Tag Archives: Yukon

The perils of long-term parking

23 Nov

On Monday, Michael had to fly to Ontario. He had to be at the airport very, very early, so even though we live close to the airport, he took the car down and saved his sleep-deprived self a few minutes and a very cold, very windy walk.

That morning, the winter temps in Whitehorse had dropped down to below -30°C (that’s -22°F for you dark ages, uh, old-fashioned folk!) and I didn’t relish the idea of walking down to the airport and bringing the car back, especially after spending the entire morning running from bank appointment to hardware store to big box store and then back to the bank because the advisor had made an error.

Next day, the temperatures weren’t any better, plus the dog injured his knee, plus it was my birthday, plus the piano tuner came to work on my new piano (SQUEEEE!!!! DID I MENTION I HAVE A NEW PIANO?!?!), plus I had a rehearsal, and anyway, to make a long story short, I didn’t get the car.

Parking rates at the Whitehorse airport are very cheap, as you might deduce from my laissez-faire attitude.

But also, our car generally doesn’t LIKE to start at 30 below. And it’s not really a good idea to try to start a car with such a cold battery. One ought to have it plugged in for a couple of hours. Which you can’t do at the airport.

Michael flew home today. And it warmed up to +1°C. (That’s just above melting.) So I finally walked down to the airport to get the darned car. Actually, I walked down twice because I was almost there the first time when I realized I hadn’t brought along my credit card with which to pay the parking fee.

As I approached the area where Michael had told me he’d parked the car it hit me that not only had we had a week of 30-below weather, we’d also had a huge dump of snow. And yesterday was an incredibly windy day, with snow drifting across the highways and building up on inanimate objects.

Do you see where this is going?

Image

Well, the photo is not that dramatic, I suppose, but there is a snow drift a good 20 inches deep there. (Oh, there I go using Imperial measurements. Canadians are nothing if not inconsistent with measuring conventions.)

Thank goodness we always keep a small shovel in the back of the car. I spent a good 10 minutes tunnelling my way through that drift so I could get the car out. My anticipated 25-minute errand to get the car turned into an hour-long saga.

But at least parking there all week only added up to a whopping $9.00.

A landmark day

7 Mar

(Reblogged from http://fawnfritzen.com/a-landmark-day)

I’m exhausted, but I can’t go to bed yet. I’m ensconced in my home-away-from-home, Easter Seal House in Vancouver. In the morning, I’ll be taking my daughter for her regular neurology appointment. She hasn’t had a seizure in almost three years, but the fight against her epilepsy isn’t entirely over yet. In preparation for her EEG, she has to be sleep-deprived… which means Mama has to be sleep-deprived, too.

Ah well, no different from any other night, really.

And it was such a wonderful day. The sun was shining in a blue sky in Whitehorse. Jade was a delightful travel companion on our flight down to Vancouver; she charmed everyone around her with her happy chatter and questions.

And some other exciting things happened, too.

I got a message first thing this morning from a local woman who does a show on the local French CBC radio station; she wanted to play a song from my upcoming album and promote the release concert. I got another e-mail from a producer who broadcasts for CBC North out of Montreal and I will be doing an interview with her early next week.

So that was fun.

Then, while I was downtown running some super-quick errands in preparation for the trip, I decided to pick up a copy of our local entertainment magazine, What’s Up, Yukon. Turns out, this issue contains a review of my album. And I’m thrilled with the review. (I’ll put a link up here once it’s available.)

THEN! When Jade and I boarded our Air North flight, I pulled out the in-flight magazine, Yukon North of Ordinary. I’ve been so busy, I hadn’t had time to see if the Spring issue was out yet. So it was pretty thrilling to open up the magazine to page 79 and find this:

Yukon North of Ordinary

The article was written by local journalist / blogger / amazing mother of three (soon to be four!) Sarah Niman, and I can’t believe how much information she packed into two pages. (I’ll put an electronic copy of that up sometimes soon, too.)

THEN!!

I arrived at Easter Seal House and found that the four boxes I was expecting here had indeed been delivered. Here’s what’s inside those boxes:

Bedroom Voice CDs ready

Hot off the presses!

Just over a week left before the album release, and I have a gigantic to-do list to wrestle into submission. But it will happen. And, you know, that will be an amazing day, too.

