Xavier Rudd

Oh my gosh!  What a break from the white!! I picked up my son from his school at 6:30 and after a burger run, we headed down to the Jack Singer concert hall for the most amazing concert!!  Absolutely spell-binding!  I’ve never seen a crowd out of their seats and dancing in that venue, pressing forward to the stage…it was magic!

The two of us, already having great seats on Orchestra-left, didn’t hesitate to be among the dancers and the pressers!  I’ve a love for music that goes beyond any sort of etiquette and if I can beg for a drumstick from a performer, I will!

The night began with an opening act that the two of us enjoyed so much during summer folk festival…Ndidi Onukwulu and Madagascar Slim!  Phenomenal!  A surprise and a double hit…for us, it was like getting out to two concerts!  She has such an exotic sound.  She is so beautiful!  And her music is so ‘loaded’ with emotion and substance!  It was wonderful!

Xavier Rudd was beyond excellent!  His syncopated song writing was over-the-top!  By end of concert, I was standing plunk in front of him…first row…listening to a beautiful new ballad.  Among his final songs, I was most amazed by the entire sense of the song, Better People.  The stage transformed into a mystical place almost, filtered light…plants…a simple table lamp lit behind him…he gave us his soul when he sang.  His words were reaching into people and their hearts.  His music was captivating and the masses moved to the strong beats.

It was an amazing event to share with my percussionist-son.  I won’t forget it!


Random Act Of Kindness

I woke this morning to find random kindness sprinkled around my kitchen…dishes from upstairs placed neatly in the sink, orange juice made, a little note on the kitchen table…and panscramblers!!!  Pre-made and sitting in the fridge with their cellophane note wrapping them up! The note reads…(in the case that you don’t enlarge the photograph):
My daughter was awake later than I was…and was busy being a Christmas elf!
I made
Help yourselves, but
save some for me!
Start the day off on a good
foot and the rest will follow…
          Love you!
This is such an exciting thing for me….just as yesterday’s morning-call from my first-born did the very same thing for my heart!  Yippee!

Tuesday Morning

BRRRR!  I missed karate last night and drove over to my favourite mega-store to purchase a 50′ long extention chord.  The long chord I had didn’t function anymore…how is that possible?  I taxied over to pick my daughter up from work at the coffee shop and by the time we arrived home safely and off of the icy roads, the female portion of the chord was so darned cold, I had to blow it with a blow dryer to get the thing to connect with the male of the van. Sometimes I feel as though I’d rather our lives be simple…
Given the huge power consumption and surge at this time, the neighbourhood still looked like Vegas last evening, with Christmas lights of every variety lighting up the cold!
Twelve more english papers read again last night while listening to Dave Matthew’s Band music in his weekend concert on The Rock…now, that music and those lyrics warmed me up!

Shower Heads

Well, I DID it myself!  I installed new shower heads!  The tough part was getting one of the old ones off!  Once I used some CLR and a toothbrush, it was easy-schmeezy!  My plumbing activity began yesterday, when out of the blue, my daughter’s hot water tap began pouring water!  While I didn’t manage to get the correct part for that, I DID turn off the hot water there and will proceed with seeking out that solution later today.
The point is that while in the plumbing department of my favourite mega-store, I DID manage to get this project in hand….what a thing to do on an extremely wintry day!


They say it’s -26 this morning, feels like -34…it’s so white and crystals hang in the air.  Everything out the morning window is still, only one man scraping his windshield madly before I came up the stairs to write.  It looks like most people tucked their vehicles into their garages last night.  My van shivers, piled high with crusty snow.
I shoveled the walk three times yesterday.  The snow just kept coming…several drives had to be done during the day and evening and I clenched the steering wheel as so many others, hoping to get home again safely.  It’s been a shock of winter come upon us and we won’t be seeing sunshine until Wednesday perhaps.  The cold temperatures will remain with us for the week. I am starved for colour anyway, and this makes it more difficult.
Another stack of stories read and I must admit that I got my nose into a James King biography on Margaret Laurence.  Oh my…it’s so beautiful!  I wish that I could pour over historical fiction every day.  I love books, as I do writing.
Belle 1974


I left school for a lunch trip to the bank this past week, and found a rabbit tucked in against the brick wall of the school building and under a wild rose bush.  The temperatures had dropped and it seemed that he was stuck to the ice.   As I approached him, he hissed from his throat and I saw on his back leg, pink damaged fur.
The wildlife people suggested by phone, that a cardboard box be used to trap him, if there was some suspicion that he was injured and that then they would come to pick him up.  At the prospect, though, of being trapped in a box, the bunny, white with winter, took flight on his three good legs, dragging an obviously broken fourth leg behind him.  At this point, we were advised that nothing could be done and that nature would take its course.
I have a ‘thing’ about rabbits…I have rabbit stories…and I feel uneasiness about the rabbit who injured, would be facing death in the cold.
...Happy Furry Friday...


