Bitty Christmas CD Recommendation

Hit play and enjoy as you read!

I’ve some strict rules in my life, and one of them is ironclad: No Christmas anything until the day after Thanksgiving. On this day, my own family’s tradition has been to put up and deck the tree and home for Christmas, a tradition I’ve carried over into my own homes since striking out. Of course, at that point, it is no holds barred celebration, because if God coming to earth to live a perfect, God-honouring and -glorifying life and then dying an awful death to pay the penalty for my wickedness so that God might declare me righteous is not cause for going all out…what on earth is?

(Needless to say, the “understated Christmas decor” trend is not for me. It’s tasteful, but you can’t miss it around here.)

Anyhow, that rule about no Christmas extends to music, much as I love so much of the Christmas music, both sacred and secular. But surely you, too, have noticed that the Christmas stations have become nauseatingly repetitive, no matter where you may be. And it’s not as if the catalog of Christmas music—in the States, especially—is paltry. It is enormous. You could  probably have a station of solely 1930s-40s Christmas tunes and not repeat a single song for many days. But here we are, I can’t stand the thought of Brenda Lee’s party or Karen Carpenter’s Christmas cards anymore (sorry, gals), and long to hear the superb Nat “King” Cole and Bing Crosby sing the other songs

20171217_122322.jpg

Photographing things in my car since I don’t care to say how long.

they sang so beautifully, so last year, began buying up Christmas albums.

One of them is “A Magical Christmas*” (it seems I lucked out, paying under five dollars for the set at a used bookstore!), chosen for its blend of the aforementioned sacred & secular and lack of songs Hubby and I can no longer bear. You’ll have to track it down at a used CD or bookstore, but it’s quite worthwhile, so if you see it, snap it up. There were two numbers we both found particularly enjoyable, from the two-dozen plus numbers (only one or two of which we considered clunkers—not a bad percentage!).

One was the opener, “Christmas Medley” by Harry Belafonte, at the top of this post. Lovely, yes? A perfect and enjoyable beginning to the collection, plus, one hears “O Little Town of Bethlehem” so rarely on the radio these days. That said, for us, the real standout happened to be a song one doesn’t usually think of as a Christmas carol, and was once in fact a regularly heard worship song, but one oh so rarely used by worship leaders anymore. But it wasn’t just the song, it was the singer performing it. Kids, it’s Bobby Darin singing “Holy, Holy, Holy”, and it’s beautiful.

Isn’t that marvellous? And we’ve nothing against Darin; it was an unexpected delight. So I hope you enjoyed it, too, and that you also find this CD for well under the apparently suggested seventy dollars. These two tunes alone are worth finding this for, and honestly, I think Darin’s “Holy, Holy, Holy” is worth the price of admission all by itself.

(You also get an Elvis very influenced by doo-wop, some Mario Lanza, of course Bing and Nat and Frank, Dean-o, Ella—albeit one solitary song, but her Christmas albums are all worth having—Doris Day, Peggy Lee—oh, and a fun little novelty song performed by Bing with the Andrews Sisters about toys throwing a party for Santa; the Bing-as-Santa laugh makes it worth a listen.)

I’m not a professional music reviewer, but I do enjoy good music, a laugh, and have gotten old and cranky and therefore cannot stand a majority of the contemporary stuff.

* Affiliate link. Please see my affiliate note at the bottom of the page, but hey—we have to keep our beloved senior collie in treats somehow, yes? 😉

Advertisements

Bitty Garden Tour

Bumblebee & Borage

Oh, who am I kidding? This post is likely to have 527 photos.

I'm a Liar!

The Kiss

A sad sight greeted my eyes last week (do pardon the tardiness—I also had surgery last week and recovery is taking a bit longer than anticipated): the first hard frost of the season, covering the grass and nearly-denuded trees and, of course, my veggie garden. Ben and I headed out to grab the last (green) tomatoes from the vine to ripen in the garage or be turned into some sort of preserve.

Last of the garden (methinks)

While most of the plants are indeed done for the season, my darling nasturtium actually doesn’t look bad and the youngest borage plants—borage being my other garden flower love—look as fresh as can be, and the same can be said for, of all things, the dill! The Brussels sprouts are fine, too, of course, and will probably taste all the better for the frost.

But for all intents and purposes, 2017’s growing season is over. This weekend I’ll put it to bed, though leaving up the still-blooming plants for as long as I can. Since it’s done for 2017 (my hopes of a winter garden setup having bitten the dust for the coming winter), why not a little tour? Continue reading

Pocketful of Nasturtium

20171014_123156.jpg

After a fashion, I suppose. After an unexpectedly exciting (read: wild and wooly) morning (all is well), Ben and I checked the garden for anything that ought to be brought inside. (Reading Proverbs 10 earlier this week, it must be said, played a part in encouraging me to be more diligent about such things—two of my tomato plants have been very disappointing this year, so I sort of dislike wandering into the veg garden at the moment.)

