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Saturday, December 17, 2011

An Irish Christmas ~ STMUSS

It's that time again!  It's Songs That Make Us Sing Saturday - Christmas Edition!

I think just about everyone who's got ears has heard some rendition or other of the beloved Christmas Carol, Silent Night.  Whether Christian, Agnostic or Athiest, if you were to ask pretty much any person if they knew it, they could at least hum the melody for you.

According to Wikipedia, it was written in Salzburg Austria, by Father Joseph Mohr (lyrics) and Franz Xavier Gruber (melody) and has been recorded by over 300 artists, in over 44 languages. The English translation was published in 1859 by John Freeman Young, Second Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Florida.

Now, it could be because of my heritage, or just because it's so beautifully done, but either way, what follows is without question my favorite version...  EVER!

Wishing you a Blessed, Joyful, Love Filled, (Green) Christmas

Mrs B and Family

click here or here to join  in on the fun

Monday, December 12, 2011

Meet Me On Monday!

Good Monday morn, er... afternoon folks!  I coming in a bit late for Java's Meet Me meme today, but I'm a firm believer in the old adage "better late than never". So, since there's no point in letting any more precious time pass by, let's begin, shall we?

Question 1)   Tomorrow, I'm going to ___________.

Finally finish decorating my home for Christmas! It's been a crazy couple of months around here and I can't believe there are only 12 days left til Christmas Eve!!

Question 2)    Pudding or Jello?

Well.... To be totally honest, neither one.  I love a good chocolate mousse or a dark chocolate pots de creme, because they're light and airy.  Your standard pudding tends to be too thick and heavy for me.  Jello?  Well, that just reminds me of being sick as a little kid. Yuck!

Question 3)   What book are you currently reading?

"We're Just Like You... Only Prettier" by the hysterical Celia Rivenbark.  I adore her books (and her syndicated column). She makes me laugh so hard that I usually have to go get a kleenex to wipe away the tears running down my face.

Question 4)   What is the first concert you ever went to?

Hmmm...  Since I grew up very close to The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) we went to soooo many concerts over the years that I can't really remember what the first one was.  I'm thinking Lynyrd Skynyrd... maybe 1975?

Question 5)   What is your current weather?

Baby It's Cold Outside!  It's a bit warmer (40-ish at the moment) than it was yesterday, but it's been in the teens at night.  (See my right sidebar to see what the weather is at the time of your visit!)

Happy Monday!

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Ginger Cookie Connection

If you're here reading this post because you followed the link on my other blog, I need to include a bit of an introduction to what follows. For the record, the Mr and I have known each other far longer than the 30+ years that we've been together.  He was my older brother's best buddy and his sister and I were great friends as well. We all grew up together and yes, there was a time when we could barely stand to be in the same room together. But, as is the case with many things in life, feelings change and kids grow up to discover that sometimes the very things that you never would have expected to happen, well... happen. Hence, The Ginger Cookie Connection.

When I think back on my childhood, there's certainly no shortage of wonderful memories. Summers were spent riding bikes, playing kickball and spending hours and hours swimming in the beautiful lakes that dot the landscape of the Adirondack foothills and Southwestern Vermont. One of my fondest food related memories, is of an older couple who had a small farm along one of the roads leading North to Lake George.

Every summer, the farmer's wife would make batch after batch of chewy, sugary Ginger Cookies and sell them in small brown bags, rolled tightly shut at the top, out of a weathered old farmstand at the side of the road. If you were lucky enough to get there at just the right time of day, they'd still be warm and their spicy, sweet fragrance would hit you as soon as she handed over the bag.

Since most households back in the late 60's and early 70's had only one car and very few families had a pool, our mothers took turns hauling half the neighborhood to the lake to cool off on hot summer days. On the weekdays the car was usually filled to capacity with rowdy, sweaty, hungry kids and an extra mom or two to chaperone. (if there was enough room) Mind you, those were the days before the ubiquitous mini-van sat in every driveway in the neighborhood. There's a reason those old wood sided station wagons were so popular.

On the weekends, dads would take over the driving duties and moms would fill wicker picnic baskets and old metal coolers with sandwiches, cold salads and soda or Kool-Aid, along with an old blanket or two to toss over the ancient grey picnic tables that seemed to have just sprouted up out of the ground years before, along the shores of many swimming spots. These beleaguered moms and dads knew they'd have full blown anarchy on their hands if they failed to stop at the "cookie lady's" stand on the way to the lake. They also learned pretty quickly that it was best to buy several dozen of those heavenly cookies, if they had any hopes of getting one or two for themselves.

As the years passed, without explanation or fanfare, the cookie lady and her stand disappeared as if they'd never existed. The kids of summer grew up and the worn old picnic baskets and dented metal coolers were filled with something a wee bit stronger and maybe a package of hot dogs and some chips. Maybe. The now threadbare blankets were still brought along, just in case a couple or two felt the urge to slip away into the woods to steal a kiss or two.

The cookie lady and her sweet, spicy legacy became a fond but distant memory as the cars sped past the old farm, still filled to capacity with sweaty, hungry "kids" and not a parent in sight.  I've often wondered why the cookie lady stopped baking those wonderful ginger cookies. I never wanted to entertain the obvious answer, so I just imagined that she moved to a new town, miracle oven in tow, to introduce a new generation of summertime families to her delicious cookies and their own unforgettable memories.

I'm linking up today with:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Who Did It Best? Take Me To The River

(see my Christmas themed STMUSS post on my other blog)

There are a myriad of different versions of the classic soul/R&B classic "Take Me To The River".  I've posted four versions below (in no particular order) that seem to be the most popular on Youtube at the moment. I have my favorite and if you're familiar with my preferences when it comes to music, it might just surprise you. (I'll reveal which one it is at the end of the post.)

Which one do you prefer?

Version 1 - The Commitments

Version 2 - Al Greene

Version 3 - The Talking Heads

Version 4 - Uyen Linh

Now, you didn't peek, did you?

OK, My favorite version of this classic is......

The Commitments!

Now, technically speaking, there really isn't a band called The Commitments.  It was the name given to a fictional group of unemployed 1980's Dubliners who decided to form a band, based on their shared love for the music of soul legends like Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and Aretha Franklin, (to name just a few) in the 1991 movie of the same name. It's one of my (and Hubby's) favorite movies and has quite a "cult following" here in the US, Ireland and the UK.  It was even voted The Best Irish Film Of All Time in 2005 in a poll sponsored by Jameson's Irish Whiskey.  Hell, if a bunch of Jameson's drinkers think it's the best, who am I to argue??  I mean, there was a time back in the day, when I was known to have the occasional nip of the wee mother's milk. ;~) I highly recommend it, especially if you're they type who can't seem to keep your feet still or your head bobbing along when there's great music in a movie.

Anywhooo.... I'm linking up again this week with the "Songs That Make Us Sing Saturday" hop. (both here and on my other blog) It's a relatively new and really fun hop, hosted by two very sweet bloggers who share a love of music and formed a great friendship right here in the blogosphere! The hop doesn't have a bunch of rules (which I love about it) and it would be fantastic to see more people join in on the fun each week. Whaddayathink bloggy friends?  Wanna give it a try?  It's easy-peasy!  Just click on the link below and join in on the fun!  C'mon, guys... Ya know ya want to!

Here's the link to Songs That Make Us Sing Saturday:

click here or here to link up