About Me ColorJoy Home Page Free Stuff About Me Contact Me
ColorJoy Home Page
ColorJoy Home The ColorJoy Blog Buy Patterns, Recipe Books, CDs Patterns Schedule & Potential Classes Recipes & Food Information The LynnH SockTour LynnH Polymer Clay The Fabulous Heftones - Lynn & Brian

Archive for May 4th, 2004

A Day of Gratitude

Tuesday, May 4th, 2004

Wowie. I’m all sentimental today. I sort of like that part of me, as long as it doesn’t take over for weeks. It’s great to see little things and really know how wonderful they are. And big things, too… I’m really appreciating my life right now.

Brian worked really hard last night and this morning, on cleaning up a couple of my songs and one of his, for the new Moon, June, Spoon CD we plan to release very, very soon. He’s just wonderful at this, editing the tracks to make them sound just right. It’s hard work, very nitpicky. Very frustrating at times.

This morning he did a bunch of work and then the program crashed and he lost some really good work. I know that did not start out his day well, but he’s always easy to get along with even on his bad days (unlike his bounce-off-the-walls-sometimes wife). I hope his work day went well to make up for it.

Today I got home just at 3pm, when the Flaming Ukulele Radio Hour starts. I wasn’t too worried, because I know he starts the show with the song “The Flaming Ukulele in the Sky.” It is a great song, but I’ve heard it before so missing it once would not be horrible. I figured I had enough time to connect before there were new songs I’d not heard yet.

I have to listen to the show as streaming audio on my computer. This means I go to a web page for the radio station, click a link, and that takes me to a place where I click another link which starts my streaming audio. Well, I just had a horrible time getting connected today. I went to wnti.org‘s website to click on “listen live” and the page would NOT load. It is a three-column page and the third column, the one I needed, would not load even when I refreshed after minutes and minutes. It took three tries to get the page loaded.

Worst of all, one time when I refreshed, it said in the On The Air section at the top of the page, that they were playing Brian. He was singing “I Want a Girl” (just like the girl that married dear old dad). I guess Uke Jackson, the DJ, was on a sort of pre-Mother’s Day theme. I was so bummed to miss it. (I will be able to hear it on the replay hour, Wednesday night, so all is not lost, but it still was a disappointment.)

It took me FOREVER to get connected, and I think I missed three songs, including Brian’s! What a disappointment that was. But I love the music, no matter what is played, so I finally connected and listened to the rest of the hour.

Toward the end of the show, after playing the excellent “When I’m Cleaning Windows” by George Formby (1904-1961), Uke played “Ain’t That a Grand and Glorious Feelin.” That is the single song we burned on CD and sent to him a few weeks back. The song will be on our next CD project… the one after Moon, June, Spoon.

I tell you what, I’m really proud of that piece. It just makes you wanna smile! And my voice was just exactly as I wanted it to be, the day we recorded it. After so many months of having no voice, or almost none, it is really exciting to hear myself sound confident when singing again.

I was suitably weepy hearing myself sing on the radio. Then after our piece, Uke played a song by Geoff Muldaur, just a fabulous entertainer who has been in the business for decades. What great company we had on the air today!

After the Geoff Muldaur piece, Uke started to announce Brian’s song “Mother, I’m Wild” (also on the Mother’s Day theme). Somehow he got cut off before he started playing the song. I think he ran out of time. It was still a thrill to hear Brian’s name announced.

The song we missed hearing, is from Brian’s solo CD (of the same title) that he released about a month ago. (My man is on a serious roll, recording these days.) If you click the link above, you can download that song and all the others on that album, in their entirety. I’m very fond of the title track, and “Rose of Washington Square.” And a bunch more, of course, but I could bore you.

The Mother, I’m Wild song is just a hoot. Here’s an excerpt: “…I am drinking Coca-Cola now. On the level, I’m a little devil…. cannibals compared to me are mild… Oh, Mother, I’m wild!”

There were some very good humorous lyricists a good long while ago. Brian is very good at finding songs like that to sing, they really work well with his voice. And when people who know our music come to hear us perform, those are the songs that get requested over and over again. I’ve got the sweet voice, but he has the fun songs. Fun will win out every time!

…Anyway, I’m feeling a bit like the lyrics to “Ain’t that a Grand and Glorious Feelin’.” To quote one verse:

When you’re blessed with the wealth of good name and good health,
Ain’t that a grand and glorious feelin’?

When whatever you’ve got, you’re content with your lot,
Ain’t that a grand and glorious feelin’?

You just go your way, always nice and kind,
Learning every day,
Happiness is in your mind, and

When you’ve nothing to fear, ’cause your conscience is clear,
Ain’t that a grand and glorious feelin’?

OK, I don’t exactly feel *that* great, I am human and feel guilt sometimes weighing on my mind, but when I was listening to myself sing… and my voice sounded just the way I wanted it to sound… and I really started feeling how fine this man is who loves me… and who makes us sound so good… well, for a moment I only felt good things. And I was truly grateful for “whatever I’ve got.” Which is plenty!