When the temperature plummets to -26 and there is a windchill and I am inside my warm home, with a hot cup of coffee, I can not help but think as I curl into my warm robe to read and correct yet another english paper, how fortunate I am to be out of the cold!
Just last night they opened up the Stampede Grandstand to the homeless and the news coverage captured a long long line of shuffling cold homeless slipping in and through the opened doors. 
We have a core of homeless people in our big city who would be deemed the ‘regulars’, people who have been on the streets, living, for years.  But these past few years, our city has become the harbour for an influx of people who are escaping a sad economic situation somewhere else in Canada and they are moving here in hopes of employment during this crazy ‘boom’ of ours.  Most unfortunately, there is little in the way of living accomodation that is at all affordable when you are out on the streets looking for a job!
Some of my friends who volunteer for the "In From the Cold" programs and feed these people in church basements and then set out mats for sleeping that night, have described whole families who come in search for a hot meal.  Children do their homework after their meal and carry a simple lunch of a piece of fruit and a slice of balogne on bread in a brown paper bag next day.
There are many who believe that, ‘They made their beds, let them sleep in them!’  I am of the mind, that where and when you can, you help…you open your doors…you share what you have and can.  Pay it forward. 

Tuesdays With Morrie

It’s been such an absolutely hectic time, with marking english papers, that I have not had much of an opportunity to write here, keep up with my own painting or to do much of anything really!  My last book was finished two weeks ago.  I had previously read Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven.  I’d highly recommend both books.  Tuesdays with Morrie was a story of how the author visited Morrie every Tuesday as his dear friend lost his capacity to do absolutely anything…and yet expanded his mind to the universe.
From the following link,

"Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it.

For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.

Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded, and the world seemed colder. Wouldn’t you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom for your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger?

Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man’s life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final "class": lessons in how to live.

Tuesdays with Morrie is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie’s lasting gift with the world."




Missing Santa!

I had a wonderful time parade-watching again this year!  To make it double-fun, two of my three children were on the parade route.  My son was playing tenor drums with his highschool marching band (leading the parade)and my youngest daughter was accompanying the Stetson’s marching band because this year she is coaching the colour guard team.  It was an awesome event!
The sky was a clear blue today and there was lots of enthusiasm in people, such a contrast to the weather and the mood a short week ago.  I always get so charged up tailing my kids as they march past and so thrilled to see the Calgary Stampede Showband (always at the tail end of the parade route), that this year I MISSED SANTA in his sleigh!!  Sheesh!  There is just something WRONG about that!
This evening I had the chance to sit with my friend’s little guy…what an amazing and fun-filled time the two of us had!  His smile melts my heart and I giggle as I feed him pablum and he splashes EVERYTHING during his bath.  He was sleeping on my chest at the end of the evening..absolutely played out!  What a fantastic time!
I’ve just arrived home from a drive to the University…my son is attending a concert by one of the world’s greatest Marimba players…

The beat goes on

By Tokie Brideaux

"How many percussion instruments can one musician handle at a time? Michael Burritt tests the limits.

As part of the Celebrity Series at the University of Calgary, the percussion soloist will play xylophone (an arrangement of wooden bars of various length that is struck by a mallet), vibraphone (similar to a xylophone but with metal bars), tom-tom (a cylindrical drum with no snare), crotales (antique cymbals), almglocken (tuned cowbells), water gong (a musical gong that is dipped into a tank of water for a glissando effect) and shekere (a large Latin instrument like a gourd with beads woven into a net covering).

In the first half of performances on Nov. 17 and 18, Burritt will display his talent on marimba. In the second half of the program, he will perform American composer Joseph Schwantner’s Concert for Percussion with the U of C Wind Ensemble (with director/conductor Dr. Glenn Price).

Burritt is also an active composer—one of his concertos premiered in Paris this year and he has written numerous solo and chamber works for marimba and other percussion instruments.

U of C audiences will hear two of his works, as well as pieces by J.S. Bach, Argentinean composer Alejandro Vinao and American experimental music composer John Cage.

Sunday Night

I feel filled up with sunshine!  It was an absolutely exhausting week and I wondered how I could possibly manage through the sort of work that faced me only days ago.  However, I remained at school until 9:30 Friday night…put in a full day there on Saturday and took care of my data input for the November report cards.  While it was intense, it feels so good to have it done.
I attended Mass on Saturday afternoon and after picking up my son at work last evening, I packed up my swimsuit and headed for Speargrass.  It is so good for me to have little retreat-moments and while I shared in a bit of work with my friends out there, it was a different sort of work and I came home this afternoon feeling rejuvenated and ready for the next pile of marking.
This morning there was a soft mauve fog nestled over the Bow River and birds strung across the skies in a magical sort of weft of soft blue and white.  Magpies skipped on the snow, leaving prints behind them.  The bright pink sun slowly warmed the landscape…gradually from east to west…a beautiful awakening.
While last night there was hardly a car on the highway in the deep blackness except for mine, there were many on the road this afternoon…so many trucks heading south with their loads…quietly, I whispered my trucker’s prayer.