Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Birthday Week

Last Thursday was my birthday.....  It was an unusual week filled with unexpected emails, Facebook posts and text messages.  I have never received so many birthday wishes.  It also gave me cause to think about the unexpected ways in which the internet has impacted my life.

I received over 125 posts on Facebook, numerous text messages, a dozen or so emails and even a few phone calls.!  Before the internet, I might have received a few phone calls or a couple of birthday cards, mostly from family. This year, I was overwhelmed with birthday wishes. 

The thing is, I sort of miss the personal phone call - hearing a voice.  Hearing the excitement and the singing of the Birthday Song - you can't get that "on the line"....  Is the exchange worth it?  Have we given up too much?  Are we sacrificing our abilities to communicate with one another?

Don't get me wrong - I loved each and every FB post, email and email...  It was lovely to hear from each and every one of my family and friends.  I was overwhelmed with the birthday wishes.  BUT, I still have to worry a bit that we are may one day never verbally communicate with one another.  Will we remember how to look someone in the eye and talk on the phone?  Land lines are already becoming extinct... 

So, on this beautiful first day of October, let's just remember some of the old ways should still be kept alive...  Call someone you love today.  Let them hear your voice, hear the inflection in your voice when you say hello....

Thursday, September 5, 2013


It's been awhile since I've posted anything.  The summer went so fast - so much has happened.  My class reunion was probably the most important accomplishment in recent years.  It is amazing the number of classmates I now keep in touch with every week.  I am so beyond blessed to have this wonderful people in my life.  It makes it all worth getting up in the morning.  The feeling is like comfort food (yes, I seem to always compare everything to food)...  These are the folks that helped shape me in my youth.  Seems only fitting that we should enjoy each other in adulthood.

The remodeling project is finished!  My new kitchen and den are fabulous.  Taylor did such an amazing job - the fireplace is probably my favorite - black marble and a new mantle.  I can just sit on the couch and look at the fireplace and get all teary-eyed...  It's always the little things (actually, the fireplace cost about the same as I had budged for my England trip).....  Every little detail Taylor put into this project is amazing.  I am so grateful to him.

Have had a few parties this summer - class reunion committee, band reunion for Tom and Joy and the big reveal of the remodeling!  Each one was a joy and again, such fabulous friends.  The band reunion was probably the most surprising for me - I wasn't in the band in high school - gave it up for pep club!  Lord, the decisions we make as young people.  Anyway, Tom was in the band and unable to attend the reunion.  I didn't know him in high school, but we connected on Facebook.  Then, I got to know his wonderful wife, Joy.  It just seemed fitting when he told he would be in town, that a party should be given.  So, we planned it and almost everyone Tom wanted to see was able to come!  Again, fabulous food and friends.....

The Remodeling Bash was a couple of weeks ago.  I wanted everyone to meet Taylor and share in my joy of my remodeled digs.  It was so much fun - a fabulous mixture of people from all phases of my life.  We all wore name tags with a notation of how they knew me - that was hysterical - there was anything from "met her in jail", to "met her at a strip club", so "my brother from another mother" (he's Chinese)...  High School friends, oil and gas friends, neighbors, friends of friends that I know treasure as my own and LTYM soul mates!  I must say I drank a wee bit too much vodka that night, but all in all, I think it was a smashing success!  Thank you to everyone that was able to come.

So, now I'm wondering what will be next for me.  It's OU football time and Thunder basketball is around the corner.  Life is such a journey - so far, it's been quite a ride....

Friday, July 5, 2013

Old Friends are the Best

Last weekend was my class reunion - 40 years.....  Hard to imagine what I've been doing the last 40 years.  Doesn't seem possible.

We arrived at the Friday night location and the next 3 hours was just a blur.  Some faces were very familiar, but others were a bit more difficult to recognize.  Classmates flew in from all parts of the world - London, Maine, Detroit, Washington state and Washington DC.  Unbelievable - it was like Field of Dreams - if you build it, they will come............

