Saturday, January 31, 2009

Road Trip Review

I'd say it's about time for an update. My aunt arrived safe and sound though an hour and a half late. She and I have our birthdays a day apart and are so much alike it is scary. With our 'let's get to it' attitude, we immediately got to it and finished up the designs I was having trouble with. I presented them to my client, got her design and colour choices and started to pack for our road trip.

We left Monday morning. It was Aunt J's first trip on the Confederation Bridge. She was very impressed as she thought it was a couple of kilometers instead of fourteen. We arrived just in time for supper at my dad's. My sister was there too and we exchanged gifts. We are easy to buy for each other. I collect vases; she collects cobalt blue things. She gave me a very unique vase and I gave her an over two foot tall, cobalt blue vase.

We visited all kinds of friends and relatives and if I drank tea, I'd still be floating. I do eat cookies though and am five pounds heavier than when I left PEI. It was really good to catch up and get more genealogy information for my addicting hobby.

The highlight of my trip was snowshoeing with my brother. My father was upset with me because we were in the midst of an extreme cold spell but I reassured him that we were dressing for the conditions and would turn back if we got cold. We were out two hours and my brother wanted to do another trail but I'd made the mistake of drinking coffee before we went out and it badly wanted to exit my body. It was way too cold for a woman to pee in the woods so we went back. Due to lazing around drinking coffee and waiting for the temperature to rise a bit, it was also past the time when I said I'd be back at Dad's.

We left early yesterday as Aunt J wanted to visit an old roommate who lives in Moncton. We also had a couple of shopping stops and an art gallery stop in Charlottetown before heading home to the kitties. It was great to be away but nice to get home.

Night before last I got a real surprise. During dinner at Dad's I said something about Aunt J. leaving for home on Thursday.

She said, "No, I leave the next Thursday. You booked the ticket. You should know I return on the twelfth."

I said that I had booked it for two weeks and that she was leaving on Thursday. She produced the ticket and sure enough, she's here till the twelfth. I made a boo boo! I had told her when we discussed this trip that I'd feed her for two weeks and take her on a road trip. She is now insisting I feed her for an extra week.

The first song that comes to mind is You Ain't Goin' Nowhere by The Byrds. It's already up on the pages so I've found a couple more. You Stay Here by Richard Shindell and I Wanna Go Home by The Dells will fit quite nicely.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

So Sorry, Uncle Albert

Goodness, time in a day can pass so quickly. It's almost six and I have to get supper yet so please - excuse me for the lack of a half decent post. Surprise songs are all I can do again today. I have one more sleep till my aunt gets here and I may take a vacation or perhaps blog at different times. We'll see.

Surprise 1
Surprise 2
Surprise 3
Surprise 4

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January Jot

I'm feeling a bit lazy today. Normally the TV isn't turned on till Oprah but I watched the US Presidential Inauguration today, startin at 11 am. Laying back on the couch for a couple of hours is not fun for me unless I have to. Reminds me too much of last winter where it hurt to move for four months and to lay on the couch all day was all I could do. I did go for a walk this morning and it was lovely. Our weather is to be very nice all week with snow on Friday. I'll have groceries, my car's mechanical repairs done by then and my aunt safely ensconced so I will be happy it held off.

Still no call from the body shop about my replacement fender. I may have a nice new rental car to take my aunt to see my dad. I thought all the work would be done by now. It takes 24 hours to get mechanical parts. It's two weeks now for the fender.

I read in Kat's Blog today that it is Leadbelly's birthday. She has two of his well-known songs up and I'll add two more. Good Morning Blues has been done by so many but this early rendition is really fabulous. He does a bit of talking blues in the beginning and explains 'havin' the blues'. I use another version by Dutch Mason on CD's quite often. The next song has also been recorded by dozens and dozens of folks, this generation (my kids) being most familiar with Kurt Cobain's. It is known by two names, In The Pines or Where Did You Sleep Last Night. Both fabulous songs are still standing the tests of time.

Putfile is not letting me in again today. I aready have some of these songs stored there to no avail so will put them up again. If I can access the others at another time, I will add the links.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Change Is Apon Us?

What a difference a day makes. We've had a huge thaw, going from - 20's to +4 overnight. I've been busy inside all day and did not get out for photos but the ice that formed last week is completely gone.

