Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I fell in love with the song "Pure Imagination" from "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" this year. I've heard it before, obviously, as I've seen the movie before, but that was a long time ago and I wasn't impressed with the movie overall. However, going back to watch the song, I find it rather delightful now:

I was hankering to listen to it tonight and so looked it up on YouTube. Imagine my delight when I found many, many versions. I've decided to post a few of my favorites.

So the first, Lou Rawls, well, whoa. Gorgeous voice. Gor. Geous.

This one by Jamie Cullum is very different. It took me a little bit to get into his voice and style, but I really liked the jazzy feel. He is an incredibly talented pianist!

And then I found Jacob Collier's version. What???!!! Craaaaazy arrangement. Very cool!

And of course if there is a Muppets version, we have to do that one. It made me giggle hysterically. And sigh because it's really sweet. Ben Vereen, folks:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Nothing to do with Christmas

I've been meaning to post this version of Holst's "Jupiter" for a few months. So here it is!

I actually played this piece in my middle school band. We probably sounded more like this:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Song That Reminds You of a Former Friend

My roommates and I had a piano when I was in college. The piano made us many friends. Mike became our good friend - he was attracted to our piano and my cute roommate. :) He loved to play Jon Schmidt's music and particularly (if I remember correctly) "All of Me."

Of course, no one can quite play it like Jon can.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Day Twelve - The Last Song You Heard

I've started listening to Christmas music to get me in the mood for the holidays. I love Josh Groban's CD "Noel." The last song I listened to (I was driving) was "Thankful." It's possibly my favorite song on the CD.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Day Eleven - A Song from the Soundtrack of Your Favorite Movie

I don't really have a favorite movie. I can never pick. But "Emma," particularly the 2009 version, would be high on my list. (And I really love the music from that movie, too.)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Day Ten - A Song by Your Favorite Band

Does The Piano Guys count as a band? Because I don't really have a favorite band if they don't. (Unless you count the BYU Marching Band???) Anyway, we've followed The Piano Guys from the very beginning and I only get more and more impressed with them. Almost every piece is stunning, including their newest.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Day Nine - A Song That Makes You Hopeful

I was trying to think of songs that make me hopeful, and there's quite a number. But I think this is a song that really resonates with me. There really are so many blessings that outweigh whatever trials I'm going through.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Day Eight - A Song That Reminds You of Your "First Love"

It took me a while to decide who would be defined as my "first love," and after much thought, I think it came down to my dad. :) I adored my Dad from the beginning.

When we were little, Mom and Dad used to let us watch movies on their date nights. (So exciting!) One of the movies Dad introduced us to was "The Great Race." This song will forever remind me of my "first love."

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Day Seven - A Song That Reminds You of the Past Summer

Most of my family is pretty musical and it's fun to see the talent growing in the new generation. We usually have talent shows when family gets together. This past summer, one of my nieces showed off her impressive fiddling skills. [The song starts at about 0:35.]

Monday, October 28, 2013

Day Six - A Song That Reminds You of a Best Friend

My best friend sings this when there is a lull in the conversation:

I think that is very cultured of her. :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Day Five - A Song That Is Often Stuck in Your Head

The first time I heard this song, I laughed. And then it got stuck in my head. For years. It was my default in my head for a loooong time. So I'm going to share it with you. It's very cute. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Day Four - A Song That Calms You Down

I ran into this song several years ago and immediately fell in love. Barbara Bonney has such a warm voice, which is pleasant. Also, the fact that the song has no words is soothing. There's not so much for me to focus on. I can just let the music wash over me. Very calming.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day Three - A Song That Reminds You of One/Both of Your Parents

For some reason, I've always thought of "Bicycle Built for Two" as a lullaby. It wasn't until I was in college that my mom told me she sang that to me when I was a baby. So anytime I hear "Daisy, Daisy," I think of my mom.

I used to play the piano for hours every Sunday afternoon when I was a teenager. Dad would often come join in and sing. One of the songs we loved to sing together was "The Music of the Night." I was introduced to a lot of Broadway tunes by Dad.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Day Two - A Song That Reminds You of Your Most Recent Ex-Boyfriend

Another name for my most recent ex-boyfriend is my husband, so here's a song that reminds me of when we were boyfriend/girlfriend: (You can stop around 2:35.)

The reason this reminds me of him is that on our first date, we went to "Pirates of Penzance." This is Morgan's favorite song from the show. The production is hilarious and we enjoyed it so much together we decided to get married. Or something like that. :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Day One - A Song from My Childhood

I'm challenging myself to post every day for 25 days. I found a list called 25 Days, 25 Songs, which I will be following. Today's post is a song from my childhood.

