It is amazing that our landscape is bare of snow. This shot is from our walk three days ago but I dare say that bit of snow is now gone. It was +5 at ten before I went to town this morning and the sun came out after that. Two years ago, I was skating on the pond at this time. It is the anniversary of my fall tomorrow. This year there is no ice at all in the pond. The ice in the bay was thin and is now broken up and I saw only slush in Charlottetown Harbour. I am amazed at how winter has changed since my childhood. We still get snowy winters from time to time. The winter of 2000 is an example and we had some big snowy winters in the 80's and a few in the 90's with other years of hardly any snow.
I had a wonderful Christmas and it seems everyone around me did too. It ended too quickly though as my daughter was home only a short time. She had to work today. I am certainly and truly glad the weather was good for her travels.
I went to town for the Boxing Day sales today. Charlottetown decided to remain closed on Saturday and Sunday just like on Christmas Day and chose today to be the commercial Boxing Day. Government offices and Doctors remained closed today. I got one really excellent deal at La Senza. Their body lotions and shower gels, etc. were 10 for $30. I had specifically gone to town with a gift certificate for Body Shop from my son. I was hoping to get the now discontinued Warm Amber scented anything as that is one of my favorite of their fragrances. I got a few items there but then found that La Senza carries an amber fragrance that I like very much. I bought five of the ten items in their Amber Romance.
My daughter gave me a grand Christmas gift. She gave me a turntable that converts albums to computer files. I have not even opened the box yet but will tomorrow. I managed to get some other gifts set up and even used already. My sister-in-law gave me the Cadillac of pedometers. She knew I was heartbroken after recently losing mine. This has two clips so you have a pretty good chance of not losing it if you attach both. I tested it yesterday with a walk in the woods and the day before to the shore.
I am excited about my old albums becoming computer files. I'll have some real treats for you then. I do manage to find some of my favorite old songs here and there but I do have some gems. One of my favorite albums when it came out was Joe Jackson's tribute to his father's music, Jumpin' Jive. I loved that album so much. I was always a fan of that era of jazz and liked his take on it. Here is a couple of his interpretations of that wonderful era of silly lyrics and lots of booze, What's the Use of Getting Sober and You Run your Mouth and I'll Run My Business. My kids grew up on this album. My daughter still loves Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby from this album though she has a different favorite version. I'll be checking out that wonderful new tool tomorrow.
I can't believe a week has passed again. It's been a busy week. Like everyone else, I'm knee deep in Christmas preparations along with everything else and hardly have time to turn around. My son, who was just into the Christmas baking, said when I complained, "You can just make more." "Hmmmph", is what I said.
I took a lovely stroll to the woods yesterday to find a suitable Christmas tree. I found several hardwood saplings instead and bound them together into a passable Christmas tree. I set that up last night while I listened to a couple of Christmas playlists I'd made. It looks rather nice though birch would have been nicer. I used what I had. I made a few swags and sprays out of some fresh white pine. A large branch from the white pine tree in the yard broke off in the wind a couple of weeks ago. It was nice to have a use for it. I still have two other wreath forms and will make some pine wreaths if I have time.
How is that for relaxed! This is the normal Kenz. I see no strings in the shot but they are there; a couple of shoelaces or the like. She lies and rolls beside/hind me, bonding with me, her catnip pillows and strings. She has an added camera bag and pair of shoes here for extra rubbing materials. She can sit and lie in a spot without moving a muscle for twenty minutes. It's amazing. Her eyes are wide open, staring straight ahead. When she's lying down it would seem she's asleep but her eyes are open.
I've been madly shopping and wrapping, boxing and wrapping, labeling, getting parcels ready for the mail. I'll soon be finished but have to send my camera off for repair so still have to do that. I'm going to miss my camera but it is something that must be done before warranty in a couple weeks. I am making CD's to put in parcels as well. Busy, busy, busy.
I has been extremely windy and cold for the last three or four days. The Confederation Bridge had their longest period of restrictions since the severe White Juan storm a few winters ago. This time, thankfully, the rain had melted most of the snow and hardened what remained or we would have had snow issues like white-outs to contend with. It has certainly curtailed our walking schedule. My hiking partner told me this morning that it is suppose to get warm again soon. I need my hikes and walks.
My niece who lived here for the summer three and a half years ago just had a baby girl on Friday. This makes my baby brother a Grampy which hard to believe! The new baby was born on the 11th, one day before my nephew's birthday on the 12th. This is the usual way in our family. Birthdays are one day apart or on the same day several times, happening over and over. It's very complicated, the dates of birth and death, I believe. It is in our family anyway.
I downloaded this song the other day because I loved the title. Turns out it was pretty good. Here's I'm Not Broke But I'm Badly Bent by Lattie Moore. Check the link on her name. It has the most unusual (and funny) song titles you've ever seen. The other song is for the new baby. I'm assuming it was as windy as it was where she was born as it was where we are. Here's Come By Storm by Laura Gibson.
I am watching our first snowfall. We had wet flurries one day that did not accumulate but this is real snow. It is covering the tree branches and grasses and everything else in the landscape and is oh, so beautiful. I'll see if I can dig out a photo from another time for the spot above. We are expecting fifteen cm.
I've been lucky all these years to have a studio which gives a wide look apon the natural world. In winter, to see a variety of wildlife through these windows while I summarize a daily weather report can be magical. Today reminds me to add birdseed to the town list. I painted all morning and intend to go back after lunch. Yesterday was very dark and natural light for painting was not so good. Today is excellent. The days are noticeably getting shorter with less afternoon time. That will change shortly though with the equinox, much to my pleasure.
I am still thinking about a way I could be working on at least two of my art forms at the same time. I cut out little models of all the furniture in this second studio room and have been moving them in various locations around a drawn-to-scale room with windows and doors. I have two large windows in the room and the challenge is to have each table looking out the window while I do my things.I have become resigned to the fact that my computer will occupy a much smaller table but it must allow me to look out the window at my beautiful landscapes.
