Friday, June 30, 2006

Done Gone

Our house on Murray Street is DONE GONE... hooray! When Richard and I bought our house in Wayne, we hadn't sold the little house in Augusta. No matter at the time, we knew in our hearts that Fiddle Ridge was where we wanted to be. So we've been making mortgage payments on TWO houses, and doing some repairs at Murray Street while we're making some improvements at Fiddle Ridge... phew! Can you say OVERLOAD?
This morning we signed papers to sell the Augusta house... deal is closed and we now are the happy owners of only ONE mortgage :) Nice timing too since we have the long holiday weekend ahead of us. We have purposely NOT scheduled anything, though we do have a few options if we want to participate in activities. Right now though, we're thinking we want to spend some solid time at home working in the yard, building the workshop, gardening, and in general NESTING in our home. I think it'll be nice to be rid of the distraction of the other house, and to indulge in passionate bursts of creative home improvements without the guilt of having to spend time on the other place.
Done Gone is a tune from the Fiddler's Fakebook.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Daisy's Jig

More flowers from the garden. I get a meditation emailed to me each morning... it gives me a thought to focus on for the day. Today's is "Peace of mind comes with daily discipline" and I find this is so true. There are a couple of ways to think about this.
First is the short explanation that comes with the titled meditation... to have quiet time every day to just 'be'... whether it is prayer, meditation or some other way to focus your mind.
Second is my first impression when I read the title... that regular attention to the things that you want done (chores, exercise, etc) brings a sense of peace.
Either of these help to de-clutter my mind and bring peace to my soul. This in turn helps create energy and joy, and this generates creativity and passion... for me anyway! What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Those Blues

Blue iris' are beautiful... deep and rich in color against the bright greens of foliage in the garden. The gardens here are a constant flow of color so far... just about the time one flower fades away another one opens and a new splash of color graces the south yard.

All the rain we're getting is making everything super lush and green. The garden is growing, the grass is growing, the ferns are growing, and the weeds are growing! It would be easy to be singing "Those Blues" which is a tune from The Curvy Road to Corinth, but even the memory of the blue of the flowers keeps the other blues away!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Cape Breton Symphony Strathspey

The concert tonight was great! Beolach was only four in number rather than five... the group had been on Cape Cod for a folk festival and on their way home... the keyboard player, Mac Morin kept going I guess, he'll get back to Cape Breton before the others! The venue was pretty interesting. We followed the directions, which were perfect, we headed up the mountain on the slippery dirt road (wet from all the rain), followed the signs... to a parking lot with a big building that did not look like a concert hall. It's hard to describe, but definitely not what we expected, nor did it sound like Beolach expected it either. Very remote, very undeveloped, very 'rural Maine'. The concert was acoustic, in a large room, and we had a good time. We weren't in the front row, but because of the small area, we were able to see the fiddling styles of both Wendy MacIsaac and Mairi Rankin. The guitar player, Pat Gillis, is left handed and he learned by just picking up a guitar and playing... so, he plays left handed with the guitar reversed so the strings are upside down! The piper, Ryan J MacNeil played a variety of wind instruments. Wendy also filled in on keyboard since Mac wasn't there... oh yeah, neither was his keyboard, someone brought one in to use! We had a really good evening... great date night!
Cape Breton Symphony Strathspey comes from Jerry Holland's and the Cape Breton Jig can be found in the Portland Collection Volume Two. If anyone gets a chance to see Beolach, or to go to the New England Celtic Arts in Carthage, we highly recommend both!

Cape Breton Jig

I'm sure we'll hear a few jigs this evening at the Beolach concert we'll attend in Carthage, ME. Not too far of a drive for us from Wayne, the event takes place at the New England Celtic Arts. We had not heard of this venue before... a friend e-mailed us the information. This group of young adults is one of my favorites for Cape Breton style music. I've had the opportunity to see the group a few times, the first was at the Celtic Colours Festival held in Cape Breton. Various members of Beolach also do concerts and workshops solo or in small groups. We love hearing live performance, but distance and ticket prices are often prohibitive without a lot of advance planning. The concert tonight is both affordable, and less than an hour away~ both factors that made it easy to say "YES".

