The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

The Saga of the Sophomores and the Great Can Competition! November 17, 2017

Filed under: Kid Kraziness,Lovin' Life,Whatever — DDKlingonGirl @ 10:54 am
Tags: , , , ,

Hello, all!  Life has been quite an adventure since I returned to teaching.  There have been days and moments where I have wanted to run away and become a sheep herder in Tibet, but there have also been moments when I think I really do enjoy these kids and their enthusiasm.

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Take today, for example. The school is collecting canned goods for… you know… some reason.  Thanksgiving, maybe?  Or possibly just for the local food pantry.  That part doesn’t really matter.  The point is, they have known for a week that we were supposed to be collecting cans.  They have been reminded repeatedly, but up until YESTERDAY they only had about 20 cans.

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It’s important to add here, that there are serious rewards in the picture if they meet their collection goal. Incidentally, their collection goal is for each class (each grade- Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors) 250 apiece for the basic reward of a faculty-student volleyball game with pizza and soda.  The ULTIMATE goal, however, is that if the whole high school collects 2000 cans total, the principal will get a pie in the face.  This, obviously, is something that they find motivating.

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So again, up until yesterday they only had about 20 cans.  Today, much to the delight and yet surprise of the faculty, particularly yours truly who has been nagging them for days, they have suddenly decided to become competitive.  Kids showed up before school lugging full backpacks and WalMart bags.  One girl went to the store and bought one hundred cans on her own. They have been counting and re-counting, guarding jealously against sneaky upperclassmen who claim to be collecting the goods and then steal them and add them to their own tally.  They have been calling their parents and begging them to bring more canned goods, but most of the students who brought some today have just raided their own pantries.  I can easily envision dozens of moms getting ready to make supper tonight, standing in front of open pantry doors, staring upon dusty empty shelves and screaming, “(Insert Sophomore’s name here) WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH ALL THE FOOD!!”

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Basically it turns out these are good kids after all.  They showed up a little late to the party, but their honor is at stake here, and they are finally coming together and determined not to be bested by the other grades.  Except it turns out they still fall in the category of ‘give-em-an-inch-and-they’ll-take-ten-miles.” Several of them have formed a gang and are currently hiding out in my classroom taking full advantage of the fact that this is the last day before Thanksgiving break.

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Until next time!

D.

 

Braving Devil’s Canyon May 29, 2015

Hello, all!  As promised, today’s entry is the tale of yesterday’s adventures.  I had so been looking forward to this particular tour!  I called and checked in with them early in the day the morning before, and they said they did have space available.  As an employee of McKinley, the tours offered to guests are offered to us at very nice discounts.  On the flip side of that deal, we can be bumped from any tour we sign up for, right up to the last minute, if full-rate guests show up and want on the tour.

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Luckily that was not the case yesterday.  First of all, I had a friend with me this time.  Yay!  You may remember that I had to do all my adventuring solo on my last day off, and I was quite happy with the end results of that day.  I had a good time and all, but I was hoping that at least SOME of my touring would be done with new friends.  So yesterday I was blessed to have the same day off as one of my co-workers, known as Nattie B.  She is a really fun lady who reminds me of my mom and all my aunts with her snarky sense of humor and her youthful adventurous nature.  I definitely enjoyed the day with her.

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But I am getting ahead of myself.  We called again late in the day the day before, just to check on how full the tour was, and they told us they still did have space.  The tour was set to depart Talkeetna at 9:30 a.m. and we were supposed to check in around half an hour early.  Unfortunately, this required that we get up and catch the 8:00 shuttle bus leaving the lodge.  We were quite concerned about that, because just as we can be bumped from the tours, employees are also last priority for the shuttle buses.  If there are a large number of guests trying to get to town at any particular time, employees have to wait for the next shuttle.  So we were aware of the possibility that we would miss our tour and have to try it some other time, and we were well prepared with a Plan B but were hoping it wouldn’t be necessary.  This is actually a pretty good system because it inspires thankfulness and joy at every step along the way.  i.e. “Woohoo! We got on the bus!”  “Woohooo! We made the tour!”  Basically, once you have gotten to the point where you know you won’t be bumped, the rest of the tour is pure gravy. 🙂

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Ahead of myself again.  We made the 8:00 shuttle and were on the road to Talkeetna.  It’s supposed to be about an hour’s ride, but there are two seasons in Alaska- Winter and Construction.  So they are working busily on the roads here, and there is always a possibility you will find yourself sitting in traffic more than once on the relatively short trip between the lodge and town.

