Saturday, March 28, 2009


Are you a morning person? Do you wake up ready and raring to face the day or are you a little slower off the mark? Does the alarm clock annoy you to the point of wanting to throw it out the window? From the time you wake up, how long does it take you to feel that you are ready to face the world?

Mornings can be rough. When I was growing up, I always hated mornings. It wasn't that I'd been up late or hadn't gotten a decent sleep, it just took me a while to feel somewhat human and social after I woke up.

Mom would call me about 7:00 and again about 5-10 minutes later to make sure I was actually awake and starting to get ready for school. I wasn't much of a conversationalist in the mornings. As I passed through the kitchen on the way to the bathroom, mom and dad would make some comment along the lines of; "well, it's moving, but is it awake?". I was semi-conscious and working on autopilot. I'd say g'morning on the way back, but I just wasn't awake enough to really communicate. I needed that time to let the cobwebs disappear and mentally prepare for the day ahead.

I remember a religious retreat that I was on, in my late teens. I came downstairs one morning and Rev (our pastor's nickname) was sitting at a table having a cup of coffee before we all gathered for breakfast. He looked at me and said; "Is it 'good morning Lord' or 'good Lord, it's morning?" I attempted a half smile, but managed to hold up two fingers to indicate the second. He just laughed as I kept walking towards the showers.

When I was living in a dorm, I shared a room with two other girls. One of the roommates, used to drive me crazy as she was an early riser and practically jumped out of bed the second the alarm went off. She would start humming and/or singing to herself within a minute or so! My roommate was a very nice person, but she just didn't get that everyone didn't wake up happy with a song in their heart. My other roommate and I, finally convinced her that she needed to cool it until we were ALL more awake or it was going to be a very long and difficult year. I've had other roommates over the years and shared apartments, but no one drove me as crazy as she did in the mornings!

It's been years since I have lived with anyone and that is both good and bad. You don't have to deal with someone elses morning quirks - and God forgive them if they are a perky morning person 'cause I may well want to kill them! On the other hand, it would be really nice to wake up with someone beside you who understands you and accepts that you need that bit of time to get your brain and body to move somewhat coherently. Even better if they are of a similar ilk.

In my younger years, I could be a bit of a night owl - especially if I didn't have to get up too early, but I also knew how much I needed a good nights sleep to function semi decently the following day so really did try to pace myself. As I have aged, the night owl affect is still there at times, but it is a lot harder on the old system!

For years, I woke up to the buzz or ringing of an alarm clock. I hated that sound. It jarred you into consciousness rather than gently awakening you from a peaceful slumber. I would turn it off and turn the radio on softly, then gradually increase the volume as I woke up. I started using a clock radio in the late 1970's and that did help a lot. It wasn't as much of a shock to the system as the old wind up clocks. Waking up to music is much easier than an alarm.

Surprisingly, I actually got to the point, where I could wake up on my own about two to three minutes before the radio would go on. I was actually able to more or less stop using an alarm clock. If I had a very early appointment, I'd set it to be on the safe side, but rarely needed it. Even though I wasn't punching a time clock, I was still taking various meds and so tried to keep them on a regular schedule.

Over the years, I have gotten better at mornings. I still have my days that I just don't want to even get out of bed, let alone face the world, but as long as I am not rushed - then I am fine. Living by myself does have it's advantages, as I don't have to actually talk to anyone until I step out of my apartment or use the phone. It's not that I am anti-social - I just like having that quiet time to let my body and mind wake up naturally.

So, if you see me some morning and I don't seem quite as chipper or social as I usually am, don't worry - it probably isn't you. It's more likely that I just need a little more time to wake up or a cat nap!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Thufferin' Thuccotash!"

Is it possible? Could that lovable puddy tat really be 64? Yup - Sylvester the cat made his cinematic debut on March 24, 1945 in the animated short "Life With Feathers".

1945: "Life With Feathers" (directed by Friz Freleng)-Sylvester, in his first cartoon, is repeatedly tricked by a suicidal lovebird. The bird wants the cat to eat him, (because a lovebird cannot live without love, and his wife is cruel to him. sad, huh?) Sylvester thinks the bird is trying to poison him. Sylvester's first words are: "Thufferin' Thuccotash!" A nice start for a great character!

