Granny Pam

Granny Tells You What's Going On
  • .: Welcome :.

    I have found enough energy to hop over here and spruce the joint up a little.

    Papa will be retiring at the end of February, and we may have more adventures to document. Or not. But I wanted to be ready!
  • January 2017
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    The Music of Appalachia and a Surprise

    Posted By on June 7, 2010

    I was flattered several weeks ago, when Tipper, of  The Blind Pig and the Acorn, asked me to write a guest post for her blog. To lay the groundwork, let me tell you a bit about Tipper, and her blog. Tipper’s writing focuses on Appalachian culture, her art work, and the music her family makes. She offers a view of life in her section of Appalachia, a place secure and familiar to her, but perhaps not as familiar to some of her readers.

    I have been reading Tipper’s blog for quite some time, it was suggested to me by one of my genealogy blogging buddies, Apple. Apple writes the very interesting Apple’s Tree. Ya gotta hand it to her, her creative title beats the dickens out of “Granny’s Genealogy”.

    One thing that you learn very quickly after you begin blogging is about the community of bloggers, based on common interests and goals. Thus, it does not seem to much a stretch that a fellow genealogist might also read my personal blog, note my interest in music, and suggest I would enjoy Tipper’s blog. Enjoy it I do; especially like her Appalachian Vocabulary Test posts. Language is an important part of how we live, and tells a lot about us, our culture and our feelings. It has been interesting for me to see how many of the phrases used in Tipper’s neck of the woods also are used, or have been used by people in Michigan.

    In addition, there are many things about the rural life in the Appalachians which have parallels to my own small town and rural Michigan home. That place where I lived for over forty years, and raised my children, is never far from me, and is very responsible for who I am. I do not see a lot of difference from the rural experience from one place in the country to another; or perhaps I especially notice the similarities between Tipper’s Appalachian world and my northern Michigan home.

    Back to the guest post, what an honor to be asked to write about music, especially about the music of the mountains. Papa and I have spent a substantial part of our forty-year marriage following, listening to, and learning about folk music. Bluegrass is our favorite, but we would have never heard any bluegrass without the folk movement of the ’60’s, which helped spread string band and bluegrass music to a wider audience.

    For the post, I chose to relate a little of how a girl from northern Michigan could have heard or found an interest in the music tradition of the Appalachians , and to include interviews with two gentleman who are involved in keeping the music alive. A tip of the hat to Big Mike Ramsey (Son!) and Dr. Everett Lilly, of the Songcatchers, who both generously assisted me, put up with my pestering and questions, and gave me some insight into their efforts to bring the music of Appalachia to a wider audience.

    Now, the best part, my post is part of a series on the Music of Appalachia, and there is a big giveaway to go along with the series. I know you are going to want to enter to win the beautiful guitar Tipper is giving away as a part of it all. So hop on over to The Blind Pig and the Acorn this morning, and give my little effort a read, leave a comment. Then, enter to win the guitar, and continue to drop by Tipper’s blog often.

    Thanks to Tipper, to Big Mike, to Dr. Lilly, and to all of you who will rush over, read my post, discover Tipper’s great writing, and enter to win the guitar!


    Posted By on May 28, 2010

    We have catnip growing in our yard, and have had for years. It is impossible to get rid of it, so we just enjoy it. That is to say, some family members enjoy it. I was out pulling weeds the other day, so I also pulled a catnip plant and brought it in.


    The cats shared for a while, then there was a little discussion:

    Things smoothed out, and they were soon happily rolling and playing. A long afternoon nap was the final result of the fun.

    Worth the Wait

    Posted By on May 23, 2010

    A few years ago, I wanted to have more perennial plants, and reduce the amount I spend for annuals in our flower beds. I purchased the two outside plants, and the center one was a gift from my daughters.

    They have been in three places in the yard, and I think we finally found a place they like. This is the best they have looked since I planted them. D3 studied up, waved her green thumb, and added iron to the soil. The have beautiful blooms this year.

    acid lovers


    I hope they continue to do well, they sure look great right now!


    Posted By on May 21, 2010

    D3 helped me plant planted our patio pots just before Mother’s Day. She has a green thumb, and I can use the help. We have had to move and cover them several times since that day, but I believe the frost danger has passed now.

    These will be placed in the beds between the roses. I had to gather them up to cover them, but they will be back in place soon.


    These hang on the privacy wall. Well, they are supposed to hang there. I have the brackets, and I hang them up there, but they don’t live there every day. It is just too hot and dry out back. I have to put them down on the patio and water them twice a day to keep them alive. I should put cactus out there!


    Berry Patch

    Posted By on May 19, 2010

    D3 planted a small raspberry patch at the edge of the garden a few years ago. It is a lot of work, but we get quite a few berries from the bushes. They are looking strong this spring.


    If you strain your eyes, you will see my cabbage and broccoli at the right. It is pretty happy in the cold wet weather. Go, cabbage go!

    We like strawberries, but really don’t have room. D3 found this solution this year.

    She purchased bigger plant with the strawberry row-marker, and it is doing quite well. We thought it was such a good idea, we bought some plants and planted them in the hanging baskets we save from year to year. Papa makes the row markers. He has tons, for many vegetables.

