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

23 December 2010

Five for Friday - Merry Christmas

Posting this a day early, as most of us won't find the time tomorrow to visit or listen. I am off for a week, so I will take this opportunity to wish everyone a wonderful and happy Christmas, with all of God's blessings. Be well!

My playlist above contains five of my all-time favourite Christmas songs. They are attached to memories that make me tear up with joy, but I also find the music incredibly lovely. I hope you enjoy.

Added to that, I decided to share a few uniquely Canadian songs with my friends here. Something about these bands makes me proud to claim them as ours. Maybe you know some of them, maybe not, but to me they are part of what makes our country great.

Great Big Sea - The Mummers Song

Crash Test Dummies - Jingle Bells (like no other!)

Gordon Lightfoot - Song for a Winter's Night

The Barra MacNeils - Christmas in Killarney

Roch Voisine - Petit Papa Noel

Sarah McLachlin - Mary Mary

and a wonderful version of Canada's oldest Christmas carol (singer unlisted) - Jesous Ahatonhia

Have a beautiful, joyful Christmas. May God visit your homes and grant you peace and happiness throughout the holiday season. Be well.

22 December 2010

The Week-Before-Christmas Spirit ...

My choir performed this week ...
It didn't snow ... again!
All my students are ... excitable ...

And I'm not done my shopping yet!
Merry *******ing Christmas!

20 December 2010

Monday Blues

Where did the weekend go? Shopping, wrapping, cleaning, carolling with the church group, baking, staff Christmas party, play dates for B-man, laundry, endless decorating ... is it any wonder I love Christmas? Only 5 days left to wait! Good thing - I don't think the gifts can stand up to much more shaking by the B-man. Do you remember being seven the week before Christmas?

17 December 2010

Fabulous Five for Friday

I've never had a better reason for posting a Five for Friday ... well, maybe, but this is so exciting.
Yesterday, the B-man (who is 7, if you recall) tested for his red belt in tae kwondo. He executed his forms perfectly, with such grace and precision that I forgot for a moment that this was MY kid smoothly kicking, jabbing and punching in an exquisite dance-like flow of trained physical art. He is now only two belts from becoming one of the provinces youngest black belts, and the careful training and practice is more evident than ever.

After the forms, there was a demonstration of power and agility. It seems strange to say that when you are talking about a group of elementary school children, but I have seen the "impossible" happen in that studio and I am a believer. My little boy broke 4 boards with the side of his little hand yesterday. Watching him, I saw the confidence that his sensei had instilled in him and it brought tears to my eyes. Master L. believes in the B-man and my son trusts his judgement. That's ALL it takes.

After the board-breaking demonstration, Master L. asked the B-man a quiet question in Korean. He nodded vigourously and ran to the far end of the room. I've been to a lot of these test days and I knew that it meant a running kick break. What I wasn't prepared for was seeing two of B's classmates crouch down in front of Master L., tucking in their heads. The B-man came flying across the room, leapt across the bodies of his friends and broke the board with his foot, before landing lightly and running past Master L. Everyone watching gasped and applauded. It was stunning. He broke a provincial record for the youngest person to successfully execute that particular break. The B-man confessed to me later that he was so afraid that he was going to fall on Miranda, he put extra strength into his jump. He also confessed that he had not done the flying kick over people before ... but he trusted Master L.'s judgement.

What does it mean to trust that completely? To my son it means, for that moment in time, he could FLY ... and now, he will always believe that he can.

I am more grateful than I can express.

(I'll load pictures this weekend.)

13 December 2010

Music on Monday


I am exhausted but grinning from ear to ear. Steve and I were invited to a Christmas party on Saturday with a group of friends. 39 in attendance in an old converted barn out in the boonies. There was music and dancing and wonderful, glorious food. We talked almost all night, catching up with old friends and making new ones. And we danced. OMG Steve can DANCE! Just another reason I love this man. It is, without exception, the BEST time I've ever had at a party.

When we thanked our hosts and said good night, it was breaking dawn and we still had so much residual energy that we went for an early-morning walk on the riverfront with the dog and watched the sun rise, all golden and pink. As we listened to the sleeping city, I felt awed at my good fortune. How often does it happen that all the planets align like this?

I feel truly blessed.

