Saturday, April 30, 2011

Seventy First Post - Z

We did it!
Give yourself a hand!
Happy Z Day!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Seventieth Post - Y

Five things I did YESTERDAY!

1. Yearned for a day off work.
2. Yielded to traffic while driving.
3. Yucked it up in the staff room.
4. Yelled "YESSSSSSSSS!" when the Vancouver Canucks won game one in round two.
5. Yakked on the phone.

Yesterday, I wrote a better post.

Happy Y Day!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sixty Ninth Post - X

In addition to teaching ukulele, I also incorporated the Orff method of music education. One of the most requested activity during Orff lessons was playing on the xylophones.

 We had bass (biggest), alto (medium sized) and soprano (smallest) 
xylophones at my school.

To help the students remember which were the xylophones as opposed to metallophones or glockenspiels, I taught them this ditty:

Xylophones have wooden bars, wooden bars, wooden bars.
Xylophones have wooden bars, rosewood bars.

Believe it or not, the kids loved the tune and it helped them remember
which instrument to sit behind. FYI, metallophones
have metal bars and glockenspiels have tiny, shiny bars.

Those were good times!
Happy X Day!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sixty Eighth Post - W


I have written several posts (including one more to come) about my experiences as an elementary music teacher. Those were good days. It was a great gig. You may wonder (or not) why I switched from teaching music to counselling. Good question!

Simple answer.
Budget cuts.
Music classes were cut! Ugggg!

Rather than going into the twilight of my career as a classroom teacher, I returned to University and completed an MA in counselling.

Funny story:
Counsellors have been cut and I'm contemplating a return once again to the role of classroom teacher.

As I pondered the question WHY, I was reminded of  a reflection called, "WHY I TEACH MUSIC?" which I kept posted on my music room door. It captures the essence of the passion I had as a music teacher.

                       Why Teach Music?
Music is a SCIENCE
It is exact, specific, and it demands exact acoustics.
A conductor's full score is a chart, a graph that indicates frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody, and harmony all at once with the most exact control of time.

It is rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time into fractions which must be done instantaneously, not worked out on paper.

Most of the terms are Italian, German or French and the notation is certainly not English, but a highly developed kind of shorthand that uses symbols to represent ideas. The semantics of music is the most complete and universal language.

Music is a HISTORY
Music usually reflects the environment and the times of its creation often even the country and/or racial feeling.

It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lips, cheek, and facial muscles in addition to extraordinary control of the diaphragmatic, back, stomach, and chest muscles, which respond instantly to the sound the ear hears and the mind interprets.

Music is all of these things,but most of all Music is ART.
It allows a human being to take all of these dry, technically boring, but difficult techniques and use them to create emotion. That is the one thing science can not duplicate; human feelings, emotion, call it what you will.

That is why we teach music!
Not because we expect you to major in music...
Not because we expect you to play or sing all your life...
But, so you will be human -
 - So you will recognize beauty -
 - So you will be sensitive -
 - So you will have something to cling to -
 - So you will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good -
In short, more life!
I've not been able to find who the original author of these words is. If you know, please let me know, so I can give them the credit due.
Happy W Day!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sixty Seventh Post - V

 I say to you, we are virtually done. The end is near!
W, X, Y and Z; that's all folks!
We'll have completed the A - Z blogging challenge.
 I can almost taste the Victory!

Happy V Day!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sixty Sixth Post - U

U for Ukulele of course!

A small instrument that packs a big punch. My rather lengthy and ongoing career in education began in the very late 70's as a music educator. The school district I taught in was a big proponent of the ukulele as a tool to teach music literacy and musicianship.

No one has quite represented our school district as well as Mr. Luongo alias Mr. Ukulele. Here's a clip of the world travelled Langley Ukulele ensemble performing The Flight of the Bumble Bee. Nope you're not hearing/seeing things; this IS a ukulele ensemble. 

I have long since shifted from music educator to school counsellor, but  my love of music continues. I see its  value  as a therapeutic tool, but mostly love it  for the  pleasure, peace, joy, delight it brings to my life.

Happy U Day!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sixty Fifth Post - T


I'm taking this beautiful Saturday to spend time with some of my grandkids.
So it's T for Time Out from a more substantial blog post.

Happy T day!
Happy Easter Weekend!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sixty Fourth Post - S


Today is Good Friday.
 A sacred time to remember the significance of the cross. 

Here are some songs that may serve as a reminder
of the sacrifice given on our behalf.