My Sis-in-law just left. We solved the world's problems, discussed what we're having for dinner and that's pretty good for a Monday. I'm so excited about my aunt coming this week. Her room is made up, fresh and comfy, and I'm calling her tonight or tomorrow for the grocery list. What is her favorite juice, etc? I love them all so would be happy to get her favorite. Same with everything else on the grocery list from meat and seafood to vegetables and pastas. What are her favorites? I'm very easy to please and will eat anything but bananas. I will even eat them, on occasion.

I urge you back to a past post (with a recipe you must try, Ralph, in the spring) with some songs I'd recommend for this post. Since I can't have those, here's two more. Yes these are the songs, I'd choose.

On January 16th, just a few days ago, I had Bruce Springsteen's, Streets of Philadelphia, saying it was the best version of his song. The movie, Streets of Philadelphia, had two great songs on it's soundtrack. I heard at the time that the reason they had two hit songs with almost the same title, was that they could not turn one of them away. They were both incredible songs. Still are. Here's Neil Young with Philadelphia.

My other song choice is to draw attention to the big event happening in another American city for our American friends tomorrow. This Aretha album was my favorite album for about two years in the early seventies. Nothing could take it's place. The song of the same name is my tribute for Barack Obama and his promise of change in the American people. If the American people change so will we, their Canadian neighbours and the world. Here's Aretha with, Young, Gifted and Black. Good Luck, Obama. You'll need it.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Red Flower Day

If you are here you may have noticed a change or two. It was high time to get a new look. This is the same style template as An Island Walk is done in and as I like simplistic designs and dark colours, this is it. I'm not skilled enough to make my own and need the design from the free section, so.....

I'm not finished yet.

I am having trouble with the new font size in Blogger's dashboards. I find it hard to see what I'm doing as the letters are squished to make mispelled words (E's andO's become I's). It is possible it is a change of Foxfire 3 reading Blogger. I'm not sure but it's annoying. I've not been able to read the font in Blogger since the change a month or so ago and it's very frustrating.

Long Time Comin' by Bruce Springsteen was one of the files Putfile deleted a few years ago. It is coming back just for this post. Another song that fits perfectly is Inspired Insanity by the marvelous Phoebe Snow. I have a hundred things to do and I get up this morning, start fooling around with templates and I'm still here with still a hundred things to do and not finished.

If anyone has suggestions or comments about the new look, I'd be happy to hear them. I have limited skills in this area and need all the help I can get.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Winter's Embrace

For some reason the surprise songs I posted yesterday did not work. I do it the same way every day. After I found out that they weren't working I went back and did the same steps again, the ones I always do, and everything worked fine. When I entitled the post, Hiccup, I had no idea that it was going to turn into one.

I had another hiccup this week, a cooking failure. Not a failure where we couldn't eat the food or anything like that. Just something that wasn't up to par; didn't reach the grade of delicious. My baked beans got the failing grade. I've been baking beans for forty years and have always had them turn out. I think I was short on something, probably the molasses.

The cold spell continues into it's 3rd or 4th day. There is an end in sight with temps of -10 forecast for Sunday or Monday. It was never anything we couldn't handle; it was just cold.

There is no particular theme to the music today. Lots of people have covered Streets of Philadelphia but no one does it like it's creator, Bruce Springsteen. Here's I live version I picked up somewhere. The Gift of Grace by Denison Witmer is a nice quiet song that will fit today. Staying nice and quiet is what the cold weather tends to make us want to do.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Every now and then I need a day off. Today is one of those days. I'm busy and don't have time to stay. A few musical selections can be quickly arranged though, so here we go:


Ralph, you will like numbers two and four. Actually, I think everyone will love number four. It's the cherry on top of the whipped cream.

The above photo is 24 hours after the photo from yesterday's post. Yes, you get to watch ice freeze. Amazing what 24 hours will do. I stood on this new ice today. I would not have tried yesterday.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

One Way to Warm Up

Had a quiet day at home today. There is a cold wave in place so staying close to home is a good plan in my books. I went outside for a walk and down to the pond to watch ice freeze. I actually got there a bit late as it had already frozen over. When I looked at it in the morning and made the plan to go outdoors in a while to get a couple of photos, I didn't know it would happen so fast. All of the dark portion of the pond in the above photo was still water this morning. It was nice to be outside because I was dressed for the conditions.

