Friday, April 22, 2016


The first time I ever sang karaoke was in 1993 when I was touring the states with the Continental Singers.  At one of our mall stops, which were every few weeks to stock up on supplies, there was a karaoke contest for charity in the middle of the mall.

We were a singing group, so naturally, we all jumped in!  We sang one song as a group, then a bunch of us jumped in and sang a few songs to help raise money.  It was so much fun because there were store owners donating money for us to keep it going.  I had the time of my life.

I'll never forget that I chose to sing "Open Arms" by Journey.  I love Journey.  I love that song.  Probably one of the most influential bands of my youth! (Not to mention that I had a thing for Steve Perry!)

I sent the tape of me singing to the guy I was dating at the time.  He was back home waiting for me to get back and my biggest cheerleader.  I chose the song because I wanted him to know how much I wanted to be back home with him.  When I got home, I'd be there with open arms for him.  Ah, how time flies by.  I wonder if that tape even exists anymore... If it does, I wonder if anyone listens to it anymore...

I wonder how different I sound singing the same song now....  

You knew it was coming... Here it is, me singing Open Arms, just last night.  I didn't practice, I just grabbed the audio and recorded in one take.  Not too shabby... what do you think?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


I made a social faux pas.

A friend made a comment online about current events in the media for Pennsylvania on social media.  In jest, I replied with a snarky comment intended as humor.

Alas, I failed.

Instead of sparking a giggle or wink, I have offended my friend.  It's the age old issue with social media, that it is difficult to tell if someone is serious or joking, and if the intended target of the zinger is offended, his/her family and other friends will also be offended.

I received a private message from my friend that essentially told me that my words had hurt and offended and that my friendship was no longer desired.

I'm not going to mince words with you all, readers... I was heartbroken.  At first, I replied saying, "Oh, c'mon... it was a joke!" Then I went to his facebook page to remove the zinger only to find that he had cut me off.  He revoked my "friend" status.  I have become a stranger to my friend.

I returned to instant messenger and sent another message to my friend saying, "You cut me off over a joke?  I thought you knew me better than that."

Now, I regret sending that last message.  I followed it with a sincere apology for my behavior.

You see, I have a unique brand of humor that is not appreciated by all.  While I know my friend has appreciated the humor in the past, it would appear that this one just pushed the envelope too far.  How can I fault this friend for being offended?  Read in the wrong tone or attitude could certainly come off as rude and unacceptable.

I have now written a deep heartfelt apology to my friend and plan to mail it tomorrow.  I'm hurt that I have offended someone who I care about.  I'm hurt that I may have destroyed a friendship.  Mostly, however, I am hurt that there are so many things that were left unsaid.

Thank you, Friend, for being my rock while I was facing some of the darkest demons in my life.

Thank you, Friend, for loving me when I felt unlovable.

Thank you, Friend, for seeing beyond my flaws.

Thank you, Friend, for making me smile and laugh.

Thank you, Friend, for all the things you did without ever knowing you did them.

I'm sorry, Friend, for all the times I hurt you.

I'm sorry, Friend, for not giving you the value you deserved before it was too late.

Finally, Friend, this song is for you:

Tuesday, April 12, 2016



I abandoned the diet after being sick with the flu twice.  I'm right back where I started.  I'm not discouraged.  I'll just start over!

Blog Survey:

No one took it.  I'm beginning to believe I have very few readers.  Feeling discouraged.  Contemplating dropping the blog completely.

Texting Social Experiment:

Was kind of a bust.  I broke and texted 2 friends, making initial contact because I knew they were going through some stuff. The only person who initiated contact with me did so out of guilt after reading my blog about it.  BUST.  Perhaps I am that annoying friend.......


I'm a hot mess right now.  I'm emotionally overreacting to a lot of things and I don't trust my emotions right now.  I don't know if I have a right to be down about the things I am down about.  I don't know how to move forward.  I don't know.  I just don't know.

Here's a song that is helping me through the day today.

Friday, April 8, 2016

A Trip to Vegas

In 2006, a group of friends, my husband, and I decided to cash in on my parents' time share and go to Vegas.  I had never been there and really wanted to be able to say that I made the journey.

We made all the plans and even though we had only gotten married a few years before, my girlfriend and I decided that we were going to renew our vows with our husbands in front of Elvis.  Oh yes.  We wanted the ELVIS experience!  We were going to wear outfits from the 1960's with go-go boots and short skirts while our husbands would don jeans, tshirts, and Chucks.  We really wanted to do it all up and make it fun.

A few months before we left, both of us got pregnant.  We were each 4 months along when we left for Vegas and the Elvis plans fell flat.

The highlight of our trip was seeing Celine Dion in concert.  The boys did not want to go, so the hormonal pregnant ladies went alone.  We love Celine.  LOVE HER.  We sprung for the cheap seats in the nosebleeds and considered ourselves lucky that we would get to see her perform.

When we got there, we went up an escalator, then another, and another... 5 flights of stairs in total.  We were truly in the very last row at the top of the venue.  Here's the view:

Once at the top, with swollen feet and ankles, the usher took our tickets.  She looked at them and said, "There's been a cancellation by a group and Celine," (right, like they are close personal friends) "Celine doesn't like to see empty seats on the floor.  Would you mind if we swapped out your tickets for floor seats?"  We nodded in eager anticipation and she gave us new tickets and led us back down, one, two, three, four, and FIVE escalators to the floor seats.  

She handed our tickets to another usher who said, "Oh, you have EXCELLENT seats!" We followed him up the aisle... further and further... until we landed in the 5th row from the front.  

This became our view:

This was the very best show I have ever seen in my life.  She had acrobats, dancers, a fantastic orchestra and it was CELINE DION.  I laughed, smiled, cried, and just went through every single emotion. This was the highlight of our trip and I hope to one day see her perform live again.

In honor of that fantastic adventure, I'd love to share some of my favorite Celine songs with you.  

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face:  Makes me think of my little girls.  It's a beautiful song and a beautiful performance.

It's All Coming Back to Me Now:  This was a collaboration with Meatloaf... the video was epic, the song is epic... touches my heart every time!

All the Way:  Duet with Frank Sinatra.  Get me a tissue.

And finally, All by Myself:  Ahhhhhhhhhh

Why am I blogging?

I've been reflecting on a lot of things lately, and I can't help but wonder if my Blog has a purpose.  I would love to get an idea from my readers to see what your thoughts are on my blog.  This is completely anonymous survey  that would help me out tremendously with future blog initiatives.

Please, follow this link and take this survey to help me out!

Take this survey


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Feelin' Blue

I can't really put my finger on it.  I'm just feeling a bit down this week.