Oh Sacred Head, Now Wounded

When I Survey the Wonderous Cross

The Wonderful Cross

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sixty Third Post - R

Roses and my Reverend

I have the good fortune to be married to a very kind and loving man. He also happens to be an ordained minister. He is my reverend! My reverend brings me roses. Many and often!

In my garden, I have a room we call Perry's Pond. Perry's Pond is  surrounded by a variety of rose bushes. When I bought my home and yard, the rose bushes had been upkept for quite some time. Several had seemingly, to me anyhow, died. But much to my delight and amazement, they were simply resting. Who knew that roses could lie dormant for years?

During the spring of 2010, I couldn't get away from work long enough to tend to my roses. My reverend had a bit more flexibility so made many trips back to our property and on each visit, he faithfully took and posted pictures to keep me abreast of how my roses were fairing.

It is with pride and love I present to you,
(with kudos to my reverend).....
Perry's Pond 2010.
Feel free to stop and smell the roses!

Perry's Pond

Early in the 2010 season.
Rose are beginning to bloom.

Red Rose

One my favorites. Such joy and delight when after
 two seasons this beautiful rose bloomed.
 Such a miracle. It has continued to bloom yearly since 2006.
Dare I say, it's my favorite?

Such beauty.

My yellow tea rose. She grows and blooms throughout the season.
She lives at the entrance to Perry's Pond
and sends an aromatic welcome for all who enter.

Perry's Pond is still a work in progress.
It has already captured my heart and imagination.
I am a blessed!

Happy R Day!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sixty Second Post - Quince

In 2004, my daughter and I, were overcome with the urge to move. We  had the good fortune to stumble upon our perfect home.  The house itself was rather ordinary, but the yard was a diamond in the rough. Being a born and raised city girl I had little to no knowledge about gardening. No one, most of all me, ever dreamed I'd fall in love with plants, shrubs, and trees, oh my! My 1/2 acre yard is in actuality a garden with a variety of rooms. Each room, has its own personality and slowly, the various room are being named. It is a process that isn't being taken lightly. 

Being Q day  my mind immediately went to quince. One of the treasures uncovered beneath a plethora of weeds was a beautiful quince shrub. As best as I have been able to determine, it is a Japanese Quince. It has the most incredible, beautiful, spectacular apricoty/peach coloured blossoms. After the flowers are gone, the quince shrub grows a type of fruit that can be best described as conjoined green (and later yellow) crab apples. I've never picked or used the fruit. I have plans to eventually experiment with quince jelly and possibly quince wine. My quince is by far one of my most intriguing shrubs.

My quince shrub in early May 2010   

A photo of Japanese Quince - the blossoms

Flowering Quince (not mine)

A closeup of flowering quince

Quince - the fruit
Happy Q Day!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sixty First Post - Playoffs

It's here!
It's Playoff time in the NHL.

Tonight is game four of the quarter finals. Vancouver is playing Chicago and is up 3 - 0 in the series. Dare we Vancouver fans hope for a sweep?

The playoffs are hockey's second season of the year.

Our beloved Vancouver Canucks are in the running for the Holy Grail of Hockey; Lord Stanley's Cup! Vancouver is abuzz with excitement.

Go Canucks, go!!!
Do you follow hockey?

Happy P Day!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sixtieth Post - O


1. commonplace; unexceptional
2. plain or undistinguished
3. mediocre
4. customary; usual; normal: We plan to do the ordinary things this weekend.

Since when did ordinary become something bad. Something to scoff or shun. In my fifties, I find myself more often longing for the ordinary. I don't need spectacular, razzle-dazzle, fabulous, the best; just give me ordinary. I'll take an ordinary day; unexceptional, plain, undistinguished, and normal - thank you very much!

Today I am going to notice delight, joy, and peace in the ordinary.

Sometimes ordinary IS better.

Happy O Day!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fifty Ninth Post - N

Never say never!

Ten things I said I'd NEVER do:

1. Get married.
2. Get married again.
3. Speak to my mother again!
4. Wear the bright orange and yellow reflective vest with the velcro closers that ruin your clothes, while I'm on duty at recess!
5. Eat cantaloupe.
6. Say sorry.
7. Get married a third time.
8. Lend my children money again.
9. Give my children money again.
10. Have 'work' done on my face (actually I haven't done that, but I'm not saying never anymore).

How about you? What have you vowed you'd NEVER, NO WAY, NOT IN A MILLION YEARS ever do? ....and have had to eat your words.

Happy N Day!
Happy Weekend!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fifty Eighth Post - M

 is for Mother.
Although it's not quite Mother's Day. It's never the wrong time to honour mothers. Please enjoy the following quotes. 

