A Few of Luke’s Favorite Things

A few days ago as I passed through the living room I overheard Luke singing to himself, to the tune of “12 Days of Christmas.” The part I caught went:

“…Eight Christmas presents, seven…other things…FIVE KITTY CAAAATS, four Taco Men, three family members, two puppy dogs, and a Stripsey to snuuuuugggle.”

The Taco Men thing is a Long Story, and I’m not sure what happened to Six, but it’s nice to know Luke appreciates the good stuff.

Categories: Christmas, Family, Humor, kids, Life, Music | 1 Comment

The Fundamental Things Apply…

I’ve had a crush on Spock since I was something like thirteen years old. I LOVE the direction the Trek reboot has taken the character in.

This is the very first music video I’ve ever made, and clearly I need to work on my pirating skills some more because WOW, that picture quality is crap. You almost need to have seen the movie just to know what you’re looking at.

It has Tony Bennett though, so there’s that.

Check it out and tell me what you think:

Categories: Artwork, Love, Music, Star Trek | Tags: | Leave a comment

Meteors Cool, Black Widows Scary

Last night the kids and I stayed up to watch the Perseids meteor shower. Conditions were just about ideal: no moon (it rose around midnight, after we’d gone to bed), a cool, gentle breeze, and a sky so clear that the stars were amazing all by themselves. I put together an iPod playlist of Music To Watch Meteors By, cooked up a hot drink concoction that involved milk, cocoa, coconut and rooibos tea, and the three of us kicked back on patio chairs in the yard and enjoyed the show. I’d never watched a meteor shower on such a dark clear night before; I was surprised by how bright some of the bigger ones were and how long the dust trails remained visible. It was pretty awesome.

Sadly we are all early-to-bed-early-to-rise types and the kids were dozing off by 10:30, so I didn’t stay out as long as I would have liked. I’ve got the Geminids meteor shower marked on my calender for December, but that one peaks at 2am on a Monday morning during the school year. I may end up watching it by myself.


This morning Luke needed some duct tape for some project he was working on. I said there might be a roll of it out in the workshop, and he asked me to go with him to look for it so the black widow spiders wouldn’t get him. I told him that he was big enough to watch out for spiders on his own and to just, you know, not get bitten.

A little while later he wandered through wearing his fireman jacket and asked if he could borrow my boots. I started to tell him that all I have are girl boots, but then I decided that it probably didn’t matter for a personal game of fireman and found him one of my old pairs.

Turns out he wasn’t playing fireman, he was putting together a spider-proof outfit so he could go look for the duct tape.


Apparently it worked. No spider bites were incurred.

Categories: Family, kids, Life, Music | 3 Comments

A Joyful Noise

The worship music at my church is normally recorded and burned to cd each week. I was looking forward to getting our recording of “Blessed Be Your Name” and posting it here, since that’s probably my favorite of all our songs, but OF COURSE the week we sang it something went wonky with the recording equipment and no cd was made.

As it happened, though, that was the day I’d brought my camera and asked Elizabeth to take some pics for the blog. I’d also asked her to get a video recording of “Blessed” when we ran through it during the pre-church warmup session.

“Pan the camera back and forth,” I told her, “so everyone gets into the video.”

I had to laugh when I watched the movie she’d made: she’d followed my instructions diligently, WHOOSHING the camera from side to side throughout the entire recording. It’s a bit dizzying.

Anyway, I’ve uploaded the video to YouTube. The picture quality is horrible and the sound wasn’t as polished during the warmup as it was during the actual worship session (and the sound quality on my little digital camera isn’t stellar anyway) and we didn’t make it all the way through this practice run without flubbing the timing and having to stop…but it’s still a fine, fine song and I wanted to share it.

If you start to get dizzy from the whooshing back and forth, just close your eyes for a minute. Next time I’ll clarify to Elizabeth that the camera doesn’t need to be in constant motion through the entire video!

Categories: Christianity, Friends, Life, Music | 1 Comment

A New Song Unto The Lord

When I first joined the BackCountry Worship group in February, it was very new and small and still finding itself. We’ve gained a few members since then (and lost a few), and over the past three months it’s sort of taken on a life of its own and become something kind of amazing.

I have to confess, when I first started singing with them the songs themselves didn’t resonate very deeply with me. I’d grown up on the old Baptist hymns, and that had always been my own personal conception of sacred music. The songs I was learning now were different: mostly newish stuff that plays on gospel radio or upbeat versions of hymns I’d never heard before. To me they were just words and melodies to be learned, notes to be mastered.

“Days Of Elijah” was the first ‘church song’ I loved enough to buy from iTunes for my own personal listening pleasure. I think it’s impossible not to respond to that song, I love the energy and power of it. Sometime after that I started buying all the songs our group was practicing, because it was quicker and easier for me to learn them that way and I could practice at home between meetings. Pretty soon some of the worship music was finding its way onto my regular everyday playlists, and these days the songs I sing while doing housework and gardening are more likely to be worship tunes than my old rock or country favorites.

Recently I was singing along with my newly-downloaded mp3 of “Blessed Be Your Name” when the actual spiritual sense of it hit me unexpectedly. Deeply. The profound TRUTH of it sank in: that joyful peace that comes from keeping a faithful and thankful heart no matter where your path has brought you on any given day.

There are really no words to describe how much this group and this music have come to mean to me. I look forward to our twice-a-week meetings not just just as a time to practice music, but as gathering in worship and fellowship with a handful of kindred souls who share a deep and genuine love for the One we come to honor.

The last time I blogged about them we’d just lost one of our guitarists and our male vocalist, but since then we’ve gotten a new guitarist and our prodigal singer has returned to us. I think there was an audible click the first time this new configuration got together to practice. It feels very right.

Here’s a pic Elizabeth took of us during practice before church yesterday:


My peeps. On the far left is John, a vocalist. If John were to write his autobiography it would probably fall into the horror genre, and yet he is one of the most joyful people I’ve ever met. I get the impression that his walk through the scarier corners of the Valley of the Shadow and back up into the light have left him pretty much afraid of nothing. Next to John is Susan: worship leader, guitar and vocals, and our collective moral compass whenever we lose track of why we’ve come together. Next is Annie, Susan’s teenage daughter, a delightful creature of light and life with the voice of an angel. I am fairly certain that little singing cartoon birds help Annie get dressed in the mornings. Annie occasionally gets into an odd Mood and starts flinging snarkiness in all directions; this is entertainment of the highest order. Behind Annie is Marie (bass guitar), but you can’t really see her from this angle. Marie is the still water that runs deep: she doesn’t talk a lot, but when she does it’s worth listening to. Next is Jeff, our new guitarist. Jeff is actually the one who told me I should join the worship group, way back when, but he wasn’t able to play with us himself until his employment situation changed a couple weeks ago. I don’t know him as well as I do the others, but he seems like a very likable fellow. Next is me (vocals), and heaven knows we’ve already read enough about me on this blog. Moving on we have Other Jeff. He’s not technically a member of the group, but he sat in with us yesterday and rocked the bongo. On the far left is Robert on drums. A man of few words, but his drums speak quite eloquently on his behalf. For such a quiet guy he can seriously get down with his bad self on that drum set.

One of these days I’ll get a CD of our music and post a song or two here. I’m thinking “Blessed Be Your Name” would be an excellent choice.

Categories: Christianity, Friends, Life, Love, Music | 3 Comments

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