To be honest, while at work, I am acting as I normally do.  I'm cheerful, lighthearted, whimsical, and sarcastic.  Nothing there has changed.

At home, I'm still a mom, a wife, a cook, a doctor, and everything else I usually am.

The whole house is sick, but I don't think it is that dragging me down.

I can't really put my finger on it.

When I'm alone, I'm feeling lonely, which usually isn't the case.  And when I'm not alone, I find myself wishing I was alone.  I'm checking my phone quite a bit, and I'm wondering if my social experiment to NOT reach out to others is affecting me.  I am, after all, a people person.  Perhaps I'm feeling insignificant because I have not been contacted by friends and family members.  Perhaps I'm just realizing that I make more initial contact with friends and family than I had thought.

I have broken down, by the way.  I texted a friend who I knew was sick.  I also reached out to my husband while he was at work.  Both were thankful to hear from me.

Yet... I'm feeling a little blue.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Saying Nothing

There is something to be said for remaining quiet. 

While taking inventory of some friendships recently, I took an inventory of interactions and who they were initiated by. 

With my closest, dearest, and truest friends, the initiation is equal.  Sometimes I call them or text them, sometimes they call/text me.  

Some friendships, however, are lopsided.  One friend not only stopped initiating conversations, but also stopped replying.  After nearly 3 years, she's back and expects that I can simply pick up where we left off.  It isn't that easy.  I've been hurt by that friendship and am questioning how much she values it. 

In other instances, the conversation is witty, entertaining, enjoyable.  We share back and forth and the conversations are well balanced.  I noticed, however, that I seem to be the one to reach out all the time.  It makes me wonder what would happen if I kept silent.  

And the last type of friend... the annoying one.  Yeah.  You know... the one who texts ALL the time.  The one who comments on EVERY SINGLE facebook post/tweet/instagram.  The one who starts sending friend requests to YOUR friends because they like the comments that friend has made on social media.  The friend that is overbearing, ever present, and even though you know they have perfectly good intentions, they irritate the snot out of you.  I really hope that no one sees me that way.  *sigh*

It's time for an experiment.  I decided it is time to say nothing.  That is, I decided to remain quiet and not initiate conversations with a few friends.  They do, after all, have their own lives and I do not want to intrude on those lives or become annoying.  I want to see how many of them miss my interactions.  I want to see which ones decide to reach out to me when they notice I've been quiet.  I will reply to them, naturally, I'm just not going to initiate.  How many texts will I get this week?  Hmmmm... I wonder.  I'll report back in a week with my findings!  What do you think will happen?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Confession Time:
I'm a Korean Drama Junkie.

How it all started: 
A coworker and I were talking about how we tend to binge watch shows on Netflix.  She told me that her daughter found a show called "You're Beautiful,"  a Korean Drama.  It's in Korean, naturally, but does have subtitles in English.  She said it was really good and suggested I watch it.

After completing a Doctor Who marathon, I popped on You're Beautiful and watched 4 episodes straight through.  I COULD NOT TURN IT OFF.  It's the story of a girl posing as a boy in a boy band.  Desperate to not get caught. the scenarios, acting, OVER acting, and facial expressions are simply hysterical.  I was hooked in one night.

The beginning of an obsession:
I fell in love with the characters, the story, the love triangles, the fun, and the drama of  You're Beautiful.  When the series ended, after 16 one hour long episodes, I found myself missing them and wanting for more.  I wanted to see the second male lead find love.  I wanted to see more.  Just... More.  I hit the web to feed my obsession. I read actor bios.  I read fan websites.  Then I found it... The female lead and the second male lead in a DIFFERENT Korean drama together.  This time, the second male lead was the first male lead.  HE WAS GOING TO GET THE GIRL!  I queued it up on Netflix and binged a new Kdrama, Heartstrings.

From Kdrama to Kpop:
I'm not going to lie, I developed a creepy kind of crush on Jung Yong-Hwa, the male lead.  Ahhhh.... He's an excellent actor with an excellent pout.  Both Kdramas were music based and I fell in love with the music from them.  As a stalked Jung Yong-Hwa online, I learned that he was the lead in a band called CN Blue.  My next natural progression was to follow his music!  A new obsession was born.

From CN Blue, I found FT Island - featuring Lee Hong Ki, also from You're Beautiful.  I began following his band, as well.  I've fallen in love with many Kpop songs, but my favorite is Pray by FT Island.  It's an amazing song and I love that there are no lines drawn in Kpop as there are here in the USA.  This song has distinct Christian themes but the band is not exclusively Christian.  I never quite understood why here in the USA there needs to be a line drawn.  Why can't a band do both Christian and secular tunes?  This song simply rocks.  Give it a chance, OK?

Here are the lyrics, translated to English:

All the lies that whispered in a different reality
The truth disappears and gets trapped in darkness
My shouts get smaller in this powerless reality
They're just meaningless things in this world of lies

See you now? See me now?  I'm broken in my faith.

Oh please God hear me?  I can't do anything.
Oh please God tell me!  In this frozen world
Oh please God hear me?  But the day I shout out
So I won't lose my way...
I'll Pray.  I'll Pray.  I'll Pray...
I'll pray for you.

This path repeats again in this fight that can't be won
Even when I go against it, only my scars grow
When I open my eyes, the results are already in
I'm getting used to it, but it's all meaningless

See you now? See me now?  I'm broken in my faith.

Oh please God hear me?  I can't do anything.
Oh please God tell me!  In this frozen world
Oh please God hear me?  But the day I shout out
So I won't lose my way...

Oh please God help me
Look at me, I'm here alone
Oh please God help me
Only with cold tears

Oh please God hear me?  I can't do anything.
Oh please God tell me!  In this frozen world
Oh please God hear me?  But the day I shout out
So I won't lose my way...

I'll Pray.  I'll Pray.  I'll Pray...
(My shouts get smaller in this powerless reality
They're just meaningless things in this world of lies)
I'll pray for you.

I'll Pray.  I'll Pray.  I'll Pray...
(When I open my eyes, the results are already in
I'm getting used to it but it's all meaningless)
I'll pray for you.

For the love of a culture:
I suppose that the next logical progression is for me to fall in love with the culture.  Things are so different in Korea.  There is a respect for elders that is reflected in attitude and speech.  There is a formal language used with strangers, elders, and to show respect, as well as an informal speech used with someone of the same age or younger, and friends.  The food is different.  I'm fascinated with traditions and history.  I want to learn the language.  I've purchased ingredients to cook authentic Korean dishes.  I just bought my first bottle of Soju, which, by the way, they seem to drink ALL the time in Korean dramas.  It's like a rice vodka, from what I understand.  I'm waiting for the weekend to try it!

