Thursday, December 30, 2010

As Promised

So this time last year I was seriously thinking that I would read all of Dickens in the year 2010. A friend even offered to read them with me and we got going pretty good I thought. But I soon realized that I wanted to read/research Dickens more than I wanted to do school work and that there really wasn't enough time for both. I don't like to admit it, but Dickens isn't something I can read for fun before bed. I need a less wordy companion for that, and when school is on I don't have time for much other reading. Lesson learned.
Sort of.
(I love that the program for this blog doesn't have grammar editing, I hate being told how many times I write a fragment! grrrr.)
This semester I will have no music classes. No piano lessons. I will be in choir once a week and attending recitals and convo's, but not studying music (Dr. Webb would not agree, choir is studying music...and he's right, but still...). This past semester I had 20th century music literature. It was a great class. We were required to do a listening log. I think mine was abysmal, but that is beside the point. I had done this in one other music lit class with the same professor and enjoyed it, I tried, that first time, to use it to listen to music I would not normally listen to. I listen to a variety of classical music for pleasure and must admit to a certain amount of complacency. Don't get me wrong, I do have a tendency to analyse what I'm listening to more often than not, even the pop stuff I enjoy, but when listening to instrumental music, or art music (I prefer this term), I have a definite bias. Piano, piano, piano, and yes, some more piano. Symphonies and concertos are in there too, but mostly solo piano music, and even the non keyboard art music CD's I own are composers most famous for their piano music.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, if I were interested in being some sort of piano repertoire expert, or wanted to only ever be a casual listener. However, I have higher aspirations, as always. So, rather than set myself up for shame thinking I'll stick with academic extra curricular activity for a year, I'm just going to try for a semester. I want to keep my finger in it so to speak. I have no idea what the future holds. Applications have been submitted, and fingers are crossed, but who knows? I may graduate this spring and need to find a job at Price Cutter. I may be accepted to grad school in another state, I may stay at MSU. Any of those things will be fine. But one thing I do know is that I want to continue to study music my whole life. So I want to develop a habit.
To that end I am going to start a listening log right here. Once a week, usually on Sunday morning, as that was the time I sent aside this past semester to work on grad app stuff and it didn't cut into other studies much, I will post the piece of music and what I find out about it. I'll do what I can to keep it on the level, meaning I will not be likely to ever cite Wikipedia. Rather, I will use the resources I've learned about in class and have at my disposal as a student. I'm not going to set up any kind of chronology or plan. In fact, if you are still reading this and would like to know more about a piece of music, any music, comment and let me know what it is, I might use that for an entry.
When I can I will include a link to the music, or perhaps find a way to upload mp3's from my computer.
That will be all for now.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Well, they are in reverse somehow, but above are some of the better ones of the pictures I took of the eclipse a week ago. It was chilly, but I wore my wool cape and slippers and sat on the bench my husband had made and enjoyed the show. This is at least the second eclipse I've seen, the first was when I was 12, or was it 13? Maybe younger, and it was my birthday.... anyway,we went to the outdoor theater in St. Louis to see Debbie Reynolds in the Unsinkable Molly Brown and she actually stopped the show to have the audience turn around and watch the eclipse! I'll never forget it! This time it happened on my niece's birthday! The winter solstice, Dec. 21, Iris is 6 now, absolutely crazy how fast those kids are growing! I'm so proud of them!
Shameless plug: I've added a new blog to the list on the right--> Abby is Melting, my cousin has begun a powerful journey and is sharing it with the world. I'm so proud of her, and inspired by her.
Soon, I will be writing about two things which I intend to do with this blog over the next few weeks. But for now, I must go to the library.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More to do...

Well another semester is over! I did pretty well, five A's, not too shabby I guess. Also got my sis' family Christmas in the mail in time to reach them for the holidays!! Thanks very much to my husband, who is always helpful and easily keeps me motivated and on track. I've been sewing and crafting and baking up a storm this week, and there is still more to do.....

Monday, December 6, 2010

Colored Glass

There are a plethora of smalls ways I try to be like her.
Seeing the beauty in the simplicity of colored glass vessels,
Light shining through them, their shape distorting the images seen through them,
These are simple pleasures, simple beauties.
I miss her so much, I have missed her for so long.
Knowing that I will now always miss her
Is sometimes too much to bear.
So I will always have stories for the children,
Always have something for them when they or I visit.
I will always wonder at the sunlight reflecting on frost, snow and ice.
The birds will always captivate my attention and cause me wonder.
My scarf drawer will always be full and available.
I will make bad puns shamelessly.
I will appreciate good fashion sense and try to find my own.
I will never shy away from wearing a hat,
and I will never underestimate the value of a good belt.
Kindness and generosity will always be my intention.
And I will always choose to forgive, I will always choose to love.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Something Unexpected

I had fully intended to write about Jason's Granny and Papa, yesterday was his Papa's birthday! Happy birthday!! But I had no idea I would end up in the delivery room while my best friend's daughter gave birth. I was amazed. Briana did it all with no drugs of any kind, and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Rylan James, was 8.4 lbs and I think they said 20 inches long. I told her she is my hero, and I meant it, the pain, the down right agony she was in, but she handled it like a champ. Didn't even start making noise till the last half hour of contractions.
I am thankful that I was there for that, thankful to have been one of the witnesses.
Now begins what promises to be the craziest week of this semester, so I think this will be the last post in the month of Gratitude, I missed a few days, and have a list of people I had planned to mention, but there will be other years, and who says I can only be grateful for the people in my life one month of the year?? **GRINS**

Saturday, November 27, 2010


My dad's sister Twyla married Tim Bright and they had six kids. I have many memories of adventures and good time with this family. Recently I've been excited to reconnect with them on facebook. Tim and Twyla spent nearly twenty years in Ghana teaching and ministering. I always enjoyed the stories they told while on furlough in the states, and wish I'd had a chance to visit them while they still lived there. I'm glad they are in the states now though, they have a lot of grandchildren to spoil! I am thankful for these fun people, and the memories I have of them!

