Sunday, August 25, 2013

There was a bit of magic in the air...The Out There concert

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.

We waited a long time for the concert to start - 45 minutes. Later we heard that the concert was held up to wait for concert goers who streamed in steadily . My brother-in-law later  told us that the band had been stuck in traffic, and so called our local popular music radio station, CJME, and said "We're stuck in traffic, does anyone want to talk with Paul". So, the amazed radio announcer had an impromptu, interview with Paul for about 20 minutes.

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.

Paul changed guitars frequently through the evening, and of course played the piano. Here he is playing the music for 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!

Just last week, the first brightly coloured autumn leaves began to appear, and drift down to earth.
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?
Summer has been cool and cloudy, my perfect weather really. My top floor apartment in the condo building where I live has been blessedly cool for me and the cats. I leave the windows open all day, and cool refreshing breezes blow through my living quarters. We have had some rain, but not too much, just enough to nourish the flowers and they are all quite luscious.

Petunias are one of my favourite annuals - I like their spicy deep fragrance, their pretty colours, and they are easy to care for. I've never planted impatiens, but did this year, and they really flourished with the rain. They are the white flowers in the photo.

These clematis are special, they have been surviving for some years with no attention, planted beside the brick wall of the building, and living in sandy soil, with plastic as a cover. When I first moved into the building, two neighbours came by and suggested I give it some extra dirt, and keep it watered. They were thrilled that it still kept climbing year after year, although sickly looking.
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 have been really noticing the cloud formations this summer, more than usual -we have had so many cloudy days. I've been taking photos of them all summer, and thinking about trying to draw clouds.

 I have enough photos of clouds to keep my trying to draw them all year, if I choose.   :)

When I find a writer I love to read, I usually find myself reading all of his or her books. Recently I found the novels of Elizabeth Berg - I've been visiting the library -sometimes when  browsing I find someone new to read - such a pleasure.

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.
When I was a small child, living on Mullin Avenue, my favourite haunt was the back lane. I visited with my neighbour childhood  friends; sat against the fence and woolgathered; observed crows, and probably this is where my first sense of fellowship with crows started -  and yes sometimes just got away from the fighting at home.

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

A nice find in a favourite antique store, and abit of nostalgia

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.

I was interested to learn that Danesi has some history, as a maker of chalkware, which is what this dog is made of. I believe it is created with a mold. It has a history as an inexpensive form of decoration that everyone could afford for their homes, as early as the late 19th century, up to I believe the 1960's.

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

Herb and Art Outdoors

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.

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.
We'll head outside tomorrow, weather permitting. :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mothers' Day and it feels more like spring

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

The cats and I needed some fun

 Herb and Art, my two feline companions seem to be quite self reliant, and not in need of much attention, and in the past 4 months that is what I've been giving them. So today, on my way home from work, I stopped off to buy some cat toys. It felt like it would be good for me too, to play.
Herb is looking blase here, but it is because I am taking his picture

 I purchased two mice with tails to pull, that would make the mouse run...and although the toy doesn't go very far, it did create some excitement.

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.

My sweet Herbert was a Humane society cat, and had been found lost in a rural area near to the city I live. He is an extremely benign and gentle animal, and has always been accepting to new pets I've introduced.

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.

Arthur was considered the baby for some time, but he now is most definitely an adult cat - nearly as big as Herb. Arthur was a stray kitten, who was for a few days sleeping on my neighbour's doorstep, and he simply followed me home one day after I stopped to talk with her. Myrna, my neighbour, was unwilling to take him in as she had already one kitten and a dog, but didn't want to take him to the Humane society - we were unable to find any owner, and so I was lucky enough to keep him.

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.

This toy is made by Kong, a company which I generally find to make good toys, and of course the popular Kong feeding toy for dogs is practically indestructible - however Arthur ripped through the green section of this toy, and inside is simply polyfilling with catnip, wrapped in plastic - not safe I feel. I bought two so the boys would each have one. I've thrown one out, and will let the cats play with the remaining one, only when I'm here. It's too bad as they really enjoyed holding it, and kicking at it with their back paws. It would have been a great toy, if made more safely.

 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!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Some pictures of our record snowfall, and just a small update on my news

We have had a reported record breaking snowfall in the city I live.
I took this photo today. Here is a snowman of approximately 3 feet, just peeking over a snowbank in his yard.

Apparently the record for most snow over the winter, here in Regina, Saskatchewan was made in 1955 - 56, interestingly to me the year I was born. I wonder if the snowfall was more generous for the years following that record making year, as my early childhood memories are of lots of snow to play in.
This is an easement between houses which I take, as a shortcut to my bus stop. The line of footprints you see just to the left of the fence, are made by me, and one other person, and their dog. I prefer this shortcut, as it takes me under 3 minutes to get from home to the bus stop. :) Before finding this shortcut, I walked several blocks in the cold, for about 15 minutes. Brrrr.

