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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

A street in Boston, covered in seen when we were out caroling.

The train, coming into our station---two blocks from our house.

Four of my amazing children, Aydan, Maryn, Brinna, and Clayton.

Nothing like COLD weather picture taking!
Brinna, Shawn, Bret, Clayton, Maryn and Aydan down front.

His Birth.
A Tree.
Great Food.
Amazing memories!

These are the things I love about this time of the year....and yes, its my favorite Holiday of all.
I hope that you are all having a great Holiday and that your transition into the New Year will be one of safety and fun times!

May you keep on loving, being loved, not too stressed, make music a part of every day and above all, keep reading my blog...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Music

Ok, is it only me or have all the words changed on our old classic carols? I was just shopping a few days ago, and as per me, I started singing along with the soundtrack in the store. It was a classic Christmas carol, but done by a newer artist, and so I started to sing my usual harmony part...

Well, much to my dismay, the words were not the same!! I had to stop shopping and listen as someone totally destroyed a classic Christmas carol with new lyrics! Wait a minute, is this allowed? What is the world coming to, when we can't sing a carol and know the normal words anymore? Should we be checking up on line every year to see what the new lyrics are before we go out to do our holiday shopping?

How is the normal person supposed to harmonize and sing along as they shop?

Well, I was outraged and it ruined my whole Christmas shopping experience. I had to leave immediately, go into my car, take some deep breaths, and turn on my Carpenter's Christmas album to calm down.

Some things THEY can't touch!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

It's The Most Tantrum Time Of The Year...

....with the kids jingle-belling and everyone telling you, "BE OF GOOD CHEER"!

Yeah, right.

Yesterday I felt like I wanted to take a tantrum.
You know the kind----the real throw yourself down on the floor and kick and scream kind...

For some reason this time of year really brings it out in least once a day, or lets be honest...sometimes ten times a day... I sometimes feel a little guilty, because I have so much to be happy about, but call it hormones or just being a big baby----I would love a good old-fashioned temper tantrum.

Now, I do actually take them from time to time, so don't you go thinking that I am holding back or anything! Oh, no, no, no.... You can just ask anyone in my family...

So, what are my top tantrums about right now?
Well, these are just the current ones...they will change as each year, month, day, hour and minute goes by....

Top ten reasons that I want to take a tantrum are because:

***I have lots of shopping still to do and am not organized about where to start.

***I want to stay with my G-babies and REALLY don't want to be so far away from them!

***I am stressed about the Christmas program at church

***I love to eat sweets this time of year and I still haven't gotten rid of this extra 15 pounds!

***I have an ache in my shoulder/arm area that won't go away, but I don't want to go to the doctor about it.

***I tried to put Christmas songs on my Zune, but it wouldn't synchronize them, because I was doing it on my laptop---so it asked me if it could take everything off and put it back on, then synchronize the new tunes, and it wiped out everything----so all I have on my Zune is Christmas songs----and the other songs will take me about a week to put back on...

***I have a garage FULL of stuff that needs to be organized----I mean, NOTHING is in the right place---and its going to take about 3 or 4 full days to do it!

***Financial annoyances---goes without saying...

***I need a show to direct in the spring---its becoming harder than I thought...

***Why can't we just all get along?

There you go---you might say that this is MY confession for this week. And I feel better now that I've gotten it off of my proverbial chest.

This should get me through a few days, anyway.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Doing The Casino Thang!

Well, I was pretty excited to fly to a gig this past weekend, at Harrah's. Now, I know what you are thinking... Harrahs? Wow, that is really a big name for the "Blondes Have More Fun" band----that awesome band that features Shawn Cannon on vocals and backs the Rod Stewart impersonator, Rick Larrimore...

Yes, thats how we do it... In a big Las Vegas style...

....Except that it was in Phoenix. or about a 45 minute drive from Phoenix.....and the casino was really small.....and we didn't even get to stay at the hotel....and the stage that we sang on was above the bar and very crowded and small....and there was smoking allowed so all of our throats were burning about one hour after entering the building.....and we were picked up at the airport in a van instead of a limo.

But, other than all that, we were stars for the weekend!

The Radisson was our hot place to stay and it was right next to a Marie Callenders (they have great pie, just in case you don't know) and right off the freeway, in Chandler, so I was told, which borders Phoenix. We enjoyed the desert view (the band couldn't get over the fact that there weren't any trees----"What do you do for shade?", they asked the driver) and I got to see some relatives----my sister, Heather lives there, as well as my cousins, Mark and Laurie. It was also great to visit with my old high school friend, Colleen, who hasn't changed a bit! She is still a great listener and keeps telling you how wonderful you are, so you want to take her everywhere with you.

It was good times. I know that you are all amazed that this jet-setter is traveling to such hot spots as Phoenix, and are wishing that you could have been there to check out our show, but who knows? We might get into a town close to you sometime. I hear Topeka, Kansas is pretty this time of year...

The "Blondes" unloading at the hotel.

The "Rod" man, himself, checking on his next big gig.

Mark, the sax player and Paul, the drummer, looking "GQ".

A scary picture of me and our new keyboard dude, Jimmy.
(note to both of us----this lighting is NOT flattering after you have reached a certain age!)

Our "Mafioso" Bass player, Danny with Jimmy again. (this one turned out better, dude)
Me, Shawn again, with my little sis, Heather, with her two girls, Shadaya and Toni...and looking like a ghost next to my tan friend, Colleen---ah, the life in Phoenix!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

"Talking To Tom.....Er....Ah....Turkey"

At this time of the year when we are thinking about those things that we are thankful for and how lucky we feel that we don't live in a cardboard box in some third world country, our thoughts also think of how gluttonous we are as a people and how we love to eat. We especially love to eat a lot at our Thanksgiving dinners----stuffing our faces and bellies with potatoes, rolls, pumpkin pie, dressing and of course, turkey. I have always wondered what it was like for these creatures...these domestic animals that are non-confrontational, and seem very peaceful in their existence...until we up and massacre 1000's of them at this time. I decided to go to the source. I invited a turkey in my neighborhood (actually he lives right next to me and his "owner" lets him out to roam our yard---scared the pants off me the first time I saw him) to have a little chat with me about this difficult time for turkeys. He would rather that I use a fake name for him, as I do have at least two people that read this blog and one of them might come visit me someday and he would be embarrassed....

