Thursday, July 23, 2009

National Folk Festival # 2

July 11 and 12th we attended our 2nd National Folk Festival. After attending last year and having such a fun weekend, we decided to go back again. For the second year it was held in Butte, Montana. And again, it was a great event.

Janet had expressed an interest in going to the Folk Festival so we were happy she could get some time off and spend a fun weekend with us. Sitting on lawn chairs on a beautiful summer day in Montana, a cooler of goodies and sodas, and listening to some great music . . . how could it get any better than that?
For two days we listened to about 12 different performers and every one of them were so good. There was cajun, bluegrass, jazz, gospel, piano, guitar, mariachi, celtic . . . you name it. Music for every taste and all of it was so entertaining. We had a wonderful time listening to all the great acts. If you like good music and music of all types, it's definitely a party worth attending!

Here's some of the crowds who came downtown Butte to listen to the Jeff Little Trio. Jeff Little, from Boone, North Carolina played Blue Ridge Piano. . . and boy, could this guy play the piano! Maybe that's 'cause he started playing at age 5, but he was GOOD! And accompanying him was his longtime friend and neighbor Wayne Henderson, (maker of world famous Henderson Guitars).

Other groups we watched were Beau Soleil, an amazing cajun band from Louisanna, Tuxedo Jazz Band from New Orleans, Bill Kirchen and The Hammer of Honky-Tonk Gods ("Born at the junction of form & function"), Mariachi Los Camperos ( w/such beautiful voices), Pride of New York -Irish/Celtic, and many more. What a fun time! It was such great music, good food and lots of interesting people to watch!

Sunday morning before going back for more music at the Folk Festival, we took a mine tour. Here we're all rigged up to go work in the mines.

Randy is standing in the mine shaft looking much happier to be there than most of those who actually worked in the mines. Mining was hard, hard work in terrible conditions. It's hard to imagine working that hard every day of your life.

And this sign is a good reminder of how dangerous mining is and was. Just working in the heat, the dark and the noise would be enough to kill 'ya . . . . yet alone the equipment you had to use. It was all so dangerous!

And the hard hats and headlights were so heavy. I had a headache from wearing my hard hat after only a few minutes. I can't imagine putting in a 12 hour shift under such difficult work conditions. The tour was really interesting and you gave you an appreciation for the life of a miner and how hard and dangerous the work was. Butte is a city of 10,000 miles of underground mines so it's citizens know mining. I'm glad we had the opportunity to take the tour and learn a little more about Butte, Montana.

It was such a fun weekend! The weather was good (for the most part) - - the music was awesome, and the company was great! It was a wonderful way to spend a weekend in July and we've already made reservations for next year's festival so we'll be back again next year!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Waterful Weekend for both kids & dogs!

I love having family come home for a weekend. And one of the fun things about family being home in the summer is that we water the front pasture on weekends. That means for several hours, there's lots of water for kids and dogs to play in. It makes for good photos, good memories and lots of fun. And it's a good way for both kids and dogs to use up lots of energy. With Kris and her two dogs and Julie and her two boys, it made for a fun time for everyone. Both the kids and dogs played until they couldn't go anymore.

Cooper and Willis loved the water and couldn't hardly get enough of it. They look so cute waiting patiently for someone to throw the ball for them again . . . . for the hundreth time!

Bridger loved being so grown up and having the dogs listen to his instructions. It made him feel so important and neither of them ever tired of the game of fetch.

On your mark . . . get set . . . . GO!
I don't know whether Logan being rescued or dunked by Kristi, but it doesn't really matter 'cause he's having so much fun. Naturally, Cooper and Willis have to be in the mix whenever the kids are in the water . . . 'cause after all they are "water dogs"!
Oh, to be a kid again when all it took to keep you happy was to be able to play in the water in the ditch. The water may not be too clean . . . but you're wet and cooled off from the summer heat so what better way to spend a summer day! Just some of the simple joys of life in the country at Grandma's.