Freleng's 1947 cartoon Tweetie Pie was the first pairing of Tweety with Sylvester, and the Bob Clampett-directed Kitty Kornered (1946) was Sylvester's first pairing with Porky Pig. Over the years, he has starred and co-starred in nearly 100 animated shorts. Sylvester has also had a number of cameo appearances in television and in movies such as "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988), Looney Tunes; Back In Action" (2003) and costarred in "Space Jam" (1996) as #9 on the Tune Squad! From 1995-2001, he also costarred in the Warner Brother animated series, titled "Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries". Granny, Sylvester, Tweety and Hector the bulldog, traveled the world solving several outrageously funny mysteries while Sylvester continued to chase Tweety!

The Looney Tunes are often referred to as being from "Termite Terrace" rather than Warner Brothers. Tex Avery and his band of animators affectionately dubbed their temporary digs on the Warner Brothers lot as "Termite Terrace". The name stuck and was still being used long after the team had moved to a permanent location.

I love music, and one of my Sylvester cartoon favourites is Back Alley Oproar (1948). It features a sleep deprived Elmer Fudd being serenaded by Sylvester. I am not a fan of opera, but the way it is used here is absolutely hilarious. Like all Looney Tunes, there are some brilliant sight gags and humerus references to the times.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of Looney Tunes - and especially of Sylvester! I have been collecting Sylvester memorabilia since I was a small child. I have at least 300 items (majority are packed away due to lack of space). The items range from toys, lamps, bedding, clothes, slippers, Christmas ornaments to a black velvet painting and a 4 1/2 foot tall stuffed Sylvester! I have hours of VHS tapes and a couple of books on Looney Tunes and Sylvester. I also have at least 200 pics of Sylvester on my computer!! My friends all know to keep their eyes open for anything Sylvester while travelling and exploring garage sales - if Sylvester is on it I'll love it!!

One of my online friends created the following pic for me in honour of Sylvester's 64th birthday. My very talented friend, used a Looney Tunes logo as a background, then added all the characters, party hats, balloons, cake, text bubbles and other text as a loving tribute to this amazing puddy tat! She did a fantastic job and I can't begin to thank her for this wonderful gift!!!


Friday, March 20, 2009

Not Quite Winter

Welcome to the first day of "Not Quite Winter" which is more commonly known as spring. You may know the four seasons as fall, winter, spring and summer but we like to call them almost winter, winter, not quite winter and construction.

March 20 is the official start of the new season, but here on the Canadian prairies, spring and winter tend to duke it out as long as they can. Winter doesn't want to leave as it has been enjoying itself with snow, record cold weather and biting wind chills. Spring is raring to move in and start to thaw out the land and work her magic to get things ready for summer.

This past winter has been brutally long and cold. We are all pretty happy to see it end, but winter hasn't packed it in yet. This past week or so we have had a mixed bag of weather, with temps above the freezing and also temps well below 0C/32F. There was a -20C wind chill when I got up a couple of days ago. It was above zero the day before.

March and April can bring some pretty crazy weather. We really get the extremes in temps with melting one day and skating rinks on sidewalks and streets the next. We have gotten massive snowstorms in early April and even ice storms in May in past years.

This year, the first few days of the new season are looking somewhat promising with daytime highs from +2 to +9C and lows in the -4 to +1C range. This will mean a LOT of melting snow. Unfortunately, there is also rain and/or snow predicted for early next week. We don't need that! That kind of quick thaw and extra moisture from above, can do a lot for those who are tired of winter, but it can also cause a lot of problems as creeks, and rivers begin to thaw and rise.

The Manitoba government spring flood forecast was just released this past Monday and it could be a bad year for flooding if things melt too quickly or if we get any significant snow or rain in the next few weeks. Our neighbours to the south in northern Minnesota and North Dakota are expecting flooding along the Red River and its tributaries this spring due to heavy snowfall this past winter and a major snow fall about two weeks ago. That water will flow north along the Red and overflow even more as it gathers additional liquid along the way. Many of the various communities, towns and cities along the Red River are fairly well prepared with sand bags and ring dyke's ready to be put into action but there are always a number of low lying properties that tend to get some flooding regardless of the preparation. At this point, we aren't at risk for a repeat of the 1997 flood of the century that devastated many parts of the Red River Valley, but if we get any significant precipitation, we could reach levels similar to 1979 which was also a very bad year for flooding.

