Monday, November 29, 2010


DSCF0876 In 1968, Charlton Heston, Maximilian Schell, and Leslie Neilsen made a movie called, COUNTERPOINT, in which a 70-piece orchestra and its world famous conductor (Heston) are captured by the Germans in Belgium while on tour for the USO during WWII. counterpoint2 The patrol commander has instructions to shoot every prisoner, an order that is countermanded by a music loving general (Schell) who demands the captives give a concert.  counterpoint9 The stubborn conductor refuses, risking his life and all those in his troupe.  Leslie Neilsen played the 1st violin (or concert master) in a completely serious role.  I love this photo, which hangs near my piano in our living room, along with other music-related photos.  Most folks don’t notice that it’s actually Charlton and Leslie in the picture until they look closely at it.  This movie has been a favorite of mine since I was in High School.  I loved watching Charlton conduct Beethoven’s 5th, and some of the other classics.  The music in the film was spectacular and the story was great, in my opinion.  I’m just sorry that it’s still unavailable on DVD or even VHS.  Perhaps one day, we will be able to view all of the Heston films on DVD.  I’ll be especially happy to see this one when it comes out.

Counterpoint autographed One of the best quotes is when Heston confronts the Officer (Schell):  “Now we’re not just a bunch of itinerate fiddlers, do you understand?  We’re a highly respected, internationally known symphony orchestra, and if you make the mistake of shooting one of us, you’ll be a lieutenant for the rest of your life,  LIEUTENANT!”

Counterpoint 1 When the Lieutenant sits down at his piano and whips out a quick Bach number, Heston comments, “Prostitution isn’t the only profession that has been ruined by amateurs!”

We will certainly miss Leslie Neilsen, who graced the stage with so many different characters---especially his role in AIRPLANE!  Another of our great actors gone---it makes me feel so old to see these actors disappear…but their films will live on and so will they!  celebrity-pictures-leslie-nielsen-ferrell-slapstick

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Catching up

DSCF0861 I know it’s been a while since my last post, but things have been about the same here.  It’s been cold at night---well below 32 and fallish during the day with temps around 65 or lower mostly.  

Thanksgiving came and went.  Max ended up going with his friend, L, and siblings to Santa Rosa with L’s dad for most of the week.  They had fun:  seeing the new Harry Potter (rats, I still haven’t seen it yet---probably wait until the DVD comes out now) movie, going to the beach, playing endless Monopoly games, and kicking the soccer ball around (inventing all kinds of competitive games).  Hubby and I had a quiet holiday here at home.  We went to a friends for dinner on Thursday and enjoyed it, even though everyone missed Max.

2004_0805Image0033 (2) Talked to my 93 year old Mom the other day.  She’s doing well, although bummed out that so many people are dying around here---she says, “It seems like we have Memorial Services every day around here!”  When I asked about her childhood friend, Lavancha, (with whom she’s kept in touch over the years) in Michigan, she told me that she thought Lavancha was crazy---that she was going down south with another 94 year old lady friend driving her friend’s motor-home, just the two of them.  My Mom was appalled that they would attempt that!  “Can you imagine being on the road with a 93 and 94 year old woman at the wheel??”  Mom told me she was going to my brother’s house (only a couple of miles away) for dinner on Thursday.

Well, no news of real earth shattering importance here.  Max’s concert went off just fine, albeit a tag too long (listening to the adult orchestra’s 3 hour rehearsal too!).  The kids sounded just fine---but they wouldn’t let me take pictures.  Bahhh!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Busy Weekend

DSCF0871 In spite of the Winter Storm that descended on us yesterday, we were lucky NOT to get any snow here.  There was snow up on Cobb Mountain, near us, and just north of Lakeport (where Max has his bass lesson).  When Max and I went up to his lesson yesterday afternoon, snowflakes splatted on our windshield for a short period of time.  However, nothing stuck---it was still in the 40’s then. 

Today is the Fall Concert for the Lake County Orchestra and the Youth Orchestra up in Lakeport---so we get to make that trek again (yes, I’ll get pictures! ). Only, this time it will be bright and sunny---albeit still chilly out.  We may get more rain (it’s predicted) but probably nothing like the snow from yesterday.  By Tuesday afternoon, the storms should have passed and things are supposed to be nice and warmer for Thanksgiving.

Max’s friend, L, is coming for a couple of days before the holiday and so we’ll probably go to the new Harry Potter movie while he’s here.  Can’t wait! 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fall in Napa Valley

DSCF0869 Had a job down in the Napa Valley yesterday and with much swivel-headed driving, finally stopped at a vineyard for some pics of the great colors. DSCF0864 The air is heady at this time of year with many grapes still unharvested.  You can almost get drunk just breathing the air.  DSCF0868 But the different types of grapes turn brilliant shades of red and yellow and orange. 