What's the Point?
So, why did I decide to blog on this?  Because I want you to try it out.  Watch You're Beautiful.  Get hooked.  I'm watching it again for the 8th time right now, BINGE!  Fall in love with a new culture. I have gotten my sister hooked on the dramas and I convinced my hubby to watch one with me.  They really are fantastic.

And in case you need the eye candy reasons to watch, here are a few of my favorites:

Monday, March 28, 2016

Coping Mechanisms

I have a few friends that are going through some very stressful times right now.  Life has this nasty little habit of throwing curve balls at us and laughing while we duck and cover.  My heart aches for my friends and I want to help them, but sometimes, there are no words to comfort those in pain.

Their stories are their own, and not mine to tell, but these friends are going through situations including domestic violence, the loss of a parent, failing marriages, and financial distress.  None of these issues are EASY.  For some of them, I have no words.  For some, I have a LOT of words.  For all of them, I have open ears and an open heart, ready to hear them.  For all of them, I have open arms to hold them through the pain.

All of this has got me thinking about coping mechanisms.  I've never lost a parent, but I have lost a close friend to a car accident, grandparents, aunts and uncles... I have experienced loss.  I coped by remembering the good times we shared, things that we did together, lessons we learned together, and music we listened to together... always music.

For financial distress -- I'm an optimist there.  I have a tendency to say that there are people out there who have it WAY worse than me.  When I think of children who have no idea when their next meal will come or if they will have clean water to drink, it makes having my cable or phone disconnected for a week or two seem a bit... trivial.  My financial troubles look like ideal living conditions for some.  I have a roof over head, clothes on my back, and enough to feed my family.  I'm in good shape.

Failing marriage -- yeah.  Unfortunately, I've been there, too.  This one is particularly difficult.  No two marriages are the same, but I think that the pain of things falling apart is painful for all parties involved.  When I left my first husband, the pain was intense.  He was relieved to be regaining his freedom, but still felt pain.  He has a soul, I suppose, but it was hard to see it that when when he hurt me so badly.  I should have left MUCH sooner than I did, but I held on as long as I could in hopes that things would get better.  They didn't.   I coped with this loss by surrounding myself with friends.  They helped me to keep my mind off of things and reminded me that dating too soon after the end of a marriage would not be a good idea.  They helped me when I had really bad days.  They picked me up off the floor.  They dusted me off.  They showed me that there is life after divorce.  They gave me hope.  When I was ready to date again... they cheered me on when I was scared.  Friends are awesome.  I literally went out to the coffee shop with them every single night for nearly a year.  My sanity was restored.  I also spent a lot of time writing in a journal about how I was feeling.  It helped a lot.

Finally... Domestic Violence. Ladies and Gents... NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO HIT YOU!  No one.  NO ONE.  I have seen this friend through highs and lows.  I've heard every single excuse she makes for him.  And, friend.... I've been there, too.  I've experienced broken bones, bloody noses, black eyes, bruises, sprains, and emotional abuse.  My friends thought I was bipolar because my moods and attitudes would swing so dramatically.

Sadly, I was abused by more than one guy.  I know how a victim thinks.  The abuser makes you believe that no one else will want you.  You are damaged.  You are worthless.  He's trying to help you.  He's trying to make you a better person.  You deserve to be hit.  You are a bad person.  You have no where to go.  You will never find someone as good as him.  You don't know how good you have it.  On and on and on and on.....  ALL LIES.

My first real boyfriend was sweet.  He was good to me, treated me well.  We had fun together, but in the end, we wanted different things.  (He wanted this young blonde, and I wanted to go off to college! HA HA!) After him, though, I had a long string of bad relationships.  Physically abusive, emotionally abusive, cheating, lying men came into my life.  One man came into my life when I was at an emotional low and managed to brainwash me a bit by using charm and kindness when I was so used to pain and sadness.  I even married an abusive man, only to leave (see paragraph on failed marriages).

Coping with domestic violence:  Honestly, I was a punching bag.  Not all of my boyfriends were jerks, but the bad certainly outweighed the good.  I gained weight.  I ate away the pain and now, I'm a hundred pounds overweight.  Not the best coping mechanism.

Honestly, though, in all things, music has been my best coping mechanism.  When I truly want to just escape or reflect, I'll pop on the headphones, turn up the tunes, and play songs that either make me feel good or remind me that there's a light at the end of the tunnel.  I need that reminder that somewhere... somehow... I'll get through it all.

Over the past few years, there have been a few songs that have helped me more than anything.  I'd like to share them with you now and maybe one of them will help you find the light.  For any of my readers who are hurting... I understand.  I feel your pain.  I'd love to hear from you.  I'll pray for you without ceasing.

Remember, when things are out of YOUR control, give the control to someone else.

I wish you peace in your journey.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Santa Fe

I'm facing a crossroad in my professional career.  I don't want to get into the specifics, but after 15 years in the same job, I'm looking for a little bit of a change.

The problem is that I'm one of those few people who truly love what they do.  I do.  It's an amazing job, I work with amazing people, and I actually can make a difference in people's lives.  That means something to me.

Sure... there are times when it is thankless.  There are times when I'm super stressed (TAX SEASON!) There are times when I go home wishing I could stay home forever.  Every job has that.  But, I still love it.  I suppose I'd have to after 15 years, otherwise, I would have left... right?

As I look at the options before me, however, I often feel black listed.  I feel like there must be some characteristic about me that is undesirable.  I'm not generally a pessimistic person.  I'm more of a realist.  Realistically speaking, there has to be a reason why I always hear, "You were so close but XXX just edged you out by the smallest margin."  Really?  Why am I always on the cusp then ultimately lose out.

Over the years I came up with a few excuses.  I'm a woman.  I'm fat.  I'm not very pretty.  I refuse to kiss someone's butt.  I refuse to sacrifice my morals or my personality.  I'm too honest.  I'm too open.
I wish I could blog here and say that I finally figured it out... but I can't.  I still don't know.  The last time I tried for a position, the hiring manager said that the job was full of negative behaviors and that she was afraid that it would tarnish my character and harm my personality.  

Here I sit on the potential cusp of potentially something new and I find myself with mixed emotions.  Why would I want to leave a job I love?  What if I hate the new one?  Do I even WANT the new one or am I being clouded by $$$?

I have so much going through my head.  The song that comes to mind today is Santa Fe, from Newsies.  I have such fond memories of this musical from my childhood.  I fell in love with Christian Bale when he played the role of Jack.  The song, Santa Fe, sung by Christian Bale, became a sort of theme song of mine.  Santa Fe was Jack's dream.  He wanted to go out west and live on a ranch where life would be decidedly easier for a rough neck kid living on the streets of New York, making a living off of selling newspapers.

