Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's All About Perspective

Shadow tip toeing across the ice
Yesterday it was snowing to beat the band.  Round #3 and I was back to shoveling again.  But sometimes we get blessed and I am excited to report that by late yesterday afternoon we warmed up to almost 40 and it started pouring buckets of rain.  Now that has turned all of the plowed snow into ice with a layer of water on it which makes walking down the hill to do barn chores a bit of a challenge.  For this gal, well if I don't have to shovel it, I'll take it with much gratitude.

You see, it is all about perspective.  There are times that even sheep poop has value besides spreading it on the garden.  It makes great traction on the path going down the hill to the barn.  So I really have to add gratitude for that to my list of things I am grateful for.  Now if you can be grateful for the poop in your life as a bonus - I figure you have to be living a truly blessed life.

So today I am getting my house all spiffy and ready for National Tie One On Day (are your aprons ready girls and guys) and looking forward to my day of culinary dabbling tomorrow getting ready for our family feast.  I wish all of you a truly blessed life.  Don't forget to count all your blessings - even the ones that may not always seem like blessings.  After all, it's all about Perspective.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fourth La Ninia In Five Years - Here We Go...!

At not yet 3:30 in the afternoon, it is so dark that all the outside security lights have started to come on and the snow is coming down so hard it's difficult to see across the driveway.  We are in for another La Ninia winter, the fourth one in five years.  For those of you that don't know what a La Ninia is, it's when the pacific ocean currents off the coast of Washington & Oregon are colder than "normal" which creates a wetter and colder winter pattern for the Pacific Northwest.  It can cause drought in the south and mid-west.  It's a snow/cold machine for us.  The last one finally abated in the end of June which gave us a cooler and later summer than normal.  Five years ago I spent more than I should have on those pretty purple boots.  It was the best money I ever spent.  Thank you LL Bean.  I never could have made it to the barn or cleaned out all the gates without them.  Intuition listened to always pays off.

I have to admit, I am so tired of these hard winters.  Now I can truly sympathize with my Mother and how hard it was on her when we were kids and living at Fallen Leaf Lake.  Firing up the old Army Weasel to get in and out as our road wasn't plowed in the winter.  Dad kept it open as long as he could, then it was the weasel and if anything happened with it - snowshoes or just on foot.

1959 Dad, me and my brother
I shoveled off the cement driveway this morning after spending nearly two hours putting a new belt on my snowblower.  By the time I had the belt on, it had warmed up too much for the snowblower to move the snow.  Shoveling heavy wet stuff Day 2.  About 20 min. after I had finished, the skies got dark and the snow moved in - a blizzard like day.  In an hour and a half I had 5 inches of new snow.  Like an idiot, I decided I'd better drive out for the mail.....well, the snow had drifted up by the gate and I got my van stuck.  A half hour of digging and she is safely parked in front of the house again.

Look at all that beauty tumbling out of the sky....Funny how I enjoyed it so much more when I was a kid.  It was so exciting to see the first flakes falling.  Magic snow.  Snow forts and sliding down hillsides and of course that magic of all magic days - Christmas.  It's been a l-o-n-g day.  I sure could have used a dose of that magic.  Guess my magic wand needed to be re-charged today.  Bah Humbug!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The First Rule of Hole Digging

One of my favorite quotes is "The first rule of hole digging is knowing when to stop".  It applies to just about everything from politics to actual hole digging.  Well, yesterday was one of those days.  You know the ones - the tasks that have been put off for awhile but winter is coming and they can't be postponed any longer without dire consequences.  So....yesterday was the day for digging up the frost free water hydrant down at the barn before the ground freezes and it can't be repaired until spring.  Well another rule of life on this farmstead is that if one has to dig a hole in the fall - inevitably the ground will be at least partially frozen and it will snow.

So the day started off with me trying to corral my sheep so they wouldn't fall in the hole trying to figure out what is going on.  At the moment they were all in the pen except one, my neighbor from behind and her 4 yr. old came up to the fence with a hearty "Hi haven't seen much of you all summer - how ya been?"  and with a start and a quick thunder of little pointy hooves out they ran and that was then end of that.  Anyone with sheep knows you get one shot and after that - well let's just suffice it to say they know there is something up your sleeve besides goodies in a pail.  It continued on in like fashion with half frozen ground down all of the 4 feet, requiring the use of a heavy bar, post hole digger and lots of shoveling small amounts of clay/dirt mix in the wind and rain.  Then moved on to water starting to fill the hole.....you get the picture.  By the time we got to actually putting in the new hydrant, the wind was howling and it was snowing like a blizzard.