10 December 2010

Five for Friday

Yeah, we all shine on, like the moon, and the stars, and the sun.

Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.

Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.

Music is everybody's possession. It's only publishers who think that people own it.

If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace.

If you'd like to join us in the Five for Friday musical fun, the guidelines are basic and simple.

1. Grab the banner, make your post title Five on Friday, and be sure to link back here.

2. Go to to make your play list of five songs. You may choose a particular theme to share with us, or post random tunes if that's your vibe for the day. You can simply post the play list, or you can add a little summary about what you are sharing.

2a. Don't feel restricted by the tracks listed on And don't be discouraged if the Embed code won't work. You're welcome to use any type of media to share your Sets.

3. Be sure to sign Mr Linky so everyone can visit your Set.

4. No tags, but feel free to invite your friends to play along if they need a post topic on a Friday.

09 December 2010

Thursdays Thoughts

My son is in grade two this year. He's seven years old. I think he's wonderful, but hey! I'm his mommy - I'm supposed to think that way.

The B-man adores his teacher this year. She has a way of building up the kids to believe they can do anything, be anything. I like a lot of her ideas. Last week, he brought home a memo. It seems Mrs. Marshall's class has a Christmas tradition called "My Christmas Star". Really, it's a way for the parents to share some of the reasons their kid is special. Each day, two students are the "Star of the Day". They get special treatment. They get to bring in a show-and-tell item that has special meaning for them. But here's where it gets interesting: all the parents have been asked to write a brief letter to their child expressing why their son or daughter is special and to include a photo of the child. The letters are to be read in front of the class and our children don't know what we are writing - it's a big secret!

The B-man is the Christmas Star tomorrow, along with one of his little classmates. I have been brought to tears more than once in my process of writing the letter that I want to share with you here. I'm also including the photo - it's not recent but it epitomizes the spirit of my little boy. He was 22 months old at the time it was taken.

Dear B-man,

The first time we met, you were crawling across a vinyl kitchen floor in pursuit of a red and blue striped squeaky ball. You looked up at me with your deep chocolatey-brown eyes and gave a grin wide enough to display all four of your tiny white teeth.

Your Daddy and I had begun the journey to being your parents a long time before that. We had paperwork to fill out, meetings with the people who had to decide if we would be able to give you a good home and then the long plane ride to finally meet you.

It was Hallowe'en 2003, you were only a few months old and living in a province far from ours. We spent a week getting to know you - the adoption people called it "bonding" - and then we signed the papers that allowed us to bring you home. I'll never forget a moment of that trip: 13 hours and 3 plane changes with a tired baby. It was an amazing experience. Other mommies have to go through labour. I guess that plane ride was my version of it. I didn't mind it one bit, though - you were worth it all, even the atomic diaper change on the final leg of the trip, and that was pretty gross!

You make me proud. You have spirit that never gives up. Whether it's tae kwondo, swimming, reading or spending time with your family and friends, you give 100% of yourself. Master C. at tae kwondo tells me all the time that you are a hard worker and a very good boy. You are respectful and polite. You let people know with your words and behaviour that you appreciate them, and that makes them feel good. You are smart - have I told you how pleased I am at your progress in reading this year? I really love it when you read to me. It's often the highlight of my day. You also have a big heart and you are very loyal and caring to your friends and family. Yesterday, Steve told me that you make him feel happy. That's a very special gift you have, B-man, one that you give to a lot of people. Mrs. L. has said to me that she hopes her children grow up to be like you. I told her that I couldn't imagine a better son than you.

You've made me smile every day; not just because you're funny (even though you often are) but because I'm so amazed at the person you are. Everything from your crazy "Knock-knock" jokes to your excited grin yesterday when you told me you are going to be testing for your red belt in tae kwondo, everything that is YOU makes my days bright and full of joy. You are a wonderful kid, B-man. I love you with all my heart.

Love always,



07 December 2010

I got nothing, so here's a funny or two. Have a smiley day.

Inkblot drawings

A certain gentleman was having some personal problems so he went to see a psychiatrist. After a few sessions the psychiatrist thought it would be helpful to do some tests. He produced some ink blot drawings which he showed the gentleman. He said to him “As I show you these abstract shapes please tell me the first thing that comes to your mind. After the first ink blot drawing, the man said he saw a beautiful woman at the beach. After the second, he said he saw a beautiful woman at the park. One after another, in each drawing he saw a beautiful woman in one place or another. After about a dozen of these, the psychiatrist said “Mr. Smith, you seem quite obsessed with women”. The man said “Me!!! You’re the one with all the pictures!

