It was SO nice to see Jason again yesterday for a wee Christmas visit. Jason was in great spirits ( as he always is) and I had the pleasure of meeting his caregiver, Yolee ( who celebrates a birthday tomorrow…happy birthday !) Jason and I got to catch up with life now and what life purports to look like in 2015. Lots of changes on my end ( renovating, newly retired husband, grandkids on the way….) and Jason is excited about penning a new song ( Elvis inspired!) in the new year. Here is a reminder of Jason and my work together this year on his lyrics….FREEDOM !
P.S. A special thank you to Jason’s mom for helping him pick out lovely presents . I am saving the big box for Christmas.
I loved singing carols and some of my originals at Inspirations bookstore today. I was happily surprised when my friend, Jim, joined me and added some fun percussion sounds…djembé , bells, penny whistles and some lovely vocals too.
Meanwhile, my husband, Terry, was in the adjoining room ( he was in the store while we were in the coffee shop) signing copies of the 5th printing of …” ORDINARY GUY – EXTRAORDINARY MARRIAGE “.
It was a great day for both of us…we met nice people, enjoyed warm drinks and Terry managed to sell 16 books! I also sold some CDs so that is always nice as I am still trying to pay off my debt in creating them..ha ha.
I hope to perform more Christmas and original tunes again one more time before Christmas if I can but this time with Terry Ropchan. We’ll see if we can make that happen.
I’ve just discovered this little gem of a place in Sherwood Park called Inspirations. The gift shop proceeds are 100 % donated to charity and their selection is wonderful for …well, inspirational gifts.
I was asked to perform there this afternoon and the shop has a lovely little stage and new sound system. So my husband and bass player, Terry, and I set up and played my originals from WAITING and HOPE IS for a couple of hours . It was so cozy in the room , coffees and hot chocolates at the ready and a nice selection of sweets to choose from while you escape the snow and fall into the music.
Looking forward to playing there again with my friend, Jim, on Dec. 13th while Terry has his book signing for ” Ordinary Guy – Extraordinary Marriage ” . I hope you can join us !
Let’s just say that now that I am home from the HOPE IS TOUR I have had some lovely down time writing music and creating art.
With Christmas coming this might be a good time to think about giving someone you love a truly extraordinary gift : the gift of original art. I have been just loving my Friday painting days ( when I am home! ) and have managed to create about 8 new paintings since my return to Edmonton. Most of these are acrylic on canvas but I managed to complete a couple of new watercolours too. These are moderately priced and if you are seriously interested but worried about the cost I am happy to receive instalments.
So speaking of ART I have had a couple of neat things happen recently in connection with my work.
When we lived in Calgary 14 years ago we loved visiting ( and purchasing from…) Junktiques owned by David and Marie Kaufman. David is such a talented carpenter and I also thought he would make an excellent subject for a painting so one day I bombarded their shop so I could take some photographs for a future portrait . I did a watercolour in 1993 of David hard at work and put it in my portfolio for future framing. Jump ahead to 2014 and my husband and I finally reconnect with Dave and Marie to inquire about having some ‘junktiques’ built for our soon-to-be renovated home. We had been saying for years that the four of us should get together when we’re in town but we never did make it happen as is so often the case.
Well, finally , we all decided to choose a date for dinner as we would be visiting Calgary again soon. I remembered that long ago painting ( that we never could afford to frame at the time) and I decided to gift it to David and Marie at dinner. I felt very honoured to see the tears of joy that Dave and Marie shed and I am so glad that I was able to give them this gift.
My next story is that I have decided to use FaceBook as a means of sharing my latest paintings. ( I don’t know why I never thought of this before !) But no sooner had I posted my latest acrylic on canvas painting of an autumn prairie scene ( ” Making Hay ” ) but a friend asked me if it could be purchased. I was thrilled to send it out to Ontario to my new friend, Wendy, and she has allowed me to share her reflections on the feelings the painting evoked :
” Dear Laura,
When I first saw the painting of the prairies , I couldn’t stop looking ( and re-looking) at it – it called to me.
It so reminds me of my Dad – a prairie farmer ( for many years, and always at heart ) . And so comes many memories of riding the tractor/combine with him, and of his stories….
The sky and clouds, and the colours just make my heart sing. So thank you – for this gift of memories and sunshine. ”
P.S. He went to ” prairie heaven ” – 25 years ago !
I feel extremely honoured to have my song, Close Your Eyes , chosen for the first song in this beautiful slide show about Katherine Ducharme’s Malawi trip where she and her team built a school …which is now certified.
Read on ( from Katherine…)
I have completed my video that includes pics from my last 2 trips to Malawi. Thanks so much for letting me use your song to start my video. I so get every word of your song Laura. It includes many of the messages that I so often try to share with people that ask about my visits to Africa.
I tried to match some of my photos to the words of your song.
I could write pages…actually I have done so, about my experiences, but one of the first things that I learned when I first visited the primitive village of Njewa is that we do not have to change these people. Many Westerners and Europeans have felt that is what they need to do in Africa, but I have to say that some of the most beautiful souls I know, live there. They are hungry, and have the right to clean water and education, but otherwise, they are mostly happy. There are challenges no matter where you live.
The school that we built in 2007 and the additional block with 2 more classrooms that we built in 2008 are now educating 350 orphaned and marginalized children. In October 2013 our school was finally recognized as a certified school by the Ministry of Education in Malawi. We have all certified teachers now and the teaching syllabuses and student books for all subjects.
I have just received a $10,000 donation that will keep our feeding program going for these children. They each get 1 meal a day of a fortified porridge where they otherwise may just have to go hungry. I could not believe how healthy the children looked last year. There is still a lot of malnutrition, but I believe we are tackling it head on. You will see pictures of the 60 new triple width desks we built last year. For the first time, all of our students our sitting in desks. We painted both buildings, inside and out. We handed out over 300 hygiene packs that we brought from home to our students and some of the secondary students that we know.
I should leave it at that for now, or I will never get this sent…
I hope that you enjoy the video.
Just received this mp3 of Jason Homyshin’s rock song, Freedom !, from James Seabrook at Two Bodies of Water Studios. James did a great job with the instruments, the recording ,and his voice sounds fantastic ! I had fun writing this music and fun with the harmonies in the studio with Terry Bachynski. Loved the drummer’s work too and of course….well done Jason !!!!
Although I am so so so sorry about the passing of our friend, Jack. I am so honoured by this incredible letter I received today from his beautiful wife, Louise, with regards to the comfort she is receiving from HOPE IS. God be praised. May it continue to bring comfort and peace.