Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Memory Playlist

“Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.” -- Plato

I love music. As I get older, I am beginning to appreciate bits of silence every now and then, but for the most part, I think music makes pretty much everything better. Long commute? Check out the local radio station! Have to clean the house? Time Warner gives us music stations for a reason! Stuck on the treadmill? Hello, iPod!

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the songs that have touched my life in some way. In most cases, these are the songs that put a smile on my face as soon as they come on the radio. Almost all are attached to some funny or touching memory in the reaches of my mind. Since no one likes to travel down memory lane by themselves, I thought I would share with you the top 10 hits on my memory list.

1. Let’s Get Physical by Olivia Newton-John
Laugh if you want, but Let’s Get Physical was one of my first “favorite” songs. I’m sure my mom could only shake her head at the 3-year-old who used to sing it around the house. Granted, I thought Olivia really was singing about exercise.

2. Mountain Music by Alabama
This was a family favorite growing up and featured in nearly all of our family road trips. Some families have 100 Bottles of Beer...the Canady’s had Mountain Music.

3. Flood by Jars of Clay
I will never forget the first time I heard this song. I was at missions camp the summer after my freshman year in high school, and the camp staff wanted to introduce us to this new, cool group – Jars of Clay. I loved Flood from the first moment I heard it. The song became even more appropriate when we had to be temporarily evacuated inland for a hurricane warning. The hurricane did next-to-no damage and there was no flooding, but the song always reminds me of what an awesome trip that was.

4. Time of My Life by Green Day
Time of My Life always reminds me of senior year and high school graduation.
For what it's worth/it was worth all the while.
It's something unpredictable/but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

5. Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
I spent the spring semester of my sophomore year (in college) studying abroad in London. I quickly learned that sometimes weird things happen in Europe. Case in point, some of my friends and I went to check out an Irish pub one night. We hadn’t been in the restaurant for more than 5 minutes when a random guy asked me to dance (to Brown Eyed Girl). I think he was from New Zealand. From what I remember, we were about the only ones dancing. It was a little embarrassing, but a lot of fun.

6. Must Be the Money by Nelly
College memories of friends, dancing, and parties at the Pi Kappa Phi house.

7. Lauryn Hill (any song) / Aserajé by Las Ketchup
I know that there are multiple songs here, but it’s my list, so I get to make the rules. :-)

Both Aserajé and Lauryn Hill remind me of the year I spent in Bolivia. Aserajé is a pop-y, fad hit with a Macarena-style dance to accompany it. It was very popular the year I was in Bolivia, and we heard it playing everywhere. A couple of years ago, I finally found it on the South American version of iTunes. Love it!

For some reason, we also listened to a lot of Lauryn Hill while I was in Bolivia...but it always came as a surprise. It became a running joke that inevitably, someone would walk into a room, pause, and say, “Hey, is that Lauryn Hill?” I now have the same thought every time I hear a Lauryn Hill song on the radio.

8. Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flatts
The first song Dave and I danced to as husband and wife. I love the song in general, but the words seem so appropriate. (I guess everything thinks that about “their” song?)

9. How Great is Our God by Chris Tomlin
An awesomely powerful worship song. We sing this song fairly often at church; more importantly, we sang this song the first time we visited Hope. We could tell from the spirit of the song that this was a congregation that we wanted to be a part of.

10. Sitting on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding
This is the only song on my list that doesn’t have a specific memory attached, but it’s one of my favorite songs, so I wanted to include it. At any given point, I can name some song or two from the recent Top 40 claim as my new “favorite” song, but those are usually fleeting moments of favoritism. Sitting on the Dock of the Bay has been around for longer than I have, but it never gets old.

As I sit and think about it, there are so many more than I could include – songs that remind me of road trips and travels, boyfriends and friends, laughter and sorrow – but I said that I would make a list of 10, so that’s the list I’m going with.

What’s the soundtrack of your memories?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mascot Love

If you've followed my blog for long, you know that I ♥ Stormy of the Carolina Hurricanes. Not only do I have a Stormy doll and a Stormy bobblehead, but my jersey to wear to games also has Stormy's name and number.

Every year, one of the spring Canes games becomes a celebration of Stormy's birthday. For Stormy's birthday, other mascots from around the state (and the NHL) come to Raleigh to help the Ice Pig celebrate in style.

Dave and I weren't able to make it the game this year, but we discovered that they were hosting a separate event prior to the game that we could attend -- the mascot competition. Stormy and his buddies competed against each other in American Gladiator-type events. It was lots of fun! (I think Dave and I may have enjoyed it even more than some of the kids!)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Variations on a Theme: New projects, familiar look

As time allows, I’ve been trying to keep up with my sewing. I am definitely still in the learning stage, though, and I sometimes have trouble figuring out whether my mistakes/difficulties are the result of inexperience, an old machine, or pure user error. I suspect it’s a blend of all of the above.

Difficulties aside, I’ve completed two new projects in the past couple of months. I had quite a bit of fabric left over from the first apron I made, so I’ve been using it for my new projects (it’s a good thing I like the colors!).

The first thing I made was a coaster for my bedside table. Dave has been using a coaster we got as a wedding favor, but I had largely been using whatever piece of heavy paper I could find laying around. It seemed like time to find something a little more permanent.


The coaster came together quickly. I think I made it from start to finish in a single morning. I pieced together the top and then sewed three of the edges to a bottom piece. I added a very thin layer of fluff filling (left over from my “LOVE” pillow) between the layers, sewed up the bottom, and “quilted” the filling in place. Quick and easy!

My most recent project was to create another apron. Even though I really liked the first apron I made, I decided to play around with another design for apron #2. I knew I wanted a full apron, but I struggled for awhile with how to incorporate both fabrics. In the end, I was inspired by a wall hanging that my friend Erica made. For her wall hanging, Erica used a pretty color fabric to make her own binding around the edge. It gave the outline of her picture such a pretty finish. I thought the same look might look nice on my apron.
Full apron Self portrait in apron

I’m fairly happy with how the apron turned out, though the edge binding did make it a little more awkward when it came time to attach the ties.

I’ve never been much into wearing aprons (perhaps because I’ve never had a good one to wear?), but I’m looking forward to doing some baking in mine. We’ll see how well the apron holds up to the wear and tear of kitchen life!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


My husband told me last week that I needed to update my blog more often.

He's right, of course (but don't tell him I said that!).

Off to look for inspiration...