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Friday, May 29, 2009

Fabulous Find For A Friday-----Me, Me, Me----Its All About Me

"I walked into a party, like I was walking into a yacht,
My hat strategically dipped below one eye,
My scarf, it was apricot.
I had one eye in the MIRROR, as
I watched myself gavotte.

And all the guys dreamed that they'd be my
partner, they'd be my partner, and
I'm so vain...."


OH! Sorry! I didn't see you reading there.

I know..........singing to myself......

Not that I AM vain or anything.

"Yeah, right", You quickly, (much TOO quickly) reply.

Well, these past few weeks a few things have happened that positively can "turn" a girls head, even if I do say so myself. So, I am here in celebration of MYSELF, because, 15 minutes of 15 years of fame...............has come to an end, and I need some boosting of the old self esteem, as it were!

So, on with my fun time awards! I have been graciously granted an award from some amazing bloggers extraordinaire-----from Carma at CarmaSez , I got this great award:

She is an amazing and fun blogger that blogs everyday and keeps readers very entertained-----especially when she is juggling with her son------fun-tastic!

Then from two other bloggers, Dapper Kid , who is a phenomenal writer and fashionista-----(I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy)-----and Scholastic Scribe, who is a teacher and a super writer also----(Again, I'm not worthy)-------I got this sublime award:

Then, there is this other site that I frequent, Underdogs Unite, that is overseen by the super-de-duper Kate, that gives losers like me a place to post nominations that we have done for ourselves for those HUGE blogger awards, i.e. The Hottest Blogger, Most Humorous Blog, etc., etc.
Well, she encouraged me to nominate myself for something, and I went on over and COULDN'T FIND ANY CATEGORY THAT I COULD FIT INTO! So, I complained to her and sure enough-----being the most fantastic and funny person that she is, she made up an award for moi!

It is hilarious! And I only have it for a year, so if you want to go up for it next year, just keep it in mind and take me on for this award:

So go on over and take a look at it! She is so talented, that girl----and then vote for some of the super-amazing bloggers that are up for real awards!!!

Now......last but not least. I belong to a group of bloggers, MMB, which stands for Mormon Mommy Bloggers----they are a great group of women that are pretty down to earth, but encompass even some stranger type Mormon women like me..... So, I hope you don't hold it against me, as I actually do have a spiritual and serious side----it just doesn't rear its head very much.

So, every month they pick five blogs that are nominated for the blog of the month. And,.......dear readers,.......they HAVE PICKED ME to be nominated FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE!! Wow! Is this karma or what? Cause June is one of my favorite months, and its my birthday next week and all, and well-----this was the icing on the cake! (Love cake!......ah.....focus, focus...)

What has this got to do with you? Well, I NEED you to go on over to the MMB site, and vote for me!! Yep----its that easy breezy color girl. Just go to the column on the right and vote for me----Swaneesinger!

Now, don't even be TEMPTED to go somewhere else and vote for them----uh uh-----no, not that. You may be tempted, because I am up against a woozy of terrific bloggers----I mean, they are fun and entertaining and write every day-----Sigh.
(Yeah, and I mean you, Tiburon!)

But just try to focus.

And if you are still wondering if I deserve it, check out these past posts-----where I have written lyrics to BOOB SQUISHING, given you a test to take to determine if you are A DIVA, told the world about the time that I TOOK VIAGRA IN BRAZIL

Yeah, I'm that good.

And, last but not least----in all humility, may I say that I have the most AWESOME readers in the kingdom of the blogging world. I really mean that! You guys entertain me, give me advice, make me laugh, make me cry, make me jealous, and yes, even send me blogging love!

Thank you, thank you for that.


***Oh, and I almost forgot,
I am giving the Sushi Grade Award on to several mah-ve-lous bloggers out there! Pass it on, girls, pass it on!
*Yummy Mommy
*What Is She Thinking?
*Just So
*Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life

And for those bloggers which keep on putting out amazing posts----and have such lovely blogs----I pass on the Lovely Blog Award to:
*Blonde Canary
*The Bakers
*Audrey Eclectic
*Our Life In Perfect Cadence
*An Inch Of Gray

Congrats ladies----you are all worthy of MANY awards!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memory Monday-----The First Time I Thought That I Was Going To Die

The summer after I turned five was a big one for me. I was excited to be going to Kindergarten in the fall, and feeling like a really big girl. I hadn't been to preschool, as back then no one really went to preschool----in fact I'm not sure that they even had preschools. We were just doing good to go to Kindergarten. I think that some kids didn't even start until first grade. Yeah, go figure, and we all managed to get this far in life without that early schooling.

