Good Reeds

There ought to be an app that keeps track of reeds. And it should be called Good Reeds.

There probably is. But maybe Goodreads told them to change their name.

I currently use a little notebook documenting the date I open new reeds, the amount of time in subsequent days I play them (usually five minutes), the temperature, and the humidity of each day I play on them as I break the reeds in. And I rate them on a scale from 1 to 5 according to how the feel as I play them. It usually takes about a week to break a reed in to my liking.

It’s been a decent system so far, and I’m currently using some real winners. But I’m also trying to be patient with what seem to be duds. And since I’ve learned how to sand duds into sounding better, I can’t say that very many reeds would go to waste.

I did purchase a synthetic reed today, Legère brand. Opened the package, placed the reed on the mouthpiece. It was immediately ready to go. And the strength of the reed felt really good. Great response and projection. One of those almost cost as much as a box of Vandoren V12s, 3.5 strength, but one of those should last as long as an entire box of bamboo reeds.

I tested the reed on my student clarinet. I can’t wait to get my intermediate clarinet back from the shop. I can’t believe it took a reed to get me extremely excited again about playing.


It rained today, giving some relief to the land after a pretty intense drought. We hope to get more rain throughout the summer. We hope more people are thinking about water conservation more than they are trying to keep their lawns green.

A Break for the Tear Ducts

Places I’ve cried in descending order of frequency:

  1. Garden/Flowerbeds
  2. Shower
  3. Work
  4. Car, on the way to/back from work
  5. Talking to Z, tucking her in
  6. In my own bed, trying to fall asleep
  7. Family room

Today might be the first day in over a month I haven’t cried at all.



Observations from This Month’s Visit to the Doctor

Counting and the Due Date

Apparently my 40-week due date is different than the due date determined at the ultrasound I had at 11 weeks. The doctor says that my due date is now one week later than we thought.

Funny thing is I used my ultrasound to confirm the first day of my last period, and if the doctor is counting 40 weeks from that day, shouldn’t the due dates match? Why would my ultrasound predict a due date one week earlier?

This means my 11-week ultrasound was actually at 10 weeks. And every weekly marker gets pushed back seven days.

This means that I’m at 18 weeks instead of 19, and we’ll find out Baby’s gender in two weeks instead of next week. I guess it’s no big deal, but if we were expecting to find out next week, waiting another week is going to feel like years. Seven 24-hour years.

This also seems to mean that my different healthcare providers have different numbering systems. Or they can’t count to 40. I choose option B.

I get that due dates are rather arbitrary, determined by centuries of observing birthing patterns. Forty weeks, give or take a week or two. Or more. But due dates have directed most of my life. If possible, I like to complete assignments before their due date, and I know that this particular situation is beyond my control, but I really like getting things done early.

Other Observations

Mondays seem to be incredibly busy at the doctor’s office. When we checked in, the waiting room nearly overflowed with coughing adults and snotty, restless children. We ended up waiting longer than an hour. But for our patience, the office gave us movie passes for a free movie. Awesome!

Reilly got to use the little contraption for detecting heartbeat. The machine had a little speaker and a wand whose end you put on the tummy. It’s probably a little fetal Doppler machine, but I called it a Fisher Price toy echo machine. Sort of the same concept. I took college physics.

The doctor asked me to lie back and bare my tummy. He then had Reilly put gel on my tummy just below the belly button. He gave Reilly the Fisher Price toy echo machine. He told him to turn it on and take the wand and put the end of it on the blob of gel. He said to press down about half an inch and, after the doctor advised Reilly not to be so gentle and apply more pressure, the Fisher Price toy echo machine immediately picked up my heartbeat.

Then the doctor said to push the wand at one angle then to tilt it this or that way, and we were able to hear Baby’s heartbeat, which was much higher pitched and faster than mine. A pulsing, swishy sound that the doctor said sounded really good. Then the sound went away, and the doctor explained that when Baby moves, the sound moves with it, so you have to continually move the wand to find the sound.

During past visits the doctor has used a Fisher Price toy ultrasound machine. A little bit bigger wand and a little screen. We wonder if he didn’t use that machine this time so that we wouldn’t accidentally find out Baby’s gender. Or maybe since the office was so busy, another doctor was using the machine. I choose option A.

The doctor answered our questions about:

  • prenatal vitamins
  • birthing classes
  • insurance
  • lying on my back vs. lying on my side

He gave some pretty sound advice that was reassuring and encouraged us to keep doing research and think for ourselves. He also made jokes about Barry Manilow and deciding whether to spend money on diapers or dinner or birthing classes.

At home that evening I asked Reilly if he enjoyed using the Fisher Price toy echo machine. Then appeared a sweet smile and those twinkly eyes and he said that it was cool and very exciting.

I guess a bright side to pushing everything back a week is that we get another week of anticipation, which really is fun. The more we find out the more excited we are and the more we love the wonderful and wondrous being growing inside of me. At the ultrasound in two weeks, we’ll know even more.

Do you have a vote on whether Baby is a boy or girl?

The Degree of Like

Facebook is such a great way to keep up with friends. I like being able see what my friends’ opinions are on all sorts of subjects. I can tell political stances, movie/music/book preferences, games people play. I love when people post interest pictures or clever little memes. It’s actually pretty fun getting to know people this way without actually taking off my hermit hat and making an effort to interact with them. Especially if they live far away or if you can tell by their preferences that you wouldn’t get along with certain people in person. I can appreciate a healthy and occasionally overwarm discussion, but if I had to argue with certain people every day in real life, my head would probably explode. And then I wouldn’t be able to decide if I “like” things. Which would make me sad.

I enjoy being able to use Like on just about anything my friends post. I can “like” as many comments, photos, and status updates as I want. But I also understand the power of Like. And its nonpower. I have tried to be consistent in the ways I have liked or not liked certain things on facebook, but the more I use the process, the more I can see the nuances of its influence. Maybe the following doesn’t list nuances as much as my mere whimsy.





  • I have read the comment/article/whatever, and I understand it.
  • I have read the comment/article/whatever, and I agree with it.
  • I have read the comment/article/whatever, and I appreciate the point of view.
  • I am acknowledging this post on my newsfeed, but I haven’t read it.
  • I don’t want to be too imposing on the conversation that involves the post, especially if the post doesn’t directly include me.
  • I do not want to participate in a conversation, but I have read the comments.
  • I’m about to unlike the post.
  • I don’t really like the post, but I don’t want you to think I’m ignoring you.
  • The post is clever, and I will most likely comment and/or share.
  • The post is beautiful.
  • The post is cerebral or literary or strikes a chord with one of my interests.
  • The post acknowledges me in some way.
  • The post made me laugh.




  • I do not like the post.
  • I do not understand the post.
  • I’m feeling particularly snobby.
  • I have read too many posts, and my clicking finger is tired.
  • I missed the post.
  • I am ignoring the post and may like it later.
  • I do not want to like the post because I don’t want to have to unfollow or unlike the post later.
  • I do not want to participate in a conversation, but I have read the comments.
  • I disagree with the post.
  • I do not like the person who made the post.
  • I don’t feel close enough to the person who made the post to like the post.
  • The post is not relevant to me.
  • The post is not clever.
  • The post has something to do with genuinely liking Fifty Shades of Grey or Twilight.
  • The post is gross/crass/most likely rednecky.

The Like link has gone expanded from facebook to blogs, news sites, music sites, to just about everything on the internet. It’s a fascinating power to have and exercise, and it’s interesting to observe how people respond to what they like or don’t like. Just know if I Like or choose not to Like a post, it can have any meaning or a number of meanings at the same time. Or no meaning at all.

How do you like that?