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

23 June 2011

Thursday this week is special ...

Guess what today is?

This was on the table at breakfast ...

22 June 2011

Wednesday Weather Report

For the love of God, DON'T skip the comments at the end - they are the funniest bit!

21 June 2011

Tuesday Tourism

I love my little corner of the universe - it's one of the most beautiful spots in the world, with some of the most fascinating natural phenomena. Over the summer, it will be my pleasure to introduce my province to you.

Because it's in the news right now, being one of the finalists for the Natural Wonders of the World, AND because I grew up (and still live and work) on its shores, my first post will introduce the Bay of Fundy.

This NB tourism video explains where the Bay of Fundy is, what it does and why:

Here's the effect it has:

This is the most popular natural tourism destination in Canada, found at the top of the Bay:

17 June 2011

Five on Friday

This week on Tuesday, Steve, the B-man, Daisy and I celebrated our first anniversary living together as a family. Not so long ago, I never would've believed a man could help me rebuild my confidence the way he has, not to mention putting a light in my son's eyes that I'd never seen before. Our Steve is a pretty special guy and in his honour, I'm dedicating this FoF to him. 381, sweetheart!

I don't have to tell you that you're the only one who does it for me ...

Your random kisses and hugs are food for my soul.

I'm aware that this next is a Christian worship song. However, with some of the most powerful lyrics I've ever felt, it serves a dual purpose.

"Draw me close to you
Never let me go.
I lay it all down again
To hear you say that I'm your friend.
You are my desire.
No one else will do,
Cause nothing else can take your place
To feel the warmth of your embrace.
Help me find the way;
Bring me back to you."

You're always there for me, in every way possible. You hold my hand when times are good and you carry me when they are not.

With all that you do, do you know how you make me feel? Oh yeah, you do ...

So here's how you play:
1. Grab the banner, make your post title Five on Friday, and be sure to link back here.
2. Go to to make your Set 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 Set, 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 on Trav's page 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.

16 June 2011

Thursday's Short

Absolutely stunning concept ...

14 June 2011

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart

A year today, with all the ups and downs and we're standing strong, still holding hands. 381, Steve. I love you.


Still struggling with health. I'll be back when it's better. Everyone take care.

26 May 2011

Five on Friday - 27 May 2011

My first FoF in a while and I was mulling over which topic I should choose ... and then it occurred to me. I'm not a betting woman, but I imagine mine won't be the only blog about this.

Oops sorry, wrong rapture ...

Rules? There are rules???

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

Hmmmm ...

I thought it was a temporary problem a few months ago, but everytime I try to switch from "compose" to "edit html", everything shuts down and I get booted off the internet. Anybody else having this problem?

25 May 2011

People are strange ...

A man was trying to pull out of a parking place but bashed the bumper of the parked car in front of him. Witnessed by a handful of pedestrians waiting for a bus, the driver got out, inspected the damage, and proceeded to write a note to leave on the windshield of the car he had hit.
The note read:
"Hello. I have just hit your car, and there are some people here watching me who think that I am writing this note to leave you my name, phone number, and driver's license number, but I am not."

A Pastor goes to the dentist for a set of false teeth. The first Sunday after he gets his teeth, he talks for only eight minutes. The second Sunday, he talks for only ten minutes. The following Sunday, he talks for 2 hours and 48 minutes. The congregation had to mob him to get him down from the pulpit and they asked him what happened.
The Pastor explains the first Sunday his gums hurt so bad he couldn't talk
for more than 8 minutes.

The second Sunday his gums hurt too much to talk for more than 10 minutes.

But, the third Sunday, by mistake he put his wife's teeth in and couldn't
shut up...

24 May 2011

RIP Playlist

You may or may not have noticed that all my playlist posts are no longer functioning. In whateve wisdom that may have been contrived or manufactured by the almighty "POWERS-THAT-BE", the tracks on Playlist are no longer available in Canada, due to our stringent copyright act. Thanks a whole lot, CFC. Music nazis ...

Not sure how I will participate in Five on Friday, but I will figure it out.

