Reminiscing About Japan: Top Places to Visit…

“Then followed that beautiful season… Summer… Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Reminiscing About A Summer in Japan: Photos & Places to Visit Japan: Toshogu Shrine, Nikko Japan: Tokyo Imperial Palace Japan: Asakusa Kannon Temple, Tokyo Japan: Lucky Charms at Temple in Kyoto Toshogu Shrine, Nikko Tokyo Imperial Palace and here Asakusa Kannon Temple, Tokyo and here Lucky Charms at Temple in Kyoto and here I love the changing seasons we enjoy here on the east ...


June is a time of celebration at Casa Chatterbox. Thursday would have been my dad’s 88th birthday, Friday was our son’s birthday, and yesterday Mrs. Chatterbox and I celebrated our fortieth wedding anniversary. This picture shows us shortly after our honeymoon when we’d moved into an old duplex in West Los Angeles. I’d inherited the apartment from my college chum Ray, who over the next few months popped in at inconvenient times to use the shower. It’s easy to look at old pictures ...

Music: Call Me Soulful Saturday Anyway…

“To me…music exists to elevate us as far as possible above everyday life.” Gabriel Faure Music: Call Me Soulful Saturday Anyway… Maroon 5 Music: Call Me Soulful Saturday Anyway… Carly Rae Jepsen Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe Maroon 5 – Payphone (Explicit) ft. Wiz Khalifa A lot of music I hear or listen to of late seem to include invocations to connect with, call, find, reach out to me… Well, it seems musicians want to call me, you, us, them (or vise versa) on a cellphone, some payphone or even telepathically somehow, ...

Happy Holidays: Grace & Gratitude to All!

“Holiday gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.” Oren Arnold “Sending Best Wishes for the Holidays to You and Your Loved Ones; Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!” Happy Holidays to All! A Simple Request… Dearest Santa, My wish for the coming year is more goodwill and abundance in the world and less misery and scarcity! Please don’t mix these two up like you ...

Must See! Cool Ice-Covered Flower Sculptures!

What do you get when you put ice and flowers together? At the “Flowers of the Snow Queen” exhibition in Kiev, Ukraine,  you would get the coolest ice sculptures, made with ice and fresh flowers! Artists have found an unique way to display beautiful, fresh flower arrangements in the dead of winter by freezing them inside perfectly transparent ice cubes. Artists used a special technology to preserve the color, shape, vitality and most importantly, the beauty of the flowers. To create the ...

The Best Shade Loving Plants for Your Garden

Some like it hot. Some like it cool. Not all plants are created equal. Some plants do best in full-sun and others do thrive in the shade. Shade loving plants do best in cool conditions, avoiding direct sunlight. They are often planted under trees, shrubs and overhangs. Though these flowers are not as bright and vibrant in colour as their sun-loving counterparts, shade-loving plants can still make an impact in the garden! There are many beautiful plants to choose from, ...

Remembering Teena Marie aka Lady Tee…

“I still have a passion for the music, which is such a beautiful thing. I still wake up in the middle of the night out of a dream and have a melody in my head, and run to my piano.” Teena Marie ( Lady T) RIP Teena Marie aka Lady Tee: A fallen leaf reminds us of the ephemeral nature of life... RIP Teena Marie aka Lady T.... pix via uulyrics R.I.P. Mary Christine Brockert; Teena Marie aka Lady Tee (March 5, 1956 – December 26, 2010): Today we ...

Standing On Ceremony

I was so excited I felt like I was about to turn inside out. Mrs. Chatterbox and I were about to see the Pope, not that the Pope was the main attraction that Easter Morning in 1976, not for me anyway: I was there to see Saint Peter’s Basilica—in particular Michelangelo’s breathtaking dome. As a kid I’d read The Agony and the Ecstasy four times and now I was about to see this marvel with my very own eyes. Visiting the ...

Connecting With My Kids….

The girls and I with our new green belts (I'm the one in the middle) I’m so proud of my girls. For the past several months my daughters and I have been attending family karate classes. The school we attend is called BMI Karate and it’s the only dojo we found in a 50 mile radius that has families – adults and kids – take classes together. It’s been a great experience so far and our girls still say they love the ...

7 Questions With an Author: Debi Gray Walter

Debi Gray Walter – author, blogger and marriage counselor This post marks another installment of my “7 Questions With an Author…” series, where I ask published authors an unchanging set of questions and share their responses here. Today’s featured author is Debi Gray Walter, who finished her first book – a historical fiction novel based on the life of her grandmother titled Through the Eyes of Grace. Debi’s desire to write first began when she learned her grandmother’s story shortly after her death in 1979. She ...

Facing our Fears

Lately a lot of good people that I know have been getting pinned to the mat of life by some heavy trials. I’m stunned by the number of friends who are struggling in so many areas of their lives. Usually life will hit you in the wallet, or the heart, or your health. But it seems that these friends are being hit hard in multiple areas of their lives causing some to become really discouraged. We all know that life has ...

Adoption – Learning to Say YES!!!

Dr. Statton’s adoptive son When, Grace, our fourth child came along, I was certain we were done having kids. Who wouldn’t be? Four is a full house. While I saw full bedrooms, a full minivan, and an empty pantry, my wife saw room for one more. The word “adoption” would occasionally get thrown around our conversations. To me it was an important topic. One that all of us should be actively involved in. I felt my role was to “actively” watch everyone else do all ...

