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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Going Home?

So, I mentioned a long weekend.  I am enjoying my long weekend on a road trip with my Mom.  We have traveled to her hometown for a big celebration.  Now, when I say "big", that is relative, as the town is 200 people.  I always enjoy coming back here.  I never lived in this town, but I remember visiting Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and other family here.  There is something special about visiting where some of your history comes from.

Of course, no trip to a hometown is complete without visiting all the sights.  For us, that means the old church, the farmlands, and the cemetery.  We do this every time we visit, and it wouldn't feel right without going to these important places.

 Rolling hills of farmland

 The Old Country Church

A panoramic view of parts of the cemetery and surrounding farmlands

Even though this is not My home, it is still home.  And for me, that means lots of interesting thoughts run through my head.  I imagine what it would be like to live here, I imagine what I would be like if I had been raised here, I imagine how different life can be.  I mean, I live in a pretty good sized city, though I grew up in a small town.  However, my small town upbringing was still much larger than this tiny town.  It many times just feels like a different world.  People are different, the way time works is different.  Everything is just a bit different.  Not right, not wrong, not better, not worse.  Just different.  

I truly value the chance to come back, visit family and friends, and connect to our history.  It is something that I should probably do more of.  And if this blog is about dreams, I feel that this is a good one to hang onto.  Dreams of family, dreams of not losing touch, dreams of knowing what we are connected to.

I was struggling to come up with a song to describe how I am feeling today.  So many emotions, so many thoughts.  I'm sure the perfect song is out there, but honestly, I am too tired to try and find it today.  So, enjoy this song.  It is by Katie Herzig, a wonderful musician that opened for one of my favorites a few years back.  And while it is not quite perfect for today, it comes close.

So here, for my song of the day, is "Jack and Jill" by Katie Herzig.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Foreshadowing?

So, for about a week, I kept waking up with the same song in my head. The first line is "Put on your war paint."  I feel like maybe I should have paid attention to that.

Last week was the most stressful week of the year for where I work. Each year we have a state inspection. We have a six month window for them to come in. Everything we do and have done is scrutinized to find the smallest error that they can uncover. Even when you do everything right, something will be found. It boils down to a VERY stressful period of time, culminating in the visit and a report with what you messed up. 

Last Tuesday morning was the start of our inspection, with them leaving on Friday afternoon. 

So, back to that song. I'm not one to read meaning into songs that I hear, dreams that I have. But maybe there is something to it. Maybe we should pay greater attention to what our subconscious is telling us. 

Our survey turned out great, thank goodness. And now a long weekend of vacation is starting for me. 

What does this all mean? No idea. But for me, I may pay attention to the lyrics of what is going through my head when I wake up each day. 

So enjoy this song, it is one of my favorites. My song of the day is "The Phoenix" by Fall Out Boy.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Good Day

Today was a good day. It was a day with much joy, much contentment, much happiness. 

Much of what made it a good day was little things. Things not worth mentioning. Many were broad spectrum things, but I don't feel a need to get into them, either. 

It is enough to just know that it was a good day. We all need those once in a while. We need a day, where when we reach the close, we feel a little better than the day before. A chance to feel happy. To enjoy the lives that we are living. 

I hope that today was a good day for each of you, as well. And if it wasn't, tomorrow is another day...another chance for a good day. 

So I leave you with my song of the day. "We Are More" by Erin McKeown. A phenomenal artist and a great piece to listen to...on any day. 

We Are More
This morning I saw a glimmer of hope
In the eyes that I met at the door
Of separate futures and confident sutures
To the wounds that we have endured

You hate the words of war, but baby face it!
That's what it's been for us
We were never good fighters or very good soldiers
But through this we are more

It's victorian this embroidering ordering and
Sorting of memory to museum quality
In a box we are, we are and we're art
For the victims and tourists to see

And this victory we're part of is part and
Parameter of all that has come before
We were never good fighters or very good soldiers
But through this we are more

What's the harm in ruins, reminds us of who
We were in darker times
In the pieces of colonies, we'll find that we follow
A church of our own design

By our best, we're remembered, baptized we surrender
By air, by water, by shore
We were never good fighters or very good soldiers
But through this we are more

Monday, June 24, 2013

Say What You Want to Say

So summer keeps rolling forward.  I have missed a few of my planned concerts, but as is life.  So far only missed 2 Jazz at the Zoo shows (of course that means I have only made it to 2), but it could be worse.

