7 Posts in 7 Days: Five Favorite Bach Pieces

Five Favorites

I’m feeling really twitchy about a family situation (I can’t discuss it publicly out of respect for that family member) so I’m up posting and I thought I’d listen to some Bach to calm me down.

For those who don’t know, I’m a classically trained pianist and vocalist. I rarely play piano publicly anymore and I don’t have opportunity to sing much because of Daniel. To be clear, I’m not a soloist — I’m one of those people who loves to lend support to a community choral group. Bach is considered “the master” and it was pretty much expected when I participated in Guild Auditions that one of my Baroque pieces would be something by Bach.


Concerto for Two Pianos C major BWV 1061 (Vivace) This is the third movement of the concerto and it’s a fugue. If I could, I would have this as the ring tone for my cell phone. I liken the piece to children playing tag with the way that the theme jumps from person to person and instrument to instrument. This particular video does a good job of showing it.


“Jesus bleibet meine Freude” BWV 147 The English for this one is “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and it should be familiar to many people. It was my first vocal solo (singing soprano with my friend Joyce doing second soprano and my friend Sunitha singing alto — absolutely terrifying for me but so incredibly wonderful) and it was also the processional at my wedding. I have probably 5 versions of it in my iTunes and on my “Bach and Baroque” playlist.


Prelude and Fugue No.12 in F Minor BWV 881 from “The Well-Tempered Clavier” This pianist does it well but my favorite version is from Windham Hill’s album “The Bach Variations” with Philip Aaberg playing it. I’m biased because he actually played it for a concert at the Montana Synod Assembly in 2006. I swear every bone in my body relaxed during it.


Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Sleepers Awake) BWV 645 My church choir director in high school was one of my professors in college. (I sang in the Women’s Chorale for 5 quarters and she was my conductor for 3 of them.) This is a piece that I remember her playing as an offertory when I was home from college.


“Little” Fugue in G minor, BWV 578 This is the piece that was used in Music Appreciation in high school to explain the structure of a fugue. It’s a pretty well-known piece and I chose this particular video to show you how insanely intricate it is. One of the reasons that Bach is considered “the master” for many people is that his music sounds so simple when in reality, it takes a great deal of skill to make it sound that way. Polyphony for the win!

Go love up Hallie and the others.

7 Posts in 7 Days: End Human Trafficking

A few minutes ago, my friend Presley posted this picture of Rand Paul:

Rand Paul demonstrating his commitment to end human trafficking.

(And yes, I’m aware that some of your heads just exploded at me posting a picture of Rand Paul on my blog. It happens.)

I responded by posting this picture:

Me demonstrating my commitment to end human trafficking.

What do the two of us have in common?

The answer: we are both committed to ending slavery and human trafficking.

I first learned of the issue in college and was inspired when I saw Gary Haugen of International Justice Mission speak at Urbana 2000. I’ve raised money for them and used to be on their mailing list. (Now that things are more settled for us, I think I need to get back on it.) As I’ve read about various people’s experiences with the issue, I’ve discovered that there are many who were completely fired up by that talk 13 years ago. I think the thing that really hit home for a lot of us was that he talked about the number 20,000 (the number of students at the conference) and how it relates to the issue worldwide. It was captivating enough that I remember almost every detail of that talk despite fighting bronchitis at the time. (All of us came home from the conference with respiratory ailments of some nature.)

Anyway, I challenge all of you to learn more about the issue and to watch the video above.

7 Quick Takes: A Smelly Box, Pick My Lenten Discipline, and California Rain

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Pick my Lenten discipline! I’ve decided to take a page from Fr. James Martin, S.J. and allow *someone else* to pick my Lenten discipline for this year. To enter the contest, click here to find the lovely Rafflecopter. The pre-reqs are super easy: leave me a comment and like this blog’s page on Facebook. I suck at updating it so it’s minimal as far as impact to your Facebook wall.

— 2 —

Orphans. Do you see these sweet children?

L-R: Brett and Iris

Brett still needs a mama. Iris finally has a family committed to her and they were supposed to have met her on the 29th.

— 3 —

Rain! I replaced my Old Navy flip-flops a couple days ago and wore them out. It started raining shortly after. You’re welcome, northern California. It’s not stopping me from wearing my flip-flops though. 😉

— 4 —

Sibling rivalry. Daniel climbed into my lap a few minutes ago, wrapped in the afghan my mother-in-law made for my husband when she was pregnant with him 36+ years ago. I sent Jon to go fetch Daniel’s own “mommy blankie” which I made for him when he was a red panda cublet in utero 5 (!!!) years ago. Daniel followed after him, dragging Jon’s afghan like Linus with his blankie. The little monster is back on my lap snuggled up with his own blankie. Edda is sitting on the back of the recliner meowing at me to make Daniel go away because I am *HER* mommy.

— 5 —

Smelly box. One of Daniel’s ABA tutors noticed him smelling his feet and getting excited about me putting alcohol gel on his hands so she suggested a “smelly box” where I put stuff like lip gloss, lotion, and other things he can smell instead of his feet or a pen. (He gets a rather “colorful” face from markers.) Any ideas for things to stick in there or what scents to put in?

And yes, I did get “Smelly Cat” stuck in my head while typing this.

— 6 —

Interesting idea. I was reading Beth Anne’s site and saw this on her sidebar. For those needing a system for keeping track of bills and mail, go check it out!

— 7 —

Special intention. For those praying for my special intention, especially in regard to forgiveness, I wanted to let you know that the prayers for forgiveness are working. Please continue praying for discernment. Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com.

7 Posts in 7 Days: Baby Names

Many of the people doing 7 Posts in 7 Days are taking part in Kathryn’s baby name link-up so I thought I’d share.

My son Daniel James is named after Jon’s great-uncle Daniel (a WWII hero) and my father James. If Daniel had been a girl, he would have been Kathleen Moira after my mom (Kathleen) and Mary, the Mother of God. We made this decision on the second day of Jon’s trip to visit me for the first time in college and I know part of it was inspired by my aunt’s practice of giving her daughters the names of their great-grandmothers as their middle name.

I can’t remember what our second boy would be named but if we have another child and it’s a girl, she’ll be Hannah Grace. Hannah comes from Samuel’s mother Hannah who was strong in her faith. Grace is from one of my great-grandmothers. The other option for a girl would be Annika Leah with Annika being a name we like and Leah being another of my great-grandmothers.

7 Posts in 7 Days: Pick Jen’s Lenten Discipline!

So Lent starts next week and I’m trying to come up with ideas for my Lenten discipline this year. In the past, I have…

-given up meat (and ended up vegetarian for 5 years after)
-given up chocolate
-given up soda
-given up swearing (which lasted all of one day though to be fair, I was pregnant)
-taken on the making of afghan squares
-taken on blogging about faith daily (2012)
-taken on blogging about religious music daily (2013)

I know! I’ll take a page from Fr. James Martin, S.J. and let someone else determine my Lenten discipline this year! Rafflecopter for the opportunity is below. Winner will be chosen next Tuesday at 12:00 PST and notified by email. You need to give me my discipline by 11:59 PST that evening.

I should probably clarify that there are a couple limits:

1.) I’m pre-diabetic so I *have* to eat — no surviving on bread and water.
2.) Assume that whatever I do needs to be Daniel-friendly.
3.) It cannot break any commandments or rules of the church.

Lenten Discipline Giveaway

7 Posts in 7 Days: The Big Purse Dump!

Kendra at Catholic All Year had the idea of doing a purse dump. So…

My black purse.
My lovely purse from Thirty One.

The contents.
The contents

Let’s see…

[+] Wallet. This would be my driver’s license, credit cards, store discount cards, some stamps, and a couple gift cards.

[+] My WIC paperwork. My WIC checks, booklet, some necessary paperwork like my husband’s paystubs, and proof of Daniel’s tests for lead and iron are in this packet.

[+]Cosmetic case. This would be my Lactaid pills, Immodium AD, nail clippers, emery board, some chapstick from Burt’s Bees, lotion, my inhaler, a comb, and a mirror.

[+] Religious paraphernalia. This would be my Rosary (made by Sara of A Shower of Roses) and a chaplet (made by Rebecca of Literary Spring Designs). Can you tell that I (the Lutheran pastor’s wife) hang with Catholics?

[+] Contents of the front zippered pocket. This would be my checkbook and passport. I have my passport in there because my driver’s license is a royal pain to get out of my wallet when I’m buying wine at Trader Joe’s. (Not that they card me anymore…)

[+] Contents of the front pocket. This is where my sunglasses, cell phone, alcohol gel, keys, and day planner live. There were also a few assorted receipts but nothing half as bad as my old purse. (I switched in November.) Oh yes… the “pocket ruby” (to remind me that my worth is far above rubies) from the Bible study I attended last week is in here as well.

[+] Main zippered pocket. I keep my wallet, WIC stuff, cosmetic case, and the spacer for my inhaler in here.

[+] Back pocket. In this pocket, I have some maxi pads, Kleenex (I switched purses the night before a funeral), a picture of Daniel on Santa’s lap looking like “WTF???” (we don’t do Santa with him), a blank thank-you card, two Salvation Army suckers, and a menu for my favorite gyro place in Elk Grove.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: February 23, 2014

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY February 23, 2014

Outside my window… dark. As usual, I’m blogging after everyone has gone to bed.

I am thinking… about the wife and kids of a family member who passed away this weekend.

I am thankful… for a good weekend with my parents.

In the kitchen… lots of dishes.

I am wearing… Online Debate Team shirt and black capri sweats.

I am praying for… family members, the ability to forgive.

I am going… to start campaigning for the Promise Walk this week.

I am wondering… what is possessing me to do the 7 posts in 7 days challenge from Jen @ Conversion Diary.

I am reading… The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning by Simcha Fisher. It’s pretty good.

I am hoping… my counseling appointment goes well tomorrow.

I am looking forward to… my massage on Friday.

I am hearing the space heater in the bedroom.

Around the house… lots to pick up.

A favorite quote for today… “Reality, in fact, is always something you couldn’t have guessed. That’s one of the reasons I believe Christianity. It’s a religion you couldn’t have guessed.” — C.S. Lewis

One of my favorite things… purry black cats, even when they are sitting in front of the keyboard being a pest. (Can you tell that Edda is helping me write?)

A few plans for the rest of the week: counseling appointment tomorrow, ABA for Daniel in the afternoons, Morning Prayer on Tuesday, trying to get devotions compiled, and I have a massage appointment scheduled for Friday. (Lest it sound like I live a spa life, the massage is to help treat my fibromyalgia.)

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