Personally, I've had enough of this long cold winter and wish the snow was gone, but since I grew up in a flood prone area of the Pembina Valley, I know all to well the potential damage that quick thaws can cause. It can disrupt life for days, weeks and months depending on the severity.

Getting around this time of year is a challenge as the snow melts and creates seemingly endless stretches of puddles that can be shallow or deep and often have a bit of ice hidden on the bottom. Since it is almost always below freezing overnight during this time of year, there is usually a rather bumpy skating rink like surface on the sidewalk surface to greet us every day. Then there are the pot holes along the street. Some are covered by water and can do major damage to vehicles. The mini lakes that tend to form near curbside storm drains and man hole covers are also a great opportunity for damage to both vehicles and unfortunate pedestrians who happen to be passing/standing nearby and are hit as vehicles whiz past and create a spray of dirty water.

Our seasons tend to be short and overlap to some extent. Each has it's good points, beauty and problems. We tend to try and rush the seasons. The winter enthusiasts don't want to put away their winter duds and toys, but the spring gardeners and farmers are itching to get out and play in the dirt. Many people are dreaming of golf, baseball, bar-b-ques and other warm weather activities. We never seem content to just let the seasons be and absorb the beauty and uniqueness of each.

So, whether you love it or hate it, spring is more or less here. Please be careful driving and watch out for pot holes and pedestrians as we maneuver around the mini lake puddles. The warm weather is on the way and we just have to be patient. We should enjoy the transition of the season as much as we can, because the mosquito season is right around the corner!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Litttle Irish Humour

In honour of St. Patrick's Day, it is time for a little Irish style humour!

Q: What's Irish and stays out all night?
A: Patty O'furniture!

Q: What would you get if you crossed Christmas with St. Patrick's Day?
A: St. O'Claus!

Q: Are people jealous of the Irish?
A: Sure, they're green with envy!

Q: What would you get if you crossed Quasimodo with an Irish football player?
A: The Halfback of Notre Dame!

Q: Do leprechauns make good secretaries?
A: Sure, they're great at shorthand!

Q: How did the leprechaun beat the Irishman to the pot of gold?
A: He took a shortcut!

Q: What do leprechauns love to barbecue?
A: Short ribs!

"I married an Irishman on St. Patrick's Day."
"Oh, really?"
"No, O'Reilly!"


Saturday, March 14, 2009

dn's Cloud Biscuits

The other day, I posted my recipe for oven stew, and I promised to share my recipe for biscuits. I've been making the basic recipe for about 40 years. It was one of the first things that I learned to make by myself. When I was a teenager, this recipe actually won several prizes for me over the years by entering baking in the local fair. Whenever I have moved or have gotten a new stove, I have found that this recipe is also perfect for testing the baking accuracy of the new oven as it is a quick inexpensive recipe It is a perfect test to see if the oven is fast or slow. I can tell by how quickly they bake and brown if the oven temperature and/or time needs to be adjusted for other recipes. If I burn them or they are doughy in the middle, I'm only out about a half hour in time and a dollar or so in ingredients for the basic ingredients.

The original recipe called for 2 cups of all purpose flour, but like with most of my other recipes, I have adjusted that to one cup each of all purpose and whole wheat. It is a very simple and quick recipe with a nice light texture. There are lots of ways that you can jazz up the basic recipe and I've listed some of my favourites at the bottom of this post.

dn's Cloud Biscuits

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold block margarine (straight out of the fridge works best!)
1 beaten egg, beaten with a fork
2/3 cup milk

Mix dry ingredients, cut in margarine until crumbs are coarse. Combine egg and milk. Add to other mixture all at once. Stir with fork until dough follows fork. Turn out on floured board and knead 20 strokes. Don't overwork the dough. Roll out to 3/4" thick. Cut out with cutter. Keep this simple - use the top of a drinking glass that's been dipped in a little flour or a plain round cookie cutter about 2 3/4inch/70mm diameter. Bake on ungreased sheet at 400 degrees until light golden brown - for about 10-14 minutes. These can burn quickly, so watch closely to avoid over baking. Makes about 12 - 14 biscuits.

