Wednesday, April 30, 2008

We Love Spring Rain

I had a wonderful time with my little break yesterday. I planted sweet peas in pots though I'm not finished. I took 39 photos of the cats on the garden wall. A friend dropped in for a visit and I felt satisfied with the day. I had gone to town in the morning to run errands and outdoors was such a call when I came home. It's hard to confine me for too long. I've told you that one of my favorite all time songs is Don't Fence Me In. I've got tons of versions of the song and I've linked my favorite.

We're having wonderful spring rain this afternoon. It didn't start here till right before noon but I heard all morning on the radio that it was raining in Charlottetown. It's funny how many locations have their own micro-climate. We're just across the water from Ch'town and they get so much more rain and snow. The grass has greened in the last couple of hours and the daffodils have grown higher. I have quite a few open now and some forced forsythia in bloom as well. I trimmed back a huge forsythia bush and have a huge bunch taller and bigger around than me in a florist bucket that I will give to friends when it is in bloom. The bunch I have blooming, I cut a week ago.

Had to have a little break here. Windows Media Player was stuck in Limbo somewhere, necessitating a restart of the computer. It may be complaining of too much use or something. All seems well now so I can proceed with today's music. I Think It's Gonna Rain Today is my favorite Randy Newman song. Here's a version by David Grey, one by Nina Simone, and one from the great Randy Newman himself. Didn't realize those were up already. Madeleine Peyroux's live version is here too and here's some new songs for today; Karen Dalton with one version of Little Bit of Rain and one by Fred Neil. I was reminded of Karen Dalton because in this song I think she sounds like Madeleine Peyroux.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Back Yard Break Time

Some days I just want to be outside and need to not blog at my usual time. Maybe I'll come back later today but right now I just want to go outside. Here are a few songs to tide you over:

Monday, April 28, 2008

Praise for Spring

Spring is my favorite season, always has been. Spring meant release from the confining clothing of winter and with my love of outdoors that meant freedom. I've always been a gardener and before that, a hopscotch player. Any excuse to get out in the spring sunshine. Today I was one of those, to quote yesterday's post, 'a teenager or someone who has something to prove' kind of person today; a tank top let alone tee shirt. It was a nicer day today. Currently the temperature is 17 degrees and it's sunny.

The asparagus has popped so within a week I'll be enjoying it's succulent flavour. Asparagus, if you have a nice enough plot and I do, is reason enough to love spring. Mine is juicy, fat and very plentiful so I'll be eating and appreciating it for a month. Kenz and Bella were enthralled with the weather too and both, in their excitement, were digging in the garden. Oh, oh.... a new behavior. I stopped them and they seemed to understand as they watched while I smoothed the dug up areas. We're very happy spring is here. I enjoyed gardening today and they enjoyed watching me. Ha, maybe they were actually trying to help.

This song has been on my mind all day while I was outside, though sitting here, I'm playing Latin as it fits the outdoor, happy spring mood. The Mose Allison Trio says it all in I Love the Life I Live. Music kind of circles around for me it seems. I have strange combinations in folders that make sense only to me. For instance I have Mose Allison, Greg Brown and Bill Morrissey in one folder. It would take a while to explain but it works for me. It explains partly why we have Spring and All and Rumba Flemenca by Greg Brown. Works for me.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Upside Down, Nose to The Ground

I was talking to my Dad in New Brunswick a while ago and asked him about the dear situation. My niece sent photos and I heard many stories this winter of deer gathering in fields. The photos are from March, of a harvested cabbage field near Sussex. The snow in the woods was very deep this winter and deer were forced to stay outside. Dad says there are still a lot of deer visible in fields wherever they go. Though there isn't any on fields now, snow disappears from the woods last. Check out the body position of the deer near center in the top photo. Isn't that hilarious?

Another sunny, cool day. Very nice but you need a jacket or sweater, a tee shirt if you're a teenager or trying to prove something. Brrr. I did more gardening and am heading out again. Scallops for dinner tonight. I'm enjoying all the fish but miss The Son too. Heard through his sister that they were eating in a restaurant in Holland that he and she had eaten in when they were there before. I think my other son is heading to Europe this week too. If so and they overlap time they are not overlapping location.

I first think of Home on the Range by Megan Mullally from Will and Grace. Got that and then there's Buffalo Girl by Chris Bathgate. Got that. Instead how about two that you'll say, "Is this from Cuidado?" Bowie and Massive Attack with Nature Boy and Walk In the Woods by Shipwreck. What can I say?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Living Spring

Just returned from a great little trip to the beach though we were not there long. There's quite a cool northern breeze ablow and my friend wasn't dressed for it's effects. I got a few pebbles and two nice pieces of driftwood. The tide was high too so not a great day for a beach stroll. Pretty though as the blue skies make those red cliffs stand out beautifully.

