New meaning to hump day

31 10 2007

I will be going to the chiropractor for a loooonnng time.
My ex rays show that the curve in my neck has straightened out. and it leans to the right. Apparently not a good thing. It is causing a hump in my neck and back known as a Dowagers Hump. Happy hump day. Yeah, I know, lame joke.
I am in sticker shock and could use a good chuckle so don’t be afraid to share any good joke with me. I had to take out a new loan (seriously) to pay for 84 visits. I have 3 visits per week for the next… I don’t know how long. For the love of Pete!!! Someone make me laugh!! Sorry, I lean too easily on the drama.
I really am not too freaked out about it. I have known for years that I am not properly aligned. (Insert your own alignment joke here.) And, please, feel free to share. You can’t hurt my feelings as long as you share the love too.
I also know that God will see to it that Ed and I are not in need. Ed is going through treatments for his knee at the same time. Ahhh, together time.
God has always provided for us and I believe He has a good plan for all of this. The good news is that now I know what has been causing the constant shoulder and upper back pain and making my arms and hands go all pins and needles in the middle of the night. And it is fixable.
So, my plan is to stay close to home until after the first of the year. That means I will be available to work in my studio if anyone is looking for a hairstylist. Hello!
Unless Spielberg calls me to come do hair on his next movie. Then, I’m outta here. Crooked neck, tingling hands and all.
I am also going to be involved in The Rock Christmas production. It is going to be amazing!! I get to sing a duet with one of the very talented singers in our choir / praise band. I don’t want to give anything away but, trust me, this production will be way beyond average! You will be entertained, encouraged, touched and ready to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. Imagine.
OK. I might turn down Spielberg for this. Mark your calendar for Sunday, December 16. We will have a 10AM performance and a 6PM performance. Be there for one or both. You will not regret it.


30 10 2007

At the risk of sounding weirder than usual, I just have to say that I am getting cuter with age.

I just got my new do and some REALLY RED highlights and I couldn’t help but wish that I were 20 years younger. I would definitely have piercings and tattoos in abundance. And my hair would have some purples in it for sure! To do it now would just be, what my friend Jennifer refers to as, “mutton dressed as lamb.” It is just too stinking bad that I had to wait until I was in my mid fifties to have the courage to look and be the way I want. Heck, it took me this long to even know what I want. I was such a people pleaser that I would be devastated if someone didn’t like me. Now, I meet people all the time who don’t like me and I have discovered that, for the most part, that are too insecure to let me know that they don’t like me. So, they fake it but it always comes out some how. Oh, It isn’t that they are being polite at all. If that were the case, they wouldn’t be talking behind my back… or yours.

I have decided that I am the only one who has to like me. That means that I need to behave in a manner that makes me comfortable. I am not always successful at this. There are times that I hear something come out of my mouth and wish I could inhale it right back into silence. Sometimes my thoughts offend me. That is easier to deal with because I bring those right to Jesus and say, “Here. I don’t want this. Will you discard of it for me?” He always says, “yes”. And sometimes He has to remind me to get my grubby little paws off that because it doesn’t belong to me anymore!! Jesus knows just how to speak to me and to make me laugh. I love to laugh. I love wearing spiky hair with red highlights and purple glasses. I don’t need any more tats. I don’t need any more holes in my body to hang jewelry off of. I am 55 years old and I have acquired some lovely diamonds over the years and I love to wear them. I am cute mutton, hear me roar. baaaa

Comanche Moon

29 10 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

How blessed am I that I could take these pics while working?

My friends Jennifer and Rita called me to come work on this TV mini-series for a few days in Albuquerque, NM. It is called Comanche Moon and it will air on December 30, Sunday night on CBS. The story takes place in the 1800s. Those of you who know anything about my work, already know how I love to do period hairstyles and wigs! I had an absolute blast working on this. The work was easy enough, although the conditions were tough. Wind storms every afternoon and the altitude had it’s way with me a bit. I got a bloody nose every day. We had to turn young, rodeo riders with crew cuts into Natives from 1800. That means wigs, glue, wigs, tape, wigs, pins and occasionally, some black hairspray to cover the highlights on the women. I learned how to make a scalp lock! It is a braid that hangs from the crown of a man’s head. Ten hair stylists, ten to fifteen make up artists and hundreds of extras in a tent on the side of a mountain. Make up and hairspray were billowing out the sides of the tent. Oh, and add to that the smoke from the sage that the shaman burned to bless the day. I met some of the coolest folks there.

