Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Solstice, Happy St. Thomas Day

So we all apparently survived the apocalypse



unless you are one of those cheerful people who believe that this life actually is hell and we're all post-apocalyptic. (Wow, did I spell that one right?) Not me. 

Surviving the apocalypse means we are all free to celebrate one of the hallmarks of life in Canada - winter solstice.


Surviving the shortest day of the year gives hope, as the daylight period gradually gets longer, that we will indeed survive the winter. There was a time, even in my life, when that was the slim straw we held onto to keep sane through the deathly cold and episodes of cabin fever.

When you have time and a bottle of rye, let me tell you about -54C in a log house on a northern homestead housebound with small children. (No exaggeration - I have photos of the thermometer to prove it.)

I recently learned that 1100 years ago, December 21 was dedicated to St. Thomas of India.


I'm not Catholic but I've been known to hang out with a few of them in my time (one's even a monseigneur now!) so I'm well aware of Saint's Days and Saint's medals, la la la la.

St. Thomas is sort of at the front of my cerebral cortex because of these two very odd and unusual books I've been reading lately:


I'm half way through the second one and finding it every bit as challenging as the first but still very entertaining. They are rooted in the legends of St. Thomas of India and Prester John. If you don't know, or are only vaguely familiar with Prestor John, I recommend a quick primer lesson with a wiki search; there's also a Prestor John website. 

The narration in these stories takes place in the 1500's when a delegation of monks is on the hunt for the truth of the Prestor John story. The challenge comes in the four or five points of view that tell the story in alternating voices and at different points in time, but it's a rich amazing world.

So back to St. Thomas - the story claims that John of Constantinople was looking for St. Thomas, and the saint does appear in the story though not in a form that you'd ever hear about in Sunday School.

Cool stuff.

This morning on the way to work, the less-commonly-broadcasted carols were - thankfully - being aired. One of them was Good King Wenceslas. I always like the carol but disliked singing it because it has SO MANY VERSES. It goes on and on and on.

But of course the good king went out on the Feast of Stephen. And even I, a non-Catholic, know that is December 26 ... a day when the snow is deep and crisp and even. Sorry. Couldn't resist.


Funny how a day can develop a 'theme', something I've commented on before. Today I seem to be innundated with all things Saints.

Given how things have gone the past few weeks, I need all the help I can get thank you very much.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Reinbeer


Nothing says 'Happy Holidays' like a reinbeer on your desk ...


... on a in the immediate vicinity - not mine, though.

(No beer was harmed in the making of this installation.)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Here and There

Almost Christmas.

Wow.

Gifts have made their way north, west and overseas so my bases are covered.

Bryan tells me the replacement door for the basement walkout (a garden door that opens full width - be still my heart!) is my Christmas gift, and I'm OK with that.

Wonder what I can 'break' next year for Christmas?

I've been sewing - can't tell you what as it involved gifts. Had to do 'open heart surgery' on my ancient Viking sewing machine and almost have it back to its perfect working condition. Need to bring in local expert Patty to help with a bobbin pick-up issue.

Bryan's making great gains in the basement - framing all done in the areas he can work in (I have to move the spare bed, many bookshelves and an entire sewing/weaving room to enable him to work in the rest of the area), wiring mostly done, insulation in progress and even some walls finished with tongue-and-groove pine.

It's our social life - or what passes as - that's cramped by blog style. So let me tell you a bit about where we've been, what we've done and who we saw.

A few weeks ago, we spent a Saturday night at the venerable Vernon Jazz Club.

Vernon Jazz Club, upstairs. Great joint!
 And we were WONDERFULLY entertained by The Dharma Dolls.

The Dharma Dolls. Tanya Lipscomb, Melina Moore and Judy Rose.
In their non-trio lives, they are all solo performers in very different genres. Tanya is a blues-jazz-Latin-funk-folk performer who vibrates with energy. Melina is a coloratura soprano, with an international career. And Judy Rose is a jazz-blues singer who makes my heart sing.

Visit their websites and you'll see why we love them.

Tanya  Melina and Judy

Last Sunday was kind of a blah day. It was snowy, grey, overcast. I was writing Christmas cards and learned something about myself: I hate writing Christmas cards. I love keeping in touch with people (obviously) but writing those cards makes me cry because so many go to people I haven't seen in person for a long time and maybe never will again - time and distance and age and all those factors that make people precious and break my heart just a little bit.

Bryan picked up on my melancholy mood and proposed a night out.

We had supper at Boa Thong, a local favorite Thai place.

Boa Thong Thai Restaurant, upstairs. Odd how some of the best places are 'upstairs'

And a movie - Bond, always Bond. I adore Daniel Craig as James Bond.


The Falkland Fire Department Christmas party was at the Falkland Pub last Saturday night. Bryan is on the  fire department committee - although I've been to more of the meetings than he has!

Falkland Pub dressed for Christmas.
The black marks on the floor are motorcycle burn-out marks.
Yes, real ones. We were there.

The pub is a major social centre in our little burg. 2012 is its 75 birthday. Jeff and Julie are the owners, hosts and friends to much of the community. Come on by, we'll buy you a beer!

The local moose lick - The Falkland Pub
And now if you don't mind, I'm going to do some window-shopping at amazon.ca. I feel a book or two calling my name.