My friend helped me with some light gardening as well. He rotated the garden claw while I picked weeds and I transplanted a bit of garlic and planted a few seeds. It was funny to be planting the world's tiniest little garden when I once had and cared for huge gardens here in the not so distant past. A job that ate me alive necessitated me to stop mine while I had created extensive ones there for a display, restaurant, flower, shurb and herb gardens. I planned to get it back to normal in mine this spring and have decided not to at this time. I'm healing instead.

Mavis Staples is on my mind today. I was playing a cd earlier and was groovin' to Mavis. Here she is with and she does Well, Well, Well with Maria Muldaur. Here's On My Way, Eyes On The Prize and another duet with John Mayall, Wake Up Call, The song I was groovin' too - Turn Me Around.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Fish on Friday

We got about three inches of snow last night but I took this photo about ten minutes ago. I said previously that there is snow at the edges of woods and this is exactly that. This would be a gorgeous view if the huge grey barn were not in the middle of it all. If I was a PhotosShop gal I would fix it right up.

I'm having a bit of a party while my son is away. I'm eating fish and seafood every day for the week that he's gone. He doesn't eat from this food group and can't stand the smell of it in the house so my diet has changed drastically this winter. When my daughter lived here there were two of us to over rule this. I normally ate fish or seafood four to five times a week. My boy had a laugh yesterday when I told him I was celebrating him going away. He gave me a funny look then laughed when I showed him the salmon I'd taken out of the freezer. I had my sister-in-law for dinner last night as she has the same problem in her house that her husband can't stand the smell of fish cooking. Can you guess that her husband might be my son's uncle?

Sometimes the music choice has nothing to do with the post. Today there is absolutely nothing in common, so far in fact that even I'm even wondering why the heck I want this and nothing else. Maybe I'm trying to call up the sun and warmer weather? Tropicalia is the song and I have versions by Beck and by Eliane Elias. Elian's version is replacing the missing files - an essential. Also, jazz month is coming to an end soon and that's a good enough reason in itself.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Drawing Board

Well, Ralph, I'll say this right away. Today's first song is for you. I just read you comment on yesterday's post and the last thing you said was 'this too shall pass'. I opened my music player and the first song is This Too Shall Pass by Danny Schmidt. It's worth a listen too. I was just looking at what else I have by Schmidt and there's something very appropriate in the folder, Drawing Board. I've been drawing, painting and varnishing all day so it fits right in and makes the search for the right music easy today.

Some days are harder than others. In my profile under music it says I am a collector of songs. I am certainly that. My problem is that I can't usually remember who did the song and it is very hard to find versions I want as everything is filed to the performer's name.

I had planned to put up rain songs, until I opened the music player and found This Too... It has been raining all day and we're forecast to get wet snow tonight. I canceled a morning dental appointment but will keep tomorrow afternoon's physio appointment. I don't think it will amount to much and it's not a dental emergency I'm canceling. Maybe if I don't play music about rain or snow.....

Update: At 5:03 there is a snow/rain combination. This does not look good. It wasn't supposed to start till tonight.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hurtin' Songs

I'm a bit frustrated. I started going to physiotherapy again as my arm isn't coming along as well as I think it should. The physiotherapist agreed and I've entered an intensive program. The only trouble is that my arm hurts so bad now that it's hard to get the work done at home that is required for this intensive program. She had said in the beginning, "No pain, no gain", but realizes she started the intensity too quickly and is trying to backtrack. It hurts like heck and I wonder if the fracture site hasn't been re-damaged. Hopefully it is just aggravated like the rest of the arm and will settle down.

My son is going off to Europe tomorrow. I have to anticipate heavy things I might need done in the next week and have him do them tonight. I bought kitty litter today. That's a start.

The first song that comes to mind for today's post, I put up on 02 January, just a few days after my injury. I love the song so much that I can stand to hear it again. It's the Johnny Cash version of Trent Reznor's Hurt. It is one of my favorite songs in a decade. I have a live version of Trent Reznor doing it and even though it has a cello, one of my favorite instruments in an emotional song, there is a lot of background noise so I won't put that up. At Arm's Length by Steve Dawson is a good second song. Upbeat, after Hurt. Otis Reddings' Try A Little Tenderness is next - that's what I need from the therapist right now. When the Pain Dies Down by Chris Stills is where I want to go so that's the song of the day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Jumble

What a day! It's 16 degrees and I've been outside most of the day. With a big house and property spring is a very busy time. I have tons of trees and today I picked up any branches that had fallen over winter. They went to the campfire pile. I'll have get togethers this summer and a fire will top off the night. My kids and grandkids will be home this summer and I see a marshmallow toasting session like old times.

