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Friday, April 15, 2011

An amazing musical experience

For a lot of music lovers there comes a time when they come across a song, instrumental or an entire album that is a true musical experience. That’s what I felt when I listened to Yanni’s Truth of Touch, which is his first instrumental release of original compositions spanning eight years. It is considered a return to the genre that Yanni himself helped create.yanni cover

“I work the rhythms in this album,” explains Yanni about the new material. “There is a beautiful complexity in these rhythms, a new sound design. I think the melodic content is very strong and very memorable. I was having fun with this album and that’s going to become apparent.”

Yanni_live_at_piano That’s a better description and explanation than I could ever offer. Sometimes when hearing an artist describe their work I don’t quite get it. After listening to Truth of Touch I definitely got it!

Yanni launched a 40-date U.S. tour on March 22nd that takes him to theaters in major cities. Today he’s performing to a sold out crowd in West Palm Beach, Florida, and tomorrow – another sold out crowd – fans will hear him in Miami. Tickets are still available for the following:

 

 

April

May

18, Tampa, FL

2, Seattle, WA

20,  Orlando, FL

3, Spokane, WA

22, Greenville, SC

4, Portland, OR

23, Atlanta, GA

6, San Jose, CA

29, Denver, CO

7, San Francisco, CA

30, West Valley City, UT

8, Los Angeles, CA

 

10, Fresno, CA

 

12, Santa Ynez, CA

 

13, San Diego, CA

 

14, Las Vegas, NV

 

15, Glendale, AZ

 

17, El Paso, TX

 

19, Houston, TX

 

20 Grand Prairie, TX

 

21 McAllen, TX

 

22  San Antonia, TX

Find out more information about the tour dates and read up on Yanni.

Disclosure: I’m participating in the One2One Network program to promote Yanni. No compensation was received and any opinions expressed here are my own. For more information review my complete policy.

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Super {crazy} mom to the rescue!

Most of you know that I have four children ages 19, 7, 6 and almost 4, but – as most moms know – every once in awhile there are things that happen that can put a link, or diversion, into your best-laid plans.

Yesterday, a friend of mine had an emergency and I was contacted to take care of her daughter. (So, now I have 7-, 6-, 5- and almost 4-year-old children.) It didn’t involve going out of my way or anything because she goes to the same school as my youngest child; it just involves a little more activity and coordination during the afternoon, dinnertime, bath time and bedtime routines.

DSCF5392Since it was unexpected I thought I would be a whirlwind of a mess with screaming, hungry children,  an unorganized home and uncooked food. But, much to my surprise, I got homework completed, test studied for, dinner cooked (and I did actually have to cook and not heat up in the microwave), everyone fed, homework done, spelling test studied for,* baths and showers and everyone was in bed by about 8:30. Score one for the mom team!

*I started just to delete that so you wouldn’t know that I repeated myself, but it’s only proof of the crazy mommy brain that I have today.

DSCF5441Usually after the children’s bedtime I do some work, watch a little television and straighten up before retiring to my room at around 10 or 11 o’clock. Last night around 9ish my head was spinning and I found myself surfing the Internet, trolling around Facebook and stalking people while I texted one of my BFFs.

As my body became more and more meshed with the couch, I decided to clean up and get in bed. Laptop in tow with a few papers and things I needed to finish I made my way to bed… I don’t think I lasted 30 minutes before I started to doze off. Even now my eyes are heavy, but falling asleep while sitting in a chair in the library may not be the prudent thing to do.

DSCF5445This morning I survived too (even though I already feel a little crazy!)… It was a un-orchestrated, impromptu sitcom of finding undershirts, clothes for our little friend, socks for everyone, uniform pants, fixing breakfast (I overslept by 3o minutes or so… Okay, that’s a lie I kept hitting snooze) and a cup of coffee while shuffling everyone out the door. The only ones calm and happy where the four plus one children meandering to the van.

Plus one? Yup. My son’s BFF from next door rides to school with us and he even beat me outta the door today. They chattered and played their way to the van, buckled themselves in and sat waiting for me to figure out what to do next.

Hmmm? I thought. Oh yea, start van, defrost, put on seatbelt, sip coffee, which made me feel a little less crazy and I happily sipped to the background noise of jokes, playing laughing and one pouter.

All is right with the world….

Well, uh, at least until I do it all in reverse this afternoon. … Has anyone seen my coffee?

