Fern Hill

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, May 6, 2013 at 10:04 AM

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Well, for now, I'm going to try embedding the video of a piece that my choir, Cantilena, performed yesterday.

The piece is Fern Hill, written by John Corigliano from the poem by Dylan Thomas.

I sang the mezzo solo, and was very very happy to be able to do it. I love this piece.

Glenn Bennet conducting, Robert Mills on piano, and I'm sorry but I don't know the full names of the string quartet.

Full text of the poem and the author reading it here (it's worth it).

Words to my part, which is all I have video for at this time:

All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay 
Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was air 
And playing, lovely and watery 
And fire green as grass. 
And nightly under the simple stars 
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away, 
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the nightjars 
Flying with the ricks, and the horses 
Flashing into the dark. 

And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white 
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all 
Shining, it was Adam and maiden, 
The sky gathered again 
And the sun grew round that very day. 

A Father To Daughters

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 7:58 PM

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Out of all my many things that I enjoyed about today, I think my very, very favorite would have to be:



David, reading The Little Mermaid to the girls while I cleaned up the kitchen, going totally balls-to-the-wall with what would surely be, given the opportunity, an award-winning King Triton voice.

Three lucky Dixon girls live here.


When They Grow Up

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, April 8, 2013 at 11:20 PM

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We have been listening to Peter Pan in the car (and if you haven't already heard me gush about it elsewhere, allow me to once again evangelize Tim Curry's COMPLETELY FABULOUS reading of that charming book) so the idea of "growing up", or not, has been floating around our house a bit lately.



A few days ago, Eve and Iris were sitting in the kitchen and coloring together, as they often do. I overheard them discussing what growing up would be like, as they imagine - and I had to stop what I was doing and surreptitiously take notes.

Things The Girls Think They Will Be Able To Do When They Are Grown Up (and I quote):

Get a computer
Play grown up games whenever
Take care of kids
Go on adventures more often
Go on vacations
Stay up until 2 in the morning
Make beds
Make grown up snacks (bananas and apples mostly - not usually candy)
Just get out one thing at a time
Make bed right when they get up
Do stuff just right because they're smart

Things The Girls Think They Will Not Be Able To Do When They Are Grown Up:

Play with matches

*   *   *   *   *

Girls, I am definitely better than you at just getting out one thing at a time. (Although I didn't used to be, and I was a LOT older than you when I figured it out).

But you have many things to teach me - things I know but am so grateful to not be allowed to forget as a boring grown-up - things like snuggling, and pretending to be cats, and squirting each other with water guns.

Let's have another adventure tomorrow.

April Fool's!

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, April 1, 2013 at 7:46 PM

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Iris walked up to my car after preschool today with her teacher.

Mrs. McClure said seriously "I'm so sorry, she's really sick" and my eyebrow furrowed...

...but Iris can't keep a secret for long, and her huge grin gave away the plan.

Well played, Mrs. McClure. You had me for a second!

The Day That Was

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 8:32 PM

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Are you friends with me on Facebook? Then this makes sense.

If you're not, I suggest moving along.

For anyone who is really curious, I think it will be therapeutic for me to type it out, and then I will strive to move on. 

Basically, there's a "variety show" at my kids' elementary school. Dev has performed in it the last two years and really looks forward to it. He's a born public speaker and he always does a great job, very well prepared, etc. It's important to him, and it's initiated by him so all I have to do is facilitate and make sure he has what he needs, etc. I knew it was coming up pretty soon, but hadn't seen anything come home for it yet.

This year, he intercepted the take-home form for the auditions, filled it all out himself, and I am sure in his mind he had everything all planned and taken care of. (This is a recurring theme with him: he makes playdates, etc, without consulting me, and while I admire his initiative, I really need to be kept in the loop until he is driving himself and paying his own way, etc etc etc).