I got a double workout today as I also did eighty minutes of dance in the morning (while the pond was freezing). It was a great way to warm up and has had me bopping all day, singing in my head. I made a CD a couple of months ago that I called Swirling and Twirling. It opens with the Alabama3 (A3) song, Woke Up This Morning, made so famous as the theme for the HBO series, The Soprano's. It's an awesome song to start a workout. Francis Dunnery and his live, American Life in the Summertime, is one of the songs on it that can really get you moving. Check out what I mean.

Ralph had an issue with a commercial showing up when he played one of yesterday's songs. It also happened last week to someone on Shutterchance. I played the same song as Ralph last night and all was fine. I played a few today and one ad came on in the middle of the song. zShare does say that the service is ad driven and it seems that an ad cuts in sometimes. There was an easy way to exit the ad by clicking an X on the top right hand side of the page. The song immediately restarted. Just thought I'd let you know.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Short but Some Sunsets are Like That

The big storm that was predicted did not materialize. We were on the warm side of the front and had only rain. Thank goodness! I had the dreaded mammogram rescheduled for today and did not want to have to get worked in again. Best to get it over with and stop the daily dreading one goes through for this procedure. There was no problem at all to get into town so the dreaded procedure is over and done with. We are now expecting bitterly cold temps for a few days.

My son and his friend are building an ice fishing shack. Sonny went to town for the load of plywood last night but has business dinners three nights in a row so may not get back to the construction for a few days. He's going to take me fishing some day this winter. He owes me as I supplied a propane cookstove for heat last winter and they probably want it again this year. Ice fishing is quite fun. I'll take some photos of my time and hope to get some fish to boot.

I bought dog food for the crows today. I hope this is helpful to them, not harmful in any way. I will get some mixed bird seed for them too. I feed only black oil sunflower seeds to the other birds and the crow's beaks are too big to have to crack those for the small meats. I think they swallow them whole, actually.

Here are a couple of songs in honour of the mammogram that every woman must have to ensure a healthy body. Mash it Funky is from DJ BC and Every Little Bit Hurts from Alicia Keys.

Wood is a bit of a theme today as well so here's a couple of songs to fit. Here's Friday Morning's Regret with The Wooden Sky and Wood River by Canadian, Connie Kaldor will fit quite nicely. I've always loved this song, Wood River.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

For Da Birds

I visited a friend in my community today and we've come to the conclusion that we're feeding the same family of crows. She noticed the one with ruffled feathers so that basically identifies my crow family. With both of us the number in the family is the same, five, and one sits guard and calls the other four. I feel a lot better because I know now the birds are getting fed more than I've been giving them. I've just not had enough leftovers for a steady diet, only a supplement. She feeds them dog food and I thought that was a pretty good idea. I think the crows would love that. Another friend recommended chicken scratch.

I enjoy the crows so much and the cats do too. Kenz only 'cat chatters' for the crows, never the songbirds. The crows chatter with me and maybe some day I will understand their language too.

We're expecting a storm overnight and tomorrow morning. of course, I have a mammogram scheduled for tomorrow. They tell me the next appt. is in November. This is the one I rescheduled because of the trip to FL. It is amazing the lineups we have for these medical tests. I'll insist on getting in a bit earlier as this was first scheduled earlier.

Today's music is bird music, for the birds and for you. We can pretend can't we, that these are Black Doves, just so we can hear this nice folksy/rootsy song by Lewis and Clarke. Nina Nastasia tells the crow's story in the first line of Bird of Cuzco.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Three Years Smoke Free Today!!!

The pond has not frozen over well enough to skate on this year. Yet. There is time left this winter so I hope it does. My pond was a very active community site 30 or so years ago when all the boys of the community kept it clean and it was the village's official hockey rink. Then a rink was built in the community and hockey and skating moved to the new facility. I bought the property 25 years ago and my sister-in-law and I kept it clear for several years, when our kids were young. Since then the current changed and the climate has changed and it doesn't always freeze well enough for skating.