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On this particular day, we sat and waited in traffic three times, with the result that we just barely made it to Talkeetna in time for the tour.  We jumped off the shuttle bus, hurried into the tour offices, signed in, and went right back outside to the tour bus.  (Woohooo! We made the tour!  Let’s go before someone else wants on!) We took off to the launch point, which was just a five minute bus ride across town to the river.  We had to stand on the banks and wait a little while for the boat to get there, but that was just enough time to take selfies and get a close look at the work of some very industrious beavers.  (I will edit this later to add the pics of the gnawed trees.  I took those pics with my camera instead of my phone and don’t have an easy way to get them online.)

This is me and Nattie B.  Aren't we cute?

This is me and Nattie B. Aren’t we cute?

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So then the boat showed up and we boarded, easy peasy.  I am always worried that I might have trouble doing some of these things- climbing on boats and so forth, but so far I have not had to be embarrassed.  Thank goodness.

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So we got on the boat and sat down, and our driver/captain introduced himself and his co-worker:  Israel and Emily.  They were both really great throughout the tour.

The view from our seats.  We didn't get a better pic of Is and Em.

The view from our seats. We didn’t get a better pic of Is and Em.

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So the tour continued up the river.  They would stop the boat occasionally to show us points of interest like the abandoned townsite of Curry, Alaska- an old railroad town and once home to the fanciest hotel in the state.  We also stopped for several minutes for pictures of the mountain in the distance.  It began to be lost from view the further up the river we traveled.  (Once we stopped when Nattie spotted a moose.  She was really good at yelling, “Moose!! Moose!!” The rest of the passengers are lucky she was there.  If it had been only me, I would have spotted the moose and let the rest of them miss it.  I’m bad that way.)  We passed homesteads and properties with funny stories behind them.  One, a rather wealthy man bought a property off the internet for a steal of a price, brought his wife to visit it, thoroughly unprepared for its remoteness and accessibility to wildlife, insisted upon staying in it after it had been ravaged by bears, and after four days there, listed it back online for sale. 🙂

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I have to confess that this part of the trip was…not dull exactly, but because I had stayed up late talking with my roomie the night before, and had been working hard, I was really tired.  Sleepy.  The boat was loud, but the smoothness of the ride and the constant sound was hypnotic and I could have easily fallen asleep.

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Finally we got closer to the exciting part of the trip.  Israel stopped the boat well below the rapids area so he could tell us exactly what we would be doing and a little about the history of the rapids.  That area has NEVER been successfully rafted, and only successfully run in a jet boat twice, and the first guy got half his teeth knocked out in the effort.   A little about the boat itself here- we were riding in a jet boat, which had no rudder or propeller, but was powered by three 400hp Chevrolet engines.  It weighed 17 tons and only needed 12 inches of water to travel.

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So what was going to happen was that we would run up the rapids as far as we could get, and then he would hold the boat in position against the rapids and everyone could come up and sit in the front window and Emily would take our picture with our own cameras.  There were somewhere between 30 and 40 people on the boat, which meant he was going to have to hold position for about 20 or 25 minutes total.  So ready, set, here we go!

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And then we wobbled to the front for pics, the boat rocking and rolling all the time:

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Cheese!!

 

Hang on and smile!!

Hang on and smile!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After everyone had been photographed and taken all the pictures they wanted, it was time to turn around and go back down.  Isreal turned the boat around in the smoothest move I’d ever seen.  He just gave it a little throttle and it spun around in the current facing right back downstream.  That was when it came time to run back down the rapids, which he warned us could actually be bumpier than the ride up.

After we had made it back down the roughest part of the rapids, Israel impressed us with a little circle spin in the boat.  That was pretty cool, and then he announced that he would be keeping it mellow for a little while because Emily would be serving lunch.  This tour was so long that lunch was included.  Well, if we had paid full price it would have been included, but Nattie B. and I had paid for our lunches separately.  I have to say here, all it was was a small sub sandwich cut in half, (choice between roast beef and turkey), potato salad, pickle spear, a couple of cherry tomatoes, some grapes, and an Andes mint, but it was the most delicious thing ever, because I was ravenous.  In my rush to make sure I didn’t miss the shuttle earlier, I had only had time to run through the cafeteria and throw together half a breakfast burrito and wolf it down.  So I appreciated that sdimple lunch.  We were offered drinks (choice between water, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, or Mountain Dew) and I happily chose Dew.

