Tag Archives: music

Where Does The Music Take You?

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Where Does The Music Take You?

I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately. And I like to have music on in the background. And I use different types of music depending on if my main character is in his childhood, teens or adult stages in life. Anything from Raffi to Cranberries to Chumbawumba to Backstreet Boys to Pink and so much more.

I find it interesting how a song can take me back in time. If I really listen to the words and close my eyes, I’m magically transported back to a place or event in my past.

The other day I was listening to an old Elton John song called Making Friends. And I found myself in the parkade at Daytons in downtown Minneapolis back in the 70s.

Carrie Ann. A great song by The Hollies. And I was back in the gym at University of Winnipeg watching them live back in the 60s.

Wild Horses. And I’m up in the stands at the old Winnipeg Stadium watching Mick Jagger prance across the stage.

Whenever I hear a tune from the Irish Rovers I’m reminded of when I did programming on a dementia unit in a personal care home. Oh how the residents loved that group!

Vamos A La Playa. Desperately trying to keep up with the pace and intent on improving my Spanish when I first arrived in Aguascalientes.

Handel’s Water Music. I’m back in Mazatlan at the Angela Peralta Theater at a live performance. Or even further back I’m in Mrs. Christie’s music class back in junior high.

Kokomo by the Beach Boys. I can still see Kyle at about age 7 trying to play it on the piano. Somehow he had convinced his very conservative classical music teacher that he wanted to learn this song.

I could go on but I think you get the idea. I can identify chapters of my life story by the different genres of music I’ve listened to over the years. And I’m sure you can too. All you have to do is close your eyes and lose yourself in the music. Try it!

Happy Humpday!

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Happy Humpday!

I thought I was back in Mexico yesterday with hurricane season. Torrential rain, flooded streets. Nope. I’m still in Winnipeg.

I’m staying with my son for a couple of days. I don’t think he quite gets it when I tell him we need to get together more often. Kyle has no family here in Winnipeg and I live in another country. Over time you get used to being on your own and then it does feel rather strange when you get bombarded with family. But it’s a nice kind of strange. And I think that the older you get the more you value that kind of time.

My WIP is going well. My characters have been quite talkative lately. And they’ve had some interesting adventures. I am definitely enjoying writing fiction.

Because I’m constantly flipping back and forth in time when writing, I vary my background music. For a while there, The Stones were inspirational, especially Voodoo Lounge. The Beach Boys and The Byrds are also favorites, as are John Denver and Elton John. But last night it was Handel’s Water Music.

Computer shopping with Laura is on the agenda for today. I was a tad overwhelmed looking in Seattle and Wenatchee didn’t have much to offer. I know. There’s always Amazon. But I want to play with a laptop before I buy it. And Laura is my computer guru.

Happy Humpday!

Let’s Go

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Let’s Go

Ok. I’ve been in areas and experienced tornados, hurricanes,thunderstorms and blizzards. I’ve seen hail the size of golf balls and have been caught up in flash flooding. But on Sunday I added mud slides to the list. From sunshine to rain to flooding to mud slides in a matter of minutes. Power outages affecting traffic lights and even shutting down Walmart and the movie theaters. Wenatchee was a mess!

Yesterday I was in Ellensburg. It was a gorgeous, hot and sunny day. The drive over Blewett from Leavenworth was beautiful. I never tire of driving through the mountains in Washington. The scenery is spectacular.

When I write I always have music on in the background. The latest added to my playlist is some Marianas Trench from about ten years ago. Don’t ask me why but Celebrity Status has always been one of my faves by this Canadian rock band.

The other day we went exploring at a Coastal store. My friend is an avid equestrian and showed me all kinds of saddles, chaps and other paraphernalia associated with horses. My favorite area was all the cute baby chicks in cages. Coastal also has clothing, kayaks, wood burning stoves,cowboy boots, toys, feed, outdoor furniture and so much more.

I’ve started researching my travel to Canada. Winnipeg is not the easiest city to get to from East Wenatchee. By the way, East Wenatchee and Wenatchee are two completely different cities. The former is where I live and is in Douglas County. The latter is in Chelan County.

