Wednesday, September 20, 2017

New Gig This Week!

It's been a long time since I've scheduled a new gig... a long time.  It has been so long that I didn't even know how to go about it.  So I asked around, got some suggestions of places to approach from a few friends, and just bit the bullet, so to speak.  I'm still biting it, and so far, I've gotten a few bites back.  Good bites!

My first new gig is tomorrow night at Urban Vines.

I'm super excited.  I've dug out some old songs of mine- and actually had to figure out what tuning they were in and how to play them as if someone else had written them!  I've also brought back some cover songs I hadn't played in a long time- Plus some new ones that I just learned. AND, I've polished up a few newer songs so they just might be ready for their first public appearance. It's been such a fun process getting myself ready and brushing up on things. 

Please pop over tomorrow night. The menu there looks great, and Thursday nights are half off on glasses of wine. And music, provided by me, is from 7-9pm!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Morrison Guitar Shop

For well over a year, I've intended to visit my friend's family owned guitar shop.  I can't believe it's taken me so long to go- but it has.  So this past weekend, I was determined to get over there and check it out.  As an added incentive, I wanted to see if they could sell one of my guitars for me.  I have 5, and although that certainly isn't a huge number, it's too many for me.  The one I decided to sell is a beautiful Alhambra classical guitar that stays in it's case, in my closet.  It's too nice of a guitar to just sit around, not getting any attention.

Friday night, I asked Fermin if he wanted to go with me the next day, and fortunately for me, he said yes.

When Saturday rolled around, I wasn't feeling great.  I had a headache (maybe due to the 2 glasses of wine I had the night before, because I so rarely drink and when I do, there is usually hell to pay even from the slightest amount!), my blood sugars kept falling, and I was just feeling meh.

Had I been going on my own, I probably would have put it off for another day.  But as soon as Fermin got home from the gym he said, "Let's go!"And so, we did.

We stopped and had nachos at a nearby restaurant and I pretty quickly started to feel a little better- because that's what nachos are for!

We went to the guitar shop- Morrison's Guitar Shop, and OH. MY. QUESO.
It was so beyond my expectations- and honestly, I had pretty high expectations!  The shop was beautiful, and it had a huge and impressive collection of acoustic guitars.  (They also had a lot of electric guitars, but that's not my thing, so I really can't speak to that.  But you can go check it out for yourself!) They have a stage and a nice sound system you can plug into. And so, when I was asked if I wanted to, OF COURSE I said yes!

I think we ended up staying there for about 2 hours.  And I think we could've stayed even longer if we didn't need to get home to feed Lucy and Ricky.  In this short little span of time, I fell in love!  With THIS:
Collings Acoustic Guitar- my new crush
That sweet little guitar has a small little body, and the volume and sound of a much larger guitar!  I think it was made for me.

But wait! I went there to SELL a guitar, not to buy one!

I did start thinking though, "Hey, if I sell my Alhambra, plus two of my Taylors (eventually!)- I could actually do this..."

Who knows. It's always good to have goals, right?  Maybe someday.  But for now, I know where this guitar lives.  And I might have to go visit her on a weekly basis just to say hi.

If you live anywhere near Rockwall, Texas- you really should check this place out!  Locally owned by the nicest people, WELL stocked with gorgeous guitars, and as a bonus- it cured my headache and stabilized my blood sugars for the rest of the day. I left there feeling a million times better than how I felt when I walked in.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Word MOM

Yesterday, I opened a drawer as I was putting away clothes.  In the bottom of that particular drawer, my fingers touched a small box that a few of my mom's jewelry is held in.  It had been years since I took that box out and looked through those things.  But for some reason, yesterday I decided to.

I have very few possessions that I still have that were once my mom's.  So when I took these things out and held them, I was very in touch with the knowing that her hands had held these same things that my hand were currently holding.  And in that moment, I missed her so much.  I realized how long it's been since I've seen her.  Or talked with her.  The words, "Oh...  mom" escaped my mouth.  And then I started fixating on that word, because I realized I hadn't said it in a long time.

That word, Mom.  It was likely the first word I spoke.  And one I used so often, for so many years of life.  Mom!  When I was scared.  Mom! When I needed help.  And in that moment, yesterday, I found myself saying it over and over and over, "Mom.. Mom.. Mom..Mom..."

And then all of the sudden I was thinking, "What a strange word.  It's a word that's just a calming sound.  Sort of like Ommmm.  Oh!  It sounds like a prayer or mediation!" 

So after I finished my little breakdown, I put the jewelry back in the box and shut that drawer.  But I kept thinking about Mom.  And that word, mom.

I bet that word came to be because it's just a natural, human sound that we make, almost automatically.  Hmmmm.  Ommmm.  Mmmmmm.  MOM! 

It's probably the first word I said.  It's certainly the word I miss saying.  And she's most definitely the person I most wish I could see again.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Meditation Practice

The idea of meditation certainly isn't new to me.  I've tried it before.  I took an 8 week course on different types of meditation years ago.  I read the book, Wherever You Go, There You Are- and yes, it sat unread on my bookshelf for years before I finally read it.  But I did get around to reading it eventually and it really spoke to me. I've read all sorts of articles and heard many mentions on all the benefits of meditation. 

