July 30, 2006

We're at a church parking lot and they have WiFi!


Onward to Iowa!

For the past 5 days we've been up in Minnesota singing and getting bus parts. The buses we wanted to strip were all crushed and sold for scrap. However he had pile of parts for us to look through. We got plenty greasy and hot working on those parts! It was a blessing to have everything in a pile instead of having to jack up the bus to get to everything.

So we were in this little town called Hollandale, pop. 292. We took out our tools and started working on the trailer which hadn't been registered since 1988. There was a little park across the street and the kids enjoying playing there. The second day Bonnie got a speaker out and hooked it up to her laptop and we enjoyed bluegrass and other selections (mostly country!) while we worked under the hot sun. This is where it gets good. The mom of the man we were buying this stuff from overheard a conversation at the local cafe; 'Did you see that bus out there? It's full of gypsies!' LOL!!! Hummm....I don't remember wearing gold hoop earrings or big bright colored skirts! Bonnie was wearing a bandana for a while and I do remember playing violin but it was inside the bus. Last fall trip someone thought Peter and I were adopted from Cuba. I guess we keep people guessing...lol. Anyway, I think we made quite the impression on the town! A lot of people kept driving by slowly and staring. One guy stopped and asked where we were going from there. He said he was just nosy.

We sang on Wednesday night and the Carsons came to see us!

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We met them on this last fall trip. We were at their house on Friday and Saturday. They laid out a wonderful supper for us!

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Playing tag.

The boys started chasing chickens just as soon as the bus was hooked up. It was quite funny. After supper the kid all wanted to hold chickens and one of our young hostesses comment 'that's what happens when you have a bunch of city kids'. I suppose we are 'city kids' in a way. :-) But the chickens were sooo cute!

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This rooster wanted to have his picture taken I think. He just stood there until I was done.

So anyway, except for the beaks and claws they look cuddly! Most of them at least. There was one who was following me around for a bit. They said it wasn't good to show it much attention because it would get pecked. :-( Aww, poor chickie,,, The Carsons fed us fresh veggies from their BIG garden. Thank you so much for your hospitality Carson family! That was a great place to unwind a little. We enjoyed our visit!

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The kids played chess and even dad got involved. :-)

Charity and Bethany played piano and violin for me and Bonnie gave trumpet and guitar pointers. She also gave a yodeling class. : D

Saturday afternoon was very, very hot! The kinda hot you think you're living in a dryer. They said it was the second warmest day of the year for Iowa. We prayed for good weather for the outdoor concert that evening and even though is was one of THE warmest concerts we've even done we had a great turn out! The mayor of Ackley introduced us; it's not every day we get a mayor for an emcee!

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The shell.

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A church brought families from their 'family camp' and we had a nice time of fellowship over ice cream cones thanks to the Bell family. The Bells invited us to park by their house in Waterloo for the night. They fed us a lovely breakfast and we had some interesting conversation. They followed us over to the Salvation Army church Sunday morning and had lunch with us. :-) If you're reading this guys....thanks for your hospitality! We appreciate you all!
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The Bells.

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The Bells and us on Sunday.

There is something about building bandstands pointed west...is it tradition to have the sun in the musicians eyes? Maybe it's so the audience doesn't have to look into the sun??

Sunset pictures!

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I got the tripod out for this one and I took about, well, a lot of pictures to get a few 'good' ones, meaning not blurry!

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I hope I have all the pictures in the right places...I can't get them to load on the preview!

God bless you all and have a great week!

We're on the the way to Kentucky this week, Lord willing.

July 27, 2006

I haven't been working on any posts...my bad. We're outta Minnesota and in Iowa tonight! We've been getting a trailer ready to haul our bus parts back home. We've got some pictures but I haven't resized them or anything....ya know the light in the parking lot here keeps going on and off and I can't see the keys very well....

Just so you have an idea of what we're bringing home....

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The sunset tonight was sooo pretty. It's so hard to take good pictures in a moving bus!! I haven't seen them yet but Bonnie said they turned out good. Anyway, God is awesome His creation is so amazing!

July 24, 2006

YAY! We're in Albert Lea, MN and it's raining and probably the most exciting we have wireless. Don't know for how long though.....