Friday, November 26, 2010


I've waited for this day to write briefly of my gratitude for my mother's family because 68 years ago today Don DeWelt married Elsie Printz. The role those two played in my childhood was not only large, but also important to me. Many of the things I like best about myself, or think of as important to this world can be traced to conversations with either of them when I was still a child and the time I lived with Grammy while I was a teenager. My mom's parents had a big impact on many lives around the world, both directly and by way of their descendants. I don't remember when we started going to Joplin every month, I just remember that being an important part of life and one I never wanted to miss! Spending time with Grammy as well as my cousins and Aunts and Uncles was often the highlight of each month. Not because my life at was droll or bad in anyway, just because there was so little need to explain. We all knew each other so well that it seemed like everything picked up where it left off at each visit. Imagination and curiosity were encouraged at almost every turn, and we took full advantage! Uncle Dan wrote short stories that featured us as characters at one point! The five cousins made up all kinds of games to play in Uncle Chris and Aunt Carol's living room, the rules of which I no longer remember exactly. I think I could easily fill a good sized book with memories of time spent with this group of people. They are very dear to me --both the memories and the people. My gratitude for them knows no depth.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Today is the reason this month is a month of gratitude. Thanksgiving. It is a beautiful word, and beautiful idea.
Today I am simply grateful for this life.
I am far from perfect.
But my life is so full, so whole, I am overflowing with love and thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kevin and Melody

These two beautiful people have been my closest friends for some years now. They are the kind of people who are there for you when you need them, no matter what. We've shared some great times and some less than great times, hit some bumps and sped around some nasty curves, but through it all we are still friends. Mel and I hit it off almost from the first moment we met. Her friendship got me through some hellish times. Her capacity to give of herself is exemplary. I've had the privilege of watching her come into her own in the world of dance, and continue to be amazed at her increasing skill, and the depth of feeling she brings to each and every performance. I know I am blessed to have them in my life. They are two of the dearest souls I know, thank you both for accepting me and hanging in there with me, even when I was crazy. You are the best!

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Dad's Family

Yes, this is a LARGE group. There are some I know better than others, but I am grateful for all of them. My dad's family is huge. As a child trying to keep track of the Dorris clan and the Whitehead clan and keep them separate was challenging, frustrating, and there were times I honestly wasn't sure which grandparent's siblings we were visiting. But over the years I listened and learned, I payed attention and made connections and things began to stick. Were it not for his grandmothers I don't know where I would be today, because without them I don't know where my dad would be. They were shining examples of love for my father, and even though I never knew them well in person, I have become acquainted with my father's memories of them. Now, I'm not proud of the fact that it has taken me the better part of three decades to do this, but for some time now I have been fully aware of not just which grandparents siblings are which, but also who their children and grand-children are (for the most part, and in some cases in face more than in name). But that's not small feat!
I have enjoyed the many reunions and holidays and life celebrations I've been able to attend in my life. We always have a good time, and it doesn't take long for all the faces, most of the names, and all the voices to become familiar and create a sense of home. I've learned the value of family from my family, and from my father's family. Even when the reunions are years apart, and through the changes in the cast of people present, we are united, we lift each other up, hold each other together, and led what ever help we can. I'm very thankful to not only be descendant from the Dorris and Whitehead lines, but also abundantly proud.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

John and Meredith

Admittedly this will mostly be about Meredith, which only reflects that I'm closer to her, and that today is her Birthday! But I am thankful for both of these people, and they are dearer to me than they know.
I've known Meredith for over a decade, but it wasn't until she had Garrison that we began to be good friends. Her mom, Pam, was my piano teacher -- see previous post. I always looked up to Meredith and even thought she was perfect. Of course kids have a funny way of judging what is perfect and was is not, I still think she's perfect, but not in a porcelain, pristine, untouchable way. Her brand of perfection stems from her constant creativity, her ability to recognize and appreciate the gorgeous and the simple for what they are, and her earnest desire to live a full, fun, and passionate life. John and Meredith are partners in a journey which I'm confident will only continue to get better and better. I love them both and am so proud to say they are my friends.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Writers I knew

Emily Theroff led a creative writing group for several years at Access Arts in Columbia, MO. Mom would drive Jo and I to Columbia once a week, Jo for pottery, me for writing. Helen started coming with me after a while, and when I was old enough we would drive up together. It was the best. I always looked forward to that class. The encouragement and creativity of that group of people was awesome. We supported each others love for the written word and for writing of all sorts. I have tried to recreate that environment at different times in my life and it's never worked out the same. I love to write. I don't think I'm very good at it, but I know I get better the more I learn and try. I'm so glad, thankful that Emily spent some time in MA and came back to MO and started that group!!
Eve Tolan took up the post of leading that group after Emily left. She made us work. Which was good. She told me I should write poetry, almost to the point of not messing with any of that other stuff. I didn't spend a lot of time with her, but what time I did spend had a huge impact. I am thankful to her for that, but not just that, also for her friendship with Helen. Eve was there for Helen after I left, and I am so glad she was!
I wrote about two people because I was too exhausted to blog yesterday. Good night.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Way

