Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Decisions, decisions

See, here's the deal. French has mystified me for years and years. So, I figured that now would be a good time to start working on demystifying it.

Except that, with the OC encouraging me to put some time into getting Spanish back into the "usable" catagory, I went to the library's website and requested the first few Destinos videos, and, on a whim ordered an old, outdated textbook to go along with them. So I watched the first one and...listening to the Spanish felt so right, like coming home again (unlike French which is still new and different and a huge challenge). But now I'm hooked on that soap-opera-like Spanish video and I want to find out how the story ends.

Except that first I need to do some (okay, a bunch of) Spanish vocabulary and grammar review...which means concentrating on Spanish for awhile. But all the components to French in Action have finally arrived and are sitting in a neat pile on D's desk just waiting for me...and making me feel guilty everytime I walk past them. ;-)

Hence my title. Do I start with the Spanish review and, once I'm comfortable again with Spanish, move on to French or dive right into French as I'd originally planned? Can't do both at once, brain would explode!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Oh, my aching brain!

Oh my, but I felt like my brain was going to explode Tuesday evening. But I digress...

First we need to back up to Sunday when D and I backed our respective (and very full!) vehicles out of the garage and headed south toward her college. After several (hot and humid!) hours of shoving (very!) heavy dorm furniture around (and, alas, pinching her poor finger in the process of hoisting a top bunk into place), lugging mountains of stuff (heavier with every armload!) up the dorm stairs and into her room, assembling a boxed bookcase, offering to take her out for a pizza supper and being turned down (imagine that!) and then finally turning her over to a group of her (oh, so happy to see her!) friends, I started my car northward and called home to give a "time of departure".

The rather brusque reply ("What took you so long?") set me off for a bit of a rather damp little pity party...until a previously unnoticed pizza place hove into my line of vision (and on the right side of the road, no less!) so I made a quick detour to the right and had that pizza supper after all. And I ate the whole thing, every bite, all ten inches of it, all by myself! Oh, yeah, I guess we did forget lunch, come to think of it. Oops.

So then I felt much better the rest of the way home and listened (again!) to the first three of the Pimsleur French CDs on the way home. Whew, that (repeat and work on the accent and then try to remember what they taught you 5 minutes ago when they ask you again, stuff) was enough of a mental workout to chase the blues for sure!

And Monday I did mountains of laundry and visited with B before she left to go back to Gram's. And Tuesday I decided to be lazy and read a was lovely!

Then came Tuesday night (you thought I'd forgotten, didn't you? No way!). Tuesday night was band practice. Now to understand this, you have to know that it's been something like 35 years since I've played my flute in a band. Oh, I've played hymns around the piano and even the occasional special music for church but nothing (nothing!) that required strict counting and runs and trills or even reading all those high notes on ledger lines way up above the treble staff. So, I'd started practicing...from my old beginner flute book (not even the intermediate book, the beginner book...starting with lesson five!) but then D was trying to study at home and Gram and B were here (and I certainly didn't want to annoy them!) and (okay, I admit it!) I stopped practicing. Besides, when I went for the first time two weeks ago, I'd struggled along okay (not great, mind you, I was lost plenty and had to skip the runs and stuff but there was a flute teacher sitting beside me and she was very kind to help find me when I was lost and answer questions now and then). But I didn't practice the band music afterwards. Not once.

Then came Tuesday night. Band night. And the OC is all happy and excited to go to band and play his new clarinet ('cause he's played in bands now and then over the last quarter century!). And I'm feeling rather smug and thinking, "Yeah, I can do this. It'll all come back. I'll be fine. This'll be fun."

And then I walked through the door...

No flutes. None. Nada. There was not one single flute player there. Except me. What? ME? JUST ME???? Who will I listen to to know when to come in and how will I find out where I am when I am lost of those songs has a solo flute part! YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I survived. And the director was very patient with me. And nobody threw rotten tomatoes...and someone even said I was an inspiration that they would use to get a long-time-not-playing friend to come, too...but I came home with a very aching brain from the strain of all that concentration...and that is the story of how I did my small bit this last week to stave off incipient dementia...

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The time has come...almost

Her stuff is packed, the cars are loaded and in just about 9 hours or so, our youngest fledgling (D) and I will set out for her journey back to college. What will be different for me after my return will be that we'll no longer have her older sister (B) at home. B, you see, has moved to a nearby state to care for her failing Grammie. Except that B is here visiting for a long weekend so the reality of the "empty nest" has yet another delay before it sinks in. Though B isn't just visitng us, she's also getting a peer-fix by spending lots of time hanging out with her sister (A) and brother-in-law (Br) who live on the other side of town and who are oh-so-kindly kitten sitting for B.

As for me, I just finished watching the first online program of the Spanish language course Destinos and ordering the accompanying textbook. A couple of families who are fluent in Spanish have begun attending our church recently and I've decided they are a resource too good to pass up so I'm giving myself a quick review course in Spanish. Hopefully, Spanish will come back quickly because I've been really, really looking forward to finally learning some French--that's going to be my next big project once I have some uninterrupted time each day. And now that I've told the Internet I'm going to learn French, I'm going to have to do it, right?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

There is no understanding the human mind!

For the last few days, we've had an unexpectedly full house and and yet, instead of just happily basking in the delight of having more of the family around, (though I did do plenty of that!) a little part of my mind kept popping up thoughts of all the stuff it's been planning for when it's just me here. Ah, those silly humans, never content...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

At the speed of life

My life is changing. At the speed of light, it seems, but more likely it's just at the speed of life. A year and a half ago, this house was full of people coming and going at all has been the case for many decades past. In ten days, it'll be just me here...alone...all day every day. It'll be a new experience indeed and I'm laying great plans for that time; plans that will take time to hatch, of course. More about all that later, though, because first, as the family's last hold-out, I have to figure out how this blogging business works...