Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another Festive Weekend

Around here, the fun and festivals never seem to end! This past weekend was the 3rd annual Thomas Hollow Art Celebration. The weather was absolutely perfect, we had a few more people this year, and everyone had a good time. I was a bit under the weather and didn't take as many photos as I planned.

The Festival often serves as a once-a-year gathering for some people. It's also camp-out time for some. Some people bring their musical instruments to play around the campfire. Others bring their horses to trail ride for the weekend. This year, we got off to a bit of a rocky start. One of the horses camped out had some sort of a freak accident & had to be put down. Hugs and tears to his dear owner, this has to be a difficult week for her.

On a brighter note, we finally got to meet Jen's cute twin girls. She and her husband were every bit the proud & doting parents. I think there was a line at Bill's woodturning booth -- everyone wanted to hold the cuties and squeeze their cheeks. I wanted to, but didn't want to share my germs.

And the art. We had almost every craft imaginable. From the funky:

Some super-cool paintings, which looked right at home on the barn.

There was also stained glass, sewing, quilting, woodworking, organic wine, aromatherapy/herbal products, crocheting, paper crafts, preserves, photography, woodburning and massage -- and more things that I cannot remember. (Sorry if I left you out!)

Sunday evening a few of us went to Fayetteville for a girls' night out and had a blast. We stayed at Maggie's house, since it is a bad drive to make at night & we had to take Jessica (aka the California Flash) to the airport. She is going to kill me for this, but you could tell that she wasn't really enthusiastic about going home:

Monday morning, we slept in, headed out for coffee and breakfast, then split up. I was driving north on the freeway, eating some sushi rolls and thinking of the day ahead when I looked over and there was Jessica waving at me. Turns out that her flight wasn't until TUESDAY! I guess she just wanted another day in the hollow. It was great having her here & I miss the girl already. I'm hoping to head to California to visit her in the spring.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fun in Winfield

Who would've thought a deaf person would have such fun at a bluegrass festival?

After years of my neighbors talking about Winfield and telling me I needed to attend, I finally decided to go this year. I don't know what took me so long!

This year was the Walnut Valley Festival's 37th year, and it was quite a ride. "Land Rush" was on September 11 -- it's the morning when people literally careen into the campground to claim their spots for the festival. My neighbor George secures the "Comfortable Shoes" camp area in the Pecan Grove at Winfield, and I was excited to camp there this year.

But it wasn't to be: the Walnut (I think!) River flooded over the banks and engulfed the campgrounds and fairgrounds the next day. Campers scrambled to evacuate -- some ended up at WalMart (nice), and others at the Winfield Lake.

The Lake turned out to be THE place to be this year -- Stage 5 and 7, usually in the Pecan Grove, moved out there, along with thousands of campers. And I mean thousands -- tents mushroomed up everywhere as the weekend progressed.

I arrived Tuesday evening, ready to camp and party. And party I did, as people picked music, visited and partied. I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning for five nights straight. And I only fell down once!

There are pictures. I didn't take any -- but will share a few that others took if they are parent-safe.

I got to meet Linda Tilton, who has been interpreting at the Festival for more than 20 years. It was SO nice to be able to sit and watch a performance and simply absorb the music instead of straining to lipread the singers.

Shannon Wurst and 3 Penny Acre were part of the Comfortable Shoes camp, and both Shannon and two members of the band won (different) categories in the Best New Song contest. Kate Baer, my favorite jewelry designer, won the Arts & Crafts section.

So many stories. I'm planning to go again next year -- it'll take me a while to recover from this one, though!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Slept through the whole thing...

If there's one advantage to being deaf, it's that I can sleep through almost any storm. (Um, that might be a hazard!)

Apparently, Ike's deluge went over the hollow around 5 or 6 this morning. I had two fearless but tired pups in bed with me & they didn't wake me up, so it must not have been that bad. Despite staying up late for SNL last night (Tina Fey was dead-on with her Palin impression. I almost fell off the couch laughing.), I woke up at 6:45, looked out the window and thought: hey! it isn't even raining.

