With the Big Grant now part of the past, I'm going on reduced hours for work for my semi-staycation. That is to say, I'll handle the few important things that come up in the next week or so but will otherwise do more or less what I want until my actual calendar birthday.
Today's staycation fun will be a trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to view the Visions of Arcadia exhibit (three huge canvases -- a Gaugin, a Cezanne, and a Matisse -- plus other artists of the period). This exhibit should make a wonderful complement to our planned visit to the Barnes Foundation and to the newly-reopened Rodin Museum.
Yesterday I made a huge pot of ground-pork-and-summer-vegetable stew, involving potatoes, onions, eggplant, tomatoes, and yellow squash. There's plenty left for tonight's dinner so we won't have to cook when we get home, whee!Countrywide
continues to insinuate itself, slowly, into muscle memory, to the point that I think perhaps I should pay attention to how it's actually played so I don't mis-learn some critical passages. I have the shapes for the bridge measures, for example, but not the right-hand fingering patterns (or, for that matter, the precise notes in my head). It's not up to tempo yet, and isn't likely to be for some time. I downloaded a cellphone metronome app and found I can do fairly well with it set at 89 beats per minute. It actually is played somewhere between 104 and 112 bpm. Well...I can play the four-bar introduction at that pace, but that's it.
Although I'm mostly happy playing by myself right now, especially as I build calluses, I do think I'd benefit from having some chums to play with. Sunday I will venture out to Ardmore, a near suburb well served by public transit, to check out the Delaware Valley Fingerstyle Guitar Association, which meets monthly at a coffee shop. Tommy Emmanuel mentioned them (gave them a shout out is more like it) at the June concert I attended, and that's a pretty good recommendation. If I keep rummaging, I'm sure to find a Philadelphia fingerstyle jam sooner or later, one that will tolerate my skill level.
Oh, and a wee piece of hippeastrum news -- the first of the two Hippeastrum papilio bulbs I ordered last spring has shed its last old leaf, and is putting up a new one! It's in the same pot as one that still has three old leaves, so I think I have to be careful about how I water the pot. I want to encourage dormancy in the one that still has leaves, I think, while encouraging the other to continue putting out new leaves. In other news, one of my Schlumbergera seedlings has wilted. Root rot, I betcha, so I cut off the yucky roots and buried what was left in moist vermiculite up to the first leaf joint. Hey, it worked on the Madisto I grew from cuttings from clindau
a couple years back!
Also, now that it's the month of August I really should cull my Trader Joe x Gervase crosses from 2011. They're huge plants with leaves that are a full two feet long, and I'd like to reduce my thirty plants to eight. No signs of mosaic virus on them, happily, nor on the Class of 2009 out back. Fingers crossed!
Also also, I'll want to remember that on Monday I cut two more willow wands, stripped most of the leaves, and stuck them in a gallon milk jug, slightly cut down. I like the look of my one willow "topiary" so much that I think I want three or four of them to serve as visual barriers on the east side of the back yard. The wand I rooted for halfmoon_mollie
, meanwhile, has put out roots that resist a gentle tug. Another week and I'll be looking for a mailing tube!
And that's the news...