Tag Archives: music

What Do You Want to Start?

Question Collection a New Random Question Every Week StairStories.com

On the second Monday of each month, I post and answer a selection from my collection of good questions. This month’s question is “What’s one thing you want to start doing in the next twelve months?”

 April 09, 2015 at 0109PM

I want to start playing the piano again. Many people do not know that I can even play because it does not come up in normal conversations and because I have not played in public in years. Actually, I have not even played in private in years. When Brian and I got married two years ago, I packed up my keyboard in its protective case, moved to a new town, and never took it out. We still do not really have room for it in our house because I have not made room for it. One of my goals for summer is to clean up and clean out our garage and our second guest room (fondly called “The Abyss”) so that I can set up the keyboard in the guest room.

(c) Carlos Eduardo Sotelo Ibarra, used with permission

As an adult, I have often not taken the time to play the piano because it does not do or produce anything other than to make me happy. I lack the talent and desire to be a professional pianist and playing for worship or accompaniment is not fun or worshipful for me. It does not help anyone except for me and that has not always been enough motivation for me to make time to play.  Starting this summer, I am going to play anyway. The emotional health and enjoyment it gives me is a good enough reason to do it.

Now It’s Your Turn to Ask & Answer

Take the questions and ask your friends or family. I would love to hear your answers in the comments (seriously. that’s why I ask, after all)! If you have suggestions of questions for me to include, let me know.

*Piano image (c) Carlos Eduardo Sotelo Ibarra, used with permission


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What I’m Into: November 2014

What I'm Into Logo


The #FireworkPeople community has brought an uplifting, supportive tone to my Facebook and Twitter feeds. I have enjoyed meeting the other ladies as we participate in Twitter parties where we share how we would answer various discussion questions. Not one to miss out on an opportunity to encourage others, my mom has joined the group, too. I think this is more activity than her Twitter account has ever seen!

I know I have mentioned DesignLoveFest’s free wallpapers before, but these are new ones and I am into them this month! Naturally, my favorite is “But First, Coffee.” Which ones do you like?


If you have not noticed, I am very much a hot drinks kind of girl! In November, I have been sipping almond milk hot chocolate with homemade chocolate syrup and sometimes candy cane syrup, too. I still make powdered hot chocolate for everyone else, so this dairy-free version is just for me.

Random Fun

Idina Menzel and Michael Buble’s duet of “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” made much less creepy by changing the lyrics and having two adorable child actors lip sync them.


On Netflix: I got hooked on Bletchley Circle and then found out the show ended after only seven episodes! It is a smart mystery drama about four women who worked in code-breaking during WWII and, in post-war Britain, they stumble into solving mysteries that stump law enforcement.

Speaking of Idina, her Christmas album Holiday Wishes has been a fun treat, but I have only been listening for the past few days!


I finished the predictable but sweet Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay. Now I am reading Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell and Along Came a Wolf (The Yellow Hoods, #1) by Adam Dreece.

What are you into this month?

I am linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into lately.

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Tradition, Tradition!

Question Collection a New Random Question Every Week StairStories.com

Every Monday, I post and answer a selection from my collection of good questions. This week’s question is “What tradition do you wish more people would follow?”

What Tradition Do You Wish More People Would Follow?

The Thanksgiving/Christmas Divide

Does this question make anyone else think of the song “Tradition” from “Fiddler on the Roof” or is that just me? Speaking of music, I wish more people would save Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. As a kid, I eagerly awaited the start of Christmas music on the drive home from Thanksgiving at our grandparents’ house. Along with my parents and siblings, we blasted Mannheim Steamroller from the van speakers and sang the instrumental parts or drummed along on our seats until Dad’s ears got tired or he got a headache. It was a fun, simple way to start the Christmas season with music we loved and anticipated. These days, it seems like stores begin playing Christmas music as soon as Halloween is over, which is far too soon in my opinion.

Now It’s Your Turn

Take the questions and ask your friends or family. I would love to hear your answers in the comments (seriously. that’s why I ask, after all)! If you have suggestions of questions for me to include, let me know.

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What I’m Into (August 2014)


College students back on campus & coming to our house for Sunday lunches. We are all getting back into the swing of school and campus ministry.
2014-08 Sunday Lunch


I used to disdain iced coffee unless it was really, really hot. This summer, though, I discovered Pioneer Woman’s cold-brewed concentrate that I mix with almond milk and one of my homemade coffee syrups. It tastes delicious and the college students who come to our house think so, too!

