Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

To Honor Grandparents on Grandparents Day

Happy Grandparents Day to all grandmas and grandpas, nanas and papas, grammys and gramps.

I ran across a quote that seems to capture the essence of being a grandparent; "The simplest toy, one which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent." - Sam Levenson.

This years Presidential Proclamation makes several key points, not the least of which is “As a country and a people, our grandparents have made us who we are today.”

I cherish the memories of my grandparents; Jim and Bea Snowden of Mt Vernon, Wa and Gustav and Maude Osbrink of Bellingham, WA.  Together, they got us going.  While I could go on forever about what they meant to me, I will simply state two stories to illustrate their impact on my life.

My grandfather was a hard working dairy farmer who milked about 51 head of cows twice a day for nearly fifty years.  He rose every day around 4:30 in the morning to start his day regardless of how he felt.  Those cows did not care if he was sick, didn’t feel good, was having a bad day, or just didn’t feel like it.  He went out to milk them in the cold, rainy days of winter or the heat of summer.   By watching him, I learned the value of persistence and what it means to sacrifice for family.  He was a man that embodied the spirit of “just get the job done, no matter what”.

He was married to my Grandma Bea for over 60 years.  Though they ended up living a simple life indeed by their 70s, I often thought as a kid, if I could have a lifelong happy (though animated) relationship like they had, I would have achieved much.  God willing, I am so blessed.

My Grandmother on my Mom’s side, who we called “Mimi”, was a shop owner in Bellingham, Wa.  The Peter Pan Grocery that she owned, served many a student and others from Western Washington State.  She was a cheerful and somewhat colorful personality who would fascinate my mother as ‘Mimi’ would practice telling jokes in front of a mirror so that she could entertain her friends and customers.  Truth be told, not all of them could be repeated on television.

From her I learned the value of serving people and to approach life with a light, humorous touch.
I loved them all and am grateful for all they brought to my life, too numerous to list here.

Below is a short video featuring both sets of my grandparents.  It is my hope that in honoring my own grandparents, you take a moment to honor your own.  Feel free to add your favorite “grandparent” story at in the comments section here. 

Please let me know that you dropped by and visited.  Click on the rating button just below or leave a comment.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Our 2010 Journey... So Far

Here is a short video, featuring all of the members of the family here.  Starting at the New Year with my sister Sharon and Michael, we wander from January 2010 through July 2010.

Highlights include:
  • The 'Snowmageddon' Storm of 2010; we got over 20 inches of snow, a record for the DC area
  • Our 'Weekend to Remember' where we got a chance to reaffirm our love for each other, held at the Gaylord overlooking the Potomac.
  • One of the best memories of my lifetime with my two sons, Mark and Michael.  We travelled to Lake Tahoe, California and skied Heavenly Valley for 5 days.  The boys were awesome, I broke my clavicle on the second to last day, but this did not stop me from skiing on Friday.  This was a special time for my sons and I.  I am so very proud of both of them and know that they will make Great Men and Great Fathers in the traditions of this family.  From my Grandpa Jim, Dad Jim, Leon, through to them.  The tradition continues.
  • We celebrated Michael's birthday in March at Chimas.  The Brazilian Steakhouse for true Meatatarians.
  • For the first time, Kelly, Michael, Cheryl and I went to the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival.  Beautiful.
  • Mothers Day overlooking the Potomac
  • Visit from 'his highness' Prince Luke of Cowabunga.  The visit including trips to the National Aquarium in Baltimore with Larissa and Luke was a treasure.  Aunt Kelly continues to be Luke's FAVORITE Aunt.
  • Memorial Day on the Capital's Steps was an Inspirational Day.  With Sharon, we were all touched by the messages and music.  (Lesson Learned, Bring an umbrella, the sun can be brutal).
  • We finished May with a visit to Virginia's Wine Country with our 'bestest' neighbor Regina, Sharon and family.  (Nothing like several bottles of wine and a beautiful Virginia Day to cap a perfect weekend.)
  • Then, it is Baseball Season, where we have witnessed Teddy come up with ever increasingly complex ways to lose the 'Presidential Race'.  Great Times with family.
  • My Birthday was spent on on the Chesapeake in a schooner called the Woodwind .  Wonderful day capped by a walk around Annapolis - Go Navy!
  • Michael and his Aunt Sharon topped the first half of the year off with a Trip to Puerto Rico.
Well those are the highlights... so far.  If you like this, let me know by posting a comment and letting me know that you dropped by.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

State of Independence

State of Independence

This haunting, rhythmic and nearly non-sensical piece of music is one of my favorite pieces of music from the eighties.  Aside from the hypnotic pulse of this song, I love it almost as much for its borderline gibberish lyrics as the music, because it becomes a Rorschach test in which you project your own thoughts into this dream-like state of mind.

