Don't believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you'll see the way to fly.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

152 - Travelling Buddies

They're my kids.  While I have a wonderful house-sitter, I prefer to take them with me when I go to Tennessee.  They know the trip and the drill.  Diva sleeps when the truck is moving.  Oliver, not so much.  This trip, however, he was very good.  When he did fuss, it wasn't loud, and he spent most of the time riding on my lap, probably because it was warm.  When we get to TN, both kids know the routine.  Oliver knows right where everything is in his domain, downstairs.  Diva knows to run around the house from the downstairs door to the front door to spend time upstairs.  And at 2 1/2 years old, she was very calm and very good when we had a house full of people on Monday (including a 3 year old and 17 month old).  I'm very, very fortunate.

Had fun today with my GPS on the way home.  While yes, I knew the route, I liked that it told me how much further I had before my next turn and which direction to turn (including which direction interstate exits and changes were). 

The final positive of note for today - I can sleep in my own bed tonight, which has room for all 3 of us.


Oliver - riding on my lap.

And of course, an LOLCat!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

151 - Nine

Today, the folks and I went into Knoxville to see the new movie "Nine." The only thing I knew about the movie is the songs I'd heard while listening to the Broadway channel online and the scene Antonio Banderas did on the Tony Awards when it was nominated for best revival.  It took me a while to get into the story, and I'm still thinking about it.  I couldn't help but see parallels to the choreography and staging done for the movie "Chicago," the difference, I think, is that those scenes were supposed to be happening in Guido's mind.  "Unusual Way" is not one of my favorite Broadway songs, but I really enjoyed Nichole Kidman's version.  The "sand scene" I though was very well done.  I look forward to the DVD coming out as I would like to see it again ... and am hoping there's an extra DVD with "the making of" and "behind the scenes" clips!

With heading home tomorrow, I was trying to figure out what I was going to listen to.  Found that Barnes & Noble online has MP3 downloadable audio books.  Woot!  I searched through the thrifty section and found a couple to take with me. 

Have thoroughly enjoyed time in TN and the cool weather!

Monday, December 28, 2009

150 - The Difference Between Boys and Girls

I was fortunate to meet Lily when she was just 4 months old, and then see her again before she was 2.  Graham, now 17 months old, I finally met for the first time today.  What a difference. At 17 months old, Lily was much more easy going at this age, at least that I remember.  Graham is a definate handful; his favorite sound being a high pitched scream.  My TN nephew is a lot like my FL nephew ... very determined and independent.  I guess boys will be boys.  I look forward to seeing how he grows up!

Lily - she is too smart for her own good.  But, she can sing, and yes, that makes me very happy.  Jamie asked me about it, and I suggested some toddler sing-a-long DVDs.  Lily sang a couple short songs, and stayed on pitch and in the same key all the way through.  Would love to see her follow in her aunt's footsteps.  :-)

It was a fun day with family here for a visit, and Wii games.  My mother is the undefeated champ at bowling.  Watching my folks compete in Wii tennis was fun!


Jamie and Lily


Sunday, December 27, 2009

149 - Oh, Excuse Me

Today's positives:
Homecooked breakfast.
Avoiding the traffic in Pigeon Forge
Looking at some crazy stuff in the Cast Iron store and the tools store
Going into Bass Pro Shop that was bigger than a WalMart store
Having Benedryl work fairly quickly
Seeing how Diva has grown into such a good girl
Homemade chili for dinner
Setting up the Wii and then 4 of us bowling
Early to bed

The funniest thing today, though, happened in the tool store.  There's this prank gift called a "Fart Box."  It's a little speaker that you can hide under someone's chair, and then press the remote control for it to go off.  Well, they had them there, and they also had a demo one to play with.  I, of course, couldn't resist.  I was pressing it to see all the different sounds, and these two guys walked over to look at some stuff near by.  I pressed the button; the box farts; they both glanced my direction.  "Oh, excuse me," I said.  They had kind of a sheepish look on their face until Mother and I started laughing and then they saw the demo.  It was just too funny.  Father's day is coming!

Tomorrow, I finally get to meet my 17 month old "nephew" (my cousin's son).  I cannot wait to meet him and see Lily, his sister, again.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

148 - Tennessee

9 and a half hours, and that was with 4 stops.  The rock slide last October closed I-40 over the mountains, and they say I-40 won't be open until March.  I had to change my route.  Instead of going up I-95 to I-26, I took I-10 to I-75.  I actually liked it better.  Yes, I had to go through Atlanta, but just flew through on a Saturday.  Not too far out of Atlanta, I got off 75 and onto 411.  1/3 of the trip was not on interstate and it greatly reduced the travel stress.  The kids travelled very well.  Diva slept the whole time, and Oliver was on my lap, probably because it was warm.  Really, really glad to be in TN... need the down time and the family time!


