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2016… Looking forward with rambling insights & optimism…

January 5, 2016 - Author: Jennifer Mylod

Well… 2016 dawned… and unlike most of the New Years Eve partiers out there… watching fireworks, cheering, toasting while sipping fancy drinks, and dancing with wild abandon…  I opted for the quieter side… watching a few good movies,  curled up with my dog on the sofa and happily shared a bowl of popcorn with his ever-wagging eagerness.  So I woke up,  to greet 2016… in the dim grey light of the morning… bright eyed and bushy tailed.


A few weeks before Christmas, I decided… being the true, proverbial Archer – to set my sights on some new targets & goals for the long winter ahead.   I’m one of those -who, if I’m not active… I start to get a bit cranky.  The faux winter weather we’ve been having, has been a bit more than dreary and cold, so my ‘go to’  outdoor activity, being the long miles of road cycling,  has been placed on the back burner for awhile.  I loathe the indoor trainer… and find the “hamster wheel’ feel of it – pretty unbearable…  just not that kinda girl.

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And as for kayaking… passion #2… I’m a bit more hopeful.. seeing as the bay isn’t frozen yet, and the unusual “winter” temperatures have kept this – remaining on the horizon still, as an option.  With the occasional warm day here & there… and my trusty Kokotat, dry boots & gear… I can make kayaking… an unexpected, delightful possibility for sure…

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And then there’s the gym… and the allure of the Arc machine’s promise of a good, solid, cardio workout…  But the mobs of “resolution-ites”  who will undoubtedly be flooding the gym, in hopes to enthusiastically approach their new year’s goals…  have daunted my desire to even go near the gym, and cringe away from being any part of that kind of scene.  But I know if i give it a few weeks… they’ll fall by the way-side…  melting away nearly as quickly as they appeared…  leaving the dedicated ones behind…. like a surging tide… and the wave of giddy, hopeful,  stylishly outfitted optimists… rushing their way in, with churning power… tumbling, crawling feverishly onto the shore…  then, seconds later…  to quickly retreat back…  leaving in it’s recoil… the scattered shells & sea glass devotes… who remain for the long haul…  still on the shore.  Haha… wouldn’t Dylan Thomas roll over in his grave… cringing at that analogy…  sometimes I just crack myself up.

So… with these options pretty much not conducive to a good solid, day-to-day work out right now…  and knowing that although I’ve been told, I make fiddling look like an aerobic activity… it’s just not enough, nor what I need…  so I’ve turned my sights to a new…. hmm… passion – is it?    Hot yoga.

Before the new year rush,  when everyone else was out frantically holiday-ing…  I gave this Hot Yoga a try… and being the “all or nothing” – addictive kinda character I am…  I did it again,  and again…  and I think I can fairly certainly say – I’m hooked.   It’s certainly not the high end, hard core, physical activity I’m generally drawn to… but it’s delightfully challenging in the stretching… especially when added with the cerebral focus and joining of mind & body that I love.   I was blessed with “Gumby genes”… so the bending & stretching is just a great personal joy I truly like… And a ‘real live’ class… sure does beat my old Rodney Yee dvd’s hands down…  as much as I love him.  The open minded, meditational edge also appeals to me tremendously.

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I know I think too much… and tend to be a high intensity type person…  So when faced with the situation to clear my mind,  focus on my body, and stretch my muscles out – in heated, enveloping temperatures… that make my pores leak like a sieve…  I grab onto it.  I love feeling like I’m cleansing myself of toxins at the same time… I think too, it will put me in a beautiful frame of mind and body for Spring – so I can climb back on my road bike… as soon as the weather gets more amiable for getting back to my cycling.

So, does this introspection…  and seeking to refine my fitness levels, while enriching self awareness…   change me?  Does it make me a better person? a better fiddler? a better writer?  better singer? a better anything?    That’s wholly & completely up to me.    I know in order to utilize the benefits of  these passions,   I need to be as deeply balanced as I can be…   and in finding that balance – I will find the ability to calm and expand my mind so I can write and open the channels in my heart to create,  and clear the junk away so I can expressively play my fiddle, guitar, dulcimer & mandolin…  and pour my purest, best self – into all things… and hopefully – in that way… I can be better…

Note:  This is not a goal to be  “the best”… oh no.    That’s never my goal.   I don’t compete… plain and simple.  I don’t compete with anyone else… and trust me,  there’s not a living soul – who can compete with me… worse or harder than I compete with myself.   My goal… is to just be – the best I can.