I could not find a photo of my view with a first snow except for a first snow with the pond frozen which it is not at this time. The photo above is my friend's little shed a few days after a fairly heavy first snow. It does show how pretty it is at the first of the year. There will be a time soon enough that I'm tired of the whole thing. I will enjoy it's beauty for today.
I always play this song at this time of year. I am not a big fan of Christmas and sometimes can barely tolerate it. This year has not been so bad but this song is often how I ground myself during December. Our talented and beautiful Maritimer, Natalie MacMaster plays fiddle so wonderfully in this song by the talented and beautiful as well, Alison Krauss: Get Me Through December. One of the songs I 'collect' is Baby, It's Cold Outside. Though it's not that cold it's wintry (See poll on right for another day or two or read last post) out there. I was making a Christmas CD for my jazz-loving aunt and uncle last night and added this version of it by Liza Minnelli and Alan Cumming. For some reason this song doesn't seem to be uploading. I will try one more time but may have to come back. This happens quite often.
Yesterday and today are the first days we've experienced November like weather this month - of November. Our weather has been delightful, warm and mostly full of sunshine. Yesterday was rainy and very windy and cool. Today is much warmer and not windy but it's been dark and drizzly off and on. I certainly appreciate all the nice weather we've had as I love to be outside and prefer this to cold, wintery weather.
I have a poll for you. The spell checker is telling me that the proper spelling for the second last word in the above paragraph is wintry. This looks wrong to me and thought wintery was the right word. Which is it?
We canceled a long hike yesterday because of the weather. I went Sunday shopping for the first time instead. I was planning a trip to town someday soon to get a birthday gift but received an invitation to share a Sunday dinner with good friends. Seemed like a perfect idea. A leg of lamb was served and the meal was outstanding. My friend is the best cook I know. She also joined me for shopping for part of the afternoon. We fought the crowds. I had no idea Sunday shopping was so popular. I dare say it must have been busier yesterday than it was on Saturday.
For twenty four hours Oprah is offering a couple of songs on her website. One is the Christmas song What Child is This by Andrea Bocelli and Mary J Blige. It is the best song I've heard all year and was so pleased to be able to get it.
If there is no poll, I can't remember how to make one. Give me a few minutes.
This is how I felt this weekend but especially today. My fifteen year old oil tank had to be replaced, as is the law on PEI. I canceled oil delivery months ago waiting for this fateful day. Somehow I knew it would be the weekend when I ran out of oil and so it was.
I had been painting ceilings for a couple of days and because I didn't want to put a painting hat on wet hair waited till Sunday morning to wash my hair. I turned the shower on, had a pee, which is exactly the right time required for the shower to become hot, and jumped into the shower head first. I got the shock of my life! If course with dirty hair you have no choice. You must go ahead... and wash your hair. With long hair, as I have, there is also no choice. You have to condition your hair. I would never get a brush or comb through otherwise.
I shivered through the task and I must say this was all very, very uncomfortably cold. There was not an ounce of warmth in the water. I must have ran out of oil on Saturday evening or very soon after midnight as there would have otherwise have been some heat left in the water system. I was shivering the rest of the morning till I got out of the house, into the car and off to a friend's for the day. I went to another friend's house for dinner and went to bed as soon as I got home.
Today was terribly cold in the house. Even with frost on the ground this morning it was warmer out of doors. I had to stay around all day because of the installation thus couldn't escape like yesterday. Thankfully it is all over with. The workers had everything finished at 11:30 and I got oil around 2:30. I spent a lot of time on the deck as it was so much warmer outside.
We have broken all records with the glorious weather we've been experiencing this month of November. In my fifty plus years, I can't remember better November weather. This cold weekend kind of hurt in that way. I just will try to remember that the cold was only inside my house. The long woods walk I took yesterday and the two wonderful walks earlier in the week I had are what the world really was like....all warmth and beauty. I've had meaningful gatherings this week too - four different dinners, two here and two at other friend's homes. A good week...
Where does the time go? I'm here less and less and don't see that changing anytime soon. I'm just too busy for this type of blog. Posting photos on the other blogs don't seem to be a problem but finding the time to write is next to impossible.
We have had incredible weather the month of November. We had rain and wind today for the first time whereas rain and wind are the usual for most days of November. We've had temps in the double digits and lots of sunshine instead. I haven't heard any complaints from anyone and doubt I will. Who doesn't like sunny warm weather in November?
I had a couple of friends over for dinner last night and that's the impetus for today's music. I've always liked Cab Calloway and his song Everybody Eats When They Come to My House. Reaching back but not so far is Bonnie and Delaney and Friends with Come on In My Kitchen. Now if I could get someone to cook for me....
Thought I'd better check in here every once in a while though it seems to be the same old news most weeks. There was a major change in my rhythm this week though. Due to scheduling differences with both of us, my hiking partner and I last had a walk on Saturday. I am itching to go out and stretch my legs and will tomorrow for sure. I miss it very much.
With walking not on the schedule I got a lot more painting done, the outside chores finished and have started on some fall indoor jobs. I am going to put removable caulking on the windows in the next couple of days and a plastic storm window on one window. We had snow today though it did not accumulate here. I saw on a news preview that some of the Maritimes did get quite a bit and it just as well could have been here. I must make an appt. to get my snow tires on too. There seems to be an awful lot to do to get ready for winter and I don't even burn wood.
Kenz is lying in my arms as I type. We have this position worked out where she fits herself in and lays happily here unless I have to use the left hand shift key a lot. I only mind it if my arm starts to fall asleep then I use capitals (and the shift key) as much as possible. LOL
With no way to store music at some spot on the web I have to re-introduce music that has been featured here before. How can you not have the opportunity to play these two fabulous songs any time you want. The marvelous, wonderful, awesome, fantastic, stupendous music of Chevela Vargas should be at everyone's fingertips all the time. It is much like eating oysters to me. Her music somehow enters the body and mixes with vital fluids that are of life itself. I feel that way about Van Morrison's music as well but he has forbidden people to hear his music on blogs. Here are two songs from Chevela that do it for me: La Llorona and Paloma Negra. You may recognize the last song from the soundtrack of the movie, Frida. I am listening to a longer version ( over 8 minutes) of La Llorona at the moment and it is giving me the shivers.
