Monday, December 31, 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Salon - 12/30/12



If you are interested in other Salon posts, visit the Facebook page to get links.

Wrapping up 2012:

After a very busy December, with PV performances each weekend and then getting hit with a week of the flu (of the fever kind, not the stomach bug kind thankfully!), this past weekend was a crazy rush to the holiday! Thankfully, the hubby and I decided that this year we would let ourselves buy our own "gift" (more about this later).  And then a distress call went out from a friend whose niece had a team wrapping presents at the local mall to support juvenile diabetes. she needed more bodies, more hands. I spent five hours Sunday night wrapping others people's packages. It was a ball and I hope to do so again next year!!

Christmas Eve was spent with my family, sharing presents and then attending a family friend's holiday party...good food, nice people, and great jokes! Perfect!  (My dad did great and enjoyed himself despite his recovery from angioplasty only a couple of weeks ago).

Christmas Day was spent with the hubby's family, presents with his daughter followed by dinner and hanging out at his sister's. Again, awesome food and a great time. It was nice to be able to hang out after dinner, rather than run right out to go to my parents (they celebrated with my stepmothers' family).

I was on vacation the rest of the week and despite good intentions, I spent more time lazing around than being productive (I had very intention of seeing Les Mis, but crashed and burned...maybe I'll just wait until it hits Comcast). But honestly, it was needed!  Thursday, I purchased my Christmas gift, a new digital camera! My old one is like 15 years old and I have this fantasy about becoming an artiste! Ha, ha, ha. The hubby bought himself a used electric guitar, big surprise. But at least we both got what we wanted, and didn't waste money on useless gifts that would be forgotten in a week.

My new camera will also come in handy when I travel to Ireland in just a few weeks! OMG, it came so quickly I'm kinda freaking out. I'm loathe to leave the kitty (I never have), but hubby will be here so it should be ok.

Because I didn't go out much, I actually got some reading done this week, two books. Reviews will be up soon, along with my December and year-end wrap ups. I was mildly successful with this year's Challenges, not bad for my first year doing them, but always room for growth.

Looking forward to 2013:

Looking forward to 2013! I was seriously worried about the world ending in 2012 and never actually finding out Who let the dogs out! LOL

But seriously, the new year holds lots of opportunity and experiences and I look forward to it!


Wishing everyone a very happy and safe New Year!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Tuesday Tunes - 12/25/12



A great lyric is like a great book...



Cold December Night
Michael Buble (Artist)
Michael Buble, Alan Change (Writers)




Stockings are hung with care
As Children sleep with one eye open
Well, now there's more than toys at stake
'Cause I'm older now but not done hoping

The twinkling of the lights
As Santa carols fill the household
Old saint nick has taken flight
With a heart on board so please be careful

Each year I ask for many different things
But now I know what my heart wants you to bring
So please just fall in love with me this Christmas
There's nothing else that I will need this Christmas
Won't be wrapped under a tree
I want something that lasts forever
So kiss me on this cold December night

A tree that smells of pine
A house that's filled with joy and laughter
The mistletoe says stand in line
Loneliness is what I've captured
Oh, but this evening can be a holy night
Lets cozy on up the fireplace
And dim those Christmas lights

So please just fall in love with me this Christmas
There's nothing else that you will need this Christmas
Won't be wrapped under a tree
I want something that lasts forever
So kiss me on this cold December night

They call it the season of giving
I'm here, I'm yours for the taking
They call it the season of giving
I'm here, I'm yours

Just fall in love with me this Christmas
There's nothing else that we will need this Christmas
Won't be wrapped under a tree
I want something that lasts forever
'Cause I don't wanna be alone tonight
I'll wear you like a Christmas sweater
Walk proudly to the mistletoe tonight
I want something to forever
So kiss me on this cold December night

Mmmm

 They call it the season of giving
I'm here, I'm yours for the taking
They call it the season of giving
I'm here, I'm yours



Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Faves - 12/21/12



 
Welcome to Friday's Fave Five. It's Friday so that makes it time to look back over our week and look for those things we are grateful for. It may be big or it may be small and you have to dig for it, but there are always things we can be thankful for. Please join us as we share our favorite five. If you need the guidelines they are here


 
1. Second Chances. Still very thankful for the second chance my family got! Dad is home and doing well, tired but well. Thank you!!!
2.  Health and Happiness. Last week was a big ole's mess of the flu with 102+ temperatures, a death in the family, and a school shooting. A tough week! This week has been healthier and happier, thank goodness.

