The Whistler's Dream

Everybody needs a dream...
Mine is to go to Oklahoma and play whistles for The Pioneer Woman. (Having been invited, not in a "creepy stalker" kind of way, for the record.) Heck, I'd play in a pup tent in the backyard for the joy of the cows and critters. What can I say? I'm a fan.
Everybody needs a dream...

Random Fluffy Foto!

Random Fluffy Foto!
Writing in bed, and Beka editing by ear. Really. The ear typed some letters. Really.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I believe... I think...

Recently, I played background music for a couple of hours at Covenant Village of the Great Lakes for a health fair. The unusual thing is that I recorded my playing. I need some samples to send to our cousin, who's thinking of having me play for her wedding in September, and she wants to hear what the whistles and such sound like.

I don't know that I've ever recorded my whistle playing before - maybe once for another demo, but it's been years. Anyway, I listened to some of what was recorded last night and a bit today, and I realized something...

NOTE: the following is intended with all modesty. No, isolation hasn't made me forget to obey my cardnial rule ("never believe your own press releases"). And, yes, I do expect people to still say to me, "don't quit your day job." The thing is, this IS my day job now...

OK - here it is. I'm just gonna say it out loud. (takes deep breath... shudders, pauses, and then continues...) I'm not too bad of a whistle player. Or wind controller for that matter.

"That's ALL?" I hear you ask? Well, if that surprizes you, you don't know me well enough. My self image has always been low enough to observe life on the ocean floor. I always believed that while I could play background music at events, all I was doing was just toodling little melodies, but nothing all that accomplished. Certainly not worth recording. Certainly not worth trying to sell folks a CD of. But actually hearing myself... wow. I heard something there that reminds me of the gift God has given me - that actually lets me believe that my music is something worth doing, is worth recording, and is actually something unique. That there is some skill, some unique ability in what the Lord allows me to do - I play because I have gifts and abilities that bring forth something worth hearing.

Granted, there is room for a LOT of improvement. And, I really need to practice daily, not just when I have a gig that day. But, being someone who plays a lot of different instruments, I thought that my only "claim to fame" (for lack of a better phrase) was the variety of instruments I play, and not in the skill with which they are played. But I hear a unique voice, something worth offering.

One more reminder - no big head here. No over-stuffed ego. Just trying to understand what these thoughts mean.

What does it mean? It means that for the first time, I actually believe. I believe that when my album comes out this summer, that it will be a good album. That it will offer something worth hearing. That when I do a program at a church or retirement community, I'll be bringing something worth their time and money. I believe that making part of my living doing music is alright, because I actually have some ability, and (dare I say it?) talent.

I believe what Vicki has been telling me all along. I believe that this will work. I'm not unemployed - I'm self employed. I do a bit of jewelry making (and some speciality sewing - more on that later), a bit of music (recording and performing), and a bit of storytelling and magic. And, on the side, I host and produce Toonz, and do a little volunteer tracking for His Kids Radio. And, until He says otherwise, this is my path. It allows me to do lots of things I love, it accomodates the unique way my creative mind works, and it hopefully will bring in enough income to supplement what Vicki does, so that we can actually live. Not just survive - but live.

There. I said it in public. Now Vicki can point at this and say, "See? What have I been telling you all along?!!" And, when my friends hear me beating myself up, they can say, "Hold it. That's not what you REALLY believe." Thank you Lord - for not forgetting me, and for having a plan, even though I had a hard time accepting it and believing it. And, thank you Vicki - you never gave up on me, even when I did. I believe. I accept. And, I'm grateful to God for this new direction. I think... (still backsliding just a bit there...)

Hmmm.... maybe I'd better hit DELETE before this becomes officially public. Nope. Too late. :-D

Friday, May 26, 2006

Sneakin' off to the Drive-In with my honey!

We did a downright spontaneous thing last night. Vicki said she was in the mood for a movie, leaning toward seeing MI3. I, on the other hand, and as might be expected, was thinking more along the lines of Over The Hedge.

So, how about both, featured in a double feature at the Getty 4 Drive-In in Muskegon. Yes - Over The Hedge, followed by MI3, on the same screen. So, we grabbed some pillows, some blankets, some munchies and beverages, and headed off to Muskegon.

Show starts at Dusk. Which, unbeknownst to us, means around 10pm. So, MI3 didn't start until around 11:30, ending around 1:30, and that put us home around 2:15 in the very AM.