22 May 2011

Back ... sort of

Wow, remember that health issue that I mentioned a couple posts ago? That'd be about 2 months in the past now. Well, it became a bigger issue very suddenly. I was rushed to the hospital one night, had emergency surgery the very next morning and have been recuperating ever since. Officially, I've been off work for 7 weeks, and it's going to be a little while longer before I can return, due to stupid complications. Good news is, the initial health problem is now resolved. Yay!

Steve has proven his mettle during this crisis. He really stepped up, taking care of my babies during my hospital stay, and taking care of me, too. How can you not appreciate and love that in a man?

More great news: Steve has been offered a permanent full-time job with Industrial Rail - the job specs suit him to a tee. He'll be working with a team, refurbishing passenger rail cars to make them disability-friendly. Lots of reading blueprints and fabricating metal parts for my guy. He's so excited about this job. He even gets to teach - his job includes apprenticeship responsibilities.

Even more great news: the B-man has passed the final step prior to becoming a black belt in tae kwondo. Last Thursday, he tested for his brown belt and got it! The weekend before that, he participated in the Provincial Tae Kwondo Championship and received a bronze medal for 7-9 year olds in Poomsae (form). Not too bad for his first tournament. We're proud of him.

A friend of mine has just started a new blog. Please check her out ... I mean her blog ... ~Designs by Debbie~ at and no, I still don't know how to insert a link here. Sorry, but that's what ctrl-C is for, okay?

That's about it for now. I'll get back to this gradually, as I start to build my strength and stamina back. Oh, and I'm creating this on a friend's computer (mine is belly-up right now) so no piccies. Hope to remedy that in the near future. Hope everyone is doing super. Miss you all.

01 April 2011

Five for Friday (times two!) ... Ear worms

The definition of an earworm comes from a translation of the German "ohrwurm", a portion of a song or other music that repeats compulsively within one's mind, put colloquially as "music being stuck in one's head."

It's such a fascinating phenomenon, authors have written about it for years. Take Arthur C. Clarke's 1956 short story "The Ultimate Melody" for example. In it, the protagonist, Gilbert Lister, develops a melody that intrigues the brain so completely that the listener becomes entranced by it. His theory is that a great melody impresses itself on the mind because it perfectly matches the brain's electrical impulses.

In 2007, marketing professor James J. Kellaris PhD, of the University of Cincinnati conducted a study about the top ten earworms. It boggles the mind how some people manage to justify their paycheque ... but the results are interesting:

1. Other. Everyone has his or her own worst earworm.
2. Chili's "Baby Back Ribs" jingle.
3. "Who Let the Dogs Out"
4. "We Will Rock You"
5. Kit-Kat candy-bar jingle ("Gimme a Break ...")
6. "Mission Impossible" theme
7. "YMCA"
8. "Whoomp, There It Is"
9. "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"
10. "It's a Small World After All"

I don't even KNOW some of those songs and NONE of my most persistent nuisance-tunes are on the list, so I guess I fit in with number one. The obsessive musical thoughts that frequently plague my mind are:

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Fortunately for me, not all of them are "claw-your-eardrums" annoying. In fact, some of them can be quite pleasant accompaniment to my day. I know there are only supposed to be FIVE, but try telling my subconscious that and see where you get. I was lucky to pare it down to ten! So, since I didn't get here to post last Friday, I'm taking both week's five together.

So ... what is your most persistent "tune wedgy"?

29 March 2011

Hi, how y'all been?

(Is anybody else having trouble with blogger lately? I can't switch between Edit HTML and Compose anymore!)

Yeah, been a little busy this past week. Work, mostly. Middle school report cards, parent-teacher meetings, midterms and then high school report cards fall into the space of about 3 weeks. I'm in the midst of it now.

Some personal junk mixed in but nothing major. Something new cropped up with my health but it wasn't anything I didn't expect. It's only slowed me up a bit so far. It's been a hard winter and I'm gen'rally feeling rough - ragged, y'know? Bulbs are up and the robins are back though, so I 'spect spring's finally here.

Steve's been amazing. He truly is my rock, but finances are getting tight with him not working. I hope he gets called back soon. Construction work is nearly impossible when there's 9 feet of snow on the ground but it's melting now, so it shouldn't be long. He's looking forward to it, I know.

