Friday, April 8, 2011

Why I Carry Duct Tape in My Car

It was the quintessential good day / bad day.

I was minding my own business Wednesday morning, driving to gigs in Ashland, a very agreeable sort of drive when accompanied by a tasty audiobook.  Well, agreeable barring the fact I had to load myself into my car and be gone from bed and home by 5:00 a.m.

And then, an hour into the two hour trip, just before the sun started nudging the dark away, bad news.  A ladder appeared on the highway, dodging back and forth across all the lanes in the most flippant sort of way.

Ah!  Potentilally good news.  For once I was NOT passing, and I was not bumper hugging.  I was safely in the right lane, back far enough to see the car ahead of me swerve away from the errant ladder.  Back far enough to see that the car probably nicked the ladder, because it leaped up behind that car and over into my lane.  I headed for the shoulder just as the ladder landed in front of me.

Bad news.  I hit it.  I expected to come to screeching halt with ladder stuck under my carriage.

Good news.  I didn't hit it head on, and my sweet car kept on trucking.

Bad news.  Shortly thereafter I heard clunkings and scratchings and whooshings.

I took the next exit (I had no intention of stopping in the dark on the highway with other cars whizzing by).  There I discovered the ladder had breakfasted on one of my lights, and several pieces of my bumper were flopping about, hugging my tire.

What to do, what to do.  I had bungie cords in my car, for tying storytelling prop bags onto my  rolling cart.  I used one to hook from the sturdy part of the bumper around the dangling parts, and it all pulled together quite splendidly away from the tire.

Back on the expressway, it took maybe 30 seconds before I heard all those naughty noises again.  Back off the expressway I discovered I was now missing one bungie cord.

What to do, what to do.  Ah.  I carry duct tape with my sound system!  One never knows when one will need duct tape!  And my duct tape was the perfect blue to match my sweet car.
Minutes later I was back on the road, and made it to my gigs early. 
And all four shows were fun.  And my wonderful librarian hostess procured an extra special luncheon.

Back home now, Travellers Insurance has already made a house call; next week my car will have a two day hospital visit.  And I have added duct tape onto my grocery list.  Blue, of course.  Not that I will EVER have to use it on my car again, you understand.  Just because I simply must have  an array of colors always available, because you never know when you'll need it in order to turn bad news into good news.

 And that is today's . . .

"Mischief! Adventures of a Daydreamy Child" review

Here's a new review of my CD "Mischief!" for those who haven't had a chance to hear if for themselves yet!  You might want to check out the web site run by Sean Buvala for storytellers...many other great articles on it

CD Review: Mischief: Adventures of a Daydreamy Child

By: K. Sean Buvala

We’re reviewing Lynn Ruehlmann’s CD: “Mischief: Adventures of a Daydreamy Child.”

From bringing down the house (really) to singing sacred music in the bathroom of the Chinese restaurant, young Lynn kept her parents and older sister busy with her wild imagination and imaginary playmate.

In this CD of personal tales, Lynn takes her listeners on a fun ride through childhood events remembered innocently and playfully. In each piece, she recreates the many players in a subtle shifting of voice, intonation and enunciation.

Lynn incorporates the tunes of folk musicians as she enters into each story. The music is fun to listen to and we are always glad to see collaborative projects between artists. Next time, rather than random folk music, we would suggest that the musicians reinterpret some old hymns into their bluegrass sound, should Lynn decide to share more of her “church kid” adventures.

The CD is professionally recorded and produced. While the title does feature the word “child” in it, we think these stories are best suited for adults and older teens that may be looking for “remember when you might have acted like this” nostalgia. We’re pretty sure you wouldn’t want to inspire any young children to use Lynn’s stories as a road map for their own adventures. Or perhaps you would- if you love mischief as Lynn does.

We received a complimentary copy of the recording for this review. Get your copy from CDBaby or

Author Information:
Name: K. Sean Buvala
The contents expressed in any article on are solely the opinion of author.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Losing Face

My face stopped bleeding and I found my credit card in our big recycle bin.  It was a quintessential good news/bad news kind of day.

But now you say you want the rest of the story.  I suppose you think something significant happened here.  Something connecting these two events.  I'll let you decide.

It had been a remarkably productive day.  That should have made me worry, I suppose.  Then I went to use my credit card.  It was not in my wallet.  Amazingly, I actually remembered where I'd last used it last--at the pharmacy--and I actually had enough wits about me to think perhaps I (gasp) threw the card away with the prescription packaging.  But if I did, had the truck come yet to empty the bins?  No, it hadn't.  I rummaged in trash and recycle.  I believed and I achieved!  The credit card was found and put back where it belonged.  I was saved from myself.

That made it time to take the dog for her walk.  I'd already rehearsed for this week's shows and spent thinking time on a new story, so this walk wasn't for double tasking, it was just for recharging (and well, peripherally, for the dog's sake).

We headed out.  I dutifully took along the newspaper bag (dog walkers will understand the meaning of this), and I used the bag as needed, and that's when things fell apart.  When the dog and I resumed walking, I was still busy folding over the used plastic bag, when there was this bump in the sidewalk that I didn't see, and gravity shifted, and ... and ... and I remember thinking, I wonder what I should try to save?  My knees?  My arms?  My wrists?  Saving Face never even entered my mind.

And yet there it was.  My face skiing the sidewalk.
The dog stopped and tapped her toenails, waiting for me to get up and move along on her walk.

I'm retro.  I carry cotton handkerchiefs. Thank goodness.  I used the one in my pocket to mop my face during the rest of the walk.

The dog and I returned home right as my husband came home from work.  He set into telling me the significant news from his day.

I gathered that my face bore equally significant news when my husband stopped short in the middle of a sentence, to exclaim, "Whoa.  What happened to your face?"

An hour later, I arrived at NEST (Norfolk Emergency Shelter Team) for my overnight shift staffing a site for folks who needed shelter from the snow that was expected to happen that night.
Nobody commented on my appearance all that night.  Not the people I was working with.  Not the guests needing shelter.   I figured that some of them never noticed because they never looked directly at me.  Some noticed but didn't find the appearance surprising, and the rest noticed but chose to say nothing so as to spare me embarrassment, or to let me, well, save face. 

It wasn't until morning when I was standing in the hall, wriggling one hand to loosen it up (the one that was bigger and stiffer than the other, the one whose fingers apparently didn't appreciate being bent backward in a tumble), that one of the shelter guests finally spoke up.  "Looks like your hand's bothering you ... and your face ... what happened to you?"
"Oh, I just fell on the sidewalk."
"Well, Hon, you got to be careful in this snow."
I laughed.  "I'm afraid I managed to do this yesterday before the snow."
She stared at me.  A long, incredulous pause in which I swear I heard her thinking, now there's one clumsy woman who shouldn't be allowed out on her own.

Today, I look as though I had a botox treatment, only the stuff slid off my lip and up under my nose for the ultimate pouty look.  Playing harp helped loosen up my fingers, so all's well there.  I know that I could easily have done more damage, and I’m ever so grateful I didn’t.

All that's left of my news is wondering what I should do about Saturday's performance. Is there any hope that I can cover the dark scab with makeup, or should I go with a glaringly neon Band-Aid? In either case the audience will no doubt think I have some significantly weird ideas about unisex mustaches.

I hope they enjoy mine.