21 Day Yoga Challenge Day 10: Get Creative! #yogagirlchallenge

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I did it. I wrote a song! No I’m not sharing it. But I did it. Never been bold enough to sit down and write a song, but I’ve wanted to for years. Now that I’m checking items off my bucket list, this was my inspiration after yoga and meditation. Rachel asked us to listen to ourselves. This is what came out of my head, heart, and hands. It’s a love song. It’s imperfect just like me, and now that I have the first draft out, I can continue to work on it and other songs too! I have ideas for all kinds of songs.

It’s written in the key of C and uses the c, g, d, am, and c add9. I wrote a couple verses and a chorus.

If you’d like to see me play guitar and sing, here are a couple of links to my YouTube channel.

Blackbird

Short Blues

Good Riddance

Did Ashtanga vinyasa, sat in meditation, committed a random act of kindness (donated to a charity), drank lemon water, and was on time everywhere! So grateful for everything and every one.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

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Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam played in Dallas November 15, 2013 on their Lightning Bolt tour. Although I’ve been a fan since the beginning, it was my first time seeing them live. I got to see Eddie Vedder last year on his solo Ukelele Songs tour but hadn’t seen the entire band ever before.  Not only do I love Eddie Vedder, I love the guitarists from Pearl Jam (Mike McCready and Stone Gossard) too.  They are like guitar gods to me, so I really enjoyed the show watching them perform what I’ve only seen on MTV before.

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I remember their breakthrough hit, Even Flow, back when Eddie was young, shirtless, with long messy hair and often hung off the rafters while performing it. I’ve had a crush on him ever since. Over the years he’s ventured out on his own and continued to write new music with the band too. Some of their new music still has some of that punk edge (Mind Your Manners) while some of it is mellow and introspective (Sirens). I like every song on the new album.  One thing is for sure, he writes what’s in his heart and the music makes me feel a wide spectrum of emotions.

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Recently I learned they don’t play the same set list on tour (similar to the Grateful Dead). It’s a bit self indulgent not to play the hits the crowd wants to hear, but in a way it makes it more special to hear the hits. Eddie Vedder is a quirky guy and has never been known to follow the mainstream’s expectations. This spirit was evident in his soundtrack to “Into the Wild” and I also noticed at his solo show he was very strict about not taking pictures or videos. I almost got my phone taken away for taking pictures, and when I posted video on YouTube, it got taken down and I got a copyright warning. Oops! Going into the show, I reviewed all my favorite songs and made a wish list of the ones I hoped to see: Jeremy, Better Man, Yellow Ledbetter, Black, Elderly Lady Behind the Counter in a Small Town, Just Breathe, and Even Flow topped my list. Out of those, I got to see and hear Jeremy, Small Town, and Better Man, three classics. But I left the concert wishing they had also played Even Flow. How could they not play that one? Keeps fans like me wanting more and ready to buy that next concert ticket.  That’s the trick I guess.

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Setlist Dallas, TX 11/15/13

 

Here are some video highlights from the show:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wqraA3Y79E  (Small Town)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arM-qMvOTQU (Better Man)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ad_3WFFENvc (Jeremy)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJXsUfuVGHs (end of Jeremy)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ESD7hcDmos (Daughter)

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Eddie’s grown up over the years and kept his shirt on for the entire concert.  However, he did swing around on the stage on one of the lights at the end of the show!  It was an awesome night that I won’t forget. Can’t wait to see them again.

 

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Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

 

Summer 2013 In Review

It’s been quite a summer. So much going on that I took a bit of a break from blogging for the past couple of weeks. Haven’t had as much time or energy to commit to it lately. But now that it’s the last day of summer, I’d like to take a few minutes to wrap everything up. Tomorrow, another school year starts, and there will be another major shift in our daily routines as a family.

One of the joys of being a stay home mom is having ‘time off’ to take care of the kids during the summers. Early mornings rushing to get to school on time turn into lazy mornings, sleeping late, and mostly unstructured days. The kids have activities, but it’s hardly stressful because there is nowhere else they have to be. I also structure learning into their days, but all in all we have a laid-back, relaxing time during the summers. Staying home with them and being with them all day in the summers also means I’m busy with them all day and taking care of all of their needs. So, it means a busier mommy with more to worry about.