Me: Hey,, how's it going?

Tom: Well, its kind of stupid that you would ask that question of me today, of all days......I'm a little depressed.

Me: Sorry. I just wanted to say that you are looking really nice today, a bit puffed up, strutting around like that, but I guess thats how you do it.

Tom: I do feel good about my situation here, I have an owner that works for the animal rescue
and has assured me that I am safe here....

Me: Yeah.....well,....thats cool!.....well, I guess it kind of sucks about all your brothers and sisters, and relatives and stuff----at this time of the year and all...

Tom: OHHHH, don't even get me started! Ever since those darn Pilgrims came here, they
got it into their heads that to celebrate this time of year, they had to know....
(whispering) turkey...

Me: Yeah...... it must be a stressful time of year for you...
How do you get through it?

Tom: I walk.....a've probably seen me in the forest out behind the house....walking, strutting and preening, being thankful that I don't have to be taken down in my prime like all of my relatives....

Me: Well....I was also wondering a couple of other things....

Tom: Yeah, sure, what?

Me: What exactly is that dark red weird wrinkled thing that is hanging over your beak area---its kind of creepy....
...And does it bother you that little kids use their hands to draw around and use their fingers to be your feathers on the drawing? Then they color every "finger" a different
color---what's up with that? Who thought of that?

Tom: Hey, do I go around making fun of those holes in your ears and those coverings that you
wear over your fleshy body? And who really cares whether kids get their drawings right when it comes to the way we look----at least, they are recognizing us and noticing our lives!!

Me: Right. They are thinking about how tasty you will taste, also---lets get real, dude...

Tom: (glowering) Right, and now are you also going to tell me how I will be able to smell the turkey that you will be cooking today as it wafts out the window? You're disgusting....

Me: ( I am really feeling guilty at this point) Well, if it makes you feel better, I didn't buy the turkey fresh, so its probably a sad third world turkey who worked too hard his whole life and wasn't especially happy with his circumstances. And also, my husband is a vegetarian, so he won't touch a bite of it, so the turkey is small....

Tom: (He is glaring at me---making pecking motions with his pointy beak) I think that this interview is over.....I need to get back to my hutch---I have some chicken friends to commiserate with....

Me: (A bit flustered by his put down, I scramble for something to make him feel better) Hey....
calm down Tom....we are neighbors, after all.... Well, hope to see you around the yard....
have a Day.....ah....ok.....I think that I will go now....I've got
to prepare my....ah.....well................Tofu turkey!

There, I've committed the ultimate sin, lying to save face with the turkey next door.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Celebrity For The Day?

I just had the wonderful opportunity to go see The Police this last weekend! I received the tickets from my favorite child, Clayton---well, for now, he's my favorite... Not that I count what each child buys me or anything...

Hailey, my oldest daughter flew out for the concert, so I guess she is my second favorite child, as she had quite an expense for that,...and to top it all off, one of her twins got sick while she was here---so she really went the extra mile to leave her family. But then again, I guess her husband, Ben, who is by far my favorite son-in-law---had the hassle of having a sick child to take care of while Hailey was away.

Well, the concert was AMAZING!! Of course, Hailey and I didn't take our camera's, as we were trying to be honest. (Actually, we just didn't want to get them taken away if they checked our pockets, but they didn't and everyone had a camera!) It was a real bummer because when we got to our seats, we realized that we were ten rows from the stage! We were so close! The people in front of us took our picture, and promised to e-mail it to us, but well---you guessed it---no sign of a picture yet.

Well, to tell you about the concert in a nutshell: Sting is the hottest singer out there, hands down---I mean---you HAVE to check out his physique! And he is getting kind of old, you know---even by my standards... He's definitely got a great trainer. Also, we were standing about 10 feet from where the band came in and left after the concert, so we were able to see him---up close and personal...and I swear that he looked up at me----be still, my heart. Oh, yeah, the music was amazing also...

So, after the concert, Hailey and I took the "T" to my favorite ice cream place, JP Licks----yum---I love the cake batter ice cream---so good...and we were in a deep discussion about what a drag it would be to be famous. You know, it would be kind of a chore---you couldn't even wear shoes that would hurt your feet, because someone might be taking a picture of your grimace... You would always have to look good even when you went to get your mail, or at least, have a matching jog outfit on.

So, it got me thinking... Wouldn't it be a great business to charge people to be treated like a celebrity for one day, or for big money----maybe for a week, or a month? I could have a photographer snapping papparrazi of them wherever they go or someone posing as a magazine reporter asking them questions every time they go outside their houses. I could stalk them and try to get fans to bug them when they go out to eat or to the store, or to the gym.

Wow, I think that it might go over really big... Everyone wants to be a celebrity for a day, right?
Now, what shall I call my website, and what exactly shall I charge? It would have to cover my travel expenses and hiring someone to live in a car for a while---and then there's the paying for the "fans"----maybe I can find some really young ones---they might do it for babysitting type money...

Well, you heard it here first. If someone else starts this company, I am going to sue----because my idea has a date on it, and I am the first to think of it! Hey, what about calling it Celebrity Status for the, not enough ring to it...

Alright, I'm open for ideas---let me know...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

When Is A Chest Something More Than A Chest?

I have been directing a play "The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood" for my church. I wanted to do a fun comedy that was great for kids and adults alike---you know, with some slapstick humor, but still some play on words or wit to amuse the adults...

Well, I had to read about 20 plays to find a play that would qualify and be clean enough to be associated with the church, and I felt that everything in it was pretty squeaky clean. I had tryouts in June, to get a jump on the memorizing for the actors, thinking that if I didn't start rehearsing until Sept., they would have the summer to work on the play.

So, after casting the play,----we have some talented people and I was really excited to get started with the blocking, and characterization, etc.,----we started the rehearsals in Sept., and I had assumed that everyone had read the script and was ok with the play.