The B-man passed his brown-stripe belt in tae kwondo last Thursday. Only one more before black now. Master C has taken a special interest in him, for which I am eternally grateful. It has been so good for B's self-esteem. He's a pretty wonderful little boy, but of course I'm going to say that, right? The difference is that everybody else seems to think so, too. I always ask myself how I got so lucky, having a kid like him.

Steve and I hosted our monthly movie night on Saturday. Only 8 people showed but it was sort of short notice, being a re-schedule of the one we had to cancel a couple weeks ago for health reasons. The viewing was RANGO, followed by CALIGULA. Yeah. Not gonna comment on that. Feel free if you are so moved, though. Anyway, there was double chocolate cheesecake along with the usual munchies. It's always fun getting together with our friends.

So, that's what I've been up to. How's your life going?

21 March 2011

Music on Monday

The topic of the day is BAGPIPES ...

There was a young Scottish boy called Angus who decided to try life in Australia. He found an apartment in a small block and settled in.

After a week or two, his mother called from Aberdeen to see how her son was doing in his new life.

"I'm fine," Angus said. "But there are some really strange people living in these apartments. One woman cried all day long, another lies on her floor moaning, and there is a guy next door to me who bangs his head on the wall all the time."

"Well, ma laddie," says his mother, "I suggest you don't associate with people like that."

"Oh," says Angus, "I don't, Mum, I don't. No, I just stay inside my apartment all day and night, playing my bagpipes."

Q: What's the definition of a gentleman?
A: Someone who knows how to play the bagpipe, and doesn't.

Q: What's the difference between a cat in the road and a bagpipe in the road?
A: Most people would actually swerve to miss the cat.

Q: Why do pipe bands march when they play?
A: Moving targets are harder to hit.

Q: What's the difference between a bagpipe and an onion?
A: No one cries when you chop up an bagpipe.

Q: What's the difference between a dead snake in the road and a dead bagpiper in the road?
A: There are skid marks in front of the snake.

Q: How can you tell if a bagpipe is out of tune?
A: Someone is blowing into it.

Q: What's the difference between a bagpipe and a chainsaw?
A: The chain saw doesn't have vibrato.

Q: What's the difference between a bagpipe and a lawn mower.
A: People get upset when someone borrows their lawn mower and doesn't give it back.

Q: What's the difference between a bagpipe and a trampoline?
A: You take off your shoes when you jump on a trampoline.

Q: What's the definition of "optimism"?
A: A bagpiper with a beeper.

Q: What's the range of a bagpipe?
A: Twenty yards if you have a good arm.

Q: Why do pipers walk when they play?
A: They are trying to get away from the sound!

Someone once said, "You don't PLAY bagpipes, you WIELD them."

Q: How can you tell the difference between bagpipe songs?
A: By their names.

Q: Why do most people hate bagpipes right away?
A: It saves time.

"I understand the inventor of the bagpipes was inspired when he saw a man carrying an indignant, asthmatic pig under his arm. Unfortunately, the man-made object never equalled the purity of sound achieved by the pig." - Alfred Hitchcock

15 March 2011

Five For Friday - Going to the Dogs

I love dogs. I love the "dogness" of them; the inherent openness of spirit; the unconditionality of their hearts; the inherent curiosity and wonder of their nature. I even love their childlike dependency. From the most adorable puppy or the most elegant pedigree to the scruffiest mutt, my heart melts for dogs.

The few periods in my life when I didn't have a dog were mere transitions. I grew up in a dog family and my son has never known a life without the comfort of a cushy, furry, drooly, devoted heart-on-legs. At first, we had two. Mandy was the "momma-dog" who cuddled the B-man and herded him away from perceived dangers when he was a toddler. We still miss her but we remember her with smiles and laughter. She was a character and the stories never grow tiresome, no matter how often the B-man asks me to tell them.

We still have Daisy. She has always been the B-man's playmate. Even now, at the age of 14, she staggers gamely along with him on our walks. She's not as fast as she used to be but the B-man shows his love by slowing down for her and not going where she would have difficulty following him ... because he knows that she would follow him anywhere he leads her. That's what dog-love is, after all.

14 March 2011

March Break ...

