Monday, February 28, 2011

Contemplative Monday

               Frozen water under the boardwalk yesterday at Conrad's Beach.

I follow a blog called Tiny Buddha.  The woman who created the blog is Lori Deschene and she uses quotes from various sources to 'start' a conversation or to inspire a contemplative meditation.

Today's quote is: “The excitement of learning separates youth from old age. As long as you’re learning, you’re not old.” -Rosalyn S.Yalow

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday's Selection

After watching the movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona last evening, I was humming Spanish guitar melodies for the rest of the night.

So, on that 'note', I thought it appropriate to share with you a few of our favourite Classical/Spanish guitar artists.

The first is Dale Kavanagh, in the above video clip. Dale is from the same town in which Ron, my husband, was born...........Wolfville, Nova Scotia. In fact he was her swimming instructor and a little later on they both 'life-guarded' at the university pool.

Her career began to take off in the 90's as she began to be recognized as an accomplished classical guitarist and composer. She lives in Germany and on her tours she usually includes either Halifax or Wolfville. We have attended a couple of these. 

Watching this clip I realized that she is still pretty much the same as she was years ago.....that contagious smile!

I thought too that I would give a couple of links to two other Canadian Classical/Spanish guitarists  that we like. 

The first is Jesse Cook (just click his name). We saw him a few years ago and he gives a very lively concert.

The second is Leona Boyd (click her name). She is more a traditional classical guitarist and her 'playing' is very relaxing and softer than say Jesse's.

Hope you get a chance to listen to these musicians sometime and if you are like me, sit back and enjoy their talent.

Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Retro Saturday

Today's 'retro' item is one that I found in an antiques shop in the village of New Germany, Nova Scotia just off the South Shore heading inland. And since our buddy, 'Winter', returned last night with a kind of vengeance, what better way to brighten the day. 

When I saw it set up in a corner it looked very familiar to me but at first I had no idea why it would. I continued to look around at all the 50's vintage in the place from arborite kitchen table sets to you name it.

When I got back to it, it dawned on me that my parents had this exact 'card table' when I was a kid of about 5 or 6. It was those big red flowers that stood out in my mind. I never knew of course what they were at the time but I thought they were beautiful.

I don't remember what the table was used for, probably the kids, that would be me and my sisters, ate at it some of the time. Or maybe my parents played 45's on it with friends, it was a 'card table' after all!

So I wanted it! But what would I do with it? We didn't have room for another table in the house.

Then I had an idea. We were looking for a large, bright, cheerful painting for the bedroom. I would take the legs off the table and hang it! Worked for me.

It's been hanging there ever since. And it does brighten the room up. Funny thing is that in early summer we have a lot of those flowers blooming in our garden.....Oriental Poppies of course!

Oh yes, and when my sister Jo-Ann saw this 'painting' she recognized it immediately.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Pied Piper Returns

Yesterday I was at Dad's for a few hours in the afternoon. As I was doing a little 'tidying up' around his place, I noticed he was heading over to the piano, the one his mother gave him when he was around 12.

He didn't say a word. He just started playing!

We had been after him to play a few of his 'favourite' pieces for the past couple of months....but to no avail. He kept saying that his fingers wouldn't do what he wanted them to do.

He started with a 'right-hand' warm-up to get the fingers going.

It took me back to when I was a kid in Halifax in that big house in the north end. It would be a Sunday, as that was usually the only day Dad had off, and after the noon-time dinner.

Dad would go into the living room, get into his 'zone' and start to play the piano. He was like the Pied Piper, as soon as we heard the music we followed that sound, as if by instinct we had no choice! 

Since there were nine kids somewhere all through the house and a grandmother and uncle who lived upstairs, it wouldn't take long for all of us to crowd around Dad at the piano.

A few of us would dance around, depending of course on our age, we wouldn't want to make a fool of ourselves. My grandmother would make it down from upstairs and sit in a comfy chair and begin to sing completely 'out of tune' to the delight of us kids......

But this was a recurring scene that took place regularly in our house and it was so good to see and hear Dad play all the old favs yesterday. Took me right back to a very warm and fun time. Only difference, I had it all to myself! Where were the other dozen?!

And there was Dad 'in the zone' again.......and he's a mere 95 years old!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I Have It All Figured Out! I Really Do!

Sophie and me at the beach this week. Thanks for the photos Ron.
It hit me this morning.  We have more power than we imagine and appreciate. Something happened which was totally unexpected.

I had a choice, to overreact and begin to rant and rave, or I could accept that things don't always go the way they are planned.

My immediate reaction was one of 'I can't believe that this is happening'. And why does something always have to get in the way?

What did I do? Well, I caught myself from riding the wave of anger and the 'poor me' persona and decided that to go that route would lead to nowhere really quickly and, in the end, achieve nothing at all.

So I embraced the moment for what it was, I know that sounds very cliche. That was the choice I had to make.....otherwise the day would have begun to unfold in an entirely 'not wanted' direction.

