It was the end of the week, and towards the end of the day. The day was cold; we had been unable to be outdoors for days.
Sarah, was in the housekeeping area, and putting on a pair of boy's ballet shoes, size small. She handed me a pair of pink ballet slippers, well worn, mine from my teenage years.
"Put these on, Teacher."
"Well, I guess, I could try, I'm not sure if they will fit". I pulled them on.
"These ones are boy's," Sarah says as she stands up. She twirls.
"Um, yes they were my son's when he was a boy."
I stood, and felt the floor through the bottoms of my feet.
"Let's put on our ballet music, and dance."
I called the small group of toddlers to the music carpet, found that my YoYo Ma cd was in the machine, and turned it on.
As I stood with feet pointed out, back straight, and arms in front, slightly bent at the elbow, I bent my knees, showing the girls how to slowly lower their body while keeping back straight, and then slowly come back up.
Two of the girls immediately follow along with me, and we begin to raise, and lower to the music, and as I begin to remember the very most basic positions of the ballet, we bend our bodies together with arms held poised out, we turn, and then because I have forgotten almost all I once knew, I improvise, while keeping arms poised, toes out, back straight, and move slowly.
I am aware of Jess, watching from behind the bookshelf, and Nina, eyes sparkling at the edge of the carpet. Nina is special in many ways, she and I have a close bond, and she looks bemused and appreciative as I move with the music, in my old ballet shoes.
I call the two watchers to join us, and so we hold hands in a ring, bending slowly to the ground, with our backs straight, we stand first on one leg, and point the other leg out; and then do the reverse.
We release hands, and I twirl, as my toddlers watch.
"This is ballet", I say.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Sunday, August 25, 2013
The experience of going to the Paul McCartney concert, Out There, was everything I'd hoped for - lovely weather with a still autumnal feeling in the air; friendly crowds; fun with my son, and niece; and a wonderful musical experience.
Part of the fun, was finding a parking spot, and then walking some distance to the stadium, with other happy concert goers. It became evident that there was going to be a very large crowd at Mosaic stadium. We learned later that the crowd for the concert was over 44, 0000, which is good for a city of our size - 250,000.
Our seats were way up, above the crowds, and we loved this vantage point. As well we were in the very center front seats, with no one in front of us.
Yes, we were quite far from the stage, but our viewpoint allowed us to get a grand picture of the event, including this beautiful sunset.
At the time we were not sure why the concert was so late. We were kept entertained with a light screen collage of the Beatles, and music.
Paul, my son, and I thought maybe they were waiting for the sun to set.
After this beautiful sunset, we still waited for sometime, when suddenly, with no fanfare, the band appeared and started playing "Eight Days a Week".
The music continued nonstop for 3 hours. It seemed to me that the people in the audience were just genuinely happy, and thrilled to have Paul entertain with his lovely songs, and friendly manner. There is nothing off putting, or snobbish in this famous star's engagement with the crowd.
Hey Jude. And yes, the night was lit up with small lights as people shone their phones.
He and his band sang 33 songs this night, and I was surprised when my son, Paul seemed to know so many of them. My beautiful niece Summer, also seemed to be familiar with most of the songs.
One of my favourite songs in the concert was Blackbird. This was performed by Paul alone on stage.
I know it is hard to see him but isn't that a lovely background for the song.
There were fireworks midway through the evening, here following the Wings tune, Live and Let Die, the theme song for the 1973 James Bond movie of the same name.
After two encores, the concert ended with Golden Slumbers, and The End - and more fireworks to close the night.
The crowd dispersed happily and peacefully. For many, I think a once in a life time opportunity to see a favourite star, perform live. In my books, he lived up to his reputation as a performer, and true star.
I am so happy I had a chance to see this, and must thank my son Paul for taking me to this event.
Monday, August 12, 2013
Autumn leaves, clouds, a new favourite author, and ....a really very famous star coming for a concert...AND I am going!
I love them, but it does seem a little early. However, possibly this is always my reaction to seeing this change in season. Here in my city, we say, as soon as the exhibition comes to town, that it is the start of fall - cooler temperatures, shorter days, and with that must come the fall colours. Every year we then tend to comment on this, isn't it early for the trees to be changing colour?
My neighbours were surprised at the hardiness, and resilience of this plant, as they had tried to grow the same variety of clematis, and had failed.
So every year, it seems to be getting stronger, with more blossoms. It is pretty, isn't it?
I would really recommend her writing if you enjoy novels of everyday people. finding themselves in extraordinary situations. She writes luminously, and it is easy to tell that she loves writing, and also loves people. Elizabeth, is a registered nurse, and worked as a nurse for many years before her life as an author.
I would suggest reading "Open House" first, it is the kind of novel which makes me wish I could go into the book, and visit with the characters. It features a wise group of woman friends.
As well, "We are all Welcome Here", is an amazing story of a woman who after catching polio, has her baby delivered while she is in an iron lung; is immediately abandoned by her husband; hires a caregiver and soon after returns home to raise her daughter. The book was primarily told from the point of view of the 13 year old girl. It is fiction, based on this remarkable family. The times and setting reminded me of "The Help" - early 1960's , civil rights is part of the story, and the ending features a REALLY VERY FAMOUS and iconic star, who plays the part of this family's liberator.
|This is part of the back fence which my talented mother built, and it still stands.|
However at one point back in the early 60's there was an ongoing discussion, in the back lane, about a certain musical group new on the scene, whether you liked them best, or ELVIS. Or whether you loved John OR Paul. I think I was a little naive compared to my friends, and just liked Paul because he looked the most friendly. We collected Beatle cards from bubble gum, and Paul did seem to be the Beatle to save.
Still, after many decades, I do like Paul - not best - but I like his music very much. I admire him for still getting out there and playing to crowds at 71, probably putting some musicians in their 20's to shame, for pure energy, and crowd appeal. I saw a youtube video of his performance at the 2012 Olympics; he was outstanding I think.
And he will be here in the small city, where I live, on his world tour this WEDNESDAY!!!
My son, Paul, purchased three tickets from a friend who no longer needed them, for a very reasonable $50.00 each, and he is taking me and my niece, Summer!!!
I think we're going to have lots of fun.
Me I think I'll sit back, and take it all in with great happiness
Hugs. Thanks for reading.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
I enjoy browsing in an antique store, in the downtown area of the city where I live. I came upon Memories, by accident last summer - it is tucked below a good hotel, on a side street. The owner of the store, is Rose, and she keeps an interesting selection of items to please a wide variety of treasure seekers - ranging from the dollar table, including used books, and ornaments - to fine crystal, and china.
Rose's items are carefully labelled, with some prices "Firm", and some not. The store is small, and the aisles are narrow, and there is plenty of breakable merchandise. Rose makes sure to advise being careful when browsing, illustrating how to hold one's large purse in front, of your body, not in back.
Last summer I found several pairs of earrings for 25 cents per pair, and she was meticulous in finding backs for each pair for me, and wrapped my package with care.
This June I found myself in the vicinity of Memories, so popped in for a visit, and a browse. I found the sweet pottery dog, shown at the top of this post, for $5.00 (Firm), and gladly snapped it up, to carry as I continued to look. I knew without question that I would take him home. The price was right for me, and it reminded me of my sweet Sheltie, Rocky.
Rose was as happy as I with the purchase, she exclaimed, "Oh, good someone is going to take him home!" She explained that when she was a child her grandmother had a larger version of the same pottery dog, which sat on the floor.
I noticed the stamp on the bottom of my dog, and so decided to look the pottery up, when I returned home.
This isn't a particular valuable piece of pottery, but it warms my heart. I recognize the kind of chalkware, that my mother also had in our house, such as kitchen plaques, so it also provides just abit of nostalgia for me.
