Tag Archives: Yukon

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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Not exactly t-shirt weather

12 May

Looking out the window this morning, I know everyone in Whitehorse is worried that we’ve already seen the last of summer.

May 12

View from my living room, May 12, 2009

When I lived in Iqaluit, I once witnessed a snowstorm in June.  So this isn’t so bad.  At least it’s above zero.

Autumn rain

25 Aug

It’s raining again, but the dog must go out.

“Take my poncho,” he says.  And so I do.  In the green poncho and green rubber boots I must look like a giant insect, but nobody else wants to be out in the rain, so there is no one around to see me.

The rain is gentle, not a bad time to be outside.  With 6 months of belly, I am much slower now.  I take a plodding pace and thus have all the more time to look around me.

The light filtered through rainclouds somehow makes everything seem brighter, vivid.  There is yarrow shining white as the moon.  Scarlet fireweed burns to be noticed in its autumnal glory.  Poplar leaves, whose youthful spring green first turned silver with summer leaf-miners, now change again to the yellow of fall.  Rosehips glow like Christmas lights.  I pluck one and eat the bland yet pleasing flesh.

Drops of rain hang heavy at the ends of long pine needles.  It is only since moving north that I have learned to remember which is a spruce tree and which is pine.  Now even my toddler can tell a spruce cone from a pinecone.

I take hold of a spruce branch and create a rainstorm of my own.  I put my thumb out to touch a droplet suspended from a pine needle and of course it finds me irresistable.  The droplet rests there on the pad of my thumb, a bright bead.  When I put my finger down to it, I can hold it up, stretch it, see the forest in miniature in the tiny crystal ball.  I laugh at my fanciful thoughts.

My heavy boots slide down the trails, trails turned to wet clay in the rain.  The dog runs in and out of the tall grasses, smiling at me with his tongue lolling out.  He looks like a fuzzy pup with this rain in his hair.

After a while, there is home again.  I splash through one more puddle, listen to a few more rain drops, then I head inside.  Truly it is autumn in the Yukon.

End of the Big Band era

15 Jul

Okay, it’s not the end of an era (after all, the big band era has come and gone) but it is the end of the musical season. 

Atlin was great fun (read and see more at Michael’s blog) and The Big Band played an absolutely amazing one-hour set.  I can’t say enough about the professionalism of the technical crew there; it’s the first time I’ve ever played with the band and been able to hear every other part, including myself, and, wow, it’s amazing how much easier it is for everyone to play together when we can all hear each other! (Kudos to Omni Productions!)

This gig was the band’s last time playing together until rehearsals resume in September, and it was a terrific way to end the season.  The sad part is I didn’t enjoy it as fully as I should have.  I had a shadow hanging over me the entire time because although things were going great at the keyboard — I have learned sooo much this year! — what I really wanted was to be singing.  I had actually asked to do one or two tunes, but our singer wanted to do this gig herself.  I can’t really blame her.  She’s a music teacher and spends most of her life encouraging others to develop themselves, to perform, and to shine; being the singer for The Big Band is where she gets to do her thing.  (Well, that’s my theory, anyway.)  But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t sorely disappointed.  I admit that I cried a little.  Then I told myself that I would be exactly as upset as I chose to be.  Which sort of worked.  It is such hard work suppressing the diva in me.

Seeing other performers at the festival made me realize that if I want to find a place to sing, I’m going to have to look for other musicians to play with.  I’m not yet sure how to go about doing that, and really the timing’s all wrong, since a few short months from now my life will be all wrapped up with propping my eyelids open enough to pay attention to Jade while snatching bits of sleep in between Nugget feedings.  (I know, I make it sound so appealing, don’t I?  I really am looking forward to it, honest.  Just not the sleep-deprivation part.)

A few months ago, Kim Beggs asked me what my goal was for my music, and I couldn’t answer her.  It’s something I do for fun, but, like a drug addict, it seems I want to do more and more.  I don’t (yet?!) have the confidence in my song-writing to really promote myself as a singer-songwriter, but I do think that I’d learn a lot by working with and playing with other songwriters.  I also know that while I wouldn’t mind doing the festival circuit (a path I had started down in the NWT) I don’t see myself doing the hard work of touring around the country, let alone travelling further.  Being a mom is still the more important job these days.  So I’m starting to get a fuzzy idea of some musical goals that would fit me.  Wouldn’t it be great if two years from now I could perform with a few other musicians as a singer-songwriter at the Atlin Festival?  Depending on your perspective, this could be a scarily lofty or laughably small goal… but either way I know it sure would be fun!

