I’ve been enjoying the first season of “Downton Abbey,” streaming on Netflix.
Fine acting by all, including Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Penelope Wilton and Elizabeth McGovern. Intriguing story lines, gorgeous buildings and landscapes. And don’t forget witty dialogue…
Take this exchange from episode 4:
Lady Grantham: Good heavens, what am I sitting on?
Matthew Crawley: A swivel-chair.
Lady Grantham: Another modern brainwave?
Matthew Crawley: Hardly–they were invented by Thomas Jefferson.
Lady Grantham: Why does every day involve a fight with an American?
Probably not the best example, but the latest that made me laugh out loud.
When Father Tony alluded to an episode of the second season in last Sunday’s homily, I had to fight the urge to tune it out to avoid … spoilers… But since I can’t recall the specific reason for the reference at this point, I don’t suppose it warranted my faint trepidation after all. ;)
Tags: TV shows
When I had to replace my DroidX last month, it was quite an ordeal. I couldn’t believe how many apps I’d acquired — more than 100!
It was frustrating, but I was able to install them and get them where I wanted within a day or two. And it gave me a chance to decide whether or not I really wanted an app.
So here are my top apps right now:
1. Gmail. Free. I use this more than any other app, hands-down.
2. Facebook. Free. This app has come a long way since I first used it. It really needs a like-this-comment feature, though.
3. Browser. Free. I can’t say I love the browser app, but I definitely use it a lot. It doesn’t save my windows, for some reason, but it does keep my favorites.
4. Laudate. Free.
5. BeyondPro. Paid, but does have a free version.
This summer, we traveled to Cherokee, NC, twice: on a long weekend with the kids and for five nights without them.
Wednesday, July 11
- Left the house around 10 a.m.
- Drove through 4+ thunderstorms and 2+ major traffic jams. One of these had our westbound I40 traffic at a standstill for at least 20 minutes. Evidently, a tree had fallen across both lanes, since we saw men with tools and pieces of cut wood on the inner median as we passed. Several cars were off the road in the median. One guy was walking down the middle of the interstate, much to the chagrin of a road worker.
- Dinner at Cracker Barrel in Asheville. I had the chicken and dumplings!
- Checked into the River’s Edge Motel in Cherokee around 7:30 p.m.
- Drove all through the mountains looking for the Food Lion. We were following Google Navigation’s directions and drove about 25 miles out of the way. The FL ended up being a pretty clear shot from our motel.
- Took Waffle House takeout back to the motel and watched Netflix on the laptop.
Thursday, July 12
- Had brunch at Paul’s Restaurant. I had an Indian taco, which is basically chili with beans, salsa, lettuce, onions, and cheese on a thick sweetbread.
- Drove down to the Welcome Center, hoping to find a brochure of all the painted bears like the one described in ????’s post several years ago. They didn’t have one, but the lady there pointed out where most of them are on the map.
- Medicine Man
- Qualla Arts and Crafts. Read about and saw Fred Wilnoty’s work (especially his masks) and got brochures.
- Kevin researched booger masks.
- Drove across bridge and up to the left at the Little Princess Diner.
- Stopped at the Native American shop.
- Walked across to the stream and saw groundhogs playing and a painted bear.
Friday, July 13
- Walked from the motel south, along ????.
- Stopped in shop on left to look at backpacks. Tree carving with bark.
- Stopped at Artists Row. Met Dean Reed’s ex-husband and grandchildren, though we didn’t know it at the time.
- Talking Leaves bookstore. Dictionary and language CD.
- Lunch at KFC. Sat out the rain.
- Hung out with the ducks at the park.
- Took pictures of the painted bears along the street.
- Veterans Park.
- Transformation Through Forgiveness statue
- Medicine Man. Bought booger mask pendant, which I wore.
- Qualla Arts. We met Dan Townsend and his wife, Vicki, and bought one of his pinshell pieces. And read about John and Fred Wilnoty.
- Motel. Shower. Kevin wore mask.
- Played guitar on the balcony over the river.
- Casino. Johnny Rockets. $10 on machines.
Saturday, July 14
- Breakfast at Peter’s Pancakes.
- Went back to the room and played music.
- Stopped by Qualla Arts to show Dan Townsend our turquoise Seminole ring.