I planted the bulbs and echinacea that were dug out of my garden but had to extend them to another garden. I'm sure that is going to set back that end of the garden because most of the tulip leaves were broken. If the bulb has enough energy maybe it will send out a new set of leaves?

Music today is from Mary Gauthier from Louisiana. With our shared heritage we would have been related from 250 years ago. She is an absolutely fantastic songwriter of very personal songs after a traumatic childhood. The first link is her website and here's a Wiki article on her. These are a couple of her most popular songs, Mercy Now and I Drink. Here's A Different Kind of Gone that I uploaded in October.

I've heading back outside.

I have no idea why this big space is showing up. I've tried everything and can't get rid of it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Rocks and Stones

I overdid it again today. I walked for two and a quarter hours straight and am exhausted! I walked to the beach, walked the beach to the point and back, then back home. Whew! I did the preliminary spring fossil check but didn't find anything. I carried home only four rocks and a shell and anyone who knows me knows that that constitutes great restraint. I started a patio/art/beach project here years ago and told the kids not to worry as long as I stayed on this side of the driveway. I said that if I passed the driveway, they could call the crazyhouse. I am limited by what I am allowed to carry right now. I actually double checked with my physiotherapist when I was at my session this morning. I'm ok from the kidney surgery point of view - six weeks ago today - but am not to carry weight because of the shoulder. Some day I'll be all together again!

My 03 April post mentioned Duffy, the Welsh singer I had just discovered. I played her song Tomorrow, and now have for your listening pleasure, Stepping Stone and Rockferry. She kind of reminds me of Dusty Springfield which is not a bad thing in my books - definitely a sixties sound.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Esa Noche

I watched the fox last night at dusk again. That is the usual time that he makes his rounds though as we know, dropping by at four in the afternoon is not unheard of. He was running through the pasture, tail flying. He would suddenly stop, pounce to get a mouse, then run off again. When he reached my neighbour's decorative fence (it doesn't keep anything out) he lifted his leg and marked his territory then went toward their back door where I lost sight of him. This was all seen through binoculars. Just watching the way he was running made me think he seemed very happy. I don't know if that's so but he seemed almost joyful.

The temperature didn't warm up today like it did on the mainland. I went for a walk and wished I'd taken gloves and a hat. Maybe tomorrow afternoon I'll get in the garden. I still have all the tulips to plant that my friend took out. I got the daffodils back in but ran out of time. They're in a mud slurry so are ok but I believe they will be set back. I guess that's ok as they will bloom later, when the others are finished.

I'm listening to Latin music trying to build up some heat. Truthfully Latin is a genre I listen to a lot, when I'm hot or cold. I love to move and what better music to move to! I also love slow ballads and Latin ballads have a special appeal. I don't know the language enough to get all the lyrics so get lost in the feeling. I explain in a previous post about a favorite song and not understanding the lyrics:

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.

I have so much music to choose from. Most days what I'm writing about dictates the music but since I'm challenged with the language and lyrics, I'll just choose some favorites. These were removed and are from the essentials that I'm trying to bring back to the pages. Hearing this song about ten years ago from the Putumayo album, Music From the Coffee Lands sent me on a search for MORE from this artist Susana Baca. It was difficult as we don't have any great record stores here but I was able to order some cd's. Here's Maria Lando, the song that introduced me to a really fine Peruvian singer. Here is Cafe Tacuba from the same album with Esa Noche. I can not tell you how many copies of this album I've bought to give to friends. I even bought one in Australia for a friend there.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Cool and Jazzy

It's sunny but only ten degrees because of a cool north wind. Tomorrow should be warmer. I had planned to garden but did not want to wear a sweater. What fun is that? Gardening to me is a good excuse to be in the warm sunshine. I always say Bella is a fair weather cat and I admit I am a fair weather gardener. I can walk and hike in rain, sleet, snow and cold but I want sun and heat out in the garden.

I did lots of chores today but since I was not gardening thought I'd try a nap. I don't know why I'm not good at napping but I'm not. I was sleepy, read until I was even sleepier but could not fall past that point to sleep. I'm successful only a couple of times a year though I try more often. I should have gone for a walk probably. Should have, could have, would have, didn't.

It's still jazz month and a good reason to celebrate. I truly love jazz violin in the manner of Joe Venuti, Django Reinhardt, Yehudi Menuhin and Stephane Grappelli. When my son met his future wife and told me she played violin, I immediately envisioned he and her playing jazz violin and saxophone numbers for me. That has not come to pass. Here is a number from Stephane Grappelli that I love. If Tipsy Gypsy doesn't make you move, nothing will. S'wonderful, the Gershwin classic is here too with both Yehudi Menuhin and Stephane Grappelli. Two for the price of one.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Resting In the Rain

I am one sore puppy today. Intensive gardening may have been a mild term for what I did yesterday and I'm paying for it today. I went to bed at nine last night and it hurt to walk upstairs. It's a rainy day today so I didn't get out but tomorrow I'm going to get back at the gardens and hopefully some of this stiffness will have been worked out.

