Monday, May 31, 2010

Confessions: i hate glee

I do like Quinn's long eyelashes

I'm sorry. I had to say it, I tried I really did... but I just can't. I hate Glee. I watched the first 13 episodes and then they lost me. I am not and won't ever be a Gleek. Originally, it was the razor sharp writing and tongue in cheek humor. Irony around every corner and enduring side show characters. Most of those characters still exist (I have a major soft spot for the talent of Chris Colfer who plays Kurt Hummel and Jane Lynch who plays Sue Sylvester)but are finding themselves is redundant, predictable situations. It's like watching cold honey pour.

*sigh*

I have to admit though, I caught last weeks episode where they focused on Lady Gaga. The highlight aside from Kurt's solo was the rebirth of Beth by KISS.


Video from YouTube Beth by KISS (live)

I'd forgotten how much I love that simple little power ballad. I love it so much that Saturday night i was up till the wee hours listening to it and downloading other such ballads from long ago rockers. It's my latest Music Obsession. Beth, you are never going to be the same I'm afraid.

Glee- just don't mess with my Eagles, Zeppelin and Supertramp. The rest is fair game.

Thank you.

Nurses


I've spent a lot of time at the hospital this last week so much so that when I walk in through the front door the smell of soup and disinfectant kind of smells like home. Familiar and expected. I don't mind it. People always talk about how they hate the smell of hospitals but I don't mind it. I personally don't mind hospitals one bit.

Emergency was the worst though. It was frantic, emotional and yellow. Families wringing their hands around curtained off beds, anxious to find out what was next. Patients with breathing masks and tubes some with scared eyes, some with vacant eyes. Doctors and nurses with millions of missions on a list running from one bed to another making sure that things stayed as stable as possible. Their 3 missed breaks the last thing on their mind as they whisk the next patient off for a CT Scan.

The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) was it's own bubble. Walking past the chaos of emergency with paramedics lined up along the wall waiting for the next bed to be open for their injured bird and through the heavy doors to a natural lit area of light cool colors and soft spoken nurses. It's the ideal place to regroup and heal. There is a steady hum of life saving machinery but it adds to the calm like white nose. Special attention is found here with assigned nurses who give you individual care.

It was shocking to see the hospital unit on floor 6 after being in ICU for 4 days. It was a combination of emergency and ICU. Special nurses and yellow walls. Clam but active. Families sitting throughout the day with their ill loved ones.

I've watched the different people coming and going from the hospital keeping my eyes open for familiar faces. The woman who sat holding her husbands hand with tears in her eye as she waits for emergency staff to hook him up to another machine. The family with the young boy who paced back and forth waiting for a sick relative to stabilize. The man who couldn't speak English and tried so desperately to understand what the doctors were saying about his wife. The elderly man who had no one there.

With all the inconsistency and uncertainty I experienced watching a love one fight to stabilise their vitals,  the one thing that never did changed were the nurses. Sure, there were different faces every day but they all were kind with soft eyes. Empathetic and caring as they nursed the sick back to health. Keeping a positive attitude as they talked to families and patients. It takes a special person to work successfully with the ill- a very special person. It takes a very special person to be in the business of savings lives because for most of us, we are in the business of ourselves.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sandra Marie

My sister, her name is Sandy. She's creative, humble and caring. One of the most genuine people I have honestly ever met in my life. She's sick. She has been sick for about a year at a rate that didn't really alarm us till a few weeks ago. And then yesterday with blue lips and a lack of oxygen that had the paramedics and emergency staff dancing in circles, she was admitted to the hospital. She stayed over night in emergency and then moved her up to ICU today. It's much nicer in ICU, she has natural light and a larger room. Her bed looks more comfortable. As comfortable as a bed can be when you have tubes and other devices attached to every area of your body. The nurses and doctors have been great the whole time even if they only know so much about what is actually going on with her. Her heart isn't working properly and neither are her lungs. Her poor lungs that even in the midst of all this flutter she still wants to smoke. I had to laugh. She laughed too. At least the best that she could considering.

