Saturday, February 28, 2009

It's Rainin' Today

I've been on flood watch since early morning. I can get serious flooding in winter if the conditions are right. Luckily the conditions were not right so I got only a bit of seepage around one part of the foundation. My gutters came off last winter after getting the steel roof - a common event that I didn't know about. I couldn't afford the repair that is needed so am doing without. I have to lengthen the fascia boards and install new gutters. I hope to do it this summer. This seepage is a manageable bit of water. The other flooding can be serious.

It really poured today so the snow cover has shrunk considerably. It won't be as pretty this week as it's been. I've enjoyed the beauty of this winter very much though I did not get out into it's magnificence as much as I would have liked. What does John Lennon say? 'Life happens as your making other plans' or something like that.

I have got one huge collection of rain songs. It is a very popular subject in music. Here are two more, Toots Hibbert with Love the Rain and an old one, Uriah Heep with Rain. There's music for all ages and tastes here.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Skifflin' On

It's Friday - my favorite day of the week. When I was growing up, Friday was the day I went out with my friends. Saturday my friends and I were babysitting our sisters and brothers as Saturday night was our parents night out. For years in this house I had a Friday Happy Hour with lots of friends dropping in around five or six to unwind and let the week end in a really pleasurable way. We always had great music and lots to talk about and an awesome party would result. Another friend had a late night party called The Rum Shack that followed mine so there on a beach on the north of the island, the party continued. I was never there, of course. I was always here, with no plans to leave.

I feel like those days a bit today. I feel good because my studio is completely converted to a glass studio from a painting studio and all the twists and turns between them have been cleaned. My sister in law just left and she worked really hard this week too so we had a lot to celebrate. Whew! Feels like Friday. Feels good.

It's winter here but very warm and melting; the photos are from the summer to give you the feeling of Friday afternoon in my life.

I have a very favorite Friday afternoon album and you'd have to read back for the story but that album is The Skiffle Sessions. Here are a couple of songs. I Wanna Go Home and It Takes a Worried Man. Please search the album on this site too. An all-time favorite album but especially one for Friday night; it just fits. I grew up listening to skiffle music at my house. When Your Chewing Gum Loses it's Flavor was one our standards and it comes from Lonnie Donegan, who stars in this album. This is perfect music for Fridays! He was so wonderful.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

February's Winding Down

It's plus 5 degrees Celcius (41F) now at 4:15. Earlier today when I was walking it was probably plus 1 or 2 and it was melting. I give you photographic proof. A chickadee also gave a spring call today, so spring is giving us a little nudge. The days are noticeably getting lighter and longer and the sun is warmer. I would have loved to take a chair outside onto the deck for a bit of sun but I've been depending on young son to keep it shoveled so it's not done except for a path. The next few days are to be warm so I am going to enjoy it. February is turning to March in just a few days too so this is more proof that spring is on it's way.

I bought a huge bouquet of flowers on Feb. 16th that were half price after Valentine's Day. I made three lovely big bouquets out of the one large one and have had to cull only one flower, two stems of greenery and a couple of leaves since then. The rest are still in top form and absolutely lovely. The local tulips are in all the stores too and they bring such cheer. Spring, spring, spring.... I'm feeling it everywhere.

Jana Mashonee is the vocalist on this extraordinary cover of Sam Cooke's A Change Is Gonna Come. That is the song to glorify the spring weather. The song to wish my sister a happy birthday is Cath by Ben Gibbard. Happy Birthday, Cath!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I took yesterday off so can't skip out today. I'm involved with my hardest challenge - drawing - and get totally absorbed . I had the beginnings of a design when my aunt was here but it has blossomed into a whole lot more and is not yet in it's final stages. I am also varnishing solely, after finally finishing with painting yesterday. It's been a siege!

Sis in law just left and we discussed the problems of the world but came up with little. Some days we seem to have all the answers. Today, only questions. She gave me advice on the drawing and I was really pleased. Are there any other people who can draw well out there?? Aunt J is gone. I'm on my own here.

