Monday, December 31, 2012

"Sing Me No Sad Songs"

In the last four days, I have lost two friends. That's hard to bear.

 The first, Kay M., I have known since I was about 15 as we were in high school together. She was a year younger than I, but in a small school, being in different classes isn't as much of an obstacle to traveling in the same social circle. The second, Doug A., I have only known since last July as he was our Tech Director for "Bus Stop".  Both deaths came as enormous shock and I am deeply saddened.

Of course, the two of them didn't know each other.  They were my friends at different times, in different places,  and for different reasons.  They probably would have liked each other.  I certainly liked them both.

Kay's mother, who lived with her,  had died during the last year when she was well into her 80s.  They had been very close.  Kay was divorced, her daughter grown, with children of her own and living half a country away.  Kay was an independent, bright, open-minded, and funny lady.  She was a writer.  She had literally just moved from FL to TX a few days before Christmas to be close to her daughter.  She went into the hospital within a day.  She had some sort of respiratory problems that took her life last week.

Two days after learning of Kay's death, I learned that Doug had also died suddenly.  Doug was much younger than Kay (in his early 50s), married, father of two daughters and was highly energetic, driven, and committed to whatever he took on.  He was the father of one of our cast members and offered to do lights for the show.  Over the course of rehearsals that turned into lights, sound, set building, re-wiring, some props, and he even fixed the air conditioning.  Doug was one of those people who saw a need and just did it!  And did it well.  He was extremely efficient and I was hoping to work with him  on many more shows.

There is a memorial service for Doug tomorrow which I will attend.  I don't know about plans for celebrating Kay's life, but I am sure that they will be forthcoming and will be fitting to the dear lady she was.

Although I considered them both friends, the reality is that I didn't know either of them extremely well.  In some ways however, they were quite alike.  The both loved life, had many, many friends, and were positive people, who got things done.  And I am positive neither of them would want their friends and families to be sad and grieve for a long time.  I know Kay, and probably Doug, would both say, "Sing Me No Sad Songs."

So I will try not to.  I will just say to each of them....I'm glad you came into my life.  Thank you for sharing yourself and your gifts.  I will miss you.  May you Rest in Peace, my friends.

Monday, December 24, 2012

"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"

To all of my sweet friends here in blogland,

Thank you for coming to visit my sporadic blog.  Even though I'm not frequently posting these days, I do go and visit many blogs every day.  I love that you all write so eloquently and interestingly and I feel that we are friends!

I want to wish you all the Merriest of Christmases, filled with love and blessings all around.

I'm sending a warm holiday hug to each one of you!!

All the best,


Saturday, December 22, 2012

"The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" (Repeat)

Please forgive me, but I have gotten myself in a real bind this year.  Somehow this year I have gotten to two days before our family's Christmas (which happens on Christmas Eve) and everything is topsy turvy.  I am sneaking in a repeat here just because I wanted to write, but if I have any hope of getting on track, I have to pick up my butt and get to it!  So here's a post from a few years ago.  Maybe you haven't read it!  

Every year, all year, I look forward to Christmas.  I think its "the most wonderful time of the year".  I love the decorations, I love the traditions, I love the music, I love having my family close, and I love the look on my daughter's (and granddaughter's) face when they open a particularly perfect present.  Ratchlet gets all teary and sniffly because a present is a sentimental connection to something important to her.  I've managed to hit the mark with one of her gifts nearly every year.  As she has done with me!  (We are an odd family, the gift that makes you cry is the best gift!)

Maddie-the-Great has loved Christmas since she was old enough to sort of know what it was.  The look of excitement when she sees that "Santa's been here!!"  (usually yelled at the top of her lungs), brings a lump to my throat each time.  She gets so happy as she opens each present.  She says, "Santa brought me just what I wanted!"  

The Big Guy is an even bigger fan of Christmas than I am.  He is the one who insists we bring out all the old Christmas things again and again, even tho they are becoming tattered and torn.  (And I pretty much agree with him.)  I've been trying for years to rein-in his gift- giving some, but he seems convinced that more is always better! 

Poor T.A. had the misfortune of marrying into a family of Christmas-addicts!  His reactions are more controlled and he is not as sentimental about the traditional things.  But each year he understands a little bit better than the year before.  Ratchlet and M-t-G's feelings about the holiday, must be rubbing off on him by now!

Every year I promise myself I will get things all done early so that they can be enjoyed throughout the season.  And every year the promise goes by the wayside.  Even if I get an early start, I am still playing catch-up at some point.   Maybe its because I buy too much, or decorate too much, or delay wrapping too much, or several other "too muches" or it might be because everything absolutely must be finished by 3:00 pm Christmas Eve, whatever the reason or combination of reasons, about a week before Christmas, I get to feeling like a Grinch!  It all becomes overwhelming and too much work and I start to snarl at my loved ones.  All I want to do is go back to bed and skip straight to Easter, a much less high-maintenance holiday. 

I thought this year, being retired and all, I could get things done in a leisurely rush, no fuss.  Take my time, do a little bit every day until its all done.  Doesn't seem to be working so far.  I'm behind, as usual.  I haven't completely given up hope for no rush, no fuss, but it most probably will become big rush/big fuss, just like always. 

Then at about 3:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, I'll take a deep breath, and all of a sudden, its "the most wonderful time of the year" again.  Its a tradition. 

Can you find Waldo..unh...Maddie-the Great??

Sunday, December 16, 2012

"The Best Gift"

I have mentioned before that Mikey and I met in college choir at the Univ.of Ill.- Chicago in 1964.  Our first evening together was on December 10, it wasn't really a date. Our first official date occurred a few days after that.  Nevertheless, December 10 is the anniversary of when we began this long journey we've been on.

The choir was incredibly good.  Both Mikey and I had sung in high school choirs and treasured the opportunity to sing under the direction of  Dr. Edwin Fissinger, a dear sweet man and musical genius, whom we all loved. He was "The Sir" to us all and singing with him was one of the best experiences of my life.  He was a hard taskmaster when it came to music and he got the best from all of us!  We sang beautiful music with complicated rhythms and intricate harmonies and unusual arrangements, some of which were written or arranged by The Sir.  Mikey and I had the good fortune to sing in  the choirs Dr. Fissinger directed --  both of us in the Concert Choir and the Chamber Choir, and I sang in the Madrigal group as well.

The choir presented a Christmas Concert that night at Elmhurst College (I think), which is about an hour's drive from the campus of of UICC.  Like most such events, (from grammar school field trips to college sports team games),  the choir traveled via bus between the two schools.

