Monday, April 30, 2007

Home Again, Home Again

This says it all! The end of my vacation was spent in the company of these little cuties and their lovely parents. I had such a great time with my grandkids. I was a playing and reading machine for one and someone new to melt for the other. We spent the whole day outside yesterday after a couple of days of rain. Grandma was happy!

I was moved many times as I visited the young and the old. In your fifties you really get to see both sides of life. I visited an uncle with dementia but watched his grandchildren flourishing. My father's partner was having serious medical issues so I was in frequent contact with him all the while visiting with my own grandchildren. Life and it's decline keep happening.

Coming home is always nice and a bit surreal. Everything you left is right there where you left it, metaphorically. There are always changes....there has been a death of a good friend's loved one, blank election signs are up, the 20 - 25 year can ban has been lifted. Life and death kept happening.

I've missed picking out music. After those last couple of paragraphs, I've chosen something light. Megan Mullally from Will and Grace ( did you know she could sing?) does a nice version of Home on the Range and Chantel Kreviazuk does an updated version of the Beatles' song In My Life.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

From Somewhere Out There

I've been away a week now so it's time for a little update. I'm having a wonderful time on this short little whirlwind vacation. I'm visiting with my grandchildren now and they are the cutest things you've have ever seen. We're having lots of fun.
I have a friend who lives three hours away coming over for the weekend. We saw each other at Christmas and it was at a dinner party so this will be better. She's my son's godmother and they see each other only once every couple of years. This little visit will be a treat for us all.
My time at the beach with the aunts and uncle was really great. We had a big family dinner and almost a week later, I'm still stuffed. With my family you are never hungry. Luckily everyone is into healthy eating so I didn't break my nutrition rules. The weather was really hot and wonderful. We walked every day, sometimes more than once.
I miss my cats!
No music till I get home but with over 560 songs to choose from, there's still a lot to listen to.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Two Posts in One Day!!!

I forgot to say: (or The Reminder)

I saw this Feist You Tube video of her new , as yet unreleased song, 1, 2, 3, 4 this morning. I loved it. It's just the coolest dance routine with great colourful costumes, a spiral, and a large troupe. I also got a copy of the song....just for you. The album, Reminder, will be released internationally next week.

Gone Walk About

Well I'm down to one more sleep. I'm mostly packed, most of my visits are taken care of, my phone call list is getting down to the last few....Alf answer your phone, and the cat food is topped up. All ready!

The first part of the trip will be filled with laughter. I never have as much fun as when I'm visiting my favorite aunt and uncle. They're the music lovers and they think I'm funny. I then visit another aunt. Everything becomes more serious with her and I really enjoy that too. She thinks I'm a genius. After that, I cross the province and visit with my son's family with two little grandchildren awaiting. Very exciting!!!

There are 568 songs between Page One and Page Two in the links to listen to until I'm back. I uploaded a couple of songs onto Page Two last night to provide links to something other than this blog. Give them a listen. One is an African song, Baisabi, by Ziomara Fortuna. The other is Fortune by Emma Pollock.

For today more travelling songs....Think Twice Before You Go by John Lee Hooker and Bye Bye (The Peter Gunn Theme) by Sarah Vaughan. Remember, visit the music pages. Bye Bye.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Two More Sleeps

This is a view of some of the drifts from the last snowstorm. It's in a windy area but drifts were like that everywhere. Note that there is no snow on other parts of the ground. Now a week and a half later, it's pretty well sunk into the ground.

I'm busy packing for my trip....only two more sleeps. It will be nice to have a change of scenery and a change of view; some other people to look at. The last part meant for the grandchildren in particular. Seeing them so seldom results in me almost wanting to eat them up. They are soooo cute and sweet. I hope they're not afraid of me.

When I get home, the snow drifts should have disappeared and spring really taken hold. It will be time to garden. I'm looking forward to that very much. There's always so much to look forward to, is there not?

A couple of days of travelling music seems appropriate. This version of Travelling Shoes from Little Feat is from a while back, 1972. I have all of their old albums on vinyl and still listen to and like the few songs I have on the hard drive. They have my favorite album title of all times - Feats, Don't Fail Me Now. Katie Melua does a fine job of On the Road Again. It's from her 2005 album, Piece by Piece. I sure do like her songs and covers. You'll find some others on Page One.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I Saw Crocuses

Oprah is my favorite TV show but today and tomorrow the subject is Don Imus, American hip hop culture, journalism and the like. Not my cup of tea so an early blog post. Yesterday's was late.

