Out of my comfort zone

I have a friend from childhood on FB who recently posted two videos with him singing on them.  He’s pretty good.  We were in choir together in HS and he had his own rock band back then that was pretty popular among our peers.  He also had a gal we knew from then sing back up vocals to his first song.  She was quite the singer back in the day, too.  Our music teacher commented on the post encouraging others to do the same.  Planted a seed in this crazy mind of mine. LOL!

I am seriously considering doing the same thing.  I love to sing.  I have a large vocal range and even put on a “One Woman” show back in 2005, which was met with acclaim.  I remember when I was stationed in Iwakuni and went to my first karaoke bar and was conned into singing a song with a friend.  I was so nervous; but I did it anyway.  I started singing and the entire bar went completely silent.  My two friends, who were with me, were slack jawed in awe.  It made me feel so good about my abilities.

I am not one who seeks out admiration from others.  I don’t like to be the center of attention; but I do just want to do what I love and if that makes others happy, then that’s great, too.  With that said, I am going to try it.  I’m going to sing some songs and then I’m going to post them on youtube and put it out there.  <shrug>  Who knows where it will go; but it will be me, raw and naked for the world to see.

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved music.  It is timeless.  It is magical and it is beautiful.  It speaks to those who let it and resonates through the ages.  I cannot imagine my life without it.

Over the last several months, I’ve been pushing myself to do things I haven’t done in ages.  I am liking all these new experiences.  It is definitely pushing the envelope that is for sure.  I’d not do these types of things, at least not in a long time.  I’m finally off the back burner and have rejoined the human race.  Well, at least the creative side of it.  Ha, ha.

After school today, I sat here and listened to my son, who was playing his drums in the garage and I have to say I am very impressed with him.  I’ve watched him go from not being able to play at all to mastering the art.  What an impressive thing to have witnessed, the growth and development of a young musician.

Hopefully, I will be able to watch his talent develop into a wonderful life of music and a career he will blossom in.  ❤

This and that….

I’ve been MIA for a while; but I’ve been so busy, so let’s begin. My friend went into the hospital and it was not pretty. He nearly died from a bleeding ulcer. Vomiting and shitting blood took us to the hospital; but only after 18 hours. The doctor told him that had he waited any longer, he’d have died. Not pretty.

Since that time, he’s been extremely weak. He needed 3 pints of blood and plenty of rest. However, he also had a lot of water retention. This caused his legs to blow up and made standing up difficult for him. It’s been 2 months since he left the hospital and he is FINALLY able to get up and down on his own. His stomach is still not fully healed and he’s in need of another stomach scan a colonoscopy.

My friend had been in the hospital twice in the span of a week. The first time was for stomach issues and then the bleeding began 5 days later. Really scary. He’s on the mend.

My son, on the other hand, has had a wonderful season during FFCC’s Indoor Drumline. After months of preparation, he and his team took 1st Place in their division for the entire state. I couldn’t be prouder of them. They worked so hard and it paid off. I can hardly believe what a wonderful young man he is growing into. I am so proud of him. What a great person he is becoming.

Check out his performance here: CCHS Indoor Drumline

Over these last two months, I’ve been busy as can be. I’ve been taking care of my friend as well as taking my son to practices and his final competition. A while ago, my eyelids started swelling up and I attributed it to allergies. I’m allergic to everything and with so much in bloom, it was a logical assumption. However, about two weeks ago, I started having stabbing pain in my right eye. It was killing me. I then began to experience blurry vision. Time to call the doctor.

Last Thursday, I saw an ophthalmologist and found out that I have possible glaucoma. My eye pressure is up to 25 (normal is no higher than 22) and need to have addional testing done. I’m taking drops right now and having to dilate my eyes to relieve the pressure.

This has me in a lot of pain as well. I can’t hardly see at all, my vision is so blurry. I have my screen up to 200%. I put out the prayer request at my church and I can only pray that God will answer them.

Also, around this time, I had given my brother-in-law some advice about his and my sister’s upcoming divorce. I explained to him that at one time he was in love with my sister and wanted to spend his life with her. That they had started a family together and that the kids didn’t need mommy and daddy to hate each other. I advised him to not let his pain/anger control the situation; but to make it amicable. I wanted him to know divorce is hard on everyone and making it hate filled was not the answer. You see, my BIL has a painful disability and it makes him angry at everyone. This is the root cause of their divorce.

