Wednesday, September 29, 2010

surf's up

I love hosting couch surfers.... you never know who's going to show up.

I've been really lucky over the past 4 years, I have had all amazing surfers, passionate people, with maybe only one that I wouldn't host again... This group was my largest. In my profile, I state that I'll take up to three people- but this group sounded like they'd be fun, and really, you have to go with your gut while reading the requests. Plus, the girl who contacted me had more couch surfing experience than anyone I've ever encountered before and had incredible references. Imagine my surprise when these bikes pulled up to the house last month.... double-deckers, riding around the lake.... amazing.

Last week I had the sweetest couple (from France originally, now living in Montreal) biking from Niagara Falls to Montreal... I really liked the contrast this couple made with last month's crew. While the energy and excitement of the younger group was great, and their enthusiasm pulled me along... it was nice to have a mature couple come, to have time for conversation, and to not have a mess to clean up afterwards!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

photo diary (or) how to end up with too many vegetables

Once upon a time there was a girl with a little too much time on her hands.... um. ok, that part is a lie.
Once upon a time there was a girl who was really really good at starting projects, not so good on the follow thru, and who was a little over-extended. She liked starting seeds.... so she did. Until eventually her sun porch was filled with seedlings (and with pieces of the kitchen that still needed to be installed)

One day, a kind neighbour made the mistake of letting her into his yard.

For some time, she planted and tended.... planted and tended...

... until things began to grow.... out of control. weeds, heat,rain.

... eventually, mother nature was kind to the poor wanna-be-urban-farmer, and the garden began to pay off.... in truckloads.

.... now her only problem is what the hell to do with all the fruit flies.

The end.

blue sky days

I haven't cut the lawn since pre-festival.

needless to say, it's getting to be like a hay field.

'Touff is happy about it. Fynn is annoyed with it. It towers over Fynn... he spends all his time pushing at it, hoping it'll move out of his way. Jelly steps over it gingerly.

I need two things to happen. I need the sun to shine, and I need to find a mower to borrow.
**photo from the ratpack camping trip. good times had by all, even by Miss Jelly... once I figured out she needed to be wrapped like a burrito at night to beat the cold.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

to fill in the gaps

I just got a little message back from lovely Brian MacMillan... the actual lyrics are::

the house is creaky, the trees they moan
cold cuts so deeply it autographs my bones
turn up the TV, turn off the phone...
this is the longest winter...



Sometimes there will be a line in a song that resonates so deeply within me... that time stops for a second, and I don't dare breathe.

I heard a great one last night- At a lovely little house concert played by Brian MacMillan. His voice is lovely and smooth- no wonder he was asked to do a show just reading (though... from a Harlequin romance novel? um... iffy.) I had to pinch myself to wakefulness a few times, his lullabies were that effective.

"a cold that cuts so deep it autographs your bones"

Saturday, September 25, 2010

two towers.

The line was "we'll be brothers forever from now on"
and I fell apart.

It's amazing the things I think I've detached myself from, become desensitized to- but discover, in one breath that I'm forever changed.
I'm thankful that some things will always be too heavy for my heart.

*sitting at work this morning, Discovery Channel aired a show that followed the survivor stories of three people from the world trade center bombings. I'm downstairs typing in the office while it finishes. I just couldn't stop crying.

Friday, September 24, 2010

found dew drop 2

:: recovered from digital dew drops, a writer's forum of sorts that I used to belong to::
October '06

fall seems to be a time of reflection. or at the very least, fall seems to bring reflection to me.
everything around me causes me to pause and look again.
the colours standing against the graying sky, the geese drifting to halt on fields bare of their crops. blankets of fog.
not just blankets,
heavy down comforters of fog, enveloping me.
this morning I drove up to peterborough, and the fog was whisping and swirling around.
I had a 15-20 foot envelope of visibility to work in most of the time, like a large parachute of vision.. pulled tight to the ground.
sometimes the chute was lifted and I could see a little farther, and sometimes for the briefest of moment, the air left the chute and fell to the ground as I hit a thick wall of mist, seeing nothing be the hood of my car.
at one point a single sun beam broke thru the clouds above, and I saw for the first time a rainbow inside the mist.
it was amazing.
it flickered like a candle, wept across the trees beside me and then lit them on fire with colour.
orange became ORANGE
reds became RED
and the green dripped with the deepest hues I'd ever seen.

