Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's done! the Gallisteo jacket

I started this coat in September, having seen
it in a store window in a yarn shop in
St. Paul, MN. Ordered the Shetland wool
and pattern on the spot. What a project.

My son the rock star

In Denmark, performing while getting shorn!

The Dodge Report

from the Valley Advocate, 20079/20/07
I think it is great that Massachusetts supports gamboling.
"I have been a compulsive gamboler for most of my life and altho i am not as spry as i once was i still enjoy chasing butterflys in the morning and jumping in a big pile of leaves in the afternoon and sometimes at nite when i go outside to pee i will look at all the stars overhead and then gambol around the yard in the dark and sometimes i will gambol around the house in just my shirt and w/o my pants like i am winnie the pooh. i usually gambol by myself and sometimes i can get dody to gambol w/ me and once in a while jake if it is a really beautiful day will gambol a little bit but usually it is just me b/c i love to gambol and i gambol so much that sometimes i have to hide my gamboling so people do not see how much time i spend gamboling and get the wrong idea abt me.

So you bet i am excited abt this plan to bring gamboling to massachusetts! i do not really understand what "organized gamboling" is tho b/c when i gambol i am not organized at all and that is kind of the point. also i do not understand how gamboling can raise all that $ the MA governor is talking abt. If anything, my gamboling keeps me from my chores and i have not ever made any money from gamboling, which also is kind of the point. i also did not know that heretofour gamboling had been illegal in massachusetts. i am sure i have gamboled down there before and nobody said anything but now that i think of it i did get some funny looks that time in springfield.

Anyway, I wld like to raise a big glass of my best screech to the governor and those fellows what have set aside their land so people can gambol on it. Here is to you fellows! you cld have sold yr land to fastfood places or supermarkets or car dealerships and the suchlike but instead you are making it possible for more people to gambol and chase butterflys and jump in leaf piles. That is just bully b/c times are tough these days and gamboling always makes everything better and i hope lots of people take up gamboling, especialy children and people w/o much money. "
by Frank Dodge

Monday, May 26, 2008

Obie Grad! Congratulations Stefan!


beautiful commencement at Oberlin. The speaker was Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International who gave a great speech. Also, today's New York Times had a front page article on Oberlin in its greeness.

Billy Collins, again

Thanks to my cousin's husband, Nicholas Jones, Associate Dean at Oberlin College pictured here for this yet another great poem. Wish you could hear Nick read it.
Its called, "Another Reason why I Don't Keep a Gun in the House"

The neighbors' dog will not stop barking.
He is barking the same high, rhythmic bark
that he barks every time they leave the house.
They must switch him on on their way out.

The neighbors' dog will not stop barking.
I close all the windows in the house
and put on a Beethoven symphony full blast
but I can still hear him muffled under the music,
barking, barking, barking,

and now I can see him sitting in the orchestra,
his head raised confidently as if Beethoven
had included a part for barking dog.

When the record finally ends he is still barking,
sitting there in the oboe section barking,
his eyes fixed on the conductor who is
entreating him with his baton

while the other musicians listen in respectful
silence to the famous barking dog solo,
that endless coda that first established
Beethoven as an innovative genius.

the organs at Oberlin

In Finney Chapel (top) and the Conservatory (below)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lullaby for the Girls

My sister Annie and I went to Hoboken to babysit my two nieces Tara (age 9) and Jenny (age 8). The last visit there I wrote them a waltz which turned out to be a lullaby. Here are the lyrics and then the girls:

Goodnight, I'll sing for you
While you are sleeping I'll sing the night through
Goodnight, dreams fill your head
While you lie safe in your bed

Goodnight, I'll watch by you
While you are sleeping I'll watch the night through
Goodnight, stars shining bright
I'll see you in dawn's early light.

Sweet dreams, the heavenly choir
angels attending with timbrel and lyre
"Peace, peace" and music they'll play
And while you rest they will stay

Sweet dreams, and tunes all the day
melodies floating from hills faraway
"love, love" the words they will say
And when you wake they'll away

2.Goodnight, I'll dance for you
While you are sleeping I'll dance the night through
Goodnight, we'll swing and sway
when you awake, we'll dance all the day

Goodnight, I'll be there with you
While you are sleeping I'll stay the night through
Goodnight, so near to my heart
in hopes that we never shall part

Soft, soft, sweet memories
birds on the wing and boats on the seas
"light, light" the moon with its glow
and very soon you shall know

Rock, rock a bye baby bye
Tender and soft the place you shall lie
Calm, calm the winds they do tell
Rivers flow and all be well

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Innisfree Gardens, Pleasant Valley, NY

reflections on my lunch break

The Lanyard

This poem was read at the spring concert of the Brattleboro Women's Chorus on Mother's Day. The chorus is directed by my dear friend Becky Graber:

The other day as I was ricocheting slowly
off the pale blue walls of this room,
bouncing from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one more suddenly into the past --
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sickroom,
lifted teaspoons of medicine to my lips,
set cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift--not the archaic truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hands,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

by Billy Collins

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Young at Heart

One of my top ten best movies of all time;
you must see this!
Turns out, Stefan's girlfriend Zara worked with them for a couple of months through the Northampton Center for the Arts and they needed an assistant for rehearsals. She sang with these rock stars!
She helped with a show where they sang Led Zepplin songs.

Monday, May 12, 2008

inch by inch, row by row

gardens at Traver Road School

It is the month of May-O

Though our songs cannot banish ancient wrongs
Though they follow where the rose goes
And their sounds swooning over hollow ground
Fade and leave the enchanged air bare,
Yet the wise say that not unblest he dies
Who has know a single May Day.

(banner made by Margaret Dale Barrand and hung at our church in Guilford Vt.)

Spring's the thing

Friday, May 9, 2008

my new painting!

"The Beekeeper's Garden"
by Susan Bull Riley

Hippy reared polymath

since this is in Icelandic, I don't really know the scoop here, but check out the London magazine blurb about Sam's cd:

Hippy-reared polymath makes murder ballad beauty with post-classical prodigy.
"In this brash and listing age it's sometimes hard to stomach youth in all its loud energy. On the surface, Sam Amidon-a 26 year old Vermont-born film-maker, actor, musician, singer and cartoonist who's been playing fiddle since he was three, and recording from seven-might be too good to be true. However, Amidon's youth brings with it an ability to see beyond the received opinion of music history. Following 2007's solo debut, But this Chicken Proved Falsehearted, Amidon has recruited NY composer Nico Muhly and Bjork/Bonnie Prince Billy producer Valgeir Sigurdsson to rework 10 Appalachian tales of marriage and murder made weird down the generations. Dressing his love-worn and cracking tenor in a sacred whisper of banjo, fiddle and post-Glass pulses, tracks such as Wild Bill Jones, Little Johnny Brown and O Death are transformed anew for this new age of dire consequence."

To Be of Use by Marge Piercy

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half submerged balls.
I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who stand in the line and haul in their places,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.
The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

current faves

Great movie, must see: The Visitor
Great book, must read: Set this House in Order by John Ruff (thanks, Val for the reco) about person with multiple personality disorder.
Great cd: Flynnon, group from Wales (female vocalist, piano, bass player) and Old Time Banjo Festival
Great cd on meditation: Jon Kabat Zinn, Mindfulness for Beginners, (Sounds True recordings)
Great radio: www.pandora.com which is a fantastic way to hear lots of music in your favorite genres. You create your own personal radio stations by listing artists and songs you like and then it automatically programs similar tracks for you to hear. Amazing.

Latest faves, anyone?