Saturday, June 28, 2008

it's official

So now it's official - Julie has finished her last year as grade 2/3 teacher at Willowgrove Primary School, and we are now embarking on a "transition year" as she takes a bit of a sabbatical and we look/dream/imagine/discern what might be coming next for her and for our family.

Immediate implications? Well... she's now officially "done" and therefore "underfoot" more at home (something I'll need to get used to... GRIN)... and looking at upgrading more of her teaching qualifications (Rosetta Stone French, anyone?)... and in the meantime applying more of her creative energies to cooking (usually my department, but I'm more than glad for her to indulge these impulses, which invariably result in more unique and scrumptious and healthy and daily-from-our-garden meals)...

It also means that, for this "transition year" at least, we're expecting to make the transition from my music income being a "supplementary" income to being the "primary" family income... an exciting (but a bit daunting) prospect as we continue to build this long-term musical vocation.

So as we look deeply into our souls and peer hopefully and excitedly (and at times a bit apprehensively) into the future, this old chestnut comes to mind... (I'm sure you've heard some variation of it...)

Q: What's the difference between a Mennonite musician and a pizza?

A: A pizza can feed a family of four.

teeheehee. gulp.

Congratulations, Julie, on 5 excellent years of teaching, enjoy your "sabbatical," and here's to the future!


Friday, June 20, 2008

what's coming next

I'm looking forward to a welcome change of pace this summer.

I'm basically taking a break from performing, except for a week in Winnipeg from July 6-10 where I'll be songleading at the Mennonite Church Canada Assembly and then the joint MCCanada/MCUSA "People's Summit For Faithful Living."

Here's a YouTube clip about the event, featuring some of my music on the "sound track" and including exceptionally wise and winsome words from some of the worship planners (including yours truly).

My apologies, by the way, for the gross looking bump-thing on my lip in the video... I'll spare you the details, but it's nothing to worry about (aside from it looking really, really bad) and "should go away on its own"... except that it never did, so it's now been removed with some help by our dear doctor... so rest assured, any lingering ugliness in my appearance can no longer be traced to this particular item, and must now be attributed to my other features...

Anyway, if I haven't scared you off already, here's the clip.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

barnyard update

This morning I spent some time chasing a chicken in a vain attempt to get it back into the enclosure where it's supposed to be... maybe I'm getting older and slower than I thought...

And apparently we've now lost 5 lambs to the coyotes at night... I didn't even realize it was happening... it seems Jenny the bodyguard donkey is getting older too...

In case you're confused (and I don't blame you), I'm not a "real" farmer - I just do an hour of barn chores each day (and if any real problems present themselves I call up Brian, the "real farmer," who comes and solves the problem). That daily hour (which I rather enjoy) is my only "employment" besides music.

Oh, and the Alberta mini-tour was great. Upon my arrival I had four performances within 25 hours between Lethbridge, Calgary, and Edmonton (pretty substantial distances, considering the lack of sleep and the presence of photo-radar). It was great to connect again with some friends and family that I hadn't seen in a long time. Lots of good response to the music. Lots of interesting and thoughtful reflection with the Alberta pastors at the Theological Studies event (see previous post).

And I met some amazing new musical friends - the Friesen Family Band (opened for my concert in Edmonton - ASTONISHING what they do!) and Tim Chesterton (an "anabaptist anglican" priest with a fabulous voice and gorgeous guitar and encyclopedic knowledge of traditional folk tunes from the British isles).

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