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Mid-Winter’s… dream… or… reality?

January 24, 2016 - Author: Jennifer Mylod

I may be jumping the gun a little here… but I think it might be safe to say… that the last bit of recording I need to do – on this latest cd “Shadow of a Crow”…   IS… DONE …  F I N A L L Y!!!!!    Had a few (always fun) days with Tom at Wizmak this week…  and we got the last tracks down.

Now, the rest of this project is in the capable, masterful, very skilled hands of Tom… who’s a creative,  intuitive artist…  and he has my unfailing, total trust.  I just have to wait for him to make the magic happen.

Despite the impending projections of a winter storm…  I called Mom… and she was ready to head north in a blink.   I roared the diesel down her long driveway, where  she was packed & waiting at the door.   We stuffed in some sleeping bags, a big bag of good munchies… and lots of warm clothes – and hit the road – North.    Mom rode shot-gun on the long drive… and it was – as always – lots of fun!

The miles flew by – as we listened to music,  talked, laughed and explored new roads.  Even with a mountain of work ahead of me,  it was easy to enjoy the scenic views on the way up into the NY Adirondack mountains.   Weaving, climbing and rambling along those narrow, back roads…    I stole quick glimpses of the houses and barns along the way… but mostly watched the road… hahah…   But we had fun chatting about random stuff…  and just enjoyed the journey.   I’ve got the best Mom in the world.

I always feel safe with Momma… and her whopping –  5’4” – mighty-woman-self.   She’s an awesome co-pilot, and always brings God along on our adventures…  who unfailingly keeps us safe on our trips…  And as much as I grumble… I’m glad…

The roads were clear, with only a smattering of snow here and there…   Hit a few snow showers,  but it was just enough to really make the red barns and green, tin roof buildings look bright and cheerful against the blue skies.

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We did get a bit nervous on the steep, somewhat frozen road to the place we stayed for a few days…  I was very glad to be able to shift that old diesel into 4WD and get it up that icy, snowy road.  Made me a little nervous… (maybe it was the huge drop off on both sides of the road?)  but the truck handled it all perfectly.

Being greeted upon our arrival – by big, barking,  more than intimidating dogs… who fiercely approached the truck when we pulled up to what I like to call,  “the Man cave”.  The dogs kinda rattled me a little… as I’m a little bit more than afraid of big, angry, barking, bristling dogs.    But we walked calmly to the door… (despite the fact that I wanted to run… I know you don’t run).  But once we got inside – we SLAMMED that door tight!  Was really glad to find a nice stack of dried fire wood & kindling set by the woodstove… so we got a big fire blazing in no time…  got our things set up… then… popped open a bottle of wine,  and ripped open the bag of gummy bears…  Gosh, does it get any better than this?

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So… that was totally off track, (but why stop now?)   The next day we set off for Wizmak for a productive day.  I was happy to get to listen to all the tracks Tom added to the recording.  Some new bass tracks,  and even some BANJO… (yup!!!! Banjo – go figure!)  but I loved it.

We brain stormed over various ideas…  added some final harmonies and just had to wait for the final – (not scratch) – Native Flute tune – that Phil was gonna put down the next day.  Phil came in on Friday and he put the track down beautifully…   we were really happy with it.   Boone, the devoted, ever present, ever watchful – Border Collie… came along – as always… my ever inspiring… studio pup!  🙂

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So the last tune, with Tom on Guitar… and moi -on Mt. Dulcimer… came to life…  the name of this tune is still to be determined…  but as of now… it’s being called… “the Weeping Radish”…  it’s a long story.

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So…  now begins the work of figuring out the cd cover & graphics… which will be in the capable hands of “Original Abbie”

So we’ve still got lots of creating ahead.  Abbie did the graphics for my 2nd cd… “Melodic Isle”…   and I’m excited to see what she comes up with for  “Shadow of a Crow”.

So… in the closing of my chapter – on this project… musically… feels like I’ve reached, a huge mile post.  It’s been a long… long journey… with a LOT of stumbling blocks & obstacles along the way.  But suddenly there’s a light at the end of this tunnel, and I’m optimistic that this will be the best cd yet…  and I can’t help but smile.

So… with tired elation… Mom & I set off for home a bit earlier than we initially planned,  in hopes of beating the snow storm that was bearing down on us at home… the Jersey shore was gonna get slammed… so we wanted to get home.   We did… just in enough time to get a few groceries, get 4 or 5 loads of fire wood in,  and have oil lamps and prep incase we lost power.   I was very happy to just hunker down for the long, winter’s nap.  Big pots of hot, strong coffee, and lots of quiet time to calm my thoughts is exactly what i was looking forward to.

The storm “Jonas”… did hit us hard, leaving us with about 2 1/2 feet of snow…  and deeper drifts are laying here and there.

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But, I can’t lie.  I love it…  and really don’t  feel too inclined to dig out yet… but you can BET your boots… I dug a path ASAP – to the hot tub!  🙂   I’m a Nordic, snow girl at heart!  <3    Get me in that 101* water… so I can make snow angels?   YOU BET!

I’ve been a snow – loving – bunny… since the beginning of my time, outside with my German Shepard, “Riffi”    I could never get enough time, outside in the snow.


Even last March… a friend calls me – and she has a time share in Ottawa… it’s -19* below zero, with a windchill of -28*…  She says.. “Do ya want to go?”  HECK yeah!!!!!  Give me an hour to get my stuff together, and I’m there!   We snow shoe’d across the lake,  and cross country skied… it was AWESOME!   All my other friends were headed to tropical lands… cruises to warm, sunny islands… me?  I’m headed north!  🙂


So here I am… snowed in and thrilled about it.   The project… is pretty much wrapped up… and strangely enough… my sights have already begun turning to new song ideas, new melodies, new creations of all sorts of natures… Idk if it’s the snow, or the crystal blue sky… or the frozen, ice laced branches, or the near purple-blue hue cast on the snow outside…  but I’m near bursting with new ideas that are banging so hard around inside my mind already….  and I just have to smile.  I am so happy…   there’s just not enough hours in the day – to do everything I want to do…  I am so filled with gratefulness.

I am glad to be home… by the warm fire, with bread dough rising to have with dinner tonight… a nice bottle of hearty, red Merlot -in the wine rack… my fiddle & mandolin… a piper who’s (without my help… shoveling outside right now) and I’m just SO enjoying the quietness…  Nothing but the crackling of the fire… and I totally enjoy being still…

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Below… a link here for Original Abbie… who’ll be doing the graphics & dealing with the disk company… on this next project…   She’s an awesome Graphic Aritist… amongst her other many, art classes & talents.  Love my Abbie girl.  <3

So… happy snow days everyone!  Schools already called…  and the words “No school!”  is echoing happily!  🙂   Enjoy the quiet days!   xoxo  Jennifer


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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…

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