3. Vacation. As of 5pm today, I am officially on vacation until January 2nd. Yippee!!

4. Ireland!  Counting the days until Ireland. Nervous about the travel, but excited as well. Less than a month!

5.Holiday Parties. Last weekend, my parents had their annual holiday party. Everyone had a wonderful time. I just love holiday parties. They really put me into the holiday mood. I'd even go so far as to say that, now that I am an adult with no children, they are my favorite part of the holiday season!



Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas! 








Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Father's Love - Goldman

David Goldman, a model/fisherman from New Jersey, had no clue when he married a Brazilian beauty that his life would be thrown into such chaos. After just four short years of marriage, and the birth of one son, Bruna Bianchi abducted their son and moved back to her home country of Brazil with her parents.  She remarried a Brazilian lawyer's (specializing in international children's cases) son, but died shortly after ward during the childbirth of her second child.

A Father's Love, One Man's Unrelenting Battle to Bring His Abducted Son Home is Goldman's accounting of the six year struggle to get his son, Sean, back from his ex-parents-in-law and ex-wife's new husband, despite Brazil's agreement to abide by the Hague Convention. Despite overwhelming odds, Goldman took his struggle to high-level U.S. government officials and national media organizations in the hopes of getting some assistance in fighting the injustices being upheld by the Brazilian government.

A well written and very touching story that shows that a parent's love never ends.

3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

 

 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like XMas!

The holidays are well underway here in Massachusetts! Despite the rain and 40 degree weather, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Last week was a mess for me... The flu with 102 degree temps, a death in the family, and then of course Friday's events. The week was a loss for reading and blogging.

Oh well, I will just blot the whole week out of my memory and move on.

Onwards towards Christmas and New Years!

Ho ho ho!





Friday, December 07, 2012

Friday Faves - 12/7/12



 
Welcome to Friday's Fave Five. It's Friday so that makes it time to look back over our week and look for those things we are grateful for. It may be big or it may be small and you have to dig for it, but there are always things we can be thankful for. Please join us as we share our favorite five. If you need the guidelines they are here



It's been a while, but I figured now is as good a time as any! But I've got so much to be thankful for...I'll just have to be choosy:

 
1. Second Chances. This week, my father wasn't feeling too well. A trip to the hospital and a whole slew of tests later, it was decided he should make a trip the hospital's little 'ole "Cath Lab" (for those of you who don't know, that's where they insert a catheter tube up through a groin vein into your HEART)! It was the right choice, as he had 100% blockage on one side of his heart. Long story short, not one or two but THREE stents later, he is feeling much better and hoping to return home over the weekend. THANK THE LORD that this trip was voluntary (IE - not a full blown heart attack) and that the amazing doctors have given us all a second chance at celebrating Christmas together (and hopefully many more)!

2.  Holidays. Thanksgiving was crazy, but successful (our first family hosting of the holiday) and our marriage survived! With Christmas right around the corner, we're looking at holiday parties, shopping, and the annual symphony this weekend. Fun, but exhausting!

3. Holiday Gigs. After years of very few holiday performances, perhaps because we are always too busy to book them, my a Capella group have four performances this December! One past last weekend, one this weekend, and two next weekend. This is awesome because not only do we get to learn (relearn) and sing holiday songs, but it gives us a chance to save a bit more funds for Ireland!

4. Ireland!  At a performance early this year, a man approached us and talked to us about a "friend" who runs a music festival in Ireland and said that he was going to tell him about Purely Vocals. We all smiled nicely and "yessed" him.  

Well, that will teach us! The guy was on the up and up, and he paved the way for us to perform at the Shannonside Winter Music Weekend festival in Shannon, Ireland this January. At first, everything was a bit iffy, we were promised housing and that we could sing at some small venues. The bigger shows had been booked full.  But someone pulled out and we were moved up and are set to perform Sunday afternoon as a larger show! We are blown away and thrilled to be welcomed so thoroughly and are very excited about our trip across the "pond"! I actually had to get a passport, having never been overseas!

Now, we're just counting the days...  

5. New Purely Vocals website Finally finished and launched the new PV website!
Check it out...


Many, many more things to be thankful for...but these are what comes to mind today. Hope everyone is as blessed as I am!