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.  ~Tenneva Jordan

Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love.  ~Mildred B. Vermont

The phrase "working mother" is redundant.  ~Jane Sellman

I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me.  They have clung to me all my life.  ~Abraham Lincoln

Some mothers are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same, and most mothers kiss and scold together.  ~Pearl S. Buck

If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been.  ~Robert Brault,

A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.  ~Author Unknown

Sweater, n.:  garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.  ~Ambrose Bierce

Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; A mother's secret hope outlives them all.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

(Quotes taken from Quote Garden - Mothers)

Happy M Day!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fifty Seventh Post - L

My Omie had a life like, large, lion named Leo who was perched on the top ledge of her red velvet armchair. If we behaved ourselves at Omie's she would take Leo down from the top of the chair and allow us to play with him. He was fun to play with alone; even better to play with when one or two of the cousins were together. Oh the fun we had with Leo. He was such a gentle Lion. He was ever so tolerant of our less than gentle play.

A Leo look a like!
Leo was kingly; down right regal,  and had quite the roar. He carried us on his strong back. We rode him back and forth, over and over again in Omie's living room. Leo had the most fabulous comforting feel (and smell). He brought us seemingly endless joy and left us with many dear memories.

My Omie died twenty years ago today.
I still miss Omie a lot!

Leo now resides with relatives on the Sunshine Coast.
He continues to be quite the Lion!

Happy L Day!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fifty Sixth Post - K

              Krispy Kreme Doughnuts - Enough Said!

Dear Canadian Friends....wait for the letter T. Any guesses? 

On second thought, why wait?

Not a K, BUT related to K via donuts and Krispy Kreme......

Please welcome
Tim Horton's - A favorite Canadian Treat!

Happy K Day!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fifty Fifth Post - JELLO

Who can resist the taste, texture and delight that comes with a heaping bowl of JELLO! It is perhaps the ultimate comfort food. It is relatively simple and inexpensive to make. 

Enjoy this  Jello Pudding commercial with Bill Cosby. You sang along, didn't you?

J E L L O - one of the first words my kids learned to spell.

             My favorite Jello colour is green.
             What's yours?

                            Click  HERE to find some wonderful Jello recipes.

Happy J Day!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fifty Fourth Post - Incongruence

Incongruence: not congruent, not balanced, not grounded.

According to the Satir Family Therapy Model  there are five coping stances. They are thought to be universal and consist of: placating, blaming, irrelevance, super reasonable, and congruence. The goal, the work, is to move towards and ultimately have a congruent life experience (most of the time). 

I'm certain there are myriads of metaphors for congruence. When crisis touches my sphere, I am often able to maintain my balance. My mind, heart, and body remain grounded. However, when too many storms hit in rapid succession my alignment shifts, and I default to old patterns of coping. I can shift fairly quickly through all four coping stances; what can I say, I'm a veteran multi-tasker! (sarcasm)

As I continue to grow into my wisdom, it is satisfying to sense, to notice, and be mindful that  my being; my  mind, heart, and body  are grounded. Ah, that sweet spot of peace, even in the midst of the storm! There is room for growth, but I am committed to a life that moves in the direction of positive change. How about you?

Happy I Day!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Fifty Third Post - H

One week of  the A - Z blogging challenge has passed and its time to officially greet and send a big HELLO to all my new cyber friends. It's been a pleasure to visit so many interesting blogs. This world is filled with creative, imaginative, and informative humans! The quality of most blog posts is outstanding. It has been humbling to share along with others, insights into the adventures, interests, findings,  and musings of friends on this journey. I've read many stories of resiliency and hope.

Hope was my initial choice for the letter H. Did you know that according to some 'research' (I'm not going to cite the research here), instillation of hope accounts for 15% of the positive outcome of psychotherapy. In case you're interested; extra therapeutic factors account for 40%, relationship 30% and skills make up the last 15%. So, just making an appointment for a counselling session can bring some relief. Cool eh? More details are found the the book  Escape From Babel by Scott D. Miller, Barry L Duncan, and Mark A. Hubble. Often we lose sight of hope. We forget that 'things/life' can get better.  Often we need someone to remind us that 'better IS possible'!

My goal today is to greet you all with a big Hello! To thank you for your kind comments. To let you know I appreciate the many blog posts I've visited. My hope is that week two will find the multitude of us doing this challenge well and at peace.

Happy H Day!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fifty Second Post - G

Good Grief! 
A great description of how I feel after a brutal week of work.

Don't get me wrong. I love my job. It's fulfilling, it's challenging, the pay is decent; but I am exhausted! AND I'm staying in this challenge by the skin of my teeth!