So I guess, in examining the gifts I’ve been shown – and given – this year…  and knowing that giving back – is oft times… the best part of the reward…. I can honestly say,  in retrospect… that I have done my best this year… for friends – new & old, strangers and family alike… many times, without hesitation.  If I thought it was right, or good, and I believed I could do it… I did it.   Whether it was to lend a hand,  give support, or of myself – I tried my best… and… though I’m not gonna dwell on this…  as I know, I need to become better at it…  and some who know me, and are reading this…  won’t believe it… but I have held my tongue and said nothing – more times than not…  especially when I really wanted to cry out in frustration, aggravation or anger… I can say…  I did not.

So in conclusion… gazing back through all of this, I ask myself… what have I done?  What have I achieved?

I’ve reached farther into seeking fitness.  I’ve learned when to hold on, and when to let go.  I have recognized things I should have done – and things I shouldn’t have done… yet hold no regrets.  The list could go on and on, and I think I’ve written enough today…   But mostly, I learned this year,  that the heart is an ever expanding, endless plane… and when you let yourself  go,  and you give yourself over to love…  “to love with a love that is more than love” (Edgar Allen Poe)  and then… sadly, you lose that love… it feels unbearable…  but I’ve learned – with patience & by keeping the heart open…  that a wonderful, new love – a love even greater… will flood into that empty space – that was left in your heart.

Love – is fluid.

It will come flooding in – if you allow, and fill the spaces in your heart.  So if you focus on the beautiful, the joyous, the good, the kind, the gentle, and the loving things that surround you… then that is what you will receive…  love is everywhere… you just have to look…

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 9.53.01 AM   Love  <3  Jennifer!




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End of 2015… wrapped in gratefulness…

December 20, 2015 - Author: Jennifer Mylod

It’s a wonder… how this Christmas season – has snuck up so fast… and try as I may… I can’t seem to fathom… that Christmas is now… just 4 short days away!!!    Yet, gratefully… my shopping & wrapping’s nearly done… cookies are done (though disappearing rapidly & will probably have to be re-done) & the prep for all of it… has – pretty much – been accomplished.

So I have had the time – to actually pause & enjoy the festivities…  and taken time to absorb not only the true meaning of the season, but all the joy that goes along with it.  I spent a lazy afternoon getting Philip “up to speed” on many of those old, traditional, Christmas tunes, which sound so pretty on fiddle & pipes,  and we’ve been having fun bringing them out – and playing them at St. Stephen’s Green Public house… where we still play on Tuesday nights with the band.  It’s such a wonderful gig… & going strong every week – for whew…  almost 10 years now.  It’s long become a home away from home for us, and everyone’s like family… patrons & staff alike…  it’s a blessing we never take for granted.

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So I guess… what I’m saying is, I’ve had time lately, to truly consider what a marvelous year it’s been, all in all.  Sure, there were some rough patches… and even some scary stuff… but overall it’s been beautiful.

I’ve had time – to play lots of fiddle, dulcimer and mandolin… which are some of my greatest joys…  I love teaching fiddle lessons…  probably more than anything else… and have a slew of some of the finest folks – students – around…  and I know I’m a driven teacher, and I push hard… but I try to keep the lessons insightful, inspirational & fun… and it seems they’re always brimming with laughter… hah… always laughter…  🙂fiddlelessons

and  then, there’s all those glorious afternoon that were captured this past year…  getting together with musical friends – to play tunes on the porch on balmy days… which was just more than wonderful. Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 11.44.30 PM

I’ve also, joyfully…  had the freedom to travel with my little camper… and have flown away…  camping up and down the east coast,  roaming up into the mountains,  down into the valleys, and rambling in those stretched out areas – in the lands that lay in between.

I have spent some wonderful moments each day, writing a dear friend,  far away…  and each day we touch base… and it’s a great kinship.  I’ve also reunited with a very special,  long lost friend as well… and that has been… just a beautiful re-conneciton… and she always makes me smile.

This year… I’ve learned to find time for those who are dear & important to me… and treasure the time I have right now with those I love, & with those who I truly enjoy spending time with… though… I feel great remiss however… over those other dear friends, whom I have not… but 2016 is a new year… so I shall try harder…

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I paused & listened to night sounds of the forests… a very beautiful, simple thing to do… and something that many folks overlook… I learned to figure out bird songs… so I could tell who was singing… even if I couldn’t find the bird in the trees…     I lay on the soft, mossy ground… and watched tons of meteors… as they filled the night sky, slicing through the black velvet night.   I kayaked with the seals…  I was given the gift of glimpsing so many amazing birds… jokingly calling them all eagles… hahah…  and basked in the glow – of endless… breath taking sunsets,  that were made even better, because I shared the view with Philip and a few precious, beloved friends.