Santa Fe, to me, represents a dream, no matter how far fetched.  My favorite lyrics:

When I dream, on my own, I'm alone but I ain't lonely.
For a dreamer night's the only time of day.
When the city's finally sleeping and my thoughts begin to stray,
then I'm on that train that's bound for Santa Fe.
And I'm FREE like the wind, like I'm gonna live forever.
It's a feeling time can never take away!
All I need's a few more dollars, then I'm outta here to stay...
Dreams come true, yes they do, in Santa Fe.

The same concept of Santa Fe representing a dream to get out of a bad situation and into a good one is repeated in the musical RENT.  They sit on the subway dreaming of what it would be like to open a restaurant in Santa Fe:

In both movies, the characters realize that the dream isn't all it's cracked up to be without your family of friends and loved ones with you.  Santa Fe stays in the dream world and reality brings them all back.

What is your Santa Fe?  Are trying to get there or is it just a fantasy, a dream, a hope?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Me? Day

Welcome to 2016 March Madness!

March Madness is a glorious time of year when fans everywhere prepare to route on their favorite college basketball teams in the the big tournament.  I love college hoops, as does my husband, and as such we enjoy the festivities every year.

Back when I was young, around 16 years old, I loved the game, but did not have a favorite team.  I worked at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kindgom and one night, as the park was closing, I found a hat that had been lost on one of the roller coasters.  As I put it in the lost and found pile, I saw the Kansas Jayhawk on it and picked a team.  Just like that.

For nearly 20 years, Kansas was my pony in the big tournament.... until......

I started grad school at Gonzaga University.  Can a person have 2 favorite teams?  Kansas was always a favorite, but I suddenly found myself a Zag!

What's a girl to do?  I cheer for both of my teams each year, while keeping well wishes for my husband's team, the University of North Carolina (UNC).  A happy husband, makes for a happy home.  

And on goes the tournament.

It is becoming a tradition for my dear husband to visit his father for the first few days of the tournament.  I take a day from work, watch the kids, get them off to school, get them after school, and we all do our thing.  

But... What to do with those precious hours while the kids are in school and hubby is away?  It's ME TIME!  Yep, some much needed MOM time.

I worked from home on Thursday... so my only day was Friday.  Why then, did the ME day have a (?) after the word ME?

First, I got my hair done.  Then, I went to 5 different stores to buy Easter stuff.  FIVE DIFFERENT STORES.  When I came home, I cleaned until the kids got home, then I played with them... helped a neighbor with a problem, painted a shelf, hung the shelf...  I had a friend over, cooked a healthy dinner for us, she left, then I put the kids to bed and collapsed and fell asleep on the sofa while watching some hoops.

It was a ME day.  No doubt.  But I was BUSY!  Really busy.  Next ME day I take, I'm going to RELAX!!!!!  

Ok... time to go make dinner! 


Monday, March 14, 2016

A New Beginning

So after being sick, stressed, etc.  I'm starting a new 21 day cycle for the 21 day fix.

My weight has been all over the place from not eating, cheating, and all that nonsense.

TODAY IS A NEW DAY!  A New Beginning!

I was listening to an old Continental Singers tape from 1994 - the DREAMER tour.  There's a song called A New Beginning.  Here are some lyrics:

"A new beginning is beginning...
I feel the breakthrough, the winning
and there's a fresh flow of the spirit,
a mighty river, can't you hear it?
I'm singing praises, like a new song.
The changes are life long.
A new beginning is beginning
to take hold in my life!"

Friday, March 11, 2016

Thoughts on Cookies

First, my aunt keeps reminding me that it's not a Diet, but a "Lifestyle Change."  I keep reminding her that I'm NOT GIVING UP COOKIES FOREVER!


Ok, I was doing great, following the 21 Day FIX diet.  My weight loss was slow and steady.

Then I got the FLU.

I didn't eat for nearly 2 weeks and dropped 12 pounds.

I was thrilled.  I lost weight!  Yeah... once I started eating again, it came back.

Since recovering from the flu, I have NOT been 100% on track with the Fix plan.  Why?  I'm still trying to get myself healthy.  I'm still a bit sick!  In fact, I seem to get nauseated every single time I eat and my digestive system is STILL not back to normal.

I gave up cookies for Lent.  You know how much I love my cookies.  If you don't, find the posts about them.  Cookies, especially SUGAR COOKIES are my downfall!  Oh, you blessed Sugar Cookies... Why are you my stumbling block?

LENT is a season of sacrifice.  We spend these days in sacrifice to help us to redirect our attentions toward God and prayer.  So, using my cookie analogy, every time I crave a cookie, I should, instead, say a prayer or do something to refocus that attention on God.

Did you ever notice that when you give something up, you tend to fixate on it even more than you had before?  I love sugar cookies.  I really do.  I could eat them every single day.  But... I know that they are a sabotage to my diet.  I gave them up for lent, now suddenly, I see them EVERYWHERE.  

At work, in the cafe, the pile of cookies seems to be bigger every day.  I look at them, drool a little, and sigh, then I order my salad or sandwich and move along.  At home, once the kids are in bed and my husband heads off to work, I go into the pantry closet looking for a snack and there I see the boxes, bags, and snack packs of cookies... staring at me.  I reach out, touch the packages, sigh, and move along.

It's so hard.   I know it seems like a small thing, a simple cookie, but when you have put this limitation on yourself to avoid the sugar cookie....  suddenly, you just seem to want it even more than you did before. There are plenty of other sweets that I didn't give up.  I'm a sucker for coffee flavored ice cream, or even dulce de leche.  I've never been one to turn down a good piece of chocolate... or a bad one for that matter.  All those options are still on the table, but now, with my restriction, I just want the cookies more and more.

Breakfast cookie with coffee!
Cookies with Lunch!
The 3:00 office hunger pang cookie!
The after dinner, kids want a snack and you have to touch the cookies, cookie.
The late night snack cookie! (These are my favorite)

I find myself looking forward to Easter and plan on having a huge cookie tray of all varieties when the time comes.  That will be a diet CHEAT DAY.

Until then, I do trust my will power.  I do trust that I can avoid the cookies if I absolutely must.  But wow, I never thought it would be so hard.  I look forward with anticipation to the days when sugar cookies will be back on the plate.

So here's a thought, then... going back to dieting and restricting food options in hopes to lose weight:

If cutting out one particular food -- sugar cookies -- makes me want them even more than when they weren't restricted, then wouldn't it make sense that cutting them away from the diet would be bad?  Perhaps they must remain a part of the diet.