My youngest is a joy. He is eight years old, starting third grade tomorrow. He is so easy-going. From the minute he wakes up, he usually has a great attitude and does whatever he is told or asked. He is still at that innocent age and has such a nice life with both parents who live with him and love him without measure. He has been taking swimming lessons and doing Taekwondo lessons over the summer as well as having private baseball lessons. My husband coaches his baseball team, so he also has lots of daddy time playing sports.

My middle daughter is thirteen years old and is starting eighth grade this year. While parenting a teenager is certainly a tough job, luckily I’ve done it once before. She spent the summer mostly dancing, attending intensive day camps as well as evening classes. After eight years of gymnastics, age 3-11, she switched to dance but was behind the other girls her age. After two years of training and practice, she officially made the Elite competition company at her dance studio this summer. We are super proud of her and recognize all the hard work she’s put into reaching her goal of becoming a competitive dancer.

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Oh yea, and she also dyed the ends of her hair hot pink again this summer (with my help).
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My oldest daughter is twenty and is starting fifteenth grade this year as a junior in college. She recently changed her major to business accounting, and this was her first summer staying at school during the summer, living, working, and taking classes. I took two trips to visit her there this summer, and she also came home for a week. How nice! When I was her age, I also lived and worked away from home, but I didn’t also stay and take classes, so it really was a new experience. Both weekends I was there, I had a blast, but I also had my first introduction to parenting an adult child. We moved her into her new apartment, and I helped her out with several other logistical aspects of her young adult life. It really made me realize how much time and energy I spend running other peoples’ lives. Just being away from the two little kids for the weekend left me with a feeling I wasn’t used to, and then of course, all the different ways of mothering an adult child were new experiences to me. I’ve never helped one of my kids move and decorate apartments, made a resume, or helped with the logistics involved with finding a job and living independently as an adult. She and her fellow classmates are living a lifestyle where they have almost everything provided for them, and all they have to worry about is themselves and their classes. It’s an amazing window of time on the verge of adulthood.

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My visits both made me reflect on my experiences as a twenty year old and on the kind of mother I am trying to be. I aim to be a different kind of mom than I had. I want my kids to be able to talk to me about anything going on in their lives. Kids are going to do what they want to anyway, so I would rather accept that and guide them than to hide my head in the sand and be an unapproachable parent. I would rather have open communication with my kids so I can try to help them navigate the waters of life. However, knowing what the kids are doing can also be quite stressful for moms. We worry about safety and well-being. We want our kids making safe, smart decisions that usually come from a lifetime of experience and a brain that is fully developed; two things that twenty year olds don’t possess. So we worry. Then we communicate and brainstorm solutions, so I think we are on the right track. I loved having the chances to get to know her friends and be part of her life for a few days!

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I’ve had a really rough summer with my food allergies. I got diagnosed with gluten sensitivity in May and have been off gluten three months now. But, I keep accidentally getting corn in my diet, ‘corn poisoning’ as I call it. I haven’t been diagnosed with a corn allergy, but I react and get sick every single time I have it, so I think allergy or not, I really need to completely eliminate it from my diet. This summer, it was a margarita (corn in the lemon/lime mixer), a gluten free pizza (corn in the dough) and a protein smoothie powder (xanthan gum – which is corn – used as an ingredient). Each time, I get sick for a couple of weeks, so put those three together and you can see that I’ve been feeling pretty sick all summer unfortunately. I’ve had such bad swelling and eczema that I finally saw my allergist the other day and got a steroid shot to make it all subside. When I have reactions to foods, my stomach hurts, I get joint and muscle pain, and I have a bad rash of eczema. So, it makes me really grumpy. Unfortunately, I’ve felt grumpy for a long time recently.

We did do some fun things too: we took our annual beach vacation in Destin, Florida. I’ve written about this place and the beach in general before. I love what the beach does to my soul. I wish we could live at the beach, but I’m thankful we get to take a yearly trip.

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I also went to some fun concerts. My husband and I saw Kid Rock, and my daughter (13) and I saw One Direction. Great times.

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Last week, we went to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science as a family. We bought a membership, so we can go back anytime we want to for the next year. There are also special events and other perks for members. I was fascinated by the architecture and impressed by all the interactive activities. I especially loved seeing the dinosaur bones, gems/minerals, and the human body exhibits. There were even slices of real people, one man and one woman, who had donated their bodies to science. They were embalmed, frozen, sliced and displayed in plastic with a light behind them. It was FASCINATING to say the least. We could see all the anatomical parts and compare the younger, healthier female to the older, less healthy male.

