Thursday, December 07, 2006

Down In the Basement

Tonight it is supposed to get down to about 10 degrees. As Bella and I were inside, warming ourselves by the fire, I couldn't help but feel guilty about how comfortable we were compared to the Judy Branch pack huddled in a big furry bundle on the porch. I know that they have fur, and they've survived many winters outside. But I just couldn't get them out of my mind.

So... I invited them all-Frankie Mophead, Bingo, Lucy, Monkey and Sally- into the basement for a sleepover! It's not as warm as upstairs, but it sure beats sleeping in subzero temperatures on a porch dusted with snow.

The process of getting the dogs into the basement was a bit confusing to everyone (my own critters included), because I carried or led them one at a time through the living room and down the steps to the basement. They were incredibly excited by the whole operation. They soon settled in, tails a-wagging, and formed nests on the various bean bags, mats and pillows I fixed up for them.

Sweet dreams to the Judy Branch Pack.

Larry Sparks = Snow

Every year Larry Sparks comes to play a concert for WMMT in December. And every year, without fail, it snows the day of his arrival. Do you think it's coincidence?! I sure as heck don't. Being a sucker for conspiracy theories, the bizarre and the world of the supernatural, I have several ideas about why this must happen. Perhaps Larry Sparks is Kris Kringle. Or perhaps he controls the weather. I could imagine that Larry has some kind of super-human powers. Can you imagine Larry Sparks as Santa Claus?

Today is the day of the Larry Sparks concert.

There had been talk about snowfall after midnight, but I got up this morning to find that no snow had fallen. I continued on with morning activities, opening the blinds, feeding the critters, making coffee. I should mention that today is also Ms. Faerie Godmother's birthday. She spent the night out on Judy Branch last night, and we enjoyed a cozy night warmed by the fire. We made hot chocolate chocolate chip cookies (with cayenne pepper), drank tea, did some art (card making).

This morning I built up a fire and cooked breakfast for the birthday Queen. By the time we sat down to eat breakfast, the sky had darkened dramatically. I LOVE that about snow. The sky always gives you fair warning that snow is on the way. So does the air. You can taste it when you go outside and feel it in your bones. It starting with flurries a few hours ago. At first it looked like it wasn't going to stick, but then, in a very short spell of time, the ground and tree branches are covered with a light dusting of snow. Now it is snowing, snowing, snowing. Those tiny little flakes that look like they won't add up to much, but always collect more rapidly than big fluffy flakes.

I've kept the fire stoked up most of the day so that Bella, Sid Vicious and Rosie and I can enjoy a day at home watching the snow collect on the trees. I finshed putting together a big thank you package for my super-host & hostess portland friends, and now I'm trying to figure out how to convince myself that I should leave Judy Branch and actually do something today. I'm tempted to just bake more cookies, drink tea and play my banjo by the wood stove....

Sunday, December 03, 2006

watch your step

cats are legendary for their ability to balance on almost any surface and to always land on their feet. but isn't funny that they have very little concept of what constitutes a stable surface for footing? my desk is a continuous entertainment zone when it comes to cat watching. there are all sorts of loosely stacked objects (papers, books, cds) that easily slip under a cat paw, sending both cat and stacked objects flying.

i've been enjoying a sunday morning of talk radio. ever since i moved to kentucky, my main "company" at home has been the radio. if and when i ever leave this place, i think i will miss my favorite radio station,WMMT , nearly as much as i'll miss judy branch.

i have been feeling much more hopeful and alive recently. i'm certain it is because of the temporary relief from the weighty stresses of an uncertain future and unknown potential income. i can rest easy knowing that i'm taken care of for at least a few months. and, as yesterday's old time jam reminded me, i will always be taken care of on the frontiers of music and friendships. i'm excited about diving into new projects and spending more focused time listening to and learning the music that has been such a central part of my life.

luthier friend brooks called to let me know that the little birdie special has begun to come to life! the neck is being built from the wood of an indiana oldtimer's work bench. i am hopeful that the folks sending me to poland will help me buy a touring case for her so that i can carry her with me on my journey. or maybe i'll play it safe and take my first banjo, the art stamper. i suppose i've got time to think on it! in preparation for the poland journey, i am netflixing films by polish filmmakers. last night's feature: Blind Chance, directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski.