A Minstrel saves a Wedding... & has a Wild Hair for dessert.......

To finish the story from "A Minstrel's Country Life" from yesterday, I will tell thee that Abby’s hamster was found (YAY!!) and I could breathe WAY better.

After being put back in his cage, the wee ratty drank a bunch of water, and crashed and burned. I'm sure he was thirsty and exhausted after being out of his safe environment for 24 hours with a loose cat in the area where he was found....
I think Kitty was waiting for the hamster?

I gave gifts of some veggies to both him and the real ratty that they have. They were grateful for the snap peas, carrots and zucchini slices.

And, I, personally, I felt a whole lot better for watching their menagerie and being responsible for it while they were away working. 

It was a gorgeous day and a beautiful night! 

Harry and I surely enjoyed the day with less heat and humidity, thanks to the rain that morning and the front that was moving in. Hopefully it would push off in time for Jay & Abby’s performance at their faire, and for the wedding that Harry & I were playing for later in the afternoon.

We arrived in Plymouth at the dock at 3:30pm, a bit early, but we were glad of the extra time in the end. It was hard to find a place close by to park and unload gear (we had brought instruments/music stand/wireless mic rig) for our part in Dee & Francis’s big day and ceremony at 5pm aboard the Pilgrim Belle paddleboat. It was going to be a sunset cruise for about 60 people.

The ship was not there yet, as it was out on a cruise, but was returning at any time. I saw a sign that said, “Next Cruise-4pm”. I felt a chill, and I spoke with the ticket taker, Sandy, and said:
“Hi, we are the musicians for the wedding at 5pm for Flannery & Zipeto.” She said, “You mean, the wedding that’s at 7pm.”

I said, “No, for the wedding that’s at 5pm. You have a cruise going out at 4? When is it back?”

(Oh dear)

I sensed a big cluster fuck about to hit the fan. 
“I think we should call the bride, because my information does not match yours, and I don’t want there to be any problems for them. For now, please don’t send out the 4pm cruise, as it won’t be back in time.” 

Oh fuck. 

This wasn’t good. Sandy started frantically looking at her notes and calling the cruise director. I got Dee’s number and was about to drop a major bomb of possible proportions on an already busy and frantic bride. I wanted to spare Dee any problems, in particular, as she’s had so many harsh realities dealt to her with severe health problems (she suffers from Sarcoid and has had a pace maker put in as well, changing the shape of her wedding dress from an off the shoulder to a halter to hide the scar) and from a couple of former boyfriends who really were problematic.  She had finally found someone who has made her glow and relax and be herself and we wanted to do our part to make it happen.
“Here’s her phone number” I said and gave Sandy the number and we called the bride.

Oh yes, there was a huge problem. Evidently, it was a blessing that Harry & I got there early to setup, because if we hadn’t, there wouldn’t have been a ship there for Dee, her groom, the Justice of the Peace or her bridal party and guests when they arrived,  for evidentally, the boat company planned on it going out at 4pm! Even after Francis had personally confirmed all arrangements just a week before!

Thankfully, the catastrophe that had almost happened, didn’t, and we awaited the bride to arrive by rickshaw down the pier. It was a lovely evening after all! 
The Fates smiled upon this couple in love~

Providence was on her side, for she boarded the boat, she & Francis said their vows to a beautiful moment of friends and family, 

and then? 


We were delayed in disembarking for about a ½ hour until the weather cleared and it turned out into a fine night after all, with them both happily married, on a dry deck in beautiful DRY wedding garments on a boat that was THERE. 


There was a RAINBOW for the wedding couple! 
Truly a message to tell the newlyweds that this was a Goodly Bond of a Promise.

Harry & I had fun playing music and got the family (mostly Irish) to sing along to “Molly Malone” and “The Scotsman” was a special request for one Scot who’d been in the country for a few years. Dee’s son, Zachary, about 18, even made a beautiful raspberry chocolate filled cake for the wedding, as he wants to be a pastry chef!

Not bad, eh?? And it was as delicious as it was beautiful!