Friday, December 25, 2009

147 - "Family" Time

"Rarely do members of the same family grow up under the same roof."
"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life." Richard Bach

Today was Christmas dinner over at T & D's house.  Both of sets of parents were there, as well as D's two sons and T's brother.  T and I have known one another almost 20 years, and her folks and brother really are a part of my family.  The celebration of this holiday is not about the gifts we give or receive, it's about the love and enjoyment we find in each other.  There's a great comfort in having people in your life for that many years.

I have to say that the most "fun" part was the helicopter wars.  The boys all got chargeable helicopters, and there was an extra one that I got to use.  They were tricky on the controls. just trying to get used to the throttle had the copter looking like a yo-yo, then they'd crash against the ceiling or chair or some person.  There was a lot of ducking going on!  It was a blast!

Time to start loading up the truck.  Christmas in TN is next.  My absolute favorite Christmas song is "Tennessee Christmas" by Amy Grant.  Listen to it sometime.


My phone could not capture the helicopters in the air, so I got two of them after they crashed!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

146 - Command Central

A few weeks ago just in passing, I told my boss that my personal computer was dying and I was shopping for a new one.  He promptly said that the company should be providing me a computer at home since I work from home probably 1/4 - 1/3 of the time.  So, I brought the new PC home, but it was pretty useless to me ... only one monitor could hook to it.  I need at least 2, preferrably 3 monitors attached to a PC to work efficiently, especially since Microsoft changed the options in RDC.  Finally today I found a video card that would work with the new PC.  So, on the right is my work computer and its two monitors; on the left, my personal computer with its two monitors.  It really is like command central.  (I'm still considering a 3rd monitor for the work PC, but have to get another video card.)

Tomorrow is a holiday, and Saturday is the long drive to TN.  Looking forward to both.

Another holiday cheer for ya!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

145 - Laundry

For the past couple of nights, I've been telling myself I needed to do laundry, but it wasn't until this morning when I realized I only had one more item for "particulars" that I got my butt in gear.  3 full loads of laundry - for 1 person.  Oy!  But they're all washed, folded and put away.

Yesterday on FB I put that my morning exercise was chasing the pup after she stole my slipper.  She was at it again tonight.  I don't know why she thinks these are her toys!  It's tough to walk when she's trying to pull them off your feet!

Follow-up on yesterday's blog.  I did sew my keychain back together and am once again on the No Goals No Glory trail.  Having had that in my hand for 15+ years, it was too weird without it!

Finally, some more LOLCat cheer for ya!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

144 - No Goals No Glory

The picture here is what has been attached to my key ring for the past 15+ years.  My best friend got this for me when I was starting to rebuild my life, and I've carried it every day until today.  The leather finally wore out, and it came off the ring.  I took at look at it, and with a strong needle, I just may be able to sew it back together and see if it will last another 15 years.  "No goals; No glory."  What a nice, positive statement to carry with me.

I also had a great lunch with a new friend.  We have lots in common, more than what we talked about.  I look forward to our next lunch.

Below is another holiday LOLCat.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 21, 2009

143 - Positive Monday

Solved a coding issue that had been eluding me.
Receiving an email saying that real Verna (my "daughter" in the show) sent a very moving note to the theatre about how much Aussie Song meant to her, the tear-streaked faces in the audience, and how much the cast poured so much heart into their roles.
Receiving an email that a project I put together really meant a lot to the person receiving it.
Finally reading the card from Frances and Teddy concerning Aussie Song.  Wow.
Receiving an email from the mother of two of our kids in the show saying how we helped them feel comfortable and welcomed to the world of community theatre.
Getting a bottle of Kahlua from "Santa" (pretty sure it was my boss, by the handwriting)
Tossing a ball for the pup.
Seeing Oliver curled up under the green Ho-Ho-Ho blanket to keep warm.
Having a roaring fire in the fireplace that brought the living room from a chili 58 degrees to a toasty 70.
Having an evening in which I can just relax and do nothing.
A Dew-Rum-Rum.
Early to bed.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

142 - Blogging

A blog (a contraction of the term "web log") is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

I started this blogging project on my 46th birthday in order to find something positive in each day of this year.  I do/did not like this age, I have an on-going battle with low self-esteem, and after reading a friend of mine's year long blogging project, felt it might help me with this year.  Until recently, it has.

