I Now Know My Name

I came across this video the other day and have now listened to this girl about five times. I weep as soon as she opens her mouth. Some of you will totally understand why I cry and why it touches me. Some will not. And that is OK if you fall into the “not” category.

I will try and explain. Some of us wonderful humans came into this world quietly. We’ve sat in shadows and listened to others and let them talk. We have even been invisible, in a sense. These types are usually bent on the creative side of life. Not always but many are.

I fall into that category. I never minded being in the background. I like the quietness and sometimes the solitude. However, I also like the visibility at times. Especially as I got older and found out more of who I am and what makes me tick. I like me. I like others like me. I like this twelve year old girl named Grace. I feel the words of her song. I feel her heart.

Having married someone of the opposite spectrum has been good – for both of us. Sometimes though, I feel very invisible and have actually been snubbed and mis-judged. It is OK but sometimes quite aggravating. My spouse knows that I complete him. I know that he completes me. It’s those others that can’t see that. Sad for them.

This girl and this song speaks to me of these feelings. And guess what? I do know my name even if no one else does. I do keep trying and I tend not to play by the rules of the game.

This post isn’t for you to understand me. It’s for you to understand others and for those who are like me and this girl named Grace. “I’m lost, trying to get found in an ocean of people”.

Like I said before, I like me. I like Grace. I like people who find themselves in an ocean of people. I know you will like us too. Even if you never understand. You need people like us. ūüėČ We all need others to complete us. To see more of the puzzle of life.¬†None of us can do this thing called life alone. None of us.

So try, just as we have had to try you try to see beyond you and drop those religious ideas and narrow minded thinking. There is a whole big puzzle out there waiting to be put together and it takes all kinds of pieces, called people, to put it together. It takes a lifetime.

Love ya, Enjoy! Listen to her heart sing…..

cate b

Honesty and Truth

I have always loved music. I have always been searching for the music that touches my heart in honesty and love in the deepest way. Music and words that speak truth and human emotions.

That is one reason that I have always related to David of the bible. Particularly, I have always loved the raw honesty in the Book of Psalms.

I came across this article and video today. It is truthful and honest. No religion in it just pure relationship.

I happen to like Bono very much. His spiritual journey has been an inspiration over the years. And Eugene Peterson of The Message translation fame has been a breath of fresh air in bible reading for me.

This video touched my heart. It speaks of thoughts and expressions I have felt for a long time. Please watch it and hear it with openness and not judgement.

I’ll leave you with that……….. my heart is joyful.

Cate B

And The Beat Goes On………

Prior to moving to the mid-west we lived in a beach community on the east coast. ¬†If it weren’t for the beach I do believe the county would have been more united and cosy and family-like. ¬†A true community. ¬†But tourism ran many residents lives, and I can’t blame them.

When you start making money on your historical home as a Bed & Breakfast or your small business of selling anything from surfboards to ice cream…… well, I can see why it turned that way.

Don’t get me wrong. ¬†It was a privilege and a blessing to live there for twenty plus years. ¬†We made good solid friendships and the kids grew up in a small town atmosphere where most people seem to know who you were.

What I want to focus on is a small local business we fell into one day back in 1994. ¬†I say “fell into” because once we crossed the threshold they made a way into our hearts as well. ¬†Stuck for life.

We had moved to this lovely area when our daughter was a senior in high school.  They fact that she was more than willing to leave her past three years of high school behind and begin again in a another school was proof enough that we were meant to be there.

After a few days of her school year she came home and asked me to take her to a small music store to buy guitar strings. ¬†Over the bridge we went and found this little “mom and pop” store front in the owners home. ¬†It helped that the young man working there was cute and adorned bright red hair. ¬†I still don’t know who he was or his name.

The owners of this business were also employed in the school district we were a part of.  Mr. and Mrs. J.  Mrs. J taught at the Junior High School Рmusic of course.  And Mr. J at the High School, also music.

Well, our daughter talked about Mr. J often.  His kindness to her is what pulled her in.  I, a concerned parent, had to meet this man whom my daughter seems to be quite taken with.  You know what I mean РI was cautious.

What can I say.  When I met Mr. J for the first time, in his store, he had me.  He was a rare human being.  He looked like a hippy (which was a plus for me) and when he opened his mouth the kindness of God came out.  Let me tell you how.  He had a way of saying just what a person needed to hear.

