Monthly Archives: February 2014

Anna playing pit orchestra

Anna is playing Violin I in the pit orchestra for the high school production of “Peter Pan”. She’s been going to practice for the past couple weeks, including days off from school and on Saturdays. The show started this past week and I was able to go this evening (Linda and Emily were participating in the Girl Scouts International Fair).

The music was well done, but I really enjoyed the show also. It’s fun watching the friends of my daughters up on stage. It’s even more fun knowing that the music is being made by my daughter!

The picture above is a peek into the side of the pit just as the show had ended.

Emily and her bad tonsil

Emily has been plagued by recurrent sore throats over the past 5 or 6 years.

On three separate occasions over the years, she had a swollen right tonsil that appeared to me to be a peritonsilar abscess. This is an infection around the tonsil that can become very serious, very quickly. If the infection continues to grow, it needs to be drained before it closes off the throat. Often, if caught early, it can be treated with antibiotics. Fortunately, whenever it seems like she needs treatment, I was able to prescribe some antibiotic and she always got better.

This past episode, the pain got better but the swelling of the right tonsil never went away. In hindsight, I’m not sure if it ever got better because I never really looked in her throat after she got better – because she got better! This time, I decided she needed to be seen by her pediatrician so that another doctor can help make the decisions as to what to do. It was determined that we should try a stronger antibiotic and watch. If it didn’t go away, we’d consult an ENT.

Well, it didn’t go away and an ENT was visited. He took one look in the mouth and clearly stated “That’s not a PTA – it’s a unilateral hypertrophied tonsil!”. That means, the tonsil is big on just the one side. However, this is an indication for removal of the tonsil (concerns about possible malignancy being of the highest concern). You can see in the picture that her right tonsil is significantly larger than the left.

The surgery was yesterday and she did awesome. I promised not to post the pictures of her that were taken in the pre-op area. She did remarkably well both before and after the procedure. She was very calm as we were waiting in pre-op and was absolutely amazing in post-op. It’s always funny how people react when they are coming out of anesthesia. Emily kept talking about Ellen Degeneres and Channing Tatum (I’m guessing the nurse was asking her about things she liked prior to arrival to the bedside). Emily asked us if Ellen was there and, when we told her that she wasn’t, she asked us if we could tell Ellen that she loves her. She was very chatty, but an absolute delight. The recovery nurse fell in love with her.

She recovered very nicely throughout the day and didn’t seem to have too much pain. However, by the end of the evening, it was catching up to her and the inflammation was really starting to kick in. Fortunately, hydrocodone elixir does wonders and she is hanging in there. Here’s to a very speedy recovery!

WPA Dance 2014



Anna and her friends met at the house the other night for pictures prior to the WPA Dance (reportedly, stands for Women Pay All). This is the current version of the Sadie Hawkins dance and it’s quite impressive how the dresses and suits rival that of Prom when I was younger.

Anna and her friends had dinner at one of our favorite Italian restaurants and then went on to the dance. I’m not sure how much dancing went on – but then they returned to the house for food and hanging out.

Emily chose not to participate in the WPA Dance; instead, she chose to hang out with her girlfriends, eat food, and watch movies.


Musically spoiled

For the past 3 weekends, we have spent an evening with the Kansas City Symphony. In fact, these 3 weekends have spoiled us something fierce. The first weekend was Mahler’s 9th Symphony – a 90-minute masterpiece that kept us spellbound until the very end.

Last weekend was fascinating with percussionist, Martin Grubinger of Salzburg, playing a Concerto for Percussionist and String Orchestra and Brass – 3 movements with three different sets of percussion instruments: wood (i.e., marimba, blocks), metal (i.e., xylophone, gong, chimes), and skins (drums, tympani). This was followed with Beethoven’s 5th Symphony – da-da-da-dummmm. That was one fabulous concert. Check out all of the percussion instruments lining the front of the stage (all played by one soloist):


Then, tonight we were delighted to hear Bernstein’s “On the Waterfront”. This was followed with Leon Fleisher, world renown pianist, playing Ravel’s Piano Concerto in D Major for Left Hand. This picture is Mr. Fleisher taking a bow with Maestro Michael Stern.


Finally, the evening ended with the Symphony playing Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade”. Absolutely amazing.

And to think – I get to sing with this group every now and then…

Snow Day 2014


School was cancelled for a second day after receiving over 10″ of snow throughout the day yesterday. Linda and I kept up with the driveway by shoveling every 3″ or so; woke up this morning to about 4-5″ in the driveway still. I went out and started shoveling when Phil came down with a snowblower and helped finish it off pretty quickly. We then went up the block and helped clear a few other drives and sidewalks. Steve joined us and I got this great shot of him using the blower:


Sally has enjoyed the snow and keeps begging to be let out so she can play in it. I got the above photo just after she had chased a squirrel along the fence.

Additionally, we took Emily out in the Jeep so she can practice driving in the snow. The main streets are plowed and in great shape; however, the neighborhood is still under 10″ of snow, so she got a great experience with 4-wheel drive and sliding around in lots of snow.