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

30 October 2009

The ABC's of the World's Greatest Guitarists

Simple rules. Match up a musical topic with the letters of the alphabet.

Today's topic: World's Greatest Guitarists. I decided to include all musical genres because so many people aren't aware that, although the greatest rock guitar legend might have been Hendrix, he's actually only number 4 if you factor in classical, jazz, blues and country. Hail hail, Segovia! Reinhardt! Atkins!

A - Chet Atkins. Country.

B - Lenny Breau. Jazz.

C - Eric Clapton. Rock, Blues.

D - Al DiMeola. Fusion.

E - Rik Emmitt. Rock.

F - John Fahey. Folk, Contemporary fingerpicking.

G - Danny Gatton. Rockabilly.

H - Jimi Hendrix. Rock.

I - Tony Iommi. Rock.

J - Robert Johnson. Blues.

K - B.B. King. Blues.

L - Alex Lifeson. Rock.

M - Pat Metheny. Fusion.

N - Roy Nichols. Country.

O - Michael Orlando. Rock, Shred.

P - Les Paul. Jazz.

Q - Robert Quine. Rock.

R - Django Reinhardt. Jazz.

S - Andres Segovia. Classical.

T - Merle Travis. Country.

U - James Blood Ulmer. Jazz, Funk.

V - Stevie Ray Vaughn. Blues, Rock.

W - T-Bone Walker. Blues guitarist.

X - (no listing)

Y - Narciso Yepes. Classical.

Z - Frank Zappa. Rock.

21 October 2009

What is happening to our world?

Read this, had to share it. Strikes a few nerves, doncha think? How many of us have thought many of the same things? How many of us are guilty of some of these things? Can you be honest with yourself? This is the measure. It's NOT always "the other guy". If it was, these things wouldn't need to be said.

"It's a Damn Shame" by Larry Winget

I have been remiss in writing a good rant for a few weeks especially when so much has happened for me to rant about! I guess it is because that I have just been so overwhelmed with the disrespect, lack of civility and stupidity that is running rampant that I couldn’t focus on just one or two issues. And I still can’t! So I‘ve decided that you folks might be willing to put up with a series of short rants on all of the things that I am finding especially irritating in the news and in life these days. I hope you enjoy, if you want to share any of these, feel free but give credit and send folks over to the blog and to my fanpage on facebook. This little rant is obviously called, “It’s a damn shame……………….

”It’s a damn shame when someone writes on my Facebook page defending irresponsible behavior with the words “Personal responsibility is such a cliché. It’s a condescending over-used phrase that has become the stock answer to everything.” Yes! It is the answer to everything! And it’s a damn shame that people would rather do anything in this world than take responsibility for their actions, including dismissing the notion as cliché and condescending.

It’s a damn shame when all of us can’t be happy when one of us has something good happen. Obama gets the Nobel Peace Prize and it suddenly becomes a battle cry of the right wing about how he doesn’t deserve it. If your name isn’t Nobel or you aren’t on the committee then you don’t really have a say in his deservingness. Don’t say he didn’t earn it – it’s not up to you to decide that. The Nobel Peace Prize committee decided he was deserving so you don’t really get a say in who wins the award since you don’t sit on the committee. This is not about politics or whether you like Obama’s stance on … well, anything! It’s about the President of the United States gets recognized on the world stage for something good and our divisive political system can’t say “congratulations” and then move on to better things. Which means it’s a damn shame when important things like healthcare, the recession, Medicare, Social Security and other major issues are taking a backseat to this inane non-issue.

It’s a damn shame when instead of respectfully disagreeing with someone, that you must resort to name calling because you aren’t smart enough to justify your argument with facts, thoughts or civility.

It’s a damn shame that the guy who screams the loudest is considered the winner of an argument instead of the guy with the smartest, most well-thought out, logical point of view.

It’s a damn shame when the color of your skin or sexual orientation is still any kind of issue.

It’s a damn shame when a Cox Cable repairman (or any other repairman) can set an appointment, miss an appointment, and after being called to task over it have nothing to say about why he didn’t bother to show up or call to let me know he wasn’t coming. No apology. No remorse. No answer at all. I sit and waste a day waiting for a guy who evidently had no intention of coming in the first place. That is my weekend experience but it happens all over the world every day and it’s a damn shame!

It’s a damn shame when people can’t remember to say thank you for holding open a door or for spending your money with them.

It’s a damn shame when people will knock you down to get down an aisle or through a door and the words “excuse me” never cross their mind.

It’s a damn shame that it even crosses a man’s mind that jerking an award out of a little girl’s hands is acceptable behavior. Someone should have slapped Kanye West off the damn stage – THAT would have been the best video of the year. Where is Toby Keith when you really need him?

It’s a damn shame when you think it’s okay to spend more than you make and then honestly believe that the government owes you a handout or a bailout. You are an idiot and got yourself in your own mess so fix it yourself or suffer the consequences.

It’s a damn shame when people think that good thoughts are more important than hard work; when meditation has become more highly regarded than action; and when yoga classes are full and math classes are empty.

It’s a damn shame that people with money and jobs and who can afford to make their mortgage payments feel it is acceptable to walk away from their obligations because it makes sense “strategically” to do so. It’s called an obligation. You made a commitment. It’s a contract! You should keep your word even though it no longer “makes sense” to do so simply because you gave your word.

It’s a damn shame that parents have turned their children over to the television, the internet, their cell phone, the school system and their peers to raise them instead of stepping in with the firm hand of love to control the upbringing of their own children. (If you agree with that one, then you are going to love my next book, Your Kids Are Your Own Fault: A Guide For Raising Responsible, Productive Adults.)

It’s a damn shame that people resort to talking heads on television and on the radio to do their thinking for them.

It’s a damn shame that reading is down yet television watching is up.

