Thursday, December 31, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

Holiday Hello

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.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

'Tis the Season

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.

Get Me Through December is still my favorite Christmas song for the month . It goes on every December playlist. A couple more nice seasonal tunes that I've been listening too are Maybe This Christmas by Ron Sexsmith and Go Tell It On the Mountain by Desert Noises. The new Andrea Boccelli Christmas album is also really good. Angelic is the first thing I think of when thinking of his wonderful voice.

I will try to get back here before the big day. Until then, work, work, work, do, do , do. "Tis the Christmas season.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Come By Storm

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.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Snow Day

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.