So last night he tells me "Mom, could you please call the school office tomorrow and set up a time for me to audition for the variety show"? Immediately alarm bells go off in my head, since in addition to thinking he has Everything Completely Under Control he is basically King Slob and papers frequently get lost in the bottom of his backpack. I ask him to go produce any paperwork he might be hoarding on said auditions and he comes back with his form, all filled out with his act of choice...and it says auditions are for the next two days after school and need to have been scheduled by no later than 4 days ago.  

I tell him I will call the office in the morning and see what I can do, given his positive history in this area, but no guarantees, and it's his own fault.

I call this morning after Dev leaves for school, explain the situation, and ask if it is possible for him to audition, understanding it may not be. Secretary says there was one cancellation and he can have that spot...the VERY FIRST spot, that afternoon at 2:30. School lets out at 2:15.

And, while he knows his song extremely well, he has never sung it with a recorded accompaniment and it is HARD. No way I could do it, myself.

So.

(Did I mention it's Eve's birthday TODAY? So I get to magically make all this happen while I'm buying and wrapping birthday gifts, and cooking special Favorite Foods etc? No? Well, it is. And I do.)

The audition paper said that any recorded accompaniment needed to be provided at the time of the audition, but it did not specify in what format that accompaniment should be (CD, MP3, whatever). I call my husband at work, which I really can't do, and he helps me over the phone to get speakers hooked up to my phone so I can bring that down there this afternoon and the child can have music everyone can hear. For those of you who know me, having to manage this fickle technology alone is a harrowing prospect, but I love my son and my son loves the variety show and I will do it.

I get the audio ready, test it in my kitchen, seems like it will work great. I get his costume ready (mercifully he already had everything he needed, and MIRACLE OF MIRACLES, literally, you have NO IDEA, it is hanging clean in his closet), I type him up an introduction to his song after some quick Google Fu (because of course the act he has chosen has basically no relation to the variety show theme, SAME AS HE DID LAST YEAR, and he sees no problem with that, but I suspect the judges might, so I gently massage the introductory language so he gets to do what he wants and it has a tenuous tie to the theme, because massaging language is kind of what I do.)

So, that's audition time arranged, accompaniment sorted, costume assembled, and introduction paragraph researched and written. By 10 am.

Shower. No makeup or deodorant. Whoops.

Drive through Taco Bell and bring lunch to Eve at school so I can eat with her, because remember it's her birthday?

As Eve's lunch is ending, Dev's is just starting, so I run to meet him at the door of his classroom. I quickly explain the situation to him, hand him the paper with the introduction, tell him it has to be memorized by the time school is out (which he is perfectly capable of, luckily for both of us), and pull him aside so he can sing the song a couple of times along with the accompaniment track, which is just sliiiiiiightly different than the one he is familiar with. When I link the song at the end here, you will see why this is A Huge Deal.

He does pretty well, better than I expect, and I send him off to eat his lunch and tell him I will be at his classroom door when school is out, holding his costume, and he better be Johnny On The Spot or we might as well save each other all this bother.

I just tell Iris at this point she's playing hooky from preschool, since she's late anyway because I had to stay and meet with Dev, and I need her to come birthday present shopping with me so she can tell me what My Little Pony figurines we do and do not already own, because I have no %#(*@ clue and can't keep them straight. This 90-minute window is my only chance to shop without the birthday girl herself in tow, so away we go.

Presents acquired. Whew. At least something went smoothly.

Back at Dev's classroom door for the final bell. We head straight to the gym, where the auditions will be held, where we meet Eve and she wants to tell me everything about her Magical Birthday Day At School and I get to tell her I love her but can it wait and Iris five thousand times to just sit and CHILL while I get Dev set up. 

(Because the only thing that could possibly make this situation more stressful is having to manage it with two talkative, squabbling girls in tow.)

I sign Devlin in to the auditions while he is changing into his costume in the bathroom. The sign-in lady is nice, although I see on the blue sign-in form (for the first time, might I add, it was NOT on the take-home paperwork) that "all recorded music must be on a CD", which I do not have. I explain the deal, "you know how kids are, sometimes every bit of paperwork doesn't exactly make it to its intended target", I assure her that if he is selected I will get the music to them in every format from laser disc to the present day, whatever they want, and she says that's fine, they'll just make a note of it and we can use what we have today.

