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Busy, Busy Saturday

Wowie, Saturday was a busy one. I got up early to bake Tony (my knitting buddy) a couple of small birthday cakes (one chocolate, one apple spice… I couldn’t decide so made one small pan of each, not frosted or anything but excellent right out of the pan). It isn’t his birthday for another 9 days or so, but I don’t know if I’ll be seeing him next weekend. *Then* Tony came over at 9am and we hopped into the car and bombed down the road to Chelsea (one hour, one way), where we attended Spinner’s Flock spinning guild.

This guild is extraordinary. Often there are 100 folks at a meeting (once a month, 2nd Saturday), who drive in from all over the region. It is a group of folks, many of whom have fiber animals and many of whom sell fiber-related merchandise (two book vendors, lots of fleece and spinning wheels, knitting/dyeing/needlefelting supplies, you name it).

They have two fleece fairs a year where they sell fiber and handspun items (and items related to handspinning), and one holiday sale where they sell finished goods made with at least 50% handspun/fleece. I have never sold my yarns there because I typically buy commercial yarn and handpaint it. The yarns at Spinners Flock Fleece Fairs have to be at least 50% handspun and I haven’t had enough to participate. That’s fine, since it’s a lot of work… if I have the day off, I go and participate in the purchasing experience with Tony. If not I save money by being somewhere else making a living. All choices are fine.

After Spinners’ Flock, Tony and I came back to Lansing for a brief lunch at New Aladdin’s restaurant. Following that, I had a house call for one of my computer students, to help her figure out a few things on her home computer. Then I raced home so to speak, and changed into dressier clothes (purple and red for Valentine’s Day… I was inspired) so I could be Lynn Heftone of The Fabulous Heftones.

We had a performance at Altu’s again. I love singing for the Valentine’s Day crowd. It was another great group of folks, there were a good handful of friends and family who came out specifically because they knew we were there.

Sharon P and her sweetie Lynn and our knitting friend Emily, and their friend Susan (Suzanne?) were there. Sharon and Emily were both wearing shawls they had knit themselves, and looking mighty fine, indeed!

Regina, our loyal fan as always, was there, and our friend Drew who is in Klezmeroke, and my friend Cher (that’s her nickname that she prefers, I call her by her birth name) from the Arborland Borders knit in group drove in all the way from Ann Arbor.

Brian’s Aunt and Uncle came in from Grand Rapids to meet his two cousins and one cousin’s spouse. They had never been to one of our performances and had never been to Altu’s. It was a great and wonderful surprise when we walked in and saw them there!

At the end of our show, my dance friend Emily and her hubby Bill came in for dinner, as well. This was a big surprise, as they have never come out for our music before. I was delighted to see them!

Anyway… when we ate our magnificent feast after the Altu’s performance, we headed over to Magdalena’s Tea House. Now, I can’t believe I have not been there yet. There has been quite a nice buzz among creative folks in Lansing about this place, and I think they have probably been there close to a year. Yet I never made it over there until this week.

For one thing, I’m a fanatical tea drinker and they have a vast selection of teas to choose from. They also have Knutson Spritzers and coffee and homemade muffins (yogurt and honey rather than milk and sugar… you know that good sort of baked goods, I’m sure).

And the crowd was full of creative folks appreciating other creative folks. We heard “Lily of the Valley” which is two young ladies, Lily and Valerie (what a great name they chose) who sing mostly acapella duets, with beautiful young voices. We heard some skits/commercials (a commercial for kazoos, you gotta love it). We heard Chris Jentoft, the Emcee, spin a story about his bus ride from California to Ohio when he moved to the Midwest (which later landed him in Lansing).

And then it was our turn. We sang four numbers. The crowd was with us for the duration. So often, we perform in a restaurant, where the focus is not the music. Folks listen and then they get their food, they chat, then they listen again. This is as it should be, and we love being part of the scene. But at Magdalena’s they have a stage, and a small space where some folks are in comfy chairs and some are on cushions on the floor (think beat poet teahouse in Chicago… reminds me of one I visited a dozen years ago there).

It looks like many of the folks in the audience are also performers. And many of the folks there are friends/acquaintances. And you sing, and they are right on it, every word. We had applause in the middle of a number (we whistle a duet in the middle of “Singin’ in the Bathtub” which they appreciated). We had eyes glued to us, no distractions, just a wonderful, appreciative crowd. I loved it. And folks liked our act.

It was pretty cool to be in a local environment for the second time this week (after Dagwood’s open mike) where we had folks of all ages, particularly young adults, who heard us for the first time. Our music is ageless, it appeals to people from 3 years old to 103. But young folks have not heard this music before, where someone 73 years old will know all the words to half of our songs. It feels really good to introduce this beautiful, lyrical, magical stuff to new listeners (OK, maybe Singin’ in the Bathtub isn’t lyrical but I would still classify it as magical when we really do it right.)

We were the last act in the show, so after we finished we said hellos and goodbyes… but we were not done yet! We went to a jam session after that, and sang and played and talked with friends we don’t see often enough. We were there past 1:00 am, and got to bed at about 3:30 am. Mind you, that was after a previous night of not enough sleep! I slept like a baby and got up at 8:30, then read a (knitting) book and fell back asleep until after noon. I feel much better now!!!

In ukulele content, Brian wowed them as usual. At Altu’s he did an amazing rendition of his own composition, the Epley Breakdown. Fortunately, he recorded it live and has now posted the recording on our EZFolk.com Fabulous Heftones music page for your listening pleasure. Scroll down a little to find it… it’s there, fourth song from the top.

If there was ever a question about why our act is popular with ukulele enthusiasts, listening to Brian’s amazing uke playing on this cut will answer. Remember when you listen to it… this was live. No overdubs, no choosing of the best track, no note edits. The guy amazes me, and I live with him!

In knitting content, I knit more than half of a second LynnH Watercolor bag in the last 24 hours. It’s gorgeous… mostly raspberry, pink and orange with purples, and a hint of blue hot green for interest. I’m not sure how I had time to do that much, but waiting at a restaurant, listening to a meeting at the Spinners’ Flock, while waiting our turn to perform, while chatting at the jam session, and knitting while Brian was driving to and from events, turned into a good deal of productive knitting.

That was a WONDERFUL day. Just the same, I’m glad we don’t have too many days this busy!

Photographs: 1&2) Fabulous Heftones performance at Altus, photos by Fritz Milhaupt. 3) Fabulous Heftones at Magdalena’s Teahouse, photo by Stan Werbin. 4) Jam Session after performances at a friend’s house. (You should see this lovely house. It’s a red brick farmhouse north of Lansing maybe 10 miles, with horses and sheep. This woman is in my musical circle of friends *and* my fiber/spinning/knitting circle of friends as well.) 5) Magdalena’s Tea House, the band that was playing as we walked in, whose name I do not know.

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