Sunday, April 26, 2009

Restoration, Agorra, and Playaways

This morning I arrived at Church of the Restoration about ten minutes before the service was due to start. Mary asked me if I would like to play a little on the piano prior to the service. I sat at the piano and played some chord sequences and improvised a melody line. A few minutes later the church pianist arrived. I told her I had warmed up the piano for her and moved over to the church seating area.

Gerald’s sermon this morning was on the environment (Earth Day was last Wednesday), more specifically, environmental racism. As an example, he told of hearing the garbage trucks when he was a little boy going to the landfill. He pointed out that the landfills always seem to be located near economically depressed areas.

Once the service was over, I had to scoot. I needed to be at the Tulsa Atheists Meetup by 1:00 pm. I got on Greenwood Ave. and drove to where I could get on the IDL. The IDL took me to highway 75. From 75 I got on I-44, and then on to the Agorra Coffee House in the Fontana Center. Before reaching the Agorra, I went thru a drive-thru at Wendy’s and got a crispy chicken sandwich and a Dr. Pepper.

At the Agorra, there were about 15 people there for the meeting. (That’s better than the 10 people who came to the Restoration service at 11:00 am.) The two main topics of discussion today were the effort to get a license plate with the words “In Reason We Trust” available for those who would like to have such a plate, and the announcement of a gathering at Whiteside Park to celebrate the “National Day of Reason,” coming up on May 7. (Due to a prior commitment, I will have to miss this gathering.)

My weekend activities have kept me from reading the two books I have going at this time – the book by David Jeremiah and the book on music theory. I also, last Friday, checked out from the library a new gizmo called a playaway. It is about the size of a credit card, but four to six times as thick. A book is recorded on the battery-powered device. You plug in your own earphones and listen to the book. The playaway I checked out contains the book “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie. The container says it runs for 5 hours.

It's time to get reading.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Around town

We began the day by going to the Crescent CafĂ© for breakfast. They have the best breakfast around and it is reasonably priced. When I got home, I phoned Barbara to make sure she would be ready to go to Food and Fellowship at the usual time. We hold our Food and Fellowships at 11:30 a.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month. Barbara always rides with us to the F&Fs. There was some question if we would be in town at this time, due to my father’s illness.

We picked up Barbara (who is now 83 years old and has quit driving due to her health) and went to La Hacienda on Peoria for our noontime meal. There were twelve of us at the gathering. The food was very good.

Afterwards, Marilyn invited Barbara and the two of us over to see her new house. The house is vacant, the furniture not having been moved in yet. Marilyn is presently living in an apartment.

I drove by Whiteside Park which is in the area. The park may possibly be the location of a National Day of Reason observance on May 7. We drove around scouting out the area. As we left, Barbara asked to be driven by her old home in the area. We drove past her old house in which she lived many years ago. On the way to her apartment, Barbara asked to be driven through Woodward Park in order to see the flowers. We did so and then delivered Barbara back to her apartment.

In the evening, we went over to Nick’s house and brought Ayla back with us. Ayla usually spends Saturday night with us and goes with J to the Methodist church on Sunday mornings.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Events of the day

This morning Gail came over and we played duets for almost two hours. We have been asked to play again at Church of the Restoration. I asked Gail when she would be available to play again and she said May 10 or May 24. We will probably play ragtime duets again as we did last time. We have been working on two ragtime duets: ”Champagne Rag” by Joseph F. Lamb and “Palm Leaf Rag” by Scott Joplin. Those will probably be the selections we use.

I was exhausted following our practice, so I took a nap in the afternoon. When I got up, we went to TCC West to walk for an hour. I figure I walked three miles, bringing my total for the year up to 142 miles.

I enjoyed two good homecooked meals today. For lunch we had BLT sandwiches; for dinner we had barbecue with potato salad. Strawberries topped off the meal.

Changes at work

Today we went grocery shopping. We had Luke with us. It was an outing for him. It took about two hours to do all the shopping. We got home around noon and ate a sandwich for lunch.

Then I took a brief nap and went out to the yard office where I used to work. Carol (superintendent’s secretary) was at her desk and I talked to her for a while. It seems the downturn in the economy has hit the railroad hard, as it has many other businesses. There are only three clerks remaining in Tulsa (and the state of Oklahoma). When I came to Tulsa in 1986 there were some 55 clerks working here for the railroad.

