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Adventure Awaits

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Adventure Awaits

I am very fortunate to have a job that I really love: puppetry and storytelling. This hybrid job means I can do a variety of things such as workshops, stage shows, assembly programs, classroom lessons, keynote speaking, etc. I also perform in a variety of places like fairs, festival, conferences, schools, and churches. I work with people of all ages, from preschool to mature adults, and travel to other states and countries to perform. This means another part of my job is to constantly search for new opportunities and take care of paperwork (not my favorite task). Still, to do what you love you must accept the challenges and manage the “have to-do” parts of the job.

My husband, Steven, and I will be on a new adventure this year. The company he works for is closing its local office, so he has taken steps to begin a job search. This brought me to the age-old idea — do something you want to do. Since I am self-employed and can take my job anywhere, I told Steven to find a position he wants and go someplace where he wants to work. Maybe this means will be moving, or we might be staying where we are right now. We have no idea what will be happening, but we do know we are on an adventure. As we talked more, we decided that looking on the East Coast between Virginia and Charlotte would be a good option; it will keep us closer to the family.

For me, I will take this as an opportunity. I am SURE that new stories will emerge. For Steven, it is always exciting to start something new. So LIFE, here we come. It might look like things are falling apart, but they really might be falling into place.

I’ll keep you updated on our new adventure. Meanwhile, if you know of any great IT jobs out there in companies needing an amazing employee, let us know!

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A New Beginning

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A New Beginning

I was able to get away to the beach with some friends for a few days this week. We went there to take some steps away from everyday life and re-center ourselves for the New Year. It was quite helpful. We spent quite a bit of time talking and walking on the beach. The weather was perfect; I like the beach when it is cooler, not when it is hot. Who would have thought that we would have such lovely weather at the beginning of January!

One of my favorite parts of the weekend was watching the sunset. How beautiful it was. As I watched it go down I had thought, “There has to be an end for there to be a new beginning.” Take some time, even if it is a 'staycation', and think about your new beginning. What needs to go down and set like the sun so that you can have a new start? Consider the beauty of that end and brightness of a new beginning. Hope you enjoy these pictures of the sun setting over the beach.

By the way, I promised to tell you which journal I selected for 2019. It is the black leather one with the tree on the front. (It, of course, went with me to the beach.)

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 Dancing with the Stars LIVE

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Dancing with the Stars LIVE

A week before Christmas our youngest daughter, Carmen, called and asked what my husband, Steven, and I would be doing for New Year Eve. I asked her what was up and she said she was trying to get her plans together for the night. It set me back that she was interested in spending that evening with us. When we had our family Christmas together, Carmen handed Steven and I an envelope and inside were tickets to go see Dancing With the Stars Live on New Year’s Eve. It was such a lovely surprise.

As Steven and I watched the dancers coming on and off the stage with different costumes, different music, and set images I took note of the stories that were being told. Some were dramatic, some a little silly, others romantic. The ease and flow between transitions were striking to me and before we knew it 2 hours had gone by and the dancers were taking their final bow.

To me, the night was lovely and so joyful. I got a little dressed up and was able to sit back and enjoy the date hand in hand with Steven. To appreciate the love and generous hearts of our children, and to be thankful for the artists of the world. I took a few pictures, they might not be perfect, but they hold a memory for me.

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A Christmas Un-Tree

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A Christmas Un-Tree

This year my husband and I decided not to have a Christmas tree. It's not that we don't like Christmas trees, on the contrary, we love them. However, this year we decided to be much more simplistic in our decor. I had surgery on November 19 on my right hand for carpal tunnel syndrome; it was quite severe in that hand. Next week I will have the left hand done too. At this moment my right hand is sore but healing very well. It will be lovely to be able to go through life without my hands falling asleep when I write, sew, sleep, or any other activity. I am thankful. Steven and I have about 10 boxes of decorations, this year we took 2 out of the attic and used only about 1 box worth of decorations.

I most certainly wanted to do something decorative in the house to acknowledge the season, so I went into my craft room and gathered up some white branches I had that were leftover from our daughter's, Genette, wedding. From my garden, I brought in a tower I use for my morning glories to climb and cleaned the dirt from it. From the boxes brought down from the attic, I used some of the artificial poinsettias and tree ornaments. I came up with my Christmas Un-tree. I also took out some fabric and ribbon and wrapped the pillows on my sofa to look like packages. I like it. It will be easy to take down after the season as I continue to heal from my hand surgeries.

Genette and her husband Abe will be coming in the weekend before Christmas. Our youngest, Carmen, will be here too and we will skype in our son, Bryon, and his fiance, Amber. We will open gifts from one another then. On Christmas day our youngest will host Steven and I at her house. Genette and Abe will be with his parents. A couple of weeks later I will take down our Christmas Un-tree and put everything away. Then I will store the memory and will tell the story of, One year we had a Christmas Un-tree.

May you have the most joyous of celebrations with your family and friends throughout the season.

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We Remember

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We Remember

At the beginning of November this year I was performing in Tucson Arizona. While I was there Margy, my host, took me to the Day of the Dead celebration. It was an amazing experience for me. People were dressed in costumes and decorated their faces with white, black, and red makeup to look like skeletons. Others brought pictures or mementos of loved ones who have passed on. It is a celebration of remembrance for those who are no longer living on this earth. November is nearly over but when I woke up this morning this celebration was on my mind. It is my understanding that the whole idea is that so long as you speak the name of those who have passed they are never really gone.

Here at the end of the year, we celebrate the holidays. I realized this morning that this is my time of remembrance and it very likely is a time of remembrance for you too. My family celebrated our family holiday together in the middle of November; it lasts for about 3 days. As we all prepared our traditional meal, my sister and I taught our children how to make some of the regular dishes enjoyed on the table. Throughout the weekend we often said, “Do you remember how Daddy…” or “Mom used to …”. We always look at the tiny ones and take note of how much they look like someone who came before them. We remember.

I look around my home and smile as I admire furniture that once belonged to my Grandmother. There are quilts my mother made from clothing once worn by family members. My father’s hat hangs on a hook in my living room, a lamp once owned by my aunt illuminates the pages of my book, I make homemade rolls from a recipe that was created by my husband’s grandmother, we call them Grandma’s Rolls. I often hold a pen or pencil in the unique way my father did to write. My sister’s house is much the same, and she makes homemade noodles from a recipe that belonged to her mother-in-law. We remember.

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There are remembrances and a story of those who have passed everywhere. My husband and I were traveling, and at a rest station, there was a memorial with individual names of police from the area who died in the line of duty. Consider all of the war memorials that carry the individual names of those who have passed, monuments stand strong and tall to remember, auditoriums and parks are often named for those who have gone on…I could continue, but I think you get the idea. We remember.

I tell stories on stage, and at nearly every performance someone comes up to me and tells me about a chord of remembrance that was plucked. We remember.

What fond memory do you have? What story do you tell as you remember loved ones who have passed? Leave me a note, tell me about it. We remember.

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