Oct. 24th, 2015 10:31 pm
spiralflames: (black_cat)
my 2nd cousin ben's funeral happened today. he killed himself. he was only 29. i can't say anything to mitigate the harshness of those statements.


Apr. 17th, 2012 06:42 pm
spiralflames: (question)

Hello!.was going to wait till I had time for a long entry..and something major to say.


So here I am,.short entry but a little deep. Deal.

Out to lunch with my sweet dad. ”tell me about your life.” I said, quasi-jokingly. ” start from the beginning, continue til finished.”

He started talking about going to visit his  grandpa on the farm,.sitting around the stove telling stories.

” what kind of man was your grandpa?” I asked. ” in the pictures he always looked kinda stern.”

Dad thought a bit.” he was the kind of man you almost wanted to call Sir. He was very gentle and very quiet.”


And dad, being the type of man HE is, didn't realize he'd totally just described himself.

Life? Good.

Here's a pic of dad..86 yrs young..with a Cosmo at lunch today.,

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

spiralflames: (obscure)


teaching continues and is mostly enjoyable. student recital upcoming on may 22- almost all of my students from age 4 through high school. everyone's prepared. tunes will be played, trophies distributed, much chocolate consumed. i have a handful of extremely cutie tiny-tinies this year, and that's always fraught with such hopefulness.
my student liza was chosen as one of the 10 students who performed at an honors concert- each teacher (over 90 of us) choose one kiddo to try out, 10 are chosen. the ones chosen are 10 of 90, and the 90 are 90 out of 1500. that's a pretty huge honor. she knocked the living crap out of the khatchaturian toccata and performed brilliantly. 10 yrs from now she will marvel at the fact that she walked out cold in front of 500 people and whomped into the fastest thing she's ever played. ah, youth :-D
if anyone would have told me even 6 months ago that i would be sitting w/my 84 yr old dad at a belly-dance hafla at the croatian center in south st paul (there's a croatian center in SSP? who woulda guessed) waiting to go on stage as part of a womens' a cappella singing group who sings chippewa, sanskrit, west african and southern gospel, i would have asked you whether the hallucinatory drug was fun. such was my friday night. i love my life.
when i asked my dad if he wanted to come watch belly dancing and singing, he responded "women?" i said "yeah dad, i don't think they HAVE male belly dancing." he said "sure, just don't tell your mother about the women part." i don't know what's cooler- having an 84 yr old dad who's still interested in watching women, or an 82 yr old mom who'd still be jealous?
speaking of belly dancing, how awesome was THAT. it was a school's 'recital'- all ages, sizes, levels, abilities, appearances..what a wonderful way to celebrate onesself.
wishing you the same. :-D

spiralflames: (heart)
here's a photo of my mother. she was looking outside, wondering if a storm was heading our way. she's 82. i think she's beautiful.
powerful woman
she is salty, feisty, realistic (erm..cough..negative) but would fight anyone twice her size (and win hands-down) if anyone threatened her family. happy day, sweet girl. may you live a thousand years.
spiralflames: (Default)
here is my jewelry heritage:
1) the little garnet ring that my great-grandmother's sister gave my great-grandmother (they were identical twins) on their 18th birthday. date: around 1880. my grandmother gave me this ring in the early 1980s.
the ring my great-grandmother's sister gave her on her 18th birthday (c. 1880)
2)my grandmother's wedding band. she was married in 1921. my dad gave this to my after grandma had passed in 1987.
my grandmother's wedding band (c 1921)
3) my mother's wedding ring. she and dad were married in 1949. at that time, the ring was the solitaire in the center and the 3 small diamonds on either side. 20 yrs later, she had it remade to include the leaves and the other little diamonds on either side of the band.
my mother's wedding ring (1949)
4)a ring i purchased for myself in the late 90s. at the time, i decided that each stone represented one of the 4 men whose lives had influenced me most. i don't think much about it now, but the ring still makes me happy. there are 4 stones: yellow citrine, lavendar amethyst, blue topaz and green tourmelline.
my own ring (purchases around 1999)
i wear the 2 yellow gold rings on my left hand, the 2 white gold rings on my right hand.
the ring that really should represent "me", (i'd have to get it made larger- it fits my pinky and really should be a ring-finger-ring) is a gold and opal ring given to me by my friend patrick on the occasion of my first undergrad solo recital. such times.
spiralflames: (sweet)
my mom gave me her wedding ring.

