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June 2015
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August 2015

BA BA BLACK SHEEP - The Story, The Song & The Video

Sheep-with-articulated-head-for-Blog

A few years ago, I had the distinct honor of being asked to play at my friend's son's first birthday party. I couldn't think of a more delightful way to spend some time on a Sunday afternoon. It had been a while since I'd last played for little ones and the night before the party, I decided to brush up on some kids songs. I pulled out my guitar and Rise Up Singing, the world's greatest songbook, and ran through the Children's Songs section. I chose about 10 songs just in case he had a long attention span.

After I played that  perennial favorite Ba Ba Black Sheep, I was struck by the fact that only the little boy got a bag of wool and ran down the lane; no little girl got her wool. I decided to remedy this clear shortcoming of this otherwise charming song. Once I got started, I just couldn't stop…

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BRIDGE WORKING

Full_Carrick-a-Rede_Rope_BridgeFrom time to time, I share stories inspired by my years as a hospice volunteer. My friend Ann posted this comment after she read my recent "The Ice Cream Caper" blog:

You often write about your hospice experience. My aunt worked in hospice for awhile and she also sparks my interest in hospice care. I'm interested in how you got involved and whatever you want to share about this part of your life. It seems hospice is a word used for a lot of different kinds of care but I'm almost completely unaware of the real details. And I wonder if you do anything like that now? How did it change you or did it?

So if you're up for it, let's talk about America's most unpopular topic, death and dying...

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THE ICE CREAM CAPER

Ice cream store

My time as a hospice volunteer taught me more about life than it did about death…

I learned that sometimes the tiniest moments make the biggest memories. The way one patient smiled with delight at the suggestion of a foot rub.  Or the twinkle in another's eye when she looked at the photographs I took of her garden, the garden she hadn't been outside to see in more than two years.
When I bring my guitar to work with me, those small moments are bigger than life itself. Sometimes, I'll catch a glimpse of a patient's foot keeping time to the music under the covers. Occasional singing along, relaxed smiles or peaceful snoring accompany me. The genuine expression of thanks that shines in their eyes and in my heart.

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THE BILLY BIRD

Birdbath with Billy Bird

Our backyard birdbath is a constant source of amusement…and more recently, amazement. There is a steady stream of the bathers, local residents as well as birds just passing through. As an amateur birdwatcher, I have come to know their rhythms and their seasons forming a predictable and pleasant flow of days to weeks to months to years.

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AGAPANTHUS ALLEY

CameraAwesomePhotoAs I've mentioned before, my husband Patrick and I take a walk every morning. We set out from the house, and choose one of several possible routes through different neighborhoods, each with its own reward - either a visit with our favorite neighborhood cat named Murphy (!) or something new to catch our attention to return us to the moment.

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SWAN LAKE

Swan

Some years ago when I still lived in Tarrytown, NY, a quaint town on the Hudson River about forty miles north of NYC, I set out for work early one morning and decided to go "the back way" to the office. In this case, it meant wending my way through a few picturesque neighborhoods  until I reached the Tarrytown Lakes, two beautiful reservoirs separated only by a narrow, two-lane causeway.

As I came around the curve, I did a double take. There in the center of the road was an enormous swan. It was the largest bird I'd ever seen! I hit my brakes and waited for the swan to jump back in the water. No such luck.

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SENSATION-ALL

Bird in bath

As I sat in the dentist chair this morning, I tried to distract myself from the business at hand. But the more I thought about distracting myself, the more focused I became on the process going on in and around me. Clearly, I needed to change my tactic.

So instead of trying to ignore the sensations, I began to focus on them in a passive, non-judgemental way. Which led me down a path that was a complete and total distraction!

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MUSIC THERAPY IN THE NEWS: SUNDAY EDITION

Newspaperwomenbench

Iron Maiden Bruce Dickinson.  Less Medication, More Music Please.  Way to Go! Idaho.

Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson and Nordoff Robbins Celebrate Music Therapy Week

In celebration of UK's Music Therapy Week, Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson recently visited the Richard Cloudesley school as part of of Nordoff Robbins music therapy programs to share music with special needs children. Nordoff Robbins is a music therapy charity dedicated to transforming the lives of vulnerable children and adults.

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MORNING LIGHT - The Story Behind the Song

Ocean breathe

It occurred to me one morning that no matter how long or how dark or how scary the Dark Night of the Soul seems, there is always the morning after. After the cloud lifts. After the fear subsides. After the doubt dissipates. Ah...morning.

            "In the morning light the world begins again and everything is new
             In the morning light I see more clearly that not every thought is true..."

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