Today, fill your cup of life with sunshine and laughter.

27 December 2006


My beloved brother gave me the gift of music for Christmas. A horrible accident had befallen my rather extensive collection of vinyl, cassettes and cd's last summer and I haven't had the resources to replace them, so I have been suffering the lack of accessible tunes for a few months now. Nothing has been so painful, though, as the absence of my Number One in my life. Thanks to my thoughtful, understanding and incredibly resourceful sibling, I now have the complete collection, and I must say, it's more wonderful than I could ever express in words. So, as a tribute to my Number One, Van Morrison, and to my brother who brought back the music, here are my thirteen favorite songs by this great and enduring artistic genius, in no particular order. (believe me, choosing only thirteen was a trial)

1. Beside You (Astral Weeks) - his vocals take my heart in hand and just squeeze every drop of emotion from it. The stark sadness in Number One's voice makes my palms ache.

2. Moondance (Moondance) - my song of joy. Not sure why it is, but my heart sings with it.

3. Come Here My Love (Veedon Fleece) - this is like breathing. The phrasing ... just go listen to it. I can't explain it.

4. Haunts of Ancient Peace (Common One) - if I could compare it visually, I'd say Monet ... truly emotionally gripping in a gentle and introspective way.

5. Have I told You Lately That I Love You? (Avalon Sunset) - the lyric is simple yet poignant. This is my son's lullaby: when nothing else could calm him, this has always done it.

6. You Gotta Make It Through The World (A Period Of Transition) - Number One blows some fine sax on this one. Jazzy, uplifting, and a lot spiritual.

7. Into the Mystic (Moondance) - Number One could've written this one about me. This might be my favorite ... for sure it's the most real. I feel the lyrics of this song like no others.

8. Keep Mediocrity At Bay (Magic Time) - this starts out with a great harmonica solo, then spins out into an incredibly fun 12-bar blues. Feel-good music with meaningful, yet tongue-in-cheek lyrics.

9. Good Morning Blues (Skiffle Sessions: Live In Belfast 1998) - Geez, you've got Van Morrison and Lonnie Donegan performing a Leadbelly tune in skiffle style. What else can I say? The whole album is a treasure.

10. Caravan (Moondance) - it's the imagery in this one that I love, but it's the ending that really grabs me. The short phrases build the intensity until you are fairly rocked with it.

11. Ta Mo Chleamhnas Deanta (Irish Heartbeat) - this traditional gaelic lovesong is simply breathtaking with the raw emotional expression of Number One's voice, especially with it being in the original language (title means "My Match, It Was Made). I didn't have this album before - mourning all the missed time with it now.

12. I'll Tell Me Ma (Irish Heartbeat) - you experience the roots of Van's music on this album. There isn't a bad song on it, if you like Celtic music, that is. This particular one has every element you could imagine: it's a jig with fiddle, pipes, spoons and step dancing ... awesome!

13. You Don't Know Me (Days Like This) - most musicians do covers, but Van has a real talent for recreating a song so that it sounds like an original version. Some other truly remarkable covers are "Georgia", "What'd I Say?" and "Moody's Mood for Love".

26 December 2006


Daycare Christmas Concert '06 - Brennan is the one in green. His best friend is standing to his right, but he's giving the eye to his "girlfriend".

Hi-Five for Santa. Brennan spent more than 5 minutes just chatting with "the Great One".

Other than the lights, Brennan decorated our tree this year. It might not have been the most beautiful tree, but it was the most charming we've ever had.

As many of you know, we volunteer each week at the local mobile soup kitchen. They had a special dinner for all the volunteers and the "regulars" on Boxing Day.

24 December 2006


My love and best wishes to all my friends. Grant us peace.

19 December 2006


I've been gone for nearly a week. The DoE finally came to their senses, and now I have the feeling I'm going to be going blog-crazy. Bond didn't want to tag anybody because of the proximity of the holidays. I agree with this, but I decided to do the meme for myself anyway. It'll be a good way to get back into the blog swing of things.
Here are the rules:
The Rules:
Each player of this game starts with the “6 weird things about you”. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says “you are tagged” in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

I would rather play the piano than eat. In fact, I often forget to eat when I'm practicing. Heck, sometimes I think playing the piano is better than sex. That might have had to do with my ex, though. Definitely better in that case ... yup.