We could only have one rehearsal a week, as people weren't available very often, and I was still out of town a lot for gigs on the weekends, but things were going really well... Now you have to understand that there is a lot of slapstick type of humor in this play as well as what I call stupid humor. Humor that anyone can get, dumb sight gags, etc. This type of humor is definitely not my favorite---in fact I really abhor this type of humor, but because there were several parts that were a subtle play on words, I could tolerate the other, silly stuff.

So, now we come to the chest question. There is a part in the play where the sassy narrator is narrating about how Robin and Marian first met. Of course, it was when Robin stopped the Sheriff and Marian in Sherwood Forest to rob them of their jewels and money. These said jewels, in this play, were residing inside a heavy chest. So, the narrator says, "So Robin snatched the bag of gold from the sheriff and then grabbed Marian's chest." At this point, everyone gasps and looks at the narrator. (Of course, I had brilliantly blocked it, so that it was very funny, with everyones heads whipping about at the same time as the gasp) THEN, the next line is from the narrator who says, "The one that she's holding!!" They all sigh and say "Oh", and smile and the scene goes on as normal. Well, I thought that there was nothing wrong with this----its a play on words and it gets resolved and....well, it is what it is....pretty darn funny! One of the only funny lines! (Most of the rest of the play, I had to rely on my abilities to make the characters mannerism's, etc. funny and use timing to make parts funny)

Well, you probably guessed it. A week before Tech rehearsals,----I get a phone call from none other than "Robin" himself. He explains that they have all been talking and are a bit shocked that I haven't removed the line from the play, etc., etc. " you are telling me this?", I think to myself.

Then, I talk to the narrator and she tells me that she had mentioned it to several people-----yes, church members----and they all thought that it was funny and not too risque for church audiences.... But that the guy who played the Prince had been sending her threatening e-mails-----that she better not say it!

Oh my. Here I thought that after reading so many plays only to not be able to find a play that didn't have something objectionable, that I had finally gotten one that, in my book, was good clean fun.

Bottom line...the line was dropped. My wild ways were reported all the way to the Stake President. (Which is the person that is over our region of church congregations) And I guess I can no longer be trusted to pick a play for the church. I am the worst kind of sinner possible, one who would leave creeping pornography in a family play.

You know the kind...the treasure chest kind.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Show Must Go On!

I do not have an easy time. It seems that no matter what I set out to do, it takes far more effort than the normal human being. Case in summer musical theatre camps. I decided to start my own because I couldn't get the Community Education that I teach for in the summer to give me more than one week this summer. They had too many theatre courses...and didn't want too many.

So, I thought to myself, "Why not do my own?" "How difficult can it be?"........was I kidding myself?

I started out by making up flyers, and getting them into the local newspapers. I got them as inserts into three communities, as I get more "bang for my buck" that way. The papers go out to 8000 households, so I felt confident... I also got them out in early June, as that would be when people were planning their summers, etc.

I found a space to rent in the building that my voice studio was in---very reasonable, but needed a lot of work----which my wonderful hubby, Bret, assured me would be no problem.
I sat back and waited to reap the rewards of my labors...waiting for those tons of e-mails and phone calls to come in...

The first few days after the inserts came out, I got about 3 or 4 phone calls a day and several e-mails---that was good and made me feel good. Everyone seemed to respond affirmatively and wanted extra information along with the registration form, so I was pleased...

I had made up a nice registration form, but realized that it was in a new word office document that a lot of computers couldn't open, so had people complaining about that------Strike One!

Then, as the day got nearer for the first camp and I was visiting my daughter in Utah, my husband called and informed me that the space that we had chosen would "not work" and required too much money to get it in working order. Now, remember that I have told all of the students that have signed up so far where it is being held and how to get there, etc.---it was even on the original flyer and registration form. "What?", I thought----"What do I do now?"----Strike Two!

So Bret assured me that he would find the perfect space that week, since the camp started the next Monday...and I stressed...

He ended up finding a great space in a mill building, top floor, big windows, and he moved all the stuff over there, and made up a stage and curtain area,-----it was a great location and a great price---even less than the latter one. We scrambled to get the costumes there and the makeup set up, etc. and in doing this, discovered that it was extremely hot and wait a minute, wasn't there supposed to be air conditioning? Well, it was promised, but it sure didn't work!
So, we bought a little A/C and put a huge fan in front of it and hoped for cool days...

No such luck... The class started and I was yelling my lungs out over the fan noise, but we perservered.... It was about 92 degrees that week, so you can imagine dancing and performing in that heat, but we perservered----- Strike Three!

Now, much to my dismay, after the first day, my husband got a call from the landlord saying that we had to move, as we were disturbing the business next to us with our "noise"---excuse me? mean our singing and music wasn't appreciated---not to mention the fact that I was talking so loud because of the fan----BECAUSE THERE WAS NO AIR CONDITIONING!!

So, he let us ride out the week and we would look for something else for the next one---- Strike Four!

So, on the second to the last day of this camp, a man appears through the door wanting to talk to me----I said that I didn't have much time, as I write these shows so that every minute of the day is utilized in learning the show to be performed on the last day, and we had a lot of rehearsing still to do. (trust me, it ain't easy to put on a full show in 15 hours!)

He informed me that it was too bad because he was evacuating the building because of a chemical spill and that we had five minutes to leave. "What?" I thought, "No way!"-----Strike Five!

So, we sat outside in the parking lot as they told us that we had to "leave" the premises and could not come back that day or maybe for the rest of the week... Meanwhile my brain is scrambling as to where I can go and what am I going to do and how the parents are going to freak out and not all of them can come get their kids, and now I am going to have to give back the money and all with no show,....and on and on.... know the phrase!!
The show must go on!!

So, I called my Bishop to see if we could go to the church which was right down the street, (luckily) and couldn't get a hold of him, but realized that I still had the key and made an executive decision---we were going there to finish practicing the show and I would ask forgiveness later! We called all the parents and they all agreed to pick them up there... Then, I told them all that we would just have class there the next day, as I didn't know if we would be able to get into the mill building again. But, then again----what do I do about costumes? What do I do about the makeup? We couldn't even go in to get the things!

Long story short----they lifted the "no enter" ban late that night and we moved all the stuff to the church for the show the next day....

