Two Ceilidhs, a funeral and a wedding.

The Celtic Festival was magnificent! The music, the people, the fun! Oh gods it was a blast. It was also a lot of hard work. Most days were spent working lights and for me, running up and down the stairs at the Fox theater. Dan worked with David Enke to provide co-ordinated lights and sound.

I’d be hard pressed to say who I liked the best. It was just so amazing. Friday’s concert was light in attendance, but we blame it on the presidential debates. The best part was where Jack Yule was cracking jokes. He is normally so dower in demeanor that you really do a double take when he makes a joke. The concert was intitled “From Tango to Jig”That night we listened to Alfredo Ortiz, Kevin McElroy, Jerry O’Sullivan and Aine Minogue.

On Saturday, I was up early to go out to La Veta and help at the mining museum where Joe Lang and my dad, Jon Sudar were talking about coal mining.

Joe Lang at Gardner School
Joe Lang at Gardner School

I no sooner got back from La Veta then it was time to get ready for Carl Holzhauer’s memorial service. It was at the Baptist church my great grandma, Nanny went to. I remember going there with her as a child. Remembered getting in trouble too, for playing on the little organ’s foot pedals. The service was really very nice. However,  I do wish they had sung the hymns in something other than the key of off! After being around such beautiful music all week, it really stood out.

We went home, changed clothes and headed back for the concert. By this time, I had gotten us each a tee-shirt. Saturday was really packed. The concert was “An Irish Hooley at the Fox”. This time the artists were Liz Carroll, Shannon and Matt Heaton, Jerry O’Sullivan. Kieran Jordan performed Sean-Nos Irish step dancing while Shannon and Matt played.

Liz, Shannon, Matt and Kieran
Liz, Shannon, Matt and Kieran
Jerry and Liz cooling off a foot... each
Jerry and Liz cooling off a foot... each

Sunday, I was up early again and out to La Veta. We were at the Methodist church this time talking about… yeah, you guessed it,…. Coal! Dad was there again as well. Joe Lang gave a slideshow on the Roselyn Chapel where he is a docent. Lovely pics, but we ran out of time. I literally raced to the Fox Theater, as the concert was due to begin at 2:30pm. I had just enough time to learn where to aim the spotlights and the concert started. This was the “Coal Mining’s Heyday”.  It started off with some of our local talent singing. (Oris, Bob, Gary and George)

16 tons, wada ya get.... deeper bass voices...
16 tons, wada ya get.... deeper bass voices...

Then Ed Miller, Jennie McAvoy, Patsy Seddon, Alison Bell, Kim McKee, Ken Willson, Anne Enke, Frank Manning, Heather Yule, some of the Ceilidh Peppers performed.

Calum and some of the crew
Calum and some of the crew
Girls Night Out, Alison, Anne and Kim
Girls Night Out, Alison, Anne and Kim

Lots of songs and poems about coal mining. Joe Lang read one of his poems. It was a really good time. At the end, the audience was promised a special and unique encore.

After the houselights went up, we had a wedding!!! Kim McKee and Ken Wilson got married on stage. They had been together for years, and decided it was about time they married. Kim’s daughters were her maids of honor. The Celidh Peppers were Ken’s Band of Honor. :>

Ken and Kim getting married
Ken and Kim getting married

It was sweet, wonderful, tearful and funny all in one big lump. At one point, I got the giggles… why? Well, my mind played a weird association… Four weddings and a funeral is one of my favourite movies. Meanwhile in real life, I had just had two ceilidhs, a funeral and a wedding!

After the wedding, we packed up all the sound equipment and moved to the Blue Rooster in La Veta. There we ate, listened to the Ceilidh Peppers, and a lot of the other artists until nearly 11pm. Dan worked sound for those playing. It was awesome! Got home at midnight.

The Ceilidh Peppers at the Blue Rooster
The Ceilidh Peppers at the Blue Rooster

It was a long week full of hard work, but oh so worth it. Lots of new friends, work experience and plenty of good music.