Back to travel. Shuttle to SeaTac and two flights or an Amtrak out if Wenatchee and hope someone wants to pick me up in Grand Forks and drive me across the border. Like I told Lise the other day, maybe I should just fly there on my broom! LOL!

After Plan B Comes C, D, Etc.

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After Plan B Comes C, D, Etc.

Life. A sequence of events where unplanned by far outnumber the planned. And when you get to Plan Z, you start over with Plan AA, Plan BB, Etc.

March was when I arrived back in Washington. I expected to go to Kelowna in March but Canada still had too many Covid restrictions. The next plan was May but that isn’t working out either due to my daughter’s work schedule. Another plan was May in Winnipeg but a minor health issue got in the way. I thought maybe June but there’s some fitness training all month that I really want to do here in Wenatchee. So now it looks like July in Winnipeg. There is always another plan.

https://youtu.be/M7wYyVi1ugo

I hope you check out the above link. It’s an old John Denver song I came across the other night. And I can’t get it out of my head. It really takes me back in time and I realize now that none of my plans back then have ever come into fruition. And that’s okay because there is always another plan.

So…….why make plans at all if they never seem to work out? I’ve come to the conclusion that long range plans don’t work for me. Even short range plans don’t always come about. But I still continue to make plans because I have learned to become extremely flexible. I don’t stress out when plans fall through.

To quote John Lennon, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

My plan for today is, hmmm, that isn’t going to work out either. Oh well!

Voodoo Lounge And Pozole

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Voodoo Lounge And Pozole

As I write this I’m eating a bowl of pozole and listening to Voodoo Lounge. They don’t go together? In my world they do. I know I’m in Mexico because it’s pozole. And I’ve been a fan of The Rolling Stones  for decades.

But as I listen to The Rolling Stones I’m magically beamed back to a hot August night in 1994 mildly buzzed as the smell of pot wafts through the stands of the old Winnipeg stadium. Down below Mick Jagger is strutting his stuff across the stage just as he did back in the 60s when I was a teenager.

Amazing how music can make you travel back in time like it was just yesterday.

So how is your 2022 going? I actually am beginning to wonder why we were all so eager to slam the door on 2021.

With the advent of Omni, I find myself no closer to going back to Canada than I did last year. I have way too many friends now struggling with family crises. I’ve had a few small blips on the radar screen myself this month.

But, ever the optimist, I’m looking forward to the future. February will be a bittersweet month as it’s countdown time until I head up north. It kind of feels like 2020 again when I didn’t know where I was going or how I was getting there.

My playlist for meditation time today will include Matt Redman and Josh Groban in addition to the usual Pachelbel. Lots to contemplate. Lots of people in my life who need prayer.

It’s all about FAITH.

Musical Memories

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My housemate Clairesse is a very talented violinist and vocalist. She also comes from a very musical family where jam sessions were common.

Tonight she was playing a variety of music that triggered some memories. I’ll begin with the ones pertaining to the violin.

I had an uncle who played in The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra back when I was really young. Then there was the other extreme. I had an older brother who attempted to play but I used to run outside to play when he practiced because I couldn’t stand the screeching sound. And I put my foot down when it was suggested that I learn to play the violin. No way!

Clairesse played everything from Home On The Range to The Battle Hymn Of The Republic to the Wabash Cannonball. She plays jigs, waltzes and hymns.

Home On The Range reminded me of a high school boyfriend who played guitar. We used to hang out with friends at a park and this song was always a favorite.

Battle Hymn reminds me of attending 9/11 memorial services. And then a swarm of other songs such as The Marine’s Hymn and God Bless America filled my head.

It’s interesting how I seem to associate music with the events in my life. My teenage years in the 60s were filled with the British Invasion. I attended tons of concerts back then. Some of the most memorable were The Rolling Stones, Herman’s Hermits, The Who, The Hollies, Peter and Gordon, Chad and Jeremy and The Dave Clark Five. Unfortunately The Beatles never came to Winnipeg.

