Category Archives: Music

My Australian Favorite Groups Top Ten Picks


My taste in music can be called eclectic. My fave genre would have to be funk but I do enjoy other sorts varying from pop, smooth jazz, classic rock as well as pub rock. Lately it seems I have been grooving to house and electronica too. My main focus today will be on Australian groups. I have heard some really great groups and solo artists from Australia since I moved here. It seems a lot of groups think they have to go the USA to make it big or leave their mark on the entertainment world but this list I am putting out today are the top ten that I love.

There have been groups that have reached icon status from Australia. The biggest one has to be INXS followed by Men At Work and Midnight Oil. The Little River Band made it big in the 70s. There are so many great groups to choose but this is my top ten.
10. Sneaky Sound System: the first time this group came to my attention was at a NYE that channel 9 promoted in 2006. They were quite lively and I really like their style.  I Love It!

Off their second album

Adam and I love this one which is from their latest album. “From Here To Everywhere”

9. Rogue Traders: Another band that I can’t seem to get enough of. They seem to sample quite a bit but who doesn’t these days. The first album I bought by them was “Here Comes The Drums” which featured “Voodoo Child”. I brought this album with me to share with my family in Louisiana at my niece’s high school graduation. Every track off that album I really loved. Here are 3 tracks that I can’t seem to hear enough!

This one I have song on my Playstation 3 so much I think Adam wants earplugs!

8. The Presets: This group reminds me of Depeche Mode a bit but I really love their style. I got this album for my 40th birthday. I could be quite upset but when I hear this song the good mood comes back to me ever strong!

7. The Potbelleez: Their song Don’t Hold Back was used in a jeep commerical but it’s on my mp3 list. I do love dance music! and this one here reminds me of my family reunion in 2012!

6. John Butler Trio: The leader of this group writes some really great songs. I love his use of lyrics. He’s more folk and blues. My all time fave by him is  Another fave: Losing You though makes me cry.

5. Icehouse: Iva Davies is another wonderful songwriter who also has an amazing voice.

4. Men At Work: I know my age is showing here. I was a child of the eighties but these guys were terrific! I am not going to feature the usual songs by them but the ones I really loved that never got airplay much! My all time favorite is:

3. Cold Chisel: I didn’t know about these legends of Aussie Rock until I settled in Australia. I am sure this band has paid it dues. This is from their latest album and I must say it’s a keeper. I get goosebumps listening to it. I featured this tree before on my facebook once but it’s still a great song. love Ian Moss’ voice and Jimmie Barnes’ harmonizing.

2. Australian Crawl (Aussie Crawl): Another group I never heard off until I migrated to Australia but they do have some great songs.

1. INXS: I loved this band since I was living in the states. There is something about them that just defies words. Andrew and Michael together created some awesome songs.

Because we all have a devil inside!

I know there are many other great groups from Australia but these are my top ten. There are many honorable mentions but I thought I would just share my top 10. Please feel free to share/add!

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Monthly Peace Challenge: Love Thy Enemy


It’s that time of the month again. It used to be so dang easy for me to meet these challenges that Kozo Hattori put out but as 2013 comes closer to an end, he has ramped up the challenge in the best possible ways. I don’t know how he does it, but I am just grateful that I have found him. He inspires me and really gets me thinking. This month’s challenge though he wants us to write about loving thy enemy.

I have two things to share with you. Please bare in mind that I do like to write poetry/songs. I was trying to compose music to go with the song I have written but time is not on my side and I am wasting precious time trying to do it. My songs often just come to me as melody and words. I can hear it so clearly in my mind. You will have to forgive me for singing a capella but I am not a gifted pianist yet.

There is a story I must share with you to explain about my song which I have entitled  “Leads Back To You”. It’s about two young girls about to reach puberty. This story is part of my life and has helped to form me. When I first met Jenny Schultz, I was riding the school bus to school. Jenny and her brother, Johnny, lived further down Vernon Lake Road in a trailer park not far from Vernon Lake Spillway which was at the end of Vernon Lake Road. I don’t know why we at first didn’t like each other. She would get on the bus snarl in my direction with a most disagreeable glare and bark at Judy and myself. I think I was in year 5 and she was year 6. Judy was in year 8 and always looked after me because that is what my older sister always does when it comes to me.

