Monday, August 31, 2015

Hits and Misses (August 23-29)

Here's a look back at the week that was......


  • This week I visited First Baptist Church in Plainview. I thoroughly enjoyed the music and sermon. When I left, I was convinced that I had found my new church home.
  • Life has a way of throwing kinks in your plans sometimes. I have been offered a paid position at a local church. I have already visited the church. I felt welcomed and liked what I saw, but there was just "something" missing. I've met the pastors personally of both churches I am considering joining and I am confident that I could blossom under both of their leaderships in different ways. Now I have a decision to make! The additional income from the church pianist position would come in very handy; I'm just not sure that I'm ready to accept that level of responsibility again. I'll continue to think and pray about it.
  • It's been a very busy week, but I've been mostly pleased with how things have gone so far. Playing for the University's convocation was fine.....I wish I could have sat back and simply watched the proceedings, but it was not a big deal. Opera rehearsals have gotten started this week and I didn't butcher any of the rehearsals too badly. I will be learning the rest of Act I of the Mikado this week.
  • On Friday morning, I traveled to Lubbock for the monthly meeting of the local chapter of the Music Teachers' National Association. They are an "interesting" group of women there with lots of things to talk about. The meeting certainly made an impression on me.
  • To bring the week to a close, I enjoyed dinner with Deidre Redmond at Furr's. Deidre and I met during New Faculty Orientation this year and became fast friends. It was very funny when we realized that we live just across the street from each other. Now that the semester has taken off fast and furious for both of us, we knew we would have to set aside time to see each other. It was wonderful to get out of the office and enjoy conversation with another adult. We will definitely have to do that again very soon.
  • It was hard to believe that this was the one year anniversary of Dad's triple bypass surgery. It has been a long year filled with lots of ups and downs, hopes and fears for the Freeman family. Through it all, God has been faithful and has shown His tremendous love and care for us in ways that we could never have imagined.


  • Since Richard was out of town for a performance this week, I covered his choir rehearsals. I didn't mind doing it at all and actually enjoyed getting to hear the students sing and working with another conductor. What I didn't enjoy, however, was sight reading open scores! I know they are useful and a fact of the musician's life, but I still hate them! Just give me a piano reduction already!
  • It seems there has been a stomach bug going around this week. I didn't feel great at all on Wednesday, but nothing seemed to be "strange" either. That night, I thought I was going to be in trouble. I was nauseous and could not get any relief from the lump that was forming in my throat. (Sorry if that is too much information.) By the following evening, things were beginning to feel normal again, but I did not enjoy teaching my classes on Thursday -- or much else that I attempted to do. That's the first time in a very long time that I have felt down right sick.
  • I know that there is an inevitable learning curve when beginning a new job. Still, I hate the feeling of never being able to make any real headway at the office. Currently, I feel like I'm just going from one day to the next and simply staying afloat. I know how to do the's just a matter of getting my first year of lesson plans together in this new system.
  • I had thought that I would have much more time for reading now that I am not driving all of the time. The truth is that I've not read nearly as much this month. New responsibilities -- like cooking and cleaning -- have taken my newly created free time. Besides, when I get home after a day in the office, the only thing I want to do is lie on the couch and watch a little television. But I'm still very thankful for my job that doesn't require me to drive all over the planet to make a living.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Hits and Misses (August 16-22)

Here's a look at the week that was...

  • Classes are underway! I had already enjoyed getting to work at Wayland, but it was very exciting to begin the semester and draw from the energy of the students. There is a sense of excitement in the air and I am confident it's going to be a good semester.
  • Late in the week, deliveries that I had been waiting for finally arrived. One package was a new piece that I am excited to begin learning (Bartok's Suite, Op. 14). The other was a media storage unit that I had ordered several weeks ago from When I finally received the notification that it had arrived, I was almost giddy! This was the next necessary piece to getting closer to being fully unpacked or so I thought.
  • It's always a proud moment when I am able to successfully assemble a piece of furniture. A few weeks ago, I managed to add another bookshelf to the apartment. This weekend, I assembled the media storage unit. This process was not as smooth as my earlier endeavor -- mainly because I didn't read the instructions carefully and used the wrong screws early in the assembly. I'm just glad that I finally figured out what I was doing and got the blasted thing together. Now I'll be able to put the next one together a bit quicker....and there will be another one since I still have more DVDs and CDs to store.
  • I've been really frustrated with the post office since arriving in Plainview. First of all, it took nearly two and a half weeks to change the lock on my mailbox. That meant that I had to go to the post office during business hours to pick up my mail. Now that the lock has been changed, the items that were delivered (although I couldn't retrieve them) were promptly removed. When I went to the post office to lift the hold and gather the remaining mail, the desk staff condescendingly informed me that any lost mail or inconvenience I had experienced was a result of my infrequent trips to the post office. I was livid! I didn't bite her head off, but she knew exactly what I thought of her level of ineptitude before I left her desk. Grrrrr!
  • I'm fighting a lot of fatigue at the moment. I don't know what's causing the problem. I'm not having problems sleeping -- despite my internal alarm clock at 4:30am each morning -- and I'm eating regularly. The only thing that I can figure out is that I'm still trying to adapt to the weather in Texas.
  • That brings us to the final "miss" of the week -- the heat! Truthfully, the temperatures were pretty mild for the majority of the week. Still, the few warm days that we have had seem to have zapped my energy and I just can't recover. I'm not feeling bad, so a visit to the doctor isn't in the plans. I'm just trying to learn what my body needs to adapt to my new surroundings.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Exploring New Places is Fun!

I tend to be a person of routine. I stick to the familiar. Change is difficult for me.

My move to Texas has brought lots of changes to my life and I have had to get out of my comfort zone and explore new options and possibilities. Not all of my adventures so far have been fun. (You can't imagine the frustration of realizing that you cannot get a Texas driver's license without having a Texas insurance policy.....which requires a Texas driver's license to complete the application.) Some have been pleasant surprises. I never imagined that Plainview would become so comfortable so quickly.

Most of my explorations so far have been in the area of services -- grocery stores, churches, mechanics, restaurants, movie theaters, and libraries. As I continue to settle in and get classes up and running, I intend to explore the area a little more for the FUN stuff. Who knows what I may find....but I promise to keep you updated as I continue Livin' Life.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Hits and Misses (August 9-15)

I'm slowly getting back into the routine of blogging once again. Here's a look at the week that was....

  • The week began with my first visit to a Plainview Church in my search for a new church home. I attended morning and evening services at Plainview First Assembly. The people were very friendly, the senior pastor spoke very powerfully, and I enjoyed the worship. I could see myself being very happy attending this church. There were a few things that I wasn't completely sold on, so I'm continuing to visit other churches for a few weeks and prayerfully seeking the church that I will ultimately join.
  • After being in Plainview for a while, it was a very welcome feeling to finally get started at Wayland. I'm learning my way around campus, getting to know my colleagues, and getting ready for my classes. New students began to arrive at the end of the week; the fall semester will begin on Wednesday.
  • With all of the orientation meetings, I've gotten lots of free food this week. That's always a welcome thing for a bachelor.  Lunch was provided for me on Monday, Thursday, and there was a dinner for faculty and staff on Thursday evening. I've not had to spend much time in the kitchen this week at all!
  • On Friday afternoon, I got to enjoy a relaxing coffee session with the pianists before diving into the semester. I thoroughly enjoyed getting out of the office for a little while with the other piano professor and one of his piano students. The conversation was lively, fun, and very positive. I'm really looking forward to getting to have more of these types of discussions throughout the semester.
  • Meetings are exhausting! I know there is always a lot to be discussed at the beginning of the term, but I was thrilled when the week came to an end because that meant I didn't have to attend another meeting for a little while. Seriously, y'all! I've sat in over 25 hours of meetings since Monday morning. My ears are tired, my brain is numb, and my butt is spreading! Yikes!
  • When I arrived home on Friday evening, there was a repair truck in my parking spot. I parked in another open spot and planned to move my car later in the evening. When I noticed that my spot was open, I grabbed a set of keys and headed out to move my car. I was surprised when nothing happened when I pushed the button to unlock the driver's door. That's when I realized that I had grabbed the keys to my office....and not my car! Guess what? My apartment key was on the set of keys inside the apartment....and I locked the door on the way out. That's right, folks.....I locked myself out of my apartment! After a few minutes of fretting, I followed a gentlemen to his door and introduced myself. When I explained the situation, he smiled because he had done the same thing that morning. He offered to call the landlord for me, but we couldn't get anyone to answer. The neighbor drove me to the landlord's house where he (thankfully) drove up as we were about to leave. I was loaned the master key (not a situation I liked being in at all!) to let myself back in the apartment. I learned that lesson though......on Saturday afternoon, I went directly to Wal-Mart and had a duplicate key made that now holds a prized place on my office keys!
  • I'm in the final stages of getting all of my driver information transferred to Texas. It has been a pain and a half though. I'm still looking for a front mount for my car tags. The copy of my birth certificate that I had to order (and dropped a small piece of gold to pay for!) has finally arrived; once I can prove that my insurance coverage meets the Texas requirements, I'll have everything I need to get a new driver's license. I'm really hoping that this is the last thing I have to do to fully become a Texas resident.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Continuing Adventures of the Geriatric Ward

It's true that I am no longer physically living in the Geriatric Ward, but the adventures with the patients continue. Here's one of our latest episodes for your enjoyment.

