Thursday, March 27, 2014

Flower Power: Self-Love for the Soul

These are my beautiful flowers that a secret admirer bought me.  I love flowers.  I love the metaphors, the fragrances, the petals, the blooms.  A bouquet effectively cheers my Spirit when on my kitchen counter, especially when I lay eyes on it while dragging myself out of slumber in the morning, or during a capital B Bad day when I'm stressed or having anxiety issues I can literally stop and smell the flowers, and just admire them. This helps keep me focused on gratitude and reflecting on the good things. Sometimes it's hard to remain positive. A colorful and fragrant flower can help. Don't they do this for everyone?  Does it matter who the flowers came from? Should it matter that the secret my Self?

Last week I had what I guess you could call a regression of sorts, if we are speaking in recovery terms. I had a mini depressive episode that really made me reflect on the major depressive episode I had at the end of 2012 that lasted over 3 months and landed me in therapy and on pills and on the journey I find myself on now. It really threw me back into that state that I was in during that Dark Night of the Soul, and I was really able to physically feel how much I have mentally, emotionally and spiritually progressed. After getting through that drag of time, I figured I could use a little cheer.

After I started trying to basically be better to my Self and start to swing back against the blows of Depression (capital.fucking.D), I started to buy myself flowers. It might sound pathetic, or sound bad for my husband, but it's honestly not. My husband is a good man, but he's not always home to present me with such things and isn't the greatest at surprising me with tokens of his affection. I can count my bouquets from my husband in ten years probably on one hand still? Although, the ones that I have bought for myself (albeit still bought with his hard earned money) I'm pretty sure I would need both hands for...and maybe a foot? About a year ago I started to randomly grab flower arrangements for myself when I was out shopping. $5 usually, sometimes even up to $10 if I am feeling the need. Once a month, or every other. Is that really so much to spend on the health of your Spirit? I'll tell my husband, "You got me beautiful flowers this week, thank you so much, babe!" Funny...and true.

There isn't always going to be someone there to bring me flowers, so I'll get my Self some. What is your Soul worth? Flowers were probably the first things of beauty valued by man. They are so fleeting, so delicate, so bright. They involve all 5 senses if you eat them and chew loudly, right? They are a wonderful positive stimulus for the senses and that crosses over into positive energy for the Soul. Bouquets help to bring a little color to your day when the Gray has got you down. There is power in the flower.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

That time when my breasts ruined a wedding ceremony...

So, in 2011 I was asked by friends to play the music for their wedding ceremony.  Me.  Acoustic guitar.  Alone?! Finger picky whatever I want.  I was also requested to do a piece of a specific song while the bride walked down the aisle.  This was serious stuff to me, and I was incredibly anxious about it!  I was also a little baffled as to why they thought I was capable of playing a wedding ceremony in a church where I am usually far too consumed with the fear of spontaneous combustion to think about the guitar, but their trust in me was encouraging.  Either way, I was horridly nervous and incredibly flattered and excited all at the same time. It was an endeavor and one of the coolest musical experiences I have had. 

I had heard about the Bridezilla show enough to have a little bit of worry. The bride was awesome, though, about everything and it went well. It wasn't like that show at all! The song for her walk down the aisle was a secret to the groom, though, which was sweet. It also wasn't exactly an acoustic number, so I had to do my best to figure a light finger picky deal for it, girl it up a bit? It worked. She dug it. I practiced those barre chords so much to avoid screeches and other bad sounds; it's ironic what ended up happening.

On the wedding day, everything was cool, my volume was set, I was in position. I was doing a couple random picking progressions while the parents and families were seated. During the procession and recession I chose to play a piece I wrote myself. This song, while still untitled, is now fondly referred to as "The Wedding Song". It had lyrics, I just omitted them for the ceremony. They aren't exactly wedding lyrics, I reckon? The music, however, seemed to fit just fine.

Everything went well while I sat and played for the wedding party's entrance, but then...I stood up for the bride's stroll down the aisle as was the plan. Well, I broke into the song, or 'piece' of music, rather, barely long enough to be considered anything else, and I realized something was wrong immediately, but didn't realize what until it was too late. The piece was so short and precisely timed I didn't really have time to correct it without possibly ruining it worse, so I just went for it. Apparently the groom was incredibly thrilled with their special selection, although, I never saw because I was focused on my field of error.

My volume was supposed to be set roughly at 50%, and it was for the sitting part. I realized that once I stood up, my boobs slid my volume all the way up!!! I mostly could tell because you could hear every slide and squeak of my fingers over my voice. Also, to my dismay, the bride, who came to a stop at the end of the aisle positioned directly in front of a PA system speaker, flinched and jumped with every fingering sound. I was able to look up and see that, unfortunately. All of that practice!! Those fucking barre chords!!! Gah!

I was told afterwards by a friend that it sounded to him as though the PA system was just kind of bad, which made me feel a little better, I guess...about my breasts ruining a wedding ceremony...and only the most crucial part, at that. My final playing for the recession, though, was pretty flawless. I tried to redeem myself and end it on a good note...literally.