Lots of picture taking, hugs and kisses.  We all share a history - some from elementary school.  We laughed and talked and tried to catch up as quickly as possible.  It was sort of like speed dating!  Just trying to cram everything in a very short period of time before someone else walked up and it started all over again.  I think I finally got to bed at 2:30 am.  What a night!

Saturday morning, a group of about 50 met at the high school for a Memorial service and a tour of the school.  My old friend, Andy, who flew in from London, handled the Memorial service.  It honored all our classmates that are no longer with us.  It was a fabulous service.  Andy was perfect!

The school tour was interesting - certainly have been some changes in 40 years!  LOL  The highlight of the day was when I asked the principal a question - "just how old are you?" to which he replied "37"~  Seriously?  Very nice guy - so energetic about the school and trying to make a difference in students' lives.

Saturday night was a blast!  We had a photo booth which turned out to be awesome - silly pics!  We took a class picture AND elementary school pics, too.  That was amazing.  My elementary school had the most classmates show up!  YAY Jackson!!!

At this point in our lives, no one really cares how much money you have or don't have or what you do for a living.  We were just glad to see each other - reminisce about crazy stuff we did in high school and just enjoy being together.  A group of us sat outside the hotel until 3:00 am - we just didn't want to let go - didn't want it to end - went by way too fast........

All in all, a fabulous weekend.  I love my class!!!  We will probably get together in 2 years to celebrate our 60th birthdays!  I still think most of us still act like we are still in high school!  LOL

Go Tigers!

Friday, June 14, 2013


Today is Friday...............

I am on complete and total overload.  I do this to myself all the time.  Must find the time to figure out why I do, but then that's another thing to do...  Oh vey...

Two weeks from today will be my class reunion - I have taken on this job and as always, will be so glad when it's over.  So many things to do, questions to answer, emails to send, text messages to answer, details to worry over, and yet somehow I know it will all come together and be a blast!  Right now, I'm worried we don't have enough folks signed up to pay for the reunion.  Everyone tells me it will be fine - everyone tells me it will all work out.  Who is this "everyone" cuz right now I'd like to punch him/her right in the face.......

Tonight, I'm headed to Norman to eat sushi and drink dirty martinis with some great friends.  These ladies are all part of the committee and I'm sure they are all tired of listening to me.  Guess that's why Nancy has lined up her girls to drive me home tonight - she has a sneaking suspicion that I might drink a few too many martinis.  I'm a thinkin' she might be right!  LOL

I am starting to believe that I'm wired up pretty tight right now.  Mr. Handyman told me straight up last night that I should start smoking pot!  He thinks I need to jigger down a bit (my words, not his cuz I can't remember exactly the words he used)....  I don't think anyone has ever said that to me before.  I mean the smoking pot thing, not the wired up thing.  So someone had the balls to tell me I need to slow down a bit; that I should take the pot?  Guess it's something to consider.  Who knows maybe that's why I used to be more fun in my earlier years - those hazy days as I like to call them.... 

Hhmmm, let's recap.  Things going on in my life right now:  reunion, remodeling, daughter home from college with her stuff everywhere and I do mean everywhere, working fulltime, my sweet puppy has been sick on and off for 2 weeks, backyard landscaping (now finished) and just life in general being a single woman that owns a house.

OK, kids, I will keep you posted on how everything is going!  Hopefully, there will be no need for a bail bondsman tonight!  HA

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Thank God Life Goes On.....

This past Sunday was such a treat - the first time my Listen To Your Mother cast has been together since the show!  Almost   We cooked burgers and hot dogs and everyone brought their own special dish.  We laughed and hugged and talked and hugged.  It was just love! 

Crazy to think we barely know each other, yet we absolutely adore one another.  We come in all shapes and sizes from all walks of life, all kinds of jobs, all kinds of experiences, but we are bound together by this one fabulous moment in our lives - the Listen To Your Mother show!

