Monday, December 31, 2007

Out With The Old? No Way!

My sister-in-law is my new hero. She drove me to the hospital and back in a snowstorm after I dislocated my shoulder again this morning. She is much more brave than I will ever be. I have driven through storms in emergencies and know how stressful it is. She got a migraine headache soon after we arrived at the hospital but through modern medication was able to stop it before it took hold. I have to think of something special to do for her. Any ideas or suggestions?

It is going to be a very long road to recovery for this shoulder. The doctor explained just how unstable it is. It popped out very easily when I was drying myself after a bath. I've been a bit off balance since the injury and when the other arm is busy with something, my whole body, not just the shoulder, is unstable.

It's New Years Eve. My crazy son is going to drive through the storm to go to a party. I strongly object to this but he is an adult and has made his decision. The visibility and roads are going to get much worse as wind is forecast.

To hear a bunch of New Years Eve songs go to The Late Greats. The Duke has a post highlighting many different songs but with the name New Year's Eve. I am going to reprise some favorites for me this past year. The songs are not even necessarily from this year, they were just favorites of mine this year. Feist's, 1,2,3,4 was from this year and I thought it was a great song. It has been heard widely and has even been in a commercial so, I'm not alone in liking this song. Here are some that I really dug but not in any particular order. My Singing Soul by Soel, To The Fallen by Ruthie Foster, Long Ride Home by Patty Griffin, Walk Around the Lake by Lost In The Trees, The Story by Brandi Carlile, and Got Up This Morning by Sage France and Jolie Holland. This is just a few. One more you say? OK here is Colin Hay with I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over Losing You. It wins for longest title too.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Long Day - Short Year

Would you believe a friend called and asked if I'd like to go skating. A laugh is always a good thing to have and a friend who brings you a laugh is even better.

There is talk of a storm tomorrow for New Year's Eve and they're already asking people to stay off the roads. We are expecting 30 cm. of snow. I hope people heed the warnings especially since there will be drinking drivers out there.

The last two days have seemed to be very long. I'm going to try to get out for a walk tomorrow before the storm hits. I didn't realize how much you use your arms for balance. I keep wobbling to the right so I will have to be very careful outdoors. Actually it may be safer as there are no door frames to keep bumping into.

I've just heard the forecast and the storm is starting early so the walk may be postponed. Good thing my appetite seems to have dwindled along with the use of my arm. I was worried about gaining weight with the reduced physical activity.

Innocent Bones by Iron and Wine is the song for today. I am celebrating my strong bones as the Dr. told me that the injury I received usually breaks some bones as well but I was spared because of my strong bones. Take your halibut liver oil, People. Another one of Iron and Wine's songs, Such Great Heights seems appropriate too.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Reflections and Deflections

Is the world still spinning? A lot of my friends and myself are going through some serious, life altering times. Just being disabled for six weeks is sending me into a tailspin but others are having more serious tremors. All we can do is help each other through these trying times and be the best support we can be for each other. We are having a bit of a storm and I can't drive so am unable to help someone who really needs me tonight. The telephone will help, I suppose.

I went to a short notice dinner party last night thanks to my daughter, who left today. We had dinner plans already but she thought connecting that with some dear old friends was more important. Bless her kind little heart. We had a delicious dinner and some great catching up conversation. Friendship is more important than any ship. I've had a trying time in the friendship department in the last year and consider that the person who didn't value my friendship to be the one who has missed out. I am a good friend.

The music today has nothing to do with friendship or trying times. I had to upload a song to fit another post and that song was In A Graveyard from the newest album by Rufus Wainwright. I love his dad, Loudon Wainwright III, so have Cardboard Boxes, a song I really like, as selection number two.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Oh, Oh. A Big Boo Boo

I will be blogging very slowly for the next while. I've just returned from the emergency department . I have severely dislocated my shoulder, tearing the ligaments and getting a bone chip in the process. I had just taken off my skates and put boots on. There was a little fellow skating here with his grandma. Since he had a left handed hockey stick which I never get to use as they are unusual in this family, I thought I'd have a few shots. Three shots of morphine were not what I had in mind.

I won't be skating or snowshoeing any more this winter as I am to wear a contraption for six weeks. I'm not sure how I'm going to cope. I can't get dressed, peel a potato, tie my boots or even drive - at least for now. I may require surgery so am to see a specialist.

Arms of a Woman
by Amos Lee sounds like it might fit in for today's post. The title fits anyway. All the Way Down by Glen Hansard is good too. I love this song. It has meaning for me.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to You and You and You

The photo is from a few weeks ago. The pond is frozen solid now.