After our music portion was done, and we hosted the toasts and storytelling, it was a lovely cruise on a calm lake, supper and drinks for us all. 

The Captain of the Pilgrim Belle was especially smitten with our music and asked for several pieces from us personally. We loaded out our gear and we boarded a "pedicab" (rickshaw) and were delivered (with gear!) to our car by two very rugged handsome young men that lugged us and all our instruments!
We drove back to Jay & Abby’s and got lost a bit, but finally made it home at almost the stroke of midnight to let in the doggy and pen the chickens. Late, but better late than never.

 And then? Our key wouldn’t work in the lock. 

Oh Fuck. AGAIN.

Merlyn had gone round and locked up their house nice and tight (dammit) before she left as she was good to do….but now the key was NOT opening the door. I give credit to my Mate, Harry. He is a stubborn man when it comes to popping locks, and after about 10 minutes (where I was plotting alternatives as I stood there loaded with gear, and a very tired doggy that wanted to go in) he managed to trip the lock!
HOME! (ish :)

The next morning found us wanting a bit more adventure, as we were not really that far (in the grand scheme of things) to go into Cape Cod, I mean, “as long as we are here”.  We drove past the Sam Fuller School and had to get a picture for him. 

Sam Fuller is not only Harry’s brother’s name, but it is also most likely the historical family member of his from days of the Mayflower.

We drove around and saw a map and were looking for some place to visit, on a wild hair, and I saw the word, “Yarmouth” on the Cape Cod map.

 “Oh look Harry! We can go to Yarmouth Town, just like the song!”


“In Yarmouth Town there lived a man, and he kept a tavern down by the sand.       A Landlord and a daughter fair, a plump little thing with long yellow hair.

(Chorus: Oh, won’t you come down? Won’t you come down? Won’t you come down to Yarmouth Town)

At closing time, a sailor man, he asked the daughter for her hand, “Oh why should I marry and share my bed, when I get all I want without being wed?

“But if you want with me to linger, I’ll tie a piece string all around my finger and as you pass by, just pull the old string…and I’ll come down and let you in” 

So at closing time, the sailor man, he went to the tavern down by the sand, and as he passed by he pulled the old string, she’s come down and let him in.

Well, he never seen such a sight before, the little piece of string was all that she wore, and as he passed by, he pulled the old string, she threw open the covers and let him in”

Well, he stayed with her the whole night through, early next morning went back to his crew, and he told them all about his maiden fair, the plump little thing with long yellow hair.

Well, very soon the word got round, and the very next night in Yarmouth Town, there was 15 sailors pulling on the string, she’s come down and let them in.

Now all young fellahs into Yarmouth go, there’s a plump little thing with her hair hanging low, and all ye got to do is pull the old string, and she’ll come down and let you in.

(Oh, won’t you come down? Won’t you come down? Won’t you come down to Yarmouth Town)

YAH. It’s a friendly place. :)

 So, Harry & I thought we’d go check it out and have a pint before we headed back to our home port.

Found this place, and we thought it was perfect! 

A lovely warm and posh place, and a nice earthy bar to get the dust out of our traveling mouths. Of course, I had to get rid of the “rented beer” so I excused myself and went to the ladies’ room.

I had to laugh while I was in there taking care of business….

There was something I’d never seen before on the sink. 
It was a bowl of “Tropical Salt Scrub” offered as a decadent nicety for the patrons there, with a sign that said:
“Free Hand Massage! 
Just take a spoonful and rub on dry hands for a minute, then rinse.”

I did. It was lovely and my hands are very smooth now.

So, all in all, you know what?

I can most truthfully say that TECHNICALLY, 
"I got a salty hand job at a pub in Yarmouth town”.

When I told Harry about it, he smirked and said:
“You used bath salts? You’re not gonna turn into a zombie and eat my face off now, are you?”

Which then amused us with quite a few “getting head” jokes to take us back home.

All in all....a pretty fun and successful weekend, if you ask me.

