Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Harp and Bouzouki

My dear and amazing friend, Therese Honey, has been playing harp since she was a wee girl which is to say she's only been playing for a few years (hehe).  She plays Irish music and Medieval music.  This means we overlap and play together in different ensembles and for gigs that want just the two of us.  She is also an experienced teacher for kids and adults.

One day, I went to visit, and we came up with this.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Midland Scottish-Irish Festival

Truly a lovely weekend.  Midland, TX is where many of my family members live.  My parents were raised there.  Growing up, I spent many Christmases there.

The festival itself is on the smaller side, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  The Horseshoe Pavilion was a great space and well set up.  There were vendors and entertainment through out the day.  There was a wee pub serving beer and outside, there were games for watching and horses for riding.
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The festival is held at the same time as the rodeo, and in Texas, I'm not sure anything can really ever compete with that.  We might not ride horses to school like some people think we do, but the rodeo is a big deal.  This festival definitely deserves at least a day of your attention!

Next year it will be held March 11 & 12.  I will be there singing again!
My best fans!  Aunt Jill and Mom wearing their Abby Green t-shirts!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Credit cards

Dear Credit Card Fraud Department,

With all the new security measures, I would like to offer the common sense view of why nothing has actually been made more secure and how it could be....  
1. My zip code is not a secret.  If someone steals my wallet and wants gas, my driver's license has my zip code on it.
2. If someone steals my wallet, how is a chip going to stop someone from using it? Spoiler:  It's not.  I pop the card into the chip reader and go away with goods.
3. Why send me a security TEXT after declining my card at WalMart?  If someone stole my purse, all they have to do is say yes to the text and try again.

Isn't a secret PIN a simple solution...  I'm sure finger prints will some day be standard, but for now, why are PINs not used?  Or if an account is suspected, why not ask to see identification?

I am confused about why these complicated systems are in place when common sense tells me that there are simpler and BETTER solutions to security.

Your common sense customer, J. Abby

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Dining Room Chairs

I got these chairs from an organization client.  The faux leather is pealing on these four dining room chairs.  She called the company where they were purchased and was told that they could re-upholster the chairs at the customer's expense.  That would be about as much expense as getting new chairs.  She sent them away with me.

The chairs themselves are sturdy and the seats are comfortable.  I primed and painted the wooden legs and made slip covers for the backs.  For the seats, I chose really sturdy outdoor canvas.  I screwed the canvas to the fronts of the legs and from there, stretched and stapled the canvas over the old faux leather.  For a true re-upholstering, one would remove the original covering, but for porch chairs, I don't see any reason to over-complicate the project!

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Frolicking Deer

I discovered Frolicking Deer products at a Cherry Festival in NM several years ago. This is my all-time-favorite moisturizer.  I searched far and wide for something light and non-greasy for my face.  I am in a transition from my youthful days with oily skin into my more recent years of mostly fairly dry skin.  This moisturizer takes care of me no matter which era my face seems to want to embrace that day.  
It is also a very healing lotion for wind chapped or sunburned skin.  Apparently the lavender is very good for these things.  I have very very pale skin and I sunburn easily.  Putting a dab of this on the sunburn seems to neutralize the burn.  It's practically magic.  I buy a jar of this annually and I keep it in the refrigerator.  I certainly could use for my entire body, but I choose to use it only on my face and in times of sun burn.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016


We've all heard the silly phrase, "When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me."  I'm not sure why YOUR assumptions make an ass out of me, but the way I see it, assumptions make for bad relations between human beings.

Rather than assume I don't know something or that I feel a certain way, ASK ME!  If I post an article on social media and you have information that might clarify thoughts about the topic, don't assume I don't know your information and post it boldly yelling (all caps) at me, ASK ME if I have seen this article or information.  Offer it to me to investigate.  First, you are much more likely to get a positive response by offering ideas kindly. And second, it's really really not ok to assume the other person is an idiot.
Instead of "THAT"S STUPID!  You should research before you post.  READ THIS: www.whateverseemstobetheproblem.com"
try, "I just read an article that shows that this might not be true.  Here it is: www.muchkinderapproach.com"

If I turned down ice cream one day, it may or may not be true that I don't like ice cream.  You can ask and I will tell you.

Talk to people rather than assuming things.  Talk to them and ask questions rather than getting angry based on an assumption you made from an earlier situation.  Life will improve for both of you.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Abby Green

There is an author by the name of Abby Green who lives in Dublin.  10 years ago, she began her writing career.  As she searched on line to see what press her new book might be getting, she found me, an American who sings and studies Irish.  We have been in contact ever since.

She posted a blog post today that I really like.  She describes the process of becoming the creative career person.  The process never really ends, you just keep adding dimensions to it.

My first steps into career music by way of performing with Istanpitta could be paralleled to her first book.  And in fact was also 10 years ago!  What am I doing?  Can I really do this?

Year two, doing gigs, beginning to get the hang of things, contracts, sales, all of it.  The first couple of years, one is piecing together the "making a living" part of the creative career.

Year three and four, the momentum gets going and there is less fear...  Maybe a move toward a solo career.  I'll need my own CD.  Uncertainty fights with love, but love wins and a CD was born.

Years five through nine, you come to a comfort level.  Nothing is going to crash unless you really work at it.  The career is built.  You must maintain it, you must still work hard, but you have your style, your methods, and things are fine.  Recording with others and producing your own second CD in there is all part of the job.

Then year nine or ten.  You decide life could be more exciting so you add a new direction.  I put together a music book.  Author Abby describes the feeling of starting over except this time you are ready for the rollercoaster of the start of something.  She's exactly right.  While my new direction is not a flashy, exciting pot of gold, it is a slightly new path with so many new things to learn.  Let's see where things go from here!

Congratulations, Abby Green!!  Here's to many more decades of awesome!!