Judy Fjell Newsletter <$today> 

October 21, 2010

Greetings, friends, from the road.

Last night Halley and I stayed at a Super 8 in the Columbia gorge after a day of driving from Montana. The filtered light of the autumn sky was beautiful as we drove through western Montana and the panhandle of Idaho. Due to our mild fall, there was still some gold on the cottonwoods, and I always love seeing the lacy yellow trails of the larch winding their way down the mountainsides.

We're on our way to see Motherlode friends in Portland and then on to Corvallis. I'm meeting Crystal Reeves there for a little rehearsal before we play at the Best Cellar in Corvallis on Friday night (the 22nd) and Roseburg on Saturday night (the 23rd). We are truly looking forward to playing together - it is such treat to communicate so easily and playfully with another musician. And it is always good to spend time with such a good friend. I'll also be presenting some music at the Umpqua UU in Roseburg on Sunday morning.

My ultimate destination on this trip is our wonderful WoMaMu weekend at the Bishop's Ranch near Healdsburg on Oct. 29-31.  Pamela Stoneham, Harmony Grisman, Nancy Ibsen, Tami Pallingston and I will be leading some classes and jams. Many of us will take turns leading rounds, choral pieces, etc. It feels like it's time for all of us to do a little work on that classic "I Open My Heart" again - it's so good to experience all of us singing that piece together. Leila Khatapoush will be showing pictures of her recent trip to Iran. All should be beautiful at the ranch - my favorite fall feature is the fruit of the persimmon trees. If you would like to attend and haven't registered, please pick up a registration form and flyer at www.womamu.org or email our registrar Lynne Pethtel lynnepethtel@charter.net.

The concert to benefit the WoMaMu scholarship fund Saturday, September 25, in Berkeley was a raging success! Many thanks to WoMaMu board member Marianne Barlow and all who volunteered their talents and skills for that event. I so wish I could have been there.Our latest WoMaMu fundraising idea is to sell donated items on eBay, where they will have a wider audience. If you're interested in supporting WoMaMu in this way, contact board member Lucy Mason clayroadmason@gmail.com.

I love my ongoing work with UU congregations and fellowships. I finished the Open Your Heart songbook in time for the Mountain Desert District conference in Ogden, Utah in October and am procuring some copies to have for sale on this western tour. The book is $20 for individual copies and $15 for 20 or more copies. You can order copies from the Mountain Desert District office, 2242 South Albion St. Denver, CO 80222.

I hope to see some of you at my upcoming events with UU congregations in the west in the next few months.

October 24 - Music for worship at Umpqua UU in Roseburg, OR

November 7 - Leading worship in Idaho Falls and Pocatello, ID

February 5 - Concert, workshop and worship - UU Church of Boulder, CO

February 19 - Concert, workshop and worship UU Church of Woodinville, WA

May 15 - Concert, worship at First Unitarian Albuquerque

The Good Dog Ukulele School continues to thrive despite the fact that I STILL haven't finished the website (where's that clone I keep hoping for?). I taught an amazingly successful class at the Black Hills Recreational Leadership Laboratory the first week in October. In our four days of classes (about an hour and a half each) TWENTY NINE students began their fluency in "ukespeak," or is that "ukesing?" Some of the students finished the whole beginning book, learning all nine chords and the songs in just that short time. Some of my star pupils were members of the Utah National Guard program for military kids. I'm looking forward to the videos of them serenading their commanding officers with their beautiful colored ukuleles and radiant smiling faces.

And, women, it's not too early to begin planning to attend Summersing Camp in Montana from June 24-July 1. I've been fielding email requests already and have procured our location again at Camp Child near Helena. Our fabulous cook Kim Kolstad will be back. Come join us and enjoy the music, the art, the outdoors and the enduring friendships that deepen as we camp together for a whole week! Email or call me if you have questions, I'm happy to talk "camp" with you.

And a wonderful sidelight to this trip . . . . Lenore and I are readying to see Masterworks of Impressionism show at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco after seeing the Birth of Impressionism show there in August. How fortunate we are that Musée d'Orsay is remodeling and has sent some of its most fantastic works on tour.

Last week the sandhill cranes were gathering in the fields across the river behind my house, getting ready for their long migrations. We are ALL involved in some big changes these days. I am sending prayers and love to our whole nation in these closing days before the upcoming elections. It is such a time of transition for all of us as we move into the post-petroleum world. Fear is high. We must match it with our compassion and our determination to care for this beautiful, extraordinary planet. Take care (I don't mean that lightly).

Much love, Judy



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