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Nattie B. and I had really funny moment here.  I noticed that she had barely eaten half of her first half of her sandwich, and my entire lunch was basically gone.  I commented on that fact, and then I absolutely broke down in a giggle fit.  I was trying to tell her through my laughter that I had done everything but suck the mayonnaise out of the little packet.  (I am still laughing at that thought even as I type this a full day later.  People here in the cafeteria probably think I am nuts.)

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Here again, this part of the trip was relaxing, and I was beginning to get pretty sleepy.  Soon we were almost back to Talkeetna, but there was one other portion of the tour- the brief stop at a replica Athabascan fish camp and a trapper’s cabin.  We were able to get off the boat and walk through the camp, and the naturalist gave us a little bit of history.  We saw several bear pelts, and moose and caribou antlers at the fish camp, and other kinds of pelts like beaver, muskrat, otter, mink, sable, and fox at the trapper’s cabin.

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After the stop at the camp and cabin, we were only a few minutes more getting back to town.  We pulled up to the bank we had launched from and disembarked, again quickly and easily.  We tipped both Emily and Israel and walked back to town.  A few stops along the way at the general store and the roadhouse, and we made it back to the shuttle bus stop.  We were super thankful to be able to board the bus and not have to wait.  We sat down and waited to take off, and I was immediately drowsy.  I’m pretty sure I slept with my mouth open halfway home.  I asked Nattie if she was laughing at me, and she assured me she wasn’t, although if she had been, she certainly couldn’t be blamed!  I’m sure I looked like a giant fly trap.

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We delivered our gifts to our co-workers.  One of them had requested a cream cheese brownie from the Roadhouse, so Nattie bought all of us one. I had also purchased some lemon-poppyseed cookies and a thing called a pasty, which was a little pie stuffed with wild rice and salmon. I saved those for a bedtime snack though, because we went straight to supper in the cafeteria after that, and then trod the Hill from Hell back to our rooms.  I used a newly discovered litany to help me make it up the hill.  In my head I was chanting, “Devil’s Canyon, glacier landing, river rafting” to help me remember that I had been and would continue to have amazing experiences here, and the trip up the hill, though hated, was a part of the package.  Acceptance was more or less what I was shooting for, and I think I have just about achieved it.

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Now looking forward to my next day off, which is supposed to be on Tuesday, when the shuttle bus goes to Wasilla, the closest larger town, and I will be shopping for new work shoes.  Yayyy!!!

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Until next time,

D.

 

Guess I’d Better Get On the Ball! January 29, 2015

Soon to be Home Away From Home!

Soon to be Home Away From Home!

Hello ALL!!!  I have really got to learn how to do shorter updates here, more frequently.  There are so many times that something runs through my head and I’ll think, “Oh, that would be a great blog entry” or “I really have something to say about that, I should blog it” but then time gets away and I don’t.  The other day I wanted to talk about how much I love it when things happen like my son being pretty cranky on the way to school and then something reminding him about one of his favorite songs from the show I’m in right now for Ardmore Little Theater, and he starts singing it under his breath, and then we both do the whistling part, and then by the time he gets to school, he gets out of the car and says “Thank you for making my attitude better.”  I really like that.

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Or how one of my huge-est, most unbelievable dreams is coming true and I’m going to Alaska in three months to work at a tourism job (Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge) All. Summer. Long!  More on that later.

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But for right now I wanted to talk about my list of 101 Things to Do in 2015.  I wrote this shortly after New Years Day as a road map for the year and a reminder of things I wanted to accomplish.  I didn’t actually make it to 101 things, though.  I got stuck at about 89.  But here’s what I have so far:

 

