Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I can't believe that the day after tomorrow is Christmas Eve! It seems as though the time since Thanksgiving has really gone unnaturally fast ...

We haven't actually been that busy, though. Just the usual routine plus some Christmas activities thrown into the mix. We got the Christmas tree early this year because our friend Bob, who helps us put it up, was leaving for a family trip to Guatemala. It turned out to be more complicated than usual finding a cut tree, however, probably for a variety of reasons.

In the past, when we were all able to walk around easily, we would go out to the country and wander around on a Christmas tree farm, sometimes freezing our butts off, and then pick the tree to cut -- usually it wound up being the first tree we spotted a hour or more before. But maybe those farms have closed because of so many people buying artificial trees. Or they planted new small tree seedlings that were wiped out in the horrendous heat this summer. I know some of the cut trees coming from out West were ruined by drought.

But the tree farm specimens kept getting bigger, too big for our house, so we turned to in-town tree lots for trees that had already been cut. There was one that used to be in the parking lot for Jarlings ice cream that we went to several times.

Then the ice cream shop started staying open longer into the late fall and early winter and the tree lot moved to a location where annuals are sold in the spring. So that's where we headed, only to find nothing there but the empty tables from the spring plant sales.

I thought I remembered U of I forestry students selling trees down near the pomology grounds, but there was nobody there either.

So we went to the C-U Optimists Club tent on Springfield Avenue. What a scam! You'd have to be an optimist to think anybody would fall for it. The guy has maybe 12 trees all together to choose from (remember, this is early, December 9). Six of them are Scotch pine, which I don't like to begin with. They are usually ugly, stick your fingers, and don't hold ornaments well.

These Scotch pines were especially ugly, in fact, having twisted trunks and scrappy bare branches. They looked like the leftovers someone might get as a job lot from a real Christmas tree sale.

Then there were six or so Frazier firs that looked fine but were too tall for our house really. I glanced at the price tag anyway just to see what they cost and my mouth fell open: $120! We told him we needed to look further and where were the other tree lots. He claimed he didn't know and didn't think there were any others ...

So we bought a newpaper while trying to exchange the multicolor lights that turned out to be all red because someone put the wrong package on the wrong shelf (but they were out of the cheap ones already and we had to buy a more expensive kind of course). Unlike prior years, there was NO section in the classified for Christmas trees, either on farms or in town.

We then wondered about Prairie Gardens, the nursery center and craft store on the west side of town. I knew they had expensive and beautifully decorated artificial trees for sale, but didn't know if they did cut trees too, so we called. Yes, nice balsam firs, five-six feet tall, for twenty bucks!

Unfortunately, it was evening by then and the young guy in charge of the trees couldn't saw off the bottom for us. When we got back, we got it in the house and got it mounted in the stand and then remembered the bottom hadn't been cut. Well, it has been very pretty and we really enjoyed it, but it didn't take up any water and now it is soooo dry! I plan to get Sara to help me take it down the day after Christmas.

We did have pretty lights all along the top of the breezeway, part way up the Japanese tree lilac, and on the fence, thanks to Sara. One of the strings even plays Christmas carols! It's probably a surprise to the many dog walkers of our neighborhood, hearing the tinkly sound of Christmas music as they pass our driveway.

Well, I sent the cards the other day and finished the wrapping tonight. Tomorrow we go to the library (closed for our usual Saturday visit) and end the evening with Christmas jazz at Silvercreek with piano by Donnie Heitler and Nick Schroeder (great trumpet player). Christmas Eve we will visit with David's son Christopher and son Jonathan and family and then have a quiet dinner and gift exchange, just the two of us. On Christmas Day, I'm making a ham and Vicki and Frank are joining us.

Merry Christmas to all of my blog readers and Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Flying Down to Rio!

