Friday, August 29, 2008

Stayin' positive

This week has been one of goodbyes. CBC Radio 2 is changing all their programs next week. Good bye to Disc Drive and Jurgen Gothe which I've been listening to since it started in the 80's. I'm sure there was a program from him before that which was similar but maybe my mind is playing tricks on me. His cat stories always made me laugh and I was introduced to so many wonderful artists over the years.
Goodbye to Here's to You and it's previous incarnations as a request show. Shelley Solmes and, later, Catherine Belyea have provided a glimpse of folks in the rest of Canada and, occasionally, the US and Europe. I have learned so much more about classical music. I have even been able to make my own requests. What a beautiful gift to give - and to receive when others have thought of my special occasions.
Goodbye to Music & Co with Tom Allan. My drive to work was so much brighter. When I was working in the daycare, I could listen as the kids arrived. What a wonderful way to start the day - for them, too. And recently, I could crank the sound up and listen while I started my 'computer' day.

These programs have been part of every rug I've hooked. I will miss them and their hosts but I'm not abandoning CBC. I'll be there when the new schedule starts, hook in hand and I plan to keep learning and enjoying the music. Nothing stands still in life.


Here is one of our siblings (we think) from the Stellar's jay family that visits everyday. One, which we think is a female, is extremely assertive. She knows when we're in the kitchen and she flies right down. If Anne's a little slow, she'll peck at the glass in the door to get her attention. Both are very tame and have taken peanuts from her hand much to the delight of grandkids.
I think that the birds see her a a mama jay since they come so early in the morning and always see her in her blue housecoat. Reminds me of the story of Father Goose. I'm sure these jays would follow her anywhere, too, as long as the peanuts lasted.

While we love the visits and don't mind bankrupting ourselves to keep them in peanuts, we do mind the squirrels who glean from many of the birds' feeding forays. Their following of the jays is the most annoying because they dig everywhere trying to find what the jays bury. Every plant container on the deck has been ravaged this year by our resident black squirrel (1) or the gray squirrel (1). It's as though they've staked out this property as their hunting ground. The finches leave them a lot of sunflower seeds, too. But this scavenging is a helpful cleanup from the squirrels. Everybody's gotta live, I guess.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Summer fun

Well, this week wasn't supposed to be rainy. We were going to have a tent in the back yard and s'mores. We had this cool s'mores making set that we could set up campfires allowed in our back yard. It was supposed to be able to toast a marshmallow over the tea light. That didn't work so well. In the end, it was cold and raining so miserably that being outside was not an option. Marshmallows were dipped in chocolate fondue for a messy, tasty treat. Doesn't it look like fun? Maybe campfires are preferable, though.

Clothes horse

Look what happens when you let the horse out of the stable at night. Heads straight to the Barbie gowns. Actually, it looks pretty good.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

New arrival

Let me introduce Catherine - who will be known as Katie. She entered the world Aug 16 about 3 pm. She weighed 4.4 kg and measures 56 cm long. Her hair is dark but we'll have to wait and see if it's permanent. Her brother also had dark hair and he's quite fair now.

I love her double chin!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Second chances

The beautiful green angora yarn has risen out of the frog pond and is rapidly becoming a princess. And I didn't even have to kiss it. I'm really happy with how this yarn knits up. Well, I was always happy with it but now I'm ecstatic. The angora is so light and soft it's like having a cloud on the needles. I'm dreaming of buttons ...what would be suitable for such light but regal yarn?
And, of course, a hooked mat is always a new life for so many garments. I seem to be obsessed with hit-and-miss at the moment. I keep experimenting with different looks. These big, raggy flowers remind me of Van Gogh and each one has at least 12 different types of fabric incorporated into the shape. Each stem and leaf has been done the same way. I'm into the background now and this will be a very controlled (only four fabrics) use of the technique. The flowers are controlled, too, but with more exuberance. My plan for the border is a striped effect using all the different fabrics that have been used in the rug. I am hoping that I can stick to hooking with random strips. Such a hard thing for a controlling soul to do...sigh.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Livin' the dream

Ever since I was old enough to have friends who took piano lessons, I've wanted to learn. But, it cost a lot of money to buy a piano and more to pay for lessons so that didn't happen for me. I remember being very jealous of my younger sister who did take lessons. My father got a line on a cheap used piano through some work connection and I thought she was so-o lucky. By then I was in high school and I guess there wasn't much extra time to take lessons. Even if it had occurred to anyone, including me.

When my kids were young, I came into a small inheritance. The first thing I wanted to buy with it was a piano so that they would have those lessons that seemed so important to me. The second was a chest freezer and the third was a pair of hiking boots but that's another story. The piano was found.

So, this week, we got a line on a keyboard. Hooray! Learning to play the piano is an unfulfilled dream no longer. This is a completely self-directed study program. We've been collecting (this is a shared dream, BTW) primary music books for a few months now and have acquired a nice little metronome. So yesterday there was much heaving of furniture around to make a space for the new keyboard. Not as big as an actual piano but not so little either.

The dolly bench had to go but I was reluctant to put all the dollies into storage. What would the kids do? How would they find the dollies? So, I dreamed up a solution and spent this morning rearranging the furniture in the sewing/hooking room. It works for now. But, adding another piece of furniture to our over full house is never easy.

We've both begun our 'lessons' and have discovered that our kids were right: music practice could be boring. Our resolve is strong, though, and we have our book of easy (really easy) Christmas music to look forward to trying. How's that for motivation? Time will tell, I know.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

August birds

That could be a play on words...or not. But some different birds have arrived in the garden today. Robins have returned from their high summer homes - the rowanberries are ripe. A whole flock was in the tree this morning happily munching on berries. I have heard that the fruit is intoxicating to birds but I'm not sure of that. I do know that they just sit around after gorging; too full to fly, I'm sure.

And a lovely little nuthatch was chowing down on sunflower seeds at the kitchen feeder. It looked up with keen interest as we were spreading peanut butter on a cracker inside the open window. But, while we smeared a bit on the window screen, the nuthatch did not do anything but look. Of course, we were left with the mess. Took ages to clean off the screen as every time you wash one side it spurts through to the other. That'll teach us!


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