I know for sure I can't image my life without these women in it.  They make me think outside the box, make me laugh until I can't breathe and give the absolute best hugs!!!  Most of all, they give me HOPE!  Hope is such a magical gift!  Hope that I can step outside the box anytime I want and without question, they will be there to catch me and to root me on to the finish line.  Hope that tomorrow will be even better than today.  Hope that my life is far from over.

To be honest, the last couple of years have been tough.  My house has been a bed and breakfast (not by choice) - my son moved home for over a year, my sister moved here from Houston and lived and worked with me for 6 months, and then my daughter came home from college. 

I was seeing a man for a couple of years and it didn't end very well.  He was my first love and someone that has been in and out of my life since I was 16.  Other than my brother, he has always been there for me.  I didn't take the breakup very well - gained about 80 pounds and just sort of holed up in my house.  I just felt like a complete failure.  I didn't realize just how lonely I was.

Then, came Misti and her announcement she would be directing the inaugural Listen To Your Mother show in OKC.  I had written a story for a writing class I took in college a few years ago.  It needed a little work, so I pulled it out and began working on it.  I'd throw it away and then a couple of days later, I'd think about it and pull it out again.  This went on for a couple of weeks.  Misti posted a deadline for submitting stories.  Again, I went back and forth.  It was now or never.  Not sure how long I looked at the "Send" button before I pressed it and then gasped that I had actually sent the story.

The entire process of making it to the live show was so completely and totally out of my comfort zone.  I wasn't sure about anything going on in my life and I kept asking myself "Why did you send that stupid story", but I just kept hearing Misti's voice telling all of us how awesome an experience she had last year and that "everyone has a story to tell"...  Yes, I had a story, but would anyone really want to hear it?  Lucky for me, they did...

Suffice it to say, my life is changed forever - it was an experience that is hard to put into words.  This group of women literally saved my life.  I feel alive again.  I believe that I can do anything.  I'm investigating some new business opportunities that may take me away from OKC, but I am not afraid anymore.  Hope.......

I love, love, love my LTYM sisters and I do believe there is a GIRLS NIGHT OUT looming in the near future...  Stay tuned.........

Saturday, June 8, 2013

My 99 year old friend

Yesterday, one of our investors stopped by to "take care of some business".  As it turns, out Connie was celebrating his 99th birthday!  He certainly doesn't look 99 nor does he act 99 - although I'm sure I know enough people that old to make that statement.  His daughter was with him.  She lives in California and flew in for the big celebration.

Connie's wife passed away a couple of months ago and he wanted to change some things on his account.  We took care of some of the business and then just visited.

What a delightful man!  He told me if I would come out to "The Pub" at 4:30, he would buy me a glass of wine!  His retirement home has a bar - love this concept.  Something to look forward to!  I asked Connie if I could have a rain check until we finalize our business and then I would come out.  He was so gracious and said, "of course"...  Can't wait to go see him!

Can you just imagine the stories he can tell me?  The things he has seen and experienced?  His thoughts on the world today?  He was born in 1914 - need to Google world events...  I'm just so excited to sit and just listen to him...

Mr. Connie - you are a gem and I am so glad you came to visit me yesterday.

Stay tuned.....

Friday, June 7, 2013

I got a new eye!!!

Cataract surgery this past Tuesday.  What a crazy day!  I am certain I was the youngest person in the waiting room.  There were these 2 little old ladies - I'm pretty sure neither one of them should have been driving.  The one that was having the surgery forgot to leave her jewelry at home, so the 2 of them were huddled up trying to get all of her treasures off and into a safe place - "you can never be too safe, Marge"....

The entire surgery took 10 minutes and I was in recovery for 10 minutes - it was like going to the 7-11 for an Icee...  My follow up apt the next day took longer!  LOL

It's an amazing surgery - I can see much clearer already.  Colors are brighter..

The only downside is I can't wear eye makeup for a week - seriously?  Have you taken a look at me without eye makeup?  It's like every day is a Saturday - just some foundation and lipstick.  I have shaved off about 15 minutes in the morning - I'm actually on time to work!

