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Went out to the garden this morning and saw this sunflower. Knew it was going to be a good day. Tonight our Irish session group, which hasn’t gathered since March, is getting together. We have been invited back to a Senior and Veteran’s home where we played regularly. We will space out and play in their courtyard, while the residents can gather at nearby windows overlooking the space. Looking forward to it. Joe
I’m having no problem keeping busy between chores, garden, and volunteering. Tomorrow is grandparents day as we babysit our new granddaughter for the day – that takes top priority. I have also been doing a lot of hiking. I lost my brother and his wife to the Covid. All the bickering over masks and safety just frustrates me and I take off for the mountains for some peace. Currently working on House of the Rising Sun and some new waltzes. Joe
That was fun and answers ‘what is the difference between a violin and fiddle?’
I’ve been quite happy with the refurbished Apogee Mic 96K, so far. It was plug and play immediately with both and Ipad and a Macbook and worked directly with Garage Band. That said, I don’t know how easily it would work with Microsoft equipment. It has been replaced by newer (and more expensive) models but is still available for about $179 new and $140 refurbished.
Lisa, for Father’s Day my sons gave me a nice bench to sit out in the yard and play music. Not quite sure yet how the neighbors feel about that. I won’t put it near the garden because I’ll loose focus and think about all the little gardening tasks to do.
Today was a fantastic day out, and it is supposed to start raining tomorrow, so I gave up on gardening and the music and headed for the hills to hike. I can always garden and play music inside when it rains
Summer time here means as much time outside as possible, usually either in the garden or the mountains. Both are good places to social distance, although I spend less time with music. After a week of rain, the sun came out and the garden is taking off.
Looked around and through a lot of reviews. Finally picked up a refurbished Apogee MiC 96k. Still in the “playing with it” stage, but I am amazed at the difference in recording sound quality.
Bored at home? Never going to happen. There’s always something to do: mow the lawn, plow the snow, plant and keep the garden going, preserving food, repairs, volunteering, and on and on. And music has to fit in there somewhere. I retired 10 years ago and have never been busier, but on my own schedule. My sons say I have been social-distancing all my life.
The Covid issue has been interesting. We have had very low numbers here and too many people are becoming very complacent. The state is now “back to normal” with no real restrictions. I fully understand the need to open things up and get people back to work, but I think there is a need for some caution and common sense in doing so. It pains me when I see someone mocking another for wearing or not wearing a mask. Find your own comfort zone and respect others. I was getting complacent too until I lost one relative in the lower states and another is on life support. Live life but take care and respect each other. Now, should I cut the lawn or go play the fiddle?
- This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Icebike.
I can’t help myself. We could get snow or frost for at least two more weeks, but it’s warming up and I try to sneak by every year. Almost 60F today and forecast same for the next week. So the lettuce, radishes, and spinach got planted in raised beds; over-wintered strawberries dug up and replanted in raised beds; and broccoli and cauliflower starts moved to the unheated greenhouse. I’m trying to control myself and leave the pumpkin, melon, tomato and pepper starts in the house; and not plant all the other seeds yet. It’s really hard.
Regarding strings, I finally settled on Infeld Reds for my fiddle a few years ago. I like the darker tone. I don’t like their E though so I’m still searching for a good one. The Reds take a few days to settle in but seem to hold good for a long time. I do go through the A string more frequently as it will begin to unravel at the C position. I think that has more to do with either my sweaty fingers or how I play.
Happy Birthday – have a great day! Every day, every year is a real gift.
I’m practicing more than I have in a long time. I’ll alternate practicing the fiddle one day and the mandolin the next. Part of the time I work on all the tunes I’ve learned and become rusty on. But I’m also trying to learn new ones; right now working on The Beauty Waltz and Two Rivers Waltz. My garden plants are started in the house so once the snow finally goes I’ll be practicing less and gardening more. Joe
Neat job, MoonShadows. That’s a great idea for a garden pond. I’d be tempted to to something but it would be an ice rink for 8 months of the year. I’ve got all the starts going in the house but can’t wait for the snow-cover to leave so I can get going outside. Getting lots of little projects done around the house until I can get out into the garden.
