La, la, la, la, Life goes on ….

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Daily, Michelle and I remark how much we enjoy being here in the life we have created for ourselves. Despite the idiot governor (would SD be better?) and some rednecky neighbors, we love what we have created here.

So much has changed in these last four years. While surrounded by remembrances of our past lives, neither of us are performing music. I am still involved with my Isaac research, largely thanks to Markus Utz (Münsterorganist Markus Utz) and his ensemble cantissimo ; but other than that, we have found other interests.

I inherited much of my grandfather’s family genealogy work but have advanced due to modern technology and sites such as ancestry.com, myheritage.com, and familysearch.org. After my father’s death in 2014, I received many of the family records and have been slowly working my way through them. Doesn’t help that I changed my system of file organization in the process, causing me to now having to go back through and relabel files and delete duplicates.  I am in the process of creating a shared cloud drive wherein my family can all have access to photos, documents, records, and other memorabilia in which they might have interest. Maybe I’m wasting my time and no one will care, but I hope that perhaps my late brother’s children might have some interest in being able to access their father’s senior recital from college, etc.  I guess we’ll see.

At right is the only known photograph of my great-great grandfather/grandmother. Johannes Feissli came to the USA with his father Abraham and family as a pre-teen in the years just before the Civil War. Johannes (who became John Feiszli) married Louisa Mary Fankhouser and they had a family of eight, the oldest of whom was my great-grandfather John Frederick Feiszli. Some of Johannes’ siblings changed their surnames to Feisley and that name is still prominent in southern Ohio and West Virginia.

Meanwhile, Michelle continues her upward trajectory in her new career as a mental health counselor specializing in the treatment of sexual offenders (I know, right? But, she’s really good at it and is making this world a safer place). She is still trying to come to grips with being the leader of a team of counselors while simultaneously going through some tumult in the leadership of the entire facility – something with which I am familiar. She is, I believe, poised to go to higher positions of responsibility in the company should she choose to do so, but she is currently weighing (as I did way back in about 1994) the choices between doing what you love vs. doing what advances you in your career. I chose poorly – should have gone full-bore administration – but Michelle is in a good place and can choose to do what fulfills her most. Her most beloved administrator is leaving because she chose career over personal life and Michelle sees the value in life balance. I will support her whatever she does.  So will Loki.

Loki continues his growth into being a young dog. By that, I mean he is VERY reminiscent of a teenager. He expects you to pay attention to him when he wants it. He believes his opinion matters. He is jealous when either one of us pays attention to another creature (or each other). We hate kids. Loki is a very sweet dog, but he is far more than we expected.  As Michelle often says, “It’s a good thing he’s cute. It’s the only thing keeping him alive.” LOL

We won’t trade him in for another. But we really wish he’d learn that the cats are higher on the totem pole than he is.

I’m back at work, although still visiting the physical therapist once a week. I think she’s ready to discharge me. The orthopedic surgeon saw me two weeks ago and proclaimed me cured. I am doing everything I used to do with little discomfort and only a little caution. 

Summer is ending, so I am preparing our gardens for planting. Still hard to get used to the reverse gardening seasons here. And, regardless of weather, we still get less light during the winter months, so I have created two garden beds – one for with partial shade (herbs during the winter) and one with full sun (tomatoes and other veggies during the winter). They’ll both operate during the summer as much as the heat and wet weather allows them to.

We’re going full-blown solar. It will be expensive to do so at first, but over the course of the next 20 years it will prove to be the best option. Our electric company rates are already set to rise and interest rates for solar installation are at an all-time low. I’m getting a .99% loan for the installation. I will basically lock in my electric bill for the next 15 years after which I get free electricity. The solar system is warranteed for 25 years. And we’re installing a system that will provide 104% of our current usage, allowing for rise in usage due to climate change, etc.

Other than that, not much to report. Time marches on. Some of you reading this may know and already be aware of the passing of Alan Stanga, former choral director at Sioux Falls Lincoln high school and co-founder of the South Dakota Honors Choir. Another reminder, along with the passing of Olaf Malmin (former choral director at Augustana College in Sioux Falls), that life is fleeting. I sometimes wonder whether I did enough or worked hard enough to create a legacy, but these days spend more time creating joy in each day.

Be well, Stay safe.

