Wednesday, June 20, 2007

top 10 signs that summer is here

10. Fresh strawberries.

9. Garden growing like mad (this year the radishes are waging a war of attrition against the carrots, while the cucumber plants are busily infiltrating the peas... no, wait... these are companion plants that are living harmoniously in a symbiotic relationship and providing vital ecological functions for each other, free of charge...)

8. Permission requests coming in from summer camps wanting to use songs.

7. Smog and UV warnings.

6. Irrational but persistent optimism that the Blue Jays might make the post-season this year.

5. Fresh strawberries.

4. Wireless internet connection all wonky (apparently now that there are leaves on the trees they block the signal... or the smoggy, humid air gets so thick that the signal can't get through... or something...)

3. Booked what has become my annual August concert at Glenbrook Day Camp.

2. Julie's last day of school, overseeing the annual home-made-boat-races-in-the-creek, and then organizing and sampling (and hiding?) her stockpile of chocolate and exotic teas (teacher gifts).

1. Can't sit still.

Did I mention fresh strawberries...?


Friday, June 15, 2007


Well, it's official. Matthew is our family's fundraising juggernaut. With one e-mail, and some timely consulting and clerical services from mom, he has raised over $200 dollars for cancer research this week, and he and Julie are part of a team that's walking all night tonight (that's right, all night) as part of the Relay for Life.

I'm not walking, but somehow I still got a T-shirt - allegedly for helping a bit with sound for the Rouge River Connection who played earlier in the evening (and whom we had the honour and delight of hosting for their tune-up and rehearsal on our front porch).

What a week. Various important meetings and conversations among our church community, two full days of recording with some wonderful folks, ludicrous amounts of time spent on the highway to and from the studio, learning to empathize with those who are driven to a life of commuting... A big week for Julie as well, with report cards and Willowgrove Primary School's graduation and spring concert. Can you name another school that celebrates its big year-end bash with a potluck supper, graduation and concert outdoors in a pavilion, and wagon rides for everyone afterwards?

Oh, and somewhere in the middle of all that, our 15th wedding anniversary.

We're figuring on celebrating a bit later, when we can catch our breath, but speaking of juggernauts, we did decide to take in a certain new Pirates of the Caribbean movie... a bit of a strange choice, I know, to mark 15 years of marriage, but we haven't gotten to 15 years by always making conventional choices... still crazy after all these years, indeed...

In any case, the movie was GREAT... as a half-hour sitcom. I was astonished at how much I could enjoy a film that was utterly incomprehensible and seemingly interminable. I'm old enough to remember the days when movie-making involved editing, and a three hour movie ("Gandhi" comes to mind) included an intermission. No such luck here. Batten down the hatches, take no prisoners, give no quarter, and all the rest. If Johnny Depp weren't so maddeningly brilliant, hysterically funny, and oddly mesmerizing I would have fallen asleep or made a break for the exits I don't know how many times...

And oh that song...


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

first decade

Today our son turned 10. Congratulations, Matthew! We love you!

We've been celebrating for the better part of a week, it seems. And tomorrow's installment will involve an early departure from school, a quick trip down to the lake, and a couple of hours in a certain domed stadium watching a certain favourite ball team...


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

broker, pusher, fisher, writer

I love it when people tell me "You know, we really need a song to sing when..."

Lately I've had a couple of conversations like that - one about the need for a good "welcoming" song to sing at baptisms, and another about the need for "creation care" songs that we can sing together.

This is "what I do," and it's good to see some SmallTall Music members and others coming to the realization that they have a "staff songwriter" working for them.

I'm reminded of something I read last week in "The 100 Mile Diet" by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon:

"Some people have a stockbroker or a drug pusher; I now had a fisherman."

... and, some are finding, a songwriter...


Friday, June 01, 2007

not your typical Friday night

Let's see...

- go for a walk, and get startled by a bright blue bird (budgie? parakeet? definitely tropical, obviously tame, and evidently disoriented) hopping beside the lane... check

- get some birdseed, wait till it eats from your hand... check

- coax said bird into a makeshift bird cage (actually, the carrier that recently carried your pet cat to its untimely demise... a long story... more appropriate avian accomodations forthcoming)... check

- plant potatoes... check

- get startled by a dead baby raccoon under the woodpile (so maybe that's the smell you thought was a skunk), and move the corpse to the manure pile... check

- rearrange kitchen/dining room to make way for new feathered friend, already making itself at home and swinging on its perch improvised from baler twine and a stick from the yard... check

- trundle delighted soon-to-be-10-year-old boy off to bed... check

- call Mom, and commiserate re: her bird issues (the cute couple in the nest on the balcony having given birth at last to various tiny poopers apparently intent on trashing the place)... check

Well, that about does it for this Friday night. And to think, at one point we thought about going to a movie.