Follow me here...  If I tell myself I can have one cookie a day, then it's just -- meh, a cookie.  But if I look at the cookies and say, "No.  You CAN'T have that." I fall into a mini depression (ok, being dramatic) over the loss... The best way to regulate the cookie intake is to allow them.


Restriction:  You can only have a sugar cookie once a week.
Result:  Longing and desire to have a sugar cookie all week long until the day when I can have it, then, pigging out on a dozen sugar cookies.

Restriction:  You can have a sugar cookie any time you want.
Result:  Hey, I just went the WHOLE weekend without a single cookie!

 I guess I'm saying that I hate putting myself on restriction.  Lent is hard.  Diets are hard.  This "lifestyle change" my aunt speaks of makes me sad because I don't want to give up on things I love.  I want the things I love in my life.  I realize that there is a cost.  There is a price to pay for overindulgence.  A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.  But life is short!  Do I really want to spend it longing for things that I "shouldn't" want/have?

Ugh.  I don't have an answer.

I suppose this one sounds more like a ramble than anything else.  I just had some thoughts and barfed them out for you.  HA!

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Mix Tapes

Only a true child of the 80's and 90's can appreciate the joys of the mix tape. The evolution of the mix tape is fun, too.

In the beginning, so primitive,,, Your parents bought you a boom box.  You're excited, you can't wait to play all your favorite tunes.  You take you mom's antique cassette recorder that looks like this and hold it up to the boom box to record your favorite songs when they come on the radio.

I loved my first boom box.  It looked like this:

Oh yes... it was pink and fabulous!  I loved it.  My parents gave it to me for my 12th birthday with 2 cassettes to play:  Michael Jackson's Off the Wall and The Four Tops.  Why would you give a 12 year old the FOUR TOPS???  In 1988??  WHAT????   And I wanted THRILLER, not OFF THE WALL!!  But, it was still King of Pop, right??
Enter the first mix tape.  It was horrible.  There were DJs talking over the beginning and ending of songs, your mom would call you for dinner at the WRONG time, and your dad would yell to turn that garbage OFF!  *sigh*  it wasn't easy.

Then, you learned how to record off the radio from your actual boom box.  It still had the DJs, but no outside noises!  No Mom.  No Dad. No pesky little sisters!!!

I recently found a mix tape I had made in 1991 with horrible transitions and songs that I remember loving but can't remember why!  It had "I'm too Sexy" and "I love your smile," mixed with Roxette and Richard Marx!  WHAT?!?

Then mix tapes gained a new meaning.  You would make them for people you "liked" or wanted to date.  Then, if it succeeded in sparking an interest, you would exchange tapes of songs and sometimes even of you speaking to show how much you care. 

I have several of these gifts from former relationships even today!  But the only cassette player I have is in my minivan!!!   Too Funny.

Even my wonderful husband gave me a mix tape on the first day we met in person.  That was in the year 2000.  Yeah.... Mix tapes have come a long way.  After tapes, we made mix CDs,  Today, in 2016, we share playlists on our iPhones.  The purpose, however different from the late 1980's, is the same:  to create a spark. 

Music is powerful, meaningful, emotional.  Lyrics tell stories and share ideas and when carefully selected to put on a mix tape or playlist, they reveal the emotions and desires of the creator.  The song choices could make or break a new relationship.

So, do you want to know about mine?  I have a few that survived the years.  The one from my husband is around here somewhere, but it was never labeled, so I'll have to find a player and listen through all the cassettes to find it!  I remember the songs that he used to show his heart.

Forever Young - Alphaville
Free Fallin - Tom Petty
Mr Jones and Me - Counting Crows
End of the Innocence - Don Henley
Anna Begins - Counting Crows
Every Breath You Take -The Police
and quite a few more...

I remember the emotions as I listened to the tape and I listened to it over and over and over and over.  It was a symbol of our new relationship.  It was his way of telling me things that he just couldn't say.  He was telling me that he would watch over me and that he was letting his heart Free Fall into love.  He showed his heart and soul.  I was touched beyond words.

Other mix tapes that I received over the years included one from a cousin on the west coast, when I live on the east coast!  He sent Queen and Weird Al and a variety of odd and unusual music that I would never have found without him.  I received words of love in the song "If you could see what I see,"  by Geoff Moore and the Distance from a boyfriend at a time when I just wasn't feeling adequate.  I received a number of cassettes when I was touring on the road for 3 months with the Continental Singers from a boyfriend who knew I was homesick and missing the sounds of family and friends.  There were words of encouragement and plenty of those compliments and pats on the back that a young girl needs to help her feel like she matters to someone.  I remember listening to them over and over just to hear those words of affirmation.  

One of the most memorable came in the form of a CD single.  It wasn't a mix tape, just the one song.  I had recently broken things off with a boyfriend who wanted me back desperately.  He showed up at my house and pulled a "Say Anything" moment with his boom box.  It was memorable because he said that he had heard this song and it reminded him of me.  I had never heard it before because it was brand new at the time.  It was Celine Dion's "Because you loved me."  I actually cried at the sentiment, but I wasn't going to take him back.

So, for laughs, I'll leave you here with a photo of my husband mimicking the scene from "Say Anything" using a boom box pillow that I designed and crocheted.  It's epic.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


First, I love the above quote.  In so many areas of our lives, we feel conflicted about where we stand. Sometimes it's rational vs. irrational.  Other times it's mind vs. body.  Other times it's heart vs. soul.  

Today, it was Work vs. Home for me.  My poor little one, 7 years old with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), was spinning with determination and passion in the living room when she lost her footing and landed FACE FIRST into the entertainment center.  She managed to bite clean through her bottom lip.  

When kids fall or scream or cry... as parents, we can typically tell how serious it 'really' is based on the sights and sounds immediately surrounding the incident.  I saw her spinning, I heard the thud... I heard the familiar moments of silence that come just before the wail that indicates a serious injury.  I scooped her up and hugged her tight as the blood flowed out of her lip.

We are invincible when our children are hurt.  SO MUCH ADRENALINE!  I was a rock.  I cleaned her up, put a bandage on it, called the school, called the doctor, called my mother, called in late to work, and played Dr. Mom.

Then, after checking her out and realizing that she was OK, I drove her to school, drove to work, and then... sitting at my desk... loading my computer for the day.... I fell apart.  Crumbled.  Cried.  Ached.  Hurt.  

Enter the conflicted heart -- See... I was getting to the point...  ;)

I wanted to go get her from school and just cuddle and spoil her all day.  At the same time, I knew she was OK.  She needed to be at school.  She was well enough to handle being at school.  I needed to be at work.  CONFLICTED.