These are delicious served warm, with a bit of margarine, herb butter, jam, honey or any number of other toppings. These are wonderful on their own or served as a great accompaniment to soups, salads, stews, chili or almost any meal. These also freeze well for future use.

For best results, these add-ins should be mixed in AFTER you have combined the dry ingredients with the margarine but BEFORE you add the egg and milk!
Cheese - add 1 cup grated medium or sharp cheddar cheese
Cheese and Onion/Chive - add 2/3 cup grated medium or sharp cheddar cheese and 1/3 cup finely chopped chives or green onion
Bacon and Chive - add 1/3 cup crumbled extra crispy bacon and 1/3 cup finely chopped chives or green onion
Cheesy Ranch/Herb - reduce salt to 1/4 teaspoon and add 1 cup grated medium or sharp cheddar cheese and 4 teaspoons of ranch dressing or almost any other low sodium seasoning mix (4 teaspoons is about 1/2 of the 28gram Club House Salad 'n Dip Ranch Style mix. I reserve the rest of the package in a zippered storage bag for a future biscuit recipe or mix with 1 cup fat free sour cream for a yummy veggie dip.)
Chive and Lemon - add 2/3 cup minced fresh chives or green onion and 1 1/2 Tablespoons of fresh grated lemon peel (about one medium lemon)

May I also suggest these serving ideas:
Tuna Melts - Slice open 2 biscuits/person, top with a little mayo, tuna salad mix and a slice of cheddar cheese. Place on a baking pan and slide under the broiler until the cheese is melting and starting to bubble.
Ham and Cheese - Slice open 2 biscuits/person, spread a little mustard and/or mayo, top with sliced ham and cheddar cheese (or Jack, Havarti, or brick). Place on a baking pan and slide under the broiler until the cheese is melting and bubbly/



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Oven Stew

My mom used to make a wonderful beef stew. She would brown the meat, then add all the veggies, some liquid and let it simmer away on the stove for a couple of hours. She'd do a flour and water paste to make the gravy. Sometimes, when it was almost done, she made dumplings to go on top. The stew was delicious, but I hated the doughy dumplings and the little pieces of soggy dough that would inevitably find its way onto my plate. I much preferred to have homemade buns/bread or baking powder biscuits with my stew. We compromised and she would set aside a serving of the stew in a small pot or an oven dish for me, before she added the dumplings. When she did that, I would make a batch of baking powder biscuits to also go with the stew.

I was never very good at making stew and especially at making any type of gravy. Then, a few years ago my sister told me about a very simple oven stew recipe she had found. It did have one strange ingredient though - soya sauce! Are you kidding me? I thought it sounded disgusting but she assured me that if you use light soya sauce, then you really wouldn't taste it. Okay, what the heck - I'll try it.

She was right of course - it was delicious. Naturally I have done a little tweaking of her recipe. Hers used parsnips which I am not a fan of. I eliminated them and just topped up the potatoes and carrots to make up the difference in quantity. The other thing that I did was add stewed tomatoes and cut back slightly on the stock. I just like a bit of tomato flavour in my stew!


1 onion, chopped (about 1 - 1 1/2 cups)
1 - 1 1/4 lb. beef stew meat, fat removed or eye of the round steak which has less gristle and fat - cut into bite size pieces
2 Tablespoons LIGHT soya sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups salt reduced beef broth
1 cup crushed stewed tomatoes
6 cups cubed potatoes, bite sized
4 cups cubed carrots, bite sized
3/4 cups chopped celery

- Evenly layer onions in bottom of a roaster or dutch oven.
- Place meat evenly on top of onions.
- Sprinkle soya sauce over meat.
- Combine salt, pepper, paprika and flour and sprinkle on top of meat.
- Pour broth and tomatoes evenly over top.
- Cover and bake in 350F oven for 1 hour.
- Add veggies, stir gently to coat. Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes to one hour or until veggies are tender.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Serve with a salad and home made biscuits.

