Monday, December 29, 2014

Music Monday- Ed Sheeran "Thinking Out Loud"

Oh- this song!  It's Ed Sheeran's best one by far in my opinion.  "Thinking Out Loud".  So sweet, and soulful.

I listened to this song on a loop over and over and over again in my car the other night.   I love the sentiment of a love that grows old.  At first, when I heard him sing that line, "And darling I will be loving you 'til we're 70"- I thought, "Hey, 70 isn't so very old!  How 'bout 90, Ed?", but of course, that number doesn't sing as pretty.  And then it dawned on me that although my parents had a life lasting love, Dad didn't get to love Mom 'til she was 70...altho he certainly would have had we not lost her at her when she was only 69.  But when Mom died, she wasn't even close to being old.  So really, although I love this song, I hope I'm lucky enough to be loved long past 70...  Just sayin'.

The "official video" was having some problems so I'm posting this acoustic version instead.  Hopefully you've heard the studio version before, but if not, keep your ear out for it.  It's better than this version... 

When your legs don't work like they used to before
And I can't sweep you off of your feet
Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love
Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks
And darling I will be loving you 'til we're 70
And baby my heart could still fall as hard at 23
And I'm thinking 'bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe just the touch of a hand
Oh me I fall in love with you every single day
And I just wanna tell you I am
So honey now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I'm thinking out loud
Maybe we found love right where we are
When my hair's all but gone and my memory fades
And the crowds don't remember my name
When my hands don't play the strings the same way, mm
I know you will still love me the same
'Cause honey your soul can never grow old, it's evergreen
Baby your smile's forever in my mind and memory
I'm thinking 'bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe it's all part of a plan
I'll just keep on making the same mistakes
Hoping that you'll understand
But baby now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I'm thinking out loud
That maybe we found love right where we are, oh
So baby now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Oh darling, place your head on my beating heart
I'm thinking out loud
That maybe we found love right where we are
Oh maybe we found love right where we are
And we found love right where we are

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Vintage Bling Merry Christmas

May your days be Merry and Bright...
Vintage Brooches of Red and Green, Silver and Gold- Making the Season Merry and Bright!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Make Someone Happy

Today while at the movies they showed this Coca-Cola ad during the "pre-show entertainment. It made me weepy in it's sweetness.  Coca-Cola, you got it right!

Friday, December 19, 2014

1960s Coro Flower Rhinestone Earrings- Before & After Repurposing

Aren't these earrings cute?  They're vintage Coro screw back earrings, circa 1960s.
Vintage Coro floral gold and rhinestone screw back earrings
But to me, screw backs are very uncomfortable.  Every now and then I can tolerate the pain of a clip, but there's something about a screw back that just never feels right to me. Or probably anyone.

So of course, I decided to do a little repurposing.  I wanted to keep them simple, so I just added a clear crystal bead and pierced ear wires.
"during" my repurposing- cleaning, clipping, filing, wiring
Now they're still just as beautiful, and I think even a little more so, but they can be worn very comfortably.
Repurposed Coro Earrings- from screw packs, to pierced ear wires
 I haven't yet gotten around to listing them in the Resparkable Etsy Shop, but if you'd like them by Christmas, email me and I can ship them out immediately.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

How to Wear a Vintage Brooch or Pin

I collect lots of vintage brooches and pins, from the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s.  Don't think that brooches are just something your granny puts on her coat, sweater or scarf when she's feeling fancy!  Although, those are all very stylish ways to add a little vintage charm to your day very simply.

But here are a few other ways you can wear a vintage brooch that perhaps you haven't thought of yet...

* on a hat
* on a purse
* on the cuff of your jeans
*on the collar of...anything!
*paired with other brooches, on any piece of clothing- the more the merrier!
*on a pillow
*on a headband
*on a belt
*on a dog collar

The possibilities are endless, really!