I don’t know why it is, but this recording project just makes me feel more married than ever before. We have been married about 7.5 years. I can’t think of anything more joy-producing I’ve ever done, than be married with Brian.

I told you I was sentimental today…

Spring Update and Knitting Progress

Tuesday, May 4th, 2004

It has been not much warmer than freezing for a few days. In fact, last night I dreamed that we got snow that covered the ground. The good news is that today it is actually sunny and warmer. Yesterday morning it was 40F and today it is 54F, a significant change. I’m grateful.

These flowers were at the bank a few days back. It’s the same flower bed where I took photos of purple crocus early on. It is located in a protected area on the west side of the building, and it is clearly a very happy garden.

I went to my mother’s house yesterday and her strawberry plants are blooming! You can see the little white flowers at the left of this photo. In the back right corner, you can see her rhubarb plants coming up for the year. (They look like the pesky weed burdock/cockleburr, but they are not the same at all.)

Rhubarb is a regional treat, not many outside the midwest have tried it. The plant has large stems that are green with some pink, that are very tart but edible (the leaves are poisonous). The stems are cut up much like a large stalk of celery (without the stringiness) and then cooked as if it were a fruit, with lots of sugar to counteract the tartness. It cooks into a soft texture, very satisfying. The flavor is a little like cranberry or lingonberry, but perhaps a bit more tart. We really love it. Rhubarb tends to be the first harvest of the year, and we usually have rhubarb pie for Brian’s birthday on May 31.

Sometimes people make strawberry-rhubarb pies, probably because both plants produce fruit at the same time. I don’t like the texture of cooked strawberries myself, so I don’t care for that. My mother makes a wonderful rhubarb crisp which features a bit of cinnamon for flavor, and a crumbly oatmeal crust on top and bottom. I like that even more than a traditional pie. Yum! Brian and I have a small batch of rhubarb growing in our yard, and I’ll definitely have to make some in a few weeks.

Oh, Last night I bound off my new ColorJoy stole. I may bind it off again, though. No matter how carefully I try to work, I can’t seem to bind off loosely! It is a little too pulled together at the top edge. You want it a little firm, so it won’t stretch out lengthwise and look like a huge scarf… but this one pulls up on the corners when draped around the shoulders. It is not a big deal to redo, but my hands are really worn out from working with larger needles, and the arthritis in my finger is really not happy. I’m going to let that wait for a few days before I try again.

Just the same, it’s pretty exciting to have the stole in a form where I can try it on and look at the completed creation! I like this part of knitting. I really love finishing things. It is no surprise I choose smaller projects than others might. After all, my last sweater took a year to complete! I can’t handle that very often.

My other knitting project is a pair of top-down, afterthought-heel sox in Heirloom Easy-Care DK washable yarn (this is my third pair from this yarn). It’s a sort of pale raspberry color (same color as my wristwarmers from a few days ago). I am doing these on needles that are a bit too small for the yarn but they will wear like iron. They have been my on-the-go knitting for a while now.

I keep breaking needles with this project, though. With the Brittany birch needles, they were shorter and I only typically only broke them when I was actively knitting (usually during a K2Tog maneuver, since I knit so tightly). However, I bought some bamboo needles to try those for the smaller sizes (zero and 1), and they are longer. I think the birch are 5″ and the bamboo are 6 or 7″ long. Well, that extra length is a drag, because they get caught in everything when I carry them along in my bag. They poke through the sides of my bag and catch on things (including my skin). They break when I’m just carrying them. They don’t snap in half like the birch, they just sort of fold in half. The other day I was knitting on them at a restaurant. I put them in my bag, I thought carefully, and by the time I was in the car two of the needles had folded. I couldn’t knit on the way home.

I really don’t like the feel of metal needles, especially because the give of the wood or bamboo is good for the arthritis in my fingers (I’m only 45, but that’s life). But what am I to do? I take a project on the road and then I can’t knit because the needles are not in working order. Ugh. I do fine with larger sizes, but zero and 1 are a real bear (that’s 2.0mm and 2.25mm for non-US readers), and I’m using them more and more these days. I guess I really need to find some Pony Pearls and try those. They are longer than the birch, but if they don’t fold in half like the bamboo I might like them fine. You know, I have spent a fortune on birch needles and love them. I hate to spend a second fortune on another brand. I guess I’m only talking a few sizes here, anyway, but it’s such a disappointment.

The sox are coming right along, anyway. I’m just ready to decrease for the toes, then I’ll do the heels last. I may need to set these aside, though, because our guild is having a sock swap in two weeks and I haven’t started the pair for my swap partner yet. That’s life, and I’ll finish fine, but I can’t put those off much longer if sox tend to take me about 10-14 days, can I?