Friday, October 31, 2008


We performed school shows for three days in six schools in Stillwater, Oklahoma thanks to our friend and music teacher, Trish Ranson who as she puts it, does best "when her hair is on fire".
(she has great hair and you can imagine this). Saw the Capitol Steps at the University, very funny, and ate some great Mexican food. The license plates all say Native America on them and we heard a Native show on Oklahoma public radio. Thanks, Trish!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

gospel singing weekend

Last weekend was an incredible gospel singing weekend with our idol, Kathy Bullock of Berea, KY and John Harrison of Plainfield, Vt and 80 singers in Ashfield, MA. We sang as part of the church service and had everyone up clapping. It was held at the church in Ashfield, MA and we got to stay in the big colorful home of the cheese queen Ricki.

O Connor's pub in Worcester, MA

Two days in Peter's birthplace, "Worsta" we found a great pub for dinner. We worked in an amazing publice school, Worcester Arts Magnet School which has a theater teacher, music, art, dance teacher and a choral and composition teacher. Yes!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Childsplay in Brattleboro

At the Latchis Theater in Brattleboro, a beautiful concert of fiddlers with fiddles made by Bob Childs. They are making a new cd this week. Full of singing by Aoife O'Donovan and others, dancing by Pierre Chartrand and Molly Gawler. The program opened with a new tune by Keith Murphy called Samsamamidon: smashing!

great book, great cd

I got to hear a solo concert of the Irish fiddler Martin Hayes recently and am loving his new cd; its stunningly beautiful.
Also just started this incredible book about the dust bowl called the Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. Seems appropriate since we are spending the week in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

more autumnal bliss

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I finished it! Sam's new sweater!

the wool is called Cloud Nine, 50 percent angora and 50 percent wool, so soft.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Barack Obama, please

(a house in West Brattleboro; this was for the primaries, hence the date, but its still up on the house)

Ralph Stanley>
Endorsements by Chicago Tribune and the Anchorage Daily News!

movie reco

The Winslow Boy, great movie by Terrence Ratigan based on a true story, with actress Rebecca Pigeon who is the wife of David Mamet who directed the film.

Long Island sound, ferry from Port Jefferson, NY

Sunday night's sunset

cool stuff

Zen Habits a blog about organization, goal setting, time management, etc. and can deliver to your email. Thanks to the Heatons for this one!

The Art of Possibility by Benjamin Zander, conductor and inspiring speaker, can be heard lecturing on TED talks which is full of great speakers. Positivity and musicality abounds here.

Younger Next Year Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy till your 80 and Beyond by Chris Crowley and Dr. Harry Lodge is very inspiring. Our bodies are geared to hunter/gatherer modalities and not to modern day tv watching; keeping active signals to our brians that it is spring, not winter and therefore anti decay. Excercise every day (two days a week strength training, and four days aerobics) for the rest of your life!

KenKen, Will Shortz presents a new puzzle like Sodoku created by Tetsuya Miyamoto

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Autumnal Bliss

Barnard School

We had a lovely two days of singing and dancing at the school in Barnard, Vt. with 70 kids, K-6.
Here's the place and the guidelines on the wall outside one classroom:

Monday, October 13, 2008

good reads

loved all of these!!!!

Rise and Shine, by Anna Quindlen
The Book Thief, Marcus Zusak
Bridge of Sighs, Richard Russ
Still Here, Ram Dass

here's what Marcus Zusak says about writing the Book Thief, set in Nazi Germany, winner of many awards:

At that point, I started writing and I didn’t stop. In the end, The Book Thief took me three years to write. If nothing else, I know it’s a far different book from anything I’ve done before, which is what made it so challenging. I was also finally satisfied that there was a good sense of imagination in it. In three years, I must have failed over a thousand times, but each failure brought me closer to what I needed to write, and for that, I’m grateful.

News flash

Flash: Sam is now on the You Tube "Featured Video's" (one of three) and as of tonight there have been over 70,000 views of a puppet movie of his rendition of "Wedding Dress" by an Icelandic director, Sigga Sunna Reynisd├│ttir.
Also, someone posted him on Wikipedia and lists him as brother of the "great" Stefan Amidon. (Peter and I are in there too). Fun.
Also Sam is included on the two cd set Awake my Soul, music from the dvd on Shape Note music which includes a compilation cd of young new renditions of shape note songs. Hear his version of Kedron on their site.

On Success

I saw this quote outside a music room door; it was attributed to Emerson but I read now that he may not have written it after all. still, its a good'n:

To laugh often and much
to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children:
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social
To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived
This is to have succeeded.

Scotsmen, thanks

Thanks to our our Scots tour guide at the Edinburgh castle

Thanks to singer and dancer Alistair Brown for all his great recommendations for our time in Edinburgh. Here he is chef extraordinaire at Pinewoods Family Week parade.