Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Bunday

Jelly is banished to the far side of the baby gate. A fair trade- usually 'Touff is behind bars...

is it safe?

Once the littlest girly started playing on the floor, we realized she and Pontouff were about the same (body) sized. eek!


*pay no attention to the pile of empties in the background!! I've been saving them for a bottle drive since July.... If they don't get picked up on this next round, I'm going to have to make the (shameful) trip to the beer store to return all the bottles. Actually... pay no attention to that back room... it's last on the list of repairs in the house- it's the old kitchen- currently the mud room/storage and junk catch-all.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Brunch. 2nd breakfast

I hosted "family brunch" this morning.... I first started to blog this morning before breakfast, but decided that the "it's about to happen" story wasn't as lovely as the "it just happened" story.

no really, I'm comfortable here.

While I didn't have any blood family relatives over, I had the next best thing with some of the favourites joining in the pot luck meal. Brunch as a pot luck is likely the best thing ever. You can bring anything and it'll fit. Eggs and jube jubes? why not? Sausages and pie? sure! go ahead! Crumpets and fruit and hashbrowns and cheese balanced the meal out just perfectly.

the aftermath

the aftermath 2

Much laughter happened at the table, and conversation ranged from festival frustration and celebration, to faith, babies, jobs and literature.

"I brought you a book, you said you needed ideas for things to read"... Bob hands me a ragged coverless binding of pages. Dog eared doesn't even cover it. "It's ok if that one gets beat up a little, I've got another copy at home. But you have to read this one before I lend you the next one."

Once our stomachs were filled, we moved to the living room... instruments were tuned... more laughter... Two ukes, guitar, mando, and an autoharp... a request- Rolling Stone, and then "Fat Bottomed Girls"... A rockabilly Sunday.

Sunday morning Hymns 2

Sunday morning Hymns....

three on the couch.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

walking on water.

as promised, a few shots from the other day....

Photo credits: Rae


My favourite hobbits came home last night, which is lovely... but it meant their house sitter had to go back home. *sigh*

Since the hobbits were settling back into their schedule, and everyone else seemed to be doing other things... I found myself with no choice.

I put on an audio book, I opened a can of Rekorderlig (red berry), and I took down the Christmas tree.

The house looks funny now. And I miss the twinkle lights lighting... I may have to buy one of those paper lamps and fill it with twinkles... just for the glow.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

based on actual events

The following is partly word for word, partly "close enough".
I'll let you figure out which part is which.

R: What about "x"?

M: put him on the list.

R: what about "y", would you date him?

M: (hesitantly) uh

R: why not?

M: I wouldn't say no if he asked me out.

R: That's all I wanted to hear.... I don't know if you've noticed, I'm not putting my all into this. I've got a vested interest in you staying single. Otherwise I have to share you. I think maybe we should just buy you a vibrator and forget about finding you a husband so we can hang out whenever I want".

M: *eye roll*

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

up and down the dunes

I went snow shoeing for the first time in years today,

and now my muscles and ligaments are trying to get along.

Rae and I walked down to the beach and pretended we were explorers from another land- the land did seem alien to us- the addition of french accents and poor grammar completed the scene. I hadn't been down to the beach in about a month... seriously, who lives just a few blocks from the beach and doesn't go everyday? I need to change that- except for the cold. The cold has been the best reason EVER to avoid going.

The ice has been churning up against the shore, building. Creating false cliffs out in the water... well beyond the actual shore. There's a miniature ice burg locked in the corner of the breakwater to the harbour- the groans and sighs of the water heaving in and out of it's cracks sound haunted. A few times I stopped just to listen. Silence. Water birds. Slushy sloppy ice further out, the waves carrying it, mixing it.

We walked the dunes on the beach, climbed up on the breakwater, skirted the harbour. Chased some birds, wrote love letters to hobbits in the snow, and forged a trail to the bakery for warm bread and cookies.

Can we just revisit that comment about the bad french accents?
Photos to follow... eventually.

I turned the heat back up in the hot tub this morning before we set out.
Best thought ever.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

make the most of it

A toast!
To my favourite toast.
Growing up, somehow, my mom could time the bread just right- so it was coming out of the oven as we walked in the door. The smell would drive me crazy, and waiting till it had cooled just enough that she could cut off thick slices, and slather them in butter- left me drooling and hanging over the counter in the kitchen.