Lots of American talent came to Winnipeg too. Other memorable concerts I attended included The Beach Boys, Paul Revere And The Raiders, Sonny and Cher, Carly Simon, Neil Diamond, and The Monkees.

Yes, the 60s was one of my favorite decades. Was it one of yours?

Saturday Now

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Saturday Now

Saturday is a very different day than it used to be. One cup of coffee with yogurt and granola. Off in an Uber to teach English for a couple of hours.

Another Uber home and off to the carnicería. He grilled the chicken I bought for me. I’d take a walk to the bakery and do any other shopping and then return to pick up my chicken.

After lunch (yes lunchtime was at around 4 pm) I’d head to the church to teach for an hour.

In the evening I’d explore the Expoplaza area. There were always numerous food vendors. I’d watch the children ride around the square on a burro. I’d listen to music and walk through the San Marcos park.

I’d have interesting conversations with people. A handful understood minimal English but it was a great opportunity for me to practice my Spanish.

Occasionally I’d attend a birthday party or another fiesta on a Saturday evening. And there were concerts close by as well.

Saturday now is very different. Lots of time for that second cup of coffee. I can leisurely make an omelet. No rush to get dressed. No reason to call an Uber. No students to teach.

I take two walks a day. One is before it gets too hot and the other is after it cools off in the evening. Daytime highs are in the low 90s.

This is what Expoplaza area looks like now.

I color, I watch movies, I write, I phone friends and I listen to music.

Actually Saturday seems pretty much like every other weekday now.

Taking Care Of Me

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Taking Care Of Me

Taking care of me is a relatively new phenomena in my life. Until about ten years ago, I had spent decades putting other people first. Now it was finally time for me.

The downside is that I have spent the last ten years mostly traveling around. This is not exactly conducive with getting involved in a long term relationship. And I find myself alone now in a foreign country waiting out this pandemic.

Why didn’t I return to Canada when I had the chance? I haven’t had a home there in ten years. I had nowhere to go. Yes I have children and friends there. But it’s one thing to come back to visit for a week or two but quite another to come back for a longer period of time.

Where I really wanted to go was back to Leavenworth. I discovered this quaint village four years ago and I’ve put down roots there. But I’m Canadian not American so the border is closed to me.

I have been taking care of myself here in Aguascalientes. First and foremost is that I have a comfortable place to stay and a neighborhood where food and other supplies are readily available within walking distance.

While I am living alone I am definitely not lonely. I have a great phone plan and have unlimited international calls. My family and friends are very accessible.

The highlight is definitely the video calls to my daughter and granddaughter. The other day Madeline sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to me and my heart melted.

Then there are the texts and messaging on social media apps. I’m really limiting my time on Facebook as I’m tired of all the misinformation and inaccurate statistics. I know what I need to do to stay healthy and I’m doing my best.

I go out for two short walks daily. I usually pick up food at this time as well. My fridge may be small but it’s adequately stocked.

I join in discussion groups on the Mayo Clinic website. These are a great source of support at this time.

I’m really enjoying a course I’m taking from University of Toronto. The topic is dealing with anxiety in the face of COVID-19.

I color every day and I listen to music. I watch movies in Spanish. I’m participating in an online Bible study. I do online church services. And I still do the SAIL exercises.

I take time to meditate. And I take time to contemplate life. I’m pretty sure there will be some big changes in my life when this pandemic is no longer a threat and becomes treatable instead.

I live in the present. Mindfulness is key. I want to avoid any unnecessary PTSD in the aftermath.

Last but definitely not least, prayer has been an important part of my life for some time. But it is even more meaningful now.

What are you doing for yourself?

What About Your Other Health?

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What About Your Other Health?

Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Maintain social distancing. Stay at home. This is all great advice for protecting your physical health.

But what about your mental health? What are you doing to protect your mental health?

If you’re self-isolating, you spend a lot of time by yourself. This is a perfect opportunity for your brain to go into overdrive. This results in an unnecessary abundance of fear and anxiety and ultimately panic. Even if you are at home and have other family members with you, the conversation ultimately focuses on COVID-19.

