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Time to rekindle… as Autumn returns.

October 20, 2018 - Author: Jennifer Mylod

Summer’s hot days and humidity are finally gone and Autumn is finally arrived… and in retrospect, though I’m an avid fiddler… and play tunes every day, teach fiddle lessons & gig… I realized there wasn’t as much music this year – out on our front porch – as there usually was.  Somehow, I realize now, the projects, chores and work weighed in a bit more than expected…

Starting out last Spring, with bright eyes & great expectations with all we wanted to do… we somehow allowed the (although exciting & beneficial) projects to become just a bit more consuming – than we thought…  and they ended up taking more time… but thankfully now… these monster size projects – are finishing up!

But this summer was truly a season of tremendous growth & accomplishment… and it’s a rewarding realization, to look back at everything we did & planted, that has since flourished & prospered.  Though, even into October…  I’ve continued forward with the goals we set, and I put in quite a sizable addition to our existing herb bed, where I planted about 100 cloves of garlic – for a Winter crop… so things continue still, to grow.

The harvesting of the fragrant herbs, were a real joy to collect through out the summer… and I do love my handmade, antler basket that a dear friend made for me. It’s great for the harvesting…  though in winter, it works nicely for my yarns and such!

The veggie garden’s spent now, but hopefully – my medicinal herb garden will hold on a little while longer as the days get colder.  I hope to get one more good harvest from the plants that are still thriving in the chilly days – and I’ll get their greens snipped, bundled and hung onto the big, old drying rack – before the hard frost nips everything down to the ground.

But the realization just recently hit me…  as the wood stove was fired up again, and my old “beloveds” as I like to call them…  (a comfortable, well worn, old fiddle & my sweetest voiced mountain dulcimer)  have come creeping out from their remote perches…  where they’ve sat quietly… waiting most patiently for me – all summer long…

     

It’s with a joyful swelling of my heart… to hear Philip’s native flutes & whistles… following suit… gently joining into the chorus… and coming forward to bask tunefully in the warm and golden glow of the first, Autumn’s evening fires.   And like a treasured, unforgotten memory… I smiled as I felt their strings under my fingers again… and heard Phil’s comfortable and familiar melodies – lilting & melding perfectly – in-between my notes, even after such a long season apart.   I predict it will be a tuneful Winter… and I can’t wait!

tunefully,

Jennifer

 

 

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Down Time… well spent…

July 13, 2018 - Author: Jennifer Mylod

It takes 1 second… to miss a stupid step,  and now I’m laid up after knee surgery for the next 3-4 weeks… and I’m kicking myself for being – as I always tend to be… too hasty in my activities.   But I know that’s useless energy spent… like rocking in a rocking chair… back & forth – doing something – but getting nowhere & getting nothing done fast.

So, I’m contenting myself as best I can, with an interesting, historical novel about George Washington’s spies… & I have a lovely candle, scenting the room with mango… I’ve got my fiddle & bow – and a list of over 200 tunes I want to learn… & I’m taking advantage of this down time… all while keeping the boo-boo knee elevated & iced.   So I’m just working on tunes, new songs… correspondence… and just enjoying the quietness of the tick-tock… of the house.

All with my sweet Boone, not far from my side… a constant companion who listens to my every word… & runs herd on the ‘naughty cats’… as he sees fit.  He’s been keeping a watchful eye on me – as I gimp my way to the kitchen & back, or anywhere in the house…  and I’m enjoying the fresh garden cucumbers… that Boone loves too…  we share.

Got my beloved Cannondale 613 – within my view – beckoning  & willing me to hasten my recovery.  I can’t WAIT to get back on my bike, & rower,  back in the sea kayak, back to hikes with ol’ Booney… & especially get well for our upcoming trip back to Ireland again…  I long to hike the foot trails along the “Dingle Way” – again… can’t wait!

But for now… my gardens lay abandoned… running amuck I’m sure… and I must trust the coop & the chickie’s care to any capable hands that offer assistance…  and try and be patient directing necessary activities – from a lazy-boy recliner…  ugh.   Anyone who knows me – knows I’m not one ever to lounge around… so this is quite an undertaking and lesson in patience for me.

I’ll return to the Green – hopefully – next week with my spiffy, green patterned cane… and have a ton of new tunes & a song or two to add to the mix…   So…. ’til we meet again – at the Green!!!

 

 

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An adventure off of music… but still melodic & artistic!

July 8, 2018 - Author: Jennifer Mylod

As everyone pretty much knows, I have a ton of energy, and channeling that energy into the various exciting avenues I find interesting – is always a grand adventure for me!  I can find fun and learning no matter where I go… and this adventure into being a chicken owner – has been just wonderful!

