From the desk of Marsha Amanova,

A Love Letter

February 2021

Hello, you!

February: it's been a month, hasn't it? I've never been particularly fond of the second month, and this year was no exception. I don't know what it is that gets me down, maybe the weather, the fact that it's deep winter, and spring still feels so far away. I looked back over my journals from last year and found a lot of the same moodiness that I've felt this year, even though the pandemic was not on my radar at all, so it can't just be that!

It's a good month to take a mini-vacation, but none of that this year. In Feb 202o I psyched myself up for my first ever open mic, loved it and declared that I would definitely be doing more --- NOPE 😂

So this month I'm digging deep to find the light and some love to share.

What have you been up to? I'd love to hear about it. Hit reply if you are so inclined!
Winter street with dark clouds

walking

Still getting outside most days...

We've had a lot of snow this month. I'm thankful for kind neighbours, who helped us out with their snowblower after a particularly heavy snowfall early in the month, as well as a good Samaritan who plowed the end of our driveway after we got a huge dump of snow accompanied by wind (the drifts are the worst).

The walking paths in the Waterfowl Park are now a snowy, icy, slushy mess, and my daily exercise has had to move to the neighbourhood streets, which are also lovely and not too busy.

reading

The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz


This was a book club read that I enjoyed a lot more than I expected to.
1. Be impeccable with your word
2. Don't take anything personally
3. Don't make assumptions
4. Always do your best
The writing is a bit heavy-handed, but the core elements are solid. I'm finding that being mindful of these agreements is helping me put difficult things in perspective.

The Overstory by Richard Powers


I'm actually still not finished this, but regardless of how it ends, it's good enough to share. A literary novel with an interesting structure that speaks, no sings to my heart! Highly recommended.

listening

1001 Albums

In an attempt to broaden my musical knowledge, I've discovered an interesting web project that randomly generates one of the albums from the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. It's a neat way to discover older music and genres I wouldn't normally encounter. I'm listening with an open mind, and although I don't always love what I hear, there's usually something to appreciate.

My favourite discoveries so far?

Nick Drake Bryter Layter
Joni Mitchell Court and Spark
Jimmy Smith Back at the Chicken Shack

watching

Ken Burns: Country Music

I know, this documentary series doesn't seem like it would be up my alley (I've never been shy about my I don't like country music stance), except... well, maybe it's simply that desire to expand my musical horizons, maybe it's middle age, maybe it's just that Ken Burns is a great storyteller, but I must admit that this epic series is really good. Aldon and I both really enjoyed it. It's a PBS documentary, but if you have a library membership, you may be able to watch it for free on Kanopy.

In and of Itself

When this was recommended to me, it came with an advisory to not read too much about it, just watch it. Solid advice that I will reiterate: just watch it. WE LOVED IT. Derek DelGaudio is an amazing performer and this stage show has been transformed into a really unique viewing experience. It's got magic, empathy, heart, humour, human connection and stagecraft. Aldon found it for us... I think it's streaming on hulu?

Kitty Letter

I had a 3-day obsession with this mobile game by the creator of The Oatmeal. It's a word game and VERY SILLY, so right up my alley.

I thoroughly enjoyed playing through the single player story, but multiplayer mode didn't hold my attention, so I've moved on. But it did bring me some temporary joy in February, so it feels worth sharing anyway!

Let me know if you want to battle.

wasting time

TACO CAT
TACO CAT

creating

Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs...

I've done it. I wrote a song!

It's silly, and this is just a slapdash recording to share, but I hope it makes you smile 🥰

Listen Here
C'est le Way

That's it for this month. Thanks for reading!
I'm Marsha Amanova and I love 🥰
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