Tag Archives: piano

Canal Connection Dinner

Canal Connection Dinner

Elizabethe and I attended the Canal Connection dinner tonight.  The Canal Connection Chamber of Commerce held its annual dinner at the Blue Heron in Walworth/Macedon.  (I’ve seen it’s address listed as both.)

Prior to going to the dinner Elizabethe spend the day working on here puzzle book. I spent the day catching up on office work and getting ready for the dinner.  (I volunteered my keyboard so Sister Barrett could play Christmas music on it.)

The Venue

The venue, the Blue Heron, is a very nice place.  We had the entire place to ourselves.  It is clean and welcoming.

They had a place where I set up my keyboard and the sisters immediately commenced playing Christmas music.  Sister Crofts on her viola, and Sister Barrett on the piano created a wonderful atmosphere for the event.

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Sisters Providing Music

The Dinner

The dinner was very good.  Broiled chicken, a pasta station and all the usual side dishes were expertly prepared.  I was good and didn’t over indulge.


Chris Oaks, a local high school teacher addressed the group.  After him, Steve Synesael, the marketing director at a Rochester TV station spoke.  Both gave talks about giving back to the community.


In conclusion, it was a nice evening spent with nice people in a nice setting.


Teasing Weather

Teasing Weather

This is teasing weather.  Around 9am snowflakes started blowing around.  It’s teasing us as if it is going to snow.  The temperatures are still well above freezing.

Conference let out at noon, and flakes were coming down.  The wind was blowing about 50 mph as we left the building.  A few people stumbled in the stiff wind.  The large flakes (about 1/4″ across) stung as they hit your face.


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1/4″ Snowflake

I had to get a picture of one… which is quite difficult.  Two things made it difficult.  1) The wind was strong, and 2) they would melt quickly.  I managed to get a decent shot of one of them.

Dinner with Sisters Crofts and Barrett

We had burritos for dinner.  I used our new 3-bay crockpot to cook rice, beans and meat.

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Apple Pie

Elizabethe made an apple pie with apples she canned.  It turned out perfect.

Music and Pictures

After dinner the sister missionaries posed for some pictures for me to submit to the church.  Sister Barrett played the piano while Sister Crofts played the viola.  Both are very accomplished musicians and the music was wonderful.

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Playing us a Song

After they played for the pictures, they played a song they prepared for us.  It was a combination of I Am a Child of God and the Crusader’s Hymn (aka Beautiful Savior).

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Sisters Barrett and Crofts prepare to play a song for us.

After that I asked if I could get a headshot of each of them so they can give their parents photos.

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Sister Crofts

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Sister Barrett

Ram in the Thicket

Ram in the Thicket

There was a ram in the thicket today.  If you don’t know what that means, read on, but I was rescued by a ram in the thicket.

The bible tell us that Abraham was commanded to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice.  Abraham obeyed and headed up Mount Moriah where he would faithfully do as commanded.  Here’s the account from the Bible… (Genesis Chapter 22)

9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.

10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.

12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

This scripture has come to light this week.  At the start of the week I was given some music to practice so I could accompany the missionaries on a song at Stake Conference.  I worked hard, but it just wasn’t coming together.

Tonight, as we went through to rehearse it, I was struggling when it changed from the key of C to 5 flats.  A missionary, hearing my struggles announced that she knows how to play this song quite well and asked if she would like me to play it.

“Yes!”  there was a ram in the thicket.

The story of Isaac and Abraham hit home hard.  While I would have loved to have been able to play this beautiful song, it wasn’t going to happen with a week of practice.  I knew that, but I trusted the Lord would provide.  I hoped that some miracle would occur and my fingers would just hit the correct notes.  Instead, God provided a way out of doing something that was painful and difficult.

Personality Differences

Personality Differences

Just a little about the personality differences between my grandson and my granddaughter.  Both are in Primary and I was asked to substitute for the pianist.

My granddaughter was straight across from the piano and pretty much acted like I wasn’t even in the room.  I even attempted to raise my eyebrows when I thought she was looking my direction and I got no response.

