Sunday, December 31, 2006

Mother and Son

Jen's face expresses all her joy at being a mom! This photo was taken Saturday when Avery was feeling well. We had fun watching him dance for Uncle Bryan, teaching us all his newly learned signs including "Don't like it" and giving him gifts to tear open off and on throughout the day so he didn't get overloaded all at one sitting. He had a rough night though, sicker than sick, and they headed home this morning as soon as they got their stuff together. Avery loves his mama, and she defintely has his best interests at heart, always. Notice Avery's yellow shirt here, he picked this out himself to wear over the blue shirt that he also chose. I think he looked pretty cute, and I like the fact that Jen lets him wear what he picks out :) He really does love this yellow shirt, his face totally lights up when he talks about it and shows it off!

Year End Two Step

January~ Snowshoes on the rail trail, Avery at the piano, playing at the Wescustogo family dance, attending the Snow Ball in Peterborough, NH, carving a Spam pig for Club-E, geo-caching at the Arboretum...
February~ finding our new home, ordering the FDDLHDZ license plates, going to the Dance Flurry in Saratoga Springs in the dark, celebrating our meeting at the previous year's Whitefield dance, sending SK off to Europe for a winter tour...
March... celebrating Avery's first birthday, moving to Fiddle Ridge, a long distance baby shower for niece Tasha, Richard's hand surgery, Bryan's birthday...
April~ cutting Richard's hair after letting it grow for a year, moving more things into our new home, Easter, Jen's birthday, celebrating our first wedding Anniversary, crocus, daffodils & azaleas...
May~ firepit corn, birds and squirrels, burning brush and clearing the land, playing for a silent auction, robin's nest in the apple tree...
June~ Maine Fiddle Camp, planting the garden, flowers & birds, ticks, painting the barn on Murray Street, having Jen, Toby, Bryan and Avery all at the house together, going to see Beolach in concert in Carthage, Katie's birthday...
July~picking strawberries, splitting firewood, library book sales, selling the Murray Street house, beginning of my Jubilee year, swimming in the outlet brook from Lovejoy Pond, Damariscotta Lake with Richard's family...
August~ splinter in my thumb, Maine Fiddle Camp for an entire week!, playing our first gig at the Norlands, surgery to remove the splinter, purchase of a de-humidifier, the American Folk Festival on the Bangor Water Front...
September~ celebrating my mom and dad's 50th anniversary with all my sisters, playing music out on Chebeague, getting a food freezer, giving up Fiddle-icious and intitiating an occasional date night on Mondays with Richard, picking apples, Common Ground fair, Jen & Jason's anniversary...
October~ Stone Mountain Arts Center for Dean & Kristen's wedding, Toby's birthday, a long drive to Cape Breton and back, family hike up Mt Pisgah, flat sisters go to Virginia...
November~ first snowfall, Bryan moves to San Francisco, a Jerry Holland concert and jam session, family Thanksgiving, Richard's birthday and acquisition of the double bass, Jen & my annual shopping trip and lunch out in the Old Port, welcome to Sam Crilly...
December~ wood fires in the stoves, making date balls and granola to send to family, putting up the biggest Christmas tree ever, outdoor party on Kathi & David's new deck, Ryan and Sam both out of Iraq for the holidays, coffee with the ladies at the Kopper Kettle, holiday cards & gifts, packages being sent...
What a great year it has been.
We are playing more music, hosting a regular weekly jam at our house, have hosted some great family gatherings, live in the woods where it is quiet and peaceful and in general feeling fairly balanced. Tonight we are planning to go to the New Years dance in North Yarmouth, and will toast in the new year with the people, the music and the dancing that is so important to us, that introduced us into each other's lives over the years, and that we've chosen as a focal point for our life together... weave family and nature into all of that and you've got the makings for another great year for the Greens of Wayne Maine. That's probably all the posting for the rest of this year!
Year End Two Step comes from the Fiddler's Throne.

Old Favorite

As the old year winds down, thoughts of the past 364 days wind randomly through my mind. 2006 has been a year of personal growth and achievement. Some of the highlights will get posted today.
December 31st is a wonderful time for me, one of my favorite days of the year... I use it to take stock of who I am and who I want to be... of what I've done and what is still on my "to-do" list... of where I've been and all the places still to be seen... of my place in my corner of the world and how I want to live better here... and of how my actions have impacted the world at large, and how I can be more effective as a sentient being.
Some of the most wonderful things of this past year are:
  • Finding this property with Richard, making it our home together
  • All the gatherings, great and small, with our children and family
  • Maintaining health, in spite of my lack of focus in that area
  • Learning to listen, to myself as well as to others

Check back throughout the day for some recollections and photos of my "old favorites" from 2006... and comment & share yours!

Old Favorite is a jig that can be found in "The Blue Book" which is actually the first volume of The Portland Collection... also known as the indigo book, the purple book, the one that's not green, and pc1.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Andrea's Waltz

Richard's mom and dad hosted a lovely holiday dinner at their home last night! The table was beautifully set, and the dinner delicious (I even got to sample some Watermelon Rind which is a favorite treat from the south). How nice to have the holiday season extend throughout the week between Christmas and the New Year! It is easy to imagine Katie and her cousin Derrick as young children, laughing and joking, and generally having fun in each other's company. As young adults, they spent the evening laughing and joking, and still having fun. Derrick's mom, Andrea joined us too... a very festive time. Pops had back surgery recently, and is finally looking great... I love seeing him up and around, smiling and feeling much better. Thank you "Mom" for putting on a great spread! Some of the leftovers went home with Andrea for her chickens, in hopes that the special treats would encourage them to produce eggs! I wonder if it worked, and how the chickens liked eating turkey!
Andrea's Waltz comes from the Waltz Book Volume Two (the red book).

Steamboat Quickstep


Because we heat primarily with wood (our other sources being candles, personal body heat, and inefficient and as yet unused electric baseboard units) our air in the house is pretty dry. The best ways I know of to combat this are (in combination though not necessarily in order of importance) to A) keep a pot of water on top of the wood stove, B) keep house plants abundantly though not over watered, and to C) invite people in to play music or otherwise be engaged in pleasant conversation (human exhalation contributes in a nice way). No problem watering the house plants, and we've got a nice group of fellow musicians who come to play at the Tuesday jam... but the pot on the woodstove hadn't quite been worked out. We put a kitchen pot on, but ended up with some pesky mineral deposits... and were then minus the pot we'd use to cook our dinner.
Some time during the past couple of weeks, Richard was off to do errands in town, and I added to his list "pot for the woodstove". We had received a Gift Card to L.L. Bean's (thanks Greg, Lisa & boys), and I know that they have a nice dish made especially for this purpose. I tried to describe what I wanted, and I'm not sure if I was ever really clear, but it didn't work out that he found ANYTHING suitable. Imagine my surprise and delight to open this "Stovetop Steamer" which is EXACTLY what I wanted! We fill it every day, it quietly puts moisture into the air as the woodstove burns it's cheery flames, and our combination of "best ways" to keep our humidity levels balanced in the winter is now in harmony.
Thank you Jen & Jason for this lovely and practical Christmas gift!
Steamboat Quickstep can be found in the New England Fiddler's Repertoire... also known in some circles as "The Brown Book".