I remember one warm summer day I had put on sandals. ¬†I have always been self conscious of my feet. ¬†They are long and I always thought rather ugly. ¬†I walked into his shop that day with thoughts of covering my feet up and he says, “Mom! (always called me mom) ¬†You have beautiful feet! ¬†You should never cover them up!” ¬†I have heard him over the years encourage so many people of all ages with similar things.

Our daughter became good friends with their oldest son and we became regulars of his shop. ¬†We bought strings, guitars, basses, keyboard, cords, picks, tuners, lessons, etc. over the years. ¬†He handed me a harmonica one day and said, “You need this, Mom”. ¬†I walked out with a harmonica.

Our two youngest sons took classes in school with both Mr. and Mr. J and excelled.  Our youngest learned guitar from their son.  I remember picking him up after his lesson and peeking in the room to find the two of them rocking out and jamming on their guitars.

Their store was magical.  You could walk in there and find Mr. J with a captive audience telling one of his many stories of his colorful life.  The time he met James Bond (Sean Connery) or James Michener in the small town he grew up in.  Or his stories of Linda Ronstadt and countless others.  Oh, and his love for Tom Waits.

I could go on and on about Mr. J and Mrs. J. ¬†Don’t forget the Mrs. J! ¬†She even let me assist her in her strings/violin class in Junior High (Lord knows I couldn’t play that thing!) – it was an honor and a privilege. ¬†It’s because of Mr. J that I play the Ukulele!

Well, we just saw them on our trip back east a couple of weeks ago.  They are well and retired from teaching and closing the store down.  It is a good time for them and a sad time.  The end of a good thing for the community and themselves but the beginning of a new chapter of their lives.

You see, they were teachers to our family and we respect them and always enjoy seeing them.  But one day an incident happened and we became a part of them.  Mr. J suffered an ailment and we were privileged to pray for him through this ordeal.  When troubles come upon us it is an opportunity to get close.  To be real.  To become a part of another.  They are stuck with us.

And when our family suffered the loss of our daughter they were there.  Their son, in California, was our ears and eyes of what was happening out there (see my post Our Darkest Day) .  They have been good friends.  We only get to see them once a year or send a note back and forth now and then, but this kind of relationship runs strong and deep.

I want them to know that. ¬†I want the J’s to know that their faithfulness and kindness to so many kids and their families has not been in vain. ¬†They have brought the power of music, poetry and art to so many. ¬†We will all miss their store and all the fun times that happened there. ¬† But I am confident that if I stood in the middle of the small shop area I could hear the whispers¬†of all the stories spoken over the years. ¬†I’m sure I could hear the melodies written and taught to so many.

Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. J for all you have brought to our family!

the Mr. J
the Mr. J
Mr. J, me, Mrs. J
Mr. J, me, Mrs. J

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What Uma’s Do

It is now my summer time. ¬†It actually started about two weeks ago. ¬†The university is pretty quiet now and I don’t have my sweet grand girls¬†five days a week. ¬†I am still adjusting to the quiet and the freedom to stay in my pjs for hours.

The girls did come over for a few hours the other day. ¬†Since the first one was born, Lucy, I sang to her. ¬†She liked to fuss a lot with me and singing certain songs always worked to comfort her. ¬†They still do at the age of four. ¬†One song I sang to her was Sloop John B – I changed the words a little so I wasn’t giving her ideas to drink all night and get into a fight to: Singing all night – till it was nearly daylight. ¬†It works. ¬†Her other favorite is JJ Heller’s song, The Boat Song. ¬†She both loved the song and the music video on youtube.

Penny, however, didn’t take to those songs. ¬†Her comfort songs became How Much Is That Doggie In The Window, Jesus Loves Me, and Shake it Off by Taylor Swift. ¬†She can watch that video over and over. ¬†She travels to a different beat.

Since I took up the Ukulele a couple of years ago, I play their songs for them (except for shake it off – I do that a cappella). ¬†Well, I must show you what Penny June did with my uke. ¬†I normally don’t let them play it. ¬†But I put her hands in position and off she went……. I am bragging, I have that right, I think she is a natural.

Drum roll please…….. Penny June singing and playing How Much is That Doggie in the Window……..


cate b

The Diversity of an American Christmas

Here are a couple of typical Christmas songs.  I do believe Christmas does mark the birth of The Saviour, Jesus Christ, but this time of year shows such a diversity.  I love that. I did not grow up in any particular religion, that came to me later in life.  So I have a warm mixture of the Santa and reindeer and snow and beautiful songs of all kinds running through me.

