Let there be light

Since moving into our house in March of 2003, we have been living in relative darkness – in our living room, that is. The only installed lights in the room are three can lights over the fireplace at the far end of the room. We’ve added lamps, but they really didn’t do much to light the room, just give enough light from which one could read.

We’ve painted the walls lighter colors, which helped a bit. However, when we added on the sunroom to the back of the house, it covered the one large window of the living room – thus blocking out even more sunlight. The room was getting darker and we didn’t like it.

We discussed having an electrician install more can lights throughout the ceiling – that would surely get more light in the room. However, this was an obviously expensive option. We thought about painting all of the decorative wood paneling in the room white so that could brighten the room up; this was an unpopular option.

Finally, we wished out loud about how nice it would be if the ceiling fan in the middle of the ceiling had a light on it. We knew there were light kits out there, but neither of us are electricians. Linda decided it was worth my potential electrocution to see if we could do it ourselves.

All it took was a trip to The Home Depot, $25 and 10 minutes of my time and IT WORKS.

Here are pictures to show the difference. The first picture is the room fully lit to its full potential prior to the light kit being added.

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Dance recital 2012

Tonight was the 2012 dance recital for Anna and Emily. This year has been a big one for them as they took their tap, ballet, and pointe ballet to a higher level.

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Most importantly, the girls had a change in dance teacher halfway through the year because their original teacher, Miss Nina, required open-heart surgery. Luckily, Miss Nina’s daughter, Miss Vicki, was able to step in and continue the classes.

Miss Nina is doing well and recovering, but has only been able to supervise from a chair. All of the kids and adults in “Miss Nina’s Dancing Darlings” did a fabulous job tonight. Below is Miss Nina with her son and also her daughter, Miss Vicki.

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There were also a couple cute dances performed by the little kids – this is how little Anna and Emily were when they started about 10 years ago.

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Happy 19th Anniversary

19 years ago today – May 22, 1993 – Linda and I got married at St Isidore’s Catholic Church in Manhattan, KS. We were surrounded with great friends and all of our family.

Looking at the picture of our wedding party provides a lot of smiles – we have regular contact with all but two of the guys. The two flower girls (my cousins) are grown and are starting families of their own. The others are all good friends and we think of them often.

Boy, were we all young back then…

Summer Lovin’ – Grease is the Word

This past Friday night, the four of us packed up and headed to a local park for an outdoor movie – “Grease” – presented by the Lenexa Parks and Recreation at Electric Park.  What a fun time.  The song, Summer Lovin’, has to be one of the favorite sing-along songs for me and Linda.  I did my best to not be heard over the movie.

The whole setup was pretty cool – the screen was a blowup device (much like the bouncy-houses that little kids play in).  The projector was very good and they had two large speakers providing the audio.  There were at least several hundred people there – and I think they all had as much fun as we did.

Friends in the Doctor’s Lounge

Monday night was great because I got to spend it with some very good friends in The Doctor’s Lounge (the screened-in patio in my back yard). A friend that spends most of his time out of town was able to come over to enjoy cigars and share some rare beers. We get to see each other about 4 or 5 times a year when he’s back in town.

The evening improved when we were able to convince another friend to join us for a cigar later in the evening. Finally, the evening was completed when a work friend joined us late at night after he got off work. There we were – me being the only connection to all of us – four men enjoying cigars and conversation.

It will probably be months before the four of us would ever have a night that we could all meet again. However, this past night was special enough to last for several more months. What a wonderful way to finish off a beautiful night in the Doctor’s Lounge.

Alumni Choir of Kansas State University

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This past weekend, I joined about 20 other former choir members of the Kansas State University Concert Choir. Among us were individuals that sang in the choir as long ago as the late 1960’s. Helping us out on soprano were three high school students that were daughters of some of the alumni.

We met on Saturday to rehearse the music and then sang on Sunday morning for the 11:00 Mass at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. We sang a William Byrd Kyrie, a Mozart Gloria, Schubert’s Sanctus, and Ralph Vaughn Williams Agnus Dei.

I really wish we had a recording of the music because it sounded great. It’s amazing what can be done in just 24 hours (plus the preparation we each did prior to meeting this weekend).

What a wonderful way to meet up with old friends and meet new ones. In fact, one of the tenors was a groomsman in my wedding. Good to see you again, Rob!

The really cool thing about this group – we’re going to be singing at Carnegie Hall this winter. We will be singing Haydn’s Paukenmesse.

Photo courtesy Mark Kahler.