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Archive for the ‘Storytelling’ Category

Deb’s House Concerts

If Only They Knew

I went to a party a few years ago. It was a celebration in honor of a famous citizen of the city where I live. I thought at the time, “if only they knew, they’d throw a party for …”

I Still Feel That Way

They still don’t know. She’s not famous, and she never will be. But, her contributions are many.

What’s So Special About Her?

She’s good at imagining how things can be, even if they are not that way at the moment.

She believes in taking care of her body by avoiding recreational poisons, but she does enjoy a good dessert.

She traveled internationally for her honeymoon, something that was probably unheard of in her small town.

She’s all about helping children make music. She’s taught generations of children.

She works for peace, justice, and equality in her own realm. She doesn’t talk love, she lives it.

She cried when my dog was dying and I was sad.

She’s green. I suddenly realized last year that she’s been saving the earth for decades.

She does not worry. She does not focus on “what if” scenarios. She appreciates each day as it comes.

She believes in God. She also sees the evolution of life that occurs around us every day.

She reads stories to children. She reads stories to adults. And, she enjoys listening to stories told by storytellers.

Quiet Goodness

You probably don’t know her. You’ll probably never meet her. But, the world is a better place because of her.

Mom

I love you, Mom.

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Deb’s House Concerts

Work

I plan to work. That is a given. Always.  I hope to be starting a new job. There will be much to learn. There will be much required. That is as it should be.

Music for Children

I want to find the time again to sing for children. I’ll probably sing for the class of a first grade teacher I know. I don’t know if I’ll do more than that any time soon.

YouTube

I’d love to make some little videos of some of my songs and put them up on youtube. I imagine my ‘little movies’ more as slide shows of related images than actual movies. I’ll probably start with Teddy Bear.

Songwriting

It’s time to write again. My last round of new songs came with my return to NC over two years ago!

Stained Glass

I had ideas for Christmas gifts (not made). I’ve been drawing design ideas for a year (not made). I’ve purchased and collected glass (still in boxes and leaning against walls). It’s time to do some stained glass again. Maybe that will happen when the weather warms and I can sit outside again.

Gardening

I don’t have a seriously green thumb. You’d know that’s true if you saw my yard. (You’d think I had a green thumb if you looked at these photos from my yard … all without any growing help from me!) I am pretty good at growing bits of greenery in water (break off a stem and stick it in water and wait for it to grow). And, I have grown some good tomatoes a few times in my life.

Photography

I think I could take pictures of boxes or shoes or pots and pans and still enjoy it. But, I really enjoy taking photos of people. I’d love to be the event photographer (for the memorable candid shots) for parties and celebrations. I do it once in awhile, but I’d love to do more of that. I love to take pictures.

Only a Few Ideas

Those are a few of the things I’d like to do in 2010. At the head of the list is where I’ll spend the major part of my time (work). The rest are things I’d love to find more time for when I’m not working. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

What Are Your Dreams and Plans?

What will you do? What would you like to do? What do you imagine and hope you’ll try?

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Deb’s House Concerts

Fondness for Dr. E

If you read this blog, you probably know that I like to read the work of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. A couple of years ago, I was happy to discover that she was writing for a middle-of-the-road, includes-the-left-and-the-right political blog called The Moderate Voice.

Women Who Run With the Wolves

I was first introduced to the work of Dr. E. when someone told me about Women Who Run With the Wolves. It was my type of book, filled with tall tales, folk tales and fairytales accompanied by her psychological explanations and interpretations of the stories.

My Big Post About Dr. E

What I did here on this blog, my my post titled DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS on The Moderate Voice, was to post a long list of Dr. E’s posts from The Moderate Voice.  The list is certainly not a complete listing, even for the time frame it includes. I only  listed the posts that were interpretive in nature, explaining human and political events through the lense of psychoanalysis and archetypal behavior.

Lucky Listeners! Now, We Can Hear Dr. Estes Online!

Starting today, we can hear Dr. Estes LIVE on SoundsTrue.com. Here’s the information:

As you know, sightings of Dr. Estés are very rare… and one is about to happen within your reach. You are invited to a rare six nights of firesides with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés and her new LIVE ‘Mother Night’ web series with Sounds True… on six Wednesday evenings beginning Oct 14, 2009.

More From Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Clarissa Pinkola EtsésTami Simon speaks with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, an internationally recognized scholar, award-winning poet, diplomate senior Jungian psychoanalyst, and cantadora (keeper of the old stories). In addition to her international bestseller Women Who Run With the Wolves, Dr. Estés is deputy managing editor and columnist at TheModerateVoice.com and a columnist at The National Catholic Reporter online. In this interview, Clarissa discusses her new online events through Sounds True: Mother Night, Learning to See in the Dark. (56 minutes) > read the transcript

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Deb’s House Concerts

efm guitar imageDuck - yellow bath toy

Hospice Last Night

Last night, I went with my sister to visit a friend who is in her last days of life in this world. My sister asked her if she wanted music, and she said yes. So, I took a guitar, and we went to see her.