A Minstrels' Country Life

It's another traveling weekend for Harry and I.
Yesterday we left Nick in charge of Monty Joe and Squirrel Haven and loaded up gear and instruments and some more formal clothes (read: a different kind of garb :)
and headed back to MA again to visit our dear friends, Jay & Abby ~

Otherwise known as "The Harper & The Minstrel" to stay with them for a night and then gig here and watch their place, whilst they sallied forth to a faire to play for their weekend's gig.

They have a lovely old place, over 250 years old! They also have quite a menagerie of animals! Dog, cats, ratty, hamster, and a flock of chickens and a new acquisition of a covey of quail! Abby's dad, next door, has peacocks and chickens too, and one day a fellow asked him if he'd like some quail eggs. "Sure!" He gave Abby about 90 eggs and she incubated them, got about 35 to hatch...and they have 29 or so that made it to being an adolescent!

We had a lovely day with them here, after our travel to their place. I read to Harry aloud (as I usually do on these long trips) from a new book. It's nice to share a book with your Mate! He enjoys listening while we drive and it makes the time go faster. MUCH faster!

My current book is Dolly Parton's autobiography called, "Dolly!"
 I picked up this book at the Silver Kingdom Renaissance faire's bookseller's booth last weekend while there. Drusilla always has some fun $1 bargain books to root through like a hog looking for truffles. :) It is a fun and fabulous read! Her style is very conversational and it's filled with a lot of country lore. I've been fashioning my own memoir over this past year, and it's funny, but some of our stories are similar now that I'm reading hers! We've been laughing at her amazing stories and her trek to stardom from such impoverished and sometimes quaint background. She is truly a self effacing, confident and happy person. We like the book very much. If you are interested in her or her music, you would also benefit by reading it. Harry and I have always adored her "Trio" album with Dolly, Emmy Lou Harris and Linda Ronstadt! Just a fabulous album.

After we got here to Jay & Abby's yesterday, I played some music with Abby

while the guys puttered around outside, checking on the poultry and grilling chicken. I found that to be amusing in itself. I wonder what the chickens thought of that! Also, there was the directions given to us for the feeding and watering of all the animals we'll be tending this weekend ...along with these words: "Oh, and the hamster escaped....keep your eye out for him."

Nothing like a loose ratty to keep you on your toes. :)

I grew up on a farm with all these animals (although the quail are new to me, we only had ducks and chickens, pigs, horses, dogs, cats, hamsters, gerbils, birds...) so I am very comfortable here in this setting.

The peacock mournful and yet lusty cries are new though.

It's wonderful to hear the rooster crow in his Peter Pan "Look at me!" voice, the "braaawwww, buck buck buck" of the hens... and then to hear throughout the day (and night!) the peacocks heralding their majesty as they trumpet their call to their female.

Click here to hear a Peacock cry~

It's really almost tropical with this heat and rain.

On our roster for the morning is to relax, and practice a bit here while it's quiet....
Later this day, Harry and I will be traveling to Plymouth to play for a dear friend and her new husband to be for their wedding! It's going to be aboard the "Pilgrim Belle" and will be sailing in Plymouth Harbor on a sunset cruise after their ceremony on the top deck. I am very much looking forward to it!

But now, it's off for fresh eggs and french press coffee.

Sorry, but I gotta crow too :)

Click here for your wake up Rooster call!

Chivalry and....Zombies.

This last weekend we played at the Silver Kingdom Renaissance Faire Charlton, MA. In the past, it has been a larp faire (Live Action Role Play). Last year, it was awash with Larpers and filled to capacity with them for their annual “Blood Games”. That was interesting and I wrote about it several times culminating with a story called “The World According to Larp.”

This is a beautiful property, not yet discovered by many. There are miles of woods in the back, and the faire is set up by the tavern and the front fields.

This year, the owners and directors of the faire grounds (over 200 acres of former horse farm) decided to focus on the renaissance faire aspect. Their theme was “Chivalry” and it was fun to listen to acts about etiquette and to have Knights in armor vie for the two princesses’ hands in marriage. Their father the King was trying to wed them off, much to the chagrin of the daughters. A couple of the suitors were “not suitable” either which made for some fun drama. Harry & I played along wondrous well, by dedicating a song to the Princesses. “Sorry the Day I was Married” seemed perfect under the circumstances! 