she'd always told me i was to have it "when Something happens to me." well, she's still fine- but she hasn't worn her ring for a few years because her knuckles have gotten a bit gnarly with arthritis, and a few weeks ago she said "you might as well have this now."

how wonderful to have something that's seen her 60 (sixty!) year marriage, but i don't have to have it after a funeral.

i now wear 4 generations on my hands- 1)a ring i chose myself, 2)my mother's wedding ring 3)my grandmother's (simple) wedding band, and the garnet ring that my great-grandmother received on her own 18th birthday.

i'm so honored to carry these strong women with me.

mom's wedding ring1, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

spiralflames: (hugs)
alaska: rainbow at rainbow mts
1. for my friends here. it's an amazing net, and your support has gotten me through some serious times.

2. for my LIFE. just got labs back from endocrinologist- i am now 3 years cancer-free from stage II thyroid cancer and 4.5 years cancer free from stage IV ovarian cancer. i have since worked on Speaking my Truth (throat chakra) and releasing anger (2nd chakra.)

3. for my family, although they drive me insane at times.

4. for music, which, as my grandma told me when i was little, "is the one thing nobody can ever take away from you."

5. for my students and my interaction with these odd creatures known as human.

Life is Good. wishing you the same.
spiralflames: (anger)

imagine. i go over my dad's checkbook once a week, and the auto-phone-teller says "check # 2401 was cashed on november 17th for Seven. Thousand. Dollars."

it was late, bank closed. my dad turned 6 shades of gray when i told him. we checked that bank's savings account balance. it should have been over $11K. it was $4 K. a check for $7,000 had been cashed, and when it appeared dad only had $350 in his checking, THEY PULLED $6,700 OUT OF HIS SAVINGS TO COVER IT.

so i told him i'd be there at 8:45 the next day.

on the way home, i called the bank's after-hours voice mail.

"hello, this is nancy t..... my dad is wayne t, his account number is blah blah. seven thousand dollars has been illegally removed without his consent from his account. we will be there at 9:01 tuesday morning. we will expect to be met by a bank vice president, whoever takes care of your fraud cases, and at least one member of the minneapolis police department. and we will not be leaving UNTIL I AM HAPPY."
dad didn't sleep all night, of course. i slept a little, but not much. after talking to a few friends, i was assured that this WOULD be OK, but i was just worried about dad.

the next morning at 7:45, dad called me. he said the bank HAD ALREADY CALLED HIM and apologized- it was a "mistake" and everything "had been taken care of."
dad's savings balance was back to normal.
i'm glad, of course, but i'm still pissed. this happened 11/17. i found it out on 11/23, a week later. how long were they going to wait? where's their check and balance system? what if i DIDN'T keep track of dad's checkbook, and the first time he found out about it was the 5th of december when he gets his november statement? this is SO not acceptable.
friday, we're going to pull all but $500 out of dad's account and move it elsewhere, and set it up so any withdrawal over $100 is protected by a password.