- Walked down to the fairgrounds where the Festival of Native Peoples was going on. We got a discount on admission with our Food Lion MVP card!
- Met artist Antonio Grant, who was selling his shell carvings. He noticed my Townsend piece and told us that he had taken a class with Townsend three years ago.
- Met artist Lola Swimmer. She shared with us the story of why she lets her hair grow long and stay gray. I boguht one of her feather paintings.
- Met artist Dean Reed. bowls, shakers, turtles. She told me about how she presses her pottery and showed me some of the paddles she uses.
- Met artist Christy Long of Nativeology.
- Talked to tepee lady from Minnesota. She told us that all the poles in the tepee structure represent a positive quality like kindness and respect. When you tie them all together at the top, she said, “That’s family.”
- Funnel cakes under the tent.
- Hearts of Polynesia dancers.
- World Champion dancers. Chicken Dancer, Fancy Dancer, Buckskin Dancer, Fancy Shawl Dancer.
- Pole Flyers!
- Alligator wrestling and snake handling.
- Bonfire with marshmallows and storytelling. One older Cherokee told us about how the other kids made fun of him when he was in school because he had long hair. He said he got sent to the principal’s office for arguing with his history teacher about something related to the Cherokee. His father came and talked to the principal in their own language, which that teacher didn’t even know. The kids had marshmallows; then, a younger Cherokee we’d seen when we took the kids to the Indian Village told a ghost story.
- Kevin stepped in the mud on the way out of the parking lot. :(
- Walked back to the room and ate sandwiches and watched TV.
Sunday, July 15
- Walked to Mass at 9 a.m.
- Walked back to the car at the motel and drove to Granny’s Kitchen for the breakfast buffet.
- Walked in one shop on the strip. Regretted it. :(
- Back to Medicine Man. Bought another Wilnoty piece. Talking to the ladies who work there, we learned about the shop’s founder, Tom Underwood, who came to Cherokee with his family in 1910 when he was five and grew up with the Cherokee. Medicine Man, which opened in 1953, is the oldest in town.
- Back to the motel to change.
- Drove out to Mingo Falls.
- Hiked to the Falls. 250 steps? 120 feet tall.
- Stopped in River Valley Store and the owner told us the legend of the Falls, that a Cherokee boy and girl, who were in love but couldn’t be together because their parents didn’t approve, jumped off the Falls years ago. (Sounds like Lover’s Leap!)
- Takeout from Waffle House again.
Monday, July 16
- Breakfast at Peter’s Pancakes. Waiting for a table, a man stopped on his way out
- Looked in at Herb Store. Closed. :(>
(To be continued)
The Story of Samaro
By Atticus Hawke
There was once a boy named Samaro. His powers were throwing fireballs, freezing, and turning invisible. His body is made of fire and no one can touch it, or they’ll get burned. He found a bad guy; his name was Atis. He was so powerful, but he touched Samaro’s skin and he got burned and he was dead.
Samaro got so powerful that he destroyed the master of China and then he got more powers like throwing water and a shield that blocked someone named Fireball because his skin was made out of fire, too. Samaro sent a big wave right onto Fireball which put out his fire, but the fire came back again, but when it did, Fireball lay dead and burning.
In another fight, Samaro got even more powerful and started shooting fireballs that became so big they turned into a huge dragon.
And then, Samaro found another bad guy named Kimin, who was stronger than Samaro and pointed a bow and arrow at him, but Samaro was not dead. He got to another spot and got a shield. Then, he stole Kimin’s bow and arrow and shot it at Kimin, and then he was dead.
And then someone from the sky came. He had a very long name: Cintiretm.
(To be continued)
We uploaded this video to YouTube back in December, but for some reason it never got posted here.
Written in 2002, “Music Man” may be Kevin’s biggest hit. It’s a beautiful song of grief over a lost loved one and the friends and fans who make it all okay.
Kevin says he often has people asking him whether it’s about his own life. In fact, he wrote it about his uncle Roy Norton, himself a popular local musician, just after Roy had recently lost his mother and suffered an accident at work.