I FORGOT about the Skunk

Oh gods! Wednesday night, Brandy was barking her fool head off. Dan went to investigate and realized that she had trapped a skunk in the back of the back porch. Brandy was running in and out barking and nipping at the skunk. Dan was horrified. He yelled at Brandy to stop, certain that he and the dog were going to get sprayed. Brandy ran out in the back yard and the skunk followed. Brandy wouldn’t come in, so Dan closed the back door and tried to go back to sleep.

Unfortunately, the skunk did spray. The stench filled the bedroom and bathroom. It was so bad that after closing the windows, running a fan and burning incense, you could just about cope with the smell.

Brandy of course would not stop barking. Finally, Dan went to yell at her and realized that when he opened the door that she had not been sprayed! So, Brandy came in for the night. It made for a very short chaotic night of sleep.

Ceilidhs and poets and stagelights OH MY!!

This has been a whirlwind of a week. Each night I think that I am going to get a chance to sit down and write a post. hahahahaha !!! What a silly woman I am!

Monday and Tuesday were filled with music, story telling and lots of children. Monday was Peakview K-8, where the Ceilidh Peppers played, and Joe Lang and I told stories as well as dancing and drama. A long day. Joe is a sweet Scot. About 78, and full of wonderful tales. Speaks Lowlans… a dialect of Scottish, and sometimes I had to remind him of an English word. Tuesday was La Veta and Gardner Schools. K-8 as well. Lovely time.

We went to the Fox Theater to see about the lights. Barbara had finally decided that she needed help with the lights and took Dan’s offer. Barbara is a dear sweet woman, but has a hell of a time delegating. She tries to do too much and then gets overwhelmed. As the driving force of the Celtic Festival, it really is more than any 10 people ought to handle and she tries to do 90% of it.

Well, there was some sort of mix-up, because instead of a lighting run, there was some sort of Christian church gospel night going on. Dan was already working on the lights, and one of the gospel guys who said he knew lighting was “helping” Dan. The idiot KICKED the big spotlight and broke the bulb. Grrrrr!!!! What you need to understand is that the Fox Theater is OLD. Most of it’s equipment if not “original” is new circa 1930’s. Some of it might be as new as 1970, but… the spot hails from the 40’s or 50’s and did not take kindly to being kicked.

Meanwhile, while Dan tried not to give into the urge to kill the guy, we went backstage to work on the lights so that they could have their gospel hour… As we got the lights up, they started to perform. Now this might not have been too bad had we been on the right hand side of the stage. However, we were on the left and trapped. 2 hours of Gospel later,… they finally quit!! (hallelujah ???) Dan had recognized one of the guys as a scumbag he knew from Nashville and therefore wanted to kill him twice over. The guy didn’t recognize Dan, and actually gave us three of their CD’s. We donated them to Rev. Tinsley, the minister hosting the music program.  We were so grateful to get out of there!

Wednesday, we had to be up and about early. I to work by 8am to make up lost hours and Dan to the Fox Theater for lighting work.  So, while I worked at the Chamber, Dan played ladder monkey. After I got home and just started sipping a cup of tea, Barbara called. So, off we went to the theater. There was a rehearsal going on, and Barbara was getting frazzled. Dan and I dealt with the four men rehearshing while Barbara went off somewhere. Hopefully to rest.  We got the whole thing straightned out and headed off home.

Thursday started up easy and then the phone rang. Any Guesses?  Yup…. Barbara. So, Dan dropped me off at the Chamber and headed to the Theater. I’ve been doing a lot of work on the Chambers’ website and the various files. I went down to the Theater after work and Dan was just wrapping up the lighting when I got there. I got to meet John Carlson (?) the gentleman who helps the library with movies. A very nice man. We chatted and then headed over to Mike’s Coffee Bar.

Mike Hurley is my boss, and runs the coffee bar. We went over there to pick up tickets for the three shows in town as payment for all our work. Funny thing is that every time we go in there, the shop is dead quiet. The minute we start to talk to Mike, it gets busy. The guys joke that I need to come in at least once a day. While we were there, Heather Yule and her hubby Davy came in. (Barbara’s daughter) We chatted with them for a bit which was lovely. Then it was off to the Business Finance Round table. Wheee…

That was a spaghetti dinner and speakers talking about where to find info on financing your business. It could have been better. Dan asked a question that the one guy really didn’t have an answer for and flubbed it. sheesh ! We left around 7:15, because we had to be at the Ceilidh up in Gardner.