No posts for the past week. I've been doing taxes. Paperwork. Housework. And I spent a little time in hospital. Seems my emergency surgeries a few years back have left me with a legacy of abdominal problems. This time, though, it's not urgent and I can wait until it's convenient to have the operation to repair the damage. There's always a bright side to everything.
There were some really outstanding parts to the past week though. I got to spend a lot of quality time with Steve and the B-man. We went bowling, swimming, to the indoor amusement park and the giant bookstore, and we saw some movies together.
First, Steve and I escorted the B-man and his best friend "Big D" to see RANGO. It was absolutely wonderful. It is a great script, and the scope and range of Johnny Depp's talent never ceases to amaze me. The boys, of course, were exhilarated by the gunfire and explosions. It was a noisy drive home ...

The very next night, Steve and I got a grown-up date while B went to his grandparents for a sleep-over. It had been years since I saw an adult-type film in the theatres, so we did the traditional dinner-and-movie outing. We got to try out a new Indian restaurant, then held hands in the cinema through THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU. The concept presented in the storyline was more interesting than the movie itself, although it was decent enough entertainment. I think we were both just enjoying the absence of squirming question-factories for a change ...
Our third cinematic outing was a birthday party. B-man's little girlfriend, "Doll-face", turned 8 and we were invited to a private screening of GNOMEO AND JULIETTE. It was cute. The B-man thought the kissing was gross, much to his admirer's dismay but he liked the lawnmower races and ... the explosions. Yup. He later informed Steve, though, that the best part of the evening was getting to club a Disney Princess pinata to death at the party after the film. I witnessed the massacre and it was brutal. That, sad to say, is the mindset of an 8-year old boy ...

Although not a theatre experience, the last movie I saw before returning to the grind of a regular workweek came highly recommended by our Ann. Steve downloaded PS I LOVE YOU for me and we watched it together. I love Steve sooooooo much! He wanted to make me happy and share the experience, but he fell asleep about 30 minutes into the film and let me blubber in peace. Now THAT says love to me ...
Not too shabby, huh? Glad I was to get in some playtime along with all the other stuff. It makes me feel good that I was able to balance things. B-man even got lots of playdates and a couple of prime sleep-overs.

Could've used another week, though ...

10 March 2011

Five for Friday

Officially, I'm on vacation. Unofficially, it's a working vacation because it's tax time. Yuck. So, instead of a joyful, "I'm-on-vacation" songlist, I've chosen the common theme that's uppermost in my mind right now. You guessed it ...

Have a great weekend!

08 March 2011


It's March break. I am on vacation. See you all next week!

03 March 2011

Fantastic Five on Friday

It's been that kind of week ... the kind where I listen to feel-good music and sing on the drive to work. The kids at school have been great. My lesson plans have worked out nearly perfectly. Things at home couldn't be better with Steve, the B-man and Daisy-dog. I've re-discovered an old friend or two. Even shovelling the endless snow has been pleasant since we cracked the deep-freeze temperatures. What better way to cap such a great week than with some absolutely perfect music?

I've long enjoyed a love affair with Morrison's music. It's a well-known fact that he's my ideal, as far as music goes. As a contemporary singer-songwriter, there is no equal. Through good or bad times, he has a song that reaches right into you and pulls out the best of you. I've never encountered anything that can compare to his exquisite compositions and I don't expect I ever will. Millions have covered his songs and new artists continue to rediscover his artistic brilliance. Even the covers are wonderful because honestly, you can't ruin the poignancy of his poetic songwriting even through the insult of mediocre talent. In musical historic context, his name will be spoken with the same reverence that we afford names such as JS Bach, WA Mozart, L van Beethoven ... another great "Van", coincidentally.

Finding Van Morrison music on Playlist was a challenge. Van the Man is a savvy businessman, on top of being an incredibly gifted musician, and he protects his rights with religious fervour. You may have noticed that the Playlist songs were under various manufactured artist names. Users uploading his songs must "hide" them because everything posted under the label "Van Morrison" will swiftly be removed. Youtube carries videos of his songs strictly by permission of his company "Exile". Because of this, only a few of the best-known songs filter through these media. No matter, they're still wonderful. I do hope you enjoy my playlist. It was a labour of love.
**Note: Since creating my Playlist two days ago, some of the songs have been removed from the website. I have added video to compensate for the shortage.
This one's for Steve. I love you, Sweetheart.