Sometimes I try to recreate those smells. I don't eat much bread usually... and the bread I do eat- I treat myself to from the Millstone Bakery in town... mmmmm. I really need to learn how to make just one loaf.

waiting for the bread to rise...

Hallelujah, It is risen!


worth the wait

This is my favourite bread, a Finnish Coffee Loaf that our family just called "Sugar Bread" growing up.... it makes the sweetest toast... I can't wait till morning!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Bunday

Please, step into the time machine with me... we're going to go back to the future and remember when the buns were but tiny sweet faces.... and had never caused a problem ever.

I love these pictures... I wish I'd had the foresight to take a picture of each of them in a similar pose, or with the same objects around them to compare their sizes... Both of them are at 5.5 weeks here... the difference being, Fynn fit in the palm of my hand... and Pontouff was the same length as a full-grown Fynn!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

bright white

The snow is blinding today.
After a week of clouds, the sun glares off of every surface.
It's painful and beautiful.
Minus 22 degrees Celsius ... wind warning of -40.

Last night I was headed to Hugh's Room to attend the 9th annual Lightfoot Tribute concert...
I haven't been to one since... the 4th? Maybe it was the 3rd?
Either way, I was really really looking forward to it- An evening of great music, then time spent with some of my favourite people... A night in the city.

By the time I left my house yesterday, it has been snowing softly for about an hour... just an inch of snow sat on the ground, I gave the driveway and sidewalks a quick swipe, then set off across town to the highway... By the time I got on the onramp though, I'd decided it wasn't worth it. The storm had picked up.... I'm no stranger to snowstorm driving. I'm willing to push through a little blizzard to get where I'm going... but as I pushed through the drift of snow on the on ramp, and struggled with the poorest of poor visability... I knew my day to turn around had come.
The 401 was down to a single lane- the others covered in snow... and I went through an actual snowbank to get off the highway when I reached the Port Town.

The family home is still there*, so I pulled up to the house to make some calls to let people know the change of plans. (I called from my cell in the driveway) In the time it took to make two quick calls and send two text messages, I had to get back out of the car and wipe the snow off.

Joy in the evening? Yup, After I turned back: Had a great dinner with friends, read a sweet little book, visited with an old friend while shoveling, felt pretty (as I got myself all sassed up for the show).

*I may have snuck in the house and discovered a lonely Kala low G solid body Tenor, which I may or may not have rescued .... Don't worry dad, I'll return it when you get home in May.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Peace Joy and Love

I'm sitting on the couch a little teary eyed.
I just got off the phone with a friend who just told me about some sad news in her life... That's not the reason for the tears. She said that she looks to me as an example of happiness.
And she wants to get together to talk about what it means to be happy.
So, I'm touched.
And scared.
It feels really big.

In high school and university I spent time doing a study on joy. I took a course through a church, went to bible studies, I met with two other girls... and that is what we lived.... finding joy.

What did I learn?

Two things.

That joy is a choice: In everything, I can choose to find joy. I may not always be happy, but there will always be something to find joy in.

And that when you love, it's easier to find peace in things, simpler to find the joy.

-found joy today in: my leftover homemade hamburger for lunch, in the memories of canning day- brought by the homemade ketchup. Watching the snow fall from the comfort of my couch. The knowledge that I am learning and making music. The colour of my favourite kitchen chair. The way my computer always thinks I've spelled "colour" and "favourite" wrong. The expectation in waiting for this evening's concert, and the people that I'll get to see. Making a coffee date with a friend.

Friday, January 21, 2011

soggy cuffs

My plan today is to go downtown and buy a calendar, sit in the Bean, knit, or maybe Uke.
Jenny and I used to sit in there and play our Ukes all the time... since it's changed owners we haven't. We decided the other night that it might be time to break the new guy in.

It's still snowing.
It's been snowing for forever.
all my photos from the past few weeks are dark from the covering of ever present clouds...

I spent the day in the Port earlier in the week- the river was making angry noises under the ice.


This morning there was much shoveling to be done at work

driveway at work... still snowing.

And then some more when I got home!

way over her head

Thursday, January 20, 2011

what about you

Two nights in a row of Uke time.

my fingers, sore from the use.

"Margarita Ville" is on the radio... it was one of the pieces we shopped last night at the Corktown Jam... "shopping a piece" or running a bit of a workshop on a song, breaking it down into chunks and working thru the fiddly bits. I love that about the Corktown jam.
By the end of the "shop" we had the strummers and the pickers, new ideas for fingering, and a few new chords under our belts.