I have vintage pins available in the Resparkable Vintage Etsy shop... most of these (and a few others!) are listed, or will be soon.  If you see something you like, but don't see it in the shop, just let me know! All of them are for sale, whether they are listed here or there.
Vintage Coro large gold leaf with rhinestone brooch

Vintage Crystal Hearts and Flowers Pin

1940s Small Gold Pin with Red

1960s Enamel Ribbon Flower of White and Red

1960s Enamel flower- Bright red with green

1960s/1970s Damascene Daisy Pin

1940s/50s Rhinestone bow pin

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

1950s Paisley Earrings- Before and After Repurposing

I found these 1950s screw back earrings and fell in love with them!
1950s Paisley Gold and Blue Screw Back Earrings
I love the paisley shape, the blue stone in the middle, and all the little sparkly rhinestones surrounding.  And although they showed a slight bit of wear, all the stones were in tact.  And for vintage earrings of this age (1950s era) they looked like they had been very well cared for.

The only problem was, they were screw backs that were just a little too painful to wear for very long.

Therefore, these earrings are exactly the type of vintage jewelry I get most excited about because they provide a great opportunity for repurposing!

I removed and filed down the screw backs, cleaned them up so they sparkled like new, and wire wrapped them with a rectangular blue mottled stone and attached them to pierced ear wires.

Still beautiful, still have the charm of vintage, but with a modern flair... and as a bonus, they're no longer painful to wear!
Repurposed 1950s Earrings
They will be listed in the Resparkable Vintage Etsy shop very soon!  But if you are interested, just shoot me an email and they can be yours.  :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

December Reads

The books I'm mentioning in this post just happen to be the books I'm reading this month (and maybe into the next month as well...), but they aren't necessarily books you'd associate with the month of December.  I don't mean to be misleading!

I just finished reading these two.
The Storied Life of A.J.Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin and Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan
I liked Glitter and Glue a lot.  It's the second memoir I've read by Kelly Corrigan.  Love her writing style, she's around my age, and I can relate to her books.  So her book was a sure bet for me. 

I loved The Storied Life of A.J.Fikry. I'd never read anything by Gabrielle Zevin, but now that I have, I'm going to have to check out some of her previous books.  This was a book lover's book for sure.  Read the summary here at Amazon and then buy the book.  It's magical!

These are next for me, and they were all ready for pick up from my library at the same time... I'm not sure I can read them all in the 3 weeks I have them for, but I will surely do my best!
YIPPEE!! A big batch of books! 
Is there another A.J. Fikry in this bunch?  I can only hope!  In case you can't see the titles/authors, here they are:
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris (I'm about 80 pages into this one.  So far I like it, but it's not my favorite.)
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey (Really interesting premise.  Sounds like it's a mystery and our narrator will be someone with dementia who thinks her friend is missing.)
Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (I somehow got this title while listening to something about the Serial podcast. So it could be amazing!)
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (I've previously read Eleanor and Park, also by this author.  I have reasonably high hopes for this one.)
Bark by Lorrie Moore  (A collection of short stories I read about recently in the NYT.  The title grabbed me, but I don't usually read short stories.  But I might be about to discover something great!)
Life in Motion by Misty Copeland (I love memoirs, and this one is a story of an "unlikely ballerina".)
The Body Book by Cameron Diaz (I'm not super excited about this one, but I'll thumb thru it for sure.)

I love sharing titles of good books...  And I love it when people pass along ones they think are worth checking into!  So if you have something you think others might like, please leave it in the comment section! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Saturday Ad Day

In these days of DVR, I don't see many commercials.  But occasionally, I do (mainly online!)- and sometimes they're really sweet. Like this one...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The National September 11 Memorial Museum

As I mentioned in my last post, Fermin and I were in NYC last week.  Today I want to write a little bit more about visiting the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

I wasn't even aware that there is a National September 11 Memorial Museum.  I remember visiting NY a year or two after 9/11.  I walked by the ground zero area, just to see what was going on.  So this time, many years later, I was interested to see what they ended up doing. I knew there was some sort of memorial structure being planned, but I was pretty unfamiliar and didn't know what to expect.

There are two huge "pools"- I don't know what else to call them.  They are massive, and sad, and beautiful.  And they are in the exact spots that World Trade Center Tower 1 and 2 were located before 9/11.  The names of all the people who were lost that day are etched in stone around the pool.
9/11 Memorial Site

Another shot, showing the names
But if you notice the crowd of people in the top photo~ well that's the line to get into the museum.  Loads of people.  But we were right there, so we figured we might as well buy our tickets and get in line.