101 Things to Do in 2015

1.  Get The Boy’s CDIB card and tribal citizenship

2. Make 2 new photo albums every month

3. Build bookshelves in the garage

4. Vacation Work in Alaska

5. Climb a mountain

6. Hang pictures around my house

7. Make theatre scrapbooks

8. Get Daughter S. to the doctor

9. Visit the Chickasaw Fitness Center

10. Use my grill

11. Haul off the junk on the north side of the house

12. Clean out garage

13. Really organize garage.

14.  Get new car

15. Feed a homeless person

16. Start and finish major writing project

17. Study philosophy (or philosophers)

18. Begin re-decorating house

19.  Price new carpet

20. Get a massage

21. Visit an Oklahoma tourist attraction

22. Take a solo road trip

23. Attend a writing conference

24. Build a yard shed

25. Give a random person $20

26. Continue taking voice lessons

27. Learn a song in another language

28. Send a card to Grandpa every month

29. Read 5 classic novels I’ve never read

30. Read 20 new books randomly recommended by someone

31. Exercise

32. Walk a 5K

33. Run a 5K

34. Try caviar

35. Read through the entire Bible

36. Memorize a psalm as a poem

37. Build a fire pit

38. Have/host an ALT party

39. Get a NEW dishwasher and microwave

40. Get a good yard sale couch and loveseat

41. Grow a plant and keep it alive (maybe a bonsai)

42. Attend a Mass

43. Attend a cultural event in Ardmore

44. Learn to cook again

45. Family game night once/mo.

46. Car headlight fixed

47. Road trip with each kid solo

48. Get to know The Niece

49. Random gifts (Dad, Mom, Sisters, Bros-in-law)

50. Get Charleston pics framed

51. Postcards to 3 cousins every month

52. Walk on a beach

53. Babysit for a friend so they can have a date night

54. Sign up for health insurance (Done)

55. Cure my toenail fungus

56. Special beauty treatment once a week

57. Teach Daughter S. to cook

58. Teach The Boy how to tie a necktie

59. Teach Daughter J. something important

60. Learn to make candles like Grammy did

61. Take makeup lessons from Elisa

62. Develop a character

63. Track WW 6 days out of every week

64. Road trip with all 3 kids

65. Buy The Boy a nice dresser

66. Try cotton candy grapes

67. Stage manage again

68. Attend an Open Mic Night

69. Sing with Community Chorale

70. Have Christmas presents bought by Thanksgiving

71. Clean and organize kitchen

72. Help build a Habitat house

73. Visit an art gallery

74. Write a love story that doesn’t have a happy ending

75. Learn to change a tire.  Actually do it.

76. Ride Amtrak to Dallas or OKC for a day

77. Offer to carry a baby for my sister and her husband

78. Buy a new Christmas tree

79. Wear a colored wig for a day

80. Use my PiYo mat and routines 2x/wk

81. Play in the rain

82. Rent paddleboat at Lake Murray Lodge

83. Transition TGOC to TN

84. Play ball with The Boy 2x/wk

85. Pay bills on time

86. Vote

87. Bury a dog (I only added this to the list after I actually had to do it in early Jan.)

88. Clean and organize bathroom and keep it

89. Be in a play (Done)

90. Learn to love myself for real

91. Go to one of those Wine and Art things (where everybody paints the same painting)

92. Raft the Chulitna river

93. Ride an ATV on a bear-watching adventure

94. Paddle a kayak on Byers Lake

95. Visit a place called Devil’s Canyon

96. Visit an Alaskan sled dog kennel

97. Float the Talkeetna river

98. Ride in a plane that lands on a glacier

99. Catch a salmon

100. Make a new friend

101. Live Out Loud with a Capital L

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So there we have it.  That’s my plan for the year. Those last few completed my list after I spent this morning looking at the CruiseTour excursions offered from my lodge location where I’ll be working in Alaska.  Employees get discounts.  I hope they’re good discounts, because otherwise I’m going to spend every dime I make up there!  I’m sure I will be starting yet ANOTHER blog, detailing my Alaskan adventures.  I can’t wait to get started.

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Until next time,

D.

 

Mama T and Crazy D’s Big Adventure August 27, 2014

Tulsa Les Mis set

Hello all!  You know what’s good about having friends?  Well, ok, there’s lots of good things about having friends, but right now, I’m thinking of two big things:  friends can support each other through difficult and scary things, and friends can have crazy amounts of fun together.  For example:

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This past weekend, I got to do something I rarely get to do, and ALWAYS want to do.  I got to go on a trip with a friend.  Ok, so it was a short trip.  Basically, it was an overnight trip.  Ardmore to Tulsa and back in 24 hours or 5000 Calories.  Since I seem to be on a Forrest Gump reference role this morning, I’ll put it this way.  My ‘best good friend’ and I went to Tulsa last Friday night to see Les Miserables at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.

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Now as most of my readers know, I was actually IN a performance of Les Mis (Ok, eight performances) when Ardmore Little Theatre presented the first ever community theater production of Les Mis in Oklahoma, last year in late July.  I was just one of The Miserables, whereas my best good friend was Madame Thenardier, the Great Mean Mama.  I often now call her Mama T.