Today I am thankful for Julia Cameron. Google her and the Artist's Way. Her books have been very helpful to me over the years and I don't know where I would be without morning pages!!
Thank you for sharing Julia, a million times, thank you!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Two for One

Yes, I'm bad, I completely forgot to blog yesterday!
So, yesterday's post would have been Heath and Emily.
I am thankful for Heath and Emily firstly because they are the reason I met Jason. Had they not decided to open a goth club, Kevin wouldn't have had a birthday party there and we wouldn't have met. I am also grateful for their friendship. Jason has a lot of good memories of good times with those two and the rest of the gang. I've enjoyed getting to know Em over the years. She took the Artist's Way journey with me and some other friends, and her perspective was always helpful, and rarely anything I would have thought of. She is also one of my belly dance friends, her blog is on the list to the right of this blog, and her encouragement and passion for the dance is contagious. I am very grateful this couple is in my life!
Today I am grateful for Heidi. I'm grateful for her more than just today, but today I'm going to write a little bit about it. I met Heidi in my first semester of college, I needed an extra source of income and went to work for an office cleaning company. She was the manager. We became friends over the next few weeks and started getting together outside of work. She is a steadfast and true friend. Her sense of right and wrong run deep and have been a good example to me. She was always there when I needed her, and still is. I don't know where I'd be if we hadn't become friends. Heidi also took the Artist's Way journey! It is interesting to think about all the people who have helped guide me and encouraged me over the years. I don't want to think about where I would be without Heidi, I don't think it would be a very nice place, certainly not when compared with where I am now.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Above is a link to a church where my family and I attended for several years in the 90's. It is also the church where my sister got married! There are a great many good hearted beautiful people within this church body. I have so many fun memories, mostly at the old church building, with all the electric outlets! The fellowship and friendship I enjoyed while attending this church cannot be measured. Everyone was so encouraging and uplifting of each other, it was truly a wonderful place to be and I cherish my memories from those days. Keep up the good work! Thank you for being the loving and supportive group that you were/are!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ash and Vic

Ashely and Vicky Wiggs are two of my best friends. When I was needed a place to live and fast they cleared out a room in their house and said stay as long as you like. Vicky witnessed on our official wedding papers, and as you can see was in the wedding. Ashely has always supported my music habit, feeding my interest in various artists and appreciating the ones who play the piano! I am so glad they are my friends! Tomorrow is Ashely's birthday, tonight was his party, it is likely still going, Jason and I stopped by for a while and had a great time. He chose a 20's theme and we got all dressed up, it was fun. Thank you, both of you, for all the laughs and hugs and general good times, and for being there when I've needed you.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Faire Folk

This will be quick, because it's late and I'm worn out! But, I am not going to let the month pass without expressing my gratitude for the Rennies of this world. I have loved going to Renn Faires for as long as I've known what they are. I have some good friends who have a long history with the one in KC and have come to know many folks traveling from far away to bring some laughter and entertainment to our mundane lives.
This said, I want to especially thank a good friend who recently helped me out. I was freaking out about my recital last month. I was mostly second guessing myself silly. In response to a post about that he surprised me with his CD, "Shine Like A Star." It's a guided meditation and hypnosis CD which helped in two ways. First, I listened to it every evening for about two weeks and just forcing myself to relax and do the breathing and visualizing did wonders for my stress levels. Second, on the CD James gives several techniques and I used them to affirm what I already knew. Whatever the reason for it working, it did. I'm not saying that had I not practiced for several hours most days for the past five years I would have been able to perform a recital, but I was able to focus on what was important and stop worrying about whether or not I would freak out and forget everything. Long and the short is there's absolutely nothing hoaky about it and I recommend giving it a try. Here is his website:
Thank you!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In Deepest Gratitude on this Veterans Day

Milton Dorris
Bob Carlisle
Dan DeWelt
Dick Meyers
Doug Crousore
Robert Meyers
Steve Bare
I likely know more than I've listed without knowing that I do, but I want to be sure to mention these men. I've known them all at some point in my life and am grateful for their sacrifice. I firmly believe that whatever a persons politics or opinions about war, we should all be thankful for the millions of men and women who willingly put their lives, families, futures, health, and sanity at risk so we have the privilege to try to make the world better. America is not perfect, not by any means, but I think it is fair to state that its failings are as much the fault of its citizens as its politicians. But that is for another post on someone else's blog.
Thank you, you deserve so much more gratitude than you get!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dancin' Ladies

Pictured above are a few of the lovely ladies who take their passions beyond the level of hobby. I am fortunate to have so many belly dance friends! I am thankful for their friendship and encouragement. They shine, on the stage, in the studio, and in their lives. Thank you!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I've probably posted this picture before. The gal in the middle is my cousin Abby. Her birthday is today and I think that makes this the perfect day to write about my gratitude that she is a part of my life. She's been like a sister to me most of our lives. There is not much that we haven't talked about over the years. And the three of us girl cousins are a force to be reckoned with, let me tell you! We all had Grammy to guide us in our childhood trysts.
Abby has grown into such a beautiful young woman. Her strength of character is unshakable, her convections and love are deep and true. If she is on your side you cannot loose, it's not possible. She has a heart for God and for healing the broken in this world and this is clearly visible in her life. I know I am not the only one who bursts with pride over her! I'm so proud to call her my cousin, to know her as family, think of her as a sister and confidently love her as a friend. We share so many memories, I look forward to all that we will have to share in the future. I love you Abby, thank you for being such a great woman and friend.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Yes, I am grateful for teachers. I am grateful for their dedication, patience, and their rules. Without teachers where would any of us be? What would the world be like? I don't think it would be possible to not have teachers, even where there are no schools, people would still be teaching. Teachers wear so many hats. They are often also wives/husbands, mothers/fathers, performers, researchers, volunteers, choir leaders, writers, and on and on.
When I thought about listing my teachers I realized that in spite of homeschooling the list would be quite long. I think it's a good thing that I've been blessed with such good teachers. I can count on one hand the number of truly frustrating or even "bad" teachers I've encountered and I'd have a couple fingers left over. So, if you're reading this, and I was ever in your classroom or studio, Thank you!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