WHEW.

I go set up my audio equipment, it WORKS, another miracle, Dev has memorized his intro like a boss and we run through his song one more time and it's spot on perfect. Tom Lehrer doesn't do it better.

Go time.

We head in to the audition, which is mostly full of judges I know (one lives on our street and is just as sweet as honey, one is Eve's first grade teacher) and one I don't. The Judge I Don't Know asks me very brusquely where Devlin's blue sign-in form is, and I realize that I have left it on the floor at the back of the room - you know, what with my arms full of speakers and costumes and my purse and two chatty girls and all. 

I apologize and ask if she needs it before his audition or should I let him audition first and then retrieve it and bring it to her. She looks at me like I just told her I have genital herpes and says in a tone of voice I'm not sure how to convey in print "Well, yes, I need it. It's his audition form".

Ooooooookay. So, I'll get it now, then? Instead of two minutes from now? You kind of still didn't answer my question, and I think even kindergarteners are learning to do that, but ooooooookay. Probably just me projecting my stress onto her and imagining grouchitude,

So then she says "where is his CD"? And I quickly explain the whole thing one more time, and she says "well, the sign-in person was supposed to tell you you couldn't audition without a CD" and I'm like BUMMER, but SHE SAID, and the form DIDN'T SAY, I promise I'll do whatever you need in the future, I'm not a deadbeat parent, don't crush my kid's dream at this point, please? 

She lets him audition, but my herpes seems to have progressed to the Ebola virus in her estimation.

Everything works perfectly, except that Dev flubs up one verse, but does a great job on everything else. I know he will be prepared if they give him a spot, because it's very important to him and he will work hard. Hopefully the judges will take his history as a performer into account and give him a little slack.

(For the record: I am NOT a stage mom, this is all HIS idea and I know it's important to him so I am just trying to support him as much as I can. Eve didn't want to audition and believe me that is JUST FINE.)

So as I'm leaving, I thank the judges at the table for accommodating us, and for their work on the show, and this lady (who I am standing right next to) shoves Devlin's blue form across the table and says to the judge immediately on her other side, "Well, if we're just going to let people do whatever they want then I don't know why we even bother having the forms. I'm not even going to use this".

So, like, I'm not sure if she heard me? Because that sounds like what you would say about someone if you DIDN'T know they were standing right next to you, and you were rude. If you know the person is standing right next to you, and they have been polite and considerate and apologetic, and that's what you say, then I think that makes you very very rude indeed.

So I congratulated Dev, and walked straight to the office, and looked on the wall at all the staff photos, and saw she was pictured as a kindergarten teacher. I asked the secretary what her name was, and now I know it, and it sounds like I didn't just catch her on a bad day, or misinterpret her tone (the nastiness of which I have not been able to convey here, no, not even with this absolute novel that surely NO ONE will read), and I am absolutely letting the office know in writing that I will not accept her as a kindergarten teacher for Iris next year, if she ends up going next year, and why.

Then I came home, wrapped presents, oversaw homework and piano practice, made dinner, remembered to bring yellow candles, because Eve's favorite color is yellow and it's her birthday, remember? and drove to my parents' house, where at least I did not have to do the dishes.

And Eve had a great birthday, and Devlin (hopefully) learned a couple of life lessons, and maybe will still even get into the variety show if he's lucky.

And reading it here, it really doesn't even sound that bad, but I'm telling you it was BAD, because what KINDERGARTEN TEACHER is rude to a mom who is doing her best and trying to be nice and polite and supportive, when she doesn't even know me, for no reason?! That's just a mean person, and I don't like mean people, and mean people should work in sewers underground, or in dungeons, or at the North Pole, where they can't poison other people with their meanness. Not even plants deserve to be talked to like that, and certainly not kindergarteners, and definitely not me.

That time I was giving her the benefit of the doubt. Next time, she's getting an earful of Sassy Redhead Mama Bear With A Big Vocabulary.

The End.


