The First Lesson

The piano lessons have started.

I found my teacher from Google search and turns out we are a good match. She has a gleeming, black grand piano that takes up her entire living room; with weighted, effortless keys, the sound is literally music to the ears.

I am a cautious, approaching “mid-life crisis“, student – yikes! And after years of teaching myself to read music, playing by ear and generally using the piano as a stress outlet, there’s a load of habits I need to lose in order to be able to play confidently and beautifully.

I am committed.

This is my first lesson, first week of practice. It is so basic that it almost seems irrelevant – until I practice with intention.

That is when I can pick out how weak my left hand really is and how quickly my right hand wants to take off on its own volition.

It is a struggle but I suspect beyond learning to play well, I will also learn something deeper about myself to adjust. ❤️

Hello Piano

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Recently I inherited a piano from a good friend of a good friend.  It sits snuggly in the corner of my living room.

Yesterday I had the piano tuned for the first time in 20 years.

The gentleman arrives, proud to be tuning piano’s for 52 years – 52 YEARS!  He is slightly stooped and tells me how thankful he is that at 72 he is still able to get out and do the thing he loves – tune piano’s.

He follows me into the living room and I point to the piano.  He puts down the case he has brought along. It looks similar to a traveling farm animal vet case.  It is a gently worn, hard, black leather covered case.

He sets out on his business of tuning my piano.

He plays a little ditty and promptly clicks his tongue and makes a disapproving noise.

He takes the top cover off and promptly clicks his tongue and makes a disapproving noise.

“Lots of dust,” he briskly comments.

I grab the vacuum, plug it in, turn it on and hand it to him.

He puts his hand over the end of the vacuum to check the suction and promptly clicks his tongue and makes a disapproving noise.

“You may also need a cloth,” he stoically states.

I grab a cloth and help him wipe down the inside of the piano and then I slither off like an unworthy child to my kitchen.  I sit silently and peer around the corner to watch him work.

He progresses with the tuning.

“This is a good little piano and it will be alright with some care,” he announces after an hour and a half of tuning.

Before he leaves he gives me a few additional tips and suggestions.

1. Play my piano
2. Have my piano tuned regularly
3. Buy a humidifier for the winter time and if I am really serious like he is, install one on my furnace!
4. Buy a new vacuum

 

2016 In Review

I stopped dying  my hair. My roots are grey. I look old. I feel young.

The fun Mini has been replaced by a mature SUV.  I feel responsible.

I attended an outdoor electronica festival and I saw Tommy Hilfiger clad couples in amongst the crowd. There isn’t an age when music stops  inspiring.

Visited Europe a few times this year, thankful for the experiences, grateful for Canada.

There is an abundance of love still  out there in our world waiting to be requited. It comes in shapes and sizes we might not have imagined.  When we honour it, we are rewarded.

Under our cloaks, we just want to be accepted.

2017 seems like a scary prospect, but it’s coming for us.

An Arbonne Adventure

A year ago a friend of mine signed up as an Arbonne consultant.  Yes, a dreaded multi-marketing company!  It’s been a year, she hasn’t lost her house, her car, her job or her friends – gasp – it’s gone really well in fact.

I was first introduced to the facial products and they have worked for me, and I have since tried other products. I recently picked up a few new items to try, one of them a “moisturizer”.  

I squeezed some product out of the bottle.
“Hmm the colour looks a little odd,” I thought to myself and applied it anyways.

“Wow this is really thick it’s not rubbing in very well,” brief pause, “I need some more.” 

And I squeezed more out of the bottle and smeared it over my back.  I was having a tough time getting it to smooth out when I noticed a spot where it was foaming.

“Odd for a moisturizer,” and I grabbed the container….a body wash!!  I mistakenly ordered a body wash. 

As a body wash – amazing – as a moisturizer – not so much.

Off The Wall, the VANS

It all started in Milano. The obsession.

We were sock sisters. Sharing the same, mostly free adidas sport socks. They were peaking out over the tops of our shoes.

All the cool kids were wearing hideaway socks and adidas Stan Smiths. Were we even allowed on the street?