My kids are having Christmas dinner at their dad's an I am having mine at a friend's house. I have food in the oven baking for the occasion. Had a great morning with the kids before they went to off their dad's.

Tonight or tomorrow night I'm going to do something I've been wanting to do since I moved to this property twenty four years ago. In all that time this is the first time the conditions have been perfect. I am going to skate on the pond at full moon time. Yesterday, technically, was full moon but tonight and tomorrow are near enough and a bit less moonlight will suffice. It's been very bright the last two nights and with the thaw yesterday, the ice is perfect. What a treat.

For years, it would be perfect ice but by the time full moon came we would have heavy snow. We last skated on it in 2003 as there hasn't been a cold enough winter to freeze it since then. Now if snow can hold off for a few days I'll have the opportunity to do one of my favorite winter activities....get in lots of skating on my wonderful pond.

An appropriate song for the post and the season is Joni Mitchell's, The River. I have a nice live version by James Taylor but since I had him up yesterday, here is one by Sara McLachlan's that was removed earlier in the year.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

It's Winter Already

As you can imagine the stores are very busy. I had to go in to make an exchange for a gift that I discovered had a problem when I went to wrap it. Huge line ups and tons of traffic. I only had that errand, a gift drop off, and a stop at the grocery store. I'm much happier at home that in that schmozzle. It was funny that I ran into a couple who I last ran into Christmas shopping last year. I said I hope to see them this time next year too.

My niece called today. She is addicted to her computer like I am and her hard drive is going. It's terrible when these things happen at holiday time. For her to go to an electronics store anytime in the next week will be pretty close to hellish. I was so lucky to have a brother in law who helped me out. The ethernet card was only twenty bucks so that was pretty painless too. I had bad luck this week and good luck too.

In the Bleak Midwinter is a favorite seasonal song for many. I have a few versions. Today is one by James Taylor and one by Allison Crowe. The weather hardly seems like the bleak midwinter. It is going to be eight degrees and raining tomorrow. Bring it on!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Home Again

The photo is of a church in downtown Moncton the night of the storm. It was a cold and stormy night. My friend and room mate of thirty-three years ago and I walked in it for a couple of hours and almost marathon walked the next day. We both loved the exhilaration and accompanying endorphens. Also, it was wonderful catching up.

I also had fun at my home town. I won a ham playing TV bingo with my Dad's better half and her three daughters. I used the ham for a family dinner at my niece's house the next night. That was really fun. She has little kids so there's built in entertainment.

Since coming home I've had to deal first with a fried ethernet card, a driveway of pure ice, and an impending flood because of a very warm and rainy weather forecast. My brother in law helped me out with the first problem. I am heavily addicted to the net and was in withdrawal for twenty-four hours. I've got help in resolving those withdrawal symptoms by shoveling. There's been no end to it. Enough of that!

I've not played any Christmas music this season. Here's Julia Lee and her Boyfriends with Christmas Blues and David Francey with We Three Kings. That has always been my favorite Christmas song but it's not that popular. It was lovely to find a version by one of my favorite singers.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

She Has Arrived!!!

I am still in Moncton. My daughter arrived on a standby flight after midnight last night after being stuck in Toronto on the night of the storm. She was among thousands stuck in various airports across Canada after storms pretty well paralyzed the country. Several times they told her that she would not be able to get a flight till Sunday to either Moncton, Halifax, or Charlottetown. She had not packed extra clothing in her carry on so I can't even imagine her in the same clothes for one week.

Her luggage did not arrive with her so we can't go to our next destination without that. She hand washed her clothing last night but that won't do forever. I am really glad to see her and hope the rest of her visit is uneventful and full of all good things.

I have no music or photos to give you but here is today's photo on the Shutterchance blog.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Where There's Smoke.....

I have a ninety something year old friend who I visit quite often in the nursing home where he lives. He has all his wits about him but does get a little mixed every once in a while. This afternoon while I was visiting he said, "Did I show you my horse?" I immediately got a little oh, oh feeling thinking that he was having a mixed up moment.

I said, "What do you mean"?

He said, "Come on downstairs and I'll show you my horse".

I was a bit concerned but decided to play along and off we went on our slow little trip with him using his walker. We took an elevator and went into a big common room and over in the corner was indeed a horse. It was a mechanical pony probably three feet high. It moves it's head, it's mouth, wags it's tail, munches on a carrot and neighs and makes other horse sounds.

The joke was on me. I'm sure he knew what I was thinking and got the last laugh.

