The road ends, but the journey continues...

Tag: playlists (Page 1 of 6)

Beauty Inherent in Humanity

The news broadcasts cover the dark side of humanity, the nasty, ugly, tough, brutal behaviors of some and I need to know that this is going on. But I also seek antidotes to this dark side, I look for the beauty inherent in nature. As I look at my photographs of this sculpture*, I am reminded of the beauty of most of the people I know, but also know that this beauty is delicate. I (we) need to nurture this beauty in others so it can flourish.”

*Utopia by Jaume Plensa (installed at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, MI)

Pat, blogger & photographer

“We need to nurture this beauty in others so it can flourish.”

Yep, Still Technical Difficulties, but I’m Back Anyway

And what should appear in my email but a notice from a certain Manc Bud Poet that he’d filmed a snippet of a song I love during a concert he attended just Friday night.

He wanted me to know that the vid was too large to send so – get this – he decided to post it on his blog instead…just so I could share in its musical delights!

Hop over and take a peek! The vibe of the venue is just what my psyche needed, too.

Ya know, WP has many, many issues, but why I stick with it is because of guys like Andy…and all you other guys, too!

🙂

Meanwhile, here’s Infinite Sun by Kula Shaker via YouTube – Enjoy!

NOTE:

Yep, my website is functioning, but on only 2 cylinders. I find it interesting that my desire to blog has increased during the ‘Sounds of Silence’ stage and this further stage of waiting for fixes to be suggested and then implemented.

Jetpack tech assistance in the wp.org Forums is still pending, stuff is still messed up, but I’m back anyway.

Staging Sites, Migration and The Sounds of Silence

Under Construction

Perhaps you’ve noticed. My site has been ‘under construction’ for quite some time. Silent for even longer than that.

It’s been awhile, I know. At first, partly due to lack of time to put together a ‘quality’ post, yes. But mostly, at first, in order to keep site-traffic at a minimum in prep for a full backup download and staging of the site.

That was a few weeks ago. At that time, I worked on the too-long-ignored WP/plugin updates and tidied up the website before proceeding with the scheduled migration to another hosting service.

Nothing quite jolts one out of techie-inertia like when one’s host service end date looms on the horizon. The very close horizon.

Those of us who are wordpress.org know that hosting servers offer fantastic prices as a first-time customer. Then, once the contract is over (in this case 3 years), the renewal cost increases by at least 3xs the initial rate.

This is common practice.

I knew going in, that I’d need to find a new host to park the website when the dreaded renewal date arrived. In my case, hubby found a great package for 4 years with another host server.

A little over 2 weeks ago, I initiated the move. There’s always a bit of trepidation during the change-over, migration, re-direct of dns to the new host and how well the new host service deals with customer help once the site is in their care.

And there are always problems. In the techie-realm, problems are normal. But, as they say, there are always solutions. If you know where to look for them…

Original image lady techie

Meanwhile, my newly migrated site went live. But without the ‘Under Construction Sign’ I’d painstakingly selected, put in place and made sure it worked while the migrated site was in ‘preview’ waiting to accept the re-direct and spring back into life. Why? Because the fixes I made in prep for the migration got messed up during the migration!

I’m no stranger to setting up staging sites and fixing/testing stuff on my website. But having my semi-broken site live & visible after I made sure it’d be invisible under the ‘Under Construction Sign’ was quite upsetting to me. More so than the loss of ‘likes’ and other weird data disappearances.

Turns out, Jetpack does not play well with migration. And, active Jetpack support on the WP Forums has all but disappeared. Just sayin’…

The good news?

If not for the excellent help from the live tech assistants at my new host service – this website might have remained ‘under construction’ forever. Yes, an exaggeration about the forever part. However, I reiterate: high accolades for the live tech assistants who walked me through the fixes!

Now for the leap of faith: pushing the staged site to live. Again.

If there are problems, so be it. Otherwise, it’s great to be back!


As per the title of this post: The Sounds of Silence phrase rounds out the content of this post – even if the lyrics of the beloved piece do not. I added it here for an aural respite from all things techie. 🙂

Weekend Notes 2/17-18/2024

A few weeks ago, we took to the road to attend my Uncle Dennis’ funeral in Chicago. He was the youngest and last of the three brothers in my Dad’s family.

3 Brothers, 3 Uncles, 3 Dads

3 brothers, 3 uncles, 3 dads
L-R: Dennis Bruno, Albert Bruno (my dad), Frank Bruno
(date unknown but maybe early 1940s)

My Aunt Dolores, as the baby in the family, is now the sole surviving sibling. Most everyone is sitting at that Family Table up in heaven now…


Ma’s bd day, February 6th, recently came and went  and I’m missing all of you guys…

also find this here

“Ma, this is what I wanted to play for you the day before you passed away; I wanted you to be the first to hear it – finally finished and ready to record – I wanted you to know – to feel me there with you, to be a part of your leaving us. Me.
But I was too afraid…It’s taken me this long to understand why.  Somehow deep inside I thought if I could play it for you, it would work its musical magic and you’d awaken – and be back with all of us. I couldn’t face you awakening somewhere else, someplace I couldn’t go along with you.”

me, 2008

Afterwards, on the way back home from Chicago somewhere in Kentucky, our 2003 Toyota Camry reached a milestone 444,444 miles. We’re getting closer to our return trip from the moon – it is now at 445,685, only 4,315 (at perigee) miles left to go!


