Friday, February 24, 2012

Remembering The Words

Classic Rock is my second language Tshirt
Classic Rock is my second language Tshirt by kchippie
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The other day Hippie and I were listening to the 70s music station on our satellite TV and before I knew it I was singing along to a song by The Stylistics I probably haven't heard for ten years or more.  It made me wonder just how many song lyrics are stored in my memory.

When it comes to music, I have very eclectic tastes.  I grew up listening to my parents' records, then my older siblings' records and then the records (eventually cassettes and cds) that my friends and I collected as teenagers.  That's about fifty years of music that I was exposed to before the age of twenty.  As a result, though sometimes I can't remember what day it is, I know, not just every word, but also "every Sha-la-la-la, every Wo-o-wo-o" to countless songs.

When I can't remember something I often joke that the lyrics to "American Pie" are taking up the space where more important information is supposed to be stored.  I even know the words to songs I don't like.  I could probably rattle off a few lines of "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" faster than I could tell you what my cell phone number is.

There is a sort of jukebox in my mind that is activated by certain words, phrases or situations.  Sometimes just someone saying "hey" to me can have me humming Led Zeppelin (Hey Hey What Can I do) or BJ Thomas ([Hey Won't You Play] Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song) for the rest of the day. The phrase "Wish You Were Here" always triggers a Pink Floyd concert flashback.  And when I am having a hard time articulating my feelings "De Do Do Do De Da Da Da" is all I want to say to you.

Hippie can speak a little German and I know a little Spanish but we are both fluent in a language we call Beatles-ese.  Neither of us can ever say that something is Getting Better without the other one chiming in, "It can't get no worse".  He'll say yes and I'll say no, he'll say stop and I'l say go, go go.  Oh no.

Music may be the universal language but song lyrics are more esoteric than that.  Everybody likes something with a good beat that you can dance to, but the lyrics are what make a song personal.  So I guess it's really no wonder that the lyrics to songs that have provided the soundtrack to my life are among my most enduring misty water colored memories.  It's only a wonder that I don't burst into song during every conversation.

And if there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now...

Music Is Love shirt
Music Is Love by kchippie
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

And The Valentine's Day Cat Card Winner Is...

"Come Snuggle" Card by Victoreeah

Congratulations to this year's winner of the annual Battle of the Valentine's Day Cat Cards, Snuggle Cat!  It was a very close race for awhile but I'm glad that Snuggles won out in the end (not that I'm playing favorites or anything).  In fact, though second in sales to the all time champion, Sarcastic Cat, Snuggle Cat was the "most popular" Valentine's Day Cat overall this year.

Our runner up this year was On My Mind Cat who just edged out Basket Case Cat at the last minute.  And our newcomer, Sassy Cat, made a very respectable showing, I think she is definitely one to watch next year!

Of course, you don't have to wait until next Valentine's Day to give a cute cat card.  You'll be happy to know that all of our contestants have all occasion, just for fun and friendship, versions of their card as well.  Hurray! 
Sassy Cat & Froggy Friendship card
Sassy Cat & Froggy Friendship Card by time2see
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Journal & Joni

There is no sunny weather for me to complain about today. Though still mild for this time of year, the days have been slightly more winter like. I was finally able to carve out some free time to spend with a few of my favorite things, mainly my journal and my Joni Mitchell CD’s.

Anyone curious as to what I write in my journal would probably be disappointed if they actually read it. I do a lot of “stream of consciousness” type of writing, recording my thoughts as they come to me. More often than not those thoughts are boring, superficial, negative and sometimes just plain depressing.

There are moments when I am tempted to try and write more profound or positive entries in my journals but that would defeat the purpose of writing them for me. Instead I find that, by purging myself of my more mundane or troubling thoughts and feelings this way, I am actually able to get at what is waiting behind them. After journaling for a few hours or over the course of a few days, I discover that my mind is much clearer and more open to receive new ideas, positive insights and creative solutions. I try to jot those things down too but usually by the time I get to that point I am ready to stop writing and to start creating.

So why does this ritual require that I listen to Joni Mitchell? I sort of wondered that myself until I read an interview with the musician/artist where she said, “I sing my sorrow and I paint my joy”. Since I find it difficult to hit many of the notes that Joni does, perhaps writing in my journal is just my way of singing along.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Warm Winter Blues

Blue Skies and Blue Mist Seed Head

All the leaves are brown...but the sky is blue, not gray.  We have been having the mildest winter ever and it is really getting on my nerves.  Yesterday when I got out of bed it was already 60 degrees and sunny outside and all I could think was, "Not this again.  Now I have to go outside."

A Winter Home
I know I shouldn't complain about good weather but I had big plans for this winter.  I was going to spend lots of time in my studio painting and by the fireplace reading.  I was going to sit in my favorite chair with my cat and a blanket and write in my journal while listening to Joni Mitchell for countless hours.  I was not even going to contemplate going outside unless I ran out of art supplies or chocolate and I was absolutely not going to go anywhere near my garden.

My friend Albert (the one who is still a Cardinal)
But like John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".  So yesterday, I visited my garden in January for the first time ever.  There were no hummingbirds or butterflies to keep me company but I did encounter a cardinal who looked down at me from his perch in a tree with an expression that seemed to say "can you believe this weather we're having?"

Limelight Hydrangeas make great dried flowers

There were no vibrant flowers but I could still see beauty in the dried blooms and seed heads. 

Star Magnolia Flower Bud

I also thought the buds on my shrubs and trees were beautiful though seeing them this early does not bode well for flowers and fruit in spring or summer.  What was not in the least bit appealing were the weeds.  I suppose it is too much to hope that a hard freeze would kill those off.


Shadows and Light

So even though it wasn't what I planned on doing, I really enjoyed the fresh air, the sunshine and seeing my garden from a new perspective.  I even enjoyed the little bit of work that I did.  That being said, today I decided to enjoy the mild temperatures in a way that was a little less physically demanding.  I went shopping for paint and chocolate.  After all, this weather can not last forever, might as well be proactive. 
The Purple Garden 2013 Wall Calendars
The Purple Garden 2013 Wall Calendars by time2see
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