Local Flavor: Hoo-Boy, What a World!

Look -- I'm going to lead with cats doing cute cat stuff because this has been some summer so far, huh?

Above is Rosie helping me on a packing day.

Here are the two of them, double-deckered, gazing-out hungrily at songbirds. This lasted an hour.

So, shall we get back to it? It's been a while since my last check-in with everyone.

Prices are soaring, work is endless, we're all depressed by heat waves, threats of war (and actual, full-blown, idiotic war), murder sprees, gridlocked politics, and all the rest of it. Confidence in anything is low no matter what side of any debate you're on. I will not go any more into all that, but suffice to say these are the things people are chatting about with one another while hanging-out in the shop getting repairs done.

I hear you all and I feel your stress, too.

For me, things have just been too dang busy. I mean -- it only gets busier and busier. By the time I get to an off day and have completed any chores, I'm so wiped I simply shut down and barely ever pick up any instruments to enjoy them. Music time for me is focused almost entirely on the random few summertime gigs we have.

I've been fixing, selling, and shipping stuff like mad. Above is a snap of the back of my car a few weeks ago, prepping to drop stuff off in town. There are four more shoved in front of this lot and I've had a lot of similar "shipping days" coming out of weekends for months, now

 I'm not complaining, mind you!

That same day had a nice downpour right after drop-off and I had the wonderful misfortune to have chosen an uncovered pump that would only pump at about 1/4-rate of normal speed and wouldn't let me engage the "clip" in the trigger to keep it pumping while not holding it.

Yep, that was a soak-y Jake who returned to the fort. Still -- pretty, right? I love those clouds.

A couple weeks ago this fella (click here for his Insta) stopped by and we got his guitar-critters fixed-up. You can read about 'em here and here.

We've had a lot of nice sunsets lately. This orangesicle surprise was a few nights ago. I have not been diligent at all with being a shutterbug this year -- too much going on! I did get distracted by Bonnie's flowers a bit, though.

Here are some of them that same night...

...and the day lilies have gotten as tall as me. Some stuff is growing piss-poor this year while other stuff is full steam ahead. Raspberries have been great while the cherries were so few we couldn't even get a pie or crumble out of them.

A couple weeks back I played an acoustic set with my buddies Todd (left) and Mike (right) up in Hancock. The same two plus my friend Rob played on Saturday at a house party, which was pretty fun.

The latter was an electric set -- and I've been getting more comfortable just running as much as I can "silent stage" style with DI boxes. This is less to carry when having to drag-out a whole PA system and -- ya know what -- it's just easier than dealing with yet more equipment. I'm beginning to become very, very lazy about live gear.

My bass went through an Aquilar Tone Hammer pedal, Rob's electric through my Quilter amp (line-out), Mike's mandolin through a pickup, and Todd's amp mic'd, set fairly quiet, turned completely backwards from our group, and with a muffler covering its rear so it was more-or-less silent to us.

Last week I was supposed to be doing music for a play all week but that got canceled as one of the actors caught COVID (we're all good, here, no worries) and so we were just too low on cast to continue on with it. It was a blessing (there's always work to finish) and also a bit melancholy because it'd been a couple years since the last time I'd worked on that particular sort-of project and I always have fun doing it.

All that said, life continues to be Vermont-ily good up here. It's gorgeous with all of our thick green summertime growing, the kids are getting huge and always interesting, and sometimes I can stay up in the middle of the night to do a little recording now and then so my brain is not entirely dead. Creativity persists!

I'm going to try to mark a day this week to simply return any recent calls, emails, and texts that are dragging, so hopefully I'll be talking to you soon if you've been waiting on me to get back to you.


you should take a few days off, join the cats, and eyeball some songbirds ...
Claude said…
Don't burn out, Jake! Remember that urgent and important are two separate things.
7LiveFree7 said…
Interesting about the cherries. I didn't get any either; I was blaming the birds.