So this blog, I’m sharing an article I wrote for a page called Back Yard Chickens.  I started my own flock this past Spring- and it’s been a joyous journey.   It still mixes with my music… as my little coop is a lovely place to play fiddle – and the chicks seem to enjoy it.

So here’s the link to the article I wrote  – if you’re looking to share my adventure!   Jenni’s Chickens 

Enjoy & have a wonderful day!  xoxo  Jennifer!

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Long time gone… But I’m back!

April 16, 2018 - Author: Jennifer Mylod

Been 8 months since I’ve posted. Idk where the time goes.  I’ve been immersed in music & the 3 bands keep me busy for sure. Then add fiddle lessons into the mix, and the plain old hecticness of life, and there ya go!  But I’m contentedly distancing myself from the frequently consuming social media & electronic gadgets which in so many negative ways – can be isolating & consuming -at the same time.  So limiting those elements… has left me in a position to truly enjoy living a real life.

Been savoring my time outdoors… whether it’s simple hikes with the dogs, kayaking, camping or gardening… but even putting up wood in the woodshed for seasoning is great.  I just enjoy the physical activity & how it all so pleasantly fills the ‘spare time’ I have now  remaining – between working 3 part time ‘jobs’.

Hah… I put ‘jobs’ in parentheses… because I enjoy these ‘jobs’ so much… & so it doesn’t seem like work… but rather a pleasure – which is a gift.   Teaching fiddle – as always is the most rewarding experience and I enjoy it the most;  gigs are always fun with the band – and I’m grateful to now be in our 12th year, playing weekly on Tuesday nights at the Green… 12 years!!!!  It’s more a home away from home, and the staff & patrons are like family.   Thirdly, I enjoy putting on my ‘tech’  hat… and log in billing / time slips… which for me,  is the most non-creative task – that… dare I say… is rather refreshing from my non-stop… 24/7 – creative mind, which often prevents me from even sleeping at night – because I’ve got so many great thoughts and ideas rattling around in my head.

So to catch up these last 8 months in a paragraph, I’ll hit the fun highlights.   I found a small kitten… or rather, he found me.  Did NOT want another kitty… but despite protests from Phil – I brought it home.   The vet weighed the little waif in – at barely 10 ounces… and in retrospect… I realize now most of that weight,  was worms…  EW.   But he’s doing well now.  Philip came up with the name “Kombucha”…  since he said it seemed to fit him, and me.  So little “Bucha”  has been a nice, somewhat naughty, but always loving addition to the family… and he is happily thriving now.

Bucha  truly believes he “owns” our dog Boone…a Border Collie.  “He’s chocolate, and has delicious legs”  Bucha is the Boss!!!

Then we spent 2 amazing weeks – at a beautiful, stone cottage in Dingle, Ireland, and met some of the most wonderful people.  Our hostess – Philamena – is a beautiful heart, and I felt like I’d known her forever and a day.   A more kindred spirit – one would be hard pressed to find.  She’s a gem, with a kind & joyful heart.

Arrived at the cottage, to find warm, home made scones & fresh bread on the counter, and a blazing, cheerful, peat fire in the fireplace… courtesy of Philamena.  The view from the cottage… at every glance, was breath taking!   The days were beautiful and  I can not WAIT to go back.

We took advantage of the amazing & endless trails & hiked 3-4 hours every day – taking in the earthy rolling hills of moss and heather.  We rambled up & along the glorious trails & frequented the foot path of the “Dingle Way”… which was my favorite.

 

We traveled with one of my fiddle students, and friend – Teri,   for the first 5 days. (she’s the photo-bomber in the pics!  hahah)   The 3 of us rambled around & played music every night in the local pubs.  Then we met up with 2 other friends from home – Terry & Pam,  & the fun continued on!   Ahh!

I was thrilled on our first night in town, to run into Nuireann Nic Amhlaoibh – from Danu… at Tommy O’Sullivan’s pub… and she asked me to sing, which was an awesome way to start the trip!

Took horses up into the mountains… which was just breath taking for views & the horses of course… I loved.   Every day was unbelievably better than the next!

Came home to find the holidays were upon us… and as we began to immerse in all the jolly fun… a bad turn brought Philip down fast.  He was home – recovering for over 12+ weeks from a WAY too near death experience.  It was one of the most frightening things I’ve known… but thank God, and many fine doctors – he’s ok now.

