Category Archives: Guitar

When you’re…

… too tired to type so here’s a summary of why…

School run, quick dog walk then dropped her at the pet salon for a bath. Straight to my 9.50 appointment with my surgeon. All good, but I need to work at strengthening my knee. She discharges me then spends the rest of the appointment asking about my boy’s school because she is unhappy with the public system. I then go to the mall to see if I can get better swimming bags for the boys, I buy scented candles instead. Then to Costco because believe it or not there is very little food left. After a MONSTER shop I head home. I walk through the door at 12.45.

I am wasting away so I eat leftover Kale & Quinoa salad & it tastes amazing because I’m so hungry. I check my email & find out that the swimming club will be selling club wear on Monday at the pool – I need not have gone for bags. I set to & put everything away. I stack all the meat in the fridge because I haven’t got time to put it all through the food saver. I finish up with everything else at 2.20. I make a cup of tea & strum my guitar for 15 minutes before going out again to pick everyone up. I am so glad that elder child has a lot of homework so he doesn’t want to play in the playground. We pick up Tessy on our way home. She sits in the back of the Mini with the roof down pretending to be a canine Loreal advert.

Home, drink, snack & homework. I put all the meat through the food saver while younger child moans & groans sat at the kitchen island at how mean I am making him do all his writing practice when it doesn’t have to be in until Thursday. I point out that it is club swimming tomorrow after school so there will be no time. He is not convinced. After the meat I have to start & make dinner. I discover that despite all the food I have purchased I don’t have enough fusilli or penne so it’s Mac & cheese. Hubby is very late…

We finally eat & the boys shower. After cleaning all the bits of kitchen hubby forgot to do when he washed up, I make lunches for tomorrow. I then discover that the boys have no clean polo shirts for school – GRRRRR!!! I put a white load in the washing machine & declare I am done, done, DONE!!!

I run a bath & start a new book. When I get out hubby asks if I’m interested in wine – Really dear, you have to ask?

And that was just a summary!

Stubborn or stupid?

I have just had my first painkillers of the day at 8.20pm. I am very uncomfortable. I have rested up a bit this morning & played my guitar, but then I sorted out the camping equipment for the weekend (yes I am going so don’t try & stop me, I found an axe in one of those boxes so be warned). Made lists – of course – then insisted on going with hubby to the store to replace a stove & gas cylinders. After that we went straight to pick up the boys from bike camp. Then I cooked dinner, sorted the boys out for camp tomorrow, which included doing some laundry, & then I collapsed in a bath. Now I hurt – quite a lot actually. Isn’t it good to get back to normal?

I also stripped down my wound dressing last night to expose it to some good old-fashioned air. I can see now that it is about 2½ – 3inches long but looks pretty good, & hopefully it will fade to just a line (wishful thinking I know). It wasn’t quite healed in a couple of places so I dug out some steri-strips (paper stitches) to cover those edges up for another day or two. I’m still not getting it wet, which is awkward, but I’ll do whatever it takes to avoid any risk of infection. My surgeon has also left the two ends of the continuous dissolvable stitch quite long so they are catching on clothing. I did chop one off because it was driving me mad, & hubby said that was ok to do so, & he should kind of know. Hopefully the rain & cooler weather will stay away now until it is properly healed so I can wear shorts/skirts.

Mornings are getting a little challenging now, it’s 5 weeks since my last injection & my body is starting to stiffen up. If the surgeon is happy with my wound & progress on Thursday I think I’ll get in touch with my rheumatologist & beg him to let me start taking them again, otherwise it’s another 2 weeks before I see him again.

Off to see my physio tomorrow, it will be interesting to see what he makes of the knee findings…

My thoughtful hubby…

Remember I had a sneaky look at a new steel string guitar a couple of weeks back? Well, this morning hubby suggested we pop into the store & take another look. So there I am browsing the racks & the one I’d had my eye on wasn’t there, at least at first I thought it wasn’t. Never mind, I thought, it’s one of those things, & I decide to look at others. One in particular, that I was sure was the original one, catches my eye. After pawing at it I turn the ticket over to check the price but it also has a ‘HOLD’ ticket in it, so I move on again & I find one that is the same size & shape but a bit cheaper so I pluck it off the rack & have a little strum. Meanwhile, hubby is disappeared off to talk to one the assistants…

He returns a short time later, he looks at the guitar I’m ‘playing’, & we talk about it in comparison to the one I originally saw. He strolls along the rack & mentions the one with the ‘HOLD’ ticket & I declare that I believe that one to be my original choice. I can’t really remember how he got me to look at it again, but when I did I couldn’t believe what I saw – his name & cell phone number was on the hold ticket, it was held for him, for me!

Apparently after I’d talked about it he’d called the store & thinks he spoke to the guy who had been helping me that day. When he explained what he knew about the guitar I’d looked at & the price the guy took an educated guess at which one it was. Hubby’s plan was to pick it up while I was having my knee surgery on Tuesday so I could have it to play while I recover – & of course it would be an early birthday present not just for being a good girl at the hospital. My husband is an incredibly thoughtful guy like this, & even though I’ve known him for 20 years he can still surprise me & give me fuzzy feelings.