Happy Halloween, Spooks and Goblins. For the second year in a row it will be light when the kids go out trick or treating. I actually like that the return to Standard Time was two weeks later for the last two years but Halloween night really suffers. To me as a little kid, being out in the darkness was part of the eerieness and excitement. I have such great Halloween memories with my brother and friends and then again with my own kids. My sis-in-law, who doesn't like Halloween, has asked me to pass out treats for her but she won't let me scare the kids. I've begged but she is adamant. I have only one mask that isn't frightening (???) so will use it perhaps.
That sentence begged a photo so I found the mash and took a few shots. It's scary but not frightening to children. I don't think...
We've had an absolutely wonderful hiking week. We turned things around and have done wood trails instead of dirt roads and this morning went exploring. We went through farmer's fields to go to a spot where there was once a bridge and the mouth of the stream where my pond feeds into the bay. It was so great. The habitat was wonderful but very dirty. My walking partner and I are amazed at the amount of trash we find out in natural areas. I could go on for hours about this but I won't.
I had quite a week with my computer trying to figure out and resort all the little pathways that my songs and photos took last weekend during my daughter's major overhaul of my C drive. Just today I got everything placed where it should be though I'll always have some photos popping up in two or more files. I defragmented this afternoon too and everything should now be right as rain.
On Sunday after lovely daughter erased my C drive I felt ill - weak, dizzy and very strange, like I might faint. I wasn't that extreme the rest of the week but the job was quite stressful. This Irving Berlin song came to mind several times - What'll I Do. Here's an excellent version from the Wainwrights, Loudon, Rufus and Martha. After hours of moving and deleting photos and music and moving one playlist at a time over to the Media Player, I thought of another song - The Thrill is Gone by B B King. The experience was quite a siege but it's over now.
I'm glad the thrill is not gone from Halloween for me. I'm going to dig out some hair and clothing to go with the mask.
Goodness this month is going fast. Already it's the last week of October. It's been a beautiful month, though a bit wet at first. We got several walks in again last week so there has been no repeat of three weeks ago's constant rain. This weekend was rainy and windy but beautiful yesterday with warm (13) temperatures. An overnight of 3 and very windy again today stopped our getting out this afternoon. I danced instead and worked up a good sweat so I got some cardio and fun. You should try it.
My daughter and her dog were home again making a record breaking three out of four weekends. I didn't see much of her though as she was celebrating things in her dad's family. It's wonderful to see her anytime so we had fun when we were able to get together. The photo of Baxter is not from this weekend, by the way, but from a day at the beach in the summer.
I'm painting quite a bit most days and am going to be finishing a stained glass project this week (sorry Steve and Ellie), both good activities after long walks in the woods. The time will change next weekend and because of the importance of light to both activities, schedules will change again. I'd like to work on all three of my disciplines at the same time and am thinking of ways to arrange things in the studio and study (this room) to maybe accomplish that. The computer may end up in a smaller space is the only drawback. I love the big, airy, elbow-room space around my computer with it's big window view.
Autumn continues and is still beautiful. We were expecting a nor'easter mid-week which would have taken the leaves down but thankfully, it didn't materialize. It is windy and rainy this morning so we won't be walking today. I opted out yesterday which is unusual but had a concert to attend.
I saw Stan Carew and the Magpies at the PEI stop on their theater fund-raising tour. Stan is the host of a very popular, Halifax-based, CBC radio show called Weekend Morning. Stan and I have had correspondences several times over the years so it was great to put faces to the names. The show was very enjoyable with a Texas swing or Rockabilly country style.
I'm hoping for some nice weather this week to finish up the outdoor chores. Saturday was beautiful and I did a bit of these jobs but was quite exhausted from the earlier hike so did not finish. It's ironic that on nice days when it's good for working outside it's good for hiking and rainy or windy days are good for neither. I am still painting chairs so have chores to do no matter the weather.
With the weather forecast featuring Nor'easters and lots of wind and rain these days, I thought I'd provide some appropriate music. First, here's Ollabelle with The Storms Are On the Ocean and a favorite of mine, Buckets of Rain. This Dylan song has been covered many, many times and I have lots of versions but here is the original from The Bob himself.
I seem to be doing the same thing I was doing the last time I was here. I'm cleaning up after having guests for the Thanksgiving long weekend. Last week was from a different family celebration.
This weekend I was responsible for the food but received quality help from my daughter and her boyfriend. My daughter wanted to learn to make pumpkin pie from scratch. We did that and also made two kinds of pumpkin soup, both of which were delicious. She likes cooking and is ready to learn more complicated methods and recipes. She uses recipes and I rarely do so it's a learning experience for both of us. I also encouraged her to be cre8ive by having her make a blueberry crunch cake substituting blueberries for apples. It turned out so good that she won't be intimidated at making a change like that again.
We had eight for a traditional turkey dinner with stuffing, many, many vegetables dishes and condiments, all home made, some even from my garden. I met two very nice young people, my daughter's boyfriend's sister and his best friend, who were both alone for the holiday. I think it was my favorite weekend in a long time.
I have been taking a weekly painting class and after the class today managed to get in a much needed walk. My walking partner and I have different schedules and then there's the weather factor. We hadn't walked since last Tuesday! We both enjoy it immensely and it's hard when we can't get out. I just finished my homework for the painting class so after tomorrow's rain and no one expected for the weekend, it should be clear sailing. It's so beautiful out there these days.
I hate to be constantly saying that I'm having a hard time finding time for this blog but that is the truth of the matter these days. In my spare time I can choose to hike or blog. On a sunny, beautiful morning like this morning, I chose to hike. It's been non-stop with things to do and the list does not seem to be shrinking. I feel like last post's title - I'm paddling as fast as I can.
