Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Brief History of Weddings...

I was watching a movie the other night about what happened when a young man and woman, with very different families, decided to marry. The grooms mother wanted the couple to uphold a tradition that had been carried out at weddings for three generations. The bride wanted no part of it, at first.

That movie got me thinking about wedding traditions, such as why does a bride wear white or what's the deal with a dowry. I also wondered how the diamond became the standard for engagement rings. Searching around, I found this nice bit of information that I think is amusing and enlightening. Take a look...

A Brief History of Weddings |

I had no idea that a bride first wore white as far back as the 15th century. I thought this was a rather recent tradition, maybe coming into fashion around the turn of the 20th century. I get a kick out of the fact that people in rural China could still be sending dowries with a bride!

The last wedding in my family was a couple years ago. It was a second wedding for both the bride and groom. They kept with tradition as far as the ceremony, the ring and the bride did wear white. But it was an elegant off white, with gorgeous lace applique. There was a grand cake as well, but there the time honored traditions ended. The bride and groom were more interested in their guests being comfortable and enjoying themselves and the celebration they planned was all that they hoped and more.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Norman, Oklahoma - My Next Destination...

Marisa! Get ready! We're headed your way!

Well, not right away. But I've been checking out Norman,Oklahoma hotels and they look nice! Me and Manda and Colleen very much want to start taking trips to new places, not the same old ones. No, I'm not bored with the same old places, I just want to see something new! And since you are in Norman, what better place to start?

I love the pictures of  your new home and the surrounding area. I've never seen or experienced landscapes of that sort. I'm really interested in seeing it for myself.  There is also the fact that dairy cows are old hat and I want to see some new livestock! Since you've been there for a little while, I hope you can show us around and take us to some of those spots you've photographed.

I need to take some snapshots of different sunsets and sunrises. I need to branch out and see a new lansdcape. But most importanly, I want to meet the people of Norman, Oklahoma. The ones you described  as genuinely polite and eager to help. When one travels to a resort, everyone is polite and eager to please. But I want to meet some people who don't get paid to please. I want to meet folks who are nice just because.

So Marisa! Charge up your camera batteries! Be on the lookout for people we will want to meet and places you think we need to see! We'll be there with bells on... but not cow bells.

I'm going to freak out! Maybe...

I'm at the library.
Cable is off at home.
I have posts to write, stuff to read and Gardens of Time to obsess over.
This is no time to be without frigging cable.

If you hear screams of anguish from my house, do not approach the house.
I will be tearing my hair out.
And probably cleaning something.
What else is there to do when there's no internet?

Do not depair, friends.
I'll be fine.
This has happened before.
 I was okay then, kinda.

Finally, a vacation! Central Jersey has it all...

Colleen and I decided yesterday we are taking a whirlwind trip to Central New Jersey. Both of us are looking for different things on our trip but we both agree we'd like to relax a little, stay in a nice hotel and see some sights and try out Six Flags. We chose central New Jersey because its an easy drive from where we live and there is loads of stuff to do and see there.

I began to search online to see what we could do in New Jersey. I had a tough time weeding through countless websites trying to find what I was looking for. I wanted one website that could break down the myriad of arts and cultural events, historic sites, recreation and dining and lodging possibilities. I found it all at

This site made it easy for me to find a place to stay close to the theme park, find the kinds of restuarants we like and search out some historic places we can visit, all with out breaking the bank. We picked out some Revolutionary War sites we'd like to see an easy ride from the hotel we chose just outside of Jackson. Colleen chose a very nice looking beach we can drive to in under a half hour.

I'm looking forward to this trip. Neither of us has ever been to New jersey and we were surpised to find the many very interesting things Central New Jersey has to offer. This trip, we are only staying a few days. We decided we would take a ride down, scope out the area and what it offers and make plans to travel back with the rest of the family.

I can't wait! We leave Saturday at 5 in the morning. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Audition Coach - The Way to a Better Audition...

My friend Charissa is an aspiring singer and actor living in Toronto. She wants to become a part of that city's thriving musical theater community. After a few disappointments with auditions, Charissa has decided to employ a Toronto singing coach.

Charissa was a dynamic part of her drama department during high school and has studied voice since she was 7. She has a wonderful personality and a beautiful voice. For the last few summers she has worked in community theater and studied to improve her talent. Last June she decided to audition for a couple musical theater companies. We talked just before her first round of auditions. She was enthusiastic about the opportunity to audition and confident one of them would result in a job offer or a place in a show.

Charissa returned from her adventure sad and humbled. None of her auditions panned out and she wasn't called back at all. She told all this to me trying to be brave and not cry. But cry she did and once the tears dried, she resolved to work harder and get noticed.

We discussed coaching. She told me other people she auditioned with used coaches for acting, singing and dance auditions. I asked Charissa if it might be her appearance during the audition and not her level of experience, talent or ability that was her downfall. Was she visibly nervous? Did she sing a song she feels connected to? What kind of clothes did she wear? I asked Charissa if she felt she needed improvement in these areas. Charissa was impressed by the other auditions she watched and felt an audition coach might be just what she needs.