The vendors were fewer but there were a lot of performers. There was us (Merry Mischief) and “The Harper & The Minstrel”, “Mischief Managed” (an acapella group), “Buzzard Bay Buccaneers”, “The Graces”, “Granny Grue” (short for “Gruesome”.  She is nothing of the sort but rather a fun singing zombie gramma J) and we watched swordplay and there was also The Bardic Circle among others.

The weather was fabulous and we had a great time. Saturday night found us sharing a makeshift meal with Jay & Abby and their friends Jerry & Leeza in their camper. We wandered home through the fields and Harry & I settled in for the night in one of the cabins here at the faire. It was a pleasant space, full of wood and with the windows open letting in the screened breezes it was quite lovely in a rustic and modest way.

Father’s Day found us wandering the grounds again, and we enjoyed the patrons, the boothies and the other entertainers a lot.  We traded songs with other performers, and played lots of requests, and Jay & Abby sat in with us for several songs. I just adore how we sound together! We got lots of compliments and suggestions to have us record a CD together. The thought has crossed our mind. I bought some jewelry, some gourmet garlic oil, and we are bringing home an assortment of books from the bookseller Druscilla. I am just addicted to books, I cannot lie. Started reading one this morning, in the sunshine, in my camp chair in the sunshine before opening gate! How delicious that was!

After the busy faire day was done, and we said our goodbyes to patrons and other rennies, we met Granny Grue (Glee) and Jay & Abby at our favorite local restaurant here, at Zorba’s Greek Restaurant for our annual intake of some social beers and grand food.

They went home and Harry and I came back to the campground for one last evening. It’s nicer to think of a good nights’ rest than a 5 or 6 hour drive after a busy faire weekend and full bellies!

I am now sitting in my sweats, out of garb and jingles, with my faire feet up on a cot, writing away to you. I am bathed in the amber cottage light, listening to the sounds of a couple of vendors packing it up, with the sound of cranks turning and the dismantling of counters and booth frames. It is only punctuated occasionally by the calm sound of Harry slumbering on the other bed.  

We are the only ones left here in the deserted faire ground.

It is quiet now here at the faire. Peaceful and still after all the hustle and bustle activity over the last few days. These grounds are beautiful during the day, but I can only imagine how wondrously creepy that this place can be during one of their Zombie Game weekends.

That’s right.

Zombie Weekends.

The larp grounds here are wild and deep and lovely....peaceful with a lot of elbow room here for Larping. There are teams that participate in the many game weekends.
Here are a few pictures of the grounds and some of the play stations/areas in the woods.

A beautiful stream runs through the forest…

Ominous marker notes the path of doom….Do you see it?

And along the way, thankfully an Angel will guard you….

I’m pretty sure that a zombie infestation manifested here in the past….

From what I hear tell, picture the game of paint ball, without the paint. Add costuming, zombies, vanquishing spells and healing rejuvenation remedies, people dressed as animals, demons all trying to kill each other or to live to tell the tale. It’s Dungeons and Dragons come to life, in the woods. At NIGHT.

This sweet quiet cottage must take on a whole other persona when I think of it being under siege by zombies. Of course, some of the best parts of that game happen at NIGHT! This is where chicken shit Merlyn says “Game off” (in a lilting Garth and Wayne Campbell voice).

Hell, I grew up in the country with the threat of coy dogs chasing you while you walked 2 and ½ miles home on a lonely road. You don’t have to tell me to use my imagination. My imagination ROCKS.

The idea of being here, in the woods, at night, while zombies clawed the screens or waited outside my door to eat my brains is enough to keep me sealed up here for a long duration.
Thank God we packed groceries, water, various alcoholic beverages, books, light and a composting toilet….because... THIS girl isn’t leaving this cabin...here on this night... for anyone tonight.


