Friday, July 30, 2010


Want to write...have to work. Here's a poem from long ago 'cause I really do need to do something productive (not that this isn't!!). Hope you're long weekend is smashingly fun! Lisa

Umbrellas are for wimps
Tea is for the ladies
Money's for the rich folk
And bottles for the babies

Couches for the lazy
Not enough hours for the farmer
Jewels for the Queen
And fancy words for the charmer

Sunshine for the flowers
Rain is for the mourners
Romance is for fools
Bad boy were made for corners

Music is for dancers
Dogs are man's best friend
Monday's are for complaining
Letters were made to send

The sea is for the fish
The sky is for the stars
A love seat made for two
Race car drivers for race cars

Sleep is for dreamers
Kittens made to purr
Swearing is for idiots
Pots were made to stir

Junk was made to collect
Grass for bare feet
Little girls have their giggles
While Grandma's have their sweets

Toes are for tickling
Warm blankets for the cold
Gossip for the time wasters
Card games for the old

Secrets are for friends
Lawyers made for lies
Snow angels made for God
Leaving for goodbyes

Castles are for kings
Cabins for the woods
Movies for celebrities
Messages understood

Parents made to hug
Kisses made for lips
Stars were made for wishes
Hula hoops for hips

Night is for the owls
Honey for the bees
I guess the only two things left...
Are you and me

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Need to Breathe - Something Beautiful - Exclusive Performance

This song and video are exactly what I'm talking about.... Something Beautiful can be made even when we are still unsure and don't have everything figured out. It's raw and sweet and full of hope for something beautiful. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Over the years I've written some songs. People always ask if I have some formula for writing one. They want to know if the melody comes first or the lyrics. They want to know the creative process and how it all comes together into a song. I think I often get a strange look on my face, dumbfounded and idiot-like, whenever I get asked these questions. For me, there has been no formula.

Sometimes a melody comes in the middle of the night and I have to get out of my nice, warm bed and go play it on the piano. I have a digital recorder by my piano so I can remember what I came up with in the morning. Sometimes I have a line of lyrics that I just can't get out of my head and it becomes something more, like a poem. Sometimes words and melodies are fused together upon conception and cannot be undone. There is no formula. I wonder if other song writers have formulas? Somehow I doubt it.

From the time our little brains started asking "why?" we have been basically asking the formula-type questions. It's in our nature to want to know the order and the structure of things so we know where we fit in all of that. I am no different. I wonder about the strangest things sometimes...why are butterflies called butterflies? (I've never seen a butterfly anywhere near butter.) Why do drive-thru ATM machines have braille on the keypads? (I hope there are no blind drivers out there!!) Why do people get cancer? Why do people have to suffer? Why am I here? Why?


I think we want to know the answers to these questions so we can feel sure of something, so we can somehow have a little less fear. I read somewhere that fear is basically a lack of understanding. I get that. That's why we demand answers and formulas and cures and encyclopedias and security systems and insurance. We want to cover our backs and rest easier at night. There is safety in knowing?

I have become more and more aware lately that there really are no formulas. There are no books by self-help gurus, doctors, scientists, or heads of national security that can and will always get it right. They can't come up with a formula that fits every person everywhere, in every culture or time in history. Life was never meant to be formulaic. It is fluid. It is reliant on things we can't even see or touch like air. There are so many things that just can't be put into a neat and tidy mathematical equation. We don't get a script at birth laying out what our life will look like. We make choices. We become reliant on other people, who have questions too. We create. We learn to trust, even when it doesn't make sense or it's scary. We live courageously without knowing what the next moment will bring.

As a creator of songs, I know the lack of process that goes into creating one and I have never lost a wink of sleep over that. There's definitely something freeing in not having to have it all figured out. A song becomes something as I create. Life becomes something as I truly live it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Have you ever watched a spider? Have you seen a spider drop from the sky on an invisible thread? Have you watched a spider weave a web so intricate and delicate? Have you gazed in wonder and horror as a spider wraps it's prey in a blanket of sticky, silvery thread? Spiders have always intrigued me. I am not one of those girls that screams and runs around freaking out about the eight-legged, arachnids. I don't kill them, or stomp on them, or jump on a chair because I think they are amazing. They are the architects of the animal kingdom. I marvel at how something so small can do the things that they do without ever being taught. I could sit for hours on my deck at night and watch as the spiders do their splendid work.They truly are magnificent.

I have been reading Charlotte's Web by E.B. White to Elle the last little while. I love hearing from Charlotte's perspective what it is like to spin a web, what the different kinds of line are used for, and how she explains to Wilbur that it's really not that awful to eat a bug. Wilbur, in his innocence, believes that he can spin a web as good as any spider and sets out to make one with a rope tied to his curly, pig-tail. Of course, no matter how hard he tries he just can't do it. He is not a spider. He is a pig and pigs do not make spider webs.