Song Rise

20 Nov

Song Rise PosterThis Saturday, I’m going to be part of a fantastic concert!

I don’t think I mentioned it before — whoops! — but my original song I’m a Fool for You was chosen by a jury to be part of Yukon Women in Music‘s newest CD.

(Just look at the artwork! Isn’t it gorgeous? The painting in the background was donated by local artist Emma Barr.)

The gorgeousness keeps going inside the album, too. Fourteen songs are on it, in all sorts of styles, and I can’t stop listening to it.

And you can hear them all live at the Yukon Arts Centre this Saturday evening. I’m so excited, I could bust!

There’ll also be a reception afterward, so you can have your CD signed by your favourite artists and view the original painting by Emma Barr. (Which, by the way, will be going up for auction in a month or two.)

You can get your tickets on the Arts Centre website or by phoning the box office at 667-8574.

(Our last CD release concert sold out, so do get your tickets!)

Now, should I go with the long red gown… or the crazy colour-shifting shoes…?

Camera magic

10 Jun

One occupation I never thought I would take on in my life is that of model. To me, “model” has always meant someone taller than me, thinner than me, and, now that I’m thirty-three, likely younger than me, too.

So it came as some surprise when I was asked to model for a photo shoot earlier this month.

The photographer was Christian Kuntz. I first met him last year when I hired him to take some professional promo shots that I could use for business cards, posters, website, and so on. I had seen a lot of his portrait work on Facebook and I was very impressed with his use of lighting (even as a photography dunce, I could tell it was magic) and the element of fun in so many of his shots.

We met for coffee and I found out that he comes from Strasbourg, France. My Oma grew up about a two-hour drive away, in Haguenau. Both cities are situated in that fascinating region of France known as Alsace, which changed hands between the French and the Germans four times in the 75 years before the end of WWII. Long story short, I was delighted to discover this common ground, and to learn that Christian speaks both French and German, alongside the attractively French-accented English we ladies find so charming.

I hired Christian again earlier this year to shoot photos when I put together the Swing Street Band. I built 1940s-style bandstands for our 7-piece band, and did up my hair in 1940s-style victory rolls. It was too much fun not to document.

That’s just a small sampling of the over 200 photos I got from the event.

It was after that shoot that Christian surprised me by asking me to model for him. His photographic specialty is portraits and headshots, and he’s developed a signature style that you might call glamour or classic Hollywood. He wanted to try some studio shots of me with the 1940s look.

I discovered that some of the most beautiful poses feel completely unnatural, and I was a wee bit stiff and sore the next day. Also that “Hollywood eyes” come from kind of glazing over one’s field of vision. It’s a bizarre thing, but you can’t argue with the results. They say the camera adds at least 10 pounds, but Christian’s magic lighting seems to have done the opposite and made me thinner than I see myself.

Christian came and saw the Frantic Follies earlier this week, and of course he had his camera with him. I have never met a photographer more passionate about his work. I just can’t wait to see what kind of magic he conjured out of the lights and colours of the show!

You can check out Christian’s website here, and his Facebook fan page here.

A few disjointed thoughts…

20 Jan

On Decisiveness

Michael’s been pretty sick this past week and a half with a doozy of a virus that just won’t quit. It’s left him drained in the evenings, occasionally to comic effect. Yesterday evening when I asked him if he was going to band practice, he gave me this unequivocal answer. “No! Maybe… Yes. I don’t know.” Yes, that actually came out of his mouth.

(He went.) (And played between bouts of coughing.)

On Health

I’ve been wondering for a while if I have hyperthyroidism; there’s some history of it in my family. I have many of the symptoms (irritability, insomnia, fatigue, sweating, increased appetite… and did I mention irritability?) but don’t have many others (intolerance to heat, hair loss, weight loss…). I had a doctor’s checkup yesterday (you know, that yearly thing we ladies need to do) but the doctor was running a bit late so there wasn’t time to discuss signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism, as I hadn’t done any research before going.  The only thing I already knew about hyperthyroidism is that it can make one irritable.  (Theme? What theme?)

