Our Town Has Two!

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It’s always encouraging to see positive changes happening….especially in small towns, where the struggle sometimes occurs between keeping the “olden days” charm and embracing newer ideas and technologies.

For example,  several years ago, town council agreed to having a roundabout built to replace an intersection at the busier end of town – commuting traffic to and from the city – which often created traffic blockages.

I was thrilled to hear that news, because I had experienced for myself in trips to the U.K. and New Zealand just how handy roundabouts can be.  And they have oodles of them there!  One adapts easily to this method, and it keeps traffic flowing better.  Plus, there isn’t any need for traffic lights, the electricity and wiring usage normally required by those.

So, a few days ago, while driving through town from an errand, my sons and I caught sight of something new.  A promising new technology!

We have been keenly following improvements being made to solar energy for homeowners, as well as such innovations as electrically powered cars.

You should have heard the cheers in our car, when we spied – not one but TWO such stations – at one of the industrial businesses in our town.

Electric charging stations for those increasingly appearing new electric cars!

So good to see!

And in the meantime, we keep dreaming of our next car being an electric one.  🙂

 

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Some day we’ll get to see firsthand how these work!

 

 

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When one door closes….

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(photo courtesy of my friend, Mark Welsford, of Fairchild Photography; taken at the Rock Show hosted by Main Street School of Music in Arnprior, Feb. 23rd, 2017; with my ladies band)

 

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So….as of four days ago ie Monday, I am no longer part of the Werth It band.

Yeah…..bummer, eh?

Some changes in life seem to take a long time, and others can happen real fast.

All in a matter of a conversation, even.

It’s a parting on good terms, as the three of us had a fun time with all of our practices and a couple of performances. At the beginning it seemed as if we all shared a same vision and goals for our band, but over time it became clearer that things were getting somewhat askew.

As with every band experience I learned more about music – new songs, which are of a diverse mix, and I shall miss not playing them. And the dynamics of yet another group of people seeking to share their love of music.

Today as I was doing some more thinking about the change of events, I started focusing on more positives.

a) we might bump into each other again and have an opportunity to jam to songs

b) the ladies band I am in is still going strong, and now that our most recent Rock Show performance is behind us, we are looking to working on some new songs, That’s always an exciting time!

c) I was in conversation with a musician friend I haven’t seen in quite a while, and one of the things we discussed was getting together at her place and she and I just jamming out. I found out that she also plays the piano, in addition to bass! And we both sing, so that will be something fun to look forward to…. 🙂

d) things that I had to pass on or decline, because they conflicted with the band practices, I can now attend again…..like the monthly blues jams. Even though I willingly passed on those, I did feel a tiny twinge of regret last month, when I had to miss my drumming buddy, Andy’s inaugural time at being house drummer for the blues jam…..something he has been dreaming of doing for a long time. So, I know how much it meant to him. From what I heard, he did a marvellous job of it! 😀

e) and finally, more regular sessions with my newest drumming coach/teacher, Derek DeBeer (whom I was introduced to by Peter Fredette at the last League of Rock showcase night in December). I could only juggle two sessions so far, and both times we had a blast! We did kitwork in those sessions, but he also teaches hand drumming – he’s originally from South Africa – and I hope to also attend one of his monthly drumming circles, where I’m sure there will be plenty of African style rhythms to explore and learn…..and in a larger group, too!

So…..all that to say…..all is well. And life goes on.

 

Changing Winds

I was exploring music videos again on youtube the other day.  Among a variety of songs, I found this one by the Scorpions – I’m expanding my knowledge regarding their music lately.

It’s a song for a sombre subject.  Many musicians have written lyrics and melodies regarding war and conflicts before, sharing all kinds of perspectives……possibly to reflect to us the things we should always be mindful of in our humanity.

And….ultimately to strive towards achieving peaceful, harmonious living.

 

With dabs of red it starts…

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Mostly green, and yet…

Tinges of red here and there;

The magic unfolds.

 

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These days as I drive along the country roads, I see more and more green trees looking as if painted with yellow, orange, or red dabs at the edges.

It’ll be fun to watch over the next couple of weeks how the trees slowly change from green to more yellow, orange, or red until there is no more green to be seen.

Then, outside of the evergreens, all the other trees are consumed by colour, and such a vibrant display it becomes.

It’s a magic trick that nature plays on us!

We have beer!

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Not such a big deal, you say?

Well, you are right.  In one way, it isn’t.  Here in Canada we have had beer for a long time.  It was introduced with European settlers and declined during the Prohibition era but has experienced a resurgence once that era ended.  Been going strong ever since.

And yes, we have always been able to buy our beer at the beer stores or liquor stores all across the nation.

HOWEVER…..the big deal comes in more specifically as it relates to the province of Ontario, when compared to, for example, the neighbouring province of Quebec.  In Quebec beer has also been sold for a long time in grocery stores and convenience stores.  That service just wasn’t available to consumers in Ontario.

Up until just recently.

Provincial government regulations have finally changed…..to now allow the selling of beer in grocery stores.

YAY!

So….just the other day, my two oldest boys and I went to do some grocery shopping and happened to go in a store that we sometimes go to, if we happen to be in the area.  As we walked around with our cart – piling up things we needed from our list, we came upon – to our surprise! – the beer corner in the store.  And yes, we immediately explored.

In the above photo is the display of the craft beer cooler.

Next….the imported beer section….and on the left are a few already assembled boxes in which customers can place their bottles for carrying, just as you would ordinarily get at the beer or liquor store.

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Regulations require that a notice be mounted and visible to consumers as to the hours of service and the staff able to assist (those with proper certification).