Everybody always loved sitting on the very back seat of the bus. It was a huge competition to get back there before it got taken. Maybe it was the fact that Judy and I often were sitting on the back seat that got under Jenny and Johnny’s skin so much. We did live closer to the beginning of the road then the Shultzes in the morning pick up. The trailer park was at the end of Vernon Lake Road. It really doesn’t matter what it was that put us against each other but the fact is, some how we became friends.

They just moved to Vernon Lake Road and starting riding Bus 4 when this animosity between us started.  I just know when I was in the sixth grade, I actually decided to try to change the mood between us. It was a hot day. The bus was getting pretty overcrowded by the time it came to pick me up at Vernon Elementary. Johnny had been held back the year before. We were never in the same class but I was aware that the Shultzes didn’t like us Miller girls very much. On this hot day with the bus overcrowded, I moved over so that Jenny could have a seat. She looked exhausted and her school bag weighed her down. She was hesitant at first but the load of what she was carrying must have over took her reservation because she accepted the offer to sit down.

I tentatively introduced myself and she looked at me stunned. I offered my hand to shake and she refused. When my sister noticed that Jenny was sitting beside me, she thought I was insane. Judy was sitting with Nancy and Tammy if I recall and couldn’t believe that I was trying to make friends with her. We didn’t say very much to each other but a seed had been planted.

A couple of days later, Judy was sick and I got one of the back seats. I waved to Jenny when she got on and motioned for her to come join me. We began a friendship then. I learned about her and her brother. He had a learning disability and she had a kidney condition that often made her sick. She was going to dialysis often. Kids on the bus thought we were an odd pair.

Assumptions are often the things that lead to distrust and fear but if we confront the fear and are brave enough to take a risk, to let someone in, it will pay off big time. Jenny and I lost contact ages ago but I often think of her. She helped me be a better person. She helped me break out of my shyness shell. I am so glad that I decided to break the ice because I discovered a really wonderful friend.

She moved from Vernon Lake Road and ended up staying with a lady from a church that she attended. She married the lady’s son when she was 15 and had a baby. They moved to Alexandria or Pineville but I will never forget Jenny. Jenny is the inspiration for the song I wrote for this peace challenge.

I would like to thank my husband, Adam, for editing the song for me which I recorded this afternoon.  He’s another great blessing in my life! I will have to rerecord this to a better job but I really wanted to put it out there in time for the month of November.

Related articles:

http://everydaygurus.com/2013/10/31/monthly-peace-challenge-love-thy-enemy/

http://everydaygurus.com/2013/11/27/letter-to-my-enemy-within/

Music In a Melancholy Mood


Today my optimistic self has fled from my soul at the moment. I am wondering and pondering big questions in my head trying to decide the best course of action for my melancholy mood.

I know lots of people have it worse than I. I have a good family even if I don’t speak to them as often as I should but I know they love me too even though the distance between us is humongous. Recently though, I am wondering what I could do or say to help my brother whom I haven’t seen in 30 years. I am trying to take a leaf out of Sting’s Lyrics praying that perhaps by setting him free he may come back to me. I know I can be a very possessive little sister but I love him to bits. I love him so much it’s disgustingly good. I know when he is ready he will let me or the rest of the family back in but I really wonder if it’s going to be another 30 years before it happens. I certainly hope not because I am planning a trip back to the states in 2015 to visit family and friends.

I want to make new memories with him and his own family. I do think in time it will happen but in this moment I am feeling melancholy. I don’t want to interfere with him but I want to be part of his life. Maybe I am asking too much but maybe it is what he needs too because I can’t imagine my world without him. We don’t have to speak all the time but just knowing he’s out their in the universe makes my world brighter.

