Two weeks ago, our local newspaper, the Reno Gazette-Journal, had an article about Galentines Day, a tradition of women celebrating their girlfriends on February 13. This started in 2010 on an episode of Parks and Recreation, a TV show I don’t watch, so this is the first time I heard of it. This sounded like fun to me so I texted the article out to some friends. My friend Alice especially liked the idea. We invited some our mutual friends and she invited more of her friends and so did I. I found some dollar-store-priced silver crowns with a fuschia “jewels” on Amazon and ordered those. Then on the morning of February 13, I got up early and composed an essay since I can’t give a toast:
Thank you for joining this first annual Galentines Day! When I read about it in the Reno Gazette-Journal last week, I thought that sounds fun! And since my diagnosis with ALS, and through writing my blog and the introspection that requires, I have come to value connections highly – I love my friends old and new! So today we are celebrating our friendships with girlfriends and I am so happy you are here – those that I am close with and those I hope to get to know better! And those who couldn’t be here due to illness or work or doctor’s appointments or geographic distances – I love you too.
Then I found this awesome online graphic:
I typed my essay in Word using fuschia comic sans font with the cute graphic at the bottom. I happened to have bright fuschia curling ribbon so I rolled up the papers and tied them with the ribbon. We met at noon at Red Robin and had reserved the atrium.
We ended up with 11 attendees and we had a lot of fun. Everyone got a crown and also a copy of my essay. Alice read my essay out loud for me, since I was not able to.
It was so much fun that we are going to plan another girls’ get together on St. Patrick’s day.
Then came Valentine’s Day. I got my boys some t shirts that haven’t arrived yet.
And I also found these great 3 year journals with a question for each day of the year.
On Valentine’s Day I got up early and then because I was extremely tired I decided to go back to bed after Andy left for school. When I woke up, I showered and got ready for my day. It was almost noon and when I sat down to eat lunch I noticed 6 cans in front of me. Oops! I forgot to eat breakfast. That is why I get 6 cans out each morning so I can keep track!
My dear husband, Stan, offered to take me to whatever store I wanted to buy jewelry. I picked the Neon Dragonfly on California without ever having been there, based on online reviews that they had eclectic gifts, clothing, and jewelry there. I looked at all the jewelry and picked out my favorite. Stan liked them too.
I had my lunch at 3 pm when we got home.
My wonderful step brother Brian invited Andy, along with my Dad and Anita, to have Valentine’s dinner at his house so Stan and I could go out. So very nice of him.
Stan and I went to Valentine’s dinner at Bistro 7. It was nice to have a quiet dinner together.Thank you Brian!
Throughout this week we had a bow saga. Last weekend while practicing, Andy noticed that his bow made his viola playing sound bad. I texted his teacher, who is also the conductor of the Youth Concert Orchestra (YCO), which meets on Monday afternoons, to ask if he could take a look at Andy’s bow. He did and said it needed to be rehaired. I texted one guy we know who works on violas but didn’t hear back. So I took it to the Blue Note B’s Horn Shop Music Store and Repair, another place with a strings repair guy. I left it to be rehaired, asking for it to be ready Wednesday because of YCO and the need to practice (and a lesson Saturday morning and a zone concert at school on Saturday afternoon.)
On Wednesday when I got home for lunch after aqua fitness class, there was a message on our home phone to please call about the bow because there are major issues. Knowing how quickly my son needed it back, and knowing that Stan wouldn’t be back until 3 pm, I tried to call back using my text to voice app on my phone. It took me three tries and two hangups before I figured out the right wording to start with. Instead of longer phrases I typed, “I am returning Brandon’s call”. That worked and they got Brandon for me. When Brandon picked up, I pushed the automatic button on my app that said, “I have a speech problem”. He had already met me with my Boogie Board so he was patient with me. He said there was a broken piece that would have to be rebuilt and the viola repairman had said he didn’t know when he would have time to do it, and also said that it would cost as much as buying a new bow. Brandon said he had a $50 fiberglass viola bow that we could buy as a backup bow. I said we would be by to see it. Andy had early release at 1:45 that day so I texted him to let him know I would pick him up. We went by the store and Andy was able to try it on one of their violas. He didn’t like the way it sounded but we bought it as a backup anyway. We also took Andy’s bow, without the hair, because we wanted to see if someone else could fix it. When we got home, Stan was home and when he saw the problem he knew how to take care of it.
He used a wood wedge and was able to get it to slide out.
Then I had him call Brandon at the music shop to tell him and Brandon said then bring it back. So I made my way back to the store for the third time in less than 24 hours. Brandon took the bow and the pieces Stan had removed and said that it would be fixed by the next day if Mr. Dodd came in that day.
On Thursday, Stan’s cousin Lisa arranged a lunch at Red’s in Carson City with Lisa, her dad, Uncle Keith, and Keith’s cousin who we call Aunt Kay. It was so nice. I hadn’t seen Aunt Kay in a long time. She is such a nice person!
I was able to give Lisa a Galentines Day crown and note because she had not been able to make it on Monday.
It is aways wonderful to visit with Uncle Keith too.
We drove back to Reno, arriving home after 3 pm and Andy was already home doing homework. I told him he had to try the backup bow in case his wasn’t ready for this weekend. So he tried it and it was significantly louder than his wooden bow. But it will work as a backup.
I like to go to aqua fitness on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Alice usually meets me there. Sometimes we can talk our husbands into joining us. It worked on Friday morning.
The instructor Misty gave Stan and Chuck a hard time. They were behind me so I didn’t see what happened but they must have stopped moving during the exercises. She took the whiteboard pen and wrote on the window to the warm therapy pool:
Misty – 1 Meg’s husband – 0
Misty – 1 Alice’s husband – 0
I think that motivated them because she erased it before the class was over.
After class, Alice was meeting her daughter but Stan, Chuck, and I decided to go eat at Betos, a little Mexican restaurant a few blocks away. Then we went to Blue Note B’s Music Store which was also nearby, to check on Andy’s bow since they hadn’t called. They recognized me immediately and went to see if it was ready. And it was! Brandon told us that the manufacturer had put the abalone piece in backward and that is why it was jammed. He said it slid right back in after the rehair. The music store was getting a delivery of a pallet of boxes and the semi truck was blocking our parking place so we had some time to look around. Chuck loves music and he especially enjoyed looking at all the instruments.
Then Saturday came and Andy had a 9 am lesson (rescheduled from Tuesday). Dustin, his instructor, said he had participated in a Reno Philharmonic Orchestra Reach program at Depoali Middle School on Friday and one student asked how important the bow was. Dustin said that one of his colleagues, a cello player, knew the most about it. He said bows were originally shaped like archery bows. Then in the 1500’s a new type of wood (Pernambuco) that had been brought back to Europe from South America was discovered in a shipyard by a string instrument maker who found that this wood was particularly good for bows and the shape changed to what it is now. Pernambuco is now an endangered species and the wood can’t be used anymore so different types of wood are used now. Bows are also being made of fiberglass or carbon fiber. Some carbon fiber bows rival the Pernambuco wood bows.
He had a great lesson then he came home to get ready for his school Zone concert that afternoon.
And that is the story of Galentines and Valentines all tied up with a bow.