Saturday, June 24, 2006

All Young

We're all young at heart here at Fiddle Ridge... that includes our photographer, Richard, as well as all of us who range in age from 1 to 49!
It is a rare occasion that we are all together these days. Careers, family, and location all present their own challenges. Last night though, everyone was able to spend the night out at our house and we had a really nice time this morning fixing breakfast, playing, and then eating together. As you may imagine, Avery is our focal point and we just love watching him explore his world.
The day is well under way now. The boys are off to do chores at Bryan's property and Jen has headed back home. My parents and Richard's parents will be coming over later and we'll enjoy a nice lobster lunch... that will be a lot of fun too.
Keeping in close touch with family helps keep me young. My children, nieces and nephews are up on all the latest fashion styles, language and activities... I get first hand accounts of what's happening in the 'real world'. Working helps me stay abreast of current trends too. And probably the most important tools in staying young at heart are having a postitive attitude and an air of expectancy and wonder, no matter what is going on.
All Young is listed in the Phillips Collection of Traditional American Fiddle Tunes.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Piney Woods Gal

This picture was taken a month or so ago, when Toby and SK were staying with us. We had walked out along some old wood roads where Richard runs sometimes. This pond is along the way, and is surrounded by pines... beaver dams are evident and many different birds can be heard here.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Paint the Paint

This is the barn at the Murray Street house... it needs painting before I can sell the house. Richard and I have painted the house itself, but hadn't gotten to the barn before we found the house in Wayne and moved.

I spent a good part of today scraping and painting and got the top half of the wall done over as far as the doors, plus the fascia above that section. Rain showers put a halt to the project, so I'll go back and finish tomorrow morning. A few other minor repairs, replacement of the oil tank next Tuesday, and the house will be ready to set a closing date. This little house served me well for the time I was there, and gave Richard and I a nice transition time before finding a place of our own.

The Lighthouse Collection is where you'll find Paint the Paint.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

1000 Bows

The prevailing topic of conversation recently, at least in fiddling circles, is about bows. There was a luthier & bowmaker at Maine Fiddle Camp, Nate Slobodkin. He talked about how bows are made, how to select a bow, and even disassembled his bow to demonstrate how it was put together. Monday night at Fiddle-icious we had a master bowmaker, George Rubino, talk to us about how he was trained, the different bows available, and how they are assembled. He will be coming back to continue the discussion, and share tips on maintenance.
Richard and I have five bows between the two of us. I have a really inexpensive plastic bow that I got with my first fiddle; a fairly nice commercial grade bow that has been repaired; and another fairly nice commercial grade bow. Richard has a carbon fiber bow that he likes a lot, and also a nice pernambuco bow that he likes well enough but hasn't totally connected with. So, I asked to try it out... so much nicer than what I've been playing! We keep the other bows handy in case of emergency... and there have been occasions when someone got to a jam without a bow of their own... but I really enjoyed playing this evening with the pernambuco bow. It's light, smooth, responsive. We both tried a lot of bows before selecting the ones we have, and there really is no end to the amount of money you could spend on a bow. Literally, you could try a thousand bows before you find the 'perfect' one.
1000 Bows can be found in the Lighthouse Collection.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Close Call in the Tickle