It’s a damn shame when television shows are made about people who think 18 kids is a good idea (the Duggers) and about self-centered, egotistical brats with 8 kids (Jon & Kate) and about single mothers on welfare with 6 kids who have 8 more kids (Octomom.) More than that, it’s a damn shame that people watch them.

It’s a damn shame when you spend more on your cup of coffee than you do to feed your child a healthy meal. (Not a Happy Meal – a healthy meal.)

It’s a damn shame that 25% of teenage girls have an STD. Parents, where the hell are you?

It’s a damn shame that daddies are too uninvolved to teach their little boys how to be men and to teach their little girls what a man is. (By the way, the idiots who appear on Big Brother and The Bachelor and the other reality shows are NOT real men.) A man knows how to act with integrity, ethics, honesty and knows how to treat others with respect, compassion and dignity. That lesson is being missed. Instead it is being replaced with a tolerance for insolence, arrogance, entitlement and disrespect.

It’s a damn shame that mommas let their little girls become obsessed with the shallow and the superficial. Parents have to display the behavior they want their kids to exhibit.

It’s a damn shame that two thirds of our country is obese and going to die early when they don’t have to.

It’s a damn shame that teachers get paid less than fast food workers. And it’s a damn shame that tenure allows the bad ones to keep their jobs and that low wages forces the good ones to look for other jobs.

It’s a damn shame that cops and fire fighters and soldiers get paid so little and politicians get paid so much.

It’s a damn shame when Monday Night Football is more important than making sure your kid is studying for their spelling test.

It’s a damn shame when texting in the movie theater is more important than respecting the people sitting around you putting up with your distraction.

It’s a damn shame that people think it’s okay to take a cell phone call during dinner with you at a restaurant.

MOSTLY, it’s a damn shame that any of this even needs to be said.


17 October 2009

The ABC's of Love Songs

I am such a music geek. I was sitting here perusing everyone's blogs in a random fashion and suddenly, while I was skimming Jay's blog, an idea popped, fully formed into my mind and wouldn't go away. Think it was the blog where all the items started with the letter L that triggered it ...

So now I feel bound to complete this. It's my own meme, one that I will hoard selfishly for myself because I'm sure NOBODY else is crazy enough to do it. It's mine, allllllllll mine! Bwahahahaha!

Presenting Coco's ABC's of Music. Each time I do this (IF I ever get crazy enough to do it again), I'll choose a slightly different theme. They'll all be about ... well, that's pretty obvious from the title, I guess. Please note that the opinions stated in this blog post are all mine and I'm entitled to them, so disagree if you wish. Don't make no nevermind to me.

This week's blog: LOVE SONGS

Not too original for a first, but ohhhhhhhhh, so many songs to choose from. Too easy! These are songs that have the capability to make the listener cringe with their syrupy sappy lyrics and maudlin string-laden back tracks, or to uplift and laud the glories of romantic love. I was going to add a playlist here, but I think too much would be too much. Maybe a couple, though. Just for fun ...

A - "At This Moment", from Billy Vera and the Beaters. I know you ALL remember this one ... it was on everyone's wedding playlist for about 20 years. My grandmother was a big "Alex Keaton" fan and she always loved this song because of the tv show that brought it to commercial success. For you, Gram. Love you always.

B - "Baby I'm A-Want You" by Bread. Memorable, for me, was the line that I mistakenly heard as "Your loving and affection gave me an erection" which was, for me, the most honest line EVER in a love song. You can't imagine how disappointed I was to learn the truth.

C - "Candida" by Tony Orlando and Dawn. Whoa! Flashback time. If I close my eyes, I can still see my rhythmically-challenged junior high school friend Carol trying to dance and clap to this song. We called her "Go-go". Which has nothing to do with the topic, but it is and besides - LMAO!

D - "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?" by The Culture Club. To answer in a word: yes. This is one of those bland, insipid tunes with no personality of its own. Makeup, bizarre hair and freaky clothes can't disguise a lack of musical talent.

E - "Everything I Do (I Do It For You)" by Bryan Adams. Yeesh. I'm usually so proud of our homegrown Canadian boy, but even nationalist pride has it's limits. The extreme in irrationally emotional claims.

F - "From This Moment On" by Shania Twain. Number one wedding song in most countrified regions of this nation for the better part of ten years. With lines like "I live only for your happiness", it sets the contemporary standard for sappy lyrics, but regresses the women's movement by decades.

G - "Game of Love" by Michelle Branch. Perfect example of "to heck with grammar or sense, let's make it rhyme". Notable quotes: " You guide me, divide me into one" and "You'll live for what I'm good for, it's knockin' down the door of your lovin' store". *blink blink* What the ...?? However, if you can ignore the nonsensical lyrics, the music is something else! A little bit of Santana makes all the difference in this song and turns it from pure schlock into listenable music.

H - "Hey Mickey" by Toni Basil. Oh Mickey, you're so ... aaaahhhhhhh, now it's in my head!!!! Make it stoppppppppp!!!!!!!

I - "I Miss You" by Klymaxx. I don't like breathily earnest little-girly voices. There was an entire sub-culture in music during the 80's which attempted, unsuccessfully, to follow in the footsteps of Blondie. The difference? Debbie Harry had the pipes to carry it off.

J - "Just Friends (Sunny)" by Musiq. Nearly passed this one over because I'm not a great connaisseur of hiphop music but I listened through and, although the music is repetitive as characterized in the genre, it was a great example of the sweetness and innocence of new love in the 21st century. Surprisingly to me, I really enjoyed it.

K - "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal. Whoever thought that romantic music had to be cheesy hasn't heard this song - it's amazing. From a poetic, musical and aesthetic standpoint, it takes me to my happy place. Always has, always will.

L - "Lady" by Styx, Little River Band and Kenny Rogers. I couldn't choose just one. Each one represents the late 70's to perfection. What a wonderful time it was to be a teenager in love.

