Category Archives: Music

Babied

Today I had a “date” with a gal pal to go shopping with her four month-old son, G. We followed her in the stroller through the shop. I figure she hasn’t been out in the cold weather to get more than groceries these days.

We came back to our place and I played the guitar for G and he was fascinated. Then we went to their place and I held G and Mommy was amazed that she got a break and that G liked me! He even placed his head on my shoulder for a couple of minutes and slept. He is very bright and vivacious, and very strong, was standing and jumping on my legs, and dancing to music when Mom was holding him while I played guitar and sang Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land.”

I came home and an hour later after I fed and took out our dog Zoe I sat back on the sofa and crashed. I don’t know how Mommy does this all day! Just know I’m too old for it. G’s 13 lbs. and a healthy, growing infant.

I do believe he needs to be exposed to music, and I’d like to talk to Mom about sign language. I’ve a friend who did that with her kids. Simple things like change my diaper, feed me, pick me up. Then she taught “I love you.” and when they came to visit when she was six years old she still signed Mom I love you when she went off to play with the dogs.

Before they can vocalize they can do sign language to let parents know if they’re feeling ill, need to be fed or need a diaper change. I think it’s amazing! No, I fear they’ll never ask to be put down for a nap to give Mommy a break! Cheers, Dee

I

Hey There Delilah

I am taking up guitar again and had mine reconditioned and just got my music from storage. Homage to the Plain White T’s for the only song I have that is of this century. Dad was a musician so I’ll take it up for him. His life was more important than me giving up violin after seven years to go to the mall with my gal pals.

Delilah is my computer, my savior ten years ago when we moved overseas. I could get access to bill pay, Skype and talk to home. She was a peach but I’m three OS’s behind and software is blocking me now.  I’ll save you ICE (in case of emergency) but yesterday my husband made me get a new laptop, it’s charging right now. I’m sorry. It’s half your weight and 1/3 the thickness, more oomph for memory, storage and battery life. And my husband is getting me a newer, bigger monitor. I just have to find a new “skin” for my cord-free keyboard.

Sorry for “cheating” on you. You’ve been a stalwart friend who has helped me write, pay bills and taxes, and answer emails. Thank you for your service. It is much appreciated. Thanks, D, from Dee and thank you, reader! Tonight it’s NY Strip and loaded baked potato. I have to figure out how to hide kale. Hmmmm, Dee

3 Amigos + Life Coach

Equal what, exactly? I returned home the day after Dad’s funeral to a room full of flowers. These folks had never met him or knew of his life or career, they just thought he raised a pretty good kid, though I’m no longer a child by any means. I can tell you that he had 58 years of practice and that is how one gets to play at Carnegie Hall.

He played the capitals of Europe leading the 7th Army Symphony. When he was switched to hospice care he only received oxygen and morphine. He was able to sleep, finally. My brother called to say he was waving his arms about, trying to tell him something, and I replied “hon, he’s conducting!” He was, what we will never know.

So of my three amigos two are happily married. One gave me roses and a note. The other stopped by for an hour and marveled at the paintings and photographs on our walls. His eyes are not good and he had to find his way home to get a magnifying glass to see the number on our door.

The third is my tough case. He “allowed me” to make him breakfast. They all knew my husband would not be back from work for another 30 hours so they tag-teamed to give me company during my grief.

Then he showed me his domestic environment. He’s divorced and dating. I said if I was a younger gal (late 30’s, 40) and visited his home I’d be scared to death. It’s too neat. He’s never used the kitchen sink, oven, stove or washer/dryer.

As a friend I offered a few suggestions. Toss an empty pizza box on the kitchen counter. Pour out half a beer (I gave him an expensive dark ale I was going to use for a French stew) and mangle the cap and leave both on the coffee table.

I made good on those. Third is to find the handprint kindergarten ash tray I know his son made, buy a cigar, let it burn a bit to leave some ash, and leave it out. Now he needs saving by a good woman.

Today he’s reading the paper in a public place, watching the snow fall. He says he has a date and he’s going to get everything pre-made at our local grocery. What??? I can teach you how to make a roast chicken, mashed potatoes and roasted heirloom carrots in ten minutes!