Things seem to be in limbo right now- will they take a turn for the worst or for the better? I'm not sure. In my own mind I am prepared for the worst and hoping for the best. I know that this is only the beginning as well. Being the baby of a family that is about a generation or two older then me suggests that I might have to go through something like this with most of them if not all of my siblings and family members. Like I've said before I try and make the most of the relationships I have now. It's important to me.

So that's whats going on with me right now- whats going on with you?

 


"My Many Sides"  Artist- Sandra Milne

Friday, May 21, 2010

PAC-MAN Turns 30: Google Doodle

Well, I'm sure by now you have all noticed that the Google Doodle today is a Birthday salute to the ever so hungry and motivated PAC-MAN. He's may be 30 now but in the early 80's he was considered state of the art.

This also signifies Google's first ever interactive Google Doodle.

So, stop reading this post and go straight to the Google homepage to insert coin and play. Hurry because I'm sure when the clock strikes midnight the magic will be gone.

Go now.

and Happy Friday!



Image borrowed from Google (duh)

Food Fact #52: Don't Eat Fat Free



It's true- don't do it. It's not worth it... You may think that you are pulling the wool over the fat cow fairy eyes but your not. No-fat items often compensate for fat with large amounts of sugar, salt and other things your bod doesn't need more of PLUS they are highly processed. Eating healthy doesn’t mean cutting fat out of your diet entirely, but rather focusing on “good fats,” such as olive oil, avocado and nuts. Just as there is "good" cholesterol and "bad" cholesterol... the same goes for fat.

So go right a head and reach for the real peanut butter, the real salad dressing and the real whole grain bread. Your best defence is to read the labels and compare. You'll be amazed, so stick with the fat when it comes to prepaired food- it's not going to kill you and if you think it might maybe you are better off not eating it in the first place.

and that's all I have to say about fat!





image borrowed from Google Images

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Calgary In Spring

I haven't been posting much recently mostly because the city is in full bloom and I can't get enough of being outside. Here are some pictures I took last week of an area just outside of downtown Calgary called Kensington. Now that I look at them a lot more has come to life, most of the trees in my area have a full dressing of leaves. The air is so deliciously fragrant with blossoms and fresh sap.

Who wouldn't want to live in a little character house #732?


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My BFF's 3 legged cat, Tripod.



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Down the back lane




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I'm not sure what these little faces are but they are everywhere



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This one looks like Chewie from Starwars


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I'm not sure if this if function or fashion. It all goes so well together



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Longer sunlight nights are a delight



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Who wants a white picket fence when they can have a periwinkle blue one



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This house is adorable



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It even comes with a bike on the peak of the roof.




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and a Gargoyle tree out front



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These little guys have a watchful eye. They even get dressed up in Santa Hats over Christmas.


 
Hello Spring, so lovely to have you join us. It's been too long since I've seen you- hope you stay a while!

What does spring look like in your neighbourhood?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mini Donut Factory


Dear Santa,

I know it's a bit early but I've been a good girl so far this year (really, I have). Can I pretty please with sugar cinnamon coating on top PLEASE have this for Christmas?

(see video below from Think Geek)


Umm- yeah- AWESOME! I make these lovely little jam filled things at Christmas but it takes ALL day to pump out 18 of them. With this I can have donuts anytime! All the time! Where ever there is an electrical outlet.

Imagine the possibilities... I could sell them from my desk at work.
Goodbye Easy Bake Oven hello Mini Donut Factory!

Mmmmm donuts....


Love From,


PS: Santa, I promise to leave you some when Christmas rolls around!

Northern Exposure

BREAKING NEWS: Loose moose involved in wild goose chase through metropolis Calgary. True story. Apparently there was a moose chase going on in the very core of my lovely little city. It was last year that Laura and I had a close encounter of the moose kind  in an older suburb area of the city. Maybe there is a trend going on here. Calgary is THE place to be if you are a young teenage moose- almost like Vegas for boys.


Polite Moose always wait for the walk light to turn green before crossing the street


It's a lovely day to take an early lunch- the boss won't mind.


