Tuesday, December 15, 2009
a quick recap::
I got the keys to my hobbit house. a gaggle of people showed up to clean. hobbits and honorary hobbits helped to tear things down, rebuild them, patch them, sand them wash them again and paint them.
there is one completely livable room in the house.
and I have plumbing.
and the kitchen will be built next week.
and I haven't lost my sanity... completely... yet.
thank you hobbits. you really are the best.
my friend has been silent for a long time, their heart heavy. afraid to put things to life. but lately my friend has stood on top of fears. and is creating again.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
In other news....
NUke-O had an extra gathering tonight, getting ready for the big "Toques and Ukes" event. (We're in the 'Burg's chirstmas parade!)
A really fun night tonight... I love that some other people have stepped up to lead this... it's such a funny group of people... with more than 50 years between our oldest and youngest members. You never know what direction things are going to go in.
Plans are in the works for "the hobbit house concert series".... first guest to be announced soon!
Monday, November 09, 2009
I've come to realize that the poor fuzz pot, as large and disproportionate as he is... has a difficult time getting at his own tail.
tonight, armed with scissors and patience,
I was able to whittle it down to a third of it's size.
a more... natural looking size.
the giant tufts of fur, large matts nearly the size of my fist... reminded me of "the teddy bear" littlebits used to sport on the back of her head. For those of you who weren't around in those years, my little sister had dreadlocks.... with one strangely shaped clump hidden underneath. It had a name.
Naturally, since poor 'Touf was upside down and couldn't do too much about it, I worked my way around to one of his oddly shaped feet. His feet wouldn't be so oddly shaped if he'd bother to groom them too. He seems to like to drag around clumps of fur the size of FynnPants.
Fur Kankles. Fankles?
I managed to clear one leg before the squirming started. Squirming isn't a problem if you're holding a normal rabbit. If you're holding a Flemish Giant, it means the grooming session is nearly over. In the first giant kick, I was pulling on the last of a clump of fur, unfortunately it meant that it tore his skin! A tiny tear, but I imagine it hurt a heck of a lot. Enough that he flipped over unexpectedly... and managed to get a nail stuck in my sweater - one more kick and he tore the nail off.
Poor giant bunny.
Some forced cuddles and a quick check, no dripping blood *phew*, the Kangaroo was back in his mansion drinking water and hopping around.
Other than a few dirty looks (rabbits are disapproving after all) I think all is well.
Tomorrow I'll attack the other foot, and maybe get those nails trimmed!
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Sunday, November 01, 2009
So, if you want to take the time to answer some of my questions, that would be quite wonderful. Any of your feedback that I end up including in my audio piece will be anonymous (although I don't know how to make your comments on my note anonymous on facebook and only for me to see.. if you want to answer the questions but don't want others to read your answers, please feel free to write to me in a provate message). And I will only be using bits and pieces of what I can collect here, in a sound mosaic.
1. What is sadness?
2. What does it feel like?
3. What makes you sad?
4. What do you do when you're sad? Where do you go? Who, if anyone, do you talk to?
5. Do you find sadness easy to talk about? Difficult? Why?
6. What does sadness sound like?
7. Do you cry? Do you cry easily? Do you cry often? What does that feel like?
8. When was the last time you cried? What did you cry about?
9. When were you the most sad? Why?
10. What are the different ways you experience sadness? Can you put a name to them (ex. tragic sad, tender sad, beautiful sad, depressed sad...)?
11. Do you enjoy sadness at all, ever? Why or why not?
12. Comments, extras: please feel free to include any extra points you want to make here about sadness. Or answers to questions I never asked. Or comments or little stories. I would love to hear it..
Thank you for taking the time to write about this. I very much appreciate it.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tonight was a rehearsal night (I still want to write reHAIRsal) for Sweeney Todd. I'm still feeling a disconnect- we don't all get together often (yet?) and I still don't know every one's names... and there's even three or four people I haven't spoken to yet. crazy.
