Sunday, October 23, 2011


Haley started her own blog this past week. She really loves to write and has been spending a lot of time writing her own novel. I hope, when it is finished, she will add it to her blog. Here is a link to Haley's blog if you'd like to check it out. She'd really love some traffic there... Haley's blog.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

House Concert...

Haley with Andy Irvine
Last night Haley and I went to see Andy Irvine at a house concert in the city. When we originally received the invitation, she recognized his name from her Patrick Street CD and was excited to see him perform. 

It was an amazing concert. He sang or played harmonic while backing himself on guitar or bouzouki. Some of his songs made us laugh and others made us want to cry. You know a musician is great when the audience is filled with many of the best local musicians in the area! 

The house where the concert was held was in the center of the city and they had a roof deck with an absolutely stunning night view of the city which we took in during the break.  Haley lasted the entire night and was so pumped, she also stayed awake most of the drive home at midnight! It is almost 9am and I haven't heard a sound from her yet this morning, though.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Remember When???

I googled my daughter's name tonight and found a number of interesting things I didn't know existed. Including this gem from the very first public performance Haley and Dylan did together. They were so little then!!!!

Cumberland County DOES have Talent » Haley and Dylan

Haley and Dyland Richardson
Celtic fiddle player Haley (5 yrs) and her brother Dylan (9yrs) on guitar. They played “The Merry Blacksmith,” “The Butterfly” and “The King of Fairies.”

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Performing with friends...

 Haley, Dylan, and two of their fellow All-Ireland competitors from the area were asked to perform from the Delaware Valley CCE last night. This wonderful group helps all the kids raise money for their trips to Ireland so playing for them is an honor.

The kids arrived a bit early and put together a program with some tunes together then some solo tunes and various duet combinations. They all took a turn announcing their tunes and did a great job playing together.

After the program by the kids, there was an evening of dancing fun. Haley and I enjoyed dancing our favorite The Haymaker's jig. She and a friend danced a waltz together which was a little funny because it was the two of them surrounded by a pairs of adults. They looked to pinballs bouncing off the different groups in the room. Here are a few more photos from the evening...

Haley fiddling.

The whole group including the audience.

Dylan rockin' it on the banjo...awesome!!

Haley's friends had asked her to learn one of their favorite slow tunes, Inishear. So she dedicated it to them. This is their reaction.

Jack O' Lantern...

 This is the site I encountered upon coming home from work on Thursday night. Haley and Daddy had bought a big pumpkin and were happily turning it into a scary Jack O'Lantern. Haley did not want much help and kept asking her Daddy to let her do it herself.

We have a kit so she was using a not very sharp cutting tool to cut around the holes they had poked around the pattern they used.
Picture after Haley asked Daddy to stop helping for the 80th time. Ha!


The last day of school in June, Newt had his Poppop cut off all his curls giving him a crew cut. I think he aged 5 years with that haircut. He is such a good kid and a handsome young man.

Newt is a high school sophomore this year and will turn 16 in another 6 weeks or so. So hard to believe the teeny little baby stuck with tubes and wires in a NICU incubator, is already 16 years old. Time certainly flies. Two more years and I will be sending him off to college. Ahhhh!!!

Here's a picture of Newt with his friend and homecoming date Kayla.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall Busy-ness...

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the change in nights with warm days (though we've had quite a few "not so warm" days lately, too). I love the change in the leaves especially the colors...oranges, yellows, reds, and golds. I love the new beginning with kids going back to school and new sports starting. This year it is football for Dylan.
Not sure if you can see it but Dylan moved his football number into the grass in the backyard. LOL

Newt with his homecoming date, Kayla.

I also love all the festivals in the Fall. I seem to like them better than the Spring ones for some reason. I like looking at the crafts, hearing the music, etc... The kids have a few very busy weekends coming up musically. They have gigs nearly every weekend and on the other weekend day, Dylan has football games.

This past weekend they played at the Amish Market in the next town over. The market is relatively new there. The basement of the building houses the Amish Market part and the 1st floor has vendors and small eating establishments but is only about 1/4 full. The kids played on a small stage on the 1st floor and the area was huge and concrete so a little echo-y sound wise. They played two sets about 45 min each and drew nice size crowds of people coming and going in and out of the market. It was a little different from their normal gigs where they talk a little more and explain what they are playing. With people coming and going it was more like when they busk.

They played really well together. I wanted to record them but the sound in the huge area was not the best for recording and they were playing with a large window behind them so they looked more like shadows on a recording so that didn't work. I hope to get some newer video of them at one of their other  gigs in the next couple weeks.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011


About a year ago, Dylan's grandparent's neighbors gave him this old banjo from the 1920's. The neighbor's father had used it to perform and when he passed, it was kept in their attic for years and years. She knew Dylan played guitar and thought he might get some use out of the banjo.

Because it had been stored in an attic and not played, it had dried out and was not tunable. We took it to an elderly man in Philly who works on the banjos of various musicians we know and he worked on it for a week or so but was not able to get a good scale on it. (He felt bad about that and presented Dylan with an old banjo he had so Dylan could play that one which was extremely nice. He wouldn't take any money for the banjo or the work he'd done on the 1920's one so we sent him a nice big fruit basket to thank him.)

Anyway, Dylan learned how to play his "new" old banjo and kept the 1920's banjo in his room a wall hook he has for his guitars. A few months ago, he took the banjo down and being Dylan, attempted to play with it. He noticed that he could get it almost completely tuned then took a toothpick and added it to the bridge and... lo and behold! he had a good scale and could play it. We think maybe it soaked up humidity from the air.

The only problem now was that the tuning pegs slipped so he had to tune almost constantly. He ordered new tuning pegs that, honestly, looked too big for the headstock of the banjo. We, his parents, were worried that drilling that much would weaken the headstock, destroying the banjo but Dylan insisted it would work and checked with a couple other musicians who agreed with him. Last week, Dylan and his daddy drilled out so the pegs would fit then tuned up that old banjo. It works! It has a nice sound and holds the tuning. So, cool!

Dylan has been playing it all the time and plans to play it in their upcoming gigs. Dylan is amazing with instruments...he seems to be able to figure out a way to fix most problems he comes across.