The art of mindfulness and meditation are two techniques that work for me. If I’m coloring I focus on the masterpiece I’m creating. If I’m watching a movie I really listen to the Spanish and am amazed at how much better my comprehension has become.

I meditate with music and imagery. I’ve even gotten back to gazing at the flame of a candle.

I’ve replaced a great deal of my social media viewing with the above-mentioned. When I want the facts about COVID-19 I go to the Mayo Clinic website. I also participate in discussion groups on this site.

I find online Church as well as Bible study to be important. Both are a great way to stay connected. I also find them comforting.

I also spend less time on the phone although I do connect with the my family and close friends more regularly. Just as long as the conversation doesn’t focus completely on the virus.

Quite obviously I’m spending more time writing. Blog posts are every second day. I’m also working on my next book.

I make a point of going out for walks every day. I lose myself in the beauty of nature. So many trees and flowers are beginning to bloom.

I guess you could say I take a lot of time for ME and I highly recommend it.

Take time for yourself!

What A Week Or Two!

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What A Week Or Two!

February has been more of a countdown for me. You see, I’d been expecting the birth of a new grandchild and it finally happened on Monday the 26th of February when Madeline Annette made her debut in this world. Exciting! Lots of international phone calls and what’s app messages. My daughter has requested that I post no photos on the internet but I will tell you that Madeline is absolutely adorable and I can hardly wait until next month to meet her when I return to Canada. How the times have changed. I completely understand my daughter’s reluctance to post photos. There was no cyberspace when my children were born, and the idea of complete strangers viewing photos of my granddaughter is quite daunting. However I have been able to show pics to people here in Mazatlan and when I return to Leavenworth in May I will be able to show everyone there numerous photos of Madeline.

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The artesan fair is here in Mazatlan and the timing is perfect. Of course I was on the hunt for baby items and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a pink world out there for babies, even here in Mexico. And my daughter’s favorite color was always pink. Whenever we traveled to the USA Oshkosh was where we’d find pink jeans and pink overalls.

Needless to say, I’ve been finding other things to distract me from the fact that I won’t be headed back to Canada for over a month yet. I went to my weekly Tuesday card games where it was nice to take a break from having my cell phone attached to my ear.

We went to Diego’s to hear some great music by Marco and The Truth. Another unexpected event captured our attention that afternoon. It has been cold and extremely windy here in Mazatlan. The view of the beach was distorted by the sight of a catamaran straggling toward the beach. Thankfully all the passengers had been rescued with only minor injuries reported. We were all quite surprised that the catamaran had even ventured out when all the red flags were clearly visible all up and down the beach. By the following morning, this vessel was in pieces on the beach. Here’s a shot I snagged as people crowded the beach watching this spectacle.

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I also enjoy the weekly jazz jam sessions at El Recreo. While the regular musicians are primarily snowbirds, there are also locals who show up as well. These musical hours are most enjoyable.

My favorite theater is the Platino at Galarias. Comfortable reclining seats, as well as food and beverage service at your seat are great features. Operation Red Sparrow was a great movie, although a little high on the blood and gore for me.

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 I have attended several concerts this winter. I have described some of them in previous blog posts, but the month of March has so far been a whirlwind of amazing performances.

Last Friday we went to a percussion concert at Angela Peralta. In addition to the usual drums, these talented musicians used a variety of household items and textures to create some very interesting sounds.

On Saturday the venue was La Chupiteria to hear some big band music.

Last night, tonight and tomorrow night the concerts are for the Guitar Festival. The ensemble of eight play a variety of classical and contemporary music. The musicians are from Mexico, Cuba and Uruguay. And there is no admission charge for these performances!

This Friday we are attending a dance performance at Angela Peralta. This troupe aspires to tour internationally but the admission charge is a mere 120 pesos or $8 Canadian.

Next weekend the ballet of Romeo and Juliet is on the agenda, again at Angela Peralta. And I cannot even begin to list the other cultural events happening, although the jazz festival is just around the corner.

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But I will publish this post before I get distracted once again.