Notes: Soya sauce may seem like a strange ingredient but you can not taste it in end product. Light soya sauce is sodium reduced - if you use regular soya sauce it will be too salty unless you use just a dash of salt with dry ingredients. This stew freezes fairly well. Potato texture will change slightly but still quite edible and tasty.

Variation: Substitute boneless, skinless, chicken breast and salt reduced chicken broth for stew beef and beef broth. Follow directions as above.



Sunday, March 8, 2009

International Women's Day

In the beginning, God created man. Like all inventors, God saw that improvements could be made on the original model and thus created woman.

Man believed he was the stronger, more intelligent of the two and dominated the woman for centuries. There were woman along the way who managed to distinguish themselves, but for the most part it was the male who ruled the home, church, business and political worlds.

Women were not allowed to vote or own property. If they did get any type of job, it was usually as a servant or possibly a teacher - but those jobs were left behind if they married, as they were then expected to take care of their husband, his home and raise his children. Any other type of job that women had was usually within a family type business.

It wasn't really until the last 150 years or so that things slowly started to change and women began to take their rightful place in society as equals to men. The women slowly but surely asserted themselves and found a voice to express themselves. They fought for the right to own property and businesses. They fought for the right to vote, They fought for better education and for basic human rights.

During times of war, the women were expected to do the more labour intensive work that the males had done. When the men returned, the women were expected to quietly return to their domestic lives and allow the man to resume the lead role as head of the household. Not all women were willing to bow out so gracefully. They were thriving in the new found freedoms and wanted to find a way to work side by side with the men not under them.

Women were finding ways to open more and more opportunities for personal and professional fulfillment. They began careers in business, science, medicine, sports, theater, arts, religion and politics. These were the groundbreaking pioneers who challenged the societal norms of the day and over time proved, beyond the shadow of a doubt that a woman could do anything a man could do. They were no longer destined to a life of servitude to their master or husband.

As I grew up in the 1960's and early 1970's, I remember hearing about the women's right movement, but as I lived in a small Canadian prairie community, it didn't seem that relevant to me. I never really understood just how little freedom women around the world really had or why they wanted things to change.

One of the earliest double standards for men and women that I recall in my own life was in about grade 8. The school I attended (Grades 7-12) had a dress code. The girls had to wear skirts/dresses. We were allowed to wear dress pants from November through March when the weather was cold. The boys, on the other hand, were allowed to wear blue jeans as long as they were not torn or badly faded. We tried to rally enough support to change the rules, but this was a conservative farming community and old morals/habits don't change easily. Many of us would change during noon hour or after classes just to express our discontent. Some of the guys supported the changes we wanted, but many didn't see what the big deal was.

My maternal grandmother was a home economist. My maternal grandfather was an agricultural representative. Even after they married in 1920 and started a family, they still traveled and worked together. He would teach the men more about farming and she would teach the women more about food preparation, storage, sewing and other aspects of running the home. She was a wife, mother and working woman. She was also one of the first women to serve on a local school board. I later realized that even though she was teaching women within the confines of a domestic world, she was still a groundbreaking woman in that she worked and served outside the home even though she was married.

Some women never had much of a choice but to work. If they never married, were widowed or their husband was unable to work, they had to find a way to support themselves and their families.

The women of the various women's rights and liberation movements of the past 100 years or so, really changed things for the better. Their dreams, foresight, strength and tenacity paved the way for the freedoms that most women take for granted today.

We have the right to vote, own property and hold political offices. We have the right to higher education and any job a man can have. Many of us live in society's where we have the right to choose and the freedom to express ourselves. Not all women choose to work outside of the home - and there is nothing wrong with that choice - as long as it is their choice and not one that has been forced upon them by their culture/religion/spouse.

Not all women are that fortunate. There are still countless women around the world how are not allowed to think for themselves, express their own desires/needs or even be seen in public without a head covering and/or in the presence of a husband/male relative. There are still pockets of society that believe in the barbaric and often life threatening practices of female genital mutilation. It is heartbreaking to see so many women still being treated like this.

If you think that these things are only happening in third world countries you are wrong. There are women who are living in our own communities who are treated as second class citizens. There are women who have been programmed from birth that they are worthless without a man or if they do not have children. There are still religious and cultural groups here in North America that believe in the old adage of a woman should be pregnant, barefoot and in the kitchen. Some are not allowed to vote or be educated past grade 9 or 10. There are countless men who still choose to emotional berate and physically abuse a woman who will not do his bidding.

