Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

It Comes Full Circle

I telephoned my sister on Thursday night saying that by reading my blog, especially now that I update so infrequently, she would never know what was really happening in my life if I did not call her. It made me think of how little of my real self is shared in this space. I've not talked very specifically about my jobs, my arts, my everyday family, or my social life. I prefer to remain anonymous.

My aim with the blog was always to play music. Music so inspires me when I'm cre8ing! Since I practice three art forms, I was always working on something, with music generally playing in the background. I love to share the great music I find and it seemed like a good fit. Also, the blog was to eventually show my painting, glass and jewelry. In my bid to stay anonymous I realized this wouldn't be possible so have shown none of my work except for some windows.

Playing music on a blog has changed very much too since I joined the blogging world in Feb, 2006. Blogs get shut down now for copyright infringement and though I don't share the views of the powers that be, I would not want to be shut down.

I have had a soul jarring week. On Wednesday, after extensive surgery, a good friend was told that she has a very short time to live. Another very close friend passed away on Thursday. I've just returned from her wake. This morning I talked with one of my aunts for the last time, I'm afraid. Because she was so weak, she was able to talk with me only a few moments. I feel a little stunned to tell you the truth. Three people who have long been close to me, I will never see again.

A week like this leads to evaluating our time. It can't be helped. We are reminded of the fragility of life and the short time we are here; what can suddenly appear around the corner - like a Mack truck, in some cases.

I've come to the conclusion that since there is so little of me here, I really shouldn't be here, taking up cyberspace. I had big changes in my life more than a year ago when I went to occasional postings rather than the previously almost daily postings. It has been really tough to get here at all this summer with my double workload and I stressed about it. I don't need the extra stress so I think the blog has come to a natural but rather quick end. I may drop in with something from time to time and will keep the account to link to the other blogs.

I can not believe this. In a final edit, I went back to my first blog post to look for the date to add to one of the previous paragraphs. This is the first paragraph of the first blog:

It has been a very strange week. Every day last week, I heard bad news. One person was in a terrible accident after visiting her father in hospital after he had a heart attack. A friend from NYC lost her partner of many years, a friends son OD'd on pills at a party, my daughter's friend had emergency surgery, and another friend is looking after her dying cousin's child.........and to top it all off two people I know died. What a week!

I take this as a sure sign that this blog really has come full circle. This is the time to let it go.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Weathering the Weather

The weather is the main topic of conversation around the Maritimes these days. Not only are we in the midst of an intense heat wave but we are expecting to be directly hit by Hurricane Earl on Saturday. I've had two days off this week and made it a point to enjoy the summer weather because with my intense work schedule these last few months, I had basically missed the season.

Today I went to the beach and the above photo is the first thing I saw when I got out of my car. I didn't have time to get a better shot of the eagle and was happy this one turned out at all. I arrived before noon and as the sun is lower in the sky these days, the beach was actually in shade and there was a lovely breeze. I took a nice long walk as the tide was low and it wasn't really suitable for swimming. It was, in one word, glorious. I planned to go back for a swim this afternoon but did not rise to the occasion. It is really stifling with a temp of 30 degrees and high humidity.... plus I am waiting for company.

Later when it is cooler I am planning to clear off the deck in preparation for the hurricane. It is the only chance I'll have to do it. I am hoping we don't get a lot of damage. When the leaves are still on the trees like they are now, more damage can occur. Since I am surrounded bytrees, I have a concern.

Here are a couple of songs to remind you of the rainy, windy weather we may be experiencing here on the coast in a couple of days. Hurricane Earl is nearing the US east coast at the moment and so if you're down that way it is appropriate for you today. Here is Jo Dee Messina with Bring on the Rain and lovely Odetta with Blowin' In the Wind. I will accept whatever comes our way as I'll be prepared enough, I hope. Whether we are hit straight on or not we will, nonetheless, get lots of rain and wind.

Hurricanes are circular. Martin Sexton is one of the best performers I've ever seen live. The song may not be exactly weather related but it is a bonus song for today - Will It Go Round in Circles.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

To Look and Listen

The harvest is work for some.
Hear it!

I'm not harvesting but I'm working too.
Too much, some would say.
Hear It!

I'm not complaining but I would like to
come by here (and there) more often.
Hear it!

I hardly have time to listen to music but manage somehow.
Hear it!

I'm taking a few moments to share it with you.
Hear it!

Enjoy the end of August, folks.
Hear it!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mid August in PEI

What a glorious day off I am having; one that would make anyone glad to be alive! I slept in an hour this morning, getting up at 6:30. Both cats were standing over me willing me to wake up. Last time I'd had a day off they woke me when I hadn't set an alarm clock for 5:30. This morning I think they may have remembered my displeasure and tried telepathy instead of meows.