Psalm 23

We sang Psalm 23 (with music I wrote when I was in the ninth grade). I have sung it for weddings, funerals, church services and people who are dying.  I sang it for my grandmother before she died, my sister’s wedding and my grandfather’s funeral (all a few years ago).

I sang it for church and for the funeral of a woman in our church, by her request before she died, way back when I was in high school. I’ve sung it many times and many places over the years. I don’t know why I’ve never had it arranged for choirs and soloists and sold it through a church music publisher. (I wrote the music only, of course!)

Psalm 23

The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul.
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Yea, tho I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.  For Thou art with me, Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before  me in the presence of mine enemies. Thou annointest my head with oil. My cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace was my great-grandmother’s favorite song. So, of course, it was my favorite song at some point in my childhood. Later, I liked it less because of the “saved a wretch like me” part, thinking there is too much emphasis on everyone being so horrible rather than people knowing they are greatly loved. But, that line has legitimacy. It was written by a former slave trader in the 1700s, and many people do feel wretched. I like the song other than the word ‘wretch’.

My sister and I sang it slowly, with harmony. It felt like  Appalachian mountain music. I liked it that way, and I thought maybe I’ll start singing it again after all.

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I am found, was blind, but now I see.

T’was grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers toils and snares we have already come.
‘Tis grace hath brought us safe this far, and grace will lead me home.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’d first begun.

The Lord Bless You and Keep You

We tried to sing the version that we’ve heard sung by the choir all our lives. We were kind of winging it, and we had a little trouble with the various parts and overlapping lines. But, we had the idea.

The Lord Bless you and keep you.
The Lord make His face to shine upon you, and, give you peace.
The Lord lift His countenance upon, and be gracious unto you.

Elementary School Today

This morning, I sang for one first grade class and three fourth grade classes (the fourth graders were all in one room). I was at the school for about two hours. This afternoon, in about an hour, I’ll sing again for the other first grade where I’ve sung three times before. Those kids already know my songs and sing them with me! 🙂

First Grade This Morning

This morning, I sang for one of the first grade classes I sang for awhile back. This is the last week of school. The children are excited and full of energy. I was with them for close to an hour, I think.

I always try to tell them a little bit about the songs. I tell them whatever special  message I intended, and I encourage them to sing along. The first graders are ready to sing at a moment’s notice. They love it.

Fourth Graders … a room full of them

Three classes of fourth graders were all together in a room, having just completed another activity together. There was testing going on in the school, and they needed to stay quiet, so the teachers were happy to have me appear (after singing for the 1st grade) and entertain the kids for a few minutes. I think I probably sang for about 45 minutes for them, too.

Stop Talking So Much! Sing!

I should probably think about how I feel when I’m in the audience, so I can make sure I don’t talk too much between songs. When people go to hear you sing, that’s what they want, songs.

Still Finding My Way

I’m still finding my way with singing for kids. I’m wanting to be sure I have the right songs for the right age group. So, I’m probably doing a little more storytelling and explaining (the history of the songs) than I would normally do.

Over-Explaining the Meaning and the Message

I want to be so careful to be sure these children understand the meaning and the message of the songs. I don’t know why I think I have to explain the lyrics. I grew up with fairy tales filled with archetypal characters, good and evil. And,  there were fables, too, complete with talking animals and lessons at the end of each story. That’s how my songs on the Weird Duck cd are. So, why do I feel like I have to explain them???? (sigh)

It’s Been Good For Me

I used to sing often when I was younger. But, at some point, I backed away from it.  It’s always been hard for me to know where I fit musically. It’s been good for me to start singing again in the past few months, singing for 1st and 4th grade classes (by arrangement with the teachers).  It’s been great having such enthusiastic audiences.

Still Trying to Find My Place Musically

I’ve never been sure who my audience is. I’m still not entirely sure who likes my music.

Lots of people downloaded my songs when they were on eFolkMusic. But, I was never sure who my audience was. I’d still like to figure that out.

Weird Duck Is Fun to Sing

I do know that early elementary school aged children enjoy my Weird Duck songs.  In the class where I’ve been the most in the past few months, those children know the choruses to the songs. They really like Weird Duck, and they sing it with great gusto! 🙂

“You’re so weird,” you tell me all the time.
“You’re so weird,” you tell me all the time.
“You’re  a weird duck. You’re  a weird duck.”
from Weird Duck c.2003 Deborah L. Hord

Informal Market Analysis

I was a little unsure about the age-appropriateness of the songs on the Weird Duck cd (before these recent performances for the children), but I feel confident about it now. How could I have even imagined that fables and fairy tales about animals would not be appropriate for this age group?

I’ve ‘tested’ all the songs on the first graders in the class where I’ve sung so many times. I’ve given them the option of telling me if they don’t like any of the songs. I’ve asked if the songs were too young for them, or too serious, or if they just didn’t like them for some reason. They were enthusiastic about every single song.