But seriously, I NEED my eye makeup.  Every time I go to the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror, I am thinking - crap, I forgot to put on mascara!  This is the absolute worst part of the entire procedure.  I need some glasses just to cover up this face............

I will have the other eye in 2 more weeks.  So, basically, I will be without makeup for an entire month. 

Stay tuned.............

Friday, May 31, 2013

Sir Paul McCartney

I have a been a Beatles fan for most of my life.  As a young girl, my friends and I used to build a house by draping blankets over the jungle gym in the back yard.  Then we would argue over who got to be married to John or Paul.  No one ever wanted Ringo or George - it was always John or Paul...  We would pretend to cook dinner and make up all kinds of scenarios, but mostly we were just got to say we were married to John or Paul and made fun of whoever got stuck with Ringo or George! 

I had all kinds of Beatles memorabilia in my room, but my Dad threw away all of that "junk" years ago...  Oh, how I wish I still had the bobble heads and the posters..  In recent years, I have been acquiring old Beatles albums - mine are literally falling apart.

I was never lucky enough to see the Beatles in concert - saw Ringo several years ago with his All Star Band.

Until last night and then I was privileged enough to see Paul McCartney play at the BOK Center in Tulsa.  I had heard stories from friends about how awesome he was in concert.  I am hear to tell you, it is all true and then some.  He played for 3 hours!  It was well worth the drive.

The crowd was electric and Paul was absolutely charming!  He sang and sang and sang - played several different guitars (including the 1 he used with the Beatles in the 60's) and played 2 different pianos.  He told fabulous stories and was just genuinely having a good time....  He seemed enamored with saying OKLAHOMA...  LOL  Very funny and still so stinkin' cute...  He wore a royal blue blazer with a white shirt, jeans and black boots that reminded me of the boots the Beatles used to wear.  Need to Google "Paul McCartney's boots".

It was quite a production.  "Live and Let Die" was like a Vegas show - filled with fire, lights and fireworks.  When he sang "Blackbird", the stage was way up in the air and there he was playing his guitar and singing.  All thru the night, he showed videos of the Beatles.  Just such good memories tied to the Beatles and their music.

Music does indeed soothe the soul. Those songs took me back to my childhood thru my adulthood.  This is my music.  Their music had such an impact on my life.  It introduced me to rock 'n roll.  I used to sit on my bed for hours and listen to their albums.  And just dreaming about those Beatles.  I just knew at some point, Paul McCartney would appear on my doorstep and ask my Dad for my hand in marriage...

So, my darling friend and I drove home last night reveling in the magic of the night and arrived back in Oklahoma City around 1:00 am...  Very long night, but wouldn't have missed it for the world.  Thank you Cois for going with me - always so awesome to share with a good pal....

Long live Paul McCartney and his music!!!

P.S.  I have on my NEW Paul McCartney T-shirt today....  Will probably sleep in it tonight, too!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wallerin' at The Paseo