Thursday, December 06, 2012

November 2012 ReCap...





November 2012 Update

A crap reading month by all accounts, I just couldn't focus on anything for the first part of the month. I began more than one and just...couldn't. finish. anything.


This month I read:
Total Read: 1
Adult: 1
YA/children's: 0
Abandoned: 0

YTD - 43+

Including:

Does The Mean You'll See Me Naked? by Robert Webster

Abandoned:

MWF Seeking BFF by Rachael Baertsche
I Think I Love You by Allison Pearson
...both were enjoyable and I will definitely return to finish later.  


Favorite Book(s) of the Month:
Does The Mean You'll See Me Naked? by Robert Webster
...though there wasn't much choice, this was really a good book. It got through my duldrums!

Challenges Update:
Memorable Memoirs = 21 of 10+ - SUCCESS!!!
Support Your Local Library Challenge = 33 of 37+
Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge = 43 of 50 (2011) + 15
E-Book Reading Challenge = 8 of 5 - SUCCESS!!!
A-Z Book Challenge 2012 = 23 of 26
What's in a Name Challenge = 6 of 6 - SUCCESS!!!





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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The Winter of Our Disconnect - Maushart

After years of blank stares and grunted responses, Susan Maushart decided the time had come for a change, for The Winter of Our Disconnect. She imposed a six-month black-out period on her family on all screen electronics (TVs, iPads/iPods, computers, etc) called it "The Experiment", during which  no usage of those items was acceptable in the home though using them outside the home was fine: at school, work, a coffee shop, or a friend's house.

Despite her expectations of her childrens' response (anger, rebellion and quite possibly moving out) very little came to pass. The children adapted somewhat quickly and, not surprisingly, their  schoolwork improved, communication improved, social and physical activity increased, and moods improved (adequate sleep tends to make one less moody).  Ultimately, The Experiment brought the family closer and changed their lives in varied ways.

Funny and poignant, this book is written in a very accessible and readable manner. But do not be caught by surprise: the book is more non-fiction than memoir. Maushart is, admittedly, a research junkie. There is a lot of research here, about...well just about everything: media, Facebook, culture, aging, research (yes, research about research)... It goes on and on and on.

What I considered the juiciest parts of the story - the family stories and experiences - tended to be an after thought, even being relegated to the last few pages of each chapter. I was disappointed, as I wanted more memoir, to hear more about how her children reacted, how it changed their lives from day to day, how she personally was affected and survived.

Eventually, I got to the point where I had one day left before library return and, frankly, I no longer cared about the research. I had two chapters to finish. I chose to skip the second to last chapter (56 pages on my iPad, thank you) and read the final chapter which was sort of a conclusion, more family focused (though some research data snuck its way in there too).

Overall, an ok read.

2/5- Just okay.  Choose with extreme prejudice.

 

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Tuesday Tunes - 12/4/12




A great lyric is like a great book...



That Ol' Wind

Garth Brooks, Artist
Leigh Reynolds, Writer 



She dropped her boy at school on time,
One less worry on her mind,
Now it's off to work and on the radio.
Come's an old familiar song,
And then the D.J.'s voice comes on,
And say's he's back in town tonight for one last show.

Her eyes well up with tears.
God could it be it's been ten years,
Since that Autumn night outside the county fair?
When two strangers shared a night,
And in the darkness found a light,
That to this day is still alive and burning there.

He asked her twice to come along.
They said good-bye at the break of dawn.
'Cause you can't hold back the wind,
If it's meant to be again,
Then someday he'll find his way back to her arms.

The marquee misspelled his name,
And not too many people came.
But that didn't matter to the.
They laughed and loved all through the night,
And as they faced the morning light.
They found themselves standing there again.

And he asked her twice to come along.
They said good-bye at the break of dawn.
As his bus left out she cried,
With him standing by her side!
That ol' wind had once again found its way home.

Someday he'll tell her about the money he hid,
And someday she'll tell him that the boy is his kid!
But for right now they're both in love.
The only thing they're thinkin' of,
Is that they're finally where their hearts have always been.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Does This Mean You'll See Me Naked - Webster


Does This Mean You'll See Me Naked? (Field Notes from a Funeral Director) is  a common question for Robert WebsterAs the owner and director of a funeral home, he hears this question surprisingly often. Spoiler alert: yes, your funeral director will see you naked.  But you'll be dead, so who really cares at that point?

