2020 – COVID-19 – Lockdown Days = Gardening, Raising Chickens, Playing Music, Baking, Knitting, Sewing, and Painting

Being “stuck” in Australia is my situation right now and probably will be for the remainder of this year. It’s only a bad thing because I can’t easily get back to the U.S.A. to see my family & friends and handle American business. I’ve actually got a pretty good place to be “stuck.”

For the past few months, Adrian and I have been staying home in Daylesford. We’ve built a greenhouse and started growing vegetables and strawberries.

Greenhouse8296

We’ve adopted/rescued chickens and have enjoyed a daily supply of fresh eggs since early May. The eggs have been thoroughly enjoyed, as I have used them in baking lemon tarts, creme caramels, and coffee cakes and Adrian has cooked up delicious omelettes and egg pies. The daily egg hunt is keeping me amused, as each day I enjoy seeing where the chooks decided to lay their eggs in the hay.

CarlaChickenSelfie_7468

I’ve also had the joy of watching the chickens lay eggs. It’s an amazing thing, seeing the chickens lay eggs for my breakfast! Without lockdown and isolation, I really don’t know if I would have ever experienced these things. 

Besides raising chickens for the first time in my life, during lock down I have begun to sew again in the past few months. When I was a teenager I started sewing clothes for myself, and in my 30’s I sewed a few clothes and toys for my daughter. My sewing stopped as I got busier over the years, but I have enjoyed the use of my old-fashioned sewing skills as I have been making masks for Adrian and myself. Some of these masks I have made out of scraps of fabric and painted and other masks I have sewn out of recycled clothing. A dress I had that wasn’t too flattering on me, to say the least, came in handy to make a few artsy-looking tie-dye masks. A few old t-shirts from The Holy Moly in Clarksdale, Mississippi, have a new life as COVID-19 prevention masks in Australia.

ChickenMaskAdrianTieDyeMask

Along with the sewing, I’ve continued my daily knitting routine. I’ve finished a few hats, gloves, mittens, and cardigans. It seems like I have quite a few things to do in my daily routine, but some days it also seems like I do nothing at all, as Adrian and I have slowed down so much (along with the rest of the world) in things related to our Australian business. We’re doing what needs to be done (and changing some aspects of our accommodation business), hoping that people will be allowed to travel soon. We’re developing our ideas for events and programs at Tasma House, including projects that were just about to launch as lockdown began last March.

On August 29, 2020, we participated in Play Music on the Porch Day, as we enjoyed a springy day in the garden in Daylesford. Here are a couple of little selfie-videos: 

We’re so looking forward to being out and about playing music again! Until then, we’ll try not to over indulge in the luxury and delicious use of the chooks’ daily egg gifts…..I’m thinking of the lemon tarts, in particular. And, I’ll try not to buy ALL the wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills in Victoria, Australia!

EggsLemonTarts

LemonTart

ClaretMixCardigan

Socks

Living in a Renovated Masonic Temple

My husband, Adrian, and I have been renovating, furnishing, arranging/rearranging furniture, and getting ready for the fun to come at the 1st annual Delta Blues Dulcimer Revival. The DBDR will be a related event that we will host in The Holy Moly which is an official nighttime venue, at the 17th annual Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi, April 16th, 17th, and 18th, 2020.

It’s been an ongoing process (over seven years now) to figure out how to live in a Masonic Temple, make it affordable as well as comfortable, and set it up to share with other people. I imagine that most people don’t imagine setting up their dining room and/or living room in a way that allows for workshop-style learning. Notice the long tables behind me in our dining room! We’re anxious to fill those chairs with people who will come to Clarksdale (birthplace of the blues) to learn how to play the blues on a mountain dulcimer.

I know I don’t look like I’ve got the blues in the photo below…..and I don’t…..except for the kind of blues you get when you can’t play dulcimer with a bunch of other people who play dulcimers. I’ll admit to having those blues pretty often. Otherwise, my quirky life in two countries is grand…..quite grand, if I can call it that, living in a Masonic Temple.

TheHolyMolyDiningRoom_1415

Information about registration, workshops, and instructors for the Delta Blues Dulcimer Revival, along with the location and accommodation details, can be found at www.DeltaBluesDulcimerRevival.com. Click here for the press release.

Time Well Spent!

My time in the last three months has been spent appreciating life in Australia, sharing time with family and friends, building strength (mentally and physically), and taking a few road-trips with Adrian.