But that summer was a huge deal, as I got sick. I guess that I probably got a sore throat first. I don't remember the particulars, but apparently my parents didn't think that I was sick enough for the doctor, so they didn't take me.

I eventually got a fever----a really high one, and they couldn't get it to go down.

So, they finally took me to the doctor. I do remember a bit about this time of my life. I never got sick, and we didn't go to the doctor hardly ever, so this was a big thing for us. I was scared, but I felt so bad, was tired all the time and my head and throat hurt.

At the doctors office, they checked me out, poked, prodded me and then they took blood. And they took more blood. Then we went home.

The next day, the doctor called my Mom and told her to bring me in. I still felt horrible, and it was an effort to get me ready to go, but we went back in. They talked to my Mom, took more blood, and then gave me a shot.

I didn't really understand at the time what I had. My parents told me that I had rheumatic fever, and that it was very dangerous, and that I had to get shots and take medicine or I could die. They told me that I HAD to stay in bed and sleep a lot and don't try to play, as I HAD to get better.

It was a very scary time for me. All I could think of was that I really wanted to be able to go to school in the fall, but maybe I would die and not be able to go to school! I was also supposed to be a flower girl for my Aunts wedding. My Mom had made a beautiful lavender dress, with a chiffon type material overlay----with lace on all the edges. It was an amazing dress and I remember crying when I was told that I couldn't be in the wedding. It just didn't seem fair.

I didn't understand how I could be so sick, and why wouldn't I get better by then?

I don't know if you know very much about rheumatic fever. It is basically a disease that starts when you have strep throat and you don't go on antibiotics----and after about two weeks, the bacteria starts to affect your heart, joints and muscles. The result is scarring of the heart valves, leaving you with a heart murmur.

But this all takes a while to go through. It isn't over in a week. It isn't over in a month. It isn't over in two months.

No, it takes about three months until one gets over rheumatic fever. And the effect that it has on your body is terrible during this time. The first few weeks aren't too bad, except you have a fever for quite a while and your joints feel a bit achy. But as the disease starts to affect your muscles, you are no longer able to use them. My parents used to carry me into their bed every morning for the day. This was where the TV was, so I could watch some TV shows during the day. I think that I watched a lot of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.

And I had to go to the doctor every day. Well, I am not sure if it was every day, but it felt like it. So I would go get my shot each morning, but they had to get me dressed, and get me ready, as I eventually couldn't sit up or walk or anything----then for some reason----I don't know why---but I remember laying on the floor of the living room as I waited for everyone to get ready and out the door. And I remember crying. Crying because I couldn't move, and because I didn't understand what was happening to me and I didn't like to get the shots. I hated the shots. And the blood work. I hated the blood work. They would take blood each time and then give me a shot in the other arm. Then, in the afternoon, a nurse that lived across the street would come over and give me a shot in my bottom.

I still remember thinking that they were taking all of my blood out. I thought that this was the reason that I couldn't move, because they took too much blood out. It was traumatic, to say the least. And I also kept wondering if I was going to die. I don't believe that they explained it very well to me, as it was probably a bit of an unknown then, and......well, just didn't talk about those things to young children. (To this day, I can't watch when someone takes my blood or gives me a shot, it really bothers me.) probably guessed what they were giving me, ladies and gentlemen------it was penicillin. It was the new wonder drug and they gave me a lot, as I feel that they weren't sure how much would get rid of this terrible disease. So, I basically got two shots of penicillin a day.

Now, one of the other traumatic things that have to do with not being able to move or walk is that I wasn't able to even go to the bathroom by myself. I remember being so embarrassed because my Dad would have to take me to the bathroom in the morning before he left, and then when he got home. I don't remember my Mom carrying me. I also don't remember having to be bathed, but I think that my Mom just gave me "sponge" baths.

I do remember my Mom having to wait on me, bringing me every meal, and trying to keep me entertained. My little brother, Jeff, was about two years old, so this couldn't have been easy for her----watching a toddler and taking care of me, as well as my older sister, Janene----who was only seven.

I know that I wasn't very happy at this time in my life. I cried quite a bit, (well, that's understandable) as I slowly began to heal. And by the third month, I was able to start moving my limbs, and slowly but surely, I got better. I did end up having to start school late, so I wasn't very happy about that.

Of course, I eventually returned to my normal self----and went back to having my usual adventures----of which I will continue to share with you. I had to take penicillin, two times a day, until I was about 16.

