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 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


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

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


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.