Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lessons from Chopin

Enthusiastically The Teenager recalled the highlights of a classical music video he watched in Freshman English class. I listened with interest as he repeated a statistical reference that 3% of the population enjoys classical music, and yet the TED talks video claimed everyone likes classical music they just don't know it yet.

Music is part of my soul, loving everything from old school Fleetwood Mac to new favorites like  "Move like Jagger". And yet I responded ambivalently with..."Ya, I don't love classical music." It's the typical sentence I give when "lukewarm" about a topic...not my best mother moment.

With the Teenager's music reflections floating around in my head the next day, I searched for the video. Something had impassioned my son and I needed to discover for myself what it was. With amazing Internet sleuthing skills I soon found Benjamin Xander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic who delivers a charismatic passionate charge for classical music.

His piano Chopin prelude so beautifully performed was both moving and exhilarating. Xander gave instruction to listen and understand the Vision of the entire prelude and not just the note-to-note.

What the great conductor expresses with keys of the piano ring true. The similarities between life and Chopin emerge....seeing life as an entire journey and not just the joy or pain of the day.

Listen to it and see if you don't feel the same insight. Furthermore, Xander inspires as he humbly asks "Who am I being, that my children's eyes are not shining?" Isn't that lovely...and all from a little Chopin.

While definitely inspired by Benjamin Xander, my greatest satisfaction came from simply listening and learning from my son. Admittedly, I still have much to glean from each of my offspring... including the heavenly one.

As I sit down to this post and write under photos of my soon to be concert pianist grand babies, I can assure you there is Mozart, Vivaldi, and especially Chopin in the background accompanying my thoughts. 

What are you listening to?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Young Woman to Admire

The Garlick Press has been involved in a couple of projects; one has put me in Jocie's room quite frequently (more on that later). Last night I picked up one of her books that had virtually remained unopened for the past three years. I came across a slip of paper titled "Women I Admire." Three names made the list. While I consider it an honor to be identified among the other two, it was the last name on the list that resonates with me today...Sarah Burke. 

If you follow women's freestyle skiing at all, then you are aware the impact Sarah Burke has made both on and off the mountain. Sarah is the most well-known athlete in her sport. She set the standard for skiing in the superpipe and lobbied the Olympic committee to add superpipe skiing to the Olympic Winter games. She finally won the Olympic officials favor...the sport is set to debut in Sochi Russia at the 2014 Olympic Games. Many consider her to be a favorite for the gold medal in the inaugural superpipe competition. During off-time, Sarah also occupies her days with charity work.

Heartbreaking news...Sarah Burke passed away today in Park City, nine days after crashing at the bottom of a training run on the superpipe.

I can't help but weep for her family, knowing how empty their hearts and lives will be without this incredible young woman. The pain is all too familiar; an eternal wound that never quite heals. Both Sarah and Jocie left this world doing the very thing they loved most in many of us will be able to say that? My prayers humbly reach out to every member of Sarah's grieving family.

Undeniably, she was Jocie's idol in the skiing world, but it was Sarah's charitable work that my impressionable young fifteen-year old daughter thought notable in her list. I believe that speaks volumes to Sarah's impact on young women. Because of her passion for skiing and the desire to make our world a better place, Sarah's legacy will carry on where her physical life has been cut short.

Tonight...I have to imagine Jocie and Sarah will somehow meet on those snow-covered slopes in heaven. Appropriately...the heavens are showering Sarah's earthly departure with snowflakes.

Bless you will be missed!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


The Teenager knew for an entire week that it was on the way...counting down the days as if he were an anxious preschooler waiting for Christmas!

 But when the man in brown finally delivered the extra large box all the way from New York...

 he was absolutely giddy!

 Olivia seemed to be more interested in the awesome packing.

Who knew that little white puffs of styrofoam could be so entertaining.

 Little Henry was not feeling the same enthusiasm.

The gift came with specific Frank in NYC as soon as The Teenager opened it.