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So… sure… these are all simple things…  but things that made me feel blessed.  Even goofy stuff… like… the devoted, non-stop gaze of my constant shadow… “Boone” the Border Collie…   who’s either at my feet… or in my face!  He hears my keys… and he’s at my side… saying “LET’S GO!!!”   and in the truck faster than lightening… riding shot-gun.  I love him so much!

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And I am so very grateful… for the frequent alighting… of the muse of inspiration – that has been moving within me… deeply grateful for the gift of words and ideas… that seem to just spring into my head… & flow out of my fingertips… almost faster than I can type.   Then… the hardest part… are the melodies that come springing out of my dulcimer,   fiddle,  guitars… even Native Flute… and we’ve had some really productive time in the studio this summer and fall… with Tom White, our producer…  who never fails to amaze me at how he weaves my creations… into an amazing tapestry of sound…  (and is teaching me how to use Protools)… which is cool  Love that!   I know the new cd… “Shadow of a Crow”  WILL be out in 2016.  Just had 4 last minute songs I begged Tom to add… so it slowed us down… aGAIN… but at this point… what the heck?

So  2015  –  has been a good year!  And I’m gong to try and be more diligent with this blog… haha…  I have been lax… I know…  but I’ll do better this year!  I’m on Facebook… and you can also follow me at

Wishing everyone, a beautiful holiday season… what ever your holiday may be…  Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and holy – new year to come…   And one last thought… be good to yourself… live everything to the fullest….  laugh and enjoy ALL the things that life brings you… because tomorrow’s never a guarantee.

Joyfully,   Jennifer


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In the hot summer daze…

August 18, 2015 - Author: Jennifer Mylod

Temperatures have risen as Summer’s reaching it’s peak.  As a winter loving person… I don’t like it.  I much prefer to have the windows open – and the curtains blowing in the breeze… that’s not to be had in these stifling, August temps.   So… I seek the shady spots… with guitar, fiddle, mandolin… a strong fan… and just try and stay cool…

The muse to write and create – has been moving strongly within me – over this past month or so,  and  I’m writing with something more like an insatiable desire…  & I need to let this well run over…  and so far, two new songs have been born…  and though I’m very pleased with both of them…  I can still feel the muse stirring… and I know I’m not yet satiated.

I’m sure this rogue muse seeped into my soul,  somewhere in the mountains, or perhaps,  in the woods when I was gypsy camping… which is one of my greatest pleasures.   For  just being up in the mountains with my little camper – makes me so joyous…  ahh… or paddling on the bay waters with the kayak… listening to the tall grasses as they whisper and the osprey soar over my head,  or evenings at the lake, playing tunes… while the Loons – sing along… in the deepening shadows.

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Everything has been an inspiration lately.  I’ve been excessively blessed to have been able to do a lot of escaping this summer…  and I’ve stretched my wings & flown high, far & wide.   When I get home, I’m sooo  happy to BE home…. but I start planning my next adventure… as it’s feeding this insatiable, wild muse – within me…   and the thoughts and ideas that gallop through my mind… are colorful, beautiful and twisted – all at once…  and I can’t get them down onto paper – fast enough…

But in all this wild creation…  I can say I miss working with my friend, guitarist, John Wilson…  who moved away…  for he had that knack of being able to slide a melody into the right feeling, drawing the right sounds from his guitar;  but I soldier on.    I still have his old 355 Taylor guitar…  and I hope – that part of the muse that graced him – still lingers in the mahogany – of that old 355…  as I struggle to combine those wickedly modal, DADGAD chords…  which I don’t fully,  technically understand exactly what they are – but I can hear that they work & compliment each other… to pull tones, notes, chords & lyrics – into an artfully disheveled creation…  Oh it’s madness I tell you… sheer madness…  and I love it!    It stokes my flame!