Dressem...Just A Dress

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, February 18, 2013 at 5:36 PM

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I'm not going to let a little thing like December being long gone get in the way of a fashion snap with my cute girls!

It's been awhile since my toes were peeking out so I thought I'd have Devlin capture the moment. The girls wanted in, and here they are.

I like my outfit and all, but my family is my treasure.

Earrings: Halo
Shirt: Sinequanone
Belt and skirt: Anthro
Shoes: John Fluevog

The Luckiest

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 8:50 PM

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I wake up to this kind of thing on a regular basis.

In case you can't tell, that is "MOM" spelled out in Legos, and a model of the boy child who built it for me.

My cup runneth over - and today, that feels like a good thing.

The Human Connection

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, January 28, 2013 at 8:10 PM

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Masks

She had blue skin.
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through,
Then passed right by –
And never knew.


 - Shel Silverstein

(Not) so much to say

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 10:04 PM

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That Guy I Married is out with the boys tonight. I am delighted, and think this should happen more often.

But I'm bored.

Can I interest you in a photo of my so-called baby? 

Iris's preschool teachers really are over the top.  It was "H" week. They made horses (and hats, vests, holsters, and marshmallow shooters).

If this doesn't put a smile on your face, then at least it put a smile on mine.




Brave

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 12:25 PM

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There's a website that I periodically see people link to on Facebook called A Mighty Girl.  They have a blog showcasing famous "mighty girls" like suffragettes, female civil and human rights activists, scholars and scientists, artists, explorers, and heroines.  There is a list of suggested books, movies, and toys to help promote, to children and parents, a well-rounded and vigorous realm of experience for little girls.

Whenever I see A Mighty Girl come up on my feed, I think of one girl in particular.

She's stubborn. She's smart. She doesn't jump when you say so. 

She knows what she likes, and she'll just wait right here until she gets exactly that, thank you very much.

She's beautiful, sweet and very affectionate - but go against her own conscience to win someone else's approval?

Not a chance.

She's right up there: the one riding with everything she's got, sword in hand, rainbow cape trailing on the wind behind her.

Her name is Eve, and she's a mighty girl - through and through.

Playing favorites

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 12:10 PM

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A couple of nights ago at bedtime...

Iris: Mom, is there school tomorrow?

Me: No, no school for you.

Iris: But do brother and sissy have school?

Me: Yes, they do. 

(Iris wept).

Me: Hey, but you and me can be buddies all day! We can snuggle, and watch a show, and have some hot chocolate, and do a puzzle. Would you like to be my buddy tomorrow?


Iris: But I like brother and sissy MORE!


Liebster Award post!

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 8:24 PM

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(I don't know why some of this is pink and some not, and I don't have time or inclination to fix it. Cheerio!)

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Janine at Bake, Glue, and Trend!

This award is like a chain mail style letter given to up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers to help promote them.

The Rules

  • Each person must post 11 things about themselves
  • Answer the questions that the nominator set for you plus create 11 questions for your nominees
  • Choose 11 people with less than 200 followers and link them in your post
  • Go to their page and tell them
  • No tag backs

11 Things About Me:

1. It is That Guy I Married's birthday today. Right this minute. And he is in the other room doing homework, while I am blogging. About myself. 

2. I love to cook. I just made (and cleaned up, sigh) pork shoulder braised with apples, and parmesan herb quinoa. So maybe that makes up for the lack of lovey-dovey-isn't-my-hubby-wubby-just-the-bestest-thing-ever birthday gushings?

3. I wear glasses because I have no other option for vision correction, not as a fashion statement. But I think they ARE a fashion statement, and I'm glad I wear them. Except when I'm trying to watch a movie and drift off to sleep. Glasses are really good for watching movies. Not so good for going to sleep.

4. I took a "who do you write like" quiz once and got Chuck Palahniuk. (He wrote Fight Club, you lazy link-clickers). I think it's all the sentence fragments.