I haven't found an accurate number for the amount of snow we have had this year, but in the 1955-56 year they had 194.6 cm. or just over 6 feet of snow. It seems it is hard to find an accurate number for the snowfall this year as it depends on the actual reporting station, but at one faithful reporting station run by volunteers, at SIAST, which is our college for technological sciences, including nursing, early childhood education, and other sciences, last week it was recorded that there was at that place still 52 centimetres of snow on the ground. However, the real amount of snow fallen is over the 1955 record of 6 feet.

Today the temperature was quite mild, and the squirrels are enjoying the reprieve. I enjoy walking by this neighbour's yard with her array of bird feeders. I had to be careful to catch this picture, the squirrel flew away once he noticed me.

This is just a view of the backyard of the apartment building down from mine.
This is where Paul, my son will park today, once the truck moves, and he arrives for his Easter visit, from Calgary.
I feel a sense of accomplishment, as I near 6 months in my new job, which has required a certain amount of ingenuity, and good luck in finding rides. Working just out of the city, I have needed to take a bus to a certain point, and then catch rides with co-workers.

Presently I catch a ride with a woman who works the same shift as I, and has done an amazing job of driving in difficult road, and weather conditions.  

I have also completed my class in Programming for Infants, and Toddlers, and feel good about this. The course load was quite demanding in terms of the amount of assignments required. However, it was worth it, as I have learned new things, and also felt reinforced for the things I already do in my work.

So, that's all for my news really. I am presently just waiting for my son to arrive, as he called to let me know he's in the city. The road conditions were reported to be good through Alberta, but it looked like there was blowing and drifting snow, once in Saskatchewan, so I'll be interested to hear how his drive was.

Wishing any who read here, a good week ahead, and a Happy Easter!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A man sleeping in an ATM, and an interesting lady

The past week has been fiercely, bitterly cold in Saskatchewan, with the temperature at -46 with the windchill for several days. Friday was - 26 with the windchill, and it seemed so warm in comparison to most of the week. I took my group of children outside, and they had such a good time, although by 20 minutes their faces were quite red, and we were ready to head indoors.
 This morning the temperature rose to -6 with a wind gusting to 60 km. per hour.
So, this made for low visibility and plenty of blowing snow, but it was very  comfortable to be out. I headed out on the bus for some shopping - to see if I might find some fun baby gifts, on sale, for a friend's new granddaughter. The sale turned out to be better than I expected, with items drastically cut to 30% off the last sale price, so for instance the sweater ended up at approximately $3.00, etc. I actually indulged myself, and bought several different sweaters for progressing ages in the baby's first year.

While at the mall. I was delighted to have the chance to see a performance of children playing bagpipes, and as well other performers such as violinists, and Irish stepdancing. These children represented  our university's music school. It was nice to see families enjoying their children, and as well how the atmosphere in the mall became more relaxed, and to see smiles on strangers' faces.

I then enjoyed reading my favourite newspaper, The Toronto Globe and Mail, at a coffee shop. I enjoyed this time to relax, and savour my coffee, and just catch up on news.I was torn whether I might next take another bus, to the pet store, to buy catfood, or go for groceries, and then home.
Deciding to take the second alternative, and then get home sooner, so that I could get busy with homework for my class, I left the mall and crossed the street for the bus.

What happened next is not pleasant reading.

I walked over to say hello, to a bus riding aquaintance, and found that she and another person had been discussing a man laying sound asleep, inside on a window ledge in a bank's ATM, area. He was in full view of the street, as the window was a full sized street window.

I expressed concern, and said how sad this was. My acquaintance said, "What is  sad?" Well, I explained that this man was in the situation he was, apparently homeless. She and the younger man said they'd both noticed the sleeping person, begging down the street in the past.

The woman, who is close to my age, or thereabouts, said, well he was most most likely begging money to buy listerine, and that he always had cigarettes. If he can spend money on cigarettes, he doesn't need to beg.

She advised me not to feel sad, that it was his fault. I countered, that he may have a mental illness - she replied, "Yes mentally ill, from drinking listerine."

The younger man, looked me in the eyes, with agreement, he too was aware of the sadness of this individual's situation.

My acquaintance then offered me her perspective, that we can't allow ourselves to be sad about everything. Yes, we can have compassion, but we can;t let ourselves be overcome by sadness. That she had once been a cop's wife for 25 years, and she knew how it is, how people really are.

When we got on the bus, she asked the bus to let the police know about this man, as people were probably uncomfortable going into the ATM. We continued our discussion, my saying that there are too many homeless people in this city - she saying,  that there are shelters. I questioned her, saying that I didn't think they were open in the daytime, "Oh yes they are", she insisted.

We continued our discussion, and she moved closer to me, when two obviously, wretchedly poor, first nations men, with the smell of listerine about them got on the bus. She explained how they always get on, at this stop, and smell. (My city is a small city, and our poor, and homeless are perhaps more evident, than in larger centers.)

I know that this particular person is a good person - that she is a courageous person, who supports herself, and is proud of her growth as an independent woman. She has recently been opening up to me, even though I've seen her on the bus, and talked casually with her for years. I have enjoyed our few conversations, and have even held my own when I didn't agree. I tend to see both sides of things, and often tend to acquiesce in conversations. Perhaps that might seem like I hold no opinion of my own, or that I am deceitful - I think it comes down more to an essential politeness I learned from my mother.