It's a pretty simple song when you break it down, but I think it was the thing I was most excited about this week... well, that and the alternate fingering for a D7 to a G for a quick transition to E7... and a fun run for Blood Sweat and Tears' "Spinning Wheel".

I need to upload some newer videos. Tonight at the pub The Writer said he'd come across my youtube channel... He had nice things to say- but mostly I was embarrassed because they're so old and pretty rough.
I actually had been watching one earlier today, and spent a large portion of the afternoon trying to figure out how to pick thru the song (my early version was just strummed)... I've nearly got it... I just want to replace one note... but I'm not sure with what... it's a D being played, but when I pick it out the strings are A D Gb A (which are correct) I just don't like the sound of the two A's being picked... I like the sound of the D going to the Eb and back (I'm actually picking the strings in a 23412342 pattern) but it clashes against the melody when I actually sing it... I'll just have to use that D Eb D Gb A for something else.

that got a little more techie than I intended.

maybe for that chord I could just play D Gb A Gb D Gb A D? I'll give it a try in the morning.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


My dog has this amazing gift of being able to make me feel terrible.
I'm abandoning her.
I'm starving her.
She's freezing.
She's boiling to death.
I'm starving her.
I'm not paying enough attention.
I'm smothering her.
I'm starving her.
Honestly, she acts like I've never fed her in her life.

Today I left the house to head out for an oil change for my car ( overdue.) I left a little early as I had to stop at a friend's place to let her dog out... Miss Jelly pouted, I'd only JUST gotten home from work long enough to feed her and let her out. But I knew I'd be back in an hour to play with her..... 6 hours later I got home.
Turns out I needed a new muffler.
Home just long enough to let her out and grab a few Ukuleles before running to NUkeO.
Home from NUkeO (and it's obligations) and off to work again.
Poor dog.
so hard done by. *

Jelly. always too cold or too hot.

(I promise to stop blogging about my dog so much)

*Portrait of a cold pooch in the car on the way home from the cottage

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Bunday

I nearly forgot it was monday.....


Fynn Pants sometimes like to dig in his litter box.
I'm still waiting for him to learn how to use a broom.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

jet outta here.

I'm going to be headed to my dad's place down in Florida in a little less than a month. I'm pretty excited to sit and watch the dolphins while I drink my morning coffee... walk the beach for hours....

While I'm gone TLS will be house sitting the buns and the pooch (and the hot tub)... I'm glad. The pooch doesn't hold too too much disdain for him. In fact, she's even been known to sniff him... and even ignore him knocking at the door (I know! shocker right? the dog who barks at everything that sounds like a door knock). The buns will disapprove of anyone, and so long as they're fed and loved a little, they'll tolerate him.

My worry is not that TLS will lock himself out again and have to climb through the kitchen window, it is as with every trip- that my plane will crash and someone will have to go through all those random boxes in my basement and files in my dresser if I die. That worries me... so it's about this time that I start to go a little crazy purging.

Today I went down to the boxes to take a look at what I was up against... (and it's really not that bad, it's mostly boxes of books waiting for a book shelf - or eight) and I encountered a box of old journals. which of course I started reading. Then, I went back up stairs and started reading old blog posts.

I found one that made me laugh a little, and made me feel a little on edge remembering the woman in the story.

However, in a strange turn of events, sketchy has become someone I know thru GTI... it changes everything when you get to know someone a little.

acting chops

it wasn't really lying ... as much as just using my ability to hang part of a sentence in the air...

Last night driving thru little lawless gallery town, I passed a police cruiser. I wasn't speeding. My stickers are up to date on my plates. My lights are working. And yet, the cruiser pulled out and followed me to the house. I was parking on the side of the country road when he pulled up beside me.
I rolled down my window.

"Hello L.Bo"
uh, hello?

"I know your name... know how I know that?"
uh, I'm not sure...

"I ran your plates"
(at this point I'm trying to figure out what's going on, I squint thru the snowflakes to see if it's an officer I know, maybe one of the guys from high school, or one from work?)

"I ran your plates and you forgot to renew your license on your birthday"
But!! I renewed my stickers on my birthday.... *

"yes, but you also needed to renew your license"
They didn't mention that at the office....