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Lady Ann Montgomery

This post may be a bit obscure unless you are familiar with this particular fiddle tune. Most fiddle tunes have an 'A' part and a 'B' part... distinctly different, but they go together. When I play Lady Ann Montgomery, the A part feels like a "modern" Victorian era woman is out doing her errands, staying on task and focused, going in and out of shops, doing her business. The B part feels like when she is all finished with her errands and she's on her way home, spirits soaring as she lifts her face to the sunshine and drinks in the fresh air, listening to birds sing and grasses grow. Maybe that's why I like this tune so much...it gives me great joy to think of Lady Ann living her life as my role model... spending her mornings being productive and then letting loose in the afternoon with the joy of living as she continues on her way. You might be able to google "Lady Ann Montgomery Tune" and find a midi file to listen to... if you wanted to listen to it. Anyway, that's what I'm thinking of this afternoon :)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Marie Dips Her Bread

Tonight, in addition to our regular Tuesday fiddle jam, we invited fellow musicians to join us for potluck before we played music. We made a shrimp stir-fry for starters... added to that was a delicious curry and rice from Al & Marlene... bread and wine from Jim... nachos from Cynthia... bread and dipping oil from Sandy. After conversation and food, we got down to business and played a nice assortment of tunes... some standard favorites and some fairly new to us. We practiced a few tunes from the Mighty Cloud of Fiddlers list... this is an open invitation for all fiddlers to join in and play for the North Yarmouth dance on January 13th, it will benefit the Habitat for Humanity.
Marie Dips Her Bread can be found in the second volume of the Portland Collection.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Day Ida Moarnin'

Merry Christmas
Richard and I spent the day in leisurely fashion... checking out our stockings and having coffee this morning... hanging out in the den with our computers until the kids got up. SK unpacked her stocking before heading to her mom's... and T-boy slept in. So, mid-morning R & I headed out on the road to visit his parents, and then mine. We're back home now... and feeling really good about this holiday season. This past month has been about as busy as it needed to be but not much more... has been fairly commercialized but not totally so... has offered many tasty opportunities for treats and sweets but it doesn't show too much... and the bank account is a bit less than last month but not horribly so. It's been a good Christmas season, good spirits and good health all around.
As I settle in for the evening, and reflect on events of the last 30 days, I realize how lucky I am to have a good amount of balance in my life. It is a blessing to be able to let some things go in the name of "maintaining sanity" and also to recognize that there are some things that I just can't do without. I loved making hundreds of date balls this season (literally) and did not miss making the needhams (I challenge any of you who want them to put it on YOUR list next year, hehehe). I loved using salvaged brown paper to pre-wrap awkwardly shaped gifts and also to wrap packages being sent away, and I loved having many rolls of brightly colored holiday paper and bags of shiny bows. I loved making the evergreen garland to grace our front door, and I didn't miss making the wreaths at all. I loved hosting the annual family party this year, and I look forward to Deb hosting it again next year. I missed some of the music jams and dances this month, but I'm happy that our Tuesday jam happens every week and provides the venue to share music and conversation with friends. We haven't seen a lot of anyone in particular, but we've had the opportunity to visit with many. Balance... a little of this and that, and time to enjoy it all.
Christmas Day Ida Moarnin' comes from the Fiddler's Fakebook.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

... and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not our cat Little, not a mouse.
Clement C. Moore did a fabulous job writing this timeless holiday classic, and it runs through my mind every Christmas eve. No little ones hanging 'round the house these days (other than Avery's sweet face on occasion) but we are thankful for the adult children who share our home during the holiday season, whether it is for an hour, or a day... or a day early or a week later... it's all good.
We unwrapped our gifts this evening as we had dinner. It was fun to take turns gathering presents from under the tree and then handing them out to each other, watching faces as the paper is untangled from the packages and the bows are tossed aside.
It's been a good year, one of great joy and also one of great lessons. I feel I'm more humble, and more strong... more tolerant and more impatient... more loving over all. If I could come up with one word that was a theme throughout the past year I would say it is relationship... with my husband, my children, my parents, my co-workers, my sisters and my friends. How I relate with each of them, and how I allow myself being related to by them... it's all such a process... a lot of work, but also a lot of joy and even more wondrous awareness. Not all easy, not all pretty, but all of it necessary at one level or another... and all of it good.
'Twas the Night Before Christmas, and all through this house
is the love of our children, of me, and my spouse.
Our stockings are filled, set aside with great care
waiting for morning to see what is in there.
The moon shines it's light on a lawn void of snow
no luster, no shine of the stars heavenly glow.
Out here in the woods, there's nothing to clatter
but a dishwasher cycling through dishes and platters.
The tree, how it sparkles... the lights, how they shine
with the joy of a family, a love quite divine.
The trimmings, the treats, the ribbons and bows
the eggnog and date balls and what else, no one knows.
As we quietly spend time this years Christmas eve,
it's important to remember in what we believe.
So, be it Santa, or Jesus, or a full Menorrah
Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, and a Lovely Kwanzaa.
I believe that Jesus Christ came to us here on earth, the son of God in the form of man... a prophet, a guide, an example of goodness, mercy, love and faith. I believe that Christmas is a time of celebrating all of that goodness, of mustering all the goodness, positive energy, sharing spirit, love and faith that we can find within ourselves. I believe we have the opportunity and the privilege to open our hearts and to share all of that with one another, with our families and friends, and with our communities... we have that chance every day in small ways... and at Christmas we have the opportunity to re-assess our priorities and make choices about how we will spend our time and resources for those closest to us, and to humanity at large.
I believe we are each given a good measure of talents and abilities that can make a difference in our world. We each hold a different and special measure of passion, and we can each mold ourselves and our corner of the universe so that it will benefit the greater good of mankind. If we don't use these personal resources, we run the risk of losing those talents forever.
"Twas the Night Before Christmas... a week before the new year... in what do you believe? Where do we spend our time? Who do we talk with, share with, work with?
Though not a fiddle tune, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' is indeed a seasonal classic, compliments of Clement C. Moore.
Merry Christmas, 2006.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Giggles from the Bear


Avery LOVED his Christmas bear... maybe because he's all soft and squooshy, maybe because he can sit at his new table and chair set... maybe because the Christmas bear is agreeable to everything, including tea parties! Avery named his new friend "Avery Bear". We had a great afternoon visiting with Jen, Jason, Avery and Toby... and then at the Davis family gathering. We had tons of delicious food, lots of tasty drink choices, and some sweet treats. The Yankee Swap went off without any casualties or hurt feelings. And the hit of the day was the ongoing series of door prizes given out by Richard!