Gluing the fitting in a snow storm

Adryon and Tim installing the hydrant

By the time it was glued, allowed to dry and then tested to make sure it worked and the hole filled back in, darkness had fallen.  There was a good 2 1/2 inches of snow on the ground.  We were muddy and frozen.  Of course today - It's sunny and 48.  I think we need a second rule of hole digging.  "The second rule of hole digging is knowing the weather guessers are gamblers - they spin the wheel, spit out a scenario & we believe them -don't."  Thanks guys for braving the elements.  My sheepies thank you too!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Nod To The Sargent Major

Yesterday was my friend Joe's birthday.  He went home about 10 years ago and I was glad for him as it was a long transition to get there.  He was a character.  He was a whole bunch of characters.  You see, Joe was a reinactor.  He liked to play Civil War on the weekends.  He liked to play mountain man all the time.  He liked to be the Sheriff in the Outlaw Guns Shows - a wild west show that did local fairs.  Joe liked to play.  One day he showed up at my house in overalls and proclaimed that he was wearing a new pair of "Farmer Olys".  He used to tease my then teenage daughter that he was going to show up at her slumber party in his red union suit with his ear trumpet and sleeping bag....  When ever I saw him - I was never sure exactly who was going to show up.

He was a kick in the ass.  He put up a scaffold with a hanged dummy in his yard during hunting season to keep the hunters off his place.  You see, he loved animals.  In fact he loved them way too much.  A billy goat in the living room to keep it warm - a horse that rang the doorbell and lots of other critters.  On the second time I ever met him at our local Elk Days fair - he took me aside by the dunk tank and asked me to be his wife's friend.  She had just opened a high end yarn shop down on the highway and was very discouraged.  I told him I would.  Kricket and I have been sisters ever since.

I wrote this piece for our local paper while he was making his way out the door and towards home.  I wanted to share it here to honor him.

