Apology for my lack of posting

I note that I am neglecting my blogs, there are several reasons, all due to being quite busy!  I attended a Society for Creative Anachronism event called Gulf Wars in March, which was a blast. I also decided a few months back to begin updating my skills in puppetry and add ventriloquism to what I knew. It seems there are now some excellent resources for ventriloquism online, so this has been a great boon to me. AND I have been working on ONE song playing it on each of my autoharps in an attempt to learn to play something.  I … Continue reading

The Walls of Constantinople

I just watched a wonderful TED talk on the significance of the Walls of Constantinople to the West.  I enjoyed that this video is both concise and clear. The only criticism I have is that those fleeing Constantinople did not only go to Rome, but to many other major cities. It was not so much the crusaders who brought the culture and knowledge from Constantinople to the west as it was the Eastern Romans themselves. Most of our books call them Byzantines, but they knew themselves as Roman. Go watch the video. Use it as part of your Church History … Continue reading

Ordinary Beauty VI: health

Our culture does not value beauty beyond its relationship to function or earning power. Girls are taught to pursue careers and earn good money; they are taught to develop a career before they consider marriage and family. Men seek wives who can add a solid second paycheck; men used to seek wives who had the skills to create a beautiful home for a family. There was a time when the beauty created by home makers was valued. Girls were taught the skills and could expect to have those skills valued.  Those days are long gone. Our culture glorifies the career … Continue reading

Everyday Beauty II

People in our culture are starving for beauty.  I remember when Trudy Krise, a wonderful woman, would bring her deserts to class for the snack.  Those days we had standing room only! People stood around the table exclaiming over the beauty of her deserts. They were indeed a work of art, and what is more, they tasted BETTER than they looked! People are so starved for beauty that knowing her art would be at the next class was all it took to get standing room only. Why the popularity of the Extraordinary form of the Mass? We often call it … Continue reading

Review of Magnificat magazine: Depth of devotionals in a practical package.

Magnificat  is a monthly magazine of daily devotionals for Catholics published Yonkers, NY. The issue I have in my hand is the April issue with a special supplement included for Holy Week. My first impression is positive, the paper cool and smooth in my hand, the pages easy to flip, the text easy on the eyes, and the size just right to keep handy. There is a richness to the material that feeds the soul. The cover art is lovely and a commentary on that art is found near the back of each issue. A brief greeting from the editor … Continue reading

To Know Myself!

I realized this evening that I love ballads.  Songs like The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald, and Bristlecone Pine.  I realized this when I heard the song, Bristlecone Pine, on an interview with Bryan Bowers and found myself obsessed.  I had to know what CD had the song, and it turns out the CD is named for that ballad.  Then I purchased that CD just for that one song! This caused me to wonder, am I ever so obsessed with a song that is not a ballad?  Truth is, generally NO.  I do love Church music of all kinds, especially … Continue reading

Western-Eastern Fusion Music, or what I Learned when I asked if a Chinese Pipa could play American Folk Music

One of the good things about being American is that we tend  to explore elements of many other cultures, and add them to the many uniquely American elements that have grown up here. All the members of our family value the cultures of our ancestors.  My niece will likely do the same, after all, she is one of us. My niece is also musical and enjoys playing her piano and musical people often play more than one instrument. So I began to explore folk instruments from the culture of her ancestors. I wanted to find something interesting that might be … Continue reading

Bodhran

Bodhran: a shallow drum traditionally used in Celtic music and similar to the flat drums used in some Native American music. I purchased my very first drum at the Winter Festival of Acoustic Music. Why a bodhran? It makes this marvelous sound, is light weight, easily stored and easily carried. The bodhran is an amazingly flexible little drum.  Also, I just like it. It isn’t something I went to the festival expecting to purchase but as always the stimulus of music spurs my creativity and need to explore.  That, and the drum was discounted as was the bag to carry … Continue reading

Winter Festival of Acoustic Music 2013

This weekend was a BLAST.  I attended, for only the second time, a small but absolutely fantastic gathering in Irving, TX called the Winter Festival of Acoustic Music.  This year, Chuck and Karen Daniels and Charles Whitmer were the workshop leaders in autoharp. 2011 The first year I attended I took workshops with Charles Whitmer.  Mr. Whitmer opened my eyes to amazing variations in strums.  I learned exercises to take home and practice and I didn’t even have my own autoharp yet!  Also, I was fitted with nice brass picks by Chuck Daniels (brass on the fingers and plastic for … Continue reading

Looking To 2013

I love the pristine hopefulness of a new year. A New year has so many possibilities, so much potential and a whole 12 months of adventure in it. I shall make plans and enter into the New Year eagerly and energetically.  How will it turn out?  Will the New Year be a disaster, or success, or something in between? I resolve to cling tightly to my personal goals.  I plan to adhere to my healthy eating plan, geared to my issues with blood sugar, and my need to lose weight.  How?  I will combat the feelings of deprivation by pampering … Continue reading