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So Mama T and I left her house at about 3:45 Friday afternoon and headed for Tulsa.  She was driving, because she has a decent vehicle, and mine… well, let’s just say it’s not really up to road trips, even relatively short ones.  So we hit the road and the first thing I did was jokingly snuggle my head on her shoulder and see if I could sweet-talk her into agreeing to the latest thing the theater asked her to do, and we spent some time hashing out why she won’t do it.  Let’s just say spotlight hogging is involved. 🙂

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So then we were both hungry and we started looking for ideas for somewhere to eat supper before we got to Tulsa.  Incidentally, neither of us has ANY idea what we used to do before smart phones.  The Map App and the ability to look up nearby restaurants… yeah, Invaluable here, folks.  Mama T teases me because I can barely use the map app, and she says it’s because I never get to go anywhere, which is totally true, and I don’t go many places alone, which is truer still.  Anyway, we ended up stopping in Stroud at this place called Rock Café, not to be confused with Hard Rock Café, but famous in its own right because it has been featured on Diners and Dives or something like that.  Anyway, their famous dish was a German thing called ‘jagerschnitzel and spaetzle’ which is basically a breaded pork cutlet with some brown gravy on it and little noodle balls.  It was different, and it was tasty enough for two fluffy girls who were hungry!  We also shared a southern favorite, a dish of fried green tomatoes.  Yum!

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Then onward and upward we went, arrived at Tulsa right on time, went to the theater, went in, and got seated.  This was the point at which things started to get silly.  I’m pretty well known for being, let’s say, enthusiastic, at times and I had been looking forward to this whole adventure for so long!  We sat waiting for the show to start, and the theater nerd in me was basically just dying to climb up there on stage and examine their set construction, sneak backstage and see what kind of fly loft they had, and check out their scene change setup.  We got the giggles a few times, naturally, and I don’t even remember now what all our giggles were about.  I just know we never run out of things to giggle about.

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Finally the show started, and we watched intently, comparing, of course, their production to our production.  Naturally they had some very good performances and some less inspiring performances, but the main reason we chose to do this whole Weekend Warrior Road Trip was that the actor who played Javert in our production had been cast as Thenardier in this one!  We loved him as Javert, of course, and were very curious to see what he would do in a completely different comic role.  Well, he was wonderful, as he always is, and after the show we met up with him and hung out and visited a bit, finally leaving when he decided he’d better get to his bed because he had to do TWO performances on Saturday, one as Javert in the cover cast performance, and one as Thenardier!  Wow, this guy is so dedicated.

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After saying our goodbyes we went to our hotel room and vegged out, rehashing the show and comparing notes.  We had two big fluffy queen size beds in our room and an air conditioner that worked almost too well.  At one point we were chattering away and I was already getting drowsy (what am I talking about, already, it was nearly 2:30 in the morning!) but I was trying to keep listening to her analyzing the show.  Well apparently I dozed off when she was reading aloud from the program, and she looked across the room at me and just about flipped, because I had fallen asleep so suddenly she thought I was dead!

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After that we decided we’d better sleep.  The next morning we slept in, and we had decided previously to skip breakfast in favor of going to Red Lobster for an early lunch.  Checkout was at 11:00 and we walked out at 10:59.  Whew!  The maid was only two doors down from our room.  So then we looked up the nearest RL (thank you again, smart phones!) and went for lunch.  Holy Moly!  I hadn’t been to a Red Lobster in nearly 25 years, and it was quite enjoyable, especially the famed garlic cheddar biscuits.  I chose a mixed plate of shrimp, fish, clams, and scallops, (unfortunately all breaded and fried- this was before I began my low carb thing) and she shared a bite of her crab legs and rice pilaf with me, and we split a giant, melty-center, ice cream topped chocolate chip cookie thing.  Holy Moly again!  Talk about yummy!

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Finally we left and hit the road back toward home.  We chattered all the way about this and that, and finally when we were close to our destination, she suggested we go to this really neat place, The Artesian, in the next town over from hers, which happens to have a Pinkitzel cupcake place in it!  What was really funny was that not ten minutes before she suggested it, I was thinking we should go there and pick up a cupcake or two, because that is what we always do when I go to her house.  Gotta love a good tradition!  Well, we chose our cupcakes and made it to her home.  Hung out, watched some movies about English royalty, ordered a pizza.  Finally about 10:00 that evening, I got on the road toward my domicile and my chilluns.

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Our long-awaited, much anticipated “Mama T and Crazy D’s Big Adventure” weekend was over.  It was a great little relaxing getaway, and I can’t wait  to do another one!

