Saturday, July 28, 2012

Weak in the Knees

We had a wonderful time at Harmony Bazaar last night. Only a few sprinkles of rain at one point which caused the rainjacket hood to be raised (certainly much better conditions than several concerts we've attended) and a few mosquitoes. Saw lots of people I knew from the community and work so got caught up on the news. There were bleachers, lots of chairs and even some shelter from the elements. Nice up close venue to see such good acts. There was even a side stage with performers in between as the main stage acts set up but.....the sound system didn't broadcast well to the main area. This was a shame because there were some great acts, for example Christine Campbell of the Stone Mary band made you want to hear more. 

Ria Mae
Ria Mae opened, accompanied by a drummer and bass guitar and she's a very good young singer/songwriter from Halifax. Apparently has a following amongst the younger set (or so the daughter of a coworker advised) in the city. 

Flamenco - obviously
Maria Osende is a flamenco dancer also from the city who was accompanied by a singer (Joyce Saunders - a solo artist as well) and guitarist (Mike McNeil) neither of which is (of course) a Spanish name. They were all excellent and for the one song without dancing, you could close your eyes and imagine yourself in Cuba. As I told the life partner "I haven't seen flamenco since Malaga in 1973 on a high school trip so don't have much to compare them to but they were great!" And no I'm not going to the flamenco dance workshop, or the belly dancing for that matter. Some things are better left to the imagination (in my opinion) at least for women of a certain age - but that isn't the case with this weekend as women were the vast majority, signed up in great numbers for the workshops and comments were made about the few men in the audience "getting in touch with their feminine side". 

Irish Mythen
Irish Mythen is a little girl with a big voice and if you ever get a chance to hear her perform this is your recommendation to do so. Anyone who can belt out Janis Joplin tunes and handle them the same way as the great Janis is a winner. Lots of energy and got the crowd pumped for the main act. I would definitely travel further just to see this act again.  Can't believe that I haven't seen her before as I've noticed her name on billboards loss. Made you wish you were staying in a tent in the local campground with a group of like minded women and going to jam session afterwards, not driving home so the shore captain could get up to unload fish in the morning. Ahhhhh, next year.....

Weak in the Knees
For any of you Serena Ryder fans out there you know the post title is also the title of one of her earlier songs. Last night she did a lot of new material from an album about to be released and lots of the older songs as well. Weak in the Knees, All for Love, A Little bit Red and more. She certainly seemed like she was having a great time and enjoying the audience - spoke of having been swimming in the Atlantic Ocean in the afternoon and it was COLD, but exciting, how much she enjoyed the small town music festival and the people. She was flying out to Calgary for a gig tonight.  I tried not to sing too loudly as the daughter of the coworker next to me was filming video on her iPhone.  Although this photo on the left this isn't the clearest photo I snapped, it surely is the best representation of the energy this great performer puts out there. And speaking of that energy....I'm posting a Youtube link at the bottom of this post to a performance of that song in the Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay a few years ago. Just click play, enlarge the image to full screen and turn your speakers up - you're almost there in person.  Off to do some housework so I'm ready for the wine and appetizer pairing this afternoon. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Serena Ryder and Sarah Harmer Weekend

As I wait for the life partner to arrive home from work - to attend a Serena Ryder concert only 40 minutes from our house, life is good - I shall update you. We have been having extremely dry weather this summer so it is ungrateful to wish the rain of the past two days away but an outdoor concert does take precedent! The forecast is for clearing and then sun and cloud for Sarah Harmer tomorrow. So, it's a  Harmony Bazaar weekend. 

There was some confusion yesterday as to whether a meeting would be scheduled and when nothing had materialized by 8 am I called the boss and stated "I'm going to the beach with a friend, it'll have to be tomorrow" and made a hasty exit. Apparently my exit was so hasty that I moved the payment for the cleaning lady after saying "it's here on the counter" from the kitchen and somehow took it to the bureau in the bedroom. After calling to notify me that it wasn't there she assured me that my credit is good and she knows where I live. Whew.  Our beach jaunt resulted in a dash for Subway for lunch (FYI - the flatbreads are absolutely delicious) as the rain drops started. We had a good visit and got caught up on all kinds of news in our time before she had to head out for evening shift. I had originally planned to stop for groceries after the beach but....there is a sidewalk project ongoing and the traffic lineups were for 15 - 20 minutes so I procrastinated.

