… or maybe I should have titled this “How I am Spending My Staycation” because I have another day to go.

We do lots of staycations. We love going places and seeing things, but sometimes, we just want to veg.

However, during this staycation I’ve been pretty active. I’ve met my exercise goal every day of this staycation except maybe today … nope, I’m on track again today.

Usually, when I take a staycation, I write a lot. And I did get in a couple of good writing sessions on Saturday. But not much since.

Instead, I have been on a tear on my violin. I spent this summer on a quest to get the best sound possible out of my violin. It was playing particularly badly. I had tried a D string out of aluminum rather than silver because they kept fraying, but the sound was like a sick french horn. I could almost not bear to play it. The A string wasn’t much better, and the G string would slip under the bow.

Since I knew that the violin once sounded pretty good, I took it to a different luthier–one in Melbourne rather than in my hometown. I asked for his opinion of the bow and the violin, and he told me he thought they were both better than “student violins”. I took that to mean they had hope. He replaced the bridge and the sound post with upgraded versions (who knew?), and put better-quality hair on the bow. I took it home and noticed some improvement after a settling in period of about a week. Then, I changed the strings to a set that promised a warmer sound.

And suddenly, my violin was fun to play again.

Choir practice started again last week, so I had lots of new music to practice, plus I continued some favorites. I have been working all summer on Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, a piece that almost every intermediate student learns in order to master “bow crossings”, which is moving from one string to another under one bow stroke. It’s hard to play well this way. I have also been working on Dust in the Wind, because it is a nice challenge and everyone knows it. I recently added Hava Nagila, a Jewish anthem, because it really rocks, and I came up with an arrangement that includes some bow bouncing techniques that I want to master.

So other than hanging out with my daughter and my husband, that’s how I’m spending my staycation. I’m back to work on Thursday.

But for now, I’m off for my second practice session of the day!