I had seven guests staying here for the weekend and a friend from Australia and one from Summerside visited on Saturday but weren't sleeping here. I prepared for the company for a few days and am now cleaning up after the weekend. We even used couches for sleeping so that makes a lot of laundry.
We had a really wonderful weekend. It was a lot of fun to see everyone; even my daughter's dog, Baxter. My brother and his girlfriend were here too and that was fun. I attended a party and stayed up late for three nights in a row. From that I have not recovered yet. I woke at nine this morning. We had to delay our hiking time a bit and I still feel like I'm jet-lagged or something like that. I had hoped the walk would fix me up.
My daughter is coming again this weekend because it's Thanksgiving. How cool is it to have the sweetie and her beast two weekends in a row. I'll feed them all well and hope that this weekend will be a little more relaxed than the busy schedule we maintained last weekend. If the weather holds I might be able to get Girlie and Poochie to the woods with me.
Here are a couple songs fitting for the time of year - October by Rosie Thomas and Thanksgiving by Loudon Wainwright III. I do hope to get here more often. The autumn has so many chores. I swear it is the busiest season for me.
My month of September has been terribly busy and that is the direct result of spending so much time at the beach this summer. I put things off at that time that I'm having to do now, as well as the usual 'getting ready for winter' chores that must be done at this time of year. Worst thing is I'm painting with oil paint indoors. I had planned to do that in the barn during the summer. I've had a headache since I opened the bottle of paint thinner.
I'm still pickling too. My daughter couldn't contemplate life without a few jars of chow chow to make it through the winter. I must admit I would like some too as I didn't make any last year. Between melamine paint, paint thinners and pickling my house is quite an odoriferous place.
I have a positively wonderful new hiking partner. We both walked individually and now are teamed up. Luckily for me she likes the same kind of hiking I do - dirt roads and forests only and lots of hills. We have either six, eight, ten, or fourteen kilometer routes that we do. We walked the fourteen km road yesterday. We aren't hampered by the weather either because she, like I , does not mind the rain.
Here's some old music for today. Remember Mott the Hoople ('69 - '74)? Their song Crossroads is significant in our forest walks. We are always coming to forks, crossroads, rights or lefts that intrigue us and my partner is up to exploring them too. Did I tell you I'm liking my new hiking partner. We're both looking for jobs so right now have plenty of time, though are willing to cut down walking hours if we'd be lucky enough to get jobs. Nine Hundred Miles by Odetta is what I felt like we walked yesterday. We walked our fourteen kilometers a half hour faster than we did the last time. The first time I stopped for photos and yesterday we booted it and I was truly exhausted for about an hour afterward.
There have been plenty of forest photos in my other blogs which are listed in the sidebar if you're interested in that sort of thing.
Blogging this afternoon is not what I had planned. I disturbed a bumble bee's nest while I was cutting down some sumac. The bees are angry and chased me into the house. They have a sentry flying around the door and he is not letting me outside. I got one sting and slapped (most likely killed) the bee that did it. His family is buzzingly angry. I guess the sumac can wait till a freeze and I hope that by the time I finish blogger the sentry at the door will have gone.
We did our walk early today. I wanted to be soaking in the sun during this sumac job this afternoon. We've been going on roads that have thick tree canopies so you don't get much sun. We walked 9.6 km today, 8 yesterday, and will do 8 Thursday and 14 0n Saturday. I love this season for walking in the woods. The fungi are spectacular. I've had great examples on my Shutterchance blog the last few days. My favorite part of being in the woods is the smell of the ferns and today was a very ferny walk. Pure perfection!
You're going to think I've gone completely folk on you here with another old traditional folk song like Shady Grove. I haven't but this wonderful version by Laura Love deserves a listen. I've been dancing as usual and listening to all types of music, also the usual.
Sometimes I have to repeat songs on this blog in able to access them for another blog. That is the case today with A Wonderful Life by the Felice Brothers. I love the feeling of this song so much and agree with it's sentiments when I am in the woods, walking for my soul. It is not a chore to feature this song again.
I am struggling to remember where I found the time to post here every day. I am truly finding it difficult to get here once a week or so. I have one hour till my meatloaf is cooked to post to several blogs. It's been a busy week. Thank God It's Friday and for me that's the best night of the week.
I am overjoyed to announce that I have found a new hiking partner. We hiked a little over six kilometers today; FOURTEEN yesterday. I love it!!!! I have asked her not to stop when I stop for photos so I'm constantly working hard to catch up with her which is pure perfection when walking for fitness, as I do. We went for chanterelle mushrooms today so the pace slowed down whenever we came across a patch. It's nice to find a feed of them so late in the season. I will thoroughly enjoy them sauteed in butter, salt, and pepper accompanying the meatloaf. My son doesn't like them. This is one of those times one says, "His loss; my gain." Yum yum, yum, yum, yum.
Another great part to my walks is that I'm getting more mushroom photos. I don't know why but I've been fascinated by photos of mushrooms since I saw a wonderful Japanese site years ago about mushrooms. It is no longer on the net but I still love photos of mushrooms ans am pleased to be getting some good shots. What a weird hobby, eh?
I am still listening to a lot of folk music along with other varieties, working on the perfect folk CD. Of course, Peter, Paul and Mary are there. Did they not introduce us to folk with their famous, simple -styled songs. I'll let you go to other places to hear their music being played today to commemorate the death of Mary Travers. I will take you instead to musicians they have influenced. These are the folk musicians today. Here is Endlessly by The Cracker Cats and Pastures of Plenty by Pierce Pettis.
Seems like forever since I checked in here. Life is busy but life is good. There have been a few adventurous outings with friends, pickling, gardening, birthday's in the family, and a recommence of my long hilly walks.
It's a wonderful time of year. The oppressing heat and humidity of August is gone and a lot of the tourist traffic as well. I took a swim last week and knew that summer was past. The water was c o l d. The day and sun were hot, thus the need for the swim, but once I got in I wasn't long getting out, very refreshed.
