Halloween Howl – a Halloween song

Halloween Song

In 2012, I wrote this for a Halloween song contest at the Muse in Conway, Washington. My Halloween song was inspired by an app for people who walked while texting. The app used the telephone’s camera to show people where they’re going. Turns out that the app was an April Fools joke.

I didn’t win the contest, although in my humble opinion, my song was more clever than the winner’s. I have to admit, the winner, who wore a sumi-baby inflatable costume was adorable while singing an infantile song about beer. The sumi-baby may have won the cash, but I won because I got a song out of it that I wouldn’t have written otherwise.

My Halloween song is about an app, and sort of a Halloween joke.

Halloween Howl, a Halloween song about a phone app

Halloween Howl

Halloween Howl

My Smartphone has a Halloween app, I Isn’t that just rich?
I can make a call, disguise my voice like Dracula or a creepy witch.
Here’s a special function to look at ghouls behind you,
A little lens to watch your back when things creep up to bite you.

How we howl away. How we howl away.
How we howl, we howl on Halloween!!
Continue reading


Eclipse Invitation Blots Out Loneliness

Eclipse Party of One

Instead of joining an eclipse party with friends in the path of totality, I stayed behind in the 90% zone, a lonely party of one. What can be done? My only plan was to I watch the eclipse from a Camano home where I was cat sitting with a glorious view of Mount Baker, the Cascades, and Port Susan.

I made no plans because you never know what the weather will do, regardless of forecast. Facebook was all a-buzz with friends making plans in Oregon and Idaho. I was starting to regret staying behind.

Eclipse August 21, 2017

That morning, Sun came up blazing. Excellent! By 7 a.m., a cloud bank rolled in. Fingers crossed. Sun rose above the clouds. Then: Fog! Continue reading

Getting ready

Bees in My Bed, Swarms from My House

What’s with these bees?

I’ve got bees in my bed! How do you like my new pajamas?

Bee Pajamas

Bee Pajamas

Bees were mysteriously getting into my bedroom. I’d get rid of them, but they kept coming back like memories of an old lover. So I wrote this song.

Bees in My Bed

I’ve been to Paris, Paloma, and Timbuktu.
Wherever I go, whatever I do—

I’ve got bees in my bed—oh-oh, buzzin’ in my head.
I left my love for dead. Hit the road ahead.
I need a long, cold shower to get you off my mind,
Category 7 hurricane to leave my past behind—oh-oh trouble on my mind. Continue reading

Idaho Nights, a musical campout in Weiser

Idaho nights

Idaho Nights

It’s hot and I’m writing in the shade of a tree next to the Stickerville office cabin that emits Internet connection.

I’ve been such a delinquent blogger that I’m taking time here to post. The point of my blog is to write about interesting things from my life in order to inspire you to chase your dreams, have a life worth living. Sometimes I’m so busy living that I don’t blog regularly.

From where I sit, I hear several jams, bluegrass, fiddle tunes, and swing. After I post, I’ll go back to jamming, joking, carousing with old friends and new. Maybe even go swimming in the reservoir.

I’ve gone off on a tangent. This is about songwriting.

Back at home, in 2011, Mark Dodge, the bass player in my band, Swingnuts Jazz, wanted to record us in his studio. He jokingly said, Continue reading

Nancy Thorwardson is a Special Nut.

Nancy Thorwardson — a Musical Influence

Of the Weiser Tribe

Thorwardson and Schwab serve salad.

Thorwardson and Schwab serve salad.

Nancy Thorwardson belongs to my tribe of musical friends who gather once a year to play at a weeklong campout in Weiser, Idaho. We live all around the world, mostly U.S and Canada, and musicians come from as far as Australia. Nancy made her home in Colorado, although she lived in western Washington some years ago.

Nancy discovered she had breast cancer November 9, 2016. She passed away April 11, 2017. Gone! Just like that.