This is EXACTLY the place you should be standing. In a planter- excellent.


Everything was all a Twitter with the news yesterday- long story short. Moose found self in city. People found moose in city. People took pictures and called authorities. Moose was safely assisted back to the wild. The End. Poor little guy, he must have been a little worried being in this strange ol' city.

That's my que to get the heck out of the city this weekend.


Have a lovely Friday!


Pictures borrowed from The Calgary Herald who borrowed them from their readers

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Help Return Noah Kirkman to Canada (a post from Dinner With Julie)

A good friend of mine introduced me to the blogging food genius that is known as Dinner With Julie. Today however it appears that there is something much more serious on her mind:

*
Help Return Noah Kirkman to Canada.

Sorry guys, this post is going to be less about food and more about getting a 12 year old Calgary boy – the nephew of friends and neighours just a few doors down the street – his aunt is someone you may in fact recognize as a regular commenter here – back home. I’ve been shocked and appalled to learn that he has been shuffled between four foster homes for NEARLY TWO YEARS after being taken into custody while visiting his stepdad in Oregon for the summer when he was stopped by police FOR RIDING HIS BIKE WITHOUT A HELMET. IN 2008.

I am completely serious.

Closing in on dinnertime (see, there’s a connection here – and dinner was boring anyway – pita pizzas eaten over the sink), we spent an hour out on the front step chatting with Noah’s aunt and grandma, hearing appalling details about their case. I’m just dumbfounded that Canadian officials aren’t doing more to get him back. It’s crazy that there isn’t more of an uproar over this.

So here’s the story. Noah, who was 10 at the time, went down to visit his stepdad (his mother’s husband, the man who raised him since he was a toddler and is the father of his younger sister) in a small town in Oregon in the summer of 2008. One day, the police stopped him for riding his bike without a helmet. They questioned him (alone) and took him into custody with the reasoning that his Mom, Lisa, had abandoned him by sending him to the states to spend the summer with someone who wasn’t his legal guardian (although he does have parental authority in Canada). His mother’s note giving permission for Noah to be with his father in the US wasn’t enough. His sister already lived there with their dad (they were and are still married), and he went to stay with them while his mom got things in order to move from Montreal back to Calgary.

An Oregon family court gave the Department of Human Services custody of Noah, who in turn was placed in foster care. His family here was told the intention was to have him adopted.

Since then – over the past almost 2 years – he has been through four foster families and three schools. He’s a special needs boy with severe ADHD, and an A student. They tripled his meds, and put him on Zoloft. They say he’s doing fine, so he should probably just stay. (!! He was doing just fine here before he went down for his holiday.) When his family goes down to visit (when they are permitted-last time his mother was denied entry to the US) their visits must be supervised with authorities kept at arms’ length. When they talk on the phone, they aren’t allowed to mention the possibility of him coming back home – there was an uproar when his 7 year old sister asked if he would be home for Christmas.

Noah’s mom and grandparents have been ordered to go through various psychological assessments, evaluations and extensive home studies; all have passed. And yet he still hasn’t been sent home. They have another court date in the US on May 28 but aren’t holding their breath. Perhaps if enough people raised a stink about it someone in a position of power might be inspired to do something?

Of course this all goes against the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which requires that governments hand over children to their place of usual residence (which would be here) in order to decide the best course of action.

Keep this story in mind if you plan to send your kids to the US to visit friends or relatives who aren’t their legal guardians, even if you send along a letter of permission.

Want to hear more?


If you want to do something about it, contact Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Call the media, your alderman, anyone who can do the same. Contact the Minister of Foreign AffairsDeepak Obhrai is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and can be reached at (403) 207-3030

And/or email your MP – in Calgary you can contact MP Lee Richardson’s constituency office at (403) 244-1880 or try Rob Anders (403-292-6666)

If you’re in the US, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoshi has a Citizens’ Representative Message Line: (503) 378-4582

Thanks.
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So that's the story. Can you even begin to imagine? Being the mother. The stepfather. The family. Being Noah. It's such a bazaar situation that it's hard to believe that it's true. But it is... 110%

If you can help in anyway, please do.