*Yes pictures are of the actual children, but on a different day. A blogger, who shall remain nameless, is waiting for someone in the library and she doesn’t have her memory card for current pictures.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oh, I forgot to tell you

How long has it been since I updated you on my health and weight loss journey? Sorry to leave you hanging…

The good news and the okay news
My conditions (I hate the word diseases) are stable. Although my blood work(including the iron)  isn’t normal it was a little better on my last appointment. The MRI of my liver still shows the blood tumor, but it’s not doing anything and it’s benign. The multiple myeloma seems to be just simmering below the surface. The doctors believe that it’s in remission.

I will continue on my “to be watched” doctors’ visits and have my blood levels monitored, my liver levels peered at and my bone marrow inspected. It isn’t fun, but it is necessary.

On the weight loss front this is all I have to say: Whose body is it anyway?

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Undermount sinks

When I moved from a house into an apartment there were some things that I had to be a little more flexible about especially since you only get certain things when you’re trying to stay within a certain budget. One of the things I miss, which is something relatively small, is a  in the sink. It made it easy to rinse dishes as well as watch the girls’ hair instead of bending over the tub.

There are quite a few things that you may not have in a basic apartment that you’d have in a more costly development or a home. Like, in the same category, the type of sink. If I had a choice I’d choose granite counters with an Undermount Sink and sleek knobs and faucet. Undermount Sinks allow for such a smooth connection between sink and counter, which makes cleaning up very easy.

What do you think? Do you prefer standard mounted sinks or undermount?

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Since when do parents have to pay to chaperon?

When Amber, my oldest, was in school I went on many field trips – in elementary, middle and high school. (I’ve been lucky to have a daughter who loves to have me around.) As the three younger children get into school I haven’t changed my plans to be involved when I can. That’s why when I received a permission slip for field trips, I was excited and hoping their field trips aren’t on the same day. They aren’t! Yippee, I thought, not only will I be spending time with them and getting to know their classmates, but I’ll get to go to our local zoo and a petty zoo.

My excitement faltered when I read that parents who could chaperon had to pay. I’d never paid for a field trip in my almost 20 years as a parent. Not when Amber was in elementary, middle or high school. Not when the younger three were attending at home daycare and the provider needed help with the children during a trip and not when they were attending head start. One of the children’s teachers had added to her permission slip that the parents who paid in full first would be chosen as chaperons. So…. what would happen to the money that a parent sent, but it didn’t get there in time? Or if she decided to open one parent’s envelope before another?

As each year passes I’m finding that this (what I call) new public school system is really pretty sucky. We buy our children’s school supplies, pay for field trips, do fundraisers, pay for pictures… Even when they have special guests we pay for the goods they’re selling. What in the world are the community sponsors for? For instance, there’s a fast food restaurant that shall remain nameless that I’ve seen listed as numerous school sponsors. But I’ve never seen them give any of their goodies for free. Each time they’re involved we have to buy the food.

An-t-way, give me the 411? Is this the way it should be and I’m just an old-fashioned mom reminiscing about the good old days or is anyone just as annoyed as I am?

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April is Autism Awareness Month

It’s Autism Awareness Month. I don’t know anyone close to me that is affected by autism, but I do know that it is a disease that concerns a lot of parents.

According to the Center for Disease Control:

  1. 1 in 110 children is diagnosed with autism
  2. 1 in 70 males, boys are four times more likely than girls to be on the autism spectrum

What should parents look for? Some examples of warning signs are:

  • Not using social smiles or joyful expressions by six months or eye contact when their name is called by twelve months
  • Not using back-and-forth sharing of sounds, facial expressions or face-to-face play by nine months
  • Not using gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving or playing social games by 12 months
  • Not using independent two-word meaningful phrases by 24 months and not following 2-to-3 step directions at three years.
  • Presenting a loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age
autism puzzle piece side  autism puzzle piece

Autism has become the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States, which is why fine jewelry creator Chamilia has a sterling silver puzzle-piece bead in support of this cause for their Give Back program collection. Chamilia is a fine jewelry personalized accessory line that includes handcrafted charms in 14k gold, sterling silver, Swarovski® Elements, Italian Murano glass and colored stones that fit on the line’s bracelets, necklaces and earrings. The puzzle-piece bead gives stylish women the ability to help support Autism research.

Autism BraceletTo find a retail location that sells Chamilia fine jewelry just put in your zip code  at Chamilia.com. While you’re there you can browse the designs and/or design your own bracelet, save it to your wish list and share with friends. Creating and designing a bracelet is a lot of fun (yup, I made and saved one) and it would make a great personalized and meaningful gift.

While I was looking around to find a good resource for you to go to for more Autism Awareness information, I found a few sites that are selling products to help support Autism research. My favorite is CafePress.

For  more information about autism visit Autism Speaks.

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