Until next time,

D.

 

Catching Up on the Family Traditions Series- Easter in April July 25, 2014

Filed under: Family,Lovin' Life — DDKlingonGirl @ 12:57 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Hello all!  I would be willing to bet that some of my regular readers are basically wondering when on EARTH I am going to post about something other than THEATRE!  Well… it’s your lucky day.  I realized (last night on the way home from the.. um.. place I like to go a lot that has a stage and curtains…) that I have fallen behind on my Family Traditions series!  The last one I posted was in regards to our family traditions in March, namely my dad’s birthday and how he grills burgers that make us all drool, etc.

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Easter was in April this year, which means I have a fabulous opportunity to tell you how dorky our family gets on Easter.  First of all, some backstory.  Oh, come on, you knew it was coming.  So our family has always attended a church that doesn’t really put much extra special focus on Easter as a religious holiday.  The religious world celebrates Easter as a commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is great.  But in the church of Christ, in which I was raised, Easter is really not that much more special than any Sunday, because we (and some other religious groups too, I know) commemorate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus through the Lord’s Supper, or Communion, each and every Sunday.

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So Easter.  I remember back when I was a kid (waaay back in the olden times!) my mother would always stay up until ALL hours making matching dresses for my sister and me.  (Yes, that’s the correct grammar.)  So not only was she always up late sewing, she would also put together our Easter baskets.  She’d put candy and goodies in the plastic eggs, and if we’d already colored real eggs, she would put those in there for us first thing in the morning before we got up.  And generally, there was some little present in there, something special for us- a little piece of jewelry, a watch, a video, a t-shirt, a toy.  It could be anything.  There was usually also some lip balm or hand lotion from Avon.  (Or maybe I’m thinking of our Christmas stockings, but it sounds like something she would put in Easter baskets as well!)  Once my sister and I told each other what our Valentine’s Day surprise was and Mom didn’t let us have them until Easter!  I still remember, too- mine was a watch and Middle Sis’s was a Giant Hershey’s Kiss. Baby sister wasn’t around yet.

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Every Easter morning we’d get up and find our new dresses and baskets laid out on the couch or dining room table, ready to enjoy.  We’d have breakfast and get ready for church, and after church we’d come home and have a nice lunch.  Seems like we often had ham and cheesy potatoes.  I think you fancy people call them au gratin.  So then she always made a dessert or two, and the star attraction was always the Lamb-ie cake.  Lamb-y.  Something.  It was a cake shaped like a lamb.  She had this old cake pan that was shaped like two lengthwise halves of a lamb.  You filled both halves with batter and when they were cooked you stuck them together and set them upright, and it looked like a little lamb lying down.  She would always tint coconut flakes green with food coloring and put it on the serving plate where it looked like the little lamb lying in the grass.  Sometimes she’d add jelly bean “eggs” in the grass, sometimes chick Peeps.  She frosted the lamb himself with white icing and covered that with coconut as well to give him a fleecy look.  And then she’d give him pretty little blue eyes and a pink nose.  He was so cute!

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Once or twice in later years, the Lamb-y cake had been set out of the way so there would be room on the table for the rest of the lunch, and the dog found him and ate half of him before we could stop her.  That was always an adventure.  Other times we’d get really silly and argue over who got to eat the lamb’s rear end, or his head.  Yeah, we were sick, twisted little puppies.

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Anyway.  Once lunch was finished, it was time to hunt eggs.  Mom would get all the eggs from the baskets, take them outside and hide them for us.  No place was off limits.  My parents have 15 acres, but the Hide Zone was usually restricted to the front and side yards around the house.  They’d be hidden in tail pipes of vehicles, up in trees, everywhere.  Dad would come outside to watch us hunt, and he’d be sitting in his front porch rocking chair, and usually there would be an egg actually hidden ON Dad, somewhere.  One year someone got the bright idea to hide eggs in the back yard, and someone lifted the lid of the grill and hid an egg there.  That grill wasn’t used often, because my dad has more than one, and that egg wasn’t found until barbecue season the next year!!

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Now that there are grandkids in the family, it’s as competitive as ever, but I have to say here, my sisters… are devilishly competitive when it comes to egg hunting.  Seriously.  Zeroing in on the same egg as my beautiful middle sister would like as not result in a full body-check and a lost egg or two, because when she plowed over you and you lost half your eggs?  She’d pick them up! Youngest sister was not usually such a vicious competitor, but for Middle Sis it was all-out WAR, and her daughter is now the same way.  It’s hilarious to watch!