But the postive for this Sunday -- a lazy, restful day at home, fire in the fireplace and no expectations or responsibilities for today.  I really needed this day.

Unfortunately, I need to blog about a not so positive event that has happened recently.  I have belonged to an organization for a number of years, and to help members communicate, the directors in our area decided it might help to have members on a social networking site.  It is not Facebook, but a smaller, less known site.  At first I resisted.  I did not need to maintain another social networking site, and I feared something like this could backfire.  Eventually, I did set up a page (it's more like MySpace than FB), but linked Blogger and FB to post automatically there so I didn't have to completely maintain two social networking sites.  Well, it seems that some of the organization's members didn't realize that this site is a PUBLIC social networking site that is not run and owned by the organization.  They actually complained that I had daily posts (my blogs).  One of the directors contacted me asking if I could just post once a week instead of every day.

To say I got angry is almost an understatement.  I was floored, and then royally pissed.  I could not believe that I was being asked not to post on a site that is not owned or maintained by the organization.  My answer was an emphatic NO.  But, I took the time to write up step by step instructions (and post them) as to how people could keep my posts from showing up in their inbox on the networking site.  I did not have to do this, but figured I'd help them filter me out so they wouldn't be annoyed.

Then on Wednesday, that site moved and in their server move, my connection from Blogger was lost.  When it reconnected, 23 old posts were reposted.  (Not 150 as I was told.)  I received a WTF email from the director who has been the point person for those complaining.  Yes, the subject of the email was actually WTF.  She said she received 2 phone calls and emails about the old posts.  When I reminded her that I wrote instructions to block me, I was told that they didn't want to do that.  They still wanted to see anything I wrote about the organization and any photos I posted, but they didn't want to know about my cat, dog or my daily life.  At that point, I f'ing gave up.  I said fine, I'll cancel my account on that other networking site.  If my blogs annoy people that much, see ya.  I also asked her not to forward any links to anything I write about the organization or photos.  Her comment was that "one geek to another," she could still take them if I posted them publicly.  When I told her that she obviously didn't realize how angry I was, I was told to put my "big girl pants on" and not to be so childish, have an all of me or none of me attitude.

Well folks, I'm sorry.  But if I'm told that they only want to see what I write about the club or post pictures from meets, they don't want to see anything about my life outside of that, then I feel used.  Right or wrong, that's how it comes across to me.  "We'll use you for what we want, but we don't want to have to see messages in our network site's inbox that you post on a daily basis."

Right now, I don't want to go to another meet.  I'm going to look around the room and think, "Who were the 5 people who were complaining about me?"  Will I be comfortable?  Hell no.  And do these people realize the blood, sweat and tears I've given this organization over the years?  Probably not because I am not as active any longer.  I did tell the president of our organization that if I could change away from this District right now, I would.  That's how hurt and angry I am about it.  Not just that people complained, but how it was handled. 

This whole thing has really caused my self-esteem to take another blow.  Blogging for me is theraputic, even if no one comments.  For whatever reason, keeping a journal never helps me because no one reads it.  This does help me get things out, and since my emphasis is to focus on the positive, it is helping my outlook.

There is a positive in all of this - I no longer have to maintain two different social networking sites.  And I may feel less guilty when my schedule is such that I cannot attend some meets.  My anger will subside, but I'm not sure the hurt and lack of trust will heal as quickly.  I won't stop blogging though because, you know what?  No one has to read it.


Holiday cat ... in honor of my folks arriving in TN to an early snowfall.

141 - Closing

Saturday, the closing show of Aussie Song; the show we were not looking forward to.  I kept telling peeps that we scheduled a matinee for Sunday ... just so we wouldn't think that tonight was our last night on stage together as a cast, singing these songs and telling this story.  It didn't work.  We were still commenting about the last time of this and the last time of that.  Closing a show is hard, but this one especially so, probably because it was about real people, a real family whom we'd gotten to know over the past 2 months. 

As I listened to the scene's, I heard some of the best singing of the songs.  I know when I sang my ballad, I let it rip.  No worries about cracking any notes, just gave it everything I had.  We really left it all on the stage.  Don't know that there were many dry eyes for the curtain call.  And Teddy (the real one) was there for the last show.  Celia called her up on stage after the curtain call to take her bow.

It might not be the best show ever written, it might be too long, it might be too sentimental, but I don't care.  It was awesome to be a part of, to be the first person to bring the character to life on stage.  I'm a sucker for sentimental, warm, fuzzy shows anyway.

Time for some much needed rest.