My F post was published two hours before midnight PST yesterday, and it's nigh unto five pm PST today,  and I've just begun my G post. By Golly am I thankful for the weekend!

I shall have a hearty post for H and plan to take some delicious time tomorrow to browse and comment on fellow challenge bloggers' posts. I don't want to neglect my new friends! I'm hoping for a more generous amount of leisure time to post when the weekend is gone.

Happy G Day,

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fifty First Post - F

F = Faith

" Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb.11:1).

Happy F Day!

Today is day six of the A - Z Blogging Challenge.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fiftieth Post - E

E stands for ER or Emotional Rest. Clinically  it can be measured, albeit subjectively, by a sense of well being or congruence; heart, soul, body and mind all in balance.

Emotional rest equals peace.

 In a practical sense I measure my ER by my level of weariness. Am I sleeping? Am I eating well? Am I drinking enough water? Am I exercising? Am I playing? Am I engaging in fun? When I stray too far from my center point; that sweet spot of congruence, my alignment shifts and all is NOT well with my soul.

 The song 'It is Well With my Soul'  written in 1873 by Horatio Spafford has always spoken to me, more so met me in my place of emotional rest. Click here to listen to a simplistically beautiful version of the song and read anew the circumstances that gave life to these anointed words.

Life can be chaotic, trials will come. But
 we have this blessed assurance that
 we are not the chaos,
 we are not the trial.
 We are loved and our souls can be at rest.

Surrender and ~REST~ 

(This is abridged from a former post. Click here to read the entire post)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Forty Ninth Post - Doubt

Doubt - not me!

Defeat is not an option!

D day is here and I continue to have the dedication to complete this challenge.

Displaying short posts no matter how dumb they may seem helps my determination to succeed.

Happy D Day.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Forty Eighth Post - C

Carol, Connie, Cheryl, Calida, Crystal, Christie, Courtney, Cienna, Cambria.

What do they have in common?
Yes, very clever! They are all girls' names AND they all begin with the letter C.

The tradition was seeded unknowingly by my Omie our maternal Grandmother, who's middle name was Carolyn. My mother, Irmgard, who was not going to pass on her name to me, named me Carol Lynn after my Omie. (Omie's first name was Gerda, and I am ever grateful that I was named after her middle name.) Next came cousin Connie(Constance), followed by our little cousin Cheryl, spelled of course, with a C.

And thus were the beginnings of a new and sacred tradition.

My mother, Irmgard, who has been known to be someone on the quirky side, declared/decreed, hmm, dictated that for then, thus, and always the girls in the family will have names that begin with the letter C.

Sadly Connie gave her daughter a D name.
Cheryl has a B and Z.
The disappointment, the tradition was being derailed.

BUT…..Irmgard's children rallied.

I have a C daughter. My brothers have C daughters. And delightfully, my son and niece have honoured Irmgard's wishes and each have a C girl! My youngest brother was going to break tradition but dodged a bullet by only having a son. THAT was a close one!

The tradition continues!
Along with a proposal of marriage, a second question is attached.

Will you marry me? AND
Will you give our daughters names that start with C?

Ahhh, the delight, the relief,  when the potential newbie to the family agrees!

My second son; the one making me a MOTG in October is a tiny bit conflicted. He's picked a beautiful bride, a lovely daughter in law to be, but GASP!!!!! she is wavering on the C name. Apparently she has one in mind, so they best only have one girl.

BTW, our middle names are mostly Lynn…I wonder if I could make the middle name my legacy? Perhaps I won't push my luck. After all, I'm not quite Irmgard….yet.

 Happy C day!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Forty Seventh Post – BeAttitudes!

Be Attitudes for the Mother of the Groom!

Be there,
     Be beige,
            Be quiet!


My second son; the good child, is getting married on October 1st. This will be my second go round as Mother of the Groom. I scored one out of three on the Be Attitudes when my oldest son was wed. I'll leave it to the reader to surmise which one was achieved. Come back in October and I'll let you know how this MOTG gig turns out.

My favourite 'life' Be Attitude thus far, comes from my mother:

Carol just BE NICE!

I'm working on it, but hey, nice can be overrated!

Happy B Day!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Forty Sixth Post - A

And we're off.
Today is day one (alpha) of the A - Z Blogging Challenge. A post for every letter of the alphabet. I've decided to start simple. Can't get much more simple than -  'AND' as in 'and we're off', or 'and here we go'....I'm sure you get the point.

A special welcome to visitors from the challenge, it is my hope that my posts will get more interesting or even meaningful as the month goes on. And I'm off to check out some other blogs in the challenge.

Happy 'A' day!

What does 'A' mean for you?