In what world is a $7000 error just dismissed with "it was a mistake"? could i not pay a $50 minimum credit card without dire consequences? nope. do i get to say "oops, sorry!" if i forget a couple zeros on my car payment? newp.

dad's OK. THANKs for all your outrage and commentary!!!!
spiralflames: (anger)








i think somehow this'll be rectified, but damn. i am totally pissed, and i KNOW he's not going to sleep at all tonight.

updates tomorrow nite when i get home from teaching.

spiralflames: (path)

above: part of an abandoned military barracks, fort snelling upper post, mpls MN, which is currently undergoing renovation.

had my first day of teaching at GoodGuy Music. i like it- teaching is teaching, and it's all a luck-of-the-draw thing, but the situation seems really excellent. it's a small store- they sell instruments, some music, and they have about 10 teaching studios. i think that's the problem with too many of these independent studios- they have fantasies of grandeur, and they over-build and over-spend, and they just can't keep up- hire too many teachers, piss them off by not having enough students, blah blah. i did a little arithmetic and realized that the Studio would have needed *850* students weekly to break even. ridiculous.

but this new place seems to be small and simple. i think i was the only piano teacher there on weds. and the new kiddos are truly sweet- the first bunch is a group of 3 brothers, all w/names that start with J (why?)..and after the first one's lesson, smallest J said "i LIKE you! i don't WANT to go!"

life is good.

today, did a bunch of dad-work..errands, taking his car (a 2002 grand prix w/ 28,000 miles on it, oh yes) in for service, etc etc..when we were going swimming tonight, he said to me "when i'm with you, it's the only time i feel young."

life is REALLY good.

ohhh..and sunday i have to give him a tutorial- how to put on warm-up pants! i'd gotten him sweats and a hoodie for swimming, and he said he'd hurt his back putting the pants on. huh?? then i realized he's never WORN sweats before, and doesn't know how to DO soft pants- he'd stepped into them like dress pants and p-u-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-e-d til they went up..bwaha! that's the type of thing that every woman- or every guy 10 yrs old who's worn sweats- knows how to do. my dad breaks my heart. for sweet.

below: the end of fall color. it's going to be sad, now that everything will be brown, white and blue (trees, snow, sky) for the next..sigh...FIVE months...

crimson afternoon8, mpls MN, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.


Oct. 16th, 2009 11:04 pm
spiralflames: (trees)
weds/thurs, i drove my sister and her daughter 160 miles to the small town of morris, MN, where there's a branch of the university of minnesota which specializes in science and environmental studies. i did it to do them a favor, but i also wanted to drive all the way to MN's western border, where the small town of beardsley, MN (pop 251) still exists in a time-warp. my grandmother (1900-1987) was born there, and her father was a landowner, owned the hardware store, and was mayor of the little town. she left there at age 18 to come to minneapolis on her own and study music.

here's what western MN looks like- flat as all hell, scraped down in the last ice age. when winds blow across that prairie? kiss your ass good-bye.

hwy 28, MN...stark2, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

next is a photo of beardsley high school, where grandma graduated in 1918 in a graduating class of 12. the school's boarded now, but surprisingly, there's a new school built across the street.
beardsley, MN...old high school3
next is the cemetery where my great grandfather and his daughter from his 1st marriage, his brother and wife, and his 2nd wife are buried. i found 3 cemeteries around town- a catholic one, a german lutheran one, and another generic one. i asked in the post office if the woman there might possibly know where mr wallace wright was buried. she looked at me like i'd just asked who was buried in Grant's Tomb and said huffily, "why, in the METHODIST CEMETERY, of COURSE." excuuuuuuuuse wright passed away in 1953!! i was directed to take "the first tar out of town." ??? i finally figured it out when i started driving- dirt road, dirt road, ASPHALT. (tar!)
beardsley, MN...methodist cemetery1
the town right before beardsley is called barry. barry's even grimmer than beardsley. i remember asking my grandma, "did you ever know anyone from barry?" "no" she replied. "and if they had been, they wouldn't admit it." gotta love civic pride.
barry, MN...pop 25
i want to go back next summer when things are green.

PS..i went 60 miles out of morris, and passed through 5 small towns. i had NO CELL RECEPTION til i got within 7 miles of morris. nobody in ANY of those towns can have a cell phone..amazing.
spiralflames: (Default)

today, we're celebrating my parents' 60th wedding anniversary.

anyone who doesn't believe in miracles? witness my dad, putting up with 5 of us women (wife and 4 daughters, and their/our various psychoses, quirks, traumas and experiences.)

i've got stories, but they'll have to wait until after Mass Quantities of Italian Food have been consumed.

wishing you the same.