The morning sun glistened off the dewy leaves and ground, further enhancing the fall colors. DSCF0865 I really enjoy driving down there at this time of year.  It’s way better than Christmas time---with all the straight white lights and very few colored ones…and of course, no snow.  Spring is pretty too, with the multitude of greens and the blossoming flowers and mustard in the vineyards.

DSCF0870 This should be the final week we have this eye candy---rain is expected for the weekend and the rest of the leaves will wither and fall. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fall is definitely here!

DSCF0862 Just took this picture the other evening---the sky was so beautiful, I couldn’t resist.  There is a nip in the air in the mornings and a cool breeze through the days. DSCF0859 The smell of leaves and wood-burning stoves often fills the air reminding one of Thanksgiving and the onset of the Christmas season.

The “girls” have been busy lately: here’s a good pic of Spot (in the front) with Charlie and Fluffy. DSCF0858 The one (of the two) Orpington who is the biggest and with the most developed comb, I’ve named Fluffy because she is enormous when she fluffs out her feathers.  DSCF0855 The eggs are coming fast and furious---usually about 6 a day!  Charlie hasn’t gotten any nastier, but I still can’t turn my back on him without fear of attack.  He’s a sneaky devil, especially if you have eggs in your pockets.  I think he’s just being protective…just doing his job!

There was a rumor that a mountain lion was roaming our ditch area (which runs beside the chicken yard) but we didn’t see him at all and all the chickens are still there.  Perhaps the cat has left the area.  I guess a few cats disappeared during his stay.  Ours are fine, though.  Nothing new to report here---all is well (or as well as can be expected in this economy) and happiness reigns!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

An unusual event!

DSCF0837 Things started out pretty normal yesterday---getting Max up and ready for school, taking him in for jazz band early, going to curves, then playing tennis for an hour and a half.  However, after tennis, as we sat in the Studebakers’ coffee shop, we were commenting on how unusually busy it was.  Apparently, part of main street was also blocked off.  Someone commented that there was going to be a parade.  At this time of year?  Then, someone else mentioned there was a movie being filmed!  Well, you know me and movies!  I trucked on down there with my little camera tucked in my hand to check out this movie.

Apparently the title currently is “Twixt until Sunrise” and it stars Val Kilmer and Bruce Dern.  AND it is being directed by none other than Francis Ford Coppola!  Sure enough, there were lights and camera and big vans with wardrobe, props, etc. DSCF0843 and a cabana set up with chairs.  A pack of people were milling around, getting ready to shoot a scene. DSCF0841 We groupies were herded further down the street so our reflection couldn’t be seen in the window they were filming across the street.  And yes, there was Val Kilmer, complete with pony tail and that was Coppola in the Panama Hat! DSCF0847 (The Sheriff is the big guy in the center with Coppola to the left and Kilmer to the right.) He was explaining the scene to everyone before hand, then said “Action” and the cameras rolled.  DSCF0849 It was a short scene with Kilmer getting out of the car and walking down the alley a ways, then back and looking into the window. DSCF0850 Not much was said, but they got it all in the first take.  The only ones who didn’t cooperate were the dogs in the yard behind the watching crowd, who barked in the background during the filming.  HA! 

All in all, it was fun.  And being a surprise, it was exciting to see it all go down.  What a great diversion for the morning!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Oh what a crazy week…

DSCF0826 FINALLY the elections are over!  Yippeee!  SO glad to have all of that political garbage off the airwaves and telephones and out of the mail.  Now we can concentrate on Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays.

DSCF0823 As you all know, we had our pumpkin carving party this past weekend.  For MOST of the pictures, please see my Wall on Facebook.  I have a photo album of the party you can browse through.  Although the turnout was small, we all had a marvelous time not only with the pumpkins but with bubble-making.  DSCF0797 Hubby is really an expert on this, DSCF0772 what with previous experience DSCF0785 and his internet research and since it threatened to rain that day, it proved to be perfect “bubble weather.”  DSCF0820 He practiced ahead of time DSCF0784 and made up several buckets of Bubble-mixture ahead of time so it could “age.”  The other thing different about this year’s party was that it was all traditional, old-fashioned carving without all the patterns I usually provide.  Due to my swiss-cheese memory, I misplaced the manila envelope with the patterns (it’ll turn up some time this year, I’m sure), so we were forced to be totally creative with the carving ideas.  I also set up a small candy hunt in the living room for the kids.  We were also visited by Hubby’s niece and her two adorable kids:  Copy of DSCF0796  DSCF0811  DSCF0817  DSCF0814

The colors are finally in full brilliance now and it SMELLS and feels like autumn!  We’re already dipping into the cider jug and I’m sifting through the Thanksgiving recipes and various ways to use Pumpkin!  Love this time of year, don’t you?!