MoonShadows, Alaska – we have a short growing-season but long days to make up for it. The greenhouse does match the Ana White style you mentioned. I built it from a kit about 40 years ago. The original fiberglass roof rotted out so I recently replaced it with poly-carbonate – much better. Due to a very rare condition called ‘aging’, I’m finding that elevated beds really save my back. Below is another simple one I built that works well. One a separate note, friends I usually play with are now emailing each other new tunes; challenging each other to learn them so we can jam again when life settles down again. Keeps me going while I wait for things to melt. Joe
Nice setup. I’m envious since I would love to get out and garden right now. It would be a good thing to do while “confined to quarters”. Instead I’m looking out at the blowing snow during a strong windstorm right now. Like, you, I am getting all my starts going, and hope to move them to the greenhouse later in April. I can’t put anything in the ground until at least mid-May. So I’m sitting here playing the fiddle, watching the snow blow, and staring at the plant starts imagining how much they are growing and how soon the snow will melt. Stay safe and happy gardening. Joe
Just keeping busy and out of my wife’s way. It’s still winter here but warming. I get out for a long walk or bike ride everyday. Then I start on some projects that I have put off for many years, hoping they would just go away. Now that we have much more sun and warmth, I’m anxious to get in the garden, but that’s aways off. Today is dedicated to getting seeds going in starter trays on the sun porch. My wife is keeping busy sewing masks for the local hospital and senior homes. Yesterday we packed a lunch and drove to a scenic viewpoint over the mountains and river – haven’t done that for a long time. And then there’s a lot of time on the fiddle and mandolin. Although these are unknown times, it is amazing how much quieter and slower life has become, and how much more friendly and courteous folks are. Joe
Interesting time. Most of my playing venues (2 senior homes, church choir) have been suspended, so there is lots of time to practice. The challenge is practicing what I need to improve, rather than just for fun.
The hoarding is everywhere and it is so sad to see. On the bright side, a lot of folks are coming together to find ways to support each other, the elderly, and to help local small businesses. Just need to focus on the positive. The days are finally getting a little warmer and there is a lot of open space here, so I can get out and walk or bike, and avoid the crowds. I am so happy to have music to help keep things in focus.
I think it has to be the site itself as I don’t have the same issues at other sites I regularly access. It can take 30-40 seconds to get onto the site, and then about the same time to open forum posts. Also, it always makes me long in twice to get on? I’m not complaining though, it forces me to be patient among the daily chaos.
I almost always start with the pizzicato method too. I try to get the sheet music for a tune and then work out the basic fingering by plucking on either the fiddle or a mandolin. Even if there is no sheet music, I’ll still try to pluck it out. Then I’ll just start playing it over and over with the bow for a few days until I have it memorized and my wife goes crazy. I have to get to that point where I can put the sheet music aside. Once I have it memorized, then I can have fun with it by adding emphasis, or additional notes and working out the best bowing. I do find it really useful to play along with different recordings to get a good feel for the timing and possible variations. Someone just asked me Sunday why I was holding the fiddle like a guitar and plucking. I just smiled and they left shaking their head.
I played with some friends at the local Seniors and Veterans Home yesterday. While playing, we watched one resident sitting with a harmonica in his hand and another singing along. We invited them up and they took over, playing fantastic harmonica and leading different songs. Another resident went and got his hand drums, while another asked me to help him tune a banjo that had long been stored under his bed. Our guitar player handed his guitar to one resident who said he hadn’t played in thirty years, but quickly started picking out chords. The residents had a great time and we just sat back and quietly accompanied. Hope to go back next month, but I think our new role is backup, which is just great. Joe
With our continuing very cold spell, I’ve been spending a lot of time near the woodstove with both the fiddle and mandolin. More time than usual, but that’s good. I drove into Anchorage yesterday to attend part of the annual folk festival; lots of good music, workshops, and stage opportunities for all level of musicians. Played with a waltz band supporting a waltz dance class, joined a small jam, and attended a great mandolin workshop; all free. A good way to escape a -24F day at home.