If We Were Having Drinks: Back to School Edition 2019

Well hello! Can I tell you things have been off the chain? Let’s have a coca (I made it for everyone this year as a present!) and chat!

If we were having drinks I’d have to invite you over to my place. Being out in public is taxing right now because I feel my best in a sports bra. I also happen to look crazy uniboobed in a sport bra and my clothes don’t fit as well. My right breast is still hurting it’s been 3 weeks. I am not so sure if this course if antibiotics is really working. The binding/compressing my chest is the only way I sleep comfortably at night. I live for the times I put a heating pad on my chest. All of these seem to point to infection (compressions and heat) but the pills no longer make me feel better when I take a new dose and the Aleve is a joke. The pain is more near the surface and all I want to do is come home, make dinner and lay down with a heating pad. It’s…. discouraging. Next Thursday I have a follow up at the breast imaging center and I’ll be telling them all about this. Could it be a nerve condition? It doesn’t sound like Lupus, or breast cancer, or anything diagnosable that I’ve heard of… I would just like to not ruin my liver, or kidneys, and also not hurt.

I’ve also been feeling very low energy, which also points towards something infection like or sickness related. My house was truly looking good and then the medicines stopped working and now, like I said I just lay around after dinner falling asleep. I’m trying to use my energy this weekend for catching up a little and of course, progress reports are due Monday so I’m getting those updated!

My Tupperware business is going well… I appreciate that I can help people solve their problems in their kitchens! I am not like the people you see at the end of the Tupperware magazines with legions of Consultants following me, selling $5,000 or more a month…. no l, I doing a very modest job and I am enjoying it too. I think if I were one of those consultants (I mentioned) it might take the fun out of it. All of those responsibilities on top of being an educator would be very hard for me. I am lucky, and blessed I do all the business that I do, even if I had no sales in December! If I could ask for one thing, it would be to have a Tupperware party or two in Jan or Feb. that would be fun! I might do one myself just because, maybe another mystery host party! We will see!

CDubs is doing pretty well, the dinosaur craze is continuing. I convinced him to clean up in the living room tonight like an oviraptor would, it was funny and we actually got thing clean.

My son has watched the movie My Neighbour Totoro every night this past week. I think I am tasing a Miyazaki fan! He plans to leave the kernels from the popcorn we ate outside to see if Totoro will leave him some acorns. I have to find me some acorns in the pitch dark night tonight or all is lost!

That’s about it, we had a very short drink break this week!

I hope everyone has a good week, we will have to talk soon, I have to go put my little Totoro to bed!!

Weekend Beverage Share: The Busy Month of March!

(A coffee share/beverage share is not my original idea but the original idea of parttimemonster… whose website I cannot find. If you know where her blog moved to, I’d love to link her!!)

Hey-o my friends! How are you all doing! The air still has a wintry chill, so today I think I’ll be sipping some hot coca.

I would have you join me outside on our “patio” and view our spring set up:

The little white swing is actually a bird feeder. We tried filling it with a wild bird birdseed mix. We were very disappointed at first, it seemed like nothing was eating our seeds! It took some time but we noticed only the sunflower seeds were being picked at.

We took a trip to our local tractor supply and discovered that sunflower earring birds are Song Birds. After buying a big bag I devised a plan. I threw a couple handfuls outside our back gate and filled up the swing with the new mix. Now we have birds everywhere in the morning:

We have a cardinal couple that visit, a male and female, a couple blackbirds, and lots of feisty robins.

Our cats are also getting into the habit of walks on the patio:

One is more adventurous than the other…

CDubs is also enjoying the outdoors, but for different reasons. He is turning 4 this month and to celebrate we planned a part on the only Saturday we have off this month:

He had a great time! Unfortunately, none of his daycare friends came, but luckily a lot of church friends came and so did my coworker’s kids. CDubs did not even mention that his best friend wasn’t there- which I am eternally grateful for. (He had asked me everyday if his friend was coming.) The kids from church did a great job of keeping him busy!