The museum is sad, beautiful and tragic.  I can completely understand that many Americans will never want to see that site.  It is, however, a piece of history, and it honors all the people who lost their lives that day.  In a big way.

It took as a couple of hours to get through the museum, and by the end of it, we were exhausted.  It was sort of like seeing a movie like "Shindler's List"~  Very well done, meaningful, and important.  But so painful.

Two things really stood out for me, and I will probably never forget the images.  One, was a room of four walls completely covered with the pictures of the thousands of people who died that day.  Many of them so young, and in the prime of their lives.  To see those faces, all in one room, with nothing else--- Very heavy.

The other thing that I keep thinking about was the loop of images on a video screen showing people who witnessed the tragedies of that day.  In nearly every single image (and their were many- 3 screens of different loops of photographs), the people pictured had either their hand covering their wide open mouth, or had their hands up, covering their head.  Those two things (covering the mouth, covering the head) must be a human reflex.  Like I said, I saw images of so many different people reacting almost exactly the same, that I figure it's got to be something in our shared DNA.

I think it's beautiful, what they've done.  I love those pools.  And I love the way they honored those lost on that horrific day in America.  And I ♥ NY- Now, more than ever.
The beautiful One World Trade Center

Monday, December 8, 2014

"Welcome To New York" by Taylor Swift on Music Monday

Well, yes!  It's that time again.  Music Monday.
Since I just returned from the always vibrant city of New York, of course I had to chose the song from Taylor Swift's 1989 CD, "Welcome To New York".

I tagged along with my husband, who had some business there last week.  But together, we turned all that business into pleasure!

We stayed at a new little hotel called Hotel Hugo, in SOHO, right off the Hudson River... There's an awesome running/biking/walking trail that runs along side it that I walked several miles on each day. (Note to self, walking 5+ miles in old Uggs = bottom of foot blister.  Do not do that again, please.)
Along the Hudson River in SOHO

It's NYC and it's the holiday season, so there was lots of hustle and bustle... and I mean that in the best way. 

Besides the walking, we saw Cinderella,
Cinderella on Broadway, the aftermath...
 and a play of a book that I just loved called "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time". 
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time in NYC-- even better than the book!
Michael J. Fox and his wife, Tracy Pollan were also in attendance.  I saw him during the intermission, and it being NY, no one seemed floored to see a big star like that.  I was though.  But I didn't do anything weird, I just said hi and smiled, and he did the same back at me. 

We also ate a great meal at every restaurant we went to... a delicious brunch at The Cupping House, a couple of great Italian meals at Ciccio (gnocchi-- yum!) and Giorgione (the best risotto I've ever tasted!)...just to name a few.

On the only fully open day we had there, we went to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.  It was actually pretty amazing.  Eerie as well.  And so well done.  We had no idea how much there would be to look at, and so towards the end of our time there, we were losing steam.  And by the time we left, it was pouring down rain, which we hadn't expected or planned on.  But the dreary, rain drenched walk to dinner seemed appropriate and somehow perfect.  I will write another post this week more about the 9/11 Museum, but for now, I'll just tell you that we went and that, of course, it was overwhelming.
One World Trade Center NYC... reaching up into the heavens
I got to see my best friend in the world- my girl, Kelly, that I've known since the 4th grade.  We went to breakfast and then she took me to the office where she works, which happens to be TED.  It's always funny to see a friend in their professional life.  Especially, in my case, the one I've known since we were both ten years old!
We happened to be down in Times Square during the protests when the grand jury verdict came out about the choke hold death of Eric Garner.  It all seemed relatively controlled and peaceful.  But, a highly trafficked area became a big mess for several hours...

While there,we used Uber a lot. Not a single taxi or subway ride this time.

As always, our trip to New York went by in a New York Minute...  I'm not sure I could live there, but it's one of my absolute favorite places to visit.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Book Abandonment

I love to read. 

I'm one of the few people I know that still uses the public library.  I have a Kindle, and I have an Apple Mini, but I still prefer a good old fashioned printed book.  Unless it's a big thick one. 

I used to drudge through every single book I started.  Sometimes, a book I had to force myself to get through made me avoid reading, day after day- because I just didn't care about it.  Eventually, I'd finish it, and hopefully move on to the next and better book.