I went to a function last night where we had a bit of an adventure. Someone put one of those fake chemical-sawdust logs in the fireplace and the draft or baffle would not open. The whole building filled with smoke. A bunch of guys tried to fix things but the draft could not be moved. Someone got the bright idea to take the log outside with a shovel. As soon as they touched it, the log fell into a million pieces and could not be picked up. They ended up bringing buckets of snow inside and smothering the log that way. The smoke then turned to steam. It was a mess and I had some pretty smelly clothes to deal with this morning.

Music: A link from the past. This was the first song on a cd I put on today while painting. It goes with the last paragraph too. It's Swati with Bruce Springsteen's I'm On Fire. You can find other versions of this song that I've already put up with a simple search at the top left of the page. New today are songs from Van Morrison. I am so looking forward to seeing my daughter and these Van songs, Someone Like You and Contacting My Angel, remind me of her. Someone Like You is such a great song. No one will ever do a better version. Van Morrison owns it through and through.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Yes, It's Cold

It's cold today. It was windy but sunny, meaning we missed the piles of snow that were forecast. Fine with me. We have enough. It was so sunny that it looked very inviting for walking. I went out and shoveled and after a short while, knew I'd not be walking. Too cold.

I'm going away for a few days. My daughter is flying into another airport than our own and needs to be picked up. I'm going to go a couple of days early and visit an old friend. Then my daughter and I are going to visit my dad for a few days. My daughter wants to make stew for him. I don't like traveling at this time of year but don't have much choice.

Essential music again and a song that's fitting for today in that it's cold and I'm thinking of my daughter. I still have one version on Page One that is one of the fifty-eight out of five hundred that was not removed. It's one of the best too and probably the most well known. The song is Baby, It's Cold Outside. It's my daughter's favorite version. The version still on Page One is from Betty Carter and Ray Charles. I'm not going to replace removed versions but add two that have not been posted here before. One is from Rod Stewart and Dolly Parton. The other is from Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordon.

I just realized I am missing a really great version on my computer that I consider essential. I have it on cd but not on the computer. It's Ella and Sarah Vaughan's version with Sarah doing the 'man's' part as there would have to be a man in the forties. There couldn't be two woman. I have nine versions on the computer so I will be happy with that for now.

Page two is 400 songs as of today so I will be skipping back to Page One and be re-starting there with song 59. I know it's confusing but it's not how it was planned. I didn't know that Putfile would be removing over 500 songs. I still am never sure if a song is going to be there. It will all work out.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Not Weather For Gardenias

Just came in from shoveling. The cats are still out there and it's almost dark. I have to keep checking. In the winter of '99 -'00, it snowed almost every day. It was the largest yearly snowfall in a long time. That much snow can create problems. My trash cans are surrounded already and the bottom snow is ice; impossible to shovel. Thankfully they are not full and can wait till the next pick up.

Come on, Kitties. They're in though not happy about it.

A couple of weeks ago this website was featured on Blogger's Blogs of Note. The Daily Coyote is photos and the story of a rescued coyote who lives with the author and her cat in a one-room log cabin in Wyoming. I find it fascinating and the photography is fabulous. The time line is six months past but that's ok. Not everything has to be live and now.

For music, more from the essentials list. Dos Gardenias is my favorite song from Buena Vista Social Club's first groundbreaking album, Buena Vista Social Club. I'm not fluent in Spanish but can get by after a few days of immersion. I can usually figure out the written word even easier.

This song I loved so much, but just couldn't figure out. It didn't make sense. These were the days before I knew about Babelfish. Turned out I had it figured out correctly. A few years later, in Mexico, I asked a friend for a translation and the jist is this: A man gives his lover two gardenias. If they die it means she is cheating on him and does not love him. Of course, being flowers, they did what flowers do, and died.

Ok, so what I love about this song is not the story but the melody. I listen to both versions a lot because they are the kind of slow Latin ballads that I love so much. I love the Rita Maria Mariano version for the music and the Buena Vista Social Club version for the vocals. Both are excellent and I'm happy to put them up again.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Frozen Footprints

I just went for a walk and found all these footprints frozen in a pond. I am assuming they are coyote tracks but they could be duck tracks too. They were pretty cool no matter whose they are. The sun shone all day yet I was only able to get out for a walk, not a hike. Tomorrow is blowing snow again so that won't work for hiking. Maybe the next day. Maybe the dancercising is going to come early this winter.

I got photos of my grandchildren in a Christmas card yesterday. I can't believe how cute they are. I want to see them so badly. The little boy told me on Sunday that he was coming to my house in the spring. I think he'll be coming in the summer but I'd better check with his dad - you never know.

