I’m uploading my music to SoundCloud! I would love if you would follow me there.
You can hear my music at this link:
This is the video I made for Washington State -
I played “Beautiful Dreamer” for Washington State along the highway near Quincy.
I didn’t get great footage of my dogs (who love to “steal the show”). And this was the best I could do, to put together.
I figured out how to do “picture in picture,” which is pretty cool! Maybe I can feature my dogs better in future videos now! YIPPEE!!
I hope you enjoy the video.
Find me on other Social Media platforms (Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and Threads @jodiarts) by searching for: #TheTravelingViolinist
When I was in Kindergarten, I saw a boy play violin on “Sesame Street.” I was enchanted. I remember standing there, in front of the TV, staring at it and listening. “I want to do that,” I thought to myself.
Years later, in 4th grade, my parents paid to rend a violin for me and I started playing in public school. Coincidentally, the man who lived 2 doors down from us on our street was a violin teacher. I started private lessons with him & went every Saturday until we moved when I was in 11th grade.
I loved it!
Fast forward, and I was 30 years old, with 2 boys and no time to myself. I stopped playing.
Some time in my late 40s, I had developed depression and anxiety so badly that I was no longer myself.
I decided to try doing things I used to enjoy - like playing violin.
It was a journey to start playing again. For one thing, I had completely forgotten it existed, so I had to start remembering that it exists. One of the things that I did to get myself back in gear to play was get my violin fixed up at Potter’s Violin Shop in Maryland.
I met a luthier named Chris who showed me his tattoo (at my request). He had an f-hole of a particular violin he had worked on, tattooed on his arm. I was already considering getting an f-hole tattoo on my arm, but when he told me the story of his own tattoo, it made me want to get my own violin f-holes tattooed on my arm.
I found a lady tattooist in Harrisonburg, Virginia “Artistically Inklined” who traced my violin f-holes and then put them on my right arm. I love my tattoo!!
I thought that would remind me to practice. It didn’t 😅
I have since moved across the country and my day is my own. I started writing down music that I want to learn, and found places to buy the music or subscribe to download the music - see the image to see which music apps I use the most.
My happiness level is going up, and I have started playing violin now! It’s so fantastic to be able to play music that I like, see what I struggle with so I can get better at it, and just have fun with the whole thing.
I also signed up for violin lessons and am loving my teacher - he is so much better than I am and I can see the wealth of information that I can learn from him! I’m super excited!
I am super grateful to be re-united with my violin and playing again. It made me so sad when I owned it and remembered loving to play, but couldn’t get motivated to play it anymore.
Thank you for reading about my journey along the way.
Taking a break in the blog to share my dog updates!
My older Cavalier King Charles Spaniel / (Chihuahua mix?) dog, Sparky, has many health issues. He is now on 2 heart medicines, is on prescription kidney diet food, has hock-joint wobbly issues, has very few teeth to speak of, and a collapsing esophagus that makes him cough.
I am just trying to make Sparky’s last days / months / years as comfortable for him as possible. When I got him in December, 2021, I didn’t think he would last more than 2-3 months. It’s now been about 15 months and he began to thrive in about December, 2022 and January, 2023.
His fur coat was very poor when I first got him, but it’s grown to a beautiful full coat of fur now. He has the lovely feathers that are a feature of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and just a luxurious coat of fur. Also, he has been loving his cuddle time - wanting to be on my lap for the first time since I’ve had him. He loves to have more and more snuggles these days. It’s wonderful to see him feel happy and safe and appreciated!
In late January, he has started to become tricky to feed and give medicines to, again. I started to give him his medicines in cream cheese instead of pill pockets, and he liked that just fine, plus it was cheaper on my wallet. (He has become an expensive dog - with the prescription medicines, prescription food, and vet visits for heart issues recently.)
Well, in February, he stopped eating the medicine in the cream cheese. And now he won’t eat his prescription wet food, either. He just wants to have my Cocker Spaniel’s food - Iams.
I have learned that prescription food for kidney issues has extra things in it like more water, and vegetables and fillers, to help the kidney have an easier time regulating the water in the system.
So I have been giving him the Iams food, and adding in things like tiny chopped carrots and blueberries cut in half. I have also given him the fat from the dog food and some water too. It is helping him to keep eating instead of refusing it. He was even refusing treats! But he is better again, now.
I did have to switch from the cream cheese to the pill pockets again, because he started to refuse his medicine in the cream cheese. Now he has stopped eating the medicines in the pill pockets, so I am currently “hiding” them in the wet food. I have to watch him while he eats, and make sure he eats the 2 medicines, and doesn’t spit them out. It’s working for now.