Flash forward to the week before the next camp----we looked at the only other space that the landlord had in the mill building. It was a machinist type shop that smelled of grease with concrete floors, low ceilings and general depression. "Great!" I thought, "What do I do now?"-----Strike Six!

Bret assured me that he could make it work, as I was traveling out of town every weekend for gigs, so I didn't have the time to do the work on it. Well, I actually helped him clean it up, went to Home Depot and bought some linoleum for a "stage" area and he once again worked his magic to make the area look great with curtains and the costumes backstage...

Well, I finished out the last two classes in that scary depressing place (the door was even under a staircase and behind a huge trash bin---so sad) and it ended up working quite well. I bought two Plug Ins to mask the smell, Bret did an amazing job on the curtains and stage area, we set up the sound and hair and makeup areas, tried to sweep the broken glass and cigarette butts away in front of the door, remembered to shut the door when the guys working next door took their smoking break right outside our door, enjoyed the fact that it was very dark down there, so it was good for a theatre, and just put our "happy" faces on.

No one complained. I still lost my voice because I had to have the fan on all the time, and am now wondering if I have vocal nodes as I am still hoarse, but all in all, it was an OK profit....

I am just trying to figure out where to have it next summer...I'm starting now, just so I'm prepared...

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Why Can't We Just All Get Along?

About a week and a half ago, we took our vintage 1965 Fan trailer on its first trip since we have worked on it. I cleaned it up---it took about 4 days, as every surface had to be cleaned about 4 times---wash, scrub, rinse and dry off. Then, Bret had to re-do the electric and make sure that there were no leaks. He also scraped the whole trailer and re-painted it a bright white. I, in turn, found heavy material in a cool teal, cobalt and ceruelean blue stripe for the cushion covers and the curtains. I tried to find them online, but they was too expensive, so I just sewed them up! Yes, I have been sewing since I was 8 years old, sewing all my own clothes up until I went to college, so it is something that I can do... Even though the only thing that I sew now are couch slipcovers, and sometimes the random pillow cover.

So, we decided to go camping to the beach. There are lots of great beaches on the eastern shore and the one we picked was a State Park, Salisbury Beach, about an hour from our house. Maryn was able to go with us, as she hasn't found a job yet, so it was great to have her"back with the family".

Bret had given me a bike for my birthday, so we went biking, and we borrowed four kayaks from another friend (even though we have a canoe, we thought that we would do something new) and we paddled around in the rivers that were connected to the bay off the ocean. We took the puppies, and they were great in the trailer, never once having a piddle accident, and never causing any problems....well, until the last day...

Yes, that last day was an interesting one. I had taken the puppies on several walks around the campground during the week and most of the people that saw them remarked on how cute they were and asked what kind of dog they were, etc. If the puppies ever barked, I corrected them, but most everyone was tolerant, as...well....lets face it...they are adorable!

So, on that last day before we left, Bret and Aydan were down at the ocean fishing, just standing on the beach. I took the puppies and sat there on a towel, reading and relaxing. It was a picture perfect day. The sky was blue, with the occasional white puffy cloud. There was a slight cool breeze that kept it cool enough, as the sun was quite warm on our heads. The beach wasn't crowded that last day, as it was close to suppertime and most people had headed back.

I thought that it was a perfect time to take the puppies for a walk up the beach, without their leashes on. Now before you chastise me for being irresponsible, let me tell you that I walk about 3 times a week with them in the conservation area across from our house, and they are great about coming when I give the command and we have even practiced not barking when encountering another dog, etc. on the walk. They always stay with me, or come when I call, so I felt confident doing this. Besides, I had seen two other dogs running up and down the beach earlier...both of them large Lab breeds, and a whole lot scarier to strangers!

Everything went fine...until we came around a corner where there was a family on the beach. There was a little girl, about 5 years old running around back and forth...yelling with excitement.
Now, I don't know about you, but when a small 4 pound puppy sees a little girl running around and screaming, she wants to join in the fun!

Mignon took off after her, barking with glee...not a good thing, I guess, because the child went running to her mother, while I called "Come" to Mignon, to get her calmed down and back on track. We were continuing on fine, as I assured the mother that Mignon just wanted to play and was harmless...."Whew, I thought, that was a close one".... No sooner had I thought that when the little running back down the beach...RIGHT PAST US AGAIN!!!

Well, you can imagine what happened... Sheer mayhem! Mignon was overjoyed to have her come play again and took off after her...barking all the way...

This time it was disastrous. The woman ran after her daughter and scooped her up, yelling at me to get my vicious dog away from her children! (Now keep in mind that Mignon's legs are about two inches tall) so I corralled Mignon and apologized, but was laughing a bit at the womans overreaction. All of a sudden, a man came up behind me yelling obscenities at me and telling me that it wasn't funny---that I was endangering his children with my vicious dog! He was Italian, I believe, from the accent, and he laid into me and called me several names....the nicest being "idiot"---well, you get the picture.

Now, did I yell back? Did I stomp off in a rage? Did I punch this guy out?

No, since my own young son, Aydan was getting a little freaked out by the anger and venom flying in the air, I tried to keep my cool and use humor and quiet understanding. But what I actually did was smile and start singing a church Primary song, "Let's Be Kind to One Another".

I know....its weird... But one never knows how one will handle explosive situations when they happen. I then turned around, still smiling, trying to look composed, but shaking inside all the same, while the strains of the man's and woman's yelling about me being a stupid, crazy woman still rang in my ears.

I have to admit that it shook me to the core, as I realized that there are some really scary, violent people out there and we never know when or where they will strike.

Now,....we did all recover... I have learned my lesson in trusting my ability to corral my "vicious dog", and I am going to be a little more cautious when walking them in public places, but then again, I am going to be a little more cautious about people also.

You never know when one might attack you...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I Hate Sore Throats!

I have had my worst bouts with pain, lately, and I am getting fed up with it! I know that everyone tells me that as one gets older, there is more pain, so I'm ready for the muscle aches, and back pain, etc., but what I am dealing with now is NORMAL pain!