The weather forecast was perfect for what I wanted to do, so off I went with a plan. I left at 9:30 to go picking chanterelles. I took my camera and stopped for lots of shots along the way and on the return. I walked six kilometers on my hunt which I was so pleased to be doing though if my walking partner had been here I'm sure I could have walked much longer. Have I ever said the woods are my very favorite place to be?

The chanterelle crop is just beginning so most of the mushrooms I got were small though I did get a few big ones as well. It has been excellent weather for fungi production so I'm optimistic this will be a good season for both mushroom photos and tasty chanterelles. On the way home I dropped off some of the harvest to some friends who enjoy chanterelles.

After lunch I went to visit a good friend who is confined to a nursing home. We went for a drive which he really enjoyed.We several times so that he could look at things that he likes to see and for photo ops for me. I picked up fresh veggies from a farm stand and will be preparing them soon along with a feed of my delicious foraged treasures.

Our countryside is simply stunning these days with the grain harvest just getting underway and second growths of hay being cropped . Oats, barley, wheat, rye, and the other seed and cereal grains are turning our fields into a multi-coloured patchwork that just urges me to get out into the countryside to gaze at the beauty. Big straw bales are dotting the hills and a drive through the country is medicinal, good for what ails you.

Colin Hay - Beautiful World

The tides are not great for my weekend off but tomorrow I plan to spend some time at the beach anyway. Maybe I'll go for a swim.

Update: I wish you could smell my supper cooking. I have fresh beets, fresh chanterelles, fresh yellow beans and fresh raw cauliflower with a garlicless dip. I am yet unsure if I am going to heat up some beef sausage after the chanterelles are done. I am in heaven, am I not?

Monday, August 02, 2010

Quickly into August

Would a few photos count as a post? Would I be forgiven? I hope so because that's all the energy I have left today.

Reid Jamieson - Fields Of Gold

Though it happened completely spontaneously, I picked blueberries on Saturday morning. My whole weekend was like that - doing unplanned activities and the planned activities never happening. For some reason the photo of blueberries is showing in portrait instead of landscape. Hmmmm.

Life Can Be So Nice

I had a great time playing 'find the kitty' with Kenz in the trees. I have a much harder one if you're interested.

Josh Rouse - Summertime

My favorite flower in my garden is blooming. I don't even know the proper name of this lily but I love it like no other. Anyone else know? I know it's name ends in D'oro but can't remember the first part.

Have a good week everyone. I plan to post next Tuesday if not before, with words, not only photos.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Holiday

It has been a very long time since I've been here, though it has not been through idleness. I've been very busy. First I was working long hours and had no day off. My partner broke her ankle and the doctor said she could come back in mid August . The date is now moved to September first.

My first day off was the day my son and his family arrived for a vacation. You can imagine how busy I was cleaning the whole house, doing a massive amount of laundry, putting fresh sheets on the beds and moving my sleeping quarters to another bedroom. I was exhausted by the time they arrived. After a sleep it was time to get to the beach as I had promised that to the grand-kids last vacation, when it rained their whole trip. My granddaughter had her arm in a cast which was tough but she had a wonderful time as did her brother.

At the end of the week we all went to Nova Scotia. I went a day before the rest, to help my daughter. She was graduating from her studies on Friday and planning a family barbecue to follow the ceremony. I helped her prepare food and got to spend some time in her gorgeous house on a lake. It was a beautiful spot for an event and had a great sunset to boot.

Because I had to work today, I returned to the Island last night, while everyone else had another barbecue, this time at the ex's . Still, it was wonderful to have the whole family together for a few short days and with something to celebrate to boot. It had been two years. Life is Sweet and Natalie Merchant says so too. I was a happy mother and grandmother. I worked hard and waited long for this holiday. There's a song for that too of course, Holiday by James McMurtry.

I'll try to check in again soon. I have regularly scheduled time off, not a lot, but some. Hope everyone is having a great summer. It's passing by quickly but I think it's going just swell!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Sunday Chat

I had an injury that profoundly affected my life a year and a half ago. I dislocated my shoulder in an unusual way and broke my arm, which was not discovered till six and a half weeks later - my arm not the shoulder. I was absolutely stuck. I could not move my arm at all for a good lot of it and could not drive for four months. I obviously could not work.

I now truly feel for anyone who has something suddenly happen and is out of commission. The woman who I share my job with has broken her ankle and is out for six weeks. I am again doing extra shifts. I have this afternoon off after working this morning. I also have to work this evening. I've packed a whole lot into this afternoon - three loads of laundry included. My first day off is the 17th. I may not be blogging much but heck it's summer and not many are here reading anyway.

