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Shimrit's Stuff

Progress! 

Hooray for our side! We now have a beautiful large septic tank! Only two drain lines for now (what we could afford). It's enough for now but we'll have to expand it later (add 2 more drain lines) when we begin building the house and studio.

Mark has been spending one day a week cleaning an area of the property, and what a huge difference that is making! He finished building Adrielle's work shed, and the trailer for hauling stuff to the dump and picking up materials. It's getting a lot of use, that's for sure! We have a new expanded chicken yard with 20 chickens and 5 ducks, that was a lot of work, but it's beautiful. So things are looking up.

I'll be posting a new page very soon with photos, videos, and updates on our progress on the land, which we are now calling "Zemer Levav's Artisan Retreat". Be sure and check back next week to see if it's up!

I have decided that what I needed to do to change my internal climate, was look at our RV as our "tiny home" as many people starting out are building. I've been focusing on making it very nice and homey, and that has done so much to make my outlook more cheerful. Being thankful for what we have is so important, and one of those things that is easy to forget.

I've also been scheduling my life, so I don't spin my wheels wondering what to do next (there's so much to do, it's easy to get spread out and lose focus, and finish nothing). I'm no longer good at multi-tasking as I used to be, and so I'm learning to focus on one thing at a time and finish it before I move on to the next thing. So, I've finished covering one couch, made a bunch of new jewelry, did a photo shoot with Adrielle and got them up on my "Etsy Shop" <click link to see! And many more small projects. That is very satisfying!

We are finally making forward progress on "Butterfly", I thought we would never get moving on that. I did some work on it on my own before we left on summer tour this year, some nice vocal "padding" and experimented with some lyre parts, which I didn't like, so deleted them. Now we have a preliminary mix and are sending it to Burt Yellin for some Cello, and Bass parts on his wonderful six string electric violin. Once he adds those, we'll send it to Les Morrison who has done violin on two of our past albums, to add some higher violin parts, then Baruch (our son-in-law) will do the final mix, we'll get it mastered, and voila!! it will finally be done!

Bet you didn't know how much work goes into one song! Whew!

Transition 

I can hear the voices of my beautiful grandchildren in the other room. They're watching a movie on this cold rainy day in North Carolina. We came up for Chanukah, and as usual had a couple of concerts booked to cover the cost of the gas, food and other expenses of the trip, and this time hopefully the insurance, and phone bills also.

It has been such a joy! We have been enjoying the time with our family. On Sunday Kerah Skyped us from Haiti, it was so good to see her sweet face. She's lost weight, and is "brown as a berry" to use an old expression. It was good to hear that they are doing well, enjoying getting to know the native people, and beginning to learn Creole. She's eating lots of mangos for me, they are such a family favorite. I can almost feel the warn sun, and feel the sultry island breezes. Next trip we are planning on going.

I just had to laugh this morning when Mark told me we didn't have enough money to get home. I thought of all those email scams, "Oh no! We're stuck in Europe! Please send us money right away!" Somehow I just couldn't get my head around, "We can't go home". Stuck with my grandkids? I can think of a hundred worse places to be stuck! But really, what do we do with this? We prayed, and again as many times before, I'm just not worried about it. We'll get home.

The transition from being on the road full time to settling in one place and touring once a year has been difficult. We are working very hard, but have very little income, and that is becoming quite stressful. We have no buffer left, and we may lose our phones this coming month as we just can't make the payments. We almost have our song "Butterfly" finished for uploading as a single, we hope to finish that when we get home. That should help some.

At this point we have a small garden started, Baruch and Adrielle purchased building materials for a large storage and work shed for themselves. This will relieve some of the space issues we've been having. I am scheduled to teach four jewelry classes for the community in January and February.This will help relieve some of the financial stress, it should pay the electric bill, give us a little grocery money and also, give me an opportunity to be a light here. I'm excited about these classes, they will be ongoing but scheduled month to month so I can work the classes around our few local concerts.

Mark and Baruch have been working on the property, Mark doing many repairs first on Andre and Kerah's boat engine before they left for Haiti (then we sailed with them for four delightful days, well delightful for me, Mark was head down in the engine compartment most of the time! He says he was "Scottie" for the journey.) and then working on the flatbed trailer we finally got on Craig's List for a miraculous 200 dollars! Now we can haul away the rest of the piles of trash on the property. That will make me much more comfortable on the land, I just hate the trash! We have two more trees that need to come down so that we can expand on the vegetable garden, and put in a small fruit orchard.

We still don't have a working septic system, we have to pack up and move the RV every week and a half to dump the tanks. This is a bit frustrating as it takes half / three quarters of a day to get it done, and we'd much rather be doing other more productive things with the time. That is rather frustrating for me, I want to get building! But, first things first, and we have to wait. I am thankful to have a working well, and a roof over my head!

TransitionsThe transition from being on the road full time to settling in one place and touring once a year has been difficult. We are working very hard, but have very little income, and that is becoming quite stressful. We have no buffer left, and we may lose our phones this coming month as we just can't make the payments. We almost have our song "Butterfly" finished for uploading as a single, we hope to finish that when we get home. That should help some.

Transitions are often difficult, but I know we'll look back on this one as we have on others, and bless God for the amazing things He did during this season.

