We have been playing music with a few people from our street in the 17th Street Band for a while now. Willie plays mostly fiddle, but mandolin and guitar on a few songs and I play upright bass. One neighbor John plays guitar and lap steel and Melissa (not pictured) plays fiddle and sings harmony. Last night we learned that Willie's secretary plays accordion and we are trying to recruit her.

We have played at a pizza place but last night was our first real gig. We considered it our band debut. It was a fundraiser for the local community radio. There were about 100 people. It was a local brewery that was donating the proceeds from a special brew of beer to the radio station. We played outside and it was a cool evening. Everything went really well. We don't have any pictures, but a neighbor took some video so I'll upload it as soon as we get it. A great couple from church stayed with the boys. They asked to come early to play with them before bedtime so Willie and I rode our bikes downtown to eat at a Nepali restaurant. It was so good. Wyatt got to stay up late playing with his sitters. Hank also got special treatment because they didn't like to hear him crying when they put him down for bed so he got to stay up and play too.

We played for two hours and got home a little after 11pm. We were exhausted from such a fun time. I have a small blister to show for it, which means I've been practicing really well. When I'm out of practice I can get a HUGE blister in about an hour so my finger is getting used to it. Several couples from Willie's work came and a few friends from church. We mostly played original songs that Willie wrote and our other band member Jon Rizzo. We also played a few covers of Tom Waits, Bob Dylan and Muddy Waters. When people ask us what kind of music the band plays we all have different answers. I say folk/rock. Willie says Americana or roots music. This band has been a fun thing for us to do. We practice Thursday nights on the back porch so next time any of you come to visit hopefully you'll be here for a Thursday practice.

I just finished another apron. I'm making one for my sister for a birthday present. She’s already picked out her fabric, but I needed to make a prototype. After making this one I realize that I need to work off a pattern. I had to do a lot of fine tuning on this apron. If I started out with a pattern and embellished it, it would be easier. Thank goodness for my dress form.

A fun detail is the flower on the pocket. I have a friend from church who has become my quilting mentor. She's a real artist. She gave me a book about fabric flowers. This was my first attempt and I love how it turned out. I had to go heavy on the spray starch to get it to fold right.

More great news (if you consider the fact that I just made a new apron great news too). I now have a cell phone. Just another wonderful perk from working for my brother. It's been fun not having a cell phone because people just can't believe it. On a non professional level a cell phone is not a need, just a want. So I couldn't justify the bill. Traveling without a cell phone is the pits when pay phones are getting harder and harder to find. Plus I have been a total cell phone mooch, giving a friends cell number to the baby sitter, etc. I think Willie is headed for a cell phone too. Professionally speaking, it's getting to the point where it's expected. We must first finish up the year of the debts(free from any debt that isn’t school loans or our mortgage).

I have decided that I will never talk on the cell phone in the car because I don't appreciate sloppy drivers who are on the phone. It's just not safe. Click
here to read 10 steps to good cell phone etiquette. So far I've given out the number for work related things but I've only received a call from my sister and several people trying to get a hold of Mohamad, who must have just cancelled his phone. Call me! 917-434-2322

Last weekend we met up with my siblings and their families at my mom's house.  Our trip was short so we stayed around Midway to hang out and laugh with everyone.  I wish we could have stayed longer and visited with all of our great friends that live in the area.  Wyatt loved playing with his cousins.  We stayed in a condo by my mom's house so we could all be together during naps and early bedtimes.  We had two birthday parties, went to the pool, went on walks and runs and ate out. We talked a lot of politics, religion and pop culture.  So fun!

I just love my siblings and their spouses.  Once I got home I felt a little bit lonely for the constant close relationships.  We don't get all of us together very often.  It was a great few days.

Here are the ladies playing a game of scrabble. 
On a sad note, I lost in arm wrestling to my sister Amy and my mom!  I thought I was strong, but not strong enough.  I need to increase my biceps weights.  Oh, there will be a rematch.

We actually had people to take pictures of our whole family together.  I'm usually the one taking the pictures.  It's really hard to get all of us looking at the camera with our eyes open.  In this picture I settled for all eyes open and the two adults looking at the camera.

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