Friday, July 10, 2015

Music. Food for the Soul.

Adam Jackson 

Growing up in South Africa my parents involved us from a very early age in the theatre and arts. I remember going to plays with my parents and then performing in plays. The first play I performed in was Oliver Twist, but my most favorite play I performed in was The Wind in the Willows.  As all good children do I played the piano and the recorder and those long afternoons of practicing and dear Sister Helen 'tapping' my knuckles with a thin cane should I dare to make an error.

In high school I stopped playing the piano, but my love for all things musical never dwindled. I spent many weekend evenings at the symphony, the opera and the ballet. Seeing the Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet and the New York City Ballet perform was absolutely breathtaking. No matter what event I attended my cheeks were always damp from the tears. (Except for the opera The Flying Dutchman, that is one very long, loud, boring opera)

Since moving to America and becoming a wife and mother, I stopped attending any of these events. Expense being one reason another that my spouse at the time did not hold the same fascination I did and so I gave that up and in a sense lost a little part of me.

This past week at the hotel there was a music festival. The list of performers was very impressive. I had heard that a young boy, Adam Jackson, was going to be performing and was able to watch him perform for a very select audience. When he first started to play I was transported back in time. As I watched his fingers lightly dance over the keys I was mesmerized. The part of me that I thought I had lost came alive again.

As I wiped my damp cheeks I remembered a great quote from Berthold Auerbach, "Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."

I couldn't agreed more.

Friday, May 8, 2015

144 Steps.

South Beach, Oregon
I have been meaning to write this blogpost for a while and recently read a blog online that May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month, so this couldn't be a more perfect time for my post.

One beautiful Oregon morning I walked to the beach from our home. I decided to count the steps from our backdoor to the first steps to the beach. 144 Steps. As I looked out towards the ocean, a little out of breath, I found myself thinking about those suffering with Cystic Fibrosis. How challenging would 144 steps be? I don't know much about the disease and have done research and will confess I still don't know much, but when someone you know has CF you want to educate yourself a little more and do what you can to help find the cure.

This is no ice bucket challenge and I don't expect this to go viral, what I am hoping is that you all will walk out your front door, count 144 steps and take a picture of what is in front of you. Post on Twitter with the hashtag #144Steps #CysticFibrosis, or on Facebook and then most importantly, if you are able to, make a donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Every little bit helps. It takes a village remember? Click on this link > Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

I hope that you will share this with friends and family, we can make a difference.  And to one of the most amazing woman I know who exudes glitter and rainbows, this blog is for you.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Thank You Al Gore for my Friends.

I remember when we first got dial up and how much excitement there was that we could connect to things and other people so quickly. The tone, the connection, the wait. Pandora's box had been opened and there was no going back.

It was through the internet in 1999 that I met my first online friends, Heidi and Renee. We all belonged to a South African chat forum and the three of us fast became friends, the three musketeers, the terrible trio. Together we have dealt with death, divorce, Hurricane Katrina, moves across country, graduations, weddings of children and so much more. In the 16 years we have known each other we have only physically met once. In 2012 Heidi decided that we were going to road trip to Napa and when Heidi puts her mind to something, nothing can change it, you all just nod, say yes and show up. Meeting Heidi and Renee for the very first time was very emotional. If there was a bond of friendship before, our meeting only solidified it.

November 2, 2009 I decided to enter the world of blogging, mainly as a creative online medium for my rants and thoughts. One of my very first followers, and blogs that I in turn followed, was a blog written by Brooke. Her husband was in the military and she had two little girls. The ultimate military wife. We would post comments on each others blogs and engage in small talk. Then along came Twitter and it was discovered that we both had a mutual friend in common. Life happened and Brooke and her two adorable girls moved back to Oregon. The very first time I met Brooke was a sleepover at my home. Do I need to say anymore? Brooke is my bestie, my go to person when I need an adjustment, a compassionate, but very level headed individual who brings calm to my life. Plus she likes loves wine.

Without Twitter and the internet I would never have met the fabulous Kramer crew and the wonderful world of their wine and sparkles. One tweet about having a sparkle party and I turned into that stray cat that one knows you shouldn't feed, but do. The Kramer crew would have to go into witness protection to get rid of me. Beyond blessed.

My Fuck It list includes meeting the following amazing people I have met via the internet and had interactions via Skype and on the phone, but yet to meet in person. I am blessed to know these very wise individuals who probably tolerate my neediness, but with kindness have never made me feel as though I was that needy person.

Mitchell from Mitchell is Moving
Linda from The Good, The Bad, The Worse
Megan - The Navy wife in Japan who no longer blogs, but is on FB and is just like me.
Alex from the very hot Arizona area. My biggest cheerleader.

So to Al Gore I wish to say thank you for bringing these wonderful people into my life. What would I have done without the internet? Probably found another way to stalk people I guess.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Do You Have a List?

Beautiful Newport, Oregon

I am sure everyone knows what a Bucket List is, but in case you have lived under a rock I will attempt to explain what a Bucket List is with minimal sarcasm.

A few years ago there was a movie and this person wrote a list of everything he wanted to do before he died, so he wrote a list. He did what was on the list. He died.

I never have put together a list and driving home from work yesterday I was thinking of one. I thought of what I would add to my list and as the list grew I knew that it was unattainable without funds. I thought about those Facebook bucket list posts of 'being at the Taj Mahal at sunset with my soul mate' which immediately had me mentally stabbing said person. In the eye. With my pen.

This year I turned 49 and as 50 looms I am thinking of ways to celebrate. In Nubian fashion the celebration will encompass the entire year and not only with family and friends, but by myself, exploring and reflecting.

So instead of a Bucket List I have come up with the Fuck It List. The Fuck It List is short because come hell or high water I will achieve what is on the list. It may not be anything exotic and it definitely won't be the Taj Mahal at sunset with my soul mate, but it will be meaningful to me, which as we all know is all that matters.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Tapestry.

My beautiful Poppy Tapestry Cushion Cover.

Ever since I can remember, my aunt has always had a tapestry that she was working on. When my aunt and uncle were first married I would spend the night and I worked on my very own beginners tapestry that my aunt had bought for me.

Tapestry is an art. Tapestry requires lots of patience. Tapestry is not cross stitch. My aunts home in South Africa had many of her framed completed tapestries and the detail and time invested in these pieces was and is quite incredible. My mother has one of my aunts tapestries and I know that my sisters and I have each put our claim on it, it's not going to be a pretty battle.

A while back I threw my back out and the pain was unbearable. I couldn't sit, stand or lie down. I was just miserable. My aunt had back problems, more severe than I have ever experienced and last year she had some intense back surgery to correct the problem.

As I unpacked the boxes from yet another move I looked at my tapestry and it brought a lump to my throat. My aunt made this for me when she had back problems, but she knows how much I love poppies and made this for me.

Every time I look at my tapestry I look at every stitch as they were made with love and I couldn't have a more priceless gift.