Summer often feels like a good time for reflecting on happy memories. For me, I think this is the result of a more relaxed pace with longer evenings, and opportunities to walk, and recall other happy summers.
|I was able to cut and paste this picture right off the multiple listing site. When my parents bought this house it cost $25,000, and it is now priced at around 350, 000!!|
Recently I found the house my parents had built back in 1968, listed on multiple listings for sale, and it has brought back many memories of the summer we moved in. It was a time of wonder, and newness, and lots of exploring for us kids, as we hopped on our bikes and explored every day. There were excavations as new houses were still going up, and neighbourhood parks, and a large community swimming pool, and friends to meet. Directly across from us was a similar house, and I and a new friend devised a system of communicating from our bedroom windows (mine was the one on the left above the door), and her's was directly across. We developed a form of code and flashed our small bedroom lamps to each other at night. I think we did this for most of the summer. What fun!
I am hoping that summer is a time of relaxation for you, and an opportunity to remember, and make happy memories.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
On this sunny day, after several rainy days, I decided to get the cats outdoors.
They haven't been outdoors much at all since we moved into the condo apartment in 2010. I had only one collar, and leash. So, I'd bought a new collar, leash, and two thin tie-out lines.
We'll head outside tomorrow, weather permitting. :)
They haven't been outdoors much at all since we moved into the condo apartment in 2010. I had only one collar, and leash. So, I'd bought a new collar, leash, and two thin tie-out lines.
|Herb and Art both seemed to approve of the new deck built by the young guys, who live in the condo, along with their dads.|
|However, it seemed some blackbirds didn't approve of Herb and Art.|
|Herb watched the birds from the safety of under the chair.|
|Arthur spied on the birds through the tall grass.|
|Arthur seemed to believe he might be safer to watch the birds from under the deck. I needed to use food to coax him out again.|
|Soon we headed back inside for lunch.|
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Happy Mothers' Day, my friends.
I enjoyed a restful weekend -well to be truthful I slept alot. We have had several longer than usual work weeks, with workshops, and learning a course on language. This weekend I found time to catch up.
This morning while I was reading and having my coffee, these pretty flowers were delivered. How thoughtful of Paul my son. They are bright and cheerful.
Our weather has become very nice, with temperatures around 18 Celsuis, and we are being told by Environment Canada to expect a hot summer. I plan to be ouside a good part of the time every day, with my group of children at the daycare and so have decided I may need a sunhat.
I am not partial to wearing hats, and haven't had a sunhat since a child, but this one seemed to appeal to me. I like the wider brim to cover my face slightly, and the cheerful colours.
I am still in the process of arranging to have my bathroom damage fixed, and it has proved interesting trying to find which insurance would be able to cover the work - my own insurance, or the condo insurance. My feeling was that my insurance would need to cover it as the damage was caused by me, however it doesn't seem to work that way.
I'll also need to stay somewhere for about 4 days, and board Herb and Art, as I can't use the toilet while the work is being done to replace the floor. First everything comes out, then dryed out for a few days, and then new flooring put in.
I plan to stay at a motel, or possibly my sister's house, but am anxious about boarding the cats - not sure how they'll do.
Since my bathroom sink is still not functioning Arthur has found a new way to drink water.
He doesn't mind getting wet one bit, and does look kind of cute.
By the way, Teri,
I have downloaded a book, to my Kindle, from the cat series you reviewed on Goodreads. It looks like a fun read.
Well, still abit tired, and off to sleep early for the night.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
|Herb is looking blase here, but it is because I am taking his picture|
|Arthur who tends to be abit greedy at times, although really a nice cat, decided to try and steal Herb's mouse. and he got a good solid swat to the nose.|
|Here is Art attempting to look dignified after the swat on the nose.|
When I decided to find a cat, it was in part due to a mouse problem I was dealing with - the first night he spent at home, with me, he killed a mouse, and showed me the next morning, as if to say, he was up to the job of mouser. That year he managed to kill near to 9 mice, and rid my house of mice.I suspect that although he is much older now, he would still be up to the job.
An acquaintance described for me her Maine Coon cat, and some of the ways Arthur likes to play, and his personality seem to fit with him being part Maine Coon. He does have this interesting fluffy ruff, which comes and goes. Although I would think he would grow it for warmth in the winter and shed it in the summer, instead he has just now grown it back after a winter without.
I once fantasized that possibly Art might have fallen in with a raccoon family for his first few months as a stray, as he often dips his paw into his wet food to feed himself, and likes as well to drink from a running tap.One never knows, but I am sure that idea is just fancy on my part.