I'm trying to make sure that I get to know some of the people who weren't in last year's show. But- I'm not good with that sort of thing.
um, thank you for putting up with my awkwardness.
Things feel like they are moving REALLY fast though. (and I don't mean the speed of the numbers... HOLY! those songs have lot of words... and too few bars to put them in!) We were blocked for a big chunk of the first act tonight... it feels weird not to be on the stage all the time (like with Hair) but I guess this is the new normal.
make sure you save some time to see the show! last week of Feb, first week of March (it only seems like it's far away now)
Monday, October 19, 2009
have I mentioned the term "best year ever" enough yet?
I was a lucky chosen delegate to OCFF in Ottawa this weekend. Now, it's definitely one of those "you're never gonna get it till you go there" type things- but just try to take my word when I say it was AWESOME.
OCFF is a conference of sorts- held to bring together the people who make folk festivals happen- for networking and information sharing (and a whole lot more). It's also the place you want to go if you're a musician who wants to be heard... and maybe hired.. by all those festival type people. There are panel discussions (I was a panelist!), board level stuff, training things, musician development, festival development, a gala dinner, awards, interviews... and showcases.
oh my... there are showcases.
I think if it wasn't for the generosity of JessPugs letting me stay at her house the first night- I might not have ever left the building on the weekend.
Showcases operate on two levels at OCFF- there are the sponsored ones- they run during the day and into the late evening... (think: awesome 25 minute concerts running all day long back to back) then... just before midnight.... the guerrilla showcases start... several floors in the hotel dedicated to showcase rooms... (think: hotel room with beds pushed around for seating for 20 people) each room hosting several musicians each night... till 4am.
did I mention there were about 900 people at this? most of them musicians?
there were so many "highlights" that I don't even know where to start.... every time I turned around I was excited to see someone I hadn't seen in awhile, or who's music I've been listening to on the radio this year... I tried my very best to sit in on showcases of people I'd never heard before (or at least who I hadn't heard live before) and found quite a few new (to me) musicians that I'm going to purchase music from.
ok, mini highlight list (big highlights in small form)
-played bartender for a few hours in the Ukulele Speakeasy Showcase
(super awesome... James Hill showed up) (I wasn't the barkeep at that point, but VERY VERY cool to have him there)
-got to sing WITH some musicians I look up to (ok, unsolicited singing... along with them during showcases)
-heard 24 hours of GOOD if not awesome music ... live in one weekend.
-sat in on 4 shows that received standing ovations
-cried from the beauty of music
-saw old friends I didn't expect to see
-rented an awesome car to drive to Ottawa in (with a working radio that happened to pick up a station relaying a radio program featuring an hour of Jake Shimabukuro)
-ate breakfast with Sharon Lois and Bram
-got to have dinner with one half of my favourite song writing duo
-sat with the other half of my favourite song writing duo at a showcase
-sat literally at the feet of James Hill and Anne while they played
yup, all in all... great weekend.
a small thing really.
this isn't directed at anyone in particular, it's just something I've been noticing.
or maybe I've noticed it for a long time, but I just don't have the patience to deal with it anymore?
is it possible for people to lose the ability to please people all the time... or rather lose the need to please?.. to be kind? to pretend to care?
or maybe I'm getting old and cranky?
I'm becoming less gracious? perhaps.
or maybe I just expect some equality.
or... and this is likely what it is.. maybe I've reached a point where I know what brings me joy, and what takes it from me, and I'm becoming comfortable enough in my own skin to recognize that which steals my joy has no place in my life.
but, I digress...
if in fact you are an incredibly negative person, and the only topic of conversation you can think of ends up being a complaint about something... or someone... that's fine. but please allow others the same courtesy they've offered you in lending their ear. if they are frustrated with something and bother sharing their frustration, don't try to prove everything they say wrong or tell them they are wrong to think that way. eventually, those people listening to you ... are either going to lose their own joy, or they're going to stop talking to you altogether.
hey, remember when you used to write as though you were two different people on your blog?
yeah, I sure do
those were good times weren't they?
they were likely confusing times
yeah... I suppose so.