 Winter is coming to Champaign-Urbana and many folks are thinking about heading south. My sister and her husband are traveling down the Oregon and California coasts to San Diego and taking a Caribbean cruise. My friend Bob is going to Guatemala over the holidays with family to visit Mayan ruins. What about David and me? In addition to vicarious vacationing via friends' e-mails and photos, we flew down to Rio de Janeiro for the weekend, figuratively speaking of course.
Last weekend we went to the Iron Post (approx. 15 blocks from our house, so closer than South America) for the Brazilian band called Bate Calado. Yesterday, Desafinado played there. David remarked in the middle of a lively number at last night's gig, "It's like being in Rio, isn't it?" Good enough for me!
 Bate Calado--which specializes in performing Brazilian bossa nova, MPB (Música Popular Brasileira), choro, and contemporary Brazilian light pop and rock music--features Gina Reynolds singing rhythmic tunes in Portuguese, Dave Cubberly on electric bass, Rick Deja on saxophone and flute, Eduardo Herrera on guitar, and Andy Burton on drums. This time Ian Middleton joined them on congas and various percussion instruments as well.
There was a good-sized audience and the sets were energetic. Gina dances around a bit as she sings and the beat was a toe-tapper!
Than last night we heard Desafinado. As our regular blog readers know, we've been following this group for years and years. The band members have changed some, including recently, but the terrific samba and bossa nova sound is very consistent and the musicianship is always top-notch!
Greg Jahiel is the group's earliest member and guitar player (and he does Portuguese vocals). But he's "on leave" right now with happy parenting. George Turner has been playing with them for a while, but George is busy teaching right now. So a new guitarist has joined the group.
 His name is Gabriel and he is from Brazil.
 Gabriel is a terrific guitarist and is fitting in just right with the Desafinado style!
The very talented Luciano Tosta, who used to play with Bate Calado, plays electric mandolin in Desafinado most of the time. But he also plays guitar and tambourine, triangle, gourds, and a number of other funky and interesting percussion instruments.
In addition to Giraldo Rosales, long-time band member and wonderful master of the congas, there was a new drummer tonite named Niko who did a fine job.
Another crossover from Bate Calado is Dave Cubberly on electric bass. We enjoyed Dave's playing last weekend and were happy to see him back again with this band!
One of the earliest band members is, of course, the multitasking musician Tom Paynter, who is equally impressive on keyboards, flute, and melodica.
We were lucky enough (and early enough) to get a table right near the band and this time we were close enough to Tom to watch some of his amazing runs on the Baldwin and his flute fingering.
As with many photos of pianists, we usually just see the back of Tom's head, but here we caught a close-up with a bit of profile, including a great expression of what looks to me like "feeling the music." 
But it wouldn't be Desafinado without the voice, beauty, warmth, and energy of the incomparable Elis Artz!
As always, Elis really lights up the stage with her dynamic performances, belting out soul-shaking sambas, definitely spirited contemporary Brazilian tunes, and old favorite bossa novas by Antonio Carlos Jobim.
At this gig, Elis was so open-hearted and generous in bringing up other friends to sing with her. Here Brazilian friend Robert Perrerre joins in for some great numbers.
Another Brazilian friend, Paulo Henrique, provided some very lively percussion.
And Gina Reynolds, the singer from Bate Calado, was in the audience and came up for some solos, duets, and three-way performances with Elis and Robert.
Gina has a lovely voice that is quite different from Elis' and the two blend together very nicely indeed.
It was a terrific gig, with two sets full of wonderful music, great performers, and a real sense of being in South America--flying to Rio--for a Saturday night! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

International Gem and Jewelry Show

What fun! Last weekend we made a trip to Collinsville, Illinois to the International Gem and Jewelry show. We had a wonderful time exploring all the new beads and buying some great new crystal, lampwork, and metal trim to use (soon!) in new designs for Beaded Jewelry by Susan.

We had a beautiful fall day for the trip down, about a three-hour drive from Champaign-Urbana. The fall color on the trees was fantastic, and we saw a few hawks at the edge of the interstate. Once we got down south a bit, the terrain started to be less flat and there were rolling hills and river valleys that we don't get to see much around Champaign County, so it was a nice treat.

 Our friend Bob dropped us off at the Gateway Center for the show and went on to spent a pleasant afternoon in nearby Edwardsville, checking out the historical houses there. Meanwhile, we entered the center excitedly and began the great bead expedition! It had been quite a while since we'd been to a bead show and the anticipation had built to a peak.

This year my focus seemed to be on Chinese crystal. I love crystal and it makes such wonderful trim and accompaniment for lampwork and other delicate glass beads and pearls. Of course, I have a big collection of crystal already, both the expensive Austrian Swarovski and the new Celestial Crystal. But there were new colors in the lovely faceted rondelles I like so much and excellent prices. So I stocked up!