Aug. 5th, 2009 06:02 pm
spiralflames: (spiral)

so much has happened lately that it's hard to figure out where to start. nothing world-shattering (at least YOUR world) but enough to stress me out more than i've been stressed in awhile. this week, the clouds are starting to clear, thank Goddess. last week was a bitch-kitty.

first, something good. last week, my dad decided to sell off his coin collection. he decided to divide the money from it between us 4 daughters, and he thought there'd be $3-4000. was $800. total. proof sets he'd paid $30-40 for were worth face value- 1-2$. other things.. nope. one of my sisters had gotten a coin reference book and had looked up every single thing, and she had to break it to Dad that his collection wasn't worth too much. he was disappointed- i think because he'd hoped he could make more of a grand gesture. anyway, we each got $200, and the gift was worth a milion to me because it was from my Dad.

i decided to pick up my great-grandmother's ring, which i'd taken into a jeweler almost TWO YEARS ago- the stone had come out, and they said they'd be able to fashion new 14K gold prongs to repair it. well, i hadn't had the $$ to redeem it- and i decided i'd do this with this windfall-- the ring itself is sweet and not worth much, but my grandmother's mother and her sister had exchanged those rings with each other when they were both 18, and my gram had given the ring to me when i was still in college. it's a dear and unique setting, and it feels *right* to be wearing it again.

great-grandma's ring3, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

short note

Jul. 12th, 2009 01:20 am
spiralflames: (trees)
1) remind me to tell y'all about wally's cremains.

(that'd be an excellent first sentence for a book)

2) thank Goddess for good friends.

3) fabulous day full of good food and good conv.

4) maybe under dead of night we'll steal wally's cremains.


PS the "micbael jackson ghost video" is lame.

spiralflames: (lifeguard)
i love my sweet, elegant, courtly, well-mannered, shy, considerate, soft-hearted dad.

more than almost anything or anyone.
every week i have him, i'm blessed. he's 83.

wayne age 83, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

update: all good-
+my sister's husband did not suffer any permanent damage. no heart attack, no stroke.

+verna and i went to dinner in hudson wisconsin, drank cosmopolitans and ate pasta. today she's taking off for 2 weeks.

+i did my last saturday of teaching til fall. starting next week, my SA students will move to M, giving me an ENTIRE WEEKEND FREE.

+2 weeks til the Crone ceremony. woo!


Feb. 15th, 2009 10:46 pm
spiralflames: (unite)
today is the first time i've ever hosted a mini-wake. i liked it.

my parents, my friend john, my sisters lori and karen and i got together this afternoon. lori lit a candle. we poured a glass of champagne (sparkling catawba for non-alchol-consuming mom.) we all stood up, clinkled glasses, and said "to wally."

then i said, "to wally. he was a good egg, and he never wished another human harm."

my sisters said that wally had always gotten down on the floor and played with them when they were little- taught them the "unbeatable ping pong serve" and said "but don't use it all the time, because people won't like you if you win all the time."

i said he'd taken me to my first real jazz concert- chuck mangione.

mom said that when wally'd come out of the service, he'd taken the bus up to hibbing where they lived (mom newly married to dad)- she'd cooked him hamburgers, chow mein, speghetti, and wally was blown away, how did she know what food he'd been dreaming about most when he was in the military?

dad was quiet..didn't really expect him to talk..but he liked the stories and was comfortable in the group.

then we clinked again and blew out the candle.

this was really peaceful, totally without weirdness and freakish sentiment that sometimes surrounds a death, and totally honest..this was rare.

then we made pizza and got silly, did the '25 random things' meme going around the group.

every once in awhile, my family REALLY can be wonderful.

b/w scrubbies, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

spiralflames: (empathy)

drop, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

the wonderful [ profile] fairiegodmother, in a comment written after my post about my dad, said: "Glad you were there to give your dad a listening ear with open heart, and acknowledging what he's already done. Can you write one out for him to carry with him?"

i thought this was a WONDERFUL idea. i encourage him whenever i can, but he's barraged by bullshit at home. so today i stopped by, got on the parents' computer, and wrote the following in 8-pt font- it ended up being about the size of a business card when folded.