M - "Mambo No. 5" by Lou Bega. Okay, I love this song and was looking for an excuse to include it. While not technically about "love", it really is a lovesong - just not about ONE woman ... this guy likes to share the wealth. My band plays this one every year by request, so it's not just me, is it?

N - "Natural Woman" by Aretha Franklin. No contest. If you find a guy who makes you feel like this, you're there, sister. 'Nuff said.

O - "Open Arms" by Journey. A classic band with a great big squooshy kissy-face heart. I like the band a lot - not entirely sold on the song though. It's a little too karaoke for my taste.

P - "Piece Of My Heart" by Big Brother and The Holding Company. Nobody does it like Janis. This is not just a song - it's a raw, unabashed rending of her soul. That's what made Janis more than just another blues singer. You got a piece of her everytime she sang.

Q - "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars" by Andy Williams. Okay, so I had to reach back quite a way to find a "Q" song that qualified as romantic, but I think you'll agree that Andy Williams did romance with class.

R - "Right Here Waiting" by Richard Marx. There was a time when I couldn't listen to this song without cringing. As a music teacher, I have lost track of the number of beginner piano students who took lessons solely for the purpose of learning the intro to this song. Gahhhh! How many of you know how to play it, I wonder ...

S - "Someone Like You" by Van Morrison. For those of you who know me, you knew it was coming, right? *kowtows to the Great Van* Cheese, maybe, but of the finest, brandy-infused, palate-pleasing sort.

T - "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" by the Righteous Brothers. My favourite version of this was performed by Alan Rickman and Juliet Stevenson in an absolutely wonderful British movie called "Truly, Madly, Deeply", and they captured the essence of joyous abandon with their rendition.

U - "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers. Oh come on. The list wouldn't be complete without this classic. The master of romantic declarations.

V - "Venus in Blue Jeans" by Jimmy Clanton. Ah, the innocence of early rock n roll music. Romance and cheese combined with a liberal hand in such pithy metaphoric phrases as "Mona Lisa with a ponytail". Yup.

W - "Where Are You Now?" by Jimmy Harnen. Gahhhhhh! Okay, I have to cite this comment from, because it's damned funny and spot-on about this song. "There's a reason you've probably never heard of Jimmy Harnen. It's probably because he never sang again because some angry music fan tracked him down and tightly superglued a pacifier to his mouth, to industrial specs."

X - "Xanadu" by Olivia Newton John and ELO. My salute to the disco era. It wasn't all about dancing. There was also ... rollerskating. (note: Wasn't Andy Gibb a doll? *squee!*)

Y - "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers. I'm not picking on them. Honest ... they just did so many noteworthy lovesongs.

Z - "Zip Code" by the Five Americans. 60's pop is fun. Reminds me a little of the Monkees. The B-man likes this enough to dance to it. Repeatedly ...

16 October 2009


Zack, I pray every day that the demons that haunted you have finally left you in peace. It's peace that has been denied those of us you left behind when you took your life this week. Did you know that you would be missed? That grief would overwhelm this small community? Did you know you had touched so many lives in your 16 years of living? You've hurt a lot of people by this act and, no matter how desperate you may have felt, it wasn't right. I'm angry. Angry that the system let you down, angry that we couldn't help you, that we couldn't even see that you needed help, and I'm angry at you for thinking that suicide was the only way to resolve your problems. Right now, there is such great sympathy in my heart for the people you left behind - your family, your friends, your girlfriend - that I don't have much feeling left for you. Mostly just anger. I want to know if you thought about the people who love you before you did this. Did they factor at all in this decision? It's hard to believe you would have followed through if you had imagined the grief they feel now. You took a lot more than your life this week, Zack, but we'll pick up the pieces in time. The lessons you have taught us have been well-learned and you will be remembered though perhaps not as you might have wished to be. Be at peace.

12 October 2009


We celebrated 2 full weeks without incident yesterday. Cautiously optimistic that the current cocktail of meds is holding the seizures at bay, we pray a multitude of times every day that we can quickly force this into remission. It's just a matter of time. Money. Insurance. Now I can start looking at what this will mean for my sweetie over the longterm.

My close friend Rhonda has been a godsend - all three of her kids grew up with epilepsy and she's been able to talk me down many times. Her daughter Kyla, who is like my own daughter in a lot of ways, has spent time with the B-man talking to him about coping, especially at school. She encouraged me to put him back into tae kwondo and she swore that it would help him keep petit mal seizures at bay. Hmmm ... he's been back at it for just over two weeks ... I wonder.

So I've been less self-involved and my thoughts have not been consumed with my sweet boy's condition in recent days. I know I have not been a good friend to the people who are supporting me and I'm trying to spend more time reaching out. That's one awful character trait that I need to battle in myself - the urge to go to ground when things get rough. Something personal to work on.

Blessings on you, my dear ones. Thank you for sticking with me, even when I was pushing you away. Muuuuuuuuuahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

24 September 2009


Sorry I haven't had time to blog since school started again. between work and Brennan's appointments, time is being eaten in big gulps each day. Hope all is well with everyone.

Just a quick update: we have a diagnosis of an unusual type of epilepsy (don't have the paper here at work and can't remember the name, but I'll update this when I have time) and are working on balancing B-man's meds right now. Some days are better than others and we're working towards success. Every day is a blessing now and he will live a relatively normal life once we have it in remission. Thank you for all your prayers and positive thoughts.

07 September 2009

Quickie Update

Five more porn posts got caught in my comments moderation web, but the last one is a week old, so perhaps they've moved on. I'm going to give it about another week before removing moderation. Thank you all for the "real" comments. I could feel the commiseration ...