140 - Cast Party

Friday night found some of my theatre friends in the audience.  Got some very nice compliments, like "That is the perfect role for you.  Warm and caring, and yet with fire."  "Awesome belt.  Just loved your song."  "Loved hearing you sing, and nice job of not popping the top notes."  "The gal can sing!"  "Your song last night was marvelous ... I was really impressed how great you sounded."  With some shit I was dealing with then (and still; issue for a blog soon), these were elixir to some self-esteem wounds.  They came from people who KNOW theatre; people who are directors.  Don't get me wrong - I LOVE the comments and compliments from my non-theatre peeps; after all, they're 99% of our audiences, so they're the ones we are performing for most.  My peers though, they see it from a different view point.  (OMG - I just called them my peers.)

We also had our cast party Friday night.  Stacy was so awesome to host it, and we had a TON of food.  It was pot luck, and if anyone went away hungry, it was their own fault.  I made a huge crock pot of sloppy joes - used 6 pounds of ground beef.  It was funny.  Someone, before they had any, said, "The sloppy joes aren't from a can?"  Nope.  Awesome family recipe.  Had some great white chicken chili, and DP's cheese cake, with apple slices in it, was mahvalous!

Positive end to Friday - great show and fun times with cast and friends afterwards.

And another holiday cat for ya!

Friday, December 18, 2009

139 - Half Empty

I was thinking about my blog while driving home from the show last night, and figured I'd sleep on it.  Maybe in the morning my attitude would be better.  Nope.  Still have a crummy attitude, and for now my view of the world is half empty.  I know this will pass, though.

Ok.  The positive in Thursday.  I got through the show without any major catastrophes.  Was I pleased with my performance?  No.  I dropped a few lines, jumped a few, and screwed up one word in my ballad.  For the life of me, I could not get my head in the game last night.  My thoughts were all over the place while on stage ... seeming to think of everything except the scenes, and then being worried that I wasn't thinking about the scenes.  Fortunately, I guess my acting has gotten to the point that even with all that going on in my head, the audience (including theatre peeps) don't see it.  Caryl and I talked a little afterwards, and she said she didn't see it.  She would be the first to spot it, so it must have been ok.

Our young Teddy was entertaining us with her thoughts and philosophies back stage again.  She told us that she already knew how she would know the man she was to marry.  Her comment went something like this:  When I start singing the love song from Phantom of the Opera, he'll join in.  That's who I'll marry.  There was more, but this was the most precious.


Some holiday cat cheer:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

138 - Mom's Lunch with the Kids

Lunch was 2 moms and 2 kids.  LCB and I with ACB and Diva.  Yeah, are kids are quite different, but it was still fun.  We met at the park, took 2 laps around the park (which is not too small), then put ACB on the swing.  Diva was more interested in all the smells to be had than paying attention to ACB, but ACB just squealed, laughed and giggled with glee each time he saw her.  Sometimes the bar of his stroller was right at his eye level, so he'd stretch up to look over then hunch down to look under the bar just so he could see Diva.  What a nice lunch for the soul.

And yes, a little holiday cat for the season!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

137 - It Sucks!

I had a decision to make.  My current vacuum was dying, but I knew that after the first of the year, most of my carpet is being ripped up.  So ... repair the old vacuum cleaner .... or .... get a new one.  I decided on a new one.  My old one, while it is an Oreck, if repaired would still be old and still have no attachments.  So, I did my homework and settled on a Bissell Pet Hair Eraser.  It's bagless (so less expense there), has a part that drops down in front to help dislodge pet hair, attachments (some specifially for pet hair), AND a setting for wood floors.  I just vacuumed on Sunday (with the dying one) and then again today (with the new one).  OMG!  I'm ashamed to admit how much was picked up today.  The spot in the front room where Diva likes to lay is now the original color again.  I'll tell you, this really sucks!  I'm happy with my decision ... for my carpet now and for the floor when the carpet is gone.

Here's a holiday LOLCat for ya ....

Monday, December 14, 2009

136 - Christmas Bowling

Tonight was our last night of league bowling before our 3 weeks off for the holidays.  The lanes allowed us to have a pot luck feast tonight, and there was a bunch of yummy food.  :-) 

It was fun this year taking little santa felt pails (for lack of a better description for them) filled with fudge (that I made this morning) for my teammates.  The past two years, I've been too busy or forgot to do something for them at Christmas, but they remembered.  Am glad that I remembered this year!

3 Monday nights in a row are now free.  My, oh, my.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

135 - Who's Who?

Sunday matinee today, and Verna, from TX, was in the house.  Lindsay was nervous that the real life person she was portraying in the show was sitting there watching, but I'll tell you, her performance was spot on.  We had a sold out house today, and they fed us some good energy.  My folks were there today.  When I was peeking out the curtains before the show started, I could not find them at all.  When I came out for the curtain call, the first person I saw standing up was my dad.  I'm still smiling at that. 