The people at Capitol City Christian Church are a bunch of dear, loving, generous, souls and their impact on my life was great. I would like to name a few, but I know I will forget some and mix others up with the Capitol West congregation, and the sister church across the river to the north. Just a few of the many special people include Joan and Gary Baker, Richard and Shelly DeBose, BillyJean, all the Raders, the Logstons, the Pims, the Shakelfords, the Lanes, the Engelbrechts, the Sawyers, the Runyons, I could do this for a while! Anyway, I am so grateful to have been brought up in that church, with those people. Keep up the good work!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Boys

Tonight I would like to say a few words about two of the best "little men" I know. Garrison and Torsten are the boys I babysit most weekdays of the year. I've been there since Garrison was born, five years ago now. They are so well behaved and smart! They've got personality times infinity and I don't know what my life today would be without them. Had Meredith and John not needed a babysitter for G, I likely wouldn't be about to graduate from college or be happily married. These are reasons enough to be grateful for them, but I'm also grateful because being around those guys has helped me keep things in perspective. Having a chance to see the world through the eyes of a youngster can make bad days much more bearable. Their eagerness to learn and to please are always inspiring, and even on the more challenging days they are a blessing--yes, that is in part because I know I get to leave. The fact is, I love those guys and know that I will miss them, and be proud of them always.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mrs. "A"

Today I want to put to words how grateful I am that Pam Allman is in my life and I find that there aren't enough words, or that any I can think of are inadequate. She was my piano teacher from the age of 12 to I think 18ish is when I had my last piano lesson with her. The many things I learned while in those lessons expand well beyond the keyboard. She always made me work hard, but made it fun and kept everything interesting. It didn't matter how zany an idea I'd come up with she'd listen and help me work it out. Her excitement about music and her encouragement to keep trying and give my best were endless qualities that seemed as natural to her as breathing.
We became friends through those years. Her friendship has been a true blessing in my life. I always felt welcome in her home and with her family. There are others in her family whom I will mention in later posts this month, but I think I can state with no fear of contradiction that if ever I had need of anything and she could help me she would, and if she couldn't she'd stay with me until I found someone who could. That is a rare and beautiful thing, and I suspect that I am not the only of her students for whom she has done, or would do these things.
Thank you Pam, with all my heart, thank you.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I am so grateful for my in-laws! They are wonderful people. I have been very blessed and fortunate to fall in love with a man whose family is so loving and kind. They have welcomed me with open arms from the first day I met them. I always feel loved and included in their family. I know, this all sounds too good to be true, but it is 100% fact. Part of the reason Jason grew into the man I love so much is due to the people who raised him. I will always be thankful for this family!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Obviously my sister is my first sibling. She knows me in ways no one else does. We used to say if we weren't sisters we probably wouldn't even be friends because we have so little in common outside of being family. I'm glad, grateful, that we are sisters, because I wouldn't want to miss out on being her friend for the world! I'm so proud of her, she is a fantastic mom and talented artist to boot! I can't imagine not being an aunt at this point. I LOVE being not just any aunt, but Aiden, Serenity, and Iris's aunt especially. Those are the best three kids anyone could ever ask for. I have so enjoyed watching them grow and can't wait to know them as teenagers and adults. I've also got a brother out of the deal :) He's a good man with a good heart and good intentions.
But I've been blessed with other siblings. Today I'll focus on the ones from my younger years. Helen and Lindsey. Helen came to live with us a couple times while her mom was in the hospital. She is my younger sister's age, but we had so much in common, loved to read and learn, liked a lot of the same music and movies, it was a natural fit. I always thought of her as part of our family, and still do. Lindsey and I met when we were pretty young at church, in fact if I remember right we started being friends at a church get together at a swimming pool. We did some zanny things and while we were teenagers we were able to make each other laugh when things got hard.
There were times all four of us sisters would be, that could get CRAZY! But it was all so much fun! I am so glad we are all still friends. They all have children, which is great, because I love kids as long as I can give them back! :P
It's hard not to write about my cousin in this post because she was often a part of these revelries and is very much a sister to me, but I will abstain, that post is coming.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 2, Two people

I am so very grateful for my parents. They have always believed in me. And I'm learning more and more as I live that it is rare that I never once in my life doubted that my parents loved me, and would love me no matter what I did. I knew I could do things they wouldn't like, but they would still love me. Which taught me a pretty big lesson early on, we are not our actions or our choices. We can let them define us, and they will be what most of the world has to go on to get to know us, but when we let our actions, good or bad, or let the labels others put on us, define who we are we can loose sight of the bigger picture, loose sight of who we want to be. This has been a valuable lesson in my life and one that I have used to pull myself out of some terrible places.
I love my mom and dad and hope they too never have reason to doubt it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