Biggest news this weekend is our Vinny and Nancy's wedding. I hope their lives are filled with immeasurable happiness. The B-man and I toasted their celebration last night with a bracing glass of sparkling ginger ale. You'd have to search for a long time to find a kinder soul or greater friend than our Vinny and I get choked up trying to express how happy I am for him and his darling Nancy, so I'll just stop now while I'm ahead.

Speaking of my little B-man, we are 2 days seizure-free and cautiously praying for it to continue in a similar vein. On the negative side, we are awaiting test results and his doctor has gone on vacation for 3 weeks. Although I am usually fairly even-tempered, this has me a little uptight. (maritimers' understatement) No matter, we do what we must to beat this thing.

Finally, we're back at school on Tuesday this coming week. Although I love my job, this year my mind's not ready to go back just yet. Wonder why?

Have a wonderful Labour Day. Blessings and peace to you and your families.

30 August 2009

Comments Moderation and Online Prostitution (did I get your attention yet?)

As most of you are aware, my blog has lain fallow for a while. This summer, I started receiving comment notifications from someone(s), written in Japanese. After I received about 12 for the same blog post, I grew curious and looked into it. Turns out, someone was booking Japanese prostitutes using my blog. I notified Blogger, deleted the posts and turned on my comments moderation again. Hopefully, it's only temporary until the "talent agency" is shut down or, more likely, relocates to a new site (giggle). However, as a sort of community service, I thought perhaps I should let you all know about it, so you can be aware that this thing can and does happen. Maybe I'm twisted to find it funny, but I suspect I'm not the only one laughing about it. (You KNOW who you are - I don't have to name names ...)

26 August 2009

I first consciously noticed it last Christmas. A blank stare for a few seconds. A clumsy step or trip and he'd fall down. Forgetfulness. It wasn't often and it wasn't serious, or so I thought. In June ... that's when the nightmare struck. Seizure. Again and again. Several in a day, sometimes so tiny they would have gone unremarked except there were the big ones, the thrashing on the floor and grinding teeth ones that terrified both of us and sent us scrambling for an answer. Tests upon tests and none of them are showing us what's wrong. Epilepsy? Or something else? We don't know yet. I'm not sure what God has intended, but it's hard to believe this is His plan for my brilliant, vibrant, joyful little boy. Right now, I'm trying to keep my cool, keep things as normal as possible for a 6-year old who really needs release from the fear that lives with us 24-7, even if that release is momentary. Photos by the thousands because I don't know what the future holds for him ... for us. Whatever it is, I'll do whatever it takes to give my son a normal-as-possible life. People protest against stem-cell medical practices but I can tell you that, if faced with that decision, I'll TAKE that solution and thank God that it was available for my child. There are some situations that transcend all previous moral evaluations. Live in the now - what a way to learn that lesson ...

Prayers would be apreciated.

24 June 2009


Love can be something so beautiful that it fills your life and makes you feel that nothing can harm you ... but sometimes it feels as though the love you have isn't enough.

My post is for all out there who are seeking love of a specific kind and can't seem to find it. I hope you are able to find happiness and fulfillment with the love you have right now.


Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other.


The one thing we can never get enough of is love. And the one thing we never give enough is love.

~Henry Miller~


And love can come to everyone, the best things in life are free.

~Lew Brown~


We love life, not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving.

~Friedrich Nietzsche~


I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.

~Arthur Rubinstein~


All love shifts and changes. I don't know if you can be wholeheartedly in love all the time.

~Julie Andrews~


Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.
~James A. Baldwin~


The best proof of love is trust.

~Joyce Brothers~


Love is always bestowed as a gift - freely, willingly and without expectation. We don't love to be loved; we love to love.

~Leo Buscaglia~


A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.

~Thomas Carlyle~


The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.

~Gilbert K. Chesterton~


The art of love is largely the art of persistence.

~Albert Ellis~


You don't have to go looking for love when it's where you come from.

~Werner Erhard~


The hardest of all is learning to be a well of affection, and not a fountain; to show them we love them not when we feel like it, but when they do.

~Nan Fairbrother~


We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.
~Tom Robbins~


Love is what you've been through with somebody.

~James Thurber~


Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.
~Peter Ustinov~


Love conquers all.



16 June 2009


B-man and I hope that your cake is yummy
and that you get to double-dip your candles, too.
Happy Birthday, Uncle Vinny!

House Updste

After only 2 weeks listed online, my parents have sold their house for the asking price. They were overwhelmed by the interest, but I knew it would be that way. We are going to miss it, but I can see how relieved my parents are and that's what matters. Now we have to get them moved into their new apartment ...

07 June 2009

Home Is Much More Than A House

It was inevitable. My parents are of an age (and have been for some time now) when their very large Victorian-era home is simply too much for them. Between the yard work and the housework, my 80-something Dad and my "39-year old" Mom (she has been 39 for nearly 40 years now, by my calculations) have been struggling for years now and I, with my full-time work, single-parent status and home of my own, haven't been as much help as they need. There was a simple solution, although none of us is happy about it. Our ancestral home is to be sold.

To that end, last month I went to my parents' home with my cheap little digital camera and took numerous photos of the interior and exterior of the home in which we all grew up. My parents have been a solidly rooted fixture in the community where I now am employed as a teacher for more than 50 years. They are part of the reason I returned to teach in the village where I grew up - the first 25 years of my life was intrinsically woven into the fabric of that place and the people who live there. That house was my only home until I finished university and got my first permanent job.

It will be both a wrench and a relief for my parents to move into the seniors apartment building they have chosen. I know there will be a period of adjustment, more for my Dad than my Mom, I suspect, as he was always tinkering in his garage with one thing or another, and he loved going down to the coffee shop every day to sit and chat with his buddies, or to the Kiwanis Center to help out with one of the various projects. I suspect he will be spending a lot of time here in my garage looking for things to do ... I'm already compiling a list (:D).