Watching is entirely different than doing, as Wilbur found out in his web-spinning experiment. Spectating is not playing. Reading is not writing. Painting by numbers is not painting. Assembling IKEA furniture is not cutting, sanding, and creating the design of a chair. Looking at your bike from inside your house is not riding it. Knowledge is not wisdom. All of these examples point to something more.

So much of our lives are spent as watchers. We see other people do things and somehow we think that we could never do that. We limit ourselves. We tell ourselves we can't. We compare our 'would-be, not-ever-tried' experience with people who have invested time, energy, practice into skill development and think that because we can't be the best at something, like those other people, we shouldn't even try. Here's a secret. Now listen up. At some point those people that are doing those things that you think are amazing tried something. After the trying, they decided that they were going to pursue it with everything they've got, whether they succeeded or not. We are all afraid to suck, to be mediocre, and to possibly be ridiculed, so we don't put ourselves in that position...ever. And then we wonder why we are bored, flipping the channels, and generally grouchy with the way our lives are panning out. We aren't really doing much; we're just watching.

I love hearing people's stories of when they've tried something new and they find out they really love it. Even better that they really didn't, but they tried, and it was okay. You can appreciate something, like how I view my eight-legged friends, and still not be able to spin a web. I'm not saying that I'm going to try and spin a web, but watching can and should inspire action.

I dare you to move.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Seven years ago today, I got married to Jeremy. It was a beautiful day that we talk about often. Time has marched on and here we are seven years into this thing called marriage. We started as a family of two that day and now it has grown to four. I thought I really loved Jer when I married him, but I know now that the love I had for him then was very small and untested. I think about people that have been married for thirty years plus and what love must be like at that point, after living so much more of life together.

Marriage is interesting. It is not really what I thought it was in my naive teenage years. I imagined that we would have hours of uninterrupted time together...ha! I imagined going for walks together at the end of the day. I imagined love letters and flowers and all that other stuff that I thought was romance. I now think that romance is stolen kisses with kids hanging off our legs. Romance is is sitting on our deck as the sun goes down, not saying much of anything, just being together in the same place. Romance is a hug when the day starts and a kiss goodnight. Romance is belly laughing at each other. Romance is crying in each other's arms. Romance is talking through life's ups and downs and celebrating that we continue on the journey...together. I am glad that I have been surprised by what marriage is really like. I am happy that it is different and so much more than what I thought it was.

Husbands are interesting too. I had room mates a couple time during my single life, but I have to say that having a room mate is not the same thing as having a husband. Room mates do not have the same expectations as a spouse. You don't have the same kind of time and love invested in that kind of co-habitation either. I have seen every side (maybe not quite every side) of my husband, Jer; the good, the bad, the ugly, the selfish, the angry, the gentle, the compassionate, the heartbroken, the sweet, the harsh, the lovable, the servant, the generous, the taker, the father, the friend, the son, the brother, the idiot, the genius, the creative, the destructive, the playful, the work-aholic, the lover, the artist, the musician, the builder, the brooder, the depressed, the joyful, the hungry, the grumpy, the hilarious, the actor, the studious, the amazing, the driven, the thoughtful, the thoughtless, the kind, the romantic, an the absolutely most disgusting. And I love him, with a bigger love than I thought my heart could hold. The crazy part is that he has seen all of my sides and he loves me back. The wonder of it all!!??

I am so honored that I get to spend the rest of my life learning what it means to love every side of Jeremy Seatter. It's hard, it's wonderful, it's complex, it's painful, it requires more than what I am capable of at times, but it's worth it. I get to learn about love by loving.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Two weeks ago my family and I were travelling home from Saskatchewan ("Scratch", as we call it) after a five days visiting with my family. We, actually Jeremy, decided that we should get an early start on our many houred journey. The alarm went off at 4:30 in the morning. I whined and dragged my sick and sorry, sleep deprived self out of bed and set about packing up the rest of our stuff. Half an hour later we were in the truck and driving away, grumpy kids and all.

It's around 1100 kilometers from Grenfell, my home town, to our home in Dapp, Alberta. I never look forward to all the driving but usually end up having really great conversations with Jer and get a lot of reading under my belt. The kids do very well too. We plan pretty regular stops to stretch legs and run around and pack lots of books and toys for the back seat fiasco. So the ten or so hours of actual driving time usually extends to 13 or more. We made really good time on this particular day since most of the morning the kids were sleeping and required less stops than usual. We were probably going to be home in great time, in bed early, with even a few loads of laundry finished. I was ecstatic since we were heading to Camp the next day.

