Friday, February 29, 2008

Just Like Women

I have two friends with breast cancer. I went to a fundraiser for one on Saturday night and spent the afternoon with the other this afternoon. My sister-in-law and I had long planned a visit but didn't want to take up precious nap time. She is undergoing radiation treatments right now and has almost a 150 km round trip each day and is tired. When I called to see if a visit would be ok, she got really excited and said she would prepare a tea party. I insisted that this was not necessary but this woman, dynamo that she is, planned a great afternoon . She had invited another mutual friend who had recently lost her husband and whom I'd not seen since that event.

The afternoon was absolutely wonderful!!! Her husband left when she was showing us her breast saying that when his friends got together they had absolutely no desire to show each other their vasectomies. We told him that he just didn't understand and that it was his loss. We had some fun conversation and some serious conversation and we could feel the womanly bond that exists in our gender that is understood but can not be explained.

I think I've reached a new stage or joined a new club. I'm having a body part removed. It has nothing to do with age though as we get older more and more people join the club. I'm glad to find out the meetings are so much fun.

We need the Bob today. First, Just Like A Woman, one of his best known songs and then a live version of The Times We've Known from disk 6 of the bootleg, The Never Ending Tour.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Let's Eat Cake

It is my sister-in-laws birthday today and my sister's was two days ago. My sister-in-law is like a sister and I think that it's neat that their birthday is two days apart with the way our family has multiples on birthdays so often. I gave them each two cd's that were very personal from me to them. I find it very satisfying to do this. Music can say my feelings so much better than I can with words. Sis-in-law has been incredible to help me so much this winter, cheerfully driving me places and keeping my spirits up. My sister is coming for two weeks to take care of me after I return from hospital. I want to celebrate their love and kindness.

My oldest son has his flight booked to come while I have my surgery. About an hour after he sent an itinerary, I had a message from the OR booking department saying to call them as they had a booking change. All was well as they were only changing the time and date for my pre-surgery clinic as I had requested a consult with an anaesthetist. Gave me a bit of a scare though as I kept dialing their number and getting busy signal after busy signal. My daughter may be coming from Alberta this weekend and my other son returns from Boston on Sunday. It's going to be a busy household again.

I did not include this song on any of the four cds I made for my sisters because they are not dancers. I include it on every dance cd I make though as I spent the late eighties dancing to this great song. I made tapes then and made them often for women's events that we invariably ended with dancing. Just playing it now has me groovin' Here is Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves by Aretha and Annie Lennox - such a classic! Sticking with Aretha, I also have today, a song that I've been looking for on mp3 for years. I have it on cassette but wanted to be able to add it to playlists. Ralph, a new blogger friend, was pleased when I sent him some songs and asked if there was anything I was looking for. I certainly was and said so in a about a second. He quickly supplied it and I was thrilled to finally have a copy of Kind of Man. The song has nothing to do with sisters or birthdays but it's Aretha, which is fabulous in itself, and it is a fantastic ballad.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Something to Crow About

I have a surgery date. The tenth of March is the big day - twelve more sleeps. I want it out tomorrow but must be patient. I have lots to keep me occupied in the meantime and will concentrate on those things.

We had a non storm today. Schools were canceled but the snow stopped at 8 am, and the freezing rain and rain did not materialize. It was really beautiful in early morning as the snow was wet enough that it stuck to the trees making everything look like a winter wonderland. The wind came up and in about fifteen minutes there wasn't a bit of snow on the trees. I went for a walk after lunch as it was sunny and warm. A very nice non storm day. Nice too because I completed my income tax, one of those jobs we all dread.

I still need that essential music that has been removed to be back on the music pages. I don't know if I've ever told the story here of my discovery of "The Skiffle Sessions." Every Sunday morning for years I read a week's worth of posts to a news group about Van Morrison. I valued the opinions of the group as I deemed them to be like me - huge Van fans. When Van's new album, The Skiffle Sessions, came out in 1998, the group thoroughly panned it. I went along and believed that it was awful without even hearing it. In the summer I attended a friend's annual outdoor 'seafood party' which is a much anticipated event in my group. While mingling I heard the old song, It Takes A Worried Man. I immediately loved it and then on the next song heard Van's voice joining in. What is this?!?! I found my host who is a huge Van fan as well and he told me it was The Skiffle Sessions. I had read the whole week's posts for the news group earlier that morning and never again did I go back. It didn't take me long to get the cd and it remains one of my favorite albums. All of the songs are songs from my youth. I learned to play, I Wanna Go Home on the guitar when I was eleven or twelve. I love every song on it. Today, I'll put up Good Night, Irene as well as that fore-mentioned first song on th album. This version of Good Night, Irene has a story of it's own.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The World Smiles With You