The photo is of some kind of a creeping thyme that I have a huge patch of. My friend took a big hunk of it yesterday and told me that it will grow up stone walls so I moved some to the wall edges of the garden and will do more tomorrow.

Blogger had a problem uploading images yesterday and seems to be having a problem again today. I find it strange that I normally don't specifically refer to the photo but did yesterday ( the Nodding Nellie) and today (the thyme) and the days that I have are those that there's a problem. It resolved yesterday and hopefully by the time the music is uploaded and linked everything will be working again.

I found another version Big Long Slidin' Thing and have been wanting to get it up. It is by Michelle Willson and the evil gal festival orchestra. They're still working on their own website at the moment so here's a link to a Sound Click feature on them with more music to sample . I am amazed that Dinah Washington's version was not removed from the pages so you have a chance to compare. I love music from this era where there is an understory and hidden meanings to the lyrics . It's still April - still jazz month. I'm glad to hear new female jazz vocalists like Michelle and here's another new one I've discovered - Lisa Ekdahl with My Heart Belongs To Daddy.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Work for Great Weather

Whew! I'm bushed. I've had an intensive gardening day and I think it was a little too much. I have to go back out and finish up but need this little break to sit and give my arm a rest. We are expecting rain tomorrow so I can't put it off.

A friend came to help. She did part of one garden and I did another. I have to go replant all the bulbs she dug up ridding a section of my garden with a very invasive plant. I love the flower but didn't know it was going to take over like it did. She was only able to do a small section so I will be pulling out every offending plant that comes up in the rest of the garden. The plant is shown in the photo above. It is beautiful in vases but multiplies like nothing else.

I thought I already had Heavenly Day by Patty Griffin on the music pages but do not. I always take an opportunity to put up her wonderful presence. A gardening song that is quite nice is Acre of Land by Ray LaMontagne. It was time to put that one up again.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Angling season opened yesterday. My son fished in the pond before light but got his line tangled up. He doesn't get to take many days off work but he took today off for the express purpose of fishing. He was somewhere half across the Island but sadly for me he didn't catch anything.

I've been a lucky recipient of a lot of fish over my life. I have a friend who loved to fish my pond but doesn't like eating fish so he brought his catch to me. My son and nephew both love to fish but don't eat it either so their Grampy and I got to take turns receiving their catch. My friend doesn't fish in the pond anymore. Once he had children he stopped. It was a way to get away for him and taking children along didn't fit. My neighbour kids fish there now. They have to lock their dog away though. They took him with them last year and he kept jumping in after the bobber.

I'm not crazy about fishing myself, as you have to sit still for awhile. I'd rather tramp around the pond looking to see what I can find which is what I'd do when the kids started fishing. I didn't like them to go by themselves so would be close by - just not sitting still.

Taj Mahal's Fishin' Blues is the first song that comes to mind for me and the Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong classic, Gone Fishin', as well. I absolutely know I had the latter but can't seem to find it. Louis Jordan's Saturday Night Fish Fry is more fun anyway.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Done It Again

I'm starting late and I'm expecting company so this may be long and drawn out over time. Having had a glorious half hour out in the sunshine with the kitties is my reason for being late. The warm, beautiful sunshine is very welcome.

I arrived a day early for an appointment this morning. I believe I may have reported that happening once since starting this blog over three years ago. I once arrived at the annual music festival, where my son was playing in the jazz band, and there wasn't a car in the parking lot of the theater where it was being held. I couldn't understand it. That was the first time. This was the third. I hate when that happens. Worst is I have to drive back over to this appointment tomorrow and with the new high price of gas.....

Amazingly PEI's price controlled gas went up at midnight and so did world oil prices to $112. Just after saying yesterday my fears of how our economy won't be able to handle it. I feared that type of increase too as they're predicting even higher costs for oil this summer. Out price on PEI will rise again on April 30th most certainly.

Doomy and gloomy. Sorry. I have the perfect song. I Scare Myself is from Dan Hicks. Kat played some Dan yesterday too. I still have a couple of vinyls of Dan Hicks and His Hotlicks and love to share. Here's The Piano Has Been Drinking, Our Love Is Here To Stay, How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away , Walk Right In, C'mon a My House, Just to break things up...Chemi Eri with a version C'mon a My House

Some strange Groundhog Day (the movie) thing just happened. I linked the two new songs and they were no longer linked. Ok....... I've done t again.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sun Dirt Water

The photos on this blog are from a strange combination of real time or from my files. Sometimes you'd never know which, except I've explained. This one is from real time. It was at my feet when I got out of my car at a streetside parking spot today. It immediately reminded me of Ned Kelly, a popular Australian folk hero. I saw tributes to him everywhere when I was Down Under in '01. I thought it deserved a photo. I took two.