I brought him the pizza box and a beer. Now he’s going to order dinner. He says he can’t cook, but I think he doesn’t want to mess up his sink, oven, stove or laundry to actually make a meal for someone he wishes to impress. I asked him to say “You are my life coach” and he replied that he would help me with any advice I needed.

No, sir, that is not what I meant. It’s one thing for me to take the dog out early in the morning, another for him to be sitting there reading the paper, alone. I am d’Artagnan to my aging Musketeers. Cheers! Dee

ps The flower arrangement I love most is whimsical. My florist said keeping a florist means you have someone who knows you and what you like. The “roses” are baby flowering kale. For my Scottish pursuits there are heather and thistles.

pps My husband must be awake by five. Oh, DogMa is going to hate that. It’s snowy and dark. D

 

Compost and Dave Mason

My parents were at a dinner party in Washington D. C. a long time ago and we kids got bored so went down to the basement where they had a few 100 year-old wooden wheelchairs from a local hospital charity sale. We had races. Basement races in an old brownstone. Cool!

Then the older boy put on a record of incredible music as I was 12 and used to top 40. My musical ears listened. He showed me the cover. It was Dave Mason, and way out of my wheelhouse for the moment.

A few years later we were in a frigid climate with a pool, Dave Mason, Joan Baez, James Taylor, Bob Dylan (All Along the Watchtower, Ruben Carter) and many others to come when I took up guitar, PPM, Johnny Cash, CSNY and Juni Fisher. I keep my fine guitar hydrated, not played.

We had an open campus high school and I lived three blocks away. In late spring I’d run home, hop into our pool chair listening to Dave Mason with a double album under my chin with aluminum foil helping me tan. Yes, the old days. For the record, I never had the record in the cover. Plus, I never got a tan, just UV rays!

If Mom was gone and had locked the front door I jumped over the fence into the compost pile, went by the pool to the back garage and kitchen entry doors and changed, then hopped into the pool. Twice a day during study hall.

In winter months when our pool was covered, iced and snowed I just took extra gymnastics classes. Dave Mason, Bad Company, Elton John, the Beatles and compost helped me out those two years. Cheers from a geek teen. Dee

ps The girls and boys never trained or competed together. Before lawsuits became the order of the day, every night of summer when school was out they opened a gymnastics gym for all of us gymnasts so we could learn new tricks. I was never a good gymnast. I was a great Captain for two years, for leadership skills. Even kept my little sister in line, as she questioned everything from warm-up on. In summer we got the super-steamy and stinky wrestlers’ gym with a 4′ mat so we could practice flips.

pps I had a diva, a “ringer” from the gym I taught at, and she aced it at the state championships. She retired to the locker room and said we were all going to take her down. I told her that our team all stood and cheered for her and that if she dons street clothes and leaves now she is no longer on the team to gain her reward. She decided to root for the team. Tough love, seldom, but when there’s a diva….. d

 

I Have a Friend

This can never be uncategorized, as you deem every post. We started our WordPress blogs the same week and were deemed worthy of reading. I’m sure she has tons more readers than I as she is so talented in many areas.

I visited her, she visited me and after all these years, we’ve never met. If I had a “bucket list” it would include meeting PDX. She gave me means to recruit a great singer/songwriter for our listening and enjoyment at Nanny’s 82nd birthday. Surprise!

PDX gave me a hand-made Pippi Longstocking hat I wear all the time. I gave her signed CD’s from her vocal heroine, our singer/songwriter and guest for several visits who wrote and sang Fellina’s version of the legendary Marty Robbins’ El Paso.

My husband actually sang El Paso our final night in Scotland. No, he does not drink, then all the restaurant patrons stood up and sang “Deep in The Heart of Texas” with us. My husband sings a great baritone. I do harmony in music and life.

We love the people who make a difference in our lives. Tomorrow I’ll try to make braids to go with Pippi as I take our old dog out for a walk. Dee

RIP Wurli

Wurli was a friend, a great dog and companion. I am so sorry to know that he’s gone.

This is for Liam:

Wurli, a treasure

For another adventure

Remembered always

This bad Haiku is from your friends across the street, OK I’m guilty. Zoe and I will pour a glass of water on his favorite tree as a tribute. We know where it is. With condolences, Dee

Country and Blues

Rest in peace, BB King. I listened to classical music as a kid, my dad is a violinist. Then came Tony Bennett. Elvis was before my time as well as others but I was on my way to music. Frank Sinatra, sorry, Come Fly With Me worked in many ways, telling me I wanted to be educated and be able to go wherever I wished to go.