Here I am, getting my hair done for church, several months after I got better (yes, that is the old-fashioned way to dry your hair!)----note my parents bed behind me----
I spent a lot of time there.

Here I am at 5 years old, the Christmas after my illness. Don't you love the dress?

Now you can see how this incident was the first time that I thought that I was going to die.

You'll have to wait until the next installment to read about the second one.....

Friday, May 22, 2009

Fabulous Find For A Friday-------A Fantastic Photographer

When I met my soon to be hubby, Bret, he was working in Hollywood.

As an actor? You might ask.

No, he was a propmaker/set builder. He was a member of the union there and made sets for many of the huge movies. Some of the Batman ones, a Jim Carrey one, a few action thrillers,---well, you get the idea----they were all big name movies. One time we even had to sign a release form so that we could see the set that he was working on. We had to promise not to spill the beans about the way the movie was going to look. It was pretty cool, I must admit.

But, enough about the movies.

Before he was a propmaker, he was a professional photographer.

Yes, a REAL one. He actually graduated in Photography from the Art Institute in Denver, Colo.
He then went to LA to make it big, shooting mostly commercial photography, and sometimes people. You should see his portfolio. He has done ads for lots of products, as well as some music stars, such as Marky Mark. What? You don't remember him? Yeah, that was BEFORE he became a movie star. You know, Mark Wahlberg.

But he became disenchanted with the business. The photography business is pretty cut-throat in LA, as you can imagine, and he wasn't enjoying himself anymore. So, he decided to do the second thing that he loved best. Woodworking and building sets.

There now---it all makes sense now, right?

But..........when we met, it was a bit like a marriage made in heaven, as I was an actress/model/singer, and he photographed me. You might say that I became his muse, and his friend, and then his wife. Then we moved to New England.

He started working as a cabinetmaker and a woodworker, but still never stopped shooting photos. He just turned his camera on his family and a few friends. He kept using his 35 millimeter camera, and when others were changing over to digital, he was pretty stubborn about staying with his old camera. He even owned an old Hasselblad, and collected various really old cameras to shoot with.

Then, last year, he decided to purchase his first professional digital camera. And after getting excited about shooting with it, he started to purchase his lights and more equipment again.

Meanwhile, the world was creating self-made photographer after photographer. Everyone had a digital camera and it seemed that if you had one and knew how to work with Photo shop, you could now be a "photographer", and you could charge exhorbant prices to shoot people.

Ok, so I know that there are some out there that are truly great at what they do. But it is rare to find a photographer that actually went TO SCHOOL to learn about lighting and shutter speeds and F stops.

That is what you get with Bret.

He is the real deal.

He doesn't know how to use Photo shop.

But he doesn't need to.

So, if you are in the New England area and want some amazing shots of your kids, or teens---and he does do families once in a while----well...get in touch with him and get some amazing shots done. He loves doing the kids the most. He is so good with them and can help them feel comfortable and.......well......


He can even manage to make this ex-model look good....

Check out his website:

Monday, May 18, 2009


I am a walking testament to how time flies! It was a bit over....well....30 years ago that I was having my first child on this day.

It was a rough labor. I was in labor about 22 hours, give or take an hour. They had 32 women in labor that night, so they didn't have a room for me, as I was going so slow. So, they put me in the hall. Yep, you heard it. In the hall.

And to make matters worse, since I was 20 and pretty naive, the doctors decided to use me for every one's training example, and proceeded to bring every intern in the hospital, or so it seemed, to put their know check to see how far I had dilated.

"Oh, I think that she is about a six"
"Are you sure? Let me check again."
"Dr., would you like to check?"
"Yes.......hmmmm.....I think she might be at a seven."

And on and on.

After that long day and the pain and "the audience"........little Hailey finally came out and then I promptly fell asleep.

Yes, I was that exhausted.

Hailey was a wonderful baby. She was my little "Bun-Buns". She slept through the night by the time she was four weeks old. She was happy and cried little---ate every 4 hours, and was a joy. When she was about two, we had a mattress on the floor for her to sleep on, and she would get up in the morning, and then take some books and toys to play with on the floor by my bed. I can still remember her whispering softly as she played by the side of my bed, so she didn't wake me.

Then, when she was in preschool at the age of four, we would set her little alarm at night, lay out her clothes, and she would get up to her alarm in the morning, turn it off, get dressed, make her bed and then come and get me up to get breakfast for her, before school. (You do remember that I am NOT a morning person, right-----well, she is)

You think that I am exaggerating! I'm not.