They still live among us.

We all lead such busy lives, as we try to balance relationships, family and career. Women really have come a long way. We enjoy more freedoms and opportunities than any other generation. It is also important not to forget those who helped to make this life possible and to do whatever we can to make life better for other women who aren't as fortunate as we are.

I was rather late finding my way to the women's rights movement. Ironically it was a very enlightened male friend who opened my heart and mind to the sad realities, hardships and cruelties that so many of my sisters still face on a daily basis. He leant me articles and books on women's rights and the peace movement. He took me to lectures, plays, films and concerts that that informed and also celebrated the lives of women around the world. He encouraged me to find my own voice and to take a stand when I believed in something.

Today, March 8, is International Women's Day. Take a little time to think about what we have achieved and what our lives would be like without out our many freedoms. If you can, find a way to support the women who aren't as fortunate as you and I.

We really have come a long way, but there is still more to be done. Until every woman has the freedom and right to education, healthcare, hold any job at equal pay, vote and stand up for what she believes in - then there is still work to be done.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Patsy Cline

Virginia Patterson Hensley on September 8, 1932. She died 46 years ago today in an air plane crash at the age 30 and at the height of her career. You may know her better as Patsy Cline.

She was born and raised in Virginia - the oldest of three children. As a child, she often said she would be famous one day and was an admirer of Judy Garland and Shirley Temple. As a teen, she began singing on a local radio station. This was a great training ground for her and she soon went on to sing at popular nightclubs. She dropped out of high school at age 15 to help support the family after her father deserted them. She worked various jobs such as a soda jerk and waitress during the day and sang in the evenings at clubs.

In 1953, she married an older man named Gerald Cline. The marriage ended in 1957, in large part to the age difference and his lack of support for her desire to become a singing star. He wanted her to be a housewife. The other main factor was that she had an affair with her manager, Bill Peer. It was Peer who actually gave her the stage name of Patsy Cline - before that she was known as Ginny.

Her first record contract was with Four Star, but it was not a great match for her as the contract stated that she could only record country songs written by other Four Star artists - most of which were mediocre at best and never really showed off her potential as a singer. She did find some success and wider recognition when she was discovered by Jimmy Dean. She made several appearances on his local area show and even appeared on the Grand Ole Opry.

Patsy finally gained national attention in 1957 after she appeared on the Aurthur Godfrey Show. She convinced her mother to act as her scout - who in turn would introduce her as upcoming talent on the popular talent show. Patsy wanted to wear one of her trademark fringed western outfits that she had designed (her mother was her seamstress), but Godfrey insisted that even though she was singing a country song, she should wear an evening gown. She sang her new recording of "Walking After Midnight" and the audience applause meter went wild! She made regular appearances on the show over the next several months.

1957 was also the year she met her second husband Charlie Dick. Their daughter, Julie, was born in 1958 and the family moved to Nashville. Patsy signed a new deal with Decca in 1960 and started her rise to the top. Her first release was "I Fall To Pieces" which hit #1 on the country charts, #12 on pop charts and # 5 on contemporary adult! This was unheard of for a female country singer. Her dream of stardom was becoming a reality.

In 1961, another dream came true when she joined the Grand Ole Opry. Her generous nature was instrumental in helping to launch careers of other female country singers such as Loretta Lynn, Dottie West, Barbara Mandrell, Jan Howard and Brenda Lee. She was always willing to lend a helping hand - or a few dollars if needed. She also helped several male singer/songwriters such as; Roger Miller, Hank Cochran, Faron Young, Ferlin Husky, Harlan Howard, and Carl Perkins. She felt there was room for everyone with a dream.

Her second child, Randy was born in 1961. In June of that year, Patsy and her brother were involved in a near fatal car crash. When she was finally well enough to return to performing, she wore wigs and extra makeup to hide the scars. She also wore headbands to relieve the pressure on her forehead.