Ticks are everywhere. Stories about ticks are nearly as plentiful. Until recently, I've had a fairly healthy respect for ticks and have looked up images on the internet (such as this one here) and kept my eyes out for ticks. Since moving out to the woods, I have been moderately diligent about 'tick checks' for myself, Richard, and whoever is here helping out (mainly SK and Toby so far). I have felt a couple crawl up my leg and brushed them away, and that at least gave me the idea of what they looked like in real life. How I got to be my age and never have seen one (or paid attention to them anyway) I do not know.
So a couple weeks ago, I was standing in Richard's office talking to him, and he glanced up and said "What is THAT? I think it's a tick" and indeed it was... he pulled the dreaded creature (this was a regular wood/dog type tick) and I immediately went to take a shower and check for more... which I did not find, thankfully! Since then, every time I'm not sure whether a dark dot on me in a hard to see place (like my lower back for one example) I run to ask "Do you think that's a tick!?" which the answers so far have been "No, just a freckle" or "Looks like a mole to me" or "Hmmm, have you showered yet today?".
At Fiddle Camp Friday night, we were getting ready to turn in, and even though I'd spent the entire day and evening in sandals, I decided I'd need to sleep in my wool socks... don't ask me why this was important because the temperatures this weekend were SO warm! Anyway, as I'm pulling my socks over my feet I realize they are a little dirty (from being in sandals) and I go to brush the crud off but there's this one piece that will NOT come off... 'OH NO' I say to myself... 'I think it's a, a, a----' "Richard, IS THAT A TICK ON MY FOOT?!?!" to which he answers "Well, yes, I think it is a tick".
My fabulous husband pulled the creature out of my skin (it was slightly attached but hadn't been there too long) and after we carefully checked each other for possibly more, we calmed down and went to sleep.
Saturday morning, I again inspected myself for ticks (you're probably wondering if I do anything else with my time these days besides tick checks and fiddle tunes) and found OH NO, a tiny black dot... could it be a deer tick? I still haven't seen one of these, but I hear they are very small, and look like a black dot. It's time for our first workshop and I decide that I'll be safe enough waiting until after the workshop to seek out the camp nurse for a definitive answer.
After the workshop, we look for the nurse, only to realize we don't remember her name, or what she looks like. So, we walk around a little bit, go to a cabin that says "Nurse" on it, find no one, and head back to our Loon Nest. On the way there, I was a woman who I thought could be the nurse... Richard ran to her and verified her position as indeed 'Camp Nurse' and we had her look at my 'possible tick'. Nothing. Just a little black spot, no tick. Phew. Relief.
The rest of the weekend was uneventful in the tick department, and I'm sure I'll become less paranoid of ticks as time goes on. We do live in the woods, and we love being outdoors so we're going to have to accept the fact that we're risking exposure.
We'll continue to be mindful, keep an eye out for suspicious characters attaching to our skin, and keep asking "Do you think that's a tick?"

Brilliancy Medley

Brilliancy Medley comes from the Fiddler's Fakebook. Todays post about this past weekend's Maine Fiddle Camp includes a few photos for which I really wanted to have separate titles... so I've composed a medley of thoughts for my faithful readers today!

Say Old Man Can You Play the Fiddle...

This tune is an old favorite of mine from the Fiddler's Fakebook, though I don't play it often enough! Richard is certainly not old (and neither am I, haha) but once in a while I'll affectionately call him 'old man'. We had many opportunities to jam along with folks this weekend. This little stage with the piano is the focal point of the 'big tent' where all campers gather for orientation and performances. When not used for mass group events, it somehow continues to be a center for the 'really great musicians' to play. Anyone can join in, and even if we don't know the tune, or don't play it up to speed, we're learning more how to find one or two basic notes, and learn more from there. It's all a process. Fiddle Camp is a really fun, encouraging environment to do this.

Honest Woman of Many Trades...

can be found in the Lighthouse Collection... Cynthia plays a newly learned tune for a couple of fellow fiddlers after a workshop. The campers are grouped according to ability and age, and assigned a bird name (we are the Loons) and a nest location (tent near one of the buildings). The Loons gathered here for four regular workshops, and our instructors came to us. Typically, the instructor has an idea in mind to teach a new tune, often with some bowing or drone technique. They will spend an hour with us, breaking the tune down into pieces so we can learn by ear, and then putting it all together.
I've been attached to books and sheet music, and have found it a challenge to learn by what I hear... but it's getting easier all the time. The trick is to remember it AFTER the instructor has left! Even more of a trick is to remember FOUR new tunes at the end of the weekend :)

The Lighthouse Collection also offers Sweets for Breakfast... Here I am, enjoying a fabulous meal (breakfast I believe) cooked up by Second Breakfast. The food was delicious... it's so much fun to be at camp and have all meals provided for you... things always taste a little better when you don't fix them yourself! Breakfast generally included yoghurt, granola, raisins... an assortment of cold cereals... oatmeal... sausage (very delicious and not greasy at all), scrambled eggs, home fries... assorted breads and toasts. Juice, coffee, tea complete the breakfast menu.
For me, I like to start my day with yoghurt and granola, and coffee... but because we were at camp and it was right there for me to choose, I added sausage, eggs and home fries to the start of my day! Mmmmm... delicious!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Kitchen Girl