Christmas sharing of gifts will continue Sunday evening and into Monday, and even throughout the week until the 29th when Bryan is home. A week of Christmas! How special is that!

Giggles from the Bear is a tune you can find in the Lighthouse Collection.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Blackberry Blossom

Tuesday night we host a jam session here at our house... we started shortly after moving out here to Fiddle Ridge. We started it as an incentive for us to play music on a regular basis, if only once a week (we almost always play more than THAT). What has happened in addition to that is that we've had the opportunity to get to know some fellow musicians better, and now have some wonderful friends. Last night, Jim brought us some blackberry jam that he made, it's his specialty! And Paul brought a three legged jamming stool for me... he'd already made one for Richard, but the legs were a little tall... so he made another one that is a PERFECT FIT.
We play from about 6:30-9:00, and conversation weaves through the evening between playing tunes. When I look back over the past year, and all the great things we've done, and people we've spent time with, this is one recurring event that is at the top of the list. As we get ready to head into a new year, I'll be reflecting on some other highlights of 2006... check back for more!
Blackberry Blossom can be found with some variations in the Portland Collection and the Fiddler's Fakebook.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Coffee


I was right on target today, haha. Seriously, I had a great day finishing up all my Christmas shopping. It took the entire day, believe it or not... once I set my mind to task, I just had to see everything that was available so that I could make the best choices. Typically I'm not a big fan of shopping, and I avoid it at all costs. But this holiday season has been a lot of fun, and relatively stress free and that has got me just wanting to do things up big this year. I have quite a few projects in the works, things that I'm making or putting my personal efforts into making special. I try to set my mind against all the commercialism, but this has been a good year for us, and it's fun to be able to share that with our children and family.
My first stop of the morning was at the Kopper Kettle to have coffee with my mom-in-law and her friends... I had such a good time! It was fun to listen to the stories, past and present, and especially nice to experience their very close friendship. I hope I get to join them again sometime.
The next phase of my day involved shopping at various stores including Target, Sears, Big Lots, and some others that I forget the name of. The lines were short, the traffic was fairly light, and the weather was mild.
After shopping, I visited my father-in-law who recently had back surgery. He was out walking! It's so good to see him up and around. Then it was back home to Wayne to unload the car, have some dinner, and then wrap packages.
Coffee comes from the Portland Collection.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Quarter Deck

New life, visible on an ultrasound... welcome Baby E.

The outdoor deck tree, trimmed with many lights and pine cones.
The deck with it's partially arbored space... perfect place for overhead Christmas lights and beautiful holiday balls.

This afternoon, many members of the Davis family gathered at Kathy & David's for a seasonal celebration. This was the first big event held on their new outdoor deck space. Though there are many reasons to celebrate this year as a family, for my sister I know she couldn't have asked for anything better than for her boys to be back in the states. Sam is home from Iraq... Kathy got to visit him briefly as he had a layover in Bangor on his way home to Texas where he lives with his wife Jess. And Ryan is home too, visiting for the week with his wife Natascha. We enjoyed visiting with them both, and happy that they are pregnant with their first child, affectionately referred to as "Baby E" since the names they've chosen are Emily or Ethan... we wish them well.

It was great fun to have an evening with my sisters... to enjoy good food and to have comaraderie in spirit.
Quarter Deck comes from the Phillips Collection of American Fiddle Tunes.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

December March


The United States Postal Service is on their December march to get the mail delivered on time for Christmas! Monday is projected to be their busiest day, that being the deadline for packages to be mailed for arrival by Christmas.
I got our two final packages in the mail this morning, beating the deadline by a day, whahooo! Our local Post office was actually closed for business, so I drove into nearby Winthrop, anticipating a crowded wait but there were only a few people there... a quick trip for me!
The march is on though, to finish up last minute projects and do any last minute shopping on Monday (my day off, which works out so good for me). I'll work this coming week, Tuesday through Thursday and then be off for the long holiday weekend. Having a clear time table at the beginning of the month has kept me on track for having a great holiday season. I've geared down my historically long gift list, simplified some activities, left a few goodies off my "have-to-bake" list, and said "no" to a few events... it's all worked to create a joyful and memorable (and hopefully repeated in the future) month of December.
December March can be found in the Portland Collection, Volume Two.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Train 45

Avery and I spent the afternoon together while Jen attended a meeting. We had a great time checking out the mice, gerbils, fish and cats at the pet store. Then, on to the craft store to see the Christmas trees, and various santa and snowman figures. We found some alphabet blocks, and A sang me the A-B-C song... then he spelled his name for me! We made our way over to the bookstore and after choosing a few books for me, we found the children's section of the store... complete with a HUGE table set up with a wooden Thomas the Train set. Avery loved it. Several other children stopped to play, they all shared trains pretty well for little kids. We checked out the nature section, stopping to identify all the pictures on the front covers, and making the appropriate animal sounds... "tweet, tweet", "roaaaarh", "neighhhhhh" among others. The cafe was our next stop, Avery chose a big sugar cookie with red sprinkles and a glass of milk. For me? My regular, soy caramel machiato. Now, I know there are about 5,000 calories and who knows what else in there, but I've been pretty good at limiting my special coffee intake... I really enjoyed this treat. Back to Thomas the Train until Jen finished her meeting and met up with us. We had plenty of time to chat while Avery played... he was very happy and content, and did a great job sharing and interacting with everyone this afternoon. How fun for me to spend time with him!
Train 45 can be found in Twin Fiddling.