2018 moved in & brought the sad loss of not one – but two dear friends.  One friend I corresponded with in Canada, a sweet & feisty Irishman… sweet Ray… who was terribly ill for so long -and fought bravely for years.  I miss him & the poetry, songs,  thoughts and friendship we shared for years.  Then the terrible loss of a very dear friend, & long time fiddle student, Lynn.  She worked so hard to get back from her stroke. Together, she & I worked to get her playing fiddle again.  She had come so far with moving home and living on her own… so her sudden passing was a shock.  Oddly… she passed on the date of our first lesson years earlier…  & at what would have been our weekly fiddle lesson…  both which I found strangely & oddly coincidental.  She was an amazing, strong woman and I shall miss her greatly.

My son… (Pictured below with my mom) is now a Jr in HS…  holding a 3.75  GPA  & standing at  6 foot & 7.5 inches tall…  is endlessly talking of college, basketball teams,  and all the places he wants to go… ah  I know he will be flying from the nest soon… and that… quite frankly – leaves me feeling a mixture of sadness…  & profound pride.   I’m proudly watching him make choices in his life… choices about his future… and I am seeing – quite clearly – what an honorable, diligent, insightful and respectable man he is so quickly becoming.

So… this leads me thinking of the inevitable empty nest…

I am by nature – never bored… and always find things to do that are needing to be done, fun, creative or constructive.  And how many tunes can I possibly keep learning???  haha!  But I always take time to learn new tunes but the potential time that is opening up ahead of me… leads me to thoughts I’ve had for years now… a dream actually… and well…  I just decided to finally – go for it!!!    I found a local farmer & had him build me a custom coop.   I researched as much as I could, and went & bought baby chicks… and I’m keeping chickens!    I’ll love having fresh eggs each day, and the additional manure to compost for my ever expanding gardens… so it’s win-win & will be a wonderful addition!  I did a LOT of research actually, before I undertook any of this… 2 years of reading and searching and finally bought 6 of the kid friendliest, cold & heat hearty, best laying breeds of chickens… and have started my own little flock.

So here’s my coop… and yes, that’s a little battery candle in the window.   But this is not your every day, run of the mill coop… it’s what I’m affectionately calling – “Cluckingham Palace”…  aka  “Coop-de-Ville”.  I had it custom built for the easiest, most convenient, efficient  cleaning,   and… being married to a man who’d once been a fine detailed, carpenter… Philip very cheerfully outfitted the interior with beautiful wainscoating & moldings that are charming, pretty… and heck,  he put the FUN… in functional!!!  When the weather clears up… we will install all the predator proofing – including underground, welded fabric wire.

I’ve fallen in love with the chicks… and named them all.  I’m surprised that they each have distinct personalities and are actually – surprisingly affectionate!

 

This has also given me the incentive (do I really NEED more incentive?)  to add another garden.  While Philip was customizing the coop for me, I had fun digging a large, 12′ x 5′  kidney shaped herb bed that is conveniently placed – next to the path to the coop.   I can pick fresh herbs on my way back & whip up some good, wholesome breakfasts in the morning.  Herbs are a marvelous wealth of preventatives, & healthy supplements  that contain bountiful healing properties for people & chicks.  The chicks are being spoiled with warm, herb mash on cold mornings… and even an occasional herbed scrambled egg.  I’ve also been delving for quite a while now – into herbal benefits, wild foraging & have been doing online research & courses – on holistic & medicinal herbs.  Fascinating course of study!  Definitely compliments my kitchen witchery!!!  haha!

So if all goes as planned… the chicks will move out to Cluckingham Palace in May sometime… and I’m estimating I’ll be gathering beautiful, brown eggs by late August.  Research claims – I’ll gather 26 eggs a week… from 6 chicks…  but we shall see.   But for right now, I’m enjoying having them in the house…  sheltered in the sunroom, safe – in a super huge guinnea pig cage…  & away from the VERY curious border collie & 2 cats… who sit avidly at the french doors, staring through the now nose print covered glass, thinking what I can only interpret – as unkind thoughts… it’s never boring… that’s fur sure!

So… there’s just not enough time in the day to do everything I love or want to do!  Life is good!  Follow your passions!

Tunefully,  Jennifer

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Fly away… without the baggage…

August 12, 2017 - Author: Jennifer Mylod

It’s been a while since I’ve written…  having been immersed in this glorious summer… and the every day business of life… but then my thoughts began exploding,  and I was drawn – back again -to write.   I have to laugh though… because my mind’s constantly popping with new ideas, projects & ever so many things I want to do & try… and I swear, there’s just not enough time in the day to do everything I want!

I’ve begun compiling ideas for a new cd, which leads me to thinking even more.  But I know I need to move past a few apprehensions… and reservations I’ve been holding, as they’ve become tedious.  So time to sweep those out of the corners and be rid of them.  In that area… of moving past fears, I think kayaking served as a huge turning point for me.   Since childhood, I’ve been afraid of dark waters…  but I really wanted to kayak… so I forced myself to overcome the fears, and happily so!   BIG lesson – learned.