I firmly believe that spiders hate me and are out to get me. Invariably, when I see a spider, it's coming straight at me, with the obvious intent to do me harm. Even pictures of spiders creep me out. (notice absence of picture)


I am more comfortable with a little clutter than I am with perfect neatness. My desks at school and at home have stacks of papers and books covering almost the entire surface. Regardless of what this looks like, though, I know where everything is, and hate when someone comes along and tries to straighten things up for me because then it takes me days to find anything.


My best friend in high school used to get frequent nosebleeds. I would help her stop the bleeding, clean up, then I would faint. I'm not afraid of the sight of blood, strangely enough, but I still get light-headed after I finish dealing with a crisis.


I can play 20 different musical instruments at performance level. They are: piano, accordion, penny whistle, baroque recorder, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, french horn, tuba, cello, double bass, bass guitar, drum kit, bodhran, djembe, marimba. There are several that I can play, but rather mechanically: violin, viola, guitar, mandolin and pipe organ.


The palms of my hands ache when I see someone hurt or in pain. This is perhaps the weirdest thing about me. It's completely unexplainable. But touching the person to comfort them actually alleviates the discomfort in my hands.

Ok, so, like Bond, I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you're up for the challenge, go for it.

10 December 2006


Manic Monday
By The Bangles
(damn it - still not working!)


1. I can't reach my license unless you hold my beer...

2. Sorry, Officer, I didn't realize my radar detector wasn't plugged in.

3. Aren't you the guy from the Village People?

4. Hey, you must've been doin' about 125 mph to keep up with me. Good job!

5. Are You Andy or Barney?

6. I thought you had to be in relatively good physical condition to be a police officer.

7. You're not gonna check the trunk, are you?

8. I pay your salary!

9. Gee, Officer! That's terrific. The last officer only gave me a warning, too!

10. Do you know why you pulled me over? Okay, just so one of us does.

11. I was trying to keep up with traffic. Yes, I know there are no other cars around.. That's how far ahead of me they are.

12. When the Officer says "Gee Your eyes look red, have you been drinking?" You probably shouldn't respond with,"Gee Officer your eyes look glazed, have you been eating doughnuts?"

Here's one for Dana ...

A salesman is lost in a rural area and stops at a farm to get directions. As he is talking to the farmer he notices a COW with a wooden leg. "How did the cow get a wooden leg?", he asks the farmer."Well", says the farmer, "that is a very special cow. One night not too long ago we had a fire start in the barn."Well, sir, that cow set up a great mooing that woke everyone, and by the time we got there she had herded all the other animals out of the barn and saved everyone of them.""And that was when she hurt her leg?" asked the salesman."Oh no" says the farmer. "She was fine after that. Though a while later I was in the woods out back and a bear attacked me. Well, sir, that cow was near by and she came running and set on that bear and chased him off. Saved me for sure.""So the bear injured her leg, then," says the salesman."Oh no.She came away without a scratch from that. Though a few days later my tractor turned over in a ditch and I was knocked unconscious. Well, that cow dove into the ditch and pulled me out before I drowned.""So she hurt her leg then?" asks the salesman."Oh no," says the farmer."So how did she get the wooden leg?" the salesman asks."Well", the farmer tells him, "When you have a cow like that, you don't want to eat her all at once."

Y'all have a wonderful day! Kiss!


Cancer (June 21 - Jul 22)
Personal comments can feel like harsh criticism to you this weekend, Cancer. Before you take offense, consider the source. A less than delicate individual may not realize that he or she is hurting your feelings. Don't brood quietly, but speak up before this goes too far.

07 December 2006



8 December 2006

Because Of You

Because of you

my world is now whole,

Because of you

love lives in my soul.

Because of you

I have laughter in my eyes,

Because of you

I am no longer afraid of good-byes.

You are my pillar

my stone of strength,

With me through all seasons

and great times of length.

My love for you is pure

boundless through space and time,

it grows stronger everyday

with the knowledge

that you'll always be mine.

At the altar

I will joyously say 'I do',

for I have it all now

and it's all because of you.

- Written by Amy S. Bedford -

06 December 2006


My son is the light of my life. Since early summer, it has just been the two of us, and I thought quality time together would be tight with the added responsibilities of being a single parent. I was totally wrong. I won't lie and say it has always been easy but somehow, we spend more time doing things together than ever before. So, as my Thursday Thirteen, as a sort of welcome home celebration, here's thirteen things Brennan and I do together.