I started this post this morning and got busy shortly afterward. I've worked hard on some chores outdoors and in and took the last half hour to lie in the sun and finish a book. It is 23 in the shade but my deck is hot and in the sun. I feel sun-kissed. I had dinner with friends yesterday and am having dinner with friends tomorrow night so am staying home tonight feeding just the boy and me.
I've been listening to wonderful folk songs recently. I make a CD most months with a theme of sorts. This month, it's called Folk of September. It opens with the well known, Caledonia, covered wonderfully by Ruth Notman. This woman is new to me but sounds so much like Kate Rusby that I had to verify that it was indeed, not her. Here is Caledonia and the classic Blooming Heather by Kate Rusby. Compare. They sound very much alike. I love Kate's version of Blooming Heather. It has a great male harmony singer which makes it special. This song too is on the CD.
September has been a busy month so far but this afternoon I got some beach time. It was glorious. The water was colder than the last time I swam but a swim was just what I needed to relax and refresh. My friend and I went in at different times but did the same thing - floated and watched the clouds. It was heavenly. I think we'll have some more beach days and the water may even warm up. I think the cold is from two hurricanes blowing and raining the last two weekends.
I made pickled beets this morning and have officially slid into pickle mode. I've been given cucumbers whenever I want to pick them and that will be tomorrow. I have three batches of various pickles planned. I am making beer tomorrow as well. This is a good time of year for that too with the cooler temperatures. I have apples ripe and ready for jelly, pies and/or desserts and the garden's tomatoes are perfect for putting by. It's a busy season.
I went woods walking and picked some chanterelle mushrooms this week. I enjoyed them with steak that night and have enough for two more meals. They are so incredibly delicious. I'm later than usual foraging for them so they're past their prime in amounts still pickable. They are loved by worms and slugs as well as humans so it is always a race to see who gets them first.
Oh, what wonderful things I've seen and great adventures I've been on since last checking in here! I was this close to a moose and lucky for him, I shoot with a camera, not a gun. The moose was simply standing on the side of the road. My sister turned her car around, drove right up to her and I took photos which didn't seem to bother the moose at all. We left before she could change her mind.
I had made plans to meet up with my 1972 roommates on Monday and Hurricane Bill was forecast for Sunday. Knowing I would probably not want to drive in a hurricane and assuming the bridge would close, I decided to go to New Brunswick early and visit my family for the weekend. I told no one in advance, so surprised my Dad first and everyone else in turn. I had a great time with the family, spending the night at a cottage on Grand Lake that my sister in law had for the weekend and spending alone time (shopping) with my sister.
The reunion with my two girlfriends was as I imagined. Though we look quite different than we did in '72, we haven't changed a bit in how we relate to one another or have a great time together. We stayed up late, ate junk food (as well as wonderful meals), and had a lot of laughs. We went on a long car trip to keep a medical specialist's appointment for our friend who developed a medical condition since she arrived on vacation. That is quite different from '72 when we were all in our early twenties and healthy as horses. We had a blast, remembering (and sometimes not) events from the past and mourning together for a few lost friends from that time.
I regularly keep in touch with both women but it was truly wonderful to be in the same room together and witness how we all went back to the patterns of the ways we had related to one another thirty-five years ago. I thought it was very interesting. One became the mother; one the baby and one the comedienne. I could go on and on about these patterns. Broken Social Scene has a song, All My Friends. It tells a little about us but the next song is about our history. Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole sing Unforgettable. It fits for us. We all have these 'unforgettable' moments and experiences with each other in a prime time of our lives and we'll never forget their impact - which we all shared, being roommates. It was a really inspiring reunion for me. I am going to be doing lots of art now and these woman have provided the muse.
This has been a great week for me. A dear friend and I have been exploring some Island beaches and loving every minute of it! The photo is of West Cape where I own some beach land. It's been five years since I visited and it certainly was about time. The beach and water were both wonderful and as great as I always imagine. I usually walk to West Point and back but my friend was only cool with walking half way. The cliffs were amazing as usual but we did not reach the dunes. The photo shows a pretty good face profile on the left.
We visited two other great beaches this week as well. Both were new to my friend and one was new to me. I'm not even sure if I could find that one again. I just took some roads that I knew would eventually reach a beach. What an amazing place this island is in the summer. The sheer beauty is one thing but the fact that you can drive to the end of so many roads and find a beach to explore is amazing. I'm a lucky woman.
It is thirty-one degrees at the moment and I would say the beaches are full again today but I need a day out of the sun. I'm listening to music, uploading tons of photos and catching up on a bunch of stuff. I have a glass project to start on Monday. Life has to be taken care of, even by beach bunnies.
The scenery has been beautiful and if you click the links to my other blogs, An Island Walk, Just Picture It, or Pictures and Pursuits (also listed on the right) you'll see, in the next while and also from the past weeks, some pretty awesome Island spots. Still Water by Daniel Lanois describes some of these shots. The Water by Feist describes most, I'd say. When talking about such Canadian beauty it's nice to extend it to the musicians, don't you think?
After complaining the last couple of summers of never getting to the beach, this year I am changing my tune. Happily. I've been spending lots of time at the shore this year and it is absolutely glorious. Any kind of beach is available on PEI. The beach can be secluded or out in the open, small or huge. The bottom can be sandy or rocky, and the water warm or cold. It can be crowded or you can be the only human in sight. I've visited all kinds of beaches this summer and have experienced each aspect at one or another.
The spot I visited on Sunday had fabulous rocks because of a lot of oyster drills in the area. My companion and I are both avid rock people so were happy as could be. There were only two other people at the end we were beachcombing. The water was very warm, like a bathtub.
I'm feeling so mellow from all this beach-going, that I'm going to play music to match. Not many are more mellow than Iron and Wine. Here is Sea and the Rhythm and Naked as We Came. I love singing along with these songs. They match my voice.
What a hot summer this is turning out to be. I am inside for a couple of days working on some glass and it's a bit of relief. I had a trip to the beach last week and got sunburnt and a mild case of sunstroke or sun sickness. For two days I was completely drained with almost zero energy and that, my friends, is very unusual for me. My daughter's friend who was with us suffered the same fate but her skin blistered as well. We were at the beach too long basically - from before noon to after five in the sun with not a cloud in the sky and temps of 28 C.
