Monday, November 3, 2008

The piano's here! The piano's here!

Not even close to a new one, but I'm so pleased! I'll have to ask Mom and Dad what year they bought this. I wonder if it's an official antique?

Before I get to that adventure, I posted the Black Bean Soup recipe over on Kitchen Chatter. It's the same recipe I posted here, but with a picture of how my soup turned out. If any of you make it (Laini mentioned that she was planning on it), let me know how it turned out for you!

Okay, the piano. Jana (my niece) called around 9 and said that they'd just left, so I knew they were on their way. (While I waited, I was going to read some blogs, but I accidentally hit "mark all as read" for ALL the blogs I follow, rather than the one I was reading at the time. Argh! So if I didn't get by today, it was because of that. If I know you update daily, I tried to get over and visit. I'm back on track now!) About 10 minutes later, Brian (her husband) called and asked me to ask the guys if one of them accidentally picked up his staple gun--he had been using it that morning, and looked everywhere for it...but it was gone.

So the guys get here, and were very happy to be able to back the truck up to the basement sliding glass door and take it in that way. They only had to move it 20-30 feet. I asked the guy about the staple gun, and he said, "No, didn't see anything like that. Unless it's in the bench, and maybe one of his kids did it." Sure enough, when he unloaded the bench, he said, "Yeah, something's in here." And there was the staple gun. When I emailed Brian after they left, he said that he (Brian) had taken the cushion off the bench and put it inside. When the guy carried the bench out, he'd taken the cushion back the lyin' sack of s*** tried to steal Brian's staple gun! And then had the nerve to blame it on my great-nephew or great-niece! Brian said the kids weren't even there--they were already off to school. Granted, it's not like it was an expensive drill or anything, and we would have replaced whatever it was, but what nerve. I told Brian I'm so glad he called me so we could catch the guy out on his lie. They did a good job, but I would never recommend them based on that little piece of dishonesty. Now that I think about it, though, the guy cracked his head a good one on the part of the ceiling that is built around the ducts or whatever--it hangs down about a foot from the regular ceiling, and Ken conked his head pretty good when we first moved in here. I felt bad for the moving guy at the time, but it looks like he got a little payback for what he tried to do, didn't he? You can't hide from Karma! Even in the basement of Nutwood!

Anyhoo, the piano is back with me now. It's a Wurlitzer, and a little dinged up--it was quite the traveler for a while...Georgia, North Dakota, Indianapolis...but all in all, not too bad. I was also pleasantly surprised to hear that it doesn't sound too bad, although it definitely will need a tuning at some point. I also seem to recall that some of the keys were awfully "sticky," but that must have been because it spent a while in the extremely humid atmosphere of the north Georgia mountains. When I sat down and played a little, I didn't notice much sticking. I tried dusting the wood really well, but there are a lot of nooks and crannies, so I'll do it again.

It brought back such a rush of memories to see it! I played it a lot in high school, usually right after I got home. Some of you wondered what I liked to play. Mostly classical (nothing too complicated), but I remember I had an old, ripped up book from the '40's, I think, that had songs like "Don't Fence Me In" and "I Got a Gal from Kalamazoo" and I loved to play those! Ha ha! I'd give anything to find out what happened to that book. Maybe I'll see if I can find something similar on eBay. One of my favorites in that book was "Stardust" by Hoagy Carmichael. I also did Christmas songs at that time of year. Oh, and I had the sheet music to "Glow Worm"! I loved that was an old piece of sheet music, too. I remember it included the German name of the song, "Glühwürmchen." Mom told me she always enjoyed hearing me play while she was getting dinner ready. That was so sweet of her, because I'm really not very good.

Ken mentioned that I'm self-taught. That's correct. I'm sure that if I'd said "I want to take lessons," my folks would have said yes, but both of my sisters took lessons, so we had all of their lesson books, and I had music classes in grade school, so I learned how to read music there. Once I knew the notes, it was easy enough to start playing. A few of you were kind enough to say you'd like Ken to tape me playing. I thank you very much for your interest, but I have to respectfully decline. It's for your own good, believe me! Since I never took lessons, I'm not very technically correct, and I definitely hit some clinkers! But I just do it for fun, so I'm cool with that.