Did we buy the guitar? As it happens I didn’t choose that one in the end, that one was made of Sitka Spruce & is apparently the musician’s choice. I actually preferred the cheaper Mahogany that was the same size & shape. If I’m honest the sound is not something I am too into, the steel strings already play better even at my basic level, & honestly I was a complete girl about it & choose by look & colour. When we took it to the desk to pay the guy who served us was admiring my choice, not to mention I had chosen one that was a relatively expensive instrument but had $300 knocked off the price. He pointed out some interesting markings in the wood on the back, wondering if it might have been made by a bear claw – how unique is that! All in all I had definitely made a good choice, even if it wasn’t the one that hubby had hoped to surprise me with. It does mean that whenever people admire it, or ask about whether I play when they see the line up of guitars (now 4 of them!), I will have a lovely story to go with it that makes it quite special.


The birthday gift…

I have been re-learning guitar for 18months now & I thought I was doing well enough to now upgrade form nylon to steel strings. So, when I had to pop into the store to pick up a birthday present for my younger sons friend (who I knew was getting a guitar & lessons for his birthday) I couldn’t help having a peek at the steel strings for myself. I started out on the ‘cheaper side of the room, thinking yes these are pretty nice & sound waaay better than mine, but the assistant, who’s job it is to sell me the most expensive one he can of course, I get that, managed to steer my over to the really nice side of the room.

Now, this store, where we also have lessons, has recently changed hands so they are selling off a lot of good stock. Of course I’m sucked into this because I think I’m getting a good deal right? Yes I probably am & hubby has offered up a shiny new guitar as an early birthday present – so even better.

At the birthday party this afternoon the parents kindly made it a grown up get together too, which was very sociable. When everything was in full swing a friend of the host picked up the ½ size birthday gift & proceeded to strum pleasant tunes that gathered quite a crowd of kids. I continued chatting but all the time aware that this was going on just a few feet away. If I’m honest I was trying to ignore the fact that this person was clearly far far better than me, not to mention the fact that she was playing on something that looked like a Ukulele on her.

The best of it was I had just been talking to another friend who was there & is also considering picking up lessons again, about how I felt I could now justify an upgrade in instrument. How great the steel strings sounded when I casually played the three chords of ‘Thinking Out Loud’ while perched on a stool in the middle of the store. Clearly I have a very long way to go & have no business upgrading, but do I still want hubby to splash out? Of course, I can play one song right, that more than most people, & it will sound so much better!

Wine Vs. Wish list…

08.00 – Running club at 7am for elder child so only younger child to drop off.

08.15 – Muddy dog walk in the forest after a reasonable amount of rain.

09.15 – Stretching because I’m missing pilates today because the graduation ceremony at school means an early dismissal for the boys.

10.30 – I load up the car with the contents of hubby’s beer fridge. No I didn’t take it all to school, yesterday I did I large Costco shop with another grade 1 mum so I needed to empty the beer to accommodate the food. Why? Well, to give the grade 1’s a taster of things to come in their future years at the school, they are doing a sleepover in the gym tomorrow night. I volunteered to shop for the supplies.

I had left a few non-fridge items in the car overnight, then decided to rearrange it all this morning to accommodate all the fruit & veggie platters. I drove away at 10.50.

11.00 – I unload at school with the other mum & the teacher received it all to put it in the fridge. The parents who are cooking & preparing were picking up what they needed at the 11.30 pick up.

11.10 – We are done unloading & early for pick up so we go for coffee.

11.30 – Too busy chatting we are now late for pick up.

11.40 – I pick up 3 kids – my two & a classmate of younger child for a play date. His mum is part of the team cooking breakfast for the sleepover & she has had some difficulty establishing which part she is doing because the others don’t speak English. I told her it was probably best I take her a tray of sausages & the other can work it out between them.

11.45 – Text from the other mum ‘where is the pancake mix’. I tell her it was in the bag with the crackers, ketchup & maple syrup. Apparently there is no such bag.

11.50 – I pull up to our car port & there at the very back, where I unloaded all the bags to rearrange everything, is said bag!

I swear very loudly in my head because we have a guest, then text back, & then email the teacher apologizing. All is fine I can take it tomorrow morning when I drop off for choir.


12.00 – Drama with elder child because he is trying to take over the play date. I separate him completely & it is the end of the world of course, & not fair, & he is very sorry, & he will play nicely. I wasn’t buying any of it & I am the worst mother in the world because I have finally practiced what I preach!

12.30 – Lunch for 3 hungry boys.

13.00 – The 2 younger ones play happily. Elder child mopes around so I allow him into my craft room – under strict supervision.

14.15 – With guitars all packed up we set off to drop off the friend on the way to our lessons. I am not familiar with the area & drive past the house twice.

14.45 – Off to guitar lessons…

15.10 – My lesson is first & I totally nail the bar chords for the dreadful Jack Johnson song. I am doing so well he adds the final part of a clever strumming pattern & cancels out all my hard work.

16.00 – After the boys lessons we head home & I notice that the passenger wing mirror is hanging off – WTF!!!