Someone suggested putting the medicines in a piece of rolled up bread, and put whipped cream on top. If I need to do that, I will for sure do that.
My next post, I’ll tell you about my black American Cocker Spaniel, Jasper.
Having had such a weird experience with my new optometrist (“Mr. How Do You Like Living in Heaven”), I was resolved not to go back next year, and find a new optometrist.
I was also weirded out that even though he is thought to be a premier guy of vision therapy, he never said I would benefit from it. He didn’t do 90% of the tests that Dr Tod Davis did to me (which were exhausting, honestly, but they found my extensive problems!)
This guy didn’t even show me the standard book test of a raised butterfly when wearing 3D glasses. “Is the butterfly flat on the page, or above it?” I’ve seen that test since I was in Kindergarten, and even Dr. Davis and other doctors have shown me that test throughout the years!
I asked him if he ever went on the I❤️VT site. (I heart vision therapy.) and he’d never heard of it. That was bewildering to me, too.
I told him about my blog here, and he said he would check it out. I wonder if he will learn a great deal about vision therapy, more than he knew before, thanks to my site here? That would be interesting.
So, I had resolved that with the whole, “How do you like living in heaven?,” the lack of referral to vision therapy, the lack of testing beyond “which one is better, A or B?” And the not knowing about the I❤️VT site (that I have blogged about before, my story was in a talk given by Dr. Tod Davis on that site for Memorial Day one year, a few years ago, I resolved not to go back to this optometrist.
One thing he did say that also stuck in my head, in a good way this time, I suppose was: “I’m surprised you don’t wear your glasses very often.” I had thought it was important not to wear them often, since glasses are often over-prescribed and make our eyes weaker and weaker. It’s a real issue. So I feel I have protected my eyes from getting worse and worse, by not wearing them very often. My prescription really hasn’t changed that much since high school in the late 1980s.
I asked him why it was odd to him that I didn’t wear them much. He said, “because you’re not getting the benefit of the prisms in your lenses.” That hadn’t occurred to me.
Before he would give me my prescription, he tested me about the prisms. He asked me to look at a chart with letters on the wall without the prisms, and then put the prism on my glasses and asked me to tell him if anything was different.
Without the prisms, my eyes circled around the letters, until they could interpret what it was on the wall and what I wanted to focus on. With the prisms, my eyes went directly to the middle of the chart without circling around it.
He then said that the prisms DO help me. And I felt like maybe I was encouraged to wear them more. I made a mental note to process this and see if I wanted to change my behavior around wearing eye glasses.
About 2 weeks after my appointment, my new eyeglasses arrived. I went in to try them on and get them fitted. They are nice! I opted for the least expensive option they offered me, which was still fairly pricey (another not to Dr. Davis whose practice offers less costly eyeglasses, because they know vision therapy is a priority and already expensive enough.) I was reminded later that I could have just taken my prescription and gone to a cheaper place to buy the eyeglasses, like online. But I haven’t figured out how to order the eyeglasses with my prism prescription, so I don’t actually feel like I have the option to order from something like 1800Contacts.com or zenni.com or WarbyParker.com etc.
Anyway, I put on the new glasses and they were a better prescription for me than my previous pair! I was flabbergasted! I took them off and tried on my previous pair, and the difference was quite noticeable.
My new glasses feel better for my eyes, and I am wearing them a lot more!
I can read with them on, as opposed to constantly having to take them off to read. And I am enjoying looking around my world more, now, with the new eye glasses.
So maybe despite the fact that this optometrist is a bit odd and Christian-centered in a medical world (so weird & off-putting), maybe I will continue to go to him, because he knows how to prescribe eyeglasses that work for my eyes better than my previous prescription (which was nearly 3 years old at that point.)
I have started going to a new optometrist in Wichita, KS (because that’s where I live now).
I miss Dr. Tod Davis. He has such a fun and delightful demeanor, cracking jokes, loving his job, loving his patients, and sometimes making quips in spontaneous German.
I showed up at the new practice in Wichita in December during the Christmas season. I wasn’t surprised by the Christmas tree in the lobby. It was nice to see a video of the practice, with the doctors talking about their specialities.
Having said that, I was quite overwhelmed by all the noise in the lobby.
The front desk person was of course checking people in, having them fill out paperwork, wait to be seated, making short business phone calls to remind patients of their upcoming appointments, having brief comments with doctors who came out of their offices periodically…. Normal things for a front desk person to be doing. No problem.
