Monday, May 31, 2010

Girls' Night Out

We did it!
The 'debut' performance of Girls' Night Out was on Sat in Salem at the Square Dance Center. Since it was a holiday weekend, we expected maybe 2 or 3 squares - no . . . . more than 70 folks, enough for 6 squares throughout the dance!! Yikes! (we heard that quite a few folks decided to come just to hear us!) Since it was a 'callers & cuers co-op' dance, like a jam session, folks signed in at the door, & went on stage in that order. The host for the evening decided to put us up just before the break - so not 'till after 9, & the dance began at 7:30. So lots of time to dance, & try to forget being nervous!

Our outfits were so cute, they HAD to like us, don't you think? We actuall
y did well, & received lots of nice comments! & we got to hear a lot of those at the break (it was a 50s/60s & 70s dance, so root beer floats were the special treat!)

We sang & called our 'theme song' - 'Girls' Night Out' & 'Dizzy' (I'm so dizzy, my head is spinning, like a whirlpool it never ends; cause it's YOU, you're making me spin, you're making me DIZZY!' (complete with 'dizzy' choreography)
The only 'glitch' was that the sound system, though set up for 4 cords & mics, didn't work quite right, so Jackie & I (in the middle) were hard to hear. Sandy & Char (the ends) have had lots of experience, project well, & their mics worked fine . . . so some trouble shooting in order before we perform again.

It was really fun. I have made seve
ral drapes for my music stand, white for weddings,a brocade plaid for other events, now one in blue denim for GNO. We rehearsed again tonight, & began working on a few new songs. Sandy is listing us in a SQ D magazine, so we have to learn enough music for a dance! It's fun to do some of the slower, sweeter songs - 'Any Dream Will Do' & 'Rainbow Rider' are two current favorites. We tried 'Devil Went Down to Georgia' which is fun, too!
Sandy & Char can 'carry' doing several individual 'tips' (set of two dances) & Sandy & Jackie 'cue' (choreograph the rou
nd dance) & Char's done some of that - dances alternate between two 'called' dances & two that are 'cued' We're doing 2-step in this photo - Char with her husband Bill, me with Sandy's Al.
We'll be calling a tip at the end of June, during one of Sandy's dances (the caller has the prerogative of inviting a guest caller to do a 'tip.'

We have several advantages - being unique - there are several guys' groups, but no other girls' groups; we have good timing; & those cute outfits . . . . .

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Getting Closer

Next weekend Girls' Night Out will make it's debut, at the caller's & Cuer's co-op dance in Salem! Yikes!! The other three gals sang a few weeks ago at another Salem dance - I wasn't there, & one of our friends said 'it wasn't really GNO without you!' Aww . . .
Am I nervous? YES!

So we've been rehearsing weekly, & selected the two songs for our 'tip' (plus a couple more, if they ask us back up) & making our outfits! Jackie found some cute pink fabric with little girls kicking up their heels - & we each picked up a denim shirt (thrift store-ing!), & are putting on yolks & lace. Jackie finished hers & working on Sandy's this weekend - mine is also in process.

I took it along to work on this afternoon at the ballet studio (yes, that's an intriguing contrast!) during rehearsal for the spring Dance Concert. Several girls asked me if it was for one of the pieces - & everyone thought it was cute. I was in 2 pieces - a Tai Chi number, & playing the harp for an improv piece followed by 'reverance' - the curtsies! So sweet!
I went across the street for Mexican dinner, as the studio provided sandwiches (not GF :)

Friday I went to Washington with my son & his family to attend my cousin Lori's memorial service. It was a LOVELY service - & 6 of the 8 first cousins that are left were able to attend. My son Josh is good friends with Lori's daughters, so we went over to the family gathering after the service.

Here I am with my cousin Louann - Lori was her older sister. Family resemblance is strong, isn't it? As an only child, the family dance is something I am a bit in awe of. I don't spend a lot of time with these cousins, but love them dearly! Lori & Letha (my Aunt) had early August birthdays, & began having 'family reunion' BD parties in the 70s.

Our Uncle Ray was the last of the 5 Aunts & Uncles to pass - at 92!

I had fun asking cousins if they'd square danced! I knew Lori's folks Letha & Lonny did, & my Aunt Irel & her husband Ed; but which of my cousins??
I was intrigued to see how many said 'oh, yes - ... & I did!' Cousin Leonard (in the middle here, between Doris & me) & his wife danced till she broke her leg while she was pregnant, & spent the pregnancy in a

His sister Arlene & her husband Bob began after retirement, when folks from their church 'persisted' - Bob's new wife (not a dancer!) asked "do gals still wear those (silly) full skirts?"


Other cousins 'grew up' dancing with their folks - or remembered spending the evenings out in the car, while mom & dad were in dancing! (those were the days!) Since my mom was on crutches, my folks didn't dance (I think my dad was glad of the 'excuse') but enjoyed the music.

