Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas to you all!

It’s Christmas Eve! Our tree is bright with lights, our presents are wrapped, and excitement is in our midst.
Here in Parry Sound we’ve enjoyed a beautiful day full of sunshine and I’ve just come in from a snowshoe with Bailey.
Tonight my family will gather for hors d'oeuvres and a snowshoe trek through a candle lit trail. We will light our Christmas candles and say the Rosary. My brother will read “The Night Before Christmas” as always and we will play games and music. We’re all just going to savour each other’s time and just be. I’m so thankful for family and special times like these!
 I would like to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope you’ll have a wonderful evening making memories with the people you love. Take time to remember the meaning of Christmas and to welcome into your lives the people in need of your love and care. Sending out my warmest wishes and love for the holiday season. Stay safe and Merry Christmas! Ho, Ho, Ho!
I’d like to share with you a Christmas song of mine called “He’s Our Son”.  The song is a conversation between Mary and Joseph on the birth of their son Jesus.  Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Bala Trek to Bethlehem

It's the eighth day of Christmas and my true love said to me relax, sit down, and have a cup of tea! So that's what I'm doing! I'm watching the newly fallen snow flurry past my window and I've got my warm cup of rosehips and hibiscus tea, my true English treasure just in time to share what I did last night- My Trek to Bethlehem.

My trek began at five o'clock. I departed with a troupe of merrymakers, my Christmas colours, and my carols to the land of Bala, Ontario in the heart of Muskoka. It was a wintery drive and from where I was sitting in the passenger seat it felt like I was molded into a snow globe. Some parts of the highway had not been plowed which definitely made it an eventful and courageous journey.

I was to sing at twenty after six and was met at the door by angels and prophets warning me to steer clear of the Roman soldiers! I was told that they were in a fowl mood that night. They said to make sure I had paid my taxes and here I was, I had just arrived both curious and confused, slightly frazzled, and just trying to find the piano I was supposed to be playing on in twenty or so minutes and hoping it wasn't in a fowl mood. After some mindful searching a kind angel pointed the way and I got myself settled for my first set.

Soon after playing I got ready to journey outside. I was prepared! I had my lime green propylene Long Johns, my snow pants, my down feather coat, hat, gloves, scarf and so on. I was ready to trek. I was ready for anything! So I joined into a group lead by the Prophet Matthew from the House of David. He lead us, might I say, completely in character cloaked in a beautiful garb along the torch lit village streets of Bala.

I had heard about the Trek before, but had never been able to make it out. It seemed like conflicting dates, life, and weather had always made it a challenge for my family. I'm thrilled that I could make it this year!

Matthew from the House of David lead us (his family) along Mary and Joseph's path to Bethlehem- Along the path were various homes and displays decorated and acted out in historical character and costume. We went past a live donkey, a live miniature horse,  a market place full of spices and copper and salted fish, the Three Kings of the Orient, a choir of singing angels surrounded by lit clouds on a balcony. We walked amongst lepers and prophets, shepherds tending their sheep and an Innkeeper at his Inn. We had to pay our taxes to the tax collector and show our papers to the fowl Roman soldiers so we could pass through into the manger where Mary, Joseph, and Jesus calmly and quietly (maybe a little cold) waited for us beneath a shining star. It was enchanting-lovely- and was really inspiring in community spirit!

It was an incredible Christmas experience. I was profoundly amazed by how a group of around 100 or so local volunteers could put on such a beautiful event for twenty years and counting. We were taken to an Inn after the trek to have hot cocoa and baked treats. I had my cocoa quick and zipped back inside to sing some more. I had a great time and it really made me think of the meaning of Christmas and the meaning of community! I can't wait to some day bring my children to Trek in Bethlehem (Bala) what a gift that would be.

Wishing all my Christian friends a very Merry Christmas, to my Jewish friends a very Happy Hanukah,  and to all my friends of other religions and beliefs a safe and happy season and if you're ever able to make it to the Bala Trek to Bethlehem no matter what belief- peace and love MAKE SURE YOU GO! You won't regret it.


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Meet Bailey

I just realized I blogged a lot about Bailey yesterday and for all you know he could be a goat! So, I thought I should share some photos and his story...

Bailey wasn't exactly in my plan...We just crossed paths.

I was driving and he ran in front of my car. I remember thinking is that a wolf? a dog? or a creature from Narnia? He was straggled and bedraggled and quite wild at that! He had a rusted chain around his mane and his ribs poked through his coat.

After some skillful and patient coaxing with Tomaso this sweet little Italian man speaking a mixture of Italian, English, and something else I didn't quite understand, we managed to get the flee-bagged, ticked, and tape wormed infested orphan into my car and back to my house.

I spent many hours cleaning and spraying. I was completely terrified that I would wake up with ticks crawling through my hair and burrowing under my skin. Shortly after this Bailey went for his first veterinarians appointment and I had the pleasure of finding out he was not only infested with exterior creepy crawly critters but that he was also deathly ill with worms crawling and creeping inside him too most notably his heart. Bailey had heartworm!  I too was recovering from a worm in my heart so we seemed an ideal match :) We were hopeless heartbreakers together. Pat Bentar's "Love is a Battlefield" became our theme song over the summer of 2012!

