Music, Music, Music!

Another September, another week at Walnut Valley Music Festival in Winfield, Kansas. What a delightful, wonderful way to get saturated in bluegrass, folk, country, gospel, celtic and every other kind of acoustic music you can imagine. Camping in the 5th wheel at the Fair Grounds and listening to instrumental and vocal tunes all day is my kind of vacation.

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Gramps and I have been coming for about five years now and love it more each time we are here. The music comes from all parts of the world, yet needs no translation. We understand each rhythm and beat. It’s truly magical, even if we don’t know the words.

Music is like that – it speaks to each heart if its own language. Even children and infants understand the seeming foreign tongue of a lyrical tune they have never heard before. People who can’t understand each other’s spoken language, can read and share music, providing a bridge across every barrier.

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Instruments are played, songs are sung, toes are tapped and fingers are snapped. It’s the beginnings of dance and we all have it in us – the response to music.

Simple words and notes can make us cry or laugh, pause or become excited. They can make us feel every emotion or stun us as though we have been slapped. They can stir rebellion or quiet the raging soul. Nothing affects us quite like music.

Music can do things like nothing else in the world. It can change a child’s brain who learns to play an instrument. It can enrich a child’s life who sings in a chorus. It can enlarge a child’s world who plays in an orchestra or band. Nothing affects a child the way music does.

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Gramps and I have done it all – we have sung in choirs, played instruments, taught songs to our children and grandchildren, provided music lessons to younger family members and probably sung “Happy Birthday” at least once to everyone we know.

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Walnut Valley Festival is one of the places we visit to learn, understand and share that mystical language we call music.

A Too Cute Tutu

How much fun is a pouffy, fluffy tutu! You can spin, twirl, dance, leap and sing in a tutu. It brings out all the make believe fairies and pretend princesses hidden within. Tutus are beautiful and magical and special. Nothing forces oohs and aahs from little girls like a tutu.

IMG_0885So, of course, I made a tutu for granddaughter Mary and great-granddaughter Kay. (They are only two years apart in age!). It was lots of fun and very very easy.

To make one: cut a 2″ wide ribbon the length of the child’s waist plus enough to make a bow (about 30″). Tie a double knot 15″ in from each end.

IMG_0887Decide how long you want the tutu to be (mine is 12″) and cut 6″ wide tulle into lengths twice that long i.e.. 24″ for mine. Then fold the tulle and tie over the ribbon. Do this from knot to knot until the area is full. Voila! You have a tie-on tutu!

IMG_0888Use any color combination you can imagination and it will look spectacular. I used three different pinks plus one glitter tulle. Add a crown and you have an instant costume.

IMG_0889I can hardly wait to get the photos of my two too precious girls in their too cute tutus!

 

 

Bubbles Over The Back Fence

Last Saturday I woke up to the sight of dozens of bubbles through my back window, clearbubbles-final bubbles floating in the air. The closer I looked, the more bubbles I saw. More and more of them actually coming over the back fence and lingering in my yard, like little airborne gifts. All different sizes, wrapped in shiny round coats, with no particular destination in mind. Many, many lighter-than-air balls just wafting over my wooden fence for no reason.

This was truly a once in a lifetime event for me. I’d seen bubbles at weddings, bubbles in a laundry room, bubbles at a child’s party but never in my empty backyard on a Saturday morning. Never uncalled for, unsummoned or unexpected as these were.

It seemed pretty quiet outside. No loud yelling or laughing. No sounds of a birthday party or such happening on the other side of the fence. If I stood still for a time, I thought I could hear a small giggle now and then, but otherwise nothing.

imagesThere seemed to be no obvious occasion over there, on the other side, beyond my view, for any bubble making. And yet bubbles were there, pouring over the wooden divider of our yards.

How curious this was! How strange! The more I wondered, the more I imagined. My mind started to fill in where facts were absent. I began to picture all sorts of reasons why bubbles would be dancing in my yard.

Maybe a family of fairies was having a gathering next door and being so small, would be difficult to see or hear. But they were having so much fun that their laughter became louder and could be heard only if a human stood very still and quiet, as I did.

And maybe the fairy children were putting on a small (well, what else would it be?) talent show for the whole family, proudly sharing all their skills and talents with their loved ones. As the tiniest fairies danced, sang, gave readings, and shared drawings, the elders green_bubble1clapped, whooped and cheered.

And maybe, just maybe when a fairy claps, a magical thing happens. The clap does not make a noise . . . . . . it makes a bubble! And maybe the more a fairy claps, the more bubbles he makes. And maybe if a lot of fairies are clapping a lot, say for a talent show by the little fairies, well then, maybe a lot of bubbles will rise up. So many, in fact, they will flow over the fence into the neighbor’s yard.

And if that neighbor, who sadly has no fairies, seems to enjoy the bubbles, the fairies continue to clap just to make bubbles for her.

bubbles-theme-03-667x535So maybe the bubbles were little gifts from the fairies next door after all. Maybe if I hadn’t gone out to enjoy them, they would have ended almost immediately. Maybe I would have thought nothing about a few bubbles and gone on with my day. Maybe I would have had an ordinary Saturday.

As it turned out, my over-the-fence neighbor was testing a bubble machine in his back yard to take to a party that night. He claims he has never seen fairies in his yard – ever!1343122454_Fairies are real

I’m not sure. I think the fairies have just moved. I hope they are still in the neighborhood. I much prefer extraordinary Saturdays!

Happy Happy Feet

I found this video¬†from a quilting friend of mine and absolutely fell in love! It is so cheerful, so gay, so beautiful, so . . . HAPPY! I simply had to share it with all my Sweeties. Tap your feet, sway to the music and hum. It’s a complete experience from your nose to your toes. And dance, dance, dance!!!

Thank you Rita Hayworth!

Our Dogs, Our Teachers

If a dog were the teacher, we would learn things like:

–Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.

–Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

–When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

 

–When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience.

–Let others know when they have invaded your territory.

–Take naps and stretch before rising.

–Run, romp and play daily.

–Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.

–Be loyal.

–Never pretend to be something you’re not.

–If what you want is buried, dig until you find it.

–When someone is having a bad day, sit close by, be silent and nuzzle them gently.

–Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

–Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

–On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

 

–When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

–Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

–No matter how often you are scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run¬†right back and make friends.

–When your friends haven’t figured out the object of the game, give it up. No sense in everyone getting tired!

 

 

 

–HOW TO LIVE A GOOD LIFE, as told in the following story:

A veterinarian was called to examine a 10yo Irish Wolfhound name Belker. The dog’s owners Ron and Lisa and their little boy Shane were all very attached to Belker and were hoping for good news. The vet found that the dog was dying of cancer and told the family there was nothing to be done for Belker. He offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As the arrangements were being made, Ron and Lisa told the vet they thought it would be a good idea for 6yo Shane to observe the procedure. They felt he might learn something important from the experience.

The next day, the vet was surrounded by the family as he started the procedure. Shane seemed so calm, petting the beloved dog for the last time. The wise veterinarian wondered if Shane really understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The young boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. He and the adults sat together for a while, wondering aloud about the seemingly sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, spoke up, “I know why.”

Startled, they all turned to him. What he said next stunned them all. No one, not even the worldly veterinarian, had heard a more comforting explanation. He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life – like loving everyone all the time and being nice, right?” The 6yo continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

No one was ever the same. Not Shane, not Ron, not Lisa and certainly not the vet. He said it changed the way he lived and worked from that day forward.

And I agree! Lesson learned! Well done Belker!