French Toast Roll-Ups with blueberries and cream cheese… Brian and I liked these so much we rated them “let’s have it again every month.”
 2014-08-19 21.34.36

My tomato cages toppled from the weight of the vines, but they kept growing. Now I have what I call a “tomato thicket.” Rabbits kept eating the unripe fruit but my puppy decided they’re fun to chase. Now we have tomatoes!
2014-08-30 13.43.56

2014-08-30 13.46.32


On TV: Rizzoli & Isles and Girl Meets World.

On Netflix: Doctor Who season 7. I like Clara, “the impossible girl,” who gets scared and plunges in anyway. “We never just walk away.” In addition, I’m working my way back through Haven (currently on season 2) because I missed having a new season this summer.


Colbie Caillat’s Gypsy Heart Side A, especially “Try.”
The Likes of Us (self-titled album) from Noisetrade has been a fun addition to my jazzy weekend breakfast playlist.


Since school started this month, I’ve been using Quizlet to make free electronic flashcards for the high school students I work with. As an a added bonus, they can use my flashcards (as well as any they create) online or on their smart phones.

Now that the entire school email system is run through Google, I have been using Google Drive for sharing documents with coworkers (I had never used it for document creation before this month.)

I upgraded to a iPhone 5s and a waterproof, drop-proof Otterbox Preserver case this week and I am enjoying both! FYI: The Preserver cases appear to still be on sale for 50% off on Amazon.

Same-day Instagram prints from Walgreens, especially when I procrastinated making them until the day before I needed them!
 2014-08-18 17.54.41

Random Fun

I like the graphic design of the @HomeGoods Stylescope quiz to “find your home design personality“. I’m supposedly “The Traveler” and liked the graphic so much, I made it my iOS wallpaper.

What were you into in August?

Linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into lately.


Filed under life, lists, photos, something to try

Lows & Highs: Cold & Golden Days

Low: On Monday, I came down with a cold that has had me sneezing and blowing my nose.
Daves Tweet
High: I bought Dave Barnes’s new album, Golden Days, the day it came out. It is terrific and I’m enjoying it… That evening, I tweeted my enthusiasm and he actually replied to thank me!

What were your lows and highs from the past week?

Lows & Highs is a Stories from the Stairs weekly feature. Feel free to join in by posting your lows and highs in the comments or by posting a link to your lows and highs blog post.

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31 Days of Random Questions – Day 18

What’s something you would do more often if you had the time?
I would play the piano more. I am definitely not talented at music or rhythm but my mom believed her father’s philosophy that skill at any of the arts can be taught. I took lessons from an excellent and very patient teacher from ages 11-19, only stopping because piano lessons no longer fit into my class schedule. I still play occasionally but would love to practice more often.

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31 Days of Random Questions – Day 12

What is a song that always makes you smile?
Built to Last by Heartland; it has a pretty melody and the lyrics remind me of my grandparents who will celebrate their 65-year anniversary in November. The chorus goes:

Here’s to the makers of things built to last
Like church bells and bridges, and baseball on grass
Like Ferguson tractors and Lucchese boots
My daddy’s old tools I still use
The pledge of allegiance, the stars and the stripes
The words in the Bible, the sun in the sky
And here’s to the twinkle in old married eyes
Still there after fifty years past
Here’s to the makers of things built to last

Lyrics from: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/heartland/builttolast.html


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Lows & Highs: June 19-25

With our students on summer break, we have not been having Monday night Bible study and I have not been thinking or posting much about lows and highs. In no particular order (other than lows have to come first) here are my lows and highs for the past week:

1. Minor but frustrating issues at work with someone who regularly blows off my meetings and ignores my emails but expects me to respond right away to any of their questions.

2. Studying for my summer school midterm and taking it required more time than I planned on Saturday. I scored 99/100, though, so that made it less low.

1. Revisiting a favorite classic movie, The Princess Bride, with someone new. I had not seen it in quite a while and it seems even funnier now because I understand all the words and remember the lines my sister and I quoted most during our childhood. (One of her favorites was “Rest well and dream of large women.” can you imagine a kindergartner saying that?)

2. All the time I spent on my weekend road trip (driving solo for four hours each way) gave me time to review Bible verses I memorized ages ago and to listen to some of my favorite soundtracks. Playlist on the way out: The complete Phantom of the Opera movie soundtrack, The Addams Family Broadway soundtrack. Playlist on the way home: A Walk to Remember soundtrack, selections from the Oklahoma and South Pacific soundtracks, The Sound of Music soundtrack, Beach Boys (okay, not a soundtrack but definitely summery driving music!)

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