I have been feeling tired and sad lately - but soon we will see some spring here, I know. We still have several feet of snow to disappear, and will likely have quite alot of flooding when it really warms up. Today my workplace had a full day workshop, and there will be one more next Saturday. That has meant two 6 day work weeks, and although I do find the program, Learning Language and Loving It to be excellent, I am beginning to be tired.
It is good to stretch, and learn, and I have been doing that this past few months, with one class, and now this participatory program. One thing I'm really finding helpful is that our facilitator is also videotaping us with our children over a period of two months, and really I was pleasantly surprised at how my first videotape was.The woman who videotaped me is such a nice woman, and so supportive, it was quite natural, and not as scary as I had thought.
Today while coming home from the bus stop I took my shortcut through the lane, because I was cold and tired. The lane has snow piled up to the top of a neighbours back fence, and I have been walking along the top of the snowbank, and so I thought well - it is quite cold out, maybe I can still make it across the snowbank. However the snowbank has been eroding, and has formed a sort of cliff, which in the morning I have been able to make it over. Today I made it, til the very end, where the ledge crumbled, and I fell right onto my back, and onto mud and into a small space between the fence and the snow cliff. Part of me was embarrassed hoping the neighbour's weren't looking out their window, part of me wanted to laugh, and part wanted to cry.
However, so far there are no unusual pains in my back... :)
I thought I'd edit here to continue my story, the next morning...
I decided to search for Maine Coon cats on Google, and found some lovely videos of sweet faced kittens, and HUGE adult cats, playing fetch, making a bed, singing and twittering, and generally being captivating. Although Maine Coon's tend to be tricoloured they can be any colour. I found one or two black cats with white bibs - however their faces are so typical with largish ears with points, big widespread eyes, and as well their luxuriant coats, and ruff around the neck, that I felt confirmed that Arthur is a cousin of the Maine Coon.
The Maine Coon coat tends to be smooth, not needing brushing to stay silky, due in part to a down undercoat, and they are also water resistant. Arthur fits the description perfectly here, as that was one of the first surprises I found - his long silky coat never has mats, and although I brush him for his skin's health, he doesn't really need to be brushed.
Although Arthur like mouse toys, his preferred toy is this kind of plastic ball. The spaces on the ball allows him to pick it up with his teeth and then stalk around with it. He also throws it and then chases it. When he was younger he and I played a form of catch, which he now seems to have forgotten, so I think it's time to start this game up again.
I stayed awake until 12:30 reading about Maine Coons and enjoying cute cat videos - falling asleep shortly after trying to read in bed - waking at 4 to turn on the bathroom sink tap for Arthur who likes to have a drink of water every morning right at 4. I generally lie down until I know Art has had his drink, and then turn off the tap.
This morning, at 5, I woke to Herbert's insistent meows (and he never talks much at all). I found that the sink had filled and run over, and so set to work finding towels to soak up the water, and then heard a tapping at my door. My downstair neighbour, Dorothy, wanted to know if I had water running, as she had water dripping through her bathroom ceiling. I followed her downstairs, and we were met by her downstairs neighbour Ron, wanting to know what the heck was going on, water is running through the walls. Ron is generally an amiable, kind soul, who will help anyone in a pinch... I stood there in my nightgown, with my hand covered over my mouth in horror, afraid to admit what I'd done. I finally explained my error of falling asleep after turning on the bathroom tap, and Ron shortly disappeared after learning that the water was temporary - there was some concern that our roof could have been leaking due to snow which is still piled there.
I assured my good neighbour Dorothy that I would look into my insurance as soon as possible, and do everything needed such as staying home to let repair people in. She offered me coffee, and she and I sat at her kitchen table attempting to wake up, and emerge from our unwelcome surprise...we eventually laughed over it, and decided it could have been much worse. I shared with her the story of my much younger sister, very capable, and alert, who left her home with the kitchen sink running, one day, and came home after work to find her bungalow in ruin. It seems like leaving water running may run in my family. :(
Thanks for reading along, if you have. I am planning on an accident free week ahead!