Hilltop Diary, April 19, 2023

Oliver and CrystalI am much relieved to share the news that our dear cat Oliver is well now! He had lost a lot of weight due to hyperthyroidism, but after two months on medicine his blood test and weight are back to normal! He gave us a bit of a scare. We’ll have to keep him on the medicine permanently, though.

7 lakie

This past weekend we attended the “Lakie Awards” at Nashville’s Lakewood Theater, where Crystal has done two shows. We were there for her to present the award for Best Director, but she also snagged one herself, a nice one – Best Actress! That was awarded for her smashing lead role last year as Rosalind/Ganymede in Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Here is a photo of her graciously accepting the award. She just keeps challenging herself with more and more difficult and impressive roles and has been working so hard to grow in her craft. How wonderful that it is getting noticed.

Now, here’s a nasty job! Yuck! On Monday, I finally got our backyard fountain cleaned up and running for summer 2023! The sound of outdoor running water, whether fountain or stream or ocean surf, is truly music to my soul. Just to illustrate the fact that I probably have too much time on my hands, I documented the experience in photos, in case you also have too much time on your hands and want to look at them and read the captions.

2023 fountain montage

New OrleansA week from now I will be heading down to mysterious New Orleans for the gala premiere screening of a documentary film on music (“The Meaning of Music”) for which I was interviewed, along with Manfred Honeck, conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and various people known for other styles of music. Several months ago, a film crew came to Nashville and followed me around for a whole “day in the life of a composer,” but I don’t know how much of that will be used.

New Orleans is a good place for me to visit, as I am possibly the world’s biggest fan of raw oysters. They have nice big fat and affordable ones. You practically have to take out a loan to order an appetizer of raw oysters in Nashville at $30 for a half dozen ($5 each), and they tend to be puny.

My one-hour radio show episodes, thirty-five of them now, are all finally complete, and the show is “done.” It was fun to conclude on a lighter note with episodes featuring soundtrack music from the classic biblical epic movies like The Robe, favorite pieces from several ballets, classical music with a Spanish flavor, and popular encores from the symphony concert stage. You can now hear all 35 shows streaming, and for free, by clicking on the “Adventures” link at the top of this page.

mower pullIt’s time to get back to composing, but the weather now also demands mowing another big section of the lawn almost every day in my ragged old jeans with my humble push-style gas mower – you know, the kind where you have to pull the cord several times to get it to start (nice work out). This is in contrast to my neighbor in his perfect jump suit on his gleaming riding mower. I lose that competition, if it is one. Hank Hill MowingBut I must confess, mowing has always been one of my favorite things to do on a beautiful, sunny day in the fresh air, with the smell of fresh-cut grass. No riding mowers or self-propelled mowers for me! Yesterday, I made some fresh iced tea using Lipton tea bags and a big handful of mint that grows wild on one the side of the house – refreshing to drink after mowing. Just enough Stevia to take off the bitter edge but not quite sweet.

I hope your spring has also sprung with a bit of boing!

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