Sitting on the curb of Piazza deal Duomo we discussed our sneakers, our unfashionable socks and what we’d buy if we were to replace our well-loved, well-worn kicks. She, Originals, Green trimmed Stan Smiths. Me, VANS all the way baby! It’s all about the 80’s and Penn putting them on the map, forget about the 70’s 😉

That is when it started. The obsession of finding the perfect VANS.
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Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon a store, close to home, full of VANS!

I tried on this pair, that pair, the other pair, the sales girl obliged. We talked about Italy, about my age-inappropriateness of shopping for skater shoes and then I bought two pairs, I was feeling lucky.

Back home, I took the garbage down wearing one pair of my new VANS.

Maiden voyage in my new kicks – garbage room. Nice.

That is when I realized perhaps I should have tried on the 1/2 size larger.
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Shoes packed back in their boxes and the next day back to the store I went hoping that a new day meant new staff.

How embarrassing would it be, “Hello I’d like to return one pair of shoes and exchange the other pair for a 1/2 size larger even though you asked me yesterday and I said no.”

Nothing from that dialogue screams, intelligent, well thought through purchase decision!

Turned out, new day, new staff!
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Exciting – one return, one exchanged pair 1/2 size larger.

But the excitement was short lived replaced by disappointment, my ankles were falling out of my shoes.

Back in their box and the next day back to the store for an exchange.

Turns out different day, not always new staff!
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“Hey,” I greet the sales guy, “I am back again!” There is only one way to treat this situation with dignity and that is to play the bouncy, absent-minded, 30-something who has no business buying skater shoes to begin with.

He’s busy behind the cash, uncomfortable with his attempt to dress a male mannequin in board shorts. He makes a comment about it and to distract himself he’s given the mannequin a name. He may be more embarrassed about his work related predicament than I am about returning a 3rd time to the store 3 days in a row.

I crack a joke to get him focused off his awkward mannequin dressing and onto my much more important embarrassment.

“I’m the girl who simply buys things and finds an excuse to come in to the store each and every day.”

He laughs and adds on to the joke, “And instead of actually returning anything, you’ll just keep exchanging between the 8’s and the 8 1/2’s, back to the 8’s…always in the same style!”

His mannequin is no longer a point of embarrassment, he is 100% engrossed in mine!

My Nieces and I

Spending time with my nieces and nephews is always an adventure, from hearing about my car being too small, letting me in on their “family secrets” (dad farts…) and explaining their “big” complaint about life not being fair (…not always getting their way…).

Today was spent ferrying around two of my nieces, 11 and 9.

We were discussing something super important, I don’t remember the topic! The littlest, in the back seat being obtuse and making broad snappy sweeping statements directed at her older sister.

And then my eldest niece said something so unexpected.

Growing up she loved listening to adults share stories. I’ve told my fair share of stories. One story in particular has evidently made its mark. The story involved an old boss of mine and the go-to-question he’d ask us when challenging the statements we’d make when we wanted his support.

So as we were travelling along the highway at break-neck speed (faster than walking), the littlest niece was goading her older sister into an argument.

That is when my eldest niece quietly pulled out my old bosses favourite challenging question and asked her little sister, “Would you bet your future house on that statement?”

BOOM!!

(Artwork from when they were “kids”, before they started saying adult-like statements, can we stop them from growing up!!)

The Crew and I

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The two Lufthansa flight crew stood like statues, only their faces showing their amusement at watching me walk from the gangway onto the plane.

At the very step where I had to cross the threshold I decided to multitask and turn the data off on my phone. While doing this I lost depth perception and I made a very large, albeit graceful step onto the plane.

I realized what I had done and looked to see if the flight crew had noticed and of course they had!

Busted.

I laughed my boisterous North American laugh, they shared their well structured German laughs and that just made me laugh more.

The one flight member asked me if I’d do the step again, it was so well performed, natural even! 

As I made my way past them one crew member made a comment about the need for laughing.

I turned, smiled, laughed and said, “I am good at laughing!”

To which he replied, “Well in that case, Welcome Aboard!”

Did I mention how much I love zeGermans and their quiet, direct humour!  Can I stay on Frankfurt!