My Saturday Project:

Laura's Lovelies 2024

Baked up a batch of my “Laura’s Lovelies” – thusly named by Amy-next-door during a ‘circle’ block party (we lived on a cul-de-sac) in the old neighborhood ~ Lafayette, CO circa 1988.


My Sunday Project:

Eating above Saturday Project – with multiple cups of java of course! 🙂


Multiple Meanings of ‘sus’

Multiple meanings?

Who knew? Not me!

According to those in the know ‘sus’ means suspicious.

When author/editor (and friend) L.Marie posted about current slang  used among teens, the term ‘sus’ came up.

My comment to that post went as follows:

“Sus (suspicious)” HA! Had to laugh at this one. As a musician, ‘sus’ is common reference to a suspended chord and/or melodic line suspension. Often said, Csus7 as an example; or There’s a sus on measure 3, forth note.

My comment to L.Marie’s post on current slang

That’s my simplified attempt at using ‘sus’ in a sentence. As a musical, technical, theoretical term go here & here for explanations and examples of suspension.

Excerpts from pop music of where different ‘sus’ chords are used can be heard in the video to the left. Keeping in mind that this is a composition technique used in many other forms/styles of music.

The beauty of this particular musical sound is that once heard, most listeners regardless of musical acumen recognize this in whatever genre of music it is heard.

That sound can now be connected to its name – suspension, or ‘sus’.


Full pop song example of ‘sus’ chords in instrumental sequence (first begins ~ 0.18) – Enjoy the music!

XLV

1978-2023 (and counting!)

June 17th.
Our 45th wedding anniversary.

Over the course of a long love story, what was once a single ‘our song’ becomes a whole playlist of songs. Marking myriad events in the ups, downs; ebbs, flows; crushing sorrows, magnificent joys; everyday living out of our love & life in this world hand-in-hand and in His Hands.

Here then, is one such song released in August, 1983 and added at that same time to our playlist during a particularly defining event that occurred early on in our life path together.


The year was 1983.

We were renting the bottom unit in a quadplex in the heart of the Silicon Valley – San Jose, CA. Hubby pursuing the dream of working for the hottest tech company of the time, Hewlett Packard.

Me? Living life in the Bay area as a new stay-at-home-college-educated Mom of a one-year-old and precariously on track with our fourth pregnancy.

A seemingly viable one after a rocky reproductive history of 2 previous miscarriages: one around 15 weeks (twins) and later, an early ectopic pregnancy that spontaneously resolved itself. Nestled between those, our much wanted beloved daughter, Hava was born!

Over the course of this latest pregnancy at 5 months gestation, the increasingly troublesome eye blind-spot symptoms I was experiencing could no longer be ignored. At the end of my eye exam, the optometrist explained that he ‘could not be responsible for me’ and felt he couldn’t tell me his suspicions on the cause of my blind spots. (Yes, he was an odd duck) Instead, he promptly picked up the phone and scheduled an appointment for me with a neurologist colleague ASAP.

Thus began the whirlwind of expedient & lengthy testing.

Of course, the neurologist explained further concerns at the next day’s appointment. It appears my symptoms suggested two possible diagnoses:

1. Pituitary Gland Brain Tumor

or

2. Early stage MS

Neither a good choice or something to hope for. But we prayed for the best along with a miraculous intervention.

Apparently, Pituitary Gland Brain Tumors grow exponentially & rapidly if the patient is pregnant – hence the haste with which these medical professionals carried out their testing and treatment plans.

I underwent numerous tests that lasted hours over a two day period prior to an impending operation date within 10-14 days. It was assumed I had the tumor and several tests substantiated those assumptions.

Between sessions, I talked with my OB-GYN to make sure that the scheduled CAT scans (MRIs weren’t readily available at that time) wouldn’t hurt the new life growing inside me.

They wouldn’t.

Further, the doctor spent time patiently answering my flood of ‘what if’ and ‘what about’ questions – mostly focused on how to protect my unborn child from harm during possible brain surgery.

And you know what? My OB-GYN made a point of letting me know that prenatal care is as much for the care of the mother (me) as for the baby! He was there for me, too. Every step of the way.

A few days before the looming ‘possible’ brain surgery was to be performed, the latest CAT scans baffled the medical staff. The original tumor dot cluster seemingly disappeared!

But we knew it was our ‘miraculous intervention!’

Even the neurologist said it was unexplainable (often their way of acknowledging a miracle of sorts).

So they cancelled the immediate mandate to operate post haste.

That left us with diagnosis #2 … which at the time was only confirmed via a spinal tap. I asked if we could postpone that until after the baby was born and/or indefinitely and was told, “Yes”.

Relief. We’d deal with it later, if at all.