I am making lots of cd's at this time of year to go into Christmas packages. It's very time consuming as I want them to flow just right. The one I'm working on this afternoon is a jazz cd for my aunt and uncle. I've included a couple of songs by Bernadette Seacrest and Her Yes Men that I know they'll like. I know I do. Here's Money and Sweet Salvation. I've had trouble the last few days uploading songs. I'll give it another try and if it is not successful, I'll try again later.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Happy Dance

I made a wonderful discovery today. I have been thinking that my stereo was broken since the night I had a party during an electrical storm back in July or August. I've been using a boom box since then. I discovered today that it is fine and was only unplugged. I guess one of my party guests unplugged it, tired of hearing the same song over and over which was happening each time the power went off momentarily.

I was going to move a lamp that I only use for the stereo and when I went to unplug it, found that it was the only plug in the socket. How happy am I about this? Extremely. I was going to look for a replacement after Christmas as I was frustrated with having to use a terrible boom box if I wanted music to be heard in far corners of the house. I have the computer for use in the immediate room but it's sound doesn't reach far. You have to know I'm happy dancing.

I have a glass commission and I am stressed about the first part, a design. It's the hardest part of the process for me. There is no real hurry so that eases it up a bit.

Music is happy dancing music. First, already up songs One, Two, and Three. New today, Before This Time by Ollabelle and an old, early seventies dance song, Tighten Up with Archie Bell and the Drells. I haven't been on my usual busy hiking schedule and will be going back to dancing on the off days. A bonus now I have good sound that volume won't distort.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Chavela Again

My whole body is sore. Shoveling is not an activity for the middle aged. How many times do you hear of heart attacks brought on by shoveling snow. My lower back was sore from earlier in the week shoveling but now I'm sore everywhere. We were supposed to get two centimeters of snow overnight turning to rain but the rain never came and we got about four inches of the white fluffy stuff. It was perfect snow for making snow people but the shoveling had to be done.

I had no idea what a metal roof was going to bring. Huge banks have already materialized against the house where snow has slid off the steep roof. Snow that close could cause basement flooding. My gutters are not able to handle all the falling snow and after two snows, one section is already broken. It's always something, eh?

Gosh, I just got completely lost on a new music blog and forgot about this one. Music. We need music so it's back to the essentials. Chavela Vargas' La Llorona, which I've fawned over in the past is essential for sure. I've told the story of this remarkable woman and won't again but will provide a few links - Wikipedia, her own website, and a Youtube performance of La Llorona. This video is from the movie Frida, one of my favorite all time movies. The song uploaded today is from Chavela's very famous appearance at Carnegie Hall made in her eighties. She is eighty-eight now. I really like her music as she sang a traditional Latin ballad that was sung by men to seduce women. It's unusual to hear these songs by women but she did it anyway.

The second song is, Paloma Negra, which she also did for the movie Frida. I will never forget seeing this movie for the first time and when this song played I was awestruck. I immediately tried to find the soundtrack but in Charlottetown where we have no good record stores, it took six months. I got the movie when it became available. Both songs are very powerful. Enjoy!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Feelings This Friday

Spent the afternoon supporting an immigrant friend who was being interviewed by CBC TV to discuss an unfortunate incident that she was involved in. It's very hard when someone comes from another continent and is not familiar with our laws. They expect the same laws, standards and protections as they had in their former country. They researched everything in the three extended trips they had here before immigrating even coming for several months in the winter to be sure it was the right move. The world is not the same everywhere. I can't talk of the incident as I don't know where libel laws start and stop. Better to be safe than really sorry.

The main problem too, is that as soon as the couple moved here the husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer and has passed away. The woman knows very few people and since she's been here has only been involved with hospitals and doctors and extreme grief sickness. She certainly needs support and a small circle of us are doing what we can.

I bought a catnip pillow for my grandson's cat last week. I had to run to the bathroom when I got home that day and threw the bag on the floor. When I came out the cats had torn apart the bag it was in, the tissue paper it was wrapped in and the little plastic bag it was packaged in. Since they loved it so much, I went back today and got several for cat lovers on my list. One hundred percent of the money raised by the pillows and some really cool handmade cards goes to feed and care for homeless cats. Needless to say, I've put the bag in the fridge for the time being.

Music today? Thinking of all that is happening with my friend, Tragedy by Brandi Carlile seems like a good choice. Bob Dylan's I Pity the Poor Immigrant is appropriate too. Bob has a song for every situation, you know.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wishin' and Hopin'

It was a nice day today with nice moderate temperatures. It was supposed to be sunny by early afternoon but just now, as it is about to get dark, the horizon has brightened. The sun is going to come out as it gets dark. That sounds pretty funny but it's true. It is blue out right now - very pretty.

