator where the dumb waiter for books was placed in the librarian’s office.  The engineer made that seem very doable.  He showed pictures off of his phone to show that it does NOT need to be an elaborate elevator but something that would suit our purposes.  That was good news but still waiting on someone to donate money to our cause.

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What fun it was to put up Christmas cards and other Christmas decorations. We have some of the string of  lights on a timer so they will go on every night for about 4-5 hours and then automatically out again.  We will have another concert the end of December and then hopefully we will have the electrician come in to do some major overhaul on the building’s old system of electricity.

Everything takes time when restoring an old building.  I’m glad someone stood in the way of having it demolished back in the mid-1980s. A few claimed that the Carnegie was an eyesore.  Some people just do NOT like old buildings and think that new is better.  I would have to heartily disagree.  I believe the older buildings were built structurally sound and were meant to last a long time!

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Today’s Concert at the Carnegie

There’s still much to do and it is nearly 5:00 a.m. and I have some things that I can do BEFORE I go back to the Carnegie.  Yesterday after the second coat of primer, I put on some paint and today I’ll take off the blue tape that protected the woodwork. I hope no paint seeped through.  You can see the difference that the primer made from what I pictured in the post before this. That’s only after the first coat.  I found eggshell white to paint over that.  Remarkable difference that I should take a photo of today to post tomorrow.

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My Dad will be singing in the men’s chorus and he is really enjoying the practices.  At 87 years of age, he still can read the music and sing.  That is so good that he has that as an outlet since he is not working any more.  My mom used to say about him, “He works hard at working hard.”  I guess he grew up that way on the farm where all three of his older sisters worked in order to save the farm.  He had an older brother who was about 16-17 years older than him.  I have had some negatives of him digitized and here is one sampling of that.

Alta and Glen @ 1933

I’ll end with a sunrise shot that I got about a week ago. If anything is the same about living in the house that my grandparents built up, it is the beauty of the horizon in the morning or evening with glorious colors. They would have seen the same things I witness with our expansive flat lands.  I caught this one from our second story window.  I’ll have photos of our concert tonight in tomorrow’s post.

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Working as a “volunteer” all day

Carnegie Nov. 28 concertTypical Saturday and I spent most of it inside our Carnegie building getting it prepared for the next fundraising concert on Nov. 28th.  Time is of essence as there is MUCH to do to prepare both levels as opposed to just one! Now we will have our guests come in the back entrance and then take the internal stairs.  Usually, we have had everyone approach from the large west entrance.  But now we will be able to have the choirs risers right up against the doors as people would normally enter.  Instead of having to make sure that the stairs are snow and ice free we will have all people go around to the back.

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THAT MEANS to have the back area that has been typically used as a place to put junk and get that to look nice for people to see and get in the Christmas mood of things. We will have Christmas caroling to begin with and then at 7:30 will be one of the choruses, either men’s or women’s.  We will also have the string orchestra (with me playing violin) and the university’s pop chorus.  It should be a very nice fundraiser.

HOWEVER, in the meantime, I have primed the walls that lead to the bathroom and up the stairs and there was a LOT of moving of heavy tables and doors and other things. It was a 2 or 3 person job in some cases.  I’ll go back tomorrow to keep working on things before we have a full crew coming to help next Sunday.

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I should have taken a BEFORE photo of this because it really looked bad before this.  There were wooden tulips and cobwebs and it looked frightful!   I will show more photos later.

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Sunrise to Sunset

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday I could have taken photos of the winter sunset after a gloomy and cloudy day. I had already taken quite a few photos of the amazing sunrise.  Bookends of glory within between of somber moods of cold.  My sister and brother came up to see about working at the shop, helping my dad de-clutter his massive inventory.  They both stayed over night at our place last night.  What was remarkable after they ate a late night meal, was that my sister was trying to help me make the bed for my brother. What happened next started a series of things that wasn’t meant to be!

She reached to the one far corner to tuck in the sheet and boom, the big double bed caved in.  Inexplicably Ken slept through that noise.  My brother was finishing his meal downstairs and he heard the crash just above him. Soon he came up to see what our dilemma was.  We finally took the mattress off, the bed frame apart except one of the pieces because it was stuck.  My brother tried to bang it apart without being too loud, that didn’t work.  Finally the three of us (50% of us siblings in one room) decided that the mattress could go on the floor and my brother could sleep that way.  He did.

Today, my husband who had slept through ALL of the commotion was able to bang out the frame and we put the bed back together. To make extra sure that this over 100 year old bed would NOT fall apart again, he torque screwed the horizontal planks in with four screws.  This old bed and dresser has been in our family for over a century. I hope that others now can sleep in it without any more drama.

So, back to the sunrise. It was a glorious beginning of a day. Today it all ended well.  Sadly our football team we were rooting for in the 30 degree F. temp lost again. 62 – 20.  That is the end of their season where they have lost all ten games, it has to be a real downer for the team players, some of them are my former students.

Anyway, the sun will come up…tomorrow.

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Week has gone

firering

I’ve been challenged to show 7 photos in 7 days that are black and white with no people and no explanation but something I have been doing.  Then I challenge one person each day.  This time I challenged my brother in law who is a good photographer.  Actually, this fire ring was from their place several years ago.  I have been doing LOTS of burning lately of things, textbooks, old papers, correspondence, you name it.  While I can take wheelbarrows full of stuff, I have been doing that. Now it has snowed which makes it a bit more difficult to do.

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The snow lately has been very pretty and I may do a black and white of that since it already looks B&W with the contrast of trees and white snow.  If we get more snow, I’ll be able to cross-country ski which I look forward to doing.

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Enjoy the warmth while you can, it was -5 F this morning when we got up, it will get colder before long.  Happy Day lights savings time!  I saw northern lights tonight for the first time in a LONG time.  It has maybe been about 15 years since I last saw them. I’m in a car when I see them, our trees to the north make it difficult to see northern lights.

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Sunrise and Sunset all in one day!

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We go about our days, every day, and we don’t even think about our sunrises or sunsets, our beginnings and ends of the day. Only if we see in the early morning light the makings of a good sunset. That happened yesterday as I was up not especially early since these fall early morning risers are starting out later every day. I believe this was 8:00 a.m. in the morning.

I went about my day making plum jelly, pizza sauce with our tomatoes and also did a load of laundry and hung the clothes out to dry. I prepared some pork sirloin for my folks and husband for later in the day, they came and we ate our meal and I had a flop of a plum sauce pie…I have to get a better recipe or not have such watery plum sauce.  Not many recipes out there for this seasonal fruit which I had a LOT of this fall.

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So, we made the best of the boiled over plum sauce with ice cream for dessert. Then, the four of us started a game of dominoes.  After game one, I looked out and there was a nice sunset in the making. I ran out with my camera as fast as I could go and got this photo of the sunset.  I think the best photos right now are through the trees and so I should have done that last night, more spectacular than just the horizon with the sunset.

In fact, as I write this, I should run out and get that shot.  I think I will.  Let’s see if my camera does it justice! Well, I got the photos with the sunset at about 6:45 p.m. but my camera did NOT do them justice. In fact, I have a very big memory on my camera and I have to keep deleting the old pictures which I don’t bother to do.  So, it is acting up. Suffice it to say, I DID get some nice sunsets with trees in the foreground.  I’ll add those later.

Here is my new car, which is a Nissan Juke. It has its own style and “comfort.”  My parents or small children are the only people that can really fit in the back seat of this car. We went to Minot last weekend in it, in ONE day. It was a 4 hour drive and we spent about five hours at Hostfest. Oh well. Next year, maybe we will stay longer.

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