I hesitated to post twice in one day for fear readers might deduce I haven't got a social life or at the very least, anything better to do than submit blog entries no one may ever read...Well, after watching NCIS earlier tonight and finding no other television programs that interested me, I couldn't help but gravitate to my pc yet again. I'm tired of losing to the computer generated opponent in Backgammon on www.WorldWinner.com and I don't feel much like knitting or weaving right now. Oh yeah, and I DON'T have a social life.
I don't even own a car at the moment. In fact, I haven't had a vehicle since I had to trade my new van in 2002 (my husband sent me a torn up Title I begged to receive for months so I couldn't legally register my van)and the '92 Elantra died in the front yard...
So my son Matthew and I spend lots of time here on the homestead. I haven't been a 'party girl' since Reagan was in office anyway and Matt's a homebody too so, it isn't all that disappointing.
Still, I will be ecstatic when I'm able to car shop ~ hopefully toward the end of March. Another van or a truck would be handy to own, but considering I live by frugal means, I'm probably going to look for a smaller, more economical model. Any suggestions will be welcome...
Last night I brought out my fiddle and made music for the joy of it which, by the way, happens to be the title of a great book I bought on eBay about the time I decided to become an adult-beginner student of dulcimer and violin.
Over the years I've learned to play piano, keyboards, recorder, harmonica, tin whistle, ocarina, and guitar. Then last spring, I was overcome with this urge to learn something new. While looking at harps on eBay, I discovered dulcimers and recalled seeing Cyndi Lauper play one on a talk show last year.
The dulcimer is indigenous to the United States and originated in the Applachian area and has recently increased in popularity (most likely accredited to celebrities like Lauper). There are hammered dulcimers played with mallets and mountain or lap dulcimers and I play the latter.
Mountain dulcimers come in two basic shapes, the hourglass and the teardrop, although I have seen unusually shaped dulcimers crafted by luthiers for sale on the Internet. I purchased mine from Jeff Lambert at www.jennywileydulcimers.com.
Jeff built it from red cedar, poplar, and walnut. My dulcimer has 4 strings but dulcimers can have 3, 4, 5, or 6 strings. The dulcimer is allegedly the easiest instrument to learn to play and I can certainly attest to that. Although I can read music notation, it isn't necessary in order to play dulcimer music because most dulcimer books use tablature to show which notes to play. Music using tab shows a 3 or 4 line staff representing the dulcimer's strings with numbers placed on the proper strings in order to play melody or chords. Truly easy! And very relaxing to play and to listen to.
I particularly enjoy playing celtic music (I'm listening to Celtic Woman as I write this), traditional folk tunes, gospel music, and seasonal songs. Anyone interested in learning more about the dulcimer or looking for information or tunes if you already play, should check out www.everythingdulcimer.com.
Hmmm...I began talking about taking out my violin and ended up digressing about the dulcimer.
I have always wanted to learn violin/fiddle, but I'd heard it was difficult to learn and I frankly never had the opportunity to try. Last June, after researching websites and reading Making Music For The Joy Of Itby Stephanie Judy, I broke down and bought a Florea Persona violin outfit for my 54th birthday. I am absolutely not sorry I did either. Taking up another instrument so late in my life and finding joy ~ and success ~ has reinforced the lesson that whatever you want to do is possible if you are willing to take a risk and put in the effort needed to succeed. In other words, you can teach an old dog new tricks!
Here's a photo of my much-loved violin.
My hope is that anyone reading this post with an inkling to learn to play any instrument will follow his or her heart and make music for the joy of it!