It’s hard to believe that I won’t see her in June at Weiser in her colorful clothing and snazzy glasses, cozy up to her warm welcoming spirit, nor hear her singing her clever songs.

Her Influence on Me

Nancy was a creative musical force. Her head was in the clouds, yet her feet solidly on the ground (or in the stirrups—she loved horses and cowpokes). I have a lot to thank Nancy for:  Continue reading

Jamming in Idaho

Songwriting: Waxing Lyrical About a Musical Art

Waxing Lyrical About Songwriting

Since 2011, I have been songwriting for my band, Swingnuts Jazz. Fans have asked for lyrics and background information about my songs. So I’m posting this Lyric Series.

How I Started Writing Songs

When Swingnuts bassist Mark Dodge wanted to record the band, he complained how expensive it was to use copyrighted songs and joked, “Why don’t you write something, Peggy?”

Motor Boat Melodies

Motor Boat Melodies

Little did Mark know that Continue reading

Camano History Tour Shares My History

Way Back When on Camano

I love history. I love delving into the way people used to live and how things came about. That’s why I’m excited that the Camano Historic Sites Tour is here, Friday through Sunday, March 24-26.

Trippin’ in My Way Back Machine

Looking through the sites on the tour, I see that I have a personal history with many of the tour’s historic sites.

In the 1980s

I worked at Camano Inn when it was a nursing home. Now it’s a fine restaurant. Still haunted, they say.

Cama Beach Resort

Cama Beach Resort

Couple years later, I cleaned cabins at Cama Beach Resort, also haunted, they say. (Now it’s a state park.) The store they had there for the campers had so many photos and memorabilia from the resort’s early days that it looked more like a museum than a store. The owner was my boss, Mrs. Muriel Risk, an elderly woman who told me stories about the old days.  Mrs. Risk’s father, LeRoy Stradley, hired unemployed men to build the resort’s cabins, bungalows, boathouse, and great hall during the Depression. The family ran the resort for decades. During WWII, Mrs. Risk scanned the waters through binoculars for Japanese submarines. She said that in her time, she’d been a lawyer, doctor and pilot. She was quite a character and I’m glad I got to know her.

In the 1990s

My friend, Carol Hall, lived at the Mabana Schoolhouse. I helped her pack glass art for shipping. One day, she fell in love and moved to Portland. I helped pack her up to move.

South Camano Grange held quite a few memorable gatherings. I sang what may have been the first song I ever wrote at a birthday party there. It was about my massage therapist (Oh-oh, I’m aching to see you again . . .) I wrote it for a friend, Joyce Lukaczer, who was then a masseuse.

Yes, I go way back with Camano.

The Community that Plays Together

Camano City Schoolhouse

Camano City Schoolhouse

Lately, I’ve been hanging out at one of the tour sites, Camano Schoolhouse. The schoolhouse is a historic building that has attracted people dedicated to restoring it and making it a gathering place for events and education. They refinished the wooden floor, discovered original slate blackboards under faded wallpaper, and found the old school bell hiding in a nearby church closet.

On Saturday, March 25, 2 p.m., a community group will put on a play about the first teacher there and early telephones on Camano. I’ve helped behind the scenes. It’s delightful to watch it unfold as new friends and neighbors take on roles, both figuratively and literally.

Get Out and About Before You’re History

The beauty of history is to see what people did long before we were here and how it set the scene for all who followed. I can’t wait to visit my old haunts and swing by a few I’ve never seen to learn what people did before I got here.

I love vintage swing!

I love vintage swing!

There’s a breakfast, historic lunch (Reservations required, 360-387-0783), a play, a dance, and a light dinner. Sites are also open for drop in visits at anytime during the tour. Find the detailed schedule online or in brochures around town. Download the brochure here. There’s  history tour FaceBook page, too, with video.

While I’m not out enjoying the tour, I’ll play vintage music at Camano Schoolhouse. I’m not scheduled, but if you catch me, come sing along.