That night after the concert filled with wonderful Christmas music,  Mikey and I sat together on the bus ride back to our own campus.  How many romances, I wonder, have begun on long, bumpy, noisy rides on a school bus?   We talked and laughed and even had a couple of those heart-stopping moments when two people discover that they have found their special the end of the trip, I was in love!  And the rest, as they say, is history!  We have been together ever since!  This will be our 48th Christmas together!  (Good grief, Charley Brown!)

I don't know why it never occurred to me before now, but our whole history for nearly half a century, grew from its start in the Christmas Season.  Perhaps that is part of the reason we are both such Christmas junkies!  Christmas time is like an anniversary of sorts and we indulge in our mutual love of all things Christmas every year.

I was remembering that whole time just a day or two ago.  Remembering that discovery process and remembering how wonderful it all felt to have an honest-to-goodness boyfriend.  And not only a boyfriend, but I pretty quickly came to the realization that Mikey was my Mr. Right!

But the biggest revelation was one I don't recall ever being aware of before:   Mikey, my Big Guy, my Mr. Right, was "The Best Gift" I ever received on that or any other Christmas!  Without this man and the love that came into my life that night,  everything would be different.  Everything!   None of the best and most wonderful things that have brought me to today would have ever happened!    I, of course, have no way of knowing where I might have ended up without Mikey, but I do know this:  I never would have found anyone else who would have been such a perfect life partner.  We suit each other, we fit together, we've weathered a lot of change over the years, but that start in December of 1964 was just the way it was supposed to be....and I'm pretty sure that Mikey might just feel exactly the same about me!

And we came together at Christmas!  Oh yes, "The Best Gift": indeed!

Friday, December 14, 2012

I was in the middle of writing a different blog post, when I heard the news about the school shooting in New Town, Conn.   Because there is not yet  much factual information about how or why this happened,  so this is my gut reaction without a lot of factual information to back it up.

The shootings took place at an elementary ELEMENTARY school....where children between the ages of 5 and 11 go to school.  Something most all of us did when we were between 5 and 11. I don't know much about the situation other than 27 people are reported dead.  Apparently approximately 9 of them were adults; teachers, staff, and such.  That means that at least 18 of them were children.....children somewhere between the ages of 5 and 11.  Eighteen children, shot dead at school.  It is reported that there was one shooter, who is also dead.

It may be unfair and judgmental of me, but at this point, I don't give a rat's ass about that shooter.  I don't care if he was mentally ill.  I don't care if he was a lost soul.  I don't care about whatever happened in his life that brought him to a point where he made the choice to kill 18 young children and 9 others who probably were devoted to the education and preparation for the future of young children.  I don't care about him.

NOTHING in his life, or belief system, or background, mental condition or anything else could possibly explain or excuse why those 18 young children and the 9 others were killed today.  NOTHING!

All I can care about is that 18 children woke up this morning and went off to school just like any other day and just like millions of other children all around the world.  They went off to school with their books in hand, maybe with a lunch bag, possibly nervous about a test, or excited about a school event, or even hating school as kids are sometimes wont to do. Most of them were probably really excited that Christmas was coming in just eleven more days. They went off to school where they are supposed to be safe, protected, and normal.

How can this be happening again?  What kind of world is this we live in?  How will the parents, families, friends, teachers, other residents of that town ever survive the loss of those 18 innocent children??

They were young children.  They went off to school this morning, but they won't be coming home today....or ever again.

"I've Got It Made"

I don't know how this happened; believe me it wasn't exactly intentional!  I usually try to accomplish this every year, but it's never happened before!  I'm not quite sure how to handle it either.   The truth is "I've Got It Made,"  oh yes, indeedy, I do!

I hesitate to actually write it out for all the world to see because that just seems entirely too risky.  I don't like to tempt fate. I figure though, if I just tell it to a few of my closest, good friends here in Blogland, well, maybe it won't cause any unforeseen disasters....but keep it to yourselves, OK?

I am just about finished Christmas shopping!   SHHH, don't say anything!

It is December 13, and that is fully 11 days before Christmas!  Eleven days!  It might have come about because of the early Thanksgiving.  Maybe I got started sooner. Maybe it was because we received 3,723 catalogs from 1,246 different companies.  And ordering on-line is getting easier all the time (Hallelujah!) Or it could be that I didn't have a lot of very specific ideas in mind that necessitated a gazillion trips all about town to find exactly what I wanted.  My shopping was more laid back.  If I saw something, I bought it!  No dilly-dallying, weighing the pros and cons:  Will he like it?  Is  it her style?  Is this too babyish for our big girl??  Is this what she was hinting about??  Much more straightforward this year....see it,  ponder it briefly, like it, buy it!  Done!

Actually, I am not quite done.  I still have two very specific items yet to purchase, but they are easy and will be completed in one last little trip to a certain store.   Bim, Bam, Boom!  It's a wrap!

I even bought a bunch of wrapping stuff.  I probably shouldn't have, we have more wrapping than we could possibly use up in 10 years, seriously!  The problem with all the wrapping stuff that we have is that we keep re-using things like bows, certain kinds of ribbon, and bags.  We also tend to buy the BIG rolls of wrapping paper, because it is so annoying to only get two packages wrapped from each of the "regular" rolls of paper. They only have something like 5 feet of paper on them.  The BIG rolls last for freakin' ever!  Trust me, this is true! I have been using mostly the same four rolls of fun kid paper for M-t-G's presents since she was about 4!  I don't waste a lot of paper when I'm wrapping, so there is still paper on each of those four rolls!  I think it is actually regenerating in the attic over the course of the year.  Must be because of all the heat and dark up in the attic! Things multiply up there, really!  I mean, what else is there to do in a dark, warm room for weeks and weeks?

But I digress....what I am trying to say is that I am sick to death of those wrapping papers, and ribbons, and bows. I wanted something new, something different!  We've had some of those things for soooo long that they have shown up for Christmas in Chicago, Christmas in California, and Christmas in Austin --  multiple times. And we haven't had Christmas in Chicago since 1991!   No more!

So I indulged myself and bought a bunch of new things.  (No, I am not a total spendthrift...I bought things at Big Lots on Sale.  I spent less than $30 and I got enough to cover all of Christmas with a whole new look.  I'm excited to start wrapping it all up.