Last night, I wondered if I should call the doctor to ask about adding a thyroid function test to the routine bloodwork he was sending me for.  When I looked at the lab requisition, guess what was already checked off? “Suspected thyroid disease, not yet diagnosed.” So, was that just a coincidence, or did the doctor notice something he didn’t mention to me? Either way, kinda freaky.

On Cold Weather

It’s been a deep freeze around here all week, with temps dropping down between -35 and -40 °C. Yesterday, I was driving home along Robert Service Drive, which runs along the Yukon River, in the semi-twilight. The sky was a beautiful dark blue, and one star (actually, I suspect it was a planet…  I don’t know enough about these things) shone brightly directly above the cliffs. The road was perfectly clear, but above the river, the ice fog rose up straight and still. Looking out the driver’s window, my eyes hit that thick fog and gave me the feeling of driving next to a wall, most jarring when one expects to look out across the water. Very eerie and very cool at the same time.

On Improvising Crafts

Halia is on a painting kick.  I have a plastic egg carton that I use to portion out small amounts of tempera paint and she goes to town on a stack of scrap paper.  Last week, I had no yellow left and was running low on red, so we improvised. I had a jar of ModPodge and figured it was a good “white base” with the right consistency. So I filled three egg compartments halfway with ModPodge and let Halia mix drops of food-colouring in. This is great for working those hand muscles AND for a counting exercise. (No more than TWO drops, Halia. No, I said TWO. THAT was four.) Then a Q-Tip in each compartment for mixing, and we had beautiful colours that dry to a glossy finish.  The only problem with it is that the pages DO get sticky. And ModPodge doesn’t easily wash out of clothes once its dried, so smock up the kids!

On Being a Special-Needs Mom

None of us has enough hours in the day. I don’t care how simple your life is, these days we’re very good at filling up every minute with stuff we “have to” do.  Sometimes I have to stop to remind myself that it is literally impossible to do it all. Yes, I would love for the dishes be done every night, the beds made every morning, and the laundry folded and put away every afternoon, but the only way I could accomplish that would be to give up on everything that makes my life exciting.

Now, Jade does have special needs. But she’s loving school so much and growing intellectually by leaps and bounds, and besides that, one day we’ll be able to wean her off the keto diet, so I feel there’s nothing for me to complain about. But sometimes, I have to stop to remind myself that there is extra work involved. I don’t just mean preparing her meals and snacks. On good days, I can make three meals and two snacks for her in about half an hour. When it’s suppertime, assuming I have the ingredients on-hand, I can make her meal in about five minutes.

But there’s other stuff. Like dragging her to audiologist and ENT appointments that start three hours after they’re scheduled.  Doing paperwork to get funding for some respite, or to cover the few medications she’s on (all of them for combatting side-effects of the keto diet). Spending literally seven hours trying to get a prescription for antibiotics to combat an ear infection, because the antibiotics must contain fewer than 100 milligrams of carbohydrate over the course of the day. And then there’s the occupational therapy activities we’re supposed to do every day. Balance, hand strength, core strength… How do you fit that in between the end of school, downtime, and making supper?  Even if it’s just for 15 minutes? I don’t, that’s how.

On Succinctness

Yep, this post isn’t it. Whoops. Didn’t mean to ramble on so. Look, I can’t even stop when I’m talking about being succinct.

Fawn at Arts in the Park 2011

7 Jun

Arts in the Park, June 14, 2001, LePage Park, noon to 1. Featuring Fawn Fritzen with Marg Tatam on piano.  Hot vocal jazz in the summer sun.

Here’s one of the projects that is keeping me busy this month: rehearsing for a one-hour set at Arts in the Park next week.

Please keep your fingers crossed for good weather, as this is an open-air concert!  The show will go on, though, come rain or come shine.

Spread the word!  And if you’re in Whitehorse, I would love to see you there.

If I were a Twitterer…

14 May

* I am in love (again) with my Storchenwiege wrap.  And with YouTube how-tos.

* Halia started talking today! “Ba-ba-ba. Da-da-da. Bla-bla-bla.” Augh! The cuteness!

* Did I mention that Michael is in Old Crow until Monday?  Thank goodness for Amanda.

* I’ve been watching a 13-episode show on YouTube.  I’m on Episode 6.  So far, it’s dumb.  Why am I still watching?

* Lately, I have been incapable of going to bed before midnight.  It’s not a good thing.

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