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Archive for February 4th, 2007

Online Poetry Reading Two Days Late

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

I don’t read blogs often… when I do I read several days at once to catch up. I just am reading Yarn Harlot for Feb. 2 (Groundhog’s Day) and she posted a wonderful poem.

For the second year I missed the Second Annual Brigid in Cyberspace Silent poetry reading. That is, on the right day. But I will share a poem anyway.

This one was written by Ben Bohnhorst, a wonderful man I have not seen in several years. I met him when he was over 70 years young. His wife, Marie, never was much into poetry, though she clearly always adored Ben!

For Marie
©1994 by Ben Bohnhorst

From his book:
A Service on the Sufficiency of Feeding Finches and Other Poems
Ridgeway Press, 1994

Another thought concerning Spring —
And this one is a lovely one
With quince and plum so showing joy
That girls and boys must twine their hands
And touch while such abundance blows.

We watch new lovers everywhere,
The young among the blowing blooms,
And see it is not really true
That April is a cruel month.
Not nevermore — no, evermore —
Desire renews, and Spring returns,
And April is desire’s sweet time.

This further thought about desire:
Once young we may be ever so,
Like that old cherry there, the one
Where two young lovers stand and reach
Their hands up in among the boughs
And shake the showering blossoms down.

Singing Festival Recap

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

singingfest12byregina.jpgWe had a great time at the Mid-Winter Singing Festival Saturday. We took handouts with 25 songs on them, and sang 21 of the songs. In just over an hour! Most of our songs onstage are between 2 and 3 minutes, but some of these songs had several verses and we still just plain cranked through a lot of great music.

Our crowd was fun. We had a lot of folks there who we had not met before. Later I talked to Beverly, a professional singer from the Detroit area, and I hope we will see her at the Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival (at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum on March 25, more details soon). She was only one of our new friends.

We knew several folks in the crowd. Sophia (the harp player/singer I know from Rae’s shop) and Anna (young uke player/contra dancer) came… with Anna’s mom, Barbara and Anna’s friend whose name I have not memorized yet. They knew every word of even the introductions, because they have our CDs and listen to them. That delighted me.

singingfest16anna.jpgSo many friends were at the festival. Julie of the colorful socks was there, and our beloved loyal friend/fan, Regina was volunteering all day, helping to take payments on behalf of the Ten Pound Fiddle Coffeehouse, a partner in putting on this event. I also saw my friend Ulyana, which was a real treat. We just do not see enough of one another.

Have I mentioned lately how much I enjoy the music biz? What fun it is to sing in front of a group, whether they sing along or not. There is not much more fun for me than the things I do for my job. Teaching and singing… lucky me. It *is* work, but the best kind, I’d say.

Regina took the time to take our photograph down in the food/social area, the first photo shown here. She really got us just right… and since she was sitting down, we look so tall!!! Love it.

The second photo was taken by Anna during our workshop. Thanks for being so willing to jump in and help, Anna!!!


Sunday, February 4th, 2007

It is 1.6 degrees F outside right now, according to my kitchen thermometer. That is -16.9 C for you metric folks. This is the kind of cold where the snow just blows like powder and when you walk, the snow squeaks beneath your feet. And now we have wind on top of the cold.

A few days ago the snow coming down was perfect, the fluffy sparkly kind coming straight down… the kind you see in commercials for Christmas things. Today it’s looking instead like mean, ugly, colorless gusts of ice-crystals blowing in your face, on your glasses, through whatever you are wearing. Two pairs of wool socks, two pairs of longjohns and a pair of legwarmers were almost enough, but not quite, today. Even when the sun shone, there was no color and it seemed to show the gusts even more. Thank goodness it can not last forever.

This is the time when I’m really glad I bought two men’s full-length wool coats last year at the resale shop… for ME. The heavier one I wore today, it has a quilted lining and the fabric is really dense. The fabric is a sort of cream and blue-gray tiny herringbone, not my favorite, but when it’s cold I choose quality and warmth even if it means wearing a too-bland color. The one with a heavy but not quilted lining is more beautiful, sort of a tobacco brown/charcoal herringbone, maybe 1/4″ or a little larger (6 or 7mm). It’s a true Harris Tweed, a really dense wonderful fabric… but today I needed that lining and skipped the darker/richer coat in favor of warmth.

I am very happy that we got a new furnace last year. This is the time of year that old furnaces get grumpy and I would not want to be facing problems in this weather.

And I am very happy for my collection of chunky wool socks. It’s interesting, I had this conversation last week at Rae’s with one of my students… she had thought that “fat” wool socks might mean “scratchy” wool socks. It is SO true when you talk about commercial socks, unless you get into the really expensive brands. I tolerate scratchy wool on my feet just fine, but commercial wool socks almost never come in my size and even less often in colors I like. I’ve been making fat wool socks in washable soft wools and wool blends, and they are heaven on my feet. These days “fat wool socks” does not mean scratchy unless I specifically chose for it to mean that.

I do make a few pairs of scratchy heavy wool footies each year, to wear on top of my regular socks at home. They make my feet warmer, and they take all the wear and tear as I go without shoes or slippers in the house. I just do not like slippers, I have discovered. They make my feet perspire, and yet they are not warm enough. There is nothing worse than damp, cold feet… but several pairs of wool socks fix that problem well. Of course, I like bulky alpaca better (it’s warmer *and* softer) than bulky wool/mohair yarn, but the wool/mohair lasts a lot longer.

So it’s no surprise that when I finished my Bizarre yarn socks tonight (fat washable wool) I cast on for a pair of hot yellow-green Bulky Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride slipper socks. I already have one pair I seem to wear so much I might as well repeat that success. I have plenty of this yarn, so that was an easy choice!

I took photos of pair #147 Saturday. I edited the photo, and when I went to save it, PhotoShop did its crazy crash thing again and I lost everything. I lost heart and gave up for the moment. Now I need to photograph the Bizarre socks, too. Those are pair #148, the fourth pair of the year (2nd pair for me). We’ll see if I get the courage to try again soon.