    I wonder if we will have enough berries to do anything with? I might have to move my base of operations out to the patio and eat them as they ripen!

    Basketball Hoop

    Posted By on May 17, 2010

    For many years we had a basketball hoop here in the yard. Our two oldest grandsons lived here, and used it every day. Sometimes if I close my eyes, I can hear the ball banging on the driveway out front.

    The boys are long gone, one in the Navy and one in the Army. This year, a new family moved in across the street. The snow was not quite melted when the middle schooler in that family knocked on the door and asked if he could shoot some hoops. I was thrilled to say yes.

    Papa went outside, got the snow blower, and freed up the hoop, and helped our new neighbor get the entire works rolled across the street. That left me with the spot where the hoop had resided looking a little empty.

    A little trip to Costo solved that, and a week ago, D3 planted some annuals in my new container.


    Now that space does not look so empty. Sometimes I can here our neighbor bouncing his ball, and it brings back memories.

    J.D. Crowe Tonight

    Posted By on May 14, 2010

    We are headed up to Waterford to see J.D. Crowe tonight. I looked around the yard to see if I had anything to take up to our friend, Matt, and this is what I found:


    Really that picture is after I removed what I needed. Here is what I had after I picked and gave a bunch away.


    Something is in the oven.

    Travel safe, guys.


    Posted By on May 12, 2010

    Crazy happenings in my cyber world, and I will probably never understand them, so why try? I noticed this morning that my Count down timer on the sidebar had disappeared. Looked at the administration page and could not find it in the plugins. DRAT! So I downloaded, reinstalled and activated it. Funny, all my events were still there, even though the plugin directory had been missing. It must save the events somewhere in the MySQL database. In spite of my annoyance, I did learn something from that.

    I am preparing for a trip out to New York. It is dual purpose trip, I will be seeing my cousins, and doing a bunch of genealogical research. Papa is not making this trip with me, for a couple of reasons. I will miss him, we do not spend much time apart. I plan will sleep in a little, take a few pictures, hit all the libraries, cemeteries and courthouses that I can, and enjoy the journey. I did find a couple of bluegrass concerts in the area, not sure if I will be taking advantage of those or not.

    I have a place to stay, people to see, a packed suitcase, computer bag, and other essentials ready to go. I am grateful that Papa and our daughters will be here to hold down the fort. I am a little apprehensive, since they may find that I really don’t do much around the house. We shall see.

    In the meantime, head over to one of two fine bluegrass events scheduled for this weekend. We will be attending an appearance by J.D. Crowe at the Waterford campus of Oakland County Community College on Friday night. I am excited since this will be the first time we have seen our friend, Matt, with the group.

    The West Michigan Bluegrass Music Association is hosting MayFest Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the fairgrounds in Lowell, Michigan. The Chapmans are headlining the show. You can find out more on the West Michigan site.

    The season is here, support live music!

    Detour, Bluegrass Ahead

    Posted By on May 10, 2010

    We made a quick trip to Cadillac, Michigan on Saturday, May 8, and combined a Mother’s Day visit with a trip out to the Gopherwood Concert Series. On Stage: Detour Bluegrass. Gopherwood concerts are held at the Elks Club in downtown Cadillac. Jeff Rose said it was is funky to play bluegrass under the Elk heads. Our friend Jimmy, who is the Detour sound man, said it is hard to control the sound in the oddly shaped old room and high ceilings. I think most of the bands we have seen lately would love to play to a crowd on 200+ in a third floor room of an old downtown building.

    Detour 5-2010 001
    (L-R Peter Knupfer, Kevin Gaugier, Jeff Rose, Missy Armstrong, Zak Bunce, Scott Zylstra)

    Detour 5-2010 028
    Detour’s Jeff Rose traces his family roots to Kentucky, like so many Michigan pickers. I remember him singing and playing at the Wheatland Music Festival, more years ago that I will admit. The folk music movement in northern Michigan grew in, around, and out of Wheatland, which continues to present diverse acoustic and roots music to a large audience. Rose’s solid song writing is the foundation of the Detour sound.

    Detour 5-2010 026
    Zak Bunce and his sister Rachel Davis performed with their family band, Lake Effect, at Wheatland and all across the area for many years. They began at a young age and just grew up singing and playing. Jeff Rose said Zak, “Grew up under our feet”. It was great to see his Mom, Tiyi Schippers introduce Detour, and watch her “proud Mom” smile on Mother’s Day weekend.

    There is no weak link in this band, Peter, Kevin and Scott combine with Jeff and Zak to provide strong instrumentals which are on par with any national touring band. Missy Armstrong just joined the band; that addition pumped up the harmony vocals and added another great lead vocal. Detour is riding high, the Jeff Rose penned “My Life Just Ain’t a Bluegrass Song”, from their latest release is #30 on the WAMU Bluegrass Unlimited top 30 count down. That is quite an accomplishment for a band playing for broad, acoustic audiences, mostly in Michigan. I love the band’s sound that never leaves tradition far behind. Make no mistake, this is a very good band.

    You can check Detour out on MySpace, when you do, listen to Wilene’s Waltz. That is my current favorite, Peter’s fiddle just flows out and surrounds me. The rest of our photos are in the gallery.

    Happy Mother’s Day, Mom

    Posted By on May 9, 2010


    I still miss you every day.