Later that same year, she recorded what would become her signature song - "Crazy" - which was written by Willie Nelson. Her star power was greater than even she imagined. Most female country singers were window dressing for the higher paid male headliners, but Patsy was the first to actually headline her own show and the first female artist to be featured in Las Vegas. She was a much loved and respected power on both sides of the microphone. She spent hours signing autographs and meeting fans after concerts.

In the months before her death, Patsy confided to several friends that she felt that her time on Earth would be short. She had been in two car crashes in her life and felt a third accident would either be the charm or kill her. She rewrote her will and even gave away some of her possessions. On March 3, 1963, she and several others gave a benefit show in Kansas City, Kansas. Dottie West wanted her to drive back with them rather than fly home on the Piper Comanche in the winter weather, but Patsy insisted that she wanted to get home to her kids and that when it was her time - it was her time. The plane crashed about 6:20PM on March 5 just outside of Camden, Tennessee. Patsy, her manager/pilot Randy Hughes, singers Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins all died in the crash.

Nashville, the nation and music lovers around the world were in shock.

"Sweet Dreams," "Leavin' On Your Mind" and "Faded Love" were all released posthumously and became country hits. Her legacy has lived on and endured with numerous re-releases of her heartfelt, soulful contralto sound resonating through every note. One can only imagine just how far this gifted woman could have gone. There have been several books, documentaries, tributes and other accolades given to this amazing artist over the last 46 years. Many artists have been influenced by her work.

I'd heard of Patsy Cline many times over the years, but it wasn't until the release of the movie "Sweet Dreams" (1985) starring Jessica Lange as Cline, that I realized just how much of an incredible talent had been lost. Like millions of others I bought "The Patsy Cline Story" which was a collection of 24 of her greatest songs. I don't think I could really pick a favourite out of all of them as every track is a masterpiece in itself. I've been listening to it as I type this post and am still moved by the power and sultryness of her voice. Her recordings, draw you in to the point where you can't help but feel the message of the song.

Like many others, I have also sung a few Patsy Cline tunes over the years. I usually chose "Crazy" or "Sweet Dreams" as I could really feel the depth of the lyrics and melody as I sang. And like all the others I could never do justice to the lady herself, so I found a couple of videos that I hope will give you just a taste of the one and only - Miss Patsy Cline.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Thoughts To Ponder....

A lot of info has come through my emails in the last couple of years or so. Some of it is actually quite insightful and thought provoking! Here is just a sampling of some of the things that I have read and stopped to ponder:

1. Ever wonder about those people who spend $2.00 apiece on those little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian backwards: NAIVE
2. Isn't making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing section in a swimming pool? (My sentiments exactly!)
3. OK.... so if the Jacksonville Jaguars are known as the 'Jags' and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are known as the 'Bucs,' what does that make the Tennessee Titans?
4. If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhea...does that mean that one enjoys it?
5. There are two theories about arguing with women. Neither one works.
6. Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
7. If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
8. Why do croutons come in airtight packages? Aren't they just stale bread to begin with?
9. Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person who drives a race car is not called a racist?
10. Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety one?
11. If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?
12. If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?
13. Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?
14. What hair color do they put on the driver's licenses of bald men?
15. I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older; then it dawned on me ... they're cramming for their final exam.
16. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
17. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative.
18. If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?
19. You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.
20. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone.
21. Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn't zigzag?
22. If a cow laughed, would she spew milk out of her nose?
23. Whatever happened to Preparations A through G?
24. At income tax time, did you ever notice: When you put the two words 'The' and 'IRS' together it spells... 'THEIRS'?
25. It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to doit.
26. Sex is like air -- it's not important unless you aren't getting any.
27. No one is listening until you fart.
28. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
29. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away, and you have their shoes.
30. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
31. Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
32. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was worth it.
33. Don't worry. It only seems kinky the first time.
34. On the other hand, you have different fingers.
35. 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
36. 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
37. Remember, half the people you know are below average.
38. How many of you believe in psycho-kinesis? Raise my hand.
39. OK, so what's the speed of dark?
40. When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
41. Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.
42. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?
43. What happens if you get scared half to death, twice?
44. Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
45. Life isn't like a box of chocolates . . it's more like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow!!!
46. Just remember -- if the world didn't suck, we would all fall off.
47. Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
48. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering, "What the heck happened?"