There is nothing like skating on an outdoor pond. Nature is all around. You can see the bird nests in the trees from the previous year, fresh tracks of pond visitors and a sense of being out there in the wild. OK, a car drives by now and then.

It is three years ago today that I quit smoking. I think of smoking now as an unfortunate period in my life that lasted forty years. I beat it finally, after many monstrous attempts, and know I will never smoke again. I beat the addiction. I may sound smug to some but feel very certain and proud of this accomplishment.

I Feel Lucky by Mary Chapin Carpenter says it all. She even talks about lighting up a smoke. Jolie Holland's Old Fashioned Morphine and John Prine's Sam Stone fit the bill too in talking about addiction today.

For anyone struggling with addiction I can say only - persevere! I could give pointers that all that I learned but feel it is an individual battle where you have to learn enough to finally conquer an addiction to anything. It's all in the mind set, attitude and way of being.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

C'mon a My House

I got a crazy idea yesterday, called my Aunt J and said, "Why don't you come for a two week visit?" She said, "OK, book me a ticket." It was that easy. I am so excited!. My aunt and I have our birthdays one day apart and are quite alike. We always have a good time together and like to do the same things. We talk regularly on the phone. I talked here over a year ago about the last time we were together. We stayed at my dad's and walked the woods and forests and roads for days with our cameras. She's an avid walker like me. I do hope we have some fine walking weather while she's here.

I told Aunt J that I needed help with a drawing and would give her meals and a car trip if she could help. She is an award winning artist and created the above drawing so she has no problem helping me do the bit of tweaking I need. She does a drawing of her grandchildren every year for her Christmas card and this photo is of last year's. I was planning to go see my Dad anyway, so we can now go together. We have two weeks to play the weather systems to assure good driving conditions.

I called my other aunt (J and Dad's sister) and uncle this morning to tease them a bit. I knew that the two sisters would have talked already as they talk on the phone a couple of times each day. I've been trying to talk this other aunt and uncle into coming for a visit for fifteen years. I told them, "It's a lot easier to talk Aunt J into something than it is for you two." I didn't have to twist arms, break legs, anything. I just asked nicely."

I'm glad for the whole spontaneous nature of this happening. Aunt J and I are Capricorns, our birthday's one day apart. Caps are not known for spontaneity in like situations. We like to plan and organize. We're very spontaneous at home and in other aspects but to agree to leave home like that, during a one minute phone call, is a little unusual.

Here is another version of one of my favorite songs; Rosemary Clooney this time. We've had previous versions of C'mon a My House from Chemie Eri and Dan Hicks. I so love the version by Dan Hicks. I play it a lot.

I made my daughter a Renee Olstead fan with her song Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby, another favorite. This one, Meet Me, Midnight, is for her and to celebrate Aunt J's spontaneity. Lots of good music for a Sunday. I know I have strange favorite songs but I can't explain it.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ice Candles 101

I had a comment after yesterday's post asking how ice candles were made. I thought I'd give a little tutorial with photos. The process is very easy. Finding the proper materials is the difficult part.

There are two materials required. One is a container that is used to hold water to create a large ice cube. The second is a container that is used to displace water in the center of this cube. Both must be able to freeze and item number two must be able to be easily removed from the ice-filled mold. I started one today and here is what I used. I have a large plastic salad bowl and a container that is used to hold a corn set. It is plastic as well, and floats in the water so I have it filled with rocks to weigh it down.

I'm sure you could come up with some unique containers. The center one is more difficult to find. If the mold is shallow a wine or beer bottle filled with sand or partially filled with water (to allow expansion room to prevent the bottle from breaking) might be used. Soft plastic is better as it is flexible. My molds are all too deep so the bottles don't work.

I have only one layer of water in the photo below. When this freezes I can add a layer of coloured water, let it freeze, add another colour or clear and go on that way making stripes. Or, I could add a material here. Glass shards which I have tons of, marbles or glass nuggets, plastic flowers. Again use your cre8ivity to come up with something that fits your theme. Clear is perfectly fine too. When the center container is sitting in the bowl of water some water will seep underneath and a thin film of ice can form. It is easily tapped out or melted out with a torch.