The power was off during the night and the battery backup in the alarm clock didn't kick in (second time this week as I slept until 5:20 pm after my last night shift so found myself WIDE awake at 1 am but I digress) so I overslept for the meeting at work this a.m. Then I headed out to run some errands in town and only managed to accomplish getting gas, a phone card for my cell, wood glue - which I was sure I didn't have - and placed next to the container Wellbond after I'd used it - arrrgh, and getting kicked out of Frenchy's as the power was off and expected to be so for a couple of hours. This of course resulted in my not being able to get groceries at Sobey's either - the excuse of the day. 

The 10K Fog Run
Pretty busy schedule lately what with work and play. The teacher daughter and her husband came for a quick visit on the weekend as she ran in her first 10K race and was thrilled to come third in her class with a time of 57 minutes.  Think she could've done it a bit faster but it was hard to tell where the finish line was in the fog - should've been called the 10K Fog Run.  The son-in-law and myself were her uber fans and I was the official photographer of her having fun so it was a good morning. They regaled us with stories of the Brain Freeze 5K which they'd run on vacation in Vermont, describing 32 c temperature and 2.5K up hills in Burlington and then eating a pint of Ben & Gerrys Americone (as per Steven Colbert) and then 2.5K return and "nobody barfed" which is amazing. After we entertained with a BBQ and I finished up the domestic chores it was time for me to head out to work a LN and it sure was a loooonnnnggg one.

My day had started out yesterday with a canine ambush as the fur daughter and I began our daily constitutional. Our summer neighbour has company visiting and apparently as one of the guests was packing the car there were two escapees. The first thing Keely and I were aware of as we passed the end of the long driveway was lots of barking and a rush of fur and Keely found herself upside down and being jumped on by a dog about half her size. Yelling "go home" isn't helpful when it's not your home apparently. Keely recovered herself somewhat and there was a lot of snapping of teeth, growling and wrestling as I futilely attempted to remove her from the WWF match. Shortly thereafter a second dog arrived (it appears mostly to check out what was going on as he seemed very non confrontational) trailing a leash as well and mostly acting like a UN observer in the skirmish. Within a few moments a very flustered and winded dog owner appeared apologizing profusely, removing the dogs and apparently departing quickly. I assured him that I had received my cardio workout and all was well but....the fur daughter carefully checked out the driveway on our return trip.  It does cause me to giggle now when I review the video clip in my mind. 

Chatting online with the teacher daughter last evening and she announces that she and a friend went picking high bush blueberries and she harvested 8.4 pounds. Now that's a lot of blueberry muffins or pie to process. Speaking of pie.....four pieces of cherry pie make a meal if you're a 24 year old male or so it seems and this does not amuse your 56 year old father. Just sayin. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Torrents and more

As I wait for my music to download, yep you read that correctly. I have (somewhat) conquered the downloading of mp3 files. It is a work in progress and I have called upon the expertise of a retired music lover friend (lots of time on his hands) and a younger coworker (technically adept) on night shift. I've changed my mind about the rdio site and downloading as it only works with wi-fi players such as an iPhone so....I've had to figure out torrents (not not a rain storm) and other things that are too difficult for this old brain to understand but at least I can use them. At present I'm awaiting Rod Stewart's raspy voice to join me as I'm building my iTunes library so that I can transfer them to my.......iPod nano. 

In the pursuit of a charger for my iPod shuffle (which I had bought off eBay it contains yelling 'music' and came without a charger) I had agreed with my son-in-law and bought a cheap cable off eBay from an unnamed Asian country and....surprise - it didn't work. So I braved the road construction and made my way to the electronics shop. Turns out they didn't have the charger (after they assured me on the phone they did) but they did have lots of shiny new toys and in a moment of weakness I found myself the owner of a 6th generation 8GB iPod nano. 

