Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Misty water-coloured memories ...

So my bright idea this year for my grandmother's birthday was to make her a memory book, consisting of photos of her with her grandchildren throughout the years. To accomplish this I had to enlist the help of the rest of the family, as it was my parents and aunts and uncles who had the old photos. The results were better than I had hoped and the book was a huge success. And it kickstarted a project for my dad, as once he had dug out all the old photo albums and slides, he decided he wanted to digitize and preserve the photos. He bought an attachment for his digital camera on e-bay that creates digital images of slides and has been merrily snapping away ever since.

You can see some of the best here.

The photos are really interesting to me, for a lot of reasons. I hadn't seen a lot of them before, or at least I don't remember seeing them. Some bring back memories, sometimes very specific as to time and place, other times just a vague recollection. Others just make me smile or laugh, either because of the goofy outfits (it was the 70s, after all!) or just because they are a snapshot of a beautiful and happy moment in the family history. Others make me teary, as they remind me of those no longer with us. It's been quite a trip, to use the 70s lingo.
Things are looking up around Casa Singer. I'm feeling much better (thanks to all who expressed their concern!) and am back in the saddle, so to speak. I'm in the middle at my first 5 day work week all month ... Since the last week of July I have taken either the Friday or the Monday off each week to make a series of long weekends throughout August. First for our trip to Quebec, then for my birthday, then for the concert last weekend ... add to that my sick days last week and I'm not sure I can work five whole days in a row! Yes, yes, somebody call the waaaaaaahmbulance. If that's the worst thing I can find to complain about, I'm doing pretty well, no? (Especially since this upcoming weekend is a long weekend as well.)

And yes, it is true, my life is particularly full of blessings right now. I am most grateful, and trying very hard every day not to take them for granted.

Unfortunately, that makes for some pretty boring blog entries. Just don't have a lot to report, and simply gushing about how wonderful my life is gets pretty tiresome (for readers, at least! :-). We are tightening up arrangements on our new apartment, which is very exciting. We're hoping to have a lease signed by the end of the week just to make it official (and have something in writing!), but unofficially everything is a go. As excited as I am both about the new apartment and about taking this next step with Serdic, I have to admit to feeling slightly overwhelmed by everything that has to be done between now and then. I am not a fan of packing, or cleaning, or hauling heavy things around, and there's going to be a hell of a lot of all three over the next six or so weeks. Sigh. It's a good thing the end result is going to be building a home with my love. I'm trying to focus on that and not the four years' worth of crap I have to clean out of my old apartment.

I've got some fun things to look forward to in the next couple of months besides the move ... a mini getaway with Serdic, a family trip to Pennsylvania, both choirs starting up again, an opportunity to humiliate myself weekly when we take up curling, Thanksgiving (always great family time) and so forth. Yeah, life is good at Casa Singer these days. Soon to be Casa Double S.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Some updates

So we're all full up with illness here at Casa Singer ... I've been flat on my back for two days with a rotten, rotten cold. I used to get these colds all the time, but as I've been improving my overall health and fitness over the last couple of years they have become much more rare. However, every once in awhile one sneaks through my defenses and knocks me out. Blergh.

I'm not surprised I'm sick, honestly, given the pace we've been keeping through August. Away every weekend, trying to apartment hunt while we're here, the worry of that (will we be homeless October 2?), my birthday celebrations, and so forth. So I took yesterday and today as sick days and am trying to lay low and sleep it off. So far the cold is winning, but I am continuing to do battle.

We had a great time on Sunday. Faithful readers may remember from a previous post that my dad is a genuine rock star. He and some friends started a band, The Coachmen, in high school back in the 60s (so, you know, they're old now!) and they were incredibly popular, playing all the local dances and, apparently, getting all the chicks. They broke up after high school, as these things go, but about 15 years ago were asked to reunite for a high school reunion. They did and it was a massive success ... nostalgia is a very powerful thing and, hey, these guys can rock! Building on that they played a couple more concerts to raise money for the town, resulting in some improvements to the recreation centre and so forth, and had a street named after them in town for their efforts. Then they packed away their equipment and went on about their lives. A few years ago they were asked to reunite again, this time for the annual summer music festival that our hometown puts on. Again, a huge success. Two years ago they played on the same roster as Great Big Sea (different nights -- although what a double bill that would have been!), and there were nearly as many people out for the Coachmen as there were for GBS. Each time The Coachmen have donated the money they would have been paid for playing to a cause in town, this year it was a music lending library that the Rotary Club is setting up to allow students access to instruments and music if they want to take music lessons but can't afford to buy an instrument.

So that's how you know they're good guys, as well as incredible musicians.

So they get together and they play and they have a blast, and the audience has a blast, and money is raised for a good cause. What could be better?

Oh, I know what could be better. If at the concert they held a 50/50 draw, and my mother sold tickets. And if she refused to tell Serdic where I was when he arrived until he bought ten tickets. And if he then subsequently won the big prize. Which was a substantial amount of money. That was pretty exciting, too.

On another note, although neither of us wants to jinx it until we have something signed, it looks like we may not be homeless on October 2 after all. You all are, of course, invited to the housewarming. ;-)

Just for fun

As seen on A Truth Universally Acknowledged:

What color is your soul painted?


Your soul is painted the color yellow, which embodies the characteristics of joy, happiness, optimism, idealism, gold, hope, liberalism, sociability, friendship, death, courage, intellect, confidence, communication, travel, movement, attraction, persuasion, and charm. Yellow is the color of the element Air, and symbolizes the sun, grain, and the power of thought.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz

Quizzes and Personality Tests

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

So Monday was my birthday. And a great celebration it was. We went home on Saturday and the major family party was Sunday evening. My mom went all out and put on a great bash, with more food than any family can eat in a week, let alone one night. Serdic's contribution was his famous cheesecake for dessert and it went over very well, indeed. I think every time my family spends time with him they get closer to deciding that if we break up they'll keep him instead!

I was very spoiled by everyone, and at the end of the day felt very blessed and very loved.

I am particularly blessed because I get to share my birthday with my maternal grandmother. My grandmother is one of my favourite people in the world, and knowing that every year I get to celebrate with her makes our birthday extra special. There's no way to write about my grandmother without sounding like the cheesiest of Hallmark cards, but she truly is the heart and soul of our family and a constant source of strength and comfort for me.

So now I'm another year older. Funny, I don't feel any different than I did a few days ago. But Serdic told me I look "pretty good for an old woman," so I guess I'm doing ok. ;-)

Friday, August 10, 2007

So here's a short Friday afternoon story from Quebec City.

Scene: Serdic and I are standing outside the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, the Anglican church in the old part of the city. I am reading from my guidebook about the church.

Me: It says the organ has 3,058 pipes. That's a big organ.
Serdic: Well, then of course we have to go in and see that, and take a picture for your dad. (Note: my father is an organist.)

We go inside the church. The organ is indeed impressive. A lovely gentleman in full 18th century costume comes up and starts talking to us, telling us all about the church. I ask if it's ok for me to take a picture of the organ (some churches won't allow photography inside). He says "of course."

I take my picture and we wander away a little bit. Lovely gentleman follows us. "Now that I've let you take your picture," he says, "you have to guess how many pipes the organ has."

"3,058." I reply promptly. (And a bit, I must admit, smugly.)

I have never seen a person's face fall so quickly. Poor guy.

Serdic and I laughed about it all weekend, though.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Vive le Quebec!

Yeah. Way too tired to make a coherent blog entry. Instead I present a weekend in photos. I'll just say we had an awesome time and we can't wait to go back. Stories to follow this week.