Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Father Knows Best

I spent four days last week in San Jose, helping my sister who is recovering from surgery. Craig took the boys to work with him and chauffeured them to their various activities.

Friday, all three kids (ages 19, 17 and 13) stayed home to catch up on chores. This is the list Craig left for them:

Welcome to your day off. Everyone must be up and working by 10 AM.

KITCHEN – Clean all counters, sink and drain board. Dishes, pots and pans put away.

LIVINGROOM – Put everything away. Dust and vacuum. You know what it should look like. If not: Move out.

LAUNDRY – Fold and put away all clothes. I don’t care who they belong to. Wash all clothes and towels. Put away. If you don’t know what I mean: Move out!

BACK PATIO - Leaf blow, clean, organize. I’ve explained it many times. If you don’t know what I mean: Move out. Do you get the picture?

BATHROOMS – Clean toilets, sinks, floors, towels. Don’t make me micro-manage. If I need to: Move out.

Mom will be home at 2. All work must be complete prior to her arrival. If you cannot handle it, have your bags packed and I’ll drop you at the bus stop.



Monday, April 27, 2009

Tardy Waterfall Week Entry

This post is late for Waterfall Week -- but The Lost Falls of Whiskeytown is one of my favorite songs to sing. And the hike up to Whiskeytown Falls is one of my all-time favorite outdoor adventures. It's just challenging enough to feel like a good workout -- and the falls are spectacular and inspiring...well worth every uphill step.

I'll be taking the kids up there this week, enjoying this delightful Spring weather.

Here's the tune - lyrics below:

The Lost Falls of Whiskeytown

© Erin Coombs Friedman

Our morning coffee comes with heavy silence
In the nighttime we find refuge in our dreams
Like some mid-life cliché
We sleepwalk through the day
While the love of a lifetime slips away


They finally found
The Lost Falls of Whiskeytown
They found crystal caverns
Buried deep beneath the ground
A fortune in gold
In a mountain of stone
Surely we can find the love we lost
Right here at home

I used to find an open invitation
In your eyes and in your tender touch
Like a postcard from a lonely place
You’re so far away these days
And I’m trying to find a reason I should stay

Too much to lose –- too much at stake
I’ll find my way back to you –
Whatever it takes

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cool Market in Cottonwood

Lovely turnout last Friday evening for the first Cottonwood Farmers Market.

We enjoyed music by The Pine Dogs - Diana and Steve Wallis. They also provided the stage and fabulous sound system - what nice folks to get to work with.

You can hear The Pine Dogs this Wednesday night (April 29) at The Post Office in the downtown mall. They do a rich mix of rockin' blues - originals and covers -- and use some unique electronics to create a full, interesting sound. Good stuff.

Craig and I got to chat with our neighbors and meet some online friends. We played our set - and got a kick out of folks singing along with "Shut Up in the Key of G."

I don't eat before I sing -- that could get ugly -- and I was hoping the tamales would still be available after our set. Oh, yes! Devoured a delicious, authentic pork tamale with salsa and sour cream. Good stuff -- from Esperanza:

Then enjoyed some old-time music the The Cactus and the Rose:

The weather couldn't have been nicer -- we've played in Cottonwood when it was 109 degrees and when the rain and wind came out of nowhere. But for this event, skies were cooperative and clear. Nice to see Cottonwood shine.

The market will return to Cottonwood every Friday, from 3 - 7.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Market and Trivia

Shasta County Arts Council and Cottonwood Creek Watershed Group present a year-round Farmers Market in historic Downtown Cottonwood.

Head out to Main Street, near Etc. Mercantile this Friday evening and enjoy arts and crafts, food, fresh produce and live music. The event runs from 3 - 7.

We LOVE to play in our hometown - should be great fun.

Here's the musician schedule:

4-4:45 Pine Dogs (Diana and Steve Wallis)

5-5:45 Still Married

6-6:45 Cactus and the Rose

Are you planning to be there? Be the first to post the correct answer to the question below, and I'll give you one of our CDs on Friday evening at the Farmers Market.

Yes, I KNOW it's a lame prize. But you'll get the CD and all the glory that goes with being a winner.

Here you go:

What is Still Married's most requested song?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Teen Dreams

How do you make a 13-year-old car enthusiast smile?

Let him sit in a $1.5 million Bugatti Veyron 16.4 and take his picture:

Songwriter Showcase

North State Songwriters present a Songwriter Showcase at Little Filly's Pizza (22047 Palo Way, Palo Cedro) on April 18th.

Opening the show at 6:45 will be Matt McClendon -- I was impressed by Matt at the Golden Umbrella Talent show, where he received a second-place award. Here's his myspace page: Matt's myspace.
Still Married is on at 7 - we're bringing our fiddle player for a couple of tunes and will be debuting two new songs that night - always makes things interesting. We'll see how "Still Married" we are by the end of the evening.....