We had an overnight rain once last week but none this week. Yesterday there were showers forecast but we recieved none - just more heat. I was wishing for rain and everyone thought I was crazy. I like the balance rain brings.
On Sunday I attended a twenty-fifth annual and final celebration of friendship, seafood and music that has been a mainstay of my summers. Our sons and daughters now have sons and daughters and three and maybe four generations were together. It was marvelous to see all the new babies and children. The oldsters played music in the early part and the youngin's took over the stage for the late night. I will miss this yearly event and tradition as I don't get to see a good many of the folks on a regular basis. I was always guaranteed a chance to catch up once a year and have a good time and wonderful food and music while doing it.
This song comes to mind every time I go swimming and I should play the real thing instead of the weird rhymes in my head. I always enjoy Loudon Wainwright III and The Swimming Song. The second song is for a friend who came over from Halifax for the party and also played a set on Sunday night. She does a GREAT version of this song, Deep River Blues done here by Janet Bean.
Why not a couple extra songs to make up for my lack of attendence here this summer. I love If It's the Beaches by The Avette Brothers and stupidity once in my life will not keep me away from the beaches. I am going down for a swim after posting as a matter of fact. Finally a request from the heavens said perfectly by Jo Dee Messina with Bring on the Rain. I'm only asking for one day or night, not a deluge.
It's a long time since I've had such a fun day as yesterday turned out to be . Boats full of people gathered for an annual poker run to aid the Northumberland arena. Each boat called at four ports to receive five cards and the best poker hand won.
I'd estimate thirty to thirty-five boats were present at a selected site to spend the finale. Most had coolers, barbecues, stereos, water toys, and lots of happy party-goers. Children and dogs had fun, went for swims, lay on water lounges, and visited back and forth on other boats with their keepers.
Our boat had sixteen aboard and we had a ball. The brave ones got towed behind the boat on a boating tube. My daughter is in the middle of the threesome shown above. I think I was the only one not in for a swim. I may go for one at my own beach later to try and cool off after supper. It is hot and humid today, more;so than yesterday. We share good food and lots of fun times. This is what summer is meant to be. The ride back to the home port was wonderful with the setting sun and promises to meet again next year.
This calls for boat songs does it not? One of my all time favorite pieces of music is Phoebe Snow's version of the Ira Gershwin song, There's a Boat That's Leavin' Soon for New York. In my opinion it is the best version of the song out there. I also like the Holmes Brother's version of Lyle Lovett's song, If I Had a Boat. Hope you like them too and I hope you get a chance to get out on a boat this summer.
Just returned from a quick two day trip to Halifax, pictured above. Unbelievably, I did not use my camera once on the other side but got these quick shots from Dartmouth this morning. I accompanied my daughter and her best friend at the last minute and was so glad that I did so. I visited my friend who is in hospital there for most of yesterday and went to a Pride-sponsored one-woman play last night with my best friend who lives there and her long term (over 20 years) partner. I stayed with them and so did the girls after their accommodation plans fell through. I had a wonderful time partly for the spontaneity but mostly for the time spent with dear friends and family. There's nothing like it.
Life has been very busy. My two youngest and I have been on a road trip to visit my dad and brothers and sister and their families. It's not often we all get together without a wedding or funeral being the occasion. We had lots of fun and the kids did the driving so it was wonderful to be the passenger for a change.
The weather has been filled with showers for the last couple of weeks but the weather has been pleasant enough otherwise. If we're not having a shower, it's warm and the sun may be peeking through. I've enjoyed it. I've been busy with company and got to play tourist a bit. I went to Cavendish, our most famous tourist area, for the first time in 19 years. I cooked huge lobster and had beer which my brother paid for so that was a nice treat. I'm now waiting for my daughter to arrive from her drive across the country. Probably more lobster and beer will be in order. I am certainly looking forward to hugging my girl.
I've been listening to lots of music. I know I play Bettye LaVette quite often. It's because I'm so taken with her. Here are a couple, How Am I Different and Thinkin' Bout You. They are two of my favorites.
I've had an upset in my life that requires that I take some time for myself. I won't be posting here for a while but will continue photos on my other blogs that are listed at the right. I will be photographing and am doing some very cre8ive things in the studio. I'm enjoying it and will come back here and possibly show you when I'm ready. Check out:
I'll add more and swap some from time to time. I'm perfectly ok. My life is just going through some changes. Music? Of course. A Change is Gonna Come is a favorite of mine. I have many covers of the song but will feature it's creator, Sam Cooke. One of my favorites is this live Al Green cut. I so would love to see this man live. I've heard other cuts of his concerts and he has great audience rapport and is just so fine. This is a fine example .
I surely do love my days off. I wake when I want, eat what and when I want, do what I want all the day long and enjoy every minute. I have to go to town tomorrow so this was an at-home day. It was absolutely wonderful. I did a hundred chores and none of them seemed like work as I was able to putter and do everything with a devil may care attitude with deadlines but no particular timeline. I still have lots to do such as supper, folding laundry, visiting a shut-in, and preparing some artwork for the consignor. I'll do it all with love. The food will taste better, the visit will be sweeter and maybe some of my best pieces will be chosen for sale. Laundry - it will still and always be just laundry.
My summer calendar is filling up. My daughter is moving back to the Maritimes and we will see each other for a lot of the month of July. We have a trip away planned. I have another adventure planned in August. This one has been in the works for many years. Two old roommates and I from 1972 have planned to meet in the middle , Moncton, and have finally set a date. I so look forward to it. I've seen both women in the meantime but they haven't seen each other since ' 74 or '75. One is coming from Alberta.
Yesterday's post was entitled Summer Time and could be again today since it too is related to summer and the epitome of time, the calendar. I think this time we should play a couple of versions of the classic with the same name. Unless I had much more 'time' I could not count how many versions I have of this song in my record collection. Here are a couple of versions: The live version of Summertime by Nina Simone is a treat and wonderful for any jazz lover (she mentions Porgy) and Summertime by Janis Joplin is probably one of the most well known pop versions. Though I love both, neither are my favorites but I'll save those for another time this summer.