Overall, it was a huge honor and privilege to be able to play my friends down the aisle and I am incredibly grateful and thankful that they presented me with this opportunity. I was, however, a little disappointed that my female bits had to interfere with my playing as they did. It's challenging to play the guitar with a decent set of breasts! Not only can they make it awkward to hold, they apparently sometimes have a mind of their own!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Uncorking the Allegheny Spirit

The 4th Annual
"Uncork the Alleghenies"
March 8, 2014
Blair County Convention Center
Altoona, PA

IF you happen to like wine and cheese, you're in luck, because these two delicacies only get better with age.  Hopefully the same holds true for festivities that involve both?  On Saturday March 8th I attended the 4th Annual Uncork the Alleghenies, our area's wine tasting and buying extravaganza, and it really is all that!  It was almost overwhelming, but luckily my body was powered by delicious cheese samples and my nerves were calmed by the flowing samples of wine!

This event was similar to a tattoo convention or the Expo building at the County Fair, only I had a glass of wine and was encouraged to drink until tipsy.  For $25 (at the door) you are given a souvenir wine glass and a bag for all your goodies.  Immediately people start handing you brochures and flyers.  Right out of the gate you have to adjust yourself if you're going to make it without dropping your glass!

Immediately upon entering, we found Clearfield's Bee Kind Winery, a personal favorite, where we took advantage of their volume discount. I purchased a bottle of their Bee Berry Blue, which is blueberry wine sweetened with honey. My friend got the Bee Berry Red, which is raspberry. Both are quite sweet!

Farther meandering found us at the wine smoothies booth, where Nutten But Nuts offered samples of their various kinds of blended treats. I tried the Java and the Orange Creamcicle, and I ended up buying a pouch of the Orange. Just add white wine and ice, blend and enjoy! This booth also had bags of Green Bean Chips which i couldn't pass up. My friend and I also sampled one of their wasabi covered peanuts, which were interesting. I found a booth where a woman makes jewelry from vintage silverware. She calls her business At My Table. Remember the super cool vintage spoon rings fellas used to make for their sweethearts? She bends those out of spoons....and forks! I purchased a unique fork ring from her! She also had octopus pendants made from forks and all sorts of other neat pieces. There were artists and artisans everywhere you looked!

Another splendid enjoyment from the event was the food stuff. Samples upon samples of homemade chocolates, cheeses, dips and smoked meats surrounded us. It was hard to decide which was best. Thank goodness for the pretzels and crackers for cleansing our pallets, but sometimes a girl just wants something that sticks around. We tried Jalapeno chocolate from a candy man from Baltimore. It was such an interesting juxtaposition, but not as hot as you'd think it would be, but still pepper chocolate. I didn't try the Ghost Pepper flavor. Blame me? I ended up buying a box of Raspberry Cordials from DuBois' own Hockman Candies. They are the most delectable things I have perhaps ever tasted, and on a plus my husband doesn't like them! I also bought some cheese from Clover Creek Cheese Cellars, LLC located in Williamsburg, Pennsylvania. It's all natural and farm fresh. Their Wild Mushroom was intriguingly different, and their take on Gouda was so pungent I had to buy a block of each. Their Uncle Joe blend and their Swiss, which I left behind, are well worth a mention.

To sum up, some of my favorites from the wine tastings were Happy Valley's Red Throat Rose, Juniata Valley's Summer Tanajer as well as their Cat's Eye Red and Cat's Eye White. I enjoyed Green House Winery's Hoe 'n the Garden and Tramp 'n the Weeds almost as much as their names! Wapiti Ridge Wine Cellars' Bobcat Blush, and Sophie Rose were delicious. I tend to like mid sweetness, and lean toward blushes, but I'll try anything once, twice if they're still pouring. I loved that this event exposed you to so many Pennsylvania based businesses, artists, and artisans! If you enjoy wine and cheese half as much as me, you would really dig Uncork the Alleghenies. It's definitely not something you do everyday!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Insult to Injury?

What is up with this Band-Aid?  Yes, this is a children's bandage, a Disney brand children's band-aid.  Why is Minnie so pissed?  What's up with this scene?  What was happening in the Mouse House when this design was conceived? 

All of the other bandages in the box are simply Mickey heads or Donald Duck or something, and then there is this one.  Just for funsies, or what?  Maybe Mickey came home drinking??  Maybe he proposed that they have anal sex?  Perhaps, he forgot her birthday or she just found out that he has been squeaking around with her sister? 

Maybe Minnie is just a crazy bitch.  She always seemed a little unstable.  Not necessarily as high maintenance as Miss Piggy, but she never seemed like she would be the easiest of mice to co-exist with?  Maybe Mickey is just an asshole.  Maybe he said an incredibly sexist remark during a fight?  Maybe he told her that her ass looked fat.  It's really hard to say, but something is up with this band-aid.  What's the story?  "SMACK!!"  Minnie is the one throwing the punches, so I'm going to go with her being in a rage after coming home from the gym and Mickey didn't have dinner ready or the dishes done?? 

What kind of cover up is this for a boo boo, though?  I'm not sure how much better it would make you feel, especially if your wound was received by an act of violence?  Why don't we just cover up cuts with band-aids covered in pictures of knives and rusty nails??  Maybe just a fist against a face??  It may sound odd, but trust me, it's cute when a mouse is doing it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Up To Date: 11 Days of Marchin'

What's 'Been Doing?
(Marchin' a Nutshell)

I've been roaming here and there;
my mind's been mostly everywhere.

I've been stuffed up and home remedy battling,
my tonsils and sinus cavities are rattling.

My throat is dry, my lips are cracked.
Not even an opposite I'd attract. 

I play, I read, I sing, I write.
I stay up and down through the night. 

I sigh, I sit, I think, I guess.
The days are mostly more or less.

I merge the forms, try to compose.
A song is born from line of prose.

Keys to strings to pen and back,
The days go on, I can't keep track.