These 'things' happen all the time in our lives. The one this morning was something  minor in the scheme of things. But it could have 'taken off', so to speak.

Isn't the whole point in life to  learn to react/cope/accept the unexpected. That's what life is. We have no idea (and I am glad we don't) what's coming next in our lives. And I feel it is far better to teach ourselves and learn to cope with these unexpected 'intruders' as they occur, rather than falling into a totally unproductive, negative view of how bad things always go for you.

A few of my fellow bloggers have had these 'intruders' pay them a visit recently. I have admired their reactions to these unexpected 'guests' and how they have tapped into their strength to help them choose to take the 'high road' instead of making matters worse for themselves.

Sure there are times when a good 'I hate the world' production is very necessary to play out. But haven't you ever caught yourself in the middle of one of these 'productions' and began to laugh at the absurdity of reacting this way?

So today has turned into a beautiful sunny actually has! It could have become an overcast, cloudy, cold and miserable spite of the sun pouring through the windows.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fasten Your Seat Belts, Here We Go!

Me following Sophie....see her tail? At Conrad's Beach....

We have almost made it through the winter here in Nova Scotia. I figure it is time to celebrate a little by 'shaking off' the past season and 'moving' into the next.

To do this you will have to have a partner if at all possible, but you can do it my yourself as well, click on the link below, turn up the volume..........


Now, isn't that better! Got the heart pumpin'! And we are ready to move on into SPRING.......anytime now........really......anytime now......

Monday, February 21, 2011

Contemplative Monday

Just finished reading a book about bi-polar illness, Changing My Mind. It was written by Margaret Trudeau who was married to a former Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

Ms. Trudeau has 'battled' mental illness all of her adult life and has just recently come to terms with it. She is managing her illness quite well now.

My mother was also bi-polar all of her adult life. This book gave me some insights into another person's journey with this insidious illness.

Ms. Trudeau says in the last paragraph of her book: 

" On a final note, I consider my bipolar condition a gift to me. I have almost touched heaven in my mania, I have been plunged into the depths of despair in my depressions, but with the love and compassion that have been shown to me, I have weathered all the storms, and I believe I am equipped now to face any new challenges that my life will inevitably put before me."

Certainly 'food for thought'.

All photos taken by Ron yesterday at the beach.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday's Selection

Today's selection is a little different from what you may be used to hearing. You may have heard of 'Pachelbel's Canon'. This is a variation of this famous piece of's inhere somewhere! This is a quite unique take on it.

Steven Halpern is an American musician. We have a few of his CD's and when we play them it has a very positive effect on us. He focuses on thehealing properties of music.

If you have earphones please use them, it will make a huge difference. Also click the image to a larger size. Sit back and enjoy.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Retro Saturday

Today's post is not about a 'collectible' that I've been hoarding for decades, but about a single, porcelain object that I bought at an auction over 20 years ago.
I remember the day very well. I hadn't seen this statue before the auction began and when the auctioneer held it up I was immediately mesmerized by it. 
Don't know what it was, beyond the colours and the shear quality, but I started bidding. Of course someone else wanted it too! I didn't even look to see who it was. I didn't care. I wanted this.
That's the thing about auctions. If you aren't careful, you can get into quite a battle for something you want. It is always good to set a limit on what you are willing to pay.....and 'let it go' if you get passed that limit.

I didn't set a limit that day! I kept bidding higher than the other person till he/she gave up. I actually forget what I paid but it was much higher than what I ever thought it would go for.
But I was happy I got it.

It has been around the house in a number of places and actually 'matches' the bedroom walls........same colour as his pants!
I call him the Dutch Boy. Looks like he is from Holland. His clothes reflect this I think and I figure he represents Holland's biggest export.......the bulb and flower industry. Looks like he was 'taking a break' from working in the fields......check out the flowers at his feet.
Or maybe my mind is working overtime. He is really just a porcelain figure which stands over a foot tall and he has just picked flowers for his mother from their garden.

In any case, I have no idea what factory made him and if he is from Holland or not. I have been trying to decipher the 'marks' on the no avail, other than it was made in the 1940's, which accounts for the 'crazing' on him........the very fine hair-like cracking.
Anyone out there recognize the company?
Have a great weekend everyone and 'happy hunting'.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Photo Shoot

After lunch on Wednesday we headed down to Conrad's Beach, which is about 5 minutes away by car. It was a sunny day and the wind wasn't ripping through us.

A perfect day to take some photos without the fear of getting 'frost bitten'.

We each brought our camera gear and headed down to the juncture of the two beaches. In the summer these beaches are usually packed, especially the first one where families congregate.

The 'second' beach is for the more 'adventurous', as it is a bit further to hike and very unpredictable as to what condition the beach will be in.

So, at the point we plunked ourselves down and started to take in where we were. It was good to be back to this end of the is where we mostly go in the summers to spend a few hours in and out of the water.

And of course Sophie was pretty happy as well to be back.....even though the sand was frozen and she couldn't dig.

Seaweed would have to do....she was content!

And so was Ron!

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