Monday, July 31, 2006
Friday, July 28, 2006
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Monday, July 24, 2006
So, what does the little guy want for his birthday? Something with wheels that turn, ribbons to suck on, a cheerio dispenser, gears, levers, a boob, and a nice smile. I have no idea. I tried to put some things on my Froogle Wish List but really ended up putting on some things for Ella. She is easier. She says, "I need a 'marvel' roundy roundy thing. " "I need a doll exactly this tall with paprika hair."
I want a playroom without plastic, but I have to have those peek a boo alphabet blocks. That just wouldn't work in wood. After that, no more plastic.I don't want any media related toys or books when there are so many other great choices. I'm Waldorfing it up around here.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Vibe travels 37 years to hip county in the Blue Ridge Mountains
BY REX BOWMAN
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
Jul 23, 2006
No doubt about it, rural Floyd County is one of the hippest places in Virginia, with the latest generation of hippies, artists, nature lovers and every sort of laid-back refugee from the urban rat race living shoulder to shoulder with the easygoing local farmers.
The place has become part paisley, part pasture; half hemp fashion, half hayfield.
And one reason Floyd has gotten so hip is FloydFest, a musical extravaganza held every year in a wide field surrounded by woods and mountains where thousands gather to groove nearly nonstop to the sounds of dozens of bands and singers over several days.
Mix folk, bluegrass, blues and gospel with rock, punk, progressive roots music and even a little klezmer on seven stages, then make space for music fans to set up tents and campsites, practice yoga, get a massage, attend sessions on composting and ethical consumerism, and drink wine from local vintners and beer from local microbreweries -- then you've got a FloydFest. And somewhere in all that there's belly dancing.
If it sounds a little like Woodstock to you, you've got the right idea.
"FloydFest is pretty groovy," said Brian Gearing, publicist for FloydFest 5: Roots Alive, which runs Thursday through next Sunday.
"I think what Woodstock was trying to accomplish, in terms of getting people together and creating a sense of community for a generation, FloydFest actually succeeds in doing. Not for an entire generation, but for the people there for the weekend."
This year marks the fifth consecutive year that thousands will flock to Floyd to imbibe the festival's funky vibe. The show is staying true to its goal of providing music for all tastes, offering roots music from sundry traditions and in myriad styles.
Sixty performers and bands are scheduled to play for the festival. Rockers include Los Lobos, Donna the Buffalo and Sun Dried Opossum. If folk is your thing, you can check out Eddie From Ohio, Iris Dement, David Bromberg or Tim O'Brien. Gospel acts include the Campbell Brothers and the Lee Boys, while the hot Southwest Virginia band No Speed Limit is among the bluegrass acts.
Other groups, such as Railroad Earth, the Drew Emmitt Band, and Adrienne Young and Little Sadie, help give the festival its roots flavor. Gabby La La, who plays electric ukulele and sitar, among other instruments, adds a weird funk to the lineup, as do Hawaiian ukuleleist Jake Shimabukuro, the eclectic Vulgar Bulgars and the jam band Still Willis.
Many of the acts have played FloydFest before.
"They love to come back because they realize we're not a fly-by-night festival," said organizer Erika Johnson. "They know they're going to get paid."
Johnson and her musician husband, Kris Hodges, dreamed up FloydFest just over five years ago. Johnson had opened up Oddfella's Cantina in downtown Floyd and brought in musicians -- including Rhonda Vincent -- to play on its small pine stage. The music proved so popular, the couple decided to create the festival on an 80-acre field next to the Blue Ridge Parkway just south of town.
The first festival drew nearly 5,000 -- though many of the attendees had complimentary tickets and attendance increased the three following years. This year, Johnson said, attendance could top 10,000 for the first time.
The festival fits in nicely with Floyd's emerging reputation as one of Virginia's most vibrant musical centers. The town is part of the state's Crooked Road, a series of bluegrass and mountain-music venues across Southwest Virginia. The Floyd Country Store, which hosts bluegrass jamborees every Friday night, has become a must-see stop on the road. On weekend nights, both music and musicians spill out into the town's streets.
FloydFest features plenty of mountain music and bluegrass, but it also aims to appeal to the counterculture communities that began thriving in Floyd three decades ago.
