Monday, August 31, 2009

How Much People Miss By Being "Busy"

My Gramma forwarded this story to my Mom. I never read e-mail forwards, but we've been canning tomatoes all day and I had just sat down to take a break, so I wasn't feeling that particular about e-mails. This is a really eye-opening story about society today (and this is actually a two-and-a-half year old story!), but really true.

We were shocked by the fast-paced life style when we went on vacation to Florida last month. People have no time for anyone or anything but themselves and their lives down there. People do everything but run you down in the grocery store to cut in front of you to reach an aisle or a register first. Things like that really surprised us since we're used to the "small-town Ohio" ways. This story is just a great reminder that we all need to be more sensitive to things that go on around us.

"Washington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later: the violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 minutes: A 3-year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

45 minutes: The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

1 hour: He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made . . ."

Monday, August 24, 2009

Meet Another Prince: Allan Jones

Well, we've been doing some more canning. On Saturday we managed to can 44 jars of tomatoes and salsa! I haven't had time to take pictures of them, so that post will have to come later, but I thought that I'd introduce another of my Princes.

(Shown in picture above from left: Tony Martin, Kenny Baker, Allan Jones, Dennis Morgan and Gordon MacRae.)

This time, you're listening to Allan Jones! Here he is singing "Alone" from the 1935 Marx Brothers' film, A Night at the Opera. This is the song that started me on the quest for "princes". Actually, this was the first time that we'd heard anyone other than a Disney prince sing like this! It was love at first . . . listen?!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Meet One of My Princes: Dennis Morgan

Well, I thought that I would introduce you all to my "Disney Princes". These are singers that fall into a certain category of "high tenors" who, in my opinion, sound like the traditional Disney Princes (i.e. Snow White, Cinderella & Sleeping Beauty). The list is small, but under Bing and Nelson you can't find better singers anywhere.

In no particular order, they are (as in picture above from left): Tony Martin, Kenny Baker, Allan Jones, Dennis Morgan and Gordon MacRae. It all started because I absolutely love the song from Disney's Cinderella, "So This is Love", sung by "Cinderella" and her Prince (Mike Douglas). Then, one day, I heard a song by Allan Jones that sounded just like that . . . and so the first of my Princes was born. For years I've "collected" Princes by listening to records or watching old musicals.

I thought that it would be fun to feature a Prince in a blog entry every now and then, so here is the first one. This is Dennis Morgan singing a song to (and with) Doris Day in the movie "I've Got a Feeling". It is called Absent-minded Heart. Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pickle Canning etc.

Well, after a long silence, here is the long-over-due entry! We have been really busy around here since returning from Florida, and I think that we're finally catching up to life. Two weeks ago we canned pickles. That was the first canning of the year for us!

We made bread & butter slices, dill pickle slices and pieces. Some jars were fresh-packed and some soaked over night in salt water. We also made some dill green beans. Those are our favorite, so canning wouldn't be canning if there wasn't at least one batch of them.

One very cool thing that we tried for the first time is "watermelon pickles"! You cut the watermelon rind into little chunks and make sweet pickles out of them. We figure on saving them until Christmas for a special something . . . can't wait to try them.

Now, as for some of the other things that we've been doing lately . . .
Mom and I went to the local auction house last week and had a great time! We got a 48-star flag! Elizabeth and I are going to decorate our bedroom this Christmas like a 1940s WWII Patriotic Christmas, so a 48-star flag is the perfect thing!

We also got a gorgeous crib/baby bed that is going to be perfect for the day when I finally have nursery to decorate! Now, storing it will be a little tricky as space is at a premium around here, but we'll come to that later. We've got the crib out in the garage right now for the time while we're cleaning it up, so I'll take some pictures of it to post here. Just a few weeks ago we were at an antique store and I saw a gorgeous blond crib that I really liked. Unfortunately, the price was a little out of line. We got this crib at the auction though for $5.00! And, it's tons cooler than the one at the store. It is actually really big for a crib and the sides are removable so that you can use it as a child's bed when they get bigger.

Tonight there is another auction, so Mom and I are going again. Maybe we'll find something else cool! We are also going to an Amish farm near by to pick up some tomatoes. Tomorrow we will be making salsa to can! I'll try and post more this week. I've got more pictures from the Florida trip too, so those will be coming.