My sister, on the other hand, took great exception to this communication and we are no longer speaking. This is not the first time this has happened. As a matter of fact, due to some unknown reason, my family has always thought I was/am a piece of shit.

It was a year ago December when my father let it be known that the “family” has always had to “put up with my shit” and that they speak of my b.s. when they get together. I’m mystified as to what the issue is all about and without their enlightenment, I guess I’ll never know. My baby sister hasn’t spoken to me in 6 years for some unknown reason and now the middle one has cut me off. <shrug> So be it. I’m not about to kiss anyone’s ass to be a part of my life. The only one in my immediate family who speaks to me is my mother and I do believe it is only so that I don’t take her grandchild from her, something I would never do anyway.

So, I’ve certainly been a busy woman these days. I’m trying to increase my creativity as well; but that is slow going. I received a Cricut Expression for my birthday back in October and I have finally gotten to use it last week. YEAH!! I’m going to start Ian’s Sophomore year scrapbook and this is coming in handy.

Gotta run, busy, busy,busy…..

FFCC Drumline Competitions

From January to the end of March, we have a short Winter season called “Indoor Drumline” which is fun for the high school musicians (drummers) looking for an outlet. The ensemble is a competitive unit whose goal is to obtain the highest and most precise level of training and performance in marching percussion.

This year was our first experience with indoor.  It’s been GREAT!  Our high school entered 4 stages of the competition and took third place in the first 3 and 5th place in the last which we competed with a larger number of teams.

Our show, “Pathways” had a pit with marimbas, vibes, guitars, gong, large drum, chimes, keyboard & drum kit and a battery of 9 members, 3 snares, 5 bass and one tenor.  The show is around five minutes of time.  The performers routine is performed on a tarp.  From the time the unit steps into the performance area, they are timed for setup and graded on the time and their performance routine.  Costumes were designed and worn and the kids did wonderful!

We had four cars with 17 kids to take around the state to compete.  Our crew was great and the parents who drove were very supportive.  Every member did a great job of making the show a success and I was so proud of them all.  This smaller, tighter group of performers worked really hard to accomplish so much in such a small amount of time.

We ended in Daytona Beach for the FFCC championship and a weekend spent away.  We came back with our 5th place placard and a sense of real accomplishment.

Marching Season Over

So, this Marching Band season is over. We had our Homecoming game on Friday (Halloween) and the kids packed away their uniforms. What a great season!!! They won their first competition and got Superior at the MPA’s. The band did an outstanding job this year. I was so proud of them and their accomplishments.

My son’s next adventure this school year is trying out for Drumline. I purchased him a marching snare drum for his birthday so that he can practice, rehearse and enjoy his talents. He is so loving exploring his abilities to perform.

Ian has made friends, I’ve become the “Band Mom” that a lot of the kids love and life is good. So many good kids are in the band and if it wasn’t for all the “chatting” they do, they would have been a lot farther than they were mid season. Anyway, these kids did an outstanding job on their season. The music was outstanding. They performed 3 Latin numbers that just worked so well. The show itself looked wonderful and from the guard to the dancers, the performers did a wonderful job.

Can you tell I’m a proud mom? Well, I am!!!!

Highlights of the season: They had a competition at one of the locale HS’s and took first place trophies in every category for their division. A total of 7 trophies were awarded for music, performance, drumline, marching, visuals and stuff. It was great. They worked so hard and deserved it all.

At MPA’s they were the first band to receive a Superior grade. All those who performed before them were only rated at Good. I was so happy for them. One of the other mom’s wrote all the bands scores and we got the highest of them all. So, we went home very happy.

A young man moved to our area from up north (Ohio) and is also a drummer. He’s 2 inches shorter than my son, is slim and wears glasses and they call him my son’s twin. It’s so funny. Ian told me that he’s also in his Jazz band class and out of three songs, Ian gave him one to play for their concert. Unfortunately, this young man does not want to be in Florida, so his attitude is terrible and I feel sorry for him and his situation.

I’m really enjoying the experience, even when things did not go so well. At the first competition I got incredibly sick with pain and by the time I got home from a day long event, I was ready for death. Took me two days to recover. UGH! Overall, it was just an awesome experience for us and we’re anticipating what will come next.

Band on the Field…

This has been an exciting new school year for us here at home. My son is in the Marching Band and playing Bass Drum. He is LOVING IT! (Both is half sister and brother did this when they were in school as well.) This means I have officially become a “Band Mom”. LOL! Fun! Since I am limited as to what I can and can’t do, I have been given the task of chaperone. I chaperone in the band room and bleachers during home games and on the bus and bleachers on the away games. I also get to put the put the drape on the podium for half time shows and have the first aid hit/medical release forms for away games. Life is good. 😀

So, at first, my son had his tuba for band; but HATED IT!!! He wants to be a drummer. He wants it so badly that he would’ve quit rather than play tuba, so our wonderful band director encouraged him to play the bass drum, of which they did need two more drummers. YEAH for him.

So far, our football team is undefeated with the last game being very close; but a win none the less. My son is loving being on the drum line. They also have an indoor drum line which competes in the state as well and he is looking forward to doing this as well.

The band is wonderful and this year they are doing Latin music. Our Drum Major is a great gal and does a fantastic job. We’ve known her since we’ve moved here — she goes to our church. My son really caught onto the music and movements quickly. I was impressed. He looks great in his uniform and I’ve flooded my Facebook page with photos from each game. They play in the stands, they play on the field, they march and they rock! I just love it.

My son is so enjoying the experience. He is loving the music, the playing and the new friends he’s made. Oh he’s also in JROTC. It is Army; but at least he’s involved in a leadership program. He’s also enjoying this experience as well. He’s doing their marksmanship program. He’s very busy this year. Monday & Thursday’s he’s doing double duty after school with both band and JROTC, Wednesday’s he is teaching his Youth Bible Study and Friday’s are games. Then in October, Saturday’s will be MPA’s so we’ll increase our activities. He’s a busy boy; but that’s good. At least he won’t be in any trouble. 😀

Just got his progress report and it was very good. A’s in everything; but Honors Biology, which was a B+ (90) so I can’t complain. All his classes are Honors (including Geometry). My son is exceling this year and I couldn’t be prouder of him. He’s very talented and I think he wants a career in the music field, so I want to push him toward his goal and watch him soar! I just love this kid! ❤

Cruising to Cozumel

So, we just got back from a weekend quick trip to Cozumel on the Carnival Victory ship. Wonderful trip! Loved it. This time, Ian & I got to swim with the Sting Rays. It was AWESOME!!! Just loved it. I’d have taken one home; but it would never have lived long enough to get into my tub. 😦 So, we get in the water and the rays come gliding around us. Two little boys got scared and wouldn’t come near them. They became excited at the thought of food and swam toward us looking for fish. So funny. We got to touch them, feed them and then hold them. I even got to kiss one. I was thrilled to death. One of the gals kept swimming at my legs, forcing them open so she could swim through. It was so funny. I LOVED IT!!!

The ship was beautiful. Our fellow cruisers were great and I even got a fan club! Freaked me out! So, I decided to go sing at the Karaoke lounge and we were one of the first one’s there, so I got to sing a few songs. Well, after a gal sang “Genie in a Bottle” it reminded me of a Christina song that I love, so I put it in. “Ain’t No Other Man But You” was a HUGE hit with my fellow loungers. LOL! So, the next afternoon, the Karaoke was in the Ship’s lobby and I came down to listen and the “KJ” told me to hurry up put a song in. LOL! Well, I did and when I was called up, the crowd went nuts and these gals were shouting my name. Weird. When I was finished, I got lots of applause, shouts, and “much love”. Later that evening, while walking through the casino, another group of singers/cheerers called me over to chat and give me high praise. Also returned the favor — they were so good. LOVED THEM! Met up later that night for more singing and when I left the lounge that night, I was grabbed up by a couple of girls who were screaming my name and hugging me with how great I was. I’m so humbled by this experience. The Lord gave me this voice and I just use it to sing for fun. I’m not needing a fan club, just sharing my love of music.

Spent some time in the hot tub. Took a dip in the pool. Walked through the shops in Key West and also a few in Cozumel. Ate some delicious food and got some great photos. All and all it was another wonderful cruise. Oh and I didn’t get sick this time. 🙂 YEAH ME!