Making Carrot Cake

                                                                                                            By Sheri Chin

            I am learning about life and death in a very graphic way.  So many people wander through their lives with a lot of questions and no real answers.  You see, we look for something hidden, some obscure event that will all of a sudden make everything clear.  But the answers are here, right in our faces, in the things we do everyday and take for granted.  They are no more hidden than the sun behind a cloud or a plant beneath the soil in early spring.  The answers to our fears about the big questions like “What is the meaning of life?” or “Why do people die?”  They are all there, but we are trying so hard to make sense out of what we believe has no logic, that we miss it’s simplicity.
            My friend, Joe is dying.  He is laying in an ICU room in a hospital.  His body is betraying him by not working anymore.  He is making the passage - partly here and partly on the path through the tunnel.  There is no real dignity in the process, but it has it’s significance just the same.  You see, we go out as we came in, helpless, unable to do for ourselves, unable to control our bodily functions.
            Those of us who are watching someone we care about going through the process are horrified at the indignity of it all.  We know that someday, at some time, (we don’t know when) we will be there too.  The idea of helplessness and lack of self control scares us.  Oh, no not me.  I will just have the big one and it will be over....perhaps.   I hope it will be that way for me or anyone else that I love.  But most of us go out the way we came in.  You see, you have to be as a child to get into the kingdom of heaven.  I have it on the best authority.
            I am baking Carrot Cake in honor of my friend, Joe.  It is one of his favorites.  He has diabetes and hasn’t been able to indulge himself with it for a long time.  Now, he can’t eat anything at all, not even Carrot Cake.  But I am making it anyway.  In honor of the compliment he paid me every time he ate Carrot Cake at a restaurant and told the waitress that it wasn’t Carrot Cake at all because it doesn’t taste anything like Sheri’s Carrot Cake, which he thought was the best he’d ever had.
            I dump the sugar in the bowl.  I look at the sugar, let it’s crystals filter through my fingers, and see the whiteness and sparkle.  Next, I add the corn oil.  The pale yellow, slightly thick, liquid covers the surface of the crystalline white making it look smokey.  I take up my wooden spoon.  I feel the surface of the spoon.  It is my bread dough spoon that one of my friends made for me.  The wood is slightly rough after being washed so many times and the handle is squared instead of round like commercially made wooden spoons.  I plunge the spoon into the oil and start to blend the sugar and oil.  It changes.  It becomes a pale yellow, thick, slightly clear mixture.  It reminds me of frozen lemonade when you dump it in a pitcher.
            I have had a busy day, so I have to wash the eggs before I can use them.  They are sitting in the chipped blue egg basket next to the sink.  The basket my father used to collect the eggs from their chickens.  The handle has long since broken off.  It still holds the eggs just fine.  No need for a new basket.  The eggs are real dirty.  The chickens are running loose now and you never know just where you will find the eggs when you look.  I take them up, one at a time and hold them under the slightly warm tap water and gently wash the muck off the shells.  Some are smooth.  Some are slightly rough, feeling like they have been sanded.  One is ruffled, like the chicken struggled to lay it.  Poor chicken, I think as I rub the shell.  Remembering the birthing process myself, I can sympathize with her struggle over that one.  One, two, three, four, I break the eggs into the lemonade colored mixture.  They sit on the surface like four suns, gleaming and shiny.
            I plunge my spoon into the mixture and beat it deftly into something new.  It now looks like the lemon curd that I used to make for the lemon meringue pies that were one of my dad’s favorites.  I haven’t made a lemon meringue pie for a long time.  It was just that color and that texture, I am certain.  I remember.
            Next I add the flour.  It’s not just any old grocery store flour.  It’s special unbleached bakers flour.  It’s the only flour that makes my bread taste right.  It’s not made from your run-of-the-mill soft wheat.  It’s made out of Montana hard red wheat.  When you buy that bag of flour, it has a lot of history.  Joe likes history.  He is a living history buff.  He is more at home in the Civil War or the Old West than he is in this place and time.  I measure the salt in the palm of my hand and fling it into the bowl.  Joe always got a kick out of watching me measure with my hand.  My father taught me to measure that way when I was a little girl.  I taught my daughter to measure that way too.  Continuity.  Less dishes to wash.
            Now I measure the cinnamon into the dry pile that is growing on the “lemon curd” mixture.  No spoons required.  I know how brown the mountain should become.  A little soda and the spoon does it’s work.  The lemon curd turns into a light brown speckled mix like thin mud.  I always liked to play in the mud.  Mud pies.  Mud cakes.  Mud in the flowerbeds or the vegetable rows.  Mud, mud glorious mud.  Joe likes to play even though he isn’t young.  I can see him sitting on the floor with my son building a Lincoln log town.  Not just any town.  A stockade.  A place to defend the women and children as a good Sargent-major should.
            Now comes the good part.  I add the grated carrots and the chopped nuts and the crushed pineapple.  As I stir, the mixture foams up and gets good and bubbly as the acid from the pineapple blends with the baking soda.  It smells sweet.  It smells like cinnamon.  It smells like home.  Joe is getting ready to go home.
            I pour the mess into the greased pan and put it in the oven.  I can smell it baking all over the house as it starts to cook.  This is the most fattening of American desserts.  I really don’t need the calories.  But I will eat it and enjoy every bite right down to the thick cream cheese frosting.  Here Joe.  When you get home you can eat all you want and won’t have to worry about those damn shots anymore.  No more strips and pokes.  No more pills.  Nothing but sweet carrot cake or cocoanut cream pie.
            I am sad tonight.  I am sad that he is still working on that struggle toward the door.  It brings back all the pain and horror I felt walking my own parents through that door.  But they are there now.  There is only peace.  It is just a shadow.  One I will face myself someday.  I am not afraid.  You see, there are so many waiting for me there.  When I get there the blue basket will have it’s handle.  The Sargent-major will be drunk on his ass , telling wild tales and I will laugh.  I will get to play in the mud.  You see, to get in you have to be as a child.  I have it on the best authority.

Joe's bear and wizard in my kitchen window

   Happy Birthday Joe - I miss you you old goat!        

Friday, November 11, 2011

Greetings From Uncle Sam - July 1941

My Dad in 1940
"Dear Folks,  I got a greeting from Uncle Sam today.  I will have to go into the Army.  I report for duty on July 11th in Sacramento.  I was wondering if you would mind keeping my dogs for me while I am gone.  I have the 10 dogs that I use to pull my sled in the winter.  They are good dogs.  I shouldn't be gone very long.  Please let me know.  "Adios" Vic."