Also found some lovely lampwork that was faceted: colorful patterns inside clear glass rondelles with the whole outer bead faceted. Got some more of the interesting opaque lampwork beads too--with swirls, clusters of flowers, and geometric patterns. Although I didn't photograph them, I also found bags of tiny adorable bead caps in silver, gold, and bronze plating ... just right for earring trim.

I saw a lot of lovely stone beads at the show as well, but many of them are too large and heavy for earrings and right now I am mainly doing earrings and some pendants. I also saw lots of those charming ribbon necklets for suspending bead charm pendants, like the ones that Theresa and Sara Jones have been making. I have already made a few pendants and a bunch of new earrings for them to sell at the Holiday Market inside Lincoln Square (now that it's too cold for the outdoor Farmer's Market), beginning next weekend for the entire month of November.

I had to get a new Plano storage box for all the new beads and do quite a bit of reorganizing of my crystal collection. That's always time well spent because it makes it so much easier and faster for me to locate the bead I want in the middle of a design moment. I have started making new designs with the new bead and am looking forward to doing more of that very soon.

Hopefully, at some point I will take new photos of new jewelry to add to the Etsy site. In the meanwhile, I will continue to pass new work to Sara and Theresa for sales at Holiday Market and, at the end of the month, the U of I Holiday Bazaar in the Illini Union. I hope that local fans of Beaded Jewelry by Susan will be able to come to some of these events. If not, you can always shop online in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Provena Go Pink Tonight!

Tonight, Tuesday October 25, is the fundraising event at Provena Hospital featuring Beaded Jewelry by Susan. Drop by for jewelry, snacks, and speakers!

It’s time to Go PINK! in honor of breast cancer awareness month. Provena Covenant Medical Center is putting on this fun, free and informative event on Tuesday, October 25 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. in the auditoriums at Provena. Go PINK! will feature world-renowned University of Illinois breast cancer researcher Ann Nardulli, Ph.D., who will discuss the latest advancements in fighting cancer. In addition, two breast cancer survivors will be on hand to share their stories, and they will join a panel of medical experts to answer questions about prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

“The focus of this event is of course breast cancer awareness, but we wanted to bring in some other exciting things for women to do as well,” said Louise Fellmann, Women’s Health Program Coordinator. Rod Sickler Salon & Spa will be providing free mini-manicures and mini-facials, Confidentially Yours will be doing bra fittings, and Macy’s will have fall fashions and a lipstick station. There will also be plenty of educational booths and free health risk assessments, plus light hors d’oeuvres, PINKtinis from Holiday Inn, door prizes and other giveaways.

This event is made possible by proceeds from It's All in the Jeans Day. Registration is requested by not required. To register, call 866-PROVENA toll-free or visit

Monday, October 17, 2011

Go Pink with Beaded Jewelry by Susan

Beaded Jewelry by Susan earrings will be available at the Go Pink event at the  breast cancer fundraising evening at Provena Hospital next week:

Join us on Tuesday, October 25 in the Auditoriums at Provena Covenant Medical Center from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. for this fun, free and informative evening focused on breast cancer awareness. Wear your favorite casual pink attire and join us for a night of pampering, education, networking and more. Registration is requested but not required. To register, call 866-PROVENA or visit
World-Renowned University of Illinois Breast Cancer Researcher Ann Nardulli, Ph.D. will discuss the latest advancements in fighting cancer, two breast cancer survivors will share their stories, and a panel of medical experts and breast cancer survivors of all ages will answer your questions about prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Friday, September 16, 2011

What's New?

Fall is in the air, and a variety of things are going on with us. Today, someone included a pair of earrings from Beaded Jewelry by Susan in her Etsy treasury.
Last weekend, we enjoyed the CD release concert by Mean Lids at the Iron Post. Miriam (Mimi) Larson played flute, mouth harp, train whistle, kazoo, and various other "special" musical instruments as well as performing beautiful vocals. Ben Smith tore up the sound barrier with his fantastic violin (and the baritone violin) and did a few very lively banjo numbers as well. He and Matt Turino did some vocals too, and Matt joined in with his fiddle for some numbers and his guitar for others. They did some "old-timey" tunes--Western swing, waltzes, jigs and reels--in the first set and then the second set was straight from the CD and all original instrumental numbers. These were really great because they are all excellent composers as well as accomplished musicians (and they have nice "lids" as well.)
Also managed to discover some wonderful new literary fiction authors lately:  Stefan Merrill Block's The Storm at the Door; Margaret Leroy's The Soldier's Wife; and Ellen Feldman's Lucy.

