One of the things I love best about Columbus is that you can pack a lot of unique things in a weekend. By the time you prepare for the start of a new work week, you’ve not only been productive, but you’ve also had some fun adventures. My three-day Veterans Day holiday weekend was filled with many of my favorite things: spending time with my family and friends; meeting interesting new people; riding the Olentangy bike trail; eating great things; spending hours on my needlework; and attending a live musical performance.
As Nana and CLF worked on a Christmas craft project on Friday, I kept them company. With the help of a lot of light and magnification, I worked most of – and finished – the super-tiny “Tulip Slip” needlework slip that Tricia Wilson Nguyen of Thistle Threads designed and sold to raise funds for the “With Cunning Needle: Four Centuries of Embroidery” exhibit that I saw at Winterthur in September. CLF helped me appliqué it to a red silk velvet background and backing, couch it around the outside with green silk gimp, and edge it with gilt Grecian twist. Here’s how my fancy pincushion turned out.
Saturday was perfect bike-riding weather. After making the acquaintance of a dear little neighborhood dog named Chewbacca on Evening Street, we hit the Olentangy bike trail and rode to Worthington Hills for A Taste of The Hills Market.
Outside our favorite grocery, there were gourds made to look like geese and a horse made from hay and corncobs. Inside, we sampled the best of Hills Own classic creations as well as selections from the market’s holiday catering menus. We started with a blue cheese-and-bacon tossed salad, topped with Hills “56” salad dressing. Next on our grazing tour of the store came bites of honey thyme roasted root vegetables, Brussels sprouts with bacon and hazelnuts, mini crabcakes, Brie covered with caramel and dried cranberries, cheddar Dijon and other dips, traditional celery dressing, sausage and apple dressing, roasted Bowman & Landes turkey breast, beef tenderloin atop sourdough toast squares and breakfast sandwiches made of sausage, eggs and biscuits. You can order all these and more dishes from The Hills Market for Thanksgiving.
Nicholas Dekker was also on hand at A Taste of The Hills Market to introduce shoppers to his new book, Breakfast With Nick: Columbus. Nick has written and recently self-published a colorful guidebook to breakfast in Columbus, including maps, pictures, descriptions and suggestions for breakfast, brunch, doughnuts and coffee destinations around town. Nick also keeps a blog; follow him on Twitter at @BreakfastwNick.
On Sunday, Nails and I attended the Ukulele Cowboy Society’s concert at the Upper Arlington Public Library. I’d been looking forward to this since August, when I wrote about my new ukulele, so it was a treat to see Michael Kaplan play his mahogany baritone uke as his wife, Jesse Chandler, sang several jazz and swing standards.
“Walking After Midnight” opened the program, followed by Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies.” After sharing how Arthur Godfrey made ukuleles popular in the 1950s, Jesse and Michael also performed “Sentimental Journey,” “On a Slow Boat to China,” “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Bye Bye Blackbird,” “After You’ve Gone,” “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows,” “Pennies from Heaven,” “All of Me,” “You Made Me Love You” and other familiar songs. To conclude the concert, Michael shared each of the couple’s ukuleles, including a small willow-and-cedar soprano uke, a “bell” concert ukulele modeled after a vintage-1930s instrument, a tenor uke made of Hawaiian koa wood, and banjo ukulele made by Gibson in the late 1920s. My favorite was a 1928 Harmony Johnny Marvin Prince of Wales concert ukulele with an Aero-Plane bridge, commemorating Charles Lindbergh’s historic transatlantic flight.
Michael and Jesse are both self-taught ukulele players; they gave each other ukuleles for Valentine’s Day one year. Before we left, Michael solved my problem with playing the D7 chord, so I’m ready for plenty more practicing!
To learn more about the Ukulele Cowboy Society and their new CD, “Phantom Heart”, visit http://www.theukulelecowboysociety.com/