Thursday, March 12, 2009


Meet Stella. Isn't she a beauty? Stella is an acoustic guitar, a Montana made in Romania. I love her.
I think I first became enamored with guitars, guitar music, and guitarists when I joined the Columbia House record club. I was probably... 13, maybe 14. My first glorious package of 13 albums included the original Woodstock, some Hendrix, Santana's Abraxas, and possibly something from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Who wouldn't love guitar growing up listening to those guys? And Mason Williams' Classical Gas?
I had an acoustic at the time, but no instruction, and please believe me when I say that the guitar is MUCH more difficult to learn than piano, flute, clarinet, and alto sax. I played all of those in school, took piano lessons for years, no problem. The guitar is an entirely different beast, folks. I put that first guitar away in frustration, and busied myself with dogs and horses.
Flash forward a decade or four. While I was an instructor for Agile Paws, an agility school, two nights of our classes were very close to an accomplished classical guitarist who gave lessons. Wahoo! I started the rather expensive lessons, committed to become a classical guitarist. I studied, I practiced, I borrowed from his collection of videos of all the greats. I marveled at Segovia's plump, stubby little fingers that could produce such beautiful music. I worked really hard trying to force my aged fingers to fly along the required scales. I filed my nails perfectly, as instructed. I really tried. I did.
I injured my back which proved to be an agility-ending event. You'd think that with months and months stuck in a chair, I'd have played my guitar many hours a day. Nope. I watched DVDs for the duration. And after I was well enough to travel to lessons, I had a hard time justifying the 3 hour round trip, and the expense, as I wasn't training dogs for clients anymore. Sure, I picked Stella up on rare occasions... became frustrated at how much I'd lost in my time off, and put her away again.
As I've aged, I find my musical taste to fall further away from arena and classic rock, to the blues. Actually, I'm a pretty hard core blues fan. Delta, Chicago, any type of blues. Electric guitar blues feeds my soul. Listening to some of the riffs from the old guys, I'd find myself thinkin' "I could play that". Heh. I ordered dvds from Netflix, and while I waited for them to arrive, I looked online and found, yippee! What a great site!
Guitar tricks has thousands of lessons, and you can start out at the very basic stuff... parts of the guitar, that sort of thing. If you're interested in playing the guitar, check it out. I've joined and I'm pleased with now being able to play a few blues/rock riffs. For me, holding a pick is the difficult part... I want to drop it and play with my fingers ala classical.
I'll never play like SRV, but I can make myself happy. Rock on! ~Debbie

Monday, March 9, 2009

It's snowing. In March.


What is with all the snow this season? Mid-winter I was snowed in for almost two weeks, couldn't get out in my van. Lucky for me, DH drives a heavy service van with traction devices, so he ran my errands for me.

My horses are doing their spring shed, and we have snowy goosefeathers coming down, and sticking. I don't think I've ever blanketed a horse in March before. Not that they care, mind you, as they're out in the snow playing with their jolly ball. The dogs are another matter entirely. Only Kira, my German Shepherd, wants out. Winston and Dice want nothing to do with it. As I type this, Winston is snuggled under the covers on my bed.

I shall turn on the tunes and work on some new items for my Etsy shop. It's productive, warm and dry. Maybe I'll join Winston later. :-)

Sunday, March 8, 2009


This morning, I was sent a link to a video of the winner of the dog dancing contest at Crufts. It was an awesome performance, only a couple of brief glitches, but fun to watch!

I miss competing. While I never got into heelwork to music, I've done my share of obedience and agility. My life has changed a lot from the days of driving to training, driving to teach class, and driving around the PacNW on weekends to compete. I don't miss the driving, but I very much miss traveling with dogs. It's a lot of fun to head down the road with the dogs, wondering how we'll do. And the drive home was always more fun when there was lots of ribbons with us.

These days, Winston protects us from evil cats, Kira is glued to my side, and Dicey is still the bouncing, floating little butterfly. I think we're all pretty content with how things have turned out for us.