But these days, I realize, life is short.  And the list of books I want to read is long. And getting longer all the time.  So on the (rare) occasion I begin a book that I'm either bored by, annoyed by, or for whatever reason just am not enjoying, I move on.  Even if it's one that was recommended to me.  We are all moved by different things.  The book one person- or many people- loves, may just not be anything that interests me. 

today's pics from the public library
I abandoned a book earlier today.  And let me tell you, it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I went to the library to return it, and while I was there, I ran across a few books that I ended up bringing home.  The one I've just started seems right up my alley, and now I'm all excited about getting in the tub later tonight to read.  No more drudging around with the previous one.  Whew.

Book abandonment.  I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dallas Mediation Center Benefit Concert

I'm excited to say that I'll singing at an upcoming concert event to benefit and celebrate the upcoming relocation of The Dallas Meditation Center.  Lots of other performers will be a part of it too! It will be at The Center for Spiritual Living on this coming Saturday, November 15 at 7:30pm, and if you buy tickets early, you get a nice discount. 

HERE's more information about it, as well as a link to get your tickets.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Logic Software- Any 5 Year Old Can Learn It!

I've had a little trouble learning how to use the Logic recording software I bought a couple of years ago.  Partly because I'm terrible with follow thru.  And partly because learning new software is frustrating and doesn't feel fun or creative, or give me any kind of instant gratification. 

But, I decided that for realz, this time, I'm doing whatever I have to do to really learn how to use it, well enough to record some songs and add some midi instruments to my vocal and guitar recordings.  I asked my friend Steve, who is a whiz at using Logic (because, well, that's what he does for a living), to point me to a book or class or something, anything that could help.  He recommended a series of videos you can buy online.  He also cursed me saying,  "It's easy.  Any 5 year old could do it." (Or something to that effect.)  As soon as he said it I thought, "Oh no, this is like when people give me directions to some location and say, "You can't miss it.""  It's almost a guarantee that yes, I can and will miss it.  But I took his advice, and I bought the video bundle to learn Logic.

And it's making me act like a 5 year old, rather than learn like a 5 year old. 

I'm so frustrated I just want to rip my computer from it's plug and throw it against my wall.  The videos look great and make Logic sound so easy, but when I try to do exactly what the teacher is doing, my computer does something totally different, or I'm missing things that he says should be there...

Today I decided not to even look at it.  And I think I've done the world a favor for that.  I got so cranky over it yesterday I was driving everyone crazy. 

But I am not giving up.  I've already threatened to buy the newer version of the software. And maybe I will.  Or maybe that's just a new form of procrastination I've come up with. 

Logic.  Sounds so logical.  And any 5 year old can do it. 
Me,  Age 5

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pat Benatar, Neil Giraldo and John Waite in Dallas

Last night, Fermin and I went to see the Pat Benatar concert.  Although I liked Pat back in the day, and feel so lucky I got to see her, my main reason for going was to see John Waite, who was billed as her opener.

John Waite!  First, the singer of the Baby's, and then his solo career of the 80s.  His first solo album was "Ignition" and it's one of my all time favorites.  The song "Change" is on that one, and I hope you're familiar with it...But if not, let me introduce you.

So what I learned last night is that Neil Giraldo (Pat Benatar's husband, producter, co-writer, and guitarist) had a huge hand in that Ignition album.  He arranged a lot of those songs, and played guitar.  Neil also produced, arranged, and played guitar on the Rick Springfield song, "Jessie's Girl".  Oh yeah, and then all those songs he did with Pat Benatar.

Anyway, back to John Waite.  John Waite is 62, but looks- at least from an 11th row from stage distance, exactly the same as he did back in the 80s!  And he sounds at least as good.  He has, in my opinion anyway, one of the best male voices in Rock/Pop.  Unfortunately, he only had about a 40 minute long set, and there just wasn't enough time for him to sing enough to satisfy me.  He only did about 8 songs, and two of them were new-ish "country" songs he had written within the past 10 years when he was living in Nashville.  He sang "Change", and "Missing You" from his solo albums.  He did a few Baby's songs- "Head First" and a few others.  But,  NOT ENOUGH JOHN WAITE.

This Pat Benatar concert celebrates the 35th year of her and Neil's musical anniversary together.  And I think she said they've had 32 years of marriage.  Wow.  They had a 4 minutes video that told the story of how they grew up and met.  And then they played hit after hit for about 2 hours.

It was good, but it was LOUD.  So loud that I couldn't hear it very well, if that makes sense.  And Pat's voice had so much reverb, it took a while to get used to.

Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo are obviously great musicians and performers, and they came off as very nice and appreciative people. They let fans up by the stage the entire concert, shook hands with gobs of people as they came back out for an encore, got in close to fans for photos, tossed out lots of guitar pics, and were very gracious to everyone for coming out and supporting them for all these years.
Pat Benatar- cute as ever

Neil Giraldo-  actually looking better than ever

The videos took with my iPhone last night weren't very good, so I'm instead posting up the second song EVER played on MTV, "You Better Run."  Pat told us last night that Neil was officially the first guitarist to ever appear in an MTV video.  And she was the first female.  Many (many!) years later, they both look and sound great.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Music Monday "Unkiss Me" by Maroon 5

Maroon 5's current CD, "V", is just so good, IF you like a good pop hook, and I do. 

So for today's Music Monday, I've chosen the sure to be upcoming radio hit, "Unkiss Me".  There isn't for  an "official" video for this song yet, but someone made this lyric video, so feel free to sing along as you watch!  Happy Music Monday~

Friday, October 31, 2014

Good For the Soul

I feel so joyous in this moment.

I just walked Lucy and Ricky, on this beautiful, crisp Fall day, and listened to songs from my "50 Songs in 90 Days" endeavor. 
my constant walking companions, Ricky and Lucy

Earlier today, I loaded those songs on my iPod, so it's the very first time I've heard any of them since writing and recording them.

I've only made it through the first 14 songs, but it was so exciting finally listening to them.  I started that batch of songs back on July 4 and continued writing them daily until October 1.  So the first 14 were probably all written during July, which now seems like quite a while ago.  Some of the songs bring me right back to whatever I was thinking about on that particular day of songwriting.  Others, seem like they might have been written by someone I don't even know-- I don't remember what inspired them or much about them.  Which is all very interesting to me.

A few of the songs, I really really liked.  And none of them made me cringe~  Which feels like a great accomplishment.

I'm excited to keep listening- And to see what I can make of some of these songs.
I am bound and determine to play around with them in my Logic audio recording software,  which I still have yet to learn to use.  But I intend to keep it fun,  keep it light, and know that all of this is not only good for my brain, but good for my soul. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Music Monday: "Shake it Off", Taylor Swift!

There's still a couple hours left on this Monday, which means, whew, there's still time for a little Music Monday!

I pre-ordered my copy of Taylor Swift's 1989 CD and it arrived in the mail today!  I know I might still be the only person in the world buying CDs but it's so much more exciting than just a download.  Let me tell you!  The packaging is sometimes surprising, I love reading the lyrics, and I just love sticking a new CD into my car's player and listening to it over and over! I also load it to my computer for my Ipod.  I'm both old fashioned, but I mix it up with a little modern technology.  So there.

If you order this CD of Taylor's, you get faux poloroids with captions.  Also, a booklet of lyrics and cute graphics.

I'm so into the visual, that at this point, I haven't even listened to the CD!  But tomorrow, the CDs going in the car, and I'll get back to you on my overall opinion of it.  I tend to love all things Taylor tho, so be forewarned.  Altho there is a huge gap in our ages, she still writes songs that I can relate to.  Maybe that says something good about her, or possibly something bad about me.  Either way, I don't care.  I love her.  Haters gonna hate, but I'm just gonna Shake it Off!

Love this cute video- And altho I found the song annoying at first, I couldn't help but eventually latch onto it, I've heard it so many times on TV, commercials and radio.  It's unavoidable.  So I might as well like it... And so should you!  Happy Music Monday...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What Sustains Me

This past weekend I went on a fun trip with a girl friend.  Super fun.  And to my favorite place in the US- Asheville, N.C.  Yet, still, it was hard to leave home and here's why~
It's very hard to get out of this bed each day!
I get homesick for my family whenever I'm away.  It doesn't matter how much fun I'm having, at the end of the day, I would always choose to be home.