I’m signing off now, absolutely stuffed full of dinner, satisfied to be out with happy and tired minstrels and having enjoyed the conversation of a vegetarian zombie grandma who is also on her way home.
I’m safe and sound, and will crawl in to snuggle with my peacefully snoring Harry, here in the woods, under the moonlight, on a zombie free evening…and all this has got me thinking...and inspired to say that.just as soon as I find my Ren bodice dagger to sleep with- by my pillow, and a 2 X 4 to prop the door shut from the inside (which, as you know, can double as a dead head remover,  if necessary, as advised in "The Zombie Survival Guilde).

Just in case.

Goodnight from the Other Side.

Laugh Out Loud~ Week 16 of 52

Laugh. It's GOOD for you.

This week's exercise in the book I'm following this year "52 Small Changes: A Year to a Healthier, Happier You" is to "LAUGH OUT LOUD."

Or ....

LOL as you might know it more readily.

When we laugh, a good belly laugh, it releases endorphines that help with health and healing. This week's note is to encourage laughter daily in our lives, and to help others to laugh as well.

Lighten up! Live a little!

Make yourself laugh. Listen to your own laughter! Enjoy the way others' laughter sounds!

I've always had a pretty good sense of humor and have made milk come out other people's noses on occasion. My daughter Jesse has a wicked funny sense of humor.  She always can make me laugh!
How could she not? She was blessed with two wicked funny parents. She has me with my randy wit and her father, David's silly potty humor. David and I are still great friends, and we stayed together for 17 years because we laughed so much.

Ask my kids, "Did your father ever fart on your head?"

"Why yes, why do you ask?" might be their accurate response.

My daughter Shawna, who has Down's Syndrome, loves life and also loves to eat saucepan beans.
They are one of her favorite things! In response to my question about what she'd like for dinner, she said,      "Me want beans".
I said to her in jest, "But Shawna, beans give you gas!"
And she said in honest appreciation, "Yah, me love gas. Make me laugh".

And yes, while we are on the subject,  everyone, even Sheldon on Big Bang Theory enjoys an occasional whoopie cushion blast. Really, I think farting is the one thing that can make me laugh the easiest.

It all harkens back in my memory to my childhood, early morning, mother and father sitting in the country kitchen, having breakfast quietly, and then one of them, (I'm not sure who) would rip one on the seat of the old oak chair. Nothing like some good quality wood resonance to really give it a mellow tone.

Sometimes I make me laugh :)

Of course, timing and discretion are everything.

One of my boyfriends once told me, "Girls don't fart."
I proved him very wrong.

"First Farts"
As a matter of fact, once in the beginning of my romance with my husband Wayne, after a grand lovemaking session, I got up, naked and walked to the bathroom, but stopped at the door...I looked back at my handsome, very relaxed and yet very new lover, and I looked at him and said, "Wayne?"
He looked at me lovingly and said, "Yes honey?"
I said (feeling the pressure of some gas in my belly), "There's something I've been meaning to tell you."
"What's that?"
(insert a very loud fart sound here).
It made our relationship grow from there.

Once my daughter farted in front of her boyfriend for the very time and ripped a horrendous sound to his very shocked ears. His response? "We're gonna stay together forever!"

There are also the fire and water stories about flatulation:

Fire Farts
For instance, (sorry Dave, but I have to :) there is the wonder and amazement of seeing someone light a fart. Have you ever seen this amazing feat? Usually it's when everyone has been drinking, and some fellow (I truly have never ever seen a female do this....) would feel the building pressure in his belly and then say excitedly, "HEY! Somebody have a lighter???QUICK???!"
A lighter would be magically produced, the man would drop down to the floor, lie on his back, with knees raised to "get into the position", while holding the lighter poised between his legs,  and precisely at just at the right moment of air expulsion, would bravely flick the bic.

Flame throwers of poi would be proud.

I would, at this point, caution the flame thrower, to always be DRESSED. For there was that one time, when my first husband, naked from the shower, decided to do this herculean feat while naked. NOT ADVISED. It took a week for his ass hair to grow back. But it also took us a week to stop laughing about it.

I would also advise those interested in this particular art form, to make sure you have a really good bit of air built up. Because, from my viewer observation, a seeping fart will just lightly dance on the fabric of the crotch and just burn a hole. You need serious methane to do this trick.

