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Embracing My Inner 'Fat Lady'

July 07, 2010

Abandoned book "The Little Book" by Selden Edwards ♦◊◊◊◊

Still playing ketchup for the 5 weeks I didn't post anything...

Remote HolderLet's see, I "designed" and sewed these remote-control holders (also for the Father's Day theme at the shop), including one "for her" with a pincushion for :shudder: handwork.


BellsBy far, though, my main focus during the month of June was on handbells.

The last weekend in June found me at the AGEHR Region X Handbell Conference in Newburg, Oregon at George Fox University.

Prior to the big weekend, however, I was rehearsing with two different bell choirs in Longview in preparation for the conference. The choir that I normally play with was playing one level of music, while the choir that I occasionally substitute in was playing another. That's a lot of bells and music to learn, especially since I wasn't playing the same notes in both choirs. Heck, if someone had to miss practice, I usually filled in for them, so I often wasn't playing the same notes in the same song for two practices in a row!

So, the highlights and lowlights of the conference: The campus was beautiful. But it was a campus, so there was a LOT of walking from dorm (Dorm! For this old bod?? Oy.) to food to rehearsal to classes. And it was, like, a zillion degrees.

I did my best to find places like this when I had a spare moment.
GF Bridge

I took classes and really tried to jam a lot of learning in to the weekend. I stretched my skills, and learned some new and exciting (aka complicated) techniques. I saw a wonderful concert by insane very talented ringers, Velocity, and was inspired.

We were very fortunate that the clinician for the weekend, Fred Gramann, while being a gifted composer of handbell music, was also NOT a tyrant. A pleasant man with a sense of humor, Fred had a way of telling 450 bellringers "You stink" in a way that we all laughed - and agreed with him! I heard more than one bell choir director say that they learned much more from attending the rehearsals with him than they did from the "Director" classes.

But, what, you might ask, had the biggest impact on Madame Babble?
I am a diva.

I had no idea - though apparently I'm the last to know. One of the members of Velocity called it fairly quickly, and my directors and co-ringers all nodded their heads knowingly.

I was actually kinda wigged out about it - when you say "Diva" to me, it doesn't have a positive connotation. But I was assured by many people (on my way to a mortification meltdown) that in my case, being a diva is having a big "bell spirit". Having a bit larger personal performance space. Being willing to tackle twice (or more) the number of bells that many players are comfortable with. Possessing an elevated amount of, er, flair.

J2 found a piece of Christmas music that has a Diva part in it. She's decided she'll purchase it for the group. Guess what I'll be practicing for the next few months?

The conference was all that I had hoped for in terms of growth and learning. But there was constant sound, constant movement, constant stimulation from the time we left town Friday morning to my arrival home late Sunday evening. I was/am so grateful that Mr. W. is comfortable with silence, because I barely talked and avoided noise-making activities like tv or radio or audiobook from the time I arrived home until late Monday evening.

Oh! And I freaked out a bit. The last day (remember the zillion degrees part) I didn't do as much walking because rehearsals and classes were fairly close to each other. So there was much more plain ol' standing.

THIS is what I discovered on the ride back home! Holy moley, it's someone else's foot at the end of my leg! Where are my ankles? I was totally traumatized by these piggy feet. I know, I know, there are many of you out there for whom this is a common occurrence, but this is a first for me. I was NOT amused.

3 days and 4 pounds of water-weight later, I could see my ankles. And the place where my foot ends and my toes begin. My feet are two of the few areas on my body that haven't 'fluffed up' as I've grown older (my earlobes are still fairly svelte, too). I'm not ready to completely change my self-image yet.

And, OMG! Talk about traumatization! This was spotted on a 40-something man in public. What sort of job does one hold in the real world that encourages or even allows such hirsute heresy?? (heh. Googled 'hirsute'. The definition I found included this line: "Etymology: Latin hirsutus; akin to Latin horrēre to bristle — more at horror".)

I'm sure he's a very nice man. His partner probably loves it. Some people may not like Mr. W.'s beard either, though I'd be devastated if he ever shaved it off.

'Nuff said.

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permalink 5 Comments:
At 7/07/2010 3:17 PM, Blogger Crispy Babbled Back:  

Gosh I didn't know you play bells. My blog friend Pat (A Little This and A Little Pat) plays them too. I love bell choirs but haven't heard one since moving to ND. I could imagine the need for quiet after a whole weekend of playing and listening. Being a Diva can be bad but if you are a true Diva, this is a huge compliment!!


At 7/07/2010 6:23 PM, Blogger Gene Black Babbled Back:  

I would so love to learn to play handbells. Both you and Pat play them and I have heard them a time or two. LOL. I am sure I would be a Diva too! hehehee But I know of no handbell choirs in my area so I will stick to my pennywhistle.

At 7/08/2010 10:44 AM, Blogger Linda Babbled Back:  

What a treat. I am not a bell player but am an admirer. I have been to church concerts and heard them and loved them too. I didn't know there were droves of them and didn't know they had classes to go too either. I've only heard one or two together not an orchestra.

I went on a bus trip with my church several years back. It was a long trip and you could lay your seat back a little but you could not elevate your feet. On the way up, I was fine. Coming home was a different story. I got home and started to get off the bus and my legs/feet hurt. I looked down and to my horrow, my feet/ankles were all plumped up like yours and they hurt too. This had never happened to me before or since and it sure scared me. I don't go on long trips anymore without stopping and stretching my legs and drinking lots of water. Getting older is not ANY fun, huh! Hugs, Linda

At 7/17/2010 9:23 AM, Blogger Quilter Kathy Babbled Back:  

That happened to me a couple of weeks ago for the first time...it was freaky! Do you know what causes this? Too much activity for the "elderly"???? That's what my kids said!

At 7/21/2010 10:32 PM, Anonymous gimpy cat Babbled Back:  

Oh geeze, I go away for a while in blog land and come back to cankles and mullets - your blog always has something to make me laugh. Glad your feet went down and sounds like the bell weekend was a chiming success ;-) Wow, now I can say I honestly know a real live Diva Dahhling! You go girl!

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