I abhore sore throats! Yes, you guessed it, that is exactly what I have been fighting AGAIN this week, along with my normal tooth pain from a tooth that chipped off while I was in Utah. I got a sore throat about a month ago, and had about 4 sleepless nights because of it and finally decided to go to the doctor to see why I could hardly swallow. Now, I didn't even see a doctor, but instead opted for a "throat culture" and they get back to you in about 4 hours. I decided to do this as I seem to always be sitting there complaining of a sore throat to the doctor and they can't find anything wrong with me, so tell me that it is probably just allergies. ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH! I hate that!

Well, lucky me...that time I had strep throat, and was issued a ton of penicillian. Did I mention that I love penicillian? After you take it, about 4 hours later, the pain subsides....aaaaahhhhh, tell me, how did the pioneers manage with out penicillian?

Penicillian actually saved my life, you know. I got rheumatic fever when I was five, because I had strep throat and my parental units didn't take me to the doctor. (we weren't big on doctors or dentists) It was one of the worst experiences of my life... I still remember lying on the floor waiting to leave for the doctors every day for my morning penicillian shot and crying...I didn't have any use of my muscles, as rheumatic fever affects them, so I was like a rag doll. Then, every afternoon, a nice nurse that lived across the street would come and give me my afternoon penicillian shot, in the bottom, of course. To this day, I can't watch when a needle goes into skin.
So much for me ever being a nurse or a heroin addict.
This went on for three months, so I have been told, but to me it seemed like an eternity, and I got a heart murmur from it. I also had to take penicillian two times a day for the next 12 years. Needless to say, I was never sick.

Well, a few nights ago, my throat started getting that scratchy, itchy feeling, and my head started feeling heavy and sure enough, the next morning, I had a full-blown sore throat again! Another problem with sore throats in my business, is that they affect how you sing, and I can't afford that at this time of year, as I have gigs every weekend over the whole summer! Lucky for me I don't have one this weekend, but we are leaving for a camping trip on the beach tomorrow, and having a sore throat is a bummer anyway... So, I have been frantically taking my Zicam and drinking Throat Coat, and Airbourne, and taking this new herb from the
which is amazing as it totally numbs your throat, but then it only lasts about a half of an hour, so what do you do the rest of the time? I have also tried to gargle with salt water, and take Tylenol, and need to get me some throat lozenges, but these all seem like quick fixes and don't do anything round the clock.

So, I guess if it persists again and I don't get sleep for four more nights, I will go in for my throat culture... Or maybe it IS an allergy and I should get me some Claritin.

I just wish I could get some Penicillian...I figure that if it doesn't work, it can surely take care of something else that I have hanging on in my body somewhere.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


After talking to my daughter this morning, and after checking out a mutual blog that we both admire, then checking out some of his favorites, and seeing how many hits that they have had on their blogs, and then seeing how many hits I have gotten in almost two years,....I realized that I really do not have any friends. I actually read the blogs of my daughters friends, admire their creativity and humor, and start to wish that I had friends like that, so that they would admire and want to hang out with me. For some reason, my daughter gets together with her friends often, having parties, doing fondue, watching special "Tivo'd" favorite TV episodes, or playing games, etc. Yes, she has kids and lots of things to do, but she manages to find time for her friends.

So, I begin to think about why I have no friends... Is it because I have moved over 20 times in the last 30 years? Is it because I don't spend the time putting anything into my "friend" relationships? Is it because my children and husband are my best friends? Or, (and I am afraid of this one) is it that no one wants to be my friend and I really am a drab, dull, boring person that only thinks that I am witty and wonderful to be with, in my own little world?

Its a scary thought...

Why is it that we all crave to be popular? We try to say that it doesn't matter, but we actually NEVER get over the high school "I'm a cheerleader, so I'm popular" phase...even in life. I actually was popular in high school, but not because I was a cheerleader, but because I was, basically the class clown type. I was the cartoonist for the school newspaper, so everyone knew my name. Also, I became friends with all the jock guys and they stuck up for me.

Now, I admit several things.

***I am not good with maintaining friend relationships with people. I have different friends all over the country, (that's because of the moving) but have relegated our friendship from sending newsletters once a year to just sending out an e-mail about where to read my blogs. I hardly ever hear back from anyone and never get any comments on those blogs, so I have no idea if anyone ever reads about what's going on in my life or if anyone even cares... I did have a friend, though, from high school whom I now admire very much, get in touch with me a few years back, after our reunion, and now regularly e-mails me and keeps me up to date with what she is doing. She even spent the money and the time to come and see me do a benefit concert for my theater here---flying across the country! Amazing---now that's how to be a friend!

**I am also not good with making new friends now. It's not that I don't want to, its just that I am getting selfish with my time as I get older, and I don't seem to have the time to get together and do lunch or something with someone, when I can spend the hour catching up on something I "Tivo'd" several days before, or read a book that I haven't had time to read in a week, or organize my new color coordinated closet. I also, actually love to spend time by myself. I like to shop by myself...I can get so much more done now when I shop, then when I had kids with me!

**I actually think of my family as being my best friends. I was never really close that way to my ex-husband, so I did alot with my kids (maybe its because of the moving thing again?) and have always loved to hang out with them, especially as they have gotten older. I will always pretty much drop everything for any one of them---to talk to on the phone or have lunch with, meet for a movie or just hang out with. I now have a husband that I consider my best friend, and WISH that we could do things together more. I look forward to going out with him every other week and going to dinner and a movie with him, and just being able to relax and talk.

Maybe this is why I have no friends. Don't get me wrong. I have "aquaintances" and wonderful Visiting Teachers from my church that come to see me every month, and I have friends that when I finally do see them, it is fun to be with them, but I guess I want more...

And I don't want to have to put anything into it..... So, there is my answer, I guess.

It actually feels good to be able to express whatever I want in this blog, as I don't have to worry about anyone reading it. Who needs friends anyway?

Friends are overrated.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Oh, No She Didn't!

So, lately I have noticed that I have been getting "hit" on again.

Now, before you get all excited, like I would at my age, understand that the persons that seem to be "hitting" on me are.....women.