In other news, I had a change in medication. I changed my insurance to a better plan and my pharmacy changed pill suppliers. Last month’s pills were cheaper and the formula was different. I feel much better now than I did with the other pills. I don’t get knocked on my butt when I take them and I’m not loopy at all. The next day I’m not motion sick or anything. They are amazing and I am so glad I have them.

I also had a big appointment yesterday. Even though we left on time, and I was on time for my MRI, my MRI took longer than the person who scheduled my appointments thought. I was 40 minutes late to my second appointment. My doctor was late that morning so, when they asked if I could still be seen, she said she couldn’t punish me for being late when she had been late as well. I tried to assure her it wasn’t on purpose, but I feel like I just made her feel like I was making excuses. Ah well, I knew when they made this appointment that it was too close to the MRI. I’ll insist next time, that the appointments are further apart.

I was going to upload some pictures from my imaging cd… but my husband does have a CD drive!

I suppose it will be a mystery for another day, lol.

As I mentioned my doctor has some theories. She of course wants the films (?) analyzed by the professionals but she gave me her opinion.

So I took Ryan out to lunch and told him what she told me. It seems that my tumor has grown. When it’s a macro adenoma you’re safe, less headaches, can have babies that sort of thing. I might not be in macro adenoma land anymore. This means headaches and definitely staying on my medicine. Definitely. It also means, not only is it finically not a good idea to have children, it’s not a healthy choice for me either. Obviously if I became pregnant accidentally we would talk to my doctors like last time, but as last time, we are being careful. (My medication is for tumor compaction, it’s not a cure)

Of course, we will look forward towards official updates, measurements, test results, etc. when the time comes.

A rare occurrence allowed me to purchase another pair of Tieks:

And I am carefully, in dry weather, breaking them in. I can’t say they are stretched comfortably yet (they are leather after all), but they are on their way. I look forward to wearing these to pieces as well.

I have a cool lesson for tomorrow at church. I don’t think my PP is keen on it, but that’s the good thing about being the music leader, I can made my own decisions about music time. Still not one hundred percent on if I’m allowed to make Song choices for the program but I’ll ask my stake music leader tomorrow.

We are supposed to work on our third verse tomorrow for “If the Savior Stood beside me,” which is a song about making choices as if Jesus were right there. A very talented woman made me a prop with her handy dandy vinyl machine:

As a musician we are asked often to look at a mirror to notice things we often wouldn’t when we perform. I didn’t use to open my mouth enough when I was singing for instance. I want to talk about that briefly then have each child come up one by one and notice how they look when they sing. They aren’t allowed to share what they notice with others but take note of how they look, are their mouths open, is there space all the way back, that sort of thing. My hope is at first they notice that then focus in and see Jesus.

The idea is, though we don’t always see him there, he is there. When we go about our lives or even sing at the Primary Program Jesus is there with us. Does that change who we want to be? How we sing?

I’m hoping this makes them think and invites the spirit. I could be reading too far into this, but I think she thinks I’m being too complex. It can’t just be word all the time. We need to understand what we are singing. We aren’t little puppets. Not that she thinks that, but sometime I feel like one. I tried to call her earlier this week, yesterday, and today to talk about that and feelings I’ve had but she didn’t have time. So I’m just going to have to ambush her tomorrow. I tried man. I tried to do this over the phone in the privacy of our homes. Eh. I like her a lot but I’m not just rolling over. At the same time, I won’t cry if suddenly I’m released. I love the kids. I just feel like I’m not allowed to teach and that my music education degree is seen as a detriment instead of an asset. It’s apart of me. I have to use that knowledge. It is what it is. So drama at the meeting house tomorrow I guess…

I’m just saying, if you are to be an instrument of God’s will there is no way you can make a sound if others are clamping down your strings in order to keep you silent, or worse yet, to only allow you to play the parts that they, as humans, want to hear.

That got a little too serious for coca, sorry about that. I hope your March is going well and that many blessings go your way! Until later my friends!