We stayed in a casino for a couple of nights. Had to walk through the smoke and the clanging of machines and the ringing bells and the lights and the people. A real treat for my ADD.

I love what I get to do for a living. It will be nice to get to do it a little closer to home for a while.

I turned down yet another job today. I will know when the right one comes and when the time is right.


27 10 2007

 The following is an assignment I did for the Rockguild writers class. We were asked this question; “If you bumped into someone you hadn’t spoken to in a long time, how would that conversation go?”

Here is my answer. It is a long one but I am kinda missing my brother today so I thought I would share this story. Most of it is factual.

  Lisa loved the smell of this place. As she stood in line waiting for her turn to order her usual morning coffee she noticed that there were no familiar faces behind the counter. It appeared that there had been some changes made to the ordering process and the line was much longer than normal. A little annoyed, she glanced up to the overhead menu to make sure that hadn’t changed as well. Just then she felt a tap on her shoulder and turned around to see…   “Lucky!” she exclaimed and threw her arms around his neck.   “Hi Sis. Long time no see.” he said.   “I’ll say!” she chuckled. “I just can’t believe I am looking at you! You look fantastic.”   It felt to Lisa like they were the only two people in the coffee shop. Her heart was pounding with joy at the delight of seeing this brother that she missed for so long. He had a way of disappearing from the family for months at a time but this time had been ten long years. And yet, he looked young and vibrantly healthy. He looked very different from the last time she had seen him. There was something she had never seen before in the eyes of this previously tortured soul.   “I know there are a hundred things running through your mind right now.” he said, breaking the spell of the moment. Lisa had made up her mind in an instant that she was going to blow off work for as long as she and her brother could spend together.    “I think of you often. Sometimes I play over our last conversations in my mind and hope that I said all the right things.” Lisa was feeling a bit awkward. “I really wanted to see you paint the mural on the wall at the playground like you had planned. That was such a positive and ambitious goal. I know it would have been beautiful and it would have made the children so happy.” she babbled excitedly as they both took a step forward in the line. She thought about some of the imaginative paintings her talented brother had created.   “That was the clearest  my mind had been  in a long time and I knew exactly what the mural would look like.  I just wanted to give something back. It seemed like the place to start giving was to the kids.” Lucky’s smile was warm and genuine.    “What it is like?” Lisa almost whispered.   “I knew you would ask me that” he said with a twinkle in his eye. “I spent the longest time just standing there. Staring.  It is not possible to drink it all in with your understanding. I don’t know how I can describe to you what it is like to look at the Lamb on the Throne or to hear the angels singing. Everything has a feel to it, even the air itself. It lands on your skin like a soft, fine mist. It feels like … love… acceptance. It is everything you promised it would be and more.”   These words were coming from a man who knew heart ache and rejection.    His given name was, Paul Joseph Palombi, Jr. He was named after his father who deserted his family when Paul, Jr. was in high school.  After a failed marriage of his own and a dishonorable discharge from the Army, Paul served two years in a NY prison for armed robbery in the 1960s. A year or so after his release he joined an outlaw motorcycle club called the Devil’s Disciples. It was during this time that he acquired the name which he would be called for the rest of his life.    He had been caught shoplifting and in an attempt to dodge the store manager who was chasing him, Paul ran away from the store. The unfortunate thing was that he left his motorcycle parked in front of the store and someone recognized it as the shoplifter’s. The police impounded the motorcycle and instead of turning himself in and getting his bike back, Lucky and his friends decided to steal his bike back. They all got caught and they all were arrested and Lucky had to sell his motorcycle in order to pay for a lawyer. It did not take a Rhodes Scholar to see a pattern here. Someone in the club decided that a fitting name for this unfortunate misfit should be Lucky. There you have it; a legend was born.    He moved his way up in the ranks of the Devil’s Disciples until he was arrested again. Lucky and his brothers in the club were selling drugs out of their clubhouse. A federal agent tried to befriend them and infiltrate the operation but the guys found out what he was up to. They tied him up and forced him to drink from a bottle of wine telling him that it was laced with their best LSD.  