Friday, December 31, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Have you ever tried wearing the mismatched and feel like your feet are fighting all day? Does the left, happily clad in black crew snicker over at the right foot covered only in white ankle high. Do you wait in fear all day that someone will ask you to remove your shoes and you will have to fess up to the Sock pirates in your house.
Celebrate diversity wear the mismatched! Don't let them languish away their life expectancy in a basket. Somewhere out there a ship is sailing to port and high in the rigging is the mate your sock has been yearning for.
The music of Bill Harley www.billharley.com helps us live in peace with our sock pirates and refresh the sibling rivalry we once enjoyed. Did you ever think that something as simple as socks and underwear could be substance for storytelling and music. Look around at life it is full of stories.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Below is a link in which William Ury discusses Peace through a story we can all understand. Do you have a few minutes to give Peace a chance. The one gift that should be on our minds this season is the gift of Peace.
William Ury: The walk from "no" to "yes" Video on TED.com
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Tellabration time 09 rolled around and my Veteran's Salute Tellabration ( storytelling celebration) was to be the day I unveiled my talents as a origami Paper Crane folding master!
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Metro - T riders take stage to tell their MBTA tales
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
This Months feature performers Atwater -Donnelly on Nov 13, 2010
The venue St. Paul's Valley St Willimantic, Ct
Photo of Tom Callinan - A Breadbox Feature in the past
In the Community:
A community showcase mic held monthly to benefit the Covenant Soup Kitchen at St. Paul's Episcopal Church on Vallety St in Willimantic, Ct. This month a special concert performance will also be held Sat Nov 13 and the regular monthly mic on Wed. Nov 17 th. Your donations go directly to help feed the hungry among us. So come out and hear some incredible music at The Breadbox.
Saturday November 13, 2010
Award-winning duo Atwater-Donnelly performs a unique and thrilling blend of traditional American and Celtic folk music and dance, along with original songs and poetry.
The highly praised husband-wife duo blends gorgeous vocals with an astonishing array of instruments including the mountain dulcimer, old-time banjo, tin whistle, guitar, limberjack, mandolin, harmonica, feet and more. They often collaborate with other musicians, Cathy Clasper-Torch, Heidi and John Cerrigione, and Uriah Donnelly; and Irish step-dancer Kevin Doyle; and can be seen performing solo, as a duo, trio, four-person band, or the six-member old-time gospel band, Jerimoth Hill.
Based in Foster, Rhode Island, Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly have traveled extensively for twenty-two years in the United States, and occasional trips to Ireland, England, and Canada, to perform as well as find their songs and dances one by one. They have produced six books, a film, and eleven recordings that receive international airplay.
Bruce John & Jim Bailey
Monday, October 25, 2010
I am working my way through a blitz of storytelling shows and it is so much fun to move from venue to venue. I have been reaching so many people in the last couple weeks with stories and have met some awesome people.
I have to remember that even when I am doing multiple shows in a week that for the audience it needs to be a special occasion. I need to bring my best program and be at the top of my game for each performance.
If this next show is the first time people hear a storyteller, is my story ready and one they will remember. I am working hard to bring together shows that have a good arc to the performance and a great tie in to the theme or the location.
A all Ct History show at Wallingford Historical Society was a lot of fun they are some of my favorite stories. Then I did 2 nights of haunted and historical at the Coventry Historical Society Enchantingly Haunted Hikes, The Tipi Telling Birthday party was about as unique a venue as you could want! What a fun collection of traditional Native American stories I was able to share, along with my personal Cows Out story when we had some bovine gate crashers. The next was a benefit performance for Heifer Project held at Willimantic Congregational Church. Tomorrow I'm at a nursing home and Thursday you will find me on top of Wolf Rock to tell Wolf Stories to 3 rd graders.
Where ever I am, I need to bring my best effort, and my camera don't want to miss these wonderful storytelling events and locations.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
The Importance of Livestock
On Sunday Oct 24, 2010 at 12 noon The Willimantic Congregational Church will host a lunch follwed by a storytelling to benefit www.Heifer.org The public is welcome at the Valley St. Willimantic Church for this program. I will share stories of animals and inspiration appropriate for all ages. Questions www.carolynstearnsstoryteller.com or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, October 18, 2010
What Gives when your plate is full?
I realized my blog was what I could let go of as I became immersed in the down to the wire prep for our church 300th anniversary. This was no ordinary event but a historic research, writing, musical, timing, editing, and scripting and performance to encompass the church history for 300 years in one hour. I did it! To say it possessed my whole mind and took over for awhile is an understatement, but well worth every ounce I put in that effort.