18.30 – Younger child has been sporting a wide Mohawk for a while, but I promised he could have a skinny one for the summer but not until the end of school. With 2 weeks left & his camp tomorrow I gave in & took out the clippers…

He now looks like Mr. T & thinks it’s awesome (Hopefully with our principal retiring in 3 weeks he’ll not really care about it).

19.30 – Finally the boys are in bed & I really could murder a glass of something but it’s only day 4. When walking past the front door I remembered I hadn’t checked the mailbox today. You can see what I found & it was addressed to me – ME! I’ve already had a paw through it & made a wish list to take my mind off having wine!


Tuneless torture…

So I’ve been learning to play bar chords since March, & to my great disappointment I rapidly discovered that they have nothing to do with ordering large glasses of wine! My guitar teacher introduced me to a Jack Johnson song that is terrible (which he agrees), but quite good to practice to. I was actually relieved to miss last weeks lesson (he was doing a gig) because frankly even my ears were finding it painful whenever I practiced. Even up until yesterday I was embarrassed to say I could still only scrape through the introduction. Then suddenly something clicked & I played the whole song (well, apart from the bridge in the middle which seems physically impossible). I did it a couple more times & even hubby thought I’d improved. Fab! I could go to my lesson today & feel like I’d progressed…

We always chat a bit at the beginning of the lesson, & to be honest it’s my mouth just trying to save me from the extra humiliation of my tuneless strumming. Sadly my teacher has got wind of this & actually said that I couldn’t put it off any longer. I was honest & said I was having trouble with the bridge – which he expected as everyone does in the beginning – so we went through that a few times with & without the music to follow. I kind of felt ok at this point, knowing I would still be bad, but more confident than if it had been the previous week…

OMG! It was terrible!! It was as bad as it would have been last week – maybe worse. How was it that I could go through it however many times & think I’d nailed it then my fingers made me out to be a liar? Apparently I’m being really hard on myself, he thought that I had improved greatly, & at least now could recognize which chords I was supposed to be playing along with the song, so yes that is definitely an improvement. I was so relieved when he said we would just work with it for another couple of weeks then move onto something else I can practice over the summer – Phew!

However, he is now on the lookout for a song I like that ALSO has bar chords for me to practice – NOOOOOO! Save me from myself & further humiliation, not to mention subjecting my loved ones to more tuneless torture!

Today I chose to…

  • be sensible & rest my poor knee
  • do some stretching to help my aching SI joint
  • do all the laundry so that tomorrow is free
  • practice my bar chords over & over again because I’m going to bloody well nail then if it’s the last thing I do!
  • make some cards
  • Eat salad for dinner so I can then eat a Hagen Daz ice cream bar & not feel guilty (I am a size 0-2, this is not something I have any business feeling guilty about)
  • relax in a hot bath & finish by book!
  • Build my Lego

Today was a good day!!

True blonde again!

08.00 – After an early drop off at school on another glorious morning, Tess & I are already walking. I have been really suffering with my knee again over the last 24 hours, but I still decide to do the longer loop. Why not? I have the time & I know tomorrow morning there will probably not be a walk in the park but that’s a different story.

09.15 – A strum on my guitar before I pack it for the afternoon lesson. I’m not getting these bar chords at all. I think about changing the beds but then get distracted with reorganizing the tea & coffee cupboard – oh well, it’s the thought that counts, I’ll do them tomorrow.

10.45 – Off to Pilates to be stretched & bent.

12.15 – Straight from my class to the downtown Costco (I hate the downtown Costco. Many hate the Richmond Costco I normally go to, but I hate the downtown one). I meet up with a school mum who’s becoming quite a good friend (She organized the winter gala a couple of years ago so I’ll call her ‘gala mum’). Together we are organizing breakfast for the teachers & staff at school tomorrow for their ‘appreciation day’.

12.50 – I wish my Costco shops could be this quick & focused – & cheap!!

13.15 – After unloading I have an hour to eat & do some housey stuff before my guitar lesson, so I play two rounds of patience.

14.30 – I know I have turned very blonde again but it is no excuse for reading the chord sheet upside down – no wonder I found it so difficult. In my defense I was quite sick during last weeks lesson so I couldn’t remember most of what we did. My teacher patiently corrected my fingers while biting his tongue & now it actually sounds the way it should. He probably banged his head against the wall after I left.

15.10 – Quick extraction from school, but was stopped a gazillion times by hair admirers.

16.10 – After the boys lessons I have to do a quick Loblaws run to buy gluten free breakfast stuff.

17.30 – Once dinner is finished hubby pops out to check the Odyssey’s tire & blow it up so I can at least use it in the morning. Inflating it worked & the light went off – phew! He then kindly packs up the car with all the baked goodies while I start to prepare the fruit platters.

19.00 – Boys in bed early because I have to drag them into school at 7.15 to serve breakfast. I put the last of the platters in the car so I save time in the morning. Gala mum & I exchange texts with the final arrangements for the morning, I then collapse in a heap. I’m writing the final chapter of the book I started a little while ago & I’m determined to finish it tonight. No I WILL finish it tonight.