My, it's been a long time. I've been working very hard and have not had a chance to get back to this sorryfully neglected blog. I predicted it. I can't keep up with it all. An Island Walk and Pictures and Pursuits are easy in that I only have to upload photographs. I do take photographs constantly so have lots to choose from to keep things fresh. Younger bloggers have an advantage as far as stamina goes and older bloggers who are retired have extra time to contribute. I am between two worlds and have a demanding job. I don't want to complain; it's just reality.
I got to the beach since I last was here. I went in the morning one day before work; just to say I'd been there and while I was there, snapped a few photos. I plan to get to the beach this week too if that's what it takes. I want to go to a favorite spot in a bikini (where no one sees me) rather than in business attire but I will get there when I can. I had several driving in the country errands today and have to go to town tomorrow or Wednesday. That's life for the seasonally employed in this beautiful province. 'You make hay while the sun shines' is the old adage.
My aunt and uncle who spend there lives feeding, housing, spaying and neutering and caring for their entire neighbourhood's cats are having a very sad time. They lost one of their family. They had a thirteen year old brother and sister pair of cats and lost the brother, Tommy, their beloved. I sent them special momentoes and sympathy cards etc. today. The music today is for them. They're jazz lovers so I recommend Toot's Thielemans with Over the Rainbow and to introduce them to something other than jazz is Chris Stills with When the Pain Dies Down. It's a rainy day here and this came to mind and fits their loss. Let's hope 'their dam becomes a river.'
Everything is sparkling and shiny in my house. I've had a real spring cleaning day. Every surface has been wiped, cleaned or scrubbed. My hands have that dried out feeling that only a liter of Mr. Clean can bring and I am quite pooped. Not pooped enough to stop mind you. I will have this break and continue the assault on the house in a bit. I am expecting the sis-in-law to drop by so may get another break. I was outside very little today so getting outdoors is my plan for tomorrow. Balance is always the aim.
I bought a gorgeous piece of antique furniture yesterday in my travels. The store called a while ago to say that a mistake had been made and that the item had been sold previously and the sign taken off. I'm very disappointed. I planned to out my whole collection of CD's in this wonderful cupboard. He said, I'll give you a credit and I told him that it would be cash only for a refund. He did agree to that.
Today's music is 'music to clean by'. Usually the faster and more fun, the better but it's not a rule. I used to have a favorite double album, cassette tape of James Brown that I played for cleaning. I still use it sometimes but today I chose a bunch of songs in just a few minutes and these stand out. Working in a Coalmine by Lee Dorsey easily fits the theme but is not fast. Funky music is rhythmic and this song, A Funk I Won't Forget by Lauren Ianuzzi says a lot, is fast, and thus works really well for the housecleaning genre.
I hope I am more rested tomorrow when I'm here than I am right now.
I've had the most unexpected and fantastic day! I was perturbed to discover I had to 'go into town' for an errand before ten. It was totally unexpected and I'd had my day planned for other things. I quickly decided I would make the best of it. It turned out to be a great adventure of meeting friends, shopping, lunching and shopping again with another friend, and beating the traffic both times. Having to be in town by ten is better than having to be in by nine. The day was beautiful. Every clerk, teller, or operator had a smile as did I. I had enough chuckles, photo opportunities, wonderful moments and experiences to call this a fantastic day.
Three days off this week seems like a dream come true when I think of having two more days off right now. I need this time to get a whole lot of things done. I've been gardening each previous day off and a lot of chores have built up. The weather is forecast to be beautiful - Yeah!
Bettye LaVette is providing the music tonight. She is so unbelievably, wonderfully, incredibly, superbly, awesome. No one expresses emotion like her. First, Talking Old Soldiers, a song I'm absolutely smitten with and that describes a good part of my day and Joy, a song I was unbelievably, wonderfully...... smitten with for more than a year a couple of years ago. What an incredible talent this woman is.
Three days off in a row is like a long weekend eh?
This is my last day at work this week then I have three glorious days off. I need the break because I need time outdoors. I hope the weather is nice. There is laundry to be hung on the clothesline and some minor gardening to be done. Four mornings in a row the deck pots looked like this then on Friday even the raccoons stayed under cover because to torrential downpours. The plants are battered and bruised and need some help.
I'm looking forward to wonderful dinners too. Since I work though the dinner hour, I have dinner at home only on my days off. I plan ribs, lasagna, and roast chicken. I'll make the lasagna on the same day as the ribs but eat it the next day. That gives me a day off from the kitchen with only a salad to make before the meal. My son appreciates my days off too. He's a good cook but works long hours and doesn't really feel like cooking when he gets home.
Since Putfile disappeared along with all the music files, some essential songs have to played again. This is ok because these good tunes deserve another listen. One of my favorites is Kate Rusby's cover of Iris Dement's, Our Town. I love this version so much! Dan Hicks is featured quite often here and any chance to do so makes me happy. Here he is with, I'm Saying Hello. Now I'm saying goodbye.
This is what this grouping of flowers looked like last evening. It is not what it looked like this morning. A raccoon attack changed all that. All the pots were strewn about with the plant out of them, trampled and torn. I've replanted everything using this photo as a guide but some of the plants are very bedraggled looking and some broken off entirely. They knocked over two pots from another grouping but did no damage to them. I love having wildlife around but, like the foxes, would like them to stay off my deck.
I have planted all of my garden except for squash and cucumbers. I will do that in a little while and then my gardening is over except for maintenance. Maintenance is time consuming but enjoyable. The digging and removal of couch grass was not so enjoyable but it's over for now.
A couple more bouquets have entered the house this morning. The perennial bachelor buttons (larger than the real ones and comes only in purple) looks great with the golden mound bush in a clear vase and I have bouquets of sweet lily of the valley in both bathrooms. One is especially pretty mixed with the end of the forget-me-nots. Bouquet has two meanings when it comes to lily of the valley. Oh what a great scent!