She remained a joy as she was growing up. She was always so curious about the world and had an agenda----so she didn't have much time for hugging and such. In fact, she made the sound of the hug, (Ugh) as she would touch you on the arm or somewhere, because she just wasn't interested in taking the time to snuggle!

She was also very helpful with her little sister, then her brother. She started babysitting at the age of nine, because she could handle it. Now, don't send me nasty comments about letting such a youngster babysit----it was only for short times, and she was more attentive than I was. In fact, most of my friends would always ask me, "Ok, who's the Mom and who's the child?"

Yes, as I was a bit wild----singing in rock bands and doing modeling, she would lecture me on my choice of clothing sometimes. She was always a bit more conservative than I was.

She did well in school. Are you surprised? She was so anal about getting her school work done. She was hard on herself, freaking out if she didn't get straight "A"s----and she cared so much what her teachers thought of her. She was tested and put into Gifted classes, and still made straight "A"s.

She also has a huge amount of talent using her right brain. She sang her first solo in church when she was four years old, acted in musicals, sang with her sister, worked in a recording studio singing for recordings for schools and sang with the family. She loved to be on stage and she just sparkles when on stage!

What can I say? Hailey is a very social person, and loves people. She was always so concerned that everyone liked her and that she fit in. She really lucked out as she had great friends, and STILL has great friends!

She ended up getting an academic scholarship to Brigham Young University, and graduated in...............well, guessed! She maintained her GPA throughout her college years, even as she met and married her husband, Ben.

She got pregnant several years later and had a child, Mila, 5 months after I had my little guy. (Yes, we were pregnant at the same time! Awww, isn't that sweet, you are thinking---its like Mother of the Bride, part two)

She now has four children. Mila, Ethan, and the twins, Lucy and Lane. She is a terrific Mom and only gets pushed over the edge every so often----well, what do you expect----she gets that from me----and she needs to use her loud voice once in a while---she's an actress!

Yes, she is a brilliant actress and singer. She usually does at least one play or musical a year, and now is doing "As You Like It" at the Hale Center Theatre in Orem. She does Improv., too, and after being in Comedy Sportz for several years, joined with several other actors to form their own Improv. company, The Thrillionaires. So, if you live in the Provo, SLC area, go SEE THEM----at the Covey Center for the Arts on Saturday nights---hint, hint. (And don't stalk them---they are all card carrying black belts!)

They are mah-velous----and I promise that you will laugh your guts out.

Yes, I guess that you have surmised that she is one funny gal, also. You can check out her blog HERE. She tells of her experiences raising her kids and about her juggling her life choices and its really funny. (She gets that from her Mum, you know----right?----you were thinking that, right?)

All in all, Hailey will always be one of my best friends. When she was growing up, and I was going through a lot in my marriage and life in general, she was always the one that came and comforted me and made sure that I was all right.

My friends were right about their observation. I didn't raise her.

She raised me.

Hailey, at 3 months---wow! Look at that mouth----singing already.

My little girls, Brinna and Hailey---they were beautiful, huh?

This photo makes me smile---well, chuckle---every time. I told you she was perfect about
getting her clothes right----even her glasses match!

When she was in "Bye, Bye Birdie"....

....and in "Music Man".

A beautiful picture of her Senior Year in high school.

And her engagement picture to Ben----don't they look like the model couple?

Acting at Sundance doing a Thrillionaires show.

This is her movie star picture....

...and her real look, when she came to visit us here in New England----with me, Brinna, Clayton and his girlfriend, Meg.

All her kids----this past February----each doing what they like to do---running around,
climbing trees and just enjoying the weather. (Don't you adore those little twins and their small
leg warmers?)

This is one of my favorite shots----a four generation one with my Mom, the twins
and Mila---yep, and Hailey is now a red-head!

Happy Birthday-----I love you so much, my wonderful Hailey. (bun-buns)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fabulous Find For A Friday-----Rachael Yamagata

I have been trying to be very diverse in my features and finds on my Fridays. Have you noticed?

I have gotten a bit of organizing, reading, fashion, makeup, movies, antiques fair, amazing hubby, shoes all in there, but I realized that I hadn't really touched on music, which is the center of my life.

Now.........I am asked all the time what my favorite music is.

I can't EVER answer that. NEVER.

Why? You ask. Well, because it all depends on my mood, the weather, what I'm wearing, what I ate, do I feel like dancing, if I am walking, or am I in a beautiful place of nature, etc.

You get it, right?

