Tuesday, July 28, 2015

As Patti Smith Has Said

the people have the power.

As the US Presidential campaign gets into full-on looney-bin circus mode, with the Canadian political spectacle not far behind, and I hear stories like the one on As It Happens yesterday about Megan Nobert, it's hard not to believe we're going to hell in a handbasket.  Frankly, my faith that governments or other large "corporations" (sometimes it's hard to tell the difference) to affect change and actually take care of people, animals, and the environment is pretty damn low.  So it was great to read the NYTimes report on the Sea Shepherd's efforts to stop illegal fishing.  I hope you take a minute to read it, and hey, stop ordering Chilean sea bass already.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Coming Into the Home Stretch

Our neighbors, right across the street, at the community pasture
Yesterday the ladyfriend put our time here into perspective.  We always have this sense that time is flying by, but when we stop to think about what we've done while we've been here (and when we did it), we realize that we've pretty much enjoyed each day to its fullest, and that's what we like.  We've puzzled, biked, gone to Halifax to attend an opening, visited friends, read, crafted, swum, and more.  However, it's not so much about what we've done or accomplished since we've been here; it's the way this place constantly renews us.
The ladyfriend at the Halifax Farmers' Market
We have a little over a week left before we head back home.  August is a busy month for us as we are home only for a few, most likely frantic, days before we go to MichFest (more on that in another post), visit the ladyfriend's mother & family in Colorado, and finish getting ready for the school year.  (I think I have let go of any surprise that we hit the ground running in August; it happens every year this way.)  I have the feeling that this coming week will be a busy one.  Not only is it River John Days, but we'll be trying to see our friends here one more time as well as take care of some business and get a few more days of swimming in.  The great thing is that we always have faith we'll be here again next summer so there's no reason to fret about what did or didn't happen this time.

It's been a good creative time for me.  I'm working on a new collection of short stories and am starting to get a sense of the shape of that landscape.  I'm hoping to get one story finished (or as near to that as possible) to use for a residency application, but that might be a bit much to ask.  I am, in the meantime, attempting to cultivate a "work-lust" a la Seamus Heaney.  I thank my friend Karen, at Day In & Day Out for the quote and inspiration!

Things change quickly, last week's puzzle gets taken apart to make way for the next one.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Almost Two Weeks In - Nova Scotia

Hanging your lobsters was recommended by a vintage recipe we found; keeps the meat from getting water-logged.
Greetings from Nova Scotia!  We've been here a little over a week, and clearly time has gotten a little away from me.  While the image above depicts a sunny day, we've been having rather cool weather and a few rainy days.  It's only starting to get above 20C/70F during the day.  It's fine as we have plenty of things to busy ourselves with, like puzzles.
We finished this puzzle in about two days.  However, we'd sorted the pieces the last time we were here so a lot of the grunt work of starting a puzzle was done.  That doesn't mean it was easy.  We've already finished another one so we bought two more when we went into New Glasgow a few days ago.

We're working (yes, really - and it's good), crafting, reading, eating, and just letting our lives slow down a bit.  I finished Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking the first week.  The book is from the Chester Newsies Lending Library (also known as The Artists' Newstand).  I'll be bringing it back when we return if you want to borrow it.  It's a really good book.  I happen to love Joan Didion's writing.

I have another book on the go (read-in-bed category), which I'm pretty meh about - Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason.  It's a mystery set in Iceland, which I got from my mother-in-law when she was getting rid of books.  I'll finish it, but I have to say,  I don't really care about any of the characters, and this is a book where's there's a battered wife, a junkie daughter in a coma, and a couple of others one might feel for.  Meh.  The other books that I'm dipping in and out of at will are Consider the Oyster by M.F.K. Fisher, which is great, and Writing Past Dark by Bonnie Friedman.  Both are more or less collections of essays so maintaining a narrative thread isn't important.