November Gratitude

This month I have decided to post everyday. Each day's post will be about one person or group of persons for whom I am grateful. This is the month of Thanksgiving, and I've been feeling especially grateful lately, so doing my blog this way makes good sense to me.
I am grateful for way more than 30 individuals, so most days I will likely mention a group and perhaps name individuals within it. Today however, being the first day I will name the person I'm the most grateful for...
Jason Sinco. The love of my life. The man who makes my life richer and more enjoyable in so many ways. He provides for me every single day. We live in a nice house in a good part of town, he built a garden and helps keep it up, he built furniture for the patio. He knows when I need a hug, even when I don't want it. Jason keeps things together and moving forward in our life; this past weekend when I was so nervous and anxious about my recital, he kept me calm and focused. I never had to worry about what was being done for whom because he had it all under control. We had family in town from my side and his and it was a wonderful experience all the way around and I know that is due to his hard work. He loves me so completely, I'm constantly amazed by him, I don't deserve him, but I'm so very happy he's in my life! Knowing that I will have him by my side for the rest of my days is the best motivation I've ever had to do what I can to make those days good for both of us.
Thank you baby, I love you!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Big Event

Four days. In four days I will perform my recital and have another big thing to check off my list of big things happening his semester. It feels good to be accomplishing things. I am nervous, but no longer worried. It will be what it is and hopefully most of it will be good.
That will be all for now.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Autumn Swings

"He's so cute! But he better stop eating the bird's seed!"
Two weeks from today I will perform my senior recital. This is a big deal. I don't think I was thinking of it as a big deal until recently. My goal is to have a PhD in Ethnomusicology, which doesn't require that I even know how to play the piano, necessarily. However, that is the instrument I can play, and I wanted to stay in Springfield, so Dr. Collins got me set up in the music program and on my way to fulfilling my dream. It all started when I had been babysitting for Meredith for a few months and she had encouraged me to think about going back to school, then I met Dr. Collins at the first Springfield Symphony concert I attended and we go to talking. Since then many things have changed. I've learned so much more than I thought I would and I've only had my desire to learn strengthened with each class and lesson. I'm now trying to get a folklore minor as well as applying to several graduate programs and receiving tremendous support from my professors, especially Dr. Parsons.
Having the booth has been good for me despite the amount of stress I'm already under because I have to give it at least a little bit of time each week, which is time spent not doing homework or practicing. Jason is the most patient and supportive husband in the world. I don't know if I would have stuck with school this far if not for him.
Ultimately I'm feeling very grateful right now. Yesterday and a couple times to day I had the strongest sense that Grammy was with me. Almost physically with me, I could so vividly remember the way her hands felt on either side of my was beyond belief, I know she is with me right now and carrying that knowledge is beautiful.
This life is an amazing and unpredictable journey, I don't want to miss any of it!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Truth is no matter how much I love to do it, I don't believe I can dance.
Truth is despite good people believing in me and skilled and knowledgeable people teaching me, I don't think I'm any good at the piano.
Truth is as much as I want to write, I don't do much of it because I know I'm not clear and relatable.
Truth is I know I don't practice enough of any of the above.
Truth is I'm no where near as good a wife as my husband deserves.
Truth is I know my opinion about these things is only my opinion and not absolute.
Truth is without the Love and Support of my family and friends I wouldn't be trying anything I love.
Truth is without the encouragement of those who love me I would still be working at Panera and expecting nothing more than a paycheck every two weeks.
Truth is some days the only thing that works is to remember what the people I admire most tell me about myself.
Truth is I will graduate in the spring.
Truth is I will perform a senior recital to the best of my abilities.
Truth is I will write many many papers and each one will be better than the last.
Truth is self-doubt is a part of being me, part of being human.
Truth is I need to remember to give back, to be the loving encouraging wife, daughter, sister, cousin, friend.
Truth is I try.
Truth is I plan to never give up.
Truth is I will keep putting one foot in front of the other until I have no feet, and then I will fly!

Friday, October 8, 2010


This is our booth! My friends and I are giving it a try. Jason is contributing his woodworking projects and crafting skills as well. I think it will be fun. I will take more pictures this weekend after we give it the Halloween/Fall make over....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Goings On

Jason had this great idea, the result is above. Papermache heads to display hats, and scarves and such. Why would I need to do that you may wonder...I'll tell you why. Two of my closest friends and I are going to start a flea market booth. Just to see what happens. We will split the cost and can sell things we find and things we make, including hats! As Jason said, it's worth the money for the first few months to see if it works out at all. While checking things out at the Ozark Celebration Festival, we found a man doing traditional woodworking! Jason had a good time talking with him and trying out his lathe.
Life is good, but I have a lot on my plate and not much time to blog. Closer to the holiday's that will likely change.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Birthday Weekend!