Voluptuous Goddess Pageant: Practice Makes Insecurity

 

For some INSANE reason I believe subconsciously to the core of my being I should be on stage. Acting, singing, whatever, it’s just this core self thought that won’t go away. I can’t tell you how many times I have bombed an audition.

I cannot tell you how many times some one has loudly said, “Uh THANK YOU. NEXT!”

I cannot express to you the hurt I felt when someone professional, who I was close with, told me I was “too big and too tall” to get a lead role, no matter what I learned vocally. I would ALWAYS be cast as the old woman, or the domineering strong female background character.

Oh the giggles and taunts. People waiting outside my practice room telling me to hurry up, real singers want the room.

Oh yes, yes, it all resides in the brain. The memories.

I have horrible, jarring stage fright. Once again, it goes back to not being good enough.

Did you know some one put into my child mind, that I do not deserve to go to Heaven when I die? I have possibly the worst fights with myself over my self-worth.

That little girl my parents largely ignored, that my mother smacked around, that my father was too tired to notice, that little girl who was preyed upon by that child predator, that girl, she still resides in my mind.

I have this dream where there is a little me in a filthy room alone, torn up and crying. I clean, and clean, and mend her clothes, I feed her and hold her as she just stares ahead and weeps. She never changes.

Poor thing. I can’t go back and fix all that for myself. I can’t put another complexion on it. There isn’t a way. She isn’t me anymore though, and though I now know what to do, as I said I can’t go back. It doesn’t do to dwell on dreams Harry.

There is though a life time of me working towards better. Better for me (and better for CDubs.). One way is to realize while I am not moving my behind to California, in hopes of my big break 20 years too late; I can take steps to shake up my world a little.

I have to keep trying. Even if my voice completely gives out in fear. Even if I shake to pieces and forget to breathe while I sing (that happens to people, don’t scoff).

Even if I dress to the nines and everyone expects the music teacher to be amazing and…. She’s not.

Even if I end up on YouTube as Watch the Worst Pageant Singer In The World! Click Here!

I’m going to try.

I forgot that today, when after school, I went through the song quickly and bombed. I beat my self up too. Went home and practiced more. Screwed up more.

Gave up and ate dinner and my husband said “I told you that song is too hard to learn right now. You need something easier.”

Which he didn’t, and he says this to me, the day after I emailed my song selection to the coordinator, so it’s too late.

I got so mad. He does stuff like that. Then he tells me I need to go practice more, which is true. So I break up the song. Sing with the recorded singer, switch to the instrument only track, switch back to the singer, and so forth.

I realized tonight being pissed makes you sing better. Meowing cats don’t. I guess Evie wanted to help. I also remembered my voice teacher saying vocalists have to enunciate and move their face a lot to be heard correctly and to sometimes mimic style. So I was very expressively singing to the cupboards in the kitchen. (Furthest point from CDubs’s bed room)

My throat hurts a little but, husband made me two glasses of mint tea (mint leaves steeped in water). I am feeling better now, and my confidence is up a bit.

A bit. Practice reveals the truth, I’ve got a ways to go by Saturday, and I’d really like to imagine myself singing in front of everyone and do a YouTube so you can tell me what you think.

Not to mention, I have 2 formal gowns (I hope) that I want to run by you all. (For the formal wear walk)

So much to do but as Mrs. Z said:

“A lot of people are too afraid to do this.”

I am doing my best to not be one of them!

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Voluptuous Goddess Pageant: What Was I Thinking?!

It was the end of October, possibly the beginning of November when I was approached by the beautiful Mrs. Z. This woman is beautiful. 5’4″ curvy, bronzed clear skin, perfect make up and hair, on point outfits with those amazing little touches only she could make, this woman made a cheerleading tutu out of multi colored mesh squares. Instead of looking utterly ridiculous she made it come together some how; and all the kids wanted one (faculty basketball game for students), she is just flawless.

So, as I said Mrs. Z sashayed up to me and confidently, almost trivially, laid out this plan for a Plus Sized Woman’s Beauty pageant. I gave her the sideways squint of, “a Pageant, here? Like glitter and ball gowns, and sponsors and…”

She assured me oh no, no, not like that! She gave me this image of togetherness and friendly competition and of course the eventual crowning of a winner.

