Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hallelujah! The Concert is Approaching!

I have about 5 minutes to write but didn't want to go several months again without posting something.

This week Harvard Pro Musica will be busy preparing for our concert on Saturday. I woke up this morning as if I were a small child anticipating Christmas and it's only Tuesday :) I've only been with HPM for one complete musical season, but I know I will never lose the awe of being in this group. It's the Fralinger of choral groups and anyone from Philly knows how impressive that is :)

I have my second voice lesson next Tuesday for a psalm my folk group leader wants me to do at church during Lent. (I was never in the chorus :) Donna G. will know what I am talking about :) )

It's 7:00 already, so off to give Torey his insulin shot and prepare for work! Tonight I have rehearsal with HPM :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I can't believe my last post was August 28th, wow. December is now around the corner. September was the start of all three singing groups and it's so overwhelming that I am sound asleep on the couch by 7:00 PM on Friday nights. Not complaining though :) I love all the singing stuff, but I do find it hard keeping up with it all. Next Saturday December 3rd is Harvard Pro Musica's holiday concert already. Wow...

I am not naturally gifted when it comes to learning the music, so I have found ways of getting it into my head so that I can just sing it without thinking about it. Two of the Messiah excerpts, For Unto Us A Child Is Born and He Shall Purify both contain runs (sequences of 16th notes for several measures) that are sung at warp speed.

Every morning while having my coffee, I put the tutorial on and sing the lines over and over again. My friend Jin, another alto in Harvard Pro Musica, and I spent one Sunday afternoon practicing only the runs for literally several hours. A week or so ago, I was once again singing the lines over coffee and came to the conclusion that despite all my efforts, I was never going to be able to do it and that I would have to lip sync through it. Much to my great shame.

This past Tuesday morning, I was doing the dishes and I was in despair that a plastic knife had found it's way into my drain, thereby causing a major backup. The tutorial was on as always and because it's so ingrained in me, I was absentmindedly singing along with it as I was dealing with the sink. I sang the runs in For Unto Us A Child and realized a minute later that I had sung it correctly. I abandoned the sink, went to the computer, and put the tutorial back to the beginning. I sang the runs correctly again. Rewound the tutorial, sung the runs correctly again. JOY!!!!!!!!!

We had HPM practice Tuesday night and Angela, who is a wonderfully gifted singer, happened to be on my left. I got the runs right again; I could tell because I was pretty much in sync with Angela. I am so happy I won't be the HPM version of Milli Vanilli!

I am thankful that I can sing almost the entire program now without screwing it up.

But the thing that I am most thankful for is Alexi's good health. I am thankful for all that I have in my life; friends, cats, job, singing, crafting, etc., but last Thursday morning I thought I was going to lose my little one. When I got up last Thursday morning, Lucky was stationed at his food bowl and Torey was stationed at his, but Alexi was nowhere to be found.

I fed the two boys then went on the hunt to find Alexi. I knew she was somewhere in the condo. I always do a head count at night before I go to sleep, and the last time I saw her, she was playing with my shoes beside the bed. A perfectly normal Alexi thing. She had also been poking her head into my dinner earlier, another normal Alexi thing. When I finally found her, she was lying almost motionless under the bed.

When I patted her, she moaned, and only opened her eyes slightly. My heart sank all the way to the basement. I tried to get her to come out, but she moaned and hissed. I moved the bed, gently picked her up, and put her next to her bowl. She hissed, moaned and ran back under the bed. Oh dear lord.

I called Acton Animal Emergency. I don't deal well with these things emotionally, but I do what I have to do when they happen. I spoke to a very nice woman named Diane and she said that it was a good sign that Alexi could walk. However, she said that it would be a good idea for me to bring her either to Acton Animal or to her own vet.

I called Julie, the woman who runs Forgotten Angels and from whom I got Torey, and she said pretty much the same thing. I called Mary, my boss and friend, and told her I was going to take Alexi to Concord Animal. Because I am always in Concord Animal for Torey's insulin and needles, almost everyone there knows me. Plus Chris, one of the women who works there, also crochets, and I gave her a crochet pattern once.

I got Chris on the phone when I called and at first, she told me I couldn't come in until 2:00. I was in tears at this point and while I didn't push for an earlier appointment, I did say that I couldn't wait and was going to go to Acton Animal instead. Chris told me to come in as an emergency and that Dr. Hardee would see her. Oh thank God! I didn't think Dr. Hardee worked on Thursdays. From that moment on, I felt better immediately.

Alexi gave me no struggle when I put her in the carrier and that scared me even more. My feisty, energetic, in-my-face girl was a lump of lethargic fur. If I lost her, I was determined not to lose focus on my two boys and to be a good mommy to them even through my grief. To have this happen right before Thanksgiving and also remembering that 20 years ago at Thanksgiving, my father had announced he had cancer, was unbearable.

We got to Concord Animal around 9:00 and Dr. Hardee took us in. Alexi offered no resistance as he examined her. He couldn't find anything wrong, so I agreed to x-rays and blood work.

I am very, very fortunate that I like my job and  that I am employed in a good, thriving company despite the wretched economy. So I made myself a cup of very strong Jasmine tea, which has calming elements, and I got right to work. My job enables me to be able to do the things in my personal life that I need and like to do, so I kept my focus on that. I actually had a very productive morning and got  a lot done.

At noon, I called the vet's office and the gal who answered the phone said that Dr. Hardee was out of the office on another emergency but that she would check on Alexi. When she came back, she said that Alexi was doing well but that she "wasn't very friendly". At that moment, I began to feel/know that Alexi was going to be okay. When Alexi was dreadfully ill 5 years ago, she was too sick to give anyone attitude.

Dr. Hardee called me later and said that there was nothing in the x-rays to indicate that anything was wrong. He told me it took two technicians to get Alexi to cooperate with the x-ray. I'm sure it was annoying for them to deal with, but I felt complete and utter relief when he told me. Alexi being feisty meant Alexi was feeling better. The next thing to check would be the blood work, but the results wouldn't be back until later in the afternoon.

Later in the afternoon, Dr. Hardee called again and said they had found nothing in the blood work. The last thing to check for was pancreatitis, which they wouldn't have back until the following morning. At 5:00, I went and got Alexi and brought her home. As soon as I opened the door to her crate, she bounded up onto the computer table and started eating ravenously. She then came over to where I was having dinner and started poking her head into my plate. I settled in on the couch and she settled in next to my feet, something she does every night.

The next day when I got up, Torey was at his bowl, Lucky was at his, and Alexi was at hers. All was very normal. When Dr. Hardee called that morning, I knew he was going to tell me that the results for the pancreatitis would be negative too.

I have no idea what was wrong with Alexi and medical science was unable to back up what I saw last Thursday morning, but I am very thankful that whatever it was passed through quickly. I spent Thanksgiving at home with the cats and was so grateful to see Alexi curled up at my feet, as usual. I did get to the gym yesterday, but other than that, I was on the couch either knitting or crocheting and watching "The Godfather", parts 1 and 2. Probably not an exciting day for most people, but it was just all right by me.