"My mind sees that I am nothing, my heart sees that I am everything, between these two poles my life unfolds."

Monday, January 31, 2011

A Fond Farewell to January

How January is Propelled to Spring

Cruel January’s cloak of white shall yield,
Compelled to turn to green in springtime’s field,
So leaping lambs can clothe the hills again
And cattle quit the comfort of the bield.

Grim January’s gloom will end, by mirth
Expelled, as warmth returns to cheer the earth,
So birds will nest and leaves begin to spring
And dormant buds burst, bearing brand-new birth.

Harsh January’s coldness is compelled
To change, as dismal drabness is expelled.
Repelled by spring, impelled, the frost must flee;
So, doubts dispelled, to warmth we are propelled. 

C. Richard Miles

I just returned from a short jaunt about.
It's a glorious sparkling day, despite the fact that the mercury hovers at -24C

The days are ever so subtly lengthening; we noted only yesterday how much warmer 
the sun suddenly is, yet spring still seems a long ways away at this point

 Until then I will continue to revel in the beauty which surrounds me...

I like to think of it as making lemonade!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Little Emma

A few very quickly snapped pics of our little 10-week-old Morkie Emma's first bath last night. We were mindful to make this initial exposure to water as uneventful as possible. All in all everything went swimmingly and she appears to feel much fresher and friskier now - she certainly smells much better; the aromas lingering on her from the kennel were reminding me of a bird cage in a dank pet shop!

And this afternoon...she's keeping us on our toes!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

How Long Will You Wait?

Why am I so fascinated with stories of amazing seniors? Do I fear death or old age? Only my psychologist knows; and if I had one I could finally get some answers... lol! I really think I just love to celebrate that life can continue to be exciting and rewarding, no matter what the calendar says. I am 47 and truly feel that in many ways I am only just coming into the best years of my life. A few days ago I stumbled across this story of a woman publishing her poetry at 99. If that isn't amazing enough, she only started composing at 92. Of course, it doesn't have to be something as lofty as a book (although that would be fun), I am finally learning to crochet (my dearest daughter is instructing me) and am finding a great deal of pleasure in it. I think that the main thing is not to resist taking on something new, lifelong learning is important. 

"Grandma next door" poet a Japan bestseller at 99

A 99-year-old woman writing about love, dreams and hanging onto hope has touched the hearts of Japanese worn out by years of a lagging economy, propelling her self-published poetry book onto bestseller lists. Toyo Shibata's success with her first anthology, titled "Don't be Too Frustrated," is all the more surprising because she only picked up her pen at the age of 92.

"I'm alive to this age thanks to support from my families, friends, care-givers and doctors and am transforming my gratitude into poetry to tell them, 'Thank you. I'm really happy,'" said Shibata, who turns 100 in June, in written answers to questions.

Her collection of 42 poems, which include messages such as "Everyone is equally free to dream" and "Don't try too hard," has been the most popular book on the closely-watched Oricon charts for the last two weeks and was one of the top 10 sellers for 2010, according to Touhan, one of Japan's biggest publishers.

"Although 98, I still fall in love. I do have dreams; one like riding on a cloud," Shibata confesses in one poem with the title of "Secret." You can read the full story here

Friday, January 28, 2011

Jane Is Not Happy...

If you are at all familiar with my blog and happen to take a gander around at old posts, you will likely note that approximately 1/3 have mysteriously disappeared. I had to delete all YouTube videos along with the write up for that day. I suspect it was the Google Language Translator feature I had happily installed and have now needless to say DELETED, which caused all videos to go squirrely...grrr. It would have been an insane amount of work to try to redo each post, so I had to kiss everything goodbye. I am most disappointed about losing my Inspiring Seniors posts, which included P.D. James, Hazel MacCallion and Doris McCarthy, and others. I had put a lot of time into the research and composition for each of these profiles. There, my rant is done and I feel much better now. Oh well, C'est la vie! Thanks for listening.

January 29 update: I have gone back over the past week and added back in a few videos with a few words here and there :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our problem now is...where to put it all!

The city crews (finally) cleared away the last few big dumps we have had. It's been quite a winter so far, and it's not over yet - despite the gorgeous weather we have had over the last few days, we will soon be in 'Ol Man Winter's icy grip once again.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jack Lalanne - Stop being so Tired

I am adding back in a few videos as I find them (see January 28 for further explanation). I was saddened to hear of Jack's passing over the past weekend, I was a huge admirer of his for many years.

Jack LaLanne at Age 95

"I can't die. It would ruin my image."

This is a wonderful look at Jack's enthusiasm which never waivered.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Game Of Thrones: Behind The Scenes

One of my New Year's resolutions is to read more non-fiction. That being said, I was still thrilled to find out that George R.R. Martin's fantasy A Game Of Thrones is in production by HBO as a mini-series. Martin has been referred to as the American Tolkein, and while I can see the obvious similarities, I have to say that Martin's characters are not black and white - they are very 'human' and multi-layered; each having numerous conflicting agendas. They will surprise you. I've only read the first two books of this series, and have been meaning to get the the next 2 (there are 7 in total planned, but only 4 published so far). In anticipation of the mini-series I'm now re-reading A Game Of Thrones. I find it fitting that Sean Bean, Boromir from Lord of The Rings, is also in this, as Boromir was in my opinion, probably one of the most authentic characters in The Rings. Take a look at the video posted below the article to see how amazing this will (fingers crossed) be.

A Game of Thrones

By Zach Yanowitz | Section: Jan 21st, 2011 ArcadeIssuesJanuary 21st 2011 Print Edition,Reviews
Although only four of a planned seven books have been published in the best-selling “Song of Ice and Fire” series, author George R. R. Martin is already referred to as “the American Tolkein”. The series has won countless accolades and the first book is the basis for HBO’s new show, “A Game Of Thrones.” An epic fantasy tale, the story takes place within the land of Westeros, a world bereft of magic, elves, dwarves and most other “fantasy” staples. Rather, the work is one of political intrigue, with members of major noble houses vying against one another for the Iron Throne. Starring Sean Bean (“Lord of the Rings” and “Goldeneye”), Peter Dinklage (“The Station Agent”), Lena Headey (“300”) and others, the story is notable for both its reliance on moral relativism and Martin’s propensity for killing off major characters without any warning.
Years before the events of the show, a rebellion took place in Westeros, overthrowing the ancient Targaryen dynasty and plunging the kingdom into chaos. Ned Stark (Bean), Lord of Winterfell, is called to the capital to serve as the usurper king’s right-hand man and is immediately caught up in his own machinations for the crown. Up north, Ned’s bastard son Jon Snow is sent to investigate a dark, mysterious danger from the wild. Meanwhile, Daenerys Targaryen, the exiled daughter of the deposed king, seeks a return to Westeros with the help of three priceless dragon eggs. The show looks to be in the same vein as the books: dark, gritty and realistic. It airs April 17.

Inside Game Of Thrones - Extended Version (HBO)

I have decided to add back in a few of the videos from the past week or so. (see January 28 for an explanation) This one is definitely worth the watch.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Snow Daze

It's been quite a while since my last post. We are presently hunkered down with our noses to the window, dreaming of warmer days...

These were taken late yesterday afternoon

Not a soul in sight; the world was silent

I felt as though I'd wandered into Narnia...

This magpie certainly had a lot to say - perhaps he was looking for a handout?
It must be hard scratching up a living in this frozen land.