Tag Archives: colorado

Belated Blogiversary: the fourth

 

South Carolina Tulip Tree Leaves

South Carolina Tulip Tree Leaves

Sometime around the end of August, beginning of September, my 4th blogiversary made an uneventful appearance.

It came and went.

Meh, life goes on.

(Evidenced by these few fall photos)

Colorado Aspens Rainbow Lakes

Colorado Aspens, Rainbow Lakes

 

I’m noticing many blogger-buddies are entering into their own 4th and 5th years of regular posting; with plenty of re-decorating, re-purposing and de-cluttering of earlier website/blog incarnations. I say: Good for you, guys!

Me? I still can’t figure out how to update my 3.6 WP to 4.8.2 WP without losing precious data that’s supposed to be ‘forever’ on this ole internet superhighway. Case in point: just using that terminology shows how long I’ve been on-line. You know, back when it was only universities and ‘professionals’ that truly surfed the net along with doing all that research, networking and exchange of ideas/ideals. (remember the LuteList, anyone?)

But – this WP.org site still works fine albeit on borrowed time and I’m good with that. Besides, I’m hoping to set up a 100% music website on a non-WP platform; not to worry, this website/blog will still be up and running as long as it doesn’t blip out due to its un-updated status.

Lately, however, that caveat is running a bit thin. Forcing me to consider which way I want my time and energy to be expended on an internet ‘presence’. Not a bad thing really, just annoying.

For the record, this fourth blogiversary post is coincidentally my 200th post. I’m honored to have made many blogger-buddy friends and have enjoyed the subset community of internet connections made during my 4 years here. While blogging has never been the #1 priority of this website/blog, to abandon it completely would be counterintuitive.

So I’m not.

I could write/blog about a lot of things that are equally important for me to expound upon, but should I?

Just as closets and bookshelves need to be cleaned/cleared out to make way for the new – so I’m experiencing a form of ‘writers block’ but one which I think signals a change in focus. Perhaps in accepting this nudge, I’ll be opening up a regular slice of time to finally finish those edits on the accompanying Goat Suite Saga vignettes – making them available to distribute in sync with the release of my Goat Suite.

And then, as a treat, I’ll indulge in developing one of the many great ideas we writers have simmering at the back of our minds and send it off into the blogosphere with the push of the PUBLISH button on my WP.org dashboard.

Until then: I bid belated thanks to all of you for joining me in this four year blogiversary journey!minions heart

Fatal Family Ties: Hugo, Matthew, Harvey and Irma

In these days before Irma’s impending impact upon this evacuation city of Florence, South Carolina, I have been overly sensitive to the fact that we will not be here during her arrival. Instead, we will be ‘going through Irma’ while driving on-the-road to Colorado.

Already this town’s hotel rooms are filling up with evacuees from Florida, leaving less space available for later local evacuees coming from areas such as Myrtle Beach.

Irma is a very real threat, especially in light of Harvey’s tirade. Residents here are keenly aware of the dangers ahead. Yet our own prepping for it involves continuing with our travel plans. A form of voluntary evacuation, if you will – though hardly intended as such. Also as of this writing a new twist has been added to the mix: a resemblance to this area’s worst hurricane on record, that of Hugo in 1989. Hugo landed inland and did his damage as if the midlands of the Pee Dee were the Carolina coastal lowlands. Continue reading

Me as Composer

About 6 weeks ago, while planning our extended stay in Colorado to continue the hands-on process of getting Dad’s estate settled, I contacted a longtime colleague about collaborating with me on the recording of my Goat Suite (Saga).

Her willingness to work with me under challenging circumstances – finding snippets of time to rehearse, then laying down tracks at the recording studio – was refreshing.

So, tucked in between sorting files upon files of papers, packing up shelves of books, trips to drop off never ending donations at ARC, lining up realtor interviews, meeting with tradesmen for quotes on needed repairs on Dad’s house, working around my brother’s schedule to get certain estate things done; as well as working around my colleague’s own teaching and wedding gig schedule, we did indeed get started on the recording of my Goat Suite (Saga).

