Wednesday, February 25, 2015

corner view: warmth

Corner View is a weekly appointment - each Wednesday - created by Jane (Spain) and curated by Francesca (Italy), where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme.  The theme this week is "warmth" and comes from Beth (US).

This has been a wild winter for us here in the eastern part of the US. We've had unrelenting periods of frigid temperatures, wind, snow and ice. The kids around here have missed so much school  and yet, it's just been too brutal for them to go outside and enjoy their snow days. Are we ready for Spring and the warmth that it brings? Oh yes!

I suspect they'd rather be in the water rather than on it!
Spray from the falling water creates beautiful ribbons of ice.
Django loves it when it snows!
Dobby prefers to be under the blankets when the temperatures drop.

Monday, February 23, 2015

things worth sharing: 2/23/15

Some things I thought were worth sharing today. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!

1. My Own Life: Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer. A beautiful, thoughtful, touching essay.  

2. "Their “studio” was a dingy, v-shaped warehouse attic. No acoustical tiles, no drum booth, no double-sealed glass window; they played and sang in the same room with their tape deck and mixing board, which were a TEAC half-inch 8-track and a cheap, used Soundcraft, respectively." The story of how the Eurythmics recorded the Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) album. 

3. Quote:For what it’s worth: it’s never too late... to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”   ~Eric Roth

4. Rare Beatles and Rolling Stones photos being released for the first time through the Grammy Museum. Numbered, limited edition, never before seen. Selections to be rolled out monthly through 2017. Even if you don’t buy it’s going to be fun to experience this collection come to light.

5. Do you know about the on-line series, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee? Good laughs: Jerry Seinfeld style! You're sure to find an episode that has you laughing out loud.



Thursday, February 19, 2015

you get to choose...

You get to choose. Your thoughts are truly powerful and you get to choose how to process the negative events around you and the disappointments in your life. Perhaps someone important to you didn't show up, your boss didn't come through with the raise you were hoping for, the house or car you bought turned out to be a real lemon, you got picked last for the soccer team, your mother is pretty awful at mothering. The opportunities for disappointment in life are endless, but how you think about these things and the way that you choose to respond...that's your choice. Complaining and criticizing isn't going to help. In fact, when you swim in that murky negativity pond you are limiting yourself and your opportunities to move past and to move forward. So don't linger for too long, pondering what went wrong or why something happened (or didn't happen) the way it did. Focus your energy and thoughts on finding a silver lining in the situation. Focus on moving forward, not on looking back. You get to choose where you focus your attention and energy. You get to choose.

Monday, February 16, 2015

things worth sharing: 2/16/15

Some things I thought were worth sharing today. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!

1. Who wrote the most romantic love letter of all time? It wasn't Keats or Hemingway. According to the Daily Mail, the British company Beagle Street commissioned a poll to ask people their opinions on the most romantic love letter ever written. Though they had a famously tumultuous marriage, Johnny Cash's letter to wife June Carter ranked #1 in the poll results. June passed away in 2003 and Johnny passed away just 4 months later. You can read his sweet words here

2. Most Grammy Award-winning individuals of all time, as of 2014?
According to, Sir Georg Solti, an orchestral and operatic conductor, leads the pack. And the rest?
Sir Georg Solti:  31
Quincy Jones, Alison Krauss:  27
Pierre Boulez:  26
Vladimir Horowitz:  25
U2, Stevie Wonder:  22
Kanye West, John Williams:  21
Chick Corea, Vince Gill, Henry Mancini, Pat Metheny, Bruce Springsteen, Al Schmitt:  20
Jay-Z:  19
Sir Paul McCartney, Aretha Franklin,, Jimmy Sturr:  18
BeyoncĂ©, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, YoYo Ma:  17

3. Quote:  The enemy of fear. We're all born creative, it takes a little while to become afraid. A surprising insight: an enemy of fear is creativity. Acting in a creative way generates action, and action persuades the fear to lighten up. ~  Seth Godin

4. The new Audubon website now has the complete first folio, including high-resolution scans of the plates. They're so high quality that you can zoom in and see the amazing detail in the watercolors. They're almost paintings within paintings. Printed between 1827 and 1838, it contains 435 life-sized watercolors of North American birds, all made from hand-engraved plates.

5. How to say something nice about someone's art, when you have nothing nice to say...


Friday, February 13, 2015

perfect people...

Perfect people...
..wear tailored suits or overalls, hijabs or kippah, Adidas or Birkenstocks...
..have kids, adopt kids, don't have kids, or instead they've adopted a dog... marathons or huff & puff when they walk around the block...
..have big bank balances, run out of money before the next payday...
..perform music, listen to music...
..worship in a church, a mosque, a temple or during a walk in the woods...
..have lots of friends, prefer to be alone...
..have grey hair in their 20's, have dark hair in their 60's, have no hair at all...
..did or said something in their past that they wish they could take back...
..have partners of the opposite gender, same gender, or no partner at all - and that's ok...
..were raised in the North, were raised in the South...
..have skin tones of deep rich coffee, soft creamy white, or anything in between...
..focused on the arts in school, focused on the sciences...
..are content at home, travel the world in search of themselves...
..are curvaceous, Rubenesque, willowy or gaunt... in the city, live in the county, live in the west, live in the east... for broadcast sporting events, would rather read a book...
..are farmers, are stock brokers, are looking for work, are making their own way, are retired.
Perfect people...are perfectly unique.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

corner view: love in my corner

Corner View is a weekly appointment - each Wednesday - created by Jane (Spain) and curated by Francesca (Italy), where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme.  The theme this week is "love in my corner" and comes from Kari (England).

Mother Nature is constantly trying to remind us that love is all around.
We just need to take notice.