So back to the house ... I emailed the photos to my brother and he put it on Kijiji Moncton to sell. My Mom wasn't convinced that she would be able to sell it online, but in the two weeks that it's been on Kijiji, they have received over 120 calls, had 48 visits and 2 offers. This Thursday, they will find out if the first offer has gone through.

This is my way of saying goodbye to a house that is far more than a home. It means family and security and friendship and tradition and memories. When I walk into my childhood home, it's a foregone conclusion that my Mom's crosswords or sudoko will be spread out on the kitchen table, lit by the warm golden sunlight that streams in through all the big windows, that somewhere in the house, music will be playing, and my Dad will be sitting in his chair, surrounded by stacks of books, reading - just as things have always been. I can still picture my grandmother standing in the kitchen, even though she has been gone for 20 years now. I can hear my grandfather's big belly laugh in the familyroom, yet his voice was silenced over 30 years ago now. I remember sitting on my bed under the sloped ceiling as a child, as a teen, as a young adult, sharing confidences with my best friends, playing the game of "what if". We still giggle about learning to dance in the big empty playroom directly over the kitchen and my Mom complaining about plaster dust all over the countertops. My brother and I reminisce about the summery Friday nights when my parents allowed us to host pool parties and the music was so loud that people across the river in Pre d'en Haut could hear it and would dance on the dock and set off fireworks for our mutual enjoyment - friends we had never met yet with whom we shared wonderful memories while growing up, or the times we hosted pizza parties or craft circles or Saturday night dances for the church Youth Group. I remember with considerable less fondness than my brother the smell of sauerkraut on Friday nights, Saturday night wrestling matches and the times he would torture me as I practiced my piano lessons under the stairs in the front room. We recall tv dinners on foil plates, homemade baked beans in Gram's old brown crock, the smell of fresh-baked bread on Saturday mornings and Bugs Bunny on Saturday evenings. The porch glider is still there and still a congregating place for company, even in winter. Holidays meant a houseful of people - family and friends and even the occasional stranger who had nowhere to go for the holiday. We had room for everyone, it seemed. No one has ever been turned away from my parents' hospitality. I wonder where will we all go now?

100 Truths

I stole this a long time ago and then never completed it. My apologies to whomever I stole it from because I forgot to note it down and now I can't remember. I thought it was a good blogpost for a day when I felt like blogging but didn't have any fresh ideas, so here you have it. My 100 truths:


1. Last beverage→ water

2. Last phone call→ Carl from NJ, checking on my wellbeing. He's such a sweetheart.

3. Last text message→ "I love you" from Romeo. (Yes, that's his real name and he's JUST a dear friend.)

4. Last song you listened to→ B-man, playing "Old MacDonald" on the piano

5. Last time you cried→ Last night because I was lonely.


6. Dated someone twice → Yes. Dated him, left him for someone else, went back to him, got smart and dumped him.

7. Been cheated on? → Yes, the bastard!

8. Kissed someone & regretted it? → No, I never regret kisses or hugs.

9. Lost someone special?→ Yes, and that's all I've got to say about that.

10. Been depressed?→ Yes.

11. Been drunk? –> Yes.


12. dark crimson red

13. dark forest green

14. dusty rose pink


15. Made new friends → Yes

16. Fallen out of love → No

17. Laughed until you cried → Yes

18. Met someone who changed you→ Yes

19. Found out who your true friends were→ Yes

20. Found out someone was talking about you→ Yes

21. Kissed anyone on your friend's list→ Yes


23. How many kids do you want to have→ I want more, but I'm going to have to adopt to get them. The B-man wants siblings.

24. Do you have any pets → We have a husky named Daisy and a baby ball python named Gomez.

25. Do you want to change your name→ When I was younger, I always wanted a name that everybody can spell on their first try but now I like that my name is "memorable".

26. What did you do for your last birthday→ My son took me out for supper and then we had cake and frozen yogurt at my best friend's house.

27. What time did you wake up today → 5:45 am

28. What were you doing at midnight last night→ Standing outside in the rain with the dog.

29. Name something you CANNOT wait for → summer vacation

30. Last time you saw your father→ Thursday night at my parents' house for supper.

31. What is one thing you wish you could change about your life → I would like to have my hearing back.

32. What are you listening to right now → B-man practicing piano.

33. Have you ever talked to a person named Tom → Yes, I have two students and a godson named Tom.

34. What's getting on your nerves right now? → "Old MacDonald had a ... Old MacDonald had a ... Old MacDonald had a ... Old MacDonald had a ... Old MacDonald had a ... Old MacDonald had a ... Old MacDonald had a ... Old MacDonald had a ... Old MacDonald had a ... Old MacDonald had a ... Old MacDonald had a ... Old MacDonald had a ... Old MacDonald had a ..." aaaaaaaaargh!

36. Whats your real name- Corinna Rose

37. Relationship Status → Dating a lot

38. Zodiac sign: Cancer

39. Male or female→ I love being a woman! :D

40. Elementary→ Hillsborough Consolidated Elementary School

41. Middle School → I went to Junior High (grades 7-9) at Caledonia Regional School.

42. High school → Caledonia Regional School

43. Hair color → red-brown

44. Long or short → shoulder-length

45. Height → 5' 7"

46. Do you have a crush on someone? → Not recently.

47. What do you like about yourself? → I'm kind to everyone.

48. Piercings → Ears and ... something unmentionable ...

49. Tattoos → Not yet, but someone designed one for me that I am going to have done in memory of Roran

50. Righty or lefty → mostly righty, but some lefty


51. First surgery → Broken neck

52. First piercing → My ears when I was 12.

53. First tattoo → Not yet (see above)

54. First best friend → Shane, the little boy who lived across the street from me. We were 2.

56. First pet → Happy, a big collie

57. First vacation→ I don't remember the first one, but the first one I remember in detail was our family trip to Ireland for a month when I was 12.