At least, not then. We were all shocked when we went to the front door to go potty (the DOGS, people, the dogs!) and saw that the creek was over the banks and flowing through the hollow road.

If anyone sees a plastic green Adirondack chair floating down Mike's creek -- it's mine & I want it back.

And if you were coming to my house for dinner tonight, you might wanna rethink those plans.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Music Within

No, this isn't a blog waxing philosophical about how we all need to find that music within. I'm waiting to see how the AMA Flattrack race turns out in Indianapolis tonight -- hoping they will actually get to race despite the weather!

The other night, I Netflixed the movie "The Music Within," and it was really good. In a nutshell, it's about a guy who loses his hearing in Vietnam and his resulting struggles led him to become an activist and be a driving force in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

I was mainly interested in this movie because it portrayed someone who lost his hearing. However, he was actually "just" hard of hearing & could hear well enough to talk on the phone. Yes, I know, I am being harsh but whatever (I'm perhaps just jealous his loss seems insignificant compared to mine).

Anyhow. It's a good movie, one I recommend everyone watch because it will indeed give you an inside perspective on a disabled person's life. There are so many different levels of disabilities & each affects a person differently. This film will probably make you think a little about the labels and unconscious judgments we put on others.

Still waiting on those race results. Kenny Coolbeth has locked in the #1 title for the 2008 season regardless of how this race goes, but I still want to see his name up on the podium!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Po-tay-to, Pah-ta-toh

Yea, right. You bet. No problem. I STILL say these Minnesota two-word sentences on a near-daily basis. I seem to have hung on to my Minnesota twang -- which is better than Redneck-speak, right?

A few weeks ago I was talking with Alisen about how hard it is for some people to understand certain things I say. For example: ordering drinks at a bar! I absolutely cannot order either a Rolling Rock or a vodka sour. Bartenders don't get the first one -- even with copious hand gestures. The second -- I somehow end up with a COKE and vodka. Huh!? WTF? (For the record, they aren't too bad, but are better if it's vanilla vodka.)

My second issue is with the word "BAG." Three letters...shouldn't be so hard to pronounce, right? Well, it turns out I'm saying it with a long 'a' as heard in the word "space": BAAYG) instead of a soft 'a' (as in "rat": BAHG). Huh.

Here's the scenario: I'm on the road and need a BAAYG of ice. Of course, I pick a gas station that has the ice chest outside, so you have to ask the cashier for a BAAYG of ICE.
Me: "I also need a BAAYG of ice."
Cashier: (blank look, as if I am speaking tongues or a foreign language)
Me: "You know, ice. Frozen water?" (pointing outside for effect)
Cashier: (still freaking confused)
Me: "Ice. A BAAYG of ice."
Cashier: "Ohhh yeah. Okay." (gives me a weird look)

So after that conversation, I asked for a BAHG of ice the next time. Worked like a charm. Thanks, Al!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I am alive! I've just been a slacker when it comes to blogging lately. It's been busy here in the hollow lately. The weather's turning toward fall & I love it. We've had quite a bit of rain (as my roof can testify, unfortunately).

I spent Labor Day weekend in Springfield, Illinois, at the AMA Flattrack races with my Dad. It was awesome! They held the Mile on both Sunday & Monday (Monday's race was to make up for the rained-out Memorial Day weekend event). both races were nail-biters all the way to the finish. Kenny (Coolbeth) won Sunday's race and was thisclose to beating Carr again on Monday.

I'm a lucky girl: I get to be in the pits for these races. Gotta love it!

This past week has been all about preparing for two upcoming festivals: the Walnut Valley Festival (or simply: Winfield) and the Thomas Hollow Art Celebration. I'm super-excited about both.

I'm also cow- and dog-sitting for my mom, who's out of town on another adventure. We have three cows due to calve -- but no babies yet. In fact, it's the pup that is turning out to be more of a pain -- he keeps coming over to my house, which is more than a mile away! Right now, he's at my house for the evening -- so I have two sets of brown eyes on me. It's some much-needed adoration.