I wanted to put up some Power Tunes, but they're not on YouTube, so no dice. However, I highly recommend them. I'm not sure if you can even find the music any more, but I bet I could still sing every song to you. :)

Then I thought of putting something from Standin' Tall. However, they did not have any single songs on YouTube, so... Same problem. :) I would probably have put up something from "Dependability." Seth and I put on a puppet show for that one that particularly stands out in my mind.

So third choice:

I listened to a lot of Disney songs as a kid, but I picked this one for several reasons. Like many Disney soundtracks, I had the music from "The Lion King" memorized before I ever saw the movie. The music was gorgeous and really caught my attention - especially the background music. Now I know the name "Hans Zimmer" and appreciate why I loved the music so much. (Innate good taste.) :)

I also learned how to sign this song in an ASL class. When my middle school chorus sang a medley of songs from "The Lion King," I was asked to sign this song. (That was an intensely embarrassing experience. Why I told the teacher I knew how to sign it is beyond me.)

Every time I hear music from "The Lion King," it reminds me of my childhood.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A little Danny

Danny Kaye of course. You may remember this gorgeous lullaby from "The Court Jester."

But of course, YouTube always starts a journey of fun. Did you know that Danny Kaye was the Swedish Chef's uncle?

Or that he sang with Louis Armstrong?

That's a lot of composers, by the way. :)

And just for kicks, one of my favorite scenes from "White Christmas."

Thursday, October 3, 2013


I attended a funeral in a small town earlier this year. At each turn in the road, this is what we saw. It was moving to see the respect the policemen showed a mourning family.

Friday, September 13, 2013

I ran into this song today.

I looked it up on Wikipedia (so obviously my information is accurate) :), and it says that this is a traditional Irish and Scottish parting song. I think it's pretty - especially when the bagpipes enter. You know I love the bagpipes!

Thursday, September 5, 2013


This is just too cute.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


 Beautiful voice. Beautiful violin. Beautiful lyrics. Beautiful music. It's just...


Friday, August 16, 2013

What's the name of that...?

I love a lot of Sesame Street songs. Like this one:

Here's a funny remake:

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Hug a Convert Day

So on my sidebar, I have finally added a button. This is a first for me so it took me quite a while to figure it out. But I was determined to do it because I love the concept so much.

Have you heard of Middle-aged Mormon Man? I've really enjoyed his blog. Last year, he started "Hug a Convert Day." This Sunday is the second annual "Hug a Convert Day." Take a few minutes to press the button and read what he has to say about it. It's delightful and will make you determined to find a few converts to hug. :) I am grateful for the converts I know in my life - and for the ones in my family history who first joined the church. I am in awe of converts! They inspire me.

(Go on. "Push the button, Max!")

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wife for Life Book Trailer

Ramona has published her book trailer. It's beautifully done. Gorgeous pictures and Daniel Beck singing a great "Wife-for-Life" song. :) Check it out on Ramona's website!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I'm Feeling Romantic

Lest you be wary that I'm going to wax lyrical about my husband, let me put your mind at ease at once. I'm going to be talking about books. Specifically, literary genres.

I have been reading Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The House of Seven Gables." Hawthorne himself described this book as a "Romance" rather than a novel. In fact, you can read what he said:

WHEN a writer calls his work a Romance, it need hardly be observed that he wishes to claim a certain latitude, both as to its fashion and material, which he would not have felt himself entitled to assume had he professed to be writing a Novel. The latter form of composition is presumed to aim at a very minute fidelity, not merely to the possible, but to the probable and ordinary course of man's experience. The former--while, as a work of art, it must rigidly subject itself to laws, and while it sins unpardonably so far as it may swerve aside from the truth of the human heart--has fairly a right to present that truth under circumstances, to a great extent, of the writer's own choosing or creation. If he think fit, also, he may so manage his atmospherical medium as to bring out or mellow the lights and deepen and enrich the shadows of the picture. He will be wise, no doubt, to make a very moderate use of the privileges here stated, and, especially, to mingle the Marvelous rather as a slight, delicate, and evanescent flavor, than as any portion of the actual substance of the dish offered to the public. He can hardly be said, however, to commit a literary crime even if he disregard this caution.
In the present work, the author as proposed to himself--but with what success, fortunately, it is not for him to judge--to keep undeviatingly within his immunities. The point of view in which this tale comes under the Romantic definition lies in the attempt to connect a bygone time with the very present that is flitting away from us. It is a legend prolonging itself, from an epoch now gray in the distance, down into our own broad daylight, and bringing along with it some of its legendary mist, which the reader, according to his pleasure, may either disregard, or allow it to float almost imperceptibly about the characters and events for the sake of a picturesque effect. The narrative, it may be, is woven of so humble a texture as to require this advantage, and, at the same time, to render it the more difficult of attainment.
I think it is fairly clear what Hawthorne does NOT mean by a Romance here. He does not mean that the story centers around what we would term romantic love. Despite this definition, provided by the author himself, many people reviewed this book saying things like, "So weird. This is called a Romance, but there wasn't any romance in it, except at the very end when two characters declare love for each other." This annoys me. These reviewers are trying to write in-depth reviews about a concept they have completely misunderstood. Maybe they should do just a LITTLE more research before they write their reviews.

