Monday, May 28, 2007

Making Music

Originally uploaded by mtnester
Here's the proof that all you need is a wash tub, a scrub board, and a kazoo to be in Folklife. But I must say that the guitar really pulled it all together. And so why was I at Folklife.... to sing with the Sacred Harp singers. We drew a croud of at least one hundred on Saturday for our workshop and sing along. On Sunday about 75 people heard us sing on stage. I was pleasantly surprised to have one of my young students greet me after the performance. I'm not sure the singing moved her like it does me but she was very happy to get a look at me from a decidedly different perspective than classroom teacher!

Getting in Tune

Originally uploaded by mtnester
I do not know the name of these instruments but the music was lovely.

The Crowds

Originally uploaded by mtnester
As you can see, the weather was typical grey and on Sunday downright cold. I think the crowds were still pretty thick but then I haven't been to Folklife in 15 years. There were several stages both inside and out but some of the most interesting performances lined the Center grounds.
The one picture I wish I had been able to get: a girl about 9 years old standing on an exercise ball, playing a fiddle, and swinging a hula hoop around her waist all at the same time!

Making a Statement

Originally uploaded by mtnester
Along with the many stages of folk music and dancing, ethnic food venders, and arts and crafts booths, there were some people who used the instant audience to make their political point.


Originally uploaded by mtnester
Israeli, Serbian, Polish, Russian, Salsa, Tango, Swing: you name it, they had a band playing the music and people teaching you how to do the steps, every hour of the day and i suppose, into the night!

Balkan Dancing Music

Originally uploaded by mtnester
I have very few pictures of the many venues I saw because in my haste to catch the bus I left the memory card at my computer so I had to rely on the camera's memory storage to hold these few photos. Although this photo is not in the best of focus, I think the slight blur around the girls hair adds to the old world charm of their costumes.


Originally uploaded by mtnester.
Well, I have not been to Seattle's Folklife in over 15 years and what group do I come upon first but the the guys in red capes who play Andean music day in and day out on downtown street corners. I gotta say though, they have some of the lovliest thick and glossy black hair. It's enough to give a female a spell of hair envy!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sneak Peak

Sneak Peak
Originally uploaded by mtnester

I bought this Himalayan Blue Poppy when Heronswood Nursery was still in Kingston WA. This has to have been about 5 years ago.
When I say gardening takes patience and vision, it is events like the eventual blooming of this poppy. that I am talking about. The stem holds 10 fuzzy buds. I think the line of delicate blue is at least as pretty as the cerulean flower it has turned into.

At Long Last!

At Long Last!
Originally uploaded by mtnester

My dh is not impressed. After all my talk, and numerous walks around the garden looking for this poppy, he expected something more showy like the brilliant orange poppies that grow in my sun garden.

Cool and Lush

The shade gardens have really 'plumped up'. The neighborhood feral cat finds our gardens to be one of his favorite haunts. He has chosen unwisely as we have not been very enamored of him since early spring when he knocked a birdhouse out of a bush, killing 5 baby wrens. It's not that I hate cats, but what I have to say about irresponsible pet owners is not fit to print.

Gigantic and Profuse

Hot Pink Rhodie
Originally uploaded by mtnester
"And at last, prefaced by azaleas, the rhododendrons themselves, with a profusion increasing through the last week of May......The bushes were evergreen. With their zigzag branches and long oval leaves fingering in every direction they seemed to belong to a different climate, to a different land, whose gravity pulled softer than this one.....But when the hemispheres of blossom appear in crowds they remind him of nothing so much as the hats worn by cheap girls to church on Easter."
From: rabbit, run by John Updike
My aged rhodies (I have two newbies without blooms) are the most magnificent they have ever been. I think it is because of trees that have lost branches or been cut down, exposing more sun to the rhodies. Although I must say that the grower who sold me the two newbies spoke with confidence when affirming that will bloom in shade. The profusion of blooms on these two is bittersweet as they are both going to be removed with my approval that is tinged with regret. The pink one is next to a section of fence that needs serious repair and the white one with purple freckles just is not part of the design for my front yard rejuvenation. Change is good I keep telling myself. My dh is reading the rabbit series by John Updike and when he came to the floral descriptions in rabbit, run he just had to share them with me, and I am glad he did! I am in total agreement with Updike. Both the rhodies and earlier blooming magnolias have the same impact on this Midwesterner. The blooms are not so much pretty as they are gaudy and eye catching.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mystery Daughter

I envy all the blogging mothers with children still 'in the nest'. Kids always give you great writing material but then again the time to actually do the writing is at a premium. I DO have a daughter and she is the light of my life, the apple of my eye, the moon and the stars, and if I were more versed in glowing analogies the list would go on and on. She is a first year student at the University of Chicago doing her scholarly best to absorb all the knowledge she can from this lofty institution. Between the papers for French Writing, Sociology, and Contemporary Drama, she manages to enjoy herself playing Ultimate Frisbee. And now we are hear an occasional word about a boyfriend. Our girl is quite particular and to have her use the label 'boyfriend' to describe this young man to us; what a surprise! But then again, not; we knew all along what a treasure she is.

Colorful Totes

Colorful Totes
Originally uploaded by mtnester.

I hope that all the mothers of my kindergarten students appreciate the tedious tearing and sticky gluing their children patiently endured as they assembled these colorful totes. Not to mention the two hours plus which I spent applying Modge Podge to give each box a shiny and flexible coat!
My husband looked at me sitting on the floor with the boxes encircling me as I worked and said, "I think that my kindergarten teacher just had me press my hand into a circle of clay. I'm sure it took nowhere near the time that you spend on your kids and their projects!" And he is right. Passionate and dedicated teachers spend many hours doing a whole host of things for children that take many hours beyond the contractual work week. But teachers at the school where I work were very lucky last week as the parents pampered us with breakfast one day, flowers gleefully given by the children (the classroom looked like a floral shop), lunch the next day and snacks every time I turned into our staff lounge. Friday brought an abundance of notes and pictures from our students and the day culminated with a care bag from the parents containing: Starbucks coffee, Artisan French Bread AND a bottle of Puget Ridge Guertztaminer wine! These parents know how to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Pick a Door

Originally uploaded by mtnester.
O.K. Imagine you are having a leisurely afternoon nap in this well appointed beach condo. You wake up and hear a familiar voice on the other side of the doors and which one do you choose to open? "Teresa, open the door! I've locked myself in here!" my befuddled husband shouts to me. As it turns out the door was NOT locked, he merely chose the wrong door. The door with the wreath above it is a locked closet; that is the one Chris was trying to open. I don't think I will let him live this one down.

Hi-Tide at Moclips, WA

This is the condo where we stayed. It was very well equipped with a microwave, every kitchen utensil you could possibly imagine, a dishwasher, a cupboard full of board games and even raincoats in the closet (although aside from a brief squall complete with hail on Sat. night, the weather was quite pleasant). The sculpture of the kid on the right side of the mantle did not meet with Chris' approval, but other than that it was perfect. One of the Hi-Tide traditions is rock painting. Visitors can check out paints and brushes from the front office. The rocks can be collected from walks along the beach, then brought back to the Hi-Tide and decorated, usually incorporating your family name and the date of your visit. We separated from tradition this time, but decorated many a rock in the 1990s.