One fun thing this weekend was working in the kitchen, helping with washing dishes and learning about the Hobart dishwasher. The meals at camp were fabulous and served up by Second Breakfast... healthy and delicious foods, featuring as many products grown and raised locally in Maine as possible.
The call went out Friday evening for volunteers to help out in the kitchen whenever possible to ease the burden of providing meals to I don't even know how many people. I was compelled to go in and cut vegetables, or help in whatever way I could, but alas the workshops called and I did after all go to camp to fiddle... but still, there was the little voice talking in my ear saying "Can you help out for a few minutes?"
Saturday after dinner, I heeded the call and went to the kitchen to offer my services in washing dishes... I was received with a hearty "YES!" I informed Richard that I was going to help 'for a few minutes' and would meet him at the Fiddle-icious rehearsal in a few minutes.
Well, let me tell you, they were backed up with dishes from here to there! Piles of dishes, and still dessert to serve! So, I went to the back sink, and there was the giant overhead spray arm I remember from high school cafeteria days! Aha, this is going to be fun, I think to myself... so I start rinsing and loading racks for the Hobart. A nice woman came along and showed me the PROPER way to work... load the dirty dishes in the rack and then spray them en masse because doing them one at a time and loading them individually TAKES TOO MUCH TIME and there were A LOT OF DISHES. Well, I hadn't really scoped out the volume of work waiting to be processed but when I saw the frantic look in her eye, and heard her say "I learned this process when doing the dishes THIS MORNING" I thought I'd better pay better attention instead of just thinking I'd waltz into the kitchen and do a nice little good deed... Oh MY GOD, there was a mountain of dishes!
Okay, so this is the procedure... Load dishes into rack, spray all the food out as good and as fast as you can, and shove the loaded rack into the Hobart and pull the door down. Start on the next rack. We did this, rack after rack after rack after rack for I don't know how long... Thank GOD the Hobie works fast or it would never have worked.
Now, you can suggest paper plates and throwaway utensils, but part of what I love about Maine Fiddle Camp, and these caterers is the commitment to stewardship of the environment. So, if it means I give up part of my camp time to help this process work, HOORAY THAT I CAN AND WILL PARTICIPATE. It means the dishes all got washed, dried and stored for the next meal. It means that all the food scrapings got collected for the pigs. It means there was a very minimal amount of actual trash. And it means that almost everything we used gets reused for the next meal. And esthetically, I mean really, don't you think that it's nice eating off 'real' plates intstead of paper?
We did use paper plates today for the cookout... so out of 5 meals served and countless snacks, there was still not much in the way of throwaway garbage. I'd say that's a good deal.
SK turned me onto the name Hobart, so when I went into that kitchen on Saturday, I knew I was in for a real kitchen appliance experience.
There may be another post or two about this weekend's Maine Fiddle Camp. For now, I'm going to go unpack our gear, start the laundry, and maybe play a tune or two.
Kitchen Girl can be found in the Fiddler's Fakebook.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Puncheon Camps

This photo is archived from last years Maine FiddleCamp. In the background you can see the dining hall, one of many buildings on the Camp NEOFA grounds where this event takes place. You'll also see many ages represented here, and get an idea of the community of musicians gathered together for this great weekend.
Richard and I will be participating in this years Maine Fiddle Camp June weekend, and have been looking forward to it for months now! We'll be learning new tunes, improving technique, hearing great music, laughing and joking around, camping, and sharing meals and stories with friends. I have been fortunate enough to have attended several years in the past, and no matter what the weather has been, I've had a great time. This weekend looks to be sunny and warm, which makes it even more fun.
This weekend also celebrates Father's Day, and I just can't say enough about my dad. He's been there for all the big, and little, things in my life... always supportive, encouraging, and also offering advice and comments along the way... Thanks Dad! Traditionally, the years I've gone to Fiddle Camp, part of my gift to my dad has been to stop by and play the new tunes I've learned... I'm looking forward to doing that this year with Richard. We'll be catching up with R's dad too, and may play some tunes there!
I was looking up the word puncheon, and this is what I found... all definitions seem likely to apply to this weekends camping, though the cask would have to be filled with non-alcoholic drink to comply with camp rules, haha...
pun·cheon1 (pŭn'chən) n.
A short wooden upright used in structural framing.
A piece of broad, heavy, roughly dressed timber with one face finished flat.
A punching, perforating, or stamping tool, especially one used by a goldsmith.