1. volunteer at the SPCA (our Friday tradition - giving back)
2. do our "homework" (every night right after supper, we practice the alphabet, or numbers, do puzzles, or an art project)
3. sing in church choirs (he's very musical)
4. grocery shopping (what a joy this has ended up being with Mommy's Helper)
5. go bowling (the little turkey is better at it than I am)
6. make pancakes (been doing this so long, he doesn't even need me to help with the ingredients or the measuring)
7. go to church (reconnecting with our spiritual side)
8. volunteer at the Mobile Soup Kitchen (one of the best things we do all week - connecting to our community in a very special way)
9. play board games (it's amazing what this brings to our relationship)
10. go skating (just straight-up fun for both of us)
11. read (bet my friends wonder what takes so long at bedtime - big La-Z-Boy + sleepy boy + armful of books = closeness)
12. walk the dog (the whole family together)
13. make soup (Sunday afternoon tradition - "The time has come," the Walrus said,"To talk of many things:Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--Of cabbages--and kings--And why the sea is boiling hot--And whether pigs have wings.")

You ride on the swing in and out of the bars
Capturing moments of life in a jar
Playing with children, acting as stars
Guiding your vision to heaven and heaven is in your mind
Take extra care not to lose what you feel
The apple you're eating is simple and real
Water the flowers that grow at your heel
guiding your vision to heaven and heaven is in your mind

Heaven Is In Your Mind
By Traffic
(apparently, the audio clips are still not working on my blog - sorry, thought I had that problem resolved - I'll keep working on it and try to get this up soon)


05 December 2006


I guess I was tagged by Diana to do this, so here you go:

Five Favorite Snacks

1. popcorn (hot air popped)
2. Clementine oranges
3. chocolate (preferably with almonds)
4. raw veggies with herbed yogurt dip
5. chocolate frozen yogurt

Five bands/artists that I know the lyrics of MOST of their songs:

1. Beatles
2. Chicago
3. Van Morrison (bet you thought this would be first!)
4. Bryan Adams
5. Barry Manilow (my university study buddy)

Five things I would do with $100,000,000:

1. pay off bills of family and friends
2. set up a scholarship fund for kids at the school where I work
3. build a dog park for the local SPCA
4. provide grants to families wishing to adopt (maybe adopt a few more kids myself,too!)
5. Concerts, man! All the shows I always wanted to see and never did.

Five locations I’d like to run away to:

1. Greece
2. Italy
3. New Orleans
4. NYC
5. Ireland

Five things I like doing:

1. playing with my son
2. playing the piano
3. teaching music
4. reading
5. swimming

Five things I wish I could wear:
(ok, have no ideas for this at all, as I pretty much wear what I want)

1. bikini
2. hats (not a hat person)
3. the colour yellow
4. sandals (it's wintertime now!)
5. all silk, all the time

Five TV shows I like:

1. Hockey Night In Canada
3. Welcome Back, Kotter
4. The Tonight Show
5. Lost

Five Movies:

1. Sense and Sensibility
2. Song Catcher
3. People Under the Stairs (Wes Craven)
4. Mary Poppins
5. Animal House

Five famous people I’d like to meet:

1. Dalai Lama
2. Nelson Mandela
3. John Cleese
4. Bono
5. Jon Stewart

1. Christopher Reeve
2. John Lennon
3. Mother Theresa
4. Katherine Hepburn
5. Maurice Richard

Five biggest joys at the moment:

1. my son
2. my friends
3. my students
4. my dog
5. music

Five favorite toys:

1. piano
2. laptop
3. guitar
4. bike
5. Richard Simmons exercise video (yeah, really)

I have no idea who has been tagged for this, so I won't tag anyone right now, but reserve the right to come back and do it at a later date.

04 December 2006


... because I care.

... because you're not feeling well.

... because friends take care of their friends.

Van Morrison - Haunts of Ancient Peace
Beside the garden walls,
We walk in haunts of ancient peace.
At night we rest and go to sleep
In haunts of ancient peace.
The love and light we seek,
The words we do not need to speak,
Here in this wondrous way we keep
These haunts of ancient peace.
Let us go there again
When we need some relief
Oh, when I can't find my feet
When I need rest and sleep.
The Sunday bells they chime
Around the countryside and towns
A song of harmony and rhyme
In haunts of ancient peace.
The holy grail we seek
On down by haunts of ancient peace.
We see the new Jerusalem
In haunts of ancient peace.
Oh, when I can't find my feet
Oh, when I need some relief
One more time again.
You know I want to go there one more time again.
Be still in haunts of ancient peace.

Haunts Of Ancient Peace
By Van Morrison

Be well again soon.

02 December 2006


I Think I'll Disappear Now
By Crash Test Dummies

I'll be back when I can. Take care of each other. I love you.