Classical Music

This is my son's first year in band, and even though his sister is an extraordinary viola player, he really hasn't gotten into classical music. His teacher is changing that though, one composition at a time (thanks Ms. Crawford!). She started off with The Barber of Seville (Bugs Bunny, anyone? Anyone?), and moved on to the William Tell Overture. Now she has moved onto Holst. My son came home last night, immediately got onto the computer to share his new love with me. I love classical music on my own--but I don't think I've heard this before, and I am now in love too...

St Paul's Suite - Gustav Holst

St. Pauls Suite, IV Finale - Gustav Holst

Listen and love...


It's baseball time of year, here...and I am happy! Not because I love watching major league baseball, or college baseball, or professional baseball...No, it's because I love watching kids learn to love the art of playing baseball. My husband and I are on our local Little League board and opening day was yesterday. Not only was it a blast--hey, after all there were 6 exhibition games! But it was also fun to watch all those kids get excited about playing--and hey, even watching other kids play baseball.

My husband coaches one of the "Major League" teams. These boys can be so hard on themselves if they make a mistake. He has been working on making the game fun again for these boys. Every practice he asks them "Do you want to have fun, or do you want to win the pennant?" The funny thing is, they always ask him what he means by having fun. He tells them he wants to make the games exciting for them and the spectators. He tells them by fun he means if they walk to first base on a ball, he wants them to run and he will have them immediately steal second base. If they get called out because of it, he wants them to laugh because they tried something kinda exciting--and anyway, the coach called the play--it was his fault they got called out.

You know what? The boys have decided they want to have fun. And you know what I think? I think that by having fun, they might actually win the pennant....


I laugh, I love, I hope, I try, I hurt, I need, I fear, I cry. And I know you do the same things too, So we're really not that different, me and you.
~Colin Raye

What a Life we Lead

In the wanderings of my mind this morning, I started thinking about how much our life today is the same as it has been throughout time. Yes--I know how different things are, but I sometimes think we dwell on that too much. Let's take a look at what's the same about our lives...
  • We sleep every night. Pretty much in some kind of bed, be it made out of pine needles and a makeshift blanket or the plushest feather bed around.
  • We wake up every morning, probably hungry.
  • We feed ourselves and our family.
  • We work--either at home or someplace else. We can perhaps compare this to hunter-gatherer societies where some go out hunting during the day and others stay closer to home gathering.
  • We raise our children.
  • We love. Our spouses, our family, our friends. We love them all.
  • We worship some kind of higher power (let's leave this one open to interpretation a bit--I may believe in some kind of God, and another may believe in Science, and another may believe in Philosophy, and yet another may believe in Money, and so on, and so on, and so on...)
  • We crave company--even if today it is just some kind of internet companionship or connection.
  • We create art, from the littlest doodles to the biggest cave drawings.
I don't really know what my point is for all of this. I just felt compelled to think about it, and to share it with you. Our basic history is the same, for all that we are different. Maybe it is just time for me to think about the similarities...


Sometimes I wake up and I don't know where I am. And I don't talk to anybody. Sometimes a day. Sometimes a week. Can't put it out of my mind.
John Rambo

Rambo: The Musical

Well, maybe not a musical. But definitely a stage production. How weird is it that we live in a world where 'Rambo' has been made into a theater production. Hmmmm...what a world, indeed.

Michelle Obama on Her Mother and Feeding Her Children

“When I remind her that the girls had ice cream after school, she says, ‘Why can’t they have pie now?’ I’m like, ‘Who are you? What did you do with my mother?’ ”
~Michelle Obama

Now in Season: Real Food

"At the heart of the sustainable-food movement is a belief that America has become efficient at producing cheap, abundant food that profits corporations and agribusiness, but is unhealthy and bad for the environment.

The federal government is culpable, the activists say, because it pays farmers billions in subsidies each year for growing grains and soybeans. A result is an abundance of corn and soybeans that provide cheap feed for livestock and inexpensive food ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup.

They argue that farm policy — and federal dollars — should instead encourage farmers to grow more diverse crops, reward conservation practices and promote local food networks that rely less on fossil fuels for such things as fertilizer and transportation."

Andrew Martin, New York Times

I am a fan of the sustainable food movement, but (and it's a big but)... I believe it is incredibly important to make food affordable for everybody. I think everybody is entitled to good, healthy, food. I also believe that the subsidies that large, corporate farms get encourage them to make the biggest profit for the least amount of money--and it is a detriment to the health of us all.

I also believe that our schools (public schools) have the worst nutrition and food choices available. Vegetarian options in my school district (the 5th largest district in the United States) have cheese in every single option. White bread, greasy foods, and nothing tastes good. When my daughter was in school, the school cooked all of the foods (I don't know if this was the whole district or the fact that we live in a rural area, even though we are part of an extremely large district). Now, all the foods are processed and come in prepackaged containers. My son refuses to eat school lunches. My family is in the position that we can afford to send lunch every day, with healthy options--but we recognize that not everyone can do that. You almost can't beat the cost of school lunches, especially if you get subsidized or free lunch. Be that as it may, I think there is a way to get fresh, healthy food back in our school lunch rooms.