At 7:30, we are very pleased to have Bay-area singer-songwriter Michael Gaither on the bill. He tells some great stories with his songs - check out his website: Michael Michael will also be playing at the Post Office on Friday night with Jim Dyar.

Nick Ciampi will be up next - a dear soul, whose songs and style are reminiscent of Dylan. Nick's myspace is here.

Pine Dogs is another Cottonwood duo: Diana Wallis and her husband, Steve, will play a rockin', bluesy set of original tunes. Diana and I are having some fun co-writing - I'm hoping she'll play one of our brand new tunes. Diana's myspace.

Janie Seeger, who has a marvelous Trisha Yearwood-type voice and an upbeat style, will round the show at 9. She's bringing a lead guitar player, too, so it should be a fun evening. Janie's website.

No cover charge - some great pizza and a casual family atmosphere. Hope you'll join us.

For more information contact:

Little Filly's: 547-5412

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gotta Dance!

Ballroom dance classes – my kids look forward to them every Wednesday Night.

I look forward to it, too, because my teenagers spend the evening in the company of helpful, active, enthusiastic adults – who encourage them, guide them and inspire them. My three come home laughing and gabbing and working on the new moves they’ve learned.

Ron and Faith Lane teach the classes at Old City Hall and they are showcasing their students and teachers:

Sunday May 3rd, 1 PM – 7 PM
A Step Ahead
4th Annual Student Dance Showcase
Veteran’s Memorial Building
1605 Yuba St

Tickets include a buffet dinner and lots of general dancing and demos. My kids are excitedly putting together costumes and choreography for their swing and salsa dances.

$15 students 17 and under
$25 adults in advance
$30 after April 26th

So get your tickets early – should be a lovely event.

Call Ron and Faith Lane: 530 244-9442 or 530 241-5661

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Surprise: "16"

Joel Stein cracks me up - even though he's only a "14." Maybe that's why he's so funny.

I laughed out loud at his piece on Dr. Drew Pinsky's Narcissism Index in last week's TIME magazine, where Stein discusses the implications of narcissism in our culture and explains/defends his score of 14.

Of course, I had to take the test myself. I scored 16 -- only slightly higher than average -- which I found a little surprising.

Take the test here. Share your score, if you feel so inclined.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


...this beautiful day. Cooking up a feast, enjoying the family, sunshine and making music.

I consider "I Never Knew I Could Fly" a quasi-inspirational song - so for Easter, here's the song, along with a slideshow of pics I took last Fall near the Sacramento River.

Happy Easter, Happy Passover, Happy Spring to all.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Cardboard Sign

I see a lot of cardboard signs these days - at parking lot exits, random street corners. I saw one today on Cypress, a gentleman heading south on I5, in the company of a gal. His sign said "Homeward Bound."

This song was inspired by a story that Elizabeth Gilbert related in her biography of Eustace Conway, "The Last American Man." (Good reading, I assure you.) An old hitchhiker explained that he can always get a ride when he writes this single word on his sign.

The word?


Craig sings, Annie's on fiddle. The song is fiction but the sentiments are true.

The Cardboard Sign
words and music © Erin Friedman

Saw him just ten miles south
Of the Shasta County line
An old hobo with his thumb out
Holding up a Cardboard Sign
His ragged jeans were washed in dirt
His flannel shirt was frayed
On his sign was a single word
Made me hit the brakes

The Cardboard Sign he held to his chest
Told the passers-by where he was headed next
The lines on his face said
“Weary to the bone”
His eyes said “Please”
His sign said “HOME”

Had a voice like an old dirt road
And a hundred dusty stories
Ladies, moonshine and rodeos
Freight trains bound for glory
He said, “There’s a price for runnin’ wild
And I paid my dues in Memphis
Did my time, made up my mind
Now it’s time for mending fences”

At the end of a gravel drive
Just outside McCloud
He said “I’m much obliged
Here’s where I get out”
A woman waving from the porch
Came running down to meet him
I turned around and headed for
The place that I’d been leavin’

The Cardboard Sign
He tossed on the seat
Was a one-word lifeline
That old man threw to me
The lines on his face said
“Weary to the bone”
His eyes said “Please”
His sign said “HOME”

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sing a Song of Spring

The Redding Homeschool Network hosts a Sing-Along and Family Jam on Wednesday, April 8th at 1:30 at the Redding Library.

All are welcome - bring your voices, your instruments, your smiling faces and join us as we celebrate Spring.

Can't promise any singing foliage, but this is one of the songs we'll be doing: