Monday, December 4, 2017

Ready

A few weeks ago, I was on the phone with our friend Kelly, talking about our plans to move to Colorado.  As we spoke, we both realized how much there is to do to make it happen as soon.  And by soon, I mean lickity split.  January.

Fermin and I have lived in our house for the past 17 years, and although I've been Konmarie-ing my ass off the last couple of years, there's still a lot to do as far as packing up.  Let alone, to get it ready to sell.  I admitted to her I was a little overwhelmed and didn't even quite know my next step, but knew that I wanted to get as much done in advance of our trip to Colorado in early December as possible.

She said, "Hey! I could fly into Dallas and help you.  We could organize and pack up so that when you come back, you can be ready to list your house and then move soon after."  Of course, I said that sounded like a great offer.  I mean really, who even gets that kind of offer?  For a friend to give their time like that to help you clean and pack up your house?!

The next thing I knew, even before I mentioned the idea to Fermin, Kelly texted me with her travel internary. As a bonus, her daughter Abby was also going to fly in for the last two days of Kelly's time here.

I got the feeling, when I told Fermin the plan Kelly and I came up with, he thought we were getting a little ahead of ourselves.  He always has the attitude of just going with the flow- a little too loosely sometimes, in my opinion.  At some point a few months ago, he said something like "Once it's time to move, we can pack this house up in just a couple of days- tops!" (Um.  No.)  So to do something a whole month in advance seemed unneccesary to him.

I think he thought we'd mainly just be laughing and having fun, but not necessarily getting any "work" done. And I figured letting him think that initially was fine. He had no idea of the the transformation that was about to happen to our house.

Kelly got in on Friday so that she could go to my gig at Four Bullets Brewery.  It was to be my last gig of the year possibly, and probably my last gig while living in Dallas.  Having Kelly there made it extra special. I was so happy some of our favorite friends here in Dallas got to meet her, and vice versa.
the Four Bullets Brewery after party.  i LOVE everyone in this picture. ❤️
So Fermin was right- we had loads of fun while Kelly was here.
one night, out at dinner 
another night out, another great meal and fun
BUT, we also got tons done.  In fact, Kelly and I made a list of things we hoped to accomplish, and we not only did all of that, but we did a few extra things too!

We boxed up stuff we won't need until after we move (and labeled them well!), we dropped off lots of things to Goodwill, I sold a few things, and I trashed a lot of things.
sorting my office "before" it's transformation


sorting through things to throw out on the blow up mattress Kelly slept on

Abby cleaned our shutters and blinds
We moved every single thing out of each room, cleaned it thoroughly and then moved (some) things back in.  Kelly had great vision of moving some of our things around that made our rooms look bigger.  We pulled up all the area rugs to expose our beautiful hardwood floors.  I feel mad at myself that we ever covered them up in the first place.  They're just beautiful!!! I love the sound of the rooms now that there are no carpets.  It sounds like an "older" house, which it is, and I LOVE that.

We worked hard each day, and even though Ricky and Lucy weren't actually given any jobs to do, they were just exhausted watching all we did, evidently.
watching our hard work was exhausting
On our last night to have Kelly and Abby here, we decided to go to a nearby Foot Spa for some well deserved R&R.  I was told I snored.  But I don't even care.  It was so awesome.

everything's zen
The sprucing up of the house was happening up until final minutes of Kelly's visit.  I'm not kidding- 20 minutes before she left for the airport, she made this gorgeous arrangement for my living room.  My favorite thing about it is that she used pecan shells from our yard in the vase.  I will take this to Colorado with us after we sell our house.  It will be a great memory of this fun and productive weekend we had together.
this arrangement alone will probably sell our house!
I'll post some before and after photos eventually, although we often forgot to do the before pictures~ we were just so busy!  But it's impressive, all that we accomplished.  Fermin and I (and Lucy and Ricky) are so thankful to Kelly, and Abby- I don't think we could have pulled this off without them, and I am SURE it wouldn't have been nearly as fun.

17 years of living in one house- I realize it's the longest I've ever lived in one house.  And although I loved this house and this neighborhood, I have no reservations that we are ready for the change of scene.  And now, our house looks ready too!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Intro to the Adventure

As this year is winding down, we are getting ready for an exciting 2018.  Our family of 4 is just about to head to Denver for a couple of weeks to get started on a new chapter of our lives.
It's a bit of a complicated adventure because at this point, there are a lot of unknowns- But wow! What an exiting time full of so many possibilities. 

We don't know any specifics, but we know we will be moving to Colorado soon.  It's one of those situations where you look at your life and ask, "If not now, when?"  And right now seems like the perfect time for us to do this.  Our first move out of the state of Texas.  Yee-haw.  (Spoken like a true Texan.)

This first trip is just mainly to locate where we want to rent for a while while we look for something more long term.  Then we'll really get the (snow)ball rolling!

I thought documenting it here on my blog, as it all unfolds, would be fun for me and something that would be so fun to look back on a little later down the road.  And so... it begins.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Right People Always Show Up


My friend Ro is having his annual art show tonight.  And I will show up for him.  Tomorrow, another friend, Kathy, is having her annual "holiday pottery show" at her home where she sells her handmade ceramics.  I will also show up for her.  I will choose to be there for my friends over staying in my comfortable warm home (or whatever else might be an option) because I know how meaningful it is when people actually show up.


Over the past few months, as I’ve been gigging out again, I’ve been experiencing both the stress (and excitement) of wondering if anyone will show up to hear me.  As a musician, I need people to show up, or I probably won’t get that gig offered to me again.  When a place hires “music”, it’s not just to make for a nice experience for existing customers, but it’s to bring in new customers as well.  And that responsibility feels stressful to me.  Because although I can promote a show,I never really know if people will show up.  And when they don’t, it’s hard not to take it personally.