Right before I came in, Kenz brought me a big meadow vole ( a huge mouse). That's why her photo is up today. I'm proud that she has decided that birds are off limits but mice are okay. She's lovin' summer too.

The weather is hot but delightful. Clothes dry on the line in minutes, not hours. I am celebrating summer weather with a couple of songs. Here's a chance for you to too. LOL Sing along with me, "You to too, you to too..." Here's Patty Griffin with Heavenly Day and Myra Flynn with Sunshine. Gotta love it....

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Looking For Sunshine on Thursday

Hello from the new days of summer. We've had summer rains and overcast skies but what we need is some summer sunshine. Thursday is Canada Day!

Yesterday I watched clips of the Queen, who is visiting Canada, deplaning in Halifax. It was during a fierce downpour. I then remembered clips of when she was here for the 500th anniversary of Cabot's landing that took place in St. Johns, Nfld. in June, '97. It was absolutely the worst day you could imagine to have for weather. The Queen was wrapped in blankets by the end of it.

I am scheduled to slow down and return to my regular shifts at work. I can certainly use some gardening time in the evening to deal with slugs. The only thing not eaten by them in the garden are the tomato plants and a few peas. The first lettuce is gone to seed but new seeds planted were eaten by slugs too. It was too wet to replant today so I hope the holiday Thursday will work out.

After all my work the previous weeks, I finally got a new car. I chose a Nissan Versa. I hope it performs well for me and will be good in winter. It has very different (quicker) steering than my old car so I will have to get used to that for the winter roads. The funny things you have to consider when buying a car in a Northern climate.....

Here are a couple songs about the road. Odetta and Nine Hundred Miles and Snooks Eaglin with The Lonesome Road. I love how Van does this song but that would not fly here. Just noticed when making the links that Odetta and Snooks died within two months of each other

After the garden work, I want to go to the beach on Thursday, Canada Day. Can you believe I haven't been there this year?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summertime and the Living is Easy

Life is sweet. Life is grand! I am on day three of four days off. I have six hours to work within it but am not even counting it as they are two, three-hour shifts and in the evening. I still have the days off. My daughter was home for the weekend and my portion of her visit was Saturday to Sunday afternoon. We had lots of fun and a relaxing time. Yesterday, she had Father's Day and today, a funeral. She will drop by a bit before she heads for the ferry to return home. I'm really enjoying the off time. I had worked 27 extra hours week before last and last week worked long hours again, working 34 hours in a 48 hour period. Whew!

I've spent a lot of my time gardening and have sad news about my vegetable garden. I had a whole lot of cucumber seedlings last week and not a one remains. I believe slugs are the problem though crows have been suggested as a possible culprit. There are no leaves either on the many bean seedlings of different varieties so I think that points to slugs. I will replant and go on patrol tonight with a pair of latex gloves and container. Fun, fun, yuck, yuck. At least they are not the huge slugs they get out west.

I had a great laugh (at myself) this morning. I hum and sing to myself all the time. If people are around it is very light or even just in my head. If no one is around, I let it rip. The cats are used to it but no one else ever hears. Anyway, this morning I went out on the deck and started this whole percussive thing with my foot while hand slapping and clapping. I was wailing away to the cats, changing the words of an old folk song, now with a very loud percussive beat, to lyrics about the day and the cats and this and that. All at once I heard hammering and saw someone working on the pasture fence just to my right. Let me tell you my impromptu concert ended very quickly and I came into the house (with a red face) to laugh .... and groan. That's what a couple of days off will do to you. I was singing with joy.

I played a lot of frisbee with Baxter the Beast this weekend. His mug illustrates today's post and I must say he has a face only a mama could love. I got a wicked bite on my arm from him but it was not his fault. He was jumping for the frisbee but I moved it and my arm became the spot where his teeth landed. It is very bruised and broke the skin. I had an altercation with some rose bushes as well so I am going to return to work looking like I had a very adventurous time off.

I have very different types of music for today's post. The nice percussive, Soul Drummers, by Ray Barretto has a bit of call and some clapping and lots of groove. This could be traveling through my brain at any moment right after something like this: Summertime by Pura Fe. That would probably make me think of Summertime by Ray Barretta again and I'd be off singing like no one was listening. A great big welcome to summer!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Short Update

I am on my day off and it is so windy that it is impossible to do any outside jobs. What does it mean?...inside chores. I did two loads of laundry yesterday so had my way in the cooking, cleaning, sorting, getting things organized kind of way without that distraction. I have one day off but spent a good bit of it connected to 'the office' with various things on their part or mine.