My Shutterchance blog hardly gets anything real time. I upload there a week at a time or thereabouts. I have two days ahead now and that's why I stopped at a few photo suitable sites today. I've hardly taken any photos this winter. It was great to get out and I'm going to get out more.

Goodness, just after saying that, I've heard on the radio that there is to be a drastic oil and gas price increase here on PEI. Outrageous! A huge increase too, 3.5 and 5.5 cents per liter respectively. I'm not sure how much of these high oil prices our economy can take. I'm thinking more of on a world level rather than just PEI. I'm frightened actually. I know my budget can't take it. Scary!

I think you know that The Waifs are on my list of five favorite bands. I couldn't mention Australia in a post without playing something from them. I linked to the YouTube video for this song a while back but never the song. It's from their newest album and I love it, Sun Dirt Water. I also love this one, cuts on two different albums, Billy Jones. There are two (and maybe more) very different versions of this song, this being the jazz version. I think you'll enjoy both songs today and if anyone wants to hear another version of Billy Jones let me know.

Ha, I went back to the top of the page and the photo fits quite well with Sun Dirt Water, hence the title.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Living In the North Country

I went for a two kilometer walk today and upon returning, when walking down the driveway, it started raining. Now that's good timing!! The above photo of my pond is from the 7th - a little over a week ago. It's hard to get a photo of the pond with a reflection as there is always movement in the water. This was taken very early in the morning, right after sunrise, when the ducks were still sleeping. There's less snow now and I'd say if it warms up, which it is forecast to do, it will be gone in a couple of days.

My son is golfing, believe it or not - on brown dead grass. The golf club he is at is not doing any favors to their grass by opening this early but it's probably the only one open at this time so is attracting all the golfers like my son who can't wait to get out there.

One of my favorite Dylan songs is Girl From The North Country. I came across a great version yesterday by, Mark Everett , of The Eels. I usually put up two new songs a day but today I'm putting up four. The versions I had up already are gone and need to be replaced and this girl from the north country thinks that it's such a great song that exceptions sometimes have to be made. Here's the original version by Bob Dylan and one by Dylan and Johnny Cash and a group effort from M.Ward, Conor Oberst and Jim James. I love them all.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

April Showers Bring May Flowers

It's been a cool and rainy day. It's spring after all and the weather is very changeable. The old joke about weather in the Maritimes is that if you don't like it, wait five minutes. I don't mind rainy days at all. I've always liked rain and like walking in it if it's not cold. I must say though that nothing depresses me more than extended periods of rainy weather. My brother lives on the west coast (or wet coast as they say) and he gets a tremendous amount of rain. That's not for me.

Saturdays have turned out to be telephone days for me. My mom's cousin calls me from Florida every Saturday as her husband has free long distance to Canada on weekends. I usually talk to my son and grandchildren on Saturday and I have a friend who always calls on Saturday as she has only two days off and spends Sunday with her Mom. I was expecting a friend to call from Ontario but she will probably call tomorrow. That's good because my ear is a bit sore.

It's not sore from music though. If I'm in front of the computer I have music on and never, never tire of it. There is a never-ending supply and that's a bit of a problem. I will never be able to listen to all of it no matter how hard I try; the same with books, I will never read them all. At the moment I'm listening to Lila Downs and of course I plan to share. Most I had uploaded of her has disappeared but there's still the best ever version of Besame Mucho, Cancion Mixteca, Una Sangra, Mi Corazon Me Requerda and La Iguana. The best version of Quizas, Quizas Quizas is still here too but I hadn't linked it properly. It is now. I'm not blue today but the songs I'll add of Lilas have blue in the title. Arenita Azul is a favorite of mine that has disappeared and I did not have Alcoba Azul on the music pages till now. Enjoy Lila Downs! I've linked her new website.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Jazz Appreciation Month

"A Jazz musician is a juggler who uses harmonies instead of oranges." - Benny Green
Can you believe I used my photo of oranges for yesterday's post?!?!

Last month when my sister was visiting we drove into the parking lot of a drugstore and a big sign announced, "March is Kidney Month." I had already given.

It is amazing how many designations each month has. Here is a link to tell you what they are for April. I'm sure one will fit for you. Also, take note that if you go to the bottom of the page of this link you can be informed of the designations for each month of the year.