Renaming the Weird Duck CD (removing the subtitle)

I’m thinking of removing the subtitle of my Weird Duck cd. It used to say, “Weird Duck – and other animal tales for grown ups.” But, I now think the songs are just right for the children. They’re all about animals: ducks, dogs, a snow goose, a donkey, a teddy bear, a small frightened stray (type of animal unnamed).

Singing for Schools and Birthday Parties

I’m looking forward to developing music programs for children, for schools or birthday parties, by invitation of the teachers and parents. And, I’ll redo the packaging on the cd, so that it’s colorful and attractive and has the words, too. 🙂

mp3 Downloads Online

I used to have my songs available on eFolkMusic. They’re not available there anymore. They moved to a new platform (linux vs windows), and they’re no longer selling the music there. I still am listed there as one of their artists, but the selling of the mp3s has to be done elsewhere.

After the efolkmusic site moved, I did not do anything else. They encouraged us to list our songs with other websites where we could sell mp3 downloads. But I’ve not yet put up my songs anywhere else. I need to focus on that again, and put up mp3s where people can download and build a collection of their favorite songs.

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Deb’s House Concerts

efm guitar imageDuck - yellow bath toy

eFolkMusic is Moving (to a bigger and better home)

eFolkMusic is moving the website to a new home.  It’s moving to a different type of server, and different programming.

eFolkMusic will no longer sell mp3 tracks

You’ll still be able to get the free ‘member mp3 ‘tracks. So, that has not changed. And, you’ll still be able to buy mp3 downloads from your favorite artists who are listed on eFolkMusic.You’ll just need to follow the links they provide to the location where they’re selling their music.

What has changed is …

I have not signed up to sell mp3s anywhere. I’ll still have some member mp3s (free to members) on eFolkMusic. But, I will need to upload my songs to the new site (if I understand correctly), before you will have access to them. I am pretty sure that I will not be doing that right away.

Soooooo, if you like my songs and want to download them,

Now is the time. If you’re a member ($4.95 for a month), you can download 100 member mp3s. I have just changed the status on my songs, so that everything I have posted is a member mp3.  I expect this to last for about 10 or 12 days (until the new site is active).

What this means for you:

If you want my songs, every one of the 39 mp3s that is on eFolkMusic will be a FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD for members.  Of course it’s not totally free, but if you divide $4.95 by the 100 free mp3 downloads you can get, that’s 4.95 cents per mp3. If you only download my 39 songs, it’s 12.6 cents per mp3. Either way, it’s a deal.

Get your (almost completely) free mp3 downloads here.

Listen to a bit of the previews and pick the ones you want. Then, use the balance of your 100 member mp3s to round out your collection.

Thanks for listening. 🙂

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Deb’s House Concerts

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So many people came looking for Santa on Christmas Eve.  The links to NORAD’s  Santa Tracker videos, tracking Santa’s progress in his Christmas Eve travels around the globe, only work on Christmas Eve. So, if you missed seeing Santa visiting famous spots around the globe, check back next year when he makes his Christmas Eve trip around the world.

I asked the young ones in my family if they’d like to see where Santa was.  One said, “I do,  but I’m too busy right now.” He was  drawing and doing other fun things. When they finally got ready for bed about 10:30pm, they watched the video of  Santa in Brazil, and they heard the voice of the NORAD Santa Tracker saying that Santa had just visited South America and would be in North America soon. They got the message, and the lights were out in a flash! 🙂

If you stopped by this page looking for Santa, please stay for awhile and see if there is anything else here that interests you. Please leave a comment, too, if you’re so inclined. I’d love to hear from you, even if you disagree with me, as long as you are polite.

Here were the Christmas Eve stats from Sitemeter (from midnight to midnight on December 24, 2008). It looks like searching for Santa has been as popular as obsessing about certain political figures a few months ago. It’s certainly more rewarding! 🙂

Debs House Concerts
Site Summary
VISITS
Total 50,727
Average Per Day 167
Average Visit Length 1:35
Last Hour 21
Today 264
This Week 1,169
PAGE VIEWS
Total 73,620
Average Per Day 238
Average Per Visit 1.4
Last Hour 26
Today 378
This Week 1,664

Thanks again for stopping by. And, thanks to the men and women of NORAD, our strategic defense military personnel, who take a night to keep us posted on Santa’s whereabouts.

If you’re curious about previous Santa posts, they’re here:

December 24, 2007
Christmas Eve Fun – Santa Tracker by NORAD
December 24, 2008
SANTA! Norad Santa Tracker 2008
Here’s are other good posts about the NORAD Santa Trackers:
Santa On YouTube
NORAD Tracks Santa (Wikipedia)
SANTA TRACKER 2008: Military center tracking Santa’s sleigh ride

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Deb’s House Concerts

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UPDATE: December 24, 2009  NORAD Santa Tracker 2009

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Santa Tracker 2008

Here is what you’ve been looking for over the past few weeks. Here is the link for the Norad Santa Tracker for 2008.

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Norad Santa 2008

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