Sunday, August 26, 2007

Flatlanders at the Birchmere! What could be better?

So we've been staying close to home lately. Hard enough to find a pet-sitter, much less someone willing to care for livestock, kwim? But early this spring DH suggested we see if the Flatlanders were going to be anywhere nearby this year. A quick search and, yes!, they were on the August calendar at the Birchmere in Alexandria, a close 150 miles away. I ordered tickets for the second show, Friday, August 24.

DS announced he would have a sleepover at Grandma's house and they could check on the chickens that evening. The sheep, llama and cats would be okay till we got home late that night and a dog-sitter was the last of our worries. So with everyone taken care of DH and I were able to leave around 10am with time to stop at the Eden Center as I wanted a few things from the vietnamese grocer and hoped to find some origami paper like another homeschooler had shown me she picked up there. Ended up eating a late lunch at one of the restaurants at Eden Center after shopping and heading over the Birchmere around 5:30pm.

They hand out line numbers starting at 5pm but, tho we could park at the front door, we were already 60 down by the time DH picked up the tickets at the will call window. A quick change of clothes and we were ready for the evening. It was kind of strange going in as we appeared to be on the younger end of the audience age bar. Since we're both over 40 now, it's usually the other way around. Talked to several people while we were waiting but didn't know a soul there. It was fun to browse the cd rack at the Birchmere's shop -- had enough variety it almost seemed like old times.

The Flatlanders were great as usual. Been going to see a range of live music for almost 35 years now and these guys routinely make the top 10 every time. It's amazing how consistently they deliver the goods. On top of the great regular part of the show, we had a treat as Bill Kirchen (of Commander Cody, and more, fame) was two tables down from us and sat in towards the end for several songs. Jenny Scheinman , accompanied by Tony Scherr on guitar, opened the show with an acoustic set we really enjoyed. Unfortunately everyone has to go home eventually so we did. No ringing ears as in years past but with lots of good music resonating through us.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A new source for pocket change?

Here's DH with his hastily thrown together basket of garden produce. He was prepared to enter the individual vegetable categories at the county fair but hadn't really considered the real money-making possibilities of the special classes. At best a blue ribbon for a plate of 5 red-ripe tomatoes would net $3, but throw together a dozen or more different types of home garden crops and he claimed 12 bucks for third place.

And after watching my DMom win a first place in the farm-garden implement arrangement category last year, he decided he could do that, too, and won another 15 bucks for his first place entry (photo below) featuring his favorite old metal gathering dishpan.

Well, I thought he should have some competition so I put together an arrangement featuring an old straw hat and a few of my favorite (hand) tools. It took a respectable second place, thank you very much. And that was with a whole wealth of entries -- I was glad to see them all because the first year the category had set empty with none. Last year was the second year it was listed and DMom couldn't stand that no one had entered the year before so when I added the class to her entry form before submitting it to the fair office (not exactly "fair," I know) she came up with her first place "garden guy." It was sort of a scarecrow kind of arrangement with a barn fork for the face and torso, some plant material for the hair, etc. Maybe now folks will see the potential for fun with this category. And that will mean all kinds of ideas to steal for use here at home!