What Are You Working On?
General mountain dulcimer or music discussions
Yeah, John. I can just picture my mom looking in her cabinet and knowing there was no sake, saying "Well...sherry starts with an 'S' so we'll try that."
In the early 60's, my dad brought home a recipe for sukiyaki from a friend who'd been working a while in Japan: fresh veggies sautéed with strips of steak put in at the last few minutes, served over rice. Some liked it a lot, some hated it. Of course, we had all eaten the vegetables and steak before. I think the objection was more about the liquid that the veggies simmered in. It contained both soy sauce and sherry--and I think it was the sherry which wasn't appreciated. I'm not sure if sherry was even in the friend's recipe--it might have been a special Japanese alcoholic drink or some other fermented liquid--but it was interpreted by mom as "sherry"--which she didn't even like!
People who didn't really like having this tasty dish served for supper referred to it as "sukiyukky". It's still a favorite dish of mine! But I'd never heard of the song by the same name before now!
That's a lovely photo, Irene, and I'm so glad you have it. Those windows you're standing in front of are gorgeous, too--where was that?
My mom was a lot like Tomasi. She loved to learn new information and was the Scrabble champ in our family. She read a lot and kept a notebook by her chair in the living room. She never learned to use a computer and there weren't any computers in the house. But whenever she came across some new information that interested her, she'd write the facts in her notebook. One section was for words new to her, with a note or a quote next to it. She kept on ongoing list of all the winners of the Kentucky Derby (which she actually got to see once), a list of types of boats according to size, an ongoing list of Presidents and who they'd run against, etc. She was a writer too: poetry, novellas, cookbooks (many!), memoirs, and studies of various books of the Bible--all of it handwritten in her neat small script. In later years she switched to printing everything because cursive writing was no longer taught in most schools. She didn't want her life's work lost to future generations. When someone wanted a copy of something she'd written, she get out fresh paper and a ball point pen and start writing...
Thanks for sharing your Tomasi with us! When you feel like sharing more, please do!
Irene, my condolences to you and your family on the death of your beloved. It sounds like your family is close; I hope you'll be able to find comfort in your shared memories. Thank you for your kind words about FOTMD. Know that when you think of us, the FOTMD "family" is also thinking of you and your family. Blessings, Jan
Our TP shortage was over by the end of March. In my area (Lexington, KY), people are pretty good about wearing masks in public. My husband (who does all the shopping) says MOST of the people in the grocery stores--and Wal-Mart and Lowes--are wearing masks, which is not required, but is strongly recommended.
I've seriously thought about that Ken! I'll have to practice my DAA skills, first, though! I loved reading your write up and seeing the videos that were posted. You all stayed in the same dorm as the one I stayed in back in 1991 when I participated (as a chaperone) in an international event for middle school and high school Girl Scouts. We met Loyal Jones and he entertained us with some funny stories. We had a dulcimer concert one night and the next day we each made a cardboard dulcimer and that's where my dulcimer journey began. My next dulcimer was a beautiful cherry Warren May. I sure miss having him in his shop now! I used to take my guests to his shop and play for the tourists while he worked his charm on the person I brought in. Actually, all he had to do, really, was show them what he had and play a little for them.
Dusty, the jam with your friends sounds like a lot of fun and that's not something we're allowed to do, yet. ALL of our parks, playgrounds, state and national parks, arboretums, natural historic sites, etc. are closed. When you see people out of their houses, they tend to be in their own yard (no other people allowed) or walking down the street/sidewalk. The one big "park" they haven't closed is the city's cemetery--that's always been a go-to spot for walking, bird-watching, and nature observing in general. It's a couple hundred years old, so there's lots of history to enjoy there, too. For the most part, the majority of people are following the restrictions as best they can. I'm really hoping that we'll be able to open up more businesses in the next 2-4 weeks, so more people in certain jobs can get back to work.
After not leaving the house in the past 6 weeks, except for medical issues that couldn't wait, my "errands list" had really grown! My husband, Craig, does the runs to the grocery store and hardware store; most everything else is handled online. Today, with the sun shining and temps in the mid-50's, it was so great to take an hour, drive through streets with flowers and trees in bloom, take take of business at the bank and pharmacy, use curbside pick-ups at a store and a restaurant.
I went inside at the pharmacy and was glad to see there were only 3 people inside, so it was easy to practice social distancing. I was there to select a birthday card for someone I love very much who is very sick at home, totally dependent on the goodness of the few people she knows who have any extra funds to help her and her child survive this. This is someone who has fallen through the cracks of our society, been wrapped in miles of red tape, and left to fend for herself. She and her daughter have both tested negative for COVID-19, but are ill with other conditions. The mother, herself, is on-hold for 3 operations that are greatly needed, but cannot be done at this time. She's battling cancer--and not for the first time. She's had severe back injuries from both car accidents and other bodily trauma. She's working on her third appeal to be declared disabled; so far, she's gotten nowhere with that. No food stamps. No unemployment payments. No government help with rent or bills. The list of rejections goes on and on. And she's one of the nicest persons I know.
So how do you find a birthday card for that? Nothing sexy or off-color--or just plain wacky or stupid. Nothing for a "wonderful daughter" or niece or sister. No point in wishing her a day full of friends, family, food, and fun. She's not going to have a "fun day"...if she keeps down some food and gets some sleep it will be a "good day". There are no wonderful bright days in her immediate future; survival is about the best she can hope for; she has a deep faith that is helping her with that.
I was finally able to find a very pretty card that did not refer to any relational connection. A card that expressed love, asked God to bless her, and said how pleased I was with the person she had grown up to be--words that I echoed in my own handwriting along with the hearts, X's and O's I placed near the bottom where I signed my name. There will be no visitors, nothing special to mark her birthday on Sunday--unless my card gets there by Saturday! I have not been well enough to travel the 100 miles to her home, although I finally tested negative for COVID-19 this week, as well!