**after I moved back to the Burg from Peterborough, I still drove to the city a few times a week for a band I was a part of, and to visit friends. It takes time to let go of one community and move on to a new one.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

a gift for a friend

Dancing all around

tiny heads bobbing in a roar that covers my ears

steals my voice

blinds my eyes

whips my skirt

we can't help but race

and fall exhausted onto the warm earth, cool grass

purple waves in the fields

she brings song and scents and floods me with memories

eyes closed

warm face

toes exposed

letting the pace fall away

letting the days fall away


** this summer we made a special gift for the hobbit's birthday- this was my little contribution. you should see how the finished product turned out!

The picture is from the top of the lavender farm (aka SVFF's home) in June. The day was sunny, the wind high. The grass in the field below swung in waves... I didn't want to pick weeds, I just wanted to sit and take it all in. or run... down the hill, and fall into the grass.
It was also the day I got poison ivy for the first time.
Now, I've gotten poison ivy in the past- but only in tiny amounts. A dot here or there, often just one between my fingers or toes... this ended up being several inches long on the side of my leg. I've never been so itchy in my life. Eventually it started to fade... and I got it a second time... much much much worse. My ankle swelled, it oozed, it crusted, it hurt, it ITCHED. deep down itch. Painful itch.

Today in the garden I had to pick some poison ivy... I've never been so worried about three little leaves in my entire life.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

found dew drop

:: recovered from the dew drop files- June '08::

I miss the rhythm of childhood.
The way each step followed the next.
The creak of the floorboards as mom came to the door.
Dad's nose honking in the shower.
Coffee grinder whizzing.
I miss the hope of summer in the smell of the flowers,
the push of the air,
the ants on their hills.
Climbing to the top of the dirt pile,
the flapping of the tissue kite.
Sliding down into the ravine,
sand in my shoes,
clay under my nails.

* I remember each summer we'd get a load of top soil for the garden. Piled at the top of the driveway, Little Bits (my sister) and I would play "mud men" rolling down the dirt pile, and jumping under the hose to clean off.
When we moved to the Port, a town of many hills, we had a ravine on each side of our subdivision- some days we'd head down to the ravine to the south- lunches packed, and get lost for the day in the woods (um... we weren't really lost). Other days we'd head to the "sand pit" to the North, and dig clay from the stream ... building ash trays for parents who didn't smoke, and digging into the sandy cliffs.

1 2 3 4

So, I was feeling badly about having two years in a row where I hardly blogged a thing.
Then I remembered I was doing it for me, not for anyone reading this.

And then I also remembered, there's still 99 days left of this year.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

smooth... and spicey.

I'm back to playing puzzle pirates.
I'm that awesome.

Some big things happened today... firstly, it was sweet Leonard's birthday.
Even my daily poetry book made note of it. Which, mostly just made me smile.
(It was also Yodling Ronnie's birthday. They're the same age)

Secondly, Salsa day.
Not the dance, the day of chopping.

Sure, they look pretty... but when you multiply a recipe by 4... that's a hell of a lot of peppers. and tomatoes. and onions. and garlic. I wasn't there for the full day of chopping- too many other commitments, but my back is happy the day is over. In all, 30 jars of salsa- 7 of them 1L jars, the rest 500ml.... Also cooked up a triple batch of chili sauce, and a quadrupled batch of Salsa Verde, and a pile of ketchup and regular old tomato sauce.


Also today- a visit to the dentist who confirmed what I suspected- I damaged my top teeth in the time I was waiting for my night guard... I took up clenching my teeth/grinding in the night over the summer. The stress level is back down- but now my body is in the habit of clenching/grinding. I'll be wearing that super sexy night guard for awhile.

And finally, a night of NUkeO. We're looking at making the jam happen earlier in the day- due to so many conflicts with people's schedules. We had someone show up tonight that I didn't think would show- a lovely woman from GTI. She'd never played before, but teaches piano and has a great ear for music. I don' think we scared her off. I was so thankful for the leveling factor of the jam. The way that it didn't matter where people had come from, all that mattered was that they were there and that they were giving it a try.

so beautiful.