 It's no wonder that we use flowers to express emotions for us, whether it be love,
sweet remembrances, or final good-byes.
"Sweet flowers alone can say what passion fears revealing," ~Thomas Hood

Monday, February 9, 2015

things worth sharing: 2/9/15

Some things I thought were worth sharing today. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!
The Scream?
1.  A detailed look at the story behind Blood on the Tracks and captivating Dylan history. Well worth the time for anyone who is a fan: “Letting his genius collapse for the sake of a quiet life with his kids couldn’t really continue. And, as the ’70s progressed, the tension between the two sides of his nature slowly tore him in half. Like some awful horror tale, the more he tried to flee from his fame, the more he circled back into its grip. He had left Woodstock’s supposed idyll in late 1969, dismissing it as a “daily journey into nothingness”. Moving his family into the heart of his old Greenwich Village haunts, though, was hardly likely to shake off his fans. When he walked the streets there, he felt stared at like “a giant jungle rat”, a disgusting, unnatural freak. Self-styled “Dylanologist” AJ Weberman made things worse. He picketed Dylan’s house, berating him with a bullhorn for abandoning his flock. He rooted through Dylan’s garbage, looking for clues. He even shoved past an outraged Sara to try to breach their apartment. Dylan eventually battered his tormentor in the street. But dreams of a normal New York life were smashed.” Read the whole article here. 

2. Great quote I came upon recently:
"Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character; and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man."   ~Schopenhauer
3. The 1997 anime film, Princess Mononoke, is the story of a struggle between forest gods, the creatures who live in the lush mountains of Japan and the humans who consume its resources. Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and beautifully animated by the wonderful Studio Ghibli. You're going to want to check out Miyazki's other films too. They're amazing.
4. Lidia Bastianich's recipe for Zuppa Gallurese is a must-try during these cold months. It can easily be converted for vegetarians by substituting in no-chicken or vegetable broth. This will become one of your favorites. (I use a less cheese than is called for and it's still amazing comfort food) 
5. Graymatter's song Cloud 9, written by Brad and Barry Gray. Fun to perform, fun to record.  For even more of the session, you can see the outtakes here and Graymatter's Facebook page here.  

Friday, February 6, 2015

magic happens

Magic occurs when time ceases to exist. For me, as a member of a band, a piece of the mix that melds instruments and voices, rhythm and movement, harmonies and memories, into an experience to be shared...we set the stage for magic to happen. For us, the enchantment does happen when harmonies swirl around the room, bouncing off walls, reverberating back to us. And for a time, we are transported.

And magic happens when we look out into the darkened room and we see someone listening to a slow, sweet song, their eyes closed, face relaxed and smiling. And magic happens when, during a vigorously dynamic song, with steady, driving rhythm and closely knit vocals, we look out and see dancers lost in the moment. Animated, arms swinging and feet swiftly moving, there's a look: eyes seeing but not seeing, movements made easily and perfectly in sync with the music...that's magic too. Time ceases to exist for them and for us too. It's the perfect moment and one that we're always chasing. Enveloped in this moment, there is no desire for something more, nothing more than what this perfect moment has to offer. Time ceases to exist...and it's magic.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

corner view: poem

Corner View is a weekly appointment - each Wednesday - created by Jane (Spain) and curated by Francesca (Italy), where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme.  The theme this week is " poem" and comes from Joanne (Japan) and Ibabe (Basque Country).

Shel Silverstein was an American poet, singer-songwriter, cartoonist, screenwriter, peace-activist and author of children's books. After listening to the news this morning of escalating hatred, unthinkably barbaric acts and retaliation, this poem seems appropriate.  Peace...

Monday, February 2, 2015

things worth sharing: 2/2/15

Some things I thought were worth sharing today. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!

1. Elephants roaming the hills of Tennessee!  The Elephant Sanctuary is designed specifically for old, sick, or needy female elephants who have been retired from zoos and circuses. Spanning more than 2700 acres, it provides three separate and protected, natural-habitat environments for Asian and African elephants. Their residents are not required to perform or entertain for the public: instead, they are encouraged to live like elephants. Why only females? It is not natural for adult female and male Asian elephants to live together. Asian elephants are matriarchal by nature. In the wild, the female herds are made of up related females: the grandmother, mothers, aunts, sisters, and nieces. They are truly a family led by the oldest, wisest females. visit their website for lots more information about this remarkable sanctuary! 
photo source: Elephant Sanctuary Facebook page
2.  Struggling to find what you're looking for on Google? Try NCKnows! You can connect to a librarian through your computer at any time. By typing messages back and forth in a chat box, they will be able to give you answers, articles and more. It's really easy. They are open 24/7 except for Sat/Sun midnight-8am.

3.  We watched a beautiful movie this week. Beautiful in its photography, soundtrack, story and acting. The movie is Ladies in Lavender and stars Dames Judy Dench and Maggie Smith, two women that I adore. Dench and Smith play two elderly sisters, living in a tiny, secluded hamlet on the English coast. After a violent storm, they find a young man washed up on shore and from there, their lives are remarkably changed. 

4.  Do you know about pygmy seahorses? They are some of the smallest seahorse species in the world, typically measuring less than 2 cm (smaller than a pencil eraser!) They camouflage themselves among coral and were first discovered in a lab as scientists were examining a certain type of coral. Interesting fact: male pygmy seahorses brood their young in their trunks, rather than in a pouch on their tail, as other seahorses do.
 5.  Watching this short film will be the best 16 minutes you spend this week. 8 1/2+ million people can't be wrong. You just never know when a kind word from you will turn a day/week/life around. Enjoy Validation.  (and yes, that's Jack Hodgins from Bones)