I have to tell you about my good luck and bad luck. It would seem to be bad luck that I fell on the ice moments after this photo was taken, where I was yelling to the Gods how much I loved it here. It would seem that seeing the orthopedic specialist a week after I should have because of the New Years holiday was bad luck. It was really, really bad luck that when I did see him he did nothing but tell me to start physio and come back in three weeks without having taken an x-ray. When I returned in three weeks and was x-rayed there was a bit of a panic as it was very obvious that I needed surgery and six and a half weeks had been wasted and further damage had occurred.

This is where the good luck comes in. While I was in hospital for the shoulder surgery my family doctor got the results of a CT scan I'd had in January. I was able to have an ultrasound the next day because I was an inpatient. She told me that if I'd had come to her office for the results, I would have had to wait three to four months for that ultrasound. That ultrasound was the final diagnosis for the kidney tumour. Call it what you will, but God or the world works in mysterious ways. So many people have told me I should sue the orthopedic surgeon who mismanaged my case. Ha! I'm thinking of sending him a thank you card.

I started this a bit after five and Blogger had some problem so it's a bit late...but not too late for some music. Mieka Pauley has the lovely song Fate Day by Day. David Olney has a song called Luckiest Man. You have to use your imagination for the man part, otherwise, a song about luck. We also have Reasons Why by Nickle Creek and the great jazz number Angels and Demons At Play by Sun Ra. Enjoy!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Beginning A Journey

I was a little blue when I stopped writing in the blog a couple of weeks ago. It was true that I was frustrated with the state of my arm/shoulder and that I was six and a half weeks behind where I should have been in regaining use of my battered limb. I was also frustrated with my lack of cre8ive outlets. There was another reason and now that everything is settled and my family has been informed I can talk about it.

I am having a kidney removed in a couple of weeks. It is assumed to be and most likely is cancerous but that determination is not final until the kidney is removed and a pathology report issued. As you can imagine, I am devastated. I am going through all the stages. Why me? I have taken such care. I have an excellent diet, maintain a good weight, quit smoking, exercise regularly, and take a huge amount of supplements. My doctor this summer told me I was perfect on paper - extremely healthy. Why me? Why not me is the answer, I guess. I know others who have maintained healthy lifestyles and have been stricken with the disease. Luck of the draw? I do not know the answer and will not dwell on it.

Music today is not meant to be a bummer. Gillian Welsh's beautiful song, I'm Not Afraid to Die, kind of says what I said in the last paragraph. Won't Give In by The Finn Brothers is my answer to it all as I won't give in. Here's Hayden with a version of Neil Young's, Tell Me Why. Kate Bush has a powerful song for how I'm feeling, too; Jig of Life, powerful I say!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Pierces - Fresh

Click to Play:
Tonight - The Pierces
I'll Be Dreaming - The Pierces
Boring - The Pierces
Save Me - The Pierces

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wet Night

We had incredible rain yesterday and overnight. There was widespread basement flooding and I was not spared and got eighteen inches of rain. I find that ironic as I put up Ian Tyson's great song, Eighteen Inches of Rain as the last song yesterday when the flooding hadn't started.

Click to Play:
Let It Rain - Tracy Chapman
The Rowing Song - Patty Griffin
Cry Me A River - Bettye LaVette
If I Had a Boat - Holmes Brothers

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Soul and Soul Again - Bettye LaVette

Click to Play:

Choices - Bettye LaVette
Little Sparrow - Bettye LaVette
Joy - Bettye LaVette
Down to Zero - Bettye LaVette
I Can't Stop - Bettye LaVette

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008


Click to Play:
Our Love Is Here To Stay - Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks
I Scare Myself - Dan Hicks

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love Day

Made a mistake the other day
saying it is two years on the 20th that I started this blog
when it is actually three.