The Ceilidh was the opening salvo of the Celtic Festival. A preview of all the acts to come. Plus, I think it is the one time that Jack Yule relaxes that dour Scots demeanor. He was cutting up and smiling!!! The various acts were wonderful. Dan and I really enjoyed ourselves. Got home at 12:30am!

Today, I’m working the chamber office till 3pm, then after a few errands, it’s off to the theater to learn how to run the spotlight. Whee…..  Tonight’s concert is “From Tango to Jig”. A Paraguayan harper, Alfredo Ortiz starts out followed by Jerry Sullivan on Uilleann pipe, Aine Minogue and Kevin McElroy on harp and mandolin and banjo. Should be very good.

Chile Roasting Pueblo!

After a long slow morning, we finally got our acts in gear and headed to Pueblo for the Chile Festival. We could smell the chiles as we left the truck even though we were a good quarter of a mile away. Tons of people too.

Dan and I made rather a beeline though for the Musso Farms Chile roasting booth. We got a grab bag of chiles, onions, tomatoes, peppers and garlic. We also bought 3 bushels of roasted chiles. Pueblo and Big Jim chiles. If I had had more money, I’d have gotten 4 bushels instead of 3. We probably waited in line for 20 minutes. Not bad all considered. Then it was off to the truck and over to the other side of Pueblo to do the rest of the shopping.

We did our usual run of Vitamin Cottage, Walmart, Petsmart, and Sam’s Club. We didn’t get home until nearly 10pm. Yawnnnnn!!! A long day. Of course, when we got home, we had to unload all of the groceries and then bag chiles! They are all safe in the freezer.

Tomorrow is looking to be a busy day. I have at least two articles to write as well as stories for the Celtic Festival. Barbara Yule is also coming by to introduce me to my fellow storyteller for the school event. Joe Lang is his name if I remember correctly. He is from Scotland.

I got my picture from my highschool reunion in the mail today too. It looks pretty good.

Off to bed now! Poke a fork in me, I’m done for the day!

The Ceilidh Peppers

This next week is the Spanish Peaks Celtic Festival. Barbara Yule, one of the founders and main movers and shakers of the festival finally got me involved with the festival. Reason being is that this years theme is on Coal Mining. Considering the history of the area, it is a good fit. So, I get to do story telling about my family’s history in the schools along with a Scotsman who will be telling stories about Scottish coal mining.

Tonight, there was one of the bands from Scotland playing up at the Dog Bar in Cuchara. They are called the Ceilidh Peppers. A ten piece band with pipes, keyboard, drums, guitars, fiddles and acordian. Oh my! I have to admit I wasn’t originally too excited about going up there. However, Barbara whittled away at my resolve and so Dan and I went up.

Before we even got to the bar, we could hear the music. Oh My Gods!!! It is wonderful. So wonderful that we got a cd. :> Just type Ceilidh Peppers into your browser and follow your cursor!!!

Best yet, this band is the opening act for the school programs that I am a part of. I get to hear them 4 times over two days. :> Plus, they will be doing a concert on Saturday and another one on Sunday. Wheee!!!

Milestones and Passages

It’s been a while since I wrote a post. Sunday afternoon instead of going up in the mountains to pick rosehips, Dan and I spent a very quiet afternoon working on things here. Not that a lot got accomplished, but we just didn’t have the energy to go up in the hills. Around 10pm, it was like someone pulled the plug, and we went to bed early.

Monday morning, I was washing my hair when I realized I could “hear” Carl’s voice in my head. He was asking me where he should go. Like he was lost. I told him go to heaven/ towards the light, etc. He replied that “Oh, you would know the answers!” in that joking tone we’ve come to know so well. Then, as fast as that voice appeared in my head, it was gone. At that point, I wasn’t sure if I was just daydreaming, or if I really did hear that voice. Yeah,…. I know it sounds strange, but it is the truth. I was also pretty sure that Carl had passed over.