For some reason, in the past few weeks, I have attracted several of these alternate lifestyle types by just being....well...friendly and what I thought was being normal. The first happened at the grocery store. I was just checking the checkout cashier, and I felt that "someone is staring at you" feeling that you get when you...well, feel that someone is staring at you. I paused from loading the groceries on the little "belt" and looked around. At the end of the checkout lane, there was a kind of attractive woman with a small mullet, in a large t-shirt, starting to bag my groceries. She was staring at me and grinning from ear to ear. Of course, I gave her a polite smile back, and continued to load my groceries.

As it came time to pay for my groceries, this particular woman just stood there, staring at me and was starting to get creepy by now... So, as I turned to take my cart out, she looked at me...scanning up and down....seriously, and said, "Nice outfit, and I LOVE your earrings!....Would you like me to help you with your carriage?" (Thats what they call shopping carts back here----I know, weird!)

Ok, I don't know what you would have done, but I didn't really feel like explaining that even though I am older and have five children I don't want to "cross over" to the other side of the playing field, because my husband doesn't fulfill my needs as a woman.... Alright, so I have read too many articles and am stereotyping a bit... She looked a little disappointed, and I took my own cart...BRISKLY...out to my car.

About four days later, I was shopping at a TJ Maxx in the area. I was getting ready to leave after buying my items, when a woman walked in the store, and up to the area where I was checking out. She was middle-aged, sporting a very short hair-cut, a little on the "dumpy" side, but sporting a really interesting t-shirt. Here is where I have to admit that I have a reading problem... I will read anything... anywhere...on any time. I actually will freak out if I can not read something, and it is in my vicinity. I know... a little obsessive compulsive.

So, I proceeded to read this woman's t-shirt, as I was standing there, waiting for my receipt. It was actually a really cool saying on the t-shirt, but I can't really remember it, because after I looked up from reading it, I caught the woman smiling at me and raising her eyebrows, as if to say, "You like what you see?"

"What?".....I thought,....."NO!...I was just reading your t-shirt!" But, since I didn't say it out loud and realized that I had been staring at this womans chest for the last few minutes....of course, she thought that I had other ideas about her! So, she smiled at me and said "Hi", and I looked down and said "Hi" back, and quickly grabbed my bag and made a fast exit....

Now, granted these two incidents might have been totally harmless and that I wasn't being "hit" upon by alternative lifestyle women. But I had to think and rethink the incidents to figure out why they were going after me, and do I look like I needed companionship? Is it because my hair is so short? I swear that I haven't taken to wearing baggy t-shirts and jeans, (not that there is anything wrong with go, Seinfield...) It is just a little eerie to have women paying attention to me instead of men...

Well, about four days later, I was going into a deli/bakery style store to get a sandwich, and walked up to the counter to order. It was pretty late for lunch, as I never get around to it, so when I asked for a sandwich, the attractive young man behind the counter said, "I'm sorry, but the lunch sandwiches aren't being made anymore----its after 2:00..." I looked confused as to what I might get then, and he said, "But if you really want a sandwich, I will get everything back out and make you one!" (with a nice smile) I perked up and smiled back, but just asked for a loaf of bread to buy. (homemade oatmeal----good for you) As he was ringing up my bread, he turned to me and said, "You know, you look alot like a friend of mine....she dresses really stylish like you... You look really nice..."

Well..... "THANK YOU!", I replied, grinning from ear to ear.

Now....this is more like it....

Saturday, March 24, 2007

My Documentary

I've decided that I want to make a documentary.

I've noticed how everyone, and literally their dog, are doing it, and seem to be doing well and making it at Sundance or one of the many other gazillion film festivals out there. It's the thing to do, you know.

I have two subjects that I am mulling over that fascinate me. Perhaps you, the reading audience can let me know which of these two subjects you would be more inclined to watch if my documentary was at, say, one of those film festivals. This way I can be a sure shoe-in when it comes to voting for my documentary. Aaah, I can see me now accepting my I am thinking about what would I wear and how I would have someone from the last Project Runway design my gown----that cute blonde, funky designer----what was her name?

Ok, so I am getting off the subject----you've seen how my mind works. That is why I have failed to make it big yet, as I keep getting DISTRACTED!

Now, the subjects of my documentaries. The cool part of making a documentary at this time is that my son, Clayton, is taking a video/film class and is learning how to edit, and make a great story, etc., so he could be my camera dude and hang out with me and film me on the days that I'm not looking too large and when my outfits look cool, etc. Oh, I know! We could always film me just in head type shots, because my neck is still thin and you couldn't see anything below! Note to self-----NEVER shoot yourself walking AWAY from the camera! Scary bad! I happen to have the worst shot of myself on Rick Larrimore's web site, where I am dancing and the cameraman took it from the back! OH, NO he didn't! (but really, he did and its not pretty...)

Ok, now where was I? Oh, yeah, documentary...
The two subjects that interest me the most are: (drum roll, please)

1. Where, how and why people live the way that they do. I am fascinated by people's houses or apartments and how they decorate or not decorate and how many animals do they have and what about kids?....or why not kids? No matter how large their homes are, (oh, I would love to film in a huge house----just so I could see how the rich live---and wouldn't you just love to use their toilet?) or how small. (like, what about those REALLY little houses that we always see as we drive down the road---am I the only one that thinks, "How do they fit in there?" "Where do those people put all their stuff?") Fascinating stuff, really... Think about the house that should be on that British show, "How Clean Is YOUR House?" Wow, wouldn't that be cool and uncomfortable to see and film at the same time?

2. Age really fascinates me. I am a HUGE people watcher and I am always so curious about how old people are. When I recently returned from a trip to visit my G-babies, I was stuck at La Guardia in NYC, and when I should have been sleeping, I spent the entire two hours watching people! It was grand! It was like, "people watching" heaven! So, I try to guess what people do, and how old they are, compared to me, and also I try to figure out if my bottom looks as big as some peoples' do and what the heck am I going to do about it? No, really I am terrible about guessing peoples ages... I always think that they are sooooo old and find out that they are only a few years older than me or even sometimes, younger! So, I would like to give the public the opportunity to tell me why they look so old or are barely walking when they are only 55, or have so many crow's feet when they are only 35, and stuff like that. fascinating.

