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October 2016

"Colours" by Donovan - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

Recently, I have become enamored all over again with many of the songs I grew up with from the 60's.  One of the artists I have always loved was a Scottish singer / songwriter / poet from Scotland, Donovan Leitch who is better known as simply Donovan. Donovan is widely regarded as one of the most influential songwriters and recording artists - and is still active in music today.  Even the Beatles acknowledged that Donovan influenced them greatly on their ground breaking Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band album and the White Album with his finger style guitar playing and many of his unique chord patterns.  While I love most of his songs, I have been listening more to his earlier works that have their roots in folk music.  One of them, a sweet, simple and beautiful song, Colours, is the inspiration for this week's Wonderful Handmade Wednesday post.

Countdown to Christmas 2016 - Week 4 - Kenya

 

 

Since Kenya is predominantly a Christian country (approximately 82%), the celebration of Christmas is very important. A few days before Christmas, a mass migration of people from the cities and other parts of Kenya is made, back to the villages of their parents’ home in the "upcountry." Family members and relatives all congregate to celebrate.  For many people, this is the only time of the year they have the chance to see their families, so it is a very important time to reconnect.

The Autumn Wind is a Pirate - Wonderful Handmade Wednesday on Indiemade

 

 

Since I live in the Desert Southwest, autumn comes creeping slowly in with cooler temperatures.  Most of the trees here are evergreen so there isn’t much color change.  This time of the year, I always think about the forest we lived in for 10 years in Northern Virginia.  Oh, the glorious colors as the leaves on the trees changed.!!!  Sometimes almost blinding color combinations.  Then sometimes, the wind would hit and the leaves became a carpet of color on the forest floor.  I ran across this great quote about autumn wind from Steve Sabol:  “The autumn wind is a pirate. Blustering in from sea with a rollicking song he sweeps along swaggering boisterously. His face is weather beaten, he wears a hooded sash with a silver hat about his head . . . The autumn wind is a raider, pillaging just for fun.”  A pillaging wind playing with and swirling the colorful leaves!

Countdown to Christmas 2016 - Week 3 - Ukraine

Christmas caroling in Ukraine

 

Even from a very early age, I have always been fascinated with words and languages.  When I was in college, I took several languages, including Russian.  Russian was challenging, especially trying to learn the Cyrillic alphabet and wrap my tongue around and pronouncing words with a string of strangely placed consonants.  But what made the class VERY special was our instructor.  I don’t remember her last name but her first was Natasha and she was from Ukraine, then a part of the Soviet Union.  She was very kind and very understanding with a great sense of humor.  We all loved to listen to her stories of growing up and the family traditions. She and her family had a very hard life but the countryside itself sounded enchanting.  And I’m sure we learned to speak Russian with a Ukrainian accent!  So I have always had a fascination with Ukraine (and am so sad about what is happening there right now).  So, Natasha, wherever you might be right now, you inspired this edition of the Countdown to Christmas.