The ensuing two hours of struggle with Apple techs on the phone were not what I would describe as either support or assistance. It involved almost an hour and a half with three different techs, getting cut off twice and not called back, scanning and emailing a store receipt, explaining the same problem over and over and being completely unable to download songs on to the nano. You can however, book a time online for them to call you back and a nice lad from Indiana did just that at the time I requested and managed to solve my problems. First I had to boot the life partner off Skype on my MacBook Air with the western daughter and the tech says "your husband Skypes? I think he's cool" to which I replied "yeah, he thinks he's pretty cool too!" Apparently the tech said the iPod system had been down that afternoon. As I explained to him that would have been all that was necessary to explain and I would've given up for another day as I don't get paid to be on the phone for hours.  Good thing I was on days off. 

I have spent several of my days off attending to appointments such as dental and haircut and have rewarded myself with a short Frenchy's shop in there - the bins were rather picked over so they must be waiting for a shipment of new stuff.  But this week has not been without its social pleasures as I began my days off with a BBQ at friends place - great food, good conversation and a couple of glasses of wine meant that the shore captain had to drive me home after I had a short nap - now there's a role reversal  for you. Last evening a trio of us ladies took in a movie which we'd all been waiting to see....Magic Mike and it was a hoot! Almost the entire audience was female, the theatre was pretty close to full and you could've heard a pin drop. When the pharmacist from our local drugstore asked me if afterward in the lobby if I was a Tatum Channing fan I replied "I am now". Someone mentioned there wasn't much of a plot - didya think there would be when the topic is male exotic dancers?

I am having an additional day off tomorrow as my shifts have been rescheduled and at least the forecast is for more sunshine. This isn't good for the fire hazard index as all open fires in the province have been banned (the small amount of rain we received last night with the thunder and lightening storm didn't begin to soak in the parched ground) but the uv sure makes for great beach weather.
Kayak Pros
And for water sports.... My summer neighbours have been enjoying their kayaks as you can see. One of these mornings I am going to surprise them and take them up on the offer of a paddle. It was so warm and humid yesterday that I took the dog down for a swim because it would've been too hot for us two old girls to try to walk. However it backfired because as soon as she got cooled off in the chilly water she decided it was then time for a walk anyway. Still a puppy at 12! Tonight we braved the mosquitos and headed up the road for the traditional walk.  Must go - Rod is calling me....From a Downtown Train. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Off to la la land

First thing Monday morning (after working my extra shift) I headed out with my summer neighbours to the municipal pool for the adult swim. Saw lots of people I'd known for years - either from school, community or working with them. Got all caught up on the news and then came home to crash from 10 am to 2 pm. Then it was recovery from night shift day - you know the one where you only want to sleep for a while so you can get back to sleep that night but you shouldn't take on anything too complicated as you'll screw it up? Housework usually falls into the 'safe to attempt' list. The weather has been beautiful (to the alarm of the EMO and fire departments as it's getting really dry) and sunny every day. I've even had to water my plants and they usually hold up pretty well as they're set in mulch.  Needless to say the laundry is getting dried by the solar clothes dryer. 

I had errands to run in town on Tuesday and began with a dental appointment to have my tooth, well actually bridge checked as I thought the enamel had fallen off it. Turns out it was the porcelain side of the bridge. Or so the new dentist (who happens to be the age of my children) advised me. So that was fine, and a quick stop. Gave me time to head to the garden centre to hit the sale on annuals / perennials and discover my new favourite flavour of ice cream is.....key lime pie frozen yogurt. Yum. Had my massage appointment and headed back to pick up my plants - the clerk was afraid they'd wilt in the heat of the car while waiting. I had found a big pot of black eyed susans which I'd been wanting to plant at the end of the driveway for some time. When we used to visit Grammie in River Phillip there were always a big bunch in bloom at the end of her driveway near the mailbox. I had the boy captain dig me a hole for the flowers in the gravel near the newspaper tube, making sure he understood that it was necessary to dig a large hole so I could fill in around it with potting soil. Apparently he understood all too well as he dug a hole that required three bags of potting soil to fill it. Only problem being that I'd bought only one bag so had to return to the store after my day shift to source more mud for the three bag hole.  Looked really nice when I finally got them settled and gave me a real flashback to summers of the 60s.