Why Do We Hunger for Beauty
Music and Lyric by Jim Croegaert
Dark are the branches
Reaching for light
High is the path of
The hawk in its flight
Turning and gliding
Greeting the night
Why do we hunger
For beauty so right
Why do we hunger for beauty
Moon hanging lonely
Up there in the sky
Looking so holy
Like a host held up high
And off in the distance
There’s a train going by
Why does it move us
And cause us to sigh
Why do we hunger for beauty
Frost on the window
Is never the same
So many patterns
Fit in the frame
Captured in motion
Frozen in flame
And in the patterns
Is there a name
Why do we hunger for beauty
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
so thank you for baring with me over the past little while as I've swung thru moods like Tarzan thru the jungle. the rants about a house and peer groups and puppies and ovaries and the like... it's mostly been because of the crazy ride getting to this point... after a few false starts over the past few months...
and now that the sign is up on the lawn... I can truly say... I bought a house!
(ok so facebook land and anyone near BethSheff has known for awhile)
and it only took me three years of saying "I'm buying a house"
one year of looking seriously
and four months of offers on things that just didn't pan out.
I went to my real estate agent back in April and gave him my list of "wants" (which he kind of laughed at, I was pretty particular)... and a few weeks ago we got to the point where he tried to talk me into a condo just so I'd stop wasting money on rent...
and then we found it. (Best year ever)
and, not to trump the news, but ... (um, if you're a relative and you're just hearing this for the first time.. um... don't worry, you're getting a phone call)
Dad and Gale got married today! Welcome to the family Gale :)
Monday, October 12, 2009
was coming into work and seeing the casserole dish on the desk.
Yesterday while working, I made dessert to go with tonight's meal... apple crisp. I peeled and sliced the apples, made the crisp, then wrapped it up and left it in the fridge so they could cook it after cooking the turkey....
I came into work, looked at the half-eaten crisp and started laughing...
they didn't cook it.
but they ate it.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
I've been having a number of those lately, but my inner self starts screaming so loudly at me, that I have to give in, because there's just no peace in it.
take yesterday. I'm at work. I'm supporting someone working in the town hall. But, he's at the "phase out" point in his job. I do check ins on him every 15 mins right now.. not nearly enough time to go back to the office, or accomplish anything. so, I sit. and read. or more recently, write.
The front lobby of the town hall is this huge echoing space, lined with benches. I plunk myself onto one, and pull out my day timer to look up something. A woman creeps into the building, pushing her walker... and in this giant empty room... sits so close to me I have to move over - she's nearly on my lap.
don't look up.
don't make eye contact
keep flipping thru
I sit for the next 15 mins. I say maybe 3 words the entire time. I hear the same two stories told three times. inaconstantflowofwordsandnotonebreathistakenandidon'tknowifthiswomanhastalkedtoanyoneyettodayorifi'mthefirst....
Monday, October 05, 2009
I was sure I was getting kicked out of the library today because of pomegranates.
This afternoon I worked a placement at the public library in Happytown. Hope Town. The P-dot. I'm supporting two individuals who want to learn how to use the library better, more independently. SO, I teach them how to use things there. Today, we spent about ten minutes just learning how to use, and then practicing, the bar code scanner for the library cards.... pretty funny stuff. I get my people set up online, and they are both working on emails to their sisters.
And then... along comes Babba.
Babba... aka Pader, aka... many other names.... is one of Happytown's most awesome characters. I'd love to write about him... but I'm afraid I wouldn't do him justice. He's lovely. And he's a little rough around the edges. And sometimes a little crude. Ok, sometimes really crude. But cares about people. And even though some of the most shocking things come out of his mouth- it is for shock, and sometimes to draw you away from the truth about something else he's touched on... but one of the nicest guys. He'll do anything.. for anyone.
Anyway. Babba finds me in the Library.
Babba- My Friend Marie! (he always calls me by my middle name) I have got something for you today, I brought it. I thought I would see you. You go for a smoke?