I didn’t say anything to anyone, just got ready for work and headed off to the Chamber. The job is getting easier, and I did lots of filing, letter writing and other bits. My mom stopped by as did my dad  and I finished up around 2pm.

It was about 5pm when the phone rang. It was MaryJane. Carl had passed around 10pm last night. Dan was talking to her and made arrangements for us to go over and help her disconnect the computer, cancel the online stuff that Carl had and visit on Thursday. Carl’s memorial service is on the 27th. After Dan got off the phone, he mentioned which church it was going to be at and I said, “oh! Nanny’s church.” After puzzled looks, I had to explain that Nanny, my great grandma use to go to that church, and took me with her when I was little.

Tuesday and Wednesday I worked extra so that I could take Thursday off. Dan fixed the safe so that we can now use it. I talked with Barbara Yule as well, so I know which days I need off next week to be part of the Celtic Festival that we are having next week.

Tuesday was also my Dad’s 72nd birthday. He and Mom left for Las Cruces to visit my Aunt Toni and Uncle Karl. They are celebrating their 30th anniversary as well as my parents birthday. Mom’s 72nd birthday is Friday! (argh! International Talk Like A Pirate Day) While they are gone, we are watching Elway, their cat.

Thursday we went out to MaryJane’s. We could see where she buried Miko. Poor cat died the same day as Carl. We had coffee, visited and then Dan disconnected all of the online stuff and the computer while MaryJane went through pictures. It was a little rough at times, but she was glad we were there. We  were glad to help.

Came home around 5pm, had a snack, and then it was time for Dan to go pick up Morgan at school. She had a volleyball game up in Westcliff. They won again. Oh she was happy.

We watched Premonition with Sandra Bullock as we ate dinner. Oh Gods what a frustrating movie! I spent most of it wanting to scream at the tv to have her do something to change the reality of what she was seeing. Awwwgggghhhhhhh!!!!

sunDay After Noon

Finally, the sun has shown it’s face today. This morning was cold, cloudy and gave me no reason to want to get out of bed. Nor did the sinus headache. However, after a cup of tea, aspirin and french toast for breakfast, I am beginning to feel marginally human.

Yesterday after fixing Blue, the pickup, Dan and I headed to Pueblo to see our friend Carl. Carl is dying, and at this point is in hospice care. We got there at a point where he was semi lucid. He recognized Dan and tried to talk. I’m not sure he recognized me. It is very apparent that Carl will not be with us much longer. We visited with his wife, MaryJane for a little bit, said our goodbyes and then headed to Lowes.

I had to get keys cut for work. Oh, and pick up some fencing material for the back yard. Brandy keeps digging under the fence. We have to re-inforce the back side fence. Wheee…

After we do that, we are heading up in the hills to pick more rosehips. And, if we have any energy left, there is this closet that needs finished up. Drywall, hardwear, shelves and paint. Wheee….

I love a Parade….

Except when I have to get across town! Walsenburg is a Small Town. Google it and you will see what I mean.

Looking at a map, you’ll see a few things. Three major highways connect in town. I-25, HWY 160  and HWY 10. The rail road also cuts through town. Add to that the fact that there are no streets other than the highways that go all the way through town. Hence, every time there is a parade down Main St./Walsen Ave., the town is cut in half. Same way with the train.

Today is the Plaza De Los Leones parade. Celebrating the Hispanic heritage of Walsenburg, which use to be called… yep, you guessed it… Plaza De Los Leones! So here I am trying to get John to the Community Center so that he can set up a wireless connection for the library’s booth at the event. Then, to get gas for Blue, the broken truck. It blew a fuel line. Once I have the gas, it’s back over to 520 so that Dan can finish fixing Blue. Normally, this would be a 10 minute run. With the main roads blocked, this meant a 10 minute trip just to pick up and deliver John. Another 10 minutes to get to the gas station and 5 more to get to 520. Gads!