Nancois picked me up at 9:30 and we headed to Cora's for our yearly trek to The Paseo Arts Festival.  The weather was nice - a bit windy, but we do live in Oklahoma, so not a big surprise. 
First stop, Taylor's back yard.  He opens up the back yard for tours during the festival.  We met him last year, so we felt it necessary to stop by.  Thanks to his little marketing idea, he has been working at my house since last September!  He is now part of the family!  BUT, that's the subject of a whole other blog.
The only thing missing this year was his sweet dog, Sophie - she passed away about 2 weeks ago.  Never easy to say goodbye to a pet.  
But, I digress....  We visited with Taylor and met his Mom - she is an old hippie, so of course, I loved her!!!  We made plans to have lunch soon.  He is worried we will exchange stories about him.....  Of course, we WILL!!!!
On to the festival - drank too much beer, bough a whirlygig for my backyard and are chicken on a stick and listened to music - some good, some not so good.
Now the whirligig is the basis of this little story.  I asked the gentlemen at the tent if this whirligig would stay in the ground - looked a little top heavy to me and with the Oklahoma wind, ya gotta ask these questions...  He said "ma'am, with all the rain you've had here in Oklahoma, it will probably just waller right out of the ground"!!!  I immediately asked him, "where are you from", to which he replied, "Texas"!  Waller?  OMG!  We laughed so hard, I could hardly breathe.  Needless to say, every single thing that has happened in the last 24 hours has something to do with "wallerin"!!!
Took a funnel cake to Taylor on the way home - decided to go to the picture show -Fast and Furious 6 - pretty sure we were the oldest people in the theater.  Who cares.........
We were completely exhausted from the movie, which naturally necessitated more alcohol consumption.  This time our favorite - VODKA - at Cora's house.  We sat on the front porch, enjoying the beautiful weather and laughed and talked until about 10:00 PM!  Lord, we were happening.
Old friends are the best.  We laugh until we "almost" pee in our pants - ok, sometimes we do...
There's not much we don't know about each other, so all we have to say is "remember that broom" and we die laughing....
It was one of the best days ever.....  Wallerin' in Oklahoma, ya'll.....

Monday, May 27, 2013

Moore Tornado

As I sit here at my desk listening to Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton sing "Over You" which is dedicated to the Moore, OK tornado, it just makes me realize just how important my family and friends are to me.

Is it really important that I have a new pair of shoes?

Is it really important that I have a new coffee pot?

Is it really important that I remodel my kitchen? 

I have done of these things in the last month.....  I sort of feel guilty now when there are people that don't even have a place to live right now.

How do we get past these kinds of feelings?  I suppose time is the answer.  Time.....  That precious gift that I, like most of us, take for granted.

So, this weekend, I plan to spend some quality time with some of my best pals going to the Paseo Arts Festival.  We will laugh and buy stuff we don't need and probably enjoy some adult beverages...  These are the times I will cherish....

Hug your loved ones, including the 4 legged ones....

The Lady that Lives on the Bus Stop Bench

At least once a week, I drive down NW 59th between May and Independence.  There is a lady that lives on the bus stop bench.  I see her at Starbucks sometimes.

She talks to herself, but she seems harmless.  Just alone.  She has several layers of clothes on and is always drinking coffee or PowerAde or bottled water.  She carries her belongings with her in a duffle bag.

I am haunted by her.  Haunted by the hollow look in her eyes.  Haunted by the despair.  Haunted by the fact that she lives there when it's cold and rainy and when it's snowing.  Haunted by the sheer inhumane way she lives.

I don't know her name.  Funny, I should, but I don't.  I stop and give her money every now and then. I asked her one day how she was doing and she said "just getting by'... She always says thank you and God Bless you.

Today, I stopped and asked her how she was doing and she said the drink she was sipping on tasted funny.  I gave her some money and it took her awhile to get the words out.  I think she may have Tourette's or something similar.  She finally got the words out - "thank you"!  As I was driving away, she yelled "thank you" again!

I'm not sure if there's anything I can do help this woman, but mostly, I just avoid driving down NW 59th, but I'm drawn to her....

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My Mother, The Censor!

My Mother, The Censor!

Most people probably believe that Tipper Gore was the first person to ever ask for a ban on rock music.  Apparently, they never met my mother.

In August, 1969, The Woodstock Music Festival took place at Max Yasgur’s farm in Upstate New York.  It was a four day music festival with the hottest music groups such as   Crosby, Stills & Nash, Janis Joplin, Sly & the Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix and The Grateful Dead.  I was waiting at the record store the first day the live album went on sale.  I listened to it for hours every chance I got. 

One day after school, I came home to find that no one was there!   Mom left a note telling me she was at the grocery store.   My family of five lived in a 950 square foot house, so time alone was rare.  It was the perfect time to put on some music.  No one would be telling me turn it off.  I picked up my Woodstock album, and pulled out one of the records and put it on my record player. 