Me- Sorry Babba, I don't smoke. I try very hard not to smoke.
B- oh. oh. ok, we go to the stacks.
B- here, here by the books, I want to film you.
M- um.. no. (laughing)
B- What? you scared?
M- Yes. I'm scared. it's my first time. (note: you can't help but be just as crude right back)
B- (laughing) I've got you a Pomegranates, like in my video, with my grandson, I teach you to eat it right. just a leetle bite, then you suck the juice and ... MAMA!
M- (still laughing) you have contraband items in the library Babba.
B- come here....
so now we're hiding in the video section. One of Babba's friends is giving him the stink eye, but laughing from across the room. Babba is trying to teach me how to squish the Pomegranate, and bite the tiniest hole in it... there's a pretty funny language barrier thing going on thru this whole section... and Babba seems to be worried I'm going to mess the library up... or my shirt... and tries to give me a map book to use as a bib. I manage to get the map book away from him.
But by this point, I'm nearly hyperventilating trying not to laugh loudly. Stink eye- from across the room is laughing pretty hard now. Babba doesn't even try to be quiet... the loud stage whisper he's using to speak to me with can be heard all the way to the front desk.
eventually, I find out it's got to be the most tiny hole, just nipped... and that I've got to be careful because it will explode.. but I can't seem to bite it because it's so soft, it's bending away from my teeth... I get this tiny spot ripped, but not all the way through.... and Babba starts squeezing the pom... it explodes. Thankfully, mostly into my mouth and not all over the carpet.
Babba giggles and runs off to charm the woman at the front desk.
Thankfully it works, and there's not even a hint of anger over the food, juice, noise.
M- you probably should have been filming that
B- I know. it was going to be a great movie.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
mantra, there's a good cause, there's a good cause...
During the Spring and summer, when I took some time off from job number 2 (I took a 5 month leave of absence to regain my sanity) I was so surprised at how short the work week was. I'd NEVER (read: in my 16 years of working) had weekends off.
I had no idea that breaks came so quickly... it was a whole new world! just when you get into the rhythm of being at work.. you have a weekend!
Now that I'm back to the 12 day stretches between weekends, I'm back to my time being spent.
When you have every weekend off, you can choose to do things on the weekend.. but you can also choose to do it the NEXT weekend.
When you're working every other- things get booked. Till there is no weekend.
that said... I'm booking an escape weekend for this coming Saturday... I'm excited.
ok, that'll be my last "work is a lot" post now. I've chosen to go this route.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
The bunnies are excited that they've moved in too... 'Touf is in love with their kids, and FynnPants is from their first litter..
I'm increasingly frustrated that I don't own my home. I figure I should at least attain one of the "normal" milestones in life that my peer group has set, and at this point I'm fixating on this one.
problems with this...
1) since when do I care about milestones?
2) since when do the people I went to highschool with count as my "peer group"?
3) houses are expensive... a puppy would be cheaper... and much more entertaining
4) I think it's signalling a midlife crisis.
if someone would like to give me a winning lotto ticket, or a farm... it would be much appreciated.
I'm going to go sort some worms.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
It has some seriously challenging pieces... last year, I got to see the movie, and wasn't as impressed, they'd cut quite a few pieces out, and the singing wasn't spectacular.
It's so hard to get a good balance, people who can sing, and people who can act.
I'm not an actor.
I know I can sing a little, and I'm proud of that...
So, I'm excited to say, I'm part of the chorus for the 'Umberland Players production of Sweeney Todd!
I'm doubly excited about the chorus, because I know there's some really challenging bits in there that I'm pumped to have a go at.... annnnnd, I nearly didn't try out for this show, as I didn't want to have the huge time commitment (that last year's show required- when all the cast are on stage for the entire show!). So, as much fun as it would have been to play the part of the beggar lady (which I did try out for) I'm relieved not to be her.
