Thursday, December 27, 2018


I found this little ball-peen hammer beside the road one day in the late 1970s.  Was a carpenter at the time, waiting for the boss to pick me up on the way to a worksite some hour or so away.  We carpooled, and since his truck had the big tools, he got to drive.

The handle broke yesterday.  I haven't used it daily since the 70s, but I have probably used it weekly or more, certainly since the mid-1990s, when it's been hanging on the rack above my workbench.  Comes in handy for all sorts of minor little chores.

Fortunately, I had recently rehandled a slightly bigger hammer head, a survivor from the Grandjean fire last August that took out my friend Jan's cabin and two others.

And with that, I was able to finish putting a new handle on yet another hammer head from Jan, this one not in the fire, but just the right thing for our upcoming Viking party.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Contra dance & St. Lucia Celebration

Follow-up on my last post.  Here it is Monday, and still at it.  We had a good contra dance Saturday night, even if it was a little unusual. 

I should add that all these photos were taken by Monica, and since we were both involved in both events, most are either before things got really rolling, or after things started to taper off.
   This photo above was during the new-dancer orientation, teaching folks who showed up early to get a little extra instruction.  An unusual dance because Pat, our usual caller, was off to a work event.  So, we took turns.  Monica called several, leaving us without a piano. Christian taught several, which worked quite well.  I taught one.  That was the most unusual.  The first time I have not been playing lead fiddle at this dance in over 10 years.  Jan did great.  I taught an English Country Dance, Key to the Cellar, which confused even some of the experienced dancers, being proper, 6-hands-from-the-top, reels (heys) of three -- all sorts of weirdness.  We all got through it without injury.  And they'll be happy to have Pat back next month!

Then Sunday was the St Lucia Celebration and Christmas Dinner.  Here's the Scandi Band playing as folks were starting to come in.

And some of the folks coming in, choosing a spot, looking over the silent auction items, scoping-out the potluck dishes.

I played the Hardanger while Alan read his poem on St. Lucia --

And then we had the St. Lucia parade of children.

And later, a special guest.
Monica caught a few shots of the sunset from the west windows on the Cathedral of the Rockies in Boise, where the St. Lucia event was held.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Performances, that busy time of year

We played for folks at the New Vintage wine shop in Meridian, Idaho, last night.  Photo above shows Jan on the left, myself center, and Tim on guitar.  No piano, so Monica was off-duty.  She took this photo, actually.  Tim also played a few tunes on the Highland Pipes.  You can see them atop the yellow chest behind Tim.  Highland pipes inside always catch attention.  Our first time playing there, it was a fun time and we hope to go back again.

Tonight is the usual 2nd Saturday contra dance in Boise, which will have all 4 of us playing, as well as calling a few of the dances.  Pat, our regular caller, is off to a holiday dinner with her fellow school teachers, so we're scrambling.  Added to that, we through in a few Christmas tunes with the contra sets.  Some of the tunes, we'll get the dancers singing as they reel.  And we'll have one dance with Tim on Highland Pipes here as well.

This morning, I had a touch-up rehearsal with the Scandi Band.  We're playing the Santa Lucia dinner tomorrow, Sunday, at the Catherdral of the Rockies in Boise.

Tuesday is the second and last rehearsal for the Sing-along Play-along Messia, coming up next Saturday, the 15th, in Boise.  This is with the Serenata orchestra, and I sit safely on the back row of the second violins.  I can read music, but not very well.  My wife, Monica, sings with the audience and it's a good time for every one.

December 20th is the Sons of Norway Christmas dinner, again with the Scandi Band.

A busy time of year.  If you're in the area, hope to see you at one of these events.