Sunday, April 14, 2019

THE TRICKY PARTS

I have a concert coming up the beginning of June with the string group. This one has a lot of music in it but I'm feeling pretty solid about most of the pieces. 

But, there are a few tricky parts...
This spot here gives me a bit of trouble. I have to change keys, stomp with my feet and change positions quickly. So Morrie the Cello and I keep "wood-shedding" this part. And I already know, come concert time my heart rate is gonna start rising with anxiety when we get to this piece!

Life has many amazing gifts for us to enjoy (including music). But every now and then, we come to a tricky part. And we may not see it coming so there is no time to practice. A sudden life change, illness, divorce, death, effects of an addiction or struggles with mental health - these are so hard. 

If I suddenly just got up and left in the middle of a concert cause I see a tricky part coming I would miss out on the beautiful songs coming after. I also would miss out on the wisdom and understanding that comes from seeing it through. 

Good Friday is coming up the end of this week. We see Jesus crying out to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. "If there is any other way we can do this Dad...this is hard. Nevertheless, not my will, but Yours." He went through the crucification for me, and for you. 

If you are struggling with a tricky part, hang in there. Seek some advice, balance your life with good rest, good food. Pray to the One who's been through it and understands. There is some beautiful music coming that I would not want you to miss!


Sunday, April 7, 2019

HELLO!

Hello - Spring? So glad you finally arrived! You look great, by the way...you feel great too! Just having you around makes everyone else feel great - check out the market:
Barely thriving through the winter, it is now starting to pick up. Merchants are coming out of hibernation and setting up their wares.

Thanks to you, I got my bike out, bought a new helmet and I'm ready pedal away!
By the way, I'm not the only one here to say Hi. The daffodils are sprouting up:
The Little Prince was out for a ride in his carriage to give you a royal greeting too!

I would hazard to say, Canada in general is thrilled to see you!

So, Spring, welcome back! Make yourself at home and please...PLEASE...stay awhile. 


Sunday, March 31, 2019

LET ME EXPLAIN...

Maple In the County, the long awaited, syrupy-sweet, local harbinger was this past weekend. We were able to take in a few of the events with our daughter and Grandson. So, if you didn't make it, Let Me Explain...

We wrap little Prince Soren up and our shoes squelch in the muddy parking lot. Renegade snow banks, like pale ghosts, hide up against walls. The air feels cooler as you near them. 

I carry my grandson in my arms, explaining everything as I go. "Look at these barrels and the beautiful wood!". Inside is humming with activity. People are milling around tasting wine at the bar. There is a large group of beautiful young women, part of a wine tour, and looking very sophisticated as they lightly hold their wine glasses and chatter like song birds to one another above the din.   

I take Soren over to the huge open fireplace and let him feel the hot kiss it plants on our faces. "HOT!" I say, but like every other human, he is entranced by the dancing flames and embers, the crackle of the wood. If I set him down, he would crawl right into the belly of it. 

A couple of chefs are working their craft: Carrot soup and a cheese fondue, both in a beautiful bread bowl and infused with maple are on the menu. 
We order one of each to share. The carrot soup is perfectly balanced, topped with creme fraiche, greens and a drizzle of maple syrup. 
We make our way to Kinsnip. I love their whiskey-tinged maple syrup and wanted to see their home base. The parking lot has a small lake in it and as we drive in we watch a family push their van out of a muddy rut. It is raining in earnest now and we pull out the umbrella and wrap up the Little Prince. 
In one of the back barns is a woman who makes barrels. We enter through the low ancient door into a wood beamed quiet space. The big Bernese Mountain dog lumbers over to greet us but soon settles back beside the warm wood stove, head resting on the ancient floor, as the woman explains her craft. 

The main house is an exquisitely compact Victorian that I would pay money to tour, but we are only allowed in a back room where product is sold.
Soren is sending signals we are now on borrowed time before he lets us know what we are all feeling - tired. So we head home, listening to the windshield wipers swishy lullaby. 

Before bed I take Lulu out for her bed-time walk. The dark is alive with the sounds of water: tapping on cars, dripping off eavestroughs, rushing little waterfalls into drains. The quiet hush of winter is gone, maple syrup is running in the veins of trees, robins chirp with delight at the spongy malleable soil, spring is here. 

Good Night.





Sunday, March 24, 2019

SPRING LANDING

There are lots of Canadians who love winter, lots. But you would be hard pressed to find one Canadian who doesn't give a sigh of relief when spring stops circling and finally, lands. 

Last week, we officially ushered in Spring! There is mud everywhere; you can smell the earth loosening up. Robins are getting downright frisky and skinny squirrels are devouring my bird seed after a winter of fasting. 