I've had a bit of a cold for the last week, feeling not quite right. Additional work hours has left me feeling tired. I seem to sleep every available moment so I am taking care of myself in that way. It just hasn't seemed enough. I'm still tired.

I started this yesterday but got interrupted many times. I'm now off to work till 9:30 tonight so it's now or never to post this short update. I will get back when I can.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Hello Sunset

I am surprised to find I've not posted in more than a week. I had Saturday off and thought I'd posted then. But Blogger doesn't lie. I've been working a lot this week with twenty-seven extra hours to fill in for someone in hospital. I can use the extra money though, as I'm shopping for a car. Car shopping is not a fun chore in my books and not having time to do it properly is most frustrating. I must buy the car before July which is when the current inspection on my car ends.

In my last post (Tuesday, the first of June) it was raining. The wet weather continued all week and on some days and nights the rain was torrential. Certain fields are still flooded but well drained ones are beginning to dry out. I was asking for rain not long ago but am glad for the break we are forecast to get this week. I managed to get seeds in the ground, finally, and hope they weren't washed out.

That made me think of Dan Hicks and his song, Garden In the Rain. I haven't featured my man Dan in a while so here is Garden in the Rain and I'm Saying Hello which is really all I have time to do tonight. I'm off to lounge on the couch and then up to bed. Five-thirty comes early and I work till nine-thirty tomorrow night. Yikes!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Cast a Wish

Even though this has been a rainy day and I'd planned to work in the garden, I am having a most marvelous day off. I am finishing up some projects, generally reorganizing, doing the ongoing day to day chores, specifically reorganizing dressers and closets, and relaxing to the max while it all occurs. It's what I need today. I slept in and even feel good about that though I mentioned to someone earlier that it felt half my day was gone.

This afternoon I picked flowers in the rain for some friends and myself. I love that the apple blossom season lasts so long with so many trees flowering at different times. Some are still just budding. Colours are saturated on rainy days and there is no shadow to compete with pure colour. Life is so beautiful visually, is it not? Moving on from visually, the lilac is in bloom too and smells really wonderful. I have them upstairs and down. I feel so lucky to have natural country views and aromas to help define my existence.

The music chosen for today is about rain. I've been telling you how badly we need rain and I'm glad for every millimeter we get. It just happens that it rains every day off and is sunny/cloudy on my work days. I still don't have seeds planted and already know that is not going to be an optimal year in my garden. Everything planted at once and late in the season is what is going to happen, not the usual well-organized garden that I've managed to maintain for years.

Bop Ensemble does a great version of one of my favorite Dylan tunes, Buckets of Rain. I have many great versions of the song and try to find an excuse to feature them every year. Dylan's song is awesome and so is rain. Here is a wonderful version from Jimmy LaFave and one from the author himself, Bob Dylan.

I need a day off when the sun is shining brightly and the wind is not blowing a gale as has been happening for a month. Saturday, please, if it's not too much to ask. Last post, I asked for someone to cook for me and that didn't happen. Maybe I should stop saying these things out loud.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Floral on Friday

Would anyone like to cook supper for me? I have two chicken breasts thawed and a hundred things in the fridge and cupboards to go with them. It's Friday and I have never felt like cooking on a Friday evening. I would much rather have a couple of beers and wind down from the work week. I'm doing that now and have no desire to cook but am hungry. Oh well, I'll get to it in a second!

It has been a beautiful week to be commuting. The apple blossoms and some of the cherries are in bloom across the land while hedgerows and edges of fields are at their most beautiful. My house is filled with bouquets of apple blossoms and lilacs and I am picking bouquets of both in a few minutes (before getting dinner) to carry to some friends tomorrow. How beautiful this season is!

We received much needed rain but not a lot of it. I can finally plant seeds but only if the wind slows down. We've had an awful lot of wind this spring but it's not that unusual here, really. Seed will blow away if their cover of soil won't stay on. I would go now but I have to cut flowers and make dinner. I'd better get away from here.

Music, sweet sweet music: It Might As Well Be Spring by Johnny Mathis and Henry Mancini
Romek Ouchowski - Come On In My Kitchen -Please

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Asking For Rain?

We have nice weather for this long holiday weekend and I am enjoying it to the fullest. I wore myself out gardening on Tuesday, doing house cleaning on Thursday and yesterday on my day off, I did a bit of both but mostly took it easy and enjoyed the beautiful day.

