“October” by Eric Whitacre

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“Fall” in Texas doesn’t really start until mid-October most years.  Today, we’ve got a blustery wind blowing in, and the leaves are starting to swirl around.  The temperatures are getting nippy (for Texas), and the dogs want to be outside longer as the days get shorter.

I love this time of year.  Apparently musicians both classical and contemporary do, too – here is the hauntingly beautiful “October“, composed by Eric Whitacre.  Originally written for a wind orchestra, it translates beautifully to a string arrangement:

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“October” (wind orchestral arrangement) is only available in the MP3 format.
(Mr. Whitacre has an amazing body of work)
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Tuesday Tunes – “Per Te”

I’ve loved this song since the first time that I heard it; Josh Groban has such an amazing voice, and “Per Te” (from his multi-platiunum album “Closer“)  is just an amazing song – the soaring violins, piano accompaniment, and tympani undertones just stir my soul:
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Oh my gosh….
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Tuesday Tunes – “My Immortal”

My Immortal 1.

Several years ago, my kids said, “Mom, you have to listen to this song – you’ll really like it” – and my goodness gracious, were they ever right….

The song is “My Immortal“, and the band is Evanescence. This song was featured on their debut album, and it is one of their most well-known (and best-selling) songs:

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Just Like Her Dear Old Dad….

Reading on the Toilet 22 - Cropped and Retouched

Whut?

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Rebecca has taken to sitting in her own booth at our Friday night pizza hangout – she can’t be bothered with us boring grown-ups. She always brings along a few toys to keep herself entertained.

So last night, I notice her breezing by our table with an open book in her hand.

On her way to the bathroom.

I almost fell out of my chair, I was laughing so hard.

(And yes, she WAS in there a while…)

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Reading on the Toilet 13.

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Want To Make Some Kids (and Adults, too) Really Happy?

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Rebecca’s GOS Class Picture, 2012-13

Dear Friends and Family,

I know you are frequently asked for donations or to buy something for a fundraiser. We all know there are LOTS of really good causes. Because I know many of you already give to many community programs, it is likely you do not feel like giving even more to an unfamiliar or distant non-profit. However, I would like you to please just consider my request of you today. For some this request will seem small, while for others this is no small amount.

Green Oaks School and Green Oaks Adult Learning are very specialized, unique programs for people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.

Those of you who know us are already aware of what a ray of sunshine Rebecca has been in our lives.

Thirteen years ago, when Paul and I were still trying to wrap our heads around our “new normal”, one of the first things that we worried about (after her health, of course) was whether or not she would ever be able to learn. We also wondered if she would have friends as she got older.

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Tuesday Tunes – “Hallelujah” – k.d. lang

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There are so many wonderful versions of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” out there – originally covered by John Cale, the version performed by the late Jeff Buckley is perhaps the most well-known of them all (the song has also been covered by Bon Jovi).

I think the first time that I heard this song was on the movie “Shrek” (sung by Rufus Wainwright). There is an amazing 4-part arrangement out there by the Norwegian quartet Lind, Nilsen, Fuentes, and Holm.  Heck, it even sounds good in Italian when performed by Il Divo.

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A Somber Remembrance – Thoughts on the Anniversary of 9/11

I suppose every generation has its share of “Where were you when….?” moments – those “somethings” that happen that are so big, so life-altering, and which affect so many people that the vast majority of them have a memory etched into their mind of where they were when they heard the news, how they felt when they heard the news, and how it changed their life forever.

I can still remember that morning – it started off like any other morning. Rachel had gotten up early and was already dressed and on her way to high school with her friends, Michelle and Sarah were getting ready for school, and Paul was getting ready for work. I was resting in bed, waiting for Rebecca – who had turned 2 months old the day before – to wake up for her morning bottle.

Paul came into the bedroom and said he had just heard on the radio that a plane had hit the World Trade Center and it was on fire.

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