Music is always here, playing along, encouraging the artist within. My aunt says I have to slow down, have a model or somewhere to start. I start in my head. I want what is in my head to come out - easy and immediately. For that there is a song or two. This is my prayer for today: Easy by Lex Land and Make it Easy by Dr. Hook. These songs make it seem possible. I know I'll have this drawing done in another day or two but I certainly stress along the way.

I took a walk in the beautiful sunshine today to de-stress. I'm sure it was helpful but a maid and cook would be great too. While I'm praying for life to0 become easy I could add....

Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy ness

Getting here late again today so short stuff. I had the funniest thing happen today. My snow removal guy who has been coming here for years stopped his machine and didn't move for about five minutes. I could not figure out what was wrong. I thought at first that he was stuck, but knew he wasn't. I thought maybe he'd suddenly taken ill, was suffering from a heart attack. He was looking around. I realized he may be just looking around at the many views the pond brings in the snow. I didn't want to interrupt him if this was the only chance the poor man was going to catch a break. All at once, he put the object that was against his ear down - to his seat or dash. He'd been talking on the phone. I'd worried about nothing. Glad he had a nice view while on the phone.

I've been in the very best of moods today. I'm happy. Is there any music for that? I think so, I think so. But the musical selections won't be about that. More than anyone, I dedicate songs to my daughter. I have a songs for her today. Listen to these , Darling. Here is Martha Scanlan with The West Was Burning and Marc Cohen has I Hope I Don't Fall In Love With You. Both songs are utterly fantastic and remind me of you, strange as that may seem. I'm always Mamma first. I have made the most beautiful playlist tonight. It is saved and I can't wait to burn one. I've had such a happy day today!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


A bit of an early post today. I'm leaving soon to have a Scrabble game at a friend's house, dinner, then possibly another game of Scrabble. I haven't had a game in a while though it was once a very regular activity. I've not been keeping my chops up in any other way either so don't expect to do well.

I was at another friend's house for a lovely dinner last night and visited a friend who needed some support yesterday afternoon. Winter can be very hard on those who live on very, very moderate means. I'm just glad to be able to help.

All winter I've been remembering the predicament I was in last year at this time. I needed help in so many ways and friends came through for me. My sister journeyed to take care of me for two weeks, my sister in law became my chauffeur from late December till mid-April, my son shoveled snow, a friend loaned me button up shirts, other friends calmed my mind and listened to me whine about the unfairness of it all and others brought food. I appreciated these kindnesses very much and will never forget them. I've always given a helping hand to my friends and hope to watch it turn round and round amongst us all, giving and receiving help in turn.

Here are some songs that came to mind during this post:

Friday, February 20, 2009


I was saying to my sister-in-law this afternoon that some quantitative terms like 'busy' don't mean the same thing to us anymore. I suggested to her that when I tell her I've been busy it doesn't mean the same thing as it did to us fifteen, twenty years ago. Then, I had three kids (one a teenager), a husband, a labour-intensive home business, a huge garden and property to take care of, a much larger social life and could not stop, let alone pause, for a minute. I was 'busy' then but today I can say I've had a 'busy day' and things are so very different on my plate. Just something I was playing with in my mind today.

I was busy, as I said. My son opened some containers of paint I needed to finish painting what I needed to varnish. I could not open them myself and over the weeks had asked a few people to try the task. After weeks when all attempts failed, the cover became just loose enough for J to try last night and WIN. So I painted and varnished. I should be done by Wednesday or Thursday. I didn't realize I had painted so much this winter.

The glass window design is working away in my head and I believe that Thursday or Friday morning, it will translate perfectly onto paper, then into glass. My aunt helped me with an aspect of the design but has never seen past the sketches. It is yet a surprise even to me except in my head. Though it may not seem evident my brain is still busy even if I'm less busy in body.

Gosh, I just got off the phone again. These last few days have been unusual in that people who don't normally call every week have been calling and my regular telephoners have been much 'busier' too, resulting in making me 'busier'. Yesterday it was my old room mate from '72 -'74, when we married one week to the day apart. She called as I was unlocking my door after returning with the groceries. I carried groceries and beer with one hand while we talked and we talked two hours...just until my sister in law arrived. Today I talked to my New York actress/astrologist friend who has only called me one other time in the six or seven years we've known each other. I ate my lunch as we talked way over an hour. Strange.