I realize that all five of you who read my blog are most likely aware that the Romantic movement of the late 1700s and early 1800s is QUITE different from the romance novels of today, but I had to rant to somebody. Thank you for listening. Uh. Reading. If you managed to finish this post, that is.

P.S. I realize I have misunderstood many things and stated my opinions according to my misunderstandings. I am simply flabbergasted that so very many people read the same preface I did with the same very clear definition and still completely missed the point.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Gardens Again

Just kidding. This time it is pirates. And cellos.

That's a lot of cellos, by the way. 120. And the cellists are between the ages of 7 and 71. Impressive! I like the sound of many cellos.

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Different Kind of Garden

I sang and played this song a lot in college - it would just get stuck in my head:

Cute, no?

But look what I just discovered:

And believe it or not, it gets better:

If you didn't find these hilarious, pardon my terrible sense of humor.

Here's a bonus. It's not English Country Gardens, but on the subject of the Muppets...

These videos made my whole day.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A garden at last!

We put a garden in a few weeks ago. It is flourishing!

There are even some tomatoes blossoming.

My romaine is looking tasty.

 Here's our only azalea bush that has survived my black thumb. (I killed five others.)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My Fair Lady

I didn't appreciate how funny Jeremy Brett was in this scene from "My Fair Lady" when I was younger.

Monday, January 28, 2013

For a Laugh

This made me laugh today. :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

HM&SL 2013 Book Challenge

We have 12 categories this year:

Science fiction/Fantasy
Books made into movies/musicals
Travel books/books set in a country you've never been
History (can be historical fiction)
Award winners/nominees
Recommended by...
Adult fiction by an author you've never read before

1. Each book must be at least 100 pages to count.
2. The first four books in a category are worth 10 points. The rest are worth 5.
3. Any book you own is worth double points. (We're both library readers and want to whittle down our stack of unread books that we own.)
4. Any books on your goodreads "to-read" list is worth double points.

I'm excited for this year's challenge because while it's less books to read than our previous challenges, more of these categories out challenging to me. Plus, I'm trying to read at least one book I own plus one book from my to-read list in each category. Should be fun!

By the way, I reported on last year's challenge in my previous post. Check it out.

Book Challenge 2012 Recap


13 pictures books
6 children's books
13 young adult books
10 nonfiction (general) books
10 classics
5 Church books
24 adult fiction written since 2000
8 from my to-read list on Goodreads
8 books on reading/writing/language
25 "other" books

122 Total books (Recorded books anyway. I often forget to write books down before I take them back to the library. Heh, heh.)

27,486 pages read (according to Goodreads, upon which I only had 111 books recorded...)

The challenge was to read 10 books in every category. As you can see, I wasn't quite successful in each category, but more than over-compensated in others. :)

Some of my favorites from the year:

Stuck - Oliver Jeffers
It's a Book - Lane Smith (um, read yourself before you read to children)
Hate List - Jennifer Brown (MUCH better than I expected it to be)
The King's Speech - Mark Logue and Peter Conradi
My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business - Dick Van Dyke
Being George Washington - Glenn Beck (I gave this one five stars for being so inspiring!)
Madame Bovary - Flaubert
A Return to Virtue - Elaine S. Dalton
To the Rescue: A biography of Thomas S. Monson - Heidi Swinton
In the Sea There Are Crocodiles - Fabio Geda
Cool Beans - Erynn Mangum (And the two books that completed the trilogy)
The Guy I'm Not Dating - Trish Perry (made me laugh so hard)
Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader - Anne Fadiman
Tryst - Elswyth Thane (one of the weirdest books I've read, but something about it jived with me)
Mistborn - Brandon Sanderson

Hope y'all had a great reading year. Do you have any to recommend?