The morning began with the bass viol playing soft music of welcome, our guest bassist Scott Chaurette of the Hartford Symphony. The chimes rang, we started on time. The opening prelude by Organist Erik Haeger was on Harpsichord, the narrator Mark Phelps welcomed everyone to the year 1710. Through the first readings our mission to hold together a small village in the colonial wilderness became apparent and our striving for freedom and justice. The door burst open and a soldier (played by re-enactor member Stuart Lillie), of the colonial militia burst in to call the 93 volunteers to march for Bunker Hill.
It was only minutes and we were moving into the next century. The Civil War on the dark horizon. The bass played haunting music the single sound emanating as the chords of Battle Hymn of the Republic floated into the sanctuary. Second time through the congregation joins in with the organ as well. Then on the third time the trumpets from up in the loft and the organ swells the pipes giving 300 years of celebration to the tune, it was huge.
I tell the congregation how in the mid 1800's the only music in the church was provided by ancestor Capt. Shepherd Stearns on bass and after the war by his son Jared Stearns. Jared's picture is on the sanctuary wall, a media display timed to meet every song and reading.
That media display meant hours of work first going through the archives and historical society files and then by Deb Hubbell as she assembled and timed the power point to match the script and musical timing I gave her with notes for where each image goes. It was very powerful.
More music, more readings, time was slipping by and the centuries fell away. We heard from the Grace Notes our chime choir and about the 3 different buildings that served our congregation. The choir rose and opened with the celebratory notes of trumpets. The music of God of the Ages lifted First Church music to a new standard. It was an immense sound of celebration with full organ, 18 powerful voices and 2 trumpets. I had asked music director Michael Sylvestri to find me music that would raise the rafters, he did that perfectly!
The offeratory music and prayer by the Rev. Joe Blotz brought us into the home stretch. The Mayor of Mansfield, Betsy Patterson, joining us to read a Proclamation and then one of the Deacons, Steve Lane to read a Proclamation sent by the Honorable M. Jodi Rell, Governor of Connecticut.
I did the closing piece, a summary of our vision. How the 300 years of work and worship brought us to the place we are now , Open and Affirming, Just Peace and Green Church as designated by the United Church of Christ. We are a church of Faith in Action.
The Rev. Matthew J. McCaffrey led us in the Benediction for the close of the morning service. He then asked everyone to stay in their seats while some commemorative photos were taken. These will take their place in our archives to let the generations to come know how we celebrated the 300 th anniversary of the First Church of Christ in Mansfield Center. http://fcc-mf.intuitwebsites.com
Everyone shared a gesture of Peace and we adjourned to a cake reception in our newly refurbished fellowship hall. 300 years covered in one hour, a singular task of commemoration in a year long celebration of this milestone.
So many more people were involved, it took a huge force to bring my vision of this service into a reality. I am incredibly thankful to each and every person. Especially my co-chair Jo-Ann Wade-Wunschel and to Rev. Matt McCaffrey who were so supportive.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
( rider: Tim Stearns)
What did you accomplish over the weekend in 16 seconds?
In cowboy mounted shooting, the fast action rodeo type equine sport 16 seconds is a good run. For the Ct. Renegades State Championships Sept 18 & 19, 2010 Cowboys and Cowgirls from all over the Northeast descended on Enfield, Ct.'s Round Tuit Ranch for some high stake thrilling runs. http://www.roundtuitranch.com/ Each competitor rides six patterns or stages in a championship and the accumulated time and penalties for missed targets settles out the placings sometimes by 1/100 of a second.
BLANKS are used for ammo and all are provided by the competition to insure the safety of the event. A Rangemaster - combined referee and safety official is in the ring to direct the riders and officiate. The guns are Colt 45 type as used in the Old West and in the Rifle Division a Revolving Carbine or Lever Action 45 Long Colt, ( remember the Rifleman TV show?)
Costume is a big part with dress requirements to be clothing of the 1880's or from the Silver Screen Stars of the West. They take the costuming serious with penalties for a ride in inappropriate dress. For this reason we always have at least one photo club on the rail taking pictures. Their lens catching the flaming end of a pistol at dusk, the flared nostril of a horse, the sweat stained brim of a cowboy's hat and the windswept manes.