So this is my reality. And hers. And although neither of us is actively ill with the coronavirus, it has impacted our lives. I am grateful to not be needed on the front lines with healthcare providers, funeral directors, ambulance drivers, truckers, grocery store employees and all the many others who are working so hard to keep us healthy and alive. But my heart aches for a mother celebrating her 42nd birthday so close to death, knowing she can't provide for herself or her child, and wondering what these next few years will bring, if she manages to survive these present crises.
Looking forward to your video, Dusty! Humor helps a lot!
I'm in week 9 of staying at home 99.99% of the time...and full time for the last month. I was tested for COVID19 last Wed., but don't have the results, yet. The governor said tonight that it might take 10 days or more if our test was sent to a private lab.
I'm happy to report that I was finally able to get tested today! I waited in a line of cars for 2.5 hours, but was able to talk to a friend on my cell phone for most of that time. Beautiful warm day, and the first time I've been out of the house in a week! They said to expect the test would come back negative, but they did document that I currently have bilateral lung involvement--8 weeks since I first got sick!
Over the past lotsofyears, I've been shifting books that I find here and there about the house, over to a bookshelf (several, actually) for "books I intend to read someday." I'm a retired LIBRARIAN, so I don't just willy-nilly go out and buy books. They seem to come to me anyway....For many years I have been unable to sit and concentrate on a book, so I practically wear out the pages by going back and reading and reading through, once again, what didn't "take hold" the first time. Or second. Or third. I don't listen to audio books for the same reason, and I find kindle, etc., aggrevating when I try to find my zoning out place. Over the last month, I've read 4 books, which is remarkable for me. I've read 2 memoirs, a novel, and a book on writing. Now I'm turning to "Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault", a book of essays by Cathy Guisewite, creator of the cartoon "Cathy." Time for a some much-needed humor.
Our bars and restaurants are only open for carry out (they bring it to your car usually) and home delivery; no inside seating. Churches closed, although that's somewhat voluntary, I think. Ours streams the service every Sunday anyway, but now they are trying to make a lot of classes and studies online and interactive. My husband's working on that project along with some other tech geeks. Many stores are doing online only and the grocery stores and Walmart, etc., have cut their hours back. Pharmacy drive-thru still open.
I'm pretty much a homebody, so I doubt I'll get cabin fever. Still, I was very disappointed to have to miss the Ohio Valley Gathering last weekend and the dulcimer retreat for this coming weekend was cancelled. We can't be in groups of more than 10 people, so all entertainment venues are shut down. I'm very very disappointed that the Road Scholar program had to cancel the spring Dulcimer Rendezvous in April in southern KY. That's always so much fun -- Susan Trump usually teaches the more advanced players, although Anne Lough did a great job filling in for her last year.
I'm disappointed, too, that the college basketball tournaments got cancelled since I usually watch most of the games...usually in my recliner with my dulcimer across the arms! Fortunately my playing softly doesn't annoy my husband!
We haven't stocked up on anything, yet, and that does concern me. I'm trying to cut back on the amount of toilet tissue I'm using, and that's good for the environment anyway!
Overall, we find these restrictions tolerable. Most of my energy is for healing up from the respiratory illness I got at the beginning of Feb. I don't want to be in germy situations anyway!
Don Pedi also has a large collection of historic instruments and gives great talks and allows "hands on" with the collection. He brings his expertise, popular workshops and great performances to the Homer Ledford Festival held every year on the first half of Labor Day Weekend in Winchester, KY (just east of Lexington). It's a small festival and we always have a great time.
I would suggest you listen to the dulcimer players who play the kind of music you want to play and ask them how they are tuned.
Listen to some of what FOTMD member Sam Edelston plays. If you like it, you might want to chat with him directly--or anyone else whose music sits well with you.
Wow! I asked my husband, Craig Potts, to pick the number and he gave me a good one! I will look forward to having Jessica Comeau's CD! Congratulations to the other winners, too!
Actually, Lois, I played chords on folk guitar to accompany singing in the late 60's and 70's, but I don't think I played enough to get calluses! I also never learned to fingerpick...
When the edges of the fake calluses begin to peel, I'd usually remove them and then re-apply. This is what I did while I was waiting for a new callus to form after I cut a finger on my left hand last fall. One of the things I did was to keep a uke handy and strum chords quietly on that for about 5 min. at a time while watching TV, etc. The hard part is to not overdue it while the baby calluses are developing.
Thank heavens we sang a lot in my family. We didn't listen to the radio, nor did we kids have radios of our own, but we sometimes listened to the hi-fi show tune albums. For most of my childhood I didn't realize there was a story that went with those songs! We sang a lot in Girl Scouts, too, and even had a chorus in our elementary school for a semester or two that met for a half hour before school started. I made my own music, too, as the family piano was in my bedroom from age 5 until I graduated from high school.
Mrs. Vaughan taught me from Kindergarten and moved with me through intermediate school so I had seven years of teaching from her.
Was she your only teacher for 7 years, or was she a music teacher? I was guessing you meant the former. I never had a general music class throughout all of my education--what a treat that would have been, I think! Our teachers (up through 6th grade) all had a piano and music books available to pull into the classroom if they wished to do so--some were very opposed to the idea, unfortunately.
We should probably play more of the songs we learned as children. I'm glad this discussion is still giving folks lots of ideas along these lines!
I played in a concert today and one of the songs we performed was Jean Ritchie's song: The Holly Tree. The people gave us a lot of applause, so I guess they liked it, too. Jean would be so pleased, I think, to know that her music is being carried on across the globe, just as she did when she was alive. Of course, a spark of Jean will always live on, I think!