I Feel Blue

This time of year can be hard on a lot of folks. The shorter days and fewer hours of sunlight... holiday rush and commercial pressures to buy, buy, buy... colder weather that encourages staying indoors next to the fire or heater rather than getting out and about... all these things work together to create a challenge to be positive. Not everyone who gets blue realizes that they're feeling down, but it can be evident to those around them. Whether it's true clinical depression that gets worse in the winter, or a seasonal affective disorder, or even just a day or two of feeling overwhelmed, it presents a challenge for those of us who feel more upbeat and energized... the challenge for me is to slow down once in awhile to give a smile, a hug, or to engage others into my activities at a level that is comfortable, and not to leave the humbuggers behind.
I don't always succeed, but I try.
Personally, I find a lot to be thankful and positive about... I am healthy, am married to a great guy, have a great job with people I respect doing work I believe in, have opportunity to play and share music with friends, get together with family, live in a beautiful home in the woods, and am blessed with wonderful children and an adorable grandson. Each morning when I check my email, I have a positive motivational statement waiting for me, and I post that onto my desktop so whenever I'm at my computer I have that message greeting me... I don't often remember what it says throughout the day, but I believe having that message early on sets the tone for how I approach the day.
Our personal perceptions don't always match up with how we really present ourselves to the world. Talking about our feelings and thoughts, our goals and being part of a community can help those who are positive, and those with more of a negative outlook, to achieve some balance with one another.
What are your thoughts?
I Feel Blue comes from the Curvy Road to Corinth.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Yankee Ingenuity

Yankee Candle's "Mistletoe" scent in a jar is aweseome. Our Christmas tree, big and fabulous as it is, does not have a lot of odiferous presence... you know, that evergreen smell that fills the room. At our office party, after all the theme baskets were exchanged Yankee Swap style, one of my friends and I made one more trade... I gave a bottle of wine and received this candle in a jar. The next day, after putting our tree up, I lit the candle and voila... instant evergreen aroma. It really does enhance the tree's presentation. With some nice Christmas music playing (I like Windham Hill's offerings) and a few tasty treats of the season, I have something for all the senses. It feels, sounds, tastes, smells, and looks like Christmas!Yankee Ingenuity is not a tune, but it is the name of a contradance band. You can find out more at http://home.comcast.net/~peterbarnes/bands.html.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Forest Road


Our road is about 1/10 of a mile from the main road, and then our driveway into the yard is off that. The road is fairly narrow, and lined with trees and stone walls and I just love driving that little stretch. It's almost like it's a separate world from the house and chores, and the outside world of work and people. It only takes a moment to pass from one end to the other, but it's enough time for a smile to cross my face and a peace come into my soul.
Life intrudes even into those quiet spaces though... our plow guy requested that we trim back the branches to avoid them scraping his truck as he clears things out after a snowstorm. We know it's necessary, and had talked about it even before the request was made so it wasn't some new or foreign idea. Still, as practical as it is to have a cleared road, I still kind of like the idea of this 1/10 of a mile being separated from the rest of the world... and I think it won't take me long to adjust to the new open-ness.
Forest Road comes from the Fiddler's Throne.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

High Level Hornpipe


Sunday afternoon found us out in the forest in search of the perfect Christmas tree for our first season here at Fiddle Ridge. The dense underbrush made it impossible to find anything full and shapely near the ground, so we turned our eyes upward and settled on this lovely spruce, about 50 feet up in the air. Richard cut it down... and cut it again, and again until finally we had about 15 feet of tree.

The weather was absolutely perfect for being outdoors this afternoon.


Well worth the effort, wouldn't you say? We used three ladders (including an extension ladder, an 8 foot stepladder and a 6 foot stepladder) to put the lights on and decorate the tree. Oh, and an emergency trip to Rite Aid to purchase more lights because, well, we really didn't know how many it would take to cover the tree. We finished after dark. It is truly beautiful though. We had fun.

High Level Hornpipe comes from the Fiddle Music of PEI.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Cold Frosty Morning

'Twas a cold frosty morning' here in Wayne. Temperatures in the 20's & 30's, no melting of snow or ice to be seen. Quite beautiful though.
We spent the afternoon and evening visiting with friends from work. First a pre-game get together at Kim & Mike's and then we all met at Sedgley Place in Greene for dinner and exchanging of theme baskets, Yankkee Swap style. We had such a fun time with everyone.
Cold Frosty Morning comes from the Fiddler's Fakebook.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Snowstorm

A substantial amount of snow fell last night. This is the lovely scene I found outside our door this morning... very peaceful.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Shove That Pigs Foot A Little Further Into the Fire



Yes, there really is a fiddle tune by this name, but it doesn't refer to the foot of a pig! A pigs foot is like a fire poker. These are our wood stoves. The Kent (top photo of small black box stove) is in the living room, and sports a glass door to add ambiance to the room. The Tirolia (bottom photo, big white box) is in our kitchen and has a glom of pipes going in and out of it, to heat the hot water. When the top of the stove is raised, it allows a lot of heat to come into the room. I haven't cooked in or on this stove yet, but I do know the oven will heat to 350 degrees... I'll be popping something in there to bake one of these days!
Shove That Pigs Foot... can be found in the Portland Collection, Volume One.

Orange Blossom Special


Bits of dried orange peel, coconut, sunflower seeds, oats and more go into the special granola that I make at home... tasty and healthy! I started making this breakfast treat earlier this summer, and found it to be so easy and delicious that I continue to make it for ourselves and to share.
This afternoon I also made date balls, a traditional treat that has been made in my family for generations. With its organic dates, unsulfured coconut, Rice Krispies and nuts, it too could be a little treat for the breakfast table! Hanging out in the kitchen for a few hours helps me get centered and focused in my busy life... and the results beyond my good mood last throughout the week!
Orange Blossom Special can be found in the Fiddler's Fakebook.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Annie May's Kitchen

We spent this evening in the kitchen at the Norlands, playing tunes for a dance. The Norlands hosts a live-in program during the year for students at UMF... it's an intensive study of life on a farm in rural Maine in the 18th and 19th centuries. The students take part in chores inside the home, in the barn, and on the property... and they also get to learn about things like making ice-cream and contradancing. We've played at the Norlands a few times this year, and we have such a good time. The live-ins are our favorites because the students have a great time. The dance caller, Bruce, is stern yet patient with them... there's a lot of laughing and smiling from everyone. The Norlands staff steps back in time to assume character roles, enhancing the experience. I don't know if there ever was an Annie May who lived at the Norlands, but I'll pretend for the sake of this blog post title!
Annie May's Kitchen is from the Lighthouse Collection.

Long Stretch

This week was a long one for me... five days at the office. Now, I know that many people work five or six days EVERY WEEK, and I've done that in the past too. The way I've structured my life for the past 12 years is to work three or four days a week... with the overall goal of having quality time in all areas of my life.
There is a couple who believed in putting four hours a day into bread labor, those tasks that will generate income for the household. They allow time in their daily routine for chores, and encourage time for conversation & creativity. (This is my impression of them anyway). What this structure does is help balance my time, or at least allow the possibility of balance... how I use the time depends on my personal mission statement. Having a personal mission statement helps keep my mind and activities focused on those things that I KNOW are most important to me. Whenever I get out of balance, feel stressed, or am not feeling personally fulfilled I know it's time to measure what I'm DOING against what I WANT to be doing... and then maybe saying no to a few people or activities.
This week I spent more than my four hours a day doing bread labor, but it worked out fine because I was doing work I love, with people I respect in an environment that is positive. And it was only one week.
When I got home Friday afternoon, I needed to re-group and get the house chores caught up, build a nice fire and settle into being at home. Knowing what I'm all about, and the things I want to be engaged in, having a personal mission statement to guide me... I'm ready for a fabulous day playing music, walking in the woods, gathering people together for music and food, and sharing our music with the community later on this evening. Life is Good!
Long Stretch can be found in the Lighthouse Collection.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Water Colors