Sometime during our only rehearsal on a Sunday afternoon before our Wednesday recording session, my colleague tossed out a casual comment about ‘working with the composer’.

Say, what? Are you talking about me? Continue reading

Shout Out: Bringing Music to Life

bringing music to life logo

Al Bruno - promo photo circa 1940 - 1950

Dad’s (Al Bruno) promo photo ~ Chicago, circa 1945 (?)

Shortly after my jazzman Dad passed away last year, I received a letter in the snail mail announcing a contribution had been made to the Bringing Music to Life’s instrument repair fund in his memory by one of my cousins* and her husband.  What a perfect way to honor my Dad!

Founded in 2010, this non-profit organization not only provides musical instruments to students in underfunded schools throughout Colorado, but refurbishes each donated instrument before being placed in their eager hands.

“If you take a musical instrument that is in bad need of repair or even partial need of repair and put that into the hands of a 4th or 5th or 6th grader, they’re going to be very defeated when they try to play that instrument.  They’re going to think it’s them – they’re not gonna know it’s the instrument.” (Dan Parker, pres. Colorado Institute of Musical Instrument Technology)

Continue reading

I MISS MY COFFEE!

Been up and down with that lousy respiratory bug for the past four weeks…Hubby, too…Been unable to taste or smell for at least the last two weeks (well really only ten days and counting but still)…Hubby has his back…Been on a self-imposed coffee fast because I can’t taste it so why bother?…Hubby doesn’t get the coffee thing…Gettin’ kinda cranky…

Okay, so maybe I’m going through a good healthy coffee purge/cleansing – Sooooo: should I still pick up that first cuppa once I get my taste buds back?

You betcha!

I Miss My Coffee!!!!

coffee design

I’m going psychedelic-crazy without my hot-shot brew

Go here for my new fav coffeeshop blog.

Go and here & here to more fully my relationship with the stuff (be sure to scroll down to the bottom of that second post to get the fairytale true story).

Sharing a Double Grief

The day after my cousins and Aunt Dolores returned to Chicago from Dad’s funeral* in Colorado, my Aunt Betty fell, broke her arm and entered into hospice care within the week.

Unlike Dad, she and his other sibs were/are lifelong Cubs fans. And I confess I caught the cub-bug from them back in the day!  Freshly back from Colorado** hubby and I settled into a regular routine of watching 2016’s historic World Series. It helped ease re-entry into our life away from loved ones, life’s new normal and tending to everyday living in our little rental here in South Carolina.

Meanwhile, my cousins and Aunt Dolores had the television on for all the games, too. They spent time with Aunt Betty during her last ‘dream-sleep’ days listening and talking with her about all the exciting baseball action.

On November 1st, Dad’s sister joined the increasing Family party up in heaven.

When news spread over the Bruno Grapevine about her passing, I took comfort in thinking she had the best seat in the Universe to see those Cubbies take the World Series in all its victorious glory***.

The very next day, Terry and I took to the road again to attend the wake/funeral mass on Chicago’s south side.

Going back to old family locations, rejoining the cousins and the last two remaining of Dad’s sibs proved to be an unexpected blessing in the midst of my own raw grief.

I received an extra gift from my aunt – a chance to honor her – standing for Dad – and a chance to continue in the healing and comfort with Family – Coming back to my roots and laying Dad to rest there, too.

Surrounded by Family still in mourning over the death of Dad; beginning the trail of sorrow again with the passing of Aunt Betty – shared sorrow, shared support.

Joining joyful memories with the present shifting of Family ‘residency’ – sharing in the double grief – makes me think Aunt Betty waited to sit at that Family Table till Dad would be there, too.

Betty Jane (Bruno) Evans
2/7/1928 – 11/1/2016

Miss all of you…

Last trip to Chicago with Ma (2004) - missing only 4 oldsters. l - r: Adua, Dennis, Dad, Elmer, Betty, Frank, Rose, Ma, Dolores with Lizzy

Last trip to Chicago with Ma (2004) – missing only 4 Bruno oldsters. l – r: Adua, Dennis, Dad, Elmer, Betty, Frank, Rose, Ma, Dolores with Lizzy

 

*Dad died 9/22, we held the funeral mass, internment and celebration of life feast on 10/14 to enable more out-of-town family to attend

**Terry drove out of Hurricane Matthew on 10/8 in order to be with me pre-post funeral, and most of all to bring me back home with him; we left 10/21

***Cool tidbit: another cousin got to see the celebration parade up front since he has a law office on Michigan Ave

The Liebster: my very first blogging award!