Click to Play:
Two of the finest vocalists to ever walk the earth
and four fabulous love songs.
Fever - kd lang
Love is Everything - kd lang
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered - Ella Fitzgerald
My Funny Valentine - Ella Fitzgerald

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Have A Listen

Recent hospital view.
Another storm tonight.

I would like this to have been yesterday's music:
This Is How It Goes - Missy Higgins

To lurkers out there:
Say it To Me Now - Glen Hansard

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I've Had a Screw

I'm home at last. Five days in hospital is way more than enough especially when you are waiting for the first two and a half. I didn't have my surgery till Saturday. I have to go back for staple removal next week and hope that I've seen the last of that place for a while.

I started this blog two (I mean three) years ago on the 20th. I wanted to share music and didn't have a clue how to do that at the time. I figured out a way and chatted about this and that along the way with the music. Not many have commented or encouraged me to this point except my family. I have decided that that all I'm going to do from now on is share the music since this little life is not of interest to many other than my family. Carol, Dan, Ralph, and Ekim are exceptions and I can communicate with them through their blogs.

There seems to be network problems. I started this at five and Blogger wasn't working. Now it's eight and Putfile is having problems. I'll put up music when I'm able. For today, So Quiet In Here and Why Must I Always Explain by Van Morrison. I believe the reason Putfile was down is that they were making some changes...changes that confused me a bit. They're back up now.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Coming and Going

The surgeon called this morning to tell me how much our medical system sucks. He thinks I should write a letter to the minister of health. I am being admitted to ER tomorrow as there is not a bed for me and because his allotted hours of OR time is up. I will be on urgent standby waiting for any orthopedic surgeon to fix me up. I think he is feeling a little guilty for not doing x-rays three weeks ago. The ER doctor called it correctly but the ortho just didn't really do the proper care. It has become more damaged in the last three weeks because of his neglect. I am being admitted at 8 am tomorrow.

A friend told me this afternoon that she had a friend in much the same situation earlier this winter but with a broken leg. Since she had to be surgery ready for the whole time she could have nothing by mouth and could only have an IV. She was in a bed behind the ER for three days before she got her surgery with only the IV for sustenance. This is what awaits. Our system is severely broken and as the Dr. told me this morning, ready for collapse.

I want fun music today. I love the jumpin' jive era of music so here are some songs from that time. These songs were written in that era, I should have said. These are from Joe Jackson's 1981, Jumpin' Jive, his tribute album to his father's roots. I checked that date on my cassette and was surprised. I thought it was from the late seventies. Anyway, here are You Run Your Mouth and I'll Run My Business and What's The Use Of Gettin' Sober. Here are more from the era: My favorite, the first song I posted on this blog, Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby by Renee Olstead, the same song by Louis Jordan, and by Joe Jackson. There's also Jack You're Dead.

I have no idea when I'll be back home so keep listening to the music. Page One and Page Two in the links have 542 songs for your listening pleasure.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Bad News

I found out today that I must have surgery on my shoulder. It is considered urgent. It will be Thursday or Friday or next week at the latest. The surgeon didn't have his schedule and couldn't get his office on the phone so will let me know tomorrow. I'm dreading this for many reasons but will not get into that.

This truly could have been determined weeks ago and it really irks me that I have to start the process of immobilization again. It will weaken my muscles and physio will be harder and more time will have passed until I'm back to normal. Our medical system sucks!!!

I'm a bit pissed off so short post but four songs. You've Got To Move is considered one of my essential songs. I had two versions up in the past that are gone. Here's Greg Brown, Tracy Grammer and Dave Carter with one fabulous version, Mississippi Fred MacDowall ( my favorite) with one, and Two Gospel Keys with another. I know I have more but am not going to take the time to look. Instead, because it's late, Steve Dawson brings us At Arm's Length.

By the way this photo is minutes before my accident. I had my arms outstretched and was screaming to the gods, "I love my pond. I love it out here." Then that hockey stick that is visible at the very left edge was passed to me.....

Monday, February 04, 2008


I've had a generous offer to help me in the genealogical research for my mother's grandfather. I had sent an e-mail to compliment a site I had come across, tho site owner emailed back. Through several back and forths since yesterday, I've offered to show her the earliest Acadian cemetery in PEI and she is putting me in line for a cool event. She heads a genealogy group where they take one query or one name a week and each group member researches it. Her (and her husband's) last name is the name I am searching for and her mother is of the same last name.