My wife is in bed and wants me to go to bed, too. I guess I had better stop writing for now.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Poetry reading

We are back home in Sand Springs now. We went by the Tulsa Airport and dropped off Vicki, who caught a flight back to Houston. Dad is still weak. It is a struggle for him to talk on the phone.

Since the post office was closed, we came on home. Monday morning we picked up our mail and then went to Lowe’s where we bought a new lawn mower. Our other mower had given up the ghost. With no positive results from more than a hundred pulls on the engine, we decided to go to Lowe’s a get a new one.

Sunday morning, I went to Church of the Restoration. It was a Sunday for a lay lead service. It was Poetry Sunday. Several members read a poem. I read (former poet laureate) Billy Collins’ poem “Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes.” Afterwards at the HAT meeting I read “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver.

Our new mower is a Troy. It came with a bag and is self-propelled. It started the first time I pulled on the cord. What a relief! I cut the front yard that evening.

Today, Gail was scheduled to come over for piano practice. She had been on a bird observation outing in Woodward and got back in late Monday night. We postponed the practice until Thursday morning.

Today we worked in the yard. I mowed the back yard then came in and took nap.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Volkswalking in Springfield

Yesterday we went to the Signal store on E. Battlefield and registered for the YRE in Springfield. Then we drove to the start point located at Sequoita Park on Lone Pine. The volkswalk was a 5 K walk. We walked down the path leading to Springfield Nature Center. The 10 K option takes you into the Nature Center, but since we were doing the 5 K option, we turned around at that point and returned to where we had parked the car.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Catching up on events

We returned to Sand Springs on Friday, stopping by the post office to pick up our mail. We had a bunch of it. Then we went by the library and pick up our materials there. I had a movie which had come in plus a book, What In the World Is Going On? by David Jeremiah. If I comment on this book my comments will be posted on the web site ""

This morning, Easter Sunday, I went to my church just north of downtown Tulsa. There were at least a dozen people there. Rev. Davis gave a sermon.

Afterwards, I went to the home of Randy Bradley for the monthly Humanist Study Group meeting. There were eight people present for that meeting.

When I arrived home, Luke and Ayla were here. At 4:30 we took them home to their parents. We came home and watched the NBC Nightly News. Then we went to China Star for dinner.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

More new music

Yesterday, my cousin Vicki and I went out to Braum's for lunch while J stayed here with Dad. After lunch, we stopped at a music store about a block from where my parents live. I have a weakness for new sheet music. Vicki and I went in the store and began looking at the sheet music. Vicki bought a volume of country hits in "fake book" style. There are 700 songs in the collection. I bought a book containing pieces by Brahms, Elgar, Greig, Handel, Mozart and Purcell.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Dad is doing much better

I am glad to report that my Dad is doing much better. I want to thank all those who have expressed good wishes for Dad, from Tecumseh to Tupelo.

Phone service change

We recently dropped our home telephone service. I can still be reached using my cell phone number: 918-798-3629

Sunday, April 05, 2009

New piano duet music

While in Springfield, Missouri recently, I went to Hoover Music Store and bought some new piano duets. Below is a list of the new music I bought.

Jazz, Rags, & Blues for Two by Martha Mier. The pieces found in this book are:
Downtown Blues
Easy Street Blues
I'll Wait for You
Louisiana Strut
Pepperoni Rag
Renaissance Rag

Favorite Piano Duets edited by Carole Flatau. The pieces in this book are:
Blue Boogie by John W. Schaum
Let's Polka by Maryanne Nagy
Mazurka by Jon George
Nice 'n Easy Blues by Condit R. Adkinson
Pineapple Polka by Hazel Martin
Rag-Weed Rag by Dick Averre
Tango Jubilate by David Karp

Romantic Piano Duets edited by Weekley and Arganbright. Included are:
Venetian Boat Song by Mendelssohn
Song Without Words by Mendelssohn
Nocturne by John Field
Bagatelle by Dvorak

Rialto Ripples by Gershwin

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring by Bach

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Dad has a good day

Dad had a good day today. His friend from church, Tom, came by for a visit. I learned a few days ago that Tom has a labyrinth on his property up near Buffalo. I always walk a labyrinth whenever I find one. My cousin Vicki from Houston arrived today. She flew from Houston to Tulsa. She then rented a car and drove to Springfield. I drove out to the airport to pick her up after she turned in the car and drove her back to my folks apartment.

On the way back to the apartment, we stopped at Hoover Music Co. near the downtown area, and we went in and I bought a few new pieces of piano duet music.