My Life "off" the Road! A New Set of Challenges 

 Well here I am sitting at a real kitchen table, no vibrations running through my frame, no rumble of wheels on concrete. It's been It's been a little over two months since Mark's mom rose into paradise, but it seems like it's been longer, and at times it seems like just yesterday she was playing Scrabble on her computer. It's amazing how time loses its definition when you get closer to eternity.

Life has been somewhat of a blur, speckled with tiny islands of clarity. Some of the clear moments have been when I've been focused on jewelry projects. Each one begins with a challenge, an idea with the need to become a reality, and through trial and error becomes a solid finished piece of my character. It's quite thereputic, and the need to focus my creative energy on solid materials is somehow very grounding.

It has been rather easy in my life to get spread very thin, with so many possibilities before me each day. My musical instruments are peppered throughout the condo, and my jewelry bench invites me with its array of bright tools and colored stones. My family is always on my mind in the mornings, from the time I pray for them till I get immersed in some project, so I find myself calling one or two of them each day. My laptop sits open and it's easy to get lost in the avalanche of emails, I can spend hours trying to trim down the hundreds, and answer as many as I can. Then there is our web page, facebook, and my etsy website which all need to be maintained and updated. 

We do eat sometimes, and I do housework in the mornings vacuming, sweeping, laundry, putting away the clean dishes from the night before. The challenge comes in balancing all these things, and still having time for music. It has taken discipline in choosing carefully my goals for each day, not allowing myself to get burried in any one thing for too long, giving myself time to do a portion of at least three artistic things. This seems to be working for me here "resting from the road" in mom's condo!


 

Busy, Busy, Busy! 

 I wake up in the morning and before I even get out of bed I pray, and then check my texts and emails! Usually this leads to other businessy things, so I have to dicipline myself to stop and eat breakfast. This morning I decided that my jewelry project had lain around long enough, so I designed the frame you see above in the photos and began working on that, between helping Natanyah, and phone calls! I'm hoping to build this up enough to have another income stream, to help us when we are not touring. It's almost 5:00 pm now, and I can't believe it came so quickly! I'm not done with my project but I've made a good start. Once I get an idea moving it usually comes together pretty quickly.

I've been sitting too long (bad for my slow circulation) so I'm going to get up and try to do some active things for awhile! Then I'll probably try to finish my necklace and get it up on my Etsy Shop! I did booking work yesterday, and will do it again tomorrow. I'm trying to fill in some holes before I start booking for the fall/winter next week. At least I've been sleeping a bit better the last couple of nights. I get more accomplished when I can think straight!

We are planning on taking a Sabbatical from "full time" traveling next year. We aren't sure yet where on earth (and I mean that literally!) to settle. With two more Asia trips planned, we're wondering if it would be easier to settle on the other side of the globe! We are praying, and we'll see what happends this next trip. That will hopfully give us something to go on, a leading, one way or another. We are planning on continuing to produce new music during that time, as a matter of fact we hope to have a new album by the end of next year. I'm excited to have time to really work on my music again. It's been hard to be a good musician, when I have so little time to effecivly practice all my instruments!

Re-Organizing 

 I've decided to use a "Blog" format to make entries about stuff I'm doing and am interested in, and just thoughts I may have. My private life is really quite similar to many of yours, it's just a moving life, as in on wheels! So some stuff gets a little more complicated, and tricky! Like how on earth do you raise kids on the road! Natanyah barely remembers our old house! All the other girls were older when we started. She was 6 when we first started touring, and the last 7 years of her life have been full time gypsy life!

In some ways it's been like any family with a family business, where the children are raised in the back of the store, or restaurant, and learn early to mop floors, wait on customers, and help in many other ways. In some ways this life has been wonderful. All the girls have seen and been places other kids only read about in books. History and geography have been a breeze to teach as we traveled and home schooled. Other things have been harder, like not having your own space, not being able to see your friends when you want to. That's been hard for all of us (I miss my organic garden, and my friends!) But those same difficulties had a silver lining. We grew very close knit as a family, when there were problems we couldn't run away, we had to deal with them and work things out.

I'll continue with more as time allows. I hope you enjoy my meanderings!

Dancing With Shimrit

Here are some of my dance notations including three new ones from "Even There". I don't include many notes on arm movements, not because they aren't there, but because it clutters the page and makes it more difficult to see what your feet should be doing. I hope to get some video up for these dances, but it is difficult to find the time!

I put a semi-colen after 4 counts, and a colen after 8 counts. This doesn't always work, as now and then the 4th count is in the middle of a step. In these cases, the semi-colen will be missing. I try to start a new line after each colen (8 counts), again this doesn't always work when there needs to be more instruction for pivoting, direction, or special notes. In these cases you will notice that the line ends with a semi-colen and consists of only 4 counts.
 

Let The Righteous Be Glad

L'David Mizmor

Even There

Your Name

Mayim Chaim

Lead Me

Interchangables For Worship

My Jewelry

 Some of you know of my avid intrest in the art of jewelry crafting.  I love to do beadwork, and wire sculpture, with semi-precious stones and beads, sterling silver, copper and bronze.  I have recently created my own site "Shimmers by Shimrit".  Yeah it's a bit corny but my sister calls me "Shimmers" so I thought it was funny!

Photos from my Etsy Shop are below. If you like a particular piece you can click on it and purchase it, or you can click on the link above to read about my creative process, why I make jewelry, and favorite, pin, comment on, or like items in my shop.