Over in the announcers booth I am calling out the time each course is completed in and more importantly the next few riders. With a new rider needed in the ring every couple minutes we have to have them ready and waiting or lose audience to long boring waiting time and even worse not finish all the rides before dark comes. http://www.carolynstearnsstoryteller.com/
Where can you catch up with this fast action sport? There are clubs in almost every state. We belong to the Connecticut Renegades http://www.ctrenegades.com/ There are any clubs in the Northeast and you can find all the sites on the National Association website http://www.cowboymountedshooting.com/
A favorite competition in the Northeast is called Border Wars. The two day event pits Ct. riders against our neighbors in Mass. in a fun two day cowboy weekend, at stake a red and black flag and the right to fly it at the forthcoming years events. Saturday the Mass Six Shooters http://www.masixshooters.com/ host the event and Sunday the Ct. Renegades. A new venue will welcome riders this year, Goss Farm in Dunstable Mass. will be the site on Oct 30-31, 2010. http://www.gossfarm.com/ I can't wait for the weekend. ( good weather only won't risk injury to horses or riders in slippery conditions) The friendly competition, campfire and BBQ, the storytelling around the fire, Cowboy Church Sunday morning and a second day of competition before we all go back to the 21 st century, shake the dust from our chaps and hang up our spurs until another weekend.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Never saw a button museum? Maybe there is only one. It was at Coventry ( Ct.) Historical Society a couple years ago
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I do not anticipate the return of school or routine. I can't wait for the cool autumn days to walk , take photographs and enjoy the outdoors in temperatures warm by day and cool by night.
There is something special and fleeting about fall. It arrives on the tail of scorching days and the return to cooler temps signals us all to be more active and to not waste time because winter is close at hand. I don't want to miss one glorious day of the fall weather. I can't wait for the first trip to the orchard and the first pie out of the oven afterward. I'll be headed out to Horse Listener's Orchard soon. http://www.horselistenersorchard.com/
Remember the first morning you can smell the woodsmoke on the morning air and the crunchy grass when it is white with the first frost. All these memories would make many shudder with cold just to think about them, but I love the cool weather and most of winter don't mind the cold.
There is nothing quite as special as natures last hurrah of the year as she paints her maples and sends the leaves floating by.
A lone leaf is waiting on the granite rock and reminds me of all the years we made place mats for the tables with wax paper and an iron and a few choice leaves such as this one.
One fall day I met up with the local third grade. It was their annual field trip around town as part of the know you town and state curriculum. The youth were all excited and I heard them coming long before I could see them winding through the woods on a trail . I was waiting, at the top of Wolf Rock in Mansfield. The preserve is in a land trust called Joshua's Trust. www.joshuaslandtrust.org Joshua was the Native American son of the Chief Uncas. He deeded land to the settlers when they arrived. It is the goal of the land trust to preserve beautiful and distinctive pieces of that original land grant area. The holdings of Joshua's Trust have reached the 4000 acre level!
That day I was waiting on Wolf Rock looking out over the valley in the peak of color. The day was perfect! As soon as the students were settled with their lunches on the sun warmed granite I was introduced. I shared stories of wolves and colonial Mansfield www.mansfieldct.org
Here at the edge of the cliff is a glacial erratic, a huge stone dropped by a glacier long ago. On this Wolf Rock day I used a piece of campfire charred wood to scratch the mark of Joshua son of the sachem Uncas onto the stone.
Before they left I had a chorus of all the children's voices howl the Wolf call from the top of Wolf Rock. The Wolf voice has been gone from these hills since the colonists erradicated them, I imagine the deer in the deep valley below shuddered at the howl of a wolf in children's clothing.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Hi, This is Carolyn Stearns and Suzanne Thompson coming to you from the radio studios of WLIS and WMRD. Ct. Outdoors guest is Carolyn Stearns and she is going to tell the audience about the story slam at a corn maze.
The A-MAZE-ING Story Slam www.A-MAZE-INGStorySlam.ning.com is where Arts and Agriculture Meet! Come out and listen to stories in this free program for the whole family. In fact pack a picnic and come at 12 to hear the Crustaceans a surf band play! www.myspace.com/crustaceansrock Then at 1 the stories begin.
Where to listen as Suzanne and Carolyn bring you this interview on the radio. A large piece of Eastern Ct. fits in the listening area of the two stations. Here is where to set your dial: WLIS 1420 AM Old Saybrook and WMRD at 1150 AM - Middletown will broadcast the Ct. Outdoors Show at the following times. Tuesday Aug 31 12:30 -1 p.m. and again at 6:30-7 p.m. Sat. Sept 4 you can hear it if there is no Uconn Football being aired, the show time will be 1 p.m. and on Sunday Sept 5 tune in early from 7-7:30 a.m.
