Archive forJuly, 2010

Mom’s Thoughts

Today I discovered this message (in my mother’s handwriting). I was going through Mom’s files and discarding old papers I don’t need to save.

I know she didn’t originate this poem but it was important enough for her to copy. Therefore it became her thoughts.. her feelings. She died in September, 2008. (I wish I’d found it before she died. I would have included it in her funeral.)

Miss Me But Let Me Go

When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little, but not too long
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me but let me go.

For this is a journey we all must take
And each must go alone.
It’s all a part of the Master’s plan
A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick at heart,
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,.
Miss me but let me go.

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Gray day

Little rain. It’s ok, we need the moisture! The lawn toward the lake is brown and very dry. (We were gone a couple of weeks so it didn’t get watered.)

I’m definitely in “end of season” mode. I’m looking forward to packing for Florida. Seems like the fun stuff is coming to an end. There is still our “camping” weekend August 12-15 , and a few minor activities, but Florida is definitely sounding good!

Normally we’d have Midland to keep us occupied for a week in late August, but since that’s not an option for us, we have sort of an open spot in our calendar. We’ll have Bill Robinson visiting us that weekend, and Haithco on August 25th, but it still feels like the summer’s winding down yet we’re just moving into August.

Maybe we should plan a week in the U.P. but our calendar makes it hard to full find a week when nothing’s planned.. Besides in late August it can get pretty darned hot, with lots of flies. (The flies up there are vicious!)

John still wants to finish siding the end of the garage. Probably next week when it’s a tad cooler than it has been.

Today I started “purging”. I’ve gone through a plastic bin of my mothers files which were stored in the basement and I’ve started working on the computer room.

Many of the computer disks which clutter my computer room are empty but some contain photos from an old Sony Mavica camera (which used 3.5″ diskettes.) I no longer even have a computer which will play them so they’re almost lost to me. But they cover various topics: cars we sold, places we visited, festivals we were part of, and friends we have lost. I couldn’t just toss those old diskettes without reviewing them. So I became totally absorbed going through the ones containing old pictures. I found one disk of 18 photos which was taken at the Nashville Grange Hall and featured Les Raber. Ahhh!! what memories. I realized I needed to slow down, be careful, and not lose a valued memory I’ll cherish, so I’m going through them slowly, disk by disk. It sure takes time! I can see I need to save many of them. I’ll buy an external drive so I can play save them to another format. Life’s too short to lose archives of memories that were that special.

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Good day

I don’t know what people expect from my blog. You’re basically just “looking in” on my life. Some days are going to be pretty boring. This was one.

Last night we had one of the best Haithco Park performances ever. It was so much fun. I think it was grand because initially we had great news which we shared with our audience. Our friend and Sub-Strings member, Rose Wark, had an MRI yesterday morning prior to her proposed brain surgery. The MRI showed that her brain tumor had shrunk and the surgeon decided to postpone yesterday’s surgery until it can be re-evaluated. Another MRI will be done in a couple of weeks. We were all so happy and we shared that with our audience at the beginning.

All evening was up-beat and filled with kidding and silly stuff. We had toilet seats, “counters” and lots of other things which made the evening special.

Our audience numbered over 200!! The evening was perfect. Weather was grand. Music was perfect. All stars were in alignment.

Now we move to today.

It was a dull day by most markers. But I found it was great. I’d had a “wireless” printer set-up which had worked for a year or two but in April had decided to just stop. Today I got it to work again. Yeah! Now I can use my big old laserjet printer which makes super cheap black and white (crisp) copies. It’s so old that it doesn’t have a way to link up to it through my computers usb port but wirelessly, I can now use it. Also I started purging my computer room. The desktop computer was eliminated. The desk reduced in size by removing an extension we’d put it. My goal is to make it a nice room with less clutter. I have a few weeks to accomplish this (before we have house guests.)

Additionally we had a phone call from John’s 93-year-old aunt, an email from a close Florida friend, and a message from my beloved daughter. All were welcome communications.

So today was a success. We glory in small accomplishments.

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Techie Trouble

For the past week I couldn’t connect to the internet through my wireless system. I monkeyed with it for hours. I could hard wire it (using what is called an ethernet connection), but when I tried to go through the router so it would be wireless, it wouldn’t work.

Finally, after a lengthy phone call with a wireless technician, I learned enough to figure out a “work-around.” I set things up in a different sequence than was recommended. Instead of taking the incoming line to the Vonage device and then to the Router, I had the incoming line go to Router then to Vonage.

This morning I called Vonage and explained the whole problem. A really nice fellow named Tim helped me and explained the Vonage system. Once I understood it better, I felt comfortable “resetting” the Vonage unit which cleared out the conflict. Now it works perfectly using the suggested Vonage set-up.

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Glorious Weather

Yesterday was a lovely day. We had a group of 13 musicians playing at River Place in Frankenmuth. (On Saturday we’d had 16 but it had been hotter.) Sunday’s weather was flawless. The skies blue, the birds soaring overhead. Temperature was about 80 with a breeze. It doesn’t get much better.

The music we played came out good. Hopefully the players and audience enjoyed the day as much as we did!

Nothing could spoil it.

And after the play Linda and Wayne Conklin went out to dinner with us.

All in all it was a super day!

My goal for today: I’m trying to come to grips with the fact that we should change the things we can but we should accept the things we can’t change and move on. It doesn’t pay to worry about the small stuff – generally problems are pretty unimportant in the overall scheme of things anyway. I am content with myself knowing I have almost always done things thinking about the benefit to others. I’m certainly not monetarily rewarded, but I’m content with myself.

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Midland’s Approaching

As I’ve mentioned before, last fall John and Margaret resigned from the chairmanship of the Midland Dulcimer Festival which will be held the last weekend of August. It was immediately renamed the Folk Music Festival and other things were changed. We were disappointed.

We aren’t planning to go.

Today Bill Robinson, one of our favorite musicians, asked if we knew where he could stay during the festival. We offered to let him stay here. I don’t know if he will, but he’s welcome.

We don’t want to be in an uncomfortable position so we’ll stay away from the festival. It’s better.

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– Time until..? (repeated post)

On the right side of this page under the heading Categories, you’ll be able to click on “Time until..?” which will give you a current update to the following “countdowns.” I’ll probably change them as time goes by, but it’s my way of keeping track of how long it is to something I’m looking forward to.




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Wasted Week!

The week after Evart is always a wasted time. I accomplish very little and drag around. This year was even worse than usual. (I think because we are older.) We were pooped Sunday when we left for home, so we brought in what we had to have from the trailer and then we vegged. That was two days ago. I’m still in vegetative state. I just can’t pull together any energy. Lots of stuff is still in the trailer.

This weekend (Saturday and Sunday) we’re performing in Frankenmuth at River Place with our club. We’ll do it, but I wish we could have left a dozen additional days vacant after Evart. We need to recover before we pretend we’re back to “normal.”

One thing on the “anticipation side”… We’re getting closer to our time back in Florida (only 79 days) which is slightly over two months! The Conklins have bought a place not far from ours and they’ll be back down there in September. We won’t arrive until October 11th, but we’ll stay until mid-April, once we’re there. I am already packing and preping for our return trip and I’m definitely counting the 79 days.

This week is also stressful because we have had workers at our house for two days. We’re getting a new energy efficient furnace (to replace one which was 24 years old), a new thermostat with wonderful energy features, a humidifier (with sensor), lots of filtration of the air, and efficient water heater. The government will pay us up to $1,500 of our purchase price and Consumers Energy will chip in $200 plus the thermostat will bring us another $20, but it’s still a major expense for the improvement.

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It’s over!

The huge and extremely successful 2010 ODPC (Evart) Funfest (hammered dulcimer festival), is now history.

It was a great festival. We are beyond exhausted. Got home about 5:00 last night. Lots to be done unpacking and cleaning the trailer, but right now we’re just pooped, and it seems over-whelming.

John over-did it but truly appreciated the help of a lot of friends. There was also a “crew” assigned to help us break down and stow away the workshop stuff but it was still a huge amount of work!

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Wednesday, 14th of July

We’re still here at the fairgrounds at Evart enjoying the ODPC Funfest.

This morning we’re at the breakfast. It’s about over. Some folks are still sittin’ around chatting.

Today will be a busy one. We’ll have the cart parade at 6:15. At 7:30 “the reception.”

We need to slip in enough time to greet friends and play a little music.

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Report on Monday

This was written Monday, the 12th, but I didn’t get to post it until the 14th.


Fifth day at Evart and I’m pooped. Today was a better day. (I didn’t feel well yesterday.) It wasn’t quite as hot and I took time to wash my hair this morning. I felt much more human.

We had lunch with Wayne and Linda. (Wayne’s famous “gumbo.”) It was excellent.

Tomorrow we’re going to host one of John’s famous “breakfasts.” We’ll provide coffee and waffles. Others are bringing eggs, sausage, juice, and hopefully lots of other good stuff.

Last night we had a jam here in the “rest area.” Today we’ve had a nice amount of music and right now three dulcimer players are learning tunes from each other (Peggy Carter, Mary Lou Battley, and Kathy Cook.) We can also hear the Kaiser Family Band practicing. (They’re the final act Saturday night.)

Willow has been getting along ok. She sleeps most of the time and isn’t friendly, but she’s been pretty good about getting to her “papers” where she does her thing. (She has a closed in place under the one bench seat which she uses so it’s out-of-the-way. She’s definitely at the end of her life, but she’s not suffering in anyway. She stays inside where it’s air conditioned. We are able to keep her confined on vinyl to about a five square foot area so she doesn’t get too far from her “essentials” (food, water and papers).

