Friday, February 16, 2018

Hi, can I discuss with you?

That's all there was: no long sob story about being a Nigerian millionaire dying of cancer and YOU are my beneficiary, and could you send your bank account numbers--nothing like that. Not even a link to a website selling Viagra (WHY do they send such emails to "lady writer"--but I guess nowadays, you never know, do you!).

I was cleaning out my Spam folder today, and shockingly, it contained only one email. The subject heading was RE, and the entire body of the email was that one short request. The email address ended thus: (what's the fr? Not France, surely? But I guess there could be Nigerians living there too.)

Nope, none of that. Just "Hi, can I discuss with you?" It sounded so lonely and pathetic. I was almost tempted to reply. Almost.

But then again, I don't have the comedic genius of James Veitch.

Happy Friday, even if it is the first Friday in Lent.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

From Our Belgio-Canadian Friend

By whom, of course, I mean Mark Steyn. Read his latest on our culture’s ongoing descent into a technologically advanced Dark Age.

Can cheesecake go bad?

I can't even believe I'm asking that question. I bought this the first week of February in honour of our granddaughter's birthday, and since there are only now four people living in my house and none of them are toddlers (it's SO quiet!) and we've been taking turns being sick with phlegmy coughs, stomach issues and so forth... that here we are, a WEEK LATER, and there are still some slices in the fridge. And, as Miss P#5 lugubriously lamented when she was four, "It'th Lent." So should I keep it till Sunday, or should I freeze it? 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

He's a Chain Breaker

Mrs. Pinkerton has graciously invited me to resume blogging, even though I have left her to do all the heavy lifting for the past four years or so. Hence, I have decided I would give up not blogging for Lent. Writing every day is a tough habit to get back into, so I'm going to start small, by sharing something beautiful I first encountered on Christ Pratt's FaceBook page. (Christ Pratt is openly Christian in Hollywood - something even more rare and valuable than a superhero.) Listen to the song, read the lyrics. It's a good meditation with which to end the first day of Lent.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Never mind the pancakes

Or the Shrove* (got shriven two days ago, so I'm actually ahead of the game for once). Today was Vodka Tuesday at my house. I was going to post a photo of my empty vodka bottle (really, there was only one ounce left) but as soon as it was empty, my tidy hubby (God bless him) whisked it away to the recycling bag and it's already been carted away. But it was this brand.

I'm really not much of a drinker, but I do like my occasional glass of red wine, and the less occasional mixed drink (vodka with something fruity or spiced rum with cola, mainly). So it's a natural thing to give up for Lent. Funny--last year Lent felt so long. How long? This long: I was using mouthwash one evening at bed time towards the end of Lent, and --oh dear-- I was actually tempted to swallow. (I didn't.)

* Given the whole Shrove Tuesday thing, I wonder how many people think that word means "pancake." It doesn't; it's a verb. Found that out in Shakespeare class, reading Romeo and Juliet. So I'd like to think that B.A. degree wasn't a total waste of time and money.

Monday, February 12, 2018

That time Jesus was Pro-Choice

I'll explain.

It’s a day late, but I wanted to share some prayers and random musings from Sunday Mass. Last Sunday was the 6th in Ordinary Time. Because it was also Feb 11, it was the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, which has been proclaimed by the Church the ‘World Day of the Sick.’

As a side note, people often complain that they "don't get anything" out of church, prayer, etc. But the stark reality is that we must put something in first, namely effort and a hopeful attitude. It's like the guy who says, "Lord, fill my cup," and then he holds up a thimble. But sometimes we don't even go so far as holding up the thimble.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Guess where I am.

Some of you already know. Most of you don't, but I'll tell you. HERE! I'm so excited. If I die of a heart attack tonight, you can be comforted knowing that I died in a state of grace (went to confession recently), extremely happy, and relatively sorted.

Ok, one more video

This is so incredibly cute! I'll bet Frank Sinatra, wherever he is (heaven, I hope) is smiling if he can see her.


