Monday, 26 July 2010

I think I'll head to Carter Hall and live in a Laura...

As I was thinking today about music, and past years, and warmer things, I remembered the story of Tam Lin. After all, Meme wrote a story based around the old ballad for me a few years ago.

Yes, my brain is that random. And I remembered my dear Jhaniel mentioning that she liked to dance one of the Tam Lin tunes. Since I was pretty sure she'd sent me a version of it, I hunted it down.

What do you know? it was on the jump-drive I'd been using for downloading about 8 GB of photos earlier. Then I just had to share it you with, since I'm on this "post the music I like" binge right now. But, of course, I couldn't get it to load from my iTunes to the blog.

Why are technology and computers so complicated? And why don't I understand them better? I guess I'll just go back to the stone ages now. Or at least Walden.

Instead, I'll leave you with this rather interesting modern version of the Ballad of Tam Lin, and go off singing "Oh, in Carter Hall, in Carter Haaaallllll!!!!!!!!!!!!"

And maybe I'll find a laura. I'd like a laura.

Go Gently

It's still raining.

I'm still listening to Kate Rusby.

How could I not when she's got lovely songs like this one? It makes me slow down and remember that there's still lots of things to be happy about in life, even if the rain and the pain in the wrists try to make me believe otherwise.

May you keep warm and joyful today!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

We Are the Custard Pie Appreciation Consortium

Well, after my last rather woe-be-gone post (I hope it wasn't too whiny), I went and listened to some Kate Rusby music.

And rediscovered the wonderfully impish Village Green Preservation Society. I'd forgotten hearing this last January. Anyways, I know it was originally done by a quasi-Beatles group, but I like Rusby's version much better.

I love almost all things British- BBC, books, tea, the accents, their art, their music, their history, Winnie-the-Pooh and umbrellas. With the exception of politics, I can't think of one thing British I don't like. And I don't really like anyone's politics. (Or maybe I just don't like politics in general.) Winnie-the-Pooh was probably what indoctrinated me when I was but two or three. (Before the disgusting Disney movie distortions of the mid-ninties. I hated those...)

So, now I really wish there were such a thing as the Custard Pie Appreciation Consortium (or CPAC for short). I'd totally join that. I love custard pie, even if they're not all the best here in the Frozen Northlands.

What things British do you love? I think in the future, when I get on a Anglo-spree and blog about it, I should call it part of my work for the CPAC.

Mid-Summer Rainy Days That Never End

I was thinking of doing a post about some of my most recent knitting projects- Aran styled squares to be pieced into a blanket. But I wanted to finish my current square, and had that planned for this afternoon after Mass.

But the last week has seen the return of extreme hand/wrist/arm pain. All summer, things have been going pretty well. I have an electric stimulator that I use about five times a week, and that'd taken care of me so far. Then the unending rain and damp won. Last Tuesday, I had to leave a orchestra rehearsal from literal inability to play through the pain. My hand wasn't moving.

I thought it'd be better if I layed off the knitting, typing, etc. that might cause extreme pain in my hands to continue. Normally, the pain would go away after that. But nope- it's still here. I may not be able to play for the August Gala concert, which is pretty much the musical highlight of the summer, and rather of the year.

So, instead of knitting lovely winter-white wool, I'm watching Doctor Who on the computer and drinking tea, and burning incense to get the musty smell out of my room that came with the rain. I feel kinda cooped up, with my inablity to do the things I love. Here's to hoping I get back to knitting soon!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Reflections on the Te Deum

Yesterday, after spending a large chunk of my day reading a wonderful book that my brother lent me called Catholic For A Reason I: Scripture and the Mystery of the Family of God, I went online and was really wanting to listen to some liturgical music.

For years, I've liked the sound of sacred music, especially choral chants. In the past year, I've come to enjoy this type of music even more. In the Lutheran church that I've spent about half my life in, we sing quasi-traditional hymns most of the time, and being a pianist, I played the liturgical music when at home, since the melody line was usually included in the front of our personal hymnals. Last autumn, when I went to HC, I spent the first few weeks visiting various churches, and searching for where God was leading me.