I've been waiting for a friend who said she was going to be here between three and four. It's now five-thirty and she's not been here yet. I need a break though so I've come inside and can do a post.
I'm sure by now that I'm sounding like a broken record when I say I've been doing intensive gardening. It is supposed to rain tomorrow so this is the perfect day to get seeds into the ground. I've got my beds almost finished and will plant seeds after dinner. I got thirteen packets of seeds and want to plant tomatoes too so everything will be planted closely and perhaps there will be no room for weeds.
I've had some wonderful bouquets in the last couple of weeks. My tulips and black irises are finished for the season. Lupins are in bloom already. The first ones are always a bit small but it's nice to see them. The lilacs are heavenly and apple blossoms are still perfect on the later trees. I washed a ton of vases this morning and will fill more in a bit. It's busy, busy, busy on my days off.
A couple of songs by great musicians today. There is no one quite like Leon Russell though he didn't get as much fame as he deserved. He has gotten a lot of recognition from other musicians as his songs have been recorded by many, especially his Singin' This Song For You. I saw him in concert twice; once in Toronto in rain in a muddy field and one at UMass. He's fabulous! My daughter told me today that she is moving back east so this song, Back to the Island, is for her. I love his raspy voice and simple piano. Harry Manx is another favorite of mine and it's time to post his Only Then will Your House Be Blessed.
My friend has arrived in the middle of this and brought me a whole bag of lobster. I have to go now. Yum, yum!!!!
I think I should have vegged out. I just wrote a whole post for this blog. It took over two hours as I had several interruptions. Problem is, I was signed into An Island Walk. Please go there for today's post. No, this is not April first.
It's an early post today or none at all. I need a break from couch root removal and I am going to work in a bit to fill in for someone, so this is the only time I have. I am back working full time now so posts will be less often anyway. I just can't keep up with everything.
We are having wonderful weather so I've happily been outside in the gardens. The birds singing, the ducks quacking, and the frogs trilling are wonderful music to work by. The cats help as best they can coming by to get little rubs against my legs and dirty gloved hands. Yesterday a friend and I saw a very lively courting ritual; between three herons in the pond. I think it was probably two males competing for a female. They were fascinating to watch. I did not get photos for I knew that if I opened the kitchen door they would have flown off.
Some music is as wonderful as bird song. Here are a couple of songs that fit for me; Aretha Franklin with Nessun Dorma . When she filled in for Pavarotti at last minute on The Grammys with this song it blew people away. One that blows me is Lila Downs with the best ever version of Besame Mucho. There's nothing else even close.
I have been in the garden all day today and am exhausted. I seem to have said that here last week and maybe the week before. I am about a quarter of the way through removing the couch grass from the vegetable garden. It's a long and painful process. I have to keep telling myself that it will be worth it for completely organic vegetables. I can get fresh veggies all summer but they are not organic and that makes a difference to me.
Yesterday was extremely windy so I did not garden. I went adventuring with a friend and had a marvelous day. He found a VHS copy of an old movie I had been looking for for years so we made an evening out of our adventure too and watched it. The movie was The Egg and I which is the precursor to the Ma and Pa Kettle movies from my youth. I had the book, lost it, this friend found one for me and now the movie. I was thrilled to see it again.
My day is not nearly done in the garden. Everything takes longer than I plan it seems. I don't know if I'm slower, more careful or what. It took me longer than usual to select the plants this morning and the afternoon to plant them. The photo is a sampling of the terra cotta pots I planted today. They have a bit of transplant shock but will be fine in a couple of days. I spent $82. and did not buy tomato plants as planned. I still have so much work to do before planting them so I'll let someone else worry about watering the seedlings. I'll buy them when it's time.
I keep saying this but driving in the countryside at this time of the year is so beautiful and gives one such an uplifting feeling. Spring! By far my favorite season. It just makes everyone and everything wake up and I sure do take notice, being the visually stimulated person I am.
I had music to accompany my planting of course and was groovin' to Gotta Serve Somebody by Mavis Staples. It made my mind wander to the late seventies when the song was first released by Bob Dylan on Long Train Comin' and I was playing it non-stop. To me it's one of his best albums but for lots of people it signified that Dylan had 'gone religious' and thus did not like this period. I love this song and the whole album.
Just a thought. I wonder why planting and gardening is called having a green thumb. As far as I can tell it adds up to brown fingers and thumbs. Could I be doing something wrong?
Back to work tomorrow so I won't be here till Monday unless it turns out I don't have to work on Saturday then - no excuse.
I am bushed, played out and completely tuckered. I've been outside all day gardening intensively and that is the plan for tomorrow as well. I've had my old vegetable garden tilled and am trying to remove couch (or cooch) grass that had completely taken over the spot. If you know this grass you know how hard it is. I got all my terra cotta pots ready for plants as well. I blended soil, peat moss and compost in a wheel barrow and filled the twenty-six pots with the mixture. I am going to a garden center tomorrow for plants and will need a wheel barrow full of money. It takes a lot of plants to fill that many pots and they're expensive! I'll buy the tomato plants for the garden at the same time.
I had an organic vegetable garden for my whole adult life and fed my children with it throughout their lives but gave it up for the last five years for a good reason. That reason is now no longer a factor so I am very happy anticipating fresh vegetables at my back door again. This work is worth it. I'm hoping I can convince my son of this too as I'd like him to give me a hand this evening. When I mention tomato sauces made with fresh tomatoes, he may succumb more easily.
The music today is varied. Winter's Come and Gone is by Gillian Welsh and is of the country/bluegrass style. It's a wonderful song for spring and what I'm experiencing in my yard with the blackbirds and blue birds all around. I still have three resident mallard drakes in the pond but I think I saw a duck this morning. I was upstairs and needed my binoculars to be sure. Scotland's Amy MacDonald brings the music variety I mentioned with the very poppy This Is the Life. It's how I feel being able to have all the gardens I'd ever want or need. Some don't have this luxury.