I am concentrating on one; April is Jazz Appreciation month. There is no musical category as wide as jazz. Here's a Wikipedia article showing the numerous styles. I've always been a jazz fan particularly female vocal jazz like Ella Fitzgreald, Sarah Vaughan, Rosemary Clooney, Dina Washington, Nina Simone, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee, Carmen MacRae and many others from the old days and Diana Krall, Renee Olstead, Pink Martini, Holly Golightly, Sarah Brightman, Lizz Wright, Lorez Alexandria, Molly Johnson, Lila Downs, and Sophie Milman. There are many, many more but it has to be a quick post today because these links took forever.
Click away and appreciate the's April.

Round and Round

After four days of glorious sunshine we had light rain today but it seems as though the sun is trying to come out. My daughter just commented that it's snowing (or has snowed) in Calgary. We are supposed to get some on Sunday as well. It's all ok though because spring is here. Green grass is poking through the brown, the daffodils are growing an inch or more each day, and people are smiling. That's all the proof I need.

It's funny how one little music search can lead me round and round. On Kat's blog today she has a song sung by Elizabeth Mitchell called Winter's Come and Gone. I thought I knew the song from a long time ago but upon research found it was written by contemporary Gillian Welsh. I looked in my files thinking it was familiar because I had it but no, I do not. It's really bugging me because I was singing along with the chorus. I know that song!

Anyway, above her name I saw That Masquerade by George Benson. That brought back lots of memories. I really liked George Benson years ago and even extravagantly bought a boxed set of his music as a gift for another fan. The song is also a memory of the movie, All That Jazz, which I loved. I looked at the information on That Masquerade and found it was written by Leon Russell who I also am a big fan of. So today's music is about going round and round. Here's Leon doing a Bob Dylan cover, A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall and Bob Dylan doing a live cover of Leonard Cohen's Halleluja. Now if I could only find Leonard doing a George Benson cover......

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Heat and Happiness

There were none of these fluffy white things in the sky today. It was pure blue and the temperature reached sixteen (a little over 60 american). I had to go to an unscheduled meeting so visited a friend in that town afterward. She had another friend over and we sat out on the deck all afternoon. What a glorious thing to do after a winter. Two days in a row sitting on a deck. I could get used to a life like that but it won't last forever. I will have to stop having surgeries and get back to work sometime. I went for a kilometer walk this morning which is a sure sign I'm getting better.

I went for a walk, went hardware shopping, and grocery shopping and am pretty tired. As I was leaving my friend's house her brother who lives on the same property stopped me to offer me a container of seafood chowder for dinner. He's an ex-cook who is now a house painter. After every painting job he cooks a meal for his clients and the clients he cooked for yesterday requested his seafood chowder. I took him up on it and it's working out well that my son, who doesn't like seafood is eating away from town. It makes me happy how it's all worked out for this tired body.

With all this lovely heat, doing nothing on a deck but watching dogs and birds, and handling gorgeous, colourful fabrics at my friend's house what better music to play today than African. That should keep us in heat for a while. Here's Mama Keita from Guinea with Tougnafo and the South African acappella group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, with Amafutha Esibane.

Responding to a Meme

I've been tagged by Ralph to do a meme with the following rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people and post a comment to
Mickey once you have posted it. (I couldn't find where to post the comment though)

Like Kat's meme last week I can do the meme but don't have any blogger friends to pass it along to. Sorry.

I'm reading The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber. It is about antique books and I had a friend here yesterday who's life is antique books. We were looking at it and that's why it's the closest book. It would normally be on my nightstand. The book is about letters and manuscripts written in the 1600's and page 123 happens to be one of the letters. The language is ancient. Sentences 6, 7 and 8:

Soe she died 2nd February AD 1606 & is buried in St Katherine Colemanchurch. Now you know, my Nan, that after that sadde tyme you gave me comfort soe that I wish to marry you but your father sayeth what, nay nay, no man can marry on prentice wages how will you keepe my daughter and I hadde no answer & and left sad & wast sad many daies.

Comes now Thomas Keane saying ho Dick what say you to Flanders?

Please note that I have copied exactly as written, even the error "& and" near the end of the second sentence.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Absolutely ran out of time today and can't manage a post. How lucky I was to put twice as much music as usual on yesterday's post. Kisses and hugs till tomorrow.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Spring a Ling

For two days in a row we've had a large yellow thing in our sky that hasn't been seen in so long we almost forgot what it was. Sunshine!!! It is the same temperature today as yesterday - ten, but there isn't a cold north wind blowing so it is glorious. I wanted to go for a walk but have been waiting the whole day for a repairman which is one of the most frustrating things one must do.

I discovered I still had another version of A Change Is Gonna Come in the music pages. It is the Idol audition by Taylor Hicks. Randy and Paula love him but Simon says he'll never make it. Was he ever wrong!

