...at the feeder, even. We've not seen him since, but that probably just means that we weren't looking at the right time.

I have finished weeding the prairie bed. On to the garden east of the house!

I wound up playing bari in the praise band. I started off on tenor sax (playing the trumpet part) but halfway through rehearsal one of the trumpet players showed up and wanted to play. So I swapped horns and played the bass line with DB. DB was helping J with setting up the sound and I was helping with re-seating people so there was somewhere for the performers to stand when we realised that the band was up next -- and our instruments and music were in the other building! a quick scramble to get those, and we were ready to go. J took his electric piano over, so we had all but two of the instruments in the house over at the church (SR's alto sax and DB's trombone stayed home), and we even borrowed one (the tuba).

The PT is unimpressed with the level of stability in my left shoulder, and has informed me that once we get the inflammation down I will get lots of strength work. Lovely. Right now, it's taped to relieve some of the stress on the biceps tendon. She says that the shoulder has never quite recovered from the damage I did to it three years ago, so we're working on that as well.
Tuesday was a special election -- schools -- so I trundled off to the township hall at 5:45 am. After we got set up but before we had any voters (DN is a very efficient deputy clerk, so all we had to do was turn things on and make sure they worked correctly), the clerk handed out schedules for the next two elections (August and November). I noted that I was on the floor for November (rather than on the Absentee Voter board), and the clerk said that I had been requested for the floor because I knew how to print/send reports. Um.err.OK? And then we get to close of day, and I've been shifted to receiving board and can't actually *do* anything (state requirement), and after I walked DN through printing from the electronic poll book I discovered that nobody else knows how to close the program and unmount a flash drive (!?!). So I had to hang over MJ's shoulder and tell her 'click that triangle, now that green icon, now uninstall the stow&go, now you can take it out and slide it closed'. (It's slightly disconcerting when I'm the computer 'expert' in the room.)

Wednesday AM I went to sort books at the K-2 library, and when I got back there was a call from the clerk 'can you chair the AV board in November? There's been some concern about the people I had scheduled for it, and with you in charge they won't slack off.' (nothing that would affect the integrity of the election, or they wouldn't be asked to work!) As AV Chair, I will be on the floor when they're closing, so I still get to deal with printing/sending. whee?

Sunday was the FCB spring concert. There were a *lot* of notes in it. I heard from people in the audience that it was very good. The local public access station recorded it (actual concert begins around 3 min). Monday we started working on things for the Orchestra Hall Concert (June 26, tickets at dso.org). There's going to be a lot of notes in that, too.

In garden news, the red species tulips are blooming, as are the little tete-a-tete daffodils in the same bed, which only emphasise how desperately I need to weed that. But it's either been too dry or too wet, or I've been gone; so there's a lot to be done. The oaks and the tupelo have finally budded, and the leaves on the crab apple popped on Tuesday while I was gone. The big white daffs in the NE flowerbed have bloomed. I can finally plant out the lily and daff that came home at Easter. Today will be busy....

And looming in the not-too-distant future, a funeral meal. I haven't heard anything official, but the lady in charge of usables called me today to find out what my plans were WRT to silverware/plates/napkins/cups. And we chatted about how many funerals we'd be doing this year. It may be a lot -- we ran down a list of about 6 church members who are visibly declining (in a congregation of about 120); and there are community members as well. The new pastor may have a rude welcome -- 'hi, welcome to your new church. have a funeral'.

There's a special farewell potluck and performance for the outgoing minister (who has accepted a posting to a Korean congregation in Troy) coming up as well, so there's rehearsals and the like for that.
No "a year of making" posts this year. I made the point I wanted to make to myself (and got into a habit, so I have some confidence that it will continue).

The Xmas Eve service was decent, actually. The minister (a former music teacher) selected and arranged all the performance carols to fit the personnel and skill-sets that were available. The choir was about as good as could be expected (which is to say, not horrible -- there are a few people that we'd probably be better off without, but that's not something you can do in a teeny choir in a small church). We had a HS bassoonist show up at the last rehearsal. He's played with us before, and he and I work pretty well together. TM arranged a accompaniment duet for clarinet and barisax that was a lot of fun to play, even though I did have to be careful to not outplay the clarinet

I got the holiday cards out on Orthodox Christmas, a bit later than I wanted to, but it took me a while to collect enough gumption to clear a space on the kitchen table.

One day last week, I finally got the pictures back up on the walls. I couldn't put the dining room ones back until the cabinet doors went on, so that was first. Then I fumbled the door handles, so I need to get some wood filler and try again. The hall pictures were stacked in the living room, waiting to be put into the new frames also stacked in the living room. There were eight pictures on the wall, six in matching frames and two in entirely different frames, and it looked really disjointed. There's space on the kitchen wall for the hooks I got at MuseCon.

Sunday, we woke to no power -- the rain that had been falling at bedtime Saturday had transitioned to snow (through freezing rain and sleet), and there was wind. There was no power at church, either, so that was cancelled. DB did work a church service in town though -- Chelsea has their own power grid -- and he said it took him 35 minutes to get there, normally a 12-15 minute drive. We got power back before noon, so I went downstairs to sort in the workroom. About 3pm, the power went out again. I was finishing up anyway (and that end of the basement has two windows in it!), so I was able to put away the last few things before I came upstairs. About 4:30, J went out and fired up the generator again because DTE had no estimate for restoration. We finally got power back about 10pm.

We got the tree undecorated and down on Sunday during the power outage, and I found the basket of things that went on the little shelf in the dining room. The Honeck dragons are off visiting Butch and getting refinished -- running water in the fountain caused a lot of discoloration and some corrosion, so they went off to the "spa".
The cabinet is finally done, other than the doors which will take about 5 minutes once I find the screws, and it's usable without them. J installed the countertop and attached the upper cabinet last Sunday, so I spent Monday figuring out where things would go in the cabinet. Saturday, I installed three more sliding baskets, which make the cabinet more useful. I lose some space to the runners, but the baskets go all the way to the back of the cabinet so I can stash stuff in the back of the shelves and still get to it. I figure it's a fair trade. There's still trim work to be installed (toe kicks, some base molding for the outside edge), but there's a lot of that to be done in the kitchen. (I need to remember to get some quarter-round for the island the next time I get to Menard's.)

I wrote an actual letter to the local lumberyard, and got a (somewhat badly written) email back, which essentially said 'yeah, we screwed up. This is why, but we can't blame you for going elsewhere in the future.' The writer did actually look at the orders and figured out where the mistakes occurred, so there's that.

We finally got the tree decorated on Sunday. It's been up since the day after Thanksgiving, but we've not had everyone in the house at the same time since then. The kids decided we should do a 'no flying ornaments' tree this year, so all the birds and such were left in the boxes. The only flying ornament on the tree this year is an old Happy Meal Max-as-Reindeer ornament. Even the glass swan that's been on every tree for the last 30 years was left off.

SR will be singing with the choir on Xmas Eve. DB will not -- he's working sound. The other college kids who said they'd sing with us are apparently not (G was at church on Sunday, but skipped rehearsal; N won't be back in town until tomorrow), and the other alto decided that she was going to sing after waffling for a couple of weeks, so SR isn't as critical to balance as she could have been, but we're still only at 3 S:2 A:4 TB (one of the Sops is a trained sop; two of the men are, to be polite, not good).

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