Friday, December 2, 2016


Here's some of what's happening:

  • We wound up making a day trip to Austin the Saturday after Thanksgiving and getting the baroq-ulele (the lute-shaped ukulele) at Fiddler's Green, the Irish/folk music store.  I had initially planned to get the concert-sized version, but it looked so dinky in the store and sounded so quiet that we went for the baritone, which is much louder.  We also got C a leather strap.  We have never owned a baritone before (and still don't own a tenor), but the nice lady at the store was able to restring it in standard ukulele tuning for C, so C can just use her existing skills.  (The deal is that soprano, concert and tenor ukuleles are typically tuned GCEA while baritone ukuleles are typically tuned DGBE.  Nope, I don't actually know what that means.)   
  • After Fiddler's Green, the girls and I went to the Thinkery and the nearby playground, while my husband and D went to Crux Climbing Center in Austin.    
  • Fun fact--I have only been to Austin three times, and each time was ukulele-centered and in roughly the last year. 
  • C played A LOT on her new baroq-ulele for the rest of the weekend.  
  • She is finding some of the chords a real stretch on the larger instrument.  
  • C says she prefers the tone of her concert-sized Snail ukulele to the new baritone.  I think I do, too (and her private teacher loves the Snail), but the baroq-ulele has amazing visual appeal.  Her class is going to be providing a song for a Shakespeare performance at school, and C is planning to use the baroq-ulele for that.    
  • We had Ukulele Club at school this week.  As planned, the kids and I baked gingerbread cookies for a special holiday season meeting and Baby T got to do a lot.  (Awful fact--the ukulele cutter does not work in the real world--the necks break off.  But the stubbier cookie cutters work fine.  We had a very nice rhinoceros and the kangaroo came out surprisingly well.)  I did a double batch and we kind of fizzled after the first batch of cut-out cookies.  However, I was prepared for that eventuality.  I have a huge Wilton gingerbread man mold, and I just patted down the rest of the dough into the pan.  I baked it 12 minutes (which was probably slightly too long--I was guesstimating) and took it to the club meeting in the pan, hoping it would come out.  After some security failures, we wound up with a very modest box of the small gingerbread cookies, but we also had the monster gingerbread man.  
  •  I had to take Baby Girl to the Ukulele Club meeting.  It was not ideal (there was a lot of squeaking about needing a bandaid and her dropped gingerbread cookie), but it was OK--especially with the cookies.  There were five girls at the meeting including C.  The monster gingerbread man came out of the pan perfectly and he and the cookies were well-received.  The gingerbread man had a nice cake-like texture, not crispy like the small cut-outs from the same dough.  
  • C's godfather is in town!
  • The school year is wrapping up--slightly less than three weeks now.  The big kids are doing very well.
  • Baby T's potty-training is a work in progress.  I'd say she's about 2/3 of the way there.  I'm not panicking (yet) because she's made a lot of progress in the last 3.5 months and she has an older sibling who took several months longer to train.  But she also has a sibling who had been potty trained a couple of months at this point...No panic!

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