Of course, by the time I got back, Dan had discovered that the gas line he had was too big. Off to City Auto we went. Yes, another 15 minutes of circumnavigating the metropolis of Walsenburg! The parade was over, but the traffic backed up on three highways and the train waiting on the tracks added to the confusion. Keep in mind that we are so small of a town that we only have two sets of stop lights in the entire county!

Now, in spite of  my frustrations with traffic this morning, I really love living in Walsenburg. It is a quiet town where you can forget to lock your car or your door and don’t have to worry about anyone breaking in. Your kids can walk to just about anywhere in 15 minutes and if they get in trouble, you’ll have 5 phonecalls from friends, neighbors and or concerned citizens before the kid can walk home the 4 blocks from where it happened. You spend 20 minutes in Safeway talking to your friends even though you just went in to buy the paper.

You are also either a newcomer, someone who moved here anywhere between 2 weeks or 15 years ago, or you’re related to half the town. I’m one of those related to half the town. It made dating interesting for the boys. Before they’d even ask a girl out, they asked me if we were related!

Being related to so many is actually a good thing. Especially on my new job. I finished up my first week at work with a lot accomplished and plenty to do on Monday. Dan and I will try and get keys cut for the front door while we are up in Pueblo this afternoon. Someone along the way had lost the office keys, so the City just added padlocks to the doors. Not very glamourous for the old train station which now houses the Chamber of Commerce and the Work Force Center.

Living in a small town has other advantages. Our dog Brandy keeps jumping the fence. She just learned that she can get out the one side which is low. However, everyone around here knows her and either tells her to “go home!”, or calls us and lets us know where she is.
Guess I aught to go see if the truck is done.

Hippo Birdies two Ewe!

Today is Little Morgan’s 12th birthday. She took a lovely sticky candy covered cake to school and shared the sugar high with all of her friends. For supper, she had yet another piece of cake and then home made pizza that Beth made. I had a piece of cake sans frosting and candy. Very chocolaty!

I gave her a pentacle necklace with a lapiz lazuli pendant on it, a small medicine bag, a tin with a cat on it and a turquoise/agate necklace and bracelet set. Her dad gave her a box, a deerskin leather bag with hearts, coins and stones in it and lots of love.

She is getting so big! Taller than I am and still growing.

Morgan (l) at her first volleyball game
Morgan (l) at her first volleyball game

She is having so much fun in school this year. Not sure if it is just the age, lack of Matt or what. However, she is so happy.

I had fun at work today too. Got the office tidy, worked on the computer files and have most things running up to speed. Tomorrow I meet the other volunteer. I get to see just how shocked she is at the changes. teeheehee…. Dan and I are headed to Pueblo too, to see Carl. It’s been a while and I feel bad about it, but there wasn’t much else we could do. It has been so busy.

Tomorrow is also the day that Larry Patrick is suppose to talk to me about the website and email. Hopefully, we will get that all fixed. I am going to do my utmost to keep the email out of AOL. (which one of the members thinks is the best way to go)

Well, off to bed!

Foggy, foggy Tuesday

This morning, the clouds were at the 6000ft level. Walsenburg is at the 6185ft level. So, we were fogged in! Not that cold damp kind of fog, but the cotton candy whispy stuff. The sun was trying to peep through the clouds with rose coloured rays. It was a very pleasant drive taking Munchkin Morgan to the bus stop. Keep in mind that this is a rural Colorado bus stop. Morgan goes to school up in Gardner, Colorado because the school is very very good. So, we have a 16 mile trip out to the bus stop.

These photos were taken last October, and the place is a little greener due to all the rains this last couple of weeks.

Looking towards the east
Looking towards the east

However, as we drove into the bus stop, there were tendrils of fog everywhere. What light came through was rose tinted. My trip home was not as beautiful as the sun had begun to burn off the clouds.

Today was also my second day of work at the Huerfano Chamber of Commerce. I got hired as the secretary on Monday. It’s partime work at the moment. However, I worked there as a volunteer 11 years ago. It is going to be very interesting. It also pays $9 an hour!!!! Wheee!!!