Thank you for your kind and witty comments on my butchered solo. One person sought me out last night to tell me that she had been moved to tears by it (as you may know, musicians can always gauge success by the amount of crying in the audience), so it is possible that it was not as bad as I thought.

It was pretty bad, though.

Anyway, the show last night was very enjoyable. There were some fine voices in the group, and they were well-rehearsed and very cute. This was the youth choir from St. Andrew’s in Plano, Texas, doing Celebrate Life. If you have the chance, go see their production.

I had heard or sung most of the pieces — my kids have done most of them, I think, at one time or another — but I had never seen it staged. They were all in white cotton and natural linen, and had both rousingly funny choreography and quite beautiful liturgical dance.

Afterwards, I brought a couple of them home. I had cooked and cleaned in preparation, but my hostessing duties were very light. I hooked them up with my boys, dogs, and PS2, and then just kept out of the their way. I’ll be doing blueberry pancakes for their breakfast and then putting them on their bus before I go to work.

The number of people who have served as host families to my own kids is so large that I never hesitate to take visiting choristers in.

Week Four of the Summer Reading Challenge is beginning, and I actually have been reading two books per week. I am moving on to the third of the Yellow Rose mysteries, Leann Sweeney’s light novels about a Texas PI who specializes in adoption cases but nonetheless keeps finding herself embroiled in murders.

If you like spunky girl detectives and a bit of wit in a book, you could look further and do worse than these. They have bons mots like “Her hair looked like it had been combed with a dead fish” and “He couldn’t pour pee out of a boot if the instructions were printed on the heel.” That may be the Texas part.

Our local university — and therefore the town —  used to have a big rivalry with Texas. I think it was about football, but it was intense. When we first came here, there would be Longhorn steers penned up on the campus when a game was coming up, and people would taunt them. The radio stations played “I’m a Short, Squat Texan” during football season. Even now, older folks make Texas jokes. The young people do not so much as remember this rivalry. I think the football team changed conferences or something. We play LSU and Ole Miss and so forth, but no one gets emotional about it. There are no grand rivalries.

Taunting cattle is an ignoble occupation, to be sure, so I guess this is an improvement.