Weather is only in the mid-70’s now, but when the sun is out it’s definitely hot and it’s muggy. We just had a shower come through and there’s another on the horizon.

Last night at 2:00 a.m. we had a heavy storm. It came down so hard that it shattered the skylight over the toilet in the bathroom. (We heard there was hail but it might have been just the rain and wind.) It also filled our awning, and when John tried to lower it, the awning jammed. Duct tape fixed the skylight and everything dried out today.

Tomorrow it’s supposed to be about 80.

I am tired. I haven’t been sleeping well, and the rain last night disrupted things. John took a nap this afternoon. I wish I had.

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From the Festival

We made it to the festival yesterday. The festival, the ODPC Funfest, is our largest music event of the year.
John was able to get into the dentist to have the permanent tooth installed at 10:30 (he’d lost most of the temporary cap Wednesday night). We took off a little after noon, stopped for lunch on the way up, and arrived mid-afternoon. It rained hard on the way, but it had stopped by the time we arrived.

Getting our trailer parked just right took longer than it should have, but eventually we got it in place, turned on the power, opened the slide, and kicked on the A/C. It didn’t work correctly – wouldn’t go to high. John took the thermostat apart but it had lots of broken pieces inside it. Wiggling the control just right turned it on low and we left it that way – hanging by wires from the wall – afraid to touch it at all. When it cooled down sufficiently last night we shut the A/C totally off but didn’t touch the one switch at all. This a.m. it worked when we switched it on. (On low, but it was definitely working.)

Fortunately a RV repairman was working in the campground this afternoon and John bought a new thermostat from him and we installed it.
Lots of our friends have now arrived. We’ve chatted a lot but haven’t played much music.

I’m able to connect to the internet once from our canopy. (But when more trailers arrive, the view to the building where the network server is located will be more obscured.) Most of the time I walk toward the office until I find a vacant bench behind it.

It was a lovely day. Mid-80’s and the humidity was down. Guess we can’t ask for more.

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We’re all packed for Evart

John’s tooth is holding us up. He broke a temporary cap last night and right now he’s at the dentist getting the permanent one installed. It was better to do it now than to have him have trouble with it over the next two weeks.

But everything’s packed and he should be back here in about an hour. We’ll take off about noon and be there before 2:00. I’m looking forward to seeing friends, but I don’t look forward to the work. So much fun, but so much work!

I have hinted that I am ready to give up my workshop duties. Fifteen years is long enough. I will continue to be involved (maybe just webmaster) but I think it’s time to back away from the huge responsibility of scheduling the workshops.

Better go double check everything, so I can be truly good to go, when John gets back here.

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Our cellphone

Folks would be surprised that a “techie/geek” like me uses a cellphone which is an antique. The reason: years ago I stumbled on an old Verizon service (which is nearly phased out) which lets me use the cell with a laptop to connect digitally for FREE (unlimited)! In many locations it’s already been shut down, but when we travel, I can usually connect about half the time while in our vehicle. Because I want to continue using that system, I must continue with the same cellphone.

Admittedly it’s not as important as it once was because now the motels where we stay have wi-fi, but it gives me something to do while in route.

So, although my phone will accept text messages, it’s bulky, and there’s no keyboard and texting would be pricy and cumbersome. Do I mind? Would I like to be able to get text messages and have all the bells and whistles on my phone? Actually, it doesn’t bother me at all.

Who would I text? I rarely use my cellphone. It’s never been a big part of my life.

I realize younger folks have grown up with their cell at ear. They can’t survive without constant texting. I don’t know who I’d call or text. Very few of my friends really care about that sort of thing.

That doesn’t mean I don’t lust over an I-Phone for the apps. I would enjoy being able to do it all. But I survive.

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The Siding on our House – Before and after

You can get an idea of what an improvement the siding project is making by seeing these two pictures. The top one is before and the bottom one is after. It’s lovely cedar shake (vinyl). The color of the new stuff blends with the old and it doesn’t stand out that it’s not finished.
The way it looked last year.

The way it looks now.

On the top photo, it looks sort of dark in the center of the wall. That’s where the stain was fading and needed to be redone. This is a forever fix.

You can also see hot the other side of the garage looked before John did that wall: Last summer when the project was started.

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Getting Ready

John’s finished siding the most visible side of the front of the house. He’s done a superior job. We’ve been trying to get the trailer packed while he’s worked on the siding, but a lot has to be done by him.

So tomorrow, with the siding now at a good stopping point, we can work on the trailer.

We have about five days to go before our scheduled departure, but we really don’t have to rush. Our planned “leave date” is Wednesday, but if we are delayed, that’s fine. We can get out of here any time before the 14th. Of course we need to be there early enough to get set up and relax, but no need to feel hurried.

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