Now, If you have read my blog for very long or know me, you know that I am obsessed with Sting. I was even able to hang out with him once-----oh, yes, you can read about it HERE.

But I am always on the look out for new artists or songs that move me.

Another passion of mine are movies-----and if you haven't read about that, I have blogged about that HERE.

Luckily these two mediums sometimes work together to create deep feelings. Emotions that I love having, as they create something that can take me from my sometimes stressful and/or mundane life. Movies and music can transport you away.

And, well, its one of my favorite things to do.

This said, a few months ago----maybe about five months, I was watching an independent film. I usually watch these movies while I am exercising----they are usually foreign films or independent ones, as those are the ones that I enjoy the most. If you are curious, you can read more about my day HERE. It sometimes takes me several days to watch a film, as I only walk or do my Bowflex for about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.

Well, this day, as the film was ending-----and no, I don't remember what the film was----but I know that it was good. The film was ending and this haunting song started playing. I had to sit down and listen to it. It was so beautiful and the music just went so well with the end of the movie.

I had to find out who did the song. I waited for all the credits to roll through and there it was:
"Meet Me By The Water", by Rachael Yamagata.

The song is actually on her CD, Happenstance, which came out in 2004,

but she just released a new CD this year, Elephants----Teeth Sinking Into Heart. Check it out!

I was really impressed with her voice as it has a smoky quality to it, reminiscent of an old French cabaret singer in the 30's. She, at first, comes across as having a rather----what I would call----wispy voice, (you know, a bit breathy) but after a bit more of a listen, you realize that she has a strength about her, that she can really let go and get a gutsy sound.

Apparently she has opened for such bands as Coldplay and Liz Phair, and just this week she was on the TV show 30 Rock---along with many other recording artists. She has had a lot of setbacks, but has tried to overcome them and continue producing her music. This article gives a bit of her background also.

So, take a listen to her music----its on my playlist-----and see what you think.

I think that you will be impressed.....

Monday, May 11, 2009

Meandering Monday

Well, I really need to do my Memory Monday again, but I couldn't figure out how to tie it all together with Mothers Day and blog gifts, etc. So, once again, I am going to have to put off my Memory Monday for another week.

I was just too excited to share a few Mothers Day fun things and give a shout out to some amazing bloggers!

First of all, I got this great e-mail from my big sis, Janene. It was a hoot, and you have probably seen it before, but I had to share it!


Hope you have a good laugh...

Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?

1. She's the only one who knows where the Scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?

1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my mom just the same like He made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of ?

1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?

1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your mom?

1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?

1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?

1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on..

Who's the boss at your house?

1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between moms & dads?

1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller & stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does
your mom do in her spare time?

1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect... Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?

1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

So, I had a fun Mothers Day, with both my sons and my hubby making me breakfast in bed, then giving me a few fun gifts. My hubby, Bret, had commented on the blog of this amazing blogger, Suzanne, from Just Another Hangup, as she was having a Mothers Day giveaway.

She had picked someone randomly for the first prize----a great tote, but then had loved what my hubby wrote so much----which was a huge paragraph, by the by, that she sent him one for me!! Isn't she the coolest person? Bret did write so many amazing things about me----I was so touched.... Did I mention that he is my best friend and such a fantastic person?

This is the amazing tote! Isn't it beautiful?

Then, my little guy made me a great wall hanging in Cub Scouts. Don't they make the cutest things in Cub Scouts? And he got me a coupon book for doing things for me.....

....but then after he took a closer look at it, he wanted to take some of them out. What a cutie.

After church, we came home and as I relaxed, the boys and Bret made me dinner. My daughter
Brinna showed up just as we were finishing the great meal of chicken, fish, rice, and corn on the cob. We had cinnamon rolls for dessert. My daughter brought me a really cool gift basket filled with lots of fun things that I love! A mug for my hot chocolate, filled with raspberry chocolate Lindt's, a beautiful scarf, (coral colored) some perfume, a "green shopping bag" and the pi'ece de re'sistance?

An amazing hat! A cloche hat---which is my favorite style.

I LOVE IT! I had seen it in a cute, funky store in Western MA when we were out there over spring break, but didn't want to spend the extra money for it. And she got it for me!

Yes, here we are with all the cool stuff---isn't my daughter beautiful? (haven't I mentioned that?)

And this is a close-up of the hat---because I HAD to wear it today.

And of course, here is the whole outfit----which I think works well with the funkiness of the hat. Lovin' my skinny jeans!