You know I have to have spring songs for today. Spring Is Just Around the Corner by Sasha Dobson is about perfect to begin with. The John Butler Trio, the label mates of The Waifs, and Richard Shindell both have songs entitled Spring and Spring and All by Greg Brown will fit that bill. I'm feelin' so good about this weather that I want to say just that. Levon Helm will help and so will Nina Simone. They both have completely different songs with the same name - Feelin' Good.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Seasonal Changes

It is ten degrees (about fifty for the Americans) today and what a welcome change that is. The sun is shining brightly and if it wasn't for a northern breeze it would be even warmer. Bella, the fair weather cat, was the first out the door this morning followed by me, then Kenz.

I did a bit of gardening this afternoon but it exhausted me. I'm not quite sure how or why this is after surgery. Does healing take so much energy that a person is left spent very easily and quickly after normal chores? I'm trying not to push it but spring is here. I have gardening to do. The daffodils are a couple of inches high and will take off if it continues to warm....without my help.

I brought a chair onto the deck and sat a bit. It feels so good to have the sun on your face. Crows and ravens are building nests and fighting already over choice sticks and nesting places. The biggest raven in the neighbourhood was being scolded and harassed by three smaller fellows. I kept wondering just what it was that he had done.

This weather begs for today's musical selection. One of my favorite songs is Sam Cooke's, A Change is Going To Come. I have thirteen versions and there are many more out there. Of the six I had already uploaded, all are gone except for the one by Terence Trent D'Arby. Here's a couple more and I might as well start with the A's. This Al Green version is one of my favorites as Al is live, and in any live music I've heard of his, he always talks and sings to the audience. I'd love to see him on stage. I've been listening to Aretha all day so she's a perfect choice for the next version. God, what a voice!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Monsieur Fox

Yesterday my sister-in-law dropped in for a bit of a Friday Happy Hour. While we were sitting at the kitchen table, a fox who often drops by, came into the yard then onto the deck. I took my camera and went outside. He went back down to the yard, stood staring for a minute then laid down, as relaxed as could be.

I began softly talking to him, telling me that he'd better be a good fox and leave my kitties alone. Kenz was under the deck and thought I was talking to her. She came onto the deck and I picked her up. Fox's ears pricked up and I said that this was Kenz and he'd better be nice to her, that she was not a dinner item. I took Kenz into the house and came back outside. I snapped and snapped photos and he stood up and came back onto the deck with me standing there. My camera kept snapping.

After a while my sister-in-law came out. That frightened him a bit and he went down onto the grass. Sis-in-law suggested that if I didn't want him around I should yell or throw something at him to discourage him. She picked up the piece of pine branch that's visible behind the fox in the photo below and threw it. He ran over to it, thinking she had thrown food. He seemed to take the hint then and left, walking toward the pond.

Sis-in-law left then too, walking. She called me about ten minutes later on her cell phone to tell me that Mr. Fox had followed her up the road. Amazing but not all that unusual that this fox is so tame. I would say that someone in the neighbourhood is feeding him. He's been here many times this winter and my son saw him on the deck in February when I was in hospital for the shoulder surgery.

I don't like them around so bold and so tame. I have photos from five years ago of a fox chasing Kenz. If they're hungry, a cat would make a big dinner. We're lucky to have our snow gone as it makes it possible for them to get mice quite easily. I've delighted in watching foxes pouncing and hunting mice in the long grass around the pond for many years and have lots of photos of them passing through the yard but usually if you open the door they take off. That's how it should be.

I have to say it's been a bit difficult to find 'fox music' in my files but I've come up with two. The Jimi Hendrix' classic, Foxy Lady is a given and I have Gingerman by Kim Barlow. I had music up by Jamie Fox but it has disappeared and it's not exactly in the essential category that I'm slowly replacing. By the way, we know this fox is not a lady. He peed in a tree trunk with his leg raised and if they're like cats or dogs, that means Monsieur.

Friday, April 04, 2008

In My Car

I drove today! I drove today! I know that sounds like a sixteen year old kid but that's how excited I am. I had no trouble at all. The hardest part was putting the key in the ignition but I leaned far forward and off I went.

I've hardly taken a photo since December; just an odd one here and there. I've been using old files on the Shutterchance blog and truthfully am running out of good shots. I didn't want to venture far from home so went to a wharf nearby and took photos. A friend was there working, getting lobster traps ready for the upcoming season and another friend dropped by. I also went to a bridge and walked along the shore to watch the ice melting. I walked over the rotting ice pans pictured above and got some nice shots. I didn't have the proper footwear but what's a little water.....

I always listen to music from other people's blogs at this time and just heard a song by an unknown to me, Danny Schmidt, that I absolutely loved - Company of Friends. I've got to check him out. In the meantime, Cold Car, by the harmonious band, The Great Outdoors, is the pick of the day. A song in the folk vein is the real story though because now that I have my freedom, who knows where I'll end up? Tom Paxton with Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound is a classic.

