Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Falcon Ridge Folk Festival

Colleen, Ambiana, my Mother and I spent 5 days camped out at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in Hillsdale NY. We arrived Tuesday night to work our volunteer shifts as part of the early security crew in exchange for our admission to the festival. The volunteers are really a festival within the festival. There were over 100 of us working through out the weekend. We were fed 3 meals a day all 5 days we were there even though we didn't work past Wednesday. It was a great deal.

On Wednesday Colleen and I sat under a shelter in the Upper Ledges camp area and did absolutely nothing for the 1st 8 hours. I worked an additional 4 hour shift at the South Gate making sure no one came in that gate. It was a swell time, sitting outside under a shady tree in a beautiful field among sweet rolling hills as 10,000 people arrived and set up camp. There were two stages of music, a family stage for the kids and a huge dance tent for contra, swing and zydeco dancing. My mom joined us on Wednesday night fresh back from her trip to Ireland. She was volunteering herself in the handicapped access seating area for both stages.

The 1st three days were sunny and hot. We spent most of our time in the Dance Tent with our contra friends dancing away. Colleen danced during the day because her and Ambiana turned in early at night and then it was my turn to dance til midnight. The Contra Bands at the festival were some of the best in the country. AirDance, Wild Asparagus (whom I learned contra from in Hawai'i in 1998), Nightengale, and the Clayfoot Strutters. Mark Hellenberg from Athens Ohio who plays percussion for most of these bands was there as well. What is so great about this festival is that the musicians step up and play in the other bands and make some great high energy dance music. The highlight for me was Mark Roberts from The Clayfoot Strutters sittin' in with Wild Asparagus on Saturday Night jammin on the tin whistle, the flute and reelin' off an amazing Bombard duet with Wild Asparagus' Dave Cantieni.

Ambiana loved to dance and made many new friends. On Saturday the skies opened up and we got hit with a deluge which turned the fields into a sea of mud but the sun came back out on Sunday and dried everything out in time for Peter Rowan's closing set.

Gaelen joined us for the day on Sunday. He didn't care much for the dancing but he loved the Family Stage where we checked out Hoopoe the Clown and the StoryCrafters both of whom are as entertaining for the grown-ups as they are for the kids. Gaelen had some $$ with him and we went shopping among the crafts to buy his mother a present as her birthday is coming up on July 31st. We all ate lunch together in the volunteer tent and then spent the afternoon playing in the small creek runnin' behind the dance tent.

Gaelen's birthday was just two days away and we made him a #5 crown to celebrate!

Come join us at Falcon Ridge!

Gaelen's 5th Birthday!

Today is Gaelen's birthday! We made a special trip to Housatonic for a birthday breakfast picnic at the pond. I made a special super sweet tapioca chocolate-chip pancake-cake for him but he didn't like it, thought it was too sweet and you know what? it was :) We gave him a Pop-up Book because he asked for one, Grandma brought back from Ireland a little book of Irish Heros, Legends & Myths for him and I put together a small photo album of pictures from the last 6 moons of us together. I think he liked them but probably not as much as the trampoline he had waiting for him at home.

Join us at the Birthday Breakfast Picnic!

Click here for a look at Gaelen's Birthday Book!

We got to spend a little time with Molly and Eden when we dropped Gaelen off at the playground in Housatonic. Gaelen is a proud big brother and loves his 2 little sisters!

Canoe update

Due to a compromise on the fume issue the fiberglassing of the outer hull is on hold until next weekend when Colleen & Ambiana will be in Boston for a few days. In the mean time I have picked up the Red Oak hardwood to be used in constructing the cane seats and I will be working on them early next week. I am gonna learn how to make a mortise & tenon joint and then make 8 of them! Then I drill a zillion holes in the frames and weave the seats out of cane! Once the outer hull is fiberglassed I will remove the canoe from the molds and turn her over in order to fair up the inner hull. Then I must move the canoe up and out of the cellar and into the garage for the remaining fiberglass and woodwork. Our friend Colleen Sharkey is coming to town in September and wants a canoe ride so she's got to be done before we head West to Chicago and North Alaska in September!

Our Little Tamborine Grrl!