Thanks,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ageless Mum


Look at this woman- can you believe that she is almost 80 years old? Look at the woman, not the puppy sillies! Yes, this woman is almost 80 and she is my mum. This picture was taken a few days ago somewhere in the United States (look at the creepy rain clouds in the back ground- looks like a storm is brewing) and I think this means I'll be a firecracker by the time I am her age as well.

Betty White is another woman- WOWEE! I just watched her host SNL last night and my goodness, that woman's still got spice. I'm going to be like her when I'm 88 1/2 years old and I can't wait. I can wait.. but I'm just saying.

Anyway, that puppy is my Mum's new puppy. He doesn't have a name yet and I get to meet him for the first time tonight. Yippee! I'm going to take my fancy dancy camera and take some good pictures of him. I'll post them if they are any good.

How Not To Cry At A Wedding


My good friend Rheann is getting married soon. June 19th soon. And I've come to terms with the fact I am totally going to cry. What the heck is it with weddings anyway? I see her in her dress, I cry. Addressing invites, I cry. Writing this post, I cry. My eyes well up and my lower lip pops out and I just can't talk because if I do... I'll cry.

So, of course, I Googled. Here are some strategies:

"I can't remember where, but I've read that abstract thought is a good antidote to tears. I wish I could find the reference so as to explain the phenomenon. Try memorizing and reciting an abstract poem in your mind, or using your imagination to construct an abstract visual scene to focus on."


"Make a fist and press your fingernails into your palm. Or bite your lip hard (not so hard you make it bleed though, that won't help matters. Causing yourself a little pain to focus on can sometimes stop the tears."


"Look up and rapidly blink."


"Step away from anyone who you're with so that you're alone. Squeeze your nose, take a DEEP breath through your mouth. Stare into your eyes in a mirror and assure yourself that you're going to keep it together."

"If possible, sip some water (or liquid of your choice). I don't know why, but it's very difficult to cry and drink at the same time."


"I know of other people who have successfully used anger to fight back tears, but there are obvious side-risks with that one. Yet other people of my acquaintance tell me that they can make their minds go blank and use an almost meditation-like technique to simply empty their minds of thoughts until the emotional tide recedes. Try closing your eyes and taking deep, steady breaths while trying to clear your mind in this way."

Most of these sound a little- err... scary? Can you imagine me standing at the front with the rest of the bridal party trying to recite an abstract poem in my head? How about trying to channel some anger? Anger and Wedding do not mix- at least I don't think so. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe anger would but just the spice this wedding needs. Maybe I need to be the Brides Maid who carries a flask in my flower bouquet pretending to smell my flowers so I can take a swig.

Not going to happen.

I realised that a long time ago. So, I'm just going to go with it. I bought some AMAZING mascara though that's going to stay with me the whole night. If you have never tried it- you MUST. It's called Kiss Me mascara and it is THE most AMAZING thing I have ever used on my eyes. Way better then waterproof and better then nothing. So at least, if I do have a mini downpour my make-up will stay put for the pictures.

Maybe I will clench up my little fists and dig my nails into my palm- grin and bare it (which looking up and blinking rapidly). Or maybe I'll get so caught up in Rheann's moment that I'll totally forget to cry and just be a fit of giggles. Or maybe I'll just let it all out after the wedding.

Are you a wedding crier?
Do you just let nature take it's course or do you actually have a little trick?



the wonderful photo is borrowed from the Wedding Photojournalist Association

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pirate Cookies

My BFF is shamelessly addicted to Pirate Cookies. If you are not from Canada you may not have any idea what I am talking about. Pirate Cookies are Oatmeal Cookie sandwiches with Peanut Butter Icing. Seriously. And apparently they are delicious!

The other day my friend posted on Facebook that she threw away what was thought to be an empty bag of Pirate Cookies but lucky for her, she checked one last time to make sure. Darn if she didn't find ONE last cookie in the bag- awesome way to end the night! This got me thinking as I lay in bed "Why are Pirate Cookies called Pirate Cookies?- Is there some sort of relationship between Peanut Butter and Pirates that I don't know about... Hmmmm" so I decided I should do some research.