My youngest son is home and his hug sure felt good! He's finished University and only has to go back for graduation at the end of May. It's cool that we will all be together for the occasion and it's not a wedding or a funeral. It's a big day!

We are having a really nice dinner tonight to celebrate his being home. Mom's cooking...... He's already been out to the pond with the fishing rod, trying to catch his Mama some fish. Lots of catches but kept losing the fish. I think he had too small a hook.

I finally finished burning all the cd's. I have four for my son and his wife and six for my aunt and uncle. I think they're pretty good. I know my aunt and uncle will like theirs for sure.

Melissa McLelland is a Canadian singer new to me but I like her singing. I'll link her website but I couldn't get very far into it, probably because I use Firefox. Here is her myspace page and a couple of songs, Passenger 24 and Factory.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Baaaak Home

I just got home from another Charlottetown walk and a lovely leg of lamb dinner with friends. Our walk this afternoon was pretty cool. We were on a Charlottetown section of the PEI trail system that has been made on the site of the former railroad tracks across the Island.

The above photo is quite curious to me. Click to enlarge because it's hard to see all the birds in the size above. The photo shows a wet spot in a field that birds are flocking to. There are several pairs of ducks in the marshy area as well as some gulls. I'm not sure if they're planning to nest there but after spring it seems like a spot that would dry up. We noticed it before we got to it because we were watching a pair of ducks walking through this field. Finally we saw their destination.

I love music with a good beat and I love it more when it is provided by a one man band like Martin Sexton who I sampled about a week ago or from Harry Manx who I had up a couple of weeks ago. Here's some more from Harry. I have a couple of songs that I've loved for decades and collect versions of. One is Help Me. I have one other version on Page One. Harry Manx does a fabulous job of this old song. He puts his own percussive and soulful spin on it and it deserves a listen. Baby Please Don't Go is another old blues song that he does a great job on. I have three other versions of this song on Page One. Here's a Wikipedia article on Harry Manx. I saw him at a folk festival in 2002 and have been a fan since. Here's a link to his official site. He's an interesting man and a great musician.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Music To Go

You won't hear me say this often but I've had enough music for a bit. Of course, I say that but have music playing while I type. I've steadily been burning cd's since yesterday. Each one takes hours as they have to be just right, flowing corrrectly from one to another. I have more to do but will wait till tonight or Monday.

The photo today is the same spot as two days ago, just a few minutes earlier. Sunset on water is always pretty.

Our storm fizzled and we got only about five centimeters in the end....not bad at all seeing as it is all absorbed already. Spring has sprung, snow or not.

Some latin leanings is what I've chosen for music today. Muy Fifi by Ry Cooder is one I always add to my dance playlists. It's so catchy and seems to stay with you. Tropicalia by Eliane Elias is wonderful jazz sung in English but with a latin feel.

Friday, April 13, 2007

From Blue to White

Another weekend - another snowfall. I said yesterday ten centimeters was expected. That has been changed to twenty-five. Could that be because it's Friday the thirteenth? When the snow started this morning it was quite heavy but has eased up. Shovelling ahead.....

Yesterday I was Miss Fitness. I walked one of Charlottetown's boardwalks, had lunch, walked the other boardwalk, then walked about a half kilometer on a paved, riverside walk. The temperature was very warm and I was overdressed. I need that happy medium or to have my car stocked with more outerware choices.

I'm spending the afternoon making cd's for an upcoming trip. I always bring musical presents. My aunt who I will be visiting told me that it's freezing there today. It's hard packing for a trip this time of year. When I was in Ontario at this time last year, it was much more springlike. My grandson got a sunburn one day while we were out playing. Here's a photo of that day. It is my most popular photo on Shutterchance. You can see the sun in his face. Ha! When I went to get the link, I found this photo has moved to second place in popularity there.