They then placed the frantic agent in the trunk of Lucky’s car and drove him around Bostonfor a couple of hours before releasing him. He immediately made his way to the nearest hospital and identified himself while insisting that the doctors pump his stomach. He instructed the medical personnel to keep the contents of his stomach as evidence. To his dismay, the contents revealed a mixture of Bali Hai wine and Bayer aspirin. Lucky went to prison for six years on charges of kidnapping. When he came out, the club that he felt such a part of had completely changed and he didn’t fit in anymore.      Lisa had gone from being his little Sis to being one of his drinking buddies. They came from a dysfunctional family and these two siblings used their offbeat senses of humor and their talents to get them through life. Both had become alcoholic at a young age but Lisa reached the end of her rope first. To her brother’s surprise, she went to Alcoholics Anonymous, got sober and stayed that way. Five years later, she had a spiritual awakening, gave her life to Jesus, met a decent, sober man and got married.   Lucky continued to drink to excess. He was a shattered soul who had a hard time holding down a job. At one low point of his life, he worked in a bar and lived in his panel van.     One night, Lisa was at a Gospel Music concert and she was touched by a song titled, “Don’t call me lucky; call me blessed.”  It was as if God was answering her prayers for her brother by telling her what to pray for. She knew, first hand, that God could change the very nature of a person. She was living proof of that fact. Other stories rang in her memory of Abram being changed in name and nature to Abraham; Sarai to Sarah; Jacob to Israel; Saul to Paul.  Lisa began to pray that God would change her brother from Lucky to Blessed. She asked God to change the name and the nature of the lonely, mixed up man.   The last time Lisa and Lucky spoke was over the phone. He was living in Boston, Mass. and she was in North Carolina. The doctors told Lucky that he had a very aggressive form of cancer in his throat.  Radiation therapy had burned him so badly it resulted in a tracheotomy.  His physician gave him the bad news that they had done all they could. He called his sister to tell her.    When she got the devastating report, her first thought was, “Where will my brother spend eternity?”  She screwed up her courage and said, “Lucky, the most important thing you can do now is make sure you are all right with God.” The silence on his end of the phone felt like an eternity. Lisa knew it was painful for him to talk through the tracheotomy, so she was trying to give him some time.    “I don’t think that God is so mad at me that He won’t let me fish in the big pond when I get there.” he finally responded.   “Are you sure you are going to get there?”   “I believe in God. I’m just not sure if he believes in me.” Lucky confided.   Lisa thought that was the saddest thing she had ever heard. She understood how he felt and, immediately, the Bible story about the thief on the cross came to her mind. She told her brother about how the condemned man had messed up so badly that he was being put to death for the crimes he had committed.    “God believed in him, Lucky and you ain’t no badder than him.”  She had slipped back into her street jargon but it was a language they both understood. “And Jesus promised that criminal that he would be in Heaven that very day!” Lucky realized that he was not so unique. He saw that there was hope and he made a decision to believe that Jesus knew all about this man called Lucky and yet, still loved him enough to want to forgive him of all his sins.    Because he had talked for so long, his throat was in a great deal of pain so Lisa offered to pray on his behalf. She told him that she wanted this prayer to reflect his own words to God, so if she said anything that he did not agree with, he should stop her. Lisa prayed and at the end of the prayer she heard her brother croak the word, “Amen.”     Lisa had been so lost in all these memories that she was startled by the sound of a buzzer. She was quickly brought back to her place in the coffee shop.   “When did they get a buzzer in this place?” Lisa turned her attention to the young man behind the coffee counter. He was ceaselessly pushing the annoying buzzer. Lisa thought she saw yellow numbers reflecting off his forehead.  Turning around to see where the reflection was coming from, she saw her alarm clock blinking a yellow 6:55AM.   Lisa sat up in the bed, realizing that she had been dreaming. She looked at her clock again which also showed today’s date. It was June 10, 2005. Ten years to the day when she received the phone call telling her that her brother Lucky had been found dead in his Boston apartment.   Filled with gratitude for the gentle, loving way that God reminded her of the things that really matter, Lisa started her day with prayer.   “Thank You, Lord, for displaying to me that You have the grace to transform the life of a man who never should have been called Lucky. You never abandoned Your child. You knew his real name from the beginning of time and You have called him Blessed.”   In the recesses of her mind, she heard a strong, sure voice say, “Amen.”