How many parts of our lives leave us conflicted?  What does that conflicted feeling do to us mentally and physically?  My heart aches as I think of my injured child off at school doing her own thing without me watching over her, protecting her.  My heart soars knowing that she's OK, she can handle it, and my being with her isn't going to make a difference in her healing process.  GAH!

Other conflicts are harder.  This one is just the mom instinct fighting logic.  What about the Mind vs. Body conflict when your head knows that you should have a salad for health reasons but you REALLY want pizza?  Or when your brain tells you to press on but your body is exhausted.  You try so hard to push yourself but at what cost?

Some conflicts are emotional.  The push/pull of an internal fight when you make a list of pros and cons can not only cause you worry or fear, but it can also make you physically sick!  Heart vs. Soul - when your heart wants something that your soul doesn't need or your soul needs something your heart doesn't want.  

What do we do when conflicted?  How can we ease our confusion?  How can we ease our souls?  How can we start feeling normal again?

I usually find a favorite song to mellow out to.  Here are a few of my favorite songs about conflict.  I hope they help you, should you ever find yourself conflicted!  I think the basic answer is that it's OK to not know what to do.  It's all a part of life, but sometimes you just need to let go and go with it.  You're going to get through it. 

**Love you, little Ava.  You'll get better in no time, I promise!**

Monday, March 7, 2016

I'm a Monster

We all try to put our best foot forward.  We try to paint ourselves as good and decent human beings.  We are kind, caring, optimistic, full of faith, compassion, etc.  But you know what?  We aren't good all the time.  NO ONE IS.  I'm sure even Mother Theresa had her fair share of bad days.

I had a great weekend that ended with an ugly moment.  Essentially, I let things that shouldn't bother me bring me down and I turned into a monster.  As I indicated in my last post, my balance is off and I'm frustrated with myself more than anything else.

We all have bad days, don't we?  We all go through these hard moments.   I've had so much on my mind lately that I allowed a selfish moment to dictate my actions and it wasn't pretty.

I'm sorry for the monster I became.  I'm thankful for the forgiveness I've received.  I'm far from being healed of the pains that created the monster in me.  I don't wish to publicly discuss the demons in my life, so don't expect a deep explanation.  I suppose that I simply feel misunderstood because I'm a more complicated person than I appear to be on the outside.  As I said, even good people have bad days.  I need an escape.  I need release.  I want to take a few days off from my life -- work, family, friends -- and just go somewhere alone to work it all out... to release the monster.

Can you relate?

I love this song by Skillet -- it captures exactly how I feel right now.  There is some dark secret side of me that is lurking and trying to destroy who I am.  I need to fight this monster inside of me.

Friday, March 4, 2016


Life is one big balancing act.  Between work, home, social, academic, and religious relationships, we need to find balance to keep everything going at once.

Have you seen the  movie "Inside Out" yet?  If you haven't and you plan to, please do not keep reading if you are afraid of spoilers.  I'll try to keep the spoilers light, but there will be a few in here.

Inside Out is a movie about the various emotions that keep our brains working on a daily basis.  I was told that this movie is great for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to help them understand emotion, which can be difficult for them.

The first time I saw the movie, I knew nothing about it.  I assumed it was just another silly cartoon movie.  I'll be honest... I actually cried the first time I saw it.  CRIED.  LIKE A BABY.

Essentially, there are 5 emotions running the brain - Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust.  They need to work together to keep us well rounded.  They need to stay balanced.

Part way through the movie, Joy and Sadness are pulled away from the main emotion console, and the 11 year old child is forced to face a strange new world with only Fear, Anger, and Disgust.  Imagine for a moment, if your internal balance was off and you had no Joy or Sadness.  Joy and Sadness are constantly at odds because they represent the exact opposites of the spectrum.  Optimism vs. pessimism.  In the end, Joy and Sadness learn to work together and the child develops a deeper understanding of how mixed emotions work when balanced properly.

When Anger, Fear, and Disgust are in charge and things are out of balance, the child makes poor choices and different important "islands" of her life fall apart including, honesty, family, and friendship.


Lately, my balance has been off. I mean, WAY off.  I guess some of my emotion receptors are working overtime while the others are taking a holiday.  It has affected my relationship with my older daughter, some friendships, and even things within my marriage.  I'm out of balance.  It isn't good.

I've decided to take a step back from a lot of things and try to shift some priorities and regain my balance.  I'm hoping that some parts of my life will come back into better focus and I can start rebuilding my islands and strengthening the relationships that have been suffering.

How are you today?  How is your balance?  Might I encourage you to take a closer look at your emotions and relationships and see how things are measuring up?  Check on those islands and make sure they are all strong.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

I Heart Leo

I have a confession:  I have an undying love for Leonardo DiCaprio.  Oh, Leo...

I have many actors that I hold in high esteem, but there's something about Leo that just makes me smile.  He has been in a variety of different styles of movies and always entertains.  

So let me just say:  CONGRATS LEO on winning an OSCAR!  He truly deserved it.

Favorite LEO movies in no particular order:

The Great Gatsby:

Leo WAS Gatsby.  He was amazing in this role, Old Sport.  He really did it up well.  Naturally, as an avid reader, I knew the ending of the movie, and it still stung to see the great one fall.  You are class act, Leo.  

The Aviator:

My husband likes to make fun of me when it comes to The Aviator.  It's the story of the life of Howard Hughes.  While he was all about the planes, there was so much more to his life!!  After watching the film, I said, "I didn't realize there would be so much about planes in this movie."  Hubby thinks that is hysterical.  The man was a legend.  He was a film maker and a touch on the crazy side... I guess I just expected a little more about the other parts of his life.  It's still a great film and Leo showed some serious talent in this one.

Catch Me if You Can:

Oh, Leo, you little con-artist.  How can I not love you? 

Finally, TITANIC!

Of course I love Titanic... who doesn't love Titanic?  Leo captured my heart in this and he was brilliant.  Handsome, witty, fun, and a rebel... this movie was GOLD.

My favorite Titanic story is the one that never happened.  When looking for the love theme for this movie, one of my favorite musicians was approached to write a song.  Michael W. Smith wrote the below song for Titanic, but ultimately, it was the Celine Dion song that won out.  When I first heard the MWS song, I fell in love with it and I think it would have been perfect for the film.  I'll let you be the judge.  

Oh, those lyrics.  "If only I could hold you in my arms again..."  *sigh*  

Sorry MWS, but you should have won that contest!  I love the song and your talent.  I know your musical score would have won you awards like mad.  