Maine

So… within the last few weeks… I thought I saw an old ghost from the past, come into the Pub when I was performing one night with the band.  Not a really welcome ghost… just someone I don’t care to reconnect with…  I began thinking, what would I say? What would I do?  How would I handle that situation?   Thankfully,  I was mistaken, but the likeness of this stranger -was so similar – that even Philip thought he recognized the old ghost.

Then… I also had an interesting, intelligent, talented musician cross my path.  My gut reaction made me want to hold back…   listening to the ‘what if,    what if,    what if’  – echoing in my head.    I do listen to my inner voice & trust my intuition…  but this time… I don’t think it was intuition… I think it was fear.   So I’ve thrown the “what ifs’ – into the wind… and know this will certainly be an interesting adventure… and I’m trusting he was put in my path for a very good reason.

So besides those minor, thought provoking disturbances…  it’s been an amazing summer… and I’ve been savoring every day that’s dawned – seeing it like a golden gift… waiting to be opened…  glistening in the beautiful, quite sunrise.   I embrace the salty sea breeze,  the calling of seagulls, and the gentle licking of the small waves, against the hulls of the boats…  ahh… and that first, hot sip… of strong, freshly made coffee…

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Each day – I joyfully look forward to embracing creativity as it flows over me in warm waves of enlightenment & inspiration.    One of my greatest joys is teaching fiddle…  & witnessing that instant – something musical  -sparkles- into someones awareness.   I love playing music with friends;  and expressing myself through various mediums of art… splashing colors and shades, and creating what ever I wish;   gardening the flowers, fragrant herbs & veggies that grow and ripen…. still warm from the sun – as it touches my lips.    And this summer, I taught myself how to make kombucha… and then tried my hand at the second fermenting of it.

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I revel in it’s healthful, wholesome deliciousness… (Mojito Mint -is my favorite – but whew… Kombucha is a WHOLE other topic… so I’m not gonna get side tracked onto that!)   But we even named our new, foundling kitten “Kombucha” -or- “Bucha” for short… haha).  ‘Boucha’ loves the music too, having no problem sleeping on my lap when I fiddle!

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And looking at the joyful parts of life each day, there’s not a day that goes by, when I don’t realize that I’m more than blessed with my husband Philip…  & we play wonderful music together.    He is endlessly patient & kind with me, and lovingly encourages me to explore all the avenues of intellectual, creative, spiritual and emotional paths that I can find… as I ramble around in my searches towards personal development.

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So… what’s the reason for this blog?  How does all these little pieces tie in?  (I do tend to ramble like a tangled, climbing vine)     Well, I was repainting the flowers on the bumper of my little camper not long ago,  and the words “Fly Away” were there… scrawled in and amongst the vining flowers… which got me thinking…  ghosts,  past stuff,  faded flowers,  old feelings… and so forth…

I’ve never had one of those lives – like some… who seem to be walking on rose petal covered paths, and their life is perfect.  (yet, to read my blatherings above, you’d THINK I have!)… but instead, I have a gift 0f viewing -the beautiful things in life… and overlooking the not so beautiful.   I guess you could say –   I feed the good wolf within…. and pass over the bad wolf.

I wrote a song about flying away – on my last album… It’s probably one of my favorites… (here’s the free youtube link if you’d like to listen to it)

I strive to be free of old burdens… and to be able to fly… but I realized… it’s mighty hard to get off the ground when you’re loaded down with old ‘baggage’.   So, I made the conscious choice – to let it go… & give up the ‘stuff’  that held me back….  ousting the internal junk, even from my recall… and vanquishing the repeating, internal dialogs that would sometimes run in loop form – inside my head…  causing me to have self doubt.   Sure, all that is still part of me, & it’s shaped who I am…  but it doesn’t have to control me any longer.   So I weeded out the ugly – and held onto the good things that hold positive meanings.

I can say now, that I KNOW – without a shadow of hesitation or doubt – that I’m on the right path… because I have absolutely NO interest, or even remote desire – to EVER look back again.

And, thank you God…  it feels wonderful.field - 1

It’s sad… I know people who are looping & wallowing within their own baggage & issues… repeating them, blaming others, leaning on them, feeding on the bitterness within it all… and it’s sad, and really unhealthy.   Get free.. let it go.  It’s so much more fulfilling to embrace joy, love, & gratitude, as there’s so many joys that surround you, if you look ahead.  Don’t hold onto the dark, bitter, & angry things inside from before… let it go & just enjoy the day, breathe deep, live… and fly free.

Peace… Jennifer!

 

 

 

 

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