The latest work of art arrived this afternoon in the mail... a beautiful picture drawn by none other than our favorite artist, Avery. He has a flair for color, don't you think?
Water Colors comes from the Lighthouse Collection.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Forester's Hornpipe

A walk in the forest around our house yielded enough evergreen boughs for a 12 foot garland which we hung over our front door. We collected fir, hemlock, pine and spruce... the effect is quite nice with lots of texture. Woven in here and there are bits of moss, some sticks and a few pine cones. It's nice having treasures from the woods gracing our entry for the beginning of the holiday season!
Forester's Hornpipe can be found in the Portland Collection Volume Two as well as in the Repertoire.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Greasy String


Caring for your stringed instrument is a tricky business at any time of the year, but winter in Maine brings some special considerations, namely the dry air and fluctuating temperatures. Here are a few tips that we know and follow.
...Humidify the air in your home, either with a humidifier or by placing a bowl of water on the wood stove, radiators, or heaters. I think having lots of plants helps to put some moisture back into the air too, even if it is by making me conscious that I need to water them (so I can 'water' the instruments too)
... Humidify the instruments if possible. We have Damp-Its for the fiddles, and they make similar devices for guitars and other stringed instruments. We've ordered a humidifier that sits behind our piano to keep humidity in that area.
... Keep instruments covered. I like to have my fiddle out so it is quickly and easily accessible whenever I feel like blasting out a tune or two, but I do have to remember to keep a cloth over it to prevent dust from settling on the wood or the strings. We make an attempt to keep the piano cover down over the keys when not in use. Some instruments are left on stands uncovered, and I try to keep those dusted off (guitar, bass, banjo) but ideally everything would be kept in their cases until ready to be played... Richard is much better at this than I am!
... Keep the bow under cover when not in use, and also don't touch the hair... you can get your body oils on the hair and you won't get the sound and performance that you want and need.
... Store instruments in a safe area where they are not likely to be knocked into, dropped onto, or piled up on with papers etc. Store instruments out of the sun, away from wood stoves or blowing air from heaters or registers.
... Keep hands and clothing clean and dry. Lotions, oils, household products, food products... all these things can affect the finish of your instruments, and the performance of strings and bows.
... Keep drum heads clean of dust, and lightly spray to keep the skin supple. Also, don't over tighten the screws.
... Warm up your vehicle before transporting your instrument to your local jam, band practice, or dance. The extreme differences in temperatures can be disastrous at worst, and inconvenient at best.
Happy playing!

Greasy String can be found in the Portland Collection, as well as in the Phillips Collection.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Baker's Favorite

The favorite thing of any baker I know is an adoring crowd who loves what has been baked... and we had a table full of appreciative lovers of home baked goods at our table today! Here's a photo before everyone arrived ... we had a sit down traditional Thanksgiving dinner for 16. Everyone contributed, and though it's a good amount of work to put on a meal of this size, it was great to have our families together at our table today.
We missed those who are away or were not able to join us, and hope they had a good holiday wherever they are.

Baker's Favorite comes from the Reckless Reel... it may refer to a baker, but it could also refer to Elke Baker who is a great fiddler.

Peas In The Pot

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
I'm a big promoter of being thankful every day, of starting each morning being happy with myself and the world I've chosen... but today folks, TODAY is the BIG day for recognizing the things that I am truly thankful for.
I am thankful for my life. "The life you live is the life you choose" is a pretty awesome quote that I came across this year, and it's so true. Whenever I get a little down, or dis-satisfied, I think back on that quote and it gets me back on track... gets me responsible for WHERE I am and what I'm doing.
I am thankful for my family, each and every one of them. I love them for everything they are to me, for everything they are for themselves, for all that we stretch to be for ourselves. My mom and dad, sisters, brothers (in-law), neices, nephews, grandparents past, my in-laws Dick & Betty, my new sisters & brothers in law Green and their families... the list here goes on and on because we're all so inter-connected in our lives, but you get the idea... I love you all!
I am thankful my children who are as much of a joy in their adult lives as they were in their infancy, toddlerhood, childhood, adolescence, and teen hood. Jen, Toby and Bryan have shown me true magic, and taught me true love. Now there is little Avery who is a constant reminder that the magic continues even as I get older :) He is just amazing. And SK, though you haven't been in my life for years & years, I am thankful for you and your presence in my life.
I am thankful for Richard, my husband. We are learning much together about life and about this thing called marriage. I am thankful that we are both committed to one another and to building this life together, filled with music, love, family and friends.
I am thankful for my health, my friends, my work, my home, and the talents I have, whether great or small. I appreciate the opportunities I have, and the resources available to me. I am thankful for my energy and spirit, and for those people in my life who encourage me to nuture and feed that part of me that is my very essence.
I am even thankful for blogging, because it gives me the space to share what's going on in my life with anyone who cares to check in, and provides space for family far away to connect with life back here in rural Maine.
What are you thankful for?
Peas in the Pod comes from the Phillips Collection of Traditional American Fiddle Tunes.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Devil's Dream

What a great tune this is... great energy and great fun to play. This was one of the last tunes we chose at the end of our Tuesday jam... not one I've played often, but one that I always LOVE. And I did it without books or sheet music, which was a little victory for me. I learned to play instruments using printed material, and it's a crutch I still rely on heavily... and it's something that is no longer a crutch but more of a hindrance most of the time. When our books get left behind and I'm forced by circumstance to just PLAY, I am quite capable of working through the tune and by the second time through I can almost always get it... so it seems like I have all that I need inside of myself to just PLAY the TUNES. Gotta work more on that :)
Devil's Dream can be found in the Fakebook and also in the Repertoire.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Behind the Bush in the Garden...