Anyway, thank you for still being here. I started this post at around 2:30 and it is 6:13 and I haven't turned to the music yet. I could be here another hour! Here are a couple to remind me of this time of unexpected phone calls and being 'busy'. This song, after the opening turns into the most wonderfully sung ballad. It's absolutely beautiful and it's Emilie-Claire Barlow with The Very Thought Of You. Stupendous! She also does Dream a Little Dream of French. Here's Les Yeux Ouverts. It does not translate in the tital but it's the song we're familiar with. This is a Friday treat for you; thank me tomorrow.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mid-Winter Report

The storm is upon us. Everyone else in the Maritimes has been experiencing a storm today except for us but it has now started here. My sister in law and I were sitting at my kitchen table an hour ago when the first snowflake fell and within a half hour we were in the midst of a blizzard.

I'm fully prepared. I finally woke up with my normal amount of energy and went grocery shopping so there's lots of food. I should be doing some chores as we speak here, dividing bulk items for freezing, getting started on supper etc. but I am here with you. I'm having Mexican tonight and once I get everything prepped, everything's easy. I had a visit, as I said, and two long distance phone calls while putting the groceries away so the kitchen jobs are a little behind.

It was very pretty on my drive to get groceries. There was frost on some trees and I stopped for a few shots. It's been pretty here on the Island, with the winter beauty shining through, and tomorrow I'm sure there will be more snow and more 'pretty.'

Great White Nothing
by Kim Barlow is a song I really like and have posted before. It's the first song I thought of for this post. Another way to go would be to choose the music for Mexican food. The Spanish Harlem Orchestra, is a band with the Mexican food covered and tonight's storm too. Late in the Evening which you know from Paul Simon and Salsa Pa'l Bailador will fit the bill quite nicely.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ducks and Music

I'm feeling ducky! My ear feels much better and I got outside a bit. Yesterday was really warm and would have been a perfect day for an outing but I'd planned to paint with my sis in law. We happily finished our second paintings. Today turned out to be colder and windier so I was less pleased to be going outside with a sore ear but did venture out and got a few shots. I should have gone to town but really didn't feel up to that much activity. I have business to take care of but it can wait.

I raised ducks for years and when I went outside my back door, the ducks in the pond stayed. If I called them they came up to get fed and go to bed. Now I have wild ducks and they take off as soon as I go outside. I can't get many decent shots. It is easier when, at least, they walk onto the ice for an easier take-off. I have a quite a few of these. My daughter would like to raise ducks sometime too as she remembers it so fondly from when she was a kid.

I love the music that's out there. I know I've said that before but again have to say how much I appreciate all the music I listen to every day. The internet, and especially Youtube, is such a great way to listen to whatever music you want. Whatever your fantasy playlist you can probably find it. I listen to new music every day most of the day when I'm online.

When I'm posting I usually pick songs out of the files of music I already have and play them while I'm writing and flip through them and play and replay. I have all these favorites, too many, and collect versions of those songs and I have favorite performers. I'm a huge Van Morrison fan but have been asked not to play his music here so don't but he's still in my top three list. I love to listen to the great writers and the great performers. If my computer breaks, I have hundreds of cd's, cassette tapes and albums and the machinery to run it all on. A passion to say the least.

Here's I Still Miss Someone with Nanci Griffith and Rodney Crowell dedicated to my daughter and Ruthie Foster with Joy On the Other Side with wishes for my ear troubles to be over tomorrow. To the Music!!!!!!

My computer is really, really slow today.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Soul Vaccination

I should be like the kitties lying back in bed. You don't hear this coming from me very often but I'm sick. Nothing too bad but an ear infection. It has been coming on for the last couple of weeks and yesterday hit me hard. I'm feeling better today and decided not to call the doctor. The hardest part for me is that I have no energy. That is the worst part of being sick for me. I'm a highly energized person and to have no energy is a fate worse than death.