In my over 3 years of blogging, I have never, ever, been nominated for any type of ‘blogging’ award. I figured because I am WP.org (self-hosted) rather than WP.com (WP hosted) that my chances for those sorts of things were stacked against me. So be it.

Well, that all changed during my Summer of Dad time away from regular secure internet access.  LuLu from The Real Adventures of Becoming (whatever this thing is that I am presuming is the authentic and genuine) Me nominated me a few weeks ago for the Liebster Award. She is a gentle soul with a writing style that is deep and pure. Thanks for thinking of me, LuLu!

Liebster Award

My very first blog award!

Continue reading

UKE to the rescue

This coming Saturday morning, I leave for my third and quite possibly, last, scheduled trip to Colorado to visit with Dad (note-operative word here is scheduled). With it comes the usual deliberation on what to pack; most of which is rote routine. But those few variable items that require more thought on just how to pack along for the trip are often troublesome.

As a musician, it’s always about the music.

Yes, I have my NOTION software available to me on my laptop if the muse tickles my fancy, or I feel the need to work on compositional works-in-progress.  Heck, I’m so old-school I consider it a badge of honor to whip out my staff paper notebook and jot down ideas using archaic graphite dots.

But that’s not what I’m meaning. And I’m not talking about iPod, streaming or even radio station music, either.

I’m talking about how does one pack that part of your essential being that doesn’t fit into a suitcase, in the overhead bin on an airplane, or be safely transported as general baggage without risk or costing a fortune?  This common question faces all instrumentalists, yet there is no one-size-fits-all answer to it.

Coping with life – the good, the bad and the ugly (to borrow a phrase from a fav Spaghetti Western) – has always been reflected in my music. Prayers, supplications, questions, acceptance; hurts, healings and happy dances; all the dialogue, working through, pouring out – done with my instrument.

Rental 'beater guitar' placed across scrap quilt I made for Ma & Dad ~ 1983

Rental ‘beater guitar’ placed across scrap quilt I made for Ma & Dad ~ 1983

Borrowing or renting a classical guitar is not as easy as say, a violin. I won’t go into the technical details of why, but suffice it to say that the “beater guitar”* I scouted out to rent during my first extended visit, while hard to procure, did deliver as a sort-of security blanket instrument during that five week time span.

My second visit lasted two weeks, a doable length of time to go without direct instrumental contact so that counted as an easy fix.

But…those were solutions for then. What about now?

This time around, I’m slated for a three week stay. As much as those visits are a precious blessing, they are also very intense; filled with tender moments alongside heart wrenching end-of-life realities.

This time around, hubby booked my flight on another airline, one which allows 1 bag and 1 personal item for free as carry-ons.

This time around, I’ll stuff the computer bag with my wallet, snacks and paperback mystery novel as usual, and tote my UKE as the other carry on.

After all, George Harrison composed ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ on his UKE when his primary instrument was unavailable for use.

*”beater guitar” is a term used by cgers and acoustic guitarists alike that refers to an instrument that can be taken anywhere without fear of ruining it…case in point: around the campfire during wilderness treks.

***

One of my fav renditions of this piece follows and indeed, inspired several of my students at the time to ask me to teach them the UKE…thus forcing me to pursue a certain level of mastery over this little gem of an instrument -

 

Peace Post: Found while rummaging through Dad’s piles

Postcard sent to Ma & Dad, Lakewood, CO May 2005:

Colorado post card to ma and dad

I often send greetings via snail mail to loved ones

Message on back:

“Remember that all music, in general, is a succession of rainbows.” Pablo Casals

Ma & Dad: I hope your day is filled with color and harmony. Love, Laura