I have to work today so missed an impromptu family reunion at my Dad's in a neighbouring province. All of Dad's grandchildren except for my oldest son got together yesterday for a barbecue. One of my daughter 's greatest skills is getting people together and she pulled this off in less than a week. If I'd had more time I could have asked someone to work for me later today but it did not seem fair to do that at the last minute on a holiday weekend. I got several phone calls during and after the event and they all said they missed me.

I've not planted seeds in my garden yet as we have had no rain and lots of wind. The seeds would blow away in these conditions. Having an early spring did not translate to an early garden. I do have lettuces coming up from last year's crop so that will bode well for early salads. My asparagus is not as productive as usual but I think that is due to the dryness. I am still getting 6 to 8 spears a day and I am the only one in the house eating it so it is adequate. My nephew was just here and said he doesn't leave the watering up to God and planted his yesterday.

I don't have much to report except for the wonderful weather so I will get to the music. Gardening and rain are covered today. Freedy Johnston has a lovely song called Evie's Garden and Fred Neil has a song that is my wish for this coming week, A Little Bit of Rain.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Magic Moments

There are so many beautiful spring landscapes to gaze upon on my drives to and from work that it is difficult to choose one to show you. I will limit it to a couple but please go to An Island Walk to see what I saw (gazed upon) on the way home from work tonight. It was an incredible experience. I got to share it too though I was alone. A man who was passing the other way pulled around in his van and parked on the side of the road behind me.

We saw the eagle at the same moment. A young raccoon was lying dead in the middle of my lane and an eagle and a crow were scavenging. They flew up from the road and into a hay field on my left. I got my camera, got a few shots, looked around and saw another male eagle sitting in a planted field to my right. I got a few shots of him before he flew in front of me to sit with the other fellow across the road. All the while crows were dive-bombing the eagles in their usual way.

Just as one eagle flew up to a spruce tree in the field, a female landed beside the remaining one. I got a few more photos then both birds left the ground, the male flying to the same branch as the other male and the female landing in another tree nearby.

I spoke with the driver of the other vehicle. He too had a big grin of amazement at what he had seen. It was a pretty cool experience. Twenty minutes earlier had been rush hour at that section of road. I was a bit later than usual as I had attended a wake after work. This was merely a case of being in the right place at the right time.

For music I've chosen something with a title that describes how I felt. Passing Stranger by Scott Matthews tells of the situation. The being in the right place at the right time aspect; sharing it with the stranger who was going the other way and most of all coming upon three bald eagles in the first place. Keep on Looking by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings is advice I'd give anyone on their commute. It's what I normally do when driving and today it paid off. As I've said many times here, It's a Wonderful Life which I bring courtesy of The Felice Brothers.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Hey, Mom, Here's Some Flowers

This photo is to show a mishap that I had today. I took 85 shots in my garden and it turned out I had my camera set from last night when I was taking photos of a sunset. The shots of the garden are very dark and unsalvageable if you don't have the software or skills for post processing. I don't. I will try to add some light from Picasa but they are probably toast. That's okay but the light is not at all nice outside now, two hours later.

I am feeling very tired. It's my day off and I have a case of low energy which is not like me. I've done a ton of chores, have a great supper in the works and am writing in a blog but without the pep I am usually blessed (or cursed) with.

I made a plan to sleep in today because I was tired after a hectic week. I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6:03 and reminded myself that I had decided to sleep in so slept for another hour. I woke up groggy. I think if I had gotten up at 6:03 I would be fine now. I have learned this lesson before but tend to learn the hard way.

Mother's Day is weighing heavily on me. It has been twelve years since I lost my mom and Mother's Day has been the hardest day of the year ever since. Her birthday is soon as well, so I always have kind of sad thoughts of her in May. It is getting easier though as I worked hard to stop making it a terrible day for my kids. They used to sit helplessly by as I cried inconsolably all day. I'm past that thankfully, but my heart is still heavy.

This mood is bringing the music today as I think of my mother who is gone too soon. She died at aged sixty from early-onset Alzheimer's disease. This is the music of my mood. Beth Nielsen Chapman covers the old, Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child and Gillian Welsh's song, Orphan Girl, by Crooked Still. Tomorrow I will celebrate her instead of thinking of the unfairness of this terrible disease. I think I will make her a card.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Soon, I'll Relax