I've chosen a couple of old songs to make myself feel better today. A funky sound even if you feel too ill to dance will still speed up and funk up the soul. Who does that funky sound any better than Tower of Power? No one! Here they are with Get Yo Feet Back On the Ground and Soul Vaccination. I guess this will date me but I sure did a lot of dancing to these tunes back in the early seventies.

Tower of Power
is such a great band! I may celebrate them today by playing four songs instead of two. Not all of their songs are funky or dance tunes. They had incredible soul ballads, which is a music style I love so much. I had this one, You're Still a Young Man here a long time ago and will resurrect it today. Will I Ever Find Love is another of that vein.

I've linked both the Wikipedia article and the band's website. The website has music. Just realized these lazy kitties might not be the right photo to illustrate a band like Tower of Power.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Which One?

I didn't have any guessers on painting number one so doubt I will get any for number two. The sunflowers are far from finished and I don't even know when I'll find time to get to it. If my sister in law comes over to work on hers, I will make time. I have found my kitchen table and one table in the studio so I've made headway after working two straight day. The big desk in the study is piled even higher than it was because it has taken items from the other areas but I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

This is very strange but my curser has disappeared. Has this ever happened to anyone? I can still type but there is no cursor in sight. Weird! It's very disconcerting actually. I think I 'll make this a short post and get back to my reorganizing.

The first song I think of for today is Love Song For No One by John Mayer. I can think of some pretty good love songs though. Here's Louis Armstrong with A Kiss To Build a Dream On and Here's kd lang and Tony Bennett with another wonderful version. Another wonderful love song is The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. Here's a version that is not all that well known but I love this voice so much. Here's Johnny Cash. Love songs and ballads are a muse for the soul.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Art and Music

A regular post for a change. The fact that it's a Friday in fact and also in my mind and Friday the thirteenth and the first day I've had the house for myself, without a guest for three weeks, all add up to make this a great big day, 'a large day', as they say here on the Island. I've loved every day of the last three weeks but today is as described above.

I had a bath in my old fashioned, claw-footed, iron tub for the first time in three weeks. I played Blossom Dearie up loud while I soaked. It was great. I'm getting paintings ready for varnishing so that I can change my painting studio into a glass studio. All the painting infrastructure that has been present for the last couple of weeks has to be put away. We turned the kitchen table into art central and ate in the den in front of the TV for the duration. It will take me at least a week and a half, maybe two to get the house turned around and the studio ready to do glass.

I have to enlarge and finish drawing the design my aunt and I worked at the day after she arrived. She helped me with the problems on the smaller sketches and I've hopefully got it solved and can fix it fairly easily. Wish me luck.

By now have you guessed which painting in the photo is mine, my aunt's, and my sister in law's. There was a clue last week during the process. Let me tell you that these are not yet finished. New paintings to show tomorrow.

For the song of the day I am again choosing the one I chose nine days ago in reference to my aunt. The first sentence said in English is "I bought you some paints to paint with, on the nights that it's cold outside." The song begins in French, my aunt's and father's mother tongue. It is a perfect song for us in ways. Again, here's The Collection Of Marie Claire by the great Daniel Lanois.

The two new songs aren't new to me but they're new getting on here. I've been dancing today too. I danced for only ten minutes while my aunt was visiting. One day I just couldn't help it and I told her if she was hearing some strange breathing patterns it was me in the next room dancing. I felt a bit embarassed and didn't keep it up long.

The first ballady dancing song is Do I by Alice Smith. It fits my dance mood today, a more full-of-feeling style. The other is from one of my favorite all-time movies, Frida. Short and sweet, it's Solo Tu ballad by Elliot Goldenthal fits perfectly/ The file is listed as Lila Downs because I put it under her name when I bought the Frida soundtrack but it is an instrumental from the soundtrack. Now doesn't that sound like a good mood to be in?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Single Blossom

Hello. Long time no check in. You haven't missed much. The painting lessons continue. We finished our first painting yesterday. It is a landscape with hills in the distance and rocks and grasses in the foreground. My sister in law took hers home yesterday and if she brings it back I will photograph the three and show you.