... are many, many leaves. Even though I've raked a few times already, the recent rains and heavy winds blew the rest of the leaves off the trees, depositing them in the yard. Though we live off the road, I still like things to be picked up and tidy outside. It makes a big difference to me when I drive in at the end of a work day, when I wake up and look outside in the morning, and when I'm wandering around the yard on my day off... to have things in order, put away, looking as though someone really cares about the house and property. So, I raked through the perennial beds, again, and raked the front lawn. I should be able to finish it tomorrow afternoon. It's a pretty big job, but also has a huge payoff, since it's the first thing anyone sees when they drive in here. Definitely worth the effort.
There are some who say the leaves in the garden are good mulch over the plants, and I agree that is nice... but maybe not necessary. What I did do is take the bunched up, twisted mass of iris and day lily leaves, comb them with my fingers to remove leaves, and twist them into French knots, as if they were great masses of hair. I figure this will give them some insulation against the cold, and certainly at least as much as some leaves. We'll see how they fare through the winter, and how many blooms we get in the spring & summer next year. For now, it looks really good out there.
In other news, there are photos of Sam Crilly at http://artofpossibilities.blogspot.com/

Blinding Sunrise

Whahooo! Bright, glorious, happy, warm, glowing, lovely sunshine this morning! We've had a nice long stretch of rain and gloom... I've used this time to catch up on some house chores & to clean off my desk (well, mostly). But today, even though I have still got a few inside projects going and I really WANT to be baking, I'm going to spend the day OUTSIDE in the sunshine and fresh air! Stay tuned for photos and an update on activities here!
Blinding Sunrise can be found in the Lighthouse Collection.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Superlative Sam's Reel

No photos, but I do have BIG NEWS... Little Samuel Forrest Crilly officially came into the world this morning at 7:46 am weighing in at 9 lbs 1 oz, and measuring 22 inches long! Mom, dad and babe are all doing well, and reports have come to me that it's been a busy day of visiting in the hospital! This roving reporter may wait a day or so before making a guest appearance, in an effort to avoid the crowds :)
"Congratulations" Forrest & Justine, and "Welcome" little Sam... your Auntie Spamm is looking forward to meeting you!
Superlative Sam's Reel comes from the Reckless Reel.

Rainy Day Waltz

It's pouring rain and the winds are a-blowin' this morning... and we're taking full advantage of the weather situation to catch up on inside chores. We're listening to Aztec Two Step, having a nice leisurely breakfast of yoghurt and granola, and I'm thinking about the things I want to accomplish over the next week or so. I am feeling a HUGE surge of creative energy washing over me... now to channel it toward good instead of evil :) All kidding aside, I love having a seemingly endless amount of time to use anyway I want (in my life, anything more than 3 days is a luxury) and I have a lot of ideas, projects in progress, and even a couple of chores that I want to tie up so I can get onto other fabulous things! Music has a huge impact on me when I'm in this sort of mood, and ATS has just the right sort of affect on me.
In other news, I believe little Samuel Crilly has made his debut into the world, though I haven't had any formal word... Congratulations to Justine and Forrest! Life will never be the same :)
Rainy Day Waltz is a tune from one of our binders, written at Maine Fiddle Camp a few years ago by my sister and other tunesmiths in training, with the guidance of Steve Muise.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dog Amongst The Bushes


This is an archived photo from our hike up Mt Pisgah in October of this year. Bryan had a good time showing Avery how to do interesting things like jump and ride on Oscar's back. Avery is quite impressionable these days, and remembers so much... good AND bad :)

Bryan has arrived in California, found a place to live, and will start his new position next week. We'll miss him at the Thanksgiving table next week, but if he holds true to form, he'll find people to share a turkey with and form some lasting friendships.

Dog Amongst the Bushes is a fiddle tune we've collected along the way, who knows where it came to us from!

Turkey in the Straw

That's where our turkey is, I think... I ordered our Thanksgiving turkeys yesterday! This is a first for me, I've always gotten a frozen bird and spent days thawing it out in the refrigerator... This year I got a great tip from a patient, to order fresh turkey to be picked up the day before Thanksgiving... so we (Peter & I) ordered them. I'm so excited about having the refrigerator free for other things, and to experience the taste of a non-frozen bird.
Our menu has some traditional foods as well as a few new recipes to try. I think we'll have about 16 people gracing our table(s) this year... we're looking forward to sharing the day with family.
When I was a little girl, my sisters and I would walk to our grandmothers house to watch the parades in color (that should give you an idea that I'm older than 20, hahaha) while the food was being prepared at someone's house (my folks or an aunts place). I think maybe when my grandmother hosted we didn't get to go watch the parades there.
I love having family and friends gather together, for holidays and sometimes just to celebrate the good things in life without a special date attached.
How are you planning to spend your Thanksgiving holiday?
Turkey in the Straw is an old time fiddle tune you can find in many resources, including the Fiddler's Fakebook.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Laughing Boy


I had the wonderful opportunity to spend the afternoon and evening with Avery today... we had such great fun together! We colored, sang songs, had a snack, stacked legos... and Avery practiced his newly learned football moves which include yelling "Foot-ball", "Tack-el" and "Run". He then pretends to be running with the football, slows down and drops to the floor, lies on his side with one leg up in the air... then he gets up and says "Okay!" and does the whole routine over again... too funny! I think he would have done this until bedtime if I hadn't intervened with a few other activities. This photo is NOT an activity I thought up, this was purely Avery's idea to put on my shoes and walk around! He's a really sweet little boy, and I just love spending time with him. Jen and Jason are doing a fine job raising him.
Laughing Boy comes from the Phillips Collection of Traditional American Fiddle Tunes.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Green Eyes


These Green Eyes were on the New England Patriots Sunday afternoon.
Dick and Betty drove up from Topsham with all the makings for sandwiches to share with us for lunch, and to celebrate Richard's birthday. I love entertaining, and this lunch was a lot of fun, as well as EASY! Having all the sandwich fixings ready to assemble, a side salad, and a pot of meatball soup made for a hearty and tasty meal with very little fuss. For dessert I made a cheesecake (Richard's request) with a Butter Rum Sauce. After lunch, the guys went into our newly appointed den & tv area to watch the game while Betty, SK and I clipped coupons and had some 'girl talk' in the living room. In the evening, Richard, SK, Toby and I used this space again to watch the Wizard of Oz! This is probably the most television viewing that has happened in this house since we moved in! Television isn't my favorite pasttime, but it's nice to have it available now and then for something planned and special.
Green Eyes can be found in the Waltz Book, volume two.

Saturday Morning


This morning we went in search of a suitable birthday gift for Richard... he's been wanting a double bass (well, some of you may have heard me mention my own desire for getting a stand up bass!) We had a couple of possibilities, and chose to start with the one closest to home. What fun! We started the outing with a delicious breakfast at Slate's in Hallowell... very special... I highly recommend the boursin eggs benedict. These could be a new variation on an old favorite holiday breakfast at the Green household in the near future! Then, off to West Gardiner where we met a VERY interesting man, Jim, who had many, many instruments. He started with this bass you see here, and continued on with a fiddle, a mandolin, and a banjo. I think he would have kept going, but we really only wanted the bass. The deal was secured and we then had the tricky task of putting it in the car. We ended up putting it in the back seat, laying down with the neck extended up between the front seats so it was right between the two of us all the way home :) Before we left, Jim had one more thing to show us... a hot rod that he and some friends are building. I got to climb in and sit in this drag racing car! He even explained to me how to put the gears into reverse, hold the special button down, floor the gas pedal and then release the button which would pop the transmission into instant drive at 100,000 miles per hour (okay, that's an exaggeration), but essentially you take off like a rocket. Not that I can really remember exactly how to do it, but sitting in the car, being talked through all the steps, gave me enough information to imagine myself being hurtled down a drag strip. Richard spent the afternoon playing around with the bass, getting used to its size and sound. We're both going to enjoy this new addition to our family of instruments! The rest of the afternoon and evening were spent in North Yarmouth, first playing for the family dance, and then dancing to the tunes of the Contrapuntal Iguanas. Happy Birthday Richard.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Happy Birthday to You...