Blues artists always know that one cannot get every thing or everyone one wants. Without failures, what is success?

I never moved to the south until I was over 40. All that was on the radio en route were country songs about my wife leaving me, my dog ran away and my truck died. And gospel lectures.

As someone who spent a lifetime above the Mason-Dixon Line, except for tw0 years where I had to take a course as a rifler because every Southern lady must know how to shoot, no to a shooting exercise. Sorry, young friend. I told my 12 year-old nephew last year I couldn’t shoot a hole in their hay barn if it was 20 feet away with a bb gun. I got an F when I was 13 but had another shot at it (pun intended) and brought it up to D so I never even failed a gun course or any course in my life.

Nephew, you’re on this year! If I fail, we’ll fix the bet before we begin with Grandpa Joe as the judge of timing and ideas. The family will then judge our efforts.

If I win, you’ll make a fresh sweet bread with cranberries or blueberries with me for breakfast day after Thanksgiving. Or whatever Grandma Margie says about timetables. If I miss a hay barn, of course he’s never going to let me shoot at that precious barn but if he tries to make me to lose by choosing a jar on a fence post I just won’t do it. It’s against the environment and might cut a kid’s foot. OK, I’d never hit it anyway so would forfeit.

I think we may settle this by just offering me a shooting session (you’ll be 13 and know more about rifles than I ever will) and in exchange we will make up a bread the night before for family. It’ll be 13 that week and a great young man but my point is that at some time in college he’ll have to feed himself and if he wants to impress a girl, Dee is just one old lady to ask how to do so. Flowers AND dinner? For The Right Girl that will be wonderful. Just wait 14 years after college graduation to marry. Promise?

***

We did not respect country music up north as teens, only cared about Rock ‘n Roll and then I liked a lot of new people, so learned to love folk and favorite artists like Dylan, Mason, Baez, Stones, Taylor, Zeppelin and many others. BC, Before Cash.

Years later I picked up a guitar (a good one) after my stint on a $99 nylon guitar that I actually used to start a band and sing on stage once, age 12. It was stolen a few years later. Thank you!!! Not a great idea as my 12 year-old pals were all tone deaf and I’d only been learning for a few weeks. Ouch. Let’s just say we didn’t win #1. We were #2. I won’t tell you the songs but still remember them many years later.

At 50, I took private lessons for a few months then we moved. I learned on Johnny Cash, PPM, CSNY and read lyrics and made up chords to what I could play. My tutor’s favorite was American Pie with only a few lyrics to see I could do it. Then I did a teeny riff at the end and my teacher actually awakened and looked surprised, as I’d never been assigned this song and learned it on my own.

Everything that the 50’s rocksters were, were distilled again and again until now. I know that BB King enjoyed working with artists from other styles as I first heard him from Farm Aid. I am sorry I never got to your music deeply. They didn’t play you on the radio, didn’t have your discs and I wasn’t cool enough to get to know the right people to find your music.

My tribute to BB King, much greater than two years ago at Thanksgiving, his restaurant in Memphis our first time there with great food, you allowed us to have our dog leashed to the patio, thanks so much for that! We went to see the Lorraine Motel but it was being restored at the time, on a trip south.

BB King made me wish. I have perfect pitch and never took up the guitar again until I turned fifty. I never took up the violin or piano again except a cheap keyboard to help me with guitar chords when I only have lyrics and fret with the frets and my stubby fingers.

At fifty my goal was to take up guitar to take “home” at holidays to sing with the kids and grandkids. With a household that swells to sixty and many talented young musicians on multiple instruments on holidays it pays me to keep my guitar hydrated at home as I’ve only the simple chords and no children to play music. BB King, so far I have failed you, I could never, ever be as good as you were but you inspired me to even make up from lyrics the chords to John Denver songs that are important to my husband, a country boy.

With much appreciation for your life and love it is that you took the time and energy to explore, with your musical expertise, multiple genres. Thank you for teaching me what I would wish my talent to encompass. You did it all, and for that the world, and I, thank you for your body of work. Many acuities went into your work, mental, physical, spiritual and sir, you will be missed. With love to family and friends, Dee