“Sounds fun.” I remark, thinking perhaps she wants me to spread the word, get Ry to run sound, ask the band to perform (which I sincerely hoped was not the case!).

“It is! All you need to do is sign up with a basic contract, and pay a $25 holding fee and you’re set!”

……….

…….

.

After that largely pregnant pause, she explained it would consist of 3 parts, a parade, a talent portion, and a favorite outfit portion.

The dusty gears in my brain worked themselves furiously trying to get my brain started. Me? Compete? Talents? What?

Maybe it was the look in her eyes, a sort of please say yes, it will be fun look; maybe it was a momentary lapse of sanity, either way, I agreed.

“I’ll get you the contract/ waver as soon as I can!” She squealed, “I finally have a Caucasian girl in the pageant!”

Mildly amused, we part ways for duties and such.

Weeks pass, no mention of a contract, nothing. Then one day she comes up, bedazzled in holiday perfection,”Did you get my email over Thanksgiving?”

Maybe? I was so sick, I honestly didn’t remember.

Students were sent as little pages back and forth from our kingdoms during study hall (let’s be honest, if a student refuses to study and all actions are taken and they are still drawing in their notebooks… Sending them on an errand isn’t a horrific thing.). Contracts, envelopes with checks and waivers and statements are sent.

All done, it’s done, back to worrying about the concert, parade, testing, etc.

Except! Surprise!

Text received yesterday, the Pageant is the NEXT week! I forgot. I totally lost my voice after the parade and didn’t care cause it was break. Except, tomorrow is the run through, and next Saturday is the event.

MOONGAZEPONIES @ DEVIANTART

What to do? Well, I think my voice is healed enough to sing. Playing trombone…. I don’t think that’s what the audience wants, especially Trombone music from 100 or more years ago (it’s what I got). I just realized I could totally do a color guard flag routine to some song… But getting all the tricks ready by Saturday… Probably not.

So I am to sing. I sing very low, songs from musicals and the Renaissance period (It’s all for me grog, me jolly jolly grog! Or perhaps Oft have I sighed, Oft have I sighed, Oft have I sighed for he who hears me not!).

I do a tolerable Fantine, a reasonable  Mame, but it’s been a long freaking time. I can sing Yuē Lang Lang in mock child soprano with more confidence than those college songs. (Music from China, music education class standard) But I could try.

The last song I was working in was Adam’s part from Children of Eden The Hardest Part of Love. That was difficult because I was trying to stay in my man voice the whole time.

At this point I could back out. Get sick and run for my life and dignity. I know I don’t make babies cry anymore when I sing. I also know if I was spectacular, I’d be on Broadway, and I’m not.

So maybe, I’ll just dash it all and try to do something…. Maybe a jazz standard.

I’m afraid no one will be hearing me sing something new, my voice just isn’t poppy. It’s belting-out-in-a-bar-and-I-hope-everyone-is-feeling-sentimental- and- a little-tone- deaf- here-we-go!

Yes, I’ve been as classically trained,  as much as a vocal minor who is teaching band can be (4 years worth of 1 hour a week lessons plus small performances in front of peers). So I have a leg up…. Maybe?

Sigh. But I need this. Performance experience. It’s important. If I ever want to get better…. Practice, exposure, and possibly vomiting.

Well I signed up for this, let’s quit the *^%#*+%# and let’s go!

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OCD- I Thought Really Clean People Had it…

I admit, when I think about people with OCD I think this:

IMAGE MEDICALNEWSTODAY.COM

 

Or this:

IMAGE PSYCHCENTRAL.COM

It’s mainly the media’s fault. We are shown only the people who clean so obsessively is abnormal, or clean themselves. Or you see people making perfect lines of perfect things, rarely are you shown anything else.

