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

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.