Here are some for your enjoyment – Merry Christmas…..


And Happy Holidays ……. always must include Nat King Cole.


cate b

It’s That Time Again


Today is Halloween in my part of the world.¬† It happens every year on the 31st of October.¬† I have mixed feelings on this day.¬† Some even call it a holiday now although I’ve always had to work at regular wages and we never got that day off.¬† But that’s OK, we all have things we love and that makes us – us.

The only things I don’t like about Halloween is that there has become an increase of blood and death and terror.¬† We had a house on the main road that set up a life- sized pentagram in their yard with a life sized human body on it…….scared the kids on the school bus each day as it passed by.¬† And when a co-worker of mine stopped by this house after his shift one year (they were relatives) he passed out and died in the front yard.¬† I’m not saying there was a connection – he did have a type of aneurism but one’s mind could wander and wonder.¬† They didn’t set it up the next year.

And now, since I’ve lived in the mid-west, I have managed to live on streets where absolutely no trick or treat -ers come by.¬† Where are they?¬† So I stopped buying candy a few years ago – I eat it all if no one comes.¬† It is kind of sad.

But I will watch some sifi show tonight or read a good book and crave Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.¬† The rest of you – stay safe and have some pure innocent fun!

Here is a song that tends to creep me out!


cate b

Meet Me

Life is full of many seasons.¬† This one, for me, is one of waiting – I hate waiting – who likes it?¬† But I have surrendered to the waiting because waiting means there is preparation going on.¬† Things need to fall into place to bring forth our desires and dreams.¬† So waiting is good.¬† If we could just jump instantly into the things of life it could be disastrous if it’s not ready to take flight.¬† So I say, “Wait”.¬† I want it to be right.

So, on that mysterious note…… I am fine.¬† All is well and good and better things are in the making.¬† I just cannot get into blogging lately.¬† Wait – I just did blog.

Here is a song from one of my favorite bands, Over the Rhine.  They make the waiting wonderful.


cate b


Out of This

I haven’t posted a full written post in a while.¬† Why?¬† As the seasons change around us sometimes it is more than the weather or the geographical location.¬† It can also be seasons of the heart.¬† A transition in our lives.¬† It can be a move or a job or a family situation or a loss.¬† It can always be for the good no matter how easy and joyful or how hard and painful it may be – with the right perspective.¬† I have always been a person who can take a step back and look at my life and try to see the good – that is after I freak out and stomp my feet and cry or yell, LOL.¬† And I have to say that every season change has turned out for my good.¬† Sometimes the good takes a little longer to come around in full view.¬† That’s OK, where am I going in such a hurry?

Where I physically live is a place of four distinct seasons.¬† I like that because I like variety.¬† It is definitely my spice of life.¬† So back to the blogging.¬† I’ve been told to “find my target audience”.¬† Huh?¬† I look at the wonderful few followers I have and they are a variety.¬† So how do I find my target?¬† I love to talk about a variety of things.¬† Who is my target?¬† I guess I have something for almost everyone???¬† As I write these words I feel quite happy with myself (pat on the back).¬† I really do love variety in my life and get incredibly bored and irritable when things don’t change from time to time.¬† So until I have a blazing revelation as to my topics and audience I’m afraid you are stuck with my variety show.

So, for the Friday song of the week РI present Autamata РOut of This.  Like most art I think the song will speak to each of you in a different way.  May you get the words and melody that you need at this moment.  May it bring Hope to you and encouragement with the season you are in right now.


cate b

I will confront you at last you dreaded empty
When I met you in others I fell in love
From the cradle, to the bottle, to the needle to the bed
We all need something to deliver us from dread

But I believe in truth

Out of this noise, here comes the stillness
Out of this chaos, here comes the order
Out of this language, out of this language
Out of these words

And a hollow man leaves you empty-handed
With fingers carved from Asian ivory
From the cradle, to the treadmill, to the rocker, to the last sigh
Some are made happy when something dies

Out of this noise, here comes the stillness
Out of this chaos, here comes the order
Out of this language, out of this language
Out of these words

Shitsujo, seijaku, shinjitsu
Shitsujo, seijaku, shinjitsu, shinjitsu

Out of patience, out of deed
Out of courage, out of me
Out of reason, out of truth
Out of conscience, out of you

Konran kara shitsujo ga umare
Soon kara seijaku ga umareru
Shinjitsu wa ai o umu

Out of this…

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