Now we could celebrate and enjoy getting ready for our new arrival.

Aside from periodic monitoring with a world renown Neuro-ophthalmologist* at Stanford, I ultimately ended up with a clean slate.

Sadly, I miscarried again**, this time at 6 months gestation.

But the Lord has been my (our) stronghold,
And my (our) God the rock of my (our) refuge.

Psalm 94:22 NASB

*there’s an hilarious story that goes with our visit with this doctor, but isn’t quite in line with the focus of this post – perhaps another time it will be told!

**for completion’s sake, we went through 4 more pregnancies, resulting in 2 more live births (middle daughter and youngest son) but losing 2 more babies at 12 weeks gestation each. In total, 9 babies, with 3 live births. All wanted. All beloved.

Weekend Notes 2.18/19.23

Love, Harp Guitars, Oatmeal Scotchies…and back again to love.

February is the love month.

You know, the 14th is St Valentine’s Day and all of that.

In our family, holiday celebrations often last longer than the actual 24-hour day. Hence, here it is a few days after the 14th and yes, hubby and I are still enjoying the love month.

What’s that got to do with harp guitars and cookies? Bear with me. I’m in one of those ‘everything’s interconnected’ type of mind right now.

I remember when I saw my first harp guitar.

It was hanging on a wall at McCabe’s in Santa Monica, CA.

The same time and place where I strummed that special resonator hubby encouraged me to get, but I declined.

McCabe's vintage harpguitar

McCabe’s is a wonderous place. Museum-like with vintage stringed instruments hanging on walls in rooms filled with bookcases of sheet music and racks of pick-me-up-and-try-me instruments for sale. Bustling with the local musician community of both the vintage and newbie type, too.

Scroll up to 2020/2021.

I found an orchestra made up entirely of harp guitars playing The Water Is Wide in a virtual performance on-line.

It touched me deeply while in the midst of ‘lockdown’.

A folk song of Scottish origin

…which brings me to the oatmeal scotchies.

Get it? 🙂

Every so often, I get a hankering for something butterscotchey. Simply popping a Werther’s wasn’t going to satisfy this time around. So, the handful of butterscotch baking chips I had leftover from who knows how long ago, got baked up recently in a batch of oatmeal scotchies.

Oatmeal Scotchies Recipe on chip bag

The recipe (on the back of the chip package) calls for 1 2/3 cup of those chips, but I had to supplement them with leftover choco chips and walnuts to come to the 1 2/3 cup requirement. Along with my normal adjustments on commercial cookie recipes – replacing the flour, baking powder/soda and some of the salt with self-rising flour and swapping out ½ cup of the 1 cup of butter with ½ cup of Crisco – I also decided to continue adjusting the recipe by replacing ½ t of the 1 t vanilla with ½ t orange extract.

Yeah, that’s how I follow a recipe.

However, believe me, those cookies turned out fresher & brighter because of that vanilla-orange combo.


The water is wide I cannot get over
Neither have I wings to fly
Give me a boat that can carry two
And both shall row, my love and I

chorus from ‘The WAter is Wide’

…we both shall row, my love and I…


MondayMonday Music: #1 Remembering my first…

purchased downloads from Amazon digital music a long, long time ago.

I ‘own’ these three pieces, but can’t offer them in total to you the listener as a share on my blog…interesting. This embed of Amazon’s ‘share’ include only excerpts. Click here for my ‘First Purchased Download’ List but then – you have to sign in/up to listen.

However, as another vehicle for sharing, I offer up the three pieces in their respective youtube embeds for your enjoyment!


All that to say I do miss ‘relevant’ music radio – underground FM anyone? (KBCO FM history, KLZ FM history)


note: I suppose you, my regular followers, noticed I’m not exactly rushing to finish up my ‘part 3’ of the Catching Up blog postings…it’ll come, just not now! 🙂 Please forgive my indolence in this matter! Blame it on the Unending Summer Heat Wave of 2022.
Stay safe & cool, all.

It’s Release Day!

Swimming with Swans: The Music – Goat Suite (Saga)
is officially released today, 3/11/2022

Mama Goat
Hey Everybody! Take a listen to Laura’s Goat Suite (Saga). It’s all about me & my kids, back in the day.
Love,
Mama Goat

Brief background of this piece:

Smack dab in the middle of our three-year journey between homes experience, my husband & I lived on the compound in the desert outside Las Cruces, NM, by invitation of family members grieving the loss of a young child. We shared life with various ‘rescues’ of both the animal and human sort. Inspired by our family of rescue goats, their antics and their care for us as we cared for them and initially based upon musical intervals of their bleats, my GS(S) stands as an ‘homage’ to Mama Goat and her kids. In addition, it gives voice to the fact that those of us who have experienced or are currently in a period of displacement in a living situation or even state of mind, are not defined by that but live day-by-day, create works of beauty regardless, and share it with all who will listen.
[Dedicated to Justice Marie Norwood (1/30/2008-8/26/2010)- a child filled with light & delight, never to be forgotten.]

Hop over to my Bandcamp page for details on how to order digital tracks and/or physical cds.

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