I don't have all the answers. Actually, I don't have any--but I recognize the problem. Food is essential to living. We need to figure out how to get back to basics and start eating real food that is REALLY good for us. All of us. Especially those of us with little money.

On being the President of the United States of America

It's “a little like ‘American Idol,’ except everyone is Simon Cowell — everyone has an opinion.”
~President Barack Obama

Bite the Hand that Feeds...

In the news this morning is the article referenced above...which states that AIG is suing the government. In effect--trying to get even MORE money from the government than it already has. What is the matter with this, people?

We are going to screw our customers, try to cheat on our taxes (but we're caught, so we have to pay up), almost fail and get bailed out by the taxpayers, who also happen to be our customers, pay out over $100 million dollars in bonuses to the very people who got us into this mess, and now we are going to sue the government in an attempt to get the money back that we had to pay when we tried to cheat on our taxes.

And they wonder why we're mad...

White House Vegetable Garden

I have to tell you--I love this idea. As the years have passed, I have made an (not concerted...) effort to get back to basics. I have decluttered my house on many an occasion (thanks, Flylady!), simplified the Christmas gift giving process, and tried to grow my own garden.

Of course, I live in the desert, where several 115° days are not uncommon in the summer. And since we moved into this new house (5 years ago), I have had trouble with the hard clay soil. This year, though, is different. With my husband's help, I've built some raised beds and filled them with "good" soil from the hardware store. I already have my tomato plants planted, and I have plans for cucumbers, squash, peppers, beans, melons, and various herbs. So to read an article like this gives me a "feel-good" sensation, which is always nice!

Think about growing your own garden. It's a good idea for many reasons--it will save you money, it will help you get closer to nature, the fresh vegetables are not only better for your body--but the taste is sooooo much better than anything you can get at the grocery store. If you don't have space for a garden, consider checking into a local community garden. And if you live in the desert (like I do), putter along trying to make it work. Go to your local cooperative extension office.

Someday, you'll thank me.

PRESIDENT OBAMA, on executive bonuses at the American International Group

"Washington is all in a tizzy over who’s at fault. Some say it’s the Democrats’ fault, the Republicans’ fault. Listen, I’ll take responsibility, I’m the president."

CNBC - Snake Oil Salesmen?

Did you happen to see Jim Cramer from Mad Money on The Daily Show? Admittedly, Jon Stewart is a comedian, but his canvas is the media. So when he is poking fun at the media, not only is he showing us the ridiculousness of it all, he is showing us how it really is.

Here's the video if you didn't see it:

It is unusual for Jon Stewart to actually get mad on his show, but you know what--he is mad, and so should we all be. Unfortunately for Jim Cramer, he has become the face of this (at least on the Daily Show), but he is just one of many. We should all be angry at how we were duped by the financial industry, and we should be mad at those who were supposed to protect us from such folly, and we should be furious at the irresponsibles (not) reporting about it until it was too late.

Anyway, my point really is that we should all be paying attention to what is happening in our world. I am not hot on the idea of a populist uprising in response to our economy, but I am mad, and I think we are all responsible for keeping ourselves informed on what's going on.

What did Obama say? "We should not govern in anger..." This is true whether you are the head of a country, head of a state, head of a city, or head of a family. But, damn it, it's hard sometimes...

Coffee and the Economy

Isn't it interesting that something we've been drinking for centuries has become such a designer item? And that designer status may be in danger because of the economy? Well, maybe not. History shows us that when it comes to food and beverage, a shrinking economy generally causes us to eat at home more, cook at home more, and brew our own coffee. As coffee has risen in popularity as a designer item, the availability of all things coffee has skyrocketed. I can go to my local grocery store (and mind you, I live in a town of less then 10,000 inhabitants) and pick up a large variety of flavored coffee and coffee creamers. If I travel just 30 miles down the road, all sorts of coffee extras are available for my consumption, and 60 miles down the road is a virtual amusement park of all things coffee. And don't forget the internet! By utilizing that ubiquitous mechanism, not only can I buy American made coffee stuffs, but also coffee and accessories world wide. Coffee's designer status is probably not going to change during the current economic times, but it may be in for a makeover...

Kitty, kitty, kitty

A good bath accompanied by a good friend...that's all I need. :)
Wow! What a crazy life!

So, a lot has happened since the last time I updated this blog. It was gonna be fun, and then life got in the way. So, I guess I need to work on making it fun again. So, bear with me while I figure out what's going on and what I am going to share. It will be fun, it just may take a while. :)

until I figure it out.