Thinking ahead to October, I have ordered a big bunch of tiny bulbs: species tulips, the short, small tulips from which the big Holland beauties were developed. They are charming and just the right scale for our raised beds (I am hoping I can plant these myself sitting on the garden bench).
Sara and Theresa Jones are continuing to attend the Saturday Farmer's Market in Urbana with Beaded Jewelry by Susan items for sale, and the Provena Hospital sales to raise funds for the Women's Center continue this month (once a week) and include my earrings as well. I am looking forward to a bead show at the end of October in Collinsville to find some great new beads. Have had a few sales on my Etsy website lately as well!

Last project is trying to get some copyediting work to help with generating some income, so took an editing test today! Hope all goes well for all of you. Please feel free to post comments or questions anytime.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fundraiser Sales Begin!

Tuesday was the first of the in-house sales this month of earrings from Beaded Jewelry by Susan at the Provena Hospital fundraisers for the Women's Center. All employees and patients will have three more chances this month to purchase these lovely earrings, and again part of the proceeds will go to the Women's Center. The next sale will be Monday, September 12, at Provena Hospital.

In October there will be two big events that will be open to the public as well. More on that later . . .

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Another Great Saturday Night Gig

Just a quick note to say we enjoyed another great Saturday night music gig at the Iron Post. Bate Calado was playing, and Elis Artz was substituting tonight for Gina Reynolds, who is in Brazil, on several numbers. The music and singing were terrific! Rick Deja's saxophone is so sweet it seems to be talking, singing, and even crying sometimes! He did a number of virtuoso solos, but one in particular was outrageously impressive. Eduardo Herrera's guitar work was also exceptional this evening. As always, the bass with Dave Cubberly, the drums with Andy Burton, and the percussion with Cody Jensen (including the lovely triangle and tambourine) provided just the right mix. There were a number of wonderful tunes by Antonio Carlos Jobim, one of our favorite Brazilian composers, along with some other numbers that we hadn't heard before. Thanks so much, guys!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fast Week

This week really went fast. We went to hear Desafinado as promised on Saturday and I got some photos for the blog. Now here it is Thursday night already and I am just now writing the blog! Tomorrow is David's 70th birthday, so I won't be on the computer ... we've planned a picnic lunch at Homer Lake, some enchiladas for dinner at La Fiesta, and friends coming back for cake afterward. Then on Saturday, Bate Calado, another Brazilian band, at the Iron Post.

This time, we got the new CD by Desafinado, with lots of wonderful originals, some of which they played on Saturday at the Iron Post. Thanks to Hurricane Irene, Giraldo Rosales was still in Costa Rica, so no congas this time.
However, there was plenty of interesting percussion sounds. In addition to mandolin and a small electric guitar-like instrument, Luciano Tosta played tambourines, gourds, whistles, chimes, and "bongers" (my term for the strange instrument).
And Cody Jensen was there with drums and cymbals as well, if you can see him in my dark photo (the lighting in that place isn't much).
It was a real treat to have Greg Jahiel back with the group on guitar and vocals in Portuguese. Greg is also a very talented composer.
 Here's another shot of Greg, but the mike was in the way!
Partway through the first set, George Turner joined the group, with his lovely melody guitar works.
Tom Paynter (are pianists always photographed from the back?) made excellent use of the nicely tuned Baldwin. Tom told me he thinks the Baldwins are as good as the Steinways any day.
You still can't see his face, unfortunately, but Tom's flute is so distinctive, it's a definite ID. He seems completely absorbed in playing piano and then suddenly grabs up the flute at just the right moment and sends a trill thrilling down your spine!
Or he surprise you with the accordion-like sound of the air-driven melodica mounted above the piano. You can't see the tube, but he is blowing while he plays.
This is my last attempt to get a better photo of Tom (not just the nape of his neck) as he returns to the ivories. He did a number of piano solo moments in various pieces that night, and they were truly impressive. His playing is not only virtuoso, but inventive and always intriguing.
Well, her head got cut off here, but you can see the lovely multicolored sundress worn by Elis Artz, great Brazilian singer!
That's better! Elis is back from a couple of months at home in Brazil with a new haircut but the same rich, resonant voice! She's been writing lyrics for some of the new compositions by the band too.
Isn't she lovely?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Books and Things