The TV to my left was on, as I said, with the short videos about vision issues and the various doctors of the practice talking about their specialty. Every now and then, there was a screen with the company motivation shown - it talked about being Christian and how their faith has motivated them to be a vision practice. I don’t really understand the correlation, and it was jarring to see this.
My vision issues couldn’t read the whole thing quickly enough before it went off the screen. I don’t know how long the loop was, but I didn’t want to sit there and stare for like 15-20-30-40 minutes until it came back on and then wait to have it loop around again. I did see it a couple of times, but my ADHD time blindness has no concept of how long I sat there or how long the video loop was. It was jarring, and I wasn’t motivated to read it and I didn’t get out my camera to snap a photo, either.
Also, in the same lobby, were religious carols (Silent Night, Holy Night, What Child is This? Etc.) being piped into the room on the other side of me. And, to my far right was the place where patients try on various kinds of glasses until they find one they like, then the person helping them writes the order.
At one point, a vision therapist came out with a patient of theirs, and the patient stood there, covering one eye at a time and looking at a picture hanging on the window. She just stood there, over and over, covering one eye and then uncovering it. Over and over and over. Right next to me. It was bizarre vision therapy that I have never seen, and her vision therapist never spoke to her, just stood there, as the woman did this cover / uncover / cover / uncover and look at the picture hanging on the window. Erm, okay.
It was a LOT going on for such a small space to sit in.
After a while, I was called back to meet my new optometrist. He looked at my chart and said, “how do you like heaven?” I am not sure how I replied. He asked me again a while later, because he knew I had moved from Virginia to Kansas. “How do you like living in heaven?”
At the time, I wasn’t particularly liking Kansas. I was really struggling with depression, anxiety, loneliness, isolation, and a boring gray landscape with no color. Still, the eye doctor persisted, “How do you like living in heaven?”
About 4 times of this, it finally dawned on me that he meant Kansas in general.
I asked him, “when you say ‘Heaven,’ do you mean ‘Kansas?’” And he basically said “yes,” without even looking up from his work figuring out my chart and my eyeglasses.
I told him that I was struggling to like it. I tried to make it sound nice, though - “I just moved from Shenandoah, Virginia, and this is a big change.” I didn’t really feel like telling him how isolated and depressed I was, and how I never left my house for the most part, because of my severe anxiety.
I asked around to other Kansas people later, “is Kansas typically referred to as ‘Heaven?’” No one had heard that before, and everyone thought it was weird that this doctor asked me this not once (which is weird), but at least 4 times. Bizarre.
I felt bewildered by a lot of the experience there. Also, some of it was helpful.
I told this doctor (as I have told so many eye doctors over the years), that my eyes hurt a lot of the time. I have constant, chronic eye pain.
At some point, he asked me to hold my eyes open while he peered at them with a bright light. I could hardly comply. I had to blink.
The doctor then announced to me that I probably have dry eye. He said this is what causes the pain. I asked him how he knew. He said because I had said that my eyes hurt all the time, and that when I was asked not to blink, it was hard for me and I had to blink.
So he referred me to another doctor in the practice who specializes in Dry Eye.
I will post about that visit in a future blog post.
I discovered that I have a love of fairies in about 1999. I dreamt up a whole story about 2 fairies in particular, Sprout and Violet, and wrote about 7 chapters of a book about them, “Fairy Tech.”
Around that same time, I got married, became a mom and got severely overwhelmed with life for the next 20 years.
I have no idea where those 7 chapters have gone. I wish I knew. They were pretty darn good. My great-aunt (who is no longer with us) said, “it’s very imaginative.” I decided to take that as a compliment.
Well, I have since divorced and become an empty-nester. I checked in with myself about this story, and decided to try to write it. I haven’t seen this story written by anyone else, so I still believe it is a unique story.
Because it’s partly about technology, I have had to modify the story a bit to make it more current. Technology has changed a lot since the year 2000!
As is common with writers, though, we believe in a story, we start writing it, we get partly in, review our work and think, “this is terrible!” Well, I have gone through the “this is terrible!” Stage with this story now, and am hoping to get back writing on it very soon.
The current first 2 chapters, such as they are, are available on Kindle Vella here:
Kindle Vella is a whole new way for authors to share stories. The first 3 chapters on Kindle Vella are free for the reader to read.
I have decided that the first 5 chapters of my book, “Fairy Tech” will be available for folks who subscribe to my SubStack newsletter!
You can sign up for my newsletter here: https://jodicrump.substack.com/
So, I have known for a long time that my eyes don’t work together. It has taken me almost 50 years to be able to describe what I see to peop...