[Middle English punchon, from Old French ponçon, ponchon, from Vulgar Latin *pūnctiō, pūnctiōn-, punch, from *pūnctiāre, to pierce, from Latin pūnctus, past participle of pungere, to prick.]
pun·cheon2 (pŭn'chən) n.
A cask with a capacity of from 72 to 120 gallons (273 to 454 liters).
The amount of liquid contained in a puncheon.
[Middle English ponchon, from Old French poinçon, poinchon, punch, cask (probably because the casks were inspected and marked with a punch).

Thursday, June 15, 2006

My Old Fiddle

Fiddler's get pretty attached to their fiddles~ maybe not every fiddle they've ever owned, but certainly the ones they have for any length of time. From my observations, fiddlers are not opposed to trying other fiddles, and will consider trading up, but it takes quite a lot for a fiddler to actually give up their old fiddle once they've become attuned to it. Each fiddle, each bow, and even the accessories that go along with playing, make the 'package' unique. Add to that the personality and preferences of the fiddler, and it is no wonder that fiddling inspires such emotion in the player and the listener, and certainly in the dancer!
It may be the same story with other instruments, and I'd be interested to hear personal accounts of anyone's intimate relationship with their guitar, bass, drum, etc. For me, my world is fiddling, and it is with that instrument that I feel connected. I still enjoy playing piano, guitar, mandolin, and a host of others on occasion... but it is the fiddle that catches my ear, stirs my soul, and draws me to the jams and dances.
Fiddler's also get pretty attached to the person they allow to work on their fiddles. It's a supreme act of trust to bring your instrument to someone, leave it there, and have them do a repair on it. I've gone to a few people over the years, and have had good experiences, and met some interesting luthiers... I usually take my fiddle or bow concerns to Nate Slobodkin in Bangor . Richard has made connections over the years, too. Right now, his fiddle is at Somerset Violins having the bridge reset by Harry Richter, as well as a couple of other recommended adjustments. We both like Harry, and trust that he will do whatever is best for the fiddle.
We even name fiddles... right now I'm playing the 'Deer Isle Fiddle', you may remember its purchase from last year. I still have 'My Old Fiddle', and probably always will. It was hard to move on from it, and this 'new' fiddle has many of the same tonal qualities that I love about the old fiddle. Richard has a loaner from Harry, it's probably a fine fiddle, but neither of us have connected with it... R will be heading back to Waterville to pick up his own fiddle later today... slightly changed but still a good old friend.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Flowers of Edinburgh

I'm trying something new with photos... to see pictures of some of the beautiful flowers in our perennial gardens, click here.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Evergreen Lasses

This is where I spend 3-4 days a week working at Club E... it's a great dental practice! We have a committed team of employees (aka Evergreen Lasses) & doctors (aka Boston Boys) working together to provide quality dental care.
What makes this a great place to work? It's not just the team, or the dentists, or the philosophy and common mission... it is also the facility. The building expresses all the things just mentioned, and more. The presentation makes the first statement to each patient who comes to us for care... and it also speaks about our team of professionals. I think it says "We care about where we spend our time, and we care that we want the best for ourselves and for you."
You may notice there are a lot of windows... I've spent time this weekend washing them! They should be finished this week. It is amazing how much of a difference there is between those that have been cleaned and those that have not yet received attention!
On another note, Sunday afternoon was a time of celebration for my nephew Matt, as he graduated high school. I CANNOT BELIEVE I FORGOT MY CAMERA, no pictures of this event. We had a good time, enjoyed good food, and really enjoyed being outside in the SUNSHINE :) One highlight of the afternoon was the attempts to open the new guitar case with the Fender inside... the latches were locked and many tries with the keys were unsuccessful... it took an engineer to finally figure out the design... Richard turned the key AND slid the latch and was able to open the case, much to the delight of all who were watching... HOORAY Richard for saving the day :) Matt has worked hard to reach this goal, and we're all proud of him!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Life Like A Sea In Constant Motion

This tune title comes from The Fiddler's Throne, and as I was going through the very long list of tune titles we've compiled, this one caught my eye. What a great visual definition of life!