Final Lap

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My rehab from rotator cuff surgery goes well. My physical therapist is constantly amazed at my progress. Her comment this past visit was, “You continue to destroy all boundaries.” – meaning that I am progressing beyond what she expects from those rehabbing from my surgery. Had a post-op checkup with my orthopedic surgeon on Thursday and he said pretty much the same thing.

I mowed the lawn Thursday (yes, I have a self-propelled mower).  Did my PT exercises afterwards and my feet hurt worse than my shoulder after cooling down in the pool and icing the shoulder. Hate not being 100% but it gets better every day. Took the boat out yesterday down to downtown Fort Myers. It needed the exercise. Ditto for the Miata convertible, which I drove the other day for the first time in eight weeks.

In case you wondered, Tropical Storm Elsa was no big deal. We got rain. No wind, No storm surge. We did get got storm-prepared, and that’s a good thing. Now we have propane, gasoline reserves, generator backup, and supplies. We’re ready if something actually happens. But we seem to be in a good location for tropical weather. One of my neighbors, who has been here 30 years, commented that Irma was the worst he’d ever seen … and he lost power for about an hour.

Have been catching up on a lot of family genealogy, digitizing photos and documents. I also prepared dozens of Isaac motet editions for a recording session by Markus Utz and his Ensemble Cantissimo for an upcoming CD release for which I have to write the program notes. Hmm, better get started on that.

I go back to work after August 8th with no restrictions from the doctor. Looking forward to it, actually. Bored. As my shoulder has gotten more cooperative, I have slowly begun to catch up on all the household chores that fell by the wayside. I still have to hire out the hedge trimming and major lanai cleaning such as screen enclosures and fans.

Michelle just got promoted to a leadership position at the Florida Civil Commitment Center. She is now in charge of 7-9 other clinicians and is making the switch from being “one of the team” to being the leader of the team. Proud of her, but it will be some time before she gets a handle on balancing the work load and expectations and her own personal space.

I discovered that many of you have been sending emails to my email at this website. No problem, except that I thought I had set up a forwarding mechanism so all my email came to the same place. Nope.  So, I apologize for not responding to many of you for months because I did not see the emails. Mea maxima culpa…..

It appears that Florida is now the USA home of the Covid-Delta infection. Yes, I’m wearing a mask inside public places even though I’m fully vaccinated. Hope you all stay healthy. I fear we’re about to see a resurgence in this country, thanks to those who for political reasons have foregone taking precautions. Idiots. Smallpox and polio would still be here if this mentality had held sway in the twentieth century.

Best wishes from southwest Florida. We still love being here.

Abbott, DeSantis, Noem, etc.

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Thoughts just prior to the Fourth of July. Posting a link to a YouTube video from a veteran who says what he thinks about national guard and law enforcement being sent to Texas to “assist with the border crisis”. Key facts: 1254 miles of TX border Mexico. Based on .gov websites there are at least 5000 border patrol agents in TX, over 16,000 along the whole southern border. FL and SD (two states governed by 2024 presidential hopefuls) are each sending 50(!) individuals. Real people being used for political gain. Makes me sick. Watch the video.

https://youtu.be/tEHM0wYZRpw

Light at the end of the Tunnel

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I got a call from the Orthopedic Surgeon’s office today. They told me I could stop wearing the sling on Monday, the 28th. Hallelujah! This thing is like wearing a sweater – in Florida, … in summer. I am looking very forward to Monday. Physical therapy is going exceedingly well. I am regaining mobility in the shoulder and the therapist just told me to cut back to one visit a week until July, when we’ll be done with stretching and launch into strengthening (Oh boy….)

Meanwhile, this weekend Michelle and I are going on a daytrip to Miami to the immersive Van Gogh exhibit at the Olympia Theatre in downtown Miami. It’s probably hokey, but it’s an excuse for us to take advantage of what Florida has to offer. They limit the audience, so we are scheduled to be there at noon for a 90 minute event. We’ll get up Saturday morning and drop Loki off at the doggie daycare for play and overnight boarding and then drive I-75 south to Naples and then east (Alligator Alley) to Miami, getting there about 11:00 so we have plenty of time to find parking and stroll around the heart of Miami. After the exhibit we have reservations at one of the better restaurants downtown. We should be back on the road by 4:00 and home by 7:30pm.

We love living here in paradise.

 

Hope you are all happy and healthy. Stay in touch.

 

I’ll be boating again soon!!!