58. First concert → Burton Cummings when I was 13.

59. First crush→ Ohhhhhhh ... Leslie McKeown of the Bay City Rollers!

60. First alcoholic drink→ I was 12. It was very illicit and I discovered that I am not a fun drunk.


61. Eating → Nothing

62. Drinking → Water

63. I'm about to → do housework

64. Listening to → didn't I already answer this question?

65. Waiting for → a phone call about a birthday party


66. Want kids? Absolutely - I'd like to adopt again.

67. Want to get married? I would like to, but it has to be for the right reasons.

68. Careers in mind? If I couldn't be a music teacher like I am now, I'd want to be a buyer for a shoe boutique.


69. Lips or eyes → Eyes

70. Hugs or kisses → I've been craving hugs lately.

71. Shorter or taller → Taller.

72. Older or Younger → Older has always been a huge attraction for me.

73. Romantic or spontaneous → Spontaneously romantic (:D)

74. Nice stomach or nice arms → LOL I would prefer nice big strong hands (is that cheating?)

75. Tattoos or piercings— Tats, but it would depend on where the piercing is located ... (:P)

76. Sensitive or loud → Sensitive

77. Hook-up or relationship → Relationship

78. Trouble maker or hesitant→ Hesitant


79. Kissed a stranger → Yes.

80. Drank hard liquor → LOL

81. Lost glasses/contacts → No.

82. Wrecked your car→ No.

83. Broken someone's heart → Yes, although it wasn't deliberate.

84. Had your own heart broken → Oh yeah.

85. Been arrested? → Is "detained" the same thing?

86. Turned someone down → Yes.

87. Cried when someone died → Yes.

88. Liked a friend that is a boy? → Yes, except I prefer the term "man" or "male".


89. Yourself - Yes

90. Miracles → Yes

91. Love at first sight -- No.

92. Heaven → Yes.

93. Santa Claus → Absolutely.

94. Kissing on the first date? → Depends on the date. Depends on the kiss. Depends on the waning of the moon and the turning of the tides ...

95. Angels → Yes - I believe the world is full of angels.


96. Is there one person you want to be with right now? Yes.

97. Had more than one boyfriend/girlfriend at one time? Yes.

98. Do you believe it's possible to remain faithful forever? Yes.

99. What's the one thing you cannot live without? I've discovered that you can live without most anything, although sometimes it doesn't feel like living.

100. Posting this as 100 Truths? → Yes - my blog is slowly starving for lack of any idea at all.

01 June 2009

Sometimes, God sends us a guardian angel ...

My workplace mentor emailed this story out to the staff of our entire school district and he got back more replies with this one story than he has with all his memos over the entire year to date. It reminds me so much of my beautiful girls, Mandy (RIP, babygirl) and Daisy, who is now 13 and beginning to show her age. I know that not everyone can relate to this kind of attachment, but I also know that most of us can and do feel deep, familial love for our pets. Is it so strange to think that the love flows both ways? Here's a true story which illustrates that kind of love perfectly.

Someone To Watch Over Me
By Saralee Perel

Gracie, my beautiful 13-year-old shepherd/collie mix, has found her purpose.
Six years ago, when I came home from a Boston hospital after my spinal cord injury, I was wearing a huge rock-solid brace that went from my chin to the middle of my chest.

When my husband Bob helped me to our couch, Gracie hopped up to give me her usual 3 million "Yippee you're home!" kisses. But before she landed her sloppy tongue on my face, she abruptly stopped herself upon seeing my brace and, I believe, sensing my pain.

And in that instant, I was no longer her caregiver. I was in her care.
Ever since then, Gracie's reason-to-be has been to watch over me.
Although she's nearly deaf now, she feels the vibration on the floor when I get out of bed. She rouses herself from her heated doggie bed. As I head to the bathroom, she leads the way as if saying, "I'll protect you, Mom. Just stay behind me." If there is anything such as a slipper in my path, she will come to a stop, turn sideways to block me, and then wait until she's sure I've seen the obstacle.

Lately, I've been re-learning how to walk. And just recently I made my first trek to walk with her at her favorite spot - a woodland path around a pond. I used to walk there with her every day . . . before.

It was emotionally brutal seeing my old dog amble so lamely now. With her head down, she tried her best to walk a straight line, but she couldn't.

The next day something wondrous happened. Gracie remembered her calling. Renewed as if granted a second life, she became happy and purposeful in her ever-vigilant new role as "Grand Protector of My Mom."

If another dog jumps up to greet me, I fall. So, on that second day, a dog about 30 pounds bigger and many years younger than Gracie raced in my direction. Gracie, barking, "I'll get him!" moved as fast as she could to shield me. She planted her old, weak body right in front of me as a barrier.

She faced the large, spirited dog. Then she barked a loud warning, "You better stay away from my mom!" The dog tried to get around her to reach me. Gracie growled, which I have not seen her do in over 10 years, "I mean it!"
The dog backed off. Gracie has taken on 4 dogs at once, to stop them from getting to me.

You see, she has shown me something I had not known before. Gracie would give up her life for me.

A verse from the song "Mr. Bojangles" haunts me.

"He spoke with tears of fifteen years
how his dog and him just traveled about.
His dog up and died.
He up and died.
After twenty years he still grieves."

Today, I said to my wise reverend friend Connie, "Do you think that having Gracie is worth the pain of losing her?"

Connie said, "Oh yes. Your sadness is so deep only because your love is so deep. What is a life without love?"

And so, I knelt on the floor next to my Gracie. "Thank you for taking care of me - for protecting me from all of the evils you think could ever come my way." I rubbed her bony hips and shoulders. "You have done a great job." I kissed her golden forehead. "I will always love you." She sighed, then fell asleep, tired from a long day of watching over me. I whispered so as not to wake her, "You are my true friend."