Reality check

24 10 2007

Alright, I admit I have become engrossed in some reality tv. This is akin to sin in my profession, none the less, I sit in front of the TV on Tuesday evenings, switching channels between The Biggest Loser and the voting off of a couple on Dancing with the Stars. I love that Dancing is a live show. If it were not, we would never have seen sweet Marie Osmond faint, dead away, on the floor on national TV. She still managed to look sweet, by the way, in a heap on the floor. She appeared to be fine on last night’s show. I always liked Marie.

BUT…. Oh my, what a turn of events on BL!!! Human nature fascinates me. Living my whole life with feelings of rejection and not being worthy of someones loyalty and love is, no doubt, the reason that I watch life with the eyes that I do. And, WOW, what these eyes saw last night. It would take far too long to go into all the events that led up to last night’s episode so I will attempt to paint you a snapshot picture of the debacle that haunts me today.

We are into week 5 or 6 of the contest and this week they split up the teams that had all begun together. Now, the teams consist of 3 members each and not everyone is happy about the break up. Apparently, the former blue team made a pact with each other that they would do everything possible to make sure that a blue team member would be the winner in the end. Not an awful thing to think, maybe even a bit noble. Oh nay-nay.

One of the blue team, Neal, has been put on the team with 2 former black team members. It was a tough week with a lot of drama going on and every contestant had their struggles. The trainers are amazing to me. They attempt to push these dis-functional fatties into a healthy lifestyle by teaching, nurturing or demanding, whatever the need may be. I respect the trainers for their ethics and desire to see unhealthy folks acquire healthy living skills and thereby not die an early death due to complications from obesity. I admire the courage of the Losers. They push themselves beyond what they think they are capable of and discover great, positive things about themselves along the way. I cannot imagine the courage it takes to take off your shirt on national TV and let the world see what 100 lbs of over-weight looks like on you. These folks inspire me in my constant weight struggle and help me to see positive things in myself too.

The weigh in is the coup de gra. The team that loses the lowest percentage of weight has to eliminate a team member. The catch is that all the other teams get to vote who should be voted off the losing team.

Neal decided to sandbag the results of the weigh in by drinking 2 gallons of water right before. He gained 16 pounds!!! That put his group of 3 in the position of having to lose a member. Blue team members who are now in other groups were all in on this plan and they made sure that Neal would be safe by voting off one of the other memebers of his team. I hope you are following this because this is astounding to me how many people are affected by this dishonest, conniving behavior. The poor guy that got voted off is the one who formed the teams and, unwittingly, brought Neal onto his team thinking he would gain an advantage. Betrayed at the end. Every contestant is realizing the GAME just took on a new twist. Neal is the shnook that brought it to another level. I am so mad at him you would think he was a relative! (joke) Everyone else in the GAME caught on to the rouse and, trainers and contestants alike, have voiced a disdain for what he has done. Neal’s defense is that this is a GAME and the GAME is on. Let’s just say, Neal is not going to win the popularity vote. His trainer, Bob, was so mad that he had to be bleeped a few times before he stormed out of the room. He felt betrayed and that his integrity had been compromised. One other trainer told him he disgusted her because he was messing with peoples lives. Ouch! 

Soooo, life lesson anyone??

  • Be careful of the promises you make and the oaths you take, no matter how valliant they sound at the time.
  • If you are thinking of doing something under-handed, consider how many other people will be affected.
  • Your character is who you really are. Your reputation is merely who people think you are.
  • I have been Neal.
  • I would like to think that I could not be Neal again.
  • If I were the guy voted off and Neal repented, how long would it take me to forgive?
  • If Neal never repented, how long would it take me to forgive?
  • The world is full of Neals. I don’t like that I believe this last one.