I've been this way ever since I was a kid.  I couldn't do over nights and slumber parties, because as night would fall, I'd get a feeling in the pit of my stomach missing home.  Back then, I mainly just missed Mom.  But now, Fermin, Lucy and Ricky have taken that place.  Wherever it is they are, that's where I want to be.  Home.

Whenever Fermin and I go out of town, I miss Lucy and Ricky.  I've got the best friends that are also the best neighbors.  They take great care of our dogs when we are away, and they understand my longings. They send me photos and videos each day so I can see Lucy and Ricky are doing just fine without me.  It's really not about worrying about them, it's about me missing them.

And that feeling is only doubled when I'm also away from Fermin.

For this trip, Fermin sent me pictures of the pooches each day---

I didn't want Fermin to feel left out, so I asked him to send me a picture of his handsome face too- and this is what I got:
Antonio Banderas, circa 1980s
Well, close enough...

It's true what's been said. There's no place like home.

Monday, October 20, 2014

...Fake Happy Birthday To Me!

A few weeks ago, Fermin and I were eating at our local Mexican food restaurant, Mariano's.  It was another customer's birthday, so a big group of servers came out and sang the happy birthday song.  At the end of the song, a very rotund Mexican waiter held out a note for a very, v-e-r-y long time.  It was off key, but yet, still impressive and exciting based on it's loudness and longevity.  It was exciting and funny.

So the other night, Fermin met me and my friend, Kerri (that's right, I've got a friend, Kerri, who spells her name just like I do!) up at the same place.  Fermin sat down at the table a little after we had arrived, and when the strong-lunged, rotund Mexican waiter came to take his order, Fermin said, "I would like a Dos Equis, and I really want you to sing to me because, dammit, it's my birthday."  Of course, it wasn't Fermin's birthday, and we all just thought it was a little joke.

After we all finished eating, Fermin rushed off a little early to get home after a long day at work, while Kerri and I settled up our bill.

I started wondering why it was taking our waiter so long to get back to us... And then all of the sudden, a group of about 6 servers, plus our own waiter brought out a big sombrero and had a sopapilla in tow.  I felt sort of panicked, with no fake birthday boy in sight, so I quickly said to my waiter, "Just sing it to me!"  He put the hat on my head, they all sang their version of Happy Birthday, my waiter belted out the final v-e-r-y loud note and I gladly accepted the sopapilla on Fermin's behalf.
And that is how I got my fake birthday celebration.  It was funny.  But a little disappointing that Fermin had already left and missed the whole thing!

Afterwards, our check arrived.  I left a bigger than usual tip, thinking, "How nice that they brought us the dessert, sang the funny song, etc."  But the even funnier thing, upon further inspection of my bill after I paid it, was that they charged us $6 for the Happy Birthday Sopapilla. 


Friday, October 10, 2014

Armageddon In Dallas

I haven't written a single post in all of October, and we're nearly half way into the month already!  So what in the world is going on around here? Well, in a nutshell... Armageddon-here in Dallas.

First of all, in case you haven't heard- EBOLA.  The hospital here in Dallas,where most of my doctors have their practice, is the now infamous Presbyterian Hospital. That's where the first victim, Thomas Eric Duncan, died of Ebola here in the US just the other day.  Hotchkiss Elementary, was also in the news since it's where at least one of the kids he came in contact with while he was highly contagious goes to school.  It's our neighborhood school and is just one street over from where Fermin, Ricky, Lucy and I live. And the Ivy Apartments, where Duncan's host family lived, and where he stayed before he was admitted to Presbyterian Hositpital, is only about one mile from our neighborhood.  All of that is just a little too close to home.  I'm so sad for Mr. Duncan and his family, and I hope no one else was infected. 

Additionally, late last week, we had a huge storm that rolled thru Dallas.  It only lasted about 15 minutes but it packed a huge punch.  I took this picture from my bedroom window during the storm...
Lots of large tree branches on top of our electric lines
That was just the beginning.  You might notice in the above photo, the power lines from our house got pulled down.  So of course, we were lost electricity.  FOR FOUR FREAKIN' DAYS!  During the storm, I actually got a little nervous and asked Fermin if we should get in the bathtub at some point.  Not to bathe, but just to get to a safe spot.  We didn't, but I sure did consider it, I think for the first time in my life.

