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

Sunday, 29 August 2010

eight weeks

I feel like an idiot.

Remembered today an annual songwriting award. Not based on radio play, but on actual songwriting merit. Something I think I'd have a shot at. I looked it up online and got excited as I read over the guidelines, thinking I'd found a home, a happy place where my songs could feel good.

The deadline was June 30th.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

close call

From my East Coast tour and trip, I return to my glamorous life on the farm.

My chickens squawk a lot sometimes. When they wander happily around they make little purring sounds that are really quite pleasant, though I must admit it was not what I expected as a kid who grew up thinking all they did was cluck. If they cluck or squawk, they're upset. Ah, the things you learn.

Yesterday after supper one kept complaining. There are a few who do this, and when I rush out they are sitting there looking at me saying, "what? Oh, right. Umm... I was ... er... concerned. Yeah, that's it. Nothing to see here." And so last night I sighed, having scolded them several times before with the 'boy who cried wolf' story. I called the girls to head out and see if it was (again) nothing. Wrong.

As I passed out the door I heard A's shrill scream and saw a fox race across the yard to the field, Sam (aka Archie the Wonder Dog) in hot pursuit. I rounded the corner to see A's terrified face, and feathers on the ground. Not again, I thought. Apparently Queen Victoria the chicken did not use her secret pro hunter abilities.

But, a happy ending. All nine hens were safe, though scared and some had been grabbed at, though not injured. The fox in hindsight seemed small and may have found the hens too big to easily carry off. Sam was awfully pleased with himself, and I was glad again of having a large dog on the farm. The chickens, while thankful for their rescue, may well be giving me that condescending "I told you so!" look for the next few days.

I hate it when they're right.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010


We are home. Sleeping in our own beds after ten nomadic days visiting friends and family in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The time flew by but we did manage to fit a lot in...

- a few days in Fredericton, with a show there. Smallish attendance but all went well and it felt really good. Meeka was delighted to be appointed videographer for the concerts and took her job very seriously.

- the cottage gave us some good family time, relaxing while the kids swam and explored and canoed. The second day the kids hit the wildlife park with D's folks while we celebrated our 19th anniversary in fine style in Halifax.

- Oasis. Definitely a highlight for me. The biggest event I've played, and I was pleasantly surprised to not be hit by the expected wall-o'-nerves. It felt good, was smooth and well-received, though I realized that fronting a concert like that takes endurance! Whew. Tired but made it through. I do believe that my running made it possible. Hm, cross-training for music? The band outdid themselves this week. Several comments on their talent, professionalism, and just being a tight band (high praise that), and my continued appreciation for their willingness to join me on the trip.

- a few days in Dartmouth, including a day in Halifax to the Citadel, walking the waterfront, and a sailing ship ride on the Mar. Sunday morning at FBC Dartmouth was a good wrap to the week.

And now I'm home, and realizing that all the things I was putting off "until after the trip" are waiting here and now need to be dealt with. Autumn, here we come!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

daring kitchen, august

I'm on tour this week with a few concerts, but before we left I did manage to make this month's Daring Kitchen challenge. And we're three for three on the "try something new and realize you love it" front.

The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale.

Perogies. Or pierogies. Or potstickers. Lots of different cultural takes on these stuffed dumplings. I made a traditional Russian type filling, and experimented with the other. While it didn't really represent Canada per se, my second stuffing brought together flavors that I do love.

The dough came together well, a simple dough of flour, egg, salt, and water. The only difficulty was in cutting it out, as the dough seemed more inclined to stretch than to submit to my biscuit cutter. That said, the same stretch came in handy when wrapping the dough around the stuffing.

The Russian filling of mashed potato, onion, and bacon was delicious. I was supposed to use cottage cheese but had none, so made some yogurt cheese by putting plain yogurt through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. While I put things together it dripped over a bowl and I had a drier yogurt to add in. The tang was a nice compliment to the rest of the ingredients.

For the others we sauteed some minced garlic, added butter and white wine and then chopped spinach. This was cooked and cooled, then stirred into ricotta cheese. It made for a savory filling that was my favorite.

One fun thing about this was enlisting the girls, who happily filled and sealed perogies while I made more dough as needed. I think of the whole batches, I actually made about four. The kids took care of the rest and enjoyed doing it.

The perogies were simmered and then fried in butter. The frying step made the outside nice and crispy. Another big hit for me, my hubby, and the three girls.

Thursday, 12 August 2010


Everything on every front seems to be coming down to one point, when we leave tomorrow.

The second batch of chicks made their one-way trip yesterday and we now have fifteen more roasters in the freezer. The coop needs to be cleaned today, the grass cut, the laundry done, the fridge cleaned. That's farm.

The display board came together yesterday (a backdrop for my CD table, mostly aesthetic but I like it), we had our last band rehearsal last night and planned the gear transport. Set lists are planned with the usual margin for last-minute changes on the fly. Tonight I meet with the guys who will be leading on one Sunday to go over material I set up yesterday, and make sure that's covered. Need to print charts, lineups. That's music.

