Monday, May 24, 2010

Worship Yesterday

Yesterday, at worship service, I felt so inspired!  And everyone else seemed to be as well because we sounded great.  The congregation sang the melodies with enthusiasm, Alex's piano accompaniment was played with gusto, and the singers were able to sing in harmony.  Michael led us the entire way with engergy and charisma.  Praise the Lord for all these gifts!

It was while I was singing, filled with the Holy Spirit, that I realized that music is a language in and of itself.  It's a language that one has to learn and practice on a daily basis, just as one would if learning to speak French or Spanish.  I have been practicing playing on the keyboard more regularly these past two months after having abandoned it for three months earlier this year.  And with the Lord's grace, I am improving!  Some songs that I had attempted in the past, and failed after only four bars, are now manageable.  I am able to play them from the beginning to the end, albeit very slowly.  However, I'm not baffled by the many different chords. 

Learning to play chords has taught me intuitively how to sing in harmony, and some keys are easier than others.  For example, songs in the neutral key of C or F are easier to sing in harmony compared to songs in E or A because of all the flats and sharps.  I have tried figuring out my own harmony for various worship songs on the keyboard, and sometimes it works.  Sometimes, it doesn't. 

Yesterday, while I was singing, the harmony came to me just like that with songs that I had not previously practiced.  First, I was able to sing the first three bars of the chorus in harmony, and the rest I had to keep to the melody.  The second time we sang the chorus, I was able to sing six bars in harmony.  The third time, the entire chorus!  Meanwhile, the other singers were also singing their own harmony, and it sounded so beautiful and inspiring! 

This led me to wonder if music is a tongue that is spoken spiritually?  I may not have been speaking in Russian, but it was close!  (no offence intended to the Russians). 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Plants that attract Bees

I can only grow plants that are suited to the 5th climate zone.  So, they are:

Oregon grape - I already have grapevines climbing the chain link fence on the south side of my house.  I don't intend on growing more grapes. 

Hyssop - has the properties that fit my needs.

I will have to research these more indepth later.

  • Aster Aster
  • Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia
  • Caltrop Kallstroemia
  • Creosote bush Larrea
  • Currant Ribes
  • Elder Sambucus
  • Goldenrod Solidago
  • Huckleberry Vaccinium
  • Joe-pye weed Eupatorium
  • Lupine Lupinus
  • Oregon grape Berberis
  • Penstemon Penstemon
  • Purple coneflower Echinacea
  • Rabbit-brush Chrysothamnus
  • Rhododendron Rhododendron
  • Sage Salvia

I Want to be an Eco-Gardener

I've been reading about how to design home gardens for years, and slowly, I'm learning the most basic tricks of the trade.  My biggest goal is to create a garden that grows plants native to Ontario.  My research tells me that doing so helps by way of...
-  controlling the spread of pests
-  helping conserve native wildlife and insects
-  reducing water usage because native plants only need as much as it rains
-  easing the work involved in maintenance
-  all of the above means I would save $ and workload. 

My Immediate Goals:
- filling in my flowerbed and borders with native plants, as well as other plants that look nice
- use plants that help keep pollinators alive, such as bees
- use plants that gypsy moths don't like

My Future Goals:
-  plant a tree in the front yard to create a shade over the house during the hot summer months
-  build a separator between my backyard patio and my neighbor's using a trellis
-  grow a beautiful rose garden
-  grow a practical herb garden that I can maintain indoors over the winter months

Some helpful links:

Saturday, May 01, 2010

黎明金句 Funny Leon Lai Sayings (Click)

My favourite Leon Lai saying is:
1. (1) 我朝早唔會空肚食早餐 "I wouldn't eat breakfast on an empty stomach."

2. 27) "希望各界支持Leon的朋友選擇自己願意做的善事,不好勉強自己,如果認為不值得,就證明你同他有緣無分.就不需要做,因為我們沒有欠下任何人,我們只希望能夠做點好事,幫助有需要的人。" I hope that the friends who support Leon Lai (me) will choose to act charitably, but please don't do it if it's against your wishes. If you think it's not worth it, then that is proof that you two are not meant to be, then don't do it because we don't owe anyone anything. We just hope that we can do something good to help those in need.“
^ He sounds like he only has an attention span of 2 seconds. Not convinced? See below.

3. (3) 左手又係肉, 手掌又係肉, 獎就只係得一個, 得冠軍同季軍, 唔知點決定。 “Your left hand made of flesh, and your palm is made of flesh. There is only one trophy. Whether it's winning 1st place or 2nd runner up, you wouldn't know how to choose."

The first sentence is a Chinese proverb that says: "the back of your hand is made of flesh, and the palm of your hand is also made of flesh." It's an analogy that is used to drescribe situations of having a dilemma, when you have to choose between two things that you wish to possess at the same time, yet you must sacrifice one of them. Leon Lai made the mistake of saying your left hand and your palm, which makes no sense. Not to mention the part where he says you wouln't know how to choose between winning 1st and 2nd runner up. Of course winning 1st is ideal!

Reason for Edit: correcting a translation mistake.