You can find more of Suzanne's work at www.theday.com/ctoutdoors as she urges people to get Outdoors we recommend this weekend in Thompson , Ct. Take a walk in Fort Hill Farms Corn Maze before or after the slam, enjoy the 70 gardens, savor the farm fresh ice cream flavors and pan for gem stones in the water. Under the tent stories will be told the winning storyteller to receive a hot air balloon flight from www.brighterskies.com Anyone can share a story 5-7 minutes on the theme; In A Quiet Corner. Tune in your radio and listen and then come outdoors and join us at the A-MAZE-ING Story Slam!
Sunday, August 29, 2010
When is a picture NOT worth a 1000 words? When the subject is Lippitt Morgans in a debut Drill Team. Even the video could not, and does not do justice to the beauty and symmetry of the equine drill. The horses sounds, the cadenced hoof beats, the shrill whistle of the go command, the breath of the horses as they pass you on the rail. The exuberance of all the riders at the completion of the ride, all those things are missed in a video. It captures a memory but falls short on recreating that awe inspired moment when the drill flashed past and in the ride created Lippitt Morgan Club history a very first drill team. http://www.lippittclub.net/
A drill team is a study in cooperation and timing. It takes hours of practice to get the pattern memorized, and that's only the start. Horses need to find similarly gaited partners. Riders need to be able to keep the pattern in mind as they maneuver their horses. The horses need to get beyond herd instincts and work in close quarters and become tuned into their partners movements.
How many things in life are like a drill team! Co workers in an office, the morning commute of cars on the highway and the students flowing through the halls of school buildings are all drills like the horses do. There are so many. We need to practice the cooperation and timing, and study the pattern with diligence. We can learn from those we ride with and gauge our speed to accommodate those not keeping up for a bit. We will all be a little happier and get along a bit better when we take a cue from the Lippitt Morgan Drill Team!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I was at the Lippitt Country Show in Tunbridge, Vt. After the quiet peaceful drive over roads I have not travelled in many years I passed familiar scenes, a dairy with its own covered bridge and the place where the road seems carved into the side of the mountain and the valley opened, I had arrived. The sounds of a horse show are the same everywhere but the horses have a great variety, except at this show. Here the horses were cookie cutter similar. A few variations in color but all of the classic bay, brown, black and chestnut. What was most predominant in the landscape of equine bodies was the gentle eye and the indomitable spirit. These are the descendants of great horses, a bloodline well preserved and lauded by its keepers, The Lippitt Club. www.lippittclub.net The Lippitt Club motto is "Preserving Our Morgan Legacy", and truly these horses look just as their ancestors did 200 years ago. A line from the Lippitt Club brochure states; " ...a strain of Morgan that has no 20th century outcrosses to other breeds, resulting in the highest percentage of Morgan blood available today."
This mare in the picture is a Lippitt Morgan I foaled out in 1992. She was my baby and a beauty, with spirit and talent and a structure about as well balanced and correct as they come in equines. Her name is Storybook Salute Vermont ( in honor of her Dad, Horton's Vermont, her heritage and my favorite C.W. Anderson book "Salute"!) . The last time I saw her was in 1997, when I sent her along into the world to become a young ladies show horse and she has had a well decorated career. Now with a new family and back in Connecticut I still didn't manage to see her until I reached the show grounds in Vermont. She entered the ring with her young handler for a clinic in showanship. It was warm and sunny and they had been on a long trailer ride up from home. All the horses were in nap mode but I let out the whistle I always called my horses with and her head popped up in recognition. She was searching the memory bank for that sound was so distant but familiar. Her ears pricked forward and I asked the young lady to bring her to the fence. I rubbed her face and renewed an old friendship, and I know she remembered me. I thought back to the moment when her body burst into the world wet and shiny and as orange as a Halloween pumpkin. She was not the black or brown I had expected but was gorgeous, as she matured the color toned down to the liver chestnut.
Here we were on a track where the original Morgans raced and where the Morgan breed made a name for itself through its power and strength, versatility and beauty. ( grounds of the Tunbridge World's Fair) The Lippitt Show highlights all those qualities so sought after in the classic Morgans of yesteryear and the ribbons were awarded in breeding stock classes and in many disciplines, to include the regular show classes and add in log skidding, trotting races in harness and under saddle, driving and children's classes. It was a weekend to celebrate Morgans.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Jassper and Tabasco tried all the paths, up and down the hill and to the towers and had so much delicious fun!
Winding through the green paths was fun, and relaxing and sometimes they even felt like running a little.
After all the fun in the maze little Tabasco was sooo hungry he was happy to see a little grass. Jassper had a better idea. He had heard from a friend at the Farmers Cow about the new ice cream and he really wanted to try it!
They found the Creamery and had a hard time choosing a flavor!
Finally it was his turn to order, Mint please! and make it all natural.