A second interview today, either live or being taped. Got the call for that yesterday. And here I thought I could stop thinking. That's promo (and yes, very cool and kinda fun).

Packing. That would help. House watchers arranged, kennel booked.

I'm excited to return to our old stomping grounds, share more Maritime memories with the kids, see family and friends. It will be a very different trip east, concerts and all, but it's exciting.

Monday, 9 August 2010


I heard something today for the first time. And yes, I got emotional.

My song on the radio.

An interview, recorded on Friday over the phone, was played and through the course of it, four of my songs. I got to talk about my background, my songwriting, even this little blog. Many thanks to KC and the guys who took my scary rural phone and worked their techie magic on it.

I sounded ok. No, I sounded interesting. If I met that person, I do think I'd like her. I guess that's a good thing.

They finished the interview by playing 'We Hold On'. He'd have been 25 on Saturday. I wish, for the umpteenth time, I could have shared moments like these with him. Any moments, but these would have a little extra glee shared with him.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

farm lesson #426

Chickens, even ones with prim names like Queen Victoria (Vicky, for short - the girls named her), will chase, catch, kill, and eat little frogs on the grass.

Yes, really.


I had seen the chickens chase little moths flitting above the top of the grass, and even seen them curious around a frog that had been mowed by accident. But this cold, unrelenting pursuit was something new.

Granted, this did get me thinking of a scenario where a fox sneaks up on what he thinks is a weak little chicken, an easy supper, then BAM! Queen Victoria chicken ninja strike!

It could happen.

Friday, 6 August 2010

random verse

Something I felt like writing... not a masterpiece by any means. But I recognize that sometimes, the words speak better then I let them follow their own way instead of making them submit.


turning, twisting
let go
forming, shaping
let go
bend to my will
say what i want

speak for yourself
flow as you will
spin, twirl
loose, free
you say much more
when i let you lead.


Seren's book comes out today. It's brilliant. This is not an official review so much as just be being stupidly proud of my dear friend and her dream sitting cozily between a front and back cover.

You did it! I'm humming little happy tunes as I think of it.

It's available for order at amazon, releases in the US today, and will be in Canada on August 31st. My kids' take on it:

"It's funny, cool, adventurous and amazing all at the same time. I love the part where Meeka tries to open the door with a stinky smelly fish! I also like Jackson's book that keeps changing." (M, age 10)

"Jackson doesn't feel important but wishes he was. Meeka is funny and messes everything up. With help from the Author, everyone can be a hero like Jackson. I like how the story is funny and what it teaches." (A, age 12)

"This book is witty - the sentences she uses, the definitions of long words. It gives a great perspective on the Author and our purpose in life." (R, age 14)

The book, aimed at the 9-12 reader, is a wonderful read-aloud that will amuse, inspire, and encourage. There are silly moments, laugh-out-loud passages, poignant bits, and the cosine of 7.88. Woven in amongst all of that is a real lesson that kids (and adults!) need to hear about purpose and fulfillment.

I guess it was a bit of a review, after all...

Thursday, 5 August 2010


We had a great rehearsal with the band last night, these intrepid (crazy?) folks who are willing to join me on my trip out east for a few concerts. Two hours of singing later, and I was kinda tired.

I love these guys (and those of the Sequoia music gang who can't head to the coast with us) for more reasons than I can say.

They put up with me. We laugh about silly things mid-song. Egos aren't on the line. We share a common purpose and goal, to worship God through music and to share the joy that brings us with others. They are willing to drive to the east coast on their own dime to support my three concerts. They are amazingly talented, amazingly humble, deeply caring and wonderfully fun. They are themselves, they are friends. They share their musicality in a way that makes the whole unit more than the sum of the parts. Synergy is a wonderful thing.

I have a radio interview being taped on Friday morning (eek!), the events are being promo'ed out east, and we leave the following week. I'm excited!

Concert details are on my site, or you can go to myspace, facebook, ilike... aah, the joys of social media.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010


A tactile few days of feeling surrounded.

Yesterday after a hot run, I slipped off my shoes and socks and slid, still dressed from running, into the pool. The cool water surrounded me and the nerves in my skin felt alive to the sensation of the water moving around. It was tingly and invigorating.

Last night I climbed into our bed. Where our old mattress was springy, this one is soft and envelops as I lie down, sinking into the pillow top and feeling the bed hug me into itself. It was cozy; I lay there and gradually felt each muscle group succumb to letting itself relax, shedding the fatigue of the day.

This morning the clouds are low and dark grey, the rain audible on our house's tin roof. Like a blanket the clouds wrap around our home, rejuvenating the grass and fields. The rain hitting me last night as I rescued the laundry on the clothesline was warm and soft.

I hope you can feel surrounded by loveliness today and feel some little hugs of life.