Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm all ears......

Just a quick peek at what's happening in the gardens....

Friday, July 23, 2010

Peaceful Fridays.....

I wanted to leave you for the weekend with a happy little Irish polka and a story.

This is a video I found on Youtube showing a snippet of the Augusta Heritage Irish Week that I spoke about in yesterday's blog post. This "band" was a mini class given during the week. The musicians came together for an hour and a half for four days to learn ceili tunes for dancing. On Friday, they played for the dancers.

There are two things I'd like to mention. First, isn't it amazing what you can learn in just four days? This is only one of the many tunes sets they learned during that time. I'm in awe!
Second, I'd like to draw your attention to the short white-haired woman playing the tin whistle. They do a quickie close up of her...
Her name is Pat. I don't know Pat's age, but, I'll surmise she somewhere in her 70's.
I met Pat not quite four years ago when she walked through the doors of O'Lordans for the very first session the hubsters and I hosted. She was just beginning to learn the whistle, only had a couple of tunes, but, came anyway to learn and play what she knew. Pat comes to every session we have unless she's travelling or there is inclement weather. She travels 45 plus minutes to get there, too. Not only does she come to our session, but, we see her at other sessions around the area too. She has a drive to learn and a love for the music.
I have had the great fortune to watch Pat grow musically over the last couple of years and to be quite honest, I'm very proud of her! When the hubsters and I ran into her down at Augusta last year and saw her participating in the ceili band, I swelled with pride like a Mamma hen. So, now you know why I was so excited to find and share this video.

Pat is an inspirational woman. I hope we have many more years of playing music and friendship in the years to come. It only goes to show, you're never too old to learn a new trick. As the saying goes - "growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional"

Have a peaceful weekend, y'all..........

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chicken with its head cut off.......

That would be me and how I've been feeling. Now, don't get me wrong, most of this running around has been for the better good of my sanity and the rest I think they call it life.

I realized yesterday that I haven't had my camera out for a stroll since the 6th of July. Why? Because quite frankly, I'm knackered by the heat. I don't seem to be fairing well with it this year at all. Maybe it's because we haven't had a blasted break from the heat. I do have to say that at least we had a little rain over the past week! Whoo hoo! Mother Nature gave me a brief break from watering - at least for today!

We've been doing the usual summer things - going to cookouts, seeing friends, playing music - you know, the ususal hippie stuff....

I was able to take some half days from work to take a whistle class at Common Ground on the Hill summer workshops this year with Sean Gray of the Paul McKenna Band. It's nice to have a good teacher and a good guy to boot. Taking the class made me realize how rusty I really am on the whistle! But, I was able to walk away with four new tunes, one of which is an original tune written by Sean and his sister, Robyn.

I also participated in the celtic session there which was hosted by the entire band. We picked up tunes from them and they picked up some from us. Ah, this is what sessions are all about!

Speaking of sessions, the session the bandmates and I host at O'Lordans Irish Pub was graced this past Wednesday with three visiting musicians from Scotland - Tom Smith, Frank McGuire, and Paul Creighton. We had a blast! And, that's an understatement.

I always get nervous when professional musicians play at our session since none of us are of the same caliber. I was pleasantly surprised at the end of the evening to be told by Tom Smith that we have a really good session! That is the second best compliment we've gotten about the session. The best compliment we've ever received was from a group of folks sitting at a table having some libation while we played. When they got up to leave, a kind gentleman walked over to the circle of musicians and told us "it's just like being in a pub in Doolin". If any of you have been to Doolin in Co. Clare, Ireland, you know it's one of the largest hot spots for traditional music. I don't believe the compliment could ever get better than that!

The weekend after the classes at Common Ground is the Roots and Arts Festival hosted by the same. So, hubsters and I popped into see some good music and just hang out for a bit. We also went to a bonfire party at our friends over at Green Akeys for some homegrown food, friendship, and some more music! It was just a lovely evening surrounded by friends, old and new, the sound of children playing outside, and a lot of songs sung from Dylan!

Last weekend found us at one of our favorite venues to play music and go listen to music - The Beans in the Belfry. Our friends, The Craggy Island Band were playing so we thought we'd go hang out on one of the sofa's there and listen to what they've been up to. We weren't disappointed! They are such great fun.

Sunday found us at Cheshire Farms so the hubsters could do a bodhran workshop with Albert Alfonso - a drummer and drum maker. ( On a side note - all these cookouts have been helping me get rid of my zucchini - zucchini pie, zucchini cake - you get the picture.) While hubsters was off beating his drum, I was engaged in a great conversation with the farm owner (also a bodhran player and musician) about the underground railway in our area. She is such a history buff and I have my moments - especially when it comes to local history. So, we chatted for a couple of hours about the routes taken, safe houses in the area, and the most interesting part for me - quilt codes or I should say, the debate around quilt codes.
Once again, an enjoyable day.

Tonight, the band is getting together for a photo shoot in our Renaissance clothing for our publicity photo for performing at this years Maryland Renn Faire. Maybe, and that's really a maybe, if they aren't too horrible and if there isn't too much cleavage, I'll post one. Maybe.

Next week - we're off to Elkins, WV to go hang out for Irish Week at the Augusta Heritage Center. A few blissful evenings immersed in playing Irish music, drinking plenty of Guinness, and not getting back to the hotel until 4 or 5am. It's an atmosphere that is hard to describe unless you've been there.
We'll meet up with friends we've made over the years and chat, play tunes, swap songs, and maybe even dance a little! For sure, the craic will be grand! (for definition of craic, go here )

So, there you go! Chicken running around with its head cut off.... that's me!

Isn't it a grand thing?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Peaceful Fridays.....

Do you ever just want to go and " hide away" somewhere where no one can find you? Just for a little peace and quiet and defrag time?

Well, I'd like to spend about a month here....just you, some bordie collies, and the Burren.
Have a dream filled, peaceful weekend, y'all..........

*This is the infamous "Father Ted" house in Co.Clare, Ireland. And it is truly surrounded by nothing but the Burren. If you've never heard of the tv show Father Ted or the Burren, give Google a go and get a wrinkle today. You know, you get a new wrinkle when you learn something on a Friday*

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Finally, a decent harvest......


They will be keeping me company in my office on the counter I started my seedlings on earlier in the year. The office is filled with the heady scent of onion-ee, garlic-ee, well, shallot odor!

I'm hoping that I don't smell this way at the end of the day! haha

The onions are shaping up and they look like they'll be ready to harvest in about a week. They may have to cure in the laundry room - I still haven't quite figured out where to put them yet. I'm sure it will get resolved. What I'm not sure of is if anyone will want to visit our odorous house while all of these are curing! Guess I'll find out who my true friends are!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


listen to that wonderful sound.
It's the sound of rain on the skylight and my garden breathing a sigh of relief.

What a beautiful morning!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Remember this?......

High of 101 degrees F forecasted for today......

Friday, July 2, 2010

Peaceful Fridays......

Finnegan's packed his "babies" and is ready to go have some holiday fun this weekend. He wanted me to tell y'all to go and do the same!
I don't have the heart to tell him that we're staying at the homestead this weekend.

I do think Finnegan has one good idea - play with your babies!

Hope everyone has a safe and fun filled weekend, no matter what you choose to do.

Us, we're playing some tunes Saturday night at our favorite coffee house in Brunswick and then chilling the rest of the weekend at one of the best places in the world - home..

Have a peaceful weekend, y'all.............