Monday, September 20, 2010

wake up.

some favourite things (within reach):
secondhand blankets

dream dream dream

Sleep has finally come back to me.
I've now had two nights in a row where I haven't budged after laying my head down. Two nights of my old friend, vivid dreams. A whole adventure in another world. A whole lifetime. Dreams amaze me.
Last night I was back to my traveling ways- I'd been having a series of dreams earlier this year where I would get on a plane and end up in all sorts of places. Most of the dreams dealt with the frustrations of traveling- lost luggage, delays, missed connections. Frustrations yes, but... I know when I'm dreaming, so I'm along for the ride- or I'm directing the show, so I love every piece of it.
I can't get over how my brain creates detail. Fills in colour, texture, sound and even smells.
Last night's dream had me flying from Togo to home, via West Jet.... with Pontouff in a carry-cage... 'Touff turned into Jellybean by the time we landed, but... whatever. It was a bad flight, at one point we dropped, and the tail dropped faster till we were pointed upwards, but still dropping... the weather was terrible, the pilots did a great job, but eventually we landed in St.Kitts... or some Caribbean place. But suddenly we were in a pontoon plane- and we'd landed in the water, and had to jump from dock to dock to get to land- the island didn't have phone service, and we had to figure out how to contact our families. We were given vouchers for a hotel in an underground mall.. The dream went on forever. I met other travellers, we explored the underground mall (it had a giant fun house in it), Jelly and a security bull dog got in a fight (big surprise) but they turned into rabbits when I broke up the fight (of course). If I were to write out everything that happened... and the detail that went with it- it would be so long.. so much longer than this ramble.

Anyway. I'm happy the dream world is back. It was a long summer without them.

re: the title.
*I'm still grinning*
James Hill showed up at a party I was at this weekend. At some point a bit of a Uke jam broke out in the living room. I sat in.
Now, mostly I just hugged my uke. I was a little intimidated, though, not by James, the guy is really humble, really encouraging. There was some pretty crazy talent in the room. I'm very blessed. Like... really blessed. Sometimes (and not just that night) I look around the room, see what's happening, and feel like my heart is going to jump out of me from the joy. It's a good life.
I sang harmonies instead of playing. yup. sang harmonies to James' tunes and the others' tunes.
It's a good life.

(click photo for a lovely little piece by James)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

not so lost

I have 7 blogs listed on my blogrole.
several of them are listed as private.

I learned my lesson after some censorship at work- it doesn't matter which work, just ... at a job. A higher-up person came to me and wasn't happy with something I'd written.

Apparently, there was talk at work about what I'd written, and it had made some people upset. So I removed what I wrote- though there was nothing that pointed to the organization, or the people involved.

So I stated another blog where I could actually write what I was thinking about things.

At one point in my life I was part of this fantastic little writer's forum... an experiment.. I loved the challenge it offered, and when it (the blog) disappeared last year, I was quite sad. Today I discovered that I can go back and read the posts... that they haven't been lost to the interwebs, they've just been sitting quietly, waiting to be rediscovered.
I'm going to try to rescue a few of my old posts.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

a sometimes joke.

I know I joke about it a lot... but really...
I want to be your backup singer.


Friday, September 10, 2010

another year....

Well, I'm winning the fight over the post-fest cold and blues.
It was a great weekend in all- some of the BEST music to date. And the workshops that ran were all really well attended. We joke about people converting to the cult of SVFF... but it's true, the community wins people over.

Here are a few review/links


too lazy to embed them in something pretty today.

Last year I felt like I was too busy and missed the festival. This year I was busier, but calmer- I felt like I knew what I was doing, and knew (somewhat) what to expect. The difference in attitude made a huge difference. I even went into it knowing full well of my tendency to control every piece- and fighting my urges... allowed things to unfold.
My internal dialogue chanted "in a hundred years, it's not going to matter- people won't notice if all the paint brushes weren't in matching containers, or that the workshop speaker didn't do x, y,z... all that will remain is a blip on wikipedia (if that still exists). An entry that will read "Shelter Valley Folk Festival was (is) an incredible space, a leader in the push for community, arts and fine music."
That little pep talk changed everything.
Even when the weather got so bad, so dangerous, that we had to close down the villages.


all of them.


I'm sad about that. Sad that all the hard work from the past year was just shelved. And there really wasn't anything we could do about it. One of our artists lost $2000 in pottery to a gust of wind that knocked over one of her shelving units. The stage in the family village got knocked down in the wind, the tents started to come apart... making the whole space unsafe. We closed that area down for a few hours, then ran partial programming outside the gate in the main field... children hula hooping to the main stage music.. it was beautiful with the clouds racing above them.... The main village tents had to be torn down- after searching the county for extra re-bar and rope- it wasn't enough. The tents couldn't take the strain of the wind. So we made the decision to take them down, rather than lose them or risk injury.

This year I feel like I've grown into the role better- I made decisions and asked people to support me in them.. rather than stand there helplessly as things happened around me. So I feel really good about that. I'm just waiting for the sadness... grieving? to pass.