31 May 2009

Sunday Morning Un-Blues

I've been thinking a lot lately about my first online friends. Before them, I didn't believe that online friendships were real or lasting, but it's been years now and we are still very much a part of each other's lives. Is it a miracle, or just a case of like-minded people meeting each other despite the odds? Chances are, I will never understand how it happened, but I thank my lucky stars every day that I was in the right place at the right time.

I wrote music for this as well, but you're going to just have to imagine it - think a simple 12-bar blues, a la Muddy Waters ...

Woke up this morning
Crawled out of bed
The dreams of last night
Still alive in my head

Been thinkin' 'bout friends
I won't ever forget
Don't seem to matter
That we've never met

Went to the kitchen
To fry up some bacon
Thought about Dana
Prayed her back wasn't achin'

Cracked some eggs in the pan
Stirred the whites with the yolks
Thanked the good Lord above
For Jo and her jokes

Next into the pan
Des tomates coupees en tranches
Prayed our Trav always would
Have a reason to dance

And I wished with a smile
As I stirred the oatmeal
That dear Yoda discovers
A love that is real

Thought about Angell
As I toasted some bread
Hope she's been list'nin'
To her heart, not her head

Sweet strawberried sliced
Bear the shape of a heart
For Vinny and Nancy
Who have found their new start

Smiled as I squeezed
An orange or two
Says a prayer for sweet Julie
She has so much to do

Poured glasses of milk
As I prayed for our Ann
That God grants her peace
And a soft place to lan'

Started the coffee to perk
Thought of Robin and Wayne
Who are always so kind
Though they've nothing to gain

Set a fresh bowl of water
And dogfood on the mat
And grinned about Meri
As I gave Daisy a pat

Called my son to the table
My sweet little boy
Thought of Dixie and Turn
And wished them much joy

Woke up this morning
Crawled out of bed
Seems I'm never alone cos
I've got y'all in my head!

~C. Masson, 31 May 2009~

30 May 2009



Q. What is your salad dressing of choice?

A. Thai Sweet & Spicy

Q. What is your favorite fast food restaurant?

A: Bravo Pizzeria - for their yummilicious souvlaki

Q. What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?

A. Graffiti - for the moussaka and their superlative wine cellar

Q. On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant?

A. Entirely based on the service provided

Q. What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?

A. Brochettes with shrimp or chicken and veggies

Q. What are your pizza toppings of choice?

A. spicy barbeque chicken and red onions

Q. What do you like to put on your toast?

A. peanut butter or tahini


Q. What is your wallpaper on your computer?

A. A picture of my son at his last tae kwondo test day

Q. How many televisions are in your house?

A. Two - but no cable


Q. Are you right-handed or left-handed?

A. Right mostly

Q. Have you ever had anything removed from your body?

A. Yes, several things and glad to see them go

Q. When was the last time you had a cavity?

A. so many years ago, I don't remember

Q. What is the last heavy item you lifted?

A. the dog into the back of the car - she's getting too old to get in by herself

Q. Have you ever been knocked unconscious?

A. Yes


Q. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?

A. No, don't think so

Q. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?

A. I like my name just fine thanks, although when I was younger, I would have given anything to have a name people could spell without asking.

Q. What color do you think looks best on you?

A. Jewel tones - cherry red, emerald green, deep purple ...

Q. Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake?

A. Uhhhh ... lol yeah ...

Q. Have you ever saved someone's life?

A. It's been said that I have, but I'm not convinced of it.

Q. Has someone ever saved yours?

A. Several times now


Q. Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100?

A. Yes

Q. Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000?

A. That's a BIG negative

Q. Would you never blog again for $50,000?

A. LOL I don't think I'd have a problem with that ...

Q. Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000?

A. That's a fershure, although they aren't exactly beating the door down with offers, for some reason.

Q. Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?

A. many weeks do I have to do it?

Q. Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000?

A. ... *considers this* ... can I choose who I get to off?


Q: What is in your left pocket?

A: No pants = no pockets

Q: Is Napoleon Dynamite actually a good movie?

A: Not really, no.

Q: Could you live with roommates?

A: I've done it many times before and, although I wouldn't choose to again, I could do it if I had to.

Q: How many pairs of flip flops do you own?

A: three

Q: Last time you had a run-in with the cops?

A: Two weeks ago when one of my neighbours had an accident in her yard

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?

A: Young at heart

Q: Who is number 1 on your top 8?

A: the B-man will always be my number one


Q: Friend you talked to?

A: Michelle

Q: Last person who called you?

A: Dale

Q: Person you hugged?

A: the B-man


Q: Number?

A: two

Q: Season?

A: autumn because it's still warm but the blackflies are gone and the mosquitos are dazed


Q: Missing someone?

A: Yes

Q: Mood?

A: relaxed

Q: Listening to?

A: Kenny Loggins cd

Q: Watching?

A. I don't watch tv

Q: Worrying about?

A. nothing right now


Q: First place you went this morning?

A: outside with the dog

Q: What can you not wait to do?

A. go on my vacation

Q: What's the last movie you saw?

A. Dead Men wear Plaid (on dvd)

Q: Do you smile often?

A: I smile a lot

Q: Are you a friendly person?

A: Friendly but shy, so sometimes I come across a bit aloof

16 May 2009

For Anndi and Chicklet

We were all shaken by the news that Anndi's dad had passed away. May peace and comfort find you in this time of sadness, my dearly loved friends.

11 May 2009

Sonny's Stolen Sunday Meme

1. My uncle once : took me out on a snowmobile to teach me how to drive it and ran into a tree.

2. Never in my life : bungee jumping - no way!!

3. When I was seventeen : I got my drivers license.

4. High School was : forgettable.

5. I will never forget : Roran.

6. I once met : Mikael Baryshnikov (he was really short, but HOT!)

7. There’s this girl I know who : just won the Donnie Smith Chopper Class Challenge international motorcycle-design competition in Minnesota and she's from a local high school.