But sometimes I cannot acquiesce, and so I just could not politely smile and nod. I didn't argue, as there seemed to be  no point. But I also didn't back down. I said there is a problem in this city, with homelessness, and that it is sad.

We parted on friendly terms, as she said "Talk again soon". I will be glad to talk with her again, as I do enjoy her, but I will not hide what I believe.

Later, I decided to look up the shelters for the homeless in the city, and as I thought, they do close for the day. Just today in the news, there was a story that the Salvation Army men's shelter has opened 15 more beds due to the harsh weather.

And, yes I believe there is so much wrong with a society where people sleep in the parks and streets through bitter cold winters.And yes, perhaps the person made a mistake in their lives, as all of us do; but more often they suffer mental illness, or drug addiction, or alcoholism.

I couldn't help myself, but when the woman, said "There are shelters", I also heard an echo from the literary past, when Dickens's amazing character, Scrooge, famously boomed, "Are there no workhouses?"

Not for a minute would I put this woman in the same category, as Scrooge - she is not callous, but perhaps self protective.

I as well, know that my opinion may be a minority one, but I AM my mother's daughter after all, and I do know what she would feel, and say in this case - hunger, and homelessness is not right. We need to be charitable.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972)

I loved this film. The photography is breathtaking. the music lovely.The acting is amazing.
The film makers used effects to draw the viewer into Francis's frame of mind, and revelations, and I don't know the name for these effects, but they work well!
The movie was directed by Franco Zefferilli, who also made Romeo and Juliet.
I was so happy to be able to watch the complete movie through Youtube, and thought I'd share it here.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Now, for something a little different...

I have found the following video which is from the soundtrack of Brother Sun Sister Moon. It was recommended to me by a blogging friend. I have actually been able to download the full movie from Youtube, and may view it this evening. The visuals in this video are so lovely, and it gave me a sense of reprieve from our winter weather, so I thought it might be nice to share this here.

Has anyone of my wonderful readers here, ever seen this film? It looks quite magical. the music was composed and performed by Donavan, and when I heard this, I remembered his music very well, especially The Hurdy Gurdy Man. It also brought back memories of the somewhat more gentle time of flower power and the 60's. (Which of course wasn't really all gentle, by any means, but his music was maybe representative of the better side of this era.)

The music I've listened to so far in this soundtrack is just beautiful.The movie is about St. Francis of Assisi, who I've always thought sounded like an interesting person.

So I hope you might enjoy this. Wishing you a great week ahead!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Silly Happening

We've had a week of fiercely cold temperatures here in Saskatchewan, and most of us are taking it in our stride.

Today the temperature was -36 with the windchill, and the wind was gusting up to 45 kilometers. This meant for very low visibility on the highway. The ride to work had a surreal feeling, with whiteout all around us.

So, the day started with a sense of suspension of disbelief, I think.

Me and my co-workers seemed to have made the same decision to just relax, and have as much fun as possible with our young toddler aged children. I took my small group of five children to the storage room where we found handfuls of bubble wrap, and we made a stop at our digital frame in the hallway, to remove the memory card as usual. We generally try to take some pictures of our morning's activities to share with the parents through the wonderful technology of the digital frame.

We then joined the others and began having fun taping the bubble wrap to a table, as well as the floor. This involved the children having small lengths of tape, which is one of their favourite things, really. We taped for some time, and not just on the bubble wrap.

Some of the children took off their shoes and socks to walk on the bubble wrap; some drove cars on the bubble wrap; a few also found that popping the bubbles was fun.

Another teacher brought out flashlights, we turned off the lights, and closed a blind, to play with the flashlights.

I then decided it might be interesting to make rubbings on the bubble wrap with paper and chalk. I and two of my children went off again to get more paper from the storage room. By this time the lights were back on, and I decided to start taking pictures.

I couldn't find the memory card. I quietly began to look for it in the places I had been, the counter, the art shelf, on the floor where we had been taping bubble wrap; I opened the door and peeked out to a shelf outside the door. I felt a little foolish about having lost this, and part of the reason is that I do tend to be forgetful now and then...and my coworkers are quite abit younger.

It took me awhile but finally I told the others," hmm...I've lost the memory card."

Soon the three of us adults were looking under carpets, and checking on the toyshelves.The children began to help us in the search with their tiny little flashlights.

I had almost given up hope, although we have a philosophy that almost everything does turn up in our room.

However, Alice, who's birthday it is today, slowly began to sort through the trash can, and found it!!! She was very good natured about it.

It struck me that it was a little bit of silly fun to lose a "memory" card.

And just a little postscript:
 One of my children found popping the bubbles on the wrap so interesting that she enjoyed doing this quietly, for over 40 minutes later in the afternoon.

Moments like that are part of why I love working with young children.

The ride home felt almost as surreal - the snow blowing to about 2 feet off the highway, looking somewhat like mist.