Then, to top it all off, my daughter, Maryn called me and we talked for about an hour and a half. And my other daughter, Hailey, called to talk as she was driving her second child, Ethan, to the emergency room---had a spill and gashed his head! So, other than that----it was a perfect day!

I also got an award-----my FIRST EVER! It was given to me from Karen at A Peek At Karen's World. Apparently I am Awe-Summ! (well, in my own mind, anyway)

And here are some Awe-Summ things about me: (seven to be exact, which is really bugging me, because I hate odd numbers---and I found it hard to come up with things that I haven't already written about!)

1. I used to make answering machine messages for a business---it was called "Message Mania" and I did all types of dialects, and lots of funky messages for every holiday, etc. Go figure----crazy voice messages---who would have known?

2. People fascinate me! I am a people watcher from way back. I absolutely love to watch people, figure out what they do, or where they are going, or what is happening in the relationship with the people that they are with. I watch them in parks, airports, the mall, grocery stores,----well, you get the idea. (but this doesn't make me a peeping tom---NO!)

3. I learned how to sew and make bread from scratch when I was the ripe old age of 8. I used to go to 4-H----and thats how I learned----and when I was growing up, I used to sew my own clothes, because it was too expensive to buy any. (I had to buy my own clothes from the time that I was about 12)

4. I always wanted to be a standup comedienne----in fact, I am the choir director at my church, and I try out all my stuff on them. They are a rapt audience, as they can't really go anywhere. But its always been on my bucket list.

5. I would love to live in a different country every few years. I would adore living in the English countryside, or in London, or in Italy, or France. What an amazing thing to experience! And it would only make it better if my kids could come and live there too.

5. I did many national commercials----about 25-35, I think. I kind of lost track, as some of them were Regional commercials and they were upgraded to national by picking up more regions. And yes, I am a member of SAG and AFTRA---Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of TV and Radio Assoc.----but I am on honorary leave, until I decide to do commercials and film again. Who knows? I may be able to do old lady commercials someday.

6. Well, we all know that I love my children, but did you know that I ADORE babies? If I could have had just babies and not had to raise them----well, let me back up----I don't really like the carrying of them or the labor----but the babies-----I would have had a dozen! I love their little cries, their mews, their smell, the total dependency upon you. It is such an amazing experience to hold those sweet things---they make me cry just thinking about them.

7. I always used to sing to my little ones when they were getting ready to go to sleep. We would read and then I would sing "Hush, You By" or one of the others that they loved. Maryn had to have the same songs every night until she was about 9 years old. And they had to be in order! Last year I made a CD for my kids---with several of those songs on them----I hope that they will dust them off and listen to them once in a while....

Well. Thats all that I can think of! (I actually had to ask both my daughters and my hubby for suggestions, as I couldn't think of different things....)

I am supposed to tag seven bloggers that are fairly new to me, but I think that most of them have already been tagged, so I am going to tag:

1. Hailey at Hailey Tracks

2. Zelzee at Zelzee

3. Audrey at Audrey Eclectic

4. Jewels at Blonde Canary

5. Alyson at New England Living

6. Rhonda at Because Mom Said So

7. Michelle at Yummy Mommy

So, if you ladies already have gotten this award before----just enjoy me giving it to you again----you are all awesome! And then just ignore me for the rest.

I'm used to it.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Fabulous Find For A Friday----A Hunk, A Hunk, Yes, A Hunk

Sometimes I like to go to movies by myself. I think that I wrote about this several years ago, believe it or not. So, last Friday, when I was feeling especially thrashed and needing an outlet, I decided to go to a movie.

But I decided to see if anyone wanted to go with me, first.

So, on Thursday, I tried to call my daughter, Brinna, to see if she would meet and go with me. The new X-Men movie was opening and since we had enjoyed the others, I thought that it was right up her alley. And there were many reasons to see it, so I thought that she would want to go. Besides, she could spend time with moi, and what could be more fun, right?

Well, she said that she had a gig that next day, Friday.

Me: What time?

Her: early this week.

Me: Well, I am planning on going, at, like, 11:30 a.m., as I have to be back for Aydan's bus at 2:50 p.m.

Her: Oh, yeah......well......I have to be there at 5:00.....

Me: Uh, huh.......(I'm thinking, yeah---and that gives you at least 3 hours to get there!)
Well, where is it?

Her: Ummmm,......well,........I'm not sure, but I think that its far away.....

Me: Ok. Well, maybe another time.

WHA? Yeah, I thought, whatever. Obviously didn't want to get out of bed before noon and drive for an hour to meet her Mum for some great conversation, snacks and hot bodies on the screen.