This in-depth look at the mortuary field (I promise Webster minimizes the gruesome details) is quite fascinating, and not at all as morbid as many of you are probably thinking. His thirty plus years in the business offer lots of interesting, funny and enlightening stories, from body collection to fist fights at funerals. 

Webster also offers a wealth of mortuary information to his readers, including things like how much a casket (it's not a coffin) should cost, why funeral home and cemetery staff are often just greedy salespersons (and why/how you should chose wisely), the rules around next of kin and heirs, how the field differs from his native Ohio to other areas of the country, among others.

This book is quick and easy to get through and a must-read for anyone who expects to ever lose someone...in other words, just about everyone.

4/5- Great. Push it on your friends and family.

 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday Tunes - 11/27/12





A great lyric is like a great book...

In My Life

The Beatles, Artist

Lennon, John & McCartney, Paul, Writers 


 
There are places I remember
All my life, though some have changed.
Some forever not for better,
Some have gone and some remain.
All these places have their moments

With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all.


But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you.
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new.

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before.
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more.


Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more
In my life I love you more


Monday, November 26, 2012

Mondays - 11/26/12




This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Despite a busy holiday week, after several of weeks of beginning books I just couldn't get "into", I finally was able to settle into a couple of books! 




Currently Reading: 
The Winter of Our Disconnect (Susan Maushart)

Just Finished:

Does This Mean You'll See Me Naked (Robert Webster)

On Deck:

So many great choices!



Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Turkey Day!!

...or as a friend says, "Happy Fat American Day"!

Wishing all my American readers a very Happy Thanksgiving! Hoping it was filled with family, friends and many reasons to be thankful, as mine was. I have countless blessings to be thankful for this year...family, friends, my kitty, health (mine and others), my amazing diva sisters (from another mother) and the awesome opportunities we have to share music with others, a job that allows me to share with others this year... The list goes on and on!

For my non-American readers... You all really should join in! Buy a turkey. Get up at 4am to put it into the oven. Spend the rest of the day cooking, eating until you feel like you're gonna puke and serving your family and friends like an Applebees waitress. Then spend several hours cleaning up after everyone, only to discover that you're hungry again!

Seriously! You're missing out!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday Tunes - 11/20/12


A great lyric is like a great book...

A nice little song to remind us all to be thankful!

Oklahoma 
Billy Gilman, Artist
John Allen and D. Vincent Williams, Writers


Suitcase packed with all his things
Car pulls up, the doorbell rings
He don't wanna go
He thought he'd found his home
But the circumstances he can't change
Waves goodbye as they pull away
From the life he's known
For the last seven months or so

She said we found the man who looks like you

Who cried and said he never knew
About the boy in pictures that we showed him
A rambler in his younger days
He knew he made a few mistakes
But he swore he would have been there
Had he known it
Son we think we found your dad in Oklahoma

A million thoughts raced through his mind

What's his name, what's he like and will he be
Anything like the man in his dreams
She could see the questions in his eyes
Whispered "don't be scared my child
I'll let you know, what we know"

About the man we found, he looks like you

And cried and said he never knew
About the boy in pictures that we showed him
A rambler in his younger days He knew he'd made a few mistakes
But he swore he would've been there Had he known it
You always said that this was something that you wanted
Son it's time to meet your Dad in Oklahoma

One last turn he held his breath

'Til they reached the fifth house on the left
And all at once the tears came rolling in
And as they pulled into the drive
A man was waiting there outside
Who wiped the worry from his eyes Smiled and took his hand

And he said I'm the man who looks like you

Who cried because I never knew
About that boy in pictures that they showed me
A rambler in my younger days I knew I made a few mistakes
But I swear I would have been there had I known it
Never again will you ever be alone
Son welcome to your home in Oklahoma 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mondays - 11/19/12


This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.



Currently Reading:
Does This Mean You'll See Me Naked? (Robert Webster)

Just Finished:
Absolutely nothing....


On Deck:
So many great options, if I could just get through something!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WWWednesdays - 10/14/12



To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…


Usually Wednesdays are saved for new reviews, but it has been a very slow reading/blogging week for me! So, I figured I'd join in this week...








What are you currently reading? 
I Think I Love You by Allison Pearson (very cute so far...)
 




  

What did you recently finish reading?
Adrift, Seventy-six Days at Sea by Steven Callahan (good adventure story...)


