Thursday, December 31, 2009

Music Filing System

     Every January I am bitten by the organization bug.  It attacked early this year and I am already planning.  In the process I remembered redoing my music filing system a few years ago.  I doubt that it is anything new but it works well and I am happy with it. Thought I would share it.
     Several years ago I found a website that classified people as filers or pilers.  I recognized myself immediately.....a PILER (or STACKER).  I love to make piles.  I decided that if I made a filing system it would have to be easily accessible and quick to use.  Solution.....hanging files in upper file drawers, one folder for each composer filed alphabetically.
     Our home office has two adjacent 4-drawer high files with very deep drawers.  They are next to my desk.  I have taken over the upper two of each with music and music-related papers; it is easier for me to stand than sit when I file music.  One drawer is for papers; music is in the other three.  I have music divided into the following categories: viola technical studies, viola sonatas, viola unaccompanied, viola and orchestra, orchestral excerpts, oversized music, chamber music, violin music ( technical studies, solos and collections), cello music, church music, solo collections for viola and piano, and more.  Hope you get the idea.  I can easily add more in the future if I need to.
     Within each category music is filed by composer in alphabetical order.  Each composer has a hanging file.  It is very quick and easy when I put music away.  I REALLY like it!  I still stack but I file more because it is orderly and easy.  I have not lost music and it stays in better condition.
     Enough of this.........hope this helps another stacker!
   

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Best Dog

     I am surrendering.  "No", I thought, "I am not going to be one of those persons who raves and raves about his or her dog".  Our westie has been such a joy that this post is for him.  He is so good-natured and polite....but boy, can he play rough with my husband and boys!!  He is just ssssssssso cute!!  He is begging right now (very politely) to go out.  I will obey.

The Extremes of Christmas

     Early this month I did some mall shopping.  During a visit to one of my favorite stores, Bath and Body, I heard  the most abominable selection of "canned" Christmas music I have ever heard.  My personal list of Christmas Songs That Should Be Abolished is headed by  Santa Baby (just the thought gets me going...) but perhaps I will change it. Just when I was really fed up with the music in B & B I heard an unfamiliar song about what somebody wanted from Santa.  The answer is..........and how could I not have guessed........... the perfect gift for the child who has every material thing this world can offer......an ALIEN!  Isn't that what every child wants who contemplates the nativity and learns about the deeper spiritual meaning of the season?!!!  My, how could I have missed this low point of Christmas musical lit.!   Oh, I get it...........Santa Baby is an alien.
     After experiences like this I wonder in amazement at the acceptance of this music.  My better nature thinks "maybe it is just a joke...".  But I don't think so.  A sorry situation, indeed!
     Christmas is a feast for the senses which includes both the worst junk food and the best gourmet items.  I think many of us overindulge and are ready to diet in January.  No more Christmas music for a year, and then we are ready to do it all over again.  We are "funny" creatures..........
     This past week I have tried to focus on a message from Elder Uchtdorf's talk (see my post Christmas).  He suggested that  we try to find Christ during this season.  I am sure this is not a new idea, but somehow his words caught my attention.
     I am happy to report that my search has been successful.  I saw His reflection in the great generosity of people responding  to struggles in our home.  I have seen His hand in the timing of critical events this month.  I have felt overwhelming gratitude for my viola and the joy it brings into my life, and for the great blessing to be able to play better--not worse--at my age.  I have been reminded of my wonderful family, including a faithful husband and good children in a day when many families are breaking or broken.
     Last Saturday, on the way to visit my sister who lives several hours south, we had help from a real-life good Samaritan.  They still exist on roads full of busy travelers.
     While driving south on I 65 through northern Indiana our van had a blow-out.  After making it to the side of the highway we realized that the tire had met its demise in the most ugly, boring and deserted stretch of 65.  A mile marker was the only landmark.  While sitting my husband and I wondered what to do.  Traffic was heavy, with many  trucks barreling by in the right lane.  The van shook frequently as vehicles whizzed past us.  My husband did not think it safe to change the tire because of the kind of jack we had, and he has been nursing a right shoulder injury.  We also wondered how many of the speeding drivers were TEXTING  (not a comforting thought.....).  So we sat, thought and prayed about what to do.  I thought how nice it would be if someone stopped to help us, but I also knew I was probably dreaming.  First of all, who would bother to help in this day and age, and next, what could they do?!  We called the state police and tried to get a tow truck (aren't cell phones wonderful!!!).  After sitting for about 15" a car pulled over some distance ahead of us.  He began to back up toward us, faster and faster.  I thought, OH NO---SOME KOOK WHO IS GOING TO RAM OUR VAN AND KILL US!!  Well, he almost did.  He stopped abruptly just in front of us.  To make a long story short, he was a tow truck driver taking his car south to visit family.  He offered to change our tire......he had all the right tools in his trunk.  He and my husband worked for about an hour.  There were problems, such as not being able to get the spare tire out and having a terrible time getting the blown tire off.  That poor guy worked and worked, but finally--after breaking a couple of his tools--he got the spare on.  After all of that he wanted no money ( we gave him some anyway....what a feat!! ).
     During the wait I marveled at this.  To me it was a miracle, and similar to the story of the good Samaritan.  The next day we attended church near my sister's home and the first message, given by a 12 year old girl, was about the story of the good Samaritan.  OK, I thought, I think I get the message....much to think about!!
     I think this has been my best Christmas.  Not because of material things, but because of the Spirit I have felt and what I am learning.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas

     This is a busy and emotional time of year.  I sometimes  become emotionally and spiritually depleted.  The first Sunday in December my family listens to Christmas messages from leaders of the church we are members of (Latter-day Saints) but I had to miss it this year.  I just listened to one online and felt I should post a link to it.  It was wonderful.......the best I have heard, I think.  It put things in perspective.
     The message can be read or heard online; I recommend listening first.  To get it go to the website lds.org (or  click on the link to the right of this post) and find the First Presidency Christmas Devotional message link on that page.  Click on "many languages"; when on the next page click on your language of choice.  After that you will see a list of speakers and music.  Go to President Dieter Uchtdorf's tallk. You can also click on performances of Christmas music by the Tabernacle choir...always beautiful.
     Merry Christmas!

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In addition to being a violist, I am a wife and mother (three sons). I dabble in writing, handwork, sewing and photography.