So, I called my son, Clayton. He has also gone with me to all the X-Men movies.

He: Hey!

Me: Do you want to go to X-Men with me? It is opening tomorrow.

He: Oh---wow----what time?

Me: Well, I have to go during the day----before noon, so I can get some other things done before Aydan gets home.

He: Oh.......well, I don't think that I can.

Me: Why?

He: Well, I have school now, Mom. (like----duh, Mom!)

Me: Oh, ok----so you can't skip that class, huh?

He: (laughing a bit) Mom, you aren't supposed to say that! I'm trying to get everything done in the next two weeks, because we have finals coming up!

Me: Ok, never mind.....

So, long story short, I went by myself.

I thought that I deserved it.

I know that I deserved it.

I got hot buttered popcorn, Twizzlers, and a diet coke/coke mix. (only because they didn't have Pepsi---acckkk)

And by dang, I really dug this film! Yes, it was a far cry from my foreign and independent films----(of which are about the only films that I see) full of special effects and pretty good acting----nothing spectacular, but I enjoyed it immensely!

And it was all because of this guy. Maybe you recognize him. He's a song and dance man.
From Australia. BLOODY good looking and man, has he worked out for this film.
You the physical sort of way.

I couldn't stop smiling. Of course, I am looking at his human form from an artist's point of view.
Totally admiring the bone structure and ah.....muscle mass.

The other guy in the film is pretty awesome too. Liev Schreiber.

But nothing like Hugh Jackman. I mean, the BODY on that guy!! Do you remember seeing Brad Pitt, in Fight Club? (that's the ONLY reason I saw the DVD, by the way) Well, that so far was the most chiseled body that I had ever seen, but this one-----well, it ain't bad.

So, I recommend the movie. Lots of fun, some special effects, and some wicked good fight scenes, but I would even recommend it as a chick flick. What? might say.

Yes, trust me. There are definitely parts that will be appreciated just by the ladies.....and the guys just won't understand when you let out a few oooh's and aaah's.

I mean, we are only human, after all. "Artistic" humans, that is.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Brimfield Blogger Bash!

Well, first of all, I have to give a shout out to Jessica James----the amazing author of "Shades of Gray". I belong to GoodReads, which is a fantastic site that logs your books read and those that you want to read----and gives you a chance to share books with others. I love it!

I used to have all these lists of books that I want to read around in my daytimer, or my sketch book, or on my to-do lists (I have to have at least 5 a day----to remember----yeah----you guessed it----no brain). But now I just compile it on GoodReads and I can decide what book that I want to read next! Great!

Well, one of the books that I had put on there to read was the aforementioned book by Ms. James. So, she sent me a message a few months ago----asking me to go on over to her blog and check it out. Then, a few weeks after that, she decided to have a book giveaway. And-----well, you guessed it again-----I won one of the giveaways! YAY me!

So, on Saturday, I got this great book in the mail----signed by Jessica herself, with a really nice note to me..... It was amazing! Thanks so much, Jessica! I can't wait to get reading it. As soon as I finish my current book, I will start this one. So------go right on over and check out her blog and read up on her book-----she is one talented gal----lots of awards and such.

Here I am with my new book. I'm rockin' the headband---fun!

Now, the next thing that I would like to blog about is very exciting for me! I know that I am supposed to be doing a Memory Monday post this week---so I apologize for those of you that have been waiting for that next trip down memory lane. (Anyway, my mother in law came today, and I was going crazy cleaning and cleaning and freaking out about----well----just having her stay with us for a few days---you know how that is----like to have everything perfect----aaaccckkkk!)

Anywho, I will have to put it off for next week, because-------my friends, I have come up with a REALLY GREAT IDEA!

No, I mean it! It is a smashing idea!

I had been trying to get a blogger brunch get-together for all the ladies or gents, (if they really want to come) that live in the Boston/NH/Conn. area. Now, all of you that don't live out here may be thinking that we are crazy to try and combine three or four states together for a blogging outing.....but folks, this is New England! It takes a couple of hours to cross a state here! Heh, heh.

And I have been mentioning The Brimfield Antiques Fair in some of my comments to others, as it is one of my favorite places to go-----and its so fun to shop for----well, just about anything that you are looking for! The Antiques Fair takes place in Brimfield, MA and is right off of Interstate 90, so it is fairly close to everyone in these three states, and we could all meet at a certain time, and at a certain place----walk around, take pics, and have lunch in the outdoor picnic area or we could do dinner in a restaurant nearby....