 




What do you think you’ll read next?  
My list is so long, I don't really know...
I just sort of go online with my ipad and pick whatever looks good. Though, I do tend to flop back and forth from fiction to non-fiction, so likely it will be a memoir of some sort. 

Maybe you'll come back to visit me to find out?


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday Tunes - 11/13/12


A great lyric is like a great book...


Gunpowder & Lead 
Miranda Lambert, Artist & Writer







County road 233, under my feet
Nothin' on this white rock but little ole me.
I've got two miles, 'til he makes bail
And if I'm right we're headed straight for hell!

I'm goin' home, gonna load my shotgun,
Wait by the door and light a cigarette.
If he wants a fight well now he's got one
And he ain't seen me crazy yet.
He slapped my face and he shook me like a rag doll...
Don't that sound like a real man?!
I'm going to show him what a little girls are made of
Gunpowder and lead!

It's half past ten, another six pack in
And I can feel the rumble like a cold black wind.
He pulls in the drive, the gravel flies,
He don't know what's waiting here this time!

I'm goin' home, gonna load my shotgun,

Wait by the door and light a cigarette.
If he wants a fight well now he's got one
And he ain't seen me crazy yet.
He slapped my face and he shook me like a rag doll...
Don't that sound like a real man?!
I'm going to show him what a little girls are made of
Gunpowder and lead!

His fist is big but my gun's bigger,
He'll find out when I pull the trigger!

I'm goin' home, gonna load my shotgun,

Wait by the door and light a cigarette.
If he wants a fight well now he's got one
And he ain't seen me crazy yet.
He slapped my face and he shook me like a rag doll...
Don't that sound like a real man?!
I'm going to show him what a little girls are made of
Gunpowder and lead!

Gunpowder and lead!

Hey!

Slow week...

Crap, its been a slow week, blogging-wise. I hadn't finished a book last week, so I didn't post a review. And again this week, I just haven't gotten there yet! 

I don't know why. 

I have a wealth of great books available to me via my ipad and library...I just have not been able to get "into" anything these past couple of weeks. Maybe I'm just a little burnt out?  To say nothing of the chaos and craziness of election day and then the long weekend, which I always find it hard to post during, and efforts to clean up the yard before the final yard waste pickup this weekend.

Anyway, I'm just off... Sorry!

Even the kitty was annoyed...


 

Hopefully next week will be better as I am on vacation! Yippee!



Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Tuesday Tunes - 11/6/12


A great lyric is like a great book...


When I Was A Boy 
Dar William, Artist & Writer



 

I won't forget when Peter Pan came to my house, took my hand
I said I was a boy; I'm glad he didn't check.
I learned to fly, I learned to fight
I lived a whole life in one night
We saved each other's lives out on the pirate's deck.

And I remember that night
When I'm leaving a late night with some friends
And I hear somebody tell me it's not safe,
someone should help me
I need to find a nice man to walk me home.

When I was a boy, I scared the pants off of my mom,
Climbed what I could climb upon
And I don't know how I survived,
I guess I knew the tricks that all boys knew.

And you can walk me home, but I was a boy, too.

I was a kid that you would like, just a small boy on her bike
Riding topless, yeah, I never cared who saw.
My neighbor come outside to say, "Get your shirt,"
I said "No way, it's the last time I'm not breaking any law."

And now I'm in this clothing store, and the signs say less is more
More that's tight means more to see, more for them, not more for me
That can't help me climb a tree in ten seconds flat

When I was a boy, See that picture? That was me
Grass-stained shirt and dusty knees
And I know things have gotta change,
They got pills to sell, they've got implants to put in,
they've got implants to remove

But I am not forgetting...that I was a boy too

And like the woods where I would creep, it's a secret I can keep
Except when I'm tired, 'cept when I'm being caught off guard
And I've had a lonesome awful day, the conversation finds its way
To catching fire-flies out in the backyard.

And so I tell the man I'm with about the other life I lived
And I say, "Now you're top gun, I have lost and you have won"
And he says, "Oh no, no, can't you see

When I was a girl, my mom and I we always talked
And I picked flowers everywhere that I walked.
And I could always cry, now even when I'm alone I seldom do
And I have lost some kindness
But I was a girl too.
And you were just like me, and I was just like you"



I welcome your thoughts and comments.
 

Monday, November 05, 2012