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Another tradition we still have is family pictures on the front porch.  Somewhere over the years, someone got the idea to put their baskets upside down on their heads, so now every year there is at least one grandkid with the Easter basket on the head.  One of my favorite Easter pictures from my childhood years is the one that was taken the year Mom was expecting my baby sister.  For one thing, our dresses were yellow, my favorite color.  But I also love to see my mom in that picture, looking so young and adorable with her baby bump, in her black flower-printed dress. It’s amazing to think that I am ten years older now than she was when that picture was taken!

Slightly altered for comfort of publication.

Slightly altered for comfort of publication.

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So.  That is how weird we get on Easter.  Baskets on heads, violent egg-hunting, fighting over lamb’s butts.  Just another day in my awesome family!  Stay tuned for the (admittedly belated) continuation of the Family Traditions series, when I talk about May:  Mothers’ Day and Youngest Sister’s birthday, and The Boy’s birthday as well.  Oh, and End-of-School celebrations, and Memorial Day family gatherings.  It’ll be action-packed, I promise!

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Until next time,

D.

 

My Summer Just Got a Lot Busier! May 22, 2014

Hello all!  I have a surprise.  I will get to it in a moment, but first the backstory.  Sorry, I’m an “expositionist.”  I’m a Veeery involved member of a community theatre.  I haven’t been there long, just barely a year.  But I got involved at this time last year and have just fallen in love with it.  I’ve made new friends, learned a LOT of stuff, and found something I enjoy to expand and colorize my world.  I’ve been involved in one aspect or another with every production they have done there since I started.  Last summer I was cast in the chorus of Les Mis, followed by set construction on August: Osage County, followed by set construction and co-lead in Secrets of the Buttermilk Hotel, followed by set construction and backstage crew on Young Frankenstein, followed by set construction and backstage crew on Smokey Joe’s Café, followed by set construction on The 39 Steps.  I have gone from knowing virtually nothing about theater to hoping for a major production team position.

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Every summer at ALT they do a big musical.  This year, it’s ‘Grease.’  They had a bit of a hard time finding a director because people’s schedules just didn’t fit, or things came up, or things fell through, but finally they found a director.  Earlier in the search though, they asked one of my best friends from the theater if she would direct.  After thinking about it for a while, she decided she wasn’t able to make it fit her schedule.  BUT.  During the time she was considering it, we had decided that if she directed, I would get to shadow whomever she picked as her stage manager.  The very day the board representative asked her if she would direct, I went out and bought a couple of binders, page dividers, and page protectors.  I procured a copy of the script and set it up in the binder.  I researched online and printed out some things on stage managing:  Stage Manager’s 10 Commandments, Stage Manager duties and checklist, survival guide, all the good stuff.  I even decorated the cover of my “book” with Grease stuff.  “Preparation, thy name is Klingon Woman!”  In the dictionary under Gung Ho there is a big old picture of me.  (Probably with Sharpie-drawn horns and a villain mustache because my eager-beaver enthusiasm irritated someone who hadn’t had their coffee yet.)

*

So anyway.  Then my friend turned down the director job, and I thought, “Oh well.  Maybe another time, no big deal.”  I lost out on the opportunity to shadow the Stage Manager on 39 Steps, but I wasn’t worried, because I knew another opportunity would come up.  So yesterday I was in WalMart shopping for some things for my office, and I got a Facebook message from the executive producer for this show… are you ready for this?…. asking me if I wanted to stage manage Grease.  Not shadow.  Not assist.  DO it!  Wooohoooo!  So of course I immediately said, “Yes! with supervision.”  We talked a little and she assured me that several theater vets have said they would be available for questions and needs, so I am well-supported.

*

I talked with the director last night, (who, incidentally, I went to school with and who my little sister and my father both know well) and I think we are going to work very well together.  I have begun to get a good idea of what he expects and how he wants things done, and I am ready to deliver! I’ve got my prompt book set up and ready to go, to-do lists, calendars, lists of things to bring to auditions and rehearsals, lists of things to buy for putting together my Stage Manager Kit… in short- I’m ready to learn and ready to work!