Music: My aunt and uncle are jazz and latin music lovers. I already have a couple of versions of S'wonderful up on Page One and here's one more for Page Two. I love this Sun Ra version. This song starts the cd I'm now making because of that one line, "S'wonderful, s'marvelous, that you should care for me". My aunt and uncle really do "care for me". Please Send Me Someone To Love by Red Garland form Red Garland's Piano is another song they'll like.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Early and Getting The Worm

Another early post as I will be out at the normal blogging time. I'm going to take my walk in Charlottetown today. There is a lovely boardwalk around the waterfront that is really busy during the noon hour with lots of office walkers walking during their lunch break. I'm joining them today. I'll be sure to bring gloves today after yesterday's disappointment.

The grackles are back today. Each day from now on will bring new birds. A friend mentioned the return of the red-wing black birds at her house. I still haven't seen any males but have a few females. Strange.

We are expecting ten cm. of snow tomorrow; nothing outrageous and it will add much needed moisture to our dry land. Yes, we have to think positively about it because otherwise it could really get to you when you love to be out in the gardens like I do.

I haven't played any Joni Mitchell in a while. Chinese Cafe was an immediate favorite from her album, Wild Things Run Fast. It is also on the Hits album. I have them both, Wild Things Run Fast on vinyl and Hits on CD. For The Roses was an album I had on eight track and vinyl. I still have the vinyl but the eight track is long gone. One of my favorits songs from that album was Electricity. Here it is, just for you, on Page Two.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Surprise For You

I lost 13 good photos today. I had just taken a couple with the macro setting and didn't turn the setting off. There were tons of cedar waxwings and robins on the ground and in the apple trees. I walked closer and closer, taking photos and the birds weren't getting spooked. It was great. Kenz ran by, went straight up a tree and fifty birds take flight. I had the macro setting on and lost every one, and all that I took after I was back on the deck, taking pictures of Kenz and chickadees. Drats!

The last couple of days have been glorious with warm, melting weather. I didn't walk for that long today because I didn't take gloves. It seemed nice when I was in the yard but out in the air and walking quickly, my hands got cold. We are expecting snow again on Friday.

I haven't thought too much about music because I've just had a bit of a computer crisis since I've started writing. I need a computer geek friend that I can have come over for an hour. I've just called my neice. She helped me somewhat but she has to see the screen. Anyway, something quick for music. I'm expecting company. Surprise links might be the answer. Door Number One, Door Number Two and Door Number Three.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Music Stats and Wildlife

Blogging early today as I have appointments in town and won't be back till night. I'm on my way outside to do more shovelling. I had my driveway snowblown but have to shovel around the car. Come on spring!!!!

In addition to the robins and starlings in the back yard a flock of about thirty cedar waxwings arrived this morning. The apples will get eaten up for sure.

Last night I finally got to see the raccoon that has been raiding my bird feeder every couple of nights. He ran away when I went outside to get a photo but came back so this photo is taken through the kitchen window. You can tell spring is here because there is lots of wildlife around. I have more than my usual pair of mallards, at least two. Herons are now in residence as well.

I'm going to forego music stats from now on. There is not a lot of activity on Page One anymore since I've started Page Two. More songs have received no hits than songs have been played. Whoever likes Don't Lie still has it bookmarked though, because it got an additional 188 hits. It has now received 1576 plays.

Dayna Kurtz is someone I've discovered in the last year. I like her slow ballads. She does some of her own songs and some covers. This version of Duke Ellington's I've Got It Bad is fabulous. She shares vocals on this song with Norah Jones. A lot of people like Norah Jones but I like Dayna's voice better myself. Just personal taste.

Ane Brun is new to me as well. I haven't had any time to research her but I have a couple of her slow ballads. Here is Song No 6 from Ane Brun.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Bird and Song

The most amazing thing just happened. I was watching Oprah and I heard a bird hit my kitchen window. I finished watching the segment, went out to the kitchen and saw this little nuthatch sitting on the rail with it's beak open and it's head at an odd angle. It's not the first time this has happened. I knew to just leave it be and hope that a hawk was not nearby. Sure enough, it flew off in about five minutes. A headache is probably in this birds future today.

Today's walk was interesting. The snow that fell was quite heavy so when the plows went by, the heavy snow they threw knocked down road signs. There were some beautiful drifts and it was a landscape not seen all winter. Certainly it was our biggest storm of the year.