For dad- to read if encouragement is needed.
1)you had one job for almost 50 years, and another one for 9
2)you have one marriage that has lasted almost 60 years
3)you raised four daughters who love and respect you
4)you raised one mean old cat who lived to be 18 years old
5)you saved many cars from the junkyard
6)you are courteous and kind to anyone you meet
7)you conducted your business with honor and integrity
8)you're a snappy dresser and a darn good-looking guy
he read it carefully, and said..."is this me? is this the truth?" (i'm not kidding..he IS that humble and sweet.) he said "you know, i always said if i'd had about 10% more intellect, i could have gone farther in my job." (he was a salesman) i said "naaaah dad you weren't cut out to be a Big Boss- you could never fire people and be a jerk." "that's true."

i felt like a million bucks. i want to do this more often--why shouldn't everyone have a reference card to look at that actually spells out some of the wonderful things they've accomplished in this life?

thanks for the inspiration, [ profile] fairiegodmother!


Jan. 1st, 2009 10:33 pm
spiralflames: (Default)

oak hill cemetery, mpls7, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

i am getting closer to the end of vacation- this has been a really wonderful two weeks, all in all. today i hung my next photo exhibit at the Studio, 11 new prints. makes me happy to see my photos exhibited, framed, matted, cared for. today, speaking of my photo work, my sister said "anyone can stand at the rim of the grand canyon and snap a picture. it's not the SNAP that's so important, it's getting your butt to the grand canyon! this past year, you've had to get out in nature, close up, in all weather, to take these pictures- and you're someone who really never liked Outside!"

that's true. i've always been an inside person, preferring books and depression glass to trees and flowers. but this year..i am seeing nature as never before, racing across town to capture a sunset, letting neighbors see me with my ass in the air in the rain, taking pictures of wet leaves in the street! i'm alive :-D

below is a shot i took out the window and pointed backward- wanting to catch the tow truck and its rather ben-affleck-ian driver. still can't believe that happened to me., driving from the studio, i said to john, "look! an old cemetery!" and he said "FOR GOD'S SAKE DON'T DRIVE IN!"

i think i'm getting a rep, here....

oak hill cemetery, mpls4, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

spiralflames: (goddess)

giant sunny fibonacci spiral!, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.

it's been grey and rainsnowing all week. have a remembrance of summers past, summers to come.

elder maintenance today- took mom to physical therapy. sweet to see her skinny little bod get worked on. she's amazingly flexible for her age! tomorrow, dad to the dr (nothing major) and i will show him all the compliments his pictures got from my f'list on my remembrance day post. he will love it :-D

combo of new contacts and small reading glasses worked BRILLIANTLY for choir- i could see dr erickson clearly over my trendy little specs, AND see music clearly. and i have a full-frame pair of Palins to wear for piano. seeing is fabulous.

an average week, which i am thankful for. no unscheduled family meltdowns, students taught. still a little bummed about the weirdness of that choir job, but truly, when things drop into my lap like that? it's usually because SOMEONE hasn't thought it through well enough. the job they have in mind should be a full-time position with full-time wages and benefits. it won't be. like i saw on someone's brilliant icon-- "i have no trouble with God, it's his FANBASE i don't like."

but singing at st andrew is a joy, and there's poulenc in every day.
spiralflames: (Default)

have two pictures of my dad. these have been posted before, but he's so damn cute they deserve the space. the first one (with the giant Furby) is dad last year at age 82.

the second one is dad in the navy in 1943, before being sent to WW2.

blessings to anyone who has served, anyone who has loved someone who has served, anyone who has lost one who has served. i will never forget.


spiralflames: (Default)

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