Friday, June 24, 2016

The Twelve Bar Blues

Friday, the 24th of June, 2016
as I pick up the Ukulele at the breakfast table
and practice the 12 Bar Blues......

Well, concerning the Ukulele, this is what I might aspire to if I were twenty years younger.....

....but this is what I aspire to now!!!

........and in reality, - here is where I am in my quest to entertain myself with the ukulele!!!

you can stop listening after the illustration.....

I chose this particular video to learn finger picking because the young man who teaches is so articulate and defines his words with the kind of clarity
an ancient pupil requires!

There are oodles of videos 
and all sorts of teachers
but many of them have had no lessons in diction
and I find their mumbles and slurry instructions
beyond my ken, alas, alas.....
sweet as they are!

Bruce looks at me quizzically when I pick up the Uke
tapping my foot while I try to keep the rhythm going as I slide 
awkwardly from chord to chord.

Callie just ignores this strange behavior.....

When I come to the end of the 12 bar blues I add the little connecting bit
with a flourish, - I have it down pat and it sounds quite jaunty, 

It adds a little zest to life....

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

X for Xystus

ABC Wednesday
June 22, 2016

The letter is X for Xystus

A new word to me, but though its origins go back to ancient Greece and the Roman Empire the name has been captured by a modern Dutch band, and it seems to me it is popular in this generation as a symbol for good health, positivity, exercise and well being.

Xystus, in its ancient useage, was defined as a long and open portico used especially by ancient Greeks or Romans for athletic exercises in wintry or stormy weather, or sometimes a walk,
 lined with trees.

In early Christian times Saint Xystus was a Pope who was chosen upon the death of St. Stephen
in 257, - the 25th from St. Peter

He was described as a peaceable and excellent prelate.

But now, in modern times, we find the name Xystus attached to a Dutch Band...

Formed in 1998 the band is described as Progressive Power Metal, but more Melodic.

The third album they released was a Rock Opera, Equilibrio

and here is one of the songs from the Opera (The Pact)
for those of you who are into heavy metal

(and I do not mean to be critical - just the wrong generation to appreciate it fully)

For more Xs cross over here to ABC Wednesday
with thanks to Roger, Denise, and all their xoxoxo helpers

Monday, June 13, 2016


ABC Wednesday
June 15th, 2016

The Letter is W for Whispering

Whispering and Intimacy

a couple of instrumentals and a vocal
that take me back
in years
and sweet memories

well, maybe Red Nichols is going back a bit farther than that!

which appeals to you most?

and who else has tender memories??

For more Ws click here at ABC Wednesday, where there are all sorts of great Ws

with thanks to Roger and Denise and wonderful helpers.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Morning in the Garden

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

It is 6.00 a.m. when I put feet to floor and Callie stretches herself awake
at the foot of the bed, yawning widely.

Together we go to waken Bruce - well, Callie lags a little.
She still does not give Bruce her full confidence,
especially since he steals her food and
exhibits loads of hubris as he takes his place in the family.

I open the door to the back garden
and there is the faint odour of skunk permeating the cool air|!!

Bruce goes out by himself for a first morning bladder relief event
and I gather up the cushions that got rained on yesterday
while I was out and about celebrating Royal Purple Day
with Cake and Ice Cream at the Manor
(independent living for seniors)

What a welcoming rain...

I have safely shepherded pots of flowers and veggies
through an early and intense heat wave that has kept
all the fans and A/Cs in the valley
working at full speed.  

Unusual, but it has
happened before so I refrain from crying 
"Climate Change, Climate Change"

Of course it is changing and has been since time began...
hot to cold, cold to hot
the star that warms us and causes the plants to grow
has a life of its own that greatly affects ours.

Everything is looking perky in the cool morning air.

After I have had my first cup of coffee we all go out to investigate
what has happened since yesterday morning.

Oh look - lilies in bloom

and more to come 

Out by the backyard fence the tiger lilies put on a great show
with the little pin cushion flowers whose true name has gone done
my memory hole, alas.....

and there is one budding Bee Balm amongst a host of them.

It is Yellow time in the garden, and will be until frost arrives.

A blue delphinium reaches skyward against a backdrop of yellow daisies and the 
barnflower (not yet in bloom)

One pot of broccoli, and some cherry tomatoes that make my SIL green with envy....

On our way for the morning walk we stop to inspect the flowers
outside the front fence, (Bruce is not interested in the flowers
but their are some interesting smells to investigate).

and some lambs ears to nibble on...

We go in to have breakfast, and a second cup of coffee
content with what the day offers in the way of cooler weather!!!

Monday, June 06, 2016

V is for Video

AB Wednesday
June 8th, 2016

The Letter is V for Video

A Video my youngest son sent me

to lend inspiration to my Valiant attempts

to play the Ukulele....

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did/do

Will it be necessary to have a beach and palm trees 

to pick like this gal does, I wonder???

For a great Variety of Vs click here at ABC Wednesday,
with thanks to Denise, Roger and their
Veddy good helpers.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

U is for Umbrella

ABC Wednesday
June 1, 2016

The letter is U - for Umbrella

No matter what you call them - a parasol, a brolly, a rainshade, a bumbershoot

the umbrella has its place by the door in those places where rain and sun are prevalent..


It also has its own songs!!!   Here is one of them!

For more U's do check in with ABC Wednesday, here, - with thanks to Roger, Denise and all ;umble 'elpers......

Saturday, May 28, 2016

And the book stack only grows higher...

.......Even after I have removed the books that are due back at the library at the beginning of the week I am both dismayed and delighted at the treats awaiting me, and the time I feel comfortable with allotting to lolling around reading - and sometimes eating chocolates, when there are so many things I should be getting 'in order'.

The lovely long retirement that Charles and I had left me with zillions of snapshots, dozens of family, home and garden movies and videos and a great plethora of keepsakes - bits and pieces of china and jewelry that need a new home, besides all the current projects that keep me busy, busy, busy...

And the garden!

The results of a long and wonderful life are all this lovely chaos that needs be be dealt with!!!

So where shall I fit in the time to read Kate Atkinson, whose books I have just discovered.  Loved her "God in Ruins" and felt she could have spent an afternoon talking with Charles, so many of Teddy's tales  exactly matched his, - the method of choosing crews, the discipline in the air amongst the men, the tracers and the crowded streams of bombers.  I am half way through "Life after Life" but have had to leave it to quickly finish "My Name is Lucy Barton" which I am finding sensitive, but depressing......

One of the books awaiting me in the stack(s) is "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin.  I think it is right up my alley!!!  The subtitle is "Or, why I spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean my Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun".

The garden is growing by leaps and bounds.  When Bruce and I went along the fence on our evening walk I realized that passers by can no longer see me curled up with a book on the garden swing under the big umbrella.  Soon the barn flowers will be in bloom, and the little purple clematis is courting the lilac tree that leans against the fence, twining itself amongst her branches.

It has been such a kind year for the roses, - I can't remember them being so prolific.  The Day Lilies are flowering along the front fence and the delphinium are six feet high in the garden (although I lost the pretty blue one I had just planted this year??)  I tied together some old silk stockings to make a tender rope to keep the sweet peas against the fence and out of the neighbour's yards.  Great huge quantities of bloom, but these heritage sweet peas don't have the fragrance of the annuals.  The sweet allysum and the evening scented stocks join with the nicotiana to make the evening air heavenly as it slips through open windows and doors.

and June will be just as gorgeous as May

A rainy week-end forecast, - good reading weather!!!