Personally, I see it as being about Freedom from the urgent, nagging but when all is said and done, inconsequential issues we face on a daily basis.

In 1982 Donna Summer released a cover of "State of Independence".  This haunting and rhythmic song was written and recorded by Jon & Vangelis for their 1981 album The Friends of Mr. Cairo.

According to Wikipedia, Donna Summer covered "State of Independence" on her 1982 album Donna Summer produced by Quincy Jones. It was released as the follow-up to her hit single "Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)" in 1982. Summer's version of the song features an all-star choir including among others Michael Jackson, Brenda Russell, James Ingram, Dionne Warwick, Kenny Loggins, Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder.

Donna Summer - State Of Independence
Uploaded by universalmusicdeutschland. - See the latest featured music videos.

One of the best interpretations of this song comes from a post by DoesItMatter in which he/she states... "The entire song is about the awakening of the soul… awakening it to a spiritual world, to love, to open one’s heart to the universal “truth” that we’re all of one nature despite what our “earthly” hearts and minds tell us, since those thoughts and ideas are the root of the wrongs and evils that humans do to other humans.
It’s a state of Independence from all the “baggage” (hate, envy, greed, anger, etc.) that steals our hearts and minds.
It’s “Zen”…

It’s “God”…

It’s you and I free of all those terrible things we allow ourselves to become burdened with. “Call it magic” because it’s right here, right now yet we can’t see it until, usually thru meditation, we “hear” it and bring it into our hearts.
It’s about shedding all that crap, becoming independent of it, and awakening your heart and mind to a greater meaning…. and within you this state of independence SHALL BE.


State of life, may I live, may I love
coming out the sky, I name me a name
coming out silver word for what it is
it is very nature of the sound, the game

Shablamidi, shablamida
shablamidi, shablamida
shablamidi, shablamida

Siamese, Indonese, to Tibet treat the life
as a game, if you please (hey)
coming up Caribee such a freedom
derives from a meditative state
movin' on, believe that's it, call it magic
third world, it is, I only guessed it

Shablamidi, shablamida
shablamidi, shablamida
shablamidi, shablamida

Shablimidi, shablamida
shablimidi, shablamida
shablimidi, shablamida

Shot to the soul the flame of Oroladian
(the) essence of the word
the state of independence

Sounds like a signal from you
bring me to meet your sound
and I will bring you to my heart

Love, like a signal you call
touching my body, my soul
bring to me, you to meet me here

Home, be the temple of your heart
home, be the body of your love
just like holy water to my lips
(hey, hey)

Yes, I do know how I survive
yes, I do know why I'm alive
to love and be with you
day by day by day by day

Time, time again, it is said
we will hear, we will see
see it all in His wisdom hear

His truth will abound the land
this truth will abound the land
this state of independence shall be
this state of independence shall be

Say, yeah -e-yay, yeah-e-yo
yeah-e-yay, yeah-e-yo...
be the sound of higher
love today
yeah-e-yeah (hey, hey)

Time, time again, it is said
we will hear, we will see
see it all in His wisdom hear

His truth will abound the land
this truth will abound the land
this state of independence shall be
this state of independence shall be
this state of independence shall be
this state of independence shall be
this state of independence shall be...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Kylie Minogue - All The Lovers

Many of you know I am a sucker for Kylie Minogue. She had taken the Madonna forumula and sent it in a sexy way long before Lady Gaga had a clue.

Here is her latest. Once again, she knows how to create a visually entertaining piece of eye candy.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Simple Truths

A Video You May Find Inspiring


Friday, January 15, 2010

My Top 5 Contemporary Christian Songs

Below are my (current) top five contemporary christian songs.... Enjoy


Click Here to see the original studio version

#4) The Vow

This is only viewable from YouTube website

Click Here To See Original

#3) Grace Like Rain

#2) Here With Me

#1) Revelation Song

Revelation song...Indiana Bible college

☆ Ván맧à»♡'§«Mîçhæl³☆ MySpace Video