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Showing posts from March 3, 2013

Collections of Music-Inspired Illustrations

Beyond that of blood if there's anything that ties my husband, children and me together it's probably music — at any volume.  Our family shares a keen appreciation for it, in all of its genres. We love to listen, to sing along, to critique. One of us even has the right to do the latter, as he has actually spent years studying it.

When my husband and I first met, it became obvious that music was a big deal for us. I was into the new teenage beat before attaining the age of double digits. How nice for me that by the time he came courting, I realized I was hooking up with a guy who had been collecting albums and 45s for almost as many years. 

Then too, music played a predominant role in the upbringing of our children with lessons, bands and choirs. I sang to them as babies, hushed them with lullabies, and made darn sure they knew every band from the '60s.

In their own time, they developed tastes of their own, which we encouraged. Today, I so enjoy hearing them talk about th…

Grab Your Green for These Saint Patrick's Day Colouring Pages

Go Green! This can be rooting for the team, or thinking ecologically.  Or, in just 10 days, it can mean doffing your Kelly green duds and making like the Irish in recognition of Saint Patrick's Day.

I remember as a little one in school the teachers hyping March 17 as if their students' names were Flynn, O'Brien and Hallahan.  My classmates and I were encouraged to wear green. In music class we sang Cockles and Mussels,  Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ra and When Irish Eyes are Smiling. And, of course, art class was all about colouring leprechauns, pots of gold, rainbows and shamrocks.  

What I don't recall was anyone telling us what the celebration was all about. A public holiday in Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as Montserrat, the day is named for one of Ireland's patron saints. It was made an official feast in the early 17th Century.

As a religious holiday it's observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Eastern Orthodox and Lutheran Churche…

Beautiful Garden Photos

As I wait out the waning days of winter, my mind blooms with images of one of the things I enjoy most about spring and summer  — the beautiful gardens.  Not that I personally have ever been able to achieve one, but I've long admired the horticultural work of others. Beginning with my two grandmothers.

With so much yard to offer, my paternal grandma's country garden was a no-touch zone, a large swatch of riotous colour just several giant steps from the barn.  While we enjoyed the colours and fragrances, my cousins and I knew the boundaries and opted to spend our time dallying with the fish in the pond, rather than risk stepping where young feet were not meant to tred.

My mother's mother on the other hand, opened the garden gate for us to explore.  Surrounded by a periphery of glads, peonies, exotic roses and morning glories, we learned to sidle along the paths between the  kaleidoscopic blending of hues and textures, and gingerly tiptoe between the rows of the centre veget…

So, is it Dogs or Cats?

Dogs or cats? This question was posed recently on a television sitcom I was watching as an important factor to consider when looking for a potential mate.

Intense animal lovers don't have a preference, but for the majority of pet owners, it's usually an either/or situation, even within families.  My husband and I, as well as our sons, think pooches are perfect, while our girls are crazy for cats. 

Our youngest actually has two dogs, one a rather handsome fellow with more patience, acceptance and brains than most people.  One of my favourite Ronin stories happened shortly after the arrival of the new pup, a needy bundle of energy and size. Where once we used to give Ronin attention when we visited,  now his little buddy made sure to dance his way between and thwart any attempt at affection.  One day,  when Milo was particularly frantic,  Ronin went to the back door and quietly sat waiting. As I opened it to let him out, the newcomer, afraid to miss something, made a beeline ou…

Religious Illustrations for Easter

In a few short weeks it will be Easter, a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, on the third day after his crucifixion. It is  perhaps the most meaningful holiday of the Christian calendar.

Born in a more conservative time than today, in a modest town in the middle of a rural community,  you can be assured that my religious upbringing was thorough.  My father was the Sunday School superintendent. My older siblings taught Sunday School and they and my parents at various times sang in the choir.

Missing a Sunday service was not an option and the Lenten calendar of events was well covered,  with mandatory attendance at church on Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday,  on Good Friday and Easter morning.

Suffice it to say that while a chocolate bunny may have come my way as a treat, the essence of the season was steeped in faith.  Of course, there was the highlight of a brand new Easter outfit for church, complete with a cheery bonnet, crisp, clean, ankle socks and shiny, white, p…