All of my plans took a turn when Jeremy decided to stop in Fort Saskatchewan at Home Depot to pick up some materials he needed for the house he's working on (more on this subject in a later post). So we pile out of the truck and head into Home Depot. The kids love Home Depot because they have these carts that look like race cars. Even after sitting all day in a vehicle they still wanted to sit in the car cart. I must say that these carts are the most laborious and awkward things to push around but I concede because they love it and because they are both contained!! No running after kids equals happy Mom! So, after awhile my purse (a recent find at Goodwill) which Jeremy has dubbed "The Shield" because it covers half my body, is really hampering my pushing of the race car cart. I chucked it in the cart part and ceased to remember that it existed. After an hour or so, clock ticking, less laundry loads being done, we left Home Depot in the pouring rain. I ran across the parking lot to the truck hoping to get the kids in the truck in record time and relatively dry. As it turns out, I did. Yay!

Here's where the story gets complicated. Jeremy isn't happy because Home Depot in Fort Saskatchewan didn't have one important thing that he needed. So we head off to St. Albert's Home Depot, half an hour away. This time the kids and I stayed in the truck and Jer was lightening fast. The kids were hungry so we hit a McD's drive-thru. Jeremy asked me if I had some cash to which I reply, "Sure, it's in my purse. Where's my purse? Have you seen my purse? Where is it?" Needless to say, the next few moments in the drive-thru lane were not pretty. I said some other words that shall not be repeated, I slammed some doors and made a general fuss about "The Shield" being MIA. I'm sure the other people in the drive-thru had a great show even though they were being held up by some crazy-haired lady having a freak.

I called back to the Home Depot in Fort Saskatchewan with my heart in my throat. The lady on the other end is very obliging and comforting. She went outside, while on the phone, to see if she could find it. No luck. A few minutes more and she went in to ask at customer service if it had shown up and there it was. Some one had returned it into the store. My heart started beating again and I calmed down considerably. I sincerely hoped that everything (wallet, camera, etc.) was still in it.

So we headed back in the opposite direction, after many hours of travel to retrieve "The Shield". No early bed time or laundry getting done anywhere on the horizon. As we were driving I started to realize that this was not the worst thing in the entire world, though it certainly was the icing on the cake of a really long day. I apologized to my family for the extra hour of driving that I had brought about. I also started thinking about other people in my life who are facing extreme challenges; a friend grieving the loss of her husband, two friends battling cancer, relationship struggles, depression, and addictions. These thoughts brought perspective to my day. In that moment the world no longer revolved around me and this tiny blip. I was safe, with my family, sending up some prayers for people I care about while looking at a rainbow in the sky.

"The Shield" was retrieved intact though a little soggy. We made it home about sixteen hours after we started our journey and the kids were laughing in the back seat. I had to laugh too. My plans had been foiled but what are my plans anyway in the big scheme of things?

Monday, July 12, 2010


Over the past few months I have been reading Jane Austen's six novels. I have been reading Emma for about a month now and I am having a really hard time getting through it. The other five were a delight and I ate up the pages like they were chocolate (one of my other favorite things!). Austen has a way of capturing the essence of humans in all their glory and folly. Even though she wrote her novels over two hundred years ago there have been times in my reading when I have exclaimed to myself, "I know someone who is exactly like that!!" She really understands human nature and character. I think that why I'm having such a hard time with Emma is because the person that I see reflected in Emma's strengths and weaknesses is myself.

For those of you who haven't read Emma I will give you a picture of her character. She is rich, spoiled, bored, self-absorbed, kind, compassionate, jealous, opinionated, full of passion, eager to please, gifted, judgemental, prideful, caring, family-oriented, sweet, witty, willing to try new things, helpful and intelligent. These are the most obvious traits of Emma's character but as you can see from the list, Emma is a complicated and somewhat contradictory young woman. Throughout the novel, Emma's world is deconstructed. The things that she thought she knew, her life's philosophy, how she viewed people and made judgements are all knocked off their axis. The one constant in her life, is a life-long neighbor and friend, Mr. Knightley. He is often the one who questions Emma's motives or the governing principles that she lives by. He loves her when her faults are obvious and blaring and when the goodness, that really is there, shines out. He is a teacher who can see both sides of Emma and pull the goodness out of her. His constancy, wisdom and faithfulness are beacons to Emma's wayward and stubborn willfulness. They are polar opposites in every respect.

I have a polar opposite too. God. Reading this novel has made that very obvious to me. I feel like I'm being deconstructed too. I'll try to describe what I mean by that.... it's about unlearning habits that keep me stuck, it's about unlearning ways of thinking that have been bookmarked for my entire life and keep me from seeing people without judgement, and it's about unlearning man-made ideas of what it means to live a life of faith. I'm not saying that I have this all figured out or that I ever will or that the deconstruction will ever end but there is hope in the midst of it all. I have a constant, my polar opposite, my friend. His goodness is my beacon. His love, my anchor. His character, my standard.