Thursday, January 14, 2021

Listen To The River

Shortly after I started composing "I Wish That I Could Fly", I began another song, which I call "Listen to the River". I found that working on two songs gave me a chance to alternate which I was working on. If I got frustrated with one, I could switch to the other, and when I came back to the first, I had a fresh perspective that helped me to move forward. The two songs had different time signatures, different keys and different moods that helped give me some variety as well.

The image in my head for this song was of someone relaxing on the bank of a river watching the light reflect off the ripples. Sometimes the water rushes over waterfalls and rapids, and sometimes it slows down and drifts, but it is always progressing on its journey to the sea.

Again, I am posting it here for your enjoyment, but I reserve the right to make changes in the future if I feel so inclined.😉

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

I Wish That I Could Fly

Some of you may know that I like music. For the last several years, I've been dabbling in music, arranging medleys of various songs, occasionally creating piano/viola duets that Hannah and I can play together, and just having fun. Some of these have included my Pioneer Medley, my Joseph Medley, and A Londonderry Duet.  

A few months ago, I challenged myself to compose some original music. I started with an idea, and then created the music around that idea. It has gone through many stages, growing and refining. I've put it aside for a while and worked on something else, but then I've come back to it and worked on it a bit more. I like where it is now enough to share it, but that doesn't mean that I might not change it in the future!

It's called "I Wish That I Could Fly" and that was the idea I started with, imagining that I could soar up into the sky and leave all my trials and problems behind me on the ground. The thought crossed my mind to add words, but ultimately I decided to leave it instrumental. 

You can listen to it and see the music here:

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Counting Our Blessings

Merry Christmas everyone!!! The year is drawing to a close, and I've been thinking about the many blessings we have received just in the last month.

Steven finally found a new job!!! It's with a company called IMA that has something to do with insurance. He wanted to start as soon as possible, but the person who will be his manager is on vacation so Steven won't start until January 4th. Due to COVID, it sounds like he will still primarily work from home, but when he can go to the office, it is right next door to Union Station downtown so the commute is far shorter than when he worked at MDC, and he can take public transportation (the company will pay for it) and be dropped essentially right on his doorstep. We have also been blessed these last three months that Steven has been unemployed to have had enough money in savings and food stored up that we've been able to pay our bills, have food to eat, and even have a nice Christmas. (It will still be a huge relief to have money coming in again!)

Hannah was able to come home for Christmas! She had gotten a flight home out of an airport in Provo, (who knew that Provo even had its own airport?!) but after a couple delays due to weather, her flight was cancelled at the last minute and the next flight to Denver from that airport wasn't scheduled for a few days. We scrambled to find her a flight out of Salt Lake, and she was blessed to be able to spend a bit more time with friends that evening and stay the night with her grandparents in Orem before flying home the next day. In this year of chaos, it is really nice to finish the year with our whole family together at home again.

Hannah and I were able to perform a musical number in church last Sunday. She played "O Holy Night" on her viola and I accompanied her on the piano. We didn't have much time to practice since she didn't get home until the Friday before the Sunday we performed. The musical number preceding ours was a piano solo, and the lid of the piano was up all the way, but I wanted to lower it before our performance, and in the process of lowering it, I managed to drop the whole piano lid on my hand. However, in spite of these unfortunate events, we were blessed that the musical number went really well, and my hand was only slightly bruised. Steven got to give a talk that Sunday as well, and that was really good too.

We have been blessed with good friends, good health and good weather. We have had opportunities to serve, from helping friends with re-landscaping their front yard to helping a grandmother sew doll clothes for her granddaughters. It was just announced that we can return to attending church every week rather than only on alternating Sundays as we have been the last few months. By some miracle, both of our high school students were able to pass all their classes this last semester (if only barely), in spite of the miseries and distractions of remote learning.

So while this year has had its struggles, through it all our family has truly been blessed. We end this year in a good place, and we continue in the hope that next year will be even better.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Hiatt Family! Every year we make calendars for the grandparents. This was a rough year for us and so we didn't get them printed, let alone bound and shipped in time for Christmas. But here are PDF versions for your viewing pleasure. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Steven's Birthday

 Yesterday was Steven's birthday. (He turned 45.)

Steven with the birthday pumpkin pie that he made himself.

Gifts he received included a few books on bush craft, some paracord, a 3D unicorn puzzle, handkerchiefs, locking pliers and a jacket. Steven worked on the puzzle last night and finally finished it this morning.

