T is for…

Town-wide yard sales:

This weekend is when anyone can host a garage or yard sale, and the town prints a map of all the locations.

Amy and I drove down, got some gas and found that the gas station was out of maps, then delivered my pop-up canopy to my friend in case of rain during her sale. Borrowed her stroller, which unlike mine has a basket, and off we went.

Down her street, across another, down Lake Shore, across Academy to Liberty, down to Lake Shore again, eventually over to Main almost to another friend’s house, then up School, and across Academy again and back to our car: about three hours of walking and shopping.

Last year, I’m not sure I could have done that much walking, especially pushing forty pounds in front of me over uneven sidewalks.

I set out to find a mortar and pestle set. You’d think someone would have received one as a present and never used it. But not only did no one have one, most people didn’t even know what I was talking about.

I also looked for a pickle crock. One fellow had two 10-gallon crocks and one 15-gallon crock, but he wanted $50 and $65, respectively. I’m thinking more like $20, and 5-gallon. Eh. I’ve heard I can make pickles in the crock pot’s liner, although obviously it won’t hold as much. I could also buy spent crock pots at thrift stores…

There’s one lady from whom I’ve bought lots of nice big fabric pieces in past years, but she wasn’t selling today — a neighbor thought she would be tomorrow. A grocery bag, stuffed, for $3, I remember — might be worth a trip tomorrow even though I’ve still got a pile of fabric on my sewing room floor waiting to be sorted and stashed.

I didn’t see any other fabric, although one woman showed me some narrow long pieces of something light blue, recommending them for curtain tiebacks.

I did buy:

  • A snack bag of Doritos from a church basement sale for Amy and I to share
  • A dress and two 24-piece puzzles for Amy; not that she needs more dresses but it was really pretty
  • A ladle, also for Amy, and a t-shirt for me
  • Two small wooden boxes, most likely for Amy to put things in

Total: $8.50


My dulcimer student has been improvising — she plays drums in school, so it’s not surprising that her improvisations are very rhythmic and percussive, more about pattern than melody. The more she develops her control (tone and accuracy) and learns her way around the instrument, the better and more interesting these already interesting pieces will be.

Today I showed her how you can spell any word with music.


Find the desired letter, then write down the letter at the top of its column. Her choice was “Olympus,” which translates to “AEDFBGE.”

Then we worked out how to find those notes on the dulcimer, including choosing whether to use a natural, sharp, or flat version, and whether the next one should be higher or lower. She picked out A, going down to E then D, up to F natural, up again to Bb, then down to G and then E again.

Next, we talked about rhythm — I was really thinking about meter, mostly, and about note values / lengths, but she was thinking about adding rhythmic embellishment between melody notes. We slowed it down a bit for the sake of developing control, and for the sake of smoothness and a systematic approach.


5 thoughts on “T is for…

  1. That’s pretty cool. Hadn’t thought of doing spelling words that way with notes. I’ll have to try it. And that video – the phrase sounds interesting and exotic – very fitting for Olympus.

  2. Thanks, Melody.

    Rick, Tim told me Bach did it — not sure who else but I’m sure there’s more. And I agree, the musical phrase really works well for the word.

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