Last night I had it. I’m sitting in the living room and CDubs is sitting funny on the couch and I start to picture, involuntarily ways he is not safe, ways he could be harmed, ways I could accidentally harm him. It hits me like a wave and I panic. Like hugely panic. Like I’ve got to calm down. So I tell myself I’m not an abuser, I don’t want to hurt him or watch my inner thoughts imagining all the ways he could be hurt.

What is wrong with me? Who does that s*%+#?

Finally, I google it, and it pops up immediately. OCD Contamination. What in the fricky frack is that?!

My house looks like poop, I’d say it’s pretty contaminated.

But I come to realize as I read that contamination is when you are so afraid your actions that you may contaminate or harm another person, or your self. Imagine if you will, new mothers checking to see if the baby’s breathing at night. Totally normal. But I doubt those mothers then imagined all the ways then the baby could die, then in total fear, watched their mind show them ways they could complete the task.

Then you freak out, what kind of monster thinks this stuff?! Apparently OCD, contamination ones.

It was all there, the worrying, the over protectiveness, the mental anguish of being able to picture it all, the shame you would think that, the rituals to “make it go away.”

When I was little I was afraid unseen forces would “get me” so the only way I could make them go was to sing a set of songs over, and over, and over until I fell asleep. Only then I was safe. (Another branch of contamination is the fear of “magical” forces, etc. being perceived as harmful to the point of obsessing and ritualizing, my extreme fear of the undead anyone?)

I obsess over cleaning, I’m not clean but I sit up and think about it and then frantically clean until I’m exhausted. Like…. All nighters, like obsess over people seeing it and judging and I get overwhelmed a lot.

Why did I think this was normal?

*head in hands*

People with OCD contamination who visualize harming or harm coming to their children are not abusers. They shouldn’t be reported to CPS. In fact studies show they are the person you want to watch your kid, because they will do everything in their power to not allow harm to come to the child in question. (Even to the point of harming themselves in order to keep their child safe. No this is not an confession, I’m not that far gone….)

Can I tell you, discovering that… My mother is nuts. I’m sorry that’s not PC of me but, I have lived through a lot.

She harmed me, she had crazy cleaning phobias and I thought I was…. I was afraid I would turn into her, so afraid. So very… (I’m getting teary here) I don’t want to be her. Ever. I’d rather find a bridge than….

Anyway, I know. I told my husband. He looked at me and laughed and said “yeah, you’ve always been OCD, I know you would never hurt anyone, and the cleaning things is aggravating but… It’s okay.”

Seriously you knew? Why didn’t you tell me?

I’m going to digest this for a bit. It’s a relief, because I thought I was secretly a monster. I constantly ritualized (but I didn’t know I was doing something that was considered ritualistic) and talked myself down from why I wasn’t and all that goes with that. Now I know I need to stop ritualizing.

And find a therapist, and afford a therapist. They can’t fix it but they can teach me not to flip out when I realize what in doing.

I guess I’m a little off after all… I’m just glad it understand it better now.

Full Circle: Making My Way Back to The Lord

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I totally hate it when people force their religion on others, or condemn others for their beliefs. That said, you are welcome to keep scrolling, cause I am talking about Jesus.

I feel like God has always been there for me. Maybe not like I wanted (when you’re little you want blazing glorious visitations. As an adult, if I was visited thusly, I’d pee my pants), but He and His host were felt.

I went to church, the First Baptist Church of Mebane from age 7- 10 as well as a Lutheran Church on the side from ages 8- 11. The Baptist church was very fancy and ceremonial, vacation bible school was awesome but, as I grew my peers became holy bitches. My clothing wasn’t right, my hair wasn’t the right cut, I didn’t think the bible was law, I didn’t curse when the adults left the room- stupid stuff. I wasn’t allowed to sit with the girls, the girls were given the couch while the boys were given metal chairs. The boys tried to get the girls to jet me sit with them but, their purses were there so their wasn’t room.

Because Jesus was a Mean Girl. Except not.

The Lutheran Church was a lot better but, it was a storefront church and barely made rent, eventually they closed.