When the record stopped, I picked it up to turn it over to side 2.  I noticed there was something written on the label.  I could hardly breathe – I immediately thought my little sister had destroyed my record.  Then, I took a closer look and there, in blue ink, in my mother’s handwriting was the phrase - “THIS IS A DIRTY RECORD”.   I was stunned.  I couldn’t move.  I couldn’t breathe.  You know how you feel when the breathe gets knocked out of you – well this was worse.    And, then I began to shake.  Oh my God, I am so dead…  She is definitely going to kill me and ground me for life and I’ll never get married and I’ll never have children.  I’ll just be stuck here - grounded.  Oh God, oh God, oh God, please save me was all I could think.  I went through the whole Oh God, I promise if you save me, I will NEVER do anything bad for the rest of my life speech.  After all, we were Southern Baptists and this WAS rock and roll we were talking about.  I was starting to re-think my cry to God because he probably hated rock and roll, too.  I decided it was OK to continue my fervent prayer to God just in case the Baptists were wrong. 

That woman had taken my prized possession, bought with my babysitting money, and written on the label in INK.  Of course it was in ink.  She was her own little censor department.   I had no clue what she was talking about – dirty?  Seriously?  I began to read the song titles and then, I saw it - Country Joe McDonald singing “The Fish Cheer”.  The “Cheer” was basically spelling out the “F” word, one letter at a time.  I had never even said the F word out loud.  Basically, a crowd of 450,000 screamed out every letter – gimme an F – F, gimme a U – U.  You get the picture.  Obviously, my mother got the picture and wasn’t too happy.

First, she went through my room (privacy????) and then she listened to my music???  What about free speech?  Oh yeah, there is no such thing as free speech in my Mother’s house.  But even at 15 I had rights!  I put the record back inside the album and clutching it to my chest, just sat there waiting for her to get home.  Mom came home and started dinner, unaware of my discovery.  I continued to sit on my bed going over my brilliant speech.  Finally, I headed for the kitchen, holding the album close to my heart.  My heart was now beating so hard, I’m surprised the album wasn’t moving back and forth to the beat of my heart.  I had no clue how this whole thing was going to play out, but I knew I had to stand up for my beloved rock and roll.  It was obvious I would be grounded forever anyway, so what did I have to lose?

When Mom saw the album, she knew I had discovered her little gift.   Without waiting for me to state my case, she told me in no uncertain terms that the “F” word was filthy and there was no place for it in our house.  She went on to tell me she couldn’t believe I thought this song was acceptable and she just couldn’t bear the thought that her daughter was using that kind of language.  She threatened to wash my mouth out with soap.  I tried to interrupt, but she just kept coming at me.  Surprise – I was grounded until further notice.   I was to wash and dry the dishes.  It just went on and on and on.  Finally, she uttered the most beautiful words I had ever heard - “do you have anything to say”? 

Finally, my turn!  I always felt I was in the Spanish Inquisition when facing my mother.  I don’t believe she had ever given me the chance to say anything.  Usually, if I tried to explain I was grounded on the spot.  My friends used to say I was grounded more than I wasn’t.  I took a deep breath and calmly explained to her that I didn’t use the F word and that she shouldn’t be so quick to judge me.  I told her one song did not make me a bad person nor did it make the Woodstock Festival a total failure.  I asked her how she felt about the whole Woodstock festival and she had to admit she didn’t know too much about it.  I found it funny that she was worried about one word in one song instead of all the other things that went on during the festival that were, in my opinion, much worse than uttering the “F” word.   The sex, the drugs, and the utter lack of hygiene (isn’t hygiene next to godliness when you’re the mother of a teenager?).   I’m not sure how long we sat at the kitchen table talking, but by the time we finished talking that day, each of us had a better understanding of one another.   Who would have guessed the censorship of an album would give a mother and a daughter cause to talk and to really listen to one another.