The teacher daughter and husband are in Vermont as I type this for a little vacay. They are planning to take in a 'fun run' which is a 5k race. Apparently you run 2.5 km then eat a pint of Ben & Gerrys ice cream and then run 2.5 km back. Hardly my description of 'fun' more likely barfing as the nurse daughter said. 

I am beginning to feel a bit more comfortable with the MacBook Air and have conquered Skype now. Managed to have quite a nice chat with the electrician daughter (and boyfriend) last night. Even learned how to send files while chatting. I've discovered music downloading and the great site Rdio where you can download lots of great albums and....I have :

However, I haven't conquered how to transfer my music to the iPod shuffle I purchased. Now, it's either the shuffle or the charger cord and considering I bought the shuffle for cheap and the cord for even cheaper on eBay do get what you pay for. That and a bunch of music loaded on to it that is definitely not to my taste - lots of yelling! The switchboard operator (who is much more tech savvy than moi) made a valiant attempt at taming the beast but it was not to be. The computer even recognized her iPhone though so it has to be the mp3 player. Not to worry, today was payday, I shall simply do what I should've in the first place and that was buy a new one. Especially as I have only four days before the 'free' subscription runs out on my rdio account.  But the shopping will have to wait until Monday when I'm not being an owl and sleeping during the day.

And speaking of sleeping, it will soon be time to do just that. These fine mornings are the ones where you need to rush straight home and get to bed before it gets so nice you don't want to. Later.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Who let the dogs out?

Since I am posting this in the middle of the night it's a safe assumption I'm not just being a night owl but being paid to stay up. And it's not even my regular shift to work. I answered one of those 'unknown name unknown number' calls this afternoon and agreed to do an eight hour night. When my summer neighbour called she was a bit concerned that I would be staying up all night and then going swimming in the morning but she's a retired teacher and not a shift worker. Nonetheless I did take her up on her offer to drive, one thing to get myself home on automatic pilot, another to travel to the pool with passengers.

And since both my summer neighbours have arrived now I will have lots of visiting to do. I was advised of the second sister's arrival on Thursday by a phone call from a member of the next community asking for her phone number. FYI the summer folk are issued a new phone number by Bell each year when they return (not sure of the reason for this except to torture them) so I didn't even know what it was. I say "I don't think she's here yet, she just left the midwest on Monday". The caller stated that there were two large dogs which looked like hers (Airedale terriers) who had run by her house and a blue van driving around as if looking for them. "I'll try to keep them here" she says as I promise to track down their owner. I phone her sister looking for the number and the line is busy. Hmmm, did I write the number down wrong or is she on the phone to her sister because of this situation? I jump in my car and head over and yep there is a phone consultation going on. I attempt to describe where the escapees are but it's difficult when you don't know the players in the local geography so I again jump in my car and head out to have the dog owner follow me. When we make our way about two km down the road we're met by the caller who says she's sent her husband to capture the dogs who are running through the old cemetary. I leave the summer neighbour in her care and head home to my baking in the oven. She quickly retrieved the dogs apparently. We live in a great spot where neighbours will look out for your pets, even if you haven't been in the area for a year.

Apparently it rained the day I finished nights when I was sleeping (or so I was advised) but had cleared by the time the life partner and I went to buy $316 worth of groceries in the afternoon. We had a BBQ and with one glass of wine I was toast at 7:30 p.m. and back in bed. Today was a beautiful weekend day with lots of UV to go around and another BBQ for supper. The animals were out flat on the floor of the veranda room with the heat and there were naps as well for the humans. In fact the whole week is forecast to be lovely weather. Ah, coastal summer.

I won't need that rain jacket which the shore captain picked up for me from the fishing supply store. It took two tries because he arrived home with two in size L and when I couldn't fasten either of them up he says "oh yeah, the saleswoman said they run small" so wouldn't you think you'd choose a larger size? I told him not to give up his day job for a fashion consultant.