A great percentage of Acadians stayed a very homogeneous group, living among themselves in various pockets of the world. They shared an extraordinary history, a unique culture, and a language. I lost out somewhat along the way as I don't speak French fluently but my kids attended French Immersion until grade 12. Here's the quick and dirty Wiki version of the Acadian story. We had our 400th anniversary in '04, the oldest European settlement in North America....unless you count the Vikings, who didn't stay. It is very interesting genealogy to work on with the same names criss-crossing over and over. It makes you dizzy.

I've got tons of Lennie Gallant and Rheal Pelletier cd's but nothing on my computer. They're PEI Acadians, both whom I've known the thirty one years I've been on the Island. Instead I'll treat you with Daniel Lanois who I'd consider an honourary Acadian. The Collection of Marie Claire was a favorite 'car song' for my kids. If this song isn't just the best.... Also, here's Jolie Louise.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Genealogy Bug

I've been bitten by the genealogy bug once again. Every once in a while I open the files and start again where I left off. I began yesterday, have bookmarked about twenty-five pages, continued all day today and am going to take a break. I had a big breakthrough last year and am looking for the next one.

The above photo was taken in 1983 when there were still five generations in our family. This was taken in Ontario where my great-grandmother and grandmother lived. My oldest son is the same age as my niece in the front but he was home in PEI so I didn't get a five generation photo. There is one, in a way, because I was very pregnant at this time and if you could see through the belly bump in the photo, there was my daughter.

I'm very lucky to have the complete genealogy for my father and for my mother's mother's side (the people above) so am working on my mother's father's family. The big breakthrough last year came when I found the family in a different province in the 1911 census than in the 1901 census. For several years I exhausted every possibility in the province where I thought they were. Today, after searching for two days I thought I had reached a dead end. Then about an hour ago I had a call from a relative in this family and she told me she thought a cousin might have some leads. That's my next step.

Dead End Road by JJ Cale and Eric Clapton seems to be the right song for this post, as well as, On And On It Goes by Mary Chapin Carpenter. And now, my eyes and brain need a rest.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

A Winning Week

My blog, Photos and Pursuits, is my answer to the daily photo challenges available to the photo community throughout the week. For each daily challenge, I either upload a shot from my Shutterchance blog or post a new one on Photos and Pursuits.

Some of the challenges have 'winners', some do not. Some of winners are decided by popular vote, some are chosen from a volunteer judge and some are chosen from the site owner. This week I was a winner in two of them and last week was a winner in one. What is so strange is that I was getting discouraged and this week didn't bother to enter two on Tueday or one on Wednesday. Here are links to the challenges which link to the winning photos. Today's Unique Exposures, last week's Unique Exposures, and Shutterday. I can't link to the specific week on Shutterday but the subject was Smoke 'em If You Got 'em. I like that this one is popular vote.

Today's music brings Sia. I like her kind of unusual voice that is so filled with emotion. Today I have Distractions and Soon We'll Be Found. Check out her My Space page. Here are a couple from before: Little Black Sandals and I Go to Sleep. Her song Breathe, which was the first I heard and really like, has disappeared.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Looking For My Muse

This has to be a first. I haven't taken a photo in almost a week. I've been out and I've carried my camera but the muse has been absent. We had rain and melting so there are no snowy landscapes to capture. The east missed 'the photographer's delight' that the ice storm was described as and I guess I just didn't see anything interesting enough.

Since I'm missing my muse, some talented young women who I've had the pleasure of seeing live, should provide some assistance. Today's music is from two young women who have changed places. The very talented Brooke Miller is a PEI girl who I've known since she was a girl. She married guitar player, Don Ross a couple of years ago and moved to Ontario. Jill Barber is a young Ontario who fell in love with the Maritimes and moved to Halifax to begin her indie career. They probably know each other as they were playing the same venues four or five years ago. This is a live version of Jill's Dance If You Want To. I have Brooke's first cd but not uploaded onto my computer. I have for you though, Country From the Dome Car from Brooke's newest album, You Can See Everything. I love the title track. It shows Brooke's trult remarkable talent. There are samples from both of her albums on her website. Her MySpace page has full cuts.