Last Wednesday evening, I decided I needed to call home and assure my parents that I was okay and that I was getting settled in my apartment. Since a picture is sometimes worth a thousand words, I thought a video tour of my place might be most I decided to Skype with the Geriatrics.

Skype was not an entirely new concept for them.....I had installed the program on Dad's laptop shortly after learning I would be moving and had a couple of practice sessions with them while I was still home. I knew I would have to walk them through it a few more times to get them comfortable with the technology, but I had no idea how funny it would be.

I began with a phone call to help them get Skype running. It took everything in me not to laugh as I gave Mom directions on the phone and then listened to her LOUDLY CONVEY those instructions to Pop. It made it funnier to see how close they were in proximity to each other. Once we established a connection and confirmed that everyone could hear, we hung up the phone and continued the video chat. For the next hour, I saw half of Mom's face and the lower half of Dad's head. You should have seen the looks of surprise in their eyes when they saw the small box in the bottom corner showing them what was going out from their camera. Priceless!

Skype won't be the only way that we talk for sure, but it is a fun way to stay in touch with the Geriatrics with the added benefit of seeing each other face to face. I think it makes the difficulty of being apart for the first time in so long a little easier for everyone involved.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Hits and Misses (August 2-8)

I finally have Internet in my home again! That means I can get back to my routine of blogging and tell you once again about the week that was.....

  • It's nice to say that I am almost fully settled into my new apartment. It has been a chore and not one that I want to repeat anytime soon. Most of the boxes are unpacked -- I'm just waiting on a media storage unit that I've ordered to arrive -- then I can finally figure out what to do with the last of my things. My apartment feels a lot like home. I couldn't put my finger on it for a while, then I realized that the carpeting that runs through the space is identical to what is in the Geriatric Ward. That tells you how long it has been since either place has been updated.
  • Plainview is proving to be a neat little town. Everyone in town comments on how small it is, but since I'm just coming from Crawfordsville, it's almost like a metropolis to me.
  • I was very lucky to have my brother and sister-in-law spend a few days here helping me set up. The process was overwhelming as it was. I would still be trying to figure out what I was going to do with the kitchen and bathroom if it wasn't for their help.
  • I've made some important finds this week. Since I was needing a refill on one of my prescriptions, I went on the search for a local doctor. I was very pleased with what I found at West Texas Family Medicine. I think Dr. John McClanahan and I are going to get along just fine. By the end of the week, I needed to relax a bit and made my way to the local movie theater. It's an old space, but very quaint and the prices are great! I think I paid $5.85 to see a movie on a Saturday night.  That's a price I can handle!
  • Goodbyes are never easy. I've had to say more than my fair share of them this week. The last ones were a little easier, but none of them were any fun at all.
  • Moving is hard work and expensive. Good grief! I have engaged muscles that I had forgotten about while lifting all of these boxes and moving them from one place to another. I've been blessed that my back held on until Saturday evening to really start giving me any problems. I'm walking, so it's not as bad as it could be, but I'm definitely taking it easy for the next few days. I have made more trips to Wal-Mart in Plainview than I think I made in the past month in Arkansas. I should take out stock in the place......the Waltons have made a good profit on me this week.
  • With all of the moving, I have been very sore in my hands and forearms. This has been frustrating because I know I need to be practicing.....and I really want to......but my arms just aren't holding up to the pressure at the moment. Now that the moving is nearing an end, I'm looking forward to having the energy and stamina to get back to the piano. It's been far too long!
  • My only major complaint about my apartment at the moment is the running toilet. It hasn't been doing this the entire time that I've been in the house. (Of course, it would start after my mechanically inclined brother left Plainview!) Nothing looks amiss in the tank, so I'm not sure what the problem is. I've called the landlord and advised him of the issue, but nothing has been done. I am just thankful that this effects HIS utility bill and not mine since he will be the one paying for water and gas.  I just have to endure the sound.....and I've almost gotten to the point that I don't even notice it......almost!