I have such social anxiety over this sometimes.  Honestly, I think it’s the main reason I had lost interest in performance for the past several years.  I hate the feeling of twisting someone’s arm into coming out to hear me sing.  It’s just so uncomfortable and it takes me right back to a lot of feelings I had in junior high. I’m not cool enough.

The other night, I was lamenting to a friend about this very thing.  I was nervous about who was going to show up for what I knew would be my last public gig of the year.  She said this simple but wise thing to me: The right people will show up.

And ultimately, she was right.  

So, if you decide to have a holiday party during the season or an art show, or a holiday bazaar, or whatever, please remember what my friend told me. The right people will show up.  And to me, that’s a lot more important than the total headcount.
Here I am with some of the people who not only showed up for me, but stuck around until the bitter end. 💙

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Read LOVE, Not Hate

Months and months ago, I decided to make a conscious effort to read more uplifting books, and stop reading so much from the "disturbing" genre.  But it's easy to fall back into and forget my intentions, because there are just so many sick little books out there.

I saw a print ad when I was at the movies a few weeks ago- it just said "coming soon",  but it caught my eye.  The Snowman.  I saw that it was based on a book.
Why was I interested?  Honestly, I'm not really sure.  The title?  The fact that it had to do with snow, and I'm was so sick of  the Texas heat?  Whatever my poor excuse was, I found the book at the library, thinking it would be fun to read the book and then see the movie.  The book got decent reviews on Amazon, so I went ahead and began reading it.

But NO!  It finally dawned on me that I wanted to read less of this kind of crap.  Because I want to fill my head with much less of these kinds of images.  Less hate.  And instead, more love.

So I came to my senses and  abandoned that book after about 50 pages, and instead picked up something else.

The act of reading a book is something that should be carefully considered. I spend hours reading a book.  Even if it's a relatively short one.  So I want the words and the sentiment to WARM my heart, not sicken it.

As soon as I ditched The Snowman, I started on something beautiful instead.
Holding Up the Universe.  Sweet enough for Lucy, so sweet enough for me.
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven was such a sweet book.  One I was happy to spend several hours of several days reading.  It made me cry a little, and I could imagine the story being turned into a great movie.  There were a few scenes that actually gave me chill bumps, and not because it was scary or disturbing- but because it struck a deep chord.  It's a little bit about being bullied, a little about rising above it, a little about falling in love for the first time, and the awkward parts of life that no matter how much we grow up and mature, we can still remember.  I wasn't "America's Fattest Teen" like the girl in the story, and I didn't suffer from "facial blindness" like the the boy in the story- but I could identify with those feelings we've all had at one time or another about feeling like an outcast, and just wanting to fit in.  I LOVED this story, and I loved the characters in it.

Then, I read another great book.  Like, The Snowman, it's also being made into a movie.  But that's all the two books have in common.  The next book I read actually had a lot in common with Holding Up the Universe instead. 

Wonder is actually another book in the Young Adult fiction genre, that I think may actually be my favorite genre to read currently.  It's also about about bullying, but also about the kindness of others.  And the sweetness that far outweighs the meanness of bullies.  The central character in this story is Auggie, who I think is in about 5th grade.  He has some pretty major facial deformities, and has been home schooled while he went through lots of surgeries.  He's now at a point that his Mom and Dad think public school could benefit him.  It's about his first year in public school- about how kids at first bully him, but then mostly come to love him once they get to know him.  I know who plays all the key characters in the book because I've now seen the movie trailer a few times since the movie comes out next week.

I loved this book too, and I am so looking forward to seeing the movie.  It's got a great message about kindness that we all need right about now.

We all need to read books like these two.  Whether we're Young Adults, or Older Adults.  We all need to read about LOVE, not HATE. I'm so glad I abandoned The Snowman and chose these two books instead.  More love, less hate.  Ricky and Lucy get it.  They're all about LOVE.  They know nothing about hate. 
These two books are about love and compassion.  And that's what Lucy and Ricky are all about too!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Music Monday is Back!: "What About Us?" P!nk

P!nk came on to the music scene a while ago.  In fact, she was voted "Best New Artist of the Year" by Billboard back in 2000.
And while I've always thought she has a great voice, I never bought any of her music and didn't listen to anything beyond what was played on the radio. I've seen some of her cool acrobatic performances on award shows, and although I was aware she was a good performer too, for some reason, she just wasn't on my radar of someone I needed to listen to.

Until I saw her on SNL this weekend promoting her latest CD "Beautiful Trauma". She sang two songs from it, "What About Us" and the title track, "Beautiful Trauma". She sang both with vocal perfection and I loved both songs. The first one called "What About Us", was definitely familiar, since it's already getting tons of radio play.  But seeing her sing it live and hearing that kind of vocal perfection made me decide I need to pay more attention to her.

I ended up downloading her CD, "Beautiful Trauma" and I like or love all of the songs, with the one exception being the obnoxious one she does with Eminem called "Revenge".  (I usually like him, now I love her, but that song is just very grating to me and I actually had delete it!)  I also went down the rabbit whole of YouTube videos watching and listening to P!nk.  I was pretty amazed. Especially with the acoustic performances.  Holy smokes, that girl has some pipes!!!  I love that her voice is beautifully strong and sounds both elegant and aggressive within one song, which I don't think many singers can pull off.

She appeared on Good Morning America this morning singing the same two songs she sang on SNL- which proved that whether it's early morning or late night- the girl has chops like nobody's business.
She's worth bringing back Music Monday for!

Here's her SNL performance of "What About Us".  Mind (and ear) blowing...
Happy Music Monday.