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I continued guitar lessons over the summer, and my son also started taking weekly lessons. We are learning “Carol of the Bells” to play together at Christmas. He loves the lessons and can’t wait to start rocking out! I am still working on improvising and have been working on a couple hard songs this summer: “Uncle John’s Band” by the Grateful Dead and “Over the Hills and Far Away” by Led Zeppelin.

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Watching the MTV VMAs on the last night of summer. Mine was Miley Cyrus “Can’t Stop.” “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke was my second favorite.

What was your favorite song this summer? How was your summer?

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 14 Joy

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My son (8) took his first guitar lesson today, and just look at the smile on his face. This is a candid shot I took during his lesson. He has been so excited to start taking lessons, and his mind is open to a whole new world of learning. I’m looking forward to his weekly lessons and the future when he and I can play guitar together. Music education is so important and helps kids be more successful in school, especially in math and science. It helps with understanding patterns and fractions, as well as many other math and science related skills.

If you are interested in guitar lessons (for yourself or your kids) check out my teacher’s website. He has a large video library and can also teach over Skype. Here is his website:

http://www.mikesguitarlessons.com

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 6 Hands

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I was practicing my guitar in this picture. Specifically, I was playing the introduction to Uncle John’s Band by the Grateful Dead. My teacher works with me weekly and teaches me a variety of songs, including this one by request. I first learned the chords in college, and now I am learning the solo/improvisation that goes along with it. I got a manicure and pedicure the other day because we are flying to Virginia tomorrow for a friend’s wedding.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

31 Day Music Challenge: Day 27 A Song that You Wish You Could Play

ICANN Seoul

ICANN Seoul (Photo credit: kjd)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN_FYoaoGgQ

Pachelbel’s Canon in D” by Funtwo is a song I wish I could play.  This kid is sick!  He makes it look so easy. There’s no way that is easy to play.  He plays all up and down the neck of the guitar and runs up and down the scales like it’s nothing.   Maybe one day I will get that good on the guitar. We will see.  He sure is inspiring!

See the whole music challenge list at DeBie Hive.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

31 Day Music Challenge: Day 26 A Song that You Can Play on an Instrument

Wordmark of The Beatles, originally painted di...

Wordmark of The Beatles, originally painted directly on drum by Erwin Ross, Hamburg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIrMYihShFY

See? I can play “Blackbird” by the Beatles. I learned it from a friend when I was in college.  Such a pretty song!

See the whole music challenge list at DeBie Hive.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

 

31 Day Music Challenge: Day 18 A Song that You Wish You Heard on the Radio

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVB6s8IpdPY

“Heart Back” by Macy Maloy is a song that I wish I heard on the radio. She is a girl from the town where I live. She went to high school with my oldest daughter, and she has followed her passion playing and singing songs. I’m happy for her that she has an EP out now and think she has a beautiful voice.  Check out her YouTube channel and see if you like her work.

See the whole music challenge list at DeBie Hive.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

31 Day Music Challenge: Day 10 A Song that Makes You Fall Asleep

English: Young Johann Sebastian Bach. 1715. Te...

English: Young Johann Sebastian Bach. 1715. Teri Noel Towe seems to demonstrate that the portrait is probably not of Bach http://www.npj.com/thefaceofbach/09w624.html. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrVDATvUitA

 

“Air” by Johan Sebastian Bach is a song I can fall asleep to. Although usually, I fall asleep to nature sounds like ocean waves or daybreak songbirds, I can’t exactly call those songs. They are sounds of nature. This piece by Bach is light and airy, pun intended. It’s soft, peaceful, and has a lovely melody. I could definitely float off to sleep listening to it!

English: Sunset at Ocean Beach in San Francisc...

English: Sunset at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. The image was taken at negative low tide that happens just a few times per year. One could see how far away the ocean went back exposing the bottom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is a video of a guy playing it on classical guitar.  I wish I could play it too!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUPx42UmSng

clouds

clouds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

See the whole music challenge list at DeBie Hive.

Thanks for reading this entry! Peace out.

31 Day Music Challenge: Day 8 A Song You Know All the Words To

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sMVBP_0OOZY

I know all the words to “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. Here is a link to me singing and playing it on the acoustic guitar. It’s a beautiful song I think. I’m not exactly sure what it’s about, but it sounds like a love/heartbreak song. The lyrics are poetic and hauntingly beautiful. Although it’s kind of a sad song, it’s pretty too, and it’s fun to play on the guitar. I wish I could play the solo like Lindsay Buckingham!

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4CBYgLWSSSA

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