01 March 2011

A Tune for Tuesday

Just because I haven't inflicted it on anybody for a while, here's MY favourite song. Betting some of you can guess it before you hear it!

And just because it's never enough to hear it once, this is my absolute favourite COVER of the same song.

28 February 2011

A Monday Mood

The word of the day is :
So, thing is, we had a storm day today. Schools were cancelled all over the south-eastern part of the province. Reason for confusion? No snow. Not a flake. Huh?

25 February 2011

Five for Friday - Childhood Memories

Do you have a favourite day of the week?

I come from a hard-working, lower-middle-class family. My dad worked long hours at his job as a mechanic and, while my brother and I were still young, my mom concentrated on being a mom. She stayed at home which, to many people means that she "didn't work".

Nothing could be further from the truth. She cooked and cleaned. On top of that, she had Home and School meetings, PTA, Church Elder meetings, choir practice, our Youth Groups, and Mom's Taxi service. She and Dad were both fixtures as chaperones at school dances and dinners. She managed to balance a budget that always seemed to have too little money and too many expenses. We didn't often have extra, but we never went without what my mom considered to be necessities. That means we had piano lessons, hockey and figure skating. There was always enough for our friends, young or old, to join us for a meal or a weekend. There was always change for the collection plate at church and there was always baking going out of the house for school and church fundraising. I still don't know how she did it all.

My brother and I never got an "allowance". We had to earn our spending money. I remember the summer my brother had the wonderful idea of mowing all the neighbours lawns for pay. I also remember his dismay when Dad came after him for gas money when he used the entire tank, plus the contents of the gas can that Dad kept in the garage. Then there was the time I decided to run a lemonade stand at the end of our driveway, which was located on an isolated rural highway. I was five and my only clients were the neighbours across the street and my grandparents, who drove 10 miles just to support me. My brother and I both finally settled on newspaper routes as the means to support our extra-curricular needs. His route went west from our house and mine went east. We each biked about 4 miles each day for the reward of about $9 a week. In winter, I remember Mom or Dad driving us some days, so we didn't get lost in a snowstorm. It wasn't easy, but it was good discipline and I'm a firm believer in the system, much to my son's dismay. LOL

Every day was a working day at our house. Monday to Friday, it was the work-week/school-week. Saturdays were for chores, baking, shopping and heavy cleaning. But Sundays ... growing up in a Bible-waving community had its benefits. On Sunday, we rested. Not to say we didn't have responsibilities: church was expected unless you were contagious and even then, eyebrows were raised. Sunday School was mostly social for me. All my closest friends were in the same class. Looking back, I feel for the teachers of that group. It couldn't have been easy for them.

After church, we visited the grandparents. We alternated Sundays between my Dad's parents and my Mom's.

Gram and Gramps H. lived an hour away and their house was always crowded because Dad was one of 13 kids and everybody else had kids, and some of the aunts and uncles even had grandkids at that point. Good thing it was a big house, is all I'm saying ... It was always busy and fun there but I always felt a bit lost in the crowd.

Grammy and Grampy M. had only Mom and Uncle Robin, who lived in Manitoba, or Saudi Arabia, or Ireland (he was a mining engineer). They lived 10 minutes away. I loved my Grammy best of all the adults in my life. She taught me important stuff and she was always available, no matter how busy she was. She was also WAY cool - she watched "The Sonny and Cher Show" and "Laugh-In" with us, and took us to movies like "Jaws" and "Rollercoaster". She loved Alex Keaton from "Family Ties". She would've been proud of how he's handled the adversity of Parkinson's. She also had a crush on Vinny Barbarino from "Welcome Back Kotter". She always said what a great actor he was. She'd be glad to know how successful he turned out.

Of all the days in the week, I don't remember any of them being horrible. But Sundays were golden. Wouldn't it be wonderful to recapture that feeling?

24 February 2011

How Much Is That Doggie ...

These cute puppy-dogs have found
a new place to play ...

I TOLD you we got
some snow this winter!