I started this, as usual, a little after four and had a friend drop by for a visit. Something that happened in those two hours is tomorrows blog post. Stay tuned and I'll say in advance, WOW!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Big Test

An early post today as I have an appointment with my urologist this afternoon. He thinks he is giving me the results of my pathology report today, not knowing I received the fabulous news it contains from my family doctor already.

I'm going to try to drive the old Toyota around the neighbourhood tomorrow. If results are good I will soon venture further. I can get my arm up ninety degrees - to where I can point straight ahead, so that should be enough to drive. I'll see tomorrow. I haven't driven since Christmas Day and really, really miss my independence. I can't walk very far yet so really am housebound. I've been very patient and slowed down my activities. I'm able to paint again so have been doing that but a person with as much energy as I have has to let it out sometime.

I recently discovered a new musical artist from Wales named Duffy. The Wiki article on her gives more information than her website but her site has a music player where you can listen to her songs. Check out both. She has a song with a perfect title for today's post. Tomorrow is when I hope to be able to drive but Ron Sexsmith might have it right - All In Good Time. Here are a couple of versions of the classic Wishin' and Hopin' as well. One by Dusty Springfield; one by Ani Defranco.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

In The Past

I've had a few disappointments lately when going to my YouTube bookmarks. Some of the performances that I watched regularly are gone. I linked Nina Simone's early version of I Loves You Porgy here a couple of times. It is gone. There is one of her performing it as an older woman that is still up but the six minute version where she's very young and so vulnerable has no comparison. I made a comment on the newer version and have had notifications from Youtube that there have been replies. It seems as though several people have been missing it. One person said that s/he watched it every day. I watched it every month or so.

Many videos of Van Morrison concerts have disappeared as well. I watched these regularly as well. The bookmarked pages say that the media has been removed due to a copyright claim by Van Morrison. I don't understand how someone can own a performance. Once the sound waves are out there and the concert has been performed in public can the person who sang a song own the performance of it? It's all very confusing to me. I just know I miss these wonderful performances and hope they come back again. I will keep checking.

I just clicked on I Loves You Porgy by Nina Simone on my music pages and discover that it's gone from there as well. Another essential song to reinstall. One of the YouTube Van videos I played a lot is This Weight from one of my favorite albums of his, The Healing Game. They're the picks for today.

Update: Ralph's suggestion in the comments helped me find a copy of the 6 minute Nina Simone. I'm so happy to share this wonderful, wonderful version of I Loves You Porgy....for the third time.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Not able to go walking yet, I have to be content watching nature from my yard or on days like this, from my window. On Saturday my sister discovered an ermine or weasel outside the window in front of where I'm sitting. I've been watching it ever since. In just that few days it is becoming less white and more brown, like rabbits do seasonally. The weasel is carrying meadow voles or big field mice, as they are most commonly known, through snow burrows to a spot under a slab of ice that formed just outside the window from snow falling off the roof. The voles are larger in mass, I believe than the weasel. The weasel is longer but the vole is much bigger around. Amazing I say, as this skinny little fellow jumps up, runs, jumps up and runs - over and over, looking all around, until he gets to the slab of ice and hurries underneath. He has three exit holes. Kenz was sniffing around them on Saturday, the aroma of field mouse making her very interested, I'm sure.

I see a beautiful fox here every couple of days. He comes up to this window too, that aroma coming from the den drawing him too. It would be hard for any animal to break through the ice so he's patiently waiting for thaw and a big cache to feast on. My son saw him on the deck a while back, watching Kenz sleeping on the back of her chair. The raccoons who are regulars started coming around a month ago. They broke the glass out of the bird feeders and ate through the bungee cords that held the feeder on to the deck. I'm putting it away until next year when, as usual, I will replace the glass and set it out for another winter of bird watching.

Speaking of birds, I've had flocks of fifty or more cedar waxwings and thirty or so robins eating fallen apples under the apple trees. Yesterday there was a male Hairy Woodpecker on one of the trees and he's a regular visitor. Flocks of starlings are still landing in the pastures around me. It seems as they may not have flown south at all. These are some photos on the Shutterchance blog that I posted of these starling murmurations. On the first one you can see there are as many on the ground as in the sky.

I think I said not long ago how I love Blossom Dearie. She does such great arrangements and her phrasing is about perfect. Both Try Your Wings and It Amazes Me are two songs that show this to a T. It Amazes Me is a very nice example of her excellent piano work. I think I stated on the blog a year or so ago that she is still performing and according to the Wiki article linked at her name above, "Dearie has continued to perform in clubs. As one of the last remaining supper club performers, she still performs regular engagements in London and New York City." Wow!