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So that’s my surprise.  In less than a year from my first time ever onstage, I am now a stage manager!  I’m looking forward to the process, even the hard parts.  The part I’m most scared of is the big part:  calling the show. (You know, “Standby Lights 1… Lights 1 Go!” I’ll be responsible for all the light cues, sound cues, fly loft cues, curtain cues, and set changes.  Except I don’t think  I can supervise set change AND call the show.  Maybe.  I’ll have to see how it goes as the process develops through rehearsal.  Ah well.  I’ll figure it out.  Bring it on!

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Stay with me throughout this journey and I’ll talk your ear off about all things Grease!

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Until next time,

D.

 

 

Family Traditions Series- January! January 1, 2014

Filed under: Family,Lovin' Life — DDKlingonGirl @ 11:29 am
Tags: , , , ,
New Year Sunrise

New Year Sunrise (Photo credit: joka2000)

Hello all, and Happy New Year!  I wanted to start the new year by becoming more active in a lot of different areas, and writing is one of them!  So on this first day of a new year, I want to start off a new series I will be doing each month, and talk about traditions.  In contrast to the hope and freshness of a new year stretching out in front of all of us, I want to take a moment to look at some of my family’s traditions and share them with you.  My plan is to look at each month, and any holiday or birthday or other milestone that falls within that month, I will describe in detail with regard to traditions my family has shared over the years.  So let’s just talk about January, shall we?

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With very few exceptions, my new years have started exactly the same way for as long as I can remember:  at church.  My church has always had a party, also known as a fellowship, or game night, on December 31st.  We meet at the church building.  No particular time- whenever everyone wants to show up, but most people get there by about 8:00 p.m.  There is food.  Lots and LOTS of food.  Rotel cheese dip, Little Smokies, pigs in a blanket, chips, dips, salsa, fruit, cookies, sandwiches, pinwheels, and pizza.  For starters!

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There are also games.  For as long as I can remember, there have been groups of people playing dominoes, cards, and various board games as they passed through phases of popularity.   There have been homemade games, puzzles, and kid games.  The competition is always fierce.  Everyone is out to win, but it is always noisy, friendly, and happy.  The teenagers and kids have alternated between forming their own games and joining in with the older folks and learning the old games.  My own tradition for the past few years is to bring a puzzle. I usually don’t finish it, but last night I did, because it was only a 300 piece puzzle.

Here's this year's finished work. :)

Here’s this year’s finished work. 🙂

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Back in the old days when I was a kid, they would bring a rolling cart with a TV and VCR into the auditorium (some of you know it as the sanctuary), and the younger kids would watch movies.  Nowadays, they have the film screen they can pull down, and they have the projector mounted to the ceiling, hooked to a computer system in the back with all the sound, and they just pop in a DVD.  Wow, times change, don’t they?

*

All of this would continue until shortly before midnight.  Games, grazing, movies would all stop and we would all go into the auditorium and sit together at the front.  One of our regular song leaders would get up and lead us in singing a few church songs (hymns).  We would continue to sing until midnight had passed.  We’d all say Happy New Year, families and friends would give hugs and kisses, and then someone would say a prayer for the new year, and we’d go clean up the fellowship hall and get home before the crazies hit the road!

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My family has always gone to this party as long as I can remember.  Over the years, it has been canceled a few times due to icy weather, and once or twice I made the choice to miss all or part of it and spend time with other friends elsewhere.  As an adult, there have been times when my parents have gone out of town after Christmas, and I have gone to the New Year’s Game Night with my kids without my parents there.  My sisters have long since moved and formed their own traditions, but this is still a regularly expected part of my life.

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On New Year’s Day, our traditions have been a little less regular, but it seems like we used to get up the next day after the church new year’s party, and Mom would make ham and au gratin potatoes.  I don’t remember the black eyed peas being such a big deal when I was very young, but the older I got, I realized everybody made a big deal of eating black eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck.  Now, I’m not sure I believe in luck, but we always followed the tradition.

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One year, Mom found a recipe for a “Good Luck” Bean Soup that included the black eyed peas.  She made the soup mix and we ate it on New Year’s Day.  I don’t remember exactly what all happened that year, but it seemed like it was the WORST year our family had had in a long time.  So the next year, we had a ceremonial ‘throwing of the beans’ event in which we all took a handful of the dry bean soup mix she had made up and FLUNG it into the woods as far as we could! We still laugh about that.

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Those are just a few of my family’s January traditions.  We are a strong, tight family.  Sometimes we might have our problems, but we have a lot of love.  I wish each and every one of you strong family ties and unfaltering love from those you call your family.

Love to all!

Until next time,

D.

 

 
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