Booksigning in Barn Raises Laughter

This is the first time author Dan Zevin has given a reading in a barn. A rustic setting was the backdrop for a ribald reading by author Dan Zevin from his new book, Dan Gets a Minivan. The reading took place in the barn attached to Lily King’s house. Lily had invited her friends, including those of us around the picnic table in my May 25 posting. I really enjoyed the reading, although it went on longer than it might normally and ...

Memoirs and Book Signings Aren’t for Sissies

Amy ("Ask Amy") Dickinson at her book signing I attend book signings to get a feel for how different authors handle that aspect of self-promotion. So far, the best entertainment was by Mildred Kalish (Little Heathens). She showed her sense of humor, and instead of reading excerpts in long succession, she made them short and talked in between them about related ideas or events, but not just reading her work. The least entertaining signings are those where the authors are either ...

A Romantic Rumor

I grew up with a diaphanous father who floated above me like a caption bubble saying, “?”. He was a romantic rumor, a previous chapter in my mother’s book of life, leaving behind no photos for his three little girls to frame and fawn over. There would be no frame hugging in this family. No searching his dark eyes for our own, or comparing the curve of our noses to his; no joy of discovering a trace of ourselves ...

Incredible “Rube Goldberg” Page Turner Machine

The board game "Mouse Trap" is a Rube Goldberg-esque contraption Since I was a kid I’ve always loved Rube Goldberg-type contraptions – that take the most convoluted steps to accomplish the simplest activities. An example of a Rube Goldberg machine would be the board game “Mouse Trap” by Milton Bradley [see photo insert]. Below is an ingenious and funny video that depicts an absurdly creative method to help you turn the page of your daily newspaper – just so long as you ...

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Elizabeth - Mirth and Motivation
May 26, 2012, 3:00 am

Soulful Sounds: Straight No Chaser & More…

“Jazz is not just music, it’s a way of life, it’s a way of being, a way of thinking. . . the new inventive phrases we make up to describe things — all that to me is jazz just as much as the music we play.”Nina Simone

Soulful Sounds: Straight No Chaser & More… Thelonious Monk & Howard Minton

Thelonious Monk – Straight No Chaser live, London, 1965

Soulful Sounds: Straight No Chaser & More… Nina Simone

Nina Simone – Feelin’ Good

Feeling Good – Nina Simone
Birds flying high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by you know how I feel

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good… Contd below

Sometimes, it is best to let the music do the talking; especially with classical jazz. I haven’t met anyone yet who didn’t enjoy a jazz composition. It is relaxing yet intricate; inviting yet complex… Enjoy it anyway and I hope you continue to feel good afterwards.

“All a musician can do is to get closer to the sources of nature, and so feel that he is in communion with the natural laws.”  John Coltrane

Soulful Sounds: Straight No Chaser & More… John Coltrane

John Coltrane – A Love Supreme, Part 1: Acknowledgement (Live 7/26/65) (disc 2)

Thelonious Monk & John Coltrane : Trinkle Tinkle

Fish in the sea you know how I feel
River running free you know how I feel
Blossom on the tree you know how I feel

Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don’t you know
Butterflies all havin’ fun you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done
That’s what I mean… Contd below

Soulful Saturdays become straight up soulful sounds once the clock strikes midnight. I don’t want us to get stuck on timelines and confusing definitions. What matters is the music and how it makes us feel. lately, when I listen to music I like, I find myself traveling back in time… to a place where contentment, light and love reside. By the way, check out my guest post. It is titled: Gratitude For Small Things and on blog buddy Deb Bryan’s popular blog – The Monster in Your Closet. Thank you!  More below!

“Those who want to know what sound goes into my music should come to NY and open their ears.” Thelonious Monk

Soulful Sounds: Straight No Chaser & More… Jelly Roll Blues is the first Jazz musicin print (1915)

John Coltrane – My Favorite Things

Thelonious Monk – Brilliant Corners

And this old world is a new world
And a bold world
For me

Stars when you shine you know how I feel
Scent of the pine you know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine
And I know how I feel -Nina Simone

The first time I heard that song Feeling Good, I was feeling sad… and it cheered me up. I hope it lifts your spirit too. As always, I’d love to hear what new songs you are singing or dancing to. What songs have you discovered. Have a blessed start to the new week…
Stay Inspired! What are your thoughts? What music are you listening to this weekend? Do you have any favorites you’d like to share? What would you recommend some new tunes? Do share! Thank you.

*Please bear with me as I continue to catch up on your blogs and commenting… Thank you all for your patience!

Positive Motivation Tip: Music is that next step we take to connect with the divine… Whatever our interests, it helps us keep an open mind and heart. Enjoy!

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Nina SimoneJelly Roll Blues, via Wikipedia. Thelonious Monk from Lib of Congress, John Coltranefrom exquisitor via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

Elizabeth - Mirth and Motivation

Motivate. Elevate. Laugh. Live Positively… I am a mother of two, sister to many and a card-carrying certified optimist. My family and friends are golden because our love and trust is unequivocal. I've traveled, I've lived, I've had my share of happiness and hurt and I remain grateful for God's grace in my life...

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