Last Friday, President Nelson invited everyone in the world to flood social media with messages of gratitude. He told us that "counting our blessings is far better than recounting our problems." In response to his invitation, I wrote a message on Facebook yesterday morning about my gratitude for Steven.

Later, at church, the sister who gave a talk mentioned the many posts on gratitude that filled her Facebook feed. At one point she turned around to where I was sitting by the organ and asked if she could read my post. I shrugged, and said okay. So she proceeded to read to the congregation:
I am thankful for my wonderful husband (whose birthday happens to be today.) I love his thoughtfulness and the gift he has for helping me feel loved. Being married to him makes my life so much better than it would be without him. #givethanks
So Steven's birthday was announced over the pulpit.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Importance of Temple Work, by Peter

 Peter gave a youth talk in sacrament meeting this last Sunday. Here are the notes he used to give his talk:

The Importance of Temple Work

(Introduction) I have been asked to give a talk on the importance of temple work. Obviously, temples are closed right now, but that doesn't mean we can't prepare for them to open again. So why are temples important? In the April 2020 general conference, Elder David A Bednar explained. "We do not build or enter holy temples solely to have a memorable individual or family experience. Rather the covenants received and the ordinances performed in temples are essential to the sanctifying of our hearts and for the ultimate exaltation of God's sons and daughters." This means that the things we do in the temple are important for us and the people we do the ordinances for. When we do baptisms for the dead, we give these people an opportunity they didn't have when they were alive. While temples are temporarily closed, we can still prepare for them to reopen. One thing we can do is family history. With family history, we can find our ancestors and relatives who need these ordinances done. Then, once temples re-open, we can take these names to let them receive the ordinances they need. Another thing we can do is have a temple recommend. As Elder Rasband explained in his talk in this recent general conference, our temple recommend isn't just something that allows us to enter the house of the Lord, but it is also a badge of obedience that shows we are willing to serve God. (bear testimony)

Friday, October 16, 2020

What I Do When There is No Place to Go

The last several months of "safer at home" has meant a lot of time spent within my own four walls. Of course, I'm a homebody anyway, so I'm probably not home much more than I was before COVID and quarantine, but I've had more time with my family around, and less time on the desktop computer that I share with Peter. Of course the usual things like housecleaning and laundry haven't changed much, but I have had a lot of free time on my hands. Here are some of the things I've been doing to keep myself busy over the last few months:

Books read: 

  • Charles Todd's Ian Rutledge Series (20 books), 
  • Charles Todd's Bess Crawford Series (9 books), 
  • Jacqueline Winspear's Masie Dobbs Series (Books 1-10... I have 5 more to go). 
  • Miscellaneous Agatha Christy books 
  • The first six or so Lillian Jackson Braun's "The Cat Who..." books 
  • and I don't know what all else I might have picked up to read in an afternoon.

The first three above are historical fiction mysteries placed during or shortly after World War I. What can I say? I've been on a mystery kick lately.

Crafts done:

For my birthday in May I acquired a needle felting kit, and I've had a blast with it. I started with the patterns supplied with the kit, and then branched out on my own a bit.

In July and August, I made a bunch of little key chain animals which I gave to my mom and sisters at our sister's party in September. Thanks April for taking pictures of them for me!

More recently I made bait for a "catting" pole.

Earlier this week I made myself a new skirt (with a pocket!):


Since I was called to be a ward organist at the beginning of the year, I've done more practicing of the piano than I have over the last several years. I don't have an organ, so I spend a lot of time practicing my fingering, trying to play as smoothly as I can without using the pedals. 

While Hannah was here, we enjoyed playing duets, with me on the piano and her on her viola. We worked hard to learn a Celtic Hymn Medley. (We got it from here.)

I've also done some composing in the last few months. I created a medley of I Know That My Redeemer Lives and I Believe in Christ for piano and viola. You can listen to it here. (This is a computer generated version... Hannah and I did record a live performance, but I think it was on her phone and I don't have it.) If you are interested, you can download the piano sheet music here, and the viola part here.

Less Productive Stuff:

I'm not always productive with my time. I've solved over 500 Einstein's Riddle Puzzles, conquered 4000+ levels of Lily's Garden and played countless games of spider solitaire. I think I've also watched almost every episode of all seven seasons of Star Trek TNG.

So, that's most of my day-to-day life between the big vacations and events. How have you been keeping busy?