Alternating sets with Glenwood Smith
Our 1st Set
1) Funny How Time Slips Away
2) Natural Woman
3) Highgate Shuffle/Baby, What You Want Me to Do
4) Every Day (Jo Song #1)
7) Love, Please Come Home
8) On The Verge
9) Every Picture (They Say You)
10) All Around the World
12) Working Man Blues
14) Sitting on Top of the World
Our 2nd Set
1) Ready For Love
2) Son of a Preacher Man
3) 200 Days
4) Shoot For The Moon
5) Stormy Monday
6) Shooting Star
8) My Little Girl
9) Me and Bobby McGee
10) Moondance (with Glenwood Smith)
11) You Can Close Your Eyes
12) Why Can’t You See (a Glenwood Smith original, with Glenwood Smith)
Thanks to everybody who came to see us!
Now that the Bistro is going to instrumental music for the inside season, we need a new place to play. We really want to keep this once-a-month thing going!!!
The week before last, my brother Paul and his family were in town from near Tulsa, OK, for the first time in five years or more. Getting to spend time with them was great for all of us. All of our kids have grown up so much, and our younger sons were so young back then that they barely remembered it.
Paul’s older son Caleb, who’ll be 16 in September, has been singing like crazy in school choir, musicals, and talent shows. He and his mom Rebecca came to see Kevin and me sing at Frank’s that Saturday. (See picture above.) When we were hanging out at my parents’ house the next day, we begged Kevin to get his guitar and play some music.
So while we talked and laughed and worked that crazy Virginia puzzle with Caleb’s younger brother Sammy, Kevin played and talked Caleb into singing with us. Caleb’s an Eagles fan, so Kevin tried to find a couple of songs that he knew (though he’d never played them before) and that Caleb was familiar with. We tried to record it, but it disappeared from my phone. GAH!
The next day, we got him to do it again, so we could get a decent recording. I used the H2 recorder, but something happened evidently, because it recorded at a very low volume. I’ve been using that thing for years and have never had this problem. Thankfully, I was able to boost the levels without too much loss in Audacity. It’s still a little bit too low, but you can definitely hear how good Caleb is. :)
We recorded three songs. I’m ready to post the first two today:
Take It to the Limit (Eagles cover):
Desperado (Eagles cover):
(If you’re on your phone or tablet, or for whatever reason can’t use the players above, you can click on the song titles. I’ve linked them to the files, so they should play regardless of your device.)
I’ll post the third song ASAP!
Atticus went with us and enjoyed his hot dogs (ketchup only, as usual) and playing Plants Vs. Zombies 2 on his tablet. Kevin and I had dinner after we played, too. They had a big grill set up on the patio for hamburgers and hot dogs, but I ordered a chicken wrap from the kitchen.
I’m not exactly raving about the food, but it was okay, and everyone was very nice and helpful, although the food ordering and paying-for process wasn’t running as smoothly as it could.
We got to hear some other musicians play, including a solid set by Little Stuey and the Strangers (our friends Mike, Kristie, and Stuart), but we left pretty early to get Attie in bed, still way past his regular bedtime. And we got to talk to a lot of other good friends, as well. :)
He spent hours meticulously molding this fabulous set list, which I wrote on paper big enough for us to see on stage … and then I proceeded to brazenly switch it all up during the actual set, hence the
scratched-out titles and renumbering mess I made afterward.
Kevin said he didn’t mind at all, but he has pointed out repeatedly that his original set would have been just fine without any alterations. :P
We got a lot of compliments on our set. I think “Son of a Preacher Man” went over the best of all, but if you were there and don’t mind commenting, I would love to hear it! Kevin was awesome with his black hat, Mr. Trilby, on; he even made a few comments, which he rarely does. (We have that in common. :/)
Stuart, Mike, and Kristie sounded great, as usual, and had the crowd dancing and singing along. At one point, Dolly and her friend even had a two-person conga line going on. LOL
Ooh! And Kristie let me come up at the end of the night and sing “White Rabbit”! That was fun!!
Overall, it was a fun night with friends … and family, too! My sister-in-law Rebecca and nephew Caleb came with us until after our set, since they were in town (with my brother Paul and other nephew Sammy) from Oklahoma. :)
Ooohhhhh…and a special surprise: We haven’t officially announced it yet, but we booked our first actual show: Saturday, August 9, at the Golden Leaf Bistro from 6:30 to about 10! We asked Mike and Kristie Strange to alternate sets with us that night, and hopefully we’ll be doing some collaborations, as well. :)