Ive only a short time for a post so will put my day in point form in as brief a way as possible.
  • Did the whole coffee/blogroll/breakfast thing.
  • Very remorsefully called someone to apologize for forgetting about a date we'd made for me to help her.
  • Made plans to fulfill my obligation to this person for one o'clock.
  • Did a pile of cleaning work.
  • Did a bunch of landscaping/beach tending, whatever you want to call it.
  • Picked a whole bunch of daffodils making bouquets for a number of people. One, of course, for the person I forgot.
  • Picked a big bunch of dandelions for me though I may use a couple of those daffodils for the bathroom bunch that has wilted.
  • Realized that my painting group meets for a whole day tomorrow. They loved the soup I made the last time we had an all-day session so they'd asked me to bring soup again.
  • Popped a large, frozen roast of beef into the oven to make a large pot roast.
  • Returned three phone calls all the while,
  • Continuing that day-off cleaning thing. (It's not really a day off as I have to work this evening but I don't work in the daytime so it kind of feels like a day off)
  • Made coleslaw
  • Paid some bills
  • Prepared some of the things to make soup which I will do later as,
  • I have to work tonight
I left early to make my obligation because I was going to a beautiful area. I wanted to stop for some photos which I did. I will do the same when I leave for painting in the morning. I'm really busy and have not been out photographing or walking. I'm missing the forest. I've not seen or smelled a Mayflower this year and fear I'm too late. I know where to get them but it's too long a walk. Busy as a bee, I am.

I'm picking totally random music - with eyes closed. I'll pick the most appropriate song in the screen that goes with the post:

This is what I have to do after work before I fall into bed tonight. I'm an early bird and like to go to bed early too (around ten) but I won't be tonight.
  • eat my dinner
  • drive to work
  • work three hours
  • drive home from work
  • make soup
  • get painting supplies ready for tomorrow
  • deal with the soup

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Addiction Remedy

It has been four and a half years since I've quit smoking occasionally the time arises that I still want a cigarette. I discovered right away on my first attempt at quitting, that I used cigarettes as a reward. I'd wash the dishes, have a smoke. I'd make beds, put away laundry, come downstairs and have a smoke. You get the picture. It is still a trigger for me when I've really worked hard and for an extended time.

I am having a dinner party so I first began the work in the kitchen. A friend who has an allergy to cats is staying the night. Every time she visits I vacuum everything downstairs. I did that and since she is staying the night, I thoroughly cleaned a bedroom - washed sheets and hung them on the line. I mopped the whole downstairs which worked my way outside where I gardened!!!!!! All that work without stopping really triggered an urge to sit down and relax with a smoke.

So I'm here...

It is beautiful, sunny and twelve degrees. It feels cooler though as there is a north wind chasing the day. The cats have loved it as I have all the doors open. My daughter's dog clawed through a screen door last summer. The door is still not fixed so the cats are having a ball coming in and out all day. I'm sure they would prefer I kept it a permanent feature to the house.

I am expecting guests soon so must make this quick. Music. I'm featuring duets today. Bing Crosby and Les Paul are singing It's Been a Long Long Time. That's to acknowledge and celebrate my ending cigarette smoking. Anne and Pete Sibley sing Pick Up These Chains. You see, besides thinking of the chains of an addiction, I was moving all manner of rusty metal things around in a garden today. The photo is of a few of the pieces last year.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Stuffing It In

Its a cool, showery day and I like it. My plan was to garden on my first day off but today's weather is preventing that. It's perfectly ok though because I'm having a restful day instead. Vacuuming, dishes, changing beds, and three loads of laundry don't mean that I'm not resting. I've painted, caught up on some web surfing, went for a short visit, answered some e-mail, did some research I've been wanting to try to find time to do, and slept in till seven thirty. It is a glorious feeling.

I watched Oprah while I folded laundry. She had a story on Nadia Schuleman, the Octomom, and it was mind boggling to see her and all those little children. Fourteen children - that mom doesn't get much sleep so I'd better stop talking about being busy.

Spring around these parts is at a bit of a standstill as far as sunshine is concerned. We've not received much precipitation but we have had cool, cloudy conditions ever since our bout of really lovely weather over Easter. I'm itching to get into the garden. I have a lot of work to do. I plan to make my vegetable garden larger and the flower gardens are sorely in need of attention.

I've had daffodils for over a week and the ones in the back garden are slowly getting bigger and stronger but not bursting forth like they would in warm sunshine. I will enjoy them even longer this way. A friend gifted me with a vase this week. It's a lime green which is fantastic with daffodils. When the large garden has hundreds in bloom I can't wait to see this vase filled to the brim. I have a frog in it at the moment with nine daffodils and it looks ok but will look super when stuffed. Much like the one below. I love this vase and it is wonderful when filled with large bunches of flowers.

An old favorite song of mine, repeated more than once on this blog is covered here again but by someone new. Bop Ensemble is a group I featured a while back because a cover of theirs, the Paul Simon song, Peace Like a River, was stuck in my head. This time they take on Bob Dylan's, Buckets of Rain. Also on the playlist here this week is The Duhks, with their song, Three Fishers. My son and his friends have hardly been home since fishing season began on the fifteenth. He is fishing now as a matter of fact. The weather doesn't seem to be a factor in whether or not they go out. He brought home trout the other night that were so big that a friend and I ate only one each with our supper. I froze the other two. This song is in appreciation of fish and the fishers.