Of course, I really can't wait too long to get going on the wrapping, because sure as shootin' it will be while I'm wrapping that I will realize that I have completely forgotten someone, or what looked so darling in the store will fall apart as soon as I try to put paper around it! And THEN I will have to make a gazillion trips all about town to find some replacements.  That will undoubtedly occur on December 23!

In the meantime, however, I can say with complete honesty and justifiable pride when it comes to Christmas shopping....I AM almost DONE!  (I hope!)

And it's still ten days (it's after midnight now so it's one less) til Christmas!  Whoo Hoo!!

Of course, I haven't decorated anything yet.....oh dear!

Monday, December 10, 2012

"My Grown-Up Christmas List"

1. Last Christmas  play you saw in a theater?    A very bad rendition of A Christmas Carol

2. What is your favorite Christmas movie?   We're No Angels.,,,Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray, and Peter Ustinov...delightful!

3. Who is your favorite fictional Christmas Character?    Olive....the other reindeer!    :)

4. Favorite magazine for Christmas ideas?   Better Homes and Gardens

5. Favorite smells of the Season?    Cookies baking and fresh evergreens

6. Favorite sounds of the Season?   Love the sound of jingling bells!

7. The saddest part of Christmas?    Not having my parents and other family with us at Christmas

8. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up on Christmas morning?   How much time I have before I have to be dressed and ready for the day's celebrations to begin.

9. Favorite Christmas treat?    Homemade Christmas Cookies

10. Where is your best hiding place for gifts before Christmas?   Without kids in the house, hiding gifts in a closet is sufficient.  Mikey would NEVER peek, would you Mikey?

11. Finish this statement. “If I had lot of money I’d….give more to charities and good causes..

12. What is the best present you remember ever getting for Christmas?   There have been scores of "BEST" presents over the years.  I loved them all!

13. What kind of weather do you like to have on Christmas?  The same as for every other day....sunny, clear, and temps above 50F!   Definitely without snow or ice or rain!

14. Favorite holiday drink?   Eggnog

15. Something I used to do at Christmas that I don't do anymore.....send Christmas cards to everyone I know.

16. Do you wear anything special for Christmas?   On Christmas Eve I always wear my Santa hat..

17. Favorite Christmas memory?   The year Ratchlet and TA surprised me by coming home after telling me they couldn't!  I was ecstatic!

18. What is your favorite Christmas activity?   Carolling, singing Midnight Mass and a Christmas Concert

19. What activity is traditional in your family on Christmas Day?   Playing a new board game.after dinner.

20.  What is your favorite Christmas Carol?  "Tonight Jesus is Born"

21.  What is your least favorite part of Christmas?   Taking down all the decorations and packing it all away again!

So, what is on your Grown-Up Christmas List??

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

"I'm Old-Fashioned"

Okay, here's a question for you:

If you were reading the following statement aloud, would you say the same thing I do??

Price:  $35.00 plus S&H

If you are under age 45, you  probably said:   Thirty-Five Dollars plus Shipping and Handling.  Right??

However, if you are over 50, I would bet at least a few of you said:  Thirty Five Dollars plus S&H Green Stamps!!

Those kids under 45 wouldn't even have a clue what I was talking about!

When it comes to speech patterns, I freely admit it.  "I'm Old-Fashioned!"  I am forever spouting dated phrases, anachronistic references, and passe slang!  I get the oddest looks from people sometimes.  And the younger the person, the odder the look!!

Here are a few of my regulars.  How many of them do you say and conversely, how many of them have you never heard and have no idea what they mean??  Or am I the only one still stuck in days gone by?

*  A bunch of songs recorded by a single artist included on one device??   That's an ALBUM, right?  Even if it's on a CD, it's still an ALBUM, isn't it?

*  When I make a phone call, I still DIAL the number.....even though I haven't   in years!!   Do you??

*  Also when I'm finished I still HANG UP, even though nothing is hung any where and the process of disconnecting usually involves pushing a button DOWN.

*  Is your world populated by FIREMEN, POLICEMEN, and MAILMEN?   Mine is!  At least until I remember to be gender neutral!

*  Occasionally, when I am talking about leg coverings I still say, STOCKINGS!  Even though I do not own one single pair, and haven't for years!!  Panty hose just doesn't have the same panache.

*  When talking about someone who endlessly repeats their wishes or desires or whatever, in my world they sound like a BROKEN RECORD!  No, not like a record high-jump or record time for a mile....a record like the round black disc full of  recorded music that's in an ALBUM!  (And around and around I go!)

*  If I learn something new or surprising, it is not totally unusual to hear me say, "FAR OUT" or even occasionally "GROOVY".  For this one though I have an easy explanation.  When faced with that blank look, I can just say, "It means COOL!"  Luckily that one seems to have survived into this generation!

How COOL is that?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Cappella

I don't know why exactly, but this strikes me as extremely profound!
It is a point of view we don't often consider!  Just something to think about.

Monday, December 3, 2012

"Everything Old Is New Again:

Evidently I am not the only one who misses some of the old tried and true ways of doing things.  It isn't nostalgia, exactly. It's just that the latest and greatest "improvements" are not always an improvement!  Sometimes the old ways were better; but many of those old things had, I thought, gone the way of the dinosaurs.

Au Contraire, Mes Amis!   I have actually seen several things I thought were gone forever in Christmas catalogs and stores this year!!  Now these are not vintage items.  They are either items that have been made all along, but were hard to find or they are replicas of items that disappeared many years ago.

I guess sometimes, even in today's world, the new gadgets just aren't as reliable, usable, functional, affordable, efficient, or classic as the old stuff.  There's a lot to be said for the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

So here are just a few examples of what you can get when "Everything Old Is New Again!"

A manual typewriter  (It actually works when the power is out....awesome!!)
  • The Wordsmith's Manual Typewriter.

Ladies White Gloves  (These are Queen Elizabeth's choice for "Daytime" gloves, she's been using this maker's gloves since her Coronation!!)

  • The Queen¿s Favoured Gloves.

Hand set for iPhone and the like  (looks kind of silly, doesn't it?)
  • The iPhone Desktop Handset.

Year Round Rain Barrel   (Rain water is great for washing hair!)

  • The Canadian Year Round Rain Barrel.

A record player   (I was right to hold on to all my old records and albums!!)
Crosley Collegiate Turntable

An AM/FM Radio  (No snooze, no clock, it has DIALS and an on and off clearly marked!)
Crosley Solo Radio

And just because this was always one of my favorite things to do when my mom went grocery shopping, and because a galloping horse with real reins beats out any space ship or cartoon character ever made:

Classic Storefront Champion Ride  (Hi Ho, Silver!)  $6,500.00  (Hammacher Schlemmer, who else?)