I was talking with Verna before and after the show.  She said that her Mama (which is my character) was about 5' tall and tough.  I told her that when I did the character work for Mama Key, I actually thought of my own grandmother.  She was only 4'11", and tough as nails. 

Afterwards, we had an impromtu photo shoot.  How could we not when we had the real people there.  I cannot begin to express the honor and awesomeness it is to represent the Trager/Key family on stage!

Don't wade through mud up to your "particulars"!!!

The photos...
Top:  When Lindsay met Verna for the first time outside the theatre after the show. 
Middle:  The real Verna and Lindsay (Verna in the show)
Bottom:  Sisters!  And this is so cool.  (Left to right)  Stacy (plays Teddy in the show), Teddy (the real one), Verna (the real one), Lindsay (plays Verna in the show).  To boggle your mind:  Teddy and Verna are sisters-in-law.  Stacy and Lindsay are sisters in real life!

134 - Christmas Cabaret

Saturday found us down in Daytona for our annual visit with the residents of Olds Hall.  It's a retirement home on US1 with all 3 levels of living - independent, assisted and nursing.  (History of our visits posted below.)  TAC and I lead the group in carols, do some solos and basically have fun. It's never a great "performance," but that's not the point.  The point is to entertain the residents and have fun.  One of the ladies came up to me yesterday and said, "This is the party we look forward to all year long."  How sweet.

In addition to our music, Suzann did some belly dancing while we took a break.  It's so much fun to watch her, and especially see her improvement over the years.  I think the residents are going to expect a repeat performance next year!

We did have a show last night too!  Bill, our lead who injured his back, was able to do the show, even if he couldn't sit or do a lot of the choreography.  He was on some meds, but listening to him you wouldn't know it.  Wow!  "The show must go on" ...  theatre peeps are simply awesome, really.

A shout out to my friends Haze, Stu, JSG, EJG and IG.  We had well over 6 inches of rain yesterday, and yet they braved that and drove a good distance to come see Aussie Song.  I'm humbled by their support.  And I learned something - backstage, the cast was saying it was a tough audience.  What we mean by that is that we don't feel we're getting a lot of feedback/energy from the audience.  EJG pointed out the "emotional rollercoaster" of the show, and I saw it in a different light.  It is a very moving show (as I've said probably too many times), and I can see how when you're wrapped up in the emotions you wouldn't be laughing as much in what we, as a cast, see to be the humorous parts.  The Train Station scene did get a lot of laughter.  :-)  (Thank you, EJG, for helping my perspective.)  My friends were overflowing with compliments on the music, the story, the cast.  It touches me more than I can express to have their support.

The sun is shining on Sunday and we have another show!

Friday, December 11, 2009

133 - The Fire

It's Friday night, and I should be backstage at ABET getting ready for another performance of Aussie Song.  Instead, I'm relaxing at home, fire in the fireplace and "The Fire" in my hands.  One of our leads injured his back so our show tonight was cancelled.  (Prayers and positive energy are definately needed for Bill.)

Back in the early '90's, my BFF and I stumbled onto "The Eight", a debut novel by Katherine Neville.  Loved it!  Between then and now, she published two other books.  They were good but not as good as "The Eight."  Last year, she published the sequel to "The Eight" (yes, 20 years after it was published), a book called "The Fire."  Since I'm at home tonight, I'm catching up on a little reading ... but still wishing I were at the theatre.

To follow up on yesterday's blog ... my aunt is doing great!  Came through the surgery like a pro; is now sitting up in her room, reading and talking with folks.  Hopefully, her recovery will continue to be good and the prayers and positive energy infused her with patience for the rehab process.

Back to my book.

132 - Success

4pm this afternoon, one of my closest friends, my "aunt", went in for spinal surgery.  They fused C2-C6 in her neck.  While she won't be able to look up or down once she's out of rehab, she should be able to have feeling and movement in her arms, hands, fingers and hopefully in her legs as well.  Pain free.  There was nothing more positive that this today.  84 years old and she's still kicking ass!

The pic was 3 years ago when we went to Dolly Wood at Christmas.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

131 - Couch Potato

Today is the first day since before Thanksgiving that the only thing on my calendar was going to work.  While there is a ton of stuff that needs to be caught up on, catching up on tv shows and re-aquainting myself with the couch seems to be the priority.  Also, going to bed early!  Show tomorrow night, so need my sleep tonight.

Found another cat that had me laughing out loud.  It's the bottom pic.