Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Desk and all that jazz....

I got to see my mom this Christmas for the first time in three years.  Needless to say I was a bit excited.  We arrived the evening of the 23rd, and on the 24th my mom and I took David's Durango last minute shopping and we were raring to go!  I don't know what other moms and daughters are like; but my mom and I call each other from Marshalls weepy eyed because we can't show each other our latest find, or laugh at something ridiculous we've come across and tried on just for dramatic effect.  Somehow it's not nearly as funny if my mom isn't there to snort and cross her legs to keep from peeing she's laughing so hard.

Anyway...I went to Bend Oregon this Christmas.  We went shopping on Christmas Eve. AND...I stumbled upon a swap meet.  Sigh of goodness.  Outside the swap meet was a gorgeous old fashioned desk, good bones, real wood, lots of scratches etc.  I snuck a peek at the price tag....$35????!!! WHHHAAAT? Inside I went, and didn't  come up for air for an hour even though we were on a tight schedule, stores closing early for the holidays and all.  I called David, just to warn him that he wouldn't be enjoying the TV in the middle seat of his Durango on the way home because I'd taken up the whole back of the car with the desk...BUT I also made sure to emphasize the fantastic swap meet deal I had gotten.  ( I didn't mention the bracelets, necklaces, and ring I'd also snagged).  Poor guy, a desk was enough.

My mom and I cackled our way out of the parking lot, narrowly missing killing pedestrians on Christmas Eve of all days...Desk created quite a blind spot.  She made it home from Oregon to Ca in one piece and a few days later I attacked her with my sander and some paint and glaze...You guys-she is my favorite piece so far.  (Did I mention my other desk got ruined in the NY-CA move? well it did).
She inspired me to paint a few other pieces in the same colors...and now my guest room is almost complete.

My Mom's Christmas decor wasn't so bad either...see where I got the artsy fartsy bug?

Morgan O'Kane

Music...is there anything better, or anything more powerful on this earth?  David and I were in NYC for a week for the holidays, and on an afternoon stroll walked right into the highlight of our trip.  We were snapping photos on an insanely warm January day in NY and almost to the Washington Square Arch...and David said "Do you hear Mumford and Sons?"  I paused...and I did hear some folksy magic drifting over the honks and city clamor.  We kept walking towards NYU and ran right into the arch and such a wonderful gift underneath....Morgan O'Kane.  http://www.morganokanemusic.com/music

There were about 200 people circled around two scruffily stylish men strumming their hearts out; Morgan beating away on a banjo and stamping  the suitcase he was sitting upon with a drum pedal; and Zeke Healy on the Dobro.  We stopped, feeling that fleeting phenomenon you feel when you happen upon a "moment."
The instrumentals were simply put...fantastic. I put "banjo" on my wish list the minute I heard him play, similar to the feeling I had about Ukuleles when I heard Ingrid Michaelson live for the first time.  What is talent for if not to inspire the rest of us?  In my non-too professional opinion the sounds echoing over the park were in my mind one part Irish folk, one part bluegrass, one part pure instrumental genius.
I told David after standing in awe for about 5 minutes...their music makes me want to dance.  Not shake my booty-Dance.  Throw my arms up and dance a jig kind of dance.  Sure enough minutes after my admission to David, a girl of about three did just that.  She planted her feet just behind their banjo case full of cash and CD's for sale and danced her little heart out.  She did not have my ridiculous adult sensibilities and simply did what her body told her when she heard the music.  It was in that moment, that I reaffirmed my belief that music is the most awesome entity in this world we live in.  I glanced around at the crowd as the little girl shamed us with her joy and reckless abandon-"dancing as if  no one was watching."
We were all stomping our feet, bobbing our heads, snapping photos, and taking videos.  But no adult just did what I believe we all wanted to-rejoiced in the gorgeous music coming from these two talented guys and moved like our hearts and ears were telling us to.
Needless to say, I dropped my $15 and grabbed Morgan O'Kane's latest CD: Pendulum.  I can't ever re-create that beautiful hour I experienced listening to them in the middle of the park-but for a week straight every morning on my commute I have pushed play and tried.

Do yourself a favor and like them on Facebook, check out their website, and buy their music. Raw talent in all it's glory. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stop and Gawk at the Gaggles of Geese.....

The winter in New York this year was longer then I could have ever imagined....but oh the pay off of seeing an East Coast Spring.  Shoveling snow and SADS became a distant memory a couple of weeks ago when I turned my music and stress off during my morning commute and actually took notice of what was happening to the world around me.  Barren branches, and stick like bushes had seemingly overnight become flower shops.  Birds, squirrels, and swans that had been in hibernation or out west suddenly returned home and wanted the whole world to hear them scamper sing swim and rejoice.  I kept telling myself I had to get my camera out and go on a "nature walk."
 Needless to say it didn't happen right away. Finally one Sunday when I didn't have a giant to-do list, and David needed to sleep in, I hopped out of bed grabbed my camera and headed out into my neighborhood.  I will honestly tell you I didn't even brush my teeth or put on deodorant.  I felt like if I started my  morning routine I would end up not going out before it was too late.  I walked along admiring the blooming trees along my street, smiling at couples running by with jogging strollers...I got down to the water about a half mile from my house and felt a bit disappointed. I had seen a few pretty trees, but it just wasn't what I had expected once I finally got out to take some photos.  I thought "Maybe I just don't have the skill to photograph what my eyes are feasting on and that's ok."
Then I spotted something in the water....A momma and papa goose with ten baby geese swimming in between them in the ocean. My breath caught, and my heart went in my throat.  I ran down as close as I could, and struggled to put my stronger lens on quickly.  They swam so fast!  I ran after them snapping away as quickly as I could but they beat me.  Apparently P90-X wasn't working as well as I thought. I shrugged it off and kept searching for flowers.  I turned a corner and happened upon an alcove and guess who was there?  My gaggle of geese!  (Is that what they're called?) I don't want to stop and look it up.  They had pit stopped right along my walking path!  As quietly as I could, feeling no where as cool as those national geographic people look crept up on them and laid down in some bushes about 5 feet away from them.  The mom goose perked her head up and scanned the area, sensing I was there.  I held my breathe praying she wouldn't attack me or waddle run away.  My luck intact they stayed and kept nibbling grass...then about a half hour later two swan beauties showed up and stretched their gorgeous necks in the sun.  The baby geese got bored of their grass lunch, and began to fight just like human brothers and sisters....it was magical.  I had one of the best, most peaceful, awe filled mornings I'd ever had.  Here's what I saw...my photos are not enough to demonstrate the simple beauty of what I was lucky enough to witness but I had to share....