  • The Classic Storefront Champion Ride.

Yep, "Everything Old Is New Again!"  Ain't it grand?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

"I Enjoy Being a Girl"

I have never wished that I was male.  I am perfectly content to be female.  "I Enjoy Being a Girl;"   in fact, I love being a girl!  I've never suffered from sexual harassment, never felt undervalued just because I was female, never felt downtrodden or in any way a lesser human being.  I never experienced a lower paycheck than a male counterpart.  I pretty much reached the peak of my profession and I was well paid for my efforts. And I know that I have been fortunate!  Many, many thousands of women have not been so fortunate.  There has been much written about the inequities that women have suffered through the ages.  I acknowledge that suffering, recognize the disparity, and feel the same outrage as any other thinking human being when there are gender bias, gender prejudice, and double standards still a part of our civilization.

However, change in that regard is occurring....excruciatingly slowly certainly....but it is occurring and I fully believe that someday (that ephemeral "some day") Planet Earth will become a place of fairness, equality, and respect for all its people.  It will take millenia I'm sure, but some day!

But in the meantime, I have never been one of those females who would rather be male.  In reality my satisfaction with my gender is due to many different things, including the female propensity for compassion, caring, loving, and all things warm and fuzzy!

But the biggest reason I am happy being female and extremely glad that I am not male, is much less admirable.  In fact, I am slightly embarrassed to tell you.  Basically, it all boils down to one simple aspect of being male vs. being female.

Their clothes are boring.

There, I've said it.  Boring, uninteresting, tedious, repetitive, and downright dull!

For most of recorded history the male of the species has worn some variation of pants and a shirt with a jacket.  Blah! Blah! Blah!! Over and over, day after day, year after year, century after century....pants, shirt, jacket.  Oh the monotony!

Think about it:
Vikings -  10th Century

15th Century

17th Century
18th Century

19th Century


21st Century

Oh sure, there is the occasional kilt, nightshirt, kimono, or  robe.... but for most of the European/American culture it's just:   pants, shirt, and a jacket.

Lots of different colors, but the basic thing is still:  pants, shirt, and a jacket!

Different syles, different lengths and different designs, but the basic thing is almost always:  pants, shirt, and a jacket!!

From straitlaced, uptight, trussed up like a turkey to loose, hot, and too cool for school, nevertheless:  Pants, Shirt, and a Jacket!

From the day they are christened:

to the day they are buried:


How do men stand it???

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out"

The Big Guy and I were out to dinner with Ratchlet and M-t-G a couple of weeks ago.  Nothing special, but sometimes everyone is so busy, that dinner allows us to catch up without it being a huge project to coordinate calendars etc.

Somehow, and I really don't remember why, I mentioned something about the time I broke my right wrist and my left elbow at the same time.  It happened about 25 years ago or so, when I fell at a dance rehearsal for a production of "My Fair Lady" that I was in.  Both of my arms were in casts from just before Thanksgiving until about the middle of January.  I couldn't do ANYTHING myself, at least not initially!   I only had two fingers and one thumb that were not encased in plaster!  You can't do much with only two fingers and one thumb!  Trust me!!   I couldn't dress myself, I couldn't drive, I couldn't cook, I couldn't comb my hair, I couldn't even pick up a telephone!  I couldn't work for about two weeks, while I  learned  how to function with two big old clunky impediments attached to my arms!

The Big Guy did yeoman service helping me with my clothes, washing and combing my hair,  generally taking care of everything that required the use of two hands.  I remember very clearly how helpful he was.  He was terrific. The fall occurred two days before Thanksgiving and he did the whole meal himself.  My mom and Ratchlet (home from college for the holiday), were the helpers but I was pretty much out of commission because not only was I unable to do much, I was still in a bunch of pain!

As time moved on I slooooowly got back some function, but it was Christmas time and I just wasn't able to do a lot of shopping, or cooking, or cleaning, or writing, or decorating, or anything.  Mikey, Ratchlet and my mom did most everything and Christmas was as wonderful as always!  They were all terrific!  And I was really grateful.

So back to our dinner with Ratchlet and M-t-G a couple of weeks ago....I mentioned the two broken arms and I was shocked when Mikey said he didn't remember me having two broken arms. WHAT???  He didn't remember???  How could he NOT remember??  It was a major trauma!  It was a BIG DEAL.  It impacted his life almost as much as mine. I was basically out of commission for 8 WEEKS!  and he DIDN'T REMEMBER???  

I must admit I was floored, flummoxed, and flabbergasted!  And a little bit hurt.  We lived in the same house, slept in the same bed, did a lot of stuff together.  But somehow it slipped his mind?  That's just insulting!  I couldn't believe it and I was rather vocal about the whole thing, getting more worked up.  Then Ratchlet popped up and said she didn't remember it either!  WHAT?  Seriously?  Was I invisible?  I had two broken arms and they were in casts, couldn't they see me??    Did they even notice that I was part of their family??

At least Ratchlet was apologetic for not remembering..  I told her that I could kind of understand her not remembering.  After all she was miles and miles away at school for most of that time, but that her father had been right across the table!!

At this point M-t-G piped up and said, "How big was the table?"

Oh how we laughed and laughed and laughed!  Two points, Maddie!  Best line of the night!

(Still, I bet my mother would have remembered!)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

"Over the River and Through the Woods" 2012

It will come as absolutely no surprise to anyone who has ever known me that I am big on tradition.  And as might be expected from a traditionalist, I'm not fond of change.  In fact, I resist and drag my feet over every occasion when change is forced upon me.  From that you could justifiably assume that holidays around my house are filled with a lot of  "But we've always done it that way..."  And Thanksgiving is second only to Christmas for following the same traditions year after year.  The meal is generally the same:  Turkey, mashed and sweet potatoes, gravy, apple/onion stuffing, a green vegetable (sometimes 2), pickles and olives, cranberry sauce (the gelled kind),  plus the family favorites -- Creamed Leek and  Cinnamon Jello.  And of course, homemade pumpkin, pecan, and sometimes peach pies.

After dinner and dishes but before dessert, we play a couple of board games (depending on the age of any children in attendance.)  That generally deteriorates into reminiscing on family stories about relatives that are no longer with us.  For instance the Mom and whipped cream story, the Dad and the mashed potatoes story, the Aunt Marilynn mashed potato story (we like mashed potatoes in our family), the year it was like -30F in Chicago, the year the dog ate the leftover turkey while we all sat not 10 feet away playing Monopoly!  We add new stories as they occur, but mostly our stories are about years gone by and the people we miss.