When the senior primary came in, my grandson sat in about the same location where my granddaughter was sitting in junior primary.  His first remarks were, “Hey, there’s my grandpa.”  Several times he commented and glanced over and smiled.

Yes, there is a world of difference between these two siblings.  I love them both, but boy, are they sure different.

We returned to the church building tonight for a fireside with Elder Bennett.  He’s quite a character.   He said some very useful things that I need to implement in my life.  It was great being there to hear him share his comments.

The fireside was for the temple workers and served as a goodbye to the out-going Temple Presidency – Presidents and Sisters Brighton, Broadbent and Cahoon.  Elder and Sister Bennett also talked, and we had a wonderful musical number by Elder Nielsen (from Sacrament0).

We didn’t stick around because Spencer had prepared a standing rib roast and they were holding dinner until we got home.  Oh, that roast was so good.  It is nice having a second person in the house that appreciates good beef.

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Palmyra Temple

I Stand All Amazed

I Stand All Amazed

One of the first hymns I ever learned how to play on the piano was I Stand All Amazed.  It was the first because I believed my mom when she said it was the easiest.

The first time I played it was in Priesthood Meeting.  As a newly called Priesthood Pianist, I sat down to play it and I started shaking so badly, I wedged my leg between the floor and the piano to keep it from shaking.  The result was the entire piano started to shake.

Today in church, a young lady with an angelic voice, accompanied by her husband, sang that hymn.  It was the most beautiful rendition I have ever heard.  Her voice, and his accompaniment were perfect.  I could see tears streaming down faces as she touched each heart with the spirit as she sang.

I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.

I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.

Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt!
Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat,
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.

Text and music: Charles H. Gabriel, 1856-1932

Elizabethe and I invited a young couple to join us and the missionaries for dinner.  I made my Chicken Coconut Curry, palak and rice pilaf for dinner.  We had a nice visit and a good time.

Traffic Re-routing

Canaltown Days were going on today, but I don’t participate in those activities on Sundays.  So, on the way home from church, they had Stafford road blocked off.  We drove a block over, and came down to Main Street, and it was blocked off too.

Now, keep in mind that the parade was yesterday.

We asked the office if we could get through since we only lived a block down the road.  Instead, he wanted us to go east and come on to main heading the other direction.

We did as directed, only to find they were not using that section of Main Street for anything.  Very strange.

Chris Lauren and I did some of our home teaching today.  (In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, families are visited each month by two priesthood holders.  The purpose of the visit is to check on the welfare of the family and to instruct them.)  We have 3 families – the Green’s, the Scott’s and the Nichols’.  We visited the Green’s and the Scott’s.

Being new to these families, we spent the time getting to know them.  The Green’s are both from this area.  Bro. Scott is from Southern California, and his wife is from the Buffalo Area.  Both families are delightful and it is going to be fun home teaching them.  

At church I was sustained as the ward organist.  This is in addition to being the Primary Pianist.  There is nothing like using the tallents God has given you.  It is rewarding and fulfilling.  I just hope I don’t fat-finger too many notes when I play.

Piano Practice

When I was a kid, my parents used to tell me I couldn’t play after school until I practice the piano.  It was a chore.  I hated it.

Now, 46 years later, I rather like practicing the piano.  I can entertain myself with Saturday in the Park (Chicago), Make Me Smile (Chicago), classical, blues, Drive My Car (The Beatles), or whatever I want to play.  It is relaxing and soothing.

So, tonight I practiced for Sunday.  Mostly children’s songs.  (I’ll tell you more in my Sunday blog.)  I also practiced a couple of hymns. 

After that, I started the process of creating photo albums on my iPhone.  Yeah, my iPhone is really a portable electronic portfolio for showing the woman-on-the-street my work.   (That sounds bad, I know…. but the man-on-the-street can give a flip about your portfolio.  Most photographic services are purchased by moms.)



Of course, you have to be careful how you approach the woman-on-the-street when carrying a camera or … well, the picture tells it all. (No photoshop.  The two pictures were taken individually.  A 13×19 was printed and pinned to the backdrop.  The model was then introduced to the photo of the male model… well… the rest is obvious.)