I'm just processing all this right now, but I really feel like I held back at the call-backs too... especially after seeing the calibre of the people at the first audition, I felt like it was a joke that I was trying out for a part.... which is totally fine, "you don't know what you don't know" and I think that going into the audition, I was thinking of last year's cast, and how we would operate for this play... not knowing that 75% of the people at the first audition were totally new to me, if not to Players...
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
A dear friend said right after the festival something about "leaving real life to face the illusion". I don't know if that makes as much sense to others... it fits so well when you start thinking about community ... real community- and comparing it to our day to day.
Spending a lot of time reading old journals, finding old songs that I've forgotten melodies to. Wondering what it was that made me write them...
there's a lot of disappointment ruining your days
things not turning up
only dredging lower than that point you never figured you'd see
bumping your head on the lowest beam
and it's dank like the basement
when you thought you had the moment
or the choice or the chance
and it wasn't
the last thing you want to hear
are the words from that hallmark
even if they're true
you'd rather be
just for now
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
in the morning sun
picking and eating,
looking out on rice lake,
sharing thoughts and ideas and moments of quiet
with beautiful company
and a smiley bean of a baby
perched in a laundry basket.
down country roads
through rolling hills
singing along with buddy and julie
with the windows down.
in a field
among strangers and friends.
music that moves me
inside and out.
sun soaked sweaty skin.
no sense of time.
the stories and stresses and gifts and discoveries
that ooze out of such intimacy
full moon at night
fires and songs
and sweet irish cream.
and moments i wish i could undo
and millions more that i wound never change
even if i could.
through wild gardens
and secret streams.
blueberry tea in a funny shaped house.
words that come from the belly
and the heart.
friends that make
even shitty days
worth waking up for.
and no breathes,
tired and sleepless
the gift that was just sitting there,
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
"But? isn't it lunch time?"
I was just about as confused as she looked.
then she said... "I was sure it was lunch time, I heard a Ukulele in the back room a few minutes ago"
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
In just a few days, a gate will open, and people of all ages will wander the side of a grassy hill overlooking Lake Ontario. They’ll greet old friends, and settle themselves down to listen to some of the finest music out there.
Eventually though, they’ll have to stretch their legs.
And a little further down the hill, they’ll find another layer to the festival exists.
Not only is Shelter Valley Folk Festival a great place for exposure to some of today’s most exciting in Folk, Blues and Roots music, but it plays host to a fantastic selection of local artists.
The Artists’ Village opens up before you into a world of texture and colour. Original works of art share a space with their creators, giving opportunity for discussion and demonstration, while workshops invite guests to touch and take part in the creative process. A perennial favorite in the workshop department takes place Saturday afternoon, where folks are invited to express themselves in colour, guided and inspired by some of the festival’s musicians (this year with the musical group Po’Girl).
The juried show runs the duration of the festival and includes a mix of returning and new exhibitors covering a broad range of mediums. Tie-dye goes hand in hand with a folk festival, and returning Artist Rri Povey of Rrijoice-Tie-Dye takes the craft a little further. Povey hand stitches her patterns and designs before dying the fabric. Turtles, guitars, flowers and stars are some of her popular designs. A newcomer to the festival this year is Richard Cox, builder of beautiful Irish wooden flutes. Each instrument he builds is a work of art, beautiful to the eyes and the ears. Cox first heard of Shelter Valley Folk Festival from a friend who has been an Artist in the Village before, his friend spoke so highly of SVFF that Cox just had to apply.
So much waits to be found and experienced in the Artists’ Village...
Tickets are still on sale for the Labour Day weekend event, online at www.sheltervalley.com by phone at 905-355-1244, or in the downtown office on King St.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Friday, July 03, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Yesterday I got sent this fantastic little email from a man who's part of NUkeO (our Uke Jam group) He'd been trying to figure out the chords the night before for "Skinamarink", and he'd found them, and sent them my way... then at the bottom of the page, a huge picture of the two of us, grinning like fools at the Uke Jam. The email made me smile so big, my coworker took one look at me and said... "that's your Ukulele smile, I can always tell".
this picture makes me laugh too much. One, because Jim asked if he bunny ears behind his head... before the picture was taken. And two, because my fingers look so long. It's because the Uke is so tiny... but when I first saw the pic, I immediately thought of my sister, who has these long graceful fingers- I've always been jealous of them... it's like when you hold those tiny tiny cans of pop they serve on some airlines... they make you feel like a giant.