But yet...

It's not anything I've ever been able to stick with for a long and consistent period of time.  I'm still very interested in it though, and I refuse to give up on it.

So, I decided to revisit the idea of making meditation a daily practice.  I mean, seriously, even 5 minutes a day can supposedly benefit our minds, and who doesn't have 5 minutes.  I DO! 

Since I last attempted to work meditation into my life, so many meditation apps for smart phones have become available.  There are many free, sort of introductory guided meditations available.  Once you're ready to commit to one specific app, you can pay a monthly fee that opens up all sorts of mediation archives to you.  I LOVE that.  For me, at least at this point, guided meditation is very helpful. 

I've practicing- nearly every day now- for the last several weeks.  I've used lots of those meditation apps, like Headspace, 10% Happier, Heart of the Matter, and Simple Habit- just to name a few.  I've also downloaded plenty of podcasts that focus on daily meditations like "Meditation Minis".  I find that I like those meditations to be pretty short- 15 minutes or less is about all I can currently handle currently.  Also, the guide's voice is important to me.  I tend to like a subtle Australian accent best, although that's certainly not mandatory.  I almost always sit in this one chair, in our formal dining room- which we otherwise use for nothing except the occasional piano playing- And I always, ALWAYS, hold this pillow in my lap.
My Meditation Pillow
I'm trying not to focus on any expectation with this go around of mediation practice. And I'm bothered if some days, I'm super fidgety and the 10-15 minutes feels more like an hour.  Some days it's really hard, and sometimes it's a bit easier.  But ultimately, I'm just sitting there.  Maybe there's magic going on inside my head, maybe not.  But as the pillow tells me, Yay! for me.  Yay! for doing it.  Yay! for showing up.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Asheville Finale

Fermin, Ricky and Lucy and I were in Asheville the whole month of June.
The Great Craggy Mountains in North Carolina
It was dreamy.  We thought we would soon be moving there.  I've been too sad and disappointed to finish up my series of blog posts about it lately because, well... Fermin got laid off from his job. So we're starting over at square one as far as moving there.  It can still happen, but as of now, we have no idea what's next.

And that sucks.

But I wanted to wrap this up and document these fond memories.  So here goes.

During two of the weekends we were there we had friends come to visit us.  Pretty amazing, really.  Our friends Kelly and Craig, and their daughter Abby came to visit one weekend, in the middle of the month.  They had airline issues and got in about a day late, and without luggage, but nothing could stop us from having a great time together!
Surrounded by our favorite people ❤️

In that short time together, we still had enough to eat some great meals, visit the Biltmore, dance and sing, laugh a ton, and even cry a little.
The majestic Biltmore Estate in Ashevile, NC
Kelly is one of my favorite people of all time, and she's always enthusiastically cheering us on about anything and everything.  She knew how exciting this possibility of moving to Asheville was, and she (along with Abby and Craig) came into town so we could all enjoy a great beginning together.
I LOVE this picture.  It captures the mood of the weekend perfectly.
Craig and I discovered our mutual love for Belinda Carlisle and did some impromptu karaoke in her honor.

Peace, Love, and Happiness
What a birthday!
Towards the very end of our time in Asheville, my friend Valerie drove down from the DC area with her sister, Debbie.  Valerie is another one of my all time favorite people.  Although we live far apart, I'm in better touch with her than most people in my life.  We text most days.  So we know the daily goings-on in each other's lives.  I was so excited when we started talking about me and Fermin going to Asheville.  Valerie said she and her sister had been wanting to make a road trip down to Asheville.  We decided this was the perfect time!  And it just worked out that they were coming right around my birthday.  The best gift I could have imagined!!

except THIS hat! THIS is the best bday gift I could imagine. and valerie MADE IT!!!

Valerie has a friend who lives in Asheville and we had already connected through her.  By the time Valerie came to town, Rebecca and I had already become fast friends.  So we all went out to dinner the night Valerie and Debbie got into town.  Valerie had made the reservations and told them we were celebrating a birthday.  It was so awesome to be surrounded by friends on my birthday.  I'll never forget that they were there for me, and that Valerie introduced me to all of them.  What a fun night! 
my happy birthday menu- from Posana in Asheville

Valerie, Me, Debbie, Rebecca, Bruce...and the squatter, Fermin

Valerie and Me ❤️
The next day Valerie, Debbie, Fermin and I went on a funny bus tour of the city.  We learned a little (like James Taylor was in a mental hospital there for a period, Zelda Fitzgerald died in a mental hospital there, and F. Scott lived there for a while... among  other interesting facts), and laughed a little. 
La Zoom bus tours are a great way to see the city of Asheville

We met up for drinks at the beautiful Grove Park Inn later that night with Bruce and Rebecca. What a beautiful spot- Maybe the most beautiful view of Asheville!
Debbie, Valerie, Me and Rebecca

We had it all in Asheville during our month there- daily hikes with our dogs, cool temperatures, beauty all around us, family and friends- old and new!  We've now hit a little bump in the road to getting there permanently, but although it may have slowed us down just a little, we'll get there eventually.  Seeing these pictures and remembering all that fun is great motivation to make it happen.

Thanks, Friends.  You certainly made it special for us. ❤️