Wednesday, October 31, 2012


by karichristensen
Do you find scarecrows frightening? They are supposed to scare the crows away from farmers' fields, but they manage to frighten more than just the birds!  At this time of year when darkness falls ever sooner, and the air turns to chill, an encounter with a demonically smiling effigy mounted on a stake and dancing in the wind is bound to send anyone running for cover!

I love this song by Canadian singer/songwriter Brock Zeman.  This vidder obvious agrees.

Scarecrow Blues / Brock Zeman

Occasionally in my research, I stumble upon little gems, but this one really amazed me!  
I have always been a HUGE fan of Elton John, and especially of his songs with Bernie Taupin as the lyricist.  Well, here is the first song that Elton John ever composed from Bernie Taupin's lyrics which is entitled... Scarecrow!

To learn more about this song, please click on the video which will open on the Youtube page and read the notes which accompany this video. 

This scarecrow is definitely terrifying! 
In the movie Batman Begins, Cillian Murphy played Batman's arch enemy The Scarecrow.

Path - Scarecrow Tribute / by Allure75

I almost forgot about this television show from the 1980s starring Kate Jackson  and Bruce Boxleitner.

Scarecrow and Mrs. King
It wasn't really about a 'scarecrow' though.  That was the code name for Bruce Boxleitner's character.  He played secret agent Lee Stetson.  Kate Jackson was a divorced mother with 2 sons who gets caught up in one of his adventures.  She eventually becomes a spy herself!

Everyone's favourite scarecrow has got to be from The Wizard of Oz!

The famous movie version starring Judy Garland, had Ray Bolger in the character of the Scarecrow.

Do you think they would ever make an updated version of that movie?
Of course you can guess who I would suggest to play the part of the Scarecrow!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Listen to: When the Snow is on the Roses
On Sunday I hosted Thanksgiving supper for my family. My son was home for the first time for this holiday since he started University four years ago.  My husband's parents were there - his father having recently been released from hospital for a mysterious fainting spell for which the test results have not been received yet.  My sister and brother-in-law were also there.  Usually I get to skip out on making the turkey dinner as my sister with her well appointed dining room, does the honours.  She and her husband were still recovering from a nasty cold bug so she was quite happy to share our meal in my tiny eat-in kitchen.

Quite prominent in the thanksgiving toasts, besides the happiness of good health and being together, was the fact that we were able to eat a hot meal in the light and warmth of modern electricity.  We had just endured a 24+ hour power outtage due to an unexpected early snowstorm.  Both my mother-in-law and myself had been stuck on the highway due to an accident ahead of us (separate incidents).  I ended up being towed off the highway and had to wait for someone with 4-wheel drive to take me home.  People with wood stoves were able to keep warm and heat their food, but my home didn't have that luxury.  At least I had phone service, as I still have a land line.  People with cordless phones were suddenly incommunicado.  My iPhone with 3G still worked for several hours but eventually there was no cell service either.  I had never felt so isolated in my life!

The view from my dashboard as I was being towed

After an idyllic summer and the late arrival of Fall, Winter sprang upon us with no warning. 
Here was the view from my cottage last weekend, when the temperature was around 24 degrees Celsius.
Luckily my husband decided to pull the boat out
Here is the same scene exactly one week later
Note the snow covered boat and squashed willow tree from the heavy snow.

This weather has brought me to mind of the first historical incidences of Thanksgiving in North America.  It seems that survival from the harsh elements is quite a Canadian theme.  Martin Frobisher, (1539-1594) was an English explorer and privateer who was looking for the Northwest Passage to by pass North America on the way to the riches of the East Indies. Of course, he was not successful, but he was so grateful to survive his third journey across the Atlantic that he celebrated a service of Thanksgiving in 1578 on Baffin Island in Canada's eastern Arctic at the bay which now bears his name.

I couldn't resist this.  Can you see the resemblance?  

Sir Martin Frobisher by Cornelis Ketel, c. 1577
RA as Martin Frobisher

Then in 1605 Samuel de Champlain (fondly known as the Father of New France) founded the Order of Good Cheer. It was basically a weekly feast and kitchen party that lasted all winter long. The idea was to keep everyone's spirits up and share food during the long, harsh winter at their settlement at Port-Royal in the Annapolis Valley of present day Nova Scotia.

According to Wikipedia, "no authentic portrait of Champlain is known to exist".  But his likeness is usually shown as similar to the drawing on the left.  I used a Face-in-Hole portrait of Rene Descartes (who is dressed in a similar fashion) for my purposes. Doesn't he seem to be in Good Cheer?

Samuel de Champlain by Albert Descaris
RA as Samuel de Champlain

In Champlain's own words (translated from French), here is how he describes it in his diary:
We spent this winter very pleasantly, and had good food because of the Order of Good Cheer which I established. Everyone found it beneficial to his health, and better than any medicine we might have used. A chain was placed around the neck of one of our men every day. It was his job that day to go hunting. The next day the chain was given to someone else, and so on in order. Everyone competed to see who could do the best, and bring back the finest game. We did not come off badly, nor did the Indians who were with us.

The Order of Good Cheer by C.W. Jeffreys

Here is my wish for all of us:

May we all be warm, well fed and happily entertained 
in the company of good friends and family.

And now, if you have read this far, I do thank you.
For your entertainment, here is a treat from Servetus, at Me + Richard Armitage blog.

A Collection of clips of RA saying "Thanks"  by refgeek