"I just wanted to give you a heads up, if you were pulled over for anything, it'd be a $350 fine... have a good night, and don't forget to get your license on Monday"

thank you so much!**

*I actually noticed the other day, but forgot to go on Friday when they were open. I don't drive my car often enough to think of these things...

**at that point I ran in the house laughing to tell the story to the girls at the PJ party hosted by two of my favourite men.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Growing up, in high school, I had chronic hicups. Not as bad as my friend Mandamanda, but bad enough that I got kicked out of my afternoon classes on a regular basis.

Years later, thru trial and error and watching my lifestyle, I discovered that it was a stress related thing (mostly). There are a few other triggers that are food related. Carroty things. I remember my mom saying that carrot sticks gave her hicups. Mostly it's carrot muffins or raw carrots for me.

I'm also a serious stereotype.

I just spent a lovely evening at the pub with some friends and I can't stop the hicups.

also- two things. I can't remember the first, but I'm sure it will come to me. Something about sea shanties.

The second- small town syndrome. I don't think I've ever seen our waitress from tonight- but in conversation she said something about knowing that I lived in the apartment over her boss a few years back. (yup, hanging at the crazy lady's pub)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Spent some time today at the Motel.
I know I haven't written too much about it in a number of months. But things are... good.
There have been some huge changes.


And, sometimes.. I see these little glimpses of change that leave me breathless.

Like today, there's a father and son that come for dinner. Dad lives at the motel, his son (near to my age, maybe a little younger?) rents a place nearby. They both come early for dinner. Hours early, and spend the time joking around with whom ever else happens to be there.
I'm mocked.
A lot.

Dad's had some really great news about a pension, he's going to be able to move out- but first, until he moves along on the list for geared-to-income housing, he's signed up for one of the new rooms at GTI.

This is big.

Even bigger is that he talks about "that guy who used to live in [his] room. That guy punched all the plaster out of the walls", drank for days on end, hardly ever left his room, who had anger in his eyes all the time... people were scared of him.

That guy is history.

Today he had so much joy in his face that I could barely breathe watching him.
He's beautiful.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


As promised, a little run-down of the auditions from a few weeks ago.
'umberland Players are putting on "the 25th annual putnam county spelling bee". Long name, great little show.

It's a show of just leads. There's no chorus backing them up, so I was quite hesitant to try out. But,like I mentioned a while ago, I was encouraged by someone who said a few times "my dream cast includes you, x, y, and z". In conversation with this person, they talked about the show and how "we'd" be doing it, what "our" set was going to look like... and a few other comments that made me feel like it was in the bag. So, yes, I was pretty hurt when I didn't get the part.

BUT. That comes from my biggest weakness.
My greatest strength.
Something that I still need to learn to control.

The best people were chosen for the parts based on their ability to excel in the audition process.

I don't know if I have the vocabulary to describe this fully, I've touched on it before.... and it's long, so feel free to skip it.

I have, since I was about 16, been blessed with the fantastic ability to hear harmony. Music in a whole sense. There's a physical sensation that I feel when I hear music- some people say they sense numbers in colour, people refer to seeing something and nearly being able to taste the vision, I have a physical sensation when I hear music. It happens mostly in my throat and neck- but when a "complete" piece of music is heard, I feel it down into my chest. A squeeze and release that follows the shape of the notes, and the sense that there are two portions in me, one leaning against the other in sound, pushing for a balance, and when the balance is reached, it's a tight feeling, nearly painful in it's perfection.
I used to joke that I had "harmony-itis", and the only way I could explain what was happening in me was that I only heard the harmony... but, when I take it apart, note by note... I hear the melody in my ears and my head, and my brain turns my response into the right "lean" to create a balance. When I sing a harmony, unless it's one I've learned by repetition... I don't know what I'm singing... I couldn't sing it back to you without the melody because it doesn't exist in my mind. A physical response to "fill out" the sound.

ug. I just read what I wrote and it sounds so stupid!
Why aren't we given the vocabulary for these sort of things?

So, to learn a melody takes me a little time.
I have to force myself to step away from the music, and learn the physical characteristics of the tune. If you listen carefully to me stumbling thru a new piece of music, you'll notice I'm breaking into the harmony to what I'm suppose to be learning in the most random of spots.

Trust me.
it's annoying.

In an audition, in a call back, you're asked to learn a few pieces of new songs and sing them solo. I'm just not quick enough on the draw to learn the melody and sing it confidently.

So, the strongest person gets the part. That's the way it should be.