06 December 2010

Monday Blues

It's snowing in the western part of the province and school is closed for the day ... I live in Southeast NB and what are we getting here? Rain ... again. (grumble grumble)

03 December 2010

Five for Friday

I'm loving the season of Christmas music but to be honest, I don't want to overdo the seasonal music this early in the month so I've decided to redirect. There's a story here though, so you'll have to suffer through it, as I've decided to reminisce.

A pivotal event changed my life during the summer before grade seven, in August of 1976. I was visiting my grandmother's house. Not the cool one either - the one whose house had nothing in it for kids to do except help Gran in the kitchen or watch the Tommy Hunter Show on a long, rain-soaked Sunday afternoon.

Sitting on the stairs watching a spider spin a web, I noticed the bookcase on the landing. I'd seen it before but I'd never - you know - NOTICED it. It was a big one, stuffed right full of about a thousand Readers' Digest magazines, dating back to the mid-1940's. For a bored pre-teen, it was better than nothing, although I now understand the intrinsic historic interest of those old, perfectly-preserved magazines.

Each had been read exactly once, by my grandfather, and placed in chronological order in the landing bookcase for posterity. I had little respect for such meticulous organization and with adolescent carelessness, I pulled one after another out of the shelves and began seeking out the "Laughter is the Best Medicine" pages, stacking each book beside me as I moved on to the next. Occasionally, my attention would be drawn to an article or a picture and I'd skim through but, until I reached one particular issue, it was simply a way of passing the time.

On the front cover of the October 1966 issue, much as they do today, Readers Digest had listed the keynote articles. I registered something about the Beatles, a music group from the Middle Ages that I had vaguely heard of at some point in the past and, with the bored detachment of long-suffering youth, I flipped to the page indicated, thinking that if I'd actually heard of them, they must've been worth the mention, sort of like Beethoven.

There on page 72 was an ink line drawing of three girls watching TV with typical teenage dramatic intensity ... oh, I totally GOT that. Within a few lines, I was giggling. You see, I'd been there, my friends and I, only a few months earlier, except the band that owned our hearts then had been the Bay City Rollers. Now, in my jaded 12-year old maturity, THEY were baby stuff. I was a prime target for the charisma of Beatlemania.

As I read, my excitement grew. THIS, I understood! This was perfect - there were four of them. My three best friends and I had recently made a pact NEVER to like the same boy, so that worked out well. The girls in the article could've been US! The article was 10 years old, so the Beatles were really old now - a major drawback - but all the pictures I had seen of them were from the 60's so the ILLUSION was right. THIS could be the answer to our prayers ...

Finishing the article, I squealed in excitement and did what any teenaged girl would do upon making an important discovery - I ran for the phone to share the WONDERFUL news.

That was my introduction to the Beatles ... despite an admittedly unmusical foundation, my early case of Beatlemania developped into a life-long love and admiration of their music and their history. A few years later, I asked my grandfather for the magazine and he gave it to me. I still have it, along with various other collectibles that I unearthed amongst my older family members. It still amazes me how many people were touched in some way by this group of musicians.

Some childhood things follow us into adulthood - they are meant to be part of our lives. I have recently begun collecting cover versions of Beatles's songs. Some are treasures, some are merely atrocious. This is the theme of my playlist. I offer it to you in the hopes that you are led to remember some way in which the Fab Four has touched your life. Enjoy!

02 December 2010

Thoughts for Thursday

Today, I chose to share a video clip from a film that has had an enormous impact on my personal system of values. It reminds me WHY we celebrate this season, but more importantly HOW we should be towards others, not only at Christmas but all year long.

We don't give because we can, or because we should, or even because it feels like the right thing to do. Sharing our lives is a need that fills and changes us for the better. It makes us happier, more connected, less self-absorbed. It heals not only the recipient, but us as well.
My wish for all is that you find the inner peace and balance that comes with sharing of yourself. Be joyful. Be open-hearted. Be well.

01 December 2010