Since we last talked, Charissa has done a bit of research and found singing coaches in Toronto. She's feels she's found the right way to improve her audition process and has more confidence than ever before. I like that she hasn't given up and has taken on this new challenge with more enthusiasm than ever!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Great Deal - Famous Footwear Coupon!

This post brought to you by Famous Footwear. All opinions are 100% mine.


I met a new family in the neighborhood. A Mum, a Dad and seven children. Seven school age children! I was concerned Mum and Dad would go broke trying to get together school supplies and clothes and shoes for all the kids to go back to school in a month. That would be a challenge for any family. Seven kids, in a shoe store, trying on shoes. The thought kinda freaks me out. 

Then I remembered the great deal Famous Footwear is offering for back to school! 

You can follow this link and print this coupon: BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon and redeem it now through 8/18/2012. 15% off PLUS BOGO (Buy One, Get One Half Off). For any family, this would really help save a few bucks, right? 

I like the Famous Footwear stores becausde they are easy to shop, not overwhelming at all. They have hundreds of brand names and great styles that kids love. Also, if I can't find what I want in the store, Famous Footwear will get it for me through home delivery or from and have them shipped to the store for pick up, at no extra charge.  

Like other stores, Famous Footwear has a rewards program. This FREE program stands out because for every dollar you spend at Famous Footwear, you accumulate points to earn certificates for up to $100 a year! $100 a year would really help toward shoes for any family! If you are already a rewards member, the 15% off coupon becomes 20%. When you sign up as a new rewards program member, the 15% coupon also becomes 20% and Famous Footwear also rewards you with a discount and other inside specials and perks. What could be better than that?


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a long time ago,

 in a galaxy far, far away...


when i was very small, mother’s parents visited. with them came my aunt and my cousin. all together there were eleven of us. being small and shy, i stuck close to dad.

papa decreed there should be a snapshot of all of us, excepting him. he was to take the snapshot. the preparations were made, with all the people shuffled about a few times. mostly, the grownups were settled on the sofa. the children were placed on the floor, at their feet.

dad sat in his rocky, swivel chair. i fussed until the camera and people and papa were ready. with papa barking orders and all the people trying to settle, dad scooped me up and kept me on his lap in the chair. he spoke quietly in my ear. sit back he said. i don’t want my picture i said. i don’t want it either he said. then why i said. sit back he said my chair is magic.

i sat back and he leaned his rocky swivel chair back as far as it would go. i was reclined along dad quite comfortably. while we waited for papa to finish his preparations, dad kept me busy by holding me close and making his magic chair rock, swivel and spin. i felt a little apprehensive. these were different kinds of movements for me.

the snapshot was made, and i was released to my feet. i followed mother and my sister into the kitchen to get underfoot while dishes were cleaned and put away. more than once i was told to go play. more than once, i did not.

a long, long, long time later, i came across that snapshot. the eyes of my cousin were red. the twins smiled brightly, showing some missing teeth. mother, aunt and grandmother sat like clones, all with hands folded and feet crossed the same way. my sister was beautiful and my brother looked as if he couldn’t wait to get away. dad and i were reclined comfortably in the magic chair. i did not smile.

i had forgotten about that day until the snapshot reminded me. i was reminded that dad always kept me close and safe and comfortable. and even though i was an afterthought in that house to most… dad kept me up front, in the snapshot, in his mind and in his heart. while things changed and people and places changed, my dad was always the same. he was aware of me and my feelings and my heart. he always talked to me, even if he couldn’t answer all the questions. one thing i always knew, through all the turmoil, was that my dad loved me. every day.

i wrote and posted this on a blog i started in 2007. i never posted much there. but i was reminded of it today and went to look. when i saw this, i also remembered that well after 2007, marisa sent me the picture in question. 

i wrote this little piece without the picture at hand, from my memory of the picture...

it looks to me like it was taken just as the shit was hitting the fan. peggie, tell me if you think you can pinpoint a year. carol, if you read this, please show the picture to jonathon.  i would also like to know from peggie, jonathon and peter, if possible, what your memories are of this day...

i want to add, that i always knew my sister, peggie, loved me too. as stressed or overworked as she was, when it came down to brass tacks, she really did do her best to make life easier for me. 

Truth is Thursday...

Truth is...
It's Thursday!

Truth is...
I don't have to work today!

Truth is...
I've done almost nothing so far today!

Truth is...
I don't care!

Truth is...
I'm hungry.
I'll have to do something.
Food doesn't make itself...

Truth is...
Delivery is only a phone call away...

Monday, August 6, 2012

I'm baaaack...


I know you guys haven't heard from me in awhile. I've been busy, very busy, hatching an evil plan.

 When I haven't been working my a$$ off, I've been making waffles. Yep, waffles. I was cleaning out kitchen cabinets last May and I came across a brand spanking new waffle iron. It was slightly dusty, but I took care of that in short order.

My family hasn't eaten a meal in months that didn't include waffles. Chocolate chip waffles, fruit topped waffles, waffles with savory fillings and straight up waffles with maple syrup.Waffles with steak, waffles with cheese, waffles with soup and stew.

 Lately, there has been a revolt. The people here said if I don't quit it with the waffles they won't come home for dinner anymore.

Success! My evil plan worked...