I always had to hitch a ride to church too, my parents wouldn’t go. People get tired of giving you rides, especially if they want to take their family out after church and you’re there, awkward.

So, with that I floated away from organized religion because I disliked how it was organized.

I went to a Methodist college and tried to go to chapel but I felt like a phony. Like they’d notice I wasn’t Christian enough.

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There has always been one way I felt comfortable, and that’s singing hymns and religious pieces. Someone always needs an Alto.

Singing about Him kind of distills him to his essence. He’s always got a clear message in song, we always sing about goodness and forgiveness and we don’t sing about people’s life choices or styles. It’s just about him and his powers, for the most part.

I enjoyed being in Choir in college too, singing all those all of those famous pieces by amazing composers like Mendelssohn, Handel and the rest.

I was very happy that, after jazz band rehearsal, Kari invited me to join her church choir, at The First Baptist Church in Laurinburg. The people there were very welcoming and the music is spirited and challenging. They seem to take the music very seriously, which I like.

I received an email tonight from the director thanking me for coming and she was hoping I would join permanently.

I think I shall.

A What? You Scheduled What?!

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I must share my righteous indignation with you all.

As you know, I’ve been out of school for two days. Two. Two days. It’s the beginning of the year and this happened Tuesday afternoon:

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My first thought was, I tried to get a chorus started 3 years ago. I’d never knew teaching General Music was an actual course taught after the 5th grade. I mean music appreciation in high school sure but, general music?

I think though that I adapted well to teaching General Music; and my students told me, when asked, that they didn’t want to sing. In public. Ever. They’d rather do that “pig blood thing in front of the whole school than sing.”
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(Image from Carrie the movie)

Hmm interesting choice.

Besides, playing guitars sounded so much cooler.

Then no one would change the course title to Chorus either. Which means, if a state school official came to view my class based on the General Music course description, and found out I only taught chorus, I’d be in trouble. Course titles matter.

So I gave up on chorus and title changing and learned to teach music. While difficult to get middle schoolers to care about the Baroque Period, it was doable and within my course parameters.

My mind changed gears. There was more to be confused over.

My next thought was Drama? I can’t act at all. I wish. I’ve always wanted to sing in a musical. To have a part on stage. I just don’t have the ability or training.

Third, You want a time extensive event planned out (a musical). With parts and casting. We’d have to purchase the rights to a show, in specific keys, unless you want me to write one.

Oh my Lord, he doesn’t want me to write a show, does he? That’s insanity!

I have a 5 month old at home! What?! Write a show? With not a jot of acting, or playwriting experience? It’s harder than you think to write a play!

My feverish mind spiraled further into madness.

Wait, “academic advisor,” That means I supervise other people teaching chorus who aren’t certified teachers.

Hell no. Another teacher at the school, sure, with us working together? Excellent. As long as it’s truly collaborative. A random member of the community, in my classroom, using musical equipment? What if I said no? Would you just let them into my classroom without my consent, letting them use any old instrument?

I am responsible for that equipment! The school does not own the equipment, the county’s music department does. If it’s damaged, we won’t get money to replace it for years! If they know I’m careless (even if it’s someone else’s fault, I’d ultimately be blamed) then they might reduce our funding!

Then, I realized I was taking things way to far. I needed to breathe:

I forgot myself, I was still under the weather, feeling sick. My principal is a very honest, individual who has always been honest and willing to listen to my concerns. That doesn’t mean he will automatically fold to what I feel I should do, but he will listen and address my concerns. Also, he defers to my knowledge of music department rules because I am the one in direct contact with the county arts education director.

So I told him, briefly we needed to talk about this chorus idea together soon because, I had some misconceptions and took offense to the way he presented his wishes.

He apologized and clarified that I was in charge of this and he wanted to be in the chorus as well and had a “vision” dealing with chorus that he would share, later.

Then he told me he booked a performance in front of the school board in June. For the chorus, not the 50+ middle school band I have been cultivating for 3+ years.

No, for the ensemble yet to be formed.

I need a double Taylor moment:

Principals!