5. I didn't finish college. That Guy I Married will wrap up his bachelor's degree next month (you guys, graduating in your early 20's, or in less than 10 years, is SO last season) and I'm trying to decide if I want to finish mine, what would I study, etc. Suggestions kindly taken in the comments section.

6. My "love language" is Gifts. Beat that for shallow, if you can. I don't care. 

7. My favorite city is London.

8. I love Dr. Who, and I couldn't tell you why. I just do.

9. I'm a terrible driver. Ask anyone.

10. I'm agnostic

11. I love nail polish! Right now I am wearing Essie Stroke of Brilliance. It's blue glitter. Yes, I am 30-something.

The questions I am tasked with answering, from the lovely Janine herself:

1) What does the last text you received say?

"Hi! So im coming to surprise my mom next month ill be in az feb 20 to 26 lets try and get together"

Now, if I only knew who it was from, that would be awesome. It's a Utah area code. Is this you, dear reader? I'm dying of curiosity.

2) Look out of your window, now tell me what you see (even better take a photo to show me!)

Well, it's pitch dark, so even if I took a picture you wouldn't see anything. I always blog after my kids are in bed.  But looking out the nearest window, it's my big, beautiful, largely uncultivated backyard. We wanted a big lot for this house, and by George we've got one!

3) What would your last ever meal on earth be?

This is so difficult. I love food. I think I might want a waffle and frites from this place in Salt Lake City. If you don't click on that link, and then GO THERE and eat waffles and frites next time you are in SLC, don't blame me.

4) If you had to be locked in a room with a song playing on repeat forever, what song would it be?

This is also incredibly difficult. I am the kind of person who hates pinning myself down to "one" particular anything, but, since you've forced my hand...The Blower's Daughter, sung by Anneke Van Giersbergen (see it here, you won't regret it). I'm going to see her in Chicago in March and I'm SO EXCITED.

5) Would you rather have brains or beauty? And why?

Brains. If you've got a brain, this doesn't need explaining. Besides, you don't need to be beautiful to have style and make the best of what you've got. But it takes brains. 

6) What is your proudest achievement to date?

My three children. They are good people, and I'm honored and delighted to be a part of their lives. They are who they are, and I don't take credit for their awesome selves...but I do play a part, and it gives me a lot of pride, satisfaction, and joy. (And high blood pressure, and swearing, and frustration, but you didn't ask about that.)

7) If you could change just one thing in your life right now instantly what would it be and why?

Three words: LIVE IN HOUSEKEEPER

8) What was the last thing you ate?

See above. Epic birthday meal, I'd say.

9) Comfort or Style?

Well, my whole life philosophy rests on the belief that you don't have to choose, but...style. I love a girl with style.

10) If you could give your 13 year old self one piece of advice what would it be?

There is more to the world than BOYS!

11) How many pairs of shoes do you own?

29, counting slippers and running shoes. I think 30's a much nicer round number, don't you think?

And now, my 11 nominees to receive this award and answer the questions that I set for them. No pressure - this is meant to be fun, and just consider it a big hug in the event you'd rather not participate:


Renee of MommyBlogYay

Angie of Think Happy


Emily of Emily Ruth Said


Keiko of Dear Octopus




Amanda of Tobler Haus

Ladies and gents, your questions are:

1. Where would you live, if you could live anywhere?

2. What is your favorite book or poem?

3. What is your favorite movie?

4. Who would play you in a movie adaptation of your life?

5. Do you think you are like your parents? Why or why not?

6. What is your biggest strength? Biggest weakness?

7. Form or functions?

8. Are the Beatles overrated? Please explain yourself.

9. Are you always hot or always cold?

10. What is your favorite "naughty" food?

11. Do you like answering questions about yourself? Explain.

Keeping Up Appearances

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, January 7, 2013 at 9:27 PM

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I just went and saw Les Miserables for the second time (it was even better the second time!) and when I got home and looked in the bathroom mirror, I realized I was wearing tall boots, a navy and white striped shirt, and a gray peacoat.

I kinda look like a French Revolutionary.

(Kinda.)

It wasn't on purpose, but I am very pleased with my fangirl appearance nonetheless.