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Archive for the ‘Thoughts about Creating and Performing’ Category

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

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

Singing for First Graders

I love to sing for young children. They like my songs. They sing along. They are so excited about music and life. They’re so easy to please.

First Grade and Fourth Grade

I’ve sung for a first grade class three times and a fourth grade class once in the past few months. All three classes enjoyed the music (sang for one first grade twice), but the older children  seemed to feel a little self-conscious, and they tried really hard not to show that they enjoyed it. I heard later that they enjoyed the music.

Adults as an Audience

I really should do more music for young children. They’re such an easy audience. Adults are harder to please. They’ve lived longer. They have very specific ideas about what they like. I include myself in that group. I’m much harder to please than a six year old child.

My Teddy Bear Song

Young children to love this song. I’ve wanted to find a way to post it on my web page, but I’ve never known how. This evening, I decided to try. I still can’t quite figure it out.

Teddy Bear Power Point

I made a little Power Point presentation with only one page. It has this song attached. I can’t figure out how to get the file to load. It says it’s loading the .ppt file, but it comes up as text only.

How Can I Attach an MP3 File to This Post?

Can anyone tell me how to upload an mp3 file, or change an mp3 to another form so I can upload it and have it play on this page?

Teddy Bear - copyright Deborah L. Hord words and music

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Deb’s House Concerts

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Positive Reinforcement

I enjoy taking tests that can only have positive results. Who wouldn’t? Hmmm. I suppose some people don’t want to be bothered. But, I think it’s fun.

What Colors Do You Most Enjoy Viewing?

Don’t think of the colors you like to wear. Think of what you like to see. Which colors feel right to you when you’re looking at them?

Color Career Counselor

I’ve done this test before. But, I don’t remember what answers I picked. I just did it again, just for the fun of it.

Where Am I Right Now?

I don’t mean “Where am I in my career?” I mean  “Where am I physically?” I’m sitting on a sun porch in the early morning. It’s almost 7:30am. The house next door blocks the direct rays of the morning sun, but it’s bright out today. I’m in a recliner, with my feet up. And, I’m looking out into the back yard where the sun is shining on the grass, and my big dog is alternately lounging and racing towards things he finds interesting.

Why Am I Here?

I had an exhausting weekend. As it turned out, Saturday began for me about 4:00am, after 5 or 6 hours sleep. And, Sunday began after Saturday never ended. I only slept about 45 minutes before my day began on Sunday. This was not due to any physical problem keeping me awake. And, it was not my preference. By 5:30pm Sunday, I was home again and in my bed. By 6:30pm Sunday, I was gone.

Deep Sleep and Coming Back to Life

How tired was I?  I was so tired, I fell asleep while talking on the phone after I lay down last night. Then, I slept hard for four hours until I was awakened by dogs barking (my dogs I’d left in the back yard!). I let the dogs in, and then went back to sleep, and I slept hard until 5:30am when I heard barking again. By that time, I’d been sleeping for eleven hours. That seemed like a good start towards recovering from being awake for more than twenty-four hours. So, I stayed up.

School Teachers and Romance

At 5:53am, I called a friend who teaches middle school kids. I thought she’d be on her way out the door to school. Ooops! Her clock was set for 6:00am, but she was cool about it. She thanked me for waking her. Then, she proceeded to tell me about her new love interest. I think she’s found ‘the one’, because the call lasted for 57 minutes! 🙂

I Enjoy Taking Little Tests That Can Only Have Positive Results

Okay, back to that color test. After the phone call, I turned on the computer and did my usual email check and scan of web sites. On one of the sites, I clicked the button for “What Color Do You Like?”

I Probably Should Have Majored In Psychology

I really enjoy things that help people understand themselves and others. I think it’s so cool that we’re all so different and so similar (a repeating theme for me!).

Self-Discovery and ‘Aha!’ Moments

I thinks it’s pretty amazing and wonderful that there are so many individual differences in people that there can be thousands of different needs in the word, and jobs people can do to fill those needs, and there are people who want to do those things. Maybe I should be a career counselor. I really enjoy the process of discovery. And, I also enjoy being present for the moment when others have that ‘aha!’ moment.

What About the Color Career Counselor?

I took it again just now, just for fun.  I don’t remember what the results were in the past. I think I probably selected similar colors, for the most part, but with a few differences.

Is This A Paid Advertisement for the Color Career Counselor??? No!No!No!

They probably should pay me for advertising for them! 😉  But this really is a free post. I just like little personality and self-discovery tests. And, this one is fun and easy to take.

What My Color Preferences Say About Me

Today, the results were right on target … in a general sort of way! 😉 I don’t agree with every single word it says. But, I agree generally.

Here’s what they said about me:

Best Occupational Category

You’re a CREATOR

These original types place a high value on aesthetic qualities and have a great need for self-expression. They enjoy working independently, being creative, using their imagination, and constantly learning something new. Fields of interest are art, drama, music, and writing or places where they can express, assemble, or implement creative ideas.

You’re a SOCIAL MANAGER

Fields of interest are instructing, helping, nurturing, care giving and instructing-especially young people. They discuss and consider feelings in order to solve problems, lead, direct, persuade, guide, organize and enlighten others.

[UPDATE: I took it a few hours later. It still said CREATOR is my number one place. But, it changed my second label. The second fits, too.]

2nd Best Occupational Category

You’re a RESEARCHER

Key Words:

Independent, Self-Motivated, Reserved, Introspective, Analytical, and Curious


These investigative types gather information, analyze and interpret data, and inquire to uncover new facts. They have a strong scientific orientation, enjoy academic or research environments and prefer self-reliant jobs. Dislikes are group projects, selling, and repetitive activities.

