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Vivo! (And I don’t mean the tempo marking.) | This WONDERfilled Life

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It’s fall 2021, and I can’t believe we’re still in this mess of a pandemic.  That aside, our lives have sort of resumed something that looks like our life pre-COVID.  Both kids are back in in-person school, and while Super is still teaching from home my orchestral/music work is picking up steadily, though with heavy health protocols (which I am totally okay with). So we thought we’d try and get our outdoor theater up and running, if only for one night and a tiny amount of guests.  Netflix’s animated film, VIVO , came out a few weeks ago and it’s been a HIT here, but then pretty much anything LMM (Lin-Manuel Miranda) does is a hit here…ask me about my current Hamilton obsession! Annnny ways…we decided to just hold a small backyard movie night, and you know I can’t just have people over for something like that.  I have to make it an experienced even just a little one.  Given more time, I had some MAJOR plans for the backyard, which included a kids “Mambo Cubana” Club with lights and the

Spit Happens! | This WONDERfilled Life

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Some of you may remember waaaaayyyy back to the #52wonderfilledweeks challenge of 2018...this little project from Week 31 got a lot of attention in the horn world. Lot's of people talked about how I could make and sell these and while I totally agreed I had zero interest in doing that! My how things have changed.  I've used my spit pad everyday since making it.  I've had students use it. I wash it frequently and have used the mini one on several occasions where emptying on the floor didn't seem appropriate or safe at the random "one off gig". It's proved it's durability and usefulness to me over and over for the last two years! Now with COVID so prevalent most organization that have called to have me play have indicated that some sort of "puppy pad" or towel will need to be used on stage and disposed of or laundered at the end of every rehearsal and concert.  I brought my cute teal and birdie backed spit pad to a recording I did a few weeks

"PPE" - PERFORMING Protective Equipment | This WONDERfilled Life

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Seven months into COVID-19 and the arts everywhere are suffering and there's no end in sight.  Fortunately for me a few local organizations have decided to try and make the best of the situation and have had reduced ensembles meet under strict health and safety guidelines to RECORD performances to be streamed at a later date.  It's not ideal but...I'll take it! Last week I had my first orchestral gig since the first week of March.  Masks were required of all entering and playing except for those of us who cannot play with a mask on (most winds and brass).  Bell covers were provided and while the workmanship was impeccable it just didn't work.  So I set out to make a bell cover that is as functional as it is protective.   This is two layers of medium weight spandex, with an off set opening for the players hand.  It is machine washable and can be dried in the dryer, thought it's recommended to air dry to prolong the life of the garment.  These are made to order and my

Mary Poppins Returns | Backyard Movie Night Premiere | This WONDERfilled Life

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I. Am. So. Behind.  You'd think with being locked in my home for going on five months that I would have oodles of time to take care of things...but ironically I feel BUSIER than if I weren't being held in COVID limbo.  I'm adapting.  I'm learning tons of things.  Literally I am learning new skills but I'm also learning about myself and how to be accepting of things since, quite honestly, we have very little control over much of what is happening right now.   So far in 2020 we've dealt with: two puking kids at the same time two attempted home invasions a global pandemic losing my job(s) homeschooling the last three months of Kindergarten bedbugs (more on that later) dead possum under the patio deck Bubba rearranging the teeth in his mouth tornado touching down in the city of Chicago That last one happened a few weeks ago.  We spent an hour in our basement with the sirens blaring here in the city of Chicago.  Luckily we escaped with almost no damage.  I think we l