Monday, 30 December 2013


A Sears repairman came today with the correct part to fix my dishwasher.

Hermione was startled to hear a different voice in the kitchen. She stood by, wide-eyed and nervous.

Then she retreated to the top of the stiars to make sure he was really leaving, after fixing the appliance. He waved. "Goodbye kitty!"

Friday, 20 December 2013


Hug! by angelamermaid
Hug!, a photo by angelamermaid on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
My team lead was told to hug me for a job well done. So he did.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Cuddling up on a cold night

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Training walk

I'm going to do a Mermaid Marathon in San Diego next year. Mermaid Marathons are women only. I'm doing it because I work out better when I have a goal like this, I'll get to meet many online friends in person in San Diego, and it will be a nice break from winter in Calgary.

I went for my first training walk today.

Sunny  day

I go to work in the dark, and I come home in the dark. This much sun hurt my eyes. But it was a good walk.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Advent Meme - Music

My friend Shanna suggested, "How about on December 13, you write about the role that music has played in your life? :-)?

And I forgot yesterday. Sorry!

So. Music. I love music, actually. I'm one of those people who can be captivated by a song and listen to it over and over. Here is a screencap of my Top 25 Most Played in iTunes:

 photo itunes_zps0bafd621.jpg

A few notes:

  • It's not just that "More Than A Feeling" is a classic rock song. It's got that killer glory note in it. And in my Walter-Mitty daydreams, I can nail that note to great applause. When in real life, I'm tone deaf and karaoke is not for me.
  • My love for ABBA is no secret. During the dark and rough years of living in Moscow, ABBA was something that made me happy. And still does.
  • Most of these songs are on my "Magic Beans" playlist. I turn to this playlist when I need a pick me up or just want to rock out.
  • Some of these songs have very specific meanings. I find "May It Be" to be a good song when I'm in a meditative or contemplative mood. I interpret it to be a song about letting go and having faith that you are on the journey you were meant to take.
  • During a rough bit of turbulence on a flight, "Orinoco Flow" popped up on my iPod, and I was able to visualize a ship breaking through the waves, much like the plane was breaking through air streams, and it calmed me.
  • This version of "Raggle Taggle Gypsy" has a great drum battle in it. I was thrilled to hear it in person when I saw Celtic Thunder in concert.

Sometimes I associate certain memories with the music playing at the time. I can not listen to "Caribbean Queen" because it was playing on the radio when I had an automobile accident. When my university boyfriend was coming over because we "had to talk", I turned off my music because I didn't want to associate Corey Hart with being dumped. And yes, he broke up with me.

Despite being tone deaf, I was in two musicals in university. In the chorus, because I can manage to sing in tune when singing with others. I was in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat" and "Godspell". "Godspell" wasn't written with a chorus, but there were a lot of people who wanted to be in the show so artistic license was used. Both experiences were fantastic.

I listen to music on public transit when I want to drown out the people around me having TMI conversations.

My favourite era for music is the 1980's, when I was a teenager. My two favourite radio stations both feature '80s music.

Concerts I have attended:

  • Kris Kistofferson
  • Gowan/Supertramp
  • Gowan
  • Corey Hart
  • Platinum Blonde
  • Doug and the Slugs
  • Celtic Thunder
  • Star Wars in Concert
  • Straight No Chaser
  • Paul McCartney

So that is a brief look into how music has influenced me. I could write posts on my different iTunes playlists alone. :-)

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

What I did tonight

I meant to draw. I got out my Wacom tablet and started futzing around in Photoshop, and then I started to Google tutorials.

This is not a drawing. This is a Photoshopped picture from a photograph I took this summer. This isn't what I intended to create, but it was what I was meant to create. I love it.

Young Fiddler photo vshop03r_zps3af1d34b.png

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Wonder Woman Garden Gnome

On my LiveJournal, I asked people to pick a day in December and topic for me to post about.

So far:

  • Dec 10 - "What do you paint, and do you have favorite painters?"
  • Dec 13 - "The role that music has played in your life."
  • My choice of dates - "Canada"

Feel free to suggest more!


So. Painting. Well, the sad thing is that I don't paint much anymore. In another life, I painted Barbie dolls.

Most of my 2013 creativity has gone into rediscovering a love of knitting. The good thing is that my inner voice is screaming at me to produce more artwork. I picked up a pencil and started sketching over the weekend. Part of the reason I'm clearing out a corner of my basement is that I can have a creative space.

Background information - in 2009 I discovered that I have a half-sister, Mary-Anne. She is now one of my best friends.

But I did paint something in 2013. My sister once said that she'd like to have a garden gnome painted like Wonder Woman. I kept that filed away in the back of my mind. In 2013, Mary-Anne turned (a number I won't make public). We usually make our birthday presents for each other, and I knew that I needed to really go big this year.

So I loaded pictures of Wonder Woman on my iPad, went to a Colour Me Mine shop, and with the help of one of the extremely enthusiastic employees who LOVED the idea:

Wonder Woman garden gnome

(Posing in my garden)

Her cuffs are painted silver to represent Wonder Woman's bracelets. The flowers are red and yellow as the best representation of the eagle on her leotard. (The only other female garden gnome in the shop was carrying a basket).
Wonder Woman garden gnome

Naturally she needed red boots with a white stripe, just like Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman garden gnome

And her braids are tied with yellow. And she has a yellow belt, of course.
Wonder Woman garden gnome

The skirt could have used a couple more coats of blue, but after four coats on two visits, I was done. The extremely enthusiastic employee added another coat (with my permission) and it still isn't perfect.

But that doesn't matter. Because when I put the gnome in a Wonder Woman shopping bag and handed it to Mary-Anne for her birthday, she knew from the weight what I had done. She knew that I'd remembered what she had once said, and I made that wish a reality. She loved it.

There's a new Colour Me Mine one neighbourhood over. I'm planning on certain Star Wars garden gnomes for my 2014 garden.

As for the second part of the question - I'm fond of Da Vinci, Van Gogh. I have a Matt Busch Lost poster that I really like. My late grandmother gave me a painting she'd done of one of my cats, and I treasure that.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Calgary is freaking cold

-40 wind chill advisory. If you value our friendship, you will be kind if you share the current temperature in your area. ;-)

I haven't driven my car since last Saturday and with the -40 advisory, I knew I had to plug in the block heater tonight. I speak from experience that if you don't plug in a car in -50 wind chill, the compressor can freeze and it will take a mechanic to get your car to start again.

First, I started Lily to make sure that I could. She protested a bit in the beginning, but started without any coaxing. I let the engine run while I did everything I needed to.

I also haven't brushed the snow off of Lily since last Saturday. The snow on the hood was over a foot thick. I brushed off the hood so I could open it to pull out the plug for the block heater.

It is freaking cold

It is freaking cold

So now Lily is plugged in and I have the assurance that she can run when needed. I hope I won't need to go out into this cold again.

Lily is a 2007 Saturn Ion with standard transmission. I used to have a Nissan Micra with standard transmission that needed coolant antifreeze below -10C, I'm happy that Lily is much hardier.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

The best of friends

The best of friends by angelamermaid
The best of friends, a photo by angelamermaid on Flickr.