I must go put my fourth load of laundry in the dryer. I put in a load of jackets that are being put away for the season. That's a real sign that winter's over.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cheer is Here

Though this photo is not of them, I have my first daffodils in bloom. I have seen others, including my sister in laws, and am pleased once again to have some bright, cheery sunshine on my kitchen table. I have more than a thousand and will be having and giving bouquets away from now till the season is over. They are such a beautiful and cheery flower.

This will be short. I am waiting for some company who is running late so may have to stop at a moment's notice. I am so pleased to have a day off. I worked the weekend for someone else so am a tired after working all my own shifts as well. A day off means housework and laundry too so I've been a busy woman. I'm happy though - a day off - so Goodbye Blue Monday by Jeremy Fisher is the song to celebrate that. I also have a song, Slow Down by Alicia Keys, to show what I should be doing on my day off.

Tomorrow our painting group is going to go all day instead of it's usual three hours. This will be a challenge for me who finds it hard to sit that long. I may have to go do some outdoor quick sketches or something to get breaks. I just remembered that I have to make some kind of a soup for our potluck lunch so thank goodness I brought this up here. I may have forgotten and would have been very embarrassed. Hardly any time to stop to smell the flowers again this week.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Spring Cleaning

I'm posting a photo from another year as our daffodils are not yet in bloom, but I want to envision stopping to smell the flowers. I have been cleaning all afternoon, am exhausted and have many miles yet to go. It does smell like flowers here though. I'm on a well deserved break.

Spring has sprung and an urge for spring cleaning permeated my bones. This is my first day off in eight days from work. Some days are part time and in those days and in this full day off, the cleaning tools have been put to good work. Painting group met this morning but the minute I got home I dug out the pail again.

I have been looking at all the gardening work I have to do so with the house clean I will be able to take that on. I have extensive and unusual gardens which includes deck gardening. Our early spring is requiring work to be done earlier. I need tilling done now - not a month from now. There is a whole lot of heavy work that is quite exhausting for this middle-aged grandma. Once the early season work is done, maintenance takes over.

Since this is a break I'd better get to the music. Rachel Ries describes the past few days with Hands to Water. It's today's slow song . For music to make cleaning go faster, I chose my old standby, James Brown. I wanted to name my first child after the king of soul but my husband talked me out of it. Funny, that child now has a child named after a favorite musician. Here's James Brown with something to get you moving - Get Up Offa That Thing. James Brown is still my first choice for housecleaning music.

Off I go to throw in some baked potatoes to go with my old standby, ribs. Then make a salad and put a houseful of furniture back in it's proper place before I get to sit down again. Ah, spring!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Easter Weekend

I started this post when I came home from work, hungry and waiting for dinner to cook. I soon discovered my son had borrowed the cable from my hard drive. I had no photos or music. I am hooked up again so will start anew, fed and feeling a lot more relaxed. I am working all weekend so am not in holiday mode.

I feel quite guilty about not be paying much attention to this blog. I should refer you instead to An Island Walk as I am there at least a few times a week and every day at Shutterchance. I haven't much time, sad to say, and there will be a lot less of it when gardening season begins. Posting photos takes less time. I never plan what I will write about. Until the minute I sit down I don't think about a post. I may know something I might want to mention or have a theme day to respond to but what I say and the music are spur of the moment.

Something I do want to say is if you follow musicblog, Keep the Coffee Coming, take note that the new address is in the sidebar and here it is for easy grabbing. She was shut down at her former home here at blogger.

I am always listening to good music and have been listening to some Gospel. It seems like a perfect fit for this weekend's religious celebrations. I remember the Holy Days of Obligation and the Stations of the Cross , church services at least twice during the weekend. Here's something fitting: Jane Siberry 's artful voice with Swing Low Sweet Chariot and In My Time of Dying by Blind Willie Johnson.

The weather is wonderful but flowers except for the early bulbs like crocus are not in bloom. Spring is showing it's joyful displays at my house though, with forced tulips and forsythia as neither are anywhere near blooming outdoors. I threw away the last of the forsythia today but have wonderful tulips in vases. The tulips are produced locally and are a welcome treat during the winters here. I always force forsythia myself, have for the 25 years at this house anyway. My front daffodils are coming along nicely but it will be a couple of weeks yet. Joys of the season, my friends.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sitting This One Out

I saw gulls sitting like this two days in a row in different areas while I was driving. I got this one shot in the first of those spots before they all flew off. I couldn't stop for the second. Birds are gleefully gathering and singing their spring notes everywhere I listen. Spring is surely in the air.