Fast forward a few days to today and I decided to do a little research-- and came up with nothing. Well, NEXT to nothing.

There was an itty bitty little sentence in Wikipedia:

"'Pirate cookies,' with their delicious oatmeal and peanut butter combination, were the most popular of all brands - particularly with poor Lawrence Park families."


and another link was this: Pirate Cookies

Looks like "Pirate Cookies" was taken over by the South Park Pirates. Great use of the domain name- doesn't help me at all.  

So now I'm stuck. I don't know any of the history of Pirate Cookies and only know that you can make something called a Super Cookie by taking one Fudge-o Cookie and one Pirate Cookie, swapping halves to make a combo Pirate/Fudge-o Cookie. Frankenstein!

My only guess is maybe Mr Christie was a little delirious one night  and decided that a pirate fight happened between the Oatmeal Cookies and the Peanut Butter Icing. The Oatmeal Cookies decided to pillage the Peanut Butter and bury it deep between it's cookie bottoms. Just like hidden treasure... maybe?

I'm not the only one who is puzzled by this either- check out this post. Pretty much the same vague post but with better pictures (I stole one of the pictures BTW, it was the best out there).

So that's my story, or rather my non-story, about Pirate Cookies.

Do you happen to know anything about Pirate Cookies that I don't know?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Confession: i had a crush on a cartoon character



It's true, I once had a celebrity crush on Xander Crews (a.k.a. "Awesome X") from the acclaimed animated series Frisky Dingo. I can't tell you why, I mean the character is A) a complete and total jackass. B) a nasty man whore narcissist C) a cartoon character. I went so far to me having regular dreams about him. Serious. For real-real.

I know, I can't believe it either.

pheffff... feels better to get that off my chest!

"You Can Forget About Being An Action Figure" from Frisky Dingo




warning: if you have not seen Frisky Dingo I must warn you, there is nothing high class about this show. Not one single bit. So before you venture out to seek a little Xander Crews... buyer beware, it's offensive, crude and all kinds of wrong. It will more then likely appal you... even if you are expecting it.

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mama, My Friend


Nothing sums it up better then this song by The Spice Girls (yes, I really said that)

Mama-

She used to be my only enemy and never let me be free
Catching me in places that I knew I should'nt be
Every other day I crossed the line I didn't mean to be so bad
I never thought you would become the friend I never had

I didn't want to hear it then but I'm not ashamed to say it now
Every little thing you said and did was right for me
I had a lot of to think about,about the way I used to be
Never had a sense of my responsibility

Back then I didn't know why
Why you were misunderstood
So now I see through your eyes, all that you did was love

Mama, I love you.
Mama, I care.


Happy Mothers Day, Mum (and all the Mums out there)

Lots of love,

image borrowed from Disney Parks Blog

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Six Things You Need To Know About Facebook (an article you must read)



The other night a friend of mine updated his Facebook Status to-"Holy Crap! Your status updates (& presumably other posts) are automatically scanned for keywords and linked to related sites..."
questioning him about the update he sent me the following article:


within that article I found this link which goes into further details regarding the "connections". It's important for everyone to read just so we all have an understanding of how exposed we really are. I'm not saying that we all "delete" our account and start pen-palling again (which isn't that horrible, I miss the days of pen-paling) but just so we are aware. We each have different boundaries regarding our privacy- some of us don't give a rats butt and others would prefer to keep to themselves. It's just important for all of us to know what's going on because I had no idea.

What are your thoughts regarding this?
Do you care what Facebook does with your information?



Hat Tip to Electronic Frontier Foundation for writing Six Things You Need To Know About Facebook.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

HisTory and HerStory

my dad (Kevin) is the second in from the right

I fully enjoy the indulgence of sitting with a family member and listening to them tell me stories of when they were younger. Most of my life my mother has been very open about her many of the adventures, most of which I can recite by heart. My Grandmother told me stories as well about people from her life many, many years ago. It wasn't until recently though that I start to ask my father questions about his past and his family. My father is an intelligent man of few words, he paces himself in life in a very grounded and methodical way.  My mother has a very strong personality and he often steps back and allows my mum to shine in the spot light 80% of the time. It's become very foreground to me that they are aging and won't be here forever and though I can come to terms with that as much as possible, I don't want to look back and realise that I could have spent more time with them. Get to know them as my friends instead of only my parents.