Came home to my fur babies who missed us terribly. As a matter of fact, my little one hasn’t left my side since I got here. He’s my baby and he knows it. I love cruising! I love that it is a hotel, restaurant and ride to your destination all it one.

We’re going to need an ark soon.

This has been the most miserable summer I can remember. It has rained all but a few days and my pain levels have been through the roof. Every storm brings that low pressure. That pressure makes me want to scream in agony. After yesterday’s rainfall, I walked the dogs and the back yard was a pond. UGH! I’m so sick of this wet, miserable weather. On the other hand, we don’t have to worry about a draught. 🙂

My desire to have a great time at the pool this year has gone out the window with these daily storms. The pool opens at 11 am and by the time we get ready, the storms would come and end our decision to go. It has been upsetting, to say the least.

I’ve survived it, though. I’m still here to tell the tale. On a brighter note, we started back with out Wednesday night bible study last week. Ian is going to the youth study on Wednesdays and he told me he wants to audition for the All State Band next month. He’s playing the big bell tuba now and is so happy. He’s coming out of his shell, slowly; but surely and becoming quite a young man. I’m so proud of him. He’s grown so much this summer and it is noticeable. Since his surgery, he’s grown another 2 inches, making him now 5′ 10″ tall. I’m sure he’s not done growing yet.

I’m looking forward to our Ladies Bible Study to start back up in September. It will be good to be back on schedule again. My Saturday study of the book of Isaiah is going great and I’m really enjoying this prophets works. I’ve started a Faithbook Journal. I’ve begun to journal my faith walk, going back to 2009 when I came back to the church after over 20 years away from God. I have notes from that time that I can refer back to and I’m starting to see how far I have come over that much time. It feels so good. I can actually see the difference in me.

On a funny note, my son puts on the Christian music station in the car when I am upset; because he says it makes me feel so much better when I listen to this music. He’s so right. I feel so energized and charged up after a bible study, church or just listening to Christian music. I feel so much closer to God and that makes me happy.

Life is beautiful, despite the rain and the pain.

Joyful Noise!

Spent the evening watching “Joyful Noise” with my wonderful “Heart to Heart” Women’s Group.  We had a potluck supper and enjoyed the movie afterwards.  It was WONDERFUL!  We laughed, we cried, we celebrated and shared a wonderful evening.  What a great movie.

Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah were great!   From witty banter and rocking music to a sweet love story, this movie is a winner.  We girlfriends in God laughed, cried and enjoyed the fellowship as well as this great movie.  We loved it!

It was a good, wholesome movie that Praised our Heavenly Father and really made a joyful noise in our hearts.

Playing Piano

So, I finally decided to learn to play the piano at the age of 43.  I took a series of classes at our local piano store to learn.  I’m doing fairly well, I think.  I’m having difficulty with the left hand; but I’m getting it.

I’ve gotten a few books on reading music and I’m learning to do that to make myself more proficient.  I’ve got two “teach yourself piano” books as well to  practice with.  It’s been a lot of fun learning what I’ve always wanted to know.

For me, music means the world and the world means music.  When I get to heaven, I think I’ll be in the heavenly choir or at least get to mop up after them, just to be near the music.

Music is such a vital part of my life.  It has brought me through some of my darkest hours.  It has lifted me up, it has allowed me to grieve, it has encompassed my soul.  It is the air that I breath.  I constantly have a song in my head.  I sing sporatically through out the day.  I never am far from my musical love.

I sometimes wish I could see music in the same way that the boy in the movie “August Rush” did.  Even though I do not, I do feel the pulse in my body.  Whether I’m singing a silly song, dancing in the grocery store aisle or marching to the beat of my own drummer, I love my music.

My son is also into music.  He plays the drums and tuba.  He’s been in lessons for over a year with his drums and he’s doing pretty good.  He took band in Middle School this year and learned tuba and really likes it.  I’m so proud of him for pursuing his desire to learn an instrument and now he does two.  He also has been tooling around with my keyboard and music as well.  He’s a natural when it comes to reading the music and does better than I do at the keys.  (DANG IT)

I think the variety of music available is so wonderful and I just love how it makes me feel.