What it boils down to is that I have celebrated Thanksgiving pretty much exactly the same way for all of my life.  That's a lot of Thanksgivings....a lot of turkey....a lot of tradition!  Up until my Dad died, dinner was always at my Mom and Dad's place.  It switched to our house after that and since coming to Austin some years we do the dinner and some years it's at Rachlet's.  Other than the actual venue however, it's the same dinner with whatever variety of relatives might be in the vicinity.

I expected the holiday to stay pretty much the same for all of my remaining Thanksgivings as well.  It is what we did.  It was TRADITION.

But this year, out of the blue, we changed!

Because of TA and Ratchlet's work and social schedules, this year's holiday just wouldn't neatly fit into the calendar as it usually did.  As we were talking about it, I rather jokingly said that we could go out to eat, so no one would have to cook a huge dinner.  Somehow, the little joke seemed a lot less of an travesty as it had at other times when the response was a resounding NO! from everyone!  This year it seem like it might be a good alternative.  Ratchlet volunteered to find out what was available, just on the off chance there was something we could all live with.

Guess what?  She found the perfect solution....she found paradise!  So we went!

Just outside of Bastrop, TX, a small town about 46 min. southeast of Austin, there is the Lost Pines, Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa, and they offered a Thanksgiving brunch/dinner fit for kings!  Although a bit pricey, it was worth every single penny!  The dinner was held in their Grand Ballroom (huge room) which was beautifully decorated, each family group had a private table configuring in a comfortable arrangement for the size of the group.  We only had a group of 5, still 2 waitstaff were assigned our table and they were very skilled and attentive throughout our meal.  The food was perfect!  I kid you not!!  Everything was delicious, nothing weird or odd, very traditional, plus hot (or cold), plentiful, with great variety, and attractively presented.  The carving station offered turkey, ham, prime rib, all of the traditional potatoes, gravy, stuffing, veggies.  In addition there were oysters on the half-shell, shrimp cocktail, salads, antipasti, Ahi Tuna, lox and bagels, fresh made omelets, a full range of breakfast offerings.  There was also the largest selection of desserts I have every seen at an event of this type.  Cobblers, pies, cakes, bread pudding, and brownies, cookies, and other small dessert offerings.  There was a separate buffet for young kids with mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, corn dogs, turkey and PB&J. It was a big hit with the 3-9 year olds!  They had a bouncy house for the kids, ping pong, and were showing movies just down the hall as well.

There was live music that was pleasant and unobtrusive.  There were six chefs manning just the carving stations!  Every single staff person was friendly, helpful, greatly attentive to detail, and genuinely glad that we were enjoying ourselves.  It was truly perfect!

The resort is on beautiful grounds and we strolled around after dinner to see all it offered.  Geared for families, there were many activities available, several places to eat, several bars, an ice cream shop, a gift shop, a huge pool, canoeing, horses, spa, and supervised games for the whole family.  We were impressed and may actually plan a stay at some point.

The entry to the property was actually "Over the river and through the woods", but the final destination was a whole lot nicer than just any old 'grandmother's house"!

We had a great time, a great meal, and a great Thanksgiving!  Rumor has it that we might never have a Thanksgiving at home ever again!  I vote Yes!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Counting Your Blessings"

Sometimes we are not as focused as we should be on what a holiday is truly about.  Life gets busy.  We get hung up in the trappings of the day.  We neglect to take time to think about what is important.

Thanksgiving is perhaps the easiest holiday to actually prevent that from happening.  It's right there in the name:  Thanksgiving.  Giving thanks.  Being grateful for all that is good in our lives.  Acknowledging our triumphs.  "Counting Your Blessings."  Taking the time to understand that even in the worst of times there are still blessings in our lives.

Tomorrow is the day that we all (or at least most of us) will celebrate the bounty in our lives.  Sharing a day with our families, being glad for our good fortune and knowing that even though life could be better, it most definitely be worse....much worse.

A blessing which we in Blogland share....the love, support, and gratitude for our cyber friends.  I am grateful for each and every one of you. I wish you all a joyous day celebrating with your friends and family, all that you have, all that you love, all that  brings you happiness.  I will be doing the same!

As has become my custom, below is my annual list of what I am thankful for over and above all the basic goodness of life:

26 Things I am Grateful For  -  2012

Today I am grateful for....

1.  Artichokes, Asparagus, and Avocados....definitely "The A List"....yum-yum!

2.  Blogging....even though I am struggling with writing just now, I will not give it up!

3.  Choirs....a group of people lifting voices in song with glorious harmonies and beautiful music.  Pure pleasure!

4.  Doughnuts....a perfect glazed, raised, round, light as a feather, nugget from heaven!

5.  Elections....grateful I live in America were it is my right and my duty and my privilege to cast my vote!  Also glad that the elections have ENDED for this round!

6.  Freedom! live in a country at a time when Freedom remains real and true and treasured!

7. there any better example of how evolution works to adapt each species to its own needs?

8.  Hearing....a baby's laugh, a barking seal, a cry for help, the voice of one you love...

9.  Intelligence....the ability to think, innovate, problem-solve, create, and learn!

10.  Jokes....Funny stories, witty one-liners, puns, satire....all that keep us laughing!

11.  Kids....Especially your own!  The best thing ever, the hope of the future, the miracle of birth, the gift of love!

12.  Language....the ability to speak, to communicate, to share, to express, to amaze, to say exactly what you mean!

13.  Men....Fathers, uncles, boyfriends, sons, "bad boys", husbands,  lost loves, granddads,  guy pals....where would we be without them??

14.  Naps....a few stolen minutes of peace, rest, escape, and dreams smack dab in the middle of the day!

15.  Okefenokee .....(The swamp in Georgia)....just because it is such fun to say.  Go ahead, try it....O-kee-fen-o-kee!

16.  Phones....Communication all around the world, connection to anywhere, anytime, anyplace, anyone!   Think about it!!  WOW!

17.  Quilts....the old-fashioned kind, with little bits of history sewn together to tell a story, made with care, and love, and beautiful handiwork.

18.  Reading....filling your mind with the written word found in books, magazines, billboards, medicine bottles, milk cartons....there is ALWAYS something to read!

19.  Summer....warmth, sunshine, days at the beach, fun, happy times, and vacation!!

20.  Trees....such a variety, all lovely, giving us shade, acorns, treehouses, foliage, places to climb, fruit, and flowers!