The hard part is waiting for the freeze. If you know you are going to have super cold temps you can crank them out. If you have a large freezer you can store them during a thaw. Depending on the size of the center hole, a tealight or larger pillar candle can be lit. Of course rain and snow put them out but you may have a sheltered spot you can display it in every night. You can make as many as you can get to freeze and line your walkway with them.

They do melt and this is what I've done with a partially melted one: I made a bird feeder out of it. Until it melts the birds can have little skating parties and invite their friends.

For today's music I went to my Melanie file. I know I just played her on Wednesday but I thought I had her song Candle in the Rain. I do not but wish I did. It would be perfect. I've been singing it in my head since I started the post. The only thing off hand I can think of is Buena Vista Social Club with Candela. I probably have other candle songs but am not coming up with anything quickly. So....... Tonight is supposed to be the biggest full moon of the year so we will have a song for that, Clair de Lune by Django Reinhardt. This is an instrumental - not the song you are probably familiar with. Happy candle making - unless you live in California or Sapin or Florida or Mexico or anyplace that is not freezing.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Round and Round and Everywhere

This first week of January week has gone so, so fast! It's hard to believe it's Friday already. I think it has to so with how busy I've been. I've hardly been in the house this week. I had planned to finish up some painting to start some glass work but didn't get much done and nothing finished. Moments ago I got the go-ahead take my car in for the bodywork it requires as the result of last week's accident. The body shop has ordered the parts. Yeah! I'll have a rent a car for three or four days which will be a treat after my old jalopy.

I've been making ice candles but the success of the endeavour is entirely dependent on weather. They won't stay lit if it is snowing or raining and they melt if the temperature gets warm or it rains. I've been having fun with them though. I've promised to make some for some various friends.

I went for a longish but very brisk walk today. I didn't have time for lingering but wanted to get out there. I would say I was speed-walking without the exaggerated arm movements. I know it certainly did the job as far as raising the heart rate to provide a good fitness workout.

I have a nice Celtic/folk style song, Winter Song by Scottish singer, Emily Smith, with it's nice soft sound for one of the songs today. This week has been a beautiful winter week. Since the huge blizzard on the 1st day of the month I've been lots of places and seen incredible snow drifts and sculptural effects that have been really beautiful. My Shutterchance blog had a few nice ones featured.

You can listen to something with more energy too. It's an old timer's song. I grew up with this and other Hank Snow songs. If it was old country, I grew up with it. The aunt I just visited told me once of meeting Hank Snow a long time ago. Her parents were musicians living in Nova Scotia, as Hank was. It was when I had a Phoebe Snow song here that she told me this story. She wondered if they were related. Anyway, here is Hank Snow with I've Been Everywhere. That is the kind of week I've had.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Hot and Spicy

I had a lovely day in town with my sister-in-law, a fabulous hot and spicy lunch and I picked up some good deals as well. I needed a memory card for my camera and got a 2 GB SD card for $9.96. I bought two. I purchased my 512 MB card for $25.00 on sale a couple of years ago. Amazing, eh? I also wanted a camera bag. All the bags I was seeing were too expensive for what I was getting so I decided not to get one. Later I was in the dollar store and picked up a nifty little bag for $1.oo. It will work perfectly well for the time being.

We had rain overnight and it was 6 degrees today. Perfect snowman snow. If I'd been home I might have made one. A friend and I made a woman a couple of years ago that lasted most of the winter. She was pretty special.

Every once in a while I have a song that really moves me, becomes a favorite and I play it a whole lot. About three of four years ago it was Lucinda Williams' song Joy but the fabulous version by Bettye Lavette. Well, another Bettye LaVette song has got me by the heart again and I'm happy to share. Maybe it won't do anything for you but I find her delivery so compelling. I think she is just the greatest and wish she were more well known. She's been performing since the 60's but didn't become a household name like Aretha, Diana Ross, and a host of other 60's soul/r&b women. She's still very active and I would really love to see her sometime. The song that I am now enthralled with is Talking Old Soldiers.

Another woman I'd most like to see live is Lila Downs. Though she's half American, she dresses in traditional Oaxacan folk costume. She always has a fabulous band too as I've seen a lot of her on YouTube. I think it's only a few days ago I had Lila here but what the heck, it's a new year. What I've chosen, Pa Todo El Ano, is a live recording and easily shows why I want to hear her.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

More Colour For Kat ....and Me

I've been trying since I started today to get a photo up. Blogger's having a little indigestion and will be back to health soon, I'm sure.

