Today was another warm day. We spent much of the morning in the house doing some much-needed (albeit dreaded) cleaning and organizing. Where is my fairy godmother when I need her? Or what about Samantha from Bewitched? Not only was she drop-dead gorgeous, but all she had to do was twitch her nose and her house was instantaneously clean. Life just isn't fair.
After we got through that, we moved on to some more fun endeavors such as making ice cream, swimming, and watching a little TV. I should clarify that only the kids were able to partake in the ladder two activities since I had some urgent "desk tasks" that needed to be completed. I was not a happy camper as I sat in the mid-90 degree weather (sweating and grumpy) at the table in the yard pouring over work and making calls to inefficient customer service representatives. Again, if I was Samantha from Bewitched that paperwork would have been done with one simple twitch of my nose. Then I would have been happily swimming in the pool and maybe even watching a show of my own. Keep dreaming, Jana.
One of the highlights of our day (actually it was after dinner) was a concert from Garin. He has been working so hard on one of his pieces and finally felt confident enough to play it for all of us and the camera. I recorded it and included it below.
A little background. Garin has been playing the piano for about 5 years (on and off). He is on his third teacher and in this case, I feel like the third time is the charm. We love our teacher and she has done a great job with Garin.
As you have heard me mention many times in this blog, we love listening to The Beatles. In that vein, Garin started learning songs from The Beatles about a year and a half ago. We have a huge anthology book, so there are many choices. When asked which songs he wanted to start with, Garin told Miss Kim, his teacher, that he wanted to learn all my favorites. I was so touched by that. He started with Here Comes The Sun, Norwegian Wood, and As my Guitar Gently Weeps, three of my very favorites. Those are all now part of his repertoire and he has moved on and expanded it from there. Now, he is going back and perfecting the five or six Beales songs he plays at my behest.
He decided to start this endeavor with Eleanor Rigby since it is one of his strongest pieces. He has been working hard to get all the "kinks" out. I think he has done a wonderful job.
We have done battle over the years about practicing, as most parents do at one time or another with their kids. We have had some blow-outs, to be honest. We both get frustrated. I, with his tendency to be robotic, set a timer, and just play through his music without much care or passion. Because of that tendency (to play without heart, I would say), he gets bored and resentful of practicing. One might call it a vicious cycle.
We had a Come to Jesus meeting the other day about this very topic and I think we finally turned a corner. I shared with him the stories of my own long hours of practicing; my highs and lows while playing; and my eventual sense deep gratification and pride once I perfected a piece. He seemed to take in what I said and has been working hard, with a more dedicated focus that I have not previously seen. Let's hope he keeps it up.
We both love Elenor Rigby. Garin wanted to share a little background about the song for the blog. It was written (by Paul McCartney) and recorded by the band on August 5, 1966, almost 54 years ago. Here is what we found out...
"McCartney explained at the time that his songs came mostly from his imagination. Regarding this song, he said, 'It just came. When I started doing the melody I developed the lyric. It all came from the first line. I wonder if there are girls called Eleanor Rigby?' McCartney wasn't sure what the song was going to be about until he came up with the line, 'Picks up the rice in a church where a wedding has been.' That's when he came up with the story of an old, lonely woman. The lyrics, 'Wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door' are a reference to the cold-cream she wears in an effort to look younger."
We can't get enough Beatles trivia around here. We just soak it all up. Hopefully, you found this little nugget, interesting.
One more funny anecdote about Eleanor Rigby: Father MacKenzie was originally Father McCartney, but Paul didn't want to freak out his dad so he chose a name from the phone book. Also, his dad bore no resemblance to this character, so he went with Father Mackenzie in the end. Good choice Paul!
Garin proudly playing Eleanor Rigby.
Breakfast: Buttermilk Pancakes served with warm syrup and one of our new roses.
This is a Beverly Eleganza hybrid tea rose. Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?
Tournament of Roses grandiflora rose. To say we are enjoying our new roses is an understatement. I can hardly get anything done because all I want to do is stand at the kitchen window and stare out at them.
We embarked on the project of making homemade peach ice cream today.
The project was spearheaded by the twins. We completed phase I today (making the custard), which will go into the ice cream machine tomorrow (Phase II) after it is properly chilled
With any luck it will be ready for dessert tomorrow night.
Dinner: A lovely summer pasta with sautéed onions and garlic; fresh chopped tomatoes; shredded mozzarella; and finished off with copped parsley and chiffonade of basil.
I will feature this recipe on my blog in the coming weeks, It is so simple and perfect for a summer evening dinner alfresco.