So much for fire....

Water Bubbles

Water is also fun. I don't know of any kid who hasn't played in the warm wet, drained bath tub making fart sounds for fun, by lifting sticky wet limbs or arching back on the tub. Hysterical laughter is guaranteed.

For that fact, even grownups, in a bath, can still make themselves amused by farting in a tub full of water.
Especially fun in an upstairs tub with company downstairs. Water amplifies sound and anyone can be a thunderous achiever in this realm.

So, have a good laugh at life and take yourself lightly....

and for heaven's sake....

fart in the tub and laugh :)

Week 15 of 52~ Whole Grains and Wholeness

Hey Ho....

A couple weeks have slipped by and so have I. Yah, I've slipped up a bit. While some of the "small changes" have been coming easy, others have not.

I still can't remember my damn vitamin.
I ate quite a lot of shite over my birthday/Memorial weekend (ice cream, chips, dip....etc)
and I didn't do much of the "green" cleaning....

Altho, in my defense:

*I am trying to get other parts of my life in order.

*I am standing up for myself more and backing down less.

*I have detached from an addictive friendship that was bad for me.

* I have added some new elements of music to my life, I'm trying to be a forgiving person, and I'm thinking on how to rewrite my memoir that I wrote last fall....

*I find that when I do have a glass of wine or two...or a shot of tequila or two...they affect me a lot more which means my tolerance is down and that is a good thing.

This week's "Small Change" is to add "Whole Grains" to my diet more. 

I have cooked with whole grains a lot in my life....but there, too, I have neglected to keep it in my diet on a regular basis. I used to cook with wheatberries and corn and rice and oats much more than I do now. I used to bake bread for my family every week. And not with the ease of a bread maker either. I was the bread makere!
I did cook with rice twice this week tho' and will add more grains to my shopping list when I get to the store next. Maybe I will even try to figure out what to cook with that Quinoa I have in my cupboard today. I've heard good things about it, but I've also heard that some folks don't like it. I will find out for myself.

It's all about being WHOLE.

When you separate the wheat from the chaff you get the whole grain or berry. Which is good. In life you should do this too. To separate the good from the fluff or the non-essential.

How'ere, when you separate the grain from itself, taking only some parts of it, discarding others, you destroy the goodness of the grain. We have done this when we eat enriched foods, white flour, white rice and so on. You don't get the total benefit of the grain when it is not complete.

We do this on a different level when also separate some of the good out of our lives, and add things that "fill" the difference. We can live on what's left, but we aren't as healthy for it.

I feel kinda bad that I've backslidden...and I realize that when upset I do stress eat or drink. In this way, I've not been living a "whole" life. I'm on Facebook too much. It's not what's real. I know I connect with people and fans on it, and I pride myself on being approachable....but I need to do other things more.
I nag my husband to clean, when I want/need change, but I am not willing to do it for him anymore. I stress over problems and worry too much sometimes about the past but am sometimes unwilling or unable to get a grip on the future.

In some ways, it's the same thing as eating enriched bread. We think we are feeding ourselves right, but we are not doing a good job of it. Worry and nagging does not make you healthy either, but it does feed you in a way and occupy your time. You are getting something out of it, but it isn't the healthiest of emotional diets. Facebook may be fun for you and your friends, but it does not feed you like walking in the sunshine or visiting with friends does. Watching a movie or playing a video game is not as nourishing as some quiet time with a book or a nap.

I have some big stressers in my life, and while I try to fix them, in big or small ways, I find that I also "medicate" myself with food or drink. Not good. But I know I've always done it.
Knowing these things is a good thing....but making the small changes when I wanted big changes is hard and tedious, but I shall endeavor to go on...

I shall try to get some real substance help for the others, like mediation for a stalemate situation in my relationship so that we can go forward fairly with each other. By getting together with real friends in person and by disengaging from some of the other addictive activities in my life that do not really serve me. I am blocking some destructive forces and letting in the sunshine or rain and music.

I shall start by having Oatmeal for breakfast.

 Have a good week.