Today a friend of mine is meeting some members of his birth family... I'm really excited (and nervous) for him. I can't imagine... really can't even begin to imagine, the pile and mix of emotions all of them must be feeling right now... praying for them today.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
and an update, another 2 morning glories lost, another set of Zucchini seeds, and one cauliflower munched.
yesterday a lovely friend suggested that I plant garlic to deter the buggers. Did I mention the lost of 6 cloves of garlic earlier this spring?
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
I have to submit some advertising for a car wash we're hosting as a fund raiser for the "AKTION" Club. The "AKTION" club is a service group thru work that I help to run- hosted in part by the local Kiwanis Club...
So, I like to use the interwebs.. and tried to submit my little blurb via the online version of our community newspaper. ("community newspaper" to be a topic for another day)
I clicked on the tab... and was brought to an error page.
and I just sat and giggled.
An error occured while processing the request.
Please help improve the website by telling us how did this error occured
giggled at the spelling and grammar... and wished I worked for a newspaper too.
Monday, June 01, 2009
not that I'm particular.
ok, let's try this again.
there's a group of people that are more apt to be afflicted with UAS than the general population.
I've got it.
Several people I know have it.
There's even a support group dedicated to it.
Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome.
I MAY have bought my 3rd Ukulele.
-side note:: quote of the week from a few weeks ago "Ukuleles are too trendy" ~MegSheff
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
sorry I've been missing in the blogosphere... it just so happens that I found some pretty paper that feels good to write on, and a pen I like. so I'm back to that.
don't worry, the book (of paper) is nearing the half way point- when it's gone, I'll tire of holding a pen on paper that I DON'T like... and then I'll be back.
Bunnies are fine. eating the house.
the garden is lovely, the weather turning.
Festival prep is in full swing... I'm putting in an hour nearly every day for that...
The trip was lovely, the sand hot, the ocean perfect.
Work is busy.
The Ukulele is bringing me much joy.
I've mostly given up tv, and replaced it with waltzing in the kitchen... although, by myself.
Every guy I've met in the past 12 months ... is also looking for a guy.
not that I'm looking.
and I'm not joking about the waltzing.
GTI is fantastic as always.
a roller coaster. as always.
there are slippers taking over my house. I hope the market starts soon.
and I'm inheriting someone's worm farm this next month... so, vermicompost will be taking over the house.
I've started my 5 month LOA from job 1... did you know that in the morning, when you wake up, there's time to eat breakfast, shower, do laundry AND brush your teeth? for the past two years I've had to choose between just breakfast and dental hygiene. gross.
I'm feeling human... but I still haven't reached that spot where I can clean my room.
my bedroom floor reflects what my brain is doing.
it's still a mess.
back sometime soon.
hopefully, with a clean room... and a found camera cable.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
but today I heard that they're thinking of moving the market out of down town and planting it in the parking lot at the mall.
soooo no one can walk there
and it's stupid for so many reasons
so maybe I won't have a booth there....
maybe I'll end up in the Port instead- cause if I have to drive, I might as well go somewhere nice.
also.... the worms.
I need to tend to them better. I found a bin that I haven't fed in well over a month.. maybe two.
such little tiny worms.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
And just two day shifts there too. (because the night job is a night AND day job)
I took my last night off as a vacation day....
guess who's going to the UkeJam?????
I've turned off my computer at home by 5:30
two nights in a row
which is good
and I feel like I've had conversations
and made things
and been places
and felt things
but no one turns off the computer before I get to work at night.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
"Our deepest fear is NOT that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are the child of the creator.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are born to make manifest the glory of the creator that is within us.
It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone, and as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."