Now years later, my little 85 year old Mom and I are best friends and we still laugh about that day.  By the way, I still have that Woodstock album and I still don’t listen to “that Fish Cheer” – at least that’s what I tell my mother….

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A life-changing day!

Sunday, May 5, 2013 was a day unlike any other!  I was to read my story at the Listen To Your Mother show at the Will Rogers Theatre in Oklahoma City, OK.

I got up early - didn't sleep too well, drank some java, read the Sunday paper and cuddled up with my puppy.  Mark Harmon was on CBS Sunday Morning - I took that as a sign that everything would be fine today...  I'm sure I was married to him in another life....

AND, then the nerves started.  The girl that was supposed to come over and do my makeup cancelled.  Crap.  I couldn't find my sweater.  Crap.  My feet were swollen.  Crap. 

Thankfully, my hair stylist stepped up, drug her hungover butt out of bed and did my hair and touched up my makeup.  She even talked me into wear false eyelashes!

My dear friend from Dallas flew in for the show.  My sweet daugther picked her up at the airport.  They arrived and I just felt more nervous.

I looked at the clock and it was 11:50 - I was supposed to arrive at noon - Lord, what am I doing??
I put my flip flops on my fat, swollen feet (was I pregnant again?).  The fancy sandals went into my purse all the while praying to Sweet Baby Jesus that I would be able to squeeze those fat feet into those sexy sandals before going on stage. 

So I drive like a maniac and get to the theatre at 12:05!!!  Thank you again to Sweet Baby Jesus for not letting me get a ticket or having a wreck.

The second - no, the nanosecond I stepped into the Green Room, I was completely and totally fine!  I was worried about how I was feeling - where did the nerves go?  Was I such a rookie that I didn't know better?  Was I in shock?  Would I walk to the podium and immediately start shaking and just fall backwards?  I do have a habit of falling down - Oh God, please no - NOT TODAY.....

But, there I was with my new sisters - Misti, Julie, Heather, Mari, Suzanne, Amy, Brandi, Sheradee, Erika, Alexandra, Barb, Liz, Lisa, and Jennifer AND my new little brother, CW!  All was right with the world.  These were my people, my soft place to land, my cast mates.  We were in this together!  The hugs and the smiles made it all worthwhile.

We took pictures, drank smoothies, laughed and tried to soak up each moment because we knew we would never be in this exact place again.  It was truly a once in a lifetime experience.  We, this group, that had only known each other for about a month.  We had bonded for a lifetime and were already planning a reunion party at my house, complete with Granny's pies.

Mari gave each of us antique handkerchiefs.  What a fabulously thoughtful idea.  We all carried them on stage.  It was something to hold on to as we stood there before that wonderful audience and shared our stories.

The time on stage flew by - each one telling their own story.  Some were sad and some were funny and everything in between.  We all laughed and cried together, just as we had in rehearsal.  There were hugs and smiles like there always is with this group.

The story before me was very emotional.  How in the world am I going to follow that?  BUT, Misti the Wise One, was introducing me and made a little joke about my upcoming blog (the whole cougar thing is for another blog).  Just as I was headed to the podium, Heather leaned over and said "Gimme me an F"...  Thank you again!  These women knew just what I needed...  These women.....  These wonderfully, talented, honest, warm and loving women.....

The set was gorgeous - the theatre was incredible.  The audience was amazing.  They laughed and cried right along with us.  It was magic.

Listen To Your Mother has changed my life!  I am not a writer and this is my first blog.  This group has inspired me to write more stories, even if no one but me ever reads them.  I wouldn't trade this experience for anything!

Every person has a story to tell about being a mother, not being a mother, having a mother, or about the woman that played that role in their lives.  I am forever indebted to Ann Imig for the opportunity to share my story and for the privilege of hearing the stories of my castmates and the others across the country.

AND the next time Misti tells me that something is going to be lifechanging, I SWEAR I am going to believe her....  Swear.....

WOW - a ride............