As for Leo... I respect his talent and he's not bad to look at.  Congrats on the Oscar win... now, My Heart Will Go On.... 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Little Mermaid

Hopefully you know the story...  Teenage mermaid falls in love, gives her voice over to the sea witch in exchange for legs, tries to win the prince's heart, and fails because he loved her for her voice.  It's kinda like the Gift of the Magi.  In the end it all works out when she gets her voice back and he realizes it's her, but for a few painfully awkward days, the poor girl can't communicate properly.

Why do I bring this up?  Exactly 12 days ago, I came down with the FLU.  It started with high fevers for nearly a week, weakened state of mind and body, chills, Fibromyalgia pain, and your typical cold and stomach virus symptoms.  It was quite a doozy and I'm still fighting through it.

The most visible (audible?) symptom that remains is my voice.  Deep and raspy, I sound more like a man than myself.  I talk on the phone for a living and because of it have been given more than my fair share of sympathy and advice for caring for my poor voice.

Honestly, I feel better, I just sound horrible.  I still have a sharp cough from time to time, but my voice has suffered greatly.

I just want my voice back.  I have a blog post completed and pending that I can't publish until I can sing again to add the final touch.  I pulled out my guitar last night and tried to sing... it was painfully awful!  I even spoke to a friend on the phone briefly 2 nights ago and was teased for my off sounding voice.

The good news is that I'm feeling much better.  I wonder how long until my voice returns to its normal state?  I miss singing.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Don't Be Sad

Sometimes, song lyrics speak the words so much better than we ever can.  One of my favorite artists, Randy Stonehill does an amazing job at putting words together that touch my soul.

If you're feeling down, this one is for you.

Don't Be Sad
By Randy Stonehill

I see the light has left your eyes my friend
And your smile looks so tired to me
Did you lose sight of your simple faith
And start thinking that you can't be free
As long as there's a God in heaven
Well that's not the way it has to be 

Oh, no, Don't be sad, One more day
Don't be Sad One more day
Love is here, here to stay
Don't be sad one more day.

Now we all cry so many useless tears
Over heartache we can't forget
And it's a crime to waste our precious time
Shackled by those old regrets
Yesterday is gone forever
And tomorrow hasn't happened yet

Oh, no, Don't be sad, One more day
Don't be Sad One more day
Love is here, here to stay
Don't be sad one more day.

Do you recall when we were barefoot boys
And the oak tree was so grand and high
We climbed up to the very top
'Cuz we wanted to touch the sky
I still believe we're meant to do that
You've just got to have the faith to try, try

Oh, no, Don't be sad, One more day
Don't be Sad One more day
Love is here, here to stay
Don't be sad one more day.

Friday, February 26, 2016


I love poetry.  When someone utters the word POETRY, I'm immediately taken to that scene in Bridget Jones Diary, where Bridget and her boss/lover are drinking, smoking, and reciting poetry in boats on the lake, laughing and having a great time.

I also think of the best locations for reading and writing poetry.  I love sitting by a fireplace in the winter curled up in a blanket, sipping some wine, while reading Robert Frost.  How about sitting in the sand by the ocean in the cool spring at sunrise in a sweatshirt and bare feet, feeling the wind in your hair while composing a poem about God's power and greatness.  Sitting by a lake, toes in the water in the summer while reading Keats or Whitman....  Or relaxing in a bistro with a cup of espresso while digging into e e cummigs.... Or my current favorite, sitting on my daughter's bed at night, just before she says her prayers, as she reads to me and giggles from Shel Silverstein.

I have written a lot of poetry.  I don't know that it is any good, but I know that I was able to release deeply seated emotions and fears through the poetry and housed them in my journals over the years.  

In college, I learned to play guitar.  My poetry, became music, song lyrics, and became even more powerful.  I remember those sunny fall days, sitting in the quad with my guitar and a notebook, strumming and writing out lyrics.  I found a great piece of my soul wrapped into those songs and poems even if they weren't much to listen to.

I've written funny poems and songs, like the one about an ex's jealous wife called, "She thinks I'm sleeping with her husband," or the one about my dear friends that I traveled Europe with called, "Bug farts and Cellophane."  I've written romantic poems, like "City Boy/Country Girl" about meeting my husband from New York City, when I was raised around farmlands.  I've written about abuse, pain, fear, agony, depression, and even topics that I had no direct experience with like drug abuse.  Most of my poems and songs, however, were about faith.  My hopes and prayers for my life, for my future.  

Today, I'm going to share one poem with you, called "In Time."  I wrote this at a time when my heart was very confused and torn.  I was recently divorced and had met someone new who desperately wanted to get married.  I wasn't ready to just jump into a second marriage that quickly.  I had been hurt and bruised and I needed to heal before I moved on to marriage again.  I hope you like it. 

In Time

I'm eager to run to you and hold you in my arms
I'm eager to follow you away from any harm
I'm eager to abandon all the painful loves from the past
I'm eager to move on and start again

But I'm scared that you could be the one
And I'm scared of losing the freedom I won
And I'm scared that if I choose, I lose
And wind up falling, failing again

Don't rush me
Don't push me
I will be ready when I'm ready
Don't rush me
Don't push me
I will be ready...

In Time.

I want to be with you but I can't tell you now
I want to learn how to show you love anyhow
I want to open my heart and give you all of me
I want to move on and start again

But I'm scared that if you are the one
And I give to you all the freedom I won
If I give in and choose, I lose
And wind up falling broken again

Don't rush me
Don't push me
I will be ready when I'm ready
Don't rush me
Don't push me
I will be ready...

In Time.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Fantasy vs. Reality

Welcome to the real world.

As a writer, I find that I spend a lot of my real world time lost in a land of fantasy.  I create new characters, stories, situations, heroes, legends, myths, and folklore.  I have a thousand new creations swirling around the fantasy in my brain.

Here, on this blog, I concentrate on the TRUTHS in my life.  The reality that I live in, the memories of my past, the honesty of my emotions, and how those realities shape me and my life today and how it will be tomorrow.

Oh, but the fantasies are so real, too.  They come to my mind and are often so vivid that it is as if they are real, too.  The characters in my mind are dashing and passionate.  They stand for something and LOVE ALWAYS WINS!  There always seems to be a dreadful obstacle that keeps our hero from our heroine, and somehow, through pure love and valor, that hero finds a way to defeat the obstacle and rescue the heroine, giving her the deepest purest love.  Ahhh..... that's some gooooood stuff...  Blame it on my romantic heart.

