🎼a new direction in life…music 🎼🎼

Ken and my lives are nothing if not changing all the time. Back in March of this year we got a request to perform at an event in Grand Forks BC (the town that Ken grew up in). The town is home to a large group of Doukhobors who immigrated to Canada in the late 1800s. Very interesting story, best read in detail here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doukhobors#Migration_to_Canada. Or do a search. The take home point for us is that they are pacifists, vegetarians and left Russia for a life where they could determine their own destiny. It was an event that is held annually, and has been for 75 years to celebrate “75 Years of Coming Together in Peace, Brotherhood and Song”

So we dusted off our guitars, and practiced for a month, got new calluses on our fingers and then headed off to Grand forks. Well we first stopped in Kelowna to practice with friends there, who were going to accompany us. AND we just fit into their driveway…. an inch to spare.

Then we had a great time practicing the songs ……. THIS one is FOR WHOM. a song based on the concept that our children do not inherit the earth from us, we BORROW IT from them.

Irene and Paul also come from Grand Forks, and Irene was the one who “promoted” 😃 us for this event.

We spent Friday night at Lizzies place (Irene’s sister) and one of “the grasshoppers” a band of girls, sisters and cousins who have been playing together for ??? 50 years. Oh and look at Tucker the photo bomber.

AND then the main event. A Doukhobor mens choir involving many generations.

We were dead last on the agenda….. which is always hard, because you spend the whole time getting more nervous. IT HAD been over 3 years. AND I WAS nervous, it DOES take a few verses to get the air moving properly through the vocal chords 🥺🥺 AND there was someone in audience to capture our performance and so here it is. Women in Black after all these years.

I must say that the event was life changing for me. We got such a great response, it just felt so great. Since we moved back to Canada we just have not received so much interest as we did in the US, the politics seemed of less interest in Canada. I guess my fragile musical ego, sort of crumbled after a few events in our area….. and so I guess I put the music away on a shelf somewhere, TOOK on different things.

But to play at an event that was held by a large group of Pacifists, it inspired me. The real message of the event was Peace, and peace comes with pacifism, and not choosing sides.

At the same time, we are now BOTH retired and free to travel, so I am thinking that as we travel this fall that we will try to find events with political motivations that we can perform at. It will make for a very different winter journey… ROCKS and music.

NOW HIS GUY is a real boon to our music…… when we think he is ready for a nap, we just pull out our guitars and he just snuggles into a chair and goes to sleep. Not quite sure what that means, but he just seems mesmerized when we play. ….

Plant Identification.

Oh and I should tell you all about our latest bread ingredient. We have TONS of morel mushrooms, and so I have dried them and put them through the food processor to make them into powder and then just add that with the flour while making bread and presto…. mushroom bread. Incredibly moist, dark and Talon seems to love it.

I guess I am feeling like we are getting our Mojo back…..

Much love from Janet, Ken and Tucker the photobomber hound.

Sonny Bono Salton Sea Wildlife refuge

So back to the Salton Sea story…… (see previous blog) in 1905, the Colorado River drained into the Salton see area for 2 years before they were able fix the area of the river.  Wintering waterfowl began flocking to the sea almost immediately, and before long, the area proved to be a major stopover destination for migrating birds. “Shown to have a greater diversity of avian species than that of the Florida Everglades, the Salton Sea is a vital habitat for more than 400 species of birds making it a one of North America’s premier birding locations.”  We decided prior to going there to give ourselves a new camera (?? christmas present)  So we took LOTS of pictures.   We “snuck up” on several birds attempting the perfect picture, and then while sorting out something with my camera in the car afterwards a HUGE heron flew within a few feet of our car (no time for a picture)

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“The Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1930 at the southern end of the sea. Less than 1,800 of its original 37,600 acres remain manageable due to shoreline flooding. [1] In 1998, the refuge was renamed the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge to commemorate congressman and former celebrity showman Bono who was an early champion of Salton Sea remediation efforts.”

We went to the information centre, and it was quite interesting. She told us that the bird population that actually comes to the refuge has changed in recent years.  The salinity of the sea increases by about 3% per year, and very few fish can tolerate the concentration of salt. Apparently, though the sea has been a great fishing area for a long time, non one has actually caught fish there in the past 2 years, at least that they knew of.dsc00635

There are tales of boating several years ago, on a  calm day, you could look down into the water at the town that exists, where the salt mine was.  The OTHER really interesting boating story, is that because the lake sits ~260 feet below sea level, and with the increased salinity of the water, boats engines apparently perform much better.  So boats go much faster than they would elsewhere. So they had to initiate boating speed laws. We went down to the boat launch. As you can see there is no water for the first mile out from the launch.  The lake level is dropping all the time, and it sounds like it will eventually disappear again some day.dsc00601

In 1998 the sea was named after Sonny Bono. Part of the Salton Sea was in Bono’s congressional district, and cleaning up the lake became one of the issues he championed during his two terms in Congress. Bono’s death has created bipartisan support for the cleanup project.  It does seem that the area needs a new champion though.

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So we are now almost to Oregon, we DID spend a few days in Ventura visiting with some friends we have not seen in years. Irene and Ken.  Also (not pictured here) Cindy and Paul.  We gave them a little concert of our newer songs. Who says you cannot have a party in a motorhome.:) 🙂 so wonderful to be with friends.

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Much Love

Janet, and Ken and Tucker.