Yule & Winter Solstice 2017

And here we are again. Things are a little bit different, and not running as late this time around. For opener‘s, Kurt has his hand back! At this time last year, he had his had in an immobilization splint while recovering from tendon repair surgery, and had to make do with one handed typing and machine dictation. Needless to say, made being at the workstation interesting, not to mention not being able to drive – or drum! But after almost two months he got the thing off and got to work in earnest on his recovery. At one point he tried to pick up his Bodharn left-handed, but the muscle memory was just not there. He was still better with his recovering right hand, having been trained by a right-handed teacher. The Physical Therapist was of the opinion that it definitely qualified as occupational therapy, so there was that….

However, after a couple of months of Physical Therapy, it was clear that the surgery to repair the severed tendon was only partially successful. Scar tissue had fused around the repaired tendon, nearly locking it in place. In addition, the surgery seemed to have aggravated the borderline Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that has been lurking since the mid-2000‘s. So a second surgery was scheduled in June. Consulting with Kurt‘s surgeon, we made the decision to tend to both the stuck tendon and the Carpal Tunnel at the same time. That went very well, and after another course of physical therapy, he apparently has recovered over 90% functionality. Typing, driving, and the drums, are back! Huzzah! He even poured a Sweat Lodge while still bandaged up a week after the procedure! Madman! The finger sometimes can get a little lost, like 1/8 of an inch “off target” at times, and sometimes fumbling things. But he‘s not complaining (much)!

Making the season more… interesting, was an outbreak in the Northeast of Norovirus (stomach ick). This made the festival season at Four Quarters Interfaith all kinds of challenging, but we got through. The Four Quarters Sweat crew ran a full on Sweat Theme Camp at a massive music festival. At Stones Rising this year, we raised a MASSIVE cardinal stone.

Alex and Heather both decided to wind down their experiment in Higher Education. We were all very unimpressed and rather unhappy with how Blue Ridge Community & Technical college handled their program and treated their students. Kurt was right, it absolutely was different and superior when he was a student. Textbooks without TOC‘s or indexes, and unused. Grade school level curriculum? Unprepared instructors? Seriously? It was a learning experience, but probably not the one the school intended.

But not a waste of time. We have some ideas and we’re shopping for a good studio quality 3D Printer. So they did learn stuff!

Nicholas moved into a new place in Buffalo with two friends while getting used to life as an independent young adult. He‘s been discovering the joys of professional food service while considering where his path may lead him.

Heather is still a multi threat fiber artist, crocheting, knitting, spinning, weaving, and the stuff she invents. In the Fall she exhibited some of her work with the Washington County Handweavers Roundtable at the Hagerstown Museum of Fine Arts.

One of the high points of the year, we told the world essentially to bug off, and took a few days off to dive down to Athens, TN. That‘s right, we road-tripped south to see the Great American Eclipse, almost dead on the path of totality, with damn near perfect conditions. That‘s where the image for of this year‘s holiday card came from. (See Project Credits for spiffy Eclipse Photography.) While Kurt built a DIY Solar Filter and snagged a decent manual telephoto lens, the experience left him lusting after better photo kit. But it was the first actual “just us” pleasure trip Kurt & Heather had taken in over a decade, and they had a blast, despite epic mad traffic home.

We are definitely settling in well here in Berkeley Springs. The Studio is starting to attract more local clients - thank the gods, while managing to sustain a good chunk of the old NYC ones. We‘re still participating with and supporting the Morgan Arts Council, Four Quarters Interfaith, The One Heart One Mind Interpretive Center (including some truly EPIC road trips), Shangö Percussion, KnitWits, Weavers Roundtable, The New Earth Granary. We even have a local craft brewery, and they’re a client!

We hope that each and every one of you out there are having a wonderful holiday, going into a good and healthy new year.

Wicózanni Wiohki! – Health and Happiness!.

The Griffiths,
Kurt, Heather, Alexander, Nicholas, & Nagí


We’re at: 161 Grove Heights Road, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411-5107
House: 304 500-2142 | Kurt: (iPhone) 845 623-0940 | Heather: (New iPhone!) 304 620-4838
Still good: khgriffith@verizon.net | kurtg@fantastic-realities.com | heathergg@verizon.net


Hannukah ~ Solstice ~ Yule ~ Christmas ~ Kwanza ~ New Year's

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