For we need a little music
Need a little laughter
Need a little singing
Ringing through the rafter
Posted in Holidays, music, tagged Angela Lansbury Need a Little Christmas, Christmas cheer, Christmas music, Christmas songs and images, Mame, We Need a Little Christmas on Saturday, December 20, 2014 | 16 Comments »
For we need a little music
Need a little laughter
Need a little singing
Ringing through the rafter
Posted in music, tagged Camelot, Camelot at Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace, Guinevere, King Arthur, Lancelot, T. H. White, The Once and Future King on Friday, December 12, 2014 | 22 Comments »
Hope is what the end of the musical Camelot gives. Hope. In spite of the betrayal of Lancelot and Guinevere and Arthur’s knights seeking revenge instead of justice, he finds hope in an eager young boy who has come to join the legendary round table. There is still hope in Camelot as Tom of Warwick holds tight to the ideals of Camelot and Arthur hopes that he will grow up to seek a more civil society.
What an oft told tale it is of King Arthur and his round table, his knights and his beloved Guinevere, Lancelot du Loc and the evil Mordred. Merlin. For a six and some-year-old woman, who first encountered Camelot while on assignment for her high school newspaper in that sixties decade of assassinations and idealism, a far off war and civil unrest at home, innocence and awakening, seeing the musical Camelot all these years later was a revival of hope, a theme that keeps playing out in between the lines of my December musings.
As I sat in Oakbrook Terrace’s Drury Lane Theatre, immersed in the atmospheric set design and entranced by the exquisite costuming, I heard the Lerner and Lowe tunes bubbling up inside me before the songs sang lifted out. I know them so well, yet, they felt so fresh, and the production seemed again quite relevant to me. “Camelot”. “I Wonder What the King is Doing Tonight”. “The Lusty Month of May”. “What Do the Simple Folk Do?” “If Ever I Should Leave You”.
So it came to be, as a guest of my dear friend Marilyn, for a brief and shining moment I WAS in Camelot. Thank you, my friend. Thank you.
Do you have a favorite song or line from Camelot?
Did you ever read T. H. White’s “The Once and Future King”?
I love the slow anticipation of the Advent season, and the quiet reflection it affords.
Maura O’Connell. The River is Wide. From YouTube.
Posted in Books, movies, music, Nature/animals, Quotes, tagged Arthur Conan Doyle The Adventure of the Copper Beeches, Copper Beech, Copperline, James Taylor, Maeve Binchy Copper Beeches, Morton Arboretum, the resignation of trees, Willa Cather on Friday, September 12, 2014 | 17 Comments »
I call it “my tree”; a stately copper beech, it holds court just east of the visitor center It is an anchor of the shade garden at the Morton Arboretum.
It isn’t really mine, of course. It is everyone’s, but, I call it mine as it is truly my favorite tree. I look for it each time I wander the Morton. It’s copper leaves, smooth bark, sturdy limbs and strength of character call to me. It is a prescient presence, whatever the season. This copper beech is so wide of girth that I could never hug it completely. I know. I’ve tried to. Standing beneath its comfort and shade, however, seems to be all the beech I need.
Sir Author Conan Doyle knighted one of his stories The Adventure of the Copper Beeches. Maeve Binchy gave Copper Beech title to a book. Poets and troubadours have caught its essence in verse and in song.
Soon, very soon, “my tree” will turn toward another season. It will shed its leaves, resigned to the way it must live, but, its strong trunk and encompassing limbs will still hold court in the shade garden.
Do you have a favorite tree?
Posted in Family and friends, Famous and infamous, Just for fun, music, tagged Chicago, Chicago band, Chicago Experience, Jackie Robinson West, JRW, Little League champions, Little Little Champions JRW on Saturday, August 30, 2014 | 12 Comments »
This week was a week that was; a toddling sort of week, in a Chicago big shoulders sort of way. A good week for a town often plagued with scandal, murders, and controversy.
It was a good week in Chicago. A week to forget for a bit the troubles that we have as we enjoyed the feel good moments of the National Little League winning team, locally referred to as JRW – Jackie Robinson West. In a town big enough to have two major league teams, the south side White Sox, and the north side Cubs, we finally have a team that has won a national series and became the National Little League champions.
