Mid-life Without the Crisis

It really isn't the destination, but the journey. May be cliche, but it's true.

Monday, December 20, 2010

For Angie

My best friend Angie is a huge Point of Grace fan.  She got to meet them recently at a concert and she was so excited that she called me on her way home just so she could share.  I love that she gets as excited about meeting her favorite singers as I have about meeting mine, though my favorites are a different style.

Angie shared this video with me one day and I thought it was a beautiful song, so I thought I'd share it with you.  I like this view of Mary in labor.  She was so young and in such a difficult situation, but she obediently and gracefully fulfilled her calling to give birth to the Messiah.  What a woman!

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

An Interesting Duet

This video is for my daughter, who's coming home this weekend.  It features one of her favorite singers, David Bowie.  However, the video also features a singer of a different generation, Bing Crosby.

This song was recorded for Bing's 1977 Christmas special, which was taped only a month before he died.  It was, even then, considered to be an odd pairing, but something about the mixture of these two great, yet different, voices has really stuck with people and the song has become very popular.  (Read the full story here.)

So sit back and prepare to be wowed by the musical stylings of Bing and Bowie.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Blast From the Past

The past few weeks in my Geography class, I've been teaching about Africa.  One of the things we studied was just how massively large the continent is, but with that size comes massive problems from droughts, health problems, ecological disasters, wars and famine.  We looked in detail at the genocide in Darfur and the 1984-85 famine in Ethiopia.  Tears flowed in class, I can tell you that.

I've been reading several friends' and family members' comments on Facebook and blogs about trying to get in the Christmas spirit.  I don't know if I would call what I've been feeling this past week "Christmas spirit" but it has certainly been an attitude of gratitude.  We are so blessed in this country to have peace, shelter, food, clean water, and the comforts of home and family.  We don't have to worry about whether our children will survive the night because they've had no food.  We don't have to flee to a neighboring nation to escape rockets and roving bands of rebels intent on killing us.  We don't have to work in the field gathering cash crops that will only make us poorer while enriching our corrupt leaders.  We have so much to be thankful for - that should be enough to get us in the Christmas spirit.

So I challenge you to learn about what is going on in Darfur. (Learn more here.)  I challenge you to remind yourself of the famines that killed hundreds of thousands in Ethiopia. (Learn more here.)  I challenge you to learn about the health issues that still result in the deaths of 22,000 children under the age of 5 world-wide EVERY DAY. (Learn more here.)

Then I think you will feel a bit better about your own life and the Christmas spirit will come a little more easily, if also more humbly.  

Of course, you can also watch this video from the 80s, a fund-raising response to the famine in Ethiopia, to get a little cheer, too.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Wishes for You

This video is of Amy Grant singing "Grown Up Christmas List."  The song was written by David Foster and Linda Thompson-Jenner and was on Foster's 1990 Christmas album, featuring vocals by Natalie Cole.  But it was Amy's 1992 version that popularized the song.

You can find lots of versions of this song online, but I like this one, and I hope you do, too.  And I hope you get everything on your list for Christmas.  

Saturday, December 4, 2010

And Now for Something Completely Different...

My mom and I went to visit relatives this weekend in St. Louis and surrounding areas.  We stopped off at The Factory in Farmington on the way home to see my Aunt Rita, who was doing a book-signing. As we chatted away, she mentioned how much she enjoyed seeing Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli on a Christmas special recently.  So I thought I'd post one of his videos for my aunt.

However, as I perused through his various Christmas songs, all lovely, I found one that just really stood out.  Not because of the song itself, but for the pairing and the fun of the video.  

So here's a clip from a PBS special featuring Andrea Bocelli and some very special friends. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Getting in the Spirit

I was digging out my Christmas CD's to put on my computer and I thought, "Hey, why not share some of my favorites on my blog all month?"  So that's what I'm going to do.  I'll try to share a video with you each day and tell you a little something about the artist and/or song.

Yesterday's video was from Harry Connick, Jr.  Harry is a New Orleans jazz musician and actor.  He has been recording since he was about 10 years old and does standards like "It Had to Be You" and his own, original songs.  He has appeared in movies like "Independence Day" and "Memphis Belle."  If you like Frank Sinatra or Michael Buble, you will enjoy Harry Connick, Jr.

Today's video is of Yo-Yo Ma and Alison Krauss performing "The Wexford Carol."  I have an instrumental version of this carol and it instantly became a favorite.  It is an Irish song, from County Wexford, and is one of the oldest carols from Europe.  This version features the Grammy-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Grammy-winning bluegrass-country singer Alison Krauss.  I hope you enjoy.

P.S.  What do you think of my red and green font?  Christmas-y, ey?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas is Coming!

Can you believe it's December already?  I've been so busy with the classes I teach, that time has really flown.  Finals are almost upon us.

That means Christmas will be here before we know it.  Are you ready yet?  I'm not quite there.  Of course, we're waiting to put our tree until our daughter gets home, and then we'll also wrap presents and bake cookies.  I am looking forward to that!

I do have a few more home made gifts to finish up, but at least the shopping is done, which is good because trying to get into the stores this time of year can be a nightmare.  

I need to put all my Christmas music back on my computer (I had to do a system restore earlier this year) and start listening to some good stuff.  That Musak junk they play in the stores gets on my last nerve!!!

Speaking of good stuff, here's a video of one of my favorite Christmas songs being sung by one of my favorite artists, the wonderful Harry Connick, Jr.  Enjoy....and early Merry Christmas!