Maybe They’ll Correctly Assess Your Best Career Options, Too

Maybe they’ll be on target for you, too. 🙂 The test is really fun and easy. Just remember, it’s not about the colors you like to wear, your car color, or how you’ve decorated your house.

Which Color Do You Like Most? Least?

Just look at each group of colors and select a color based on what they ask. “Which color do you like MOST?” and, “Which color do you like LEAST?” And, at the end, they’ll have you rank an entire page of colors, from the ones you like most to the ones you like least.

Sit and Stare for a Moment

With each page, I just sat and looked at the colors. I tried to push away thoughts like, “What do I like best?” and “What is usually my favorite color?” and “Do I really like that one better than that one?” I just looked and picked. I tried to just let it be a gut feeling kind of decision process. Hmmm. I guess it worked! 😉

Color Career Counselor Test

Here’s page one of the test. I’ve disabled the links, so you’ll need to actually go to their site to take the test. But, this is what it looks like. It’s easy and fun! 🙂

START Your Profile Now!

Click on the color you MOST prefer to look at.

Simply pick the colors that you prefer to look at – not necessarily the colors you wear or decorate with.

There are no right or wrong, good or bad color choices – only your choices.

See if They Get the Assessment Right for You

Take the test

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Deb’s House Concerts

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I’ve never done this. The thought of attempting to write a novel in 30 days, or at all, is daunting. But, it also is exciting. What if … ? What if I could write an entire novel? Do I have it in me? Do I have enough to say? What would the story, or stories be?
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I kind of think I’d be too intimidated by posting it online. I’m afraid I would censor what I write. I’d like to write about people and places and the interaction between people in all those places. It’s scary and exciting all at the same time.
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Could *I* do that? Could *I* write a novel? (sigh) I guess there’s one way to find out …

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If you’re interested, here’s my source: National Novel Writing Month: You Can Do It!

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November is just around the corner. Y’know what that means? National Novel Writing Month! (NaNoWriMo for short.)

NaNoWriMo challenges you to write throughout November, piecing together a narrative until, voila! You’ve got a 175-page, 50,000-word novel on your hands.

That may sound daunting, but it’s totally doable! In fact, more than 15,000 people did it last year.

If you want to go for it, just follow this simple plan:

  • Every day, take a minute to sit down and write a story. You don’t need to have it all planned out, just write.
  • Post each delicious literary morsel to your blog and tag it with “nanowrimo08.”
  • When you’re hitting a wall, use that tag to check out what others are doing and gain inspiration.
  • Go to NaNoWriMo by midnight on Nov. 30 to have your novel verified.
  • Print business cards with your new title: Great American (or Indonesian or Argentinian or…) Novelist.

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Deb’s House Concerts

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Weird Medical Stuff – Powerful Tomatoes Leave More Than 20 Dead May 11, 2008

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Powerful Tomatoes Leave More Than 20 Dead – Part II May 11, 2008

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A Message to Nathan Pacheco May 13, 2008

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Don’t Borrow $$$$ From Your 401k Retirement Savings Account May 13, 2008

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Visit the new Nathan Pacheco tribute site (fan site) on WordPress May 14, 2008

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In The News Today … California Supreme Court Rules For Equality May 16, 2008

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DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS on The Moderate Voice May 16, 2008

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Flowers, Beauty and Music Above All Else: GLADIOLAS, stained glass, nathan pacheco May 16, 2008

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International Day Against Homophobia May 17, 2008 May 16, 2008

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Nostalgia? Television Commercials From Years Back May 17, 2008

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Discover Nathan Pacheco now, and stay ahead of the curve! May 19, 2008

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These Guys Are Funny (Red State Update) May 19, 2008

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Arianna Huffington Has Finally Said Something Good About Hillary May 19, 2008

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More About the California Ruling For Marriage Equality May 19, 2008

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About The Flag Pin, and Obama’s Refusal To Wear It Saying It Doesn’t Matter May 20, 2008

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At the end of Memorial Day 2008 … May 26, 2008

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Support Folk Music for $4.95!!! eFolkMusic, Of Course! 🙂 May 27, 2008

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Another Comment about 100 Free mp3 Downloads for $4.95 on eFolkMusic May 31, 2008

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More Health and Science Links May 31, 2008

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Man Babies June 1, 2008

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Due to an unfortunate accident, which I will describe at a later date, I have too much time on my hands and off my feet. June 1, 2008

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Suncatchers Completed June 1, 2008 June 1, 2008

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UFO Sighting Over My Back Yard Late Afternoon June 1, 2008 January 1, 2008

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Travel Back In Time With Me, If You Will, To Three Weeks Ago June 8, 2008

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Seven Fun-Filled Days At Mom and Pop’s Stained Glass Camp June 8, 2008

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You Want the Scoop? Here are the details. All of these stained glass designs are ones I created this week. June 9, 2008

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Candle Vases and Light Through Bevels June 9, 2008

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Deb’s House Concerts

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As you know, I am a great fan of eFolkMusic. There are hundreds of folk music artists on eFolkMusic from a wide array of musical styles. And now, it’s even easier to get in on all the good music there (and, download it to your computer or ipod, too!).

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I have 39 songs on eFolkMusic (in the digital albums Weird Duck, Hungry When I Wake, Lean In For A Kiss). 26 of those songs are free to members. If you are a member (one month costs only $4.95), you can download any of those 26 songs and any other member mp3s up to a total of 100 mp3s every month. And, if you don’t use up all the 100 downloads, and you renew for the next month, you get rollover download credits, like rollover cell phone minutes. It’s a pretty cool deal.

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I also have one song which is free to everyone (members or not), Lean In For A Kiss, in the Vol 3 Digital Sampler. (And, you can download songs by 11 other artists and bands, too.) The information for acquiring those songs is after the fold. (more…)

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