Happy Birthday Richard :)
Wishing you the best day, the best week, the best year... all leading to the best life ever... one moment at a time.
Experiencing life with you by my side makes everything richer, more beautiful, more intense, and more exciting... I love you!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Gray Days of Autumn

Sunshine and blue skies dispelled any memories of recent rain and gray days. Temperatures were mild, and the annual pre-holiday shopping trip for me and my daughter was wonderful, weather wise. We always have such fun, not having any plans for purchasing anything in particular. Indeed, we've been asked, "Well, what did you get?" or "Why do you go?" To which I answer, to spend time together.
What a great 'girls day out'. We do go to a few select stores, sometimes just for the experience... there are actually a couple of stores we almost NEVER buy anything. But we like to look, see what is new on the shelves, smell the smells, see a few familiar faces... and we talk... and we chat... and we discuss things. And we have lunch out, and chat more, and shop a bit more before heading back north to our respective homes.
The gray days of autumn lead soon enough to the gray and cold days of winter. But somewhere in between are the bright and happy days of pre-holiday and holidays... full of laughter, stories, and sharing. Jen and I will have other shopping trips this season... but we look back with smiles on our trip to the "Old Port"...
Thanks Jen for a great day... I love being your mom, and your friend!
Gray Days of Autumn can be found in the Curvy Road to Corinth.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Jerry Holland's Strathspey

We heard many tunes this evening, including strathspeys, reels, jigs, airs, marches and more... all played by Jerry Holland. What a fun evening of music, and not too far from home either. We learned of the New England Celtic Arts Center in Carthage Maine earlier this summer, and had gone up there to hear Beolach. Tonight's performance also included a jam before and after the concert! There were quite a few of our fiddling friends in attendance, as well as the many loyal patrons of the Arts Center. Jerry Holland is a great Cape Breton fiddler with an easy way about his playing... he makes it look so simple :)
Jerry Holland's Strathspey can be found, where else, in Jerry Holland's Collection of Fiddle Tunes of course!

Happy Anniversary...


Today is the official 50th anniversary of my mom and dad's marriage... Happy Anniversary! You may remember stories and photos posted earlier as we celebrated as a family. I had tried to call them earlier today with happy wishes, but got no answer... another try with simliar unsuccessful results... and I wondered where they could be... and if it was possible they'd gone to the beach. Popham has been a favorite place for them, and in turn for all of their daughters (me included). Indeed, when I reached them late this afternoon I found out they had taken the day to themselves to stroll along in the sand, enjoying the fresh air and one another's company... I can't imagine a better way for them to mark this milestone in their life together.

My mom and dad have always been strongly and openly supportive of one another, in their marriage values, in the way they raised their five daughters, in their community activities, and in their personal growth and interests. They've experience many events and emotions over the years, always together, two unique individuals united as one unique entity... a model for my sisters and myself. Spontaneous and solid, stern and loving, quick with advice and as quick to listen... I'm lucky to be their daughter, and I wish them well as they continue their journey together... I love you both.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dooney Rock


The perennial bed has been raked of leaves this fall... twice. The old, dry sticks that once supported lovely flowers have been taken away. Clumps of grass and weeds have been plucked and tossed. What is left are the brown remains of summer blooms long gone... and more leaves... and occasional pellets of early snow. These are the colors of the season!
Dooney Rock comes from the Fiddler's Throne.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Cleveland Is Elected

I heard reports that voter turnout this year was heavy in many places. It seemed like a good number of people here in Wayne when I stopped in after work. Richard had gone earlier in the day and avoided long lines. The process was taking a little longer than usual tonight because the officials had run out of the local ballots, which were printed on yellow paper. So, they decided to make copies... printing yellow ballots on white paper... one by one... as the voters were standing in their booth waiting for the yellow ballot sheet... and the lines at the door grew longer and longer. I think it wasn't too bad for most folks, it's the time of year when neighbors catch up on what's going on around town. As for me, I was close to the head of the line when they started the copying, so I didn't have to wait very long. I wonder when they ran out of ink... it takes a few mintues to print out a yellow ballot sheet, and with five or so voting booths going all at the same time, you can imagine the chaos that could potentially create!
Did you vote today? Do you have any interesting stories to share?
Cleveland is Elected comes from the Phillips Collection of Traditional American Fiddle Tunes.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Road to California


The road to California started in Wayne Maine this morning. Bryan has been home for a couple of months or so, and Richard & I have had a wonderful time with him. B is a free spirit, seeking adventure and opportunity wherever he can find it... we wish him well. In all his travels though, he still has a strong sense of home here among family. He's spent his time in Maine well, seeing his grandparents, working with good friends Paul and Chris, hanging out with his brother Toby and sister Jen, showing little Avery how to be spontaneously crazy and have fun, and enjoying some good food and a bottle of wine now and then with us! There are moments when I feel a bit guilty for treating him like the "prodigal son"... planning family breakfasts around his being here and organizing a hiking trip or a dinner here at home. The truth is, I understand both sides of that story. It's wonderful, I mean truly wonderful, being available whenever Jen and Toby can be here... and incorporating them into whatever activities are going on... especially Toby because I see him almost every weekend... and it's easy to take advantage of the fact that if I don't see them this weekend there's always next weekend. When Bryan is home, it's an opportunity to make up for all the weekends that I haven't seen him, packing in as much as possible while he's here, before he's off to discover a new corner of the world.
The challenge is to make every moment special for anyone who's around me! I think my personal motto could be the same as Pepperidge Farm... "Never Have An Ordinary Day"... or in other words, a little special is good for everyone :) We wish Bryan safe travels as he drives to San Francisco with the pups, and wish him well in his new job there.
Road to California is a tune we've played a few times recently, and can be found in the Portland Collection.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Snowflake Hornpipe


Snow!
Our first little flurry of white flakes arrived today... or at least the first that I've seen for the season. We have enjoyed some wonderful autumn weather complete with blue skies and warm sunshine. This week has taken a turn toward colder numbers on the thermometer. There's also been a bit of scraping needed to the windshield of the truck and a frosty look to the grass and trees in the early morning. As I post this photo, the sun has peeked through the clouds and the air is clear again. This is a quick reminder that there are still a few 'before-the-winter-weather-arrives' sorts of chores to finish up. The first spits of snow are truly magical for me... they remind me not only of unfinished chores, but of how special it is to curl up in front of a roaring fire on a chilly winter's night.
Snowflake Hornpipe can be found in the New England Fiddler's Repertoire, now being referred to affectionately as "The Brown Book" in some circles!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Fallen Leaves