There were some sweet photos that included my mom in her 20s, with the young cousins (she didn't marry& have a 'chick of her own' till her late 30s!) She taught several of them to swim in the pond at the farm, & loved spending time with them. Lori was 14 when I was born, & her daughters are ~ 10 years older than my kids.

One more week . . . . .

Friday, May 14, 2010

Littlest Purple People Eater

This weekend, our Square Dance club has a float in the anual 'Alien Days Parade,' an Oregon clasic (& the second largest UFO fest in the country! "The festival began as a way to honor the famous 1950 Trent sighting in which two local citizens witnessed and photographed a UFO, said to be some of the most credible images of UFOs to date. Read a detailed history of the Trent sightings." A friend of my 94 year old mother-in law also saw the UFO/ strange object in the sky that day in 1950, & a sis-in law later lived on the Trent farm for awhile.

My daughter & I usually attend the parade with the girls, & have talked about how fun it would be to dress up & participate - this year I will! Here's my 5 year old granddaughter 'posing' (is that how aliens stand?) in my 'one eyed, one horne (flying) Purple People Eater' hood, & freshly 'sparkled (glitter infused puff paint) purple T-shirt.

Our caller has been working on the calls for THE song, & has a cordless mike; we'll be dancing on the float! Judging is at 11 AM, with the parade at 1 - & prospects are that the warm, sunny weather is here for several days - always appreciated for a parade.

My gal friends & I meet weekly, to practice our singing calls. They actually did a couple at a dance last weekend - I hadn't gone, but the other three were all there. My challenge is singing in a lower register, as it's easier for the guys to understand the calls if they're not too high pitched!
I've been a soprano all my life - now to CONSISTENTLY sing alto - yikes! But it's happening. & I can get through a whole call, singing all the moves! (which has also been work!) I've borrowed a mike, & practice with that at home & our rehersals.

My daughter is getting closer to moving across town! This AM I finally got to see inside the house, as the family was having an Estate Sale, & the kids wanted some of the furniture. I found a couple of stainless steel pans,

Had to take a break to clip some GRASS in my back yard!! My daughter says I should get rid of all the grass, & turn it into a BIG garden!! Nice idea - working on it! & delighted to see my Spitzenberg apple branch (on a 3 way tree) is FULL of thumb sized apples!! 'Rumourred to be' Thomas Jefferson's favorite apple, it 'doesn't bear heavily' - but it is absolutely delicious!

What are you up to this fine weekend?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tra La, tis May

Had a lovely day - playing Rowan (my biggest harp) at a wedding - in a BARN!!

We've been in lots of settings - this was a first! We were in the loft, blessed with a solid floor (a piece of plywood across the beams) & lots of skylights. & tho it was windy & rainy, the sun came out after the wedding, & a dear friend attended, so I stayed for the reception.

This morning I'll help at Playschool, which is always fun. Hard to believe that it's the last month, & next year that littlest granddaughter will be in Kindergarden! I mentioned that I'd miss going to school with her, & maybe I could come visit her classroom? She readily agreed that was a good idea! She will probably tell me partway there that we 'should have' driven (it's about 4 blocks!) esp if it's raining! I remind her I only drive if I have a massage to give afterwards!
She loves to sit in the 'trunk' (very back) of the station wagon - which is also the harp's favorite riding place.

What are you up to this fine Wednesday??

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Gluten Free Scones for Beltane

I'd usually make oat cakes for Beltane, but GF oats are now ~ $4- a # - yikes!! So for our dance tonight, I decided on scones.

I found the inspration for these on-line last summer, when my Red Hat group was going out for tea, & the hostess said she could do every course except 'you'll have to forgo the scones!'
Loving scones, I decided to do a bit of sluthing, & found this recipe. It quickly became a favorite - scones are one of those 'quick & easy' breads that are perfect for GF baking.

Gluten Free Scones
1 C favorite GF flour mix (I use a basic 'brown rice'potato starch/tapioca flour mix)
3/4 C sorghum flour
1/4 C coconut flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder (aluminum free)
1/4 tsp baking soda
~ 3 Tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
(1/2 tsp garam masala spice mix, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, & ~ 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger - optional)
1/4 tsp xanthan gum (not absoulutely necessary in 'quick bread' recipes)
3 Tbsp cold butter, sliced fine, & 3 Tbsp coconut oil

cut the oil/butter into the sifted/stirred flour mix
add 1/2 C nuts &/or 1/2 C dried raisins or other dried fruit (chopped)

mix together:
3/4 C coconut milk or C milk kefir
1 egg (we just use the whites, as my daughter's sensitive)

Add wet to dry ingredients, & gently knead, then roll & cut into 8 wedges, or pat into wedges or rounds (I pat into ~ 10 - 12 wedges) I bake on a clay baking sheet, so put them on the cold sheet, & heat the oven as they're cooking.

400* for 12 - 20 minutes - I stick them with a toothpick @ 12 min, & ~ every 5 min till it comes out clean.

Enjoy!! & happy Beltane!