Saturday, December 17, 2016

Wintry Mix


Christmas is just eight days away now, and I'm still working on my decorating. Yesterday
I got what I needed to finish stringing my patio door lights. Today I'm planning on finding a suitably modest tree
to decorate.

The weather for my shopping trip won't be pleasant, unfortunately...

"It's mid-December in Iowa, what did you expect?"

I know, I know...doesn't make it any easier to deal with, though...

¡Feliz cumpleaƱos, Santidad!

On December 17, 1936 Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born in Flores, a middle-class barrio in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Having been inspired by a local priest, Jorge entered seminary at age 19, and at 22 he was accepted into The Society of Jesus as a novice. After several years of further theological studies (and teaching high school himself), Bergoglio was ordained as a priest in 1969.

After many years of serving the Church in a variety of capacities, in March 2013 a papal conclave elected Pope Francis following the retirement of Pope Benedict XVI.

Taking his papal name to honor St. Francis of Assisi, he became the first Jesuit pope, the first pope from The Americas, and the first non-European pontiff since Pope Gregory III in the mid-8th century.

As the Twig Is Bent

From the wry comic strip Zits, by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, which you should read every day, as I do.

Until Next Time...

Having lived in the midwest my entire left (except for a 7-year sojourn to Wyoming),
I am quite familiar with snow, which in my part of the country can show up as early
as October and as late as April (my senior year of high school, for instance, we got six inches on April Fool's Day).

Some of the most popular songs during the Christmas season have snow as a key element, including "Winter Wonderland," "Sleigh Ride," and of course the sentimental classic "White Christmas." The jaunty "Let It Snow!" actually makes no mention
of Christmas, and was written by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn during a Los Angeles heatwave in 1945, but it quickly became part of the Christmas music canon, largely due to a popular recording of the song in 1959 by Dean Martin. Over the years it has been covered by artists as varied as Woody Herman, Bing Crosby, and Rod Stewart.

Back in October, Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan released Wonderland, her second album of Christmas music. On it she applies her marvelous mezzo-soprano voice to secular classics like "Silver Bells" and "The Christmas Song" as well as sacred carols like "Angels We Have Heard On High" and "O Holy Night."

Sarah's previous Christmas album, 2006's Wintersong, hit No. 1 on the Billboard Top Holiday Albums chart and reached No. 7 on the Billboard 200. It became the best-selling holiday album that year. Wonderland hasn't quite reached those heights yet, but it has already hit No. 5 on the Top Holiday Albums chart and has cracked the Top 50 of the Billboard 200.

Today's send-off is Sarah's jazz-inflected rendition of "Let It Snow," from her VEVO channel. Enjoy...

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