So, let me know which subject would interest you the most. Ok, so I only have two people that read this blog, but that would help... I really need to know which subject will get me that big award at Sundance..."Audience Favorite" or something. I know that I won't get the BIG awards, because you have to do a documentary on something controversial, like global warming or children without homes, or something like that. But I couldn't really see myself doing something so serious and boring....

I mean, how do you accessorize a boring old suit and look absolutely fantastic in some old worn out work clothes? Because, lets face it, this is going to be my last shot at fame, and I've got to WORK IT, baby!

Friday, February 16, 2007

I Like To Hike

The sun shining through the forest on the ice covered ground.

The ice crystalized on each strand of grass...amazing!

The frozen small pond after the ice storm.
The puppies "sniffing" around as we walk.

Musette, enjoying the first snow of the the end of January!

Mignon, all decked out in her winter sweater.

The view from our front step...

I have felt very fortunate this winter that our weather hasn't been filled with much snow, so I can still do one of my favorite things...walk.

We now live across from a private conservation area, consisting of about 20 acres of trees, streams and trails, that is open to the public for walking and hiking usage. The owner of the land takes care of it and keeps the rough trails cleared off and trees cut back somewhat, so the trails are pretty groomed. It is truly the best part of living where we live right now...

As the weather has gotten colder, I have still tried to take the puppies out for a walk, at least three times a week. I put on their sweaters, (they have quite an assortment, now, as I found that you can get the teddy bear ones at Michaels, for 2.00 a piece), and then bundle myself up with fleece pants, long john top, sweatshirt with hood (my favorite is the one that Maryn left over the Christmas holidays...tee, hee), a big fleece neck warmer, gloves, my warm snow boots, and Bret's German WWII Army coat.

I am sure that all the neighbors have gotten used to seeing me head across the common area in front of our houses and head for the cemetary (which borders the conservation land), keeping a tight rein on my two little Yorkie-poo's, as I don't let them walk in front of me... I must make quite a comical figure, in my too large coat and huge head and neck gear, but I don't care, I am excited for my hike!

For Christmas this year, I received the best part of this combination for successful Zune! I know that everyone out there has I-Pods, but my hubby gave me a Zune and I LOVE it! I have downloaded all my soundtracks, (as well as all my other music) and proceed to listen to some of my favorites as I walk. The feeling is like having your life put to music, as if you are living in a movie. It's wonderful, and really fulfills my much needed desire to finally put a soundtrack to my daily life. (I guess I should mention that I ALWAYS view my life as a movie and constantly think of camera angles and cutaways and extreme close ups, etc., as I live my life----strange, I know...)

My favorite soundtracks to walk to are "Portrait of a Lady", "The Piano" and "Elizabeth", but this week I received a new soundtrack "Perfume" (which was an amazing film, by the way!) and am sooooo excited to try it out! Unfortunately, we got a blizzard the night before last night and the snow is several feet deep, so I will have to wait until it melts a bit before we can go hit the trails! I can always walk on the street, but its just not the same...when we walk in the conservation area, I can let the puppies off of their leashes and they can run around and sniff and get some real exercise, whereas when they are with me on the street, they have to stay on their leashes and walk beside me-----no fun!

There is something so otherworldly about hiking....observing nature, seeing amazing things, like after the ice storm when everything was encased in ice----it was beautiful and wondrous! There was a definite "crackle" under your feet every time a step was taken, and the world looked like a fairy kingdom, or something from the "Snow Queen" by Hans Christian Andersen....

I can't wait until the spring and I can start to see the buds ripen and open and the glory of a new birth come to fruition. ....And then the summer time when the trees are full of leaves and the air is moist and the grass is so green that it looks will be amazing!

I wish you could all be with me when I hike...
But then, we would have to talk and it might take away from the soundtrack and my reverie...'ll have to find your own hiking place.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Brazilian Fairy Tale

Shawn, the first day in Sao Paulo, outside the hotel room and
*Harry*,, "Rod", looking fierce...

*Eduardo* and Shawn, at a sidewalk cafe in Sao Paulo...still looking a little peaked?

Once upon a time there was a girl, trapped in a woman's body. Her name was Shawn and she loved to stay up late, travel a lot, eat whatever she wanted and sing in bands. She didn't care if she sang as the front singer all the time and even enjoyed singing with a Rod Stewart Tribute Band as a backup singer. She got to travel with this band and really enjoyed herself immensely, as she:
1. Could get away for a few days
2. Could sleep in without having to get anyone up and fix breakfast and get anyone on the bus or out the door.
3. Could shop a bit by herself with no one in tow.
4. Could read and spend some alone time.

So, when *Harry*, her "Rod" lookalike informed her that they would be going to Brazil, she was very excited. Now, granted, she would have been more excited if it would have been to Europe or something, as she had traveled so little outside the States and one of the ONLY places that she had ALREADY been was Brazil! But she counted herself lucky and looked forward to the trip.

A few weeks after making the arrangements, Harry called her to tell her that they needed to go to Boston to get their Visa's for Brazil, and told her what to bring. She got her extra passport picture at CVS, (a $7.99 expense, even though she never used it), took her passport, money to pay for the Visa and went downtown with Harry to stand in line at the Brazilian embassy. The person that was taking care of all the arrangements was the saxophone player for the band in Brazil, so he was Brazilian and spoke Portuguese. He lives in Boston most of the year and flies back and forth to work and see his family, etc. Well, long story short, he was late to the embassy, so Shawn and Harry stood in the wrong line for an hour before realizing their mistake, then after getting into the right line, were told that they had to come back to pick up their passports a week later. Since this was a pain for both Shawn and Harry, the sax player, *Eduardo* said that he would be glad to pick them up and bring them to the airport when they flew out.

Two weeks later, Harry and Shawn were on their way to the airport, four hours early, as Harry was afraid that they would be held up because it was an international flight. They were supposed to meet Eduardo there, get their passports and get on the flight together, along with Eduardo's small toddler, that had flown back and forth from Brazil since he was born.

They got to the airport, but Eduardo did not show up as planned. He was running late, had had a fight with his wife and had to take a taxi. Harry and Shawn had a leisurely, but stressful snack at the airport deli for 3 hours until Eduardo rushed in at the last moment. It was close, but they made the flight.