Leave me some of your thoughts on this one. I think it is chock full of life lessons. I will be right in front of the tube next Tuesday to see how it plays out.

No drought about it

23 10 2007

the porch of our cabin

This is how I spent my weekend! I am so blessed!

We headed for the mountains at 6AM on Friday. My girlfriend, Nancy, rented us a cabin that was incredible! It was almost to the top of a mountain and the road that led us up to it was no more than a side winding bicycle path. Our resident excellent driver, Mr. Glen, had to take over the wheel. I get so nervous when I am not in control of the vehicle but this is one time I was glad not to be in control. The cabin was in the midst of a stunning autumn setting. The scenery and the chance to get away with our best friends and spend some quality time was just what the doctor ordered. We drove all over the place, ate out, played pinochle, cooked breakfast, the guys washed the dishes, we had devotions together and prayed together, went to a dinner theater, slept til 9AM, went to the farmers market and stopped by the apple ladies farm on our way home. And we are still best friends. Oh yeah, we saved the life of a box turtle by stopping the car and kicking, um… nudging it with my foot.. off the side of the road

What about those bikes in the picture, you ask? Well, first let me tell you that the monument sign behind us informs us that we are at the highest peak of the Blue Ridge Pkway. It was exhilarating and left us breathless in more ways than one. As we were taking the scenic photo above, I saw the look in my girlfriends eye. She gets this little twinkle that reminds me of a little kid when she is up to something . She was looking over my shoulder at these guys who had just pulled their bikes into perfect formation in front of the sign. (Probably so they could take a lovely photo.) Before they had their helmets all the way off, my girlfriend walked right up and asked them if we might be able to pose with their bikes. I would have loved the ability to read minds at that moment. They were great sports and took the pics for us.

This is what has captured my mind from this weekend. A resident of Bryson City told us that some of the old timers from that region say that it is a fallacy to believe that the foliage is not vibrant when there are drought conditions. They say that it is actually just the opposite. The lack of water forces the leaves to change, making them more vibrant than usual. I don’t have any idea if that is correct or wives tale. But, here is my thought: Can it be that when people go through times of distress, hardships and sorrows, those circumstances force them to be more vibrant and alive? I think there is a sermon in there somewhere. For now, I will just ponder that.

the dozen

17 10 2007

This is not a suggestion, it is a command from the Lord. Sometimes, I grumble at the thought of forgiving some of the jokers that have made my life difficult in one way or another. There have been more than a few times in my life when I whined the “I didn’t do anything to deserve that” song. There is no need to go into all that because we have all heard it a thousand times, however, I would like to share some things I have learned along the way. If you can read this with a tone of voice, please make it an understanding one and not a condemning one.

  1. Refusing to forgive keeps me in bondage to the offense, making me a prisoner of the pain.
  2. Sometimes it is wisest to forgive without ever seeing the person again. Never put ourselves in physical danger. Use wisdom.
  3. Sometimes we can forgive without speaking to the person again. Manipulators who are forgiven will still manipulate.
  4. Forgiving someone does not mean I am responsible to help them see the error of their ways.
  5. Keeping numbers 2 and 3 in mind,; it is possible to forgive someone who has passed away.
  6. Some people do not deserve to be forgiven by any rational standard. Forgive them anyway.
  7. Resentment in the Latin means to feel again. When I allow a resentment to remain, I am feeling the hurt all over again each time I think of it. And I think of it a lot. It is mental torture.
  8. Just because we haven’t completely forgotten the pain does not mean that we have not truly forgiven.
  9. Forgiving is not a feeling, it is a decision.
  10. Unforgiving requires a hardened heart and hard hearts don’t hear God so well.
  11. Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation for Thine is the kingdom and the glory and power forever.
  12. Sometimes I can be the one who is big enough to forgive; sometimes I need someone to be big enough to forgive me.

I am forgiven. I am forgiving. I am moving forward.