In the meantime, I’m going to miss Big Band rehearsals.  I can mentally go down the list of members and smile to myself at each name, thinking of this one’s soft-spoken warmth or that one’s caustic humour; corny as it sounds, The Big Band feels like family.  I’m not sure whether I’m going to join in on the rehearsals again in September; it will depend on how things are going with the pregnancy and with Jade, and whether there are any gigs to practice for before Nugget’s introduction to the world.

Is it wonder that despite the fabulous music, playing in Atlin left me feeling just a wee bit melancholy?

Even better Yukon sunsets

27 Jun

I know a few of you come especially for the “life in the Yukon” content, so I couldn’t let this opportunity go by.  A photographer far better than I was out capturing the skies this past beautiful Wednesday night, so if you want to see what it was really like go on over and check out the three photos posted by Murray Lundberg on his ExploreNorth Blog.

Garden party

27 Jun

I’m trying to squeeze in as much performing as possible this summer because I know that I will be on hiatus for a while after Nugget makes his or her appearance. So when I heard about this Garden Party, I eagerly jumped onto the bandwagon. I’ll be doing background music, so there’ll be folks talking and eating while I play, but I don’t mind that. Besides, I get to partake in the dinner, and the menu sound fantastic (see below)! I’ll be playing from 5:00 to 5:40 — while soups and salads are being served, I believe.

Here’s the official invite:

YWIM Garden Party

Yukon Women in Music will be holding it’s 3rd Annual Garden Party on July 5th at 4:00 p.m. The evening will feature more than 8 Yukon women musicians and songwriters. A five-course meal will be served on the patio of the Stehelin Ranch B&B (40 Couch Rd).

Tickets are $50 each or $90 for two. They’re are available at: Unitech (cash & debit only), Arts Underground, and Well-Read Books.

Performers

Featured artists are:

  • Peggy Hanifan
  • Amanda Mervyn
  • Brenda Berezen
  • Natasha Nettleton
  • Asheya Hennessey
  • BJ MacLean

Background music will be performed by:

  • Cate Innish
  • Sonja Anderson
  • Fawn Fritzen

Menu

Appetizers
spanakopita, cheese puffs with strawberry sauce, savory puffs, grapes

Soup
veggie borscht

Salad
organic greens with caramelized pecans, apples, and honey mustard dill dressing

Main course
pork roast with morel mushroom/port wine/raspberry reduction, small roasted potatoes with rosemary and veggie casserole

Dessert
Mexican chocolate brownie with chocolate ganache and strawberry coulis

A vegetarian option is available upon request: contact Eva at 633-6482

Please e-mail yukonwomeninmusic@gmail.com for more info.

Yukon sunset

25 Jun

I’m probably the only one in the world who doesn’t much like the summer solstice, also known as the first day of summer.  It’s just that I find it a bit depressing that once we pass the longest day of the day, we’re on a slow descent into darkness again.  Not that I mind winter, but somehow I can’t shake the feeling that it’s more like the last day of summer if the days are starting to get shorter.

By the same token, I’m always excited at the winter equinox when we pass the shortest day of the year.  I don’t know if this makes me an optimist or a pessimist…

Anyway, getting shorter or not, we have fabulously long days now; in fact, it never really gets dark.  It’s 11:36 p.m. and the sun is just going down, and the view from my desk is fabulous.  The picture I took doesn’t fully capture the amazing glow of the sky behind the trees, nor the one tendril of cloud that highlights a column of light up to the denser ceiling above… but it’s still pretty cool.  I’m trying to savour this view now (despite the power lines, which the neighbourhood is talking about burying) because soon a two-floor shed/greenhouse will be built back here.  Perhaps I might still get to see sunsets like this through the glass of the greenhouse.

Enjoy!

Summer sunset in the Yukon