We are starting late today as sister in law had to work this morning. She will arrive in about an hour to start a new painting. This time we're doing a sunflower on a 9 1/2 by 11 1/2 stretched canvas. Aunt J leaves on Thursday so unless we kidnap her for longer, we are then on our own.

I have to tell you a story that has had me laughing all week. A friend of mine had a hysterectomy a couple of weeks ago. She's a bit shy so every time someone asked her what kind of surgery she was having she jokingly told them a boob job. When she was waking up in the recovery room she could hear some nurses and a plastic surgeon talking about cosmetic surgery. She piped up and asked if her boob job was over. The nurses came over to her and said, "You didn't have a boob job, Dear, you had a hysterectomy." Everything suddenly came back as is wont to do when coming out of anaesthesia. She was embarrassed but I've been laughing all week every time I think of it.

Kat's blog, Keep The Coffee Coming is my source of news these days. I had not heard until I read there yesterday, that Blossom Dearie had passed away on Saturday. Please go to Kat's site to read an obituary on Blossom. I'm a huge fan of her music and I'll miss her. She was performing well into her 70's and you can see lots of those performances on Youtube. Here is a link to her Wiki page and here in no particular order are some of her songs:

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Shadows and Light

My auntie is up napping again so I have a chance to check in. These art lessons are tiring her out, I think. My sis in law and I are enjoying them very much though and have almost finished our first painting. We have only some rocks to paint and are then on to our next painting, a portrait of Bella, one of my cats. That will be very challenging compared to a landscape. We had to go back to town for more canvasses today and that will do us. She leaves Thursday and we have some other activities planned for Sunday and Monday. Life will be pretty boring after my aunt leaves but I have to get busy with my glass commission so it will be busy, even if a bit more boring.

We've been having absolutely glorious weather and tomorrow is supposed to be warm and rainy. I was hoping to get some snowshoeing in but it's been too busy. The the rain may take all the snow away but I hope not. I'm sure more will come if such a thing should happen.

Joni Mitchell is bringing the songs today. Shadow and light is what we're learning about this week and Joni's song, Shadows and Light is one of my favorites of her works. I love the African sound in the harmony. The Gallery fits in well too.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A Quicky

A quick check in. My aunt is napping. We asked my sister in law to paint with us and she did, also appreciating free art lessons. She is coming again tomorrow and staying for supper. Today went well except I got a big blog of brown paint in my sky and had to differ my composition. Leave it to me.

One song is perfect for my aunt and me that is already on the pages because I'm being quick about this is The Collection of Marie Claire by Daniel Lanois and another by this fine man is Jolie Louise. We painted some today. We're 100 percent Acadian so we understand the sound.

Glad I could pop in. Didn't expect to. I'm keeping up with reading blogs better than posting to them.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Catching Up

I must admit I'm having a difficult time keeping up with all the blogs with my aunt visiting. We are extremely busy. Yesterday I had to get a rental car to drive while my car is being repaired from the accident that happened over a month ago. We also had to go to town to get some additional art supplies. We left home before 9 am and didn't get home till 6 o'clock. That is more shopping than I would usually do in months.

We had to do a lot of digging but found the products we were looking for. My aunt doesn't usually work in acrylics and was finding them drying too quickly. We wanted extenders and other products to keep the paint workable longer. We also found a wet palate system to keep the paint from drying out on the palate. I have no problem as I use smaller amounts of paint but everyone has their methods and since the acrylics are new to her, it takes a little adjusting.

We painted up a storm today and everything worked well. I am still trying to finish everything I started so that I can change the studio over to glass for the window I've been commissioned to make. I still have a lot to do before that.

I heard on the radio yesterday that John Martyn had died and read of it today on Kat's blog, Keep The Coffee Coming. His name is linked to his website, Kat's blog has some info and three songs and here is the Wikipedia page on him. I posted his song Sunshine Better in the summer and her's a couple more, Dancing and one we've all heard before, Singin' In the Rain.