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Yes….we browsed.  And yes, we picked up something.  See the four-pack of strawberry-flavoured beer in our cart?  Just in front of the toilet paper.

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I also looked through this cider section and decided to give an alcoholic pear cider can a try.  I have had apple ciders in some pubs and those were always tasty.

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So yes, in the grand scheme of things…..of having access to beer, it’s not such a big deal, as we always have been able to buy beer, but this added option has been LONG awaited and LONG time in coming to Ontario residents.  It offers the choice of buying beer in the same place as the groceries and saving an extra stop.  It’s a nice convenience.

 

 

Tried Something New Again!

 

Dark purple, maroon;

Soft inside and flavourful,

Small, water drop shape.

 

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“The darker, the riper,” I was told.

 

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Figs!

FRESH figs!! Le Yum!

I picked up a small box of ’em the other day at one of the grocery stores in my area that I frequently visit. Yep, a box of 15 figs. Don’t they look cool?  And there’s one sliced in half so you can see the inside of one (see second photo). Well, just in case you’re like me and hadn’t seen a fresh fig before.

I hadn’t. But I’d seen a fig tree once, over 30 years ago – my Italian landlord had one growing in his tiny front yard, where we were living in Little Italy in Toronto (in the vicinity of Yorkdale Shopping Centre). He watched over it protectively.  And he had a little veggie garden growing in the backyard. So, I would see him tend to his fig tree and I’d always wonder what fresh figs would taste like.

Then two years ago, my friends Susan and Steve introduced me to the most tastiest dried figs I’d ever had – prior to that I’d only had the usual ones at the grocery store. Theirs came from Costco and were packaged in such a way as to be like a snack food (in a resealable bag; and organic). It opened my eyes and taste buds to the world of dried figs.

Still, my tummy hoped that one day I’d get to try a fresh fig.

So I found myself in Jacquie’s line-up at the Metro with two single figs — I only wanted samplers and I didn’t know if they’d be weighed like other fruits. How lucky that I should have picked her cash to go to, as she immediately helped me correct myself, by telling me that the figs were sold in those small boxes – she might have laughed on the inside, but she sure didn’t let on.
Eagerly I ran back to the produce section and picked up the box from whence I had picked those two figs, put them back, and brought the box to the cash. Jacquie then told me how much she loved fresh figs and always enjoyed the season when they’d be in the store. These ones, she said, came from California. She described their flavour to me, which ones to eat first based on their colouring ie. ripeness, and other nifty tidbits. Clearly, she’s a big fan! How could I not enjoy them after all that?

I immediately started munching on some on the drive home – and I do find them quite enjoyable and yummy!

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Soft edible seeds; you can just bite into them like eating an apple – eating everything but the tiny stem at the top. Skin and all. SO good!

 

 

Cartoon Mom

Sonja's manga drawing of me; April 15, 2016

Wavy lines in blue,

From photo – add manga touch;

I have become….art!

 

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You may have noticed the change in my gravatar image.  I wanted something more recent, as the other photo was taken during the winter.  It is spring here now.

I was inspired to pick this particular portrait of me.  As it’s a cartoon drawing, it isn’t quite as noticeable as my other one (especially in the midst of other blogger gravatars), but I wanted to have some fun with it for a while!  It’s something new and different.

This drawing is a birthday present to me from my daughter, Sonja.  A manga-style drawing of me! So cool!  She’s been drawing since she was very young, and it was in her teen years that she developed an added interest and passion for animé and manga art.

She had done some similarly styled cartoon portraits of her brothers for their birthdays recently –  and so I asked her a while back if she’d do one of me.

I am thrilled with this drawing!

I love the swish of the hair and the smiling eyes!!

 

Hemingway……and Blask

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Are you scratching your head yet?

Hmmm….so what does Hemingway have to do with Blask?

Nothing.  Although I’m sure the REAL Hemingway was quite familiar with drinking out of a wine flask.

I really wanted to talk about my new theme, Blask, but there wouldn’t have been a picture for my post, so I looked through recent photos of our cat, Hemingway, to add in and jazz it up a bit, haha! – you have already seen a few Hemingway pics….when she was hiding in the beer case and the kleenex box.

Now, as for the theme bit,  it all happened rather spontaneously two days ago.  My older son has been working on his own blogging page for almost a year, and then once I worked at it more regularly, we would talk about some of the cool people we were meeting and exchanging conversations with, and whose photos we’d get to see from around the world, etc.  And I could tell from his facial expression that my middle son was interested. Finally, two days ago, he decided to take that step and enter the world of wordpress.

I was sitting at my laptop at the same table, working away, but also close by in case he had any questions.  At the point where the theme choices came up, he was scrolling through them, and so, together, he and I picked out a couple to see how they would look for his page.  Meanwhile, the thoughts returned to my head about wanting to switch up my theme.  I’ve enjoyed the one I had been using – it was a big improvement over the very first one I had picked, and I was quite happy with it.  However, as I’m sure you know, you go visiting other blogger pages, and there are features that appeal to you.  So, I thought while my son was looking for his theme, I’d have some fun, too.  And so, I came across Blask.  And after sampling some type face (font) choices and background colours, etc, I was won over by the new layout and then switched and saved.

Keeping things fresh, right?  And there are more features on Blask for me to explore…..like creating a portfolio!  That part caught my eye, too, so that’s something I will be exploring in future.

So, in case you have dropped by recently for a visit and wondered at the big change in my page……now you know why.

And for new viewers to my page, I say, “welcome!”  And I hope you enjoy your visit.  🙂