But it was WAY fun! We hadn't been to a drive-in for over 20 years, and it great. Sure - sitting in your car for 5 hours has its issues and challenges, but it was a nice night all the same. Certainly won't be the last time we go this summer.

So - anybody want to go to the drive-in?... :-D

Monday, May 22, 2006

You say it's your birthday...

And a lovely time was had by all.

Great service at Church Sunday am, even though Tammie just happened to mention that it was my birthday... (just wait until September, dear...) Then out for lunch after with some dear friends, Tammie & Greg & Georgelets, and Matt & Sam & Mulderlet.

Sunday night, we had a little snackie at Red Robin, and Vicki didn't even "out" me to the waiter, so no singing RobinFolk. What a nice present! :-D

Today, the final birthday bash over lunch at Mongolian BBQ with Hannah, and as Amanda told me to, I ate a sundae the size of my head. Not quite that big, but still...

Now, enough celebrating. Time to move on to jewelry, and other errands for a Monday. Including a ride in the park, hopefully. And, as Vicki has informed me, nothing but salad to eat for the rest of the day. :-D

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Busy... but confused... but learning...

Had a couple of Mother's day commissions, both of which seemed to be liked by those to whom they were given. (that was a clunky sentence, wasn't it?) And, we've put a good stock of pieces out at Kristin's - she who does our hair. :-D And, we'll see how they go. We've at least sold a couple of things... to Kristin, that is... :-)

This week is a zoo... doing at least one Toonz program, and hopefully two (to finish May) which will bring me to two months of doing Toonz as a solo act. I'm playing at the Covenant Village of the Great Lakes on Thursday - a good opportunity to get a little exposure for my music, and have a wedding to play at on Saturday, so there's a lot to do (and practice) before the weekend. No playing with jewelry this week I'm afraid. (except, of course, for any custom work that comes in - that always gets worked into the schedule.)

Oh - and my personal trip odometer turns over another year on Sunday. Yes, this year, I turn Thirty-Seventeen.
The countdown to 50 has begun - only three years left... The folks at Mongolian BBQ were kind enough to send me a coupon for a free meal with the purchase of one, which I DO intend to use, just maybe not on Sunday. I'm thinking a birthday lunch on Monday will be a good thing.

Turning a year older... this time last year, I wouldn't have imagined the place I'd be for my next birthday. It's been a tough year. I'm making progress toward some goals, but whether or not those goals are the ones I should be working toward is another question. I do know that nothing is ever going to be the same, and I am concerned about the future - especially financially. I'm hoping that I am learning to trust more through this - and we'll see how that all comes along in the months ahead.

My friend Josh and I are learning this together, as the Lord only reveals enough of the path ahead to see the next step or two. It drives me nutzzz at times, but I guess it's the lesson I need to learn. If we can only see a step or so down the path, it makes sure we stay close to the one who is leading us. After all, if you are in a car following someone to a place you've never been, you don't whip around them on the expressway, put the hammer down, and then expect to find the place on your own. You stay behind them - one car length or sometimes more if someone got between you. And you don't take your eyes off of them (or their vehicle). You watch for direction changes. You try to keep them in sight. And, even though you don't know where you are, or where you are headed, you keep your eyes on who you're following, and trust that they know the way.

I've quoted the hymn Lead Kindly Light before in this blog - so just the words from the chorus to close...

"Guide Thou my feet. I do not ask to see the distant scene.
One step enough... enough for me."

Friday, May 05, 2006

Welcome to CaptainCal.Info!

Thanks to some VERY slick work from my beloved Vicki, and the ever-amazing Ryan (aka "Ironbutt"), we have something up on our very own website. It's enough to give contact information, some info about my musical gigs and storytelling, and a little bio information. Not to mention a nice picture of our family, including The Girls, Ezri and Kira.

We needed it to at least have that much, since I'm getting a mailing ready to go to area retirement communities about doing musical programs or background music at their facilities, and we didn't want to send the mailing and then have to follow up with contact info.

Want to see the newly hatched and hopefully soon to expand site? Check out

In the future, we'll have expanded sections on music, storytelling, add in some things about the jewelry I make, and (hopefully this summer) release information about my CD.

Thank you, Ryan - you rock! And, thank you, Vicki, for believing in me when I stopped believing. I love you!