The spring birds have arrived back from their southern vacation. Robins and starlings are devouring the apples in my back yard where there is no snow. With all the wind I have a lot of bare areas as well as, at the most, three foot drifts. Below is a photo though it's not that good. There are lots of these areas and I have maybe seventy or eighty birds at a time. I have a female red-wing blackbird as well though the males usually come back first.

I have two versions of a song to compare for your musical pleasure today. I've had this Lila Downs version of Cancion Mixteca for years and love it. I play it a lot! I recently came across this version by Ry Cooder. It is very different than Lila's and I really like it too. It is more of a lullaby and Lila's is about as far away from a lullaby as you can get. Just noticed the songs on Page Two have reached fifty. Long ways to go for five hundred.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Wintery Woes

We had, and are still in the midst of, the very worst snowstorm of the entire winter. Everything on the Island is at a standstill. All the special Easter church services were cancelled as well as most of the family and friend get-togethers. I was invited to two dinners but I, like many people, are not leaving their homes in this.

We got about 38 cm. of snow when 15 to 20 had been forecast. We will get another 15 cm. (or so they estimate) today. The wind is really strong and has thrown a huge drift across my back door. It will be hard to push my way out to shovel when it's all over.

The picture above is of my downstairs bathroom window. Even the upstairs windows are covered in snow. Really amazing!

Music today is a fact, then a wish. Stormy Weather is the fact and this version is from the great Dinah Washington. Sasha Dobson does a fine job with Spring Is Just Around The Corner. That's the wish. Not long ago I was giving spring music and we were having spring weather. Now it's winter again.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Like The Sky - A Little Blue

March break and Easter will be combined next year on PEI giving students and teachers a longer holiday. From my memory that's what it was always like in the New Brunswick school system when I was a kid. We always had Good Friday off then the whole next week.

I have some pretty awful memories of that time because something always happened that ruined that holiday for me. I had mumps over Easter. I stepped on a nail on Good Friday and got a really deep puncture wound that I could not walk with. One year, I got a haircut so bad I would not leave the house. I couldn't go to my cousin's house in Saint John for the week one year because I got measles. The next year, those same cousins came for Easter. I got really bad hives and spent the whole weekend scratching and covered in calamine lotion. We never figured out what I had the allergic reaction to but again, another Easter break was ruined. I remember crying year after year that it wasn't fair. My mom would be very sweet and somehow make me feel special or at least okay.

My Easters have improved since I became adult but this one seems a bit lonely with no one from my family around. It's something I have been getting used to though. After all, my first son left home in '95.

Music yesterday was for the travellers. Today it's for the other half of the family. My youngest is studying for an exam on Monday. He'd rather be home for Easter. Perhaps an Easter present would be to share more than two songs. Miss Me by Eleni Mandell is first on the list. I love the slow, sexy sound of the sax in this. Speed of the Sound of Loneliness is a wonderful song by Nancy Griffith and John Prine. I'm not sure whose song it is. They're both magnificent writers and it's a great song. A classic Elvis Presley song, Are You Lonesome Tonight is one of my favorites from my childhood. It's fitting today. Lonely Girls is very nice if you're a Lucinda Williams fan.

The following links can all be found on page One. I'm finding them looking for a Bettye LaVette song. Johnny Cash and Nick Cave did a fabulous version of I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry. Here's the classic version with Hank Williams Jr. I Still Miss Someone from Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash is another song about loneliness.

Lonesome Road by Madeleine Peyroux and Kate Rusby deserve a mention. They are not the same song; they just have the same name. Hah! Just found Bettye LaVette's song. Thinkin' Bout You is wonderful. I really like this artist. She's been around for a long, long time but I only discovered her a couple of years ago. This song, also from Page One, has only been played twelve times. Lets remedy this because it is a great song.

This is turning out to be rather long but I just wanted to say that we are forecasted to have a blizzard tonight with high winds, of course, and 15 - 20 centimeters of snow. Happy Easter!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Be Safe

A music blog I routinely read, The Late Greats, is having a special day today with forty-five songs up for a listen or download. Amazing!! I manage two a day and a couple more on special occasions. The blogger, Duke of Straw, is very prolific. His site has a music player so you can just start it up and listen to the songs he has up. I'm listening now.