After about a month, 50 posters later, radio ads, and missing dog alerts NOBODY CLAIMED HIM and he wasn't exactly what one would call a cheap stray. Our NEW best friends were Jennifer, Ashley, Mallory, and Natalie all from Cottage Country Animal Clinic. What would I do with him? What, What, What!!! .......

This infested creature had immediately stolen my worm infested heart and I knew I had to help him get better someway somehow and that was my therapy. I didn't realize it at the time, but I needed him just as much as he needed me. So, over the course of a summer with arsenic injections and a very long list of meds that I hadn't budgeted in for Bailey lounged on my sofa, my bed, my floor, my hammock, at my feet , and mostly under my piano bench when I was writing songs late at night after coming home from  earning our keep. My Bailey was  lethargic and tired. He needed to rest up and heal. He became my own!

By fall he was robust and strong- By winter he was pulling me on a sled along the icy shores of Georgian Bay--By summer he was swimming and making huge bellyflopping waves off the rocks. You no longer could see his ribs poking through his shaggy fur. His coat was glistening...We were complimented on every outing. We were a gypsy pair he and I. His markings were made known- one floppy ear, a white chest, and a DISTINCT black cross on his tail, the description of a true crossbreed or an angel? your pick. He was my diamond in the ruff. My lesson learned-never judge a.book by its cover and have the courage to trust again.

Once the first summer was over I had prepared myself for the worst, to find him a good home.  I was single, going on the road, free to explore and discover. I felt I couldn't have anything holding me back...Yet, there he was every day and every night under my piano bench, beside my bed, crying when I left the room, ecstatic when I came back, and clumsy as ever so I realized that sometimes life happens when you least expect it. I received a very special gift, a very loyal friend, and a special angel. He may not be able to talk but he sure can sing and he isn't going anywhere we're attached at the hip heartache to heartache (Because WE ARE YOUNG)! Here are some fun pics of Bailey (one with his fitted headphones that I'd mentioned in my last blog).

I just wanted to tell you a bit more in case you really thought he was goat!


Monday, 25 November 2013

Festive Thoughts!

I feel the holiday season is upon us. It was pushed in sometime over the week-end on the edge of a Northern chill.
Yet here at my piano I am at home and  feel warm and cozy.  My twinkle lights are up and my candles lit and Bailey is lying lazily (sleeping) at my feet under the piano bench. It's his favorite hideout and every now and then when I sing a high note he howls.       
Bailey has a very unique howl. It can be alarming and rough-extremely piercing and mournful. This wasn't always the case though. When Bailey first moved in he used to burrow his head under my bed and sofa when I would be practicing. So, I resorted to fitted headphones which seemed to do the trick for a while until he ate them. As we got to know each other better Bailey started to sing for me, and I became aware of his hidden talent. He's still nervous however when other people are around that he doesn't know. He's working on overcoming his fear of stage fright and aspires for a career on the stage. I do wonder whether he's always been a secret songster.

Over the week-end I wrote a new song. I was at my piano like I am now and I jut heard the song...I felt the song. I couldn't leave till it was through. It actually made me cry.
Every time I write a new song, I write a story. To me it's like it has its own little being, with its own very alive character . I'm really only the channel it chooses to travel through. When I look back over my pen marked pages of lyrics and scribbled charts I see all my friends and there's something really wonderful in that. It's like tracking steps, feelings, pathways, joys, sorrows, and all of those great thoughts, times, and experiences to music and expression.
The capture below is me playing at my very first piano. I was always intrigued when I was little with the inside of a piano. I used to remove the mantle piece so I could see the hammers working their magic. I especially liked playing fast songs to see how quick the hammers moved...It's fascinating, try it sometime. Just a bit from my past there. Love old memories-love new memories-love memories in the making. Enjoy your day. Make your tread worthwhile.


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Where is The Gypsy Queen Caravan Going Today?

This morning I'm heading north to the wilderness to perform an afternoon concert in Powassan. I did some research and found that the traditional native meaning for "Powassan" is an Indian name which means a "bend". The original settlement was at a bend of the South River. Therefore the name is an appropriate one, I do believe. 
I've been busy baking!!! Today's homemade desserts for the concert include some Chewy, chocolate brownies with sliced almonds, raspberry  and walnut flats, and the ever so popular homemade family date squares mhh (sinful).
I'll be taking time to track down my roots and some old family ties. Starting with the Powassan Hotel and my Great Grandfather's family home.  The Moloney side of me immigrated from Ireland settling first in Barrie, Ontario and then later moving to Powassan to run the Powassan Hotel. My Great Grandfather Dr. Peter Joseph Moloney was raised in Powassan. He was a pioneer in Science and had the privilege of working on the "Best and Banting" team http://drpetermoloney.com/.
I'm also going to check out http://www.gieslerboats.ca/ which started a great love of my Grandfather's boat building. My Grandfather spent his summers in Powassan and found his love for boat building there. I think he passed that love for traditional boats and the water onto me.
Well, I must be on my way. Till we meet again...

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Made it to the Plains...


Hopefully you can find me in this great wide cosmic cyberspace that I'm floating around in. It's quite a height, it has depth, and appears wide, a very round  circle of its own. Yet somehow I'm really quite excited to go exploring  into these unfamiliar territories. Meet you on the plains! Soon...