Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ukulele Madness

Hand painted by Sandy "Rosebud" Scarano
Well since we did not get any snow, and I do mean zilch, nada, none, and all around us here in New York, everybody else did, I am putting all my ukuleles to work with some island strumming, in hopes that it will come.  I know, be careful what you wish for, but I like the snow, so this is kind of like a SNOW DANCE on ukulele.

Love my Martin C-1K uke.
Now Martin here, is my performance uke.  I belong to a Ukulele Group that goes out and about to bring smiles and good cheer to the nursing homes in our area....for free!  We also play at the local hospital, the annual Toys for Tots Drive with the US Marines, Relay for Life fundraisers, and on occasion at a couple day cares.  It's great fun and, though Martin is the go-to uke at performances, I haul 3 others out to hand out to the residents so they can try their hand at ukulele madness.  And they love it!

Hospital lobby gig!

I first laughed when a friend of mine brought me a ukulele to try, because I had no idea what to do with it.  He just told me that it was an extra one that he had lying around so, I thought I'd give it a go.  Well, I gave his uke back to him, wondering why in the world you need more than one ukulele...
 now I have 6!!!  3 sopranos, 2 of them painted with a beautiful island scene, 1 tenor, 1 vintage Avalon Banjolele that was my Father's and Martin!  I invested in Martin, because if I was going to engage in an activity such as strummin' a ukulele, I was going to get a good one to make sure I was giving it my best shot.  The bottom line here is, my Mama is born and raised on the beautiful island of Kauai, and what better way to honor her, and my island family who I got to visit not too long ago, sending back a new tenor uke from Honolulu.  And I wear Mama's picture, every time I head out to play!

Nursing home gig!

There is a great new revival of the ukulele.  Give it a try.  I promise you, it is reasonably priced, quite easy to learn, even I CAN DO IT!  It will surely make you smile:)  And hey George Harrison played the uke!

 Jammin' with Kara at A Spirit of Simplicity.
Stop by and say, "ALOHA" 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Empty Nest...again

The three "littles" have all gone back to their respective domains to conquer a last semester in college; to take on a new job; to teach other people's littles to sing in harmony...and as their Mother, as much as I still cry when they leave, as much as I worry about them driving in snowy weather, or just driving at all anymore, I know that worrying is draining me of my intense spirit that normally soars. 

So I have turned this day's worries into an empire of strength as I haul more wood in to keep the fire burning, so hubby doesn't have to when he gets home in the dark.  Since the cold winter wind has died down just a bit, I can walk in the woods to gather the remains of the fallen branches for kindling without fear of getting knocked out or crushed.  

And I am warmed by the lingering sound of the laughter of bonded siblings, the leftovers from the "baby little" who loves to cook, and the forgotten clothes in the washing machine which means only one thing... SHE'LL BE BACK!!!  And when one comes home, they all come home to be together, if only for a day!  I love our family!

And when they open their suitcases and bags and boxes to unpack, I know they will smile a BIG smile for the love notes from Mom, their fave cereal, tea and various surprises, and they will each remember the magnet that was sent with them upon their first departure from the homestead that reads:



Saturday, January 9, 2016

Old Man Winter

From winter's past...
 Normally at this time of year, we'd be down by the pond watching a few kids playing hockey, or just enjoying the beauty of the still falling snow. 

After an unusually warm Christmas Day here in New York State, we've had some frigid temps, but today back to rain...again.  More rain.  I love the rain...but not in January!  So, I will sit by the fire and watch the rain, envision the snow, and delve into the "simplify" mode for 2016 and purge a few more "things" from the homestead.

Or not...perhaps I will just cuddle up with my work in progress crochet blanket that is quite large already, but just not finished.  I leave it there on the love seat with the yarns still attached to pick up and work on as I crawl beneath it.

Or not...perhaps I will just wrap myself up in it and read more from the book that I just got,  Spirituality and the Desert Experience.   A ukulele friend brought this book to my attention and asked me to join a book discussion with him and some friends.  Well after reading the General Introduction 4 times, I finally agreed to press on and dig in and grasp the full intention of its journey into the desert.  A place that I believe I have already been...

You are welcome to join me on the journey...

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year...New Word

  It is the sweet simple things in life which are the real ones after all. 

 Well with 2015 ending in a whirlwind, I find that I truly am blessed, which I already knew.  Last year we did not get to celebrate the holiday season due to a tragic illness with my daughter, which almost took her precious life.  We are grateful each and every day that she is now well and we made a good time of it this year, checking things off of her bucket list, like standing in 3 states at once on New Year's Eve day, playing the lottery with the numbers from a fortune cookie, right up until New Year's Day when she pulled out a roman candle to set off at midnight!  SWEET!

And now, as the days roll on into 2016, I find myself flustered at all the hoopla that went into decorating, cooking, baking, etc, for the Christmas season.  Mostly trying to find things that have gone by the wayside while running around like a nut to train stations and airports to drop off and retrieve the "littles" who are all grown up now with lives of their own away from the homestead!

And since it has all come and gone in the blink of an eye, I do not want to take it all down and pack it all back up again.  It's just too pretty.  But it is time.  It is time to pare down. 
So, my word and mission for this New Year 2016 is SIMPLIFY!  

I have wood burned it into a piece of cedar shake snagged from the Little World's Fair and I have begun the process.  Keep it simple...keep it real!

Hanging out with Kara today, who has the Spirit of Simplicity down...stop by to say "HELLO"!