Fast forward to the arrival. There were two people waiting for them when they arrived in Brazil, and they were whisked through customs, and taken in front of all the lines and after getting their luggage, (where the little carts are free, so EVERYONE pushes them around---they need cart traffic lights) they were put on a helicopter to Sao Paulo. Shawn thought this was the best trip ever and felt a little like a celebrity, as she flew for the first time in a helicopter. It landed on one of the biggest banks in Sao Paulo and Shawn and Harry met the man who was having the party that "Rod" was singing at.

The celebrity status continued as they were put into a Lincoln Town car, chauffeured by a driver, and sporting bullet proof dark windows. They went to their hotel, and got ready for their rehearsal that afternoon. Since neither Harry nor Shawn had eaten much for the last 12 hours, they ordered a salad to be brought up to their separate rooms. When it arrived, Shawn thought that it was the weirdest salad that she had ever seen, as it had canned corn on it and canned peas, and several pickled questionable vegetables, but she was hungry and forced it down anyway.

The next day, Shawn and Harry were given lunch at Eduardo's mothers house, where she served some Brazilian chicken dishes and some lovely fresh fruits. Both Harry and Shawn enjoyed the fare and threw caution to the wind as they ate lettuce, mango and grapes. But, wait a minute, Harry didn't eat the freshly washed purple grapes, but Shawn did.

That late afternoon, after relaxing and walking around the shops a bit, Harry and Shawn prepared to get ready for the sound check. They arrived at the huge penthouse apartment rooftop where workers were building a makeshift roof, and a glass floor to cover the pool, so that the band had a place to play. The party decorator was there and everyone was in a great mood, except Harry, who was steaming a little bit about the bass player in the Brazilian band that couldn't seem to get any of his songs right... Meanwhile, Shawn started to feel a little ill...

It started off as just a few little gas pains, a little uncomfortable, as Shawn hadn't remembered to bring the Tums. As the sound check begin to commence, she had an urgent desire to visit the restroom a few times, but it wasn't too serious yet. After the sound check, in the Town car, she mentioned to Eduardo that she needed something to settle her stomach ache, as she had some gas pains. Eduardo assured that he would send something over to the hotel from the "pharmacy", which is a wonderful place that you don't need any prescriptions for any medicines. Now the reader must understand that Shawn trusted Eduardo, as, so far in Brazil, he had taken care of she and Harry and since they didn't understand what anyone was saying, they HAD to put their trust in someone!

When Shawn got back to her room, and tried to get her clothes together for the show, and take a short rest, it became increasingly clear that her bowel system was getting worse. She had to keep running to the bathroom and only felt better for short periods of time. It was at this time, to her relief, that someone knocked on the door, saying that they had some medicine from the pharmacy for her. "Whew," she thought, "just in time!" She took the medicine and proceeded to peruse it. There were about four things in the bag, with a receipt. There was a bottle of something, some pills that you push out, two pills in a small box and something that looked like cough medicine.

As you can imagine, she was quite overcome by all the medicine that Eduardo had sent and she thought that he had certainly covered all the bases... So, not knowing what each thing was, she thought to herself, "Well, surely the most powerful of these medicines would be the most expensive!" So she looked at the receipt and discovered that the two pills in the small box were VERY expensive, so she took one.

At that moment, (seriously) the phone rang. It was the hotel concierge telling Shawn, in broken English, that the pharmacist had delivered the wrong medicine and could he come and get it back?

"WHAT?" thought Shawn, "You've GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! What did I take?"

Ok, the pharmacist and the concierge came up to her room and looked over the medicines, and calmly told Shawn that she had taken a form of Viagra....
No problem, said the pharmacist, it would just make her happy....

Two hours later, as Shawn was standing at the edge of the stage, getting ready to go on, and knowing that she had to run back to the bathroom AGAIN, as she was sure that it was coming out of both ends this time, she DID NOT FEEL EVEN A TWINGE OF HAPPINESS!!

She ran back down to the dressing room, said a quick prayer, literally spilled her guts out one more time, returned to the stage and the show went on!

Five days later, after an exhausting plane trip back to the States, making a quick call to the doctor, getting PRESCRIPTION antibiotics, flying to Utah, and having a constant stomach ache for four days, she sat with her new G-babies and her daughter....and heaved a big sigh of relief.
Now...she felt HAPPY.

Moral of the story: Don't go to Brazil without medicine for diarrhea.
Don't eat ANY fruits or fresh veggies while you're there.
Viagra is least for women.

*Names were changed to protect the guilty and the innocent.*

Friday, January 05, 2007

New Year, New Blogger, New Problems!


I very dutifully wrote a Christmas blog , complete with a great picture of the Nativity. It was just a few days after Christmas, mind you and was very witty and interesting in my observations on how uncomfortable people get when you aren't PC and say Merry Christmas to them...

Well, I published it and tried it in a new window, but it didn't come up there, but then it doesn't always do that when I publish something on my blog. It generally takes a few days on my computer. I had to get ready to go out of town again, so I didn't have time to check it until yesterday, when, much to my surprise, it hadn't published... No worries, I thought that I would just get it off the postings and republish it.

Well, it is gone....

You heard me.....gone!

The blogger says that I had a posting on Dec. 28th, but it isn't in the old post listings or on the ones that are saved, ready to be published. It has just gone missing... Rather like the other sock from the washer, or that one component that you can't find, but need to put something together. It has joined the black hole of blogs, and is floating between my computer and the "NEW" blogger version....

ARRRRGGGGGHHHHH! I tried to recreate it, but:
1. Its already way past Christmas and will look silly and won't have the right date.
2. It was a brilliant piece of witticism, that was going with my mood and relating the events of the season.
3. I basically can't even remember what I had for lunch yesterday, let alone what I wrote a week and a half ago.
4. I don't even remember the catchy title.

So much for the new google "blogger". This leaves me thinking once again about how we are so quick to replace the old with the new.... Why aren't we just happy with something when its working ok? (sigh) Now I have to figure out how to deal with this new problem.

Luckily my daughter kept her old blogger version intact, and says that she is comfortable with it, and she won't change over.

I guess that there is still hope for me, then, as she won't be turning me in on a new model of a mother....
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