I found out via Facebook, that one of my favorite music groups was planning to be in STL the weekend of my birthday. That is as simple as it gets. Jason seems to Love making me happy. The concert got a late start, but was so worth it!! This is Zoe Jakes, she mostly dances during some of their numbers, but sometimes plays a small drum she attaches to a neck strap. She is a beautiful dancer, and so fun! She was having fun with her skill/art, and could spin infinities! My hero! Jason took a picture to document the smile. I smiled SO MUCH that night! Smiled a lot that whole weekend. Jason's folks made reservations for all of us at a Greek restaurant for lunch and his mom took us to The Bead Store, which was a treat!! Then Jason paid for a pedicure that has lasted over a week! Last time I had a pedi was in VA for my birthday trip last year. I am so fortunate, 31 and still get a big deal made of my birthday. :) The concert was advertised as a masquerade, so I made some costumes. It was fun to use up scraps of things I loved as well as re-purpose other things. It was a great weekend all the way around. Tomorrow is the first day of the fall semester, my last fall semester as an undergrad, so crazy. I'm excited, but a bit of a wreck too.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I need to write about my great birthday weekend and post some pictures, and I will, but just now I was looking through some stationary to write some letters and I came across a card I got to send to Grammy, that I never sent. The front is flowers and bees and it says "I'm thinking of you..." then inside is says, "I always do." Why didn't I send this? It's so true!! And it's still true.
I promise, next time will be a happy report on last weekends fun times. :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010


The Lovely Powerful Women of Project Vagabond. Strong and Beautiful Gypsy Sol. Proud and Wonderful! Project Vagabond. I used to do this. Been three years I think since I left RedMoon, I had only just been allowed in after years as a student. When I first started lessons I didn't think I wanted to be on stage, just wanted to learn the dance. Then my confidence grew and I loved dancing on stage as a tribe! I've done a couple of solos since then and participated in the Cowboy Bepop project Em did. But I do miss the tribe. Miss dancing with a group of women who are dancing for love of music, life and movement. ATS and Tribal Fusion are styles of belly dance which embrace the power and strength of a woman as well as her beauty and grace. That is not to say that other styles of this dance aren't strong or powerful, on the contrary, but rather, that these styles seem to put those aspects of the dance to the forefront.
I am so proud of these women. Some I know well, others I just know enough to admire their skill and passion. I need to get back into dance. For me. I feel hollow sometimes for the lack of it in my life. Good thing I took notes and had a generous teacher! Thank you Zivah. Thank you to all my dancing friends. You bring joy and light and whimsy wherever you dance!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds and shall find me unafraid

It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.


Just watched Invictus with my mom. Powerful movie, good message. Forgiveness can be strength.

Monday, July 26, 2010


It is early. It is Monday. I've been trying to be sure and be up and at 'em around 6am every morning Mon-Thur. I like to have quiet mornings to myself. With a husband on the night shift you'd think that would be easy. But unless I am up at 6 or during school sometimes 5, it isn't possible. It's been great to go out and spend sometime weeding and mowing a little bit everyday. Sometimes I remember and take the radio out with me and listen to Morning Edition on NPR. I'll be heading out there in a few minutes. The sun has turned the clouds on the horizon gold, I can see them through the trees in my neighbor's back yard. The birds will be singing, the crickets will be scattering, mornings are magic to me. It's not something I think I could share with anyone, and I know I enjoy it best when I'm alone. I've always liked to be alone in the mornings. Which, when I was younger I think was weird to some, and hard for my fellow morning person dad.
Why am I writing this? I should be doing my morning pages. I was thinking about that word. Morning. Mourning. One of my dearest friends is going through something, mourning. I am mourning. It's a strange process that takes everyone differently, I think I've avoided the pages because that's where I can write anything, and I don't know if I want to. But I do know that I need to. Guess I better get to it then.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Looking at my blog just now and seeing the previous posts title, "learning" got me thinking. Jason and I like to "watch some learning", which just means that we watch a documentary rather than a fiction movie or show. My dad said to me, well, my mom too now that I think of it, more than once, "I'm still learning". That would be said at so many different times and occasions, and was good for me to hear, good for me to know. We never stop learning. Not ever.
Today is my dad's 60th birthday. I am very proud of my father, for a lot of reasons. Last month I posted about him for father's day. Both of my parents have been so many things to me in my life. I guess that's what parents do. They provide, teach, discipline, lead, laugh, love, protect, etc... that could get long and ridiculous. How many people though, can say their parents learned? Right in front of them learned life lessons and had the wisdom and humility to say so out loud. WOW.

Friday, July 16, 2010


I've been thinking lately about finishing things, and making different, and/or better choices. Such as, my going through my fabric and deciding that it was silly to hoard it all until I'm the size I want to be, if I can make the clothes, by golly I can make them smaller when the time comes! So now I have a new summer wardrobe for the cost of some thread and my time. One piece is pictured above. I LOVE that fabric!! Got it for a dollar a yard years ago and have been sitting on it, carting it around with me from here to where ever. Some things I even had cut out and ready to be sewn, just hadn't done it yet! I also went through my closet, and with the help of my husband managed to cull the weak, so to speak. It feels good.
But I have to say, as I've gone through this process I think about when I bought the fabric, or the pattern or what ever. I know most of this is stuff I don't NEED now, didn't NEED then, and etc... I'm committed to not buying anymore fabric unless it's for a project I'm actually working on and have a committed time frame for. Back when Jo and Abby and I were out dress shopping and hat shopping they talked about shopping therapy. I've done that. Not for clothes or shoes, but for fabric, yarn, ribbon, thread, buttons, you get the point. But how therapeutic is it to do that and then just hoard the stuff? This project of going through my stuff and finishing things has been more therapeutic than buying any of it ever was!
So, it's still a daily thing. Choosing to spend my money on things I'm going to use or consume wisely, deciding to make something and be creative rather than vegg out in front of the computer or TV, making a healthy meal at home and not drive thru for junk. But one day at a time is the only way to do it.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