Someday, I'll develop what I've got. Or I'll find a use for it beyond singing around a campfire.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday Bunday


an oldie but a goodie....
I didn't have my camera out with the buns this week, so here's the dearly missed Norton Pee Bunny....

Friday, January 07, 2011

Fallin' fallin' fallin'

Three days ago we were hit by some snow.
The plow didn't bother to do our street till yesterday... which.. made it kinda slippery, and difficult to plow at all.

Last night we had a pretty great snow fall, so good that people were going door to door offering to shovel! In the past hour, the plow has driven up and down the street 6 times.

I'm headed to the cottage with the girls for the weekend (and JellyDog- the buns have a friend checking in on them) Technology free weekend, here I come!
(Unless I buy that new phone to replace the one I lost last month...)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

update: Monday Bunday

Hold on to your whiskers, it's been a long time coming.

Bunday Mondays will resume this coming week.

Until then, here's an old photo... (don't worry his nails have been trimmed since then!)


I work in a group home- I'm paid to sleep there....

Last night as I climbed into my bed, I was stabbed twice.
Not by any of the residents, but by the darning needle I'd stuck in the collar of my shirt at some point in the evening, and then by the cable needle I'd left in my pony tail.


Photos tomorrow of the current project.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

more squeak than crunch

I'm on a bit of a house cleaning strike.
Which, doesn't really make sense, as I'm the only person who lives there full time.
Maybe tomorrow?
I just feel... blah.
I can't be bothered to get dressed. I just want to sit in my PJs and knit.
One good thing, I've been forcing myself to leave the house during the day ... uh, to go knit... at the Bean.
*insert eyeroll at myself*
I'm going to need a winter hobby that forces me to be social, and that doesn't include sitting by myself in the coffee shop drinking cup after cup of tea.

Tonight at GTI, lovely S and I were allowing ourselves to get a little silly. I think it helps. The space can be so dreary, people's situations so difficult... Anyway, after tearing down the Christmas tree we decided to head over to the grocery store to pick up cream and sugar for the coffee table. Neither of us is very good at reining ourselves back in from being silly- and S has fewer filters than I have. We rounded a corner in the store and walked up behind a man with the most lovely ass ever. What does S do? Pretty near assaults the man! She reached forward and made motions as if grabbing his cheeks... just as a woman rounded the corner from the next aisle.... we die laughing on the spot and rush to pay for our purchases before lovely ass can even turn around.

A great night, even if the temperature is at squeak and not crunch.
Brrrrr. hotwater bottle time!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

to clarify...

I feel like today is as good a day as any to bring up my feelings about the cold. Mostly because I'm sitting in the basement at work shivering a little- waiting for the kettle to boil so I can fill my hotwater bottle.

I like the cold.

Please read that line again.

Note that it doesn't say "I like to be cold" or even "I like being cold".

I like the cold.
I like it because of what it forces. It forces me to take measures to become warm, to stay warm.
Sweaters, Scarves, Mittens... they make me smile.*
Hotwater bottles, like a warm hug wrapped in a felted sweater**
Slippers, blankets, toques***
Blankets, duvets, cuddling, spoons.
I like the cold.

*honestly... scarves? It like you've suddenly been given permission to carry a personal sized security blanket with you out in public!
**oh, maybe it's just my hotwater bottle wrapped in a felted sweater?
***sometimes I wear my toque in the hot tub.

Monday, January 03, 2011

How to do Christmas.




(pond campfire provided by the Sheffrats)

Sunday, January 02, 2011

New year...

two thoughts for today....

This morning I saw a neighbour washing his truck. A large white pick up truck. He was down on his hands and knees while he lovingly wiped the last traces of dirt from the shining hubcaps.

Tonight walking home from work I had the overwhelming urge to fling chocolate pudding all over it with a plastic spoon.

I didn't do it.
I just really wanted to.

Other thought: I wish that everyone I knew could take part in something like the event we had last night.
The 3rd annual collage (not college) party. New Years' eve brought in with a pile of arts... I don't think I can do it justice to talk about it. Just picture some of your favourite people in a room, a long playlist of your favourite (and new favourite) musicians. A table, heavy with slow cooked food. And the freedom to be. And the invitation to create.
it was a great way to start the year...

Saturday, January 01, 2011

I'm not sure if this will work...

Happy New Year!

(tappa tappa brought to you by the 3rd annual collage party '10/'11)