I brought supplies for four knitting projects and two sewing projects (both Alabama Chanin things - one is the sampler quilt and the other is beading I need to do at the bottom of a finished skirt).

We're headed into Halifax (the big city!) tomorrow for a friend's opening at a gallery.  I'm excited to try a restaurant I've read about and stay at an iconic Halifax hotel.  Plus the farmers' market is on Saturday, which we'll definitely hit.

We really feel at home here.  People don't really know what it's like until they get here, and when they do, they never forget it.  Happy summer!

Friday, June 5, 2015

If You Don't Document It, Did It Happen?

Bandana made with fabric gifted to me and bias tape made from Ikea fabric
This is one of the questions my friend, the performance artist Jess Dobkin, addressed in her recent performance  "How Many Performance Artists Does It Take to Change a Lightbulb (for Martha Wilson)"where she had 100 or so people documenting the performance with various technologies from pen and paper (yours truly and many others), video, film, tweets, etch-a-sketch, and more.  It is also something I grapple with because I really am not very good at documenting my output via social media.

Take, for example, MeMadeMay2015.  I pretty much did what I'd set out to do - wore something I'd made at least three days a week.  Oftentimes it was more frequent; nonetheless, it was hard to remember to take an image and upload it to Instagram.  I often couldn't be bothered.  I was doing other things, which reminds me of Susan Sontag and her collection of essays On Photography.

So, no new promises but just a thought I wanted to share.  Know that I'm always working on something, and sometimes I share it here or on Instagram.  Just because you haven't told everyone about it doesn't mean it hasn't happened.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Me and my mother.

Me and the boy.  Being his mother is the best thing that ever happened to me.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Me Oh My Oh May!

Yes, I thought I'd shed the monster, but then life threw some unexpected variables my way, and I just couldn't blog.  Sometimes there's too much to talk about.

But it's May, and this year I've learned that in many ways, May should be my month.  Firstly, it's Me Made May, a month dedicated to wearing handmade items (and in this case made by the wearer because if you know anything about fashion, all clothing is handmade).  I got a late start on it (saw it on my local fabric store's blog), which may be a good thing since I can't try and commit to wearing something I've made every day.  Instead, my goal is (from yesterday on out) to wear something I've made three days a week.  I'll be posting my outfits on Instagram.  Yesterday I didn't get a chance to take a photo, but here's today's* -

There I am, already cozying up to our central air - hah!  I'm thinking about challenging myself to bring only items I've made (other than exercise clothing and swimwear) to Nova Scotia this summer, but I'm not quite there yet.

May is also National Bike Month (at least in the US). I haven't been biking as much as I should be; today is the last day of the 30-day yoga challenge so I've been spending time with "my other girlfriend" as the ladyfriend has come to call my practice.  All that to say, I'm hopping on the bike whenever I can and not just because it's Bike Month.

And finally, it's Short Story Month.  Say what?!  Like I said, it's my month (except that my birthday's not in it - gotta save something for November).  I'm a little late to that party as well since they have a write-a-short-story-a-day challenge going on.  I think I'll approach it like Me Made May - at least three days a week write a short story.  Huzzah!  In honour of that, here are links to two short stories of mine that have been published online and are still available (The Circles In Which We Travel, published by Joyland Toronto, doesn't seem to be available, and Organic Compositions, published by Night Train, isn't currently archived on their site, but hopefully it'll be so soon):

Consolation, published by Juked
Centerpiece, published by Bluestockings

Clearly this is the month to create.  I have to give a shout-out to my PiC (you may remember the #CLFPP2014 thing...) - she kindly sent me the remnant of a bicycle printed fabric that I'd admired on her Instagram account.  I'm hoping to use it for at least three different things.
Ride on, write on, and rock on!

*I shattered my display on my camera and had been using the ladyfriend's camera.  However, I couldn't find it today and just hoped for the best with mine.  I had no idea what any of the images I took looked like until I uploaded them to my computer.