Work has been nuts, home has been nuts, life just gets nuts.  All good, just busy.

I had mentioned that I am using Twitter to find new music.  Another wonderful aspect is that I also use it to follow artists that I love.  Sometimes they just have amusing pictures and things to say, but sometimes they announce new shows, albums, singles, videos, etc.  Today was a day where fun things were announced.

In two months, Tyler Hilton & Ryan Cabrera are doing another show nearby.  Even better, it is around my birthday and I can use it for a little celebration with one of my best friends.  Some may say that I am a dork, some may say that I need to find new music.  Oh well, say what you want to say.  I enjoyed the last concert that I went to, and am thoroughly looking forward to this one.

That's how dreams work.  They don't have to make sense to anyone else.  They just have to mean something to you.  I love music, I love live shows.  I love the feeling that you get, the energy from the crowd, the high that the performer seems to be going off of, the feeling of being part of something larger.

Maybe it's silly.  Maybe I should be looking for something greater.  But for now, it's what adds to my happiness.  And as it is not something dangerous, illegal, or damaging...Why not go for it?  What's wrong with searching out your happiness.  Nothing...at least that's my opinion.

So say what you want to say...but I am looking forward to adding this to my summer schedule!

My song of the day is "Say" by Ryan Cabrera


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Relay for Life 2013...Welcome to CandyLand

Every summer there are things that are a staple in my life.  One of those is participating in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.  Many people know about this, and many people don't.  For those who don't, here is a summary.  This is a 24 hour team event.  You develop your team, you raise money, and then comes the event.  At ours, we are at a city park, teams lined along the track.  You decorate according to the theme for that year, and then you walk.  As a team, you keep someone on the track for all 24 hours.  The idea is that cancer never sleeps, so for one day, neither will we.  Lots of other events happen during this 24 hours, including a silent auction, special laps, a survivor ceremony, and a luminaria ceremony. 

The luminaria ceremony is the most special time for me, every year.  It is when we light luminaries with the names of those who have won the battle against cancer, and those whom we have lost in that battle.  It is a time of quiet, of silence, of music, of tears, of memories.  Every year it is a new experience, and one that I never forget.

While many tears are shed during that hour, the event also includes laughs and excitement.  Below are pictures from this years event.  It was a wonderful time, and one that I look forward to again next year.

 Our team site.  The event theme was games, so we chose CandyLand

 Check out the balloon lollipops, we made them!!!

 Inside our canopy

 Ms Relay is a staple competition at our event

 Alec was our Princess Lollipop

Liz, Lainie, & I had amazing glasses for the light up lap

During the luminaria ceremony, the guitarist performed his version of a song.  A song which spoke to the pain of losing someone you love.  A song about losing someone too early.  So today, as I remember Relay, my song of the day is Wesley, Why? by Matt Wertz.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Festival of the Arts 2013

Forewarning....lots of pics and videos to come, but they are so worth your time.

Festival of the Arts is always an interesting time.  It is a chance to experience food, music, dance, and art.  Downtown is just kind of taken over, and you get to experience people, places, sounds, smells, and tastes.  You have to be able to handle crowds, but it is so worth it.

I went downtown for two of the three days.  I had bands that I wanted to see both nights.  Friday night, I went to see Jukejoint Handmedowns.  A local band that I see whenever I can.  Before they came on, we got to the see person before them.  Her name is Karisa Wilson.  She was amazing.  Even better, I get to see her again in a few months at a concert series that I help manage.

I strongly encourage you check out her music.  She has an incredible voice and is a rockin' performer.

 Karisa Wilson at City Stage


video


Next up was the band we went to see, Jukejoint Handemdowns.  