Then I went to the Catholic church one Sunday in mid October, and heard the beautiful liturgical service that was not present in the other churches I'd been to. I fell in love. I went back to my dorm singing snatches of the choral music. Immediately, I compiled a music playlist of sacred music, with the emphasis on Gregorian style chants.

Yesterday, I typed in "Gregorian chants" and it turned up one of my favourites: the Te Deum.

There is such beauty and peace in this song, I can't believe I'd gone months without listening to it. Te Deum was sung before the start of that service in October that I remember so well- they were rehearsing for the next week's service at a monastery nearby and I only hear it because I was the first person to arrive that morning and had been dropped off early. It reminds me of why I kept going to the Catholic church: it was calling me. I attended every Sunday until I went to my grandparents' home in December. January and February, I spent the majority of the daylight hours of every Sunday at Mount Irenaeus, the Franciscan monastery that was about 50 minutes away. Here, it was not just the beautiful liturgy that drew me, but the peace, beauty and simplicity.

Since I've come back to Alaska, I've made it to Mass nearly every week, which worked out well with my work schedule most of the time. And again, I find beauty and joy in the liturgy, in the peaceful music that fills my soul with praise for God.

When I hear it, I can see the stained glass in Fillmore, feel the smooth wooden kneeler under my knees, and smell the sweet incense that burned in the hangers by each of the four windows on each side of the aisles. I can see the Franciscans in their brown habits as they prayed for each of us, feel the linen cushions on the polished wood floors that we sat upon, and see the frosted woods that I came to love as I walked through them every Sunday when it was time to go the the Chapel.

I have a year of beautiful memories tied to this piece of music. It reminds me to be still. It reminds me to pray. It reminds me to accept peace and grace. And this was all before I knew what the words meant. So, now I pray that this prayer may quiet you, and give you peace.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

I Am Heading Down to Hippie-Towne!

On Sunday, we got a new (to us) vihicle for me to use... it's not pretty, but it runs.

So today, I'm heading down to Hippie-Towne to browse my favourite shoppes, walk the beach, and go to an orchestral rehearsal. Okay, so the only one that I really have to do and that caused the trip is the rehearsal, but hey, I haven't been to H-Towne in almost a year.

Maybe by tomorrow, I can load some photos if  I get any good ones while I"m down there.  Cheers!

Monday, 12 July 2010

White Dahlin' Dahlias

Benefits of working at a hothouse- we get to take home cuttings when the plants are over-producing. Saturday, I took home over a dozen dahlia blooms so that the plants wouldn't kill themselves from all the buds.

And this lovely "White Dahlin' Dahlia" is shining pure and radiant down in my room.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Belle and Tink and Co.

So, on Wednesday, I had a golden day. Absolutely lovely, which was exactly what I've been needing for a while. A day when things don't go wrong.

Our first foster girls came for a visit. And I made blue sugared cookies for them. The younger three went into the hot-tub with Mum as Hannah (the eldest) helped me with the baking. Later we watched The Wizard of Oz and ate popcorn.

I read them fairystories; Belle looked at my Cicely Mary Barker books with me and we pretended to be fairies in my room as the other girls played tigers and foxes. I've missed them all so very much. My heart needed to be with them. Now, I can start to heal. And I can see them again.

And we can have tea, and play fairies and tell stories and make pretty things. My Belle and Tink. The other two were never as close, but I also love having them around to play with and talk to. They are getting older, but there's always a special little apartment in my heart for those girls.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Mid-Summer is Supposed to be Warm

I think I'm going through mid-summer blues. It's so cold and grey out that it doesn't seem possible to be July. What happened to our sun? Or our warmth? And what about my energy?

I've managed to pretty much work myself out of my job, as the greenhouse is in the state it usually is around the end of August, beginning of September, when we close. Plus, I somehow hurt my back last week and that took a few days to feel better, and I don't know the next day I'm going to be called in for work. So I'm job-hunting, which is always a discouraging process.

So, yesterday, I had a golden day where none of that could touch me. It was exactly what I needed, and I'll post all about that here soon, when I've got some photos ready.
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