Our property is bordered on two sides by old discontinued roads... great places to walk and enjoy being in the country without motor traffic. The leaves have mostly fallen from the trees and the ground is covered with a pretty gold & brown carpet.
Fallen Leaves comes from Here's To Every Country Dancer.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Feed Her Candy and Tell Her Lies

Happy Halloween! 'Tis the day for ghosts and goblins to cast their spells and reek havoc across the land... watch out for tricksters, and be ready with the treats... it'll get you through safely to November!
We've had some heavy rains and howling winds recently... bringing down the remaining leaves from the trees. Our yard is much more open, letting in light as the sun sits lower on the horizon and the days shorten. Solar gain is important here, the house soaks it up during the day to heat the living spaces... and then we augment that with a nice little fire in the evenings. Very comfy.
Feed Her Candy and Tell Her Lies comes from the first volume of the Portland Collection, which is affectionately known around these parts as PC1, the Blue Book, Purple Book, Indigo Book, the un-numbered volume, and the Book That's Not Green.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Garlic is Good For You

Really, there is a fiddle tune with this name! Garlic is Good for You comes from the Reckless Reel.
This afternoon I planted garlic in the garden. We've turned the garden in for the season... the only things left now are carrots (which are deliciously fresh, especially in the juicer), one plant with brussel sprouts, and some leeks. We've added more loam to build up the soil for next year.
It feels really good to look out over the yard and garden and see it all in order... leaves raked, garden cleaned out, newly planted tidy rows of garlic, and the asparagus plot staked out.
Richard has been closing in the new building, and has electrical service nearly installed... that will make working out there much easier now that the days are shorter (and darker). The firewood is in under cover and we're shortening up our fall 'to do' list. The season is here for more soups and roasts... anything that can simmer and cook for a good part of the day... nice aromas in the house makes it cheery, and the hearty meals are good for the body & soul... all made better with garlic!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Virginia Reel


Our youngest sister is hosting what looks to be a FABULOUS HALLOWEEN PARTY in Virginia Beach... and we sisters here in Maine were feeling bad about not being able to get there to join in the celebration. Not to be completely left out, we came up with the idea of 'Flat Sisters'... to dress in costume, print out lifesized posters, roll ourselves up and be mailed to the mid-Atlantic so that we too could attend, if only in spirit! What fun we had getting the costumes together (in spite of the technical glitches). The package arrived yesterday, and Joline was THRILLED to have her sisters arrive in time for the party... it was all a surprise for her! From left to right are Poison Ivy (Deb), Spider Man PEZ dispenser (Kathy), the Gay Cowboy (Wendi), and yours truly, Red Riding Hood (complete with wolf head in basket).
Joline throws a great bash, complete with decorations and delicious food... I can hardly wait to hear the stories and see the photos... Joline, we miss you, and love you bunches... have a great time tonight!
Virginia Reel comes from the Portland Collection.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Old Timers

When I was a little girl, I thought 50 was so old, and so far away... my perspective has changed quite a lot! Now, it seems like life is getting interesting all over again in new and exciting ways. One great thing about being 50-ish and having friends who are around 50 is that we have all these experiences, tales, and information to share and discuss... great fun. As Avery starts growing up I wonder what his perspective will be on his grammah and grampah and their musician friends... will he think we're old-timers? Maybe, and maybe not... much of what has drawn me and others into fiddling and contradancing is that the old-timers are surrounded by youngsters and everyone in between... and the differences in age are really not that important when it comes to sharing and connecting with music and dance. Today is the birthday of our guitar playing friend Paul and his twin brother Ron... they have a bit of gray hair to be sure, but if you closed your eyes and listened to them you'd never guess they turn 50 today! Happy Birthday guys!
Old Timers comes from Jerry Holland's Collection of Fiddle Tunes.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Happy Birthday to You...



Toby's birthday happened on Friday... we got to help him celebrate today! Cake and ice cream are always on the menu... Toby's favorite cake is Double Chocolate Cream Cheese. This year, to make it a bit more festive, I decorated with fall colors and leaf shaped sugar cookies. A big hit with everyone including Avery and Bryan's dogs! Toby enjoyed the treats and the gathering of family.

Mountain Top

Here we are sitting atop Mt Pisgah on Sunday afternoon after a nice picnic lunch.

Sunday was one of those perfect autumn days... crisp cool air, blue skies, and the last of the great splash of foliage colors for the season. The views from the top of Mt Pisgah are really quite beautiful... the photo here shows Androscoggin Lake. The climb is fairly short, but proved a bit of a challenge for Jen who had Avery in a Kelty pack. Good walk for all.
Mountain Top is a tune from Fiddler's Throne.

Missing Keys


Avery has a good handle on where the tractor key is supposed to be! One of his favorite things when he comes to visit is to sit on the John Deere and pretend to turn the key, bounce on the seat, touch all the buttons and move the steering wheel. Uncle Toby got this great photo!
Missing Keys comes from the Lighthouse Collection.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Anna Is My Darling


Miss Anna has been having some issues with incontinence recently... and it's been a topic of conversation between Bryan and
Megan, trying to figure out what the problem could be. After a visit to the veterinarian here in Maine, it's determined to be just what Megan thought... UTI and possibly an estrogen imbalance (a result of being a spayed female). Antibiotics will take care of the infection, and if there is still some incontinence Anna will then be taking estrogen to balance her hormones. Megan is concentrating her veterinary studies on large animals, but she sure knows her stuff no matter what size the animal. Thanks, and good job!

Cherish the Ladies


These are two ladies whom I cherish dearly... neither is directly related to me, but each have had a lasting impact on my life, and I want to take a moment to recognize them.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TONYA
You are a wonderful, loving, and authentic human being... and I love that you share so much with me about self-awareness and relationships. Your style and caring are only matched by your masterful and thoughtul manipulation tactics, and yes, I'm very grateful that you share those too!
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY JUSTINE
You are so purely compassionate and giving in everything that you do, without any forethought or planning. Your passion for fun is contagious! Little Sam is lucky to have such loving and fun parents to guide him through life.
My life is rich and blessed by the people with whom I associate (family and friends alike), and I like to think they are a reflection of me in some ways. Justine & Tonya bring out the best in me simply by encouraging my potential and overlooking my shortfalls.
Who are the people in your life that encourage you to your fullest potential?
Cherish the Ladies is a tune from the Fiddler's Fakebook... Cherish the Ladies is also a great Irish band with a lot of energy.