I had been thinking about getting a music player for quite some time but they cost a monthly fee. I gave up the idea though because I'm being forced to upgrade my daily photoblog right now, which has a monthly fee. I actually get comments and feedback on my photos and very little from the music. Basically my kids comment here and occasionally someone else. The smart thing says spend the money on the Shutterchance blog.

My daughter is leaving for a vacation this afternoon. One son is coming back from one today and one son is studying for his final, final exams at university. Busy, busy bunch! I was visiting with my grandchildren last Easter and they are traveling from the Dominican Republic today so are on my mind. That's the reason I am putting this photo for the second time. Of course, I'm also doing the time-honoured grandmother's job of showing pictures of her grandchildren.

Music today is for the vacationing parts of the family. Enjoy Yourself is the best wish I can have for you. It will be harder for my son as he's travelling with two small children. The kids would probably like this version by Tod Snider and the old one by Louis Prima might make them laugh.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Almost Like Friday

Alone again. All the company is gone, the dinner dishes are done and for some reason, I'm tired. It would have been a nap day for me but I had to go to town for a couple of errands. I just got home and the cats are treating me like I've been gone a month rather than a couple of hours.

I pre-posted a week of cats on my daily photoblog, Shutterchance. I didn't want my visiting interupted and it's easy to pre-post. Anyway, these cat posts have been very popular. Today so far, Kenz having a bath has had 54 views. My average would probably be around 25. Kind of cool, n'est pas?

Mas Que Nada is an old song from Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66. It would have popular in the mid 60's. A couple of versions have modernized the song and I've been including them on playlists for a couple of years. One is from the Black Eyed Peas and The other by Al Jarreau. They are on Page Two today.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


A blog when you can day. My guest is having a bath in the old, claw footed, deep tub. I have a couple more people coming to a dinner party tonight, so I'll be busy this afternoon. I'm having a wonderful ham with scallopped potatoes and candied sweet potatoes that will all be cooked in the oven and a salad that I made last night and potato salad that my house guest brought with her. Yum, yum, yum. I know how to excite my kids!

We're having so much fun but you can really tell our ages in that we have all the fun we can yet we're in bed early. This house has hosted a lot of my friends and relatives over time and a song today reminds me of that. Ony Then Will Your House Be Blessed by Harry Manx is something to give me a message once in a while. Good Girls by Merry Clayton is the other selection today. Talkin' bout those good girls at my house, the one that's blessed.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Catching Up

I took a day off yesterday because I have company. We've been keeping busy and I truly had no time. She brought some work out with her so we're giving out jaws a rest and working on our own things. Above is the first pussy willows I've seen. We went walking yesterday and today but my friend finds it a bit cold. She's a city mouse, I alway tease. We're having a very nice time but do wish it were a bit warmer.

We're going to be dancing later so here's some dancing music for everybody. I've always got lots of music to share. Here's The Holmes Brothers with Close The Door that would be country-folk and Mash it Funky by DJ BC. If you like James Brown that's one for you.

We have another friend coming out tomorrow and that will be fun too. We're having great food, wonderful conversations and most importantly, a million laughs. I may be too busy again tomorrow so, visit the music pages if you've not had time to listen. Usually there's always some catching up to do.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Napping With Martin Sexton

Funny Looking Kenz

The nap I went for yesterday didn't happen but one found me today. Wonderful, wonderful!! There is nothing like a nap on a weekend afternoon. A lot of the time women feel guilty when they're not being busy and useful. Somehow we can let go of that on a weekend and feel we deserve it. Some may choose to "sleep in" instead of the nap but it's all the same. Oh well, one small step in fighting woman's guilt disease.

The universe has it's way, you know. After writing Friday's post featuring a song by Martin Sexton, I got curious about what he was up to. I'll send you here to find out yourself. Anyway, Martin has an album being released on Tuesday. How is that for timing?!

The site has a music player installed and also allows some downloads. I have to sample these two songs for you that I got there. Time (no, not since Friday) has not lessened my admiration for Martin Sexton. He is very, very talented and truly has the most unique style! These songs are from a live show and are really great!! So check out these songs and and his website and if you live nearer a record store than I do, buy a cd from a fantasticly talented musician. Here is Where Did I Go Wrong and Beast In Me.

I could never have a music blog where you discriptively write about the musician, band or songs. I'm not a descriptive kind of writer but I know good music. Martin Sexton is good music whether the universe is telling me to say this or not.