So… long story short – “Shadow Of a Crow”  is finally sliding through the threshold of it’s finishing stages.  Jokingly I use to say it would be done Tuesday…. (which Tuesday, I don’t know)  but suddenly, I’m seeing an end in sight.   Had a LOT of serious “stop & go” events… crop up during this project… including a house fire, moving, a massive flood,   Hurricane Sandy,  and the list goes on…   But… NOW… whew… I CAN see the light at the end of this LONGGGG  tunnel… and I”m so very glad!   I think it’s gonna be an awesome cd…  as it’s got a great feel… and I love it…

Here’s a pic from sunset, on the lake… one of my fav’s… might put this inside the jacket on the new cd…  2 fiddles,  1 guitar, and Uilleann pipes….  only thing missing from this pic… is the marvelous sound of the loons…




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Medford’s annual – Kirby’s Mill Apple Festival is here again!

September 1, 2014 - Author: Jennifer Mylod

The annual Apple Festival – at Medford’s historical Kirby’s Mill is HERE!

October 11, 2014… so mark your calendars!

Here’s the link with all the info:


We’ll be playing danceable Irish jigs & reels… and a variety of songs ranging from Stevie Nicks to old, traditional American & Irish favorites!

The festival is from 10 am  to 4 pm…  and we’ll be starting up the band – live music –  at 11 a.m.   This is a GREAT Fall,  family kinda event – brimming with wonderful activities, great food, vendors and music of course!

And it’s FREE!!!!!  Yup!  Free!  So bring the kids,  and have an old fashioned, fall day on the beautiful grounds of historic Kirby’s Mill.

Hope to see you there!




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In these mid-winter days

February 10, 2014 - Author: Jennifer Mylod

Well,  even for a winter lover like me…  I can honestly say – there certainly seems to be many beautiful snowy mornings to wake up to this winter!   I still love the grey, heavy, snow filled sky… hovering overhead… and the bare branches – etched against the dim morning sky…

snowy mornings


And although it definitely dampens my beloved cycling  hours – & completely nixes my road bike big time… and daunts Mt biking a bit –  I still love Winter!  The colors, the sounds & how the crisp air smells like evergreens and holds my frosty breath in white puffs…   There’s nothing more beautiful than the subtly of all the tones of gray… and how the whites – seem tinged with shades of blue and purple…  and how intensely vibrant the winter birds are in their plumage…  I love to watch the birds… hungrily flock around the feeder each day.

So… of course… cycling – being out of the question – I must find ways to get outside… & discovered the quad comes into play quite nicely – & brings the deep woods filled with beauty right up close – and I enjoy the long, beautiful rides on the trails out back…

quad in woodsdog sled

Now… How cool is THIS?  A woman with a dog sled!?  In NJ?  I’ve gotta say –  I love New Jersey!  We’ve got ocean beaches,  lakes,  rivers, bays,  mountains,  flat lands,  pine lands,  forests,  x-country & downhill skiing,  camping,  kayaking, waterfalls,  hiking and tons of trails for horses…  And all of this – a short distance away from everything!

A snowy hike is always good… and I do LOVE being outside!   I long ago discovered – with the right gear – lots of light layers and good socks & boots – (and a hot mug of coffee)…  I’m good to go!

snowy hike xcountry ski


But I guess I’m a bit brave about Winter… humm…  spoiled actually…  as I know, when I get back from my outside fun… that waiting for me – is my fiddle & a bow – a sweet mandolin  a bodhran – and sometimes – even an uilleann piper!

mando bodhran fiddle

GADS!  and dare I forget… always waiting – is the ever present, ever purring… always lounging by the fire… the total portrait of  a perfect “HOUSE cat”… warm, fat, well fed – and ready to curl up in any lap that’s available!  my boy – BINX!

fire companion

And of course… the winter wouldn’t be complete… without lots of good cooking…  Had lots of mid-winter gatherings with lots of good food, music, friends & family…  and my Mom can whip up the BEST Yorkshire pudding in the world!  Mmm!

mom cooking

Sooo….  good food, wine, lively tunes, friends & family, a warm blazing fires… and many charming companions – of all sorts have made the Winter…so good…  and I love it.

So… I will fiddle away within the remaining weeks of Winter… and learn to be quite content in it.

playin' fiddle

And even now – as I write this… a Winter storm is blanketing us – yet again – in another blanket of quiet white…     I enjoy the calm, quieting  “shhhhh”  – that Winter seems to whisper…  as He slows the hectic pace of the world down, yet again,   and makes everything and everyone – once again – becomes still…

Enjoy folks… look for the beauty in the day, & do the best you can do.  Nothing we can do about the weather… but make the best of it!  Stay warm & be safe!  xoxo Jennifer




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