I am stressed about winter already. The part I dislike most is happening. Driving and all that it is necessary to do it are the worst part of winter to me. I have been stuck already after two snows. My son has already been stuck. I am parked at the top of my driveway for one more night because I have to be somewhere early tomorrow morning but will eventually have to come down. The plow would cover the car if it stayed up there. The plow operators have reported me to the police before and I've been told to go down. I've killed my back shoveling already. I know this is all negative but it's reality. If I had a car and driver I'd be fine with winter but never in a million years am I going to have that. Reality.

Now to turn it all around and be positive and manifest a driver and car I can wish and hope or have someone do it for me. Here are a couple of versions of a sixties song that I remember well; the original Wishin' and Hopin' by Dusty Springfield and a nice cover by Ani DeFranco.

There seems to be a problem with Putfile. Actually someone just commented on Shutterchance that a song wouldn't play. I'd better check this out. I will upload the songs when I can. How's a girl supposed to manifest a car and driver. My goodness. Blogger seems to be having a problem too and I can't upload a photo. Is Mercury in retrograde again. I've tried four times. I'll get back with that too I guess.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Winter In Canada

My car is stuck at the top of my driveway. The white snow in the photo is where my car is. If it were to snow the plow would cover it. The wire is my telephone line. There are seventy two poles down in another part of the island. You can see why. I've just finished twenty-three hours without electricity. I'm twenty three hours behind in a bunch of stuff and I didn't have a shower or bath. And how was your day?

It has not been fun. I don't mind being stormstayed if there is someone with you but alone it is a pain. I talked on the phone all day and all evening and caught up with a lot of people. That was great. I went to bed at the regular time but my sleep pattern got altered. I usually get up at five thirty and with no electricity that was too early so I lit candles, read and went back asleep. I got up at quarter to seven. Still dark. I have a wood stove and a propane camp stove so I am fine for heat and cooking. It just seems long if you're alone.

I song I really love, Electricity, by Joni Mitchell is the song of the day. Since it is up already you get two more. Get Me Through December is a song I've loved for years and play a lot at this time of the year. It has meaning to me in many ways. It is a very beautiful song and I strongly recommend a listen. It's an all Canadian day with Song For a Winter's Night by Gordon Lightfoot.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Many Kisses and A Punch to Grow a Bunch

It's that auspicious day again. My youngest two are having a birthday. He's twenty-two and she's twenty-four. All growed up! This is several years now that they haven't been together on their birthdays. He was away at University for four years and she's been out west for a year.

We are expecting a snowstorm and it's not the first time there has been a storm on their birthdays. For both births the weather was fine which is good. You always worry about that with a baby due in the winter. My sis in law was born after the snowplow plowed the road to get her to the hospital. That would be a tad scary, I'd say.

I've just checked the forecast and the heavy snowfall warning has ended. Now it is snow turning to rain and, the staple of Island weather, heavy wind. My friend canceled a hike today and I may be canceling tomorrow's though we usually hike in the rain, last week being a good example. We'll see.

I upload to my Shutterchance Blog a week at a time. I uploaded this photo of birds and when I went to enter the date, realized it was the kid's birthday. A look at the photo made me think of the three kids with one to the side and one right on top of the other. It was a coincidence but turned out to be quite perfect symbolism. There are other birds around too - family and friends to soar along with them.

What will I give my kids for birthday music? Many Kisses. A couple versions of Besame Mucho that are part of the essential music are appropriate. Here is a version by Omara Portuondo that is very romantic and one by Trio Los Panchos that with my eyes closes, can make me feel like I'm in Mexico. I love both these versions and play them quite a bit.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Freak Snowstorm

We are in the midst of a snow storm. It was supposed to snow overnight, be fine today and snow again tonight. It's been snowing since I got up this morning and the wind came up this afternoon so it's a real blizzard out there. There are at least ten cm. down and maybe more. It's hard to tell with the drifting. I need milk and may not be getting any.

It's snowing in Calgary today too. My daughter's birthday is Monday and her room mate's is today. They are having a birthday party tonight in a local bar. I believe it's walking distance so the snow shouldn't affect them.

Back to essential music. Today is the later version of Both Sides Now. I cried the first few times I heard this version. It was meant to be sung by a mature woman and is my favorite Joni song. I'm adding to the versions of Stormy Weather today too. Joni does a fine job of this standard and joins Willie Nelson , Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan.