Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Spoiled Surprise

So Tonya spoiled my big secret.

Yes, for the first time in my life I've become a blonde! It was so funny when the lightener was on my hair - the girls all kept asking if I could feel my IQ slipping with each minute. But now that its been a couple of weeks, I already have dark roots coming back.

Onto Christmas - Even though round two hit me, I started fighting back. There's this great stuff called "Oreganol" that is liquid oregano that burns like a dog going down. Someone told me about it last year and when I felt the junk coming on just dribbled a few drops under my tongue a couple of times a day. It was the first year in so long that I didn't end up with a horrible bout of bronchitis.

Well forget it for this year. The moment I felt the stuff coming back, I bit the bullet and ran to Whole Foods to pick up a vial. The stuff is terribly expensive but I couldn't waste anymore time. Christmas Eve services were a week and ahalf away. Singing with swamp lungs would never work.

Made it through both services and Sunday's church services. Once again, not great but at least I made it through it without scratching everyone's ears too badly. Pastor is looking forward to my getting the old voice back a bit more and checking how high I get in both my chest voice and head voice. Haven't had vocal lessons since college so I have no idea what my range is at this point, though it is not as good as it once was. Still, I'm just freaking, flipping, and whatever other "f" word I can come up with (no, not THAT one Gary!) that I'm just able to sing at all again. Cannot tell you how wonderful it has been getting to sing in praise team regularly and being asked to sing for services.

It just frustrates me that I couldn't be at full capacity - but then there's always next Christmas. Just gonna have to make sure I have a ready supply of Oreganol before winter hits.

Now before Tonya figures it out, I'll let you in on my next non-secret.

I'm gonna go vibrant red - but that will still be a couple more weeks. Don't want to go bald now.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Feeling A Little Devious

I've got a secret! I've got a secret!

And I can hardly wait to let my family in on it this coming weekend. Well and some of my friends this Tuesday evening. It will be interesting to see the reactions I get.

You see I've done something I never thought I'd do. Not going to share it with you all, my dear readers, until after my family has had a chance to get in on the secret first.

Then the cat will be out of the bag, so to speak.

So that's all I'm going to say about it right now. Look for my post next Saturday or Sunday after I return home from the family Christmas in Oklahoma. It will be then that I'll share my secret with you - and let you know of the priceless reactions from said family members. I'll treasure them for a lifetime, I'm sure.

Just a little devious that way. :-)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Happy Holy Terror Holidays

A busy weekend is fast approaching.

Today I've taken advantage of the first free weekend we've had in quite a while to get some things accomplished around the house and to relax and rest without being sick or running around sick.

I've also had alot of rehearsing to do.

For the last three plus weeks I've been fighting an extreme cold and laryngitis. During Thanksgiving, for four days I couldn't even talk - at all! Of course, my family was probably most grateful to Heaven above for a relatively quiet and unperturbed holiday. But I digress.

So just at the time I begin to get sick, my choir director asks me to sing a song with the choir for Christmas Eve services. I was also asked to sing praise team for last Sunday, of which I had to switch with someone since my voice was barely functional even then. I was also asked to do a reading again for Sunday the 19th.

Then Wednesday night at rehearsal (where I still could not sing but went anyway to listen and get down more music in my head at least), I discover that the Christmas Eve song I'm supposed to sing has been scheduled for Sunday the 19th. I've been listening to it since receiving the music but have not been able to actually sing it until today, though it is still only somewhat. What's more is that the Sunday I switched out last weekend with the fellow soprano was for the 19th.

So that means on Sunday the 19th for services I am doing a reading, praise team, and singing with the choir a song I have yet to be able to practice with them and the other soloist live and in person. We'll get to do that hopefully for the first time this coming Wednesday night at choir rehearsal.

Then Thursday morning my son informs me that his Christmas choir concert at school is scheduled for next Wednesday night. He's also doing something special for said concert so that means I have to be in two places at once.

Oh Happy Holy Terror Holidays indeed! I wish at the moment human cloning was legal.

So if next weekend isn't packed enough already, we're heading down to Oklahoma that Friday evening for a Christmas Open House for my parents' church and then our all family Christmas gathering on Saturday before heading back up here Saturday night for Sunday services. I pray my voice is fully recovered before then.

It may be a busy weekend, but as I said before I'm not turning aside any opportunities the Lord puts in my path.

There's got to be a reason for it somewhere...I hope. :-)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Strangeness of Strangers

Things are feeling very strange tonight.

Previously I've blogged briefly about a friendship that was betrayed eleven years ago and the pain that brought, but also what I've learned from that time period. God never lets a hurt go unused if it is given to Him for His glory.

Twice in all of these years, this person made contact with me to try and open correspondence - once by letter about six years ago and once via Facebook about a year and ahalf ago. I never responded to either because I wasn't sure how to feel about it all and if I was strong enough to open those old wounds - not only for myself but for my son as well. Most importantly, I neither sensed genuine remorse nor received any apology.

But perhaps the timing is right now.

Lately I've sensed the Lord directing my mind more and more toward her. This past weekend there was a distinct sense from the Lord that I needed to make contact - that now the time was ripe.

Still not sure how to feel about it, but in obedience I searched for and found her through the Linked In website - it appears she's no longer on Facebook. So I sent a contact notice and my personal email so as not to muddy a public site with highly sensitive and extremely personal correspondence.

She responded back right away.

Then I wasn't sure how to proceed. I'd stepped out in obedience but wasn't sure what I expected to happen. Have no clue whatsoever what will happen or even what I want to happen from this. Perhaps it is just a time to speak the truth and offer forgiveness. Maybe eventually there might even be a chance to establish an acquaintence or (dare I say it) a friendship of sorts again - but that is spending time in fantasyland, whereas I'm too realistic of a girl to allow myself to wallow in such dangerous territory. Reality may bite much of the time but the long-term price of fantasyland no one can afford.

So for now I'm just opening up communication and telling it like it is. I'm pretty good at that anymore. She's at least willing to communicate and talk in reality too, unlike how things were going when the friendship ended. And I've finally received something for which I've waited eleven years.

A remorseful and heartfelt apology.

Reality may have the deepest hurts, but it also contains moments of true and actual joy. That's something fantasyland will never provide. So I'll take reality any day.

Even if it makes me feel strange.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ramping Up The Season

Busy weekend as we welcome the season!

Saturday morning my son had to be up and at-'em early for all day rehearsals and an early evening concert for District Choir. While he attended to his business, I had a list a mile long of things I needed to get done.

Decided to finish my book first though. Needed to return it to a friend and I'd been nursing it all week. Only had a couple of chapters left to complete the thing anyway.

So after my son's MOST excellent performance (state choir is next!) we skeedaddled home to finish up my pot of chicken and noodles and made it just in time for my Sunday School class Christmas party. Had an absolute ball, listened to some awesome singing by a good friend of mine in choir, and finished off the night with some Christmas carols and pass the mike moments of Christmas memories. Such an absolute time of fellowship and enjoyment!

So this morning I was supposed to sing in praise team - NOT happening until this crazy junk gets completely gone (which better the heck be real soon). So one of the other sopranos told me she'd sing in my place and swap Sundays with me for the 19th. I'm already doing a Christmas reading that Sunday, so adding praise team to the line-up won't be too difficult to carry off.

As long as my voice returns in full force very soon, that is.

The season is ramping up and running already. Do you realize it is only twenty days until Christmas? Thanksgiving feels like is was eons ago already. This morning it was wonderful to hear the strains of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel", "The First Noel", and "What Child Is This" to mark the first Sunday of Advent.

May the rest of our weekends overflow with comfort and joy until we get back to that most holiest of nights.

That's my other favorite Christmas carol, by the way. Perhaps we'll be singing that one come the 19th. God always has a way of working things out for the best.

And making the season bright.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Life Worth Living

Had some really interesting happenings at school this week.

Now understand - I'm the old lady at school and as such have become like a mother figure to pretty much everyone there. Countless times I've had some of the girls come up to me and lay their wounds bare before me. It's become quite clear that school as well as this industry is fertile ground.

One of the girls recently came out on the floor from two months in the classroom. She is a young and quiet soul and has a tendency to keep to herself. Some of the more sanguine and extroverted girls have had a tendency to label her as a bit snooty or standoff'ish. For some reason, I've suspected that label to be misapplied in her case.

This week confirmed it.

Because of my "mom" status, I have a tendency to go around school to all of the stations and just touch base, comment, and encourage each student, especially as each new class enters the big, bad, scary world of live rehearsal on the floor. Working with mannequins is one thing - real, live human beings quite another. Tuesday this particular student talked with me for a few minutes. We made a connection.

Wednesday was my turn to run the desk (we take turns, though I seem to be on the desk ALOT - I wonder why). When it isn't busy, the desk person must stay at their assigned position but can sit on one of the sofas in the waiting area and study (and since we were on Anatomy and Physiology, I felt the study time would be most prudent - made a 100% by the way). This student came by on a break, sat down, and proceeded to open up to me about all of the hurtful things that were going on in her life at present - the death of her grandmother, her mom finding out about her dad's affair, and facing the return of a cheating boyfriend who wanted to try and get back together.

Needless to say, this young lady has an awful lot of trials going on in her life!

I'd hoped by just listening and sharing with her some of my own trials and how my faith in God has walked me through it all, it might give her hope and make some sort of difference.

Thursday morning she came to school beaming. She'd decided Wednesday night to stop in at a church she once attended and immediately reconnected with several old friends. She couldn't wait to tell me what had transpired.

She'll never know how uplifting it was for me to hear.

Sometimes we go about our Christian life never knowing if anything we do makes a difference. Where's the evidence that God is moving and working through our lives to touch others and bless them?

Perhaps on occasion, God gives us a small peek. That's what happened to me this week. In blessing someone else with just being there and being willing to be vulnerable, the Lord blessed me with the knowledge that He was still using this old instrument for His glory.

It makes life worth living - even on those days when you want to box the ears of those crazy youngsters.