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I’ve been having a little fun recording some of my songs after work with the help of my co-worker, Matthew Carter. Here’s the latest addition. Thanks to Matthew for providing the drums— I love finally being able to hear some drums behind my songs! The vocals and guitar parts are all me. I also want to make sure I mention Thomas Gunn, who helped me edit this song—along with many others—and made some suggestions that I ended up using in the song.

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Family Photo Essay

It’s been about two weeks since my dad and I took a trip to Niagara Falls, his hometown, and Philipsburg, Pennsylvania, my paternal grandparents’ hometown. The experience is difficult to put into words. As a young person who didn’t know her grandparents terribly well, I’m overwhelmed with a tremendous amount of pride and sentiment when visiting these places that were so important to them and to my father, though I’ve hardly spent much time in either town. It reminds me that where we are is one of the biggest factors in determining who we are.

Shufran house, paternal grandmother's childhood home, Philipsburg, PA

Great-Uncle Al's Garage

Walking through Belden Center, my dad's childhood neighborhood, with Rich Vicki

Rich Vicki, my dad's oldest friend

 

The first house my dad ever lived in. There would have been 9 people living in this house when he was born in 1948.

3011 Savannah Street- my dad's childhood home

Downtown Niagara Falls- Slipko's and Jenss- both now closed

DiCamillo in Downtown Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is like many cities in the north east that used to be industrial hubs. There is a lot of rot, decay, and ugly reminders of what used to be. I wish I had captured more of those images while we were there. The slow erosion that these towns have endured, I believe, is on-par with the after-math of many natural disasters. I know that these towns will eventually make a recovery but I don’t know who will lead the recoveries or how long they will take. I hope to keep going back so I can keep learning about the rich histories of these towns and to be a part of the recovery solution.

The Falls

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We’re not in Kansas anymore! Back on Monday.

The Local

I go on a walk just about every morning that I can sneak it in. Routine can be a beautiful thing. Routine is part of what makes it so exciting to see dogwoods blooming after looking at those bare, gray branches for days on end in the winter.

But knowing that my brother has just embarked on a month-long trip to Europe also has me questioning the limitations of routine. The stability and comfort that come from years and years of dwelling in the same place, treading the same paths day-after-day, can easily be rivaled in our hearts and memories with one startling sunrise in a foreign city; one flash of a memory that forever changes how we think and feel.

I share my love of Charlottesville often on this blog. But, we also all need to get out every once in a while. Shake things up.

Speaking of shaking things up, I’ve make a commitment to play, as consistently as possible, at The Local— on Monday nights they have a singer-songwriter night. If you’re ever interested in coming out to see me (and other amazingly talented Cville ssw’s) play, just shoot me an e-mail and I’ll let you know if I plan to be there that particular Monday.

Yep! I’m back to the old blog format. I’m sure I’ll change it again… it seems the grass is always greener when it comes to blog themes. But, it’s back to basics for now.
Look what I did today!

That’s because it was doing this outside today.

I know I should be disappointed, given my last post, but I will take a snow day any time, any day, any month. And, it give me a chance to finish this little project that I’d picked up supplies for yesterday at Target.

Every night before I go to bed, this is what I look at.

Not horrible, but just kind of abandoned and unfinished. I am already the type of person who goes to bed at night thinking of everything I didn’t get accomplished that day and everything I have to do tomorrow, so the last thing I need is a visual, albeit subconscious, reminder that I have left things unfinished at the end of the day. So, this corner of my bedroom/ mind had to change!

I pulled out these fabulous prints I bought last summer in Bethany Beach, DE by local artist and photographer, Jon Olsen, that I hadn’t found the right place for yet. I found two terrific frames at Target to emphasize the sparse nature of photographs.

On a whim, I picked up a trendy sunburst mirror to round things out. It has an oil-rubbed bronze finish (or ORB as YHL would say) which is a subtle compliment to the black frames and softens the grouping up a bit.


I’m so on a black/ white/ tan kick right now!

All the materials for this project (minus the cost of artwork) cost less than $60. One more reason to sleep easy tonight!

 

Fresh Start

Yesterday, it was rainy, dark and February. Today, is bright, sunny and March. Hallelujah! I decided I’d make everything in this hodge-podge-of-a-post fresh and sunny, too.

Ahhh, sunshine!

Yep, Ryan and I spent a long weekend in Siesta Key, Florida last week. We also went there last February with the Galls (you can read all about it here). And this year didn’t disappoint either. Heated pools, ice cream shops within walking distance, 75 degrees… I was a happy girl.

And while returning to Virginia did not exactly have the same level of excitement and anticipation as getting off the plane in Florida, I am constantly reminded by how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful and culturally rich area.

I decided to go for a walk on the Lawn this morning. This picture was taken around 9am. It amazes me that in the year 2012, with 20,000 students attending the University, you can still walk on the Lawn and be the only soul on it (okay, I saw a few people, but not many). It’s just downright magical. I’d like to think that even with all the construction and development, all the noise pollution, all the short-shorts and beer cans; on mornings like this, the light coming through the trees on the Lawn might look just like it did to Jefferson hundreds of years ago.

And, I have another reason to happy this morning (as if I needed another!). New art! Sitting at my favorite coffee shop, Cafe Cubano, early in February, I couldn’t help but notice Cory Gibson’s artwork. The abstract prints spoke to me, and (I could hardly believe it) the pieces were very  affordably priced. I snatched up one of them and asked if he had any other prints, not included in the installation, that I might see. And, of course, I snatched up one of those, too. Good things are better in pairs.

I’ve been playing with where I’ll put them. Maybe a mantel arrangement, like this, from one of my favorite Apartment Therapy home tours ever.

I’ll be back soon with some music updates (woohoo!). Until then, I hope everyone has a fantastic March.

Snow Day

Yesterday morning, I woke up at my parents’ house in Richmond, like I’ve done a million times in my life. The only thing different is that this time I was 27, and the last time I eagerly woke up and rushed straight to the window to see how much snow had fallen over night was probably ten years ago.

What a treat is was to relive the excitement of peering through the blinds and to find that I was blinded by the sun reflecting off the white ground. If you look close in the driveway, you can see my dad going out to get the paper. And, what makes this picture even better is the classic Kosut driveway— looking like a parking lot.

Most of the snow had melted by mid-day but that’s ok. The excitement and adrenaline of rushing to the window in the morning is the best part.

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