I'm currently binge watching Outlander, an original series on Stars.  First, if you haven't seen it, please do.  It's amazing.  I read the first few books in the series many years ago and I am not disappointed with this at all.  :)

Very minor spoiler here:  In the story, a woman falls through time and ends up in the past.  She has fallen away from her husband and the life they were building into another era where things are vastly different.  In order to save her life, she must marry, and finds herself in love with a new man, a new husband in a new era.  She is so conflicted.  She loves them both.  What can she do?  In the past, her husband hasn't be born yet.  Is it cheating?  In the present, her husband thinks she has disappeared, but she holds on to hope that she will return to him again.... somehow.

Both men are dashing and valiant.  Both men are fighting to protect her.  How on earth is she to fix this in her heart?  A fortune teller reads her palm and says that she has the most confusing love line... for it is forked.  It shows two marriages, but does not show that either one ends.  How could she be married to two people at one time?  Easy... two different eras.  HOW WILL IT ALL END?

Oh, how I love fantasy!  I love that when I watch these shows I throw myself into the characters and become them for a while.  As I watched tonight, I texted my husband and said, "This show is going to give me a heart attack!" because the pure emotional connection I made to it was intense.

That being said, there is something about returning to reality that is a comfort.  I can throw myself into a fantasy for an hour or two yet rest comfortably knowing that I will return to reality soon enough.  My reality, my life with my wonderful husband and children, is an AMAZING reality.  I am so very happy.  My husband never fought off a Red-Coat or defended my honor with a sword or a pistol, but he does look out for me and my best interests.  He does a lot of things to show me that he cares and is on my side.  For that I appreciate him even more, and I love him dearly and will for all my life.

And when the darkness falls, and I read a book, or watch another movie or show, the fantasy all begins again and takes my breath away.

The trick is drawing a line between fantasy and reality and being able to keep each one within their proper realm.  I know too many who have created a world of fantasy and fail to come back to reality.  They risk losing their reality to the fantasy and then find that the fantasy simply cannot exist.  Then, they have NOTHING.

Let's create an example with fictional characters:  Mary, the bored housewife, married for a dozen or more years to a hard working man, creates a fantasy involving the mailman.  He is handsome.  Dashing.  She imagines him to be the type to wine and dine and romance the pants right off of her.  In her fantasy, he's an amazing kisser who smells amazing and buys her flowers once a week.  He does everything he can to win her heart.   She slips into this fantasy daily, then decides that she wants it to be her reality.  She tries to seduce him, slowly.  Little flirts at the door each day lead way to casual touches on the arm.  The next thing you know, she invites him in.  Her time has come.  He leans in to kiss her and smells like salami and drools like a dog when he kisses her.  She's disgusted!  The fantasy was so much better!  She wishes she had stayed with the fantasy, but alas, she ruined it all forever when fantasy and reality collided.

Sometimes it is best to keep your fantasies in a fantasy world and remember how great your reality is.  Further, if your reality isn't great, perhaps it is time to find a way to make it great without resorting to the fantasy.

There's an amazing world out there.  An amazing reality to discover and explore.  Fantasy is amazing, too.  Just don't allow yourself to be sucked into the fantasy when reality is waiting with open arms.

Now, I should tell you that it is 1:30 AM.  I have the flu.  I'm heavily medicated.  To me, this post sounds brilliant, but in REALITY, it might suck eggs.   I suppose I'll know in a few days when this all passes.   Until then, feel free to leave me a comment and tell me what you think on the subject!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Les Miserables

You never forget your first.....

In 1993, I had the joy of seeing my very first Broadway musical, Les Miserables.  They say you never forget your first!  I've read the book... all 8 billion pages.  I've seen the musical on Broadway, performed by a local high school, and two variations of the story in film.  I've seen the concert variation on PBS and even made a donation so I could own a copy of the concert.  I have several variations of the soundtrack.  I've heard ONE DAY MORE sung by Jean Valjeans from around the globe and it ALWAYS gives me goosebumps.  I've sung the songs in choirs and "On my own."  When my daughters were babies, I sang them to sleep with Castle on a Cloud.

Needless to say, this is by far my favorite musical of all time.  I love Les Mis.

Don't get me wrong, I hold fond emotions for Rent, Phantom of the Opera, and Cats.  An old friend from my high school drama club played Elphie in Wicked on Broadway and in Chicago.  Another friend's husband was Frankie in the US Tour of Jersey Boys.  Funny Girl starred my musical hero, Barbra Streisand, and is a story about a woman who was strong beyond her era.  I performed in Fiddler on the Roof and Little Shop of Horrors -- small parts, but it was still a joy to do.

I love musicals and I have a fond affection for them in all their varieties, but there is just something about Les Mis that touches my heart.  Perhaps it is because it was my first Broadway show. Perhaps because it was part of the best summer of my life.  Perhaps it was because of the friends who shared the experience with me.  Perhaps it was the powerful voices of the actors and actresses.  Perhaps it was the music itself.  Perhaps it was all of these things combined.  Whatever it was, it was magical.

Today, for you, I share 2 of my favorite songs from Les Mis.  As an added treat (or curse) I decided to record myself singing them!  It's taken a lot of bravery for me to post this on youtube and subsequently, here.  I hope you enjoy.  Please be kind.

On My Own;

This song speaks to me because of the powerful sentiment of someone who has a deep love for another that she cannot act upon.  You can feel the combination of love and pain in the voice of character as she sings about how amazing life is with her love in her life, but the sorrow and despair of knowing that he does not or cannot return her love... that it's all just in her mind.  She can dream and fantasize about life with him loving her but that is all because it just wasn't meant to be for them. Both tragic and romantic, On My Own has been a favorite since the first time I heard it when I was 12 years old and facing the angst of crushing on a boy who didn't know I existed!  Ah, the memories of childhood and the dream of loves yet to come.    On My Own.  Please enjoy.

I Dreamed a Dream:

If you regularly follow my blog, you already know about my early education in love, when I was a young teen in the 80's.  I was a dreamer.  I spent countless hours lying outside staring at the stars dreaming of the day when I would fall in love and be loved more than any other in the world.  I would dream of who I was going to be and how I was going to make a difference in the world.  I so wanted those dreams to all come true.  We are so hopeful and fearless when we are young, before the world has had a chance to dash our dreams against the rocks of the real world.  This song is about the dreams of an innocent who, swept up in the whimsy and passions of young love instead learned of the cruelty that the real world can dish out.  Fantine's song was her final cry into a world that stole away her innocence and threw her into the cruelty of poverty and despair all for the love of her precious daughter, the result of her whirlwind romance.  I'm not exactly like Fantine because I still have the hope she had early in life and I hold on to the dreams that drove me when I was young.  I dreamed a dream... did you?