Here in Minnesota the 'land of 10,000 lakes we're enjoying some beautiful weather! A little hot still. :-p The concert at the band stand in Owatonna went great. Lovely blue skies and a nice breeze. The stage unfolded from the side of the bandstand. It was really unlike anything I'd ever seen. It was facing west and the sun was bright and for that reason we didn't take the instruments out until later. Some of the brass instruments we set out before and the mouthpieces were so hot we had to move them under the shade to let them cool off, they were too hot to play on! After a few songs the sun moved down enough behind the trees so we could actually SEE the audience. 8-)

The bank across the street was soo interesting and beautiful. It was designed for Carl Bennet by Louis Sullivan and George Elmslie. The project, which was suppose to resemble a treasure chest, was started in 1906 and was working by 1908. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976. If you're ever in Owatonna go check it out. A work of art for sure! Architectural students come from all over, so we were told, to study it. Oh and the cow mural on the wall was a nice touch, a reminder that we're not in Paris! Not that we needed a reminder! lol They sure have plenty of corn and bean fields up here.

I don't know how many pics I'm going to get up, I need to let Bonnie take a turn....but here are a few random ones...

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July 20, 2006

We have a hotspot!! I've been working on some posts....


Sitting here with a sweaty face and Bonnie's hot computer on my lap in my cozy bunk I'm reflecting on the beginning of our trip. God has had His hand on us and I'm so thankful. Before we even left the house I could see His protection. I was in a hurry to get Bonnie a message and as I leapt off the bus to deliver the message I missed the last step. I tumbled toward the cement steps attached to the porch. Spreading my hands to catch myself I found myself at eye level with the steps. I didn't realize how close it was since I only got two very tiny scratches on my hands and I had little to no pain. But dad saw me go down and told me that was very close. I missed knocking my teeth out by inches. I'll let you imagine all the hysteria, delay, expense that would have followed. So, how many times has God protected you and you didn't realize it? Interesting to think about. That was a great reminder to me God will be watching over us on this trip in ways I probably will never know.

So what else has happened? Our concerts seem to be going smoothly. Our newest arrangement, Brethren We Have Met To Worship, is coming together well. We forgot to bring the diesel tank for the generator. Of course we have to forget something. I'm just glad it was THAT and not the banjo. Right, Vincent?
:-) We can get another tank on our way....

Next day....

Oh we found another hotspot but blogger won't load, either a slow connection or a problem with blogger.
I guess you all won't read this until I can get this posted. Ha. (Duh...)

A few days later....

We're here in Columbus, Ohio. We've been here since Tuesday and have done 4 concerts. We have one more tonight and then we're off to Minnesota. This as been our Ohio debut! Our host Betty and Mart M. have been the sweetest and made us feel soooo welcome! We didn't know a soul in Columbus before this. So far we've had a wonderful reception. Betty worked very hard to get us concerts; being our 'agent' she and husband have been to every single concert. We also met the Barletts friends, the Crowes (sp?), who traveled 100 miles to come to the concert last night. When we pulled into Westerville Vincent said, 'Hey Westerville!'. He remembered Westerville from the tv show Bananas which is filmed in Easton, OH, at the Easton Town Center, in the Columbus area. So, we immediately felt a connection to Westerville! It's been funny to see all the companies around Columbus that are advertised on what was PAX51 (now GTN). We don't watch very much any more but it's funny how the commercials can stick with you! I don't think we thought we'd be visiting Columbus area this year. Ya never know where the Lord will lead...

Thankfully ALL the churches and retirement homes we sang at in Ohio had air conditioning! It's been a steamy high 80's and low 90's for the past few days. And we're been able to plug in at the church we've been parking at so we've had air running at night. It's amazing how much heat is generated in the bunk area. Bonnie told me get use to wearing the weather. lol.

We just got out of the most organized thrift store we've ever been to. Not only was it organized it was clean and well lit.

Mrs. M is a very very accomplished pianist and we were so inspired! I think I need to practice. Yep. What wonderful clean articulation and beautiful expression she has! Lets see I have, umm.... fifty four years to play that well. :-)

Right now the traffic is moving quite slow and we've got about 22 minutes to get to the concert. :-) The kids are all munching on ice pops. Speaking of sweet stuff we've got a boxes of cookies from the last two concerts. Temptations......lol. I think I'll gain about 20 lb before we get home! JK!! Oh look. The traffic jam was because the traffic lights were out....hummm. Dangerous.

And before I sign off....my Dad is the best bus driver in the whole wide world! :D

Oh and prayers are so needed! We've had a rough few days. Things seem to be looking look though. :-)

P.S. The concert tonight went great!

Pics....mostly from NY....

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More pics of this week coming soon (??), I hope. :-)

July 16, 2006

*gasp* Wow. A wireless hotspot!

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Bonnie Jean the barefoot queen... :-)

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The lake on the camp.