August Peace Challenge: One Good Thing About Music


Since I began blogging in January, I have always loved sharing things about music and peace so when I discovered Kozo Hattori’s Blogger for Peace, I was rapt! This month though, I am sort of struggling with this challenge. I wanted to do something really special but when I try to sit down to write a song about Peace, a lot of things and songs come to my mind. Mostly it’s all the liturgical songs that I have grown up with.  I guess this would be the best place to start because if it wasn’t for the music that I heard growing up in church, I don’t think I would be as formed as I am.

In a lot of ways, music for the most part always ring with the truth of the lyrics.  I was thinking of doing a montage of songs that I have grown up with. I do know there are a lot of wonderful versions of the songs that I could find on youtube but wouldn’t it be more personable if I were to sing it myself? I am not sure but I do know there are such beautiful songs already about peace. Carey Landry wrote Peace Is Flowing Like A River and Sy Miller and Jill Jackson wrote one of my favorites which is Let There Be Peace On Earth and David Haas wrote Prayer for Peace.  I will spare everyone’s ears from me singing! 😉

Not everyone though believes in God but they do believe in peace and love so I thought why not put up a really lovely song that everyone should be able to relate to and with. Kozo Hattori in one way I think has started his own sort of Peace Train of sorts through our blogs so I thought it fitting to put up this video in my blog. Surely if we all stepped aboard the peace train in one way or another we’d start a really lovely revolution or evolution to peace. Thank you Kozo for setting out such a really wonderful challenge and I hope that everyone will glide on the peace train to make their country as well as our world a better place.

http://everydaygurus.com/2013/08/01/monthly-peace-challenge-one-good-thing-about-music/

http://www.ulawyss.com/bloggers-for-peace-one-good-thing-about-music/

http://bishoptatro.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/ive-joined-bloggers-for-peace/comment-page-1/#comment-466

http://grandmalin.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/august-post-for-peace/

July 3rd


20130703-184810.jpg

This is a photo of my father taken  I know not when but I am assuming when he was stationed in Korea. Today he died 21 years ago. In two years, it will be the 23rd anniversary of his passing. It occurred to me the same amount of time from his passing will be the same age I was when he passed away in two years.

Sometimes time just slips by and you don’t notice how quickly it has gone.  Time does heal old wounds. It dulls it a bit but at times, I seem to notice the wound more especially on birthdays, anniversaries, and memorials. My memories of Daddy are mixed to say the least. He did the best he could.  He used to say he was god in the house. He used the Lord’s name in vain and blasted us if we followed that example.

Daddy used to say he was glad he had 3 girls because we all look like him. I think of us 3 youngest girls, I look the most like him. I was his helper. I loved helping him outside with the yard or the animals we had. I know he wanted to be a veterinarian. I wanted to be one too except, I didn’t follow through.  Daddy loved to sing songs with different words. I find myself doing that too.  Daddy had a huge ego. I don’t have a huge ego. I am a lot more humble than he ever was.

I know Daddy is with me always. He really treasured Cassie, Margaret’s daughter, because he always called her his little angel. I know he would be proud of her too. I know he watches over us.  He may not have been perfect but he loved us the best way he could.

Daddy this song is for you! The years fly by but I hear you sometimes in my dreams.  I always think of you fondly! Much love always!

Dear Dianna


This is my response to Kozo’s great monthly peace challenge for July 2013. I hope you enjoy it!

Dear Dianna,

I know you love me but did you know there is a special way to foster peace into your life and others that is so simple to do?

You can foster me, peace, by sending your love into the universe. You have a very loving nature anyway. It isn’t so hard to do. If you desire to know me better, than please by all means send your love out to all. If they want to know me this is a sure-fire way to generate me quickly with efficiency.

Let go of negativity. Embrace the positive. Love is the key to everything. Please send your love out into the future so that it will grow, regenerate, even spread like a virus infecting everything you know and love. Surely I will flourish then.

Great big hugs,

Peace

P.S. I inspired Sting to write this song. I know how much you love him too!

