Saturday, November 28, 2009

Talkin Turkey....

A little late,I know-I've been caught up in uncluttering,organizing & discarding what I feel is no longer "me". But-I had to share this fellow with you-my best garage sale find in Thanksgiving day decor! I found him this past June in the neighborhood yard sale fest I go to. He sat on my mantle till just after Thanksgiving. I found a similar one on eBay & the seller felt it was fro the early 1950's.
No chips or cracks,tho it does look like he's missing some red on his waddle. I have no idea what he is supposed to be used for-a tiny planter,perhaps? I've also been getting some very reasonably priced Yule goodies for the kitchen-a spoon rest for the sugar spoon and I'll be bidding on a Christmas sugar bowl (that will be holding Splenda) I won one last year but it was just too tall & awkward-I discovered I like short & stocky sugar bowls. I love decorating the kitchen to go with the seasons & holidays. Next years goal will be making valances for the kitchen window for Yule,Fall,Winter,and spring. I could do an old looking patriotic print for summer.
I got the shelf above my computer desk dusted & re organized-I moved the printer & phone up there too as it's more practical & no more stooping over to grab a page while it's printing. Totally redecorated & am goin farmgirl in my tastes. Using a little feng shui in my re organizing....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Discovering Ukulele as a Cowboy/Farm Girl Tradition

No one was more surprised than me by getting into ukulele. My grandmother got this one I believe in the early 1920's- a banjo ukulele made by a guy who sold them at a roadside stand in San Jose,CA. Unfortunately,this one was made before they standardized the measurements & so forth and it doesn't sound good from the 7th fret on. But it's what I started noodling with & playing Christmas carols a little over a month ago. My mom had the banjo skin replaced nearly 30 years ago & I have no idea why-she never played it.

I finally broke down & got a good inexpensive model made of nato (eastern mahogany) wood as it gives a good tone. Not the fanciest uke in the world,but it's a perfect instrument to take to my part time job,plays excellent & sounds wonderful. I'm not a Hawaii/Island type person,and found that you can play blues on it (I have the book!) and was even more surprised to find there is a cowboy tradition (that started back in the 1920's?) of making music on the thing. It made perfect sense-it's small,inexpensive,easy to learn,perfect for one who's life is on the go and living in the great outdoors. I can't believe the positive reaction I've had at the part time job I have at the college when I'm playing. Mind you so far I can pluck "Good King Wenseslas" and do some melodic scale stuff plus a few chords. I'm far from what I'd considered to be "good" yet my boss has asked me to quit playing outdoors on break & play in the break room as she likes what I'm doing. I've started making gig bags for these out of colorful & fun fabrics as the one that came with my uke can only be described as "cheesy"! I'm hoping this will become an instrument of the farm girl-perfect for having along when you take a break from yard work,waiting for the baking to get done in the oven,or just need a musical time out. So I'm off to learn more tunes!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lifes' been on a whirlwind lately.....

And while I've been trying to make the best of it,it's been challenging,to say the least. My part time job has become more than part due to a billing letter going out to students for past semesters,and this invited nothing but chaos & negativity along with a constant tugging on the sleeve by my supervisor to come in nearly every day. The light at the end of the tunnel will be a nice Dec paycheck. None the less I'm hoping this ends soon!
Dads infected tooth was pulled yesterday,and I found out I have a cavity,so I get to have a small filling put in. But while all this unexpected stuff has been swirling around me,there have been delights,too! My strawberry plant is bearing fruit,I see a ripe lemon on the tree,I've discovered ukulele playin,along with the fact my grandmothers banjolele was made in the early 1920's. A no name model that she had purchased at a roadside stand in San Jose when she was a young girl-the stand owner made these instruments.
So having a lil extra $$,not wanting to take a family heirloom out of the house,I ordered a ukulele for myself along with a gig bag that I can take with me places. I'd worry too much about taking the mandolin,esp now that it's set up proper, I wouldn't want anything happening to it. It should arrive around the 5th.
Thankgiving dinner plans are cluckin in my head. I'm thinking of breaking tradition & going with roast,potatoes & carrots along with dressing this time. The libbys pumpkin bread kits are wonderful,and that will be dessert.
I'm reading about crazy quilting & how to do it. I'd like to start making instrument cases for ukes & mandos. We'll see. And now,for another busy day........