I started asking my Dad questions about his family life. What his mother and farther were like (I never really met them) and what his experiences were growing up. Little things like how one summer he was home from boarding school and his brother and him found a mint plant in the alley to which his mother told them to collect as much as they could. How my father wasn't going to go on in school because he came from a family of 11 kids and they could only afford to send one child away for higher education. My father, at the age of 10 went with his older brother to the school for testing and ended up taking a placement test as well (this was intended for high school students). He had scored so well that the school contacted my grandfather and told him that they would refuse to take the oldest boy unless they enrolled my father as soon as possible. And they would allow him to attend for free. He then went on to learn at McGill -one of Canada's most prestigious schools- and graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering at the age of 18.

Things like that are fascinating to me. Hearing about his life... hearing about anybodies life. I've been talking with my Uncle Bob who was married to Trudy. Since her passing I have been keeping in touch with him. He is my mothers older brother and someone I never got to know because of where he lives. Like with my father, I am starting to prompt my Uncle to tell me about what his life was like as a kid. I'm enjoying this connection I have with him, a lot. Just today I received an email from him after I had mentioned that Calgary was having another "usual" springtime freak snowstorm "It's gone from Spring Time to Christmas Time in a matter of 3 hours". He wrote back with a memory from when he was 14:

"Yes ... I remember once as a boy around 14, with a friend, riding my bike past Midnapore ( which was 10 miles out of town ) on a Sunday afternoon and got caught in a snow storm ... we went to a farm house and waited until late evening for my father to pick us up ... it probably dropped 60 degrees F ( 26 degrees C ) and that wind from the north was brutal and we did not have jackets"

I like it because it mentions Midnapore back when it was its own town (now it is a district with far into the city) and my Grandfather who I never would have thought would have come to the rescue. He was busy trying to make ends meet during the 1940's and always working out of town.

History is important regardless of whose it is. It could be world history or stories from your mothers childhood. Never should it ever be discounted because it's how life lives on. Write your stories, read your books, take your pictures and videos too... most importantly talk to people. Learn and listen.  It's important. 



Wouldn't you agree?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Finding The One

When looking for "the one" you may want to consider having similarities to your partner. No, not sticker collecting, karaoke and beer pong-something much deeper. Faults. As lovely as it would be to share the passion for scratch and sniff stickers really it comes down to acceptance of the other persons issues. How better then to have the same issues yourself.

Always late? Not a worry- find a tardy partner for hours of irresponsible fun. Neat Freak? Perfection can be found in someone equally as tidy. Inconsiderate? Who cares because it's obvious that they don't care either!

In the end, what else could there be to possibly fight about?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Music Obsession Monday: Ray Lamontagne

Current Music Obsession: Ray Lamontagne


Ray is a beautiful man with beautiful songs. Richly deep and vulnerable one can't help but fall a little in love with him. Born to a gypsy mother and a violent father who later abandoned the family he struggled to graduate high school, wrote stories, got into fights, read a lot of fantasy books and eventually started working in a shoe factory.  One morning he work up to Stephen Stills' song "Treetop Flyer" which inspired him to become a singer songwriter.

Ray's song are anything but manufactured. They are exclusively his in a way that only he can make them come alive. Like a personally tailored suit, on anyone else it just wouldn't fit.

Nothing less then inspiring... to me.


Hold You In My Arms by Ray Lamontagne


I Still Care For You by Ray Lamontagne


"Lay your blouse across the chair
let fall the flowers
from your hair
and kiss me
with that country mouth
so plain



outside the rain is tapping
on the leaves
to me it sounds like
they're applauding us
the quiet love
we've made"


from the song Empty by Ray Lamontagne



I think he "gets it"