This was our view from our front porch looking out, after the storm...
For a minute I sorta felt like we lived in the woods, just not quite how I've always imagined it!
As you might guess, we could look out, but couldn't GET out our front.  This is what it looked like if you were looking at our house...
Where's Kerri?
And this was our backyard, once we made it outside. Which, of course, called for a beer!  Even me, the very rare beer drinker.
Fermin, hangin' loose. 
Our neighborhood got hit pretty hard.  Our house certainly didn't get the worst of it.  Here's a shot of the house that had a tree, or at least a huge portion of a tree, fall on the roof.  Notice the concrete driveway too!!!  CRAZY.  There were at least of handful of houses that had a similar situation going on.  Oh no!!

I've since had a few tree services out to bid the clean up work on all of our trees.  I found out I have a very sick, dying tree in my backyard, and the experts seemed to be in wonder that it didn't fall.  And thank GOD it didn't fall... It would have pulled down ALL the electric lines in my alley, and it sits directly next to my gas line- Yikes.  So until I get that tree down, I can't sleep or leave the house and not worry that Lucy and Ricky are safe.
Our Little Storm Troopers, Lucy and Ricky
I've hired a crew to come out, but they can't get to me until Saturday or possibly Monday.  There's just so many people in bad shape around here!  And we have storms forecasted beginning tonight.  I'm usually fearless of thunderstorms and in fact, welcome them.  But for now, my outlook has changed a little.

But besides trees that will now look ridiculous, and dented gutters, we were very lucky.  And my fingers are crossed that we will remain lucky.  And that this isn't, in fact, Armegeddon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I'll Be Singing This Weekend At The Oar House

7-10pm, both nights- (Friday and Saturday, Sept. 26 and 27th) This is my version of a very early heads up.  Hope to see you there~

305 Interstate 30

Rockwall, Texas  75087

Just a 25-minute drive from downtown Dallas and located next to Culpepper Steakhouse
From Dallas take I-30 East to the Horizon exit. The Oar House is on the right.
From East of Rockwall take I-30 West exit Ridge Road, stay on service road to Horizon, left on Horizon, right onto I-30 East service road.  The Oar House is on the left.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Good Morning! and Sharing the Road

Sometimes the cyclists and the runners at White Rock Lake, here in Dallas, can get on each other's nerves.  Although I'm a runner 90% of the time I'm out there, I'm also the occasional cyclist, so I can sort of understand
both sides.  Cyclist tend to zoom by us runners dangerously close at time, not seeming like they really want to share the road.  But, like I said, every now and then, I'm on the other side of things, and the runners sometimes run in groups of 3 or more, making it really difficult for cyclists to safely get around them.

When I'm running, lots of cyclist pass without a word, some ring bells of
warning, and others just yell out "Left!", as in "Passing on your left."  None of that is rude at all, but I don't think of it as all too friendly either.

But today on my run, a large group of cyclist, maybe 15 or more, passed me.  And as they did, the first one said, "Good morning, big group of us will be passing on your left", and then the next one said, "Hi!  Have a great day!"  and then about 10 more "Good Mornings!" to me followed.  I ended up saying my "hi's"and "good mornings" back, and it put a huge smile on my face because it was really funny.  Friendly cyclist overload! Every single one of them said something nice to me.  And what a difference it made.  I thought those cyclist were such friendly people just from that teeny little gesture.

Saying "Good Morning!" really took no additional time than "Left" does, but it was such a nicer way to get me to happily move over, to share the road with others needing more room.

In light of that awesome morning greeting I got earlier today, I'm putting up this video taken from "Singin' in the Rain"- with one of my favorites of all time, Gene Kelly.  Good Morning!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Music Monday- "Good Life" by OneRepublic on GMA's 3 Words

I've been on a OneRepublic kick since seeing them in concert a couple of weeks ago here in Dallas... sweating out butts off together in perfect rhythm at a horrible outdoor venue.  (But worth it!)

A couple of years ago, I can remember Good Morning America helping us get the day started around here.  Rarely do I even watch live morning TV, but thank God I caught this.  I sat down on my bed to watch, mesmorized by how funny and sweet the human race is...  And that all in all, it really is a good, good life

So today, for Music Monday, here is the inspiring video, starring good people from all over the world, holding up their "3 Words" with the soundtrack being one of my favorite songs~ "Good Life" by OneRepublic.  Enjoy.  Even tho it's Monday, remember, this really is a good, good life! 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Steal Like An Artist ( And From Many!)