 

 

http://everydaygurus.com/2013/06/27/monthly-peace-challenge-peace-begins-with-a-letter/

What Love Is All About


The title of the song that I wrote for Adam was a wedding present that was played when we lit the unity candle that I wanted for our ceremony. This song is a collaboration of sorts with Paul Nimmo who at the time was in Australia while I was in Louisiana.  I asked if he could put my melody to music. He took up the challenge and you will get to hear the song. I sang the song acapella using my computer. He did the piano as well as mixing the sounds you hear. I think he did a wonderful job.

What Love Is All About by Dianna Louise Miller for Adam William Morris

 Sometimes it’s rough

But with you by my side it’s not so tough.

You’re the one I want to share

With everything and everyone I know.

Life is never easy

But sharing things with you lightens the load.

This is what love is all about

Sharing, caring, and knowing in the end there’s one constant in your life.

When two hearts become one

There’s magic and it will never come undone

As long as the two remember to share because they are one.

I cherish you for all you are.

You’re everything that I could want:

Forgiving, and giving, strong, generous, understanding, and true.

I see so much of Christ in you.

This is what love is all about

Sharing, caring, knowing in the end there’s one constant in your life.

When two hearts become one

There’s magic and it will never come undone

As long as the two remember to share because they are one.

One more thing to share with you

I thank God for all He has done for me and you

He started us on different paths

We thought we’d never met our half to make us whole

But now I know He works in such mysterious ways.

Although our beginnings are world apart

He brought us together and now we’ll journey forth in this world as one.

And this what love is all about

Sharing, caring, and knowing in the end there’s one constant in your life.

When two hearts become one

There’s magic and it will never come undone

As long as we remember to share because we are one.

It’s 11 years now since we have made our commitment to each other. It has been the best 11 years of my life. As the years go by, I think back about where we were, where we are and where we are going. I always dreamed of finding him. Believe me, we don’t have a perfect relationship but I can’t imagine my life without him in it. He gives me strength. He inspires me. He makes me a better person. I would like to think that I have that sort of influence on him. I never in a million years thought I would have someone who makes me this happy. He knows me better than I know myself. It almost feels like a modern fairy tale come true. I have to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming but the reality of Adam and Dianna is very much real.

I know that I am blessed with a really wonderful partner. He spoils me rotten and I try to spoil him too. We have our moments but I do know that no matter what, he loves me and I would have to do something pretty horrible to wreck what we have. I would have to be insane to do that. I swear I was made for him.  Here’s a few photos to highlight the years we have had together.

My very first birthday in Australia about 15 days before we got married in Canberra.

My very first birthday in Australia about 15 days before we got married in Canberra.

The two Mr. and Mrs. A. Morris 29/6/2002 Val, Adam, Dianna, and Athol Morris

The two Mr. and Mrs. A. Morris 29/6/2002 Val, Adam, Dianna, and Athol Morris

Auntie Jean, Adam and me on our first wedding anniversary at China Tea Club where we had our 'rehearsal dinner" the previous year.

Auntie Jean, Adam and I on our first wedding anniversary at China Tea Club where we had our “rehearsal dinner” the previous year.

111Adam and I at the Valley of the Kings Maui Hawaii 29/6/2012

I know that life is full of ups and downs but as my song says when two hearts become one it is magic and it will never come undone as long as the two remember to share, because they are one! I thank God for Adam and I pray that you too may get to experience the joy of love in all the magnificent forms it comes in!

Message In A Bottle


Yesterday I was going through my morning rituals when I heard this song which I love by one of my favorite bands on Pandora Radio. As I was about to get in the shower, it sort of hit me that this is how I feel about blogging.  Sometimes you just write because you are in moment or you want to just share something, anything that will make a connection to someone else.

It’s the most exhilarating feeling when you know you have done this. I don’t write for the money. I don’t write for the fame. I write for the love of sharing. I write for a connection with others. It’s like everytime I hit that publish button I am hoping, praying that I will get to read from someone who is also sending out a SOS. I am reaching out in hope that maybe somebody identifies with the moment and will actually acknowledge it. I have gotten a few messages back. When this happens, it’s just amazing. The likes are fantastic too but the wow factor for me is when I actually get to read a comment.