Always a good show.  My words are not sufficient to describe their music...so here is their description from their website.
"The Jukejoint Handmedowns were established in 2010 as a duo act by founding members Nathan James and Tim Foley. They describe themselves as a 'Big Tent' American Roots group whose eclectic set list mixes classic country covers, tin pan alley & jazz standards, 'countrified' pop tunes and original material. Expanding to a trio in 2011 with the addition of Paul Harris on steel guitar, and then to a quartet in 2012 when Craig Van Otteren signed on as Mandolin/3rd Harmony, this entertaining group continues to provide toe-tappin', honky tonkin' fun with their unexpected song choices, harmony vocals and laid-back acoustic instrumental arrangements. They are equally at home in a rowdy barroom, private party or swanky black tie event."

Jukejoint Handmedowns at City Stage

 
 
 
 

video

Saturday night brought a show that I could not wait to see.  A band called the Jim Crawford Band.  I first saw them perform at Festival many years ago, like 2003 or so....  They rock.  Plain and simple.  I ended up getting to see them perform many, many times over the next couple of years.  Unfortunately they broke up as they went in different directions.  The show on Saturday was a reunion show.  It was awesome!

 Jim Crawford Band at Circle Stage

 
 
 
video


So, as these bands show, my taste in music varies, but I do firmly believe that live music is best.  At least it is if the band is actually any good.  :)  With that in mind, I had a hard time finding a song of the day.  So I have uploaded videos of all three bands, but I am choosing "Stronger" by Karisa Wilson for my song today.  Simply put, beautiful message, beautiful song...check it out.


 "Stronger" by Karisa Wilson

  
"Beer City USA" by Jukejoint Handmedowns


"Angel of Mine" & "Sister Wendy" by Jim Crawford Band

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Memories

So...

A lot is going on right now.  I have a couple of blogs that I need to publish from this past weekend.  It was Festival of the Arts.  So I have pics and videos from some amazing groups, which I hope to share soon.

Also, this coming weekend is Relay for Life in downtown.  I am co-captain for our team, so there is tons and tons of prep work happening right now.

When things get busy, my mind alternates between spinning in circles and being completely empty.  Either way, I can't seem to put clear thoughts together.

So while I keep moving forward and attempt to put my thoughts in order, here is one of my favorite new songs.

"Memories" by Panic! At The Disco. This is a band that I listened to several years ago and loved.  Now I am waiting to see them perform with Fall Out Boy.  Enjoy the song...simply put....it rocks.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Rockin' Concert....Part 3

So...next up in our night of rockin' music.  The last two acts were Tyler Hilton and Ryan Cabrera.

While we were waiting for Tyler Hilton to come on, we hung out, had a drink, and got to chat as friends.

Lainie, Liz, & I

Oh yeah, I forgot to upload the best picture of the night.  As I mentioned, we Lainie and I were there for souncheck...and we got this amazing shot.

 Myself, Tyler Hilton, & Lainie

Yep, that was awesome.

So on to the show.  Tyler Hilton puts on an amazing concert.  Absolutely loved it.  I got some amazing pictures from it as well.  Just as Teddy Geiger did, Tyler Hilton brought parts of the other groups on stage as well. :)





After Tyler Hilton's set, next up was Ryan Cabrera.  Unfortunately, they ran into some soundcheck issues, so it took quite a length of time between sets.  Being that it was a Sunday night, we were exhausted by the time that Ryan took the stage.  We stayed for a while, but headed home before it was done.  I did get a couple of fun pics before we headed out.



So...to finish up my blogs on this amazing night.  I give you a clip of Tyler Hilton singing "Loaded Gun" as my song of the day.  And this is totally dedicated to Lainie. ;)

video

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rockin' Concert....Part 2

Continuing on our night of awesomeness....

The first of the three headliners was Teddy Geiger.  He was an amazing performer.  I would absolutely see him again in concert, if I have the chance. 

Lainie and I were able to be in before the concert started. so we got to see sound check.  That is one interesting experience.  Teddy was having a rough go of it, considering they couldn't get the keyboard to work.  Luckily they had another and were able to set that one up.

Soundcheck picture


 Check out the awesome socks!!!

 Teddy with his band.  I loved the "drum set" that was a box!

 Yep, we were kinda close.

 He brought Olivia back out and brought up Tyler Hilton...