This archived photo is from last year when Richard and I went to Popham.
We were surprised to see Dick Green (you may have read about him in some State of Maine fishing articles ) casting just offshore... we wondered why he didn't answer our calls "Hello..." but perhaps he was just intent on catching the fish of the day.

Richard wrote me a poem about love being like an ocean. Love and life both ebb and flow, are strong and surging, can be quiet and still, take on color and light from the surrounding atmosphere, support life, and teem with activity. I like to think about how my life, and my love are like the sea... deep, bold, every changing yet ever constant, full of undercurrents that follow the channels yet press against the rocky shores, reflective of the sunshine or clouds.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Buddy At Big Pond

The title for this fiddle tune reminds me of this work week. Dr P, Joleeen, T-Madd and I (among others, but those are the main characters in this story) have worked together as a tight, focused work machine to get A LOT of quality dental care given to A LOT of people. We do usually work at a good pace to accomplish a fore-set goal, but this week we went above and beyond... a common super-goal, clearly defined parameters, and extremely good communication between the four of us has made this one of the BEST WEEKS I've had at work for a long time. Newly conceived 'Spot Bonus' is now being instituted :) for a quick reward for those who play the "Let's Do It" Game!
Buddy at Big Pond comes from Jerry Holland's Collection of Fiddle Tunes

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Return to Milltown

Back to work I go after a week and a half of being home. This has been an interesting vacation for me, and I have alternated between whether or not I thought it was a 'good' one.
I haven't accomplished anything amazing. We haven't traveled to Florida or Virginia. I have not used my time as effectively as I would have liked. For all those things, I was feeling like I didn't have a very good vacation... like I'd have been better off working.
... in reality, I've had a wonderful vacation. In the months prior to having time off, we've moved, we're still 'newlyweds' getting used to living together, and I'd been spending quite a lot of energy getting the other house ready to sell. What had happened, as I see it now, was I had 'burn-out'. Low energy, low creativity, low motivation to do a big project. I needed this vacation to unwind, get to the point where I could relax, and have time and space to 'veg out'.
The great thing is, I had a really good vacation. We did a lot. We did travel to Brattleboro and I attended my first Dawn Dance. We thoroughly enjoyed having Toby and SK here, and I'm happy that I was totally here with them and not going to work. We put our garden in, and that was a major project! We spent time taking SK to MA with no deadlines for getting back. I spent a day with Avery, playing and reading books. We've danced, we've jammed, we've played music at home, we've talked. We've visited family, we've got the workshop started. I've had time to have long telephone conversations with Jen and Bryan. I feel rested. And I feel ready to get back into the routine I love. I'm so lucky to have had this time to get my bearings, get re-focused, and to reset my priorities in life... and when I look at how the past week and a half has been spent, I really have used my time effectively doing all the things I say mean the most to me. Thanks to Richard for putting up with me when I've been frustrated with myself for not getting things accomplished, for his support when I put all my focus into the garden, and keeping 'us' focused on doing things together.
Now, to get ready for work!

Sunday, June 04, 2006


This afternoon we drove to Topsham to visit Richard's brother, Gregg, who is visiting from Virginia. R's mom fixed dinner (fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, peas, tomatoes) and dessert (apple pie & ice cream)... delicious! We'd planned to help celebrate their dad's birthday, but 'Pop' is off fishing, and the birthday wishes were shared via telephone call.
It's fun for me to spend time with Richard's family, because it helps me to know him better. The relational distance gives me a different perspective than when R and I interact directly. Not only does it give me better insight for R, it also helps me get to know the family better too, by listening and watching them talk with one another! The stories are great, their memories of events years ago are always interesting and varied :), and I find it fascinating to see similar facial expressions and gestures evident in each one of them.
Gregg will be back this summer with his wife and two boys for a week long vacation, and I'm really looking forward to that. The concept of family is very important to them, as it is to us. My own sisters are my best friends in the world, and it's so nice to know that my husband holds those same values with his brother. And I think the best thing to appreciate is my mom & dad, and Richard's mom and dad for the family values they've demonstrated over the years.
Virginia can be found in The Fiddler's Throne.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Clark's Favorite