For the first concert of a tour last night went very well! Still some fuzz but we're working on that. Two more today and then we're on to Ohio....

July 15, 2006

We're just about ready to walk out the door.....

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...to hit the road for a month.

Check our website for the schedule.

Gotta go!

July 12, 2006

I thought better than to edit my old post. What's the point of editing it anyway?? Why not blog again?! A novel idea, I know...

Here is an album of the pics from the weekend and Monday. Instead of making everyone load them every time they load the blog I'm using an album. No descriptions but it's better than nothing!

Please pray for us. The amount of things that did not get done around here in May and June seems to be enormous. With the trip upon us this weekend we're realizing we have to trust the Lord that this trip is the right thing to do. The bus is going slower and slower up the hills and it dies after it's warmed up and we slow down (like for a traffic light or stop sign). Dad's health is still questionable. So, if the Lord brings us to your attention please pray for us! We need it.

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Ps 34:8 NIV

How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
Ps 147:1 NIV

July 10, 2006

Bonnie did a nice quick job summarizing our trip this weekend so I'm not going to repeat everything here. In a way I'm glad she got to it before me. It saved me some time. :-) Basically, we had a great trip and met a lot of great folks!

Some other things she left out -

*The big rug behind the stage fell down while another group was singing. Thankfully, no one was hurt!
*We made a lot of new friends and people were super friendly. (I think Bonnie said that already...oops)
*The air was so clean and fresh and the landscape was beautiful! We're considering moving up there. = ) Not in seriousness. But, it was mentioned!! We 've got to get outta this crazy-liberal-leftwing state....
*We did our very first flatbed concert on Sunday.

Anyway.... here are a few pictures she didn't blog. We really do have a TON of pictures. :-P

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No this isn't a hold up. Just a rhythm game.

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Bonnie on the way out for her run. I went with her but I had SHOES on. I know. I'm a wimp.

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I thought this one tunred out kind of nice.

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On the flatbed Sunday afternoon.

It's too late to work on anymore pictures. I'll have to edit this post another time when I'm *yawn* more awake.....

*big yawn*
So, I'll leave you with this...

Do everything without complaining or arguing,....
Phil 2:14 NIV

July 06, 2006

If you’ve read Bonnie's bog you'll know we’re going to a festival. Our first one. :-) We’re in for a very long weekend including roughly 1,000 miles of driving. Maybe we’ll have an update ready by late Monday or Tuesday. I certainly doubt the availability of wireless in the backwoods of Maine, but anything is possible. :-) Right?!

Dad has been working overtime making cords to hook up the new box and learning how to push buttons on the digital mixer . He’s done such a great job. I need to go help him get some stuff together and I suppose I should finish packing. I’m learning to dread packing. :-p I lost my favorite skirt on the last trip. It seems to have vanished. Ruining clothes I know; but what is this vanishing into thin air thing??

So I’m getting the traveling itch back. And that‘s a good thing. When we got back this winter/spring I was so ready to go home. And I wasn’t too sure about leaving for so long so soon. Four weeks out of the summer is a big chunk of time. But, It’s going to be good. I know it. :-)

Ok, anything else I forgot to blog about?

I guess not.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

July 01, 2006

This, that and the other....

*CLICK ON LINK AND READ FIRST!* This is a very important issue.

July is here already. Wait, the year is half gone?! No. That can't be. We were just on our way down to Texas....

Time certainly does fly.

Anyhooo. I'm not into quizzes but this one hit home because there is a debate at my house that I'm not really into 'bluegrass'. And since I tend to agree that I don't have much bluegrass blood in me I thought this was cute...

How Bluegrass Are You?
Your Result: You're Somewhat Bluegrass

Well...you've got some clue as to what's going on, but not much. You can hum along to "Dueling Banjos" and "Rocky Top" (and yes, that's a bluegrass song) and you definitely think that "Old Crowe Medicine Show" is bluegrass music. There's hope for you though...go buy some J.D. Crowe, Stanley Brothers, and maybe some Don Reno, settle down in a fold-out camping chair, and remain outdoors for at least a weekend. You'll have it before long!

You're Purty Bluegrass
Ultimate Bluegrasser
Ehhh....not Bluegrass at all
How Bluegrass Are You?

Did you read that?! There is hope for me. :D

Yay! They canceled our outdoor concert at the fireworks this evening. Phew. Not that I don't enjoy singing but a few of us have colds and this will be out last weekend before November that we'll be home and free. Life is going to get crazy in a little less than two weeks!

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Ps 118:24 - NIV