I've tried to jam too many things into this day. I did errands and had a bunch of things happening at home too. My errand run to the nearest town had seven stops. Each one was necessary and took driving and waiting time. Yesterday I had only three but had a visit to a friend and felt less rushed. Today, I felt rushed.

Tomorrow, I have a friend taking me to lunch in Charlottetown and have an hour and a half while she keeps an appointment to finish up my 'to do' list. I've only been in town once since I've been home from Florida and that day started with the car getting smashed in the parking lot of my first errand.

In a rush is not a good way to pick music when you sucked once already this week and picked randomly. I wouldn't dare do it again so give me a minute.

I was reading and researching someone I listened to extensively since the 60's or early 70's. Until I did the research, I for some unremembered reason, for the last 38 years, have thought she was Canadian. Today I read she was from NYC; Astoria, Queens more specifically.

I saw her in Toronto in August '71 and I was wearing a fur coat. I was very, very ill with rheumatic fever and was freezing in fever for a couple weeks before I went to a doctor. I remember people staring at me thinking I was tripping on acid because people were freaky in those days. I was just sick, freezing and needed the coat. I wasn't going to miss Melanie. I saw a lot of great concerts in Toronto and Boston in those days, living in both places. Anyway, Melanie (different link) is a wonderful singer, songwriter and performer. Check her out. Here are two to start you on your way. Ruby Tuesday and and I'm Not In Love Anymore. I had all of Melanie's albums until I left them all at a friend's in Port Perry, Ontario. One of many times I gave my albums away.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Windy Weather

Sorry to blind you with colour but it is what I need after two days of being out driving in a white landscape. I need to see colour. I planned on painting today but had only a half hour of good light after I got home

I've been out since this morning running errands and visiting friends and let me tell you it is beautiful/nasty out there. It is beautiful like yesterday with bright blue skies and wonderful sun but the wind is really strong and the roads are drifting in like crazy. It is plain old not fun to be driving out there today.

I had the fender bent out today , a temporary measure before a new one replaces it. When I had a passenger yesterday there was some scraping and of course, I couldn't open the door. It's workable for the moment.

I think Blogger is forgetting bloggers over forty with their new font in their dashboard for making posts and the new comment pop-up page. I can't read the font in the comment pane and it's more difficult with the dashboard. The dashboard change has been in effect for a week or two but the comment change is new today or yesterday. Maybe someone will write a letter.

I cheated yesterday with the music but ran out of time. I'm busy today too but am going quickly. If there are spelling and grammar mistakes forgive me. There will be music. It is not going to match the post but it's a song that has meaning to me. My boyfriend at the time and my room mate practiced singing this song together in '72 or '73 as a birthday present for me. They had the proper dance steps of the times all worked out and did a fabulous job. It is the first song I ever downloaded on the internet. Me and Mrs. Jones by Billy Paul; do you remember it? Since I'm in the soul mood I have something a bit newer as well. It's an old song from the 80's actually, made famous by Bette Midler, but this version by Freddie Jackson is soulful, reminding me of those Billy Paul days. Here's Wind Beneath My Wings. I loved soul music so much I thought I'd never listen to anything else ever again.

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Real New Year

My, my, it's hard to get here in time. This is the time I prefer to blog but it's also time for friends to drop in and/or phone. Late afternoon and time slips away. I had extensive dinner prep (everything is now simmering) and I'm just getting here: 5:42. Late again.

I just got back from a phone call from my Dad. It's 5:58. I had to break the news that the trip to see him has been postponed until my car is fixed. I hadn't told him about my 'run-in'.

I received my new camera today but have had only time to glance through the book and take a couple of test shots. No memory card came with it so in only moments I ran out of room on the spare 16 MB card that I had, only 5 photos. The test photo above was taken through a dirty window - not bad , eh?

I took an elderly friend for a drive today but only after I invited him and he walked a great distance on a cane to get out to my car, did I remember that my passenger door would not open. All hilarity ensued when we got him into the car through the driver's door and then back out the same way. He is 93 and pretty stiff. We laughed until we had tears with the two of us working so hard to bend him enough to get in and out. It was all worth it as we had a great time on our drive and a few stories to tell after the event. I had told the staff I was kidnapping him for an hour. We joked that they didn't know how true it was as I had him held without a way to get free and could do whatever I wanted to him. He was my hostage.