21.  Universities....amazing centers of learning, understanding, expression, and expansion of knowledge.

22. Valor....the courage possessed by so many willing to serve, defend, protect our homeland!

23.  Watermelon....Can't get around it, I just LOVE watermelon!!

24.  Xerox...One of the pioneers in making copies of just about any paper, book, photo, illustration, or post-it-note a piece of cake!

25.  Yellow.....a repeat to be sure, but I am ALWAYS grateful for YELLOW in any, amber, honey, sunshine, saffron, sunflower, lemon, banana, squash....

26.  Zippers....a genius invention, truly!

Happy Thanksgiving All!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"Bits and Pieces"

Just a few bits of this and pieces of that.....

1.   Maddie-the-Great is having a great time at her new school.  Things are going well for her academically (mostly A's and a couple of  B's), she is making friends, likes her teachers (except one....there's always one!),

Sunday, November 11, 2012

"Sweet Lorraine" (Reprise)

November 11 will always be a day of remembering, honoring, and sadness for me.  Of course, everyone knows it is Veteran's Day...a well-deserved day to recognize and honor those who have served in the military for this country.

But on a more personal level, it is more about loss to our family.  Nine years ago today my mother died. She was 83.  

I wrote this two years ago and want to reprint it today as my tribute to my mother, Lorraine Charlotte J., better known to us as Mom!  

From November 11, 2010:

I don't often post twice in one day, but November 11, is a day that is important to me.  Veterans' Day is to honor millions of Service Men and Women, some of which were heroes.

The other reason to post today is to honor one sole woman who was very definitely a hero, she was my hero!  She was my mother, and she died seven years ago today.  I miss her all the time and I can't believe it's been seven years. 

She was a hero to me and my family because, quite simply, she did whatever she needed to do to keep us fed, clothed, safe, housed, educated, and above all, loved.  

Dad always worked and brought home a paycheck, but Mom did EVERYTHING else.  Dad never wanted to own a house, by renting, the landlord was always responsible for fixing big stuff, so we rented my whole life....houses when I was a child, and then apartments.  If anything little broke down Mom would fix it.  She wasn't always successful but she tried.  When I married Mr. Fix-it (aka the Big Guy), he was always available to help with things like drippy faucets so that was one less thing mom had to do.  Both she and Dad treated the Big Guy like a son and he loved them in return.

She didn't work outside the house until I was 17 years old when she was forced to by circumstances.  Before that, Mom was!  She cooked dinner just about every night, she washed clothes, she did the shopping, she drove us around town for whatever, she ironed (until I was old enough not to burn up the family wardrobe),  she dusted (until I was old enough to do the job to her satisfaction), she vacuumed, she baked, she made crafty things, she rearranged the furniture, she wrote letters, she looked after Dad and me and then she looked after my sister as well.  She disciplined  us, she praised us, she waited up until we were home once we were old enough to date, she taught us stuff, she turned holidays into lovely events filled with traditions.  From her we learned morals, and ethics, and honesty, and how to be a great mom.

When Dad died she persevered in looking after my sister and the apartment, alone, even after Little Sis moved out.  She turned into a wonderful grandmother who loved her grandkids almost as much as we did.

Due to ill health, her last years were difficult and disappointing and she didn't cope with it too well.  She had always hated being dependent on anyone for anything.  When she had no choice, she hated it even more.  The quality of her life, was not good and that depressed her and made me very sad. 

Ending up like that was  not much of a reward for a mom who did everything for her family her whole life.  She deserved better.  That, of course, can't be changed, but she made my life full of love and opportunities and laughter, and music and she was ALWAYS be a hero to me.  My mother, "Sweet Lorraine".

I miss her and always will.  I love you Mama!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"My Kind of Town"

Austin has an un-official motto that is extremely popular and really true...."Keep Austin Weird!."   Now I don't know if Austin has an official motto, but for my money, I think the un-official one is just about perfect.

I had occasion to go into downtown Austin this afternoon.  While I was only on the fringes of downtown (i.e., south of the river), I wasn't in one of the quirky parts of the city.  It was a mix of offices, restaurants, and cultural stuff, pretty mainstream and quite well-travelled.  As I was waiting at a stop light while looking for a place to park, there was a guy walking by who was clean, dressed casually but not oddly, about 30 or so and carrying a backpack.  He was using his iphone, or ipad, or kindle or some sort of electronic gadget while he was walking.  On his right shoulder was a tail-twitching, highly alert squirrel.  The squirrel didn't appear to be attached to a tether or anything.  He was just sitting there looking around. Of course, it never occurred to me to whip out my phone/camera and snap a few pics.  It never does (sigh), I'm hopeless when it comes to photos, so I can't prove a thing!   Was he a pet or just hitchin' a ride??  Don't know, but it's not something you see every day.  Weird!

About an hour later, after I completed my errand, I was walking back to my car on the same street where the guy with the squirrel had been, and along came a cowboy riding a horse....neither the horse nor the cowboy were anything special, they weren't all gussied up like for a parade or a rodeo or anything....just a guy in jeans, a plaid shirt, boots, and a big Stetson riding a big brown horse.   Now I know that Austin is in Texas and Texas is home to lots of cowboys, but they are not typically riding down the street in Austin in the middle of rush hour!  Austin is a very urban city!   I've lived here 12 years and I've never seen a cowboy riding his horse through downtown before. I smiled, and the cowboy tipped his hat....very gallant!  Still.... Weird!

See, that un-official motto makes more sense now, doesn't it?    You just never know what you are going see when you're in Austin.  Keepin' it Weird!!     :)

"My Kind of Town?"  ---   yep, gotta love it!!

Another A Cappella

The election is over, the votes have been counted, and a winner declared. President Barack Obama has won re-election to a second 4-year term. The popular vote was very close at 11:45 pm there were 3 state votes counts still too close to call and 2 states where the polls had not yet closed (Alaska and Hawaii). However, the electoral college tally showed a very clear victory for President Obama....303 for Obama vs. 203 for Romney. I'm sure there will be calls for recounts and accusations of fraud or other misdeeds, still barring a discovery of enormous tampering, the outcome will more than likely remain the same. So, the U.S. has re-elected Democrat President Barack Obama.

Obama supporters are, of course, thrilled. Everyone likes having their candidate be the winner! I, personally am very glad that Mr. Romney was not elected, for many reasons, the most important of which relates to my concerns regarding the treatment of women in this country in relation to health care, reproductive rights, equal pay for equal work, and so on.