On Tuesday, the “boys of summer”, as they are being called, were honored with a tribute at their home field, Morgan Park, with politicos of every ilk, media of every kind and accolades they rightfully earned. It was followed by a a parade through Chicago, a town that loves its parades, to an enormous rally at the lakefront in Millennium Park.
My dear readers, JRW is a team to be proud of. These young boys were humble in their achievements, and gracious in their loss as World Champions to Korea; lessons to be learned by professional athletes, who scream, shout, and carry on.
Tom and I sat and watched the festivities, smiles and laughs and a tear or two. This little league team, it seems, has taught us all some big league lessons that have far more to do with life than about baseball.
We finished out this wondrous week that was by attending the last of the free summer concerts at the Burr Ridge Centre. For one reason or another, we only managed to get to one concert this summer; one that was just so-so. It was an ABBA tribute and should have been frolicking good fun, but, well, it just wasn’t.
Friday’s band was what we call a tribute band called the Chicago Experience – and oh, what an experience it was. A tribute band for a well known group of years bygone, Chicago. This band played, non-stop, for more than 90 minutes and would, I believe have gone on longer if the threat of thunderstorms had not been pressing. They played Chicago songs without missing a note and took many of us back several decades; as far back as 1969.
Like their namesake, Chicago, the Chicago Experience consisted of more than most groups of the era. This was a 10 piece group of musicians, at least that was how many I could see and count, replete with a phenomenal horn section.
Yes, dear reader, it was a very good Chicago sort of week – and a grand way to officially end our summer.
This music video is Chicago, the original group, courtesy of YouTube, not the Chicago Experience, though it could easily have been. We had fun at the concert, even more so since our friend Rick, a trumpeter himself, was with us. His appreciation and reactions were priceless.
Does your town or region have a rock group that carries its name? Did you see a live summertime music performance this year?
Posted in Gardening, movies, music, Nature/animals, tagged Beach Boys In the Jungle, In the Jungle, Joe Pye weed, Monarch butterflies, prairie grasses, The Lion King In the Jungle, Tiger Swallowtail butterfly on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 | 24 Comments »
After the misty morning fogs, the recent rains, and the August heat, the weeds have been advancing aggressively into the flower beds, chasing me around the garden like a snake slinking in search of supper. My nails are split and my ankles are ringed in mosquito bites. A sense of accomplishment reigns, however, each time I bring order to the jungle of overgrowth here.
I found refuge in the tall grasses, camouflaged. Can you find me hiding? I top 5’3″. These tall grasses, divisions from my friend Jan, are twice as tall as me – and they have not as yet showed their plumes!
It has been a most pleasant summer here on the Cutoff. We have had more nights than not with the windows opened., breezes wafting in; the tree toads and crickets crooning and strumming in late night chorus along with it. The daisies have been resplendent, showing off from before the Fourth of July, just now starting to fade. The Echinacea and Rudbeckia have been proudly wearing their seasonal crowns of glory and the finch are finding their seeds; a sign of summer’s long farewell at hand.
Just a few feet away from the grasses, Joe Pye Weed, divisions from the Wilder herb garden last year, have been prolific, with a host of flitting and buzzing visitors enjoying their sweet, sweet nectar.
I am encouraged by the emergence of more bees this summer, and the return of monarchs. While their numbers are low, there is marked resurgence in our winged friends, and I choose to take hope from their presence, especially since I only saw one Monarch on our property last summer. I was not quick enough, nor was my camera, at capturing the Monarchs on the Joe Pye Weed, but, did catch in the lens a few other butterflies, just before I posed again for Sports Illustrated.
"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." William Wordsworth
A blog for visitors to the Garden.
Circles of Life: My professional background in Foods and Nutrition (MS, Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist, RDN, LDN) provides the background for my personal interests in nutrition, foods and cooking; health and wellness; environment and sustainability.
Be a Leader in Your Own Life
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Beautiful Things Inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder
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Beautiful Beekeeping, English Cottage Gardening, and Cooking with Honey
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An old fashioned heart
Analysis and reflection from someone endlessly fascinated with Louisa May Alcott. Member/supporter of Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House (including the Alcott International Circle) and the Louisa May Alcott Society.
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A thousand thousand stories
musings from and about our cottage in the West of Ireland