Sing it while you can*.

I'm travelling today, so this might be all you get. But it's enough, trust me.

*Alleluia, that is. Lent begins Wednesday.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Should I apply for a government arts grant?

I think I should. Call me strange, but one of the things I enjoy about gardening is seeing the extremely weird things that vegetables can do. Here, two little twin baby onions decided to sprout from another dried up old onion. I liked the different textures and interesting layers, and I photographed it from different angles, partly so that I could use it as a model for drawing class exercises with my 13-year old. (We're using Betty Edwards' text/method this year.)

But maybe I should also try to launch an Art career. I could photoshop the background a bit (make it more blurry, and maybe pinkish), print the images up on large canvasses, and write up an abstract about how these sprouts...

Friday, February 9, 2018

Touching heaven

Chopin at work

It's possible, and you can do it every day. There are so many ways: love, prayer, good food (as long as you don't overeat), acts of kindness, walking in the park, holding a baby, reading a good book, visiting a friend, wine (again, not too much lol), hugs, great art: MUSIC. Oh my goodness, music.

I get to touch heaven all the time at my house. I am so, SO blessed (in many ways) but in particular because my daughters --all seven of them-- are beautiful and talented musicians (sorry, girls! Moms have to brag sometimes). I have a large CD collection (that makes me sound so old, now that everything is online), and I also stream hours of music through YouTube. I'm SO old, that I'm still afraid of Spotify and Apple Music and other stuff I don't fully understand. But I DO have an iTunes account, and I've even purchased albums online, so there is hope for me yet.

But my greatest joy (artistically speaking) is live music. And I get to hear it nearly every day. My 15-year-old daughter is currently learning this piece. Chopin. Pretty sure I would die without him.

Here is the great Vladimir Ashkenazy. I have his 5-CD set The Chopin Experience (Mrs Beazly, get a load of this price!! Aren't you glad you bought it in 1996 for a bit less?)

There there is THIS GUY. I am so proud he's Canadian (though everyone calls him "Polish-Canadian," which is OK, because he is the son of Polish immigrants. Chopin was Polish too, despite the French name. What is it with those artistic Poles? Thank God for them anyway).

To call Jan Lisiecki a 'prodigy' is a misnomer, even though he finished high school when he was like 12 or something, and he's been an internationally touring concert pianist since he was 15. I have seen him perform three whole times. It is a sublime experience, as you may well imagine.

We were not allowed to take pictures during the performance, of course; I took this before Jan took to the stage. We were front row, centre. The picture is horrible, dark and blurry, but it's proof (yes, thanks to Google, spying on us 24/7 through our smartphones, I can prove that this picture was taken at the foot of the stage on the night Jan Lisiecki performed at TCU Place in Saskatoon last September). I was close enough to stand up and touch his shoe. Which of course I didn't do, because I did not want to frighten Mr. Lisiecki, or be arrested.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

This is kind of cool

And in order to enjoy it, you don't even have to be a rabid David Bowie fan, which I sort of am. Apparently this choir came together on 24 hours' notice or something crazy like that. The unifying power of music. The choir comprises old, young, cool, nerdy, the works. Must have been great fun.

(Hat tip: Saskatoon Symphony on Facebook.)

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

I ran today!

Well, not on the treadmill, or outside. In fact, the total distance was only about 20 feet. But I ran (in my basement) and I didn't pass out, or even feel dizzy afterwards, which is a small miracle. So thank you, my lovely friend, who sent me the Miracle Prayer the other day. I think it helped.

My ears are still popping, but the dizziness is much better. I'm looking forward to feeling normal again, and getting back to some kind of fitness routine.

But not this. I include it because it's so hilarious. Jazzercize was probably THE number one reason why people started hating exercise in the 1980s. I mean, for most of us, it's all we can manage to get up and MOVE, never mind working hairspray, choreography, and smiling into the picture. Enjoy.