Life has been a bit busy, so I haven't posted for a while now. The garden seems to be starting to recover from the massive Midwestern heat wave, but it's still touch and go depending on how much rain we get. In fact, we probably won't know until next year how much damage was suffered by major shrubs and perennials because they can look okay after a heat wave but be weakened and then killed if the winter is tough. Not very many spectacular blooms right now to lure me outside in the heat with the camera ...

We have gone to a few jazz gigs lately, but we are trying to save money on cover charges and have had some health issues to deal with. However, we are looking very forward to hearing Desafinado again this coming Saturday at the Iron Post. I will try to remember to bring the camera and to post soon afterward.

My dear husband David is turning seventy years old a week from tomorrow and I'm planning a little getogether with some cake and friends to mark the occasion.

Things are moving along with Beaded Jewelry by Susan. We've have two Etsy sales lately ... hurray! Also, in September and October there will be some fundraising events at Provena Hospital with earrings from my collection, especially a lot of charming pink ones to support the Women's Center for breast cancer. In addition, Sara (of LetUsGetDirtyForYou) and her mom are selling my jewelry at the Urbana farmer's market on Saturdays, and Sara has just designed some great new business cards, signs, and banners to promote sales.

So much for a general update. Now ... about books. I can't say enough good things about a terrific novel I just finished called Next to Love by Ellen Feldman. I hadn't read her before, but have already requested an earlier novel of hers from the library. Next to Love is set in the period from 1944 to 1964 in a small town in Massachusetts. Babe, Millie, and Grace have been friends since kindergarten, all marry boys going off to fight in World War II, and continue close relationships with each other throughout their adult lives, despite various complications. This is my mother's generation of women, who grew up in hard times, lived through the fear and excitement of the war years, dealt with the horrifying consequences of the war itself and the amazing changes that the postwar years brought, and helped create the society that is most familiar to my generation of early baby boomers. Each character (and the town as a whole) serves as a window into the events and social changes of the era. The prose is handled beautifully, the narrative is clear and compelling, and the emotions are rendered heartbreakingly vivid. There is a lot of fiction coming out these days about World War II and the postwar years ... now that this generation is disappearing ... and it's a subject that is fascinating to me. Despite being a work of fiction, this novel fills in many day-to-day details of the life of the time and is faithful to historical events as well. Highly recommended.

Also recently read 22 Britannica Road by Amanda Hodgkinson. This is a story set in England about Polish immigrants after the war, with flashbacks to the characters' wartime experiences. Here is another author I had not read before and, again, an excellent depiction of a complicated and interesting period of history. These literary fiction novels about the era aren't just historical fiction per se because they touch on universal themes that transcend the era as well.

I didn't get a review out on it, but don't miss Ann Patchett's newest masterpiece, State of Wonder. It is totally compelling, thought-provoking, and profound ... as was her earlier Bel Canto. This one is set in the depths of the Amazon jungle and touches on many important contemporary themes, medical issues, and ethical questions. It's also exciting!

Of course, I never mention the novels I start and don't finish. I used to feel obligated to read a book all the way through even if I wasn't really engaged or impressed. Now that I'm "older," I no longer feel the same obligation. There are just too many great novels still waiting for me (I hope) to waste time on one that just isn't for me (which doesn't mean someone else might not enjoy it, of course).

However, I have to mention a specific disappointment--Robert Olen Butler's latest novel, A Small Hotel. I was introduced to him in his Pulitzer-prize-winning short story collection A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain. Then I went on to read all his novels written before that, mainly set in Vietnam during the war. The writing was superb and the content was profound. Then he stopped writing about Vietnam and tackled other contexts. That's fine ... a writer needs to write new novels rather than reworking the same material too much. But unfortunately the newer works were more and more superficial and lacking distinction. Finally, this recent novel is really a total comedown in my humble opinion. It is shallow and melodramatic. The characters are two-dimensional and completely self-absorbed. The descriptions of New Orleans, Mardi Gras, and the two hotels (which are NOT small at all) are so much on the surface as to be almost gratuitous. Well, enough said. Not all of my favorite authors please me all the time, but this was too bad and I will be cautious about him in the future.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bate Calado

We attended a terrific performance last night at the Iron Post from the Brazilian band Bate Calado. This group just keeps getting better and better each time we hear them. Check out their Facebook site for information about upcoming gigs.

