Friday, March 18, 2011

And then it was March...

I have been so busy the past few weeks - if I was a dog, I would be dizzy from chasing my tail.  
No time to fart, as my dear mum would have said!

One weekend spent painting a basement.  

One cold, dull blue bedroom transformed into warm inviting guest room.  Woe betide any child that dares even breathe in there.

Then two weekends spent ferrying children to rehearsals 
and photo days - with all of us getting into practice again for the dreaded Dance Competition Season (that I hate, and they love) which kicks off next month.  
Four costume changes, each...
 add curly ponytail, remove curly ponytail, 
add ear rings, no ear rings, 
black tights, beige tights - are you paying attention back there?
I am now becoming expert on 
Just a bit too much of the "Tantrums and Tiaras" for my liking!

I then dedicated last weekend just to me - soothing my stressed out soul.  I sing alto with a local choral group - very low-key (ha ha, geddit) and just a lovely community choir numbering about 35 on a good day.   
We sing just about anything, from pop to traditional hymns, 
to funky spirituals and jazz and a  
touch of the Chattanooga Choo Choos!

(That's me in the centre with pink glasses, looking so bloomin' serious!!)

We were all invited to take part in a whole weekend workshop with Calgary's Mount Royal University choral group Kantorei - and what a treat that was.  
They are all, like, proper singers! 
And I finally realized one of my ambitions - to sing a "big" choral number.  This one was Achieved Is the Glorious Work from The Creation by Haydn.  
Somewhat overwhelming for an amateur like me, if I'm honest - but enormous fun trying to keep up!

And I just loved the windows at St Matthews United Church (26a Street SW, Calgary) where we did our mini concert.  
Very contemporary. 
And as the afternoon sun moved, we were all singing and our shirts were bathed in bright patches of colour.  
I had a blue arm and a red chest.

And finally, last night, one more concert raising money for our local foodbank. 

I tell you, I am pooped.  I need a holiday.
Oh wait, I have a holiday.  In about 26 hours.  Yay!
It'll be Spring in Calgary when I return.  
Perhaps.  Allegedly. Maybe.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

SkyWatch Friday - Relief

Here comes another one - a chinook 
rolling in this morning and a welcome break 
- up to 5 degrees C this afternoon.  Finally.

And I want you to truly appreciate my photos this week, because I have suffered for my art! 
As I was on my way to work, 
I quickly pulled my car over and jumped out to take these.  

When I returned to my car, all the doors were locked, 
with the engine running.  Excellent!

So I had to walk back to my house 
and grab the spare keys, then
walk back to the car, get in, 
drive back home, drop off the spare keys then 
finally actually go to work.  What a pain!

So today, it is a relief for me to see the break in temperature, and a relief also that I hadn't parked up on the side of a highway miles from anywhere!

Have a super SkyWatch Friday.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cochrane Ice Jam

The Cochrane Ice Jam sounds like some cool winter music festival. Alas, not a leather-clad lead guitarist in sight.

The Bow River runs through Cochrane in Alberta and is a fast-flowing waterway which carves it's way through the heart of our town and then snakes eastwards through Calgary city centre before continuing further east, eventually becoming the South Saskatchewan River.

I have featured the river many times in previous posts and photos (some of which I shamelessly reproduce here for your viewing pleasure) - it is a wide and sparkling blue ribbon, and in the summer there are easy pathways and lush, grassy borders scattered with wild flowers, butterflies and little yellow birds that never sit still long enough for me to look them up in a book.

And in the autumn, the oranges and golds make it a colourful place to hang out.  The water is too cold and fast for swimming, unless you are a bouncy and senseless canine with no temperature gauge - but it's a good place for the humans to paddle near the edges.

Come wintertime, the water usually looks like one of those iced slushy drinks, and the edges become blurred with frozen shelves of ice.

But this year it all looks a little different.  And it is causing some concern.  I have only been here for four winters, but I have not seen anything like this.

Due to the continuing chilly weather (not sure if I happened to mention that before?!), it has all become a tad frozen. Great chunks of iced water have solidified, over-lapping each other like angry tectonic plates in a frozen wonderland - and the accumulated mini ice-bergs have recently raised the surface height of the river. 

The "river" is now level with footpaths, some of which have been closed off.

It does look quite impressive, if a little worrying for those who live nearby.

And if the levels rise much further, the pipelines along that bridge will have to be shut off.  

We could be heading for an "iceberg dead ahead" Titanic-stylee disaster!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Still bored ...

Have seen brutally low temperatures again for the past 
two and a half weeks (-25 degrees consistently) - slight sense of humour failure at this end it must be said, and it's not just me commenting - even the locals have had enough, 
so I feel OK moaning for five minutes!

And I work indoors - have some sympathy for my poor hubby who is out and about in this each day - no wonder his frostbitten nose and fingers are searching out a few more Starbucks stops these days!