I can’t imagine ever getting a million responses back like he talks about in the song but that feeling of wonder I identify with so vividly when I read a comment or see a like. Maybe one day I am going to see lots of responses but until then I will keep on writing, keep on sharing, and keep on reading! Do you ever feel like this? If so, please feel free to share!

Thank You and Rhythm Nation


You know for the longest time, I thought to myself, that Rhythm Nation by Janet Jackson was such an excellent song. About a month ago, I was listening to Pandora Radio and heard Thank You by Sly and the Family Stone. I know this has probably been raised about a thousand times already but isn’t it funny how music was sampled.  Sly and the Family Stone made Thank You back in 1969.

Rhythm Nation was written by Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Janet Jackson in 1989. It could be said that it is an original work but listen closely to the bass line.

Maybe they unconsciously chose to use the same sort of bass line. Maybe I am imagining things but all I have to say is thank you Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, and Janet Jackson for thinking of making this song which highlighted another musical genius. I have always had a great love of funk ever since I was a child. I am always going to have a soft spot in my heart for this genre.

I know there is a lot of music sampling going on today. It has been going on throughout time I suspect but I can thank Pandora Radio for opening up my ears and alerting me to this little treasure!

If you can find anything that you think is similar please feel free to link it in the comments. Cheers!

Life Is A Rollercoaster


Today Adam and I first took Mitch out for a walk today to scout for dogs. Grady was going to get to go too but he decided to get narky with Mitch resulting in him being left home with Lenny. We did a reverse route that we did with Lenny the other day. There were going to be dogs for us to follow-up on what we learned. It was good to know that for when we wanted to work with Lenny which we did once I returned Mitch to the back yard. I got Lenny on lead and handed him over to Adam to get ready for his walk.

I find at times when I try to put into practice what I learn from observation I often wish I had taken notes instead of relying on my memory. I had recorded the session with Doug but after listening to it, it wasn’t as clear as we wanted because it had been drizzly so my raincoat and foot steps pretty much drowned out the sound of Doug’s voice.

We decided to go ahead today to work Lenny. All was going well. We found two little dogs behind their fence but the owner came out all apologies for the behavior of his dogs. I explained to him that it was fine. We wanted that sort of behavior to work on Lenny’s problem. The owner continued to chastise the dogs. Adam and I pushed on. We took a left onto the next street. I could see a beagle further down the road. I told Adam about it. We continued on with me giving him prompts. When we needed to make another left, the beagle and two other dogs came after Lenny who was of course, quite tense. I was trying to block Lenny’s vision when the second dog came up behind Lenny. Finally the owner came out calling for his dogs to come back.  Everything was a bit hazy for me to recall clearly since I am trying to monitor Adam, Lenny, and the other dogs. I know the owner had to come forward to get the other dog because he was lunging towards Lenny whose fur was all hackles and had completely tried to turn around in harness. I felt out of my depths but we persevered. As soon as I knew we were safe enough from the dogs for Adam to get Lenny refocused on him. Adam then gave him a nice scratch to get rid of the energy he had from the encounter. I knew we were going to encounter at least 3 more dogs behind fences. The next dog we encountered, Lenny was a tad distracted. Dogs were barking all around us. Every time Lenny would look to Adam, I would have Adam stop to reward him for the behavior.  The next house we would pass had two retrievers in it. I was hoping we’d get to walk past but of course, the owner came out because of the ruckus the dogs were making, looked down the street where we were walking up from, and instructed her dogs back into the house. We were a tad disappointed but we persevered. Over all, I think the walk was pretty successful. I am still a tad unsure but I think with practice we’ll become a well oiled machine.

Life is a roller coaster in more than one way. I think it’s the way that we handle the ups and downs that help define who we are. I can see this metaphor in action with the working relationship between Adam and Lenny. I also see it in my life in general. The walk with Lenny felt like a roller coaster. Roller coasters can be fun and scary all at the same time. A lot like life which is why I love this song so much. Enjoy!