The singer, Gina Reynolds, is a beautiful powerhouse of energy and motion, her clear soprano tones ringing out in the Portuguese lyrics while she dances to the rhythms. Gina is a graduate student in Political Science at the U of I and a big fan of Brazilian music of all kinds.

Saxophonist and flute player Rick Deja did some truly outstanding solos. We have also heard him play music from Malawi at a concert at the Urbana Free Library earlier this summer. His improvisations are so good--intricate and interesting but never straying too far from the melody of the piece. BTW, check out his amazing website with lots of music and a slide show.

Eduardo Herrera, who also plays with the Cuban band Sandunga frequently mentioned in this blog, brought his new guitar with the hole on the side. It is quite cool and has a different tone and depth as a result of the construction of the instrument. He also played an electric guitar last night. He and Dave Cubberly on electric bass make a wonderful team.

Speaking of teams, two fairly new band members, Cody Jensen and Andy Burton, interact musically in a very successful way: Cody brings in a range of percussion from conga to tambourine and triangle and Andy has the drum set with cymbals. The way they combine reminds us of when Chad Dunn and Giraldo Rosales were both in the band Desafinado, playing off each other's moves so amazingly.

In the first set, we were treated to some great bossa nova and samba numbers, including some favorites by the master composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. The second set presented some lively dance music in the forro (foho) style, a type of country music popular in northeastern Brazil, and even some Brazilian reggae.

We were pleased to learn that, starting in September, this group will be playing at the Post on the first Saturday of each month. Yeah!

We're also looking forward to Desafinado's performance there on the 27th of August. Elis Artz, singer extraordinaire with that band, is back from a two-month visit to her home in northeastern Brazil. Tom Paynter, fabulous pianist/flute and melodica player from Desafinado, was on hand to hear the music too.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Another Treasury

Wow! Yet another Etsy person has included a pair of my earrings in her latest treasury about jewelry inspired by nature. Have a look!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Blue Treasury

My blue earrings have been included in a lovely treasury on Etsy. Have a look!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sandunga Farewell

Saturday night we attended the final performance of Sandunga, a wonderful local Cuban band that we've enjoyed many times in the past. Several band members are moving away and this was the last time they could get together. Unfortunately, we were sitting back a ways because tables had been moved to make room for the dancing and the stage lights were low, so my photos came out too dark.
I did get a flash pic of my dear husband David and our friend Vicki, sitting across from me at the table, however.

The music was absolutely great. All of the performers are amazing musicians: Will Hope on Cuban lute (laud) and guitar and vocals, Julian Norato on guitar and vocals, Tina Hope on percussion sticks and vocals, Eduardo Herrera on bass and vocals, Andy Miller on bongos and percussion, and Adam Walton on congas (later on, Cody Jensen sat in for a while on bongos).

You can check out the archives of Susan's Blog for earlier posts about this group with good photos. As explained in those posts, the "guajira son" music is sung in Spanish and is the music of the mountains and countryside of Cuba. You may know some of this wonderfully infectious sound from the DVD called Buena Vista Social Club.

Champaign-Urbana has an extensive Latino/a community from all over Central and South America and they turn out enthusiastically for Sandunga performances. Many the of the people know each other and they know the songs, often singing along. And there is always DANCING! People of all ages, men, women, and children, are all dancing their feet off the whole time. It is really fun to watch. I do a little in-chair dancing myself, despite the arthritis. It was so crowded because of the dancing that David could hardly get through to the restroom with his walker!

We will certainly miss this group. There's some hope for a reunion next July for a single performance, and fortunately we were at the CD release party recently and have the CD (check their Facebook site if you want to get one too).

Will and Tina will be going to Maine, where Will is going to be teaching anthropology (courses on Cuban culture and music); Andy is going to Columbia on a Fulbright grant; Julian and Eduardo are Columbian and may be going down there in the winter (?). Adam is staying here (he and his wife recently had twins). We wish them all well and thank them for some very enjoyable evenings of great music, singing, and dancing!