23 February 2011

Five Lessons About the Way We Treat People

Today is Pink Shirt Day. It's about bullying and how each of us has the power to stop it. This morning, as my son got dressed for school, he looked nervously at his pink shirt that proclaimed in bold black letters *BULLYING STOPS HERE* and asked me "What if someone teases me for wearing pink, Mommy?" Even though mornings are usually rushed, we took the time to sit down to watch the videos I posted here yesterday so he would understand that what he does stands for something important, just as each person who wears pink today. When we'd finished, he went off to school proudly sporting his pink shirt knowing that, although he's just a child, his action speaks loud and clear.

Bullying hurts. We can make a difference. It has a lot to do with how we treat people. How have so many people forgotten such a simple lesson? Be kind and generous in spirit with others. It WILL come back to you.

1 - First Important Lesson - Cleaning Lady.

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one:

"What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"

Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50's, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.

"Absolutely, " said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say "hello".

I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

2. - Second Important Lesson - Pickup in the Rain.

One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car.

A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960's. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab. She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him.

Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached. It read:

"Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others."

Mrs. Nat King Cole.

3 - Third Important Lesson - Always remember those who serve.

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

"How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked. "Fifty cents," replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it. "Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired.

By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied. The little boy again counted his coins.

"I'll have the plain ice cream," he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies. You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

4 - Fourth Important Lesson. - The obstacle in Our Path.

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the King's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it.. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand! Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

5 - Fifth Important Lesson - Giving When it Counts...

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare & serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister.

I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes I'll do it if it will save her." As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheek. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away".

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

I realize those stories are just some of many passed around the internet ad nauseum but in each lies a grain of truth. Today is Pink Shirt Against Bullying Day. Let it mean something to each of us but even more importantly, let it move us to act with kindness.

22 February 2011



I'm a teacher. The kids I see each day are between the ages of 11 and 18. Here are some heart-stopping statistics for the school where I teach. Please note: these number are current and real. Statistics on bullying are gathered annually by means of a Provincial survey completed by all students from grades 2-12. My school was rated about middle of the pack, which means that there are several schools that received more disturbing statistics than the ones I'm sharing here.

67% of students in my school have been bullied in the past 12 months.

Between grade 5 and grade 7, the frequency of bullying incidents increases by almost 40%.
6% of the students here are bullied on a daily basis. 10% have been enduring it for more than a year. 27% of our kids here are afraid to come to school because of bullying. 3% have missed school more than once because of it.

Of the types of bullying that occur, verbal and social bullying are more than twice as common as physical intimidation. Incidences of cyber bullying have more than tripled in the past year.

Despite all this, 82% of bullying victims have not told an adult that the bullying was taking place. Many didn't think anything could or would be done about it, but an alarming number simply didn't want to be labelled "snitch" or "squealer".
86% of students have witnessed someone being bullied this year. Only 13% reported the incident to an adult. 80% didn't want to get involved.

What can we do to change things? Two boys from a small high school in Nova Scotia did their part and it's become a national movement. Here's how it happened:

Tomorrow, Wednesday 23 February, my son and I will wear pink shirts to school. Bullying hurts everyone. It has to stop. We can make a difference, one person at a time.

21 February 2011

Monday ... ERGGGHH!

Why do we put ourselves through this week after week? Monday. A reward for the excesses of weekend living, perhaps? Lately, it seems as though there's too much "living" being packed into those two short weekend days and, as a result, Mondays seem especially heinous, particularly as we begin them with the full understanding that they are followed by Tuesday, Wednesday ... interminable drudgery. Why do we do it? What are we trying to accomplish by torturing ourselves? More importantly, WHEN are we going to come to our senses?


20 February 2011

17 February 2011

Five Degrees of Music Progression 1

Trav has a (new to me) meme. I can't seem to get text to post from another source, so I'm just going to recap the rules and if you want more details, go see Trav's blog. You should anyway. It's cool.

So here's what you do. You post his banner for Five Degrees of Music Progression. Then you randomly pick a song and free-associate until you've got some connection to a second song, and so on until you have five. Post the songs using or something else (I dunno - videos, maybe?) and then sign the Linky on Trav's blog on Thursday. That's about it.

Here's my first attempt at this. Hope you can follow where my mind leads ...

1. American Classical composer George Crumb "Male-Speaking Choir" forms my first selection. I picked this for no better reason than my advanced music class was discussing modern composition and his name came up. Surprised the bejeebers outta me when I actually found Crumb listed on Playlist!