8. Once, at a bar : I partied with some of the members of the band "Chicago".

9. By noon, I’m usually : thinking about quitting time.

10. Last night : I made fudge for my grade 10 English class.

12. Next time I go to gym/church : I will remember to be thankful that I can.

13. Susan Boyle : I hope her new reality is better than all her dreams.

14. What worries me most : right now, my health.

15. When I turn my head left, I see : my sweet B-man playing with his soldiers.

16. When I turn my head right, I see : my cuddly Daisy dog laying on her back, snoozing.

17. You know I’m lying when : I say I'm never lonely.

18. What I miss most about the eighties : going to university.

19. If I was a character in Shakespeare, I’d be : Beatrice from "Much Ado About Nothing"

20. By this time next year : Custody of my son will be finalized.

21. A better name for me would be : Nicely Nicely

22. I have a hard time understanding : why bad things happen to good people.

23. If I ever go back to school, I’ll : finish my masters degree in High School Guidance.

24. You know I like you if : come back to you after I've been gone for a while.

25. If I ever won an award, the first person I’d thank would be : my sweet son, B-man, for being my reason.

26. When I compare 80’s rock to 90’s rock : I have my students write a report about it. (:P)

27. Take my advice, never : forget to count your blessings each day.

28. My ideal breakfast is : yogurt and fruit.

29. A song I love, but do not own is : "Dream Come True" by Frozen Ghost

30. If you visit my hometown, I suggest : bringing your walking shoes because we have over 60 kms of the most beautiful walking trails in Canada within the city limits.

31. My favorite Beatle is : I've always been John's girl.

32. Why won’t people : be kinder and more tolerant to each other?

33. If you spend the night at my house : B-man will make you breakfast.

34. I’d stop my wedding for : BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ... if only SOMEONE had!

35. The world could do without : gossip.

36. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than : speak to my ex again.

37. My favorite blonde is : my best friend's daughter Kyla.

38: Paper clips are more useful than : muffin top pans (I just don't GET those).

39. If I do anything well, it’s : listen.

40. And by the way : I'm late for work ... again!

10 May 2009


Happy Mother's Day!

Today, i received a card with this poem in it. It was signed "I love you Mommy, from Brennan". At his insistance, i read it out loud but i choked up at the end because my Mother's Day gift was more than i ever expected. See, he got up early to make breakfast for me by himself this morning and, before he woke me up, he went out in the yard and picked a huge bouquet of dandelions and put them in a plastic cup in the center of the table. What a wonderful, special gift from the heart of a 6-year old boy. May you all experience this much love today. God bless.



Guessing your favorite flower
Shouldn't be all that hard.
I'll bet they're green and yellow
And grow all over the yard.

I only pick the special ones
Because they're just for you.
They're my way of saying thanks
For everything you do!

And even if these flowers
Only seem to last for a day,
The love that they are given with
Will always be there to stay.

For when it comes to picking
The mommy that's the best,
In my precious little eyes
"You" stand out from all the rest!

I really love you mommy.
Hope your Mother's Day is fun.
Here's hugs and kisses for you
From your "darling little one".

08 May 2009

A GREAT R&B Song Discovery

This is the best r&b song I've heard in ages. Listen carefully to the lyrics and you'll understand why ...

05 May 2009

A Thought











02 May 2009

Life Is Getting Me Down ...

This is not my favorite kind of music, but the lyrics fit my needs for the post. Did you ever have a week where you just couldn't go it by yourself? It's been a hard week. So far in the past nine days, I've gotten strep throat, pink eye and an ear infection that plugged my ears and have rendered me almost completely deaf. Scary. I couldn't hear B-man the first morning and that was just heart-breaking. Can't talk on the phone or do things I've always taken for granted, like listening to the news on the radio. I'm coping, but barely, and I keep praying that it will get better soon. I need a hug in the worst way. Thanks for letting me whine. XOX

Sometimes life can be a burden,
Trying to stay one step ahead,
Feel the world upon my shoulder each time,
I'm standing out on the edge,
And my hopes have all deserted me,
Like they've washed away in the sand,
And it's hurting my pride,
trying to survive,
But I know that I stand a chance,
When you lay your hands,
Cos it's the only thing I have that still makes sense,
Oh baby when I'm calling out,
Give me love and affection,
keep telling me, showing me the way,
Oh when you see me falling down,
Lift me up from the shadows,
will you take me away to a better place,
And when I'm in my darkest hour,
Be by my side, to turn the tide,
Until my suffering fades,
When life is getting me down,
getting me down, and close to defeat,
Come and lay your hands on me,
Feel this road is getting longer now,
And I'm too far away from home,
Cos I gotta keep on movin on,
But I can't do it on my own,
Baby keep my head above water,
Help me swim for my life,
Cos the game is getting harder,
The strain is getting stronger,
And i can only face the fight,
When you lay your hands,
Cos it's the only thing I have that still makes sense,
Oh baby when I'm calling out,
Give me love and affection,
keep telling me, showing me the way,
Oh when you see me falling down,
Lift me up from the shadows,
will you take me away to a better place,
And when I'm in my darkest hour,
Be by my side, to turn the tide,
Until my suffering fades,
When life is getting me down,
getting me down, and close to defeat,
Come and lay your hands on me,
Till I'm healed again,
Rediscovered my strength,
And those bitter blues are gone, all gone,
Oh baby when I'm calling out,
Give me love and affection,
keep telling me, showing me the way,
Oh when you see me falling down,
Lift me up from the shadows,
will you take me away to a better place,
And when I'm in my darkest hour,
Be by my side, to turn the tide,
Until my suffering fades,
When life is getting me down,
getting me down, and close to defeat,
Come and lay your hands on me