I just read this book for the second time.
Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon
It's a great little book about creativity.  By the way, I love books on creativity and dream of someday writing one of my own.  It's one of my "go to" areas at the library and at bookstores.  Steal Like An Artist is one of the better ones.  And believe me, I've read many.

One of the points Austin Kleon makes in the book, is that all artists steal from each another.  And it's totally okay to do that.  But rather than copy one artist, steal from many, he says.  And then, stir all those influences up in your warm little pot, and you'll turn it into something that is uniquely your own.

Fermin and I were once listening to a pianist that sounded like a cross between George Winston, and I don't know... someone else...  So when we talked to him, I asked him who his influences have been.  And he said no one.  He went on to say that he tries to not listen to other music because he aims to be unique.  As soon as he said this, I knew he was full of crap and I just wished he would stop talking immediately. What musician doesn't listen to other musicians?!  How could you avoid it even if you wanted to?!

If I knew that lying pianist and were to see him again, I would recommend this book to him.  Just to let him know, it's okay to steal from an artist!  And the more, the better.  I know he's doing it anyway, I just want him to be okay with admitting to it.

Who are your favorite people to steal from?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Record Breaking

Over the weekend, I started feeling a little panicked- I think I've fallen just a little behind on my schedule of getting 50 songs written in 90 days.  One little voice in my head has tried consoling me, telling me that the point really isn't to get to 50 anyway. The point, instead, is to write more than seems possible... and just to make songwriting a near-daily practice for 3 months solid.  My other little voice has told me that other voice is Crap, and that I will really feel let down if I don't make it to 50, because I'm getting so close.  Which voice is true? I'm not sure...  Maybe they both are.

But the non-consoling voice won me over this time around.  And today, I plunked myself down in my studio and vowed not to get up until a song or two was written. 

I ended up writing 3 songs.  Because I've never written 3 songs in one day and it just seemed like a do-able thing once the afternoon warmed up.  (And I mean that both literally and figuratively... In Dallas, we reached a record temperature of 101 for this day.  And as the day warmed, so did my creative juices.)

I've said it before and I'll say it again- and again- and again.  You've got to be brave enough to create crap.  If you don't create some ugly stuff first, you'll probably never make it to something beautiful.

Of these 3 songs I wrote today one is meh.  If I go back and really work on it, it might turn into something good.  But honestly, I'll probably never look at it again. Another one, I feel really good about- At least in this moment.  It also needs work, but the bones of it feel good.  The third one was awful.  So awful that although I gave it a title, I wrote "This one sucks" in parenthesis beside it.  But there might be one decent line in there- of words or of music... Or neither. 

But who cares?! 

I wrote 3 freakin' songs today!  Songs number 36, 37, and 38 of this batch of 50.  Which I WILL make it to. I'm not going to get this close to the finish line, and then flake out.  I will crawl over that line if I have to.  But I'll get there.  On or before October 1!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

1970s Embroidered Shirts!

Over the weekend, me and my friend, Theresa went thrift store shopping, or I should say browsing.  Not much shopping, but lots of looking. And laughing.

We saw boxes of old dress patterns from the 1970s-  Mom made lots of homemade dresses for me back in the 70s, so it was fun to look at those.  As we were looking at them, we started reminiscing about the embroidery patterns that were popular in the 70s.  Unfortunately, we didn't run across any that day...

But, fortunately, seeing them gave me the idea to look on Etsy to see if I could find some. (Because what cool vintage stuff can't you find on Etsy!?) And voila!  I found several that I thought were cute, and bought them. Then I got out shirts Mom had made back in the day...  I've saved the ones I found in her closet- which were mine, hers, and a jacket she made for my brother.
my 1970s embroidered shirt- front
and back
Mom's embroidered shirt- front (as you can see, Ricky loves this one!)
and back
my brother's American Bald Eagle jean jacket
Soon, I will have my embroidery transfer patterns!  Lots of the same exact same graphics Mom used.  I can't wait to get an embroidery hoop and some thread and get busy.  CAN NOT WAIT.