So, the date is: SATURDAY, MAY 16, and the website is here, so you can check out the address, as well as how to get directions, etc. Its free! But parking is about $5.00, depending on how close you park.

Believe me, it is worth the trip to spend the day at this fun outdoor antique fair! There are about 3000 vendors and shops, and there is something for everyone. I borrowed some great pictures that I found online----from Karen at this site----after letting her know, of course----I don't want to be accused of that "P" word! Thanks, Karen!

So, this will show you a bit of what is in store if you join us:


Bring your vans or trucks so you can carry lots of great stuff home, or just bring your recycled bags to fill up! If you are thinking of purchasing----cash is the best way, but some places will take a check. Dress for whatever the weather may be----as some years it has been pouring, and others it is sunburns all around---so dress appropriately. I will have my hubby and my little guy with me, as well as the two puppies, as pets are welcome, if you clean up after them----if you know what I mean----so bring family if they want to come......or just yourself!
(My hubby is very much in touch with his feminine side, so doesn't mind lots a girly girls around.)

Interested? E-mail me at SWANEESINGER(at)GMAIL(dot)COM, and let me know----so we can discuss where and when to meet. (But trust me, it WON'T be at the crack of dawn, as this girl is NOT a morning person!)

***As you have noticed, I love me a bit of alliteration, so I had to make the title interesting----heh, heh.***

Friday, May 01, 2009

Fabulous Find For A Friday------Dump Cake

When I was growing up, my mother taught me to bake everything from scratch. For those of you who are younglings, that means following a recipe and not EVER using a cake mix. I have to be honest with you in telling you that I NEVER even used a cake mix until I got married!

My first husband's mother only used cake mixes for her cakes, so that was all that my husband at the time knew. So, after we got married, I, of course, used one of my many recipes to make a cake.

Well, you probably guessed it. He not only didn't like it, but told me NEVER to make a cake from scratch again!

Wow---what a blow at such a young age. So, I bought my first cake mix and didn't make cakes from scratch unless they were for someone else or my husband was out of town.

I actually taught all of my children to read recipes and they learned how to bake from scratch, but my older son takes it to heart. He usually bakes everything from a recipe and makes cakes, cookies and his own candies, adding to and making up new recipes.

Well, since most of my kids are now out of the house, I don't cook as much and I don't usually bake much from scratch. It just doesn't seem worth the time. I guess that any extra time I have now, I like to read blogs or catch up on my TIVO or read a book!

So, a few months ago, while I was at a favorite gift shop that we like to go to, right next to a movie theatre that we frequent, I found this delightful cookbook:

Now, there is another part of this story. My little G-baby, Mila, had told me, when I was out visiting my daughter and kids, that her favorite cookies were the ones that her teacher in church made. She absolutely LOVES these cookies and I wanted to make them for her, but didn't have the recipe, because these cookies were made with..........yes.........cake mix.

Amazing that I found this book, huh? Now, when my daughter and her kids come out here in the summer, I can make them cookies or......what has become our favorite. DUMP CAKE!

This amazing cake is so easy, that even my 9 year old son can make it. And I use the 50% less sugar cake mix, and the peaches with natural juice, so there isn't much sugar in it. I also use Olivio instead of butter, so I get a bit of Olive oil. That makes it better for you, right? (Its what I keep telling myself anyway.)

So, here is the recipe:


1 White or Yellow Cake Mix
1 Can (29 oz.) sliced peaches with juice
1/2 stick of butter or margarine, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan. Spread half of the cake mix evenly in bottom of pan. Pour can of sliced peaches and juice evenly over the cake mix. (I also sometimes use a bit of cinnamon)
Cover the peaches with the rest of the cake mix, then slice the margarine or butter on top.

Bake 50 minutes, or until golden brown
(You can top it with whipping cream or ice cream)

And you end up with this!

I also found that you can use pie filling to make different types of Dump Cake----I tried apple last Sunday, and it was delish! (I usually only make dessert on Sundays---its kind of my day off of watching my weight-----well-----I need ONE day off to eat anything that I want!!)

And I also made it as cupcakes for my son's class one time and both his teachers wanted the recipe! Of course, I put a dollop of homemade frosting on for those. But, boy, they were easy to do! (Just be sure and cook them for a much shorter time!)

So, I hope you will try it and enjoy it as much as we do. It is a bit rich, but crispy, yet chewy at the same time, with that tang of peaches in it-----MAH-VE-LOUS!

I am sure glad that Sunday is right around the corner.

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