And for those of you following along this blog, I'm happy to present my plant babies!
The dahlias are in a hurry to grow up

And check out all my baby poppies!

Spring equals new beginnings. It means life and energy. The circle of birth after death begins again. I've certainly noticed this circular rhythm in life. Just like my little seeds, they died and in that burst of energy out came new life. To quote Jesus: "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remain alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." He was big on parables, so I'll leave that one for you to chew on. 

I've just completed my End-of-Life Doula course. We talked at length around the circles that envelope us, be it the one who is dying or their family member/friends. 

We have a lot of misconceptions around death, a lot of fear and lack of information. We don't talk about it, even ignore it hoping it will go away. Pretty sure that tactic will not work. It's part of the circle of life, a big part, in fact it's life changing. 

Winter leaves and spring lands. New beginning are only possible after endings. I'm willing to talk about it if you are. 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

TEACHING AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS

It's taken me a while, but I figured out "flossing". Not the teeth flossing, the dance flossing. 

This was all the rage about two years ago, but hey, I'm an old dog. And it seems you can teach an old dog new tricks. Just takes a little longer!

About a month ago I came across an ad for a course that was running at a local college. It was an "End-of-Life Doula" course and as I work and love the palliative field, I was intrigued. 

This old dog started chewing on that bone. I fast tracked through high school and college and had both done when I was barely 19. Bottom line, it's been a Looonnngg time since I was in school. 

But I decided to go for it - so I signed up through the college, got myself a student number, set up my school email and showed up for class!

I'm what would be considered a "mature" student. But I'm enjoying the process! All of it - the walking into a college part, the sitting in class (who's a good girl!), listening, learning, collaborating with the other students, taking notes, trying to figure out when I can do the homework assignments. All those studenty things. 

It's never too late - you can teach an old dog new tricks! 

Sunday, March 3, 2019

READ THE ROOM

Have you ever been in a conversation and suddenly you find the room growing quiet and awkward and you catch your spouse desperately miming something from the corner of your eye that boils down to "shut up"?

You missed the signals, bypassed all the signs, you didn't read the room. And there you are back paddling with your foot in your mouth. 

Hey, happens to all of us. Certainly has happened to me! So I try to keep my antenna attuned to what's going on to avoid this embarrassment. 

Last week while walking the dog in the early morning, I noticed a hint of colour in the eastern sky, just a hint. Later I saw and heard a Robin. Read the room, Cyndi, read the room - Spring is in the wings. 

Well, I'm all over that! I switched my CD in the car from Snow Patrol to Beck's Colours. For the record, there should be something on this CD that says "pairs well with Mini Coopers" cause it is just a fun bit of music to play in a fun car. 

I'm trying something new this time round - planting flowers from seeds! What fun will it be to go and check daily for one wee little green sprout! So on a gray snowy day I headed out in search of supplies.

I decided to try my hand on some flowers: poppies, sweet peas and some dahlia bulbs. Not a big financial commitment but that's OK since this is a trial run!

I followed the instructions and the cats checked out my handiwork to ensure I was on the right track. 
They waisted no time on trashing my maternity dirt pods so I will need to find a safe place to keep these little babies away from velvet paws. 

Seeds are planted and I will be the first to let you know if so much as a hint of green pokes up. Spring, I'm picking up what you are putting down. I see you miming in the corner over there and I'm reading the room! Bring it On!



Sunday, February 17, 2019

LOVE IS IN THE AIR (WAVES)


Romanze, composed by Robert Schumann for his beloved wife Clara, is part of the long, LONG history music plays (bad pun) in the Book of Love (Peter Gabriel). 

Robert met Clara when she was 15 and was forbidden by her father to continue their romance. Dad burned all their love letters. But this was "More Than a Feeling" (Boston) and he would wait for hours at a coffee shop just for a few minutes with her. Eventually they married when she was 21 and went on to have a bevy of children together. Ah... "The Things We Do for Love" (10CC).

Humanity is always trying to figure out how to express passion, and one of the best (and worst) is through music. Last week, in honour of Valentines Day, CBC Music sent out the invite to listeners to tell them what they considered were the worst Love songs of all time. Top of the List? "Having My Baby" by Paul Anka. Yep, that one was pretty bad...For those who know me well and my personal aversion to ABBA, I would have to put "Fernando" up there. 

But most of the time, we get it right, and there are some beautiful love songs out there. I'm a sucker for a guy who can serenade me with a guitar and one of my favourites right now is Donovan Woods "I Ain't Ever Loved No One". 

So, another Valentines Day has come and gone. A few gorgeous bouquets arrived at the office and I came home to  1 dozen red roses a box of chocolates (Thanks Sheldon!). 

"But these three remain Faith, Hope and Love" 1 Corinthians 13:13. To the end of time, Love is and always will be in the air (waves).