On this Veterans Day - let us pause to remember all the young men past and present who have given up so much - the innocence of not knowing carnage, the nightmares they wished they could forget and for some, their lives.

   We were all born of moral men who never questioned the need to save their world.  Let us hope that we will someday learn that killing is never an answer to anything and will never be an avenue towards Peace.

By the way - his dogs chased and killed chickens so there was only one left when he got home.  Grandpa Leonard could only afford so many chickens....He was discharged in June 1945.  He was gone a little longer than he thought.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Either You've Got It Or You Don't

Lillian as a young woman
I've been cleaning house today.  I like it when things are neat and tidy but honestly, I think you are either born with the neat gene or not.  I think I missed the genetic boat on that one try as I might.  I can clean with the best of them (when I get around to it) after all, I had a grandmother who cleaned for sport.  Sport you might ask?  Yes she actually was one of those people who loved to clean.  So when my house gets (ahem) a wee bit out of control, I swear that she shows up, clucking her tongue and chastising me for being so slovenly.  This coming from a woman who actually turned the easy chairs upside down to scrub the springs under the seat and had (lovingly) scrubbed all the gold off of our prized set of World Book Encyclopedias.  I wish I actually cared that much but honestly I don't.  There are too many wonderful projects to work on and chores (besides cleaning) to be done so I clean when I really need to but I never was good at keeping on it all the time.
"Tiger Lill" - The Queen of Clean

Now, my mother couldn't do it either when we were kids although she talked about how clean her mother's house always was and how her job on Saturday mornings was to pull up miles of carpet tacks, take the rugs out, hang them on the line and beat the dust out of them.  I guess she thought that that should inspire me not to complain while dragging an upright vacuum around.  She finally got a handle on her own house after she retired, moved, and gave all of her stuff to MeI am still moving a lot of that stuff around because they are family heirlooms and I do cherish them but I'm beginning to think about sending some of it down the path to my kids....

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Place Where Imagination and Spirit Met - part 2

Now, on to the details - or what I consider the "bling" part of the piece.  This picture shows the detail of the face rough-in and the gold leafing on her crown.

The next step is to start drawing in her features, her face, neck and the detailing on her hands.  I did this with special pigmented colored pencils made just for doing skin tones.

Next, I added the gemstones on her crown and necklace.  Her crown has an amethyst surrounded by Swarovski  crystals with another crystal on her forehead.  Her necklace is Malachite and mother of pearl.

In this picture you can see the detail of the lotus flower made of shell.  Her prayer beads are made of mustard seeds to give them added spiritual significance along with Mother of Pearl and another red crystal.  When all the details were added, I finished it off by adding several birds signifying one's request for peace flying off toward heaven.  The the whole piece was sprayed using several coats of lacquer.  My first foray into fine art pictures in veneer.

The Place where Imagination and Spirit Met - part 1

Kuan Yin
When I decided to do something with my Marquetry besides covering hat boxes, I was enamoured with the Goddess Kuan Yin and what she represented.  Kuan Yin is the Buddhist Goddess of Compassion and Mercy.  For many years I thought having compassion for someone meant taking on their problems as my own.  But I found that if I take on someone else's emotional trauma as if it is my own, then I become overwhelmed myself and can't offer up love and support.  I think it goes more like this:

                                                Never give up
                                                No matter what is going on
                                                Never give up
                                                Develop the heart
                                                Too much energy in your country is spent
                                                Developing the mind instead of the heart.

                                                Be compassionate not just to your friends but to everyone
                                                Be compassionate.
                                                Work for peace in your heart and in the world.
                                                Work for peace and I say again
                                                Never give up.
                                                No matter what is happening,
                                                No matter what is going on around you,
                                                Never give up.

                                                                    -His Holiness the Dalai Lama

So what does that have to do with Marquetry or artwork in general?  Sometimes when you begin a project, you have no real idea of how it will go, what the steps will be to get there but you have an idea born of inner sight (imagination) that I believe is my spirit wanting to make what it knows manifest into the physical.  So even if I have never tried to create in that medium, in that way, I know that the way will open to me if I just let it flow through me, never give up, and the answers to potential creative issues will just come when I need them.  Creativity on faith?  I have never doubted the solutions to dilemmas will come.  Art is a reflection of life.