Music: I haven't even thought about it and it is late. I have to get back to cooking dinner. I'm going to choose some random things, random- not having anythging to do with this post and already in the library. Random 1. Random 2. Surprise. Hand picked(random) music today, mind picked tomorrow.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Brand New

I'm tired out and if it wasn't almost five o'clock, I'd have a nap. I finished all the shoveling today and it was longer and harder than I anticipated. I thought I had done about half yesterday but underestimated. I also woke up with a sore neck from having slept in an awkward position. I think you know what I mean as we've probably all done it. Anyway, after all the shoveling, my neck is very sore.

It was exactly the same temperature today as yesterday (-9 celcius) but there was a world of difference in how it felt. Yesterday was still very windy and mostly cloudy. Today was calm and sunny. I had to come in a couple of times yesterday to warm my fingers. Today I had to take my hat off while I was shoveling. I would have liked to have had time to go walking somewhere pretty with my camera.

Speaking of cameras, I am expecting a new one in the mail on Monday. My two youngest children again gave me a camera for Christmas. I got to pick it out and we ordered it a few days later. It is a Canon SX10 IS and I am pretty excited about it. I have very wonderful and generous childern who realize it's best to keep Mommy busy and occupied.

In honour of the new camera I've got a couple of 'Brand New' songs. They're actually old songs that you'll recognize: the 1070's Brand New Key by Melanie Safka and Brand New Companion by Townes Van Zandt from his '07 album Be Here to Love Me.

It's taken what seems like hours to get here. I've been cooking, answered the phone several times and got into lengtly conversations. I started at just after four and it's now almost six-thirty. Now my son has just arrived home for dinner.

Friday, January 02, 2009

White World

We had quite a storm. My escape route is pictured above. My back door was solidly blocked. My son shoveled the door open in the early hours and I shoveled paths today. I just got off the phone with my driveway clearer. He's on his way. I am usually done early in his route but he was called away this morning before he got to my driveway and never got back. There were very neat drifts all about and it was pretty out there but cold. Ha, I can hear that my snow-blowing guy is here now.

I just took a little break and watched him do his job. I have a difficult driveway to do and he is a pro. It's an amazing job to watch. Amused me, anyway.

I have a pot roast in the oven and the smell is overwhelming. I can tell it is going to be delicious already. When something smells this good there is no doubt. I don't even have veggies in it yet.

I got a heads up from Ralph today about an NPR story about Lila Downs, a singer he says I introduced to him. I have a couple cuts already off her new album and was glad to hear the interview. This is from the new album, Shake Away - Los Polla ( chicken or the chicken, in English). There are quite a few English songs on this album, more than usual. Here's one from the new album, for example, Minimum Wage. I must say I prefer her latin music though I like Little Man from the new album a lot! I've led you to her website many times so here's her mySpace page. Hope she's enjoying better weather than I am.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Though there is much more snow than in the above example (from a late winter storm) our fierce blizzard today is forming some pretty neat snow sculptures. Ones that were there this morning have long been covered over and new ones, differently shaped, have appeared. There is no snow at all on the main part of my deck but my door is completely buried under a snowdrift. My son will have to shovel to come in. I can exit through another door in an emergency.

Luckily our power is still on. I got up early to turn on the heat thinking that if the power did go out at least the house would be warm. Plows have not been out on the Island yet. That's how extreme this blizzard that began overnight is today. I've plenty to eat and drink, electricity and a telephone. It's all I need today.

Those who've been reading here for a while know that one of my all-time favorite songs is Don't Fence Me In. Here's my favorite version, by Ella. In honour of the snow barring in my back door today, you get to hear another version or two or three. Here's Roy Rogers and The Sons of the Pioneers and one by Louis Armstrong and Velma Middleton, my second favorite. It has that humourous, fun-singing that certain jazz singers did in those days which I love so much. When you need a more country mood Willie Nelson and Leon Russell can't be beat. Love that song!

Happy New Year again. I guess I said it a little prematurely yesterday.