As Gearing, the publicist, put it, "The convergence of freedom-loving migrants and natives has created a truly unique place where the traditional mountain sounds of bluegrass and old-time music have fused with influences ranging from African makossa and Caribbean reggae to Brazilian percussion and Irish Celtic music."
Or, as Johnson said, "It's such a cool scene."
Contact staff writer Rex Bowman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (540) 344-3612.
We went to Roanoke today to the Mill Mountain Zoo. Ella had been there with daddy, but the baby and I had never been. It was shady and tiny and just the right size for a little man to look at monkeys, cows, owls, sheep, pigs, and snakes. The animals are mostly rescue animals, and there is even a common crow in the aviary. We took a spin on the zoo train and a hike up to the Star. Cait, we love these shoes.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Last night we picniced in Blacksburg and heard some bluegrass. This morning Ella and I strolled to the farmers market, and there was a band at the local coffeeshop. We sat in the floor and ate a box of blackberries before heading up the hill with nine little yellow squash in a bag.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Monday, July 17, 2006
Friday, July 14, 2006
If you would like to buy this house for 169K and be my neighbor please drop me a line. I'd make a stink and move in myself if I had the money or the strength. It is next to the prettiest house in town, and the guys on the other side look rednecky and harmless, and they could always fix your lawnmower if it broke. This house was built in 1876 and has four bedrooms, gas heat, and a two car gargage. It is a few blocks from Main Street and you could walk to the park, river, and the library. There is an awesome children's librarian there. You could walk with us to the coffee shop or to the natural foods store on the way to the playground. The schools are good here, but your kids may acquire a pretty unbelieveable drawl. You are going to need some rocking chairs for that porch. Lowe's is about two miles away.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced OR 1/2 tsp (2 ml) hot red chili flakes2 tbsp (30 ml) peanut oil, salt to taste,2 ripe but firm mangoes
2 sweet peppers, preferably 1 red and 1 yellow,1 medium carrot, coarsely grated,2 green onions
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped fresh mint or coriander, 8 cups (2L) mixed lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces if necessary,1/3 cup (75 ml) toasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Instructions: Finely grate peel from 1 lime and place in a measuring cup along with 1/4 cup (50 ml) lime juice. Whisk in soy sauce, sugar, and jalapeno pepper until sugar is dissolved.
Gradually whisk in peanut oil until blended. Add salt to taste. Set aside.
Peel mango, then cut away chunks of fruit from pit. Cut into thin strips and place in a bowl.
Seed peppers and cut into thin strips and add to mango.
Coarsely grate carrot and thinly slice onions and add to bowl along with mint.
Toss gently until combined.
Place lettuce and mango mixture in a large bowl. Toss with dressing until mixed. Add nuts and serve.
Monday, July 10, 2006
Sunday, July 09, 2006
I made John some tuna steaks on the grill and an enormous salad---and organic strawberries dipped in dark chocolate. We are going to have cake next saturday when Ella comes back because she kept asking me to save her some of daddy's birthday cake.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Friday, July 07, 2006
Thursday, July 06, 2006
On the fourth of July we went to a wildflower garden outside of Lexington, Virginia. There are six acres of native wildflowers, a beautiful house and outbuildings, goats, and a lily pond. I instantly wanted to move out to Floyd and plant wildflowers. The air was buzzing with pale blue dragonflys and swallows. Ella hiked the garden paths with a most friendly dog.
We went to the fireworks at the parade grounds of Virginia Military Institute in Lexington. I had a boyfriend there back in college and remember being dropped off there at the front gate with a ballgown and a bottle of champagne for their Ring Figure Dance. The romance didn't last; He wanted a ranch house with a deer head over the fireplace and had what I considered an unnatural affection for war. Ross died not long after college in a car accident on New Year's Eve.
Ella watched the fireworks thinking that each burst MUST be the finale. She must have said that fifty times. "That is the finale. That is the finale. That is the finale." At four, every burst is bigger than the last.
Our car lost a four hundred dollar bit of decorative molding to a rock on the Washington and Lee campus, leaving John none too pleased, and my camera is trashed--crushed LED screen and non functioning flash. Well, you have to take the bitter with the sweet.