This sweet vintage electric guitar in mint condition is an authentic American made Fender Strat from the 1970's. A collector's guitar, the Stratocaster has been the electric guitar of choice for super rock stars including Jimi Hendrix.

Drooling, and picking out chords even before hooked up to an amp...Chet was pretty amazed at how "mint" this guitar was. Mint is a term of endearment that Chet and Frank share!

Even Momma Cass wanted a turn with the new baby. 

Personally, I love that there are years of melodies just oozing from the bridge of this guitar. Just imagine the fingers that have been carefully placed on each fret to make the perfect note time after time. 

Now this guitar comes with a strict list of Frank's rules:

  1.  ENJOY IT!
  2. It is an heirloom, it can only go back to Frank or a Garlick child if Chet decides not to play it. It is a super specially worked fine tuned instrument, not an off-the-shelf model. It needs to be kept in the case or on a stand…no throwing around the room or bashing it like a rock star!
  3. Play your heart out!!!

The Garlick Press is completely over the moon and so appreciative of this totally "mint" gift! The next time you stop sure to ask The Teenager for a private gig.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Blatant, shameless...

Blatant, shameless...

and adorable free advertising with the grand-babies.

 So Henry...tell us why you are so happy?

Ah shucks...

"It's my jiggystick lip balm, aren't I handsome?"

Olivia, what do you think about about using other lip balms?

"I don't care for that!"

"Raspberry Vanilla jiggystick is my favorite!"

Seriously, any day with babies is wonderful...

but it's an absolutely perfect day when Olivia and Henry are around!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Knit Loose

Ridiculously laughing out of control, we completely lost it just about the same time we began singing "Knit loose, knit loose...everybody knit loose" sung to the Footloose tune.

You know..."Kick off your Sunday shoes...knit loose."

Over the holidays, Lawyer Girl, Momma Cass and I got a wild hair and plunged into the knitting world. After all...I quilt, embroider, cross-stitch, smock and even hard could it be?

Evidenced by mild swearing, numerous empty Diet Coke cans, frustrated sighs, and Lawyer girl's stress-relieving yoga headstands...pretty difficult!

That's what you get when you try to teach yourself to knit.

So we did what every other self-respecting novice knitter should do...we googled...and quickly discovered Judy-knitter to the stars on You Tube..

"And again you put the needle through, take the yarn and wrap it around, push it down toward you...pull it forward and off the needle" says Judy.

And again..."You just keep going and going and going" says annoying Judy.

Sometime after undoing our stitches approximately 800 times, Judy started to make a tiny bit of sense.

"And again you just get into the rhythm of it!"

By the end of her vacation, Lawyer Girl had become our resident knitting guru!

"And just get into it...practice, practice, practice."

That's enough Judy!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

And lastly...Adorable December

Wrapping up was easy-peasy to find Adorable things during the month of December.

  • Olivia unwrapped her gift from Papa and found a Yo Gabba Gabba Muno doll...he was so proud of himself for picking it out.  The two of them have a little routine...Olivia hands Papa the TV remote, bats her adorable blue eyes, and presto...her favorite show appears on the screen! Everybody wins!

  •  And one for Henry too...Roby is the little green guy on Yo Gabba Gabba. 

  • Lawyer Girl claims I spoiled the babies for Christmas. But I couldn't help myself, and it seems neither could Papa.

  • Chubby little pink arms reaching out to you followed by those smoochy grand baby kisses...are simply impossible to resist.  

  • Something she likes to call..."crafter-noon"! Yup, surprised all of us when Lawyer Girl picked up a paint brush instead of her computer one afternoon.

  •  Adorable Danny...she's baa-aack!

  • Eggs...apparently happy chickens are laying chickens here at The Garlick Press, even during the cold winter months! 

  • And finally, the first Christmas card from The Garlick Press since our loss. My adorable friend Michelle gently nudged me into taking this step.

For The Garlick Press, it's been an adorable and remarkable year...thanks for following along with us.

May 2012 be just as adorable for each of you!