These were taken on the 24th of June, the tomatoes were much much bigger by the time we got back from vacation. They were heavy with all the green tomatoes, especially the two not cherry varieties, the Amish paste had actually started roots off the vines that were along the ground and were growing toward the fence! Many tomatoes were spiting and rotting, it was a MESS!
Yet, when it came time to prune them Jason pointed out all the tomatoes we were throwing away, all green still. He seemed surprised that I was so sure about cutting them off and tossing them out, and even that I didn't hesitate. Well, I want some good tomatoes this year, so even though there wasn't anything "wrong" with them, no disease, or pest or what have you, they had to go. I know I can trust in the productivity of what we still have. Here they are all staked up and still laden with fruit! And we can now clearly see the basils and the ground beneath so as to keep it free of weeds, which at the beginning of this day it was not. I have already enjoyed lots of the cherry toms this week and am looking forward to the bountiful and continuous harvest I'm sure we will have this summer.
I've been thinking how much like life this is. How important it is to stop once in a while and look at the bigger picture. See how spread out one is. Will there be any chance of a good harvest if we are pumping our energy into too many things? Of course not! It is good to look at your life every so often and do away with the unnecessary. Not because it's bad, or there's anything wrong with it, but because it is distracting from what is most important. Such as one's spouse, or children, or what hobbies really do bring complete relaxation. This life is too short to spend stressed out and tired all the time, but it's quite easy to get that way with out noticing when we aren't doing a thorough inventory of our lives from time to time.
Well, enough of that, the preacher in me is coming out, can't have that!! Must wake my husband up from his much needed and deserved nap. :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

My Sister

Today my sister turns 29. I have loved her for 29 years. When she moved to VA I felt like I was living 100 years ago and watching her sail across the Atlantic. That's just how far it felt, and how hard I thought it would be to go see her. I worried that her children wouldn't know me, or that because they only saw me rarely they wouldn't like me, I worried that she'd either love it so much she never came back to visit or would have so many friends out there that she wouldn't think about me, I worried about a lot of things. I am a big sister, and that's what I do. :)
But the fact is that I haven't been the only one loving my sister for 29 years. As much as sisters fight as teenagers they bond too, and we have a bond that has stood up to many a test. I have been in her corner even when it meant defying people I loved and respected, sometimes even when I wasn't sure she was right, because the point wasn't who was being defied, or who was right, the point was then and will always be that she knows I'm with her. It's hard sometimes as adults, hard because I know she is strong enough to face anything that comes her way, she has the courage to stand on her own two feet and fight for what she wants, what she knows is right, and I know how hard that fight can be, it's hard to let her be all she can be. I often resist the urge to fly out there and "fix" things. Not because she's not doing it right, but because there are morons in the world and they don't treat her the way I think they should, and I'll tell them that any day. But that wouldn't help. The only way any of them will start treating her right is for her to tell them that in her way and her time, or for her to tell them to just get lost. :)
I see her strength every time I see her children. I am so proud of her I could just burst! They are three of the smartest most well behaved kids I've ever known. They have manners that rival Ms. Post, and for all their sibling bickering it is clear that they love each other and will stick together against whatever bully any one of them must face. I used to think that it would be frustrating to be a mom and have everybody focus on that all the time, and maybe it is, I know that's not the only wonderful thing about her, or even the most wonderful, but man, her mothering is impressive! Those children are testament to her courage and fortitude, to her grace and capacity for love, to her kindness and understanding, and even to her ability to discipline.
There was a time I wanted to own an art gallery. I wanted to have a place where artists like my sister and my friends could display their talent and even do shows involving music and drama. I've been so blessed to be surrounded by such talented and expressive people, the first of which is my sister. So Jo-Jo, make some art today, make your day your art, do whatever comes to your heart. I love you!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