 This is where I began this journey.  A simple line drawing.  Once I am happy with that, I transfer the design to a piece of quarter inch plywood using graphite paper.

Then I began by putting in the larger background pieces and blocking in the figure of the Goddess.  The background is done in Rainbow Poplar.  Her veil and kimono trim is purpleheart.  Her kimono is in bleached white Anagre.

Here you can see that I have started putting in the dragon.  The dragon's mane is pear wood.  The main body of the dragon is done in walnut.  Each scale of the dragon was hand cut and then layered on one at a time like making a shingle roof.  I then inlaid a thin band of shell veneer incorporating it into the base of the mane and tail.  I used a different shell veneer to make up the petals of the lotus flower in her hand.

At this point, I added the copper and 24K gold leafing to the sun behind her head and on her crown.

dragon head detail
dragon tail detail

I was having issues with the picture placement so I opted to continue this by dividing it into two parts.  I hope you will continue on by reading part 2.

Spinning My Wheels

Superwash Merino top in dye bath
   "I Plow and Sow (sew) and Reap and Mow and the Usual Sit and Spin..." 
                                                                                    - traditional Celtic folk song

Have you ever been listening to a song for years and then all of a sudden a line hits you right between the eyes? Well that's how I feel about the line from the song, "One Misty Moisty Morning" from the album "Parcel of Rogues" by the British Band, Steeleye Span.  If ever a line from a song described my life to a "T" - that one is it!

  If you live on a farmstead your life is governed by the seasons and how you spend your time is dictated by the weather.  Winter is coming - and the preparations involve a lot of cleaning up.  You know the drill, raking leaves, picking up pine cones, raking the loose gravel to get rid of any wayward loose rock that might become a weapon in the snow blower, sticks the dog drug in that might become a harpoon and general buckets of frozen plant material on to the compost pile.  By the end of the day your hands are bright red from the cold, your back isn't at all happy and guess what?  It's only 4:15 and it's dark already.  Welcome to Washington.  Every time you walk out the front door the sheep all yell at you from a distance "Hey - it's cold today, surely we deserve more hay even though it is too early, right??"  Yeah, right....

So, how does one find balance in all of this.  How do you make yourself put one foot in front of the other when your body says "Are you really sure you have to do this?"  I have to admit, I don't know how I make myself do it - you just do what needs to be done.  After all, there isn't really any other option.  I wouldn't trade the lessons I've learned about how strong I truly am in the face of a crisis.  I wouldn't trade the whole experience of living with the seasons and being in touch of my source of supply.  Sometimes when you are so exhausted that you think you can't take one more step forward, the Universe sends you a moment of grace that takes your breath away and you know without a doubt that no amount of city conveniences would be worth missing what ever gift it may be.

At the end of a long day when everything is finally done and (hopefully) there is no more demands on your tired body you get to balance your spirit again - you guessed it, I get to sit and Spin...

Spinning singles
Plied yarn
As the fiber flows through my fingers and my foot tap, tap, taps the foot pedal in time with the beating of my heart, the tiredness fades away and the energy flows through my being and the Universe begins to make sense again.  Like a piece of music, the rhythm sooths the kinks in my spirit away.  Another moment of grace.  Like the release of breath when one sighs with relief, the energy of all the women who came before me flows through my fingers connecting me with them.  That circle of women that made the yarn, wove or knitted it and sheltered their families in that caress of the soul.
finished yarn

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Of Hat Boxes, Dirt Roads, and How I Got Started With Marquetry

Dust clouds on the horizon
Welcome to country living!  Now for those who have the good luck to live on a paved road, that faint haze seen in the background of this picture will be an unknown factor.  Sometimes I think about the dust bowl of the '30's and although my dust issue isn't that bad, there are days that it feels that way.  We always joke around here that we have three seasons, Ice, Mud, and Dust.  In the past few years so many "refugees" from the city have moved out here that the road gets huge amounts of stock car mamas racing down the road and raising huge clouds of dust.  I still haven't figured out why they want to beat their vehicles up driving that fast on a road that is like driving on a railroad track it has so many chatters and pot holes, but they do and so every evening we have this haze that looks rather picturesque along the horizon - so misty, dream-like, blurring the view with it's caress of fog, that is until you realize it is dirt.