What does it take to be a super-hero these days? Is it anything different, or more, or less than the good ol' days?
Richard recently finished reading a book about Superman, a novel that paralleled the stories of the super hero we grew up with... but the story took a few twists and turns of its own too. The ongoing attraction and tension between Lois, Clark, and Superman is a triangular interaction that plays itself out over and over in real life. Bringing me back to my original question... what DOES it take to be a super-hero these days?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Maiden That Jigs it In Style

I got a web link to a live session from a Celtic Colours performance, and I just was so completely engaged...
There are many different fiddle styles, many tunes, many performers from which to learn. I sometimes am not sure just which is my favorite. When I hear "old time" my soul just wants to lean back and fiddle along. When I hear the tunes played in Cape Breton, I want to 'dance my feet' and play along. When I hear the Quebecois tunes being played, I want to fiddle along. The strathspeys, jigs, reels, waltzes, two steps, hambos, schottische... whatever it is, I want to fiddle along.
Maybe I'm developing my own style, a combination of all the fiddle styles I love. I guess that's what it's all about when it comes right down to it... learn as much as you can as far as technique and tunes and then just let your own soul dig into the music and find your own way to let it out!

Visiting Dignitaries

Jen and Avery visited this morning... what a treat :) Though I've seen them both at family social functions, and I talk with Jen on the phone, and I was with A on Tuesday, it is not often enough that Jen and I get to sit and talk! Life gets pretty busy, hectic, and out of control in many ways... that's usually what hinders us from regular girl time rather than not wanting to do the mother/daughter thing. I know some moms/ daughters just don't have the desire to get together, so I'm really happy and proud to know that when the opportunity presents itself, there is no hesitation on either of our parts to clear our day to do just that.
Conversation invariably turns to 'Davis Girl' issues, things that my sisters, myself, and Jen have to deal with... in particular our personalities, and our inbred expectations of ourselves and those in our spaces. I know that to some degree, most women these days juggle husbands/partners, careers, personal needs, family in general, household chores, community/social obligations... not an easy balance for anyone. Martha Stewart comes to mind, because she's gotten such a bum rap about so many things. She has been subject of many jokes and snide remarks because she evokes an air of excellence in homemaking and women's lives in general. Well, guess what? I LOVE Martha! She may not have the best communication methods or the most tact in the world, and she may come across as sometimes rude and exacting, but she knows how to run a household efficiently, and how to maximize her time and resources. I am definitely NOT a Martha Stewart wannabe, but I do agree with many of her values, and I think my sisters and my daughter also lean toward having their lives, work spaces, home spaces be that sort of order & harmony with their personal life goals.
So, I want to thank Jen for taking time out of her day to come to Wayne, and visit me today. I am really proud of her for taking a stand for what she believes to be important, and for making such strong attempts to juggle all aspects of her life. I like to think we inspire each other :) as much as my sisters (Jen's aunts) inspire us. SK asked recently if she could be a 'Davis Girl', and I said of course. I should have qualified it a little bit, because in addition to the status symbol which is fun and cool, comes a little bit of setting yourself up for a bit of derision from those around you who like the 'idea' of your being excellent and accomplished, but not liking the 'impact' of how that gets accomplished. Being a Davis Girl is, for me, one of the highest honors I know!
Visiting Dignitaries comes from the Lighthouse Collection.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Peace River Jig

We have lovely flowers blooming in the perennial bed these days... purple, white, and yellow iris... lilacs on the side... and light pink columbine. SK shared with me that columbine means dove, and that each flower is in the shape of a dove... many doves meeting together to form a flower.
Doves are a symbol of peace, and it seems to me that a garden of flowers, gently fragrancing the air, gracing the yard with color, is about the most peaceful image I can think of.