Today is a day we honor our fathers. I realize that to be fair I should have done this for my mom on mother's day, but there will be another one next year, and I got to see her for mother's day. :)
My papa is easily the most forgiving and generous man I'll ever know. Throughout my life he's been there as an example of Godly living and loving. Even when he was working three jobs and only really getting paid for one of them, he had time to tell me about my great-grandmother, or tell me he was proud of me for the garden, or my piano playing, or sometimes just because. His road has perhaps never been broad or easy, but you can't tell it when he smiles. He has a strength and courage that have their foundations in a love and strength that is bigger than he is, bigger than any problem he must overcome, and he knows that. I'm constantly amazed at his ability to keep going with a smile on his face and a kind word to those who don't deserve it.
Loving the unlovely is something he does daily. I just hope that we (his family) are lovely, and maybe easier to love. That we lighten his load and help to hold him up when life wears him out. My papa is an overcomer. He lives daily in grace and patience. The joy and relief he has given his whole life to those who need it is a beautiful thing to behold and remember. His ability to see the lesson in just about every situation, even when the lesson to be learned is the only possible positive thing, has been a great help to me. I am always trying to remember the lessons he taught me and to see the thing to learn in the seemingly impossible.
I am so glad Douglas Arther Dorris is my papa! I love him so much, thank you papa, for being the best man of God you can, believe me, it shows!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Grammy always told us that she wanted the three of us to sing at her funeral. She said she didn't care what, but all three of us. I find that this past week the songs we sang as a congregation have been in my mind a lot. When I had breakfast with Abby, the one in the middle, she said she was having the same experience. It's like she's singing to us. That is more comforting that I can put to words. I have so missed worship, and she could do that, humbling and amazing to behold. Our garden in growing! These are the big tomatoes we're doing. the others are Amish paste and a cherry tom variety, they all have fruit on them! I need to mow, but it rained and stormed this afternoon, so perhaps I'll do it tomorrow.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I hardly know where to begin writing about my Grammy. She was wonderful. Strong, but knew how to play and have fun, and laugh, she could laugh and laugh. I was blessed to be able to live with her for a time, a few times. She was fiery and steadfast. Her faith was everything and by that I mean that it was the wellspring from which she drew daily her ability to love and live and forgive and sing and give. Oh, she gave. Never have I known someone who gave as much as she did. I miss her so much. So much.
There has been much talk in the last week or so about her among her descendants. One thing that I've thought again and again is how I've missed her for so long, I hardly know what to feel now. Dementia and the gradual break down of physical function took her from us long ago. She was very loved by the people at the home where she stayed her last years. Even when they were clearly tired and worn out, they always had a smile for her. And it speaks volumes to me that despite being practically catatonic for the last little while she never once had a bed sore. My uncle and aunt where perfect advocates for her, making sure she had her own room and going to see her as often as they could. I don't know how they did it, but I'm so grateful they did.
I've found that a lot of memories that I couldn't look at for a while now are surfacing. Remembering times from when I lived with her and before that. Not just the events, but her. Seeing her face, hearing her voice as though I were actually there again. I hadn't let myself do that. The in-between she's been in for so long, where she wasn't really with us anymore, but wasn't on the other side yet either was hard. There isn't another word for it. When I lived with her in Springriver, the retierment village/nursing home where she lived the last two decades of her life, we would go up to the "bighouse"( what we called the building with the apartments and the nursing home ) and visit some of the elderly there. She would always always tell me that she never wanted to live there, or live like that. In those days she could out walk me without trying she was so vivacious and alive! I know that a lot of what made it hard for me these last years was the guilt I felt that she was in the "bighouse". I don't know if I thought I should have had a place for her to be with me, or should have moved there, or if I just knew in a very personal way how hard that was for her. I also knew though, that she wanted so much for me, for all her grandchildren, and that she would never have begrudged me anything, it wouldn't have crossed her mind. I decided I had to deal with it, to try to overcome and live my life. I know that was a big part of how I finally got back in school and away from a very destructive situation, dealing with my feelings of guilt and making some peace with it.
Now I am grieving. Truly grieving. This is not some thing I do well, if anyone does or can do such a thing well. I do think that to do it at all is the beginning. I couldn't help but think of past times when someone close to me died, when I was four my father's dad died and when they told us I remember crying and crying, hard, with sobs and all of it. But I was four, so I don't think it continued to affect me. I have the impression that I dealt with it as best my little self could and that was that. Later, when I had just turned 11 my cousin Matthew died in a car accident. That was very difficult for the whole family. I clearly remember grandpa telling us there would be no TV the day of the funeral, the grief in his voice. I watched all the important people in my life try to deal with the unthinkable, but I didn't deal with it. I told myself he was up there playing basketball and waiting for the rest of us to come home and that was that, he was happy and that was what mattered. Less than a year later grandpa died.
I guess where I'm going with this is that I had occasion to grieve, but I don't know that I ever really figured out how to do it. I think most people just do it, but some of us have to consciously decided to do it. Some of us tend to prefer to act like everything is fine and this is just the natural course of things and any pain or trauma that we might feel gets ignored or shoved aside and dismissed, for whatever reason. I am not going to do that anymore. I don't care if anyone thinks I'm selfish for taking the time to grieve. I don't want to think twice about the value of making sure I do this, or if I should be more concerned with other things going on in my life.
Grammy was possibly the most influential person in my life. I mean that. So I need to make an effort to have great peace with her death and her life and how that entwines with mine.

Friday, June 11, 2010


This is best of the most recent photos I have of my Grammy. She died last week, the 3rd of June. I will write a nice long post about that, but for now I just wanted this picture on my blog. The kiddo is Aiden, my sister's oldest, this was taken in late summer of '05, he is 4. She is 85. This is harder than I'd expected it to be.

Monday, May 31, 2010


The tall plants/bed are potatoes. Jason is very proud and excited about them. Next to those are the zucchini and some marigolds. We did some serious weeding in this bed and the tomato basil bed behind it be fore getting to work taking down the following. We decided to air out the tents and see what they look like. He's never seem mine, I've never seen his, so we set them up and left them over night. All nice and fresh. Next day what had been a bit pink was red, the tank I've got on is pink, if that gives you any indication. I keep forgetting I have that tattoo. The whitish stuff is the lotion Jason lathered on for me before heading off to work.
I've thought a lot about sunburns. Remembering some of the worse one's I've had in my life and so forth. I realized something, all the worst ones, except the one on my scalp, happened when I was the one responsible for my sunscreen. In other words, when I was on an outing without mom, or since I've been an adult. Yes, this is in part due to my belief that I am unstoppable and impervious. Also a bit daft. I always, always forget how bad it is until it's happened again. I'm a wimp about it too. Poor Jason's had to put up with all the wincing and whining. But last night I managed to sleep on my back and only woke myself up a couple times trying to roll over. Is there a moral to this story? Duh, were more sunscreen, and make sure to get you're back. But, will I actually remember that next time, doubtful. So, I've been stuck inside. I choose to sort through my fabric. Remember how clean and nice this room was a week or so ago? It's already looking better, and I'm getting lots of things planned out, it's pretty exciting. If a tad overwhelming.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Candle Project

So you get to see this project in reverse. These are the finished two tone candles...
more of the two toneness. We are using wax from candles I've kept either because there was so much left over after it burned out, or because I loved the scent. The chopstick holders were Jason"s idea. He's so cleaver.
this is the melted wax. Candels we had started earlier and had sunk in the middle upon drying. The chunks of old candle about to melt.
Now we have lovely scented emergency candles!