Saturday, November 26, 2016

What's up with Mrs. Ginger?

Madison was sick first, coughing a bit before Thanksgiving, and sure enough, now Mommy and Daddy are sitting here with stuffy heads and sore throats.  We're not the only ones though - it's apparently going around.  Of course it is - that's how we got it in the first place.

Madison was working on piano a little today.  We've been recording her with the camera, taking videos of her playing and sending these to Mrs. Pam.  She said Madison is doing a great job!  We sent a video of Madison playing at Goodwill the other day on an old piano, and then one of her just playing here on the regular working keyboard.  Both turned out well - with two weeks to go, we feel like she's going to do well at the recital.

She spent a good deal of time playing video games today.  I think this was okay - we were watching some Christmas movies too, but the best plan today was to stay at home and work.  That we did, getting lots done.

Anyway, Daddy did a lot of writing today.  Mommy did a lot of work on costumes.  That pretty much sums up the day.  The great news is that the devotional for next month is actually done.  This would be record timing.  Daddy basically followed the story of the Nutcracker, but with a cowboy instead of Clara.

The interesting thing about the Nutcracker is the story itself.  The music and productions are extraordinary, but have you ever stopped to consider the story of "The Nutcracker?"  Basically, a girl is at a Christmas party where they're decorating a tree and she gets a Nutcracker from a guy named Uncle  Drosselmeyer.  Her brother breaks it, then Drosselmeyer mends it.  Then the party's over and she goes to sleep.  She dreams she's small, and there are rats under the tree.  The Nutcracker comes in to fight the rats.  She helps out and they win.  Then they go to a land where they meet the Sugar Plum Fairy, and a whole lot of people dance for them, and then she goes home.  I think she wakes up after this and it's Christmas?

It's not a terribly complicated plot.  One thing we learned from studying the story is that each nationality that comes dancing in is a representation of some sort of item from the land of sweets.  Arabia is coffee, which is apparently what Arabia did before there was oil there.  Today, the Arabian dance would have something to do with oil strikes.  Or, we could stick with coffee and get someone from Colombia to dance for us.  And since when does coffee belong in the land of sweets?

Moving on, Spain is chocolate in the original story.  Now hold on a moment:  I thought Germany or Switzerland was the home of the best chocolates.  Evidently Tchaikovsky was a big fan of Spanish chocolate, or at the time, the best chocolates came from Spain.  Who knew?  We'll have to try Spanish chocolate.  Next there's China, which brings in the tea.  This makes sense.  No problem.  And finally there is the exciting Russia dance, which bring the candy canes.  I can deal with that too, because we like candy canes.

Mrs. Ginger, however, is something altogether unusual.  Tchaikovsky must have had too many candy canes, chocolate bars, teas and coffees when he thought this up.  Mrs. Ginger is this lady who comes in wearing a two-story dress.  I don't know if this was Tchaikovsky's idea or not, but children come bounding out from beneath the dress to do their dance number.  Then when they're done, they go right back under the dress, and Mrs. Ginger rolls away, usually laughing.  This candy is of course ginger sticks, or ginger bread.  I have no idea what's up with the two-story dress.  We should get Mommy one though.  We can hook her up to the back of the car and ride through the neighborhood.

Then there are a few other dances with snowflakes and flowers, and just when you think we're done celebrating, there are a few more dances thrown in for good measure.  Then everyone waves and says goodbye, and the morale of the story is... watch what you eat on Christmas Eve or you'll have some crazy dreams?  Or maybe the morale is hire a decent exterminator before you have a rat problem that gets out of control.  Or it could be not to let your brother near any of your toys.  Whatever it is, millions of us watch this ballet production every year, and spend millions and millions on it.

So Daddy finished the devotional today, slipping a few references to the China dolls in there.  He had to do that, as if he were slipping Madison in there!  You'll see pictures of her as a China Doll soon enough.  We've got a lot of practices coming up, and Mommy's been busy, busy, busy.  I know what will cheer her up though:  I think I'm going to go out and make her a two-story dress...

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