In honor of Teddy's performance, my Song of the Day is Coming Through the Stereo by Teddy Geiger.  Here is a clip of that song being performed!
video
 (Please forgive the quality, I took the video with my phone)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Rockin' Concert...Part 1

May 5, 2012.  That was one amazing night.

At The Stache, I, along with my friends Liz & Lainie, got to see a rockin show.  We saw Olivia Millerschin, Teddy Geiger, Tyler Hilton, and Ryan Cabrera.

I found this show when looking up Tyler Hilton's schedule as I hadn't seen him in concert since 2006!  I had not listened much to Teddy or Ryan, and didn't know Olivia's music at all.  I texted my friends, and they were in.

So that's how we ended up at one rockin' show on a Sunday night.  We were able to be right at the front, with only one row of people in front of us.

First up, Olivia Millerschin.  What can I say?  Her music was awesome.  It was a ton of fun, it was a joy to watch, and how can you not love music with a ukelele!?!



We had an absolute blast watching her, and it was a great start to the night!  I got her cd (which she so kindly signed) at the end of the evening.  It is now a staple in my playlist.

The song I have chosen for my Song of the Day is one of my favorites...it always makes me smile...so here you go!

"Coulda Shoulda Woulda But Ya Canta" by Olivia Millerschin

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Well, duh...

So I had talked about how I find music.  Television, radio, friends, Twitter, etc.  Yesterday I realized something.  I had forgotten the easiest way to find (or rediscover) music.  Pandora.  Yep.  I hadn't been listening to Pandora, at least not in quite some time.

So while I was in my office yesterday, I set up my iPhone and started a new station.  One of the first songs to come on, after the one by the requested artist, was by Mat Kearney.  I was listening, loved it, looked over to see who it was.  I then spent the next 24 hours trying to figure out why I know that name.  I was sure I had heard of him, listened to him, therefore must have some of his music.  Nope.  Not a single song by him.

Today, another one of his songs came on.  Then I bought one of the albums on iTunes.  I spent most of the afternoon listening to his album "Young Love."  When I came home tonight, I started looking for a video to embed in this post, and that's when my husband, from another room, pointed out that I did know of him and his music.  Well, duh...

Sometimes we forget the obvious.  Sometimes we forget what is right in front of us.  I forgot about Pandora, and I forgot about Mat Kearney.  The fact that we forget these things is not what's important.  What's important is that we remember, and then hold on to them.  I now have a new-found appreciation for Pandora, and have added Mat Kearney to my playlists.  These things will not be forgotten anytime soon.

With that in mind, enjoy this acoustic version of "Sooner or Later" by Mat Kearney...it's my Song of the Day.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Jazz at the Zoo

Tonight is the first night of my first concert series for the summer. Jazz at the Zoo. It is held at our local zoo, outside the gates in an amphitheater. Free will donation is the cost. We bring wine, food, and a blanket to lounge on.

I absolutely love this part of summer. I love seeing friends, relaxing, and enjoying great music. 

I'm not a big jazz fan, in general, in fact, I have never claimed to be a jazz fan, at all. But the music here is always amazing. I don't know if it is because it is outside, because I am just happy, or what. 

No matter the reason, I love these nights.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Just Breathe....

Those who know me, know that I can be a little high strung.  When I get stressed, I can get very short with those around me.  I can cut deeper than I ever intend to.  When those times happen, I have found that the best thing I can do...it's to breathe.

That's it.  Nothing fancy, no secret.  Just breathe.  Or as I said in high school, Always remember to breathe.

This works when you are angry, sad, scared, whatever the scenario.  Just breathe.  In and out.  Slowly.  Concentrate.  That's it.  Breathe.  If we keep breathing, we can keep going.

A couple of months ago, I heard about a website called MudLove.  I took a look and ordered some items. 
My favorite from what I ordered

Many who have noticed this bracelet have laughed or questioned it.  More than once I have been asked if this is something I need a reminder to do.  My answer is simple.  Yep.  Sometimes I do need that reminder.

I think we could all use that reminder.  We could all use the reminder to breathe once in a while.  To slow down, to notice our surroundings, to be aware of the impact our actions have on one another.

With that in mind, I chose my Song of the Day.  "Breathe" by Anna Nalick.

 
 
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