I hope I never lose my sense of wonder. If that makes me naive, then so be it.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

here we go again

Today was the Regional Historica Fair, a day full of project presentations by both R and A, along with 150 other students whose topics covered all facets of Canadian history. A full day for them and for M and I as we spent the day exploring the Museum of Civilization.

At the end of it all, R's project placed 6th overall, and she's once again off to the Provincials in June. A was a bit down, being her competitive self, but she's already thinking on next year's project.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

moving along

We're about to start into the guitars on the CD, which means more sessions of me listening as the sound gets fuller and heavier and better. If I ever tour, Uberguitarist will have to clone himself or it just won't sound right.

The possible 12th song for the CD finally came together lyrically; I had most of it done but one half of one verse just wouldn't cooperate. Finally, by building the lyrics backwards, it clicked. Not to say I'm singing it backwards and sending secret messages or anything (remember that fiasco? Oh, there's another 80s flachback...), but I knew what the last line was to be, then did the second last line, then added each previous line to complete it. I think that's a first for me. Not sure if it will make the cut but I sure do like it.

Another happy thing last week was the repair and make-it-playable of Dad's old guitar. Turns out it's a 1955 model, described by the great guy who fixed it as "a sweet little guitar". Not sure which songs it will be used on, but I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, 17 April 2009

i love

I love that yesterday I reached a new high of esteem with the kids by giving them an empty coffee can, two 12"x12" stone floor tiles, and a burlap bag from a purchase of 5 pounds of basmati rice, and saying, "Hey, girlies, can you use these in your fort outside?" Their eyes grew wide at the sight of the unexpected treasures, then in a mad rush they were out the door to find a place for them.

They are living outside these days, drinking in all that is spring.

The red-wing blackbirds are back.

It's supposed to get cold again next week, but I'm firmly ignoring that.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

bad girl! no cd updates!

A double post today to make up for my sad lack of updates on the CD.

The bass tracks are, I think, done. Uberguitarist finished the last of the songs. For the record, the 5-string Fender bass was amazing, the low notes almost being felt more than heard, and the high notes with such a sweet tone. As before, some parts were what we expected while others grew and came out of nowhere as inspiration hit - notably the end of one song when Tim said "play something high and pretty" and UG nailed it out of the blue on the first take. Guitars are next on the list and I'm looking forward to hearing the songs fill out some more.

This week I'm calling a guy who fixes up old guitars. There's a story to this. Have I told this story before? This blog has been up for a while and I'm starting to fear I may be one of those people who repeats stories while people politely smile and nod, though they've heard it before. Several times, in fact. Here she goes again.

Anyway. Just smile and nod. My dad had, for as long as I could remember, a guitar case in his closet. I very vaguely remembered it being played by him at family get-togethers, so vaguely that I wondered if that's just because I'd seen a photo of it. So there it sat, year in and year out. Then I found out what it was. It's one of those things that make most people blankly say "oh" and guitarists start salivating like Pavlov's dogs. It's a 1956 (or 57?) Gibson Les Paul Junior. Nothing's been changed from the original except for a pickup plate that broke once. The finish, the tuning pegs, even the case are all the real deal. And, for its non-climate controlled storage, it's in great shape. Hooray for damp Nova Scotian air!

Sentimental me thought, wouldn't it be fun to have Uberguitarist play my dad's old guitar on a couple of the songs? But it has a bent bridge that needs a bit of work, so, with Dad's permission (and the very wise stipulation that nothing be done to it that would devalue it), it came here and I will be taking it to the guitar-fixer-upper guy for his opinion.

We're looking into adding one more song to the CD. The Christmas song would be a stand-alone, and we all agreed that we'd just have that on single internet download. Having one Christmas song on a regular CD seemed odd. So, we'd still like to have a full 12 songs which means I need to do some more writing. It's funny, but the thought has me kind of excited rather than stressed. The idea of something being created while the process is going on has a sort of in-the-fray rush about it. And I have several song fragments (bits of songs that I love, but haven't been able to make into a complete song) that might be expanded to fit the bill.

Spring always inspires me. Let's see what happens.

old house

I love our old house. I've said this many times. Sometimes the quirks are charming, like the trap door I found in the living room floor when I pulled up the wall-to-wall carpet that had been there. Others can be annoying.

We need a new oil tank. Apparently ten years old is time to put old oil tanks out to pasture (and there's a picture that will make me snicker for a while), so we're getting a nifty new one that apparently will last 30 years. It's sort of the bionic man of oil tanks, but costs significantly less than six million dollars. The nice guy from the oil company recommended that the new tank be inside, in our basement. I laughed.

Two steps down the narrow stairway to our dirt-floored, stone-walled, 3 1/2-foot high crawlspace, he laughed too. The joists are tree trunks, bark still attached to some. The basement always does give me some pause. Given the age of our house, it would have been dug by hand, the rocks for the foundation set aside as they were found, others brought in from the fields or wherever one got rocks back then - certainly not Home Depot or the local landscaping company. I can see why they didn't make it an 8-foot high ceiling with a walkout door.

Then, last night another quirk raised its quirkily-annoying head. Our front door is under the bathroom, and the paint had started to pull away from the wall. Hmm, not generally a good sign. You're supposed to put the paint on and have it stay there, I always thought. Last night D was standing there, prodding the plaster that should have been solid underneath but was definitely softer and proddable. Wet plaster under a room with plumbing. Drat.

D: "There are things I like about this old place, and things I don't like so much."

me, being positive: "Well, what things do you like?"

D: "I like that it's cozy when the furnace works."

me: "Anything else?"

D: "I like that it's on the farm."

me: "See? Lots of good stuff."

D: "And I like that you're in it." note: big brownie points awarded there.

I can't wait until a warm day to open the windows. Spring and summer breezes make this place's quirks all fade somehow. Now about that plaster ...