Friday, February 25, 2022

Oceans of Snow

The Winter of 2022 might just go down as the Winter from Hell. Well maybe I shouldn't say Hell, because it's warm there (or so I am told, I've never actually been) and should, as a result, melt everything. This Winter is definitely right up there with the Winter of 1970-71 where I distinctly remember a country road with snowbanks so high they met at the top and created a tunnel, even for the snow plow - wow!

My mother would say it wasn't anything like the Winter of 1944 (I wouldn't know), when the milkman couldn't get his horse-drawn cart up Gladstone Ave. to deliver milk to my grandmother's house because she fostered babies (5 at a time) from the Infant's Home and they needed that milk!! Hence (love that word) the milkman walked half a fairly long city block, with at least six quarts of milk through knee-high drifts to make sure these babies were fed. They don't make them like this anymore!

So, here we are with white caps on an ocean of snow. Drifts like the breakers of a moody sea swell and swirl, eddy and heave with the wind and the changing light. They are pretty, if you don't have to navigate them. The view from the upper deck is just fine.

The pictures? I know a little repetitious - go figure.

Have a precious day.

Monday, February 07, 2022

Everything NOT in its place.....

 It used to be that you could go into a store and buy what you needed. You could go back to that store and buy the same thing again or its add-ons, as needed. Not anymore! Here's my story.

I'm reorganizing the house. I do it every few years. It clears out the cobwebs and gets rid of the 'junk.' Well, most of it anyway. This time, I am re-doing the basement, as a room for my son, who will then relinquish his room upstairs, which will ultimately become a guest room.

However, in order to do this, I had to first move out all the debris from the basement's previous tenant, my eldest, who's been in Calgary now for 5 years. Fortunately I was able to ship the more memorable of his stuffed animals to him. I threw out the others in my last purge, saying they were too moldy to keep. Did I mention that he'll be 40 this year. There were, though, the other 'keepsakes' - old ninja turtles, scaly rubber dinosaurs, CDs, tapes...TAPES? we don't even own a tape player.

I decided that I could move my yarn, fabric, felting fibre, needlework books, partially finished knitting projects, etc. into the main part of the house, if I could find tasteful storage units. They had to be a certain height - nothing from Ikea worked this time and they had to be a certain length. Well, after several days on Google, I located an organizer with six 12" x 12" cubbies that each held a decorative 11.5" x 11.5" cloth cube for storage at Lowes. I ordered and was shipped the unit with lime green inserts. I built it and loved it. I loved it so much that I wanted another one. Well, Lowes only stocked six sectioned organizers. Unfortunately, another six cubbies would be too long. I needed a unit of four cubbies. In fact two two-unit ones would be even better. They were, however, only available from Amazon. I ordered and was shipped the two pieces. However, Amazon didn't have lime green inserts. I had to go back to Lowes for those. I guess I must have bought the last four in lime green, because when I went back for more there was only hot pink left. Rona, however, had the lime green and some dark blue inserts which I needed for another six-sectioned unit which I ordered from Lowes (again) for the dining room. Whew! that was a challenge.

Now I was thinking of adding another two 2-unit sets to the one in the dining room. I'm still thinking about it.

There is something amazing about being organized.

Have an orderly day

Friday, February 04, 2022

On a Dark Art....

My apologies to anyone who has had a family member, close friend, anyone, die by suicide. I have had two encounters, so I have experienced, though never understood, the reality.

Anyway, I am one of those people who survive through dark humour. It may be my Irish legacy; it may be just an aberrant characteristic.  In any event, this post was born out of a lunch with a writing friend of mine, bear with me.

We often exchange books, ideas, small gifts, lots of creative exercises, what can I say - a kindred spirit. Well, my friend arrived with a gift of a book about the creative inspiration and how artists manage to achieve their prodigious volume of work through their particular source of inspiration. Believe me, this was a research project of massive proportions. Anyway, one of the artist's listed on the cover was Sylvia Plath. I mentioned that she died by turning on the gas in her small flat in London. It was at a time when the gas that was used in Britain was particularly lethal.  At one point Britain changed to a non-lethal gas and the suicides in Britain were halved.

It begs the question, if you were really serious, couldn't you find another way to end it all? This was the gist of our discussion. Could we position a character in a book contemplating suicide and go through the scenarios?

Anyway, I need to get through this winter. I emailed another friend in my dark humour circle and she responded with this Dorothy Parker poem.

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

That's it. I am pressing on. I have finished my book and have begun my weeks, maybe months of editing. Be prepared for other posts of dark humour. It has been known to snow in May. I'm pretty suicidal in a cold April. If I don't answer the phone in May call the authorities.

The picture? Death by snow.

Have an interesting day!

Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Praise the chord.......

 If anything is going to save us from destruction, from total annihilation, or maybe just from ourselves, it won't be religion, it won't, for heavens sakes, be war. No, it will be neither of these. It will be music. "Praise the chord and hold the ammunition."

There have been innumerable studies done lately on the curative power of music. The one I particularly love is a study of the effect of dancing on people suffering from Parkinson's disease. In fact, one neurologist decided to break down the components of dancing to try and isolate which element might be the most effective. Was it the movement, the social interaction or the music? I'll vote for all three, with an emphasis on music.

Another study has shown that those suffering from dementia can bring back blocks of memory simply by listening to music.

Singing is a joyous activity. I have to believe that's why it's so much a part of religious services - "Nearer My God To Thee," comes to mind. A waltz always makes me want to dance. Even the saddest of songs has the power to connect us to the human experience.

I play a little piano, OK, it's a regular piano all 88 keys, but I don't play it as often, as I would like. I'm planning to take this to the next level soon.

I look for music wherever I can find it. I especially look for it in non-musical venues. I signed out a book from the library on Saturday. I would like to point out that it was -15C and I walked about a km to renew my library card. It begs the question, How can people transfer millions in funds through a network of banks and never have to leave home? However, I have to trudge through the ice and snow on a bitterly cold January day to have my library card renewed in person. It took the librarian a second to zap his trusty scanner and voila I was again a member of the faithful. There is no justice in this world - just ice!

The book I signed out was "That Old Country Music" by Kevin Barry. The reviews said that his writing was very lyrical. I wanted to hear the music in his prose.

I listen to a lot of old folk songs. There is a certain genuineness in the music and the lyrics. Sadly, so much of today's music is manufactured. As an aside, I remember telling a young woman, I had met, whose name was Mavis that there was a beautiful folk song that begins with the line, "I heard the Mavis singing his love song to the morn." She said that she didn't know it, but her parents who were old "folkies" not old "fogies" might know it. Here it is, whether your name is Mavis or not - Mary of Argyle.

Our writing word for our writing exchange is "music." This is my contribution.

I really must take more pictures that are musical.

Have a tuneful day.