I started looking for music books on Amazon, but thought, "Hey, I wonder if there's free stuff online?" Well, of course there is! Everything from the very basics to more advanced pieces. I printed out a few things, including "Ode to Joy" and one of what was always one of my favorites, Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata. I actually printed out a couple of versions of that one, one that was really easy and one that was a little harder. I sat down and played for the first time in probably 15 years, and was surprised to see how much I remembered! I still need to work on my low notes, but I can still read music, at least enough to get by. I was delighted, and I'm not ashamed to say it brought a little tear to my eye. I think when I finished one of the "Moonlight" Sonata versions without butchering it too badly, I actually actually clapped a little bit and said, "Yay!" as in "I can still do this!"

Welcome back, Mr. Piano!


  1. What a delightful entry...I still want to see you play even if it's just an email to me, an audience of one. In your favor. I'm I won't hear the clinkers *winks*. Glad Mr. Piano is back where he belongs. (Hugs)Indigo

  2. There is something very very special about having a piano at the centre of your home. My eldest daughter and my M-in-law are very talented musically..I love to hear them playing

  3. I have been wondering ... anywho, that is so cool that you learned on your own. I wonder what kind of little sister you would have been ..?

    You do it for fun, and you are cool with that ... that is so super cool.

    Iggy "popped" up today!

  4. I love the piano, my dad played by ear..It is a god given talent..

  5. I got tickled at your own accomplishment of getting through Moonlight Sonata! I LOVE that piece, and that is the one I can never get down. I have most of it down pretty good, but I know my beat is too slow. And if you have mastered it, without go girl! I totally was going to ask you the same...record and post yourself playing.

    I love my piano. One day, if we ever move~I want a baby grand. My upright hasn't been tuned in years...and the keys tend to stick now a days....but I love sitting there.

    Mom always used to tell me...."I know your mood when you sit down to play...I hear it in your hands..."

    Glad you have it with you......Happy Sonata'ing~

  6. My sister and I use to sneak down to our neighbor's house and sit on her porch to hear her play the piano by ear. We loved Under The Double Eagle and Rancho Grande. Have fun with your piano.

  7. I am glad that you got your piano. I hope you have fun with it. Linda

  8. Oh no! With the end of the campaign and now a new piano, are we likely to lose you as a daily blogger? :-)

  9. I am curious, why Mr. Piano. Seem kind of sexist to me :o)

    It looks nice, but we now really need to paint the wall.

  10. And she's a beauty - as is your entry. Take care and have a wonderful tomorrow!

  11. wow Beth!
    Big Congratulations wiht that beautiful piano!
    Could we know in the next few days what music you play on it:ei;composer with the names of the pieces?

  12. Ok, now practivce and then have hubby shoot a video of you playing it and post it so we can hear you play. We're waiting~ Linda in Washington

  13. Enjoy!
    My musical talent consists of listening, to my(piano teacher) grandmother's chagrin!
    :) Leigh

  14. Hi Beth,
    Congrats ... and piano isn't such an easy instrument to teach yourself! I took lessons for years and don't think I'd remember how to play today if someone asked ...

  15. At age 10 or so, I used to sit beside my girlfriend as she practiced her piano lessons. She hated it but I loved watching her and listening and wishing it were me taking the lessons!

    My family couldn't afford for me to take lessons.

    I had a coffee table the shape of a baby grand piano all was spectacular! Unfortunately, during a move, it got totally ruined.

    Hugs, Rose

  16. I am ready any time you are to have Ken video tape your first recital. lol!!
    my BFF in HS had a white piano and it is the only piano i was ever close to and she showed me how to use one finger to play half of "Mary had a Little Lamb". Pathetic i know but i still can do it. I love the pic and so glad you have that piano now. Also glad the lying bum whacked his head. XOXO

  17. I'm happy to hear it is now safe & sound with you. I am sure you will have hours of pleasure playing. Just to let you know, I wouldn't know if you hit a wrong note or not...I just love hearing the piano. :)

  18. Hi Beth,
    Glad "Mr. Piano" is back home! A Wurlitzer - very nice! And about the staple gun. You're right. How valuable the item is isn't the point - it's the principle of the thing and it's still stealing. Glad you got it.

    Post a video of you playing sometime, OK?


  19. Awe...nice piano story. My Mother used to play by ear. She would entertain us with "The Old Piano Blues", "Bell Bottom Trousers" and some of her favorite old hymns. Glad you have it back.


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