I try to look for beauty wherever I am, and I usually find it! Being surrounded by beauty, relaxes me and makes me breathe easier…..even when I am climbing steps in a rain forest!

Here are a few snapshots from a recent trip to the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.

IMG_7376

IMG_7380

IMG_7363

Road-trips! I love taking them with my husband, especially when our destinations include meet-ups with friends and family.

A few weeks ago our road-trip allowed us to visit our friend, Terry Hennessy, in Kangaroo Valley, NSW. We enjoyed hearing Terry’s stories, seeing the unusual puppets and musical instruments that he has built, and sharing meals together.

IMG_7250

Luckily, Adrian and I don’t have to go all the way to Kangaroo Valley to see kangaroos! I photographed this mob during a 10 minute drive from my home in Daylesford, Victoria.

Version 2

The beauty of these funny animals never grows old. I often wear a kangaroo necklace which Adrian gave me about 10 years ago. Kangaroos symbolise moving forward in life, as they cannot jump backward. Isn’t that beautiful! I happily wear my kangaroo and enjoy moving forward in life with Adrian.

 

carla_7514

Speaking of beauty….the views from my passenger seat during road-trips in Australia provide an abundance of it! Beauty inspires me, and I like to be inspired.

IMG_7411

Speaking of inspiration…..I’m always inspired and energised by visits with good friends. Adrian and I recently reconnected in real-life with our friends, Pip Cowan and Graeme Padgett, at the Murray River Horse Trails. We spent a lovely afternoon watching the horses, patting dogs, making new friends, and playing music that made hearts dance. That’s a successful road-trip event and an afternoon well spent, if you ask me!

IMG_7423

 

IMG_7425

 

Version 2

 

Having Fun With Friends!

Adrian and I took a trip to Numurkah, Victoria, Australia, to visit our friend, Pip Cowan.

Pip has been to Clarksdale, Mississippi, USA, recently. By just a few days, we missed seeing each other in America and had to catch up in Numurkah.

Pip has an interesting story to tell about his travel to the Mississippi Delta in his wordpress blog: Busking My Way to Mississippi.

Pip_5598

It was a pleasure to visit with Pip!  While Adrian and I were visiting Pip, we met one of his good friends, Graeme Padgett. Graeme runs a horse trail riding business near Numurkah.

Pip_5629

Pip and Graeme are two of my new, very fascinating, Aussie friends!

Another wonderful road trip took us to visit Adrian’s long-time friends in Port Fairy, Victoria: Brian and Claire Atkins, a beautiful couple of artists! It was a 20+ year reunion for Adrian, while I enjoyed getting to know these lovely, talented, interesting, people. Claire is a glass artist, and Brian is a retired boat builder (his grandson, Nick, has taken up the business). They are both fantastic story-tellers, too! It was a pleasure to get to know Brian and Claire.

ClaireAndBrian_5863

What a beautiful place Port Fairy is!

PortFairy_5814

There are a lot of things I can do in this world, but one of the most valuable things is spending time with friends and family. I always feel blessed when time is spent this way.

My Musical Life in Australia

I’m starting the new year here in Daylesford, Victoria, Australia, and feeling blessed by that.

A few of my friends have posted Facebook posts about good-riddance to 2016. I’m not sure I feel the same, but I am happy to be moving forward with a positive mental attitude about 2017! The new year started with the Table Hill duo (that’s me and my husband) playing music at the Radio Springs Hotel on the 8th of January in the centre of the universe. Lucky me!

tablehillduocartooncropped

Dulcimer Cartoon by Carla Maxwell — Adrian Kosky and Carla Maxwell, players

As I sit and write, in my little house on Table Hill road, I’m listening to my hubby play and sing about sitting on top of the world. That feels pretty good — all of it — the sitting, the blogging, the listening to my hubby, being in the little house on Table Hill road.

Table Hill will play again in Lyonville on January 22 @ 12:30 p.m., February 2 @ 6:30 p.m., February 9 @ 6:30 p.m., February 26 @ 12:30 p.m., and March 2 @ 6:30 p.m. Reservations are recommended. The phone number is 03 5348 5562. Come on over, if you can!

tablehillart2radiosprings

Dulcimer Cartoon by Carla Maxwell — Adrian Kosky and Carla Maxwell, players

Happy New Year!