Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rejoice the Return of the Sun

We have made it through again!  No more sleeps, the days are getting longer.  The happiest day of the year. :-)  Hope you enjoy your own celebrations this season and I will see you in the new year.  As you know from my summer vacation, when I am on vacation, I am oooonnnn vacation. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

exercise book

 My mother and I decided some time ago, on the principle of use it or loose it, that in order to exercise our 'little grey cells' we would begin memorizing poetry.  We both are old enough that it was a school exercise when we were young, but we have taken it up again.  She has reviewed "Listen my children and you shall hear/Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere".  I took up Humpty Dumpty's Recitation by Lewis Carrol.  A couple weeks ago she called to say she wanted to memorize the "Night Before Xmas".  She wasn't able to find a single copy in the book shops, could I make her one?  And could I make it so that she could glue in the pretty Christmas cards she gets.  Sure enough.  The book shops came through in the end, but I was already well on the way in making her a copy so she's getting it anyway.  She will get exercise in memorizing the poem: A visit from St. Nicholas (the actual title) and I got exercise designing and making the book.  Word of advice, don't chat with a friend at the crucial time of gluing the text block together.

My plan for the text was easy.  I pulled the poem off the net to save typing, then I corrected all the minor mistakes against the version in my 1959 Treasury of Poetry. Oh the intertube.  Reminds me of a game of telephone.  What was the original message? 

I spread the text of the poem over several pages of 8.5 by 11.  Then I cut half inch wide strips of cardstock to go between each page at the spine so that when the pictures are glued in the book won't bulge (as much).  And this is where I got into trouble.  I had meant to glue a strip to each page, then hole punch the whole thing, then lace it up with the covers with ribbon.  But a friend was over using my scanner, and we chatted while we worked.  And I glued the whole text block together.  Never say die.  I hauled out the hammer and nails, solving the problem in a jiffy.

I am planning to memorize the Grinch. Noise, noise, noise, noise, noise.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

9 sleeps

Theoretically I did not walk from the Law Library to the Main Library in my sandals, it is winter after all and in reality, not theoretically, it must be two feet of snow and minus twenty C.  But I enjoyed my theoretical walk.  It was to the Christmas potluck.  I baked a bread sun to celebrate the upcoming First Longer Day...nine sleeps.

Just got the phone call. The sun won second prize in the yummy eats contest.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ted talks and says much in a small space

I was introduced to Ted Talks a couple years ago, and while I don't spend a great deal of time online, I do, every once in a while wander over and have a look at what's new.  I recommend Hans Rosling and Sir Ken Robinson.  The other day I saw a title that caught my attention:  Dance vs. Power Point.  It agrees with so much of the way I look at the world.  Learning new things.  Visual learning.  The fact that knowing what you're talking about is more important than how cool your power point is.  And art.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

15 sleeps

I stand in the crabapple grove, with five magpies arrayed on the branches with the brown apples, all of us enjoying the sunshine of a short afternoon.  I think, two weeks, fifteen sleeps. And when I wake up on the fifteenth day it will the First Longer Day.  The best day of the year for me, perhaps, when viewed that way, the most sacred day of the year.  It is the day that fall, our long fall into darkness, is over, the sun stops and turns, and returns.  Winter begins.  The Light grows, as though in a mother's belly, until in early February, even the sleepiest of us awakens to awareness that the days are getting longer.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Today's count

Spring, just passing through, but continuing the decades long banishment of cabin fever.  The last winter I actually had cabin fever was 1984-85.  Snow came on October 16th, 2 feet of it, and did not leave until nearly May.  In February, going mad, we cranked the heat in the residence, played the beach boys and ran around in shorts, drinking from umbrella-ed drinks and having water fights.  It was a great relief.  But there has never been a winter since that has been as bad.  And today, spring stopped by for a visit. On my walk to the crabapple grove there were five children, building a snow person.  From my angle she looked like a wide prairie farm wife with a pioneer bonnet. Two piles of ice chunks released from the road way while it was possible to dislodge them.  An eight car train calling its way across the train bridge.  The wind, moving the branches of the pines as though they were ships in the sea.

Friday, December 2, 2011

In Theory

In theory, according to Newt Gingrich, I was not out salting the ice covered sidewalk this morning because it had rained in December in Saskatchewan.  In theory I did not ice skate my way to work.  I did not stand in the sunshine of a low winter sun with a March wind ruffling my hair, the smell of fall leaves turning to the wine of soil and think of daisies budding out.  No, in theory, according to Mr. Gingrich, I was wearing my overcoat, my beautiful big blue overcoat, and not my jacket.  I was, in theory, wearing my rainbow scarf and my red hat, and my black leather mitts: because it is December in Saskatchewan and it is therefore -20 degrees Celsius, not +2.  In theory there is snow on the ground.  About a foot of it, and lovely packed trails along the walks and in the parks.  Trails on which the snow crunches underfoot and allows me to stride along. Today is all white and blue and crisp, in theory. Not grey and brown and slippery. Ain't winter beautiful. In theory.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

me vs the ipad: round five

We had a meeting today.  I was asked to take notes.  I was asked to take notes with Henry.  I like Henry, you know that.  His cute smudgy little face and all.  But notes...I wanted to strangle him, or perhaps the note taking feature, or more likely the person who created the note taking feature.  Okay, not strangle, twap upside the back of the head though. Like Gibbs in NCIS.  All the way through it was 'did you mean this?', did you mean that?', and if I didn't say no each time it would put in the incorrect word. Grrrrr.  I mean, sure if I poke and prod Henry enough, somewhere there will be an off switch for this stupidity, right?  But where?  Really, where? I am all for the exploring like a two year old, but sometimes, at my age, I just don't have the time. I  switched pen and paper.