So what's a girl to do?  You can't store anything that isn't wrapped in plastic or it gets so dirty that it becomes unusable.  Now, I am a hat lover.  I love all manner of old vintage or vintage inspired finery and keeping it clean and wearable became a nightmare.  So....I bought some real kitchey Hat boxes covered in a really nice paper with a sprigged floral design on them.  Only problem the dust made them look horrible in a very short while.  How do you keep paper covered boxes from getting just grim?  Simple.  You cover them with wood.

Now I had never tried to do any marquetry.  I had a cabinet shop for years and we used lots of veneer on cabinet end panels and finished backs but truthfully - large pieces of veneer put on with contact cement was one of my own personal "boogie men" and I always hated it when I had to help stick veneer.  Now I had this brilliant idea of sticking it on a box.  Add into it that me and a kraft knife never got along all that well either.  So for the first try, I cut the veneer scraps that I gleaned from the shop with a scissor.  I'm a seamstress, I have lots of practice with a scissor.  I could cut with a scissor, but it was nearly impossible to get the seams between the pieces tight enough.  I had to finally take the plunge and make friends with a kraft knife.  That was 10 years ago.  The kraft knife has almost become an extension of my hand....who knew that something I was really not that good with could become such a part of me?

tools of the trade

Now I collect veneer like many people collect stamps.  All kinds of wonderful woods waiting to become beautiful, functional storage that can be dusted like fine furniture.

Hat box side view

newest hat box ready to spray
In the book, Callings written by Gregg Levoy, he writes about how sometimes callings are things that make no sense to us at the time - like me having to cut veneer with a kraft knife or even work with veneer at all since for a long time it was my nemesis.  Sometimes - that's just God having a sense of humor!!  Although I consider art itself as my calling in all of the myriad of expressions I've jumped into, Marquetry just sort of tip toed into my life without my intending to pursue it.  Now it has become a true passion.  What possibilities can come into your life, sneaking in without you even noticing?  Possibilities you never dreamed of?

Playing The Game

Zorro at the end of a long day
I was watching the end of the movie "The Legend of Bagger Vance" this morning and one of the characters asked the question, "Why do we continue to play a game that we can't win?  All we can do is to continue to play and do the best we can."  Of course I am paraphrasing the movie but that is the just of what was said.  It hit me as a "lightbulb moment" to use an Oprah term.  Now I am no big sports fan and although my kids played at it somewhat when they were in school, I have a whole stack of abandoned sports equipment to prove that they weren't really big on it either.  So the fact that a sports analogy even caught my attention is one of those times that I think the Universe is trying to get an idea through my thick head.

A lot of folks I know have been going through some really tough times.  The hard knock, life and death kind and the struggle to make ends meet kind, and the "why is life such a bummer sometimes?" kind of tough times.  November is not my favorite month either having my fair share of losses and problems in this month in the past. It just seems like everything has come to a head for a lot of people all at the same time, all at once.

I look at life as the Game that we came here to play.  We choose our roles, we choose what rules we want to follow, we roll the dice and keep moving forward.  Every once in awhile the Moderator throws down a challenge - "today you get a record blizzard" or "some one you love gets to have a terminal illness" or "today you got that new job promotion" or "today you win the lottery" (who doesn't want that one...?) and on and on it goes.  Now, we don't get to influence what the Moderator chooses to do.  But----(there's always one of those isn't there?) we get to choose the rules of our game, how we are going to play the role now that there is a script change in the wings, and who our character will develop into as it incorporates those changes.  We can choose to let sorrow define us, close our hearts to joy and only concentrate on the struggle but that option sure limits what our role can do.

Or - the BIG OR - we just keep playing on.  We keep putting one foot in front of the other, creating our role with an open heart and sing our own song no matter how much things are altered by circumstance.  It doesn't take any money to sing a song, it doesn't take any physical strength or prowess to hum when things get bleak, it doesn't take anything but heart to whistle while you are shoveling the snow.  It only takes being present in the right now even if the song you are singing is a sad one.

So come on everyone - no matter what happens, lets just keep playing on.  The rules in my game say that we are all in this together so we might as well give it our best shot.  I'm game - how about you??