Facebook is filled with celebratory posts about the winner and naturally, those supporting the loser are also expressing their opinions on the election result. I would like to share with you a very disturbing exchange posted by a friend of mine (Friend A). (All names and identifying info has been deleted.)

Writer #1 is my Friend A....a lovely, funny woman whom I like very much. When I met her she informed me within our very first conversation that she was a CHRISTIAN, and considered Jesus to be her personal savior. She is very active in her church. I subsequently discovered she was also a very staunch Republican. I know nothing about either Writer #2 or Writer #3. Within a half hour of the declaration of President Obama as the winner, the following exchange took place:

W #1: OMG Four more years of hell. Lovely

W #2: Amen

W #3: It will be worse in 4 years ....there will be more ppl dependent on the system in 4 years to vote democrat

W #1 Grr u are right. What a lovely thought.

W #1: Well, hopefully eyes will be open when we realize that our dollar and our country wont be worth squat. Good chance he will be impeached from the benghazi issue..

W #3: the liberals have overtaken us....there will be a full crash now, possibly followed by a civil war. Why did we have the civil war? Slavery (i.e. MORAL VALUE). what with the democrat platform taking God out of the constitution and endorsing abortion (with no conditions) and gay marriage....this is now a MORAL issue for today

W #1: Very true. It's scary.

W #2: Fox News said PA voted for BO - most are dependent on the system right now. More and more people everywhere else will become dependent on the Govt over the next 4 years, brainwashed into voting Dem next time.

W #1: Bunch of lazy ass people who want a handout. If they truly want socialism...move to Russia!


Now I have another friend (Friend B....who doesn't know any of those people and did not see their postings), a dear, sweet man I have known for many, many years.  He is truly one of the nicest people I know.  He also posted about the election after the results were announced.  Here is his posting:

Friend B:    America is blessed with many things. Not the least of which is the graceful acceptance of a losing candidate, be they the incumbent or the challenger. There are no military take overs or candidates being dragged from their homes at midnight and shot in the woods. Regardless of the rancor of the campaign, once the election is over everyone shakes hands and wishes the other well. If the world could only learn that from America, life would be so much better in so many places.

Some time after reading the postings from Friend A, I wrote the following:

Breathing Again! 
Must say though, I have lived through somewhere around 15 national elections in my lifetime and I don't believe there has ever been a popular vote this close. So even though there is a clear electoral college total, approximately half the country is unhappy....perhaps even angry. That doesn't bode well for getting anything done by either side. 
I know it's a radical idea but, maybe if everyone put aside their differences and worked together, things would get better sooner rather than later. 
Well, it was just a thought..... 

So what is my point?? I find Friend A's response truly disturbing on so many levels.  I cannot understand the hatred and vitriol that must exist to generate such an exchange. Slavery was a Moral Value???  Nooo, it was an abomination against humanity!  "Bunch of lazy ass people who want a handout."  CHRISTIAN??  If that is a Christian response, I can guarantee you that I will never become CHRISTIAN!  Impeachment??  Civil War??????   

Good God, protect us from fanatics!

Friend B is closer to what I believe about American elections and morals, but perhaps in light of Friend A's posting, we shouldn't tout American elections as a role model for the rest of the world just yet.  Maybe we'd better focus on our own citizens first.  

And as for my hope for working together in this country to make things better, well, that pretty much looks like it won't happen in my lifetime or maybe even in this millenium!

How very, very sad!  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"Wisdom of the Ages"

A very wise man, Mr. Jefferson.... 

One of the truly extraordinary men 
who shaped the framework of our Country's Freedom 
over 225 years ago.

Photo: Today, please remember this from our Thomas Jefferson.

Exercise your privilege and VOTE

....but keep it in perspective!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


It should have come as no surprise.  I've done similar things before, with similar results.  Somehow though, I thought, that this would be a different kettle of fish.  After all, this isn't something that I've had to force myself to do.  It doesn't give a physical pain, or require a great deal of physical effort, or even (if truth be told) a great deal of mental effort.  So, I thought it wouldn't be a problem.  But it is!

What the heck am I blathering about?  Basically, how easy it is for a break in a good routine to become the kiss of death to that routine.  In other words, I am having to force myself to sit down and write this, because it is becoming increasingly obvious, that if I don't purposely get back to writing on a regular basis, it will result in the end of the Musings....

Several times over the years I have started and tried to establish "good habits" such as exercise, or working on a project of one sort or another.  I will diligently work to make an effort to establish a pattern, a time table, a level of consistency which will become so automatic that I won't even notice  I will just become proud of my new-found commitment to walking, meditating, crafting, cleaning, or whatever.  I will keep at it for several weeks or even longer and I forget all about that "Pride goeth before a fall" thing.

Because sooner or later something happens to break the routine....I twist an ankle or change my schedule or get involved in something else that interrupts my "good habit"  Hey, it happens.  Life does not remain constant (which is really a good thing!)

When the interruption crops up, I can give myself permission to stop the new habit "for a little while" until ....whatever!  The ankle heals, the conflict goes away, or the project concludes.  But I just don't ever get back to the "good habit" EVER!  Once the pattern is interrupted it cannot be reestablished.  It might be that I have lost interest or just keep postponing, or just flat-out forget about it.  My original commitment disappears completely and I never go back.

From August until the beginning of October you may recall that I was involved with a show, "Bus Stop".  We rehearsed four nights a week and there were other time requirements that pretty much took all my time and energy, so I didn't write much.  I thought all the while that it was just an interruption and I'd get back to writing more regularly as soon as the show closed.

Well the show closed a month ago and I haven't returned to writing regularly!  At this point, I doubt if anybody much cares anymore.   My blogland friends have pretty much given up on me I think....and I certainly can't blame them.  Why ever would anybody want to keep visiting when there is nothing new to read??  I wouldn't visit another site with the same problem, so I can't expect anyone to do any better than I would.

The thing is, I really like having this outlet for my own thoughts and opinions and I like writing it.  But as I said, once a habit is broken, I find it really difficult to resurrect it!

So here's the deal, I need your "Help" in the form of encouragement or interest or some sort of acknowledgement that I actually have readers who care where or not I return.  I have always loved your comments and visits, but at times, when it seems as if no one is even reading this it takes more effort to make it continue.  And now with a three-month hiatus and a bad track-record on re-instituting a "good habit", I have a lot of lethargy about getting back on track.

