Journal Entries

Will That Salt Lamp Emit Curative Ions?

If you're a science smiley - geek, please read this brilliant article from

Not only is it a wonder of logic and research, but it is genius writing.

I have tears in my eyes. Tears of joy and mirth. I recommend reading it aloud to a loved one. Take deep breaths intermittently. Laughing that hard is a choking hazard.

smiley - dragon

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Latest reply: Jan 7, 2019

Boxing Day Jollity

Yeah, I know Boxing Day was two days ago. It took us a day to recover. And then last night, we were watching 'The Madness of King George' while eating sandwiches. I lost a crown. (It's not really lost, it's in a plastic bag now.) Elektra made crown puns. She's been hanging around me too long. The dentist isn't back until Monday. So it goes. No more gluten free baguettes.

Anyhow, Boxing Day was a mad whirl at the farm, and a good time was had by all. I thought we'd have more room afterwards, what with getting all the gifts out of the linen closet, but we came back loaded with gifts from loved ones, so it was merely a matter of redistributing Stuff.

You will be the recipients of some of this largesse: my sisters raided an antique store for a huge stack of sheet music, most of which even I have never heard of. Watch for videos of such classics as 'When All My Blackbirds Turn Blue'. At least, I think that was the title. And something about a shack in Killarney....smiley - musicalnote And, of course, Rudolf Friml.

The farm looked so pretty at night, with its Christmas decorations, that I thought we should share and enjoy:

High tech lighting on a 200+-year-old house. Not bad.

smiley - dragon

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Latest reply: Dec 28, 2018

Deck Us All with Wrapping Paper

Day 1 of Christmas: a lazy day, with hot coffee and gifts for all.

Lola liked her gift that came all the way from down South. The kitties enjoyed the wrapping paper. They insisted on being cute for the camera.

So here's the result:

May you be warm, happy, and doing something amusing right now. smiley - hugs all 'round!

smiley - dragon

Discuss this Journal entry [8]

Latest reply: Dec 25, 2018

Carolling, Carolling Now We Go

'Tis the season for carolling. Melinda Kathleen Reese thinks it's also the season to let Google Translate loose on the carols. Enjoy her mini-concert:


Don Caron of The Parody Project is still gleeful about November's midterm election results. He bursts into song about the end of the 'White Congress':

Don's rhyming abilities continue to astound. Also his ability to fit complicated political ideas into pop song lyrics.

'Oh,' I hear you say (in my warped imagination). But what have *you* been doing this carolling season? It's too cold to sing outside. Also, it's too hard to carry a piano around. So Sis and I went over to the public library and played their new, slightly out-of-tune baby grand. Yes, two of the patrons were asleep. What's it to you? The ambience was restful. The overstuffed leather chairs and sofas are way too comfortable. The bear statue in the back of the main reading room didn't seem to mind the noise. He was rearing next to the Christmas tree. No, I don't know why there's a bear statue in the library.

Yes, children, that's a Carnegie library. Fittingly. Little Andy got the seed money for US Steel by harvesting oil not twenty miles from this library. These days, it's a quiet place except for the piano playing.

Happy Christmas to all!

smiley - dragon

Discuss this Journal entry [5]

Latest reply: Dec 22, 2018

Local Theatre News: The Christmas Pageant Opens (and Closes) Tomorrow

It's that time of year again: the annual Christmas pageant, which will take place tomorrow morning during the Sunday School hour. I was asked to come over to the church this morning and help them practise their singing. This singing is distinct from the 'band' part, where the kids beat boomwhackers to make Christmas tunes. During that part, at least two boys will beat the boomwhackers on their heads. This is a very musical exercise.

Sitting at the piano, I observed two of the bigger girls putting on their costumes: white robes with scalloped sleeves and tinsel garlands on their heads. That made sense. Then they started putting yellow washing-up gloves on their feet, which gave me a start.

'Hey,' I said. 'I don't remember angels having claws.'

'We're chickens.'

'This is obviously a new version of the Nativity Story.'

This play centres around the reaction of the animals in the stable to the birth of the Christ Child. Since the humans don't speak the same language, it being the Middle East and all, they are apparently unconcerned by the running commentary of the cow, goat, sheep, and yes, chickens. The chickens say everything in threes, like a Greek chorus.

Those chickens are going to steal the show, trust me on this.

I played 'O Little Town of Bethlehem' for them on the piano. The rest of the songs will be a cappella because, as their leader explained, 'We're never quite sure what key we'll be in.' This was fine with me: I sat back to enjoy the dialogue - which is being projected onto the screen. It will delight the audience, I have no doubt.

The sheep are rooting for Mary. 'Come on, Mary, you can do it!'

'I wonder if it will be a boy or girl?'

The goat: 'Just get it over with, I'm trying to get some sleep here!'

The baby is born. 'He looks cold.'

'That's okay, they're going to wrap him in swaddling clothes.' Such a vocabulary these animals have.

Mary places the baby in the manger.

The cow: 'Ewww! I have to eat out of that!'

I sat weeping silent tears of laughter. I wished my late mother had been there. She would have loved it. She directed Christmas pageants for years. Never did she have a chicken, or lines like that. She would have been laughing, too.

Somehow, the obligatory chorus of 'The Little Drummer Boy' seemed a fitting finish to what will no doubt be the theatrical highlight of the season in western Pennsylvania.

And just so you don't have to live without a video, here's a link to some talented bigger kids doing amazing things with boomwhackers:

May your holiday be merry. Just don't forget to feed the chickens in the Manger Scene.

smiley - dragon

Discuss this Journal entry [21]

Latest reply: Dec 15, 2018

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