2. The men shouting in the first song sounded like Nazis to me. That, paired with the martial sound of the snare, led me to make the logical leap to the theme music from "Hogan's Heroes".

3. One of the main characters on "Hogan's Heroes" was Cpl. Newkirk, a role played by Richard Dawson, who had also been a regular on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In". It was from THAT comedy variety that I knew Richard Dawson had once attempted a singing career. The (awful) psychedelic "Apples and Oranges" seemed to follow the natural course in my mind.

4. It was mid-afternoon when I did the playlist, so the talk of all that delicious fruit brought me to the next song, by Duran Duran "Hungry Like The Wolf".

5. It was inevitable, I guess. The mention of the wolf did it. It made me think of my dog, Daisy, who is a malamute husky. She likes when I sing this last song to her. I realize she probably hears "Daisy Daisy, blah blah blah blah blah blah" but she still seems to like it.

Were you able to follow the logic? Does it matter? As long as it made sense to me ...

It's Thursday and ...


14 February 2011

That VALENTINEY Feeling ...

Wow, people are touchy these days. So a toy company released a teddy bear that might have seemed a little ... insensitive ... to some. Seriously, who wouldn't be happy to receive this cute stuffy for Valentine's Day? He comes with his own little straight jacket and everything. But nooooo! It's been withdrawn from the market and now NOBODY can have one. Not fair! So not fair!

"Crazy For You Bear" (Vermont Teddy Bear Company 2005)

11 February 2011

Five for Friday - Playing For Change

The movement is called "Playing For Change". Over 100 musicians participate, street performers, music amateurs and professionals from all over the world who share a common belief that music breaks down barriers between people and inspires peace despite fundamental differences. Basically, the crew of "Playing For Change" travels around the world to record and connect people through music.

But it's so much more. Please take the time to check out their websites. (the information) (the foundation)

Instead of my usual Playlist, I've embedded videos. The reasons for this are simple enough - you need to see the faces of the performers. You need to see where they come from and how passionately committed they are to this idea. Most of them are not studio musicians. Many of them are living in regions of great poverty and want. ALL of them believe in the power of music. This is a powerful movement, one that has the potential to really shake things up. We all need to believe in something good. This is my positive vibe for the day. It's great music - enjoy!

09 February 2011

Wordless Wednesday: I. GOT. MY. TICKETS!


03 February 2011

The B-man on Five for Friday

I've got nothing. The idea mill seems to have run dry this week. So I've shamelessly passed the buck, so to speak. My seven year old kid is blogging for me today. Without further ado, allow me to introduce:


Hi Momys frends.I am going to tell you som jokes that I like.I lernd them at school from my frends.haha Momy said noooooooooo not them ones!Any ways.When I was little I liked nok nok jokes the best but now I am big I like funy jokes beter.Like what do you get when you put a rat cacher in a cow paster?A cow pide piper.haha See thats funy!OK heres another one.What do porkypines say when they kiss?Ow!Momy teached me that one.Its not very funy thogh.I like this one beter.Why did the skwirl cross the road?To show his frend hes got guts.hahahaha get it?Momy dont think thats funy but I do.Do you now why fish live in salt water?Because peper makes them sneze.That joke is funy to but not as funy as this one.Why was the nose sad?Because nobody picked him.Steve teached me that one and Momy said he is a bad infloens.I think Steve is cool thogh.
Ok now I get to pick 5 songs that I like.Momy and Steve said I am a metel head.I like to lisen to all kinds of music thogh.This will be the funest part because I'm tirred of tiping now.By for now.
love Bman

Weather Forecast, Rodent Style

So Shubenacadie Sam saw his shadow yesterday. I guess that means instead of six weeks of winter remaining, we only have a month and a half ... IF the snow melts in time ...

02 February 2011

Bono ... U2 ... OMG! OMG!

General excited incoherence still residing here.

Bono Quotes:

We've got to follow through on our ideals or we betray something at the heart of who we are.
The less you know, the more you'll believe.

To be one, to be united is a great thing. But to respect the right to be different is maybe even greater.

Books! I dunno if I ever told you this, but books are the greatest gift one person can give another.

We thought we had the answers - it was the questions we had wrong.

Music can change the world because it can change people.
In the end, you have to become the change you want to see in the world.