I never wanted nor expected that "Bus Stop" would be the end of the line for the Musings, I should have known better.   Is anyone still on the bus??  :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Election 2012

May I offer one other very important piece to consider?

During the next President's term (the next 4 years), it is likely that there will be two vacancies on the Supreme Court due to age and poor health. The two justices are both moderates. The job of appointing replacements will fall to whomever is President at the time, in this case, either Romney or Obama. If Romney is elected, those appoin
tments would most assuredly be for 2 extreme conservative justices. If that happens, it is all but guaranteed that Roe v. Wade will be overturned. Once that happens, women's health and reproductive rights will take a giant step backward. I don't want my daughter or my granddaughter to be treated like chattel or property (is that the same thing??) or incapable twits who have their lives and their health controlled by the political and religious fanatics of the extreme right. Do you??

I'm not a political person as a rule, but this is too important an issue to ignore. The only way to ensure that those positions on the Supreme Court are not filled by some rabid, fanatical Conservative is to vote for Obama. Voting for any other candidate will not work. Whoever, is appointed could be on the Court for DECADES. We need sanity on the Court to keep women from being treated some lesser species, with no rights at all.

Vote for Obama for the sake of women everywhere....please!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Election 2012

I believe that it is your right to believe any damn fool thing you want, but it is my right, and my duty, to try to stop you from achieving public office where your outrageous beliefs could impact the laws we live under! 

This is beyond appalling!   Please watch this video of an actual candidate in the state of Indiana:

So This Guy Running For Senate Said Rape Was God's Intention. No, Not That Guy. ANOTHER ONE.

You were probably thinking I was talking about this guy. Or maybe this guy who called rape just another "method of conception." 
But no, there's ANOTHER ONE. Indiana U.S. Senate Republican candidate, Richard Earl Mourdock, is very pro-life. To prove he's committed, he went ahead and actually called pregnancy from rape a "gift from god." I'm not joking; he says that rape is something "God intended to happen.” Seriously, there's actual video footage of a human being saying this.
*  *  *  *  *
INDIANAPOLIS (AP)   [Democratic Rep. Joe] Donnelly, a moderate Democrat who opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest or where the life of the mother is in danger, has spent much of his campaign highlighting Mourdock's tea party ties and trying to accuse him of being too extreme even for conservative Indiana. 

Men and Women, do not vote for anyone who supports or agrees with these unbelievably insane ideas! Think of your daughters and your granddaughters, and vote accordingly!!  Women make up half of our population. We have the power to keep these men OUT of our government. Use that power and vote !

The economy is NOT the only issue in this election!  It may not even be the most important one!

Friday, September 14, 2012

"The Long and Winding Road"

For the last month and or so I have been on "The Long and Winding Road."  The journey has almost sucked  the life out of me.  I had no room for anything else. It certainly used up all my creative abilities and my energy and my patience, and still, the challenges kept coming. We meet the challenges and keep moving forward! However, tonight will tell the tale....Curtain up in 10 short hours!  Opening Night!!

Rehearsal for Bus Stop at WOBCP 

Monday, August 20, 2012

"I'm Sorry" Part 2

4.  Week 2:  We managed to finish blocking Act II and did some more character work.  Not as productive as I had hoped but it was okay.  Except we had a couple of Bobbles!

5.  Second Bobble:    Several months ago, my daughter and I had set up this week as "Grammy Camp" for my granddaughter.   It was fun and we did a few things we enjoyed.  The Bobble came in with the length of my day.  (Remember, I am a complete and TOTAL Night Owl.  Now that I'm retired, I stay up really late (usually around 3:00 a.m.) and I also sleep really late (I usually don't get up until 10:30 or 11).  Grammy Camp started at 8:30 am and I usually didn't get home from the evening's rehearsal until 10:30 or 11 pm....wide awake, and unable to even think about going to bed.  At 8:30 am, I was sleepy, groggy, and not very motivated to move.  It was a good week.  M-t-G and I had a good time but the long days really wore me out.  I barely accomplished anything other than the Camp and the Rehearsal.  There is a reason God gives children to young women!!

6.  Third, Fourth, and Fifth Bobble:  This was a killer!  Our male lead reported to me that he had forgotten that there was a family wedding on one of the Performance Nights and that he was one of the Groomsmen!!  It was over 50 miles away and he couldn't guarantee that he could get back in time for the performance.    He was only 19 years old and I think he was getting great pressure from his family, so he chose to drop out of the production.  Well, cra.......bcakes!    

That same night, our female lead (also age 19) had a big time meltdown because she and her boyfriend were breaking up and she was heartbroken.  She was practically sobbing because she was so miserable.  She told me she didn't think she could go on with the show because she was so unhappy and wouldn't be able to give the production the attention it deserved!   Well, cra.....ckers and beans!!

Also that same night (Oh, what a night!), we also lost our Stage Manager!  She was engaged to the male lead that had just dropped out and even though they were not yet married, it was "whither thou goest..." and she was out too!!  Well, CRAP ON A BUN!

Knowing that a teenaged broken heart is survivable, I asked the female lead to think it over and not make a decision until she had calmed down.  I darned near slept with my fingers crossed!

In the next few days I networked with every theater person I know in the Austin-area, because I need to replace one male actor (able to play age 21), one Stage Manager, and possible one female actor who could play 19 and could sing!  

7.  Bobble Resolution:   Actors do not grow on trees!  And getting replacements is arduous at best.  I talked to every one I could.  The good news is that the female lead dried her tears decided to stay!  Whew!  One Disaster Averted!!

As for our male lead, finally after four days and being turned down by FIVE different actors I contacted, I was getting really desperate!  I only knew of one more actor that would be right for the role....and no one could reach him!!  If I couldn't get hold of him and convince him to take the role, I really didn't know where else to turn.  Nevertheless, Murphy kept his stupid nose out of this particular problem and we were FINALLY able to reach my last resort!  And wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, he accepted the role. In fact, he was thrilled and excited.   And furthermore, he was absolutely perfect for the role!!  I had hoped that he would be at the original audition because I knew he was right for the role.  I had been disappointed when he wasn't there.  No matter though!  He said YES and he is well into the role after a few days of rehearsal!!  Second Disaster Averted!

As for Bobble #4 our re-committed female lead also brought along a Stage Manager for us!!
Oh Hallelujah!  Final Disaster Averted!!

Except that it wasn't the Final Disaster!!  Come back tomorrow for Part Three of the road to the "Bus Stop"!!   And why I am soooo sorry!

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