My nasturtium—which I adore and grow several varieties of—continue to thrive as we stride further into autumn, but there are plenty of seeds to gather from my many nasturtium plants. I just grab them as I see them and roll them into my apron pocket; once inside I spread Garden Tour: Nasturtiumthem out to dry, and once this is accomplished, will toss them into a canning jar with the hopes of seeing them come to life next year. This will be my first attempt at doing so; I’ll have to let you know how it goes.

It’s hard to tell from my phone-shooting-into-my-apron-pocket-at-high-noon photo, but nasturtium seeds look like tiny brains. Fun fact in case you need something quite unusual for Halloween. 😉

For some reason, I don’t seem to have any photos of the blooms themselves! Truly bizarre—but then I’m spending as much time watching the hardworking bees as anything in the veggie garden. Ooops.

At any rate, most of the seeds I’ve gathered in so far are of a nice size indeed, but some of the very small ones remain in the apron pocket; as we walk about the property, I’ll toss them into Garden Ben!the woods along our pathways and drive, and see what God decides to do with them. (Yes, whether or not any of them produce at all is up to Him, but these semi-rejects will be far more obviously on their own.) Who has ever been disappointed by nasturtium popping up in unexpected places? Not this gal, and not anyone she knows. Including, presumably, Ben.

Pray for the first responders, too

All too often we awaken to the sort of news that cruelly greeted us this morning. No doubt you, as I, said at least one prayer, if not many more, for those murdered in Las Vegas, for their families and friends. But I would like to ask that we also keep in our prayers the first responders—the police, the EMTs, the doctors and nurses in local hospitals and medical centers.

When the nightclub in Orlando was subject to a heinous terror attack last year, I found myself thinking not only of the lost and their loved ones, but of the unimaginably awful carnage police and medical personnel had to confront as they tried to find any who might still be alive and savable, as they worked to understand what had happened that awful night, and how their souls must have churned when they stepped through the doors of Pulse. These are things that human eyes ought never see, that human minds ought never have to contemplate or try to understand, but here we are, in this utterly broken, fallen world, and increasingly too many of our fellow beings have to see such things (consider the knife attack in Paris this weekend, or the attempted truck attack in Edmonton).

The effect on these men and women—mentally, spiritually, and physically—is surely beyond awful. So please: pray for them, too. In a way they are peripheral victims, and though they deal with human evil just about daily, events like this are certainly on another level—human evil nakedly undeniable, expressed in blood and death and loss and forever-wounded hearts. Thanks.

Really, this could be fun.

Via the always-amusing Babylon Bee:

Expanding its wide range of fantasy offerings like baseball, football, and basketball, popular website and sports news empire ESPN has finally added free fantasy preaching software to its website, sources confirmed Monday.

ESPN’s proprietary software will track stats like conversions, Greek words utilized per minute, arm movement, and Scripture references in real time.

…“If you like the idea of a fantasy league, but you’re more interested in John Piper’s exegesis than Le’Veon Bell’s rushing yards, this is the program for you,” ESPN.com’s head programmer John Charles told reporters.

Part of me wishes this weren’t parody. Alas, it will probably languish in the bin of Fine Ideas, alongside Star Trek-style transporters, that shoe-parade system (about 1:33) I’ve never forgotten from Home Improvement, and the revival of drive-in movie theatres (considering the caliber of Hollywood’s present offerings, that last one is presently crushed at the bottom of said bin, but that’s another post).

Please don’t be this person.

.

Glenrio is absolutely one of my favourite places along Route 66, particularly the Longhorn Cafe. The famed painted glass panels on the cafe have stood alone for nearly as long as I’ve been alive—but alas, no more:

…many Route 66 enthusiasts still were deeply disappointed to learn Monday four window panes that spelled “CAFE” at the long-abandoned Longhorn Cafe in Glenrio, Texas, recently were stolen.

Nick Gerlich noticed the missing glass during a visit to the Route 66 ghost town along the Texas-New Mexico border.

He said in a Facebook post he saw no evidence of broken glass at the scene, leading him to deduce the panes were carefully removed and pilfered.

There’s a photo of the vandalization at Route 66 News. As Ron notes, it is a small loss in the scheme of the world, particularly considering what we were all thinking about yesterday and the devastation wrought by Harvey and Irma in recent weeks.

At the same time, I wonder if things like this apparent theft in Glenrio, small though they are, sicken us not just because of the loss, that others present and future won’t be able to enjoy what we’ve enjoyed, but because they make so apparent our very much not being ‘basically good’. We are saddened by the vandalism and her sibling, looting, but perhaps we are also, and more deeply, grieved by such a blatant expression of sinfulness and selfishness, whether we recognize it as such or not.

At any rate—please don’t be the sort of person who apparently stole these panes. What are the silly but true cliches—take only pictures (unless you buy something, and by all means, when it comes to souvenirs and tasty food, buy away on the Mother Road, and support those businesses!) and leave only footprints? Let us respect our past and consider the future.