I have been praying for rain and at last it is here. The ground is so thirsty. With no snow cover over the winter to speak of and a dry autumn, our soil needs every bit of moisture it can get. The rain does a good job of adding moisture to the air too, after the drying cold of winter, and cleanses the earth of winter's debris. I've always loved the rain but do not like to live in a rainy climate. I like rain to be just right in all it's forms from light to heavy. Moderation is good in all things, I always say. We do get big variations here in the Maritime provinces with dry springs, wet springs, dry summers, wet summers and so on. You never can tell. But I'm thankful it's raining today.

My main walking partner is moving away again. We've not been walking much anyway this month with my heavy work schedule and her getting ready to go away but I'll miss her and our great hikes in the PEI woods or at the beach. Soon enough, gardening will be added to the list of outdoor activities which gives a bit of a workout but is not a replacement for walking. Walking in country air brings that endorphin high so easily and for my type of energy there is just no better fitness provider.

What I do when prayers have been answered is give gratitude. Because I can't carry a tune and can't play a guitar I'm having Ani Difranco give you an example. Just substitute the word rain somewhere in there and it's from me. Gratitude live by Ani Defranco... I'll definitely be dancing instead of walking for at least one more day till my other walking partner comes home from her jaunt in Mexico. Cha Cha by Balkan Beat Box reminds me of Mexico and is a perfect dance song for working out with rhythms.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Second Chances

I must tell you about my bad luck/good luck day. On Tuesday I have to be in a community about twenty minutes away for a painting group at nine am. When I woke it was really foggy outside. After a cup of coffee had rearranged my braincells back into their usual cre8ive condition, I decided to rush my shower and breakfast (forgetting medication) leave a half hour early and get some shots at Pinette bridge and harbour and maybe a few other spots if time would permit.

When I arrived at the first beautiful foggy location, I got out of the car, turned my camera on and discovered I had not returned the memory card to my camera after removing photos the night before. It would not make sense to drive back home for the card as I would then not have time to stop to take photos. I was very disappointed but it didn't mean I couldn't enjoy the view. I made the best of it and relaxed for a bit taking in the sights. I drove slowly along my route enjoying the beautiful foggy landscapes.

I left painting group at noon and much to my surprise, it was still foggy. I went home, made lunch, and went to visit a friend who was celebrating his ninety-fifth birthday. When I left there it was still foggy so I went home for my memory card then took off for a repeat drive down the coast. The fog wasn't as thick or as widespread as in the morning but there was an added benefit of the sun being out everywhere that it was not foggy. As a result you can see blue sky and fog in some photos. I also got to photograph some geese in a river.

I had to rush around again to get to work but to the cre8ive me a quick supper of leftovers was worth it. I got some very nice shots, some that have been posted on my other blogs. We rarely get this type of fog here. It usually burns off by ten. I was quite accustomed to all day foggy days when I lived in Saint John, New Brunswick for several years. Constant fogginess was the reason I left there for here that thirty-some years ago.

A day like Tuesday can make your heart sing which this tune always does for me. Tchavalo Swing by Hot Club of Cowtown is an awesomely hepped up song that I include on lots of dance CD's. For someone who prefers a slow melody here's a song that tells us that days come in all kinds. It is Jeffery Foucault and That's the Way the World Goes 'Round. I believe it's a John Prine song.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring or Not

Where has the time gone! I see I've fallen behind here again. I've not many days off and when I do they are filled to the brim. I can be here today only because a planned visit was canceled. My friend could not come to see me so I went to visit another friend which was extra special because it was unplanned.

Being very busy with work has meant I am missing some of my favorite activities such as walking and taking photographs. I am unable to show photos on Shutterchance that are current. I had a week of last summer's, beaches, then flowers and this week, grasses. It's okay, just not my normal routine. Beache scenes, flowers and grasses have a way of making you yearn those scenes, and not stay in the present. Spring has sprung around these parts and the moment has been lovely and deserving of being captured by the camera. My daffodils are through the ground, the snow is disappearing, the evenings are lengthening and there is a general warmth in the air. It's great to be alive.

Spring is a truly lovely season and is captured beautifully by a song of the same name by Richard Shindell. I'm optomistic for spring's speedy return but accept we will likely have a bit of winter weather to contend with yet. It's traditional for us to have our St. Patricks Day storm and have had storms even later. I have a song for that event too. If Winter Weather returns, Fats Waller's great song of the same name will be perfect.