Monday, February 27, 2006

Monday Cookies

I'm running late, but wanted to make sure you saw this weekend's results.
Aren't they pretty? I tried a couple new icing and cookie recipes. And I started playing with fondant (the flowers).

But my favorite new thing is the shiny accents. It's an edible paint called Lustre Dust.

I'm off to work now...more later!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Life Lessons from Music Class - Part II

Read Part I

The other thing about Bach I wanted to mention was that, well, let me quote from my textbook:

Bach was a deeply religious man--a Lutheran--who wrote the letters J.J., standing for Jesu Juva (Jesus help), at the beginning of each of his sacred compositions and S.D.G. for Soli Deo Gloria (to God alone the glory) at the end.
(Music: An Appreciation Fifth Brief Edition by Roger Kamien)

It may have appeared to the casual observer that Bach was writing music just for the paycheck. But ultimately he was doing it for the glory of God.

What difference would it make in our lives if, no matter what we do, we made a conscious decision to do it for God's glory? What if we put aside the notion that we have to impress our friends, our boss or co-workers, the world? Would it change the decisions we make?

I bet it would.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Life Lessons from Music Class

In my Music Appreciation class, we are currently studying the Baroque period in music (1600-1750). And I'm finding that this class, besides teaching me the basics of music theory and history, is also teaching me life lessons.

Have you heard of any of these composers? Tomoso Albonini, Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, Christoph Willebald von Gluck, Johann Sebastian Bach, Girolamo Frescobaldi?

If you're like me, the only one you may have heard of is Bach. But guess what? Bach wasn't a very well known composer while he was alive. These other guys were famous in their time. They were probably admired like the rock or rap stars of today.

Bach was known more for his church organ and harpsichord playing. When he wasn't on tour, he worked at his "regular job"...he had to write an "cantata" - an entire church service worth of songs - every week! Back then, musicians were primarily hired by the church or nobility. It was his job to compose music and he had quotas and deadlines.

So he lives and he dies, and he leaves behind hundreds and hundreds of musical works (many which have since been lost). And it's not until 80 years after his death that his music becomes not just popular, but revered for its beauty and genius of musical architecture.

Once of the things I sometimes struggle with at my job is boredom and drudgery. Most days lately it is just not any fun. I do mundane tasks and wonder when I will next get to do something creative or meaningful. I wonder if Bach ever felt that way. Maybe he liked composing, but sometimes felt it was boring because he had to churn out so much of it.

But we don't know what impact our lives and our work will have now and in the future. At work, I may never be known as the "Bach of project management", but the work I do is contributing in an important way to the success of a company that employs 30,000 people.

And in life we all contribute, in many ways, to either the good or the bad of this world. We all have an impact, even if we never know it.

Monday, February 20, 2006

More Cookies

I'm off work today for the President's Day Holiday. I've got lots of tasks on my list for today (including putting away the Christmas decorations), but the first thing was to finish some COOKIES!

Mostly I'm just practicing. But the teapot is a variation of a design I did for my first paying gig...I made 40 teapot cookies in pink/ivory tones for a friend who was hosting a bridal shower at a Teahouse.

These are the first cookies I've made since the bridal shower cookies that my niece Sarah and I made just after Christmas. Wait...I don't think I showed you those:

The nice thing about this hobby is that even if you screw up the design, the cookies are still good to eat. My co-workers will be very happy tomorrow!